NATION

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Postapocalyptia | IC [Episode 2]

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Tiltjuice
Post Czar
 
Posts: 33959
Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:30 pm

Calani rolled her shoulders forward, in the manner of someone trying to work out some tension. The room the motel had given her was a little spartan, but they'd been quite apologetic about it, not simply putting it down to her arrival beyond the designated check-in time. Something about a colorful, important-looking man arriving first, as well.

Her reflection in the mirror lifted an eyebrow in slight amusement. Check-in time? Just a veneer of respectability, to her eye; but everyone played a part, and to their credit, the motel did a better job of it than most establishments. Not that she expected differently from a place of lodging in Ticaret, and standing had its privileges. With all that was said and done, though, her back complained a bit. So it was that she rose slowly, concluding that a turn through the wadi's air might help. This late at night, she could afford to dress down somewhat. The low-cut black shawl and beige top set her apart from the Ticaret's regular inhabitants, as did the solid smoky quartz pendant that counted her among the members of the Consorts' Lodge. Street crime was rare in Ticaret, and no one interfered with a Consort. Not out of any fear, but simply in the knowledge there was no value in it.

She hadn't been through the door a second when the scent of barbecue wafted past. Curious, she thought, deciding to investigate. Tourists, likely; Chinese, perhaps - so fond of their night-time fifth meal. Whomever; expanding her contacts was always useful, and she stepped in that direction. As she got closer, snatches of conversation drifted past as well. Two men, at least, and two women.

Cylarn wrote:... thanks to our generous benefactor...."

"...Miss Takahashi, with recent developments and the fact that this..."


Chedastan wrote:I'm full already actually, but I suppose I'll stay for drinks."

"... to have what you're serving."


The Carlisle wrote:"That is a predicament," she said, looking away, out the window to Ticaret.


"Good evening," she said upon turning the corner. "I hope I'm not interrupting an important of discussion."

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Swith Witherward
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:06 pm

"Aright, that's the last one," Esma folded her dishtowel and set the plates back in the cupboard. "The machine is on the counter behind you."

The toaster oven was old and had obviously seen much usage over the years. The housing was scuffed and the glass door had a fair amount of scratches, but the Rom had never been able to part with it. She lifted a set of mixing bowls from the top and carefully handed the machine to the tinkerer, and failed to push aside an unasked for analogy as the device came to rest in his weathered hands. He, too, was old and scuffed, and had seen his fair share of hard work in life. Yet here he was, still good. Like the toaster, all he needed was some TLC and a bit of respect.

Bah. People aren't toasters, and toasters don't have feelings. Don't presume to know what he does or does not need. It's rude!

Esma snorted at her own nonsense and then gathered two wine glasses from the drying rack. "Right this way," she procured a fresh wine bottle from the icebox and opened it before heading back through the dining room.

Ticaret didn't boast much in the way of external illumination. The Span's assorted balconies displayed a few strings of glowing party lights, and one or two neon signs, but most of the Rom homes lining the walls opted to use open flame rather than electricity. The result was a peaceful oasis under the mantle of a starry sky. Emsa doled out the wine and set bottle and glasses on a nearby table before carefully lighting a match to breathe life into an old brass lantern. She inhaled the cool night air as she settled into a chair. Her ears picked up the serenade of insect chirps coming from the lush landscape ringing the oasis. This was home, and she had missed it. It would be a pity to leave it again.

Keskin paddled out, pausing in front of the low chairs in order to stretch. His odd mouth widened into a yawn and Esma gently latched onto a mandible-like structure in order to give it a playful tug. He growled his response then abandoned her. The paddelus flopped down near the balcony rail to take in the nocturnal sounds.

"And here lies a creature that hasn't any eyes," she reclined in the chair and continued to observe her beast companion, "yet he sees the universe in all her glory. Or so my people believe. Do Cultists keep companions, Temir?"
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Highfort
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:50 pm

Temir accepted the beat-up machine with a silent nod before following Esma into the dining room and out onto the balcony, settling himself in one of the unoccupied low-seated chairs while the Rom woman playfully pulled on part of Keskin's mouth. The tinkerer gave a small snort of amusement as the animal found a nook by the balcony rail upon which to take in the evening without being accosted by his master or said master's friend.

"Not animal or human companions, no," Temir replied, following her lead and reclining in the chair himself before raising up the toaster oven so he could get a better look at the underside. As he spoke, he slid off the bottom plate - screws missing from years of use causing them to break off or simply come loose - and the wires and safety fuse which kept the machine in working order were revealed to him.

"The Cult considers any personal interaction which does not benefit the will of the Kindred Spirit to be superfluous," he continued, noting that some of the wires which connected the heating element to the power source seemed frayed, "To this end, while we do not forbid pets or platonic companionship, it's generally frowned-upon. Much like my drinking habit, we're not supposed to participate in those things. We do so, anyways, because our wills sometimes cannot conquer the desires of our minds and bodies... We get lonely."

"That might be why we anthropomorphize our vehicles and machines," the tinkerer rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he slid the bottom plate back on and set the toaster down for a moment, "We make companions when we cannot find them. Though the scripture tells us that all machines have wills imbued in them as humans and animals do - all through the grace of the Kindred Spirit - it also cautions us against believing that we can communicate with these wills. So when we speak to our machines or comfort them or treat them as though they are alive, that is solely our doing - our personifying."

He fell silent as he lifted the toaster once more and examined the heating elements inside.
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Cerillium
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Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:07 pm

Mia nosed about the offered bags and found bread and some veg. Perfect. And then the child was fostered onto them as her mother slunk away to get on Willis' good side. She raised a finger to protest and found that she was addressing the warm evening air. Great.

"My name's Mia," she turned her attention back to business at hand, passing the bread to Nicole. "You're welcome to join us, since you're with Lucius. Paper plates are in the rig. Dole out the bread while I pull the meat from the grill, if you don't mind."

Her sights settled on the little child standing like a stick in the mud. Mia wasn't a 'kid person', but she also wasn't heartless. "Shimmer, is it? Come here darling, and we'll get your hands and face washed. Can't eat like a person if you're scruffy like an animal. There's a water bottle in that compartment next to you and some soap."

Her eyes lifted to settle on Willis and Eira sitting in the cab. Maybe I have it all wrong, she thought to herself. Maybe we should keep the kid and drop the mother off at an institution where she could get help. Her thoughts were disrupted by Calsni's arrival.

"You're not interrupting anything," she assured the newcomer. Perhaps this was yet another new addition to the team. Good. They could use more girl power. "Come with me."

She entrusted the meat to Zed and motioned for Calani to follow her towards the main rig. Her knuckles tapped on the door. "Potential recruit, sir."
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Swith Witherward
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:49 pm

Temir's words were absolutely shocking to a woman whose culture revolved around kinship and bonding, and her eyes widened as he continued to speak. The very thought of limiting interpersonal interaction! She wanted to grab him by his shirt and roughly shake him, telling him he was dancing on the cusp of insanity. She audibly gulped, then coughed as the wine uncomfortably slipped down her throat in a single bolus.

"The Cult should consider leaving the Kindred Spirit's will up to the Kindred Spirit to determine," she groused a bit too crossly for even her own liking, "To block off interaction... to command that people refrain from it! Why, that's just... that's... ludicrous."

Esma drew a cleansing breath and reminded herself that he was not part of her culture. He had his own tenets, and he was a big boy. He could follow them or cast them aside, but that was his choice. She had no right to meddle and yet, once again, she found herself unable to stop.

"Temir?" she turned in her chair, rocking onto her hip to better observe him. "Words can not teach others about our faith. We can talk at them, but if we do not live our faith, then everything we say is simply a recitation of dogma. It isn't spiritual; it's nothing but words. Interpersonal interaction is an opportunity to manifest what we believe. Only the Kindred Spirit knows what she has in store for you. Only Tengri knows what is in store for me. Neither of us can say what that will is, but if we deny ourselves platonic companionship, how do we know we aren't denying the will of our gods? What if your single purpose for existing is simply to teach me to be less opinionated?"

She laughed at the thought of it, and over the overwhelmingly daunting task itself.

"Tengri knows that nobody is perfect," she sighed and shifted in the chair once more, drawing her knees up and wrapping her arms around them. Her head tipped to better view the sky. "See the stars? The stars are perfect. The people under them are weak. That's why we should forgive them their shortcomings - which, I'll add, I need to work on doing. But there are many ways for them to improve, and many faiths by which they can. That is why you should keep your belief in your perfect Kindred Spirit."

Her eyes pinched closed for a moment, and then she opened them to regard the tinkerer. "But I think you should put your trust in her. Don't rely on others to tell you what her will is. She'll speak to you, to your heart. You follow that. If her will is that you be less lonely than other Cult members, it's perhaps because she recognizes in you the ability to manifest her lessons into reality, and she'll call you to be less lonely."

Oh gods, when will I learn to keep my sharp tongue sheathed?! Esma, defeated by the knowledge that she had probably offended him, coiled up a bit more tightly and would have closed off completely had a sudden thought not sparked to life. She allowed herself to relax, and crinkled her nose at him.

"When I met you, I judged you poorly. I thought you inconsiderate, and so I set out to chastise you. But it was the manifestation of your Kindred Spirit's wisdom, and the patient way by which you revealed it, that taught me to pay closer attention to what Tengri has taught me. Begging your Cult leadership's pardon, but I think interpersonal interaction benefited us both. And, in my opinion-"

Opinions! Always with the opinions, can't voice a single thing without offering one! I think this! I believe that! The Rom sighed and pushed away her stubborn pride.

"An opinion is an answer, and if you have all the answers, you never have to admit to your shortcomings. I have too many for someone my age." Esma drew her hands through her hair, pulling it away from her face. It tamed her appearance, momentarily replacing her exotic fieriness with the timid face of a far more subdued woman.

"Everything around this place is on its last leg," she confessed, "and I don't know how to fix it. That's a man's work. I can't ask the men here to fix it because, in my culture, that's admitting that I should give up and let them marry me off to the highest damn bidder. So I go off into the desert, where I can be in harmony with everything and retain my independence, and all the equipment here falls further into disrepair. I force myself to be lonely. It... sucks. Loneliness sucks, Temir. Nobody should ever have to be lonely. Frankly, I'm tired of being so. You don't want to be like me, do you?"
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Cylarn
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Founded: Nov 25, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Cylarn » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:21 am

Cerillium wrote:-snip-


Willis turned his head at the sound, noticing Mia over by the door, along with a young, attractive female. He heard the words: "new recruit," but Willis internally gawked. He noticed her pendant; all UNSEC brass knew of the Consorts, the charming, high-priced escort society of PostPoc. For a moment, Willis thought of something that Russ Gellar had told him long ago, back when they were in the same IP. Their Battalion CO had a Consort as his companion, and Russ had some thoughts on her and her society.

"It's just higher-priced pussy. If I took you to any town on this shit-rock, I could find you some on-par product, thought Consorts have the added benefit of not having as many diseases.


Willis gave a slight chuckle, but he wasn't as brusque as his former First Sergeant. Even though they were going into a combat situation, Willis was going to hear out the argument of the Consort. However, he looked over Eira, then at Lucius over at the fire. The man was covered in blood and shirtless; that was not good. Willis needed to know why he was covered in blood, and more about the punk hooker that her had brought along. He looked over at Eira.

"Do me a favor and find out why Lucius is covered in blood," he said, keeping his voice low so that he could keep their conversation confidential. "Also, find out who that female is that he dragged along."

With that, Willis grabbed his fleece jacket and climbed out of the rig. The night air was cool, and Willis put on the jacket to keep the cold out. He zipped it up to mid-sternum, and approached the Consort. The "potential recruit" looked out of place for the job in question. Willis' hands went behind his back, clasped together as he stared at the Consort for a moment. He then presented his right hand towards the woman, maintaining a neutral expression.

"Willis Clark," he said. "May I ask your name and your intentions?"
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The Carlisle
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Founded: Aug 25, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The Carlisle » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:55 pm

Eira glared down at Mia and the new woman who entered the fray. God damn bitches ruining her chances at getting work. It didn't help that the man was more work focused, but it didn't help that they were taking the focus away from her. She huffed a bit in discontent.

"As you wish," she said, "Hope to meet you later, soldier boy," she said, blowing a kiss to him before getting out of the rig. She took one last long drag of her smoke before tossing the cigarette into the loamy sand and puffing out.

Fucking cunts.

Eira, lighting another cigarette, walked up to the bloodied Lucius and his female partner. She took a long drag and puffed out before asking. "Conan and his warmaiden," she said, looking at the two characters.

One big muscled man with blood all over him and a small punk girl with hair that added to her height. Lucius didn't look the soldier type, more of a wandering killer. The punk girl, looked like a urban dweller with no idea what she was getting into. Two people that contrasted so differently, but Eira could sense the inherent ruthlessness in both of them.

"Soldier boy, erm... Willis wanted me to ask you who's blood you are covered in," she said, looking from Lucius to the punk, her eyes narrowing more at her, "And he also wanted to know who the fuck you are."




Shimmer looked up to Mia, giving a small smile. Shimmer remembered her being mean the first time she met, but now she was being nice to her. Maybe she wanted to be friends?!

"Okay!" Shimmer pitched up, giggling and walking over to the compartment. With a few tugs from her small hands, she opened it, revealing its contents. She grabbed the bottle and soap and started washing her hands. She fumbled a bit, spilling more water than needed, but she was learning to be more careful with her hands. After she finished, she put the soap and water away and showed her hands to Mia, showing they were clean. "All clean!" she said with a giggle.
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Chedastan
Negotiator
 
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Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:07 pm

As Nicole preceded to get a paper plate for her food, Lucius took note of the mysterious woman that had approached them, giving her a quick glance to acknowledge her. He certainly didn't know her, but he could tell almost straight away she must be some kind of Consort, possibly from here, he traveled enough to know them when he sees them, but it's rather odd that she seemed to want to join them, of all people here. He could only suspect she probably only wanted to use them as an ersatz armed transport. To which he then wondered how disappointed she'll be when she figures out the reality of the group she just joined. Lucius preceded to turn his head to look at Willis and Eira who were still in the rig. He couldn't make out exactly what their lips were saying, visibility was too poor thanks to it being dark out, and the fire in front of him wasn't helping matters much. But he could tell Willis at least was looking at him, he was fairly certain on that.

Nicole returned back with a sandwich on a plate, already taking a bite out of it. "Ah man, this is good." She said to herself, as she continued eating. Lucius sometimes wished he could digest more things than what his diet would allow, a lot of the native life here and non-meat products aren't really compatible, he knew quite clearly that his life would be a lot easier if he could consume more things in general. He then saw Eira and Willis get out of the rig, with Eira directly approach him and Nicole, this ought to be good.

He noticed at first that Eira was smoking, that looked new, for her at least with that brand. But he then recall what she said to them when they first met, which was something described as DID. This became abundantly clear to him when she spoke to them without the stutter that came and gone, and the change of tone. He was rather amused though when she referred to them as "Conan" and "Warmaiden." He couldn't help but chuckle at that. But when she got to the questions, apparent, Willis's questions, Lucius was a bit put off by it. Mostly due to it not being Willis asking his own damn questions, and instead having one of Eria's identities do it for him. He was actually surprisingly taken aback by it, as he would of thought the man to be more direct and down to earth. But then he realize what he was asking about, his appearance, and Nicole. Lucius could now suspect that Willis must actually be very wary of him and perhaps even Nicole, not just with the question part really, that was actually reasonable, but just sending Eria to do it. He knew Eria wasn't well respected and seen as capable by everyone in the group, but this! What was this? Is he actually trying to send Eria as fodder to him? Did he maybe suspect that he might try something, and have it better be her than him? The fuckin craven!

He looked over Eria and glared at Willis with abhorrence, he think he then knew more of the sort person Willis actually is. Funny that this feeling was coming out of someone like him. He then looked at Eria again, actually feeling bad for her now, if only out of new founded respect. Lucius finally spoke up, remembering why he was covered in blood. "I believe I'm covered in the menstrual blood of Neo-Mary Adam, according to a bum I met tonight. Who said there was a Neo-Christian Rabbi, who I guess was converting and baptizing people, I was on the influence of drugs from my dinner at the time, so I can neither confirm or deny this. Nicole, you're from one of the Neo-Christian Faith Cities, right? Temple Grandeur is it?" He turned towards her.

Nicole swallowed some food, she was still rather put off by the odd rude woman that came before them, as she was sure she was there when she joined them, how could she just forget? "Yeah, I'm from there. Baptized when I was a baby and all, actually nice place to live." She confirmed to Lucius, pulling out an inverted crucifix that was tied around her neck to further emphasize the point. Now she was really missing home after being reminded. Then she looked at Eria, and preceded to answer her question about her, trying to be more polite than she was. "My name is Nicole if you didn't catch it. And I was at the coffee shop when I joined you guys, Lucius was the one that invited me. Weren't you two guys there when I joined?" She then asked her, figuring she might have just been forgetful. But what surprise her was that Willis didn't remember her joining back there, that was odd, surely he knew?

Lucius actually wondered now if this was actually what it really was. He took two fingers dipped in the blood covering him, and tasted it's contents... Apparently the rumors of Neo-Mary Adam having a blood disorder were true, assuming this was still the same Mary, but this still explained a lot of things, like that supposed warehouse in Temple Gradeur, and the constant blood donation drives. He should probably groom himself clean before Rigel rises again. He smelled his breath too, he needed some mouthwash to get that out, thankfully not too many civilize folk would recognize that smell...
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Highfort
Minister
 
Posts: 2869
Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:39 pm

Temir shifted uncomfortably. Esma had hit several very tender points in her response and he wasn't sure he wanted to reply at all. The cool night air filled the silence with the wind as his thoughts fell away from the toaster oven he'd brought outside and onto the question of loneliness that she had posed.

The notion of a personal relationship with the Kindred Spirit struck him as alien. No one could understand her will except through their experience as mediated by the Cult. That was, after all, one of the primary reasons for the existence of the Cult: to ensure that Her Will was interpreted properly and not perverted for use by murderers, thieves, liars, and other such ilk.

"I wish I wasn't lonely," the tinkerer said quietly, breaking the ceaseless whispers of the wind, "But the Kindred Spirit wills it. It is Her test; I will not fail it simply because my pleasure would be to have a lover. Platonic friendship is already a form of treachery, but forgivable. I have no intentions of going further. If I fail in the quest that is my life to honor Her, then I don't know what I would do. There's not much else for me but to collapse into the sands and to become one with the world until I am called into Her service once more."

He shifted once more, clearing his throat before meeting her gaze with his own weary eyes, "The Kindred Spirit sent me out into the desert to finish what the Cult has started, to find the missing piece that would get her airborne once more. If I succeed, then the Cult will pass out of being. We will all board the Great Khan and she will ascend into the Great Beyond and there we will be free of pain and loneliness and suffering. Paradise, Esma, conditional only on a bit of suffering on Rigel. That is why we walk our paths without respite from others."

"Until then, however," Temir added, eyes brightening as he picked up the little toaster oven and appraised the heating elements within, "I would be more than happy to fix up the equipment around here. I have a feeling that this mission won't see the end of my quest and, if it does not, then no doubt our team will be passing by Ticaret on further missions. It would befit a follower of the Cult to assist one in need of repairs, and it's something to keep the mind off of drinking and loneliness."

Setting the toaster oven in his lap, the tinkerer noted that the filament which heated up the bread inside the toaster oven was thinning from years of wear. Combined with the frayed cords at the bottom controlling the timing and energy application, and most likely the toaster oven was burning everything as a result of not being able to properly detect when it was outputting the correct amount of heat. Swapping out the wires and inserting a new filament would do the trick, though he wasn't sure if the parts in Ticaret came as cheap as they did in the Great Khan.

"I'll need to go into town for parts tomorrow, hopefully they won't be selling them for an arm and a leg," he grimaced at the notion of spending his purse on non-mission related expenses, "If they are, I'll try and scavenge something before training."
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Swith Witherward
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Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:41 pm

Esma's bare toe traced the crack between two concrete slabs as she pondered Temir's words. She couldn't fathom his Cult's beliefs, nor their insistence on sequestering themselves from so many things. If a man drank, he drank. If he drank too much, that was his shortcoming, but not something that would destroy his soul. His life, yes, and his health, but Tengrii understood all men's hearts. He wouldn't punish a man for his weaknesses.

Her mind turned to the Cult's ship. What made it singularly the only god? There were many ships that came down during the Fall. Her own family had hailed from one, and it had not been the one in Great Khan City. Were there more Cults clustered around their own ships, each insisting that theirs was the only true manifestation of the Kindred Spirit. And what sort of god couldn't rise above his own challenges without the aid of mankind? That wasn't a god. That was a supernatural belief. She found herself wondering about the Cults leaders - oh so wise men that determined everyone's fate - and she pictured them as robed Wrothwilds spouting madness at the masses. It was indeed a cult, and one that seemed to promote so many unhealthy, cruel tenets. To what gain? To fly into space and do what?

"The only suffering is that which you allow yourself to experience," she murmured. Her voice, nearly swept away by nocturnal sounds, betrayed not only her confusion over his beliefs, but her own sorrow over his Cult's ways. The whole setup was worrisome.

"You will not all ascend into the Great Beyond nor will you all pass out of being," she chanced a final opinion on the matter. "I fear, when the ship is healed, the Cult will leave. But if you, Temir, are too far away to hear the news, would they will leave without you? Does that make you any less deserving of heaven? That you should be out in the desert doing her work thus unaware of what the rest of the Cult has achieved? Who is guaranteed passage then? Those men that claim to know her will. They remain near the ship where they can remain pure. How selfish is that, they they would send others out to face the challenges that they themselves will not face out of risk of missing the takeoff?"

A frown narrowed her eyes. "You are far more devout than they, Temir. You are devout because you have entrusted the Kindred Spirit to whisper her will to your heart and mind, telling you when it is time to return home. If you trust her to do that, then you must trust her in other matters. Her will be done, regardless of how you feel on matters and regardless of how others want to interpret her will, including myself."

The sun's departure had robbed the Oasis of warmth, plunging it into a soft chill that caressed Esma's bare arms and turned her flesh into goosebumps. Nippley weather, her father would call it, and then demand his daughters go inside and cover up lest men mistake the pilomotor reflex for arousal. The Rom turned her face to regard Temir and for a moment she was tempted to invite him to her bed in order to teach the clergyman about all the warmth and pleasures to be had between those that trusted in their faith and gods' wills. He wasn't so bad looking. She thought his hands and voice attractive. He obviously had Nomadic blood. He might have once belonged to the People. But he was not Tengrist, and the offer would only insult his ideals and, from his perspective, lead him onto a path of self destruction. And yet, there he was, enjoying forbidden wine and confessing that his pleasure would be to have a lover. The notion captured the corners of her lips, momentarily playing them into an alluring smile that was quickly dispelled by a soft yawn.

"Thank you for your offer to mend the broken things. I appreciate it, really," she stretched her palms to the stars to work the kinks from her shoulders, and then rubbed her hands to banish the chill from her fingers. "It's getting late. I'm sure Clark wants an early start for training."

The Rom rose, taking her half filled glass with her. "Max and Aubrey probably wouldn't mind another companion. There are spare pillows in their room, if you want to make a pallet. Or you can have the couch, if you'd rather remain alone. This might be our final chance to sleep someplace comfortable and clean before the mission ends, and I intend to take advantage of it."

The ambiguous statement was capped with a shrug. "Goodnight, Temir."
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The Carlisle
Postmaster-General
 
Posts: 10024
Founded: Aug 25, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby The Carlisle » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:23 pm

Eira was in mid puff when they mentioned it was menstrual blood. She coughed up her smoke, showing clear disgust. As they went on though, talking about neo-christians, it became a mix of disgust and amusement. She covered her mouth holding back a laugh. Looking over Lucius again, the blood didn't look like splatter, more controlled. Would also be the reason why he could walk around the streets coated like that, being a cult practice. Regardless, the cult practices amused her to the depths of delusion these people fell into, pouring blood on themselves to curry favor with their sky fairy.

"So I'm guessing you're a Born Again Christian now, huh?" She said to Lucius, letting a small giggle escape; Then turning to Nicole with a more critical look, "And no, 'I' didn't see you. But another... personality did.... It's complicated kid."
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Chedastan
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Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:11 pm

"I'm rolling with it for now." Lucius said simply to Eria, pulling out a blood stained inverted crucifix from his pocket to put around his neck, and while doing that, pull out bits of sand that had gradually build up in there. Hopefully this perk would prove to have it's uses to him, as it is the fastest growing cult after all, especially considering the growing appeal of the Faith Cities that the cult originated from. Yes, he could see a future where Temple Grandeur, San Franklin, and Found Angels will end up being one of the top players on the planet within the next few decades or so. They already managed to establish themselves quite well, and were thus organize, only time was left to wait on for them to see fully what they will become.

Nicole at first was confused by what Eria meant when she said "another personality." But then she realized she must have been implying that she had some kind of personality disorder. This actually explained a lot for her, and she understood her actually, as she remembered a relative having that one Aunt who had something maybe akin to that, before she lost her mind entirely of course. "No no no, I think I get what you mean actually, it's fine." She said to Eria. Then she remembered the kid she brought with her, maybe it wasn't fine at all though, actually it couldn't be. "So... Is there something I should know about that though?" She then asked her, actually now unsure, after realizing a few things.
Last edited by Chedastan on Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tiltjuice
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Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:24 pm

The long-ago and far-off voice of one of Calani's many instructors echoed in her mind. When brought forth and introduced by a scruffy-looking woman to a scruffier-looking man as a potential recruit, the man will frequently ask your name and your intentions. On this occasion, you are not to say that you are pregnant and both your conversational partners are the other parents due to an action of questionable ethics in a border village on the fringe of the Great Khan. Believe it or not, this has happened.

"My pleasure to meet you, Mr Clark; my name is Calani Marliten," she murmured, taking his hand and inclining slightly over it before letting go. "But I'm afraid you have me at a disadvantage. I came across you with no other intentions than a stroll at night. It's pleasant weather in Ticaret tonight, and I would be silly not to take advantage of it. And you? You seem to have some sort of a meeting here. Judging by your fellow traveler there, you've run into a spot of trouble."

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Highfort
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:39 am

The toaster was forgotten as ears obscured by a cloth headpiece picked up Esma's murmurs. Temir was taken aback by her accusations that the tinkerer's fellow Cultists would dare abandon him if he was not in the Great Khan when the eponymous ship was made airborne again. The implication that his own journey outward - motivated by a premonition made manifest to him by the Kindred Spirit in a dream - was a result of selfish greed and malevolence on the part of his fellow Cultists left him gritting his teeth. Who was she, this woman who knew nothing of his Cult - and openly admitting that she had many opinions she should not - to accuse his brothers and sisters of being liars and cheaters and traitors?

Before he could respond with sufficient venom in his voice to convey his growing displeasure, Temir was left defused as Esma stood up to bid him good night. All the anger dissipated as tiredness washed over him and he realized just how long the day had been - from the initial departure to the raider ambush to landing in Ticaret and nearly getting his skull crushed in by an angry cousin. The evening was seeping into the tinkerer's bones as well and he realized that they'd been out on the balcony for quite some time. The hour had grown late a long time ago and would would be passing into the next day very soon.

Standing up with the toaster oven safely tucked under one arm and his own wine glass - still almost full - in the other, he nodded at Esma and offered a conciliatory smile, "The couch will be fine, Esma, better than the floor at any rate."

A brief thought flickered through his mind. The couch would be fine, yes, but what would be more fine would be a nice bed with comfortably warm bodies to accompany him. Max wouldn't do so badly for the job and Esma, sans her running commentary on the Cult and his faith, would be a welcome addition. Hell, if both of them were willing, he-

The heretical thought was banished with a brief hard look up at the sky and a reminder that the Kindred Spirit was watching him.

Or so he thought.

Esma had made a good point, as much as he didn't want to admit it, about the Kindred Spirit's Will. Her Will would be done regardless of what he or anyone else thought about it.

And if Her will was that he connect with someone, perhaps Esma, then who was he to-

He caught himself in the rationalization before it could come to its inevitable conclusion and lead him down a darker path, "Good night, Esma. It has been... interesting. Peace upon you and may the blessings of the Kindred Spirit brighten the rest of your evening."

And with that, he departed indoors for the comfort and solitude of the Rom's couch. Something at the back of his mind was screaming about Esma and a bed, but it quieted itself as exhaustion took over and he slipped into the land of dreams, just enough time given for him to set the glass and toaster oven on a nearby table before passing out.
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Swith Witherward
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:58 pm

Esma realized she'd once again put her foot in her mouth. It was a hunch based upon the fact that Temir hadn't responded to her words save to acknowledge the offer to occupy the couch. She winced at his retreating back.

Ass, she upbraided herself as she extinguished the light, when will you learn to stop talking about things that aren't your business?

Yet it was, in part, her business. Hadn't they agreed to mutually share their beliefs rather than one-sided evangelizing from the Cultist? Well, if he couldn't handle other people's opinions!

Oh, do shut up, Esma! You're a menace, really.

The patio's sliding doors whispered in their tracks as she shut out the evening chill. Keskin padded along beside her as she brought her glass to the kitchen for washing, but he chose to abandon her in favor of curling up on the shoes by the front door. So be it. It was his task to protect the household and, although he'd grant Mathias entry if he returned, Esma didn't doubt his willingness to lash out at a trespasser.

The Rom paused at the guest room door. Aubrey and Max, curled under bed coverings, remained in their blissful sleep. She retreated to her own room and paused at the closest to work up her resolve, then plunged a hand inside to lift a soft blanket from the pile. Temir might be pissed off at her, or offended, but that didn't excuse her as a hostess; he deserved a blanket. Her bare feet carried her across bare wood and plush carpet, and she stood beside the sleeping tinkerer and unfolded a downy throw.

"Please forgive my childish impudence." The breathed apology was possibly muffled by the material as she draped it across his form, taking care that his shoulders and feet were covered. "I'm not Wrothwild. I didn't meant to offend you. You've been kind to me."

Esma stepped away and breathed a sigh. She'd make it up to him tomorrow. Perhaps a good breakfast would serve as a satisfactory act of contrition? She retreated once again down the hall and sat on the edge of her bed, leaving the door cracked in case Mathias returned. Defeated by exhaustion, elbows came to rest on her knees as she cupped her face in her hands. "He's lonely by choice. I'm lonely because I'm an idiot." This pronouncement was punctuated by a yawn that warmed her palms.
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Highfort
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:38 am

The same nightmare replayed in Temir's head like a favorite movie tape wound up too many times and then played on a cruddy VCR. What had once been a clear sequence of events - horrifying, but clear - had long since devolved into flashes of out-of-context happenings set to the thundering of the tinkerer's heart in his chest. The fact all of these brief snippets were in first person did little to orient the former clergyman as he was sent careening through a world where the Great Khan was restored to working condition and ascended into the heavens...

Without him.

Every time he reached that final image, of the ship pulling up into orbit toward the Great Beyond, he fell to his knees. This time, he didn't even have the opportunity; the moment was cut off and he found himself bowed before the Rom guide. He cocked his head.

This was certainly different.

"You will not ascend into the Great Beyond!" Esma leveled an accusatory finger upon him, and he struggled to recall if that was what she had actually said mere minutes before he had excused himself to tumble into this nightmare once more, "You'd rather remain alone!"

He attempted to choke out a response but found his lips refused to comply and instead he had to watch in horror as the bright light that he felt represented the Kindred Spirit - he wasn't sure why he thought it was her, but something told him it was - was blocked out by the dainty fist of the desert guide before being engulfed in her lips and swallowed. He was falling, then. The Kindred Spirit was his only link and without her, he was doomed now. Falling... Falling... Damnation would be approaching him soon enough.

Wait, what? What the hell was happening? He began to feel warm, almost oppressive heat and his heart began to pound in his chest as he suddenly woke himself.

The downy blanket was oppressive in how it totally covered him and kept the heat in. What should have been a pleasant gesture of hospitality was thrown away as he sat up on the couch and sucked in deep breaths, wiping the sweat from his brow with his cloak. The nightmares were usually predictable; at least, then he could brace himself to deal with them. That... was something else entirely.

He stood up, drawn to the object of his fears. They had to finish their talk, so he could put this behind him and the familiar old tape could return back to normal, so he could regain control.

Searching around, he passed the guest room with little more than a glance at Aubrey and Max, who were sound asleep. If only he could be like them, softly nestled in dreamland. Instead he feared the nightmare would replay again, but with different details this time to match the appearance of Esma. It was the differences that always got him, that made the nightmare seem too unique and real to be merely a replayed image of all his worst fears.

Temir found himself peering through the crack in the door silently and noted that Esma was sitting curled up, like a child in the fetal position. He cleared his throat and offered a polite knock before entering.

"Esma?" he shook his head as cold sweats broke out yet again on his temples, "Hey, you alright? You mind just... talking again? If you're tired, I understand but I..."

He swallowed, offering a nervous grin, "Don't laugh, the Kindred Spirit doesn't approve of mockery but... I, uh... I had a nightmare. Thought some talking would take my mind off of it."
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Swith Witherward
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:07 pm

The Grand Pool was designed to resemble a multi-trellised plant undulating across still waters. This was the work of Ticaret's Shamans, those kindly and pensive artisans devoutly dedicated to task of reminding the populace of Tengri's love for them. Walkways lined with turf curled over the water's surface, granting the traveler passage across the water's surface, and enticing them to stop at a branch in order to inhale the sweet odors wafting from clumps of gaily colored flowers planted at the ends, or else to descend into the Circle housed along the plant's trunk. This circle was currently occupied by a mother and her child nestled against each other on the low benches lining the circle's interior; the sunken seating area it put their eyes on level with pathways and water alike, and most likely the pair had come here to embrace the Pool's refreshing vibes before moving out with their night traveling caravan.

Bioluminescent insects lazily danced over the water's surface, their bellies briefly flashing as they greeted one another while searching for a mate among the tall flower clusters. The child, perhaps no older than six, reached out a pudgy hand in hopes of capturing one of them, but he was thwarted by distance and insect stubbornness alike.

"Don't touch," his mother stroked the tussle of dark hair capping his head, then pulled him closer to her. "They bite and sting. They are meant to be observed, not hassled by the likes of us."

The child's face pinched into a frown. His intention wasn't to hassle them. He merely wanted to see what made them glow. "Why?"

Ah, the quintessential childhood question. Tengri had gifted every child with the thirst to understand his will, and so this question was never refused regardless of how tired the parent was. The mother nodded in approval of his desire to understand.

"Look here," she said kindly and raised an arm to point out a flower cluster. "Each grouping is an oasis, a respite for the weary eyes. But, the night is dark, and we might not see them. Tengri knows that every soul seeks to be uplifted, and so the guidingflies draw our eyes to them as they cross the water, taking our gaze with them until our minds alight on the flowers themselves. Breathe, child. Do you not smell the cool waters and fragrance? We breath in harmony and we breathe out our sorrows, leaving them here at the water, and we take with us the memory of this place as we, too, travel from wadi to wadi and guide people to those places. "

The child had never thought of himself as anything but a child. His imagination was captivated by the thought that he did as the bugs did as he moved between each oasis. He frowned again. "I wish I glowed."

She raised a brow, amused by his thought process. "Tengri doesn't need us to glow. That isn't our nature. We are vibrant in the colors we choose, and the lost man can hear our songs when we camp. Travelers follow us for this reason, and we guide them that they might find rest."

"We bite and sting, too," the boy pronounced with pride. This was true enough. His father and older brothers bristled with weapons, as did others in their troop. Few raiders were foolish enough to tangle with Rom, especially not when an entire tribe would enter into a blood pact and set out to slaughter the offending group. Posses two or three hundred strong would ride into the sands like locusts upon the wing, hunting down and extracting vengeance upon every last man, woman and child in the raider group lest these vile people murder more innocent merchants. Thus the Rom felt they were carrying out their god's will in keeping the deserts safe for the innocent and weary.

"Gypsy justice," the mother completed the child's thoughts. "Never forget it, my son. One day you will be old enough to be Tengri's avenger, but be like the guidingflies and only strike when hassled."

Her gaze fell upon the small child, and she smiled at the wonderment in his eyes as they followed the path of an insect across the water. "Simply be happy for now, as Tengri intends. Come, let us find papa and see if he's loaded the last rig."

She rose and lifted her son from the low bench, and turned to find that they were not as alone as she first suspected. A man stood in the shadows, having arrived from one of the passages leading out from the Wall. Her eyes narrowed into a squint as she sought out the stranger's face.

"Ah, it appears our voices have called an old friend to meditate at the Pool," Naz chuckled. Here was a wizard of a man, forever wandering but always turning up just when needed most. "Hello Mathias. My, but it's good to see you've returned. Are you looking for my sister, Asli?"

She hefted the child to the side, perching him on her hip in order to free a hand. Fingers plucked the red scarf covering her face, removing it to reveal a charming smile. "Emin, this is Mathias the Healer. You will not remember this, but his hands helped bring you into the world."



Esma's fingers parted to reveal her green eyes. The bedside lantern sitting on the ornate crate next to her bed barely banished all the shadows from the room, but it provided enough light for her to observe him. His skin was paled, despite its weathering and normally dark hue, and she could faintly make out the glimmer of droplets beading his temples. At first she thought he'd come to chastise her for her tongue, but his admission of a nightmare pushed away her worries over it.

"Of course I'm up for talking," she assured him as she patted a spot beside her. The low bed, strewn with large pillows, was more than a place for sleeping or frolicking. Hours could be spent reclining while deep in philosophical discussion. She pushed herself further onto the bed and drew her legs under her, tucking them into a comfortable half-lotus position before resting a pillow her lap to better prop herself up.

"I won't mock. My people are prone to superstitious beliefs. We call nightmares Karabasan, the horrible ominous-presser spirit that tortures men with whispers of failure and fear. Such dreadful things are taken seriously."

Esma pulled her dark locks from her face, tucking them behind her ears where they remained just long enough to convince her that she was in charge before falling forward again in mockery of her efforts to change their nature. She sighed. "Temir, I'm sorry I was an ass earlier. I don't know your culture. You must tell me if I cross into offensive words."
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Esternial
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Founded: May 09, 2009
Democratic Socialists

Postby Esternial » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:34 pm

"Can you make this with that?"

Fuck. The lubberkin speaks.

Should he kill it? No. No. That didn't sound like something a sane person would do. At least the mask concealed the visible disgust on his face as the girl addressed him.

"Yes, little spawn from satan." Zed replied, sighing as he awaited a tsunami of inquiries about inane crap that children spoke of. Why did he wear a mask? Was he really shy? Does he own any cool toys? Will he have a tea party? He would if there would actually be ANY FUCKING TEA in the cups, you damn retarded little monkeys.

What is a tea party if there's not any tea? Just a party? Then why is there no music or balloons? So young and already a major disappointment to everyone around them.

Zed glared at the girl, though she probably wouldn't have noticed. Fortunately, Mia courageously leaped in front of Zed and took the bullet, escorting the little womb-squatter from the premises and leaving Zed alone with the meat and a spatula.

Damn, where did he put his apron?

Spaced out and mumbling to himself, Zed paid no heed to Lucius, that one bitch and that other bitch. His eyes were fixed on the meat, flipping it around when needed and tossing it on a plate as soon as a slab was properly cooked. He listened to the trio talk about religion, a subject that seemed to become the most popular on this journey, cringing at the thought. He wondered how fast he would die if he rammed his face into the barbecue, and intermittently regretted the choices he made to end up as part of a crew of which almost half was populated with religious freakazoids.

"Fuck it" Zed murmured. Taking the final slab of meat off the grill and tossing it on a plate, he put away the spatula and reached behind his waist, but then remember that he didn't have an apron on to remove. With a sigh he slumped back down in his chair and finished the drink Mia gave him. Today was exhausting. Social interaction was tiring.

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Tiltjuice
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Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Tiltjuice » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:05 pm

Mathias pulled back further on the headwrap that shielded him against the chill and glare. The tall man smiled back at the woman and child, somewhat more reservedly but with the good-natured countenance that had helped him blend into the Ticaret.

"Long journeys start and end with pleasant coincidences. I must say, the Grand Pool blossomed while I was away. How long has it been?" He fished in his pocket for a moment and extended his hand, cradling a small plastic cup containing jellied sweet potato, for Emin to take. "You both are faring well, and Emin is growing up quickly. Strong and hale, like his parents." He hesitated, as if uncertain, or shy of continuing. Water rippled, smoothing over the buzzing of the guidingflies and throwing their lights every which way.

He spoke up again at last. "I had hoped to meet her here, yes." The speech ended abruptly and awkwardly, but he cleared his throat and continued. "Is she around, by any chance?"

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Highfort
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Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:04 pm

"Karabasan," Temir mumbled the word to himself, nodding at how it sounded, "It fits, I think."

Accepting the vacated space on the bed, Temir failed at mimicking Esma's pose before resorting to simply having his legs hang off the edge of the bed, feet rubbing the floor as he cradled his head in his hands. Years spent hunched over books or inside the cramped engine compartments of vehicles had left him very sore and his body had settled into relaxed inflexibility when he wasn't at work. Otherwise, it protested the snaking contortions he made to reach a tight spot with random cramps and punctuated pains in his side.

The tinkerer spared her a glance through the flickering latern as she pulled her locks from obscuring her face, revealing the features that had been the subject of his latest dream. He remained silent for a long while, content to merely sit in the presence of another and be reassured that his nightmares would not trouble him for the time being.

Her statement sat in the air. On one hand, boundaries had to be established. The Kindred Spirit would not tolerate outright blasphemy and, as a vessel of Her Will, neither should he. At the same time, he felt hesitant to protest against her words. She was counted among the few in the group he could trust, alongside Max, Mathias, and Zed - if trusting such a mad man was possible. He feared that driving her away would leave him protecting his own back.

"Your words were spoken in ignorance," Temir finally broached the silence with a noncommittal answer on the matter, "The Kindred Spirit does not punish lack of knowledge, only knowing blasphemy. Now that you know of Her Ways and Her Hierarchy, you would be wise not to profane them in the presence of any Cultist."

He licked his lips and turned to face her, legs now awkwardly splayed out on the bed rather than naturally resting on the hardwood, "Did you mean what you said earlier - that the Cult would leave me behind? I assure you, we are good to our brothers and sisters. We would do no such thing."
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Swith Witherward
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Founded: Feb 11, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:46 pm

Temir's rebuke carried the quiet authority of clergy, so similar was it to one of their own shaman's, yet his statement puzzled Esma. Did he mean that she shouldn't speak of his god's will, or just refrain from speaking about the beliefs surrounding that will? Or perhaps he meant she should never speak ill of the men that held the power? Perhaps he thought she had implied that her god's ways were better - which wasn't what she meant at all! She lapsed into silence as she attempted to summon up the memory of what exactly she had said but, just as she was about to ask him for clarification, he puzzled her further by asking if she'd meant what she said concerning the thing she shouldn't speak about.

"Er." It was hardly an eloquent answer.

Speak plainly and you'll never go wrong, she reminded herself. Her teeth captured her bottom lip, rolling it as she struggled to find words that weren't steeped in opinion. After all, it might have been her statements that drew the Karabasan to him.

"I don't always guide," her fingers plucked at the pillow's seam as she hesitantly explained herself. "Sometimes I'm hired to find lost friends or family. People unintentionally wander off and the caravan moves on without realizing they're gone. This is especially true of children that climb out of vehicles. The parents assume they're still asleep inside. A communication breakdown happens. They don't know the caravan's leaving. So I go out and retrace the steps, and I sometimes find what predators leave behind."

Esma sighed as the pillow tumbled forward; she made no effort to retrieve it. "I didn't mean to imply that your people were heartless. Your ship is far away and her followers are out in the desert. You might not receive word for a very long time. That's what I meant when I said everyone might not be on the ship when it leaves."

She bit her lip again and fought back the desire to tell him he could remain with her and her people if he found himself in that dreadful circumstance, and to wax poetic about gods' wills. She focused on him instead, noting his posture and the perspiration still clinging to his temples. Her legs unfolded and she scooted closer to him to rest a hand on his shoulder.

"Temir? You're not worried about being left behind, are you?" Esma sought his gaze. "Please don't worry about such things. Come, curl up here. I won't think poorly of you. I'll stay awake a while to keep the Karabasan at bay."



Naz smiled knowingly as her son took the offered treat and chewed on it. "Mmhmm, she's around, as chance would have it. It was only last week that she asked if anyone had seen you. Five years is a long time to roam. Come along, I'm sure she'll put on some chai for you."

The corridors were relatively quiet as they retraced their path up the various flights. Naz filled the healer in on news as they went, pointing out recent upgrades or warmly relaying amusing stories about the people they passed. Life had gone on in Ticaret as it always did, and probably as it always would. They swept past mostly residences with darkened windows looking out onto the halls, although here and there one could see a light behind the shades and hear the voices of the occupants.

It wasn't long before they stood in front of Asli's family door. The lights were on (her father and brothers had departed already, joining Naz' marriage family), and Naz let them in to find Asli on her balcony. Time hadn't stripped her of her winsome smile or lyrical laugh, and she bestowed both on Mathias the moment she caught sight of him.

"Naz, you drew down the stars and shook him out of their pockets," she teased before giving Mathias the customary kiss to each cheek. The straight, dark hair framing her face drew attention to the round doe's eyes that had just started to glisten from happiness. "I can't believe you're here. Take off your shoes. Let me fetch a drink for you. Are you here long?"



Mia took stock of the little girl's clean hands. Well, that was one less chore to worry about. "Good! Go sit over there and we'll give you some food, alright?"

This motherhood shit just wasn't her style. Nor for the last time did her gaze wander towards the rightful mother. Ah, she was talking religion to the blood soaked guy.

Because having your child around blood soaked guys this late at night was okay, right? Right?!

"Hey, Bloody Mary! You might want to wash that off before morning. You'll attract predators. They can smell you a mile away."

Mia snorted and returned to the grill to find that Zed had taken care of the meat. Nice. It meant more time for drinking. Willis was obviously occupied with the newcomer - though both had the standing offer to join the rest of them for the meal - and Mia had little else to do but add a pot to the grate and toss in water and veg for a steam. She reclaimed her seat beside Zed afterwards, and rolled her head to observe his profile.

"You remember earlier today, back when we tangled with Raiders?" she raised her glass to her lips and swallowed it potent offering. "Back then, we all died. Doctor, that's the only explanation for this current hell."

Religious oddballs wearing menstrual fluid, and distracted Willises, and ladies of the night, and children far too cheerful considering their bedtime should have occurred hours ago. "If this isn't hell, we're still alive, and that means I'm dying a little inside. Where do you suppose the others have holed up, and do you suppose they're engaged in the same riveting things as we?"
Last edited by Swith Witherward on Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Why is everyone a social justice warrior?
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like social justice mage or social justice thief?
Anti-intellectual elitism: the dismissal of science, the arts, and humanities and their replacement by entertainment, self-righteousness, ignorance, and deliberate gullibility.
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Highfort
Minister
 
Posts: 2869
Founded: May 11, 2014
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Highfort » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:08 am

Temir met her eyes with a startled look, pupils dilating in the near-darkness. Being left behind was something he outwardly rejected - the Cult had in fact worked out formal systems to ensured a minimal number of its followers would be stranded in the event that the Great Khan was restored to flight-worthy condition - but the notion had haunted his dreams and he briefly wondered if perhaps she saw it in his ways or in his mind.

He smothered the idea immediately - Esma may have been wily and interesting but she was hardly one of the fabled, emotionally-restorative empaths nor was he that sloppy as to give away his doubts. Those had been carefully concealed behind walls of indomitable faith which he regularly tested against the acolytes and the more friendly doubters of his beliefs. But, somehow, she had managed to reach the heart of the issue in the dead of night and the notion of being so exposed left him reeling.

"Worried?" he scoffed, shaking his head, "As I said, ours is a family who would never leave a brother or sister behind. We show our love for the Kindred Spirit through our devotion to helping others and the ultimate assistance would be in helping as many as possible reach the Great Beyond. I may be a man of lesser faith than some, Esma, and perhaps a hypocrite at times, but I have faith in that."

"Still..." he gazed wistfully at the spot next to her and felt pangs of hunger at the warmth that spread from her hand on his shoulder, "The presence of a friend does wonders to ward off the nightmares. I suppose the Kindred Spirit can forgive such a minor transgression."

Shifting on the bed until he was sitting next to her, the tinkerer leaned until the back of his neck was resting on the headboard bringing up a hand to hesitantly rest on her own shoulder in an awkward hug that left him feeling more embarrassed than relieved. Still, her expressed concern for him was a far cry from the accusatory nature of her doppelganger in his earlier nightmare, so he was thankful that his fears were at least not accurate for the time being. When they left him with a stinging point, that was always the worst.
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Swith Witherward
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Swith Witherward » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:50 am

As much as Esma wanted to believe she wasn't directly responsible for his upsetting nightmare, there was still the fact that he focused squarely on that single question. She let it be. Her mind was tired, and the weight of his hand on her shoulder was soothing.

The Rom tucked herself against him, curling into a snuggling position between his arm and body that allowed her to rest her cheek against his warm chest. It was a wholly intimate thing that, for Esma, carried the feel of a akatziri entwining itself with a pack mate to block out the night chill. Her thoughts drifted to the desert. The caravan's journey would not be without peril. Raiders were forever a worry but so, too, were the indigenous animals and plants. What would Temir think of them?

Bah, it didn't matter. The Rom would ask in the morning, perhaps. The last thing he needed tonight was a reminder that he was removed from his habitat. That environment was his comfort.

Esma's inhale brought with it Temir's scents, an exotic mixture of his occupation, last meal and natural body odor. Her fingertips captured his shirt's loose fabric and she absentmindedly played with it. The shirt and its owner would someday journey into space. How would they get it off the ground? It looked entirely too big to fly.

"Are there many people there? In the ship, I mean," she sleepily mused, and then followed the train of thought. "What's it like there? Are parts of it still in existence below the surface? Is it dark like the mines, or are the passages bright and filled with murmurers? Is it cold? What's there for eating?"

These were the elements that framed the world and Esma, a woman that spent most of her time striving to harmonize with the sands and animals beyond Ticaret's gates, now found herself intensely curious about the tinkerer's world. Her imagination had summoned up imagery, cobbling together her brief experiences within larger cities. It was fantastical and grim, and grey and stripped of fabric, this place where the only permissible life was that of humans.

Esma didn't have a name for the pungent and thin, burned-sweet smells that clung to machinery closets, but surely an entire structure filled with such closets would taint everything in the vicinity. She pressed her nose against his chest to sniff the fabric and detected the ozone odors woven into the tinkerer's shirt. Genuinely curious, she lifted her head to peer at him in the dim light. "Can you taste lightening in the air, and the breath of the machines?"
Last edited by Swith Witherward on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby The Carlisle » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:14 am

Eira shook her head to Lucius, getting a whiff of him and then puffing some smoke to cover it. "I think jut the cross will do," she said, "That blood stinks..." reconsidering him keeping the blood on. Mia piped up and help reinforced washing the blood off. With the smoke suppressing the scent, Eira looked to Nicole to address her concerns.

"All you need to know is there are four others," Eira said, "One will be a loner, one will hit on you, one will be an authoritative ass, and the other will kill you." She puffed her cigarette again, it halfway burned through. "Thankfully, the last one doesn't come out normally. So your safe if you don't fuck things up royally."

The smell of cooked meat slowly made their way over, overpowering the smoke and blood. Eira took a sniff and grinned. "Didn't realize how hungry I am," she said, "Why don't we head over and get something to eat. Before everyone else takes it." She chuckled and walked over.

Eira walked up to where Shimmer was. The little girl was sitting patiently for her plate of food. Eira took another puff and grinned. She didn't hate the girl. She just didn't want her to be with her. She was no mother figure, she knew that a long time ago. And this world was an unsafe place. Bringing a child on travels and missions spelled a tough life and possibly an early death. Especially combat missions. She couldn't tell why they were on one with the risk to the girl. Eira sighed. She was right in leaving the girl with that childless farming couple. But she can't really enforce the decisions. The boss went and took her back. Didn't she realized the risks?

She took one last puff and tossed the cig stump into the sand. She probably does know... she's just willing to take those risks.

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Postby Esternial » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:11 pm

Swith Witherward wrote:Mia took stock of the little girl's clean hands. Well, that was one less chore to worry about. "Good! Go sit over there and we'll give you some food, alright?"

This motherhood shit just wasn't her style. Nor for the last time did her gaze wander towards the rightful mother. Ah, she was talking religion to the blood soaked guy.

Because having your child around blood soaked guys this late at night was okay, right? Right?!

"Hey, Bloody Mary! You might want to wash that off before morning. You'll attract predators. They can smell you a mile away."

Mia snorted and returned to the grill to find that Zed had taken care of the meat. Nice. It meant more time for drinking. Willis was obviously occupied with the newcomer - though both had the standing offer to join the rest of them for the meal - and Mia had little else to do but add a pot to the grate and toss in water and veg for a steam. She reclaimed her seat beside Zed afterwards, and rolled her head to observe his profile.

"You remember earlier today, back when we tangled with Raiders?" she raised her glass to her lips and swallowed it potent offering. "Back then, we all died. Doctor, that's the only explanation for this current hell."

Religious oddballs wearing menstrual fluid, and distracted Willises, and ladies of the night, and children far too cheerful considering their bedtime should have occurred hours ago. "If this isn't hell, we're still alive, and that means I'm dying a little inside. Where do you suppose the others have holed up, and do you suppose they're engaged in the same riveting things as we?"

Zed nodded in response to Mia's remark, refilled his glass and took a sip from the straw.

"I'd take an artificially-induced coma over this any day, but we're short enough on drugs already." He murmured, only half joking. His forehead would have been red by now if he were to facepalm whenever it was justified. Death would be a mercy for some of them, especially the lubberkin.

"Esma and the others? Probably holding hands, singing kumbaya." Though Esma was one of the more sane figures in the group, Zed had developed a slight aversion towards Temir and Mathias - especially Mathias.

Fuck Mathias.

Dick.

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