2019-06-23: Every Last One Of Them

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  • Log: 2019-06-23: Every Last One Of Them
  • Cast: Ethius Hesiod, Lydia Seren
  • Where: Luca - Blitzball Stadium
  • Date: June 23, 2019
  • Summary: (Takes place before Trisection.) Ethius makes an uncharacteristic request of Lydia as regards what seems to be an impending crisis.

=============================================<* Luca - Blitzball Stadium *>=============================================

Where the Holy City of Bevelle is the spiritual centre of Spira, the blitzball stadium is its beating heart. The stadium is an enormous, open-air construction capable of holding several thousand spectators; as a result of its size, in addition to games, it has often been used by Maesters of Yevon to deliver particularly important speeches or sermons.

The stadium itself is an ancient blend of machina and sorcery, capable of holding a suspended sphere of water in place for hours at a time. Tournaments The stadium is one of the only machina formally sanctioned by the Grand Maester of Yevon, and countless Crusaders have sacrificed their lives over the centuries to turn Sin away from the city. The reason for this is simple - Blitzball lifts the heart of all who live in Spira, and even the smallest joys must be cherished.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-QpnYvldmo
<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    SOME TIME BEFORE THE EVENTS OF 'TRISECTION'...
 
     Things aren't normal. They may never be 'normal' again, with the influx of Otherworlders having made such a presence in Spira. Not with the brewing crusade being headlined by Althena's Guard following the failed attempt to defeat Sin by force.
     This hasn't stopped some parts of Luca from continuing the tradition of Spira's single greatest diversion from the endless cycle of death. The reason that the Crusaders once stood to fight, tooth and nail, against any attempt by Sin to lay this city low.
     Blitzball. They're still playing it, even now, because what else can, or will, they do? Anything to be distracted. Anything to keep the citizens from falling into complete despair. Anything to once more put the less-than-subtle hypocritical use of machina to the forefront of those not so deeply indoctrinated in Yevon's teachings.
     ...Ahem.
     It's early evening, and the Luca Goers - THE Luca Goers - are putting on an exhibition match. They're larger-than-life personalities before the crowds that have gathered here. All practiced smiles, all mandatory waves, all presentable by the powers that be who run this place.
     ...Maybe one should use 'crowd' in the singular. The turnout is way lower than expected.
     Bickson shows off his mad Blitzball skills. Spinning it, balancing it across his arms and back, popping it up and down in the air with his head, as he walks across the outer perimeter surrounding the great sphere of water he'll soon be playing in.
     ...to the point of teasing a small crowd of young fans wearing the wrong team colors. (Which team colors? Not of the Luca Goers.) Teasing them by waving the ball close to them as if to offer them a momento, but then snapping it back with a winning, arrogant jerk jock smile. Oh yeah.
     The teased don't know how to feel about that, because the greatest player of the modern day just totally did a mean thing. He did it in a skillful way but that was kind of mean...
     Ethius has somehow managed to score - or blatantly steal - a front row seat, still dressed like he were one of the Al Bhed. Raudy, the Goers' Goalie, flashes him a mocking look but there isn't much participation on Ethius' end in response to that.
     As ordinary a day as it's going to be in today's Luca, within the Blitzball Stadium.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

FUMP. Lydia FUMPS in the seat next to Ethius. Did she just steal a seat too or just sit on somebody's lap?? Either way, Lydia isn't wearing team colors. Somehow scoring on Bickson when he's trying to bully you isn't a great way to make an impression with the guy and she's kind of disillusioned by the bully culture.

She then flops over to one side against Ethius.

"....Bluhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh." She says.

And that is how you are meeting Lydia today. Let's be honest it's probably her usual problems that's got her in this position so it's okay to ignore them and talk about Ethius business. Or not talk about Ethius business which is, notably, one of the most common ways to t alk about Ethius business. By not talking about it.

Discretion and all that.

"Prissa is going to eat you if you keep wearing Albhedface, Ethius." Lydia says.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius stoically - as he generally does - weathers the weight of a full-on Lydia FUMPing with nary but... okay, he does physically flinch a little. That's a capital letter FUMP. One does not critically guard a FUMP.
     His composure remains, though only his off-hand is free what with Lydia FUMPing the other side of him.
     "I am fully aware of her ire towards my person," Ethius remarks, but Lydia has the right of it. He's always dressed like someone not held in high regard in society. He looked like a bandit on Filgaia, kept that same aesthetic for the other parts of Lunar... and he's settling on this.
     It's not cool, by a lot of stretches. One dare say, this might even qualify as 'warm.' That is how not cool this is.
     "I nonetheless maintain my decision. The locals," other than other Al Bhed who know this shit ain't right, "assume any number of things by sight - unsavory or otherwise - and probe no further beyond what the appearance means to them."
     A roundabout way of saying 'they leave me alone.' He has been physically intimidated by locals from time to time. Just about every time from outside observances, he lets them. Whatever logic drives this man...
     ...He does recognize there is one issue at play that undercuts this, even if he can't quite fit the (missing?) puzzle piece into the whole. Like this assertion were half of a coherent strategem of some kind.
     He doesn't motion to shoo Lydia away. He lets her lean for as long as she likes, however much she might like, as he quietly does whatever it is he's hoping to accomplish by sitting around here in Albhedface.
     "Are you well, Miss Lydia?" He asks.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"She's my friend, Ethius. Maybe, like, the best friend I've got." Lydia says, FWUMPING there against Ethius. But that's ok. She knows that EThius has his (dumb) reasons and that he'll keep doing it regardless of what she says and honestly babysitting EThius is not her lifeplan either. She is pretty much done with babysitting. Nevertheless, she stands herself back up evnetually because there is only so long she's okay with FWUMPing Ethius too.

"There's gotta be a better method." Lydia says. "What if you get caught doing something sketch and they blame the Al Bhed? Would you be okay with that?"

She then looks back down at her feet as Ethius asks that question. She wants to tell him.

She wants to tell him that KRELIAN is here. The guy who did all this stupid shit to her. But she can't. Every time she tries she just feels such anxiety that it clamps her mouth shut.

Instead she says, "I'm worried that there is more going on here besides just...what we're seeing."

She can be indirect about it maybe.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    What if he gets caught doing something sketch and they blame the Al Bhed, indeed. The man inspires no trust and invites virtually no warmth. Kaguya herself called him out on this when he up and let some frustrated Crusaders push him around while he was scavenging about Mushroom Rock Road for any sign of - based on previously observed behaviors - exotic items that might have been introduced.
     It may be even more telling that he simply does not (have an?) answer to her concern, if he would be okay with the people here taking the heat for something he did.
     Unless he's thinking about that consequence internally. It's hard to tell.
     He does turn his head as she looks down at her feet. Distress. He elects to let her speak what it is that's on her mind without his further prompting. When she brings up that there is more going on here than just what they're seeing...
     "You are correct."
     ?!
     A hand goes up to his forehead. "The Guard did not use everything in its disposal to fight against Sin." That's a bombshell to drop in the open, but the Blitzball stadium - even with reduced numbers - is as good of an 'in plain sight' hiding space as any for the amount of stimulus it gives the various senses. There's no reason to zero in on small talk between anyone here.
     "I had previously scouted Kilika. They brought something that was not spoken of with any clarity or familiarity beyond its presence." Ethius lowers the hand from his forehead.
     "I know for certain it was not fielded. There was no trace of anything outside of the known means of Althena's Guard at the site of the Operation." as Kaguya was on point on getting rid of any and all sensory equipment and other important bits and pieces. She was on to him and his ways.
     He doesn't say this to her. He knows full well how controversial a subject it is to state opposition to Kaguya among the Caravan Kinship.
     The game is underway. It doesn't quite matter who the Luca Goers are against - the Goers are already poised to make sport of them in the least sportsmanlike way possible. Shows of strength, of superiority - as if reflecting Spira's feeling of helplessness being worked through by pushing that sense of weakness on others.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Huh? You know??" Lydia says, eyes wide.

And then he starts talking about the Guard. "hah?" And then he mentions he scouted Kilika. "Hahh?" And then he mentions they brought 'something'. "whhh---" And then she stops making noise at all.

Because she's screaming in her head 'NO NO NO IT ISN'T THAT BULLSHIT IT'S SOMETHING ELSE WHY DOES EVERYBODY AND THEIR MOM HAVE A CONSPIRACY OR SECRET PLAN RIGDO FRIGGIN BRITE!'.

Lydia starts looking kind of depressed as she flumps back in her chair and watches the game. Clearly she is being an expert and being incognito here with upmost discretion.

"Seems weird to not use secret weapons against the giant whale but maybe they wanted to conquer the place all along." She says numbly in a dull tone. She sounds dissapointed. Clearly dissapointed...WITH THE GUARD.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    He presumably has a look on his face under that mask. Even with the mask on, that stare of his is oft cleanly communicated as being an appraising stare, as Lydia gets especially animated. He misunderstands the circumstances and reasons for freaking out over it, shuffling it quietly under the same umbrella he has been sticking just about everything under.
     "Indeed," Ethius remarks, "though I found one parchment curious... the White Knight Leo's remarks to the decree by the Grand Maester." The incendiary retort, full of passion and condemning the perceived cowardice of the Church of Yevon. "I have only known of him to be unfailingly honest."
     Ethius watches the game with Lydia, gaze transfixed back ahead. The Goers are having a go, all right. Three of them dogpile the enemy Midfielder in something that seems to go beyond a mere defensive play - it's out-and-out roughhousing.
     The crowd loves it. (The part of the crowd that are for the team they're playing against... not as much.)
     "It may have been part of a strategem by the late Dragonmaster Ghaleon that he did not disclose before his passing... but there is no way to be sure." He is dancing around his actual hypothesis. He did find Leo's wording interesting, in that it seemed to suggest that out-and-out conquest wasn't in the cards in his mind to start - but this is all predicated on outward appearances.
     ...
     "Miss Lydia," he speaks again. He's facing her now. If he's looking to her directly, it must be serious, "would you say you have become intricately familiar with the Blitzball Stadium? I understand you were approached to become a professional free agent at some point in time."

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

"Ghaleon is kinda a dick." Lydia admits.

Ethius has a request. "Uhh...yeah?" Lydia asks. "Yeah I've done the round. Snuck in a few times after hours and all that jazz. I'm not sure it's really going to be a safe spot when like the army with secret weapons invades though. I'm worried about Ivan too. I have a feeling he's gonna do something goofy." Like go after the friggin' Meister and nearly die but don't worry that hasn't happened yet Ethius!

But the conversation is at the very least distracting the girl from appreciating that she has still yet to tell anybody about this dark secret she knows even though every fiber of her being is telling her to.

Well almost every fiber.

"So what is this secret weapon anyway? Kaguya always says she has irons in the fire but i'm going to guess it's some kind of super bomb."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    What is the secret weapon, anyway - that is the question. Its existence has been so well-guarded that he only has the faintest hints that something is there, and that it wasn't used against Sin. A hand goes to his forehead as Lydia remarks about how Kaguya has talked about having irons in the fire.
     "I cannot ascertain for certain." That is not reassuring. "...But I can ascertain that your read of the stadium is correct. It will not be safe. No, I am of the opinion it will be a central target." Why wouldn't it? It's basically where all the morale that isn't 'a Summoner about to pacify Sin' comes from.
     A place where Bickson straight up body-checks the enemy Goalkeeper because he is just too big a name, too great a talent, too entrenched a feature of this city's famed team. It's blatantly unfair. So much of this is unfair. Sin attacking these people. The way they treat the Al Bhed - of whom Lydia's bestest friend is a member. It's all unfair. It's all so wrong. So backwards.
     "I know not the time in which an attack may mobilize. It will doubtless come from the direction of Kilika, lest there has been an unknown Guard landing elsewhere in Spira." All these unknowns - only that he knows there's something being held back. The way the man holds his composure as he says all this, entertaining frightful ideas of something terrible happening.
     "You know this part of Luca more intricately than I." He looks to Lydia again. There's a subtle releasing of the stiffness of his body language or lack thereof - even as he seems to be leaning forward.
     "Should the Guard elect to strike with this unknown weapon... can I count on you to see to the safety of everyone present, should you be within the vicinity of this stadium?"

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Irons in the fire is probably not the words Kaguya used but Lydia knows how Kaguya works.

"...A sports arena?" Lydia says. "I guess it would be pretty bad for morale but uh--" More bad for morale than them stomping through the city like they own the place? Which they might? Once they conquer it? Because they have Veruni backers? And maybe Odessa backers too?

Ethius has a request. "..Yeah of course." She agrees to that easily. "They might not listen to me but I can do my best."

If that is a target it might be a good idea to let folks know that Lydia is evacuating it though, folks like the people running the plot! Because are you going to trust Lydia's notoriously slacker player to do that? That's dangerous thinking my friend.

But she does add, "I can lead 'em to the docks, I guess. And then from there they can get on ships and go to, I dunno, wherever the fuck."

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    Ethius doesn't know the full extent of the Guard's movement plans beyond the obvious of where they'd come from, but it does seem strange that his thinking trends towards where it does - that of all places he would hold in the highest concern, it would be what makes Luca most famous.
     Then again, he did seem to have some sort of mysterious affinity for SPORTSBALLS. To the point of knowing how to play a game in an abandoned gladitorial stadium all about kicking some ball around with surprising skill...
     "Every last one of the people of Spira you are capable of seeing to." Ethius adds on. Every last one she is capable of seeing to.
     In the pool, Balgerda violently bounces a Blitzball off of the same attacker - twice. The second seems especially visceral, because she could've passed off to Graav ahead of her at any time.
     Somewhere among the concessions, an Al Bhed is being shouted down and denied foodstuffs.
     A put-upon Hypello around the lower levels of the Stadium - one of its technicians - is being yelled at for something another of his peers did.
     A woman walks by down the steps throwing garbage right towards Ethius and coming up short - or is it at Lydia? At them, anyway.
     "Otherworlders leave! You'll bring Sin," she sneers, but lacks the courage to aggress any further. Ethius pays them no further mind.
     "Every last one of them." Says the man who, by all appearances, is one of those people capable of deciding to take a life as easily as it is for him to breathe.
     A Guado from higher up in the stands pass by and give the two of them dirty looks. They've always looked so haughty, owing to their greater height that makes it so much easier for them to dispassionately look down upon the rest.
     Ethius doesn't flinch. He might not be aware of that one, though.
     "Regardless of any other context," he asks of someone whose life has been defined by painful discrimination from her birth parents, and by having her everything turned inside out, pulled apart, and changed by something unfathomable.

<Pose Tracker> Lydia Seren has posed.

Lydia Seren turns, looks towards the woman and shouts to her.

"FUCK OFF BITCH! YOU WANNA TALK SHIT? I'LL SHOVE A BLITZBALL SO FAR UP YOUR ASS YOU'LL BE IN THE FINALS."

She then looks back to Ethius, sitting herself back down.

"Yeah of course. Anyone I can." She tells Ethius and she even seems to mean it.

<Pose Tracker> Ethius Hesiod has posed.

    With that mask on his face - that 'Albhedface' - there's no seeing the man smile, or frown, or anything. Why does he still hide his face from the people he works with? (To the extent anyone who runs with a merchant guild but does no actual merchant-ing... works.) From the few times his face has been seen, there has been virtually nothing noteworthy about it. He matches no posters of anyone reviled in history recent or otherwise, despite his manner he appears like an ordinary human being.
     A man who has said, suggested, and done no small number of cruel, pragmatic things in favor of... what? A man who, now, suggests and even implores that one do what they can for everyone of Spira.
     People he, in the greater picture, just met, does not know, and has no logical investment in seeing to the safety of above all else. It makes very little sense, doesn't it?
     "Your agreement is... appreciated," the tone of voice shifts imperceptibly from the usual stilted, nearly monotone way of speaking to something that seems as though it's difficult for him to put some of the words together.