Scene Listing || Scene Schedule || Scene Schedule RSS
No title.
(2013-02-28 - 2013-04-05)
No description.
Artyom W. Valodjn Traverse Town is a land of perpetual night. But even so, the streets are lit brightly by glowing lamps and are often filled by the hustle and bustle of the town's populace. The city doesn't ever really sleep- there's definitely a time to sleep, but it seems to be something that's more agreed upon than objectively set, and even then, some people don't necessarily stick to the schedule.

And some people just nap whenever the opportunity arises.

One such person is sitting atop a cobblestone shelf. His arms are crossed over his torso, and his shoulders slump against the massive stone weapon strapped to his back. Its tip digs into a cobbled surface, providing some measure of support for the half-snoozing student.

Curiously, a number of other creatures have gathered in the man's shadow. At least one cat snoozes on his knee, and several others lay, scattered, along the platform. He's clearly been here for a... Little while, at least. And very, very still besides.

But is he really asleep? Or is he just waiting for something--

While completely motionless.

He looks quite a bit like a particularly fleshy statue, really. He even has a bit of graffiti- someone has apparantly drawn a circle around one of his eyes in black marker.
Leida There is a soft chime as the door to one of the local boutiques swings open. A small girl slips out of the shop and into the street. Leida sighs as she turns and begins to wander down the wide open cobbled roads of the bustling hamlet. The harsh neon glow of the signs and streetlamps overhead casts a short shadow behind her but its outline is hazy and distorted. She squints against the sharpness of the light, even more sensitive than ever to their burning glow since the events of the mako reactor recently.

Her mind drifts back to the events of the past few minutes. She had come here in search of replacements for the pretty pink clothes that Imi picked out for her since the last pair had been shredded by Heartless. However, upon entering the shop it took a full minute to get the saleswomen to calm down after seeing her corrupted appearance. Eventually they accepted the fact that she wasn't there to eat them or something ridiculous like that but it was still quite obvious that they were glad to see her go after she found what she wanted.

Leida's gaze remains downcast as she walks, trying her best to ignore the stares and gasps that greet her almost every few seconds. It isn't long before people simply start to get out of her way and the murmur of gossip and worry echoes behind her.

Wandering aimlessly, the girl makes her way to a less populated part of town off one of the side roads and plops down next to the strange gathering of cats. She doesn't even notice the unusual statuesqe figure propped up on the shelf nearby. "Just like I thought... I look like a monster," she whispers.
Artyom W. Valodjn People may regard the girl with the same kind of fear that you might expect from someone staring down a monster, but cats are relatively indifferent in the way that they react to someone with inexplicable markings and horns sitting down next to them. Their little bodies tighten like small, fuzzy springs at her approach. A small handful of the younger cats skitter off into the dark alleyways, disappearing into pipes or up windowsills, but a number of older, more experienced creatures remain, regarding the new arrival with a dozen slitted eyes.

One pale cat approaches tenetively from the shadows, creeping up to lift a twitching nose at the girl sitting by the gathering strays.

It isn't much motion, but it's enough to gently rouse the petrified man at their center. One can nearly hear his bones grind together as he shifts, slightly at first, but soon he lifts his arms skyward. He yawns, scattering a few more cats. The one on his lap remains, stubbornly, in place.

He wipes away at an eye, popping his jawbone as he shuts his mouth. His other eye lifts, sleepily, to examine his surroundings, before alighting on something particularly... different.

And there it remains for a good while, as if considering what exactly he's looking at here.
Leida Leida sighs gently as she settles down on the stone outcropping. Her short legs fail to reach the ground from this position and she idly wiggles her feet up and down. The inability to sit still always managed to get her in trouble as a youth; princesses were supposed to be regal and refined but her energy was too great for such things, her body always wanting to be in motion for seemingly no reason at all.

The girl's head tilts as she takes notice of the curious feline sniffling at her, her own slitted eyes meeting those of the small animal in a sort of mutual cautious stare. However, her attention is quickly pulled away by the sudden rumbling and grinding of the massively muscled figure that she only just now realizes it sharing this perch with her.

Leida turns to gaze up at the man with a reserved look. Her gaze drifts up the chiseled features of his body and the strange weapon upon his back, finally alighting on his face. The contemplative stare given to her this stranger is a little unsettling but the face that he hasn't immediately freaked out or reached for his rocky club sets him apart from the other people she's met today.

Swallowing shyly, she inclines her head to him in the best facimile of a bow she can manage while seated in this manner. "Good evening."
Artyom W. Valodjn Artyom is a thinking man. As he looks onto the little, horned girl, he turns her appearance and behavior over in his head once, then twice. Then, he thinks about the cats, and quietly takes note of the cat approaching her side. Finally, he concludes that there's probably something strange about this girl, but it's probably nothing that he must presently be concerned about. If she were dangerous, he thinks, the others would have fled by now.

And so, he replies to her in deep baritone, inclining his head and shoulders in a respectful greeting, "Good evening." And then, he continues, "It's odd seeing a girl out at this hour. Or perhaps it isn't? What time is it, exactly?"

One answer is, of course, 'night time,' but that's a bit obvious.

Regardless, Artyom gradually extends his legs from where they had been tucked under him on the platform until his feet touch the cobbled ground. His head remains inclined, however. It's difficult for someone of his size to twist their eyes to regard someone so small and so nearby without craning one's head a bit. "What has brought you out to this alleyway? Are you perhaps lost?"
Leida In Leida's mind the comparison between this man and a small mountain is already being made. If he had a horn and colored skin she wouldn't have hesitated to call him an oni. However, demons and spirits the likes of which lived in her land do not seem to inhabit these new worlds so she dismisses the thought as idle fancy. Perhaps she just misses her home and everything reminds her of it right now.

In response to his question, she tilts her head with a wry smirk. "Night time, obviously. There is no other here in this city." She is clearly having a poke at him but the girl immediately tries to smooth it over with a better answer. "As for the exact hour, I cannot say. Where I come from the sun and the moon are the guides by which we tell time and here those both mean very little."

Glancing back towards the wary cat, she holds her hand out for it to sniff. "I came here to... rest my legs," she says. It's only a partial lie. Being stared at like some sort of freak show was beginning to wear on her nerves. "I did not intend to disturb you. I can leave if you wish."
Artyom W. Valodjn The parallels that can be made between this man and a small mountain are many, but most mountains do not move, and many do not attract small swarms of cats. Some might draw in dejected young girls, but those typically end up turning into vengeful winter spirits more often than not. Among the Titanic, there are the tall and the small, and not much in the middle. Theirs is the heritage of earth and the mountains, and so they tend to resemble both in various ways.

And there's joke about night-time. Artyom frowns slightly, rubbing at his eyes with thumb and forefinger, "Yeah. I probably should have expected that one. It's awful, trying to figure out what time it is in this town." He pauses for a moment, before fishing a Mabelle out of his pants pocket. There's a brief flash of light as he flicks it on, then back off again. "According to this, it's not quite too late."

"Don't worry," Artyom says after a brief, contemplative hesitation. "I'm a guest to the cats here as well. This is their alley, and as long as they're comfortable with your presence, I can't very well gainsay them," he smiles a bit- but it's a toothless, stoic sort of grin, "I am Artyom. And you are?"
Leida The girl hops lightly off the stone ledge, ignoring the annoyed look the lingers cats give her as they spread out to make room for her to walk a few short steps away. She spins around to face Artyom and gives him a proper Japanese bow, bending at the waist to tilt her upper body down towards him. The long raven black hair that drapes about her body shifts and falls over her shoulders, nearly dragging along the stone pavement with the gesture.

"I am Leida. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintence, Artyom-san." Leida straightens back up after a few respectful moments and gives him another wry smile, trying to hide her shyness behind a mask of playful cheer. "Cats are signs of good luck where I am from. I am glad they do not find me too off-putting."
Artyom W. Valodjn "It is a pleasure as well, Miss Leida. You'll forgive me if I don't rise as well- I'm afraid that it would disturb the one on my leg." And rising to his full height might prove somewhat intimidating. It tends to do that sometimes, with particularly smaller sorts around. Still, he inclines his head one more time, deferentially. "You remind me somewhat of someone I knew when I was younger. But that was a little while ago, now," he continues, contemplatively pinching his chin, "The custom, too."

"At home, we don't necessarily consider cats lucky," Artyom explains, "But in the past, they would keep vermin away from our food stores, and so we started regarding them as good things to have around. I suppose that turned to thinking of them as protective creatures. Agriculture, grain, that sort of thing." His brow unfurrows, flattening into a rather lackadaisical expression, "Or something like that, if I remember correctly. I'd hope so, I'm not too keen on forgetting my history."

"Though- why would they find your presence disturbing?" He pauses. "Do you have a... bad history with felines?"
Leida After all of the things she's seen since coming to this strange new world, a really tall man with big muscles isn't likely to intimidate her. Much. Okay, maybe a little.

Leida just smiles and nods back at his reason for remaining seated; she's long since become accustomed to these foreigner's mannerisms. Atleast he put in the effort. "We too used cats to protect our industry though silk was the trade. Mice apparently love to eat silkworms."

At his final comment, she loses a bit of her fake exuberance. Her shoulders slump a little and she stares at the ground for a moment. "Actually, it is humans that I have found to be the ones whom have issues with me."
Artyom W. Valodjn Most in this new world don't know quite yet, but as a bodyguard to a particularly powerful family, Artyom has in fact been taught that it is at times proper to rise before bowing in most formal settings. But this is not formal and there is a cat on his lap whose claws he would really rather not feel digging into his leg right now.

"Ah, would they?" Artyom grimaces a bit, his nose rankling briefly into a mess of folded skin. "I can't fathom why. Worms are worms, even if they weave silk coccoons. I imagine they'd taste... Like worms. Though I suppose birds eat worms as well."

And cats eat both. Does this mean that cats enjoy worm-eaters? Hm.

And then, there's a frown. It's sometimes difficult to tell when Artyom frowns- it's only a couple of steps away from his usual, tremendously neutral expression. But the downturn of his lips and the darkening of his eyes distinguishes this as a genuine frown. "Humans? Really. I am surprised- there are creatures here that are far more disturbing than a small girl with horns. Men with the heads of lizards, or ears of beasts. I even know a number of people born with steel in their very own bodies. Is it really so strange to have horns and odd eyes?"
Leida "Hmm... I wonder..." Leida looks back up with a fresh mischievous smile after a few moments. "Perhaps if there were others like me it would not be so strange. But I am unique and that makes me different. Humans, I have found, fear that which they do not understand."

A sudden realization hits the girl: 'When did I start referring to humans as if I were not one of them?' Her eyes widen slightly at the implications of this thought process. Perhaps it /would/ be accurate to say that she is infact no longer human. Humans don't have the eyes of a serpent that pierce through darkness with ease. Humans don't bleed corrosive black ichor that seals their wounds over in a matter of minutes. Humans can't control the darkness that dwells in their hearts and wield it like a weapon.

No - humans were dangerous but she was a monster.

"Whatever their reasons may be, I find myself less and less inclinced to make public appearances of late. Today I wanted to replace my dress. It got ruined in a... well, I made a terrible mess of it. A good friend of mine picked it out for me and I did not want her to worry."
Artyom W. Valodjn "I find that people tend to jump to conclusions more often than not," Artyom sighs. "They assume things because of what they see, and that tends to color their understanding. Sometimes for the better, but often for the worse." Artyom shrugs, his broad shoulders moving effortlessly under the massive weight hanging from them. "I find that, taking the time to think before judging a first impression, mmn?"

Not all among the Titanic are patient and deliberative. Personalities can easily vary from place to place. This one just happens to be particularly contemplative. One could easily imagine him with his face buried in a book. He does, in fact, have reading glasses.

"Don't worry so much about them. The people you want to be with are the ones who can look beyond outer appearances. The opinions of others matter only as far as you need to deal with them, mm? Not to say that being callous is a good thing. Courtesy is important as well. But still, try not to let it bother you." He thinks for a moment, then concludes, "It sounds as though you have one such person close to you already."
Leida "Humans want to fit the world into neat little categories so they can go about their day pretending like they have control over everything they see, that each little facet of their lives has meaning and can be slotted into some grand picture where it all comes together to make sense." She clucks her tongue dismissively, eyes sliding shut as her arms cross in annoyance.

"Well, you atleast seem capable of looking past that. I suppose I should be grateful there are a few of you left who are willing to speak to me." Leida exhales sharply and lets her arms fall back to her sides, looking back up with a smile. "Sorry, I am in a foul mood today."

She gestures towards the direction of the street. "You are correct in your assumption, however. There is atleast one person who has grown dear to me since coming here. Though she may, in fact, be even stranger than I." Leida giggles a little, covering her mouth. "Yes, very strange."
Artyom W. Valodjn "How did that saying go? Do not hate humanity, for theirs is already a hard lot?" Artyom hrmms in his deep, rumbling manner. "Or something like that. I seem to remember hearing that somewhere. People tend to do that because it makes life easier to live. There is enough stress in many people's lives that they do anything they can to help alleviate it. It is easier to be callous than to spend energy to think. It's more pitiable than anything else."

"They can certainly be jerks, though," he mutters, rubbing at one temple.

"As for me, I prefer to save as much energy as I can, so I can spend it on more important things." Which is Artyom-Code for 'I like to lay around and do nothing all day, and this is the best excuse I've ever found.' But nobody needs to know that, yet. "I can understand being in a foul mood. I was only napping here because I needed a break from my usual duties. My boss can be... Demanding." Because being a vassal to an heir of a massive fortune who has recently found himself missing that same fortune.

"It sounds like you've got a number of people you're fond of," Artyom smiles. "Even if most people can be awful and cold and all kinds of terrible things, there'll inevitably be someone who can put up with your particular sort of strangeness. Every sword needs its sheath, or something along those lines."
Leida Leida giggles again and peers up at him with those strange eyes of hers, looking at him with a peculiar stare. "You have some very strange sayings, Artyom-san. I suppose in a way I am jealous of humans. They look so happy in their ignorance." She shakes her head and sighs. "It is all an illusion though. War, famine, disease, bad luck - so many things that can end their lives in an instant."

A hand goes to cover her mouth. "Ah! Listen to me, going off on boring topics again. I doubt a human is interested in hearing how weak his species can be." There is a sly tone in her voice, almost teasing in nature. "It is your turn to tell me a little about yourself, Artyom-san. What brings you here to this crossroads of worlds?"
Artyom W. Valodjn "Maybe so, but the temporary nature of life is what makes people so willing to protect it," Artyom replies, staring back without paying much heed to her strange, yellow-and-red eyes. He does, in fact, find it a bit odd, but he's seen people with bits of metal sticking out of them. He's seen babies with this sort of thing going on with them. The Odynar are very strange.

"But don't think that we're weak!" Artyom hrmphs, crossing his arms over his chest. He chuckles, "I'm certainly not, at least. And a cornered rat can still kill a cat." The cats give him a bit of a dissatisfied glare, but he dispels it with a quiet cough. "Besides, you seem more or less human as well, by my reckoning."

"As for me, I'm nothing too special, you know. I serve as a retainer to someone who, in my world, was a rather powerful individual. However, something caused our world to... Fall apart. And so we came here, crawling through the cracks in space and time- but maybe that's a bit too poetic." A remorseful look crosses his face- shadows on his brow grow, matched by a slightly wistful gleam in his eye, "So now, we wait. And I search, in my spare time, for a way to fix things. But things haven't... Been going very well."
Leida "Oh? Hmm..." Leida taps a finger on her lips for a moment, eyes closing again as she ponders something. "Your story is one that I have heard many times. Indeed, I myself come from a land that was swallowed by the darkness." She goes silent and makes a thoughtful sound before uttering a short poem.

"Lonely castaway,
Adrift among foreign stars.
The light of hope fades."

Tilting her head playfully like the cats that surround him, she grins up at Artyom. "Well? Did you like it? It is my welcome present to you." She giggles again. "I used to be a human like you, it is true. But somehow my body is slowly changing. I was scared at first but... now I am not so sure that being different is such a bad thing."
Artyom W. Valodjn "Mmn. So I've seen. There are a number of people here, all from so many fallen worlds," Artyom's arm drifts downward, gently petting at the cat on his lap. "It's worrying. Catastrophes on this sort of scale are something I couldn't even have imagined, a year ago. And now I learn that the same has crushed the lives of so many within the past few months. You have my condolences. Hmn." He closes his eyes, going silent.

And then it begins, a low humm, like a drift of snow growing into an avalanche. It rumbles out from deep in his chest, deep and melancholy.

"Sons of the mountain, weep not for those who have passed,
For they rest in earth eternal, for none fall alone.
Sons of the mountain, fear not the uncertain heavens,
For though the stars in the sky might dwindle and die,
Eternal the earth shall lie."

"Sons of the mountain, from stone you are wrought,
Stand and fall, lose not your pride,
Stand and listen, past glories echo into the present
Sons of the mountain, battle is your bread and catacylsm your wine.
Doubt not your place, doubt not your blood, sing of your history,
Weep not for the fallen, carry their legend forward,
Fear not the uncertain heavens, for your fate is not writ in distant stars."

"For though the mountain might fall,
in its children the earth shall remain."

Slowly, solemnly, the melody comes to an end, and he opens his eyes, "Er," Artyom coughs, clearing his throat, "Pardon. Your poem reminded me of a verse from a song. It's a very old song. A traditional requiem." He smiles a bit, "But I suppose it's a bit hopeful for a requiem. We of Titan are a hardy people."

"But, you know. I think you'd be surprised," Artyom considers, his hand rubbing at a pair of fluffy, feline ears. "I come from a place where 'humanity' is a very diverse bunch. Though if your body is still... changing-" like some kind of awful monster puberty "-Then I suppose you might end up looking very much 'non-human.' But you seem like a good person, at the heart of it. As long as you keep that, then however the body changes, it's all that matters."
Leida Leida blinks in response to the sudden surge of poetic verse that comes spilling out of the large man before her. He didn't really look like the artistic type so it catches her by surprise and a soft sigh of awe escapes her lips. When he's done she laughs and claps a few times in a demure fashion.

"Ahaha! That was unexpected. I sort of feel like you have outdone me." She gives him another bow then moves over to sit on the stone outcropping again. The cat who previously showed interest in her quickly scampers over and resumes its curious sniffing before crawling into her lap. "Hmm? Are you perhaps jealous of your friend, neko-san? Well, we cannot let that stand, can we?"

The soft ruffles of her pink and black skirt provide ample cushioning against the scratching claws as the cat circles around and settles in her lap and the girl quickly sets to stroking the scraggly fur of the alley cat with a faint smirk on her face. "Up until a few months ago, I knew nothing of other worlds. Our lands were filled with more than enough strife and war to satisfy even the most bloody minded. We did not need the problems of others heaped upon our own. But the Heartless are... well, heartless."

"The form you see me in now is much like the one that I was born with. Humans are much the same as each other where I come from. Tradition and conformity are virtues. To stand out means you are disregarding your role or your station and thus someone to be shunned." She chuckles. "If my siblings could see me now... I wonder what they would say."
Artyom W. Valodjn "Oh, no! I was only reciting something I know. It's a traditional song. While I do write, I find it hard to just..." He gestures with one hand, making a vague circular motion at the sky. "Produce, spontaneously. I'm a bit jealous, actually. I've always been envious of people who can create something new from thin air. Anything I've ever written about, I've needed to sleep on."

Sometimes, literally. At least two of Artyom's compositions have been about a particularly interesting surface or dream.

Meanwhile, in Artyom's lap, the fluffy white cat rolls, lazily, over. His land slips over its belly- but as is the case with many cats, this only results in the creature snapping closed around his forearm like a beartrap of teeth and awful, pointy claws. He winces a bit before relocating his hand to the cat's side.

It folds back over, peering out with a pale, yellow-green eye. The fluffy mass that is its tail rises and falls against Artyom's belly- as if it were dusting him.

Because you don't ever really own a cat. The cat, instead, owns you.

"Mmn. Titan was more or less peaceful. It's sort of hard to have massive conflicts on a giant mountain. But there was a place in my world, called Odin." Artyom smiles despite the swollen lines growing on his arm where the cat's claws had raked over his skin. "Odin was an awful, awful place. There were giant monsters of metal on Odin, and they would hunt the people who lived there. It was a very hostile place. Though we did have our share of wars at home."

"Though--" Artyom quirks his eyebrow at the girl, "You were born with the horns? Erm. There's a question I'd ask, but I'm not sure it'd be... Proper." He coughs, "I can relate, though. Or rather, I know someone who can. Though instead of falling into his role, he excelled in it instead. But our world was always very diverse. None were... Too discriminated against for looking different from those around them. Oh certainly, if you had an odd looking Shivan, compared to other Shivans, then you'd probably give them a strange look. Or if you had a Titan who was of moderate height, he'd be regarded strangely, for a bit. So I suppose it was a bit more regional?"

And if you had metal in or growing out of you, everyone and their mothers knew you were from Odin, and you'd probably have trouble finding someone to sit next to you during lunch for at least three or four years.

Artyom wouldn't know anything about that, though.

"But... You mentioned Heartless, mmn?" He strokes idly at the mottled, fluffy creature on his lap, "What exactly /are/ they?"
Leida Laughter bursts from the small girl at his misconception as well as his mistake in handling the wild cat. By contrast her own fresh lap-warmer has curdled up into a tight ball and purrs softly at her tender ministrations. "Oh, no no no. I meant that as a whole I have not changed much from when I was a human. My eyes and um... horns are relatively new. Most of the things that are different about me now are on the inside, though it seems that their dark nature is beginning to manifest physically." She rubs the back of her head sheepishly, looking away for a moment. "Mrrrh... it is sort of complicated."

"As for myself, I never really excelled at anything. Infact, you could call me the family disappointment." A hint of melancholy creeps into her tone as her expression drifts towards a frown. And that was the basic reason behind everything that has happened to her up until this point. The desire to please her parents combined with her utter inability to do so.

Leida waves a hand dismissively. "The Heartless are still a mystery I am afraid. No one seems to know much about them. Where they come from. What their ultimate goal is, if they even have one beyond a desire to devour human heart."
Artyom W. Valodjn "...Oh." It shouldn't be possible for someone of Artyom's size to appear sheepish, but somehow he manages it. If in his own odd, stoic way. He glances away, coughing awkwardly into a balled fist. "Well! I see. That would make a good deal more sense than having been born with horns. I'm sure that would have made certain matters uncomfortable. Ahem."

Again, he coughs. He may or may not be blushing a bit- it's difficult to tell in this light.

"You know," Artyom begins- only to pause for a long moment, as if wondering if he should continue along that track. He soon admits, "I'm sort of a disappointment, myself. To my parents, that is. When I was younger, they had all these great expectations, and I tried my best to meet them, but you can't draw water from a dry stone without cracking it." His expression falters briefly, his brow creasing with thin, furrowed lines. "But you know, nobody's perfect, so don't try to be. Just do what you do. I don't know everything, I only know what I know-- I keep telling myself that."

Meandering, he catches himself. For a little while, he's quiet. The cat's tail taps rhythmically against his chest, producing a steady heartbeat of soft 'thump's. But he soon speaks again. "So, they wish to consume... Actual hearts? That's rather grotesque. And... Bloody. Perhaps we should talk about something else. Mmn. How about those 'inside changes' you speak of? If you're comfortable. I doubt you want to speak much more about your family."
Leida Leida's frown deepens a little. "Unfortunately, the changes taking place in my body are intrinsically linked to my relationship with my family. Not to mention... I have not yet fully come to terms with what is happening to me. It is not something that I feel comfortable discussing with a stranger. "

A little of the princess' royal indignation creeps into her voice as she rebukes the question, almost like she is subtley chastising him for even broaching the subject. She runs her fingers over the cat in her lap a few more times before scooping it up and setting it aside much to the comfortable feline's chagrin.

"I think that I shall take my leave now. The hour grows late and this alley is getting cat hair all over my new clothes." She hops downto her feet and brushes some of the stray fur clearly visible on her bright pink dress off as if to prove the point. "It was interesting to meet you, Artyom-san. Perhaps we shall encounter each other again in the future."
Artyom W. Valodjn "Mmn," Artyom frowns, patting at the cat on his lap. His head inclines in quiet acknowledgement. "Very well, I won't press." In fact, he gets the feeling that it would be downright rude to do so. There's a limit to how much someone would tell a person they'd just met, after all.

He leans back, resting his head on the great weapon on his shoulders. "I hope to see you again, Miss Leida. I rather like this alleyway, and I believe the cats don't especially detest my presence, so I think I will remain here for a little while longer." Nevermind that moving would result in being clawed again.

This is what happens when you have the Boss Cat sitting on your lap. Of course, now he runs the risk of becoming a napping platform for all of the /other/ cats around here.

"Have a good evening. Take care on your way home, mmn?"

This scene contained 25 poses. The players who were present were: Leida, Artyom W. Valodjn