2021-06-02: A Confluence of Queens

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  • Log: A Confluence of Queens
  • Cast: Kamui, Acacia Saitani, Avril Vent Fleur
  • Where: Aphel Aura - Residential District
  • Date: June 02, 2021
  • Summary: Avril and Kamui (along with Acacia) encounter one another in Shevat and discuss -- to an extent -- their shared past. Also features a Very Good Boy.

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

    Kamui spoke to Acacia a short while back, asking her if she wished to come along with her plan of finding a certain Veruni that she wanted to track down and talk to. As it turns out, the Reploid already knew exactly where she was going to be, perhaps having spotted her earlier in Shevat while all the Drifters are arriving.

    The Reploid is dressed in fairly simple, but ancient-seeming robes that flow from her shoulders down to her ankles; there's old adornments around her neck and shoulders, faded and washed-out, marking them at least a few centuries in age. It isn't a particularly common look for her.

    She hops down and takes one of the common platforms leading down to the residential area, seemingly moving with purpose through a city she knows too much of. With her memories, it's as if she was here just a few days ago...

    Then, she stops, when she sees Avril.

    "... it has been a long, long while," she speaks up. "Too long. May I speak with you for a bit?"

    Her tone of voice is familiar, as if addressing someone she knows. ... even though she shouldn't have.

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

    Acacia is kind of the flat opposite of Kamui, at least as far as this scene is concerned. She's dressed casually but comfortably, a dark shirt and jeans and jacket over her shoulders. Rather than move with purpose, she's kind of chasing behind Kamui, following the Reploid's path with an expression on her face that clearly says 'I want to tell you to slow down but this seems important'.

    She's just behind Kamui when the other girl comes to a stop, and runs a hand through her red hair. Whoever she might have expected to find, it's not Avril - she's a second away from asking where they're headed next when Kamui cuts her off, and her eyebrows raise.

    Quickly, she reassesses, and takes a quick breath in and out. "--hi!" she decides afterwards, breaking into a smile and an upbeat demeanour it feels like she hasn't used for a very long time. "My name's Acacia Saitani, I'm with the news. Uh, not so much today, I'm not sure if this is on the record or not just yet. I'm just here with Kamui."

    There's a beat, and she slowly looks to the smaller girl next to her. "... uh, do I call you Your Royalty, or..."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    Avril had been in Shevat for a short while. And then, as Kamui might have discovered, she hadn't been able to be found at all. In truth, Avril had left to attend to another matter, in a far distant land, not long after the attack, perhaps spurred both by the absence of something precious to her and the need to resolve a certain matter.

    When she had returned, it had been in better spirits and with her Medium in hand. Her friends may have been displeased, perhaps, but all in all...

    Kamui will have no trouble finding the young woman. Avril, as it happens, is kneeling on one of the main pathways within Aphel Aura, right next to a very large white fluffy dog. She's patting it absently, her gaze a distant one as she regards the heavens, distorted through the barrier above. The dog doesn't seem to mind this lack of focused attention and thumps its tail every so often.

    She starts, faintly, when Kamui approaches her and addresses her. "Ah...?"


    "Acacia, is it? I'm pleased to meet you." Avril does not yet rise to her feet, instead regarding the two of them where she's knelt alongside the dog, continuing to casually pat it. Despite her attire, Avril does not look very much like a queen...

    "...'Your Royalty'..." Avril frowns faintly, as if to consider this, then and only then rising to her feet.

    "...You may call me Avril," she tells Acacia. She regards each of them in turn. "...May I ask how you know?"

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

    An enormous dog!! Kamui struggles for a moment with the desire to just break character and run forward and gush about what a good boy oh boy oh boy oh boy--


    "... we met ... a very long time ago, when you had a queendom to call your own," Kamui explains, though she can't figure out how Acacia already knows. She's got her own journalistic secrets, and she respects that. "I don't blame you if you don't remember."

    She glances aside and says, "My name is Kamui. A Reploid, from those same distant ages. Though I take it that things have changed for you since..."

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

    Rather than remain standing over Avril, Acacia does the thing that Kamui cannot, and burbles a noise out as she goes down on one knee - first to check if the dog is comfortable with her presence, and then ruffle its fur if so. "Aww, hey, lookit you! I bet you don't care at all about the wind up here when you're that fluffy, huh?"

    She blinks up at the question, then hops back up to her feet, her hands going into the pockets of her vest. If anything, she's the one who hasn't really gotten used to Shevat's altitude, and the air's a little too cold for the reporter who's still used to curling up at the end of the day in her comfy apartment.

    God, she's homesick.

    "Ah, I'm mostly just here to back Kamui up, she's the one who was looking for you," she kind of misses the thrust of Avril's concerns. "I won't say I don't have any questions for you, though, as someone who's got a stake in seeing the Veruni and humans try to settle their differences. If it's possible," she adds, thinking of the figure that has Yue so under her thumb.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    The dog is only distinct from a furry rug by the fact that it whines softly (when insufficiently petted) and thumps its tail every so often. This is an Extremly Agreeable Dog.
    It seems to not care all that much about the wind (or anything, except getting petted) indeed.

    "Kamui... was it not?" They've met in passing before -- or at least, Avril's definitely met with Kamui's head.

    Or perhaps further in the past than that.

    "I... see," she hazards, glancing again between Kamui and Acacia. "You are... from that long ago in the past," she says, her expression a strange one. "I see. ...I am sorry. I have lost all of my memories from that time, Kamui."

    She visibly hesitates.

    "Do you..." she hazards, only to stop short of asking the question she wants to ask. Even now -- even as she's been able to grapple with her own past to some degree -- the extent of what is 'unknown' and what might be hidden in those shadows of self is enormous.

    She glances then over at Acacia. "A stake...? I do not disagree, for I wish the same, but I am afraid I am a long way from being able to meaningfully affect this conflict. I am sorry."

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

    What a pure and powerful creature. To become almost indistinguishable from a furry rug, and having no material care or desire in the world other than the simple and affectionate gesture of pets...

    She could aspire to become such a creature.

    Avril states she's lost all her memories of that past. "That... makes two of us," she admits. "Until recently..."

    A longer pause still, before she glances towards the skies, then the lands below. "It's all right. I'm not interested in you solely for 'that' Avril, after all."

    She steps a bit closer, and kneels down to join Acacia and Avril in dog petting. "I remembered a time... when I was in charge of a people," she relates. "That time is now gone, and every one of them erased from the annals of history."

    A pause, as she admits, "I thought I might find solace in talking to someone with a similar experience."

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

    Acacia can't help but wince when Avril mentions that she's lost her memories, drawing an immediate comparison to Kamui's own situation. While it doesn't exactly explain what a Veruni might be doing living amongst humans in general, but-- she can definitely make some fairly informed guesses based off of it. A shift in viewpoint, maybe, or a sudden change in habits. Something might have forced the point.

    "That's... that's okay," she says carefully, softening her voice as the atmosphere turns more serious and holding up a hand in placation. "I'm not expecting you to magically fix it all, I'm not suggesting it'll be quick. Honestly, knowing someone agrees is kind of a lot as it is." She hesitates, though. Something at the back of her brain is trying to get her attention, some comparison between Yue and Avril, but she can't quite pin it down just yet.

    And she doesn't really want to butt in just yet, either. She looks to Kamui instead, shifting to one side - because if anyone could use access to a furry ball of morale right now, it's the Reploid. She's less timid now about resting a hand on the Queen's shoulder in support and commiseration, as Kamui points out she and Avril are quite alike.

    A different braincell fires, and Acacia blinks as she replays the conversation so far back in her head. "Uh," she says all of a sudden, then clamps her mouth shut before she can put her foot back in it.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "Until recently," Avril echoes, her gaze softening. "Then, you have remembered?"

    A pause follows this remark. "...I see. Perhaps... that is just as well."

    Within, something in the depths stirs, shifting in the dark abyss within her mind.

    And Kamui explains just why it is that she's come to Avril.

    "I am... sorry," she says, because what else could she say? "In that we are indeed alike. Though... something of what was remains." The descendants of her people, gone there and back again over time and space alike, returned to the only world that would suit them. ...Except even that is not true anymore.

    "So we two are relics of the past," she muses, regarding that white dog, who perhaps among them exists for the here-and-now.

    "Of course not," she replies to Acacia, not unkindly. "Nevertheless, it is in my power to one day affect, and I assure you that is what I intend. ...However, I am at a disadvantage, now. Without my memories, I fear I would become merely a puppet of the forces which control my people in this day and age," she explains without animus. "And... I do not think that I am the only one of my people who would rather decide upon a different route. Still, there is much that I do not know..."

    Such as what it is that is killing most of her people and whether it can be fixed.

    And if it can't, to whom is her loyalty owed?

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

    Kamui has a soft, but somewhat distant smile when Acacia starts talking about solving the differences between the Veruni and humans. It won't be all that quick... but perhaps, knowing that someone would agree is more than enough.

    "... I know well that fear. There is a different regime, one that perhaps views you as a threat... or useful, at the same time," Kamui expresses, making only educated guesses, but Avril's said enough for her to connect the dots.

    A moment of silence, then she says, "Would you like to see it? The remains of my people. It will not take much time, and I can bring us all back here."

    A longer pause, as she leans over the edge to look down towards the distant Filgaia. "Whether to jog your memories... or perhaps for me to offer my own viewpoint, that you might benefit from it."

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

    "... yeah. I'm missing a few of the pieces as well," Acacia admits openly, frowning down at the unconcerned dog between them. "And from what I do know, that's one hell of a sensible fear to have. Whoever's got Yue under her thumb is basically trapping her there, using family as collateral - I can't forgive that easily," she mutters. "Just be careful, I guess. There's definitely a lot of divided loyalty."

    She mentions the name almost casually, aware that she'd yet to really offer much back in this conversation. If Avril already knows of her, fine - if she doesn't, it's someone else for the Veruni to approach should the need arise. Maybe it's a bit unfair to just give Yue's details away, but Acacia likes to think she's a decent judge of character, and something in Avril's melancholy feels trustworthy.

    She's quick to fall silent again at Kamui's offer, not wanting to butt too heavily into the Reploid's wish to discuss her situation. Her hand instinctively strays to her pocket; she has a series of photos of the ruins, but she knows there's nothing like seeing it first hand. "Saying it might 'help' is the wrong word, I think," she mutters almost to herself after Kamui's offer, but nods to Avril. "But I think it'd be something important."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    The dog whines softly, settling into a more comfortable position yet, it would seem. Perhaps this is the life, lying in the sun and receiving a multitude of pats.

    "Yes... from what I have heard from her," to say nothing of her encounter with Volsung, "it would seem wise to maintain my distance until I am able to understand more." Even if she attempted to rule by force of personality alone, it would seem that she would run the risk of becoming entangled in whatever Volsung's schemes might be. He needs her, that much is clear, but it worries her that he needs her in spite of his apparent grip on Veruni society. Is it to consolidate his control? Eliminate her as a threat, perhaps? Or...

    Something, nearly, crawls at the back of her mind.

    There is a pause, though. "Do you... know Yue well?" Avril asks.

    Would she like to see it? The remains of her people.

    Avril hesitates, yes, but it is only for a moment. "Yes," she says. "I would."

    It might not help, as Acacia points out. "...Yet, to remain ignorant of it cannot be permitted. What I do not know may only be used against me. ...Should I come alone with you, Kamui? I have friends that I should like to travel there alongside."

<Pose Tracker> Kamui has posed.

    Divided loyalties... well, it's not as if Kamui doesn't know that herself. She started out being a menace to human society, in that age. But she does wonder if Avril knows the Veruni that Acacia mentions -- though by her reaction... it seems so.

    "It is better to have known unknowns, than unknown-unknowns," Kamui almost cryptically natters. "And... ah. If you would like to invite others, I am certainly fine with it. There may be some danger involved..."

    A longer pause. "And... you may be right. It has been long enough, has it not? What is Veruni in name may have no similarity to what you once knew..."

    The Reploid tilts her head. "... I can also share what I remember, of meeting you in the past. But that will be filtered through my own experience, after all."

<Pose Tracker> Acacia Saitani has posed.

    Acacia's pause is long enough that she's probably trying to make sure she doesn't say something really stupid, and actually stop to think about what Yue would and wouldn't want her to say. "We're... close, yeah. Sometimes she keeps some parts of herself distant, but I've seen enough to understand why. Sometimes she's really dumb and I have to go drag her out of it, but that's just a family tradition as far as I'm concerned."

    She pairs that last comment with a rather wry smile and a pat at Kamui's shoulder, letting herself have the moment of levity before her expression turns more solemn. "I can bring the Nephele if you need the help getting through the ruins," she offers immediately. Even if it doesn't need saying, she's had enough problems borne of keeping quiet today. Besides, she's traversed it once before, and without even bonking into a wall. "All you've got to do is say the word. I'll understand if you want it to be private, though."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    They're close, Acacia says, and Avril almost thinks she might understand what she might mean by that comment. "I see," she says, neutrally, crinkling her forehead. "She seems to be caught up in many unfortunate things." She certainly recalls that attack on the Valeria manor, for instance.

    Then again, how could she quite forget it?

    "A known unknown, rather than an unknown unknown... Yes," she agrees. "I believe so, as well. Even if it might be painful, whatever you might remember of the 'me of yesterday'... I would appreciate it, Kamui.

    She's pretty sure that even if she didn't tell them, Rebecca would come in after her and drag her out again anyway, at this point. "Then, I'll let them know. I think, especially if there is danger..." She smiles softly, in spite of everything. "After all, I've worried them enough lately. I should not do it again if I can avoid it."

    She settles down again, almost leaning against the large dog's side. "You may be right. They are -- we are -- not what we once were. I, too, am not what I once was. ...Still, as descendents of the people for which I once ruled, I have a responsibility to them at least for their ancestor's sake. To be a ruler is to assume a burden," she remarks, glancing down at the dog.

    Even if it feels like the burden part is something that is, often, remembered by those who seek power.

    "The Nephele... so it is that sort of place? I may bring the Skadi, and my friends have their own Gears at hand. Perhaps it may prove easier if we approach it that way," she muses.

    "Yes," she answers Acacia. "I would be glad to have your aid as well."