The day is shining with the radiance of a day known only to this city, except for a single dark cloud in the sky.
And by single I do mean single, as a small crowd has gathered near the plaza in front of the Grand Chapel to witness as a singular large cloud rains a storm in the distance, making it the smallest storm ever recorded. A long, long pipe full of golden ragnite leads up into the cloud
Taking advantage of the plaza winding up full as it is, a couple of street vendors have set up early here, one of which sells a variety of icecreams, another selling what looks like food in a cup, a rissan specialty
Serenity‘ looks both strangely well rested and refreshed, but also on edge despite that as she stomps her way through the crowds and towards the chappel. Her eyes are wide and alert, on the look out for either Amal or Anton.
Anton is doing some rounds around town when he catches sight of the cloud. He whistles to no one in particular deciding to use this opportunity to buy an ice cream from a vendor. "So, that an artificial cloud for crops or what’s the word? I've been a bit busy with work and haven't read the news."
Anton gestures to the pipe of golden ragnite.
Vendor: "No idea, they did announce yesterday they were going to test something in the sky but they sort of kept it a secret. I'm expecting some announcement later"
Serenity: "…Anton!"
Serenity‘ shoves her way through the crowd, which - is one of the few times she’s thankful she's as short as she is. Makes it a lot easier to move.
Anton: "Glad they are pulling out all the stops while I'm still here. Masharas truly is a beautiful country." He spins around before holding out the ice cream. "Hey Serenity. I've been expecting you. Got your favorite flavour prepared."
Serenity‘ pauses, blinks at Anton breifly before taking the cookie dough ice cream while handing him a large file full of documents.
Serenity: "…Right, Oracle."
Serenity: "Which means you know what I want, right?"
Anton: "I admittedly don’t know which timeline I'm on right now. Is this perhaps… the one where you confess to me?" He smiles.
Serenity: "You're cute, but still too dumb and obtuse for my liking."
Serenity: "No, I want you to explain what the fuck any of that shit on the time lines notes mean. I have no idea how to read it."
Anton lets out a sigh. "Alas. Was it the documents, where Amal was or did you finally piece together who that old lady was when this incident starte- Ah. Okay, then."
Serenity‘ lets out a huff briefly, before resuming consuming the ice cream.
Serenity: "Why would I be harassing you about Amal? Although he DID leave a note for me at my house."
Anton glances over the notes. "What did you want to know?"
Serenity: "Well I mean… how the fuck are you supposed to actually read the notes? The short hard makes parsing it kind of hard.
Hughbert follows around one of his corporals off in the distance- he had planned to spend the day catching up on paperwork, but his troops were insistent on ’patrolling the grounds' and making him sample some stall food. He's not complaining, and is telling him some less-classified details about the trip.
Anton: "She's outlined each countries case file as well as a list of possible futures she's been able to detect. The exit point is the desired future she wishes to reach for each country and the entry points are all possible ways we can obtain that on our mission. Again I must stress these are just ones she's been able to find. There could be others."
Serenity: "…"
Serenity: "Wait."
Serenity: "So you're telling me -"
Serenity: "That GHOULS RULING ORSIS -"
Serenity: "Is a desired outcome?"
Serenity‘ gives Anton the most incredulous look she’s ever given anyone in her life.
Anton gestures to the '_v' and '_^' notations. "These indicate if at the time of reading the vision was short range, which is very important to note if you're far sighted. The power of symbol indicates that it's long range which is important for someone like me who is short sighted."
Anton: "Return of presidential power and not having to eradicate all of the ghouls and getting their assistance is the desired outcome."
Serenity: "Why are there's ghouls in power in Orsis."
Anton: "It's rather vague, but I'm assuming they have their own group. Or maybe they are. I suppose we'll find out!"
Anton: "No where here does it suggest one way or another that the groups are the same thing."
Serenity: "I'm a little concern that we're seaking help from evil supernatural creates that eat people in either case, Anton!"
[OOC] Serenity: concerned^
Anton: "Getting their cooperation would definitely speed up understanding exactly what Terra Medical has been up to since our coalition fell apart, at least."
Serenity‘ finishes off the ice cream before rubbing at her face with her other hand.
Serenity: "What’re the pound symbols for?"
Anton: "The reading has so many variations of that possibility that you shouldn't take the timeline at face value. Oracles often recognize patterns and use those to figure out what timeline they ended up on from the possible readings they got from the future."
Serenity: "Aha."
Anton: "For example, I'd be talking to Amal right now if the little girls dog across from us stole her food and ran away. I would have come across him in an alley chasing the dog."
Serenity: "Oh goodie he's nearby too, I got a LOT of questions for him."
Serenity: "…how much about his stuff did you actually know?"
Anton: "That's a rather vague question considering you've given me no context."
Serenity: "Well,"
Serenity: "He did kind of explicitly state he didn't tell you shit all but you figured more than you were supposed to out on your own."
Serenity: "And is terrified about telling other people because he's a goddamn idiot."
Serenity: "But I mean probably about the shit that you'd find out with, uh, a long distance look up."
Anton gives her a wink before smiling. "What can I say, my dear? I cheat~." He then stands on his tip toes slumping back down and nodding to himself. "The man in the suit seems to be enjoying this get together as well. Hughbert!" He waves.
Serenity: "I swear you're as fucking useless as these notes, Anton." Serenity sighs, before taking the folder back from him. UNless he's reading it, then she just turns to look at the besuited man.
Hughbert waves back and steps over. Hopefully his subordinates notice and follow! "Serenity, Anton. I trust you'll be staying out of trouble? I am here patrolling officially today, after all." Someone in a similar suit behind him makes air quotes for him for 'officially'…
Serenity: "I haven't hit anyone or broken anything."
Serenity: "Here, you can look over these too if you want." Serenity hads the documents over to Hughbert.
Hughbert flips through them… "Hmm… Not quite as dense of a read as the Codex."
Serenity: "Codex?"
Hughbert: "The book I nearly smacked Redica over the head with. I was running out of symbolic imagery to attack her with."
Serenity: "Oh! Right."
Serenity: "Yeah a lot of it isn't… super useful either?"
Hughbert: "Did you learn what you set out to discover, when you asked to have this penned?"
Serenity: "Not really. I mean the stuff on mediums yeah, but the Oracle stuff is basically worthless."
Teakwood is minding their own business a little ways away in the crowd, eating some fried dough or something. Doot doot do.
[OOC] Teakwood: SHIT
[OOC] Amal: fix that in post ^._.^
Anton taps Serenity on the shoulder. "Your 'demon' friend is over there by the by."
Serenity: "Huh? I don't see h- oh! Okay I see 'em now."
Serenity‘ darts through the crowd, towards Amal.
Anton waits until Serenity redirects her attention before reaching into his jacket and pulling out a sealed envelope. He holds it out to Hughbert. "Wrote this up for you, by the way. Perhaps it’ll motivate you to get in the right mind set."
JayM: Serenity sure is perky today, what a little information does to her
Hughbert: "No, you can't read this. No, not even if you buy me ice cream." Hughbert shoos off one of his troops and conceals the report Serenity left with him. "Oh, for me. Let's see…"
Amal: "Eep!"
Serenity: "Okay, off the top of my head and in no particular order,"
Serenity: "You're an idiot, no one gives a shit, how is that any less believable than anything any of us does or has seen, HOW DID YOU DO IT, where did you land, how far from now are you originally, what was it like there, why do you look like a midget who hasn't hit puberty, what's your REAL name, and who the fuck is Paws?"
Amal: "Eep."
Amal unwinds that for a second.
Serenity: "Also Hughbert has the other stuff I requested and you can look at it too I guess."
Amal: "I can answer… some of those…?"
Serenity: "To the best of your knowledge." Serenity rolls her eyes.
Amal: "Also Paws thinks you're cute." They grin. "A- anyways, I- this time, I landed in Rissan. About… thirty years ago. This is the earliest I've been, and the longest I've stayed. Which is why I have all kinds of spooky Rissan mercenary contacts, which, hopefully that'll come in handy?"
Serenity: "'This time'? You've done it MORE THAN ONCE?"
Amal: "I kept digging! Deeper and deeper, until I found the when that was important."
Amal: "I think if things turn out okay now, they'll be okay."
Serenity: "Wait…"
Serenity: "Thirty years ago…"
Serenity‘ long pauses, eyes’ go wide.
Serenity: "You saw what happened that wrecked the world?"
Hughbert peers over the top of the letter. "I still want to develop some obfuscation technology. It would hide a feint perfectly."
Amal looks really sad. "…it was really bad."
Serenity: "Well, I mean,"
Serenity: "Obviously,"
Serenity: "But what happened?"
Amal: "I'm -still not sure-. I spent some time poking around, trying to make sense of it! It… it can't have been natural, things like that don't just -happen-."
Serenity: "There's no fucking way it was just a storm -" Serenity frowns.
Serenity: "Fair enough I guess."
Anton: "I know it's not the kind of battle you're used to, no. That's obviously Harriets department."
Amal: "It wasn't just a storm, no. Like… every natural disaster happening at once."
Anton: "You'll likely have to adjust your tactics to account for the machine as well, but… I don't have enough context on that to elaborate nor am I certain that will be our next meeting either."
Amal: "Like someone had a bunch of buttons with natural disasters on 'em and a cat jumped on the desk."
Serenity: "Humm."
Serenity: "Okay I guess that's enough dwelling on that tangent if living through it and knowing it was coming didn't grant you any additional insight."
Amal: "Yeah, I wish." They frown.
Serenity: "Back on track!"
Hughbert: "A plan like this would be easier to develop if we had more time for weapons development, and more maneuverability to place troops… Wait." Hughbert frowns. "Can you… Predict when and where we are going to encounter Alcor?"
Anton: "I only see Mei in our immediate future. If something comes up on our trip I'll let you know right away."
Amal: "Anyways, I'm from… there's something really stupid 'in the way' in the timeline between here and there so it's hard to be exactly sure but… it's about…"
Anton: "It's a lot easier to get readings the day of. And they're usually a lot more accurate too since there's only so much deviation you can get from the present with that much time."
Amal: "…four thousand years from now?" Amal grins awkwardly.
Serenity: "Further out than expected to be honest."
Hughbert: "Right. You are short-sighted, if I recall. You expect me to come up with no less than 5 plans, with only 5 people, give or take… I need to know where to expect to see them, when they'll cross that area… You do seem to understand it's no simple task."
Amal: "Things got… pretty messed up. Like… 'made the Shattering look like not a big deal really' levels of messed up."
Anton: "You can settle for two if you'd like. Or three."
Anton: "Just the more variants you have the better your odds."
Amal: "Remember how I, uh… said that there are weapons that just shouldn't be built?" The grin half-falters like it's hanging on their face by a thread.
Serenity: "I imagine extinction looks pretty bad near the end yeah."
Anton: "Alcor could have a 50% chance of picking the right counterattack. Or 33%. The scenario I provided if crafted properly would give him 20%."
Hughbert: "Mai you say… She used this sort of tactic against us, didn't she?"
Amal: "…and I look like this because… I mean… there's a lot of reasons, I guess. Part of it is people underestimate me. They don't notice me."
Anton: "I can't entirely relate to what she setup since it was done years in advance. Every Oracle we've encountered thus far besides myself is far-sighted. They're awful at seeing anything in the immediate future."
Amal: "Social engineering is a heck of a thing."
Serenity: "I'm just saying dude, you're, like, fourty? Fifty?
Serenity: "And you look like you're six. That's weird."
Anton: "Alcor being both AND a medium of course because he doesn't care about statistics."
Serenity: "Unless that's not even your real body, which I guess now that I've said that outloud makes sense considering you uh…"
Amal: "You know some -weird- six year olds."
Serenity: "Don't have human blood."
Serenity: "Well okay whatever, nitpick."
Serenity: "Eight."
Amal: "Yeah I'm probably made of stardust and bullshit, which explains the whole ragnite dealy."
Serenity: "'Probably'?"
Anton: "Cor would be able to explain how she operates a lot better than myself. I know how it works on paper but these ladies have been doing it for decades."
Hughbert: "Mai will be more vulnerable to this tactic, then. If we can take her down with it, then we'll be better prepared for Alcor."
Amal: "I mean, I'm not sure!"
Amal: "Probably."
Amal: "Maybe it's moonbeams and bullshit."
Serenity: "How do you not know?"
Serenity: "Did you just, like, randomly turn up in a different body when you lept?"
Anton nods to Hughbert before making his way across the plaza. "Good morrow, my dear companion~. I would be most upset if it was moonbeams. I just got my Star Coil experimental weapon produced from the Papal Guard after all. We'd have a theme going~."
Amal: "It's, uh. It's hard to explain and doesn't make a lot of sense even to me?"
Amal: "I just… had an idea in my head of who, and what, and when I wanted to be."
Amal giggles at Anton. "Hi!"
Serenity: "Close enough."
Serenity: "Okay keep goin'."
Anton: "While I'm not entirely sold on the ship myself yet, Amal… This weather function they have created is rather nice!" He gestures to the cloud in the sky.
Anton raises a hand and stage whispers. "(You can find the details in tomorrows newspaper if you're curious. I'll be sure to pick up a copy for Harriet.)"
Hughbert has a seat and munches on some fried meat on a stick while he flips through the report some more. A glob of juice flies off and hits the report- except at the last moment, it pressurizes itself and flies three blocks off to the left. Safe!
Amal: "I don't really have much else useful for you…"
Amal: "I, uh. There's a lot I don't remember."
Serenity: "Well I mean there's still 'what was it like there' 'how the fuck did you jump', emphasis, emphasis, and then who the hell is Paws."
Amal: "I was… not -me- for so long that I'd started to lose the idea of what -I- was."
Serenity: "Although I guess 'it was bad… whine' was your way of trying to avoid the first topic huh."
Anton: "Eighty percent of life was wiped out on the continent and it only went down from there. What doy ou think it was like, Serenity? Have some heart for our dear friend~."
Serenity: "I don't know! That's why I was asking."
Serenity‘ shrugs.
Amal looks pathetically at Anton and kinda waves in his direction. "It- it’s not like it's helpful. It's a world that'll never exist."
Amal: "Although, uh."
Amal: "There's something maybe relevant."
Serenity: "Go on."
Amal: "Number one, -nobody- knew anything at all about the old religion any more. Like, even that it had -existed-. History books were kinda crappy in general, I've had to learn a lot as I went along."
Serenity: "That's not super surpring, you mentioned this city didn't even exist and they've been trying to wipe it from history for a while even now."
Amal: "Number two… there was a book. REALLY old, and mostly burnt-out…"
Amal: "A treatise on theogenesis."
Serenity: "Uh…"
Amal: "Which is, uh…"
Amal: "'creating a god'."
Serenity: "Pretty sure that isn't a word but did you mean the - aha okay."
Serenity: "Happen to still have it or it is it back at the end of time?"
Amal: "Which is what I -think- is going on with what's-her-face."
Serenity: "She's kind of implied she's not a real girl before, so… s'possible."
Amal: "And, it's long gone. I've been trying to figure out when it gets written, and snag a copy, but every time I think I'm tracking down that history, it slips out of my fingertips! It's really annoying."
Serenity: "Weird."
Amal: "Also there's a gigantic tangle in the near-to-mid future that bewilders and confuses me."
Serenity: "Wonder if it's in the hidden church bunker."
Anton scratches at his cheek before getting a vacant stare on his face. Seems he tuned out around the theogenesis comment.
Amal: "Which I think-" -they reach to boop Anton's nose but Anton is doing spooky Oracle bullshit and interrupting him is probably A Bad Plan.
Serenity: "That sounds like a uh,"
Serenity: "Distinctly Alcor Shaped Tangle to me."
Amal: "Haha, yeah, I'm /pretty/ sure it's that jerk."
Amal: "Or his semi-existent buddy."
Serenity: "Yeah."
Serenity: "Okay you're almost at the end!"
Serenity: "You can do it."
Serenity: "Two more."
Anton: "If you two were presented with a man made god created by Alcor, what would you do?"
Serenity: "Uh,"
Serenity: "Probably ask him what the fuck he wanted me to do with it?
Serenity: "Kind of a weird gift."
Amal: "I don't trust Oracles that aren't you and Cor." Hmph.
Anton smiles before patting Amal on the head. "I'll try even harder from now on~. Hearing my name brought up as an afterthought truly brings a tear to my eye."
Anton: "Did you want a snack, by the way?"
Anton gestures to the stalls.
Amal: "Oh my gosh do you listen in on every conversation? You're so creepy~." They say it with affection and a grin, though. "It was a -joke- you dork."
Amal: "Heck yeah I want a snack."
Serenity: "Don't feel the demon until it finishes being interrogated, Anton!"
Serenity‘ slaps him closest hand
Amal pouts.
Anton: "Have we perhaps reached the future where Serenity offers to pay for Amals snack as a reward for his hard work?"
Serenity: "I’m offering to let you buy us both something to eat when he's done, sure."
Amal huffs and crosses their arms. "Anyways it's not nice to ask me questions about Paws, you should ask them yourself~!"
Serenity: "I would if it wasn't literally impossible, remember?"
Anton wags his finger. "For now, at least."
Amal: "For now!!"
Anton: "R&D is looking over the Silbergeist report. By the time we return from this mission they should have implemented a better way for me to pull them on to this plane."
Anton: "Or at least constructed a familiar vessel that can… speak."
Serenity‘ clenches up her fist like she’s about to punch someone, but stops herself.
Serenity: "I hate you both."
Serenity: "Okay, fine, whatever. Talent or tech?"
Serenity: "Re jumping."
Amal: "Neither. Miracle."
Serenity: "Explain."
Amal stares at Serenity like 'are you seriously expecting me to explain miracles'. "I was at the end of my rope, the world had ended, and I refused to give up. I was determined to find some kind of way to make things okay again!"
Amal: "And I fell… somewhere -else-, and met Paws there, and we came back. Everything we can do is part them and part me."
Serenity‘ stares right back at Amal, expression clearly reading ’if you can repeat it multiple times with effort it's clearly not a miracle'.
Serenity: "I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume when you say 'someone else' you mean it was beyond your understand and you're not just being purposefully obtuse."
[OOC] Serenity: understanding^
Amal: "Somewhere east of accepted reality, at the very least. Like I said. Miracles happen." They shrug.
Anton: "As an aside, I admit I am discouraged by the fact that your trip was in the thousands of years. I was expecting a smaller number and even with assistance that is going to be a long thread to follow in a storm."
Serenity: "Miracle is just a word you use to describe a phenomanem you don't currently know how to explain."
Amal: "…anyways, Paws and I… we're hope. That the world can stay civilised. That a flower can grow out of the sand, given enough time. And the power we have flows from that hope."
Serenity: "But okay, some kind of reason resonate talent between you and Paws, whoever the fuck Paws is."
Serenity: "Out of sheer curiosity can you describe the, uh, space I guess, you found her in? Or was it not really a place terribly concerned with being observed?"
Anton: "That's the Fatebreakers ultimate objective as well. Hope. 80% of life on the continent being wiped out is an inevitability unless we find a better path. Our ultimate objective is to resolve the issues in each country peacefully to make a natural disaster take out most of our world. We still have problems of a power struggle after for the remaining land, but implementing a land restoration system on that timeline is much more promisin
Anton: much more promising than Rissan bombing everyone to get to that point. "
Amal: "The memories are blurry and weird in my head. Almost like I did it on purpose? Like… the longer I'm -here- the more -that- feels like a weird dream."
Amal looks at Anton and nods. "Civilisation. A garden, instead of an ash heap…"
Serenity: "Uuugh."
Serenity: "Okay Anton you can continue with your nice guy act and get us some food now."
Serenity: "Amal, thank you for being less obtuse and contrary the master vein."
Anton: "You're coming along, of course. We're making a detour before we leave since Harriet seems to be occupied."
Serenity: "Okay."
Amal: "Maybe I thought I'd be more of a person if my memories were incomplete. You'd think I'd have left myself a note???" They shrug.
Anton makes his way over to a stall. "Two Rissan specials, please!"
Hughbert taps Serenity on the shoulder and waves the report in front of her. "I've made as much sense of it as I could. I appreciate the read."
Serenity: "That was fast. Although I imagine all the nity gritty details on mediums weren't of much interest to you and the Oracle stuff was pretty useless."
Serenity‘ takes them back, then hands them over to Amal with a shrug and semi questioning look.
The man at the stall is happy to oblige! It’s a cup of rice, on top of it is potato-pasta sphagetti, on top of that fried chicken with hot sauce and then a tiny vegetable pancake on top of it. Two specials, to go
Amal takes the papers, pauses briefly, then hands them back to Serenity, looking like they're trying not to giggle at something. "Thanks!"
Serenity: "…"
Anton gives the man a smile before heading back to the others. "I was correct in assuming you already had your allocated meal allotment while reading the report, correct Hugh?"
Serenity: "Do you fucking osmosis words through contact with paper?"
Anton: "A valid question, considering he mentioned this is the longest he's stayed~."
Amal: "Maaaaaybe. Maybe I'm a wooord ghooost."
Serenity‘ takes the folder, donks Amal on the head with the side of it, then folder it under one arm so she can eat with both hands.
Amal giggles! Then digs in. Omnomnom.
Anton: "Now onwards, to new adventures!" He nods before marching off hoping the party will follow him. Yeah he didn’t even explain where they were going.
Hughbert: "The main thing I learned is how nice and simple it is to have my superpower be my suit." He nods at Serenity.
Serenity: "Admittedly, it's a lot easier to wrap your head around how to starch press something than it is any of our collective shit."
Serenity‘ trails after Anton.
Anton leads you onwards! Onwards and towards- The Bloodworks. As you come closer it is considerably quieter than one not used to it would expect, mostly because the factories and workshops in this are are built so they do not generate a lot of outside noise (some are pretty unbearable inside). The factories are neatly arranged in square patterns, the buildings looking like blocks that one would play with, some buildings are bridged together
Hughbert slips within the crowd to follow. It’s not that he's ditching his subordinates… He's just not allowing himself to be a distraction for their patrol!
Sitting in the center of the Bloodworks is the ancient tower, there's a chain link fence around it with a door leading into it. The tower goes up many floors… Now that you're close and watching, you notice you can't judge how many floors it is
Serenity: "Oh are we breaking into state property that technically doesn't exist in any city records?"
Anton: "This tower has been bugging me for a while, now. The one Cor mentioned. Endless stairway?"
Amal: "Yeaaah what's up with this place?"
Anton: "I was hoping between all our minds we might be able to figure something out."
There's a guard post by the fence's door, a lazy guard has pretty much fallen asleep at his post
Serenity: "Well I mean basically all I know about it is that looking into what it is turned up zero results, and I guess now, whatever Cor said the other day."
Anton nods to the guard smiling politely. He just walks by him.
Serenity: "And uh…"
Serenity: "I guess it's unusually quiet?"
Serenity: "Like this part of noise is noisey as fuck as you might expect, but I don't hear anything inside the tower."
Serenity: "But otherwise."
Anton: "Let me know if you hear anything when we step in, though."
Anton: "From outside."
Hughbert gets halfway through saluting the guard into granting access- but then just stops, frowns at him, and keeps moving…
Serenity‘ finishes off the rest of the food bowl, leave it and the plastic fork or chopsticks or whatever the hell she was eating with behind on the windowsil of th eguard post.
JayM: The fence’s door isn't even locked
JayM: I guess people just don't get in because they got no reason to
Serenity: "Hmm…"
Serenity: "Oh."
Serenity: "She sings here too, weird. Just a bit quieter."
As you come closer to the tower the air just has this… Difference to it. It's like the air's clearer around it. It has a large pair of stone double doors, of which there is no obvious way to open. A sort of switch has been installed by the doors, however
Serenity: "Couldn't hear it until we passed the fence."
Amal: "Huh."
Amal waves.
Serenity‘ reaches out and flips the switch.
Anton: "To put it in non-scientific terms I’m reasonably confident some 'dimensional shit' is at play here. Especially since…" He revs up his force boots and tries to fly up the outside of the tower as a demo.
Anton flies up! And up! And up! And keeps going up~ Except at some point despite going up non-stop he is still not getting any farther
JayM: Which is incredibly bizarre, you are certain he is moving upwards, except his position is not changing
Anton calls down. "Not hovering by the way!"
The switch flicks, there's the sound of stone grinding against stone as the doors open, very slowly. There's dust everywhere
Amal: "That's not at ALL how physics works."
Serenity: "That's nice. I opened the door."
Serenity: "But uh yeah pretty weird."
The inside is completely dark, not a single light. But the sunlight streaming from outside lets you see someone set up some form of battery assembly here, connected to something in the darkness. It's ran out of power, though. Off in the darkness there is the barely visible image of a stairway in this large empty hall
Amal: "What the heeeeeck."
Anton lands before nodding at Amal. "I know, right? And if I start high up and try to go past the fence I won't be able to go into the boundary zone and I'm stuck on the horizontal axis. The second we crossed that fence we ended up in some sort of 'space'."
Serenity‘ tilts her head at the device. Spends a couple of minutes examining it, before forcing it to boot up in the way only she can. [Ars Prima]
Serenity: "Yeah that aligns with what I’m hearing Anton."
Hughbert: "Hmm… Are there records of experiments to pull whatever is inside the Bloodworks out of it, rather than try to get in?"
Serenity: "Noise from the district is gone. Still hear the voice humming from outside the tower."
The generator powers up, powering up various lights that were installed here… But…
Serenity: "Nothing… inside the tower though."
Amal: "No, this place is…"
Amal: "This place is REALLY WEIRD."
As Serenity draws on her power glowing blue lines glow in the walls, and small pockets of them glow brighter…
Serenity: "…Huh? Wasn't doing THAT on purpose."
Ancient ragnite lamps, with no source of power- They could probably only be operated by a Medium.
JayM: (or a force gear that simulates the effect)
JayM: (like this generator, you imagine)
Serenity: "How bizzare."
Amal: "There's a seal isolating something at the top of the tower… it's like… when you take a piece of paper, cut it, and then fold it and tape it together so it only has one side."
The stairway into the second floor is certainly in a terrible state of disrepair, an entire half of it has fallen to pieces, there's a very recent metal structure keeping the rest intact
Anton glances at Hughbert. "There's zero documentation on this place. Like, there probably is but it's way above our clearance level. Which makes me wonder why it's not guarded properly."
Serenity: "Well,"
Serenity: "I imagine the whole 'you can't actually make any progress inside' thing plays into that."
Anton: "I'm going to be really sad if we can go up the stairs with the power on. We have a lot of mediums in Masharas."
Serenity: "Yeah I uh,"
Serenity: "I'm almost certain someone at some point has thought of that before."
Serenity: "Hell I mean,"
Serenity: "This seems like the kind of shit Cor and Alcor would of gotten into…?"
Anton: "What makes you say that?" He glances over his shoulder before deciding to walk up the stairs backwards.
Serenity: "I mean…"
Serenity: "They were kind of smart trouble makers, right?"
Serenity: "And reason to know this place existed?"
Serenity: "And we're here."
The first set of stairs is easy enough to go up to. The second floor is a strange place, architeturally. The floor is falling apart, sure, but you're certain even when it wasn't it wouldn't be safe to cross, small stone bridges into the floor below. The stairs into the third floor have collapsed, but i'm certain you can find an inventive way to get there
Hughbert: "Amal, you seem to have an idea of what might be going on… Then… Anton, if you could create a Silbergeist that is capable of speech… Couldn't we have… Paws examine the seal as well?"
The third floor, it's stranger. On the pit leading further down are various platforms, connected by small wooden bridges, most gone long enough you know platforms have fallen as they are the only support. Yet you can navigate up to the third set of stairs…
And it is here where it happens, you can keep going up, but you can't go up
Those stairs, unlike the others, seem well kept. A red carpet in them
Anton: "That… is up to the R&D team."
Anton: "I'm not even sure if they'll manage to do that. I'm no scientist and I've given them a pretty daunting task."
Hughbert: "What would Harriet respond with if she were hear to listen to your doubts?" Hughbert shakes his head in disappointment.
Serenity: "…I think we hit the limit?"
Amal: "I, uh." Their voice sounds a little dry.
Serenity‘ stops walking, curious what happens when she didn’t moving but the others are.
Serenity: "Voice is completely silent now, also."
Anton: "So. Good news and bad news."
Amal looks up at Serenity, and they're… crying, a little? "I think we should probably go soon."
Serenity: "Was Amal crying the bad news?"
Anton: "The good news is that I have identified that there is ONE worldline where we actually climb this tower in the not so near future. The bad news is that it's one worldline out of more than I can count but based on the density of threads and I'm talking tens of thousands it is literally impossible for me to see what happens outside of a very blurry image of us climbing that staircase."
Hughbert mumbles to himself… "What if we pull the red carpet back out…?"
Anton glances at Hughbert. "May as well try!"
Serenity‘ tilts her head in Amal’s direction.
Serenity: "'Thank you'?"
Serenity: "Wait no that couldn't have been Paws,"
Serenity: "That was…"
Serenity‘ scratches at the back of her head,
Serenity: "Well unless she did stutter out a thank you to you just a minute go? confirm deny"
Anton: "Did… I miss something when I was scrying?" He glances between Serenity and Amal.
Serenity: "Sec."
Amal is very busy trying really really hard not to cry!
Serenity: "Amal please."
Serenity: "Yes or no?"
Amal nods.
Anton chews at his lip before tugging on that carpet.
Serenity: "Okay."
Serenity: "So, using the power of CONTEXT CLUES, there’s a few guesses we can make here."
Serenity: "One! Paws is people in a Lola sort of way and trapped in a whole of space/time, and said prison is somehow connected to this tower."
Serenity: "Two! This is some sort of weird ass worldline nexas and I'm kinda sorta barely hearing fragments of another world's master vein is I try really hard and she's loud enough,"
Serenity: "Because the voice I just heard sounds exactly like her."
Serenity: "As a potentially relevant aside, she, the one I know anyway, is terrified of us giving her a name and callign her a Goddess,"
Serenity: "But she's 100% on board with Alcor making his own God."
Serenity: "It's… really fucking hard to hear paws though."
Anton nods with a frown on his face. He doesn't seem that surprised. He asked that question to them in the plaza anyways so no surprise there.
Serenity‘ scrunches up her face a bit in concentration, then cups her hands around her mouth as she shouts in the direction up the stairs. "HEY! CAN YOU HEAR ME?!"
Hughbert: "You two finish your study here. I can’t really do much here. You look finished here, Amal, let's go." Hughbert descends.
Serenity: "To be honest he's probably hearing more than I am -"
Serenity: "Huhh."
Serenity: "ARE YOU HER OR PAWS?"
As Hughbert looks at Amal to talk to him, he realized his clothing is now stained- Familiar stains of ragnite
Amal grabs Serenity's hand and starts careening down the stairs. "C'MON. Let's- let's go, okay?"
JayM: Down Amal goes
JayM: Serenity likely forced after
Anton tugs on that carpet seeing as he's the only one up here now.
Serenity: "Wh - nn -" Serenity makes a face, then shakes herself free after a couple of seconds.
Serenity: "Knock it off, dude. I'm not sad, I'm good here."
JayM: Anton
JayM: It doesn't budges
JayM: No matter how much you try
Amal: "N- no, it's just- it's better if we go, okay? It's important, just trust me on this?" They're blinking away tears, but they don't really look /sad/ exactly, either.
Serenity‘ gives Amal and Hughbert a weird look, then shrugs before focusing her attention upwards, "I mean, I kind of make a habit of pissing her off I’m not really super worried about making her sad either."
Anton chews at his lip. "Well. I got what I wanted to from here."
Amal: "C'monnnnnnnnnnn." Now it looks like they're trying not to /laugh/, actually.
Serenity‘ scrunches up her face, look between Amal and upward.
Hughbert scratches the back of his head. "Amal… If you drag Serenity away, she’ll just sneak out of her room into here at night and shout her lungs out at… whatever it is she's shouting at."
Serenity: "That sounded a lot like Paws is her-shadow to me."
Hughbert: "I will not stop you from telling her she is doing a lot of bad ideas, though. Please tell me about why Serenity is doing a lot of bad ideas."
Serenity: "I'm not doing anything even remotely a bad idea!"
Anton nods again with a hard to read look on his face. He doesn't seem that moved by the revelations but he's definitely mulling something over.
Serenity: "Anton brought us here to suss things out!"
Serenity: "That's exactly what I'm doing!"
Anton: "… I already found out what I needed to, so. Go for it, I guess. It's only fair."
Serenity: "I'm now 60% sure Paws in a shadow of the master vein, where as before I had 100% idea I had no clue what the fuck Paws was."
Amal: "Okay okay."
Amal: "Paws is like…"
Serenity: "You perform science with tests."
Amal: "Her sister's child, I guess? Inasmuch as these metaphors even make any sense?"
Serenity‘ ’s face distorts a bit, sounds like she's having a loudly whispered arguement with someone else but nods towards Amal
Amal looks like they're fiiiinally getting some kind of control over themself and they take a deep breath or two or three.
Anton scratches his head. "You're going to give me a summary after and not make me have to sift for it, right?"
Serenity‘ meanwhile, is now full on pouting.
JayM: Serenity honestly looks a little cute like this
Amal giggles a tiny bit.
Serenity: "Nothing, she’s just being a bitch."
Serenity: "Her her, not Paws."
Serenity: "She started responding as soon as I started actually asking questions and not just listening."
Serenity: "And then oh no the spooky towered of fucked up gravity and senses is too important to investigate even though you've literally been directed here, and I'm going to get made when you try and use your God-given senses to make sense of the world instead of somehow inexplicably learning shit for your self SOME OTHER GODDAMN WAY EVEN THOUGH THAT DOESN'T FUCKING MAKE SENSE, MOM!"
Serenity‘ flips off the ceiling.
Serenity: "Anyway we can leave I guess."
Serenity` starts briskly walking down the stairs.
JayM: Down the stairs
Amal can’t help it and loses it giggling.
JayM: Be cautious on your way down, Anton probalby remembers the time he nearly died from falling here
JayM: Still, heading out is not an adventure at all
Anton: "Ever feel like part of your life was revealed by some unknown power?"
Serenity: "oh i won't hate you for trying i'll jsut whine and complain and interfer in subtle annoying ways only you'd notice, tee-hee." Still grumbling to herself.
Serenity: "What?"
Anton shakes his head. "Nothing."
Amal winds up giggling even MORE for no apparent reason but manages to control themself: "…one of these days we'll get you to stop being so secretive, Anton~."
Serenity: "Stop having fun, Amal."
Serenity: "If that's even really your name."
Amal: "Stop being cute and making Paws want to hug you!"
Amal: "Except don't do that."
Serenity‘ stops mid step.
Serenity` lets out a sigh and continues walking.
Anton takes a deep breath before jotting down a note. He passes it to Amal as he descends the stairs.
Serenity: "I was born this way."
Serenity: "Can’t be helped."
Amal scrawls something on the note and passes it back to Anton.
Hughbert: "Er, Amal. Do you need a change of clothes…? We could stop by Harriet's workshop to try and find something. If I recall, it's nearby."
Serenity‘ slams her fist on the windowsil of the guard house as the exit the tower and stares at the guard.
Amal looks at their robe and their eyes go a little wide. "-oh, heck! Uh. Yeah, probably. Yikes."
The guard’s awaken with a startle, looks at the party around there like a deer in headlights
Serenity: "Oracle canidate, extra-dimensional demon, military… I forget your rank, Officer? And APPARENTLY NO ONE."
Anton adds on to the note one more time before slipping it back to Amal.
Hughbert salutes the guard. "…Lieutenant."
Serenity: "Can't imagine anyone will ask why you let us slip through but there you go so you can make a better excuse if they do."
Serenity‘ heads out past the fence.
The guard is fully discombobulated
Amal: "A- anyways Serenity I’m sorry for laughing… but… it'll be okay, I promise. And… I know I pulled you back, but… don't stop searching, okay? Don't give up."
Serenity: "Like I was gunna."
Serenity: "Why were you acting like a baby?"
Serenity: "And where the fuck did the ragnite stains come from?"
Amal reads the note, stares at it with a really funny look on their face for a second, and then closes their hand around it and it never existed.
Hughbert: "Keep up the good work, soldier. They're with me." He drops the salute and leads the party to Harriet's workshop!
JayM: Man
JayM: What a trip, huhn?
JayM: The universities have a few workshops here in the Bloodworks, mostly because it's better prepared for dangerous experiments. Harriet's workshop is in fact somewhere in the edges of it
JayM: Harriet are you going to be there?
Harriet is, in fact, in her workshop! In the distance, as they approach: An explosion. But only a little one. The 'don't tap on the glass' sign in front of the workshop teeters, totters, and falls off the door.
Hughbert doesn't bother knocking. He walks in, but doesn't let the party take a step past the entryway without first collecting their protective eyewear and putting it to use!
Serenity: "Dude it literally just happened is it that hard to collect your thoughts?" Serenity doesn't seem terribly surprised Harriet is making stuff blow up either, considering she didn't show up for the meeting. Slips in after Hughbert.
Amal gives Serenity a sympathetic look. "I promised someone I'd keep my mouth shut!"
Anton enters without the protective eyewear.
Serenity: "Well, sure."
Serenity: "But you're also an imperfect human."
Serenity: "And I can inflict physical harm upon your person and she can't."
Harriet: "OH COME ON," heard even behind the closed door, Harriet sounding Entirely Too Exasperated. Strangely enough, there seems to be rime on the thick glass instead of char..? Inside: there's been an ice-explosion, centred on her workbench. Several of the projects tucked into the crowded room have been blown aside. Harriet's goggles are coated with a thin sheet of ice. She doesn't bother
Harriet: turning around as she tinkers with what looks, for all intents and purposes, to be a grenade. "Hey guys, we going already?"
Amal: "Harriet help Serenity is being scary!"
Serenity: "Amal's being a manipulative bitch!"
Harriet: "Wait am I, like, team mom or something, why are you bringing this to me specifically."
Serenity: "AND he made me stop doing science."
Harriet: "WHAT."
Hughbert: "The guard to the bloodworks was being a perfect gentleman. I just thought you'd like to know some good news."
Anton: "Please tell me you spent all day developing new weapons. You saw we got funding to carry a two property weapon each, right? We've got some Connections now as a good will gesture."
Serenity‘ nods to Harriet, gives Amal a brief grin before finding… somewhere… to sit…
Harriet: "Amal!" Harriet does in fact turn around at that. "How could you! - oh yeah, totally. I’ve just about got these grenades working. I'm just working on them exploding when they're supposed to explode. That's not a huge deal though. The most complicated bit is getting them to explode at all." There's one chair! There's scrap(?) metal on it.
JayM: Wherever you sit is coated in frosted cndensation
Amal: "Oh my goddess you are -so- full of it." They grin back at Serenity and point at the one pile of assorted crap that's actually obscuring a chair.
[OOC] Anton: We have a two property weapon each we can use once per resupply relevent information for next actual session if that wasn't an obvious meta plugin
[OOC] Harriet: yesss
Hughbert: "Please keep Amal away from any explosions until they're done being soaked in ragnite."
Hughbert: "By the way… Spare outfit?"
Serenity: "Yeah let him have it Harriet."
Serenity: "Make him spill the beans."
Harriet: "I've already got some other stuff sorted, don't worry. Like, uh, just look in that pile there." Harriet thumbs at what does, in fact, appear to be a pile of weapons.
Harriet: "They might break down kinda quick, but they shouldn't blow up in your face."
Harriet: "Oh, clothes? Those are… uhhhh…" Harriet turns around, frowns, and eventually points to one of the half-obscured boxes. "Spare clothes are in there. I think there's some overalls or something if you don't like dresses."
Anton: "If they do, I'll give you a heads up."
Amal rummages around for something. They're not really picky as long as it's relatively featureless and not super colorful.
Harriet 's clothes are, luckily, all pretty featureless! Most of them are in shades of blue, but there's a little green and brown in there too.
Serenity: "Anyway,"
Harriet: "So, like, I'm gonna guess you guys were totally doing something while I was busy working on this?"
Serenity: "You know that giant ominous tower at the end of the district that's fences off and technically doesn't exist?"
Harriet: "Oh yeah, that place. That place is great fun."
Serenity: "Yeah we snuck inside and then Amal started crying like a fucking baby and demanding we leave but won't tell anyone why."
Harriet: "Huh. That's pretty weird. More mystical shit?"
Serenity: "I guess."
Amal: "Mmhmm."
Serenity: "I think I breifly heard Paws but not enough for any context,:
Serenity‘ shoots Amal a nasty look.
Serenity: "KIND OF want to make a weapon of mass destruction out of spite now but that’s really more your wheel house." She then shrugs towards Harriet.
Amal: "I don't think it was Paws for what it's worth~."
Anton: "Just, uh… don't go developing Geomancy technology or anything." He smiles at Harriet.
Harriet: "A weapon of mass destruction would solve a lot of our problems, but apparently it would also fuck everything up? I dunno, I'm not a social scientist."
Serenity: "If it was her and not Paws that was talking to you I'm double mad, Amal."
Serenity: "Geomancy…?"
Harriet: "Geomancy?"
Serenity: "What the hell does nature fortune reading have to do with anything?"
Serenity: "…Oh right the report."
Amal: "Yeah don't develop weapons of mass destruction, it's a bad plan."
Serenity: "…That's actually super weird now that I think about it."
Harriet: "Wait, there was a report?"
Harriet: "What time is it, anyway?"
Anton scratches his head. "Don't uh, look too deeply into it."
Serenity‘ tosses a stack of files in a folder to Harriet.
Anton: "Tower stuff is more immmediately relevent anyways."
Harriet catches them kind of awkwardly, but at least manages not to drop them everywhere!
Serenity: "The one I asked Cor for. Not really super worth reading but eh everyone else has seen it."
Serenity: "How do you figure, Anton?"
Anton: "If I saw a possibility at the tower it can’t be THAT far out on a year scale. I'm near-sighted."
Anton: "That other stuff is quite a ways away."
Harriet: "What'd you see, anyway?"
Serenity: "Is Amal going to have another fucking break down if we go back?"
Amal: "Nuh-uh."
Amal: "I was just surprised, that's all."
Anton: "You and me both, buddy." He shakes his head.
Serenity: "Wait did she tell you she loved you and wants you to grow as a person and reach your potential and you're not alone and a bunch of other bullshit like that?"
Amal: "Anyways, I know the worldline you saw is the true worldline." They look at Anton a little smugly. "So hold onto it, if you can. It might help us figure out what to do!"
Serenity: "(She's FULL OF SHIT, if so.)"
Serenity: "Just, sayin'."
Anton glances at Hughbert. "When did you want to leave, anyways? There's probably a few more odds and ends I can do around town if you're going to be a bit."
Amal makes a heart shape at Serenity with their hands.
Serenity: "I'm just saying man, I've known her for fifteen or so years, you for like,"
Serenity: "Five minutes."
Serenity: "She doesn't actually love anyone despite what she says."
Harriet: "It's remarkable how similar this mystical bullshit is to trashy dimestore novel dialogue."
Amal just smiles. "I've got a different context for things, remember?"
Serenity: "Paraphrasing mostly,"
Serenity‘ rolls her eyes.
Serenity: "Shadow-her? Yeah sure, I’ll believe SHE cares about you and her potential to exist,"
Hughbert: "Whenever Harriet is ready to get back to work, I suppose. Harriet, this is your daily reminder to eat. I've had to get on my troops' case one too many times about that…"
Serenity: "Her-her, though?"
Serenity‘ flips off the sky with both hands.
Harriet: "I ate dinner just a few hours ago! … wait, hang on." Harriet goes to the door, leans out. "… wow it is WAY later than I thought it was."
Harriet: "Okay, yeah, I guess I’ll go get some coffee or something."
Amal: "Serenity you're being cute again."
Serenity: "I'm always cute, asshole."
Harriet: "But yeah, I finished work on the new stuff, s'why I'm working on this project again."
Serenity: "He can tell you the other shit though I guess."
Harriet: "Fifty? Weird. I guess Hughbert's not the oldest any more."
Anton glances at Amal. "(Should I tell her that her math is a bit off?)"
Serenity: "Give or take twenty years."
Harriet: "Hughbert's still the responsible one in my heart though."
Amal shakes their head. "(She's just using scientific notation.)"
Serenity: "I guess he could be past seventy but that seems unlikely."
Serenity: "Given the hooorrrrrrriibbbbblleeee waste land," She does sometime weird with her hands that doesn't exactly make sense, but is probably mocking.
Amal giggles.
Hughbert: "Mh. I'll add one more 'superpower' to my list. 'Least likely to get carded at the bar.' You can keep the title of eldest." Hughbert shrugs.
Serenity: "That's a good idea Hughbert,"
Harriet: "Hey, it's a pretty good superpower. You're still the best guy here, don't worry."
Serenity: "We SHOULD go drinking before we leave."
Harriet: "Spirits will lift our spirits, huh? I like it."
Serenity: "Yeah that."
Hughbert: "Are you actually old enough?"
Serenity: "…How old do you think I am?"
Anton: "I'm sixteen~."
Harriet: "Hey, I'm twenty years old!"
Anton: "(I'm not actually sixteen. I'm nineteen.)"
Serenity: "I thought you were eighteen."
Anton: "I could be nineteen right now…?"
Hughbert: "I asked the Major that question once. I know not to ask that question at random now. You're making the same face she did, no less. Tables were broken, Serenity."
Serenity: "Anyway I'm nineteen, Hughbert."
Harriet: "Wait, how old are you, Hughbert?"
Serenity: "And what do you mean 'could be', Anton?"
Anton: "Well, I mean I don't know when I was dropped off at the church just that it was in May and we're halfway into the month."
Serenity: "Oh my fucking Goddess,"
Serenity: "That's such a fucking lie."
Anton grins.
Serenity: "Literally raises in an orphanage for Oracles, no one decided the check your birthday at any point? Yeah fucking right."
Anton: "Yeah, okay. I'm the youngest. Happy?" He crosses his arms.
Hughbert rolled 1d8+25 and got 4 ( Total: 29.0 )
Serenity: "No but I will be after a few glasses."
Hughbert: "I'm 29, Harriet."
Harriet: "Oh well," Harriet shrugs. "At least it means a couple of us are experienced."
Amal: "Maybe Anton's an aaaaliiiieennnn."
Anton: "Or maybe, I only exist on this timeline!" He makes a :OOOOO face at Amal.
Serenity: "No he's just a nerd."
Hughbert: "Would an oracle that only exists in one timeline even have any oracle powers?"
JayM: Apparently the party is going to go drinking
JayM: Today has been such a strange day
JayM: Good thing you have two more days before being briefed for the next part of the mission, right?
JayM: Still, believe it or not, things were learned
JayM: And maybe, just maybe, a thing or two are now different from they were before
[OOC] JayM: +15 XP

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