2019-05-11: One Last Bottle Of Wine

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  • Log: One Last Bottle Of Wine
  • Cast: Ambrosius, Amaterasu, Elvis, Kaguya Alathfar
  • Where: Luca - Residential District
  • Date: May 11, 2019
  • Summary: After the disaster of Operation Mi'ihen, the Veruni regroup and discuss their next steps.

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Suffice it to say, things had not gone according to plan. It necessitated an immediate retreat to a safezone, to tend to their wounds as well as consider how to progress from here.

Ambrosius chose the location this time - it's fairly remote, and perfect for allowing them to discuss whatever they needed to without having to worry about anyone overhearing.

It was not particularly ornate, but there was a workbench and supplies for quick, temporary repairs to damaged equipment - which would undoubtedly be necessary, considering recent events.

A table had been set up with a series of chairs around it. Three glasses have been prepared, as well as a single bottle of apple wine.

Ambrosius's last, from his last resupply before they all found themselves brought to Spira.

He sits at the table, awaiting arrivals. He is uncertain how many to expect, but he is remaining positive.

Outside the refurbished Scutum Minerva awaits, her presence marking this, to those familiar with her, as the designated meeting place.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    Amaterasu had retreated as soon as it had been possible to do so properly -- in this case, with a minimum of fuss and impedement from the collection of the wounded parties in the operation.

    They, meaning in this case the Veruni, had a rendezvous point separate from that of the Crusaders or indeed, even the Guard. She had made her way to it.
    Her only consolation is that Kaguya had escaped. That, she had learned on the way to this designated point, and it had brought her a sense of relief.

    If she had been reunited with her sister only to lose her forever...

    "Amaterasu checking in," she announces, passing Minerva and stepping inside. "Status report requested."
    This is the point where she begins the lengthy task of removing her armor; it has seen a beating from the Spawn. But there's also something else she's been unable to attend to properly--

    "Tch..." the commando hisses, at last pulling the spine wedged in one arm free. Trapped between the joints in her armor, it hadn't been possible to remove before.

    Still half-clad in armor, the life-long soldier then seeks a chair and sinks heavily into it.
    Purple-black shadow ghosts the length of her armor after.

    "I was only treating the symptoms before," she says, by means of explanation. "With the spine gone, the toxin will cease."

    So that's how she got from there to here while envenomated.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

Well, that operation... could have gone better.

For all the effort the Humans and others put together, for all the powers that be amongst the upper echelons of civilization, even the Human Goddess' champion-- were scattered like dust. Truly a remarkable creature.

Even when sustaining great damage, it regenerated what it had lost. Many questions arose that day about the creature known as Sin, and research was now afoot!

First though, best to check in with everyone else. Especially after a frayed communication attempt mid-battle.

But another meeting was arranged, back at Luca. Far from... whatever was left of that place. Leave the Humans to pick themselves up, there was work for him to do that required his attention!

Elvis isn't exactly a stealthy individual, his massive form passes by windows and doorways, yet there are times when he manages to get by everyone unseen. It is a wonder how he pulls it off.

Elvis gives a small nod toward Minerva as he comes in. The man still wears his weill coat with purple pluming blouse sleeves coming from the arms. His monocle still rests on his face. He seems wholly unharmed, though quite exhausted. "Urgh. Hello!" he greets his fellow Veruni, a giant hand waving once. "Did everyone make it out alright?" he asks.

He still had his concerns for Kaguya.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

On the one hand, Kaguya would absolutely travel even on a boat to get to some of this wine. On the other...

Well, the hands aren't really comparable. It's like a person's hand and a clock's hand; disjointed, forever apart not because of anything they've done, but simple fact of life. They will only meet when there is purpose. So it is, with the desire for fine things... and the mission at hand.

That sort of unpleasant dichotomy is a lot of things, now.

Kaguya, naturally, has been first obligated to deal with her contacts in the Guard; this is the main reason for her delay. She has of course assured through messengers that she's fine... But, well.

She travels inconspicuously, not willing at the moment to deal with the headaches that could come at any moment if Yevon takes issue to their actions. But now...

Kaguya watches Minerva for a moment before she comes in. She seems to approve. But now...

Draped in loose fitting attire, this time it's Kaguya's turn to go for a poncho, this one pale green; sturdy boots, dark pants. She has some stuff with her. And here, now--

"...Well, I never expected you to get any less hardcore, Sister."

This is Kaguya's announcement as she appears in the doorway, steps into the room and looks over the others. She is... well, she's had better days--she's had worse days, but she is a little pale, a little beat up for the moment.

"I'm fine," Kaguya says to the others. "Teleportation interference fatigue. Pretty sure by now all my organs have settled, anyway. It's not like I'd be there without an escape route."

She walks over, takes a seat at the table. "...Is that what I think it is, Ambrosius?"

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Minerva doesn't offer any response to any of those that approach the door - not to Elvis's nod, nor Kaguya's brief watching. She simply stands there, wordlessly and without any apparent emotion.

But once Kaguya has passed through, Minerva steps in front of the door. Everyone who should be there is now present - no one else is getting through unless they are meant to be there as well.

On the inside, Ambrosius greets Amaterasu with a nod of acknowledgment.

Elvis follows shortly after, and he gets a nod as well. He decides to address both the questions at once.

"I suffered an injury in the midst of battle, but it has since been tended to. ...I have been going over the data I gathered from the battle since." Ambrosius replies. To the best of his ability, anyway - without the proper tools and workplaces, there was little he could do to sort everything out.

And then, someone arrives that takes a great weight off his shoulders. He visibly relaxes at the sight of Kaguya as she walks through the door. He had been concerned, but seeing that she was alright - well, as alright as she could be after that - is a weight off his shoulders.

"It is, indeed. Would you care for a glass?" He asks, then looks between Elvis and Amaterasu. "And of course you both are welcome to it, Amaterasu, Sentinel Elvis."

Another glass is added to the bunch, making four.

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    Amaterasu has not yet properly begun to unpack her feelings about Sin. Survival came first, followed by the retreat. And now, of course, she is tending to the wound and the poison that still courses -- disintegrating under the assault of her magic -- in her veins.

    But if she had, it's likely her thoughts on the being would be something akin to this:

    It's an abomination.

    A monster, even a powerful monster, is a thing that can die.
    Perhaps even a 'god' might be slain.
    But all that had been vented upon it hadn't even left the slightest scratch. It had made itself become utterly untouched.

    She wants to think that if she -- they -- were to come at it again, perhaps the outcome might be different.
    But Amaterasu hasn't lived over a century and a half as a soldier by being stupid.

    "Sentinel," she speaks, lifting her gaze a fraction as she continues her spellwork. Her lips part, as if she were about to answer the rest of his question -- about Kaguya.

    And then Kaguya answers.

    A good eye will note that Amaterasu tenses in her seat, suggesting that of motion begun and abruptly terminated. She remains seated.

    "Sit down," she tells her younger sister, her glance averting, attention turning back to her magical purge. "You look like you're about to collapse."

    She says this, as if she hadn't just walked in the state she's in, without really acknowledging her sister's own comment on the same.

    The shadowlight soon fades, like darkness under a rising sun. Amaterasu exhales and leans back in her seat.

    "Good. Keep me informed, Ambrosius. Sentinel, what was your assessment?"

    Straightening in her seat, she reaches for a glass herself in the next moment.

    "Thank you. I suppose this must be the last bottle."

    Her downing of the contents of the glass is hardly proper.
    Even for an experienced soldier, stress takes its toll.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

The entry of the fourth of the group causes Elvis to emit a loud sigh of relief. "We thought the worst!" he exclaims. "I thought the worst!" he addendums. "Glad you are okay, though." The man takes a seat at the table, looking to the glasses. More wine...!

Ambrosius always did have the best tastes in drinks.

"Certainly. Who am I to deny a drink after what just happened...!" His mind ticks on theory after theory, his eyes glance around oaccsionally. It was a common sight to the Veruni-- a normal person might think him deranged or some kind of addict, but in reality his mind was goign far faster than a typical person's.

"Hm?" He comes back around when hearing 'injury'. He sees the wound Amaterasu sustained, and Ambrosius has taken some pain as well, according to his testimony. "Those creatures were abnormal for sure. Even the Human's great spellcaster did only temporary damage to it. Though I am formulating an idea on how to wound it."

A look to Amaterasu. "We will get our chance on this creature. Don't worry."

Elvis crosses his beefy arms and looks to those assembled. His gaze lings toward Ambrosius longer than the others. "I feel the weakness may be in those 'pyreflies' the creatures spew on death."

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"Sorry to worry you," Kaguya says as she takes her seat. She doesn't even complain at Amaterasu's direction, here--maybe that's a sign she's serious... or maybe it's a sign she's injured. One or the other. Or something else. Hard to tell. ...Indeed, that's kind of the main thing just now, if someone looks--it's hard to actually read Kaguya's expression, as she remains something... thoughtful.

No--not thoughtful. Something resembling it.

"I'd love one," she answers Ambrosius at that, though. She does not comment on motion that didn't happen. "Heh. Half my condition is just this shade of green; the color washes me out. I'll be back to full capacity soon enough."

Kaguya takes only a sip--a sip, which she savors, letting the wine roll in the glass, lifting the scent to her nose. This particular wine, after all, is worth the trouble.

"Ghaleon wasn't able to defeat it the first time we met it, either," Kaguya admits to Elvis about the humans' spellcaster. "But this time, we do have other advantages. I agree--we will get our chance, Professor. I think the use of pyreflies could be a good place to look..."

"But I've collected some data, too. I set sensors all up and down the cliffs where the operation was to take place, on each of the cannons, and in the main artillery used for the Operation. I also managed to get a number of them out with soldiers. As a result, I now possess a wealth of tactical data both on Crusader fighting techniques, but more importantly on Sin. Obviously, we haven't seen its full capabilities--indeed, I can confirm that the attacks it used didn't seem to strain it overmuch at all. More importantly, I have detailed information as to the rise and swell of what it used and what its Spawn used; the recordings have a lot more to process than I've had time, but we know now the ways in which it exerts force to start, among others. ...Long story short--I have a detailed record of exactly the energy it seems to take Sin to completely destroy human bodies of impressive variety. Sizes, shapes, capabilities, armaments. I'm going to analyze the records of the Sinspawn battles to see if there are any commonalities in terms of what was most effective, as well."

"...In short," Kaguya says, "The losses suffered are terrible. But I would not call the outcome a failure; the data we've gathered will be of significant assistance in calibrating our weapons systems for the further battles to come."

"Our goal is unchanged. While the others involved grieve their losses, we can prepare. Things are about to get interesting."

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

"Understood." Ambrosius replies, to Amaterasu's request to keep her informed. He still had much to consider, himself, about Sin - but he would do his best to include them in his thoughts, as well.

But, in the present, the others agree to a drink and so he pours each of them a glass, passing one out to everyone.

"Indeed it is..." He confirms with a grim nod toward Amaterasu. He does not comment on the way she downs her glass. After everything they've been through, he doesn't blame her.

He listens curiously as Elvis comments on Sin...and Kaguya echoes it, and explains the depths of her preparations. It leaves him in stunned silence for a moment. He had expected her to have some kind of plan, but the depths of it exceed his expectations by far. And what's more, it seemed that even now she had more plans waiting in the wings.

"...You are as resourceful as ever, I see." He comments, bowing his head. "I can transmit to you the data I acquired from my battle, as well."

<Pose Tracker> Amaterasu has posed.

    Her gaze lingers on Ambrosius out of the other three -- he must be familiar with the sentiment. In fact, no one comments on her behavior. But then, they all know war.

    To war is to claim glory.
    To war is also to lose.

    These are both facts that Amaterasu has learned over the years. She has both weathered victories and losses, many of the latter more grievous and lasting than those suffered on the field against Sin. They will recover. They will learn. They will carry on and they will overcome.

    But.

    There's that nagging sense. That creeping doubt slipping over her threshold and inwards.
    Again.

    "I am not worrying, Sentinel," Amaterasu states when she sets the glass down. "I am merely reflecting on what I have seen today." Her arm is steady, as is her gaze. But for that moment prior, it might be possible to overlook that there was anything untoward about her behavior at all.

    She's thinking about it now. About Sin, that is.

    She settles back again, and proceeds with removing her armor.

    The last thing to go will be the head armor, which she rises to her feet to leave on the workbench.

    "There's interference in the communication line, Kaguya. Take a look at it later."

    Her back to the rest of them for the moment, her gaze lingers on the wall.

    She turns back to face them all. "Pyreflies... it seems all the creatures here are composed of them." She shakes her head. "I'll leave the theorizing to you and my sister Sentinel. Just tell me where to strike."

    Kaguya tells some of the information she's gathered. Dispassionate, Amaterasu only listens.

    "Indeed," she says in the end. "We lost little of importance for our own cause, merely for our immediate offensive on the moon."
    A few hundred or more human lives are acceptable losses if it grants them tactical advantage down the line, though they should take care not to squander resource moving forward.

    "If we can make something of what has happened today, then it is acceptable." She reaches over for the bottle, pours herself another glass.

    Coldness runs in the family.

    "See what you can glean from your research," she speaks, to all three of them. "In the meantime, I need to think on what can cut what cannot be cut," Amaterasu states. This, glass, at least, she takes at a far more proper and reasonable pace.

    But here she falls silent, watching and listening to the three more scholarly Veruni speak.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"THe Lens is not up to par for recording as of yet," Elvis comments, pointing a finger to the monocle. "But I saw plenty that I needed to see, and made sure to transcribe it to tome as I left." The man sips on the wine provided. Good. Hearty! "Ever consider becoming a vintner in your spare time, Ambrosius?" This probably isn't even the first time he has asked this in their travels.

"Well then, always thinking ahead, eh Kaguya?" he asks, amused. She was the brightest in the class, after all. "It definitely has some kind of spatial or gravitational distortion abilities."

He takes a moment to consider. "Those Pyreflies seem to make up the spawn's bodies, and seeing the one you named Ghaleon strike Sin cause uncountable numbers of them to fly out. It is conjuring some kind of shell to protect it using them, I deduce." A pause. "On the opposite end of this, the pyreflies fly off and disappear whenever Summoners do... something. Or so I have heard. I require more data to understand this act!"

A consideration for future actions. "If there is a way to deplete those, that would be handy. "That would be most helpful, AMbrosius! We will crack the secret of this creature in time."

A thoughtful nod toward Amaterasu. "Always worth remembering, as ancient scholors once said. 'You learn more from a loss than you do from a gain'." How wise they were. Those ancient tomes were so valuable! Elvis would never tire re-reading them.

"There will be plenty of need for that, Amaterasu! That I promise. Got to make those little lights appear, after all! Just... save some for me, eh?" A fatherly chuckle is given at the end of the sentiment. Amaterasu never seemed the sort to count kills and such, though he always likes to think she might, somewhere inside.

"Are there plans to attempt another strike agains this Sin being?" the Sentinel asks, after a small time.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"You say resourceful," Kaguya demurs, "But I can be resourceful because I've already had time to set up my resources. I've had a long time to think about my strategies and start preparing. And your presence opens up a lot of new avenues."

Kaguya grins. "Nah, I'll take the compliment, coming from you it's cool. I'd appreciate the data; a lot of my sensors were lost in the battle anyway." A beat, "Man. I didn't expect this stuff, here. I canget a lot of things, now... But not Gounon wine."

Kaguya has had her chance, already, to reflect some upon what was seen. She does have care, for some lost--for many. But the goal remains, and they must ever onward. So here...

"You got it," Kaguya answers Amaterasu, and says nothing at all about her unusual behavior. Oh, she notices, all right--but it is the way of the little sister, to know when to needle, when to not. She has plans still. ...Besides, being trusted with this--not the idle tinkerer of her youth, but active...

"When it's time," she tells her sister, "We'll have the weapons ready, too."

Coldness runs in the family; Kaguya is a scientist in this. She has shown her care for the brave who deserved it, and will do more later. Now is the time to act on what those sacrifices bought.

She does appreciate the compliment from Elvis of all people though. "Not just spatial and gravitational distortion--but on an incredible scale. It's... incredible," she says simply. "And to all accounts, it does it naturally. To even think of harnessing that sheer amount of force..."

Well, Kaguya's thought about it, all right.

"I'm not sure it's conjuring it so much as that it's made of them entirely--pyreflies appear to be reactive to emotion, thought, in some way. ...What this says about Sin's nature, I don't know; is it simply a gigantic Fiend, the accumulated hatred and resentment of all species driven to extinction in the geological history of our two worlds? ...It's rampant speculation, admittedly. Not productive. But exciting to think about."

"If we want to investigate pyreflies, then our mission should be to approach Guadosalam. I've heard that it's the center of research into the phenomenon here... Though, it's also a stronghold of Yevon, so it may get complicated." A beat, "But you could also ask a Summoner to demonstrate. Or, if they aren't amenable to asking, start breaking shit until they feel the need. Probably not necessary if you find a nice one, though. Why wouldn't they be eager to show off the Blessing of Yevon?"

She waves a hand. "But, you're right, Professor. Science is advanced through continued experimentation--if we're afraid to be wrong, then we'll never get anywhere. Besides--I lost good men and women in the operation, myself. ...i can best honor them by staying the course. And I assure you, that's the plan."

"There will be another strike, but it's going to take time. Next, I intend to use a smaller, more surgical force; since we've established that the largest force we can accumulate can't do the trick, I think it's a waste of lives to build another giant army. We can't take its attacks outright--so something more maneuverable is best. I have some surprises to show you two on that front..."

<Pose Tracker> Ambrosius has posed.

Ambrosius chuckles good-naturedly at Elvis's suggestion.

"I am too fond of the drink, I am afraid. I would not be able to keep enough product to sell." He replies. Kaguya seems to appreciate the wine, as well, and he bows his head politely. He was glad he was able to share it, at least

His attention turns to Amaterasu, then, as she speaks. He considers her words, then looks toward Elvis as he provides his own theories.

An interesting thought, that. They would need to learn more, if they were to act. Kaguya adds in her own thoughts, as well, and Ambrosius takes a moment to consider all of them.

Guadosalam...perhaps that was worth looking into. He had heard some things about it - largely due to many mistaking him for one of the Guado people due to similarities in their stature.

"I can look into that." He comments with a nod. He listens with interest, then, as Kaguya mentions that there will be another strike.

A smaller, more surgical choice...he nods in approval. It was a wise decision. Indeed, they had already seen that it would take more than great power to deal with Sin. Even the Dragonmaster's terrible power hadn't been enough.

Ambrosius listens with interest.

<Pose Tracker> Elvis has posed.

"This place is quite interesting! A cut of life most strange. Who would have thought a kind of Human would forsake that which many generations strived to learn and gain?" Elvis jsut shakes his head. He will never understand religious types.

"Hum. Related to emotion you say?" Elvis ponders. "Wonder if it reacts to Malevolence any?" he muses. "Or if it is related somehow." Possibly not-- the pyreflies were incredibly colorful, a presmatic affair if any. Most unlike the colors of a rotting bruise the other sports.

Though the fiends certainly did match that palette more often than not.

"I am planning to get more information from Summoners myself. Though gaining entry to Guadosalam could be related path now..." A pause to let Kaguya finish. "So you think a small force may fly under its radar?" he posits.

"Eh, nothing wrong with something to enjoy, Ambrosius!" He is quite the adept at water Ether. Would make sense he would be great making wine! Okay, maybe that is a bit of a stretch.

"I'll make sure to update you lot with whatever I find. Surely a secret for its defeat rests with the strange creatures Summoners summon as well, if they are supposedly able to feel the beast. Perhaps a weakness they summoned beings emloy in their favor..." He seems to be musing again.