2019-05-22: Save The Nahuals

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  • Log: 2019-05-22: Save The Nahuals
  • Cast: Ratatoskr, Cyre H. Lorentz
  • Where: Great Spiran Sea
  • Date: May 22, 2019
  • Summary: Rocks fell, then they didn't. Nobody died...? But then they weren't there. Where did they go, and why?

=================================================<* Great Spiran Sea *>=================================================

The Spiran archipelago is, unsurprisingly, composed of a series of islands. One is large, some are fairly big, the rest are quite small. Travel between the islands is accomplished by a series of small, local ferry runs between Spira's major seaports. Each of these ferries is pretty much like the rest - a large two-masted brig equipped with a pair of paddle wheels that allow the vessel to run on chocobo power whenever the wind is low.

Because all of the ferries are basically the same, this is the one you're on. Whatever one that is. Wherever it's going. You're on it.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoSAJeVwg8
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Rocks fell. Then they stopped falling? It's hard to say what happened, out on that rumble on the rocky road. It's a blur. A tremendous presence emerged within that instant, something even more... great... than a tantruming Professor Elvis, and there were also shining lights of combined powers of sorcery, technology, and swordsmanship. There was also a lot of blood, of various colors.
     There is the unmistakable scent of quicksilver in the air. A scent that may have felt profane before, in more... war-like times. A scent that is unmistakable to anyone who fought on the front lines against the World Eater and their hordes. It is the most over-powering thing.
     Sight reveals earthy tones of stone and turf, the indigo of the night sky, and shining crimson stained with this same color. Two solid yellow lights of non-matching luminosity, like eyes, peer down.
     That is because they are eyes. One flickers, before stabilizing. A dimmer crimson shadow sways behind them every so often, occasionally shifting rapidly like it were on alert before relaxing again. It's a cloudless night, Gaia in full view above.
     With the right people, a romantic setting.
     This is nowhere near the right people.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

It's more accurate to say that the rocks un-fell. That they had fallen and then were sort of... levered back up into place, flung inverse through time and causality to end up exactly where they used to be.

All in all, an amazing sight to see, if it did not also result in a lot of grief for a lot of undeserving people. It would have been nice if the Veruni DIDN'T throw a literally mountain-crushing tantrum, but what's done is done. Cyre wasn't precisely conscious enough to appreciate Elvis cleaning up after himself. The Nahual form is strong, but wind cannot support a mountain for long, not without exerting itself to the point of exhaustion. Under ordinary circumstances, he would probably be tucked into a comfy bed and spoon-fed hot cocoa right about now, but these are not ordinary circumstances.

The sharp scent of Hyadean Mercury triggers well-honed danger pathways in his brain. His eyes shoot open in the dark, briefly reflecting the great blue globe in the sky above. Where is he? How'd he get here? Why isn't he being spoon-fed hot cocoa? More importantly--

Cyre bolts upright, predatory eyes peering into the near-total darkness until he finds what he's looking for.

A pair of glowing pinpoints in the murk. Artificial, attached to something that is very clearly capable of movement. His head is throbbing, but that doesn't stop him from stirring the winds, readying them in case the worst happens. "You... Why bring me here? Where is this? Who are you?" Many, many questions.

Not exactly unreasonable ones either, given the circumstances.

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    The way they start awake - fully alert, fight-or-flight - should startle. If this is a hostage situation, it's already failed, for nothing restrains Cyre's movement. Nothing stops him from raising a hand, an ARM, or a claw towards the source of yellow lights in the darkness. No threats, no directions - there's no sense that Cyre is surrounded or even really in any danger.
     Aside from that one presence, unfamiliar and removed from the company of those Cyre trusts and (in one stand-out case) loves.
     "You're alive? You're alive...!"
     They sound really happy by this. Light is shed a bit more on their features. A sharp-toothed grin. A great horn on their head. The swishing shadow behind them is also crimson... a big, segmented metal-plated tail. A casual sweep reveals stains where a Hyadean once bled, but no longer does. It smells somewhat fresh.
     Their regenerative qualities. To look upon the likes of Riesenlied and the Tainted who believed in her and take them for the 'norm' is to forget what sorts of grievous injuries can be inflicted upon them. Grievous injuries that rarely stick to any meaningful degree. Maybe a discoloration, if one is lucky. Lasting injury...
     A clawed hand reaches forward, the back of it, feeling the stirring winds against it. They are pointing the back of the hand forward, rather than extending it face-forwrd - like he wants to feel that wind? It shudders, as a tiny slit of quicksilver emerges from a point on their ring finger. Like the winds were slicing it open.
     "...Awesome..."
     Like experiencing that were something fun.
     "...I didn't ask Professor Elvis where this was... but it's close to where we were...!" So Cyre wasn't... taken?... far.
     He draws his hand back. Already, the wound is knitting itself closed.
     "You weren't crushed!" So is he going to crush him now, or-- "I didn't want you crushed..."
     He doesn't quite get around to saying who he is, as of yet, perhaps too overjoyed in this development to answer that.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

...

Everything about this situation is weird.

There are so many questions that Cyre wishes he never had to ask himself. Do Metal Demons have actual grade-A masochists? Is this one of them? Is he just SUPER WEIRD? The answer to the latter seems to be a definitive 'yes absolutely 100%.' Cyre stares agog at the mysterious metal squirrel-man in that way that only confused cats could ever hope to manage. "Uh. You... saved me?" Or... something? Did he need saving?

What even is going on?

The shrieking winds die down, calming to a steady breeze which still hints at the possibility of a coming storm. Cyre is maintaining a healthy, reasonable distance- a healthy, reasonable level of suspicion. This whole situation is weird. Beyond weird. What the heck, weird. The guy just bled himself on the vortex and called it awesome levels of weird.

"T...hanks?" Cyre decides after a moment or two. So Elvis knew that they were out here? That's good at least. The man may be a Veruni, but his enormous heart at least seems to be in the right place. Maybe this one, too? The war is over, after all. But-- "Did you see where my uh. My friends went to? I should... probably go let them know I'm not dead."

That's pretty much priority number one at this point.

But he's still unsteady on his feet. Exhaustion is no laughing matter, especially when it comes from channeling that much power. Cyre steadies himself against the enormous boughs of an alien Kapok tree. "...Sorry. Who were you, again? One of the Metal-- The Hyadeans, I'm guessing? I'm Cyre, a shaman." He hesitates for a moment, as if still not quite sure whether he should be doing this or not. "Sorry, this whole situation is... strange to me."

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    It is a good question as to whether the former 'Metal Demon' hordes had anyone who was really into pain to an unhealthy, self-satisfying degree - but to watch someone suffer such injury without lasting reprecussion to their well-being, one may wonder whether pain is something they can normally parse as the same signal it would to most other living things.
     There's no nod or 'yes' to Cyre's question - it might be self-evident. This random Hyadean, for reasons obscure and entirely alien, appears to have saved Cyre from what would have been his tomb. A tomb far, far away from the one his people have taken for themselves.
     The yellows of the eyes dim as Cyre tames the stirring winds, as if disappointed. This is a creature who shares little of the soft, personable features that the likes of Riesenlied, Zed, or Noeline boast. Animalistic, monstrous - like the war machine his people became when Mother stole away their homeworld, their destinies.
     "They weren't about to be crushed!" That's good news unto itself, if vague. "...I don't know... back that way?" Oh good, maybe Cyre can leave at any moment, at any time.
     "I'm Ratatoskr! Rapid Attacker...!" Mother took away everything about their identities, until they could be ground down to a convenient designation, and their role. His physique is lithe - a lighter frame than most of his ilk, even if he is taller than the near-total majority of humans. "Shaman?"
     His grin widens as he crosses his arms, standing upright to his full natural height. (Which is sort of a fuzzy figure when Hyadeans are natural shapeshifters, to a point.)
     "Nahual. Come onnn... you're more than a mere shaman? You're more than a mere shaman!" There's something predatory about that grin. ...Mmmmoreso than usual.
     "Those who give their bodies to bring form to the Guardians themselves...! Powerful. Honored... the very existence of any numer of them... historic."
     ...That is a very specific bit of the culture to be cognizant of. What interest does a former warrior of Mother have wi--
     "The Photosphere... everything was so... empty. The air never moved...! The ground never changed...! The flames rose and waned on demand...! The light is always what it is... the water was only where it should be..."
     Beat.
     "...most of the time..."
 
     DISTANT(?) PAST
 
     Some sort of slug-bug-whatever just spilled over an entire vat's contents of currently-mixing nutrient paste. He looks afraid for a moment, because this means he won't have nutrient paste.
     Then he has a terrible idea.
     He puts himself in the vat so that when they mix some more in there, he'll already be there to have more than his fill instead of the neonates they're intended for.
     (Spoilers: this did not work)
 
     NOW
 
     "...Then I step out into Filgaia for the first time... the air keeps pushing! The ground is all sorts of shapes, none of which make sense...! Fires come and go where they will...! Water... it goes everywhere. Light and darkness keep coming and going...!"
     He grins. Is he, uh, seriously excited over the concept of day and night? (Yes, yes he is.)
     "It's like it's always fighting you." Up until recently, indeed, the Guardians fought tooth and nail to keep the hordes of Mother from doing what they will. This is technically correct, but he doesn't seem to be speaking of a direct intervention of the powers that sustain the world. He seems to be speaking of entirely ordinary, natural phenomena, distilled into the concept of an opponent.
     "Hyahaha--!" That laughter. It's youthful, arrogant, and annoying. Worrisome, even. He doesn't look anywhere nearly as unsteady as Cyre does, a testament to his natural regenerative capabilities. What is this? A declaration of wanting to continue Mother's wi--
     "...I'm glad Mother didn't win..." ...Or, not. The yellows of his eyes dim, the closest approximation there will be to 'closing' because he might not actually have eyelids.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

The Hyadean psyche is a strange and tortured thing. How could it be anything but, when for centuries it has been subject to the machinations and manipulations of a planetary parasite? Sometimes it produces exceptions, but even they are... strange at the best of times. But it's exactly those exceptions who have thrived in Filgaia's social ecosystem, making it easy to forget that so many of these creatures are were born and raised as nothing less than living weapons-- and some of the more unfortunate ones even look the part.

This one, though.

This one... knows things. Things that it probably should not know, unless it's been in places that it should not have been. The ideas it's expressing are no less disconcerting. Cyre gives the strange Hydean a look that's somewhere between disbelief and confusion. "I... You're not wrong? But how do you even know about that?" Other than 'turning into Fengalon' a few hours ago, that is.

What was it like to live in the Photosphere, anyway? Everything was regulated and mediated by machinery. It was a veritable triumph of the artificial over the natural. Water still flowed, fire still burned, but all was controlled, held tight in a literal steel-clad grasp. To emerge into Filgaia for the first time when that was all you knew could give rise to this particular kind of interpretation, but to tint everything in the red hues of conflict and bloodshed is... Lamentable? Worrisome? How many of the others of his kind feel that way?

Cyre frowns.

"I'm glad she didn't win either," he says, experimentally settling himself down on a peculiarly chair-shaped whorl in the tree's boughs. He tests a few of the shed branches nearby for temporary use as a walking stick, to last at least until he can make it home. "...Your observations are not necessarily incorrect. The world is not a merciful thing, but it's not exactly right to say that it's always fighting you, either. You're walking on solid ground now, aren't you? Breathing air?" Do Hyadeans breathe? It's an interesting question. "Sometimes the elements fight you, sometimes they don't, sometimes they help, sometimes they harm. The difference is that they are allowed to be free to do these things."

It's not like he even intended to give a lesson on elemental balance or whatever when he woke up, but sometimes things need to be done. No matter how off-brand he seems, Cyre is still a priest through and through. Some things just kind of happen unintentionally. Like sermons.

"Still, it's good that you enjoy the world. I think. Better than the other alternative, anyway."

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Why does he know something like that? It's a good question. A good question, in a place and situation so bizarre as to be unsettling... but not inherently life-threatening? (Yet?) He hasn't paced any closer to Cyre, nor produced any means in which he could cause him harm from the distance they're at... but he sure seemed to fight with all enthusiasm and power available to him, when Elvis and himself were busy disrupting Pilgrimages for their own curiosity and/or whatever motivates this weirdo.
     "...It should sound like Mother would have won? But it was so long... so long before me..." He talks wistfully, though there's still a sort of weird, unsettling whimsy to that sort of voice. "...I wanted to meet all the humans that they said were crushed. All the humans they said they destroyed in droves and droves...! No matter what, I was going to fight them... I wanted to know! But all they kept saying... nothing more than just red stains. Red stains! They wouldn't say anything else...? They wouldn't say anything else!"
     He wasn't seen taking to the field in any capacity until close to the very end of Mother's days, and even then, only in the capacity of searching for any weapons that might've turned the tide.
     "...Except for..." He doesn't finish the statement. He might be gripping with sometehing approaching sadness, longing. A real, true sense of loss, a feeling that's hard for anyone to grapple with. Whoever that was. A member of his squad? A lover, a rival, who? He doesn't say. The normal twitchiness in this creature slows, and the tail starts to sag.
     Then it perks up again.
     "...It's really great. How many ways all of you fight... all the warriors, the heroes, of ages gone by... the ones who live now! Legends! Today! I'm living in the same time they are..." His facial expressions seem to only be in variations of 'how much he is grinning,' the eyes only dimming or brightening (so starting to get really bright). "I've gone through every record I could find! Everything, anything, anywhere, everywhere!! Stories and accounts of the deadliest weapons, the undefeted styles, the sorceries... ev-ery-thing...!" He leans forward - if not in Cyre's direction - his posture a bit more feral...
     As he starts swinging elbows at the air. Knees. Martial arts stuff. "I want to meet them all! I want to fight them all! I want to keep their names! Their means! Their everything!! No more 'they were just red splatters'! Hyahaha--!" A manic, even maniacal energy courses through him. "If the world's not fighting, it's just at rest... and not just that world? not just that world! This one too! This one that never existed to history...!"
     The sort of air, the sort of gestures, suggesting a building bloodlust. Aggressive intentions! Frightening intensity. A... sort of childish dream. This one must be young. To out and out idolize the very concepts of things he was born and bred to utterly annihilate.
     It turned into fascination.
     It turned into obsession.
     ...
     His tension passes - sort of - but it's more like he gets it in a tenuous grip as he faces Cyre. "You lived... it's great! Can you fight? I want to fight. I want to fight the closest thing there is to the 'Wind'! I want to keep how it feels... to fight the very fundamental force of this 'wind' itself...!"
     ...The both of them just got out of a life-threatening situation. Ratatoskr's regenerated from the worst of being beset upon by five highly skilled Drifters, and it may just be sheer bravado. He can't realistically expect Cyre to be in the condition to fight back.
     ...What would happen if Cyre said no?

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Well, that's certainly a... philosophy.

On the one hand, it's probably a good thing that he at least recognizes the individuality of the people he's fighting. On the other, uh.

...There's been enough fighting, hasn't there?

How much of this is just because he's obviously very young for a Hyadean, that he hasn't realized what war actually does to places? Of course, there are also martial arts that exist for existence's sake. But.

On the OTHER other hand, every bit of body language that's been expressed in the past thirty seconds seems to be all about that punchfight lifestyle and living it right here, right now, and potentially with Cyre's face.

Given the circumstances, that's... probably not the best idea.

You know, considering the whole 'hasn't eaten in who knows how long' thing and the 'physically and spiritually exhausted' issue.

It sucks that life has to contend with things like basic survival needs and all that gets wrapped up in not wanting to die. But then... Then Cyre has an idea.

You can tell it's a terrible, devious idea because his ears twitch mischeviously when it pops into his head.

Like tiny metronomes.

Very twitchy.

"Weeeeeeeell as much as that'd be great," Cyre bemoans. "I'm afraid that right now I'm battling my own <<fatigue>> and <<worry>> and <<hunger>> and I'm not sure that I'd be able to give you a decent fight if we went at it now. But hey, how about you give me a hand with that now, and sometime later we can--" Or rather, WILL INEVITABLY, "--Have a proper brawl, when the numbers are a bit more even. What do you say? Want to help get me home so that I can deal with all that?"

After all, it's an important lesson to learn: That these things are also enemies which must be conquered. But not necessarily with fists...!

(Also Cyre is not at all above bumming a ride from an easily manipulated killing machine because he is after all a cat and therefore kind of a jerk)

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    This is one who was born only for war. It could be all he knows. It could only be he has tried to seek out the specific surface information of who the heroes of war are, and not what has shaped them into it. What it has done to them. That moment of glory that has been cemented forever (for as long as this 'cemented' medium lasts, which tends to be far less than forever). To capture it in a hand, curl it in a fist, and punch it... that seems to be his dream.
     "...You can't fight?" Ratatoskr says as he approaches, pacing forward, leaning closer. "You can't fight!" He sounds incredulous. The solid yellow eyes dim, and that grin lessens as he sizes up the fatigued, injured Nahual. "But I can fight... and you're just as strong as I am... if not stronger... so you can fight, can't you...?!"
     The agitation reflects in how that tail flares out, shaking on end. Tense moments pass.
     ...
          ...
               ...
     "Okay."
     That was easy?! And anticlimactic. This is probably a good thing.
     "I can't wait... I can't wait...! Come on, come on, come onnnn!! Let's" fight, wait, "get you home... then we can fight!"
     He comes down to a kneel before Cyre, willing to help him up and support him with his tail to even help keep him stable on his back. The downside - he will have to listen, constantly, to him nerding out about what stuff he knows about the Nahual - which is surprisingly a solid grasp if not complete, even bits and pieces about Xibalba like he was there at least once (he was!).