5813/Lookshy: The Aftermath

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Lookshy: The Aftermath
Date of Scene: 23 April 2018
Location: Contaminated Flatlands
Synopsis: Pending
Cast of Characters: 1124, Sir Gawain, Staren, All-Seeing Eye, Tomoe, Starbound Flotilla, Empty Tidings, Carna


Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Lookshy looks almost nothing like it did two weeks ago.

    For one, in this short amount of time, a Shadowland of incredible proportions has spread out from it in every direction. What took the Mask of Winters decades to achieve with the slow, Necromantic rot of Thorns and gradual terror and death of its citizens, has been outdone in a single night, by an almost presciently chosen perfect time and place to exterminate an entire population in one blow.

    The sheer impact of that much murder of that kind in one place at one time seems to have 'splashed' outwards for over a hundred miles, as if the city itself were incapable of containing that much darkness. It would take days on horseback to cross the bleak plains of bone white grass, translucent corpse flowers, pitch black gravel, and blowing ash, and then it'd be almost a day by ship to escape the silent ocean of gleaming ink beyond that and into the foaming blues of Creation proper. The only sign that this isn't an utterly ancient Shadowland of great infamy is that crows are here in the hundreds, feasting richly on the thousands of animals struck dead on the spot in the middle of the wilds.

    At the very least, the tens of thousands of corpses that littered the towering blue granite walls of the city itself are gone. No doubt they're probably too valuable to let scavengers pick at, or at least the stench and health hazard would be ungodly. Instead, an approach to the city's jade-infused barriers from any direction is met only with a low, quiet wind and the fluttering of banners not yet stripped from their poles.

    Unfortunately, it's not as if nobody is there. There are already a number of shapes taking their places at the city's towers, but they are dark and indistinct shades, less materially human than even the Mask of Winters' hardened Thornguard. Close enough to see them, one can hear the myriad snarls and ethereal wails of things likely human and not, strange and eerie rather than bleak and dystopian as the last Shadowland-taken city. What must be hundreds of marching footsteps and the grind of rolling wheels and treads move from street to street, like mass troop movements, and vaguely industrial noises come from almost every district, no doubt with many more hundreds of beings (of some description) labouring over the city's stockpiles and equipment, documenting the massive caches that are left to them.

    There is no sight nor smell of zombies at least, and blessedly, no sight of a more recent pitched battle. The cut-off Seventh Legion hasn't attempted to retake their home yet, and that's just as well. It seems like a foreign occupying force has moved in, and everything the Legion would need to resupply and recover is behind their own walls.

    Even at daytime, the sky is almost like night, far deeper and darker than the pale, semi-clouded grey of Thorns --enough to see the colourless shine of Lookshy's soaring lighthouse by, out at the seaward docks. Those with any kind of reading on the life of the land finds it less 'dead' so much as 'dying' and simultaneously 'moving in reverse', as if the leylines are slowly being replaced by something or other.

    Even then, however, it isn't technically difficult to /approach/. In fact, the only presence actually at the city's only real gate is that of a single woman in heavy, pitch black articulated plate, with straight cut neck-length hair and bearing a shield with a strange coat of arms, and a mere handful of slightly more lightly armoured entities, partly covered in steel-grey cloaks and equipped with swords and rifles that are too much unlike Lookshy's to be scavenged. The docks have no boats except those stranded and drifting when the bomb went off, dragged back and re-tethered, and are worked mostly by the same, indistinct, shadowy things in near-silence. Without Lookshy's Sky Guard, the only thing an air presence could be describe as would be a dark shape in the clouds and 'a very bad feeling'.

Sir Gawain has posed:
Gawain had something lingering on the back of his mind for a while now. Could have there been survivors? Could have someone survived the catastrophe that hit Lookshy? And if not, at the least, the Seventh Legion had to have survived, right? Did they reclaim their home? If so, he'd have to meet up with them. Support them. Lookshy had been an ally. But as he approached the region in full armor (because the Shadowlands block his sun boost, so it was better safe than sorry) atop a Paladins-requisitioned motorcycle, he was absolutely shocked to see what he did.

The Shadowland felt almost endless as he rode through it towards Lookshy. It made Gawain very uncomfortable, and he couldn't wait to be out of it, because it reminded him of what had happened that night. The motorcycle several times had to drift out of the way of the corpses of animals in Gawain's path, though by the fact this place didn't have a speed limit, he could go very fast.

Eventually, the motorcycle would reach the front gate. Gawain would pull the motorcycle to a stop at the sign of someone, leaping off and putting both hands up in a 'I'm friendly' gesture as he approaches. "Ah, someone's here! That's good to see! Are you with the Seventh Legion, by chance...or perhaps a survivor?!" He seems very excited to know what's going on. "Sir Gawain, Knight of the Sun, Warden of the Paladins. I'm looking for any signs of survivors of the catastrophe here, and if you're one of them, that's fantastic. I apologize if my vehicle and armor is worrisome, but the lack of the sun is offputting for me. Any information you have would be much appreciated!" Despite this being a random person he just met standing guard at a gate, the knight is smiling and actually not at all prepared for hostility, his gladness to see someone alive overpowering his caution. Someone's going to need to help him with that.

Staren has posed:
    In the wake of the battle, Staren grabbed what magitech salvage he could to keep it out of Revelations's hands, with Miari pointing out valuables. But... even a single mecha-load is no doubt only a drop from the Lookshy ocean.

    He can always give it back, in the (he judged at the time) astronomically unlikely chance that Bloody Revelations really was on the level after all.

Today

    The Star Hawk returns. Staren doesn't want to spend any more time traversing the shadowland than absolutely necessary. Perhaps less because of its inherent creepiness, than because it serves as a reminder of what he had a hand in. The Star Hawk speeds over it all at two and a half times the speed of sound.

    When he approaches the city, he slows down, arms and legs unfolding and dropping altitude as the city comes into sight, then finally transforming to humanoid mode and approaching the gate.

    It seems there was a misunderstanding about the workings of the Orb. There is still a chance, however small, that Bloody Revelations intends to make good on her promise of a better existance for Creation's mortals.

    But after that 'betrayal', he can only wait so long for proof. It's time.

    "Is Bloody Revelations there?" Staren asks, over the speakers. Then he has a thought. "Actually... hold on a moment. Who are you? Can you describe your life here? Or... afterlife, rather?"

All-Seeing Eye has posed:
     Riding beside Gawain is All-Seeing Eye, atop his hoverbike. The purple flames which propel it forward seem to burn brighter the closer they get to the empty fortess city, leaving a trail of smoldering cinders that gradually burn up as he passes. Where the Sun Knight has to weave in between obstacles, Eye's vehicle simply pitches and hovers over them, gently lowering back to a foot or two above the ground.

     Of the two of them, Eye seems much the less enthusiastic upon finding someone. The color black is usually not a good sign in a Shadowland, as he's come to understand. When the two of them come to a stop and dismount their respective vehicles, the Exalt is quick to place a hand almost protectively upon the knight's chestplate, attempting to bar his advance.

     Today he hasn't bothered to hide his augmentations nor augment his skin tone to more human levels. This, paired with the synthetic leather, military issue long coat he wears makes him look like some sort of cybernetically augmented Abyssal commissar. His eyes narrow upon taking the measure of the posted guards, his soft lips pulled into a suspicious scowl.

     "Provide your names and allegiances within ten seconds or I will assume allegiance with the Deathlords. In which case, there will be... trouble for you."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe had been dragged off when she tried to go look for survivors after the battle, it was just that bad, she'd almost fallen out of Avatar State and if she did in a place like that? She'd have been dead in short order and her soul a play thing for Bloody Revelations in all likelihood. She had hooked up with Gawain to make her way here, as she does not want to go into this place alone.

With the light issues she's not certain how will her own flight will work, so she's on the back of the Motorcycle hanging n to Gawain.

"I'm planning to look for survivors."

When they reach the gate she'll hop off the bike she seems in good spirits but she's a bit more guarded than Gawain is. This is a Shadow Land, it's far too much like a certain floor of the castle, but as she sees the people? She thinks to something Bloody Revelation thought and her blood runs cold, these could be risen lookshy troops or Citizens now bound to Bloody Revelations service. She's got a really bad feeling about this, a really bad feeling. Also at this point any surivors would have fled or died in the aftermath of this place becoming a shadowlands.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
"By the breath of mother nature herself, I've never seen something so... So awful. This is revolting beyond belief, it is disgusting to its core and its root, it is..."
"Worssse than Hylotl hydroweapon flood?"
"Not the time, kids, I'll turn this car around."
"This is one hell of a pillars-of-salt solution."
"..."
"No worse than Thorns would have been."
"..."
"Great, now fucking drop it. There's someone at the gate."

    The Starbound Flotilla's transport hums as it hovers over the once-battlefield. Albert can't stop staring at the shattered remains of the Atom Smasher out in the field, still visible. Seft is already looking completely out of her head, in a state of subtle soft-lock as she finds whatever configuration of parts of her own mind to shut down to be able to bear this situation. Albert steps out of the transport and heads for the main gate, but Moonfin holds him on the shoulder and pulls him back. He's the one who strides forward to the gate, following Gawain, and letting others like Staren speak. He knows that they at least have more reliable empathy than the Starbound Flotilla does, with their lone source of substantial empathy currently nearly in tears in the back seat of the transport just from looking at the devastation.

    Then he approaches. His voice is as grave as the surroundings and he speaks with a tone of honor, or delivering a message. "In accordance with the orders of Taimyo-Yin Teresu Zen Wu, representing the will of Operations Directorate of Lookshy, the four tasks issued to the Starbound Flotilla by Lookshy high authority have been completed." He says, in a tone that manages to encapsulate /incredible/ dutifulness. "We seek contact with any remaining authority of Lookshy, or any who would claim inheritance thereof."

    In the wake of disaster, the one thing people can cling to is the goddamn social systems. And Moonfin well intends to cling to that, and to let whoever's here to take Lookshy apart do the same if they want to. And a little extra legitimacy never hurt.

Empty Tidings has posed:
    WEEKS AGO

Empty Tidings takes All-Seeing Eye into the midst of the dead city and goes on the hunt for entertainment -- like survivors. She's in awful shape, but with each new terror visited on the remnants, and each new vice indulged, she seems to be knit back together, like some kind of monster fuelled by others' suffering.

Maybe she is.

By the dawn of the next day, the world has become a little bit darker for her presence. She's largely refreshed, acting like nothing is wrong despite the obvious fatigue on her face, driven only by scavenged stimulants and whatever infernal power gives her strength in the first place. Hours later, she's in the middle of making survivors knife fight one another over a false promise of deliverance when something inside her

snaps

and she nearly crumples on the spot. Tears flow, and the look of villainous rapture she'd borne all night flees before one of terrible realization. She composes herself (for the most part), straightens, turns, and walks out of the city. She doesn't stop until she's disappeared beneath the corpse-filled river-waters, and never once does she look back.

    NOW

Half of a scarlet bridge going nowhere appears quietly and without fanfare. It goes from the edge of a mist-shrouded river some distance from the city walls out over the waters, but terminates at what should be the bridge's apex. The mist makes it hard to see it properly from a distance; it's just a shape in the fog.

TORIKI FALLING RAIN trudges across the dead fields towards the city gates. Her red and green apparel has been rendered in greyscale, and her face is ashen and devoid of color, with dark splotches running where the blood of the Dragons was once visible in her veins. Everything about her is tattered and worn. Deadly damage is evident on her breastplate, with cracks spiderwebbed across her ruined armor.

She bears something with her: a mended wooden pole, wrapped with cloth at the upper end. Her thickly bandaged hands clutch the object and balance it over one shoulder. It's taller than she is, and every step she takes is one she makes with an expression of grim, bloodied resolve.

Carna has posed:
    Enark and Carna are here. The former is a broken old man with nonetheless slightly too young features for his wrinkles and hair color, looking deadened from his experiences here (doubly ironic due to actually being among the dead). Entering the shadowland is barely significant except in its familiarity. Like being in Lumiere. Death, darkness, stagnation, decay, and undertones of menace. Carna, likewise, though she has not had the ages upon ages of experience with such that Enark and her old self had. She is still 'new' to all this, undecided about how much to believe of what people have told her, but duty-bound to guard Enark after what nearly happened to him last time.

    Even so, the mere presence of birds is more life than Lumiere has, and any natural lighting is more light, so just as familiar as it is to Enark, it is jarringly different to her Lantern eyes, ears, and nose.

    The woman standing at the gates in armor seems like the most likely person to approach to speak, though Carna doesn't know why Enark would bother coming back here. She just knows he sought protection, and she agreed.

    When the scholar and the stalker stand before this woman, alongside several others, Enark seems barely aware, and Carna is alertly looking out over the field, eyeing a great hulk of some kind that seems to be lumbering around, sending out jagged red and black clouds that make her keep the black chains around her arm dangling, ready to start melting into a blade of blood and despair.

    Of course, there is no such giant walking around. Not anymore.

    "Greetings. Not to add more cacophony to all of these individuals accosting you, but once you are done, I am Enark of the Blue Scholars, and this is Lady Carna. We would like to inquire about permission to inspect the remains of that 'Juggernaut' from Lady Bloody Revelations, if any."

    He didn't seek permission before making brain scans of the corpses of the tens of thousands of bodies, but he didn't know or care back then what Bloody Revelations intended to do with them, and they were still there when he was done, so no harm, no foul. Even if he's going to be trying to bring them back in new bodies. Who can say what impact that will have on their ghosts? (Spoiler: Probably none.)

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Sadly for Gawain, when he approaches, he can quickly tell that the person he's looking at isn't Dragon-Blooded. Staren can also pretty quickly tell she isn't dead. Though her extremely heavy armour appears to be black jade rather than soulsteel, and her hair is cut straight and short enough to maybe just barely pass military standards, she has no elemental markings, none of Lookshy's iconography, and most of her soldierly air comes entirely from the utterly frigid aura she gives off, and a look that is more of a constant, dispassionate, low-key glare.

    The first thing she does when met is let off a short bark of a laugh, apparently at All-Seeing Eye, despite his blatantly unnatural construction and hostile attitude. "Forced to assume. Funny. Deheleshen is now the territory of Sixteenth Night's Silence. Everyone here is in allegiance with /a/ Deathlord. Nobody in existence owes allegiance to plural Deathlord/s/. The only trouble you'll cause is trouble for yourself." Despite saying that, none of the tall, slenderly armoured guards so much as turn to look at the Alchemical. Is it better or worse if the weapons don't come out when obvious problems turn up?

    "If you're looking for survivors, well, so are we. Anyone who could live through what happened here is an experienced Terrestrial Exalted of strong blood, so nobody here is dumb enough to leave them alone to gather togethere in the sewers or something." That one sounds like a pointed barb, not so much at Gawain as, well, the place they'd just come from where the local Deathlord allowed a resistance to cultivate in his sewers. "As I demanded, the only ones that've been killed are the ones who resisted. The rest are pending someone deciding what to do with them. If you can convince someone to take them off my hands, certainly, be my guests." Despite being blatantly a Deathknight, she sounds convincingly apathetic to the idea of keeping prisoners, apparently feeling them more trouble than they're worth. Then again, she certainly doesn't look like a surgeon or Necromancer or anything like that. More like some kind of military officer.

    Her black-painted lips twist into a vexed pseudo-scowl at Staren's question, but she goes on in cold and dead tones, relaying those words with almost clinical detachment. "You're after /her/. I should have known. I'm betting you're the ones who took down the Mask of Winters, right? I don't take orders from /her/, but I do have orders not to kill you. It would seem our shared lord is happy enough about him being stomped out that you get a pass." She glances sidelong at Moonfin. "Maybe enough to give you whatever that guy offered you. As far as I've read through the casualty report, the Taimyos haven't been accounted for --I wouldn't push your luck."

    She does actually delay thoughtfully before continuing though. "Authority is a . . . tricky question. This place belongs to my lord now, but it's not likely he'll show up in person. At the moment, the five of us have equal authorization to handle whatever we get delegated. Who you're going to have to convince to put in a good word is a little arbitrary at the moment." The Deathknight then lowers her voice a little.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    "It's not going to be her though. Our lord knows better than to leave her in command of his assets. Ever since she just walked right up to him and suddenly declared she'd taken Lookshy out of nowhere, and once we realized she wasn't joking, it's been a pain in the ass to secure it before anyone else could. He's promised her some lavish present or another, as usual, if she can have a half-legion of ghosts functional by deadline, and then she'll move on somewhere else like she always does, so someone more responsible will get the posting here. It'll either be myself, or Ink on Black Pages."

    "You won't find much in the way of remains." she then says, dead flat to Enark. "I'm sorry to say, but the one you're looking for destroyed them when she claimed she was offended by the smell. There are some samples someone with foresight took ahead of time to figure out how the Mask of Winters resurrected something that huge, but it's just bones and soulsteel out there right now."

    The woman stops for a second to run her gauntleted fingers along her jaw, brushing aside her hair. "If you're going to go in, then go in. Ink on Black Pages is in the Academy district. I've left all the survivors I found with Veils of Pale Glass in barracks district. If he asks, tell him Quiet Obsidian Bells sent you. Bloody Revelations Spilled from the Nightmare has the entire agricultural district to herself to work in. It's huge and all the crops are dead anyways." Whatever the significance is of someone who appears to be a random Dragon-Blooded ghost out in the fields carrying a pole, none of the shapes on the walls seem to pay it on the mind. The Deathknight at the gate just stands there if people want to go past.

All-Seeing Eye has posed:
     The Exalt tilts his head as if he didn't hear her, or perhaps didn't understand her. Everyone in the city owes allegiance to a Deathlord, do they? Well... he certainly has his work cut out for him! The first sign that there might be trouble is his growing smile, which Gawain and Tomoe might notice. The second, evident to everyone nearby, is when he utters an indulgent, almost melodic laugh. If the armored woman has any sense for such things, she might feel the stirring of Essence, and if she is of the Abyssal variety, it would most certainly not be the infamous Black Essence despite the Soulsteel augmentations plainly evident on Eye's face.

     Visible only to Eye himself, purple crosshairs begin to wink up, circling around the heads of her armored subordinates. The only one not targeted is the leader herself. In one fluid motion, the Alchemical's eyes fold away to reveal two miniscule soulsteel contraptions, each a mass of complex and delicate gears with a nozzle protruding from it. A hiss of steam is the only further warning the guards receive before a burst of lightning streaks from each eye and darts between the painted targets.

     Stepping forward, Eye sweeps his leg towards the jade-armored woman, a steel cable emerging from his ankle to try and trip her up. "Oops! Here comes that trouble~"

Staren has posed:
The city's been given to SOMEONE ELSE?

    Staren is angry AND disappointed.

    And yet...

    "Where are the ghosts?"

    Maybe, just maybe, they're all in the agricultural district and not the deathlord's new slaves.

    And then, Eye messes things up. Fffff... Staren takes off, flying over the city looking for what looks like an gricultural district.

Sir Gawain has posed:
A deathknight. Gawain frowns a little, but the fact that there's survivors at all, if even captured, is a blessing. "Well-met. I, infact, would like to take them off your hands. If we could negotiate a release, that'd be excellent." The thing about Bloody Revelations, though, does noticably make the sunshine knight frown. "Is Bloody Revelations there right now?" Either way, Gawain would like to cooperate...even as he glances at what is clearly Toriki Falling Rain. Her ghost? "Ah...Toriki Falling Rain! Are you-"

Before he can finish whatever he was going to ask her, All-Seeing Eye fires at the guards, and moves to trip up the woman. Combat. "Eye! We could have cooperated...!" The knight shouts out...but he doesn't oppose him. No, that'd be a little foolish. They're now going to see them as enemies, and Gawain sighs, saddened that it seems to have to be this way. But he has something important to do - find the survivors and get them out of here. He leaps backwards, moving to land on his motorcycle and start the ignition. The engine revs, and then suddenly, the motorcycle moves to force its way past any opposition, trying to get through the gate of the city. Gawain's not partaking in this battle.

Instead, the Knight of the Sun is trying to get an idea of where the prisoners could be, drifting through any corners of Lookshy and trying to see where looks like it'd be a prisoner district and head that direction. "I'm sorry about this! But I'll be taking those captives off your hands!" It feels kind of like law-breaking, even if it's Deathlord laws. He'll need to reprimand himself later.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe keeps a mute expression as she hears who the people work for, yup servants of a Death Lord, she has an idea where this is going to get going rather quickly. The mention of survivors though, leaves her hopeful there could be some and it would be imperative to get them /out/ before these people can find them, to well likely end them. She looks to Gawain for a moment, she also hears they get a pass in, she figures they can make use of it, right? If they find anyone alive they can worry about getting them out then.

She hears where some surivors are? Okay that sounds like a good place to go for.

"Well Gawain shall we get moving?"

Then she sees All-Seeing eye, did Tomoe expect to fight today, yes. She wanted to get to the POWs first and spring them either by Shudder buying them off the person who has them, talking them into it or through violence. As Eye is doing his thing Tomoe is going to leap back on to the motorcycle hang on to Gawain and whelp off they go hopefully they can get to where they need to go! Also she's going to make sure Gawain is not in over his head.

Carna has posed:
    Enark frowns at the news. "Ah. I see. Well, I apologize for bothering you. Though if you might be able to direct me to who obtained those samples, I would appreciate it, and can stop being here bothering you that much sooner--" He glances sidelong at the Alchemical that seems to be trying to start up a fight. He doesn't want to be here any longer than he has to. He jumps when lightning shoots out and says, "On second thought, we'll just go look on our own, thank you for your time. Good luck with this, Staren, Sir Gawain." He then takes Carna's hand and tries to pull her after him and into the city.

    If Bloody Revelations destroyed the Juggernaut, then he's unlikely to find any samples with her. So he'll go check with this Ink on Black Pages. The Academy district certainly sounds like a probable place to find someone with the foresight to collect samples.

    Carna reluctantly follows along with Enark, her hackles raising at the sudden violence while she was distracted with her hallucination, but she is spared from further escalating things by drawing her weapon thanks to Enark's wise focus on self-preservation and pursuing their goal here instead of getting side-tracked by every random ego display and political kerfluffle.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Ah, you had less violent intentions. I am gladdened to hear it. We are indeed the ones who ended Mask of Winters, and I am ever glad to hear it was a pleasant show for any who would choose to judge it." Moonfin says, bowing and smiling. And then there goes All-Seeing Eye. The triocular Hylotl gives him 150% of a normal human's maximum side-eye, takes a few steps to the side, and heads towards the gate, waving the other Flotilla-members over. "We... are not with him." Moonfin says to the guards he passes, gesturing to All-Seeing Eye, and making a helpless 'well what are you gonna do' kind of look. "Have a most pleasant day."

    The whole group heads on in, hopefully, doing that sort of 'not my circus, not my monkeys' kind of speedy walk right out of a problem they aren't comfortable with dealing with. Like Staren, they're headed towards the agricultural district, and hopefully it'll be nearby. They /do/ wanna see what's up with Bloody Revelations, and how much of her claims hold water. Not that four of the six Starbounders care that much about the safety and happiness of Lookshy's souls, of course, but the two that do are worth appeasing, and Staren's intentions are certainly something very much worth tracking.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Gawain seems to have lucked out in that the woman he is talking to is not hilariously evil like some of the previous Deathknghts. Frigid and dead-toned, yes, but more apathetic than immoral. "No, she's not allowed near the PoWs." asserts Obsidian Bells, and though she doesn't deign to elaborate, it feels fairly obvious why. "If you want to negotiate, fine. They're useless as they are, and I'm wasting able men babysitting them."

    She shifts her shield over her shoulder in the general direction of the west past the walls in response to Staren. The coat of arms looks something like sixteen silver knives arranged like the radial ticks of a timekeeping device, surrounding a black lotus flower. "All the ghosts that sprung up overnight are either back at the inner quarter, which you aren't going to, or still in processing in the agricultural district." Processing. That's a concerning word. "Unless you mean hungry ghosts, in which case you don't want to know. You should-"

    Her cold blue eyes dart to All-Seeing Eye mid-sentence with off-putting alacrity when his Essence begins to gather, and that shield --unusual to even be made as artifacts, never mind for the Exalted to use-- is in his way in the blink of an eye. She physically slaps the bolts of lightning with a sound like a shattering mirror, which splinters the Essence bolts in a way it really shouldn't. The steel cable lashes out around her plated ankle, and a black shadow fizzles into the shape of a reaper model daiklave in her hand, either intending to cut the cable or the Alchemical himself.

    It doesn't get much further than that before someone jumps into the way, presumably from off the wall, though there had been no sign he was coming. He manages to expertly place himself between the Alchemical and the Abyssal, holding an empty hand up in both of their directions, and carefully stepping on the cable between them. The messy dark hair, odd bandana, and roguish smile immediately pins as the elusive Deathknight they'd seen working for the Mask of Winters at several points in the past --the one who had convinced a Solar Circle to work with them.

    Whoa whoa hey now!" he interjects. "Who exactly is this helping? You two just met, you don't know anything about one another, and you're already trying to kill each other! This is a perfectly good opportunity, right?" He even goes so far as to immediately extend his hand towards All-Seeing Eye, seemingly entirely for a handshake. "Hey there, I don't know what went on between you two, but I officially apologize if she said something that got you that worked up." Obsidian Bells gets as far as blurting "Get back to your-" before he holds up a finger in her direction with a drawn out "Shhhh-shhshhh-shhhh. I don't know how you go about things here, but where I'm from, we don't stab guests before knowing what they have to offer. 'kay?"

    In the meantime, everyone else has the unenviable job of trying to navigate the lengthy, steep, and heavily shadowed rises and paths of Lookshy's crowded urban interior. There are transit stations everywhere, as well as paths, thoroughfares, checkpoints, and places that were obviously using mass transportation and some kind of pass system. It gives them an idea as to how huge and dense this place really is, and how many people must have been commuting around it on a day to day basis. Even deeper into the city, they don't catch even the slightest sign of the undead, never mind necrotech. Any fully material figures are so heavily obscured or armoured that it's impossible to really tell if they're human, ghost, or something else, and the rest are masses of shapeless black figures that work silently in coordinated packs to transport materiel around the streets, none of them paying any attention to passers by, giving it the eerie feeling of driving through a black and white diorama.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    It may be worth noting that nobody stopped to ask where any of those distracts /are/. Going past the gate seems to have lead straight into some sort of trade district, with very good indication that many more foreign shops have been set up here than Lookshyan ones, but beyond that the signage is only pointing them to the districts of: blades, artisans, schools, and 'the green hunt'.

    Staren and the Flotilla are the lucky ones, in that the agricultural district is actually just right over the wall, and constitutes over a third of the entire city quarter it occupies. It's obviously nowhere big enough to be a primary provider for the whole city, but it certainly would have been a valuable asset in a time of siege. What they arrive at is largely ash and dust, however. Any tall crops have been blown away in the wind completely, and the short grasses and crawling leaves still left are all bleached bone white on pitch black dirt. There isn't even so much as a smell of rot here --only cold soil. The plant life wouldn't have even decomposed.

    Though they aren't even that far away from the wall, just being on the opposite side of it, under its long shadow, leaves them with almost just the sound of the wind again. It's yet another bleak and lonely sight in the city that was the River Province's crowning jewel only weeks ago, but as Staren had dared hope, there is at least something to it. An enormous portion of the field has been cleared, and surrounded in a complete circle of what must be easily thousands of black candles. Even their tiny flames glitter warmly in the dark, and cast faint orange colour into the surroundings. Within the enormous circle drawn in black wax and candlelight, roughly a hundred ghosts, these ones clearly civilians due to the lack of Lookshy's distinctive military finery, are spaced out across the field, equidistant from each other.

    Ghosts typically still exhibit signs of what killed them in life. From looking at these however, one would be forgiven for having no idea what could possibly have ended them. They look as if their bodies had partially melted and then flayed away by the wind, twisted in bizarre and hideous semi-liquid shapes, and clearly in some considerable amount of constant pain. Such is the effect of an ancient Solar weapon called a 'soul breaker'.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    The Deathknight at the door hadn't lied, however. At the head of the circle, in her own smaller ring of candles, Bloody Revelations stands in a shallow pool of blood, surrounded by glyphs carved into the dirt and filled with red. She is intently concentrating on a massive web of threads spread out across some sort of floating iron lattice, though closer inspection yields the fact that the snared tangle of wires she is sorting out appear to be solidified blood as well. Her fingertips are smeared scarlet with the stuff, moving rapidly through the incredibly dense mesh, tightening, loosening, severing and tying threads as if restoring a weaving loom from some sort of catastrophic failure. With nobody else in the area, she is talking to herself.

    "No. No, this is useless. I can't even find the thought-threads with these cords- oh this is just sloppy work. Hm? Yes, I know. Mhm~ Of course I can. I just wish someone had bothered to consider what a mess that pattern would leave. Oh don't worry. If we only wanted functional drones, it'd be easier to commission the Sijanese. No, when I'm done, they'll be better than they were before~ Perfect and beautiful, without all that flesh in the way making them slow and stupid. You know who else is perfect and beautiful? Hmm? Hmm~?"

    About then, she loops one of the longer cables at the frame around her index finger and yanks it taut, and the entire front row of ghosts collapses screaming as their warped ethereal flesh is pulled back into their bodies, painfully reversing the disfigurement like jamming a dislocated shoulder back into its socket. "Oh don't be a bunch of babies. You'll thank me when this is over. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how badly optimized your corpus was before you even died. Think of this as an opportunity to fix everything else wrong with you."

Staren has posed:
    The Star Hawk lands near Bloody Revelations -- although Staren's careful not to land on any ghosts or, if he can see any necro-essence? lines with the sensors he's made so far, careful not to mess them up either.

    Staren climbs out of his machine. The piloting suit is safety-orange and white. He opens his visor as he approaches Bloody Revelations, watching the ritual. "...You're really doing it. But how do I know this isn't just exactly what I want to see?"

All-Seeing Eye has posed:
     "Where /I/ am from, a tumor such as this," he says with a gesture towards the ghost-filled city, "Would have been cut out long before it had the chance to fester so." Without bothering to conceal the miniaturized essence cannons, he makes a show of looking the intervening Abyssal up and down. He also makes a token, disrespectful effort to withdraw the cable lying between them, more to test the strength of the other Exalt than anything. Naturally, he refuses the offer of a handshake. "Perhaps had someone detonated a weapon of war in one of your abominable master's wretched cities and then simply moved in as if they owned it, you might understand my anger. Hm." He chuckles bitterly. "Perhaps an idea for the future." He grins venemously, giving Obsidian Bell a pointed look with those soulsteel cannons.

     "The mass murder perpetrated by the terrorist you call Bloody Revelations is the most egregious issue, but there is also the fact that this has significantly set back my own nation's bid for membership in the Confederation of Rivers, and the fact that the two of you, Revelations, and every one of your kind are an insult to Autochthon's Design. It is /particularly/ unfortunate that /you are here," he says with a nod towards the messy-haired Abyssal standing on his whip, "As your intervention during the initial stages of the strike makes you even more complicit in Revelations' evil than your companion there. Be that as it may..."

     His essence cannons retreat into his eyes, and the facade of humanity returns. His smile takes on a less menacing note, with something like warmth residing in its place. In his best, most tourist-friendly customer service voice, Eye sweetly indulges him. "If either of you think there is something better you can offer me than the broken, truly lifeless body of Bloody Revelations and the cleansing of this filth from the face of Creation, I'll entertain it. I'm nothing if not fair!" He giggles, wrinkling his nose playfully.

     Wagging a finger at him, he adds, "But if not, I'll pick up where I left off and take this place apart one screaming abomination at a time. And darlings, it's going to take a lot more than a thunderbolt shield, a reaper daiklave, and an admittedly handsome accomplice to genocide to stop me."

Sir Gawain has posed:
The fact that it looks and sounds like there's still hope to not have a fight actually makes Gawain a little relieved, and he'll leave the rest to Eye, who he has faith will try and negotiate. This faith is probably misplaced, especially seeing the radio banter, but still. The motorcycle actually moves pretty deftly through the streets, crossing between paths where possible and trying to negotiate around obstacles. Gawain has a high level of control over the vehicle, though even then, he still needs to slow down at some points.

Following the signs, he remembers Obsidian Bells mentioning the 'barracks district', so he moves to follow those pointing to the Blades District. "Let's try and do this peacefully, to ensure the safety of the prisoners! If they're willing to negotiate, though, they'll need something..." He muses to Tomoe, as he tries to find an area that looks like barracks. Once there, he'll move to find someone who looks important or if they're in charge to approach and ask where the prisoners are, and mention that Obsidian Bells sent him.

Carna has posed:
    The population may differ a bit, but the layout seems the same as the last time he was here. Enark leads the way towards the academy, trying to avoid eye contact or looking suspicious. He wouldn't even have been particularly uncomfortable if there were ghosts and undead around, since he is one and is accompanied by one, but the fact this is not the friendly territory he considered Lookshy o be before now means he feels very much like an outsider, familiar feelings or no. Soon enough, Enark and Carna are likely to have reached the academic district unless something appears to impede them.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe catches the last bot of what the Deathknight has to say, as they speed away? Well then she gets an idea s she hangs on to Gawain. She keeps her eyes and ears open as they burn rubber. "We got a name of the person in charge of the pows and it seems they don't want them. We might be able to talk to them and cut a deal. So don't worry I'll do it peacefully. We got lives on the line here." Why a deal it means they won't be under fire getting these people out."

She makes a comment to Staren on the radio and he makes a good point in terms she can understand pretty easily. There is another effect in her mind she's thought about the Soul Breaker, Solars made it, the more and more? She would see why people engaged in an uprising against them. It seems they have arrived. It won't be long before Tomoe is on her feet following after Gawain, keeping an eye out for trouble and where they might find the one in charge here.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Hmph." Albert snborts, as he moves up closer to Bloody Revelations. He's making sure not to disturb any of the ritual's structure as best he can. "In need of materials?" He crosses his arms and looks at her with a mixture of feelings that's nearly impossible to decode, all sort of jumbled together in his face. It's not nearly the sort of suspicion that someone like Staren might display, but just because he thinks Lookshy was an acceptable sacrifice doesn't mean he suddenly likes her. Honestly is there anyone Albert likes?

    The closest analogue to a ritual that Albert has in his own social protocol is a lab experiment, and so he puts on some safety goggles before the ghost stuff ensues. "Thorns is solved. Without the backbone, it'll all fall apart." He says this with confidence and assurance, but he's also saying it as a prompting to Bloody Revelations; if anyone knows reasons /why/ that wouldn't be the case, it'd be her. "Tell me about what you're doing here. And then tell me about what you're doing next." It's spoken almost as a demand, but with the knowledge that Rev probably can't help but spill the beans to mess with Staren or otherwise mix up the morality of the situation for Fun.

    The rest of the Flotilla are here too, of course. Pavo seems most comfortable with getting near Bloody Revelations here, aside from Albert, but the others still keep a modestly healthy distance, mostly oveserving.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
"Ah, see, now you're making assumptions." the meddling young Abyssal Exalted suddenly interrupts All-Seeing Eye with. "As it so happens, someone /did/ drop a necromantic weapon of mass destruction into my hometown, and then moved in as if they owned it. You may have heard of it. A little city called Thorns?" The look he gives the Alchemical is briefly dead serious. "So, maybe I do know a little about how it feels, and maybe I know a lot about how to move on from there, hm? See, now you just look silly." It doesn't stop him from slapping 'Eye on the back the instant he puts all his augments away, as if they were already good friends.

    "And as it so happens, someone went and dropped a big fat weapon on that guy too. Funny how life works, right? Even so, I'm still doing alright. Why? Because I leave all the fighting and killing and inspiring speeches and creepy heebie-jeebie magic stuff to the people who want to do that, and I spend a little time getting to know the people. As it turns out, if you try to be reasonable with people, they'll usually try to be reasonable with you, and if everyone can act reasonable for a minute or two, a lot of the time you can find a couple of common things that everyone agrees on, and maybe they don't all have to kill each other to get what they want after all. Or at least, not right away, heh."

    Obsidian Bells looks as if she'd like to spit at the Deathknight's feet. Clearly, she does not think highly of one of the Mask's agents who had so easily put up his hands and joined the winning side when his boss bit the dust. Maybe it hadn't occurred to her that the Mask of Winters might have been kind of a shitty boss. Instead, she stalks back off towards the gatehouse, while the new guy continues.

    "So! I'm still pretty new around here. The guy who took over was generous enough to take me on, because I decided we should talk it out like reasonable adults, and it worked out for the both of us. He has an extra pair of eyes and ears where he didn't before, and I report to a guy who's less obsessed with chopping people up and stitching legs to their arms and arms to their legs. That means I don't know everyone here, /yet/. You can call me Typhon by the way. Pleased to meet you! What it sounds like to me is that you had a big score all lined up in this place, and then the crazy one came and kicked it all over right before you could seal the deal, and you're back to square one and rightfully pretty pissed off about it. Am I right?"

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    "Busy." Bloody Revelations interjects, without actually looking away from her work. She twists two more lines like a pair of shoestrings and pulls a particularly dense knot apart in a firm yank, doubling over two more rows of ghosts as their corpus slurps back into itself. "Unless you're here to drop off a fat stack of soulfire crystals you can fu- Oh it's them?" The jarring switch of verbal tracks doesn't seem like someone who realized something halfway through their sentence, but more like someone who had just been firmly interrupted by someone else. She only bothers to turn her head and look back a second later, after she finishes tying the two cords she is working on.

    "I'm really doing what? Necromancy? What kind of gormless muppet does it take to make an observation like that? You realize I'm working, right? Like, an actual job? I don't know if you've ever heard of a job." Her eyes flick back and forth across the mesh for several seconds, before she hooks a fingernail into the skein and pulls the central knot apart with a steely twang and a splash of red droplets, immediately sending the back ranks into howling conniptions as their ghostly forms properly take on human shapes again. "Are you literally incapable of imagining that the world doesn't revolve around you? In your imagination, was there an entire stage crew here waiting around for two weeks to set this all up just in case you showed your face?"

    She turns back to her work when Albert approaches. Far from being an attempt to ignore him, it comes across as simply less of an urge to stare at him with deadpan incredulity than Staren. "Of course it will. Any of that dead blowhard's Deathknights with any sense will pick new masters, and it's not exactly a hard choice. All of his competent cronies will have scattered to the winds by now, and the sycophants and groupies who stay behind will get exactly the treatment the people have Thorns have been fantasizing about giving them for decades." That seems like pretty solid confirmation. "Castles build of sand. All production values and no plot."

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    She renews her fiddling with the massive cat's cradle of red strings as she speaks, moving more delicately over them now, one by one. The ghosts stuck inside the field of black candles appear to resemble their original selves now, and are recovering from the abrupt agony they'd just had to experience of getting soul-broken in reverse. "The orb left behind a lot of ghosts alright, but they were basically all useless; mangled or completely insane, and unfit for duty. My liege says he needs one and a half thousand ready, and obviously I'm the only one skilled enough in moliation to get it done."

    She preempts the question before it's even asked. "Corpus crafting. Shaping the stuff that appears in the Underworld after it dies or is sacrificed in Creation. Ghosts. Grave goods. Plasmics. Once you strip away all of Creation's baggage, what you have left is the pure, distilled essence of the thing, and you can fix up all of Creation's sloppy, /sloppy/ work. I mean, think about it. What makes a ghost weak or strong? Smart or stupid? Obviously it's not /muscles/. It's not his brains either. He doesn't /have/ those things anymore. He's only weak or stupid because those things held him back in life, and that informed the pattern of Essence he left behind."

    "There's no reason he should /stay/ weak and stupid because he had small muscles and a little brain before he died, do you agree? So when you get rid of all nature's revolting defects, it only makes sense to pull on your gloves and fix all the things it got wrong. Look at this. You see this?" She points towards the ghost of a young woman fumbling around blindly to find something to grab and pull herself upright on. "What the hell am I supposed to do with a blind ghost? Blind from /birth/ even? So-" Bloody Revelations singles out one, specific, tiny pair of threads, then pulls them from their hook, winds them together, and fires a tiny pulse of black Essence into them, before stringing them more tightly. The poor girl briefly seizes in pain, before blinking clearly and warily standing up on her own. "-there. How hard was that? After you've died once and you've seen the other side, you start to realize how /infuriatingly/ bad Gaia's craftsmanship is."

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    In Enark's case, there aren't even any eyes to contact. The closest thing would be the darkened slits of full face helmets, and even they seem to glide along as if he is beneath their notice. He gets all the way through the District of Artisans, which has apparently been almost untouched in all this time, everything from furnishings to instruments to ceramics to jewelry just sitting around at its stalls, where the dead have no need for it, before running up against an actual checkpoint of guards, like the creepily silent ones outside the front gate, at the dividing wall that bars access to the Academy --Lookshy's center of Sorcery and dangerous artifact engineering-- proper. 'Fortunately', it seems like the person he is looking for is on his way out, unmistakable as anyone but another Abyssal Exalted for being an actual human in amongst a quiet realm of shades.

    He is taller than the woman at the gate, but much slimmer, and dressed in fairly simple, two-layered robes, stenciled in mazy white marks all over the outer coat, and plain black underneath. He is faintly tanned (somewhat extraordinary for an Abyssal Exalted) and has completely unkempt silvery hair, as if intentionally trying to be the exact opposite of Obsidian Bells, and is carrying a huge tome (hopefully not one of those ones bound in human skin) under one arm, and carrying the burnt out husk of the Soulbreaker Orb in his other, leather-gloved hand. He takes two seconds to look the pair up and down as they end up in front of him, and then asks quite softly "Are you lost? You're going in the opposite direction." Of what?

    Gawain and Tomoe meanwhile, are equally as unmolested on their journey through the streets. Though they're steep and crowded with noiseless workers, they were actually designed for mass public transport before, and he makes extremely good time. The District of Blades must have been for military manufacturing, and unlike the Artisan District, it's been stripped completely clean. Not so much as a second-rate sword is left on a table.

    Where he goes, he ends up at a plain, blue granite and white cement barrack house, suitable for 70 people or so, at the corner of a larger sprawl of identical bases. Only the one is guarded however, and it's the only one from which any sound comes. There's no need to roll out the barbed soulsteel cages or anything, after all. Inside of the Shadowland, the city's surviving Terrestrial Exalted won't be able to recover their energies, and so they're effectively highly skilled and probably wounded mortals stuck behind sturdy walls, barred windows, and a number of eerie silver guards.

    The human actually on post here stands out for being neither ostensibly martial or scholarly in appearance, though every inch of his body is obscured by boots, bandages, loose white clothes, a hood, and an extremely plain wooden mask. He doesn't even appear to be armed, despite being in charge of guarding prisoners.

Staren has posed:
    Staren just nods slightly and crosses his arms when Revelations says she's busy. That, he can understand.

    When she actually notices him and speaks up, he gives an angry frown. "Cut the shit. You know what I mean, and aside from partially understanding what /appears/ to be the intent of the ritual you're doing /right this second/, I have no idea what I'm seeing in this city."

    As she explains to Albert, though, he listens with interest. He smiles as she cures blindness, and he's nodding by the end, and points at his eye. "Did Gaia put the nerves and blood vessels in front of the retina too? Every world humans were actually /created/ instead of evolved, there's no excuse! It's shoddy worksmanship!"

    He looks much more pleasantly disposed after comisserating over how terrible Nature is. "Okay. I really am impressed. But being strong and smart isn't much good if you're enslaved. You might as well be an automaton. I understand they have to work, of course, so does most everyone. But do they have a life... well, you know what I mean... outside of work?"

Sir Gawain has posed:
Avoiding the workers in transit, Gawain stops his motorcycle near the building, standing up and shaking his hair as he approaches the masked man. "Hello there! Sir Gawain, Warden of the Paladins, Knight of the Sun. Would you happen to be Veils of Pale Glass?" His tone is friendly and cooperative, if slightly uncomfortable. "Quiet Obsidian Bells sent us to negotiate about the prisoners. We would like to take them off your hands. I'm not sure what you would like in exchange, but I'm open to discussion! Though, if possible, I'd like to check on their well-being." He's trying to be as polite as possible, hoping he'll be able to get to see them and bring them out of here. Even if he's armored, he's currently unarmed, after all.

"I hope that's not too much to ask for!" Gawain says, after a second's thought. "My companion and I just want to make sure they're in safe condition. Would that be fine?"

All-Seeing Eye has posed:
     "Typhon," repeats the Alchemical with at least the air of civility. "I am All-Seeing Eye, not to be confused with the Realm agency of the same name. The pleasure is all mine, for the time being." If Typhon gives the chance, the whip is retracted peacefully, and for the moment, no other weapons are employed or revealed. "I'm not incapable of civility, but neither do I believe it's mutually exclusive with things like justice, which, as an apparent product of Thorns, you no doubt understand is sadly not a natural facet of existence, such as air, or nutrients, or gods, et cetera." He waves a hand in a small circle to denote the 'et cetera.'

     He places an arm around Typhon, gesturing outwards in a 'let's talk' sort of fashion. Whether Typhon takes objection to the presence of his hand or not, he begins to walk away from the city proper, to take in the deadened surroundings. "I was built to... bridge that gap," he says after a thoughtful pause. With a smile, he adds, "Among other things. To protect the living. The mockery that's been made of this city, Bloody Revelations, and those who would call themselves your masters--whether you agree with them or not--are directly at odds both with my purpose and with the entire cultural heritage of my nation. Her plans for Creation, such as I understand them, and those of my nation, cannot achieve fruition at the same time. Either she, the Deathlords, and the Neverborn go, or we do." He chuckles, raising his brows as if telling a conspiratorial joke, and gently nudges Typhon in the side with an elbow. "And I'm certain you understand which option I'd rather take."

     "Moreover, your own intervention in the attack, along with those little Solar friends of yours, I hold partially responsible for the Mask's forces having the time needed to rally Juggernaut. Now, maybe you see it that way, and maybe you don't, but as I see it, we're at an impasse." He shrugs. "At least, that's what it seems like to me."

     "You see, I need her to die. This?" He gestures backwards, perfectly pointing at the heart of the city without so much as turning to look. "This needs an answer, and to let it go unanswered betrays the very core of my being. As if mass murder wasn't bad enough, I can guess, based on her past ramblings, that she, to this very moment, is in the remains of Lookshy desecrating the spirits of the dead to damn them to an eternity of simulated life--something the World-Machine was never built to accomodate and which will fail utterly." He appends, with an exaggerated frown, "Disastrously, even."

     He stops once they reach the fields of bone-white grass. "But, I digress--when you have a voice as beautiful as mine, you do tend to like hearing the sound of it. Notwithstanding the unconscionable genocide of Lookshy, and the innate need to destroy Revelations, her master, and its cohorts... yes," he admits with a shrug. "I'm also a tad peeved that her machinations jeopardized a much-needed political alliance. Our options at this point are to continue on as part of a greatly hamstrung confederation, contributing much more to make up for the lost labor, or bend knee to the loathesome, inefficient, corrupt and murderous Realm. Quite the pickle she put us in!"

Carna has posed:
    Enark is so weary that he almost doesn't notice the AByssal until spoken to, but then snaps to a higher level of altertness. "Hm? Ah! No, I think we are headed quite in the correct direction... That being wherever you are headed, sir. Should I take you to be Sir Ink On Black Pages? I am Enark of the Blue Scholars, and this is Lady Carna. I have an interest in studying that Juggernaut, and was not in any condition to collect my own samples after the battle. Unfortunately, it seems Lady Revelations saw fit to dispose of it so I unfortunately find that I must ask you if you would part with some of your own samples."

    He gestures and says, "Being an academic, it is you, I assume, who thought to collect the samples in the first place, yes?"

    Carna says needlessly, just to reinforce that she is here, "I am here to guard him." Yes. Yes, she is. Not useful to the conversation, but definitely true.

    Also true: She wants to see what else she can learn about this world after that strange feeling in Cold House.

Tomoe has posed:
She sees what she had an unwitting hand in destroying and she grimaces but there's nothing that can be done about the past. She has to go forward and away they go. It takes a bit of time but they seem to have found the right place from the looks of things. She takes it all in, the details she does notice the difference in how they handle the POWs compared to the Mask though. She comes up along side Gawain, after getting off the bike. She's not looking for a fight her weapons are not out and she keeps an guarded but not hostile stance to her posture.

She nods in agreement. "I too am here for the same reasons as my companion here is."

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    "Purges out the hold of Creation's 'gods', huh?" Pavo says, moving forward and grinning wide along the length of her beak. "I'll not have anything against that." But there's an unspoken question there, which is mostly about what sort of things they'll be bound by now. Staren has that covered in the non-subtleword format, of course. "Now, getting pillars of salt at Lookshy is something that's a pretty understandable kind of problem for PR when it comes to collaborating. I'm all for proper smiting, and I don't really need to justify myself to hero types, but it's going to be a whole lot easier to justify it to /anyone/ once you're done here, so I've got a high hope you're planning on getting most of Lookshy back together before we do any more collaborating."

    "You. State your status. Pain? Distress?" Albert approaches the girl who just got her sight back, and presents the strangest view possible. He's... Not got a very good bedside manner, but he's definitely open to seeing the proper proof of Bloody Revelations' claims that were made before. There's a glance to Staren, knowing and curious about what's going to happen here. This looks bad, but it might just be aesthetics... MIGHT be. And Albert has no problem with aesthetic difficulties. As usual, the Flotilla remains open... In a way. As long as Bloody Revelations delivers, they're intending to keep coming back for more, but only as long as she delivers.

    In fact, it's Moonfin that's looking the most incredulous right now. Considering his ecosystem concerns as he examines more of the damaged agriculture, there might be some ways Bloody Revelations could sell this to him. If there's, you know, ghosts of plants or something.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Gawain cruising in on a motorcycle with Tomoe is pretty easy to notice. Still, none of the wraith-like grey-clad guards pay attention to him, almost robotic in their motionless disinterest. It's the figure with the white painted wooden mask who obviously takes notice of him. He doesn't get a greeting call, though; the answer comes in the form of writing, elegantly scrawled across the air by some invisible pen, as if on a perfectly transparent window right in front of him. Whether it's for show or whether the guy is actually physically unable to speak is of course impossible to tell without being able to /see/ any of him.

    <<She is too eager to be rid of them, for serving no immediate value. Certainly, there is no point in rendering them as corpses, but their value to the Seventh Legion, still roaming, is immense. That is how the concept of prisoners of war works. Our captain will have to wait until contact is made with the Seventh Legion, and an offer is made. It would be foolishness to give away such a hand freely.>>

    <<Certainly, you may inspect them. It is advantageous if a third party is able to confirm their intact state>>

    After that, he actually stands aside to let Tomoe and Gawain peek through the windows. There are maybe fifty people inside, almost all of them Gunzosha or junior commanders, though a few appear to be Sorcerers too, likely being the kind of person you have to be to survive that kind of apocalyptic Essence blast. It's a far sight from the Shackle Maw Penitentiary at least. Since it's a barracks building, basic accommodations are already there. All of them are obviously injured, though whatever the wounds are, they're invisible to the eye. At least that means none of them are infected or diseased in any way, but it's very clear that the ones who can get out of bed aren't going to be staging an escape while they're busy helping their comrades who can't.

    "Indeed." the silver-haired man says to Enark with a slow, even tone. "That is I, and it is I who saw fit to study the Mask of Winters' work. The council of Deathlords have never thought very highly of him, but I don't think that is a reason not to study the concrete advances he did make in his chosen fields." He is, in complete contrast to the other Abyssal Enark is talking about it, very soft and relaxed with his opinions. "But you two are already dead, aren't you? Very fine specimens too. What could you hope to gain from studying necrotechnology?" He does look a little unhappy when Enark reminds him that Juggernaut is largely blown up. "I admit, she doesn't stop to think about what it's like for the rest of us. It's true that I have a long way to go to catch up to her, but it's hard to do that when she destroys valuable materials because they annoy her. I was no fan of the Mask either, but work is work, research is research, power is power, and most of us have to /study/ to learn these things, instead of whatever sheer unholy intuition drives her."

    He hefts the broken Essence nuke in his other hands. "She went and used this without even telling anyone she had it. Can you believe it? Nobody even knows how to fix one of these, so now it seems impossible to tell how it even did what it did. I'm afraid if I let go of what little material I have, fate will somehow conspire to have that destroyed too, and then I'll be in real trouble. If you want samples of your own, you'll have to come back at the start of the next lunar month. That's when Juggernaut, supposedly, comes back from the dead. Or at least, whatever passes for dead. She'll be gone by then, so there won't be any chance of a repeat.

Sir Gawain has posed:
The writing in the air gets brief pause from Gawain, though he accepts it at face value, nodding to the Deathknight as he reads, and moving to take a look through the picture. Unfortunately, they're injured. Fortunately, they're alive at all. Gawain considers for a long hard moment what he's going to do. He's not going to break them out. Even besides being impulsive and hostile, it would put the prisoners in danger. However, waiting for them to make contact seems like it may take some time. The knight decides with a fist going down on a flat hand, determined.

"Sir, while I'd still like to negotiate myself if possible, if the necessity is for the Seventh Legion to make the negotiation, I am willing to attempt to track them down and serve as a broker. While I may not be the most trustworthy to you due to my affiliations, I care most about making sure these people are safe and can have their wounds treated. Allow me to know how I can speed this up and I will do so." Veils of Pale Glass gets a very sincere looking knight, as he turns to Tomoe. "Tomoe, do you have anything to add to that? We are companions here, after all!" Hopefully, Gawain thinks, things outside aren't degenerating horribly.

Carna has posed:
    Enark is appreciative of getting to speak to a like mind. Just the fact he's talking to another scholar and academic finally is slowly chipping away at the ice that shrouds his mind and emotions. He waits for Ink to be done, nodding sympathetically at the tales of unthinking co-workers. "I know how it is. I was trying to make a new life from death. A construct of deathly materials with its own mind and soul, taken from nowhere, manifested solely through the principles of its engineering. But I didn't hear the end of how it was an abomination and I had to take it apart until they were all killed for a second time. If they'd been more supportive, maybe I'd have perfected it in time to reform their ghosts in new bodies after the chaos was over."

    He shakes his head, and then says, "I'm interested for academic purposes, primarily. I am collecting rare or unique toxins, diseases, and poisons: the more virulent and universally effective the better, though organisms that can safely contain their own noxiousness without being consumed by such are also of interest. I've no idea if Juggernaut even contained anything like that beyond the usual brand of necrosis, but if you're unable to part with anything at the moment, I'll be certain to return when it comes back. I helped strike it down originally, but I expected there'd be something left when the dust had settled." He tsk-tsks a bit.

    Carna, curious but not understanding the scholarly discusion, changes subjects. "So what next? Consolidation, installing management, reinforcement... And then what is to come of this place?" Crimson eyes look to Enark, noticing how chummy he has gotten with someone who is profiting from the mass slaughter of an entire city's population. "I doubt you are studying ways to bring the ex-populace back from the grave when there's so much work for them to do. Is Thorns even relevant with the Mask of Winters gone?" She pauses significantly, and then says, "Assuming he's actually gone. I recently encounterd a Death Lord in his Manse that even his own Death Knights thought had been slain. It would not surprise me to discover he had slipped away at the last moment somehow."

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Bloody Revelations seems less quickly enthused by Staren having something to agree on with her for a change. She's more of the grudge-having type. "The human body is supposed to be weak and pathetic so they'd need to pray for every little thing. The human soul is supposed to be durable enough to be infinitely reused and plastic enough to fill any vessel. The latter wasn't supposed to be able to exist outside the former. From a different perspective, you could probably consider humans exactly as pathetic as they're supposed to be. Considering it's the gods that benefit from being prayed to every day for some peasant's six year old daughter to stop having cancer, I take that as a challenge. Honestly though, the hardest part is killing the ignorant idiots first. They kick and struggle so much." Oh right. That part where they have to die. Easy to forget, that.

    "Do I look like I'm running a daycare?" she snaps when Staren continues questioning further. "This isn't resort. They aren't on a luxury vacation. This is a military base and a factory city, and they're what's left of a nation that started a war and lost. I'm not turning Lookshy into a spa for them; they'll work for my liege, they'll be glad it's him instead of someone more unhinged, and they'll work good and hard until every other Deathlord is dead. They can either pitch in and make sure their side wins the inevitable war when the others start taking it seriously, or they can slack off and it'll be nobody's fault but their own when the First and Forsaken Lion storms the gates and beats them all into screaming soulsteel. One would /assume/ that's plenty of motivation /without/ having to waste all the time and Essence on Necromantic bindings. If you're going to moan at me about their vacation hours, kill a few more Deathlords and we'll talk."

    Oddly, she is far less nasty towards Pavo than Staren, despite taking a harsher and less sarcastic tone at the same time. "I don't have justify myself to anyone, least of all the sopping, spineless cowards who blithered about how they'd do anything to get rid of the Mask of Winters and then threw a tantrum when success didn't look exactly the way they wanted it to. If they decide they'd rather get in my way from now on, I'll kill them and have their ghosts do it for me, simple as that." Finishing with a few more bloody threads, she relents with a little bit of the tension.

    "Mmm, what can I say though. I take pride in my work. This place will be gorgeous by the time I'm done with it~ If that convinces some slack-jawed idiots who judge everything based on how pretty it is, well, I won't turn it down. It's only a shame I have to do all of this myself. Any other Necromancer would be painstakingly doing this one ghost at a time. If you want a spell to crush someone's heart and turn them into a zombie, you can't swing without knocking five of them off a shelf. If you want a spell to do /anything else/- do you have any idea how much of this I have to invent from scratch? I- don't step on the candles!" she suddenly yells at Albert.

    Nothing horrible happens to him stepping over them at least. The ghost he approaches looks mostly too confused to really be scared of anything going on, and clearly can't look away from the sight of an armoured monkey man the instant she got her vision back. ". . . y-you could say that I suppose . . . d-distress . . . hah . . ." She rubs her eyes with the back of her sleeve several times, as if expecting her sight to go away again, having imagined the whole thing. "Less . . . now. Pain, I mean. Less than before. Who are you? Are you w-with them? What's going on? They killed everyone, so why . . . I don't understand. Who would kill someone one moment, and then s-say 'you're too pretty to not see yourself in a mirror', and do all of . . . this? Did . . . did you ask them to? I don't know why or . . . please tell me what's happening!"

Staren has posed:
    Staren taps his foot. "Fair enough. Managing a high standard of living -- you know what I mean -- at the same time would quash any doubt in you, but one can only work so many miracles at once, I suppose." He looks at her for a moment like he's about to suggest something, then thinks better of it. "So... can't you teach your spells to other necromancers? Or are there none with the skills or desire to do this?"

    He looks over at the ghost. "Just because she was at war with your country doesn't mean she hates you, personally. She didn't end your existence, after all." He glances back at Bloody. "Of course, doing this to people /willingly/ would be better..." then back to the ghost, "...But, the situation is hardly ideal. It never is, especially in Creation. But how /do/ you feel, with your sight restored, about the prospect of working for Sixteenth Night's Silence against the other deathlords?" He's genuinely curious.

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe looks at the writing before her, that was not something she expected at. She looks at the survivors and sees them, well they are alive still and she can't see viable wound but given what happened It's likely internal to with the soul or who knows given creation and it's nature. There is some good news it seems that weapon may have been the last known soul breaker and if the hows of it function are lost? Then something good has come of it, she listen and remains polite, as that costs her nothing. It also hopefully keeps the door open to the plan Gawain has hatched which is quite a good one.

Then Gawain asks her. "I do, I would be also willing to aid in such a deal as I wish to see the safe exchange of these prisoners. Though i would like to ask, are these all the known survivors that have been found?"

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Typhon goes along with All-Seeing Eye remarkably easily. Either he has an utterly incredible poker face, or the young man is absolutely shameless about his opportunism, though either way he is disarmingly friendly for a sworn servant of Death. "You and everyone else, friend." He says to the Alchemical, in distinct commiseration. "You think you get any allies in this kind of business? When your mission statement is 'the end of the world', it tends to make /literally everyone's/ needs mutually exclusive with yours. The Realm, the satrapies, the outlands, the Terrestrial and Celestial courts, hell, even the Fair Folk; they all want exactly the same thing. /Nobody/ wants to see Oblivion win. Well, nobody sane."

    "Look, try not to paint everyone with the same brush first. The only commonality between all Deathknights is that it was either this, or being dead, and it doesn't matter how pure of heart you are, you can't do any good if you're dead. Sometimes you have to be in the system to change it, you know that right? I've met my fair share, and I can tell you for a fact that most of us are people trying to get by. Sure, people have their need for revenge or lust for power and all those kinds of things, but those ones are just putting off the problem and not thinking about it. They do what they do because their Deathlord tells them to, and what are they going to do, say no?"

    "You're kind of obsessed with that one." he points towards the agricultural district, one arm around the Alchemical's shoulders. "And I can see why. She's exceptional alright. I think she'd do what she does even if nobody told her. I think she really /believes/ it. Right down in her bones, she /wants/ that future where everything ends. A person has to break in a really specific and special kind of way to be like that. Really, it's kind of karmic that the first time anyone successfully bumps off a Deathlord, it's because of her. She's so nuts the all-powerful tyrannical dead aren't /crazy enough/ for her."

    "Sure, I'll wind up working with her. It's unavoidable at this point. We'll make nice and get along, and then I'll roll with the next punch life throws and keep going, same as usual. Step one to making a difference is not dying on a hill. If you want that one dead, you have your pick of people who'd like to see you, trust me. More than a few who might help too."

    "The problem is that you /can't afford to be choosy/ about who helps you. If your biggest issue is losing the deal, well, that's easy to sort out. If this is one of those 'principle of the matter things', then here's my piece of advice: you're going to have to sit down, look deep inside yourself, and make a lot of choices about which evil is the biggest at the time. The only way you'll get through this is by starting at the top of the list and working down. If you can't tolerate a little black on your hat while you're bleaching it, you're never going to get anywhere."

    "If you're actually serious, I can put you in contact with someone who can help. You won't like them, and they sure as hell won't like you, but clearly that hasn't stopped you before, right? If 'that one' is your white whale, keep your eye on the prize and we'll see about it. As far as I'm concerned, someone who can orchestrate a Deathlord's assassination is a more immediate threat to 'everything still existing' than the evil ghosts who've been sitting on their asses for a millennia. Even if I were a real, full-blooded loyalist, you'd still be more valuable to me as a cat's paw to kill off a rival than dead, and even if every single word that just came out of my mouth were a lie, I'd still be more valuable to you as someone who knows all the truths not to tell than dead. If that's the /best case/ scenario for not being a waste to kill each other, then maybe the mature thing to do would be to think about it a little harder than shooting all the bad guys, hm?"

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    Pavo gives a shrug. "I'm a fellow authority on not bothering with what empty-headed moralizing idiots think just for its own sake. Divinities do this all the time. You wind up too unlucky in the sight of some god, suddenly your whole town is covered in locusts. Pretending there's some special exception is an issue. The only thing I care about is that we wind up getting paid for the job we did. Lookshy made us promises, and I'm not planning on letting anyone welch on a contract just because they don't have a heartbeat anymore."

    She regards the ghosts like she would livestock, with a critically examining expression, and seems to find the work good. She gives a sneer. "I'm just making sure that you've got a product you're working on that I can sell to the people who need selling to. Just because we're helping you doesn't mean we believe in everything you're doing or want to wind up some haunting types. I was over the Flying Dutchman phase years before I got past orbit. So that means making /sure/ our investments are cushioned with PR good enough to not get us kicked out of the Concord if we back you. Oh, and make sure you get Taimyo-Yin Teresu Zen Wu back. Lookshy owed us a lot. Or are you handling their debts now?"

    Albert is at a bit of a loss for words in responding to this. George eventually rolls his eyes visibly and heads over -- just as careful to not step on any candles, of course -- and pulls him back. "Yeah, take five, tall dark and furry. Let me handle this." He retracts his helmet with a wide grin, and chats up the new ghost. "Hey, you smoke? I hear burning stuff for the dead's a real proper way to handle stuff, so I'm sure it'll cycle great." He offers his own weird medical cigarettes, but only as a sort of rhetorical gesture of friendship, there's a solid chance she's not even old enough for it. "You're fine now. Got caught up in collateral damage is all. Which is /shitty/," He gives Albert a look, one that Bloody Revelations catches just a little bit of. "But when it's collateral damage, nobody ever really means to mess up your life, so you shouldn't expect real hostility from 'em, you know? Sometimes stuff like this is just incidental. Now this, you can just consider incidental too. A hurricane isn't mad at'cha, and a raincloud after a drought doesn't love ya. Well, maybe they kinda do in a weird gods way, but whatever." There's no explanation provided for why George seemed so intent on talking to this random person.

    He makes an easygoing noise and lights up one of the cigarettes himself. He has to resist the urge to light it off one of the candles. "Hey, Dee." Must be his chosen moniker for Bloody. "Heard you're not gonna be in charge here. That right? You ever gonna get put in charge of anything like this?" The question seems loaded in an odd way, and how Bloody Revelations responds is likely to have an effect with her Starbound Allegiance Matrix.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Ink on Black Pages smiles in a mysterious sort of way when Enark carries on, probably completely unaware the man is billions of years his senior. "People underestimate how difficult it is. They think all it takes is reading a couple of books and snapping your fingers, and then get impatient and upset when it takes longer than they think it should. They don't know what you're doing, so they don't know what you need, and so it's easy to forget that you have difficulties of your own. That's how it always is in a study instead of on a battlefield. I can't say I'm totally familiar with what was going on with Juggernaut either that's why I'm adamant that we learn more about it. If you plan on coming back, I can make sure nobody gives you any trouble. Maybe I'll even just tell them that I made you? Maybe I'll get a promotion. Hah! As if!"

    He looks slightly deflated when Carna pushes further. "I don't think Thorns has anything left to offer anyone, except an inconvenient Shadowland without much in it. Maybe if someone wanted to study its unique origin and propagation, but someone concerned with /shrinking/ Shadowlands wouldn't be a problem to the people by default. As for me, Bloody Revelations looks down on anything that has to do with the nitty gritty reality of death. She's all theory and ideology and feels like the physical bits and pieces are beneath her. She doesn't write any of her work down, and she doesn't share it, so it's up to me to make sure my lord is kept updated with real, useable, concrete and proven research. It's a hard job, being the reliable one, especially when you're working for commission. Hah."

    "Granted, if anyone could kill a Deathlord for real, it'd be her. I don't really know why. We've technically been 'comrades' for fifteen years now, and everything she stays goes way over my head most of the time. I've never heard of any school of Necromancy even having her, never mind graduating her, but there's something about her that . . . I don't know, I just get the feeling that she could do it. I'm sure she won't tell /me/ what the trick is though. Maybe in a few more years, when I really get my name out there. Maybe after I start my own school. Hmm." The guy then starts . . . absentmindedly walking past Carna and Enark, apparently deep in thought.

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    Gawain seems to briefly have Veils of Pale Glass at an equally odd pause, though as far as he can tell, the man is paying him rapt attention behind the wooden mask. He can almost hear the metaphorical pencil tapping the edge of the metaphorical desk. After an awkwardly long pause, more words begin writing themselves on the air again, picking up where they left off. If nothing else, communicating solely via writing makes it much easier to compose thoughts before running one's mouth.

    <<There is nothing to be lost in trying. As a negotiator, you may be valuable. You share responsibility both for the Seventh Legion's continued survival and for these mens' imprisonment, and you are a known quantity to the Legion's leadership. If you wish to broker an agreement, then I will allow you due opportunity. No harm will come to the prisoners in the meantime, though please do not get ideas of stalling. Their injuries are not simple, and will not heal any time soon.>> He adds in post-script for Tomoe. <<These are all of those we have found. A number were killed when they resisted capture and attempted to fight. One was strangled to death by Bloody Revelations Spilled from the Nightmare, and so she is no longer allowed near the prisoners. I am uncertain what triggered that violent episode, never mind its uncharacteristic straightforwardness, but it is better to be safe than sorry. There are likely others still hiding out somewhere in the city, but not many can be left at this point, and they will know to come quietly. It is also quite probable that some escaped shortly after the fall of Lookshy, as none of us were informed of its destruction until after it happened, and so no forces were prepared to prevent an escape early on.>>

Sir Gawain has posed:
There's a bright smile from Gawain when Veils of Pale Glass agrees to allow Gawain to negotiate. "Thank you very much. I have no intention of stalling, and hope that this can go smoothly for all involved. For now, I believe we should take our leave and start trying to track down the Seventh Legion. Tomoe, let us return to All-Seeing Eye." Gawain moves to see if the Deathknight has any last words, before moving to climb back onto his motorcycle, wait for Tomoe to be ready to go, and then drive back towards the gate, tracing his previous path backwards.

Bloody Revelations strangled one to death. That actually sticks in his mind. Is there no cruelty she's not capable of? She works in this very city, and Gawain could have gone to confront her...part of him regrets not doing so. But he has a duty to uphold. And sometimes, it's frustrating to do so. So he'll have to get his chance another time.

All-Seeing Eye has posed:
     Things likely don't appear to be going well, from Typhon's point of view. The Alchemical's polite demeanor never falters, but in his posture, there is the tell-tale eagerness to interject, or to interrupt. It is only for the sake of the aforementioned civility that he doesn't. There are two things which breach this bulwark of propriety.

     The first is Typhon's suggestion that sometimes change must come from within the system. This causes a crack in that facade, a slight raising of the eyebrows quickly hidden with a look towards the horizon. The second is the following: 'You can't afford to be choosy about who helps you.' Upon hearing that, Typhon has the Alchemical's full attention, and more than that, a coy smile. With a friendly squeeze of the shoulder, he gives his response.

     "Alright," he says, clearly impressed with the argument. "We'll give this a shot. You introduce me to this friend of yours and we'll see what we can /do,/ yes?" The Exalt removes his hand from Typhon's shoulder, reaching up to rub at his face. His palm briefly covers one eye, and then his whole arm, as if removing some irritant bothering his eyes. Afterwards, his closed fist dips behind his back. The bone-white grass behind him soon rustles, moving aside for some small creature that yet lives.

     Or, in this case, a small machine, headed towards the city to do some early recon. It's foolish not to hedge bets, after all. He begins the small trek back to the city. A few feet away from Typhon now, he pauses, without turning, holding a single finger up in the air. "Oh, and... just so we're clear, that little list is fairly... long. As you said, no one wants Oblivion to win! Ta for now.~"

Bloody Revelations (1124) has posed:
    "A high standard of living is a luxury in wartime. If you knew anything about history, that would have been your assumption already." Bloody Revelations jabs while sharply twisting more threads. The ghost of an elderly man in the middle row makes a series of grotesque cracking noises as his stooped back forcefully sorts itself out, and his limbs swell with new, spectral muscle. "Hah! Both! A Necromancer interested in learning from another only wishes to because he has no power. A Necromancer with power is only interested in learning for himself because he can keep it secret and use it as leverage. Most of them just regurgitate whatever the Ajaian or Shizuan schools taught them anyway, and the rest are sucking up to their respective Deathlords for a drip feed of knowledge. It's disgraceful." It's legitimately impressive that she can low-key rant so much while simultaneously decoding and rewiring a bunch of human souls represented in strings while also not blinking.

    "Fine, fine. That was the original deal, wasn't it? Even if most of you failed to deliver in the end, I do recall making an actual promise that I'd allow you to collect on any agreements you made along the way, and I make a habit out of telling no lies. If you're looking to start a propaganda war, I can tell you the first place to start. Haha~ Gods it'd be like crushing bugs." She briefly tails off to focus as the skein in front of her starts to take on a more regular shape, with fewer and fewer snarls. The work she does with her blood soaked fingertips from there is more delicate, without any gross deformities or crippling disabilities to correct for.

    By Earth standards, the girl George sits down with is absolutely not old enough to smoke. By Creation's standards, she's old enough for her dad to start thinking about who he'd like to marry her off to in a year. Despite being a ghost, it /is/ a Shadowland, and so she is fully material and able to take the cigarette, and perhaps a little disarmingly, knows exactly what it is and what to do with it, with tobacco apparently being a thing here. Sadly, the adorable coughing fit from tasting cigarette smoke for the first time is a moment that never happens. She just winds up looking at it kind of sadly when she barely registers the smoke at all. ". . . I guess." she eventually says. "I guess I just . . . thought it'd be different? Everyone talks about war all the time, there are so many stories and tales about famous wars, and all the battles our ancestors fought, and then it's just . . . o-over. Like that. It wasn't glorious at all. I didn't see any heroes."

    Bloody Revelations barely glances over her web when she finally acknowledges George is talking to her. The first thing she says is "Don't go touching her. She's too young to have a physical job, and increasing intelligence and sensory acuity is delicate work." A few seconds follow before she continues, at a remarkably level tone. "I'm not interested in being in charge of an army. I don't really care for war and empires and conquest. Don't ask me why I Exalted Dusk --I don't know. My liege knows I work best alone, and that all the training every other Deathknight goes through just slows me down. Bringing chaos and annihilation to those revolting twice-Solars who think to compete for ruling Creation a second time is just fine by him, thus our relationship works. In the end, I'll be the one who everyone prays to, and it'll be because I deserve it, and not because I was judged deserving of being /given/ it."

Tomoe has posed:
Tomoe nods and keeps her look neutral, the soldiers of Lookshy? Ya they'd keep fighting, they rerminded her of her own seemingly far away homelands soldiers in that regard. She likely would have been a fatality herself rushing off nearly dead but maybe she can do something here. She knows she's in dangerous game and in over her head but well she's not alone and it's clear she trusts Gawain likely on the same level she does Kirito.

"Thank you for your time, and we will see what we can do in regards to this."

She looks to Gawain nodding to him for a moment.

"Yes we should make haste with that."

She'll move to get on to the bike, hang on to the Knight and away they go. Bloody Revlation was cold and crule but why did she strangel that one? Did they know something? Did she know them somehow? She does not know and may not find out now, but she too haa her regrets all she can do is go forward now.

Staren has posed:
    "That's war. There's glory, to be sure, but there's far more... well... war. If you want all glory and no horror, I'm afraid stories are the only place to look. It's like how in plays, swordfights involve all these flashy spinny moves and go on for ages, because they're putting on a show and attacking eachothers' blades to make a lot of noise. In a real fight, the fighters are trying to /kill/ eachother. Not /never/ are a pair of opponents so evenly matched that it drags out for a long time, and maybe sometimes people have moves that look cool, but most of the time? It's over in seconds with someone's limb cut off or run through or whatever. I don't like that Bloody Revelations manipulated us, but /this/ is how you win a war. Ironically, you're lucky. In most worlds, you'd just be gone. Here, you have someone giving you a second chance. Would that /I/ could fight wars in such a way."

    He turns back to Bloody Revelations. "I know you scoff at me and say you don't care, but seeing this means a lot to me. It may even make up for tricking us. I don't trust you completely, and I'm sure you'd say I'd be a fool to anyway, but... I'm willing to keep working with you, for now."

    He'll talk to more ghosts for awhile if they're available, and then eventually head out.

Starbound Flotilla has posed:
    George takes a listen of what goes on here, and drags on his cigarette the whole time. "Yeah, disappointing stuff. But hey, not like you were gonna see heroes before, right? Ehhh? I'd elbow-nudge ya but that might mess up your brain getting supercharged, so maybe elbow-nudge yourself for me." HAH. Blind jokes. George takes another drag on the cigarette. "Now you've got a chance. Keep those new eyes out and I'm sure you'll find some. Chin up, kiddo."

    Pavo squawks a short laugh. "Hey, we did our jobs!" She says, in a bemused tone. "Got all four tasks done, we did. Made contact with the rebels, scoured the city for info, dealt with the Deathknights, and dealt with the Juggernaut. That was the contract! Harharhar!" She laughs a little at that, and makes an easygoing gesture. "So long as we get what we're owed for the work we did, I don't have any issues."

    George looks at Revelations critically, like she's presenting a new blender and trying to convince him to buy it in a door-to-door sale. The cloud of smoke he exhales smells like a hospital, not like tobacco. Takes him a little bit to think over her words, tapping a stray finger on his chin as he holds the soft light. It's not clear what this solves out to, but after a while, it becomes clear that this has solved out to something. A posture of tension seeps out of his spine like a snake escaping from a gutterpipe. "Well, f'what it's worth, I think ya make a fine dust-exalted whatever-you-are, when it comes to collaboration. There's more to it than just giving out orders, if you ask me. Anyone who tells ya the other way is either bad at their jobs, or trying to keep the secret."

    He steps back over the candle line before he drops the cigarette and stamps it out, just to make sure it doesn't fuck up the ritual. "Later Dee! Can't wait to work on another redecorating job with ya." He says, with a short laugh.