Komm Susser Tod 2 5a

[07:47] * @Sept snapped the book shut and placed it back in its box. It was nearly time. He stood up and took another look at his uniform, in unusually crisp condition. Sera liked to believe he would've made an effort even without the constant pestering of his roommates. "Everything set, Armin?"
[07:56] <Minaplo> [Armin's proportions made it impractical to borrow clothes from many people- instead he was wearing a shimmering rich purple complicated-looking robe that he had clearly taken from Ezekiel.-
[07:56] <Minaplo> ["Yeah. What book was that?"]
[07:57] <@Sept> "Couldn't tell you. Wasn't looking."
[07:58] <Minaplo> ["You weren't looking?"]
[07:59] <@Sept> "Wasn't looking. I don't look like an idiot, right?"
[07:59] <Minaplo> ["You look fine. You look impressive, even." Said Armin. He was eyeing Sera critically. "Actually, you should wear that more often."]
[08:01] <@Sept> "Soldiers wear uniforms," he said, tugging at a sleeve.
[08:01] <Minaplo> ["Lots of people wear uniforms." Said Armin. "Schoolboys and schoolgirls wear uniforms."]
[08:03] <@Sept> "Because they want them to act obediently like soldiers."
[08:04] <Minaplo> ["And how often does that work?"]
[08:08] * @Sept smoothed out the sleeve, content it couldn't be stretched out. His prosthetics were subtly covered up by the uniform's thin gloves. "…I'll take it into consideration."
[08:09] <Minaplo> ["Besides, look how handsome you are." Said Armin glowingly. "You look bold and ready. I bet you'll find a date today lickety-split."]
[08:15] <@Sept> "Thrilling. Should we just go? I mean, I don't want to be there too early."
[08:27] <Minaplo> ["Not yet. For now, we should do our own thing."]
[08:30] <@Sept> "Mm. How'd… the rest of your Minerva meeting go? Figure anything out?"
[08:31] <Minaplo> ["Oh yeah, plenty."]
[08:31] <@Sept> "Anything I'd ever want to know about?"
[08:41] <Minaplo> ["Maybe." Said Armin. "I know she's sensible. Almost heartbreakingly so, I'm afraid…" He let out a romantic sigh.]
[08:42] <@Sept> "What?"
[08:46] <Minaplo> ["Let me ask a question. If you could have bliss, knowing it might only last for a month or two, and might leave you sad and empty for a lot longer afterwards, would you take it?"]
[08:52] * @Sept stopped for a moment. "Of course not."-
[08:53] <@Sept> "Well. Maybe. Different circumstances?"
[08:53] <Minaplo> ["Go on."]
[08:55] <@Sept> "Well, what kind of fool takes a moment's joy, only to pay for it for the rest of his life? But then, it's also valuable to have that experience and point of view."
[08:56] <Minaplo> ["Hmm, true. What circumstances would make you say yes, though?"]
[08:59] <@Sept> "The sadness and emptiness doesn't count if I was dying. But a moment of weakness, I guess," he shrugged.
[09:00] * Suzune (moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS#moc.rr.ser.yabapmat.551cfh1322356|enuzuS) Quit (Quit: )
[09:01] <Minaplo> ["Well, either way, our dear, wise goddess isn't one for that trap."]
[09:04] <@Sept> "Huh. Really?"
[09:05] <Minaplo> ["Really. She doesn't feel the moment's joy is worth the debt."]
[09:07] <@Sept> "Well, then."-
[09:08] <@Sept> "I guess she's not president for nothing."
[09:09] <Minaplo> [Armin chuckled.]
[09:16] <@Sept> "…do you think it'll work? The wedding?"
[09:19] <Minaplo> ["In what capacity?"]
[09:21] <@Sept> "Well, it's just a formality for Yanmei and Isaiah. The PR side. In these conditions."
[09:25] <Minaplo> ["I think it'll be fine for the most part." Said Armin. "It's really mostly an excuse to throw a party for everyone, and I think most people won't care once they have some whale pie, some beer and a dance in a warm room."]
[09:29] <@Sept> "Yeah. It's only reasonable."
[09:32] <Minaplo> ["Also, if we can find you a date, we can find dates for other people too…"]
[09:40] <@Sept> "I'm not playing cupid at Yanmei's wedding!"
[09:49] <Minaplo> ["Well you don't need to." Said Armin. "You can't be both cupid and cupid's target. That's cupid suicide."]
[09:49] <@Sept> "That sounds a lot like something I'd do."
[09:55] <Minaplo> ["Well luckily, I'm here to stop that."]
[10:00] <@Sept> "Hah. Lucky me."
[10:05] <Minaplo> ["You doing anything with the other one?"]
[10:08] <@Sept> "Well, in a way, we're all in constantly interacting with the Other to define-" Sera began snarkily.-
[10:08] <@Sept> "What do you mean?"
[10:10] <Minaplo> ["No no, continue what you were saying, now I'm invested."]
[10:18] <@Sept> "I'm not the one you want to go to for philosophical arguments."
[10:21] <Minaplo> ["Who do I want to go to for those?"]
[10:31] <@Sept> "Depends on the kind. You go to the Caines for pretentiousness, the Ikaris if you want to get super depressed…"
[10:34] <Minaplo> ["Who do I go to for the life-affirming happy philosophy?"]
[10:36] <@Sept> "The what? I think Felix'd know more about that."
[10:37] <Minaplo> ["I see. Anyway, I was talking about the other Lance."]
[10:39] <@Sept> "Yeah, what did you mean by are we doing something?"
[10:42] <Minaplo> ["Are you going to… Let her out? During the ceremony? To roam?"]
[10:52] <@Sept> "She knows better than to start the kinds of distractions she tried in Singapore, Armin."
[10:56] <Minaplo> ["Are you sure? Because she set a rickshaw depot on fire in Singapore just to see it burn, so you have to forgive me if I feel strongly about this!"]
[11:00] <@Sept> "Unlike you, she relies on my cooperation and goodwill to get anything more out of this deal. She knows better."-
[11:00] <@Sept> "And it was under control when we left."
[11:01] <Minaplo> ["You could at least let the Archivist out. She'd enjoy this."]
[11:05] <@Sept> "And you don't doubt her at all?"
[11:09] <Minaplo> ["She's bonafide."]
[11:12] <@Sept> "Duplicitously bonafide. But I don't tell her what to do. There hasn't been a need to make a contract about it yet. Despite the initial surprise I may have shown."
[11:15] <Minaplo> ["Well, either way, just consider it. At the very least it'll make Ezekiel happy."]
[11:17] <@Sept> "I never said I'd stop her. Oh, do you… think we should clear that with security?"
[11:17] <Minaplo> ["The Archivist?"]
[11:19] <@Sept> "Yeah. Do you think they'll be checking IDs?"
[11:21] <Minaplo> ["Oh, I -really hope so-. I wanna see them try to check her ID." Said Armin enthusiastically.]
[11:23] * @Sept shook his head with a smile. "You're all the same. You just want to set fire to a different kind of rickshaw depot."
[11:25] <Minaplo> ["Untrue. Anyway, the sensible thing would be to tell security in advance."]
[11:30] <@Sept> "Of course. Sensible. I can call her on the way there," Sera afforded.
[11:31] <Minaplo> ["Anywhere else you want to go first?"]
[11:37] <@Sept> "Don't think so. Everyone's gonna be there anyway."
[11:46] <Minaplo> [Armin nodded.-
[11:50] <Minaplo> [And so ten minutes later, they'd be arriving at the primary security office, headed by Jeanne Simon. Always.-
[11:51] <Minaplo> [The security office was -busy-. Security guards, agents and soldiers were running back and forth, checking details and detailing checkpoints.-
[11:54] <Minaplo> [In the middle of this mess were three people, one whom Sera knew well, another Sera knew only vaguely, and a third he didn't recognise at all.-
[11:55] <Minaplo> [The first such person was Jeanne Simon, sitting behind a desk, reading out instructions. To her left was Captain Kirihara, who had once been Tokyo-2's head of security. The third was a white man, above average height, regular build, with an unshaven face, unkempt hair and hangdog, raw red eyes.]
[12:00] <@Sept> "Hey!" Sera shouted as he approached through the mess, waving a hand up high. "Jeanne!"
[12:01] <Minaplo> ["Huh? Sera? What does-" Jeanne raised her own hand, waving at him. "Get over here!"]
[12:05] * @Sept led Armin closer along with him, probably blocking the way of several other guests in his passing. "Is everything okay?"
[12:07] <Minaplo> ["Yeah, everything's fine, we're just busy." Said Jeanne. "You remember Kirihara, from Tokyo-2?"-
[12:07] <Minaplo> ["Hi." Said Kirihara neutrally.]
[12:10] <@Sept> "Hey," said Sera, mimicking her tone and adding a bit of a wave. "And the victim?" He turned to look at the dead guy.
[12:12] <Minaplo> [The man cracks a rough grin.-
[12:13] <Minaplo> ["Cute." Said Jeanne. "This is Captain McNulty, Boston Head of Security. These two here act as my lieutenants here in New Paris."]
[12:15] <@Sept> "Ugh, that's a thing now? I thought that was just someone trying to be funny."
[12:16] <Minaplo> ["Two syllables. Easier to say than 'The Dorian and the Bell.'" Said McNulty.-
[12:16] <Minaplo> ["Which sounds like a fairytale anyway." Said Kirihara. "Like that one with the fox and the hound."-
[12:16] <Minaplo> ["Cried my eyes out as a kid over that film." She added.]
[12:17] <Minaplo> <Three*>
[12:17] <@Sept> <Or super French>
[12:17] <@Sept> "Paris -is- New Paris, though."
[12:18] <Minaplo> ["We considered calling it 'Red Paris', but…"-
[12:18] <Minaplo> [Jeanne Simon hummed the opening line to The International under her breath.]
[12:19] <@Sept> "Hehe. Yeah, redundant."-
[12:19] <Minaplo> <Apparently it's spelt with an e. Internationale*>
[12:20] <@Sept> Sera's expression reset somewhat. "And very insensitive. Of course," he said, nearly sincerely.
[12:21] <Minaplo> ["Anyway, was there anything you wanted?"]
[12:23] <@Sept> "Oh. I need to clear a guest with you guys."
[12:24] <Minaplo> ["Armin's already cleared. Hi, Armin."-
[12:24] <Minaplo> ["Hi!" Said Armin.]
[12:31] <@Sept> "Not him. One moment." Sera tried to stick a hand through his collar, failing miserably and only looking very unsoldierlike in the process.-
[12:31] <@Sept> Attempt two had more success with the top button undone, and Sera's right hand procured an ornate boatswain's whistle that he then very unceremoniously blew into.
[06:54] <@Minaplo> [… And he found himself inside his 'memory office', the little writing office Archivist had made for him.]
[07:04] * Sept closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. He'd become accustomed to the place by now, certainly feeling more at home than in his crappy dorm. The tomes she'd recovered on Evangelion biology were still strewn about on the desk, where he'd left them. But this wasn't the non-time for that. "Archivist?"
[07:05] <@Minaplo> [And she was standing there, as though he'd simply overlooked her. She was smiling broadly, the emotion tome in her hands.]
[07:08] <Sept> "Ah. Hey."-
[07:09] <Sept> "Yanmei's getting married. There's a big party. Want to come?"
[07:10] <@Minaplo> [She bobbed her head once, quickly.]
[07:16] <Sept> "It's a very important event for the people, too. So I can't have any kind of commotion ruining this, understand?"
[07:16] <@Minaplo> [She nodded several times enthusiastically.]
[07:18] <Sept> "And I fully expect security to have this under control, but if you see something's up, get me or Jeanne. …I'll also introduce you to Jeanne."
[07:20] <@Minaplo> [She beamed.]
[07:23] <Sept> Sept's stern expression finally relented into a smile. "Right. Let's try and enjoy this. Meet us outside."
[07:26] <@Minaplo> [And quite simply Sera was just… In the security office. Nothing had changed, except Archivist was now standing next to him.-
[07:27] <@Minaplo> [Jeanne and the others were staring at her in puzzlement, but not surprise- it was as though they'd only just noticed her.]
[07:31] * Sept blinked. "Her. Jeanne, Archivist, Archivist, Jeanne," Sera rattled, and as an afterthought nodded towards the others. "And Captain, and McNulty."
[07:33] <@Minaplo> ["Kirihara." Said Kirihara.]
[07:35] * Sept smirked a bit, ignoring the correction.
[07:36] <@Minaplo> ["So… What's her deal, Sera?" Asked Jeanne.]
[07:38] <Sept> "It's a slippery slope, like with hallucinations. Once you get one bound to you, they just…" he handwaved.
[07:39] <@Minaplo> ["Sera…" Said Jeanne warningly.]
[07:47] <Sept> "Sorry. There's more than one Lance Spirit hanging around now, right? What is it you want to know?"
[07:48] <@Minaplo> ["Okay, so that's a lance spirit?" Said Jeanne. "Is this the same one as the one who set fire to the rickshaws in Singapore?"]
[07:49] <Sept> "…no," Sera said, defeated.
[07:50] <@Minaplo> [McNulty was eyeing Sera with a sort of cautious curiosity at play.-
[07:51] <@Minaplo> ["Is she inclined to set fire to things? Or destroy things in general? Or cause any problems with security?"]
[07:51] <@Minaplo> [Asked Jeanne.]
[07:56] <Sept> "Armin can vouch for Archivist. And Nadiacadenza understands the importance of this event. You can come to me if you suspect something of the sort, and I can help you sort it out even if it's unrelated. Okay?"
[07:56] <@Minaplo> ["Alright." Said Jeanne slowly. "Deal."]
[07:57] <Sept> "Good. Anything else?"
[07:59] <@Minaplo> ["Got a date?"]
[08:01] <Sept> "Nah. Wanna take the day off?"
[08:01] <@Minaplo> ["Nope." Said Jeanne.]
[08:01] <Sept> "Alright. Have fun. You guys, too."
[08:06] <@Minaplo> [They gave him nods in response.]
[08:09] <Sept> With another nod back, Sera headed out and re-entered the flow of people.
[08:11] <@Minaplo> [Armin followed, as did Archivist, practically bouncing on her heels.-
[08:11] <@Minaplo> ["So where to now, Sera?" Asked Armin.]
[08:13] <Sept> "I don't know. Are we supposed to mingle until the thing starts..? I was just gonna see where everyone's going."
[08:14] <@Minaplo> ["I think so." said Armin. "Then I'll go where you go."]
[08:20] <Sept> "Yeah, that's fine. I'll tell you if I want you to get lost. Ezekiel should be around somewhere if you're interested, Archivist. You knew that, right?"
[08:21] <@Minaplo> [She nodded, beaming.]
[08:28] <Sept> "And Nadiacadenza, one more time. No stress tests today, correct? This is highly delicate."
[08:29] <@Minaplo> [Silence from the air.]
[08:32] <Sept> "This is important to me," Sera said, still navigating through the hubbub.
[08:33] <@Minaplo> [Still silence.]
[08:37] <Sept> "Well, you heard me."-
[08:37] <Sept> "One of these days, we're going to have a sit-down together and you two are going to sort your shit out. We're not achieving world peace with two important representatives still at odds."
[08:40] <@Minaplo> ["I'm not sure that's going to happen." Said Armin neutrally.]
[08:44] <Sept> "Of course not. Otherwise you'd have done it already."
[08:48] <@Minaplo> [The Archivist watched this little exchange, her smile fading.-
[08:52] <@Minaplo> [Sooner or later, Sera and co. would arrive at their 'destination'. Or at least, where the ceremony was going to be held. It looked like the old Dory cafeteria, although cleared entirely of debris and indeed of tables. Most of the room had been cleared out, creating a large open space. The nude nymph statue still sat in the middle of the room, although her fountain had long since stopped
[08:52] <@Minaplo> running. The nymph herself seemed undamaged, miraculously.-
[09:03] <@Minaplo> [There were people here that Sera knew, of course. In one corner he saw Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Ariadne Delacour and Dr. Castillo-Delgado, standing around and discussing something. Over by a wall near the kitchens he saw Iron-Spine Edgar talking with Eva Marchand and a girl he vaguely recognised as Pham Thi Tien, the guerrilla pilot on Alex's squad. Standing in front of the nymph he saw
[09:03] <@Minaplo> Sarasvati, standing by herself, wearing a red velvet empire-style backless dress, the hem falling to around her ankles. Unlike the rest of the room, she seemed completely unbothered by the cold and was instead looking around at the rest of the room.-
[09:07] <@Minaplo> [There were, of course, people Sera didn't recognise. In the middle of the room he saw two huge people- Iron Guard, probably- wearing strange, bizarre outfits. One was tall and slim, wearing a brilliant silver and black silky-shimmery robe that seemed to have a floaty, almost frictionless look. He had brown hair, pulled back into an elaborate ponytail. The other Guard was dark-skinned and
[09:07] <@Minaplo> strongly built, wearing a poncho of brown-tan feathers over a brown robe. The two were muttering at each other.]
[09:15] * Sept let his eyes wander, taking in the remaining telltale signs of battles past. "Is that… some kind of ceremonial Guard thing?"
[09:15] <@Minaplo> ["Is what?" asked Armin.]
[09:18] <Sept> "The costumes. I haven't seen them in any kind of celebration before, I think."
[09:19] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, that's Yanmei's honour guard." Said Armin. "They recruited them from Australia."]
[09:23] <Sept> "Oh. That's cool. Must be a handful."
[09:23] <@Minaplo> ["There's five."]
[09:25] <Sept> "…yes. I see."
[09:36] <@Minaplo> ["You could talk to them." Said Armin. "Or… Look at Sarasvati. She stands alone despite her radiance."]
[09:38] <Sept> "Tell you what. You keep Sarasvati company and I'll quickly see what the Guards are about."
[09:39] <@Minaplo> ["Deal."-
[09:41] <@Minaplo> [And so Armin headed off towards Sarasvati, whilst the Archivist seemed content to stay with Sera for now.]
[09:44] <Sept> "Hmh." Sera adjusted the ends of his sleeves again, glanced at the Archivist and headed for the large figures dominating the center of the area. "Excuse me?"
[09:51] <@Minaplo> [They both turned their heads towards him, the feathered one frowning. The silky-clad one, however, had a polite expression with a small, neutral smile. "May I help you?" He said.]
[09:58] <Sept> Sera examined them both with a neutral expression. "You're with Yanmei's honor guard, right? I'm Sera de Pteres, a pilot and stuff. Thought I should introduce myself." He offered a hand to the more pleasant-looking one first.
[10:13] <@Minaplo> ["I see." He took Sera's and hand shook it firmly. "I am Julius of the Great Spider Clan."-
[10:14] <@Minaplo> [The feathered one wore a taciturn expression. He did not offer any hand. "Mark of the Wedge-Tailed Eagle Clan."]
[10:19] * Sept took the refusal without any fuss. "So you -do- have clans. That's -fantastic-," Sera said. "And you've been at each other's throats in that desert for… how long?"
[10:20] <@Minaplo> ["Nearly two years." Said Julius.]
[10:22] <Sept> "But you haven't all killed each other."
[10:25] <@Minaplo> ["Killing an Iron Guard permanently is even harder than it looks." Said Julius.]
[10:28] <Sept> "Yeah, I don't doubt it. And only temporarily killing them only breeds deeper feuds?"
[10:30] <@Minaplo> [Mark's eyes narrowed.-
[10:31] <@Minaplo> ["I wouldn't say that." Said Julius. "There's no hard and fast rule; oftentimes we fight for reasons besides just feuds. Stealing resources, acquiring land sometimes… Simply to show off." He smiled. "Most clans have fought with other clans, then turned around and made alliances. Actual sustained feuds are rare."]
[10:39] <Sept> "Heh. The reports weren't lying, it's just an all-you-can-take violence buffet, huh? D'you know about Neospartans?"
[10:40] <@Minaplo> ["I wouldn't describe it quite so extremely, you know." Said Julius. "We don't fight all the time. In fact we spend more time not fighting than not."]
[10:43] <Sept> "Oh, hehe, I get that. But you understand how it seems like an Olympus or Valhalla to us. Go on, go on."
[10:50] <@Minaplo> ["I am of the Great Spider Clan, undoubtedly the wealthiest and most diplomatic." Said Julius magnanimously. Next to him, Mark snorted derisively.-
[10:56] <@Minaplo> [Julius ignored him. "I am the Champion- the greatest warrior- of my Clan, but I also sit on my Clan's circle as the Silkmaster, you know! This means I am in charge of overseeing our herds of Great Spiders, and seeing that they are kept healthy and fed. I also oversee the silk right from harvest up to weaving."]
[11:10] <Sept> "Uh huh. And how does one become Silkmaster?"
[11:10] <@Minaplo> ["I suppose it's by being the most slippery and deceitful." Said Mark derisively.-
[11:11] <@Minaplo> ["No, we save that for our Chief." Said Julius sleekly. "One becomes Silkmaster by being better at the job than anyone else, you know!"]
[11:11] <Sept> "And that's decided by?"
[11:13] <@Minaplo> ["By being better at it." Said Julius. "That's not a hard concept."-
[11:13] <@Minaplo> ["He probably wants to know by what tests is that decided." Said Mark.-
[11:14] * Sept gave a nod.
[11:16] <@Minaplo> ["Oh, tests." Julius shook his head. "There is no formal test, you know! It all comes down to whoever the circle feels has the most knowledge and experience. Every one in our Clan owns at least one Great Spider. Whoever's herd produces the most per Spider, or grows their herd the best… That is how it is decided. And my herds are the second greatest in the entire Clan!"]
[11:22] * Sept nodded again. "Of course, of course. So even if someone didn't own as many spiders as the established Silkmasters, they might be recognized for their dedication and skill?"
[11:23] <@Minaplo> ["Quite." Said Julius. "As my Clan's Silkmaster, it is my duty to encourage this, to ensure that if my position were to be vacated, we would have many people qualified to fill my place."]
[11:29] <Sept> "And the - Wedge-tailed Eagle Clan maintains this is but a front for the Great Spider Clan's backstabbing wordsmithery?"
[11:35] <@Minaplo> ["Everyone has to admit that the Spider Clan does well with their herds." Said Mark grudgingly. "And their silk is premiere. Their treacherous, slimy, backstabbing turncoat ways are separate to that."]
[11:41] <Sept> Sera's smile grew wider for a moment. "Then what are you and your Clan known for?"
[11:42] <@Minaplo> ["Dealing death." Said Mark bluntly. "There is no place we cannot swiftly go, and no one that can keep us in one place."]
[11:44] <Sept> "Because you ride on eagles."
[11:44] <@Minaplo> ["Don't mock me." Said Mark darkly.-
[11:46] <@Minaplo> ["They don't make eagles quite that big." Said Julius, chuckling. "Even the Skylord Eagles aren't big enough for an Iron Guard to ride."]
[11:54] <Sept> "No, I'm glad," Sera laughed. "I'm glad. To tell you the truth, for a while I thought leaving Azariah's children on an island by themselves would take the whole continent straight back into the dark ages."
[11:57] <@Minaplo> ["Rude." Said Julius. "We're quite capable of managing."]
[12:02] <Sept> "I can see that! You've basically tamed the continent no one wanted to live on! That's nothing if not proof of your capabilities."
[12:03] <@Minaplo> [Archivist had remained more or less innocuous during all of this, staring at the three of them in turn, although she was looking at Sera now. Well, not quite. Over his shoulder.-
[12:04] <@Minaplo> ["Mmm." Said Julius. "You should see it for yourself."]
[12:09] <Sept> "I might like that, though I had a tough enough time getting off the ship last time. I think we'll be buckling down for heavier action once we get back online," Sera said, glancing at Archivist a few times before finally losing to curiosity and following her stare.
[12:09] <@Minaplo> [Nothing there…?-
[12:14] <@Minaplo> [Then suddenly Sera saw it, or rather now it was filling his entire field of vision. A man- an Iron Guard, surely, from his height, although his build was unlike anything Sera had seen before. He was taller than any Guard he'd ever seen, and much thinner too, giving him a strange, gangly build. He was pale, with bulging, protuberant eyes. His skin was almost translucent, and Sera could
[12:14] <@Minaplo> see quite clearly the various veins and lines in the man's face. He was not even a foot away, his nose almost touching Sera's nose. Those bulging eyes were focused on Sera's face. How the hell had Sera not noticed him? The instant Sera saw him, a frisson of disgust and panic shot through his mind.-
[12:15] <@Minaplo> [A second later, both Mark and Julius suddenly started. They began to swear, falling both into a combat stance.]
[12:23] * Sept managed the first part just fine, letting out some kind of yelp with a string of mixed-language swears. The latter however, requiring finer motor functions, left him half stumbling onto the floor between the men he'd been speaking with, holding out his left arm toward the newcomer as his right tried to help him find his footing again.
[12:26] <@Minaplo> [As one might imagine, this drew the attention of quite a lot of people.-
[12:26] <@Minaplo> [The Archivist didn't move, of course, since she'd already seen him. She just kept watching curiously.-
[12:27] <@Minaplo> [The Iron Guard didn't move, however, or attack, or anything like that. His bulbous eyes simply shifted, their gaze falling on Sera's new position.-
[12:27] <@Minaplo> ["Fucking Platypus Clan!" Swore Mark.-
[12:27] <@Minaplo> ["Errrgh, yes." Julius stood up straight, abandoning his combat stance. "Meet Peter of the Platypus Clan."]
[12:35] * Sept straightened himself out and took half a step back in, resisting the urge to dust off his clothes. "Gh. Hey. Sera de Pteres."
[12:36] <@Minaplo> [The Platypus Clan continued to stare at him, licking his lips three or four times. He was silent for a good minute and a half. "Peter." He said, his voice wet. It reminded Sera of an octopus slapping wetly on tile.]
[12:44] <Sept> "That's. Unusual," Sera finally managed, using a sleeve to wipe off a drop of something unpleasant off his glasses. "I haven't… heard of Guards like. You."
(15:22:05) Minaplo: [Peter continued to stare at Sera, and didn't say another word.-
(15:22:26) Minaplo: ["He's a Platypus." Said Mark, his voice thick with contempt. "A skulking, sneaking, mind-tricking Platypus scum."]
(15:26:20) * Sept was now hesitant to look away from the… man, concerned he'd lose him again. "Archivist? Is that the same effect your field has..?"
(15:27:14) Minaplo: [She shook her head.]
(15:27:35) Sept: "Different mechanism altogether."
(15:27:45) Minaplo: [She nodded.]
(15:29:34) Sept: "…and you said there're others? They were all engineered this way?"
(15:33:13) Minaplo: ["There's a whole clan of them." Said Mark. "We don't know how many, because of their slimy ways."-
(15:38:58) Minaplo: ["The Platypus Clan is- unique. Horribly unique." Said Julius. "I could tell you the story…"]
(15:46:03) Sept: "I have to admit," Sera said, finally daring to take a step to the side to face Mark and Julius again, leaving Peter in the periphery of his vision for however long he deigned to stay there. "I'm interested."
(15:51:07) Minaplo: ["Their leader is an Apostle." Said Julius.]
(15:56:22) Sept: "With similar abilities?"
(16:00:03) Minaplo: ["I can't be certain." Said Julius. "But this Apostle had access to special technology. All Guard are designed to a baseline, you know! It's onto that baseline that certain modifications are made. For example, the Captain Pattern can make certain Guard even stronger and better at leading. The same thing exists for the Apostles."-
(16:00:34) Minaplo: ["Only, whatever the Platypus chief had with him wasn't perfect. It needed some knowledge or configuration that he didn't have, so he turned to experimenting…"]
(16:04:47) Sept: "…yeah, alright. And this is already after the LN collapsing?"
(16:08:00) Minaplo: ["Right. He was in Australia. Is." Said Julius. "Anyway, after many horrific failures, he eventually hit on a combination that… -Worked-."-
(16:08:19) Minaplo: [He gestured at Peter. "For a certain definition of 'worked'."]
(16:14:03) Sept: "That's. Really something," Sera said, not sure how to feel about it. "You're sure about it?"
(16:14:54) Minaplo: ["About what?" Asked Julius.]
(16:19:48) Sept: "The story. Where's it come from?"
(16:22:10) Minaplo: ["You know. Around." Said Julius. "There're people who trade with the Platypi that also trade with us."]
(16:28:02) Sept: "Hah. Well, it's as plausible as anything. Peter, anything to say in the defense of your clan?"
(16:30:58) Minaplo: ["Defense?"-
(16:31:22) Minaplo: [He was silent. Again, for a good minute or so. But after that minute passed he placed a hand on Sera's shoulder. The other hand he held up in front of Sera's face.-
(16:31:56) Minaplo: [Four spurs shot out of his fingers, which Sera could see had little sucker-like orifices on the tips.-
(16:32:01) Minaplo: ["We debilitate."]
(16:40:48) * Sept quickly snapped away again, at the sight, taking another step away from him. "That. Is the most horrifying thing I've seen in weeks. Ghh."
(16:41:21) Minaplo: ["What was the last horrifying thing you saw?" Asked Julius before he could stop himself.]
(16:46:20) Sept: "Alien hydra parasites," Sera said with little hesitation, eyes unfocused. "That was pretty fucked."
(16:47:18) Minaplo: ["What's the context there?" Asked Mark, looking grudgingly interested.-
(16:48:08) Minaplo: ["Er, nevermind that." Said Julius. "See those spurs? Don't let them cut you. The pain is enough to drive an Iron Guard mad. If it slashes your arm, it'd be better to tear the arm off instantly than let it pass naturally."]
(16:50:59) Sept: There was almost a hint of excitement on Sera's face before Julius cut back in. "Ah." A quick glance towards Peter. "A toxin or virus?"
(16:53:20) Minaplo: ["Venom. Hyperalgesic venom."-
(16:53:29) Minaplo: ["Just like a real platypus." Added Mark.-
(16:53:46) Minaplo: [Archivist was during something curious, reaching into her coat and ferreting about for something.]
(16:56:17) Sept: "Platypuses have venom?" Sera said, casting a quick questioning glance towards the Archivist.
(16:56:49) Minaplo: ["Yes." Said Julius. "It can leave you in agony for months."]
(16:58:11) Sept: "That's… stupid." Elisha had been right. The world was broken.
(17:01:28) Minaplo: ["That's the general consensus, yes."-
(17:01:50) Minaplo: [Archivist had found what she'd been looking for! She pulled out what looked like… A paint brush, and held it triumphantly into the air.]
(17:09:34) * Sept laughed a little at the gesture and Julius' easy assent. "What's that for?"
(17:15:02) Minaplo: [With a determined expression on her face, Archivist began making strokes in the air.-
(17:15:24) Minaplo: [Mark and Julius started to laugh, but their amusement quickly ended when they saw… Paint hanging in the air.-
(17:15:59) Minaplo: [Archivist worked quickly, and within a minute a shape was starting to emerge. An artistic rendition of an animal. With brown fur, a duckbill, webbed feet, and a flat tail…-
(17:16:08) Minaplo: [She finished, the platypus image hanging in the air.-
(17:17:11) Minaplo: [Then it suddenly moved, stretching out, becoming lifelike. It fell from the air, and Archivist caught it in her arms. The newly-formed platypus- looking slightly unreal- quickly twisted and turned in her grip before clambering up her arm and taking residence on her shoulder.-
(17:17:35) Minaplo: [Mark and Julius took a step back in alarm, whilst Peter's entire face lit up, his huge, bulging eyes shining with delight. "Platypus!"]
(17:22:24) * Sept laughed instead, bringing one hand up to his face. "You don't think they're stupid at all, do you?"
(17:23:45) Minaplo: [Archivist looked at Sera and beamed.]
(17:24:27) Sept: "How… real, is it?"
(17:25:11) Minaplo: [She held her arm out towards Sera invitingly.]
(17:27:08) * Sept crossed his arms firmly. "Is it going to poison me?" he asked in an amused tone.
(17:29:18) Minaplo: ["Technically, platypi don't poison you." Said Julius. "The rule is that if it gets into your body through a sting or a bite or the like, that makes it venom."-
(17:29:23) Minaplo: [Archivist shook her head.]
(17:34:41) * Sept walked up to her, then, to examine the duck demon more closely. "It's still gonna be stupid, you know."
(17:36:04) Minaplo: [The platypus reoriented itself to stare at Sera with round, brown eyes.-
(17:38:27) Minaplo: ["… Also has electroreception, so it can detect your movements like that." Continued Julius.]
(17:48:10) Sept: "Instead of just looking at you." Sera brought his left index finger in front of its face.
(17:51:04) Minaplo: [It tentatively reached out to nudge his finger with its bill.]
(18:01:14) * Sept moved to scratch its head, then. "You just happened to know exactly how a platypus works and made one?"
(18:03:58) Minaplo: [The fur felt… Furry, yet there was a strangeness to it that was hard to describe.-
(18:04:07) Minaplo: [Archivist gave Sera a small, uncertain smile.]
(18:12:04) Sept: "But it -is- from some kind of record you've kept?" He gave the thing a light tap on its head.
(18:14:26) Minaplo: [She nodded hesitantly.]
(18:29:04) Sept: "Weird. Calling things into existence." He let the strange platypus go about its strange ways, for now. "Anything else I should know about them, Julius?"
(18:30:38) Minaplo: ["They lay eggs?"]
(18:32:19) Sept: "…oh, yeah. Stupid."
(18:34:12) Minaplo: [Archivist beamed. She ran a hand through her hair, and pulled from it one of her books. She opened it.-
(18:34:42) Minaplo: [The book opened of its own volition, the pages quickly flying through. To Sera's eye most of them looked like drawings of animals…-
(18:34:47) Minaplo: [The book came to a blank page.-
(18:35:40) Minaplo: [The platypus leapt from Archivist's shoulder onto the page- and the instant the two touched, it looked as though the platypus melted, merging into the vellum. A second later and a perfect colour drawing of a platypus now stood on the page as though it had been there forever.-
(18:35:56) Minaplo: [Peter frowned, his eyes downcast, his shoulders slumping slightly.]
(18:45:47) Sept: "Yeah, I see how that works. Thanks." Sera took a step back from her again, turning back towards the saner Guard. "Sorry. Were we somewhere before getting distracted by lethal fauna?"
(18:46:06) Minaplo: ["Were we?"]
(18:48:36) * Sept paused for a moment, letting the question hang. "Well, at -some- point I was gonna wonder how you'd get along with Neospartans. If -they- formed tribes in Australia, if you had to work with them… I wonder."
(18:49:54) Minaplo: ["Neospartans? We'd probably get along the same way we get along with every other biotypical."]
(18:52:26) Sept: "Hmm."
(18:52:34) Minaplo: ["What?"]
(18:53:42) * Sept shook his head. "No, nothing. If you say so."
(18:53:53) Minaplo: ["Spit it out, boy."]
(18:56:03) Sept: "Would you say biotypicals would have a tough time integrating themselves into your tribes?"
(18:57:18) Minaplo: ["We don't let biotypicals into our clans, no."]
(18:58:00) Sept: "What would it take for you to consider it?"
(18:59:20) Minaplo: ["The strength of an Iron Guard, the endurance of an Iron Guard, the dedication of an Iron Guard and the skill of an Iron Guard."]
(19:05:23) Sept: "Hey, Edgar!" Sera shouted over to the Iron Spine.
(19:05:47) Minaplo: ["Yo, what?" Said Edgar immediately, looking over.-
(19:05:56) Minaplo: ["Ineligible." Said Mark instantly.]
(19:08:46) Sept: "Do you have the strength, endurance, dedication and skill of an Iron Guard?"
(19:09:47) Minaplo: ["Bitch, I might!"-
(19:10:01) Minaplo: ["If he did, his spine would've regenerated." Said Mark. "It didn't, so he doesn't."]
(19:14:21) Sept: "You want to go to Australia on an exchange program?"
(19:18:03) Minaplo: ["His funeral." Muttered Julius.-
(19:18:07) Minaplo: ["What, again?" Shouted Edgar.]
(19:25:22) Sept: "You might die, though! You going if we figure a way around that?"
(19:34:52) Minaplo: ["Sure!"]
(19:37:52) * Sept gave him a thumbs up before returning to his previous conversation - and his inside voice. "That's a challenge if I've seen one."
(19:38:24) Minaplo: ["More like a waste of time." Said Julius, sounding irritated.]
(19:50:34) * Sept grinned. "You clearly haven't seen me waste time. Well, I clearly have my work cut out for me now, so I should be on my way."
(19:52:25) Minaplo: ["Right then. See you around."]
(19:53:52) Sept: "Julius, Mark. Peter. It's been interesting." Sera left the Iron Guard contingent and headed over to Armin - and almost certain doom.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License