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A Strange Offer
(2013-03-05 - 2013-03-18)
No description.
Leida Early morning was a busy time for the City of Flowers. Being a center of trade meant there was always something that needed to be done to keep the goods flowing; docks to be unloaded, cargo to be inspected and sorted, shops to be opened. The streets are practically packed shoulder to shoulder from the sheer number of bodies traveling through the wide stone thoroughfares on their way to where ever it is that they are needed.

The cries of merchants hawking their wares from dozens of stalls throughout the bazaar are interminged with the grumbles of shift-workers on their way to the daily grind and the occasional cries of outrage when someone realizes that they have fallen prey to the nimble hands of a cutpurse. In such a crowded area thieves were always a threat and the pike-wielding guards hardly bother to make an effort to chase them down, far more concerned with oogling the local women in their revealing desert garb or hassling tourists for pointless information to seem like they're doing their jobs.

The sun is already beginning to make its steady climb into the sky and the brilliant morning light brings with it the heat of the sands. The fire crystal does much to dampen the oppressive temperatures but for someone like Leida, who grew up in the snowy cold of the mountains, it's almost like being under the focused beam of a microscope.

The young princess finds herself awake during the day which is rather unusual for her since coming to this blistering town on the surface of the sun. Within an hour of the dawn she found herself completely soaked with sweat and now sits in the shade of an awning between two buildings, cooling herself with what looks like a cheap touristy hand-fan. If she had the energy, she'd be sporting a look of utter annoyance at this situation, but the heat has sapped all of her endurance and she simply stares dead ahead with a vacant bored expression.

Atleast back here no one was bothering her. She'd tried already the past few days to make her usual trips into the merchant quarter once the initial morning craze died out but even the local stall owners who knew her by name were incredibly relucant to deal with her since her most recent demonic mutation. 'Whatever', she muses internally, 'the Shard Seekers can do their own shopping for a change.'
Sammy Colt The heat, the hawking, the guards, the cutpurses. All this to say: Business as usual. The Turk who had inadvertantly caused Leida to be sporting the crown of bones is making his way calmly towards her position. He had probably been tailing her for a while.

After all, this is Sammy Colt we're talking about. There's no disguise, no misidrection, no briefcase and no hint of back up. Sammy is coming alone and he's looking rather dapper in his wide-brimmed shades.

The dastardly heat doesn't seem to be unbearable to the man in a full dark blue, almost black, suit. As he approaches Leida's position, he stops, turns to the side, makes a whistle and purchaes two fruity-coloured drinks.

"Here. For the heat." Sammy states as his shadow melds with that of where Leida sits, his hand outstretched with a drink that could be on the main cover of most touristic resorts - complete with pineapple, mini-umbrella and swirly straw.

The boy gives the girl a charismatic smile as he nods his head once. "Pleasure to see you, again." He says politely. (Gotta act cool! Gotta act cool! Be cool, you idjit!) Sammy thinks to himself as he waits for Leida to accept the drink.
Leida At the sound of a nearby voice, the demon girl truns her head to the side in a languid manner until her eyes come to rest on the overly polished shoes of the well-dressed man standing before her. With great effort she tilts her chin up, slowly taking in the pressed pants, the pristine jacket. Her gaze slams to a halt when it gets to the drink that is extended her way and a soft appreciative noise escapes from her cracked lips.

Leida eyes the beverage like it were ambrosia from the gods, not even bothering to look up at the face of the man attached to the glass containing the cool liquid. She lurches forward to snatch it out of his hands and immediately begins to drain the contents like she hasn't had a drink in days. The line of the liquid inside swiftly drops down to nearly halfway empty before the princess bothers to even take a breath and she lets out a long contented sigh while sinking her shoulders into the stone wall holding her up.

She stays slumped back like this for several long moments before the fan-waving continues. The drink is held in her other hand and she rests it against the curve of her stomach so that the tip of the straw is easily within reach of her lips. Finally, Leida turns her gaze upwards again to take in the countenance of her savior, only to find the face of the last person she has any interest in seeing today.

"Ugh, you." Her short reply comes with a weak grimace that seems to take most of the energy she has left. Another sip of the drink is taken with no thought for thanking him. She was a princess, damnit, people were supposed to be doing stuff like this for her. "What do you want?"
Sammy Colt Sammy expected the cold reply. The two had had a bit of a rocky start, to say the least, what with the whole lieing thing. But really? Who's fault was that? The lie /was/ easy to look through. No point in saying whom lied to whom and whom was gullible enough to fall for what.

"Thought you could use a bit of a refreshment." Sammy says, his own drink going untouched as he remains standing before Leida, Princess of the Damned Heartless. The Turk looks about squats down so that he can look at Leida at eyelevel.

"Well, we're off to a good start, at least. You didn't kick me in the shins." He says with a smile as he tries to break the ice. There's a pause in his speech as he looks down at her drink and holds up the still untouched one, jarring it a bit so the ice makes the refrshing 'clink' noise as the cubes collide in the cool liquid.

"Go ahead, I don't like these." Obvious lie is obvious, but Sammy's trying to make a friend here.

"Right. Well, let's get down to business" Whether she takes the drink or not, Sammy begins to try and approach the woman on a personal level. "You've got something inside you that's not good. We at ShinRa, even if you think are liars, are interested in what it is and want to help you control it - not in that Seith guy's way, but more in a 'you won't go nuts and level a city' kind of way." He states bluntly.

Sammy's apparently laying it all out on the table, perhaps he learned his lesson about lieing?
Leida Leida glances over at the Turk's legs as if his mention of her previous way of repaying him for his falsehoods were a suggestion. After a moment she just turns her head away and says, "Too much effort." Another sip is taken from her drink though after downing half the contents in one go she seems content to merely savor the coolness and flavor now and ignores the second glass as her other hand is occupied with the fan.

His business offer is met with a derisive snort and an amused smirk slowly works its way onto her face. "Do you now? Ha. You probably have not even the slightest clue what it is you are offering." She shuffles her foot at him in a menacing gesture that doesn't quite make it to his shins. "Go away. This heat has already put me in a bad mood."
Sammy Colt Sammy watched the foot with mild interest. The woman was obviously suffering from heat stroke of some sort. Who else would deny the worlds foremost leaders in SCIENCE as possible helpers with their problems. The Turk looks away from the girl and puts the drink down, as she had not taken it.

"Listen. We got off to a bad start. I lied. I apologized. That's over. As far as this goes, however, it wouldn't hurt you to have some friends who weren't the Shard Seekers looking into this. People who have state of the art equipment to monitor your progress." He states with an actual honest worry in his voice. Whether the worry is directed towards him failing his task or Leida actually succumbing, that's let up to Leida to decide.

"There's no commitment. You can just drop by, have a look and if you don't like what you see, you can walk out." He says as he remains squatted beside Leida.

"What do you say?"
Leida The lids of the girl's eyes slide half shut in petulant annoyance at his persistance as she stares straight ahead at the far wall. She has no reason to trust him and plenty to suspect him of being up to something. Though she doesn't know anything about the actual ShinRa company itself the fearful responses that she has been getting from everyone who wasn't already a good friend is a pretty clear indication that most people don't want to have anything to do with whatever she's become. That he does means he's either foolish or got something up his sleeve.

Without bothering to wonder when she became to pessimistic, Leida shifts her gaze over to the Turk without losing her look of bored dismissal. She regards him for a few silent moments, straw stuck in her mouth, until finally she looks away again. "Why should I? Perhaps I feel this new countenance suits me."
Sammy Colt Sammy gives the girl a 'o rly' look for a moment when she speaks about her new countenance. He's at a loss for words for a moment as he scratches the back of his neck and looks at the vendors in the market.

"Well... Then good. I mean, we're just trying to help. If you want to go all darkness, that's your choice." he states with a shrug as he stands up.

"If you've got a hold on it, then you don't need us, right? I mean, it's not like you might flip out the next time Mr. Smoothtalker Seith shows up and accidentally ram Reize through the stomach with an arrow, right?" He states, trying to make her realize what a dangerous game she's playing by playing the future guilt card.

"I won't always be there to take the beating. What /if/ it wasn't me you shot? What if Seith made you believe one of your friends was turning against you?" (Maybe ratface? Nah, she'd never buy that.)

"If you're worried about me lieing, well, there's nothing I can really do to prove it to you unless you give me a chance. If our scientists can help you understand how to keep your darkness held back, maybe they can figure a way to revert others back to not being possessed by it. That's our thought on the matter." He says before giving a shrug.

"So. Is it a maybe, then?"
Leida Leida laughs for real this time, pushing herself into an upright seated position by digging her heels into the rough stone cobbles so as not to be forced to set down the drink or the fan. Her pretty pink outfit is already stained with sweat and shriveled by the heat so the prospect of getting it wrinkled by her laziness isn't even a concern at this point.

"Did you practice that speech before you came to me?" Her smug reply practically oozes sarcasm which is reinforced by the look she gives him that clearly says she knows what he's up to. "You think you know better than me what manner of darkness festers in my soul? You think that I shall submit myself to your machines and your science so that you may experiment and disect me until you know all that I am?

The last of the contents of her glass suddenly find themselves flying in Sammy's face in a messy splash as the girl turns the cup towards him and catapults the liquid with a flick of her wrist. "I think I shall pass. Thank you for the 'concern'." She reaches over and picks up the other glass that he sat down and casually takes a sip as she turns away, clearly believing that to be the end of this conversation.
Sammy Colt Sammy makes no attempt to move out of the way of the liquid. It hits in square in the face and causes his hair to matte onto his face. His eyes were fast enough to close so he wouldn't get any of the painful fruit citrus feeling, but it's still a little annoying that she chose to over react this way.

The water stains the coat a little bit of a darker shade as Sammy lets it run down and be absorbed into the fabric. It would take an hour or two to get this out, but it's the gesture that counts, maybe she'll feel better.

When she turns away, Sammy takes a napkin out from his pocket and begins to dab away at his face with a sigh. "The dissecting thing would only happen if you went completely Sephiroth on us and tried to wreck the world." He says as flat as possible.

"But I will tell you one thing: You've already let whatever it is in you fester and begin to expand. When we first met, you would have done anything to keep people safe." He states quietly as he finishes cleaning his face and watches Leida's back.

"Now, you see the darkness in everyone. I guess it's a good trade off. You won't get fooled again, at least." He says with a one-sided shrug, "But you probably won't make friends as easily." Talking from experience, perhaps? I mean, he announces himself from ShinRa, obviously people have a certain dislike for him immediatly.

"Suit yourself, but the offer's on the table if you ever need a hand."
Leida "How arrogant you must be to think that by declining your 'oh so generous' offer of subjecting myself to your study that I have succumbed to the darkness." She waves her fan at him in a dismissive gesture without bothering to give him another glance. "You are an annoying man. Be glad I am an honorable sort and did not tell the Shard Seekers who was responsible for attempting to use a poor gullible girl to do their dirty work for them."

She has left most of those details in the dark, so to say. Reize was unsurpisingly supportive when she came to him with her latest trouble. Perhaps it would do him some good to be slightly more skeptical himself. Not that she was planning to do anything bad but if she was, he'd never see it coming. His kindness was a weakness.

"I have my own plans for controlling this darkness of mine and they certainly do not include you or ShinRa. Now kindly leave me be."
Sammy Colt "How arrogant to think you can take yourself alone." Sammy replies quietly, possibly loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to boom over the crowd. With that, Sammy gives a mild shrug and turns about, leaving Leida to her own thoughts as he saunters through the market, back to base.

This scene contained 12 poses. The players who were present were: Sammy Colt, Leida