Light streams through the windows into the living room of Ceres's house, though there is not a tree in sight the refreshing scent of the trees somehow makes it's way in alongside the breeze. Though the restaurant you stopped on your way back here was wonderful this felt like a good enough place to reconvene and recover, especially since Hughbert decided he'd spend some time with Ceres to update the local legislature
Preventive measures and foreplanning, the most tried and true tradition of Masharas perhaps
Anton stays back for the most part. Not quite staying in the car, but he may as well have given how he's just leaning against it.
Serenity‘ doesn’t really have much to do until Hughbert's done either, though she likely just found something to read to kill time.
Despite the hospital being avaiable Matheus has instead been convalescing from his wounds here, they wouldn't take long nor intensive care to heal thanks to the high grade ragnite-powered restoratives that Ceres has avaiable, still they'd leave deep scars as particularly the cut in his thigh had severed a tendon that is not known to heal correctly under any circumstance, at worst he could lose usability of the leg, at best a limp on his movement, that'd all depend on his body's natural resilience (which as Harriet may have seen in their previous experiments is quite superlative, much like hers)
Harriet is spending a lot of time at his side, because apparently when your best friend almost dies it's kind of an event.
Hughbert: "It is important to recall the fate of the Land Knights. Your new code must be prepared for unification with the rest of Terchuan. Of course, as long as your terms are reasonable, you will be met with acceptance, and not war." The party is probably not listening, but his lecture's not really directed at them anyway.
Ceres has been working alongside Hughbert for a while now "There'll be better keeping of history from now on, you can be certain. I'll that those kids are reasonable" she puts down the notebook "Thanks for the assistance"
Harriet: "So, how's the policy going?" Harriet is sure to check up on them, because even though she knows this isn't her wheelhouse she still feels a little responsible.
Ceres looks up at Harriet "I think we're about done. It's about time we stop trying to forget our past rather than learn from it"
Harriet: "History's never really been my thing, but I guess it's useful here."
Hughbert: "My pleasure. Thank you for telling me about your history, too. I am thrilled to see it come back to life in this form. I believe there's a high chance you'll be okay handling it from here onward, but don't hesitate to ask if you require help." He turns to Harriet, "Right. We need to give them plenty of time to reflect before they will be ready to move on."
Hughbert: "Ah, Harriet. What did you do with the remains of Redica's force gear?"
Amal is totally paying attention to Hughbert! Hughbert's really impressive and good at getting his point across to obstinate people and that's super important and worth listening to!
Harriet: "Oh, that! I took it apart and had a look at it. Interesting engine, but it shouldn't do any more harm."
Hughbert: "Did you manage to determine why it backfired?"
Harriet: "Ah, well…"
Harriet: "The core containment breached. The thing is, there was always gonna be that chance. They stopped researching it when they realised it might, you know, compress a localised portion of the earth and everyone in it. So the shielding never got finished, annnd booting it up was rollin' a roulette."
Amal perks their ears up listening to Harriet.
Serenity: "Not a great choice for a melee weapon, really."
Hughbert: "Hmmm… Could you estimate the failure rate? No better than a coin flip, I presume."
Harriet: "I'd say the failure rate's at about 27%, considering all the factors."
Hughbert: "Oh? More generous than I expected. We experienced quite the blessing with our luck getting out of that one, didn't we."
Harriet: "Yeah, if it had gone off we wouldn't be having this conversation."
Hughbert: "That was her most probably downfall, though. I wouldn't wager anything on a plan with such low odds, personally."
Amal does a little anime-breathpuff sigh.
Hughbert: "Why develop that as a melee weapon, indeed, Serenity… Quite expensive for what amounts to a suicide bomb."
Harriet laughs, scratching at the back of her head. "Honestly, I feel partly responsible."
Serenity: "Well I mean I can think of a few reasons, which I think I've mentioned before, but still. Better as a projectile in gneeral yeah." She forms a finger with her fingers and makes a 'pew' noise after pointing in Hughbert's direction without looking up from her book.
Harriet: "I mean, I was the one who helped him steal those plans. The university'd already decided it was too dangerous to pursue."
You hear the noise of something woodend against he floor, it comes again and again. *thunk* *thunk* goes
Serenity‘ glances towards the noise.
After a moment you see the origin of the noise, Matheus has made his way downstairs, he’s using a crutch "Hey" he finds a seat
Matheus: "Sorry for the trouble I caused…"
Harriet: "Geez, you're out of bed already?"
Matheus: "Ahaha, I didn't get that bad a beating, it was mostly blood loss I think?"
Matheus: "I admit i'm really dizzy right now but I can't… Stand being in bed anymore"
Harriet punches his shoulder. Just, you know, lightly. "You had me worried, ya jerk."
Matheus winces slightly, not in actual pain "I know, I know. I really should have known better"
Amal: "Hehe. Glad you're feeling better!"
Matheus: "Hum… Say. Do you think it'd be okay if I went back… Went back home with you?"
Hughbert: "Did you change your mind about your real home being… here?"
Matheus sighs "I can't say that yet"
Matheus: "But I can say I don't like what happened here"
Matheus: "This isn't the kind of place I thought I was coming to at all"
Harriet: "I mean, s'far as I know the university's still open to you. If they kicked out every teenager who went on a journey to Find Themselves, they wouldn't have anyone left."
Harriet: "And if they've got a problem, I'm sure I can bitch at Cor until she gets you an opening somewhere else."
Serenity: "Well there was the whole stealing military secret weapons thing too but." Serenity shrugs.
Harriet waves a hand. "Everyone does that!"
Serenity‘ opens mouth, closes mouth.
Matheus smiles at Harriet "Thanks, then. Plus, you got me really curious about your project too"
Harriet: "What? Everyone’s done that, right?"
Amal giggles at Harriet!
Serenity‘ shakes her head.
Harriet: "Oh, shit. Huh."
Harriet: "See, this is why I hate leaving the workshop."
Amal: "I’m pretty sure… hm. I dunno if that counts." They frown an scratch the side of their head. "Well, anyways!"
Matheus starts giggling
Ceres, who had gone off somewhere, returns "Ah, you haven't left yet, good"
Serenity: "No, Amal, your hands are not classified as military grade weapons."
She heads over to Hughbert and hands him a small box, and a letter "Something for the trip, and a message that just got delivered here"
Harriet pouts. "Oh, sure, laugh at the genius. Hey! Celes! Talk to us about literally anything else."
Harriet: "Oh, hey, messages. That sounds cool and interesting and topical."
Amal giggles a bit more.
Ceres: "Apparently an assault force from Orsis sneaked into our territorry through the border with Masharas given it's lightly guarded, it's a sizeable force so I suggest caution when returning"
Hughbert thanks her, then flips the message open first, after safely stashing the box.
Amal: "Hm, that's not great."
Harriet: "An Orsis strike force, huh..?"
The message is just as she mentioned, a large attack force from Orsis moving in from the direction of the masharan border
Serenity: "What, one failed artillery strike and they just give up on the sane methods of attacking a city in a valley?"
Ceres: "Wrong direction, Serenity. They're not attempting to attack your city, they're taking advanged our border with it isn't strongly patrolled to attack us from that direction"
Ceres: "I'm not sure how they could have moved an armored column from that direction without being detected, but they did"
Serenity: "Aha."
Harriet: "Should we take care of that on our way back? Can't be too difficult if they snuck across."
Hughbert: "Troubling news, but we are much better off knowing. Thank you for relaying this. Ah, before we go, I should brief you on how to best use your city's layout defensively, should they siege you…" Hughbert causes more delays before we can leave!
Anton doesn't seem to mind. Gives him more time to compile a full report for the venture.
JayM: That's perfectly fine to delay, as always!
The city is surprisingly defensible, it was built kind of like a fortress after all. Soon enough, however, the briefing is done and it is time to leave. Anton is waiting in the car already, is he asleep in there? (probably not) Matheus will take a seat in the back, his crutch eats a little bit of space but that's probably okay
Harriet sits next to him, and animatedly catches him up on Project Divine Loom (did she consult with Anton on that name?!) while they're driving.
Serenity‘ doesn’t care about Matheus making everything cramped since she has her own seat anyway. Tosses her book Antonward as she climbs in and turns everything on.
Anton catches it before slipping the book into his bag. "Great job this week, everyone!"
Harriet: "Yeah, we totally rocked not getting obliverated."
Serenity: "Uh-huh."
The car starts up, and off you go. It's interesting to watch the scenery as you travel, leaving the city of Shindara the plant life is there, although a little muted and not as lush. As you reach the checkpoint (and pause a little to inform the situation has been handled) you see that immediately after it the plant life is in fact a lot more lush, until you reach a river as you travel, you can see the soil toxicity spreading from the river as most of the nearby plants have lost their foliage
Hughbert appreciates his seatbelt while in the car.
Yet not all is bad news as you see a construction crew near the river, with a large digging machine and a supply truck- You recognize those supplies, the entire setup, the toxic blocking and purifying system Harriet helped develop when you first arrived.
Harriet: "Well, it's a good thing we fixed that problem! I'm sure they'll see improvements soon."
Amal just chuckles a little before staring out the window quietly watching the scenery. "Hey, Harriet, look! It's your stuff!"
Harriet: "Ha! See, just like that. They're already rolling it out!"
Anton: "We're going to have a big feast when we get home. If nothing else, you guys deserve a celebration! In private. Because this mission isn't exactly on public record."
Harriet: "What, no parade for me and my amazing feats?"
Harriet: "Oh, and you guys helped."
Serenity: "Anton why are you being so pleasently congradulatory, that's suspicious as hell."
Anton: "Not until we finish it! It's ongoing and we still have more countries to attend to. A parade is in your future, I give my word as the Divine Oracle!"
Harriet: "There'd better be. And I just assume that something awful's gonna happen so he's trying to frontload all the warm fuzzies."
Hughbert: "That suits me just fine. Say, Harriet, what would you say if I told you that Terchuan could have an improved model of your machine ready in as little as 3 years?"
Yet the travel back home is… Long, it's going to take at least a week, I hope you're ready.
As you travel more you realize something, you have yet to see a single plot of farmland in this entire country… One has to wonder why. As you travel down a main highway, it will always be interesting how even the main highways aren't paved but packed dirt (yet are somehow quality roads), a truck you've seen before moves up to you, keeping pace. It's driver waves at you, it's Estellise, the trader you've met when trying to find the Red Flags hidout.
She smiles at you, clambering over her and just asking for an accident is her little daughter, waving at you as well. Across her seat at the passenger's seat is a young man of incredibly soft features and gentle demeanor, he gives you thumbs up. The truck veers off into a side road after a while, onto another direction.
Anton scratches his head giving Serenity a strange look. "Is it that odd? I'm just really happy to be going home. I've been getting homesick!"
Harriet: "I sure hope they will. Re-implementing an upsized version will improve their water efficiency by a lot."
Serenity‘ gives a little wave back so that the tiny person doesn’t fall out the window trying to catch their attention before breaking off.
Hughbert also waves back!
Serenity: "I mean, it kind of came across like Harriet said at least. I guess being homesick is valid though."
Amal: "You're all so ~suspicious~."
Amal: "Gosh."
Harriet: "I mean, weird shit does happen to us constantly."
It takes time, but eventually you're in the final stretch of road heading back towards Masharas, it's starting to move towards dusk, yet you should reach the tunnel into masharas before the sun has yet set. You see in the distance a flash now and then.
As you're moving in the road a variety of vehicles head into the road from a wide side-road, armored vehicles. You've seen the variety of armored vehicles of Terchuan before, the monster transports, the converted harvester, armed people are riding them.
Hughbert: "Don't worry, Serenity. I am constantly asking myself, 'if I were leading a large armored column, would I lead it through here to maintain surprise?' as I examine the scenery. I will advise you if you are driving in an area with high risk."
One of the converted harvesters sidles up to you car "Heey!" someone shouts from the driver's seat- It's Flake "I hope you're not heading back home, the situation's a little difficult there"
Amal: "Ohboy."
Hughbert: "All the more reason to. I think I need a report on what happened there, Flake."
Anton: "Man. Now you're just making it look like Harriet was right."
Serenity‘ glances at Flake, gives Anton A Look, the returns her eyes to the road.
Serenity: "What’s up, Flake?"
Harriet just gives Anton an I Told You So look.
Flake: "Well, Orsis managed to move the equivalent of five armored companies through the border with Masharas, people have no idea how"
Flake: "It's bad enough they're moving even integrator forces to the field, and we're not really combat engineers"
Harriet: "Oh wow."
Serenity: "Bet it involved an Oracle."
Flake: "Currently we're trying to pin them against the Aegis and surround them, it was a really bad move of theirs to decide to attack from somewhere you can't retreat from, but we're expecting heavy casualties both sides without some miracle"
Anton fakes being offended.
Anton: "You're going to get a miracle, thankfully."
Flake sighs "Maybe, but- What do you mean?"
Harriet: "Hi. That's us. We're the miracle."
Amal grins!
Serenity‘ sighs. "Lead the way to your base camp so we don’t need to stream over the highway."
Harriet: "Solving every single Goddess-damned problem since.. uh… shit, when did we form up again?"
Anton: "Actually, I was talking about Masharas's top secret weapon they're going to deploy in the near future but we're definitely going to help too!"
Flake nods "Just follow us, we're making a stop at the forward camp first"
Serenity: "Wait, what?"
Anton: "If we can get them in range of the city everything should work itself out."
Flake leads you the forward operations base- Various trucks have forced a wide circle in this area, you can hear the din of combat further ahead. The trucks haven't just formed a circle but the entire setup was transformed into a fortification, it seems like those trucks are part of a larger mobile base setup
Serenity: "So."
Serenity: "If they somehow managed to do all this shit, how did you wind up discovered them anyway? You just had a hunch something was off out here and decided to check it out on a lark, Flake?"
Inside there's only support and command staff for now, in one truck there's medical staff fussing over a dozen different monsters. Flake parks his vehicle nearby and hops down "Give me half an hour to report to command and see what my assignment is"
Flake shakes his head "We discovered them the worst way possible, the day they attacked. Admittedly it was fortunate I had some of my staff in the city, I don't even remember why I decided to have some of my staff checking the water here, there wasn't a good reason, but they were there to help evacuate so there's that"
Flake goes off to find the commander "Anyway give me a moment" and he goes off
Serenity: "Being an Oracle must be weird when you don't know you are one."
Anton chuckles.
Anton: "Sadly it's a bit easier for someone to tell they're a medium than an oracle."
Hughbert: "Anton. I need to know about this secret weapon in order to plan around maximizing its effectiveness. Unless there's some oracle code where talking about it would show your hand to other oracles…?"
Anton wraps an arm around Hughbert before making a clicking sound with his tongue. "Hughbert my man, you want me to spoil the surprise? Well if you insist, let me tell you a story!"
Serenity: "Oh boy."
Anton glances at Serenity before making a pouting expression. "… or I can get to the point. I guess…"
Hughbert: "I don't know why it needs to be a story… But… Continue…"
Amal: "Have you met Anton!?"
Serenity: "Do as you will."
Anton: "Today just happens to be the initial deployment of Masharas's most advanced weapons platform! It flies and makes things explode and anything in front of the city that is an enemy will go 'boooooom'!"
It is as he said, about half an hour until he's back "Well, turns out the situation's kind of dire, but we're doing it I guess. I'll have to go full combat engineer here and lead some terraforming and trapping missions. Commander did mention you're free to operate as you will and wished you luck and caution"
Anton: "I know this not because they trusted me with this vital information, but because I cheat and wanted to see what we had for dinner when we got there and got this instead." He nods proudly.
Hughbert: "Go on." Hughbert wiggles slightly, but fails to break free of the arm.
Serenity: "You're not so great at the explaining thing, Anton."
Amal: "Oh, Anton~. Never change."
Harriet: "So I guess dinner's a mystery, huh..?"
Anton: "That's pretty much it! Remember how you were talking about a flying vehicle the other day? Well, they made one. With some guns."
Serenity‘ nods to Flake. "Hey random question but - what exactly is a Silken Priest?"
Anton: "I don’t know the tech specs but I do know that it has to fly a lot longer than the standard flight gear if they'd bother making it. Harriet probably would have a field day just looking at the thing."
Flake blinks "Silken Priest?" he tilts his head to the side "I'm not sure, actually? I think they were one of the old druidic orders?"
Anton: "It's not like we have anything but people flying with force gears in this day and age."
Flake: "But I also think there was something going on about that a while ago but i'm not really a history buff"
Harriet: "Oh, yeah, I'm totally gonna be taking notes in the back of my head. Like, that's just gonna happen."
Hughbert: "Anton, how do you feel about cleaning restrooms? One of my troops reported in once in this exact manner with an equally disappointing end result. One spotless restroom later, he learned to… not." At some point, he had ducked out of being Anton's arm rest and is now about 2 arm lengths away.
Serenity: "Hm. Well, call it a hunch but I feel like it's something you should look into when you get some free time."
Flake nods "I'll take a look at that"
Anton: "I sadly can't give you much information other than 'a flying vehicle blows up some enemies and is guarding the entrance to Masharas rather dominantly.'"
Anton: "It is the future, after all!"
Flake: "Wait hold on, a flying vehicle guarding what?"
Hughbert shakes his head to recompose himself and address Flake. "Understood. We'll do our best to support both you and Masharas. We share a common enemy here, and I'd like to formally agree to a cooperative action in the upcoming battle." He goes for a handshake.
Flake: "That sounds rather important"
Anton: "Whoops! See what you made me do, Hughbert. TOP SECRET." He winks.
Flake nods at Hughbert and shakes his hand "I'd be thankful, this is a rather bad situation from the looks of it"
Serenity‘ stretches her arms out.
Serenity: "Anyone important gunna be in the fight Anton, or just a bunch of grunts?"
Anton: "Not sensing anyone nearby at least!"
Serenity: "Awesome."
Anton: "Basically what I’m getting at is, revolve your plan on getting these guys to Masharas's entrance safely, Hugh. The city can handle the enemy army."
Anton: "If we can prevent more people dying from not taking them on head on we should do that!"
Flake puts a hand on his chin "I'll take it you've got a secret weapon ready up. I think the engineering corps can help with that, changing the terrain is what we do"
Hughbert: "So funnel them as directly to the entrance as possible. Sounds like your terraforming equipment will come in handy, Flake."
Flake nods "I'll pass this on to the commander, then. Actually, want to come with me?"
Anton: "I should also probably mention that these guys aren't going to end up in range of the weapon unless we get them there so we can't just sit back and wait for this to be over."
Hughbert: "Anton, between you and myself, let's assist them in coming up with the optimal route to push them through. The maps of the Aegis are not all reliable, after all."
Anton: "They have no reason to approach Masharas's entrance on their own unless they're pushed towards it."
Anton: "Come up with a few plans and I'll tell you what one looks the most promising, sure!"
Harriet: "Have we considered just herding them like cats?"
Harriet: "You know, open up some food, lure them into a contained area, shut the door on them while they're distracted…"
Anton tilts his head at Harriet. "You can herd cats? The strays I rescued on church work always seemed too stubborn to do anything but claw at me and jump away…"
Serenity: "That…"
Serenity‘ rubs at her face.
Harriet: "It’s the quickest way to get rid of escaped lab mice."
Flake takes you to meet up with the commander, she is a living behemoth, both tall and wide with a face that seems like it saw far too many battles, yet she looks more like a mother in the gentleness of her expression and speech. Either way she is pretty receptive of planning.
Serenity: "That might work with hungry street urchans, but not… you know… trained soldiers. Probably gunna need to opt for bullets coming from the opposite direction we want 'em moving in."
Hughbert salutes Flake's CO and introduces himself, name and rank. He then steps up to a map laid out in the center of the area…
Harriet does not salute, because she obviously doesn't know how. She does introduce herself, though. "Harriet Babbage, resident genius." Of course.
Hughbert: "To get right to the plan… We're going to funnel them into the main entrance of Masharas. We have a weapon prepared that will cause heavy damage to the enemy force. To route them properly, we must remove… This bridge, lay some mines and barricades there, and chase them with a flanking group from here, then I believe they'll have no other choice."
Anton jots something down on a slip of paper before passing it on to Harriet. He smiles before nodding.
The CO ponders, considering the weapon has the strength Hughbert mentions then the plan is sound. She orders the engineering corps to move while sending for the flankers to wait "Well, then… Now we wait for the signal from the engineers"
Harriet grins to Anton and flashes him a thumbs-up.
Hughbert: "Anton. While we're waiting for them to do that, I want to know. Do you know where in the column is their commanding officer?"
It is not long, actually, before the signal comes. She orders everyone to get on their vehicles, and specifically asks the party to accompany the operation "If your weapon matches up I want you to take advantage of the assault to slip inside, if your predictions are correct we'll have it handled and I would hate to have you more involved than strictly necessary"
Amal kind of wants to watch this Secret Weapon in action.
Anton: "Nope! I could definitely tell you when we get closer but given how they aren't important enough to shift the world line I'd have to be relying on some closer range sensing to gauge the quantity of threads."
Serenity: "Alright."
Hughbert: "I'm optimistic, but cautious. The reroute planning was far too easy. But… Hmm. Ah, right- doesn't this create one of those 'zero fates', since it was only possible with your vision?"
Hughbert: "If I'm understanding this right, that means the other oracles can't read it easily, unless they use old-fasioned intuition."
Anton: "I'm not actually sure what's going on with that one. Normally something awful happens and knowing that we can prevent it. That's a zero-fate. But here the future already existed before I said anything…? Which probably means foul play?"
And the order to move out the main force is given after a while… You go along with them and witness the Orsis forces retreating. The Orsis warmachines are terrifying, they're very large and at first look like repurposed construction vehicles, they have an arm with a very large weight, enough to literally bat away an armored car that got too close, their most terrifying weapons are the large scale flamethrowers that fire as they retreat, powerful azure flames from high quality ragnite
Anton: "Or, you know. Cor is in the city maybe the already set this up to happen!"
[OOC] Anton: *she
Harriet: "Oh my Goddess that's so cool," Harriet says, pointing to the flamethrowers.
Serenity: "So fucking loud."
Harriet: "Loud and AWESOME."
Amal: "Aw -heck- yeah."
Anton: "I wouldn't put it past her to set up the initial deployment of the weapon to line up exactly when we'd be arriving."
Hughbert: "You're right. I want to create a plan B, though, in case this is a trap." He contemplates the efficiency as the warmachines move past.
Amal: "Hehe, she wants to show off. Oracles, I swear."
Serenity: "I get you're a big ol' powerful death machine you don't need to keeep screeeaming it." Serenity looks kind of annoyed, continues mumbling complains to herself under her breath.
Harriet: "Tell them they are good and adorable and I love them."
Serenity: "You got problems Harriet."
Harriet: "Yeah, number one being that I don't have like five of those things."
Harriet: "I'm gonna make like five of those things you guys."
Serenity‘ shakes her head.
Anton: "I don’t think we can power five on the car…? Can you settle for one?"
And that's when you see it, the shadow in the ground calls the signal of it's approach… High in the sky an object… It flies with two wide wings, the deep verdant glow of the tubing on it's bottom is a coloring of ragnite you've never seen, it's surrounded by a strange cloud of mist… There's a strange hollow sound like… That if a pressure gun of some sort…
[OOC] JayM:
Harriet: "Oh, fiiine. I'll make one really amazing one."
Harriet cuts herself off to lean back and stare out the window.
And it comes, the impact- A gigantic explosion happens just in the middle of the Orsis formation, sending people and vehicles scattering. As the dust settles you see stuck in the ground.. A giant rod of metal in the center of the impact crater
Harriet: "Holy shit."
Anton: "Thoughts, Serenity?"
The hollow sound once, twice, six times- Each time accompanied by the crashing of another metal rod, each one sending vehicles and people flying, one of them lands directly on an Orsis machine, impaling it into the ground like it was made of paper
Serenity: "Also loud. Also that's not a color I'm familiar with ragnite being."
Serenity: "…Surprisingly feminine."
Harriet: "She's amazing."
Amal stares, their jaw hanging open a bit.
Anton shakes his head. "Most are, no?"
Hughbert: "Oh, the penetrator cannons are performing marvelously. I'm thrilled their battlefield debut was this glorious."
Harriet: "Weaponised gravity. I mean, I'd seen the small-scale tests, but this is something else."
Serenity: "Uhh not really, they vary a lot, and anything with a distinct owner or builder tends to kinda adapt their voice to a degree."
Serenity: "But it's like…"
Serenity: "Really soft and gentle? Especially for a war machine."
Serenity: "Does uh,"
Amal: "How is that even… to have that much kinetic energy, but… that's way too close to the… OH! …oh. Goodness."
Serenity: "Does 'blood of wind' mean anything in particular to anyone by the by?"
Serenity‘ tilts her head in Amal’s direction.
Hughbert: "Ah, were you at those tests too, Harriet? I'm proud to say my troops came through spectacularly with this design."
Amal looks like they were talking to themselves, muttering, eyes half-closed, like they're running through complex calculations in their head.
Serenity: "Well anyway. Looks like the path is open now." Serenity gives a thumbs up to any of the engineers nearby, then starts heading into the tunnel home.
After a moment the dust settles… There is nothing moving anymore ahead of you
Harriet: "Yeah, I never thought it'd get rolled out like this."
Amal frowns. "All it would take would be for -this- to fall into another country's hands, and…"
Anton nods to Amal. "Yeah… that happens sometimes."
Serenity: "You back with us now shortstack?"
Hughbert: "I was unaware they were planned for a commission this soon. Elie must have pushed everyone into pulling some all-nighters again… Well, I'd say it's time I congratulated them on a successful launch. I see no reason to delay returning while we have the chance."
Amal: "Ragnite can do anything it wants to the laws of physics, huh? That's really scary…"
Serenity: "Well, within reason and different strands are better suited to certain things but."
Serenity: "Anyway, blood of wind mean anything to you and/or paws?"
You make your way into the tunnel, there's a small force at the entrance, but given the size they were most likely counting on the new weapon working properly. You recieve waves and thumbs up as you pass by "Hah!" a familiar voice to Hughbert "Did you see that, Lieutenant! It's Jacke and Maria up there on the Chinook!"
Amal: "Mmm… nope. I mean, there wasa lot of energy going into the wind keeping it in the air? But…"
Hughbert: "So that's her name, is it? Truly a magnificent ship. Excellent performance."
Harriet: "She's fantastic!"
Harriet: "Can I take a closer look? Can I?"
The engineer has a huge smile for their success as you finally get past… And when you emerge on the other side, you see what the achilles heel of the Chinook is. The tether you saw before, it leads here, there's a very large force gear here, as large as a house. It's at the very least a generator, but you can't guess what it's other functions are, actually no part of the assembly looks like a flight force gear. There's a dozen tubes heading upwards, those are some really long tubes if they really are getting up to the ship up there
Here there is a lot more chaos, engineers are shouting and keeping a close eye on things, things are being adjusted frequently and quickly on the fly.
Serenity: "Maybe on the way out."
Serenity: "Don't wanna sleep out here instead of in a real bed."
Anton: "So, uh… what was the point of that tether going into the mountains anyways?"
Hughbert: "Let them do their jobs for now, Harriet. You will have an opportunity, though, I assure you."
Serenity: "At a guess, to cheat."
Anton: "Is it one of the secrets to stay afloat?"
Harriet: "Okay, okay." Harriet is definitely staring at those mechanisms though.
Serenity: "Don't have to keep the engine itself airborn if the engine's on the ground and feeding the ragnite into it from long flexible tubing."
Amal is staring at it right along with Harriet.
Serenity: "Which means not worrying NEARLY as much about efficiency."
Harriet: "Huh, yeah, I see how it works."
Serenity: "Or size and form factor, as you can clearly see."
Harriet: "That's one way to get it airborne."
Anton: "So… snap the tether and the whole thing goes down? And it can't move around much?"
Amal: "Ahahaha, that's clever…"
Serenity: "Most likely."
Anton: "I guess that's one way to ensure it's not used to engage in war, Amal. It can't move around so it's clearly for defense."
Serenity: "Hard to maintain magic without the ragnite flowing, so."
Amal nods at Anton. "Makes sense why we had to make sure they were in the right position, then. And there's only a few places you could really effectively use this…"
Matheus has been looking at the weapon as well "Makes sense… It must need a lot of energy to keep aloft"
Harriet: "But since the tech's there, I bet it could eventually get shrunk down enough. Like, once you've built it, it's just a matter of figuring out how to file it down."
Harriet: "I bet I could do it. Just give me, like, six months."
Matheus: "That's how development works, yes. First make sure it works, then make it work better"
Serenity: "Yup."
Anton: "If we ever have to fight a portable one of these Harriet, I'm blaming you~." He smiles.
Amal pinches the bridge of their nose. "And then we're right back to 'mutually assured destruction'…"
Harriet: "Hey! If I make one of these, I'm taking it with me!"
Harriet: "We can travel in style."
Anton: "And so will all the radicals and spies!"
Anton: "Please don't develop it…"
Amal: "'If I don't, someone else will'…"
It isn't long until you've left the engine assembly behind you, and the echoes of the battle behind you too. And you're finally back in the city… That's a more comfortable setting, the sun going down behind the mountains at this time. It was so disconcerting having the sun set a few hours later in relation to here, when it hides behind the mountains early.
Amal shivers.
The lights slowly start to come up
Harriet: "Ughhh, do you have to ask like that? This is scientific curiosity you're fucking with!"
Harriet: "But fine, fine, if you feel that strongly about it."
Harriet: "… I could totally do it though."
Serenity‘ takes a bit to remember oh right we have traffic laws and stop lights but is on top of it before any accidents happen.
Amal gives Harriet one of their Looks where they look thousands of years old, then they blink and smile softly. "Nobody doubts that, heheh."
Harriet frowns at Amal quizzically, and shrugs. "Okay, good."
Hughbert: "Straight to the Divine Oracle, right, Serenity?"
Anton: "Eggplant Lasagna, by the way. I knew from the very beginning!" He makes a :OOOOO face at the party.
Serenity: "Uuhhh yeah I guess we can stop there - oh I love that stuff!"
JayM: So a stop at the Grand Cathedral!
You make your way through the city, it seems to be nearing the end of the normal work shift as people are leaving. Either way you’re welcomed and allowed inside, back into the meeting room
Anton immediately goes for the lollipop bowl.
Serenity: "Corrrrrrrrr…!"
The meeting room is as you've expected, same as it was before- Except this time there are a lot more books strewn around on the table where the Pope does her work, she has collapsed on top of them and is sleeping a sleep that Harriet is deeply familiar with, although a blanket has been put over her and the coffee she presumably was drinking has been moved away from her so as to not cause an Incident.
Sitting at the meeting table is Cor, she has bags under her eyes "I'd say just in time, but that would be cheesy"
Harriet: "Hey we solved all your problems."
Anton: "You can't say that after setting up the ship unveiling to line up exactly with our trip. That is the definition of just in time!"
Serenity: "Anton said there would be food here."
Hughbert picks up the ever-present tea set and starts brewing some of Cor's herbal tea for the group. "You'll have to wait for Anton's report to get all the details, but we're definitely able to report completion of our missions."
Anton: "Oh, no. We get it at a restaurant after this sorry! It's their special."
Harriet: "Okay someone make sure I actually go and eat, thanks."
Serenity‘ Frowns Heavily at Anton.
Cor Caroli: "So I heard, Harriet" she chuckles "It took some work to line it up, Anton. Also" she looks at Serenity "As he said. Her holiness’ cooking is worthy the title of divine but I wouldn't share it, with that alone i'm that selfish"
Anton winks at Serenity. "Don't worry. You aren't paying~."
Serenity: "Oh speaking of you sharing things,"
Serenity: "Cor how small is Alcor's dick?"
Cor waves at the seats at the table "Good, Hughbert. I would like to hear your personal opinons, and questions, about anything that happened, however"
Cor raises an eyebrow at Serenity "Not that I wouldn't know, given our housing arrangements at the time. But why, exactly, do you ask?"
Amal: "Serenity! Gosh."
Serenity: "Conversation I had with your Evil, uh, … What do you call someone that's you from another world line?"
Harriet: "The Sacred Grove is really fucking cool, we fixed a bunch of shit with this group me and Matheus had ties to, Alcor was being a bitch, uhhh…"
Amal: "I think just 'evil twin' probably works…"
Harriet: "Oh, right! I built a deathcar."
Amal: "Oh yeah Alcor is the worst."
Cor Caroli sighs and crosses her arms "That, huhn… Well, and what did she actually say about that?"
Serenity: "Evil twin is kinda misleading though."
Cor Caroli: "Call it 'shadow', the proper term used for images created from drawing energy from a different point in time"
Serenity: "Oh nothing really I was just trying to get her to keep talking because I thought SOME LITTLE DEMON had a plan but it turns out he thought I had a plan and it was just a long dumb conversation for no reason."
Serenity: "You also seem way less surprised that I talked to an evil shadow of yourself than I was expecting you to."
Anton: "I've uh… been in contact with her over the trip."
Anton scratches his head.
Serenity: "Oh."
Harriet: "Oh, yeah, about that. I'm gonna build a machine to translate people's qualia because literally no one is ever on the same page. Except Anton, but he can see the future so he's cheating."
Cor chuckles "Ah, situation every Oracle has experienced, nobody knows who has the actual plan" then she nods "Anton has been keeping me apprised of… Most of it"
Serenity: "(Hughbert make me some tea too if we're not eating here!)"
Cor blinks "A… That's an incredible feat if you manage that, Harriet… I can't say anyone has tried that before"
Hughbert hands out some cups of tea. "We DID do enough to both revive Terchuan's survival chance and improve Masharas' as well… Correct? I could hardly find anything else I could step in and do."
Amal frowns at Serenity.
Anton: "All said and done we ended up with the second best possible outcome I could find, so… you did pretty good, Hugh!"
Harriet: "Oh, come on, I'm sure someone's tried. Oh, yeah, I built them a scrubber to fix their water situation. Basic magnetism."
Serenity: "Second best???"
Amal: "Harriet isn't our resident genius for nothin'!"
Cor Caroli: "You certainly did a lot, Hughbert. More than I expected, actually, things certainly look rather dicey in your future a few times"
Anton nods to Serenity. "Mai got away."
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity: "I blame that entirely on you."
Harriet: "Who even is this Mai person?"
Cor Caroli: "Aha, so you did meet her. What's your appraisal on her?"
Serenity‘ looks reassured having cleared that up, leans back in her chair and sips on tea.
Serenity: "Kind of a crazy bitch."
Amal: "We, uh, we ran into -two- terrible Oracles, one of whom-"
Harriet also looks quite pleased at Amal’s comment.
Cor Caroli: "Also, Serenity, I will not quite answer that question because I want to keep at least some of his dignity"
Amal looks at Cor Caroli and kinda stares into her eyes for a second. "-nearly killed everyone."
Serenity‘ holds up one hand, holds her thumb and pointer finger *very* close together.
Harriet: "Oh, was that her?"
Harriet: "Yeah, it was a good thing that didn’t happen. The world isn't ready for an existence without me."
Anton: "Ah, yeah. That report hasn't reached her yet. A black hole sword kind of destroyed a few arges and killed thousands in the radius including us. In most futures."
Cor Caroli nods at Serenity "She was always rather… Uncaring when she was here" she looks at Amal next "Ah… It's unfortunate we can't bring everyone into the fold, the oracle arts are dangerous for the gift they are
Serenity: "Yeah, also the one from Yggy with the guy in the grove suit."
Serenity: "Which like - when you are more morally bankrupt than our good friend Ms. Babbage…"
Serenity: "No offense."
Harriet: "None taken."
Cor Caroli blinks "Black hole sword? Wait, the distortion drive? Expand on that, please"
Anton gestures to the more technically inclined mad scientist.
Cor Caroli: "That would explain why that part of the timeline was almost impossible to see"
Anton: "It's definitely a pain to get any readings on the future with that thing going. It functions similarly to the silver mirror."
Amal: "Something that should never, ever exist." They shudder.
Harriet: "So, like, you know those plans we kind of stole way back when? Turns out he was still working on them, so then what's her face the cult leader ended up using it and rolling really badly on the roulette."
Serenity: "It worked about as well as you'd assume making a giant black hole on the side of a blade directly - GAH! -" Serenity double takes at Amal breifly. "-would work."
Harriet: "Wait, what?" Harriet looks from Serenity to Amal and frowns.
Cor Caroli puts a hand on her chin, thinking "Amal… That's an interesting way to say that…"
Serenity: "That was just a really weird place for him to talk in Cyan and it threw me off, don't worry about it."
Amal frowns!
Amal: "It's too dangerous!"
Hughbert looks between Amal and Harriet. "…roulette, huh…"
Cor Caroli: "Too bad her holiness is asleep…" she looks at Serenity and Harriet "There's a reason that technology was banned here"
Serenity: "I mean,"
Harriet: "Right, yeah, okay, definitely have to work on that. And yeah, uh, it was pretty bad."
Serenity: "Even beyond it being dangerous it was just bad design."
Cor Caroli shakes her head "The original design had a large amount of safeguards, but even those were not enough to make testing feasible as we never found a way to stabilize the system in a way that wouldn't cause a cataclysmic event"
Serenity: "I reckon making it with multiple smaller holes and having them rotate like chainsaw blades would be a lot easier to control and weild and be potentially less lethal to the weilder to boot."
Harriet: "With the current design specifications, there's no way not to have a failure chance. Mitigating it as much as possible is one thing, but you're always going to have the possibility of it just blowing the fuck up."
Harriet: "You'd need to totally tear it down and rebuild from the ground up."
Amal: "On which note I'm really worried about people stealing the plans for that thing that you rodded the army with."
Harriet: "Like, I always meant to figure that out one day, but I never got around to it. And oh man those rods are so cool by the way."
Amal: "Even if its only use is for defensive weaponry, right now… they don't have Harriet, but still!"
Cor Caroli looks at Amal "The rail drivers?" she closes her eyes for a moment "You shouldn't worry about that in particular, the worry is perhaps greater"
Cor Caroli: "The rail driver technology is originally Akaviri… We are not in a timeline where they perfected it first, but we can still reach a timeline where they actually do finish their development"
Amal: "I mean that was- that was orbital bombardment except with magic, if you scaled them up those things could have the power of-"
Amal cuts themself off abruptly, squeaking.
Amal: "Rrrgh."
Cor Caroli: "As it stands the rail driver needs a Medium operator, however, and all mediums are from Masharas"
Amal: "You're -sure- of that? And they're all loyal?"
Serenity: "Uhh…"
Anton: "Alcor is also a medium working directly with Akavir at the moment."
Anton: "Just saying."
Serenity: "See I thought that about Oracles too,"
Amal: "'cause…"
Harriet: "Yeah, uh, the thing about 'they're all from Masharas' is that's not actually true."
Serenity: "And then we ran into four of them when we left."
Cor Caroli: "A Medium must have the blood of the of the old priesthood"
Serenity: "Though admittedly two of them were from here."
Cor Caroli: "So one way or another they must be descendants of Masharas"
Harriet: "I guarantee you there's one running around rogue."
Harriet: "I don't need to see the future to know that."
Amal: "Also before I forget what -were- you guys building that black hole gun for in the first place, anyways?"
Cor Caroli: "Hrm… For that I need to give a little history on the origin of distorton-type force gear, like the teleportation ones"
Cor Caroli: "Their development started with the tower in the Bloodworks. There is a very peculiar effect in it, you cannot get past the third floor, it's impossible"
Serenity: "Also for the record I'm not giving my black hole gun up so don't ask."
Amal raises both eyebrows. The bloodworks again!
Cor Caroli: "If you attempt to go through the inside, you wil lreach a stairwell that never ends. No matter how far high you go, you will not read the stairs, and if you turn around, you will find yourself at it's base"
Serenity‘ blinks in confusion.
If: "you attempt to do so from the outside, a similar effect occurs"
Harriet: "Spooooky."
Cor Caroli: "We developed distortion-type force gear by bringing in force gear near this effect, and attempting to reverse-engineer it’s effects"
Cor Caroli: "The original intent for that technology… Was to find a way past the eternal stairway"
Harriet: "You really can't put a locked door in front of a bunch of engineers and not expect them to escalate from lockpicks to dynamite."
Cor Caroli: "Of course, controlling a distortion powerful enough to maybe counter the effects on the stairway… To even test that technology was to invite disaster"
Cor Caroli: "When we saw no safe way to test and experiment, because even a singular failure would endanger the entire city regardless of where in here, the technology was outlawed"
Serenity‘ raises her hand.
Cor Caroli: "Of course, certain parts of the research with limited output and specific applications weren’t as they were safe, such as the warp force gear and the silver mirror"
Harriet: "(For all the good that did.)"
Serenity: "No one told me that before I made my gun!"
Cor Caroli chuckles "Well, you seemed to have an innate skill with this kind of distortion effect, so when I noticed that I intervened and allowed you to continue your development"
Serenity: "Oh, okay."
Cor Caroli: "Often Mediums have an instinctive knowledge of the physics of ragnite, most of the original development of force gears was made by studying Mediums"
Amal: "Huuuuh."
Serenity: "Makes sense."
Harriet: "Remind me to drag you into my workshop sometime."
Serenity: "What does she mean when she says we were all born in the bloodworks by the way,"
Anton: "Speaking of Mediums, you mentioned Type B Ragnite fields in your report. Is there further documentation on those from back when we were working with what is now Terra Medical?"
Cor Caroli: "Oh… So the commanding voice spoke of the 'workshop' didn't it?"
Serenity: "I'm pretty sure that's not literally but she's being kind of wishy-washy when I start t - Type B?" Serenity gives Anton a look like he's fucking stupid.
Cor Caroli: "Actually 'The Goddess' Workshop' is another name for the Grand Cathedral, a name that only the Divine Oracle and the Pope know of"
Harriet: "So where's the workshop?"
Harriet: "Is it, like, hidden behind a trick bookcase or something?"
Serenity: "Anyway yeah she said all mediums were born in the bloodworks but weren't really confined here and could have left if they wanted."
Cor Caroli: "As for Anton's question, i'll liberate the documentation to Serenity and Harriet tomorrow, but Type B Ragnite Field refers to the very unique ragnite field that only human beings have, and which is especially strong on Mediums" she looks at Harriet "I have no idea, Harriet, unfortunately oral tradition is the worst way to store information"
Serenity: "Why have I never heard of that before literally just now?"
Cor Caroli: "Her holiness has been working on transcribing all that information and attempting to disentangle the damage time has made to it, but it's a slow process"
Harriet: "A unique Ragnite field, huh…"
Harriet: "Imagine what you could do if you could harness that."
Amal: "Haaaarrieeeetttt."
Cor looks at Serenity‘ "Because it’s classified research, plus… The only way we have found to detect the Type B field is through the application of a drug called rashtarin-c to a Medium, which amplifies it's effects and makes it detectable by equipment… But the thing, rashtarin-c was a drug developed by Terra Medical
Harriet: "I'm not gonna do it!" Harriet huffs at Amal.
Cor Caroli: "A drug that leads, unfortunately, to the creation of monsters"
Harriet: "Wait, you're saying monsters used to be Mediums?"
Cor Caroli: "Rather, it doesn't transforms a medium into a monster but it will cause their children to be born as… Monstrosities"
Serenity‘ crosses her arms over her chest.
Amal: "what."
Serenity: "No, she’s saying they stopped using the drug so they wouldn't turn people into monsters."
Serenity: "Or.. that too I guess."
Anton: "We aren't using the drug."
Harriet: "That tracks with what I know about human experimentation, yeah."
Anton: "Terra Medical… who knows what they're doing at this point!"
Cor Caroli: "They're the children of whichever being consumed ragnite-infused psichotropics into monsters"
Harriet: "I mean, I'll fuck with a lot of tech, but I won't do that. I've got sense."
Anton: "You'd think other countries would try to impose sanctions on this sort of thing though. How has Terra Medical been able to get away with so much human experimentation through their research and artificial creation of mediums?"
Cor Caroli: "It's… It's the entire reason we shut down Terra Medical's experiments, they used to be based here, researching Mediums. When we saw the first case, we called for the stopping of the research, Mai didn't comply and we shut them down by force"
Amal: "Oh, that's her beef. Okay."
Harriet: "Oh, I am gonna need to get my hands on that research sometime."
Amal: "Uuuugh."
Cor Caroli: "She is… Influential, and with incredible planning skill. She has managed to continue her research outside, mostly, I imagine, by hiding the human experiments"
Cor Caroli: "Except in Orsis, where they generally don't care"
Anton: "I honestly didn't think she could have done something worse than setting up that black hole gambit Prophecy but she's behind Terra Medical too? At least Alcore has only tried to kill US."
Cor Caroli: "An experimental ragnite-enhanced psichotropic became a common recreational drug there for some time… Now human monsters aren't rare there anymore"
Cor Caroli: "Which is one of the reasons i'd appreciate if you kicked her ass at any chance you got"
Hughbert: "Hmm… Sounds like a good reason to go to Orsis and straighten them out next."
Harriet: "I mean, if I'm gonna go steal their research, blowing her up isn't exactly out of my way."
Cor Caroli looks at Harriet "Harriet I will be honest. You have a great future ahead of you. Whether you'll be a hero or a villain is bit a coinflip, however. Be very cautious"
Amal: "That's why she keeps me around~!"
Amal big cheesy grin.
Cor nods at Amal
Harriet: "Why does everyone always talk me up like I'm some kind of supervillain? It's not like I melt puppies." Harriet folds her arms and huffs.
Cor Caroli: "Well, you're a weapons developer, you're scary"
Cor Caroli: "That said" she looks at Anton "Prophecy you said?" she shakes her head "So she is that good at camouflage, why did she tip her hand to you, then?"
Serenity‘ pats Harriet.
Serenity: "Uh because she thought she was good at what she was doing but I fucked up her first plan super hard."
Harriet: "Hey, that’s what the university wanted me to focus on." Harriet is pet!
Cor Caroli: "Up to now, she has managed to elude me in noticing she apparently took advantage of Summer School, which is a feat" Cor nods at Serenity "Unlikely of her to be that conceinted… She may be expecting you to use that knowledge of her in some manner"
Cor Caroli: "She revealed her hand on purpose, be careful with what you do with that knowledge"
Harriet: "So, like, she's trying to play us?"
Anton: "I honestly have no idea what's going on in her head. She setup an escape gambit that could have easily killed me but then a day later she also executed the black hole gambit?"
Harriet: "Hughbert, this is your wheelhouse."
Cor Caroli: "She makes gambles I wouldn't make, that's for certain"
Cor Caroli: "For now just be cautious, is all I can say, i'll need time to look and revise my first thoughts about her"
Serenity: "Anton did she see the thing about Mai hooking that dude up via some super invansiver life support system to Yggy?"
Hughbert shrugs. "You want to talk to Anton about this one. Unless we can develop some technology that interferes with fate readings, all I can do is prepare a plan to catch an ordinary criminal, by myself."
Anton: "I sent another letter when I got my reply but we may have beaten it?"
Cor chuckles "Let me give you a hint on how to fight an Oracle, Hughbert. There are only so many possible futures, you just deny those to them. That's how we fight eachother, and honeslty if you have a good enough mind for planning you don't need to cheat to use the same tactic"
Anton: "Pretty much! If you can stop all avenues of escape that exist you can also trap the Oracle."
Anton: "We can't bend reality."
Cor Caroli: "Also I did recieve the letter before you arrive, by a matter of half an hour. I did read it over, though" "
Cor Caroli: "That system is… It is terrifying. But in a way it matches one of Mai's theories of the time"
Cor Caroli: "That Medium blood had ragnite-like qualities and that their vein structure worked as a force gear. That was never proven, however, she may have been attempting to prove it"
Anton: "What was Summer School, exactly? Mai even mentioned it as if taunting you since she asked me to remind you about it."
Serenity‘ looks like she’s mumbling to herself, kind of says 'super duper' a bit louder at some point, and 'paws' at another.
Harriet: "Oh, geez, don't fuck with blood, that's like rule 1."
Cor looks at Anton "Summer School is a project we run every six years. It's secret even for Oracle standards, mostly because it would be somewhat counter to it's usage if it become too well known"
Cor Caroli: "It's been proven through experimentation that human has the required sense to be an Oracle, actually. We can all percieve the axis of time"
Harriet: "Oh, that's handy."
Anton: "Just like we all have the potential to be a medium provided something is awakened, yeah."
Harriet: "Something being theoretically possible makes it so much easier than it being technically impossible."
Serenity‘ raises her hand.
Serenity: "I don’t like that Anton knows more about Mediums than me."
Serenity‘ lowers her hand
Anton scratches his head. "I think that’s probably because I snooped around on the Terra Medical front."
Cor Caroli: "However, explaining, training someone to use that sense is almost impossible if they don't already have a natural aptitude. The Summer School project we run is based on testing new teaching techniques on low-aptitute people in an attempt to lower the entrance bar for full oracle capacity"
Amal: "Why do you want -more- crazy time wizards running around? We can't -always- luck out and get Anton or you…"
Serenity: "Point of order,"
Cor Caroli: "Hrm… It is a potential present in every person, Amal"
Serenity: "Shadow Cor wants us dead so even she's not a great point."
Cor Caroli: "If we all stand in equal footing, well, nobody has an advantage"
Serenity: "Which hey can we swing back to that INSANELY BIZZARE point maybe???"
At the mention Cor Caroli furrows her brows "She is not an oracle"
Serenity: "How do you know?"
Cor Caroli: "Because if how Alcor calls her"
Serenity: "What's the signifigance of them referring to her as Lola?"
Cor winces
Serenity: "Like - if you want us out there trying to stop their plans, this is the kind of shit it would help to tell us."
Anton: "It's pretty obvious something happened in the past that caused the timelines to split off so drastically. Given how she's intervening in ours it's… relevent."
Cor Caroli: "That… Is a name I'd rather not hear… And if she really is me in a parallel timeline, then she has never shed that name… Which means she probably has that scar in her face…"
Cor Caroli: "But that is my… It's my given name"
Cor Caroli: "And with all that name brings with it, I would never accept to be called by it"
Serenity: "I mean I realize I'm kind of a callous person, and I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but."
Harriet: "What happened?"
Cor Caroli: "And Alcor, by no means, would call me by that name either. He knows exactly what it is means to want to shed one's name"
Serenity: "The less we know, especially relative to them, the harder it is to do anything."
Serenity: "He MOST DEFINITELY called her Lola,"
Amal frowns.
Cor crosses her arms and tilts back "Suffice to say… The day I showed my potential as an oracle… I had dodged a flying dish thrown by my father"
Serenity: "And she called herself that, without question, while goading me about how I wasn't recognizing her voice and constantly indicating she was you."
Amal frowwwwns.
Cor Caroli: "Had I not dodged, had I not had the prescience to know how to dodge, it'd have left a terrible scar. I would never had been noticed as an oracle candidate, never been trained as one, and proceeded to follow on an engineering career instead"
Cor Caroli: "I've… Looked in that what other possibility was more times than it would have been healthy to"
Anton: "Hold up. So she's projected her voice through a parallel time with TECHNOLOGY?"
Harriet: "… damn."
Cor Caroli: "If that shadow really is this… Engineer me, how can she use oracle capacities? Did she find some miracle to teach oracle skills to inept people? Has she found technology to perform conjuration? I don't know"
Amal: "What else are you going to do with a degree in applied theogenesis?"
Cor Caroli: "What if the technology Harriet is trying to develop is technology that shadow did develop? I literally cannot know, because the future she resides is impossible to see in"
Serenity: "For what it's worth,"
Cor Caroli: "… That future is… Just that point in the future is a too blurry, no matter what"
Serenity: "She couldn't talk to anyone but Alcor on her own, initially,"
Serenity: "And then Amal had Paws do something weird…?"
Serenity: "And then we could talk."
Serenity: "But she said it'd only work with me."
Anton raises his hand. "I was able to piggyback the conversation too, but…"
Cor puts a hand in her chin "Well, maybe it has something to do with your Medium nature"
Cor Caroli: "That's something you and Alcor both share"
Harriet taps a curled finger to her chin. "I wonder…"
Anton: "If she has a bunch of technology like the Silver Mirror in that timeline it doesn't surprise me that we can't see it. Even one black hole sword was causing distortions that made things unreadable."
Serenity: "To be fair it sounded like THAT was causes by all the wonton damage it caused, but."
Cor Caroli: "(But that'd mean the end of the world…)"
Serenity: "Also they're like,"
Amal gives Cor Caroli the saddest face.
Cor notices Amal "Why do I have the feeling you know what i'm muttering about"
Serenity: "Super insistant that they're Doing The Right Thing for what it's worth but have accepted that they're also dime novel villians, so."
Anton glances at Cor and then Amal before making a :O face. "Wait. Have you actually gone that far without… is resetting an appropiate term?"
Cor Caroli shakes her head "Alcor's always been theatric, and so have I to be honest… And if there's one thing oracles can do is do terrible things for good reasons. Doesn't makes it any right"
Cor Caroli: "Resetting?"
Amal: "Everyone's the hero of their own story. Convincing yourself that in order to save the world, you have to burn it to ash…"
Serenity: "The real question is."
Harriet: "At least be honest about why you wanna see it burn."
Serenity: "Why the fuck would Lola give a shit about helping our Alcor,"
Serenity: "And how in the fuck they even got in contact in the first place."
Cor Caroli: "Well, energy can travel in the axis of time without being in synch with the present, I can't fathom how, however, they got in contact with eachother"
Cor Caroli: "That said, the present is only one. And only the present is real."
Anton glances at Cor. "Uh… that one will be in the report I'm writing up."
Serenity: "It's just really weird! Why would Shadow You feel the need to help Alcor do his thing here? It's not like chaning our world could effect hers."
Cor Caroli: "If my shadow really is from a parallel time, then how is she even real, it makes no sense. But if she somehow is, the only thing real she can interact with, is now"
Serenity: "…Can it?"
Amal: "She's not very interested any more in the experiment called 'civilisation'."
Cor Caroli: "Her world doesn't exists, in fact. Why would she care?"
Amal: "She's trying to make sure -her- version of things winds up being real."
Harriet: "No connections means no consequences."
Serenity: "Pointed conjecture or any evidence to back that up?"
Cor Caroli: "Literally no evidence to back any of this up"
Amal: "Mostly pointed conjecture. I swear I had a reason for thinking that specifically at the time but heck if I remember what it was."
Cor Caroli: "My shadow and… Puppy Paws was it? Are both… Entirely out of context problems/solutions"
Serenity: "Mm."
Amal: "I think… I think she built a god and it wants to live."
Cor Caroli: "They seem to work mostly within the frame of our reality, but not quite completely"
Cor Caroli: "Maybe"
Anton lets out a small sigh before giving Amal a reassuring pat on the shoulder. He then tosses an envelope on the table. "Speaking of that actually, there's the initial data on the Silbergeist trial."
Serenity: "Yeah for what it's worth she describes Paws and Lola in the same way which…"
Serenity: "…which…"
Serenity‘ rolls out of her chair, picks Amal up by the arms. "WHY HAVEN’T I GRILLED YOU ABOUT THAT BEFORE?!"
Cor Caroli picks it up "Thank you, i'll have R&D examine it as soon as possible"
Amal yelps!!!!!
Amal wriggles!!! (Doesn't kick, though.)
Cor Caroli: "Also please her holiness is sleeping, which she haven't done for fourty hours, do not wake her up"
Anton: "It's a bit rocky but the foundation is there so there should be a way to expand on it."
Serenity: "Oh." Sets Amal back down.
Harriet just kinda shakes her head.
Amal: "…that's weird, though!"
Amal: "Kinda."
Amal: "No, it's weird. Huh."
Serenity: "It's super weird! What's your connection to Paws, anyway?"
Anton: "It works in our favor though."
Serenity: "Mr. I Can't Been Seen By The Goddess Because My Blood Is Dead."
Amal: "We're… friends?" :D
Anton: "I've already established it's possible to reach Paws so if they're the same it means we could eventually reach Lola."
Serenity‘ folds her arms over her chest.
Serenity: "Okay, Amal, if that’s even really your real name -"
Serenity: "I'm givin' you some fucking homework."
Serenity: "I want an autobiography from you before we leave the city."
Serenity: "And YOU -" Serenity turns, pointing at Cor,
Cor raises an eyebrow
Amal: "(That's gonna be /really difficult/…)"
Anton glances at Amal. "(Just do this cycle, then?)"
Serenity: "All your shit on Oracles and Mediums and weird energy field bullshit, and maybe what the actual end goal that's so horrible is and a couple of the major branching points. And like. A highlight reel of all the key moments from your and Alcor's shared history."
Amal: "(Serenity's scary…)"
Cor Caroli: "That is a lot of information you want. As for the end goal, I would tell you if I knew, I literally just know whatever happens in that particular area of time is such that I cannot see anything in it. But I can see past it…" she sighs "But I suppose i'm doing the thing she keeps warning me about"
Cor Caroli: "So maybe it might be wise to do something"
Serenity: "You got until we leave!"
Amal looks up at Cor, grins insouciantly. "Wanna bet money on how much of it she actually /believes/?"
Cor Caroli: "Wish you good luck with getting something out of me that fast"
Serenity: "Don't mess with me Cor,
Serenity: "I'll fucking wake your girlfriend up."
Harriet: "Serenity's mad when she gets angry."
Cor chuckles "I'm not messing with you"
Serenity: "AND YOU -!"
Anton: "No, really. Trying to look into a parallel timeline is a whole lot of stumbling off the path backtracking and trying to actually see things."
Cor Caroli: "You have literally no idea how complicated it is to get this information and summarize it"
Serenity‘ points at the ceiling,
Anton: "If you can even find the path to get there in the first place."
Cor Caroli: "It’s finding a needle in a haystack"
Serenity: "Er."
Serenity: "Shit, sorry, didn't mean to yell."
Harriet: "Do you like… need some tea, or…"
Harriet: "I don't know what to do when people have emotions loudly, sorry."
Serenity: "Yeah, lets go get dinner. That's a good idea."
Anton winces as he lowers his hands from his ears. "… she's always crying. Why yell now?"
Serenity‘ points at Amal and then Cor again, before turning and heading out.
Cor Caroli: "Hrm… She does that…" Cor pulls something out of a drawer, it’s a bunch of tickets "Here, on me"
Amal hop-skips and pats Serenity on the shoulder.
Anton takes the tickets before nodding. "I know. I did say she didn't have to pay."
Serenity: "Wait since when can you hear her, Anton?"
Anton drops another report on the table. "And here's everything from the last two days. Let me know if you need me, I'll be around town."
Amal: "Oh my god Harriet please build the magic qualia hat it'd be so much easier."
Harriet: "I'm working on the magic qualia hat!"
Amal: "Awesome."
Harriet asides to Amal, "(Also can I talk to you later.)"
Amal: "(Eep.)"
Amal: "(Okay?)" :D
Anton claps his hands before making his way out of the building. "Now then my faithful companions! We eat… Eggplant Lasagna!"
Harriet: "(Okay cool.)" Off she goes.
JayM: Today was a day for a lot of shouting
JayM: And a lot of things coming up a gain
JayM: Oevrall a learning experience, but incredibly aggravating
[OOC] JayM: +5 XP

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