2019-03-30: Friendship Denied!

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  • Log: 2019-03-30: Friendship Denied!
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Ivan
  • Where: Mi'ihen Highroad
  • Date: March 30, 2019
  • Summary: Ivan and Lydia meet by chance! It doesn't go super well.

=============================<* Mi'ihen Highroad *>=============================

Many years ago, a man named Lord Mi'ihen, commander of a mercenary group known as the Crimson Blades, was summoned by the Grand Measter to Bevelle to answer the challenge that his group was a threat to Yevon. Though his followers suspected he would be executed and begged to follow, Mi'ihen ordered them to stay behind and walked along an old path to Bevelle, without stopping to rest. 

Moved by the display of piety, the Grand Maester formally adopted Mi'ihen and his soldiers into Yevon as a defensive force, known now as the Crusaders. In recognition of the momentous moment, the path Mi'ihen walked now bears his name.

...except not really, because the original one was wrecked by Sin a few hundred years ago. You can still see bits of it as you pass along the Highroad, on which the Djose Temple can also be found.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tfe_H7bzw
<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren is pretty recognizable as Lydia if you know what to look for. She has two large ram horns and she has stubbornly refused to hide away the fact that she may be part 'machina' herself, not even on Spira, and those goggles--they're just like an Al Bhed would wear! Boo! Hiss! Needless to say, she's not having much luck with business even if she isn't being actively ostracized and so she figured--why even bother push hard on that kind of work right now when she can just lie around and be lazy.

And so Lydia is lazing around on the side of the Mi'ihen highroad, laying in some light shade. Unlike some folks here, she doesn't mind the humidity or the temperature--having lived in a desert most of her life anyway in huts so this honestly isn't worse than what she's used to on Filgaia. She holds a reed in her mouth, like coolguy Ronfar, as she watches the passerbys.

She thinks about Talia. She's having a rough time, she thinks. Is there anything she can do about that? Katherine would probably know what to do way more than she would.


She raises a card that the Luca Goers gave her with the tryouts day listed on it. Lydia has always wanted to be in some kind of sportsball...

...but swimming? Sure, she can kind of swim now, but certainly not as well as the average blitzballer..!

Sometimes she wishes life could be simple.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan is continuing his double-pronged scouting, gathering information about the mysterious Spira for both the Guard and his father, who still has not deigned to provide him with any meaningful details about the true purpose of his mission. In the meantime, Ivan's imagination is left to wander about whose back he'll be asked to stab--he suspects Lubov hasn't decided what move will give him the most advantage, yet, and is waiting for more intelligence.

Does it have an impact, then, what details Ivan chooses to share? But what does it really matter in the end, who he's asked to go after...?

The open road is a nice change from constant boat travel, at any rate. Ivan, too, isn't excessively bothered by the heat. He's cultivated a tolerance for it as a fire mage. His dark, collar-to-toe clothing might occasionally catch a passing, quizzical glance as a bit out of place on balmy Spira, but any irregularities in his appearance are nothing compared with this woman he finds himself passing on the road. The horns, he can process without too much difficulty. But is that armor? Does it have gears and things built into it? What is it meant to do?

"What's going on with all that?" He asks her, rather bluntly, after pausing for a double take. He doesn't really like starting conversations, because he's never been able to do it properly, but since he is on information-gathering duty, he has just tried to lean into being rude.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia looks up. There's a flicker of recognition in her eyes, then confusion, then understanding.

"Daaaang." She says, starting to stand up. "You really do look like her." She tilts her head thoughtfully, eyes trailing towards the sword first, obviously, because she knows what Talia's occupation was and she, thus, knows what Ivan's occupation is. She probably can't get away with pretending she doesn't know who he is at this point so--

"Vanya, right?" Lydia says. "The deal with this setup is pretty long but if you want to hear about it I guess I could--"


Either way, she's not immediately hostile herself and she isn't being SUPER cautious right now, just sort of, you know, not forgetting what she's dealing with here. "Name's Lydia by the way!"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan blanches a little, a look of faint horror dawning on his face like he just stepped on a hornet's nest and is waiting for the swarm to rise. He actually backs off a half step, putting one foot behind the other like he might just run right the hell away to not have to deal with the situation at all. But he adjusts to the idea in spite of himself, and settles his weight again.

"Not Vanya. No." He looks over her again, trying to mentally add her into the bits and pieces of the story that he has.

"You're one of Talia's friends from the moon," he accuses, with a chilly expression.

Or maybe from just before the moon. But she certainly looks like she came from somewhere far, far away.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"The moon?" Lydia says. "You're from the moon! It's literally called 'Lunar'. That's moon!"

She is confused by Ivan claiming to not be Vanya. Truth is, she heard that name waaay more than Ivan so she honestly doesn't make the connection that maybe it's a sore spot for him. "Huhhhhh.... so there's...another brother?"

She frowns. "Well I am her friend! When I first saw her trying to rob Lanval, I knew we would get along great because I too thought of robbing Lanval in that moment...!!"

She hesitates before adding, "We didn't rob Lanval though, so don't turn us in for robbing Lanval. Thinking about robbing Lanval isn't a crime! Especially when he made it so tempting...!!"

She waggles a finger precariously...! Then she notices the expression.

"She even has an invisible girlfriend now... I'm pretty proud of her!" Ok maybe you should stop bragging about her while you're ahead Lydia.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Yes, we're triplets." Delivered deadpan.

But she also made an irritatingly salient point about Lunar and he can't just let that pass. Ivan points at the ground, and then to the sky in turns. "When you're here, you're from the moon!"

As if it matters. It really doesn't matter. But he will grasp at any excuse to disagree, sometimes, and that goes double for Talia's mysterious friends who taught her goodness and joy or whatever. Except this story of how they met is not making her sound very righteous. Would Talia have framed her invitation to quit their life the way she had if she had only been embraced by other equally shady miscreants? ...well, not that stealing and killing are on the same level. At any rate, while he's thinking about that, the conversation has gotten away from him.

"What do you mean she has an invisible girlfriend?!"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"When I'm here it's the moon! I'm on the moon, I have traveled from the planet to the moon, and then back again, and then....some guy teleported me to the moon I guess? Again? For some reason?? I know what moons are. They're like tiny planets... And there's like two civilizations on the moon? There's like a hundred on Filgaia..!"

Her cheeks puff out. Maybe she is also a little sore about Ivan making her friend cry?? And think about how awful she is?? When she isn't awful!!

Honestly, Lydia might be more of a punk at heart than Talia is regardless of what they actually ended up doing in life. She could probably explain in further detail, but Ivan isn't asking about that. She's asking about the more important thing.

"Well maybe if you weren't busy making her cry, she would've told you about her invisible girlfriend! She's a Seraph and makes cute dresses..." She pauses for a moment, giving Ivan a strange look for a moment.


Her cheeks don't turn red, they actually silver faintly, as she looks away. "A..anyway, she has like an imaginary store that kind of just shows up wherever and uhh...Huh."

Maybe she doesn't actually know much about Katherine, she thinks. She knows she's got SOME deal going on but she never asked.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan doesn't know what Lydia's odd look is for, and scowls back at her to let her know that whatever she was thinking, he takes offense to it pre-emptively.

"None of that made any sense at all," he tells her, in case she didn't know. He hopes for Talia's sake that her invisible girlfriend with an imaginary store is an actual person and not just some kind of coping mechanism.

He shakes that thought off and puts it aside for now.

"Yeah, I did make her cry. You have a problem?" He seems to want her to have a problem.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Y-yeah I have a problem!" Lydia, who has stopped looking at Ivan directly for mysterious reasons says. "Who wouldn't have a problem with someone making their friend cry?"

She grimaces briefly before crossing her arms and looking back to Ivan though there's a kind of 'forced' looking quality to it.

"But what's your problem?" She asks bluntly enough, silver eyes narrowing faintly. Willingness to rob Lanval aside (and honestly she's glad she didn't, in retrospect), she isn't a violent individual. "She was worrying about you the whole time you were gone, but now you're mad at her for...what?...NOT dying in a Sin attack?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I'm not mad at her. She invited me to quit my job, and I said no. And then my reasons--" He winces a bit to remember it; he hadn't meant that slip, and the memory still stings with regret, but he tries to turn the cringe into something more sneer-like. "Well, they sounded too much like they ought to be her reasons, too."

He doesn't know what Talia told her friends about him, but he assumes it was sugar coated. It's important to establish that he's nasty and unpleasant so there isn't any confusion. Painting himself as not giving a shit about his sister seems like the express route to get there.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia points, "Ahh!! The sneer of a true mastermind, a villain!" She doesn't recognize that there was regret there because her empathic skill isn't nearly as capable as to recognize THE HIDDEN emotions in someone's wording.

"Oh, but...hmm. I guess maybe I did read into it a bit."


She looks up. She examines that evil sneer.

"But it kind of sounded like you didn't want to stop murdering people because, like, you gave up or something? Anyway, while I've got you, you should get a new outfit, you look pretty out of place here."

Nevermind how Lydia looks okay.

"I mean, you kind of look like an assassin or something. You should wear something cute. Do you do drag? I kind of want to know if you'd pass for her. I bet you totally would. I mean, I don't want to pressure you or anything I know it took me a long while to get used to cute outfits, or even like dressing cute for that matter, or uh--most of my body being replaced by tiny little robots that currently make me wonder if I'm actually still me or just a collective of machines that think they're me and oh my god she turned into a puddle..."

She sits herself back down, grasping at her head.

"She's a fucking puddle. Am I going to become a puddle?? I don't know if I want to be a puddle, Ivan...!"

Wait maybe Ivan doesn't get what she's talking about therE?

"oh, it's this other girl I know. She's also robots. She can be a puddle. That's weird right? I'm not the only one who thinks it's weird? Like nobody else commented on it, but like... Sure, I have been pretty weird, but like I can't do puddle that's insane, right?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

What... what the hell just happened with this conversation? It's the verbal equivalent of throwing a punch and having someone kind of judo flip you over their shoulder and put you onto your back.

He looks back at her in incredulousness/irritation/panic as the topic pivots from mockery(?) to criticism of his stealthing abilities to fashion advice to querying his ability to pass for his sister (not for the past few years, thanks for reminding him!). And then... robots. What are those? They can be tiny and make up a person and turn them into a puddle???

He actually puts up his arms defensively as if the words raining down require physical defense. "Is this what you did to Talia, just fired happy weird troubling chatter at her until she surrendered?!"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia is quiet for a few moments.

"Yeah, pretty much." She admits, eventually.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Well, don't wear yourself out trying it on me. I'm not like Talia."

Ivan motions to himself. "There's not really anybody in here to get through to who gives a shit, I just go where I'm told and do what I'm told and I don't really care about anything."

Except which world is the moon, apparently.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh okay." Lydia says. "Cool." She fingerguns. "Not caring. Gotcha."

She lowers her hands. "But I'm totally going to destroy your dad, you know. I mean, 'ssuming someone else doesn't beat me to it. 'Cause there's only so much of a dick you can be, only so ambitious you can be, and live to see that many tommorows."

She shrugs both shoulders. "And even if you don't care 'bout nothin', you might want to care about you're gonna be when that day comes. Talia changed 'cause she wanted to change, that's the real beat of it. And she knows changing isn't easy, but she's still tryin'. Harder than anything but she's trying."

"But if you don't want to change, don't change. But lots of workplaces for assassins and some of them, hate to say it, might actually not treat you like shit. Just a thought."

She starts heading down the road. "Cause I mean you're right. Talia doesn't have any more right to pick your destiny than I do. Even if it's the most heartbreakin' thing."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Okay, great!" Ivan is stuck kind of calling this out to her back. "I'd like to see how that works out for you! Killing my father! Like the coward would give you the chance! You're going to have to find some clothing that make you look less like a weirdo!"

That last bit was some unnecessary petty revenge for being told he looked too obviously assassin-esque.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Destroy!" Lydia shouts back as if clarifying. And because she's not a mature person, she adds. "AND THIS IS THE NOBLE HERITAGE ARMOR OF MY TINY ROBOT PEOPLE! IT'S NOT WEIRD!"

That went well!