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Demens Chosen IC [CLOSED]

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Giovenith
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Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:53 pm

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Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


The first enemy was done away with swiftly - but Giovenith doubted future fights would be as easy. She slowly stowed her bat away in her pocket again but made a mental note to keep it higher up in the hammerspace in case she'd have use for it again, then adjusted her football helmet slightly to take in the sight of the angels.

They certainly didn't feel like Elohim's servants, nor operate like them, especially not if they had a queen. How strange. But strange or not, they were just innocent beings who were being picked on by something nasty, and they couldn't allow that.

"I agree that we should go along," the young woman piped up. "Take us to your main place, and we'll answer all of each other's questions. We're here to help."
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Chedastan
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Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:01 pm

Modern Times

Unsurprisingly, given her origins from having lived underground for all her life until the past few days, Nivea was naturally bewildered upon initially even hearing about the list of phones that Amanda had up on her screen from the store she selected, how would she know which one was even right for her? She had no idea where she ought to begin.

At the very least they didn't go to the store right away, cause first she needed a ID for the city to even have it registered to her. The registration process wasn't too unbearable for her, but she was surprised they only asked for her name and age, though she figured they didn't care much for her creed or any other category the inquisition back home cared greatly for. Once they had that settled and they drove to the store, it didn't take much longer after that until she had gotten her advanced phone in a box.

With Amanda helping her with the packaging, the rectangular screen showed itself like a monolith to them, indeed it was years more advanced than the lawyer's own phone. Once a button on the front was pushed by Nivea, the screen then lightened up to show a welcoming face that pleasantly showed in smooth letters, "Good Afternoon, Nivea." Once it recognized it was her, and it even added a nice ringing sound to accompany it!

"Ooh, I think I'll like this!" She was joyfully and practically no different than a happy child receiving such a device on their birthday. "Thank you for bringing me to get this, Amanda." She smiled as she became absorbed by the glow of the screen and wanted to see what every little utility app did on the phone's homepage.
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Giovenith
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Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:12 pm

Lobby

Willow hadn't been sure what to expect upon return, but it was not a screeching woman chasing down Rache with a living couch. The painter tried to speak up and explain... well explain something, anything, to stop this madness, but it was beyond his control and the two Chaos creatures were soon gone.

"I ju..." Willow held up a hoof for an attempt to speak, but just found himself brushing back his bangs with a long, defeated huff. Why even bother?

Aegis had the right idea. They had spent days in a famine-plagued land with only small portions of mush and whole foods to eat. Now that they were home, he was craving something excessive, deep-fried, and very 21st century. There was probably still enough hay to make a hayburger or two. Maybe a nap afterwards too. Yeah, time to unwind, just a little. He'd figure out what was going on here at home later.

Willow turned to the rest of his companions present. "Thank you everypony, for helping me help those ponies," he said, ears folded. "And, I'm sorry... for everything you might have gone through."
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:26 pm

Modern Times
Chedastan wrote:"Ooh, I think I'll like this!" She was joyfully and practically no different than a happy child receiving such a device on their birthday. "Thank you for bringing me to get this, Amanda."

Amanda beamed back: she'd brought Nivea into the modern age. "You're very welcome. You'll soon find that you don't know how you ever did without a phone."

After watching Nivea play with her new toy, she decided two things: she wasn't going to learn much by watching her and they better get a move on if they wanted to go to the movies. She started the jeep up and put it in gear, then forced her way into the slowly thickening traffic. "In my world, the movie-making industry was under increasing financial pressure. Movies were getting increasingly expensive to make, but increasingly easy to steal. There were constant discussions about movie studios only making movies for the crudest tastes to offset their costs versus the mythical good old days when everything was wonderful. Of course, few of those discussions mention the utter drek of the bad old days, nor the studios that failed."

"Here in Ascalon, movies are often very easy to steal with advanced technology, but gates and Gatejumpers bring in a constant new supply. So, the industry is booming, and there are more theaters with a greater variety of shows than I'm used to. There's practically a theater on every block. Some movies don't make much sense since the worlds they're from are so different, but somebody will show them just to see if anybody's interested."

The drive to the nearest theater was very short, and in a few minutes, Amanda had parked the jeep in a garage above an expansive underground theater. Posters, video displays, and even a few holos in the lobby advertised the incredible array of movies showing:

The Jovian Chronicles
Five Golden Threads!
Berlin 1989
The Hearth and the Salamander
Practical Parenting in a Fractally Demented Universe
An Answer for Night-Hags
Achilles With a Vengeance
The Combed Thunderclap
Novgorod meets Burgundy
The Hipcrime Vocab
Knitting of Bones
Frank West: Holy Healer
The Legend of the Green Tree
Without Fear of Wind or Vertigo
Bugs in Green Handkerchiefs: A tale of gang violence
In My Father's House
The Horn of Joy
Sloorganor Gas'Glo Hrrigu: A Love Story
Thu Sownd uv Thundur
100 Walks in the Ramtops
Confronting the Faceless
The Song of Xeethra
Noldolantë
Dark Visions

Amanda looked over the choices, bringing up a movie review app on her phone to help her decide (and incidentally pointing out to Nivea how to use an app store and how to pay for apps using electronic money). "A number of these sound good, and several more sound interesting, even if they require subtitles and notes to explain the historical settings. Pick one you like."
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

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Tiltjuice
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Posts: 33978
Founded: Jan 20, 2012
Ex-Nation

Postby Tiltjuice » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:42 pm

Image

Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


Without any hesitation, MB disappeared yet again, moving from Abelle's helmet to clinging to Buttons' leg once more. He took a cautious sniff...then sneezed as a last lingering scent of dead creature wafted past his sensitive nose.

We go now? And big hidden scary man inside sensible man has good thought. How fast are moving dead? Any flying?

Image

Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg


From behind Ocho, a pale hand could be seen picking off the bits of straw and placing them carefully into a bottle. Perhaps it was purely the force of naturopathic habit. Perhaps it was an overwhelming obsessive compulsion after quite a spell of doing nothing but cleaning out the Base. Only Time would tell.

Calani was yet unable to see this sight, but something made her shudder.

Chrys turned an artless, somewhat tired smile on Hans as he helped her up, then on Volker. "Would there at least be any hint of what's to come?"

A potato rolled across the floor toward the maintenance door, seemingly apropos of nothing.
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. -Khalil Gibran
Cut red tape with the Red Book / Bureaucracy is a system - #ApplyTNI / Think globally, act locally
At fifteen, I set my heart on learning. At thirty, I was firmly established. At forty, I had no more doubts. At fifty, I knew the will of heaven. At sixty, I was ready to listen to it. At seventy, I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing what was right. ~Analects, 2:4
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Chedastan
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Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:46 pm

Modern Times

Nivea was marveled at the rather surprisingly large and wide selection of films they could watch in the theater, she didn't had a single clue of which one her and Amanda ought to go watch, though the lawyer did showed her that her new phone had helpful and useful features like showing movie reviews. Spending as much as a minute scrolling through movie ratings with her phone, which she had to still get a bit used to, having never touched a screen so smoothed before, let alone one with pictures or text on it.

After deciding on what they should see based on the reviews on her app, Nivea turned her head to look up towards Amanda, "Berlin 1989 apparently has a good cast, though I like the sound of that Night-Hags one." She told her while eyeing a poster behind her for the Green Handkerchiefs bug movie that showed insects in gang colors wielding machine guns, it looked quite humorous to her, but apparently it was considered serious for its subject matter which she didn't really understood from just looking at it alone, maybe they should see that one?

She pointed towards the poster, "Apparently that had good things said about it, if we wanted to try that out."
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Primordial Luxa
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Founded: Oct 30, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Primordial Luxa » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:55 pm

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Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg


"No clue," Insidious said slinking in from some nearby shadow she had been enjoying. Her bracelets and necklaces clattered together as he skin swirled into a cacophony of gray and white fractals and her hair exploded into red and orange stands of color.

"But I need more. The Klingon stuff was good but it's only worked up my appetite. Food, alcohol and whatever else we can find." There was a bit of playful sarcasm and comedy in her eyes, but as many of her friends would know Insidious was also quite serious about her desires. The Ennui would set in soon and Insidious wanted to find something to sate it. A few hundred grams of Crack might help for a day but Insidious wanted something to last her longer. The haul of exotic and unique things from across Yog-Sothoth promised to be just as rewarding. The Luxan also reasoned that the sights along the way would also be very inspirational and so she had brought her stylus along to make what she saw when the experience overloaded her.

"So the sooner we leave the better."
Swith Witherward wrote:But I trust the people here. Well, except Prim. He has shifty eyes but his cute smile make up for it.

Monfrox wrote:But it's not like we've known Prim to really stick with normality...

P2TM wrote:HORROR/THRILLER Winner - Community Choice Award For Favorite Horror/Thriller Player: Primordial Luxa


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Holy Lykos
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Ex-Nation

Postby Holy Lykos » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:18 am

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Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg


"Aye, I agree with the tattooed one. A more exotic stop would be welcome. My own homeland can wait. Too like Kronosheim. While less likely to have distraught women trying to claim our men, a bit of variety is always good." Sig grunts out, looking over the craftsmanship Klingon stein he had borrowed for a drink before they all were whisked away. He of course would enjoy a small memento of Qo'Nos (however its spelled), and a simple drinking mug would not be missed. Hopefully.

"What is this next realm like? This 'Thade Second Coreworld'. Is the ale good?" Norse priorities, of course, were often predictable. Honor, Family, Alcohol, and the Gods. Pretty much in that order, for the most part.
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Chedastan
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Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:59 pm

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Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


Abelle's golden eyes perked up upon hearing the mech finally speak, she was so used to Gargants either growling or roaring at her rather than talking to any normal degree, it was very refreshing in fact to hear anything robotic in nature speak to her in such a calm way. "Oh Avalon isn't in Manhattan, it's across the continent actually, but there are means for which people on foot or wings can get there without traveling like it's during Oregon Trail times. We'll have to get through the Gate that the Gargants use to travel to and from places fast, which is just in the Bay area on Ellis Island, you'll see what I mean when we get there."

She then thought of which way they should go to get to the Gate, "And you're correct, Staten Island or the Bronx are our best bets to getting around the city. Going through the Bronx will take more time however, but there's hardly any warmachine presence up there most of the time between it and Yonkers, most of their strength is pulled to Lower Manhattan and the Bay area on the other hand."

She was of course in major agreement with what Klaus and Giovenith had previously said, they ought to get going right now at this very instant before the Gargants have any time to prepare. "Lets get moving before their scouts arrive to investigate, we should fly low to avoid detection from their scanners and interceptors."

She then quickly lifted up into the air, and left just as fast westwards with an accompanying sonic boom... She then came back a couple seconds later when she realized (or rather perceived) that none of group were as fast as her, nor can probably even fly, but it didn't hurt to ask. "Um if any of you can fly, now would be a great time to say you can. Cause if we were to walk to Manhattan, their coastal guns might be pointing in our direction by then, so we must move quickly." She gave with urgency.
Last edited by Chedastan on Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Holy Lykos
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Ex-Nation

Postby Holy Lykos » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:37 pm

Image

Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


Maghrl was only moderately surprised when the angel briefly vanished into a sonic boom. Only moderately because she was obviously powerful enough with the fighting that went on only a short time ago. But that speed! It was absolutely koovy! Something only starships could manage in his own world, and other powered flight! Maybe she had a jet engine attached to her! No, that was just silly.

"Mag no fly, yes yes. Should be able to hold on with the help of the Force though, possibly. Or hold to some other flier! The Force is beefy-strong, and telekinetic ability has been Mag's strongsuit for long-long whiletime." The principle of holding onto something with the force was virtually the same as holding onto something with your muscles... but more abstract in a way. At least it was to Maghrl. He grinned up at the angel, a human custom to show friendliness of course, which really only made him look a bit vicious. Mostly the stark, vicious looking teeth squib had. They were almost little needles or knives in their own right, and white as pearl. Obviously the mouth of a species that came from carnivorous origins.

"CoastGuns? Sound dangerfull. Mag agree with urgency, but how we all fly? Maybe Gionef creates a platform, fliers carry it with help of Maghrl?"
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Northwest Slobovia
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Founded: Sep 16, 2006
Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:24 pm

Modern Times
Chedastan wrote:She pointed towards the poster, "Apparently that had good things said about it, if we wanted to try that out."

Amanda looked uncertain, then pulled up the reviews again, skimming through them quickly. "Cartoon gang violence seems a little close to home for Ascalon. Still, it is getting good reviews." Amanda stopped scrolling as something caught her eye, and she very carefullly reread the review, then another and another. She brought up a web browser and looked up the movie's credits. "Something's funny about this one. It seems to be an import, but reviewers point out certain scenes, which seem oddly familiar. I want to check another site for more reviews."

Amanda hesitated: would there be any hope of finding a dark net hub Downtown? And would anybody notice if she tried to find one? She concluded the answer was maybe to both: there were plenty of corrupt businessmen and officials Downtown, and they needed access to dark services as much as anybody. Somebody might notice, but for the moment, she had a charmed life. She'd just paid Sandy's protection money -- barter, really -- so nobody would touch her except the local liquor monopoly. They wouldn't want to annoy a rainmaker, so...

She dropped into the settings menu, and brought up an innocent-looking diagnostic tool, which she pointed out to Nivea. A few mysterious gestures and a couple of passwords later, her phone was searching for a new network. It found a feeble hub with barely a bar of signal strength. "You'll need to get one of these, and I'll show you how to use it."

Despite the limited bandwidth, she was able to search for and find what she needed: the movie's executive producer was this month's pseudonym for a local satirist; apparently nobody in power noticed that yet, or perhaps one of the corps noticed, and they were happy with somebody poking fun at the mobs. Amanda switched her phone back to the normal network, and nodded in agreement with Nivea, "Yes, let's see this one. There's violence, but it's all cartoon violence."

She introduced Nivea to movie concessions, buying both of them popcorn. "You could try soda too for the full movie experience, but it's very sweet. I avoid the stuff. I'll get sparkling mineral water." Amanda also pointed out candy and more "real" food, like hotdogs and fries.

There were serveral dozen theaters in the megaplex, and the bug gang cartoon was showing in a large one. The trailers didn't show anything they hadn't seen a poster or video for, though they did make some of movies more graphically violent or sexy.

The movie itself was extremely well-animated; Pixar would be green with envy. The tone varied from light drama to slapstick and dark humor, though most of the specific real events it alluded to went over her head. She did wince and shrink into her seat at a scene involving a lot of drawn guns at a checkpoint and a bunch of newbie gangbangers being captured by a mob lord. That struck far too close to her home. A bit of dialog gave her a sense of deja vu, and then awe: somebody must have some very good sources to know approximately what she and Thad said to the Judge. Whoever this satirist was, they moved in dangerous circles.

Amanda was occasionally distracted by a nagging doubt: what to charge for the booze? Sandy was emphatically against profiteering, but now that Amanda had seen his books, she knew he made a fortune on every bottle he sold. That seemed like profiteering to her. She turned it over in her mind every chance the movie allowed. Eventually, she tentatively concluded that he meant not to charge more than the going rate. Hopefully. With a frown, she decided that that's what she'd do; the situation was so unexpected it was hard for her to figure out what Sandy would have wanted her to do in his place.

During the closing credits, Amanda searched for restaurants and liquor stores offering drinks. Their prices were obscene, but if that's what the going rate was... She solaced herself by deciding to sell tomorrow's delivery -- meant for the Littles and the rest of the the "outer" city -- at lower prices.

Amanda made the rest of her Downtown deliveries after the movie, asking Nivea's opinion of the show as she did. On he way back through the Burrows, she picked up a few things to fill the jeep's empty back: a tall, slim, black, cylindrical metal-mesh office wastebasket -- impractical, especially since Amanda rarely used paper for anything -- a set of votive candles, and as many cut-down sheets of plywood as she could fit in the back. After parking in the Building's underground garage, she and Nivea went up to the lobby. Amanda was surprised by the number of people present, and the return of some who'd been gone for a long time.
Gollum died for your sins.
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Chedastan
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:26 am

Modern Times

The courier found the movie to be surprisingly deep in story, but that animation! It took her awhile to realize it wasn't real, she never could've guessed drawings like that could've come to life in such a way! Either it was done through some use of advanced computing technology or possibly magic, she was none the wiser in knowing any real difference. Overall though, for her first motion picture ever viewed, it was probably a decent choice of a film, but if only they had more time to see more! But alas, they must make a return to the Building eventually today, but not doubt she was at least content from this afternoon.

Once Nivea and Amanda left the theaters and were on the road again to deliver the rest of the stuff the lawyer had before returning back to the Burrows, she was happy to tell Amanda how she felt about the film along the way. "I enjoyed that very much, I can't believe something can be animated that well, nor even have a motion picture be animated at all! I mean it was hard to relate to a bunch of bugs who shot at each other for most of the movie, but for the first film I ever viewed, that was pretty good."

Once again they eventually returned to the Lobby in the Building, and it seemed to be busier than usual, something must've been going on...

Image

Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg


Before she could gather what was happening, she was quickly pressed with a new Chosen uniform into her hands, the one that was showcased in that one meeting they've had not long ago, was something up? She contemplated if she needed to run upstairs to get her crossbow and knives, but she hadn't a clue if she needed them not, or even knew if they would serve to help her any.

In search of finding some kind of answer, Nivea walked up to both Insidious and Sigtrygg, having reached them to hear the Viking mention a "Thade Second Coreworld," and more mention of alcohol. "Are we getting more booze and liquor from this world? Sorry I just came in late from a trip to the city, and haven't much of a clue of what's been going on around here." She explained to them.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:33 pm

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RotLB

Sandy agreed with his companions' plans, with some caveats. ”I'll need time alone in the Library to have any chance of understanding its enchantments, and I can't make any guarantees until I See them. The Librarians have been sustaining enough personal enchantments that I'd need Pegasus' ears to disentangle them; the Library may be just as bad.”

Sandy considered Nick's idea, fragments of his mental images bleeding through to the telepathic tomcat. “I'm not sure how we'd smuggle bowls into the Library, much less keep them hidden there. But we shouldn't have to: the scrolls are supposed to be stored in bins, and given the period and available materials, I'll bet they're solid wooden boxes. They'll make fine bowls after we take the books. Tipped-over bookcases might do as well.”

Ophelas led the Baron and Sandy around the side of the Library, staying between the columns and the side wall of the Library. There were sealed-up doorways on the back, but the side was completely solid.

As they rounded the corner, Sandy got an excellent look at the military situation across the the library. A paved avenue, wide enough for three or four lanes of traffic, ran between the Mouseion and a head-high wall around the palace complex. Alexandrian soldiers had built scaffolding and catwalks on this side of the wall, and topped it with wooden mantlets, turning it into a significant fortification. The avenue was crowded with soldiers and their equipment, including many batteries of torsion artillery, both oxybeles and lithobolas. Other wooden screens – and one large bronze one – provided cover for groups of armored people carrying only short-swords; probably military spellcasters.

Of the Romans, there was no sign. The air shimmered and twisted above the wall, obscuring the view through it. While Sandy was too far away for his Hearing to be of any use, he guessed it was probably a scryward of some sort.

There was, however, a potent air spell within arm's reach: Sandy stuck a tentative hand out into it, and was surprised at the fury with which it was batted around. He jerked it back before his arm was broken by the buffeting. With gusts like that, the Apis of the Winds might even deflect bullets!

The front of the Library appeared to be strictly in the style of Greek temples: the Temple of the Muses towered in the center, and two wings were formed by the sides of two long buildings and the fronts of two more. The limited perspective from the stairs and the front portico made it hard to judge the building's width or height, but the Temple seemed to be on the same scale as the one to Poseidon, and the wings seemed to be several times its width. The whole complex was made of the finest white marble, and the details of the friezes on the pediment were painted in intense colors. Sandy suspected they weren't natural dyes, but the products of alchemy.

In the middle of the wing they were passing, the portico widened to the left, providing a monumental entrance with a proper staircase. On the right was a matching set of bronze doors, covered with a bas relief scene showing men standing and discussing; a motto at the top of the doors suggested it was a depiction of the academy in Athens.

The Muses' Temple held Sandy's attention, and he was barely aware of anything or anybody else as he looked it over. He guessed that it was exactly as tall as the temple to Poseidon, one hundred local feet, which told him the width of the Temple. The details were, however, a bit different: the shrine had only a single row of columns around it, so the naos was proportionately wider. It needed to be, for inside the traditionally narrow doorway were nine chryselephantine statues, depicting the Muses in a variety of poses.

Six more steps led up to the Temple, raising it above the wings and the rest of campus. The wings didn't quite connect to it, but the ends of their roofs were extended to just barely shelter under the Temple's roof. Sandy considered the stairs, then took a tentative step up, and when nothing happened, another. His view into the naos was improved -- he hoped the holocam's was as well – and he was about to take another step when he realized one man leading a welcoming committee – no, two welcoming committees! – strode towards them energetically. “Welcome, welcome! Deisitheos said you both were religious men, each in his own way.” The man who addressed them seemed younger than Sandy; Sandy telepathically speculated that he might be younger than Amanda. Unlike the rest of the Librarians, he seemed to be ethnically North African rather than Greek. “I'm Teisias, First Reader of the Mouseion. Other members of the Readers' Council tell me you both bring us things of value, new knowledge to dedicate to the Muses.”

Teisias seemed the picture of hospitality as he went on, making a sweeping gesture over the men he was with. “You've already met the rest of the Council, so let me introduce Isodoros, High Priest of the Mouseion. He gestured with an open hand to one person in the other welcoming committee, all dressed alike in brightly-colored chitons: deep Tyrian purple stripes alternated with reds, pinks, and blues. A elderly, frail man slowly shuffled forward. His voice wasn't the high, reedy voice of old age, but a practiced stentorian voice, compelling despite lowered volume. He greeted Sandy with a series of pleased nods. “Admirable reverence, approaching the Temple one cautious step at at time. But please, step up to the eighth stair and gaze upon on the figures of the Muses. Unless you've brought something to directly offer them, of course.”

Puzzle pieces shifted in Sandy's mind, fragments of readings reorganized themselves. He allowed his thoughts to project through the mind link: ”So, there is an intermediate sanctified space between the edges of the campus and the naos... which is why cult processionals were held in the peristyle. 'Reverence?' Try 'ignorance': I suspected as much, but didn't know where it started.

Sandy took the invitation with profuse thanks, and climbed up the next three steps, while the Baron and Nick followed suit. He gazed in wonder at the statues of the Muses, soaking in the details, and hoping the holocam did the same.

The statues of the Muses were arranged in four groups: a trio and three pairs. The three Muses of poetic forms, Kalliope, Euterpe, and Erato were depicted in a group in different contemplative moods. Kleo seemed to be engaged in a studious conversation with Urania, but whether they were discussing history or science wasn't clear. Thalia had dropped her comedian's mask, belly-laughing at a funny dance step Terpsichore was showing her. Melpomene and Polyhymnia seemed to be looking at something behind and above Sandy, the former sadly, the latter pensively. All were dramatically lit by cleverly arranged light and shade diffusing through the temple's thin marble roof. The figures seemed so realistic that Sandy wondered if they'd be carved from life, perhaps from professional models. Yet that seemed some form of sacrilege, since they should show the Muses themselves. The Baron kept his face controlled, expressing a moderate amount of controlled wonder at the sights. Not enough to appear naive but it gave him a look of appreciation. Deep down he simply didn’t care, the gods and deities of earth were ones he had long ago dismissed. Nick, on the other hand, marveled. He hadn't expected the Muses to be depicted in so lively a manner. Sniffing the air, he managed to sneak long looks from various angles.

Sandy walked along the stair to give it a new perspective, in the hope that it would help record their shapes accurately. A worry tugged at his mind. If they thought him devout, would they expect he already knew the outer rituals? How would they react when he didn't? Something else slipped into his thoughts, then; Nick's reassurance and excitement

While Sandy was marveling at the Temple, Teisias turned to Primordial. “Perhaps you'd like to see the interior of our humble library while your friend admires our shrine?”

“That would be delightful,” the Baron replied.
Gollum died for your sins.
Power is an equal-opportunity corrupter.

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Giovenith
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Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:38 am

Building

Few things were sweeter than a wild day downtown, but the best way to top it off was to finally be able to crash at home. The paper construct had been applauded/kicked out of the cafe for reciting the supremely awesome yet less than family friendly beat poem, "First They Slaughtered The Angels," found his beloved leather jacket, and apologized to a squirrel he had to kick away from nibbling on his hooves - a day well spent. He was considering now whether or not to explore the possibility of procuring cider out of season, thoroughly tickled by the idea of seizing the human luxury of getting intoxicated any time he wanted and yet mildly concerned about the liquid possibly melting his flesh. There was only one way to find out!

He pushed open the doors to the lobby.

"I know it couldn't have been comfortable for you to be forced into those forms," Willow was continuing his apology. "And I can't help but feel directly responsible. So if there's anything I can do-"

The construct gasped with joy. "My icy cold cat!"

Willow's attention was seized away from his apology by the sound of a vaguely familiar voice. Raising an eye, he turned his head toward it to behold the returning neighbor: himself.

At least, it was him upon closer inspection - not so much at a glance. This doppelganger looked like he had done one too many laps in a twister, thoroughly shaken down with a feathery mess mane and what appeared to be a human-sized leather jacket that had been abused into submission for the equine body. Whereas the real Willow looked on in steadily growing shock, the other Willow elicited a high-pitched hiss of excitement and wore a grin that threatened to rip his face in two.

"Oh, it's so good to finally meet you!" Paper-Willow cried, bursting through the air and pulling Willow into a hug. "I wasn't sure when you'd be back! Geo-puzzle will be so happy!"

Willow screamed. After facing psychos, shadow creatures, and fuzzy behemoths, clones were really the last thing he needed. The beatnik began to flail wildly, forcing the greaser to release him. This didn't stop the former, who continued to yell and rapidly bitch-slap the assault on his sanity. Paper-Willow, to his credit, took it like a champ and patiently defended his face from the attack until Willow got it all of out his system.

"Who the fuck are you?!" Willow pushed Paper-Willow to the floor and pinned him.

"I'm Willow Streaks!" Paper-Willow answered cheerfully.

"Like hell you are!" Willow snarled, pressing his face down into the clone's. "Who are you really?! What are you doing trying to steal my identity?! Spill it now! I've seen movies, I know all about what kind of back-stabby bullshit this shit leads to-!"

"Whooaa, whoa, whoa..." Paper-Willow wiggled his forelegs free and produced a small lolipop from one of his jacket pockets. "Naw Daddy-o, you got it all wrong, I'm a chill cat! I ain't trying to jack your style - I'm your understudy!" He popped the lolipop into his mouth. "But of course you're still the star."

"English motherfucker, do you speak it?!"

Willow was not in the mood for beating around the bush, and although he was patient, Paper-Willow wasn't willing to get his mache head stomped in today, and so decided as a precaution to get his fleshy self off of him: he pushed himself upward with his wings and delivered a soft kick to real Willow with his hind legs, throwing him over his head and sending him somersaulting across the lobby floor. Real Willow was unhurt but unamused, and he quickly recovered and poised to go on the attack again before being interrupted by the clone.

"I was created by the one and only Miss Naomi out of the handsomest cardboard in all the land," Paper-Willow explained, biting down hard on his lolipop and twirling the stick thoughtfully. "Not to replace you, but to bring happiness to your friends in your long absence. That's all I wanted, nothing more."

Willow straightened his stance. "Long absence? I was gone for two days."

"Mmm, no," the construct hummed, flicking the candy stick away. "You were gone for two years."

"Lies!"

"Ohh, if only," Paper-Willow mused, tapping his chin and letting his eyes wander. "You're quite behind on your promises now, after all... but no matter! We'll catch up on them together. Just because I wasn't made for when you're around doesn't mean I can't still be helpful."

This was ridiculous. Replace him with a paper clone? What would be the point of that? "As the saying goes, a likely story. I've only ever seen Giovenith make things out of paper and she would never replace me with some cheap doll. You're something else."

"Could something else do this?" Paper-Willow reached into a pocket again and pulled out a small dark stick. With a flick of the wrist, a silver extension popped out - a switchblade.

Willow's heart skipped a beat. "Okay now," he said in a suddenly gentle tone, holding up a hoof. "Okay, I get it..."

"I gotta show you."

"No, no, you don't need to show me anything," Willow insisted, ears folded and limbs tense. "Okay, how about we just talk? Does that sound good? I'm sorry for hitting you, okay, just, put down the knife..."

"No, I have to show you!" Paper-Willow raised the knife defiantly. "I'll show you! I'll show you all!"

"Put down the fucking kni-!"

It was too late. The switchblade spun expertly (and anomalously) in Paper-Willow's hoof and came down blade-first into flesh - his own flesh, right through the sleeve of his jacket and into his foreleg. The paper construct screamed and Willow screamed with him. A few seconds later, Paper-Willow pulled the knife out and took a deep breath-

"I'm fine," the construct casually announced, suddenly cheerful again. "See? No blood, I'm only paper." He demonstrated with a flex and wiggle of his leg, which continued to move without any apparent pain and no blood seeping down it.

Willow clutched his chest and waited for his own limbs to stop trembling. "Wh... you..."

"Want me to show you again?" Paper-Willow took another demonstrative stab at his foreleg (this time without the dramatic screaming). "It's really not much damage, I'll get Gio to patch me up later."

The flesh pony touched and shook his head queasily. "No, stop, I get the point."

"Yay!" Paper-Willow celebrated, stashing his switchblade away and clapping his hooves.

Willow, for his part, took the moment to sit down on his haunches and continue to hold his head while gasping at the floor. "Oh god... two years? Two years? What happened, I..." How could this have happened? What had they missed, what hadn't they been here to help with? They'd gone away without warning and weren't there to do what they needed. The antiques had taken them away; Willow had taken them away. He had created the problem, the burden.

'No, no Willow, no one needs you.'

The flashback cut into him as deeply as the switchblade had cut into his paper-clone. It leaped out at him from the shadows and inserted its icy fingers into his veins, paralyzing him and making the world go temporarily numb. For a moment, he was back in the cave, back in the darkness, replaying every eroding word and memory that had been thrust upon him during that horrible adventure at high speed. No dark pony magic lurked in Demens' realm, and yet he could feel that twisting knife in his chest right now, puncturing a helpless spot within and turning him into a push puppet: fallen apart and no hope of getting back together again until the cruel hand that be released.

"Hey, are you okay?"

Willow was pulled back into reality by the sound of his own voice. He looked up to see Paper-Willow beside him, nudging him into a stand. "What?"

"You seemed really... sad, for a moment there," the paper clone explained, rubbing the back of his head. "Is there like, something you want to talk about?"

"Talk?" Willow blinked twice before pursing his lips in decision. No, no that was the last thing he needed to do - fancy that, the pony who goes about setting everyone back two years suddenly wants the comfort. He could see the eyerolls and hear the frustrated sighs now. No, he wouldn't put his comrades through that. He came back determined to do his share, and that's what he was going to do. "I'm fine. So, um... yeah. You've been calling yourself Willow Streaks this whole time, yeah? We can't keep calling you that now."

Paper-Willow narrowed his eyes and gave his original self a sidelong glance. Real Willow, knowing his looks well, put extra effort into cementing his own expression into one of steel unambiguity. They stayed like that for a moment, a miniature stand-off, before Paper-Willow gave in and broke his gaze.

"I haven't given much thought to that," the clone yanked at his jacket collar. "I guess it would get confusing if we were both Willow."

"It's your name, your choice. Just don't pick mine."

The construct considered for a moment.

"Sallow," he finally offered.

"That's another name for willow trees," Willow deadpanned.

"Yes, but it's not yours."

"It also means sickly looking."

"You said it was my name, my choice!"

"Celestia, fine!"

"Sallow..." the clone thought more. "... Slashes!"

Willow face-hoofed. Not only was 'Slashes' a synonym for 'Streaks,' but it sounded like something somepony would call themselves when they wanted to sound scary but instead came across as stupid. Not wanting to start another fight with this dumb paper thing though, the painter forced himself to accept it. "Fine. Sallow Slashes? That's what you really want? You hear me saying that out loud, and you still want it?"

"Yes!" Sallow clapped his hooves together and nodded vigorously.

"Fine, whatever," Willow massaged his temples. "Okay, Sallow... you mind filling me in on everything else I've missed?"

In response, Sallow took to the air, zipped behind Willow, and hoisted his fleshy twin up by his foreleg pits to drag him along. "I have prepared a hoof-painted presentation just for this purpose! Forward, fellow Crying Tree Pony! Away, to art!"
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Cerillium
P2TM RP Mentor
 
Posts: 12456
Founded: Oct 27, 2012
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cerillium » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:20 pm

LOBBY

"Alright, you lot," Minerva waved a hand to get people's attention as Sallow hauled Willow away. "Let's get everyone on the same page. Equestria people, please follow me. There will be time to prepare for the Thade mission, should you want to go."

Without much ado, she lead the Hearths Warming Eve Residents through the Operations door and to the briefing room. Her briefing didn't last long, and she took the time to address their concerns. What's more, she saw to it that they had new uniforms, and explained to them the value of wearing them when not on undercover missions."

"They'll protect you from the elements far better than standard clothing will. Hell, they'll even protect you in space, provided you've activated the features in your helmets."

A few hours later, the group emerged into the Lobby once more, brand new pagers in hand. Some would gather equipment for the next sundries run. Others would take the time to sort their lives, perhaps checking in on friends (or inquiring about missing people) and tossing out their dead plants before meeting up for a meal.

The delay allowed other Residents to run upstairs to fetch uniforms and necessary equipment. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. Soon the Lobby filled again. Minerva thrust a finger towards the Phone Booth and advised all interested persons to proceed to the Mission Base.



Image

Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg
Amanda


The Boilerplate facility's corridors were hushed as Whisky Team shuffled their way into the mission briefing room. Minerva waited until they were all comfortable seated (or, in Opa and Ocho's case, resting along the back wall), and then began her briefing.

"The primary focus for Whiskey Team is to acquire alcohol and herbs for the Chosen," she tapped her papers into a neat stack before setting them in front of her. "However, you may be wondering as to why you have an official designation for this mission. The answer is simple: we have reason to believe Minions are active in the vicinity."

She allowed that to sink in before continuing. "Whisky Team's expert for this is Ocho, given his familiarity with the environment. Mathias, consider yourself our medic. Insidious and Opa, I need your sensory ability to keep track of anything that seems out of place - the core world is not magical, ergo any magic used by Minions should catch Insidious eye, and any signals apart from the Thade's own comms or our own will be picked up by Opa."

Another pause as she reviewed the roster before her. "Meps, technical support. You're also in charge of the Orb and mission, as a Gatekeeper. Mezran and Sigtrygg, combat. Nivea and Amanda, diplomacy. Thade will balk at our larger people, but tend to respond well to small humanoid lifeforms. You just aren't threatening enough in appearance to raise their hackles at. All of you need to be on guard, however. Thade are primal in attitude; they will not hesitate to stomp you should you bluster at them. Challenge is met with immediate resolution. It comes in the form of tearing the foe apart for their foolishness."

A finger thrust out at Meps. "And for fuck's sake, don't mention the Convocation!"

The Eudadoti repairlizard nodded curtly before hunkering down in her chair. She was too familiar with the animosity between the thade peoples and the Nifidum.

A soft cough from Ocho drew attention to him. "We won't be able to fly in directly. My government doesn't allow outsiders on our secondary core world. There are a few places where we can interact with the population - mainly peth controlled by the religious caste. These are usually buried deep within the wilds. They are also our best source for medicinal components, beer, and wine. We will not be stealing these." - a wry smile curled the corners of his fleshy cheeks - "We're trading for them."

Heavy fingers fished a small, black cylinder from a breast pocket. "Many Bothans died- I kid. This contains code for all DNA sequenced by the Nifidium. It was used to terraform the planet during the treaty. The Convocation refused to give up the data, much to my people's dismay. However, Neste was more than kind enough to provide a copy to me. With this, the Worker and Religious castes can sample the reconstructed lifeforms to make certain nothing nefarious was tucked into the mix. It's extremely valuable."

"On that note," Minerva interrupted, "We will cloak and fly into the system, using Pelitim IV to conceal us. We'll use a cloaked drop ship to set you down near the target Peth. You'll have roughly a minute to hit the dirt before the drop ship takes off. Any longer and their sensors will hone in on the ship's energy readouts. The Succubus will maintain orbit behind the moon. You are to signal once you have successfully completed the arrangement. The drop ship will return, and then we will regroup at Pelitim IV. Most likely, we'll exchange goods at a nearby location, perhaps a neighboring system?"

"Most likely," the thade grunted. "We leave the device with them, and release the encryption codes once we see the goods. Standard thade practice. The religious caste stand by their agreements, as is the law." He glanced at his teammates. "My culture does not believe in conducting business over comms. We value face-to-face negotiations. It has much to do with our methods of communication. Body language and scent are just as vital as tone of voice."

Minerva's dancing fingers brought up an image on the hologram display behind her.

Image
N'THALNATH
Type: Terrestrial World
Orbital Radius: 1.99 x 108 km (1.33 AU)
Period: 1.43 x 104 hours (1.64 earth years)
Physics: Standard iron/silicate
Gravity: 12.18 m/s2 (1.25 x earth)
Hydrosphere: 65 % water, 4 % ice
Atmosphere: Breathable
Special: Heavy vegetation, flora and fauna Class III
Peth: Hispnuld


"The F&FC indicates scale," Minerva advised. "Take a good look at Ocho. He's the size of a mouse when compared to other lifeforms present. They all follow a theme - six limbs, acute hearing, and the ability to move quickly."

She glanced at her notes. Ocho's penmanship was horrid, and the fact that he'd used a cocktail napkin really didn't help. "Echo-location is a big thing on N'thalnath. Many animals utilize it, with the smallest animals being almost completely noctural. Vision is very important to the larger predators. Dawn and dusk are the times to be active, however. Daylight hours are the most dangerous, though you'll all have better luck as your eyes are adapted for bright light. It rains. A lot. Daily. It's a nuisance, but not hard to avoid. The drops have the potential to knock you on your ass, and be wary of water-air surface tension if you happen to be dry. Food is plentiful and fit for human consumption. Same with water. Don't eat anything blue. Blue signals danger."

She lifted her eyes to regard the team. "We only have one safe drop zone. You'll need to cross the wilderness to make Hispnuld. I expect it to take a day or three, each way. Any questions so before I go into the issues you'll have with magic?"






Image

Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


Klaus scratched his cheek's bristles. He rather liked MB's line of thinking. "Flying would be better. Less chance of encountering undead."

But they would need a way to stay atop the exo, and exos couldn't be magically expanded. In fact, they absorbed magical attacks. Yet one could use magic to lift a rock and drop in on their skulls. And wasn't that a bus just off to the side of the road? What if the bus had straps of some sort? Drop it onto the exo and have those straps hold it in place, much like a fancy saddle.

Klaus squinted his eyes, convincing himself that buses could indeed be safely strapped to Buttons yet light enough to not weigh her down, and wouldn't it be comical if the bus were a merry shade of purple, - no, something right out of Pakistan! Cut the wheels off and shape the underside to conform to the beast's back, and festoon the entire thing in garland and cloth just to annoy the exo - and thus it was so, for that is how his magic worked.

Button's own eyes widened in horror as the contraption appeared on her back, and she offered a short oof! as the straps tightened around her torso and belly. Klaus smiled in reply, then waved a hand towards the wooden ladder slowly extended from the bus' side door.

"Shall we?" He put his boots to it and hauled himself up to find a seat.

The exo snorted to push away the garland of gaily colored puff balls rubbing against her left nostril. She felt like a festooned elephant. Nothing about this amused her.
Last edited by Cerillium on Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears, and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination.

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Chedastan
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5646
Founded: Jul 25, 2013
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:21 pm

Image

Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg
Amanda


The courier was luckily given an explanation by Minerva of what was going on, and that there was a mission to gather alcohol and herbs about to commence shortly, which Nivea happily joined if for the need to wanting to feel even more adventurous today and to help acquire something exotic in tastes for the Building. Thankfully she was given some spare time to change into a far better suited outfit like the new uniform she was just given, and to grab her appropriate equipment for the outing. Once she had returned to the Lobby after making a quick trip to drop her phone off with the tech-priests to get it properly acquainted with their own network, she was thrusted into the Phone Booth like everyone else that was coming along to go to the Thade world.

Once in the Mission Base, she became quick to find a chair and listened quietly as the proceedings began. But at the first mention of Minions being present however, her breath slowed and a chill reached through her spine, her gut sank to a pit.

She paid great mind to diligently and intently focus on every word of information Minerva gave them, watching every syllable uttered from her lips. Though some of the key things mentioned didn't fail to allude the Nevidian though, given there were naturally a lot of things she wasn't well versed in quite yet, but she was learning and following well enough.

When it came time for any questions, Nivea was the first to ask her own, "So since me and Amanda are the ones who are going to help on the diplomatic side of this mission, are there any customs we should be aware of? What are some other Do-nots we should avoid besides blustering a bunch? And Minerva you mentioned Minions, do they have a strong presence on the world, are we expected to encounter at least a few?"
Last edited by Chedastan on Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
adhouse
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Monfrox
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Posts: 33604
Founded: Mar 25, 2011
Father Knows Best State

Postby Monfrox » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:05 pm

Well...things had all happened fast. Very fast. So fast, Brit just sat there on the floor and let it all go by. It was easier, she had learned, to just let things be. And to not question it unless you want to get involved, and she did not. It was for that reason she didn't question when Minerva wanted to see them, and then she had to be caught up on everything. Two years? Jesus, they'd been gone a long time. But...time was finicky with the Building. Always is, always was. She had a lot to process, and she was starving. Uniforms? Pagers? Wait, pagers?! The fuck, weren't they extinct? She groaned, and her stomach grumbled.

"Alright, this is all well and fine but if I don't get some food, none of this ain't gonna stick." Brit replied, a bit exasperated. She had tried very very hard to keep her yawning during the briefing to a minimum. "Would you like something to eat, ma'am? I'm cooking." She left the question open-ended as she headed into the kitchen.

One pan, one pot of water, both on a stove top. She salted the water to make it boil faster, and got a package of meat out from the fridge. It seemed the Building read her mind, like it did with her own fridge and cupboards. She got out a box of thin spaghetti noodles, a jar of Italian mixed sauce, and two cans of tomato sauce. While she wasn't used to making it, she could try. And no matter what, there'd be enough to go around. So, while the water was boiling, she threw her phone...phone? A smart phone. With her music library. Huh, weird. What happened to her old flip phone? Not that they could get service here, but Brit without her music was like a PB&J without the PB. She loved listening to music, so she played some while she got the meat cooking in the pan as she slipped her zip-up hoodie off and expertly tossed it over the back of a nearby chair before she took a spatula to the hunk of ground chuck.

"Hope you guys like spaghetti!"
Gama Best Horror/Thriller RP 2015 Sequel
I wear teal, blue & pink for Swith.
Xing wrote:Yeah but you also are the best at roleplay. (yay Space Core references) I'm pretty sure a four man tank crew is no problem for someone that had 27 different RP characters going at one time.

The Grey Wolf wrote:Froxy knows how to use a whip, I speak from experience.

Winner of the P2TM 2013 Best Fight Scene in a Single Post and Most Original Character, and 2015 Best Horror/Thriller Role-player awards.
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Giovenith
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Posts: 20830
Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Mon Jul 31, 2017 1:48 pm

Image

Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


"A platform? Oh, I'm not sure about that, Maghrl," Giovenith admitted, crossing her arms thoughtfully. "I mean, in theory my birds could do it, yeah, by that would take a whole lot..."

The thought trailed off as the young woman caught sight of Klaus fixing his eyes on what appeared to be a nearby discarded bus. Her eyes widened but she said nothing as reality twisted itself around to reshape the vehicle and attach it to the giant lizard monster that had accompanied them.

"Well, that works too," she said, then lit up slight with an idea and hopped a few steps over look up at the angel. "Oh, don't you want to come with us? I know it's not as fast as flying, but we could have more said along the way. We could make friends on the road!"
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Giovenith
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Posts: 20830
Founded: Feb 08, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby Giovenith » Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:45 pm

2D

"... and so that's pretty much the gist!" Sallow Slashes finally finished his explanation of the many things his flesh-and-blood counterpart had missed and of the peril the universe was in. Despite the heavy weight much of these revelations carried, he seemed unconcerned. "It'll be hard, but you kind of already knew this was coming what with your conversation with Klaus before you left."

Willow groaned. "You know, Pansy put me in such a productive mood, but hearing this- ow!"

"Sorry!" Sallow apologized with a muffle at his teeth yanked a bit of the other stallion's new custom uniform into place. The official outfit, according to Sallow, would be necessary for if Willow was to perform his duties in helping the chosen of Demens on missions and insisted on trying it on to make sure it fit properly (and also, in part, due to his own knowledge that his real self had little experience in managing traditional formal attire). "But I wouldn't have to yank you around so much if you would loosen up."

"I'm stiff because I hate uniforms," the raging beatnik sniffed, turning his snout up with an indignant pout as the construct pulled his foreleg out to smooth the sleeve. "They're assaults on autonomy, tools of the archaic groupthink. The fact that we still deem them necessary is just proof that society still has yet to move on into a future where the true value of individual contribution is- ow!"

This pinch was a little less accidental, Sallow smirking behind Willow's sleeved foreleg as he fiddled with the cuffs. "Well I guess you'll just have to be a little more patient for that future, given you won't have it at all if the Devourers win. Besides, you had no problem wearing the exact same black turtleneck as all our other little modernist friends back home."

Willow sputtered in even more indignation. "That is completely different!"

"Is it?"

"Of course it is!" The pegasus freed his foreleg just as the sleeve was done being tended in order to dramatically stab at the air whilst attempting to explain. "First of all, as you should know, there's quite a practical use for wearing black when you work a messy profession such as mine, as addition to the explicit intention to not be defined by- OW! Fucking-"

That pinch wasn't even ostensibly a result of Sallow tending the uniform, it was an open and unrepentant assault to get Willow to shut up. "Save it for the coffee shops, Kerouac. Like it or not, you're not getting anywhere near those Gates without this, so I suggest you start trying to acquire the taste. Now come over to the mirror and do a little twirl, I want to see how pretty you look."

Sallow shuffled Willow along to a full-body mirror near the couch and made him do a few spins to see how everything fit in place, nitpicking a few pieces of fluff and smoothing out a wrinkle here and there. "Well, what do you think?"

Willow eyed his reflection up and down, taking in all the neat little creases, buttons, and folds of the crisp uniform. It was tailored perfectly despite the artist being pretty sure he hadn't allowed anyone to measure him before. It was pretty nice and snazzy, if you liked those sorts of clothes. Which he didn't.

"I look like a square." Willow hissed the word like it was the most despicable of slurs.

"Good, that means everything checks out." FLASH!

"AH!" The painter saw spots and quickly covered his face.

Sallow pulled the Polaroid away from his face and nipped the photo once it developed to give it a good shake, watching as the image of a flinching uniformed Willow faded in. "Aww, now our parents and your grandkids can always see how snappy and handsome you looked!"

"Give me!" Willow tried to snatch the photo but wasn't quick enough for Sallow's reflexes. The overglorified cardboard cutout kept it out of reach, and much as Willow despised the uniform, he wasn't about to disrespect the people who had given it to him and their intentions by starting a scuffle while wearing it. He settled for verbal attacks instead. "They're not our parents, they're my parents. You're less than two years old and have never even seen Equestria!"

"Oh, but I remember," Sallow seemed unperturbed by the other stallion's words. He touched his own face gently and seemed to get lost in a dreamy vision. "It's so much more wholesome there, yes? Ponies know how to keep themselves in check more than humans. They can be naive because of that, but what a wonderful world it creates."

Recent memories of deathly chill and strangulation while awaiting vivisection sent Willow into goosebumps and ruffled his feathers. He pinched his eyes closed as if to block them out and shuddered. "Yeah. It's pretty great, these days."

"You're going to squeeze in a trip, aren't you?" Sallow looked at his clone expectantly.

"What do you mean?"

"Back to Equestria," Sallow clarified. "Modern day Equestria, anyway, your home. The Gates are open now, you can go back anytime."

Willow stood there and wordlessly blinked at the construct for a few seconds. In his mind he replayed the words he'd heard over and over, taking the time to understand each individually and carefully piece them together, and yet the full meaning of the statement repeatedly hit a wall on the road to his brain. It wasn't that he was stunned by this revelation, although it was quite stunning, but rather it was how suddenly it had come that was overwhelming him. How many nights had he lost desperately clawing for answers beyond his comprehension on how to make the leap across time and space home, how to do the impossible, and now here it was, just casually tossed into his lap by fate without congratulations or apology.

It wasn't fair.

"I," he started, trying to find the right words. He paused, swallowed, took a deep breath, and started with the least complicated answer: "I guess I'll have to."

"You'll have to?" Sallow tilted his head. "But this is what you've wanted the whole time."

"You're right. I do want to, it's just that..." Willow folded his ears and let his eyes wander down to the cuffs of the uniform. "How long has it been now? Five years, six? What does losing somepony for that long do to you?" He rose into the air and gently glided his way to the couch, where Sallow shortly joined him, curious. "It would be bad enough if I had just run off to some place in Equestria, or another nation in our world," Willow continued, feeling his heart steadily pick up pace as he spilled his worries. "But how am I going to explain all of this, when I inevitably show up on my parents' doorstep? 'Hey, surprise, I'm not dead! No need to worry, I was just hanging out with advanced monkey people from another dimension! I was just stopping by to say hi though, gotta go back so we don't all die from the universe getting eaten!'"

Sallow considered this while absently playing with one of the zippers on his jacket. "Yeah, I guess there's no easy way for you there. No matter what, you're going to have to deal with a lot of crying and long stories."

"I almost wish..." Willow paused again, taking moment to process the guilt over his next words. "It's almost enough to make me think, I should just stay here."

"What?" Sallow wrinkled his nose.

"At least until this war over," the beatnik clarified. "Deal with one chaotic thing at a time, you know? And that way, nopony will have to sit at home, helpless and wondering what will happen in some dimension far, far away deciding their fate."

"Well you certainly have a way of making that sound reasonable; but you can't do it," Sallow tsked critically at the notion. "There's no guarantee we'll win. There's no guarantee you'll even live regardless of the outcome, especially since you're a weak mortal."

"Gee, thanks for the optimism."

"Like you're one to talk. And I'm serious. If you wait too long, there's a good chance you'll never see our country or the ponies who love you again. They'll always be plagued with questions, assuming they aren't Devoured soon while in their grief. You have to give them some peace before we face this, it's selfish to take that from them just because you're scared and uncertain about how they'll react."

Dammit, he was right. It didn't erase the problems Willow would face in trying to explain Demens and his Building to his worried-to-death friends and family, but what would they really rather have, an existential mindblow or lifelong crippling heartbreak? If it were him he would probably take the mindblow if it meant getting back somepony he loved. Even if he knew they would have to leave and maybe die in some incomprehensible conflict far away, well, maybe he wouldn't like it, but it would be understandable, wouldn't it? Children sent themselves packing for war all the time all over the universe, it was one of the oldest and most cherished rituals for just about every sapient species you could name. Granted, Willow had never been that sort of child, but even he could accept that sometimes circumstances gave one little choice in the matter.

Willow crossed his forelegs and sighed. "Well, I guess I'll have to start planning that in addition to figuring out how to go about this whole God War thing. We're looking forward to some serious scheduling, get my books."

"Mm, not now!" Sallow hopped into the air again. "Let's just chill out for a while first, give everything time to sink in. You'll probably have a heart attack if you go right into planning after what you've just been through. Hey, let's get something to eat!"

"I don't know. It's been two years now, I don't want to waste any more time..."

"Oh puh-lease! You really think anypony here was being any more productive than you were before you came back? Chill out. But first we've got to do one thing."

"What's that?" Willow raised an eye.

"Take off that uniform!" Sallow flung himself onto Willow, and the pinches and screaming started all over again.


Kitchen

Not long after the dreaded dressing and prepping, the two halves of Willow Streaks arrived in the communal kitchen to find it occupied. Willow had been planning on making something, but it seemed that Brit had had similar thoughts about getting a taste of modern food after having to put up with ye olden famine times. Before he could greet, Sallow took the wheel.

"Oooo, hi Cadety-Detty-Dat-Tat!" the greaser greeted, zipping over in the air to hover above the food. "What'cha making? Is it noodles? I like noodles!"

"Sallow!" Willow barked.

"He likes noodles too!" the construct pointed to his real self, ignoring the order.
❃she's ripping wings off of butterflies❃

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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:08 pm

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RotLB

Teisias walked past the Baron, down the portico back to the bronze double doors in the center of the wall. The rest of the Council followed him, and Sandy and then Nick reluctantly turned away from the Temple to bring up the rear. The priesthood remained behind, then disappeared along the far side of the Temple.

The doors swung inward as the group approached; if there was a signal, none of Nick, Primordial, nor Sandy noticed it.

The wall opposite the entry doors was dominated by an immense frieze depicting the Muses surrounded by groups of people, nearly all men, with a pastoral scene faintly visible in low bas relief in the background Sandy walked forward, absentmindedly pushing his way through the crowd of his hosts, to get a clear view. He studied it with interest. It was meant to impress – it rose from a few feet above the bookcases to nearly the rafters – but Sandy was more interested in content than form. “The Muses seem identical to the statues in the shrine. I wonder if the same hand made both. The other people... ”

There was a pause as Sandy examined the figures closely. “The second Muse from the left is Kleo, the Muse of history. The scroll is her traditional emblem. The man she seems to be speaking to is Herodotus, 'the father of history', and the one next to him is Thucydides, another important ancient historian. So the scene is-- The artist is depicting the Muses literally inspiring mortals. Which makes the rightmost Muse Erato, and the woman she's reaching out to Sappho, considered the greatest smutty poet of antiquity. It's very appropriate, given the Library's purpose, but hardly traditional. I wonder... artistic license or a direct request from the subjects?” The pair of men felt Nick's startled excitement at that.

Wait... Rafters? Sandy took a look up. The roof was held up by thick trusses made of pale yellow wood. The trusses rested on a single row of columns running down the center of the room. Sandy was stunned to realize the scale of the columns: each must be over ten feet across! The trusses were the same width, and if they were what he thought – he sniffed the air, realizing what should have been instantly apparent on entry: yes, cedar! – they must have been the trunks of the largest trees to--

His line of thought was interrupted by Teisias, as though the man could read his mind. “Yes, the famed cedars of Lebanon. The Ptolemies wanted a monument to themselves and their city to last for all time, so they spared no expense on the Mouseion. Three mature cedars make up each truss; the wood alone in each is worth several talents. It's a lovely design, isn't it? Just a single, clean row of columns down the middle? But it set a limit on how wide the buildings could be, so it's used only for the oldest ones.”

Primordial observed the building to soaking in every detail he could as tactically as possible. This would not be the first library he stole from while it burned and he doubted it would be the last. He and his ilk had grown exceedingly efficient at it. But luckily for him the Baron had been to this library before, not in this dimension of course but the library tended to be one of those hot sights a scholar barbarian like him would enjoy looting. Comparing and contrasting the differences allowed him to better visual it, where other version had been made of pure stone, metal or glass he could overlay it with previous adventures for minor insights and predict other details. The magic of this dimension was a unique feature he couldn’t account for but Sandy would be helpful piecing together the details later.

In contrast, Nick looked at the floor. A monument for the ages, an awe-inspiring one...and it wouldn't last two weeks. “Damn it, why?!” Changing the past wasn't an option - not a safe one, at least. “Maybe we could rescue a fresco, or make sure statues survive.” That wouldn't, couldn't be a priority. Nick knew that, and they knew he knew.

Sandy nodded distractedly, slowly taking in his surroundings. “But not the Muses' Temple proper, even though the whole complex bears its name?”

Teisias shook his head with a tiny sigh. “The Muses and the Graces set the proportions for the gods' homes, so no matter how hard the engineers begged to show off their skill with architecture, they refused, even Urania. That's very mysterious, but the gods are not to be denied.” Sandy blinked repeatedly as he took that in: the gods were very picky about their shrines. It fit the other descriptions of the Olympians, but also struck him as bizarre: why would they care in the first place? Sandy stared into space for a bit, trying to make his mind work: metaphysical constraints? Sympathetic magic of some sort: it needs to be a “proper house” to be properly sacred for the gods to dwell in? It made little sense, and Sandy was reluctantly forced to conclude the only way to answer those questions was to ask the Olympians themselves. He shook off his brooding, and looked around again.

Primordial pondered the same question that Sandy did but came to a much simpler answer. They cared because they were weak and had nothing more important to care about. They were gods of earthly poetry, human science and mundane space-time. They didn’t have to worry about keeping trans-cosmic landscapes from annihilating with their anti-matter duplicates or spawning the 5th dimension foam of the chaos throne. They simply didn’t have the power to care about greater things than if their shrines were properly maintained.

Otherwise, it seemed to Sandy that the library was not merely normal but comforting. It was brightly lit, not by electricity, but from a sun-bright glow between the rafters. Rows and rows of seven-foot tall shelves filled the space, the only thing odd about them was that rather than being crowded with books, they held bins of scrolls.

There was a wide gap in the rows of shelves forming a corridor leading from the doors, and another narrower one made a T with it, running from one end of the building to the other, passing through the intersection where Sandy was standing. Judging from the size of the columns, Sandy guessed that the corridor, and the building, were over 150 feet long, but it was much narrower. Far to the left seemed to be a reading area with tables and chairs, and to the right, at the end of the building, another double door was propped open. It seemed to Sandy that the corridor branched to the left, but it was hard to tell from where he was.

Teisias had been speaking while Sandy was looking around. “The buildings are organized by topic. This one is lyric poetry. That one over there”-- he pointed to where Sandy thought the branch was – “is medicine. We'll be heading to comedy and tragedy next; my predecessor had a sense of humor.” Teisias started to lead the group to the right.

As Sandy walked along, he noticed a few men standing in the rows between the shelves, watching the visitors with a range of expressions: curiosity, bafflement, displeasure. Sandy made a quick half-turn and looked over his shoulder: as he expected, others had come out of hiding from down the corridor to the left. Some seemed amused by Sandy’s stunt, others looked sour. Sandy started to say hello to the people they passed. Most returned his greeting, though a few looked busy as the group approached.

Sandy caught up with Teisias. “How many scholars study here?”

The expression on Teisias' face seemed mixed or conflicted, but his answer was matter of fact: “Over six hundred Librarians, and two hundred others have limited access.” He walked through the open double doors. They were were bronze, and each depicted a scene, though Sandy didn't recognize either.

“How long does the library stay open during the day,” Primordial asked, curious how much time he would have to read and plot. He knew many early libraries were limited by sun light, reading by candle light was dangerous for books so European libraries tended to close when the sun sunk too low. But perhaps given the magical benefits things would be different.

Teisias parried the Baron's question. "Unless I can find somebody willing to assist you in the evenings, you'll be allowed in from the end of breakfast until the start of dinner." His tone suggested that the terms were firm.
Gollum died for your sins.
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Chedastan
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Chedastan » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:30 pm

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Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Buttons
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


The Angel was delighted to have witnessed the magical ingenuity that Klaus possessed when creating transportation for the others, she sure hoped the group's mech wouldn't mind too much, but something told her already that the mech was quite peeved about it. Seeing the once rusted out bus turn into something garnished and pretty looking, reminded her of her many hours spent watching Cinderella off of an old video player, it gave her hope that her world would someday transform into something enchanted and wonderful again after the War was long over. Her hue began to glow that much more brighter with renewed hope in her eyes.

She couldn't help but be reminded about an odd name that Klaus mentioned however, Demens was it? She dismissed it initially as possibly being the name of their vault overseer, but maybe if they had a moment to spare she'll ask further into it, but right now they must prioritize getting to Manhattan to reach to Ellis Island.

"I would love to join you in your beautiful saddle, but I should be flying ahead of the rest of you, the way ahead is unpredictable and full of danger, you guys should have a heads up on when to stop or keep going." She explained to the Godling with a hint of being disappointed with having to follow duty first, but she knew she was made to help people and that's what she shall continue to do.

Mother of Exiles


In hindsight it was a good decision of her after all to have flown, cause their mech could fly! And not only that, really fast too! As everyone boarded the bus saddle that was strapped on top of Buttons, Abelle was expecting them go at a decent and mild pace, but much to her massive underestimation of the mech's speed, there was quickly a big WOOOSSHH! And the mech was at a moment's notice airborne and going at several machs past the sound barrier and coasting along the Long Island Sound like it were a relaxing Sunday drive.

Taking advantage of their speed and ability to evade, they flew low below the Enemy's scanners and vulture-like interceptors that were high in the sky. On the ruined surface they pass over more endless amounts of centuries old wreckage from the Earth before, going over pockets of harmless undead who had suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head while they were among the living, now they can only wave their arms uselessly up in the air to try and vainly catch Abelle or Buttons. Unlike the dead from moments before, these ones were still fresh.

A couple of miles more westwards, after passing through flattened forests and empty homes, they went past a very fresh blood stained wall of a supermarket which bore many holes that were at head height. Abelle tried to not let it get to her, but it was never easy to find out what had happened to prisoners of war.

Within a few moments more of flying, they were heading straight into more urbanized terrain and were going around Queens. The Long Island Sound has since tightened and bled into the East River in a murky and filth filled drain into the city, and it didn't help that the wastewater treatment plant up ahead had long ceased to function properly and was doing more to spill out toxic liquids than purify them. Rikers Island wasn't looking too much for wear either, in fact it was pocked with craters from a battle fought long ago and sometime after the Nuclear War.

Looking southwest and down into Lower Manhattan from where they were at, many of the tallest and most prominent skyscrapers had since been manifested and reinvented into twisted and deformed obelisks that stood as spires that contained mana-stores, and acted additionally as guard towers for the fenced in POW camps below. Central Park was blatantly made into a massive people zoo if the massive caged ceiling above it was any indication.

Sunken eyes full of fear and emptiness stared into oblivion as they were casually snuffed out of existence by their bored Gargant overlords, or corrupted to serve them as fodder. Ellis Island could be seen further in the distance, it was an unnaturally floating island that housed a massive metal gateway that rose up in the sky for hundreds of meters, stretched and warped to suit the needs of their hollow makers. A staircase-like ramp led to it in the sky, being big enough to carry both Titans and Colossi.

To add more to the off putting nature, Liberty was visibly absent from her pedestal, not a trace of her in fact. Instead a massive Gargant stood in her place as a malevolent gatekeeper, being just as tall if not more so than the statue, with massive searchlights on its shoulders scouring for escapees or intruders. They could try rushing southwards, but at a great possible risk. Abelle wasn’t liking the looks of this, but they had no choice but to press on through already infested territory.

They moved due south along the East River, much to the Angel’s own personal grief of leaving the POWs behind yet again in Central Park, no doubt the others would’ve noticed her lack of wanting to help them, and she preempted this by adding in a solemn tone, "We can't do anything for them. We've tried before but many ended up getting killed to save the damned. Let's move forward while we have the chance."

With Abelle having decided they must go through Staten Island to reach the Ellis Gates in a reasonable enough time before the Gargants had any clue of what was going on. Compared to their other routes, this was the safest given the warmachine’s mutual disdain towards the brown water like everyone else.

They were passed Roosevelt Island and a flattened headquarters building with many tattered flags of various extinct nationalities mixed with the rubble in a rather uneventful flyby. More interestingly, many pontoon styled bridges have been since erected along the East River, some of them only needing one big ship hulk to keep it afloat.

On one of them up ahead of them, former Gorillas from the Central Park Zoo (or much rather their reanimated skeletons), took to the occasion of trying to thwart the group’s attempt to preceding any further by quickly setting up on the bridge and firing airbursts of white phosphorus munitions in the Angel’s and Contruct’s paths with liberal use from their grenade launchers that quickly swept along the river. Their deep red and green sensors piercing through the thick white clouds as their beams painted across the archangel and Nifid biomachine.

“Damn it all, to the sides!” Abelle shouted her order as she made an immediate sharp right turn towards an apartment complex with heavy flap of her wings. The archangel crashed through a large window, soaring through the interior and out the other side. As much as she seemed unscathed, her armor and smoldering arms said otherwise and was a clear indication she met resistance within and would meet more resistance with an accompanying sound of gunfire and explosions erupting from where she had exited. She unsheathed her sword, momentarily assessing her situation and with another sharp flap of her wings, did she sear through the air and engaged the enemy with a red hue to her fury.

A new development had emerged however that even those relying on their naked eyes would see what was coming straight at them. Winged and screaming like sirens, a trio of close-ranged interceptors not unlike vultures with distorted and gaunt features made a dive bomb toward Buttons and her passengers, firing away their anti-air missiles in a stream of fire, but most disconcerting of all were the echoes of their screams like the cry of a hundred damned and lost souls within each creature.
Last edited by Chedastan on Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Anarchy

Postby Northwest Slobovia » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:17 pm

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Expédition d'Alcool - Partie Deux
Booze-Run Part II


The Building

Amanda considered what was on offer. Getting Sandy xeno alcohol to sample and sell would certainly make up for letting people make off with his previous stock, and it was difficult to turn down the offer of exotic liquor. And she wouldn't mind doing a little sightseeing. Ascalon had plenty of urban charm, but seeing an entirely new technologically-advanced civilization would be something else.

Amanda pulled out her phone and made a list of things to do before leaving: unpack the jeep; find someone to take care of Plutarch, the Babelfish, and Nick's snake; tidy up a little. Carrying out the first didn't take long, even by herself: the plywood sheets were awkward but not so heavy.

Apartment 2L

While doing that, she bumped into Rudolph, who was more than willing to help with the animals. Moving a full aquarium was a bad idea, but they didn't have much trouble luring the Babelfish into a dip net and then a jar with some bilingual wordplay, and then dividing the water into bucketfulls for easier transport to Rudolph's apartment. She left a note for Sandy explaining where the animals were, in case he got home first. That was a strange expression under the circumstances. “Bye, Honey, be back in a couple of years!” Sandy had been gone for a year and a half; hopefully, she wouldn't be as long.

She then relaxed for a while before the briefing, sprawling on the couch, sipping wine. That was followed by getting dressed for the mission. Her uniform fit well, it had a bunch of useful high-tech features, and unlike her normal clothing, it was utterly expendable. Wearing it made her complict with the ruling junta, divine right or not. Mere divine power was not an excuse for worship; she'd learned that growing up. But until Sandy's return, her choices were limited to the same ones she had in Ascalon: plan and prepare.

Briefing, Boilerplate Facility

Amanda had barely started to take notes when her Minerva mentioned the enemy. Her eyes shot up: did she seriously expect they'd have much chance against Minions? She was going to have to ask about that. For the rest of the lecture, Amanda jotted down notes on her phone, marking some of them for questions. The description of the size of the local fauna caught her attention as well: if Ocho was a mouse, they were bugs, and the movie was useful guidance... at least if the flora was the same way.

She glanced over her notes: three days in the Amazonian bush, negotiate with the Thade to trade information for drinks, blue food is bad, don't drown, don't get eaten, don't get killed by the enemy. Piece of cake. Better pack clean undies, and probably a lot of other things.

Her raised finger signaled a question, but Nivea beat her to it, and with pertinent points. She nodded and raised her opinion of the younger woman: from a backwards society, but not from the backwoods. “I'd like to follow up on that, last issue first. What do we know of the possible enemy presence? How many? How strong? Just that they might be there?”

She turned in her seat to face Ocho. “And a couple for you: what should we expect as a fair trade for the data you're carrying? A few bottles of liquor or a gross of cases?”

“Body langauge and scent: are the people we're going to meet used to reading humans? Can we get a crash course in Thade gestures and scents, at least enough to not misread them? Forewarned is forearmed, but I don't think I can grow another pair of arms to imitate your people.” She added a wink at the end. “Oh, a practical matter: no perfume, no deodorant?” Amanda had a bad feeling about that: after three days in the wilderness, they were going to be a bit ripe, even if they could figure out how to safely bathe. This wasn't going to be a relaxing visit to an advanced urban culture; hopefully, they'd get out in one piece.
Last edited by Northwest Slobovia on Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Tiltjuice
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Ex-Nation

Postby Tiltjuice » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:47 pm

Monfrox wrote:"Hope you guys like spaghetti!"


Comfort food was always welcome. Chrys still wavered at the news of two years having passed.

"Sure, let's see it," she commented, chuckling slightly to herself as she turned the pager over and over in her hands. The action was mesmerizing...and she, too, needed something to fuel her for what lay ahead. Communing directly with Time was hardly ever done, because it was so draining on the senses afterward.

Following Brit into the kitchen, she opened a cupboard and began pulling down a series of bowls, glancing at Hans and wondering what he would make of the whole event, if he wished to see it.
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. -Khalil Gibran
Cut red tape with the Red Book / Bureaucracy is a system - #ApplyTNI / Think globally, act locally
At fifteen, I set my heart on learning. At thirty, I was firmly established. At forty, I had no more doubts. At fifty, I knew the will of heaven. At sixty, I was ready to listen to it. At seventy, I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing what was right. ~Analects, 2:4
I wear teal, blue, pink, and red for Swith.
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Northwest Slobovia
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:01 pm

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RotLB

Comedy and Tragedy

The next building was very much like the first, but at right angles to it. Immediately after entering, Teisias turned down its length. It formed the side of the complex, so the entrance was on the end of the building, to Sandy's left, and rather than their being a single eye-catching frieze on the wall, the walls a series of friezes depicting myths -- history, Sandy corrected himself -- of the Muses. He scanned them as he passed, recording them, but also very interested in which scenes the sculptor chose.

Part way down the building, Sandy stopped in his tracks, as a sense of awed unreality came over him. The frieze he was looking at depicted the singing duel between the Muses and the mortal Peirides, which had been famously ended by Pegasus striking the ground with a forehoof, making the Horse's Spring. The equine image that looked back at him was not a classical one, with Pegasus' wings on his hocks, nor one depicting him as a typical small Thessalian horse, but the very familiar image of a heavy horse, one that Sandy had only previously seen in reflections. Teisias came over to him and joined him in looking up at the image. “I see you're most taken by images depicting our Patrons and mortals. Very appropriate for a scholar. Amazing workmanship, isn't it? Ptolemy II recruited only the best artists for his monuments. The sculptor he chose had a gift for lifelike images, but there was a problem: how to depict the Muses themselves?”

“It's said that he convinced the king to make an immense donation to the cult of the Muses at Helikon, in order to hire away one of their priests whom the Muses had blessed. He could make a sketch in a few minutes of remarkable accuracy and detail, and since he had dedicated himself to the Muses, he could enter their shrine and sketch them for the sculptor. It's written that Kalliope described Pegasus to him, and got him a special dispensation to visit the shades in Elysium to properly depict them.” Teisias apparently read doubt in Sandy's stunned expression, as he hastily added a disclaimer, “But of course, we have only his word for the last. Just because his friezes closely resemble statues of famous mortals doesn't mean he actually saw them.”

Sandy turned back to the frieze in wonder. The story didn't seem entirely implausible: if Kalliope wanted her worshippers immortalized in stone, she could ask Hermes to guide somebody to Hades. And somebody, somehow, made an otherwise impossible relief of Pegasus. But that would imply the Olympians were more active than Deinon's skepticism seemed to allow. Sandy wasn't sure what to believe, or what he believed, or whether he was missing a puzzle piece hiding under his nose.

He followed the group along in daze, no, more in a dream. The Library was historical – real – as were the Muses. He'd never doubted the first, and hadn't doubted the second since he came to the Building. And yet, the Library was a building out of myth, along with its contents: lost in an uncertain way to an unknown fate. And the Muses? Like Pegasus, dismissed as the inventions of primitives, maintained for pro-social reasons, like all religions.

Sandy started looking at the papyrus labels stuck the the bins on one side of the building without purpose. He realized he was looking at names of authors of comedies. More slowly, it dawned on him that they were walking towards the beginning of the alphabet. His label-reading grew purpose: delta, gamma, beta... alpha phi, alpha sigma. He slowed, examining the rows of bins with greater care, heedless of anybody who might be watching him from further down the row.

Alpha rho. Sandy ducked into the aisle, now actively searching. Three shelves in, he found it, and pulled out a bin far enough to check its contents. The scrolls shimmered faintly in his Sight, bearing identical preservation enchantments. He checked tags, and then reverently removed one from the bin, sliding the bin back into place. He stared uncomprehending at his prize: Aristophanes' Daedalus: legendary, lost. And now he held the true version, the one Aristophanes wrote, the Athenians kept in their shrine to Dionysos, and Ptolemy III tricked them out of.

Sandy slid off the ribbon holding the scroll rolled up, and held the play at the far-sighted distance he needed for the holocam to record the text. He stood in the aisle reading the comedy with a blissful smile on his face: every sentence he recorded added to what his era knew of the play... and it was funny as hell, too.

Primordial noticed Sandy slink away and scowled slightly. He raised a hand to tug his friend with the first of the All in One but stopped realizing where they were. Instead he walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. “Later,” he said simply.

Sandy hesitated, looking down at the half-read scroll and then back up at Primordial, unwilling to return Daedalus to its bin. “And really? Comedies?” It was clear the Baron disapproved of his taste in theater but he smiled as they rejoined the group.

What,” retorted Nick, “You've never wanted to just laugh for a while?” He'd been on the verge of asking Sandy to pass on what he comprehended of his reading.

Deinon shared Primus’ opinion of Sandy’s choice of reading material. “If I’d know all you wanted in return for your teaching was to read a few moldering plays, I’d have agreed to let you in. I’d thought you’d wanted something of value.” The drew a few chuckles from Council and other scholars staying out of sight, as well as some unhappy muttering.

Sandy finished reading the section of Daedalus he was looking at, then carefully rerolled the scroll and gently returned it to its bin. "Deinon’s a fool. It’s already four hundred years old! It already provides detail about Athens thats are otherwise forgotten."

History and Natural Sciences

Teisias led the group into the next building, and now Sandy was awed by the architecture: the building was immense, longer than the others, and at least twice as wide. It seemed to Sandy that it was at least as wide as the temples to Poseidon and the Muses, and unlike them, the roof was held up by just four rows of columns, the outer two supporting a gallery running around all four walls, about ten feet above the floor.

Where the previous two buildings contained scholars trying to avoid being seen, the ones here seemed not just willing to be seen, but eager to be. Men lined the gallery railing to look down at the visitors, and some of the ones in the reading room – for that's what this end of the building was – got up from their study tables to approach the tour group. Sandy guessed that there were over a hundred people present.

It seemed dozens of people crowded in to greet – or at least get a closer look at – 'Primus' and 'Erythros'. Some even came down from the gallery or came in through doors at the far end of the building to meet the newcomers. There were too many names and short introductions for either man to catch, and Teisias and the rest of the Council tried futilely to get them to let them see the Library in peace. They did, however, manage to escort their guests up a flight of stairs to the gallery, where the gathered crowd was at least stretched out by the narrow corridor between the ends of the bookshelves and railing.

When Baron P, Sandy, the Council, and all of their groupies reached a distant corner of the building, Teisias made a grand sweeping gesture, encompassing not only the panorama they could see of the building they were in, but included views of two other buildings, visible through nearly adjacent doorways at the corner. “This is the very heart of the Library. On this floor is our history collection; below us is natural science. Through this door, law, rhetoric, epics, and mathematics. And in our newest building, all of our foreign works and works on multiple and varied subjects.”

Sandy gazed out over the open space below him, trying to take in all of the books and all of the knowledge they represented. This was home: Greek history as Greeks wrote it, all of it, not just the few works that managed to survive until his age, centuries upon centuries from now. He’d already dedicated years of his life to it, hunched over his desk, teasing out meaning from the fragments they had. Recording even just a few of the scrolls would immeasurably increase his – his era's – understanding of these people. He imagined himself browsing the shelves, walking through the aisles picking up scrolls that caught his eye, each one expanding his knowledge of the the history of this era.

And their sciences, too: how much had they lost over the years? There were tantalizing hints in references to lost works, in torn scrolls, and in palimpsests. He slowly turned, as if in a dream, to look through the doorways into the other buildings; it was like looking into wonderland: all of antiquity's math, their epics, both major and minor... the cultures of many great civilizations, all at his fingertips.

And all of it would burn. The image in his mind’s eye shifted: burning scrolls on burning shelves, his eyes stinging from smoke. Nothing he could – should! – do would change that. But maybe he should aim higher than just a single book of magic. Aristophanes' comedies were worth trying to save both as historical artifacts and for what they said about daily life in Athens four centuries ago. What else? He turned back to the history collection, and slowly ran knowledgeable, wondering eyes over it. What else should he try to save?

Translation and Other Oddments

The last-mentioned building was next on the tour. It wasn't as long as either of other two big ones, but was probably the most interesting to pass through. Not only were there the by now usual shelves of scroll bins, other sorts of shelving holding different sorts of works; Teisias mentioned in passing both clay tablets and large papyrus sheets containing rubbings of Egyptian inscriptions. There was a greater variety of activity on display: people carefully repaired scrolls while others made fresh copies of ones beyond salvaging. Translators puzzled over books in many languages, trying to select the most correct Greek words for the Library's editions. It was not Teisias, but Pythokeles, who provided most of the description of the building's contents and tasks. In fact, he seemed quite animated about translation and its importance to the Library and scholarship as a whole.

The group briefly passed through the last of the Library's buildings, just long enough for Sandy to catch that they were walking through math books. He marveled – goggled, actually – at a few tags he read: his era knew nothing of the authors nor their works. Minor mathematicians, or just unlucky ones? He had little way of telling without poring over the scrolls.

This was also the section Primordial was most interested in. If any secret sciences of the Great Old Ones existed here he expected to be buried under layers of heretical mathematical symbols and theories. He would need to read deeply so he noted the section and promised to come back and read it deeply later.
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Holy Lykos
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Ex-Nation

Postby Holy Lykos » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:30 am

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Angels of Avalon

MB
Alexia
Nila
Klaus
Maghrl
Giovenith


Maghrl let out a happy, chirping-like noise upon seeing the vehicle Klaus had designed. It would fit right into the controlled chaos that was his home planet, especially with the brightly colored vehicles that squibs loved to drive. The small alien scrambled his way up into the vehicle as soon as he could, to ensure he was not left behind. "Maghrl approve-love koovy van, SurKlaus!" A strange nickname that Maghrl did not give explanation for.

The trip across country had been... more than draining for the force-attuned squib. The Force on this world as practically sick. Death was of course a natural part of life, but violent death left impressions on the force. Unnatural ones. Much like the crash they helped with... a few months ago now was it? Much like that plane crash, rends were left in the ambient Force of a region or planet. And this whole planet felt sick. It was unlikely anyone here was Force sensitive, and like most universes it felt paler and quieter, but the Force was still present. This world practically felt rotten to Maghrl. With so much death, even among nonsapient animal life and plant life, the Force was rotting. These... Gargants. They felt like black holes. The opposite of life, the opposite of the Force. Something at its core wrong and rotten and evil. Even the Sith did not feel like that.

This almost reminded Maghrl of stories of the ancient Nihilus. While many of these ancient stories were lost to time and the Jedi Purge, Luke's attempts to recover jedi knowledge had unearthed such horror stories. Nihilus was a sith lord turned void in the Force as he pursued the depths of the Sith powers to drain life from others to sustain themselves. Just one example of the utterly abhorrent skills that were the antithesis of what it meant to be a Jedi. Nihilus drained life from whole planets, including the world of Katarr. He eventually consumed everything of himself but his essence, becoming but a ghost in armor that was eventually destroyed by an unknown jedi. People, places, and objects like Nihilus were called Wounds in the Force. Open sores where the force was raw, agitated, unnatural, or practically scarred. None were easy to traverse for Jedi, but most healed with time.

This world was practically an infected wound. Unlike many tragedies which wiped out planets, this omnicide was slow and deliberate. A jagged wound in the force picked at and left open to fester. It took everything Mag had to keep himself centered and calm. Anyone looking at the small alien would be able to tell something was not right, however. He spent the trip with eyes closed, seeing the tragedy would only hurt and dig deeper, in a meditative stance.

Of course, only until they came to a stop, attacked by more Gargant abominations. Maghrl pulled himself to his feet, and immediately reached out with the force with hands held out towards the monstrosities. No reason to leave the bus's and Buttons' protection, or to say a single thing. Maghrl simply reached out and flipped the missiles around as if he was redirecting an insect. Back towards the creatures firing, back towards the dark pits in the Force. With so many he was undoubtedly going to miss some, but Maghrl was an expert at using telekinetic capabilities of the Force.




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Booze-Run Part II

Insidious
Mathias
Meps
Mez
Nivea
Ocho
Opa
Sigtrygg
Amanda


Sigtrygg, leaning forward with eyes straining, tried his best to understand the data they were being presented on the planet, but it was either in words he did not understand, or using numbers he did not either. A few words, such as water and ice were similar to ones he knew, but beyond that nothing. The viking grunted, sitting back up straight and crossed his arms over his diaphragm. The data was unlikely to be incredibly important anyway.

Sigtrygg cleared his throat before speaking up. "Understood, jah. Mezran and I are to protect the rest. Ensure nothing goes amiss and any minions of the Eyðandi sjálfur are dealt with. I lack skill in magic, so that should not be a worry for me either. I have my weapons already, though I believe if we fight against anything... more advanced than my own people we may require better armor, if it is possible for us to obtain any before we depart. My armor will not stop futuristic weapons well. Aside from that, I have no pertinent questions to ask, Herra."
Last edited by Holy Lykos on Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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