2019-04-14: So Much Can Happen in 6 Months

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  • Log: 2019-04-14: So Much Can Happen in 6 Months
  • Cast: Talia, Ivan
  • Where: Luca - Port District
  • Date: April 14, 2019
  • Summary: Talia runs into Ivan in Luca market, and tries to catch him up on some of what he missed, but things remain unresolved.

===========================<* Luca - Port District *>===========================

Luca is the largest port and second-largest city in Spira, located the southern tip of the archipelago's largest island. Its location as the central port for Spira's surrounding islands has turned Luca into a thriving economic hub; Besaid, Kilika, and a dozen smaller islands all send their goods to Luca for sale, and even the Al Bhed are known to trade here from time to time.

The port district is an immense, bustling area. The largest port in Luca brings in ships from across Spira -- from small fishing ships from Besaid to Al Bhed salvage ships to large sailing vessels from Bevelle -- and a massive market to match. A large seawall keeps the waters at bay, with piers extending out past the seawall into the water.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CIlRCYnZcg
<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia is getting more familiar with Luca. Some of it was figuring out how to navigate when the city was under attack; some of it is having a couple of weeks to really get a feel for it. Right now, she has stopped at one of the stalls in the large marketplace of Luca. She is perched over the stall, glancing down at the thing for sale: spheres.

They glitter up at her, reds and greens and blues, and some rarer shades besides. Talia's lips purse as she leans down at one and pokes it with a finger.

"Ah," the merchant -- a tall, lanky Guado with pronounced facial veins and clawed fingers, the latter of which interlace. "My lady has a discerning eye. This sphere, it is--"

Talia holds it up and peers at his face through the sphere. It distorts the merchant's face like a funhouse mirror. "It is red, no? Red is not my color..."

"...um..."

Then she swivels around -- in time to spot, in the crowd, her brother. Right now it makes Ivan look distorted and oval-shaped.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

As a junction of travelers of all kinds, Luca is proving one of the best places for Ivan to seek out information. Relatedly, Ivan is getting very tired of information. It seems to have been coming at him like a firehose since he arrived -- people and places and events and secrets and mysteries and commonly known histories belonging to other people that come off like nonsense to him.

He is so tired. He just wants to set things on fire or throw knives at very small targets. He just wants to be given some terrible thing to do, so that he can do it and go home. He is not built for ferrying data back and forth between more strategically minded individuals and trying to make connections and not get all the details inside out.

Talia's strange eyepiece will find Ivan almost spacing out in the crowd, caught in a moment of indecision about where to go next.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia stares at the fish-eye view of Ivan for a moment, thinking his expression makes him look a little silly... but really, no, that's the work of the Sphere. The merchant squawks at her with complaint when she tosses the sphere over her shoulder, and it lands in the basket holding its fellows with a glassy clank.

Talia ignores her complaints, to approach Ivan and lift her hand. She waves, once, idly at him.

"Vanya!" she says. She makes it look like there's no hesitation; and like the last time they talked, it was in a fight, and that the time before that, she hadn't run off in tears. What was it Lydia and Ammy both got at? She has to try to talk to him.

Injecting normalcy, even if it's feigned, seems a way to do that. "You look confused." She taps a finger against her cheek. "It is about the big horse-birds, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Talia!"

He jumps a little. Her presence is startling to him now in a way it never was before. Too many unsettled and conflicting emotions. He looks around for signs of a gathering of friends, and settles a little when he doesn't see a crowd following her. If it is just Talia, they can talk, can't they? Like they used to? Is that how this will work? He's the one who set the terms, but he isn't sure he knows what they are.

"The weird Choco-ones? On some level, yes. Always."

But wait! He looks around, his guard coming back up.

"Is the seraph here?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

It is, at once, funny and a little sad how Talia can surprise him just by speaking up. It's not lost on her that this used to be a constant in her life. She smiles, though; it's genuine, but has that playful quality to it that is always masking something. In this case, it's a pang of anxiety over how this might go.

"They are very strange," she says, glancing around as if a chocobo might be listening. "I wonder what they taste like, no?"

There is a beat, and then she blinks. Talia's head tilts, and then she shakes her head.

"Ammy?" she asks. "No, ah--I came here by myself." Should she mention she actually stays at Amaranth's magical house more days than not? She isn't sure. "...Oh, are you not sure if you will see her?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

The notion of eating a chocobo gets a nose wrinkle from Ivan. This may be more about the smell than sentimentality, but sometimes it can be hard to tell with Ivan. If asked, it would be entirely about the revolting smell, of course.

"She's invisible, isn't she? Can you see her?"

Ivan doesn't take anything for granted anymore. Not even that Talia can actually see her own girlfriend. Maybe their love is so true that it transcends vision or something like that. What does he know.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia stares at Ivan for a second, uncomprehending.

In their nineteen some-odd years together, she has mastered a number of skills that make life with her brother easier. One of these is delaying her laughter, holding it back and giving him a pointedly confused look that, somehow, takes him entirely seriously.

"Van-ya."

She frowns, even--no, it is a pout. "She is invisible to some people! If their... um... spiritual strength isn't that high. Mine, as you know, is amazing, no?" She strikes a pose. "So yes, I can see her."

Then she starts to grin, and leans over to him with a big, wide grin like some sort of demon. "She is very cute, I will have you know."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I thought that was just a legend," Ivan grumbles. He has certainly never seen a seraph, himself, though their father has, at times, talked about them in a way that suggested they were real and he coveted their power. That the worthy--or spiritually empowered?--can see them, sounds like the stuff of a story. Though it did fuel spiteful imaginings from Ivan of Lubov encountering a precious seraph and never realizing it because he was too awful to perceive one.

Ivan's expression grows ever more rumpled. "Yes, yes, I'm sure she's great." As a matter of fact, he doesn't know what she means about spiritual strength. Is that like, your magic? Your willpower? Your devotion to Althena?

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

The pout turns into a frown and she steps forward, then pokes him in the shoulder. It comes easily and natural to Talia; she forgets, for a moment, everything that he told her about being the best assassin that he could be. "...Vanya," she says. "I like her a lot, no? Be nice to her, if you meet her."

She glances to the side. "It's important to me."

Then, she looks back at him, and her eyebrows knit. "I think seeing Seraphim is.. sort of like the legends, though. It is--having enough magical ability to perceive them. I think it is magic? I--ah..." She glances down. "...I actually saw them right away. I did not even know she was a Seraph, at first."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

At Talia's request, Ivan's expression grows even more defensive and guarded. He doesn't respond to it directly. "If it's about magical ability, then I guess I'll have no problem seeing her."

'Being nice' is another matter entirely. He doesn't particularly want to be nice. But does he deserve to be anything at all toward the person who pulled Talia out of the world she and Ivan shared and gave her a new, better one? Perhaps he'd better not be anything to her at all.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia frowns a little more, when he doesn't answer her request. Her crimson eyes tighten and she frowns more, and her hand drops away from him, and then she sighs. "You should be able to see her," she says. "We have the same amount of magical ability, no?"

Though, she thinks, it is strange: everyone from Spira can see her. Talia has no idea why that might be; it feels confusing, so she doesn't bring it up.

She hesitates, before she adds: "...What did you think of my friends, Vanya?" she asks. "You met Lydia already. And Avril and Rebecca too." She doesn't really know Prissa, but she doesn't opine more.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I don't know--there were a lot of them and a lot of things going on, I don't know what I think of them, what do you want me to think?"

A few beats go by. "...the one with the horns and the metal keeps telling me weird stuff I don't understand."

He takes on a somewhat haunted look at this admission.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"That's Lydia," Talia says. "She is fun, no? She can be a lot, but in the best sort of way." She smiles, hands clasped in front of her. The smile flickers, after a moment, though.

'What do you want me to think?'

She hesitates, and then her eyes glance to the side. Talia usually doesn't break eye contact unless she is nervous -- about to give bad news or expect it, perhaps. "...I'd like you to like them. Be friends with them, too. And..." She sighs. "...It would be nice, no? But..."

She looks down. "...I didn't forget what you said, before."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"She isn't fun, she's concerning! Is she dying or something? She said a bunch of 'robots' were going to 'turn her into a puddle...' ... Which seems like either nonsense babble or some very bad news that isn't any of his business.

"I mean, yeah, it's like I said. They're your friends and that's fine. It's good that you have them. But I'm -- I'm not a 'friends' sort of a person. I don't want them coming after me expecting to find someone like you."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"She is not dying! She has little... um... mechanical things? I am not clear on what they are. But Lydia is fine, she is just--she is not quite human?" It is a sore point with Talia; she remembers when she said some less than sensitive things in a moment of surprise. Rather than entirely address those, she sort of just hoped they could sweep it under the bridge.

She looks up, though, and frowns -- but seems surprised. "...It isn't like they want you to be like me," she says. "They--they like me, so they want to get to know you better. Be friends with you, for yourself. Is it... is it so bad?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I don't mean 'like you' to mean..."

He dips into a brief Talia impression that gets the mannerisms pretty close, if not the voice. "Like you, no?"

"I mean like -- a general 'like you.' Someone worth knowing. I'm not that. I'm grouchy and boring and pretty terrible, deep down. It would be an annoying waste of everyone's time for them to get to know me. Besides--"

He looks at her askance.

"Did they want to, or did you want them to?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

They can imitate each other well. Knowing the other's mannerisms makes it easy to do that. But, Talia reminds herself, it also makes them transparent.

She wants to immediately counter that, of course, they want to get to know Ivan. It isn't a lie, either; both Lydia and Amaranth told her as much. It also isn't the whole truth, because they don't know Ivan. They know her. They want to be his friend because they love her.

Talia opens her mouth, then glances to the side.

"V--Vanya," she says. "You know that isn't true, no? They want to get to know you, and--" She steps closer. "You aren't terrible. Not any more than I am, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I don't want to get into that again," Ivan says. "It's too complicated -- what you've done, what I've done, what it meant to you, what it means to me."

Last time he tried, she ended up running off in tears. He doesn't want that again.

"...instead of trying to share your life epiphany with me, can you tell me more of what even happened to you? Is there a madman after you? I met this woman who said you might have been sent back here by a madman who didn't realize he was sending you to your home world. He was called-- ...I forget what he was called, it was a long, weird name. The point is I don't feel like I understand"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I-I, um."

She feels her cheeks getting hot with anger. She looks down, though, and bites her lip. Yelling at him wouldn't do any good. What would?"

She sighs, finally. "...I came over when Sin attacked Azado. There were ruins under the city--really old ones, built by a species on the Blue Star, called Elw. And... they teleported us, and everyone else in Azado, to the Blue Star. Filgaia. We came back because of this man, ah..."

She frowns, then looks up at him. "His name is Vinsfeld Rhadamanthus. Seriously, he has a name like that," she says. "Who would ever imagine? But he--ah--he sent a lot of people, called Drifters, here. Using some artifact. He teleported them off Filgaia, I think so he can conquer the world."

Talia pauses. "I wasn't in a great mood, when he did his speech." She hesitates, then adds: "My girlfriend's sister decided to stick with someone she called her boss. And she... died. I was trying to find her to tell her, when I got taken here."

Her eyes glance away again. "It's been a long month, Vanya."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan blinks, chastened by the gravity of that addition to the tale. "I'm sorry."

It doesn't mean he can relent and join her new life, but it does mean he can feel like an asshole for being another source of sadness and disappointment.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It's... it happens, no?" Talia says. She says it, but she doesn't feel it, and her eyes look back down. She runs her hand through her hair with an idle motion. Maybe she shouldn't have told him all of that.

"It must be a lot," she says. "Having... um. Hearing about everything that happened, down there. And not knowing what happened to me. It is hard to know where to start, to catch you up."

Of if he wants to be caught up. She isn't sure.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan raises his arm in a bit of a shrug, as if to say, 'try me.'

"It is a lot. But I should know, shouldn't I?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I--well... I went to the Blue Star, no?" Talia says. "I met a lot of people there. I did not really understand much of it, but... you know Lydia? There is a woman who adopted her, named Riesenlied. She leads this group, ah, they try to help people who lost their home or... need a home. She was kidnapped by some things called Metal Demons."

Talia really doesn't get how these worked.

"Before that, I thought I wouldn't fight any more. I--mostly, I spent time with Ammy. And... I looked for you. For a way back. I thought I found one, with this dangerous ruin, but... it did not bring me to you."

Talia shakes her head. "But, ah, Riesenlied was kidnapped, and... after everything that happened to us--I didn't want Lydia to lose her mother. So I helped her against the Metal Demons, and I started helping Riesenlied, and... then, ah, I came here."

She frowns a bit. "...It still sounds so patchy, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"A little bit. It's all right, I guess. It was months of time."

But even so, it's difficult to connect the threads on his own. He would much rather it be a few simple, straightforward events, but it seems that Talia has become entangled with many different people and their own strange stories, spread across two worlds, now. He supposes his life has been much more simple, before this. They had their missions, and when a mission was over, it was over. No lingering connections.

"Are all of your friends from Riesenlied's... group? Or did you collect them from various places?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It was, no?" Talia says. "I thought about you. I..." She stops, though, and looks down. She doesn't know how to finish that; thinking about him wasn't enough. He stayed in the life she left behind, and he suffered for it. Her fingers tighten into a ball, and then she shakes her head.

"...No," she says. "They weren't. Ah, some of them--some of them I met, before I left. Rebecca and Avril, and Dean, who wasn't there. They never knew I was an assassin--they just... thought I was normal at first. I liked how it felt, no? And there is Jacqueline Barber, a merchant who Lydia works with."

Talia's lips purse. "Ida Everstead-Rey, who I fought a few times. I know her okay. And Gwen Whitlock, who I helped in some of the dungeons and things we explored," she says. "But Lydia, Avril, Rebecca, and Dean--they are the ones I know the best, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan nods, but looks a little lost. He only recognizes a few of the names; the ones he met in the chaos of the fiend attack, he remembers more for their fighting abilities, and a few barbs thrown back and forth. Where they fall on the list of names she rattled off, he couldn't even say. What is he meant to do with all of these people, besides stay out of their way?

"Do they all know about your past, or only some? Lydia seemed to know. She said something about taking Lubov down. You might want to try to talk her out of doing something stupid."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Lydia and Ammy do, of course." Talia glances to the side for a moment; she knows who knows what, and there are ways in which she feels guilty for that. "Rebecca, Avril, and Dean know some. Not as much, but... Rebecca was there when I stopped. She knows who Lubov is." Their father, of course. Talia's eyes look back to his.

"I know," she says. "It is not something she should try to do. But... she does care, no? She wants to help us."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Which one was Rebecca?"

The ones who know Talia's secret know Ivan's, as well. He should try to remember them. He doesn't know if he would ever have to do anything about them -- or whether he could look Talia in the eye again if he did -- but it's unnerving to have people running around in the world simply knowing. The two of them are supposed to barely exist. He wants to keep track of the ones who know, even if he can't do anything to contain the information.

"With Lydia--has she got any kind of real plan or intention, or is it just hot air? It's fine if it's hot air, but if she really means to try it, that would be a problem. And she does seem a little crazy."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"The one with the red hair," Talia says. She refrains from adding that she is also the one wearing the hot pants; it seems impolite, given she spent half of that time teasing Rebecca for maybe having some luck in love.

Then she frowns; she tries to think of how to put it, with Lydia. "I don't think Lydia doesn't mean it... but I also don't think she intends to rush to Pendrago, and try to put an end to him now, no?" she says. "We should not ignore the danger. But... it is not a thing, I think, she would try to do tomorrow."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan is probably more comfortable referring back to hair colors than pants-lengths anyway. He nods and files that away.

"For now, she probably doesn't know where Pendrago is, anyway? Right?"

Chances are, Talia is never going back. Which is a strange thought. He finds he doesn't really like it, even though it means a happier future for her. But at any rate, if Talia never returns, then Lydia has no need to know anything about their home.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Ah... no, she was on the Silver Star, before. She was with all of the people who showed up the first time, last summer," Talia admits, with a shake of her head. "But I don't think she knows the way to get there from here."

She frowns a little to think of it. She had gotten Lydia into no small amount of trouble, back then.

"And I don't think she is in such a rush that means to go clear across the world this instant, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

So the friend from the other world was one of the ones who met Talia on this one? Ivan is about ready to give up trying to follow anything. He just gives an exasperated shrug and a sigh.

"Good, then I won't worry about it. I mean -- I wasn't worrying about it, but I won't worry about it."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

It's not the sigh that Talia fixes on.

It's the denial. She blinks, and then she inches over to him with that cheshire cat grin all over her face. Her hands clasp, and she leans into his personal space until Talia is practically touching him.

"You were worried about Lydia!" she teases. "I knew it, no? Oh, but, there is no 'no' to this!"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan glowers at Talia, his face a little hot with the teasing.

"It would just be really stupid and pointless if she ran to Pendrago and died, and I don't want to be involved with anything that stupid."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

In a sing-song, Talia says: "Vanya is a good person, Vanya is a good person~"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Ookay, we're done!" Ivan pivots on a heel and flees toward the crowd, throwing up a hand in a goodbye wave. "Good talk, I learned a lot, understood maybe a tenth of it, so, improvement! See you later!"