2018-05-30: The Place for Right and Wrong

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  • Log: The Place for Right and Wrong
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Talia
  • Where: Lastonbell - Merchant District
  • Date: 5/30/2018
  • Summary: In the midst of the battle for Lastonbell, Talia and Lydia have a chat.

=====================<* Lastonbell - Merchant District *>=====================

Lastonbell is one of the oldest cities on Glenwood, with a large bridge and belltower located in the very center of the city. Lastonbell's main street leads directly under this tower, which towers over the city, and a pair of ancient bronze bells hang from it, giving the city both its name and trademarked musical sound. The street, when approached from the west, is one of the hearts of commerce in the Rolance Empire. Shops, inns, and taverns line the main strip -- and the numerous caravan wagons passing through Lastonbell, to reach beyond. The eastern gate is always bustling with activity, and the crowded streets here can be a source of crime.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Qv2JpBbGo
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren is still pretty shook up. She had a somber talk with Kaguya at some point and (frankly) cried. But presumably this was likely not within Talia range because that would have been weird. Nevertheless, the fighting is still going on upstairs or, at least, it's noisy enough that Lydia isn't exactly eager to get up there.

She has frankly been quiet since coming back, periodically checking under her shirt to check out her injury and see just how it repaired. She squints her eyes sometimes, takes another look, frowns, and then pretends she didn't do that. Honestly it doesn't take much empathy to see she's going a little stir crazy being cooped up down here while also grappling with her more existential prolems. She's had a couple drinks, but is unwilling to down any more.

Presently, she's sitting on the couch with her feet pulled up and staring into space.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

It helped that Talia has not, strictly, stayed inside the speakeasy. With the ability to teleport and a naturally sneaky disposition, she was the obvious choice for scouting; sometimes, she elected to do scouting to just get a breath of fresh air. She slips down again, now, though; she rolls her shoulder once, and she steps into the speakeasy. She takes a look around, before she approaches Lydia's couch.

She noticed, while she was down here. She couldn't very well not notice the way that Lydia seemed out of sorts; the way that she stared off a lot into space. She is bothered by what they did.

Talia feels bad about it... and tries to repress that, while feeling a smidge of irritation at any guilt that comes up.

"Hey, there," she says. She looks up at the ceiling, and towards the distant rumble of a battle happening largely above their heads. "...Looks like it's still going on, huh?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "Yeah, taking longer than I expected." Truth be told, what's bothering Lydia is a variety of elements but what they did is certainly one of them. It's one thing to think 'this is for the best' conceptually and another to push forward that result with your own hands. "If I went out there to help I'd probably just fuck it up though. This isn't really an engineering problem. That's what I get and it's pretty foolish of me to try and get involved in problems that don't mostly involve math."

She turns around a bit to look towards Talia, hesitates, and then says, "Sorry." Pause. "I probably really freaked you out back there. It's actually kind of a long story. It's not like I was born like this. Even then I kinda had to be 'saved' from myself. Or...itself."

She sighs a bit. "What about you? Mercenary sounds like a tough gig, thinking about it."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"You probably would. If it helps, Hyland's army isn't going to butcher the population of the city," Talia says. "Yes, it's a war, but the nobles fight these wars every twenty years. Sometimes, people get hurt... but there isn't any real, deep-seated desire for blood, I don't think. Another petty game, played by petty little men, and we're just the gamepieces."

She shrugs, slightly, and has the same good-natured smile on her face -- as if that bit of cynicism wasn't so cynical. "You don't have to apologize. Born like what?" she asks. "A beastwoman? Taking your involvement in these things hard?"

She shakes her head, then she frowns -- hesitating for a moment.

"It's not, really. It's..." She pauses, for effect, even if she knows what she will say. This lie is practiced enough that it comes naturally. "...It's what I have to do, to get by."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Sure," Lydia agrees. "But it's not like it's bloodless, and most 'game pieces' manage to..." She trails off and then she adds, "It's not like I've got a problem with it ethically or anything. Where I come from? It's called 'The Badlands' and it's not called that 'cause it's a place where it's rare. It wasn't really all too rare for folks like me to be targeted for who we were rather than anything we actually did, whether it be because I'm Baskar or 'cause I've got horns. It's one of the nice things about Lunar, they don't seem to care about that sorta thing over here." She pauses and shakes her head. "Nah, I was born a beastman even if my parents weren't beastmen."

She is asked for clarification and she lifts up the metal arm. "This thing." Lydia tells Talia, waggling the arm up and down. The arm doesn't seem entirely solid, frankly. "It's actually shortly before we arrived on Lunar when I first had it. Some fuckers, speakin' some language I never heard of, picked me up'n'did this to me. Then they tried t'kill me but I survived but they wanted me back for some reason. Their rep ripped my arm off so I got this now. And the other things. Not sure why I got those."

She jerks a thumb back at the cape like tendrils along her back. "My eyes are their eyes, that's what they said, so I never really feel like my body's my own anymore. I try to be optimistic abuot it but...you know."

Mercenary work is what she does to get by. Lydia thinks over that for a moment. It feels honest enough to her. "Rubov another guy you're working for?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"That's..."

Talia tries her best to cultivate an air as a smiling, unaffected mercenary. It makes situations like this easier -- except that it never makes it easier, because when she hears this story of human experimentation, of violation and torture, something in her twists. Something bitter, and furious, and angry at the world. She stops short of clasping a hand on Lydia's shoulder, but the twitch in her left hand is a hint of that impulse.

"...that's horrible, Lydia," she says, softly. She can't make herself not care, but keep a smile on her face. "I'm sorry."

It does not make her feel like a better person. It is a reminder: that she can feel anger and regret at injustice, and then do the things that she has done. Her expression turns withdrawn, slowly, as that thought burrows into her brain.

Then, she looks up, a little too sharply. "Lubov," she corrects. "...where did you hear that name?" She doesn't, yet, realize that she muttered it. "He is, though. Another nobleman, nothing more."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia's tried being mad at the world. She still does get mad sometimes, maybe even often, but it isn't her driving force anymore. She has a reason to fight FOR the world rather than simply BECAUSE of the world anymore, and that's probably the biggest change she's been through despite the very many physical changes she has been pushed through. Maybe, Lydia thinks, it's easier to deal with because it's not like she ever really liked her body that much. Everyone can call her cute all they want but believing it isn't something they can make her do.

"Hey you didn't do it." Lydia laughs, and then adds, "But it's fine. I'm mentioning cause you saw 'that' and--that wasn't me. I mean I'd like to think if I had to kill someone I'd be a lot less gross about it at least. I mean it's always at least a little gross, since you're putting...outside...what should be...inside." She shudders a bit. "But I mean I get what kind of world it is."

Or maybe it's just because dissapointing Jay, Ethius, and Riesenlied isn't really easy for her to do anymore. "You mentioned him," Lydia tells Talia. "Around when we blew the shit up." She is perceptive on matters that don't depend on high empathy, even if she can tell that Talia has a lot going on herself. A game piece, Lydia thinks. She remembers what Castle told her. That they placed her back on Filgaia to be a spy. She slides her feet back to the ground. She's trying not to dwell in self pity.

"Well, playing minion sometimes isn't so bad." Lydia admits. "I don't judge 'cause judges are corrupt as fuck. We can only decide who we wanna be and how we've matched."

She glances back to Talia, patting the hand on her shoulder. It's a little stiff, like physical communication is still strange to her. "But after this, if you ever want to meet up, just send a message to the Caravan and I'll be there."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Ah... yeah," Talia says, and she looks down again for a moment. Her red eyes narrow, then she nods. Something that Lydia couldn't, completely, control. That explains a lot of what she saw. It still leaves her feeling hollow; it still reminds her of things that she would rather not face about herself. "It's good to know."

Even if she sees why Janus reacted the way he did.

She blinks at the pat on her shoulder, and she doesn't look so distracted. She smiles, but it's fleeting. "Ah, I did, huh?" she asks. "We have some history. It's... not anything for you to worry about." That, too, is a lie. "But the pay's all right, and it keeps me in the game. My brother works for him, too, no?"

She smiles, then she shakes her head once. "I'll keep it in mind. Even if there is a war... I plan to visit Meribia. It's a nice place. And you shouldn't be away from all of your friends for too long, no? It wouldn't be nice of me at all."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia can see why Janus reacted the way he did. It could have been a real bad fight considering where the loyalties were in this scenario. Luckily it didn't come to that!

Even though Lydia is watching carefully, she can't readily tell what Talia's thinking. She can tell that the 'history' is 'probably something to worry about' but it's not exactly her business. Not yet. Besides, the bigger relevation isn't the part that's 'it's complicated', it's the brother!

"You have a brother?" Lydia's eyes widen. "Wow... what's it like having a brother? I'm an only child myself."

She laughs a bit and adds, "Well I do need to head back after. Check in on them. Not just the Caravan, but--other friends, I think you've met Riesenlied? We were looking for folks who came over with us, or we think they did, and if we find them I might need to do a lot of work in that area."

The way Talia says that. It does make her feel a little ridiculous practically forcing herself into Talia's party just to, well, get to know her a bit better.

"Yeah probably. Though you're a friend too now so---"

She pauses. "You are, yeah?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"A twin brother, in fact," Talia says. "His name is Ivan." She cracks a smile, and then she shakes her head. "I should go check in with him after we get out, for that matter."

Her brow furrows for a moment, and then she looks back up at Lydia. She considers, head tilted to the side, and then nods. "I remember her," she says. "She seemed nice, no? I don't blame you--you should look for your friends, too." It is, perhaps, a gentle push to not get too caught up in this.

But only a gentle one, because Talia doesn't really have any business telling someone to not get involved. She looks up, and she hesitates for a moment.

Then, the playful smile comes back. "Of course! I wouldn't have let you come along if you weren't, no?" she says. "It has been fun. We should do it again, sometime."

She winks.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Ivan." Lydia says. "Yeah, if you got a brother you should look after him. Makes sense! I'd do that if I had one." She frowns. "Actually I guess he'd be probably looking after me. Maybe each other?" She grins. This is far happier talk. "But a twin huh? That's pretty special. Is it true twins are more like in synch with their siblings?"

It's a reasonable push. Lydia has very little personal stake in this right now though, of course, what are the odds that she'll come back because she feels guilty for just helping set this thing off and staying on the sidelines, thus allowing her player to play both storarcs to a certain extent with their two alts?!

Probably not too high. "Yeah, I guess you wouldn't've." Lydia admits. "--Yeah, we should. Maybe a smaller scale mission. Or just go to one of the ruins that doesn't try to eat your soul. Most of the ruins here seem to want to eat your soul."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It's... well, it gets complicated. We tend to drive each other mad half the time, but that's part of the fun. We do look after each other, though." Talia smiles when she says it. "I'm not sure if we're more in synch, but... he would probably be a mess without me."

Another sly, playful smile.

She raises an eyebrow, though, at that. "Eat your soul? Well. I'm all for one of the ones that does not want to eat my soul. But, yes--let's do that, sometime. And I'll drop by Meribia sometime. Though..." She slides out of the chair she sat in, and stands up. "...I should go have another look around. I need an idea of how many Rolance troops get out of the city."

Part of her task and part of what she was hired for. She flashes a smile. "I might not see you again, before you leave. Do take care of yourself, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Cool, I'll be around there. I'm in Vane a lot too. Not the cool flying one." Lydia feels the need to clarify that. "I think I'm gonna take a nap myself while hoping Janus doesn't pop a shot at me." she curls around so she's laying down, looking up at the ceiling.

"Stay safe, okay?"

It'd really suck if after all this, Talia never came back from her scouting job. She thinks about it. Does she have anyone like that?

She'll think about that even as Talia goes out to do her job, for a while even.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Not the flying one? Ah, I suppose the other one is more grounded..." Talia winks again, and then she looks down at Lydia. She frowns, for a moment, at the mention of Janus shooting at her.

"I'll do my best, no? In my line of work... well, I tend to avoid safety."

The idea that she might die -- it's there, but it has all of the terrible complications, all of the formless guilts that come with her life. And, as always, Talia tries to forget them. She smiles, then waves with a gloved hand.

Then she turns, making her way for the door.