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For the Cure
(2012-12-29 - 2012-12-29)
Garland holds the cure to the dark mutation cursed onto Avira. Can she, Mercade, and Maira manage to secure it?
Avira The trouble with getting something from Garland was finding him. He seemed to appear and disappear at will, chaotically making his way through whatever madness was occuring throughout the fractured worlds.

That is, unless someone happened to know one of Garland's dear apprenticies. OR happened to be someone that Garland promised he was keeping an eye upon for the purpose of "training" into a certified badass. Unfortunately, Angantyr's advice hadn't been that helpful. 'Search the desert' he said. Which desert? 'Yes.'

Since that advice, Avira had been making frequent trips throughout this area, hoping to encounter the embodiment of chaos. Sometimes she came alone. Sometimes she came with people eager to help her since this was her alleged 'cure' she was searching for. Today's one of those days she brought people with her, one of whom happens to be Mercade. Odd, due to his professed hatred of deserts, but Mercade DID recently say if there was 'anything she needed help with' she should call him.

Yes, Avira was one of those people that take people up on their promises. Same goes for Maira, who has indeed offered her help in the past.

If it is any help, the trio are astride chocobos today. Mercade, of course, would have Watson-assuming he's learned how to ride a chocobo. Avira and Maira get their own rentals.
Maira Maira has a chocobo.


Since they don't exactly know where to find Garland, Maira is going to use another tactic--make it easy for him to find /them/! By, of course, running around in mad circles on the chocobo, seeing just as fast as the bird can go.

She runs by Avira; "This--" and away.

Then back; "Is--" away again.

"THEBESTTHING!" Zooooooooom!

From the distance, "WEEEEEEE!"
Mercade Alexander Mercade still hates deserts.

But at least this time, he has a chocobo. Watson carries him much faster through the wasteland than his feet would be able to carry him, and the Detective is happy that he practiced. He doesn't even complain. Unlike some people, when he makes an offer like that, he means it. Even if it does take him into the god damned desert. "She really loves her chocobos, doesn't she?" Mercade says to Avira.

"Waaaaaark~" Watson, who is most easily identified by his bowler hat, chirps happily.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr can not ride a chocobo. There is simply one not big enough. Ever.

Instead, he follows the group like a NPC. Everytime you seem to outpace him...he is suddenly right there. Right behind you. Those yellow eyes seemingly looking RIGHT AT YOU. But especially Mercade.

/Especially/ Mercade. Not really, but ESPECIALLY Mercade.

He doesn't say much, because trying to keep up with Chocobos is a feat, and seriously, one that Ang can only do when completely silent, and not being looked at. Eventually he just stops...
Garland Chaos. Chaos is a funny thing. It is inherently flawed; it is randomness, madness, sprawling outwards without any real purpose. It cannot be controlled, only guided, and even such guiding is generally ineffective to those who are not with the perspective to understand what they do. It is an elemental force, a powerful Darkness that surges outwards, anarchistic, violent, and uncontained. In the end, Chaos brings only destruction.

The irony, of course, is that Garland, the Avatar of Chaos, the Champion of Darkness, the Ironclad Nightmare, never does anything without a greater plan in mind. The minutia of his life long-since abandoned when he became Chaos for the first time and his mortal concerns passed away into the ether, Garland has more time to plan than any creature alive, save perhaps Maleficent - whom Garland was fairly convinced spent most of her time coming up with ways to get back at people for the most ludicrously petty slights in the most absolutely absurd manner she possibly could. It was sort of charming, in its own way; it wasn't his style, but master craftsmen have to respect other masters of their craft, after all. In the time Garland has access to, he plans; he plans minutely, taking every action he takes into careful account. Everything has an end goal; everything has an overarching ending point, some great scheme that those without his perspective and time could not possibly understand. Though there may be some pettiness within his plans, it is almost always secondary to his true objective.

Which means that Angantyr and Avira must ask themselves: what /is/ Garland's true objective?

Though perhaps not at this moment exactly. The darkness rips itself open, the Corridors parting as shadows flee before one of their dark and terrible gods; he emerges, landing on the sand as silently as he did everything else, a spectre of subtle wrongness in the world. There is no weight to him, though that plate mail looks like it must be enormously heavy; there is no mass to him, though he is massive, at even keel with their chocobos. His enormous helmet turns slowly, sweeping over each of them in turn; the darkness considers them, turns them over and over, the Abyss itself locked in those eyes. Anyone who makes eye contact may...regret it. Others...likely no worse than a chill.

"Fascinating," Garland's voice echoes from within that helmet, as terrible to behold as the man himself. He folds his clawed gauntlets behind his back, calmly adopting a casual stance; only Angantyr likely had the experience to know better, though Avira had the first-hand experience to make a pretty decent guess that there was nothing casual about it.

"You have progressed far swifter than I expected," Garland admits, looking away from them for a brief moment, his gaze sweeping out over the roiling sands. "Tell me - how does it feel?"
Avira Maira's great mood brings a smile to Avira's face. She actually hadn't realized that Maira's never ridden a chocobo before. Maira did admit to going to the chocobo races (with IVO) a few days ago so Avira sort of assumed she was familiar with the birds! "Well, that's certain to get someone's attention."

She herself is a lot more careful on her chocobo since, as a mutate, she reeked of 'predator' and thus made the beast of burden rather skittish. Though adopting /that/ voice had helped calm the bird down enough that she could get herself astride its back.

"Yeah. We should go out riding for fun sometime...when all of this is over at least." Technically all of this will never be over bec-OH DEAR FARAM IT IS GARLAND.

The Iron Giant's appearance draws a brief startled look from Avira, who manages to slow her chocobo to a halt. But with his presence, that chocobo is now mightily skitish and wheels around to turn away from Garland so it would not have to gaze directly at him. Avira herself is also suddenly on guard, watching.

She knows very well how fast and how fierce this guy could move. He might not even be here for the cure but to 'test' her. Or to test Angantyr, who had come with them.

So it is actually a little confusing when he asks his question about progression and how it feels. Avira's not certain who he's talking to-in fact, she half expects it to be Angantyr. There's no way he wouldn't have known about Angantyr's change. Yet she answers anyway.

"It hurts and it feels unnatural. Yet I can see how to use it." Avira glances to Angantyr.
Maira Really, Maira loves anything that goes fast, but she certainly has a soft spot for chocobos. This was actually her first time riding one. Ever. Her excitement is well founded, at least as far as the blonde mage is concerned. Luckily, the chocobo seems to jive with her personality, happily 'wark'ing as they run, perfectly full of energy and happy to run.

The first indication of the appearance of Garland is a certain tingling of her skin and a tightening in her gut. Fear.

Maira turns her chocobo toward him, jogging back toward the others, doing a few circles around Garland. For while she acknowledges her fear, Maira is a curious creature and Garland is very puzzling.

"It feels /awesome/! If by it you mean riding a chocobo. If not, I have no idea what you are talking aboouuuut..." she sings, then joggs her chocobo on over to Angantyr, beginning to circle him happily. Being closer to him makes her feel a good bit safer.
Mercade Alexander Mercade has no idea what the hell is up with the demon dude running behind them. Around them. Staring. Every time he's about to ask, he looks to Avira, and catches Ang. Staring at him. Suddenly he doesn't want to say anything and he just sort of sits there on Watson, feeling oppressive doom around him.

As if that wasn't bad enough... Mercade feels Garland long before he sees him. Something in him rebels at the existence of Garland, something primal screaming out as the Darkness parts, and Garland appears. "Oh hell." Mercade says. "It's /that guy/."

He grimaces. This isn't going to be pleasant at all. But Garland isn't asking him that question. He can tell. He looks to Avira, expecting her to answer it. She does. He grimaces again, before glancing over to Maira, and shrugging to himself. Maybe that /would/ be the best way to handle it... But he can't bring himself to joke in the face of this. Not yet.
Angantyr Vespar He's watching you Mercade.

Angantyr looks towards Garland right as he appears, being in touch with darkness and chaos gives him a slight advantage, slight. He maintains a similar stance, but this could be because of his size, but Angantyr knows Garland...he knows that he is as likely to give them the cure, as he is to try and kill them all. For now, he watches the old man, as he ccomments on their progress, and then asks them how it feels. Angantyr grunts, "I'd prefer not having the overpowering urge to eat the monsters I kill." he quips, and shrugs, "I never had any problems channeling or working with the darkness sense you tought me how to when we first met. This form...honestly makes it too easy to do so." he continues, hiding his own feelings on the matter.

He hates it, it hinders him more than helps him, and honestly...he doesn't need the reminder of what he is.


He looks towards Maira as she rides around him, the eyes seemingly a bit...calmer towards her. Not looking like he's about to devour her...but the majority of his features are masked behind that darkness.
Garland Garland doesn't need to track Maira; she's secondary in his list of concerns. As she pads around him, he simply remains still, staring off into the distance to the right of him; what he's gazing at is impossible to say, if he's indeed gazing at anything at all. She pads around him; her chocobo likely doesn't like this AT ALL, which isn't surprising. Nothing liked being near Garland; living creatures feared and hated him, as well they should, instinctively aware of the shadows he ruled. Even if Maira is mostly oblivious to it, that chocobo is probably going to pad away from him faster than she'd like to get back to the safety of the herd.

Mercade is secondary in Garland's list of concerns; he already got a gaze. He's interesting, perhaps, but...Garland had an objective at the moment. Mercade elicts a bleak, terrible chuckle, a laugh lacking in any sort of amusement or entertainment or anything at all like joy and happiness and light. He doesn't correct him, of course; if Garland's name isn't said once during the course of the exchange, he would be tremendously surprised.

Avira answers; then Angantyr answers. Garland nods, slowly, still staring at the horizon; he taps his massive metal claw against his massive metal wrist, a slow, deliberate clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Clang. Each one is spaced just enough, just enough to set people on edge, like the footsteps of some great and calamitous atrocity of a monster; just enough to underscore his words. A simple means of elicting a response. Not hard to see through...but certainly difficult to resist as tensions build.

"Very well," Garland replies slowly, turning back to face them - which probably doesn't sit well with anyone. "I have your 'cure', of course. But indulge an old man for a moment."

"Why do you wish to be 'cured'? And why do your.../adorable little friends/..." The words are like a slur in his mouth, a foul sort of taste he can't quite get out of the roof of his mouth no matter how he tries. "...wish you to be 'cured'?"
Avira Seems Garland was interested in hearing from everyone who has been touched by this whole unfortunate saga.

Her chocobo continues to turn and even tries to dart away before Avira pulls on its reins. After several more seconds of this, Avira hops off of the bird of burden and carefully turns the chocobo away. She holds onto the reins tightly so it doesn't bolt completely. It's, ultimately, a lot better than sitting on a constantly turning bird and getting dizzy.

Gradually she grows more nervous at his slow, deliberate pondering. She remains tensed up, ready to defend herself and fight at any moment, since Garland was completely unpredictable.

He demands to know why she wants to be cured and even asks the same of her 'friends.' That inflection isn't lost on her either-apparently Garland is very anti-friend!

"For one..." she says, "I don't want to be a dark knight. I don't want some dark lord forcibly recruiting me as a minion-while I've been like this, there have been attempts. I have no intention of serving those who destroy worlds." Yeah. She went there. In front of Garland. Though that particular embodiment of chaos has never expressed any desire for her to join him before so it shouldn't be too problematic.

"I'd also like to be human again, not a chimera. I put all my work into bettering myself as a human and I'd like to stay as one."
Maira % Indeed, Maira's bird is not at ALL pleased about being close to Garland. The chocobo wishes to bolt, and his rider understands that feeling well enough. Still, she's not going to run. Yes, Garland is a font of darkness. But you know what you need in the darkness? Some fire. And more, /why/ is Garland a font of darkness? What /is/ he? How did he come to be this way? So very many questions.

Maira leads her bird over to Avira, settling in beside her as she looks toward Garland. She does not quite make eye contact, remembering the promise she made to Faruja. In response to the question, Maira answers; "Because it is what they want. If they wanted to stay as they are I'd support that too. I'm confident that they will both...remain themselves, despite the darkness," she replies, looking toward Avira, flashing her a warm and reassuring smile before she turns the same look on Angantyr.

"Though I do think the wings are cool..." she adds in a mumble, reaching forward to sooth her chocobo with pettins, which is probably the only reason the thing doesn't flee as fast as it can.
Mercade Alexander Mercade grates, gritting his teeth as Garland intentionally moves in a precise manner to create maximum unpleasantness. He has the superior position and he's exploiting it for all he's worth. Mercade narrows his eyes, a dangerous consideration entering his thoughts... But for now, he decides otherwise.

The answer from the demon causes Mercade to glance over at him. Is this another one who's been affected like her? But the changes don't look anything alike...

He looks back to Avira, watching as she answers Garland in kind. Garland, however, asks why her friends want her to be cured. "Because this isn't her natural state. Whatever it is you guys want to prove, you're just undermining it by causing these artificial changes to her. Her heart doesn't belong to the darkness. It never will. Even if you consider this some kind of victory, it's just going to be hollow."
Angantyr Vespar "I am not here for my cure. There is only one cure right?" Angantyr says, crossing his arms. "It is for Avira. And I already said what I have to say on the matter of why I stepped in to take her place. She didn't deserve what she got, and I am going to right the wrong I committed on behalf of the Shadow Lords." he says simply, and maintains a ready stance...and looks around himself. What did Garland have up his sleave...and why was he dragging this out?

"And I am here also because her heart isn't one that is full of darkness, nor will it ever be no matter how many times you send half rate shadow lords after her." he comments, "Ember is a pathetic Shadow Lord. Did Seith send her, or did LEXUS send her to die?"
Garland Garland listens carefully, taking each thought in turn. Forcibly recruited as a dark knight? Hn. The thought amused him greatly, and not in any way that was kind. Anyone who needed forcible recruitment was clearly some sort of screaming incompetent, someone who lacked the sheer ability to make the puppet strings dance the way Garland could. Why force people, when you could simply plan around them acting the way you knew they would? The answers of Maira and Mercade more or less confirmed that; 'because it's what they want.' 'Because it's natural'. Again, a quiet, hollow chuckle echoes out from that horrible armor, carrying far further than it has any right to. He laughs right up until Angantyr asks him about Ember; then, eerily, the tapping and the laughter immediately cease, his motions freeze with almost mechanical precision. There is silence for a long moment.

"And what, Apprentice, makes you think you have any right to ask me a question?" Garland rumbles, displeasure edging into his tone. A moment later, he holds out his massive gauntlet; in it is a delicate-looking glass vial, filled with a strange liquid. It looks like he could crush it with less effort than it took one to sneeze; tiny. Inconsequential. Fragile.

"Yes, indeed there is only one cure. I could manufacture more, of course; I have had ample time to study it, examine it, tear it apart piece by piece to understand its workings. Given enough time, I could likely produce a spell of the same result, but that is time and effort I have no desire to waste." Garland closes his gauntlet around the curse, sliding it back behind his back. "One cure, for two people."

"You wish to take the cure. I will give it to you freely; it amuses me to do so. But there is a single condition, children - if you wish to take this cure, you must decide now which of you will receive it."

"I will administer whichever the four of you choose to receive it." Garland waves his hand gently at them. "Choose wisely."
Avira Son of a bitch. So much for following up on Mickey's suggestion.

"...why not just give us the cure without letting someone ingest it?" Avira's really wishing she didn't bring people with her now. She's also really wishing Angantyr didn't come along too. "I'm pretty sure I can find someone else who has the time and effort to spend on duplicating that small amount of liquid. We both get what we want-we the cure, and you without any more wasted time."

She looks towards Angantyr for a long time. She didn't want him to live as a monster. Avira didn't want /herself/ to live as a monster. More importantly, she didn't want to make this decision right the hell now.
Garland "Because that would miss the essential point of the entire exercise," Garland replies languidly. He resumes his gentle, unnerving tapping; heightening tension, at this point, made it seem as if the clock was running...and it sort of was, though they likely had no idea of that.
Maira "Only one cure?" Maira asks, looking toward Angantyr, her expression filled with worry and confusion. "Surely if there is one there can be another," she adds, hopeful as she looks between Angantyr and Garland. She understands that nothing is free. Garland will expect something. But what will be his price?

At mention of Ember, Maira shakes her head a little, resisting the urge to rub her wrists where the skin is still a little raw from being changed by the Shadow Lord (lady?). It isn't a very nice feeling, being bate. Understatement.

When Garland produces the vial, she looks at it carefully. So small, but it will mean so much to Avira or Angantyr. Now, when Garland says he /could/ make another, but he finds it a waste of his time, Maira frowns deeply. Of course. This is a game to him too, isn't it? Are all the Shadow Lords like this?

As Garland give them the rules of the game, Maira purses her lips. Well, she knows which way everyone will vote. It is very likely she'll be the deciding vote. This just makes her sick. Angantyr will continue to be as he is, hiding away because most people would fear him. He'll never lead a normal life. Unless...its a potion. Maybe, just maybe, with enough time she could come up with a cure of her own? But it is only a maybe. She doesn't like her friends lives riding on a maybe.

At Avira's question, she looks toward her sadly. She just knew Garland was going to say no. He likely enjoys them being at such a disadvantage. He won't give an inch without taking. "Is there anything I can offer to change the exercise?"
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr looks at Garland for a moment...

He, instead of looking annoyed or upset... just smiles. Garland just knows he is, because he just basicly gave him free reign to completely murder Ember.

"Avira." he says, without even skipping a beat, crossing his arms and looking away.
Maira Maira looks toward Angantyr then. As much as she wants him to be free of this as well, she knows there is no other choice. To choose Angantyr would be to make his sacrifice pointless.

Maira takes a deep breath, letting it out slow. She nods to Angantyr, hoping he understands that she isn't going to give up trying to help him either.

Avira Now Avira looks angry. Garland just wanted to toy with the two of them.

"NO DAMN IT!" Avira suddenly blurts out, angry, "Angantyr you asshole, how dare you just vote to leave yourself like this! You want to live your life as a beast? As LEXUS's science project?"

The mutate lets go of the chocobo's reins and it immediately bolts off into the desert. Avira doesn't care. She storms over to Angantyr and grabs him, shaking him. "LEXUS is gathering data from YOU! If you stay like this, you are helping HIM!" More angry shaking, "Me, I'm just water under the bridge!"

Avira lets him go. "I can hold out a little longer. There has to be another way for me."
Mercade Alexander Mercade narrows his eyes as he listens to the term of Garland's argument. "Of course, nothing is every easy, is it." He says. He thinks for a moment, looking between Angantyr and Avira.

Both of them are affected?

He listens to Avira explode at this, as Angantyr and Avira seem to desire each other to be cured, and his eyes narrow. "So that's the game, is it?" He says. He looks to Avira and Angantyr. "One cure, two possible options. Why is the cure being offered in the first place? This is being made rather simple..."

He points to the vial in Garland's gauntlet. "I admit, it's brilliant, even if you're a cruel bastard. You're taking pleasure in watching them agonize over which one will be cured. That's the real goal isn't it? You're wanting them to tear each other up over it, lose their cool, and force them to choose poorly."
Garland The horrible, incredibly powerful, nigh-unstoppable juggernaut of dark energy and darker designs, enjoying the suffering of those he sees as nothing more than ants? Inconceivable.

Garland's head turns to each person in turn as they make their votes, listening to them silently and impassively. He listens to Angantyr, knowing full well what Angantyr plans to do; his silence is, after all, consent. It had always been that way in his tutelage; if he didn't express direct disapproval, he probably was fine with it. It's why Angantyr got along with him so well; Garland was actually a quite liberal teacher, once one figured out the subtle vagaries of his moods. You just had to realize that the only things forbidden where things Garland /told/ you were forbidden, and that everything else was...tacitly approved of. Hell, even if it was forbidden, if you were clever about might even get awa with it.

Garland focuses in on Mercade a moment later. Then he chuckles again. "You are a cunning one, are you not? Tell me, then - if there are but two options, which choice is the /poor/ choice?"
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr is shook, he doesn't look very moved, though he looks towards Avira as she shouts at him. Impassive, uncaring...or whatever it is he rumbles, it sounds like a sigh.

Of course now she was going to be...difficult about all of this. Worse, Garland was taking some pleasure in this...figures.

He's about to argue...then Mercade points out something. He takes a long look at the man, trying to get a feeling on him. However, he can't detect any falsehood in his statement...he wants them to get loose their cool.


The mark on his forehead, he remembers, now. He was trying to claw his own skin off when it was first put on him, the changes in him were violent and painful.

"...Damn it." he finally says, "DAMN IT!" Angantyr was really angry now. He had just played into LEXUS hand now, it's a realization that hits him like a ton of bricks.
Avira As she grows angrier and angrier, Avira's head starts to throb. Breaking away from Angantyr, she reaches up and grabs onto the slightly glowing crystal hanging around her neck. Mercade would recognize this crystal...if only because he saw her wearing it earlier.

"See?" she grumbles as Angantyr starts to swear. "He's no ally of yours, Angantyr."

A growl escapes her. "I'm not even sure if it's a real cure anymore, Mercade. This could just be another trick to toy with us." What reason did LEXUS have to tell the truth anyway? Even that might have just been a trick to get another subject out of Angantyr and exploit his feelings for her.

Her hand tightens around the crystal, "I want both of us to receive it."
Mercade Alexander Mercade's eyes work as he flicks between the three. Garland, Angantyr, and Avira.


"Whatever it is, it's feeding off of their emotions. I've seen what it's doing to Avira, and I can only assume it's doing the same to Angantyr. If they lost their cool, they'd backslide even farther. you're teaching them a lesson while testing them at the same time." He points at the pair. "Casual observation of the two subjects shows a marked difference in their natures. One of them appears to be an animal-human hybrid, while the other looks decidedly more demonic in nature. While I'm no expert on whatever's been done to them, how are we supposed to expect that the cure would even /work/ on either of them? The results are completely different."

He shakes his head. "Focus, Avira. The cure has to be real. Otherwise, he has no room to bargain with and thus undermines any future interactions. He's laid out the rules of the game. The cure has to be real. The problem is he's trying to maneuver one of you into sacrificing themselves for the other. If the wrong person is chosen, the cure probably won't work... or it will do even more damage, and it will only cause you more pain... And I'm also willing to bet that there's only enough there for one of you."

Mercade looks to Garland. "You want to know what the poor choice is? Making one while you're totally pissed off."
Garland Garland holds up his free hand, holding up three claws. "The cure is real. Your little friend is absolutely right; if it were not real, I would not waste my time."

"Second: he is correct. There is only enough for one choice." He didn't say one /person/...he said one /choice/. Interesting use of words.

"Third: I always have an ulterior motive. When I am dealing with my apprentice, there is always a lesson. Always. Remember that." Garland's hand closes, disappearing back behind his back to resume that really really REALLY annoying tapping. "Your suffering is amusing to me, but I assure you, it is not worth this much of my time or effort. My apprentice can tell you in no uncertain terms that there is nothing I hate more than wasting my time and effort."
Maira Maira frowns deeply. She doesn't know what to do, but she is inclined to agree with Mercade, nodding a little. "I think Mercade is likely right..." she adds.

Then she just looks at Garland. She tilts her head slightly, her brow furrowed, just...watching, looking as though she is trying to puzzle something out.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr looks between the members of the group for a moment.

He looks down, trying to think about this...he had to keep calm, and think about this logically. He rubs a claw over his nose, trying to best think about this through.

"If I get the cure, LEXUS' experiment is derailed...if you get it, you are back to normal." Which puts her into great danger, because of the darkness. Angantyr grunts...this is getting...frustraiting.

Mostly because you require thoughts out of his player who just worked a ten hour shift. <Goosehonk> you Garland.
Avira That tapping was starting to get really annoying, Avira realizes. Something about that worried her. Seemed to just scream urgency. Her ears swivel forward to listen to the tapping. It doesn't help and she winds up folding her ears down as she tries to control her anger, focusing on Mercade's words.

Avira falls silent, looking pensive and considering. Making the wrong choice would doom...well someone. Maybe both of them. She still doesn't feel entirely convinced about the cure, but...

"Well..." she says sounding resigned, "Well if the others seem to think so...wait."

A VERY long pause follows.

Avira holds out a clawed hand. "You didn't say just one person had to be chosen. So the choice is that Angantyr and I will be the ones who will receive the cure, since those are all the people the four of us have picked. Mercade, I'm going to assume you voted for me because I noticed you didn't vote."
Garland Garland chuckles. He turns his hand to the side; the sparkling syringe falls to the ground, landing gently in the sand.

Then he raises his foot...



...and steps backwards, the Corridor of Darkness tearing itself open behind him, the shadows fleeing in his wake. "Very good." Then he simply...vanishes, the Corridor sealing behind him.
Angantyr Vespar "...Seriously that guy." Angantyr says, "I thought it was going to be more complicated." he says...and realizes that he might be thinking TOO MUCH LIKE HIM. OH GOD.

"I think someone with gentler hands should pick it up.
Avira Avira's eyes go wide when she sees him drop it. "Wait, don't throw it on the grou-" He's raising his foot and right away she starts to charge. At least until he steps backwards into a corridor of darkness, to which Avira immediately puts on the airbrakes. Going through one of those corridors in this state would be suicide.

"What do you mean MORE COMPLICATED?!" Avira suddenly whirls on Angantyr and socks him in the gut. "As in what? Another obstacle course?!" Gritting her teeth, she tries to rein her anger back in since it was only stoking the darkness like this. "That felt like cheating. But I don't care. Nobody plays by the rules."

Avira looks down at the syringe, apparently afraid to pick it up.
Mercade Alexander "I was trying to get more information out of him before I voted. It looks like you managed to figure out the answer, though." Mercade laughs. "I'm glad that everything worked out." He looks to the vial. "The problem was never 'who gets the cure'. The problem was the trickery surrounding it. Everything seems to have been engineered to in order to try to instill the maximum amount of anguish into both you and your friend... And also, perhaps, to teach us a lesson." He looks back to Avira, and hops off of Watson. "Watson, don't you dare run off or I swear..."

"Waaaaark wark wark!" Watson replies, merrily. He doesn't give any damns.

Mercade sighs, and just pops over to pick up the syringe. "Okay, look." Mercade holds it up. "We've got the cure. Let's make good use of it."
Angantyr Vespar Avira hits Ang in the gut.

He doubles over, because he isn't armored, expecting it, or anything. He coughs after a moment, because she's /hella strong/. It should be illegal to be that strong. He is surprised that Avira isn't sweating and flexing and asking him to feel her muscles all the goddamn time...or drinking milk.

"I meant...the answer.." cough, "And that is the point, Avira."
Avira "Why didn't you tell me?" Avira...nudges Mercade. No, the detective does not get a punch to the gut like Angantyr does. Angantyr is a shadow beast, he can deal with getting punched in the stomach. "Yeah, the lesson that following rules is for chumps. Speaking of that..."

Avira tries to not interact with Watson so he doesn't run away like her own chocobo did.

"We're going to take that to Merlin. Maira, you can probably help him with your alchemy skills to see if we can duplicate it."

Angantyr clarifies that he meant the answer. "Well if it was like Mercade said, he was probably expecting us to fight each other over who doesn't get cured. Instead of going for simple."
Maira Maira nods, smiling. "Absolutely Avira!" she says, excited to help.
Angantyr Vespar Angantyr grunts as he stands up fully.

"Well, then, if that is all. Call me when Merlin has duplicated the cure." he says, coldly.

He is gone, you can see him over a hill...before he vanishes a brief time later.

It is unsettling, especially for Mercade. WHO IS BEING LOOKED RIGHT AT.
Mercade Alexander "I didn't.... really have the chance to talk to you about it." He sighs. "Sorry, Avira." He is told that they'retaking the cure to someone who can make more. "It's a plan." He turns, pocketing the syringe. "I'll hold the cure until we get there." He says.

This scene contained 39 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Avira, Maira, Angantyr Vespar, Garland