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When The Gargoyle Visits
(2013-08-07 - 2013-08-07)
Zia comes to the TDA to look for Will to speak with him on things. She doesn't find him, but she does find Mercade. They catch up on things.
Mercade Alexander The Traverse Town branch of the Twilight Detective Agency is nicer than the one in Manhattan, but it still carries much of the same essence. Some things just are done a certain way.

That way at the moment happens to be a Mercade Alexander sitting at the receptionist's desk, listening to some jazz music as he leans back in his chair, reading a book.

Unlike the usual detective hard-boiled fare, however, it's a copy of Computers for Dummies.

Mercade's trying to branch out in his skillset a bit.
Zia After speaking to Deidra the other day, Zia seemed to have that much more of a reason to peek her head in with the detectives. It's not as if she expected any new leads, but she still needed to have a word with Will. So, after what seems like forever, the white gargoyle makes her way up the stairs, searching for the wayward detective hobo.

Of course, the one time she actually goes looking for him, he doesn't seem to be there. Zia spots Mercade, and then scans around the room before stepping in. Though their paths crossed a lot during the quest to save Manhattan, she hadn't really sat down to actually /talk/ to any of the other heroes from her world. "G'day." She offers, voice quiet, not wanting to interrupt.

"Ye wouldnae happen te know where Will is, would ye?" Stepping into the room, Zia shifts her wings a little, folding them down across her back, her tail twitching with some measure of nervous energy.
Mercade Alexander When Zia addresses him, Mercade looks up, smiling as she carefully looks around. He doesn't seem to have a problem with the interruption. "Hello there! Zia, right? Long time no see!" He asks. He slips a bookmark into his book and sets it aside, and stands to greet the gargess. "Come on in. Will's not here at the moment. He might either be in Manhattan or off getting into trouble. Just give it a bit, he might show up later." He chuckles. He doesn't seem to have an issue with dealing wth a Gargoyle, or if he does he's hiding it well.

"Is there anything I can help you with in the meantime? Please, sit down if you like." He indicates some larger, reinforced chairs available with a hole in the back for tails. Hiring Percival and having Deidra around has required some attention be paid to furniture needs.
Zia "Aye, 'n yer Mercade Alexander, correct? Avira's beloved?" It's likely a strange way of referring to someone, but the white gargoyle is still quite unused to using names. It seems easier to reference their relationship with someone else. "It's been a while. Ah hope ye 'n the lass are doin alright. Ah havenae seen her since we got back from Atlantis." Her ears tip, showing some measure of concern. The events that happened in the sunken city seemed to rattle the VALKYRI leader.

As he confirms that Will isn't here, the Zia nods, "Ah always seem te miss 'im. Been meanin te have a word wi' 'im since after the whole Manhattan trouble. Jus' seems we always cross paths like ships in the night." Being invited to come in as if she were a human is still an uncommon occurance, but she nods, walking over towards the indicated chair.

"Is this the young squire or the mage lass' doing?" Settling down, Zia shakes her head, "Ah'm nae sure if there's anythin ye can help me with. Ah've got Deidra off on a case, investigatin some things for Skoll 'n Ah. Ah told 'er tha Ah cannae really pay for the services of your Agency in munny, but Ah'd be willing enough te offer m'skills for wha'ever ye need in exchange."
Mercade Alexander Mercade actually flushes a little when Zia mentions his relationship with Avira. "Ah yes, you probably know Avira well, don't you?" He says, adjusting his hat, probably in an attempt to cover up his mild embarassment. "We're doing pretty well. Avira is very strong and she's holding up well." He smiles at that.

"I never know what Will is doing these days. With all of these worlds, he's constantly running through them stirring up trouble in a whirlwind. Never fails, really." He shrugs. "Would you like any refreshments? We have coffee and tea and some snacks. We can get you anything large you might like from downstairs as well." He chuckles. "Living over a bar has its benefits."

He looks over at the chair as Zia asks. "Some of column A, some of column B. Deidra likes to stay on the roof generally, but when we picked up Percival it became necessary to make sure we had some places for them to sit. They're as much a part of the Agency as anyone else, right?" He smiles, and tilts his head as she mentions Skoll. "I haven't heard from him in a while either. How is he doing? And don't worry much about money... We usually end up working pro bono anyway. People's safety is more important... And I just turn Will upside down and shake whenever we need to make up gaps in rent. He's usually got enough stashed on him to make up the difference." Mercade laughs.
Zia A quick nod answers his question, "Aye, between wolf's shenanigans and the trouble in Manhattan, Ah've spent a fair amount of time wi' the bone-wielding lass." The expression he shows actually draws a small smile from the gargoyle, her tail curling around the leg of the chair. "Ah was a wee bit worried. Runnin inte her mother in Atlantis seemed to unsettle her. It's... a strange place, tha. Dinnae think anyone who went came back quite the same."

With a curious, somewhat bemused expression, Zia tilts her head, "Is he really tha troublesome? The mage hadte stash some of the Gummi blocks at our place in Fluorgis not long ago, somethin about him tryin te eat them." The prospect of being offered refreshments causes her stomach to growl audibly, and she clears her throat, looking embarassed, "Tea, if ye dinnae mind, milk, no sugar." She tends to drink it in the more traditional Scottish fashion.

"Te be honest, Ah was a little uncertain when mage lass came te work here. M'kind havenae always been treated well by humans. It's good te know tha both she and the squire have found good friends. We need them the way things are. Too few of us, too many dangers."

The question of Skoll has her pause briefly, as if she were searching for the right words to describe it, "Well, Ah'm sure ye know tha we managed te get tha bloody dark collar off of 'im. Yer lass 'n Ah probably earned ourselves a new set of enemies for it, too. Havenae heard from the Gaudium Lords since then, but Ah imagine they're buyin their time." With a sigh, she plucks at a small wolf-shaped earring, "After tha, he lost some of his powers te call on the spirits... the Espers?" She searches for the right word, biting on her lip thoughtfully.

Without explaining that fully, she goes on, "Ah couldnae impose. Ah'm sure there will be ways te repay the kindness one way or the other."
Mercade Alexander Mercade nods. "She mentioned she met her mother... And that means her father might be out there somewhere too. Maybe we'll find him." He sounds hopeful, but there's that note that says he knows what the chances are.

The many worlds are large places... Even if one survives the passage through Darkness.

Upon the request of tea, Mercade walks just out of sight. The clanking of kitchenware is heard. "You're in luck, Celina just brewed this one up a little bit ago. She's better than I am at this." He comes back out, holding a teacup with the requested milk, allowing her to add as much as she likes to the steaming tea.

"Will's appetite is legendary. I have no idea how he holds it all, but he literally can eat anything and everything he can get his hands on. Foodwise, of course, he sticks to actual food. Nothing weird." He frowns. "And then he learned that Gummiblocks were generally edible." He sighs. "Sarafina was very put out about that." At that, he finally sits down himself, folding his hands as he listens. "It sounds like it was a terribly dangerous situation. I'm glad it worked out. I'm not familiar with the Gaudium Lords, but I'm fairly sure we can handle things if we work together and work smart."

He frowns at the mention of Skoll's loss of power. "That's... Unfortunate. But he's a good, resiliant man. He'll be able to compensate elsewhere. If there's anything we can do to help, just ask. He did us a good turn, and I owe him." He grins. "If you want to pay us back, feel free to do so in any way you see fit. We're all in this together, after all." Mercade nods to her, then. "I understand if you're doing all right for now. Frankly, I'm happy for it. No one comes to hire detectives because they're having a good time, you know?" He chuckles at that. "But if I can't help you, I can probably find someone you can if you ever do need it."
Zia "Her father?" Zia asks, head tilted curiously. "Te be honest, Ah'd never asked the lass aboot her parents. It was quite a surprise te find tha her mum was alive down there. From wha Ah learned, one of m'ancestors was also from there. It's all pretty strange." Accepting the cup of tea, she liberally applies the milk, "There's so many of us still lookin' for lost loved ones, Ah imagine ye'll never be out of business wi' tha alone. Though Ah wish her luck in findin her da."

Something about what Mercade says has the gargoyle smirking slightly, "Is it as legendary as 'is smell?" She hesitates, realizing that might not be the nicest thing to say, "Ah dinnae mean te make fun, Deidra has told me some quite impressive stories."

Looking down into her tea, the gargoyle spies her own reflection, "Ah dinnae know much aboot the Gaudium Lords, m'self. They seem te be on the level of Shadow Lords, although Ah dinnae know if they have the same dark purpose." With a worried expression, she glances back at the detective, "We only ever encountered minions. Lesser ones at tha'. It might help if we got more information from the wolf aboot his former masters. Give us some idea wha' we're up against." It seems silly that she hadn't asked before, it just... never seemed to come up.

"Mmm. Well, tha's why Ah asked the dear mage te see if she cannae find the location of some of these temples te the Espers. We found one out in wildlands, but so far the others have eluded us. Ah think we need te find a temple te the ice-goddess Shiva, next, though Ah havenae a clue where te look. As Ah'm sure yer well aware, we dinnae exactly have tha kinda power in our world." Zia chuckles, shrugging her shoulders.
Mercade Alexander "There's a lot of legends about Atlantis. I ended up there once for a little bit..." Mercade looks down at the desk. "Met a walking, talking mouse down there. It was pretty unusual." He looks back over to Zia, and nods, then. "It's a strange and mythical place. I have no idea if the truth will ever be discovered there. But it's a nice thing to wonder about, isn't it?" His smile falls a bit at the mention of loved ones, however. "We'll be looking for everyone we can. And with any luck... We'll make it so they won't be lost in the first place."

Zia's mention of Will's smell causes him to shake his head, chuckling again. "Sometimes he can get a bit ripe. It's nothing to worry about. Will doesn't mind it himself. He knows he stinks, but he generally doesn't care."

"Well... If these guys are going to cause trouble, we should get more information on them so we know what we're dealing with. It's hard to battle an enemy you know nothing about, right?" Mercade says, gesturing. "But you know Skoll best, to be sure. It'll come in time."

Mercade taps his chin as she mentions the Espers and trying to find their temples. "Huh. Well... I know there's one here in Traverse Town. Riku and I spent a lot of time there talking while trying to solve the puzzles. It was all... a shocking experience." The Detective says with a grin. "When it comes time at least you shouldn't have a problem finding that one. Just... getting through it." He grunts. "As far as Shiva is concerned... You have Deidra working on that, huh? I'm sure she'll be able to handle it. Magic isn't my specialty, unfortunately, though Isaac and Celina are both experienced mages as well. Maybe if she's having trouble I can see if one of them can help her out. Even if none of us had the ability to contact or summon them in our world, maybe some of their insights will help."
Zia "We hadte close off the passageway we took down there. The Heartless were tryin te find a way inte the city, 'n we hoped it'd hold 'em off at least for a little while." It sounds like a fruitless sort of effort, especially with the tenacity of the Heartless when they have a goal in mind. Surely, someone among the Shadow Lords had eyes on that particular place. "There's an expedition lost in those tunnels, too. We never did get the chance te look for them."

Shaking her head, the white gargoyle tries to push away those concerns for the moment, the next words out of her mouth get caught by Mercade's statement that she 'knows Skoll best'. This time, she is the one to flush a little bit, "Aye, Ah suppose so. Ah'll see wha Ah can find out when he gets back from scoutin'. Figure it's somethin ye need te know, since yer lass will likely be in jus as much danger as Ah'll be."

With a sip of the tea, the gargoyle leans back, nodding, "Ixion. The wolf says he isnae familiar with tha Esper." It's hard to imagine Mercade and Riku running through the cloister trying not to get zapped. And then her mind settles on Riku. He used to be a member of the Shard Seekers, before the betrayal at Manhattan, "How is Riku, anyways? He usete hang around with our little company of fools, but not since..." She leaves it at that.

"Erm. Ah'm sure we'll need help sooner or later. Ah got the impression the other temples willnae be quite as straight-forward as the first. It's a mess." She sets the tea-cup down, if only to rub at the side of her forehead.
Mercade Alexander Aha. Mercade squints slightly at the flush. Perhaps he wasn't expecting that kind of reaction, but he doesn't comment on it, just smiles faintly... until he mentions Avira will be in danger. Immediately, his expression turns flat. "I'll definately want to know anything you can find out. Avira's capable, but even she gets into trouble occasionally. I trust your judgement on the situation."

He leans back in his chair and relaxes, sighing slightly. "As far as Riku is concerned..." He looks a little sad. "After Manhattan, he'd become distant. I understand why he did what he did, but... I still don't know if I can... really forgive him for what happened, despite what I want to do or say. I think he can feel that. I don't know... Are there things that can never be forgiven?" Mercade asks, perhaps rhetorically. "He's usually off by himself, or with Archades now. He's training to be a Judge. He told me it helps give him a home... And structure to his life. If you are looking for him, you could try there."

The Detective shakes his head, a measure of that irrepressable smile coming back. "It really is a mess, Zia. But we'll be here for you if you or anyone you know needs us."
Zia Seeing the hardening in the detective's expression comes as little surprise. When it's someone you care about that's in danger, even the slightest threat can become deadly serious. It's a path that she's walked before, and will likely tread again soon enough. "Maybe Ah'll send the wolf te have a word wi' ye. Ah'd guess a detective would know the right questions te ask." Not that she didn't have questions of her own, but the more people knew about the danger, the more on-guard they could be for it.

"Sometimes, ye feel as if there's so many dark forces out there, 'n they're all jus' waitin for ye te be vulnerable." It made it more difficult to sleep peacefully, stone sleep or not. Yet, that's all before you add on the strange dreams that have haunted her lately. "Either tha, or Ah'm jus gettin paranoid 'n jumpin at shadows." Zia smiles then, taking the tea to finish it off before it gets cold.

The thought of seeing Riku again has her quieted for a time, "As silly as it sounds, he seemed like the stable force in the chaos of the Shard Seekers. Ah'm sure ye have the same trouble some days. Feels like yer in a boat full of fools without a paddle." The lift of her lips shows her affection for those 'fools' in her life, but as one of the eldest of the Shard Seekers, she can't help but worry about them.

"Ah guess forgiveness really is the problem, though. Tha's why Ah've bene lookin te talk te Will. Everyone seems te know his story, 'n why he did wha he did down there in the tunnels. Ah need te hear it from his lips b'fore Ah can accept it, Ah guess." She fidgets, sets the cup back down, and looks a bit sheepish. It's hard to explain her trepidation when he is clearly someone so trusted here. "As for Riku, Ah'm sure he'll come back in his own time, or no'."
Mercade Alexander "I know the feeling." Mercade says. "After seeing the forces arrayed against Manhattan, it sort of puts things in perspective. But I keep getting reminded... we're not alone either." He nods. "So as long as we remember that, we can watch each other's backs. I'll be happy to talk to Skoll whenever he's available."

At the mention of the Shard Seekers, Mercade can't help but facepalm. "It's like herding cats sometimes, certainly. But it's worth it. I wouldn't trade them for anything, much like I wager you feel the same about the Shard Seekers."

And then Zia explains why he wants to see Will. "Oh! Oh.... Oh." He says, comprehension dawning on his face. "Yeah... I think he feels like he still has a lot to answer for in that respect. He'll talk to you, I'm sure of it."

Riku's mention causes him to tap the side of his head, thinking. "... I hope so. Kid worries me a lot. I have a hard time understanding him sometimes, but it's always been for a good reason."
Zia "Och aye. If the Shadow Lords were te come at us again like tha, it'd be one heck of a fight... We're stronger now than we were back then. At least, Ah'd like te think so." Zia doesn't want to consider the fact that the enemy might be getting stronger, too. Though they certainly might be part of different groups, they did have a some shared purpose. "Ah hope tha it's enough, sometimes it feels like the Heartless keep comin' no' matter wha we do." The tone of her voice suggests it's something she's determined to solve, rather than something that might be a hopeless fight.

Then again, as Mercade comes to a realization on why she might want to talk to Will, Zia's ears tuck down. "Ah am sorry. It's jus... hard te reconcile wha Ah saw tha day. Ah'm tryin te keep an open mind aboot it all, though. Ah cannae say Ah know everythin tha happened, 'n it was all a wee bit fuzzy. Ah just wante set it straight in m'mind." Once, the situation might have been different, but too many people had vouched for Will in the mean time, too many people she trusts too much.

"Well, he isnae the first person te come out of the Shadow Lords 'n try te make a better name for themselves. There was tha' lass wi' the red hair, 'n the wolf's sister. Maybe there's a chance of reachin some of the others, like Riku." One could hope in some cases, but... "Then again... there's Negaduck." Hrmph. "Ah still owe him a blast o'lightning in the tailfeathers."
Mercade Alexander "I don't blame you, Zia. You're owed an explanation. You deserve to know the truth just like anyone else. I'd help you there, but that's something only Will can tell you." Mercade says, a note of sadness in his tone. "But no matter what happens... We're going to find a way to stop the Heartless. We'll make it." Mercade says, determined. "Someone will find a way eventually."

Mercade shrugs. "I think Negaduck is basically impenetrably evil. He did a lot to trash Darkwing Duck's reputation. And then there's the others... Well, some of them might want to do good in the end... but not all of them. You're right. We'll figure out which are which over time."
Zia With a final nod, Zia pushes herself up, her tail slipping easily out of the chair. It's enough that she turns back to look at it with some measure of amusement at the design. Afterwards, the white gargoyle turns back, "Ah'll tell Skoll te come have a word wi' ye aboot the Gaudium Lords, but... give me a ring if Will shows up, will ye?" She takes a piece of paper from the desk and scribbles down her number, just incase.

This scene contained 16 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Zia