2018-11-21: We Don't Have To Walk It Alone

From Dream Chasers
Jump to: navigation, search
  • Log: We Don't Have To Walk It Alone
  • Cast: Avril Vent Fleur, Matilda Whitehead, Jacqueline Barber, Seraph Lanval, Lydia Seren
  • Where: New Arctica
  • Date: November 21st 2018
  • Summary: Still grappling what has passed and what must yet be done, a small group has a discussion out among the chill of New Arctica's docks. The outlines of a plan are sketched if not the details. And then, supposition of what might come... after.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    The chill in the air lingers: it bites down to the bones. As expected, this far to the north, and by the sea.

    The passage back to New Arctica had been managed in the end. They had gotten the refugees situated, and they had let everyone know...
    What had happened.

    In spite of the biting cold, Avril lingers out on the docks even now, staring down at the unblemished ancient surface of the Sea Medium. As if it could lend her some answer, here and now, as if the Guardian could speak through it all.
    Perhaps, as if it could speak to her.

    For the first time -- in earnest, in truth -- she's found herself wondering just who she is.
    After all, before now, she had assumed she was human. Now the question is a little blurrier.

    She sighs, straightening, and hugs the Medium against her chest, her gaze off towards the distant horizon at the edge of the sea.
    Maybe it's all a mistake. Maybe it's not.

    Right now neither they not she can afford the time to find out for sure.
    Filgaia's time is eroding away.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Avril isn't the only one questioning herself after recent developments. Matilda's trip to Fereshte has left her... unsteady, to put it lightly. She wasn't exactly steady to begin with, either. She needs a little time to herself --

-- and, unfortunately, doesn't *quite* get it in the place she's looking for it. On the other hand, she stumbles across someone who she thinks might... understand, if only a little. Matilda strides out onto the docks in a much heavier white coat than usual, hugging her arms across her stomach in hopes of staying just a little warmer.

"... Ah, Avril," she says, quietly. "It's -- good to see you. Do you mind if I'm here, or would you rather be alone?" she asks, with no small amount of hesitation in her voice.

She hasn't even noticed the Medium yet... though it's closer to her thoughts -- a jumble as they are -- than it might be under other circumstances.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline had come to terms with her decisions on that day. She had sought her own advice, and in the end she had concluded that she had made the right choice in the matter.

Even so, it did not change the fact that they had lost someone of great importance that day. That pain was one she still felt keenly.

She finds herself wandering the settlement, having finished distributing some supplies to the refugees of New Arctica. Just something to occupy her mind, without any real goal. It's as she does so, however, that she spots a familiar face at the docks, staring down at a Medium.

So too is Matilda there, she notes, and so she approaches them, holding in each hand a bottle of red liquid.

"Hello there. Care for something to warm yourselves up a bit?" She asks, offering the bottles to the both of them. They're warming potions, meant to help with enduring the cold.

They also have a pleasant cinnamon flavor.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval is seen staggering right the hey out of one of the shelters of New Arctica - such as it can barely qualify as such - as though it were urgent. There's terrified yells from within, and no less than three armed soldiers storming it. The Water Seraph steadies himself against a post around the docks, in so much as he ever is steady, and sinks to his seat as he clutches his drinking gourd in both hands.
     He notices the melancholy and trepidation in the air. He'd like to take the edge off of that just by being, but... well... hm. He settles with having a drink to himself, quietly, as Jay starts to hand out warming potions.
     He resettles upon ambling back over to Jay, because that stuff smells good and he can only ever remember one specific concoction that repulsed him.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    In counterpoint, this moment alone is perhaps precisely what Avril doesn't need -- and she knows it. There's nothing for her to do except spin around thoughts without resolution... but even the desperation and work of late reach the point where nothing else can be done except 'wait'.

    Distraction, mercifully, comes. "Matilda...? No, no, please, do stay. I was only thinking," she says, shaking her head. "Much has happened, of late. I suppose it has been a lot to take in." Her smile is a weak one; even someone as unflappable as Avril has her limits.

    But, this is why it's fortunate that she -- and Matilda -- are not left alone, either.

    Still clutching the Medium to her chest, Avril turns. "Jay...? Oh, yes, thank you. It is rather chilly tonight, is it not?" Her cheeks, reddened by the chill, are proof enough of that.
    She unfolds a single hand to reach out and take a bottle, cradling it in a gloved hand.
    "How have things been? ...It seems as if it has begun to quiet, at least for now."

    Her gaze tracks from Jay, off to the familiar form of the Water Seraph.

    "Lanval, it's good to see you again."

    Before she, again, lapses into silence.

    "I have been thinking... about what must be done."

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

"It really has," Matilda replies -- shortly before she, too, spots Jay. Accepting the bottle of red liquid without hesitation, Matilda drinks it down, saying, "Ah -- thank you, Jacqueline. I'm still not used to the cold here... It's -- a little bracing." 'Bracing' doesn't cover the half of it, and the tension in Matilda's voice makes it very clear she feels that way.

Lanval gets a momentary squint, as Matilda tries to place the Seraph -- but not much else, of yet. She's focused on the moment.

"What must be done?" Matilda asks, blinking a few times. "There's -- certainly a lot ahead of us, but is there something in particular...? That's something I've been thinking about myself, at that -- both regarding Mother and... what comes after."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Avril's right - a lot has happened, and in a very short amount of time. They could probably spend hours trying to sift through everything, but that alone wouldn't get them closer to solving it.

"I find it's a lot easier when you have others around to share the burden." Jacqueline comments with a nod. Maybe she was, inwardly, hoping to run into others tonight, as well.

Case in point, it isn't long before someone else shows up - Lanval, the Water Seraph. He had supported them back on Lunar, even though it meant being publically disavowed. It was, as far as she knew, the first time such a thing had happened to one of his kind.

"It is. Truthfully I could go for a nice mug of hot chocolate right about now, but that's a lot harder to carry around with me in this weather." She says, with a smile that suggests she's trying to lighten her own mood with the quip as much as theirs. Another bottle of red liquid is produced and offered to the Seraph before her attention returns to Avril.

"...It's true. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't been thinking about it, myself..." Jacqueline says, then looks toward Matilda. 'What comes after'...there truly were a lot of problems at hand, even beyond the biggest and most evident.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    It's almost - no, absolutely - cartoonish an effect when Avril turns and calls him genially by name as though a friend being reunited, and there's a silly chortle as if to say 'oh, I've been caught trying to sneak up on Jay and her tasty potions again.'
     Good news is, Jay is generous even without prompting, and her bottle is taken with a quieter, gentler, more deliberate grasp than the usual careless grabbing and guzzling he is prone to at his worstbestactually-maybe-all-the-time.
     "Yep. That'shhhh me... ha ha ha! Lanval... 'n not Granas." That's an odd thing to say but probably not a tidbit of immediate importance or relevance to the greater picture. The laughter resumes for a bit, but it becomes clear in time - a shorter time than he usually takes - that maybe what's going on here isn't something he can just laugh off.
     A beat passes as he goes back to just plopping right on down, stroking away at his chin with one hand as both of his eyes stay closed, his face flush and the dumb cat-like smile... well, just a cat-like mouth at rest. "It'sh... a lot ta take in. I worked with faith for a long while, ya know, 'n... mmm. I mean, the mortalsh here, they shee they got more food... water... shtuff. Obvioushlyyyy I didn't shee 'em before, but, I'm not shure I really could." Well, he couldn't before because he had no way here, unless what he means is--
     "'m not sheein' much... faith from the people of New Arctica." The place is as bleak as the surrounding icy wastes - maybe even moreso, no matter how much improved the situation is on paper that some of the most adept Drifters of Ignas are basically throwing their whole lots in on this.
     He breaks from this by sipping - sipping! - the red liquid provided so kindly by Jay. "Mmmph."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Indeed, all she would attain, in particular, would be a return to her uncertain starting point. And there simply isn't the time to explore, to gather the information she needs.
    Going south would answer it for sure.
    Going south would certainly stir up the Veruni and pin them between two foes.

    "Two together are better than one alone," Avril quotes, smiling, if thinly, at Jay's assessment.

    "Hot chocolate... hmm. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Perhaps when we head back inside." She continues to cradle the draught onehandedly, as if taking her sustenance from the warmth coming off it instead.

    "Yes," Avril answers, connecting the statement with a crisp nod. "Both goals before us are clear. We must enter the Photosphere to rescue Riesenlied and defeat Mother. I am afraid there is no other way."

    There's just... one problem.

    "Of course... attaining entry to the Photosphere..."

    Is another question, altogether.
    But remaining out here isn't an option even if they decided to attempt to sue for peace and leave all else by the wayside: out here, all they can do is continue to weather the attacks that are sure to come, and eventually, this place they have carved out will crumble.
    It all seems so clear to her. Press the attack, if only because they cannot profit from a prologued war.

    Where has she heard that said before...?

    And then, assuming they persevere, there is the matter of 'what comes after'.

    Her gaze hoods when Lanval speaks of the mood here. The people have been through much, and have little to bolster their spirits. That, too, is a risk. Where the spirit fails, the body follows.

    "The most we can do is to try," she says simply in the end. "Dean and Rebecca have taught me that much."

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

"Oh, I actually -- hm, no, I think it might not *keep*... or at least it wouldn't be warm..." Matilda pouts a little as she thinks about the inability of hot chocolate to be efectively transported. Truly cursed. "I think we have to assume that what comes after exists, of course, or there's really no point in it," Matilda finally says, though she doesn't sound convinced.

As Lanval speaks a little more, Matilda gives him a short, respectful nod. "I wouldn't blame them. I'm not exactly a woman of faith, myself -- at least not... regarding Filgaia," she says, looking up at the sky thoughtfully for a moment. "Something like this -- that's enough to disabuse anyone of something so..."

... she lets that drop, instead finally returning her attention to Avril. "... Yes, that's essentially the core of it. Our path forward lies into -- and through -- the Photosphere. And after that, well... I, at least..."

She lets out a long, slow breath. "I think we ought to take a long, hard look at the political organization of Ignas. So much of this would have been less... complex, if not for Aveh and Kislev..."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline nods sadly. Indeed, this was not yet a world where one could have a cup of hot chocolate ready and available for themselves at a moment's notice...

Lanval asks a question and Jacqueline looks toward him. It's true - the people of New Arctica were not strongly religious.

"I imagine...they must feel abandoned. But...I would not claim to know their true feelings on the matter." Jacqueline comments, then looks back to Avril.

She nods. Yes - they needed to enter the Photosphere, and they needed to rescue Riesenlied.

"Maybe we should ask Noeline... I would be surprised if she wasn't already working on a plan to infiltrate it." Jacqueline comments. Of course, a plan would only get them so far, but it was better than nothing.

"Ignas? ...It's true that their fighting has caused nothing but trouble, but I'm not sure where we'd even...begin, trying to get those two to agree to peace..." Jacqueline comments. Were they even aware of the looming threat? ...Did they even care?

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia walks back into New Arctica with her cart. Another supply run. On the plus side, it seems that she has regenerated her current cyborg-like body at the very least which probably indicates that she cares enough about herself right now to do such a thing.

Nevertheless, her mood is still pretty understandably 'down'. Sheblinks up at Jay, then looks over the others, looking down awkwardly when her gaze eventually settles on Avril. Sh quietly brings her head down as she starts dragging the cart along behind her wordlessly.

At least for the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval's sipping of the red liquid intensifies, and... that sort of rationing doesn't last too long for him, turns out. It's been very tough for him to get used to the idea of scarcity at all. He's from Lunar, where they hardly want for much in terms of sustenance. Now, all the way out here in Elru... well.
     Least he's water and can provide more of that.
     "Mmmm... shtill haven't sheen it yet, the Photoshphere." Oh, he's sure tried with his Fox Company friends! There are many false positives on record. Almost all of which were claimed by him. (He was enthusiastic.)
     "Iiii can kinda do warm water, shorta... ya want it hot, though," Lanval's offer starts to sound like maybe he's thinking better of it as he stirs from where he now sits, "yer gonna want one of 'em Fire Sheraphim..." He hasn't seen any around, which is both kind of bad for that express purpose, but also sort of a relief given... all that happened back at Lunar.
     Some of the melancholy of the air feeling so bleak catches between Matilda's gaze back up to the skies and himself, as the discussion takes an interesting turn over to Aveh and Kislev. He knows he's heard them several times in the context of there being a war.
     He's crossed back and forth at least once or twice between a territory they're said to have fought and it is so weird to very rarely see any Malevolence in its wake.
     "Y'think it hash anything ta do with the shize of Filgaia? They're jusht... over there, not thinkin' much of what'sh goin' on...?" Lanval asks, as Lydia starts coming back by. He can see the sadness in her, even when so much of the way she is is just foreign to him. Everything still is.
     "Heeeeeyyyy! Lydia." He tries to greet her cheerily. Try? He does, in fact, greet her cheerily, holding his nearly empty bottle of red potion stuff up as if to tast. "How've ya... er. What'sh been... mmmm..."
     That's when he catches on that maybe he didn't think this through, as he already knows the answers to both questions and they're nothing good.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "Yes. Asking her may be best," Avril agrees, dipping her head in a short nod. "I confess, I do not know how we might gain access." Which, even if they know perfectly what they must do, the broad strokes of the situation just won't be enough. There's the barrier, there's the matter of the horde of Metal Demons, eager to guard their homeland, there's the Quarter Knights, unknown territory, Mother herself...

    And that most dread of threats, the unknown unknowns. What they don't know about and thus cannot prepare for.

    And there won't be much time. Not if they're to rescue their friend... and not if they want to strike before they receive a blow they cannot sustain.

    The people here have no faith and little hope.

    Matilda's talk turns to politics, of the mechanisms of the greater nations of Ignas. Avril glances away. "I... do not know what might be best," she demures, unwilling/unable to engage in the matter of political discussion.

    Her gaze, fleetingly, meets that of Lydia, pulling her cart.

    What Lydia had said to her back there had left her speechless.
    She still doesn't have an answer, because she can't even answer her own questions.
    Not beyond the 'yes' that might have stood even if that encounter had never happened.

    Slipping the Medium into a pocket, Avril at last takes a sip of the contents of the flask. It's as warming as advertised, particularly against a grim cold.

    "The size of Filgaia..."

    She closes her eyes. "I wonder... if it is distance."

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda nods to Jay, saying, "If anyone would know, of course, it would be her -- and I think we'd want to have her... assent, to any such plan, in any event." She looks up to Lydia as she arrives, and gives a slightly forcedly enthusiastic wave, gesturing her over.

Lanval offers an explanation -- and Matilda has to think about it for a moment. "Mmm -- no, I don't think it's *just* the size... there's a certain perception of invincibility that sets in with a border, I suppose. Something that..." Glancing over to Avril, Matilda sees the discomfort, and decides for the moment to drop that line of thinking.

Instead, she takes a deep breath, and says, "... There's -- really nothing else, I suppose. We have a path before us and nothing but the hope -- and dread -- that comes from knowing that tomorrow will come, too. I think we simply have to make our peace with that."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia isn't expecting to be called out to though really she should have anticipated this form Lanval. Lydia turns towards the Seraph. She is not so cruel as to answer the questions, not in the clear and obvious way at least. She does smile just a touch because she has found Lanval to be one of the sweetest dorks around and she absolutely adores him.

"Hey," She says. "I'm okay 'cause we're gonna rescue mom and then we're going to kick Alhazred's ass so hard his Mother will feel it."

Pause. "Um, thanks for asking. You're a kind dude, Lanval."

She dips her head to him before sneaking a glance to Avril. She bites the inside of her cheek faintly, biting down instinct and pushing herself more towards the person she wants to be.

And she smiles at Avril too. It's a little more forced than with Lanval, but she's sure it won't be that long before it comes easy again.

Then of course Matilda waves her over and she has to waddle on towards the group instead, but she is kind of uncertain what they're talking about. Maybe in general she understands but the specifics escape her.

A path before us, though, she latches onto that.

"Yeah, it's kinda easier when you've really got one route to go huh?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"She - and the rest of the team - probably know more about the inner workings of the Photosphere than...well, anyone else we could talk to. I think sitting down with them all and discussing a course of action would probably be our best bet..." Jacqueline says. They might even still have a set of working coordinates they could go off of.

Avril turns away from the talk of politics and Jacqueline nods. It was a difficult subject, she didn't blame her. There were a lot of complicated feelings on the line there.

She sends Lydia a smile as she approaches them, then listens to Matilda speak.

One path before them, and nothing but hope and dread...

"...Well, at least we don't have to walk it alone." She says.