Tom D02s12

TheTale: Day Two - Night.
TheTale: The two groups that passed through the Pure of Heart… they didn't really chat, did they?
Lucnephwyr chatted and shared monster candies! The latter makes up for the former in spades.
Shiba: A little! Though in an unofficial capacity.
Lucnephwyr replenishes their [Escape Ropes] from Alice's stash before they vacate the cafe.
Teakwood totally chatted! Just because the narrative wasn't paying attention doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just think how much information we all shared amongst ourselves, doesn't it give you a little chill? Anyways.
[OOC] Teakwood: FUCK
Shinzou totally chatted! Just because the narrative wasn't paying attention doesn't mean it didn't happen. Just think how much information we all shared amongst ourselves, doesn't it give you a little chill? Anyways.
[OOC] Shinzou: shut up.
Dog‘ made friends with the humans! Or, like, chilly acquaintances in Maria’s case, but still.
Lucnephwyr: "Okay, everyone got a second wind?"
Lucnephwyr: "Time's a wastin'!"
Dog: "Let's get going!" Bark!
TheTale: Time's a wasting.
Shiba lazily follows behind the others.
TheTale: Fires are lit outside. Crowds with nowhere to go huddle around them, cooking scavenged meat.
TheTale: A night wind blows - some of the boards on the buildings creak.
Lucnephwyr: "Let's see if we can't call in for a -little- more support from the travellers."
Dog‘ trots alongside the Prince! They’re his guard dog, after all!
Shinzou is just gonna follow Luc! Or- lead the way, really, since this is his home turf, so to speak. But he'll… lead in the direction Luc's pointing…? Navigating cities sure is complicated.
TheTale: Near the north gate: The caravan.
Lucnephwyr points with a claw, puffs out his chest, and trundles down the way. Pretty spry for a group that almost died.
TheTale: Wagons outlaid in a tight semi-circle, goods piled up around them.
TheTale: They're strange-looking - some of them neither really human, nor monster.
TheTale: It's the doctor in the gold coat who comes out to greet you.
TheTale: "Ah, you lot." A smile.
TheTale: "Heard you got your heads handed to you."
Lucnephwyr: "Dr. Orovexi, I presume."
Lucnephwyr smiles. "Yup!"
Shiba: "It's what happens when you meddle in affairs."
Lucnephwyr: "Fortunately we got them back on."
Dog‘ sniff sniffs, wags tail cautiously.
Shinzou: "I wouldn’t go that far. One of us had enough sense to get us out heads entirely intact." He thumb-points at Luc.
Lucnephwyr: "In any case, we have an interesting… case!"
Lucnephwyr: "The King of Prospero is dead, but he isn't keeping as a body would."
TheTale: "A curious decay, yes?"
Lucnephwyr: "He's… smudged? Off? Like if you took the gangster saying 'rub this guy out' and then they sort of did, literally."
TheTale: "Come, come, come with me." He nods to one of the caravaneers, assuring them that things are utterly normal.
Lucnephwyr ambles after.
TheTale: A tiny medicine-den in his wagon.
Dog‘ flicks their ears back, but they trot along anyway.
TheTale: Alchemic apparati crowd out living space.
TheTale: "That’s the plague of humanity."
TheTale: "Before death, atrophy. There simply isn't enough information in the system to build a life on."
TheTale: "You're a fellow sage, yes? I trust you follow."
Lucnephwyr: "I'm keeping up."
TheTale: "It's believed to be a contagion, which is why so many of this city have shut themselves away."
Lucnephwyr: "Have all that succumed to the plague ended up half-constructed?"
Shiba: "What, the king's deal is the same thing as the dust plague?"
TheTale: "Yes, that's exactly it: The body decays to dust."
TheTale: "A perfect halving is… perhaps unnaturally poetic. Usually it goes in fits and starts. They are seldom kept alive long enough to decay that far, you see."
Lucnephwyr: "It seems that replacing the physical vessel entirely won't be a solution, then."
Dog‘ whines, tucks their tail between their legs. That sounds really terrible.
TheTale: "Indeed. The people of this world have these flaws written into their very being."
TheTale: "The humans are its natural rabbits, the monsters, its fated wolves."
Lucnephwyr: "Reconsiling the two on a physical level… well, pretty sure the monsters are used to that kind of thing, but."
Lucnephwyr: "There’ll be even more work to do after the war, then."
Lucnephwyr: "Unless… somehow, the dust plague consumes the human population before eight days go by."
Lucnephwyr 's not staring at any one thing, instead focused on something far away.
Dog: "We can't let that happen!"
Lucnephwyr: "(Which is… also not impossible, but through what vector…)"
Shinzou: "(I have some ideas.)"
Lucnephwyr snaps out of it.
Lucnephwyr: "Hm?! Oh?"
TheTale: "I suspect, quite frankly, that it's a failsafe."
TheTale: "That whatever the demon of this world plans…"
TheTale: "…Is worse than a mere withering."
TheTale: "So, within the scale of our little Decameron, we must needs not fear that particular evil."
Shiba: "Wonder if we got a preview."
Shinzou: "Do you suppose a fiendish form could contain a human soul? -anyways, we and ours have plans for the demon as well."
TheTale: "A fiendish shell could absolutely house a human soul."
TheTale: "I understand that it's one of the most popular applications of the Engines, in fact."
TheTale: "But." The aged doctor taps his nose.
TheTale: "I think, just this once, I have decided not to leaping to solving all my problems with a roaring world-contraption of tortured brass."
Lucnephwyr: "It's a solution that redefines 'human.'"
Lucnephwyr: "Like angel-slaying, I would not take it to be my first answer."
Dog: "Just this once…?" Dog huffs, which is more like a 'ruff' sort of sound.
Shiba: "Yeah, you're just up to causing them, instead."
Shiba: "Hey, Dog. He means different stories on different worlds. Part of the history lesson I owe ya."
Dog: "Okay, okay."
Shinzou chuckles. "Leave the inadvisable mad science to Luc and I, this time. You're off the hook."
TheTale: He smiles impishly as only an old man can at Shiba. "Ah, I opt for temperance just this once, and I'll never hear the end of it."
Lucnephwyr gives the doctor a comforting pat on the shin.
Lucnephwyr: "But uh, anyway…"
Lucnephwyr: "I sure wasn't aware that human soul binding was actually a thing that happened, with regards to fiends."
Shiba: "Nah. It's not just you. Everything we touch just kind of gets ruined, doesn't it?"
Shiba: "If not you, would have been someone else."
Lucnephwyr: "I could get -published- if I had some proof of that."
Shinzou eyeglints at Luc and tries to pretend he didn't.
Shinzou adjusts glasses, etc.
TheTale: "Generally, it's done the other way around - a fiend wrapped around a human."
TheTale: "Sorcery. A means of getting power, where power is hard to find."
Lucnephwyr directly stares at Shinzou. Points two claws at his own eyes, then points at the human.
TheTale: "This world flows with magic, but there have been them where the building of an engine was the only way to attain it."
Lucnephwyr: "So it can and has."
Lucnephwyr: "Here, though, it either hasn't or…."
Lucnephwyr trails off.
Lucnephwyr: "Well, anyway."
Shiba: "Power in the same sense as instruments and gems, in those other worlds you speak of?"
Lucnephwyr: "Sorry it didn't really seem like we had much to add to what you knew, doctor. Your knowledge is greatly appreciated, though."
Dog: "(I'm just a dog, so I don't know much about science.)"
Shinzou: "Anyways, was there anything else?"
Shiba: "Where were you going with the sticking a human in a fiendish vessel thing?"
TheTale: "In the same sense."
TheTale: "Perhaps that's all."
Shiba: "Cure the plague by sticking the sick into them?"
Shinzou: "Mm, yes."
Shinzou: "Or at least, the worst of the victims, if, as I hope, there'll be a way in the future to cure it in its current subjects."
Shiba: "Yeah, yeah."
Shiba: "Anyhow. Two outta three of those have to do with spirits. Unless."
Shinzou: "Alternately, I've always wanted to try being a gleaming, whirling orrery."
Shinzou: "You'll never know."
Shiba: "You'd get along great with Nunuzac."
Shiba snickers. "And I guess, given the role I've played so far in this world, so would I."
Lucnephwyr: "It'd… be interesting to reincarnate into a fiend shell, maybe, possibly, perhaps!" His wings flap excitedly, claws tapping on each other.
Dog: "How would it be different to other reincarnations for us..?"
TheTale: The doctor smiles.
Lucnephwyr: "It… wouldn't, I don't think?"
Lucnephwyr: "But it'd be all. Metaly and brassy!"
Lucnephwyr: "And maybe you'd fly by something that wasn't wings?"
Lucnephwyr: "No wait that happens already…"
Lucnephwyr: "Probably more the metal bits then. Not many do metal sculptures!"
Dog: "I see!" Tailwag.
Shinzou glances at Luc briefly and then looks away, trying not to smile and failing abjectly.
TheTale: "Feet of lead and wings of tin… I believe."
Shiba: "I much prefer stone, still."
Shinzou: "You are a master at sculpture, it's true. And I don't say that lightly."
Shiba: "Mm."
Lucnephwyr: "Biotechnological engineering. Brass cell theory. Soul marrow. Sculpture aethetic and the natural form as made by the primordial soup."
Shiba: "So hey, Doc."
TheTale: "Yes?"
Shiba: "Fiend vessels sound like a good way to treat symptoms, but not so much for the root cause."
Shinzou: "Now you're just trying to distract me, Luc."
Shiba jerks a thumb at Raro. "How do we reverse what this guy did? And furthermore - " she points at Orom " - what you did?"
TheTale: He's just tagging along, is he…? I suppose he has nothing better to do.
Lucnephwyr‘ grins conspiratorially at Shinzou.
Dog: We established this at the start!!
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: what else is he going to do, hang around with alice?
[OOC] Lucnephwyr: actually that’d be funny, but
[OOC] Dog: that would be a disaster
TheTale: "Exterminating D2 is likely the first step."
TheTale: "That demon is my responsibility."
TheTale: "I told the other set, but I am prepared to pick up arms for the first time in response."
Dog‘ tilts their head. "Your responsibility?"
Shiba folds her arms. "These two don’t listen to the 'waters' as much. You should explain."
Lucnephwyr‘ grins. "For once, I did."
Shiba lightly taps Dog on the shoulders with her tail. "Alright, well, the dog still plays dumb."
Shiba: "Yeah, I’m calling your bluff."
TheTale: "Many, many years ago, in the mists of time, I visited this world."
Dog: "H- hey!"
TheTale: "I taught two with powers such as yours to become stewards of the world."
TheTale: "…They did not."
TheTale: Raro, behind Shiba, frowns.
Dog‘ looks up at Raro. Sniff sniff. Returns their attention to the Doctor.
Shinzou: "Well, there’s still time. I wouldn't write anyone off yet, if I were you."
Dog: "Yeah, the world's not doomed yet!"
Lucnephwyr: "Yup, we're working to repair all that."
Shiba: "Would they have done the same even without your teachings?"
Lucnephwyr: "Not neccessarily reversing- the only way we can go is forward."
Lucnephwyr: "But we'll see how it goes."
TheTale: "It's possible. But a teacher must take certain responsibility for their students."
TheTale: "If only the responsibility of levying a failing grade."
Shiba: "'Only?'"
Shiba: "You've got a lot more to repay than that, I think."
TheTale: "Hehe."
Shiba: "I know what I'm doing to make amends, at least."
Shiba glances at the others. "Where to next?"
Lucnephwyr: "Well,"
Lucnephwyr: "We've gotta restock our supplies, so…" He looks up at Shinzou. "The monastery?"
Shinzou nods!
Shiba: "I actually have something I want to see the Services about. I could do that on my own, though."
Shinzou leads the group in the direction of the monastery. It's a bit of a hike, even if you know the shortcuts through the city!
Dog‘ trots on after Shinzou!
Lucnephwyr` follows!
Shiba follows, as well.
TheTale: You… kind of have to sneak in, really. The monastery juts far out from the upper levels of the city, sitting on a distant spire island. The waves crash on the rocks below, the bridge leading there is curved and strange.
Shinzou sneaks in, then. It’s almost certainly not the first time, and he knows exactly which rocks are the trick ones, when you have to be careful and when you should stride forward confidently.
TheTale: Mmhm.
TheTale: Little alleyways only plague victims use. It's not hard to get into the upper city, moving among servants and what-not. The gates aren't meant for them, they have work to do.
TheTale: …And then… the long, lonely walk to the Monastery at Farshore.
Dog‘ is very small, which helps!
Lucnephwyr: "They sure are- huff- remote!"
TheTale: I mean, it’s not called the Monastery at Closeshore.
Dog‘ is still very small, which doesn’t help with the walking part. :(
Shinzou keeps looking out into the distance, and when he finally sees the Monastery - something in him unwinds, a little. "Something… about… the difficulty of the journey lending weight and meaning… or just they don't like magazine salespeople."
Dog: "I'm… I'm sure it's not… too much further….."
Shinzou: "I've never… quite been sure."
TheTale: A quiet bell tolls as you enter under the arch of the monastery.
Shiba probably has to tiptoe even more carefully around the trick rocks. And by 'tiptoe' I mean 'awkwardly move parts of her lower body to stagger out what touches ground and what doesn't.'
TheTale: A mok greets you.
TheTale: Monk.
TheTale: "Shinzou. You're back."
TheTale: "Should I wake the abbot?"
Shinzou looks uncertain for a moment, but then nods. "Probably, yes."
TheTale: She holds the door open, swishing through the halls in her blue robes. Prayer-candles light up as she walks past them - this is a holy place.
Shinzou bows his head slightly and walks silently through the hall. It's good to be home. He gestures, slightly, with his hand - what passes for a tour guide's introduction, for his friends, in one solemn gesture.
Dog‘ lowers their head as they trot behind Shinzou!
Lucnephwyr: "(Oooh.)" He shuffles through, head swishing this way and that, taking in the sights… the childlike awe is overtaking reverence.
TheTale: Three short tolls of the bell. Two long tolls.
TheTale: You’re led into the Crying Garden - barren sand, a shattered religious symbol half-embedded in it, icy water flowing down the walls.
TheTale: A strange place of contemplation.
TheTale: The abbot, Soenheim, soon meets you: White and blue robes, glass eyes.
TheTale: "Shinzou! With some of our kin across the fold, too."
TheTale: "You've been well, I trust?"
TheTale: He sits on a little wooden board, laid atop the sands. There are others.
TheTale: It's stony, rough sand - carried up from the bitter beaches far below.
Dog‘ wags their tail a few times, but they’re keeping their excitement under wraps in a place like this.
Shinzou seems… in his element, here, so to speak - not quite as frayed-at-the-edges as he was in the city. He bows to his abbot. "Indeed, and I have. I'd like you to meet my friends- Lucnephwyr, Shiba, Dog."
Shinzou waits for the subtle tilt of the head, then kneel-sits on one of the wooden boards, arranging himself carefully.
Lucnephwyr‘ hops forward a little. "Hi! You can call me Luc! Or Neph, or Wyr! Most opt for ’Luc.'"
Dog‘ wags their tail some more! "Hi! I’m Dog!"
Shiba: "Just along for the ride right now. But hi."
Shinzou: "Still a friend." He smiles.
TheTale: "It is a pleasure to meet you: Lucnephwyr, Shiba, Dog."
TheTale: "I'm the abbot, Soenheim, of the monastery here."
Lucnephwyr: "Pleased to meet you!"
Shinzou: "Father. My friends and I… are currently working to repair the world. You've heard the tremors at least as much as I have, I assume."
TheTale: He laughs, a little. "Are they doing a good job?"
TheTale: "The door to my chamber still creaks, you see."
TheTale: "And I suspect it will snow dreadfully tomorrow…"
Lucnephwyr: "Boy, I hope not…"
Shinzou: "So far, I'd say so. I think we can hold out against winter and conflagration for a little while longer, but…"
Shinzou: "…there aren't many, on this side, who'd be willing to supply kin from the other side."
TheTale: "Ahhh! You're hungry, and hurt, and scared…"
TheTale: "You need medicine. And weapons."
Shiba: "Got any good reading material?"
TheTale: "You know, books all seem more or less the same to me these days."
Shinzou: "And there I was expecting Luc to ask that one."
Lucnephwyr‘ giggles!
Shinzou: "…but, yes."
TheTale: "Well, what are you going to repair next…?"
TheTale: "I suspect it’s not my bedroom door."
Lucnephwyr: "Ending the war, for one."
Shinzou: "…we're going to bring down Gardenglad. As a first step towards- yes."
Lucnephwyr: "Aaaaaaaaand then probably ridding the world of an unseen but pervasive entity that seeks to bring about its destruction in eight days."
Dog: "But after that, we can come and fix your door!"
Shinzou: "The others untangle the knots from other angles."
Lucnephwyr: "Theeeeeeeen repairing the genetic code of humans and monsters in a way that promotes life."
TheTale: "Well, you can start by killing that bastard."
Dog: "(… but I'm just a dog, so I don't know how much help I'll be!)"
[OOC] TheTale: The Monastery at Farshore will supply you: 9B.
TheTale: "You'll always have a home here, you know."
TheTale: "You and whatever runaways end up."
Shiba: "Look, long as it's got a spine and eldritch stacks of magic potency, I'm golden."
TheTale: "That we can do."
Dog: "Do you have sticks? I like sticks."
Shinzou: "Thank you, Father."
Shiba looks down at Dog, then just … hands him her staff.
Shiba: "Will that do?"
Dog‘ tries to bite the staff. But it’s a Shiba-sized staff, and they end up just sort of gnawing on it.
Lucnephwyr: "I… am mostly okay! I'll just sort through the consumables."
TheTale: "It, of course, isn't much."
TheTale: "We do mostly live on scraps and leavings, here."
Lucnephwyr: "Any little bit helps. We're thankful for it!"
Lucnephwyr: "(Plus, Sycorax is a really long jog away…)"
Shinzou: "And yet, it always seems to be what was needed."
TheTale: "Hm, hm. You've grown up well on it at least, Shinzou."
Dog: "Yeah," Dog says, trying to drag around the oversized staff, "Thanks!!"
Dog‘ finally invokes a bit of dog magic to break the staff up, and grasps one of the more manageable pieces in their mouth, triumphant.
Shinzou actually even blushes a little. "…I’ll live up to that."
TheTale: The abbot nods. He strokes his beard, a little. "You'll certainly have to."
Shinzou: "Tomorrow ought to be a busy day."
TheTale: "Will you be needing lodgings with us?"
Shiba lightly claps for Dog.
Shiba: "It's kind of a long walk back, isn't it?"
TheTale: "Our bell-tollers have been slacking off mightily without the challenge of waking you."
TheTale: "And yes, so it is."
Shiba: "Don't think we really have time to spare, though."
Shinzou: "Sadly, no rest for us yet."
Shinzou: "I appreciate the offer, though."
Lucnephwyr: "There's ooooooone last stop we have to make, at least before bedding down. Thank you for the offer, though!"
Dog‘ tailwags!! They tuck their newly Dog-sized stick into their bandana, and look up at the others. "Even though it’s getting late… we have more to do!"
TheTale: "Burning the midnight oil, is it?"
TheTale: "Well, take what you need and good luck out there, then."
Shinzou stands, and bows again. "Stay safe. And thank you."
Lucnephwyr: "Take care over here, too!"
Dog: "I hope your creaky door doesn't bother you too much!"
Shiba: "Appreciate it."
Lucnephwyr‘ makes a note to somehow get some care packages alllllllllllllll the way out here. It’ll be a logistical… challenge!
Shiba: "Viglum and fiends, is it?"
Lucnephwyr: "The witching hour!"
Lucnephwyr: "And the fiendish ground!"
Lucnephwyr: "You really sure the… director? Would be sympathetic to our cause, though?"
Shinzou: "You wouldn't expect as much, but… you'd be surprised!"
Dog: "I think it's worth trying to make friends!"
Lucnephwyr: "Well… okay! I trust you."
Shinzou leads them allllllll the way back to the city, and then another exciting game of sneak-through-alleys, and then walking brazenly across a public square…
TheTale: And then…
TheTale: The Institute.
Dog‘ is a very tired dog by the end of all that! … at least dogs aren’t too weird!
TheTale: Its doors await you.
Shinzou knocks in a specific pattern, and enters.
Dog‘ waits for someone else to open the door because, you know, Prospero, dogs don’t get up on their hind legs and open doors. In they go!
TheTale: A sweet, floral wind blows as the doors are opened, and they slam shut behind you -
TheTale: …Not in a 'locking' way, of course.
TheTale: Institute of Fiendology - Center Street.
TheTale: The sky overhead is water-colored painted, in cheery blue inset with pinpricks of glowing light, the constellations between them diffusing, waxing and waning, little canals of energy runng between them.
TheTale: Little houses and shops line the street, their windowsills snow-laden, their eaves hanging with rainbow-colored lights.
TheTale: The snow piling on the brick road feels more like cotton-powder than anything else - despite the scenery and the brisk wind, it isn't actually cold, in here.
TheTale: The bushes that line the boulevard, the occasional tree - they're blossoming and snow-covered both.
Lucnephwyr‘ inhales deeply… "(Oh my!)"
Dog: "Whoa…"
Shiba: "Ughhhh."
Shinzou glances up, and around. Here, too, he seems in his element, and he strides down the hall- I’m sorry, the street. He glances at the tableau of winter, and laughs, just a little. "Best of both worlds? They've certainly done some redecorating since last I've been here."
Lucnephwyr: "What a strange construction!"
Lucnephwyr: "Though I guess it's like… a dollhouse, in a way?"
Dog: "It's a little bizarre!"
TheTale: Judging from the way the center square was done up, it seems like there was a wedding here. They haven't quite cleaned up, though there's a scuttling broom-crab fiend slowly draining the plaza of confetti.
Shinzou: "That is the aesthetic around here. Which I myself contributed to, once or twice, I'm sorry to admit." That last mostly jokingly, and to Shiba.
Lucnephwyr‘ reaches down and scoops up a bit of the ’snow,' sniffing it a bit- being careful not to inhale.
Shinzou: "Hmm…"
Shiba: "It's gaudy."
Dog‘ snuffles. What does it smell like?
TheTale: …Doesn’t really smell like anything.
TheTale: But it doesn't melt.
Shinzou glances around. Where'd they put the… aha! He starts wandering off in what seems like a random direction, pauses, gestures for the others to come. Once they're done admiring fake snow, that is.
Lucnephwyr: "Hm? Oh-!"
Lucnephwyr‘ ambles after Shinzou.
Dog` trots off after Shinzou!
Lucnephwyr: "It sure is one big welcoming room!"
TheTale: Eventually:
TheTale: Laboratory One, under the fiend engine.
TheTale: The blue light of it casts weirdly shaped shadows over the machineries and apparati.
Shinzou is looking for one… specific door… and almost knocks on another door, shakes his head, goes through the one right next to it, seemingly on a whim… and leads them deeper in.
Shinzou takes a good long look at the Engine, getting that sorta itchy-fingers feeling, but, no.
TheTale: Arteqia, the Engine’s chief engineer, is working late - the orca-smooth tremendous fiend Dromongatzu locked into a machine by her side.
TheTale: (There's another researcher here, too, encased in orichalcum, eyes lidded, glowing faintly.)
TheTale: "S." She says, adjusting a dial.
TheTale: "Done your vacation?"
Shinzou waves, good-naturedly, framed in the door. "Good evening, Director."
Shinzou: "In a manner of speaking. We were barking up the wrong tree."
Shinzou: "Almost literally."
Dog‘ barks!
TheTale: "Monsters. Don’t make me summon security. Not that I think you would." She runs a reassuring hand over Dromongatzu's thigh, before loosening a valve, setting an intubation flowing.
Shiba: "That obvious, huh?"
Shinzou: "They're with me. I'm still predictable." He wanders in, staying sufficiently far away from any of the consoles. "I need… to ask a bit of an odd favour."
Lucnephwyr‘ waves a little!
TheTale: "You’re capable of providing for your needs. It's your wants that you're after. What is it?"
Dog‘ wags their tail a few times, in lieu of literally waving.
Shinzou: "I finally figured out how to end the war. Turns out we were wrong about a number of our underlying assumptions. Had a few hypotheses shattered in the past few years slash days take your pick."
Shinzou: "…I want the Antitoxin."
TheTale: Suspended in a harness, Dromongatzu is twice the size of a person - a humanoid fiend with orca-smooth skin and six long, fin-like tendrils sprouting from her back. She’s million-teethed, in many rows.
TheTale: "You mean the Antitoxin that you informed me, in no specific terms, was not to exist, and was to become an NP-hard impossibility, yes?"
TheTale: "That was the entire purpose of the design."
Shinzou: "Yeah, well, there's a backdoor."
TheTale: "There is."
TheTale: "I'm only asking you to admit that I was right."
Shinzou: "Director, in as long as I've known you and disagreed with you on something, have you actually, actually-for-serious been wrong -once-?"
Shinzou whoofs. Certainly wouldn't have admitted -that- before the stay in the monastery.
TheTale: "I thought you should have stayed." she says, resting a hand on the fiend's belly.
Shinzou closes his eyes. "…I think we both knew I'd be back one way or the other, so I'll still give you that one."
TheTale: "Alam-Pampichest, the Zero-th Day, The Garden-Glad."
TheTale: "No compromise to sentiment or aesthetic."
TheTale: "A personality, a soul, tuned to only one purpose, and perfect in it."
TheTale: "The Kingdom would have had us make a million fiends such as it."
TheTale: "I have managed to maintain our funding, and our experiment, and our hopes, by making only one."
TheTale: "It - he - is perhaps the only reason that the monsters are not now at our door, burning our homes, devouring our hearts."
TheTale: "Certainly, our worst and most foolish creation."
Shinzou -winces-. More than once.
Shinzou: "He was never going to win the war. Just drag us all down in flames. You were right about that, too."
TheTale: "Yes. But the flames are going to burn a little hotter now, S."
Shiba: "He bought you time."
Shiba: "For the real cavalry to show up."
TheTale: "Come here, then."
Shiba gives the engineer a wink.
Shinzou: "I'm no longer interested in winning the war. I want to /end/ the war. The difference seemed academic at one point."
TheTale: "You've certainly found one way."
TheTale: "S et al, come here."
Shinzou walks over, maybe more solemnly than at the Monastery.
TheTale: "D, I'm going to delay our current work. S needs something from you. That thing I prepared long ago."
TheTale: "That's okay, right…?" Her voice is lower, more compassionate.
TheTale: Dromongatzu is…
TheTale: …very anaesthetized.
Lucnephwyr‘ carefully walks over.
Dog` trots over, ears flicked downward.
TheTale: There’s a vague, slurred coo of assent.
TheTale: "Form a line."
Shinzou looks up, apologetic, subdued. Like there's things he'd like to say to her, too, but can't. Gets in line.
Lucnephwyr‘ gets in line… but can’t help but look up at the great fiend. He manages to keep his questions in check.
Dog‘ looks from Shinzou to the researcher, and gets in line beside their boy.
Shiba stands on the other side of Luc, resting her elbow on his head.
Lucnephwyr` reaches up and pats Shiba’s elbow, and then… lightly clings on?
TheTale: Arteqia impales Dromongatzu with a syringe, just to the right of her right breast. She extracts a large measure of blood, which she syringes out into a dish - draws out the ink from it, leaving only a faint blue serum.
TheTale: She injects it into Shinzou first, quickly, mercilessly.
TheTale: "Of course, A's countermeasures are perfect."
TheTale: "He will adapt."
TheTale: "He will defeat this."
TheTale: She's gentler when injecting it into Luc and the dog, kneeling down, careful.
TheTale: Shiba… gets a middle ground.
Lucnephwyr‘ keeps a brave face!
Shinzou nods, gritting his teeth. "I know we’ll have to defeat him first."
Dog‘ whimpers, but quietly.
TheTale: "Yes."
Shiba: "Bedside manner could use some work."
TheTale: "D hasn’t complained."
Lucnephwyr: "Thank you, ma'am."
Dog: "Thanks," says the Dog.
[OOC] TheTale: Activate Monolithos Response to cure a fiend-caused condition. The Gardenglad will develop antiantibodies after your third use of this ability, defeating its effectiveness.
[OOC] TheTale: As a 'Quick', Anytime.
Shinzou: "Thank you, Director."
TheTale: "You're thanking the wrong person."
Lucnephwyr: "She… they…" He seems to be fumbling for the start of a question.
Shinzou closes his eyes again, looks up. "(I know.)" Beat, almost falter, doesn't. "Thank you, Dromongatzu. I- we're going to make things right."
TheTale: A vague, slurred noise.
TheTale: "You'd better."
Dog‘ wags their tail at the orca-person! "Thank you, Dromongatzu!"
TheTale: "We were preparing to repopulate the world, you know."
Shiba: "Winter serves to make way for spring, yes?"
Shiba: "Clear the old life out to make way for the new."
Shinzou: "Hold off on that until we’re sure it's not going to end in a week and change, but I think we've got time." Pause. "…and you may want to confer with Luc, here. He's got ideas wilder than anything I ever said when I came blustering in."
Lucnephwyr‘ ’s eyes widen, and he finds his traction. "Oh, um, well-" Or not.
TheTale: "He's not my type."
TheTale: "Furthermore," she raises a finger: "We are married."
Lucnephwyr: "Just… some areas that aren't fully explained by current monster physiolog-" He straightens! Smoke wafts from his nostrils. (Is it a blush?)
Shinzou didn't mean that oh god why does this always happen with the Director you'd think some things would change after years BUT NO YOU'D BE WRONG oh god- "-!"
Dog: "Lucnephwyr is too young for that!" Dog barks!
TheTale: "That as well."
TheTale: "S, go handle A. I'll handle D."
TheTale: "At the very least, it's good to see people who believe the outside world still matters."
Shiba: "Handle A. Got it."
Shinzou is, mercifully rescued from that derailing train by a genuine smile. "Congratulations to the both of you." He nods.
Shiba: "… kidding. I know you mean him."
TheTale: "That's all. Engine time is precious."
TheTale: "I saw no need to disambiguate between you two." she says, to either Shiba or Shinzou.
TheTale: "You have a fiend to dismantle that. You're going to do it. A is A is A no more."
Shinzou nods and gathers what remains of his dignity and also his party members, nods a little salute to the Director - and to Dromongatzu. "I'll see you again."
TheTale: "Likely."
Dog: "I wish you both happiness!" Tailwag.
TheTale: "Redundant, but appreciated." she says.
Shiba: "Take care, now."
Lucnephwyr: "Goodbye for now! I promise I won't let the city be burned down and all the humans be eaten!"
Lucnephwyr: "That's sort of a loss condition for me!"
TheTale: "Noted." She inspects a few readouts, does some sums.
Lucnephwyr` beats a hasty, but over-the-shoulder-looking-back retreat.
Shinzou escapes with his life.
Dog` trots off out of there!
Shiba shuffles off, with an eyeglint as she departs.

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