2019-05-23: Respectfully, Please Keep One's Appendages At Respectable Length From The Individual Identified As Theirs

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  • Log: 2019-05-23: Respectfully, Please Keep One's Appendages At Respectable Length From The Individual Identified As Theirs
  • Cast: Ratatoskr, Cyre H. Lorentz, Jacqueline Barber, Catenna
  • Where: Luca - Port District
  • Date: May 23, 2019
  • Summary: In the process of an unlikely miracle occuring because of less the grace of another and more a byproduct of their obsessions, a fundamental law of existence is broken. Sentencing for this transgression is swiftly executed.

===============================================<* 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> Ratatoskr has posed.

    The days pass, and no further news comes about Cyre's whereabouts. Anyone asked about whether they saw someone matching Cyre's description comes up empty. A body is not recovered. The worst may have to be assumed, then, that in his tantrums the otherwise personable Elvis might have killed him. Grislier possibilities yet may arise on a gradient from this very conclusion.
     The truth is stranger.
     It is arguably a much better truth.
     It is also a truth that takes some very strange detours, but nonetheless ends up there at the end. Before one gets any more cryptic about matters of truth, anxiety, and metaphor, let's just... go to what's actually going on not all that far from Luca.
     "Hyahaha--!" Youthful, arrogant laughter from a 'Ronso' follows as they stick their digitigrade leg on top of a flailing Fiend. "These Fiends are the best! They don't relent...! They just keep fighting..."
     Said Fiend suddenly pops into fireflies, sending Ratatoskr on a well-deserved comical stumble to catch his balance. His grin fades, the sound of breath escaping between what gaps in those sharp teeth actually exist follows.
     "...Can you fight yet?" He asks, to someone he's been carrying on his back.
     While fighting.
     Pretty much everything along the way.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Ordinarily, you wouldn't expect anything good at all out of hearing about a Metal Demon wearing some kind of strange meat backpack. That's basically exhibit A for 'stuff that nobody ever wants to have to deal with,' given the possible range of implications. But this time, said meat backpack is very much alive, very much not a threat to Spira or the sanity and mental wellness of its citizens, and more importantly--

Is very, very hungry.

"I'm hungry," Cyre says from astride his strange transportation platform. "I don't think I've eaten in days. I've lost track. So no." When you're stuck on a battle-happy Hyadean who's been stomping nothing but things that disintegrate into pyreflies on defeat, there's not much opportunity to stop and gather anything meaningful to snack on. The best Cyre's managed is sniping birds out of the air and then laser-frying them for a quick bit of protein, but that's about as hit-or-miss of a culinary technique as they come.

But more importantly.

"Are we there yet?"

Surely Ratatoskr hasn't forgotten that he's supposed to be taking his passenger to the Caravan Kinship, right? At least word has probably spread of a strange metal squirrel punching monsters near Luca, and if anyone might have an idea of where Cyre or Elvis have gotten to, it's... probably that guy?

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

There was a Rumor. A rumor of a certain Hyadean - which the locals were calling a Ronso - traveling about and beating up Fiends.

Jacqueline hadn't heard anything of him since that day where they fought him and Elvis. But...it was possible that he had seen something - something that could be used to try and figure out what happened to Cyre. He seemed to take in everything related to those who fought, after all.

But...there was also the distinct possibility that he hadn't seen anything, either. But if there was a chance, however slim, then they had to try.

And so, on that road not far from Luca, Jacqueline carefully directs her chocobo-drawn wagon. It is currently empty of most goods, save a few crates they was bringing back to the Carakin.

She hoped that they would uncover the truth of shortly...and that Catenna would be alright if nothing came of it.

She had been rather worried about her, ever since that day.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

It's been a morose week for Catenna.

The closer one gets to the little campsite outside of Luca, the more one can catch the edges of a pleasant scent. Someone's making curry. The scent is sweet, sharp and inviting, as if someone had distilled the loving welcome of a hearth into an aromatic foodstuff. The source is a large black pot set to one side of the tent.

The Moon Shaman is much less lively and inviting than the smell of her food. Catenna's eyes are downcast, on the curry pot without actually seeing the course her stirring spoon takes through it. She could make this dish on instinct, and she did, barely thinking about it and still coming up with something good... but not up to her usual standard.

How can she bring herself to it? What she's lost makes it all seem irrelevant.

At the sound of movement in the distance, Catenna looks up, some unseen and unperceived urge drawing her attention towards a far-off sound. She can vaguely spot someone approaching, shouting like an idiot--

Her eyelids lower. She doesn't have it in her to deal with Ratatoskr. Zed's bad enough.

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Cyre will eventually be able to recognize they're about in the geographical area in which the CaraKin should be. In that respect, the broad strokes appear to be remembered and honored... if held in the hands of someone who seems to be enjoying themselves a little too much. Ratatoskr, too, has not eaten in some time... but this seems to have done very little to dampen his spirits, his enjoyment.
     "Maybe? Maybe!" He asks, and shouts, as if trying to relay a message as he stalks along about the roads just out of Luca. He's not sure. He's more eager about what'll come next once he gets there, so fixated on the idea, he hasn't quite mentally drawn that straight line of 'go here' when 'here' is a bit fuzzy.
     To hear his voice speaks the inevitable, as the chocobo-drawn wagon draws ever nearer across the roads. Cyre might feel a small 'smack' of the tail, which is what happens when it starts to stand on end by instinct. By acknowledgement and recognizing interesting, tantalizing things.
     He takes off on another set of start-stop-start-stop jogs and dashes, coming down to a predatory crouch that does not match where in the food chain where actual squirrels actually are, just from beyond a shallow hill...
     "Oh. Those aren't Fiends..." Ratatoskr sounds - and is - disappointed, just watching that wagon come up. Smoke rises from a nearby camp. The smell that wafts even this far out, well, he's not going to be the one who comments on what that could be.
     That's in the knowledge sphere of someone else. A... local expert.

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Honestly, what can you really expect from a giant, hyperactive squirrel-child? It could have gone way worse! Ratatoskr could have forgotten what he was doing halfway through and gone off to try and stomp Sin itself! This is really a significantly more acceptable turn of events than the alternatives.

Cyre sighs and lets his thoughts drift. The bittersweet pang of homesickness is not a familiar emotion. It wasn't all that long ago that Cyre had basically dropped everything to get away from home. But now his home is somewhere else, somewhere better, warmer-- How long will it be now, till he's there again? He can almost smell it now. That rich aroma of herbs and machine oil, rampant animal companions and a kitchen that never sees a wink of rest.

And that curry, that sweet, spicy, oh so tasty curry. He can practically taste it. If Pavlov's dogs had their bell, Cyre's belly has its curry. In his haze of hunger and exhaustion, he almost doesn't realize that the scent filling his nose is more reality than fantasy, until--

                                   *WHAP*

"Augh!" A tail! Smacked him in the face! "What was that for!? I--" Sniff. Sniff-sniff. "That smell. It's real...? I know that scent... anywhere...!" With a burst of desperate, starving energy, Cyre undoes the knots fastening himself to the Hyadean's back and falls to the ground with a great big *whumpf* of tattered fabric and tired, hungry shaman. He doesn't even notice that Jay's wagon is right there as he starts and fails to stagger to his feet, and instead just sort of crawls out of the brush like a man possessed, towards that not-so-distant campsite.

Whether Jay notices him first, or Catenna manages to emerge from her stupor before Cyre begins devouring her pot of stew is a tossup. But one way or another, Cyre's nose knows the way now. He's so close...!

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline noticed the smoke in the distance before she saw Ratatoskr. She had been heading back to it, after all.

"Catenna, I'm back! I brought some things, and-" Jacqueline starts, calling out...and then, her words cut off abruptly, as she hears something from nearby.

The familiar sounds of Ratatoskr...and, something else. No, someone. She watches as the bundle on the metal squirrel's back undoes itself and begins crawling toward Catenna's camp with purpose.

...No, it...it couldn't be, could it?

Struck both still and silent, Jacqueline can only pull on the reins of her bird, who comes to a stop and then looks back at her with a confused expression.

Jacqueline continues to stare silently, a look of disbelief on her face. That couldn't possibly be Cyre, could it...?

She doesn't call out just yet - nor does she finish her sentence.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

For a moment, Catenna is sorely tempted to go back into the tent and hunker down until Ratatoskr goes away. But that probably won't do anything - if she knows anything about this particular Hyadean, it's that he is both persistent and irritating. With a sigh, she sets her spoon to one side and reaches for where she's leaned a short sword.

The sound of Jacqueline's voice stops her. Lifting her hand away from the sword hilt, the Moon Shaman looks up towards her friend and surrogate sister. "We seem to have an unwanted guest," she says, her voice quiet and slightly tense, as she looks towards the source of the squirrel-sound again--

Just in time to catch sight of someone dropping to the ground. For a moment, Catenna stares at the person she sees struggling to try and take to his feet.

She doesn't utter a word. Before Jay can stop her, Catenna's running forward, her expression a welter of emotions as she practically rockets across the distance between herself and Cyre. In an instant she's sliding her arms around his shoulders to try and support him. She can feel tears beginning to form and her heart lunging into her throat.

Her hands are warm, delicate and familiar.

<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    Cyre escapes, just as Ratatoskr is distracted by the sight of a Crusader patrol going along another part of the road way over on the other side of the hill. Then he feels a lack of weight on his back slip off, and he twitch-turns with a brighter yellow flickering in one of his eyes as he sees Cyre crawl out of there.
     "What?!" He chases after. Cyre may have observed that Ratatoskr's land speed can be, when on all fours, 'yes.' But there is something that goes beyond physics and distances, and Cyre has already covered so much ground out of sheer will towards that smell--
     Then there's a crimson silhouette of a horned squirrel pouncing right down just behind Cyre, moving to put his hands around him and try to hoist him up in a bridal carry.
     "That's not the CaraKin...?" Beat. "That's not the CaraKin!" He says this, looking at the chocobo-drawn wagon and not the two young women who are bearing witness to an improbable, welcome miracle rapidly turning into an improbable, weird situation. "The CaraKin is one of the finest human-made carriers, housing only the finest weaponsmiths, warriors, and tacticians around!! That's just a wagon! Come onnnn!"
     He tries to turn away with Cyre in tow.
     "I'm taking you to the CaraKin...!! Not here!" Ratatoskr declares, as he dares to do the one thing no other living being should ever do.
     He's trying to get his hands on Catenna's man!

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

It's said that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

That much is certainly true for a whole host of different reasons, many too academic to bother listing. But half-way through his struggle toward that bubbling cookingpot, Cyre finds himself drawn there for a different reason entirely.

"Sorry I made you worry, I--" Cyre is silenced by a hug, a great warm embrace that is at once familiar and welcome and more comforting than any meal could ever manage to be. He breathes an exhausted sigh into her shoulder as tired arms reach up to encircle her waist. He's tired. So very tired. It looks like he's barely slept in days, let alone had time to do much of the basic upkeep that a body needs to remain presentable. But still, this is Cyre. It's undeniably Cyre.

And then a particular crimon squirrel grabs him from behind and in doing so makes the most terrible mistake that any living organism could possibly have made at this particular moment in time.

"Y' damn moron," Cyre growls as he tries to shake Ratatoskr's clinging claws off his back and shoulders, "These ARE the CaraKin. I'm where I need to be! Let go!"

(T minus five seconds to impact)

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

...That's definitely Cyre, alright. Even if Jacqueline couldn't trust her eyes, she could trust the way Catenna reacts, the way she throws herself at him and tries to support him.

Jacqueline can't help but smile. It was such a relief, to see the two of them together again...she had been so worried, about Cyre and Catenna, for what would happen to her if they could never find him.

But then, she remembers Ratatoskr - or rather, Ratatoskr makes himself remembered. He jumps after Cyre, and tries to drag him away...to the CaraKin??

Jacqueline feels like a terrible misunderstanding has been made.

"A-ahh! W-wait, what are you doing!? We're right here!" Jacqueline calls, frustrated, just as Cyre does the same. She doesn't do anything yet...

...but it's not likely she'd have the time to, anyway.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

A week ago, Catenna was convinced she'd lost Cyre - that Elvis's tantrum had robbed her of the one she loved more than anything. And yet, here he is, brought to her by, of all people, Ratatoskr - one of the most combative of the Hyadeans.

Curling her arms around Cyre, Catenna squeezes her eyes closed and cuts him off the only way she can think of: By hugging him as hard as she can and kissing his forehead lingeringly. A full-on kiss would probably take too much out of him. All she wants to do right now is hug the Nahual and bundle him away for the rest he needs. "Shh," she murmurs, embracing Cyre tightly, tears streaming down her cheeks and into his shoulder as she buries her face there a moment. "I'm glad you're here... I'm so glad."

And then Ratatoskr steps in and scoops Cyre up. Catenna's left hand remains locked on Cyre's arm. She begins to rise into a partial crouch.

When Ratatoskr looks her way, he'll get about a second's warning in the form of a flat stare that slices straight through her tears as if someone had just equipped her eyes with atomic rays and fixed them on the Hyadean. More to the point, he'll get the sight of the Moon Shaman's shoulder bunching as she cranks her right arm back.

It is at this point that it might become apparent that Ratatoskr done goofed.

Catenna lets out a loud shout and springs upward with a high, arcing uppercut intended to catch Ratatoskr on the point of the chin. She puts all her strength behind it, including the strength she doesn't have. Catenna does not often hit people, but right now she's ready to knock a metal squirrel into the upper atmosphere.

GS: Catenna has attacked Ratatoskr with Chou Hissatsu Tenjo Tengen Hands Off My Man Love Love Punch!
GS: Catenna has gained 1 Combo!
GS: Catenna has completed her action.
<Pose Tracker> Ratatoskr has posed.

    (T minus five seconds to impact)
     "You can't fool me about today's legends..!
     (T minus four seconds to impact)
     Those clawed hands of his cradle around what he has of a hold on Cyre as though he were the most precious thing in the world. The sharp points at the ends of those fingers, daintily clasping.
     (T minus three seconds to impact)
     He looks the captive Cyre in the eyes, grin widening, like he is imagining this might be the happiest day of his life, carrying him back in his arms.
     (T minus two seconds to impact)
     His head turns glacially as a power he has never felt nor experienced begins to build. Almost every living creature in existence has the urge to start walking the other direction.
     (T minus one second to impact)
     Eyes lock upon Catenna and - wow, his eyes start to fluctuate in luminosity as though uncertain about what he's--
 
     OVERKILL
     ...yes
 
     Ratatoskr's jaws fuse together viscerally, spittle and quicksilver fill his maw but have no means of escape. His grasp on Cyre slips as it seems like the entire moon goes through a cataclysmic cosmic event. Like a thundering shockwave echoes across the highroads, like the pool of water in the Blitzball Sphere spills a little, like the clouds of the more distant Thunder Plains scooch a smidge away.
     Like Sin might hesitate for a moment to keep moving in the direction it's going, wherever it is.
     A crimson red silhouette corkscrews into the open air, contrails following as the Hyadean horned squirrel-like warrior reaches altitudes unheard of before they disappear in a twinkle.
     His hands are no longer on Catenna's man.

GS: Ratatoskr takes a solid hit from Catenna's Chou Hissatsu Tenjo Tengen Hands Off My Man Love Love Punch for 141 hit
points!
GS: Ratatoskr has Fallen! He is no longer able to fight!
<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

And yet, in spite of being at ground zero of that moon-quaking shockwave, the worst Cyre experiences is a bit of the blastwave tousling his hair back, as if it the worst of it was actively avoiding him somehow.

Funny how that works.

Cyre watches as Ratatoskr's limp body traces a perfect arc toward the distant earthrise. This is partially his fault, he recognizes, but on the other hand, he can't bring himself to feel *too* guilty about what just happened. Dude done goofed, ain't nothing more needs to be said.

"That's my girl," Cyre says in the aftermath of Catenna's terrifyingly brutal uppercut. "Think I'mma take a nap now though. So tire--"

                                  *whumpf*

Cyre falls right back over.

...

He seems to be snoring softly.

Food can come as he's roused, but for now, this has been a long last few days.

At least now, he's finally home. He can relax and rest and be spoonfed curry and hot cocoa for at least one or two days.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Catenna's judgment is swift, brutal, and...well, entirely justified. Jacqueline winces. It's almost like she can feel that, even from where she's standing. She wouldn't wish that on anyone, but...he had kind of brought it upon himself.

"A-ahh...well then." Jacqueline says, clearing her throat. She can't help but smile as Cyre collapses, probably into Catenna's arm.

"I'm going to go get you some potions, he might need tending to after...everything." She says, heading back to the wagon. She imagines Catenna will want to be the one to handle that.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Smoke pours off of Catenna's fist following impact. She hangs there for a moment.

Then Cyre offers up praise - and collapses into sleep.

Catenna gasps, dipping to scoop Cyre up into her arms - but he's dozed off already. Her fight posture drops away as she sinks right back into relieved tears.

Carefully gathering up Cyre, she looks up at Jay - and the smile she beams to her is as wide and raw as any she's shown to date. "...Thank you," she manages. It barely seems like enough.

Cyre's tired. He's exhausted. But he's back. Things are OK again.