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No title.
(2013-04-12 - 2013-04-20)
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Riku Riku returns to Archades in the fashion in which he left it. In a hurry and a little the worse for wear. He actually doesn't land in his OWN apartment, but the rooftop straight above it and clatters rather embarrassingly across the tiles for a few yards before skidding to a stop with feet braced against an engraved stone gutter to keep him from spilling over the edge into open space.

He sighs, knocking his head against the red stone lightly with a gentle 'thump' ... 'thump' .. until he gathers his wits about him enough to scale the rooftop to a more level section and eventually locate a skybridge that he can slip down and across to get him into the upper reaches of the building he needed to go into. He grabs another set of clothes and a shower, then something that actually resembles food before making his appearance before the Judge Magister.

So, clean and presentable (although slightly damp) Riku again makes his way to where Judge Magister Zargabaath would be currently. He freshly berates himself for being an idiot a few days earlier but does so with a sort of weary venom. Trying to keep his mind focused and occupied on something else as he takes the behemoth scale out of his pocket, thumb running over the surface again and again as he walks.
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath is not in his office this time. Apparently the Judge of Reason has grown rather restless and has thus taken the opportunity to be 'anywhere but there'. Or so Judge Yuves, the Judge Magister's aide, would tell Riku before directing the boy to where Zargabaath actually is.

Which just so happens to be a balcony overlooking the airship docks, where the Alexander is notably absent.

The Judge Magister is wearing his armor but is unhelmed, his arms folded on the railing with his weight leaning forwards. His stance is understandably hidden by his cape, but one could be forgiven for assuming he is daydreaming.
Riku Riku looks out across the viewpoint as he reaches the balcony, following the judge magister's line of sight to the (to him) conspiciously absent Alexander. "Your honor." he murmurs from the doorframe, leaning against it.

There are a lot of ways he has rehearsed this in his head but now that he is standing here the only thing he can hear is a crackling silence. There may in fact actually be a mournful tune and a tumbleweed blowing past in his mind for he can't actually remember how he was going to say this. Any attempt to reconstruct what sounded like an impartial report has.. either unfortunate implications or just.. sounds stupid.

Stick to the truth, if nothing else. "I've come back with a report. Has anybody found anything yet? Did any analysis of the things sent to the laboratory come back yet?" He doesn't ask about the absence of the Alexander, figuring he would be told if the Judge Magister wanted to say.
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath straightens upon being addressed, turning his body to face Riku. One arm drops to his side, leaving the other resting loosely on the balcony behind yet next to him. "Judge Riku." His expression is impassive, but there's a warmness in his voice he doesn't hide too well. "I am glad you've returned in good health."

He shakes his head at his questions. "There have been no further word on the Behemoth's activity, and Doctor Bunansa is still evaluating the samples. There is... much data to be gleaned, or so I was told the last time I checked his laboratory." His lips twitch in barely-suppressed amusement. "With that said, I kept hearing strange music from that area. I have my suspicions that the radio I recovered is working once more."

He nods slowly, coming back to the reason why Riku is here. "You have my full attention. What happened after you left the Chocobo Ranch?"
Riku Riku takes a steadying breath but doesn't lea away from the edge of the balcony doorway. He looks pointedly out towards the city, looking at Upper Archades rather than at the Judge Magister as he talks.

"I followed it for awhile to where it collapsed. It was seriously hurt, maybe even dying and I waited for it's master to come pick it up." Riku frowns slightly in memory. "After that didn't happen I.." he snorts faintly, eyes dropping slightly. "..I know what it's like to be just discarded when you are no longer useful, your honor. I couldn't leave it there."

He looks mildly defiant as his eyes flicker up to Zargabaath again. "..It allowed me to get close enough to heal it and when it recovered, it seemed.. much calmer. More intelligent. It wanted to lead me somewhere, so I let it."
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath's expression remains stoically neutral, not responding to the defiance in Riku's eyes. The boy isn't challenging his authority, only daring him to find fault in the actions taken. To the Judge of Reason, it is too early yet to tell if there is any such concern or not.

He inclines his head as if to indicate for Riku to continue the report, but remains silent and still otherwise. He does not rush Riku and his gaze is keen, clearly listening closely and evaluating everything he hears.
Riku Riku looks away again towards the city. "I don't... see the way most people do. At least not all the way." he nods ruefully. "I couldn't pick anybody out there out of a crowd." he waves towards the city. "I don't know them. Just lights. Light and some darkness like most people. The better I know someone, or.. the closer I've gotten to the edge, the easier I can see how people are different. How all lights are different."

Riku slowly leans away from the doorway, moving stiffly one foot at a time until he can grab onto the railing to steady himself. He trails his fingers along the edge, looking out into the middle distance. "In the middle of these dark woods I take shelter for awhile. There's an old cabin that hadn't seen use in many years. I lose track of the behemoth for awhile after that. I don't find them again until the next morning, where a bunch of starved wolves decide that I look rather tasty."

Riku snorts faintly. "I attract wolves for some reason. I had this problem in the Old Kingdom as well. The.. behemoth is attacked to, but it gets in front of me. It protects me. It tries to ward them off.. there are too many of them, and they are .. too hungry to care."
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath frowns faintly, his body turning to continue to face Riku even as the boy approaches. One arm remains resting on the balcony railing, the other stays at his side.

His brow knits together, enhancing the wrinkles within the skin, and his head tilts to the side faintly. "The Behemoth... protected you?" He doesn't sound like he knows what to make of it, but there is a notable lack of surprise in his voice. They already assumed there was something different about that behemoth, so to hear more evidence to that fact changes nothing.

He turns his head as if to try to follow Riku's gaze out over the port. "What happened?"
Riku He's staring at the airship port and letting his eyes drift back and forth over the traffic there and the flying cars zipping across the city proper.

Riku slowly turns to lean against the balcony. "The wolves decided to eat somewhere else." he gives a very thin, tight lipped smile. "And I did something that.." he pauses then continues. "Assures me I won't lose the behemoth again. I know where it is.." his eyes lose focus for a moment. He pulls out the behemoth scale. "..where it is right now, in fact." he lifts the scale as if to say this was the cause before slipping it back into his pocket quietly. "I've really pushed you and his honor Gabranth pretty hard the past month or so.. You've seen.. more than I ever wished to show people willingly." he snorts softly, reaching up to touch the pendant around his neck. "I've gotten WAY too close to the edge a few times. Especially around Gabranth. And especially after restoring Manhattan."

He gives a thin lipped smile. "..I'm.. kind of glad you didn't see me like that. I was not very good company, your honor."
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath nods slowly, visually appraising the behemoth scale without further inquiry on the manner of tracking. He /should/, but all indications point to the old addage 'you do not want to know'. The fact that Riku isn't giving details on exactly what happened is only prove positive to that effect.

Still, to track the behemoth puts them in a better spot than a few minutes ago, at the very least.

"I see..." The Judge of Reason gives no indication to his thoughts, resting his elbows on the balcony railing and leaning his back against it. "That explains why you did not contact me in your absence." He focuses fully back on Riku's face, his gaze only casually noting the pendant around his neck. "And to note," he emits a low, deep chuckle despite himself. "You do not push us any further than we have pushed you in return."
Riku "Well.. I'm going to push a little harder now." Riku snorts very softly. "Lets see where it gets me." he pauses for a very long time. He in fact waits in silence until the Judge of Reason looks back in his direction.

He locks eyes with the Judge Magister and says very calmly, in a low voice. "I would know you no matter what you looked like, your honor. Just like I know Sora or Will Sherman or many of the others I have met on this long, and ..very strange journey I have taken." He drums his fingers on the balcony behind him. "..And I tell you now, that I would know Gabranth as well." he smirks tightly. "Maybe because we're so similar. Maybe because you both saw a monster and accepted them anyways. So.. I know the same."

Riku drums his fingers again and continues to stare at Zargabaath, his voice utterly calm. "That behemoth.. the light inside Gabranth."
Zargabaath In the immediate seconds after Riku dropped that bombshell, Judge Magister Zargabaath looks all the world like someone had cast the Stop magick. His eyes looking right at the otherworldly Judge but not focused on him nor beyond him, his stance still relatively relaxed against the balcony without being sloppy. There is no sign of freezing or tensing up as one would expect, nor does he seemed stunned or mentally compromised. He just simply stops.

Suddenly, his gaze sharpens and focuses on Rikus eyes, the intense stare piercing to the boys very heart if it can. The Judge Magisters eyes tense slightly at the corners, only enhancing the intensity. Through his own eyes, you can almost see gears turning, puzzle pieces falling into place, evaluating every shred of information gathered by either of them and judging their validity accordingly.

Another minute passes in silence before Zargabaaths voice finally rumbles, his voice low yet far too calm and controlled. The gravity of the serious turn this conversation has taken weighs heavily on each word the Judge of Reason speaks. "Judge Riku. I do not doubt your words nor your abilities. You have laid your case out well even without specifics, and I agree that some pieces of evidence point to the possibility you have just raised. However," his hand tightens around the railing for a split second, the wood creaking under his grip, even as his body fully straightens to an at-attention stance otherwise, "I need physical evidence to substantiate your case."
Riku Riku meets the piercing stare as the minutes stretch on. He narrows his eyes very slightly as the stare tries to read him, his expression a faint warning of 'You really want to do that?' before dropping the control he has kept up during this entire conversation.

The pain, and the doubt and the fear is laid blisteringly clear for a moment. Beyond that, underneath the surface of that, the predator stare at the bottom. The stare of something waiting very, very patiently for you to move wrong. Not hungry. Not actively malicious. Just watching.

Riku blinks and looks away from Zargabaath, breaking the stare first and turning his head down as his knees give way and he slides down the balcony into a sitting position with his hands around his knees. The teenager takes in a shuddering breath and lets it out very slowly. He stays there for a very long time, staring into the floor and thinking furiously "..okay." he furrows his brow very hard and then takes the behemoth scale out of his pocket again. "..okay. I can do that. I.. think."

Slowly Riku gets back onto his feet. " there any way to test if there is darksteel in this? It should be a /very/ specific test and there /shouldn't/ be any of it at all, because even if the behemoth was from around here, which it isn't, it wouldn't have THAT in the scales because darksteel is an Archadian Synthesis. It wouldn't be found anywhere else."
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath does not flinch nor even react at all as Riku's guard drops for that moment. He sees the emotion, sees the predator lucking below, but gives no hint of weakness nor aggression. His gaze becomes much less intense as Riku takes a seat, though he still remains standing stiffly at-near-attention.

His gaze turns towards the scale, his brow knitting and furrowing deeply as he studies it. Visually, it looks similar to the scale fragments he had collected from the Chocobo Ranch-- and then Riku's suggestion in response to 'need physical evidence' breaks his train of thought.

He blinks as his expression blanks out for a moment. Ah, there's that momentary stun as gears shift without a clutch.

His gauntleted fingertips tap rhythmatically on the wood surface under his arm, though the fingers themselves move one at a time at no pattern. "...You are correct. The presence of Archadian alloys would be a major aberration in a behemoth scale. It would also substantiate your case drastically... despite the fact that your theory is the only explaination of events that has made any amount of logical sense to this point."

He slowly lifts his free hand, palm up, silently requesting the scale as his expression is anything but demanding. "Can you continue to track the behemoth without this scale? I only need to know 'yes' or 'no'."
Riku Riku implies 'yes' only by handing Zargabaath the scale in question. He draws himself together again, raking his fingers through his hair with both hands as he lets out a long and frustrated breath.

"That's all I have, your honor. What you do with it or if you believe me or not is no longer my problem." he puts his hands behind him. "..May I be excused?"
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath looks to the scale as it is handed to him, then tucks it under his arm. "Understood. I will take it from here."

He nods once firmly. "Yes, you may." He pauses for a moment in thought. "And Riku?" A small smile lifts his face, which suddenly looks both weary yet relieved. "Excellent work."
Riku Riku nods wearily, seeming to be relieved to be at the end of this conversation. He rubs his eyes for a moment.

"Thank you, your honor." He lingers for a moment longer and then turns away, retreating back down the corridor.

This scene contained 17 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Zargabaath