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Chapter 11 - Wagers and Procedures

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In the Bingo Hall

2010-02-18 17:00:00: calliaphone wakes up, in the safety and seclusion of her room, to the steady sound of ticking. She sits up. Stares around. And sees the model heart on the dressing table. Marking time.

2010-02-18 17:02:20: calliaphone 's eyes widen. "Sleeping? How long?" and then, "Ohshit, G!" Grabbing the model, she makes for the corridor.

2010-02-18 17:03:25: calliaphone skids into the main hall, and halts, looking round. Relief. There's G, still out cold by the looks of things. She goes to check on him.

2010-02-18 17:03:57: Metallic g_rock groans slightly, and twitches

2010-02-18 17:06:59: calliaphone jumps back a little, looking round for an exit if need be. At least he's still alive, though.

2010-02-18 17:08:14: Metallic g_rock twitches again, his whole body convulsing, but his eyes remain closed

2010-02-18 17:10:25: calliaphone gulps. "N-not good. Don't like the look of that." She edges closer though, and peers into the workings of his heart.

2010-02-18 17:13:41: Metallic g_rock 's heart cylinder is slipping gears like a yugo on bad gas, dropping a beat for every beat it makes

2010-02-18 17:18:15: calliaphone pales. That's really really not so good. It's definitely worse, in fact. By contrast, the model heart she's holding ticks steadily. Counting away the seconds, one by one.

2010-02-18 17:19:36: calliaphone wavers. And decides. "Ok, time's up. We gotta do this now or never, looks like." She looks round a bit wildly, and then says, "Just . . . wait there." Like, he's going anywhere.

2010-02-18 17:20:46: calliaphone dashes out to the greenhouse, and returns minutes later with a wheelbarrow. She parks it next to the sledge, and starts tugging at G's arms, to shift him across.

2010-02-18 17:21:37: Metallic g_rock, by way of response, spasms again and lies still, the cogs beneath his skin protruding more than last time, and extending up the sides of his neck

2010-02-18 17:25:00: calliaphone swears freely, and gets him into that wheelbarrow by . . . sheer force of panic? Then she dumps the model heart on top of him, along with her pillowcase-of-tools, and angles for the door.

2010-02-18 17:27:26: calliaphone manoevres the G-barrow out of the Bingo Hall, and into the streets of Ace High. She's gonna find a hospital tent, and set that ticker straight.

In AceHigh

2010-02-18 17:04:15: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly sits in a tent somewhere between the walls and the Jungle, newspaper in hand, mostly silent. The smell of blood and disinfectant doesn't seem to bother her.

2010-02-18 17:09:28: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly 's hooves are propped up on the table, fresh white bandages on her knees. "Three letter word for deadly?" she asks a passing Work Experience Lad.

2010-02-18 17:18:41: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly winces as the Lad reties the bandage on her left knee. "Honestly, ma'am, I'm not a brain or something." "My apologies."

2010-02-18 17:23:55: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly scratches her head with the tip of her pencil. "K-A-I." Go with what you know. She looks at the next one.

2010-02-18 17:29:14: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly lets out a bleat as the other bandage is tightened. They exchange glares. "Five letter word for. . ."

2010-02-18 17:30:36: calliaphone struggles out of the Bingo Hall, headed for the hospital tent. There's panic on her face, and she'd be running, if it wasn't for the fact that. . .

2010-02-18 17:31:29: calliaphone is wheeling a wheelbarrow. In which is piled, one g_rock (comatose), one delicate clockwork model heart (ticking), and one pillowcase-of-tools.

2010-02-18 17:31:46: Kestrel drags her bag in from the entrance, cursing at the myriad splinters in her hands. She throws a smile to Marly, then looks worriedly to the human.

2010-02-18 17:34:25: calliaphone weaves. The steering on these things is almost as bad as her cart. But she's determined. Teeth-gritted, swearing fluently, she makes it to the tent, and starts yelling for a gurney.

2010-02-18 17:35:50: Metallic g_rock twitches, his head tilting nearly 90 degrees sideways, and makes a sound like a rathet attached to a power drill

2010-02-18 17:36:39: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly frowns, looking at the grid of squares. "G-U-R-N-E, no, that's six letters, callia." She looks up. "Callia!"

2010-02-18 17:38:01: calliaphone 's swearing has moved up a notch. She flags down some Work Experience Lads, to get G out of the barrow and onto the gurney, and looks up. "Yeh, Marly, hi." Somewhat abstracted.

2010-02-18 17:38:12: Kestrel leaves her bag beside the Cake or Death stand, spilling roughly cut logs, then follows the weaving Callia to the Hospital Tent, clearly anxious.

2010-02-18 17:40:11: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly swings her hooves off the table and stands up, walking over to look. "Callia, what. . . I thought you had the pieces, everything in order."

2010-02-18 17:43:32: calliaphone clamps her jaw down, suppressing further cursing. For now. She takes a breath and says to Marly. "I . . . yeh. I did. I do. It's just . . .I thought we had time, y'know? But look! Look at him."

2010-02-18 17:45:37: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly leans forward, looks, then pulls her head back. Her face twists, looking at G. She looks at Callia, then back again before pronouncing judgment. "Eugh."

2010-02-18 17:47:21: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly is, of course, giving her informed medical opinion on this. "So. . . what is it."

2010-02-18 17:47:38: Metallic g_rock 's eyes flutter slightly open "Caaaalllliaa? What-t-t-t-tts happenning?"

2010-02-18 17:47:40: Kestrel flinches at G, averts her eyes, then looks back to Callia. "What needs to be done?" She hovers at the sidelines, unsure of how to help.

2010-02-18 17:49:41: calliaphone also flinches, starting back from G a bit, and reaching for a weap- damn. All in halls, aren't they. Except for. . . she locates an ancient power-drill, not really weapons-grade, but it'll do.

2010-02-18 17:51:19: Metallic g_rock twitches again and lies still. The cogs moving under his skin spin wildly, then slow almost to a stop, then spin again

2010-02-18 17:52:10: calliaphone glances across to Kestrel. Good to have her near, in case. . . in case. She grips the drill, and approaches G. Shit, he's gone again. She whispers "Yeah, buddy. It's me. And you . . . is it still you?"

2010-02-18 17:54:01: Kestrel frowns at Callia's power-drill, and looks doubtfully to her own katana, still in hand. After a moment, she sheathes it; she wouldn't be able to bring herself to use it, anyway.

2010-02-18 17:54:34: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly becomes serious, looking at G. She turns now-green eyes on Kestrel. "Get some tea. We'll need it." Tea solves everything. "Callia, what is going wrong."

2010-02-18 17:55:53: Kestrel hesitates at Marly's words, not wanting to leave. She teeters on the edge of refusal, then swears quietly to herself, and runs out.

2010-02-18 17:57:24: calliaphone is brought round a little by Marly's tone. She pulls herself together. "It's his ticker, Marly. Remember I said it was going all out of control? A mechanical infection, taking over. . ."

2010-02-18 17:59:17: calliaphone continues, "I got the component we built right here. I just thought it could wait - till we figured out how to correct the damage that's been done. But. . ."

2010-02-18 17:59:58: calliaphone says, quietly now, "We don't have that kinda time. I got to fit it now. And hope it's enough, I guess."

2010-02-18 18:00:00: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly nods slowly, still looking at it. "So it needs to be contained, not eradicated, right?" Not cancer, then, just a ruptured organ of sorts?

2010-02-18 18:00:40: Metallic g_rock 's eyes open again, the whites now a brassy hue, his irises appear to be. . .Turning? In time with the ticking. He jerks bolt upright on the gurney

2010-02-18 18:02:40: Kestrel returns to the group of people, and sets a tray on the ground, with shaking hands. She gestures slightly to far too many mugs of tea, and the small pile of sugar packets, then looks back to G.

2010-02-18 18:03:19: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly jerks back, eyeing him speculatively. "Awake?"

2010-02-18 18:04:36: calliaphone jumps back, alarmed, revving the power-drill. "Eeep. Awake. Is that goodorbad Idon'tknow."

2010-02-18 18:04:47: Metallic g_rock looks around. TWITCH "Morning, all, and what the fuck is everyone doing staring at me?" his look turns to a glare, eyes cold above a mirthless grin

2010-02-18 18:05:48: Kestrel starts, her right hand going to the hilt of her sword. She takes an involuntary step backwards, and leaves one of the others to answer.

2010-02-18 18:06:19: calliaphone swallows. "H-Hi, G. How you doin?" she eyes his manically ticking chest, and tries to calculate his strength.

2010-02-18 18:06:29: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly snorts. "Why wouldn't we?"

2010-02-18 18:08:13: Kestrel slowly takes her hand away from her katana, instead fishing a throwing star from the pouch at her right hip. She hides it in her hand, and remains silent.

2010-02-18 18:09:30: Metallic g_rock eyes the angry line across Callia's neck and chuckles "Didn't finish the job, eh? Oh well. Later." he turns to Marly "You're riiight-t-t-t, I am rather a fine specimen."

2010-02-18 18:11:59: calliaphone pales even further, but shakes her head. "Nuh-uh, G. Not finishing the job. You're sick, and we gotta fix you up. Make you better, yeah?"

2010-02-18 18:12:00: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly smiles disarmingly, all charm and admiration shining in her green eyes. "Yes, you certainly are. I wonder, would someone so gracious as yourself be so kind as to agree to a wager with me?"

2010-02-18 18:13:33: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly shoots a smile and a reassuring look at Callia, her mind working rapidly. Lack of time, wagers, what will he demand as penalty? Still, only chance. Contain, direct, slide, not fight.

2010-02-18 18:14:11: calliaphone looks askance at Marly. A game?

2010-02-18 18:14:39: Metallic g_rock grins back, cloyingly sweet, and flutters his eyelashes "For the opportunity to wipe that shit-eating, patronizing grin off your face? Baaaah-ring it on."

2010-02-18 18:16:15: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly 's smile is all politeness. "Wager, then. There's a trick I want to try, dear sir, and if I win you let me chance it on you. If you win. . .?"

2010-02-18 18:16:18: Metallic g_rock pulls out a deck of stainless steel cards, with a mocking wink at Kestrel

2010-02-18 18:17:34: Kestrel stiffens at the wink, but stays completely silent, not wanting to draw attention to herself. Despite Marly's non-violent approach, she keeps the shuriken in her hand.

2010-02-18 18:17:57: calliaphone looks from Marly to G like they've both gone completely off their rockers. A game? This isn't a time for playing. G needs surgery. Jeez, jokers.

2010-02-18 18:19:05: Metallic g_rock grins "I have some. . .unfinished business. . .with your clerk, Ebenezer. I win, I get a key to your warehouse, off the books."

2010-02-18 18:20:59: Kestrel keeps a careful eye on G's expression.

2010-02-18 18:22:44: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly says "Partner, not clerk, and I'll ask you to remember that. That's normally worth more than a trick, but for this one.. Yes." And if he means harm, he'll find her standing in his way every time.

2010-02-18 18:26:08: Metallic g_rock grins coldly and shuffles "One round, high card wins?"

2010-02-18 18:27:20: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly nods, pulling out her own deck and shuffling it once. "On your draw, sir."

2010-02-18 18:29:35: Metallic g_rock covers his eyes overdramatically with one hand, flipping out the top card one-handed with his other

2010-02-18 18:30:11: Metallic g_rock peeks through his fingers and scowls at the 5 of spades

2010-02-18 18:30:59: Kestrel stares at the cards, hoping, just hoping, that they might remember who gave them to him in the first place. She silently crosses her fingers, and stares some more.

2010-02-18 18:32:38: calliaphone grits her teeth. For a moment she looks like she might interrupt this Not Surgery. But in her hand, the model heart ticks steadily. And she holds her tongue. His right, his game.

2010-02-18 18:34:06: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly flips her card over. "Queen of spades. You're buried, my dear sir, by a lady. Submit?"

2010-02-18 18:35:02: Kestrel lets out a quiet breath, and rubs her forehead briefly, then looks back to G and Marly.

2010-02-18 18:38:49: Metallic g_rock snorts dirisively and starts to walk out of the tent "I think not. You can keep your hooves to yourse-" the island itself seems to spark improbably, and he trips on a gurney that wasn't there before, dropping all of his cards except a rule card

2010-02-18 18:41:04: Metallic g_rock glares at the rule card, which shows only a joker and a no exit sign

2010-02-18 18:42:09: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly reaches down to grab him by the collar, whispering viciously in his ear, "That is not very gentlemanly, you will submit or I will do worse than just a friendly new trick."

2010-02-18 18:43:57: Kestrel sends a slight smile to the cards, then a look of alarm crosses her face at Marly's actions. She hesitates, hand tightening on the throwing star.

2010-02-18 18:44:10: calliaphone gulps. But does not intervene. His right. Whichever way he plays it.

2010-02-18 18:44:54: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly catches Kestrel's movement at the corner of her eye, and puts out a finger in her direction. Wait. Calm.

2010-02-18 18:45:17: Metallic g_rock grumbles and stands, slapping her hand away petulantly. He doffs his hat and sets it atop his cane, which stands improbably straight on it's own. He drops a mock-gracious bow to Marly

2010-02-18 18:46:26: Kestrel nods slightly in response to Marly's gesture, but doesn't relax. She watches, and waits.

2010-02-18 18:47:21: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly straightens and gives him a gracious nod, gesturing him to the gurney again. "If you'd be so kind as to lie down, sir, my lovely assistant Callia and I will perform the trick of the century."

2010-02-18 18:48:12: calliaphone gapes. The what?

2010-02-18 18:49:23: Metallic g_rock sighs obnoxiously, twitches again, and lies back down on the gurney "What, you're going to saw me in half? Make me disappear?"

2010-02-18 18:50:02: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly mouths the heart at Callia and makes circular gestures.

2010-02-18 18:51:04: calliaphone blinks and stares at Marly. And then suddenly falls in. "Oh, the, yeah, the . . . THAT!"

2010-02-18 18:52:16: Kestrel doesn't let her guard down, and continues watching closely. Goodness only knows how he'll react when he realises what they're planning to do.

2010-02-18 18:52:33: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly snorts, stands over him, eyes looking for something. "Nothing so common, my dear sir. I'm just going to make you more." She finds it. A central spot, swollen, infected. She touches it.

2010-02-18 18:53:29: calliaphone collars Kestrel. "Here, I'm gonna need you. Hold this?" she hands her the model, and reaches for a diamond-cutter.

2010-02-18 18:55:07: Kestrel flinches with surprise, then accepts it, holding it carefully in her hands beside the throwing star. She listens to the steady ticking, then flicks her eyes back to G.

2010-02-18 18:56:20: calliaphone moves towards G, and says, "Try to relax, buddy, yeah? It might, uh. . .sting a little."

2010-02-18 18:57:19: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly looks apologetically at G. "I'm afraid this might. . . hurt." She leaves us both unsaid, closing her eyes. There is a green glow shining through her eyelids, intensifying.

2010-02-18 18:58:27: calliaphone applies the blade, in a circular-movement, to the glass panel in G's chest, holding the cut section with a little suction cup to stop it falling.

2010-02-18 18:59:05: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly listens to improbable noises, immersed in the workings, the spreading mechanical mess. Wires and cogs and wheels where muscles and organs should be. A polar nature to what should be.

2010-02-18 18:59:33: Metallic g_rock winces at the touch, then appears to realize "More what?!? MORE WHAT!?! I won't-t-t-t have youhavvveyou havvve to do it, do it now! I can. . .oh god, I can feel it in my. . .aaaaugh"

2010-02-18 19:00:49: Kestrel flinches again, this time at his voice. "G_rock, you're perfectly safe. You're among friends, and we're fixing you. Just don't worry, please."

2010-02-18 19:00:57: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly frowns, tilting her head, eyes shut tighter as she sees it. She murmurs softly in an unheard voice to the inorganic mass.

2010-02-18 19:01:31: calliaphone does not flinch. She sets down the cutter and the glass, and shines a pen-light around inside G's chest, getting oriented. She compares it to the model in Kestrel's hands, looking back-and-forth.

2010-02-18 19:02:01: Metallic g_rock convulses, his eyes far away, unfocused. Or rather, focused inward. He whispers, barely audible "I can. . .hold it. . .keep it fro. . .not long though. . . EEENNNGH"

2010-02-18 19:03:03: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly 's mental fingers poke and prod, coaxing at the parts. Best to start with vital organs, nervous system. Brain. She thinks of poetry and music, laughter and strange foods, giving it a world of color.

2010-02-18 19:03:28: calliaphone nods coolly to Kestrel. And produces a screwdriver, from behind her ear. A quick wipe with meths, and she's disengaging the compass-and-barometer from the model.

2010-02-18 19:06:06: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly gives him a living world. Don't worry, I can hold it for you. She pushes something in its nature, and smiles as she feels it give way.

2010-02-18 19:06:36: Metallic g_rock 's eyes meet marly's eyelids, as the paroxysms subside slightly, then his eyes flutter shut, a few tears slipping quietly down his cheeks. He breathes heavily, fists clenched.

2010-02-18 19:07:22: Kestrel holds the model as still as possible while Callia works, and continues watching G's expression, worry clear in her own.

2010-02-18 19:07:49: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly murmurs aloud, softly, "Yes. Brains are so much more than wheels. . ." That head holds the world. . .

2010-02-18 19:09:13: calliaphone turns back to G. Steady-handed, she reaches in through the opening. "Just hold still, yeh? And we'll . . . that's it." And she disconnects the balance wheel. G and the model both cease ticking.

2010-02-18 19:09:53: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly feels the change back to organic brain matter, and smiles softly, moving on to the next bit. Organs. "Callia, how's it coming?" She asks softly, calmly, eyes still closed.

2010-02-18 19:10:22: Metallic g_rock 's breathing slows. . .slows. . .his limbs relax. . .the twitching stops. . .

2010-02-18 19:11:37: calliaphone doesn't look up. Eyes on the job. Focus is all. "Nearly there. Just got to install. . ." she reaches back in with the home-made components.

2010-02-18 19:13:28: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly feels the ticking stop, tilts her head again, and moves her finger over a few inches. "Alright, keep moving. His central nervous system is converting itself back." How much time?

2010-02-18 19:14:49: calliaphone hovers with the screwdriver. Hesitates. But not for long. They don't have very long. She lowers the device into its proper place. Click. Click. And starts fastening it down.

2010-02-18 19:15:00: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly shakes the thought off. Enough time. She goes back to work, focusing on the internal organs. She listens to them, frowning. She stops whatever contamination is there.

2010-02-18 19:15:19: Metallic g_rock breathes still, shallow and slow, subsiding into a barely noticeable rise and fall of his chest, then to the merest hint of warmth emanating from his lips

2010-02-18 19:16:20: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly tells them about the first time she became human after so long as a bot, about the cup of tea she had. She lets the memory roll through her mind, sharing it, reminding them of functions forgotten.

2010-02-18 19:16:46: calliaphone turns the screwdriver. Precision, precision. No slipping, no dropping, no misalignment. There's no tolerances here.

2010-02-18 19:17:28: Kestrel watches from the sidelines, the shuriken now forgotten in her hand, the worry still in place on her features. She breathes quietly, and shallowly, so as not to disrupt people's thoughts.

2010-02-18 19:17:49: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly lets the change cascade. One thing changes, the others follow. She understands this much about the difference between bots and organics. If he were anything different, she'd be lost.

2010-02-18 19:19:14: Metallic g_rock 's cheeks are wet with joy, sadness, righteous anger, mercy, love, loss, and pain flowing freely

2010-02-18 19:19:52: calliaphone works from corner to corner, making all secure, all safe. And then, she lets out a tiny breath. "Ok." and reaches for the suspended balance-wheel.

2010-02-18 19:20:09: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly pauses when she gets to muscles, at the only memories coming to mind. How much of that should she share..? Well. A life for a part. Sharing makes us. . . Hmm. Not human, in her case. Sigh.

2010-02-18 19:21:00: calliaphone glances up at Marly, hand poised to re-start the heart. "Ready when you are." she says, softly.

2010-02-18 19:22:23: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly starts work on the muscles, then pauses, panicking for a moment. The bones! Organic muscle on artificial bone, would it just spread again? Harder to get to under all that flesh?

2010-02-18 19:23:57: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly calms herself, thinking. "Start it, Callia, it can only help," she murmurs. She hesitates for a moment, then sighs.

2010-02-18 19:24:03: calliaphone puts her free hand on Marly's arm. "Stay cool, woolly one." she whispers.

2010-02-18 19:25:46: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly 's mouth flits into a quick smile. "So much. . ." She loses herself again into negotiating with the mechanical parts.

2010-02-18 19:26:31: calliaphone nods. "Okay, fella. Time to wake y'up." and she re-engages the wheel with the gear-train. There's a whirr-click, as the wheel rotates, cogs mesh, and then . . . Tick Tick Tick Tick. . .

2010-02-18 19:28:17: calliaphone quickly withdraws her hand from the chest cavity, and reaches for the glass panel. "Marly, can you help me seal this into place?"

2010-02-18 19:28:44: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly tells the bones and muscles a story. A day at the beach, sun and wind and water. Sound and the joy of movement. There was a house, she remembers, with whitewashed walls.

2010-02-18 19:30:28: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly winces slightly at the memory of a broken bone, the swollen muscles and the heavy cast. She still considers it worth it, though, for that moment of fun, the joy of movement.

2010-02-18 19:30:31: Metallic g_rock GASSSPS, sucking air like a drowning man, the same way his body is drawing in life-giving. . .life. Beautiful, painful, awkward, joyous, seething, teeming as it is.

2010-02-18 19:32:38: calliaphone cusses softly. Looks like Marly's fully occupied. Gonna have to find another way. She glances round. "Kestrel. Blow-torch, in the pillowcase. Quick?"

2010-02-18 19:33:43: Kestrel starts at Callia's voice, then looks around to the pillowcase. She searches quickly, hands shaking even more now, and pulls out something that looks about right. She hands it wordlessly to Callia.

2010-02-18 19:35:00: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly listens as the nature of the mechanical muscles protests. They already move. But I would have you move with joy, with pain, with beauty. Move. Live. Slowly, change. She smiles, feeling it spread.

2010-02-18 19:35:04: calliaphone lights the torch, and lowers the glass into position. "Man, I'm sorry, G. I'd rather you'd still been out for this." and she applies the flame to the incision line.

2010-02-18 19:37:29: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly 's fingers wind a spider-trail across the skin, towards the heart. Organs are naturally contained-hearts are hearts, not spread all over, but still spreading.. something. The glow in her eyes shines.

2010-02-18 19:37:32: Metallic g_rock nods to Callia, head barely moving, tears in his eyes. But not tears of pain.

2010-02-18 19:38:49: Kestrel flinches as she watches, pausing to wipe her eyes dry again.

2010-02-18 19:39:21: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly draws her fingers back sharply, opening her eyes again. Done. She leans back, her eyes fading. She looks at G, wondering just how aware he is. Right, well.

2010-02-18 19:40:00: calliaphone plays the flame over the glass, and watches as it glows, then glows, then glows. Surfaces soften and meld together, and the gap is sealed.

2010-02-18 19:41:12: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly drifts over to Kestrel. "My bit is done." She glances at Callia. "It's all right." She walks towards the tent entrance, uncomfortable with staying any longer.

2010-02-18 19:42:28: Metallic g_rock 's eyes track Marly as she goes, not really seeing, or seeing but not registering

2010-02-18 19:42:28: Kestrel looks up at Marly, and nods. "Thank you. I'm sure he'll appreciate it, once he's. . . recovered."

2010-02-18 19:44:51: Belligerent Sheepgirl Marly mms, softly, neutrally, and lifts the tent flap, going out and letting it drop behind her. She takes a deep breath. Air. Drink. Yes, a drink. Perfect. . . She heads south.

2010-02-18 19:44:58: calliaphone extinguishes the torch, and watches Marly leave, wordless. Then she looks at G. And, sotto voce, asks him, "You back with us, yeh?"

2010-02-18 19:51:06: Metallic g_rock hears Callia, his eyes tracking back to her. Then, he registers what she said. A short while later, he nods, then opens his mouth to speak, emitting a dry croak

2010-02-18 19:52:09: Kestrel winces at the sound, then looks to the long forgotten tray of drinks. She picks up a mug of plain water, and looks uncertainly to G. "Do you need a drink, or. . .?"

2010-02-18 19:53:15: calliaphone puts down the torch. And waits, empty-handed. It's either truly yes, he's back. in which case, no need for a weapon. Or no. In which case, what use would it be anyway?

2010-02-18 19:53:20: Metallic g_rock looks at Kes, and he raises a finger to point at the tea on the tray

2010-02-18 19:56:22: Kestrel smiles slightly, and swaps the water for a mug of tea. She holds it out to him, a little hesitatntly. "Are you strong enough to take it?"

2010-02-18 19:56:34: Metallic g_rock slowly works himself into a sitting position. Not the 'slow' of Bernard after a night of drinking. 'Slow', like a mastodon dragging itself free from a tarpit

2010-02-18 19:57:14: Metallic g_rock nods once upright and reaches for the cup gingerly

2010-02-18 19:57:21: calliaphone raises an eyebrow. Tea? That's . . . promising.

2010-02-18 19:58:04: Kestrel hands him the mug, then takes a step backwards, and bows. "Right. I've got to go now."

2010-02-18 19:58:57: Kestrel nods once. "If you need me when I'm back, then I'll probably be in the Grounds. If you don't, then I hope that you feel better soon." She smiles to them both, then leaves the tent.

2010-02-18 19:59:17: calliaphone puts a hand on Kestrel's arm. "You did great. Thanks for sticking around when things got. . ." she leaves it there.

2010-02-18 20:00:49: Metallic g_rock inhales the scent of the tea, licking dry, cracked lips. He gets to his feet like a child learning to walk, acknowledging Kes with a grateful glance and setting the mug aside

2010-02-18 20:01:21: calliaphone backs up a bit, to give G space. That's it.

2010-02-18 20:04:31: Metallic g_rock holds his hands in front of his face like he's never seen them before, flexing and opening them. He reaches them out to show Callia, a slow, warm smile spreading across his lips

2010-02-18 20:06:35: calliaphone looks at the hands, and then the smile. And slowly, the tension starts to ease out of her. "Hands, huh? Who'd have thought?" she steadies herself on a chairback.

2010-02-18 20:06:37: Metallic g_rock 's smile spreads to his eyes, back to a soft blue, with a green corona around the irises. He mouths the words 'All Mine'

2010-02-18 20:10:35: Metallic g_rock walks around the tent a little, bending and testing his knees, steady but unsure. He puts his hat on, and picks up his cane, apparently still marvelling at his hands working

2010-02-18 20:12:18: calliaphone watches him. His own man again? Looks that way, but maybe only time will tell.

2010-02-18 20:14:13: calliaphone starts to gather up her tools into their pillowcase. And the silent model heart.

2010-02-18 20:14:52: Metallic g_rock turns to grin again at Callia. His eyes fall on her neck, and his grin avalanches off his face. His eyes well up again, flash green, and there's a PAMPH, and a taste of copper in the air. G's gone.

2010-02-18 20:15:56: calliaphone stands still, blinking from the flash. And then, slowly, wearily, she stumbles out of the tent, into the town square.

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