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Return To Twilight
(2014-03-26 - 2014-03-27)
Mercade meets with someone he never expected to see again: Chita. They exchange some information and discuss the future.
Mercade Alexander Mercade Alexander is walking casually through Traverse Town. The place is generally safe compared to most locations. The Heartless don't appear here often, and several groups make use of it as a home base, rendering it a dangerous place to make trouble.

Mercade is headed to one of those places, VALKYRI HQ. He's whistling and carrying a basket in one hand. Maybe he's planning to visit Avira.
Chita As chance would have it a somewhat recognizable figure stands still aways ahead, closer to VALKYRI HQ than Mercade was, but not quite blocking the path. Chita, of all types, stood there dressed in a rather nice business suit. Black coat, tie, pants and even some relatively expensive-looking dress shoes. He always did have a habit of enjoying clothing though. He had his hand on a sword hanging at his hip, wrapped in place by what looked to be leather cords. Not a lot, just enough to hold the crossguard.

Blind as he was, he almost seemed like he was looking, or listening to something, perhaps trying to figure out where he was now or where he was going.

The hand on the sword, however, seemed more at rest than ready to attack anything, palm pressing down on the sword so the blade stuck out behind him, handle under his palm loosely held with his long fingers. Mercade hadn't seen him, of course, since the Black Beast incident at Narshe. Might not have even heard of the things since, either. Then again...

It's possible they won't even see each other. Chita certainly wouldn't see him. Not with his own eyes anyways, which were still wrapped in the black silk blindfold he used for such.
Mercade Alexander Mercade, however, pays attention to his surroundings. He squints as he sees a familiar face (and ears) near the HQ, and he draws forward, saying cautiously, "Chita? Is that you?" Last he checked, she was devoured by a horrifying dog-beast-heartless.
Chita Suddenly a voice spoke his name and Chita ... didn't turn. Instead, his hand on the sword shifted a bit before saying, "Mercade? Hello. It has been a while. When /was/ the last time we spoke?" He couldn't quite recall. Narshe, perhaps. Funny running into him, though, considering he'd come to speak with Avira. "Narshe I think. Thank you for trying. Most assume I am lying all the time... despite being cursed by Hades with being unable to deceive."
Mercade Alexander Mercade blinks, and he shakes his head. "Look, I'm... really sorry. I don't know why you tried to do what you did, but we couldn't save you. It's..." Mercade looks away, a haunted look in his features. "This isn't the way I wanted it to be. Look..." He looks back up to Chita. "So what happened to you? Are you a ghost or...?"
Chita "Huh?"

Chita was confused for a good few moments before he said, "Save me? oh... I think you are confused. I did what I did though... because I was under the impression I could get to the hearts inside the beast in that fashion... to calm them somehow, to find them in the darkness, get them to stop being so upset and possibly find a way back to the light. That... did not work despite my months of planning towards it. And no, I am no ghost." Chita laughed at that, "I suppose you would not have known, but I was apparently transported to that womans place in Shinra's building, locked there for some time in some kind of... sense-altering room? I am not good with technology. I am perfectly alive. ... well, as perfectly as a blind man can be."
Mercade Alexander Mercade's expression brightens a bit. "Oh, you're... all right? That's goof to hear! I'm glad you made it... Everyone thought you were a goner." He straightens a bit and rubs his chin as he thinks about what Chita says. "Has a Heartless ever... talked to you?" Mercade asks Chita.
Chita "Talked to me?" He thought about that and then thought about that everyone thought he was gone. "I can only imagine there was a celebration, given who was there or found out such." That earned a small sigh out of him. "No, though. I have never been spoken to by a heartless that I recall. I have, however... heard the hearts that were inside the weapon. In fact, I am one of... three people who did, the other two being the one who made it herself and a girl I know named Aerith who heard them second hand. That is why I thought I could rescue them... save them from going onto the next life, whenever that was, or whatever it was, with regrets and sorrows. That did not happen, though, and now..."

He trailed off and didn't finish that, obviously not happy about it. "Do you know where Avira is? I had intended to speak with her. I have no desire to hurt her or anyone else around you, if that is a worry."
Mercade Alexander Mercade shakes his head. "Bitterness doesn't suit you, Chita. People didn't celebrate your presumed demise. Most people were rather sad about it."

He tilts his head a bit as he explains himself. "I've never heard a Heartless talk. They've always behaved like animals to me. Very dangerous animals." He pauses, and considers. "I suppose if you heard them communicate one could speak with them, but what would you do? I don't think pop psychology and positive thinking would help much. Generally the quickest way I've ever seen to end their pain would be to dispatch them back to the Darkness... Or if you know someone with a Keyblade, have them handle the problem permanently. Even the most patient and wise man would have had a devastatingly hard time trying to sort out what the people who became that Beast went through."

He looks over towards VALKYRI. "As far as Avira is concerned... I was hoping to see her myself. But she gets out and about a lot." He shrugs. "I'm not worried about you, Chita. Avira can handle herself. I think she's a better fighter than /I/ am. All I have is a shiny stick to hit things with."
Chita Biterness was not fun. He wasn't attempting to be bitter, though. If anything he hated that. He didn't say that, though. what he said was, "I... never would have thought such. As it stands I would have only thought perhaps one person in the world would be sad if I was gone. Maybe." He halfway mouthed it was nice to know before changing the topic again, suddenly feeling awkward. "I would have done the same thing I tried to do when that happened. Get to them and lead them from the darkness. I do not know how to explain it in short, but..."

As he spoke he moved closer and leaned against a nearby wall, somehow avoiding smaller things in his way despite the blindfold. "I think I know what it feels like to lose yourself to the darkness. I stood against a powerful witch named Maleficent a while back and she nearly cast me into the darkness. My heart started to fade that way and a companion of mine... acted as a light for me, helped me back somehow. It all seemed like a dream, but I was able to come back. Eventually I realized that maybe I could be that light for those hearts trapped in the darkness that was the Black Beast. It may sound silly to you, or anyone else but me, but it seemed like the right thing to do. Rhiannon had stated it needed more hearts to be completed, I wanted to stop her, but my options were tied by my not wanting to kill even her. It also seemed like it may work... if I got the hearts to work together, to destroy the weapon and darkness from the inside, that they would strengthen. That perhaps... they could grow, and complete the weapon. That they could be happy that something good came out of their situation and be willing to work to save the worlds. I know that's what I would feel if I were in that situation."

He paused at that, thoughtfully. "At least... I would like to think i would feel that way. But now... Angantyr destroyed the weapon, and though no hearts remain, the misery and pain from that experience, unhelped, remains frozen in perpetuity. That is why I came to speak with Avira. There may be a way to solve that, but I need help. And while many probably have no interest in helping me... or trusting me... I still have to try, yeah?"
Mercade Alexander Mercade looks at Chita for a few seconds as he speaks, stydying him as he tells Mercade his viewpoint on things. His expression is contemplative for a bit, and his eyebrow raises at some of the things he says. "I think I know the feeling myself. Having bonds with people you trust and care about are important... But these people... They were hurt deeply by Rhiannon. Horrible things were done to them. Even if you might be willing to forgive such things..."

Mercade looks away for a moment, a haunted look crossing his face. "They say that forgiveness is divine, but even this causes me to wonder."

He flicks his eyes back to Chita. "Maybe you could have reached them. Maybe not. I don't know how it could have played out. We can do what if all day... But in the end, I think it was for the best that the Hearts were released. Now they can go on to... wherever they go. Heaven, maybe."

He shrugs at the assertion. "Maybe Avira will help you. Maybe not. I think it would be best if you argued your case personally."
Chita "You misunderstand me on one important thing." as he said that, Chita dug around his coat and pulled out a small business card. "I have never forgiven her. In fact, my dislike for the woman has only grown more and more. It saddens me... though it is my fault in the end, that my good nature was abused. I put myself in that position and tried to prevent any more loss of life after I got involved. The options I had, as I saw them, were to kill her, to destroy the weapon, to detain her, or to help her. Ignoring her was not an option. I could not bring myself to kill her... and I thought about it long and hard. Strangely... I still wonder if that was not an outcome she had considered. There was... no fear of death in her that I could see. So many times I could have killed her and she never seemed to care. Makes me wonder if she, too, has had dealings with Hades in the past. Still... killing not an option, if I simply destroyed the weapon she would start over. If I detained her, jailed her in some measure, my wondering of her dealings with Hades led me to assume she would simply get out and keep going."

Pushing off the wall he offered the card to Mercade. "The information to the owner of a nearby jail capable of housing mages. After she betrayed my misplaced trust the last time, I gave her one final chance to own up to it, turn over her research and possibly earn herself a reduced sentence. She declined, and now she is in jail. The option I chose... was to try and complete it myself, and in the process save the hearts in the weapon, if I could. Save them, get them working together, strengthen themselves and possibly destroy the weapon from inside or convert it to a weapon of light. Failed or not, it's all moot. If anyone wishes to hold me accountable for not jailing her sooner I will not fight them. All that is left of her damnable project... what she did not deliver to the one who commissioned it, is the weapon I have at my side. The physical manifestation of what is left of the Black Beast struck down. No hearts, no lives... only memories that wish to see Rhiannon dead and nothing else."
Mercade Alexander Mercade just kind of looks at Chita. "So you're hoping to spite her by completing her research and using it to do good with it? I don't think that's going to matter. She did it before, and she can do it again anytime. How are you planning to actually stop her?"

He pauses. "You say she's in jail?" He thinks. "So what are you going to do if she escapes and just does this all over again?"

The next thing Chita says causes him to just stare. "I... I don't think that's how it works, Chita. I mean, I'm no expert, but have you ever seen a Heartless get talked to and suddenly become good? This makes no sense, man."

His gaze is drawn to the blade, then. "And you say... That's what's left? I thought it was destroyed. That's some kind of memory?"
Chita "I don't know how it works, Mercade. In fact, I don't know if anyone does. No one knows everything and when I've asked around about heartless, the limited information I received was in the form of an living story book from Merlin." He sighed. "I do not know what is capable of working in this new world, or what is not. But if I just give up, or only accept what has already been done as possible, what's the point? I have to try Mercade. I can't just... close my eyes and say 'Well, that's that, time to give up and kill everything because nothing can be redeemed'."

Yes, he was a bit irate at being mocked for his efforts. "Not to spite her. She has no interest in making more. At least, I do not think she does. All she wants is knowledge, she cares not what happens from her research, what it's used for or any such. I think we could have used her brilliance for the side of light if we had something to offer that moral-free research doesn't. However, I am not bright enough to figure out what. I tried. And if she gets out... I will return her back to jail. It is either that... or kill her, and I refuse to do that."

"Besides, I am pretty sure it is not her that is going to be doing it again... but a man named Garland. The one who gave another named Kaydin another version of the weapon that was destroyed, completed... hungry. He spoke of you trying to help him. It is not her you have to worry about for the weapon... it is Garland, whoever they are. And yes, this is what is left. When Angantyr destroyed it as he did, the pain and suffering came back tangibly in the form of some monster. The monster followed us from Narshe to Goug and attacked the Shinra building. When it fell, this sword remained. A squabble broke out between an Archadian Judge, a girl named Leida, Angantyr who had somehow snuck into the building and myself to get the weapon. I escaped with it and now I seem to have gotten those inside, or the memories of those inside, to calm down and work with me for the time being. Though how long that will last... remains to be seen."
Mercade Alexander Mercade nods. "I guess I can't argue with that. Just... if you try again, don't sacrifice yourself, okay? No matter how you do it, if you kill yourself to accomplish something, it's a net loss because you're still dead. You can't help anyone else when you're dead."

Mercade gets another strange look on his face for a moment after saying that, but just shrugs, shaking his head and nods. "Kaydin... Yeah, I met him. He's in a tough position and I'm not looking forward to what's going to happen. Everyone I've talked to says he's basically doomed. And he's more than willing to dig a hole if he wants with that Keyblade of his."
Chita Chita nodded at that and shook his head a little as if clearing a thought from it or something. "I will... keep that in mind. I have to be honest, I have not had much at all to live for since Hades' curse stripped me of a lot. My home, my job in the nation... truth told I should have turned in my Judge Sword some time back. It is only by the grace of the Judgemaster there that I still get my stipend and keep my job." It was strange talking about that. He'd never admitted that to anyone, even Aerith... that he'd been suicidally reckless since that happened, knowing he was damned forever regardless. "Even if I die, there will be nothing left for me after. Damned to wander... and spirits, I know, can still affect the world. So even if this body falls, I think if I try hard enough, I should still be able to effect this world." And then he went quiet again, ignoring the subject of Kaydin and left to his own thoughts, brought up by the conversation. In the end, it didn't matter at all. Live or die, the world still moved on and the others around that were trying to save the worlds would either succeed or fail without him all the same.
Mercade Alexander Mercade folds his arms. "That's a pretty terrible thing to happen to you. I'm sorry to hear that... But you know... Hades is only a God of Death. He can't decide how you live, and isn't that what's really important?"

Mercade looks away, then. "Also, about Garland... I've met him, once." He pauses. "This kind of thing isn't even close to the harm he can do to people should he choose to. I don't know anything about what he really wants. He has a lot of power, and he's obviously dedicated to some kind of evil... But what, I don't know."

Suddenly, he looks up at the twilit sky. "Where /is/ Avira, anyway?" He asks no one in particular."
Chita "My own fault in the end. I trusted Hades to keep the spirit of the bargain I made, that the favor be lawful upon the land I stood upon at the time he asked... not that I knew he was going to wait until I stood on his land and order me to kill you. I chose that path over killing you and being free... so I cannot lament too much. Even still I would rather be damned than to live and die knowing I was responsible for anothers death in such a fashion." A small cough and then the remark about Garland.
What DID Chita know about him? Absolutely nothing. He still didn't know that the one he saw in Baron was Garland. He simply knows the name. "I could not say. What he intends to do with it, or how... eventually I will find out, and take care of it. Have to. Failed to control what happened with Rhiannons research once... now that it went to Garland, he's the next step on that list. I may have a way to reach him, though. What would I do at that point, however, I remain uncertain."
Mercade Alexander "Well..." Mercade shrugs. "I certainly can't argue with your decision. I certainly like being alive!" He chuckles. "I'm sorry you had to suffer for it too, but well..." He shrugs again. "You're the one who made the deal, man. There's legends about people who renege on the God of Death. You got off light. Make the best of what you've got. Getting all depressed is just going to get you killed. And then you're going to be a ghost, and I hear that usually puts a crimp on things." He scratches the back of his head.

He shakes his head as Chita mentions Garland. "Be really, really careful. The most dangerous enemy is the one you don't know anything about. And Garland seems to make a habit of making sure no one knows anything about him."
Chita "Of course."

It's kind of strange for him, that he can see with the sword. Yet, what the sword cannot see... is itself. He pulled out the weapon to try and look at it as if thinking about something, then his expression went to confused before he laughed a little. "How funny. I never even realized... not that it matters, but that is still funny enough." He didn't elaborate and said, "If I do ever go forward with the offer I received to speak with Garland... well, offer is a strong word, suggestion that I do such, if I want to learn more... I think I may go out of my way to try and find out more about him first. There has to be something somewhere. He had to come from some world... at some point. It is simply a matter of figuring out which, and when, and then going from there."
Mercade Alexander "Well... IF you have any luck, let me know. I've been working on dealing with a lot of stuff, but if there's any way I can help, just ask." Mercade tips his hat. "I should get going. Avira isn't here, she'd have ambushed me by now."
Chita Staying silent for a few moments, when Mercade finally excuses himself, Chita nods. "Very well then. If she isn't here... then I suppose I will head elsewhere." And he does that, turning and wandering off elsewhere.

This scene contained 22 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Chita