Cherry Blossom Procession 4 5 1

[13:31] <Minaplo> [Gadhavi woke.-
[13:34] <Minaplo> [It wasn't an instant thing, waking. Instead it seemed to take hours,
[13:38] <Minaplo> [It wasn't an instant thing, waking. Instead it seemed to take hours, slowly unknotting memories from illusive dreams and his tiny pinpricks of conscious perception.-
[13:43] <Minaplo> [He felt more and more as he slowly roused. The first thing he really noticed was pain.-
[13:44] <Minaplo> [A burning ache running through his arms. The more he noticed it, the more it pushed him to a sort of jagged, raw wakefulness.-
[13:53] <Minaplo> [Gadhavi groaned and opened his eyes.-
[14:04] <Minaplo> [He was in a hospital room, lying, appropriately, on a hospital bed.-
[14:05] <Minaplo> [he raised his hand to rub at his eyes-
[14:06] <Minaplo> [He froze. His hands were no longer flesh, but silvery metal.-
[14:06] <Minaplo> [… Yet a second later he rubbed his eyes anyway. Of course they were. He'd lost them in Panama.-
[14:06] <Minaplo> [It was hardly shocking.-
[14:07] <Minaplo> ["Good morning, Mr. Gadhavi." Said someone to his right.-
[14:07] <Minaplo> [Gadhavi turned. Sitting in a chair, one leg over the other, book in his lap, was Augustine.-
[14:09] <Minaplo> [Gadhavi stared at the visitor. Automatically he tried to rustle up the anger, the resentment of his twisted kind.-
[14:18] <Minaplo> [But instead he felt nothing, except tired and a little deflated.-
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["Didn't expect you of all people to be here." Said Gadhavi.-
[14:18] <Minaplo> ["I'm keeping an eye on you." Said Augustine.-
[14:19] <Minaplo> ["Caine's orders?"-
[14:22] <Minaplo> ["God's orders." Said Augustine, with a wry smile. "As conveyed through the form of Father Sévère De Sauveterre."-
[14:24] <Minaplo> ["Huh. Fair enough." Said Gadhavi, rubbing at his mouth. It felt dry.-
[14:24] <Minaplo> [Augustine handed him a glass of water. Gadhavi didn't know where it came from.-
[14:25] <Minaplo> ["Father JB has spent a good deal of time watching over you, but he does have duties, I'm afraid." Said Augustine. "Still, I'm sure he's kept your quarters neat and tidy. Priests make for good roommates, I hear. I actually enjoy his company a fair bit- it's been too long since I've had a good talk with a fellow traveller of God."-
[14:36] * ChanServ sets mode: +qo Minaplo Minaplo
[14:38] <@Minaplo> ["I see." Said Gadhavi.-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> ["Was he… The only person who took time to visit me?" Asked Gadhavi.-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> ["Oh no no no." Said Augustine.-
[14:39] <@Minaplo> ["The Phantom you rescued also comes around."-
[14:40] <@Minaplo> ["Oh. That's nice." Said Gadhavi, rubbing his face. "Anyone else…?"-
[14:40] <@Minaplo> ["Sorry." Said Augustine with a small grin.-
[15:00] <@Minaplo> [Gadhavi shook his head. "… No, it's fine. I get it."-
[15:19] <@Minaplo> [Gadhavi looked down at his arms.-
[15:20] <@Minaplo> [His right arm had been replaced from the shoulder down.-
[15:20] <@Minaplo> [Which was odd, now that he thought about it, since he was fairly sure his arm had been cut at the elbow.-
[15:21] <@Minaplo> [His left hand, meanwhile, had been replaced far down the wrist, halfway toward his elbow.-
[15:28] <@Minaplo> [He closed his hands. The fingers responded quickly and easily, even through the aching pain.-
[15:28] <@Minaplo> ["How are they?" Asked Augustine.-
[15:32] <@Minaplo> ["Responsive." Said Gadhavi. "Just as good as my old limbs that way. But they ache."-
[15:34] <@Minaplo> ["It's the nerves." Said Augustine. "It'll ease with time, I believe. The doctors here are excellent."-
[15:38] <@Minaplo> ["Let's hope."-
[15:39] <@Minaplo> ["… I owe you a thank-you." Said Gadhavi. "You rescued us. You stopped me from doing something unforgivable."-
[15:41] <@Minaplo> ["I'd argue that I stopped Mortens from doing something unforgivable, but one, he'd already attempted, which is enough; and two, I suspect you won't accept my reasoning so I'll simply take the kudos. Don't mention it."-
[15:41] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm." Gadhavi shook his head.-
[15:45] <@Minaplo> ["… You're a powerful Angel." said Gadhavi. "You have great mental powers, yes?"-
[15:45] <@Minaplo> ["Correct." Said Augustine.-
[15:46] <@Minaplo> ["Have you ever controlled someone?" Asked Gadhavi.-
[16:08] <@Minaplo> ["You're not the first person to ask me that, but people ask me less than you'd think." Said Augustine quietly. "In truth… I try to avoid doing so. Sometimes I am given tasks that require making people do things they wouldn't normally do. I try to achieve my goals through persuasion or honest trickery."-
[16:13] <@Minaplo> ["… But I have controlled people." Said Augustine. "I've tried to minimise the duration and the impact, and I'm relieved to say I haven't done what Mortens did to you, or to others… But I have."-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> ["I see." Said Gadhavi.-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> [The two of them were silent for a few minutes.-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> ["So what happens now?" Said Gadhavi.-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> ["Hmm?"-
[16:26] <@Minaplo> ["I've been out for what feels like awhile. What do I do now? Do they expect me back at my post?" Asked Gadhavi.-
[16:32] <@Minaplo> ["… No." Said Augustine. "They don't expect you back at your post. Ever again."-
[16:33] <@Minaplo> ["… I was afraid that'd be the case." Said Gadhavi. "What am I now?"-
[16:34] <@Minaplo> ["… You should probably consider your bionic limbs part of your severance package." Said Augustine. "I wish I weren't the one to tell you, but you're essentially being turned into a line officer."-
[16:35] <@Minaplo> ["Again, huh?" Gadhavi let out a rough chuckle. "Well, whatever. I was fucking miserable as director."-
[16:40] <@Minaplo> ["… But I did request that you be under my command." Said Augustine.-
[16:41] <@Minaplo> ["You did? Why?" Asked Gadhavi.-
[16:41] <@Minaplo> ["You and I have overlapping goals, let's say. It doesn't matter at the moment."-
[16:42] <@Minaplo> [Augustine stood up. "You have the choice. You can join me, or you can return to the ranks, or you can even be a smart boy and leave this whole rotten edifice."-
[16:43] <@Minaplo> ["But you don't need to give me an answer now. Take a week or two. Talk with your friends. You need time to think about things, put your life back together. Why don't you have a vacation? I'll see about having your friends cleared for it as well."-
[16:58] <@Minaplo> ["Thanks. I'll… Do that." Said Gadhavi.-
[16:58] <@Minaplo> ["Good man. We can talk shop when you return."-
[16:58] <@Minaplo> [With that, Augustine tapped his hand to his forehead, closed up his book and left.-
[16:58] <@Minaplo> [It was quiet.-
[16:59] <@Minaplo> [Gadhavi fell back against the flimsy hospital pillows and stared up at the roof.-
[16:59] <@Minaplo> ["What a mess…"-
[16:59] <@Minaplo> […

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