2019-06-17: Kaguya Reveals She's Vegan, Among Other Things

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  • Log: 2019-06-17: Kaguya Reveals She's Vegan, Among Other Things
  • Cast: Ivan, Kaguya Alathfar
  • Where: Kilika - Town Center
  • Date: June 17, 2019
  • Summary: In which Ivan learns many new things about Kaguya.

===========================<* Kilika - Town Center *>===========================

Kilika is an island off the southern coast of the Spiran mainland, consisting of a small port and village, a large jungle and a Temple of Yevon. The island is renowned for being the hometown of High Summoner Ohalland, who was a star blitzballer before retiring from the game to complete his Pilgrimage and defeat Sin. As a result of this history, the Beasts are one of the most-loved teams in the entire league, and even rival blitz players will stop to pray at the Kilika Temple before a particularly critical game.

The port of Kilika was recently ravaged following an attack by Sin, and the surviving residents are slowly rebuilding. They have received unexpected support in the form of the outlanders who serve the false goddess Althena. A few dozen soldiers and craftsmen are using their strange arts - as well as old-fashioned skill - to help with restoration. The Temple of Yevon has put out the word that this assistance will be tolerated so long as the Guardsmen refrain from proselytizing their false creed; an uneasy sort of feeling hangs over the entire village as a result.

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

In the lull between fiend assault recovery duty and his next assignment, Ivan decides to swing by Kaguya's place to see if she's still alive and stuff. Apparently she's been staying in an actual house, which isn't a huge shock since she's a noble, but is still a slightly more special setup than the special setup he might've assumed she had.

And so, he makes his way inside, navigating any necessary access control with servants she may have going on.

"Uh, hey, how are you doing? Did you get cursed by that thing?"

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

The access control is fairly simple; there's a maid and a guard talking in the downstairs room, and they both wait expectantly for Ivan to state his business. Once he makes clear he wants to see Kaguya, the maid peeks back and then there's a bit of... discussion.

It's remarkably casual for a noble. There's at least one utterance of 'uggggh are we sure i can't just blow up the sun' and the maid says that she would prefer milady not if she gets a choice in the matter. Regardless, a few minutes pass...

Kaguya's room such as it is is upstairs, and she's set up a small table by the side of the room--not by the window--with a chair on either side. She gestures Ivan to sit. There's a pot of... something, in the middle, a very strange, bitter-smelling tea, and then a more familiar one beside it. Kaguya already has a cup of the weird one that has hints of something vaguely acrid.

"Uh?" Kaguya asks. She's dressed this time, her buttons actually done appropriately, though it's just slacks and a dress shirt. She... still looks mostly terrible; sunken eyes, gaunt. But only a little worse than usual instead of as bad as last night; her eyes are healing.

"I guess?? I mean no more than everybody else. What, a little death curse have you worried? Kinda redundant." A beat, "Did you get hit on the head? Get all nice or something?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan clearly takes offense at the accusation of niceness, slouching and harrumphing and looking off to one side.

"I don't know, you just looked half dead. Still kinda do. I thought maybe you tried to take it out solo or something before the rest of us got there." He folds his arms. "I mean, I don't care that much, just a regular amount. You're one of my bosses now or something, right?"

A beat passes, and he glances directly at her again, curiously. "What do you mean redundant, though? Are you a ghost? Am I going to have to start asking people that when I meet them so they don't spring it on me later?"

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

Kaguya for once doesn't laugh when Ivan goes all offended because she's legitimately unsure what he's asking in the moment, it could really be a thing. But then he explains--she...

"...Awww," Kaguya says, "That's nice. You assumed I was acting all noble or something. Or I guess just wanted a piece of it to myself, either way, could be nice could be bloodthirsty. But nah it's cool, I get you now that you explain. I'd wonder too." Kaguya then hmms, gestures to the tea clsoer to him. "You can have this one. Don't drink the other."

She refills her cup, and takes a drink of what is probably terrible, before she sets it down and shrugs, lightly. "I mean redundant because I already have a death curse. I look half dead because I am mostly dead, though the docs said I had less time than I've managed so far. I chalk it up to the nice atmosphere, mostly."

"I'm not a ghost! Probably. I mean, I better not be a ghost, I'd be real annoyed if being dead felt the same as being alive."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Neither," Ivan says. "More like trying it to see if you could. That's probably what I'd do." It is, in some ways, probably kind of a wonder Ivan has lived as long as he has, given some of his more foolhardy life policies.

 She warns him about the more potent teacup. "Wouldn't want to. I can like smell it from here," he says.

He does spare a moment to wonder why that might be, and ends up getting an answer to the mystery a lot sooner than he was expecting, as Kaguya informs him of her DEATH CURSE.

He stares at her for a few moments, trying to parse the joke, but then she starts talking about doctors and he realizes it probably isn't one. She probably just... has a death curse.

"...Shit," he says. And that's all, for a while, he just stands there looking a bit morose. But then his brain seems to reboot, and he adds: "Where did you get a death curse?!"

And apparently a more potent one than that monster was handing out yesterday, unless EVERYBODY'S overdue to die.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"Okay, yeah," Kaguya admits, "I'd do that." It is definitely a wonder. But that's the kind of person the small Veruni likes, anyway. ...And when he counters about the smell she grins toothily. "It's a bunch of health junk. Good for me, real bad for you."

Ivan stares--and she just waits. No grin, this time, no waiting laugh, no triumphant smirk of getting one over him. Just a shrug. "Bad luck mostly," the Duchess answers the assassin. "More technically you could call it an illness. It's not contagious, but it's invariably fatal. There's people looking for a cure, but..." She gestures, vaguely. "I doubt they'll find it in time."

She considers for a moment. "If you're really curious," she says after a moment, "I picked it up on the Blue Star."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan is quiet for a while, considering her wording, and chewing on something he isn't sure whether to say. He looks at the tea. "Does that stuff help stave it off, or just treat the symptoms?"

She hints at the origin of her illness. It seems like the Blue Star isn't content to just be a dying hellscape, it has to bring the dying to others and make things personal sometimes as well.

"Man, that place is really the worst, huh? ...What happened? I mean, you don't have to say, I guess. Was there even a thing that happened or did it just show up one day like 'too bad, guess you got a death curse somewhere'?"

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

For better or worse, Kaguya is patient as Ivan figures out what he's saying. She just drinks her tea--til he asks. "Mostly just the symptoms, though I mean, it's also pretty nutritious so that's the big thing. You know, good for me generally. The strong medicine I keep out of reach of other people."

"Sure is," Kaguya agrees. "It's a big wasteland mostly full of people killing each other over who gets to rule the ruins. Sucks a lot. ...There's some good things, though." She leans a little back and forth, and then hmm. "Little of both. Nothing really happened--I just woke up, hey, sick one day. It was a whole thing. Then, I just... didn't get better."

"But as it turns out, the gods on the Blue Star have a grudge against me and my people. So that's all it is. I'm just collateral damage, basically. ...Or, well. I was."

This time she does grin.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"So it is a curse? You got cursed by gods?" He frowns at her, looking both concerned and skeptical now that perhaps Kaguya is the victim of some sort of superstitious medical malpractice.

"Are you sure? Just getting sick out of nowhere happens, you know! There don't have to be angry gods. Who diagnosed you with a god curse? Are you paying them a lot of money for the stinky tea that doesn't work?"

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"...That's the leading theory," Kaguya says, "But it's true that I don't have the full picture. It's definitely a curse--it's definitely from something big. But did they do it on purpose? Did they know what they were doing? Does it work that way?" Kaguya holds her tea as she goes through the options somewhat clinically, though not in much depth.

"...You think it's like that, hm? Like I just got told it was that way, and I'm going with it. Maybe I was tricked?" She laughs faintly, but there's a little wheeze in it before she shakes her head.

"I mean, I've met them. They've said I'm their enemy. It specifically targets me and my people. It might notbe exactly that, but it's definitely in that neighborhood."

"You know--I wonder. Just how much did your sister tell you about me? What she knew, what I told her? I'm curious."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"You... met them?" That does complicate the story a bit. "But I don't-- why did they have it in for a bunch of offworlders so much??" Ivan has assumed Kaguya's country, while too far off... somewhere... for him to have heard of... must still be on Lunar, given her seemingly well-established affiliation with the Guard, and the relative newness of jaunts to Filgaia even being a thing. There just doesn't seem to be TIME for her to have been an alien all along.

"Did one of you step on a sacred plant as soon as you showed up, or something??"

She asks him what Talia told him about her. The answer... not much, and he remembers even less of it. He didn't wait for, like, ANY context before challenging her to a fight.

"I don't know, I just remember her telling me you almost killed her. There was a lot of ground to cover in that conversation, I'd thought she was--" er, wait, didn't he tell Kaguya he had a magical twin communication system he could use to stay in constant contact across worlds? "She doesn't seem like she likes to talk about you much, I mean."

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"A couple times." This is... not casual, given a certain tension that simmers underneath the surface. "And that's a very good question--one I'm still working on answering. Give it some time." The assumptions about her background are, naturally, something Kaguya banks on as a rule--most people aren't inclined to ask questions.

"Heh. No, no sacred plants. Broke a statue of one later though. Lydia didn't like that much."

The answer he gives sees... silence, because Kaguya tips back her tea, heat and all, and just downs the whole damn rest of the cup before she says anything else. It's awkward; she sits there with the cup; her neck shifts like one usually does while she's swallowing, obvious because she doesnt' have a lot of spare fat to cover up the base mechanisms of the body. And then....

"So, OK. That's interesting, and makes sense I guess. I guess she wouldn't like it much, huh?"

"Anyway I don't have the patience for dissembling right now, so."

"I'm actually about a hundred and thirty years old, and I'm from space. So, you know. there's that."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan blinks. At... least her life isn't as tragically short as it seemed?

"From Filgaia?" he guesses, as a means of clarifying. Just being from space doesn't make any sense. There's nothing to stand on up there!

"Everybody's got so many secrets," he complains. "--Not even secrets, because they tell me about them. ...Surprise layers? Is that even all of them or have you got like eight more?" The outside world is so much more complicated than Ivan thought it would be when all he had to do with it was hunt people down and kill them and go home.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

Some of this is misleading. Kaguya rolls her eyes though at his guess. "No like, a spaceship. A thing that travels through the stars. Not literally through stars, obviously, you would die horribly, but you know, among. And I tell you this mostly because nobody in the Guard would even believe you, so telling anybody would do nothing but make you look crazy, and that little bit of mean kinda puts a spring in my step today."

She laughs, though, at his complaint. "That's a pretty sensible complaint to have. It'd be nice if things were simple, huh? Well, they still are if you narrow them down. There's definitely more stuff I'm not telling you but I dunno if those count as layers like, it's not so much identity? I mean I'm dating a human lady, I've got two families, sometimes I wanna break people until they're piles of goo, this stuff is stuff you already know."

"But I'm also mentioning it 'cause that's really why. Nobody around here really knows; they just think I have some mysterious illness which is true!"

Beat, "Also because I heard about your little freakout last night with my pulse," she adds nonchalantly.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"I guess I did mostly know all of that," Ivan says glumly, a little irritated at her open enjoyment of giving him a secret he can't successfully spill. He has a feeling there's elements to just about everything she's telling him that are going right over his head, and that this may be another part of the joke.

"All right, so you're a totally different kind of alien. What about all the other people we met from your country? Is it all a big weird con and everyone's from space? Did you pay some actors to pretend to be your relatives? What do you even care about playing about being in the Guard for, anyway? Don't you want to go... do something better than chasing an invincible monster around and fighting with people about their religion? You're on borrowed time, right?"

His face quirks a bit at the comment about her pulse. People were talking about that...?

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

There's always something. Besides, Kaguya enjoys being smug and knowing things. It's a great time! ...And Ivan's reactions are kind of amusing.

"No," Kaguya says, "That's actually my sister, and my colleague, and my teacher. Lies work better when you minimize the ones you have to tell. The way I see it, the rank and file knowing the truth is... inconvenient. It might lead to questions; some of them might get mad, I'd have to hurt them, it'd be ugly when instead I can help."

But then she laughs. "Don't worry. I just have spies. I mean, obviously. Anyway as for the other part..."

"This is something worthwhile. I'm performing some important experiments to the future of my people. And what's more significant than killing a god? I mean, what else do you call Sin? The whole continent shapes their lives around it, they live or die at its whim."

"The Guard part's kind of a coincidence. I had a nice deal going in Hyland, and they called a crusade, so I decided to go with it--but Sin's my real interest here in this crusade. Don't get me wrong, I've got a good opinion of Althena--a god you can prove is a step up from most primitives by far, and she's clearly got the goods. But if they'd been able to settle their differences peacefully that would've been fine with me--better, really. Less complicated."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Oh. Well, at least that was her real family! It's weird that there's a giant conspiracy and they're all from space. But maybe that explains better why they were all, er. Giant.

"I don't feel like we're actually going to kill Sin, though..." Ivan says. Is he being a buzzkill about how she has chosen to use her final days, though? Maybe he should lay off and let her dream of god-murdering if she wants. "I guess maybe we'll kill it?" He doesn't sound that convincing, or convinced.

He takes a breath, and kind of looks off to one side.

"Uh, hey, so I, uh... I'm sure you've probably tried just about everything already, medicinewise, but, uh... well, I guess, first, do you think you've tried everything medicinewise? There's some pretty strong ingredients I know of in Glenwood that would make a healthy person even tougher, but if you're not so healthy... it kinda helps you keep going? I mean, for all I know that's the same stuff that's already in your tea, but..."

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

Super why they're all giant. ...But not why Kaguya isn't all giant...

"It's natural to feel that way," Kaguya says, "And it's true that the Guard as a group won't. It's clear from the battle at Mi'ihen--another army-scale engagement would mostly just be a very dramatic way to get a lot of people killed horribly. But that doesn't mean we don't have options."

If nothing else, she sounds certain, unfazed entirely by his skepticism. But is that confidence, or crazy? Hard to tell.

"..." She pauses, and actually puts on something of a tight smile. "You're not the first to ask," she says. "But I've got two of the best minds other than mine that I've ever seen working on this. The Professor's looking for a cure, and the woman you might've heard me talk about on campaign--my tactician? She's the best compounder humanity's ever produced. She made me some medicine out of Glenwood ingredients, among others, and left me the formula when she went back to Filgaia. She's pretty much why I'm still alive now at all. ...Unless we find some kind of miracle, I think that's about it."

"...Which we might," she admits. "We're working for a Goddess, and there's... more information, that I didn't know before, available. I'm just not counting on it. The tea, though..."

She looks lopsided, "Mostly the tea is just poisonous to your body chemistry. But I need a few things humans don't usually get in their diet."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan nods along, looking very awkward for having offered. "Uh, cool, nevermind then, just thought I'd ask." Maybe he should've been asking her for advice. But considering her doctortacticiangirlfriend is currently...missing, that probably wouldn't do anything besides make things even more uncomfortable.

He sideyes the tea again. "You don't drink blood, do you? I've already heard that one recently, so you won't shock me."

Marivel DID seem awfully familiar with Kaguya.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"It's fine," Kaguya says, though the way she says it suggests it might be actually close to a Line, if it turns out she has those after all. ...She doesn't feel the need to mention just now that she already found Matilda. What, reassurance?? Her?? Nah.

"Oh no," Kaguya answers, making a face. "Not even a little. I'm actually a vegetarian. I don't even eat unfertilized eggs, let alone blood or meat. It's why I didn't have any of the cake. ...Though I mean, it was good cake, all the evidence says so. Annette's got a gift--I make sure to keep her well away from the front lines."

"Anyway I prefer people not to make a big deal out of it. At this point it's annoying, it's just yeah, yeah, I know, I went through this already, catch up morons. And if you're thinking of getting rid of a rival by messing with my meds, you can definitely try it."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"Just weird plants or something in there, then?"

Maybe he ought to drop the tea subject at this point.

"Ok, got it. No big deals."

He raises an eyebrow at the warning about messing with her meds, assuming she means him personally. "I usually only stab people," he says. That was closer to confessing that he's an assassin than he usually likes to come, but he's so off balance at the moment that he doesn't even notice it.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"Yep! I can show you them in their normal format later if you want. It's been nice watching some of them adapt to Spira's soil and climate; I think there's a lot of room for success here." With plants! Kaguya doesn't even look slightly murderous when she's talking about plants. "Not all of my transplants are doing well, obviously, but you know, I am good at this and all."

"Yeah I didn't think crimson nobles were a real thing," she admits, "I mean, c'mon, subsisting on blood in particular??? But I guess if you assume that it's more on the life energy in it than on the hemoglobin and so on, it makes sense."

"And hey, just putting it out there. I like people to know where they stand, except when I'm messing with their heads and want them to not know where they stand, but I'm not doing that about the murder thing. But I kinda prefer the direct approach myself, like, if I'm actually going to take someone out I can at least do the courtesy of doing it to their face, right?"

"Anyway uh." She pauses. "...Don't talk about it around Lydia. She gets all upset and worried when I bring it up. She's not good about that kind of thing."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

...Hm, alien plants. Ivan wouldn't mind seeing some alien plants. He nods at the offer, hoping that they're weird colors or something.

"I don't know what hemoglobin is, but the blood drinking does sound super fake." If you let Ivan vote on which of the things he learned about peouple recently were plausible enough to be real, not a lot of them would make the cut.

He frowns a little when Kaguya brings up Lydia. "Yeah, all right, I won't mention it to her." At least it sounds like she knows already, but she just doesn't take well to being reminded. So it's not like it's a terrible secret hanging over her head. But instead it's a terrible... imminent reality hanging over her head. He sighs.

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

"Right??" Kaguya asks as she pours herself more tea, "It's super weird. But then I mean, before I got wrapped up in all this mess I didn't really believe in any of this crap." Pause. "...Eh whatever it's fine. You're not going to say anything. It's too early to care about saying things nicely."

Pause. Sigh. "And yeah. I know you don't know what hemoglobin is. Nobody around here knows what hemoglobin is. It's the only bad thing, really. Beautiful planet, doesn't hate me as much as the other one, but nobody's heard of a science book."

...Eventually she responds to the frown though. "Cool," Kaguya says. "I think the reason she thinks she's a good judge of character because she, specifically, is kind of hard to be a jackass to. Like, she has a lot of friends who are jerks, but they're nice to her. ...Or you know, not nice to her. Anyway she's real cute and you should spend time with her instead of risking your life so much. Just throwing it out there."

"Any other questions?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan takes the comments about the general ignorance of his planet in stride with a shrug -- he and Talia weren't educated all that well in non-murdering matters to begin with, so he hasn't got a lot of pride to be injured when it comes to academic prowess.

He considers Kaguya's theory on Lydia.

"You might be right. I tried to be mean to her at first to like drive her off, but it didn't drive her off, so then it just felt kind of stupid and cruel, so now I don't really know what I'm doi--uh, you don't need to hear about all that, nevermind."

Any other questions? she asks him. He vigorously shakes his head. "I think if I learn absolutely anything else today my head is going to explode. So, uh, thanks for filling me in, I guess."

<Pose Tracker> Kaguya Alathfar has posed.

Kaguya doesn't seem to require anybody to tell her she's right, or to apologize for it, she's just ranting about how the pretty world is also kind of stupid, like you do. She's still with the world though, so maybe she cares more about appearances after all.

Maybe it's not that.

"Right??" Kaguya says. "But I absolutely need to hear about all of that, for the record, in detail. I'm not saying you should submit Lydia reports to me but if I were saying it it'd be totally cool and reasonable of me." Pause. "I'm not actually asking you to do that. Like, I'm not fake-asking either, this isn't pass-agg. I have to confirm that kind of thing, one time I joked about how I wasn't asking for a plate full of eyes and some poor maid walked up to me cringing with a platter full of goat eyes. It was really gross."

Pause.

"Anyway yeah that's cool, then you should just know that I'm always right about eveything, and that cake has eggs in it. ...Admittedly it wasn't awful to be able to have another person to tell all this stuff, so, you know, go have fun or whatever. Not that you'll be able to because everybody's all upset but you aren't the kind of guy who's that into fun anyway. If you ever decide to change that let me know, I'll make you a chess set or something."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan squints as Kaguya traverses the winding switchbacks of trying to clarify whether or not she's ordering him to submit Lydia reports. Yes? No? All he really takes away conclusively is that he shouldn't bring her a platter of eyes. Noted.

"Yeah, eyes are gross," he agrees, tentatively.

She suddenly gets a little more personal, and perhaps a little loopier.

"If I decide I'm interested in having fun, please don't get me a chess set," he says. "But uh, speaking of not having fun, I think I'm going to get back to work."

From the sound of it, Kaguya could probably use some more rest. Or when you're doomed do you try to avoid rest since it's a waste of valuable time? He'll let her work that out for herself.