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The Scene Of The Crime
(2013-01-17 - 2013-01-17)
Max returns to the scene of the Dusk Shard's attempted theft to see if he can find some clues. Cirra shows up, but it doesn't really spiral out of control until Emi arrives to tell Max about her bad dream.
Maximilien Some people just can't leave well enough alone.

Maximilien Amadeus Renaud-Sylvianne is one of those people. He has to poke things; poke and prod and test and check and explore every aspect of a situation before he's satisfied. He can't accept things at face value, can't accept /problems/ at face value. And tonight he's got a doozy of a problem.

/How did the thieves know where the Dusk Shard was kept?/

Yes, Max had stolen it before they had gotten there. Yes, Max had found it himself - by what was functionally a complete and total accident, stumbling about in his armor and trying to get used to wearing, well, heavy armor in the middle of a palace. But that's sort of the key problem - Max hadn't known it was there. He'd been looking for treasures to steal, yes, but he hadn't been /aware/ of its location beforehand - merely rumors.

Those thieves, on the other hand...they had known exactly where to go. Exactly where to head. Exactly where to /hunt/. The Dusk Shard had been their quarry; they had incapacitated everyone in the area with their black magic or poison or sorcery, hunted down the Dusk Shard in mere minutes, and - had he not stolen it two days prior - would've managed to acquire it. How?

Who had tipped them off? Who had even known where the Dusk Shard was to do so? It wasn't a lucky guess; they had surgically planned every aspect of that raid, down to the smallest detail. Now, yes, it had been sloppy - Max couldn't fault /amateurs/ for being *amateurs* - but it had been planned.

So he's back in his armor, in his clever little soldier disguise, moving around through the palace to look for clues, because he just can't leave well enough alone. Did he have sudden competition of the far more lethal variety...? Or was there something worse at work here?

Questions needed answering, no matter how ill-advised him being here was. Right now, he's poking about the balcony, looking for all the world like an overworked soldier trying to fill in for the job of four men or more. They'd had archers here. How had they prepared so well...?
Cirra Constantine A break in, /two/ break-ins in the palace in the span of a week (and a third one thwarted earlier in the month) means that Palace security is in a tizzy, not to mention the clean up from the demon wall battle. More people are here then Max probably finds comfortable for sneaking around, even disguised as he is. Especialy with that one person who is always dangerously close to finding him out.

Cirra Constantine walks - stalks might be a better term - down he hallways of the Palace. Ever since the intrustion she's been renlentless on security, taking it on herself to do random patrols and inspections and generally throwing a wrench into any semblance of unformity in the schedules. It's on one of these random patrols that she finds That Guard on a balcony. "You there!" she points at the guard. Uh-oh.

"Is this your post?" she pauses, "You were there the other night..." she crosses her arms, "I hope you don't think that being away from your post means your away from danger."
Emi Dennou You have a train to catch, Legion. Time is ticking. You don't want to be late, do you? You'll miss the train.

Emi opens her eyes and finds herself in a train coach. Surrounding her are five other young ladies, all wearing white shrouds. "Umi? Shida?" Emi inquires. The girls in white look at her, but do not respond. Emi looks down and sees--herself--is also wearing a white shroud.

Startled, she runs out the door and into the center lane. She looks around and thinks, this does not make sense. She hasn't died. They haven't died. ...Have they? Proceeding cautiously, she passes by a side mirror and makes the mistake of glancing into it--seeing a shade of Mercade--a Mershade if you will--inside of it. Blood spills from his chest and he smiles lazily at Emi.

"You know...if that frying pan hadn't been there... Haven't you been enough of a burden to us already? Your sisters are waiting for you. The ones you helped bury. Every single one. They were at peace knowing you'd come to them too, eventually, but they're getting a bit impatient now. It's past your time."

Emi runs blindly, continuing down the hall. She bumps into a young man in a conductor's uniform and, looking up, sees that it's Max himself. His eyes closed, her tilts his head towards Emi.

"Ah! Petite! I've come to steal you away, ha ha ha ha!"

Emi breathes out. "Really? I think... my sisters are here..."

"Of course of course..." But then Max pauses and he admits, a bit more quietly. "But what am I saying?" His eyes open, they are a familiar swirl of darkness, just inky pools of blackness. "This is the only train I can't rob..."

Emi's eyes snap open and she sits up, in bed, her heart pounding. The others wake up with her. They all had the same dream. "...I'm going to find Max." Emi tells them and stands herself up. She doesn't feel tired at all. She gets dressed and heads out the door. Similar questions bother her as they do Max. How did they know about the air support? Why did they have a Demon Wall prepared? Why did they want the Dusk Shard to begin with? She can only imagine Max has his own curiousity regarding the details of the other thieves and while she can't be sure he's where she thinks he is, she thinks it's a reasonable assumption.


Emi Dennou, holding a stuffed pirate rabbit in her arms, slinks into the Palace making yet another break in. Sneaking around is actually something that they aren't unskilled at, even if they are no phantom thief. They've had to quietly move around and hide evidence several times before. And being a young teenage girl that's not especially discerning in appearance doesn't help matters either.

"Max...?" She asks. "...Are you there?" She calls quietly, as if trying to make it so Max hears but nobody else does. It's not really the most logical of actions. Really she just broke into a palace assuming Max would be there. Squeezing the rabbit pirate tightly, she ducks behind a suit of armor to avoid a patrol that SWEARS they heard something--and when she gets a moment, moves on. She has to see him, she thinks. She hears a familiar voice berating a guard and heads in that direction.
Maximilien A LOT more people are here than Max is comfortable with, but he's still a Phantom Thief, still skilled at concealing his presence. However, there's always the danger of discovery; only an arrogant prat gets so caught up in his own skill that he fails to remember that random chance can destroy even the most skillful, even the best-laid of plans. Max may be a prat, but he's not arrogant - he knows that little flaw Reality has all too well.

So when Cirra's voice snaps out, he has to force himself not to jump. He fumbles with his halberd, looking as close as he possibly can to a soldier who just got shouted at by a Judge for potential dereliction of duty - highly nervous. This situation could go.../pear-shaped/. /Fast/.

"Aha...well, it's post, but I was on my break..." The 'guard' stammers for a moment, turning to face her. His helmet shakes back and forth for a moment, and determination creeps into the 'guard's' voice. "No, ma'am. But I thought that I should come take a look at the balcony while I was on break and maybe see if I could figure out what happened."

"Because...I mean, it was strange, right? They knew right what they were looking for...if they were random thieves, they would've just stayed in the treasury digging. But they knocked out everyone with poison or magic or something, and then went right for their goal...isn't that strange, ma'am?" The guard taps the back of his helmet. "So I thought maybe there might be some clues on the balcony."
Cirra Constantine It's this guy again.

Cirra frowns a little, "You're always on break." she walks past the guard towards the balcony and stops at the railing, crossing her arms, "/Those/ thieves are not the only problem. Someone else stole the Magicite before they did. And that thieve left behind no clues, no one saw them and they had the gall to leave a calling card."

Cirra crosses her arms, "I have a pretty good idea who /that/ thief is." tch, "As for the wouldbe theives, it's probably one of those clans that keeps cropping up after the world was ruined. They had a plan, but it was flawed, putting everyone tosleep would have caught someone's attention eventually, they didn't allow for that. I get the feeling they haven't done this kind of infiltration very often."
Emi Dennou That guard is...

Emi stops walking once she gets near the balcony's entrance-arch. She looks over her shoulder once and hugs her stuffed bunny--Umi's stuffed bunny actually BUT ALL POSSESSIONS OF LEGION BELONG TO LEGION OKAY?--but if that guard is the one that was with Cirra before, that means he probably is the one who flirted with Cirra and if it's the guard that flirted with Cirra that means she's pretty sure he is Max...But...

A detective doesn't jump wildly to conclusions. They examine the evidence and make either inductive or deductive reasoning with the understanding its one or the other before making any statements. What is she doing here? She barely had any reason to suspect he'd be investigating here. He could be anywhere in the city.

She leans back against the wall she's been hiding behind and squeezes the bunny to her body.


"Ooh I like this bunny!" Umi chirped. "When you hug it tightly, it starts singing!"


Emi squeezes the bunny a bit more tightly.





Emi could have silenced the bunny early on but to commit violence against a stuffed bunny is unforgivable. "I'm sorry..." She murmurs to the rabbit. "I forgot."
Maximilien It's this guy again!

"I'm not.../always/ on break," Max-guard replies carefully, adjusting his halberd and putting it up on his shoulder. "I'm just...lucky when it comes down to it, I guess. I mean, I was off-duty when everybody else was getting knocked's just good luck, I guess." He laughs awkwardly, then wrings his halberd. Okay.

He watches her walk over to the rail from behind his helmet (damn and bless whoever thought up helmet slits), then heaves a sigh, resting against his halberd a bit. "I know they're not the /only/ problem, but...I mean, catching the one who stole it is a Judge's duty. I'm just a guard...all I can do is make sure that it doesn't happen again, which means thinking about how they got in and how they knew where to go. I'm worried there might be a traitor or something in here."

The guard nods after a moment, looking - once again - kind of awkward through his helmet. "Uhm. I thought so, too. It was very strange of them to just sort of...act like that would be enough. I guess they must've been really amateur, but it's still kind of worrying, right? That they took out the whole do you suppose they did it? Poison in the food or something?"

Oh god, singing! The guard practically jumps a foot in the air - this is /super tense/, after all! He tightens his grip on his halberd. "W-who's there?" He demands.

Pear-shaped was not the word for how this was going to go.
Cirra Constantine "Magic." Cirra looks over her shoulder, "One of them was glowing with the effort. Another mistake, a glowing person is /not/ subtle." A traitor? She consdiers it. "Investigating every guard in the palace would take time. Unless." she turned to look at the gaurd, "We started with the ones that had not fallen asleep." Well that implication seemed obvious.

Then, singing. /Pirate/ singing.

Cirra's arms fall by herside and she moves forward qucikly, her hand reaches around the side of the arch and grasps hold of Emi, pulling her armd into the open. "What are yo-" she stops mid sentance, raising both eyebrows as she finds the interloper is just a girl.

She starts again, slower, less harsh. "What are you doing here?"
Emi Dennou Emi considers her options. She could run, but she would be chased. Would that let Max(?) escape? Mm...he'd probably be told to chase after her, so that's no go. She had some time to cool off from the nightmare but she's still shaken, she's not sure she can have faith in her ideas right now. Before she can fully consider further options, she's snagged by the arm and pulled into view. She dangles in Cirra's grip in a manner that perfectly imitates the bunny dangling in HER arms.

She can't blame Cirra for treating her as 'just a girl' right now. She's not exactly behaving like a proper detective. This could, however, work out to her advantage. It's risky, if she's recognized, but Cirra seemed to have her mind on other matters two nights ago and they hadn't interacted, she may have escaped notice. It's a gamble, but she's been lucky before. Maybe the spirit of Will is with her.

In spirit, obviously, not in the same room.

After a few squeaks and the like, Emi looks up at Max(?). There could be a way to verify his identity, protect him, and escape all at once. And if it doesn't work as intended, she may be able to escape on her own.

"I had a bad dream......Daddy."

Emi bites the inside of her cheek to avoid adding 'The Network lies like vayne's many rugs'.
Maximilien Oh dear, that's not a pleasant implication. The guard holds up his hands. "W-wait a minute, you're not suggesting...! L-look, if I was a traitor, would I really be pointing out that it was a possibility? In Archadia? To a /Judge/? That's...that's like asking to get killed on the spot!" The fact that she HADN'T killed him on the spot was pretty nice - ignoring, of course, the fact that he could probably avoid her first strike and get away by sacrificing that armor. It meant she probably wasn't ACTUALLY considering the implication. Too much.

Then Emi is dragged into the open, and Max internally groans. Oh, that wasn't good. That wasn't good at /all/.

And then she calls him /Daddy/. Oh, the intent was there, the heart was there, but...couldn't she have said /big brother/ or something more appropriate? Oh, this was going to fall apart the minute Cirra thought about it - he'd called her /pretty/ last night, what kind of father calls another woman pretty? Especially one so much younger than he's pretending to be?

"Th-there, there," the guard replies, crouching down to pat her on the head. This was breaking down so rapidly, oh god, oh god, "It's okay, sweetheart. It was just a dream. I know you can have some pretty bad ones...but it was just a dream. It wasn't real. Just...just a bad dream."

Max laughs awkwardly and looks up at Cirra. Oh, this was going to go poorly.
Cirra Constantine Cirra set Emi down almost immediatly apon realizing it was a kid. Its true she didn't get a solid look at Emi last night. "Child, how did you get in here?" it's firmly said but not the harsh tone she was using a minute ago. When Emi calls the gaurd daddy she sighs.

"Is this what you've been doing on your breaks?"

"Even if you are a single parent, you should get someone to look after her at night. Did you get another guard to let her through? Do you known what kind of a breach of security that is?" Her tone is ...exasperated, rather then harsh, as if she just couldn't believe what was happening.

"And trying to flirt with someone that much younger then you..."
Emi Dennou She is putting Max off his game, Emi realizes. That's not good. In a disguise, she should probably keep it simple. She messed up on the dad bit but one can recover from that. She can't swap to brother without some manner of complex explanation and even if it were fallen for, it would be something of an issue. Emi is designed to be 16 equivalent, but she can behave younger to give a younger impression of at least a couple years. She isn't trained to be a phantom thief, coming up with a congruent story on the fly is hard! But she tries. Max's threat of taking the fall for her--and to Emi it does feel more akin to a threat than a kind promise right now--encourages her mind to work overtime. Ignore the dream for now, she tells herself.

"I'm sorry," Emi sniffs faintly. "The dream was about daddy." Build on it, she thinks, make it all seem reasonable. Talking to authority figures, you want to seem reasonable, perfectly understandable. Civilians are foolish, but they're trying, really. Gabranth taught her this lesson. Its her fault Max is off game. She has to help.

"I snuck in." Stick to honesty when you can. "The Junior Woodchuck Guide told me to throw a pebble." Stick to bullshit when you can't. "I'm sorry," Emi can't quite make herself cry but she can look down and be sad about things. "Is daddy in trouble? I'm sorry. I won't do it again..." When in doubt, promise to not do it again. It works for God, maybe it will work for a Judge.
Maximilien Oh god, if Cirra actually managed to finish that thought, life was going to be terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible. The guard stammers for a moment, seeming duly embarassed, though in all honesty it's more because he's actually at a loss for words. To acknowledge this meant he was basically lying to her - and Max did not lie, not even with his own life in danger. "I-I'm not that old!" Max replies finally, and then /immediately regrets it/, because if he wasn't /that/ old there was no way he had an apparently teenaged daughter, oh god, he was shooting himself in the foot so hard, this was terrible.

The truth was, Max is actually kind of a terrible liar. It sort of goes with the Phantom Thief job package - you get to be amazing at stealth and disguise, but not so great at actually /directly/ lying to people, /especially/ people you found romantically attractive. It was like killing - once you started lying, you just never stopped. Everything got easier and easier, and you could just keep lying and lying and lying and then your whole person was just a foundation of lies and deceit. Max...had seen men like that in the world, unfulfilled people who did nothing but lie and cheat for personal gain. It was a simple, silly little thing, and in the profession he had chosen almost a damning one, but...Phantom Thieves didn't do things /easily/, did they?

"I mean...I didn't...I'm sorry," the 'guard' replies quietly, lowering his head - and immediately regrets it, because then Emi talks about sneaking in.


"About me..." Max mumbles to himself. What kind of dream could it have been, to scare her so badly that she would come /looking/ for him? He hooks his arms around Emi and offers her a gentle hug; the armor may not be warm, or pleasant, but it's still a hug, of its own fashion. "Don't worry. It was just a bad dream. I promise."
Cirra Constantine Well, Cirra understands having nightmares that involve one's parents.

Though theres soemthing odd about these two, and it's not just the fact that they're here. "A pebble?" she asks incredulously. "I see I'm going to have to retrain the guards."

A look down at the guard and she narrows her eyes a touch, "How old are you?" she shifts her weight to one foot and crosses her arms, "In fact, whats your name?" she then looks at Emi, "And how can you tell your father aparat from every other guard in the castle?"
Emi Dennou Max gives Emi a hug and it does truly seem that Emi is grateful for one, her body is even shaking as she wraps her arms around the armor and something like that is difficult to fake.

Cirra asks one particular question, however, that is hard to come up with answer for. Or rather, an answer that would not spill everything. Whether or not she could have come up with a reasonable explanation for that is never going to come up because it's about this point in time that Max says 'Never lie'. He also says half truths are okay. But the problem is that this story is based on lies at this point and also that Max certainly never said 'but stick to your story'.

Emi breathes out, closing her eyes. When she opens them she has a deadpan expression on her face, looking up at Cirra.

"I am Emi Dennou, The Network introduces itself." She says. She does not answer the question about her age because she doesn't want to answer that one truthfully or otherwise. as vat grown clones--well in any event. "And by the Network, of course, this one means herself." It's a stark change but well, no lying. That includes making sad faces that you don't really mean. "I have been told that honesty or, at least, somewhat honesty is the best policy therefore allow this one to correct past incorrect statements made."

She takes in another deep breath before continuing. "We were here due to a bad dream, that is true, we did not use the Junior Woodchuck guide to sneak in but rather our training in tracking, stalking, and hiding from a powerful time wizard with the ability to kill with touch. Getting the drop on him had been considered as a possible tactic for use against him for a time though after a few attempts that ended with our deaths, we realized that sneak attacks were not especially effective. Nevertheless, the skills remained learned."

"That man," She nods to Max. "Is not our father though we do look up to him, The Network does not lie again. He has shown us much kindness in our lives. The Network adds that the deceit was intended so that we did not unintentionally draw trouble to him due to our own mistakes. The Network further adds that he did not ask for us to be here and we came due to the aforementioned bad dream."

"However, while we are here, The Network further admits to having assisted in the destruction of the demon wall two nights ago and that we are detectives working alongside the TDA. Breaking and entering is sometimes a detective's duty for finding the truth so we admit it is convenient to be here even if it was not our intent. Was it not perhaps a trap meant for us, The Network has to consider the possibility due to their understanding of our personell."

She thinks for a moment if she missed anything and cups her chin, thinking it over.

Legion is not very good at half truths.
Maximilien No. No she is not good at half-truths. Legion is not good at half-truths at all, that's completely true. The guard stands up, and grabs his helmet, and-

-suddenly he is just standing there wearing his tuxedo and cape, holding a lovely Cactus Flower in hand. The armor just sort of falls limply to the side, not even making a clang. How he did that...well, Phantom Thieves get QUICK CHANGE as a Job ability, of course. You'd know that if you mastered the Job! Although it costs so much JP, you're pretty much locked out of anything else you might want.

But it's still a pretty flashy job.

Max's face is not, however, put up in his usual smirk. It's not the usual self-entitled Please Punch Me In The Face look he normally has; he's just...lightly smiling. "You really are tremendously impressive, ma chere...I do not do you enough credit by calling you brilliant."

He sighs, flicking the flower to the side. "C'est vrai. I did not ask her here, though I ask that you not punish her; she is not my accomplice, nor any sort of thief. The only thief here, as you well know, is me...and even I am not here to pilfer, merely to do exactly what I told you earlier - find clues."

Max holds up a finger in Cirra's face. He's probably going to lose that finger if he's not careful. "Consider, ma chere - exactly what La Petite says is true. It was incredibly convenient; not only were those assassins prepared for /flying creatures/, which we did not even realize we would have until moments after the assault began, they knew exactly where to go to find the Goddess Magicite, without fail. Exactly where to go. There is something at work here that I do not trust, and I am here to find out exactly what it is." Max retracts his finger and raises the Cactus Flower to hide part of his face. "Even if you wish to kill me now, you cannot deny that this is a problem - and one I had nothing to do with, myself, and would very much like to know exactly who /did/, because..."

Max hesitates for all of a moment.

"...because if someone is targetting Archadia, then you are at risk, and I do not want to see you hurt."
Cirra Constantine Emi unviels the truh, or at least, half of it?

Cirra watches the younger girl with eyebrow raised. She taps her finger against the armor of her forearm as The Network goes on about why she is here, and who she is.

Somehow when Max makes his reveal, Cirra looks completely unsurprised. Emi is at least partly responsible for this. she just gets this look of supreme annoyance on her face, "Ah yes." she grates out, "'Maximilen'." she doesn't seem to care about his profession of trying to protect her, or statement of the risk she's in. "But as I said, the three from two nights ago are not the ones who actually /took/ the Magicite."

Taking a half step foreward, Cirra shifts her weight to her other foot as she puts hands on her hips, and night beeze flips her hair.

"I was trying to urge you into taking your 'daughter' out of here so you would lead me to it, MARS."
Emi Dennou Emi raises an eyebrow as Cirra reveals she knew for longer than they had anticipated. She sees why Max is always so very impressed with her. She smiles faintly. She must know Max rather well by now if nothing else. The smile is gone in an instant but to be real, Emi was impressed too.

Will did mention darkness in Max's future. Maybe the darkness means makeouts with Cirra. Emi quickly discards this thought, she's getting distracted by Imi's additions to the Network databrain.

"When did you find out?" Emi asks. She pauses a moment as Cirra reveals what she REALLY cares about and she ventures to add, "While we understand duty, if there is a force with access to the Palace's secrets after the Shard, is it not better for it to remain lost for the time being?" This is her speaking more as a detective right now. "...Or to use it as bait."
Maximilien Oh, that simply isn't /fair/. With the little hair-thing too? /Torturous/. Max actually does smile, shifting his own foot forward a little to match hers. "So when did you know it was me under the armor? Forgive me, ma chere, but I am torturously curious." Ha ha, torturously. She was probably going to torture the hell out of him. Judges probably can do that completely legally.

Then Max looks at Emi as she makes her suggestion. He suddenly looks a great deal more vulnerable than he ever has in...probably ever, a great deal smaller and less cocky, and shakes his head fiercely. He looks away from both of them, sliding his arm under the other. "I...will not risk it as bait, petite. I am sorry; I agree that keeping it hidden is far wiser than returning it to its rightful place, since they are far less likely to be capable of finding /my/ hiding spot than wherever it will be placed in Archadia, but...I will not risk the Goddess Magicite like that. Not right now, not while I..."

His stance is a lot different than his usual open, cocky, self-assured stance, too; there's a sort of guardedness to it, his arms folded across his chest, not really meeting anyone's eyes.

"...not while I have need of it."
Cirra Constantine Cirra does have a knock out kiss, litterally.

The Network gets Cirra's attention again. "A little after you showed up, but the pieces were there before hand. He was there when we found the thieves, but disappeared after I left to chase them." she looks at Max, "He says the same audacious things." 'you look pretty when your angry' that makes her so...angry! In a different way!

"Hhuhn..." she looks back at Emi, "Thats not a bad idea... But theres one problem with it." she turns on Max again, the sudden fading of his cocky smug attitude doesn't seem to deter her. "The Magicite is part of the royal regalia of Rabanastre and part of the treaty with Archadia says that it remains /protected/ by Archadia."

"So I don't care if you 'have need of it' It's not yours to do with as you please. Either it gets returned, I am taken to it, or /you/ end up in the deepest pit I can put you in."
Emi Dennou Emi does not know much about this Dusk Shard. And as such she learns a great deal about it in a short period of time. She can assume it has power. But frankly its ability to be a weapon seems, to Emi, not to be the only use of it. And indeed, if it was simply a matter of power, then a loud smash and grab may have been just fine. And just wanting to use something as a weapon does not seem like something someone who planned so far as to even put the guards to sleep, minimizing disruption, and having an escape plan ready. Indeed, a letter was given out as well. Perhaps they didn't want it to go perfectly. Maybe a perfect theft wasn't the plan. Theft, yes, but not perfect.

Emi says, "...I do not understand what this item is. However... If what you say is true, Your Honor (if that is the appropriate term), then I may have an idea as to why they were after it."

She looks up. "They were prepared for interference...because they wanted interference. What they did not plan for was Max, who could not be planned for. Why would they want interference? Because they wanted to be seen stealing it. Why did they wish to be seen stealing it? Because of the treaty."

"I admit my knowledge of proceedings is limited... So forgive me if my knowledge is incomplete...but would there be war over this item had it not just been stolen...But revealed to be in the hands of those The Shard was to be protected from?"
Maximilien Now he's back in full-blown smug mode. It's amazing how fast he can cover up that vulnerable side; his smirk spreads across his face, the arm holding the flower slides up to his face again, his legs spread out a bit...the little things, things most ordinary people don't really notice. "You really /are/ beautiful when you're furious, ma chere. Being the object of your rage really does make me so happy."

"But we seem to be at an impasse, because now we are talking about /property laws/, and /property laws/ are really not something a thief has any real reason to respect, oui? I would be a rather poor thief if I /gave it back/ because I was threatened. If you toss me in a pit, I can and will escape; if you kill me, you never find it."

"/However/," Max replies after a moment, "...if it does not serve my purposes, the only thing I would be doing is selling it. Perhaps you have an acceptable offer...something I might want, in exchange for the Goddess Magicite, assuming it does not do what I need it to?" He twirls the rose in front of his face, his smile growing a bit.

"But only if it does not serve my purpose. If it does, I can make no promises." He shakes his head. Not that any of the Magicite he had tried before had served his purposes.
Will Sherman Nearby, a suit of armor shakes.

It is followed by a loud HELP! But the help is muffled BY the it sounds like a MMMMPH!

Then, without warning, the suit of armor falls over, clattering to the ground in a pile, slowly, from the wreckage crawls Will, who looks just as confused to be here as you are to observe him here.

"I find myself awake in the strangest places..."
Cirra Constantine "It's not a weapon." as far as anyone has told Cirra. "It is a bauble, a very, very important bauble." she pauses "And yes thats the right term." she confirms to Emi.
"You have no idea what your going to cause by taking that thing." she glowers at Max, then Emi hits on another good point.

"If they /wanted/ to be noticed?" that makes Cirra think for a moment. "Civil unrest. Dalmasca isn't stable yet from the war, there are elements that believe Archadia's rule over Dalmasca and Rabanstre is illegal, that we murdered their king, when it was their own general that killed him."

Cirra crosses her arms, as Max offers a deal. She has an idea of what he'd want. "It is a pretty peice of magicite, if thats all you need go to the mines where it's dug instead of putting an entire city on the edge for your selfishness."

Then Will falls ot of a suit of armor.

Cirra's mouth draws in a tight line. She doesn't explode, not litterally but she leans up to Max. "If the Goddess Magicite is not returned in two days, /two/ days. Even you, will not be able to hide from me. No gutter, no trash heap, no high rise apartment, mansion or pillar of crystal will protect you from /me/."

"Now /get out/."
Emi Dennou Emi needs to confirm this somehow. So far it's theory. A theory that feels right, but a theory. Cirra seems to suggest that there are no unusual powers--though, really, she might not be aware of them if there were especially as Max seems to think there might be. But even Cirra seems to think it's not impossible that it was staged to cause civil unrest--despite this being, in a sense, an argument that Max should hold onto it for now. If, admittedly, not especially longterm.

Either way, even if certainly there are many people who could help this situation besides detectives, the mystery calls to Emi. Especially since she thinks she has an angle now. And if she's incorrect, she's incorrect, but finding out she's wrong is just another piece of information that will help solve the case. That's the wonderful thing about theories. Disprove one and you get another theory.

Is this Magicite something involving Max's 'dark fate'? Hard to say. But that's the wrong question anyway. The better question is, what is Max so desperate to accomplish that he, a pacifist and wise as he is, is willing to risk war for a CHANCE of it.

Will happens. And where there's a Will there's a way.

Emi looks down at him, impassive and a bit nonplussed at first, but eventually she smiles. "Will, I do believe we have a case." She offers a hand to heft Will up.
Maximilien "You did not even know where it /was/ until they attempted to steal it," Max points out cheerfully. Not that he did until he basically stumbled across it, but. "I hardly think I have put an entire city on edge with my selfishness when no one knew it was in the statue to begin with, oui? Besides, if any Magicite would work, do you not think I would have done so?"

No, but he wouldn't say he needed /this specific/ piece if he did. That much is true; Max does not lie, after all.

"Will you collect it yourself, then~?" Max inquires as she leans up to him; he leans down a bit, verrrrryyyyy nearly brushing his lips across hers - but not /quite/, because that would be really, really dangerous, and he's daring, but not /an idiot/. "If it fails to serve my needs, will you collect it yourself? Will you meet me and collect it personally, alone? As if you needed guards against a pacifist." He seems thoroughly amused by the idea.

"If you are willing to meet me, alone, and the Magicite fails to serve my needs, then I will return it to you."

"No matter how appealing the thought of you chasing me all across the worlds may be, I think it may impede my ability to work...and I am not so cold as to start a war for nothing but personal gain."

Then his voice gets very cold, and very hard, and very, very determined. "But there is something that I need to do, ma chere, something that I would give almost anything for, and no matter how taken with you I may be and how much I may wish to protect you, no matter what you say or do, no matter what threat you make, I /will/ succeed, even if it costs me my life and the lives of many, many others. If this Magicite allows me to survive until that is completed, then no force in all the worlds will stop me."

Then he's back to that gentle, self-assured, cocky smile. "But it would still make me very happy to be the object of your obsession so."

"Excusez-moi. Two days is not a long clock, after all." He leans down enough to brush his lips across her ear. "I look forward to our next dance, ma belle chere." He slips the Cactus Rose behind her ear, then straightens and heads for the balcony.
Will Sherman Will is helped to his feet, and scratches his head and looks to Cirra...

"I seriously have no idea how I got into that..." he pauses, "I WAS going to sleep in a armor crate this time...huh." he shrugs. Funny how that works.

To Emi he smiles, "Great! Uh, but Emi, did you get them to agree to paying us, and if so how much? We are detectives, but we don't work for free!" he says.

"Unless we do, which happens alot."
Emi Dennou Emi considers. "I think the forward payment was Cirra's patience which, this one believes, has already been spent."
Will Sherman Will looks at Cirra again, and then back at Emi, "Yeah, but I can't spend Cirra's patience on food." he complains.
Cirra Constantine "It was still apart of the statue. And if the statue is found to be damaged-" Cirra grates out, her patience is wearing thin. But Max is still her only chance to find the magicite again.

Which is why she doesn't crush him into a bloody mess when he tempts fate by whispering in her ear, in fact it looks like she whispers back.

With the flower tucked in her ear she turns aside, letting Max head tot he balcony. "If it brings the magicite back, I'l even wear a nice dress." it is said with the most icy tone imaginable, it sends chills down spines.

She then turns to look at Will and Emi.

"Stop sleeping in strange places."
Maximilien "Wear something slinky," Max replies faux-cheerfully, and then leaps off the balcony for his contractually-obligated soaring-off-with-some-clever-wind-magic-and-his-cape scene.
Emi Dennou He's so cool~~~~~

Though not as cold as Cirra's tone. Emi says in her 'talking to authority voice', "It won't happen again." And then she remembers Max's lecture on lies. "Possibly." She adds, intending to drag Will out. She'll buy him a sandwich. Or maybe find someone who is not paying attention to their sandwich.
Will Sherman Will starts to be dragged out...

"But...I'm a hobo. It's what I dooooo..." he says, finally being dragged to the entrance.

He pauses, "Man, Cirra in a dress. That'd be something to see."

This scene contained 33 poses. The players who were present were: Will Sherman, Cirra Constantine, Maximilien, Emi Dennou