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Moment to Moment
(2013-01-15 - 2013-01-15)
A short interlude while onboard the imperial Arcadian airship Alexander leads to social links and partial deafness in equal measure.
Riku Surrounded by strangers and strange surroundings, Riku nevertheless finds himself getting more sleep than he is accustomed to.

The nightmares had somewhat lost their grip ever since the dream about the storm and the raft and-- something else he can't quite recall but they still lingered when he fell alseep. This one was just a variation on a theme.

He was standing in the midst of a cracked and broken street but everything around him was sheathed in a dense layer of fog. Distantly he could feel the heartless on all sides. The breaking of windows. A phantom car swum past him in the air thick as syrup, baleful red headlights illuminating echoes.

Riku could pick out the TDA here and there, single frames of an overexposed camera that disappeared when the headlights were gone. He turned his back on the afterimages and walked into the fog.

The fog cleared around burning houses. The entire city of Rabanastre was burning, the heartless flowing out of every alleyway, every road, descending from the sky. Riku was sitting on a nearby building, memory interposed by nightmare as he sat and watched Angantyr battle Judge Magister Gabranth. He sat there, hands braced on the roof, as the mercenary's mace rose and fell.. rose and fell.. rose

The teenager jerks his head back slightly, breaking back into reality as if he had been pushed into freezing waters by his wandering thoughts. He knew better than to dwell on his nightmares. Riku grimaces, looking down and around at himself. Slowly, recognition started to filter back into his brain. He had been practicing, going through the second or (third?) sword kata when he had paused for a moment to reflect on getting a better sleep than usual. Then--

Riku frowns. He'd slipped into a fugue again. He had thought he was done with those. He hadn't suffered a sudden lapse in time for almost a month. The teenager wipes the cold and clammy sweat from his arms and shoulders, wiping his face with a hand as he clears his throat and wanders aimlessly around in a small circle.

When his stomach decides to rejoin the rest of him and the adrenaline shock of lost time starts to wear off, he busies himself with re-orientating himself to the room before starting on another sequence. He needed something to focus on before he lost his grip again.
Gabranth was.. somewhere. It was a big ship. Most likely the Judge Magister was busy writing up some documents and soon have to go check in from medical again to see about his injuries. For the time being since after the evening hours, he had not be seen by many.

Though Zargabaath knew where he was and that was all that mattered.

The Judge Magister also may be soon heading that way, all depending on what doctors had to say, but for now Riku doesn't have to worry about Gabranth, he may have to worry about curious troops or the other Judges though.
Zargabaath Judge Magister Zargabaath's orders to his crew have been clear. See to their guest's needs and requests to the best of their ability, but do not be stifling about it. Though Riku is a child by the reckonings of New Ivalice standards, he should not be treated nor coddled as one.

Thus, the crew is aware of Riku's presence in the training halls. Though largely abandoned due to being in the middle of a shift-change, there are a few who are either sparring with each other or practicing sleight-of-hand against the practice dummies. Some are even preparing for their turn or cooling down after their excersize is complete.

The majority of those present are too focused on what they are doing to notice Riku's pause and subsequent increase in nervous activity. A pair of crewmembers cooling down, however, do notice and share a brief nod. One heads out, a towel still draped over his neck and shoulders, and the other grabs a clean towel and leans on a railing close to Riku's practice area. "You alright, son?" He asks Riku, holding the towel as if prepared to give it over should the youth need it.
Riku Perhaps out of self consciousness, which is always a factor whenever Riku loses a chunk of time, he mislays the rest of the sequence and there is the immediate flare of frustration that results. His thoughts spiral around and around on eachother. He knows the pattern backwards and forwards, but it's not something to be done when he's somewhat tied up in knots.

He had the same problem, or a similar one at least, when he had briefly visited Balamb Garden.

He didn't belong here. He should go. He should really --Riku rubs the bridge of his nose and startles.

His body jumps as if he had been physically shocked as his attention is drawn like a lodestone to an external instead of internal source. Almost immediately his body tenses as if expecting an attack, the muscles in his shoulders and back relaxing as his eyes snap back into focus. He remembers his manners next in the rebooting sequence, taking the towel graciously. Riku buries his face in the cloth and clamps down on himself so hard a tingling rush of cold floods his overwraugh muscles. His thoughts thrash, then calcify, then crumble back into silence as he breathes into the fabric once or twice.

Riku coughs faintly, his manner much more composed as he takes it away from his face. He wipes his brow. "Thank you." he doesn't think he man manage any expression without breaking into half a dozen jagged pieces, but he tries to put sincerity into his voice as he says it. His muscles shake and he wonders briefly how long he's been here. Usually he doesn't want to know but he didn't belong here. He shouldn't take up the training hall like this-- especially if he's been doing the same thing for.. who knows how long. "Just.. wandered off, I guess."
Zargabaath The crewman smiles easily, folding his arms under him as he continues leaning on the post. He's a man in his prime, probably mid-30's, but the scars and callouses on his body indicate heavy labor. Perhaps an engineer for the Alexander itself? But what would an engineer be here in the training room assumedly intended for soldiers?

"I understand how that goes. It happens sometimes when practice doesn't help put things back to their proper spot." He tosses aside his own towel, quite damp itself and relatively useless for futher usage. "Care to join me for a drink?" He cants his head over to a faucet and cups a small distance away, assumedly to keep one from getting dehydrated from the course of training.
Riku Next on the list of things? The realization that things being slightly wobbly and out of focus was because, however long he had been doing this sequence, he had not stopped.

Riku nods as the dehydration thumps him soundly across the head, throat aching as it realizes the teenager was awake enough to realize the complaint and started in with a vengeance. Riku folds the towel up in his hands as something to do with them, putting it down as he follows the crewman across the floor to the faucet. This time he does manage a thin smile, but only after one cup of water (and coughing up about half of it as his self control and his dehydration bounce and clatter around his head like marbles)

Riku coughs and splatters the water over the floor and curses vaguely, managing that smile of chagrin. "Yeah. If I can get it down the right way."

Riku fulls a second cup and it's much easier to manage this time and his embarrassment, while making him cringe a little, starts to abate as the coughing does. "I'm, uh-- Riku. By the way. And-- it looks like I needed someone to knock me out of that. Thank you."
The Judge of Ambition at last makes his way into the training room. A place he located Riku before since yesterday, or at least showed the boy with Zargabaath where it was. The Judge Magister was this time fully armored, with his helm tucked under his arm as he walks into the training room.

Perhaps for a few it was good see the Judge Magister back in his armor, as it meant he was cleared by medical for normal operations again. Though maybe for others this may cause them to stiffen up a bit. It really probably all depend if these men and possibly woman on board knew the sight of a Judge Magister on and off duty.

If Gabranth was ever off duty...

However the Judge Magister lingers back for now, he moves over to the side of the wall and leans upon it. Keeping his helm tucked under his arm and his free hand resting on the hilt of the Highway Star. He seems to just be watching for now. Those blue eyes gazing over things with some interest and watching as others train.

He does note where Riku is and what the young guest is up too, yet he doesn't make any moves in that direction. He just observes with what seems like mild interest.
Zargabaath The crewman looks concerned at first when Riku nearly drowns himself by accident, but relaxes once the youth calms down and downs a second cup without issue. "You're quite welcome. Call me Roth. I work out in the engines." That explains the condition of his body.

He nods at Riku's words, sipping at his glass to cool his body a bit more gradually. Fortunately, his body isn't as dehydrated and has had a little more time to cool down compared to poor Riku. "Aye, most of us don't like sparring alone because of that. All of us have seen things... well, probably not as bad as some, but it's enough to strengthen comraderie. Nobody wants to be alone."

His gaze cants over to the entrance as someone enters, then his eyes widen sharply as he recognizes who it is. "Judge Magister on deck!" He bellows as he rises, his voice echoing through the airy training room. The faint sounds of sparring and combat cease almost immediately, the Arcadians present stopping what they're doing and stiffening to an attention stance. Roth himself salutes Gabranth, having been the one to call for attention.
Riku Riku is just about to reply to this when again, he jumps like he has been electrocuted by the sudden nature of being ground zero for a full throated bellow crisp enough to snap attention from everyone in the training hall.

He drops the cup from numb fingers, thankfully empty and frowns down at it as if the cup alone had been responsible for all of his current ills. His brain has cooled down and rebooted enough however for him to glance surripitiously around the room, then locate the armored Judge Magister leaning against the wall near the entrance.

Although desperately wanting to clasp a hand to his ear and curse venomously at Roth for the vocal equivalent of slamming a metal rod into a giant bell he knows better than to do so.

Instead.. he has a successful bout with common sense and his ability to pick up situations quickly (at least when his brain was actually engaged in doing that). He stiffens and while he doesn't pretend that he belongs here, he at least pretends to follow whatever set of rules seems to be in effect at the moment and sweeps up the cup, putting it quietly aside and standing quietly to the side.
Gabranth notes the quick response time, he also notes how quickly everyone jumps to salute no matter what they were doing. Zargaabath does indeed run a well tuned machine.

Gabranth returns to salute, before stating loud enough to be heard by all. "As you were." The Judge Magister then glances over to where Riku is as he see's the youth stiffen up. At least he was quick to catch on, yet he was still a civilian upon this ship.

Soon the Judge of Ambition makes his way over, his cloak barely moving behind him with the ease of the simple, yet quick stride. It wasn't long till the Judge Magister was upon Riku and Roth. "You seem to make most of your time here, Riku." Gabranth states with a raised eye brow, then looks at Roth. "Also meeting some of the members I see." Then he looks back to Riku. "Please do not let me interrupt your conversations. Do continue."

Gabranth then walks on by the two as he goes to look into something else here in the training room. Mostly just observing now as the others go back to their training.
Zargabaath The stillness of a company at attention eases almost immediately upon Gabranth's order to carry on, the sounds of conversation and sparring returning life to the halls. Roth bows his head at Gabranth's presence and only relaxes once the Judge Magister moves on.

He looks over to Riku and the man's expression turns outright apologetic with a reddening of complexion in embarassment. "Aah, I'm sorry about that. I'm so used to needing that volume level in the engine bays it's become habitual." He retakes his seat and offers Riku a new glass of water, an apologetic peace offering.
Riku Riku has a brief flash of a burning city pass over his eyes as Gabranth addresses him but it quickly passes. He banishes it like the other nightmares and looks down at the ground.

"Yes your honor." he murmurs but mostly to himself. "It does seem that way doesn't it." He lets out a quiet breath and digs his hands into his hair, raking back the silver so that a long arc of discomfort verging on pain refocuses his attention on the present.

The sharp nails bite into his scalp a little harder than he intended but nevertheless he was still in the here and now. He couldn't just wait for the next shift of time to descend like a dropped boot. "Yeah. Nobody wants to be alone." he echoes to Roth as he turns back to the engineer and his words. "But nobody wants to be deaf either." he takes the water with a nod of his head, his stance guarded but his acceptance of the peace offering plain.

Riku takes a seat, his knees going out from under him as exhaustion finally catches up with him. "I'll be out from underfoot soon anyways.." he manages a grin. "and out of earshot, so it's okay." He looks resigned as he says this but he tries to keep it out of his voice and remain cheerful, or-- as much as possible. "I'm glad I got to see this place. I never would have imagined it.. or anything like it."
Gabranth pauses a bit as he walks, only gazing over his shoulder for a moment. Conversations of many times echo around him, but he is rather good at picking up what he wants to hear and flushing out other chatters.

The Judge Magister then slowly looks away toward another training area being used. His index finger for a moment taps the hilt of his blade in thought, as he just stares really at nothing. He then glances up toward the ceiling, before in a swift pace makes his way back out. Vanishing like the shadows themselves from sight.

He would probably track Riku down later, since they most likely will be landing soon again and he has a few words he would like to speak with the youth. Unless unforeseen events claim his attention before such things could happen.
Zargabaath Roth chortles at Riku's comments, quite clearly laughing at himself. "You got me there. But don't see yourself like that--we certainly don't see you as 'getting underfoot'. Rare enough we get guests, as much as we're on the move. We can only apologize that we're not more hospitable, being a mobile military outpost and all."

He leans back noticeably, stretching his arms over his head and as far back as they would go. "Aye, the Alexander is something else. I fear even if you board another airship, you might find yourself a mite spoiled for this one." He grins with a twinkle in his eye, not unlike a boy boasting about his favorite toy. Truly Judge Magister Zargabaath's pride in his ship is shared by the crew as well. "But that's just my opinion. Hopefully you'll get a chance to find out for yourself."
Riku Riku slowly pushes himself up from his seat. "It is certainly something to remember." he nods to Roth, putting the glass down and surripitiously holding onto the back of the chair.

"I'm going to see if I can track my way back. I think I've had a little more practice than I bargained over." He seems to be laughing at himself this time as he smirks at Roth. "If I don't see you again, then thank you. I've enjoyed, and paid for, a few moments of spoiling." he smirks and starts to make his way towards the entrance. "Hopefully I won't need a search party before too long."
Zargabaath Roth laughs kindly, waving a bit as Riku heads out. "It's been a pleasure, son! May we meet again someday!"

This scene contained 16 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Zargabaath, Gabranth