2019-06-05: Disaster Assassins

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  • Log: Disaster Assassins
  • Cast: Talia, Seraph Amaranth
  • Where: Moonflow
  • Date: 5th June 2019
  • Summary: The strongest blades in the world, howeve,r it is so fragile as to shatter when handled by any force other than the delicate touch of a lesbian.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

After a little while, Ivan had to leave -- they can only coo over Queen Anastasia for so long -- and it's gotten later in the day, to the point that the sun has set and night came along. Talia helped clean up a little; moving a couple of mannequins into place, doing some of the dishes from dinner, and then decided it was time to find Amaranth and ask about the bombshell that didn't have a royal origin.

The Cult found her.

Talia has had enough time to mull it over that she isn't raw with shock, but the shock hasn't gone away either. She walks into the living room, then comes up behind the sofa. She leans onto the back, next to Katherine, and leans down to look at her from the side.

Her head is tilted, black hair falling in waves, and her red eyes are concerned instead of playful. The oft-mentioned winsome smile isn't there, but she has that focused, serious look that is cute in its own way.

"Do you want to talk about it?" she asks. There isn't any question what 'it' is.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth has spent the rest of the day, having thus been thoroughly bereft of spoons, cuddling Queen Anastasia in bed in the way she's often found when she's in critical mental state.

... ... is this a cause of worry for Talia?

"Um--" she pulls up from where, after Ivan left, she's let the facade melt away and has returned to being in cucco-print jam jams, pulling her head up as her bobble-ended nightcap wags to one side.

"Sorry, uh-- I was-- I wasn't helpful with the chores today. I, sure, we can do that..." Amaranth speaks.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Oh, don't apologize. If I'd known, I'd have not dropped by with Ivan, but..." But there was no way for her to know, and for all that Talia will beat herself up about some things, she doesn't beat herself up about things she had no way to know better. The former assassin hesitates -- and then she slips around to climb into the bed.

Cuddling a plant is fine, but she knows she makes a better cuddling partner than Queen Anastasia. She wraps her arms around Ammy, then she pulls her over closer.

She shakes her head.

"...Is, ah..." She hesitates. "...Was it the same one as before? The one from Luca?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth furrows her brow and shakes her head. "N-no, it was... it was nice to finally meet him. I just hope my offer... well, that he'll consider if if things do turn out bad. That's all I can hope for now," as she clings to Talia as a couple of helper doves bobble Queen Anastasia and her pot back towards its rightful place.

"No, there were no assassins in Luca. Just, there were a lot of eyewitnesses when I had to use... it."

She bobs her head. "And as I feared, someone's ears were to the ground. They followed me and found me."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I think... we just need to give Ivan time, no? For that. He is--he is like I was, but he is different. I liked to smile and pretend to be close to people, to hide how things hurt with friendliness. He hides them with grumpiness, no?" She smiles, her head tilted. "The offer is there, when he needs it."

She sighs, and then wraps both of her arms around Amaranth, and pulls her closer. Talia bites her lip, as she thinks about it.

"...I am sorry," she says. "I hoped... hoped it wouldn't come to that. You are okay, right? Whoever they sent--they did not hurt you, did they?"

One thing at a time, Talia thinks.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth nods very gently. "I know. And he needs space, and doesn't like to be crowded, I can tell," she expresses. A pause. "I feel like I was more like that, once upon a time. But I warmed up..." she chuckles very faintly, even through the fear, as she clings a little harder to her.

"There was a Drifter that saved me. I-- well," Amaranth bobs her head. "But I tipped my hand. I could have run away and left everything to her. Layna. But..."

She furrows her brow.

"It didn't feel right. And-- she got hurt protecting me, and I had to use a technique and tip my hand to drive her off."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia nods her head along with what Ammy says, because it makes sense to her; both that Amaranth used to be like that, and that Ivan needs space. Both of those things are true. She looks at her, thoughtfully.

Layna? She met her, briefly, a couple of times.

"I am glad she was there, then, no?" she says. A little part of Talia thinks she should have been -- except she can't be with Ammy every waking moment. She has other things she is supposed to do. She glances to the side.

"If you hadn't used the technique, she might be hurt worse. It is... we have to work with how things are, no?" she says. "And... that is how things are. It wouldn't do to let her be hurt. We'll... we'll just have to be ready, for the Cult, if they come back."

'When,' really.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth furrows her brow a little deeper, but glances aside as she nods. "I'll... try to console myself and say that's a bit of good I did, rather than running away again." She reaches towards one of the hands Talia's got around her and squeezes it.

"But... in a way, they also tipped their hand. By existing here in Spira, that suggests to me that they've either snuck onboard one of the Guard's ships... or more likely, they've infiltrated the Guard."

She furrows her brow. "I had been suspicious for a long time, but I think it's more than a coincidence..." Talia has reconnected.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It is absolutely a bit of good you did," Talia says, and it's firm but not unkind. She squeezes the hand that Ammy takes, and her brow furrows while she thinks about it. She knows the Shadow Dragon Cult mostly by reputation; they were less active on Glenwood, and that means she has to stop and consider what it means.

But, it's easy to realize: if the Cult infiltrated the Guard, then it could use that influence across Meribus, Glenwood, and now Spira. Talia frowns, slowly, then she nods. "...I think you are right. It is not... the other way would be if someone came here on their own -- or if they were on Filgaia. And we saw no sign of that, no?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth is no fool, and knows the things she's done. And she knows Talia feels much the same way too. The little reminders they have of their humanity, the little good they can do each day to try to feel like they can offset a mountain of sins...

"I can't rule out they were one of the folks in Filgaia, of course," Amaranth admits. "But if that were the case... that likely means she came to Filgaia from Azado. It's unlikely a Filgaian would be part of the Cult the way she... was."

A furrowed brow.

"She was a traditional Shadow Dragon assassin through and through -- and she possessed techniques that take many, many years to master. The people of the Blue Star only appeared... at most a year or two ago?"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Mm, yes. I remember that--there were rumors of missing people... then the ones who appeared on the Silver Star, no?" Talia shakes her her head. "So... yes. If she was from Filgaia, she must have gone there." Via Azado, or if she was one of the people who went over.

She looks concerned, for a second, though, as she thinks about that. "She must have been taken when she was a child..." She looks to the side. "...I heard about that. It was--ah--it was something I realized meant I was... not all that different than some."

She lets out a low, soft sigh.

"...Do you want to look into it more, Ammy?" she asks. "Is this... is this a thing you need to know more of?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth swallows with a quiet lump, and then closes her eyes. "... I've been working through my own memories. When I was part of such a Cult, a very long time ago. It was very vague... as are all my memories from when I was alive, as a human."

She bobs her head.

"But I do vaguely recall it was that way, long ago -- and doubly despicable that the tradition lives on even now."

She looks to Talia and says, "I believe I met her once before, in Meribia. She was pursuing a child that had wandered into one of Meribia's back alleys... and I had to distract and interfere to stop her from being kidnapped."

Talia asks her if she wants to look into it more...

"... I'm afraid. Of what I'll find," Amaranth admits.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

There's a moment's hesitation, when Amaranth tells her that the Cult -- or its predecessor -- kidnapped children back when she was a human. It gives her a little more of an idea of who she was, before she became a Seraph named Amaranth. It makes her feel hurt, and sad, and a little angry to know it was true of both of them.

"Ammy..." she says, quietly. Her fingers drift, cupping one side of her face. She runs her thumb along her cheek. "...It sounds like you did a lot of good, there. It..." She trails off.

Her eyes glance down. "...I know," she says, quietly. "If I thought I might find Lubov, I... don't know if I could do it. If you want to go... I will be right beside you, no? And if you don't... I will stay with you and we'll keep our house safe, together."

Talia has partially disconnected.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

"... it's strange. How hard it is to recall. I have been trying for so long. Trying to remember... who my parents might have been... who I might have befriended," Amaranth quietly admits with no small amount of sorrow. "Maybe it is losing Ragnell that has really brought that to the fore. Even if I still have-- our adoptive Seraph parents."

A quiet sigh as she says, "I kind of wish we didn't arrive on the other side of the Great Sea, sometimes."

She feels Talia's thumb, the way she strokes at her face, for a moment as she's silent.

"... I think I do have to, eventually. Children are still being plucked off the streets," Amaranth sounds dour about it. "And I have been researching it for so long but I still have no idea who their ringleader is. They're... elusive."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"It is... a Seraph does not remember their life, as a human? I heard that the few times someone talked to me about it, but it wasn't... I didn't exactly have a good training in religious matters," Talia says, a little wryly when she admits it. "But I doubt the teachings really understood it, no?"

She closes her eyes for a moment; then, Talia opens them back up, and looks at her.

"I'm sorry," she says. "I know you need to see them. As soon as we can... we will go, no?" she says, quietly. "I want to met them too." She is quiet again, for a second, then she says: "I understand. We can... we can try to look, right? We have to start somewhere. At the very least... we keep children from experiencing what we did."

She glances to the side at that.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

"I... don't... know, honestly," Amaranth admits, sounding incredibly uncertain of herself. "I feel that it is rare for a Seraph to even remember they had a human life in the first place. And many, simply, were never human... like Ragnell. I believe she manifested out of an Earthpulse."

She tucks her head backwards so she can rest a little more comfortably against Talia's shoulder.

"Yes. Above all... I want to spare anyone else the pain of suffering what we have. And like Ivan... in offering them a way out. In trying to tell them, it doesn't have to be that way. Because it's so easy..."

She lowers her head. "You know how that is... we both do."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"Ah... that makes sense, no? I... ah... I wasn't sure, but I never heard much about it from other Seraphim. Though you're--er--obviously the one I am closest to," Talia says, a little awkwardly. By a lot, really.

Talia leans her cheek against the top of Amaranth's head. When she nods, Ammy can feel it against the top of her head.

"...I know," she affirms. "It is hard to believe it. It is still hard to believe it, sometimes, no? But... we can do this thing, together. If they're after you... then, we have more opportunities to learn more."

Talia lets out a shaky breath, then she smiles. "...mm, Ammy. You... I know it hurts, when you run into those things--when you have to use the things you learned. But... it is not how I think of you, or how I'll ever think of you, no? You're always Ammy, to me. And Katherine, too."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

"I'm-- glad I'm the closest one! I'd have to really raise my eyebrows and be curious if not, no?" Amaranth tries to joke, although it comes flying out somewhat natteringly and she as to kind of awkwardly hide the embarrassment with a shy giggle.

"I doubt they've realised I'm a member of an old progenitor clan, at this point. They probably think I am one of the few escapees... and the Shadow Dragon Cult does not tolerate defectors," Amaranth murmurs. "Neither did the Shadow Skean. That much, also, has not changed."

She blinks a few times, and smiles just a bit wider, finding more comfort in Talia's words. "... yeah. A lot of people taught me I can be more than just a weapon. And you, as much as everyone else."

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Talia starts to turn red. Even if Amaranth can't quite /see/ it, she can feel her cheeks getting a little hotter. "W-Well, of course! I--I mean, ah, you are very--are the first person I... maybe there were /people/, but none of them were Seraphim, and it wasn't like we were--I never really fell in--"

For once, the ex-assassin actually stumbles over her words into silence.

She nods, then, against the top of her head and lets out a long, soft sigh.

"...y-you are far more than a weapon, no?" she concludes. "Let them think what they want. We can use that," she adds. "They'll misunderstand... and never could understand."

She shifts, awkwardly, like she wasn't babbling nervously just a couple of seconds ago.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth is really glad that she's in the role of the little spoon right now and Talia's head is right over hers, because the dumbfounded look as she screams 'I want to ask' and 'I should respect her privacy' is goofy indeed.

A pause, as she remarks, "There... are people who will never understand. And for the longest time, I did let them influence my thinking, and in turn, my self-esteem too much. Finding someone who loved me... unconditionally... as my adopted parents did..."

A longer pause. "T-that's part of what I genuinely wanted to offer you." A pause. "N-not as an adopted parent! Wait! That was awkwardly timed!"

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

Perhaps Talia would be okay with her asking. Perhaps she wouldn't. Whichever the answer is, she is relieved that she doesn't have to explain right this moment.

She nods her head, and she closes her eyes for a second. She understands that. Ivan loves her -- unconditionally, even -- but he went through so many of the same trials as she did that there were ways they couldn't help the other break away. Her father, though, and everyone at the manor...

She knows.

She blinks at what Ammy says, though, and then she starts to giggle. "A-Ammy. I didn't think you meant as an adopted parent! It is--we are--you know." Then that winsome smile is back, and Ammy can't see that, but she can see the little frost-mist heart Talia makes when she winks.

"/Romantically entangled/~" she teases.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Amaranth pauses, trying to not think -- too hard. About the Cult, about Lubov. About the challenges that they still have to face.

"I think -- um, Ivan was involved with the Guard himself, was he not? It might be wise to warn him about the Cult's presence," Amaranth stammers with a scratch of her cheek, but--

Then she looks at that winsome smile, and it's all forgotten right now as the heart comes out again.

"H-humph! I'm not-- I'm not about to be defeated!" she wags her fingers, and a little rainbow heart wiggles into life beside the frost-mist heart and gets tangled in there.

<Pose Tracker> Talia has posed.

"I should warn him," Talia says, though she sounds a little distracted now. Which -- really -- is part of the whole point. They could go over the Shadow Dragon Cult and everything that they need to do. But, right now, it sounds nice to think about everything else.

She peers down at Ammy, and then makes a wordless but delighted noise when the rainbow heart joins hers, getting all wrapped up with the misty heart. Talia giggles, then focuses, holding a finger out.

She actually moves it -- and somewhat like a pen, she writes a message in the air with the same frosty mist:


<Pose Tracker> Seraph Amaranth has posed.

Ammy's cheeks puff up again as they go full nerdy about flirting with their respective magics, and then -- like two kids trying to play and jostle with their toys, she waggles up as her cheeks definitely redden:

  Katherine: 'w-what about me!'
  happy not boosted...

She can't suppress the giggle, though.