2018-05-28: A Slice of Peace

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  • Log: A Slice of Peace
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Jacqueline Barber, Catenna, Shalune Amira, Zed
  • Where: Taben's Peak
  • Date: 28th May 2018
  • Summary: After the devastation that visited the foothills of the mountain, Mikaia and Janey rely on the Carakin to bring them to their mom and enjoy a moment of peace... and a slice of pie, too.


<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Taben's Peak was the site of a rather spectacular incident lately -- one involving massive blasts of death, giant ice walls, the heavens opening from above... but that was then, and this is now -- and Vane recently got another call that Mikaia picked up, noting that Riesenlied and others were at Taben's Peak and that they've found the Fereshte.

And with that piece of news in hand, it didn't take long for the two savviest children to jump up and down and request transport there -- from Jacqueline and the CaraKin, since that's the safest way they have to travel. It sounded like the skyship needed supplies anyway...

... and with a shortcut revealed by some of the kids there (thankfully, no nets get thrown down on anyone this time), the group convene with Riesenlied at an ancient, metallic building largely overgrown by shrubbery and bushes at the top of the peak, next to where the crashed Fereshte sits--

--as she holds onto a large and delicious-smelling casserole dish of potato au gratin, with a flowery apron and oven mitts in her hand as children follow her. "Oh...?"

"Mama!" Mikaia exclaims as she jumps and hurries by her side, Janey gawking around to go, "Wow, this place is /awesome/! It's the biggest jungle gym I've ever seen this side of Wayside! I wanna show this to Uncle Ambro!"

"Goodness, you two... is Miss Jacqueline and the others with you?" she asks. Looks like it's lunchtime, by the way a delicious home-cooked meal is ready on the table. Good timing!

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

It was certainly good news, that the Fereshte had been found. The reports they had received were rather...befuddling, to say the least! Still, Jacqueline was glad, and when Mikaia and Janey come to her and asked her to drive them over to Taben's Peak, she readily agreed.

She knew them too well - if she didn't do it, they'd try to make it there themselves. Besides, she would be glad to see Riesenlied and the others again.

And so, not long after Janey and Mikaia hurry to rejoin their mother, Jacqueline and the others filter in, as well, with Jacqueline offering Riesenlied a friendly wave.

"Don't worry, they behaved themselves the whole way here. It's good to see you again!" Jacqueline greets with a smile. "It looks like transportation took its toll on the Fereshte...I hope everyone's alright."

It's about this time that a delicious scent starts wafting toward her.

"Ah, that smells delicious...what is that?" She asks, curious.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Mysteriously, Catenna was nowhere near Taben's Peak when that went down. Mysteriously.

In a simple traveling dress and a clean pair of ankle-boots, a smiling Catenna moves along a step or two behind Jacqueline. She's not alone, though: A fluffy grey Owlet is dozing in her hood, which she's pushed back as if to provide a little Owlet pocket for the bird to snooze in.

She's got something else with her. It's a white box, the scent of something warm and homey wafting faintly from it.

As the orphans go scampering over to Riesenlied, Catenna smiles wistfully, lowering her eyes to the box for a moment, then looking up again towards what Riesenlied seems to have already prepared. "...Yes, I am glad you are alright," she offers Riese, her voice quiet, but her smile genuine, if reserved. "It has been far too long... but at least we are all well, yes?"

She offers up the box and says, "Please accept this contribution to your meal." Should Riese open it, she'll find a delicious spiced apple pie within.

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune hadn't wanted to bring Big Shal, concerned that the rocky terrain might make the Golem's path up it somewhat treacherous. Of course, the moment they start to get into sight of Taben's Peak she instantly begins to regret the decision, having to make do with the Little Dipper as her primary way of navigating the mountain while simultaneously wowing as many children as possible. She never said she wasn't an enormous showboat, after all.

By the time they reach the camp proper she's got quite a few passengers, and the poor scooter is barely maintaining its height; she snickers, in good spirits despite the bumpy ride, and carefully navigates the scooter down to ground level. "All ali~ight!" she calls as if she were a Filgaian train conductor, then breaks into a bright grin at the sight of the Tainted commander walking forwards with a series of wafting dinner smells. "Miss Riese! We bought gifts - more kids!" she snickers brightly, but clearly seems cheered to see the Hyadean amidst her family.

Of course, her attention is immediately diverted by the sight of the Fereshte, stricken but still mostly whole. "Wah, it made it! Thank goodness..." she sighs, pumping her fists as she's not sure whether to be overjoyed or just quietly emotional or to just run to it and immediately start checking it out. "Some of the repairs look pretty patchwork, and even I can see it needs a ton more, but-- the fact it's even recognizable right now is pretty enormous, right?" she encourages... basically anyone who will listen, in her excitable way.

"Is everyone else okay? The Ebony Wings are here, right?" she asks as she bobs up to the table and amicably flops some of her weight onto Janey in what's generally known as the Shalune Babysitting Technique - a half-hug to try to prevent her just immediately scooting off.

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Someone else has learned of the Fereshte's recovery. Someone who has... Perhaps a bit too much interest in its well-being. A shadow falls across Taben peak, as something alights on the mighty tree. It is covered in armor. An enormous, spiked sphere is set over its shoulder, one which would be familiar to anyone who had the misfortune to have met the acquaintance of a certain Ber-'Rude Assjerk'-Serk of the Metal Demons.

"Gwahahahaha!" A voice reverberates through the tree's mighty boughs. "I have found you! At last!" The shadow leaps! The shadow... falls.

The shadow hits the ground and notably does not crater the wooden planks it lands on.

A brilliant scarf billows in the breeze. A head of moss-green hair twists and toussles in the wind. A pair of heroic z's shine brilliantly on either pauldron. A winning smile twinkles beneath a set of golden, demonic eyes!

Yes, this can only be...!

Not Berserk!

But, ZED!!

The wind blows. A moment of absolute coolness lasts for only a second more before there's a distinct sniffle and the metal demon abruptly runs over and sweeps Riese up in a GREAT BIG HUG. "Aaaaaah!" Zed laugh-sobs, "Rieeeese! I thought I'd lost you to the moon devils! I came as soon as I heard about the flying ship! Are you okay? Is everyone else alright? Is Noelline still your wife-husband? I found Kalve! He's dating a HELLION!"

Beat.

Zed turns to stare at the others.

"Oh," he says, "Hi! Long time no fight! Do not worry, friends! I am on the side of GOOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS NOW." He hasn't stopped hugging Riese. She might in fact be dangling there as he turns to face everyone else.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Shalune's question is very quickly answered, because--

ZOOOOOM

Three of the Taben's Peak orphans and several of the Fereshte kids fly overhead from where Muni-Muni appears to have turned into a biplane, since they're wearing those little leather aviator hats and goggles like they're at the airshow.

"Wohooo, Muni-Muni, you're the best, muni!" "Don't stop saying muni, we're losing altitude!" "Muniii!"

Cetiri, dog-shaped robot mother extraordinaire, is also about near the table where she's lazing around in a basket... her tail is whipping back and forth, batting a soccer ball back to a very exciteable child who's practicing with her. "Ah. The prodigal son returns."

Riesenlied sets the casserole dish down as she expresses, "Oh, Miss Jacqueline, Miss Catenna...!" she beams brightly as the kids crowd around her. "Oh, I made a Wayside classic recipe, potato au gratin... Taben's Peak has so many good ingredients that it's been easy to make home-cooked meals for the kids, hehe..."

She smiles warmly at the Owlet for a moment, charmed by the bird, then accepts the gift as one kid goes: "Apple pie!" "Apple pie, wow, awesome!" and Riese nods. "Yes, it has been too long, but I am glad to see you well..."

She sets the pie down in turn to see Shalune, as more kids gawk to go, "Whoa, a flying scooter!" "I wanna ride it!" "Nuh uh, Muni's better!" as Janey gets piled on.

But then...

"Wah--!" Riesenlied gets smashed into a Zed-grade hug as she stammers, one eye still seeing stars, "Zed, goodness... I-- no, I'm all right... N-Noeline is-- she's--" Her face reddens at the comment of 'wife-husband', overwhelmed. She's not surprised about Kalve dating a Hellion, at least...

"C-can you please-- let go of mee..."

Janey perks up to go, "The Dark Hero! I'll have you know I'm twice the Lord of Calamity now -- I've told the real one to STUFF IT cause that title's mine!!"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Bringing an apple pie was a fantastic idea. Jacqueline was glad Catenna had thought about it...though having to endure the wondrous scent the entire time was a trial in and of itself!

Jacqueline glances toward Shalune for a moment as she assesses the condition of the Fereshte. It really was impressive, that she could tell that much just from looking.

Jacqueline takes a look around after that, and...her face lights up a bit at all the familiar, well, faces are gathered here!

"Ah...it really is nice to see everyone again." Jacqueline says, clasping her hands together in front of her. While she had the utmost faith in the Ebony Wings, she couldn't help but worry, with no one having any idea where they were. A certain dog-shaped robot mom gets a smile, too. "And it's good to see you're alright too, Miss Cetiri."

Her attention soon returns to Riesenlied, and she nods in response.

"Ah, I see...I should've known. Still, I'm glad...they must really appreciate it." She comments with a smile.

Before she can say anything else, though...

Zed.

That's really all that needs to be said.

"It has been a while, Zed. But...I'm glad to hear that." She says. She...tries to hide back a chuckle at the way he's just kind of latched onto Riesenlied. It must have been a while!

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna's eyelids immediately lower as Zed comes rushing in. She lets out a slow, mild sigh and does her best to suppress the beginnings of a migraine.

"Excuse me," she suggests to Zed with a cant of her head. "I think you are crushing her ribs."

The moon shaman exhales a little, then flashes that eager child a quiet smile. "Do not rush to eat it just yet... you can have a piece for dessert, I promise."

The Owlet, for its part, stirs in Catenna's hood. It looks over the moon shaman's shoulder, catching Riese's eyes with its big unblinking yellow ones. For just a moment, it seems for all the world like the baby bird is staring straight through to the bottom of Riese and reading all the little whispers etched into her memory that day when Odoryuk's voice was heard.

Then the Owlet blinks, flops back into Catenna's hood, puffs its feathers up and returns to its diffident snoozing.

"This seems like a place where you would be quite at home," Catenna observes, clasping her hands as she gives Riesenlied a quick look over. "Are you in good health, however? I hope Lunar has been kind to you...."

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Zed!! Is so busy hugging Riese that he barely notices that his MOM IS ALSO PRESENT. It's only Catenna telling him that he might be squishing Riese a bit too hard, and also that Riese is asking to be let go, and ALSO that Janey is CALLING HIM OUT that Zed finally releases his Zed-Grade ultrahug. Reluctantly. Zed gives hugs because they are objectively good and right; it is a sad time when a hug must end. But all hugs must someday end.

Such... Is life...!

"Ha-ha! A double Lord of Calamity, you say!?" Zed puffs out his chest and sets his hands on his hips. "Well, Double Lord of Calamity, have you noticed yet...? That I am not the same Dark Hero who you once faced...! No! Behold!"

Zed puffs his chest out a little more! His pauldrons glint in the light! There are now... Two Z-crested shoulders. "With these twin emblems of bravery and heroism, and through the teachings of the legendary Sword Saint, my powers have increased significantly! I have become... The Double Dark Hero! DOUBLE ZED!"

"But please, just call me Zed."

"It is easier that way."

Beat.

Zed sniffs.

Sniff-sniff.

"D-do I get apple pie too?"

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Shalune squints at the sudden and rather dynamic appearance of one Metal Demon in particular; she doesn't really know Zed all that well, and the sight of Berserk's torn shoulderplate means she has to pause in a rather wary fashion for a couple of moments before Janey's shout convinces her otherwise. Instead, she just puffs up her cheeks, rocking the orphan to and fro. "Janey, you shouldn't tell big nasty bad guys that they're big and nasty!" she lectures, though with a grin. "They usually take offence! It really sucks! I should know!"

A glance upwards sends her mouth into a perfectly round circle as she watches Muni fly by, then she dissolves into good-natured snickering. "Aww... it does kinda feel Waysidey, doesn't it?" she replies to Riesenlied, her eyes lit up as she turns back to the table and the dinner being served there; her gaze hovers on the apple pie for a long moment before she continues, this time softer. "It... all looks like things are okay here. Jeez, when I heard about you goin' up a mountain, I was kinda worried. Lunar looks nice and all, but this place is still kinda as inhospitable as Filgaia sometimes."

It's a remarkably pragmatic statement for the mechanic, but then she does have her moments of being rather blunt about things; she doesn't seem upset in the least, so much as she's just stating it as fact.

She eventually lets Janey go, not wanting to keep the other girl too long, and focuses her attention back on the Fereshte for a long moment. "Mmm... I guess the problem is gonna be finding replacement parts here on Lunar..." she worries quietly, tugging at her hair and her hat both. "I've got a fair amount of raw materials I can mash into shape, but it might be kinda tricky to find more if I run out." [OOC] Zed says, "It's not his shoulderplate! Zed stole his spiked ball. :>"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied lets out a very soft cough as she gets let go, rubbing at her side for a moment. She lets out a faint gasp, before smiling as Cetiri looks towards Jacqueline to hum and express, "Indeed. I am glad to see you are still with your companions, Miss Jacqueline. We have found a temporary new home here... with the children of Taben's Peak that have been abandoned by their parents, themselves."

That would explain the increased amount of kids here... they look really rowdy!

Riesenlied pauses for a moment as she gazes towards the Owlet... then looks to Catenna as she expresses concern. "For a while, I felt really ill from the ambient Malevolence, but I got used to it. ... I can't hear Odoryuk's voice here... it all feels very distant. I imagine it's the same with you and Celesdue?"

Janey and Mikaia perk up at Zed for a moment, the former squinting to go: "Hmm, hmm...! Yes, I can sense it from your aura that you've levelled up, no..." A pause.

She sweeps her hand. "You've promoted yourself and given yourself a Class Change! Henceforth, by the authority vested in me, you are now a Dark... Paladin!"

Mikaia whispers, "That makes no sense, Janey." "DARK PALADIN Z! It sounds cool!" "Janey..." Mikaia eyerolls.

Riesenlied looks towards Shalune and expresses, "The Fereshte... is about as intact as we can hope it would be. Everyone's been enacting repairs, but the question of flight is one that may be a bit beyond us at present..."

She tilts her head. "That, and we've decided this is fortuitously already the best place to hide the skyship at present. The Guard is still looking for us -- and with the violent incidence happening in Glenwood, it's best the Fereshte remain in Taben's Peak for now. The children seem happy to play with each other, and the Wings are well positioned to give them protection against any threats that come here."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

So these were orphans, too... Filgaia or Lunar, Jacqueline supposes that tragedy is something that still occurs... She frowns for a moment...but then she smiles.

"...It seems that they've taken to you all quite well." She comments with a nod toward Cetiri. It was...kind of cute, the way she was batting that ball back and forth. She could tell that they were in good hands. (The Ebony Wings or the children? Good question.)

She then glances toward Shalune, frowning in consideration.

"Hm...I suppose I could try looking into it? ...But...as you said, it'd be tricky..." She mutters, frowning. This does remind her of something, though.

"...Ah, if you need any supplies or anything delivered here, let me know, alright? I'll do what I can, as always." She says, looking between Cetiri and Riesenlied. Not that she knew where this place was, it would be a lot easier to find it again.

It's at this point that Zed starts showing off in a rather...Zed-like fashion. Her attention is draw to that familiar mace. ...So, he claimed it, then...? Well, she supposed it would do more good in his hands than it ever did in Berserk's. She doesn't bring this up, though - she didn't want to darken the mood!

"It sounds like you've been making good progress on the materials we found...excellent work." Jacqueline comments with a smile, then glances toward Catenna. Zed wants some pie. But would Catenna agree...?

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"There is sufficient apple pie for everyone, including you," Catenna assures Zed with a small incline of her head. She may not like him very much, but she's not going to deny him nummies.

But Riesenlied asks a pointed question. Stepping forward, Catenna frowns, her eyes lifting towards the ceiling.

"No, it is actually quite different. I can feel Celesdue more strongly than I have ever felt her," she admits. "It is interesting... the Guardians can be felt here, but all of them except for Celesdue feel far away. But there are... other spirits." The Moon Shaman furrows her brows slightly, a flicker of confusion behind her eyes. "...In fact there are /many/ more spirits here than on Filgaia. The entire world seems alive with them. But I cannot understand them in the same way."

The Owlet again peeks over Catenna's shoulder as the Moon Shaman says her piece. It watches her intently, as if studying her explanation for flaws. Eventually it bobs its head, then tucks its head in again.

Catenna purses her lips. "...If there is any lingering Malevolence bothering you, perhaps I can help," she offers Riese. "Celesdue showed me how to cleanse Malevolence during the battle in Wehaca Village."

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"Dark Paladin Z...?" Zed ponders. He rolls the name around on his tongue for a moment. Then another. He hemms, then he hawws. Yes? No? Maybe so? Mmmm. A moment more passes, and then he nods. "VERY WELL! I will accept this new title, granted by the Lord of Double Calamity! This new... Class change...! I suppose a new costume does tend to come with a new title, right? That's just how it works! Hmhmhm! That's an increase to my strength and stamina, isn't it? It'd boost charisma too, but I have long since MAXED THAT STAT OUT!"

(No he hasn't)

Catenna reveals unto Zed that he will get pie. Zed seems OVERJOYED. "You are a good lady, miss!" Zed says unto Catenna and jabs a thumb at his chest, "I am thankful! Pie is a universal constant! Pies and churros. Ahahahaha--"

Beat.

"Riese," Zed huffs, "She is the moon priestess, isn't she? We are on the moon! So of course she can still hear her moon-goddess! Hrm. Though I am concerned at all this Malevolence. It is... Not the greatest thing, is it? Even to my eyes, its presence is plain to see. Fortunately, my sword cleaves flesh and spirit alike, so there's no problem!"

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

"Cetiri, Cetiri," Shalune bobs in place, still running on pure cheer as she wags her hand in the robot dog mom's direction. "Hehe, it kinda seems like you've mellowed out a little since you came here, huh? Maybe the change was good for you!" she adds brightly, watching as a couple of the children fuss over the Hyadean - well, both of the Hyadeans, really. "Even if it wasn't something you could control, it did kinda seem like you could've used the break from everything in the deserts. Maybe once all's said and done you could settle down fussing over kids," she beams happily.

She looks to Riesenlied's comment, nodding her head as she brings her thumb to her mouth - not to suck on it, thankfully, just to tap it against her lips. "Mmm... yeah, I can see how this'd be a neat defensible spot. And I mean, it took us ages to get it going in a location where we /had/ space and resources, so it's only going to take longer here, I guess. If Lydie were around I'd ask her to take a look, but she's been kinda busy around the place as far as I know." A frown flickers across her face, but then she looks to Jay to pump her fists.

"Lemme see what I can do to help first, at least! I haven't needed to use much of anything here in Lunar, so there's no harm in being a little spendy with my stuff," she snickers. "I'm not as good when it comes to flyin' as Lydie is, but I can at least spend some time helping to supply fixes for the smaller parts, and I remember pretty much everything about how the engine rooms were s'posed to work before they got shot up a ton."

Shalune is, as ever, about as spiritual as a brick, and she quietly bobbles at the conversation regarding the Guardians. "I've been tryin' to summon Dinoginos a couple times, but he always comes out really tiny," she chips in, not for a moment thinking that it might be her inability to Materialize worth a damn. "But I guess it makes sense Celesdue would be all on board with you bein' on the Moon and all. Malevolence... I dunno about that, but-- there's a lot of different things going on, for sure."

She's still not really sure how to describe the summoning they witnessed in the charnel pit near Aifread's Hunting Grounds, and she isn't even certain whether she /should/, or whether it's worth keeping that firmly under wraps. Despite herself, she shivers for a brief moment, recalling the scene.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Cetiri lets out a little vibration of her mechanical throat that sounds like a mixture between a chuckle and a cement mixer. "These children have opted fit to mark me as their mother."

As evidenced from the 'ROBO MOM BEST MOM' crayon drawing on their side.

"I shall not disappoint them-- left side!" she announces as she feints and swats the ball a slightly different direction. "The spirits of your rivals outweighs you! Stand strong, little one!"

Janey guffaws as she says, "Keep at it, Dark Paladin Z! You may still qualify for another promotion later, should you embolden yourself further against the forces of Double Calamity!!"

"Yes, Miss Jacqueline... not just us -- the community here at Taben's Peak make do with the supplies they have, but they will still need replenishables -- blankets, clothes, medicinal supplies are all in constant demand. I'll compile you a list, like how I'm doing in Vane..." Riesenlied expresses. Gosh, from one needing community to another...

She listens to Catenna. "That makes sense..." She lowers her head, then shakes her head. "No, it isn't any such -- pointed pool of it, just... ambient. It is unlike Filgaia, where there was absolutely none until the Trial Knight came here..."

A pause.

"I heard... and I asked Princess Cecilia if it were possible for me to do so -- if I... found one such Medium I could use. She was skeptical, but..." Riesenlied furrows her brow. "I shan't give up. I want to learn how to cleanse it... with Odoryuk's help. Even if it's limited, and difficult to learn..."

She smiles gently at Shalune to say, "We'll work at it together, if you'd like? I want to learn too... when we go back to Elru, if it's still there."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline looks a little closer. ...Yup, there it is. She can't help but chuckle slightly.

"I have no doubt about that. After all, you have one wonderful daughter already." Jacqueline says, with a meaningful glance toward Riesenlied.

She smiles at Shalune's own input, too. Yes, she has a feeling Cetiri would do quite well. ...Shalune brings up Lydia, too. Jacqueline frowns slightly, as well - she was a little concerned, but...she was sure everything would be fine! She'd have to let her know the Fereshte had been found as soon as she could.

"That's true...it might be good for you to stretch your legs every now and then, so to speak! I'll leave that to you, then." She replies with a nod toward Shalune. Riesenlied does have some requests, though, and Jacqueline nods and files them away mentally.

"Blankets, clothes, medicinal supplies...understood. I think I can arrange that easily enough." She agrees with a smile. ...And, being who she was, she'd probably end up toys and things for the kids, too.

"I haven't had difficulty summoning Grudiev, as such...but it may just be that my connection to him isn't as established as a proper Priestess, and thus I don't notice the weakned connection..." Jacqueline considers. Maybe she would notice it if she were to learn more...?

...Well, this wasn't exactly the place to do it. From afar, Sheriff Star (Star) wave! You paged Sheriff Star with 'Just wanted to check, what day are you good for our chat with Nall?'

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"That is less obvious than you think," Catenna murmurs with a glance at Zed. "The hearing of Celesdue, I mean... for while the Moon is her place of strength, it is also a place where none who dwell here know of her, and no cult exists in her honour. That I know of, anyway."

Absently, Catenna tosses her head; her hair tumbles back behind her. The owlet opens one eye as it's buried beneath dark curls, poking up between them with a small hoot of protest.

"Sorry," Catenna apologizes with a blush, ducking her head. The Owlet just huffs and goes back to sleep.

As Riesenlied continues on, Catenna takes a couple of steps forward, laying a light hand on the woman's shoulder. Her smile is small and kind. "...If anyone can bridge the gap, it is you, Riesenlied. Do not rush to cleansing immediately, however... even most of those who carry a Medium do not know how to do it, and on Lunar, there are those without it who can. Sorey, for one. But you have already done so much...."

When Jacqueline speaks, Catenna nods quietly to her friend, smiling simply. "It is a little different, perhaps... the connection is still there, but I can feel it when I use Lucadia's magic. She seems more distant, as if I have to reach much farther to touch her."

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"Hmhmhm, of course! Perhaps someday, I will achieve those lofty heights of... Dark Crusader ZZ! But that is for another day. Worry not, my blade and I will always stand against the forces of evil, no matter what form we take!" Is Zed going to undergo another AWESOME ROBOT TRANSFORMATION sometime soon? Maybe! Maybe he might even achieve the legendary form of... Zedder Dragon...!

But that day is not today.

The conversation has shifted somewhat away from Zedderly antics. But it's a subject that Zed still has something to contribute to.

The swordsman huffs, his arms crossing over his chest. "Actually. I've been wondering about that. When we were back on Filgaia, my blade was able to... Sever that giant water monster's connection to the planet."

He shifts, resting his hand on the pommel at his hip. "I'm wondering if I would be able to somehow perform purification of a different kind. No matter how much the world changes, the fact remains that I am somehow... incompatible with Malevolence. Maybe there's a way to use that...?"

Zed looks contemplative for a moment.

"Maybe there's a place for me on this world yet, eh? Heheheheheh."

<Pose Tracker> Shalune Amira has posed.

Slowly, Shalune leans to one side, watching Cetiri as the robot dog-mom sweeps back and forth from 'supportive mothering instinct' to 'supportive mothering instinct that wants their kid to crush the opposition in a ball game'; the transition has her a little wide-eyed in astonishment. "I-it's kind of like that time Aunt Hilda took all the local kids to the park..." she mumbles despite herself, under her breath, as vague memories of organized battle lines surface in the back of her mind.

She shakes it away, at least, and comes back to herself in time to give Riesenlied a bright smile; moving forward, she's quick to help shoo some of the more wayward kids to their seats, encouraging the more shy ones to the table with warm grins and the occasional pat on the head. "That sounds pretty good, Miss Riese," she agrees with a nod, lighting up a little. "... kinda sounds weird, maybe, but I'm looking forward to seeing Elru again. I bet Granny'd be annoyed as heck if I rolled up with a bunch of people to introduce them," she snickers happily.

She hefts one of the smaller girls into her seat, humming at Jay's comment with another nod. "Now we know the way, it should be pretty easy - it's not like you have to go too far off the path, I guess. If I've got Big Shal with me, we could probably ferry stuff up here - to be honest, that'd probably be easier than tryin' to drive the Carakin up. It doesn't exactly do great with heights, and somehow I don't think you want me to give it stilts." Still, there's a mishievous light in her eyes at the thought...

Malevolence is not a topic she's on board with in general; she's picked up some information on it here and there, but it's scattered and uncertain. "Mmm... isn't Malevolence somethin' that just sorta happens around here, though? Even if you purified some of it, it'd just come back over time, right?" she mumbles, and then furrows her brow. "Jeez, it's like the magical version of a dentist trip or somethin'."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Let's be fair, imagining Aunt Hilda teaching the Lunies how to do a haka would be amazing. And that's your New Zealandism of the day.

Riesenlied nods gratefully to Jacqueline, before smiling, "I think they've been here a long time, though... so they've been subsisting a while -- don't stretch the Kinship thin if it would put you at risk." She knows Jacqueline's habits are a little similar to hers, after all...

Riese does look a bit bashful at Catenna. "I... I know. I don't even know for certain if I can use the Medium whose location I remembered... or if it will still work." She frowns quietly. "... but I owe that much to Odoryuk, after all this time... and I want to help if I can... feeling their suffering, but being unable to do much about it..."

It's just about the worst feeling, in a way...

Zed explains what happened with Rahab, and Riesenlied hums quietly. "I've been thinking, when we proceed with our plans with the Outreach... one thing I want to try -- if an incident like Wehaca or Krosse happens again... the Hyadean resistance to Malevolent infection may be useful in evacuation efforts -- if we can couple them with the eyes of those that are Resonant, like you, Zed.

She holds her hand to her chest for a moment. "It would be... a nice way for our people to collaborate with Filgaia, in these times..."

A pause, and then one of the kids goes: "MOOOM STOP NAVEL-GAZING WE'RE HUNGEEE"

Riesenlied's horns flare straight up as she reddens to stammer, "O-oh, I'm sorry! Yes, would you like to join us for lunch, everyone?"

A slice of peace isn't too bad...

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"I see..." Jacqueline murmurs, nodding in understanding as Catenna explains. "I suppose we should be grateful, at least, that we can still feel the Guardians' presence..."

They would have had quite a bit of trouble, if that wasn't the case.

She considers Shalune's comment about Aunt Hilda...and then frowns, as if trying to hold back a memory.

"Y-yes, well, anyway..." She coughs, changing the subject.

"I'd like to meet 'Granny' sometime...and I'm sure Lunata would, too. We'll visit together." She comments with a smile, and then shakes her head at Riesenlied.

"It's no trouble, really...things were a little tight, at first, but once I got settled in building contacts was easy. I'm sure it won't be a problem." She says, offering a smile of reassurance and a nod toward Shalune.

"...True. I'm confident in my driving skills, but...she probably /could/ handle the terrain a lot easier..." She says...and then frowns slightly. That look in her eyes...!

Malevolence. She glances toward Zed.

"It's true...I remember that. I'm not sure what it is, but...the more people capable of removing Malevolence, the better." She says, then offers Shalune a slight smile. "Maybe. But...sometimes, removing that little bit might be enough to make a difference."

It's around this time that the orphans decide they'd had enough of listening to the adults chatter. Jacqueline chuckles...and when Riesenlied invites them, she clasps her hands together and smiles.

"If it isn't too much trouble. I think that would be lovely." She replies.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Blinking, Catenna looks up at Zed. Her eyebrows rise ever so slightly.

/Huh,/ she reflects. /Perhaps he's more of an adult than he seems./

"I think it is," Catenna concedes as Shalune speaks up, frowning. She folds her arms loosely and mulls the statement over for a moment. "...I think there is danger in letting too much of it build in one place. In small amounts it seems to do nothing to us. Only when it accumulates...."

Trailing off, she soon looks up and listens to Riesenlied speak. A hint of colour touches her cheeks.

"Trying is the least you can do, I suppose. I would happily assist you, if you wish. You are my friend... if there is anything I can do to help you, then I must do it--"

'mooooom'

Catenna jumps a little. "Oh! Yes... yes, lunch sounds wonderful...!"

The Owlet also perks up and peeks over her shoulder, before hopping out of her hood, landing on the table and beginning to toddle towards the pie.

"Nooo, that is dessert, dear heart!" Catenna gasps in protest as she reaches out to scoop up the babby birb in both hands. The Owlet promptly huffs in protest and hunkers down into its neck feathers as if to have a sulk.

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"Hrmn, yes I think so. I think maybe if we can convince the planet that we are of use to it in some way, then that is an important step. If my blade and soul can cleave the evils lurking within the hearts of men, then that is simply another darkness for the dark hero to do battle in, isn't it?" Zed laughs in a decidedly zedderly sort of way. "Though I guess it is the DARK PALADIN now, isn't it? Nyeheheheh!"

M-maybe he's a little more mature than he seems.

...Maybe.

...

...It's... possible.

But! Then! Navel-Gazing Rieses! Hungry children! A grumpy owl! A sprig of Zed's hair twitches like it were some kind of living, ahoge-shaped thing. "Oh right! I almost forgot! PIE!"

It's true what Riese says.

A slice of peace isn't too bad...

...But is it better than a slice of pie?

A slice of... pie-ce?

That has yet to be decided!