2018-12-27: The Spirit of the Gutter

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  • Log: The Spirit of the Gutter
  • Cast: Riesenlied, Noeline, Lydia Seren, Maya Schrodinger
  • Where: New Petra
  • Date: 27th December 2018
  • Summary: Riesenlied and Noeline spend time with Lydia and Maya as they make the rounds to greet the new (old) Tainted.


<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied has been... asleep.

It's been a long time since she got up; it seems as if she wasn't, for a long while. Pushed beyond exhaustion by the use of Laevateinn in a state where she shouldn't be doing anything strenuous, experiencing a mental landscape that probably wasn't terribly conducive to her own thoughts...

...

But now she is awake. Because life has to go on.

She's seated beside a brightly shining window on the Fereshte on a wheelchair that Cetiri and the others, if not Lydia herself, has found her. Her scales have grown over her moreso than ever; her legs jut out without her caring to hide them, neither does she hide the grafted Medium on her neck. Mikaia's tightly curled up in her lap as she strokes her hair gently, Janey a bundle-wire of energy not too far away as she gazes...

Gazes...

Out towards the skies so blue.

She's struggling, but is trying to not look too melancholy. The skies are blue, her beloved, her family, her friends are here...

Outside, the Tainted and the Azadians are working at over capacity as they tend to the worst-off of their kin. There are plenty who were not in any capacity to move themselves who need a lot of sustained care they didn't receive in the Gutter.

The fragile seed which has bloomed into a tiny white flower continues to grow, even in the parched desert soil.

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline hasn't left Riesenlied's side or stopped being in physical contact with her for some time... though she hasn't exactly been sleeping well either, a rather fitful sort of rest that's been punctuated by many little moments of pent-up energy where she's really not sure what to do with herself. Even she can admit to having times where she becomes overwhelmed, and it's taking her a long time to come down from an adrenaline high that feels like it's lasted a month or more.

She's sat with Riese now, of course; she at least is looking a lot more hale and hearty at this point, even if she's still in the midst of processing everything that's gone on. Every so often, she prods Janey with little tasks - keeps the girl moving and busy, not letting her dwell on anything too hard if she can help it. And, just as often, grabs Janey to tug her closer - knowing that they're both the sort to need a bit more than distractions from time to time.

"... you should go out and see them. We both should, really," she ventures softly as she places a hand at Riesenlied's shoulder to rub there for a moment, but doesn't push things more than that. While she's visibly grateful that the senior members of the Outreach - not to mention their daughters - have been able to handle things in their stead, she's alsoaware that it's in Riesenlied's nature to want to help, and that sitting in a room convalescing probably isn't going to help as much as getting outside to see people.

... which probably means tiring herself out with worry again, Noeline has chuckled to herself more than once the past week. But, such is life.

Her determined cheer does falter a little as she looks out across the Old Petra camp; that bit at the back of her head is evaluating their supplies, wondering where they're going to get more, quietly listing through possible allies they could ask for assistance. But--

--her fingers slowly curl through some of Riesenlied's hair, her touch affectionate, and then she repeats the same to Mikaia where her other daughter is curled up in Riesenlied's lap. "... it'll mean a lot to them. And I think it'll mean a lot to you, too."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren spent some time of course with Riesenlied after their return to New Petra but she had to pay a visit to the Baskar Colony to let them know what had happened. She couldn't leave them in the dark! They're her people after all! Plus she kind of wanted the town to be sure to know that she helped save the world. It was a great day for business (and more importantly shoving her biological parents' faces in it! Hey, she isn't holding a grudge, but that doesn't mean she can't enjoy a hero's welcome. She earned that!

But of course, her journey isn't really over and now she is making her way back to New Petra.

BGM Interrupt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDbInnB4aBE

A gigantic bouquet (for Filgaia) is making its way through New Petra. Who could be holding this mysterious item?? Well it's Lydia obviously. The bouquet wielding baskar makes her way towards Riesenlied. It seems the bouquet comes with some soil along the bottom with the hopes that the flowers can be transplanted. Please don't grill Lydia's player on flower facts, she's doing her best!

Lydia kicks the door open and practically explodes inside. She sets down the bouquet nearby, grinning widely with her many sharp fangs.

"I'm back!" She says. "I told the Baskar what happened and we gathered up some cute stuff for you! That's why it took me a bit longer ha ha ha, apparently gardening is a lot of work." Lydia's eyes widen in faux-terror before she gives Riesenlied a big hug.

"Need help with anything?" Lydia asks. "I can check on folks if you want. Or or uh.... any errands....you need? I can do 'em!" She glances to Noeline. "Or...I can.... drag you outside against your will???"

<Pose Tracker> Maya Schrodinger has posed.

Concerned conversations and lowered voices resonate gently through the Fereshte's sitting room like the babbling of a gentle brook. The thrum of distant machinery and ancient engines weaves warmly around the noise, a cozy blanket studded occasionally with sequins of quiet chirps. It would be difficult to create such a relaxing aural backdrop - only through nature and coincidence does such arise.

One more noise joins the symphony: the click of a mechanical pencil.

Scant moments after a Lydia-shaped meteor bursts through the door and showers both the beloved Tainted in affection and attention, a familiar blonde lady lingers in the entrance with a small collection of metal tablets under one arm, and a thick hardcover binder to write in. Someone's getting started on studying the Hyadean language.

"A few of the others were worried Lydie would be too noisy, and I said that's exactly what you might need right now." Maya points out with a sedate smile on her face. Today's mode of dress: a crisp white long-sleeved blouse and sharply-ironed cream trousers. Also a sky-blue ribbon and matching brooch. Pretty!

"Now, should I prepare a picnic for when you're dragged outside against your will~?"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Maybe it's the impromptu shouting match they had in Fei's mind (its a long story ok), but Riesenlied does appear to have taken those words well to heart, being there to support Noeline through the times where /she's/ the one being overwhelmed; even if it's just quietly holding hands, offering her a quiet smile...

Because it's easy to dwell on the negatives. To not tell yourself of what she does have, and what she -- no, what /they/ have to look forward to.

Riesenlied quietly nods towards Noeline as she urges them to go see them. "I think that's a good idea..." she whispers, her voice a bit hoarse at times. Fortunately, it hasn't been one of those times where it just gutters out completely.

She pauses, and then flits just a little bit as she catches that gaze. "... let's help where we can, and leave the rest to the others. We know they're all extremely capable," she reminds her.

But then a Nanami song starts playing, and she blinks and smiles as she sees the bouquet from the window. She looks towards Noeline and says, "Let's go greet our daughter," with warmth in her voice.

It doesn't take long for them to come see each other, of course. There's a delighted smile on her face as she laces her hands together, saying, "Welcome back, Lydia. It's really gorgeous-- oh, I must give Aunt Halle my own thanks..." she bobs her head just for a moment as she leans somewhat fragilely towards the hug, squeezing her daughter while trying to not get her mess of scales or grafts on her.

Then she spots Maya, her smile warming up further as she beckons in so that she can join in the hug. It's hugs for everyone today. "You're right. Some cheer is exactly what I need, hehe..."

"We were just about to go tour and say hello to some of our newcomers. We can stop by the garden and leave the flowers with Val to plant--" she tilts her head. "I assume that's what the transplant is for?" She blinks a few times and says, "We can have a picnic later, but I'd love your company right now, Maya."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Slowly, Noeline nods in response to Riesenlied's comment, still feeling a little hesitant; she's used to Riesenlied being injured and low, but never quite to this degree, and she's wavering a little in how exactly to handle things. Rather than voice it, she just lets it out in a sigh, lowering her head to the other Hyadean's hair to leave a light kiss there.

That does at least let her spot the bouquet, snorting in amusement as she watches it waddle forwards through the main path that leads through the settlement; she tilts her head to point it out to Riese, slowly raising her eyebrows as it rounds upon the Fereshte. It isn't unusual to find herself quietly counting under her breath as she tracks it moving through the ship towards their cabin--

--so she's turning as Lydia explodes through the door, already huffing out an amused breath as she rotates Riesenlied's chair towards the door to make it easier to lunge for her. "You're getting soil everywhere!" she complains, though not seriously as she watches the pair embrace. Instead, she's got a lopsided smile on her face, letting out a theatrical sigh as she not-quite-so-theatrically picks at her hair.

"Honestly, everyone is so good at doing their jobs I sometimes wonder why they need us around," she grumbles - but relents a moment later. Since the Photosphere, she's been purposefully including herself in the same breath as Riese when talking about leadership, getting herself used to the idea bit by bit. "And I was /going/ to wait on that last part until we were absolutely sure that Riese was alright. Still--... well, I can't deny I was just thinking the same thing."

She glances at Maya at the door, and lets out another amused sigh; if there's been a lot of them recently, it's just because it's her own way to slowly wind herself down from the tension of everything that's happened. "... I think that might be a good idea, mind you," she adds to Riesenlied's comment. "Just-- give us a little while, perhaps. I still don't have much of an appetite, but I know that's no excuse at all. Fresh air comes first, I think."

So saying, she's gently wheeling Riesenlied (and Lydia, and Mikaia) forwards towards the door. "Still, I feel a little guilty for missing everything the last couple of weeks. Even if we've had a neverending trail of people to wish us well or ask us questions."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Mayaaa!!" Lydia says before pausing and tilting her head. "Woah cool, you're learning Hyadean? Oh man... that's wicked." Lydia hugs Riesenlied like she's afraid she might fly away. She might go back to normal hugs in a month or so.

Noeline points out she's making a mess. "Gah---sorry! This isn't really my specialty. uhh. uhhh..." She drops down and starts gathering soil in her hands. Now her hands are dirty and honestly her attempts are probably making things worse.

She gives up after a bit and then attempts to give Noeline a hug too after sort of dusting her hands off her legs. Despite Noeline having not been kidnapped, the hug is of similar strength. She missed you every moment.

"So--" Lydia turns towards Maya. "Are we all Schrodingers now? Is that how it works? I can't quiet down if you want!!"

That's a lie.

She fingerguns at Maya too. "Looking good."

Riesenlied mentions thanking 'Aunt Halle'. "She'd like that." Lydia says. "Especially if you bribe her."

<Pose Tracker> Maya Schrodinger has posed.

The very normal human girl in the doorway vacates the space for a wheelchair to be pushed, eyebrows arched. She lays a hand on Riesenlied's shoulder while Lydia hugs the stuffing out of the Outreach's heart and soul, assuming the Cool Attitude. "Yep," she confirms for the excitable beastgirl's sake. "With the big base all gone now, I figured I'd better get cracking on figuring out the written word. I'm hoping I can do the book thing," she wiggles her mechanical pencil as she says 'the book thing', not knowing what to call her own weird ability, "in case it winds up saving some lives, you know?"

There's a pause at Lydia's offer to become a Schrodinger. Maya puts the eraser-tip to her chin. "You don't have to? Your own name is very pretty, don't be so quick to throw it out!"

To Noeline, then, the blonde hands small foil packet with a straw sticking out of the top. The Hyadean equivalent of those gelly drinks everyone takes with them cycling/hiking. "Well, no need to stop for a picnic on my account yet, but at least put something in your stomachs. If you two fell over from hunger on my watch, I'd get tossed off the ship!"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied has a pleasant little laugh as she leans in for a quick kiss on the cheek to Noeline in turn, aww. She winks to her and replies, "It's okay. No one ever said the Fereshte's halls and deck were meant to be pristine." She smiles along with Noeline and looks towards her as she lets her partner in life wheel her along.

"The same reason why we need them around, and everyone else here, mm...? It wouldn't have been possible without just one of us here, we wouldn't have come as far..." Riesenlied is in the habit of answering Noeline's rhetorical questions seriously, it seems.

She does smile a bit more richly towards her to say, "If you've been coaxing me food, then I get to coax you to have food as well. And it's fine... it's fine to ease off and detach ourselves once in a while. Especially after all we've been through."

Riesenlied doesn't admit it right now, but there are times when she feels like she might fly away too. Lydia's hugs are grounding. She does offer her a large handkerchief, part of a little kit that she's been momly doting Mikaia with.

She does smile quietly towards Maya's own efforts to learn their language, saying, "I can help teach you as well. I used to help a number of the Tainted learn it back in the Gutter, so I like to think I have some ability... but of course, more teachers are appreciated as well."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

This time, Noeline laughs as she shakes her head, raising one hand to make an effort at calming Lydia down. "--it's fine, it's fine - somehow, I doubt a little soil will harm us all that much at this point--" is what she starts to say, but then she snorts as she also receives a hug, not even complaining at the prospect of mud on her dress as she places an arm around Lydia in turn. (That, more than anything, is surely the biggest indicator that she's tired.)

"Somehow, I expect everyone would just go 'oh, it's those two being those two again'," she puffs back at Maya, but she does accept the pack to take a long drink from it, then offers it downwards towards Riesenlied's good hand with a little nudge against it. "... still, I'm sorry we couldn't find more to salvage for you, though-- well, at the same time, that might be for the best for the time being," she sounds a little far-off as she picks up Riesenlied's statement, furrowing her brow for a moment. "I certainly didn't fancy having people of all kinds picking across the Photosphere's remains."

Noeline's pace with the wheelchair is relaxed; it feels like the first time in a very long time that they aren't having to rush, and she's at least taking the chance to enjoy it as she leans in to accept the kiss. "... I know," she grumbles in return, a fondness creasing the corners of her attempt to put on a frown. "Really, it was almost astonishing to return here and find everything standing for once. I'm not even sure I remember what it's like to take a holiday," she notes playfully, but one hand sneaks to Riesenlied's shoulder to give it a private little squeeze.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Haha, alright." Lydia says to Maya. "But thank you for being here."

Lydia knows that Riesenlied is hurting because of what she's been through, what she has yet to go through, and what she lost but she's intent on keeping a positive outlook. Honestly, part of why she went to the Colonies was to work out her own feelings on the matter. Still, by now, she has largely settled her own turbulent emotions. As someone who used to have an asteroid for a head, she's used to being the rock. "You're going to write a book? That is so cool. I want to learn it too." So she can swear in it probably lets be real here.

"Well, that must mean it's a lucky spot." Lydia says to Noeline. "Isn't it nice to know you've got a peaceful home you can return to? I didn't think something like that would be so hard to find, but I guess that's so you don't take it for granted?"

"Man, actually if I learned Hyadean, maybe I'd understand what Kalve was saying half the time..." She mulls it over as she takes Riesenlied's offer kerchief to properly clean her hands. You can tell she loves you because she is bothering to clean her hands. With your kerchief, to be fair, but baby steps...baby steps...

"Though man...I'm really glad for the break. I see myself as a hard worker but hooboy, appreciating this vacation."

<Pose Tracker> Maya Schrodinger has posed.

Riese sweetly offers to teach Maya the language, to which the studious Outreach member offers but a quiet grin. "If you'll teach me. It sounds like we can use all the help we can get, and I didn't meet a strange new language I didn't like!" but she does not push the point. The lady is tired, after all.

She also doesn't push the pace. There's no hurry to get abovedecks, and it's all about the journey. Not the destination. Not just now, but in general. Maya puts a finger on her neck upon hearing Noeline's apology. "Eh? Are you apologizing to me for what happened in there, or?" it sounds incredulous, if not offended. "I'm past pretending I'm only doing things for -material- gain, sheesh."

Also: Maya leans towards Lydia, pointer finger outstretched. The tutor pose. "From what little I know of Kalve," she offers, "I'm not sure either of us stand a chance of understanding anything he says. It all sounds too scientific for me."

Is she coasting, after the events of the Photosphere? It's hard to say. All is tentatively quiet, as the various forces convening on Elru retreat to lick their wounds and count their blessings that Filgaia wasn't razed to the ground again. But something about Maya's routines and attitude suggest she's shaping up to race for the next horizon... as human fools are ever prone to doing.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

There's a very tender chuckle as Riesenlied leans over with that handkerchief and dabs it on Noeline's clothes for a moment, looking up towards again for a moment longer. There's a pause between the two, as she accepts that drink from Noeline and takes a little sip from it rather than a glug.

"... I heard it crashed into the ocean ... I wasn't-- awake for the aftermath," Riesenlied murmurs for a moment. She pauses for a moment as her eyes glaze over for a moment, biting her lip.

Her head droops for a moment, but she pauses as she smiles again at Noeline, like she's catching herself. She knows she's not always the bedrock of support, that she has to lean on Noeline and Lydia, as much as she wants to centre herself and not be the one hurt and throwing herself out on a limb again...

She's learning, maybe. And that's fine, a mom's kerchief is meant to get dirty cleaning her daughters.

"I know Hyadean and some of the things he says is beyond me, as is Cetiri and the other scientific types," Riesenlied does find herself chuckling, agreeing with Maya. She does smile to say, "Modern Hyadean is probably very much separated from our ancients'. I know the Gutter's own dialect has differed much to just what we needed, for instance."

Noeline brings Riesenlied outside, followed by the others, and several of the Tainted nearby an outdoors tent wave towards the group. Some of them rather clearly recognising Riesenlied and Noeline, but amiably waving to the others too.

Unlike the Tainted they're used to around New Petra, these people were clearly not in a state to be moved much -- lying on stretchers, with large gash and bite marks over their bodies; they're receiving some extended and intensive care, though their metallic nature does offer some advantages.

"Hello there, Miss Riesenlied, Miss Noeline!" one of them speaks -- not through their mouth, but through a crude speaker attached to what passes for an output jack on the side of their body. "And, these are your daughters I heard?" A Tainted nurse chimes in, "That's Lydia and Maya! They're extremely sweet!"

A sound wave on a screen is pulsating in and out as they speak. It's kinda cool, and rainbow coloured too.

A pause, as they glance back towards the others resting at present. "I'm getting an operation with Cetiri next week. She says she'll be able to give me a voice and legs again. I've never seen this land before... Ignas, was it? I never thought we all would be able to see..."

The sound wave shrinks.

"Well, the outside of the Gutter, ever... but... you all really did it. If it weren't for you, we'd all be dead by now. I know a lot of the others want to express their gratitude... but-- thank you."

A pause.

"All of you!"

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

"... 'lucky', I'm not so sure about. It's been attacked at least once before," Noeline points out, though the rather sensible comment is cut with an amused smile as she shakes her head. "I think, if there is one thing I have learnt to do in my time here amidst the rest of the Tainted, it is definitely to not take anything at all for granted. ... how were the Baskar, in any event? Riese is right - we really should go offer our thanks, and talk some things through..."

She trails off, because thinking about major things is still a bit difficult. Instead, she huffs out a breath in Maya's direction. "Not for material gain - but I don't doubt you're enough of a scholar to want to have recovered more information on our culture. Frankly, /I'd/ like to have recovered a little more information along those lines as well, but... that feeling is a bit bittersweet, right now. At the very least, I'm glad no-one else is going to get much of a chance to try to strip it for parts."

She leaves the topic quickly, at least, and with a hand still at Riesenlied's arm, uncaring of the scaling as she drifts it slowly up and down in support. What happened to the Photosphere - and her partner's state throughout - is something that she's still trying to treat rather lightly. She doesn't shy away from it completely, knows you can't really just ignore something so monumental - but it's a matter of not dwelling on it for too long at a time. The smile she offers Riesenlied is patient and affectionate, even if it's laced through with much in the way of tireness.

Noeline is still not really used to being in the public eye as a figure to look /up/ to, rather than one that just exists to dance around the periphery. She is at least trying her best, and it's been a long time since she actively shied away from it - but the soft huff under her breath is still a little bashful as she bows her head in recognition.

"Just Noeline is fine," she says for what feels like the tenth time this week, not certain that it will ever stick. "Some of them, at least. Janey is around as well - that's the kid who helped realign your arm. Mikaia is currently curled up in Riesenlied's lap, for that matter."

She falls silent as the Tainted goes through a moment of wonder, then chuckles under her breath. "Really, you should--" comes the automatic reply before she catches herself, glances for a moment at Riese, and chuckles. "... of course. But everyone pulled together, not just us."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Yeah but that doesn't count. That's the Old Petra. This is New Petra." Lydia says. "Way cooler."

Lydia does follow after Riesenlied, though, grinning as she sees The Speaker of the Tainted. Er. Well a Tainted's speaker. And a nurse! "Yeah that's me, sweeter than a bag full of lemons!" Don't...don't correct her about lemons it's okay. It's just her way of being modest. "Oh man, is that like your voice scientifically processed and printed out on the screen?? How fascinating! I kind of want to uhhh not do any weird science." She straightens. "Well welcome to Filgaia! For real! I won't say there's no danger to it but uh...it's probably less dangerous here than uh ... where you were." Pause. "Cause it got incinerated." Pause. "Um. Well, Moms did a lot of advocacy for y'all so I don't think it'll be too bad. Plus you get to see the sun eh? Pretty nice huh? Did you know that the sun is a star and thus totally under the perview of Rigdobrite who is one of the really cool Guardians?? I mean they're all cool. Except Moor Gault. He's hot."

Pause.

"Uh. that's a joke." She looks towards Maya for a moment.

"I...I'm a scientist too! So that means I'll be able to understand what he says."

<Pose Tracker> Maya Schrodinger has posed.

There is a moment where Maya contemplates, nay, almost -reacts- to Riese's inquiry of what the aftermath was by preparing to tell her what happened. However, she knows better than this and is not without heart. Her mind works quicker than her mouth, and she merely swans to the next topic as they egress from the Fereshte's interior and into the sunlight. "Well. Dialects are always a catch, aren't they? I'll probably take months to read half a page of the technical stuff we recovered... just no rushing it, I guess."

One of the heavily-modified tainted greets Maya and Lydia as Riese's (newest) daughters. The blonde grins a calm little grin at that, fluffing her own hair vainly. "You know, there's a lot more than just us who helped clear things out--but you're welcome all the same. Biggest thing I've ever been a part of!" there's no denying she feels pretty big about it. But not too boastful.

Oh, Noeline was also getting to that. Well, they don't talk over each other anyway. RPG text boxes are wonderful. "I think she's kind of a big deal." Maya deadpans, a thumb jerked Noeline's way. "She's not gonna come out and say it, but you know, she is."

Lydia comes in at the last second to remind Maya she was kidding. Book-girl flatly stares back at her, and then across at Riese. "... well, I mean, he's still indecipherable, but I get you." and then she ruffles the girl's hair for good measure, adoringly. "Speaking of science. Maybe you're gonna get to help teach some of the youngest, huh? That could be cool."

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied tries to not show her bristling as Noeline points out New Petra's been attacked before. She maybe hasn't quite tried to think about the whole Fei is Id thing more than she needs to, more than she has within the mental landscape. She's still not sure how to feel next time she sees him and Elly and the others, and it's the kind of thing that's festering in her mind and becoming more anxious the more she thinks.

To not take things for granted... well, certainly those who have only stayed in the Gutter and never realised they could have more certainly don't.

She chews on her lip further, shoulders a bit more hunched as she looks up towards her. Some part of her is still glad she's willing to touch her scales, after all. Watching that smile that she can get lost in all day long, even if they both remind each other of their weariness and damage.

But they'll get there.

She does smile as Lydia insists on the difference between Old and New Petra. That's right... this place will have a new history.

"Technical manuals are beyond me half the time... I imagine our spoken language is easier," Riesenlied chuckles bashfuly to Maya. And to the Tainted--

"I'm glad to have you here with us," Riesenlied speaks as she finds herself sneaking her hand closer to squeeze to Noeline's. Needy.

"There are so many children here," speaks Ms. Speaker Soundwave. Maybe she'll become a transformer one day. The kind that makes sure you don't fry your electronic devices. Not something that meets more than the eye. She looks to the sound wave. "And that's right, Noeline. I can already feel the spirit of the Gutter being carried here... hee hee. Maybe even more successful than before, given that there are humans, beastmen, and others here?"

She smiles at Lydia and the sound wave bursts to light.

"That's right, Lydia! Long ago I lost my voice because of a Metal Beast. Then some of the folks down at the Gutter hooked me up to this old announcement system and I've been nicknamed Miss Isahorn since then. 'Because she isahorn,' get it? Hee hee."

She smiles as she nods towards Lydia as she explains about Filgaia. "I'm sure we can live with it. I used to be one of the people who'd alert the folks whenever they'd toss Metal Beasts down! And, well, if you'll allow me being impolite for a second, I prefer the heat rather than needing polymer solution to stop my joints from freezing solid."

She cackles very gently -- because the speakers will rupture otherwise -- and says to Maya, "She is a very big deal. Many of us would have to cheer poor little Riesey--" Riesey? "--that she would come back for her, don't worry! She hasn't forgotten!"

oh no, riese is already burying herself in noeline in embarrassment...

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

With another snort, Noeline plonks her hand atop Lydia's head between the horns. "Lydia is an engineer, a pilot, and a shaman," she fills in the gaps in her daughter's motor-mouthing for the sake of the possibly-lost Tainted. "And one of our links to the Baskar tribes, a group who talk to the Guardians. She's done a lot to help bridge the gap." She pauses, and then allows herself a playful grin. "Though what will happen from now on, I can't say. We make do, so far."

Another pause, and then Noeline looks between Maya and Riesenlied as she says the mental note aloud: "We're going to have to give a lot of geography lessons." It's one more thing to note down in her head, though at least that's a more pleasant thought than a lot of the things that need organizing.

She fluffs a bit at Maya's thumbing in her direction, looking across with a theatrical glum pout. "You know, rather a lot of the people here probably still remember me more as some weirdo who vanished for a couple of centuries then swore blind she was a Crimson Noble. Not that I'm /not/," she adds immediately, because she still has enough pride to carry herself even through a blatant white lie. "But I'm still used to tempering people's expectations a little."

It's said pleasantly, at least, and her hand gently closes around Riesenlied's as their fingers entwine to offer some silent and private support. It actually takes her a few moments to realize that the Hyadean they've greeted is perhaps a bit older and wiser than the two of them, and that makes her grin pleasantly out of sheer respect. "You don't know the half of it. Many of the people here technically come from another world. Now /that/ will need some serious explaining. ... but... I would like to think you're quite right."

And then she clamps her mouth shut for a stunned moment, and looks down to the blonde slowly curling up against her. "... Riesey," she ventures after a long pause, her voice deadpan. "Exactly how many people knew about the two of us dancing around each other?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Riesey?

Lydia looks towards Riesenlied. The ends of her lips curl up like the Grinch's. "Riesey?" She asks diabolically. "I like it!" She doesn't really know about how obvious Noeline and Riesenlied were before meeting them, but after meeting them it was pretty obvious. Even for Lydia. Who sometimes is bad at reading social cues.

"They came from the moon. Course I don't think odds are great we'll make it back there anytime soon." Probably in Chapter 4 if you think about the time it'd make to learn rocket science and then send one to the moon. Yep. That's how it's going to happen.

"Oh." Lydia says to Maya. "Sorry." Her cheeks turn bright silver as she looks at the floor. "U..um..." She looks back to Miss Speaker. "I know I'm pretty, uh, metal but I'm a Baskar, promise." Cheeks go even more silver. She doesn't add any more RPG text boxes for a bit. Weirdly, she doesn't comment on that Fei guy at all. She is probably not a fan.

"Well that's neat." She says eventually. "Now I get to see the Spirit of the Gutter! I didn't even know there was a Spirit of the Gutter."

She seems confused for a moment when she says she's going to be impolite and then doesn't hear anything impolite. "Well....yeah! Sure! That makes sense."

She looks at Riesenlied. It makes sense right???

<Pose Tracker> Maya Schrodinger has posed.

The corners of Maya's mouth practically crinkle upwards as she fails utterly to stymie a smile. R i e s e y. . .

"Well," she begins to answer Noeline's question of 'how many people know'. "It isn't really a very well-kept secret, if you've eyes to look at the both of you. I think I had an idea before I truly got to know you, so..." and there's a lighthearted shrug, as if to say, 'what can you do?'

The blonde leaves poor Lydia to be embarrassed, but only for a bit, as she circles around Riesenlied's wheelchair while thinking aloud. Noeline also points out that nearly everyone here is an alien of some kind, and Maya taps a finger on her cheek with another amused smile at that. "Well, it isn't -that- bad. Is it?" and her hands go to her hips. "I'm one of the locals and I say you fit in better than most I've met, so," she soon gestures to the assembled tainted. "I think you'll find your places here in time. Sure, it won't be easy, but that's what we're here for, isn't it?"

There's a ceremonial dusting of the hands, as if Maya's simple declaration means that things will turn out alright. Maybe the less she thinks about something, the more likely it is to come true. It's a good time for her to return to Lydia's side, like the meddling big sister she is. "Pretty sure the spirit of The Gutter is the way you've seen Riesey and Noeliney carrying on since we met them!"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

Riesenlied lets out an even more embarrassed noise as Miss Speaker continues on with that rambling-cackling way of hers to Noeline, "Weirdo?? Oh no, oh no, a lot of us nosy, older folk had to console poor Riesey after you left, and she sobbed and begged us and said 'this time it's for real'--"

"aaaaaaaa" Riesenlied interjects.

"Poor little thing was sobbing in her room for days," she relentlessly continues the assault. Isn't this Cetiri's job...? Or perhaps she's become far too calm to really be a teasing mom. "'It's okay, she'll be back and grander and more gallant than ever, honey'--"

uh oh Riesenlied's cheeks have become a perfectly round thing.

She is listening, though, as she muses, "From the moon?? Well, we've heard stranger things sometimes, but that's still pretty strange. But who're we to judge? I've listened to a kind older man speak about his apple orchard five paces out of Azado, but I thought it was just a place here in Ignas, huhu."

Riesenlied's cheeks are still deeply red as she looks towards Maya with a louder pout. It's a soundless pout, but you can just /feel/ its intensity rising.

Ms. Speaker does cackle on as she looks to Maya and says, "Truth. That is the spirit of the Gutter."

<Pose Tracker> Noeline has posed.

Noeline rests her free hand on her hip as she glances across to Lydia; she looks quietly pleased at the girl letting slip the truth of her shaman-ness, and also significantly at ease - already having long-since figured out that this particular Tainted isn't going to be one of the hardliners. Or at least she'd like to look proud, but it's mostly an attempt to divert away the embarrassment she's feeling as Isahorn continues teasing the pair of them both, her cheeks scoring with colour as she huffs out a breath.

"... well!-- we had a couple hundred years of history prior to that fact! By the time we met you I was more or less at Riese's side from then on!" she tries to defend herself to Maya with a significant pout, then raises her hand to rake it through a twintail as she grumbles under her breath. "... I... was rather less aware of what I should be doing back then, and a good bit more selfish. I should hope I've at least made up for that just a little by now!"

She does at least run her fingers through Riesenlied's hair, cradling the other woman close. "... there, there," she huffs, and sneaks an affectionate kiss down onto the other Hyadean's forehead. She can't resist the light grin, though. "... though, if this is going to be common, perhaps it's best to know about it now..."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia grins. "Truth huh! That's a good spirit!"

She smiles at the embarrassed Riesenlied as she hears the story. Then--oh no! Riesenlied is pouting! Noeline is pouting! Everybody is pouting!! Wait is Maya pouting?? No Maya seems to create pouts in others not simply provide them. Big sister Maya! Well, she'll always be a hero to Lydia. Even if she teases poor Noeline and Riesenlied. It's fond teasing! Lydia can tell the difference.

"I like hearing those stories," Lydia admits. "They're very sweet and cute and, well, that means she knows what to do next time I get worked up over it, right?"

Her grin widens briefly, but she seems to be calming down all told.

"I'm glad so many of you made it out." She says, more seriously. "I was worried the Fereshte was gonna fall apart carrying so many folks and... Luckily I've got plenty of time to work on it 'fore we go traveling again." Pause. "Hopefully."

<Pose Tracker> Maya Schrodinger has posed.

Maya returns Riesenlied's gaze as the queen of round things and winged things pouts and stares at her with reddening cheeks. She seems quietly pleased with herself, and gently pats Riese on the cheeks before they puff up too far. "Oh, come on, you know I only say this kinda stuff from a place of love, don'tcha?" with pure and honest spirit in her words. Maybe it isn't so cruel, right...? And Noeline is there with the assist, too. A reminder that these two have more time together than Maya has years--well, in total. "Oh, that's a good point. These things don't just happen overnight, huh."

A reminder for Lydia, or rather, a confirmation: no, Maya is not pouting. I think she rarely pouts, or is at least rarely given chance or occasion to pout. She relents from poor Riese, who needs a few moments to calm down. Lydia is right on the money about the poor Fereshte needing work! "Oh--yeah, we've got a heck of a lot of stuff to tune up on the ship. I'm not trained up about this kinda thing so you're gonna be leading the charge." a pause. "A, uh, an increase in speed might be a good idea. If we can swing it. Without falling apart."