Ilmas You Know The Dragon Sorcerer 28th Of June

[12:35] <FrontierWarGM> [The hotel room given to the Twiceborn was fairly luxurious, even gaudy in a sense. There were around ten beds, all lushly made up with soft, shimmery fabrics; a window, not a real window, but a holographic one displaying various soothing sights, such as a bucolic hill, a swirl of colours, or a volcanic planet; fully stocked kitchen, staffed by a food-crafting robot that didn't understand their language and threatened any one who came near; and a holo-theatre projecting various entertainments into the middle of the room.-
[12:35] <FrontierWarGM> [They shared the commons, although the rooms were kept independent.]
[12:47] <Inara> Earlier, when they had first checked in, Inara had spent all of three seconds in her own bedroom before turning and marching out the door. The opulence hurt her eyes, and she hadn't known what to do with herself amid these lush bedsheets, hologram, and strange unhelpful robots. Now she burst into the commons, a robed figure held aloft in her arms, and cast a slightly confused look around.
[12:47] <Inara> Which bedroom… was even hers again?
[12:58] * Rora had, for his part, been seated near the central projections — and as far from the disagreeable foodbot as possible. But he wasn't watching them; rather, he whittled away at a smallish hunk of oak, one end of which had started to resemble something rather akin to cauliflower, though not exactly.-
[13:00] <Rora> Both the wood figure and whittling knife nearly flew from his hands at Inara's sudden entrance however, plucked from midair by unseen force before they could hit the floor. "What, ah…" A moment of recognition. "…Oh! Welcome back- er. Is…everything okay?" A moment of AT feathers blinking into existence, blue with concern, "…Are they okay?"
[13:02] <Inara> "He's sick, Mist," Inara answered simply. "And he needs a bed. Which one was I assigned to?"
[13:06] <FrontierWarGM> ["I need metal." Muttered the Symphonian.]
[13:08] <Inara> "Eh?" Inara looked around, her eyes settling on the foodbot.
[13:09] <FrontierWarGM> ["Metal. Give me some metal. Electrum preferably. Otherwise, gold, silver… Something heavy and soft."]
[13:10] <Rora> "Oh, dear! Ah…hm." Blue deepened, tinged with a nervous orange. "I…confess I only really paid attentionn to which was mine; they are, however, welcome to my bed, if that is acceptable?" He gestured to the room third from the right.
[13:12] <Inara> "Appreciate it," said Inara gruffly. "And Mist? You're now my assistant. Help me to look for that metal, okay?"
[13:13] <Rora> "Oh- certainly!" A quick, if nervous, smile.
[13:15] <FrontierWarGM> [Rora would spy the silver and gold plating on the foodbot.]
[13:19] <Rora> "…Ohdear, um…" Rora caught Inara's eye, nodding towards yon foodbot. "…is all I'm seeing, in here. Keep new friends, meet the old, and whatnot."
[13:20] <FrontierWarGM> ["That'll do. Take it apart, please."]
[13:22] <Inara> "Right." Inara walked into Rora's room and quickly dropped the Symphonian on his bed before turning around and heading back to the commons… and the bot. "Hey, you."
[13:24] <FrontierWarGM> ["₡ﬕꞦﬧﬧ﴿?!?!?!"]
[13:28] <Inara> "Easy." She beckoned it closer. "Don't draw any knives, okay?"
[13:28] <FrontierWarGM> [It drew about sixteen knives.]
[13:30] * Rora blanched. "Well, I was reasonably sure it didn't understand us. But then, it does rather fits with the thing's, er…aggressive idiom."
[13:31] <Inara> "That it does. Goddamnit all…" Inara sighed and rolled up her sleeves. -
[13:32] <Inara> And thus it began.
[13:33] <FrontierWarGM> [And when it was over, Inara had a bounty of gold and silver, and the foodbot had a bounty of pieces disconnected from other pieces.]
[13:36] <Inara> And Inara wandered into Rora's room, dumping her hard-won goods into the Symphonian's lap. The sleeves of her robe were in tatters, but she didn't look too bad off otherwise…
[13:38] <FrontierWarGM> ["Thanks."-
[13:38] <FrontierWarGM> [The Symphonian took a wedge of gold, and ate it.]
[13:43] <Inara> Inara's eyes widened. Instinctively, she reached for the notebook she'd been carrying around in one of her pockets, only to discover that it had been cleaved in twain during the battle. Mournfully, she cradled it. -
[13:43] <Inara> "What's going on here?" she managed to ask. "How is this helping you?"
[13:45] <Rora> "…Does it taste good? crab soaked in butter" Rora had winced at the scuffle, finally remembering to pocket his whittling project. Now he was really seeing their new guest for the first time, glowing with light, curious greens.
[13:46] <FrontierWarGM> ["I'm hungry. And it tastes okay." Said the Symphonian, chomping down on a wafer of silver. "It's a little dirty, but that's okay."]
[13:49] <Rora> "Oh, sorry. There is a sink over there; I can wash some of that if you like?"
[13:49] <FrontierWarGM> ["Nah, it's not that kind of dirty. There's trace impurities in the metal."]
[13:50] <Inara> "Wait. You didn't vomit in that alleyway because you were hungry. That doesn't make sense…"
[13:51] <FrontierWarGM> ["I vomited because I overtaxed myself." Said the Symphonian. Colour was already returning to his skin. "And now I'm eating to rebuild my strength, especially since I voided the content of my stomach."]
[13:54] <Inara> "Then introductions are in order, don't you think?"
[13:55] <FrontierWarGM> ["Okay."-
[13:56] <FrontierWarGM> [He finished his wafer and stood up, leaning on his wooden staff. "I'm Ilmas."]
[13:57] <Inara> "Ilmas." Inara nodded and the glanced to Rora. "He was being chased by a bounty hunter earlier. Also, he knows English."
[14:00] <Rora> "…Ah! I was, admittedly, wondering." A brief blink of self-conscious yellow. "Oh, and I am Rora Mist; pleased to meet you, Ilmas."
[14:00] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas held out a hand to shake.]
[14:03] * Rora blinked, then took it in a warm - if somewhat awkward - handshake.
[14:03] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas's bare skin felt very hot indeed.]
[14:07] <Inara> "You can call me Inara," Inara piped up.
[14:08] <Rora> "…Apologies, but er…are you…" He cleared his throat. "Do you feel out of sorts, in terms of temperature? You feel like you could potentially be a bit feverish. Maybe? farenheit versus celsius"
[14:09] <FrontierWarGM> ["Inara." He said, offering her a hand, too.-
[14:09] <FrontierWarGM> ["And no, I'm not feverish, I'm just a Symphonian."]
[14:11] <Inara> Inara shook his hand. "Why do you know about Earth?"
[14:12] <Rora> "…Right! Yes of course; sorry." Sheepish lavender.
[14:12] <FrontierWarGM> ["I went there awhile ago." Said Ilmas. "I mean, you've all changed since then. I can feel it, the light of your soul- you've unlocked it. Fascinating."]
[14:17] <Inara> "That was about a generation ago." Inara took a closer look. The Symphonian didn't look that old, did he?
[14:17] <FrontierWarGM> [No, he looked youghg
[14:18] <FrontierWarGM> [No, he looked youthful. "Yeah, big changes. And now you're all in space and everything. How delightful!"]
[14:23] <Rora> "…Hmm. How often I forget; that this wasn't always how things were." He looked off into the distance for a moment, rendered introspectful.
[14:27] <Inara> "Have you met other Earthlings in space before?"
[14:28] <FrontierWarGM> ["No. And don't call yourselves Earthlings, that sounds terrible."]
[14:30] <Inara> "Twiceborn, then." Inara corrected herself. "It's just that we're looking for a group of them. A ship's crew that suddenly went missing."
[14:30] <FrontierWarGM> ["Is this the same ship that Engorged Acquirer's put up for auction?"]
[14:31] <Inara> "Yeah, that's right. How did you guess?"
[14:32] <FrontierWarGM> ["You're Twiceborn, looking for a missing crew, on a Base which is auctioning off a Twiceborn ship. It's not exactly the ancient tomb of the Blue Diamond Star."]
[14:40] <Inara> "Know anything about it?"
[14:41] <FrontierWarGM> ["Not really. It's not my priority. I came here looking for my wife."]
[14:47] <Inara> "Oh? So she went missing too."
[14:48] <FrontierWarGM> ["Not exactly…"]
[14:51] <Rora> The mention of tombs had Rora muttering something to himself, but now he was focused again on Ilmas. "Oh, dear. ominous mysteries in a blank page"-
[14:52] <Rora> "…Er. So, wait, someone put out a bounty on you, because you're looking for your wife?" He frowned. "…That doesn't make sense. And would be rude, besides."
[14:57] <FrontierWarGM> ["What? No. People put a bounty on me because I'm Ilmas? You know, the Dragon Sorcerer? Second Syncrarch of the Electrum State, Consort of the Whispering Wood Empress, Master of the Radiant Caves and Defender of Reality? Y'know, that guy?"]
[15:02] * Rora stared blankly. "…I, uh. I don't know, actually." Concerned blue returned to his AT feathers. "I mean, you're the first Symphonian I've met, so…?"
[15:03] * Inara was giving a very similar blank stare.
[15:09] <FrontierWarGM> ["Right."-
[15:09] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas patted them both on the faces. "Adorable."-
[15:10] <FrontierWarGM> ["Anyway, no. Me being me means I'm hunted by bounty hunters a lot of the time. That's not important. What is important, is that my wife's on this station, I think, and I want to find her."]
[15:12] <Inara> "Got any leads?"
[15:13] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas took out a golden cameo from his pocket. Engraved into it was a picture of a rock creature. "She looks like this."]
[15:21] <Inara> "She's lovely," said Inara politely. "That said, we could probably help you look, right?" She glanced at Rora.
[15:24] <Rora> The facepat earned Ilmas a deadpan look and a brief shade of uncomfortable orange. Both vanished as he was shown the cameo, which caused him to blink.-
[15:26] <Rora> "…Ah!" He nodded to Inara. "Yes, certainly; I would be happy to assist such a task of great import."
[15:28] <FrontierWarGM> ["Thanks- but, not right now. I do think I need some rest."-
[15:28] <FrontierWarGM> [He patted Inara. "I don't suppose I could fuse with you for awhile?"]
[15:31] <Inara> "At least buy me dinner first." There was a long, quiet pause. "That was a joke. The answer is no."
[15:31] <FrontierWarGM> ["Hah, okay." He eyed Rora.]
[15:32] * Rora was practically blazing with stark, shocked white plumage. He glanced back.
[15:35] <FrontierWarGM> ["Are we going to spend all night navigating the minefield of human sexual mores, or what?" Muttered Ilmas.]
[15:37] <Rora> "no-thanks-you-should-rest-I'mma-go-now-night" he blathered, exiting the room post haste.
[15:41] <FrontierWarGM> ["Fusing isn't sex!" Said Ilmas irritably.-
[15:41] <FrontierWarGM> [He turned back towards Inara. "Sex is sex."]
[15:45] <Inara> "Uh-huh. Even if it's not, you have gotta admit, it seems… intimate."
[15:47] <FrontierWarGM> ["Well it is. We become a new and exciting entity, unique in all creation! … You're not curious?"]
[15:47] <Inara> "Yes, I am, but not enough to try it myself."
[15:49] <FrontierWarGM> ["Alright, okay." Said Ilmas.-
[15:50] <FrontierWarGM> ["What are you, anyway? You and that guy, Rora, are… Different. Yet also the same in some way."]
[15:53] <Inara> "I'm an Immortal. A Twiceborn with physical and genetic alterations."
[15:54] <FrontierWarGM> ["Amazing." Said Ilmas. "Ah, that's really quite great."-
[15:56] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas made a gold-and-silver sandwich and ate it. "I don't suppose," He said, his mouth full of rapidly melting metal, "Anyone on your crew would be interested in a fuse? I'm dying with curiosity."]
[15:57] <Inara> "You could try asking, but most of them seem satisfied with their existence."
[15:57] <FrontierWarGM> ["Oh, I didn't mean a permanent fusion. It would be temporary!"]
[16:00] <Inara> "I didn't know that you could put a time limit on it. Fascinating… Still, you'll have to ask them yourself."
[16:04] <FrontierWarGM> [A bell rang.-
[16:04] <FrontierWarGM> ["Hey, it's me, I'm home." Came Zima's voice. "I brought some food because the hotel gave us a psychopath robot for a chef."-
[16:05] <FrontierWarGM> ["Oh. I see the robot's entire spine has been twisted, balloon-like, into a pretzel. Badass."-
[16:05] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas's face lit up.]
[16:09] * Rora looked up from his seat on the floor against the kitchen counter. "O-oh, um. Yeah. Inara needed to…borrow. Some of it. making an omelette"
[16:11] * Inara eyed Ilmas' expression and sighed, moving for the door. "C'mon. Let's meet another member of the team."
[16:13] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas walked out, staff in hand.-
[16:14] <FrontierWarGM> ["Oh, hey, you're the mark!" Said Zima. "I didn't realise Inara brought you back here. I thought she'd take you to a doctor or something."]
[16:19] <Inara> "Very funny," said Inara in a flat voice. "This is Ilmas. He's going to be resting here for a while."
[16:21] <Kayoko> The door opened again a moment later as Kayoko and Liane arrived. Kayoko looked caught up in her own thoughts, but the scene inside brought her back into the real world. Her attention shifted to the pretzelised robot, then to the unknown alien, then finally to Inara.-
[16:21] <Kayoko> "… I have some questions."
[16:22] <FrontierWarGM> ["This is Ilmas. Apparently, he's going to be resting here for awhile." Said Zima. They withdrew, out of a paper bag, what looked like a tube of meat inside a ribcage and bit off the end.]
[16:23] <Kayoko> "Did he pay us in broken robot for the privilege?"
[16:24] <Inara> "Indirectly, yes, I guess he did."
[16:24] <Kayoko> "Hm."
[16:24] <FrontierWarGM> ["To be fair, that robot tried to kill me earlier." Said Zima.-
[16:25] <FrontierWarGM> ["I'm Ilmas." Said Ilmas, in fluent English, holding a hand out towards Kayoko. "I'm a Symphonian."]
[16:26] <@Liane> "Feeling better, Ilmas?" Liane asked him. Evidently, she had already seen him.
[16:27] <FrontierWarGM> ["Oh, my other saviour! I am, a little, thank you."]
[16:27] <Kayoko> "Alright, why am I the only one that doesn't know this guy?" asked Kayoko irritably, even as she shook Ilmas' hand.
[16:28] <FrontierWarGM> ["Don't ask me. I'm the most famous person in the galaxy, probably, you guys are just new."]
[16:30] * Kayoko squinted.
[16:32] <FrontierWarGM> ["Anyway, I was being hunted by a bounty hunter, and then your friend here-" He pointed at Liane, "Claimed me. As a bounty."]
[16:33] <Kayoko> "How entrepreneurial," Kayoko said approvingly.
[16:34] <@Liane> "That's basically it, yes. And I have about…" She checks the clock on her comm device. "87 hours to cash in that bounty, or let Ilmas go, apparently. It's the latter, if you're wondering."
[16:35] <@Liane> "Did you know I'm from Berlin, by the way, Ilmas?"
[16:35] <Kayoko> "Now let's not be hasty," Kayoko said brightly. "How much is the bounty for?"
[16:35] * @Liane didn't wait for Ilmas' answer. "A million moks, payable to the Overseer Ministry of Science."
[16:36] <Kayoko> "… ah, Overseers," she sighed. "Well there goes that joke."
[16:36] <FrontierWarGM> ["There's a smaller bounty payable to a crime boss, though." Said Ilmas.-
[16:37] * Kayoko beamed.
[16:37] <@Liane> "Yeah, although that jerk Gauntlet wouldn't tell us who."
[16:37] <FrontierWarGM> ["Probably one of the ones I've crossed. So it could be a lot!" Said Ilmas, laughing. He held a hand out for a highfive.]
[16:38] * @Liane gives Ilmas his highfive, and then quickly follows with another question. "So, Ilmas, you know anything about Scumslinkers, out of curiosity?"
[16:38] <@Liane> "You seem to be extremely knowledgable, so, you know."
[16:41] <FrontierWarGM> ["It's hard not to." Said Ilmas. "The Symphonian Coalition doesn't deal with the Cyclogene Foundation, but lots of people do, so I know, eh, a lot."]
[16:41] <Kayoko> Evidently the newcomer was there to stay for the moment. Kayoko shrugged off her jacket and let it vanish into a dirac cache as she stepped over the annihilated robot to get to the kitchen, still paying attention to the conversation.
[16:43] <@Liane> "Know anything in particular about an 'Engorged Acquirer', then?"
[16:44] <@Liane> "Other than that he's the one running an auction in approximately a hundred and fourteen Twiceborn hours."
[16:45] <FrontierWarGM> ["Æñ۞ڞ۩שׂשׂשׂ…" moaned the robot at Kayoko as she passed.-
[16:46] <FrontierWarGM> ["Hold on, let me take a seat."-
[16:46] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas sat, his staff resting across his lap. "So you're from Berlin, huh? That's fascinating. A lot has changed, then?"]
[16:54] * @Liane took a seat herself, nodding. "The old city was mostly obliterated thirty-three years ago, during the War of the Founding," she explained. "It's since been rebuilt, of course."
[16:55] <FrontierWarGM> ["Oh, that's good. What was the War of the Founding about?"]
[16:57] * Kayoko stopped what she was doing and turned to watch Liane very closely.
[17:02] <FrontierWarGM> [Ilmas leaned forward towards Liane and whispered, "Is it a secret? You don't have to tell me if it's a secret."]
[17:02] * @Liane certainly noticed Kayoko's watchful eye. "It's … complicated. I'll leave it at that."
[17:03] <FrontierWarGM> ["Okay."-
[17:06] <FrontierWarGM> ["So. Scumslinkers. They call themselves Virile Ones. There used to be Virile Ones and Nubiles- male and female- but they wiped anything they considered female out in a great war." Said Ilmas. "Wiped out most of the species, actually, because there were plenty that didn't want all the genocide… Fission weaponry was involved, so they ruined their planet… The instigator of the war was a megacorp called the Cyclogene Foundation, who got rich by peddling reverse-engineered Overseer genetics technology."]
[17:11] <@Liane> "… Charming."
[17:16] <FrontierWarGM> ["Yeah, it's pretty bad." Said Ilmas. "About two centuries before the crime, a monoculture had started taking root across the species, one which originated in a society particularly resentful of its women, even though they lacked power. Then the Defectors realised they could train some of the Nubiles to unlock the musical shackles on the Pleasant Maids, the Overseers didn't like that, and sold them the tech behind cloning and artificial reproduction, and yeah. The rest was history."-
[17:20] <FrontierWarGM> ["Scumslinkers are Widlflowers. Their big thing is shapeshifting, right? They have this mutation that lets them shift mass into a special type of pocket dimension, allowing them to change shape seemingly in violation of the conservation of mass. However, there's some limitations: they have an upper mass limit, so they can't shapeshift too big. They're limited to carbon-based life only, as opposed to silicoid, crystalline or metallic forms like myself. Oh, and even if they do shapeshift, they can't mimic extraordinary powers like the Overseers' 'good speaking' or the Light of the Soul."]
[17:22] <@Liane> "… Pleasant Maid…" Liane chewed her lip thoughtfully. She didn't want to tip Ilmas off that they had just come back from meeting with an Overseer, so she didn't go into further detail. "Musical shackles? That sounds important."
[17:24] <FrontierWarGM> ["You'd have to ask an expert. All I know is that the Pleasant Maids are enslaved to the Overseers through the use of a musical 'key'. I don't know how it works, only that the Nubiles seemed to develop a way to unlock it, so they had to go."]
[17:25] * Kayoko seemed to have forgotten about the drink she was preparing. She was watching this exchange and frowning very deeply.
[17:26] <@Liane> "And the Overseers know about this, of course."
[17:26] <@Liane> "Right?"
[17:29] <FrontierWarGM> ["They deny direct responsibility, but it's common knowledge that they sold their technology. That was… Two hundred years ago, by your reckoning." Said Ilmas. He turned toward Inara and gave her a thumbs up. "I was just as wild then as I am now, though."]
[17:36] * Inara returned said thumbs up… albeit slowly, and with an air of distracted confusion.
[17:42] * @Liane frowned, too. Then, asked a pointed question. "Where did the Pleasant Maids come from?"
[17:45] <FrontierWarGM> ["Oh, they're an Orchid species." Said Ilmas. "They used to be called the Singing Muses, but they were conquered by the Overseers about two thousand years ago."]
[17:49] <@Liane> "And enslaved with some kind of musical key. Which the Nubiles could unlock, but they've all been wiped out?"
[18:00] <FrontierWarGM> ["Well, not all the Nubiles." Said Ilmas. "Most. I'd say there'd be between a hundred and ten thousand left."]
[18:00] <FrontierWarGM> ["Can I just add that I find the Virile/Nubile thing creepy, as far as alien names go?" Said Zima.]
[18:02] <Kayoko> "Seriously."
[18:03] <@Liane> "There's got to be a better terminology that doesn't sound so…. ugh. Exploitative."
[18:07] <FrontierWarGM> ["There probably was, if you asked the Nubiles themselves." Said Ilmas. "I'm a Symphonian. We treat gender like you guys treat clothes. That anyone would go to war over that seems very, very weird to me. Anyway, that's the breaks."]
[18:13] * Rora had stared agog as the tale of scumslinker genocide unfolded, red creeping its way into his luminescence until he gleamed with incredulous anger. It had since faded to a smoldering crimson, but he continued to stare firecely at the wall opposite him. Though even he now winced at the focus on scumslinker…terminology.

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