2018-04-04: Face Your Fear

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  • Log: Face Your Fear
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Noeline, Avril Vent Fleur
  • Where: Vane
  • Date: 4th April 2018
  • Summary: Riesenlied and Noeline discuss Guardians with Avril. But upon touching Avril's Sea Medium, a repressed memory returns to Riesenlied...

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

A while after the dinner and after Dean has disappeared into the Meat Dimension and Rebecca has run off to renew her romantic poetry....

Riesenlied pats Mikaia as she wipes her mouth from where she's just finished dinner, giggling softly as she says, "Thank you, dear. We won't be much longer, so wait for us, okay?"

Mikaia nods and beams, "Thank you, mama!" as she hurries off, and Riesenlied looks towards Avril. "Ah, sorry for waiting... um--"

She hesitates. "Do you have a moment to talk...? I wanted to ask you about... the Guardians. And what happened in that Tower in the Pleasing Gardens."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

In the end, Noeline did gravitate slightly towards one of the corners, definitely nostalgic for her old spot in the Starfall Saloon. She's laid out a couple of the maps on a table there to begin looking over their contents, treating them terribly carefully given she's uncertain of their age and condition - but she's still paying attention enough to look up as Riesenlied sees Mikaia off, then makes her offer.

"... we should perhaps add what we know of the situation between Lunar and Filgaia, as well," she suggests quietly as she leafs gently through the sheets. "And to be honest, I'm still not entirely sure of what happened atop that tower. ... I was a little late," she grumbles softly as she picks at her hair.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

It's a pleasant thing, to sit by a roaring fireplace after a good meal. Her friends -- Dean and Rebecca that is -- may have departed from the table for now (each for their own pressing reasons) but there's something wonderfully simple about this moment right now...

To in fact sit with her other friends.

Her gaze in passing tracks Mikaia as the youngest girl runs off, then lifts as Riesenlied broaches a particular subject area.

The fond look on Avril's face fades. Soberly, she nods. "...Yes. I do. I, also, would like to discuss these things..."

She lowers her eyes. "...I am concerned. What Berserk was capable of in there..."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied nods slowly towards Noeline, as she sits down at the table and places her hands to her lap. The children are gone now, and she can't be more proud of what they've achieved, how far they've come. They've become so resilient, so flexible...

She tilts her head at Avril, as she says, "... for a time now, I have been hearing voices in my head. One of them, the one that led me to Lost July was..."

A pause. "Odoryuk, the Guardian of Life. And at that battle... when Berserk nearly took my life... it was his voice that lifted me from the darkness. He helped me back from the brink..."

She furrows her brow. "... I can't... remember well. My head wound made the memories... unclear. But Noeline said I... was able to Materialise him, I think... using the errant energies that were released from his statue."

Avril mentions what Berserk was capable of. "I can only hope that it was not trivial for Alhazred to warp a sealing rod such..."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline swallows quietly to herself, her brow furrowing as she looks over to Riesenlied and the talk of voices in her head; a spike of worry travels through her again, but she lets out a rather shaky sigh as she wills it away for the time being.

"I heard it - saw it, for that matter," Noeline nods in concert. "You and the Princess materialized the Guardian in concert, both of you combining your power to assault Berserk and unmake the sealing rod that was grafted to him. It could not stop him for long, even then, but it was more than enough to give everyone assembled the chance they needed." Her report is quiet and solemn, much of the energy gone from her expression as she recounts the tale.

"It is a very Alhazred sort of plan, but-- the fact that the Guardians appear able to reverse it probably mean we are safe from any further attempts along the same lines. The Metal Demon forces do not have that many Quarter Knights to devote to a few statues each..." but she does trail off, frowning. The fact remains they're a world apart right now.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"You had been hearing voices..." Slowly, Avril entangles her fingers with one another, gaze tilted down at her own interlocked hands there atop the table.

"I remember. You collapsed, but then..." She ducks her head in a slight nod as Noeline lays out the story for Riesenlied's sake. "One of the Guardians interceded. Perhaps... this was as it was meant to be. A direction that they had been leading you towards, all this time." She lifts her head. "I know what others may think of the Guardians. That they are unkind or cryptic. That some of them seemed or were hostile to us. Nevertheless, I do not think they hold no warm feelings for us, or any that dwell on Filgaia. Whatever happened so long ago... I do not think it was their final word on the matter."

And slightly, she smiles. "Perhaps, another way may yet be possible. Some means of bridging the gap."

Though, that assumes their work to this point isn't utterly undone.

"...Yes. I cannot say. If we could but speak to Elder Halle, we might be able to discover if any sealing rods have gone unaccounted for... If they do not have one, they likely cannot attempt it again. Nevertheless..."

They really would only need one rod and one Metal Demon, if all went accordingly. Would there be a point where even the Guardians wouldn't be able to...?

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"... I think ..." Riesenlied pauses for a moment, glancing towards Noeline as she tries her hardest to visualise and coalesce her memories of the moment, however spotty. She reaches for her hand and holds it, for support and companion.

"I think the Guardians are trying their hardest. Just like any of us." She tilts her head. "They're not perfect... their viewpoints are as imperfect and flawed as any of ours'." A pause. "But they're trying. I do not understand still what happened to make them harbour their distaste of Althena so, but... now that we are on Lunar-- I wish to understand."

She smiles at the same time Avril does, saying, "... I can't... I can't hear him anymore. Of course, I can't materialise or channel his power... without a Medium." She places a hand to her forehead and winces for a moment.

"... I think it is not trivial to do. Berserk -- we all saw him. That rod was... fused to his arm, its very energies were anathema to him. And when Princess Cecilia and I turned the flow of energy back onto him, it was incredibly harmful. I don't think any-- Metal Demon could cope with that process... without being destroyed."

She doesn't voice that Alhazred doesn't mind throwing away experiment subjects, but...

"... Miss Avril... I have a-- I have a question and a request. Do you think I would be able to... hear Odoryuk again, if I were to find a Medium of Life?"

She doesn't voice her request yet.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Slowly, Noeline nods to herself, letting out a breath. "It must have been a terrible process, in every sense of the word," the demon mutters as she shifts to better hold onto Riesenlied's hands. "I can think of very few demons who would have the fortitude to handle something like that for long. ... I imagine many were lost in the attempts to figure that out," she adds, her voice and expression darkening at the thought of it.

The spy only allows her sour look to last a moment, however, quick to try to sweve away from the topic. "Probably, that is the very reason why it was Berserk of all people. His identity as a Metal Demon was perhaps the strongest around, for better and for worse. About the only thing I can compliment him on is an unwavering dedication."

She's being deliberately cautious with her words - making a point to use the term 'Metal Demon' rather than 'Hyadean'. She's long since held that she'd rather Berserk and Alhazred did not represent what she sees as 'her own' race, after all.

Riesenlied's request is not entirely unexpected, though Noeline's eyebrows still lightly raise when she voices it. "... I suppose it would be a matter of finding the right Medium. If we can find one of a similar type to the one lodged inside of me, that should at least prevent any-- incompatability. On the other hand, I suppose Odoryuk did sound as if they had accepted you," she wonders quietly.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.


It's that, or they cannot help but act in accordance to their assigned stations -- free will may not be (at least entirely) afforded to them. But is that merely what she believes to be true, or is that something she once learned? Or just what the mechanism -- dark, itself cryptic -- by which the Original Artificial Mediums operate seems to be?

The person she was must have also thought this way, she considers, gazing down a moment at her interlocked fingers.

"There are those who mean well and still inflict harm regardless of their origin. This is... not a trait unique to anyone, by any means." It's not a theory she speaks of now, at any rate. "...Whatever the cause for this conflict, or any others... we are in an excellent position to learn more. Perhaps that may something we should focus on, as we travel."

It's almost become a holiday, of sorts -- a travel freed from their respective quests, even should her friends not think it an impossibility that they might find what they're looking for up here on the moon.

At that explanation -- of the things that Avril had not seen, locked in combat against Lady Harken, and what she would not know, being a human -- she actually seems to relax a touch, breathing out a faint sigh. "I do hope so. Nevertheless, you would know your people and their limits better than I should. There is little we would be able to do for it here on the Moon besides, so perhaps I would be better off finding other avenues for my fears?" She smiles, a little teasingly actually, as if at her own preoccupations. "Still, I am glad to hear it."

Even if she does blanche slightly at Noeline's turn of phrase regarding the 'process'.

But it's the hesitant tone in Riesenlied's voice as she raises up a pertinent question that draws the full force of Avril's attention. "Yes?"

Silence, at first, is her answer. Her blue eyes drift towards Noeline. "I would... think so, yes. Noeline has the right of it. If you were to use a Medium such as hers..."

Her brow knits, and shifting for a moment, she soon produces the one she has been using, offering it across the table. "...Would you like to discover if this is possible? Perhaps Lucadia's power might respond to you."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

"The last thing I would do is denigrate anyone's faith. What the Lunarians believe of Althena, I truly feel, is of great import to us in Filgaia... because it informs our past. What our ancestors faced... and why they migrated here in the first place," Riesenlied expresses very softly.

She looks towards Noeline with a quiet nod as she describes Alhazred's process... and Berserk's identity as a Metal Demon. Yes, Berserk probably had the most fortitude of anyone of them...

"... I-- yes, I would like to try-- ah--"

Riesenlied gazes upon the Medium. Its shape, it's size, the way it rests in Avril's palm... She'd meant to request seeing it, but she doesn't have to--

A peal of thunder, so loud it rattles the cups that sit on the shelves.

The winds of Arctica wither so bitterly that it drains colour from anything it touches. The posts of the chieftain's yurt are white from frost, and warmth has all but fled from what was once a hearth.

Lightning follows, illuminating all in naked truth.

"...aa--" Riesenlied suddenly motions as if she's lost balance, her knees giving way as she slumps over at Noeline's side. "It hurts--"

The young Hyadean scuffs forward, her mouth dry. Her eyes burning, her heart seized. Her cheeks sting, her skin cracking from the air's harshness.

She drops to her knees beside the fallen girl. Her tribal robes splayed out around her. Her hair rumpled and scattered all over.

A ceremonial knife strewn on the floor, slicked with blood.

"N-no, not that-- I already--" Riesenlied exclaims, profusely sweating, her skin paling.

Another shock of lightning.

In the girl's other hand...

A chest wound flows fatally with her still-warm blood. There, near her chest, smeared in crimson...

A hexagonal object, palm-sized, her fingers splayed upon it.

The Hyadean pauses stock-still, her entire body stiffened... as the apparent episode transpires and leaves her. Like an ephemeral shock that went as fast as it came. Riesenlied looks shocked and frightened, quite literally as if she had seen a ghost.

"... I... I know where it is..." she whispers, eyes widening as she sinks into her realisation.

"The... Original Medium..."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline at least has the grace to look slightly apologetic as the colour fades from Avril's face - but she shrugs a single shoulder at the same time, as if to suggest that there seems to be little point attempting to excuse Alhazred for his actions, or pretend they did not happen. There's a steel behind her eyes - a real and true anger held in check for the time being.

"To be honest... I am almost surprised that Alhazred managed to convince Berserk into taking part. For many of our kind, the idea of working with an artifact of the Guardians would already be enough to send them for the hills. ... I wonder if that was the only reason we won," she grumbles quietly under her breath, then shakes her head.

She can't help but lean forwards a little at the sight of the Medium, her eyebrows raised; she's obviously curious about its makeup, how it might possibly work in such a way that lets their own kind contact the Guardians as easily as any shaman could. On the other hand, the spy has a sense for dramatic tension, and certainly isn't about to cut in as Riesenlied draws in a breath--

--and nearly crumples in her arms. "--Riese!" she calls sharply, feeling that spike of anxiety return. Truth be told, she was already kind of expecting her partner to be hit hard by an attempt to contact the Guardians, so her reflexes are already primed to catch the blonde, gathering the other woman's weight into her arms.

She ends up going down onto one knee, if only to better support Riesenlied's briefly dead weight. When she comes back to herself, the first thing Riese sees is a pair of crimson eyes focused sharply on her. "What did you-- see?" Noeline mutters, progressing rapidly down the line from urgent to uncertain to helping the other Hyadean to stand up.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Again, a nod. "Yes. ...We do not know what circumstances led to the worlds we now inhabit. Thus, we should take care and seek to learn more. I still stand where I had pledged before, but I cannot fully live up to my intent if I do not understand what has come before, and what continues now."

She knows it well, the price of ignorance. She and Dean had followed a man into a dungeon cave, and only Rebecca's intervention may have turned back a terrible tide.

They must know what they stand against. Both in the sense of their enemies, and those who their actions may unintentionally interrupt. Collateral damage, speaks the deeper whisper.

She pays the murmur no heed, her expression instead paling as Noeline discusses Alhzared's... tendencies.

Before she carefully offers the Medium over for Riesenlied to experiment with.

Anyone should be able to use one of these-- ...but why do I know that?

Riesenlied tilts towards Noeline, perilously. "--Riesenlied?! Are you alright?" A rare break in her usually serene nature, here: Avril rises from her side of the table, reaching across as if she could make contact with the Hyadean woman.

"Is it... the Sea Medium?"

Was she wrong? Has it-- caused a reaction?

She shakes her head, expression struck through with guilt as she leaves such half-hearted means behind and circles the table to better lend a hand. "--I'm very sorry, I did not think that it would--"

"I... I know where it is..."

"Ah? You..." A blink treads soon after. "...You do? Did... the Medium show you?"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied would have well agreed with Avril and Noeline, were she more coherent. She has espoused it many a time, after all: they cannot truly proceed into the future without a comprehension of the past. For it informs the present... and threatens the future.

And as to why Berserk took part? Perhaps it was because his was the purest expression of battle, of destruction. No matter the form it took, no matter the lengths he had to take. To find something that could not be destroyed... was but a mere challenge to him.

"N-no, it's not your fault..." Riesenlied speaks weakly, voice agonised as she takes calming breaths as she holds onto Noeline's hand, gazing into those crimson eyes of hers.

"... Elru. The village... our village. Fereshte." Riesenlied confirms quietly, glancing away. "A memory I'd forgotten..." A pause. "No, a memory I'd... suppressed...?"

She doesn't sound certain, trembling again. "The knife was on the floor... was I not holding it...?"

She realises she's at risk of being hurled into another episode, and keeps that thought aside for now as she looks towards Avril with a hanging resolve.

"It was an... eight-sided charm, the same size as Lucadia's... it possesses the glyph of Odoryuk upon it." She doesn't sound certain if it IS the same or not, of course... but the contact with the Sea Medium seemed to have awakened heavily repressed memories in her...

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

"About that. ... Duras Drum, when we spoke, suggested there was some kind of devastation, five thousand years ago, that necessitated he remain on Lunar - necessitated that he seal it away, and hide the two planets from each other. If there is a piece of history I would love to find out more about while we are here, it's that one - though perhaps it's past time I press him for more information," Noeline mutters quietly to herself as she trails off.

Besides, she has more important concerns right in the moment, and she reaches up to brush at the other demon's hair with her free hand, drawing some of it away from her face. "Breathe slowly," she notes calmly despite her rather tight voice, squeezing her partner's hand - encouraging her into doing something that, by rights, their kind do not actually need to do. "In... and out. You're with us."

She says no more when Riesenlied begins to speak, begins to slowly sort through her memories as best she can. Noeline knows better than to try to cut into that process with words - instead, she does her best to carefully help the other woman up to at least a sitting position, listening with curiosity.

"The one I encountered was the same shape," she reports quietly, huffing at the sight of Celesdue's Original Medium. "At the time, I thought nothing more of it - I simply assumed that was how all Mediums looked, to my limited knowledge. With age comes wisdom, I suppose," she snorts with some humour.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Noeline mentions again what had been spoken of with Elder Halle. "Yes, I recall you saying something similar back in the Baskar Colony," Avril says. "That this was the reason he was 'outcast' by his fellows? Five thousand years ago..."

There's almost, /almost/ a twinge at the boundaries of her psyche. Something familiar? What was it? Something someone had once told her?

Efforts to reach for it make as much traction as ever; she quickly abandons the effort, shaking her head faintly in the process. "There may be something here, somewhere. If we can but find it..."

It, and the Fereshte.

But such things are too cast by the wayside (so to speak) as Riesenlied has a reaction to touching the Original Medium of the Sea Guardian.

"It triggered a memory in you..."

Perhaps someone else might have sounded a little envious. Avril just seems honestly astonished. "It may be possible. I myself do not know the extent of these Mediums... or their apparent connection to one another."

One that she's apparently acutely sensitive to.

'The knife was on the floor...'

"...Are you feeling any better? Noeline-- yes, breathe deeply, but not too quickly. I would not want you to hyperventilate. ...Ah, do Metal Demons hyperventilate?" A question that she quickly again abandons, shaking her head as she presses on: "Recalling something so suddenly can be a shock," Avril states. "Please take all the time you need."

She would know.

"That... certainly sounds like one," she murmurs to Noeline, as she reflects on her own encounter with an Original Medium. "The shape appears to be constant. ...It may still be where you had last seen it. Elru..."

In Elru, someone is waiting for her, as well.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied has a very quiet nod towards Noeline, as she and Avril move by her side to support her. It helps; she's breathing slowly, the two working through the motions in a way that seems very much familiar. It's not the first time Riesenlied has had such an episode...

"I'm with you..." she whispers, nodding gently. She bites her lip very gentlyy... as she-- answers bashfully, "Yes. I've had the displeasure," to the question of whether or not Metal Demons can hyperventilate.

"... when we find a way back to Filgaia... it is important that I return there..." she nods slowly. "... thank you, Miss Avril, Noeline. It was difficult, but... I couldn't hide from this forever."

She needs to return... and face her fears.