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No title.
(2013-03-12 - 2013-03-12)
No description.
Percival The Bronze-Skinned Gargoyle had awakened earlier, and was already trying to take his mind off the events of the previous evening. He hadn't expected the entire TDA to show up so quickly, so he'd have time to speak to Avira in a more private atmosphere. The fact that he blurted out his greatest shame without offering any context was particularly galling. He'd planned to tell everyone sooner or later, but he'd intended for it to be on his own terms with each of them.

Each time his mind considered such negative thoughts of shame, guilt, or despair he would hear a telltale heartbeat from the object at his waist which told him that he needed to rein in those emotions immediately. He laughed to himself at one point when he thought that maybe Edgar Allen Poe had been cursed in a similar manner, and that it had inspired him to write the classic tale.

Prayer was similarily ineffective. While it made him feel better about himself, the fact that it focused so much on repenting for his wrongs made the heartbeat quicken even faster, and the air begin to darken around him.

In the end he decided on something far more simple. He seated himself upon a rooftop ledge of the Cloud Nine, with his legs dangling off the side, his wings furled about his body and his tail swaying in a constant rhythm behind him. On his lap was a book of classic stories relating to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. He'd read a version of every single one of the stories, but they were his favorites and it allowed him to reminisce on happier times.
Emi Dennou Emi and Shida head up onto the rooftop, The Network usually comes and goes in pairs lately, usually so as to not have too many in one place and also so they do not have too few in one place. The Network prefers to be close to their other nodes.

Emi is on the roof first and upon seeing Percival says, "Apologies, did not realize others were up here." and as such turns, intent on heading back down--

--unless stopped?!
Percival "There's no need to apologize. Quite the contrary, I think if I apologized to you every single day for the rest of my life, that it'd be inadequate." Percival looks back towards her, with a wan smile upon his expression. "Would you like to stay a while? I won't fault you for being angry with me, but I think that I should at least discuss the matter with you if you're open to it."
Emi Dennou It's interesting. If you don't give much to go on, or even just a little to go on, many can read into your actions and through that you can find out a great deal. The sudden reveal is a bit difficult for The Network to deal with, there's little they know of the story for one, but Emi can guess.

"If you'd like." Emi says ultimately, coming back upstairs, dragging Shida along with her.

"What would you like to tell us, The Network inquires....mysteriously."

Emi doesn't comment regarding Infinite Apology Works, it's so strange to think that someone would feel they owe them apologies.
Percival He dogeared the book then closed it, he would then shift himself around so that he was facing inwards.

With a sigh, he'd look her straight in the eyes. When he spoke again he wasn't using his fake accent any longer. "All right. This whole situation threw a spanner in the works. And I understand if you stay brassed off at me afterwards. I wanted to tell you before but I was a right coward and figured that once you had me sussed you wouldn't want to be around me any longer."

He'd rap a talon lightly upon the concrete of the ledge. "None of what I say is meant to be an excuse for what I've done, or for not telling you any sooner. I have none." With his other hand, he'd stroke his chin. "Let me start at the beginning. There was once another squire in my clan, a very fit bird by the name of Gwyndolyn. But even that fails to describe how special and beautiful she truly was. And as craven as I am now, I was moreso then, as I couldn't tell her my feelings."

He eventually settled both his hands into his lap. "Eight years ago, a group of terrorists planted a bomb at a ceremony held in remembrance of British soldiers. The explosion killed a dozen people, and injured many others. To this day, the public believes that the perpetrators were never caught, but that's because it was covered up. The reality is that some of their fellows turned on them and gave the chaps in British intelligence their location. We were ordered to wipe them out to a man, to kill everyone of them."

He chuckled darkly as he thought back to his younger days. "We were younger then, bright eyed, and barely older than hatchlings. It was our first mission, and we thought we were going to change the world. A score of us went, including Gwyndolyn, myself and our masters in Chivalry against a dozen armed men."

And now he frowns deeply, Emi might swear that she hears a thudding but faint heartbeat, while the shadows upon the rooftop would deepen. "When we burst in, imagine my suprise when the first /terrorist/ I faced was naught but a boy. Oh he was armed, that was certain, but he dropped the rifle the moment he looked at what he must have thought was a demon. He just stared at me, shivering in fear. And I couldn't do it. Orders were orders, but I wouldn't murder a boy who'd surrendered. Or so I thought. My hesitation cost me more than I would know." He'd wring a hand across his face. "It looked like it was happening in slow motion behind him. A man aimed a gun at Gwyndolyn. I tried to push the boy out of the way, but was tripped up. She was shot, and killed almost instantly. I couldn't even avenge her, as someone did it for me. The last thing I remember is looking at the boy who'd denied me the chance to save her..."

He takes some deep, calming breaths, and the heartbeat would become a bit more irregular. "...and then I was looking at naught but his mangled body. I don't know what happened to me on that day. And ever since, there are times when I just, black out. The same thing happens, but noone else has died as a result of it. I'm just told that I fight mercilessly, like a true demon, or a beast out of perdition itself. There's still no excuse for it Emi."

His gaze would list upwards, to the sky. "I tried to turn myself in for murder. I was laughed at. Just following orders after all. They tried to Knight me for /valor/ but I wouldn't accept it. It took them a while to figure out that I was damaged goods, and then they finally stopped the offers. The worst part...the worst part is that I couldn't even mourn her. I couldn't bring myself to attend the wind ceremony in her honor. Everything that was special, and beautiful in my memories has all been tainted by one vile act, for which I can never be forgiven."
Emi Dennou Emi assumes 'bird' is some manner of slang she doesn't know and sets it aside for later investigation.

She listens. She nods at appropriate times, and sometimes--she even strokes her chin. She does not speak up. Emi is not especiailly judgemental, even with Evja she really was just trying to get her to understand why people were angry with her and she got a bit frustrated, yes, but to be fair--she got stabbed a lot by her--as did her friends.

The sad fact of the matter is, is that Emi isn't entirely sure she could say for certain Percival is the killer from what he's said. Were there eyewitnesses, DNA evidence, magic evidence? They were ordered to kill everyone, it could have been another gargoyle or another human on top of that.

She does not say this. They're just thoughts that enter her head. Instead she says, "We have been killed several times before." She shakes out her top a bit before adding, "We don't have much of an opinion regarding this event you mentioned. It was before we met you, so The Network can hardly claim it to be some manner of betrayal, though it certainly explains a thing or two. If our friendship helps you from not blacking out, then we will continue to be our friend. The Network further requests that if something were to happen to us that you do not give into your anger on that topic as well, we have already outlived our intended lifespan so there should be nothing to be upset about should we perish from this moment after."

She lets her arms drop and adds, "We do not think we care for these knights of yours."

Maybe that's the bigger bombshell being dropped, or the smaller one compared to being rather blaise about the death of a child (though to be fair, they are The Network). In either event she continues, "We apologize for trying to encourage you into becoming a knight. From how we understand it, they seem to be lesser than what you are. We imagine it is better to be angry than apathetic and uncaring, the Network admits bashfully."

She turns her head towards Percival, fixing him with a look. "Instead, you should be a detective like us. Maybe you are better suited for it, and maybe it will help you with your problems, The Network guesses."
Percival Had Emi asked for evidence, then Percival would have just stated that he knows it as a certainty. He wouldn't have explained any further, as even he was trying to repress the graphic details of what he'd puked out afterwards.

He would nod at Emi's explanation. "I'm not sure what brings me out of it Emi. I'm not even sure what triggers it. It always happens when I'm in battle. It doesn't even relate to how angry or injured I am. Its happened several times when I was completely calm. All I know is that sometimes, before I regain my wits, I heard a voice from one of my friends or allies. That time it was yours. Another time it was a weeping Burmecian woman. And yet another, it was Zia. I do appreciate your friendship and your trust though. As surely I do not deserve it." He would stare at her evenly. "Emi. I don't see how I could feel anything but anger if one of the network's nodes perished at the hands of another, whether you are past your lifespan or not. I don't think I would kill them, as I could not even kill the Witch we fought last eve but I would make them pay for it."

Percival would smile sadly at her. "They are my family, nevertheless. It is the only life they've ever known and I don't consider them my lessers. Perhaps if I'd had the courage of my convictions at the time, I would have expressed my feelings more eloquently and tried to argue for change."

Percival would shake his head though with a smile. "I'm not trying to be their kind of Knight, Emi. I reach for an /ideal/. I often fall short of the mark, as a result."

He looks down at his hands, a self-depreciating smile on his expression. "A detective? It is a fine idea I suppose, but I don't know if I'm cut out for it. You know what the others think of me, Emi and how I see myself. I'm naught but a fool. My only talents lay in the protection of others. Have you ever heard of a foolish detective, who is good at what they do? But many consider Knights to be gallant fools depending on the way they see the world. It is a worthy thought, and in a perfect world I would try to be both a Knight and a Detective, but such a world does not exist for a flawed fool like myself."
Emi Dennou "The Network admits to not understanding how one can deserve friendship. Being alone is a terrible thing." So that is why he was so forward in his attempts to protect them, he had failed before, so he is sort of in that position where he kind of overdoes it. She sets aside that analysis for now. "You are our friend, you can discard that if you wish, but please do not assume we will drop your friendship unless we do so or speak that you do not deserve it...unless you wish to say you doubt our ability to make such choices..." Her eyes narrow faintly, it may not be a good idea to say you doubt their ability to choose their friends.

She thinks about family, which she understands a bit better, but ultimately sidesteps the subject to speak a bit on themselves. "The Network often worries we give off an incorrect image of who we are and what we are. We may be small, female, and perhaps even a little bit cute--but we are not innocents. We were created to die. And we did so with no complaints until we reached this new world. We assaulted a fellow experiment because we were told to. Morality is not something that frequently concerns us, we obey one guiding principle primarily and that is to do our best to help those that cannot be helped by anyone else. We do not try to be cruel, dark, or evil--of course--but we are under no illusion that we are some manner of authority on ethics. If you black out and hurt someone irregardless of your will, The Network could easily say you are not responsible in the slightest, you did not will such a thing to happen. Perhaps there was some darkness in your heart, but if it's unintentional how can one truly be blamed? This is not to say that it is our opinion, but we could make a convincing argument in that sector, this one believes."

"Striving to be a knight...has that helped you? That is more our concern. It does not seem to have, hench our offer to try another path, that of the detective. Of course you are not a good detective yet, nobody starts out excelling at a path or occupation but failing to protect two people in your life has defined you, for better or worse. That sounds like an acceptable origin for a detective to me. The way you consistently put yourself down distresses me. The Network suspects that is not good for you either."

She pauses for a moment, taking in a long breath.

"What was his name, The Network inquires."
Percival His gives her a look of bewilderment, and nearly sputtered out his response. " Its not my... It was never my.." He takes a moment to compose himselves. "Emi, it was never my intention to imply that you're incapable of making good choices in regards to whom you offer friendship to. When I say that I feel that I don't feel like I don't deserve it, it is a a fault of my own." He rubs his hand over his eyes. "I really am dim." He mutters that to himself before continuing. "I may have botched the way I put it. I've done a terrible wrong. It makes me feel as if I'm a monster, who does not deserve anything but to be alone. I tell myself that I'm not. My friends tell me that I'm not. Deep down I still /believe/ that I am. Belief is a powerful thing, and no matter what I do to try and believe otherwise, I still think of myself as a monster somewhere in my mind, and that is why I say that. I'm not trying to imply that I'd rather be alone, or that you're making a bad choice. Just that I feel so ashamed of myself that I would not blame others if they decided not to be my friend."

Percival gives her a strange look as she explains her situation. "I..." Again he tries to compose himself, lest he botch it up. "I don't consider you to be innocents, and I apologize if you have that impression. I don't consider you to be tidy birds that need protection from the world. And if it makes you feel any better, then I would just as willingly throw myself in harm's way Mercade, Will, or Max as I would one of your nodes."

He would sigh to himself. "The reason I may have treated you as such is because I misunderstood how you were linked. I thought perhaps that you were still shackled in some way, in a way that was suppressing your individuality and considered it to be a terrible thing. It wasn't until I interacted with your other nodes that I realized that you /are/ individuals, and that your link is not any sort of shackle. Its an intimate sharing of ideas in a way that I now envy in a way."

He would shake his head again as she tried to explain her thoughts on his blackouts. "No, Emi. I consider myself fully responsible for aught that I do. There is darkness within my heart, and I know not how it might be controlled."

He'd withdraw an ornate rapier from its scabbard, letting her see it, and she'd hear the steady heartbeat grow louder. "I found this on a recent hunt for pirate treasure with Zia. Something seemed peculiar about it, so I thought to track down its origins and former owner so I could return it. I needn't have bothered. It was an elaborate trap set for me by an armored elf, who is a Shadow Lord I suspect. He told me that it sought me out, for the blackness it sensed stirring within me. He offered me power, if I would help them darken worlds. I refused of course, but that matters little. The blade is cursed, within it sleeps some malevolent spirit of sorts, it will always return to me if I discard it. If I destroy it, it always reforms. The spirit amplifies any negative emotions I have and if I gave into it, it would proceed to darken worlds." He turns the blade, examining its surface. "And so I've been trying to keep my emotions in check, as I don't know how to suppress its darkness. If I learn to channel it, and control it then I will be party to darkening worlds. If I do not learn control, then he warned me that I would eventually become a mindless beast. If I learn how to keep it suppressed, and perform altruistic works, then it will eventually anger the spirit enough that it will take corporeal form. If I defeat it, I am free."

He resheathes it suddenly. "The point is, Emi, that I take full responsibility for the darkness in my heart, and will continue to do so. I consider my life worth less than anyone else in this agency, and would give it without hesitation to protect any of you. At least I would leave this world with the knowledge that I had done some good."

He'd nod at her explanation. "Do I think it has done me good? Yes. For I strive constantly to be a better person, to try and do enough good works that one day I might be able to look into a mirror again without seeing a murderer. What frightens me Emi is the thought that I would become the sort of person that would /forget/ what I've done. That I would no longer care." He'd also nod at her discussion of a detective origin. "I suppose it is, Emi. But I consider one of those failures to be a murder on my part, not just a failure to protect."

A long pause, he looks back up at the stars for so long that Emi would perhaps begin to wonder if he didn't know, but he finally spoke. "Cameron Brennan. Age fourteen. Joined the Fermanagh Brigade of the IRA because he fancied himself a patriot. He's survived by two parents, Mary and Ciaran. One sibling, a young sister named Bridget, at the time Age six. Now age fourteen. He had aspirations towards acting originally, but thought that he might become a politician if Northern Ireland were freed of the commonwealth's control. His part in the bombing is unclear, or whether he played a role in it at all. He was very new."
Emi Dennou "The Network would say we are more akin to a shared entity that shares individuality." Emi's cheeks puff out adorably anyway despite everything they just said. Sometimes it's more of a talent than a concious effort. But this might be a bit of fenagling over fine details, really.

She raises a shoulder faintly as Percival goes into his beliefs regarding his pain and his darkness and his mistakes. It's all very hard to think about, let alone make judgement calls on. There are few tragedies she has been told about that quite match this. She has no idea what to say, or how to even think about the ethics of such a thing.

"Can a heart be truly free of darkness? The Network wonders." Emi says after a moment. She looks over to the blade, then back up to Percival, then down to the blade again.

She rests a hand on Percival's claw. "...But we won't dissuade you, then, from your suffering. If you feel that you must. Perhaps eventually you'll be free of it, perhaps, but perhaps that will lead you to becoming the person you want to be, someday."

"Still, I suppose you /would/ do that for the others too." She allows herself a small smile at that. She looks towards Shida, who has been quiet, because really there's not much reason for multiple people to talk for this. She does give Percival a quiet smile as well, though.

They both listen to the details regarding Cameron and, eventually, Shida speaks up first this time.

"We'll remember him as well, then. Thank you for telling us."
Percival "I'd like to think that mine was free once Emi, but I don't know. Sometimes I wonder if the seed was always there, just waiting for the right oppurtunity to sprout. Sometimes I think that it wasn't, and that the situation opened my heart to it. Most faiths akin to mine say that the sins of our progenitors tainted all of us in some way, but I'm not sure if that's the case. My views are quite different than most denominations of Christianity."

He would look down at her hand as she touches his claw, speaking in a soft voice. "I hope so Emi. It is my own personal quest I suppose, if you'd like to think about it as such. To learn what can change the nature of a person so steeped in sin and regret."

He must have gotten something in his eye, for he'd wipe the back of his arm against them repeatedly. Yes they must have been misting up due to a splinter of some sorts. His voice was barely a whisper. "Someone should..."
Emi Dennou Emi patpats the back of Percival's hand. There there, there there.

"We don't forget." Emi promises. She seems content to leave it at that, though. "We will always have an ear, though we cannot always promise understanding."
Percival "Thank you, for being you." He would nod back to Shida, and Emi in turn, and remain silent for a good long while.

He would eventually break the silence clumsily. "But, enough about me. We should go inside and check upon the others. They're more important than a foolish duffer of a Gargoyle."
Emi Dennou "Nonsense, this foolish duffer of a Gargoyle is very important." Emi counters--hey she's not going to insist you're not a foolish duffer, but she has her own way of twisting words around to get what she wants anyway HO HO HO HO HO.

"But even so, we should." She adds, heading on downstairs.

This scene contained 14 poses. The players who were present were: Emi Dennou, Percival