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Breaking Point

"Wind may chase the smoke away,
Wind may fan the fire.
A help, a hurt, but through the pain
The bonds are woven tighter."

~ Merlin, Island bard.

The Buildup.

The Old Vineyard, Ace High

[04/23 02:25pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen tucks the bottles gratefully into his satchel. This will be very useful. "Thanks again, Lelila. Hi Jade."
[04/23 02:25pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen smirks. That sounds like Jade, all right.
[04/23 02:26pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV 's chin shoot upwards a bit, a thought occuring to her. She shifts her weight to one leg, a hip jutting out a bit. "Lila, Gor owes me combat training under hunt conditions. Do you think KK. . ."
[04/23 02:27pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV catches Gorbert's smirk from the corner of her eye. Her head tilts towards him. "Hello, Gor. And what is that smirk for?" She has a small smile on her lips.
[04/23 02:27pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen was thinking the same thing. But. . . "What did he mean by 'hunt conditions'?"
[04/23 02:28pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen turns to Jade. "Just thinking about Zolotisty's depiction of a llama."
[04/23 02:30pm] The Lady Lelila nods. "I'm sure KK would be more than happy to teach you. Though. . . if you recal his lessons with Z. . ." She laughs.
[04/23 02:30pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV 's eyes gleam with excitement. A chase, swift and deadly. "I think I know what he means by it. Gor, if you don't mind, maybe KK can just show me himself. I've always wanted to see his technique."
[04/23 02:31pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods slowly. He had something else in mind for combat training, but he doesn't know anything about these so-called hunt conditions. "I suppose that would be fine."
[04/23 02:32pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is more than a little concerned, though, about KK's technique. He's seen some of Victoria's technique, and can think of only one word to describe it: brutal.
[04/23 02:33pm] The Lady Lelila claps. "Oh! And Jade, I do believe you're to teach me to knife fight, yes? So I can. . . er. . . pass along the skill to Gorbert?" She laughs.
[04/23 02:33pm] The Lady Lelila catches Gorbert's expression, and raises a brow. "He won't hurt her, you know."
[04/23 02:35pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen doesn't know. He never knows around that one.

Improbable Central

[04/26 07:25pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen bows cordially to Lelila. "Thank you for the lessons, milady. Now," he mutters, "on to other matters."
[04/26 07:26pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks at KK. "Lelila's gone now, so shall we get on with this?"
[04/26 07:27pm] Sessine digests this information. Hrm. Lifelines. Worth knowing about. Then he bends his head over the needles and applies himself diligently to the assigned homework.
[04/26 07:27pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria chuckles quietly. "Hold on." And rushes off towards NewHome for a tick.
[04/26 07:28pm] The Soloist Zolotisty leans to slip her fingers beneath the hedgehog's belly - so soft - and nods at Jade as she slips the yo-yo back into her pocket. "Thank-you."
[04/26 07:29pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen raises an eyebrow at KK's departure. His expression is determined and cold.
[04/26 07:30pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria wanders back in, unarmed. "Alright." He says simply.
[04/26 07:31pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen cracks his neck, sets aside his hat and unslings his riot hammer. He's possibly forgetting other preparations, but just assume they took place.
[04/26 07:32pm] Sessine looks at Gorbert. He's pretty much indestructible these days, and KK knows that, so Sessine isn't sure what KK's up to. Not something predictable, most like.
[04/26 07:32pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria gestures to the fields. "After you." He says simply.
[04/26 07:34pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen may be indestructible, but can still be maimed and crippled in the brief time between the injury and the healing process.
[04/26 07:34pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV smiles back at Z. "Thanks for letting me hold him for a bit."
[04/26 07:36pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus takes the interloper's place-HIS place-in Jade's lap, looking a little huffy.
[04/26 07:37pm] Sessine doesn't think KK is planning to maim or cripple. More likely he has a lesson he wants to impart, in his own inimitable fashion. A lesson that's likely to be beneficial in the long term.
[04/26 07:38pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV suddenly finds her lap filled with bristling purple quills. She laughs and turns Titus around to kiss him on his head. "Oh will you stop, you big baby." She pats him gently.
[04/26 07:38pm] The Soloist Zolotisty cocks her head. "Oh, you can hold him whenever you like." Anyone can. No skin off Z's nose. She makes her way off the roof, hedgehog firmly in hand. Perhaps it is worth two in the scarf?
[04/26 07:39pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus huffs. It is not at all his fault that he was so badly spoiled.
[04/26 07:43pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks in, looking quite pleased with himself. The surprise riot hammer to the head was a little painful, but if there wasn't a fight it wouldn't be fun.
[04/26 07:44pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV shakes her head, noting the rather smug look on KK's.
[04/26 07:45pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria takes out a bit of tobacco from his pipe, lighting it. His knuckles are covered in quite a bit of blood.
[04/26 07:46pm] Sessine says, "Ah. Just recreation, then, KK? Should have known."
[04/26 07:47pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shakes his head. "Nope." He shrugs. "Lesson clear: Not that close to Lelila."
[04/26 07:47pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen limps in, leaning on his riot hammer. He is clearly a mess. He doesn't think it was necessary for the message system to remind him that the fight lasted all of 2 seconds.
[04/26 07:48pm] Sessine says mildly, "I was closer."
[04/26 07:48pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen spits out a fair sized mass of semi-congealed black blood and sits, leaning against a house. He can feel the damage being repaired, but there's a lot to fix.
[04/26 07:49pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen thinks darkly, No. The lesson is that KK Victoria will hold a grudge over anything and will have his revenge, whether or not his target actually did anything.
[04/26 07:49pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Sessine, eyes wide. "Don't talk about Forum!" He hisses quietly, looking up at the sky.
[04/26 07:50pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria thinks that Gorbert learned the lesson well then. . . Since his target did actually do something. It's probably also true if the target didn't actually do anything, but this wasn't the case. [04/26 07:52pm] The Soloist Zolotisty wonders what a forum is.
[04/26 07:52pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen would mention that he is not Baron Samedi and he was not dancing with Lelila, but thinks the point would be lost on KK. He feebly puts his hat back on and slumps against the wall.
[04/26 07:52pm] Sessine wasn't. He was, in point of fact, referring to the recent knitting lesson.
[04/26 07:53pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus hops out of Jade's lap upon seeing Gorbert. He quickly descends to ground level and bolts quickly to Gorbert's side.
[04/26 07:53pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shakes his head, blinking like he just had deja-vu or something. He looks up to the sky, shushing the person at the keyboard.
[04/26 07:53pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen , when he's well enough, raises an arm and signals KK over.
[04/26 07:54pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shrugs. He wasn't actually there for most of the lesson. He was off trying to find more things to use to absorb bullets for the wall in his cavern. . .
[04/26 07:54pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria walks over to Gorbert, leaning down to better hear.
[04/26 07:56pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks up at KK, face blank. He whispers so that only Victoria can hear him: "Much as I'd like to get revenge for this, I don't particularly want to start a blood feud."
[04/26 07:57pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "So here's the deal. Train Jade well. Make sure she gets the full benefit of your regimen. But. . .""
[04/26 07:58pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's voice drops to a growl. "If anything happens to her, I will hold you responsible and I /will/ hurt you. Clear?"
[04/26 07:59pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen doesn't seem very threatening lying semi-shattered on the ground, and he clearly isn't a match for KK. But he will keep his word.
[04/26 08:00pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stiffens. His fist clenches, and it looks like he's about to pound Gorbert in the face again. He bites back his venom. "I would never let anything happen." He says, low. "I swear on word."
[04/26 08:00pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's ears twist. She sniffs, stows the hedgehog in her scarf. Had a hankerchief around here somewhere.. ..ah, no. The itch to sneeze is gone.
[04/26 08:02pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stiffens and walks off. He's understandably bothered that Gorbert would imply that KK would hurt her or let anything happen.
[04/26 08:02pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods sharply. "All right. Then this is settled." He holds out his hand to shake.
[04/26 08:02pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen lets his hand fall as KK turns and leaves. Feh.
[04/26 08:03pm] Sessine nods. KK's word is ironclad. Jade is safe.
[04/26 08:06pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen holds his hand out. "Sessine, do you think you could help me into my house? This is taking longer than I would have thought."
[04/26 08:07pm] Sessine says, "You two. If you could just stop snarling at each other, you could be pretty good friends. You weren't ever after Lelila, and he'd never dream of hurting Jade."
[04/26 08:09pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV hears Sessine's words pretty clearly. "This had something to do with some misplaced notion that I'd get hurt?"
[04/26 08:09pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen grunts. "I know that. But he's planning on using live ammo and grenades and such during the training. Accidents happen. I'm making sure they don't."
[04/26 08:10pm] Sessine helps Gorbert up, and to his cottage.
[04/26 08:10pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen doesn't think now is the appropriate time to talk to Jade. He pretends to have missed her question.
[04/26 08:11pm] Sessine says to Jade as he leaves, "People worry, you know? Sometimes for no good reason, except that they care."
[04/26 08:11pm] The Soloist Zolotisty turns to look up at Jade. Mn.
[04/26 08:12pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nudges Sessine and shakes his head. Not helping.
[04/26 08:12pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is apparently already in his cottage, but he /would/ have nudged Sessine were he there.
[04/26 08:13pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV stands on Petra's roof and crosses her arms, saying quite loudly through clenched teeth. "I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself without someone having to look out for me."
[04/26 08:14pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus snuffles after Gorbert, evidently upset by his current condition.
[04/26 08:15pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen actually probably would have done more than just nudge Sessine.
[04/26 08:15pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV is quite sure that with her volume, even people in their cottage could hear her.
[04/26 08:19pm] The Soloist Zolotisty can't fix this with a hedgehog or lesson in Improbability or a request to find two dozen useless objects. She watches for a moment. Sometimes, Z figures, people just need their space.
[04/26 08:19pm] The Soloist Zolotisty touches her hat and heads off.
[04/26 08:25pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV bounds off the roof. Maybe a long swim in the pool is just what she needs to work off all this frustration. Her long legs eat up ground towards her house.

The Repository, Improbable Central

[04/26 08:14pm] Sessine comes in with a rather badly beaten up Gorbert, and helps him to his bed. "Well, that was stupid. Understandable, but stupid."
[04/26 08:17pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen grunts. "Stupid? Probably. Do you know why I consented, though?"
[04/26 08:18pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus follows them in, his spines stiffened and enhanced. He looks quite upset by this series of events, and Jade's shout didn't help.
[04/26 08:18pm] Sessine says, "To let him get it out of his system?"
[04/26 08:19pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen snorts. "Hell no. It's not my problem that he's been holding a grudge for two months over something that wasn't my doing."
[04/26 08:21pm] Sessine considers Gorbert. "Then why?"
[04/26 08:21pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen waits for Sessine to respond before giving a shrug. "I did it so he would train Jade."
[04/26 08:24pm] Sessine says, "Well, yes. Of course. But then why are you being such a mother hen about it? KK would never hurt Jade, and he knows what he's doing. If he's in charge, she won't get hurt."
[04/26 08:27pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks taken aback. "If you know why I agreed to fight him, why did you say it was stupid? And I don't share your confidence in him, but that's beside the point."
[04/26 08:30pm] Sessine says, "That wasn't what I thought was stupid. Stupid is suggesting to KK that he would ever allow Jade to be hurt."
[04/26 08:32pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen shrugs, irritated. "I don't really care." He doesn't have any more to say than that.
[04/26 08:33pm] Sessine says, "If you don't share my confidence in him, that's your ignorance at work. I know him a great deal better than you. I was his clan leader since he began here. I faced the wind with him."
[04/26 08:36pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen grunts. "I see him as dangerous and unpredictable. He doesn't care who gets hurt while he's having fun. What if newbies had died today when he was having his grand battle with his statue?"
[04/26 08:37pm] Sessine says, "You need to understand this: KK is honorable to his core. His word is utterly reliable. He is appallingly fond of violence, but when he says he will do a thing, he does it."
[04/26 08:39pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "That's all I needed from him. And I got it."
[04/26 08:40pm] Sessine says, "No newbies did die, did they? You were riddled with bullets because you stood out there pretty much begging to be shot up - and so you were obliged."
[04/26 08:42pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen waves a hand. "I'm not talking about me. I don't blame him for my injuries. But tell me: did no newbies die because he was exceptionally careful about where and how he fought his battle. . ."
[04/26 08:42pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, ". . .or because we cleared the streets beforehand?"
[04/26 08:44pm] Sessine says, "KK has a very rigid code of honor. There are certain people on this Island that he would never harm. Jade is one of them. He respects her. Respects her, I might add, more than you do."
[04/26 08:46pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's voice goes quiet and calm. "I would appreciate it if you didn't tell me how to treat my friends. And if you didn't speak to them on my behalf!"
[04/26 08:49pm] Sessine says, "Yes, that was a mistake. I could have bitten my tongue, but it was already said. But. . . unless you change the way you treat her, she'd have figured it out pretty soon, anyway."
[04/26 08:51pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "Figured out what? That I fought KK so he would train her? No, because of you she thinks I fought KK for her protection. Now she has another reason to want to murder me in my sleep."
[04/26 08:56pm] Sessine looks rueful. "Yes, well, maybe I can persuade her to murder me in my sleep, instead. Or put itching powder in my sheets. But the point is, you were trying to protect her. Not by fighting."
[04/26 08:57pm] Sessine says, "But by making that threat to KK. That was - stupid."
[04/26 08:59pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "He'll get over it. Just like I'll get over this."
[04/26 09:07pm] Sessine says, "Tch. First, no, KK doesn't 'get over' things. Not in his nature. Ever. And he doesn't respond to threats with capitulation. Ever."
[04/26 09:08pm] Sessine says, "He gave you his word because it was already a fixed fact in his universe that Jade would be safe."
[04/26 09:41pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen listens. There are shouts and cheers outside.
[04/26 09:42pm] Sessine says, "I'll try to mend fences with Jade, I'm sorry about that. But you, my friend, have some serious thinking to do. I'll leave you to it." He nods, and goes out.

Improbable Central

[04/27 12:38am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen sets aside his small project with a sigh. He approaches the Count. "Sessine," he says with a nod.
[04/27 12:40am] Sessine isn't going anywhere. He's comfortable. Possibly lazy, too. For some reason, today has been his day to hang out here in this square, pretty much all day long. Might as well end it that way.
[04/27 12:41am] Sessine smiles. "Gorbert, I'm sorry. I was out of line today."
[04/27 12:45am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gives a small smile. "It's okay. I was pretty hostile, too. I think choosing a different time for that discussion would have produced better results. Like any time after I had recovered."
[04/27 12:47am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen rubs the back of his head. "You may have been a bit harsh, but you were right about a lot of what you said, and I needed to hear it."
[04/27 12:53am] Sessine nods. "And I get too. . . I don't have the right word. Too.. About KK. He's dangerous, I know that. But we're all dangerous here, in our own ways. He's someone to wonder at, and learn. And trust."
[04/27 12:54am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen provides, "Defensive?"
[04/27 12:57am] Sessine says, "Not because he's tame. Because he's wild, and it's that honor of his that lets any of us deal with him. The only way to be safe with him is to trust him. That's what Jade knows, and Zolo."

The Darjeeling

[04/27 12:26am] The Lady Lelila pushes open the door, tiredly. Things felt strange tonight. She rolls her shoulders with a sigh.
[04/27 12:30am] The Lady Lelila pads into the kitchen, sets the kettle to boil on the stove. Glances at her wine rack - damn, left the extra bottles in the outpost. Oh, well.
[04/27 12:32am] The Lady Lelila startles herself with the whistle of the kettle. Hm. . . Lady Gray, tonight. Little milk and sugar. Indeed.
[04/27 12:37am] The Soloist Zolotisty pads along shortly with the forgotten bottles. She shoulders through the gate, along the walk and up the steps to cautiously peer in. She listens. Mh. Yes, she's still awake. "Lelila?"
[04/27 12:38am] The Lady Lelila smiles at the sound of the familiar voice. "Come on in, darling. Oh! My wine." She laughs. "Yes, I'd just realized I left them. Thank you."
[04/27 12:40am] The Soloist Zolotisty leaves them on the counter before she notices the wine rack. Ah, well. She doesn't know how Lelila has them organized. "Of course." Better to keep them for another night. Z wheels lazily. Right.
[04/27 12:40am] The Lady Lelila takes a few of the bottles from Z, bringing them to the kitchen and easing them into the rack. She nods at the stove. "Kettle's hot, if you'd like. Tea's in the cabinet on the right, there."
[04/27 12:41am] The Soloist Zolotisty pauses. ..tea.
[04/27 12:42am] The Lady Lelila grins, pulling open the cabinet to show off her moderately impressive collection of loose-leaf. "Well. Can't drink wine all the time."
[04/27 12:45am] The Soloist Zolotisty goes to admire the selection. "I suppose not." Z's quiet once they've settled with their respective cups - on the edge of one of the counters, heel drumming absent against a cabinet.
[04/27 12:47am] The Lady Lelila sips at her tea, then frowns. "Did something happen with Gorbert? He seemed. . ." she gestures vaguely at her head. "Tense. . . .-er. Than usual. Worse than when Jade slugged him, the other day."
[04/27 12:49am] The Soloist Zolotisty tacs the side of her cup as she studies the contents of her cup. Tic-tac-tac-tac. Tk-ita-tac. "Yes," she says eventually. "You'll know that KK's going to give Jade lessons?" 'Hunt' conditions.
[04/27 12:51am] The Lady Lelila wrinkes her nose. "Yes, and I know Gorbert's none to pleased about it. Which I don't understand a jot. We were talking about it, at the Vineyard. I told him, KK would never let anything happen."
[04/27 12:52am] The Soloist Zolotisty wets her lips. "Ah, well."
[04/27 12:53am] The Lady Lelila narrows her eyes slightly. ". . .Why, what about it?"
[04/27 12:54am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "It wasn't mine to hear - he said it so soft - but after KK dragged him off into the fields, Gorbert promised he'd, mm, bring things right if Jade is injured in the course of this hunt."
[04/27 12:55am] The Lady Lelila blinks, as several things collide in her mind. "Wait." She blinks again. "Wait. What do you mean, dragged him off into the fields?"
[04/27 12:59am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Hmn? Oh. I think it was about the party - the going-away party for Sessine in SPOON hall a while ago."
[04/27 01:02am] The Lady Lelila stares. ". . .WHAT?" she snaps, far louder than she intended. "He. . . what. . ." She wrinkles her nose, shaking her head. Words. "What did KK do to him?"
[04/27 01:02am] The Soloist Zolotisty lays her ears back quick.
[04/27 01:03am] The Lady Lelila winces. "Sorry."
[04/27 01:04am] The Soloist Zolotisty looks reluctant. She makes a loose fist.
[04/27 01:05am] The Lady Lelila stares again. "He. . . beat him? How badly?"
[04/27 01:07am] The Soloist Zolotisty 's ears are still flat. She sets aside her tea, then says, "It's fortunate that Gorbert seems a very good healer these days."
[04/27 01:11am] The Lady Lelila sets her jaw, the muscles in her cheek flinch. She sets down her teacup harder than necessary. "Because of that damned dance. . ."
[04/27 01:12am] The Lady Lelila huffs, trying to compose herself. Then remembers the other thing tugging at her brain. "Now, hold on. Gorbert. . . threatened KK? Gorbert. Threatened Kai K Victoria. With violence."
[04/27 01:13am] The Soloist Zolotisty wasn't there for the dance. She cocks her head a little - that's what it was about? ..Gorbert danced with.. who, Lelila? As the Baron Samedi. Hn. Yes, well. "Aye, he did. On Jade's account."
[04/27 01:16am] The Lady Lelila thumps a fist on the counter. "How dare he! How dare he assume Kai would let. . . what does he think he is, some sort of beast!?" Hairline pause. "He would never, never allow anything to happen."
[04/27 01:17am] The Soloist Zolotisty smiles thinly. "I know that. Gorbert, it would seem, does not." It is something he'll have to learn on his own. No - Z was bothered by Gorbert's action for another reason entirely.
[04/27 01:17am] The Lady Lelila gestures harder as her anger grows. "How could he possibly think that Kai wouldn't be in complete control of the situation?!"
[04/27 01:18am] The Lady Lelila catches Z's expression. "What?"
[04/27 01:20am] The Soloist Zolotisty murmurs, "Or that I would allow any one of my clan to step into a situation that's beyond their experience." She glances up, an eyebrow cocked. "Gorbert's hastening to defend her when.. mn."
[04/27 01:21am] The Lady Lelila nods. ". . .She hardly needs it."
[04/27 01:21am] The Lady Lelila sighs, rubbing her hands with the heel of her palms. "Oh, what a mess."
[04/27 01:22am] The Soloist Zolotisty can't decide between a nod and a shrug and so she does nothing. She might need it, sometimes, but this is not a time. Jade learns best, Z figures, when she's making her own mistakes.
[04/27 01:22am] The Lady Lelila halts. "Wait, was Jade there? What did she say?"
[04/27 01:26am] The Soloist Zolotisty rolls her shoulders. "Mn, let me -" She clears her throat and shifts to a different register. "I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself - or something like that." Z understands.
[04/27 01:27am] The Lady Lelila leans forward on the counter, exhaling through her teeth. "What a mess, indeed."
[04/27 01:28am] The Soloist Zolotisty taps her heel against the cabinet again. Not that the hunt is a mistake, she thinks. No. Just.. if someone says they don't want defending, it's better to let them climb and be there to catch.
[04/27 01:29am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Anyway, it'll come right."
[04/27 01:30am] The Lady Lelila sighs shortly, thinks about KK, and just as quickly pushes the thought from her mind. "Indeed. Eventually."
[04/27 01:31am] The Soloist Zolotisty casts Lelila a look. She measures her. "With that, anyway. What of you?"
[04/27 01:31am] The Lady Lelila rubs at the back of her neck. "Well. . . thank you for returning my wine."
[04/27 01:32am] The Lady Lelila hesitates. "Of me? How do you mean?"
[04/27 01:33am] The Soloist Zolotisty watches.
[04/27 01:34am] The Soloist Zolotisty shakes her head, slipping from the countertop. If it becomes a refrain, she'll inquire again. "Nevermind. It's not important now. Thank you for the tea."
[04/27 01:35am] The Lady Lelila hesitates once more, before forcing a smile across her lips. "Of course, darling. Anytime. And thank you for. . . filling me in."
[04/27 01:39am] The Soloist Zolotisty willfully keeps herself from fixing Lelila with another look. "Of course." She catches the other woman in a brief hug. "Let me know if you need an ear. I'm fair good at listening."
[04/27 01:39am] The Soloist Zolotisty flashes a smile and heads out.
[04/27 01:40am] The Lady Lelila smiles truly this time, as she returns the embrace. "Alright, love. I will. Have a good night."
[04/27 01:45am] The Lady Lelila takes the teacups to the sink, slowly setting them in the basin. She thoughtfully lifts one of the cups, studying it. . . before turning swiftly and throwing it as hard as she can across the room.
[04/27 01:46am] The Lady Lelila does not feel her anger abate as she watches the delicate cup shatter on impact with the opposite wall.
[04/27 01:49am] The Lady Lelila closes her eyes, hands balling into fists at her sides. No. Not tonight. She can feel herself slipping into that dangerous place, where she can't retrieve herself. Control.
[04/27 01:50am] The Lady Lelila breathes in, exhales slowly through her teeth. Releases her hands - little crescent-moon indents line her palms, from her fingernails.
[04/27 01:51am] The Lady Lelila stalks across the room to the stairs, resisting the urge to launch the victrola out the window, and stomps up the stairs. Bedroom door closes behind her with a click.

The Breaking Point.

Improbable Central

[04/27 09:07pm] The Lady Lelila nods at Z, shrugs at Calynx, and her gaze falls on KK. She flicks away the stub of her cigarette as she pushes up from leaning against the pole.
[04/27 09:09pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen doesn't know why Lelila is annoyed at him. Perhaps he gives off some kind of brain wave that makes people turn against him at random intervals.
[04/27 09:09pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods in general response and takes another bite of apple. Ah. So that is a refrain.
[04/27 09:09pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen . . .it would certainly explain a lot.
[04/27 09:10pm] Narrator Kuroiten exhales in Giuseppe's direction, and a thin line of smoke wafts its way towards him.
[04/27 09:11pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria turns around, breathing out a column of smoke.
[04/27 09:11pm] The Lady Lelila catches Gorbert's look, and promptly ignores it. She can deal with that one later.
[04/27 09:11pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "Jokers can get very annoying. Can't seem to stop making everything go crazy."
[04/27 09:11pm] Linnean Artist Calynx was about to put her arm around her friend, but she decides to leave her be. She turns back towards the sketchbook and drawing materials she left by the hydrangea, filled now with wedding plans.
[04/27 09:11pm] The Lady Lelila halts a few paces away from KK, arms crossed over her chest. "Why did you fight Gorbert?" she offers by way of greeting.
[04/27 09:12pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV glares at the newbie.
[04/27 09:12pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo breathes in the sweet smoke that has been drifting his way from Kuro's cigarette. It's delicious and oh-so-cancery!
[04/27 09:13pm] Hermein shushes Giuseppe. "That may be so, but they can also make everything into avocados. "
[04/27 09:13pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria responds in the same tone. "I wanted to." He offers, by way of response.
[04/27 09:14pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "I hate avocados! I once nearly choked on a pit."
[04/27 09:14pm] The Lady Lelila narrows her gaze. "Don't lie to me."
[04/27 09:14pm] Narrator Kuroiten grins widely at the Newbie. "Worse, not just a Joker. Narrator, also." He lets Giuseppe ponder that as he leans to listen to Lelila and Gorbert's discussion.
[04/27 09:15pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen approaches Jade. "Do you still want to talk?"
[04/27 09:15pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo tends to be easily confused. "Damn my short attention span!"
[04/27 09:16pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV nods. "I'll meet you there."
[04/27 09:16pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says to Jade, "It doesn't need acknowledgment." It's been her experience that people who act like dipshits get ignored. Crunch, chewchew.
[04/27 09:16pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's mouth quirks. "Don't tell me I lie." He says quietly. "I wanted to." He repeats.
[04/27 09:17pm] Narrator Kuroiten chuckles at Giuseppe's naivete, and holds up his hands to reveal that he is not smoking. He even pulls up the sleeve on his right arm to reveal a lack of trickery.
[04/27 09:17pm] The Lady Lelila speaks in a controlled, even tone. "Why did you want to?"
[04/27 09:19pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin arrives quietly, having mastered the art of landing silently from a catapult fling. He watches the goings on from afar, his tail twitching slightly now and then.
[04/27 09:20pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns, looking around and seeing a gathering. He breathes out a gust of smoke and then heads for the Locals. Not in the square.
[04/27 09:21pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus huffs. Lying by omission is still lying.
[04/27 09:22pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria glares at the Hedgehog. He can stay out of this, as can Gorbert, and as can everyone else.
[04/27 09:22pm] The Lady Lelila plants her feet firmly.
[04/27 09:23pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus can't exactly glare back, as he doesn't have the facial structure required. But his spines slowly stiffen and grow.
[04/27 09:23pm] Petty Officer Stanlygirl raises her head, blinks, checks on Titus, and begins to groom her left elbow.
[04/27 09:24pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin pads silently over to Lelila. "Is. . ..something wrong?" He asks nerviously.
[04/27 09:25pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo has always hated magicians, and Kuro is a cheeky magician. But this does not diminish his respect for the, er, "man."
[04/27 09:25pm] The Lady Lelila raises her chin. "You did not answer my question."
[04/27 09:25pm] Petty Officer Stanlygirl thinks she'll head off to the Spiderkitty. Those stiffening spines are starting to become uncomfortable.
[04/27 09:25pm] Narrator Kuroiten whispers quietly to Drake, "Best if we stay out. Private affair."
[04/27 09:25pm] Linnean Artist Calynx peeps out from behind her bush with a loud PSSST noise aimed at Drake. She urgently waves him towards her. She mouths "Not now." to him.
[04/27 09:26pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks back at Lelila. "Not here." He says quietly. His eyes flash red, smoke drifts more from his mouth.
[04/27 09:28pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin doesn't say anything but instead silently backs away with his hands held in a "my bad" posture until he's ten feet back. Then he moves over to Calynx in the bush.
[04/27 09:29pm] The Lady Lelila sets her shoulders, nods in the direction of the dwellings. "If you go up to the Compound, I am not going to follow you."
[04/27 09:29pm] Petty Officer Stanlygirl thinks, "and so is the atmosphere." She doesn't want to get caught in the storm. She does want another four or five (0r six or so) hours sleep, as she's only had twelve hours sleep yet today.
[04/27 09:29pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus angrily chews on the bench, splintering the wood.
[04/27 09:30pm] Petty Officer Stanlygirl uncurls and wanders off queitly.
[04/27 09:31pm] The Soloist Zolotisty finishes her apple, settles the very small hedgehog in her scarf, and goes to catch up Titus. She retreats to a polite distance from the Victorias.
[04/27 09:31pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria growls lowly. "I wanted to fight." He admits. "And I wanted to fight him."
[04/27 09:32pm] The Lady Lelila says, in a soft and measured voice, "Why. Did you want. To fight him."
[04/27 09:32pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus squirms in Zolotisty's arms. He saw the condition of Gorbert last night.
[04/27 09:33pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin continues to watch silently next to Calynx, and though he says nothing, he starts to catch the mood and it shows. His tail is stiff and the hair on the back of his neck starts to rise. ". . ..."
[04/27 09:34pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria closes his eyes for a moment. "I was annoyed."
[04/27 09:34pm] Narrator Kuroiten inhales, holding the air in for a moment before exhaling. He doesn't want to leave, in case something needing some attention happens. . .but he has a feeling he should be Elsewhere.
[04/27 09:35pm] The Soloist Zolotisty tightens her hold on Titus in sharp warning to settle.
[04/27 09:36pm] Linnean Artist Calynx tugs Drake by the arm and quietly goes over a monologue of the flowering habits of various hydrangeas. She gives him a Look, asking him to play along.
[04/27 09:36pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus clicks his teeth but stops moving.
[04/27 09:37pm] The Lady Lelila curls her hands into tight fists, thrusting them downward. The head of the statue across the square spontaneously combusts. "Why?"
[04/27 09:38pm] Narrator Kuroiten decides a nice soothing trip to Neverwhen's Echo will help, and strolls out of sight.
[04/27 09:38pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin looks back to Calynx though his ears twitch rather hard. He feigns intrest in her sketchbook.
[04/27 09:38pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus thinks Dragon Wing will be disappointed at the vandalism of his first ever statue.
[04/27 09:39pm] The Houdini Hedgehog Titus decides to go with Kuroiten and writhes free of Z's arms. He trots after the Narrator.
[04/27 09:41pm] Linnean Artist Calynx loops her arm around Drake's and chatters animatedly to him while he looks at her sketchbook. She slowly steers them towards clan hall where there is tea, coffee, sake and cookies.
[04/27 09:42pm] The Soloist Zolotisty watches a butterfly flit across the square. It's convenient that it's headed for the SPOON hall, but.. goodness, that butterfly chose a bad time to wander through the square with this combustion.
[04/27 09:43pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin follows her. . .well, is lead really and tries to calm himself though his tail is still stiff enough to be used as a bottle brush.
[04/27 09:44pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria pauses for a moment, taking a deep breath. He's trying to organize thoughts in his head, but the immediate temperature is rising up into the hundred sixties and seventies.
[04/27 09:48pm] The Lady Lelila on the other hand can feel her blood running cold. She closes the distance between them with a few long strides, and jabs a finger into his chest. "Did you fight him because he danced with me?"
[04/27 09:51pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's eyes snap open, they're boiling with anger. His voice comes out with fire woven through. "I don't like being looked down on." He growls. "I try. . . I try so fucking hard!"
[04/27 09:52pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's eyes have snapped wide, clouding over red. "I'm not a beast! Not an animal! It's not my fault!" He roars, looking around the square. He's losing it.
[04/27 09:53pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria suddenly rears on the people gathered in the square. "You try. You try living like this. Blood of sixty three men, women, kids. I WAS EIGHT!" He yells. "I WAS FUCKING EIGHT!"
[04/27 09:54pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's breathing is heavy, fire rages off his skin. "Every night, knotches on bed. We competed. See who had most." He turns to Lelila. "I always won!"
[04/27 09:56pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is about the only one left at this point who knows KK, aside from Lelila. Other contestants are quickly surging away; Z remains still - her posture is loose, easy - and she listens.
[04/27 09:56pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's eye is marred by a drop of water, which evaporates to steam. "You try. . . Try living like animal. Try being human after. . ." KK glares at Lelila. "Fucking happy?" He aks. "Answer?"
[04/27 09:56pm] Narrator Kuroiten appears to have re-emerged right on time. That is, if Lelila can't calm him. Though KK is a much more. . .intimidating presence than the Narrator, he has an ace or two up his sleeve.
[04/27 09:57pm] The Soloist Zolotisty will physically intercede if Kuroiten makes a move toward KK.
[04/27 09:57pm] The Lady Lelila pales, all traces of anger gone from her face. Clearly she had misjudged what was going on here. Thinks of those gathered in the square. She cautiously reaches out."I know, love,"she says softly.
[04/27 09:58pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's head cocks to Kuroiten. "Who the Fuck?" He growls. He can tell from the stance. If he tries anything, KK WILL Kill him without a second thought.
[04/27 10:00pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria whirls around to Lelila. Despite his denials, he looks much like a cornered dog. "Don't touch me." He says quietly. "Don't touch me. . ." He repeats. Fire begins to spread as he backs off.
[04/27 10:00pm] The Lady Lelila steels herself, takes a step closer to KK. Her words are very gentle."I know, love. I know."
[04/27 10:00pm] Narrator Kuroiten eyes Z, glancing at Lelila soon after to draw Z's eyes that way. "If," he mutters with a small smile. "Big if."
[04/27 10:00pm] Clockwork Beetle Marley burrows partway into the ground to keep from being thrown off somewhere, and watches.
[04/27 10:01pm] The Lady Lelila halts.
[04/27 10:01pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria backs further away, until he's impeded by a lamp post. He almost looks like he's about to lash out.
[04/27 10:02pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin winces slightly. After Calynx had drawn him away, he silently returned, having perched on the lamp post so he could drop between the two if need be, not to fight but to be act as a barrier.
[04/27 10:03pm] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't look at Kuroiten. A muscle in her jaw tics with repressed warning - leave him be.
[04/27 10:03pm] The Lady Lelila does not, however, lower her hand. She does not break her gaze from him, does not show a single hint of fear.
[04/27 10:03pm] Narrator Kuroiten hurriedly ensnares Steely in a cage of his fingers as the furble attempts to go over to KK. "Not good idea, buddy," he whispers to the icy furble.
[04/27 10:04pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria suddenly grabs the lamppost, ripping it from the ground and slamming it down over the Kittymorph perched on it. "GET THE FUCK AWAY!" He roars, suddenly snapping. He turns to a sprint, suddenly
[04/27 10:05pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria explodes into a column of fire, rocketing off, scorching earth, the Jungle, everything in his way.
[04/27 10:05pm] Narrator Kuroiten sighs. Misinterpreted signals seem to be his language of choice tonight. Slowly, cautiously, so as to not alarm anyone, he makes his way to the jungle.
[04/27 10:06pm] Linnean Artist Calynx runs out of the hall having heard the harsh sound of metal. She sees Drake sprawled on the ground. "Drake!" She hovers over him, worriedly.
[04/27 10:06pm] The Soloist Zolotisty breathes out harshly. Alandre - tell Sessine.
[04/27 10:06pm] The Lady Lelila does not flinch as the lamp post imacts the ground, does not move as the rage of fire tears from the square. Her hand is still raised.
[04/27 10:06pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin lets out a yelp. Only his quick reflexs save him from a potentialy fatal injury though his tail doesn't escape the lamp post. He skips back, holding his tail but doesn't go for any weapons.
[04/27 10:07pm] Narrator Kuroiten is a bit late to avoid the alarming, it seems.
[04/27 10:07pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin holds up a hand. "I'm ok, I'm ok!"
[04/27 10:07pm] The Lady Lelila holds for a moment longer, before her knees give out under her.
[04/27 10:07pm] Linnean Artist Calynx stand up, sighing with relief. "Oh thank goodness."
[04/27 10:08pm] The Soloist Zolotisty takes in another breath, loping to clear the distance between herself and Lelila. She slows a few feet away, stops, crouches. Doesn't touch.
[04/27 10:11pm] Linnean Artist Calynx turns to see Lelila crumple. She kneels next to her, manipulating a cool rush of air towards her face. She looks helplessly at Zolotisty.
[04/27 10:12pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin carefully cradles his injuried tail, some of the bones broken. He won't be fighting for a few days, but that suits him fine. He glances over at Lelia aplogeticly but stays there. He's done enough.
[04/27 10:13pm] The Lady Lelila sits up, very slowly. She is very pale. Quietly, she looks at Z, looks at Calynx.
[04/27 10:13pm] Narrator Kuroiten examines the scorched earth. "Fire has awakened," he states quietly before going into the jungle, giving the burnt segments a wide berth.
[04/27 10:15pm] Linnean Artist Calynx squeezes Lelila's hand and pats it a few times. "Oh dear, would you like me to get something for you? Anything at all?" She doesn't like the paleness about her.
[04/27 10:15pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin whispers softly. "I'm sorry Lelia. . ." Had he not been on that lamp post then things might have gone differently. He withdraws quietly so as not to cause anymore trouble.
[04/27 10:17pm] The Soloist Zolotisty rocks back on her heels. The cobblestones are still pounding with heat. There's not much to say for this. 'Are you alright'? Of course she isn't. 'It'll work out'? Eventually.
[04/27 10:18pm] The Lady Lelila is trembling softly, but she shakes her head. She feels something on her cheek, reaches to brush it off. . . water. Odd. She doesn't feel like she's crying.
[04/27 10:19pm] Linnean Artist Calynx puts her arm around Lelila, rubbing her arm and making soothing noises. She hands her a white handkerchief.
[04/27 10:19pm] The Lady Lelila exhales suddenly, lurching forward. "My fault. . ." she says weakly. "I. . . I shouldn't've. . ."
[04/27 10:22pm] The Soloist Zolotisty reaches to squeeze Lelila's shoulder. Her voice is hardly above a murmur. "Leave it, darlin', shhsh." Discord from AceHigh. "It's not your fault. Calynx - watch her."
[04/27 10:23pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is gone.
[04/27 10:26pm] The Lady Lelila pulls her knees close, her frame wracked by a quiet sob. She was not afraid, by his shouting and his violence and his fire. She is afraid by his absence.
[04/27 10:28pm] Linnean Artist Calynx carefully hauls Lelila up to her feet, keeping a firm grasp around her still shaking frame. "Darling girl, we are going to get you to your house and I will take care of you."They walk off.
[04/27 10:29pm] The Lady Lelila allows herself to be led, silently. Her movements are slow and robotic.

The Caverns, Ace High

[04/27 10:14pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria breaks in through the cavern, landing on burned feet. He's naked, clothed in fire. His explosion erupts once more, filling the entire cavern and blowing out every one of his personal possessions.
[04/27 10:15pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria didn't care what. His guns, his metals, his clothes. Even one of his two pictures of Lelila was gone up in flames. Frame, memories, and all.

Fire continues to erupt occasionally from a gaping hole in the side of AceHigh's cliffs. KK's caverns are mostly destroyed.

The floor is littered in ash and half-burned everything. KK purged the entire place. All his favorites, everything, has been destroyed.

Ace High

[04/27 10:13pm] The caverns in the cliffs of AceHigh explode outwards in a massive jet of fire. Pages of books, tattered cloths, all burning, rain down upon AceHigh.
[04/27 10:25pm] The Soloist Zolotisty straightens as she steps into the main square. She lifts her head to observe a scrap of flaming cardboard flutter and twist and turn to ash. Larger fallen chunks are still burning.
[04/27 10:28pm] Midget Tor The Wanderer looks up at the raining debris, and sticks his head down a convenient Manhole. A coversation of muffled yelling ensues, but eventually, a crew of Midgets in yellow FireSuits emerge with a Hose.
[04/27 10:29pm] The Soloist Zolotisty picks her way through what's quickly becoming a thin blanket of ash - some snow this is. A corner catches her attention. She crouches to pull a curled scrap of photograph free.
[04/27 10:30pm] The Soloist Zolotisty hisses low through her teeth. She shakes it sharply to stop what's left from smouldering. It gets tucked into a breast pocket. She straightens as the fire squad lollop through.
[04/27 10:30pm] Midget Tor The Wanderer squeaks out a few orders, and the FireMidgets set about dousing the larger chunks of fiery debris with sudsy water, preventing any structural fires bedore they can start.
[04/27 10:31pm] Midget Tor The Wanderer looks at Z, and manages a solemn nod, in between directions to the FireMidgets.
[04/27 10:31pm] The Soloist Zolotisty turns over a ruined rifle with her foot - the end of the barrel has melted such that the weapon is totally unusable. ..She recognizes that. She used that. Two, three days ago.
[04/27 10:38pm] The Soloist Zolotisty swipes her hand across her mouth and judges the square. Pitted holes filled with remelted bullets, ash everywhere, water and smoke and cinder. Z inhales shakily.
[04/27 10:39pm] The Soloist Zolotisty murmurs to herself, "Boom."
[04/27 10:41pm] Midget Tor The Wanderer snorts and mutters, "Dat's in da runnin fer unnerstatement ub da year. . .."
[04/27 10:54pm] The Soloist Zolotisty purses her lips.
[04/27 10:59pm] The Soloist Zolotisty leaves after giving the high cliffs - spewing black smoke, all of them - a long look. She'll be loping those hills tonight, she knows.

The Darjeeling

[04/27 10:33pm] Linnean Artist Calynx opens the door silently, holding it open and ushering Lelila carefully through it. She doesn't like that blank look on her face. Together they slowly move towards the couch to sit.
[04/27 10:34pm] The Lady Lelila leans back, spine stiffened. She stares dully into the fire in the hearth. Her face is motionless, but a tear rolls slowly over her cheekbone.
[04/27 10:36pm] Linnean Artist Calynx pats Lelila's hand consolingly a few times. She whispers, "I'll be right back." before bustling into the kitchen intent on making tea. Somehow, she changes her mind and brings back brandy.
[04/27 10:37pm] Linnean Artist Calynx hands Lelila a generously filled glass and sits back down again with her own. "Drink that. It will help."
[04/27 10:39pm] The Lady Lelila stares at the glass in her hand, doesn't know how it got there. She blinks, sniffs quietly. Again, a little louder. Her face's mask breaks, and a loud sob escapes her.
[04/27 10:41pm] Linnean Artist Calynx rubs her back in soothing circles. "There, there, let it all out."
[04/27 10:45pm] The Lady Lelila hunches over, tears coming full-force now. Her hands tremble, and the brandy in the glass dances. "M-my. . . my fault," she attempts to state between frame-wracking sobs.
[04/27 10:51pm] Linnean Artist Calynx moves her arm over Lelila's back, catching her up in a from squeeze. "No. That is definitely not your fault. There are too many things going on that I heard underneath Kai's voice. Not you."
[04/27 10:57pm] The Lady Lelila buries her face into Calynx's shoulder, but she nods dully. Cries quietly for a few minutes. "The look on his face," she whispers.
[04/27 10:58pm] The Lady Lelila has a thought. A thought that had not crossed her mind previously. It feels as though someone has just ripped a hole through her. ". . .What. . . What if he doesn't come back?"
[04/27 10:59pm] The Lady Lelila trembles a little harder, feels something akin to panic scorch through her mind. "What if he doesn't come back?!"
[04/27 11:01pm] The Soloist Zolotisty steps onto the front walk. She's clean of soot, she was careful about that, but there's little to be done for the acrid tang of smoke. She's back here against her better judgment.
[04/27 11:01pm] Linnean Artist Calynx hugs her tightly, her voice steady. "It's Kai, Lelila. It's Kai. He loves you so very much. He will come back. I'm sure of it. Let him let out this rage, this anger for now. He will come back."
[04/27 11:02pm] The Soloist Zolotisty moves quickly inside. She doesn't need to question the open air politely to play at determining where they are.
[04/27 11:07pm] Linnean Artist Calynx looks over Lelila's shoulder at Zolotisty, glad for the other woman's appearance just now.
[04/27 11:09pm] The Soloist Zolotisty joins them. She doesn't sit - in fact, she has to remind herself to keep from ranging around the room, picking things up, putting them down again. She stays still.
[04/27 11:14pm] The Lady Lelila tries to let Calynx's words absorb. He. . . he will come back. Won't he? She glances up at Z, unable to ignore the familiar scent of smoke and brimstone. "What happened?" she asks softly.
[04/27 11:16pm] The Soloist Zolotisty hesitates. She won't lie. She came here because she would want to know in Lelila's position. She meets the other woman's gaze, and says, softly, "He's ruined the Caverns. Destroyed them."
[04/27 11:17pm] Linnean Artist Calynx inhales sharply at the news. She finds herself taking a sip of brandy herself before easing away from Lelila to fetch another glass of brandy for Zolotisty.
[04/27 11:18pm] The Lady Lelila stares, horror-struck. Destroyed. . . destroyed. "But. . . but that's his. . ." Her voice trails off. "He. . . why would he. . ."
[04/27 11:18pm] Linnean Artist Calynx returns shortly and places yet another generous pouring of brandy on the coffeetable, closest to where Zolotisty is standing.
[04/27 11:18pm] The Lady Lelila sets her jaw, stares back into the fireplace. ". . .He's not coming back," she says, softly. Firmly.
[04/27 11:21pm] The Soloist Zolotisty will not mention the explosion of mangled, charred possessions across AceHigh - nor will she mention the half-ruined slippet of a photograph tucked in her jacket. Z inhales.
[04/27 11:22pm] Linnean Artist Calynx resumes her seat next to Lelila and clasps her hand tightly. "No, do not say that. Of course he'll be back." She looks up at Zolotisty again, trying to read her.
[04/27 11:22pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "I disagree." She leans to pick up the brandy with a grateful look at Calynx.
[04/27 11:26pm] The Lady Lelila shakes her head. "But why else would he destroy his nest, if he weren't leaving?" A particularly hard tremor.
[04/27 11:29pm] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't linger with the drink. She knocks back half of it and crouches before Lelila, sharp-eyed. "Nests can be rebuilt. It's not a beastly thing to do, to destroy own's own possessions."
[04/27 11:30pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "If the impulse is to lash out at something - then that, that makes the most sense to me for him to turn on. I can hear him here, Lelila." A cacophony. "He hasn't left."
[04/27 11:32pm] Linnean Artist Calynx nods gratefully to Zolotisty. These are just the words Lelila needs to hear to help her through this.
[04/27 11:34pm] The Lady Lelila rubs her eyes, nods. Tries to believe the words she is listening to. A sigh, that ends in a small hiccough. Her words are very, very soft. "He hates it, you know. Hates. . . himself. Sometimes."
[04/27 11:37pm] The Lady Lelila shakes her head, leaning back into the couch, pulling her knees to her chest. "I am afraid," she says, even softer still.
[04/27 11:37pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is silent. She swallows the rest of her glass and rolls a droplet around the bottom before straightening. "I trust him implicitly," she says softly. "He's good on his word. What he said tonight.."
[04/27 11:39pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "I believe that, to my core. He's not a brute. If he were, yes. He would leave. He would be gone." Even he he remained physically on the Island.. gone.
[04/27 11:41pm] The Soloist Zolotisty sets the glass on the table. "So there are a few of us. There are a few of us and we believe, and he believes -" will come to believe again, Z thinks is more likely "- and it will have to do."
[04/27 11:42pm] Linnean Artist Calynx pushes back some of Lelila's curls that have fallen forward. She continues to stroke her hair in soothing motions. "She's right, you know. He would never leave you. It's not in him."
[04/27 11:42pm] The Soloist Zolotisty touches Lelila's knee lightly. "Trust. Please try."
[04/27 11:43pm] The Lady Lelila holds - Z's words ring very true. She nods, slowly first, then a touch more confidently. "Yes. He is not a brute. He is not an uncontrollable animal."
[04/27 11:44pm] The Lady Lelila blinks, and her eyes flash for a moment. There are some on this island who believe otherwise, though.
[04/27 11:49pm] Linnean Artist Calynx rubs her back a few more times as she sips slowly on her brandy. "I shall stay with you tonight, dear. You needn't be alone at a time like this."
[04/27 11:51pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, quietly, "I might stay in the Compound if I were you. Some place that's more clearly his than this. It would be.. a gesture. And Lelila.. find the dogs before they go looking for him."
[04/27 11:51pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Or I will." She shakes her head. Stupid. She should've offered that from the beginning. "Don't mind it, I'll find them."
[04/27 11:54pm] Linnean Artist Calynx nods enthusiastically. "Of course, Zolotisty has just the right idea. Stay there tonight should he decide to return to speak with you."
[04/27 11:54pm] The Lady Lelila nods a small nod. The Compound. She is afraid. . . but Z is right.
[04/27 11:56pm] The Lady Lelila picks herself up, slowly, unsteadily. "I. . . I'll take care of the dogs. It's okay. Most likely they're at the Compound, anyway."
[04/27 11:58pm] The Soloist Zolotisty leans to embrace Lelila and then Calynx. "I'll bring the dogs along later." They'll not want to stay in DICE hall. "And you'll be first to know if I hear anything, mn?"
[04/27 11:58pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods. "If they're not though."
[04/27 11:59pm] Linnean Artist Calynx smiles as she hugs Zolotisty tightly. "Thank you."
[04/28 12:03am] The Lady Lelila returns Z's embrace, clinging to her for a moment before letting go. ". . .Thank you, love. I. . ." she faulters, purses her lips. "Both of you. Thank you."
[04/28 12:04am] The Soloist Zolotisty pauses as she goes to leave. "And I'll pass word along to Hermein and hajen." She studies them. "It'll come right," she says softly and goes out.
[04/28 12:08am] Linnean Artist Calynx watches the taller woman leave before turning back to Lelila. "Well now, let's get you to the Compound. I insist on getting you there myself." She links her arm through Lelila's.
[04/28 12:09am] The Lady Lelila nods, making a slow path toward the door. Her glass of brandy sits untouched on the table.

The Caverns

[04/28 12:25am] The Soloist Zolotisty would be distantly visible from the mouth of the cavern if anyone were watching. So would two dark blobs, one of them somewhat smaller than the other.
[04/28 12:26am] The Soloist Zolotisty caught Faust and Brand a quarter of the way up the cliffs. They are hysterical and want nothing to do with her. Singed fur and burnt pawpads - something like what Z's in.
[04/28 12:28am] The Soloist Zolotisty manages to keep hold of them both long enough to disappear.

The Compound, Improbable Central

[04/28 12:37am] The Lady Lelila slowly traces her way up the path. The lot is dark, quiet. . . the workers have all gone home for the night, hours ago. She pushes open the heavy front door, casts a glance around the empty hall.
[04/28 12:46am] The Lady Lelila starts as a sudden and loud growling sound emerges from the lawn behind her. She whips around, to see that a very disgruntled Z and two far more disgruntled german shepherds had just appeared.
[04/28 12:49am] The Lady Lelila gasps. Brand has gotten ahold of Z's arm, her wrist locked firmly between his jaws, her sleeve in tatters. "Brand! Faust!" she snaps commandingly. They both freeze, before bounding over to her.
[04/28 12:51am] The Lady Lelila ignores them, as they sit at full attention in front of her. She pushes past them, toward Z. "Darling, are you alright?" Worry evident in her tone. Is that blood? Difficult to tell, in this light.
[04/28 12:58am] The Lady Lelila frowns, as Z nods hurriedly. "Mn, I'm fine. They were trying to get to the Caverns." She gives Lelila a brief, concerned look, reaching out to touch her arm before she disappears.
[04/28 01:04am] The Lady Lelila watches the spot where she was, for a moment, before turning back to the dogs. "Oh, darlings. . ." she says softly, kneeling down on the grass, holding her arms open. They pad over to her.
[04/28 01:06am] The Lady Lelila embraces them, wrapping her arms around their necks, leaning her face into Faust's singed fur. Her eyes prick, but there is nothing left within her. She can feel the dogs' apprehension.
[04/28 01:07am] The Lady Lelila kisses both of them on the muzzle, ignoring the soot smudging across her face. "He'll come back, darlings. Surely he'll come back for us," she whispers to them.
[04/28 01:10am] The Lady Lelila stands, stiffly. She is tired. No. . . she is weary. The dogs follow her closely as she enters the manor, slowly makes her way to her sewing room, and then her knitting room within.
[04/28 01:11am] The Lady Lelila makes her way to the fireplace as the dogs patrol the room, eventually settling into guard position by the door. Jaeger is asleep on the rug in front of the hearth. She sits on the floor, next to him.
[04/28 01:14am] The Lady Lelila absentmindedly strokes the sleeping puppy, watching the flames dance in the fireplace, watches the way the embers burn and pop. Thinks of a burst of fire, fleeing the square.
[04/28 01:16am] The Lady Lelila feels her eyes prick, feels her lashes wet. ". . .I know you're not a monster," she whispers softly to the fire. "I know you're not an animal."
[04/28 01:19am] The Lady Lelila shakes her head. "I. . . I need you, Kai."
[04/28 01:21am] The Lady Lelila winces, as a voice in her head pleads, "Don't touch me." Pain sears through her chest, hot and burning, and she gasps. Recalls his expression, as he backed away from her.
[04/28 01:23am] The Lady Lelila releases a sob, curling over onto the rug, pulling Jaeger close to her. The puppy squirms slightly, makes a small whining noise before nuzzling into her chest.
[04/28 01:24am] The Lady Lelila lays there, watching the flames dance and twist around themselves. The first, dusty glows of dawn are breaking by the time she drifts into an uneasy sleep.

Gryph's Workshop, CC404

[04/28 12:30am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen smiles broadly at how things worked out. He would laugh at this little twist of fate if he didn't think it would break the mood.
[04/28 12:40am] The Soloist Zolotisty is about to. It's far from her intention - she is chiefly concerned with making sure all of her clan is accounted for and physically safe. She makes her way fast down the sidestreet.
[04/28 12:41am] The Soloist Zolotisty didn't expect to find them in Gryph's old workshop. She has to lean close to the door to rap with her knuckles - oughtn't let go of her arm - and shoulders into the threshold.
[04/28 12:42am] The music ends. Gorbert twirls Jade one last time and bows to her.
[04/28 12:42am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen starts and looks at the door. He hurries to it and opens it to find Zolotisty.
[04/28 12:43am] The Soloist Zolotisty breathes out. Good. Alright. That's them, and that makes about everyone. For her part, Z is soot-blacked - burnt feet, jacket off and crumpled around her left arm.
[04/28 12:43am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV turns around suddenly as Gorbert rushes towards Z. She's instantly alert. "What's wrong Z, what happened?"
[04/28 12:44am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV notes the black soot marks on Z. Her face tightens to grim lines. Not good at all. She crosses the room to stand by the other two, waiting.
[04/28 12:45am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks. . .concerned doesn't do it justice. He swears softly. "Are you alright?"
[04/28 12:46am] The Soloist Zolotisty looks tired. "KK reacted very poorly to that disagreement in the capital. It's more than that, though - mn.. frustration with circumstance, I suppose. I don't know. I'm sorry to interrupt."
[04/28 12:47am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen resoundingly says, "No, no come in. You're hurt. What happened? What did he do?"
[04/28 12:47am] The Soloist Zolotisty twitches a shrug. "I'll be fine. I was getting KK's dogs, the big one has stauncher loyalties to KK than he does to me." Sharp eyeteeth can lay someone's arm open to the bone in an instant.
[04/28 12:48am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV 's voice is expressionless. "No trouble at all there. What I want to know is why you're holding your arm like that." The way she's cradling it hasn't escaped her notice.
[04/28 12:50am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says firmly, "What. Happened."
[04/28 12:52am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, just as firm, "He. Reacted. Lelila pressed him about that dance, he took it as condemnation. People fashion him a brute and think he doesn't notice." A dry look. "He does."
[04/28 12:54am] The Soloist Zolotisty hasn't moved from the threshold. "I'd like it if you both stayed shy of AceHigh for a while."
[04/28 12:54am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's eyes narrow. "They react to his actions."
[04/28 12:54am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Or at least minimize your time there."
[04/28 12:55am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods curtly. "I don't have any reason to go."
[04/28 12:55am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV lets them talk as she carefully examines Z's arm, ignoring the look that Z gives her. She calmly starts ripping the clean blanket to size, folding it into a useful bandage to soak up blood.
[04/28 12:55am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen hesitates, then asks, "How dangerous is he to his friends?"
[04/28 12:56am] The Soloist Zolotisty lays her ears back. Her voice slides fast into a lower register, her characteristic rasp picking up to a growl. "Gorbert, you were not there. For this, I need you to listen to me and bide."
[04/28 12:56am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV walks back towards Z and very gently strips away the mangled cloth on her sleeve and wraps the makeshift bandage around it, pressing her other hand over it to hold it there. She hears everything.
[04/28 12:57am] The Soloist Zolotisty stares. "He made no move toward me or Lelila; I would trust him with my life. I respect your feelings for him but for this, hold your tongue. Bide."
[04/28 01:00am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen holds her gaze for a few more seconds then nods. "As you wish."
[04/28 01:01am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV finishes trying strips of cloth around the bulk of the padding. The crude bandage should hold for now until Z gets someone to look at the extent of the damage.
[04/28 01:02am] The Soloist Zolotisty has endured the makeshift ministration without a wince or a snarl, though the muscles of her back are drawn together so tight, now, that they might lock there. She breathes out, nods at him.
[04/28 01:02am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, gentler, "Thank you."
[04/28 01:03am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen resoundingly says, "Is there anything I can do to help? You or him."
[04/28 01:05am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV nods at Z then goes back to her pose of watching, her body tense, a muscle working in her jaw.
[04/28 01:05am] The Soloist Zolotisty wets her mouth and swallows. She has ash in her mouth. A nod to Jade, then, "For now? Stay from AceHigh, guard your opinions. Maybe reconsider. That would help. Otherwise.."
[04/28 01:08am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods slowly. "As you wish," he repeats.
[04/28 01:08am] The Soloist Zolotisty trails off. She shrugs. "I'll manage myself. You might spend a while in clan hall. This doesn't need to stop the workings of the Island. Better if it doesn't - it'll keep all of us calmer."
[04/28 01:09am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV 's voice comes out softly, but clearly. "No trouble there from me."
[04/28 01:10am] The Soloist Zolotisty smiles a little.
[04/28 01:11am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV touches Z lightly on the shoulder. "Have you arm looked at, alright? It looks bad under there."
[04/28 01:13am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen resoundingly says, "But why did Faust attack you?"
[04/28 01:13am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, mildly, "It's high on my agenda." Mostly, Z's grateful that she managed to haul the dogs into the Compound when Lelila was in a position to call them off immedately. A pause.
[04/28 01:14am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "It might have been the smaller one, I don't know. But.." She studies him. "They love him. They'd die for him. I caught them before they could get to him, that made me an obstacle."
[04/28 01:16am] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't fault whichever shepherd it was. Big one, little one. She doesn't know now. Best to get the rest of this done before she's too light-headed. "I'm glad you're both safe."
[04/28 01:16am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen slumps against the door frame. "What are we going to do?"
[04/28 01:17am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV starts towards the door. "Need help looking for the others?"
[04/28 01:17am] The Soloist Zolotisty nods again to Jade - gratitude for the temporary bandages - and is gone.
[04/28 01:19am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen resoundingly says, "I think we were the last. Or close to last."
[04/28 01:19am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV shakes her head. Z is determined to do this on her own. She turns back towards Gorbert. "Do as she says. It's for the best."
[04/28 01:21am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen nods. He guesses that's all they can do.
[04/28 01:23am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen sags and drops to the floor. He holds his head in his hands and is silent. After a while, "I don't know what to think anymore."
[04/28 01:23am] Enigmatic Jade XXIV rubs the back of her neck. Her hand brushes against the chain around it. She looks up suddenly, a thought occuring to her. "I have to go." Her booted feet echo as she runs out of the shack.
[04/28 01:25am] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is left alone with his dark and painful thoughts. He stays for a while before getting up and trudging out.

The Search.

Ace High

[04/28 02:20am] Sessine paces back and forth in the town square. He knows where KK is, now. His shape is not far from here, sleeping - or brooding, and who could blame him for that? He has to go there, be there.
[04/28 02:27am] Sessine doesn't know what he's going to say. Maybe just be there, maybe that'll be enough. Everyone's rallying around Lelila, and that's right and good, but KK's the one who's bleeding.
[04/28 02:33am] Sessine looks up at the cliffs, at the black smoke. That's a hurt from long ago. He knows what he'd like to do to the family that does such things to its children.
[04/28 02:41am] Sessine is not a vengeful person. But he was horrified from the start by the horrendous abuse that KK had endured - that he just took for granted when he got here.
[04/28 02:45am] Blade Dancer Theo knows exactly what he would do as well. . . very unTheo-like things to be certain
[04/28 02:56am] Blade Dancer Theo has heard everything, and is not happy. . . his sister is upset and crying.. Lelia seemed. . . almost devastated. . . and ther is noone to take it out on because he cant even blame KK
[04/28 02:56am] Sessine thinks. . . In spite of that, he's rock-solid in his honor, his loyalties, his word. As a comrade, he is absolutely trustworthy - Sessine would trust him with his life. Has done. Will do again.

Ace High

[04/28 09:43am] Sessine comes back down out of the hills, looking determined. He found KK, but then lost him again. He won't stop until KK knows he has a friend.
[04/28 12:56pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's footprints occasionally cross Sessine's in the hills, in the subtle dips where ash mounds thick. A long night for both of them but far, far longer for KK.
[04/28 04:28pm] Sessine can occasionally be glimpsed amongst distant trees, to and fro, crossing rockslides, searching for traces.

The Caverns

[04/28 12:48pm] The Soloist Zolotisty kept a sort of guard last night, awake and moving at a rangy pace through the hills - zigzagging, crossing the terrain below the cliffs. Watchful. Listening.
[04/28 12:49pm] The Soloist Zolotisty crossed paths with Sessine once or twice. They share a purpose.
[04/28 12:51pm] The Soloist Zolotisty gives the high vantage of the caverns a long look. They're still flagging black smoke. She'll be back later. Off at a lope, quiet and centered in herself.


[04/28 01:11pm] The Soloist Zolotisty ranges into clan hall. She's moving, has been moving, with more purpose than is her habit - still fluid, still fast, but now as if perpetually fixed on a goal below the horizon.
[04/28 01:12pm] The Soloist Zolotisty has left her hat somewhere, likewise her jacket. Her sleeves are rolled to the elbows, and the bandages on her left arm are clean and professionally done.
[04/28 01:13pm] The Soloist Zolotisty makes her way down to the kitchen. She has a rucksack with her - standard Network-issue, the sort most contestants carry - to find a flask for water and bundle food.
[04/28 01:22pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV runs back into the hall swiftly, boots clomping on the wooden floors. She looks around and spots Z. "How's the arm?" Direct, to the point, no preamble.
[04/28 01:25pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is back upstairs by the time Jade comes in, rucksack slung over one shoulder. She brushes it from her hip. "It's fine." Stitches, sure, but it's a walking wound and isn't an inconvenience.
[04/28 01:26pm] The Soloist Zolotisty mostly considers it testament to the devotion of KK's dogs. "Tell you what, though. Would you mind watching the hedgehog for me?"
[04/28 01:27pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen enters the hall quietly and sees them. "Any luck finding him?"
[04/28 01:27pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV blinks a few times. "Uh, sure? I'm not used to watching over such a tiny thing, but I'll do my best."
[04/28 01:28pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV nods absently at Gorbert as she contemplates what would be required to care for such a helpless, tiny thing.
[04/28 01:29pm] The Soloist Zolotisty shrugs as Gorbert comes in. "He can, if you don't want to." She glances at him, shrugs. "He's in AceHigh." Sessine knows it as well as she does. "I haven't seen him since last night."
[04/28 01:29pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen can certainly help in that area.
[04/28 01:31pm] The Soloist Zolotisty studies the both of them. "Relax," she says, balancing briefly on one foot to rub at her leg. "This won't do to have people walking around on bits of broken glass. Relax."
[04/28 01:31pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV thinks back to the tiny little hedgehog perched on her knee. She says softly, "I don't mind."
[04/28 01:32pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen looks down. Hard to relax when he has a not-very-subtle feeling that he is largely responsible for this.
[04/28 01:34pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods at Jade. Z unshoulders her pack and disappears before it's hit the floor. She's back a few long moments later with the hedgehog, nuzzled drowsily in Z's scarf. "Here."
[04/28 01:35pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV cradles the hedgehog wrapped in Z's scarf awkwardly in both palms. Her expression softens as she sees the little being move around a bit in its sleepy state.
[04/28 01:36pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, wryly, "It has a certain predilection for tubes."
[04/28 01:37pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV glances at Z, slightly puzzled. "Tubes? Okay, I have tubes somewhere. Bits of pipe."
[04/28 01:39pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen gently strokes the baby hedgehog's head, entranced by tiny creature.
[04/28 01:40pm] The Soloist Zolotisty shakes her head. "Lighter than that. Though I imagine it likes them because it's trying to fit inside." Z looks pensive for a moment. "Mn. Yes, well." She ruffles her hair.
[04/28 01:45pm] The Soloist Zolotisty leans to catch up her rucksack.
[04/28 01:45pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV takes the baby in one palm while she carefully winds Z's scarf around her neck. She's seen Z do this, so she ought to try. Once she tugs in it a bit to loosen the scarf, she tucks him in.
[04/28 01:49pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen leans back on a couch to take a short nap. "Wake me if you need any help with the hedgehog," he mutters.
[04/28 01:49pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "How are you, both?"
[04/28 01:49pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV freezes as she waits for the baby hedgehog's reaction. It seems to accept its new location and falls asleep. She relaxes and james both of her hands in her pockets. "I'll find nicer tubes."
[04/28 01:51pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV shrugs. "I'm fine. Worried about Lila though. I haven't seen her yet. Wouldn't know what to say if I did."
[04/28 02:03pm] The Soloist Zolotisty rubs her eyes. "Mn. Last I knew, Calynx was with her - and that's good, she needs that. If you see her, remind her it's impossible to be alone here." She crooks a faint smile. Robots or no..
[04/28 02:03pm] The Soloist Zolotisty thinks that it's a good reminder in more than one way.
[04/28 02:05pm] Iridescent Third Sicpuess could and can be seen, if one looked, entering her room. There's the distant sound of waves caressing a beach to be heard, and the door is left open.
[04/28 02:06pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's ears twist.
[04/28 02:09pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV nods. She's learned that lesson from Z. It's impossible to be alone on the island. A faint rustle in the scarf makes her freeze, arms out, until the baby nestles in again.
[04/28 02:09pm] The Soloist Zolotisty holds up a finger. "Hold on." The hedgehog nuzzles closer to Jade's throat as Z heads downramp and downstairs, following the waves. She peers in. Sea spray. "Mn. Third."
[04/28 02:12pm] Iridescent Third Sicpuess sits in the alternating white and black sand, looking in the distance. Nothing but sand and sea here, and a lone oak. She turns her head to the door.
[04/28 02:15pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "You might invite Lelila here." She inhales. "I'm going to go, I'll check in with you later." A nod, Z heads upstairs to say goodbye to Jade and nod at Gorbert's drowsing self, then, gone.
[04/28 02:19pm] Iridescent Third Sicpuess nods slowly, a hand deep buried in the hot black sand, and the other just on the edge where the cooler white starts. She lets herself fall back, and looks up at the few feathery clouds.
[04/28 02:30pm] Enigmatic Jade XXIV peeks into Third's room and sits quietly down with her.

The Compound

[04/28 01:58pm] The Lady Lelila grunts. There is something wet on her forehead, and her back is killing her. She opens her eyes slowly, to find a puppy with a scar across one eye licking at her face. Did. . . she sleep on the floor?
[04/28 01:59pm] The Lady Lelila groans as she sits up, it takes her a second to recognize where she is. Late afternoon sunlight streams in through the window. What. . .
[04/28 02:08pm] The Lady Lelila gasps shortly, slouching forward, as the recall of last evening slams through her mind. Jaeger wimpers softly, watching her with concern.
[04/28 02:14pm] The Lady Lelila bites back an involuntary sob, pulling Jaeger onto her lap and clutching him closely. Breathes heavily for a moment, trying to push down her feeling. Fill her mind with static. White noise.
[04/28 02:25pm] The Lady Lelila has never been very good at that. With a slow sigh, she releases her grip on the puppy. He squirms a bit, watches her protectively with his sky blue eyes.
[04/28 02:26pm] The Cat of KK Victoria meows loudly from outside of the Compound. She's searching around the courtyard, where the window in the sewing room opens out to. She sounds. . . Pathetic. Broken even. . .
[04/28 02:33pm] The Cat of KK Victoria wanders the courtyard a bit more, finding it empty. She stops, padding to the edge of a garden bed. The small shoulders slump, her back is to the window. The shoulders twitch slightly, sporadically
[04/28 02:38pm] The Lady Lelila pauses, she thought she heard something. No, must've been from the outpost. She picks herself up, unsteadily leaning on an armchair. Brand and Faust, still at their posts, lift their heads.
[04/28 02:59pm] The Lady Lelila slowly makes her way out of the knitting room, over to the wall of glass in the sewing room. A figure in one of the flowerbeds catches her eye. Upon recognition, she frowns. Very deeply.
[04/28 03:05pm] The Cat of KK Victoria immediately stops, quirking around to see the window. Ears perk up, and the cat immediately looks ashamed. She promised KK never to come to the compound. . .
[04/28 03:12pm] The Lady Lelila turns abruptly, sweeps out of the room and down the hall. A moment later, she is in the garden as well, though she does not near the cat. "What are you doing here?" she asks shortly.
[04/28 03:15pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks over to Lelila. "KK destroyed the tunnels." She says quietly, still sitting down.
[04/28 03:17pm] The Lady Lelila attempts to mask a pained wince, but she hides it poorly. Don't let your mind go back to that. "I know."
[04/28 03:22pm] The Cat of KK Victoria blinks. Right. . . Hostility. . . How could she have expected less? "I couldn't find him." She says, looking even more ashamed. "Can I sleep here?" She asks looking up at her. "I haven't slept yet. . ."
[04/28 03:31pm] The Lady Lelila tenses. If he wanted to be found, she would find him. She blinks. . . considers denying the creature. But. . . she faulters. Would KK allow her?
[04/28 03:34pm] The Lady Lelila purses her lips. "The North wing. There are empty rooms, you may use one." She sweeps from the garden, pausing to pick up Jaeger before turning down the path out of the Compound.

Spoon Hall

[04/28 02:45pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin enters with his tail craddled in his arm, a thick bandage and splint wrapped around it. Quietly he settles in his favorite spot near the autobar but doesn't get his usual bottle of sake.
[04/28 02:50pm] The Lady Lelila enters the hall, her expression carefully arranged. She spots Drake, strides quickly across the room to him. "Oh, Drake. . . darling. . ."
[04/28 02:52pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin had been sitting quietly, running the events of last night through his head and just in general, feeling foolish for stepping in. He snaps out of it and quickly gets to his feet upon seeing Lelia.
[04/28 02:53pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin then bows from the waist. "I'm sorry. . .I'm so sorry. . ..I shouldn't have interfered. . ..."
[04/28 02:56pm] The Lady Lelila pulls him up from his bow, wraps her arms around him in an embrace. "Oh, darling. No, what you did was. . ." Very foolish. "Very chivalrous. I'm so sorry though, darling. How are you feeling?"
[04/28 02:59pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin jumps slightly, surprised at being hugged so suddenly. "I. . ..just. . .a broken tail. . ..but it's a small price to pay for the lesson I learned. . ..I'll live." He sighs softly, still feeling foolish.
[04/28 03:02pm] The Lady Lelila nods, affectionately petting behind his ears. "Your intent was honorable, darling. Truly."
[04/28 03:05pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin keeps his head somwhat down. "But stupid. . ..." After a few moments he shakes his head a bit. "I shouldn't beat myself up. . ..I'm alive and I learned from the experience. But. . .what about you?"
[04/28 03:10pm] The Lady Lelila faulters, but recovers it almost immediately. "Oh, I'm fine." She waves a hand dismissively. Casts a brief glance out the window. "I do hope your tail heals quickly, love."
[04/28 03:15pm] Corporal FalleM pauses during his intercom-assembly, clearly confused. "You guys mind telling me what happened?"
[04/28 03:16pm] Shinobimorph Drake Nessin frowns, his head tilting to one side. She isn't fine, even he can tell, but he doesn't want to re-open a fresh wound, so he let's it go. "A few days of rest I think. . ..and I'll be alright."
[04/28 03:16pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo hajenates, "I would like to give my former apology for my actions which caused some of you much offense."
[04/28 03:18pm] Newbie Giuseppe Lorenzo still wonders about the little fiasco outside the clan hall. It sounded very intense and very emotional.
[04/28 03:24pm] The Lady Lelila tenses slightly at FalleM's question, before giving those assembled a polite smile, a small curtsey. She nods graciously to Giuseppe. "I'm afraid I must be off. Have a good afternoon, friends."
[04/28 03:24pm] The Lady Lelila tips her hat before quietly slipping out the door.

The Compound

[04/28 03:46pm] The Soloist Zolotisty hesitates outside the Compound. The damage is.. mn. Cupping her hand around her mouth, Zolotisty raises her voice beyond a bark to a rare shout. "Lelila!"
[04/28 03:48pm] The Soloist Zolotisty turns to look over her shoulder. She flicks her ears. Too embrangled and enmeshed around here to tell where she is.. hard enough to know where KK was last night and hell if she knows now.
[04/28 03:48pm] The Soloist Zolotisty shakes her head and goes. She'll keep looking.

Improbable Central

[04/28 06:52pm] The Lady Lelila enters the square quietly, relieved to see it empty. She skirts the edge of the plaza, despite it's emptiness, pausing to glance to the north. She wants to go, wants to see for herself.
[04/28 06:53pm] The Lady Lelila shakes her head. Bad idea. Exhales, casts a final look north, before slipping out the city gate into the jungle.

Improbable Central

[04/28 08:46pm] The Cat of KK Victoria pads in, looking around. Quite a commotion going around here.
[04/28 08:49pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "You said food items. That includes everything edible."
[04/28 08:51pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen notices the cat. "Guten tag," he manages. It's the only German he knows.
[04/28 08:53pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks up at Gorbert. "Good day." She says, distinctly accented female voice. Though it's strained by some kind of difficulty. Almost like a lot of sleep, or speaking. Yelling even. "How are you?"
[04/28 08:53pm] Civilian Jon Bishop makes his way through town, until he sees the cat. A small mammal. . . He takes a few steps back.
[04/28 08:54pm] Resident Sex Kitten Lady Akitsu suddenly just is , and glances around her. Noticing the sudden wind in her hair, she glances down. Her eyes widen and she gives a shrill shriek as she crashes straight down into the pub's roof
[04/28 08:54pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen cautiously responds, "I'm fine, thank you." A pause. "Do you know where we can find KK Victoria?"
[04/28 08:56pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen winces and throws a concerned look at the PSK. But he can't just turn away from the cat; she probably wouldn't like that and he doesn't want to anger her.
[04/28 08:57pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks down. "Go to Hell. You'll find him."
[04/28 08:59pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen isn't sure if the cat is being serious or insulting. "Well, that's one possibility. Is there any other way I could find him?"
[04/28 09:00pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen throws another concerned glance at the pub. Kit hasn't come back out yet.
[04/28 09:00pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks up at Gorbert, a crooked eyebrow. Skeptical. "You really want to?"
04/28 09:01pm] The Soloist Zolotisty steps from mid-air.
[04/28 09:02pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stands at his full height. "He needs help. Yes, I want to."
[04/28 09:03pm] The Cat of KK Victoria scoffs, then laughs quietly. Derisively actually. "What would you do if you did?" She chuckles again. "Better. . . What would he do, if you did?"
[04/28 09:04pm] The Soloist Zolotisty turns. What?
[04/28 09:07pm] The Lady Lelila enters through the city gates, but halts almost immediately. Wary, quietly, she stands on the opposite side of the square, listening.
[04/28 09:08pm] Resident Sex Kitten Lady Akitsu groans as she finally exits the 'Kitty, holding her head and taking weaving, wobbly steps. Improbabilty is a harsh mistress.
[04/28 09:09pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen is very still. "I don't know. We weren't on the best of terms when this happened. But I bear a portion of the responsibility and I'm not going to turn my back on him."
[04/28 09:12pm] The Soloist Zolotisty breathes in slowly through her teeth and holds it for a moment.
[04/28 09:19pm] The Cat of KK Victoria laughs again. "Really?" She seems almost too tired to continue a full extent of a real mocking, scathing insult. So she merely skips it. "Why is it your fault?"
[04/28 09:22pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen crosses his arms. "I angered him shortly before he left. I believe he thought that I considered him an inhuman monster. From what I've heard of his breakdown, that was a large factor in it."
[04/28 09:25pm] The Lady Lelila clenches her jaw, a muscle in her cheek flinches.
[04/28 09:27pm] The Cat of KK Victoria snorts. "KK is an inhuman monster." She states simply. That was rather. . . Harsh.
[04/28 09:30pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen 's face is as unreadable as the wall of the Prancing SpiderKitty. "He is rather fond of violence, and his methods are. . .extreme."
[04/28 09:31pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen continues, "But if he was an "inhuman monster", he would not have made many loyal friends on the Island. He would not have been made a leader in SPOON. He wouldn't have fallen in love."
[04/28 09:32pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, quietly, "I misjudged him."
[04/28 09:35pm] The Cat of KK Victoria frowns. "You did, but understand. I don't speak in terms of morals or ethics. . ." The cat leans in towards Gorbert. "KK is far from human. And he isn't far from a monster. But he tries hard."
[04/28 09:39pm] The Cat of KK Victoria continues. "KK tries hard to be the best of what he was given. He was given violence, that's all he has, and he's too far grown into it to change that."
[04/28 09:39pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "I know this; I know what he is. But I also now realize that he tries. So, yes, I misjudged him, and my actions contributed to his breakdown. I am responsible, and I will make amends."
[04/28 09:41pm] The Lady Lelila observes with crossed arms, though a tension has been released from her shoulders, her expression has softened.
[04/28 09:42pm] The Cat of KK Victoria shakes her head. "You may understand your fault now, but you have no idea what he is." She says, rather cold. "I've got to find a new home now." She says quietly. "Excuse me." And pads off.
[04/28 09:43pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen watches the cat go, then sinks to the ground, his strength gone. "I tried," he mumbles.
[04/28 09:44pm] The Cat of KK Victoria stops in front of Lelila, looking up. "I am sorry." She says, circling around her with a wide birth and heading into the Jungle. There's a faint following. "For everything."
[04/28 09:45pm] The Soloist Zolotisty loosens finally. She crosses the square to touch Gorbert's shoulder. Her voice is gentle. "Get up."
[04/28 09:46pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen blinks and shakes himself. He pushes himself onto his feet and looks at Zolotisty.
[04/28 09:48pm] The Lady Lelila feels her breath catch as she watches the cat go, begins to call after her. Hesitates a moment too long, though, and she is gone among the foliage.
[04/28 09:50pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, very quietly, "I don't like to see anyone on their knees, least of all one of my friends. Save an apology for KK - but know this, Gorbert, you were not the first thrum of this hurt."
[04/28 09:51pm] The Soloist Zolotisty glances at Lelila. Nor was she. This is an old song.
[04/28 09:53pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says flatly, "First, second, thirteenth, I was still a part of it."
[04/28 09:55pm] The Lady Lelila tries not to flinch at Z's gaze. She. . . knows. Tries to tell herself so. Slowly, she approaches the pair. "Gorbert. . ." she says, softly.
[04/28 09:56pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's eyes take on an edge.
[04/28 09:59pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen doesn't look at either of them.
[04/28 10:01pm] The Soloist Zolotisty hasn't raised her voice. "You are not Atlas, Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen."
[04/28 10:02pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "I'm not trying to be. I'm just trying to help one person."
[04/28 10:04pm] The Lady Lelila hesitates a moment, before pulling herself close to him, resting her head on his chest. "He's going to be okay," she murmurs, as much to herself as to him.
[04/28 10:05pm] The Soloist Zolotisty steps back a little as Lelila presses herself to Gorbert. "And that's the right impulse."
[04/28 10:07pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "I'm so sorry, Lelila. For everything you've endured."
[04/28 10:11pm] The Lady Lelila nods against his chest. "I. . . was so angry at you. Perhaps because then I did not need to feel so angry at my self. But. . . Z, she's right." She glances up at him, meets his eyes.
[04/28 10:12pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "Angry? Because I fought him?"
[04/28 10:15pm] The Lady Lelila laughs dryly. "I was angry at him because he fought you. No. . ." Trails off, for a moment. "You were easy to blame. For. . ." She gestures toward the recently healed landscape.
[04/28 10:16pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen murmurs, "I suppose I was."
[04/28 10:16pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen says, "But I'm trying to make amends."
[04/28 10:18pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello wanders back into town, after being gone for a few days.
[04/28 10:19pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello mutters, "too late, i was too fucking late. . ."
[04/28 10:20pm] The Lady Lelila nods, catching one of his hands in her own. "I know you are, darling. And. . . I am so relieved, so glad that you are," she adds, quietly.
[04/28 10:20pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello spots Lelila. "Excuse me for interrupting. But. . .well, this. . .isn't mine. "
[04/28 10:21pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello hands Lelila the picture she had been trying to give KK for over a week.
[04/28 10:22pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello says, "This. . .was meant for him, but I never got a chance to give it to him. If you don't want it, that's ok, I understand. But it's closer to being yours than it ever will be to being mine."
[04/28 10:22pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello knows that when Lelila unrolls the paper, she'll see why.
[04/28 10:25pm] The Amazing Purple Limejello leaves, her errand as complete as it will be, for now. She heads to the clan hall for some much needed rest.
[04/28 10:28pm] The Lady Lelila tucks the paper away, continues. She glances up at Gorbert, attempts a confident smile. "He'll come back."
[04/28 10:29pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen attempts a smile, manages a sort of quirk to his lips. "He will."
[04/28 10:33pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is silent.
[04/28 10:34pm] The Lady Lelila wonders how much confidence either of them had in those statements. She catches her arms around his neck for a quick embrace, before stepping back. ". . .Thank you."
[04/28 10:35pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen bows his head. "It's the least I can do, madam."
[04/28 10:45pm] The Lady Lelila turns a glance to Z. She's heard of the efforts of her and Sessine, in the hills outside of Ace High. ". . .Any luck?" She asks, softly.
[04/28 10:46pm] The Soloist Zolotisty turns to meet Lelila's gaze. "You'll be first to know."
[04/28 10:48pm] The Lady Lelila nods, shortly. "I. . ." She hesitates. "I fear he won't be found until he desires it to be so."
[04/28 10:51pm] Resident Sex Kitten Lady Akitsu wanders in from the East and glances about, surveying the square and listening to the echoes. She frowns, shaking her head. Not now. Not yet. But soon.
[04/28 10:51pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods. "Mn, yes. I think that's true." Sessine has been looking. Zolotisty, she's been listening and guarding. KK Victoria is not for approaching, not right now. It would be foolish to try.
[04/28 10:51pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen sees Kit and smiles slightly at her.
[04/28 10:58pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen walks away from Lelila and Zolotisty so he can sit down. He rests on against his pillar and watches the square.
[04/28 11:04pm] The Lady Lelila nods, once more. "I think I'd best be off for the evening," she says, with a tip of her hat. Meets Z's eyes, and smiles. . . with a small hint of geniune to it, this time.

The Compound

[04/28 11:34pm] The Lady Lelila pushes open the front door, listens for a moment. . . .No, the cat must not be here. Frowns briefly, before padding through the dimly lit halls, entering her sewing room.
[04/28 11:42pm] The Lady Lelila curls herself up into an armchair facing the floor-to-ceiling window, watches as a light breeze rustles through the garden below.
[04/28 11:52pm] The Lady Lelila glances toward the low-rolling hills of jungle in the distance, dark against the starry night sky. He's out there, somewhere. In god-knows-what kind of condition. . .
[04/28 11:55pm] The Lady Lelila whispers, "I miss you, Kai. I love you."
[04/29 12:33am] The Soloist Zolotisty shifts smoothly from the base of a hill in AceHigh to the exterior of the Compound. She breaks pace and slows, stops. A restless circle and a glance toward Improbable Central proper.
[04/29 12:34am] The Soloist Zolotisty turns toward the Compound. Ah - yes. She's here.
[04/29 12:41am] The Lady Lelila is pulled from her reprieve by a movement on the lawn. Someone walking. Her heart leaps into her throat for a moment, before spotting the telltale hat, tail.
[04/29 12:42am] The Lady Lelila pulls herself out of her chair, winds her way down the long hall, beating Z to the front door. She pulls it open just as she approaches. "Evening, darling."
[04/29 12:43am] The Soloist Zolotisty would be upset to know Lelila mistook her for him, even in the dark. Z would find it telling. Her silhouette is nothing like KK's. "Hullo, you. How are you holding up?"
[04/29 12:44am] The Lady Lelila masks a smile, but gives up halfway. She needn't attempt to be false, not around her. "As well as one can, I suppose."
[04/29 12:45am] The Soloist Zolotisty has a rucksack slung over her shoulder. She nods. "When was the last time you had a meal?"
[04/29 12:47am] The Lady Lelila blinks. She had not even considered it. The kitchens of the Compound were still under construct, but she hadn't been hungry anyway. "Um. . . Perhaps a while, I think."
[04/29 12:48am] The Soloist Zolotisty smiles faintly. "Well. I have food if you'd like."
[04/29 12:49am] The Lady Lelila nods. "That would be nice." She leads her down a dimly lit hall, past a few dozen empty and half-completed rooms. Pushes open the large oak doors at the end of the hall.
[04/29 12:51am] The Lady Lelila ushers her in to her Sewing Room - her corner of the house. In a construction full of Victoria military formalities, this is a space that is truly hers.
[04/29 12:52am] The Lady Lelila re-takes her seat before the floor-to-ceiling window, nodding toward the armchair next to her. She pulls over a small endtable, placing it between.
[04/29 01:05am] The Soloist Zolotisty unshoulders the pack as she sits. She unbuckles it and digs inside, removing a covered tin box; cutlery; a flask and cups; and then a smaller, circular wooden container. She slides the box over.
[04/29 01:07am] The Soloist Zolotisty digs for a moment more, looking for a knife. Mn. There. In the box - hot to the touch, itself - there's a deep stoneware dish with a pot pie. Flaky puff pastry on top, chicken inside.
[04/29 01:08am] The Soloist Zolotisty breaks open the wooden container - brie - and then unscrews the flask. "This is water, only - but good water." A wry smile. "I don't carry wine, myself." She pours a cup for herself and settles.
[04/29 01:10am] The Lady Lelila watches, doesn't realize how hungry she actually is until she smells the aroma coming from the pot pie. She serves herself a piece, and begins into it with a distinct lack of table manners.
[04/29 01:13am] The Lady Lelila makes short work of the slice, then blushes very slightly. She goes in for a second, with a bit of the brie this time, giving herself a bit more self-control.
[04/29 01:15am] The Lady Lelila pauses for a moment, observing her cup of water. ". . .I'm glad I had a chance to speak with Gorbert," she says softly.
[04/29 01:15am] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't seem to notice. Mostly, she's grateful for this chair. She's been on her feet for.. hell. All of last night, most of today. A few naps here and there.
[04/29 01:16am] The Soloist Zolotisty looks up. "I am, too. I." Z pauses.
[04/29 01:17am] The Lady Lelila flicks her glance up to her.
[04/29 01:18am] The Soloist Zolotisty is silent for a while. "I find his vanity frustrating when it comes to the adoption of responsibility for a problem," she says finally. "He's not at the center of this. Nor many other problems."
[04/29 01:19am] The Soloist Zolotisty shrugs. She looks briefly uncomfortable.
[04/29 01:20am] The Lady Lelila considers this for a moment. "I. . . suppose you are quite right. I hadn't thought of it that way before."
[04/29 01:23am] The Soloist Zolotisty sips her water. Perhaps not. It's entirely possible that her assessment of the situation is skew. It would not be the first time. "What did the cat want?"
[04/29 01:23am] The Lady Lelila laughs dryly, and it comes out far more hollow sounding than she intended. "I was blaming him, though. Very heavily. Perhaps just because then I could have a focus for my frustration."
[04/29 01:25am] The Lady Lelila takes pause at the mention of the cat. "I. . ." She hesitates. "She wanted someplace to sleep." She feels conflicted, as she recalls the cat's apology.
[04/29 01:28am] The Soloist Zolotisty blinks. "What?" [04/29 01:29am] The Soloist Zolotisty tilts her head. "In the square, you mean?" She hasn't spent enough time around the cat to recognize it; there's no way for Z to pick it loose from all the other foreign things here.
[04/29 01:32am] The Lady Lelila pauses. "Oh, no. She. . ." Fades out for a moment, thinking. "I don't know what she wants. She. . . told me she was sorry. I just. . . how can I trust her? She has brought me nothing but grief."
[04/29 01:35am] The Soloist Zolotisty watches Lelila. Z is silent. Then, carefully, "It's a cat." There's just the slightest rise on the last word - half-question. It's just a cat; right?
[04/29 01:39am] The Lady Lelila catches the intonation, raises an eyebrow. "And Kai is a man."
[04/29 01:40am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Ah."
[04/29 01:41am] The Lady Lelila shakes her head a bit. "I don't truly know what she is, but she is no mere cat. She is. . . cruel. And demanding. Something Kai unearthed, digging out his caverns."
[04/29 01:41am] The Soloist Zolotisty peers at her reflection for a moment. Odd. Looking up again, "..what about grief?"
[04/29 01:43am] The Lady Lelila waves a hand, "Decided she would lay claim to him. . . Threatened me. Didn't lay well with Kai, but he couldn't be rid of her. She can't be killed, she would just reappear in the caves."
[04/29 01:45am] The Lady Lelila bites at her lip. "She. . . something has changed, since. . ." A sudden pause. "She lived in the Caverns, so I suppose now she hasn't a home." She thinks of the cat's sobbing, in the garden.
[04/29 01:46am] The Lady Lelila frowns. ". . .I hate her, Zolo. Absolutely despise. But. . . something in her tone, when she apologized. . ."
[04/29 01:47am] The Soloist Zolotisty asks, "Does he like her or does he tolerate her."
[04/29 01:47am] The Soloist Zolotisty shushes.
[04/29 01:49am] The Lady Lelila pulls off her hat, running her fingers through her curls in irritation. "I don't know. I don't trust her, but. . . she sounded so true."
[04/29 01:56am] The Soloist Zolotisty rests her head against the back of the chair. "Mn. ..I'll find a place for it if you want me to."
[04/29 01:58am] The Lady Lelila hesitates, shakes her head. "No. . . I told her she can stay here, and. . . that's alright. Certainly the place is big enough." It might be nice to have someone else around.
[04/29 02:00am] The Soloist Zolotisty nods.
[04/29 02:02am] The Lady Lelila glances back out the window, her eye drifting to the extreme left. . . North. One can just barely make out the glow of Ace High, the silhouette of the mountains beyond, at the edge of the window.
[04/29 02:03am] The Lady Lelila states quietly, "I have not been to Ace High yet. Since. . ."
[04/29 02:08am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "The square is cleaner now, at least." But the foothills.. mn. No.
[04/29 02:09am] The Soloist Zolotisty gets up. "Speaking of AceHigh." She stretches her arms above her head - the left doesn't rise near so high as the right. Z's arm is neatly bound up. "I ought go. Do you mind if I check in later?"
[04/29 02:09am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "I won't wake you if you're sleeping."
[04/29 02:12am] The Lady Lelila nods. "That would be nice, I think. I'll be in here." She catches Z's hand - the good one - as she turns toward the door. ". . .Thank you, love."
[04/29 02:15am] The Soloist Zolotisty wheels to embrace Lelila securely. "Of course," she murmurs. She pulls away only when Lelila does. Then, as is usually the case with Z, she's not there anymore.
[04/29 02:28am] The Lady Lelila settles back into the chair, tucking her legs up behind the arm. She reaches behind, pulling a red afghan from a nearby basket, throwing it over herself.
[04/29 02:36am] The Lady Lelila casts her gaze back out over the hills of jungle, allowing herself to feel her worry and concern, until her weariness pulls her into slumber.

The Beach House, Kittania

[04/29 07:45pm] The Lady Lelila pushes aside the front-door curtain, entering the abode. She pauses for a moment, listening to the quiet shushing of the waves on the beach, and the silence inside the house.
[04/29 07:47pm] The Lady Lelila enters the bedroom, avoids looking at the bed. She pulls open a drawer in her armoire, searching around for a pad of parchment and a quill. Brings them with her into the living area.
[04/29 07:51pm] The Lady Lelila gently seats herself onto one of the large floor cushions, and regards the empty sheet of paper before her. What to say? There's too much. Words are too little.
[04/29 07:53pm] My love, my darling Kai-
[04/29 07:54pm] I am so, so sorry. It pains me more than I can possibly stand, to kn
[04/29 07:55pm] The Lady Lelila frowns, furrows her brow. Tears off the sheaf, crumples it and throws it to the floor.
[04/29 07:55pm] The Lady Lelila begins again.
[04/29 07:57pm] I have never once, in my life, thought of you as anything less th
[04/29 07:58pm] The Lady Lelila makes a noise of frustration, ripping off that paper, as well.
[04/29 07:58pm] The Lady Lelila exhales, feels the tears pricking at her eyes once again. Her hand trembles slightly as she presses the quill to the page.
[04/29 07:59pm] I love you. I love you. I love you.
[04/29 07:59pm] I love all of you, all of who you are, all of what you are. I need you, need you more than I need breath, more than I need sunlight.
[04/29 08:01pm] The Lady Lelila cannot see the page as her vision blurs. A tear streaks across her cheek, drops to the parchment below, staining the paper.
[04/29 08:03pm] I know. I know what you are, I know some of what you've done, some of the places you have seen and been and been through. And you know what?
[04/29 08:03pm] I love you.
[04/29 08:05pm] The Lady Lelila ehxales sharply, half gasp, half sob. She wipes at her eye, leaving a small smudge of ink on her cheek.
[04/29 08:06pm] I don't care. It doesn't matter to me. I love you regardless, regardless of past or present or future. I will always love you.
[04/29 08:07pm] Always. No matter what.
[04/29 08:09pm] The Lady Lelila releases a shuddering breath, glancing over the page. Tears have smudge a few of the words. It's not enough. There are no words created by man that are enough.
[04/29 08:11pm] The Lady Lelila pulls the paper from the pad, carefully, and folds it into thirds. She needs. . . something. Something that can draw him to it, something of his. Of hers. Something.
[04/29 08:20pm] The Lady Lelila has a thought, nods. She pushes up off the pillows, heading out in the direction if Improbable Central.


[04/29 08:35pm] The Lady Lelila strides across the square, purpose to her step. She does not look toward the cliffs. In her hands is a folded sheaf of parchment - a letter, perhaps.
[04/29 08:37pm] The Lady Lelila pauses for the briefest moment, at the city's south gate, before plunging foward into the jungle. She is not searching, but she cannot stop her eyes from glancing into grottos as she passes.
[04/29 08:39pm] The Lady Lelila pushes further, travelling aimlessly southward. After perhaps a half mile - though perhaps two, she is not keeping track - she halts.
[04/29 08:41pm] The Lady Lelila has found herself in a small clearing, trees stretching endlessly upward toward a small opening of sky. A large, flat rock is off to the side. She appraches, sets the parchment down on the rock.
[04/29 08:44pm] The Lady Lelila pulls a small dagger from the top of her high-button boot. Removes her hat, running a hand through her hair. Carefully, she cuts off a curl.
[04/29 08:46pm] The Lady Lelila sets the lock of hair on the letter. . . wonders if it will be a strong enough scent. She glances down at the dagger.
[04/29 08:47pm] The Lady Lelila quickly, before she changes her mind, presses the blade into her left palm. She hisses sharply. Blood dribbles through her closed fist, leaving dark stains on the rock.
[04/29 08:49pm] The Lady Lelila clumsily rips a strip of cloth off the hem of her petticoat, wraps it tightly around her hand. Wipes the dagger on the grass, before replacing it in her boot.
[04/29 08:50pm] The Lady Lelila gives a last look to the parchment on the rock, before turning from the clearing, heading back north into the city.
[04/29 08:53pm] The Lady Lelila re-enters the square, her hand throbbing. Ought to see to that. She accidently glances up toward the cliffs, sees the thin stream of smoke still issuing from them. Stiffly, she enters her clan hall.

Spoon Hall

[04/29 08:58pm] The Lady Lelila pushes through the door from Ace High, wincing. Her left hand is clutched closely to her chest, a bloody strip of cloth wrapped around it. She slips back into the back room.
[04/29 09:06pm] The Lady Lelila goes to the sink, begins running warm water. Carefully, she unwraps the torn strip of fabric, places her messy palm under the water. It stings, and she gasps.
[04/29 09:06pm] Linnean Artist Calynx notices the blood on Lelila. She hurries to follow her to the backroom. "Oh my, are you alright? What happened?" She looks worriedly at her.
[04/29 09:08pm] The Lady Lelila shakes her head, trying not to wince. "No, it's fine. It's not deep, it just bled a lot. Have we clean bandages back here?"
[04/29 09:10pm] Linnean Artist Calynx rummages through one of the lower cabinets where she could have sworn she found bandages while she was tidying. There it is, a red metal box. Popping it open she extracts a few bandages.
[04/29 09:11pm] Linnean Artist Calynx quietly presses them to Lelila's wounds and dresses her injury carefully. Seeing the look on her face, she remains quiet as she works.
[04/29 09:15pm] The Lady Lelila flexes her fingers around the bandage, ignoring the throbbing. Goodness, but that hurt for such a small cut. "Thank you, darling," she says, smiling at Calynx.
[04/29 09:18pm] Linnean Artist Calynx 's eyebrow lifts a tad at that smile. "You're welcome, dear. I'm glad we still had these around." The metal tin snap shut again as she puts it away. The smile doesn't fool her, but lets it be.
[04/29 09:24pm] The Lady Lelila nods. "Yes, me too." She hesitates for a second, pulling Calynx into a brief, yet tight, hug. She slips out the door to Improbable Central.
[04/29 09:26pm] Linnean Artist Calynx 's brows knit together as she watches Lelila walk out of the hall. Sometimes it's best to let people talk when they're ready to. She's not one to force anything upon her.

The Caverns

[04/30 04:52am] The Cat of KK Victoria pads into her once home, sniffling quietly. She sees all the ashes, the burn marks and sores on the cavern walls. The cave leading into the deeper portion is closed off, caved in. . .
[04/30 04:53am] The Cat of KK Victoria sighs quietly, moving around the caverns until she hears a snap. She freezes, looking around, night vision revealing everything. "Hallo?" She asks quietly. "Wo sind sie?"
[04/30 04:54am] The Cat of KK Victoria immediately tenses, leaping out of the way. A fireball rockets out of the Caverns, straight past her and singing the edges of her fur. She can't die now. She has nowhere to come back at.
[04/30 04:55am] The Cat of KK Victoria watches as KK hits the ground outside the caverns and runs at full sprint down the side of the mountain, heading into the jungle and razing bits of the trees.
[04/30 04:56am] The Cat of KK Victoria breathes out, then falls over onto her side, trying her best to fall asleep on a cushioned bed of ashes.

The Encounter.

Improbable Central

[04/30 07:12pm] The Lady Lelila tips her hat after Sessine. "I ought to be off, too." She makes toward the catapults, pauses. No, today is a day for walking. She heads out into the jungle, northward.

Ace High

[04/30 07:26pm] The Lady Lelila slowly traces her way up the beaten path through the jungle between Improbable Central and Ace High. The jungle is quiet today. Surely she must be close to AH by now. . . she hasn't been keeping track.
[04/30 07:28pm] The Lady Lelila pauses, listens to the sounds of the jungle. Thinks of a letter left somewhere on a rock. Of course, she could never find the clearing again, but. . .
[04/30 07:30pm] The Lady Lelila steps off the worn path, into the underbrush, pushing aside branches that would hinder her progress. Aimlessly, she allows herself to wander through the thick foliage.
[04/30 07:34pm] There is a quiet rustle, and a snap of a twig. Lelila freezes, looking around. Probably some other annoyance of the jungle. However, a hundred feet away, KK emerges from the brush. Unknowing.
[04/30 07:40pm] The Lady Lelila stops dead in her tracks, spotting a figure through the trees, somewhere ahead of her. ". . .Hello?" she calls tentatively.
[04/30 07:44pm] 'Where now? I'm near AceHigh. . .' My body immediately turned to the sound and tensed up. I could only watch, but I recognized my mind running through the process. 'Which way to run?'
[04/30 07:47pm] The Lady Lelila feels her breath catch in her throat as she recognizes the form. ". . .Kai?" she calls, very gently. She is afraid: not afraid of him, but afraid he will run. She does not step closer.
[04/30 07:50pm] 'Lelila!' I shouted out to myself. 'Go to Lelila!' My orders were. . . Refused. My body has committed mutiny, and I've lost control. I could feel my muscles tense into a crouch.
[04/30 07:53pm] The Lady Lelila takes a step back, holding her hands up before her, shows him that she means no harm. Carefully, she meets his gaze. Slowly, like treading on glass, she says, "Kai, it's me. Lelila."
[04/30 08:01pm] Whatever had taken over showed no connection. It didn't know her. Muscles suddenly exploded into an intense speed. I tried my hardest to look through my own eyes, see her a moment more.
[04/30 08:03pm] I already had torn through the jungle, and was a few hundred yards away. I went back to burning in my own head. Only a glimpse. That was all I got. . .
[04/30 08:06pm] The Lady Lelila watches him run, he's gone in nearly an instant. "KAI!" she screams after him, knowing it to be useless. She tries to follow, tripping through the undergrowth as she runs.
[04/30 08:07pm] The Lady Lelila trips as the foliage suddenly gives way to the path she was on previously, landing hard on her palms and knees. She pants, bites back a cry. Looks around frantically, but he is gone.
[04/30 08:09pm] The Lady Lelila pushes herself upright, running northward on the path as fast as her feet can carry her. Within minutes, she is bursting through the gates of Ace High. "Zolotisty! Sessine!"
[04/30 08:09pm] The Lady Lelila holds a stitch in her side, leaning hard against the gate. "Someone. . ."

Dice Hall

[05/01 02:07am] The Soloist Zolotisty ambles into clan hall from New Pittsburgh. Itching at her jaw, she closes the door lightly behind her.
[05/01 02:07am] The Soloist Zolotisty feels generally itchy today. These bandages on her arm, for instance.
[05/01 02:08am] The Soloist Zolotisty pauses uneasily.
[05/01 02:10am] The Soloist Zolotisty turns. A minor lift, a major fall and -
[05/01 02:11am] The Soloist Zolotisty turns immediately, called.

Ace High

[04/30 08:10pm] Sessine is crossing the square, a picture frame in hand. He heards Lelila call his name, sets the frame on air, and goes to her.
[04/30 08:11pm] The Soloist Zolotisty shoulders out of clan hall, alert.
[04/30 08:11pm] The Lady Lelila has not caught her breath, but she rushes across the square, grasps at Sessine's arm. "He was there. In the jungle. I saw him."
[04/30 08:13pm] The Soloist Zolotisty had started to clear the distance between them but mn, hearing that - she veers immediately, listening.
[04/30 08:13pm] Sessine says, "Catch your breath. Then tell what happened."
[04/30 08:15pm] The Lady Lelila shakes her head. "He. . . I. . ." Pauses, inhales deeply. "He was there. Off the road between here and Improbable Central, maybe a half mile south from here." She bites her lip. "He. . ."
[04/30 08:16pm] The Lady Lelila looks up at Sessine. "He didn't know me. It was him, but. . . it wasn't him. I. . . I don't understand."
[04/30 08:16pm] Sessine has an impulse to go tearing off into the jungle, but. . . if KK will only be found if he wants to be. Is he starting to want it?
[04/30 08:17pm] Sessine says, "Not him?" Wait. "You. . . felt it. The way you can?"
[04/30 08:17pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is by now just outside the Outpost. She's still now, studying the distant trees, straining to pick loose familiar pieces from a much broader wash.
[04/30 08:19pm] The Lady Lelila nods. "Briefly, but. . . yes. He. . . he wasn't. . ." She struggles for a moment. "It was like he was an empty shell. The things that make him him weren't there."
[04/30 08:21pm] Sessine rubs a hand over his eyes. That makes things more complicated. Considerably.
[04/30 08:22pm] The Lady Lelila says, softly, ". . .He didn't know me."
[04/30 08:23pm] The Soloist Zolotisty takes a step forward, away from them. She'd been paying some attention to the telling but it's hard, there's only a suggestion and that's drowned in noise - Z doesn't know if she's making it up.
[04/30 08:24pm] Sessine says, "This knot - we need to find at least one end before we can untie it. Think. Was there anything, any clue, about the nature of that. . . emptiness?"
[04/30 08:25pm] The Soloist Zolotisty has stopped listening to Sessine and Lelila entirely. She's focused.
[04/30 08:26pm] The Lady Lelila shakes her head. She feels helpless. "I. . . I don't know. He is all impulse, all primal urge."
[04/30 08:33pm] The Soloist Zolotisty lets out a breath she was unaware she'd trapped for keeping. Z twists, sharp-eyed, and assesses them.
[04/30 08:34pm] Sessine says slowly, "The KK we know. . . may have been overpowered. Temporarily. The question is, is there anything we can do to help him fight back?"
[04/30 08:42pm] The Lady Lelila says, very quietly, ". . .I don't know." Looks up. "Maybe. . . maybe he's inside of there. Somewhere. Someplace hidden deep."
[04/30 08:42pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Yes."
[04/30 08:44pm] The Soloist Zolotisty joins them, restless and fast. "He's there. Drowned in it, but he's there."
[04/30 08:45pm] Sessine nods. "We have to assume he is. Because if he isn't, there's nothing to be done, so we won't waste time thinking about it. So. He's there. Inside."
[04/30 08:46pm] Sessine then realizes what Zolotisty said. "Your hearing. That's better than my logic, by a great deal. But the same conclusion - he's there. So how can we help him?"
[04/30 08:49pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "I could call him louder but it wouldn't catch. I could quiet this other but it wouldn't stay. He needs to, himself. I don't know. Distraction, maybe."
[04/30 08:51pm] The Lady Lelila crosses her arms over her chest, repressing a tremble. "I don't know. I've never felt so. . . unable to do anything."
[04/30 08:52pm] The Soloist Zolotisty brushes lightly against Lelila's side - closer.
[04/30 08:56pm] The Lady Lelila glances up at Z, grateful. She catches her hand in her own.
[04/30 08:58pm] Sessine says, "What kind of distraction? Divert that other - how?"
[04/30 08:58pm] The Soloist Zolotisty laces their fingers and squeezes. Pensive silence.
[04/30 09:02pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says again, "I don't know." She angles her head back and squints at the sky. "He's good at fighting. If we give him an opportunity, maybe.. ..I don't know."
[04/30 09:03pm] The Soloist Zolotisty shakes her head. "I think if KK had Lelila there - if she was there and he had a chance to fight, it would be easier for him. But that.." A frustrated exhale. "Trap him? Lure him, I don't know."
[04/30 09:04pm] Sessine thinks hard. "That other - is it all flight, a hunted quarry? The child before he was trained? Or is it his training taking over completely? Can - could - either of you tell?"
[04/30 09:05pm] The Lady Lelila knots her brow. "Perhaps we need to. . ." She snaps her fingertips. "Something to wake him up, snap him out of it. . ."
[04/30 09:09pm] The Soloist Zolotisty sets her jaw. She knows how she would assess this. A deferent glance to Lelila.
[04/30 09:10pm] The Lady Lelila glances back to Sessine. "That being, in the jungle.. is precisely what KK was trained to be, I think. What has been pushed into him since he was little, with all traces of humanity stripped away."
[04/30 09:12pm] Yes.
[04/30 09:15pm] Sessine takes a deep breath. "Hard, then. Depends what that other thinks its mission is. It'll be ruthless in pursuing that."
[04/30 09:19pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "If it has one."
[04/30 09:21pm] The Lady Lelila nods slowly, begins to say that she doesn't know, but bites it off. "But Kai is in there, somewhere, surely. If we could. . . pull him back out. . ."
[04/30 09:22pm] The Soloist Zolotisty has read about something like this. "Can you make him come to you?"
[04/30 09:23pm] The Lady Lelila blinks. "How do you mean?"
[04/30 09:24pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Not physically."
[04/30 09:28pm] The Lady Lelila says, "Oh. Oh. I. . . I'm not sure. I don't understand.. whatever it is, that's controlling him. It's as if there's no feeling there at all."
[04/30 09:28pm] The Lady Lelila continues, "But. . . perhaps. Maybe. If he couldn't run."
[04/30 09:32pm] Sessine says, "A trap. Two things: first, we'd need a cage that can hold it, with all its powers. And then, some way to lure an extremely cunning creature into it. Otherwise it would just run."
[04/30 09:33pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods. A pause. "I could find him if I wanted. And I am almost certain that I could.. mn." Z manages a dry smile. "Induce him to follow me. But I don't think I could keep him still, myself."
[04/30 09:34pm] The Soloist Zolotisty squints at the word 'cage.' "He'll recognize that if it's physical. Any sort."
[04/30 09:35pm] The Cat of KK Victoria pads in quietly, wincing at the word 'cage.'
[04/30 09:38pm] The Soloist Zolotisty turns to look at the cat.
[04/30 09:38pm] Sessine turns quickly to the Cat. "You understand him better than anyone, I think. Do you have any suggestions?"
[04/30 09:38pm] The Lady Lelila glances at the cat, and a brief but conflicted look dances across her face.
[04/30 09:43pm] The Cat of KK Victoria frowns. "Break his bones." She says quietly. "Though I doubt even that would work." She sighs heavily.
[04/30 09:44pm] The Soloist Zolotisty pauses.
[04/30 09:44pm] The Soloist Zolotisty lets go of Lelila's hand.
[04/30 09:45pm] Sessine doesn't like the talk of breaking bones. He says, "Cold. That's the one thing he can't abide. He'll avoid cold if he possibly can."
[04/30 09:46pm] The Soloist Zolotisty has had the same thought that Sessine has. "Snow."
[04/30 09:46pm] The Cat of KK Victoria yawns. She has barely slept. "KK is tired. . . He's been running on nothing for days. Leading him will be harder than trapping. He's paranoid, as he's trained to be."
[04/30 09:48pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks over to the two of them. "Not advised. KK's not eaten proper food in a while I don't think. Extreme temperatures would kill him or put him into a coma."
[04/30 09:48pm] The Soloist Zolotisty sucks in a breath through her teeth.
[04/30 09:49pm] The Cat of KK Victoria continues. "I'd just be wary is all. He can stand Cyber city only because he's had a regular diet to fuel his body burning up fat to heat himself. He doesn't have much of that anymore."
[04/30 09:49pm] The Soloist Zolotisty holds it. Slowly out. Once more, then, measured, "What would you suggest, then."
[04/30 09:52pm] The Cat of KK Victoria yawns. Sleep is catching up. "Force him to tire out." She looks to Sessine. "He can only fight so much before he can't fight back anymore. Even KK has limits. Run him, fight him. I don't know. . ."
[04/30 09:54pm] The Cat of KK Victoria adds before padding off to find someplace to sleep. She hasn't been to the compound to rest, just to give Lelila her space. "You're tough Sessine. I think you could beat him down enough."
[04/30 09:55pm] The Lady Lelila steps forward, "Alice, wait."
[04/30 09:56pm] The Lady Lelila hesitates. ". . .You may stay with me in the Compound, if you'd like."
[04/30 09:56pm] The Cat of KK Victoria stops, looking back over her shoulder.
[04/30 09:56pm] The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "Thank you, Lelila." And blasts off towards IC.
[04/30 09:58pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is watching Sessine now, careful.
[04/30 09:59pm] The Lady Lelila watches the cat leave, with a carefully arranged expression. Hn. She turns back toward the other two, sighs slightly. Resists saying 'I don't know.'
[04/30 10:01pm] Sessine rubs a hand over his mouth. "Beat him down."
[04/30 10:02pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods a little. Mhn. Their reaction was similar, then.
[04/30 10:05pm] The Lady Lelila glances at Sessine.
[04/30 10:10pm] The Soloist Zolotisty offers, "I can run him."
[04/30 10:16pm] Sessine says, "I could. If I could find him. But. . ." Would KK be able to forget, afterwards?
[04/30 10:17pm] The Lady Lelila hesitates, lays a hand on Sessine's sleeve. "He'll understand."
[04/30 10:21pm] Sessine turns a bleak look on Lelila. "Will he? Since he arrived on this Island, I've tried to be the humanizing influence in his life. The other side, a way of living that's not his training."
[04/30 10:22pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, firmer, "I can run him, Sessine."
[04/30 10:24pm] Sessine says, "If I go and fight him now, even to save him, that's buying into what he's been taught since childhood - that all there is, is violence. It undermines everything I've been trying to teach."
[04/30 10:26pm] The Lady Lelila slowly nods. He's right, of course, but. . . she gives him a desperate look. "But what else can we do?"
[04/30 10:28pm] Sessine runs a hand through his hair. "But if I don't. . . that's a betrayal, too. Or he may think it is - that I refused to help." He shakes his head. "I don't know. I just. . . don't know."
[04/30 10:29pm] The Lady Lelila starts to speak, bites her lip. Softly, ". . .He'll understand, Sessine. If he's in there, if he can see what's happening. . . he'll understand."
[04/30 10:35pm] Sessine looks at Lelila. Nods, slowly. "Trust that he will. Trust that he's learned enough to understand." With KK it does come down to trust, always. He takes a deep breath. "I'll do it."
[04/30 10:36pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods.
[04/30 10:39pm] The Lady Lelila nods as well. ". . .Tomorrow. I daresay we all need a good night's rest first."
[04/30 10:47pm] Sessine says wryly, "And I'll have to find him, first. That may take. . . a little while. Even running on empty, he's not going to be easy to find."
[04/30 11:00pm] The Lady Lelila sighs. "Indeed. But, do get some rest, hm?" She smiles up at him, catches Z in a brief hug. One tentative glance up toward the cliffs, before she slips out of the square.
[04/30 11:07pm] Sessine says to Zolotisty, "Tomorrow, can you help me find him?"
[04/30 11:11pm] The Soloist Zolotisty smiles a little. "You think I'd say no?"
[04/30 11:26pm] Sessine smiles back. "Not 'are you willing to.' I had no doubt of that. I was asking about strength of signal."
[04/30 11:29pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "I'll lose him if I wait." She shrugs. It's already faint. "I'd meant to stay out tonight anyway, though. I'll keep track of him. Then, tomorrow." A nod as she inhales.
[04/30 11:42pm] Sessine reaches out as if to touch her, but doesn't, quite. "Tomorrow," he says.
[04/30 11:47pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's eyebrows twitch. She wets her bottom lip, scraping it with her teeth and inhales as if to speak, but doesn't, quite. "Okay." Then it's settled. She moves to leave.
[05/01 01:04am] Sessine nods. "I'll. . ." His mouth twists. "I'm not looking forward to it."
[05/01 01:09am] The Soloist Zolotisty half-smiles. There's no humor to it, just empathy. Why should he? "Aye, well."
[05/01 01:25am] Sessine nods slightly. "Well." Then he snorts. "Articulate pair tonight, aren't we? I think there are things to be said, but not, perhaps, tonight. Just this. . ."
[05/01 01:29am] The Soloist Zolotisty raises her eyebrows.
[05/01 01:30am] Sessine touches her arm gently. "You've been running yourself ragged, and now. . ." He looks into her eyes. "I wish I could take this burden from you tonight, but you're the only one who can do it."
[05/01 01:37am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Being ragged suits me fine." Z steps against Sessine and rests her chin on his shoulder as she slips her arms around him. The pressure is uneven; she's still favoring her left arm.
[05/01 01:38am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "My job's easy. Yours, not so much."
[05/01 01:53am] Sessine holds her, and it is the most natural thing in the world for his hand to stroke the curve of her neck, once. "Not so hard. I'll just have to remember I'm fighting the other. Not KK."
[05/01 01:55am] Sessine reminds himself that this hug is for comfort and shared strength, and holds her close.
[05/01 02:01am] The Soloist Zolotisty tensed, a jolt of alarm along her spine, and he'll have known. But.. he'll know, too, that it seeped away. Zolotisty stayed just where she was, is. "Mn.. well."
[05/01 02:03am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Still KK maybe. Just not the one we know or the one he wants to be. This one's the one he was made to be and isn't. I don't think that can go without acknowledging."
[05/01 02:04am] The Soloist Zolotisty draws away.
[05/01 02:16am] Sessine says, low, "I know. But that other, the empty shell, what they tried to make him into. In a way, I've been fighting it - teaching him to fight it - since we met. It's his enemy. . . and so, mine."
[05/01 02:22am] The Soloist Zolotisty nods. "I understand." She glances around the Outpost. There are a few lights on in some cottages adjacent to this street and there's always a single light on in the eaves of the Dip.
[05/01 02:24am] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "I'm going to go before he's too far." Too faint. "Sleep, please." She angles her chin as she regards him. Then she reaches some private accord and slips off into the dark.
[05/01 02:35am] Sessine looks after her into the darkness for a long while. Then he turns, sees the frame he set on air when he heard Lelila calling. Retrieving it, he heads for the fastness. Sleep there. . . maybe.

The Resolution.

The Twisted Spoon

(3h5m) The Cat of KK Victoria pads up to the door, faintly smelling remnants of KK. She sighs, heavily, then elects to wait on the stoop for Sessine to come by. He has to eventually, and they need to discuss strategy.
(2h54m) Sessine comes by quite soon, actually. When he sees Alice he invites her in. Seeing her rather subdued demeanor, he asks, "Have you eaten? What can I offer you?" He goes to the kitchen and she follows him.
(2h50m) The Cat of KK Victoria shakes her head. "No, I haven't." She pads in on the tile, looking around. "Anything spicy, if you've got it." She says. Similar tastes. . .
(2h39m) Sessine considers. Ah. "I have some of yesterday's curried chicken. Singapore style - likely not hot enough for your taste, but hotter than the Cantonese." He takes the bowl from the fridge and warms it.
(2h37m) Sessine gives Alice the bowl, and says, "Eat first. Then we can talk. I presume that's why you dropped by."
(2h37m) The Cat of KK Victoria contemplates the food a moment as Sessine sets it on the floor in front of her. "You've been thinking I suppose?" She asks, taking a bite. Least she eats like a normal cat. . .
(2h34m) Sessine cuts himself some corned beef, thinly sliced, and makes a sandwich with rye bread and mayo, no mustard. He takes a bite. Hm, well, he's had better, but it's fuel.
(2h33m) The Cat of KK Victoria finishes most of the food, glad to finally have something to eat. "Thank you, Sessine." She says quietly, her tail flicking to the side. "Have you a place preferable to talk in?"
(2h25m) Sessine finishes his sandwich. (When he makes a sandwich, it doesn't go running all over the Island eating Newbies. But hey, that's CDAG's business.) "Out in the main room? It's more comfortable."
(2h22m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods, following Sessine out. She leaps up into one of the chairs, landing on the back and then sliding down to the seat. She watches Sessine find his own spot before starting.
(2h20m) Sessine sits in a chair. "Yes, I've been thinking. But I'd appreciate any advice you can give."
(2h15m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "What sort of experience do you already have?" She asks. Obviously if Sessine has been here this long and has been this successful, he's got to know something of fighting.
(2h9m) Sessine says, "Well, I got to the point long ago where none of the jungle monsters present a challenge. But that's true of all veterans. If you're asking weapons, I've used the plasma gun lately, which. . ."
(2h7m) Sessine continues, ". . .I quite realize isn't going to do anything at all to KK. But I also have a lot of experience with the riot hammer. Guns. . . not so much. Hardly at all."
(2h6m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods slowly. "Hm. . ." She considers it for a moment. "How much do you trust your fists?" She asks, thinking about the concept for a moment.
(1h59m) Sessine says with a shrug, "They work. Like most every veteran, I've tried naked drive kill runs. Not recently. It depended on how Improbability was flowing. Sometimes two days, sometimes one. So yes."
(1h54m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "I'd avoid your usual equipment. . . KK needs to know that you're threatening. . . Quite frankly, most common equipment around here looks like a joke. . ."
(1h50m) The Cat of KK Victoria stretches widly. "You can acquire a 9mm, right?" She asks, looking over to him. "KK's training is based on perfect logic. He'll run if you approach with a close combat weapon. . ."
(1h49m) The Cat of KK Victoria rolls onto her back. "Simply because he knows he can outrun you right now. You need to show that if he tries to run, you have the ability to kill him. Death is second to last resort in his mind."
(1h46m) Sessine thinks about that. "There's history. I gave him a free punch at me once, didn't even try to defend. He knocked me cold then. How do you think that would play into his thinking now? Good or bad?"
(1h42m) The Cat of KK Victoria sighs, setting her head on the edge of the chair. "It would be good, if he remembered. Instincts don't care to remember. It's immediate present, immediate future, and immediate past, nothing else."
(1h41m) The Cat of KK Victoria rolls over again. "I was thinking about it a while. . . He doesn't know you, you might have to play off as a Rival or something. Someone he'd have to stop to fight. . ."
(1h38m) Sessine asks, "What would identify me as a rival, in his mind?"
(1h36m) The Cat of KK Victoria frowns, leaping off the chair and reaching up to one of the tables, pulling down a pad of paper. "You have ink?" She asks, looking up at him, realizing that a pen would be. . . An obstacle.
(1h35m) Sessine is thinking about the many times he's seen KK shrug off bullet wounds as nothing. Maybe if he's already near exhaustion. . . but he's still not sure a 9mm would register with him as Ability to Kill.
(1h33m) Sessine says, "I can have. . . Ah, here." He proffers an old-fashioned inkwell filled with India ink.
(1h30m) The Cat of KK Victoria thanks him quietly, dipping her paw inside and beginning to draw some odd symbols on it. One of them is the simple elegant V that the Victorian soldiers wear. Another looks like a Celtic cross.
(1h29m) The Cat of KK Victoria draws a few more symbols. One not unlike the Eye of Horus, a few marks involving Crescent moons and odd shapes. None of them look altogether outwardly violent, just. . . Strange.
(1h28m) The Cat of KK Victoria finishes, ending with a crown with a star beneath and a sword through the middle. "Different families." It's rather unsettling to be shown that there are actually so many of these 'families. . .'
(1h24m) The Cat of KK Victoria looks up to Sessine. "It is considered an act of war to display colors around one another when family ties are known. Families agree to forget the others exist."
(1h21m) The Cat of KK Victoria sighs, turning the paper around for Sessine to better see. "Any one of these may set him off, obligate him to fight. How you fight him is much more important, however."
(1h19m) Sessine says, "Let me get this straight. You think I should impersonate someone from another of these. . . families. Wear their insignia. Move like I've been trained by them."
(1h16m) The Cat of KK Victoria shrugs. "If you wish. I don't think it'd be necessary. I don't know them well enough to tell you how they fight. . . I'm much more concerned about KK getting out of this in acceptable condition."
(1h17m) Sessine says, "I don't think that will work. My fighting style is mine. It's not remotely like what I've seen from Victorian soldiers. I'm a reasonably good actor, but. . . tsh."
(1h16m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods, agreeing wholly. "Exactly. It's more important that we get the actual fighting down first, agreed?"
(1h16m) Sessine says, "Well, that's what concerns me, too. Go ahead, let's talk about that part."
(1h13m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "First problem is establishing that if KK runs, you have the ability to kill him. A bullet won't kill him, but it'll slow him down enough. Small arms can be near lethal to him right now."
(1h13m) Sessine says, "So when you say 9mm, you mean the pistol, not the Uzi."
(1h13m) The Cat of KK Victoria continues. "Victoria keeps special rounds in the compound. Phosphorous rounds, set to explode. Though that seems excessive. Even firing at him shouldn't be necessary,just let him know you have one"
(1h10m) The Cat of KK Victoria nods again. "Yeah. Something that won't get in the way when you actually engage him."
(1h3m) Sessine says, "So. Find him, make sure he sees the insignia, and the pistol. Fight him barehanded." He pauses. "Not that it makes a difference to what I do, but do you think he'll be weaponless, too?"
(1h3m) The Cat of KK Victoria sighs. "As for the actual fighting. . . Please, don't hold back. . . I know you're going to have trouble, but it's all we can do for him."
(1h2m) The Cat of KK Victoria perks up. "I'm not sure. If he's got something, he's probably out of bullets. The armory was destroyed in the Caverns, and that's the only place he's come back to."
(53m39s) Sessine says, "No, I won't hold back. But when he's down. . . hm. Well, assuming that he's down. . . The objective is to let the KK we know come back. That's the tricky part."
(51m14s) The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "Lelila knows what to do." She says quietly. "The mental equivilent of a tranquilizer. We just need him still for her to work."
(45m57s) Sessine says, "All right." He gets up. "Let me see whether Zolotisty still knows where he is. Hm. Oh. Which one of these insignia would you recommend I use?"
(43m44s) The Cat of KK Victoria shrugs, then points to the one of the crown with the sword through it, the star beneath. "I'll find Lelila." She says, getting up and stretching once more, waiting for Sessine to get the door.
(40m30s) Sessine recalls the general appearance of the V used by Victorian soldiers. Yes, he can reproduce this design with that look. It doesn't have to withstand close examination.
(34m11s) The Cat of KK Victoria pads against the door. "Shiza." She mutters quietly. Damn lack of thumbs and damn lack of handlebar doors in favor of round knobs. . .
(33m21s) Sessine picks up the paper, and opens the door. "Thank-you, Alice. You're welcome to come in here any time you like. . . I'll see to it there's a door you can manage."
(29m56s) The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "Of course Sessine. You've got means to acquire a pistol I assume?" She asks, padding down the pathway.
(28m27s) Sessine nods. "Yes - that's the easy part."
(27m32s) The Cat of KK Victoria nods, then tenses, blasting off to find Lelila.

Ace High

[05/01 04:34pm] The Cat of KK Victoria wanders in with Lelila a short distance behind her. "We're to meet Sessine and Zolotisty here. Then we'll head out." She explains, her tail flicking anxiously. She's understandably nervous.
[05/01 04:34pm] The Soloist Zolotisty has been awake for a very long time now but you wouldn't know it by the singular application of her focus or the steady intention to her gait. Miles away from AceHigh proper.
[05/01 04:35pm] The Lady Lelila nods shortly, following after the cat. "Right." She may be nervous, but her expression is like stone.
[05/01 04:57pm] Sessine comes out of clan hall. He's wearing an odd medallion of a crown with a sword through it, a star beneath.
[05/01 04:58pm] Sessine gestures at it to Alice. Will this pass? his look inquires.
[05/01 05:00pm] The Cat of KK Victoria nods carefully. It should work just fine.
[05/01 05:02pm] The Cat of KK Victoria shivers. "I think it might rain. We should hurry. Is Zolo out there?" She asks, looking up at Sessine.
[05/01 05:02pm] The Lady Lelila shifts her weight uneasily, but her expression is still stoic.
[05/01 05:04pm] Sessine speaks in his head. Alan, can you let Zolotisty know that we're ready? A voice replies, Done. Good luck, Sessine. I liked KK too. I'll help if I can.
[05/01 05:05pm] Sessine says, "She knows now. She's been told we're ready."
[05/01 05:06pm] The Cat of KK Victoria nods. "Alright. She knows where he is right?"
[05/01 05:08pm] The Soloist Zolotisty pauses, responds, I can come to them and bring them here or they can come to me. He's not so far - I just.. mn, I can't bring three people tagalong if I go to them, we'd have to walk.
[05/01 05:08pm] Sessine doesn't even need to check. "Yes. She had the trail last night. She wouldn't lose him."
[05/01 05:18pm] Sessine thinks, Can you guide us, with directions from Zolotisty? Alandre answers, Yes. This way. A light appears in Sessine's vision, pointing the way.
[05/01 05:19pm] Sessine says, "We'll go to him. I'll know the path." He leads the way.
[05/01 05:20pm] The Lady Lelila nods, takes a slow breath before following after Sessine.
[05/01 05:20pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks to Lelila, then follows close behind Sessine, taking note of the pistol in his coat.
[05/01 05:21pm] The Soloist Zolotisty inhales when Alandre relays confirmation. Where are they? Ah - okay. I'll see if I can get him headed that way. Hard to herd KK Victoria but even a job half done is better than none.
[05/01 05:24pm] The Soloist Zolotisty can at least work toward level ground. The terrain here is steep and given to abrupt rifts and breaks; the vegetation is so thick that it's impassable in places. Excellent for secreting oneself.
[05/01 05:28pm] Sessine follows the light only he can see. Down, through bushes, past a small creek, then up over a ridge.
[05/01 05:32pm] Slow brooding clouds overhead and the humid promise of rain.
[05/01 05:33pm] The Lady Lelila loses her footing briefly while climbing the ridge, scrambling for a moment. Focus, Lelila.
[05/01 05:34pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks over her shoulder at Lelila, a little concerned, but continues to leap nimbly over the ridges and roots, beneath the bushes with a hunter's ease.
[05/01 05:35pm] The Soloist Zolotisty breathes out through her teeth some time later. The trees are thinner here, and though the ground is still sloped, it is almost unnoticeable. I can hear them now.
[05/01 05:43pm] 'Two miles east, AceHigh, four miles South, caves, half mile North, Caverns.' I understood the processes. Apparently I was knocking off where I couldn't go. My body suddenly tensed.
[05/01 05:45pm] Closer.
[05/01 05:47pm] The Lady Lelila keeps close to Sessine, glances down at the cat. Softly releases a shaky breath.
[05/01 05:47pm] I moved closer, out of cover in a low crouch, trying best to keep the least bit exposed. I couldn't help but think I'd begun to die. I wasn't moving slowly for stealth, but of necessity.
[05/01 05:48pm] Closer still. Alandre, have them stop. Stop. He'll know if they're moving, stop.
[05/01 05:49pm] You are running low. Find food. Now. Body temperature is dropping. You are tired. You need sleep. The least I could do was try to keep those thoughts out. I needed to stay weak, try and help. . .
[05/01 05:52pm] Sessine gestures to Lelila and the cat: Stop. Finger to lips - no talking, now.
[05/01 05:53pm] The Lady Lelila halts, her hands involuntarily closing into fists at her sides.
[05/01 05:53pm] A distant rumble of thunder from the eastern mountains.
[05/01 05:55pm] The Cat of KK Victoria freezes, lowering belly to the ground and keeping quiet, eyes trained ahead.
[05/01 05:56pm] 'Rain. Can't fight in rain. Need to find cover.' 'You don't need to find cover. You're fine in the rain.' At least I was getting distracted, losing focus to lack of sleep. I listened.
[05/01 05:59pm]  Sessine soundlessly slips the pistol from his coat to his hand. His body hides it from Lelila. . . he doesn't know if the cat explained.
[05/01 05:59pm]  The Soloist Zolotisty is close enough to KK to see him. The group is just ahead through the trees, she knows that - and there's only one good way to bolt. Treading deliberately now, she breaks a dead branch.
[05/01 05:59pm]  The Soloist Zolotisty seizes the sound - loud. The crack could be from a rifle.
[05/01 06:01pm] Run. RUN. Legs were already stopping just as they reached speed. 'Who is that.' 'He has a pistol.' 'That symbol. ''He's a Kunig.' I screamed out inside. 'What the Hell are they doing?!'
[05/01 06:02pm] Sessine steps forward, one pace.
[05/01 06:03pm] The Lady Lelila does not move, does not flinch as she sees KK.
[05/01 06:04pm] I dropped to a low crouch. Gun. Escape isn't possible. He has backup. "Back off." The voice wasn't mine. It reminded me of when the wind had talked with my voice. It wasn't me.
[05/01 06:05pm] Sessine says, low and level, "Victoria."
[05/01 06:06pm] The Cat of KK Victoria winces at the snarl of KK's voice. "Back off!" Venom laced to the words. Alice looks over to Lelila, almost a reassuring expression.
[05/01 06:07pm] Sessine takes another measured step forward.
[05/01 06:07pm] The Lady Lelila does not see Alice. Her gaze is fixed on KK, on whoever this is, crouched before them. The harsh voice echoes through her - a voice she does not know.
[05/01 06:08pm] The Soloist Zolotisty has stopped now where the trees break, where KK just came from - she can see everyone, she can see KK's back, she can see that gun. Alandre! What - It's alright. It's alright.
[05/01 06:11pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks up a bit, KK's facing them, but not looking at them. "What you want?" Barely words, almost a growl and a roar, fused into KK's own voice.
[05/01 06:14pm] Sessine moves forward further, gun in steady hand. "You. Victoria. I want you. We're moving in. This island isn't big enough for two families."
[05/01 06:16pm] 'Messenger. Easier to fight, than run.' Fists clench. 'Losing focus. Failed to remember the backup.'
[05/01 06:19pm] The Lady Lelila flicks her gaze to Sessine for a brief moment. Ah.
[05/01 06:20pm] Sessine says, "Surrender, Victoria."
[05/01 06:21pm] The Cat of KK Victoria winces at the words from KK. "Kill me." A direct challenge. Harsh words, but exactly what they were looking for.
[05/01 06:24pm] The Lady Lelila hears the words, and feels her heart break. She knows they are not his words, but she cannot hold back a silent cry.
[05/01 06:26pm] The Cat of KK Victoria can feel Lelila tense up. She puts a paw on her shoulder. Least she can do to reassure.
[05/01 06:27pm] Sessine sidesteps swiftly, passes Lelila the gun. "That can be arranged," he says smoothly, and moves past KK in a bounding somersault, the edge of his foot connecting in passing with KK's ear.
[05/01 06:28pm] Sessine lands beyond KK, whirls, and circles him to the right.
[05/01 06:29pm] The Lady Lelila starts as the cold metal is pressed into her hand, her gaze instantly snapping back to the clearing. It takes every ounce of self-control she posesses to stay still.
[05/01 06:29pm] The Cat of KK Victoria watches closely. KK ducks the kick, whirling around and taking up a fighting stance, keeping an evasive distance. Something Sessine will have to close to prevent escape.
[05/01 06:35pm] Drop down, feign right, strike. I winced inside as my fist connected with Sessine's jaw, though I was glad that I didn't have the energy to do even a fraction of what I've done before.
[05/01 06:35pm] Sessine knows KK won't try to run when there's a gun still trained. He circles, feints, then under his guard, and a swift measured punch to the carotid. Evaded, of course. But KK's reactions are slow.
[05/01 06:38pm] Sessine rolls with the punch and barely feels it. A jab to the solar plexus, a feint at the groin, then a full-force uppercut.
[05/01 06:39pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's shoulders are taut, head low as she watches. As tense and still as Lelila.
[05/01 06:41pm] I stumbled backwards, felt blood. Not acidic, not enough sulfur to make it burn. The idea of retreat appeals more. I dropped back down, a weak haymaker misses. Wasted strength.
[05/01 06:42pm] The Lady Lelila cannot stop a small noise from escaping her as the blow connects. The gun trembles in her grip.
[05/01 06:50pm] Sessine sees that KK is weakening. His guard is sagging, slow. There's an opening - but at the last fraction of a second, he pulls it. It's little more than a tap.
[05/01 06:51pm] The Cat of KK Victoria 's eye twitches. Idiot! KK has taken the opportunity, clipping out Sessine's leg and rushing past him, the only opening offered.
[05/01 06:52pm] ccRRACK! A roar through the jungle. Birds scatter to the skies and KK hits the ground, made only thirty feet distance. His leg is leaking blood.
[05/01 06:54pm] The Soloist Zolotisty takes three steps forward, involuntary.
appearing just beside Zolotisy. Doesn't even have time to work out surroundings before the CRACK assaults her ears.
[05/01 06:55pm] DO Victoria storms out of the brush, a heavy caliber rifle in her hand. She immediately charges up to KK, pushing the rifle barrel into the back of his head. "Hands back!" she roars. KK complies weakly.
[05/01 06:55pm] Sessine is upon him, applying a hold that will only be painful if he struggles.
[05/01 06:56pm] DO Victoria looks furious, gritted teeth. KK's hands reach out, onto the back of his head. DO looks over to Sessine and Lelila, the look 'Hurry up!' is clear. KK shuffles, growls.
[05/01 06:57pm] The Lady Lelila stares in shock at Domino, the pistol going slack in her grip. With a start, she remembers what they came here to do.
[05/01 06:57pm] Sessine says to DO, "And where were you all this time? Watching the show?"
[05/01 06:58pm] The Lady Lelila approaches, but squeezes her eyes shut. All that blood. Tries to calm herself, calm her mind. Proves difficult.
[05/01 06:58pm] DO Victoria glares to Sessine, though a mere hold won't be enough. KK snaps his teeth, now the size of guitar picks. DO cocks the rifle, ready to fire. It's obvious she's not messing around. "Shutup." She snaps.
[05/01 06:59pm] The Lady Lelila sets her jaw, allows a quiet static to fill her mind, drown out everything else. A nothing. A calm, if such a thing could be called so. From somewhere, she hears Sessine and Domino, ignores them.
[05/01 07:00pm] "Get the FUCK OFF!" I roared insults, swearing in languages I didn't remember learning. Swore at everything, but inside I was pleading. 'Please stop me!' Snapping teeth, claws, rage.
[05/01 07:00pm] The Lady Lelila carefully, cautiously reaches. Brushes carefully with the angry, feral being before her.
[05/01 07:02pm] Sessine holds on. A mere rifle won't be enough. And he's not going to let DO kill KK.
[05/01 07:03pm] More roars, gnashing teeth, foaming. "Stay AWAY!" 'Don't go.' "GET OFF!" 'Stay close.' "Kill me!" 'Save me.' Please. . .
[05/01 07:03pm] The Lady Lelila does not shy away, though she wants to. No trace of familiarity.
[05/01 07:04pm] Sessine will hold for as long as it takes.
[05/01 07:04pm] The Lady Lelila exhales sharply, her nails cutting deep into her palms as her hands close into fists. The static builds, reverberates off of itself within her.
[05/01 07:04pm] DO Victoria drops the rifle to the ground, wrapping an iron arm around KK's neck and keeping a hand over his eyes to prevent him from biting.
[05/01 07:05pm] The Lady Lelila snaps her eyes open, and they are blazing, staring fiercely. KK is thrashing, pulling, fighting, but she locks his gaze, stares into him. Through him.
[05/01 07:06pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen, watching from a distance, goes white as he watches KK Victoria. He isn't. . ..
[05/01 07:08pm] The Lady Lelila gasps, opens herself - a shriek of white noise, and primal blast of nothing. A violent, fierce quiescence. Words fall from her lips, strong and demanding. "You. Will. Be. Calm."
[05/01 07:09pm] "STAY. . . Stay. . . STAY. . ." The voice is unsteady, the animal is dying out, pacifying. I was. . .pain. A loud. Loud. . . A Blaring noise. Dis. . . Distru-disrupte. . . And KK faded out, silent.
[05/01 07:11pm] The Cat of KK Victoria pads over quickly. DO stands up, collecting her rifle to set over her shoulder. Alice speaks up. "We need to get him someplace familiar. Zolo, or Sessine, can you get him to the Compound?"
[05/01 07:12pm] The Lady Lelila slowly, slowly fades the roaring silence from her mind, catches herself before her knees give. "Did. . . did it work?" she asks weakly.
[05/01 07:13pm] The Cat of KK Victoria pads up to Lelila, a paw on her leg. "He's out. Five days of running. I think he'll wake up okay. . ."
[05/01 07:14pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is hoarse. "Yes. I can move him. Only him, though. Maybe one more."
[05/01 07:15pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks to Lelila. "Can you take her too?" She asks, looking around. "We can bandage him there." The hole in KK's leg is. . . Gaping. . .
[05/01 07:16pm] The Lady Lelila slowly crouches down, reaching out to touch him, stopping just short. "Oh, Kai. . ."
[05/01 07:16pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods. She pads forward quick.
[05/01 07:17pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's gaze lingers for a moment on Sessine. "We'll see you there." She won't be able to come back - it will be a trick to pull KK and Lelila. The cat, Sessine.. untenable.
[05/01 07:18pm] Sessine would mention the fact that he doesn't have a key to the Compound, but now isn't the time to stand on invitations. There are other ways.
[05/01 07:18pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks over to Sessine. DO's already gone. "I'll see you there, alright?" She says, tensing up her leg and blasting off in a comet of fire.
[05/01 07:19pm] Sessine says to Alice, "Do you have a one-shot, or will you share mine?"
[05/01 07:19pm] The Soloist Zolotisty leans and closes her hand around KK's shoulder. The other around Lelila's elbow, and they're gone.
[05/01 07:20pm] Sessine laughs. She was gone before he finished the question.
[05/01 07:21pm] Sessine activates his own teleporter, and follows.

The Compound

[05/01 07:21pm] The Soloist Zolotisty arrives with KK and Lelila - as with any of Z's disappearances, it is simple physical relocation with no change in between. Lelila's still kneeling. KK's still sprawled.
[05/01 07:23pm] The Cat of KK Victoria hits the ground outside, uncurling out of her comet before touching down to avoid ground damage. She then leaps through a window, bounding through the halls to locate Z and Lelila.
[05/01 07:24pm] Sessine arrives shortly thereafter.
[05/01 07:25pm] The Lady Lelila looks over KK carefully, and a subtle panic begins to build. "His knee. He's too weak, right now. . ."
[05/01 07:26pm] Sessine removes the false insignia and slips it into his pocket. Not a thing, he's gathered, that it's wise to wear in a Victoria household.
[05/01 07:26pm] The Soloist Zolotisty fixed on the Sewing Room. It's the only place in here she has any passing familiarity with. She takes a step backward. The room somersaults, Z shakes off vertigo. "Who can I get. Anyone?"
[05/01 07:27pm] The Cat of KK Victoria perks up as one of the Italian chefs rush in, holding a red box. He quickly opens it up, taking out the bandages and quickly wrapping it up. The other two chefs watch from the doorway.
[05/01 07:28pm] The Cat of KK Victoria watches carefully as the man bandages up KK on the ground to try and stop his leg from bleeding too much. Least the blood isn't acidic. KK would be angry at himself for ruining Lelila's floor. . .
[05/01 07:29pm] Sessine sees Zolotisty swaying. "Sit. Hm. No, lie down. You're done, we have him."
[05/01 07:29pm] The Lady Lelila does not leave his side as the man works, ignores the blood soaking into her skirts. She holds KK's hand - it is unnervingly cool.
[05/01 07:30pm] The Cat of KK Victoria nods to the smaller room off to the corner. "There's a sofa in there, and blankets." She rushes up to the door, jerking down the handle to shoulder through and point Sessine inside.
[05/01 07:31pm] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't protest. She crouches and spreads one hand on the floor for support. It becomes a sit eventually, though she doesn't lie down.
[05/01 07:32pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks over to the two women who are waiting by the door. "Get glucose, bring it here. Syringes." She orders. The women ignore that it was a cat talking and rush off to get what was requested.
[05/01 07:35pm] The Cat of KK Victoria turns around upon hearing the Italian speak. "Sir, could you give me a hand? Grab one beneath the leg, put his arm over your shoulder." Lelila looks at the chef with alarm at KK being moved.
[05/01 07:36pm] Sessine sits beside Zolotisty. "I may be wanted later, when he wakes up," he says. "But for right now, it's medical attention he needs. And he's getting it."
[05/01 07:36pm] The Cat of KK Victoria moves into the smaller room to blow a stream of flame into the fireplace to warm up the cozy den. "It'll be fine Miss." The chef says. "We just need be gentle."
[05/01 07:38pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods faintly. She watched without moving her head when they carried KK into the other room - now she breathes carefully and focuses on the floor. "How are you? Alright?"
[05/01 07:41pm] The Cat of KK Victoria beckons in the two other chefs. One has a metal case, the other has a bottle of odd colored liquid. They prepare the syringe, setting it into KK's arm and injecting in glucose to give him energy.
[05/01 07:42pm] The Cat of KK Victoria leaps up to the edge of the sofa, curling up in the crook of KK's neck to provide a bit of warmth. Lelila deems to sit on the floor, watching KK and keeping a hand on his forehead.
[05/01 07:43pm] Sessine nods. "Yes, fine." He has a few bruises from the fight, but nothing to bother about. "It was easier than I thought it would be. He was very worn out."
[05/01 07:45pm] The Soloist Zolotisty listens to the bustle and murmur in the other room - fragmented sentences. 'No, you want a one twenty cc -' 'Got it?' 'Yes.'
[05/01 07:46pm] The Soloist Zolotisty nods again.
[05/01 07:50pm] Sessine eyes Zolo. "You look like you could use about twenty hours sleep. Probably a good idea, if you want to be fresh for the wedding."
[05/01 07:54pm] The Soloist Zolotisty blinks dully. "The wh.. oh. Aye." She gets her feet under herself - clumsy - and gets up.
[05/01 07:57pm] The Cat of KK Victoria looks to Zolo. "KK keeps lots of extra rooms. If you want to stay, you can." She doesn't feel right, inviting what isn't hers, but she's positive KK wouldn't mind.
[05/01 07:59pm] Sessine says, "I'm supposed to be officiating. I need to think of some introductory remarks. . ." He laughs. "Try to be original, I suppose, but not too original."
[05/01 08:02pm] Sessine says, "Sleep here. I'm sure KK won't mind."
[05/01 08:04pm] The Soloist Zolotisty steadies herself. "No. Thank you, though, that's very kind." She palms her face. She'd prefer some place more familiar and she's perfectly capable of walking, yet. "It'll be interesting," she says.
[05/01 08:07pm] The Soloist Zolotisty says, "Iono what the customs are." She moves to peer into the little room. A nod to Lelila, a long look at KK. "Marriages, I mean." She sniffs. Okay. Sleep, now. Z turns.
[05/01 08:17pm] Sessine says, "Clan hall's not far. Walk you there?"
[05/01 08:19pm] The Soloist Zolotisty murmurs, "C'mon, then."
[05/01 08:22pm] Sessine follows her out.

The Restoration.

Improbable Central, edited for length/relevance

[05/01 08:24pm] The Soloist Zolotisty trails from the Victoria Compound.
[05/01 08:29pm] Sessine walks beside Zolotisty.
[05/01 08:30pm] The Soloist Zolotisty wants to know who decided clan headquarters had to be way the hell over there. She wants to have a stern talk with them and oversteep their tea. She wants to serve them stale biscuits.
[05/01 08:31pm] The Soloist Zolotisty very dearly wants to sleep. She and Sessine head into clan hall.
[05/01 08:32pm] Rosin eyes Z and Sessine as they pass. Maybe she'll stop in on them later.
[05/01 08:38pm] Questor Tor NaGoth opens a Door and steps into the square from Ace High, letting the door vanish behind him.
[05/01 08:45pm] Questor Tor NaGoth smiles, and waves at Kim, as he heads over ot take a seat beneathe the Coconut Tree.
[05/01 08:49pm] Sessine comes out of clan hall a short while later. People will be having questions, especially anyone who's been in AceHigh, and better to answer them here than have people waking Zolotisty for them.
[05/01 08:50pm] Sessine sees Tor under his coconut tree, and walks over to say hello.
[05/01 08:51pm] Questor Tor NaGoth looks up at Sessine, "I saw the beginning, and the end, but I'm afraid I've missed the middle in it's entirety. I take it Kai is resting now?"
[05/01 08:53pm] Sessine says, "Yes. No knowing what he'll be thinking of me when he wakes up, but Lelila's there with him."
[05/01 08:54pm] Questor Tor NaGoth nods, then asks, "And Domino?"
[05/01 08:56pm] Sessine says to Tor, "No idea where she came from, or where she went. A Victoria family thing, I suppose."
[05/01 08:59pm] Questor Tor NaGoth shrugs, "Well. It appears Lelila can calm him after a fashion. Hopefully it won't be necessary."
[05/01 09:01pm] Nurse Kellye Lady Akitsu blinks, wandering over to have a closer inspection. "What's all this? You found him, then? Finally tired him out?"
[05/01 09:03pm] Rosin raises an eyebrow at the talk of KK. "So, he'll be back soon, will he?"
[05/01 09:05pm] Sessine says, "Let's be clear about that: what she calmed, what I fought, wasn't the KK we know, the KK I hope we'll have back when he wakes up."
[05/01 09:08pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "KK?! He's back?"
[05/01 09:08pm] Sessine looks around at the others. "For anyone who doesn't know: Kai was subjected to a truly horrible conditioning process from earliest childhood. Here on the Island, he's grown, changed, matured. . ."
[05/01 09:10pm] Sessine says, "He's learned about friendship, kindness, love. He didn't have any of that when he got here. The KK we know, is not his conditioning. He fights it. But it fights back."
[05/01 09:13pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "Sessine, am I missing some vital piece of information here?"
[05/01 09:14pm] Sessine grins at Giuseppe. "Oh, probably, but I don't know what it is. Ask away."
[05/01 09:19pm] Sessine frowns. "I thought I was in the process of explaining what his problem was. Perhaps I wasn't clear. KK was raised from infancy to be a soldier. And nothing but a soldier. No softer impulses."
[05/01 09:20pm] Ona Tko Vidi Teia knows some of this, has 'seen' more. . . Kai has lived a terrible life. . . the island gave him freedom and friendship and love. she knows little else.
[05/01 09:22pm] Sessine says, "The process was brutal. Only, he arrived here, and we didn't treat him like that. We offered warmth, friendliness, and he responded. He learned. He even found love, with Lelila."
[05/01 09:22pm] Rosin can sympathize very well with KK's childhood, insofar as the being raised as a soldier from birth. She left that behind her a long time ago.
[05/01 09:27pm] Sessine says, "But. As I said, he fought his conditioning, and his conditioning fought back. Great stress. Impossible for any of us to understand fully. When he thought he'd lost Lelila. . . that broke him."
[05/01 09:28pm] Rosin sits on the edge of the fountain, looking over at Sessine. "So, you found his body, but you don't know if you have his mind as well?"
[05/01 09:31pm] Sessine says, "His conditioning took over, and he became all instinct. Only. . . the KK who'd grown and learned here was still there, inside. Lost. Trapped. Unable to control his body."
[05/01 09:32pm] Rosin frowns, knowing that feeling all too well. "So essentially we had a feral Victoria in the jungle?"
[05/01 09:33pm] Sessine says, "We'll have to see what happens next. But Lelila has powers of her own. Those of you who were here will remember how she was even able to make the Wind feel compassion."
[05/01 09:33pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "That sounds frightening. A man with that kind of power but no ability to cotrol it."
[05/01 09:34pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen watches and listens and maintains his silence.
[05/01 09:35pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo sitsdown on the fountain's rim. "So what is our nest course of action?"
[05/01 09:36pm] Sessine says, "KK is resting in the Compound now, being treated for exhaustion and a bullet wound. Lelila's with him. I believe that she will be able to free the KK we know, and we'll have him back."
[05/01 09:37pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "Let's pray that she can."
[05/01 09:38pm] Rosin nods stoicly. "If anyone could bring back the KK we know, it would be Lelila."
[05/01 09:38pm] Sessine says, "So the next question is, how are you all going to treat him? If you shrink from him in fear, you will undo Lelila's work. The way to strengthen his control is to trust that he has it."
[05/01 09:40pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo notices Gor's silence, but leaves him be. Sometimes the best way to communicate is to remain silent.
[05/01 09:40pm] Ona Tko Vidi Teia nods "I've never feared KK, I was scared for him when he snapped like that. . . but even then i never feared him. . . I think i can do that"
[05/01 09:41pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "I propose that we act as if nothing had happened atall."
[05/01 09:41pm] Rosin grins. "Would I treat KK any differently if he was beast or man? No. Had I been there, I surely would not be alive. The instant I tried to help I would have been gone."
[05/01 09:42pm] Sessine says, "Every time that you show that you don't believe he'll harm you, you strengthen the part of him that doesn't want to harm you. You make it easier for him to win against his conditioning."
[05/01 09:42pm] Rosin actually might be better to KK after his return. She has first person experience (to a lesser degree) of what he's been through. "I'll make sure to treat him well."
[05/01 09:43pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo remembers that this strategy is called positive reinforcement.
[05/01 09:44pm] Blade Dancer Theo yawns and walks into town, overhearing the conversation "KK is strong, the problem is both his self and his instincts are strong, so we must give strength to his self to help him fight instinct"
[05/01 09:46pm] Rosin stands, walking over to face Sessine. Her voice is barely a whisper on the wind, and only he can hear. "How did you do it?"
[05/01 09:48pm] Sessine says, "Kimmy, I think that approach is absolutely right. He's your clan leader. So trust him. Respect, of course." He grins. "It's hard not to respect KK. But also trust his sense of honor."
[05/01 09:50pm] Ona Tko Vidi Teia nods "the real kk would never hurt a friend, trust in that and the rest will come"
[05/01 09:50pm] Sessine mouths back. . . "Tell you later."
[05/01 09:50pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo believes that a wise man once said "A man without his honor is nothing."
[05/01 09:52pm] Rosin nods, stepping back to sit on the fountain. "KK would not hurt anyone if it were up to him. He drives all his anger toward himself, through his statues."
[05/01 09:53pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo turns to face Rosin. "But directing anger towards yourself is very unhealthy."
[05/01 09:53pm] Gorbert Vanhousserhoffen stands and walks over to Sessine; he whispers something to him.
[05/01 09:53pm] Questor Tor NaGoth has been listening quietly. "Perhaps."
[05/01 09:54pm] Blade Dancer Theo Chuckles and idly rubs a bruise on his backside "I beg to differ he packs a wallop that one. . . but he'd never 'Seriously' hurt anyone, not in anger"
[05/01 09:54pm] Rosin blinks. Had she actually said that? Knowledge from nothing. "He's trying to fight his training, and it's a part of him. He has to fight himself."
[05/01 09:56pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo says, "So the real battle is not physical, but mental and emotional."
[05/01 09:57pm] Ona Tko Vidi Teia nods to kimmy"directing it towards others. . . would lose the battle for him"
[05/01 09:58pm] Sessine nods at Rosin's insight. "I think you've got it." He stands up. "Well, I believe that's about all that needed to be said, so I'll be on my way." He smiles pleasantly and walks off.
[05/01 09:59pm] Contestant Giuseppe Lorenzo contemplates for a minute, then asks "WHat would happen if KK loses his battle with himself?"
[05/01 09:59pm] Rosin holds out a hand to Sessine. "Wait."
[05/01 10:00pm] Rosin would tell Lorenzo that that would be a dark day for us all.
[05/01 10:02pm] Rosin stands, following Sessine for a few paces. "When will you say, and where?"
[05/01 10:04pm] Sessine turns back to Lorenzo. "Stop. That's exactly the kind of speculation I don't want to hear. He will win the battle. And we're all going to help him. By trusting that he'll win."

The Compound

[05/02 12:14am] The Lady Lelila shifts, some time later. She is still seated next to the sofa, her head leaning on the cushion by KK's side, her fingers intertwined with his. She listens to his slow, rhythmic breathing.
[05/02 12:24am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's fingers squeeze around Lelila's carefully. His head turns to the side, Alice stirs. KK's eyes open, trained on Lelila. They're white, all while. KK does't even know what to say.
[05/02 12:25am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria mouths three words. She'd know them. The only words that he'd want to say to her after that, and falls back asleep.
[05/02 04:38pm] The Lady Lelila stars awake, with a groan. Late morning sunlight pours through the doorway from the window in the sewing room. She had fallen asleep on the floor, next to the couch.
[05/02 04:40pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's cat had actually fallen asleep in Lelila's lap, moving in the night out of the crook in KK's neck to give Lelila some kind of reassurance.
[05/02 04:43pm] The Lady Lelila sits up carefully, shifting the sleeping feline in her lap slowly as not to wake her. She glances at KK.
[05/02 04:46pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stirs and rolls over onto his side. One eye lazily cracks open and a single black pupil rolls around a moment. He's too groggy to see anything. Full day of sleep would do that. . .
[05/02 04:48pm] The Lady Lelila moves Alice to the floor as she props herself onto her knees, leaning onto the couch. She reaches forward, gently sweeps a strand of hair off of his face, tucks it behind his ear. Caresses his brow.
[05/02 04:50pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's other eye twitches open and he stirs from beneath the blanket. He still seems rather disoriented. 'Lffila.." He mutters quietly, eyes closing for a bit too long and opening lazily again.
[05/02 04:51pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's cat creaks an eye open and looks up. She's silent. KK reaches out with a ponderous arm and wraps it around Lelila's waist, pulling her towards him to bring her face to his.
[05/02 04:53pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's rather pale eyes train on Lelila's green orbs. "Ffank.. You. . ." He beathes quietly. His breath is actually cold, almost like a breeze.
[05/02 04:54pm] The Lady Lelila smiles, holding his face in her hands, peering into his oddly white eyes. "Kai? It's you in there, now. . . right?" she asks quietly.
[05/02 04:57pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria nods slowly, pulling her closer so her forehead rests against his. He seems oddly cold still. "Yes."
[05/02 04:59pm] The Lady Lelila exhales - relief. She pulls back slightly, to kiss him on the forehead. The skin under her lips is cool, too cool. She looks at him with concern. "You must be freezing."
[05/02 05:32pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria nods carefully. "Cold blooded." He says quietly. Alice hops up carefully, moving near KK to act as a heater once more. The fire's been going all night, and Alice has been trying to warm him.
[05/02 09:45pm] The Lady Lelila fusses with the blankets, her care-taking nature turned on to overdrive. "What can I do? How can I help?"
[05/02 09:54pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria pulls her into the sofabed with her. He's rather strong, even for being so deprived of food and sleep. KK's arms wrap around Lelila and he closes his eyes. "Alice is getting fuel." He says quietly.
[05/02 09:58pm] The Lady Lelila curls into him, her face against his chest, his arms holding her close. She is quiet for a while, listening to him breathe. ". . .I missed you."
[05/02 10:00pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria nods. He couldn't remember missing Lelila. All his metal processes went towards trying to do as little damage as possible and stay away from Lelila. He was mostly concerned about her health. . .
[05/02 10:01pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's cat pads in, a soldier behind her. The soldier sets down a couple metal boxes near the fire. KK smiles. "Danke." Alice nods. "Bitte." Then leaves them off alone again.
[05/02 10:03pm] The Lady Lelila feels a sudden tenseness in her chest, and she bites at her lip. She does not look up at him. "I. . . I'm sorry," she said, near-whisper.
[05/02 10:04pm] The Soloist Zolotisty observes the Compounds from the street. She cocks her head, ears swiveling careful to listen. Ah, he's awake, then. Z's gaze slides to the men on guard duty who've begun to lift their weapons.
[05/02 10:05pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria clamps a hand over her mouth. "Too bad." He says. "Saved life. No sorry for you."
[05/02 10:05pm] The Soloist Zolotisty is studying them by the time they've trained their weapons. Fast conversation and she's entrusted a very small pineapple with one of them that seems bossier than the others. Then, off she goes.
[05/02 10:12pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shifts out of the sofa, carefully over Lelila. Something buzzes. "Sir. That Z woman is here. We let her through." KK nods, setting himself down in front of the fire. "Thanks." He says quietly.
[05/02 10:13pm] The Lady Lelila looks up at him, hand still clamped over her mouth. She shakes her head. Her guilt. . . she could hide it, pretend like Z had talked her out of feeling it, but she was still wracked with it.
[05/02 10:15pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria grunts, sitting down in front of the fire and moving over the metal boxes, cracking open the lid. "Breath through mouth." KK advises as a horrible sulfuric smell fills the room.
[05/02 10:17pm] The Lady Lelila presses the blanket over her nose and mouth, watching him with curiosity.
[05/02 10:18pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria takes out some small blocks, carved a lot like bullion. He stacks them carefully in front of the fire. All of them have different colors and textures to them.
[05/02 10:22pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stacks the blocks over some of the logs in the fire, watching them slowly melt and the carvings move into each other. The smell is horrendous.
[05/02 10:24pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria reaches into the fire, beneath the metal rack that holds up the logs, allowing the liquified metal to drip into his outstretched, cupped hand.
[05/02 10:28pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria pulls back his hands, now filled with a silvery, bronze, gray colored fluid that's sizzling and steaming. He holds it to his lips and drinks, closing his eyes carefully and not wasting a bit.
[05/02 10:31pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's hands return to beneath the fire, collecting more of the mixed compounds and metals. KK normally doesn't have to do something like this, but he's been away from heat for a while now.
[05/02 10:35pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria collects the final remains of the dripping metals. Inside the bars of compound were some metal rectangles, just designed to have something to hold the compound to so it wouldn't snap.
[05/02 10:37pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria finishes the remainder of the foul smelling metals and then tosses the metal bars into the metal box. He finally opens his eyes, which look a little pink. Not very good, but better.
[05/02 10:39pm] The Lady Lelila ducks out of the room for a brief moment to open the windows and allow a fresh breeze to blow through the rooms.
[05/02 10:46pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands up, wobbles a little, then cracks his neck. "I should go boil bath. . ." He says quietly, walking unsteadily towards the door. Something to absorb more heat.
[05/02 10:48pm] The Lady Lelila catches up to him in an instant, wrapping an arm around his waist to steady him.
[05/02 10:55pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria smiles, then rubs his forehead. "I should go to Caverns." He says quietly, running a hand through his seriously messed up hair. "The tunnels." He smiles, then wanders off.
[05/02 10:58pm] The Lady Lelila takes a step after him, halts herself. Wants to follow, wants to make him stay, but. . . she understands. He must do what he must do.

Ace High

[05/02 11:30pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stumbles out of a doorway, looking around. He looks down at the cobblestone, then all the people dressed in Victorian era clothing.
[05/02 11:34pm] Questor Tor NaGoth follows Kai through the Door letting it vanish behind him.
[05/02 11:35pm] The Soloist Zolotisty cocks her head.
[05/02 11:38pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria points to Z, letting out a somewhat more refined "Zolo!" Maybe he's sobering up a little.
[05/02 11:40pm] The Soloist Zolotisty announces back, "KK!"
[05/02 11:41pm] The Soloist Zolotisty crouches and jumps. Two flips and a tmp, and she's on the ground again.
[05/02 11:41pm] Questor Tor NaGoth kindly takes Kai by the arm and heads him towards Z, "I spoke to Kit a bit more.. It was indded a Mis-understanding. She meant well."
[05/02 11:41pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria grabs her around the waist and picks her up. Accurate demonstration that He's at least somewhat back to his strength.
[05/02 11:43pm] The Soloist Zolotisty wheezes, "Mfh."
[05/02 11:43pm] The Soloist Zolotisty works her arms free to loosely return the embrace. There. Can breathe a bit better.
[05/02 11:44pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria sets down Zolotisty, closing his eyes and looking over towards Tor. Probably a good thing he hasn't looked up to see the smoking crater that once was his Cavern.
[05/02 11:46pm] The Soloist Zolotisty pats him. "Did that man pass along the pineapple?"
[05/02 11:46pm] Questor Tor NaGoth smiles at Kai, "Guten Tag, Bruder. Besser, jetzt?"
[05/02 11:48pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shakes his head. "Brother, your English is terrible." He says to Tor, grinning. He looks at Z. "Puhnapfel?"
[05/02 11:51pm] Questor Tor NaGoth chuckles, "Ich denke du verstehst nicht. Ich spreche nur ein Bischen Deutsch. My English is fine."
[05/02 11:53pm] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shakes his head, not out of disagreement, but in an attempt to clear it a little bit. It does, but succeeds more in making his hair look worse than it previously did.
[05/02 11:53pm] The Soloist Zolotisty 's expression is politely blank.
[05/02 11:53pm] Questor Tor NaGoth suggests "Try saying something in English."
[05/03 12:00am] Questor Tor NaGoth Prompts, "Kai? Say something in English."
[05/03 12:03am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks at Tor. "No." His eyes are a little darker pink. It's quite a good thing he's sobering up rather quickly. Save for the smoke coming out quite rapidly from his mouth.
[05/03 12:08am] Questor Tor NaGoth nods and asks again, "Auf Deutsch?"
[05/03 12:08am] The Soloist Zolotisty itches her ear. Hm. "..did he?"
[05/03 12:12am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria seems adamant about this. "No!" For why, who the Hell knows.
[05/03 12:14am] The Soloist Zolotisty is not sure who KK's responding to, but she shrugs and goes to fetch it. Leave it to the man with shiny buttons on his jacket to not follow through.. hn. She's back in just a bit.
[05/03 12:16am] The Soloist Zolotisty takes KK's hand and firmly sets a miniature pineapple in his palm. "There." She claps his upper arm. "Thank you for the yo-yo."
[05/03 12:16am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria turns around, shakes his head. "Wait. . . Caverns. Orange. Needed to get something." He evades Zolo rather nimbly and heads down the street to scale his cliffs.
[05/03 12:17am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria thanks Zolo for the pineapple, setting it into his breast pocket. He needs to get something from his caves.
[05/03 12:18am] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't go after him. She resumes her station on top of that loudspeaker pole.
[05/03 12:21am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria reaches the tops of his caverns, looking into the mouth. The outside looked as though it always did, but the inside. . . It's destroyed. Everything. All his guns, munitions, keepsakes. . .
[05/03 12:22am] Questor Tor NaGoth shrugs, "Ok. . .
[05/03 12:22am] Sessine has just met Horatio, and is heading for the fastness when he sees Zolotisty atop her pole. He goes over. "Looks like you slept well. How's the arm?"
[05/03 12:22am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria frowns, his eyes redder. It needs time to register. The walls have mostly caved in, tunnels are gone. Everything's been burned. Everything.
[05/03 12:27am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria breathes out quietly, the realization dawning on him. "No. NO!" He yells out, tearing through the rocks and stones, unearthing everything. The floor's covered with ashes, bits of burned paper.
[05/03 12:28am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria lifts up a boulder, tossing it outside, rifling through the ashes beneath. "NO!" He roars, more frightened than angry. His cries can be heard, even from the AceHigh streets.
[05/03 12:28am] The Soloist Zolotisty 's ears twinge. She's still a moment then she leans to study Sessine. Odd angle. "Better. Stitches are out, anyway. How are you?"
[05/03 12:29am] The Soloist Zolotisty straightens and turns.
[05/03 12:30am] Sessine doesn't need Zolotisty's hearing to pick up KK's cries. He looks up toward the caverns. "Concerned."
[05/03 12:31am] The Soloist Zolotisty nods.
[05/03 12:32am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria doesn't like pictures. He doesn't like being in them, or keeping them around. However, there were two that he loved, and treasured. Both of them of Lelila. KK can't find either.
[05/03 12:33am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria can't find the documents pertaining to their marriage either. All his letters from her, everything. All of it's gone.
[05/03 12:35am] The Soloist Zolotisty doesn't jump. Suddenly, she is on the ground, gaze still trained on the cliffs.
[05/03 12:38am] Sessine moves to stand closer to Zolotisty. "Can you go there? And take me?"
[05/03 12:43am] The Soloist Zolotisty 's lips part to speak. Her expression is conflicted. Then, her eyebrows smooth. Z catches Sessine's sleeve before she changes her mind.
[05/03 12:44am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's cavern's entrance spits out another boulder, with rolls down and crashes against the hillside. more of KK's roaring can be heard. It sounds more pleading than violent. . .

The Caverns

[05/03 12:46am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria rifles through some scorhed piles of wood, tearing open remains of desks and file cabinents. "FUCK!" He roars, whirling around.
[05/03 12:48am] The Soloist Zolotisty managed to select a chunk of rock that hasn't been blasted away. Lucky thing. If she'd gone for the very lip of the Caverns, there would've been problems.
[05/03 12:50am] The Soloist Zolotisty lets go of Sessine's sleeve immediately. She unbuttons her jacket.
[05/03 12:51am] Sessine looks around at the wreckage. Once. Then he has eyes only for his friend KK.
[05/03 12:52am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria doesn't even notice the two guests. He instead resorts to prying apart remains and remnants of things to try and find anything. Even his collection of antique firearms has been mostly destroyed.
[05/03 12:53am] The Soloist Zolotisty draws a thin, flat tin from an inner pocket of her waistcoat. It's hinged, the kind you need to use your thumbnail to open. "KK."
[05/03 12:56am] Sessine presses his lips together. Some of this could be restored - perhaps all, if KK were able to use Improbability. But he never has. He's shied away from it. From even trying.
[05/03 12:56am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria doesn't hear, he keeps on digging. His shoulders slump slowly, giving up. He looks down at the ash ridden ground, keeping himself silent.
[05/03 12:58am] The Soloist Zolotisty says again, quietly, "KK. I have this."
[05/03 01:01am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks over his shoulder, back at Zolo. His eyes are back to the usual hue, but there's nothing there. "What, Zolo." He says quietly.
[05/03 01:04am] The Soloist Zolotisty works the tin open. Her expression is apologetic. This is not enough. Inside the tin, that curled, singed lick of a photograph, snatched from the streets in AceHigh that night.
[05/03 01:05am] The Soloist Zolotisty would not have found it if it were beyond all recognition, though, burnt as it is.
[05/03 01:07am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria stands up, walking towards Zolo. His steps are muffled against the ashes on the ground. He takes the photo, examines it. A faint smile. He's glad it's alright, but the other was more meaningful.
[05/03 01:09am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria 's other picture was of Lelila in the dress that he had made for her for their marriage. Though, at least this one, a portrait of Lelila, isn't burned too badly. "Thank you." He says quietly.
[05/03 01:09am] The Soloist Zolotisty measures him uneasily, measures Sessine.
[05/03 01:09am] The Soloist Zolotisty nods.
[05/03 01:22am] The Soloist Zolotisty is gone.
[05/03 01:27am] Questor Tor NaGoth Opens a Door and appears at the entrance. he surveys the dammage.

[05/03 01:31am] Sessine goes to KK. "Kai," he says. "I wish I could restore this, but I don't know what it was before. I can help rebuild, though." [05/03 01:34am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria waves a hand distantly. "No, no." He sighs. It was his own fault, and anything restored wouldn't be the same. He looks over to Sessine. "Never thanked." He says quietly, drawing him into an embrace
[05/03 01:36am] Sessine returns the embrace, hard, without words. A friend - not lost.
[05/03 01:39am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria kisses Sessine on the cheek. "Thank you." He says quietly.
[05/03 01:43am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria pulls away after a long moment, looking at the picture of Lelila again, then back at his ruined home. He then looks back at Tor and rubs his eyes.
[05/03 01:45am] Questor Tor NaGoth asks quietly, "Need a couple shovels?"
[05/03 01:47am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria chuckles softly. "No. I'll ask Calynx. For seeds." He warms a little at that thought.
[05/03 01:49am] Sessine says, "Lord yes, cleanup. You'll want help with that, anyway."
[05/03 01:50am] Sessine blinks then, catching KK's meaning.
[05/03 01:50am] Questor Tor NaGoth nods, "Whatever you need, or want. Just ask."
[05/03 01:52am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria shakes his head, tapping the ground. "Nature of distruction." He says simply. "Like Laissez Faire. Entropy never changes." He smiles faintly at the idea.
[05/03 01:53am] Sessine says, "Seeds. Life. . ." Yes, that would be. . . "Plants want light. Lanterns?"
[05/03 01:55am] Questor Tor NaGoth nods, "Everything is subject to Entropy. And from destruction comes new life. Seed would be good."
[05/03 01:57am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria nods. "No. Plenty of plants grow in dark." He smirks. "Just look at me." KK looks down at the picture again. "I've to go see her." He says quietly, walking towards the entrance of the cave.
[05/03 01:58am] Ahi Koa KK Victoria looks out to the sky, then begins his descent into AceHigh again, hands in his pockets and breathing out smoke.

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breaking_point.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/28 03:34 (external edit)