The road is bumpy, and yet still the car's recent damage starts to show as the mufflers have nearly given in, it shakes. Still, ahead of you is a structure you are unlikely to have seen the sort of before. Dominating the view, behind the walls of the place you are going to, in the distance and built into the stone wall of the nearby mountainous terrain, is a giant tube for ragnite, not unlike the ones inside your force gear but easily large enough one could swim inside it. From this very distance the low, low rumble it makes as ragnite flows through it can be heard, the very effects of it cause the car's engine to lose power. Near a piece of force gear so huge, every other gear becomes muffled and weakened
And when you pry your eyes off the dominating test subject of this place you see ahead of you a gate, the walls built of sturdy metal but not like a fortress as their deflective construction is facing inwards, there's a six-story building that is part of the wall in the left side, and the gate itself leads to, as far as you can see from here, a very large empty space with reinforced metal flooring. Some of you may have seen this kind of design before, a pretty secure testing zone for high energy projects
Amal: "Wow, that
Serenity: "Holy shit just because you build a lab in the middle of fucking no where is no excuse for having exposed, unshielded pipes. What the hell is wrong with these fuckheads?"
The building appears to have no clear entrace, seems like one must make their way inside from within the wall, admittedly there is a clear marked emergency exit but you wouldn't approach there would you? There is some form of guard post in the gate
[OOC] Amal: furhruhrg
Amal: "Wow, that's pretty impressive…"
Amal: "…oh. I guess that's pretty dangerous, huh?"
Harriet: "Reckless, is more like it. How are you supposed to work on multiple projects? You can't just leave that stuff lying around! It'll mess with your data!"
Serenity: "It's probably only dangerous if you have something like Anton's flying shoe things, but it's pretty damn inconvient."
Anton scratches his head. "Budget problems, perhaps? I'm out of my element here."
Hughbert: "Hm. I expect we will find out the reason soon, as I have full confidence that neither of you," he motions to Serenity and Harriet, "will have the restraint to not lecture them. By no means do I imply they don't deserve it, of course."
Harriet: "Hey! I only lecture people for excellent reasons!"
Serenity‘ rolls a shrug and she continues driving the limping jeep closer to the building while mumbling to herself.
Harriet pats the seat. "It’s okay, baby, you're just suffering from the interactions, you'll be fine when we get out of here."
Serenity: "…That's going to be unpleasent."
JayM: Thankfully there is a parking spot, there's quite a few vehicles but they show signs of have been here forever
Serenity‘ pulls into one before stopping and squinting up at the tube.
JayM: Once parked, it shouldn’t be too hard to get to the gate's guard post, wherein a rather bored looking guard sits, definitely not military
Serenity: "Oh, right the whole earth recovery thing that makes sense."
Serenity‘ motion towards Hughbert then the guard with a shrug.
Harriet: "Yeah, you’re better at this sort of thing, you first."
[OOC] Hughbert: uhhh dang it, I forgot a word
[OOC] Amal: 'dicknipple'.
Hughbert saltues the guard and gives his usual introduction, name, rank, platoon… ((it's been a while, what're we officially here to do again?))
Amal glances at Serenity almost shyly. "What… the heck -is- that?"
[OOC] JayM: Ask Serenity! But, yes, you're here to help out Arklight with their Sacred Grove project on behalf of Masharas
Serenity: "Define 'that'?"
[OOC] JayM: Serenity also wants to spy around
The guard looks up at Hughbert "Oh, yes hello. Welcome to Arklight's remote test site, hrm…" they pick up a stack of papers, flips through them, opens drawers and checks inside them for almost five minutes "Ah, there we go, yes. Hughbert, Anton, Amal, Serenity and Harriet, yes?"
Amal: "That, uh…" They sort of wooble their hands in the air.
Serenity: "The tube itself or something else?"
Guard: "Here, hold these" he gives you five badges "Do you know where to go?"
Hughbert nods, pulls out a book and quickly scans his notes. "We came here on assignment to provide assistance with an ongoing project. I believe you should be expecting us for the Sacred Grove, correct? I would appreciate directions."
Anton puts on his badge before grinning. "I'm sure we can figure it out. That's half the adventure~."
Serenity: "There's a lot of things you could be asking but we have difference senses so I'm not sure if you mean something I have an answer for or not."
Amal: "I don't think it's the tube? You said… something was gonna be unpleasant, and I was guessing we were feeling the same thing…"
Serenity: "Oh."
Harriet pins on her badge.
Serenity: "Uh just how the spook's voice sounded when it responded."
Amal: "Oh. Darn. Qualia sure are complicated."
The guard nods "Alright, you'll want to get through the gate and take a left before you're past it, remain behind the red markings as it is the safe zone for the test area. Just go until you see the marked entrance for the administrative division, once there head inside and take the stairs up two floors and you'll find the general meeting room, i'll put a call for someone to meet you there"
Serenity: "Well I mean there's also,"
Guard: "Anyone in particular as your contact or just the head of the Sacred Grove project?"
Serenity: "The whole thing where it's doing this specific thing it does in the chapel and literally no where else I've ever been but slightly different which is… weird to say the least."
Serenity: "Wait what's a qualia again?"
Amal replies, brightly: "The internal and subjective component of sense perceptions, arising from stimulation of the senses by phenomena!"
Harriet: "The head of the project should do just fine! I'll need to be briefed, after all!"
The guard nods "Very well, feel free to move on, then"
Serenity: "Right."
Hughbert thanks the guard and equips his badge. "You have my gratitude." He motions for the others that are in a confusing-sounding conversation (and Anton) to follow.
Anton: "I'm just going to do everyone a favor and not touch anything. He smiles."
[OOC] Anton: * " He smiles
Serenity‘ follows along with Hughbert.
[OOC] Harriet: Anton’s moved on to narrating his own experiences we're doomed
Amal: "Haven't you ever been really bored around a campfire and had a really really dumb conversation with the crew about whether they and you experience the colour red the same way?"
Serenity: "Uh… no?"
Harriet heads off after Hughbert. She's not gonna touch the weird conversation.
Amal: "…oh."
Serenity: "We don't really do campfires." Serenity sticks her tongue out at Amal between mumbling under her breath.
The way there isn't difficult, as you walk there you pass through the inside of the wall, you realize there is vast amounts of protection here, not just in the sense that it's armored by there's also particular plating used for force gear insulation, thus the dampening field of the giant force gear outside doesn't have as much effect. The fact there are six layers of insulation systems between the red line and the wall proper is perhaps a little terrifying
Amal: "Well, anyways, it'd sure be convenient if our s- special senses matched up and we could compare notes more often. Hmph. Wait have you never toasted marshmallows? Anton we need to stage an intervention at some point when we make camp."
Serenity: "The hell is a marshmallow?"
As you are about the reach the doorway a siren goes off for a moment- And everything shakes as a massive surge of invisible energy comes from somewhere outside the wall. The insulation plates heat up and brighten as they absorb energy. You're safe, however.
Anton slowly turns towards Serenity. "No way. She has to be lying."
Amal: "C- crap, Anton help, marshmallows are a thing, right? D- do they only have those in Risur?"
[OOC] Amal: FUCK
Harriet: "Whoa!" Harriet grabs on to Hughbert so she doesn't go sprawling, because she did not expect tremors.
Serenity‘ blinks, looking confused for a moment.
Serenity: "Oh this is a uh…"
Serenity: "Fuck what are they called."
Amal: "Eep."
Serenity: "Decontamination zone thing."
Anton seems to be tuning Amal out at this point. He seems pretty focused.
Harriet: "Yeah, tell me about it."
Serenity` gesturea vaguely to Harriet. "… actually you probably don’t work with enough biological components to be used to those.
After that, it's otherwise uneventful as you make your way to the meeting room. There is man you'd hardly consider to be a scientist in how he dresses, body fit for a combatant with how fit he is, skin dark as the color of a wonderful dessert, he wears no shirt under his lab coat "Ah, so you're the masharas team"
Hughbert gives Harriet an arm around her back to hold her up. "From what I have come to expect based off your expertise, I believe they are up to some 'high quality science' here, are they not, Harriet?"
Amal: "As long as the techy people say this is normal…"
Harriet: "Hah!" Harriet grins at Hughbert as she rights herself. "Yeah, basically. And yeah, this is pretty normal." Once they get to the meeting room, Harriet steps forward and gestures to herself - "Harriet Babbage, resident genius. We heard you're working on a revitalisation project!"
Serenity‘ tilts her head to one side.
Serenity: "So uh,"
Serenity: "Which one of your people here hears the voice?" To the unshirted labcoat man.
The man looks at Harriet, then at Serenity "Voice?" he raises an eyebrow for a moment "Oh! Oh, that! Nobody, I thought that’s why they were sending you?"
Mike: "Name's mike, by the way, chief engineer of the Sacred Grove project. Quite a titanic undertaking"
Anton glances at Amal and mumbles under his breath. He seems pretty devastated.
Serenity: "Huh. I may've jsut been misunderstanding, they don't exactly speak in, uh, whole thoughts. Much less sentences."
Mike: "I see, what'd it say?"
Serenity: "I… think she wants one of you to give her a name…?"
Mike: "Honestly it's been misbehaving seriously in general, expected given the state of the rest of the system, but it could give us some insights"
Mike: "A name, huhn? How odd, I mean there's the name of the project but we never really gave the systems proper names"
Anton chuckles before nodding to Amal.
Amal mumbles something in response and smiles. OKAY they should probably be taking this seriously.
Serenity: "I may've planeted the idea in her head, I'm not sure if it even occured to her that she might want one until I asked about it."
Mike: "Hrm… I'll have to look for a suitably cool one, fairly certain we have quite a few badass old druids that could lend their names"
Serenity: "But uh anyway I think it's mostly just uh,"
Serenity‘ makes a couple vague gestures in the air with her hands,
Mike: "Ahaha, well, the interesting part is that it seems to have enough conscience to ask for a name. I wonder how it affects it’s operation"
Serenity: "When she intergrated with the earth too much she can feel its pain, and like, given she's sort of realized she's some kind of entity now, pain isn't really desirable…? So."
Mike leans back "I wouldn't doubt it's in pain, I mean, this particular piece you see here is a part we of the system we're leaving exposed on purpose but the rest of the system has been… Ravaged by wild monsters"
Mike: "Also fuck Terra Medical, but"
Harriet: "Wild monsters, huh…?"
Harriet: "We could probably help with that."
Serenity: "Why uh,"
Amal frowns. "What'd they do?"
Serenity: "Exactly is there a gigantic ass tube of ragnite exposed anyway…?"
Mike: "Right here in this facility we're testing particularly effective, efficient and resilient insulation method. The Sacred Grove is a monstrous force gear, to the point normal insulation isn't sufficient"
Mike: "We've been having particular problem finding an alloy that can contain it's gigantic capacitance field"
Serenity‘ scratches behind her head.
Mike: "Which, in itself, is part of the monster problem. Monsters don’t really go wild, they're more like extremely dangerous lost pets, and apparently they're attracted to ragnite in general, the Sacred Grove's systems are apparently pretty yummy for them. Or comfortable I guess?"
Mike: "They wind up showing up, crashing about until they hit the tubing and settling up in it"
Hughbert: "Out of any of us, Harriet would have the best chance at synthesizing a proper alloy." He nods in her direction (because most of us skipped introductions- we could all be harriets and he would be none the wiser)
Serenity: "I can't imagine that's winning her any points either."
Harriet introduced herself! Can't have people misidentifying the genius.
Harriet: "Yeah, I can have a look at it, see what's going on - you've got notes, right? Documented the progress you've made so far? That'd be real helpful."
Mike: "Oh, no, we already got another quite talented engineer working on that particular problem. Admittedly he showed out of nowhere but he's proven himself quite capable and is more or less working for free. Bit of a weird man, honestly, but we've been making great progress thanks to him"
Mike: "But sure, we do have the research notes"
Anton frowns.
Serenity‘ opens her mouth, closes her mouth.
Hughbert: "Hmm. Would we be able to meet this man before we go?"
Harriet: "Oh, who is he? I might know him through his research."
Mike: "Right now i’d honestly rather have you deal with the monster infestation on the western line before they manage to actually cause damage to the tubing itself rather than just the shielding"
Serenity: "Fair enough."
Mike: "Well if you wanna meet him you're in luck, Al-Saiduq is his name, he's around the same site experimenting. You can't miss him, silver hair, striped red-and-black shirt"
Anton: "Name ring a bell to anyone?"
Serenity: "Yes."
Amal: "Lil' bit."
Harriet scratches at her head. "Can't say I've seen his name myself."
Amal staaaares at Anton.
Hughbert: "I would appreciate it if you filled me in on what you know while we're en route to the monsters," he nods to the party. "Now, Mike, I will be putting together the plan of attack for your monster problem. Please tell me whatever details you know about your infestation."
Anton wraps an arm around Amal before winking.
Amal: "I, uh- eep!"
Mike: "Well, as it is this one we know it's mostly weaker monsters but… A lot of them. The infestations tend to be full of Rope Snakes either way… Weird lil-buggers like to pretend they're part of the building or something and keep stuff tied together, they're not too bad… Until they need food. There's been reports of Dire Wolves there as well, they're aggressive hunters, we have contacted a biologist who suggested they might be working together"
Mike: "Worst part is that Al, who was the last person there, mentioned a Leonid taking nest too"
Mike: "Dangerous purple things made all of muscle in their front of nothing in their back, they can crush tanks"
Amal: "Haha monsters aren't why we're acting freaked out I guarantee it. We can probably eat those for breakfast???"
Hughbert makes notes in his book. "If possible," he says to the party, "I want to capture a rope snake alive. The one we captured in that previous mission is faring poorly in captivity, and for the sake of studying monster rehabilitation, I wish to see its disposition improve."
Anton: "Has he contacted you at all since the mountain by the way?" He glances at Amal.
Mike: "If you want a live one I can get you a Rope Snake egg"
Amal: "Nope."
Mike: "They're incredibly lovely lil' creatures if you raise them, if they hatch near people they tend to get really attached"
Serenity: "Anyway yeah uh lets… go kill monsters? Not even hard."
Hughbert: "I appreciate your generosity, Mike. I am likely to accept that offer, though the snake I mentioned was trained for combat. If possible, I want to rehabilitate a combat-trained animal to live a non-violent life, as I expect this will become an important issue in most potential post-war scenarios."
Serenity‘ tilts her head to the side, looking up curiously.
Hughbert: "To that end, I theorize- sorry, we had best get on with the mission for now. If you are interested, I will share notes with you later."
Anton: "I agree, Serenity. If ’Al-Saiduq' wants to meet us, it'll likely happen before we leave. We may as well do the task at hand."
Amal: "Loop me in on that too, okay? That sounds really important! And there are some beast-tamers back home you might want to talk to!"
Mike nods "I'll be happy to, not a biologist myself but anything that can help fix Mai's bullshit"
And there is nothing else of note that happens as you head out. The car's ready to get back in the road, given the location you might want to go on foot, the weakened engine is unlikely to get you there any faster than on foot. Then again you'd get less tired on the car
Hughbert shakes Mike's hand, salutes, and then leads the party to the way out.
Harriet waves at Mike, and rolls on out with Hughbert.
Serenity: "Anyway,"
Serenity: "You're not actually an idiot and know who Al-Saiduq is right Anton?"
Amal: "You don't know what marshmallows are so I think you're just even now."
Harriet: "Wait, who's Al-Saiduq?"
Serenity: "Alcor."
Harriet: "Wh- really?"
Serenity: "Also he knows we're here and as fair as the super spook knows is legit trying to help her,"
Anton places a hand to his chest. "Serenity, who am I to doubt the identity of a foreigner in a red and black shirt with silver hair thats name means Alcor. He seems pretty legit!"
Serenity: "And I don't *think* he was the one that sent us those visions last night, but they were definitely of him doing work on her systems."
Amal: "That guy is so weird…"
Serenity: "But sure is a lot of weird overlapping coincidences, especially after having just met a potential oracle canidate and then Alcor being here and I have no idea what the fuck is going on,"
Serenity: "But nine to ten we're probably being played."
Harriet: "Huh," Harriet shakes her head. "Well, I'm glad you figured it out. I just figured he was in a different field to mine."
The trip is rather uneventful as you go, through whichever way you think best, which is honestly not that important
Amal: "I think the word for that is 'circumstantial simultaneity'… he, uh. He's kind of prolific, from what I've heard."
Anton: "Played or not, we do have to remember he tried to murder us."
Serenity: "I mean he's definitely,"
Serenity: "Not uh, endearing himself to us in either case so that's not really a thing we're in danger of forgetting and is in fact more of a reason to be on guard, yes, Anton."
Serenity: "Also I may have make the system realize it's some kind of demi-god like entity so uh that might be fun at some point, I guess?"
Amal: "Hey Serenity something weird's about to happen hang tight."
[OOC] Serenity: -make +made
Serenity‘ pauses, looks at Amal.
Serenity: "How did you do that."
Amal: "I didn’t! But I knew it was going to happen. Uh. What -did- happen anyways?"
There's a golden flower that's in Serenity's hair
Amal: "-ooh, pretty."
Serenity: "Listening to Alcor argue with somethi - Amal now is not the time to try and hit on me, but thanks I guess?"
Serenity: "I think it's Alcor anyway I'm not actually sure what his voice sounds like."
Amal rolls their eyes and giggles a little. "You're prooobably right."
Serenity: "Same one I heard last night though."
Serenity: "Or wait no."
Serenity: "No that's definitely not Alcor it's clearer now,"
Amal: "!?!"
Serenity‘ tilts her head at Anton, "Unlessssss Alcor sounds like a chick with a nasty cold?"
Serenity: "I’m guessing not though."
Amal: "N… no… I don't think so? This is so weird!" Hopefully they're still at least walking towards where the monsters are.
Anton chews at his lip. He seems to be staring at Serenity.
Serenity‘ is walking and talking and listening and listening, yes. She’s very good at multitasking even if she seems like she's a bit out of it.
Serenity: "Thread's movin' Anton? Think she noticed I'm hearing her."
Anton: "Likely, but I'm a bit bewildered at how the flower functions."
Serenity: "…Flower?"
Serenity: "Amal stop whatever the fuck you're doing, now."
The flower in Serenity's hair undoes itself into petals
Amal looks a little worried. "-are you okay?"
Serenity: "I think so."
Amal: "Phew…"
Serenity: "They could see you."
Serenity: "And started talking to me,"
Serenity: "And that seemed like a good time to stop."
Amal: "Y- yeah probably…"
Harriet: "Are you guys doing a bunch of weird shit under the hood again?"
Anton: "Those two are at least."
Serenity: "Anyway yeah it was someone helping Alcor with whatever the hell he's doing, she seems to think we're going to be appposed and via her reaction I [00:00:07] * @Serenity‘ shakes her head a bit.
Serenity: "What was this about a flower and also what the heck WERE you doing Amal?"
Amal isn’t going to say 'well we're here on a recon mission' out loud because who knows who could be listening at this point, but they kind of wave their arms around indignantly.
About now is time you're nearing where the monsters should be. It's quite clear it is because there's toppled trees and general damaged scenery
Serenity‘ also turns her force gear on.
Hughbert: "I believe we’ve arrived. Have you two concluded your strange discussion?"
Anton: "So do you ball that up into a giant knot and that was an artistic representation or…?" He glances at Amal.
Amal: "Uh. Wiretapping?" They look about as innocent as it's possible for them to look, which is: formidably so, but probably not sufficient.
Harriet is sure to boot her force gears up, too.
Serenity: "I have no idea what that means."
Amal: "E- eavesdropping!"
Anton: "He was listening in on your conversation."
Serenity: "Aha."
Serenity: "Still curious as to the how but I guess this might be one of those things where if you asked me how I talk to spooks all I'd be able to do is shrug?"
Soon enough you reach what seems like the target area should be. Something has caused a very large amount of damage to the nearby rock face, exposing what seems to be a cave that is glowing very brightly the telltale blue of ragnite. There's a rope ladder, however, heading up the rock. Nearby the bottom of the stairs is a lot of instruments for measuring, as well as a portable kiln, metal samples, hammer, there's a handheld transport bin that uses bonded ragnite plates to have the bin float slightly above the wheels, probably necessary to transport this tiny anvil here
Hughbert checks to make sure the rope ladder is not alive, first off.
JayM: No it's a proper rope ladde-aaaaaahh. Look at that, there's a Rope Snake basically keeping it tied to the ground. And another up top
JayM: They're… Not aggressive for what's wroth, you can definitely climb it and they won't even hiss if you step on them
Amal: "Basically, yeah. You're… very good at listening to things??? A- anyways, I think that person you heard was really important, so… I'm sorry if that was scary…"
Amal looks at Anton confused.
A familiar voice from above "I can hear it answering you!" it's a distant shout
Serenity: "Oh my Goddess you -"
Serenity: "I'm not a baby you midget."
JayM: It was definitely Alcor's voice
Serenity‘ blinks, looking up after turning away from Amal.
JayM: He’s nowhere to be seen
Serenity: "What the fuck are you doing out here and who's your girlfriend?"
Alcor: "I'm working on insulation for the system!"
Hughbert gently boops the snake with a finger to avoid surprising it. "Who was that?"
Serenity: "Alcor."
Alcor: "Get up here, I don't wanna talk shouting"
Harriet: "Huh," Harriet scratches at the back of her head. "The direct route, huh? Are we goin' up?"
Hughbert climbs up the ladder first, going gently. "Ah. So this is the fellow who… Drops mountains, you said?"
JayM: The snake sticks out it's tongue at Hughbert, licks his finger, and looks rather uninterested otherwise
Serenity: "If you try and blow up Anton again I'm going to be very mad, most likely because I'll be in the cross fire this time!"
Serenity‘ nods to Hughbert.
Amal thinks for a second and then shakes their head at Anton. "Th- that’s just- what it looks like, hehe." And then they scoot off. This is going to be interesting!
Harriet follows Hughbert up.
Anton sighs before flying up past Hughbert.
Hughbert: "Let me know if you sense any mountains about to fall. I wouldn't know what it's like, you see."
Anton lands beside Alcor. "So, are you going to explain anything at all or…?"
Serenity: "I mean, I'm pretty sure he does just want to talk, but duly noted.
Serenity‘ heads on up the ladder, after turning off the force gear. Also grumbling the entire way.
As you head up you see above that seems like someone made some sort of hole in the rock, there’s some contraption in the hole you cannot identify and inside the contraption a ceramic vat full of molten metal. The contraption has measuring equipment on it as well as some controlling equipment with dials and gauges, sitting on the ground looking at those is… A man with silvery hair, wearing red and black shirt, it's definitely him. Rather anti-climatic
Amal: "Hiya!"
Alcor: "Hello there. So, Arklight agreed to trade me something for help with the insulation… It's proving problematic but I think I can use a special ragnite lattice in whatever alloy one uses to mitigate the capacitance field of this tubing."
Alcor: "So that sums up what i'm doing here in Terchuan. Here, we're not at odds. Nor will we be in Rissan."
Serenity: "I meant in a cave in the middle of fucking nowhere actually, but."
Anton: "When was the last time you talked to Cor?"
Serenity‘ pulls herself all the way up.
Alcor doesn’t stares away from the measuring equipment and hands a lollipop to Anton "Man… It's been a few years"
Alcor: "I do miss her, but what can you do, an oracle's gotta do what an oracle's gotta do"
Anton begrudgingly takes the lollipop and starts chewing on it. "She misses you, you know."
Harriet peers at the equipment. It looks pretty interesting!
Hughbert just kind of stares around the lab as well.
Amal crosses their arms and gives Alcor a kind of stern look, just watching for the moment.
Serenity: "Oh right speaking of."
Serenity‘ stands up, brushes her jacket off, then attempts to kick Alcor in the sides.
Harriet: "Holy shit, someone actually uses that?" Harriet gestures to the forge.
Alcor chuckles "She doesn’t exists" as Serenity attempts to kick him- She slips on the lichen in the floor, falling on her butt
Serenity: "Grah."
Serenity: "Fuck you you stupid fucking fucker. Fuck."
Harriet: "I always figured it just slipped into the aether, I never heard about anyone picking it up for production, holy shit."
Amal looks frustrated.
Alcor: "The fact she doesn't exists doesn't means my wise Lola is powerless, of course"
Harriet: "Uh, Serenity, you okay?"
Serenity: "Amal bean him in the head for me."
Alcor looks at Harriet "Oh, there's a company that has been fighting your university for the rights to produce. Can't say I got this out of them the normal way but it's been super useful"
Alcor: "She said you could hear her?"
JayM: That was for Serenity
Amal: "I don't think it'd-" -they stop what they're doing and squint at Alcor. "That's her name, huh?"
Anton: "So… did you really have to attempt to murder us on the Divine Aegis Climb? I'm sure a diversion could have also completed your goals with Akavir. And yet you shoved us with a ridiculous amount of worldlines where we died."
Serenity: "Let me hit you and I'll answer you you turdmuffin shitlord."
Alcor: "A little bit, yes, Amal"
Serenity‘ sits up slowly.
Amal looks like they’re running a million different things 'Lola' could be short for through their head.
Harriet: "Huuuh." Harriet snaps her fingers. "Well, I always left all that stuff up to the uni, so I guess it makes sense I haven't heard shit about that. I'm glad someone's getting use out of it…" She pauses. "- hang on, you dropped a mountain on us!"
Alcor holds up a hand "Let me finish just getting this adjustment… Ah, there" he shrugs "Go on, Serenity"
Amal: "Obviously he was testing us, Anton."
Alcor: "That I did, but it was really important I tried to kill you for real. There were two main lines of future with vastly different outcomes depending on what happened there"
Amal: "Seeing what he could throw at us, seeing if we'd thread the needle. Tch."
Serenity‘ sort of scoots closer, before leaning back and kicking Alcor in the back of the head as hard as she can. "THAT WAS FOR THE MOUNTAIN YOU ASSHOLE!"
Serenity: "Ugh okay I feel better."
Serenity` sits back up.
Alcor just gets flung forward- He rolls and stops to a sitting position "Ow…"
Harriet: "Yeah, you jerk! We could have died!"
Alcor: "It was a matter on whether… Oooow… Hughbert survived or not"
Amal: "(Naaaaw we couldn’tve.)"
Harriet: "The world needs Harriet Babbage!"
Alcor: "Turns out we're in neither of those futures"
Alcor: "Which is very surprising"
Serenity: "Uh."
Serenity: "Suit man? Really?"
Amal: "Mmhmm."
Serenity‘ glances from Alcor to Hughbert, narrowing her eyes suspiciously.
Hughbert: "If you had a basic grasp of battlefield strategy, you would not view things in such black and white terms." He adjusts his glasses.
Anton: "So despite seeing Hughbert was not with us which meant that neither of the worldlines you were trying to avoid were actually present you made the calm rational decision to drop a mountain on us anyways just to be safe."
Alcor: "In my defense i’d been in that mountain for six days with nary a moment of sleep"
Amal: "Spoiler alert: We're called the Fatebreakers. Tell Lola to put that in her pipe and smoke it."
Alcor: "I didn't even look at you I was just going through my prepared script"
Alcor looks at Amal "Fate's meaningless for her… But I may be saying too much"
Harriet: "What?! That's so rude!"
Serenity: "Goddess above and below YOU ARE THE DUMBEST HUMAN BEING I HAVE EVER MET,"
Amal: "-rrgh, sorry. I'm a little mad!"
Alcor: "Well, given what i've been doing, I wouldn't doubt"
Alcor: "But sometimes you have to be the dumbest person alive to try what must be attempted…"
Alcor: "After all, you got no idea what the future holds"
Anton: "I admit I have some concerns that Cor is actually placing her faith in you to save Masharas!"
Serenity: "What's your game dipshit?"
Amal: "Haha. Okay, that's kinda relatable."
Harriet: "The future holds me, being amazing, spoiler alert. And you're kind of fucking with that."
Alcor: "Don't say anything!"
Amal: "!"
Serenity: "Come on you know I'm more trust worthy than he is, I've never once lied about anything to anyone. Well, other than that time when I stole those cookies from dad but I mean -"
Alcor: "Not like… That thing could know"
Hughbert is mumbling to himself, "what is with- why are you talking like- why."
Amal: "Oh, shit!"
There's an omnious wind, something feels just off
Harriet mutters to Hughbert, "It's weird and I wish they'd stop."
Hughbert: "and how are you even doing that." He crosses his arms and frowns at approximately half the room.
Serenity‘ stares Alcor in the eye, gritting her teeth.
The very light around seems odd- Like the red and black colors around you become more prominent
Serenity: "She knows when you’re sleeping… she knows when you're awake…. she knows if you've been bad or good…"
Alcor: "Lola what's wrong"
Harriet: "Okay, seriously, what the fuck is going on?"
Serenity: "Lola you best back the fuck up and leave her alone."
Amal: "Shit, I don't even know…"
Serenity: "Because I can be JUST AS DUMB AS ALCOR if you push me enough!"
And suddenly everything is… Back to normal
Hughbert: "I believe Serenity is placing Alcor on the naughty list."
Anton pats Hughbert on the shoulder. "Just be glad I'm the one who has to write the incident report."
Anton: "Not lookin' forward to tonight."
Harriet: "Is that… did she…" Harriet firmly applies her palm to her face and shakes her head.
A field of flowers seem to bloom in the rock near the party
Serenity‘ lets out a slow breath.
Alcor: "Ah, the kid you said… I thought you were out of range?"
Amal was already running -into- where the flowers bloomed from before they started to bloom; goes to their knees in the flowers like they’re looking for something, staring -daggers- at Alcor.
Hughbert shrugs at Anton. "I sympathize, as I have my own collection of paperwork to do."
Harriet: "Uh, are you… okay, Amal?"
Amal lets out a puff of breath.
Amal: "…I'm fine."
Serenity‘ glances back at Amal for a half second before returning her focus to Alcor.
Amal: "God, fuck this asshole."
Alcor: "Look it’s not my fault the kid got involved, okay? It jumped in the way"
Harriet: "Who is this kid?!"
Alcor sighs "I wasn't supposed to let you know about this yet, you're adept at cheating, aren't you?"
Serenity: "Says you."
Amal shrugs. "You wrote the book."
Amal: "Literally."
Alcor blinks "Book?"
Alcor: "I wasn't planning on writing anything, actually"
Alcor: "Listen I work within the rules. Lola, makes them"
Amal: "Bull and furthermore shit."
Serenity: "You realize Lola has a mother above her, right?"
Alcor: "Hrm… Amal"
Alcor: "She says she's going to play nice if you ask your friend to let her talk to Serenity"
Amal: "She's going to kill it and drink its blood. I bet that's what's going on…"
Amal bites their lip and looks at Serenity. "…it's your call. I don't trust him. Or her. But it's not my decision to make."
Amal: "I mean, she's a spider sitting in a web at the heart of the world and she wants to have a friendly chat,my instincts say run the fuck away, but."
Serenity: "Okay. So."
Harriet: "Who is she?!"
Amal: "'Lola'" .
Serenity: "Lets all pause for a second because - yes, Harriet."
Serenity: "There's a lot of 'she's getting thrown around, like, three."
Hughbert: "…You're talking about how many people?"
Harriet: "Okay and who the fuck is Lola, for those of us who only have the standard several senses?"
Serenity: "Anyway why does Lola need to go through Amal to talk to me?"
Serenity: "Lola is the ghost of christmas future."
Amal is standing in between Serenity and Alcor, how did they even get there?
Serenity: "…Sorry she's Alcor's invisible friend."
Serenity: "Who is different from my invisible friend, and Amal's invisible friend."
Harriet: "Why do you all have invisible friends."
Serenity: "And the other invisible friend at the lab."
Serenity: "Because reality is fucking stupid."
Hughbert: "Do any of the rest of us have invisible friends…?"
Anton scratches his head. "I feel left out of the invisible friend club now. Maybe I'll encounter myself from the future at some point and I'll have a real friend instead!" He grins.
Alcor chuckles at Serenity "No, she's the ghost of present parallel" he grins at Anton, then looks at Serenity "That's how things work, unfortunately, she needs to go through Amal for you to hear"
Serenity: "Hmm."
Serenity: "Wait, Lola's yours, Amal?"
Amal: "Ugh. No."
Serenity: "I'm very confused."
Harriet: "You're very confused?!"
Alcor: "This is very confusing in fact"
Alcor: "Let's estabilish some facts"
Amal: "I think she's… like me, though. …a demon like me. Except she's not on your side."
Serenity‘ gives Harriet a brief, sympathetic look.
Harriet grumbles, but seems a little mollified by the look. A little.
Serenity: "Sure okay."
Hughbert: "Great. The mastermind is confused as well. We have achieved a grand confusion."
Serenity: "I like facts."
Harriet: "Yes, please, absolutely, fact me up."
Alcor: "Lola is unlike anything any of you ever saw, my dear ersatz goddess is beyond and above everything"
Amal: "(Fuuuuuck yourseeeelf with a raaaaake~.)"
Alcor: "Amal, however, seems connected to someone almost on her level, some kid with fluffy paws and great wings"
Serenity` blinks in Amal’s direction before looking back to Alcor.
Alcor: "This kid is what lets Serenity hear"
Anton: "So basically you're confirming the existence of multiple gods?"
Serenity: "Woah."
Serenity: "Wooooah."
Alcor: "Me and Serenity as Mediums can hear the voice of ragnite… On what that is, I don't wanna tell you yet"
Serenity: "Ersatz?"
Serenity: "What the actual fuck?"
Serenity: "Are you fucking with me?"
Harriet: "Okay, so if she's a fake goddess, and Amal's puppy is almost on her level, that makes them a fake demigod, which would mean…"
Amal: "The other option was 'deus ex machina' and that just sounds silly."
Alcor: "Lola, is one of the 'she' in this conversation, the voice of ragnite is another 'she' in this conversation, a very particularly knowledgeable and domninant voice that both of us can hear."
Serenity: "I mean,"
Serenity: "I duno if she's offended, but I'm kind of offended on her behalf."
Harriet: "Okay but if ragnite's the blood of the Goddess, doesn't that mean she's the actual Goddess in this equation?"
Alcor: "Lola certainly loves the irony in that title"
Alcor: "Oh, but are you your blood?"
Amal: "Lemme guess, the ragnite is the last ingredient in the recipe."
Amal: "Or one of the last."
Harriet: "I mean, technically, yeah? Insomuch as any part of me makes up me as a whole."
Alcor: "We all share in the goddess' blood… Some" he looks at Serenity "More than others, but we all do" he looks at Amal "Except you"
Harriet: "Because they've got the blood of this winged puppy, right?"
Alcor: "I wouldn't know, Amal's weird"
Serenity‘ looks extremely confused right now.
Anton shakes his head at Alcor. "Can you tell us something that isn’t already parphrased in Azania Silvester Julei's reports. The church already knows we all have the goddess' blood."
Harriet: "Is this winged puppy thing also ersatz, as you put it?"
Alcor: "Amal's friend is a new piece in the equation…"
Alcor: "When I said we're in a future besides one of those two… I meant we're in one of the biggest zero-fatest ever"
Amal: "Yeah because you're going to fuck everything up forever."
Alcor looks at Anton "Why, maybe I can give you a hint. Two things may be alike, but no the same"
Anton: "With how much you're been pulling at things how could we not be in a Zero-Fate?"
Anton: "Or are you implying we reached this point without you?"
Amal: "Can someone explain what a Zero-Fate is to the people who don't spend their lives eating lollipops."
Serenity: "I uh."
Alcor: "That's the case, we did"
Serenity‘ rubs at her face.
Harriet: "What’s a-" Harriet gestures to Amal when they speak up. "Yeah, that."
Alcor: "Zero-Fate is a future with zero percent probability of occurring without intervention of someone that knows it is possible"
Amal: "Oh."
Amal: "Haha, okay."
Alcor: "A future which, ordinarily, can only be brought about by an oracle"
Anton: "A future that is a statistical implausability but not an absolute impossibility. It can only be reached through interference of an Oracle as without strict knowledge of that future it would never happen."
Alcor: "Yet I could not trace the occurance of this great Zero-Fate branch to the actions of any particular Oracle… We may have to revise the theories a little bit, then again, we're kind of rewriting rules as it is"
Hughbert: "I would most definitely place falling-mountain scenarios at near-zero or zero chance. Are you certain the origin was not then?"
Serenity‘ sighs loudly.
Serenity: "Anyways."
Alcor: "She can be very annoying when she does that, isn’t she?"
Alcor: "Then again, Masharas lacks history for a reason. I kind of agree with it"
Serenity: "There's a lot of shit goin' on and a lot of oracle canidates and you may be strong but you also suck dicks at human interactions so you probably just missed something."
Serenity: "Moving along? Moving along. What's the deal with Lola?"
Alcor: "She? She's my best friend of course"
Serenity: "Okay now pretend I don't care about your feelings and give a useful answer."
Alcor: "I wish I could introduce you to her but… We're a little bit too far away right now, what you saw was the best she could do"
Amal raises both eyebrows.
Alcor: "I don't know, how do you feel about it, Lola, want me to tell them about you?"
Alcor: "Alright, then"
Alcor: "She can control reality however well she pleases, and she's helping me avoid a most terrifying catastrophe"
Alcor: "Of course, it's a long an convoluted way to do things, but, it's the only way"
Serenity: "And she is a … what?"
Amal: "She's causing it you dumb motherfucker."
Alcor: "She is my ersatz goddess, as I said. Hrm… Have I tried to flourish this a bit too much and made myself unclear?"
Alcor: "Probably, Cor always told me I have a gift with doing that"
Alcor: "What do you mean, Amal?"
Anton: "For what it's worth, there is a looooot of futures where either Akavir is the only country standing or odd variations of that or everyone being wiped out. Let me guess, they're telling you that she can find a way to save Masharas even though none of the oracles saw a worldline that existed?"
Anton: "We get wiped out in every last one."
Harriet: "Wait, hang on, what?"
Alcor closes his eyes
Alcor: "I'm not looking at something this close…"
Serenity: "Hold up, they?"
Serenity: "oh you're doing that thing where - just use a female pronoun it'll be less confusing."
Alcor: "I wish I could show you, but without something like the Quicksilver Chamber there's no way to do that"
Amal: "What do you mean, what do I mean? The manipulations you're performing for her sake are precisely what draws the world-lines into the strange attractor you created her to try to avoid! She IS the catastrophe!"
Amal gives Anton a quick yes-I-knew-about-that-sorry look.
Alcor looks at Amal, and laughs
Alcor: "Oh, that? No"
Alcor: "That's a small price to pay, because the catastrophe is much great…"
Anton scratches his head before sliding up to Serenity.
Serenity: "Yes?"
Alcor: "That is just far too close"
Amal: "Did she literally eat your brain and replace it with pillow fluff. I've read stories where gods can do that, even man-made ones."
Amal: "Ugh."
Alcor: "Hrm…"
Alcor looks at Anton "Would you trust me enough?"
Alcor: "For a little bit of guided future sight"
Alcor: "I can't promise you will be able to see as well as I can, but maybe your friends will believe me if I show you a bit of what I saw"
Anton: "… well. At least I know why you bothered to show up and talk to us now."
Alcor: "Honestly, there's points where we can't avoid antagonizing eachother, but it's important you know what lies ahead"
Anton: "How'd you figure out I took the Silver Mirror out of the quicksilver chamber?"
Serenity: "Man there is."
Serenity: "Entirely too much weird bullshit cheating senses in play right now, just sayin'."
Amal: "Oracles are the only thing worse than invisible friends, just saying."
Harriet: "Goddess, I know, right?"
Alcor: "There is, Serenity" he looks at Anton "I helped design it, I know the precise way it feels"
Alcor stands up and goes closer to Anton "You're wearing it?"
Serenity: "Also I imagine Lola mentioned what you just asked me."
Anton: "I've got this figured out. This…' He waves his hand. 'bullshit going on is literally just padding for him to come up and use an artifact I'm carrying since he needs it for some sort of nefarious plan."
Serenity‘ holds out her hand, keeping herself between Alcor and Anton.
Harriet steps in front of Anton, too.
Alcor stops "Ah, hardly" he pulls the arms of his shirt up showing a complex kind of force gear, the tubing contains a silvery liquid instead of blue "I told you, I helped design it, I don’t need it, but I can make another"
Amal is still standing between Serenity and Alcor, so they move too.
Serenity: "What does you invisible girlfriend whom both does and doesn't exist want to talk to me about and why?"
Alcor: "Hrm… This kind of dancing around the truth while trying to speak only truth really is fun" he looks at Serenity "Honestly? She's curious why it happened. Also she has only been talking only to me"
Alcor: "Having a bit more company would be nice"
Serenity: "Yeah sure fine whatever, lets start there and then maybe work our way up to calmly discussing the use of exceedingly powerful artifactes"
Anton: "The Silver Mirror essentially amplifies an oracles power tenfold. More if you go over the safe limits. It's pretty unstable in general and under lock and key in the secret room behind Cors office. He's asking me to give it to him."
Serenity: "Right which is."
Serenity: "Why we start with the smaller, less scary and potentially likely to fuck us over things,"
Serenity: "And work up from there."
Alcor nods, and sits back down
Alcor: "Well, if you'll talk to her, just get Amal's friend to do their magic"
Serenity: "And so we're not all just sitting here picking our noses,"
Serenity: "While me and Amal talk with Lola,"
Serenity: "Why don't you go ahead and answer any questions Harriet and Hughbert might have, and, I don't know, explain why the hell Mister Nomral In The Group Of Freaks is so damn important. Because that's kinda weird!"
Anton stage whispers. "It's the suit."
Serenity: "Sound good?"
Alcor chuckles "Certainly, ask away"
Serenity: "Cool."
Serenity‘ lets out a breath, then nods to Amal.
Harriet: "Sure, let’s start with that. Why Hughbert? I mean, sure, he's basically herding all of us like cats, but…"
Amal looks at Serenity uncertainly. "…the second you want to stop, I'll be there, okay?" -they sounded way more serious than you've /ever/ heard them before.
This time it's not a flower, but an entire cape of vines both gold and silver taht forms protectively around Serenity
Alcor: "Certainly. Were he to live or die would change the outcome of my operation in Orsis. Either way that mission would have been the end of the Fatebreakers"
Hughbert grabs a chair from ~wherever~ and sits down, arms crossed. "The question foremost on my mind right now is if our gracious host would offer us something to snack on or drink to dull the headache this discussion is inducing."
Alcor: "But if he lived, he'd lead the intelligence team working on Orsis, suffice to say that he'd prove quite problematic in working around for my goals"
Harriet: "Yeah, oracles always have snacks, you're holding out on us!"
Anton reaches into his bag and pulls out some sandwiches. "Aww, c'mon Hugh. You know I packed food!"
Alcor pulls something out of a nearby bag, it's a few lollipops, also some travel rations "I eat light, sadly"
Anton sideglances at Alcor with a very serious expression. "… sandwich for a bag of lollipops?"
Alcor offers a bag and an open hand "Sure, strawberry and I got some mango and a really weird guava one"
Serenity‘ leans foward, grabbing a sucker from Alcor and then a sandwich from Anton.
Hughbert seizes the rations and distributes them evenly. "The scheduled time for sandwiches is later, Anton. Worry not, we shall not miss it."
Serenity: "Gah."
Anton pouts. "But… but my lollipops!"
Harriet snatches up her share of rations and snacks on some trail mix. "Okay, mom."
Amal looks kind of like they’re standing on tiptoes, but will still take a lollipop or something. Maybe they're laced with something that makes the timestream make sense.
JayM: You wish, but have fun with your snacks
Hughbert gives Harriet a sideways glance and silently mouths "…mom, who?" but shakes his head and returns to the conversation. "If only you had more sense, you might be a fan of my work. It is unfortunate."
Harriet just grins at Hughbert before returning her attention to Alcor. Munch, munch. "Yeah, he's pretty good at that stuff. I mean, it makes sense you'd wanna get rid of him, without him we're just kind of a bunch of assholes with specialties who don't fucking know how to tie it all together."
Serenity: "I resent that."
Harriet: "I mean, you'd probably do okay, but do you really want to handle all the paperwork?"
Serenity: "Fair point."
Serenity‘ makes a big exaggurated eye rolling motion.
Harriet: "So, okay, here’s a question: how many fake gods are rolling around out there?"
Hughbert: "Consider this, Serenity…" He takes a moment to adjust his glasses, staring her down. "I doubt the others would know that they should treat you to white-chocolate coated strawberries on your birthday were I not here. You are welcome, in advance."
Alcor: "Hrm… Fake, eh… One"
Serenity‘ points a finger at Hughbert.
Serenity: "Totally not creepy at all, dude."
Amal seems like they’ve been distracted, or concentrating on something difficult, but they still smile at that tidbit of information.
Harriet: "So, okay, that means puppy-paws over there isn't fake, cool. What goes into making a fake god, anyway?"
Hughbert: "If you want to get on Cor's good side, by the way, consider picking up some lemon- or lime-flavored candy as a souveneir."
Alcor puts a hand on his chin
Alcor: "Oh, I wouldn't know" a grin, you know he doesn't wants to answer that "I'm not the fake god"
Amal: "Oh please."
Serenity: "That one's not even hard."
Serenity: "Actually it kind of is."
Serenity: "Levels of concentrated ragnite is the starting point though."
Amal: "It's a genuinely impressive technical accomplishment, but- ahaha, yeah, I thought so. It would consume the ragnite, wouldn't it?"
Harriet: "Hmm…" Harriet taps a curled finger to her chin in thought.
Amal: "Perhaps even all of the ragnite?"
Hughbert: "Harriet. No. I know that look. You should not make a fake god just because you can. You can do that if we have a good reason to."
Alcor: "Close, close, close"
Alcor: "And then miss"
Serenity: "Well I mean."
Serenity: "Chapel voice is different from lab voice."
Alcor: "Ragnite is meaningless on it's own. There is something else, a, let's say, child of Ragnite. There is consumption"
Harriet: "Harriet yes. If a false God is the problem, we should just make our own to combat her!"
Serenity: "And the water pump isn't distinct so there's obviously some trick to it."
[OOC] JayM: * there is no consumption
Hughbert sighs. "Only if you make a suitably impressive vessel that only a god could hope to fill. And then you'd better have many, many plans in place if it breaks free or turns. It is far too risky."
Amal: "The ragnite becomes the false Goddess in the sense that when we consume flesh the flesh becomes us. You're being pedantic. Did you ever stop and think about what that would do to the world?"
Alcor closes his eyes "It seems you figured out what we're working on anyway, Amal"
Alcor: "So let me tell you something"
Alcor: "The Shattering"
Alcor: "Was the prototype test run"
Alcor: "Failed, however"
Alcor: "So yes I know what i'm doing"
Alcor: "Some prices are worth being paid"
Amal: "Holy fuck didn't -anyone- ever teach you about the fucking precautionary principle!? I've caused some pretty goddamn impressive blow-up-in-my-own-face explosions in my time but wheeeooooooo. Fuck yourself and the giant fucking egomania you rode in on. I thought I was bad."
Amal flips him off for good measure.
Amal: "Those are lives you're just brushing off. That's the entire future of a planet. Don't even talk to me about prices worth being paid."
Harriet: "And I thought that my lab explosions were bad."
Amal: "You have no idea what you're talking about."
Alcor looks at Amal "No, no I do"
Alcor: "I have seen how this cursed planed ends"
Serenity‘ rubs at her forhead.
Alcor: "And if I can stop it"
Alcor: "I will"
Amal just starts laughing, their mouth in a horrible little dark crescent.
Hughbert: "…You had best explain what that price bought you, and why we should let you leave here alive, in that case."
Alcor: "Right now, that price bought me just enough time, and you’re in range. I doubt you can anything to me now"
Harriet: "I mean, we could blow you right the fuck up."
Alcor: "I planned on doing in Akavir but oh well, if you get feisty right now. Hate when I gotta go to plan Z"
Serenity: "Hey Alcor."
Alcor: "But hey, I learned things"
Serenity: "Cor said you have a micro penis. Is that true?"
Alcor chuckles, then starts laughing loudly
Alcor: "Did you really go there? Ahahaha"
Alcor: "Sure, sure, it's true I guess? In a way?"
Alcor: "Oh goddess, really, did we get there?"
Serenity: "Don't look at me." Serenity shrugs.
Alcor: "Man…"
Hughbert: "…What, exactly, are you planning to do with that information regardless of truthfulness…?" Hughbert mumbles to himself and places his palm firmly on his head.
Alcor: "Eh… Tell you that and have a chance you'll be an even bigger problem for me? I can't tell you"
Alcor: "But I plan on finishing the project I started, that much I can say"
Serenity‘ briefly looks mildly offended.
Anton seems to have been awfully quiet this whole time. At first he was mulling something over and then he ended up with this stupid serious look plastered on his face. If anyone bothered to turn around he looked rather comical.
Hughbert: "Whatever tapestry you are weaving has enough loose fibers that can be unravelled if they are found. That’s what I glean from that."
Amal: "Does it ever."
Alcor stands up "Really? I guess" he stretches, he looks down at the magnetic crucible "So, Harriet, this alloy after it cools down should be about 73% better insulation than what they use currently" he looks at Serenity "About time I leave"
Alcor: "I did get carried away a lot"
Harriet: "Yeah, I'll have a look at it, I guess."
Alcor: "Aww, Serenity, trying to make me jealous?"
Amal keeps staring daggers at him.
Serenity: "Well I mean it's not like you can please her…"
He turns around and starts leaving "Don't worry, she gets lonely easily, she'll call you"
Serenity‘ shrugs with her palms up.
Serenity: "She’s playing hard to get though!"
Harriet: "I mean, we should probably just kill you now, but you've probably got some bullshit plan for that, huh?"
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity: "Alcor."
Amal: "Sadly, it's not going to be that easy."
Serenity: "Did you ever ask her what her name was?"
Alcor: "What? Lola's name?"
Alcor: "That's her given name"
Serenity: "No, the chapel spook."
Alcor: "Oh…"
Alcor: "She has no name"
Alcor: "Nobody bothered naming her"
Alcor: "And she doesn't wants one ither"
Serenity: "Right, but did you ever ask her if she had one…?"
Alcor: "That I did. I was always curious"
Alcor: "But she's an asshole, believe me"
Alcor: "She could do so much, but chooses to do nothing"
Serenity: "Hm."
Serenity: "Okay. Well."
Serenity: "I'll tell our Cor that you miss her and you're sorry that you betrayed her even though you have no intention of explaining to her why you broke her heart for you,"
Serenity: "And I'll let her know you're still mad she called you a disapointment."
Serenity: "Take care."
Hughbert: "Speaking of doing nothing… Check the date on your rations." He stares down Alcor and drops a biscuit. whump. It does not shed so much as a single crumb. It is stale as a rock. He then turns about and starts towards the actual mission objective once again.
He sighs, and walks away "She'll understand. Have fun with the monsters down there, they're actually harmless if you don't intrude, the ragnite field is just like an attractor to them, like warm blankets"
JayM: And he leaves you alone, the crucible in the rock slowly cooling down
Serenity‘ lets out a puff of air, then falls onto her back and looks up at the ceiling.
Amal looks really confused and pissed off.
Amal also, worried about Serenity. "Are you okay!?"
Serenity: "Anyway you got a lock on her right, Amal?"
JayM: By that you mean sky, you’re on top of the rock
Harriet goes and checks out the alloy. Just in case he did something weird to the science.
The cloak in Serenity's back wraps a bit tighter around for a moment and then dissolves into silvery petals
Amal: "Mm. No."
Serenity: "Dammit."
Amal: "She isn't any /where/."
Amal: "Not yet, at least."
Serenity‘ vague hand motions in the air.
Serenity: "More so I mean, you were figuring out as much about her as she was with you, right? Please tell me I didn’t embarass myself going on like that for no reason and if I did why didn't you cut me off faster."
Harriet: "So, like, are you sure the solution isn't just to make our own?"
Amal: "I think she's from a future that might happen, reaching back to make sure she winds up existing..?"
Serenity: "Naw."
Serenity: "Well."
Serenity: "Maybe."
Amal: "I… assumed you'd be getting valuable information, somehow???"
Serenity: "It's hard to tell how much I should take anything at face value since like ninty percent of that conversation was both of us stalling for time."
Serenity‘ rolls her head to the side, staring at Amal.
Serenity: "Does your ’wiretapping' not get you inside, too?"
Amal: "N- no! It doesn't!! I had to sit there listening to that idiot talk about his shitty dumb ideas as to the best way to save the world!"
Amal: "Ugh!"
Serenity‘ lets both of her hands, which she’d been using to airqoute, drop onto her face unceremoniously.
Harriet pokes around the alloy a bit, goes about applying some instruments to it.
Amal is also facepalming.
Serenity: "Ha ha ha… turns out working with powers when neither knows how the other actually works isn't alwasy the best idea…? Blargh." Rubs at her face.
Serenity: "Well for what it's worth."
Serenity: "She said she knew Alcor from when she was human, and they grew up together."
Serenity: "Her voice sounded kind of familiar, but I couldn't really place it."
Serenity: "Also she's a bigger bitch than me."
Harriet: "Wait, when she was human? Huh."
Amal: "Shit, that's morbid. I guess a fake Goddess needs a human sacrifice, too..?"
Anton turns around and stares at Amal.
Amal: "…what, uh. What did you mean by 'our Cor'?"
Serenity: "I… think Lola's different from her, personally, but who can say."
Serenity: "Uh."
Serenity: "She sort of implied I was retarded for not knowing who she was, and at that point in the conversation I could only assume she was implying she was either her or Cor,"
Serenity: "And Cor was way easier to disarm Alcor with."
Serenity: "So I just went with 'okay some kind of parallel universe Cor'."
Anton: "Make no mistake. She sounded like Cor, but it was clear that it was from a very distant future."
Anton: "Not a parallel universe."
Serenity: "Uh…?"
Serenity: "Isn't Cor, like, over sixty or some shit?"
Serenity: "How much distant future could she reasonable even have?"
Hughbert: "Does where she came from matter, particularly? If she is pulling Alcor's strings, she must be stopped regardless, right?"
Serenity: "Uh, yeah kind of."
Serenity: "Because their plan is to kill a fuck ton of people to save wherever the shit Lola came from."
Amal: "…a false Goddess, built on Cor's bones, watered with the planet's Ragnite, born in the depths of an artificial theogenitor. That was his solution."
Serenity: "And I'd rather not be included in that, so figuring out where 'home' is for her makes shit a lot easier for us."
Amal: "There's, uh…"
Serenity: "Also."
Serenity: "And this might be important,"
Serenity: "But you know how something Amal does this thing where his voice turns blue?"
Serenity: "Lola can do that too."
Amal: "Well, fuck."
Harriet: "Well, I mean, if she's a fake Goddess, and Amal comes from this weird puppy-paws guy…"
Serenity: "RELATED,"
Amal: "Not… altogether surprising, but."
Harriet: "Hey, Amal, does that make you, like, a demi-God?"
Serenity: "She said that Amal's giant skeleton thinger was her sister."
Harriet: "Giant skeleton what?"
Amal: "…………………………what."
Anton starts to chuckle.
Serenity: "Oh my Goddess does seriously no one remember that?"
Harriet: "I kind of just zone out whenever weird mystical bullshit starts happening."
Serenity: "Giant, demonic hand dripping with negative energy reaching out of the fabric of literally nothing and pulling Amal out of the way of the land slide…?"
Amal: "I still think you're the only one who actually saw that, but also, what."
Harriet: "Uh, I was kind of occupied by the fact that there was, you know, a goddamn landslide."
Serenity: "Well."
Serenity‘ sits up.
Hughbert: "Don’t look at me. It would seem I missed the world in one night."
Anton: "That was a fun report by the way."
Serenity: "That was totally a thing that happened, and the Chapel Goddess called Amal's whatever her sister,"
Serenity: "C.G. also called Lola her daughter, for what it's worth."
Amal: "…huh."
Serenity: "Uhh what else."
Serenity: "Alcor needs knowledge from Rissan and Terchuan, materials from Orsis and facilities in Akavir…"
Serenity: "C.G. also can't see her sister?"
Serenity: "There was something else…"
Harriet: "Oh, so puppy-paws is a girl, okay."
Amal: "Mmhmm."
Serenity: "Yeah just assume everyone is a girl unless otherwise specified it'll make things less confusing."
Serenity: "Uhh… Lola said she thinks she's seen Amal where the hell she is…"
Serenity: "And that the closer we got to her, and I assume she means understanding her " true nature "," eyeroll to go along with the air qoutes, "the stronger she gets."
Amal: "Hey, Anton."
Serenity‘ scratches at her head.
Anton glances at Amal. "Yeah?"
Harriet: "Oh, so just send me in after her then, because I still have, like, one-fourth of a clue what’s going on, at best."
Serenity: "Lola said she was born somewhere like Masharas for what it's worht and uh…"
Hughbert: "I would guess her power is fairly low right now then, speaking from my perspective anyway."
Amal: "The world-lines are coming up on a huge snarl, right?"
Serenity: "Something weird about when I asked her a stupid question to keep her talking, about asking the wrong her?"
Amal: "And the closer you try to look at that snarl, the harder it gets to see anything?"
Amal: "Don't ask me how I know that, just roll with it."
Serenity: "I… think that's it."
Harriet straightens up from her work at the forge to high-five Hughbert. It's the principle of the thing. (Then she goes back to working.)
Hughbert ensures that high five is heard from a respectable distance.
Anton: "I'm unable to quantify how far in the future Serenity's conversational partner existed since 50 years from present time the future of the world becomes an unreadable mess. I can say with certainty however that she exists past that point and up until the fifty year mark our Cor was still alive."
Hughbert: "Is reading further ahead merely a technique that requires refinement?"
Serenity: "Wacky."
Amal: "Lola's sitting there, in the middle of that snarl, like a spider in a web, waiting for me- for all of us- to get close…"
Anton: "Refinement is putting it lightly. I was only able to see this far since I used the artifact while you spoke to Alcor."
Hughbert: "Ah. So you require a stronger artifact, then?"
Serenity: "You know what would be super cool?"
Serenity: "If like."
Serenity: "There was some fucking way,"
Anton chuckles in response to Hughbert. "That's one way to interpret it, I suppose. Alcore made this so in theory a stronger one could be made."
Serenity: "For us to have all three of our senses."
Amal: "Qualia sure are complicated!"
Harriet: "What goes into making something like that mirror, anyway? I bet I could improve it."
Serenity: "I feel like we're all just seeing part of a picture and have no goddamn idea how to communicate the puzzle peices to anyone else."
Anton: "Funny you should mention that, actually. What were these technical difficulties she spoke of anyways, Serenity?"
Amal: "Although, heck, we have Harriet, that might be a solvable problem."
Serenity: "Because that's how the world's always looked to us, and can't imagine it being diferent -"
Serenity: "Huh?"
Anton: "I tuned in at a bad time."
Serenity: "Wait, you could hear her too?"
Hughbert: "You might be overthinking, Serenity. Didn't Amal state that the device best suited for that is a simple campfire?"
Amal: "Oh for goodness' sake."
Serenity‘ folders her arms over her chest.
Serenity` also ignores Hughbert pointedly
Anton: "That would depend on whether or not you heard a strangled voice of Cor."
Serenity: "Uhh…"
Serenity: "It didn’t sound strangled at all to me, but she did mention something about a strangled voice normally…?"
Hughbert sidles up to Amal. "I'll bring the marshmallows. We don't have to share them with Serenity if you don't want to."
Serenity‘ scrunches up her face, trying to remember what the fuck Cor sounds like.
Serenity: "I duno."
Serenity: "I guess maybe?"
Amal: "We can’t keep marshmallows from our good friend, that would be terrible."
Serenity: "I guess that might explain why Alcor laughed instead of looking confused."
Anton: "Also Amal do you mind telling me just what it was that was moving sideways through time earlier?"
Serenity: "Uh anyway,"
Serenity: "The technically difficulties was in regards to me establishing a connection with her,"
Serenity: "And that a Goddess wouldneed to tie our chain causalities together for me to be able to do it instead of her…?"
Amal: "That's… sort of what the wiretapping was, I think."
Serenity: "Well,"
Serenity: "I guess she knows how to do that now since she sort of implied only she could inniate it and not be without whatever happening."
Anton: "To be honest, I need to speak with Cor."
Amal: "I think that was just… 'puppy-paws', moving around, Anton."
Serenity: "Probably."
Serenity: "For uh,"
Amal smiles, and says out loud: "Yes, I'm going to call you that now."
Serenity: "The record."
Serenity: "Lola didn't know about her until just now."
Amal: "Tch. She was going to find out as soon as I found out about her, anyways, and I was on her trail."
Anton chews at his lip before responding to Amal. "That's what I figured. It would take nothing short of a miracle for me to sense one of the other two. Especially considering they aren't even with us right now."
Serenity: "Oh yeah just."
Harriet: "Okay, I definitely need to invent something so I can get on the same wavelength as you people."
Serenity: "Throwing that out there, I don't think she knows how to deal with puppy-paws which might be hilarious,"
Serenity: "But also, I think Cor does know about her so… question mark question mark question mark?"
Anton: "I'm assuming you can actually see your friend since you call him puppy paws, Amal?"
Amal: "Ahahaha, she has no fucking idea how to deal. This is going to be good."
Hughbert: "I think it will be fine for me to move around some numbers to get you more budget for that project if you need it, Harriet."
Amal: "Anyways, uh."
Amal: "There's… one more thing. There's an inescapable fact about this planet and its history that I should probably let you know."
Harriet grins to Hughbert and thumbs-up. "I'm gonna chase it up ASAP."
Serenity: "Oh, oh, oh."
Serenity: "Is it the DEEP, HIDEN TRUTH,"
Serenity: "That THE CHURCH… DOESN'T WANT,"
Serenity: "YOU TO KNOW…!!!!!"
Anton rubs his forehead.
Serenity: "About THE DEAD RELIGIONS we cannibolized?????"
Amal: "…no, it's a deep hidden truth that I don't want to think about or admit out loud."
Serenity: "Lame."
Serenity‘ makes a ’continue as you were' motion.
Amal: "When Alcor said that… people were going to die, no matter what we did… he was right. I guess he thinks that means they have to die in some grand heroic action on his part, or something…?"
Serenity‘ bites down on her lip to keep herself from laughing.
Amal: "There’s basically no way, a hundred years from now, there are as many people alive as there are right now. The planet can't support it. Even without the Shattering in play… even worse things would happen. Just…"
Harriet: "Oh. Well, I mean, there's a war and junk. People die, right?" Harriet shrugs. "It's just numbers. It sucks, but that's why you don't put a scientist on PR."
Amal: "…believe me on that one, okay? Anyways, Alcor's an idiot and there's kinder, gentler paths to that future,"
Amal glances up at Serenity. "Care to share?"
Serenity: "uh I -" a snort. Holds up her hand in Amal's direction and bites down on her lip harder
Serenity: "Sec. 'Kay."
Hughbert: "If you thought that revelation would shock me," he gestures suit-wards with both hands, "then allow me to explain. Officer training camp provides fantastic preparation for potential losses, and how to minimize them."
Serenity: "I'm not really sure if I can explain though, haha. But I'm laughing at something else not a bunch of dead people, at least."
Amal: "I didn't get the impression that you were, which just made me even more curious honestly."
Anton: "If I were Alcor I would try to fool the world itself. Meet the criteria fifty years from now but at the same time after the worldlines scramble pull the wool from everyones eyes and unveil the most convuluted twist in history."
Serenity: "I think I embarassed C.G. though."
Serenity: "Which - FUCK YOU I'm giving you a name otherwise this is way too confusing."
Amal: "Oh, dear."
Serenity: "And if you don't like it then say so."
Serenity‘ makes a ’nyah' noise while sticking her tongue out at the sky.
Serenity‘ then blinks.
Serenity: "Er."
Serenity: "… I guess that hit a button?"
Serenity: "Sorry gemme a second this’ll go faster if I mumble."
Amal: "Go for it."
Harriet: "Uh, okay, sure, knock yourself out." Harriet returns her attention to the alloy. At this point she's just testing it for scientific curiosity.
Amal: "A- anyways I feel like I'll be stealing Cor's thunder if I say much more but… Hughbert, Harriet, I'm gonna need all the logistical and technical expertise you can muster to try and find the gentlest path into the future, okay? There'll be fewer people, but it'll be… 'surviving the Shattering, together', not a total decimation of civilisation…"
Anton glances at Amal. "You going to answer that question by the way? It's mostly curiousity but it is important for me to know if you can actually see your imaginary friend."
Amal: "That's part of what the Fatebreakers are here to do. And- yeah, I can see her, but- it's not 'when I close my eyes', but it's… kinda like that. She's both /here/ and /somewhere else/."
Harriet: "Kinder and gentler ways to kill people, huh? Well, I mean, it's a weird design spec, but I guess I can work with it."
Amal: "Not… no! Not 'kill people' gosh Harriet."
Serenity‘ purses her lip together.
Hughbert: "Amal. I can show you some of the notes I’m already writing on the topic if you want to provide feedback. Do you recall what I was saying about rehabilitating monsters?"
Amal: "Just… not everyone's going to make it, and on top of that, populations will have to decline, gently, over decades."
Serenity: "I think I made her mad."
Serenity: "Disapointed? She's hard to read."
Amal nods to Hughbert! And then looks at Serenity like they want to cheer her up.
Serenity: "Anyway literally the only time I have ever say no or give an opinion on anything,"
Serenity: "Is when I told her I was going to name her,"
Serenity: "So I guess lets not do that."
Amal: "I think she has a name."
Amal: "And it's on the tip of my tongue."
Serenity: "Probably, but I guess her having a name and being remembered and being real is bad,"
Serenity: "But the lab spook becoming a real girl is okay?"
Serenity: "I duno mystical bullshit is confusing."
Harriet: "Let's just call her 'Her-1'."
Amal: "It's driving me crazy that I can't remember it, but if it upsets her for me to try, I guess I'll stop thinking about it…?"
Serenity: "Probably, for now."
Serenity: "Although you're not,"
Serenity: "Uh, who knows if Demons count?"
Amal scratches the back of their head sheepishly.
Serenity: "So do whatever, she doesn't really like interfering anyway I was just kind of…"
Serenity: "Pressing the issue intensely."
Amal: "Haha, yeah…"
Serenity: "Also legit don't think she cares who's plan works in the end."
Amal: "She wouldn't, I don't think."
Serenity: "And is more interesting in seeing us grow and think for ourselves and grasp out own destiny and blah blah stupid fantasy novel trite."
Amal: "Haha, yeah."
Harriet: "Wait, we're supposed to grasp destiny and break fate? Aren't those two things kind of opposed?"
Serenity: "Ended on a weird note but I'll keep that to myself since I either don't understand it to relay it anyway or it's not important."
Serenity: "Uhhh… in use Destiny is a thing your drawn to, Fate is typically As Things Shall Be."
[OOC] Serenity: you're^
Serenity: "So it… kind of works? Also I paraphrase a lot anyway."
Amal looks at Harriet - like, actually meets her gaze, and they look like they're a thousand fucking years old for a split second and then they look away. "…it's hard to explain."
Harriet frowns. Amal, sometimes, is super weird. "Well, whatever. I was always just gonna keep doing what I'm doing anyway!"
Amal: "But, basically what Serenity said."
Amal: "Haha, yeah. Good plan."
JayM: To keep doing what you're doing, huhn?
JayM: Sounds like a great plan
Amal: "Anyways do we… actually even have to bother with the monsters? Can we feed them monster cookies instead or something? Hughbert you're the expert here."
JayM: Today was a day of great learning
Hughbert: "Did you remember to bring the monster cookies, Amal?"
Amal: "C-crap!"
JayM: I'm very certain you have a way to deal with a nest of monsters who decided to sit on the large-scale tubing, one way or another. Hughbert seems keen on learning how to tame one too.
JayM: Sounds like a lot of work to me
Amal: "(Wait do we have monster cookies!? Is that a thing!?)"
JayM: I'll be easier if you have [+10 XP] with which to work
Serenity: "I have loud noises and harriet has a better field supressor."
Serenity: "We got this."
JayM: Sounds also like it will take neough time may well leave to the next session
Amal: "I guess that's LIKE monster cookies."
Hughbert: "If we have any downtime, we can meet with those breeders you mentioned and determine the best recipe for monster cookies." cna only assume he shrugged. "

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