Tom D02s05

TheTale: Day Two - Noon.
Shiba: "So … do I call you Sonic for short, or do I go the full '& Knuckles' route with your initials? I hear that's the cool thing to do these days."
TheTale: The third finger of Alice's "Mirushuga" gauntlet flickers a faint red, brimming with energy.
TheTale: She retracts it after a moment, returning her cafe to Normal Mode (you know, shutters opening, weapon panels re-hiding, etc.) and elbows her way out the door. "Wisp faces on, people! We've go
TheTale: We've got a D2 to bust! "
Dog‘ wags their tail, hopping off the couch. "Yeah!"
TheTale: "You know." She inhales a breath of crisp day air. "Somewhere."
Lucnephwyr gives Alice a comforting pat. "It’s okay, some monsters never stop using a monster's old name when they go into a new body."
Shinzou gives Alice a solid nod, but she doesn't go for the gusto. Probably for the best.
Lucnephwyr: "It's a thing that happens, give it time."
Lucnephwyr: "We should probably finish this body quest first though."
Dog: "That's why some monsters don't tell you their old name," Dog tells their boy.
Shiba: "So. You wanna give the D2 guy a tempting vessel first?"
Shiba: "I could chisel something up sometime."
TheTale: "…That's not a bad plan."
Shinzou: "Don't worry, I'll give Shiba some kind of terrible nickname some day."
TheTale: "But we'd need to know what it hunts, right?"
TheTale: "I'm not willing to let you go sculpting after a sample-size of one."
Lucnephwyr: "Your sculptures -are- pretty powerful!"
TheTale: Alice strides proudly forth into the streets of the Centreville. It's unclear whether her aura's pushing the rabble back, or if they simply don't want to stand near someone leading a little rabble of weirdos.
Shiba laughs behind a hand. "Ohh, you ain't seen nothing yet, kid."
Shiba: "And yeah, just thinking long-term at least."
Shinzou: "It's good to have goals."
Shiba: "Also, Shinzou, I'll save you the strain: 'Dummy.'"
TheTale: Alice taps her forehead for a moment and leads the party up to the road to the Palace Quarter - at the gate, she stops and explains - "We're returning one of the Court's dead."
Dog‘ wags their tail at the guard!
Lucnephwyr waves!
Shinzou: "It can’t be a terrible nickname if you suggest it, that's not how terrible nicknames even work."
TheTale: "Who's this we?" "My we. And I mean, are you gonna hold up a priority delivery?" She leans across the divide and taps the guard on the forehead.
TheTale: "…Ugh, just stop holding us up."
TheTale: Alice whistles and leads the party through the checkpoint, into the Palace Quarter.
Shiba: "So that makes it the most terrible nickname, because it bucks normal convention."
Dog: "Your terrible nickname," Dog asides to Shiba, "is 'Inu'!"
Shiba picks up Dog and hurls him through a window. ))
Shiba not really. ))
Lucnephwyr goes "Hup-!" and follows Alice! My, that was a quick conversation.
Dog‘ resents being kept in a quantum state of thrown!!!
Dog` just continues onwards now that we’ve established it was an alternate universe Dog, though.
Shinzou: "You do that to cats, not dogs, Shiba. Come on."
TheTale: Alice flashes a cocky grin back at Luc. "See, I take care of crap."
Lucnephwyr: "I don't know much about you, but I figure you pretty much hit the ground running when you got here, huh?"
Shinzou: "Consider the alternative?"
Shiba: "Skips cutscenes, speedruns, mashes the 'X' button, gets to the win condition, stings and kills."
Shiba: "And Alice Zarin."
Shinzou: "Even I straightened up and shook the sand out of my eyes."
Shiba: "… and an add-on for the Genesis."
TheTale: Alice flexes her arm proudly at Shiba.
Dog: "That's nice, but I could never do it." Tailwag. "Meeting people is really fun!"
Lucnephwyr: "I'm the same way!"
Shinzou: "Shiba…." He looks at her over the edge of his glasses. "As a physician, I prescribe some calming chamomile tea." It's good to sass and walk at the same time!
TheTale: The Palace Quarter -
Lucnephwyr: "Some stories are just… the kind that have light fights, and large blocks of descriptive text!"
[OOC] Saylin: S&K hated Dragonfall, you heard it here first…
TheTale: It's the Palace, really. Just sections of it open to the public - it spirals impossibly out into the sky, holding onto the barest scrap of rock - its streets are open hallways lined with frozen waterways.
TheTale: A long, cold bridge leads out towards the Court of Wishes. Nobles dressed in heavy masks and wind-bitten fur-coats make the procession towards it in groups.
Shinzou prepares for some line-skippin'.
Lucnephwyr: "The weather sure took a drastic shift."
Dog: "Even in fur, it's kinda chilly!"
TheTale: Prospero's wind is sharp on the best of days.
TheTale: You know when a day has the scent of cold in it…?
Lucnephwyr tucks his wings in and reshuffles his student's coat tighter around himself.
Shiba bristles. "Y'know, it wasn't the best idea to choose a cold-blooded host."
TheTale: The Court of Wishes is a tremendous circular building - reminiscent of a colosseum, perhaps - that extends far, far down, resting upon the cliffs below.
Lucnephwyr: "Palace all the way up, Court all the way down!"
Lucnephwyr: "Is that a statement or just fun design?"
Dog‘ flicks their ears back as they look down at the court. "Wow…"
Shinzou: "Just gives you even more incentive, doesn’t it?"
Shinzou: "And, you know, Luc… I've always wondered that."
Shinzou: "Something something, cthonic resurrection rites."
Lucnephwyr: "Hmm…"
Lucnephwyr: "I guess… human souls are heavier? So they go into the ground?"
Lucnephwyr: "And that's why the Court is so low?"
TheTale: As the group enters the Court proper, there's a hysteric young man being hauled out from the audience, by two blue-cloaked, muscular agents of the Court.
TheTale: "God damn her, how can you listen to her? She's a… for god's sake, give me my father back!"
TheTale: "Judge's decisions hold within the moon son. Get going home."
TheTale: No matter what he says, the way he's holding the shaking youngster by his shoulder and arm belie any sort of kindness.
Dog‘ whines. "(Is he going to be okay..?)"
Lucnephwyr headtilts, and looks curiously up at Alice.
Shiba slith - ’walks' over to the Court agents and the boy. "Hey, uh."
Shinzou: "(…some day. When much time has passed.)"
TheTale: She speaks quietly: "(What the kid doesn't realize…)"
TheTale: The agent nods to Shiba - "Hey, we're busy here-" "Nah, I can take this one from here." The other agent hauls the boy off.
Shiba holds her hands up. "Hey now, just assisting in a drop-off. Not here for pickup."
TheTale: "(…Is everybody's got a reason to jump the queue.)"
TheTale: "Oh, somebody for us? From the tone…"
TheTale: "Not one of the usuals…"
Shinzou: "(I wonder how long it'll take him, after that, to realise that some are more equal than others?)"
Shiba: "I couldn't say."
Shiba: "Just keeping a promise."
Lucnephwyr: "Yeah, we sort of promised that we'd return her!"
TheTale: "That's what you do. Follow me, we'll bring her up to internals."
TheTale: The agent nods, and leads Shiba and company up one of the Court's back ways.
Lucnephwyr: "Okay!" He happily follows, his curiosity overtaking his humanempathy for the bit.
TheTale: Muffled, you can hear the audience gasp at one of the furrows in the prosecutor's eternal argument.
Dog‘ trots after their boy.
Shiba: "How’s Kline doing these days?"
TheTale: "She's on her A-game. She's taken out a lot of cases that we were real worried about."
Shiba: "What, like. Permanently?"
TheTale: The agent considers it.
TheTale: "Maybe. There's no defense attorney in the world that'll be willing to pick up the Rudha file again, which means for all purposes, we've seen the last of her."
Dog: "Kline…" Dog's ears tilt back on their head. "I'm glad she's still around."
TheTale: "Others, well… they'll be back."
Lucnephwyr: "What's… all this, now?"
TheTale: "Yeah, me too."
TheTale: "Oh, you one of those foreigners that came in town?"
Lucnephwyr peeks around the people as they move, trying to get a look towards the sounds of the proceedings.
Lucnephwyr: "Uh… sure! Just visiting, you know?"
TheTale: The thin windows of the outer halls have a bad view of the gallery. But you can see a bit of it, through the odd window: The enormous crowds, the wailing of certain sections at certain points…
Shiba: "I'm here from time to time."
Dog‘ wags their tail halfheartedly. "Travellers!"
TheTale: The wits being matched between the beast-woman, Kline, and whatever defense attorney is taking a certain case.
Shinzou: "Kline’s sure one-of-a-kind."
Dog‘ can’t see much from their spot so close to the floor, but they hop up to try and see, anyway.
TheTale: "Is it just 'cause she really believes in it…?" The agent shrugs, bringing the group up to the little office of the Court they call…
TheTale: …The Cup.
Shinzou: "Someone has to."
TheTale: The agent knocks on the door. "Got a meeting, somebody's brought our own back."
Dog: "I wonder if we'll have time to visit her," Dog wonders, before trotting off behind the others.
TheTale: "Send em in," comes a dry voice.
Lucnephwyr: "It'd be pretty cool, I think!"
Shiba heads in.
Lucnephwyr hops in!
Dog‘ does too!!
TheTale: The room is thick with the scent of liniment and smoke - the foul, medicinal smoke that roils out a little when the door is opened.
Shinzou seems like he’s used to that kind of smell, or at least, if it bothers him, he doesn't show it.
Dog‘ wrinkles their muzzle up! They’re not used to it!
Lucnephwyr , like the curious fool, takes a deep sniff because it's new and something he's voluntarily and involuntarily committing to memory- he snorts, a bit.
Shiba: "So I'll ask again. Who wants to sign for this package?"
TheTale: In a strange tent of netting, the top agent holds court within the cup - a heavy-shouldered, thick man with a bushy moustache and a black eyepatch.
TheTale: "I'll sign."
TheTale: He wears the blue robes of the agents, but his left arm and his left leg are swathed tightly - tied off like a tourniquet - in yellow cloth.
TheTale: The shape of the limbs beneath them are strange and wrong.
Shiba: "There's … not actually anything for you to sign."
Shiba steps aside, leaving the cocoon. "But yeah."
TheTale: "…I'm glad to have her back."
TheTale: "You're monsters, yes?"
Lucnephwyr: "Um…" And then he decides to answer the question this time.
Lucnephwyr: "…yes?"
Dog‘ wags their tail slowly, tilting their head.
TheTale: "…I see."
TheTale: "Well, we owe you one."
Shinzou: "In a manner of speaking."
Shiba smirks.
TheTale: "Yes."
Lucnephwyr: "We didn’t do it."
TheTale: "No, you don't strike me a strangler."
Dog: "I don't even have hands!"
TheTale: He smiles at the dog in a tired, grandfatherly way. "It was an easy guess."
TheTale: "Anyway, you didn't tremble when you saw me. Even my agents need training to get that out of them."
Shiba: "We've legit seen worse, what can I say."
TheTale: "They think working for the Court means living forever, and living young at that. That's not quite true."
TheTale: "…But I digress. Sebastian Groodmeier, the Cup himself. Nice to meet you."
Lucnephwyr: "Nice to meet you!" He extends a clawed hand. "I'm Lucnephwyr!"
Dog: "Hi! I'm a Dog!"
Shiba: "Shiba. Give Kline my regards."
Shiba: "Unless we run into her again."
Shinzou doesn't introduce himself. Perhaps, being humans, they've met already?
Lucnephwyr: "I'm afraid I don't know of the title 'the Cup,' though."
TheTale: "There's two ways to drink the Water of Wishes."
TheTale: "…You know, for humans, who need it, and all."
Lucnephwyr: "Right."
TheTale: "You can be standing under it with your mouth open when it falls on you…"
TheTale: "Or you can use a Cup."
TheTale: "I'm the Cup."
Shiba: "I'm still not clear on the logistics of the second option."
Lucnephwyr: "So… do you have any on you right now?"
Shiba: "Paint me a picture."
TheTale: He reaches out with a poker and pokes at one of the smoking censers that fill his room, setting the fire in it alive once more. "Hmm…"
TheTale: "When someone dies, the Palace of Life says…"
TheTale: "You, we'll take care of you, we'll bring you eternal life."
TheTale: "And then you get in line."
TheTale: "…Some eon later, when peace has finally come, they'll get to you, and you'll be back, and everything will be perfect."
TheTale: "But the water flows at a trickle. More are going into the vaults than are coming out."
TheTale: "What order people are being brought in matters. It matters a lot."
Dog: "… how long is the line?"
TheTale: "The exact number is not to leave this room."
Lucnephwyr nods, really curious now.
Dog‘ pads the ground with their front paws. "Okay."
TheTale: "Fifteen thousand six hundred and sixty four, as of yesterday."
TheTale: "Increasing since."
Lucnephwyr: "Wooooow."
Lucnephwyr: "That’s a lot of backlog."
TheTale: "Yes."
TheTale: "And there are some… they say…"
TheTale: "We can't spare her to the vaults."
TheTale: "He was an innocent, he didn't deserve to die."
TheTale: "They say… it should have been someone else."
Shiba: "Less than I thought."
Dog: "That sounds awful…"
TheTale: "Through me, through my institution, one can argue that they know someone who, more than the fifteen-thousand other souls they share the Vaults with, should be alive and well."
TheTale: "Some of them have gotten very good at it. They're very noble souls."
TheTale: "They die a lot."
Lucnephwyr: "You think they'd die less after a while? And get better at living?"
Dog: "Some of them must be mothers," Dog muses, sadly. "Or a mother's child…"
Lucnephwyr thinks a bit. "No… no, some monsters are kinda the same, if not worse."
TheTale: "Most are."
Shiba: "Heheheh."
Shinzou: "The doctors have a saying, about Death getting angry that his prey was stolen."
Lucnephwyr thinks a bit harder. He hasn't -heard- of any serial comedy shorts where the same main character kept dying at the end and the next one began with them reviving… but…
Lucnephwyr: "So… how many come back on any given day?"
Shiba: "How slow's the spigot, if we know how fast the sink is?"
TheTale: "One a day."
Lucnephwyr: "!"
Lucnephwyr: "Wow. I saw more dead than that easily just this morning," he says, casually, in that innocent way.
Dog: "That's not many people a day," Dog says.
TheTale: "It is not."
Shinzou: "And now you know why I work so hard to save lives!"
TheTale: "Dryad's Day and every second Jinn's Day, however, are tributed to the Service."
Lucnephwyr gives Shinzou an appreciative pat!
TheTale: "However, the flow used to be faster."
TheTale: "At the beginning of the war, we were managing ten or eleven daily."
Dog: "… that makes sense."
Shinzou tilts his head at Dog. "Oh?"
Shiba scowls at the mention of the Service. And especially that those days are theirs -
Dog: "Oh - nothing! So, then it slowed down, right?"
Shinzou says, a little bitterly: "You'd think ten plus however many die in fighting lives a day would be a compelling argument for peace."
Shiba: "Sunk cost fallacy."
TheTale: "We are not capable of suing for peace."
Shinzou: "The prince, huh?"
TheTale: "The Prince."
Lucnephwyr: "The -prince-!"
TheTale: "…One of yours for one of ours would be an even trade, wouldn't it?"
TheTale: "He's in the depths of the Vault. The fiends don't seem to be able to see him."
Lucnephwyr: "What!"
TheTale: "What you do with this knowledge is up to you. I have no interest in informing the Palace."
Dog: "So he's lost, huh..?"
Lucnephwyr: "You don't buy it either, huh?"
Shiba: "Could be in hiding."
Shinzou: "…that's interesting."
TheTale: "It is."
TheTale: "Shinzou."
TheTale: "I have much to do before yours see me at Farshore."
TheTale: "I hope the robes will look as good on me as they do on you."
Shinzou smiles thinly. "We'll be ready for you when you're ready for us."
TheTale: He looks down at his arm and frowns.
Shiba glances over at Alice.
Lucnephwyr: "There isn't really a trade involved, only the effects of a tragedy."
Lucnephwyr: "There's something else going on and we're gonna figure out what!"
Lucnephwyr: "And -actually- stop the war!!"
Shiba: "And save cocoon!"
Lucnephwyr: "No we destroyed cocoon it had the D2 monster in it!"
Shiba taps the literal cocoon with her staff. "Oh. Wait, we did that part at least."
Lucnephwyr puts on his best 'u get it' 'i get it' face
Shinzou sighs dramatically.
TheTale: Alice slipped away at some point. And she didn't even bother to describe it!
Dog‘ looks from Shiba to the cocoon. Tilts head.
Lucnephwyr: "Anything special we need to do to get into the Vault?"
Lucnephwyr: "Do we get robes?"
Lucnephwyr: "Visitor’s badge?"
Lucnephwyr: "Breaking and entering?"
Shinzou: "I'll aim for Alice's 'ask nicely' trick and see how far it gets us…?"
Shinzou: "But, badges would be nice."
TheTale: He snorts a little and writes out a quick message on a slip of paper. He picks it up with a pair of tongs, waves it through the smoke to decontaminate it, and slides it under the netting.
TheTale: "permit passage to the vaults - groodmeier"
Dog‘ tilts their head at the piece of paper, now. "A permission slip? Thanks!"
Lucnephwyr: "Thank you Mr. Cup!" He bows appreciatively!
Shiba: "You’re very trusting."
Lucnephwyr: "If there's anything else you'd like us to keep an eye out for in general, just let us know!"
Dog: "I'm very good at finding bones and slippers and balls!"
TheTale: "A favor deserves a favor."
TheTale: "Don't think anything of it beyond that. We're enemies, after all."
Lucnephwyr: "We're only enemies as it is written. But we can change that."
Lucnephwyr: "We're doing so right now!"
Dog: "I don't want to be enemies with you," Dog offers, wagging their tail.
Shinzou: "We can't expect the lines in the sand to be scuffed away -that- quickly." He pats Luc on the shoulder. "But this is a good start."
Shiba: "Hell. We were repaying the girl a favor."
Lucnephwyr: "Yeah it'll probably take a few days."
Lucnephwyr: "Maybe less than nine. Hopefully less. Optimally less!"
Dog: "If our hearts are good for anything, it should be for something like peace, right?"
TheTale: "Well, get moving."
TheTale: "There's a lot of people after that kid."
Shinzou stands, bows gracefully.
Lucnephwyr: "Okay! It was nice meeting you!"
Dog` wags their tail. "See you later!"
Lucnephwyr turns about and ambles out the door.
Shinzou rummages around in his sleeve for a few minutes as they head vaultwards, then finds, unwraps, gets on his haunches, and gives Dog a really, really nice dog treat. That he just sort of… had?
Dog` wags their tail harder and noms up the treat! "Thanks!"
Shiba heads out, lost in thought.
TheTale: The staircase down to the Vaults.
Lucnephwyr carefully navigates the stairs, on downward with measured steps and a walking stick.
TheTale: A library of faded lives…

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