Cherry Blossom Procession 4 6e

[16:39] <@AdEvaGM> [The cargo bay had been attacked.-
[16:39] <@AdEvaGM> [The Sol troops had been repelled with fewer casualties than had been feared, but at the very least they'd put up enough of a fight to shatter parts of the bay. In many areas the ground had cracked, the walls were buckling and parts of the above deck had fallen in.-
[17:23] <@AdEvaGM> [Monica Messina had not been found amongst the debris.-
[17:24] <@AdEvaGM> [But she'd been gone long before the attack had ended.-
[17:32] <@AdEvaGM> [Monica crouched behind a corner and waited as a company of Federation marines and their clan Guard allies passed.-
[17:34] <@AdEvaGM> [In this way she made her way carefully and cleanly through the Dorian, until finally she came to a large, fortified room, held by dozens of Virus Guard and their Angelspawn allies.-
[17:39] <@AdEvaGM> [And then she stepped out into the open.-
[17:40] <@AdEvaGM> [As myriad bolters and monstrous eyes turned towards her, Monica raised her hands. "I need to speak to Albus."-
[17:41] <@AdEvaGM> [The Guard ignored her.-
[17:44] <@AdEvaGM> ["Monte Cassino." Said Monica quickly. That saw the Guards move, two Apostles breaking ranks to walk towards her.-
[17:44] <@AdEvaGM> ["We have expected you." Said the Apostles. "This way."-
[17:53] <@AdEvaGM> [The Apostles led her into a nearby sigilite passage.-
[18:51] <@AdEvaGM> [The journey through the sigilite passages was quick and disorientating. Myriad images flashed across Monica's vision, but the two Apostles with her seemed to know exactly where they were going.-
[18:53] <@AdEvaGM> [Before long, they came to what was unmistakeably a throne room.-
[18:54] <@AdEvaGM> [Monica didn't realise it, but it was a room identical to the one Tsubaki had recently devastated, with one important difference: the Philosopher's Stone sat suspended in the air, a lance protruding out of its dulling red surface.-
[18:58] <@AdEvaGM> [Albus stood in front of his throne, pacing back and forth quickly, his hands clenching and unclenching behind his back.-
[19:05] <@AdEvaGM> ["Mr. Mortens?" Said Monica.-
[19:06] <@AdEvaGM> [Albus jerked toward her, froze- then smiled. "Monica. Good to see you again."-
[19:52] <@Minaplo> [He sat in his throne. "You didn't have any trouble coming here, apparently. That's good to see."-
[19:53] <@Minaplo> ["I'm fine, yes." Said Monica. "But I'm surprised to see that you aren't going as well as expected…"-
[19:54] <@Minaplo> ["I've run into some problems." Said Albus, fidgetting.-
[19:54] <@Minaplo> ["Tell me about them." Said Monica.-
[19:56] <@Minaplo> ["Our plan to take Lilith from Mary didn't work." Said Albus. "Athena Caine proved more resourceful than I'd thought… My second attempt was a disaster."-
[19:57] <@Minaplo> ["And now the Federation found us, somehow." He said, his hands clenching into fists. "And…"-
[19:57] <@Minaplo> [Monica was silent, but she cocked her head to the side curiously.-
[19:58] <@Minaplo> ["Tsubaki betrayed me!" Said Albus. Tears beaded up in his eyes- which he wiped away. He stared at his damp fingers in confusion.-
[20:00] <@Minaplo> ["I thought that wasn't possible." Said Monica.-
[20:00] <@Minaplo> [Albus didn't reply.-
[20:00] <@Minaplo> ["Albus?"-
[20:01] <@Minaplo> ["Er." He shook his head. "No, it wasn't supposed to be. The seals my father made should've bound her to me a good deal more than they did, but perhaps I misapplied them…"-
[20:04] <@Minaplo> ["Perhaps they were incomplete." Said Monica. "I did my best to recover the missing parts, but it's entirely possible I overlooked something. My apologies."-
[20:06] <@Minaplo> ["Hm? No, no no no no." Albus rose from the throne, his eyes wide. "No, Monica, oh dear, no. You're not to blame. It must've been my fault…"-
[20:07] <@Minaplo> ["Perhaps I was impatient." Said Albus. "I used the rituals to prepare myself for the Void Asterion, and maybe it weakened me somehow… I'm sure you did the best you could."-
[20:08] <@Minaplo> ["…" Monica glanced toward the Apostle to her right before looking back at Albus. "Are you… Albus, are you… Okay?"-
[20:08] <@Minaplo> ["What? Of course. I think."-
[20:09] <@Minaplo> [He leaned back in the throne. "Actually, I'm not so sure."-
[20:09] <@Minaplo> ["What's the matter?" Asked Monica.-
[20:09] <@Minaplo> ["Monica, we're friends, yes? We're good?" Asked Albus.-
[20:10] <@Minaplo> ["Er…" Monica glanced towards the other apostle. "Yes, of course…"-
[20:10] <@Minaplo> ["You'll be honest with me, then." Said Albus. "Did I do the right thing?"-
[20:10] <@Minaplo> ["You said yourself that you made a few mistakes, Albus." Said Monica.-
[20:11] <@Minaplo> ["I don't mean technically, Monica. I mean… I mean, ethically. Morally." Albus said, wringing his hands together. "Monica, am… Am I good?"-
[20:17] * Suzune (~moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) Quit (Quit: Leaving)
[20:21] <@Minaplo> ["Oh. Er… I'm not really sure I've thought about it." Said Monica.-
[20:22] <@Minaplo> ["Oh." His shoulders sagged.-
[20:22] <@Minaplo> ["I suppose you're here for your reward, then." Said Albus.-
[20:23] <@Minaplo> ["In a way. Being able to stand here in front of you like this… That's its own reward." Said Monica.-
[20:23] <@Minaplo> ["That… That's such a lovely thing to say." Said Albus.-
[20:24] <@Minaplo> [And then he burst into tears.-
[20:24] <@Minaplo> [Monica stood, stock-still for the minutes it took Albus to pull himself together.-
[20:25] <@Minaplo> ["I'm sorry, I have no idea… I've make mistakes… Damn her…" Said Albus, rubbing at his face.-
[20:25] <@Minaplo> ["I really am grateful, though, Monica." He said gently. "I always knew you were a true friend."-
[20:25] <@Minaplo> ["… Oh, that's not what I meant." Monica said in her most cheerful, upbeat voice.-
[20:26] <@Minaplo> ["To stand here in front of you, with you as powerful as you are, already accepting the Void Asterion's consciousness, in a realm you control…"-
[20:27] <@Minaplo> ["And to still be incognito is the greatest satisfaction I could ever have asked for."-
[20:28] <@Minaplo> [Monica unfurled her arms, smashing them into the sides of the two Apostles flanking her. A second later they both crumpled.-
[20:28] <@Minaplo> [Monica pulled a pair of short swords from their bodies, both of them covered up to their hilt in blood.-
[20:28] <@Minaplo> [Albus started to his feet, his eyes wide. "What on Earth-?!"-
[20:31] <@Minaplo> ["You golden, murdering fool. I have lived ten thousand lifetimes in as many forms." Said Monica, flicking the blood off her blades. "Hiding who I am is literally second nature."-
[20:32] <@Minaplo> ["I remember, you see? Mary didn't think that was important."-
[20:33] <@Minaplo> [The flesh fell from Monica's form, revealing yet more flesh. Her clothes fell in a useless pile around her, joined soon enough by her hair.-
[20:33] <@Minaplo> [There was only a glimpse of the form beneath- the grey hair, the red eyes- before it was encompassed in armour and silk and a helmet whose eyes shed tears.-
[20:34] <@Minaplo> ["YOU!" Roared Albus.-
[20:35] <@Minaplo> ["Me." Solomon Augustine stood tall and proud. The mantle he'd taken from Azariah was nowhere to be seen, but nonetheless he struck an imposing figure.-
[20:36] <@Minaplo> ["I'll keep this short: you're a horrible person." Said Augustine shortly. "You kill, you maim, you abuse and you take. You hurt Raphael, you hurt Narendra, and you hurt countless other friends of mine."-
[20:37] <@Minaplo> ["Throughout my bondage to Mary, I found little handfuls of freedom in my other selves." Said Augustine. "Through this, I ensured I killed and terrorised as little as possible. I hate killing."-
[20:38] <@Minaplo> ["But I've said it before and I'll say it again: I'll gladly make you the exception."-
[20:38] <@Minaplo> [Albus's staff appeared in his hand, just as Augustine swept across the room.]

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