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No title.
(2013-07-08 - 2013-07-30)
No description.
Akari Seran Being smack dab in the heart of the former land of Spira and, by proxy, the center of the Yevonite religion, Bevelle is distinctly lacking in many of the forms of entertainment she might normally turn to. Televisions, computers, even radios, are considered 'evil' by the people who live here; a notion that the girl finds laughably stupid.

Unfortunately, she's still stuck playing nice with the locals due to the relationship with her unlikely friend. It's been over three weeks since Akari first set foot in this town; three weeks without her flying into a rampage at some minor slight or perceived insult or any of the other hundreds of imperceptible triggers that tend to set her temper off. This is almost a new record.

But her patience is starting to wear dangerously thin. Left on her own for the majority of that chunk of time, Akari has been alone with her thoughts. Thoughts that have been about her troubled past with an annoying amount of frequency. More than once she's considered simply packing up and moving on, if only to have the freedom to do as she pleases once more. Every time something has changed her mind.

As is often the case while she awaits the return of her roommate, Akari is lounging about in the bedroom. A mountain of grey ash is piled on the small ceramic tray sitting on the night stand, dozens of ruined and crumpled cigarette stubs protruding outwards like broken teeth. The most recent of these hangs loosely in her mouth as the red-haired brawler puffs away, lost in the idleness of a daydream.
Aeschere Childs At least it's cloves. Three weeks in Bevelle have been much more pleasant for Akari's roommate, but only because she didn't actually spend them in Bevelle. As a transport hub, it makes quite an attractive site for a home base, doesn't it? Doesn't it? If you tolerate sea travel well, one supposes.

Aeschere Childs quite enjoys it, for instance; as, perforce, the face of their little operation, she seems to have done an awful lot of traveling. Sure, she's gotten them out of the house a few times to crack skulls, but...

Anyways, here she is, back from outer space, hanging her day pack from the spur of her lance beside the door, and wandering in the general direction of the bedroom. "A-ka-ri," she's always a little sing-song, "I returned. Rent is at least covered for two months out." That's the important bit, we suppose.

She heads to the side of the bed, and takes a seat, barely denting the thick mattress.
Akari Seran The upbeat recital of her name causes Akari to stir from her languid daze. Her body slowly rises upwards from the bed as if dragged by invisible puppet strings, her arm and head flopping about listlessly as she shifts from a docile dormant state towards something resembling awareness. The girl leans foward to peer through the gap in the open bedroom door, knowing from practice exactly how far she needs to bend for the lancer to be able to spot her from the front room.

"Yo." A lazy wave is given in greeting. She doesn't care about the rent. Sleeping in a soft bed is certainly preferrable to the alternatives but there have been times where she's been forced to survive far worse living conditions.

Akari flops backwards onto the mattress once again almost immediately though she does spare the energy to reach out her hand and squeeze the tender part of Aeschere's thigh in a playful greeting.

"Have fun on your trip?"
Aeschere Childs Unfortunately she doesn't squeak when she has news. Sorry, Akari. "Narshe might more be your speed, I think. Less sea, more mountain. Less preaching, more drinking." Akari is pretty nimble for a mountain but that doesn't stop Aeschere from dancing around the point with her. Regularly.

"Which, I said," she continues, free of her boots finally, and sprawling onto whatever parts of bed or girl she finds, "we have in hand two months' operating funds, after this trip." Which she said. She just really doesn't want to declare the source of that windfall.

She's contemplated just not doing it, in fact. Akari /said/ she doesn't care if she goes off to do what where with who, didn't she? The hang-up is on Chera's end, for certain. "This is a nice place to return to, but..." She stretches to find a hand to hold. "I feel like here you're caged. Like we maybe should get you out for a while."

Not like their last expedition, no. It was a nice thought, other than the boat, the boat, the boat, and the underwater bit.
Akari Seran Akari grins at the description. She's used to the subtle prodding about her unique set of skills. Coming from someone else it might be cause for offense but from Aeschere it's a compliment.

"Hmph. So while I've been cooped up here, you've been off getting drunk and having fun." The thick stub of her missing bicep shifts to act as a pillow as the other girl attempts to stretch out on the small bed, forcing them to share a fair bit of the space. After a dozen days devoid of any real interaction with other people, Akari is more than willing to be a cushion. Besides, Aeschere's the one paying for the bed.

The crimson arch of her eyebrows raise in mild surprise as she feels fingers intertwining with her own. Simply displays of affection such as this are rather foreign to battle-hardened hermit, though Aeschere's kind and gentle nature has been exposing her to more and more of them. It's not an unpleasant sensation so Akari just closes her hand around hers and smirks back at her.

"Can't say I have any reason to argue. Bout to go crazy sitting in here, waiting for you to come back every time." She pauses for a moment. "Crazi-/er/."
Aeschere Childs The phrasing lends a worrying progressive aspect to Akari's burgeoning lunacy, but it isn't as though the girl hasn't already beaten Aeschere within a mil of her life. Aeschere's been careful to find more constructive vents for her partner's rage, or maybe she hasn't and it's been sheer luck, who even knows? "It only was rootbeer," she mutters, and continues struggling for a safe way to raise the issue.

By failing to, that'll do it! "Our churchmouse hasn't yet been around, has he?" It's a pointless question, possibly an aggravating one, but prrrrobably less so than, well. "I don't know quite that we just can pull stakes and wander off, if he had us planned for something local." She continues to hint at a move.
Akari Seran "Tch. Haven't heard a peep outta the guy."

She almost sounds disappointed by that admission, though that could merely be due to the utter lack of anything else to occupy her attention. If she notices Aeschere's attempts to beat around the proverbial bush, Akari doesn't say anything yet. Sometimes it's hard to tell just what the geomancer can pick up on, at times seeming almost prescient, as if she knows what other people are thinking before they do.

"And I don't care if he gets upset. Not like we owe him anything." She tilts her head downwards to stare questioningly at her partner. "Why? You got something in mind?"
Aeschere Childs Her ears work fine, Chera is sure of that much. And she certainly gets a lot of mileage out of those eyes for being stone blind. She's going to make her say it, now. Which, well, she might, it was all of Aeschere's doing and none of hers.

So in the name of the blessed Initiator, spit it out already, god! "I said Narshe. I have some work out there. Steady, maybe. With Murasame Group." She's been mumbling and fretting over that, apparently. "You want just to get back to wandering deserts, I think I guessed it. Which, I'm not sure why anyways all the time you're just hiding out, you"

She seems to be accelerating, if anything, heading into 'I don't want to tie you down' territory.
Akari Seran Whatever nonsense the small girl had been about to ramble on about is cut short when Akari sits bolt upright on the bed. With Aeschere draped over her as she is, the movement tosses her aside to land unceremoniously on the floor. For once, the fiery brawler seems not to care about being gentle with the dark lancer.

"What did you just say?"

Akari's bare feet hit the ground next to her only a moment later, her torpid demeanor vanishing in a flash. Her fingers dig into the fabric of Aeschere's shirt and she hauls her upwards, setting her down just far enough to keep her on the tips of her toes.

The two girls come face to face and Akari is no longer smiling.
Aeschere Childs That's still almost a foot, is what Aeschere is entirely consumed in noticing until Akari generates a query. "Tying you down. You hiding out. Wandering deserts. Murasame Group. Narshe." That's all the high bits, isn't it? Which one was likely to have touched her off?

Chera was worried about the front end of that list when she came home. She struggles to recall if Akari's expressed a strong opinion of Murasam-- no, she doesn't. If they had a name and came from the Academy Akari has some degree of hate on for them. That's been Chera's universal impression, thus far, barring herself for some reason of course.

"Murasame Group. They sent an offer." She waves in the direction of the living space, where the accursed thing is still sitting opened on the table. "His money's as good as any, isn't it?"
Akari Seran Akari's expression is one of stone-faced calm as the list is rattled off, but in comparison to her usual standard setting of being angry at everything, that only makes her seem more dangerous. The moment passes quickly, however. Her lips peel back in the beginnings of a snarl as that name pollutes the air once again.

Bare teeth flash at Aeschere as they grind together audibly, the berserker's jaw muscles working almost as furiously as if she were chewing on something hard and distasteful. Akari glares at her friend, looking for all the world like she wants to melt her down with her empty eyes alone. Fortunately, that turns out not to be one of her hidden skills.

For a moment she considers that Chera's sheltered life until recently may have prevented her from interacting with people like Souji; arrogant, selfish, condescending, and willing to step on anyone simply because he has power and money to make it happen. That's her impression of the young Murasame.

People like him were the ones who made her life miserable at the Academy. Sure, she had problems, even back then. But it was the constant insults and teasing of the rich upper classmen that drove her into exhile among the other students, using her short temper and physical disabilities to make her a laughing stock for the simple crime of not fitting into their narrow view of a worthy individual. The armored shell of a personality she wears today is in large part due to those first few distastrous weeks.

Bringing up Souji was a mistake but a forgivable one. But then she makes another.

Akari's anger explodes suddenly, her growl turning into a full-fledged cry of rage. The small knight is slammed bodily into the wall beside the bed, sending the nightstand and the tray of ashes flying across the room.

"Is money all that matters to you?!"

With great effort the engraged girl manages to pull back her strength to non-fatal levels, merely grinding Aeschere into the wooden panels with an ominous creaking sound. Her feet now dangle well off the ground but Akari's grip on the front of her shirt prevents her from being strangled by the collar or her fist.

"Do you have any idea the kind of person that Souji is?!"
Aeschere Childs One of those is a good question, at least. For a moment, Aeschere considers it, and she considers whether the landlord is going to make them pay to remove the bloodstains, and other sorts of things that you consider while you're waiting for your brain to get back. Her shirt, luckily, is quite high quality, because it's obvious from her recent behaviour that money does, in fact, matter to her. It holds her admittedly light frame without complaint.

The second question, that's a bit of a poser, though. "The sort, i'm sure, who at the, the mention of your name, is grinding his friend into a wall," the little knight answers, over the space of six breaths or so. She has a bright idea about escaping her shirt, but it's obviously not going to happen in this situation. Akari might appreciate watching her squirm, at least.

"Worse than that rat who wants us for hitmen? Worse than our last employer?" Her voice rises, she can't help it. It's hard to keep a level tone when someone's leaning on your chest. "Worse than me?" She takes a firm and presumably unhindered grip on Akari's arm, and attempts to plant her feet on the brawler's chest and lever herself free. Probably not a brilliant tactic, but it's already going to be that kind of conversation.
Akari Seran Attempting to make Akari feel ashamed for her actions is a road that leads only to disappointment. She simply doesn't care enough what the world feels about her any more to even think along those lines, especially not while in the middle of a surging storm of hate towards one of the few people she might consider an enemy.

Logic isn't always a winner either when trying to talk down the berserker, but in this case, it works. Akari hesitates and her grip loosens slightly. Not enough for the knight girl to slip free but it is a noticable change to match the conflicted expression that creeps into her face.

The feet on the brawler's chest turn out to be little more than a distraction. Aeschere is certainly strong by most standards, especially for someone her size, but she's up against someone on an entirely different level. The kicking and squirming that accompanies her friend's attempt to get free from her grip causes Akari to lapse into solemn silence. After a moment she simply lets go.

"You don't know what you're getting yourself into."
Aeschere Childs Aeschere lands unceremoniously on a pile of dislodged blanket, which is cold comfort with the stone beneath it. She spends the rest of Akari's solemn moment disentangling herself and worrying. When Akari stops shouting and throwing you, something is seriously up.

"I'm going," when she catches her breath, "to be honest. You're right." She pitches the bedclothes to the other corner of the room before one of them breaks their neck. "I don't know what I'm getting into. I don't know even what I'm /in/. Alright. I haven't had the even /first/ /clue/, not since even we met."

She can afford to level her tone here, and she does, because there's no sense in escalating. "I don't have whatever information you do about this situation." She sits down on the corner of the bed again, rubbing her head, and coming up with damp fingers.
Akari Seran The smell of blood is one with which the berserker is intimately familiar. She's been bathed in it, tasted it, waded through rivers of it both metaphorical and literal. Even before Aeschere checks, Akari is already holding out a (mostly) clean rag for her to use.

There is a small hint of sympathy that blossoms within the stone heart of the demi-god. Neither one of them really knows what's going on with the world they now live in; Heartless, strange magics, and unfamiliar worlds colliding for good and ill. The difference is Akari doesn't care.

"Look... I'm... nrgh... I'm sorry."

The girl rubs the back of her head and looks away, appearing awkward for perhaps the first time ever. It doesn't last. She throws her hand out, waving at the air in the usual dramatic fashion that accompanies her getting fired up. "But you shouldn't just go accepting work from every person who thrusts a pile of cash at you! Not everyone out there is as... as nice as you, you know? There are people who'd use a mercenary like you to do their dirty work and then leave you to die without a second thought!"
Aeschere Childs The difference is smaller than Akari might imagine. Aeschere accepts the rag, and stanches what little bleeding persists, while Akari flails and rails. "They can rest, at least, assured that I'll do just the same for them." Chera knows this world almost better than she knows her own, do you know. That's an entirely different terrible thing, though. She doesn't want to press that issue with Akari at the moment.

"It isn't yet mercenary work. It's assisting the damnable accounting department." She pauses, a moment. "Okay, I amend, it isn't combat." Accounting is as mercenary as it gets. "I can trust Minette's promises as far as she can throw you, I'm certain, but that flows both ways. They can only enforce what contract they can enforce."
Akari Seran "You still don't get it, do you?" Akari growls.

"They don't have to enforce anything if they send you walking into a suicide mission without telling you. And there are more ways to have your life ruined than on the end of a blade."

Whirling around, the brawler stalks out of the room, returning after a moment with a rolled up newspaper in hand. Instead of whacking Aeschere over the head, which she would sorely like to do at this moment, she tosses it into her lap.

"That's from a little while ago. Take a good look at the people you're dealing with."

The front page of the paper is typically melodramatic as such things tend to go but the story of the fate of the unfortunate Milner's Mining corporation that Souji's newly established company snatched up, only to liquidate all of its assets, putting hundreds of workers out of a job. Akari didn't read the story, ofcourse, but she overheard some of the locals talking about it while she was out and about.

"That's just one example. Souji is the kind of person who will stomp all over anyone simply because he thinks there's a profit to be had. Or hells, maybe just because he knows he can get away with it."
Aeschere Childs This is the time for Chera to not mention that she personally laid hands on the books for that deal, but she isn't going to get out of this without raising an argument about who gets what. "Do please accept this as a serious question, but, why do we care that that happened? I want actually to be told." She knows how well that's going to go over. "You aren't going to make your point with furniture."

Why indeed should Aeschere care? Will the mining unit send assassins after a girl who ran a few spreadsheets in the acquisition summary? Would they send one after the girl who executed the purchase? HAs she perhaps just got a gravely inaccurate idea of her overall role?
Akari Seran "Damnit, Chera! I /don't/ care!"

Just as quickly as she handed it over, Akari rips the newspaper aside and tosses it, creating a cascade of fluttering noise as the various pages come apart and waft back and forth in the air. She leans in close, getting right up in the other girl's face. Her hand clamps onto her shoulder like a vice and she shakes the small girl every time she emphasizes a word.

"/These/ people don't matter to me. The point I am trying to make is that could be /you/ some day! And you /are/ someone I care about!"
Aeschere Childs She might cry, you know, but that could just be a concussion. Aeschere is struggling to look hard even in the face of this basically insurmountable assault, though. If you don't know how to use it right, 'determinied' is just 'stubborn'. "Could you credit me, possibly, that I could handle myself a little?" She makes another futile effort to pry Akari's hand from her.

"Could you, just..." There really was never any question but that she was going to come back from Narshe and tell Akari about her decision, but she may be regretting it nonetheless. "You instead want I should, I should have spit in their eye, I should have made myself one of those problems people hire us to solve?" A full three count. "...don't answer. But I see that, when I look. /You/ see it. You show me what gets done in his name. Were my chances better if I refused?"

She jabs a finger at the interview invitation. "Did I solicit that? Would he forget we existed if he looked away? What did I lose here? What exactly?"
Akari Seran Akari actually steps back, letting her painfully tight grip on the delicate knight's arm slip loose. A question lingers between them now, an issue of trust. It forces the her to shift her thoughts away from the man that she wants to protect her friend from and focus them instead on what exactly she thinks of Aeschere.

A kind person, certainly. Perhaps too much for her own good. But it was that same optimistic attitude that allowed her to become the only friend she's ever known. More importantly, in this instance, she is a capable fighter. But does she trust her to be able to take care of herself?

No. Or rather, she doesn't want to take the chance that she's wrong. This whole caring about someone is a pretty new thing for Akari. If she were to somehow find the courage to be completely honest, she'd realize that she's scared of losing this connection to another human being.

Akari looks down at her feet, feeling somehow like she's fighting a losing battle. Or perhaps one that never could be won in the first place. "I... I don't know." Her fist crashes into the wall suddenly, denting the wood into splintered fragments. "I don't know!"
Aeschere Childs Okay. We're probably okay now. Okay. Someday maybe we can address Akari's strange placement of Aeschere on the altruism spectrum, I guess. Chera winces, anyways, at the whole in the wall, and reaches o-- stretches to-- stands up, dammit, to lay a cautious hand on Akari's shoulder. "That's okay. Probably. Plenty of time to plot his demise yet."

/Blood/ and ashes but her head is starting to hurt. She's going to go sit back down and think about what she's done. "I figure we're in good company there at least."
Akari Seran Still glowering at nothing in particular, Akari starts to turn away to avoid being touched but thinks better of it. She allows Aeschere's hand to rest on her shoulder and slowly lowers herself down beside her on the bed.

Cautiously, her arm encircles the smaller girl's waist and she pulls her close against her side by way of an apology. Akari doesn't want to kill Souji. She doesn't give a damn about him or his conceited plans to rule the world or whatever it is he wants. All she cares about is keeping him from getting her friend caught up in something she can't handle on her own.

And suddenly, the answer becomes clear.

Hopping to her feet, Akari grins like a maniac at the air infront of her, almost as if she were sneering in Souji's face. She turns to tell Aeschere about her idea, only to find that she's still got her arm wrapped around her and has lifted her like a sack of potatoes.

"Chera," she says, sounding very serious as she sets the girl down on the bed again. "I've figured it out. I know how to keep you safe."

A pause. "I'm going to go with you."
Aeschere Childs "But that's what I was saying that you should come with me to Narshe," Aeschere isn't going to whine because that's childish. "And then we can blow two months' rent on riotous living because the heartless bastards are including a housing stipend."

And then she can start combining Akari with the other Galiandan expats and seeing what she gets. That should be entertaining.

"Only, tomorrow or something. That should be okay, right?" Akari is this way with her always; Chera doesn't protest much. "I was tired enough when I came in."
Akari Seran That's the problem with Akari (one of many actually), sometimes she just needs to work things out for herself, even when the solution was already sitting right in front of her. Now that this particular slice of drama has been mostly worked out, however, she begins to regain her usual healthy dose of ethusiasm for all things that involve vice and debauchery.

She smirks at Aeschere and casually pushes her backwards onto the bed. "Tell you what. You keep me entertained tonight and it's a deal."

This scene contained 25 poses. The players who were present were: Akari Seran, Aeschere Childs