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No title.
(2013-07-04 - 2013-07-05)
No description.
Isaac Hanlon The World of Ruin has three consistent institutions. No matter where you go, you will find the same three buildings in nearly every town, without fail: an item shop, an armory, and an inn. Even the smallest towns have them, though they vary wildly in size and quality of weapons. It isn't until you get to the last one you ever find that you find the /good/ armor, anyway.

In one of the many scattered settlements in the World of Ruin, there is an inn. It doesn't have a name; it's just 'the inn,' because locally, that's all they've got. It's active tonight, with a decent-sized crowd scattered throughout the well-lit interior. Strains of music can be heard coming out the door, from the voice divine, accompanied by the piano at the back of the room.

o/` Each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
Take a look in the mirror and cry
Lord what you're doing to me o/`

Nobody is at the piano; it is playing itself, and does not appear to be designed to do so. Similarly, nobody is sitting near the young blue-haired man at the bar, from which the voice is coming. He's not actually /singing/; the glassware hanging over the bar is actually producing the sound, against all odds. He hums along with it, pausing only to take a mouthful of the amber-colored liquid sitting in front of him.

o/` I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can't get no relief,
Somebody, somebody
Can anybody find me somebody to love? o/`

"Somebody to looooooove..." Isaac sings along quietly. He's not really looking at much of anything. The bartender is looking at the slightly beat-up robotic hand of his, apparently concerned. He might be considering whether or not to cut him off.
Stormfall The World of Ruin, like many other places in the universe have a couple of universal truths. One of them being the fact that inebriation is the best distraction. Most of the patrons are too focused on or already too drunk to care that the piano is playing it's soulful tunes and the glassware is crooning dolefully out into the slightly smoky atmosphere of the inn.

It's quite a pity too because as it goes unabated. The bartender continues his ruminations about whether the man has indeed had enough when he's given more on his plate to think about by virtue of the sparkling WHOOSH that apparates as a comet that explodes harmlessly against the floor, an old man in an extremely loud and hokey hawaiian shirt, sunglasses, camera, colorful shorts and a beard almost as long as he is tall skids to a stop practically in one's lap.

He reaches out a gnarled hand to steady himself. "What is this?" he asks nowhere in particular, seeing the man's spilt drink and looking chagrined. "Ah. Sorry about that. A bit of a.. miscalcuation I'm afraid. Terribly sorry." he gestures with a hand, the fluid flowing back into the cup that he rights in front of the patron as he steps back to look around with something of confusion. "My.. my my.. This isn't Bermuda." "OH?" A caustic voice rasps in exasperation as they fly into the inn and flutter into the rafters, the brown owl scolding. "And what gave you THAT idea, Merlin? Why.. I can feel the sun baking my feathers already." The bird gestures to the glassware. "Why. Isn't this the lounge?!"

Thunder rumbled from the storm outside. Merlin gave the bird an equally thunderous scowl. There is a thin tablet like device in his hand that he is sharing the scowl with. He touches several places on the pad and it blatts at him imperiously.

"None of that, Archamedes. Leave very well alone, if you please." he nods to the patrons, chuckling abashedly as he moves over to the barkeep. "Excuse me, pardon me. Be out of your hair in a moment." He looks at the glassware, then the piano. "My. That's got a good pitch to it. You've got a good ear, lad. Pardon me. Stout Yeoman." he proclaims to the barkeep, taking off his glasses and cleaning them off. "Perhaps a stout mead would be in order." "What are you doing?!" "Now now Archamedes. Might as well take advantage of this minor delay."

"It's only an error because you don't know how to use it!" Merlin turns around and shakes the tablet at the owl. "Very well, YOU make the blasted contraption work properly, but only after my drink." "Hmph." There is an owl crossing their wings and looking sour up in the rafters.

There is a wizard in extremely loud tourist gear and a camera sitting himself fastidiously at the bar, enjoying the music.
Isaac Hanlon WHOOOOSH!!

Isaac takes a second to finish his drink before he turns around. He peers at the loud shirt, and the gnarled hand, and the also-loud bird. He hasn't had a /ton/ to drink; enough to get a nice buzz going, but not enough to rob him of total control of his faculties. He's a wizard. He doesn't want to ever not be in total control of his faculties.

"The mead's good," Isaac asides. He taps the side of his glass, letting the music play. He drums a couple fingers along the bar-top, trying not to ask. He does not want to know. There's a specific thing he could offer, and if he does, he's going to ruin the point of his vacation... though it looks like Merlin's ruining his, too.

Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed, Isaac thinks.

"Hi, Merlin; Hi, Archimedes. There, uh... should be a narrow power button on one of the shorter sides," Isaac calls over his shoulder, face in his flesh and blood hand. His tablet is tucked away in his pocket for safe keeping, because changing the music is something he's figured out how to do without all the funny motions. His drunkenness makes him think maybe he doesn't need those at all, but that's crazy talk.
Stormfall "Hmm?" Merlin is engrossed again in the very serious business of waiting for his mead and poking at the tablet with a gnarled finger like one would poke a suspect jello mold. "Oh. Very right. very right." he says to Isaac without paying him too much mind.

"Eh-- What?" he asks, and peers at Isaac curiously as it seems the rest of his mind has caught up with the conversation. "Oh!" he proclaims as he picks up the tablet gingerly between two fingers and turns it, bringing it up to eye level in order to spy the button in question.

"aha!" The tablet lets out a cheerful blip and Merlin puts it down on the counter. "Look at that. Well, I have to thank you that--" BLAT.

The wizard tilts his hat forwards in an unamused fashion, the crooked golf cap over his white hair hanging almost treacherously over his face as he glares at the tablet. "System warning?" he reads off the tablet. "Oh dear." he pokes several other places at the tablet then sighs, not even noticing when his mead arrives as he peers myoptically at the screen.

"AHEM." Archamedes says from the rafters. There is an owl /ostensibly/ clearing their throat, Merlin's shoulders hunching and ostensibly ignoring said owl as he scowls, takes the mead without looking at it and nearly drowns himself by taking a larger drink than he bargained for.

He coughs and splutters, combing mead out of his bread. "Confounded technology" he gripes to himself distractedly. "One modern muddle shattered into a thousand different-- " "AAAHHHHAAHHH--EM." "What is it, Archamedes?!" The owl silently points a wing at Isaac. Merlin readjusts his glasses and looks rather sheepish, but.. as a gentlemen, pointedly does not ask. "Never mind him. He's a grumpy old thing and not much for subtlety." he says instead, to the spluttering consternation of the owl.

"You.. your the one who came asking about the whole Manhattan business, weren't you?" He peers at Isaac and then nods to himself, raising the mead in toast before taking a more sedate drink.

"My, that was a unfortunate business. Here's to happier times, yes?"
Isaac Hanlon Isaac flags down the bartender for another refill. He has to do it twice, because the tender is a little wary about the second crazy wizard (and his talking animal accomplice, no less) and having to get closer to either of them. The bartender is probably a smart man, all told.

Isaac glances aside again. He squeezes his eyes shut, putting his hand back on the bar. He pushes himself off it, turning on the stool. It's remarkably modern, compared to the aesthetic of the place. He looks at Merlin with an expression best described as ':|' for a solid fifteen seconds. Does this guy remember anyone from anything, or is this just a case where he's going to have to start wearing a name tag?

"Yeah, that's me. Isaac. We spoke for a bit." He shrugs his left shoulder, the real one. "I was going to ask you for some reading material, but I never really got around to it. Some things came up." Nightmares. Watching your friends die, over and over. Confronting your worst fears come to life, wielded as a weapon and as a place of instruction and to release something awful all at the same time. Letting them down all over again.

There's a moment where Isaac inhales slowly through a clenched jaw. He forces himself to relax. What's done is done. He snags his refilled glass off the counter. "Happier times," he echoes, lifting it in a salute and taking a drink.

"So --" He nods at the tablet. "-- I thought you hated modern technology. Do you need some help with your tablet?" Innocent enough thing to have a problem with. Isaac is good with technology. Tech support isn't saving the world. It's alright.
Stormfall Probably go with the name tag.

Probably be easier.

Merlin nods, eyes glancing to the mechanical arm for a split second. "Right. Right. Ah. So it's that one, is it?" he pushes the glasses up on his nose and looks genuinely regretful and sympathetic for a moment. Although about /WHAT/ exactly is a question for the ages. "Now let me see here." He turns back to the tablet, explaining as he pokes and prods at it. "It's not ... so much-- hmm." he snorts. "I'm very much a fan of modern technology. Indoor plumbing. Washing machines. Daytime television. It's just made so /complicated/ sometimes." he sighs and makes a waving away gesture. "But that's people now isn't it? Everything has to be so blasted /complicated/."

Snicker from the Avian Gallery. Merlin gives an apologetic look to the barkeep but in no manner of speaking stops being a wizard with a loud companion and so very much there is little he can do to assuage the man's woes.

He turns back to Isaac, gesturing with the mead. "And well it's a all just a little bit of a fascinating system now isn't it? And I thought I might--" he gestures at the tablet. " I might 'port' over some somewhat finicky bits and pieces to see if anything could be made of it, sometimes magic can be a dreadful mess. Bottled this and dried whatever.. but it's being rather.. obstinant."

The wizard gives a very sour look at the tablet, poking it and getting another sour blat in return as if the feeling was mutual. Inanimate things tended to do that in Merlin's presence and the tablet gave off the feeling of being very put out just by the glimmer of dim light over the dull grey of it's casing. "It /should/ work." Merlin evinces with a shrug. "I put all of the.. programs into the .. system.. in the correct order, I believe but it gives this blasted BLATTing noise whenever I try an access a particular thing."



and a rather sheepish look. " wouldn't happen to be of a mind to look at it for me, would you Isaac?"
Isaac Hanlon Isaac gives Merlin a quick look when he talks about the arm. He makes a mental note, and then doesn't say anything about it, because Merlin is hard enough to stay on-topic. Though, then again, sometimes he thinks it's all a big act. Isaac knows from acts.

"Complicated isn't bad," Isaac argues. "Sometimes making something too simple is a bad thing." He doesn't have much more than that for an argument, though; his central debate cortex is currently down at the bar a few neurons over, which makes him incapable of offering an example in counter.

He takes another drink instead. That's the ticket.

"Well, that's... not terribly hard," Isaac says slowly. "I mean, once you get it all setup. That's how I do all my magic; I've got the reference materials saved to my drive, and I compile the spells from pieces that look compatible from all over. Only need focii for when it's weird ritual mumbo-jumbo. Like looking at auras and stuff." He gestures vaguely with his mechanical hand. It moves stiffly.

Isaac gives Merlin a sidelong look. He looks like he's considering whether or not to charge the old man, or just hold it over his head for when he next needs a favor. He mulls it over for a second, tilting his glass back and forth as he does. The liquid inside swirls gently. Isaac's eyes track it for a few seconds. "Hmmm..."

Not saving the world, he reminds himself. This is all a coincidence. Merlin is just stopping over on his way to Hawaii for /his/ vacation. Nothing to worry about.

Finally, Isaac holds out his mechanical hand, palm up. He wiggles his fingers a little. "Yeah, sure. Give it here. It's probably just an error in the configuration or something."
Stormfall Merlin takes another drink, eased along the path of inebriation by something that tastes good enough to finish and not good enough to have again within reasonable limits.

"HA." Archamedes snorts from the rafters. "If Merlin tried to use Occum's razor, he'd just cut himself on it." "There is such a thing as properly reduced complexity, Archamedes." "Yes. For any threshold of 'complex'" snorts the owl. "Which is /contextual/ as you well know."

Merlin glares at his mead and says to isaac quietly and conspiratorily. "Be very thankful you don't have a familiar, although if you are of a mind would you graciously take mine?" "I HEARD THAT." The owl grumps at the wizard. "You were very well meant to hear that, that's what the term 'sotto-voce' is all about, don't you know."

This bickering continues unabated while Merlin absent mindedly hands over the tablet to Isaac. He turns in the stool and glares at the owl, taking the hat off his head and shaking it at the owl, sometimes wringing it between his hands in sheer frustration.

The tablet handed over to him is tangentially similar to what he is familiar with. The layout is a number of icons on a background of cheerful bubbles with the occasional fish swimming by. Each glyph is neatly labeled. There are a number of neatly labeled books that reads 'Library' with several games including the epitomous Angry Space Mice. Each spell is set up in a neat little packaged icon which when opened displays the parameters that customize a spell to a particular situation.

It's essentially a highly sanitized and idiot-proofed version that proves the universe will provide one way or another. Merlin wrenches himself away from his argument. "Ah!" he says, noticing Isaac again and seeming to do so for the first time. "The little world symbol, I think it was."
Isaac Hanlon Isaac snorts a little at the Occam's razor crack. That was pretty good, he thinks. There's a reason he likes Archimedes, too. Largely it's because the bird seems to know what's going on when Merlin doesn't, and their exchanges illustrate that.

And also because it's hilarious.

Holding the device with his mechanical hand, Isaac puts down his glass and wipes his flesh and blood hand off on his pant leg (ew, condensation) before he reaches over to check the thing out. It's a little awkward, since he's so used to his personalized one; it used to be a market standard device, but it quickly became something else. This one is similar, but just different enough to throw him.

Isaac thumbs through the contents of the tablet like the two of them bicker. Isaac idly asides, "I'm not in the market for a familiar, no, sorry," despite it being a thing he doesn't really have to do. He eyes the glyphs and the books, but doesn't touch any of them. He just peruses the icons and the interface, and looks for a way to check the settings and various options. It doesn't look like it's going to make a funny noise and spit out errors and noises at him or anything.

"This?" Isaac pokes the world symbol with his forefinger when its pointed out. He's expecting to see an error message, or maybe a web browser on a site that is full of malware.
Stormfall Flash.

The error message comes up with an annoyed 'BLATT' of denial as the program refuses to open. Merlin nods with irritation. "Yes, Yes. That's the one." Archamedes ruffles up into a ball of indignation and feathers. "Merlin. I am /NOT/ a market commodity." The wizard makes calming motions with his empty mug. He looks into the bottom with an abstracted expression before putting it back down on the bar and putting his hat back on his head firmly.

"Of course not, Archamedes." The unspoken 'who would buy you?' is prompted by another "I HEARD THAT." to which Merlin gives a very innocent, sweet kindly old man expression to his familiar. "Pinfeathers" the owl mutters dourly, preening some feathers and ignoring the old man.

The wizard fiddles with the settings on his camera while Isaac quickly finds the settings and the task manager functions which control the basic general settings and then the individual program settings themselves along with statistics like data usage and so forth.

Wait. A moment before the sound and the error. Was there something? A solid wall of code that filled the screen for that split second?

Surely not.
Isaac Hanlon Flash.


Isaac blinks -- after the fact. Blink before and you missed it. "What was that?" he mutters. He tries to find any trace of it on the device. He shakes his head a little bit, blinking a few more times. He feels like a camera just went off in his face, and he didn't even get to see the offending picture-taker. He taps the icon again.

He blinks.


"Did you --" He looks up at Merlin, thoroughly distracted with his hat and camera. Then at Archimedes, who almost certainly knows more than he's letting on. "-- nevermind. Must've been my imagination." Except it /couldn't/ have been, because he remembers seeing... /something/. What was it? It's going to drive him crazy. He shakes his head again, more sharply.

Isaac spends a minute going through the thing and setting up a bunch of ease-of-use options for Merlin, and adding shortcuts to the main screen for common applications he might want to use it for. He glances at the date and time stamps on each particular icon, and the data usage as well. Then, he holds it back out to the wizened (read: old) wizard.

"Here. I dunno what's up with it. I think you might just have to reinstall that program. I think it might be spitting out some kind of junk-data; I saw something for a second, there..."^t
Stormfall That world icon was taking up only a little processing power. There were several background processes that were taking up considerably more data but each of them corresponded to a program on the desktop that ostensibly should be there.

Archamedes flutters down to the counter, crawling one foot at a time up Merlin's arm to his shoulder. "GULLYfluff." the owl pronounces. "Another wasted hour when we COULD be in Bermuda." "Now now Archamedes. This has been a very productive side venture. After all, it wouldn't work very much at all except for Isaac's help now would it?" "Annnd whoooose fault is that for not reading the instructions?" "It looked straightforwards."

Archamedes snorts. "An On-button is too complex for you. The worlds save us when THAT is beyond the reach of the great wizard Merlin." Merlin reaches up and gently closes Archamedes beak who miraculously doesn't bite down on his fingers. He just looks extremely cross.

"That's alright lad. I'll do just that and see if anything turns up. Junk-data you say..?" he looks completely puzzled. "That's.. not dangerous is it?" he frowns and looks at the tablet speculatively. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all." Archamedes sighs. "Forget it Merlin. I'll explain it to you when your older."

Merlin looks over the new additions and flicks his eyes up at Isaac. He smiles very slightly, glasses gleaming before he leaps up from the stool. "Well! Let's see if that routine works a little bit smoother this time, shall we? " He turns away and then turns right back again. "Eeh.. do feel welcome to drop in some time about that reading material. I know Archadmedes would enjoy the company, if nothing else."

He then spins right back around and .. for a SECOND time turns right back around and pays the barkeep graciously for the drinks and his tolerance.

Merlin taps the glassware curiously, poking at it a bit with raised eyebrows. A rather different tune taps itself into existance Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" forming a counterpoint to the wizard's exit.

Another comet of sparkles and light zooms out of view as he mulishly taps at the tablet and then slams a foot in irritation as it blatts at him again. "This time, for SURE." At the foot stomp, he disappears and the music plays for awhile in his absence before winding down like a music box with the tension all let out of it.
Isaac Hanlon "Harmless, just kind of annoying. It's entirely possible I've been drinking and seeing things, too," he adds offhandedly, "so take that as you will."

Isaac smiles a little. "I'll do that. I've got some, uh... things to do first, you understand," he remarks, gesturing vaguely at the bar, "but I could use light reading at some point or another I'm sure." 'Light,' he says. He actually means 'hilariously heavy and complicated to literally anyone else.' Isaac's a smart guy, and sometimes he takes that for granted.

He watches the wizard (and familiar) take their leave via sparkle-comet. Then, he turns back to his drink. Isaac frowns a little bit at the bar-top. He waves his left hand, the music winding back up so he can listen to it to completion without the distortion that comes with Merlin taking off. "Good choice," he mutters. He lapses into silence and stillness.

"Dammit," Isaac sighs. He digs his tablet out of his pocket and thumbs it on, opening a little text editor widget. He closes his eyes for a moment, trying to remember what he saw, and starts writing it down.

Vacation, he reminds himself. Stay on-task by staying off-task.

...right after this one.

This scene contained 13 poses. The players who were present were: Stormfall, Isaac Hanlon