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No title.
(2013-10-14 - Now)
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Chita It'd been a good couple of weeks since Baron, and going towards a week since the incident in Burmecia with Maleficent. With how badly the encounter had gone, with how badly Chita had been injured, he'd only just gotten to where he could stand on his own again. Stand on his own, walk around, general every day activities. Which was what the rather poor-looking excuse for a Viera was doing at the moment. He was still looking quite banged up even with all the healing he had.

Bandages here and there, blindfold and bandages over his eyes and a stick next to him that he was using for a walking prop. His Chocobo was tethered nearby at the moment and he was using the opportunity to sit at a little street cafe in the business district, a small cup of tea held in one hand, saucer in the other. He was by himself today, having decided he wanted some air and time alone, which left Aerith to wander elsewhere or not, doing whatever she wished. On the table in front of him was a plate with some various appetizers on it.
Avira Lindblum is a very classy city! Classy enough that Avira will opt to not ride her true mount amongst it. The giant beetle would cause a whole lot of fuss that she didn't want to deal with. Right now Avira's got plenty of fuss going on anyway. Between the Maleficent thing (though that seems to be over for her) and Maira going missing, there's a lot on Avira's mind right now. And things being the way they are, she is far from alone. Incidents with Shadow Lords have made her institute a sort of "buddy system," mostly at Maira's request. With her is a gruff-looking mercenary, not Angantyr today, that had joined up at the Gummi Test Site a few weeks ago.

How ironic. If Maira had someone with her, she might still be around right now. Leads were not forthcoming at the moment either and Angantyr was left to extract what he could from the prisoner.

For now, she was out and about, trying to get things on the impossible list that Arthur Drover has for synthesis materials. Lindblum was a big place. Maybe they had something. Her attention is divided between the shops around and the paper, but she is not so oblivious that she misses noticing certain things.

Certain things like Chita. She stops in the street to stare at him from afar, seeing his state and remembering that he had been at Baron. A thoughtful noise escapes her and she approaches the viera's table, stopping before it and resting one hand on the edge.

"Hey." she greets, "How have you been holding up?"
Chita The sound of a nearby voice speaking caused Chita to stop sipping at his tea and perk his ears up a bit more(they were previously slightly flopped over). Were they speaking to him? Someone else? He wasn't sure, but the voice sounded familiar.

He took another sip of the tea before setting it down and looking towards the voice, "You sound familiar. Forgive my not being certain... I have never been good with voices only."

He thought about it a moment more and asked, "Avira, right? I've been better certainly, but for the moment I am well enough thank you. Sit?"
Avira "Well, give me a look, you'll probably recognize me then." Between her size, the scars, and the white streak in her hair, Avira was pretty distinctive-looking. For a human. Not exactly in a good way either. By now she's gotten used to being recognized on sight-as opposed to being more or less invisible in her previous life.

He gets her name and she nods with a grin. "That's right." she gestures to the man shadowing her. "This is Zander. Sort of my bodyguard for the day." The paper in her hand quickly disappears into a pocket as both she and the man sit at the table.

"Baron didn't give you much trouble, did they? I would have stayed but I have had issues with that Kingdom in the past. It's been some time since then but I really didn't want to risk it. So I tried to get you to a good inn before making our exit."
Chita Chita reaches up to gently tap the blindfold around his eyes, which washolding some bandages to his eyes. "I could not do that, in case you did not realize. When... that woman in Baron hit me in the face with her magic, the fire hit my eyes. I appreciate everything the white mages in Baron did for me. Their healing took care of most of my injuries... the rest would heal in time. Except my eyes, it seems. They said it may return in time, but for now, it has not. ... and trying to stop her from taking something from Burmecia several days back, maybe nearing a week now... did not help."

Seems he's been busy. She had mentioned someone else nearby and he took a moment to listen before turning towards the sound of the closest person nearby and nodding at them. "Hi." He offered, pointing towards a nearby empty table, "I, ah... think that table is still empty, so if you want to sit too?" The saucer and cup were picked up again as he slowly took a drink. "Have some of the food if you wish." It was just bits of various appetizers, and a bit of gyshal pickle. Stank horribly but tasted good.

"And... thank you. I know you probably don't trust me even still, but you could have just left me."
Avira "I was hoping they could come off." Avira frowns at the bandages, feeling sad to hear just what happened to Chita to necessitate such measures. "I'm glad to hear they were able to take care of you when they could. You were attacked pretty viciously and I..." she trails off. She wants to say that she was responsible for that, for not defeating the witch fast enough, but she reminds herself that Maleficent would have hurt those people whether or not she was there. "I'm very sorry. I hope your eyes heal."

"Hello." The man's voice is deep. He's probably very tall and intimidating-looking. A few seconds pass before he drags up a chair to their table.

Avira examines the food, but doesn't take anything while the bodyguard takes a gyshal pickle.

"The past is the past." Avira shrugs, "Dealing with Hades teaches its own lessons. Besides, just leaving you there bleeding in the streets would have been an awful thing to do. Especially to someone that came to help me that day."
Chita The waiter, a rather rotund-looking hippo fellow, walks up and Chita softly orders a pot of tea. A refill of his tea was given in the meantime and the waiter stayed around long enough to ask the other two if they wanted anything. "You didn't owe me anything Avira, then or ever. I do not like people to feel they owe me. It is... just how I am. Always have been I suppose." He sighs softly and tilts his head back as if looking up, though really he was just trying to clear his mind. "Playing Hero even still. Never was good at just letting bad things happen. That's why I made the deal with Hades to begin with. I had to do everything possible to try and save Manhattan.'s why I turned my old clan in to the Judges when I found out they were attempting to extort the laws. It's why I moved to help you then. It was the right thing to do. That is all."

Something caused him to chuckle softly, almost a huff of a snort of a chuckle, that little sound someone makes when something funny or ironic crosses their mind briefly, then he just falls silent. Sniff.. sniff.. "Thank you for eating that wretched pickle. I hate the smell of those things, but did not wish to offend the server, given it is the specialty of this place." Smell must not be lingering anymore.
Avira "Well, I don't feel like I owe you now." Avira points out. Though at that moment in Baron a few weeks ago it was a different story. This does not get brought up. For the rest, though, it seems Avira has nothing to say about that. No admonishments or thank yous. The past was the past and now it simply serves as a reflection of how Chita operated.

It's a very helpful thing to know.

"Oh don't thank him." Avira scowls, giving her bodyguard a look, "I'm going to have to walk around with him having pickle breath for the rest of the afternoon. Woe is me!"

She pauses, "But as a viera, I suspect your sense of smell is a lot more powerful than a hume's so we certainly did do you a favor. Regardless, where do you go from here, out of curiosity?"
Chita The remark about pickle breath causes Chita to laugh softly, nose scrunching up a bit in a wince as he reached to put a hand on his chest. Lingering pain from Maleficent, possibly. "Indeed it is. Incidentally... now that you mention it, I think your shampoo you used recently smells quite nice." As for her question, he wasn't sure himself. It took him a few moments to think up a response, in which time the waiter returned with a pot of tea. Chita thanked him and reached to pour himself some. Another two cups and saucers were brought for Avira and Zander. "As for what is next..."

He trailed off once again, completely lost as to how to respond. "I do not truly know. I have a lot on my mind and... how to deal with it eludes me."
Avira Zander makes a face at Avira, which earns him a small swat from the huntress. The horseplay abruptly ends when the waiter returns, a nod of thanks given to their server for providing the two of them with cups and saucers.

About to take a sip of her tea, she stops with the comment about shampoo. "Wow, it's true! I certainly cannot smell it anymore right now. But you..." she grins, then sips, watching Chita as it is now his turn to trail off, a flicker of concern on Avira's face.

"Well...if you don't mind me asking, what IS on your mind?"
Chita Chita didn't respond immediately, though after nearly half a minute of looking as if he had intended to say something, and not, he finally says, "I cannot speak directly of it in the open. At least, give any proof... but if you had the choice between possibly saving everyone from the heartless at the cost of a few lives... or you could save a few lives for certain and possibly damn us all to the heartless by killing a single person... what would you do?"

His hands were shaking a little, unsteady, nervous. The tiny bit of clattering of the cup against the saucer quieted as he sat the pair down onto the table. "Despite my misgivings and past with Mercade... I am not capable of killing anyone, for any reason. Even to save lives. The only reason I was in the situation... was because I was being forced to against my own will by Hades. I..." and then silence. He couldn't quite figure out what to say at that point.
Avira When posed this question, Avira lowers her cup, then lifts her hands to fold them over her chest. She looks contemplative for a long while as she weighs these options in her mind. But eventually, before Chita can continue, she softly answers: "I'd try to find another way. Those choices are terrible. Chita, is this a choice you've had to make?"

As he continues, it then occurs to her that he might be referring to the whole Hades thing to begin with. "And this all still weighs heavily on your mind." Avira concludes. "Why? In the end, nobody was killed, if only because of your holdout."
Chita "Have had to and will have to make again. There is no other way. Arresting the one responsible... will not do anything. Those they are assisting will simply get them free somehow. I have thought about this for months now... been unable to sleep for days over it. If I ever think of a way to avoid any loss of life and still fix this, I would take it without hesitation. And yes... it does. I do not know why, but it bothers me still."

Chita falls quiet and leans forward to rest his face upon his hands carefully, upset now that he's brought this up again. "I'm sorry." he said softly into his hands, meant towards Avira, "This is not your problem."
Avira Another frown, "This is an ongoing situation? Then who are you referring to? Who amongst the Shadow Lords has this dubious honor?" No argument is made concerning whether or not Chita had a voice in the matter. That would be cheating.

"Don't apologize. It sounds like something nobody should experience, alone or even with allies. One day this could very well be my problem. Or anyone's problem."
Chita Picking up just the teacup by itself, he took a long drink before sighing and saying, "Yes. Though I do not know for certain they are working with those who control the Heartless. I... I suspect it. But I do not know for sure. If they are... then I do not understand. But, similar... when we set out to rescue a friend of mine named Shiki, I think you may know her, we came across a man whom we thought was working with them. And yet... his goal, so he claimed, was to make sure Shiki obtained a Keyblade. A Keyblade... destroys Heartless. The Heartless destroy worlds. The Shadow Lords... are using Heartless to do just that. Why would they want anyone to have a Keyblade? ... this problem of mine, Avira..."

He thought about it a moment before he shook his head, "No... no. My problem is that a Keyblade may become the end product of what is happening. Of what is going on. A Keyblade could save us all. At the time I did not know there could be more than one Keyblade, I only knew of that boys. Yet Shiki has one now. And this could be one too..."
Avira As perceptive as viera are, Chita would certainly sense a definitely shift in Avira's demeanor when the subject of Keyblades is breached. Slowly, she lowers her teacup and leans forward, listening intently as the bold rescue of Shiki is described.

Eventually, she chimes in, "Was his name Lucas? Was there any mention of wizards and the denial of keyblades? I have a few people I know that describe undergoing trials...seeing things...and being guided by a mysterious man named Lucas. But nowhere along the way were they given the impression that he was working with the Heartless or Shadow Lords."

She threads her fingers together, "This man did mention that the wizards-such as Merlin-had been withholding information about keyblades and who knows what else from everyone because they were dreadfully afraid we would misuse it. It's my understanding that this keyblade-giving man is acting in direct defiance of that...?"

But as Chita continues to speak, something hits her. "...what...precisely is happening to you?"
Chita "The name Lucas sounds familiar." Chita answered quite honestly, without any pause. "I do not recall anything spoken of Wizards or a denial of Keyblades. Only that... if we interrupted Shiki, it would ruin something and she needed to do it herself. She emerged, after we kicked him around, with a keyblade. And he was gone. I had wanted to ask him questions after, but I was unable to and since then... the one time I returned there, I could not reenter the place."

He sighed softly at that, and then her question caught him by surprise. "Happening? Nothing, to me at least. That I know of. I have been told that I am... different somehow. That I am not acting the same. That I am rash, easily upset... quick to fight. Perhaps I am. I honestly have not noticed that myself. It is simply what I know will happen if I do not act, but if I do act, I also know what will happen. There is no..." he paused there and made a defeated little sound, " option that feels right. As of now I have chosen to try and find a way to bring this to fruition with the least amount of bloodshed possible, none directly by my hands. Tell me, Avira... do you recall hearing of something referred to as the Black Beast? It attacked a city known as Goug some time back, many, many lives were lost."
Avira "There..." Avira frowns, "'There' being Castle Oblivion." Her voice is grave as she looks Chita in the eye, "Going into that place is a gigantic risk. It can show you things. It can show you horrible, horrible things that you can /never/ unsee." There's a haunted echo in her voice at this and something flickers in those brown eyes of hers.

She is undoubtedly speaking from experience.

"To be honest, I daresay it's not that you are rash, you just seem to get caught up in asking the wrong people for help. Granted, I know firsthand that it's not easy to know who the /right/ people are. You have this choice before you and you know what /you/ need to do...but have you tried asking other people what they can do for you?"

Falling silent again, she resumes sipping her tea. "I remember hearing about this, yes. I wasn't at this event personally but it's been talked a lot in hunter circles. Is that somehow connected?"
Chita "Perhaps." a smile came to the Viera's lips as he said that, "But I am already quite haunted... by just this, in fact." He didn't go on further regarding the Castle. Instead, he moved over to remarks of the Black Beast. "I... suppose I trust you well enough, but there are those around you whom I do not trust. Angantyr, for one. I know he is willing to kill with no regard for morals. ...given he has twice tried such with me for little more than words or occupation."

Reaching out, Chita poured himself another cup of tea then asked, "If I... If I tell you exactly what is going on, and my thoughts... could you guarantee me, both, that you will not try to kill anyone or do anything without getting me involved?"
Avira "Yes. I'm /very/ aware of the issues between you and Angantyr." Given that she was actually present for some of their spats. The incident in Narshe comes to mind, in particular. "Let's not make him a part of this conversation." Avira smiles thinly, knowing full well that Angantyr was a difficult personality that didn't get along with several people around her. Frankly, that was his problem to deal with.

"...I never have any desire to kill anybody. I've never killed anyone." Avira says softly, "I can promise you both these things."
Chita A few moments silence as he thought about how to say things, perhaps, then Chiat reached up to rub a palm over one eye sorely. "Thank you for that assurance. The Black Beast... was a monster created by someone. It was created with the purpose of researching, from what I understand, how to create a Keyblade. I was in Goug when the beast attacked. In fact... I was one of the ones who struck the beast down. I coordinated an attack with a Shinra Gunner and together we were able to fell it. Yet after it fell... the body collapsed into darkness, and it condensed into the shape of something that looked similar to that boys Keyblade. Only for a few moments, though, before the shape just... returned to something unlike a keyblade and more like a badly-forged sword of Darkness. I... have that weapon. As I found out not long ago... that weapon is the Black Beast. I took it to ensure it was not released on another town, released so it could become complete. I took it to try and ensure it could be... controlled. Kept from being misused. But I cannot just destroy it as the one responsible would just recreate such likely. Start over. I am..."

Another moment mulled on how to word it, then he out and said, "...I am only in this because I did not have the heart to strike them down when I first found out, and to this day I cannot bring myself to do it."
Avira Avira patiently listens to Chita explain the incident further. She does not comment nor does she really show much of a reaction, be it approval or disapproval of this event and Chita's actions.

"I think you did the right thing. Simply killing the one responsible is not the answer. Such research has documentation and to kill the one responsible would only embolden an apprentice or someone else to take it over. Only they might do it even more carefully and in a way that people like you could not stop them."

She leans forward and looks pensive. "You are right, though, this effort to make a dark keyblade cannot continue."
Chita "And yet the only way I have thought of to stop it would be to fulfill the research myself... or to destroy them and any record of their research." Letting that sink in a moment, Chita says, "Forgive me, I need to stand and move a moment. I am still quite pained from that witch." And with that he slowly goes to stand and uses the nearby stick, once taken, to carefully walk towards his Chocobo. Left alone, he would be doing just that - taking a minute or two to slowly and carefully walk around, one hand on his Chocobo's saddle, before coming back to sit.
Avira "Take your time." Avira offers politely, watching the viera excuse himself to examine his chocobo. In the meantime, Avira thinks, occasionally sharing a word or two with her bodyguard. Zander really hasn't offered much in the conversation. In fact, it's hard to say if he's been paying attention at all. Sometime during the talk he had pulled out a copy of Clan Weekly to browse.

When he's returned and sat himself down, only then does Avira offer up a suggestion, "Maybe you could sabatoge the research. Have it fail in such a way that this person would no longer believe forging a keyblade of darkness to be possible?"
Chita As he sits down and reaches carefully with both hands to cup the cup in his hands, Chita takes a sip before giving a happy little sigh. "Pardon my addiction to this drink. I have found very little to relax with in the past month or two and... it is a nice change of pace to just be able to enjoy tea. As for what you suggest... if a way could be found, I would certainly not be opposed to doing whatever I could. Did you have any thoughts?"
Avira "It's the little things." Avira remarks, reaching for the teapot so she can refill her own cup. "Well. Then you must find a way. A good start would be to find out as much about how the experimenter's methods work. That could provide opportunities to introduce flaws. Or if there was someway to slowly weaken this dark keyblade and make it look like it cannot be sustained for meaningful amounts of time. This does mean you also may need to get closer to this..experimenter. If you can stomach such a task."
Chita "Of course... I have tried such already." Sip. "To what degree I was successful... the beast, the weapon, was created to destroy and consume hearts. Something of an artificial heartless from what I imagine. It uses them for power, or so I believe, and it did not have enough because I and the others ended it prematurely. Yet it could come back. ... will, likely. Something I have thought of..."

Chita took a deep breath and sighed it out before 'looking' towards his right hand, the left holding his cup. "I heard the screams and cries of those who died that day. More than anyone else. When I touched the weapon... they flooded my mind. Hundreds... of men, women and children, their last thoughts... fears, regrets. Hearts in terror. I do not know for certain, but I assume those hearts were not strong enough. Were simply consumed into it like the rest. What if a strong enough heart was consumed? What if it were given access to a heart that was capable of feeding it? Of giving it power... of not being consumed. "
That was the question. One may even assume he meant himself as said 'offering a heart', but he'd also claimed he didn't have the heart, possibly considered himself weak of heart. "And I have found myself a bit closer than I intended to said party. My own loneliness mixed with curiosity has led to... an interesting association, to say the least." He didn't elaborate on that.
Avira "That's just /wrong/!" Avira blurts out without warning, suddenly losing her cool. "Hearts shouldn't be held captive like that! That weapon /really/ needs to be unravelled at some point. It sounds like a strong enough heart would either make it /worse/ or tear it apart. This abomination doesn't need to be fed any more than it has already."

As if exhausted, she leans back in her seat, rubbing her head. "Look hard enough and you might find someone of strong heart willing to try and break it." She notably doesn't suggest herself, though. She didn't think her heart had the strength since Manhattan was restored.
Chita The strong shout caused Chita to wince, cup clattering as he sat it down and reached up to cover his ears. When she calmed down, he moved his hands and relaxed again to listen. "I do not know for certain, that is just my assumptions. I am... well aware of the morality of things Avira. Please understand that. There is no reason to be anything but calm." Though now he had to think about such. Could he turn it over to someone else? How could they possibly offer their own heart? Could he even do such? "Another thought I had... was offering it a heart capable of controlling the dark. Letting it try to consume a heart capable of breaking it with will alone. Not long ago, the one who created the weapon... extended to me the bait of learning control over darkness, as I understood it. I... I admit I have been tempted recently. Not to use or abuse the heartless, but to learn it so I can better combat it. I am weak Avira. Ever since Hades cursed me... ripped a part of my heart or soul or something out... I have been so very weak."
Avira "You said you feel them, right? If it's true, then we really must find a way to destroy that weapon." Avira points out, still pretty worked up over this issue. Eventually, she does shake her head.

"I wouldn't seek a heart capable of controlling the dark...mostly fofr the reason you mentioned. The temptation would be strong, very strong, to simply take the weapon and use it themselves. No, we need someone with strong willpower. More importantly, though.."

She looks upon Chita with...pity? Yes, it's pity alright. "If you are weak then I would definitely not go around messing with darkness. It's too easy to get...lost in it." Speaking from experience, maybe? Avira doesn't really seem to into elaborating on this position.
Chita "Here is the thing... I don't know if I can. And, again... if we do, then it's entirely possible that they would simply start over again. More lives would be lost." The tea drained, he sets the cup and pot aside before stretching and facing up at the sky thoughtfully. "And I know that. Trust me... I know all too well. But I have to Avira. I have to prove it to myself. If I do not, I will never be able to be confident in anything. Thank you, though, for the concern." He took it as concern. Could be. "Besides..." he didn't quite finish that thought as he lost himself in his own thoughts.
Avira "Either of those things aren't exactly the most compelling of reasons to not to try." Avira points out. "Hope for the best, plan for the worst. So if you do succeed in destroying the weapon, you know the methods used for its creation. This time, you or other people could take steps to stop this person before a second Black Beast is unleashed."

Zander nudges Avira and whispers something to her. Chita's acute hearing would pick up something being passed about sundown.

" careful. Don't let the darkness take you in its thrall." Again. Avira shifts and stands up, her bodyguard following. "Sorry Chita, but I need to get moving. I came out here to run some errands for Arthur."

This scene contained 32 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Chita