Difference between revisions of "2020-07-30: Nothing You Need to Worry About"

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Latest revision as of 13:25, 1 August 2020

  • Log: Nothing You Need to Worry About
  • Cast: Gwen Whitlock, Citan Uzuki
  • Where: The Thames - Market
  • Date: July 30, 2020
  • Summary: Gwen, with reason for concern after recent encounters, requests that a certain country doctor take a look at her arm. Of course, Gwen isn't the only one with reason for concern after recent encounters...

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    The message to Citan is innocent enough, asking if he is free in the future for a possible check-up, at his own convenience. There's an attempt at providing reasons, a hasty explanation involving the sorts of things Citan would be no stranger to himself, between his own dealings and that of Fei.

    There's the offer of a credit towards any future fees for future deliveries is made as payment, as well as the added option of a simple payment. Acquaintance as Citan may be, he does need something for his trouble.

    And this may or may not be trouble.

    The Thames is as good as any for a location, with friendly faces too happy to gawk and provide advice over Gear enhancements, equipment of various makes and degrees of wear (as well as age), and, most importantly, vendors selling delicious fried foodstuffs.

    Which Gwen is finishing now, sitting on a crate near her gear in the docking bay, a heavenly-smelling greasy fried fish held in a piece of brown wax paper held in her left hand. The smell of rain hangs on the air, flowing in from outside as a storm passes in the distance, the wisping trails of rain darkening the sky.

    "Woo, y'beat the rain," she shouts, to a friendly pilot climbing out of their Gear.

    As long as you don't mind a mess, the Thames is a good place to be.

<Pose Tracker> Citan Uzuki has posed.

    Gwen's message had caught him at both the best and worst possible time.

    Best, because the doctor has some 'free time' (if you can call it that) on hand.

    Worst because... of the reason why that had been so.

    He had thought it better that they take Fei here after everything that had happened, and a part of that reasoning is because he knows for a fact that Weltall is not here. Though... if 'he' awakens again here, whatever may come may only be a matter of degrees.

    It really had only been a matter of time, after all. And there's nothing to do now except wait and see what happens next.

    Not for the last time, Citan is given to wonder what is in Fei's heart.

    "Gwen, I trust that you were not waiting overlong?"

    He approaches where she's perched from behind. "My apologies, but I had something to which I must attend. I will explain later," the doctor says, shaking his head. "...Regardless, I hope you will not mind following me to my quarters here. I am... watching over Fei, shall we say," he says, lowering his voice a touch, "and in the event he wakes up, I would prefer to be close at hand." He gestures as if to indicate the direction towards the below-stairs rooms, as cramped as they are.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "Nah, you came at the right time!" Gwen turns on the crate to face Citan, giving him a small wave with her free hand. "You should try the fish fry vendor. They got a great batch today! If you like fried seafood, that is. It ain't exactly tempura shrimp, but it tastes great on a day like this."

    It can be easy for Gwen to get used to the idea that her mess-ups and problems may be the most pressing ones at hand. The questions of what she should say to Citan, what she should reveal, how much she's willing to implicate her fault for a majority of it--

    A refresher course would be great.

    "No, don't mind at all," Gwen says, finishing her fried fish with a swig of water from a canteen. "Wait, Fei? Something hap--" It takes her only a few moments to realize exactly what sort of issue Citan may be 'watching over' Fei for. The look of confusion gone, Gwen simply nods, mercifully nipping any possible questions short. "Right. Lead the way."

    Following Citan to one of the rooms below the stairs, Gwen waits until Citan has shut the door before she frowns. "... Is it about, uh," she hesitates, half expecting the red-haired pale man to walk right in. "Id? If y'don't mind me askin'."

<Pose Tracker> Citan Uzuki has posed.

    Regardless of the seriousness of recent events, Citan apparently cannot help but smile when Gwen mentions that the fried fish today is particularly good. "Perhaps later," he allows, shaking his head. If time permits.

    When she wonders what happened to Fei, Citan glances meaningfully her way, then ducks his head, as if to confirm her suspicions.

    Or at least, so he thinks -- once he's closed the door, she asks him more plainly a particular question.

    The doctor grimaces. "Yes... it appears so. I had not been present at the time, so I can speak little of the specifics. More than that, he had been injured. ...I will ask you to please keep your voice down, Gwen. He is sleeping, now."

    A folding screen splits off a good half of the room. From the look of it, the doctor's been sleeping on the floor, perhaps more to give Fei some minimal privacy in the cramped quarters of the Thames.

    He gestures towards one of the stools at what can only be called a parody of a table. "Please, make yourself at home. You had said you had some difficulty with your arm...?"

    Maybe she hadn't said that precisely but he might have picked up on the general undercurrent, given her history.

    You need to pay attention to these things when you're a country doctor.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "Right, I'll be mindful." Gwen smiles. "Besides, it's not like I'd want anything I'd be talking about with you t'be floating around the rumor mill."

    Following Citan behind the screen, Gwen eyes the area where Citan's likely been working and sleeping, judging by the placement of the 'furniture' in this partition of this cramped space.

    Knowing the doctor, he likely is taking the job of keeping an eye on Fei very seriously. "... Just know you can take advantage of me bein' here. If you need someone t'run some errands or grab anything, let me know. I got my Gear, if need be. That way, you can stick 'round here and keep an eye on Fei. I'd offer t'watch, but I think he'd be more comfortable wakin' up to see you."

    Besides, could she really, truly, be the best candidate?

    Sitting down on one of the stools, Gwen begins to undo the buttons of her right sleeve, nodding. "You can say that." She begins to pull back her blouse's sleeve from her arm, adding, "Oh yeah, the dreams I was talking about, before, when you last saw me--"

    She pauses, taking a hard look at the good doctor's face.

    It's not a matter of trust, but a matter of giving a man more than he really should have to handle. She's not going to suddenly morph into another Id, after all. Her control is lacking in her most powerful state, but that was the same for many, back then. She was, and still is, entirely herself.

    She shakes her head. "I was stressed out, turns out. Your advice helped me." It's not entirely a lie. It wasn't as if she hadn't taken his idle advice about good sleeping habits with the seriousness it deserved.

    "I had to use my ARM's power at its fullest recently. Not sure what you've heard, but me and a bunch of fellow Drifters were tryin' to save Ida from this Hyadean lady. In the process, a being called a Primarch, named Setanta, was freed." She turns begins to undo the outer parts of her ARM with a skill borne out of habit. "We've talked 'bout it before, I think? Well, I, er, had to use Setanta as a power source." She gives a soft self-effacing laugh. "It worked out in the end, but since then, I've been debating if it really was as simple as 'energy in, energy out'. I've had weird experiences before, like, uh." She nods in the direction of where Fei is sleeping. "His Gear? Really weird. I wouldn't do that again."

<Pose Tracker> Citan Uzuki has posed.

    "I may take you up on that offer, Gwen. ...He has sleeping since that incident. I understand he did not cause..." He pauses a moment. "...trouble," he settles for, euphemistically, "but the exertion drained him on top of the injuries he had sustained." Serious ones, if he can be honest about them, but nothing beyond his -- or Lily's -- capabilities.

    He had taken over, to spare Lily further strain, though. He had assembled fragments of what had happened, but...

    It had been enough to get the idea. A shock to Fei's system, and then, Id had emerged.

    There's nothing to do now but wait. And so long as he's waiting...

    Gwen speaks of the dreams she had mentioned the last time they crossed paths. "Oh, yes, I recall those. They had been troubling you."

    And there's no other word for it. He studies her face as she answers, as she says it was just exhaustion.

    He nods the once. "I see... Then, that is good to hear, Gwen."
    Did he take her at face value, though...?

    He listens as she explains the particulars of her most recent situation -- indeed, the reason why she's here today asking for him to check her over.

    "So that is what happened... Fei had spoken of this to me, but I had no idea you were involved as well, Gwen," he says, rubbing his chin thoughtfully as Gwen starts to open up the guts of her arm to the room. "And you... used it as a 'power source'? Have you experienced anything abnormal since?"

    He cannot help but turn his head once in the direction of the screen and the person slumbering beyond it.

    "...So this ability of your arm is not new."

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "I don't mind, really." Gwen gives Citan a small, but warm grin. "You n' Fei've helped me out many times, and I'm out n' about anyway."

    She hesitates, her lips feeling dry. What exactly caused Id to come out and act this way? It wasn't as if Id was a kind fragment of Fei's amalgram of self, but even still...

    "I won't ask any more questions 'bout what happened," Gwen notes, as if her preceding lack of them wasn't enough explanation. "But sounds like somethin' real bad happened. Fei was there with me, back when things happened, and even then, he didn't really..."

    That couldn't have been the incident. Gwen's memory can be fragmented when she's transformed, sure, but she sure as hell would have remembered _Id_.

    For once, her own problems seem like a welcome change of pace.

    "There was also the recent Veruni attack on Kasutho Island and another recent incident, but I've been giving myself time to heal and to rest, so really, the biggest matter is to have another pair of eyes make sure everything's in working order. Besides," Gwen pauses, a wry half-smile on her face, "I, uh, promised Auntie I'd have someone take a look, n' she was willin' to live with it bein' you. Take it as a compliment; she's picky."

    Somewhere, Frea sneezes and grimaces.

    "It was a messy situation, so I'm not surprised." The process is a methodical one, but seems to impart some level of comfort as Gwen settles into a rhythm not unlike a Drifter performing maintenance on a more orthodox ARM or Gunsmoke weapon. "T'clarify, I was just draining a small bit of its power. Probably was more like a mosquito's worth in terms of scale." Her left hand slows, nearly coming to a rest on top of her ARM.

    Has she experienced anything abnormal since?
    Has she?

    Her eyes point downwards, lulled into a half-lidded state. "... It burned," she murmurs softly, vaguely, wetting her lips. "I had to take it."

    She resumes, as if nothing had happened, even seeming momentarily perplexed by the lax placement of her hand.

    'So this ability of your arm is not new.'

    Now looking towards the sleeping Fei's direction, Gwen shakes her head. "No. It's one of the reasons Auntie Frea was studying my ARM in the first place. It's not like I can drain things nilly-willy, and I've managed to use it to charge things too."

<Pose Tracker> Citan Uzuki has posed.

    "A Veruni attack... I see," Citan remarks, inclining his head. "I had heard of something of the sort. Ah, just one moment, if you please..." He breaks away from the conversation to go and fetch his tools from where they rest, apparently, in the bag besides where he's been sleeping. "Ahem," the doctor says, settling the kit down on the table before pulling out the second stool and taking a seat. "Now then. ...Indeed, and if I may, ah, be so bold, I do believe I am the best choice to take a look at that arm of yours. That is, in this part of Filgaia. The technology involved is quite old, and while there are components that I am less familiar with... let us say I am quite willing to learn more!"

    He chooses this moment of course to readjust his spectacles.

    "Now then... please go on."

    It's in pressing her a little more about the situation -- and the aftermath, that Gwen undergoes a strange transformation. No, not the same as the one she may have undergone using the ARM's power, but... one in which she enters a sort of altered state, and utters something quite strange.

    "..." Ever so slightly, Citan narrows his eyes.

    Perhaps if she had not continued as if nothing were amiss, he might have pressed further. But--

    Suffice to say the doctor is well aware of the fragility that an altered state can impart.
    Case in point, the young man asleep on the other side of the room.

    "Hm... do you know whether she was able to produce this effect before it became your own?" he asks instead, treading potentially safer waters.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "Of course. You're also one of the few people I'd trust, at this point." Gwen laughs. "I mean, it's not like I got any secrets in that direction I gotta hide."

    Because he's already dealt with Fei's problems, and the myriad of others he's had come to him for similar purposes as Gwen.

    "The Primarch was different from the others I've heard of, but it's not like I've actively met any. He seemed... human, almost? Well, kinda like, er..." With her left hand, she scratches the side of her head. "I'm sorry, it's not a great comparison, but, like, you know, when you see Id, he talks to you. He gets angry, he's prideful, he's vicious. But it doesn't mean he's evil for evil's sake. And, well, as a matter of fact, it was Fei who made me realize this, during that battle with Setanta. He was the one trying to reach out to Setanta."

    It comes together organically as she thinks aloud. Gwen even appears a little astonished as she continues on, her words delaying as they reach their natural conclusion.

    "Maybe, he felt empathy for Setanta, even if he knew he was dangerous." Gwen's eyes stray towards Fei's side of the room again, before dipping downwards. "But Setanta was defeated. I was assuming he was gone for good, but I wonder..."

    She trails off.

    It was likely a wise idea to avoid disturbing the courier while she was in that fugue state, allowing it to pass like a dark cloud over the sun than invite confusion.

    Citan's question brings a thoughtful frown to Gwen's lips. "Not really, until she had me use it. See, uh." She points to the point between skin and metallic casing, the pale pink skin of her left hand tapping at a point in her right shoulder. "I think I've told you about how it is able to produce the energy needed for it to keep me alive and keeping itself in a running state using its coil engine, right? Well, it also draws energy from my body, for more extensive stuff. That wasn't possible until my body was healthy enough to allow for it. It can convert energy around for itself, more or less, and even feed it back into me, though it ain't a quick transfer. So, it's kinda like a middleman, in a way. But I can't drain people or anything like that, so there are limits. Electronics, things made of energy, I can, thought it's still hit and miss." She turns over a part to allow for Citan to better access it, the right ARM jerking slightly each time Citan examines it with an instrument. "Auntie wanted to study the synchronization process. I don't know what she learned, in the end."

    There's a guilty tone there, before Gwen moves on. "... Sorry for gabbin' your ear off. I don't know if I really made any sense there."

<Pose Tracker> Citan Uzuki has posed.

    'You're also one of the few people I'd trust'. Citan's response to that is to just shake his head, as if in mild amusement. "Of course, if Yui were here, I am certain she would tell me to cease and desist from stroking my ego." He sighs.

    He opens the toolkit as she explains what had happened, selecting a more delicate instrument from within. The doctor apparently keeps his traveling kit fairly well-stocked -- though there is an absence of some of the more esoteric items Gwen may be familiar with from her aunt's workshop. Ah, the blessings of having an actual workshop from which to do one's tinkering...

    "Interesting. Fei spoke to me once of 'Rahab', who appears to have been another of their ilk. How similar or dissimilar would you say that Rahab is from Setanta? ...And you said that Miss Iverstead-Rey was involved with this?" He leans back in his seat, his expression thoughtful for a moment. "Hmm... I must say, I am overdue. After all, is not every would-be machinist's dream to visit Guild Galad once? And as the heir to that house..."

    But he shakes his head. Until such time as Fei recovers, there is nothing to do but watch over him, in the hopes that what wakes up is still Fei.

    "Yes... I see. So there was a 'human heart' in Setanta, whatever its origin." He frowns as if in thought, then takes a look into Gwen's arm, reaching up to readjust a lens. He indicates a particular join after a moment's examination. "Hm... some normal wear and tear... Oh, my. If this continues, I believe you may need to replace this," he points at it, "part in..." He lifts his head, crinkling his forehead. "...Perhaps another six months. Fortunately, this is easy to replace. Even if you didn't have the part, a talented tinkerer could forge a replacement within a day or two. Of course, I could replace it now -- after a sweep of the bazaar, of course!"

    He otherwise gives no indication that he noticed anything at all wrong about Gwen just then, letting it pass. Once is a concern. Twice might be...

    And then there is her psyche to consider.

    He moves aside as she indicates at her arm.

    "Yes, I do recall that," he says, as she explains how it works again, otherwise falling silent and letting her talk.

    "...I thought as much. Ideally, it would want a more refined source of energy, as an ARM. You see -- people, animals, just about all forms of life -- they all contain within them chemical and electrical power. When you eat, your body breaks down what you have eaten and pulls out, ah, let us keep this simple and we will just call it 'energy', shall we?" He gestures with his free hand as if to wave the technical talk aside. "Ahem, it derives energy from the food you've eat and converts it into energy you can use. Furthermore, in your body, electrical signals help drive the beating of the.. er, well, electrical signals provide bridges between your very nerves, so it makes sense that with the rather... intimate connection you have with that ARM that it can borrow a little bit of your own 'power'."

    Gwen might apologize for talking his ear off, but he's not even done.

    "But the same is not so with the outside world -- the energy it needs does not exist in the form it prefers. It needs a closer connection than that to use it. Thus, without the proper 'connections' you cannot simply walk up to someone and, well, in essence, steal their lunch after the fact! However, if you were to encounter something that consisted of the energy it 'liked'..."

    Like a power source.

    Or like Setanta.

    "Exactly! Yes, I have heard of such ARMs before, but they are quite rare..."

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "Weeeell, you deal with so many things that me coming in and opening up my right ARM never really drew a shocked expression from you." Gwen shrugs. "I need someone I can trust to not attack me, too. Opening myself up in this literal case makes me vulnerable- if you were to attack me right now, I'd have a dead weight on my right side that would still register any weird movements I tried to do with it."

    Rahab. Gwen considers the name. "Yeah, mostly all the information I have is from people's experiences with them, and they sound more like something faceless. Primordial. Something that acts and thinks by rules that we can't really think in. Setanta...."

    Does Setanta have a 'human heart', in the metaphorical sense?

    "I wonder if that'd make someone like Setanta just as dangerous, in the same ways Id is. Though in his case, he seems as likely to infuse living beings with his power, until it eats them down. I saw a reaper in that cave on the verge of exploding under the weight of him, all glowing, like it was burning from the inside out." She looks to her ARM, considering it. "According to Frea, it should be as easy as 'energy in, energy out', so I don't think that's what'd happen to me, but I'm still wonderin'. She'd probably say somethin' like--" She raises her finger, mimicking a stately voice. "'It doesn't matter if a power socket is good or evil. An ARM isn't going to care.'"

    Any humor in this may be lost due to the fact that Citan has never met Frea in the first place.

    "Oh! Right, right." Gwen avidly nods at Citan's observation. "Man, I missed that! Probably was from a few weeks ago, that makes sense... Oh yeah." Gwen laughs. "Y'know, I think Fei'd forgive you if you left for a few hours to nab whatever you needed. I know what I said before, but even if it's Id, it's not like I'm gonna be less effective n' dealing with an Id than you are."

    This isn't a slight, really. It's Id. And this is Gwen, suggesting that, if Fei wakes up as Id, there's not a whole lot anyone can do if Id decides to murder everyone and everything on the Thames, for better or worse.

    She has some humor in her tone, for better or worse.

    "Yeah. My appetite's pretty comparable to a magic user. After using the ARM a lot I'm pretty much a giggling mess that just wants to sleep and eat." She grins. "Y'know, when I was little, I wasn't that much of a heavy eater. But yeah. I think they're called 'Cah-Lories?' I remember readin' something like that way back when. It makes sense, really."

<Pose Tracker> Citan Uzuki has posed.

    "Well," Citan begins, only to pause. "Ah, yes, you did grow up on Ignas. While the particulars of your arm are unusual, I do not think the generalities of it are as uncommon as you may think. I have heard tales of other Drifters making use of similar technology... indeed, there are a few aboard this very ship! No doubt, there must be those who see to such things."

    Perhaps in Guild Galad.

    "Hmm... I wonder," is the doctor's remark on the difference between Rahab and Setanta. "Well, I suppose the only thing to do is learn more about these 'Primarchs'!" he says, nodding the once. "Though, perhaps that may be a tall order?"

    After all, the Primarchs... are old things, and perhaps little is known about them, anymore.

    A Drifter's life is never through.

    He listens, checking here and there in her arm as she speculates further on the nature of Setanta.

    "..."

    After a while, he sets down his tools.

    "Everything seems in order, outside that one part. Perhaps it would be better to attend to sooner rather than later? Of course, if you were to, ah, engage in less vigorous pursuits it may hold out longer."

    He looks over at her, making that hint that much clearer, perhaps.

    But of course, he doesn't actually expect Gwen to take his advice, does he?

    "I think it would take rather less than that!" he says, with a good-natured laugh. "I know what I am searching for and at least five different vendors who might have it in stock. Still... I appreciate the gesture, Gwen. I believe he will be fine when he awakens, but..."

    There is a grimace. Of course, Citan could not stand against Id if Id had as his intent the destruction of the Thames.
    Not as he is now.

    "I do not doubt it," he says, more than willing apparently to follow the conversation to lighter directions. "While I doubt it is noticably taxing on your body, it is not quite as effecient as a flesh-and-blood arm. Some energy will be wasted, and that is before considering its likely higher demands. It is a pity, but no machine is as efficient as nature itself..."

    He returns the tool to the case for now, then regards her in toto.

    "Please let me know if you experience any after-effects from this or other recent encounters. There is always the risk of strain on your body -- though little that a decent night's rest cannot help ameliorate! Still, while I see no signs of anything out of the ordinary..."

    He stands, then.

    "Perhaps I should go and find that part, shall I? I apologize for asking you to remain a little longer, but I do not think it will take long to find what I need."

    Though he hesitates, long enough. "Unless you had something else you wished to say?

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "Yeah." Gwen nods. "Coming here was a shock for me. No one really thinks much of a lady with an ARM for an arm, whether she's deliverin' their packages or whatever else. But even still." She pauses, a noticeable hesitation in the angle of her mouth. "There's layers to this that I can really explain, because I can't entirely know. If there was something off, you'd be someone I could trust with that. And..."

    Gwen sighs, and shakes her head. "There are things I've done that may or may not have consequences, in the future. Coming here has made me realize I'm not alone in that, so I'm a little grateful for that. Makes me remember that it's just a part of bein' a Drifter, really."

    Hearing Citan wonder aloud about the Primarchs, the redhead begins the methodical process of reassembling her ARM back, taking care with each step. "I can't say I'd encourage it, but I 'spose a little bit of a heads up can't hurt." She pauses. "In case, uh, things get wild, in the future. I honestly don't know what to think of them, but their existance and the reason for it doesn't seem as cut n' dry as I wanted it to be. Maybe, if Setanta does come back..." She muses. "I can't say 'I'll see if I can talk to him' like I'm sure we'd be on talking terms. The last time we met I was tryin' to chew on him like a starvin' dog on a bone, so."

    But still. Could it be possible to grab some kind of insight that she could pass on to others?

    Speaking of unnecessary danger--

    "Sooner. It ain't like I go lookin' for danger, but I can't say that danger comes lookin' for me, either." Her smile turns wry, seeming to sense the hint in Citan's words. "I will say my plan is to keep in touch here and focus on my business. Nothin' wacky, just normal, boring business as usual for a courier." She makes a last glance towards Fei. "When he wakes up, tell 'im I said hi. And that he needs to try the fish fry vendor when the catch comes in. Don't go during the middle of the week, that's when they just reheat what they have. Not as good, y'know?"

    Gwen makes a show of wincing, as if Citan's comment stung, before chuckling. "If I stuck to bein' a courier I'd be just fine. But I s'pose it's the same for the mage. Our bodies don't come equipped for that sort of stuff without some extra help, eh?"

    Finishing the process of assembling her ARM, Gwen looks up at Citan's pause, considering his pause.

    ".... The dreams were leading to something," she finally says, nodding. "But it's nothing you could have done anything about. And it's nothing you need to worry about now, either." She smiles then, a small, but earnest one that reaches her eyes. "Because you're exactly where you're needed. I'm certain of that."