2022-03-05: The Grand Reopening

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  • Log: The Grand Reopening
  • Cast: Ida Everstead-Rey, Riesenlied, Lily Keil, Violet Salazar, Margaret, Grace Harvey, Jacqueline Barber, Avril Vent Fleur, Gwen Whitlock, Arle, Azoth, Zed
  • Where: Guild Galad - The Hearthfire Voids
  • Date: March 5, 2022
  • Summary: Science must ever be open to new evidence, and new theories. For decades, the prevailing opinion among scholars of War Antiquities was that the Hyadean people were either dead or dying--and perhaps not even "people". The conflicts in Ignas and Elru triggered a seismic shift in the field, forcing many researchers to reconsider their views. Among them were the staff of Guild Galad's Museum of Natural History and War Antiquities, one of world's the largest academic repositories of Hyadean artifacts.

After months of high security, rapid renovations, and limited access--an unfortunate side-effect of Odessa's thievery in Meria--the Museum is finally reopening to the general public. Put your hand inside a cast of a Metal Dragon's footprint. Learn to read basic Hyadean glyphs from actual signage from the base Guild Galad once was. Come see history as you've never seen it before.


<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    The Galadian Museum of Natural History and War Antiquities sits in the center of Void 7, in what was once one of Nastrond Citadel's armories. The sub-building has been transformed into a tall, sweeping structure of worked stone and patina-coated metal; it spreads over most of the block, and almost reaches the ceiling of the Void. For months, it's been under heavy guard--Odessa's theft in Meria turned museum security into an issue of national security. The new curator--who was thrust into her present position after the previous one resigned after social scandal--was charged with a lengthy, expensive overhaul of the museum's facilities.

    MUSEUM REOPENS AFTER ADDRESSING THEFT CONCERNS, PROMISES "HISTORY FOR ALL"

    That's the headline of today's paper, as hawked by no less than three paper-carriers camped outside the museum proper. A small line snakes up the building's steps, leading to a ticketing booth. Everything is moving like clockwork. Nothing has exploded. No one has tried to steal anything.

    Deeper inside the museum, Ida Everstead-Rey makes her way out of a now-empty auditorium. Her lecture went well, all things considered--she had an interested, engaged audience, and received both insightful questions and enthusiastic applause. For the first time in a long, long while, Ida feels like she has a future in academia. The heiress' footfalls blend seamlessly with the ambient chatter of Suen Hall--the biggest exhibit space in the museum.

    Suen Hall has been around since before Ida was born, and it retains its essential character even now: it's open and brightly-lit, yet packed with as much material as the curators can manage. Taking pride of place is the specimen that requires such a large hall to house it: a remarkably-complete and fully-articulated Metal Dragon skeleton, nicknamed 'Tam' in honor of their discoverer. Tam has been re-posed significantly; they no longer rest on all four feet, dragging their tail, but stand three-quarters upright, weight balanced in an active, dynamic stance. Nearly a hundred feet from nose to tail, and still bearing intact armor, they are a sight to behold.

    Ida was just a little girl when she met Tam. Her father held her on his shoulders, and she reached for their jaw, but she couldn't come anywhere near it. She tried every time, but they were out of reach, an ancient being whose scale awed her. Now...

    Ida leans against the railing enclosing the fossil, and glances aside at the replica of one of Tam's footprints. Two little kids are taking turns sitting in it, overseen by their fathers. She smiles. It's bittersweet.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied has not been in Guild Galad often, outside of that one time she accidentally managed to trance herself into facing Meng of the Bronze Tigers, because of... terribly obvious reasons -- the city, powered by Dragon Fossils as they are, resonates in a particularly... difficult way to her.

    But she is invited to speak today, and after some careful deliberation, she believes it'd help both those interested in her people's history, and the Tainted as well -- her speech is a primer on the Tainted, starting with a history when she was born and the shortage in Living Metal due to an incident where they were tainted (hence, the name) to how it evolved to being a way to label those who failed in their duties, creating an underclass over time, all the way to the modern times and how Wayside came to be.

    Oh yes, baby, Riesenlied is here to talk about sociopolitical class struggle you'd best strap in!!

    ...

    That was half an hour ago; she's waiting for Ida to exit after her lecture, listening in well and even asking a question of her own. Today, she's dressed in a lovely Baskar gown of the usual kind she travels in, light pink and earthen in colours with her usual cute capelet ontop.

    And now they're in Suen Hall, next to...

    "... ah, mm," Riesenlied pauses, closing her eyes. She can't help it; each time she sees a Dragon Fossil, she feels conflicted, heavy emotions. But she understands too that this Dragon's remains is important to a lot of people, so she does what she often does when encountering one...

    "Hello there. Tam, is it?" she speaks, reaching up gently. She shouldn't touch it -- it's a museum exhibit -- but still, she can reach out empathically... that's permissible to the museum staff, right?

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

While the Black Wolves are not the Master of Guild Galad's favorite mercenaries, Lily Keil herself has a soft spot for academics. In point of fact, she could be a speaker at this event herself, if she were more inclined, as one of the 'humans' most familiar with Hyadean biology as a medical practitioner. ...But she's not comfortable with that level of scrutiny, nor with disclosing her methods, so instead she's attached herself as security to the event. That lets her soak up the academia while being on hand in case of further trouble... so she does listen to Riesenlied's talk, and to Ida's in turn, though she doesn't involve herself in the questions.

Lily is dressed formally, albeit not in the same way as most of the others; she's wearing a black suit and white dress shirt in a Kislevi style with a high collar, an ARM holstered at her hip being the most obvious of her weapons, and very much not the only one. She maintains an imposing presence, a tall woman with dark hair and golden eyes.

People have generally been avoiding her. This is fine with her. It gives her a better vantage point.

<Pose Tracker> Violet Salazar has posed.

Violet, wearing her best outfit, a sky blue gown with matching snood and shoes, carefully picks her way through the crowd until she can get a better look at the Metal Dragon skeleton. This thing, this "Tam," was huge!! She tries to imagine how they looked in life -- other than very, very dangerous, and pays particular attention to their joints and how they articulated. What beast, if any, did their anatomy most closely resemble? Or were they alien to the core, as was probable?

She spares a glance to the children occupying the footprint replica, which was also huge and dangerous-looking. She should bring her grandchildren here, once they were old enough to appreciate it.

She herself had just left a lecture by a real, live Hyadean! Who actually seemed to be pretty decent! That was the real tragedy of war, people making enemies out of each other. Ironic that humans and their ilk would battle each other if no outside enemies were available...

She hoped no enemies would show up today. Security was tight, what with Odessa's history of raiding museums for precious artifacts... At least hers, what few there were, were legitimately acquired during Digs. (Or at least that's what told herself).

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

THE HOUNDS OF HELL ARE HERE.

As in, two of them.

WHY ARE THEY HERE? Naked, bald-faced social climbing.

MARGARET - a tall elf woman. Black hair is worn loose and recently combed back and coiffed. It shines as if with stars. Her features have that ageless beauty of the more robust elves, although she is leaning on purple eyeshadow and deep-crimson lipstick a little more than the average. Her outfit is a slinky purple dress made out of a satinny fabric and about 20% less of it than is entirely modest, yet 30% more than 'illegal,' placing her in the borderline between 'daring' and 'shocking.' It helps that she has calf-length leather boots. They have three inches of heel which is completely unnecessary.

DOLLIE - an average-height hunam woman. Reddish-brown hair has been washed and trimmed and confined with a hair clip. She is wearing a flatteringly cut businesswoman's outfit in very deep purple with a new looking white blouse. Dollie has typical 'I work outside but not in the fields' levels of tan but has approximately the entire left side of her face covered in pancake-like white makeup; if you look closely, hints of portwine stain can be seen. Her blouse has a clasp with an embossed little doll's head, with tiny jewels on the eyes.

RIGHT NOW,

These two women are watching the children play in a footprint.

"You know, watching this makes me think about the future," Dollie remarks to Margaret, arms folded a little uncomfortable. "What we've lost. What we've gained. What we've yet to pay, or what we'll earn soon enough. It's all so strange, being out here like this. Having come to an entirely other world, to have ended up... welcomed, I supposed, or at least not rejected. I don't think any of us expected this." Her head turns to look at Margaret. "How about you?"

Margaret's lips purse.

"That," she says, "is a very large footprint indeed."

"I'm not sure if this is really appropriate exactly," Margaret says, looking upwards at the great skeletal form, "but I don't exactly understand the context. I know the, er, Hyadains" ("Hydaens" "right, right") "had a very wide breadth of shapes and sizes, and so this might have been more of a great beast, in which case this isn't much different than putting up Lord Honorus's old war horse in stuffing and on display."

"Did you see a bar?" Margaret asks -- well, anyone really, she's pretty easy to hear.

<Pose Tracker> Grace Harvey has posed.

    Grace Harvey has spent the past week hyperventilating.

    It had been so innocent a question: 'Do you wanna go case a museum together? They just finished upping security!' You know. Like you do. It's a fun challenge, for two cool lady thieves. To do. Together. Just the two of them.

    Like a case and date.

    Oh god is it a date? Did she ask Arle on a date?

    Oh fuck.

    Cut to today. By chance, earlier in the week, she had found a fantastic little dress shop and Miss Weaver had put together a fantastic outfit for, what Grace felt, was a reasonable fee. And now she was wearing that soft light blue dress, with the frills around the v-neck and the bottom of the dress and the embellishments, along with a cute, white bolero jacket, white block heels with little ribbons, and a white ribbon fascinator in her hair. From that alone, she's obviously nervous. She also doesn't have Bea with her- the small robot is taking a nap in her inn room.

    Instead, her arm is looped through the arm of her companion, and she's blushing bright red despite her best efforts. The Suen hall is the sight to see, but she keeps looking up at the taller elf. Nope. Nope she has to remember the 'Case' part of 'Case and Date'. Come on Grace, you need to be cool. And rad. And tough. Like Arle. Her three eyes dart around the room, like she's trying to work it out instantly. After a moment, she speaks.

    "S-so, what do you think?"

    It was at that moment Grace Harvey realised that try as she might to be Cool, she had dumped all her points in Cute instead.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Guild Galad's museum is holding its grand reopening, and with it come quite a number of fascinating exhibits and speakers. Naturally Jacqueline Barber is all about this, being secretly (not so secretly) a Huge Nerd.

It's an event open for the general public so she doesn't need to go too fancy, but she has decided to dress up just a bit. Today's outfit is a green dress with a longer tail in the back with subtle floral patterns and white lace trim, with a matching shawl.

Today's speeches have just let out, so she emerges to go look for the next exhibit to look at, though she pauses when she catches sight of two particular people and diverts her path.

"Ida! Riese! Your speeches were marvelous today, I was very moved! You both have such a way with words..." Jacqueline compliments, resting a hand over her heart. She pauses, though, turning her attention toward the elephant in the room - or rather, the giant Metal Dragon skeleton - as she takes note of Riesenlied reaching out to it.

It must be a melancholy moment...

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    She might resemble, at a glance, a silver-white torch of flame.

    Avril has opted for all white this evening -- all white, but for the thin gauzy capelet draped about her bare shoulders. Otherwise, she is in white: from the form-hugging gown, to the low white heels, to the white teardrop pearls hanging from her ears.

    It's the sort of outfit that is hard to determine whether it was obtained for not terribly much or if it is in fact terribly expensive.

    She is here for one simple reason: because Riesenlied is here.

    Or, perhaps, given the studious way she is regarding the reconstructed skeleton, maybe it should be 'two simple reasons'. It must be grim for Riesenlied, a part of her knows well. But the other part, the part that she has given to indulging in this particular moment...

    Is it awe? Or fascination? She cannot tell which it is -- and thus, which part of her is regarding the bones with such raw intent.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Gwen may have her narrow preferences when it comes to dressing up, but no one can claim she doesn't get the job done. Dressed in her best dark pants, a nicely tailored white blouse with a high collar, and a navy blue bowtie that drapes down her chest, she's once again succeeded in getting her curly hair into an orderly bob with some gel, further helped along with a silver hair clip set with cut paste glass for the right sparkle. Her earrings are not paste glass, however, being the real diamond earrings she won years ago from a fellow, if mysterious Drifter.

    "Guess I wasn't the only one here to say a friendly hello."

    Gwen comes up beside Ida, one of her hands, their secret protected by black silk gloves, held up in a wave of greeting. Seeing Riesenlied beyond, she's about to say hello, but opts to keep silent as Riesenlied closes her eyes.

    She imagines Riese is likely reaching out to Tam for some response.

    What would Tam say, if they spoke back?

     Turning her head as Jay comes up, Gwen gives her a wide grin, quiet for the same reasons as Jay. Smiles can say a lot on their own, however, as any good businesswoman would know. It

<Pose Tracker> Arle has posed.

Arle doesn't really have much to do with Metal Demons.

This is intentional. Before Adlehyde, she simply never thought about them very much, for a couple reasons. After Adlehyde - well, she did. But that doesn't mean she liked them. She in fact has a strong opinion about where they belong: the past.

Fortunately, at a museum that's exactly where they are likely to be. And she had a couple reasons to be interested in the museum, too. She'd always wanted to look around in it, but had never really had a good way into the inner exhibits...

...but arguably more significant is the fact that she got *asked*, which she wasn't expecting Grace to work up the courage to do, even after she flustered her by flirting outrageously. So there's that.

Arle is dressed in a nicer outfit than her usual; fitted pinstripe slacks and a matching sleeveless vest, a white dress shirt with blue piping (long-sleeved, this time), a bolo tie for accent held with a silver disc with complex gold inlay. Her right wrist has a fine strand of polished stone beads in blues and greens, looped twice and worn as a bracelet. No big duster; it doesn't fit the feel of the day.

She has, indeed, offered said arm to Grace. She seems to be enjoying having Grace around, though she did not (intentionally) attempt to fluster Grace (much) in public. Maybe a little. But only a little.

"What do I think?" Arle considers this for a moment. "Well, I think I'm surprised, but not in a bad way." Beat. "It's a little bigger than I thought it would be."

It is unclear if she means the museum, the skeleton, or both.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Gwen may have her narrow preferences when it comes to dressing up, but no one can claim she doesn't get the job done. Dressed in her best dark pants, a nicely tailored white blouse with a high collar, and a navy blue bowtie that drapes down her chest, she's once again succeeded in getting her curly hair into an orderly bob with some gel, further helped along with a silver hair clip set with cut paste glass for the right sparkle. Her earrings are not paste glass, however, being the real diamond earrings she won years ago from a fellow, if mysterious Drifter.

    "Guess I wasn't the only one here to say a friendly hello."

    Gwen comes up beside Ida, one of her hands, their secret protected by black silk gloves, held up in a wave of greeting. Seeing Riesenlied beyond, she's about to say hello, but opts to keep silent as Riesenlied closes her eyes.

    She imagines Riese is likely reaching out to Tam for some response.

    What would Tam say, if they spoke back?

     Turning her head as Jay comes up, Gwen gives her a wide grin, quiet for the same reasons as Jay. Smiles can say a lot on their own, however, as any good businesswoman would know. It's the same for Avril, when she's visible, Gwen adding a quick wave of her hand in greeting.

<Pose Tracker> Azoth has posed.

Places of learning are places of data, and Azoth is nothing if not a glutton for data. It's part of his secondary objectives to optimize for his primary ones, and as the primary ones go... It's been said he might be mistaken for a metal demon. Might a piece of him face similar misunderstanding?

Whether it might've or mightn't've, there is no signal to be found here. Which is for the best. Azoth manages to be dressed for the occasion, including a well tailored vest and dress shirt, grey over black and altogether simple but still dapper enough to be formal. His boots, of course, still sport impressive heels. (He likes to feel tall.)

He looks up at everything with a suitable amount of ooo and aah, joining lectures and recording what he hears to memory. He perfectly masks his concern, for now, that to some, aren't these corpses of their own kind put on display...?

"Miss Ida!" Azoth greets cheerfully. "Thanks for the lecture! You looked pretty natural up there like that."

From the corners of his eyes, he spots how Rieselied approaches and speaks to the skeleton, and Azoth sobers, frowning faintly.

He also catches the sight of Grace and Arle. Amusing as that all is, it would be best to leave Grace to navigate that without interference. Probably.

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"Actually, the Metal Dragons were very intelligent!" Says... Someone very near to Margaret at the moment.

Someone with mossy green hair and an outfit that was probably forced onto him by someone with much better fashion sense when he insisted upon wearing some manner of egregiously garish, neon blue, embroidered and inexplicably reflective leisure suit. As it stands, Zed is actually pretty nicely dressed today, wearing a simple black suit and his ever-present sword, which is symbolically peace-bonded for the peace of mind of everyone present who doesn't know that a slim braid of silk rope is basically tissue paper for a Hyadean of his particular generation.

"Metal Beasts are a little more like animals, but they're pretty smart too. But dragons were usually about as intelligent as most people-- if not even moreso! They were some of our greatest warriors, colossal beings of incredible power equipped with the most destructive weapons we could create! But they were intelligent too, and very long-lived. The Mother of Dragons is still alive, in fact!"

She lives on the moon!

"So really it's like putting up a skeleton of one of your Dragonmasters or something. Or one of your dragons." Zed scratches his cheek. "I've got mixed feelings, but at least they're posing her better than they had her the last time. For a dragon like this, the only time it'd be on all-fours would be if it were bracing itself for a Delta Attack with its breath and double shoulder-mounted energy projectors or something."

Beat.

"Man, it woulda been so cool to have met her while she was alive...!"

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    Ida wears the same outfit she wore on her first day out in Ignas: blue overcoat, golden brocade vest, white shirt, tan pants, brown leather boots. She's less dressy than some of the academics, but the look has sentimental value for her. Her hair, in contrast, hangs back in a long, four-stranded braid. As the children play, she smiles, thinking back to when she was that age.

    "...Riesenlied," Ida says, and she turns to face the Hyadean, the smile growing warmer. She trails off, letting the elder woman reach out with her senses--

    Tam has been on display in some form for almost thirty-five years. Emotional 'fingerprints' cling to their skeleton, left by visitors, technicians, scientists: awe and joy, fear and curiosity, frustration and anxiety. Beneath is the faint echo of defiance, primal and deep-seated. It's entirely possible that Tam might not have been self-aware in the same sense Lombardia is--and the display plaques say as much, without mentioning Lombardia, because who's that?

    That they acknowledge Tam's potential for self-awareness is a grand, controversial leap.

    "I take it everything went well?" the heiress says, once, Riesenlied's back in the present. "I'm sorry I couldn't attend--I wish they hadn't scheduled us opposite one another, but even getting a hall on opening day is something to be proud of." She lowers her voice. The children playing in the footprint make way for the next curious patrons, heading off to a life-size sculpture of a Hyadean warrior. (For those who were present for Professor Bridges' ill-starred lecture in Adlehyde: not that one. This one was clearly made using modern armor.)

    "Tam's been here since before I was born," Ida says. "I grew up coming to visit them, and I'm... glad you could come and meet them, too. I know it can't be easy--we certainly don't make it easy..."

    Jay! Gwen! Azoth! Ida nods to the android and alchemist and courier, brightening once more. "And I'm glad you could make it. I hope all of you learned something new..." And then, Ida catches wind of someone else. "'They/them,' Zed," Ida says. That's her correction. Pause. "Did you see them before they were remounted?"

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied closes her eyes for a moment further... then exhales quietly. "I see... you have had a great many visitors, have you not? The reactions they have had... they are a part of you too," she speaks to herself, then smiles. "But even now, your spirit remains strong."

    In truth, she hasn't met many Dragons that are 'Beasts' -- between herself, Lombardia, and also Fafnir in a way, the Dragons she knows are those that have a humanoid form... but it isn't to say they didn't exist.

    Riesenlied is terribly happy, though, to see a lot of people she knows here. She came in with Lily, though Lily's acting as security duty, so she shouldn't really distract her too much from her job... but still, she knows Lily's capable enough. She smiles at her and says, "Thank you for looking after us. The suit looks wonderful on you, by the way..."

    She catches wind of Margaret's comment, but it's not really her place to correct; it's best if people learn in their own ways, she's found-- at least, until Zed interrupts! ... well, she'll let Zed field that one. She takes a moment to regard his comments, though, of... his mixed feelings.

    Jacqueline compliments her on her speech, and her cheeks turn a little rosy in colour -- the Tainted blood in her is red, like a human's, after all. "Oh, thank you. I was more nervous than I expected to be. It has been a while since I spoke in front of a large crowd... but they seemed receptive enough."

    She spots Gwen and has a gentle smile for her as well, and looks to Avril and wonders to herself what she thinks... she is used to being in touch with pockets of deep history, after all. But Azoth speaks up cheerfully, and she smiles at him as well -- she hasn't seen him since he helped them free Lombardia, something she's grateful.

    To Ida's apology, she shakes her head to smile and say, "Oh, no, that is very much all right. I enjoyed your presentation quite a bit. You make for a natural speaker!"

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

Margaret and Dollie both jump at Zed dropping Obfuscate. (Dollie throws in a squeaked out "Althena's teats!" because she's a healer and gets ambushed somewhat less often.)

They recover quickly.

"I knew they - er, you, rather, if I can presume - were long-lived," Margaret says, "but I don't think I knew most of the rest of it. It's funny to see an organism entirely made of metal like this, I mean you don't look so different, but most of us are made of, what's it called?"

"Carbon, mam," Dollie supplies.

"A Delta Attack?" Margaret asks, curiously.

But then! Margaret spots an opportunity for social climbing. Her ears are briefly mobile, and then she murmurs to Zed, "Tell Dollie here all about the delta attack," before stepping over with a slink and a wiggle to say, "Miss Everstead-Ray! Good EVENING. I *adored* your talk." (Margaret thinks to herself: have I met her? I think I've at least sort of met her. Well, she'll remember or she won't, either way.)

Dollie informs Zed, "I also want to hear about the Delta Attack, do go on."

Margaret continues, "So Tam here, they're something of a local icon, then. Interesting. Why this particular one? I know there's been all sorts of... I believe the right term is Fossils?" Margaret says, with an air of threading a needle a little.

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"Thanks," Lily says to Riesenlied, looking over towards a very nervous Grace without seeming to focus overmuch on her. It's just a glance, to all accounts. But Lily doesn't dwell. She looks over the whole event, as she talks back to Riesenlied, "Plenty of places to hide weapons in this outfit. Men have all the luck that way."

How many weapons does she have on her...?
Her attention lingers on Avril for a few moments. Despite the fact that she does not expect trouble from Avril.

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

When Gwen meets her with that wide grin, Jacqueline replies with a smile and a wave of acknowledgment. Indeed, a smile can say many things, and Gwen's smile right now speaks of the same respectful silence she is also giving the moment.

But nearby, is a familiar voice - the voice of Zed, giving a speech of his own about Metal Dragons. Jacqueline looks on with interest, but soon turns her attention back to Ida as she greets all of them.

"Oh, yes! It was very illuminating." Jacqueline confirms. "There was much that I wouldn't have considered before..."

She smiles, then, at Riesenlied's response.

"Yeah, it's always rough, huh...? But, I think your feelings and passion really shone through to them." Jacqueline replies. She glances briefly to Margaret... and then to Lily, who she hadn't seen!

"Oh, hello, Lily! I didn't see you there... yes, that suit is fantastic." Jacqueline greets. Plenty of weapons... If she didn't know any better she'd think that was a joke, but... well. It is Lily, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Violet Salazar has posed.

Violet pulls herself away from gawking at the Dragon Fossil and sidles over to the crowd gathering around Riesenlied. She nods a greeting to Jacqueline, her purveyor of healing potions, then adds to Riesenlied's compliments. "A fine speech indeed!" Her ears flick forward with interest as a green-haired gentleman volunteers more information about the Metal Dragons, and she waits to hear what a Delta Attack even was. A statuesque elf and her companion were insisting on some answers, and Violet was content to spent the evening gleaning information. Most humans had no concept of how keen Beastfolk hearing could be -- and Violet still had a keen mind in spite of her age.

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Zed is a ninja, stealth is in his blood and in his nature. Even though it NEVER REALLY SHOWS because the guy is always shouting speeches from atop rooftops and ship masts, but he has to be sneaky enough to get there without anyone noticing first!

Zed is unsurprised by the pair's reaction. He just pops a chunk of what looks to be a neatly cubed up churro-- churro, hors d'oeuvres style, if you will-- into his mouth, munches and swallows. "Yeah, I get it. You carbon-based guys are kinda weird to me, too. Like, human skeletons are made out of calcium and reinforced by drinking <<milk.>> From a <<cow!>>" Why are those keywords? That is a very long story, and ties inextricably into Zed's first (self-imposed) mission in and around Adlehyde.

"Anyway, like I said, they-- hi Ida!!-- were some of our greatest warriors. So their bones and remains were made of some of the best stuff we could put out. That's why the Guild-Galadians turned so many of them into weapons of war." This time, not-so-mixed feelings. Zed masks them with a munch of churro, but as a certain Doctor Bridges knows all too well, his feelings are very strong on the topic.

But then, Margaret is drawn away by the power of SOCIAL CLIMBING. Zed gives her-- and Riesenlied-- a wave, too. Dispelling misconceptions is one of his favorite pass-times, as it turns out! No matter how much of a faux pas that might be.

Or how many slideshows he might need to go through in the process.

"Yes! A Delta Attack!" Zed chimes, vibrating with excitement. The air around him humms briefly, in fact. "So like. OK. You know how up on Lunar, you can have wizards that synchronize their spellcasting to cast REALLY BIG spells, right? So a Delta Attack is like that, except you use three different weapons that emit energy that resonates at the same frequency, but shifted in phase just right so that when they smash into each other, they combine and amplify one another to create a blast that's more powerful than the sum of its parts!!"

(This: Should not be how that works, but don't worry about it. It's probably Dragon ARM bullshit.)

"A properly equipped Dragon could perform a Delta Attack all on its own, but if you get enough Hyadeans in sync, we could probably pull off something similar too!"

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    It feels so much like someone's missing, though, now that Gwen's seen many of her friends here. And that person is....

    Yes, there he is! "Zed!" Next to.... Margaret.

    Gwen's grin sags just a little as she tries to keep from cringing.

    Glancing back towards Ida, Gwen considers, tapping her chin. ".... I guess it's.... kinda like displaying the relics of a saint. Though that's more religion, and I think here we're educatin' people about what Tam was, instead of people puttin' them on a pedestal."

    She almost made the same mistake earlier of assuming Tam being female-- maybe because if the person who discovered it?

    Margaret comes in with an air Gwen is displeased to realize how familiar it is: going in for that next rung on the social ladder. It's valuable for contacts and clients, and Gwen just focuses her eyes on Tam for the moment, her mouth pulled into that rictus smile of awkward politeness.

    After all, it's not like Gwen's been this way when Janus came walking into a room, and she knows he'd not be all about that chatter and more about the... needless violence.

    And that's not the Tam way! "Rieselied," the courier says, moving on. "Both you and Ida's speeches were great! I took down some notes for Auntie Frea, since she was interested. Pretty excited to share this with her, though it's not gonna have the person behind it sayin' the words."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    It is a strange thing, perhaps, to gaze at something that is at once both elder and younger than yourself -- something that stands outside your experiences however far back they extend and however they might be lost to you.
    But is that all of what has captivated her so?

    Something tugs at the edges of her awareness, then, and Avril turns. Her gaze settles first on Gwen, who waves at her, and then upon Riesenlied.

    Avril may hesitate, her self feeling as if it is realigning, reorienting within herself. It is as if she had been temporarily unmoored from the passage of time.
    But then she lifts a hand to present a little (regal) wave for Gwen. A smile like the melting of snow for Riesenlied. And she turns at last from the assemblage that had been vexing her and crosses the floor in the direction of them both. "Riesenlied, that speech was magnificent. And... it has been some time, Gwen."

    Lily regards her intently for a moment, at which point Avril fleetingly glances in her direction as if she had somehow felt her gaze.

    (Today Avril is (probably) unarmed.)

    (Unlike the wedding (probably).)

<Pose Tracker> Azoth has posed.

Azoth beams at Zed in greeting when Zed suddenly appears, in his Zed way, if not perhaps the most Zed way Azoth has ever seen him appear. But that sort of entrance would break something. He doesn't interrupt Zed's own mini lecture, but brightens further at the mention of what those pose would be for. "A Delta Attack?" It may be an echo of Margaret, but with a burst of enthusiasm.

This is an explanation he listens to with a sparkle in his eye. His eyes glow, so this is literal. It does not matter if this sounds implausible, his eyes only glitter more intensely, his mouth its usual tiny 'o' of awe.

Ida corrects Zed on how to refer to Tam, and he gives her a wide eyed blink before "How can you tell?" Pause. He tilts his head as he contemplates the metal dragon and other subjects. "How does anyone tell?" Lily's comment on men having the luck reminds him how he didn't have much time to consider the pros and cons of any of this.

He meets Rieselied smile with one of his own, a little softer. It still feels like a somber moment, all considered.

<Pose Tracker> Grace Harvey has posed.

    "Big- oh. Right. Right." Grace pauses. "...I mean they can fit a lot underground, I guess? It's not... super deep but they've got some space." She sighs looking around. Lily is obvious security. Like... super blatant. Not undangerous, but super blatant.

    And oh great, Miss Jay is here, Grace tilts her head down as though it would hide her three eyes and shock of purple hair. "...Don't look now, there's a narc." She says quietly to Arle, bitterness in her voice. She still hasn't forgiven Jay for siding with the cops over her. It was just a bank, what is *wrong* with this planet?

    But Grace Harvey *does* have a nose for crime and criminals. And with Arle around, she might be able to stop her picking a bad associate. The one side all white makeup and doll motif? That's a criminal look. If they socialize, it's less weird they were here. "What if we..." She indicates with her head toward Dollie and Zed. "We need multiple angles, after all and this gives us an easy excuse to take our time. I'd say we'd be more recognizable but uh." Grace indicates her face with her left hand. "This stands out."

    She still hasn't let go of Arle's arm.

<Pose Tracker> Arle has posed.

Arle has been alert the whole day. It's hard to tell precisely *what* she's being alert for, beyond possibly 'anything unusual', but she notices Lily giving Grace the look-over even if she's trying to make it look like a casual glance, and returns a slight nod, as if to say 'I see you'. (She definitely has no comment on hiding weapons, because although Arle does not have anything on her likely to be recognized as a weapon, she *does* have some other items that she would have some difficulty explaining away.)

True to her word, Arle does not look at Jay. "Mmm. Doesn't surprise me! At least you know who this one is." Better the narc you know than the one you don't.

Arle detects another elf. Well, okay, there's more than *one* other elf here, but she detects one talking louder than the average. Her ears perk up slightly, being quite long enough to be rather mobile even by elf-ear standards, and glances over at Margaret.

Ordinarily she might have commentary on that dress, but she is behaving herself. And so she instead listens to Grace, who makes sense. And Zed, who doesn't. "Let's," she says, leading Grace that way on her arm. "And I don't mind that you stand out. It makes it easier for you to get a good look, if anything else," she says, brushing her hair out of what would be her third eye. If she had one. Which she doesn't.

"That isn't how that works," Arle says, when Zed describes a Delta Attack. "Not for wizards, anyhow, though I suppose you *could* if you really wanted to..." But it's not her job to figure out how to do it. What does she look like, a wizard? Ugh.

She gives Azoth a slight nod in passing (she remembers you, metal man)but doesn't interrupt his education. Which way the education is going, in or out from him, she wouldn't presume to guess.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    "I'm glad," Ida says, to Riesenlied. "People deserve to hear the whole story--not just the bits that fit their preconceptions. And who knows? They might just come away with empathy for their fellow Galadians, too." She can't help but blush a little when Riesenlied calls her a natural. "Thank you," she says. "I had help, but I don't think Eleanor would approve of me giving her all the credit."

    "We don't know," says Ida, when Azoth asks his question. "The same way we don't know their real name. As for how you could tell, well--I think that's a question for Lombardia, if anyone. Gender is... quite complicated."

    Then someone says her name. Ida turns to Margaret, expression welcoming but not familiar. "Thank you," Ida says. "To put it simply, Tam is the largest and most complete Dragon skeleton ever excavated from the Boneyards. There was a legal dispute over who had the rights to their skeleton--Father told me that Anaheim wanted to dismantle them for salvage, but they lost rights to the site where Tam was found the year before their discovery. The judge ruled that Tam be put up for auction, and the Suen family purchased them, and donated them to the museum."

    Ida rests her right hand on the guardrail. Her fingers tighten. A sort of groggy melancholy--like someone awakening from a sad dream--bubbles up in the back of her mind, a subtle undertone to her own thoughts. "The whole affair was downright morbid, when you think about it. I'm glad they ended up where they are now."

    "Miss Everstead-Rey!" says a voice from behind Riesenlied. Someone is there: a tall, broad-figured woman in a stately, colorful dress. Her hair is bound into dozens of braids, each secured with a bright little bead, and she's grinning from ear to ear. "There you are."

    "Curator," Ida says, and it takes considerable willpower to keep that greeting from turning into a squeak of surprise. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you were looking for me."

    "Oh, I came down here to take the temperature, as it were," says Doctor Prince. "And who better to ask than some of our first guest speakers, and their associates? We're still looking for people for the schedule--" She glances aside, almost conspiratorially. "Quincy and his colleagues cancelled. Something about the museum turning into a 'common sideshow attraction' under its new leadership."

    Ida glances back at the others, offering an apologetic smile. "Academic politics," she says--

    "It's all right, you're not going to hurt my feelings. For the rest of you, welcome! I'm Doctor Tamara Prince, and I oversaw the rennovations." Dr. Price--'Tam?'--looks up at the gape-jawed skull above her. "To make a long story short for our guests, this field is full of people with very strong opinions on the personhood of Hyadeans, and how their history should be presented. With Bridges still trapped in whatever Godforsaken pit Odessa's kept him in, there's a... vacuum. They want to be noticed. And some of them are deeply reactionary. When they heard one of our speakers was Hyadean..."

    Ida's hand tightens around the guardrail. Silver gleams on her fingernails--or is it a trick of the light?

    "Don't get me wrong," says Dr. Price, looking at Riesenlied. "It was a pleasure and an honor to invite you here, and I would rather have one you than a dozen stodgy old men."

    "So how do you fill that space, is what you're saying," Ida says, loosening her grip.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Margaret approaches and addresses Ida, and Riesenlied smiles and sidles to the side. Why was Tam chosen? Maybe because of how intact it is, Riesenlied ventures...? Or perhaps it was the one that was cheapest to procure, Riesenlied also thinks possible, because sometimes, museums do have that kind of reality to deal with.

    Jacqueline sympathises with that feeling, and Riesenlied nods bashfully. "I hope so. I wanted to emphasise that the Hyadeans of today deal with many of the problems humans would, and that it is important to look beyond us as something exotic..."

    Still, Riesenlied knows Lily well enough that the reason she has weapons is because she's playing it restrained. She giggles and says: "You have to hold back, hmm? If you were going all-out, you are the weapon..."

    Zed gives her a wave, and she waves back in turn as he excitedly chimes in about Delta Attacks; isn't that kinda what the Three Dragon Cannon is about? Maybe...

    Gwen and Avril both compliment her further, and there's a moment where she starts to flush and her horns droop and start to wiggle. (This may inadvertently start an academic explosion where a researcher fervently argues that Hyadean horns are actually droopy and floppy and act like ears, on a sample size of one.)

    "T-thank you, you two. Ah, how is she doing, Gwen? Well, I hope," Riesenlied asks, and looks to Avril in turn, maybe noticing a little bit of the hesitation, and offering a bit of a distraction. "I like your dress tonight as well, Avril... did Rebecca pick it out for you?"

    She also nods to Azoth, and offers, "It has been some time, Azoth. I wanted to thank you again, back then, for helping us free Lombardia... she is doing well, last I heard." Nall is kind of her impromptu point of contact with how Lombardia and Odjn are doing, after all.

    She hasn't noticed Grace and Arle yet, mostly because they're sticking to the sides and away and she's not the most physically observant person... but she picks up on a bit of ire...? Huh... she looks around a bit, but this is a crowded hall.

    Ida explains that she had Eleanor to help her, and Riesenlied smiles in turn. "Oh, I did not know you two were acquainted. I am working with her on some shipping routes to Keqili, myself." Ida confirms that, indeed, it's because 'Tam' is the most complete skeleton...

    Riesenlied does keep her face level when Ida explains of the history, however. The way people would trade their remains at an auction... she senses Ida's unrest too, though--

    But then she's interrupted when someone calls to her. The Curator! Tamara Prince... 'Tam'? "Ah..." Riesenlied sounds a bit embarrassed and shy, perhaps. She understands the field of academics can be a rife one, in speaking with her old friend from Sielje.

    "Thank you, Doctor Pierce," she expresses gently. "I hope I have not caused you too much trouble, still?" She doesn't have the best gauge on how the other experts -- 'experts' -- on the field are reacting, after all...

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"Well I don't really drink milk, I can't stomach it," Dollie tells Zed, "but the Cap-- Margaret there, I mean, you can tell I'm sure." After this she frowns in thought. Her arms fold loosely.

"Intimately," she tells Zed, nodding along with that. "Ah, so it's like a combination magic... but not with a spell that's like completely built from the scribes up to do it, yeah?"

Margaret is a pretty imposing presence. This gravity may attract the attention of others, such as Arle, or their displeasure, as may be the case with Gwen. Margaret smiles benignly at Gwen, for the same reason that a cat will always come and investigate the person who least wants a cat to sit on them.

"Oh, I see. Something of a legendary thing. Similar to when they find a truly enormous crystals or something in a mine - not the same thing, obviously, far from it, but the same PRINCIPLE," Margaret says, nodding along with it. "It does sound rather morbid, but I gather all of this is still new -- didn't know anything but the remains before a few years ago, ey?"

Margaret looks benignly at Riesenlied, but then--

-- A prince! A DOCTOR Prince. Margaret looks towards her as she speaks and listens quite closely. She is planning something.

Dollie answers Azoth. "Well it's a feeling really, isn't it. Kind of a soul thing more than a body thing even if there's overlap." This seems to be as far as that one healer will go, instead inquiring of both Arle and Zed, "So what if there was like a Delta... Reinforcement. Did they ever do that, then?"

And as for Margaret:

"Ah, so you have an open time to fill! Well, if I may impose myself, Doctor, Ms. Everstead-Ray," Margaret says, touching her collarbone with one hand, "It seems that you need something to fill that, and what might be quite illuminating and dynamic would be a *question and answer session.* I'm Margaret," she asides, offering her hand out to shake to Dr. Prince as well as to Gwen, whether Gwen likes it or not. "I've worked in theater before and I'd be glad to run the patter for you. I don't know a Metal Beast from a Chicken Breast, either, so I can present an authentic face of ignorance."

<Pose Tracker> Lily Keil has posed.

"I'm trying to be nice," Lily replies to Riesenlied, pleased at the acknowledgement of her abilities. She may have mixed feelings sometimes about her nature.. but she is the weapon. It's just true.

Lily nods at Avril when she glances her way in turn. Maybe she did notice the scrutiny. But Lily doesn't linger much after that; she doesn't detect much danger from that direction. At least, not at the moment.

She notices that Arle definitely notices her noticing, and marks her mentally as either someone helpful in a crisis or trouble--hard to say which. But being vigilant in and of itself isn't particularly suspicious to Lily of all people, so that's all there is to it for the moment. ...For her part, Lily is very obvious security; she has a dangerous air to her, and is willing to use it to dissuade obvious trouble.

Margaret has an offer for the good Doctor. Which is good. Because Lily is not inclined to offer to give a talk on no prep, herself.

Though she does muse about Delta Attacks and Reinforcements...

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Azoth is here too!! Best friend robot gets a big old grin of recognition, "That's right. Delta Attacks...! And that is so how they work! You combine three powers into one, and the work of coordinating all three of those powers just right adds a fourth factor. Power to the fourth power! Nahahaha!"

(Is this how that works? Is that how any of this works!? Zed seems to be speaking confidently about it all, but how much does he really know!?)

"Hm, yeah I can't really do milk either. But I guess that's also just, biology stuff?" Beat. "Oh, yeah kind of! Well, sometimes you can get weapons purpose-built to do that sort of thing, but firing them all at just the right time can be rough. That's why Dragons were good platforms. They could handle all the firing and timing corrections on their own to coordinate a perfect a Delta Attack! With multiple different people, they'd all have to be in perfect synchronization to pull it off on the fly. But a Delta Reinforcement..."

Zed thinks for a moment, then says: "I think that's a thing, yeah. Defense systems aren't my thing but I know we used some kind of shield frequency synchronization for our barrier systems so you could have like, multiple emitters all powering up the same force field. So yeah, probably?"

Beat.

"Oh no, Bridges was taken by Odessa!?" Zed acts (and might actually be) horrified. "That poor guy. I'll have to work extra hard to figure out where he is and get him back...!!" (This cannot possibly end poorly.) "...Oh, do you need more people to talk? 'Cause I've got plenty of slides...!" Beat. "Oh, yeah, I saw them before. You know, when Odessa hit the place up the first time?"

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Jacqueline catches sight of a familiar face. Grace - she hadn't seen her since the robbery. She starts to say something... but, from the way Grace quite clearly tries to avoid her, it seems like she hasn't forgotten or forgiven. Jacqueline looks away, thrown off just a bit, before turning her attention back to Riesenlied.

"Yes... We're sharing this world now, after all. It's important to get to know each other." She agrees. She nods, too, as Ida offers her own views.

Soon, someone arrives - the Curator here, apparently. She hadn't expected this, but it's a good opportunity.

"Doctor Prince. It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Jacqueline Barber, of the Caravan Kinship." Jacqueline greets, with a hand over her heart. "Yes, I imagine it's quite complicated... but you've chosen wisely, I believe. They'll have to come around sooner or later, or get left behind."

She pauses.

"I am sorry to hear about Doctor Bridges, however..." She apologizes.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "I know, right?" Gwen chuckles, nodding to Avril. "It's always fun when I'm in an adventure with you." Come to think of it, that's how Gwen found herself exploring one ruin a while ago: it was because she saw Avril there.

    For Gwen, sometimes, that's the only excuse she needs to break from her route.

    "As well as can be hoped for," Gwen then answers Riesenlied, thankful that this admittance is truthful despite the vague wording. "As much as it'd be great to have her over here, I think she'd wilt once she got into the wetter climate 'round these parts." Her eyes keep getting distracted by Riesenlied's adorable droopy horns, which Gwen tries her best to not openly (and rudely) stare at.

    Thankfully Tam comes to the rescue! .... Dr. Tamara Prince, that is. "Oh, so you're the lucky lady who gets to work here!"

    Gwen immediately regrets saying these words, as 'Tam' explains just how complicated things are.

    Margaret, save her! wait what

    So now Gwen is shaking Margaret's hand, and very professionally too! Margaret's handshake game must be very legit.

    "... Yknow, I bet, Zed could probably do a real neat combat lesson. Not here, of course, but if there's an empty space where scholars could listen to 'im talk? Like, just the delta tactic thing he just explained!"

    .... Gwen is volunteering someone else for something she can't even do herself. Unless she volunteers and--

    She'll stop before she gets ahead of herself. "Don't mind me, I'm just ridin' on all the energy in this room."

<Pose Tracker> Azoth has posed.

Azoth returns Arle's nod, smiling. With a pointed glance at Grace and back, he smiles too-wide and too-bright. Say hi to Grace for me, he told her when they parted ways the last time, unprompted. It's fun being right.

But Azoth is here too, and Zed's grin and enthusiasm add to the loop of infectious excitement -- Delta attacks continue to be awesome, and now Reinforcement is involved, somehow. Could Azoth be possibly learning anything from this? Is it better or worse if he is?

When he's thanked by Rieselied, his smile turns from sparkling to something more bashful. "Just doing the logical thing, right? I'm glad to hear she's okay. It must have been a harrowing experience..." An understatement. What Lombardia suffered was nightmarish, and her children had to witness it.

Dollie helpfully answers the vague question Azoth posed. He gives her his full attention, but his cheeks puff, brow furrowing with deep contemplation. Maybe not having a soul makes it more difficult to understand. "A feeling," he repeats to let her know he is trying to process the idea. But he's asked a question he doesn't realize there isn't enough time to answer.

A new face arrives. Azoth greets Tamara Prince with a bright wave as he's welcomed, but his hand comes to a pause and slowly lowers again. "People sure do love having opinions on personhood, don't they?" he says to no one in particular, and though he's still smiling, there's no joy in it. He tries to be discreet about checking the metaphorical pulse from Rieselied and Zed. There's also the rather distressing nature of one of their people being taken by Odessa... technically an enemy. He might have some wiggle room on that.

But no one seems in the mood to start a scene and Zed has another offer, and Azoth's hand shoots up like they're already in a lecture hall. "I want to see the slides!"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

    "If that is so, then I am glad," Avril says, the corners of her eyes crinkling in that smile she bears.

    Avril shakes her head when Riesenlied responds. "Not at all. I am glad to have been here to listen to you speak," she says, continuing to smile. The plight of Riesenlied's people is near and dear to her heart -- it is a matter she had been introduced to not long after first meeting Riesenlied and Noeline.
    After they had both rescued her.

    When Riesenlied remarks on her dress, Avril glances down at herself. "Oh, do you? I had been informed that it was flattering, but I am grateful to have your opinion, Riesenlied. ...She did. She said it was the least she could do if she could not be here as well."

    Ida approaches their merry little conclave, and Avril steps aside to allow her in. But there is another woman here...?

    "The 'Curator'..." Avril echoes, as if trying the word out for the first time. She glances at Ida as if to ask her a question in silence.

    Politics, on the other hand... is something she understands well. Instinctively, in fact.

    Which is why Avril quite bluntly states, to the Curator, "Thus you mean for Ida to claim that space."

<Pose Tracker> Violet Salazar has posed.

So there were people who questioned the personhood of Hyadeans? They were, Violet reflected, the same sort with similar opinions about Beastfolk.

She'd run into them more than once, and survived many years of childhood bullying.

She patiently waits her turn to meet the Curator but expects it to take awhile, what with the crowds milling about. In the meantime she continues to listen, shaking her head at the rivalries between Galadian political factions.

Politics. It was all the same, a seeking after power, and in academics knowledge was power.

<Pose Tracker> Grace Harvey has posed.

    This time, this time it clicks that security is also a hot lady in a suit who was looking at her until Arle looked back. Embarassing. Also she's really hot. Mrrrrrg Grace you are literally on a date AND a job! You can't ogle hot people who will shoot you here! She turns away, blushing slightly only to hear talk of that woman *being* the weapon. Ugh. Scary, hot and scaryhot that's too strong a combo.

    And then she sees Margaret go into the patter, and she's not quite enough to hear. "...Damn," she says, leaning into and up to Arle to whisper. Unnecessary. "We might have someone working an angle too. Do you hear that slickster?" Grace mutters. "She's good, too... If that Curator's just an academic, she's gonna be putty." A part of her wants to see if Margaret works together but... She's had a few solid hits to her judgment lately, and working with untried people is way too risky.

    It also means that when Azoth looks at them, Grace is pressing up to Arle, and she sees the big grin as he looks between the two of them. "Wh- huh- muh???" And then she realises how close she is and goes beet red and leans away, but still doesn't let go. "Wh-what's so funny?" She says, just loud enough for Arle and Azoth to hear. You idiot dork.

    She's still scanning approaches, looking around at everything. It's weird how the technology gets better the older it is. She doesn't understand the details, exactly but she's a decent enough mechanic. And that dragon... Semi-organic weapons platform? It's a little upsetting. "Born just for killing, huh... Pretty messed up. You'd think it'd be the sort of illegal that folks just don't mess with." She's way too naive, way too innocent for a girl who's been a criminal most her life.

    Still, she is standing out to get a better look, as suggested. The protections on the exhibits, three eyes wide with 'wonder'. She can see so much at once a human can't, take in so much quicker, a bigger range of vision. And it's really hard to tell *exactly* where she's looking. Eventually, Grace pulls back. "...So, uh..." Just loud enough to be heard. "What... Is a Hyadean anyway? Like the lady with the horns?" She knows they exist, but not much. She came after the war ended. "I don't uh... know the whole deal but they're talking about them a lot, huh?"

<Pose Tracker> Arle has posed.

Arle actually gives Margaret a broader smile when she smiles at Gwen. Game recognizes game. Even if it is a slightly different sort of game. She speaks more quietly to Grace: "Maybe. I think I'll see if I can catch her name from the woman she came with." Dollie, though she doesn't have *that* name either.

Though, she just got it! Convenient. 'The Cap' Margaret, who she assumes is a captain. Not naval, Arle thinks. Totally wrong stance for that.

"Mmm," is Arle's response to Dollie, at first. Such as it is; she wasn't the one being spoken to, so it's not really an *expected* response. "Some people just can't handle it, I suppose. It's a shame!" Another broad smile. "As for a 'Delta Reinforcement', I'm hardly an expert. But I would say it's a little easier. It has to do with the dynamicism of it, and the way the energy works."

For someone who claims not to be a sorceress, or at least certainly never claims to be one, she does seem to know bits and pieces that a layman wouldn't. And it bothers Arle, sometimes, that even she isn't entirely clear on where she learned it.

Her positioning shifts to make room for both her and Grace in the conversation, unless someone is rude enough to shoo her away. Arle is good at making herself feel at home and only slightly worse at it with Grace on her arm.

She remembers that line from Azoth too. It's even okay if he gets the satisfaction out of being right. It was a surprise that Grace asked her, but not an unpleasant one.

"They're Metal Demons," Arle says to Grace, being rude (on purpose). "The aliens that attacked Filgaia some years ago. Did I even tell you about the time they almost captured me, outside of Adlehyde? I'll have to give you the whole story sometime; it was exciting. Oh, and it's a pleasure to meet you," she adds, to the group at large. "Arle, gambler at large. This is a *little* out of my usual field, but I couldn't help myself."

Why is Arle being so rude and/or outgoing? Well, one, because she sort of wants to see what Zed does with it, and two, because she *is* kind of outgoing. But three, because if she's being memorable for being rude, albeit in a way a lot of Filgaians still are, Grace isn't memorable for looking around everywhere.

Casing this place *is* still a second objective, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    Lily might be at work, but that doesn't mean she's gone unnoticed. Ida gives the woman a familiar nod, but then Lombardia comes up again, and that groggy melancholy grows stronger. "She's with ARMS," Ida says, her gaze flickering into focus as she looks at Riesenlied. "We've known each other for a few years, now." And then Margaret comments that all of this is new, and Ida nods. "Before Adlehyde, all we had to go on were ancient remains, and the odd report out of Arctica. The general consensus was that the Hyadean people were on their way to extinction, if they hadn't gotten there already."

    Dr. Prince grasps Margaret's hand, and gives it a firm shake. Her face settles into a thoughtful frown as she considers, then looks aside to Ida to gauge her mood. (Ida seems receptive, but also aware of Margaret ingratiating herself. This puts both her and the Doctor on the same page.) "That might work well for younger audiences," says Dr. Prince. "You'll notice we have a handful of displays designed with children in mind, here and there. Furthering the education of our city's youth has long been a goal of mine."

    "You see," Tamara continues, "my grandpa was a fossicker, and so was my father, and my mother. And when Pa finally got the shakes, he couldn't work, and that meant I had to go in his place." She glances up at the gaping skull again. "I was sixteen when I started digging. A year later, I found our friend in a patch of dirt Anaheim had dismissed as 'worthless'. So I think I know where you're coming from, is what I'm saying."

    "Appreciate the concern for Bridges, too," says the Doctor. A bit of a lower-class accent started to slip out, purposefully, when she started talking about her history. "As for the schedule... what do you think, Ida?"

    Ida looks at Azoth, then at Zed. "Well," she begins. "it might be terribly unprofessional, but I don't see why we should give Quincy and his friends the time of day."

    "Agreed," says Dr. Prince.

    "What do you think, Zed? If you want, I can even arrange to burst in and challenge you. It'll be like old times."

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

Dollie seems interested in this Delta Reinforcement talk but is just listening for now. It seems she is not well up on the ARM, but is starting to get ideas. "That's awful if they're just taking people," Dollie offers. "And what do you mean by slides?"

She nods to Azoth, without digging in further.

"Captured you?" Dollie asks Arle.

Margaret's handshake is firm and perhaps slightly flirtatious. She doesn't actually wink at Gwen but that's more because of random chance. Spiritually, she absolutely would have.

Then Dr. Prince addresses her idea --

And Margaret's eyes flutter for a moment as she sways just a little, left to right. As if she's about to suddenly turn to dust and fly away on the breeze. While she's not actually pitching over, she seems to have no reply, although if prompted she will surely agree to perform children's edutainment for a natural history museum.

SOCIAL CLIMBING EFFORT: FAILURE

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    Riesenlied smiles gently to Margaret and says, "We as a people did not really surface to the world in any capacity but violence until a few years ago... so I understand that a lot of established knowledge is being upturned." Ida chimes in as such; she nods as Ida explains that she knows Eleanor through ARMS. "I did not know that..."

    She can't help but chuckle a little as Margaret offers her services to the good Doctor Prince, though. She seems like rather a bold woman!

    There's a pleasant smile and a nod at Lily, but she leaves it at that, since... it seems like Lily's detected something -- and she'll let her do her job. "Good luck," she whispers.

    Azoth reassures her it's just the logical thing to do -- Riesenlied nods in turn, briefly thinking of just how harrowing that entire ordeal was. Kinoc... she can't find it in herself to forgive him even now. But she can't help but sense something a bit... personal about the way he comments about personhood -- was that something that he struggles with too?

    Avril's reassuring words are still warming to hear, and Riesenlied smiles a bit more bashfully, as she reflects on just how long she's known Avril now. Ever since that day they met, trapped in the Temple of Rejection. They've come a long way, haven't they...?

    "It fits you very well. Rebecca knows just how to dress you, does she not? It is much the same for Noeline and I," Riesenlied tilts her head.

    It's at that point she accidentally overhears Grace ask what a Hyadean is, and smiles a little bit. "That would be correct, though not all of us have horns, admittedly." A pause, as Arle explains them as Metal Demons, and they attacked Filgaia some years ago.

    "... that is not inaccurate, no. There was a war that has since ended years ago, between a number of our people and Filgaia," Riesenlied remarks ruefully. "But much like how I doubt every person feels responsible for the wars of their whole species, ours is not a monolith either." A gambler...?

<Pose Tracker> Jacqueline Barber has posed.

Adlehyde is... still something of a sore subject, even to this day, but Jacqueline remains politely quiet. She glances to the side with a frown, just slightly, as someone mentions an 'exciting' story relating to it.

Her opinion of Doctor Prince rises a few notches, too, at her response.

"That's a noble goal. Educating the young is always important, no matter where you're from." Jacqueline agrees.

She lets herself step back a bit here and take in the conversation. She doesn't have much to add, but this in itself is a valuable experience.

<Pose Tracker> Azoth has posed.

"Nothing!" Azoth chirps to Grace. "You look like you're both having fun, so don't mind me." Having fun planning to rob the place, Azoth! (But it's still fun, right?)

Ida and Doctor Prince agree that Zed can conduct his own presentation, and Azoth's attention turns to him expectantly, eyes sparkling again.

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

>What is a Hyadean?

>They're Metal Demons!

There's a sound like a flash of lightning over a super gundam pilot's forehead. Suddenly, Arle and Grace have a moss-headed, friend-shaped individual almost draped over their shoulders, but not FULLY. Just... hovering. "Oh, great! I have a perfect excuse now! Ida, battle showcase will have to wait. I need to give... A HYADEAN HISTORY LECTURE!!"

Lightning flashes in the distance. Thunder crashes.

"And these two are going to have front row seats!!!"

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    "That's what we're saying, Zed," Ida says. "We can schedule a lecture for you. You'll have an auditorium all to yourself."

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"Yessssssss, excellent."

<Pose Tracker> Grace Harvey has posed.

    Grace's three eyes widen, and she turns straight to Arle. "Wait, what?" She knows Arle's a world class bullshitter but this doesn't sound like a fun lie. And then there's first part. Her grip on Arle's arm tightens, and becomes a little shaky all at once. "Aliens. They're... really aliens?" Have there been aliens openly parading around this whole time while she's been playing it cool. "...From where? How?"

    She hears the sound of a scam running into a wall. Grace winces for a moment on Margaret's behalf, but that's distracted by Riese confirming it. "You're really from somewhere else? Not, like, Lunar?" The biodiversity on Filgaia was huge for the boonies. She'd just assumed it was... the fun of random chance, so many different species. But she knew about the Veruni, so. But this is TWO invading/conquering species, on one planet? But neither had come out on top? And that damn ship, with the zombies.

    Even Azoth's teasing only pulls her out of this a little. "????" Yeah, that's a sound. And then there's a Zed. "Wh- Huh wait what lecture?? Front row seats??" She looks from Zed to Ida to Arle to Zed to Arle. "What??" Oh no she's flustered, but not because of flirting. She's suddenly been hit with a lot of information that- had she worked- she could have known about earlier, and now she's being accosted by a weird green haired dude. She backs a little behind Arle.

    What happened to the big blustery chaos agent she normally is? She's had a real hit to the confidence, huh.

<Pose Tracker> Arle has posed.

"Oh, of course not," Arle says to Riese. "I don't blame all Hyadeans, though I certainly blame the ones that picked me up. But I thought she might know the name better, and if I'm being honest, it's still a *novelty* to talk to one that isn't trying to steal my hat."

Arle is not wearing a hat today.

She gives Dollie a conspiratorial nod. "Captured me - right out of - well, I was travelling outside Adlehyde and I got swept up, I won't say I'm special enough for them to go after specifically. Or at least, they wouldn't know it, ha! A few of us broke out of the box they put us in, and apparently we amused them so much that one of them let me challenge him to a game of cards."

"Now, I don't know if the Hyadeans have poker at home," and with this she looks at Riese, then Zed, "but I didn't have to explain the rules. So we bet, a few times; I got his measure by losing my hat to him, but then we turned it around. It's a shame, I miss that hat."

Arle was not expecting Grace to have *quite* that reaction. She lowers her voice, but not so much that Grace can't hear it: "Are you quite all right?" This kind of puts a damper on things!

"Ordinarily I'd rather have a tour than a slide," she says, having been intending to parley it into an opportunity to nose around the *whole* place, "but I think it depends on how Grace feels." Hopefully she's still up for it, but...

<Pose Tracker> Ida Everstead-Rey has posed.

    Ida is looking directly at Arle, now, brow furrowed. "You played poker with one?"

<Pose Tracker> Arle has posed.

"Yes?" Arle says this as if it is the most natural thing in the world.

<Pose Tracker> Riesenlied has posed.

    "Ah, not quite..." Riesenlied does have to correct Grace. "Our predecessors were from the distant stars -- from the planet Hyades, specifically, but I was born here in Filgaia, as have the other Hyadeans for a good number of centuries now..."

    But Zed, Ida and Tamara concoct a plan to... bring them front row seats on a lecture??? Riesenlied can't help but chuckle a bit and sidle to one side.

    She does nod at Arle, at least. "Of course. Thank you for that consideration, and... it is true that those of us that are involved in that war are still pursuing our own atonement."

    It's not something she'll forget, after all -- she only has to look at Jay to remember it.

    Still, the story of how she lost her hat... that's certainly quite the story, and she can't help but be intrigued. Something else draws her attention, though, and she holds her finger up. "Ah, my apologies, I must attend to something..."

<Pose Tracker> Grace Harvey has posed.

"I'm...." Shit, she has no poker face. Arle knows this. She shakes her head. "I will be, though. Just... Once we finish here, can we find some place to talk? Privately?" What's the point in hiding it anymore. At least from Arle. The Federation can't reach here, or there wouldn't be *two invading species*. She takes a deep breath, then another.

    She puts on a happier face. "Yeah, I'm okay. Just... uh. Just a bit of. Y'know." She's vague, as if mentioning a medical condition she doesn't want to talk about. Riese mentions the planet. Hyades... Ugh, if she still had her charts she could at least make a guess. She nods.

    "...Yeah, a tour would be nice. Especially if we're sitting through a lecture." She flutters her eyelashes, looking to Zed, then the Director, with some serious puppy dog eyes. Is it better or worse when there's three of them.