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Puppets and Dolls.
(2013-06-05 - 2013-06-06)
No description.
Kuja Alexandria.

It's crown jewel has always been the castle. The rest of the city? It looked decidedly quaint. Most of the architecture was rather rustic, evoking a sort of picture of pre-renaissance Italy to those from the world of Manhatten. At night, the shops were closed, and the only establishments that remained open were the inns and taverns, where people spoke in whispers and loud boasts of their small triumphs throughout the day.

The alleyways of the slums were decidedly dangerous, as neither the Alexandrian military or the Knights of Pluto deigned to even investigate disturbances there unless it offended one of the city's nobility. There was no established city watch to look after the common man out here..

And in one of the corners of those alleys, is a dejected and desperate looking doll, with glowing yellow eyes. Its coned straw hat bent over to the side. It sat there, looking nervously about.. it's chest was heaving beneath the buttoned blue robes it wore, as it just tried to catch it's breath.
Emi Dennou Emi and Shida Dennou are making their way through Alexandria. They are not here for tourism, but rather to investigate. They know that Alexandria has more or less waged a war of genocide against Faruja's people, they're curious what the city's been up to--

--unfortunately most of the city is not really exactly involved in an military or genocidal acts so this may be a bit more difficult than simply visiting the city and asking questions.

The two, obviously, look very similar to one another even if they have different hairstyles at the moment.

But it's a bit of luck that leads them to finding something strange in an alleyway. Emi sees it first and whistles to Shida to follow behind her. They don't communicate vocally to one another, the whistle itself being something of an extraneous action.

Emi lowers her visor and then says, "...Excuse me, sir." She says. "The Network is wondering--are you alright?"

She approaches it cautiously. It might be a dangerous vagrant, or it could just be someone in need of help.
Kuja The doll would look startled at first, and cringe, but then it would begin to plaintively beg them, between it's wheezing as it's chest heaved. "Please, you have to help me. I don't know what happened.. suddenly I just woke up. But none of the others did. It's like everything that happened before, was just a horrible nightmare. All they did was stare at me, with those.. those eyes. Except they're my eyes. And I know that I used to stare like that.."

It'd literally crawl forward on it's knees, "Look, none of them realized that I was a defect, or they'd kill me. They'd have to be told that, ordered that.. You have to get me out of the city. They're already hunting me... Just, will you help me?"
Emi Dennou Emi opens her mouth, stalling for a moment as the 'doll' talks to her. She then closes her eyes a moment, and nods slowly to herself. That's a succinct explanation. She understands.

"You do not seem defective to me." Emi says, offering to help the 'doll' up to its feet. "We are detectives. It is our job to help those who have nowhere else they can go. We will help you to the best of our capability. Can you pretend to--" She stalls for a moment. "--to not be awake? Will that make it easier for you to get outside?"

Shida stalls near the edge of the alleyway, keeping a lookout for the time being.

"What is your name? We are The Network, but this one is called Emi Dennou. And that is Shida Dennou."
Kuja "Black Mage 988-B"

It'd peer at them with those yellow eyes, which now seemed strangely flecked with emotion, "I can pretend. But without someone around giving me orders from the Knights or the military they'll wonder why I'm out and about. We don't patrol the streets, it scares the citizens. We have posts, with shift changes on the walls. That's hours away."
Emi Dennou Emi listens. Black MAGE 988-B. It's not really a name, even by Legion standards. Black Mage is more of a class. So number, letter. Legion at least had Legion-Letter. There weren't enough of them to warrant numbers that high.

"Alright, some commotion may be unavoidable. But we will fight for you. We have lived similarly before. Therefore, we should be able to work well together." She gives a small nod to Shida who slides out the alleyway.

"Shida is going to be our advance scout through the city. She'll give us the best route to get the least amount of detection. Unfortunately some will be unavoidable because it's a city. But if we move quickly, we can get out of the city through the waterways, judging from its size."

She offers to take her his hand. "Ready?" She smiles encouragingly.
Kuja It would stare at the hand for a while, the gears of it's mind working as it tried to understand the meaning of the gesture. Was it to stabilize it? Was it for reassurance? Was it to make sure they didn't get seperated? Either way, she was offering help, so eventually it would clench Emi's hand with it's gloved four finger hand.

An early morning fog would start to roll in, hanging close to the wasn't all that dense, yet. Whatever it was though, it was making the black mage more anxious, as it would look about frantically. From the Network's databanks they would likely come to realize that this certainly wasn't fog, but the much more maligned Mist, which was the source of much technology from the world Alexandria was from.. moreso from Lindblun than here.

"We need to hurry.." It whispered hoarsely.
Emi Dennou Emi leads the Black Mage through the city, following the Black Mage's instructions. The Mist--what luck, she thinks--that'll make them harder to spot. If it's secretly evil death mist that's not something Emi is worried about just now, it makes good cover and shouldn't be an immediate problem.

"You're much better at this than I am." Emi says--she's actually rather quick on her feet, but dragging a Black Mage around too obviously slows her down. If she can get to the waterways though, she's sure she can get him outta here.

"This one did not learn the value of her life for much longer."
Kuja "...Once I get out of this wretched place, I think I'll value it much more highly." It quips, perhaps that was even its first joke. Not a great one

Emi and Shida lead it through the city, all the way to the waterways. The Mist thickens..

On occasion they might note a dark outline with the Mist, but never do they actually approach, or become hostile, they're just there, and gone. They might even be civilians that are just be lost at this hour. ...Or they could be terrible Heartless monsters. Either way. They eventually make it to the waterways.

As they descend down the first staircase, they might notice a flamboyantly dressed individual leaning over the stone bridge, with a tricorn hat, and a feather within it. As they continued to flee, he'd just begin to speak, as if in some sort of dramatic monologue. "It was not I that made the Black Mages into instruments of war. I don't have the power to do such a thing. I just gave those who held such ugly desire a little recipe... Begin with broth of.."

He'd put a finger to his lips, "...but that would be a spoiler, and we're barely out of the first act... noone likes spoilers."

Even as they continued, the man would pay their actions no heed, he'd just continue to speak, "Better that he had remained asleep, ignorant to the Chaos of the universe. The Samsara of War... just a mindless pawn, to have lived, and been torn asunder in battle, or to wear out and die in the years to come.."

A hand raises to it's lips, one curled just above it, "....I've often contemplated if what I do, when this happens is a mercy. And in many ways, it is... but for one thing... I enjoy it, far too much. The denouement of something so very insignificant."

Emi would notice that the Black Mage was at a near complete panic now, as it's speed picks up far beyond what Emi would have thought possible given it's rotund form... if it's going to get away though, it'll rely entirely on what Emi and Shida do... from here on out...
Emi Dennou Shida comes to a stop once the tricorned hatted individual starts talking, moving to interpose herself between Emi and the Black Mage. It's obvious this individual has something to do with the matter, hell he even mentions what they are. She doesn't interrupt, via Emi's instruction, after all at this point they're running out of time. That man has power enough to threaten something built for war, so she'd prefer to escape before he decides to start throwing bolts. She is confident in Shida's ability to survive should it come to it, but she'd rather there not be a fight at all.

"Rela--" She begins but is soon being pulled by the Black Mage. So she says, "--Nevermind, more speed good."

She peers through. Where's that exitpoint. That man, she doesn't know his capabilities, but he shouldn't know hers either.

"If he's insignificant..." Shida murmurs. "Then you should just leave him alone, Shida of the Network thinks. We are not here to cause trouble, but we are detectives and cannot leave someone who needs help alone."
Kuja The man would just peer at Shida. For a moment the look was impassive, but then he would show his teeth. "Oh. You think that /I/ will be bringing down the curtains? Now that would hardly be sporting. Besides..."

Corridors of darkness would appears in several different areas, with glowing yellowed eyes appearing out of them. "...his siblings will do it without malice."

The first set of bars in the waterway would actually have one which was already bent and warped by this being a rather common entrance for the waifs of the city. Thus giving them a brief reprieve, the waterway begins as an immediate T-Junction, though there's a large gate of bars directly in front of them..


Which way will you go?

1. Left

2. Right.

3. Try to break in straight.

4. Random! 1d3

5. Surrender? The gentlemen looks like a merciful fellow.

6. DETECTIVE VISION(You get 1 use to determine the best path)

Emi Dennou Shida blinks twice. "...Oh you're not? That's great!" She beams suddenly. "Then there isn't a problem and--"

Corridors of darkness.

"...Aw shoot!" Shida says. "...You're tricky! Shida of the Network won't forget this!" She turns and starts running after.

Yeah 5 isn't happening. And what's the point o being random. She's a detective. She should be able to see what's what with her own eyes.

But in this case it's pretty simple. The Network are ELECTROMASTERS. The bars are made out of iron. And even if there's some rust, dealing with the iron won't be all that tricky.

She raises her hand forward and says, "Caution." She tells the Black Mage before lashing out with her hands--she's not touching the irons directly but even so--

--the iron bars should buckle, electric arcs rippling between her hand and the bars briefly before she suddenly jerks her arm--ripping the bars free and sending them flying behind her. Shida has to duck under one to avoid getting clonked.

"If we can get out of here, reach a portal, we should be fine... but this will make it difficult." She murmurs to the Black Mage. "We don't want to hurt your brothers."
You have chosen, 3!

You have chosen wisely in the direction. However, due to the amount of time it takes you to bust through, a few of the Black Mage dolls catch up to you and state, all with equal enthusiasm, "DESTROY!" Dark bolts of lightning would arc out at the Network. A sort of darkness infused electricity that they would find astoundingly hard to absorb, if they tried.

Heading forward, you reach a four way stop! =====================================================================

Which way will you go?

1. Left

2. Right.

3. Straight.

4. Backwards?(wtf?)

5. Surrender? The gentleman looks like a merciful fellow.

6. DETECTIVE VISION(You get 1 use to determine the best path)

Emi Dennou There really isn't a lot of information to go on from where to go but well--it's a waterway. Emi wasn't expecting someone to just up and summon Black Mages. Still, the fact that it's summoning the Black Mages might be more convenient for them than that remarkably effeminate man directly.

"Shida! Don't absorb, deflect!" Emi shouts.

Shida says, "Got it, sliding for a moment to swing an arm back and repel the bolts away from her own electric arcs, dissipitating the bolts harmlessly--at least for her, but she's not trying to hurt thoses Black Mages.

She turns and chases after--

"We'll try to lose 'em." Emi says and runs to the right this time.
Kuja You have chosen.. wisely!

You lose the first set of Black Mages, who seem to have only a pace known as /WADDLE/ when they're not self aware. In fact, you start seeing the moon's soft rays ahead.. but whether it's from a manhole cover above that would open into the city, or from an actual path /out/ is up for dispute.

However, on the way, a corridor of darkness appears behind them, and more Black Mages step out. Dark fire blossoms from their fingertips this time. Though luckily... the murky sewage water does something to mitigate this attack. Your Black Mage doll companion shrieks as he's burned, is this really the first time he's ever /realized/ he was in pain?
Kuja Another T-Junction. The moon's soft light was coming from a man-hole cover from above, which will.. likely take you back into the city. You only have two ways to go, unless you want to back up right towards those fine Black Mage blokes right behind you.


Which way will you go?

1. Left

2. Right.

3. Backwards(BEADY YELLOW EYES).

5. Surrender? The gentleman looks like a merciful fellow. His mages even moreso

6. DETECTIVE VISION(You get 1 use to determine the best path)
Emi Dennou Two rights make a 'go backward'--even if that's down another corridor, Emi isn't here to look for treasure chests in dead ends or head back into the slums. To make matters worse, her friend is now on fire. The Network isn't so great at dealing with fireballs--at least compared to electricity. It slams into Shida, bowling her to the water. She's a bit slow to get up to her feet again, but luckily the water kept her from engulfing into flames. Emi tries to splash out the flames on the Black MAge. She jerks her head to the left, guiding the man that way.

"Is there a way to stop them without hurting them ... nhh, on reflection if they're just gonna keep getting summoned... do you happen to know any Haste Spells?"
Kuja "Ugh! IS THIS WHAT WE'VE BEEN DOING TO PEOPLE?" As he finished patting the flames out. "No, reflect only was taught to special divisions, or the prototypes... I can do /this/ though!" KER-CHACK! A wall of blackened ice pops up in the tunnel behind them, slowing down the ones behind them.

Immediately more flames would blossom, and the wall would start to drip under the onslaught. More running, this time to the left! And you see... a light at the end of the tunnel!

As you run along, more corridors of darkness would pop up, and a wall of blackened ice would form, in an attempt to block your path... but all three of you are too quick, and you make it just past it, right as it blocks the tunnel right behind you. More attempts at burning it down are made. Beyond, you see the drainage into a small retention pond into the Mist Plains... The Mist is thick, and cloying.. but out there you'd likely be quite safe!
Emi Dennou Oh reflect would have been even better than Haste, but luckily it seems that Kuja has something of a summoning range on those Black Mages. Shida's still burnt on her back--relying on adrenaline to push her forward. She manages to jump through the ice wall just as it finishes forming up. She and Shida intend to run on through. That man, she thinks, is dangerous.

"I think he likes the theater." Shida rasps as she jogs through towards the Mist Plains.

"That was a great deal of help." Emi adds to the Black Mage. "Thank you."

What they were doing to people... the Burmecians?, she wonders. She better not take this guy to them. Straight to Isaac if she has anything to say about it.

"We're with the TDA." Emi says. "we're based in a place called Traverse Town. We'd like to take you there."
Kuja Once out on the Mist Plains, it would bend over double, it's gloved hands on its knees, it would take the time to catch it's breath. "Well, before our world fell we'd always heard about a village where.. the defects would go. But it was never found. I don't even know if it exists anymore.. but maybe it's out there still."

/SIDEQUEST GET/ Black Mage Village? A giant Grey Question mark would appear over Black Mage 988-B's head.

"But..I have nowhere else to go. And you saved me. I'm.. very grateful for that. Uh, what's those words that they say, in gratitude. Thanks? I'll come with you."
Emi Dennou A village of 'defect' black mages? Emi hasn't heard anything about it. But that sounds like a good place to take him. Unfortunately for now, she'd never be able to find it now. And they're injured, so she better just not take any more chances. Those Black Mages hurt--and they have much more spell versatility than The Network does.

Shida stumbles over, smiling and resting a hand on his shoulder. "Aww." She says. "You're a pretty sweet one aren't you?"

Emi doesn't react to the htanks immediately, but after a great deal of thought she speaks up.

"We should thank you." Emi murmurs. "The Network was in your position before ... but thanks to you, we feel..."

She trails off for a moment, struggling.

"We feel we've brought some peace to our sisters that we had to bury before they could experience life."

She looks back and smiles. "I hope you'll see us as friends. That is, people you can rely on. Let's get going. Our friend Isaac--maybe he can help your friends too."
Kuja Sibling feelings.. he had some notion of that already, but they were still relatively unformed. All he knew is that he'd be... sad? If the others died. He was relatively quiet, as he waddled after them, just trying to make sense of all these confusing emotions.

This scene contained 22 poses. The players who were present were: Emi Dennou, Kuja