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(2013-04-22 - Now)
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Ramza Beoulve They'd moved on, but hadn't moved all that far.

After the night ambush, they'd moved far enough that they wouldn't be found easily by the Templar search parties if they decided to follow up, but not so far that they'd run their Chocobos into the ground from pushing them too hard. Now their camp was in a different forest, set up in a wooded glade.

An uneasy night passed for those on Watch, and for those who were asleep, but as dawn came, they hadn't yet been discovered.

And so, Ramza found himself rising for their early morning ritual at the usual time, stretching out his arms before he made his way to the fire pit in naught but a simple tunic, his breeches, and his boots. The wooden training swords were in tow, though he wasn't carrying Zack's. Zack's was too large for him to carry around easily, even as a wooden training blade. He'd seat himself, as Artemis made the tea, watching the sun's light peak over the treeline. "You fought well, last night."
Artemis Eurus Artemis is indeed, making the tea. She'd gotten some sleep after scouting ahead with Zack, who was likely back to sleep now. She'd had to run for a good while to get out all the energy she'd worked up with the battle, which had ended too quickly for her to be properly spent.

She is well rested now though, and will be up to speed once she has had her tea. Tea is necessary. Indeed, it is done. Artemis turns with two cups of tea and sits beside Ramza, taking a deep breath. "Were you watching me?" she asks with a small smile.
Katyna Katyna had briefly left the Heretics to catch up on some events with TDA, and to take a breather. She'd still felt like she'd let Ramza down after their last little run in with Faruja. Could she really turn her back on one friend to aid another against him? Kat had never felt so torn before this. Furthermore, the mysterious letter she'd received recently had her feeling even more confused than ever.

As she approaches the others, she is slowly reading the note over again for the tenth time, trying to figure out whose writing it is, as if that might help her. When she reaches the camp, she grins and waves towards Artemis and Ramza, before realizing that she never did have a talk with Art since that last scuffle with Faru..That botched scuffle. "Err, hey guys! What's up!?"
Ramza Beoulve He'd actually chuckle at the question, offering a smile, though his cheeks were a tad flushed at the implication. "Shockingly, I was never attacked. I had more time to assess the situation than usual." He took the cup of tea. "So mayhaps I was."

And then Katyna joined them, and he'd offer her a cordial smile as well. "Kityana. Its good to see you again. Care to join us for some tea? We'll be out for a spar afterwards, if it pleases to you to join us."
Artemis Eurus Artemis smiles some, bringing her tea to her lips. She fought well? "I see you save all your flattery for when we are in company," she replies teasingly.

Artemis looks toward Katyna then, nodding in greeting to her before she puts her cup down and stands to fetch another for Katyna. "Greetings. Do you prefer Katyna or Kityana?" she asks, pouring a cup of tea. Because who would say no to her tea? Unfathomable!

No, they still need to discuss what happened with Faruja. Yes the do.
Katyna Katyna smirks, catching the last end of their conversation. "Heh, you didnt get yourself into trouble again, didja, Ramza?" Again he calls her Kityana, and again she is reminded of her great shame. But it's only when Artemis asks her about it that she shrugs and smiles, "Aah, whatever you want I guess. Kityana was who I was back then, when I was weak...But maybe it's silly to hide from who you are.." She smiles, "What y'all up to? Gonna spar? I'd love to join y'all.."
Ramza Beoulve "Only most of it." He'd chuckle at Artemis, before taking a sip of tea.

And then Katyna spoke of how it was a name from when she was weak, and he'd arch an eyebrow. "I still think you put too much value on the wrong sort of strength, but if you wish, I'll start calling you Katyna again." Then he'd nod. "The Church caught up to us again. Ser Senra, an inquisitor.. and a mercenary healer in their employ. It seems that Ser Senra did not have a chance of heart, from the last time you and I encountered him."

Another nod. "And we'd be happy to have you. Join us for a cup of tea first."
Artemis Eurus "Indeed, you are welcome to join us for our morning practice," she informs Katyna, passing her the tea. "The inquisitor....she will be back. I know her like," she adds, remembering the other samurai. They would meet again, fate practically demanded it.

"We defeated them, rather handily, for which I am grateful. We could have made capture, but it was decided it would be unwise," she adds.

"Now...I believe it may be time I heard the full story of just what happened when you both met up with Faruja and I was not present," she says, narrowing her eyes ever-so-slightly in Katyna's direction.
Ramza Beoulve "What happened is that we encountered Ser Senra in Rabanastre. He.. he does not appear to be hunting us any longer because we're heretics, but merely because he fears that more and more of his friends will join us. He wants to kill me, to protect them from being declared heretics. It was a strange sort of hypocrisy."

He'd breathe out a sigh. "He tried to spirit Katyna away, I didn't allow him to do so, and then I talked him down by pointing out the hypocrisy of wanting to protect his friends over all who are subject to the depradations of the Church. He walked away."
Artemis Eurus " you protected Katyna when she was suppose to be protecting you," she responds with a small frown.

This is mostly for show. In all honesty, she is complete unsurprised and actually slightly amused.

Artemis looks back to Ramza, her teacup hovering near her face, steam rising. "You talked Faruja down? Interesting...well, that is that then, I'll not dwell on it," she says, taking a sip and then another, finishing her cup. "Poor Ser Senra...he stands no chance against such heretical charm," she says, her smile playful again.
Katyna "Thanks!" Katyna gratefully takes the cup of tea that Artemis offers her, quietly sipping away for a few minutes as she listens to the conversation going on and frowns. "Heey! I totally helped protect him! But...I just couldn't attack Faru..He's my friend too.." She pauses, "Even so, if Ramza allowed him to take me away, he wouldn't have put himself in danger. Even so......I'm sorry. I shouldn't have hesitated.."

Kat hangs her head, a bit ashamed of herself. "But, you met him again, with others and they attacked? Darn...." She frowns, "I guess it's hard to believe that the people who saved your life are in fact corrupt. Especially a force as powerful as Glabados. I can kinda understand Faruja there, just...Why wont he trust you, Ramza? I thought he was an honorable sort.."
Ramza Beoulve "Don't worry about it Kityana. There's no need for apologies. I understand." Whether Artemis would is another matter. He imagined tough love in the future, a lot of tough love.

And then he'd pause, as he considered the question. "Because to men like him, faith is the core of his being. In his zealotry he can't allow himself to see reason. We are reaching him, slowly, however that is causing him to recoil even further. His world would be shattered if he knew the truth, so can you blame the man for being so hesitant to accept the truth?"
Artemis Eurus Artemis nods to Katyna, trying not to be overly harsh, as she is sometimes known to do. She is making a major effort to be less of a giant bitch, really she is. "Katyna, sometimes you will have to make very difficult decisions such as that. Sometimes...sometimes you will find someone opposing you that you very much do not wish to fight. You must ask yourself what the right thing to do is, and how much you are willing to sacrifice for duty," she says, reaching for the teapot to pour another cup. "With Faruja, I am not too worried. I believe as you both do, even though I know him far less. I can see why you want to save him from the machinations of the church, but he will have to want to be saved, first."

Artemis nods then to Ramza in agreement, a small sigh escaping. "Yes. His world-view will be shattered. I hope he will be strong enough to survive it," she comments, looking away toward the fire.

She knew what it was to have something so precious fall to pieces before your eyes. She isn't even entirely sure if she survived it, really survived it, or not.
Katyna Katyna smiles weakly at Ramza, though she knows Artemis will be harsher with her. Still, sh'es surprised at her shocking gentleness. She's all about tough love afterall. "Heh, I guess you're right. But there's still hope afterall..Right? I guess I'm just biased because he did forgive me for betraying VALKYRI."

She sighs..."And he said he could help me redeem myself through the aid of the church. But now...I wonder how Faram would see me, would judge me?" It's a worrisome question, and it's clear that Kat is still faithful, even if she's a bit uncertain of the church itself. "I guess..Even if some people of the church are corrupt, the faith itself is not such a bad thing? Oooh, it's sooo oconfusing!"

Still, Kat knows sooner or later she'll have to make a difficult decision.."Cant we reveal the truth in a less...Lethal manner?"
Ramza Beoulve "It is always a difficult thing, to raise arms against those you care about." It was more directed towards Katyna, he wouldn't insult Artemis by trying to lecture /her/ on the matter.

A brief sigh, as he raked a hand through his hair. "It is a frustrating thing, to know that the Church uses good men as their pawns. I'm not the sort of man who finds any honor in killing men swept up in their machinations. I'm glad neither of you are either."

Another pause, he knew all too well what it was like to have one's worldview shattered as well. "Faith is never a terrible thing, unless it is corrupted by the vices of men. The Church's teachings are nearly all lies, but they are teaching virtue. That is never wrong. The rest.. are facts, details, history. History is always written by the victors, and the Church is no exception. We know the truth, and mayhaps one day we'll even try to reveal it, but there's no profit in shattering so many lives, the faith of so many. Just a select few, just to the good people who are capable of aiding us in bringing down the conspiracy."
Artemis Eurus Artemis continues looking at the fire, her thoughts having obviously, inevitably, bogged down in thoughts of her brother. "Hope...yes, I suppose so," she agrees, though by her tone she doesn't seem to really believe it.

The samurai's green eyes turn sidelong to Ramza as he speaks, her mouth forms a small frown. She does not think words are necessary for him to know alone which path her thoughts now lay.
Katyna Katyna peers curiously at Ramza. "You often say that I seem to pursue the wrong kind of strength. What do you mean by that..Do you mean to say that strength of heart is more important..Like this, making the right decisions, versus the easy decisions?" She too, peers into the flames, staring intently as if mesmerized by them.

"I wonder, how long the two of you have been on the run like this. I know your reasons Ramza, but what about you, Artemis?"
Ramza Beoulve "I mean that you pursue strength, because you feel it gives you power. And with power you no longer feel helpless, as you used to be. The search for power can be a corrupting influence." He'd smile warmly at her. "When we first met, you suggested that I ought to consider using the power of the stones against the Church. And that may feel like the pragmatic solution, and we would perhaps try to use them with the best of intentions." He'd take a sip of his tea. "But we would fail ultimately. The power would overwhelm us. And let us say that we were one of the few individuals that could resist the temptation, that could use our power in a manner that would benefit the world..."

He'd look skyward, thoughtfully. "My father always taught me that some men are worthy of wielding power well, responsibly. But most.. the fear of losing power overwhelms them. And that is what I see with you, Kityana. You're afraid of losing your power, becoming what you believe you /were/ again."

He'd then turn back to look at her, smiling. "I'm not a powerful man, Kityana. My strength has ever been borrowed from my friends, and allies. Together, we are strong. Apart, we are weak. Awareness of this can make you stronger than you know. Do you understand?"
Artemis Eurus Artemis listens to Ramza's response, finding it completely typical of what she knows of him. Does she wish to argue with him now though? Maybe a little. "You are powerful Ramza, and to dispute such is to be modest to the point of foolishness. Attribute it to your friends and allies, for that is right in a way--but you have a power of your own as well, as all people do. It is the interaction of our strengths and weaknesses that form the connections between us," she replies quietly.

Artemis looks to Katyna then as she asks why Artemis is on the run. A fair question, she supposes, but one she does not wish to answer in full just now.

"I am accused of patricide. The actual offender is a Templar, thus when I spoke out--of course I was not to be believed," she informs her. "That was more than two years ago. I have been on the run ever since, alone, until I recently joined this company."
Katyna Katyna nods, and sighs. "I...Guess so. I mean, I was pursuing the power that the Heartless offered too, but...." she frowns, staring into her tea. "I guess the price was too high for that power. I nearly helped destroy a world, and I let down my friends - all because I was greedy for power. But...But.." She looks back at him again, an intense gaze in her ember eyes.

"But there can be good power too, can't there be? Are you saying that all power is a bad thing? Maybe it just needs to be used in a good way, for good intentions. That person I was back then, I lost my friends to the heartless because I was weak..Lord Fessner made me strong, even though he never truly corrupted my soul with the heartless." Well not too deeply, anyways.

Katyna smiles as she unsheathes her sword - fireheart, holding it into the firepit, where it bursts and flickers to life. Briefly the flames burst more brilliantly, then flash deep crimson. A portion of the flame takes on the shape of a fiery bird, a phoenix that flies gracefully out of the flames rising and disappearing into the night sky...

"But maybe, if I can learn to use this better, I dont need to use darkness to be strong. Maybe I can still protect my friends even without the heartless...Or the Zodiac stones.."

She glances over at Artemis, sighing as she lowers her sword, then puts it away. "Gee, that totally sucks! I mean, why would the church lie like....?" Oh right, to cover the tracks of a high ranking official. "I guess, that's why you're so 'tough love' n' stuff. I'm sorry, Art, I didn't know.."
Ramza Beoulve He'd grin at Artemis. "Powerful? Nay, I think the powerful ones in our company were the ones that decimated our attackers so swiftly last eve. Even you must admit that I had very little to do with that."

And then to Katyna. "Of course, its just that few have the restraint to use it well, responsibly. One can seek power for the betterment of others, but in the end one's motives are frequently corrupted. Seeking to better yourself, to defend others.. that is the sort of power people can handle. Seeking power because you're frightened of being helpless can be twisted easily."

He'd nod at her display. "Mayhaps you can. It is a wonderful talent you possess." %
And then he'd glance over to Artemis once more, his eyes showing his sorrow. He could only imagine what it was like to know that your destiny is to be a kinslayer.. or to be killed by your kin in kind. Louis was no slouch, after all.
Artemis Eurus Artemis makes a face. This is sympathy, she will try not to rebuke it /too/ much. "I have always been this way." she explains simply. It's true, if any could have known her as a child, she had the same intensity. The only one could to tell them such however, was their enemy.

"You are good to believe me at my word," adds. Many would not. She did not think she posed a very trustworthy figure, really. Mask, and what not.

"Power is always a tricky subject. It corrupts, obviously--but it corrupts most when it is not earned. There is the easy path; you rise quickly and fall just as swift. What good is power if you lose yourself?"

Artemis looks back to Ramza then, shaking her head. "Power is not only the strength of your arm or your skill with a blade. That is one kind of power, certainly, but it is not the only kind of power. I know you are not so ignorant. I swear I will somehow rid you of this ridiculous modesty," she replies.

His glances is not lost on her, nor its meaning. She nods evenly to show her appreciation. Perhaps they would speak more, later.

Artemis stands then, grabbing her practice blade. "I think we've been idle long enough, shall we?"

This scene contained 22 poses. The players who were present were: Katyna, Ramza Beoulve, Artemis Eurus