2018-08-28: Dodge And Weave

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  • Log: Dodge And Weave
  • Cast: Talia, Avril Vent Fleur, Rebecca Streisand
  • Where: Meribia - Port District
  • Date: August 28th 2018
  • Summary: Plagued by the sense that something important is about to happen but with little guidance on what that might be, Avril takes a walk. She bumps into Talia, musing problems of her own, which Rebecca, upon arrival, elucidates.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

The last couple of days have been... different for Talia, to say the least. For instance, the now-former assassin has left behind her father -- with the tentative feeling that comes from having her entire life flipped upside down, and not knowing how it will all shake out -- and has, for the first time in her life, real friends. She isn't sure what to make of it. She headed for Meribia as soon as she could.

It seemed wise. Glenwood wasn't a safe place; as soon as her father learned the truth, she would be at risk. Besides, she had to get to Azado.

But she has an evening to herself, and an evening without the countless worries that had dominated her life. She is spending it by herself; as much as she likes Lydia and Amaranth, she has a streak that wants to be alone, and she needed to indulge it.

It is late in the evening, and the black-haired woman is standing on one of the bridges near the harbor, and looking out at ships sailing in. The sun's already dipped over the horizon, but a few deep red rays of light are lighting up the whole harbor. She has her hands on her belt, wearing her cloak and a blue shirt, with armor, under it. This one has a fur collar. Apparently, life changes come with even better fashion.

She looks thoughtful, but distant. She also sticks out like a sore thumb in the busy harbor area.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    While battle raged in Glenwood, Avril had instead been lead by her Medium (or at least so she'd felt) to the swamp known as Emrys' Mire with Ida, and therein found something that suggested at an unfortunate turn of events in the past. At least, Ida certainly seemed to feel that way, and had apparently obtained some additional information before that fleshed out the situation.

    A corrupted Seraph? Was it possible?

    And if that was so, what should they do? Was there anything left to do?

    At a loss, and with the situation in Glenwood becoming more unstable, she had returned to Meribus, hoping to speak with her friends and see if they had any insight.
    But there's also been this nagging feeling of late, of the last couple of days. Something's wrong, but she can't pinpoint what it is.

    There's somewhere else she should be, but she doesn't know where.

    So she'd come out to the harbor, Medium borne in both hands, in the hopes that the Guardian might 'speak' to her again, give her a suggestion again of where she should be going. Gazing down at its surface, glittering faintly from the lights in the harbor, she stares at it as in search of some response. Some... something.
    (It had been the Medium before in the swamp, hadn't it?)

    So this is the way Avril, stepping onto a bridge, comes to not be looking where she's going.
    She bumps right into Talia.


<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

Things have been awkward on Rebecca's side at least for the last few days. At least while around Avril.

She didn't remember everything about the experience. Just that her memories got fused with Avril's - and that she gets this sense that Avril's quest won't end in finding out anything nice.

She also has this sense however that Avril can see right through her hidden feelings for Dean. The secret ones - that noone should know about...

So she's caught up in this endless cycle of anxiety. Is Avril thinking about that? What does she think about it? Does she think I'm awful? Disgusting? Does she feel the same way for Dean? If so - am I an unworthy rival for Dean's affection in her eyes?

Maybe she's not thinking about it at all.

Rebecca doesn't know what's worse. That she could be thinking about it. Or that she might not be thinking about it.

It's got her all wound up in knots just as much as she's wound up in bandages. She'd spent most of her voyage back recovering. All the same she's still walking with a limp and even breathing looks uncomfortable for her sometimes given how the Earthrager broke a few of her ribs.

She's out walking alone. Rehearsing. "Soooo... Avril..."

Rebecca tries to /practice/ bringing up the subject for about the tenth time since she got back
 for when the two are together. ... and...

"Um... about Dean..." Rebecca rubs her opposite arm as she walks. Suddenly all tongue twisted despite talking to noone. And her eyes look around and she blurts out suddenly, "Filgaia's real lovely tonight isn't it Avril? So pretty... and blue..."

Blue just like...

"What is wrong with you?" Rebecca puts a gloved hand over her face, "She's not even here and you're all a mess..."

Taking the hand off her face, she's sees Avril bump into someone else in the distance, proving that... by some strange coincidence. Rebecca is wrong... she's closer than she thought.

She doesn't jog on over. Instead starts walking - and as she gets closer notices new details about the person. More and more... until finally she puts her hands behind her back... walking across the bridge from the opposite end.

"'lo there Avril. Talia." Her eyes move from Avril over to the other girl, "Here on business or...?"

The hands behind her back are lifted up to lacing her fingers behind her head. "Well I guess I can understand why you'd be running away after all that."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia gasps with surprise, when Avril bumps into her. Her feet kick under her; however, with a practiced grace that shouldn't be so surprising, she catches her footing as she does a spin and lands -- looking right at the girl who bumped into her. She blinks, a couple of times; then, realization settles in, as she remembers her. The fight in Uzda il-Jam; the battle against that dog, turned into a Hellion. It wasn't so long ago.

It feels a little like forever.

She blinks a couple of times -- then falls into the old habit, an easy and playful smile. "Ah, lost in thought?" she asks. She winks. "Don't worry about it, no? This is a much better place to bump into each other than where we did before!"

Except, of course, that someone comes along that breaks any illusion of falling into the old ways. Talia pauses as she catches a familiar voice; she turns, her eyes shifting in a moment to Rebecca. Her mouth opens, and she finds the usual excuses gone, because she knows she won't be going back.

"...Yes," she says, "I'm afraid that I am, no? It wouldn't do to get myself killed." She still hesitates, visibly awkward, and annoyed at having to deal with awkwardness at all. She was never good at it.

"I'm sorry," she says. "For hurting you." A pause, then she looks at Avril. "Ah, you're both friends, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It's convenient how that works out sometimes.

    For Avril in the here and now, though, she takes a quick step backwards as Talia lands, catching her footing. She presses the Medium up against her chest, her gaze directed at Talia as sharply as someone might thrust a sword in a competitive duel.
    That look in her eyes softens, as recognition quickly takes over. She's that woman from the fight in the depths of Uzda Il-jam, the one who assisted them against that Hellion within.

    And Avril ducks her head in a quick shallow bow. "My apologies. You are correct: I was thinking and taking little care where I was headed. Are you alright?" At a glance, Talia certainly seems like she's alright. But still.

    'This is a much better place to bump into each other...'

    Her gloved hands tighten about the Medium. "...Yes," says Avril, in those moments before Rebecca comes walking up.

    "Rebecca, it is good to see you. If I had known you were interested, I would have taken a walk with you. I have been trying to gather my thoughts about what..."
    She trails out, her gaze trading from her friend and back to Talia. Then over to Rebecca again. "Have I missed something?" she asks, a little bluntly.

    Then to Talia: "Yes, we are. We have been traveling together for some time."

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

"Yeah. She's my best friend other than Dean." Rebecca affirms. Before her eyes grow wide at what Avril is saying. Gather her thoughts to talk to her about- "O-Oh hey if you're trying to gather your thoughts it must be important. That means you should..." There's an awkward laugh, "Take your time figuring it out." She says with a tinny nervousness that tries to mask fear of what Avril is going to bring up.

Not because she's afraid of Avril. It's because she's scared something could change - between them. Between her and Dean. Between the three of them together.

However explaining what happened gives her an out. A quick out. So she launches into that, "So I was over in Glenwood not too long ago and... well... Hyland lost big. I wasn't trying to involve myself but, I could at least sew up some minor wounds for them to save their healing magic and well... Rolance came to... finish the job." Her eyes flicker over to Talia, "She was on the other side... and instead of running I guess... I decided to make a stand on a whim. And well..." Her face has this kind of chagrined look, "... the two of us collided. Along with this... boar made of rocks that her Father created."

She expected Talia to deny that she's running.

However... Rebecca's arms shift from behind her head into crossed arms in front of her as Talia gives an apology. "No need for that." Everyone calls me sensible. When I keep thinking back to that fight though - I keep thinking 'There was nothing sensible about what I did. I shouldn't have even been there.'"

However in the back of her mind - she also thinks there's nothing sensible about massacring wounded soldiers either.

Rebecca's chin dips, "And where we come from - you point a gun at someone, they have the right to shoot back." She doesn't like it. Thinking about Greg's point of view - yet she couldn't argue with it. That's the way things are on Filgaia.

"I'm glad you got away though. The situation you were in sounds..." There's like this soft frustrated sound like she can't articulate it, "... rough. Family ties... patriotism... not sure I'd be brave as you if I were in the same place."

It was almost too easy for Rebecca to say what she did. She had mostly supportive parents and grew up in a small town that's not a part of any nation.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I'm fine," Talia says with a glance at Avril, and then a shake of her head. "It would take more than a little bump to give me trouble. Don't worry about it." She smiles, but it isn't with the same energy that she had earlier. She runs a hand through her hair, idly, and then her eyes glance back at Avril.

Rebecca explains the rest.

She doesn't argue it. She nods, her expression turning downward. She shrugs her shoulders, once. "It, ah... yeah. I was there because Lubov -- the person I was working for, and my father -- was siding with Rolance. And I... er." Her eyes glance towards Rebecca.

"I can safely say that patriotism wasn't a concern," she says. "The rest, though... mm. Yes."

There is a look between them. A gun? She sort of gets the saying -- mostly because she has experience with guns. She thinks that she understands. With a briefly furrowed brow, she nods. "...It's all right. Things are what they are, no? And here we are. You're both from the Blue Star? I confess, I am curious."

That may, in fact, be a dodge.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Unfortunately for Rebecca...
    Avril is once again operating on an entirely different frequency from her friend. "Yes, it is," she says, as seriously as only she can be. "I had been hoping the Guardian might be able to provide an answer, but unfortunately she remains silent." Only to tilt her head to one side, as if in thought. "...Ah? 'Take my time'... Hmm." A thoughtful look overtakes her; her grip on the Medium eases. "Perhaps I may be forcing it; if it is important, it should come to me in time, shouldn't it." Closing her eyes briefly, she sighs out a breath. "...Thank you, Rebecca."

    ...What was all of that about?

    Nevertheless, Rebecca provides an explanation of what's happened over the last couple of days down in Glenwood.

    "They attacked the wounded..."

    That, the impulse deeper in her heart speaks, is how you handle a threat. You eliminate it.

    Avril's expression sobers, her grip on the Medium tightening. "I see... and you decided to protect those who could not protect themselves. ...I'm glad you were able to assist, Rebecca."

    I'm glad you're alright, she, herself, thinks.

    "There is... little that is sensible in war. That is what I have come to think," Avril interjects, her gaze off towards the glittering expanse of dark that is the water. "Between what people do, or what they are forced to do," she adds, with a glance towards Talia. "A tragedy was averted, it seems. Perhaps that is enough."

    She exhales, as if daring that darker impulse to 'say' something again. This time, there is nothing.

    "...Yes. We are both from the Blue Star," she affirms, appending to the statement a nod. "I hope to return there someday. Are you interested in it, Talia?"

    It might be a dodge, but it's a dodge the usually blunt maiden permits Talia to make.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

It's usually like this isn't it? The two are on different wavelengths except when it comes to Dean. Yet Rebecca wants to understand why. Wants to understand her friend. "Like on the ship." She notes, where Avril was talking to Lucadia. As Avril takes her advice though she feels something unclench from her guts, "Right! Sleep on it some and I bet you'll come up with an answer that feels natural." She holds up a finger - relieved, in the hopes that it'll help her find a natural - unforced answer herself. "Hey anytime Avril."

Her eyes are on Avril as she explains. And she can't help but get these... flashes in her head. Of something. Of Rebecca herself... doing...

'I'm glad you were able to assist.'

That's how Avril is really isn't it? Always backing up Dean. And Dean would want to assist in that situation. Yet Avril and Dean aren't alike at all.

"It wasn't the wisest thing for me to do but... it all worked out I guess." Her eyes flicker towards Avril, "I'll be more careful in the future though. It isn't like me to... not think things through."

Maybe she just wanted to make sure Dean wouldn't be sad if a friend got hurt.

Or maybe she just wanted to prove those visions of her... weren't true.

Maybe both. She doesn't know why she was out there - even now.

"Well good." She nods to Talia on patriotism not being a concern. Before she hesitates, "I think."

Loyalty to a country sounds good and all. Unless that country is sending you out to murder wounded and dying people...

She gets what a dodge it might be... yet she also gets that Talia might not be ready to open up about such a thing. A girl has their own secrets - and privacy. She gets that too well. So as Avril asks if Talia is interested, she answers in her own way.

"Yep. Born and raised there- we kind of got brought here on accident. This world is... and ours are like... night and day."

She offers a light shrug, "Some things are the same though. Back on our world there are two nations fighting just like Rolance and Hyland. Been fighting so long that I bet they don't even know why it started. That's just us humans fighting though..."

Her gaze lowers into the waters beyond the bridge, "... there are worse things out there to be scared of back home.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia blinks a couple of times at Avril. Slightly mysterious, this one, she reasons. She hesitates; she frowns, a little, at the way that Avril interjects. She doesn't disagree, though. "It is a terrible thing, no? I am glad to be done with it--or, well, as done with it as I can be."

She doesn't doubt that a war could sweep her up again. Hopefully not in the same way.

She tilts her head, though, and smiles. "A little. A friend is from there, so I am curious. And, ah, I met a woman from there during the war. One... 'Lady Kaguya.' I realized I know almost nothing of her." Except, of course, for what she saw -- and for Rebecca's reaction during the fight.

She looks back at Rebecca -- smiling a little. She looks more at ease than she was a moment before. "Ah, was there?" she asks. "I suppose... war is everywhere, no? It is a sad thing, but... mm."

Her eyes glance down. "...I think that is true, too. Worse things are also out there, here on Lunar."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "Yes. It may be like that," Avril says, though uncertainity snakes its way into her tone. Is that what she's doing? Or is it something else?
    "Nevertheless, I... feel you may be correct. It would be like trying to write poetry without inspiration," she comments, tilting her head slightly to one side as she regards her friend. "Wouldn't you agree?"
    This is a point that Rebecca might not want Avril to bring up in front of a relative stranger...

    Which, speaking of, and speaking of the war: Avril shakes her head when Rebecca more or less apologizes. "We all do unwise things, sometimes. I, too, have been careless. Sometimes it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, as they say. Still, even if it was dangerous, and even if it was incautious, I am..."
    'Glad'? Is 'glad' the right word?
    "It was what you felt was right, and you decided to see it through. Perhaps that is all that matters sometimes." There is no space for half-measures, not in this world. Not on Filgaia.

    "As far as I am aware, I, too, was born and raised there." ...Now that's a strange statement to make. "Rebecca is correct -- we were brought here by chance. We would very much like to return, but I have been..." She trails out, glancing away. "Had," she corrects, after thinking the better of the statement.

    'Had been enjoying herself' seems the wrong thing to say, now.

    As for the rest of Rebecca's assessment of their world, Avril only nods in assent, her gaze down at the base of the bridge itself.

    There are worse things back home. But there are also worse things here. The swamp had hinted at such. What had rested under Rabenstein had hinted as such.

    "...I understand Filgaia is the 'Blue Star' here. I'm afraid it is not as 'blue' on its surface," Avril states.

    Only to blink as Talia mentions a certain name. "...Kaguya? You are a friend of Kaguya's? We..."

    She looks over at Rebecca, perhaps recalling Dean's impassioned defense of the Veruni agent.

    "...Dean, our friend, is a friend of Kaguya," Avril says, settling on the most diplomatic answer.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

Poetry without inspiration?

For a moment she just looks wistful, like she's swept up in that thought, "That's a really pretty way to put it...I sure understand what that's l...ieep."

Rebecca makes a small sound as it finally settles in, and she claps both her hands over her mouth. Suddenly turning bright red.

She tries to answer her agreement. Instead she just turns redder, and starts tilting her face in a nod. And a nod again. Casting a glance towards Talia.

Before her eyes flit back towards Avril.


Rebecca can just feel it in her soul.

She only dares take her hands off her mouth - to allow herself to breathe behind her wounded ribs when Avril mentions that they do unwise things sometimes.

"...maybe it is." She agrees. "What matters... that is... at least Dean would think so. I don't know though. I think what matters most to me is..."

There's a lift of her chin, "...doing what it takes to get back to someone that matters to you."

And that's why to her - what she did wasn't all that sensible.

"That's just... how it is I guess." When it comes to war - and scarier things. Rebecca winces a little as Talia brings Kaguya up. "She's... from our world. And she's..." Rebecca suddenly looks extremely awkward about this, like she's not... a fan... nodding as Avril finishes her statement on her being Dean's friend.

"... yeah. She's a Veruni. They're... sort of superhumans that control part of our world... and... make normal people like us their slaves."

Does she include Avril in normal people?

Yes of course. Even as extraordinary as Avril is - she's a normal person with normal desires. Wanting something precious back like memories. She can understand that, even if she can't always understand her.

"I... don't know why she's fighting for Hyland... but from what I've seen of her..." Her lip curls as if she encountered a bad smell, "... she just enjoys it. I once saw her take apart a group of bandits just because she could."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Poetry?" Talia asks, turning to look at Rebecca. The surprise registers on her face.

She has her head tilts to the side -- before she looks back at Avril. "Dean... that was the boy who was with you?"

She remembers him. He was there when they fought in Uzda il-Jam, too. Talia's nose wrinkles for a moment -- even as she misses the tension that Rebecca feels. She, instead, hesitates at the idea that she and Kaguya might be friends. "I, ah--well... not quite. We stopped working together. And... are at odds, I am afraid."

She frowns, though.

A Veruni? She never heard the term before. She nods, though, to Rebecca's conclusion. "I think so. She seemed to enjoy the prestige. Still... a friend of Dean's?"

She wonders about that. He seemed like a nice person. Maybe she missed something about her.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Unfortunately for Rebecca, Avril just bears the platonic ideal of a placid expression when she looks over her way. With a face like that...
    She must know.

    (what else does Avril remember?!)

    (perhaps that is a question for another time -- if Rebecca dares)

    What is sensible? What is rational? What is right? Sometimes these things aren't entirely in agreement, as they so stand now. "'To return to who matters to you'," Avril quotes, as if trying out the statement. "Hmm. I think I also agree with that. Nevertheless... whatever it is we do, we should do it whole-heartedly, while also understanding the consequences." She smiles slightly, in spite of such weight statements. "Though, I suppose if it were Dean doing it..."
    And she laughs, lightly, even if the expression in her eyes is fleetingly a touch distant.

    Particularly when the topic turns to Kaguya. Rebecca covers the nuts and bolts of the situation, leaving Avril with little reason to say anything, only to nod in agreement as appropriate.
    Kaguya... that woman who had looked at her so strangely.
    Who had tried to destroy one of the statues.

    She hugs the Medium closer, as if remembering that altercation, when Kaguya had...

    "I also have that feeling," Avril comments quietly, shoulders hunched. "As if she enjoys it."

    A fight atop a traincar. The sheer chaos of it. And Kaguya, in the middle of it all, as if enlivened by the violence.

    "Yes," Avril replies at a distance to Talia. "Dean was the one with us. He's... a good person," she says, glancing over at Rebecca. She trusts in his ability to make his own decision in this, with regards to Kaguya... even if she doesn't agree with it.

    "...I see. So you and she also are in opposition. I also have come into conflict with Kaguya before. Dean's..." She shakes her head, her sentiment on the matter perhaps painted a bold red and underlined here with all her uncharacteristic hemming and hawing. Dean's important. Dean should make his own decisions.
    But she also feels this is a bad decision.

    "...It's his own decision," she says in the end, lifting her head.
    And if Kaguya hurts Dean, then she will simply need to make her own decision on the matter felt.

<Pose Tracker> Rebecca Streisand has posed.

And then Talia asks!

Rebecca tries to calm down. Avril wouldn't elaborate more here in front of a stranger. Would she!?

Rebecca has no choice but to answer, "I... may write from time to time. It's private though. For myself."

There that settles it doesn't it?

Until she dares later.


It's an admirable sentiment. One that Rebecca finds herself marvelling at. Maybe that's what she needs to find the courage for. Discussing her feelings with Avril - whole-heartedly.

"...asking Dean to understand the consequences ahead of time might be a stretch." Rebecca smiles though, like she's not actually insulting him. In fact even if she tries to tell him all the time not to... it's still something she likes about him.

"Well... I would hope you weren't working together if you were on opposite sides. Else you'd be playing some kind of con game. And in war that seems... real dangerous."

Rebecca's eyes close for a moment after Avril explains how Dean is a good person before opening them to meet Talia's eyes briefly, "I don't think her idea of friendship is the same as Dean's... on our world... Veruni and Humans becoming friends is unheard of. Dean though... Dean doesn't think like that."

Before returning to gaze at Avril... and those blue eyes full of such resolve. "It's his decision. But if it turns out to be a dang foolish decision then... me and Avril will be there for him."

She's not the type for murder perhaps... but she will stop her.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Ah, well, that is understandable! Far be it from me to pry." Talia winks at that.

But, when the topic turns to Kaguya, it turns more serious -- and her countenance reflects that. "We are. I did turn on her, so... I wouldn't call it unwarranted, though." Talia shakes her head. "Though, still. Some of the things she has said or done..."

She doesn't elaborate. They know the sorts, if not the specifics.

"It sounds like Dean is a good person, no? But... sometimes, good people have trouble seeing when someone is like that. I hope it ends up all right. But, if not... well, with you two looking out for him, it shouldn't be a disaster."

She smiles -- and then glances at the horizon, where the sun is lowered. "Ah, but I am due back at the inn! It was nice to talk to you." A glance at Rebecca. "And not fight. Take care of yourselves, no?"

She waves, once -- and lingers long enough for a goodbye, before she heads on her way.