Tom D03s03

TheTale: Day Three - Morning.
TheTale: Zeroday Gardenglad is dead.
TheTale: The Glozenfed howls with the morning's chill.
Shiba: "Alright. Dunno about you guys, but I had one last stop before I head back out to Sycorax to keep them from taking advantage of this. Or even knowing about it."
Lucnephwyr finishes up a few more touches on howling death whistleglobes.
Lucnephwyr: "Oh?"
Dog: "What's the last stop?"
Shiba: "I wanted to talk to the Services again, at least. You all don't have to come."
Dog: "We're a team! We should stick together!"
Lucnephwyr: "I don't think they'd be able to kidnap you and use you as a hostage to hide from the monster army…"
Lucnephwyr brightens. "But we can all check it out!"
Shinzou raises an eyebrow. "Why the change of heart? Anyways, I suppose we can head back that way."
Shiba: "I think,"
Shiba: "The first step to disarming an enemy,"
Shiba: "Is to listen."
Shinzou: "Well, it's certainly worked as a tactic for me."
Shinzou smiles.
Shiba: "Not sure if that applies to Gardenglad."
Shiba: "Would it have?"
Shinzou: "It's a good thing I wasn't talking about Gardenglad." The smile goes wry, as he leads them citywards.
Dog‘ trots off after Shinzou!
Lucnephwyr: "Wouldn’t using Escape Ropes, grabbing new ones, and then walking over to the Services be faster?"
TheTale: It'd be faster!
Shinzou: "…and this is why I listen to you, Luc."
TheTale: But you'd miss out on all that lovely coal-fire reek.
Lucnephwyr: "Oh I think we'll be abusing the properties of the Escape Rope quite often, now that we're making things happen."
Shiba: We'll take our chances.
Shiba: "Among other things."
Shiba: "Huh. So, do possessions transfer over if you migrate somewhere?"
Lucnephwyr: "I wouldn't know!" he says with a cheerful smile.
Shiba: "Anyway. You got the rope, right? Go ahead."
Lucnephwyr: "I'd say 'let's try it,' but, um…"
Lucnephwyr hugs his friends and tosses up an Escape Rope!
TheTale: The rope runs high up into the sky -
TheTale: And pulls the party along, plopping them down into the [Pure of Heart],
TheTale: Where Alice Zarin is asleep on the couch, her face buried under a jacket to keep out the light.
TheTale: "Mublr morning."
TheTale: She peeks out from underneath it.
TheTale: "Oh, uh… grats on the fiend kill. Nasty fucker. Glad to see him gone."
Lucnephwyr heads over to the straw basket and replenishes his rope supply.
Lucnephwyr: "Good morning!"
Shinzou: "It sure is!" He tries not to be -too- cheerful, since he's not bringing coffee with.
Shiba unceremoniously opens the door and makes her way out.
Lucnephwyr: "Yup!" He starts brewing some coffee- or at least starting the water, gathering the beans and putting them with the grinder.
Dog‘ wags their tail, but doesn’t hop up to lick Alice's face.
Lucnephwyr: "We're on the move! I started steps 1 through 4, hopefully that helps!" He scampers off after Shiba.
TheTale: Alice flashes a thumbs up vaguely in the direction of noises.
Shinzou chuckles, gives a little wave, and scampers out. Gotta keep up.
Dog: "Have a good morning!" And Dog bustles out too.
Shiba: "The other angels are going to be a problem, too, aren't they?"
Shiba: "At least, the other five."
Shinzou: "Not unless we screw this next part up."
Lucnephwyr: "Hmm…"
Lucnephwyr: "You think?"
Lucnephwyr: "If anything, I think we can count on them slowing or stopping the army."
Dog: "I guess that's true…"
Shinzou: "I think that, ultimately, they want what we want, and vice versa. Zen won't let them do anything too crazy, at any rate."
Dog: "Yeah, Shinzou's right!"
Dog: "Zen is a good person!"
Dog: "I could smell it."
Lucnephwyr: "So long as they don't push the button that pulps the entire world, I think it'll work out."
Shiba: "Maybe just Eris and Maria. And they're different problems in a different context."
Lucnephwyr: "Maria just needs hugs -so badly- though." He wibbles a little.
Shinzou: "And the others… the strangers want to be safe, and I can sympathise, and the way to be safe, for them, right now, is to make sure the war stops in a way that doesn't backhandedly help our opponent."
Shinzou: "Maria just needs a hug."
Dog: "Maria definitely needs a hug."
Dog: "And for someone to lick her face a lot!"
Dog: "… or is that just me?"
Shiba: "I think Eris has both of those covered, if I read the situation between them right."
Lucnephwyr: "It's probably more understandable from you, Dog!"
Shiba shrugs.
Lucnephwyr: "To certain people."
Shinzou makes a 'six of one, half dozen of the other' shrug.
TheTale: The Embassy of the Foreign Service.
Lucnephwyr: "I mean, yeah, I'd really like to stop the Sycorax army with minimal casualties… but after a few encounters with the others, you'd think they'd wizen up or at least start giving a large berth."
Lucnephwyr: "Or they'd just run headlong into them and eventually they lose steam."
Lucnephwyr shrugs!
Lucnephwyr also walks through the front doors of the embassy!
Dog‘ follows their boy!!
Shiba opens the door, quietly slithers in, and folds her arms in front of the counter.
TheTale: The amber-tinted front room. The receptionist at the front - "I’ll get Millevich immediately."
TheTale: And she does.
TheTale: She's dressed in a black fur-coat, with a collar reminiscent of a secretary bird. She sheds it as she comes in the front doors, smiling to the party:
TheTale: "Well, goodness, we have a fair bit to talk about, don't we?"
Shiba: "I had some items in mind. Do you?"
Lucnephwyr: "Hello again!"
Dog: "Hi, Millevich!" Tailwag!
TheTale: "Well, we seem to be missing the MA part of our MAD today. Come in," she says. "Have a seat." And leads you to a little sitting room. Those long chairs are very 60s-chic.
TheTale: All white furniture and amber-tinted walls.
Lucnephwyr clambers into a seat, and looks over to Shiba, expectantly.
Dog‘ hops up on Lucnephwyr’s lap!
Shiba slithers her stomach over the back of a chair, more leaning over it instead of sitting. "Don't have time for abbreviations I don't know. And if you do have items of your own to talk about, you can start."
Shinzou smiles.
Shiba drums her fingers against the back of the chair, slightly agitated. Pent-up. Not quite yet irritated, but contents under pressure.
TheTale: "We are down a fiend," Millevich says. "With quite the light show entailed. Given the fact that his last act was committing quite the atrocity against the monster forces, and given that his ability to strike at an extreme distance was perhaps the sole thing that could irritate a nation of immortal, endlessly reincarnating warriors…"
TheTale: "Prospero is up a creek."
TheTale: "That's where we keep our things."
TheTale: "I suspect you've come to negotiate, and you've come to do so with leverage."
TheTale: "Well, we're all ears."
Shiba: "What's your long-term plan here? Colonization, right?"
TheTale: "Recovery from our long voyage and long-term partnership with the people of Prospero."
Shiba: "We can talk Sycorax-Prospero conflict later. Regardless of Gardenglad's status, I've been meaning to come here for a chat anyhow. Just. Priorities. The timing is purely circumstantial."
Shiba: "But your journey is basically 'fleeing for survival,' right?"
Shiba: "And you're down an angel."
TheTale: "It is and we are."
Shiba: "When you head off again, take me."
Lucnephwyr: "!"
Shinzou raises an eyebrow.
Dog‘ cocks their head in that way confused dogs do.
TheTale: Millevich smiles. "That won’t be happening."
TheTale: "Our ships, you see, make only one trip."
Shiba: "'Recovery' kind of indicated otherwise."
TheTale: "Of our people. We have quite the graveyard on board, you know."
Shiba: "So you're not planning on leaving. Cohabitation, if not colonization, then?"
Shiba: "I'm just trying to understand you guys."
TheTale: She smiles. Clasps her fingers together. "Yes. That's it."
Shiba: "Contingent on the water of life continuing to exist."
TheTale: "So contingent. The calclus becomes different otherwise."
Shiba: "What are your options if that stops being the case? Same for monsters and migration. Just back to regular mortality."
TheTale: "To put it plainly, the water of life is what makes it reasonable for Prospero and us to enter into a partnership of equals."
Shiba: "So it's their bargaining chip to stay on equal footing with what's otherwise their superior. And Sycorax doesn't have anything to offer?"
Shiba glances at Lucnephwyr.
TheTale: "Not that we are aware of. If our little friend were to say otherwise, I would be interested in hearing…" A glint in her smile.
Lucnephwyr: "So… what if we could make a deal at far better than once or twice a week?" He grins.
Lucnephwyr also pets Dog with one clawed hand, for emphasis.
TheTale: "…Of course, that makes it sound a little nasty. You're a student of history, are you not?"
Dog‘ does their best to look like a fluffy cat! (It’s not very good.)
TheTale: "Our wealth would be well and capable of drowning out Prospero's culture."
Shiba holds a hand up. "Yeah. That ain't happening if I can help it."
Lucnephwyr: "You're talking about decades."
Lucnephwyr: "We've got seven days."
Shiba: "If even that."
TheTale: "We're very aware."
Lucnephwyr: "Your concern for our future is noted though!"
TheTale: "The larger absorbs the smaller. Even without our trying, what remains of Prospero would be an amusement park built over the top of the truth."
TheTale: "Some parts of it neither of us would miss."
Lucnephwyr: "In a word, that was going to either happen anyway, or Prospero would be annihilated on a longer timeframe."
Dog: "You just gotta be mindful!"
Lucnephwyr: "The water flows ever slower, and the rot will get those that the war does not."
Shiba grumbles. The finger-drumming becomes more pronounced. "Kind of why I want you guys off-planet again."
TheTale: "Perhaps. But no matter where we end up, these are the decisions we have to make."
Lucnephwyr: "Yeah, it sounds really rough."
Shiba: "The culture absorption thing, I mean. Like - " she rubs her eyes with her hands, claps them together, and swings them forward. " - look, if there's anything that pisses me off about Pure Heart behavior, it's the egotistic ones that make all the stories about themselves. You do that too much, you don't give anyone else room to grow or tell their own stories. It's why I've been so
Shiba: loath to actually take up arms and flex my muscles this time around. "
Lucnephwyr: "I feel for you, I really do."
Shiba: "You, Prospero, Sycorax - I don't this whole thing to be zero-sum. You've all got concerns."
TheTale: "Naturally."
Shiba: "Anyhow. I think Luc had something."
Lucnephwyr: "It's just…" He scratches a bit at one of Dog's ears. "-we can start talking about how we're going to use everything to blockade, intimidate, charm, and stall Sycorax until the Pure Hearts can clean up D2 and a few other narrative ends."
Lucnephwyr: "Or us four can do the latter bit alone, and the Services do a lot of praying to the Goddess."
Shiba: "(I don't hate you. I was trying to be magnanimous by volunteering to be your knight. But autonomy's important to me here.)"
Shiba inspects her fingernails.
TheTale: Millevich nods. "It's certainly more pressing fare, isn't it?"
TheTale: "We're absolutely going to have to find a way to open up peace talks."
TheTale: "The Palace, now, has a pressing reason to sue for peace. But the monsters, of course, do not…"
TheTale: "Viewing this as a puzzle, there's always going to be one side quite content with the status quo."
Dog: "That's why we have to give them a reason! Or at least, delay them long enough to fix things!"
Shiba: "They want Raro. But, if my understanding is correct, this will undo the source of the water of life."
Shiba: "Someone correct me if I'm wrong about that."
TheTale: Millevich, it seems, doesn't have much insight on that - she shakes her head, smiles painedly, continues on.
TheTale: "Of course, monsters can migrate freely. They don't need an army or a leader - if they decide to come up under our feet and devour us all, that's what they'll do."
TheTale: "But yet, they have not done that."
Lucnephwyr: "Uhh… I don't think Raro anymore has to do with the flow of the water, really, just that the Heart's giving out or whatever."
Shiba: "They have their reasons, just as you do. Not blind hatred, just a few vengeful spirits."
Lucnephwyr: "Do you have any easy, portable way that we can keep in touch, Miss Millevich?"
TheTale: "We can get you a radio."
Lucnephwyr: "We'll keep in touch, then."
Lucnephwyr gives Dog a gentle pat that means 'hey hop down.'
Shiba: "What've you got left in the case that monsters do start coming up from under your feet?"
Dog‘ hops down!
Shiba: "How long would you last? I’m sure you've done the calculus."
Lucnephwyr also hops down and gives Dog a pet that means 'thank you for accomodating my request.'
Dog‘ wags their tail!
TheTale: "Our weapons are brutal."
TheTale: "Our people are flesh and blood."
Shiba: "The one time I actually ask for numbers, I get qualifiers."
Lucnephwyr goes over and tugs on one of Shinzou’s puffy pant legs.
TheTale: "We cannot fathom it. We simply cannot."
TheTale: "Perhaps the entire embassy would be aflame in hours."
Shiba: "Alright."
Shinzou glances at Luc.
Lucnephwyr gives Shinzou the pet that means 'hey we're going'.
Shinzou nods!
Shiba: "Maybe I'm actually okay with you exerting your culture over Prospero."
Shiba: "Not ideal, but I mean."
Shiba: "Not a hardline stance."
TheTale: "Of course. We wouldn't be doing it on purpose, of course."
Shiba: "We'll try and make sure you're not set aflame in a few hours, I guess."
TheTale: "We very much appreciate it."
Shiba: "We'll radio if we need help from you guys in accomplishing that. We'll know more once we better assess the situation."
Dog: "Until then… try not to start any international incidents!"
TheTale: "Naturally." - And, hey, when you head out, there is indeed a little black radio waiting for you at the front desk. On a velvet pillow, even.
Lucnephwyr snatches it up.
[OOC] TheTale: You can use it to make calls to the Service whenever you need.
Shinzou: "Might come in handy."
Shiba: "So hey, Shinzou. If we get separated, you know how to keep in contact, right?"
Shinzou: "I imagine there's some neat trick you're about to tell me about."
Shiba: "Coulda sworn you knew it already."
Shinzou: "Humor me and refresh my memory."
Shiba: "It's just the privilege of a Pure Heart. Isn't that right, Alice?" Even though, physically speaking, Alice is nowhere around.
TheTale: "Uggh, you know I'm trying to go Wisp, right…?" Grumbles Alice.
TheTale: …Somewhere else.
Shinzou: "I wasn't planning on blatantly cheating unless it was -direly- necessary. Besides, never split the party. Anyways…" He glances at Luc. "I know that look in your eye. Where to next?"
Lucnephwyr: "The tip of the spear. The main thrust of the army. We scream so it resonates in every monster's heart, and we recruit those who scream with us."
Lucnephwyr: "Any heart can turn from war."
Lucnephwyr walks ahead a bit.
Lucnephwyr: "…else we'll have to wrest it from their arms."
Shinzou grins fiercely, and follows.
Shiba shrugs at Shinzou, smirking all the while. "I'll catch up with you. Or get a head start. Or meet up with the others."
Lucnephwyr: "We'll have to find out who all's marching."
Lucnephwyr: "Find the groups most sympathetic to us, to our cause, to both."
Lucnephwyr: "Ark Mien would help us stop the march, I know it."
Lucnephwyr: "Maybe we could speak to others too."
Lucnephwyr: "It's almost silly to hope that we're not too late. But we have to hope."
Shiba slithers off alone. "Anyhow. Later for now."
Lucnephwyr scurries faster, with that.
Shiba heads back to the Pure of Heart. "Mind if I use the bathroom for a little bit?"
TheTale: "Sure, knock yourself out," Alice says.
TheTale: "I mean, if you fit in there."
Shiba: "Just need the privacy for a sec, really."
TheTale: Alice… well, still hasn't gotten up. But feel free to use the washroom!
Shiba closes the door behind her and draws her staff, pausing for a moment. This part always smarts.
Shiba: But, well, when you gotta migrate somewhere else, and fast - [By Will] [Zornhau] [T: Self]
TheTale: It does the trick.
Shiba: Statue at the Mana Tree. Closer to the top, the better. Hopefully the place hasn't repopulated.
TheTale: Its strange machinery still clanks along, carrying marionettes to and fro.
TheTale: …They don't notice you like this, though.
TheTale: Black tendrils strangle the tree, reaching, searching.
TheTale: Don't let them see you.
TheTale: The top of the Mana Tree.
TheTale: Through a hairline crack in the flaws in crystal, the eye of the being known as 'Patalalia' watches.
Shiba may still be just a floating spirit. Or might have negotiated a body with something at the top of the tree by now! Who knows.
TheTale: There's furrows in the forest, to the east. There's dust clouds over the Denmarche.
TheTale: The monsters are marching out.
Shiba waves up at the eye while still in wispy pre-migrated form, at least.
TheTale: "Someone," it says. "Is come again."
Shiba: "Hi. Came to burn my request, so."
Shiba: "Time's kind of the essence here."
TheTale: "So it is."
Shiba: "So there's an army marching onto Prospero."
Shiba: "How do we stop them peacefully?"
Shiba looks at the camera like this is an episode of The Office.
TheTale: The shimmering in the spider-crack skips like a record.
TheTale: "At the fore of the march is Ykare, of Ark Mien."
TheTale: "If she turns back, so will the army."
Shiba: "Just like that, huh?"
TheTale: "Just like that."
Shiba: "Alright, well. … If that's it."
Shiba: "Thanks."
Shiba: "Thought this would kinda be more momentous and special than it is."
Shiba wanders off down to her home to negotiate the same things she always does with her statues. And that, as they say, is that.
TheTale: "Well." Says the entity.
TheTale: "Time was of the essence."
TheTale: And the patter with the statues is well-rehearsed by now - the dream of moving, of flowing throughout the world, of being able to grow and shift-
TheTale: And then the pact.
TheTale: And then migration.
TheTale: Like shedding in reverse!
Shiba ambles on down to the road between the cities to meet the others. Eventually. Either by waiting or more walking. Point is, we're done here.

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