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Messages - Astaphaios

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1
Fan Works / Re: char's oc prompts.
« on: November 28, 2019, 04:38:18 AM »
RIP Nixus Spectrum, I been tryna kill u off for years

(click to show/hide)

2
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 08:38:54 PM »
 The newcomer's arrival was sudden enough that Caialyn almost jumped. Instead, she pressed a hand to her chest and let out a sudden breath. She muttered a curse under her breath and ran a hand across her fringe.
 "Knocking was out of the question, I see." She murmured, "God forbid I go another few centuries without a heart attack..."
 But she stared at the newcomer -- the Director -- taking in the details. His face was almost impossible to make out, masking his expression - stoic as it was - as well as it did any other details of his face. All she could make out through that tapestry of ink on his face were his eyes, dark hazel, betraying no emotion, and with a dull gleam that would have had her assume he was an opium addict if she wasn't equally sure he was probably just generally disconnected from everything.
 Thorkild's reaction was telling; he didn't like this man. But that wasn't Caia's problem. She'd just about had her fill with the weirdness that permeated every surface of this Sanctuary.

 "Removed. When did agents stop using the word neutralised? They always have such pretty words for the same thing," There was no judgement in her tone, though she now seemed, and felt, bone-weary. "Then our disagreement is solved. Quite conveniently, at that.
 She uncrossed her arms, ready to stand. "The Middle-East is, for now, at your service, Elder."

3
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 04:29:13 PM »
 Uriah finally stepping in was appreciated, though Caialyn found herself setting her jaw hard enough that her teeth clacked at Thorkild's tone.
 "Regardless of what you've spent your past doing," Caialyn's voice was soft, smooth, absolutely no threat in it, "I'd ask you to respect my fellow Elder, given he's older than both of us combined, and is prone to sneezing brimstone when irritated. It's really quite a bother." It was worded as a quip; her and Uriah weren't about to start popping off at him, given his current Sanctuary was a shadow of what it once had been and - frankly, the man himself seemed to be a shadow of what he once was.

 Whatever Thorkild was before, he was little more than a cantankerous old fart now. Being met with his indignation was not exactly going to have her singing his praises anytime soon.
 "I am not offering an alliance," Caia's tone hardened a little, "The Middle-East has thrived without the intervention of others, I will not upset that delicate balance we have by forming hasty alliances in a single night. And your Council of Elders has more to worry about than forming alliances right now, anyway."
 She rolled her pen between her fingers, settling a flat, blunt look on Thorkild. "Egypt was never the property of the Ivory Coast, to begin with. The fact that you have intelligence agents there speaks volumes," She uncapped her pen, "And the fact you deign to tell foreign officials about your intelligence operations in such a volatile place is only more telling. Your price was never high, and your attempt at posturing in your position is rather sad to watch, Elder. Whoever turned you into such a hard negotiator deserves your scorn, but we certainly do not."

 Honestly, he really wasn't in a position to negotiate. The Blackshield Dossier was still damning information on the Sanctuary, even if those responsible were now merely specks hidden somewhere on these pristine walls.
 How much did she trust the Ivory Coast? Politically, this entire situation was bad timing - and she didn't like the idea of being known to have had any talks with the Elders here, not with the bad reputation they currently carried. Egypt was something she wanted, but not for the Sanctuary ruins - which Thorkild had now admitted likely no longer held the remains of her old friends, anyway - but more for the mages themselves. How much did she really need that land?
 "Draw up a new border," Caialyn stated, "The Middle-East will annex parts of Egypt and assimilate their mages into our jurisdiction, so we will get the land our Gaol stands on, Cairo will belong to nobody, and your Sanctuary can keep the remaining parts. That way, I don't even have to acknowledge your workers - no offence - and you don't have to acknowledge mine unless they end up working on a joint project. It is not quite an alliance, and it's not quite a Cold Peace, and the Middle-East gets to keep our isolationism intact. To me, that sounds fair and more than fair. I can send my Head Gaoler, Roshin, to your lands also. She was a Cleaver General - and so will have no issue helping to train - and a dedicated Symbolist, as well as having the annoying quality of following orders to a fault."
 She uncrossed her legs and placed her drinks down. "But, until you get the promised aid, Egypt can wait."
 She looked to Uriah. "Any objections?"

4
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 06:52:14 AM »
 Caialyn stared at the shaking hand, realising in that exact moment exactly how she felt about Thorkild Feilstrom. She thoroughly fishing disliked him. He was proving himself to be pig-headed, irascible, and outright rude.
 And they hadn't even done anything other than offer aid. If this was the man taking care of a large portion of the rebuilding effort, then he must have been DIY'ing most of it, because she couldn't imagine he was making many new friends.
 
 "Ambassador status," She finally said. As she said it, she realised how much she hated the idea of having to treat Ivory Coast spies as ambassadors, to give them the privileges that ambassadors in her land would get.
 The look she gave Uriah was one of blatant discomfort, half-expecting him to chime in with the risks of allowing intelligence agents such acknowledgement. "I can leave your spies well enough alone, but ambassador status? You do realise the odd position of giving that to a bunch of African spies, yes?"

 No, he surely couldn't have. Either that, or he didn't have a working knowledge of how Caialyn's Sanctuary was run. The Ivory Coast was generally a lot less forthcoming, it was cutthroat, the Middle-East...
 "Why would you want your intelligence agents to act as representatives, to be given those privileges? Who and what could that benefit? Considering the Cradle of the Dark Gods is in such a state that it drives psionics to lunacy, even with Cleaver conditioning, I'm unsure of going that far. Left well alone, yes, but I don't want to acknowledge their presence in an official manner even remotely. They are your agents, on assignments near the Dark Cradle for your purposes. Surely, it's better on their assignments for me to not acknowledge them anyway, no intelligence agent wants to be noticed."

5
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 04:55:35 AM »
 "Valuable," Caialyn echoed, finishing her drink and placing it down. It didn't particularly sound valuable to her, and it was just telling of how ruined this Sanctuary was. That was if it wasn't already evident, and Thorkild hadn't just admitted to them both how bad the situation was.
 His mood was unpleasantly excrement-like. He was almost purposefully making himself hard to deal with, and it was hard for her to not think about how he wasn't suited to his job in his current state. Caia recalled Elder Feilstrom with a fierce reputation, one that garnered great respect.
 Not this sullen drunk that kept staring at her Elder as if he was fresh meat.

 "Valuable, not so much," She said with a frown. "We delegate liberally. Perhaps a little too liberally at times, and the Middle-East thankfully only has a few issues that need sorting urgently, so sending personnel out won't make a huge dent."
 A pregnant pause and her frown deepened. "My English is embarrassingly basic at times," She admitted to Thorkild, "My sentences make it sound as if I am trying to offer this out of the goodness of my heart, that is not so."

 She poured herself another drink but kept the tumbler on her lap, not reaching to drink from it just yet. Her eyes assessed Thorkild, trying to read him. It was hard to get anything out of him other than his patience being thin, he looked itchy, as if he were prepping for a fight.
 Well, it was understandable, she supposed.
 "Egypt." Caia said flatly. "It won't come as a surprise that I, for lack of a better term, want Egypt. I'm long tired of this argument of whether or not Egypt is part of the Middle-East or part of Africa, the Sanctuary there is in ruins. My allies - my friends - who were running it dead, and they will be dead for nothing if it just remains ruins. My Gaol is there, and my personnel work there regardless of whose land it seems to be, it only makes sense," Her voice was hardening now. "In return for sending you aid, I ask for my homeland."

6
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 04:06:39 AM »
 Thorkild's comment on the foyer had Caia's eyes once-more flicked to him, and she poured her drink absently, unsure of what to comment. Multiple sentences streamed into her mind, all of them could be shortened down to; unpleasant excrement happens. None of them was particularly helpful.
 She sat in the chair across his desk, crossing one leg over the other and glancing at Uriah with an arched brow.
 "I'm sure there's a chair big enough for you, Uriah," She quipped warmly. "No need to be standing so awkwardly."

 With a look towards the drink, she found herself feeling a little awkward. It'd be hard to actually drink with the veil in place, but removing it in front of others was something she'd never done. It was an effort to keep her hand from shaking as she unclipped the veil and folded it neatly in her lap, running a hand along the ruined skin of her jaw before taking a delicate sip.
 "To be frank, it's not exactly a delicate subject I'm trying to broach," Caia levelled her mocha eyes on Thorkild's own haggard gaze, her face the picture of gravity. "Your Sanctuary is in disarray, you have a skeleton crew, and there's damage to the building that will take too long to repair. You are in a vulnerable position, and Africa is my home -- I know how volatile the magical community is here, always. There is a reason the War was so nasty here, and it wasn't just to do with the people."
 She felt as if she was being a little too blunt, but she kept her stare on Thorkild as she talked. "You have a giant monster population that poses a threat, an unfinished Council of Elders, powerful mages with a vendetta against you. It's a bad position, so I'm offering aid - rather insisting on aid, actually. I understand that the Middle-East has always been strictly neutral ground, I know it looks odd for us to be intervening, and - of course - the nasty rumours about my intentions," With that, there was an actual roll of her eyes. "Regardless, Riyadh is always bustling and always expanding. We have a lot of people that can work towards a rebuilding effort, added security measures, and assisting with keeping things running so that you and Roland aren't run ragged."

 With another look towards Uriah, she found herself crossing her arms. "And, of course. You likely need more Cleavers. And these days, you are a diplomat, not a warrior -- I'm assuming you won't be taking a hand in their training."

7
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 02:35:04 AM »
 Caialyn had looked for things to comment on while walking, but she'd learned long ago the ability to read a room. And this room was about the most depressing sight ever. The damage done by Gideon Macabre was still visible, there were scars here that didn't look like they'd ever be healed. It looked like a damn warzone, and it was all the doing of one man.
 She ran Thorkild's comment on emails in her head. Was that due to age? Maybe he'd gotten scammed -- she was tempted to tell him that the Nigerian Prince scam was one she'd fallen to once, it was nothing to be ashamed of, but that seemed a little too flippant for the morose tone.
 
 As Thorkild disappeared across the threshold, Caia started. She glanced over to her friend, but he seemed equally baffled. It was only when his arm popped back through that she'd decided to step through, feeling the warm wash of magic settle over her skin. That was a symbol she'd have to ask Gauci about.
 Caia swept the room with her gaze. Well, there were no body parts. That was a start. Though it didn't particularly look like a room Thorkild had claimed for his own just yet. If anything, it was a little depressingly bare. Nothing like the description of his office in the Scandinavian Sanctuary.
 It seemed everyone was depressed nowadays.
 "You mentioned the Grand Mage. Is he coping well? Becoming Grand Mage is never a smooth transition, especially in such turbulent times," It was only really asked to be courteous. As turbulent as her own rise to Grand Mage was, she wasn't particularly sure that anyone other than the Russians could give advice on being stuck in power after a massacre. Even then, they probably wouldn't. That Sanctuary wasn't exactly known for being forthcoming.

 Caia reached down to her calf, to her sheathed blade. She pulled her beloved pen out and uncapped it.
 "I hope you don't mind," She told Thorkild as she'd started writing a complicated command on some paper, which quickly turned into a decanter of sweet port, paired with crystal decanters. She gave a satisfied smile and turned back to the Elders. "Unless I read the room wrong, a drink is much needed."

8
Africa / Re: A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 01:27:44 AM »
 Elder Feilstrom approached and--
 Jesus Christ. What did the man eat? He was pure solid muscle! Muscle and warm smiles, what an odd combination in such macabre surroundings. The Grand Mage's brows flicked up at noticing he'd been carving names himself, though her expression remained soft - perhaps even softened. If it were her own Sanctuary, she'd likely be doing the same.
 She certainly wouldn't be smiling at guests. Caialyn didn't expect a warm welcome and was pleasantly surprised to receive one. She shook Thorkild's hand, her own grip firm, her eyes scanning his face. Thorkild was certainly well-groomed, there was no arguing that, but the shadows under his eyes were beginning to look like one large bruise, and was he a little thinner than when she'd last seen him? Granted, she'd only really have seen him in passing, likely years ago now, anything could happen in such a time.
 "Uriah." Caialyn's eyes flickered to her friend, "I'm sure I mentioned something about not talking about the past. If I didn't, it's because it's common sense. Keep up, old friend." Her tone was soft, layered with a smile, though there was an underlay of tension to everything she said, the unspoken words being; I really fishing need this to go well. fishing chill for a moment, will you?
 
 Caia cocked her head back to Thorkild, withdrawing her grasp from him and crossing her arms. Both Uriah and Caia were old - and both had been in the War. The main difference had been that while Uriah had likely been in Israel, Caialyn had then lived in Egypt.
 In short, she knew plenty about the War in Africa. She had lived it, and her actions had tarnished her own reputation, she more than understood the desire to move on from that.
 "The pleasure is ours, Elder," She bowed her head. "Elder Ravan doesn't mean any disrespect. I'm personally of the belief that he was raised by apes, for all the social graces he has."
 For an Elder, Thorkild wasn't wearing robes. That much was a relief. Though, the sight of the Cleaver jacket around his shoulders didn't exactly inspire confidence. Her eyes flicked once-more to Uriah.
 He doesn't wish to be called Company Captain, yet still wears the jacket? This is going to be a long talk.
 "And thank you for replying to my letters. I understand everyone here is busy, of course, and it's an incredibly dated way of reaching people, I've always just preferred the pen," Her veil shifted and her eyes crinkled at the sides due to her sheepish smile. "Shall we find somewhere less public to talk?"

9
Africa / A Helping Hand (Gid and Lottie)
« on: November 27, 2019, 12:42:34 AM »
 The Côte d'Ivoire had always been an odd Sanctuary. Not many Grand Mages wanted to approach them; they had ridiculous power for such a small strip of land, and there had always been that awkward feud with the South African Sanctuary that made things difficult, in terms of diplomacy. It had left the Middle-East, with the land that they had amassed and kept a delicate control on, in an increasingly awkward position with their neighbours.
 Israel's death wasn't exactly anything Caialyn had mourned. She'd never particularly liked the telekinetic, and she was pretty sure she'd heard Uriah opening a champagne bottle from his office when news had reached them. Canaan's disappearance wasn't exactly anything to mourn either; the sunderer was ridiculously strong, if anything, it was nice not to have to rely on his good-will to know her lands would be safe.
 Still, it left Roland Mercer as Grand Mage. It was customary to offer assistance. Customary, and beneficial. Roland wasn't anyone that Caialyn had ever had the chance to get to meet, not particularly, and so she'd asked Uriah for some information on him.
 The Fire-Tamer had merely snorted -- snorted -- and said, "Old. Paranoid.". Needless to say, it wasn't exactly telling of a great chance at diplomacy. If he was old, he knew his way around politics, there was nothing really to worry about. But Caia was nothing if not thorough.
 That was why she'd thanked the powers-that-be that the Ivory Coast had recently been gifted with the presence of one Thorkild Feilstrom. The Norwegian was much easier to mince words with. He was also, as it happened, easily approachable. A few missives and they had already arranged a meeting.

 It was because of this that she now walked through the warehouse yard into the Sanctuary with Uriah in tow. Compared to her own Sanctuary, it was disappointingly empty. There was no hubbub of people, no bustling offices, and no ambience that working life always carried. Of course, it wasn't like it was good times for the Sanctuary.
 Caia had opted for clothing befitting an African country - her clothes of loose Egyptian cotton. A cream blouse with sheer balloon sleeves, the thick golden cuffs at her wrists, culotte trousers that tied at the waist. Her dark hair was twisted into a bun, and her veil was a dark splash of colour against her skin. People usually didn't tend to comment on her lack of Elder's robes, but she had the feeling that most of the Elders - the only Elder, now - in the Ivory Coast didn't tend to wear them either. Kindred spirits in that regard.
 The Administrator - she wondered if it was the original administrator, or someone having to fill in - nodded them forward and the elevator doors opened, allowing them to step into the Foyer. Caia gave them a nod in response and stepped through, pausing at the sight. The only thing that gave away her sudden shock at the devastation caused was that she had a degree of knowledge on this Sanctuary - she knew what was currently being carved into the outer edges of the Foyer Circle.
 A dark day indeed when so many names needed to be added to the circle. Caia's brows edged forward.
 "We'll wait here," She informed her fellow Elder. "Feilstrom would be expecting us here, anyway... and do try not to make a nasty comment, Ravan."

10
 Aria wasn't sure how much she agreed that Ortez had to be a part of Crayne Consolidated, and she honestly couldn't say she'd agree with facing them off for anything. Rico could do that one on his own, for once.
 Hell, he fishing deserved to do that one on his own. After this. Though she kept her face schooled into a mild interest, her mind was still reeling a little bit.
 "Aranea is a vampire, yes. Her reputation is pretty... vicious, as well. Though that might mostly be because of Crayne. She deals with a lot of stuff in the company. If you wanted to see Crayne - who's a Lycan, by the way - the chances are you're definitely going to run shy of Aranea," Aria grimaced, "And if you do, then good luck, because I hear she plays with her food."
 It wasn't surprising to Aria at all that Aranea had someone keeping their head down in her presence. Of the very few visits that she'd made to the Sanctuary, the savagely beautiful woman was wreathed in so much fear that Aria was terrified of even glancing in her direction. Hell, she'd thought she'd been traumatised because of it. She didn't tell Rico any of this; she was tired of seeing that pity in his gaze.

 Her warning went completely un-heeded as Rico immediately started asking about how to get into the building. Her lips parted but her reply died on her mouth.
 Which fishing building? Chicago? London? Any of the others in-between? She was tempted to say. It was a fishing business, not a Bond lair! There was no need to go about skulking in the shadows, and Aria Kane did not carry enough of a death wish to attempt to hack them!
 Dodge confronting Ortez again? The woman's right fishing outside, Rico! Stop running from your problems and fishing face up to them! You almost killed me, you WERE GOING to kill me-- Aria felt her face suddenly become shadowed, her jaw feathering, her eyes shuttering in annoyance. Her thoughts had become a jumble of very harsh thoughts directed towards Rico. Running off was not the answer, especially not right now -- what was he playing at?
 "You walk through the front door?" Aria suggested monotonously. "London tower is just across the City. You could grab a tube and make it there in record time, but that's where Voluntas usually runs things -- she may as well be the kingpin of London, really. Chicago tower is, obviously, in Chicago, but given that Silas Crayne is a CEO I doubt you'll get to meet him for your own personal vendetta." There was a pregnant pause before she continued. Rico was trying to wheedle her help for this one, and she supposed she could... Aria sighed. "I could send a message, I suppose. What with the events that have been happening in London, it would only look good on the business for them to meet with a Sanctuary official when asked. I can message Lady Aranea to get someone to meet Silas but... I can't guarantee anything."
 
 At that, she was about to dismiss him before his apology reached her ears. It was funny, how two words could clang through her like a bell and leave her feeling more hollow than before.
 Sorry? Did sorry fix this? The petite woman didn't particularly think so. She kept her steely eyes trained on her arm as he spoke, but as always, Rico was a man of few words and hadn't offered much upon the subject. Especially nothing that would exactly have Aria clamouring to forgive him anytime soon.
 No, she did not forgive him. Even being this close to him. Sure, it wasn't him, but every movement he made had memories flashing into her mind. A few minutes that seemed longer than an eternity. Aria was suddenly well aware of how his ease of mobility was useful in a fight, how his fingers curled as if always readying to be around the handle of a gun. And that fishing glare. That glare wouldn't be just endearingly grumpy ever again, it would always be the glare of an attacker, carrying with it multiple layers of sinister intent.
 Aria didn't think she liked the elephant in the room being addressed, and she certainly didn't know what he wanted her to say. She was hurting, she was tired, and she didn't want to be thinking of it right now. He told her that knowing all this would hurt her, but it felt more like her ignorance had caused the damage, really.
 She was only broken from her reverie with the realisation that she'd become stiff as a board and was angrily staring at Rico in glacial silence. She coughed awkwardly and glanced away.
 "Yeah," Aria mumbled. "You're always sorry, aren't you. Let's just get this over with, Rico."

11
Approved Profiles / Re: Declan Aduain
« on: November 06, 2019, 07:01:44 AM »
Remember when I said I had a part 2 to my review? I lied! Because you were a that additional appendage and made the changes as I was suggesting them! Declan has a hearty approval from me, just don't attack any blonde Irish vampires with him --



Approved 2/2

12
 The Technomancer expressed her doubt at Rico being important enough for Crayne to actively want him dead with a raised brow. Whoever this Ortez woman was, the spat between her and Rico seemed to be purely between her and Rico. Although, in the footage that Aria had... she lifted her arm and her computer screen flickered to life, allowing her to rewatch the footage of Ortez walking out - skulking behind Aranea.
 "The woman hates the Sanctuary; won't step foot here unless she has important business," It was said more to herself than to Rico; Aria found that it was easier to work things out when she orated her thoughts. "And you can't see her empathing - I've seen her weaponise that nasty magic on the Network, the way she makes people shrink away... but they don't look friendly... if she works for C.C..."
 She couldn't suppress it; a nasty shudder forced its way down her spine at the prospect of running awry of that group. Aria wouldn't call herself a racist, or xenophobe - far from it! - but even she had noticed the vast amount of Crayne employees tended to have some form of affliction. That, and the weird way they smiled, it made it look like they were sizing you up for dinner, not having a conversation.

 "Either way," Her tone turned haughty. "There's no proof, so that avenue is useless... a bone-breaker--" Her eyes suddenly lit up. "Weaponised tech?!"
 Aria took a step forward, her mind reeling with possibilities. Weaponised tech! The number of things you could do to an arm! Aria wasn't one to make cybernetics so violent herself; everyone already had a nasty view on people with cybernetics. Some stupid old fashioned views that science and magic shouldn't blend the way they did.
 "You'd think-- damn! That's--" Realising that Rico probably was giving her an absolutely exasperated glare at this point, Aria bit back her grin - and her questions - and merely took a moment to process this.
 Damn, this scary vampire lady was infinitely cooler with that mental image. Oh, it was probably strong! Maybe claws, or a fishing gun arm!
 Awkwardly, Aria cleared her throat.

 She immediately deflated upon realising that Siobhan was apparently out of the question. Though she didn't like this - it wasn't fond - defensive? Whatever tone Rico had about that, she'd need to set things right--
 "Siobhan Donovan is a mass murderer, Rico," Her eyes were narrowed. "She served gaol-time for her murderers during the War - and it wasn't, like, fighting in the war. Just genuine bloodlust and - if you heard the stuff she did to her victims -- triple digits! In a small country like Ireland! This is probably not scary to her like you think but," She sighed. "She wouldn't do anything legal. That woman's hatred for the Sanctuary is so sad, she could be really useful... but I more meant, she's run into a lot of monster hunters, and she's old as balls so she probably knows a few mages that could deal with a situation and don't... have... uh, a moral... problem with it."
 She wrung her fingers together, realising she was actively condoning some highly illegal actions. "But this is all moot, anyway. If this woman works for Crayne, there is absolutely nothing we can do. I bet if she is, they probably have like a billion ways of making her impossible to connect with them -- but they operate... pretty clandestinely... so I can't imagine they are remotely happy with such a... public way of doing things..."

13
 Aria blinked. Rico's reply had been, frankly, leagues more intense than she initially expected from him. Throughout her display of magic, he had remained as stoically silent as ever - barely a reaction from him. Not that Aria had expected a fanfare.
 She teetered on her legs, holding both hands out to balance herself and press harder with the splint. It... would do the job, for now. The air of disdain that Rico carried could go crawl up his arse, thank you, as she thought it was some pretty quick thinking.

 Now that she had first-hand experience of Rico on a job... it felt impossible to think of him as the friend she had always thought. Now, the heavy way he carried his shoulders, and the way he let his head drop the slightest bit - while still maintaining eye contact - were impossible to dismiss as anything other than calculating.
 Aria was suddenly very ready to reach forward and press her fingers to those fancy eyes of his, she was sure she could be apathetic while they melted out of the sockets... her intense stare flickered from his eyes to the nasty gouges at his mouth. Did she want a whole backstory, really? He was only a little bit older than her, but -- a lot could happen in a few decades!
 A lot must have happened, to make someone as grizzled as him. His question was posed in a clipped tone, giving off the impression of a profound annoyance at her. Though--
 
 "Where did you get the leaves?" Aria asked, unthinkingly. If he wanted a supply of those, he could have just asked! She always had a stock - they were part of a basic first aid kit! All of her previous thoughts and questions completely flooded out of her. For a whole minute, she merely glared at his throat as if it were a particularly annoying riddle, before shaking her head and remembering what the actually pressing matter was.
 "Give me the Cliffnotes version," Aria demanded. "As much detail of this woman as possible. She's a vampire, right? A monster hunter will always have something that could help. I could call Siobhan, tell her to put me into contact with someone who could deal with her swiftly... her discipline is a total mystery to me, but she knows Voluntas Aranea so she can't be a psionic, everyone knows the only psionic she's fine with being near her is Crayne... how did you find yourself hunted by someone with such bigwig friends?"

14
Id use an ocarina and instead of using necromancy to smack things, id use it to create sigils with my other hand and activate those. id also have a piano at homw with sigils carved into every key as defense

Sounds an awful lot more like China's use of symbols than Necromancy tho (cool idea tho won't lie)

15
 "My plan is to make sure I can walk," Aria muttered over her blueprints. Luckily, her initial idea didn't look like it needed much work done. She could use the materials from her brace, the make of the metal should hopefully remain stable if she stretched it out a bit... her magic wasn't as spontaneous in nature as Rico's. It had never felt like a true disadvantage to her discipline until now. Now, it felt like she was just wasting time.
 "You can just conjure things. You think something up, imagine how the parts fit together, and you can make it," Aria's tone sounded much too similar to a lecturer -- as if she was trying to teach him something. "I need blueprints. I can make anything so long as I can blueprint it... if I can prove it works in theory to myself, it thereby will work in practice. It better fishing work in practice, at least. Or I'm having some words with the powers that be."
 
 A hand wrapped around the brace that was holding her knee in place. An entirely metal mobility brace? It didn't sound like it should work. Her blueprint looked sketchy - pun intended - at most in detail. The young scientist couldn't help but cringe as she took the brace off and her knee... sank, for lack of a better word, towards the floor.
 "Oh," She gagged. "I'm not usually squeamish, but that is grim." But she went straight to work anyway, her fingers moulding the metal as if it was clay, building and stretching the material until it started to look like her ideas had come to life. To her dismay, the metal - when stretched - did look weaker. It was becoming more and more unlikely that it would actually off-load the weight of her leg in the desired way.
 Either way, she clipped the metal prongs to her thigh, and leaned over to connect the last prong to her ankle. It kept her leg forced at a right angle, and when she shifted to try and stand up, it was only with a degree of pain and shaking that she could finally stand fully, the bar at the bottom working as a makeshift foot.
 Aria could stand with the new brace, but she wasn't going to tempt fate by walking just yet. She let out a sigh of relief.

 "And now." The young woman glared at Rico. "You are going to explain everything."

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