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In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences. - R.G. Ingersoll
Archival footage of Episode S1-78 follows:
[02/03 07:33pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty turns when a breeze nips at her top hat. She adjusts it and scans the square with a pensive cast to her eyes. "You'll do," she says eventually and challenges the wind to a game of Hazard.
[02/03 07:35pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty pulls her dice from her waistcoat, rolling them in her palm as the wind suggests its stakes. She listens then laughs. "But you can't." A pause. "Ah. Well." She smiles slowly. "As you will, then."
[02/03 07:36pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty cedes the first cast to the wind. It's only polite.
[02/03 07:40pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty remains very still as two of her dice go caroming in a funnel around her. They rattle to a halt near her wrist - as they were called, it's a win. She flinches as the wind snatches its winnings.
[02/03 07:42pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty offers the dice back to the wind with a faintly queasy expression. As long as you keep winning your rolls, you maintain possession..
[02/03 07:43pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth watches with interest while a couple of her severed limbs regenerate.
[02/03 07:44pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty looks positively ill by the time she regains the dice. With a quiet noise, she closes her hand around them and takes a step back - she's never bowed from a game before, but this..
[02/03 07:45pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty can't even begin to concentrate on winning back what she's lost. Zolotisty's count of enchanted things in the world has just decreased by several magnitudes.
[02/03 07:47pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth ccocks her head as she wonders exactly what stakes the wind has named.
[02/03 07:50pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty glances at Tori. She wets her fangs, and the square is still. No leaves rustling, no clouds humming drowsy work songs.
[02/03 07:52pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth smiles in encouragement, which is rather disconcerting coming from a bload soaked Mutant wielding Chainsaw Chucks, but there you have it.
[02/03 08:00pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is not choosy about her sources of comfort. She nods, crooks a very small smile in response, then fingers the silky fur of her ears. It's important to know they are still there.
[02/03 08:00pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty drops her hand and unsteadily disappears.
[02/03 08:01pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth frowns at Zolo's disturbed expression, and offers her a Toy from Elias' Lucky Dip in an effort to restore some cheer.
[02/03 08:03pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth leaves the toy floating in mid-air for Z to claim when she returns, then heads off to find Horatio.. Perhaps he'd like a toy as well.
[02/03 08:15pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria is intently watching the gambling going on before him. Being a fan of dice, (No blame to the improbability infused within him) he is quite enjoying the spectacle. Though,
[02/03 08:15pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria doesn't realize that he's sitting directly to the left of where Zolotisty is standing.
[02/03 09:41pm] <DICE> The Ashen Harlequin the White Observer observes the gamble, smirking. On the recognition of the individual though, a thought flashes through his memory. The voice changes back to how it ought to be.
[02/03 09:56pm] <DICE> The Ashen Harlequin the White Observer says, "Zolotisty. One of the most diverse dice in the game. .. So, where are we going now? Ah, yes, the mountains."
[02/06 07:10pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth the FemBot pauses in front of Sessine's statue just long enough to attach a life-like Snidely Whiplash Moustache to the Statue's upper lip.
[02/06 08:04pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine observes the effect of the Moustache with a critical eye. "Hmm. Very melodramatic. Maybe I should change my regular implant." He strolls away, whistling a cheerful, warbling tune.
[02/06 08:56pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard can attest to the power of a well-formed moustache, or, indeed, well formed moustaches.
[02/06 03:50pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty quite suddenly is. She balances on the roof of the Hunter's Lodge, sifting through spring sweet smells and relishing the pulse of the sun through her coat. It's a day to spend in Kittania.
[02/06 03:52pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty prefers AceHigh and so she will stay. Despite the heady scent of the square, her world is emptier than it was. She's been looking for the breeze, but it's ephemeral.. fleet.
[02/06 03:53pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty leaps from the roof, collecting herself in a forward roll and springing upright. Perhaps if she follows the pollen.
[02/06 07:05pm] The Contraption reaches from the Jungle to extend a helpful hand to Zolotisty. Its fingers uncurl with a pneumatic hiss of steam.
[02/06 07:09pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty gnaws on a claw, oblivious. ..Then again, perhaps if she tries the mountains. It lives there, doesn't it?
[02/06 07:10pm] The Contraption waits.
[02/06 07:12pm] The Contraption seems to pause when Zolotisty takes a step away. It draws back about a hands-length, then quizzically taps her on the shoulder.
[02/06 07:14pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty startles convulsively and whirls. "Mnh," she wheezes, forcing herself to relax. She offers the Contraption a weak smile.
[02/06 07:16pm] The Contraption tips its palm in friendly invitation.
[02/06 07:18pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty inhales. She glances briefly around the square before nodding and vaulting lightly into the Contraption's grasp.
[02/06 07:19pm] The Contraption deftly withdraws with its passenger. The Jungle parts with a rustle.
[02/06 11:13pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth the Jokerette appears in a flash of black light, then frowns, and flickers out of view.
[02/07 12:18am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty slinks into the Outpost, more feral than grace. She assesses the crowd and veers off toward Koga's.
[02/07 06:13pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine releases Theo's slightly scorched and bewildered minion from the stake. "That's what happens when you start listening to Dark Wanderers. These elementals can really mess up your life."
[02/07 06:17pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine heals the unfortunate ex-minion with a medkit, and gives her a nice cinnamon bun still warm from the oven. She smiles wanly and runs off to hide, wanting nothing more to do with surveys. Ever.
[02/07 06:19pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty emerges from Koga's looking sour. She picks her way among flowering skulls and flaming bunnies, massaging the palm of her dominant hand and eyeing the sky. Smoky blue. No sign of aeolian processes.
[02/07 06:26pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has had an uncharitable realization about the duplicity of the wind. Even if she *does* hunt it down, there are a few fundamental issues that will keep her from challenging it to another game.
[02/07 06:29pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine picks up one of the survey forms blowing about and flips through it. "Tch. Fire's all wrong. Fire is positive. It's life, energy, striving. Yin should be darkness, shadow, cold, stillness, decay."
[02/07 06:29pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is convinced it knew. She doesn't mind the con - she minds her inability to stage a retaliatory con. She minds the silence.
[02/07 06:32pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks across the square and sees The Soloist. She seems unhappy.. he walks over to her and offers a smile.
[02/07 06:32pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty catches Sessine from the corner of her eye, registers his presence with uncharacteristic frustration, and shrugs deftly from a certain laughter-colored cape. Unseemly to lose her temper in it.
[02/07 06:39pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty folds it, tucks it away Elsewhere and pins her ears. How.. to solve this conundrum. She turns to Sessine with crossed arms. She clears her throat. Embarrassing to admit this.
[02/07 06:43pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty mistrusts her own voice. "So, I've.. ah." A pause. "Lost my hearing, it seems."
[02/07 06:47pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine 's eyes widen as he takes in what Zolotisty has said. He opens his mouth to speak and then realizes that if it's literally true.. She can read his face, at least. He reaches out to grasp her hand.
[02/07 06:52pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine then thinks wait. ..she can read. He conjures a paper with the words, "How did this happen?"
[02/07 06:53pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty , compelled as she is to remind the wind of the danger implicit in gambling with a Joker, would not allow or welcome the gesture from anyone but a former clanmate. She squeezes his hand. Scowls.
[02/07 06:56pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty casts her free hand as if skimming a stone, dismissive. "Dicing game? Challenged the wind, s'rather my own fault." Some syllables bump into each other, others are elided. Z shrugs. "I lost."
[02/07 07:02pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine is appalled as he realizes how exactly, how precisely aimed, such a loss is to hurt her, of all people. This cannot stand. But.. if it were easy, she would have ended it already.
[02/07 07:09pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine re-forms the words on the paper to say, "Whatever it takes. All that I have. All that I am. This will not stand."
[02/07 07:09pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty bares her teeth in a tight, dangerous grin. "Then you see." In a way, she can stretch for the wind's motivation, as well - to have a voice, but no way of hearing all that's around you? Mn.
[02/07 07:14pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty raises her eyebrows as the words shift. Her expression eases; she assesses Sessine with an odd quality to her gaze. Letting go his hand to grip his arm, she offers, "It can't. It has no legs."
[02/07 07:16pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine nods. The words re-form again: "A two-player game has a winner and a loser. With three, it does not have to be so starkly simple."
[02/07 07:27pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches the paper for a long moment. Inhaling, she nods. She can't stop him from betting, but this assumes a game. How to challenge something you can't see or hear?
[02/07 07:30pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty will pose this riddle to a friend wandering the Jungle. She lets go of Sessine and takes a step back. "I'll.. mn." She gestures vaguely toward the gate and looming Jungle beyond.
[02/07 07:31pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty wheels, then hesitates. "Sessine? Thank you." She touches her hat and disappears.
[02/07 07:36pm] <SPOON> simma ej med hajen watches this little tete-a-tete break up, and leaves in a fowl mood; little pin feathers swirling in her wake.
[02/08 02:55am] <SPOON> Count Sessine doodles a long curling Snidely Whiplash black moustache on his statue, having rather admired the earlier effect - although apparently not quite enough to grow one himself.
[02/08 03:15am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen offers his hearing to Zolo, if she wishes to take it. He relies mostly on sight and touch, anyway. If she does not want his hearing, she still has his pledge of aid, however he can give it.
[02/08 03:30am] <SPOON> Count Sessine nods at Gorbert, recognizing a kindred spirit. "But it isn't dulled hearing like yours or mine that she's lost. Hers is - was - so much more.."
[02/08 03:39am] Newbie skywerewolf starts to dance twards gorbert. "what are you talking about?"
[02/08 03:42am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "She challenged the wind and lost.. Music. Almost her essence. She once said the universe is a tune that can be played. Can you hear that tune? She could."
[02/08 03:43am] Newbie skywerewolf says, "i can hear the tune. but i can't play it. i can see flow and i can ride it."
[02/08 03:50am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks at skywerewolf, assessing him, suddenly far more dangerous. His tone is controlled. "Such a claim should not be made lightly."
[02/08 03:53am] Newbie skywerewolf says, "i never took it lightly. i ride the flow of time. i see how it works. every moment passes. i have an odd ability. some call is psychic but my sences rarely lie.
[02/08 03:56am] Contestant Loki says, "Aww, who so thoughtfully left me a chainsaw? How can I ever thank them?"
[02/08 04:00am] <SPOON> Count Sessine draws a deep breath, and lets it out very slowly. "If that is true, then you may have an.. interesting future here on the Island. And you are lucky that I am who I am."
[02/08 04:06am] <SPOON> Count Sessine turns abruptly, striding away from a sudden abyss that only he can see.
[02/08 04:32am] Newbie skywerewolf says, "my mind. it can see many things. i wish i apprecated it more. thats my cost for growing up privlaged. but hoppfuly i can fix it."
[02/08 04:33am] Newbie skywerewolf walks away thinking very deeply. he meditates.
[02/08 04:49am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth can only hear faint echoes of the rich symphony that once belonged to Zolotisty, but even his untrained ear can pick up the strains of dischord. With a frownof mild concern at the Departing Count,
[02/08 04:50am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth follows after, wonders how he can be of aid.
[02/08 04:58am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods in sympathetic understanding. "I see that my hearing would be near useless to Zolo. But Beethoven learned to compose and play without hearing; could Z overcome this handicap?"
[02/08 06:17am] <SPOON> Newbie Prince of Tales stares at the moon. He wonders if he will see it tomorrow, or ever again, or even if he is seeing it now. In a fit of existensionalism, he heads off to murder things.
[02/08 08:26am] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard stands in the shadows of NewHome. All of this is uncomfortable, well, it should be called viewing, but it's not and all here understand that much, but not much more. All that Bernard can add is
[02/08 08:30am] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's word that whatever he can do, no matter how small or minor, or huge and terrible, then he will do it. It isn't right seeing Miss Z in the slough of despond, and Ct. Sessine on a sharp knife-edge
[02/08 08:32am] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard raises a handkerchief to his nose, and watches his thoughts run loose amongst all the others, sighing, he turns away and wanders off to SquatHole to see what he can do to fix what happened there.
[02/09 02:38am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth strolls in from the east in time to see IonicField's statue, and applauds for his wife, "Bravo, My Dear! Bravo indeed!"
[02/09 02:55am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty plays at jacks with very small hedgehogs at the base of the stocks. Bounce and snatch, bounce and snatch. Bounce and glance - look, a Tor - snatch and bounce and - wait, *Tor*?
[02/09 02:57am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty pauses. She misses her catch. The ball rolls away before uncurling and stretching with an elaborate loosening of its curved ball feet. Blinking, it settles to lick its whiskers.
[02/09 02:59am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty reaches absently for the ball, which settles back into shape with a soft pop. She watches Tor for a moment more before 'hmh'ing under her breath and returning to her task.
[02/09 03:17am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth 's attention returns to the square after taking a non-coporeal tour of the Island, and he notices Zolo. Approaching, he kneels beside his friend for a moment in silent comradeship.
[02/09 03:21am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty lazily quirks an eyebrow at Tor. She angles her palm, full of jacks, at him. "Play?" Single syllables are trustworthy.
[02/09 03:22am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth chuckles as the villagers start work on Agrajag's statue, "Well done, my Unpossible Friend."
[02/09 03:23am] <SWEET> Announcer Max Dougwell tackle-pounces them both and gives them big hugs, before idly inquiring what is required to hide oneself from Rosin.
[02/09 03:24am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth returns is attention to Zolo, "Yes." he says, accompanying the word with a nod, and settles down in the dust for a toss.
[02/09 03:32am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth is remarkably unmoved by Max's Exhuberance, but turns and greets his fellow Player with smile, "Why would you want to hide from her?"
[02/09 03:32am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty umfhs and glances after Max. The hedgehog-jacks chuff furiously. She takes little notice. The game is a useful way of concentrating on a riddle that a Joker in white posed to her earlier.
[02/09 03:38am] <SWEET> Announcer Max Dougwell calms down,"Look in the Veteran's if you want to know. More importantly, how are you going on that riddle?"
[02/09 03:43am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty , ignorant to Max's question, curves her tail idly against her leg and studies the jacks. .. There seem to be more of them. Huh.
[02/09 03:47am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth watches intently as Zolo makes her next throw, then, with improbable precison, collects the spare jacks just befor the ball is caught again. "Teamwork." he says as he catches Zolo's eye.
[02/09 03:52am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty quirks her eyebrows. "Humn?"
[02/09 03:55am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth dusts his hands as he stands and smiles down at his friend, speaking slowly so Zolo can read his lips, "You don't have to find all the answers yourself. You have Friends, use them."
[02/09 03:59am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth cocks his head for a moment and listens to the still tethered tornado howl in protest at its continued captivity.
[02/09 04:00am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty crooks a smile at Tor and her finger at the jacks.
They agreeably climb into her sleeve. "A riddle, then." She rolls upright and doesn't bother with the dust, checking her surroundings.
[02/09 04:03am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth nods and smiles.
[02/09 04:08am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty takes a fidgety glance at Max before turning to Tor. Remembering the riddle isn't difficult, it's the saying that she's uncomfortable with. There's no way of checking *herself*.
[02/09 04:09am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty quotes, "Tell me how it is the wind carries a falcon above clouds like sighs - and yet when he falls, a harsh tearing fills the air."
[02/09 04:10am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty says, "What should the possessionless desire and the colorless despise? You'll find it without looking, your wager without sense." Z shrugs. Her riddling friend had no more to say than this.
[02/09 04:11am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth waves a hand, and produces a quill, then proceeds to write upon the air in glowing letters, :What is your riddle?: before handing the Quill to Z
[02/09 04:12am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth laugs as time plays it's tricks, then considers Z's words.
[02/09 04:15am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth 's brow furrows as he mutters to himself, "Is it one riddle, or two? These seemingly unrelated quereies."
[02/09 04:18am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty shrugs again, understanding the character of Tor's frown. She made the same face when the gentleman in white finally made himself clear to her.
[02/09 04:20am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth ponder a moment more, then suggests, "A touch? A caress? You need not see the wind to feel it, nor hear it to recognize its gentle touch upon your cheek."
[02/09 04:25am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth cannot help but feel his answer is somehow.. incomplete, yet it feels somehow as if it may lead to the true answer.
[02/09 04:35am] <SWEET> Announcer Max Dougwell ponders these words. "Change? It..seems to work, at least for the second part."
[02/09 04:37am] <SWEET> Announcer Max Dougwell can think of a darker answer, "Death.."
[02/09 04:42am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty spreads her fingers. She'll consider the solutions put forth. She doesn't know - she plays, she does not puzzle.
[02/09 04:48am] <SWEET> Announcer Max Dougwell walks off in order to write more of "The Riddler of Oz" "Its about time we got things running again."
[02/09 04:49am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth nods once more, "I, too, shall play. In mine own fashion. Perhaps inspiration will strike as I quest in the jungle. Remember, you are not alone." he says as he departs.
[02/09 04:51am] <SPOON> Count Sessine enters in time to hear the riddle. Evocative. Disturbing. Difficult. The wind is both possessionless, and colorless. The first part.. speed?
[02/09 04:52am] <SWEET> Announcer Max Dougwell laughs to himself. "Perhaps the answer is..aerodynamics!"
[02/09 04:57am] <SPOON> Count Sessine hands Zolotisty a sheet of paper with the words, "You can master still air. You sit on it all the time. The breeze is air in motion. It is movement that makes wind more than air."
[02/09 05:05am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty traces a claw along the words. Movement. But doesn't movement imply a destination? Where does it go? And whence does it come? These answers could be riddles themselves.
[02/09 05:05am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty flattens her ears and nods at Max. The Weathervane P-
[02/09 05:07am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty snaps her jaw shut with an audible click. "Weathervane," she says, hoarse, and immediately casts off to find one.
[02/09 05:15am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods at Z as she departs. "Clever," he states simply.
[02/09 06:46am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth the Midget stands on top of the stocks and shakes his nekkid Arse at Dan and the SpiderKitty, "WoooHooo!!! 1000 Quester Points!! Take dat, Dan!!!!"
[02/09 07:39am] <SPOON> Count Sessine tosses Tor a whole sack of Awesome Points. No, that's not what they're usually for, but 1000 Quester Points is definitely, no-shit, *Awesome*. "Congratulations, Tor!"
[02/09 11:17am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria boots make crunching sounds on the thin blanket of snow on the ground. "Cold?" He mutters, bothered by it. "Improbable.." He growls. Tropical islands shouldn't snow damnit!
[02/09 11:18am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks around, shivering. He's wearing a good amount of layers. Trenchcoat, suit coat, vest, dress shirt, and undershirt, but KK doesn't handle well in the cold.
[02/09 11:18am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria swears quietly, walking back to the houses to go stay by a fire where he can be at a natural 165.9 degree body heat and be comfortable again.
[02/09 11:21am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at the inch of snow as he walks. It seems so foreign here, and the people around are all having difficulty adjusting. The Gauntlet man looks meaner and colder, the Spiderkitty sign is frozen
[02/09 11:22am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at eBoy in his trading post who just set fire with someone's matches to keep warm. He frowns. This seems so.. Odd. But in very strange way, like it should happen anyway.
[02/09 02:21pm] <SPOON> Hermein removes a small, cylindrical package from his pack. He scrapes the snow away with his boot and places the cylinder on the ground. The top side has a short tube extending from it, which
[02/09 02:22pm] <SPOON> Hermein twists sharply. As the tube suddenly begins hissing, he steps back a meter and beckons to KK. "Improbable Thermite. Just your thing, both for heat and controlled destructiveness." As it ignites,
[02/09 02:23pm] <SPOON> Hermein warms his gloved hands over the green flames, and then steps away to let the others have a turn. The ground in this spot will stay warm for several hours, even after the charge burns out.
[02/09 03:41pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila bursts into the square, in her dressing gown and bare feet, and looks at the snow with a kind of rapturous glee. She flops down into the snow, not ungracefully, and makes a snow angel-in-top-hat.
[02/09 04:33pm] <SPOON> Hermein admires Lelila's snow angel, but remembers the last time he tried walking through snow in bare feet, and winces.
[02/09 05:37pm] <NBLUE> Sergeant Kuroiten wanders through the snow, and a small smile curves his lips slightly. The furbles, having never seen snow before, are fascinated by it. Kuroiten watches his herd as they play in this novel environ.
[02/09 06:22pm] Newbie Humping Turret says, "Aah, nothing better than a visit to the old Gauntlet!"
[02/09 07:16pm] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen , on the other hand, does poorly in hot environments but well in the cold. He settles down on the snow and packs it around himself.
[02/09 07:25pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard thrashes through the snow whilst thrashing his naked back with birch branches and then fairly leaps in to the common ground frozen lake, breaking through. His towel floats to the surface gracefully
[02/09 08:00pm] <SWEET> Civilian Kirby makes a snow Kirby in the, well, the snow.
[02/09 08:21pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks back into town. He's wearing a heavy coat with fur lining and has a scarf wrapped around his neck. His hair is distressed, his eyes are sunk, and he basically looks like Hell in a hospital.
[02/09 08:21pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria winces and then pulls away his scarf. "aaAAH-CHOO!" He sneezes and a steam of red and orange flames fire some twenty feet, melting the snow beneath and setting fire to some poor man's shop.
[02/09 08:22pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria sniffles and wipes his nose, putting is scarf back in place. "Sworreh" He says, muffled from the thick scarf.
[02/09 08:30pm] <SPOON> Newbie Prince of Tales extends his last piece of Villager's Candy to KK in a gesture of sympathy for his illness. He hesitates, then hands it instead to the hysterical shopkeeper who is shouting for help with the fire.
[02/09 08:40pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns, then shrugs and walks up to the shop front. He lowers his scarf again and breaths out. The fires don't even flicker and are gone. The shopkeeper cries out 'But who's going to pay for this?
[02/09 08:41pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at the ground, then takes the candy from the Prince of Tales and hands it to him before walking off back towards the cottages to get some rest. Damned sickness..
[02/09 08:57pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's towel, lonely and forlorn, bobs around on the surface for nearly an hour and a half.
[02/09 09:10pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty appears with a rough weathervane dug from what might be considered the mantle of the Scrapyard. She untucks it from under her arm and cranes her neck at the snow.
[02/09 09:12pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty , poised a handsbreadth above the ground, gingerly dips a toe to touch it. She draws back. More inspection. Breathing steam, she tries her foot, chuffs in amusement, then hops down.
[02/09 09:13pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty glances for something to keep the weathervane on - rusty as it is, this white water business isn't going to help. She turns in place. ..Towel.
[02/09 09:14pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty flashes neatly above the lake. White water dry, black water wet? Fascinating. She grabs hold of the towel. There's a peculiar resistance.
[02/09 10:08pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's towel gives in its futile resistence and plumps and flollops for a new life as Zolo's towel. And a lovely towel it would prove for it's new owner. But beware! Towels have fickle affections!
[02/09 10:09pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's ex-towel begins it's new life as Z's special friend, by burrowing and worming it's way into her affections through snugly fitting beneath her armpit.
[02/10 02:12am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty disagreeably fights the towel loose, shaking it by the pseudo-scruff. She acquaints it with the weathervane. In lieu of genuine words, she introduces them by a series of prosodic hmhs.
[02/10 02:13am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty approximates 'weathervane, towel. ..towel, weathervane,' waggling each at the other. Formalities thus administered, she bundles the weathervane in the towel and prowls back toward the square.
[02/10 02:13am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has yet to decide on a roof.
[02/10 02:15am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gestures to Z and points to his cottage, intimating that she is welcome to use its roof.
[02/10 02:36am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty peers at the roofline. Pensive, she wets her fangs. ..Yes. That will do. Touching her hat to Gorbert, she scales the cottage. A heated disagreement with the towel follows.
[02/10 02:40am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty eventually coaxes it loose. It clings round her leg as she affixes the weathervane - a brass arrow struck through an armillary sphere. Its rings are free to rotate around an invisible axis.
[02/10 02:43am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty taps her bottom lip. The weathervane remains quite still. She spins it experimentally - yes, a free range of motion. There's simply no wind. Scowling, Z disappears.
[02/10 07:32pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard `s old ex-towel ain't happy. Left, unloved and forlorn with only a weathervane for company.. Where is it's new mistress? Where? Floating off all over, gallivanting around with flannels and bathmats.
[02/10 07:34pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's ex-towel imagines as much. How it longs for the good times, Bernard sitting on it, on a beach in Whitstable. Being used to clean swarfega off the hands of its old master. And now? Spurned, no less
[02/10 11:27pm] <CIA> Private SinkOrSwim stumbles into AceHigh exhausted. The journey from CC404 is not a good one, and people seem to have a thing for kicking him in his sleep. Such is life..
[02/10 11:29pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty would advise the Pvt. to sleep off the beaten path, if she knew of his habitual predicament.
[02/10 11:37pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty hunches edgy on the edge of the bank, void of expression. She turns a requisition token in her fingers and ignores the hummingbird that has lit on the brim of her hat.
[02/11 12:27am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks towards the edge of the pond, sitting down on a piece of stray firewood and shivering. The snow around him melts slowly. "Don' mind cold?" He asks, through his scarf and running nose.
[02/11 01:37am] <SPOON> Royale Badass with Cheese Shallot apologises to SinkOrSwim. She was intending to mollify him with a complimentary chainsaw, but his hands seemed to be full. And she should probably have switched the chainsaw off first, anyway.
[02/11 01:56am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty follows Messire Victoria with her gaze. Pinching the token between thumb and knuckle, she balls her fist. The hummingbird startles and buzzes past Shallot's nose en route to the Jungle.
[02/11 02:00am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty palms the coin and shows her hand to the sky. Empty. She produces it a moment later in her other hand and settles her chin between her knees.
[02/11 02:02am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty breathes scarves of steam in the chill air, quiet and still. The hummingbird ventures to rejoin her several minutes later.
[02/11 02:04am] <SPOON> Count Sessine emerges from the clan halls. Ah, there's Zolotisty, perched up on the bank's roof, looking more than a little forlorn. He jumps up to sit beside her, and passes her a flat rectangular object.
[02/11 02:08am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "Speech to text. Not perfect, but it may be handy." On the tablet, words appear: SPEECH TU TEXT - NOT PURFICT BUT IT MAI BE HANDI
[02/11 02:16am] <SPOON> Count Sessine pulls a blue vial from his pocket. "Remember this? Yours." He takes a small dab of the liquid on the tip of his finger, and, very gently, touches the two corners of Zolo's mouth. "Solemnophage."
[02/11 02:23am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty eyes Sessine sidelong. 'Sugared tea and the Special,' she wants to say, but in a roundabout way.. it is as it's named. The gesture is enough to draw a crooked smile onto her face.
[02/11 02:25am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty rolls her shoulders and straightens a little, clearing her throat as she does. "How're you?" She inspects the object from all angles.
[02/11 02:28am] <SWEETBloody Showoff Cheshire Cat smiles at Zolotisty, her grin quite large. "Hello there Zolotisty~!"
[02/11 02:32am] <SPOON> Count Sessine gives a wry smile back. "Not very successful, at the moment. Some clan leaders are falling back into the old 'war' thinking. I wish I could make them see it's a sport, nothing more."
[02/11 02:33am] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat frowns, "Have my guildies been bad in my absence Sessine?"
[02/11 02:33am] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat clears her hoarse voice, "Ah, better."
[02/11 02:38am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says to CC, "Not bad. No. Getting a little too serious, maybe."
[02/11 02:41am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't notice Chesh until she glances up from the tabula non rasa. She squints. ..Female-bodied. Hn. Glancing at Sessine, she cocks her head. "What incentive do they have? To change."
[02/11 02:43am] <SPOON> Count Sessine shrugs. "It's not just SWEET. Seems like a lot of people are getting sucked into thinking of treaties and alliances again. Leads inevitably to talk of betrayals and broken promises. Miserable stuff."
[02/11 02:48am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks at Zolotisty. "You've got it - I don't know how to provide the incentive. Sport would be fun, if it could be organized, but alone, I can't.." He runs his fingers through his hair, sighs.
[02/11 02:51am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty observes for a moment.
[02/11 02:54am] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat nods at Sessine, "Thank you."
[02/11 02:54am] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat looks back to Zolotisty. "And what's news with you Z? I haven't seen you in a long while."
[02/11 02:54am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty reaches for the vial, wetting her own fingertip to dryly trace the thin mustache lately adorning certain statues across Sessine's upper lip. "Not alone."
[02/11 03:01am] <SPOON> Count Sessine gives a little snort of involuntary laughter. "Hoist. I need to listen to myself, don't I?" He sobers. "Wind's hiding from you, isn't it?"
[02/11 03:07am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty inspects the tabula. The display is puzzling, she's almost certain that Sessine didn't.. ah. She peers at Chesh. "Bad luck. You?"
[02/11 03:10am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches for a moment before leaning back to paw at the nape of her neck. Disturbed, the hummingbird flits to the peak of the roof. Z closes her eyes, inhales, then nods. "Hiding, yes."
[02/11 03:16am] <SPOON> Count Sessine glances at Chesh. It's for Zolotisty to say, not him. "Ashamed of itself? Or maybe.. got more than it expected. More than it can handle."
[02/11 03:17am] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat tilts her head. "Bad Luck? And here I thought your dice were golden. Though, it's more fun left to chance."
[02/11 03:21am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty nips at her bottom lip. "Lost my hearing in a stake." She chews until leaving off with a self-conscious scowl. The tabula has transcribed 'handle' as Handel. "Or it's satisfied."
[02/11 03:25am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks skeptical. "Wind? Satisfied? Mn. Not likely. Not in its nature to be satisfied. That's in our favour.."
[02/11 03:33am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's fangs flash. "Then where!" Let it wager its regrets if it's so ashamed - she'll see the bet and raise it.
[02/11 03:40am] <SPOON> Count Sessine shares Zolotisty's frustration. The wind could be hiding anywhere. Shamed, or frightened, or confused beyond all measure. But where (*shrug*) who knows? ..Wait. Who knows the wind?
[02/11 03:44am] <SPOON> Count Sessine 's eyes rest speculatively upon Zolotisty's small, fluttering companion.
[02/11 03:48am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty takes a second breath to remind herself she is among friends, a third to remind herself she is responsible for this predicament. She challenged, she agreed.
[02/11 03:50am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty takes little notice of the hummingbird.. but ah, it notices being noticed and resumes its perch on the brim of Z's hat with fussy purpose.
[02/11 03:51am] <SPOON> Count Sessine bites his lower lip, but there's need. He draws deeper on Improbability than he has done before, and says to the hummingbird, "Tiny jewel of the air. Do you know where the wind has gone?"
[02/11 04:00am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches words reform. What? She looks to Sessine, then up, following his gaze. Her hat blocks the view. The hummingbird resettles its wings with a crisp flutter then nods gravely.
[02/11 04:11am] <SPOON> Count Sessine feels his breath catch in his throat. "Ah, then," he says, carefully. "Bright darting sipper of nectar, will you kindly aid us as guide.. and interpreter?"
[02/11 04:17am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's attention is torn between Sessine's expression, the underside of her hat, the text. The hummingbird leans to study Sessine first with one eye, then the other. It assesses Z. Then, again, a nod.
[02/11 04:25am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth appears in the square below, and staggers drunkenly, "Oi, me achin' noggin.."
[02/11 04:26am] <SPOON> Count Sessine smiles in sudden elation. "Lead us, then, little friend. Lead us!" He turns to Zolotisty, but sees that she has already read his expression, and understood. There is hope!
[02/11 04:28am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth hears Sessine's voice and looks upward with a squint, "'ello? Wootcher doin up dere?
[02/11 04:32am] <SPOON> Count Sessine grins with infectious delight. "Visiting. Perching. And what are you doing down there?"
[02/11 04:35am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth replies, "Er.. tryin not ter pass out?"
[02/11 04:36am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth staggers into the bank and withdraws a large some before staggering off to the vending machines.
[02/11 04:40am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth staggers back a moment later, "..rrratio's roun 'ere Some-some .. 'he's 'ere. Be Right back.."
[02/11 04:43am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth wanders off, only to reappear a few moments later in full Joker glory, "Anything I can do to help?" he asks politely as he walks up the vertical wall to join them.
[02/11 04:49am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty uncurls with abrupt fluidity, sending the hummingbird into the air. There is a thrum of opportunity in the square; Z matches Sessine's optimism with a fangsome grin of her own.
[02/11 04:51am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth grins himself, a lopsided affair to be sure, but not without its own rakish charm.
[02/11 04:52am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't need hearing to savor the energy of anticipation, nor words to ascertain the character of Tor's question. The hummingbird darts off toward the Jungle, then pauses by the Dip. Waiting.
[02/11 04:53am] <SPOON> Count Sessine bows to the tiny one. "Lead on!"
[02/11 04:53am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty offers Sessine a hand up, glancing at Tor. "Quest," she says. A pause. "With us."
[02/11 04:54am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth bows, and sweeps his Black Crome Hat low, gesturing for the others to go first, he will follow.
[02/11 04:56am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "Exeunt!" And they do.
[02/11 08:18am] <CIA> Prime Badass Obsidian Cain enters. Sayeth he: "Hey! Where'd everyone go?"
[02/11 08:18am] <CIA> Prime Badass Obsidian Cain exits, stage left.
[02/11 11:10am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands in the square. Early morning and frozen as the Ninth circle. He shivers, then hears a small faint clatter. Two red dice roll against the cobblestone and bounce off of
[02/11 11:11am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's boot. They then settle. Snake eyes. He looks around and squints. "Not my game." He says quietly. The dice nudge themselves and turn over. 'Pl' on one and 'Ay' on the other.
[02/11 11:12am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria blinks. "No." He mutters, picking up the dice and pocketing them. He remembers he was directly to the left of Z. That didn't mean that he wanted to gamble too.
[02/11 11:13am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria shivers as a gust of freezing wind covers him. He swears and then rushes into the nearest building. It's too cold for him here. He'll have to head off to his house in IC where the cold won't kill.
[02/11 04:25pm] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat sighs, wondering where to go next. "Hm.."
[02/11 04:25pm] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat pulls out a large top with a pointer on it. "That-a-way!"
[02/11 04:26pm] <SWEET> Bloody Showoff Cheshire Cat struts off stage forward.
[02/11 06:00pm] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods sadly to Sessine's earlier statements. "Precisely why I left SWEET. I have several friends in there and I like the clan in general, but it was too focused on city acquisition."
[02/11 06:06pm] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen watches the past with a slight smile on his lips. Friends are a valuable commodity to have. He is only loyal to two things: his own ideals/whims and his friends. He heads off after Z and company.
Followed by a series of private Distractions with KK, reproduced here.
..in the <SPOON> clan hall that the shadows seem borne to life. Between the ticking gears of the clockwork that covers the wall adjacent to the cigarette coffers, there are cat-quick movements. Murmurs. Look for them straight on and they hush and fade. But if you catch them from the corner of your eye, you can pick them from the dark like individual stars on a bright night. A tall gentleman in white leading a female contestant in a waltz. A caterer and a green box. Harsh words and a closed door, perhaps Sessine's voice. The icy arrival of a woman in red. Open windows. Laughter following jokes lost in the purr and sweep of flywheels.
They color dreams more vividly. Hermein fiddling with the autobar. hajen in a trenchcoat and fedora, affecting a Russian accent. A lean alley cur.
That dog has been with you through snow-covered dreams for almost a week now. Its presence is inconsistent and viscerally nonthreatening - sometimes it shows itself as mere pawprints; others, there's a glimpse of flashing eyes in the underbrush before the dream dissipates or evolves. It watches.
And then, even as the snow begins melting from the consciousness of most Islanders, there is a blizzard. Hip-deep snow. Nowhere to take shelter. An absent canine observer. It's not until the wind tumbles you into a drift that the dog wades from the white. It settles before you, undisturbed by the wind or cold.
When you wake, Zolotisty is crouched nearby. She plays with an antique lighter. It's a pre-EMP relic with a stainless steel case and cover. The flame it produces is white, just barely blue at its tip. Z rocks back on her heels when she notices you're awake. The lighter snaps shut. She palms it and folds her arms over her knees. "I need your help."
Being thrown through a dizzying array of images, and frozen cold through the blizzard and his natural incompatibility with the cold has messed with KK, though he has always been receptive to cries for help. His nature may be to be adverse to snow, but as long as anyone will pay he will always lend a hand with the conditions be damned.
KK stands up, shaking himself from the snow that had piled on his head and suddenly getting much much hotter. The snow around him melts and he shivers, his breath making a mixture of smoke and steam. "Morning." He responds, taking in the sight of Z for the first time in quite the while. "What you need?"
Zolotisty remains crouching. Though her forearm is pinned by her chin, she traces a square with her claw as if etching glass. With a series of quick movements, she cuts a cube from nothing and shows it to him with the casual speed of a parlor magician. She folds her fingers over it. A die sits in her palm when she opens her hand. She closes her hand again, opens it - and now there are two. Snake eyes.
Standing slowly, Z indicates KK's pocket with a nod. The dice fade into nothing in her hand. "Do you believe in those?" Perhaps an odd question, but she's willing to believe what he does. If the wind challenged him.. well.
KK watches her, still breathing out heaves of steam and smoke from his mouth. He's uncomfortable in the cold, which is understandable. When your body temperature is regulated by your environment, and you're used to living in scalding and dry temperatures, the cold becomes the greatest enemy.
He looks at the die and frowns over it. He then looks back up at her when presented with the question. His logical answer would've been 'Of course, there they are, right in your hand.' Though logic doesn't have the same weight here as it does everywhere else. "Believe in luck, yes." He says quietly, digging into his pocket with frozen fingers. "Believe in good luck?" KK thinks about the question for a second, then holds out the dice in his hand. Two red cubes, very simple.
KK shakes the dice in his hand and casts them across the ground that was cleared of snow from his manufactured heat. He raises an eyebrow, looking back at Z with a wary expression. Two white dots look back up at him. "I guess so." He answers, leaving the dice on the ground. He really hasn't the foggiest what is going to happen, though curiosity is a beautiful woman.
Zolotisty fits her thumbclaw to the tooth just ahead of her incisor and watches KK's cast with a deceptively sleepy gaze. She doesn't move to pick up the dice. They're not hers to pick up. She considers pips and hummingbirds and weathervanes, then fixes her stare on KK's face. "I can't find it. The wind. And Sessine -"
She catches herself. Gnawing, now, on her claw, Z drops her fist from her mouth. Sessine believes the bird. She can't. Not anymore. Not after two days following it without the merest rustle of the breeze through the Jungle's canopy. Not after the shockwave and the wind's escape. The Island is beginning to feel claustrophobic; the bow of her viola is a stranger in her hand. This silence will drive her feral if she allows it.
Z shakes her head. She breathes out and starts her thought anew. "You were there. And the cameras.. it wanted to play with you. Why. What does it want of yours."
Almost as if on perfect cue, KK abruptly sneezes loudly, flames jetting out of his mouth. They barely miss Zolo and melt a snowdrift into water. KK sniffles and looks back to her, recovering from the flames and wafting away the smoke now leaking from his mouth and nose.
"Rules of Hazard state: Next in line is directly left of first." KK says quietly. "Not rolled yet. It still my turn." He sighs heavily and the smoke comes out in a puff before it cuts and stops coming out so rapidly. His rather simple way of speaking isn't really congruent with his fluid and educated voice. It seems much more out of preference that he speaks like a caveman, or maybe he doesn't have the urge to say more than enough to get a point across.
KK reaches into his pocket and takes out a cigarette, setting it into his mouth without even lighting it, but still breathing out smoke. "What does bird say?" He asks, looking at the bird. The bird ducks behind her hat and trembles a bit. Animals haven't ever really been fond of the Victorias. A little curse, but nothing more than an odd quirk.
The heat roils past and Z doesn't flinch. Residual heat pulses in the fabric of her jacket and trousers. It fades slowly. She swivels triangular ears and considers herself fortunate that she can't smell singed fur or wool. He's right - play passes to the left and she forfeited her first cast. Perhaps she forfeited her place in the game. But it's not his to..
Zolotisty rolls her shoulders. The smoke from his sighs and his cigarette twists and flags in slow patterns and his gaze suggests that she's not alone. She grits her teeth and strains for patience. "The hummingbird," she says, "has nothing to say. It can't talk." Or if it can, there's no one who can hear it but the wind.
It was meant to stay with Sessine. She takes off her hat and turns it to regard the hummingbird eye to menacing eye. It resettles its wings before flitting away.
Z palms her face. "You'll play? Or no."
KK thinks about it, then flops down on the ground in a rather relaxed posture. "Why should I play?" He asks, looking up at her. He's not entirely sure what he's supposed to do, or what's going on really at all anyway. Why does Zolo want him to play?
"What has Wind done?" He asks, hoping that this will get a little bit more out. KK isn't known for being well-informed. He's known for dealing with improbability easily due to his aversion to being affected by it. Which, ironically is quite improbable in itself.
"What would I win?" He asks, really intimating at his intention. Being of his nature, KK was raised to be greedy and money driven. Or at least possession-driven. Such is the curse of a Mercenary.
Why should he play?
"You shouldn't," Z says without hesitation. She understands this breed of honesty is unlikely to woo any soldier of fortune but this is no place for honeyed words and half-promises. If he chooses to gamble of his own will, so be it. But to trick someone into a game with stakes so high? No.
There is a pause.
"If it were you," she says after a moment. Another pause. She hates sentences longer than a few words now; it's impossible to gauge her own pronunciation or pitch. "If it were you who had challenged. Lost. It would have taken all the heat and all the cold in the world from you, and you would be a shell. I don't know what you would have accepted for a wager."
KK blinks. "All cold too?" He asks, thinking about that. Though being cold blooded, that would mean he would be at a constant state of mediocre comfort. Which is bothersome, since someone who kills and fights for money obviously has some pretty expensive tastes and would rather not be the victim of being nearly uncomfortable and nearly comfortable.
He frowns. "What did you lose?" He asks, looking at her and standing back up, dropping the cigarette to the ground even though it hasn't even been burned or finished at all. His last waft of smoke drifts from his mouth and he makes it a point to wave it away from Zolo.
For as long as she can remember, Zolotisty has woken every morning to the hum of Improbability. Under that hum is the sound of Comms Tent radiowaves and conversations. Under radiowaves and conversations is the thud of catapults releasing, chainsaws revving, monsters padding through the Jungle. Under shnk, rnnn, tmp is the whistling of wind through the mountains in CC404, under the wind is the whine of camera motors five cities away and the steady thrum of a one volt battery in a cheap toy from Elias' Dip. Under the thrum is the rush of rivers and the lapping of waves along the Island's beaches. There are doors slamming, scavengers gnawing, birds flapping, windows sliding, stomachs complaining, papers folding, dust falling, planets arcing, stars singing, people and words and objects resonating with chords and melodies they'll never hear.
She knows no way of making him understand.
KK blinks, thinking back to her musical inclination. He thinks a bit, his mouth still sealed shut. He frowns and bites his lip, looking off towards some of the houses. He too has a rather sensitive sense of sound. One has to, to hear one's breathing as they sneak up behind you, the thin sound of metal on leather of a knife being unsheathed. Hearing the clicks of explosives being mounted on the opposite side of the door. Not being the greatest musician, he could never know what it truly meant for her. He only knew it from a practical side, but never used it for enjoyment.
KK can only imagine what she must go through every day, having that pit where something that has always been there is gone.
He takes a deep breath, consulting his training indoctrinated into his mind.
KK bends over and picks up the dice, shaking them in his hand. He speaks quietly. "I'll get it back." A look of determination crosses his face as he turns around, his coat flowing with him and smoke drifting from his mouth.
Zolotisty pauses, unable to catch KK's last statement by reading his lips. Too low, not crisply articulated. She checks a rectangular `ltablet`2 slung for now around her hips then sucks saliva through her teeth, frowning. She disappears for a half-blink, reappearing in front of him. He won't be so easily allowed to vigilante off into the distance. "I want the chance to cast," she says, measuring him with a wary eye. "What I'd meant to ask about."
KK stops and looks at her, holding up the dice. "Not breaking rules." He says quietly. "Not your turn." He keeps walking, heading towards AceHigh. He's not going to allow himself to void the game, then the stake would be removed and the wind wouldn't have to wager her hearing again during the next game.
Oddly enough, even for her objection he still seems determined to help. Which is odd since he isn't going to get anything for himself in return. And he knows this very well. He just cannot imagine going without his sense of smell or sight, and if those are the same as her hearing was to her, she must be in such Hell.
[02/13 10:52am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks into the main square, faintly lit in the darkened morning by the gas lampposts scattered around on the sides of the cobblestone street.
[02/13 10:53am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands, breathing out a mixture of steam and smoke. He's ready for his game. Zolo just needs to be here to watch over the game. He looks around, shivering a bit in the cold.
[02/13 05:52pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is nowhere near AceHigh. Dawn lights the square grey-red, a residual effect of debris thrown into the air yesterday above Pleasantville. The air clears and the fog burns off as the sun rises.
[02/13 05:54pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty follows an exhausted hummingbird through the Jungle as Elias opens his dip and the gentleman who mans the Cake or Death stand unfolds his yellowing newspaper, propping his feet up.
[02/13 05:57pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty , hummingbird perched on her thumb to point the way like a compass, makes no appearance as noon comes and ebbs.
[02/13 07:50pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria sighs and takes another breath. He puts a cigarette into his mouth and the tip glows red, actually burning. He breaths a smoke mix of Nicotine and finishes his cigarette.
[02/13 07:51pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks up at the sky. It is past noon. He bites his lip, holding the dice in his hand and ready to play. The Wind blows his hair around his face, almost taunting him.
[02/14 02:31am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin yawns before walking off to IC.
[02/14 02:39am] <SPOON> Count Sessine walks up to KK Victoria and lays a hand on his sleeve. Quietly, he says something to him. KK Victoria throws his head up and appears to object, but Sessine speaks again with soft authority.
[02/14 02:42am] <SPOON> Count Sessine smiles, but insists. KK Victoria snaps to attention, and at Sessine's apparent suggestion, the two of them go slowly into the clan hall.
[02/14 02:43am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria is caught between himself. Being one of a noble birth, his word is worth more than his life. However, being a soldier, the compulsion to follow orders isn't anything weak either.
What Sessine said to KK Victoria: The wind is trying to trick you into wasting your chance. You made a promise to Zolotisty; let her choose the moment when you fulfill it.
[02/15 05:22am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands in front of his statue, contemplating it. He then holds his finger out in a pistol shape, aiming at it. "Boom." He says, and the torso of the statue, right around the heart explodes outwards
[02/15 05:32am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is disheveled as a rule. Torn trousers or perpetually absent shoes might be cause for concern among more self-conscientious Jokers; it's usually nothing to worry about with Z. Today, however..
[02/15 05:32am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has brought her tatterdemalion aesthetic to a new level. She skulks from the Jungle and shies along the outskirts of the Outpost with a fluid, fell gait.
[02/15 05:32am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty keeps from the middle of the street when she finally condescends to chance the Square. Z's gaze is cast low; her jacket and scarf are missing, one sleeve is shredded to the elbow.
[02/15 05:33am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is scarcely aware of the blood dried at the corner of her mouth or the mud that's caked her spats. Her hat is gone; the hummingbird isn't with her.
[02/15 05:33am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty pauses when she reaches the farthest reaches of granite shrapnel scattered on the ground. She toes a hand-shaped chunk and lays back her ears.
[02/15 05:54am] <QQQ> Blue Adept haykii says, "Cheap ciggies at New Home only 10k"
[02/15 06:42am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks up at his statue with more satisfaction than usual. A hundred visits.. a personal milestone of sorts. H. was pleased to get the sugar, too.
[02/15 07:00am] <SPOON> simma ej med hajen is in a fugue brought on by watching a trainwreck that is a friend. she mutters, "interfering in the affairs of jokers is folly, i will let be." she turns away in anguish, her eyes glistening.
[02/15 07:13am] <WotWC> Civilian Bob the Skull shakes head at Kit. "No.. I was worried I hurt yours.."
[02/15 07:27am] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard offers a hearty round of congratulations to Sessine on the wonderful achievement. And, of course, Horatio would have been delighted to have Sessine move in. He gets lonely, see.
[02/15 03:16pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has held quite still for some time now - perhaps impersonating the celebratory statues erected and as quickly torn down.
[02/15 03:17pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty inhales quick and turns. A newbie enroute to the Common Grounds startles, stumbling and strafing a few steps to their right.
[02/15 03:23pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tenses, lunging forward to reappear on the peak of Messire Vanhousserhoffen's roof. She settles in a crouch before the weathervane.
[02/15 03:27pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches. And Bernard's towel, blossoming Heidegger of the linen family though it might be, recognizes that rejoicing or repudiating Z's return would likely result in its seamless demise.
[02/15 03:43pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's ex-towel knows when it's beaten, and keeps shtum, secretly though it's anthropomophosised heart skips a beat when the Z woman returned. A promise of things to come?
[02/15 03:47pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's towel visualises being swept away along with the Z woman. Maybe she's taking it back to Bernard? Maybe she has a beach holiday in mind, a trip to the lido or a picnic near a burbling river..
[02/17 07:36pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine observes. No trace of last night's food fight. Quietly he reaches back to silence the echo of one thought that would have been better not spoken. Those who were there, know. Best it go no further.
[02/17 07:56pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has not left Improbable Central in several days. She's hunched like a gargoyle on the roof of Gorbert's cottage through hurled bonbons and bon mots, unmoved through explosions and exposition.
[02/17 08:02pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty dips her chin toward her sternum. Her gaze, fever-bright now, remains locked on the weathervane and a guttural snarl wells slowly in her throat.
[02/17 08:03pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty snaps.
[02/17 08:04pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten strolls back into Improbable Central, a steaming cup of tea in hand. "Didn't get a chance to finish this, but Horatio was gracious enough to let me borrow his china," he explains.
[02/17 08:05pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tenses and explodes forward in a powerful lunge, all feral frustration. The weathervane is torn loose along with a significant chunk of roofing. Z and the vane tumble off the edge of the building.
[02/17 08:08pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty rolls with the fall, tangled with the weathervane. She gathers herself in a skidding rush, catching up the half-wrecked vane by one of its armillary spheres.
[02/17 08:10pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty whirls, throwing the weighty instrument with uncharacteristic callousness, viciousness. It narrowly misses Kuroiten and neatly takes out one of the front windows of the SpiderKitty.
[02/17 08:10pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is unsatisfied - no crash in her world, no shattering, no wind!
[02/17 08:11pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks in, looking at Zolo with an expression reserved specifically for 'What the Hell?'
[02/17 08:11pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten watches the unfolding scene in silence. He gently places the cup of tea on the ground and places his remaining die next to it. As a small metal dome forms over the tea cup, he turns to examine Z.
[02/17 08:12pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty snarls and vehemently disappears.
[02/17 08:15pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten casually walks over to Zolotisty with the casual air of one out for a walk in the park. "Are you alright, madam?" he asks, his civility masking what emotions roil behind his pale eyes.
[02/17 08:16pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria puts a hand on Kuro's shoulder and stops him, shaking his head. "Cannot hear you." He says quietly, looking out where she had dissappeared to.
[02/17 08:16pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine stands by KK Victoria. "This can't go on," he says.
[02/17 08:17pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten pauses, then exhales in relief. The small metal dome becomes a die once more, which he turns to retrieve. "Good Lord, what's happened to her?" he asks. He has only heard of Zolo, never met her.
[02/17 08:17pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Sessine and nods slowly.
[02/17 08:17pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks back to Kuro. "Gambling problem." He explains quietly.
[02/17 08:20pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten cocks an eyebrow in confusion, despite the glimmer of understanding that is dawning. "What sort of gambling?" he asks, a note of suspicion in his tone.
[02/17 08:21pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine for once, cannot find words to amplify KK's terse summation. A Problem indeed. But it will not stand. Zolo has his promise on that.
[02/17 08:23pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria points at the dissipating smoke that was once Zolo. "Kind that does that to you when lose." He says, leaving it at that.
[02/17 08:26pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess says, "Wind - truly one of the most unstable forces. Bringing hail one day, trailing pretty clouds seconds after.. And any grasp of it doesn't hold."
[02/17 08:31pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten nods slowly. He has only bits and pieces of the story, but as a Narrator, he will try to weave them together. "I will be more wary in the future," he promises with a tap of the brim of his hat.
[02/17 08:31pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess thinks about the matter.. has it to be interested? Then maybe.. another gamble?
[02/17 08:32pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria smirks at him. "Watch for Hazards." He warns.
[02/17 08:35pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine eyes Third. "If that were all, there would be no problem. This wind wants."
[02/17 08:36pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten smiles back as the cane in his hand shifts in form, becoming a rapier with an intricately woven wire hilt. "I may prove to be a hazard myself," he replies, saluting KK before meandering off.
[02/17 08:38pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria raises an eyebrow after him and shrugs, taking out a cigarette and lighting it with the tip of his fingers.
[02/17 08:39pm] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit notes, "Canes and dice. Is it some deep-seated instinct of Jokers to express their power in this way? I mean, I have neither."
[02/17 08:40pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine turns to KK Victoria. "Thanks to you, the game is not yet done. Call me with this if it tries to make you play alone." He gives KK a blue crystal device. Bernard would recognize it.
[02/17 08:40pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria shakes his head and burns one of Paper Rabbit's notes. "I do fire." He says simply, yet to use a cane for anything other than beating someone to death.
[02/17 08:41pm] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit 's Servo Arms rapidly construct a cane and hand it over her shoulder to her. She accepts the cane, then looks confused and turns around to see who just handed it to her.
[02/17 08:41pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria nods and takes it, examining the device."Break easy?" He asks, looking back at the count.
[02/17 08:43pm] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit sees nobody behind her, so she shrugs, "I'm not really the cane type either. Would you like this one, KK? It's etched brass and it's got a good heft to it."
[02/17 08:46pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria takes up the cane thoughtfully, then shakes his head and hands it back. "Balance off." He says simply. "Wastes energy."
[02/17 08:47pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine smiles. "To most people I would say no, it's durable. But you'd take that as a challenge and would probably succeed in breaking it. So.. yes. For you, it breaks easy."
[02/17 08:49pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns at the Count's faith in his self-control. "Smart." He mutters anyway. KK wouldn't trust himself with a diamond if he was tasked to not break it.
[02/17 08:50pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria reaches through his satchel, digging around a few explosives to the padded compartment where he keeps some Nitroglycerin vials.
[02/17 08:51pm] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria tends to disregard the condition of his equipment for the most part, only fixing them back up when they are almost dust, and merely wanted to know if he had to keep an eye on the device.
[02/17 08:56pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess slowly nods, however still going through a few theories. Wind.. the only constant is, that it is active. It Is, or it Isn't. It has no purpose when it Isn't.
[02/17 08:58pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess knows that now, she is entering the realm that can't be trusted, imagination. "What if" has more power here, for sure, but how could anybody possibly deprive Wind of its Hands?
[02/17 08:59pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess leaves northwards, pondering other solutions, crossing out one after another.
[02/18 02:23am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten swan-dives into the stocks. Despite his glamorous entrance, his thoughts are far from playful. He has learned more fragments of stories recently, ones that make recent events clearer to him.
[02/18 02:24am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin raises an eyebrow at Kuro, circling the stocks. "What's so clear?"
[02/18 02:27am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin grabs hold of the stocks, and Kuro, pulling them with her as she speedily traverses the square. "Come on, I've not got all day!"
[02/18 02:29am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten is startled out of his reverie. Had he been thinking aloud? "I met Zolotisty today," he replies. "She was behaving abnormally, I believe. Unless she normally tosses weathervanes at people."
[02/18 02:30am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "To be fair, she didn't throw it at you. You just happened to be standing where she was throwing the weathervane."
[02/18 02:31am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit comments, "Yes, I saw that. What /was/ all that about? Or at the very least where did that happen so I can go find echoes of it."
[02/18 02:33am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin drops Kuro, speeding off into the jungle hefting her Riot Hammer. "More combat!"
[02/18 02:33am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "The cause is long past, though it happened in AceHigh. If you go searching through the past you may find it."
[02/18 02:34am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten gestures at the central square of IC as Rosin speeds around it with him. "I have some suspicions, but I'm not sure that I've all the proper threads yet."
[02/18 02:45am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten turns away from the Communications Tent. He's seen enough that the threads of the story are starting to bind themselves together. He knows who she wagers with. The question now, of course, is what.
[02/18 03:13am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty explodes from mid-air in a rush of fang and claw, rolling with acrobatic ease to land with a crash on a heap of scrap metal. A nearby maintenance bot, busy organizing the heap by alloys, cringes.
[02/18 03:14am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty balances as the pile settles. Clouds of rusty air billow in plumes from the heap. The maintenance drone wheels backward several meters, obviously agitated. It had been doing so well!
[02/18 03:15am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen , strolling past, pauses and goes to Zolo's side. "Z? Are you okay?"
[02/18 03:16am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty steps from a ruined pylon as the metal finally comes to a tremorous, creaking halt. The drone waves its arms anxiously, wheeling nearer to inspect the mess she's made of things.
[02/18 03:19am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty peers at Gorbert. His eyes.. no matter. She curls her lip in a crooked parody of a smile. "Splendid," she murmurs, all grit and gravel. She sucks a breath in through her teeth and looks to the bot.
[02/18 03:23am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "I haven't seen you since you, uh, left your weathervane vigil. Have you made any progress?"
[02/18 03:23am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's smile grows into a leer. A dare. She takes a step forward and the drone reverses, abandoning its current task to jostle into the edge of a building. Adjusting, it disappears around a corner.
[02/18 03:25am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tips her head back, peering at Gorbert from the corner of her eye. She rakes a claw across the tabula at her hip. "..Progress?"
[02/18 03:26am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods. "With your task. What happened to that hummingbird, anyway?"
[02/18 03:27am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty piques as a tiny bird darts from the Jungle. Her body language shifts again, she tenses in the same way she did on Gorbert's roof - watching. The bird is a liar, as far as she's concerned.
[02/18 03:28am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty murmurs, "Nothing." Nothing has happened to it. Not yet.
[02/18 03:29am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen notes Zolo's increased agitation and takes it that the hummingbird was unable to deliver on its promise, then. He raises a hand and the tiny bird flits over to him.
[02/18 03:32am] <SPOON> Hermein wonders. . . no, Horatio is calling. It will have to wait.
[02/18 03:33am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty wheels to watch - predatory. The bird loops around Gorbert's head and settles briefly on his shoulder to tip its head quickly at Z. No. She won't be of use. It takes to the air again - him, then.
[02/18 03:33am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen raises his cane to the hummingbird and a small orb of nectar rises from the handle, suspended in midair. As the bird flies closer to drink, Gorbert asks, "Well, my floating friend, what happened?"
[02/18 03:34am] <SPOON> Hermein pauses again. Before he heads for the catapults, he removes a wood-framed screen, made of some opalescent mineral, split so thinly that it can be seen through. As he looks through it at Zolotisty,
[02/18 03:35am] <SPOON> Hermein eyes widen. He turns, suddenly then, and leaves for the catapults. Quickly.
[02/18 03:38am] <SPOON> Count Sessine is. There's that fool hummingbird. It nodded, it was going to lead the way, and then it vanished.
[02/18 03:38am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has gone slit-eyed. The hummingbird darts before the orb and hesitates at the question. It zips ineffectively from point to point before chancing a loop around Z's head.
[02/18 03:39am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria steps in. He had been watching the spectacle carefully, his hand instinctively on his pistol. Though what good it would do in this situation.
[02/18 03:40am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty snarls as it lights briefly on one of her ears. It zips next to Sessine's shoulder, ruffling its feathers and cringing, spreading the feathers of its leg wing and sidestepping delicately left.
[02/18 03:41am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is taken aback by the venom of Z's response to the minute creature. He no longer needs his question to be answered.
[02/18 03:41am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty could crush it. It would take only a second. The bird fusses back into the air, onto the handle of Gorbert's cane to puff its throat feathers and look as menacing as it can.
[02/18 03:42am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "Yes, yes, I must be to the left. I know that. But where is it?"
[02/18 03:42am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks closer, watching the bird and tracking it's movements. He's a little bothered by the creature. He's barely unable to count the wing beats, which means it's doing things he can't see.
[02/18 03:42am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen would laugh if the situation wasn't so serious. A two-and-a-half inch long bird is hard-pressed to look threatening.
[02/18 03:43am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila sits on the ground, at the edge of town, observing. She looks small and afraid.
[02/18 03:44am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen glances at Sessine but says nothing. He isn't in the habit of asking bothersome questions, especially not of his seniors.
[02/18 03:44am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty stares as the hummingbird eyes Sessine and droops. She tracks it, unblinking, as it darts quick to the local branch of Mike's Chop Shop, nearly a blur as it buzzes a tethered Budget Horse.
[02/18 03:46am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria raises an eyebrow, walking towards the chop shop to follow the bird. He's silent about it, and smoke drifts from his mouth and nose as he breathes out.
[02/18 03:46am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen almost laughs as the budget horse (trying his best to act like an actual horse) tosses his head and snorts at the irritation.
[02/18 03:48am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty rolls her shoulders. ..A second. Bones no stronger than a butterfly's. The hummingbird is visibly enthused at KK's approach - it caroms back and forth between the Budget Horse and him, appealing.
[02/18 03:49am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen dispels the nectar sphere and also approaches the Chop Shop, bemused by the behavior of the bird. True, this is Improbable Island, but the tiny creature is acting most peculiar.
[02/18 03:49am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at the bird and growls, angry at it moving so bleeding fast, but he keeps moving towards the shop anyway.
[02/18 03:51am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty slowly moves to pad after KK and Gorbert. The bird is meanwhile tracing an increasingly manic triangle between the Budget Horse and the two Jokers, finally lighting on a certain liverspotted head.
[02/18 03:52am] <SPOON> Count Sessine also approaches the shop. Why is the bird fussing about that Budget Horse?
[02/18 03:53am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen squints at the minute avian. "Leave the budget horses alone, friend. They're old and tired."
[02/18 03:53am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns, purchasing one of the budget horses and then tossing the reins at the bird. The reins weighing at least three times the tiny creature.
[02/18 03:54am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Gorbert and shrugs. "To shut it up." He says, rather ungracefully.
[02/18 03:55am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen pauses, staring at the bird. He prides himself on being rather astute, but to his personal embarassment the bird's meaning..is..something clicks.
[02/18 03:56am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is paying little attention to what's being said. She watches. The bird nervously skims its beak through its chest feathers before darting off the tethered Budget Horse to dodge the reins.
[02/18 03:56am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen asks the tiny avian, "Do you want us to follow you on budget horses?"
[02/18 03:56am] <SPOON> Hermein returns from his tea. Something about the experience, perhaps the recent exposure to high Improbability levels, is allowing him to see. . . something. Not what the mica panel showed. Now,
[02/18 03:57am] <SPOON> Hermein 's eyes can see. . . what?
[02/18 03:57am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria thinks about it for a second. He reaches into his satchel and takes out one of the crow's that he shot earlier, holding it up to the hummingbird. "In?" He asks.
[02/18 04:00am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tests a fang with the tip of her tongue. Her eyes cool as her companions question the bird. It lands for a second on Gorbert's nose and might do the same with KK were it not for the corpse.
[02/18 04:02am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stares intently at the hummingbird, then shrugs and climbs precariously onto the back of the aged budget horse, which wheezes piteously. He looks at the bird. "Is this what you want?"
[02/18 04:02am] <SPOON> Count Sessine stares at KK Victoria. Then at Gorbert. The same thought hits them at about the same time..
[02/18 04:04am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty squints. The hummingbird turns three, four spirals around Gorbert before darting behind Sessine. It encourages him forward by bits, anxiously darting back to the mouth of the stables.
[02/18 04:05am] <SPOON> Count Sessine laughs. "Zolo!" he shouts. He grabs her shoulder. "The Inn. Where else!"
[02/18 04:07am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen shoots Sessine a quizzical look. "The Inn? The Raven's Inn? What do budget horses have to do with it?"
[02/18 04:07am] <SPOON> Count Sessine dumps his kittybike on the ground, and, barely waiting to collect the price, tosses one of the cigs back to Mike, and jumps into another Budget Horse's saddle.
[02/18 04:09am] <SPOON> Count Sessine grins at Gorbert. "Don't you remember? Didn't you ever have one of these? The Inn can't hide from the Budget Horse!"
[02/18 04:09am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty flinches for a split-second under Sessine's palm. "Inn?" Realization washes over her features. "Raven Inn." She straightens. The *one* place she hadn't thought to watch for it, the *one* place.
[02/18 04:10am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen shakes his head. "No, the first mount I ever used was my KittyBike," he says, indicating the bike that he left tethered outside of the shop.
[02/18 04:10am] <DICE> Contestant Legolos deciding that this conversation is best had when listened to tosses mike a ciggie and loads it on the back of his 600 cc Kittybike. He then gets on top of the horse and prepares to follow Gorbert.
[02/18 04:12am] <SPOON> Hermein recalls the mist around the Raven Inn. Is that what this is? It's becoming hard to see the waiting Horses.
[02/18 04:12am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty makes the trade-in quickly - a lucky day for this branch, what with the fresh surfeit of Kittybikes. The hummingbird buzzes anxiously from Joker to Joker.
[02/18 04:13am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria actually didn't know about that either. He had saved for a kittybike early on when he was younger as well.
[02/18 04:14am] <DICE> Contestant Legolos frowns wondering why the Hummingbird is ignoring him. He is after all wearing his scholarly Joker's Cap.
[02/18 04:14am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen glances guiltily at his KittyBike. "Don't worry, I'll come get you when I'm finished." With that, he nudges the budget horse in the sides and gallops (stumbles) into the wilderness.
[02/18 04:15am] <DICE> Contestant Legolos as did legolos the 600cc which easally carries the horse and himself easally, being his first mount.
[02/18 04:17am] <DICE> Contestant Legolos following Gorbert he wonders if his odd configuration of mounts will serve the purpose.
[02/18 04:18am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "Of course that's where it would hide. And the Raven would shelter it, if asked!" He too rides his hobbling old codger into the Jungle. "To the Raven's Inn!"
[02/18 04:17am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen pulls his budget horse up to the Inn, following the hummingbird. He looks around. He appears to the first one to arrive. "Now what?"
[02/18 04:18am] <SPOON> Hermein can barely see Gobert, just a faint outline, now.
[02/18 04:20am] <SPOON> Count Sessine also arrives. "This is one of your favorite haunts, isn't it, Gorbert?"
[02/18 04:21am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen smiles. "Well, I come as often as I can, usually to wipe the smugness off of James Bond's face(s)."
[02/18 04:25am] <SPOON> Hermein realizes that he can see Sessine, and that the Count is carrying something. Or at least, something is with him, here.
[02/18 04:25am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "And it appears mysteriously, quite often, to anyone.. except lately, not to me. And especially, not to Zolotisty."
[02/18 04:27am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks around. "Count, where's Z?"
[02/18 04:30am] <SPOON> Count Sessine frowns. "I thought she was with us. She bought a budget horse, I saw her. And KK, too.. we need him."
[02/18 04:32am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods slowly. "Yes, I remember him doing something in AceHigh a while ago that I figured was tied to this."
[02/18 04:32am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten enters the Inn. On seeing the assembled company, he feels that a story is reaching its climax. He can almost feel the weave of it tightening around him.
[02/18 04:40am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten sits down, shaking his head as though to clear it. "This..is not my story. And yet..yet I feel compelled to see its ending." He is clearly ill at ease, Joker though he may be.
[02/18 04:43am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen drums his fingers on his cane, concerned about the whereabouts of Zolo and KK.
[02/18 04:52am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has been delayed. Sessine was quite right to say the Inn has not been appearing to Z - even with the hummingbird's saintly assistance, the fog and Improbability surrounding the place nearly kept..
[02/18 04:54am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty from searching it out now. She sidles through the door. The hummingbird trembles wearily on the brim of her hat and fusses with its wings. She scans the faces of her friends, the rafters, corners..
[02/18 04:56am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stands. "Well, we're here. Are you ready, Z?"
[02/18 04:59am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty nods absently. Yes. With a swift motion, she takes the exhausted hummingbird from her hat and holds it pinioned in her fist - mindful, now, of its delicate skeleton. "Where." It is a demand.
[02/18 05:00am] <CIA> Transcendent Grand Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods James Bond wanders through, leaping up and landing directly on top of Gorbert's head. "So, what is this mysterious "Thing" we are all talking about? Can I join? I like things. Especially mysterious ones."
[02/18 05:02am] <SPOON> Hermein raises his hand towards James Bond, to caution him.
[02/18 05:02am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen , unencumbered by the weight, tilts his head so JB falls off. "Shh. Don't interrupt."
[02/18 05:03am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty turns. The bird points its beak toward the gambling table in the back of the Inn. The old man, a fixture here, is busy sorting blue stones from red. Z cocks an eyebrow, glances at Gorbert, Sessine.
[02/18 05:03am] <CIA> Transcendent Grand Lord Elevated Badass of the Gods James Bond nods to Hermein, acknowledging the hail for what it is. "I thank you my friend, but I am not ruler of the Island. Yet."
[02/18 05:05am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty can't start a new game if she's already playing one. Nor Sessine, if he means to enter. "..Gorbert," she says hoarsely, nodding toward the table.
[02/18 05:07am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen understands and approaches the old man casually. "Good evening. I'd like to try my luck."
[02/18 05:08am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila plucks gently at James' sleeve, and she nods at a bench on the far side of the Inn. Her eyes still betray her nerves.
[02/18 05:09am] <SPOON> Count Sessine watches keenly. That old man is always here.. always.
[02/18 05:11am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen seats himself across from the stone shark. The old man pretends to be destitute and beseeches Gorbert to give him a chance to win some money.
[02/18 05:11am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches. She's played with that man before - won and lost quite a lot of requisition. He doesn't play with anything else. He glances up at Gorbert, sunken eyed, and sweeps his stones into a bag.
[02/18 05:13am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten can feel the tension thrumming. It is beyond him to explain why..then all the pieces rush together. He stares at the old man with newfound distrust.
[02/18 05:13am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen knows as well that he can only wager requisition. He isn't sure how this will help, but doesn't want to draw attention to Zolo if the wind is hiding from her.
[02/18 05:17am] <SPOON> Hermein wonders whether the old man might take a different wager, when the entire Inn is filled with Jokers.
[02/18 05:17am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks at the man, who seems to be waiting for him. Gorbert fingers one of his dice, thinking, and the answer seems to present itself to him. "I'll try my luck on the sixes game." The man grins.
[02/18 05:18am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen watches, calm as his title suggests, as the old man shakes the cup and throws the dice. They clatter across the table and come to a rest. Gorbert stares at them, then looks up. "It seems I've won."
[02/18 05:23am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty startles when the old man slaps his hand on the table. "How could the likes of you beat me!" he exclaims - and the old windbag doesn't close his mouth for the last vowel of me.
[02/18 05:24am] <SPOON> Hermein covers his eyes, but it doesn't help.
[02/18 05:25am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty snarls as the old man's jaw is wrenched open. A terrible rattling fills the Inn. There is a gust best suited to a hurricane. Bottles crash, tables and Jokers alike are thrown against the walls.
[02/18 05:25am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stares deep into the old man's disappointed eyes. "I've won the jackpot." He looks into the shadows and gives a slight nod of his head.
[02/18 05:26am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty manages to hang onto the hummingbird as the doors and windows are forcefully blasted from their fixtures. There is a sudden vacuum, and then stillness.
[02/18 05:26am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen shakes his head to clear it, then steps back, clearly affected by a time lag. Best to let her take over.
[02/18 05:29am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen grimaces in the gale, but is unmoved. Even his hat stays on his head. He snarls and raps his cane against the floor. A shield is placed around Zolo and the bird, so she can do what she has to.
[02/18 05:29am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, bemused, "Huh. Well, that's where it.. was."
[02/18 05:30am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty regains her feet. The hummingbird is ruffled and not just a little horrified in her fist. "Gone," she says sharply. Releasing the bird, she scrabbles out the door at a lope.
[02/18 05:31am] <SPOON> Count Sessine quickly follows.
[02/18 05:33am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen , again aware that he's too late with his aid, scowls and, gathering up his purple hedgehog, sprints out of the inn.
[02/18 05:33am] <SPOON> Hermein looks around. The mist, or whatever it was, is gone. Only the Inn's usual cloak of fog remains.
[02/18 05:34am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten muttered a strange phrase before the winds hit him: "Terra forte, conservate me." Somehow he was able to remain standing as well, and follows Zolo cautiously out of the Inn.
[02/18 05:45am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth as a swirling orange mist arrives late, but not too late, "Wind, in a windbag.. of course, but where to now?"
[02/18 05:45am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth pauses for a moment to dice with the old man.
[02/18 05:51am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth ponders "Three ones.. It seems my luck is out.." then he looks more closely at the dice, "Hmmm.." he collects the dice with a hard look for the old man, and follows after Z..
[02/18 05:26am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth enters late, and notices the fresh Budget Horse Tracks, "Perhaps I can still catch them.." he mutters as he vanishes in a swirl of orange mist.
[02/18 06:11am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen returns from the events at the Raven Inn and leads the Budget Horse back to Mike. He turns nervously (highly unusual in and of itself) to his KittyBike, which regards him coldly.
[02/18 06:13am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen unties the bike from the post and cautiously strokes its head. It refuses to look at him. "I'm sorry I sold you temporarily."
[02/18 06:16am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth walks in on the heels of Gorbets steed, and nods, "Got away, I saw. Left these behind though.." he says as he profers a set of three dice.
[02/18 06:17am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's KittyBike hisses and swipes his hand. Gorbert draws back and ties a cloth over the cuts. "I suppose I deserved that."
[02/18 06:18am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "Are those the old man's dice?"
[02/18 06:21am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth nods, "They were.. This one rolls sixes.. this one rolls ones.. and this one rolls.. well, this one actually rolls right."
[02/18 06:25am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen laughs deeply and genuinely. "Those may be his dice, but they aren't the ones he rolled tonight." Gorbert winks conspiratorally. "There was too much riding on the outcome to leave it to chance.
[02/18 06:29am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen makes sure that no one but Tor is able to hear what he just said; passersby cannot hear him. He doesn't want something he did to jeopardize Zolo's reclamation of what's hers.
[02/18 06:32am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth chuckles, but it is a grim and mirthless thing. "Serves him right. Also explains his outrage. I can't help but wonder whose Dice Zolo rolled.."
[02/18 07:48pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth wanders into town, still toying with the dice he confiscated from that old Windbag at the Raven Inn, "1,6, 3.. 1, 6, 2.. 1,6,1.. 1,6,3.. 1,6,5.. Definitely rigged."
[02/18 07:51pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty has settled on the edge of a building to wait for the hummingbird to wake up. Exhausted, it's nestled against the band of her top hat, which Z has taken off to rest on her knee. Fruitless.
[02/18 07:52pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty believes the bird now, but it seems confused all over again - it seems so confident every time they enter an outpost, then it loses focus or whatever thread it seems to be following.
[02/18 07:53pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth waves to get Zolo's attention, and conjures a small dicing table, just for appearances.
[02/18 07:54pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess muses to herself, "Maybe it thinks it found It, every time, but It avoids our Dear Z?"
[02/18 07:57pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth mutters to Third in an aside, "It is the Wind that she seeks.. the bird can follow it, but it Hides."
[02/18 07:58pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty piques. She peers down at Tor, ears pricked. Setting her hat carefully in mid-air, she eases from the corner of the building. She veers around Third with a nod of recognition.
[02/18 07:59pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty studies the table with interest undampened by recent history. It's a fine piece of worksmanship. Cherrywood, looks like.
[02/18 07:59pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess says, "What I said. My, I really should watch my syntax a bit. However.. I am getting a bit concerned about all this."
[02/18 08:01pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth takes in Zolotisty's appearance, and the state of her tiny friend, and conjures his tea service as well, with a red flowered cup full of Simple Syrup for the bird. He then proffers the dice.
[02/18 08:02pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty spreads her fingers in polite refusal of the dice. "Can't," she murmurs. ..Tea, though, she can take that.
[02/18 08:03pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth acknowledges Third with a wry glance to the wall that isn't, then directs Zolo's gaze to the Dice, "Do they seem familiar?"
[02/18 08:04pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth's tea service prepares and pours without being touched, leaving the principals free to interact.
[02/18 08:05pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tilts her head. "They're dice," she says slowly. By her expression, it's evident she's drawing wary comparisons between Tor and a certain Joker dressed all in white. What's he mean, familiar?
[02/18 08:07pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth reaches forth, and plucks a loose hair from Zolo's Sleeve, "These Dice, were being used by the Windbag.. I think the Wind gave them to him."
[02/18 08:08pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty shrugs, not quite getting what it is Tor is driving at.
[02/18 08:10pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth collects the dice, and rolls up his sleeves, "One." he says, and rolls the first. A one turns up.
[02/18 08:11pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty observes.
[02/18 08:11pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess crouches down on a nearby rock, watching carefully.
[[02/18 08:12pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth leaves the die where it lies, and speaks again, "Six." He rolls the second die, six pips show on the uppermost surface.
[02/18 08:14pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth rolls the third, leaving a four showing. "This one changes, but the other two.. always a one, and always a six."
[02/18 08:14pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty folds one arm over her chest, resting the elbow of the other on her fist. She fingers the fur of her ear, quiet.
[02/18 08:15pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty drops her hand after a moment, shaking her head. "And so?" So the wind gave the man a set of dice. What of it.
[02/18 08:15pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess nods. "The old man.."
[02/18 08:15pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth asks quietly, "Do these look like the dice used by the wind?"
[02/18 08:18pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty twitches her eyebrows. "What?" She frowns suddenly, her ears pin back. "What? No- Tor, we." Z reaches abruptly into her coat to withdraw her set of dice.
[02/18 08:19pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty shakes her palm, open-fingered. "No. These- Tor, we played with these." She narrows her eyes. "Are you saying it cheated."
[02/18 08:19pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth silently holds out the Wind's dice for comparison.
[02/18 08:20pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth offers grimly, "I can check.. to see if you have used the Wind's dice. A simple affinity charm to show the last time you touched them, if at all."
[02/18 08:23pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine is watching, now, keenly. If the Wind cheated.. Ah now, that would change everything! But he does not really believe in last-minute miracles.
[02/18 08:23pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty growls, closing her hand. The dice rattle back into some secret pocket. "No. No. I lost, Tor NaGoth. I lost on my own, it didn't need help. I took its stakes. It. Did. Not. Cheat."
[02/18 08:26pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth nods, not having sufficient proof to push the issue, "If you are certain, then I'll not say otherwise, but consider it carefully. The Wind is fickle and inconstant, as it has already shown."
[02/18 08:29pm] <SPOON> Count Sessine accepts. She would know. Of course she, of all people, would know.
[02/18 08:29pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth pockets the loaded dice, "I will keep these, in case you change your mind. Just remember, it is a simple matter to swap one die for another if your opponent is distracted."
[02/18 08:29pm] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is visibly agitated. She turns two looping circles before stopping quick. "Watch the bird," she says, and disappears. There is someone who will be able to say.
[02/18 08:30pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth bows and departs for the jungle, "I'll be around.."
[02/18 08:44pm] Descendant Third Sicpuess unpockets a pocketwatch.. It is a bit dusty, and does not seem entirely brazen anymore. But it ticks. She'll be around, too.. and maybe, if she dares, will take a look at the watch's dial.
[02/19 01:41am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth returns after a prolonged absence to find the hummingbird much refreshed, and flittting around the red teacup. "Hello, my thrumming little friend. You may perch on my hat, if you'd like. "
[02/19 01:42am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth continues, "... at least until Zolo returns."
[02/19 05:09am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty pads into the Hall. The cuffs of her trousers are sodden and she trails a little of the Failboat's residual sense. Peering at the rug, she ascertains the continued existence of her clannies.
[02/19 05:11am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty , thus satisfied, disappears into the cup of Tor's oversized trophy for much needed sleep. The squiggy or whatever it is can wait.
[02/19 05:19am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth wanders in, and takes note of Z's current state. After a moment of silent contemplation, he sets out his
[02/19 05:21am] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth ... Tea Service, with strict instructions to have a fresh cup waiting when she wakens. He then dissolves into a trickle of Sand and seeps through a crack in the floor.
[02/20 01:03am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin walks up next to Kit, appearing to have been hit by a shrink ray of some sort, and coughs to draw attention.
[02/20 01:04am] <CDAG> Resident Sex Kitten Lady Akitsu blinks, glancing over in the direction of the cough, and starts back a bit, eyes wide. "Oh...! Oh my..."
[02/20 01:05am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin rolls her eyes. "What, like you've never seen stranger? Seems Horatio likes to make models in 1:2 scale."
[02/20 01:09am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin climbs atop the stocks, giving a polite nod to Hajen, and carefully watches her statue.
[02/20 01:15am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin gets bored and pulls out her violin, similarly shrunk, and plays a nameless melody that brings memories of joy filled Spring days.
[02/20 01:17am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen has never seen a Midget with the elegance to play a violin before.
[02/20 01:19am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin smirks at Gorbert, but continues playing. "Only clasified as a midget due to size, Gorbert. Aside from being three feet tall, I could be a normal human."
[02/20 01:25am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit points out, "If normal humans had fantastical improbable powers, anyway."
[02/20 01:26am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin smiles. "True. Though as a Joker I was quite keen on setting my eyes aglow."
[02/20 01:27am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit says, "Not doing much eye-glowing as a... person of reduced stature then?"
[02/20 01:30am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin gives PR a look which instantly conveys she's quite close to a line she wouldn't want to cross. "Can't waste energy on such novelties."
[02/20 01:31am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit resolves to make absolutely no mention of Rosin's height again, "Right. You'll be working on a solution then. Seems you keep having to do that lately."
[02/20 01:34am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin shrugs, releasing her violin which disappears. "I don't much mind this form. It's more similar to my natural self, but has an interesting perspective change as well."
[02/20 01:36am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin ponders. "The only problems I can find are transportation and alcohol. Takes much too long to get somewhere and much to little time to get drunk."
[02/20 01:27am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen enters New Pittsburgh, the blood and unidentifiable remains of a variety of creatures on him, yet somehow not staining his suit. He notices the rejuvenated hummingbird and strolls over to it.
[02/20 01:27am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "Hello, my miniscule friend. How have you recovered from the innocent in the Inn?"
[02/20 01:28am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen casts a cold gaze at the typo gremlin that turned "incident" into innocent." It cowers and backs away.
[02/20 01:31am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen watches the tiny bird as it flits closer to him and buzzes around his head. Gorbert takes it to mean that the bird has made a full recovery. He tips his hat and starts to walk away.
[02/20 01:33am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen feels a sudden prick on the back of his neck. He frowns and looks at the bird. He didn't think hummingbirds were prone to using their fragile-looking beaks that way. Then again, they also...
[02/20 01:34am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen ...aren't prone to acting as guides. Gorbert peers inquiringly at the bird. "What is it, Guide?" The bird flits away, heading west-southwest, then back to him. It repeats this routine.
[02/20 01:35am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gazes at the bird, then in the direction of IC, the tallest buildings of which are just visible in the distance. "Do you want to go to the capital?" The hummingbird perches on the edge of his hat
[02/20 01:36am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen shrugs. "Very well, then. You've been helpful in the past." Gorbert reaches into his pouch and removes a one-shot, presses the button and fizzles out of existence.
[02/20 01:38am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen finds himself suddenly in Improbable Central. The hummingbird hops off of the edge of his fedora and takes to buzzing excitedly around the square, investigating Rosin, PR and the stocks before...
[02/20 01:40am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit motions towards Mike's Chop Shop, "Well, transportation can always be solved easily. As for alcohol... Drink girly drinks instead of very alcoholic ones?" She smirks.
[02/20 01:40am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen ...returning to Gorbert and flying circles around his head. Gorbert waits patiently for the bird to cease its revolutions. The bird flies up to the roof of Gorbert's shack, then back to him.
[02/20 01:40am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin watches the small shimmering bird as it flies, nostalgic for the days when she had her own wings.
[02/20 01:41am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen frowns as the hummingbird repeats this trip several times. His eyes fall on the small hole in his roof and he raises an eyebrow. "You're looking for Zolo." It isn't a question.
[02/20 01:42am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen shrugs, gesturing for the bird to retake its travel position on his fedora. "The last time I saw her, she was in the <DICE> Hall. Come, we'll go see if she's still there."
[02/20 01:43am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin gives PR another look, intoning that she's once again coming close to a line she won't want to cross, before turning her attention back to Gorbert and the hummingbird.
[02/20 01:43am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen heads for the clan halls, the tiny avian perched on the rim of his hat.
[02/20 01:44am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit watches the hummingbird as well. That little creature has proved very important in the last while.
[02/20 01:44am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen moves more quickly for the clan halls, having caught the repeated looks between Rosin and PR and not wanting to be around much longer.
[02/20 01:47am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen enters the hall, a tiny hummingbird clinging to the edge of his fedora. He glances around and spots Zolo sleeping in Tor's trophy and strides quickly to it.
[02/20 01:49am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gently nudges the sleeping clan leader, who stirs and gazes up at him. "Our feathery informant is asking to see you," he explains.
[02/20 01:52am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty , dozy with sleep, can't catch any of what Gorbert's just said. She doesn't need to. The hummingbird launches itself bodily off of Gorbert's hat and describes frantic infinity loops around her head.
[02/20 01:53am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty nods at Gorbert. "Mn." She straightens. Tor's Tea Service insistently presents her with a cup of tea, piping hot.
[02/20 01:55am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty accepts it. She had expected to see Tor with the bird - questing, perhaps. Holding out one hand to the bird, she curls her fingers. It lights on her claws, feathers puffed.
[02/20 01:56am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches it tremble - not from nerves, but excitement. Her gaze sharpens. She glances up, searching for the door. "Outside," she says, striding purposefully past Gorbert.
[02/20 01:56am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods and follows on her heels.
[02/20 01:57am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty emerges from the <DICE> clan halls with one of Tor's tea cups, sleepy-eyed but deceptively alert. The hummingbird precedes her in a rush of color; Gorbert follows close after.
[02/20 02:00am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stares at the hyperactive bird, head cocked and eyebrow raised. "Well?" he asks it.
[02/20 02:01am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty watches as the bird darts to the stocks, lighting on KK's glasses warily before flitting off, hovering, blazing to another point near the eaves of the Bank. She tightens her grip on her cup.
[02/20 02:01am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin follows the trio with interest, occasionally launching herself with the help of her miniature Riot Hammer just to keep up.
[02/20 02:05am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen repeats the trick he performed in CC404; he conjures a small sphere of nectar above his cane. "Calm yourself, friend. You'll use up all of your energy if you keep this up. Drink."
[02/20 02:06am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty pauses in the middle of the square. The hummingbird grazes her ear, weaves around and through Rosin's feet (a feat, itself), then comes to rest again on KK's head before moving to the stocks.
[02/20 02:07am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria watches the bird fly off. His stomach growls, and he considers going after it, though Zolo would probably be upset...
[02/20 02:07am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty eyes the cane. Mn. A Narrator bade her ask about that - when she has the time to listen, perhaps. Narrow-eyed, she wets her fangs.
[02/20 02:09am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin approaches Zolo with a small note which reads: Anything I could do to help, friend?
[02/20 02:10am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen notices KK looking rather restless and moves to the stocks. A rap of his cane opens the locks and the pillory creaks open.
[02/20 02:12am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit watches all these goings-on with interest, but feels she could do little to help where so many Jokers are already involved.
[02/20 02:13am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty peers at the note. (She seems indifferent to Rosin's height. Like the stocks, she finds some things boring or simply unnecessary to contest.) She shrugs, frowning. "Don't know. Maybe. Will see."
[02/20 02:14am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks up at his statue. "Oh... Right..." He mutters, jumping forward with a fist full of silver rings, crushing the head to dust and knocking the statue to the ground, shattering it.
[02/20 02:15am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin nods, writing another which reads: I'll do whatever I can to help return to you what is yours.
[02/20 02:16am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty turns sharply as the hummingbird launches off of the stocks, KK thusly loosed. She rubs her thumb along the paper of the note. The bird is searching again, inspecting passersby and objects alike.
[02/20 02:18am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty stops. Her ears prick slowly with realization. "Messire Victoria," she says, glancing at the next note, "if you would call our friend." The hummingbird stops on point when she speaks, hovering.
[02/20 02:24am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at her and nods, reaching into his coat and taking out the crystal device. He frowns at it, not understanding how it works. "Sessine!" He shouts at it, not thinking any other way to work.
[02/20 02:29am] <SPOON> Count Sessine , after a short delay, appears in a teleporter flash, laughing. "No need to shout, KK. It works fine if you just speak into it." Or think at it, even, but that's not worth saying right now.
[02/20 02:31am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at the crystal, half-tempted to ask Sessine if he can finally try to break it now. "Aye." He says, shooing those thoughts away and handing it back to Sessine.
[02/20 02:32am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty sips her tea. It seems to waken her, and she sharpens as Sessine appears. The hummingbird clings for a moment to his sleeve, tail flicking. It ruffles its beak through its chest feathers.
[02/20 02:33am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty would swear that the bird counts one, two, three with its beak. It flits into the air again, circling until it has their attention, then shoots for the south of the square.
[02/20 02:34am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks around, taking in Z, KK, the hummingbird. "A quorum, it seems." To the hummingbird, he says, "Thank-you, little friend. I see. It is time."
[02/20 02:34am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stuffs his hands into both his pockets and breathes out a big of smoke. His greatcoat billows a bit as he begins at a quick pace to follow the bird.
[02/20 02:34am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty turns to follow it, intent, but the bird hesitates. It describes N's and Z's in mid-air, evidently puzzled. It backtracks, dipping around the group. West, perhaps? It gains speed confidently.
[02/20 02:36am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin raises an eyebrow at the small bird, trying to see what it's searching for.
[02/20 02:36am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stops, following the creature with his eyes. He looks up and watches the bird, then looks back at Zolo with a questioning look on his face.
[02/20 02:36am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty loses her patience as the bird changes tack again. East, certainly east this time! No. South. Z lays back her ears as it returns to the center of the square to check all directions.
[02/20 02:37am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty growls, "I don't know. It did this before."
[02/20 02:37am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen dispels the nectar. Clearly the bird is too excited to bother feeding. He watches the creature closely, following its movements with his eyes.
[02/20 02:38am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gently lays a hand on his clan leader's shoulder, trying to exude patience and calmness.
[02/20 02:38am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin rubs her chin, pondering the birds path. "Whatever it is obviously moves a bit."
[02/20 02:40am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin unrolls her map and and monitors the birds flight pattern. "South West? East? North? North West?"
[02/20 02:40am] Newbie Kiera wanders in, bored, having discovered the drive is nowhere to be found. She stops, having noticed the interesting antics of the bird and some familiar faces.
[02/20 02:40am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns. He's a little like Z in the regard that he's rather impatient. He flops down, taking a long Kiseru from his sleeve and putting a bit of tobacco in. He lights it with a finger, and watches.
[02/20 02:41am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty startles at the touch. She eyes Gorbert hard for a moment before easing, breathing out. The bird, increasingly tentative, swings only halfway toward the north before returning.
[02/20 02:41am] Newbie Kiera slides up next to Gorbert. "So, what's going on? It seems interesting."
[02/20 02:41am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit taps Rosin on the shoulder, "I saw their quarry as they caught up to it in the Inn. They hunt the wind."
[02/20 02:42am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin plots the birds movements into semi linear paths, drawing lines across her map.
[02/20 02:44am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen places a finger on his lips, indicating Kiera to watch but not interfere.
[02/20 02:44am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin frowns in concentration, puzzling herself what could be in every city at once.
[02/20 02:44am] Newbie Kiera nods and shuts her mouth.
[02/20 02:45am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila smiles warmly at Kiera, nodding at an empty spot next to her on the rocks lining the square.
[02/20 02:46am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen taps Kiera on the shoulder and jerks his head over to a bench. He takes and seat.
[02/20 02:46am] <SWEET> Lady Rosin nearly smacks herself for not realizing it before. She hurriedly scribbles a note and passes it to Zolotisty, taking her by the hand and pulling her to the west. "Come on! To the Commons!"
[02/20 02:46am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen whispers, "Or the rocks with Lelila, whichever."
[02/20 02:47am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria climbs to his feet and taps out his pipe, then stows it and follows Rosin towards the commons.
[02/20 02:48am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty twitches, juggling tea, note, hand. She jerks her chin sharply at the assembled company.
[02/20 02:48am] Newbie Kiera looks from the bench to the rocks, trying to decide which joker to sit next to. Finally, she shakes her head, sits at a table in front of the pub and orders a drink, gesturing to nearby empty seats.
[02/20 02:48am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine lifts his head, his eyes wide with realization. "Yes! Where else?" He follows Rosin and Zolotisty.
[02/20 02:49am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is just about to explain everything to the newbie when he hears Rosin's exclamation. His head snaps up in her direction, mouth slightly agape. Snatching up his cane, he hurries to the Grounds.
[02/20 02:50am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen calls over his shoulder, "Sorry, Kiera! Lelila will explain!"
[02/20 02:50am] Newbie Kiera downs her drink and follows, muttering about gargleblaster being a weird name for a beer.
[02/20 02:52am] Newbie Kiera looks to Lelila. "If you're following them too, I'll walk with you. What exactly is going on? Does it have to do with her voice?"
[02/20 02:52am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila nods towards the sign pointing to the Common Grounds, then hurries after the others.
[02/20 02:53am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila hesitates, the nods. "They... they hunt the wind. There are wagers to settle."
[02/20 02:53am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila pulls Kiera by the hand into the Common Ground.
[02/20 02:49am] Lady Rosin emerges from the gate in IC, practically dragging Zolotisty along. She hurriedly scribbles a few notes and hands them to Z.
[02/20 02:51am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty struggles to set aside her cup, then catches up Rosin with a grim expression. "Can lipread," she says, "better than wordread." It's luck that Sessine thought to teach her, so long ago it seems.
[02/20 02:52am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty firmly sets Rosin on a solid piece of air. She wheels to inspect the Grounds with fresh menace. Where is it.
[02/20 02:53am] Lady Rosin babbles quickly, almost unintelligible, before taking a deep breath and starting over slowly. "This is it! The only place in every city!"
[02/20 02:53am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria rushes in soon after, his hand slips into his pocket and he feels the weight of the dice he was given. They seem heavier now.
[02/20 02:54am] Newbie Kiera follows along, along with any other spectators, hoping for an opportunity to be useful - or at least entertained.
[02/20 02:55am] <SPOON> Count Sessine takes particular care to remain always to KK Victoria's left.
[02/20 02:56am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Sessine and takes a breath. For once he seems a little nervous. The smoke from his mouth takes a slightly blue hue as it leaks from the corners of his lips.
[02/20 02:56am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila sits between Gorbert and Kiera, her hands pale and shaking.
[02/20 02:56am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty breathes, "Yes." She is distracted, gaze roving the Grounds. There are dozens of nooks. Scores of shadows. "Thank you, Rosin." She pads quick toward the pond, crouching at the edge.
[02/20 02:56am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen murmurs to Kiera, "Some things you'll have to ask Zolo about - later - but the wind took something from her and hid. We flushed it out two days ago and are closing in on it."
[02/20 02:58am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gestures to the exhausted hummingbird, which hovers weakly by him. "Well done, little one." Gorbert recreates the nectar and sets it in place by a branch so he can move his cane.
[02/20 02:58am] Newbie Kiera drunkenly whispers, "IYY ffig*hic*ured it wwwas thhhat. I've heard aboout that situation.*hic*hic*"
[02/20 02:58am] <SPOON> Count Sessine is calm. His case of nerves was done with by yesterday. Now he just wants it to happen.
[02/20 02:58am] Lady Rosin hops down and stands to the left of Sessine, wondering exactly how Hazard is played. "So, is it possible for me to take a bet with the wind? I'd much like to be able to fly again."
[02/20 02:59am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty flicks the water, meaning to catch the attention of the pond dragons. The water ripples and blooms outward before settling. She eyes her reflection (unfamiliar) and slow spiraling clouds.
[02/20 03:00am] Newbie Kiera drunkenly whispers, "OOOOoohh, LLeliyyyylaaaa..." \\w*hic*hisssssssperrrs conspiratorily, stoombling, "are people allowed to *hic*make bets? *hic*I want to make bets..."
[02/20 03:00am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Sessine, getting a reassuring look. He doesn't remember being nervous. His first Act, that was nerve racking. But he got over it quickly. This is much more... Delicate.
[02/20 03:00am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tilts her head. Something's wrong. And not unlike certain memories caught in toothed gears and whirring wheels, this takes catching from your peripheral vision to know it's there..
[02/20 03:01am] Newbie Kiera suddenly starts to wonder a bit about why she's acting so weird after one drink, but quickly forgets about it.
[02/20 03:01am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila grips Kiera's hand fiercely. "No. No you don't," she whispers, shushing at her softly.
[02/20 03:01am] <SPOON> Count Sessine glances at Lady Rosin. "You will need a stake that all players will accept is of equal value. The wind is one of the players."
[02/20 03:02am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria sniffs the air carefully, then looks at Zolo. "What is?" He asks in a low tone, still looking out and around.
[02/20 03:02am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty glances up, frowning. She measures the Grounds. No moving grass, no leaves. Back to the reflection, and then- ah! "Clouds," she says sharply. They're moving.
[02/20 03:03am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty straightens in a rush. "UP," she snarls, craning her neck back. No one ever thinks to look up.
[02/20 03:03am] Lady Rosin smiles. "A valuable possesion, eh? I suppose if it was so much to wager hearing like Z's, I could wager my voice."
[02/20 03:03am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks up and his eyes register it. His hand clenches around the dice in his pocket, and his hair moves a little in a light breeze.
[02/20 03:04am] Newbie Kiera tries to pull away from Lelila's grasp (with the strength of someone gargleblasted) and wander over to Sessine, who appears to be describing how to play.
[02/20 03:05am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty takes a step back as there is a sudden gust through the Grounds. Tree branches thrash, the ICMoD creaks warningly under the force.
[02/20 03:05am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria reaches around and grabs Kiera's shirt by the collar, righting her in the opposite direction. "Don't stand in left." He warns harshly. Play shifts to the left. No exception.
[02/20 03:06am] Newbie Kiera drunkenly whispers, "NNNooowwww whaaaat do IYYYYYY havveee that'sssss vallooable... hmm... I h*hic*aves in my pock*hic*ets these thing I'm soopposed to g*hic*ive to me dad, halff a something...
[02/20 03:07am] Lady Rosin digs her weapon into the ground, holding on with sheer force of will to avoid being blown away by the gale. "Kiera, this is no place for mere humans I'm afraid.
[02/20 03:08am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen in one fluid motion lifts his cane high above his head and brings it forcefully against the ground. All of the exits from the Common Ground seal. The wind isn't going anywhere.
[02/20 03:09am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands still as the gale blows. His coat and hair fly around and about him, and smoke drifts with the wind.
[02/20 03:09am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen staggers against a rock and collapses. That kind of power usage took most of his strength. The glowing mist in his eyes dims and he falls sideways.
[02/20 03:10am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks over at Lelila. She's always good at helping people out when they're hurt. Gorbert looks in a bad way.
[02/20 03:11am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty dips her chin, reappearing at KK's right. Debris and scattered possessions are a hazard themselves, now - the wind doesn't seem to be abating.
[02/20 03:11am] Lady Rosin edges away from her weapon, crawling low toward Gorbert with a small vial of what looks to be Improbability.
[02/20 03:12am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila skids around the edge of the clearing, grasping on to trees for support. She reaches Gorbert, falling to her knees at his side.
[02/20 03:12am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty draws her dice from her waistcoat. She snatches KK's wrist and tips them into his hand before they can be whiled away - she will not stand for loaded dice or sleight of hand.
[02/20 03:12am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's improbility acts on its own, protecting its host as it hasn't done since Tor was a female Midget. Gorbert is rooted to the ground, undisturbed by the wind's ferocity.
[02/20 03:13am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen ...Lelila and the hummingbird, who are closest, are also encased in the shield. The hummingbird zips around, trying fruitlessly to leave, but is at least safe from the wind.
[02/20 03:14am] Lady Rosin uncorks the small vial of glowing substance cautiously handing it to Gorbert. "Drink, it was a gift from Horatio."
[02/20 03:14am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria takes the dice. The original dice in his hand. His fist clenches and he looks up at the sky, then to Sessine, then back to Zolo. "Wager?" He asks, cautious about his bet.
[02/20 03:14am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's improbability also mangles a typo gremlin that stowed away and launches its body into the pond.
[02/20 03:15am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila is distracted from Gorbert, as Victoria speaks. She clutches the sleeve of Gorbert's coat, her knuckles white.
[02/20 03:15am] Newbie Kiera is slammed against a tree, but staggers from it fairly obliviously, muttering something about how if this is a bad place for humans, maybe she could bet her humanity...
[02/20 03:15am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria he thinks about it a second. He knows whatever he wagers the other Jokers will agree with. It's the wind that he has to appease. Smoke leaks out from his mouth and he quietly decides.
[02/20 03:16am] <SPOON> Count Sessine stands firm, still close to KK Victoria's left. A flying branch scrapes his cheek and leaves blood, but he is a rock now. He does not budge.
[02/20 03:16am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria speaks up and the wind dies down to hear. "Show unrest if disagree." KK establishes simply. There shouldn't be any confusion as to what is being said.
[02/20 03:16am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's symbiote inspects the vial held by Rosin before permitting her to enter. She quickly tips the liquid into Gorbert's mouth.
[02/20 03:16am] Lady Rosin crawls back to her place at Sessine's left.
[02/20 03:18am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen jerks once and the color returns to his eyes. He sits up and turns to Lelila. "Stay here." He exits the bubble but leaves it intact to protect the others.
[02/20 03:18am] Newbie Kiera suddenly notices the ground give way, and clutches to the tree to keep from fallling. If she needs to stand with the others... maybe she won't bet after all. She doesn't think she can stay upright.
[02/20 03:19am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila exhales sharply as he leaves, but nods, staying still and looking afraid.
[02/20 03:19am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen grabs Kiera and tosses her into the safe zone before continuing on to the others. Gorbert stands solemnly behind KK, lending his support and will.
[02/20 03:19am] Newbie Kiera mutters darkly about that drink making her a spectator.
[02/20 03:20am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria decides. "I wager Skill." He offers. The wind immediately picks up, blasting his wager back ito his face.
[02/20 03:21am] Newbie Kiera hopes she'll get a turn anyways, as she sinks to the ground still clutching the tree. If everyone else is to her right, she's to their left, right..left... she lies down and watches.
[02/20 03:22am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns, though how useful would the skills of a contract killer be to the wind? "I wager years." He says quietly. This is also rejected. The wind has no use for life spans of any sort.
[02/20 03:23am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria grits his teeth, reluctant. "I wager fire." The wind tears at his coat, and KK is actually quite surprised. Rejections of is prized possessions. Especially his fire?
[02/20 03:23am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty is on edge. Watching with a hunger suited to starving wolves, she shifts her weight as the wind rejects KK's stakes. If it turns down all offers without consideration or regard..
[02/20 03:24am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria rolls his eyes. "Stop wasting." He mutters, looking at Sessine. He has no idea what to wager, not anything he treasures was accepted. He shrugs. "Voice?" He asks, almost as a joke.
[02/20 03:25am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria blinks as there is no objection. "Voice?" He asks. KK's voice is hardly important to him. He barely speaks as it is. But it's easier to lose than his fire or his ability.
[02/20 03:25am] Lady Rosin blinks at KK, shaking her head.
[02/20 03:26am] Newbie Kiera mumbles about how, not being a joker, she could wager her form. Wouldn't the wind like having a solid shape? Hopefully it comes and asks her.
[02/20 03:26am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria nods. "Fine." He breathes quietly, looking at Sessine from the corner of his eye. He can feel Zolo near him and feel her anxiety. He grips the dice in his hand, ready to choose his main.
[02/20 03:27am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is also surprised. The wind already has a voice. Then again, Gorbert reasons, even KK's soft-spoken demeanor is better than the wind's current wordless howl.
[02/20 03:27am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit whispers, "Of course. It can hear now, and it can make noise, but it has no true voice..."
[02/20 03:28am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria speaks up. "Nine." Though through calculation, seven has better odds, KK believes in luck. He holds out the dice and shakes them in his fist before casting them against an invisible gambling table.
[02/20 03:29am] Lady Rosin nods, silently applauding PR's logic, though disaproving of KK's actions. What now has she to wager?
[02/20 03:29am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria watches as the dice skitter across nothing. The first falls to rest as a three, the second bounces off the edge of nothingness, landing as a one. Four.
[02/20 03:30am] Newbie Kiera whispers, "Annd iff it geetss*hic*sss mmy body it can be a rregular contestant... but maybe it wwouldn't want that."
[02/20 03:30am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty flinches.
[02/20 03:31am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns. "Chance." He mutters, meaning he has to throw again. Why couldn't he have shown a nine and been done? Re-rolling? KK curses hs luck, gathering the dice again and shaking them.
[02/20 03:31am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks long at KK Victoria. He is debating inwardly, perhaps. Weighing. Judging.
[02/20 03:31am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen sucks in his breath, eyes fixed on the dice, but he doesn't dare say anything or touch KK.
[02/20 03:32am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria knows, if he rolls a four, he wins. If he rolls a nine, he loses. Anything else constitutes a reroll. He looks over to Sessine and shrugs. "What are odds?" He asks, casting the dice again.
[02/20 03:32am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila curls her fists into her skirts, staring unblinkingly at KK's back.
[02/20 03:32am] Newbie Kiera watches closely and shuts up, wondering what will happen next.
[02/20 03:33am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria raises an eyebrow. The first settles, facing towards the sky with three marks. The second settles. Though the count is more than one. Six black dots face the sky.
[02/20 03:34am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria blinks and stops moving for a second. He looks up towards the grounds.
[02/20 03:34am] Lady Rosin steps back from the semi-circle, merely a spectator for the moment.
[02/20 03:34am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's cane clatters on the ground as he stares, devastated, at the roll.
[02/20 03:35am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty resettles her weight again. She palms the back of her left hand, tracing an outlined scar there, and does not blink.
[02/20 03:35am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's eyes widen and he buckles over, vomitting out a strangle light blue liquid.His voice tatters against itself in a cry of pain, but it goes without sound.
[02/20 03:35am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila flinches strongly, a wordless noise escaping her.
[02/20 03:36am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tears her eyes from the dice after a moment. She lets out a shivering sigh.
[02/20 03:36am] Newbie Kiera stares, eyes wide.
[02/20 03:36am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria curls himself up, and a dark blue smoke bellows from his mouth and rises up towards the sky. His eyes are clamped shut, and his mouth is open in a silent scream.
[02/20 03:36am] Lady Rosin watches, seemingly only interested in the dice, not what is hapening to KK.
[02/20 03:37am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty breathes in again, shakier now, and exhales hard, struggling to maintain her composure. This should not be, this should not have been. She should not have asked.
[02/20 03:37am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stops moving, and the smoke cuts back to the usual grey. KK doesn't move, doesn't open his eyes. He just felt the experience of having his voice box torn out from his chest.
[02/20 03:37am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's hands clench into fists so tight that blood trickles between his knuckles. What to do now? So much has been risked and lost, and it seems they have failed after all.
[02/20 03:39am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's voice rings out, the same refined manner, though not from KK. "It is about time... Least he had something worth. Would you believe he's fluent in a good thirteen languages?" The wind asks.
[02/20 03:39am] Lady Rosin turns her eyes from the dice, looking at KK and Zolotisty. She seems to regard them with a blank stare, though mouths a few silent words.
[02/20 03:39am] Newbie Kiera whispers, "Isss it ovver? Or is sommeone elses turn nowww? Heyyy, wind, whaat happens now? You can*hic* talk now right?"
[02/20 03:40am] <SPOON> Count Sessine speaks. "I, too, would play."
[02/20 03:41am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty crouches. She reaches to touch KK's shoulder, then stops. She curls her fingers. The wind moves to snatch her dice, and she snarls, lurching to slap her palm over them. It notes Sessine.
[02/20 03:42am] Lady Rosin steps up to Sessine's left, ready to play, or at least delay the game if it comes to worse.
[02/20 03:43am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "You have wondrous hearing, but what have you gained? Fear and confusion. What does it all mean? All these creatures, striving, hoping, despairing. Laughing. Caring."
[02/20 03:43am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's body twitches and he vomits up a black liquid. His blood. KK tries to stand, but with immense difficulty, so he allows himself just to lay still.
[02/20 03:44am] Newbie Kiera wonders what the voice is talking about with its references to demons and dogs, but decides he sounds pretty mad and it might be better not to bring it up.
[02/20 03:44am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit looks at Sessine and Rosin with much respect in her eyes. This is what loyalty is. This is what friendship is.
[02/20 03:45am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "You have marvellous speech, but what can you say that will make a difference to you? Why should you care to speak?"
[02/20 03:45am] Lady Rosin looks to the Count. Predicting his wager, she nods simply.
[02/20 03:46am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "I am Count Sessine. I have lived many lives. I have seen, thought, planned, lost, dared, and finally come to understand a great deal."
[02/20 03:47am] <SPOON> Count Sessine says, "What you can win from me is the experience to understand what you hear. My stake is nothing less than this: All that I have. All that I am."
[02/20 03:49am] Lady Rosin 's eyes widen in surprise. Sessine has wagered a fair greater deal than any before.
[02/20 03:49am] <NBLUE> Private Sir Gompmire stops pondering, as this has just gotten bigger than he could ever imagine, and he can feel it.
[02/20 03:49am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty gathers her dice and a fistful of clawed dirt and grass. She nudges under KK's arm and hefts him to his feet with wiry strength, observing keenly. Her head snaps up at Sessine's stake.
[02/20 03:51am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tears her eyes from the tabula and recalls with broadening horror Sessine's initial reaction to all of this in NewHome. He meant it all along. Songs alive, he meant it all along.
[02/20 03:51am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stares at Sessine, his face contorted. Sessine can't wager that! If he loses...then he's lost. Just another soulless creature to wander the Jungle.
[02/20 03:52am] <SPOON> Count Sessine waits. The wind does not roar, but it does not need to, it has a voice. Tempting... To have what the Count has, to be what the Count is... When the reply comes, it is Victoria-laconic. "Yes."
[02/20 03:53am] Lady Rosin stands her ground, now completely intent on doing everything she can to ensure the wind loses.
[02/20 03:54am] Newbie Kiera wonders something, silently, about what it means if the wind wins.. for the wind.
[02/20 03:55am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty braces KK. His blood is burning a patch through the grass. "No."
[02/20 03:57am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria snaps his eyes open, registering Zolo. He looks up at her, not even trying to speak. He understands exactly what happened. KK looks over to Sessine, then back at Zolo, wondering what was wagered.
[02/20 03:57am] <SPOON> Count Sessine holds the dice. "All on one roll," he says, with a smile. "This stake is not divisible." He must choose a main. It does not matter which... "Seven."
[02/20 03:57am] Lady Rosin looks to Zolotisty, tears seeming to well in her emotionless eyes. "All players must agree on the wager, correct?"
[02/20 03:58am] <NBLUE> Private Sir Gompmire looks over the entire scene, then stands to the left of Rosin. He may not have much to bet, but he'll risk it all. It's the least he can do.
[02/20 03:59am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten enters the Common Grounds whisper-soft. One advantage of manifesting a being of shadow. He eyes the players in the story, stopping as his eyes rest on Sessine. Hmm.
[02/20 04:00am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen hesitates, mind racing, then stands directly behind Sessine, just as he did with KK and meaning the same thing.
[02/20 04:00am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Rosin. He shakes his head, hoping that she'll not object. Sessine is doing what he's doing. Then again KK doesn't even know what was wagered.
[02/20 04:00am] <SPOON> Count Sessine looks at Zolotisty. All that can be said, has been, except... "I've left letters in the fastness." He lifts his head, inhales. Rolls. Looks at the dice: . .. So. That's the way of it.
[02/20 04:00am] <NBLUE> Private Sir Gompmire starts to shake. Surveying the scene, maybe standing in line was not a good idea... He steps away quietly.
[02/20 04:01am] <SPOON> Count Sessine closes his eyes, shudders deeply. The wind tugs briefly at his hair, then envelops him with a sudden swirl.
[02/20 04:02am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty lurches convulsively, unable to catch him. She has KK. "No!"
[02/20 04:04am] Lady Rosin blinks, watches a sudden gale tear an oak from the ground, and turns back to Sessine, a slight smile on her face.
[02/20 04:04am] Newbie Kiera starts crawling towards the circle for a better look once the wind calms down.
[02/20 04:04am] <SPOON> Count Sessine stands perfectly still. The wind rages, shrieks without any of its new words, batters, roars off to uproot a nearby tree, then stills also.
[02/20 04:05am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten watches silently, his hand spasmodically clutching the top of his cane. There is nothing he can do. This is not his story. He rages silently at his powerlessness.
[02/20 04:05am] <SPOON> Count Sessine is unmoving. A light breeze ruffles the silky hair of Zolotisty's ears. Her eyes fly wide, startled.
[02/20 04:05am] Newbie Kiera refines, if it calms down.
[02/20 04:10am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty thrashes her head, ears pinned so flat to her head that it they might as well be invisible. Layers upon layers of sound and the first thing she hears is the cacophonous echo of her own objection.
[02/20 04:11am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty didn't want this - she did not want this! Not at this price! "No! No, no, no-" She shrugs from under KK's arm. Gorbert catches him quick. Z snatches up her dice and flings them hard.
[02/20 04:12am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila gasps as Gorbet's barrier falls. She runs to KK's side, collapsing next to him.
[02/20 04:12am] Lady Rosin 's smile grows to a wide grin, tears of joy streaming down her cheeks. "Well played Sessine, well played."
[02/20 04:12am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's head whips around, looking from the catatonic Sessine to Zolo. "What...?"
[02/20 04:13am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit looks between Sessine and Zolotisty, realization dawning, "All that he is... Of course..."
[02/20 04:14am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's dice clatter harmlessly off of a solid structure in mid-air and land in the wind-razed grass. Just dice. Eyes brimming with tears, she gulps for air and clenches her claws into her shoulders.
[02/20 04:15am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen , having stood behind Sessine, never saw how the dice landed. He stands rooted to the spot, shocked and confused, Victoria slung over his shoulder.
[02/20 04:16am] Lady Rosin raises a drink, downing it in one shot. "The best gambler, and a trickster of it as well."
[02/20 04:17am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten watches, silently shaking his head. "I wonder," he muses quietly, "what it would be like to be the wind..."
[02/20 04:18am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria lifts himself from Gorbert's shoulder and drops down, rubbing his throat and looking where Sessine stood. He stands up straight and salutes.
[02/20 04:19am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit stands and salutes towards the sky, "Brilliant, simply brilliant."
[02/20 04:19am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty tears the fabric of her jacket as she tightens her grip. Hunkering close to the ground, she tips her head back at the sky and tries to breathe. Slowly in. He chose his stake- no, no, no!
[02/20 04:19am] <NBLUE> Private Sir Gompmire sputters "Huh? What? Wait, he did what now?"
[02/20 04:20am] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila reaches cautiously for KK's hand, her frame still shaking fiercely.
[02/20 04:21am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty brought about those circumstances. She wets her mouth, unable to celebrate this as a clever ploy, unable to salute his cunning.
[02/20 04:21am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria wipes a tear from his eye and walks weakly towards Zolo, sitting down in the grass and looking up with her.
[02/20 04:22am] <NBLUE> Private Sir Gompmire let's out a confused laugh. "That was well played. Crazy, but well played."
[02/20 04:22am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine opens blue eyes. Blue, not green... a quite bewildered blue. He stares about him, frowns, begins to speak, then licks his lips.
[02/20 04:23am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine looks down at himself, around again. "This... isn't the Cryptosphere." A statement, not a question. "It's slowtime. I am flesh now, not... What has happened?"
[02/20 04:23am] Lady Rosin drinks again, tears continuing to pour from her eyes, she looks to Zolo, her gaze overflowing with emotion. "He was the best of us."
[02/20 04:23am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen voices what everyone seems fixed on avoiding: "Did he change places with the wind?"
[02/20 04:24am] <NBLUE> Private Sir Gompmire backs away from Sessine, not entirely sure of benevolence.
[02/20 04:25am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten raises a finger for silence. "Listen," he advises, pointing at what used to be Count Sessine.
[02/20 04:25am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's gaze flicks from Rosin to Alandre. She concentrates on breathing. Out, easy, slow now. KK is right at hand, Lelila's with him. Among friends, and the wind is always- no.. no..
[02/20 04:27am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty does not sound herself when she answers Gorbert. "He's gone." The melody is there but it's mixed and muddled and being fought out. There are brighter notes here. She can't focus to hear.
[02/20 04:28am] Lady Rosin drinks again, the alcohol going to work on her tiny frame. "The best of us..."
[02/20 04:29am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine frowns. His gaze comes to Zolotisty. "You. You are someone important. You matter. But I don't know why."
[02/20 04:31am] Newbie Kiera passes out, unable to resist the lure of sleep now that things, though still tense, are a bit calmer.
[02/20 04:32am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands up, looking at Alandre, then walks towards him. He looks furious, but a tear drifts down his cheek. He reaches out and grabs the bewildered man by the collar. He then reaches into his pocket
[02/20 04:32am] Lady Rosin pops the cork on a small vial of improbability, downing it to flush her system. She stands tall, or at least as tall as possible for her.
[02/20 04:32am] <SPOON> Ahi Koa KK Victoria takes out the two dice that the wind had given him, pushing them into Alandre's hand. He then reaches around Alandre's neck and hugs him quietly, before releasing him ad walking off without a word.
[02/20 04:34am] Newbie Kiera eyes flutter open to say one last thing before she passes out for good. She turns to Alandre. Yooor myy beshtesht frieend."
[02/20 04:35am] Newbie Kiera is now out for a couple days at least.
[02/20 04:35am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty gets to her feet.
[02/20 04:40am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty studies Alandre. She massages the back of her hand before snuffing, knuckling brief at her eyes, and approaching him. "My name," she says quietly, "is Zolotisty. Who are you."
[02/20 04:40am] Lady Rosin turns to Zolotisty, eyes almost completely emotionless again. "The highest of stakes, all for his friends."
[02/20 04:41am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten whispers, "One story has ended. Another begins. So goes the Great Tale, and so it will go until no more voices speak."
[02/20 04:42am] Lady Rosin smiles once, then leaves, tears once again streaming from her eyes.
[02/20 04:44am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty glances after Rosin. Her lips thin but she doesn't allow herself to speak. She knows. Of course she knows.
[02/20 04:45am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten bows respectfully to Zolo and Sess- Alandre before he exits, humming a subdued tone.
[02/20 04:45am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stares at the man that was Sessine and comprehension begins to trickle into his brain. A wave of grief and awe washes over him. He approaches Alandre.
[02/20 04:46am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine says, "Alandre." He looks at her intently. "There is something about you, something I almost know, but don't."
[02/20 04:47am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen swallows hard, unnaturally emotional. He holds out his hand to Alandre. "I'm Gorbert...Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen."
[02/20 04:49am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty repeats, "Alandre." The sound of his name recalls nothing of Sessine's. She rolls it around her mind like a weighted ball bearing, magpie-bright and meandering. It clinks into one end. Alandre.
[02/20 04:52am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine takes the proffered hand. He remembers another handshake, elsewhere. A ritual that means something, even... He smiles. "Gorbert. Pleased to meet you." His eyes turn back to Zolotisty.
[02/20 04:57am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine says, "Who...? No." He shakes his head as if to clear it. Suddenly he says: "I know you. Tatterdemalion."
[02/20 04:57am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty can breathe now, but she's thinking of turrets and letters, not the young man before her. She forces herself to focus. "You say you know me. I don't know you, but.. maybe I'll do."
[02/20 04:59am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's ironic smile is wiped clean by the chord the name plucks in her. It resonates. She recognizes it as unequivocally familiar.
[02/20 05:00am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty cants her head sharply. He has all of her focus now. "Who?'
[02/20 05:01am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty knows all of her turns of meter and pacing, but no one- no one has heard those songs. How..
[02/20 05:06am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine says slowly, "I think we need to talk. I'm not..." he reaches for a phrase, fails. "Not quite a clean copy."
[02/20 05:11am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty nods.
[02/20 05:12am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty smooths her hands down her legs as she turns to glance at her dice. She hesitates, then looks back to Alandre with raised eyebrows. "There's a place. I'll need to move you with me."
[02/20 05:17am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen turns away from Alandre and Zolo. He can't stay any longer. "Alandre, I am always available if you need help. Zolotisty is someone you can trust; stay with her."
[02/20 05:18am] <SPOON> Alandre Jeovanx sessine agrees readily. That is familiar. Easy. The rest? Not so much. No curtain wall. No turrets, no towers... He holds out his hand.
[02/20 05:18am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen barely manages to smile and tip his hat to Alandre. He turns on his heel and walks out of the grounds.
[02/20 05:21am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty listens to Gorbert go. She'll thank him and everyone else later after she's railed at the sky. She takes Alandre's hand in her own and they disappear. The Grounds are in disarray.
[02/20 05:23am] <DICE> The Soloist Zolotisty 's dice lie abandoned among ravaged grass. Trees are crooked or outright uprooted, the ICMoD requires significant repair, half the pond seems to be empty. KK's blood has etched a small crater.
[02/20 05:30am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit sighs and turns to her servo arms, "Can you do anything? I'd like to have helped with at least something."
[02/20 05:34am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit 's Servo Arms start pulling brass automatons from her pockets. Some of them begin working on the small stuff. Others disassemble each other to build larger automatons.
[02/20 05:34am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten nudges Paper Rabbit. "Mayhap we can aid in the repair?"
[02/20 05:36am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit 's Automatons are soon all over the Gardens, as a capacity-defying number of them are freed from her pockets. She tries to assist them as best she can.
[02/20 05:38am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit nods to Kuroiten, "Of course. They seem to be able to repair and do a bit of emergency gardening, but I'm unsure what to do about the pond or the crater."
[02/20 05:39am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten begins chanting under his breath, retelling the story of the Common Ground. The pond slowly refills as the frightened denizens of the pond return from their hiding places.
[02/20 05:42am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit 's Automatons retrieve Zolotisty's dice and present them to PR. She accepts them and pockets them, intending to return them if they're still desired.
[02/20 05:43am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten looks up once the pond is full. "I think...the crater should be left. A fitting monument to their sacrifices."
[02/20 05:47am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit nods her agreement, "Yes... In fact..." She directs the automatons to place one of the uprooted trees next to the crater, then begins hunting through her pockets...
[02/20 05:49am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit , despite not knowing how her improbable pockets actually work, is rewarded with a multitude of bamboo windchimes. She begins hanging them from the branches over the crater.
[02/20 05:50am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit taps the chimes, which make a subdued yet pleasant noise, "So that here, the wind can sing."
[02/20 05:51am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen re-enters the grounds, uncontent with how things had been left. He peers over to the rocks where he had lain. The hummingbird flits around, still trapped.
[02/20 05:54am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen dispels the shield and raises his hand. The tiny bird hesitates, then zips over to Gorbert and rests on his hat. Gorbert salutes Kuroiten and PR before taking the bird with him....
[02/20 05:54am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen ...It's the least he can do for the one that helped them so much.
[02/20 05:54am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit salutes Gorbert in return.
[02/20 05:55am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten finds a flat slab of rock. As he speaks, the words are carved on it: To those who dared wager with the Wind. He then places the rock at the base of the tree.
[02/20 06:01am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit smiles at the impromptu plaque before yawning. It has been a tiring day. She begins heading home, her automatons remaining as repairs may not be complete until tomorrow.
[02/20 06:02am] <NBLUE> Scientician Paper Rabbit waves a goodbye to Kuroiten, "Thank you for your help."
[02/20 06:04am] <DICE> Contestant Legolos sees the damage that has been done to the common grounds. "What happened here?" he motions to the crator and the anamatrons.
[02/20 06:04am] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten bows in response to Paper Rabbit. "And thank you for yours."
[02/20 07:04am] <DICE> The Insouciant Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen walks out of the Common Grounds, exhausted beyond any physical weariness. The hummingbird stands motionless on his hat, extraordinarily odd in itself. Gorbert, head bowed, retreats to his cottage.
[02/20 08:13am] Contestant DwoobieTheNwoobie walks into town, in the dead of night, asking if anyone knows of a 'Narrator Kuroiten', despite the fact that the place looks absolutely deserted.
[02/20 12:58pm] <SPOON> Hermein fell asleep early last night, and he's up early this morning - unusual, for him. And for some reason, he has the strong desire to fly a kite. Good thing the wind has come up, finally.
[02/20 01:00pm] <SPOON> Hermein 's kite is an old design, well-proven. It has a cubical box at the front and a cruciform diamond tail. His shiny silver line, wire salvaged from the abandoned Laboratory, is coiled on the reel that
[02/20 01:01pm] <SPOON> Hermein holds in his left hand. It too seems to be made of salvaged parts, and rather inconveniently heavy. The kite is a bit bulky too, and will need a decent breeze to fly well.
[02/20 01:02pm] <SPOON> Hermein 's Budget Horse takes the kite and walks across the square, where he waits. Hermein waits, too, while the early morning breeze begins to build.
[02/20 03:13pm] <SPOON> Hermein feels a subtle shifting in the wind. That should be enough; he signals the Horse. Gently, the kite is released and it rises into the mid-morning sky. The Horse walks over to where
[02/20 03:14pm] <SPOON> Hermein is standing and stretches out on the grass to watch. Hermein plays the line for a little while until the kite is pulling solidly, then locks a catch on the side of the reel and sets it down.
[02/20 03:15pm] <SPOON> Hermein 's kite is all but fixed in place, moving only slightly with small shifts in the breeze. The silvery line catches the sun now and then, and the reel glints dully in the grass. The Horse and
[02/20 03:16pm] <SPOON> Hermein relax and watch the kite.
[02/20 05:57pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth arrives in time to witness the construction of his 300th Statue, and settles into the stocks for a moment to enjoy the view.
[02/20 06:01pm] <DICE> Descendant Third Sicpuess does something to light up. Quite literally. A few moments later, the whole sky is filled with the flaming numerals 3 0 0. "A merry jubilee, you wicked Questor, you! Congratulations, Tor."
[02/20 06:03pm] <SPOON> Hermein waves to Tor. "Congratulations! A new first for the Island. Now come and sit with us for a while, and relax - you deserve it."
[02/20 06:30pm] <NBLUE> Narrator Kuroiten looks back through the threads of stories told...hmm. Seems Dwoobie has had tea with Horatio...and remained human. "Mundanity is strong in this one," he quietly observes before meandering off.
[02/20 06:38pm] <NBLUE> The Unpossible Agrajag tumbles chassis over treads from the sky. On his way past, he lights a cigar from the flaming numerals. As he crashes down, he keeps one extensor up, and hands the cigar to Tor.
[02/20 06:38pm] <NBLUE> The Unpossible Agrajag says, "A well-run race, friend. I'll have to watch the hubris as we approach 400."
[02/20 06:39pm] <NBLUE> The Unpossible Agrajag steps aside and 2 seconds later... he inflates an airbag on the ground, onto which his kittybike lands.
[02/20 06:45pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth returns from visiting the Common Grounds, his aspect wan, "I will race no more, my friend, Agrajag. Though we did not wager, I have lost more than I can bear. I was not there."
[02/20 06:48pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth manages a slight smile, as he accepts the cigar and the acclamation, "It was well run though, I must admit. I left a comment in Squat Hole each time I returned. A recording of sorts."
[02/20 06:48pm] <SPOON> Citizen Calynx says, "Ahoy there Tor, have I been gone that long? 300? My congratulations to you!"
[02/20 07:07pm] <DICE> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth appears lost in his own thoughts as he wandes off towards the north, though he does nod aa brief greeting to Calynx before he goes.
[02/20 08:06pm] <CDAG> Sergeant MechaMonkey notes the wind pick up slightly, shakes his head somberly, and continues on into the Prancing Spiderkitty, wondering if the rumors were true. Could the wind...?
[02/20 08:12pm] <CDAG> Sergeant MechaMonkey proudly displays his new hummingbird tattoo. Though he doesn't know exactly what happened, he knows enough to pay some small tribute.
[02/20 08:20pm] <SPOON> Returning Contestant Prince of Tales wanders through the streets, occasionally sqwaking out a tune on an improbably-encountered accordian. He takes inspiration from a nearby tatoo and sings, "Dance like a hummingbird, sting like a B"
[02/20 08:22pm] <SPOON> Returning Contestant Prince of Tales takes a moment out of his ditty to bash a typo gremlin. The resulting chord grates on the ear.
[02/20 08:28pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila sits down quietly next to Hermein, her glass of wine still in hand.
[02/20 08:29pm] <SPOON> Hermein takes Lelila's hand and rests it on the kite wire where it leaves the reel. "Feel that?"
[02/20 08:31pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila closes her eyes, wrapping her fingers delicately around the wire. She releases a shuddering breath. Opening her eyes, she peers at Hermein.
[02/20 08:36pm] <SPOON> Hermein smiles. "See? It's a beautiful day, the wind is blowing steadily, the kite is floating, the wire is singing, and the sun is shining on it all. Nothing to be sad about."
[02/20 08:41pm] <SPOON> Hermein stands up and walks to the clan hall, disappearing inside for a moment. He returns, carrying a sheet of paper.
[02/20 08:42pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila nods slowly, watching the kite dance slowly in the sky. She sighs lightly, leaning her forehead against Hermein's shoulder. "It's... going to be okay, right?" she asks quietly.
[02/20 08:44pm] <SPOON> Hermein chuckles. "Yes, it is. You think he would let it be otherwise?" He busies himself folding the paper into an intricate shape.
[02/20 08:46pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila nods more confidently. "True."
[02/20 08:50pm] <SPOON> The wizened old woman glares at Hermein. "Next time you say, 'Come outside,' you might want to say which dratted door you mean. All right, I'm here."
[02/20 08:52pm] <SPOON> Hermein laughs again. "I didn't mean it as a command. As if anyone would try to command you! Here, sit with us. We're doing something highly Improbable - enjoying a nice day."
[02/20 08:54pm] <SPOON> Hermein finishes his paper folding. It's an old-fashioned airplane, or perhaps a bird. He hands it to Lelila. "Just a gentle toss, try to face it into the wind."
[02/20 08:55pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila holds the airplane, running a finger along the left wing. She glances at Hermein. "When? Now?"
[02/20 08:56pm] <SPOON> The wizened old woman sits. If she's enjoying the nice day it's not evident in her expression, grumpy as usual. Still, she sits in the sunshine with the others, and doesn't actively scold anyone. That probably counts.
[02/20 08:57pm] <SPOON> Hermein looks to Lelila. "When the wind feels right."
[02/20 08:58pm] <CDAG> Resident Sex Kitten Lady Akitsu pads in quietly, glances up at her statue with a saddened smile, and continues on her way.
[02/20 08:59pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila nods, looking it over once more before slipping it into a pocket.
[02/20 09:02pm] <SPOON> Hermein turns to the old woman. "It's been a long time since we've had a day this clear and bright."
[02/20 09:07pm] <DICE> Descendant Third Sicpuess sets upon building a kite of her own. It bears great resemblance to a canvas, though.
[02/20 09:09pm] <SPOON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth walks slowly from the <SPOON> Hall and squints in the bright sunlight. Taking a seat next to the old woman he continues his explanation. "I told you he won something. And I'm certain Sessine...
[02/20 09:11pm] <SPPON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth continues, "... considered the price a fair trade, So he wouldn't consider it a gamble. Still, it seems we have lost Him. That was the wager you see, 'All that he is.'"
[02/20 09:14pm] <SPOON> Hermein simply smiles, and gives the kite a bit more line. The wind has shifted just a little, but it is still strong and steady.
[02/20 09:16pm] <SPOON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth is cheered somewhat by the gentle breeze. No Doubt the Wind will be a much kinder and benevolent thing now, but it is still hard not to harbor ill will.
[02/20 09:19pm] <SPOON> The wizened old woman grunts. "Trader. Yes, he's that, all right. Count your fingers afterwards, he's that sharp. Weird notions sometimes, though. Calls Elias his teacher."
[02/20 09:22pm] <SPOON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth nods, "Yes. Well, it seems that Alandre is now all we have left of him. The Wind has the rest, save for some notes he excluded from the Wager."
[02/20 09:23pm] <SPOON> Hermein nods. "Yes, and Snickerer, of course. Though I'd say that he knew what he needed to know before he met either of them."
[02/20 09:24pm] <SPOON> Hermein turns to Tor, "I wouldn't leap to any conclusions about who has what, or what has who."
[02/20 09:27pm] <SPOON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth turns to Hermein, "Oh, I understand better than you might think, only I can't help but feel concern. The Wind has been around much longer than our friend. It has a way of wearing at things."
[02/20 09:32pm] <SPOON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth ponders a bit, "Still... I suppose 'lost' is a strong word. Everything is still here... just a bit scattered. At any rate, I will be here, with <SPOON> for a bit... just in case."
[02/20 09:34pm] <SPOON> Questor In Absentia Tor NaGoth feels the urge for a nap, and goes to rest in the fields.
[02/20 09:37pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard maneoeuvers zimmer into Improbable Central, he's covered in dust, and sand, and mud. "I've been travellin' between 'ere and Cyber all day, wind in what's left of me 'air, and nothing. Nothing."
[02/20 09:38pm] <SPOON> Hermein looks quizzically at Bernard. "Nothing? What are you looking for?"
[02/20 09:39pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard picks a twig out of his whiskers and regards it, "Nothing at all of 'im in there. I'm all a tizzy, to be frank. A tizzy."
[02/20 09:40pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard looks up at Hermein, "Why, Hermein, for Sessine. I was sure he'd been carried off in the wind, or, to be more accurate, carried up into the wind. But I can't sense 'im."
[02/20 09:41pm] <SPOON> The wizened old woman gives Tor a sharp glance. "You sure that's where you're needed most? Well, you usually know what you're doing."
[02/20 09:41pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard looks sadly at the assembled few, "I don't know what we're to do. What we're supposed to do. He's left a vacuum, you know. He may not have meant to, but 'e 'as."
[02/20 09:43pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard extricates himself from zimmer, and hobbles over to the 'few', "Not that I'm the most observant... But, I'd 'a thought I'd 'a been able to sense 'im out there."
[02/20 09:43pm] <SPOON> The wizened old woman snorts as he doesn't answer, but simply goes off for a nap. Some people. No respect.
[02/20 09:45pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard displays a little tic, but he doesn't mention it, there's a buzz from his workings, and he continues, "Nature abhors a vacuum, but it's still not nothing." He reaches inside his cardigan, and
[02/20 09:46pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard pulls out his little hip flask, he offers it to Hermein and the wizened old woman, "Would either of you care for a nip? It feels mightly cold out 'ere..."
[02/20 09:48pm] <SPOON> The wizened old woman eyes the flask suspiciously. "What's in that, then? Your usual tipple?"
[02/20 09:49pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard grins for the first time today, "Well, it's 'erbal. It's warming..." He holds it that tad further towards her, "It's good for you." there's a sense that he is speaking absolute truth.
[02/20 09:51pm] <SPOON> Hermein motions towards the kite reel. "Connect your sensor here." He takes Bernard's flask so that his hand will be free.
[02/20 09:53pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard exclaims, "I've not played with a kite since I were but a nipper," He looks delighted to take the string, "Blimey, it's... stron..." He stops and realisation appears to dawn over his eyes, "Blimey"
[02/20 10:02pm] <SPOON> Hermein nods, then takes a sip from the flask. "Whoo, that's, distinctive. <cough> What did you say this is called?"
[02/20 10:11pm] <SPOON> Hermein considers the challenge of getting the autobar to reproduce this stuff.
[02/20 10:12pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard takes a swig himself, and coughs, "It's a sazerac. It does have herbs in." As though that excuses it, "So, this new fellah, then? What does 'e look like?"
[02/20 10:14pm] <SPOON> Hermein shakes his head. "I haven't seen him yet. Spent the day by enjoying the day, for the first time in a while. A long while. I only poked my head in the clan hall to rouse them a little."
[02/20 10:16pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard nods, "I was caught up in everything back in there," he thumbs over his shoulder towards CDAG Mansion, "Didn't know what was 'appening. Kicking meself, I am, kicking meself."
[02/20 10:17pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila mumbles, "Blue eyes."
[02/20 10:18pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard looks up at Hermein and the wizened old woman from under heavily-lidded brows, "You know when you think you may have been able to make a difference, but know you couldn't."
[02/20 10:19pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard starts when Lelila speaks, he hadn't seen her, "Awfully sorry Miss," he wipes the neck of his flask and offers it to her, "Blue eyes you say?"
[02/20 10:20pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila blinks, not realizing she had spoken aloud. "He... he has blue eyes." she says softly, accepting the flask and sipping gingerly. She coughs.
[02/20 10:23pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard wonders what that portends, "Blue eyes. Hmmm. And what of Miss Z? Has anyone seen her since?" he takes a swig of his own 'medicine'.
[02/20 10:23pm] <SPOON> Hermein claps his hands. "Yes! The CDAG celebration! I haven't been back to the party since the first night, though I did hear a couple of explosions the last time I passed through New Home."
[02/20 10:25pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila shakes her head toward Bernard, then stops to remember. "He called her something. A name. I... I don't remember."
[02/20 10:25pm] <SPOON> Hermein adds, "You know, Sessine was very insistent that your achievement was cause for great celebration. And Z? He thought she needed taking care of, but I think she'll ask if she needs us."
[02/20 10:28pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard thinks aloud, "It will have been Tatterdemalion, the Raggedy-Anna, it suits her in a strange way. She's described herself as such in the past. But that's intriguing..." Funnily enough,
[02/20 10:30pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard 's accent has changed somewhat & he's sitting somewhat straighter. "Yes, he was insistent. And Z won't ask, not easily. This is all intriguing stuff, fascinating..."
[02/20 10:33pm] <SPOON> Hermein turns to his Horse. "Will you take care of the kite for a while? I have some things to do. But I'll be back before dusk, the wind should hold until then."
[02/20 10:34pm] <DICE> Descendant Third Sicpuess colours the canvas, then lets it fly. "There are many things interesting..." She glances at her still unopened watch. "But not today."
[02/20 10:34pm] <SPOON> Hermein 's horse nods, grateful to have had a day off. He stretches out again and watches as Hermein heads to the SPOON hall.
[02/20 10:38pm] <CDAG> Uncle Bernard nods to Lady Lelila and the wizened old woman, and turns back to zimmer. He ties the string of the kite to it, and maneouvers his way out of IC. Lelila and the WOW can see the kite bob in the wind,
[02/20 10:45pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila stands, brushing off her skirts. Her spirit feels lighter, and she silently thanks Hermein. She nears the kite string, hesitating, then reaches to touch it.
[02/20 10:45pm] <SPOON> The Lady Lelila listens to the wire through her fingers, then leaves towards the dwellings.