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No title.
(2013-06-19 - 2013-06-19)
No description.
Alma Hyral Lower Archades.

The casualties were a slow trickle now rather than a great torrent. Every now and then they'll dig someone out of the collapsed buildings who managed to survive all this time, but that is becoming fewer and farther between. Most have died of dehydration, starvation, or trauma by now.. Most of the individuals that came now were those who had injuries less than serious. Disenfranchised former nobles who still had not had it sank in became all too common as their entitlement made them believe that their minor injuries should be treated ahead of the more seriously injured lower class.

The comraderie that had appeared amongst rescue workers during the first few days had all but evaporated in fear.. of what came next. Now came the rebuilding, now came the paranoia that Alexandria would attack again while they were weakened.

While Alma had put her heart and soul into the relief efforts for the first few weeks, now her place was amongst those who had been critical, and still needed care to remain stable, she left triage and dealing with /complaints/ to those more inclined to it. Cronus' injuries had been more critical than most at first, but he had long passed the stage where Alma was worried whether he would actually recover. Now just came the end of the convalescence of most, as she just tended to basic needs and nursed them back to health around the part of the tents set up for the more seriously injured. Two Archadian military were following her around at a good distance, though they appeared.. bored, for the most part, despite having their eyes on her at all times.
Emi Dennou Military is with her. May make matters more complicated.

Nevertheless, Shida has been staying by Cronus day and night. She was terribly worried until he regained conciousness a few days ago. Now she seems to be trying to help him get used to moving again. Cronus himself is surly and illtempered as usual though he doesn't cause trouble. He has asked about 'Beetle' a few times.

Emi herself shows up this time, though. She'd rather not transmit through Shida. As is, the Network is starting to feel a bit...stretched. Without Imi around, and Shida lodged in one place, it hasn't been so easy to collect information. Ami won't even go outside.

"Alma," Emi says, approaching. "Well met again." She is not dressed especially different from usual, and her blank expression is everpresent. "Do you have a moment? This one can speak with you in the tent." She doesn't glance at the officers just yet, maybe they'll remain outside.

Inside Alma can hear Cronus say, "<Goosehonk!>"
Alma Hyral Alma made it perfectly clear to them that they weren't to harass anyone who approached her unless she indicated they were an actual threat. Or they /saw/ an actual threat.

That makes it relatively simple, as Alma just smiles cheerfully as Emi approaches. "Hey Emi. It's good to see you again." A few days without seeing massive deaths were doing wonders for her mood, watching actual people recover.

While Alma gives the tent a sidelong look at Cronus' swearing, she'd become... accustomed to it. She kind of had to. There was a /lot/ of swearing going on around here, he was just the king of cursing in the midst of the treatment area.

"And sure, Emi, we can talk." She hands off a bowel of soup and a spoon to one of the other volunteers, who takes up feeding one one of the recovering people that couldn't yet feed themselves. She then steps inside the tent crossing her arms at Cronus, with an impish smile as she looks over to Shida, "And how are the two of you doing today?"

She tilts her head to the side speaking in an idle tone to Cronus, "...You're very fortunate you know. If not for that magic of yours there would have been no way I could have stabilized you in time."
Emi Dennou "What happened to the Legion?" Cronus asks, staring at Alma. "This brat," He looks to Shida. "Too busy harassing me to tell me anything."

Shida is considerably more polite. "I'm okay... thank you for looking after him, Shida of the Network expresses her gratitude again." The Dennou smiles up at her. Alma apparently has pretty high Dennou rep at the moment.

Emi nods to Alma and follows in after her, glancing over her shoulder at the two guards in a casual manner. She takes a look around the tent and then looks at Cronus.

"Cronus." She says.
"Emi." He says.
"Take better care of yourself." Emi chastizes, Cronus struggles to get up and hisses through his teeth.

But the detective looks back towards Alma and continues, "Alma, this one wished to inquire after the Black Mages that attacked the city. This one wished to inform you about what we've learned about them as well."

"Hrrnk..." Cronus grunts. "...Not sure how my magic is different from yours. You can't affect others...why not?"
Alma Hyral "I'd actually kind of like to know that too..." She gives Cronus a sharp look, sort of like a /mom/ stare that hadn't fully developed. "...but only if you promise that you won't do anything /rash/."

Alma's look melts away, and becomes warmth again as she looks to Shida, "Anytime, Shida. Really. It was the least I could do."

She turns to face Emi, nodding, "Oh? What did you find out? Their bodies.. well they were littering the streets, but there's.. it's like there was nothing biological to treat, or if it is, it's too.. strange, for either me or Kyra to make sense of yet. Either way we had too many casualties trickling in to dwell on it."

And then she just looks to Cronus, staring, as if considering what to tell him, then she just sighs, " short, my experiments were.. trying to make spheres of magic which are normally associated with time magic or black magic.. into white magic. As a result can alter my personal gravity, and those of others but only in beneficial ways.. my perception of time as well.. but I'm not sure if that's a function of me altering gravity or not, as per the old theory. However while I'm doing that, I can't /activate/ the sigils and arrays that drive most of my magic. And if I can't activate them, then I can't harm others."
Emi Dennou Cronus snorts. "Two dimensional thinking. You should figure out how to use it on other people." He looks away. "Would've liked to slow down that hugeass summon. Would've gotten more people out. Tch...of all the rotten luck. Coming to face with another like that..."

He pauses, remembering-- "...I won't do anything rash." He says with careful measuredness. Both Shida and Emi give him a long frown. Cronus is not really weak to moms. Does he evne have a mom? He hasn't mentioned anything about mothers that wasn't immediately followed by a swear word.

"Well..." Emi begins carefully. "...We found one before the attack ourselves." She clucks her tongue lightly. "The truth of the matter is, they are not human. They are mass produced drones. Originally, they appear to be nothing more than singleminded drones. But after a fight, or perhaps just with time, they seem to gain a kind of sapience. There are souls in there." Emi says. "I came by to make a further request."

"Please try and save them." Emi says. "Their acts are not by their own will. They did not ask for this."
Alma Hyral Alma Hyral just gives him a patient smile, "I.. stopped all experimentation years ago, else I'd probably have corrected that problem. It was new territory. Again, I don't even really know /what/ it is.." She rakes a hand through her hair, trying to continue smiling. "...I just think I do. I can move exceptionally fast without my particular brand of time magic, but my brain isn't able to handle the sensory input without dilating time. So, if I wasn't able to do it, and tried anything like it, I'd probably slam into a wall at about four hundred kilometers per hour." She tilts her head to the side, giving him a strange look, "You can really affect something as large as Bahamut?"

She nods her head at Cronus with his statement of not doing anything rash, "Fair enough. How is she doing, Emi?" And then a little fretfully, her smile growing timid, "She uh, doesn't want to kill me any longer I hope? I kind of upset her even... before that happened."

Alma listens to Emi for a time, trying to wrap her mind around it, before nodding in a ruminative manner, "Certainly, is there any way to.. snap them out of their mindless state that you know of? As it stands it is dangerous to even approach them while they're alive."
Emi Dennou "We have not approached her much. Our presence tends to aggravate her." Emi says apologetically. "But this one doesn't think she's in the mood to kill anyone. Her mannerisms are a bit, well--" She looks towards Cronus pointedly.

"Heh." Cronus replies.

"But in any event," Emi continues. "We're not sure about how to 'awaken' the Black Mages. It may be a byproduct for when they kill people, the trauma may awaken them. This one hopes there is another method. Isaac is working on something."

Emi sighs lightly, looking down at her feet. "But for the moment, The Network was hoping you could educate Gabranth and Solidor." She gestures with a hand. "While I can't expect them to not defend themselves, they are not the 'monsters' that they are initially. They are the equivalent of child soldiers. Worse, child soldiers have had more choice to them."

She frowns. "They just do not know any better. You understand, don't you?"

Cronus considers Bahamut. "Yeah...probably. If I couldn't I could at least slow the blast. If you were helping, certainly. The issue, at least for my style, isn't about having your concious mind handle the calculations. You let the subconcious mind handle it. See, the human brain's real powerful. More powerful than any computer." He gives a small nod to Emi.

"...That is why a human brain that functions like computers were made, perhaps." Emi murmurs. "...But that might not be the whole reason."
Alma Hyral Alma listens to Emi, and finally nods, "I think I'd like to speak to her then, in the near future.. we didn't.. part on the best terms." She gives Emi a sheepish look, she was obviously being very diplomatic there.

She presses a hand to her nose, then has it travel upwards, to rub just beneath her eyes. "I can try. I will try, but.. I don't know what to say there. Personally I hate violence, and I would try to save every one that I could.. but I'm not sure how the Archadian military would respond. Maybe I can at least educate them on taking the ones who seem... intelligent prisoner. But I don't think they'll change their tactics wholesale in light of..." She breathes out a sigh, "...Whoever did this to them is a thoroughly horrible individual. They must have known that it'd put this moral quandary on us, on everyone once this was discovered. So yes, I understand. I'll do what I can."

She gives Cronus another thoughtful look, "Well.. I'll admit that I'm rather hesitant to... develop, that particular side of my magic, but it might be useful to learn how to handle it subconsciously." As she thought about it, she had images of various Dennous dying in her head to time magic, in the exquisite detail that Feige Abramson had provided to her as a result of the horrors of Time Magic used offensively. She looked a little...nauseous, and eventually sat herself down, with a hand upon her stomach. But, even so, she couldn't deny that it might be useful if it really /could/ stop something as large as Bahamut from causing such devastation... "I'd um.. appreciate any instruction you can offer."
Emi Dennou "...Yes, The Network suspects that by most ethical standards, the people we are dealing with can be considered 'horrible'." Emi says diplomatically.

Shida smiles. "Don't worry, Shida of the Network believes in you! And her. Even though she is a sourpuss. But so is this guy." She kicks Cronus, season 1 final boss, in the shin. Cronus cringes but doesn't retaliate. Shida, of course, didn't actually mean to hit him and squeaks in a concerned tone, fussing over him and pulling him back to his cot.

"argghhhhhhhhh...." Cronus is exasperated! He is also totally oblivious to the fact that Alma knows what he's done! Nobody brought that up to him so he's acting like Alma is totally ignorant of those particular crimes. Because he thinks she is.

Of course Alma could always inquire! The Network even has their own opinion on the matter. Of course, there's no doubt that horrible things can be done with such magic.

"Thank you," Emi says.

"...Yeah, sure, I'm not like a proper teacher or nothin', but I'll do what I can." Cronus mumbles, looking away.

"It's a shame we can't use our calculations to help." Emi clucks her tongue.
Alma Hyral Alma Hyral shivers despite herself, but she manages to affirm to Shida, "You're not a sourpuss Shida. I rather enjoy your company."

She watches the Season one final boss yell out in pain from his shins, and without even letting him know what she's doing, a soft white glow spreads to his shins, easing his pain. She debates how to broach the particular subject for a while before... she just decides to go through with it, her voice seems a little more tremulous though, "So F-Feige.. told me a-about... the e-experiments.. that were c-conducted between... yourself and.. the N-Network. I'm uh.. sorry I didn't a-approach you before, but she truly had me f-frightened."

She looks down at her hands, in her lap, which seem to be tugging against the fabric of her robes.
Emi Dennou Emi Dennou says, "She meant me!" Cronus growls. He doesn't attack Shida or anything. Indeed, the hand he reaches out to to rest on her own is almost gentle. Not quite, but almost.

Cronus pauses, looking up to Alma as he mentions what she knows. Shida carefully rests a hand on his shoulder as well.

And then Cronus says, "Pfeh." and looks away from Alma.

"Cronus gave us many chances to win," Emi says to Alma. "Rather, that is to say, he could have destroyed us more easily than he had. The deaths may seem atrocious." Her eyes narrow faintly. "But as you could have told, all of our deaths were caused by self defense--we attacked first--and what's more he was slow in killing--"

"That's enough..." Cronus mutters.

"--us." Emi finishes. "But it was not out of cruelty. It was hope that we would escape. We were both raised in troublesome circumstances. That is the past."

Cronus looks down at the floor, struggles to stand, fails, and says, "I'm gonna kill that <goosehonk>. Whatever.""
Alma Hyral "Either way, it was a terrible situation that both of you were put into..." She closes her eyes, her voice calmer. "...I've come to realize that one shouldn't always be so quick to judge. Given.. that many are thrown into circumstances that can't be judged by the basic principles of ethics and morality."

Riku was definitely a fine example of that. "'s too simple, too trite, to try to dictate that unto others. It is better to forgive, let bygones be bygones, and help to work for a future where people like Abramson can't do these things to people."

She pushes her glasses further up on her nose, "...and hope she sees the error of her ways, though the chances of that seem inordinantly slim." Especially since people were lining up around the block to kill Feige.. the thing is, she didn't think that even after all of that, that she'd be capable of killing her, if it came down to it. Especially not in cold blood.
Emi Dennou What does Alma even know about Feige anyway? Or anyone? It seems like she has no history. Emi has certainly thought about this a fair bit herself.

"Neither of us know how Feige knows anything about the project." Emi admits. "If she was even part of it--we don't remember her. And...well, to be honest, we have a good memory. The Network suspects we would have remembered someone like Feige Abramson."

Cronus doesn't seem to care for the direction of this conversation. He looks to Shida and forces himself to stand up, nearly falling over in the process. "Goin' for a walk." He says.

Shida moves to support him. "'s alright, isn't it?" She asks. "We won't go too far." He almost seems angry at Alma but really he's probably just feeling guilty. He's bad at expressing himself.
Alma Hyral Alma takes out her Ma Belle, and pours through the storage on it, before bringing up the chat log from the instant messenger conversation. It'd been on a third party computer in another /nation/, but she'd still saved it and had it transferred. After glancing over it for a moment, she hands it over to Emi, "Here's... the rest of what you didn't see, after Feige cut us off that day. It doesn't contain any real answers as to how she was connected.. but it does tell you something of what she knew, maybe it will give you a hint."

As for Feige, she didn't really know anything, she suspected that even her token adherence to Judaism might be a false mask, or just her clinging to rituals from her past. Either way, it might be a hint.

She just nods at Shida and Cronus, "..He should be fine, just don't let him exert himself. That head bleed he had was rather nasty, and we didn't repair it by surgical means.."

She looks back towards Emi, "Either way, I think we need to go back to Manua Loa... some of your.." She closes her eyes, breathing out a sigh, "...some of the corpses of your siblings. They.. were turned into some sort of heartless, we think. They deserve better than that. And I think Kyra wants to pour over her bio labs, to scavenge for data, or clues."
Emi Dennou Emi has heard about this. Honestly, they're just bodies, but she can understand why that might be troublesome for some. She is more concerned about the living one herself, but...yeah, she doesn't want to think too much about those that failed at life. Literally.

Emi takes the log. She'll peruse it later. "Thank you."

She is quiet for a few moments, and then smiles faintly. "...The Network would appreciate it if you do. Please, lay them to rest. I hope you find what you're looking for, there."
Alma Hyral Alma is just quiet for a while, as she thinks about that. They were just bodies. But even so.. something about being considered /failures/ and becoming Heartless just... seemed so exceptionally callous to her. It was something that she felt she needed to address, to do /something/ about, since they'd failed themselves to do anything when they had the chance. Maybe they'd thought the situation was so desperate that they couldn't stay behind.. but it just seemed like a loose end that they needed to lay to rest. "You're welcome, Emi.. we'll do what we can, I promise."

This scene contained 17 poses. The players who were present were: Emi Dennou, Alma Hyral