2019-04-28: A Warning From an Old Friend

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<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna got dropped off unexpectedly and in a bad state. She lost a lot of blood; much of it ended up spilling down one side of Kaguya.

The quiet attention of Mariel has helped. The wound Catenna suffered was not fatal, but it was serious enough that she hasn't come around yet. She's been moved to a soft bed, several pillows propped up behind and around her head and a blanket pulled up to her chest to conceal the bandages encircling her midsection.

Finally - a full two days later - there's a stir of motion beyond her regular breathing. The Moon Shaman lets out a small, thin "mrhn" and opens her eyes partway, instinctively moving an elbow to try and prop herself up, but wincing and thinking better of it as a burst of pain shoots through her, radiating out from a certain point above her hipbone.

She sinks back to the mattress with a little puff of breath, bringing a hand up to half-cover her eyes. Even the light in the room is dazzling after being out for so long.

From atop the nightstand by the bed, the Owlet shakes her head. <That won't do, child. Don't try to rise just yet. You were hurt fairly badly.>

Catenna doesn't respond. She just closes her eyes, her lips pressing tightly together. The memories don't have to flood back to her. She knows all too well what happened.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    When word comes that Catenna was hurt by some sort of attack but ultimately survived on the charity of someone just happening to have seen to their aid at the right time, Ethius suspects the worst and stands guard where Catenna rests after familiarizing himself thoroughly with the surrounding environs as to better keep watch.
     He might not even have slept in the last 48 hours. This is a man who does not like sleeping. He will take almost any excuse not to. (The realities of doing this to a body that needs it will rear their ugly head soon enough.)
     If he so much as thinks he hears some movement in there, he's there. He opens the door for the fourth time within this two day period as if to be absolutely sure in Catenna's overall security that she is safe and allowed to recover, that stare of his meeting with the Owlet as if to silently ask as to whether that was something or not (though he could just ask the same of anyone else who, theoretically speaking, might be at Catenna's side now).

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin has been sitting with Catenna, praying, for awhile when Catenna awakens.

"You are awake," she observes. "I have been praying for you, to Althena and as well as I could to Celesdue. I...I hope that is all right."

She's still Kourin, after all! Though it's been awhile since she's been quite so nervous about upsetting her friends.

"You should not move too much yet, Miss Catenna." It was bad, she doesn't say. We were all worried, she doesn't say. I felt so helpless, she doesn't say. Those things would sound accusatory, and that is the absolute last thing Kourin wants to do.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

They had learned about Catenna's condition pretty quickly. It helped that they were right next door to the Travel Agency, and thus were able to react quickly.

Jacqueline's been worrying over Catenna the entire time. This had come as a surprise to her, but somewhere in the back of the mind she can't help but worry that this might be connected to the assassin that's after her own head. She didn't have much information to go on. With so many terrible things happening, this is yet another weight on her conscience. She didn't want to lose another friend.

She, too, happens to be in the room when Catenna begins to stir. Jacqueline rises to her feet quickly and hurries over to her side.

"Catenna! Are you awake?" She asks, worry and concern evident in her voice. "D-do you need anything? Just let me know, and I'll get it!"

She might be a little on edge.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia is moping in the room right now. She was surprised to hear that Catenna had been wounded (though if she knew the leadup to how it happened she would not be). It feels like it was hardly any time at all since she was last in a room fretting over the injuries of a dear friend, and yet here they are. Who will it be next time, she can't help but wonder.

She lifts her head faintly when Catenna wakes up before looking down again as she hugs her knees against herself.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Ever since Catenna returned to the Caravan, Cyre has been... Not despondent but definitely worried and certainly feeling guilty. Guilty for not being there, for not being able to keep... this from happening. It's an unreasonable, illogical sense of guilt-- Catenna can take care of herself. He knows that well. But.

Well. Love isn't logical.

But once Catenna was out of the danger zone, Cyre seemed to have fulfilled his Carakin Fretting Quota and instead busied himself with nursing her wounds and keeping her as comfortable as possible.

When she wakes up, there's a familiar presence curled up and presently passed out at the foot of her bed.

It's Cyre!

...Snoozing on a big, fluffy pupper.

...Maybe he's fretted a bit more than the quota required.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

If only Catenna had been awake to be aware that CaraKin's resident murderlump was standing watch over her. She would've probably appreciated it.

When the door does open, she looks up with a small blink, dropping her hand from her face to her lap as her eyes focus on who it is. But it's Saarda-Shanta who meets Ethius's eyes first. The tiny bird nods simply.

But Kourin's already there - and so's Jay, for that matter. Catenna opens her mouth to say something, but stops herself and lets the rogue priestess get it all out first. A faint, tight smile tugs at her lips. "...Thank you for worrying about me." Her voice is quieter than it usually is, with audibly less vigor.

Jay's concern comes at her like a barrage, but the Moon Shaman merely sighs and closes her eyes, lowering her head slightly. "...Some tea might be nice," she murmurs before running her tongue around her mouth as discreetly as she can.

It's dry. It has reason to be. She's been unconscious for awhile.

Her eyes dip for a moment to focus on something by her bed - and she can't help but smile as she realizes it's Cyre. But the smile soon fades as she takes another look around.

"...How did I... get here," she asks a bit haltingly. "Where did she...."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius breaks away from Saarda-Shanta's nod to look back towards every possible interior space that could lead up to where she rests, as if to make absolutely certain that it is secure enough that he can take his eyes off of it.
     Once he is satisfied - defined by around the time Catenna is feeling her mouth for how dry it is - he steps inside and closes the door. The door doesn't even make a sound, though he is closing it with such speed that it should. This level of precision in both speed and silence should be alarming. Threatening, even.
     "Yours are not the only questions, Miss Catenna." Ethius says in that largely flat tone he almost always has, but he doesn't speak so suddenly over her confrontationally. He waits until her voice trails off. The way the man stands with his arms behind his back, the way that gaze often bears down - she might be about to be brought into a fierce, relentless interrogation the likes of which--
     "It is more important we see to your health first. It is my advice that you rest." Not even launching into the endless stream of questions - either he has improved his bedside manner over his time with the CaraKin, or he might already have the formation of an idea of what might have happened and why.
     He doesn't need to state that Catenna merely need ask for what she needs, as she is already in the company of trusted friends and her lover.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin lets someone else handle the explanation, her face dark with obvious mixed emotion. Kourin, as well as anyone can, understands betrayal on a visceral level. She'd been betrayed her whole life, until she'd met Catenna and Jacqueline and the other members of the Caravan Kinship.

Friends.

Family, Kourin had known, had learned doubly hard since meeting her mother, are not above betrayal at all. Friends, in her limited experience, did not betray one another. Not truly. Not like this.

Except now, that, too, has proven false. Kourin has spent her time in prayer as much to have an excuse not to talk to anyone but Goddess and Guardian as in concern for Catenna's well-being, in truth, because she is really,

really not taking this well.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Catenna speaks and Jacqueline exhales, feeling some relief. Her voice was weaker, but it was still a good sign that she could talk at all.

But, Catenna requests tea. Jacqueline nods and hurries off, ducking out of the room for a moment. If she knew Catenna would've been awakening soon she would've had some ready to go, but for now she'll just have to ask at the Travel Agency's front desk. Which she does, eventually returning to the room with a pitcher and a glass.

Jacqueline hands Catenna the glass and sets the pitcher down by her endtable, moving to take a seat.

"You're at the Travel Agency on the Mi'ihen Highroad. Right next to home, thankfully..." Jacqueline explains. "As for how...the woman at the front only said that someone brought you in here."

She didn't know much more than that.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia says, "You know who did this to you?" to Catenna, failing to look up. She doesn't know much herself, looking over towards Cyre's sleeping form to smile at it a little before looking back down.

The floorboards sure are fascinating tonight!

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Nobody can remain asleep with so many people talking over them. Well. No that's not true. Some people can, Cyre included. But Waffles is a little more attentive. The pup's ears perk up and gently goes to nudge the sleeping shaman's cheek with a cold, wet nose.

When Cyre doesn't immediately respond, Waffles then descends into SUPER RAPID FACE LICKING and ALMOST DROWNS HIM IN LOVE.

"Guwah!" Cyre heaves himself up, rubbing his face clean of pup love. "Augh, what? I'm up, I'm up! I-" Cyre... turns and stares at a very awake Catenna, and for a moment looks like he's doing everything he can to keep himself from crushing a woman still recovering from her injuries in a great big hug.

Instead he just reaches out and squeezes her hand.

...Before then giving her a great big (gentle!) hug. "I'm so glad you're alright," is all he says.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna closes her eyes and lets out a soft breath when Ethius lumps his way into the conversation.

The direction he takes it is surprising. Opening her eyes again, she blinks at him twice. But what Jay says is more urgent, and Catenna turns back to her when she returns with the teacup, accepting it with a quiet nod. "Thank you," she murmurs.

At first she doesn't respond. She just swirls the tea around her mouth a bit, then takes another sip, then one more, digesting what Jay told them all.

"Well." She smiles a bitter little smile, taking a moment to collect her thoughts and work through what must have happened. When Lydia throws the question out there, answering it becomes unavoidable.

Cyre at least buys her a reprieve. Catenna brings her free hand up to slide it into Cyre's and accept the squeeze, before she's hugged. She rises into it just slightly before wincing at a fresh burst of pain radiating out through her stomach. "How long has it been," she murmurs. Then she takes a breath, lowering her eyes and mostly getting an eyeful of Cyre's shoulder.

"...Our dear friend Kaguya," she begins before taking a couple seconds to figure out how to word the rest of the sentence. "...was unhappy that I did not approve of her girlfriend's recent actions."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    'Our dear friend Kaguya,'
     Ethius repositions himself in front of the door once again. There is a hardening in his expression that, in spite of the use of this adjective 'hardening' being used, is difficult to capture in word beyond the nature of it. The very moment Kaguya's name is uttered, there is a definite change in the air as to Ethius' particular brand of silence.
     He says nothing.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 Knock, knock.
 
 "Excuse me." Arleph calls from the other side. "I am coming in with some treatment. By how everyone is here and inside, I take it our friend has awoken, now?"

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius turns his head at the knocking. He places a hand on the door with his right. His left hand's fingers curl into some arcane gesture that is the sorcerous equivalent of drawing a gun. The door is opened a mere crack. Not a squeal by whatever architectural standards are in place for defining what a door is here in this part of Spira, and by that crack, Ethius stares at the thinnest sliver of colors available of Arleph's person.
     Three tense seconds later, the door opens, and Ethius' free hand relaxes. A little.
     The pinky is still extended.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia raises an eyebrow, glancing over to Ethius. She probably remembers the super ethius suplex from before certainly but she doesn't comment immediately any further. It doesn't make any sense to her. Lydia is plenty skepticl on matilda's actions and that is barely a centimeter away from Catenna's professed opinion. Still, she is hardly going to badger a wounded woman let alone a wounded friend on specifics while she's held up in a bed. so instead she says, "Huh." because she's at a bit of a loss.

She feels a strong urge to grab Ethius's pinky.

She manages to resist.... For Now.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline sends Catenna an uneasy smile in response to the thanks. And then, Lydia asks an important question - who did this?

"It's been...a couple of days, or so." Jacqueline explains, when Catenna asks. She goes quiet as Catenna starts to speak again, informing them of who, exactly, is responsible.

Jacqueline goes quiet.

"...Kaguya...?" She repeats, taken aback. Kaguya was here? This was the first she was hearing about it. And...she stabbed Catenna. The news is a little overwhelming for her. She goes quiet, not really sure how to react.

It's not like they hadn't had their squabbles with Kaguya in the past, but it's still surprising to hear.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin clenches her fist. Despite the wrappings she now wears to contain her icy hand, frost forms on the sleeve of her Spiran jacket.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre releases Catenna from her terrible hug-prison, but remains perched at the edge of her bed, a hand atop hers.

"It was Kaguya...?" Cyre's expression clouds. After all that they'd done for her, she goes and does this? Sure, she wasn't there when Matilda stabbed them all in the back, but...

Well. That's no excuse really. You don't beat someone close to the edge of their lives over a few mean words.

"...I guess I should have expected she'd be here," he says instead, turning his gaze toward the ceiling. "...What do you want to do?"

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 Arleph fixates on Ethius as he briefly opens the door, his stare remaining neutral. He can feel what's happening on the otherside and he's quite glad that he is NO intruder in this place.
 
 The Symbologist steps inside holding a small metal tray, where one of his glowing blue bead is resting inside a ceramic bowl, surrounded by a small bowl of water. He gives Ethius a look, giving a nod and staring out at everyone inside.
 
 "Ah. I am not interrupting, am I?"

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

The knock at the door causes Catenna to start a little. She exhales as she realizes it's just Arleph.

She lowers her eyes after a brief glance towards Lydia, inwardly half-expecting to get reamed out yet again. For a moment, the Moon Shaman doesn't say anything. She merely sinks back from Cyre's arms and settles against the pillow, breathing slowly out between parted lips.

"A couple of days," she repeats, finally.

She looks towards Jay, clearing her throat. "...Kaguya appears to have allied herself with the Althenians," she explains quietly. "Though she is not a formal Guardsman... but has gained a noble title in Hyland. Duke of somewhere. I am not sure how. She came here with most of their forces from the other two continents."

She smiles a small, bitter smile. "I told her what happened to Matilda. I also told her that I did not appreciate that Matilda threatened you, or that she lied to us, and that anyone who tries to hurt you, even Matilda, would have to deal with me."

Lowering her eyelids, she smiles bitterly. "And that's about when she stabbed me."

She moves her hand to rest over Cyre's, squeezing. "...Nothing at this point. But Kaguya and her new friends are in terrible danger."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    For how much Ethius' body language is controlled to the point that he very, very rarely ever subconsciously lets much motion slip (the head touching and looking away notwithstanding), it may say everything that the man doesn't move at all during Catenna's explanation of Kaguya.
     The same Kaguya who piledrove him to near-death at the Statue of Lucadia.
     The same Kaguya who was responsible for some of the chaos between Hyland and Rolance.
     The same Kaguya who nearly took Catenna from them.
     The door is closed as soon as Arleph comes in. His pinky is still out.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia squints at Ethius's pinky. Stop taunting her!!

Lydia is aware of every single thing in Ethius's pose there but despite this being yet another 'bad thing' by Kaguya but...But...

But what Lydia?

She exhales once, stalling only when Catenna reveals the specifics behind the stabbing.

And then confusion at that last bit there.

"Huh?" She says. "They're the ones in danger? What's that mean?"

She glances over to Arleph for some reason before back to Catnena.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin closes her eyes. Catenna's words shame her, but at the same time, they bring her calm. Her fist unclenches.

"It means that while they may betray us, we need not betray them, as friends. We don't have to give up on them." She pauses. "I hope."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"...Kaguya, with Althena's Guard?" Jacqueline asks. She sounds a little sceptical, though she's not really questioning Catenna. That's just...not really an alliance she would have expected.

She frowns a little, though, when Catenna explains what happens. ...She was afraid of that. Confronting Matilda...would mean making an enemy of Kaguya, too.

Cyre asks what Catenna wants to do...and Catenna says 'nothing'. Jacqueline is a little relieved at that, though the mention of the Guard being in danger does make her curious.


She's already been asked, so Jacqueline doesn't ask again - she just waits for clarification.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

 Arleph stays mostly silent about the current subject, mostly taking the time to listen in and infering on what is going on by what others says, instead of asking stupid questions.
 
 "Hm. So that's what is happening." The Symbologist says, making his way to Catenna's side and handing her the small bowl with the bead in it. "Take it and take a bit of the tea along with it. It will taste cold at first, crunch it and make sure to swallow. It will help with the pain."
 
 He takes off his hat, placing it to the side as he taps the bead once, making it glow a bit brighter.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Well, then that's what we'll do for now," Cyre replies, patting Catenna gently on the hip. "I'm just glad that you're alright. I was... We were all really worried."

But... The Guard is in danger, she says...?

"...Is it because of Matilda, or is there something else we should warn them about? I mean, I could go try to track down Leo and drop him a line. I'm pretty sure he'll come looking if he hears I'm snooping around somewhere, but whether or not he'll believe me..."

Cyre shrugs.

It's a big question mark!!

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Inwardly, Catenna braces herself, eyes darting briefly towards Lydia.

"That's not... quite what it means, Kourin," she explains, half-lifting one hand with a pained smile. "Please be at peace."

Letting her hand fall again, the Moon Shaman reaches for her teacup, maneuvering it to rest in her lap. "...Kaguya told me that the Guard has come here on a crusade to defeat Sin. She said they have come with the entire assembled forces of both Meribus and Glenwood to defeat it. Kaguya is there as the seniormost general of Hyland's forces. I have no idea how she managed to get there."

When Arleph hands her the bowl, Catenna nods gratefully, then picks up the bead and downs it with a bit of the tea. There is a soft crunch before she swallows. Closing her eyes, she focuses on it for a few seconds, then looks up once more.

"We know that, historically, the only thing that is a match for Sin is a Summoner's Final Aeon. If Kaguya and her new friends challenge Sin, they will most likely be killed."

What Cyre says evokes a thin smile from her. "...He may come looking for you anyway. Kaguya told me that the Guard considers us 'pernicious fiends' and that White Knight Leo did not appreciate that we raised arms against his sister, Mauri the Red Priestess. We are on their list of enemies."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    That Ethius doesn't retract the pinky could be one of the most blatant indicators of what is running through this man's mind, if his mind can be 'ran through' as though it didn't come off as some sort of Escher-like hellscape of nonsensical logic trains and reasons that do not appear to conform to social cause and effect relationships.
     ...
     He looks to the door again. His hand - not the one bearing a pinky!! - runs up and down it as if to make sure for what time is this now that it is absolutely secure while Catenna discusses what are known to be historical truths about Sin here.
     Much more tellingly, his eyes close, the hand against the door moving to his forehead. The inscrutible air of the man starts to dissipate to some strong feeling he can't seem to keep from coming to the surface about the matter. He turns his head from each of them.
     He doesn't say anything.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

The Guard was here to defeat Sin. That...makes sense, honestly. That would explain a lot. But...Catenna has a point. Challenging Sin would most likely end poorly for anyone involved.

Jacqueline frowns, folding her hands in front of her and looking at the ground. What should they do? It wasn't as if their words would be enough to get them to reconsider.

...Especially if, as Catenna says, they were considered 'pernicious fiends'.

"...D-did she really say that...?" She murmurs, with a frown. Well, she already knew there was a bounty out for them. But, pernicious fiends...

Jacqueline sighs. She had never wanted things to end up that way, but...well, they hadn't had a choice. Filgaia had been at stake.

"As if having an assassin after me wasn't bad enough..." She murmurs with a frown.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I doubt Kaguya's gonna be anywhere near Sin," Lydia says with some confidence. "But if she is, I guess she's got a stronger will to live than anybody else I know so she can handle it ok enough."

She does smile a little when the assassin is brought up which is kind of weird??

"I don't think he really wants to do it." Lydia says. "It's just that Lubov guy. He has something on him. I don't really get it, but he hates his boss. No idea why he keeps working for him since it sounds like he doesn't exactly get take pay either."

She shrugs both arms. "But he was nice enough to check up on me. So um. Don't kill him or anything. I'm gonna fix him up right. Don'tcha worry."

She might not just be saying that for Jay's sake here.

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin sighs. She will never escape the shadow of the Guard.

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

The bead is indeed cold and it gets colder when she chew on it. It's like a small explosion of icy feelings that trails nicely, smoothly down her throat and spreading out into her body. It gives a nice, smooth, dulling feeling in it's wake and the coldness fades soon enough.
 
 "If they mean to attack on Sin, then this mean they believe that they have a plan of some sort." Arleph says, pushing away from the bedside, wiping off his gloves with a slight magical glow on them, looking up at Jay. "It wont end well for anyone involved, I'd wager, if last time we've brushed with that thing is any indications."
 
 He leans back, giving Jay a brief look at the assassin comment before looking back. "And the last summoner was this Braska, was it not? What happened to that Summoner?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"I mean," Lydia says. "How will they even know where to look? It just shows up and smashes something random then leaves."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"We seem to have made our share of enemies over the course of our travels," Catenna murmurs, her eyes drifting to Jacqueline. A pinched, sympathetic smile hangs at her lips. "...But it doesn't matter. No matter how many times Kaguya wants to stab me for it, you can count on my support, Jay. Please do not feel as if you must face these challenges alone."

A little frown follows. "...I didn't know about the assassin. Unfortunate."

<Another person who seems to have some grievance,> Saarda-Shanta finally weighs in from her spot on the nightstand. <Annoying. But I suspect Kaguya may be rather more of a serious danger. She may not be the first Filgaian to weave herself into the confidence of one of the courts of Lunar, but as a Veruni, she is particularly dangerous.>

Pursing her lips, Catenna takes another sip of what's left of her tea. "...I am not sure what became of the last Summoner. Sin clearly does not die, whatever the Summoner does. But it may be defeated for a time."

Lydia makes a cogent point. Catenna blinks, frowning a little.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"I don't think Leo is the kind of guy who'd okay an assassin, but still. Damn," Cyre shakes his head, just a little forlorn. "Looks like this isn't exactly the kind of situation we can warn them off of. You know how he gets. I'm sure he'll take 'invincible doom whale' as a challenge and go riding off to try and beat it with faith and steel alone."

It's too bad that the Guard is such a bunch well-meaning people, by and large. It's just... their faith that's blinding them a little bit. But.

"I think," he says, thinking on the owlet's words for a moment, "That you're probably right. We can't be the first group to come up to Lunar, after all. There are enough Elw ruins on Filgaia that someone has probably found a way up here before. But..."

"I think right now, what we should do is set ourselves up to provide assistance to the survivors, in case the worst happens during their assault on Sin. We might be able to circumvent the Guard's suspicion of our character by asking mister Rin to act as a middleman for goods, I'd think. For services... There's always disguise."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    "I take no issue with Althena's Guard doing as it sees fit, as it regards what they see before them." Ethius finally remarks. Somehow, in the process of all of this, the man has returned to a posture most familiar for him, if not the one most comfortable. Ethius is not a man who inspires comfort, warmth, or security. He is not a welcoming person - he goes between being a man who seems detached to sometimes being an element that plainly does not appear to be harmonious to his very surroundings.
     A man who has now effectively professed that he is all right with Althena's Guard doing whatever it pleases with Spira. Does that include--
     "Miss Kaguya was one of the primary agitators of the conflict between Rolance and Hyland." Jay might remember from those distortions, where Ethius accidentally let slip that he was one of the assassins of the Cardinal in Rolance. Rolance and Hyland were enemies, Kaguya's now a leading figure in Hyland... were they on the same side, if he was acting against Rolance, or...?
     "While I know not as to what circumstances have allowed her to retain status after Hyland's bid to conquer the continent failed," Ethius continues. That he doesn't move at all again... eerie. Almost like he were trying to pretend to be a disembodied voice from a Memory Cube, or something, "my sentiments are in line with Miss Saarda-Shanta. We may be looking at the beginnings of another Veruni conquest under the convenient cover of Althena's Guard."
     The stories about what they've done in history, in what was once thought to just be legend... that's already well-trod territory. But this man, by appearances, takes them so incredibly seriously.
     "This will warrant vigilance."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia stands up suddenly, "Okay okay hold on. I clearly need to do a recap here because our theorizin' is getting wild as shit."

"Ivan, talia's brother, is an assassin. Talia was also an assassin okay? Katherine and I--uhh she's the lady who makes cute clothes--helped her get out of the bad spot. The big reason Talia didn't leave the business was cause of her brother, who she was worrying about okay? We were planning on finding Ivan and taking him out of the ninja life but then Sin attacked, OK? And Ivan thought Talia was dead probably and I guess that's why he's doing the work now because Talia is totally dead as far as they know, right? Right."

She points to Cyre. "You guys attacked Mauri to stop her from smashing a statue, so Leo's not on great terms with you but even after that he was willing to lend me a hand with speaking to my parents a while back. He's a good guy. A good man. I trust him. He wouldn't hire assassins, okay though he might punch Cyre's face in and sorry man you kinda probably earned a facepunch or two okay?"

She then points to Jay. "So we get over here and I run into Ivan on the road--that's the name of the assassin who tried to kill Jay. Okay? And he doesn't really know much about us but he did find Talia and learn she's alive and all that and made her cry, okay? For some unknown reason he's still working for his and Talia's dad, who is Lubov, okay? That's the guy who sends them out to murder people. I don't know why he's after Jay. Maybe he thinks Jay's in charge of the Kinship Alliance or figures that she gives me support or whatever, but in essence I was fucking up his plans in Glenwood okay with the Kinship--MAYBE that is why he wants to kill Jay, but I can't say for sure. Maybe Lubov just FIGURES it will get him in good with the Guard since it's not like he knows Leo personally or whatever. Hell, if I was a hoigty toity noble and someone I wanted to cozy up with had a sis who got viciously attacked by evil merchants, I'd probably figure deliverin' a corpse is a good way to garner favor if I didn't know the person too well."

She points to Arleph for some reason next.

"And look Ivan's not a bad guy. Probably. Okay? He just is in some rough situation we don't understand yet. He checked up on me, okay? He can't be that bad."

She points in opposite directions towards Ethius and Schrodinger (who is here now). "So let's maybe not assume the worst'f folks yet arright? Ivan hates his dad, I don't know his deal."

She then pauses at Ethius's words.

She frowns thoughtfully.

She thinks about what Kaguya had told her. Her job here is to create a home for the Veruni.

"Um." Lydia says. "I think..." She lets both hands slop over to her sides. "Lunar doesn't hit them as bad with the VR Factor, you know?"

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

Kourin frowns slightly. "I do not remember this Ivan from my time in the Guard, but that does not speak to much, I suppose. Assassination is certainly not Lord Leo's style. Even for...heretics." She sighs, flexing her hand. "It would not be above my mother, I suspect, to send an assassin, but if that were the case the target would be me, not Miss Jacqueline. She--my mother--lacks any of the honour or goodness Lord Leo stands for." She closes her eyes. "But there are others who might also wish us silenced, as well. It could even be someone who sees Miss Jacqueline as a financial rival or obstacle, certainly, if they have sufficient funds to be endangered by our success and..." She shrugs.

"Too many enemies."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline nods sadly. She doesn't like it, but...sometimes, making enemies was unavoidable. She just hoped things could be cleared up sooner rather than later, on both ends. She does, though, offer Catenna a smile.

"...Thank you. Your support means a lot to me, Catenna." She says. She's not sure how well she would've weathered everything that had happened since their arrival in Spira without Catenna's care. Things had been difficult for her.



Lydia steps in to provide some information on the assassin in question, and Jacqueline listens.

"...Yes. Leo...I feel the same way about him. That's probably why I feel so bad about it, honestly..." Jacqueline replies with a nod. "I don't think he's the type to send assassins after someone. Honestly...I figure he'd probably be more likely to come after us himself, if he didn't have bigger issues on his plate."

Big, whale-shaped issues.

As for Ivan himself...Jacqueline still wasn't sure what to make of him. He was a difficult one to read, but she didn't hold any animosity toward him. She felt sorry for him, if anything - hoped that she could do something to help.

She listens as Ethius recounts some information. ...He had a point, certainly.

She frowns and considers, especially when Lydia makes a point about the Guards plans. She looks toward Catenna, then.

"Miss Lulu...said something about the Crusaders planning a 'grand operation' against Sin or something of the sort, didn't she? If they have a plan...maybe the Guard figured something out, too." She comments, and then nods. "...I think Cyre has a good point, though. We should ready ourselves to help treat the wounded. There are probably going to be injuries either way."

Kourin has some comments too and Jacqueline listens, nodding quietly.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"No... I would... not expect White Knight Leo to operate like that." Catenna smiles wearily at Cyre as she lowers her teacup again. "We have many disagreements with him. But he is am honourable person - not the kind of man who would buy assassins. And we... would rather not have thrown his sister, really. I actually had no idea they were even related."

She closes her eyes with a slow rush of breath through her nose. "...It is never simple, love," she murmurs. "Most everyone we meet believes, in their own mind, that what they do is either right or necessary."

But then Ethius weighs in. Opening her eyes, Catenna cants her head to regard the man, her eyes a little more clear now.

Then Lydia just takes over the conversation and starts plunking a few things down. Catenna blinks once, then twice more.

Then she raises a delicate hand. "...Kaguya does seem to be a little healthier here. She said she is dying slower on Lunar than she was on Filgaia."

Catenna sips the last of her tea before setting the mug aside, wincing as she again stretches the wrong muscle and sends a lance of pain shooting through her midsection. "Nnh," she manages before clearing her throat. "...I have little relationship with Talia and her family, but I hope that the issue there can be resolved. If this Ivan tries to confront me, I will try not to treat him harshly."

She meets Jay's eyes. Though her face is paler than usual and she's obviously tired, she manages to smile, however faintly. It fades away soon, however, and she nods slowly. "...If we were to help them with arms, we would probably die with them. But we can at least try to save them. Our best bet for stopping Sin is to support Yuna and her friends.

"If Kaguya will not take our warning to Leo, all we can do is try to help those survivors who make it through."

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

Arleph gives Lydia a confused blink as she points at him.
 
 He leans back on the seat he's on, crossing his arms and tapping his cheek with an out stretched index. He gently tap his foot on the ground as he thinks all of this over. Who knew that a bunch of 'merchants' like them would accrue the ire of several people in power that relies on ignorance to further their goals? Unheard of.
 
 "That certainly sounds like operating an attack on Sin, I agree." He looks up, grabbing his hat to place it on his lap, drumming his fingers on the ridges. The others pinches the bridge of his nose, rubbing the side of his eyes. "We have several issues here. One, the attacks on our individuals might be repeated. We could use thinking up some means of scrying for ourselves in case such other attacks happens in the future, especially here."
 
 He looks up. "The second, we should look into the last Summoner. It's strange that if that person beat Sin last time is still not around."
 
 Arleph lifts another finger. "Three... we better get ready on some anti-toxines and means to fish people out of the ocean. I have a few ideas on that. A creature like Sin sure wont be shy to throw another Tsunami at some people firing at them."

<Pose Tracker> Kourin has posed.

"There are still some in the Guard who, if I could only speak to them, might be made to listen to a warning and convey it to Lord Leo," Kourin notes. "I do not have any ideas on how to contact them safely, however. Especially now that we know they consider us a threat to their operations here in any way." On further discussions of Sin and plans, she is silent.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Uh is it strange?" Lydia asks of Arleph. "I mean, it's a giant death whale. I'd be more surprised if he was still around. He probably died saving the world yadda yadda yadda. Or had a new adventure."

She smiles a bit as Catenna relents on the matter of treating Ivan kindly.

That's Lydia for you, always looking out for strays.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius turns his head to regard what Lydia has to say about these assassin... families or whatever, and a hand goes to his forehead. Irritation, or... remembering something, or...
     "Your warnings are duly noted, Miss Lydia." Whether he will heed them and not do awful war crimey spell things to Ivan... the odds of that are now 'less than one' at least, probably, so that is an improvement and words well-said. He does consider as to whether Kaguya holds any influence over this Lubov. If so...
     "Whether Kaguya finds the environs more suitable for her is irrelevant." Ethius remarks towards the end of all that. "She does not belong here."
     Even without the raise in tone, or in ineflection, or greater or lesser tempo, there is a weight to this declaration that cannot be denied - it might even be the singular point of contention to him.
     "In accordance to some of Mister Arleph's concerns," he says this without looking his Symbology better in the eye, "as we are already made aware as to how Spira has previously attempted to deal with Sin, for the duration of our stay it would be, indeed, a good idea to familiarize ourselves with the hows and whys of it."
     He recognizes that by giving his suggestion to allow Althena's Guard to do as it sees fit, they may obscure or alter the evidence or the process - a truth that would be inconvenient or possibly even dire, but a part of him recognizes that he can't call it a risk. It's something else.
     He doesn't have the words for it. Another gap in his comprehension, beyond the certainty that this is the correct course for him. (It might be only for him.)
     "I will be keeping tabs on the movements of the Glenwood continent armies."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Once more, Jacqueline nods sadly. Catenna was right - very few people set out, intentionally, to do wrong - not without having a reason for it.

She's quiet, though, only making a sound when Catenna winces. She starts to stand, but relaxes when it seems to only be temporary.

"...I agree. I think, for now...that's the best we can do." She says. Arleph provides some advice, as well as questions about what happened last time.

They were good questions, really. It might be important to look into it, which Ethius agrees with, as well.

She doesn't have much more to add, here. They were, for now, doing the best they could.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna closes her eyes again and sinks more heavily against the pillows. The pill Arleph gave her is helping, but energy is a finite thing, and she's been out of things for two days.

Pale grey eyes snap towards Ethius, and she sets hew jaw a little. "Stop that," she cuts in, her voice quiet but with a whiplike sharpness to it. "Kaguya is a dying woman. We can disagree with her actions, and even fear that the Veruni have designs on Lunar, and move to oppose them. But she belongs here as much as we do."

Looking back to Lydia, she meets her eyes with a tiny smile, then turns her gaze to Jay once more. Delicately, she reaches out to rest her hand over the alchemist's, giving a weak squeeze.

"I have one more pressing request," she says quietly.

Her cheeks colour, and she dips her head with a shy smile. "...Could someone please refill my tea?"

<Pose Tracker> Arleph Ardan has posed.

"That's a good assumption." Arleph waves vaguely in Lydia's direction. "It is likely he died, but confirmation on the matter would be a good start. Knowing on how it was dealt with in the past is a good start, as Ethius says."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"Whether Kaguya is from Lunar or not, I'm glad that she's at least healthier here, if not particularly happy with the course she's taking with that good health," Cyre says, glancing Ethius-ward with the kind of seasoned disaffectation that only someone who has mastered the Cat Job could possibly achieve. "Where we are from doesn't determine where we belong. We make that decision for ourselves, Ethius."

"But one thing is for sure. If the Guard tries to take on that damn Doom Whale, they probably aren't going to make it out in one piece. Can you imagine what would happen if their ships were all sunk in the process and they ended up stranded out here?" He shakes his head, then sighs, "Well. We can hope. But..."

"Leo is an honorable person," Cyre considers. "...But man, his sister did try to set us on fire. I don't think we can really feel guilty about what happened there."

'People setting me on fire' is a pretty good way to get on Cyre's bad side, it seems.

"Speaking of," he observes, "I've... never actually met Yuna. Just her really nice, if kind of spooky guardian. I should... try to fix that."

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

"A-ah, of course!" Jacqueline says, quickly taking up the pitcher and pouring more tea for Catenna. There was plenty left, so she would be set for a while - and she didn't mind sitting here to pour it for her. If it was something she could do to help her friend, she wouldn't mind - even if it was something as small as this.

Catenna had done the same for her, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius' firm declaration about whether Kaguya belongs here or not is rebuked, with all heart and kindness for her situation being spoken true of the gathered.
     The man who presently stands at the door seems physically unassailable - and often times, emotionally so, like his self-determination about what he canmustwants to do simply cannot be averted short of a good knock to the head (or two).
     The bearer of the Moon Spark, Catenna, finds strength in her weakness - as though a critical juncture to try and fight back against a terrible threat even in her present health - gives her support for Kaguya walking the very moon that her patron Guardian embodies.
     Cyre H. Lorentz, bearer of the Gale Claw, expresses gratitude that the former friend of the Caravan Kinship has found better health (if not agreement with what she'll do with it). The idea that one can make the decision for themselves as to where they belong, as he segues into whether or not the Guard should be allowed to partake in what seems a death wish.
     Ethius turns his head only over to Lydia - bearer of the Shining Star - of whom he knows considers herself a good friend to Kaguya even after everything, and how she often has a difficult time gripping more difficult emotions that come to mind about people and where they stand. (Some of which were, unquestionably, his own damn fault.)
     The three known bearers of Silver Mediums in modern Filgaian history, making them the closest mortals to their patron Guardians.
     ...
 
     It is not my place to convince them otherwise. He thinks to himself, staring ahead as Jay sees to helping refill Catenna's tea. Though the circumstances differ from my discussion with that nosy woman...
     A hand goes to his forehead.
     There are alternatives I cannot allow to come to pass.
 
     He is alone with his thoughts, as he seems to be alone with his declarations. Though he is in the same room as the rest, in a way, he continues to stand alone as they all reassure one another in wake of the latest challenges to befall the Caravan Kinship.
 
     ...And yet, I am no closer to knowing what it is, exactly... I am here to deal with.