Maia's Dream

<Maia> It was late at night by the time Maia was heading off to bed; she'd stayed up translating those pages for Walter's perusal, or at least what she could do in the hours before she figured she'd better get to sleep. Having changed into something much looser and more casual, comfortable for sleeping, she flopped into her bed lazily, slipping under the covers and curling up on one side with a yawn…
<Mina‘Haplo> [ She was tired, and sleep came quickly, for it was a cold, chilly night and she was tucked into a warm, comforting bed… But she wasn’t alone.- As she fell into sleep and started to dream…
<Mina‘Haplo> [They grew sharper, her dreams, clearer… Until they materialised into something she could manipulate, something she could affect. A wide, green clearing in a forest… Empty, except for a tall, black-haired, cruel-looking handsome young man with a bloody right hand. ]
*Maia looks around, taking in the surroundings slowly, but inevitably, she’d fix on the man.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "I was wondering when you’d come, Maia." Said the man, turning to face her directly. He had blood-red eyes and incredibly pale skin, which highlighted his bloody lips. "So. Shall we continue where we left off?" ]
*Maia folds her arms, giving him a look best described as indignant. How was it even fair to continue now?
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Aren’t you going to speak? There's no need to turn your condition into a charade here." ]
*Maia rolls her eyes. "…Fascinating. Really, I'm so used to not talking by now, I probably wouldn't have noticed, Marakanas," she said coolly. "Is this the part where you try and shatter my resolve?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "You could show *some*respect. Even if you hate me you must at least admit that my power is useful." ]
<Maia> "Well, that’s something I can't deny."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "We’re off to a good start. So. Last I remember, we were discussing… What was it?" He approached her with a slouching gait. "Ah yes. Being abandoned as an Oblationist. And how lucky you are." ]
*Maia 's expression really doesn't change from its general smugness. "Right, things I don't have a problem with."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Oh, do wipe that look off your face. It’s far too unbecoming." Snapped Marakanas. "I mean, let's have a look at what you have. Your sacrifice, really, wasn't *that*bad. I mean, it's painful and an inconvenience, but…" a shrug. "And you have a family that loves and supports you… What about those Oblationists who do not have even that? Hmm?" ]
*Maia does lose the smugness, turning to a frown. "I can only imagine that they'd have a much rougher time of it." It was just like this demon to pick at an insecurity of hers, and he was doing it in _spades_ right out the gate. Asshole.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ A pause. "You know, I remember being insulted, but for some reason I cannot recall ever being called an asshole before." Said Marakanas, taking a dagger out and running the blade over his right hand- cutting it in the process. "But imagine. Imagine, if you will, all the orphans and waifs and the like that the Order takes in. No family, no loved ones… You, you have someone to return to at the end of it all.-
<Mina`Haplo> ["What do they have? Really? The Order? The same people who took them in and put them down this horrid, stupid path? How is that fair?" ]
<Maia> "It’s their choice to go through with it, and no one looks down on those who don't," Maia responds calmly.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Really? I mean, really, Maia. It’s their choice you say, but you can't tell me that these young children really have a *choice*. They are groomed for this! Your organisation venerates Oblationists as heroes, praises them, makes children want to be like them. And those who do not… Imagine your sister, poor, smart little Fara, who gets ignored because her big sister is a hero…" ]
*Maia frowns. "Bringing her into this is just dirty, even for you," she growls. "But fine. I can invoke my own example - how about my friend Camille? She recognized she didn't have the strength to be successful, and backed out. No one faults her for it, and in fact she's one of little Isha's teachers now."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["If you think I play fair by now then you obviously do not know me well enough, dear Maia." Said Marakanas, approaching her again. "And what of Camille? For every one who recognises their own faults and pulls out… It’s just like the battlefield. The promise of glory blinds a man to danger, and the same happens to your Oblationists. At the very least, the worst could be avoided, but there's hardly any support!" ]
*Maia frowns, considering this statement. "And when they turn astray, we act in a fashion to try and bring them back to the right path. In that sense, we try to support each other."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Tsk tsk. Maia, Maia, Maia." Marakanas reaches up to caress Maia’s cheek with his bloody hand. "Quite simply, your organisation never makes this *worthwhile*. For example. Do you know about my last Oblationist? She went rogue, and she never got the praise she earned. Her sacrifice? She had to relinquish *love*. It killed her. What can your organisation possibly offer that makes it worth *that*?"]
*Maia retorts back, almost seeming as though she might have lost her cool for a split second! "Keeping scum like you vaguely under control, for one."
<Mina‘Haplo> ["You can keep me under control without having to *use*me! Keep me sealed forever! But instead you try to harvest us, use our powers! And you punish yourselves endlessly. What benefit? To what benefit I say? The good of all mankind? If you believe that then you’re more naive than I thought."]
<Maia> "The good of all _creation_," Maia corrects. "Including you."
*Maia continues on. "Yes, I'm saying that even you have a speck of goodness hidden in you somewhere. Perhaps it's what makes you seem genuinely concerned about our welfare," she muses with a grin.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Marakanas laughs at that. "Genuinely concerned? No, Maia, I’m just rather pissed that your organisation is trying to muscle in on my turf. Also…" He spat. "All creation? All the people of the world… Hmph. How many genuinely good people are there? Most of them lie, cheat, live only for themselves. You're wasting your time." ]
<Maia> "If that were really true, what would the point in living be for anyone?"
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "For themselves. Which is the point." ]
<Maia> "I would find that a rather empty existence, personally."
<Mina`Haplo> [ "That’s because you've never given it a try." Said Marakanas. "Besides, you have others to live for you, to love you. Others do *not*. They live for others and no one lives for them and it leaves them empty and *your organisation*breeds this." He was rapid-fire talking now, his outline starting to fade as the dream construct started to end. ]
<Maia> "You're right, and I'm grateful for the support I have. And mark my words, Marakanas - when I find this wayward soul, whoever it is, I'll endeavour to make sure she gets the support he or she needs and deserves."
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Tch. This wayward soul…" He shrugged. "I’d be more worried about little Isha, personally. But that's just me~" Marakanas snickered. "Sleep well. I'll be watching you." He said, with a creepy smirk, before disappearing entirely… Leading the dream construct to fade. ]

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