Stone Man Pass

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drusia » March 10th, 2010, 10:35 am

Well then. Maudin certainly has some interesting tricks, I have to give him that. Nice place, all in all. Though I've seen fancier, which is actually saying something. This style must be designed for those who want a camp "experience" without all the fuss, grunge, and bother of the real thing.

In any case, it seems we've picked up an additional traveler after all. I wonder what Argus thinks of our dirty little time-mage.

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 10th, 2010, 3:01 pm

It sounded like the rain was continuing to diminish, and the thunder was becoming distant, so Sister Rose thought it would be a good idea to check out the parrot before the tent got packed up. She went out, found a sheltered place, and exchanged the code words.


(UNCLASSIFIED) Your second parrot this morning has caused a significant crapstorm back here, and as will be seen, I intend that literally, not as idle profanity. You are authorized to discuss the contents here with Dr. Cleiviein on a need-to-know basis, as long as you judge that he can keep his mouth shut, but do NOT discuss them with young Mr. Lochlear, except in the most general terms.

(UNCLASSIFIED) As you are undoubtedly aware -- you know everything that's going on around here, don't you? -- the government has made tentative overtures to the government of Tsuiraku on a preliminary arms-control treaty intended to reduce tensions between the two countries. The existence of preliminary discussions toward the "Offensive Chronomancy Research Abolition Protocols," as they are called, is unclassified and a matter of public record. (Incidentally, the Tsuirakuans suggested the name, based on the fact that the obvious acronym is also the usual last thing said by any of their people who screw around with time magic, before they blow themselves all to hell. Apparently the acronym means the same thing in the Tsuirakuan language as ours.) Details of the negotiations are classified LUMINOSITA'S SECRET, of course, but the general observation that OCRAP is a "good" treaty, because it commits both sides to not doing something they really don't want to do anyway, is again unclassified and obvious.

(LUMINOSITA'S SECRET) Against this background, your suspicions that an agent of CPT Goto in-country may have a time-magic capability are causing no small consternation. The hawks in the government are predictably citing this as evidence of Tsuirakuan treachery, since they have this capability and we don't, and want to use your news as a reason to break off negotiations. The moderate faction is also uneasy, but is asking for more information to be developed -- quite reasonably, in my opinion, although I must say that it would also be my ass (and yours) on the line if the hawks turned out to be right. And there is another faction that is being resolutely closed-mouthed about capabilities and wants to continue the negotiations, although I don't know why they've clammed up.

(LUMINOSITA'S SECRET) The hawks, as usual, have a direct line to the Patriarch's office, and are winning this argument for now. An urgent communique was sent to the negotiators telling them to "pause" for a day or two, citing some damn excuse or other. One very preliminary rumble back from the team suggests that the Tsuirakuans aren't happy about it, but don't know why the pause has occurred. Clearly, it needs to get resolved.

(LUMINOSITA'S SECRET) I'm not sure whether there is anything directly actionable for you in all of this, but please try to learn as much more as you can about the exact circumstances of the time-magic use and report back to us ASAP. Classify all correspondence on this subject as LUMINOSITA'S SECRET, and don't let the Tsuirakuans see what you're writing, even if you must use Dr. Cleiviein's good offices to do the fact finding. Regular and frequent responses earnestly desired; we'll be sending some blank parrots as soon as we make some.

Bernie


"What's wrong?" Brad said, tearing himself away from his usual Lillith-adoring posture as Rose came back into the tent. "You look -- I guess I'd say shocked. Pale, at least."

Rose nodded; she felt pale. "I'm getting concerned that we may have caused an international incident here..."
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » March 10th, 2010, 3:13 pm

(OOC: Heeheehee.... did Argus' paranoia cause some trouble? Now THIS is fun)

Argus glanced toward the divider wherein the young girl was scrubbing off, then shook his head. Using time-magic at such a young age... madness. Suddenly, he whipped his head towards Harker, who blinked in surprise. Quickly moving to stand over the familiar, Argus leaned down and sternly said "No."

Harker blinked in confusion before glancing towards the divider, understanding crossing the beaver's face. Harker suddenly scoffed and looked at Argus, appearing to be quite offended. "Too young," he informed his master, "Do not want." This said, Harker stomped away proudly.

Argus stood up straight and sighed in relief. Thank the weave that even Harker has standards. Looking around the room, he noticed that Drusia was looking at the divider herself, as though trying to puzzle out the one who was washing up behind it. The two of them had been a little uncomfortable around each other since... the incident... and hadn't said much to each other. Maybe it was time to drum up a conversation again.

Walking to stand beside Drusia, Argus cleared his throat. "Someone so young messing around with such dangerous magic... I have to admit, it's unnerving."
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 11th, 2010, 9:36 am

Sister Rose hurried back to the tent as one more lightning bolt struck fairly close to them; about half a mile off, she judged, still close enough that a wayward bolt could still catch them in the open if they got moving again. The storm might have been moving on, but it wasn't completely done with them yet. Well, no matter, the shelter was comfortable enough, and they were going to have to spend tonight on the road anyway.

"Argus, we need to talk. I just --" she started, but two things stopped her short. First, it looked like Argus was having a conversation with Drusia. Whatever they were talking about, it took precedence, for the sake of amity in the party, if nothing else; she could talk to him about OCRAP later. And second ... the girl picked that moment to emerge from behind the partition.

Rose gaped at the transformation. (Had Maduin somehow incorporated some magic into the soap and water?) Her hair had regained its natural coloring, which was a golden blond of almost luminous fineness. There was still a gauntness to her face and figure, but her blue eyes were nearly as luminous as her hair -- even though they still retained that deer-in-the-headlights, hunted look. Rose's clothes fit her well despite the girl's exaggerated leanness. She looked ...

Brad looked up from where he was trying (or at least offering) to tend to Lillith's every need and noticed the girl too, just as Rose was finishing her thought.

She looks just like Brad's ex-wife did when I introduced them ten years ago, Rose realized.

But the expression on Brad's face changed from what he'd been showing to Lillith ... and now it was definitely not the moonstruck look he'd given Annie way back then.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drusia » March 11th, 2010, 8:28 pm

"Someone so young messing around with such dangerous magic... I have to admit, it's unnerving."

"Dangerous and rare," I comment. It's weird. "Makes me wonder exactly who she is."

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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Porcelain Fish » March 12th, 2010, 9:26 am

Maduin's gaze came up, and he blinked, because what had been a walking lump of mud and filth had transformed into a teenage girl, and suddenly she went from being a mildly discomfiting presence to presenting an opportunity to beautify.

He eyed her critically from head to toe. She was painfully thin, on the verge of emaciation, and he doubted she would ever be tall or really robust. Malnutrition had obviously been the order of the day for too long. But she wasn't ill-favored either, with a slender, aquiline nose and a delicately-featured face, and the blue eyes were certainly striking. The hair was healthy at least, though it could certainly do with some conditioner, and her skin really wasn't all that bad. Perhaps the mud had kept it from being too badly afflicted by weathering, and she was young yet.

He stood and glided over, a warm smile on his features, and extended a polite hand. "I'm Maduin Lochlear," he practically cooed, voice silky smooth. "It's a pleasure to meet you. What's your name?"
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 12th, 2010, 9:58 am

The girl looked at Maduin's extended hand as though it held a poison-dart frog. Her eyes widened, and Sister Rose, watching the interaction out of the corner of her eye, thought she was about ready to run away. She didn't, though, and with a rather obvious effort to summon her courage, answered Maduin. "K- K- Kim." She turned her gaze away from Maduin toward Rose, as if asking for help.

There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Rose thought, then another, ironic thought crossed her mind: Luminosita above, another one to mother... "Please call me Rose, Kim," she smiled gently. "I'll vouch for Maduin. You can trust him." She turned back to Argus and Drusia. "Excuse me for interrupting, but Argus, we need to talk." With the girl to think about now, hopefully Drusia wouldn't mind the intrusion.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Drannin » March 12th, 2010, 3:02 pm

Argus nodded. "Outside, then?"

The two stepped outside the tent, where the rain had slackened to a mild drizzle. Argus had slept through worse, recent years. Off in the distance, thunder rumbled.

"What happened?" he asked without preamble.
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Porcelain Fish » March 12th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Maduin preened under Rose's words, doing his best to look as invitingly non-threatening as possible.

"My dear," he said sweetly. His eyes went to her ragged nails. Those definitely needed work. "When was the last time you had a manicure?"
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Re: Stone Man Pass

Postby Graybeard » March 12th, 2010, 9:54 pm

Kim (if that was her name) followed Maduin's gaze down to her hands, inspected them with puzzlement on her face. "A -- what?"

----------

As soon as they were out of earshot of the tent, Sister Rose filled Argus in on the parrot's message. "I'm not sure where we go from here," she concluded. "He didn't exactly order us to investigate, and whatever force Zeb is working for, I don't think we want to run afoul of them. The girl may be our best bet as an information source. Or do you have any other ideas?"

[OOC: A little writer's-blocked here until something moves forward with "Kim"...]
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