2019-03-27: Personal Monster

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<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

<Irving.> <Come in, Irving...> <mrgrgr....direct lines are possible but no telepath towers here. Can I jury rig on? pah, better stop before someone picks it up...>

Marivel has sat herself down on one of the port's warehouse roofs but her attempt here may just be an act of minor desperation. She is not in contact with Irving and she really ought to be. She showed up to fight Odessa as a personal favor to Irving but look where /that/ has got her? Hopefully this is not going to be a trend.

Nevertheless, Marivel. She is covered head to toe. On her head there is a black mage cap (she lost the straw one) and thick red robes covered in patches and long sleeves. Of her face, its mostly just her eyes that are visible and they are indeed a bright crimson red.

She may be biding her time, to an extent, to meet one of the recent recruits, one she has not had the chance to talk with, but so far her experiments here and elsewhere jave proven to be busts.

Tis frustrating but tis the present fate.

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

It has been... an exciting few days. 'Exciting' not being the /best/ word precisely, but one that at least more or less fits. There was the speech. There was the /trip/ in the first place, and all the combat. There was... the awful speech. There was the admittedly fascinating experience of incredibly long-range teleportation. And then...

Well, of all the places that a daughter of the House of Klein could find herself, at sea is definitely not the worst. Via charm, luck, and a bit of outright cheating, she managed passage on a ship to the nearest center of civilization, and now...

Well, now she hasn't met /anyone/ she knows here, in the least. The fashions are all terribly different, she stands out with her pointed ears (which at the moment are covered with a convenient headband she picked up), and... honestly...

It's /terribly/ warm for how she's dressed. The young sorceress is a bit miserable. However, there is hope.

"Ah!"

Eleanor hops in place, from down below on the ground, looking up to the warehouse Marivel is seated on. "Hello?" She asks. "Hello!" she tries again, waving both of her hands. She has a satchel of items, and... well, is clearly Filgaian.

"You're looking for Irving, aren't you?"

...there's certainly space in her jacket pockets for an Empathite radio, though.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

For an elf, it isn't as if someone who looks on the edge of eighteen is going to neccessarily be someone on the edge of eighteen but from Marivel's understanding Eleanor actually IS around that age and--well, honestly, Marivel knows the tricks to hided pointed ears, weirdly enough. She tends to give headbands a bit of a look.

Marivel removes her Empathite radio from behind her ear (Eleanor may get a glimpse that Marivel ALSO has pointy ears) before she slides the radio back into her robes. She IS terribly hot but she doesn't seem to be sweating, she doesn't exactly look happy to be out in this weather, though. She'd much rather rest in one of the cafes away from the windows or in the moonflow where the sun is much kinder.

Mage prodigy, Marivel thinks to herself. More to it? Mayhaps. Not really her business or problem just yet, though.

"Yes," She calls down. "Unfortunately without a signal booster I'm doubtful we will be able to reach him." Could she jury-rig something together? Possibly but... "And without a proper power source, we may be out of luck. Ah, but I should try to avoid depressing our new recruit on our first meeting."

She hops down from the rooftop, landing right on her feet.

"You are from the Klein family, yes? Eleanor Klein?"

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

It's a rare quality! But Eleanor is indeed a /young/ elf, and has many years before her before her apparent age and her true age start to mismatch. Who knows how many? Elven lifespans, after all, are quite variable. ...But, well, she's not /used/ to hiding her ears, so she's not doing a terribly good job of it in the first place to Marivel's trained eye.

Eleanor makes a show, as Marivel removes her radio, of doing the same from her own and slipping it into a jacket pocket. She offers a warm, friendly smile--the look of a girl used to charming people.

"I expect the same," Eleanor admits--but says no more before Marivel hops down on her feet. She smiles a bit wider at the way the other woman--girl?--woman--can land so gracefully. "I suspect you're right," she admits. "Judging from the sky, we are... quite distant from our previous position."

She laughs briefly. "It's kind of you to think so. Am I so new? I suppose it's true that given our... difficulties in transit, I have not yet encountered more than Irving himself."

A beat, "But you're quite right! I am Eleanor. I suppose titles matter little so far away from my home, hm?" She shakes her head, and extends a hand. "But I'm not too bothered by that much. I am... /concerned/, for what must be happening back home, but I will have to trust in our family's forces in the meantime. Still--may I ask your name? I... am afraid you have me at a disadvantage."

Sweat sweat.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

She doesn't look comfortable in the heat, but she sure has energy to spare. Marivel reflects on this a moment.

"New to me," Marivel says, a crooked faint smile peeking up over her ... is she seriously wearing a scarf in this weather?! She is. "Less so to Irving, I imagine."

She is hardly one to begrudge charming others, or being charming, or otherwise passing charisma rolls. One of the more significant (perhaps the most significant) purpose of ARMS is to encourage the other great houses to BELIEVE in ARMS. Right now their support is begrudging and as such, ARMS' existence is on shaky footing as is. While they have had successful encounters versus Odessa and Cocytus, losing that last particular battle was a significant blow.

Marivel extends a gloved hand (GLOVES TOO). "Pleasure to meet you, Eleanor. I am Marivel Armitage, Irving's personal monster."

The smile grins a little more at that before adding, "Well that's not strictly accurate, but my goals and his family's have been aligned for some time. I am, in fact, presently going by Marie Valeria on this world. Tis but an alias for the time being."

They'll have to manage back home. The idea is distasteful to Marie, but defeat is well known to be bitter so that is to be expected. The sooner they return, the sooner they can find how many more contingency plans Vinsfeld has laid.

"But it is not entirely unfortunate we are here instead of on Filgaia." Marivel says. "For Odessa is but one target of ARMS. There is plenty of our other brand of work to do here. Here we must make new allies, new friends... and ensure that Sin is defeated or sealed. Concurrently we must learn of the people and culture here, particularly of the Al Bhed and Yevon Church. If you go to a travel sphere, you should find reports waiting for you there that fill you in." Pause. "I am informed you are a prodigy. Do you enjoy the reputation?"

She starts walking. She may, uh, be hoping to guide this poor girl to one of the cafes before she passes out from heat exhaustion.

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

Both, definitely true. Or at least, Eleanor's good at making it appear so. She waits, though--and... Sure, she's wearing a scarf here. It would be terribly rude for Eleanor to point that out.

"Yes, quite," Eleanor agrees about Irving--and she shakes Marivel's gloved hand politely as they meet up, though she waits an instant to see where Marivel is going with the matter of monster--and then lifts an eyebrow. "Well, it's certanly an interesting title. I'll address you by your alias for now, then." What exactly does it mean to be someone's personal monster? Well... Uhh...

It's probably fine.

Eleanor considers Marivel's words about their presence, watching her thoughtfully for a moment. "I admit," Eleanor says," but then she pauses, because Marivel has started /walking/. "Oh!"

Eleanor scurries along after to keep up, and... frankly, as harried as she is at the moment, heading to a cafe is wise.

"Ahem. I was going to say, I do feel better about being here with that in mind. Of course, truth be told, it's... rather fascinating, isn't it? A place I don't believe any of us have ever been before, a whole new culture..."

She trails off, and only then does she say, "As for my reputation, it would hardly be appropriate to pretend that it has not helped me, to be viewed as such. Enjoyment is rather a separate question. I enjoy the opportunities it affords me, certainly, and I do enjoy the challenge."

Eleanor vaguely rubs at the inside of a ring on her left hand with her thumb, "But I have little to which I could compare it, really--it's always been this way, for me. Those without such expectations have varying difficulties and strengths, themselves."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Mm..." Marivel says. "I've been all over Filgaia, but to another world? Tis beyond even my experience. In this world my eyes are as young as yours. Tis a nice feeling."

What DOES it mean to be someone's personal monster? Well she's hardly going to explain if she isn't asked. She certainly doesn't act like a monster.

She is at least heading to a cafe. And at least Luca, while maybe the biggest city in Spira, is likely not that large in the grand scheme of things.

"Though part of me dreads to learn just how exactly tis like our world. Still, little flaws of humanity do not matter in the grander scheme of Sin. If tis as frightening as it was in the vision..." She trails off, before looking back to Eleanor. She is pleased to see she is keeping up despite just arriving.

"One adventurer I spoke with suggested to dance with Sin is to dance with death." Marivel says. "Tis best we learn as much as we can about the church in charge of managing that battle, wouldn't you say?"

She nods slowly with some understanding. "I understand. Tis like appreciating air, or toenails. Still, I am a believer of choice. If you wish for me to set low expectations for you so you may live a breezy life, well, I would be dissapointed but I would hardly punish you. Perhaps you wish to merely try it out for a month see what it's like?"

She gives a crooked smile. "Well, tis a cute idea but I'm afraid I would still find a way to put you to use since our treatment of Filgaia requires bold measures. But you do get to choose how underhanded I am."

Is she making a joke? They are nearing a cafe now, at least. "Have you eaten?"

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

Maybe it's metaphorical? Marie doesn't /look/ like a monster, especially. Though she does sound... older.

"I'm glad you can enjoy it," Eleanor mentions about the matter of eyes, though... that particular question--Humanity, and Sin? "...Vision?" Eleanor asks, not recalling one like it, having not seen it in particular. "I wouldn't be too pessimistic," she says anyway, "If you don't mind my saying so. People have their flaws... But there is a lot of good in them, too. I think that's true here, from what I've seen."

To dance with Sin...

"Yes," Eleanor finds herself concluding, troubled by that concept. "The people are certainly afraid of it--and I've seen some of the devastation it's left, albeit only by rumor. We'd want to get to know them anyway, wouldn't we?--After all, they claim rulership of these lands. It's important to understand them."

Eleanor laughs a little--no, it's really more like a giggle. "It's nice of you to offer, I suppose--but no, that isn't necessary. I do enjoy a bit of challenge. And if I'd wanted a truly breeze life, that ship has sailed--I do have responsibilities to consider."

Eleanor grins back. "Honesty is fine. I prefer to know what I'm trying to do." But ah--the cafe...! "Ah," Eleanor considers, tilting her head. "Have I..."

She thinks back--and there's a little growl from the region of her stomach.

"Ha ha, no, I... I must have forgotten..."

Well, more like, 'she couldn't actually judge what /time/ Marivel would be where she was', but she can't say that without explaining more than she'd rather just this instant.

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Chasing after the one calling themselves the Adversary of Man, one that has taken the name 'K.K.', I learned of the threat called Sin for the first time. Not from him, but not from any spell or talent...but from the memories of those that had gone to face them." Marivel says, though her voice lowers a bit now that they are nearing the cafe.

"I agree. No matter how many times we are betrayed, there will always be those with the compulsion to empathize and to push for a better world. " She pauses. "No, not a better world. A world at all. Even that may take great..." she doesn't want to use the s word so she elects on another, "Compromise."

She nods slowly to Eleanor's answer. "Responsibility, tis the inheritance placed before us."

She smiles faintly. "But seems your belly is ready to aid you on your journey. 'Twill be my pleasure to treat you."

She pulls out her own chair, sitting down and crossing one leg over the other.

"The Sin attack I saw was not on this land, but on land far away in Althena's lands. If you've seen the destruction, then you've seen the Althena's Guard endeavouring to establish a foothold as they do. For now, cooler heads appear to be prevailing."

A waitress comes by and asks for what they would like to have. Marivel asks for nothing but a cup, leaving Eleanor to choose for herself.

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

"Oh," Eleanor acknowledges, with suitable gravity given 'the Adversary of Man'. "I see." That seems to be enough, as her voice lowers, too.

'Betrayed'--that's not really a generic statement, not really something someone might immediately go for. "I believe that--I, for one, am quite interested in preserving the world. I know that that's a tall order, on the grand scheme of things, particularly considering the decay of the wastelands... But that in turn requires stronger measures, yes?"

"Indeed," Eleanor agrees about responsibility--but laughs faintly at herself at what Marivel points out. "It seems so. I suppose I can talk about responsibility later." She dips her head, "I appreciate it, if you're sure."

Eleanor sits down very deliberately, keeps her posture, sits up straight--

"I have heard something of them," she answers, "Though I did not run into anyone claiming to be /one/ of them. I can see why it would be a potential conflict..."

A cup! Well, that's something. "Some tea if you would," Eleanor answers the waitress, "And..." She glances to the side, to someone else, "What that gentleman is having, please."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel has lived long enough to experience betrayals before. In fact, most people are betrayed at least a little bit, but perhaps her use of it here indicates that she has a particular betrayal she is thinking of.

"Yes." Marivel says to answer the question. "But with stronger measures come greater risks. Tis true that stronger measures in the past have done more harm than good but as a clever young woman I'm sure you understand that there is plenty of space between measures such as those, and measures that scarcely delay the inevitable. Acting as if there are two sides to everything, tis a childish mentality that has done great harm to Filgaia." She smiles. "True conflicts such as that are perhaps even worse than the complex interplay of humanity playing out on Filgaia."

Her 'cup' arrives. Marivel reaches into her robe and withdraws a vial which she pours into the cup. Red liquid sloshes into the cup. She then sets a pair of napkins down nearby that apparently she was carrying all along.

"Good choice." She adds, smiling a crooked smile. "He seems to be enjoying it."

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

Eleanor is young, yet; betrayals of great scale are, as yet, something beyond her. The minor betrayals of weather being wrong for a sailing trip, little day to day things--they don't compare.

"Yes," Eleanor answers. "That it brings risk is reason to approach with open eyes, not to avoid trying at all. There is room for a wiser, measured path... And we must take /some/ risk, because doing nothing at all will surely fail."

She tilts her head, thoughtfully, as if slightly confused. "Are there people who operate that way, really?" Eleanor asks. Her posture rights itself again. "Well, I suppose there must be, I /have/ studied history, but... it seems strange, when some things are so clear, that leaders could really continue to make such mistakes. We have enough thorny, complex issues without adding more that should rightly be clear-cut."

Eleanor is--very curious. About that vial, and about the cup, and about the whole thing, and her yellow eyes settle on it for an instant with some interest, though she looks away and takes her tea a moment later. It is green, and it smells lovely.

A little giggle is Eleanor's answer to her choice. "Truth be told I don't want to stick out too much by failing to understand what local dishes are called when it might be a staple... And he's enjoying it well enough, I'm sure it's good."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

Marivel is very careful not to splash. It, you know, smells what you probably expect it to smell like though these were carefully harvested from animals and the like so it might smell off from, like, human blood. Marivel prefers to not suck directly from the neck, so to speak. Very unsanitary. Our friend Jean was an exception that, quips aside, she's just as keen to forget as Jean is no doubt.

"Believing in a 'black and white' world? Oh, yes, far too common. I hardly blame them though. Tis a comfort I wish I could have some days. I have been in such conflicts, but they are hardly the norm." She says before looking up.

"Too true. 'Course, some threats, some damage... may have not been preventable at all."

She laughs too. "Well, it's a clever idea. Unfortunately, I do kind of stand out. My true dark desire... I could really go for some sunglasses. Apparently they have them here."

But only cool Aurons get to wear them...! Well Marivel will find a way.

"Oh if you haven't noticed, they use Gil here not Gella. Gold, not silver. The exchange rates are murder so as soon as you can I suggest looking for work. I will be too, of course. With luck we might even run into the Commander while we are up here, if he hadn't been left behind."

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

Eleanor /is/ accustomed to the scent of blood, after all the strange and arcane rituals at the Academy*.

Do they actually use blood rituals in dark crest sorcery magic? That is a mystery that will not be solved just now. ...Also, Jean definitely doesn't want to dwell on that, though it wasn't the /weirdest/ thing that's ever happened to her.

"Mm, yes, when you put it that way it doesn't seem as strange to consider. It's admittedly true that I have been somewhat sheltered, however--I have some experience in the real world, but I /have/ spent much of my life among academics."

Marivel seems, to her, to be... sad, in that moment. Eleanor gets a sympathetic expression, at the matter of some threats, some damage...

"I believe that's true," Eleanor says quietly, and it is not given the tone of something she's guessing.

She smiles, anyway. "Ah, thank you! I'm sure I still stand out /terribly/, myself, but I can at least make the effort to be respectful, yes?" A beat, "Sunglasses... Yes, I see. Ah, you... Do seem not to be terribly fond of.. the light."

Sadly, however, "I've noticed," Eleanor admits. "I was able to do a bit of trading for a few basics along the way, but I only have so much jewelry /with/ me. I'm hoping now that I've met a friendly face that I can acquire some essentials." Work. Wooork.

"Still, I hope that we can. If not, I'm at least sure that there are more of us here. I've seen..." She starts to say, and then shakes her head, "Ah, well--given the circumstances, it seems reasonable, I think. It's just a matter of finding one another."

She looks pensive, and then, "Speaking of--if you should happen to meet her before me... Our newest recruit, Miss Zhang. If you should run across her, please take care of her. I confess, I'm somewhat... worried."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"I feel like it's constantly trying to murder me," Marivel says with a straight face, looking right into Eleanor's eyes.

Then has another sip of her blood, still looking directly into Eleanor's eyes. It's basically akin to a dare.

But she can't just keep doing it for the rest of the conversation because Eleanor actually brings up yet another new recruit.

"Zhang Xiu Mei." Marivel says, pausing just a moment. "I will be friendly." This might not reassure Eleanor. "May I ask...why you are worried?"

And then, and only then, does she have another sip of her beverage, again looking right at Eleanor.

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

"Ha ha," Eleanor answers. It is a little stilted as laughs go. Eleanor looks back into Marivel's eyes. ...Marivel drinks her blood. Eleanor continues to look back pleasantly. She mentions the recruit; Marivel knows her name, and... says she will be friendly. In that particular way. And she asks a question.

There is more silence for a moment. But then:

"Just this instant, it's because I've only now come to realize that I am quite probably speaking with a Crimson Noble, and I /certainly/ am not trained in the etiquette for this particular situation."

Pause. She doesn't sound /afraid/, but she has that sort of 'oh dear' harried sort of expression and tone to her for an instant, before she relaxes somewhat with a bit of a sigh and a smile.

"But, more broadly, Miss Valeria, because she is a very dear friend and she is not... accustomed, precisely, to such dangerous situations as we are likely to find in this region. While if I didn't believe she could handle herself I wouldn't have recommended her to join us..."

"Well, I will be rather relieved when I can find her and make certain that the circumstances of our journey here were not too terrible for her."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

"Finally." Marivel breathes a sigh of true relief. "I swear, I go so far as to flash the fangs at some and they just don't get it. Clearly the trashy novels haven't been getting around as well as they used to."

She takes one long swig of the blood now that she's no longer using it as a sight gag and reaches into her robe, drawing out some chemical and pouring it onto the napkin whereupon she works on cleaning the cup with it. Most of the liquid got into her mouth.

"There is no proper etiquette." Marivel says as she works on this. "That time is long past. I must admit worrying about proper etiquette that's a rare response."

She then looks over to Eleanor. "But I have no ill will for oyur friend. I will err on the side of gentleness if that is your wish but only so far as it does not impede ARMS operations overly."

It's possible Zhang didn't even arrive but...honestly she expects her to be here so she adds, "And if I see her first, I will let her know you are well."

<Pose Tracker> Eleanor Klein has posed.

Eleanor suppresses her amusement at the way Marivel expresses her relief, in favor of something more pleasant--which is sincere, even. Sure, there was the brief moment of remembering the whole blood-drinking thing, and that Marivel earlier said that she was a monster...

But she's been perfectly lovely so far, so that's quite all right.

"I mostly hadn't entertained the possibility," Eleanor admits. "Concealing yourself from the sun in this way is... practical, and yet, strangely better at concealing your nature than I would have expected. I will keep it to myself, naturally. Still, it's an extra honor, knowing this as well."

She gives a tired sort of warm smile. "There is an etiqutte for most things, I have learned... In exhausting, exacting detail. I appreciate the chance to deal politely with people, in ways that will be pleasant, but... There is rather a lot of it."

"Ah, but," Eleanor says, somewhat apologetic. "I don't mean to imply that you should treat her /differently/--No, I think she'd be quite upset if I suggested we go easy on her, or fail to give her the chance to carry her share. I simply want to know that she made the journey here safely and didn't wind up in a terrible storm or... Well, any number of dark possibilities, frankly."

"But thank you--I appreciate that. I think I will enjoy working with you, too. I hope that we can make a difference together."

<Pose Tracker> Marivel Armitage has posed.

An extra honor, huh?

Maybe that's just how the lowercase nobles see such things. Still, it's not as if Marivel really disagrees. It IS an honor to know her. It IS an honor to know a Crimson Noble. But at the same time, it makes her think of someone else who never said it was an honor, but treated her with honor and not this kind of honor, but a different kind of honor she hasn't really...

...It's not useful to think about it right now even if she always thinks about her. What would she say? 'You mean while trying to save the galaxy you got sealed away AGAIN? Mari, come on.'

Probably something like that. Marivel smiles into her cup.

"I see. Then nevermind my offer." She cleans the cup.

"I will be extra difficult on her instead. I will enjoy working with you, Eleanor. I think we will all grow fond of one another as our bonds are forged in battle."