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(2013-12-01 - Now)
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Morrighan Alazne It has been a few days since that kidnapping incident had blown over. Doing her best to shove that horrible memory into the furthest, darkest reaches of her mind, Morrighan set out to do some minor sightseeing.

Goug was a city that the dark elf hadn't seen much of in her time on these worlds. For some reason, her business just never took her around these parts. Well, today, she had decided to put all business aside and set foot into this home of moogles and technology and Shinra.

Since her newest dress was destroyed in that aforementioned fiasco, Morrighan had relunctantly gone back to wearing her 'Kara outfit'. Better than what those perverted kidnappers had put her in before, that's for sure.

That aside, the elven woman spent most of the day wandering the city and sightseeing. Observing the technology and the work of the moogles, as well as doing a bit of shopping and sampling of the local cuisine. Speaking of that last one, Morrighan was currently situated in a bar/restaurant.

Seated at the bartender's counter on a stool, the elf held a glass of some unnamed booze between her dainty little fingers, swishing it about absentmindedly as she thought back on things. A multitude of things. "....Ah, what to do now..." She mumbled to herself before taking a slow sip from her glass.
Niklas Dragonius Goug is a *crazy awesome* city full of *crazy awesome* things. Niklas Dragonius, last heir of the Divine Fist martial arts style, would be lying if he said he didn't feel a little bit at home here. Bright lights, loud music, action every which way; it was like a primitive version of Galianda's sweeping cities, as resonant with electrical power as Ramuh itself. It's sort of like a vacation away from vacationing; he loves the wilderness a lot, but it's nice to go back and hit the town every so often.

After all, you usually don't meet pretty girls in the wilderness.

Who aren't nymphs.

Which try to kill you.


Today, Nik's in town just to /relax/; you know, take a load off, stretch, have a breather, /not/ fight things. He's been doing an awful lot of fighting things lately, after all, getting tons of experience in the field to prepare him for whatever might come. Right now, he just wants to chill.

Nik sweeps into the restauraunt and sits down at the bar. He's technically not old enough to drink, but that's sort of a technicality when you can summon gods through your body, and most places in Fantasy World don't card anyway.

It takes him a minute to notice Morrighan, mostly because he's trying to figure out what to order.

"Heyyyyyyyy," Nik says slowly, tapping the side of his head. "You're that hot dark elf chick I danced with a while ago, right? Haven't seen you around lately! ...definitely wasn't expecting to run into you *here*. I didn't think elves were big on cities, honstly."
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan's ears twitched a tad upon hearing a familiar voice. Oh lord, it was /him/. Her eyes slowly moved from the depths of her glass and towards Nik, arching a brow curiously. "Oh, you." A pause as she tries to recall his name. "...Niklas Dragonius, yes?" A slight smirk followed that as she went back to nursing her glass.

"I suppose that would be a generally correct assumption to make." A sip was taken then. "However, I am hardly a typical elf." After all the crap she's went through, that was true. "Nevermind that however. I was curious about this city. I hardly ever come here, so...I decided to do just that today."

The martial artist was spared a sidelong glance after. "But if that bothers you, I can get up and go wander back into the trees again." Sarcasm was heavy in her tone while that was said, wry smirk returning to her face.
Niklas Dragonius "Hey, you remembered! That's awesome; I'm seriously flattered." Nik flashes a broad grin as he picks up his own drink and swirls it around for a moment. He tips it back after a moment and drains the glass substantially, slamming it back on the counter with a 'whooo'. "That's pretty stiff! I wouldn'ta thought."

Nik turns in his stool a bit to look at her. "I wouldn't know, I guess. Haven't met a lot of elves! They don't really, uh, exist on my world." He waves his hands in front of his face when she suggests wandering back into the woods, though. "Hey, hey, no way! Far be it from me to tell a total babe like you to just /leave/."

Nik laughs and scratches the back of his neck. "Any guy who did that must be either playin' for the other team or /blind/."

He picks up his drink again and takes another sip, mostly because there's not a lot left in the glass after the last tip-back. "So are you likin' Goug?"
Morrighan Alazne "Is that so? I see it doesn't take much to please you, hmn?" Morrighan spoke, smiling a tad in amusement. Ah, she'd nearly forgotten how entertaining this boy was. Watching Nik down his glass in one go, her eyes rolled in response. "You should take it slow. Otherwise, you may end up drunk faster than you had anticipated." Another sip from her own glass then.

In response to his turning, Morrighan turned as well to face the young man a bit more. "Well, I wouldn't say that it's a loss. We're just another species in a veritable sea of them." She didn't think much of her own race clearly. The total babe comment got a chuckle out of the elf and she brought a hand to her mouth to muffle her laughter momentarily.

"You are still interesting I see." Not sure if that was a compliment or not. Thinking about the question posed, Morrighan turned her gaze upwards, eyeing the plethora of bottles on the bartender's back shelves. "...Well, I wouldn't say it was boring. It's noisy. Almost irritating." Thankfully she didn't completely share her peer's debilitating sensitivity to sound.

"Lively as well. I don't think I could live here. But it certainly has been worth the visit thus far. It has helped to take my mind off of things."
Niklas Dragonius "I'm a pretty simple guy!" Nik agrees cheerfully, "I know what I like, I know what I want out of life, and I know how to get it. Sure, there's all those complex things I could worry about, but planning for the future's pretty hard when the whole world can change with a snap of your fingers. I figure, life is unexpected; might as well enjoy it!"

"Well, that's true here. Where I'm from, though? It's just humans. I mean, sure, humans with special powers, but humans all the way around. So elves and stuff? Just storybook things."

Nik is momentarily distracted by being called /interesting/. He's heard /interesting/ as a curse enough times to know better than to assume it was a compliment...*but*, he's also /relentlessly/ optimistic. "Heh, thanks. You're plenty interesting, too." He winks, then sobers up almost immediately. "Yeah...I know what you mean. Cities are always loud. Back home, almost every plate's totally covered in cities...the closest you get to wilderness is my family's preserve. It's..."

He looks up at the ceiling for a bit and smiles. "It's kinda nice, to have this place as a break, but I think I'd go nuts if I had to live here, too. It makes me feel at home, but I bet that's because of small doses."

Nik pauses. He's not completely ignorant, after all; his eyes swing back down to meet hers. "What kinda things? Are you okay? Do you need help?"
Morrighan Alazne "Just humans? ...I could hardly imagine that." A world with just humans sounded like a dreadful thing to her. She knew was humans were capable of after all. They were hardly ones to be trusted with an entire world by themselves. They'd tear it down in the blink of an eye!

"Ergh-!" Morrighan visibly shuddered at the thought of cities like Goug being all over the place. "I am thankfully not weak to high pitched sounds like other dark elves, but I don't think I would be able to stand having these sorts of cities /all over the place/. It sounds like a nightmare."

She shook the thought away and took a longer sip from her glass, almost draining it. "But of course, they serve as nice distractions in moderation, yes. There is no denying that fact." Of course, that could go for just about any other sort of subject as well. People were easy to grow bored of anything in excess.

Upon hearing his question, Morrighan paused for a bit, thinking about things, and what to say. "...Hehe, it's funny actually." She started, finding a morbid sort of amusement with her thoughts. "It's a long story. But, a long time ago, back at that dance, you /did/ warn me about something, and yet, I fell for it all the same. Do you remember?"
Niklas Dragonius "Yeah. Just humans. I mean, you've got Levitani, Ramuha, Ifriti...but in the end, we're all just humans, just different flavors. Like, I'm Ifriti; my mom's Ifriti, she's from the Ifrit desert. My dad's Ramuha, but I take after mom more, so." Nik shrugs. "So I'm really sensitive to heat and stuff. When it gets hot, I know it's going to a little beforehand. Plus, I can tell you what temperature it is. But, you know, still basically human."

Nik laughs. "But the cities aren't all like this. Leviathan's got a bunch of ocean-bound cities...and Bahamut's clouds as far as you can see. And the moon, Chocobo's kinda just..." He wobbles his hand. "It's the academy, so it's not really anything, you know, big and loud. Ramuh's the biggest's always storming overhead, and there's lightning pouring down out of the sky to power all the machines...but there's just too many people." He shrugs.

Nik pauses, thinking back to that meeting. What had he been focused on? Okay, he knows the first answer to that, same thing he's been focused on *this* time...but what had he been-

" mean about Souji Murasame?"
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan nodded along to Nik's explanation of the various 'humans' of his world. It was rather intriguing actually. She knew that humans tended to have their own races and subtle differences as well, but nevertheless, it was still interesting to hear the specifics.

"Oh, I see. Well those other countries sound a bit more bearable now. Just a bit."

A wry chuckle followed that and she shook her head a bit, coming to the subject of the person she wanted to strangle the most right now. "Yes. Souji Murasame." That name was uttered with only the most concentrated amounts of contempt the woman could possibly muster in a single moment. "Where do I even begin on that..."

A pause, and then she went on. "Perhaps the beginning then. Or at least near it." Morrighan sighed and downed the rest of her glass, calling out for a refill after. While that happened, she explained. "A while ago, there was a bounty put on my head for...some magical shenanigans that I had conducted. Another long story." Taking her refilled glass, the elf stared into the depths at her reflection for a second or two.

"For a while, it seemed like no one was going to bother trying to take me in. But then one day, Souji called me to his ship to discuss possible job opportunities." She let that sink in for a bit. "It all sounded genuine. I was completely fooled." Another sip. "We closed the deal and I was set to come in tomorrow for a...'physical'."

A much longer sip followed that. "The next day I showed up, I was knocked out. When I awoke next, I was strapped to a lab table." She glanced at Nik then, smiling despite herself. "Care to guess what happened?"
Niklas Dragonius Nik listens. He listens, utterly silently - which is kind of out of character for him, if Morrighan has been paying even the *slightest* attention to the flighty and cheerful martial artist. The silence is almost unnerving; several other patrons notice the shift in the air immediately, backing away into their corners and lowering their voices. An artificial silence descends across the bar as Nik's anger rises at the misfortune of this woman he barely knew - caused by the hand of the only person in the world he actually, legitimately, truly hated.

Nik slams his hand against the bar. There's a loud *thud*, and it sounds like wood is straining fruitlessly for a moment as Nik leans forward to look her in the eyes, as though he's trying to determine whether or not she's lying. His face is intense - more intense and focused than she'd likely ever have expected.

"Are you telling me that that guy used you for a /science experiment/?"
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan at first didn't notice. But after a while of no comment, she'd realized. And by that point, she had already asked him to guess at the turnout. At the sound of Nik's hand slamming against the bar, Morrighan visibly jumped a little, finding the action to be entirely uncharacteristic of what little she'd seem of the young man.

Suppose there was always more than what met the eye.

Leaning back a tad, she met his gaze evenly, betraying nothing that would have indicated that it was a lie. It was painfully true. "Not him specifically. His resident scientist. Feige Abramson I believe her name was? All he did was fool me into thinking I had a job with his company, and then stabbed me in the back to collect what must have been a considerable bounty." She let that sink in for a few seconds, remaining leaned back.

"I doubt he would have done such a thing for no reward. But I digress..." Shaking her head, Morrighan went back on point, speaking evenly and calmly. The morbid cheer of the situation had been banished. And the other patrons seemed to be able to tell. "I was poked and prodded, had various genetic material stolen from me for lord knows why."

She shrugged at that before continuing on. "And then finally, a guest arrived, and decided that carving up my soul into multiple pieces would be a fitting punishment for me. /That/ was the extent of their wonderful experiment."
Niklas Dragonius He's always been good at telling whether or not people were lying. It's a training thing; when you learn to judge martial arts by peoples' movements, you get good at reading people. It's just another of those little talents that comes with being a martial arts superhero.

Nik leans back. His eyes haven't left hers - again, uncharacteristic, since he hasn't even *glanced* at the rest of her, something he was doing with very little shame before she mentioned Souji. His hand slowly relaxes itself from the bar; it's far too late for the bar, of course. There's a nice, palm-shaped *gouge* in it from the force of his hand, an imprint in the wood and stone. At the end of it all... the end of it all, he hugs her.

"I'm sorry," Nik says quietly, "I'm sorry I couldn't do more to keep you from getting hurt. I'm sorry I didn't stop you from talking to him; I'm sorry I let you walk off that night." Then he releases her and sits back, and his eyes are still practically sparking with fire.

"But if it's any comfort, I'm gonna /kill/ that jackass."
Morrighan Alazne Morrighan briefly glanced at the hand shaped indent in the bar counter. An idle thought passed by in her mind, wondering just how strong Nik was, but it was quickly banished as she glanced back at him. Nothing prepared her for the hug. Positive physical contact was still something that the elf was completely unaccustomed to, thus she froze up, eyes widening a bit.

"U-Um..." She started, trying to calm down and find the words she had wanted to say. When he let go, she managed to calm down and spoke freely. "It's not your fault. You warned me and I simply didn't think it was that bad." Morrighan shook her head and sighed. "So you have no need to apologize."

That said, Morrighan smiled a tad and added. "...and for the record, it's my mission to strangle that backstabbing, two-faced villain. So kindly get in line, would you?" She talked as if she was first in line.
Niklas Dragonius Nik is *crazy* strong. Just from the hug, she'd be able to tell that the guy was more muscular than most people had any right to be; the jacket might hide it, but physical contact sort of, well, can't.

Nik frowns and shakes his head. "No, I do. I feel like I need to apologize, because there were a lot of things I could've done to stop you, I just...I didn't. So I feel bad. Even if it's not my responsibility..." He rubs his arm and looks away. "Heh. Sorry. That's just the kind of guy I am."

Then he looks back at her. "I've been in line *way* before you. I've wanted to punch that smug jerk since the day I met him. You're the one who's gonna have to get in line...although I'm not opposed to working together on kicking Murasame's ass up and down the worlds."

The atmosphere of menace and violence fades as Nik's face splits into a wide grin. "Heck, we've got so much in common, after all," he jokes.
Morrighan Alazne "I suppose I can't really tell you not to be who you are." Morrighan spoke lightly, smiling a tad. That smiled widened a bit more, amused with his response regarding Souji. "Is that so? Hmn...well, I would like to strangle him by myself, but..." Pretending to think hard about it, she brought a hand to her chin.

"...I /guess/ I can agree to working together. As long as I get a chance to strangle him." The vibes of violence in the air were making people uncomfortable. Some other patrons still seated at the bar despite the previous scene now began to scoot away.

Observing Nik and his grin, Morrighan took a long sip of her drink. "So it would seem. Almost as if we were the same person." She adds, playing along with the joke.
Niklas Dragonius "I like to think that, one day, everyone in the world will wake up and realize what a jackass Souji Murasame is, and on that day the world will be a better place," Nik agrees, his grin still wide as he leans over to order his second drink (finally). He picks up the new glass and takes a slow sip from it, then exhales. " got me all worked up and angry, all this extra energy's gotta go somewhere, but there's nothing to just go *hit* in Goug. It's actually pretty impressive that most of the city's decent."

He stands up and stretches after a moment, his arms behind his head, arching his back. "Wanna take a walk around the city? Somehow I don't really feel like just sitting around now, and I think if I stay here too much longer a whole lotta itchy trigger fingers are gonna get pulled, so to speak."
Morrighan Alazne "Hmm?" She hums curiously, downing her drink in record time. "Take a walk, hm? I suppose I can go for that." Nodding, Morrighan stood as well, leaving her pay on the counter. "I have been sitting here a while. Some fresh air would do me some good."

She smirked as she turned away from the bar, walking towards the front entrance. "Why don't we depart before your 'trigger fingers' act up? I would rather not wind up involved in the fallout."

Whatever that fallout could be, she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to know.

Upon stepping outside, Morrighan glanced up at the sky, noting that it was gradually growing darker. Still time for a casual walk though. "So, where are we headed?"
Niklas Dragonius "I dunno," Nik replies as they hit the night air; he looks up at the towers of Goug, the plates that will eventually cover the sky, and he frowns a little bit. It's gone in an instant, though, and soon he's grinning at Morrighan all over again. "It's just a nice night for a walk. Cities like this in the evening are really great; I'm sure we'll find a nice spot to watch the sunset, or some place nice and quiet, or something really exciting."

" seem different, y'know?" Nik observes as they start walking. "You seem....kinda...I dunno, more content? Like, when we were dancing, you seemed really unhappy. But now you seem like you've found something you've been looking for for a really long time."

"/Are/ you happy?"
Morrighan Alazne "Fair enough." She had no specific destination in mind either. Perhaps just walking would do. Nodding at that, she proceeded on, walking down the sidewalk. Morrighan fell silent for a bit, Just taking in the night atmosphere that was beginning to set in. "Different?"

Glancing aside at Nik, the elf arched a brow, listening as he explained. She hadn't really thought about it. Not that sort of thing anyway. Her focus had been mostly elsewhere. At least until now, in this moment of peace.

"Content? Hmn...Perhaps. I'm not sure." She wasn't. "That whole ordeal that Souji started was a trying time for me. But I learned a great deal from it." Her smile returned upon saying that, staring up at the sky once more. "I know my life wasn't the greatest, but there's no point in constantly looking back at what was, or what could have been. I'd rather focus on what I have, and can do now."

Looking to Nik, she finished with one last statement. "I wouldn't say I'm /happy/, rather...I'm beginning to learn to appreciate the little things I took for granted before." Chuckling a bit then, Morrighan brought a hand to her cheek, smiling sheepishly. "Wow, I must sound so silly spouting all of this nonsense now."
Niklas Dragonius Nik waves his hand. "Nah. You seem more at peace with yourself, that's all. You don't really seem *silly* or anything; trust me, I've known silly, you're not it. Silly is..."

Nik folds his hands behind his back and looks up again. "Silly is kinda nice sometimes. But it wears on you, if that's all a person is; it comes off as know. Denial. You don't sound like you're denying anything; actually, you sound like you've accepted a lot more than you used to."

"I'm glad." Nik grins. "It's no fun to go through life angry. I learned that a long time ago; there's not a lot that still /gets/ to me. Murasame's kind of an outside case."

"So, hey, what's your world like? The one you come from, I mean."
Morrighan Alazne "Well that's good to know. Regarding the whole silly thing, I mean." She'd seen silly people. It always annoyed her, for those exact reasons. But she never could put her finger on it well enough to state such. Funny that this young man beside her would make it clearer.

"Yes, I suppose that is the case. I've been angry for a long, long time. I may be very late, but at least I'm here now, yes?" She asked, though turning her attention to the sidewalk, casually ambling along past various minor buildings and storefronts of little interest to herself.

The question of her world caused Morrighan to arch a brow. "My world? Hm...that is a good question. My world is...a rather normal place I suppose. Humans and Elves are the primary races that populate the world. ...And then there are the sky people, or Lufenians, but...I've never met one." A shrug was given then.

"In retrospect, it might actually be kind of boring. Though the world did go through some...strange times long before it fell." She mused, bringing a hand to her chin thoughtfully. "Something about light warriors...I can't recall. It was so very long ago."

This scene contained 21 poses. The players who were present were: Morrighan Alazne, Niklas Dragonius