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A Mouse and a SOLDIER Walk Into A Bar...
(2013-04-24 - 2013-04-25)
No description.
Faruja Senra Diplomacy is a tricky business, and one the Church is often called upon to engage in. While they certainly have their dedicated diplomats, the more militant aspects of the activity often fall to the Knights Templar. For all of their martial strength, so too is it expected than many hold a silver tongue as well.

Faruja Senra is most certainly /not/ amongst those known for being a good diplomat. His temper being far too volatile, he most often finds himself in combat roles. Yet, even he must turn to the pen at times, particularly when it involves his own kin. Luckily, there's something to be said for emotional as well as more practical appeals. In Faruja's case, he has both prepared.

But for now, the Templar simply has to wait. Thus, he has decided to take up his favorite seat in Lindblum's most well known pub. After the fight with Garland, and Angantyr, he has a few things to forget and stew over; likely explaining the good eight beer bottles sitting before him, a ninth on the way down. Unarmed and unarmored, he may at first come across as a cleric rather than a knight today.
Zack Fair It's not a lot of Heretics who'd go looking for an inquisitor. Then again, Zack Fair isn't a lot of Heretics; the ex-SOLDIER/mercenary/New Zodiac Brave is cut from a very different cloth from the average religious opposition. But it doesn't take long for Zack to find what he wants; a few questions, some of that old SOLDIER training, and some creativity, and Zack finds himself outside the doors of Lindblum's best-known pub. He hands over his massive Materia Blade to the bouncer as he heads inside, a huge grin on his face. A quick scan of the room, and he finds who he's looking for.

Zack walks over and sits down next to Faruja, a huge grin on his face. He holds up a hand for the barkeep briefly, then looks over at the ratfolk inquisitor. "Hey. You okay? You look kinda..."

Zack glances at the bottles.

"Drunk," he finishes helpfully. "And not fun drunk. Trust me, I know fun drunk, and you are definitely not fun drunk."
Faruja Senra Tilt. Wobble wobble. Someone is most certainly drunk indeed, and only a quick clawed hand keeps him from meeting the floor. "...Last night, Ser, an Abomination against the very fabric of the Lord's creation and his servant not only nearly took the lives of my companions, but said servant most grievously shattered the heart of said companion. 'Tis not a night for celebration, I am afraid." His words aren't harsh, but rather carry a depressed tone. The rat is far more open with his tongue when he drinks so much.

After a tick, the rat turns slightly to gaze at Zack. A second later, recognition hits, followed by disbelief.

"You...are one of the Beolve's men." Peer! Faruja can't help but stare incredulously. Is he imagining all of this? He's not /that/ drunk is he?
Zack Fair Zack pats Faruja on the shoulder helpfully as Faruja talks about the night before. It's not a pretty tale; betrayal, Abominations, heartbeak...but hey, Zack knows a little thing about betrayal, that's for sure! "Good a reason as any to get un-fun drunk. Hey, barkeep! House special for me and some coffee for my buddy here, huh?"

The barkeep gives Zack a look; Zack plays it off with a broad grin.

Farja recognizes him, and Zack laughs. "Yeah, well, tonight I'm the guy sitting here drinking with you. C'mon, relax, I'm not here to kill you or anything. First off that's not my style, and second, you don't seem like that bad a guy. Any guy who's drinking over somebody else's heartache can't be that bad, y'know?"

The barkeep sets a cup of coffee down in front of Faruja, and a strange mix drink in front of Zack. Zack takes a look at it, sniffs it, then grins and knocks the thing back in one gulp.

Then he sets it back down on the bar. "Anyway. I'm not here to fight you or whatever. I just wanna talk."
Faruja Senra Faruja considers his options. Fight while drunk, and mess up his favorite bar, no doubt losing in the process? It's quickly thrown out the window. Not to mention diplomacy and his efforts for his own people take priority over one overly brave Heretic!

Siip. "I /do/ suppose capturing thyself is tertiary here." Mutters the Templar in response, picking up the coffee. He tries not to grimace at the bitter taste. The Templar has always been a tea drinker, like most of his kind.

"Not that 'twould be much chance of victory after drinking so much anyway. Fine. What words have thee? 'Tis rather curious. You, I mean. Not that I am one to speak upon it, however, you hardly strike me as an Ivalician."
Zack Fair Zack waves his hand as the barkeep sets down another of the house special. "Ah, don't worry about it. I'm just some guy in a bar right now, talking with a guy who looks like he's got stuff to talk about. As for what I wanna talk about..."

Zack scratches the back of his head and laughs. It's a cheerful, happy sound; he picks up his drink, nursing it a bit more slowly this time (it wasn't the knockback sort of drink, as he was quickly discovering; it tasted much better when he took his time and enjoyed it). "Well, to be honest, I dunno. I don't really know you that well, y'know? I'm sure there's a ton of stuff I could talk about, but..."

He shrugs again. "That just sounds like I'm trying to convince you or whatever, and I'm not here for that. I'm just here to talk. You just seem like a nice guy, is all. Like I said...I can't really dislike somebody who's drinking for someone else's heartache. So..."

Zack holds up his glass. "Here's to someone else's heartache." He takes another sip, then sets it back on the bar. "Anyway...whatever you wanna talk about is cool with me. Like, hobbies? Favorite drinks? Whatever. You look like you need somebody to talk to right now about a whole lot of nothing."
Faruja Senra "'Nice' is typically not a word lavished upon Templar by Heretics...particularly ones whom saw the other end of my spear. Mayhap 'twould be best to send thee off. A smarter servant of the Lord would. However, were I smarter, I would be a priest." A chuckle escapes the rat's muzzle.

"To a true angel, may the Lord guide her from her pain." Clink! Coffee cup meets glass.

"Then first, allow me to properly introduce myself. Temple Knight Faruja Senra, former Burmecian Army Aerial Corpman. Admittedly, I know not even thy name, embarrassingly enough. At the least, 'tis not upon any of my handbills." Pause. The rat frowns.

"Technically, I do suppose that means I have no reason to arrest you. For now."
Zack Fair Zack laughs at Faruja's joke, and it's a warm, friendly laugh. It's not a mocking laugh; it's the laugh of a guy whose only care in the world right now is the next drink on the bar. Zack's not in danger; he doesn't need Faruja to tell him he has no reason to be arrested to know that. Faruja doesn't strike him as the type to strike him down in a bar. When you have a *favorite* bar, with a *favorite* seat, where people actually know you and know you come, you don't start fights in it. It's just not...done.

t "Here's to her," Zack replies with a clink.

"Nice to meet you, Faru. Name's Zack. Zack Fair. I'm kind of...a mercenary." Zack sticks out his hand for the Burmecian to shake. "So what do you do for fun around here, Faru?"
Faruja Senra There's a certain charisma to the man beside him, Faruja finds. Despite knowing the man is in theory an enemy, he finds himself relaxing. There's a certain pure sincerity to one Zack Fair that makes him easy to talk to. The kind that makes the Templar trust the man, as far as he can any would-be heretic.

The shake is firm, several lessons in 'modern human etiquette' finally having him make the gesture without feeling awkward or accidentally clawing the recipient. "Well met. Fun, is it? Well, Ser Fair, you stand within Lindblum. Theater, the arts, and engineering are the main occupations. If you've any love of plays, paintings, dance or airships, then you shall find nearly a lifetime's worth of entertainment. By chance, are you familiar with the Tantalus Theater Troupe? Traveling actors, based out of here, or so I am told. Plays are nightly in the theater district. If you are looking for dance halls, plenty there as well...though none can compete, of course, with those of Burmecia!" Boasts the Templar, quick to bring up national pride. Several others in the vicinity groan or roll their eyes. A few retorts are sent at the Burmecian, met with warm smiles. Burmecians and Linders, very different people at heart, nevertheless /like/ each other as a whole.

"However, if 'tis something more...low brow, shall we say? That you seek, there are a few gambling dens and other establishments in the lower section of the industrial district. Even illegal fighting clubs, or so I hear. Do stay out of the deeper ends, however. Not to question thy competence, however, one is like to lose their coinpurse, mercenary or not." Wince. Old, embarrassing memories spring to mind.

"N...not that I would frequent such, of course, as a Temple Knight! I stay to the theater and dance halls." Cough.

Sip. Faruja finishes his coffee. "Sebastion, if you would?" Another cup is set before him. Tea this time. The rat's too polite to turn down Zack's previous offer of a drink!

"From whence do you hail? You are very much unlike thy...companions...if I am any judge."
Zack Fair Zack's grip is strong. It's much stronger than an ordinary human has any right to be; much, much stronger. Even a casual, passing acquaintance with human anatomy would tell Faruja that Zack is not normal at all. Then again, Faruja saw him fight; the Materia Blade wasn't exactly a normal-sized weapon for a normal-sized human being, either, and certainly not a one-handed one for a man of Zack'

But it's not malicious strength, certainly; he's just grinning away, not a care in the world as he drains his glass. The fruity drink is sweet, but tangy; it's an excellent contrast, probably made out of some imported or exotic fruit, or perhaps just old fruits and booze used in a creative way. Zack couldn't really say, and right now he doesn't care.

"You spend a lot of time here, huh?" Zack's grin shifts to a distant smile as he listens to Faruja, leaning against the bar with his drink in hand. The people in the bar all know Faruja so well; Zack's smile widens a bit, and he can't help but chuckle at the atmosphere of the place. "You must be really passionate about defending this place. It sounds like a home away from home."

"I'll take your advice, though. Although I gotta admit, a fight club sounds like it could be pretty fun...but if you think it's a bad idea, hey, who am I to turn down sound advice?"

Zack waves his hand and laughs. "Who, me? Ah, I'm nothing special. Just a wounded mercenary on the battlefield who got saved by a group of kind-hearted strangers." He adjusts in his seat a bit. "It's a boring story, y'know? What about you? Where's home for you?"
Faruja Senra Zack's strength was more than apparent. Few could block a Dragoon's kick so easily, nor wield such a large blade with but a single hand! It simply doesn't add up. The fact sticks in the rat's mind, besotted brain trying to grind out a way to ask. His explaination of where he's from only adds to the Templar's curiousity.

"Not as oft as I would like. Events see fit to show me the length and breadth of this so-called 'World of Ruin'. However, 'tis as you say. 'Twould be but a word from Cid Fabool, and any Burmecian worth the name would defend this city. Had they simply known...had /any/ of us known...they would have done the same. Holy Mullonde brings peace to my soul. Yet, here, I feel as at home as one might without stormclouds and rain upon us." A few nods, mostly from off-duty military officers, join in at the rat's words.

"The Black Chocobo Tavern and Inn. Ask for a man named 'Raven'. Not the most...clean establishment, however, neither should a knife finds its way between thy ribs. No further, however." Amends the Templar, quietly. A good fist, or in his case, claw fight was a good way to blow off steam. And Faruja had plenty of steam on the best of days.

Amidst the slight haziness of alcohol, the rat's ear tilts to listen more closely. For a moment, everything comes into focus. "...Mmm. I see. Victim of circumstance. It may yet be too late, however...hardly do you strike me as Heretic material. Finish out thy debt to the Beolve and his cohorts. Send a letter to High Confessor Funebris confessing thy actions, and beg forgiveness. Lord willing, mayhap you shall be freed from the conflict the Beolve would embroil us both in. 'Tis rare to see one staying with such a...wanted group out of honor's sake. Be done with them and leave, for thy own sake, Ser Fair. I did not join the Order of Shrine Knights to hunt honorable men."

A sad smile comes to Faruja's muzzle. "Burmecia, the City of Eternal Rain. Nary a stone's throw from Lindblum, merely seperated by a mountain range upon my home planet, Gaea. Naturally, given Lindblum's technological bent in the realm of airships, our two civilizations have been fast friends for...well, ever since human, demi-human and nezumi first crawled from rain-soaked grounds and grasslands to build as civilized beings. My home towns name is nearly literal. Only three days out of the year shall one not find rain. It was a city of great fountains, acqueducts, art and dance and of a proud warrior spirit! Grace, poise, combined with discipline and loyalty mark my people. And the finest wines and teas in all of Gaea!"

Clearing his throat, the rat scowls. "Lost, however. Torn apart by the Heartless and Alexandria's army before the pack of witches and butchers saw fit to throw our entire world to Darkness. 'Tis a cruel twist of the Lord's humor that the wretched city yet survives, much less their black-hearted Queen."

Several rude remarks pass through the room.
Zack Fair Zack's smile never fades as he sets his hand on Faruja's shoulder. There's something about the way they're both sitting there, in this bar in a world that neither really belongs to, something absurd and delightful that Zack can't help but smile about.

"I dunno," Zack replies quietly after a moment, holding up his glass for another refill. He looks down into it for a long, quiet pause. "I think the world's pretty beautiful, no matter what people call it. All kinds of strange things to see and do out here. I'd never be able to go to Lindblum in my world, sit down with you, and have a.../really/ weird sweet-tangy-fruity drink with a big ol' churchmouse. Uh, assuming that's not, like, offensive or anything, 'cause I didn't mean it like that."

Zack shakes his head and laughs. "But you know what I mean. If we were still in our own worlds, things'd be different. So even if this is a World of Ruin or whatever, it's still a blessing. No matter how bad it is out there, it's still bright in here." Zack taps his chest, then points at where Faruja's heart (probably?) is.

Zack quietly files down Raven as Faruja starts talking about asking for the church's forgiveness. He smiles, a little wistfully, and then shakes his head. "No...I didn't think you did. I didn't think you got involved in this because you wanted to hunt good people; I think you got involved to protect something important to you. Something really important, something you cherish more than anything else. You don't seem like the type of guy to hunt down good people and enjoy it, y'know? You're kinda..."

Zack wraps his arm around Faruja's shoulder and grins, moving in for a bit of a noogie. "You're kinda a big ol' churchmouse. You've got a heck of a bite, but I think at the end of the day you just wanna sit back with some peace and quiet, am I right?"

Zack releases Faruja. "Listen. He wants to talk to you really bad, and I can see why. I'm not here to be his messenger, I'm not here to convince you of anything...but..."

"As a friend, Faru, I think you oughta talk to Ramza. Maybe over drinks, maybe over tea. Even if you don't think we're friends...well, I think we're off to a pretty good start, and I'm not interested in fighting friends on either side."

Zack nurses this drink even more slowly than the last one and falls silent as Faruja starts talking about the Heartless and Alexandria. Flashes of memory well up in his mind of the darkness descending upon him, of the powerlessness he felt, the weakness, the...

"I'm sorry," Zack's voice is very quiet. If Faruja's paying attention, he'll notice Zack's free hand clenching into a fist, as if Zack was taking on the anger and pain of everybody in the room; even though he wasn't there, even though it didn't affect him, even though he was little more than a stranger to these people, the story still sits poorly in his stomach, still lights a fire in his heart. "If there's anything I can do to help, let me know, okay? Pro bono. Free of charge. I don't like sitting around while people like that are out there."

" I said, even if you don't think we're friends, I think we're off to a pretty good start."
Faruja Senra Squeak! Faruja flails lightly in Zack's grasp as hair is mussed and a noogie is applied! It's almost too much for the drunken rat; more and more, the man reminds him of his own lost sibling. It may be part of why he seems so easy to open up to!

Once released, he quickly straightens his hair with the help of a small hand mirror, then does the same with his robes. Sitting down (at a slightly tilted angle), he crosses his legs. Sip. The chuckles and laughter in the bar are pointedly ignored.

"Zack Fair, thy martial and physical strength may be monstrous. However, 'tis the keeness of thy ears and eyes that are enough to freeze a being's spine solid in the hottest desert." The man is absolutely right, and it makes him all the more dangerous in the rat's estimation. Zack might find himself the recipient of a look of honest respect, mixed with wariness.

"To repay my debt, to light the fires of Faith within the hearts of my people..." Starts off the Templar, before nodding. "And to do that which I could not do within the social confines of my homeland. Burmecia is no longer a nation, merely a group of people. Blood and station are /everything/. Within the Church, my chains are broken. With this freedom, I shall see my remaining fellows once more thriving." And, of course, to take care of an old score.

The mention of the Beolve has the rat shaking his head, even as flickers of doubt consume him. "There is naught but fangs within the jaws of nobles, human and nezumi alike. I do rather like to know whether they are poisonous as well. Particularly ones whom slay Cardinals. I am well aware. 'Tis an issue of trust and credibility. Hands stained with holy blood have little. It shall take much more than a few civilians saved and silver-tongued verses to wash away the stain."

Nor does the fist go unnoticed. At the end of the day, Faruja can't help but /like/ the man. "'Twould be must improper, given our respective affiliations. However...were circumstances a touch different, I would welcome thy hand in friendship without a second's thought. Should you somehow manage to avoid being so branded a Heretic...I may yet take thee upon thy offer. 'Tis fare more than a simple conflict of nations. Such things have ruined worlds, Alexandria remains a threat to all, as do their allies in Baron."

Slowly, Faruja stands, and the rat bows.

"I have dallied far too long, however. It was...good to meet you, indeed. Faram stay our collective hands. Peace is a rare thing these days. Far, far too rare." The rat is quick to pay, before heading off, trying to find a convenient box to place the man known as Zack Fair within. Much like a round peg into a square hole, the rat simply cannot find one.

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Faruja Senra, Zack Fair