2019-04-22: Living on the Edge

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  • Log: 2019-04-22: Living on the Edge
  • Cast: Lydia Seren, Ivan
  • Where: Luca - Port District
  • Date: April 22, 2019
  • Summary: Ivan tries to discreetly check on Lydia to see how she's doing after he immolated her and she turned into a monster(?), and ends up getting caught and actually talking to her instead. Important new Lydia details are discovered by Ivan, and perhaps by Lydia as well.

===========================<* 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> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren is back to her usual appearance which is something considering what she was briefly. Strangely, she feels like she doesn't have to worry about that too much. Not sure why, she probably should, but maybe it's just that she's kind of given up trying to anticipate the weird transformations inflicted upon her and this time at least she'd like to act as if it was just a glitch rather than some kind of new normal.

So she's sitting by the pier, feet dangling over the edge as she eats some fruit from town barehanded and stares out over the waves. It's times like these that she remembers her crazy dream that feels somehow farther away even now that she's on another world. It isn't just enough to make this travel she wants to actually fly somewhere. On a ship.

But maybe it's just a pipedream. Maybe this is about as far as she can hope to travel, or even if she could it would hardly be up to her. It's a sobering thought but it's definitely better than thinking about any other of her current situations.

She's pretty alone right now at least, not exactly looking for company at the time being. Not even from friends.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan isn't the least bit worried about whether he did any lasting damage to Lydia, and the events of a few days past are definitely not at all relevant to why he is currently misusing his assassin training to try to silently sneak up on her to check. His reasons are his own, anyway, and no one needs to care or worry about them anyway, since he'll be gone before she even knows--

Right about that part of the internal denial train of thought is when he unintentionally announces his presence with a dramatic sneeze.

There's... there's been entirely too much swimming the past few days.

Anyway, when she turns to look, he's perched on top of a nearby gazebo.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia doesn't seem physically hurt despite being immolated enough to burn her to the bone. Whatever is her deal, it seems to not be eager to let her be ended all that easily.

This doesn't mean that she is well, though. She is kind of just feeling ... nothing, and even if it doesn't exactly hurt, it's still not exactly great. Sometimes pain is important, after all! She doesn't even remember anything after the fire.

The elite super assassin that nearly murdered Jacqueline Barber, a woman who Lydia credits a great deal for saving her from self destruction, sneezes.

"Bless you." Lydia says.

Pause. Lydia gets up sharply.

She looks over to Ivan. "Man you two really are super extra aren'tcha?"

She quirks her head curiously and adds, "Is it uh... is it my turn?" She draws a finger along her own throat.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"What?" Whatever cold he might be coming down with is Ivan's excuse for being a bit slow on the uptake, as he gradually processes how the situation must look. "No!"

He pauses, reflects on how it looks again. "I mean... yes. That's exactly why this happened. Why else would I be here?"

The metaphorical shovel is out, so he keeps digging.

"Uh, are you prepared to fight for your life?"

Is he really going to talk himself into fighting her just out of some weird pride hangup? Possibly.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Heh," Lydia smiles suddenly at Ivan, sitting herself back down, lifting a leg up and leaning her head against her knee as she looks at him. "I'm not really in the mood and--I don't know. Thanks for checking up on me. Kind of cheers me up."

She swings that leg off the eedge from side to side, looking back down to the dock. "...Um." She says. "Sorry about uh. Going crazy there. I don't really know why I did that." Pause. "Er, though I'm not sorry for trying to stop you from killing Jay. Just, you know, for making it weird?"

She frowns for a moment as she realizes there's no backing out of that statement without MAKING it even weirder so she just says, "That uh. Normally... doesn't happen? Quite so bad as that?" It would be pretty easy to get a stab in at least with her guard lowered like this, but who knows if it'd stick.

"Honestly after that, I'm surprised you dropped in on me at all."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan gets sort of feather-ruffled by the smile, leaning backward away from it. "I wasn't checking up, I'm here to kill you."

He drops down from the gazebo, and, well... doesn't try to kill her.

He seems for a moment like he might sit nearby or something, but decides against it without choosing an alternative and just sort of paces around behind her, looking at her from different angles.

"I've been in Spira a while now. I'm like a veteran of weirdness at this point and you can't phase me anymore. ...But how many super, super weird things do you have going on? Is that the big one, or does it go deeper?"

He stops a moment, leaning a little closer with a scowl, and adds, "Also, what WAS it?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Oh okay," Lydia says. "But it's too late, I'm still cheered up."

Lydia hasn't really ever had a moral compunction against killing so much as feeling personally gross about doing it. When she did kill someone, frankly on accident, she felt miserable about it. She hates to imagine what it'd feel like to axe somebody off intentionally. But like an ethical objection? Not really. She's from the Badlands. And in the Badlands sometimes people need to be killed because they can't even be proper respectful for the Badlands. And if you can't even manage that, well, there you go.

"I don't mind talkin' 'bout it. I don't exactly keep count thouhg. I don't know if they told you about Filgaia," Lydia says. "But that's where I'm from. The Blue Star. That's where Talia went too when Sin ate that town."

She shakes her head. "On Filgaia, they don't treat beastmen with respect. Someone like Leo? They would never have the kind of position that he's got outside of a Baskar Village at best. Most places? They treat beastmen like shit. And even in my town, in the hodunk middle of nowhere--there were people like that. On Filgaia sometimes parents get beastmen kids even if they're human. So, like, they didn't care for the fact I was growin' these." She points to the horns. "They wanted me to cut 'em off. And eventually after that treatment for a while, I figured I'd leave home. So I did."

She gestures with one hand out to the sea. "Then some dickweeds picked me up and ...turned my body into what you see. I have no idea why, what it actually is, what the deal is--it's way beyond any science I know. And to be honest, I don't know if I trust my memories either of when it happened."

She shrugs both shoulders. "So I couldn't really tell you. So far everything that should've killed me didn't, so I guess--I don't know, what they did to me technically saved my life I guess. But it still sucks."

"At first it was just me having a weird head. Now though my head looks normal, it's actually just...all more of their junk. This kid with similar tech was able to become a puddle," That again. "I wasn't able to do that but like--I didn't try? That sounds horrible and shitty? I don't want to do it."

She is asked what it was.

"I don't know." She admits.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"...well that sounds... horrible." Ivan seems offended that it's horrible, but his head is lost somewhere in the interplay of not wanting to seem to personally be sorry for her while also maybe feeling a little guilty that he essentially made fun of it, when 'it appears to have been running away from one terrible situation only to be kidnapped and turned into something mind-bending and inhuman.

He settles on just looking offended that the sadness of her story made him look like even more of an ass than he was going for, or at least deciding internally that that's the explanation for the scrunched look on his face.

"I guess I should have known it would be horrible."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia places her hand on her arm and grips it tightly as if she intends to rip it off and fling it into the sea, but she does--for now at least--manage to hold off on doing something that cheerful. Instead she looks towards a nearby pillar and flat out without warning punches her fist into it. It leaves a knuckle-patterned indentation from where she struck it and When she pulls her hand back it looks like they've been flattened before they spring back into shape.

"The worst part isn't what they did, though." Lydia says. "It's knowing that I'm not free of it. That I'll never be free of it! I don't like..." She gestures to what she did. "THAT. I don't like it. But I keep doing it because I get so pissed I can't..."

She exhales out. "Well, you don't need my pity party. You've got your own problems. It's just, like, ngghh. Whatever. I'm in a better mood now, just need to not forget it."

She shakes her head as if clearing a fog away from it before looking back to Ivan. "Least the parents didn't send me out to murder people. What kind of person does that? At least my parents pretended to care. Gotta be an easier way to get folks to do a murder for you than to have children then be dicks to them the whole time. I hate parents. Bad parents."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan watches with some concern and astonishment as Lydia crashes her fist into the pillar, not immune to wondering what would happen in the plausible future eventuality that his face ends up on the receiving end of a punch like that. For now, though, he lets it go, with only a brief lingering glance at the indentation, and then back at Lydia as she vents some of her feelings.

He folds his arms, both to close himself off a bit and and ward off the beginnings of a chill.

"I mean, you've got it wrong and I don't really have any problems, so I don't care if you want to talk about it."

Ivan tries to say this with a completely straight face, but instead makes several very undignified faces as another sneeze comes on.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia could probably be a very deadly fighter...

...If she knew how to fight. Was bloodthirsty. Didn't rely on overthetop explosions rather than aiming. The pushups Kalve's been making her do did anything. But if anything, Lydia seems upset she felt like punching it at all. Pillars don't have feelings, Lydia! You can punch them all you like! But Lydia has seen what her ideal people are and she keeps seeing herself fall short of those ideals.

Lydia looks over towards Ivan. It occurs to her at this point that the first sneeze wasn't just comical timing. He might actually be legit sick. Does that bother her? Worry her? She frowns and offers Ivan a kerchief.

She really can't hate this guy. She couldn't really hate Talia either, of course, but--
--Well, it's not like he's going to give her genuine answers if she asks him about himself, but now that there is someone who is just flat out saying, talk about what she wants, the complaints feel dry in her mouth. She can complain all day if she feels like it, but right now it feels like anything would feel petty.

"I think I like you," Lydia says. "Sorry about that. It just sort of happened. I guess I don't really have much else to complain about. I just don't want to be ruled by my damage because it makes me feel like they've won. And I guess I can understand not wanting to do that fight either cause boy is it exhausting. Not that you've got anything to worry about since you have no problems or anything, I'm just saying."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan shakes his head with an abashed sniffle. Ivan does not accept charity, and if wiping your actual nose on something that belongs to someone else isn't the world's most brutal metaphor for relying on others at their expense, he doesn't know what is.

He roots around in his pockets for something analogous--Althena knows he gets sick often enough to have taken the precaution, and ends up producing a cloth and sort of hiding most of his face behind it and staring at her, as she announces that she 'likes' him.

"You are very confused!" he informs her, in the sort of voice you get when your nose is pinched shut. He pulls the kerchief away, and the next bit is regular, with a better attempt at chilly assassin dignity.

"That's like telling a knife that you like it. You can do it, but it's kind of stupid and eccentric."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Well," Lydia admits. "My best friend does sell swords for a living, and she's really good at it and I'm pretty sure she tells knives she likes them all the time." She shrugs when Ivan doesn't take the kerchief and pockets it once again. "You sure like hugging that edge don'tcha?" She hops up to her feet. She has difficulty sitting still. "Well, I don't mind."

She smiles over to him. "Can knives take cold medicine or is that like against the rules? Geeze, do they even have cold medicine in this dump?" She crosses her arms sourly for a moment but it doesn't last. "Well whatever. Is the knife hungry? I'm guessing like--wait, if you're like a steak knife, you probably want to eat steak, right?"

She studies Ivan thoughtfully with those silver eyes yes she is teasing him.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Edge?" Ivan gestures questioningly at the edge she's sitting on. He does, in fact, kind of enjoy clinging to the edges of (usually high-up) things, but he can't imagine why she would bring that up at this point in the conversation. Are they having a conversation? No wonder it's getting so awkward, he's awful at conversations. Her actual meaning is lost on him for the moment--and probably all for the better, since he'd only find it even more embarassing to know she was flatly calling him out for trying to be edgy.

"I guess I've told my knives I like them on occasion..." he admits quietly. Not in the first person, usually. It's more like telling Talia he likes them.

But then he is being asked about cold medicine and food and what kind of cutlery he is, and he reddens and his posture just kind of tenses like he's trying to become one-dimensional.

"I'm not sick or hungry, I'm fine!"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia, who was literally sitting on an edge, maybe shouldn't throw edgy stones especially since for a moment she looked like she was gonna try to rip off her own arm, but just because Lydia can recognize certain traits doesn't mean she's immune from them either! Regardless she isn't thinking about any of that. Instead she thinks when Ivan doesn't seem to understand all she can think about how precious it is. Precious.

"You should meet Prissa. I'm pretty sure she doesn't have anybody who wants her dead anyway so you don't even have to throw knives at her." Lydia says, stretching out her arms from side to side with questionable effectiveness. "She like...man, if i do the sales pitch without her it's not going to sound right she just gives it a certain kind of energy, it's her own thing--mnmmnn--but like she will make a blade that's like the 'you' blade, yeah? You should definitely give her your business. Tell your dad you need better stabbers and make him pay for it."

Well she is in a merchant group.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

There is a reprieve of sorts from Ivan's frozen self consciousness when he sneezes a couple of times in a row and has to attend to his nose again, but he looks up at her over the kerchief at the sales pitch about the knife, seeming genuinely intrigued and taken in by it, even the secondhand version. He considers this hypothetical blade with a distant look in his eyes, before returning his attention to Lydia.

"I don't ask him for stuff anymore. But... maybe... if I can afford it on my own."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Yeah true fuck him," Lydia says breezily. "That's just my mercantile sense talkin'. " Rip off the asshole is a good strategy until they get pissed and try to murder you, but Lydia seems pretty blaise about that at the moment. She can certainly still feel fear, but fire is just...it's just been a problem for her for a long time. First it was Agitha, then there was a flippin' Dragon--it's rough. She wishes very much it'd stop. But you can get used to a lot if you combust a lot.

"Though it's pretty admirable to not want handouts. Ugh he's probably the type to bitch about it too."

She taps her chin thoughtfully. Prissa isn't really in a position to turn away work at hte moment. "Well I'll ask her to not bilk you at least." She says. "I'm sure Spira has a tooon of ruins with a lot of cash just laying about uselessly because Sin sat on it. There's a new one I've been hearing about, one of the underwater ones... Those always have the good shit."

"--Hey, how long did it take you to change out of those clothes when you got drenched. He did, like, give you a second outfit right?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"A regular amount of time?? And I buy my own clothes!" Ivan says.

His tone is a little indignant, though it's a new enough development that it's not yet entirely true; the majority of his equipment he's had long enough that it was still originally provided by his father. But moving forward, this is absolutely his policy. He was always sensitive about 'owing' his father, but it's become a bit of an obsession since Talia 'died.' Even though she didn't. He hasn't really adjusted.

His eyes take on a bit of a feral gleam. "I like to take side jobs so I can laugh in his face when he offers me money."

Yes, there are definitely no deep-seated issues there.

There was also the ruins, with treasure she mentioned... it's a nice idea, but the underwater ruin is one he very recently experienced, and has yet to recover from in any sense of the word.

"The underwater ruin is bad, don't try it, it tries to kill you and gives you nothing."

Not everyone has trouble with swimming, but he is one of those people who has trouble remembering his own hangups are subjective.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"So...okay." Lydia says. "You buy your own clothes, and weapons, and you laugh in his face when he offers you money...and...uh... I just don't get why? I guess? Yeah, I just don't get it. Maybe I can't get it. Like, you aren't dependent on him or anything so...why do what he wants? I mean, like, cool you're a knife but like... I can give you money. Or well I could. If i wasn't on Spira. Where nobody buys anything from me. Because I'm a fucking monster. Having a harder time here than on Filgaia. ugggghh---but like, back in Glenwood I have money. Here I just have a boat. Which you set on fire."

She frowns. "Hey, does this mean I should send the bill to you? Are you going to pay for my boat's repairs, Mr. Self Sufficient??"

She crosses her arms. "Yeah, you should pay for my boat's repairs, then get a sword. I mean my boat wasn't your target or anything so you can't say it's part of business either."

She admits sympathetically, "Yeah, I guess if there's no treasure not worth doing that."

There needs to be more treasure on Spira godddd.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

...When she puts it like that he did just sort of say he kills people professionally, on behalf of a man he hates, for no pay. He shrugs uncomfortably, and fights back another sneeze so he doesn't unterrupt himself with it.

"I--...I was expensive to raise."

That's not really the whole story. The whole story is complicated. He assumed Talia kind of gave her some version of it... maybe she's just prodding at him to see what he's willing to say about it?

But then-- a certain detail is revealed.

"That was your boat?" He blanches. "Uh... I have to go, maybe!" He starts stepping backward. There's a moment of hesitation.

"...I'm glad you seem super hard to kill. Bye!"

And then he flees.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I don't see how that's your fault--" Lydia says before the important topic comes up.

The boat.

She watches Ivan pale, step backwards, hesitate, say he's glad she's super hard to kill which is a strangely nice thing to say to someone whose friend you tried to murder, and--runs off.

Lydia blinks a few times. That is a weirdly nice thing to say.

Her cheeks silver faintly. It's happened to her enough that she knows what's going on. "Oh no..."

She walks backwards. "Oh no oh no oh nooo...."

She turns around towards the water. "Ohhh nooo." She says, looking at her reflection. "Okay, stopping this. Yep, yep, stopping this forever. Okay. Good. Good."

She closes her eyes, takes in a deep breath, and then serenely walks off the pier and sinks rapidly into the water to the bottom of the sea.

She is going to cool off there for a while. Yep.