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Home Is Where The..
(2013-01-18 - 2013-02-07)
No description.
The Alexander has been in the air for some time, Riku if he went to check out the windows may have noticed that as they went on their journey, the ground started to fade away and clouds started to become part of the scenery with the very sky itself. They have gone far higher than the world, and this was for the fact they were heading to their home port.


Though when they would make land-fall was unknown to Gabranth. This wasn't his ship, nor did he normally take such time off from his work. However with a guest on board, his guest to be correct; he could use the time to reflect over some recent events.

The Judge Magister though was in one of the dining halls sitting restfully in a chair without his armor on, sharpening his Highway Star saber. The dining hall was quiet, not a soul in sight here. Not even the sound of men moving about. Just the sound of Gabranth sharpening his blade as his blue eyes studied into its dark, cold reflection.

Though food should arrive soon enough and if Riku got his request, he expect to see the youth here soon enough as well. Just when was, on Riku's time.
Riku Riku was not late, nor was he early. He arrived precisely when he meant to. The teenager did have to backtrack several corridors to find the right one but in his semi-distraction he does not seem too entirely embarrassed by it.

He looks into the dining hall, drinking in the aura of quiet punctuated by the sounds of Gabranth sharpening a blade. He stood at the entrance for almost a full minute, expression blank before he stepped into the dining hall.

His sneakers barely made any noise as he made his way across the floor to the occupied table. "Your honor." is the words he uses to lance the silence, his voice detached and completely inflectionless, eyes slightly gazed with internal concentration.
Gabranth glances up from his sword sharpening, before he raises he brow slightly. He ceases sharpening his blade and just slides it back into the scabbard. "Riku." He said in turn before motioning to the chair. "Have you been enjoying yourself on the Alexander?"

The Judge Magister studies Riku for a moment, noting the iced over gaze and perhaps what he himself sees as the youth being rigged. "You also seem to have a great deal on your mind."
Riku Enjoying himself.

Riku rolls the idea back and forth around in his mind. In a distant memory, there is laughter.. and he is hauling food and wood towards a fading shore..

Riku blinks away the memory, returning in a resigned voice. "Yes, your honor." although perhaps his lack of expression slightly puts the lie to that, wiped away when he forces life back into his face. He flushes, like an actor caught slightly out of character and attention crackles and snaps in his eyes as he rolls back his shoulders and shifts his weight.

"Yes." and the voice sounds more sincere now. "It's been quite amazing. Thank you for allowing me to see all this."
Gabranth hrms softly as he listens to Riku. Tilting his head slightly to the side. He wasn't sure how to handle this youth really. To much training perhaps, or to much blood on his hand to deal easily in such situations.

However, there was times he could find it in him to remember.

Gabranth smiles only mildly, trying to bring some peace into the air. "Please, sit. There is no reason to be so stiff around me like this. I do note bite, at least not someone I see as perhaps an ally." He raises an eye brow to a passing thought before he speaks. "You also seem to be someone who has a great deal on his mind, if not his shoulders. Something I can relate with when I was younger as well."

Gabranth then studies Riku closely for a moment. "Though you do not need to answer, I am wondering what concerns you. Perhaps the Empire can be of assistance to you."
Riku "Answer me one question then, judge magister." Riku hasn't let up on his tone being carefully controlled, but he does sit down. "And then perhaps I will tell you my story, and we will see if the empire can really help me. Or if you will really see me as an ally."

Riku shakes his head. "Forgive me if I remain skeptical of that however. Some things just can't be put back together again." He pauses, tapping his fingers on the table before asking. "Why did you destroy Angantyr's home? Did they.. do something to the Empire?" He pauses, then continues as if dragging the truth out of him like this was painful but neccessary. "Was there a reason? I have been trying to understand this, and I see your people, and the great things that your people have built, and how--" he pauses then adds. "How they believe, how proud they are and-- there must be a reason."
Gabranth hears the question from Riku and the Judge Magister hrms softly at trying to now think of the best way to answer this to someone who is outside of the system. How to explain the actions of the Empire to someone who has no part to yet play in its story.

Though Riku could one day play a part, yet what part he would play not even Gabranth was sure; Perhaps this alone concerned the Judge Magister, but he had to focus on the now.

Those blue eyes looked over to Riku in contemplation, before he crossed his arms over his chest with a heavy sigh, then came the explanation. "The Archadian Empire, like many empire moves to expand its resources and territory. It is necessary for war efforts and for expansion that nations be pulled into the Empire in order to achieve this. Many nations are not willing to lend such resources and some even try to start the battle with us first, thus many of the Archadian actions are for the benefit of our people to either protect them from attack.. or from complete economy downfall."

The Judge Magister then pauses for a moment, glancing at the table before them, before looking back at Riku. The gears were easily still turning in the Judge of Ambition's head as he still tried to pluck out the right details to give the youth. "Like many wars though and territorial disputes, people sadly get caught in the middle, this is sadly a side effect of war. No matter how hard you try to protect the civilians, people get caught. We do attempt to rebuild their areas with the best we have, however even then, sometimes people do not wish to surrender and just continue the battle. This can lead to.. complete disarray of their home.. if not.. sadly, total destruction because they do not want us to even take part in their land." Gabranth then frowns. "But when the gears are in motion, you can not halt them, because if you do, you may show weakness and if another nation sees that as an act of weakness, they will attack with everything they have. Its-- a tactical game."

Gabranth then glances away once that part of the explanation is done, before he looks at Riku. "Many towns and cities have become part of the Archadian rule, many have been rebuilt, just sadly his home was a few that could not be saved, even when I attempted my hand to find a solution to end it, the fires were already burning, and no matter of sand nor water could put them out. What was done.. had been done. It is why I do understand his anger, I can even relate with it.." his voice almost trails off as his eyes for just that moment look extremely distant, if not a great deal of pain lightening up in them to the point where his dark magic almost tries to surface before it is snuffed back down quickly. "..but what is done is done. We Judge Magisters are generals of Archadian Military and enforces of the Emperor's law. Our hands are stained, yes, but who's is not when they fight in a war? Even if you can avoid the blood shed for a time, eventually-- it will find you."

Gabranth then glances away, his hand tightening a bit on his arm, before it relaxed. There was a minor open of his mouth to perhaps speak more, before he shook his head, then spoke softly. "I do hope this perhaps answers your question, Riku."
Riku Riku looks down at the surface of the table, not making eye contact as the judge magister speaks. He is unnaturally still while the account continues, with no tension in his body as he hovers in that glazed but attentive silence.

He looks very much like a statue, a fixture that would remain sitting at this table keeping that position for hours or days. His brow knits very slowly, a faint heat mirage effect beginning to wreath his outline as he expels a breath firmly through grit teeth. A finger moves, the sharp nail lightly scratching across the surface as he walks his thoughts through an idea that is as incomprehensible to him as the concept of two million people in a city. Or even the concept itself of a city that large.

Riku attempting to wrap his mind around the idea of an empire shakes down to the follow. A large group of people takes things from others. They then justify their actions with words. Riku, who came from a small place, places his home in context to what Gabranth was saying and discovered that they, like many others places, would be just another of the empire's conquests. Despite how careful they were, people would be hurt. They would tell him they were sorry with words.

Riku's eyes are narrowed and faintly luminous, the yellow shimmering with the same heat mirage as his aura as he slowly tips his eyes up to face Gabranth. "Yes." the single word is forced from his lungs with a slight hiss at the end. Riku raises a hand to his face and the aura of tension collapses, the baking anger vanishing as he sighs and rubs carefully at his face. "who am I to throw stones." he mutters to himself quietly, shaking his head. "yes.. that answers my question. I don't like the answer, but I suppose I should be grateful I no longer have a home for anyone to take for themselves. Thank you. It-- puts things in the proper perspective. I'm-- I'm assuming you have questions for me as well?"
Gabranth studies the youth, he notices the anger. He knows the look of it and the air around and individual of it. The Judge Magister only closes his eyes though, before nodding his head softly; more to himself perhaps than to Riku really.

Though when Riku speaks up, then the Judge Magister opens his eyes once more to look direction at him. Studying him for that very moment. "I do not expect you will ever agree and I.. once asked a similar question. You see, my true home is not Archades. I am adopted to the city by virtue of my mother. My own original home was conquered by this empire. Though instead of fighting against, I joined with. To then attempt to make sure that become the ghastliest rank possible, I could attempt to either save either places from the same fate of my own or attempt to slowly change fate."

"Sometimes throwing stones does not need to be fighting against, but rather moving within the system and trying to alter it from within." Gabranth then shrugs his shoulders softly. "As for my own questions to you, just perhaps where you do come from and how you have learned to control such a great deal of emotions of your own. No one becomes as focused as you without either a heavy handed life lesson or a very good instructor."
Riku Riku's expression softens slightly, eyes narrowing as he searches Gabranth for the telltale cues of someone feeding him what he wanted to hear. His fingers clatter against the surface of the table twice before he decides to reserve judgement and take the judge magisters words as true for the time being. "People always ask that question, and always I seem surprised by the answer. "

Yellow starts to bloom across his eyes until he looks completely blind. ".. Sometimes I delude myself into giving other explainations. Sometimes I tell the truth." Riku sighs and holds up his hand, resting his elbow against the table. "This." he twists his hand around to stare at the nails impassively. "is a consequence of me not controlling myself. You tend to learn very quickly if the consequence of failing is turning into a monster. " he chuckles, laughing softly as he leans away from the table. "Fighting the system from within is something.. I may actually have experience with."

Riku closes his eyes for a moment and concentrates, levering his hand down to lay flat on the table. When he comes them again, they are aquamarine. The color of ocean water. He continues his story. "I came from a small and isolated world that I chafed at. An ocean world . A sunny.. calm.. beautiful place where nothing happened. It was called Destiny Islands, ironically enough. My father taught me many things, but this-- I have had to teach myself because.. someone took advantage of my longing to see others worlds. To have adventures. To--" he shakes his head and sighs, moving on.

"The very first.. opportunity I had to escape it, I jumped at it. And-- I've been paying ever since."
Gabranth watches the minor transformation. In his mind, it was not to far different then controlling dark magic that he uses. It was something that had to be controlled; or it would control you. The price of power, something he knows all to well.

The Judge Magister though continues to listen, the thought of such a place so peaceful, causes the man to have a slight softened expression, before his brows furrow at the sound of what seems like Riku being taken advantage of by some many. This too, was a price of power. If one did not see it coming, many would take a great advantage of someone, use them, and then toss them aside. It was even a minor curse within the Empire as well, yet everyone did enfact have their place.

And when you became to old, you were well taken care of even after. So not all to bad really...

"The darkness that surrounds you, is not to far from what I was taught to control, Riku. It seems though with improper instruction though, it has started to attempt to overcome you from outside instead of just from within."

Gabranth then turned slightly in the table to face Riku studying the youth a bit more. "I will not give this information to anyone if asked, you have my word on that as a Judge Magister. However, I would like you to think on something." Gabranth then taps his finger only for a few taps on the table, before he lays his hand down flat on it. "I would like to see you be able to control the power you hold better than you have on your own. See that you have proper, full instruction over it. This can either be used for you in the end to either attempt to find your way home once more, stop those from taking advantage of you, or use as you see fit. Though I am sure you know what it would take perhaps already in order to receive such." The Judge of Ambition says with a frown. "..and that I am not so sure you are fully ready for. It would require you changing your name. Placing down your past for a time, and focusing on the current. Being someone else entirely, being someone that no one would ever recognize or relate you too.."
Riku Riku starts to laugh at that. The impulse startles even him as he quickly stifles the laughter by closing his eyes and hanging his head slightly forwards, putting a fist to his mouth before it reaches levels of hysterical laughter he had earlier reserved for the keyblade being called a meaningless trinket.

He looks somewhat embarrassed, and he opens his eyes and looks contrite in the way of soundlessly apologizing for interrupting the magister.
% Riku coughs once or twice, clearing his throat. "Believe me. I'm not as attached to my life as you might think. But.. why are you so willing to help me?" his expression tics and he half reaches towards the inside pocket of his red jacket before stopping and putting his hands back on the table.

"I.. won't immediately assume the worst. But.. usually people who want to help me and do not want things in return end up paying a heavier price than they figure on."
Gabranth raises a simple brow at the laughter, before his face becomes somewhat stern, even when his brows twitch down a little after Riku apologizes by his action. Gabranth then inhales deeply at the question Riku presents him with including a 'curse' that seems to follow the youth.

"There is little left this world can do to me that it has already not done, beyond taking of my soul; but even that is perhaps already far to gone to be saved." Gabranth admits with a narrow his of own eyes for a moment as a flicker of the blue in them almost become an amber in color just for a split second.

"I am willing to help you, because I see a great deal of myself in you and where I could not help Angantyr, but perhaps I can keep you falling from the same fate." Gabranth explains with a minor shake of his head. "Part of the story you are missing with Angantyr, is that his brother joined us on his own accord in order to aid in creating a peace between their homeland and the Empire, however Angantyr angered by his brothers actions, took aggressive actions. He was angered that Rellius, his brother, joined our side."

"So you see, anger when not controlled along with power, can lead one to making actions that are out of control and eventually lead someone to their own corrupted path. Even when they believe so deeply what they do is just, they become blind to how wrong their actions have become."
Riku Riku listens to this and files it away with the other bits and pieces he has come to know about scary armor guy the lesser. There is also a very eerie feeling that surrounds this conversation in the same way he had started to feel about speaking with Katyna.

It seems the same kind of people make or do not make the same kind of stupid choices no matter what world they come from. "Your honor." he says quietly and with conviction. "If that was true, you and I would not be speaking. That you consider it at all makes me want to reach over and knock you upside the head, rules of conversation or not." he smiles ruefully, rubbing the back of his neck as he continues.

" I would not succeed but if anything, you, and this ship, and people like you are reasons to keep fighting against the inevitability of the empire consuming you and everything around it. For everyone, there is something worth saving. Forgive my bluntness, but I have to believe this, or else let go of myself, and this life, entirely."
"I do appreciate bluntness when bluntness is required." Gabranth remarks with a mild smirk, though it is quickly suppressed as fast has it was shown. "Do not lose that, sometimes it can be an honor trait in a person."

The Judge Magister then shakes his head softly. "If you do believe that someone such as I or the crew of the Alexander needs saving from ourselves, as you put it-- unless I am mistaken by your words-- then perhaps such a choice to let me train you may not be a wise one. I am loyal to Archades, they done a great deal for myself and for.. someone very close to me before they passed away."

Gabranth then stands up before he actually gives a respectful bow to Riku. "But, do think it over. I will not hold it against you if you decide to not take up under some apprenticeship, but even if not.. my offer will stand for you, Riku." The judge magister then rises fully, before he waits for Riku to also stand before extending his hand out once the youth does; if the youth ever does, at which case the hand will be kept by his side. "If you do leave out without taking the offer though, if you need of us, call upon us. Though we do need to follow the will of our Emperor, we are not as restricted as some may be lead to believe. Our strength my be indeed be of use to other wars out there, if not at least, breaking up a tide before it collapses upon many."
Riku Not quite the inflection he intended but Riku doesn't correct the judge magister. He slides out from the seat he had been occupied and makes a mental note that an Archadian summons in a dining hall does not actually involve food. Something good to know.

What would this mean.

Riku turns inwards again as he tries to pull the information together to make a decision. Ultimately.. it would mean leaving this life behind. He isn't afraid of that so much as he would be confronted with more people like Faruja. More grieving families. More destruction.

But the empire built the Alexander. The empire builds as much as it destroys. It seems eeriely similar to.. and yet.. what gave them the right to take what is not theirs to take?

Riku finally shakes his head slightly, not extending his hand. "I will think it over, your honor. But-- your world is one built on words alone. The actions shielded by those words.." he shakes his head again slightly. "But I will think about it. It was.." he sighs and admits softly. "It was nice to pretend for a day or two, at least."
Gabranth nods softly, lowering down his hand. His face doesn't show any fracture of emotion at all, all that military training perhaps now coming into play, or something else. "Very well, we are glad to have you here with us, Riku. We will be landing down soon enough and you can take a shuttle to whatever location it is your require to go too once we land."

The Judge Magister then moves to walk past Riku, before he glances over with his eyes to the youth. "Though do know this, many do speak words, but perhaps one day you will find I am a man far more than just that."

Then Gabranth glanced away before he walked on. After all, Gabranth did not speak often, unless it was for reasons he believed best to speak up regarding; though that too would be perhaps something Riku would learn eventually if the two ever crossed paths again.
Riku Riku can't stand this place anymore. He stood in the silent dining hall for several long minutes after Gabranth had gone, staring into the tabletop with grim fascination. He considered just opening up a portal and fleeing the airship, leaving them to make assumptions as they would.

Finally however he simply takes a seat again, taking out the small notebook he had already started to fill with notes and sketchings. He would fill quite a few more of these pages before the day was through and he would quietly disappear into the city.

Perhaps he could pretend for just a few more hours...

This scene contained 18 poses. The players who were present were: Riku, Gabranth