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A Dark Offer
(2013-04-22 - 2013-04-24)
No description.
Souji Murasame Goug has always had odd weather. But this time, there is a localized thunderstorm.

The Ame-no-Torifune rides along the stormclouds. If there is no storm, it makes its own, which explains enough of the inclement weather. The black steel and gleaming neon blue lights of the lightning around it cause it to look ominous, alien and sleek, with the foredeck flanked by a pair of crackling, curved spires. A large energy sail, glowing blue and arced backwards allow for propulsion in addition to the rear engine thrusters. There are entries at the rear of the deck to enter the Captain's (that is to say, Souji's) Quarters, as well as the bridge and belowdecks areas. The lightning is constantly being drawn back into the ship, the St. Elmo's Fire being used to power the systems to supplement the Black Mages working in the heart of the ship.

Souji himself stands on the foredeck, looking down below at the city that sprawls under them. While Goug is the home of Shinra, Souji has... interest in events here. Crackling power surges have been seen, and he and his men are working to track down the surges before Shinra. He has no intention to share with them the bounty he seeks.
Seith A city run by a Power Company, to be wracked by /Power/ - such irony. Yet it is not this city that the man known as Seith has interest in. He stands in the streets of this particular city, gazing up at the clouds and the airship amidst the storm. Someone up there had an important dream. Something that can help him in his desire to 'teach' the world.

With a sudden 'burst' of magical power, people are suddenly blown aside and the ground beneath him is crushed; gravity magic rising around him like a bubble before lifting him up into the air towards the neon airship. Purple lightning sparks around the barrier of magic as the man floats further up to the air. Lightning is already being led into the ship, so there is no danger for this man; his gaze aimed at the bow foredeck of the ship.

The man continues to rise up into the air, undetered by anything or anyone in this deed, until finally he pulls up 'above' the airship's deck. Heavy armored, gazing down upon the Captain, and perhaps his fellow crew. It's sure that Souji would have seen him coming, if he'd been watching Goug down below.

And being the dramatic Shadow Lord he is, he just hangs in the air above the ship for a little while, waiting for the man to hail him, or for someone to at least point out his presence.

Besides, shouting in the middle of a storm has such little effect.
Souji Murasame The irony is indeed present to Souji as well. What he did not expect, however, was the explosion of gravity magic. Souji blinks as he watches the rising figure, and he quietly raises a hand, giving commands via his subvocal microphone. He pauses, holding the hand up as he waits to see the nature of this being. Is this an attack?

Souji's eyes narrow behind his Moogle Glasses, the readings from them causing him to pause. Interesting. He cuts across with his hand, and the lightning cannons power down, the crew standing back down.

Making a mental guess about the nature of this person, Souji makes a wide gesture of invitation, giving a short bow as he steps aside to allow the stranger to board the ship. He'll learn more once he can talk to the man properly.
Seith As the man steps aside, Seith comes in for a landing; wise enough to 'pop' the bubble of antigravity so he will not harm the ship he is to stand upon. And when he does indeed land, he lands kneeled before Souji with his head down. A sign of respect and subservience.

"I greet you, Lord Murasame." Souji has made enough of a name for himself in this world already. His ship is recognized and spoken about amongst the World of Ruin. His mantle slowly settles against the deck of the ship and his eyes finally cast up towards the man.

"I~" No name, simply 'I', "~ have come to offer my assistance in a matter that some of your people have been... entertaining."
Souji Murasame Souji looks at this man, this curious man, this mysterious man of unknown power. This man who offers his assistance... Souji straightens, and nods to the man, bading him stand with a gesture. "Greetings, Sir. You appear to have the advantage of me." He pauses, and then leans against the railing, gesturing towards Seith. "Would you care to explain the manner in which you are offering your assistance, and how you have come to know of such things?"
Seith To have the advantage and spark Souji's interest was Seith's intent with that very sentence. He slowly rises as the 'captain' of the massive airship allows him to stand, and lays one arm against his midriff while he makes a gesture with the other. He is quick to show himself a sorcerer, as an Illusion of Ramuh appears in the air with Murasame's tower at its center. And then, as he flicks his hand again, this image is quickly replaced with the lost building that is Alexander Academy itself.

"My methods are... a secret I am afraid. But as you might have seen now, they are... effective." The man pauses for a moment, letting this sink in, before adding; "Perhaps we ought to go inside and sit down for this discussion?"
Souji Murasame Souji again squints at the appearances of the illusions of Ramuh and Alexander Academy. There are several long moments as he considers, and then he nods. "Come, we will speak in my cabin." He turns, leading the way towards the afte of the ship. He gestures, and the door unlocks and opens for him, allowing him and his mysterious associate entrance.

The cabin itself is well-appointed, but generally functional. There is a well-crafted table of ebony, upon which rests a tea service. In a cabinet to one side is a wine cooler and liquor cabinet, as well as a set of crystal glasses. There is an office desk in the corner, the glimmer of a magitechnological computer present. There are several folders on the desk, as well as a framed picture of a teenaged woman in a pure white dress. Windows on the sides of the cabin afford a view of the area outside, while a locked door leads further in, presumably to private sleeping quarters. The business is clearly handled here. Souji closes the door after Seith enters, and he gestures towards the table and the refreshments. "Please, be seated. Would you like refreshments? Tea, wine, liquors if you desire them."
Seith The man follows Souji without saying a further word, only the sound of his heavy armor betraying his rather obvious presence. He steps into the well worked room, and steps aside so that Souji would not be blocked from entry by his presence. A simple single nod is given to te man before he walks to the table himself and seats himself on the 'visitor' side of things. Of course, he goes out of his way to make a little fancy movement to ensure his mantle not be trapped between him and the back of the seat.

"A tea would suit me." Seith explains to Souji, waiting for the refreshments to be readied and Souji to sit at the table. "I understand that you've been traveling a lot in this world. Your ship has been spotted many a place. And there's even rumors of trade. Stop me if I presume too much, but it seems to me like you are trying to 'rebuild' something that you have lost ~ with your world being no more."
Souji Murasame Souji nods, and moves to the tea set. He moves expertly, magically creating a small flame to heat the water. The act is decorative, and the movements ritualistic, as if Souji has performed this series of actions a thousand times. The water boils, and Souji sets a precise amount of crushed tea leaves to steep. He flicks his hands, and once prepared, the tea is poured, with one cup for him and one for his visitor. There are additions available if Seith prefers, with fresh sliced lemon or honey, even sugar if he wishes. Souji takes his unaltered.

Once complete, Souji sits, sipping from his cup as Seith explains his presence. "It is inevitable that I would gain attention at some point. I have chosen to not hide my actions." He pauses. "You are correct. The Murasame Family was once a great and powerful manufacturing and distribution conglomerate, wielding great power through the economy, as well as the goods and services they provided to the world. I seek to recreate it." He goes silent once more. "A world is not a simple thing to restore. To even determine if it is possible to restore a world will require an incredible amount of wealth and power to perform the research necessary... As well as to investigate alternative options should it be untenable. To accomplish anything in these worlds, one must have the ability to influence others to your cause, through whatever means."
Seith "So it is." Seith agrees. He accepts the cup of tea, and much like Souji he drinks it without any additions. The man has bitter tastes if anything. "Nothing more useless than an attempt to hide; it only garners one more attention." The man had followed Souji's movements earlier, taking note of the way he'd brewed the tea. These days, he was used to people to use little baggies from Manhattan to make their tea. But this man still keeps up the old traditions, even though he seems to be from a world where technology reigned.

"It is possible to 'restore' a world, or so Manhattan seems to have proven. But such has been but one world in many years. A fluke, if you may. I would not spend too much resources on trying to find what has been lost, and concentrate on the future instead." Seith points out, before adding; "It would appear that there is an importance to one particular item. And it's the reason I am here. Supposedly - there was once a school in your world. One of great importance?" He doesn't go in on the wealth and power Souji speaks of. But already, Seith is starting to believe that this is a man he can work with.

A man who knows what power is, and how to use it.
Souji Murasame "It is simply one of many projects I am planning to work on. It is not truly a major intention of mine to pursue it too dearly. I am locating suitable substitutes rather than wasting my time and energy on fool's errands." Souji explains, watching Seith carefully. This man reveals precious little about himself, though it is clear: He is being measured. He has been since before this man appeared. Men like this do not do so out of idle amusement. The Murasame heir drinks his tea as well, using the moment to consider what to say next.

"The school." Souji says, nodding. "That is in fact one of the reasons. I intend to reestablish it." His reasons for doing so? Who knows? "Alexander Academy was considered the greatest school in our world. Most of our moon, Chocobo, was dedicated to its campus. It taught every subject you could imagine under the sun for everything people could need. Being accepted into Alexander Academy was considered to practically be a pass to success."

Souji leans back in his chair slightly, before continuing. "Knowledge in itself is power, as you well know yourself based on your attentiveness to acquiring knowledge and showing little of yourself in turn."
Seith "Knowledges is of great importance to me; as are those who are taught to know that power." Seith answers Souji, taking a little sip from his tea, before lowering it and setting it down onto the desk. He intertwines his fingers and turns his attention straught upon Souji himself. "It is indeed as you say, knowledge is important to me. And I believe I may be able to help you in your quest to... resurrect this Academy of yours."

Seith takes the teacup from the saucer once more, and then gets up from his seat, and lazily makes his way over towards the window. Where, he takes a little bit more of a drink, gazing outside into the thunder. "There are rumors that the moons of this world are special as well. Mere rumors. But would it not be... interesting to find out wether this is true or not?" Seith implies.

"There was once a town in the world that Shinra comes from - it had a vessel with the ability to go far up in the skies. Maybe you should... gain the knowledge of what lies within the skies of this World of Ruin?" He offers, before turning around and leaning against the wall besides the port window. "Where would you like the new Alexander Academy to be? Within reason."
Seith "Then this very region might suit you." Seith points out. "Goug for its technology, up north for fields and forest, and plenty of civilization towards the east - with Lindblum allowing you to resupply your airship nearby." Admittedly, this is not the landmass he knows best. But then, that doesn't really matter. "What would you say if I suggested... I have some - not all - but some resources that might help you in your goal of establishing this school?" Seith asks, before pushing himself away from the wall once more and sets the now empty teacup on the desk.

"Of course, there would be a price."
Souji Murasame Souji listens to the proposals and the lore given. "You're speaking of a spacecraft of some kind." Souji mentions. "Such a thing would be possible, but at this point unless we could find an intact specimen of such a craft it would require significant amounts of research. In my own world, we were able to simply walk to the moon upon a great bridge, or used land vehicles. It would be interesting to investigate such things, but I have to establish the foundations before I can reach for the stars."

Souji stands, setting his own tea down and stepping towards the window, looking out of it it as he folds his hands behind his back. "Nostalgia would say I would attempt to reestablish it upon one of the moons. However, that is untenable here, and to expend so much effort for mere... nostalgia... when one can gain far more optimal results elsewhere. The optimal location would have access to wilderness, for the needs of live training. The more potential biome access, the better. Useful dungeons in the area would be handy. For supplies, civilization within a reasonable distance at an appropriate technology level would also be useful. It would cut down on import and shipping costs. If an appropriate site could be refitted to the needs of the location it would be an additional boon."
Souji Murasame "Provided I do not anger Shinra overmuch in the near future, given my current bid for one of their more... choice territories. But waste not, want not." Souji smiles, and then looks to Seith. "I suppose it's a risk I will be willing to take. There is no point to power if it is not tested, correct?" He rubs his chin, considering the offer, before fully turning to Seith. "I would be interested to learn what you have to offer. I would be more interested to hear about your price, however. We both know nothing comes for free. Should your price be reasonable, however, we can have an agreement... And we will have mutual profit all around."
Seith "My price is simple. The permission to teach as I want, what I want, at the Academy. Be it sorcery or the Dark Arts." Seith answers, before sitting down into the seat he'd been given earlier. "In return, I have both monetary access, as well as the ability to assist in building your school. I can get equipment moved between two points in almost no time, and have a workforce you... might be familiar with."

The man waves one hand, and a threesome of shadows suddenly appear right in the middle of the cabin. A second wave of his hand, and the heartless twist and turn, turning into a black liquid and then being shaped into a man-like creature wearing a tuxedo; the skin entirely black, and three emblems on its chest. "Building an entire Academy would take you months, if not years. I can get it done within a week or so."

Seith then slowly looks towards Souji and grins. "But are you willing to work with the devil?"
Souji Murasame Souji considers Seith's assertions, his questions. He puts a hand to the side of his head, thinking with an intent expression on his face, when the appearance of the Heartless occurs. Souji pauses, his eyes narrowing for a moment. "You would not believe how inconvenient the appearance of those were for my operations." Souji says, ominously.

And then he smiles. "But the damage is already done, is it not? No use crying over spilled milk." He gestures. "If we can harness them for something useful, then we should do so."

He turns towards Seith. "I would have no problems with you becoming a teacher. However, we will not be able to simply allow you unlimited latitude. We will have to make sure to keep up appearances. I will not be the headmaster, after all. I will, however, ensure you have a desired place. You will have the ability to teach your courses, and I will give you exposure to many students, some of whom will be more... receptive to your teachings than others. You will find the curriculum quite interesting, I believe... And I believe you will have a useful addition to it."

He smiles further. "As to your last question... You appear to be many things, mysterious one, but you are no devil. I do, however, appreciate your style."
Seith "Ah yes, I am sure they would have been. If you lost your world, it was probably at the hand of these things." Seith points out. "They are hard to control for someone without the appropiate skill. But... not impossible." Giving the slightest of hints that perhaps he might be willing to pass on this ability as well. But it is nothing but insinuation. No promises. Seith does appreciate this man. They seem to think in a very similar way to himself. Though he remains careful. He knows very well how people like Souji can be. He doesn't give more information than he needs to - simply because he refuses to become the one 'used'.

But in a ways, it is inevitable. After all, Seith isn't a perfect mastermind. In the end, he's only one thing. A teacher.

"Of course, unlimited latitude can not be given. I understand the need to keep up appearances." The man crosses his arms patiently and leans back, tilting his head just mildly. He seems amused. The spark in his eyes would tell Souji enough; he has Seith interested. "But I am. At least, I am a devil to this world - and very likely to your students. For I have control over the heartless."

Seith stands up from his seat. "Still. You are right. I am no true devil. I am no Garland, I am no Hades. I am none of them. But one thing I am - is patient. I'll know when you have need of my services. Though if you need to call on me..." The man grabs a small jewel from underneath his robes and flicks it Souji's way. Upon being caught, it turns into a callingcard of sorts. A blue translucent calling card. It slowly grows black numbers. A Ma Belle number.

"No tell me." Seith now stands with his back to Souji, looking at the room once more. "About the curriculum you are thinking of. And do you happen to know if there are any... sorcerers amongst the former Academy student-base?"
Souji Murasame The insinuation that the Heartless can be controlled comes and goes with Souji. He nods slightly, acknowledging that /something/ was caught... But he doesn't seem to be expressing interest in it.

Souji is no more perfect than the man he is dealing with. Perhaps it's because his goal is not to simply to take Seith for all he is worth. "You may have control over the Heartless, but that will simply create questions for them. Some might accuse you. But I doubt very much that /you/ are the one responsible for the destruction of our world. I would be very much surprised if you were." He smiles. "After all, a man of your caliber would likely have been able to easily gain tenure in the Academy in the very position you desire."

Souji catches the jewel, flicking it around his fingers dextrously as he looks at the inscription. Interesting. He tucks it into his suit, and produces one of his own, consisting of the Murasame insigia and another Ma Belle number. He hands this to Seith. "And here is a way to contact me as well. Communication will be necessary."

As Seith speaks, something causes Souji's eyes to narrow and his gaze to flick back towards Seith attentively. Something he said caught Souji's attention... but what?

"The curriculum of Alexander Academy is one that does not simply teach, but prepares one to deal with the various issues of the world they find themselves in. One does not simply learn mathematics, but also how to fight. How to deal with monsters, and properly harvest them when you defeat them. How to explore ancient ruins and survive their traps. How to organize a travelling inventory, and other applied techniques. You'll find that some of their teachers create battle events for their students in an attempt to teach them basic facts of life, things like how an attack can come at any time, or an effort to demonstrate the thing they are teaching. As far as sorcerors... There were many mages amont the students, but as far as what you are getting at... No, I do not recall any sorcerors of the kind you seem to refer to among my classmates. I may have forgotten, however. You can always speak with those I can have you meet and test them yourself."
Seith Seith retrieves the card that Souji holds out for him, making a little flail before it disappears from sight; sleight of hand? Or something far different? You be the judge. "You are correct. I had neither knowledge nor interest in your former world. But one thing is certain; I had no access to it." The man then steps towards the door for a moment, before Souji catches his attention with the curriculum of Alexander Academy. The man grins.

"Though I must say... it is a shame I never knew of it. I might have prevent its fall. A world such as yours would have been... useful." He declares. "I approve of your curriculum. And though it is a shame no notable sorcerers are amongst your Academy ~ as far as you might recollect ~ perhaps merely the dark arts will be enough to satisfy me." The man pauses for a moment, before dismissing the heartless he'd 'molded' earlier, and opening a Dark Portal with a second motion.

"Anyhow. That will be all for the day. Contact me soon... I'll be waiting." Seith declares, before stepping into the portal and turning around; waiting for Souji to perhaps give him any final parting words.
Souji Murasame Souji nods. "I think you would have been quite valuable there. A pity... But no use grieving over the past, when we can build a greater future." Souji gestures to Seith. "I will contact you soon. Some of my... classmates, erstwhile as they may be, are working on a solution, and we may be able to save some time by sybergizing our efforts. I will keep you apprised of the optimal opportunity for us to move."
Seith Seith lays a hand to his chest and bows to Souji. "I will await your call, sir Murasame." And yet still the man doesn't even know his name. But then, knowing Seith - he's likely to disguise himself and mask himself in a different name when he is ready to take up the mantle of Teacher of Alexander Academy.

And thusly, the Portal closes before Seith, leaving Souji alone within his cabin.

This scene contained 22 poses. The players who were present were: Seith, Souji Murasame