2019-04-04: Rude Awakening

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  • Log: A Rude Awakening
  • Cast: Loren Voss, Lan Lilac, Kaguya Alathfar
  • Where: Kilika - Town Center
  • Date: April 04, 2019
  • Summary: After a mysterious phenomenon takes place, Loren once again finds himself on Lunar. Perhaps fortunately, Lan is with him. Quite unfortunately, so is someone else.


<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    He had been writing a report when it happened.

    The interruption had been swift. His tablet's screen had been taken over by that man's face -- a man he didn't know. A signal interruption of the highest order: even his attempts to regain control of the screen had been in vain.

    Then after the message had ended, he had started to glow.
    His last action had been to send the report. Whether it went through at all, he still, even now, has no idea.

    The spatial disruption had ended with Loren landing in the sea. That had rather clarified matters.
    Sink or swim, as they say.
    While the shore had been in sight...

    Emerging from the waves after a battle of a swim, he had staggered ashore, ultimately fallen to his knees, and thrown up. It had mostly been seawater.
    His only thought then had been that he needed to get onto solid land. Get in the shade. Get out his kit.

    Instead, what had happened is that he had risen to his feet, taken a couple of steps across the beach, and promptly collapsed into the surf.

    HOURS LATER

    When he comes around -- blearily, he's been slowly baking here for some time -- the first thing he really focuses on is the sound of the waves.

    Fuck, is approximately his first coherent thought after that.

<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

    Lan, on the other hand, was doing nothing as important as submitting reports. She was just drunk. Not like SUPER drunk, but definitely past tipsy. She'd had a moment of 'oh shit, I didn't think this was cactus juice' sometime between 'the talking face guy' and 'the glowy-falling', and then there was only blessed, merciful unconsciousness.

    Some time later, she wakes up and wonders why the world is upside down and rumbling. More introspection reveals that it is Lan who is upside down, pitched up at the base of some kind of weird tree. She pushes herself clumsily over onto her side with a groan, long legs and tangled hair flopping into the sand, and mumbles a curse as she finally recognizes the constant sussurating sound.

    She's near the sea.

    Struggling to her feet, Lan checks herself for serious injuries before limping along the sand. Her foot is asleep and she's pretty sure she bruised her hip during the, the fall or whatever happened.

    This better not turn out like the time she blacked out in Adelhyde and woke up in Marze--!

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

Clear, blue sea; brilliant sun... The sand of the beach. In better circumstances, this place would frankly be something of a paradise, even without getting into the jungle visible up the shore. ...Unfortuantely, these aren't better times, and there are things waiting out there. As far as places to find oneself... this isn't the safest.
The waves are calm, soothing, in and out, a steady rhythm to match the Blue Star far above. But that is not... the only sound. Yes, there's birds and the like, but also--

A foot sinking into the sand, and another past it. From the grass line steps a small figure, thin and... frankly, short. Blonde, short hair, slightly pointed ears... slightly pointed teeth.

She's also dressed for swimming, since, obviously--long board shorts, a sturdy tanktop type thing, some foot guards that aren't really shoes.... Aaaand she happens to look between each of the two.

"Cute," she identifies Lan, "And..."

Ah.

"Buddy!" Kaguya identifies Loren, "Hey! Funny place you picked to wash up half-dead, right? Still mad?"

The Veruni grins. ...Pay no attention to the two broad shortswords in one sheath at her side. Clearly not important.

Lan, of course, probably saw her first. As she speaks to Loren, she gives the obviously dazed young woman a wave.

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    He'd thought that this was as bad as it could get.
    He is of course proven wrong before he can even scrape himself up off the surf.

    One blue eye cracks open.

    "Ugh... what are you doing here," he rasps, his throat burning with the effort of speech. He winces, and, after that, levers himself up against the sand. ...Part-way, at least, using his elbow as a prop.

    A crab tumbles from his head, landing loosely in his lap. Waving its claws at him aggressively, it soon begins to trundle away towards the beach.
    He just watches it, bemusedly bleary.

    He gazes at her levelly for a good five seconds before slumping back onto the beach again, on his back.

    "...too damn bright..." he opines, hoarse, as he gazes up at the sky.
    The blue sky.

    With that great blue sphere hanging above.

    "...of course," he says at length, closing his eyes and slumping bonelessly where he lies as if to give up the ghost then and there in the face of that.
    Filgaia.
    He's on the moon again.

    But he tilts his head back. Opens his eyes again. Takes in Lan where she lies.

    ...damn it.

    "...what do you want," he asks Kaguya, turning his face towards her once again. His left hand inches towards his pack, fraction by fraction.

<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

    Huh. That's a very grumpy lump in the sand...

    Not knowing Kaguya from Vash the Stampede, Lan lifts a hand in sheepish greeting. Don't mind her, just a Baskar girl living in a lonely world~ A world that's made much less lonely by the recognizance of Loren Voss, Super Nerd, and his crab accessory. "Loren!" Lan breaks into a hobbling run, uneven footsteps leaving an odd set of tracks in the sand.

    She practically tumbles to a stop next to him, falling to her knees in the sand with a 'shuff' noise. And then, because Lan is Lan, she throws her arms around him and tries to give him a good old fashioned 'thank the Guardians we're still alive' hug. "Did you see that?! There was a guy in my booze and the last time that happened I woke up in Marze, only I'm pretty sure I imagined it then, and-- wait, you know each other?" she pauses in mid-narration, probably with Loren's hand plastered against her face in a vain effort to keep her from getting her Lambness all over him.

    "Hi! I'm Lan," she offers diplomatically to Kaguya, as Loren is not ambassador material. "Where are we?"

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

One blue eye. That's a start, anyway. Kaguya does not precisely laugh in the face of Loren's obvious misfortune immediately...

She just kinds grins first instead. "Hey, you made a friend!" she says. "...Honestly I'm kinda surprised, I didn't think you could manage any speed but real sour."

"Yeah we know each other. We're enemies or whatever! He made a whole big point out of this even though I totally helped him, and blah blah, whatever, right?"

"I'm Kaguya!" kaguya answers Lan brightly. "...That is, Duchess Kaguya Alathfar, General of the forces of the Kingdom of Hyland under the banner of Althena's Chosen."

"I was just here to get in some practice on this wild new game they've got around here... Buuuut..."

"Now I'm deciding what to do with two very interesting persons who happened to show up in an area under our protectioN!" She waits a beat, then pulls the canteen from her side, looks to Lan to get her attention--and then, if she seems to accept, tosses it her way before she approaches both closer. "Also that's adorable and I wish I had a camera, he hates it, it's great?'

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    He had hoped, in a way, in the sense that he can attempt hope, to waylay suspicion from Lan.
    He knows enough about Kaguya to not think she might display some mercy this day. And so his hand creeps inch by inch for his bag, for what equipment he has in there. He starts to lever himself back up into a seated position again, preparing for--

    Which of course is when Lan notices him and bolts on over to give him a big friendly hug.

    His hand is halfway plastered over her face. "Stop-- why are you--" he rasps out, attempting at once to push her away and wriggle out of her, unfortunately, unescapable grasp. "--I'm fine--" he utters, while sounding and looking anything but.

    The crab takes this moment to escape, of course.

    Kaguya introduces herself.
    "You... what?"

    Not quite shock. Not really horror. But cousin to them both.

    "You're with the Guard?"

    Aye, there's the rub, considering his past... 'interactions' with the faithful. He visibly wilts.

    "...If you're going to ki-- will you let go?! I'm not dying!"

    Says the man who bears not just a healthy sunburn but a good crusting of salt and just generally looks like he was baking in the sun too long.

<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

    "He kinda is, isn't he-- stop shoving me!" Lan demands, the last few words muffled by Loren's hand over her face. "Pfft-- Nice to meet you, Kaguya! Or is it Duchess?" She's just... carrying on a conversation. While half-barnacled onto Loren, at this point more out of habit than any real pressing need to check his pulse or have comforting skin contact or something.

    Perhaps thankfully, Lan is also a big fan of clean drinking water, and accepts the tossed water jug with more grace than she'd really seem capable of. "Thanks. Mmm~" Her own jug of water is mostly empty, and hangovers aren't going to cure themselves.

    She's got the mouth of the canteen pressed to her lips when Loren's blathering about 'if you're going to ki' seems to percolate through to the logic parts of her brain. "*cough* Whaaaaaaaaat, she's not going to kill you. Are you?" This she directs to Kaguya along with a sloshing sort of arm gesture.

    Sure, Kaguya's got sharp ears and pointy teeth and she kind of looks sharky but she's a general, and a duchess. They can't just kill people, there has to be some kind of trial or something, doesn't there?!

    Lan lets go of Loren and thumps back onto her butt in the sand. "Oof! Loren, did you do something rude the last time we were here? Do you need to tell her you're sorry?"

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

There's a pass to mercy, naturally. There's a golden road towards a kind reception, towards everything being simple...

And that road is titled, 'Does Kaguya feel like being helpful? Or hilarious?' and it is one of many doors that are here right now.

"Kaguya's cool," the girl answers Lan first. "I mean, 'Your Grace' if you wanna be formal, But my name's good for now."

A beat, "Right? They've got pretty great water up here. Especially around here. There's like, a spring back further on the island? Real nice stuff." A beat, "And nah, I'm not gonna kill him. I mean, not today, anyway. Maybe eventually. Never do know what the future holds, and all..."

"Uhhh you've known him for more than like five minutes, right? Larren here always does something rude. It's kinda his charm point, though."

"Anyway yeah I'm with the Guard, sort of like, literally--I'm not actually a member exactly, but you know, there's a crusade on, and, able-bodied leader of men, blah blah blah, etcetera, here I am, to lend my soldiers and expertise to destroy the dread Sin."

"You remember Sin, right? Big ol' scary death god?"

"I mean, if you wanna make him apologize, I will like, totally wait. I'll just sit here 'til he gets it out. Buuut... There is something I'm gonna have to worry about before all that."

"And thaaat can go easy, or it can go hard. See, since I kinda like the people I work with, I'm kinda, you know, actually caring about my responsibilities..."

There's a glint in her strange green eyes and she isn't smiling. "...So before I decide if this goes nice and not so nice, I gotta ask why you're here, what you were doing to wash up here, and what your plans are in the area."

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    "You're clinging," he rasps in retort, trying still to push her away from him. He might as well actually attempt to disengage from a real barnacle -- Lan's not having it, and he's too dehydrated to put up a proper struggle. Which, speaking of-- when Kaguya gives her the canteen and she starts to drink heartily from the contents...
    When Kaguya starts to say how nice the water is here...

    He's not sure if this is another injustice or if he should have realized this is how it would play out.

    "Hey,: he starts to say, clearly subjected to some horrible torture right now, "can you--"

    Lan lets go of him then and drops down into the sand nearby. He takes this moment to reach on over and attempt to claim the canteen from her, any attempts at niceties flung to the wayside. His throat feels like sandpaper -- which might go a ways to explaining his definite dip in voice quality.

    Does he need to apologize?
    "What? No! She's a Veruni," he explains... as if this explains everything.
    Does Lan know who the Veruni are, actually?

    "...That's Loren," he corrects, half by reflex. He lifts a hand to readjust his glasses, and in doing so realizes they're not there. Most likely, they're at the bottom of the sea, now.

    She's with the Guard to come here to destroy Sin. He blinks.
    "Do you really think you can kill that?" he asks her, more quietly than his earlier, louder protestations.

    Should he have come into possession of the canteen, here is where he unscrews the cap, and here is where he consumes the entire remaining contents therein.

    He sets it down in the sand.

    "...I don't know." He lifts his gaze to meet her own. "I was on Filgaia. Something happened -- I don't know what. Maybe those Drifters triggered something in the temple ruins. Maybe something else happened." He gestures, loosely, for the ocean. "And then I was here. If you're looking for anything else, I don't have it and I don't know it." He closes his eyes as if put upon. "I don't even know where 'here' is."

<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

    "Kaguya," Lan nods, as if it's decided then. And honestly, even Myyah Hawwa only gets a 'Miss' in front of her name.

    She notices him flailing for the canteen at this point, and pushes it into his hands. She should've noticed sooner, but Lan has her own kind of oblivious charm. "We've been friends for months!" Lan protests mildly. Of course she knows that's just how he is. It doesn't seem to bother her very much, at least - maybe she's one of those people that are just really, really good at ignoring the obvious.

    While Loren rehydrates, she goes to work - reaching a hand out, cupping a small silver star in her hand so it can radiate soothing light onto his parched, reddened skin. White people weren't meant for the sun, she thinks a bit pityingly. Especially ones from weird domed sky towns. "Veruni? Who cares?"

    After all, it's not like she's a Metal Demon.

    "Wait, Sin is still around? But I..." Had been hoping that maybe it died, or went somewhere else, or... Lan's mouth thins. She picks up the canteen from the sand and swallows more of its contents, a bead of sweat cooling on her temple beneath her hair.

    "...Let's kill it," she mumbles, wiping the sheen of water from her lips with the back of her hand.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"Loren, Larren, Leeman," Kaguya says, gesturing vaguely. "Lan," Kaguya answers Lan instead, because there is no justice in the world and she has no trouble at all with Lan's name for some reason. She doesn't try to take the canteen or anything though. She just lifts an eyebrow at 'Veruni? Who cares?' instead, watches a little magic...

Kaguya, of course, is pretty pale, but has a browner undertone to her skin that would presumably be a bit darker than Loren's if she were healthier. ...Also, not burned.

"But ah, so... Heh. All right, months, I believe you, but..."

Can they really kill that?

"...The diehards do," Kaguya answers. "I'm not so sure. But that's why the armies, and the weapons, and the everything. The people of this land have done it before--so, we'll see. Since it can apparently attack our lands at will, though... The alternative is to sit and wait for it to smash something people give a shit about more than they did Azado."

'Sin's still around?' "Ah, yeah. You guys really don't know where you are, huh?"

"Okay, so, first things first. You're in Spira--it's not that Sin's still where it was... It's that we travelled to where it lives, and that's where you guys ended up. So whoever activated whatever teleporter this time, well, they got shit luck, 'cause this is a bad place to be, no matter how pretty it is."

"...Your explanation's good enough for now. I'm gonna need to see if you've got anything interesting on you--the locals are scared of machinery, think it's heretical, like to call down the local priests on people who find it. Buuut..." Kaguya looks over Lan again. "You just find out you're in the somewhere else, and you wanna tangle with something that big? ...You're either crazy or real cool, Lan. I like that. ...So, that gives me a decision."

"I can't have rogue elements mucking things up while we're trying to establish ourselves in. So, because we want the same thing, I'm gonna give you a chance to recover from your ordeal for a few days. The catch is--"

"It's up to you whether you're going to be working with me, or whether you're going to be my prisoners. I need you to lay low and not cause a panic either way. Aaaand..."

Kaguya lifts a finger. "Keep quiet about the Veruni thing, or, I'll break your face, Loren. I like you--but I like the thing I've got going here better. We understand each other?"

<Pose Tracker> Loren Voss has posed.

    "Would it kill you to get it right," he mutters, glancing away in mild irritation.

    They're both in rough shape, as it happens. And is it not said, tend to yourself before tending to another?

    He, in any case, downs the water in a form that would put a camel to shame. He could probably drink still another canteen or so more. Water has never tasted so good in his life... and that includes the time he spent once wandering from town to town while attempting to get his tablet to function after a near-drowning under Wayside.

    'Who cares', says Lan, and though he glances at her... he doesn't really press the subject. Not when the subject of that subject is still right here in front of them, and not when they're collectively in bad shape and at a significant disadvantage in a great many senses of the word.

    The healing helps. He breathes out, some tension sliding away from his frame as the pain eases. Probably, rest and time will do the rest -- as Lan no doubt has noted, he burns and he burns well when out in the sun.
    And it seems so much the stronger here.

    "...Idiots..." he murmurs, though as futile as the action may be, he can't fault the logic for trying. Especially if it should attack again. Particularly if it should attack again. But even that's left by the wayside when she tells them, fully, where they are. "We're..."

    He can't help it. He makes a fist and slams it into the sand at his side. Of all the places to end up, alone and without support--
    Out of the frying pan and into the fire--
    Ugh, and they might even chalk up his sudden disappearance as a desertion--

    He grinds his armored fist into the sand, as if to punctuate and underscore what he doesn't dare vocalize. Damn it, damn it, why now, why here...

    He straightens where he sits, then, and looks at Lan. As she vows, more or less, that she'll kill it. He stares at her as if she's suddenly sprouted another head. "What? But even a Gear didn't so much as scratch it--"

    And he doesn't even have that now, does he?

    And then Kaguya lays out her terms.
    She believes them, sure. She'll even help them find the space to rest up, get their bearings.
    But.

    There's a catch, and it's a very particular one.

    What would... the Commander do? What would Leah do?

    I should stand and fight. Better to die on your feet than...

    But...

    "Tch..." he utters, in the face of that threat.

    Slowly he gets to his feet.
    And then unbuckles his swordbelt and tosses it at Kaguya's feet. Next comes the holstered firearm, followed at last by his medical bag.

    "Fine. I surrender."

    ...I'm not any of them. I'm... me.

    "We'll talk later. Right now..." He shakes his head. He won't admit to it but they need to get back on their feet. Even if it comes at the cost of a surrender, temporary or otherwise. He needs time to recover and he needs time to think.

    And I want a better way to die than this.

<Pose Tracker> Lan Lilac has posed.

    Where it lives?

    A monster like that - one larger than cities - has a home?

    "Uh... thanks? The Guardians don't like it." She tries to explain. "It's destroyed places before, right? As a shaman, it's kind of my duty..." she trails off, as if Lan herself can't quite believe the enormity of the task. Maybe... maybe if a hundred really, really strong magic-users all teamed up...?

    But for now, she's just some girl washed up on a beach, with part of a palm frond stuck in her hair and sand in her shorts. She watches Loren stand, frowning a bit. Not understanding--

    And blinks as he starts to strip his gear, throwing the medical bag and his weapons at Kaguya's feet. "Wh-- hey, is it really okay?" she asks him sotto voce, but she's already patting herself down as well. There's nothing particularly fancy on her person - at least, nothing mechanical. "Um, I guess I surrender too?" she shrugs, frowning harder. She can't let Loren be arrested by himself! He'd probably die in moon jail.