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Sea Salt Ice Cream Adventures
(2013-06-29 - Now)
No description.
Gabranth and Riku have escaped to the beach. Why. To have a man to man talk away from everyone with sea salt ice cream! Yes. It is a manly thing to do. No. Shut up. Don't Laugh!

The Judge has found himself with a sleeveless shirt on, a pair of jeans still, and his boots. He has gotten Riku and him up on a roof of the hotel to get away from most of the people and just enjoy some silence. How they get up there?

Magic. Duh.

Gabranth smiles softly as he stares out over the ocean for a moment before he shakes his head. "You take me to Hawaii.. and I take you to get Ice cream.. I think you did the better get away gift." he jokes softly before taking a bite of the ice cream.
Riku "Practice." Riku says as he takes a bite out of the ice cream. He savors the taste of it and lets his eyes drift close for a few moments to breathe in the air and the smell of the ice cream and the ocean. "I've had a lot to run away from. So." he says it in a teasing and light-hearted voice. "I remembered all the good places, even when I stopped."

He opens his eyes and pushes the shades up into his hair for a bit as he takes another bite out of the ice cream. He snorts, looking off at the beach. "This is a good place."
"Aye. It is." Gabranth agrees as he takes another bite of his ice cream. "I wish I could have come with you to the volcano, but something tells me it was better I stayed where I was for that one."

The Judge Magister then closes his eyes gently. "You and Alma.. you two seem like your both getting pretty close." He says softly. "She starting to warm up to you?" He says looking over at Riku with a grin.
Riku Riku looks genuinely haunted as he looks out at the ocean. "I think.." he says after a long pause. "yes.. maybe it was for the best." He closes his eyes tightly and shudders once violently as he cranks down on his self-control.

His shoulders twitch slightly and then relax. Riku looks impassively at the ice cream, examining it as he favors it with a wan smile. "..a little bit, yes." he shifts uncomfortably and fidgets for a moment. "It's.." he chuckles awkwardly. "It's fine. I guess."
Gabranth notices how Riku reacts to him bring up the 'adventure' he missed. He notes what it does to Riku to even think on it and that alone concerns him deeply. He peers at Riku for a moment, then at the ice cream. He stares at it for a long moment before he takes another bite of it, before gently chewing on the cone.

"Mmm. I envy that. In my line of work, I can't allow anyone to get close to me and there is someone I.." His voice trails before he chuckles and then grins. "Oh nevermind. It would never happen anyways." Gabranth then glances over to Riku. "So tell me, anything you like to talk about? Been awhile since we last spoke. At least a week was it? Or maybe it was five days ago?" He peers up at the sky.

Curse your memory for failing him in such times.
Riku "Oh no, your honor." Riku says with a wicked grin, biting down on the ice cream stick. "You are /not/ getting away that easily. I have a stubbed foot that you dropped that hint down on. I demand satisfaction." he teases Gabranth with a chuckle.

Although the expression looks still a little glassy and forced while whatever is in his head works its way all the way through. "No. No.." he pauses. "Who.. Your married to your work so.." He nods sagely. "Ah. I see now."

Riku grins ultra-smugly. "Okay."
"Yeah. My work and I have a nice relationship. Though sometimes I like a divorce from it, but if I was to divorce, she would take everything I had. Even the kitchen sink." Gabranth retorts back dryly as he takes a bite of the cone and some ice cream.

"Do you /really/ want to know who I have my eyes honestly on?" Gabranth asks giving Riku a side glance. "..It will cost you though." He then says this with a playful teasing voice.
Riku "Oh." Riku says in the same teasing voice. "I /already/ know. It's pretty obvious with thought." he grins and then shrugs. "Something to keep in mind." bite down. smirk around ice cream. Extremely smug looking teenager.
Gabranth raises an eye brow suddenly and peers at Riku. "..wait.. what?" He just stares at the youth, taking another bite of his ice cream cone. He is giving him that older brother peer of doom. " do I know your not pulling at fast one on me.."
Riku Riku is immune to older brother peer of doom.

Or maybe just resistant and all the DOoooooom is taking too long to sink in and curdle together. He just smiles and takes another bite of the ice cream. As a further infuriating move, he changes the topic.

"I think every book on magicite is going to shortly be mysteriously absent after this." he chuckles. "I won't be able to pull the know-nothing dodge again, if Alma has anything to say about it."
Gabranth glances off to the side in annoyance as Riku suddenly does change topic game. He noms more on the ice cream as he listens. It is almost gone. "Oh?"

He then looks at what is left of the cone. One bite really. "Well. If she and her sister are going to work for Dr. Cid soon enough, it probably do her some good." he then pops the last bit of the ice cream in his mouth. Good ice cream was good.
Riku Riku nods absently, finishing off the ice cream and banging his shoes against the wall of the hotel as he grips the ledge with his hands lightly. He flips the stick over and over again in his hands before putting it to one side.

He closes his eyes, drawing up one knee and resting an elbow on it. He balances his head on one hand, fingers splayed across his face as he lapses into silence. "..It was really bad." he says without preamble.

"..And coming from a guy who has almost clockwork regular nightmares, that is saying something."
Riku at last seems to share some light on what happened down in the volcano lair of doom. At least by what was said and how he keeps trying to avoid it. His words do not surprise him.

If anything Gabranth leans forward with his elbows resting against his slightly knee bent legs and his chin against his clasped hands. His blue eyes just staring off into the distance. "Makes the nightmares look friendly, huh?" he says softly back to Riku.
Riku Riku snorts very faintly. "The nightmares always look friendly, Gabranth." he smiles a razor thin smile. "At least the dangerous ones do." he chuckles and shakes his head, rubbing it with his fingers before he shifts position again and looks out at the ocean.

"I don't even know how to begin this story. This story didn't even begin with the mad science volcano. It didn't begin even with the shifting maze or the terrible scream or Malificent's book." he shakes his head again.

"..It ultimately started with the Storm that ended my world. And how people have no idea how strong darkness really is." His hand thumps into his forehead and he grinds his palm into it. "..You know what? Nevermind. That's just a line of thought that's not going to go anywhere good." He is obviously shaken but tries valiantly to pull himself together.

"You know. I have no idea what to do about Alma. She is the most infuriatingly confusing person I know outside of Will Sherman, and he's had a lot more practice." He throws up a hand in exasperation.
Gabranth listens as Riku begins and frowns when Riku ends. 'Nevermind? Hardly', was all the Judge Magister thought to himself as he closed his eyes and allowed Riku then to talk about Alma.

The Judge of Ambition then sat up once more, before his hand reached over and went to rest on Riku's shoulder. It was not a firm grip, but not an overly loose one either. "Riku." Gabranth starts out with a calm softness in his voice. "If it is bothering you, talk on it. I'm here to listen, no matter how foolish or how bad it may sound. Whatever you will say, I will not place negative judgment on you."

Gabranth then looks over at Riku with his eyes as he speaks. "You are my brother," he then looks back to the sea. "and I made a promise to you." He then gives the shoulder a gentle squeeze before his hand moves away and comes to rest down along his own side. "..Also women are like that. They mess with your head. Even more so then normal when they like you."
Riku Riku chuckles and it comes from a very dark place. "Foolish?" His voice is brittle and clipped. Precise. "Oh. Foolish is.. using people. /Treating/ people like cordwood. To be stacked for the winter. Foolish is.. boiling darkness down into a liquid and using it for fuel. Foolish is opening doors and restoring places that should NEVER have been looked into."

Riku surges to his feet, brushing off the hand because apparantly he can't stay still anymore. "She was still alive and they SHOT her. He made something, and the empty shells.. Light should never be like that. Failures.." he shakes his head. "Does that mean I am someones success? His success?"

Riku at this point seems to realize that he's speaking in disjointed gibberish and falls quiet, composing himself. He stands there, fingers spasming for almost a minute staring off into nothing.

"..Alright." he says in a much more controlled voice. "Let's.. try this again." he takes out a videophone from his pocket and sits down next to Gabranth, handing it over. "Pictures taken at the ruined research facility in Hawaii."
Gabranth watches Riku, but doesn't move to stop him either. That would be rather bad move right now. So he just lets Riku get it out of his system. Though there are a few things that get said that do catch his attention; not in a good way either.

Then when Riku states he will try again and settles back down. The Judge Magister takes the cell phone from the youth and then peers the images over. He stays very silent as he does. It was easy to see for someone who knows Gabranth, that as soon as the cell phone was handed over, the Judge Magister hat went on.
Riku A medical facility.

A examination room with a bin for the disposal of medical waste. There is a window, a sink off to one side. The window is a one way mirror.

And it is a charnel house.

The picture quality is not precisely the best, but it is not by any means unclear. The room is full of bodies. They are stacked like wood, neatly laid across one another. Male, female. At least three or more deep. Everything has been neatly kept.

There are pictures of specimens covered by sheets in dark rooms. Everything is painted in a dire red illumination as if by emergency lighting. A woman.. her eye has been exploded. The consequence of a slightly imperfect headshot. She lies like a broken doll on the floor surrounded by dark liquids. One yellow eye has gone dark.

Riku narrates as if reading the scene that has been burned onto the back of his eyelids. "She was going to kill us. I don't, I don't even know if there was anybody in there. But.. the thing he said. Dr. Alberic." he pauses for a long time and then swallows hard. "He said. His.. creations. After being possessed by.. something.. for so long. They .. start to be people. What was the word..? They.. start to gain sentience." He nods doggedly at the word.

"I don't even know if she had a name. Alma was right. This.. this kind of light? It's evil. It's.. wrong."
"This is no light." Gabranth states very calmly and almost with lack of his emotion in his voice, holding back his own image as he rotates the images over again. "This is insanity beyond all insanity. This is from someone and their group who is beyond any standings of man."

"Though even we, of Archades, are not the most noble, cleanest, or even honorable of people-- there are lines we will not cross and this line is one of them." He then hands the phone back promptly to Riku. Before he then goes to stand up.

"The more information I keep getting on this man, the more I start to realize he is very likely to turn on us at any given moment. Including even use us as his own test subjects if it so be it." The Judge Magister shakes his head. "However until we are able to recover what we found, get the facilities back up and running, we can't do much /yet/."

He looks to Riku. "..I wish I was there even more so then ever now, Riku. So I could have personally seen these horrors with my own eyes. You-- I am sorry I wasn't there." His voice almost slips a bit as he grits his teeth and looks back out over the ocean.

" should try and get some rest, if you need something to help you sleep. Let me know. I have a few things I could give you.. by morning or by the following day. I will need a report written of this.." He pauses, "..No.. hold the information until the meeting. We will go over all this there with the Judges and Judge Magisters all present."
Riku Riku stays silently, his head sinking slightly as he looks down at the ground. He is just staring at his hands for a long time.

He automatically put the phone away again. Riku looks up slowly and the teenager looks very afraid. Terrified. But.. doesn't want to ask the question that is pretty much something that nobody can answer for him. Nobody.. but one.

Riku reaches up and puts the shades over his eyes again, pressing them there. "Yeah." he manages to say. "We'll bring up the completed report at the meeting."

He swallows hard again and peels the glove off his hand. The entire top of his left hand and part of one side is matte black.

"..How do you tell someone they should stop liking you because you might hurt them?" he chuckles awkwardly. He has almost tucked his chin against his chest at this point, shoulders hunched. "Alma. Whatever she has?" he laughs quietly. "I shouldn't be near it. It's.. I thought I had this figured out." Riku snarls. "I thought I understood /SOMETHING/ .. " He lets out a sigh and all the tension goes out of him.

"I'm sorry." he takes in a deep breath. "I'll recenter myself." he folds his legs and puts his hands in his lap again. "I was taught better than this." he closes his eyes and tries to get a grip on his emotions, trying to calm down and focus.
Now. That was a hard question. How do you tell someone to stop liking you cause you could hurt them? Even Gabranth couldn't answer that one. After all he never let himself get close to... He shakes his head softly. Unsure of what to say really.

He was stuck on what advice to give or even say. So only silence was finding his tongue as Riku says he will try and get a grip over his own emotions. "We.." Gabranth starts out with a hesitant breath. "When we think we have the universe solved. It throws something at us to remind us we never will."

"So we learn. We learn what we can, try to apply what we can, and try to become better then we once were." Gabranth says softly as he places his hands into the jean pockets. "Try to become better then those who have grown hatred for or come to dislike. To strive to be better then before.. I suppose.." He shrugs lightly.

"I wish I had the answers, Riku, but this.. this I have no answers for. You will though.. you will figure it out. Just don't become what you hate.. because if you do, you may never come back." Gabranth frowns at his own words. "..I.." He suddenly realizes what he says and just tsks softly, glancing off to the side. "..those were not.. ah for bloody hell sake."

Kettle. Pot. Pot. Kettle.

"That was perhaps the worse advice ever and I should be shot for it."
Riku Riku is /totally/ meditating and not desperately not trying to smirk at you, Judge Magister.


After a few minutes of quiet Riku opens his eyes and rubs the back of his hand with a thumb absently. "Maybe you just need more practice." he teases, voice wasted and drained from the effort of suppressing all of his fear and uncertainty and returning to a more or less even keel.

He breathes in a very big breath and lets it out. "There is someone.. who studies darkness. Who controls darkness much like Alberic.. controls whatever it is that he controls. I didn't know his name for the longest time." he stares out at the ocean again. "For years, I ignored him. Just a nightmare. Bad dream. But everything he said.. started to make sense after awhile. Destiny Island fell because I listened to him. I.." his shoulders sag slightly. "..he showed up when Will Sherman and I were still lost. He said it was to correct something." He grips his wrist and squeezes hard.

"What if I'm just his experiment, another 'experiment' in possession and I'm finally starting to break down?"
The Judge Magister crosses his arms over his chest now and starts to actually pace as Riku goes through his explanation. His foot steps were a tad heavier then normal. Gabranth doesn't like where this is going.

Then Riku hits that final line and Gabranth throws out his hand. "No." he states firmly. "You are not." He grunts gently. "And even if you were. I wont let him..." He stops himself before he continues, just placing up his index finger to his forehead, thumb to his cheek and his middle finger against the bridge of his nose trying to calm himself down.

His hand then gently lowers. "..even if you were, Riku. We would find some way to make sure we don't loose you.." Gabranth then growls softly as his eyes turn amber for a moment in an annoyance.

"..we should head back soon.."
Riku Riku rubs the back of his neck and nods. He puts the glove back over his hand, slowly gathering himself up again.

"Yeah." he tries to sound like he means it, even though the doubt is obviously there. "You're right. I'm sure.." he pauses then continues. "I'm sure everything will turn out the way it's supposed to."

This scene contained 24 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Gabranth