The Family Labs

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The Family Labs

Post by Arcerion on Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:53 pm

Arcerion so enjoyed the times he went to his mothers labs. Calming, Sterile, Safe, and most importantly it smelled of home. Not like the rest of this damn world. As his mother allowed him, he had a direct door to the lab from his own manor. Coming in unannounced was not unheard of, and he would peer around for his mother. He could do with some company that wasn't utterly alien, or primitive and he needed to hide his condescending nature. His mate as ever was busy with her own personal projects, and the frustration of having to deal with Sanctum with children's gloves was beginning to wear on him.

Arcerion was wearing his business attire, though he had personally mussed up his hair despite his wifes ministrations of having him look presentable, Arcerion would always prefer the tousseled hair look more than combed. Ever the rebel. One of his chains held his mask for him, giving the same effect as if he wore it himself of masking his considerable power from bleeding out of his form. Calling out into the empty air. "Mother? Jophiel? Kanatal?" The last one ever hopeful. He would find one of the chairs in the area and sit down. Removing his white gloves from his hands he would clench and relax his hands.

Kunkka was back huh? Kanatal would be pleased. And she had agreed to be the tutor of his son. It would be interesting, and soon enough she may even prove her usefulness against the hordes of Celesin. Then again, she did not seem as politically minded as Ghanima was. The both of them could easily survive a near total defeat. That woman may be one thing to Sergei but he knew a snake when he saw it. he grinned to himself that sharks grin, and stretched out his fingers. Five, unlike his wife, unlike the children he was proud of.

"Brother. I have a sinking suspicion we were too accepting with who was let in to the clan. Too many coincidences, to many links. Even my son see's it. Is this part of your plan?" Arc stared at nothing but his own shadow. Was he somehow in touch with Thargor? It was unlikely there were no magical stirrings about him. Maybe in the silence of his own loneliness he had finally accepted his own insanity.

SNAP!

His left hands pointer finger was now broken at an awkward angle, pointing more at the top side of his hand than anything else. Arcerion smiled at it and nodded. He needed to leave his own mind and find someone to fill the air with blissful noise. He was beginning to hallucinate his brother. Casually he set his finger and went in search of the first familiar scent. Chains dragging behind him with the single masked chain staying by his shoulder.
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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Jophiel on Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:23 pm

The Labs were a metaphysical wonder, something crafted from a mixture of reality twisting science and raw potential. When asked to explain it the handler of the several sector large manipulative empire might have coyly given a vague response. Perhaps it had something to do with the race of the elusive woman, who ruled her normally empty and sterile sections with an unquestionable authority. It was unusual for her to be missing in fact. The space was more than just her home, more than just a falsified-empire of massive testing equipment and beyond realm technology with its endless walls, twisting hallways, and glass reflective floors. There was always work to do there, always some new creation being crafted, some new possibility explored… and yet the ‘queen’ was out for the moment—perhaps to collect some new treasure to add to her collection of jailed artifacts?

Either way she’d been replaced by another figure in their clan, a woman of brown skin who sported a lab-coat and arm band with careful handwriting written in a language long dead and hoarded among just a select few. She’d been traversing one of several hallways when Arc arrived in one of the open and clinically sterile spaces. Sector 10 was an abnormality, not like 11 with its massive grand library and certainly not 12—a space that even Jophiel actively avoided, as she did not wish to become a permanent resident of Fox Town. It seemed relatively empty, only hosting the most basic of Kitsuko’s beyond-realm equipment. It seemed more like a greeting space, there were more chairs than usable tools but Jophiel was certain if Kitsuko had willed it the empty white walls could have been filled with grotesque test-tubes of unimagined horrors. In fact, Jophiel seemed rather relieved at the absence of… projects in the space. Her brown skin was somewhat ashen, her face flushed from what might have been strain or… fear? Certainly she stunk of anxiety, and the slight excited thud of her heart at Arc’s appearance was not so easily calmed.

She’d been.. busy, it seemed. Busy being a student… busy reliving her past.

Goodness she was thankful for the break Arcerion’s appearance brought her.

Uncle..?” She whispered, tone low—somewhat tired, but mostly relieved… had it been Kitsuko mumbling to herself in the space she might have found more cause for alarm. “Grandmother is not here.

Jophiel paused then, to swallow, before she reached delicate fingertips to scratch at the marked flesh about her neck, beneath what appeared to be a thick collar with a blue crystal attached. “She’s gone out… for research.

Some of which was clutched beneath Jophiel’s arm. Beneath that lab-coat she was as professional as she usually was. Sporting appropriate slacks, heels, red silk belt, and red simplistic sweater. Sans the odd addition of the lab-rat collar and the lab-coat she seemed dressed for business as usual. Even her blade and grimoire belt remained on her person, but the usual small and smart notebook had been replaced with something larger with bone binding and flesh crafted cover.

About her feet skittered a fox or two—they were always in the space, always rushing about and attending to whatever responsibility lesser kitsune were often forced to do—but they were ignored as Jo moved a bit closer, if only to procure one of the seats slowly rising up from the glass floor.

Could… I assist you, Uncle?

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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Arcerion on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:19 am

He saw his niece approach and he smiled, that warm familiar smile. Social contact, thank every bit of sanity left in him. He could maybe drown out the voice in his head that seethed and destroyed. He looked to the foxes at her feet and then to her. The lab coat was reminiscent of his mother, the collar not so much. He eyed it for a moment before he could at least determine that it was not of Celesin make, or so he believed. Her grimoire and blade were still in place, as was her pride or so he hoped. She looked so much different than when he had spoken to her at Nexxian, than when he had spoken to her in Kresh'alam Dor. Broken somehow? Not his kin. Never, Brother wouldn't allow it.

He shook his head and smiled once more, as seats rose up from the glass floor Arcerion would once more take a seat and laugh a little bit at his own foolishness. This place played tricks on him? He was uncertain of all things around his brothers spawn. Surely her will could be interpreted as Thargors own? No, he knew the way for Dorian. She was but a child before him.

He didn't smile much anymore.

"Jophiel, I believe you could assist me. You are closer to my brother in form and feature than I can be. Tell me is it Instinct or Logic that is the one to be heeded?" He chuckled, waiting for her gut reaction with this sudden question. Maybe he would take her aback and confuse her, but he wanted the sudden reaction to get that almost genetic answer. Maybe he was using her for his own ends, but he had been the one who approved of her affair with the Primoris, he felt he was owed such answers.

He smiled, wider than before. Faked, but longing. Like a depressed friend who was truly happy for a friend who found salvation.

"Why are you collared dear niece? Is this Mothers doing?" If it was he would leave it at that. If it wasn't well Arc was likely to become angry rather quickly. His chains spilling out around him and moving in random directions as his mind continued to do the same. Fractured and broken, they were slowly beginning to show semblance of a pattern. Here the Dorian Emperor allowed himself a vulnerability that he dared show none save for his mate. He laughed, probably at the wrong time.
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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Jophiel on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:47 am

If Jophiel was aware of the mental distress that went on within Arcerion she made no note of it. Instead she sat with one leg crossed over the other, an entirely feminine action, as she began to regain some of her usual apathetic composure. Her gaze was uncovered, it shined a pale gold—a usual sign of her emotional status but there were only a few who were privy to such information—but exhaustion still lined her gaze. At the very least her anxiety had been shaken, shed off the moment she realized it was not Kitsuko who wished to speak and quiz her but Arcerion. In reality, either of them could have been dangerous to her mentality but at the moment Arcerion seemed the lesser evil.

She was not so foolish to think that couldn’t change but it was not fear that fueled their meetings and it would not be fear that she saturated their space with today. A child she may have been but she was still a woman infused with the blood of her Father (literally). Her pride did not allow her to be subdued for long, no matter what horrors she’d experienced beyond their current sector.

Arcerion’s question disturbed her idle thoughts and she quirked a brow as she tried to decipher the meaning—“Father would state that logic should be heeded, but more than that, it’s a combination of logic and experience that generate the wisdom necessary to survive in this reality.

For a moment she was silent, set to idly pick at her pants as she steadied the brand-name tag poking out from the leg—“However, I must state that I am a woman of instinct, a beast to be sure. Instinct drives me, hunger consumes me, and those two are often interchangeable. They must be tamed… tapered, with logic. Our business is a messy one, there is no one path to enlightenment. That would be foolish thinking, intelligence and success have more meaning to them than something so simplistic as a concept of logic.

Finally she lifted her gaze, leveled it upon Arcerion and his falsified smile…

And you will never have a complete understanding of either.” Jophiel’s accented tone and words were spoken with startling clarity, her language that familiar romance dictated by Thargor himself, a language they often shared alone—as even Kitsuko seemed hesitant to express notions in phrases that might summon the male from his hidden reality. “Even gods can be confused.

Was that not why Thargor toiled his existence away, sealed beyond their realm and lost in research? Perhaps Jophiel felt bitter about his private sessions, but her attachment to him, her obsession and training… was much too strong to allow such inconsistent feelings in her worship. As for the collar—

Grandmother… believed that some humility can make a being strong. I have… failed, in some ways, to rule my estate with absolute authority. Its current destruction is a testament to my… youth.” Her voice was sharp and low, cut with an undercurrent of disgust—though only in her ability.

I am inexperienced, so she believes. Just a child playing at being a ruler. Like a… cub wanting to be rule his pride far too soon.” Her tone is a soft hiss, her distaste for the word obvious and venomous. She was younger than the bulk of her more powerful family but not worthless. She was not incompetent, but her slow actions had cost her city a great deal of meat and property. She was Shuinsai, it was improper to rely too heavily upon alien forces. If she could not protect her own toys she could not be trusted with an empire.

I’m in training.” She rubbed her hands across the flesh cover of the book that she’d placed across her lap, a book that seemed to shiver and sigh beneath her touch as if alive and vibrant. “To strengthen my pride and my ability, though I feel as if Grandmother enjoys causing great distress. She is… not unlike Father, in this way. I am... more motivated to perform as I should. She has a unique way with pain.

Whether or not he’d laughed during her speech she thought nothing of it. Instead she’d flare her nostrils and flick out her tongue, as if she could taste the oddity that was his being. Perhaps it was the soft uncertain hum of the powerful and thick leylines that were strung about Kitsuko’s laughs with a metaphysical wild-taste but she felt as if he were off somehow, not his usual self.

Goodness… I’ve talked so much about myself. Uncle, you appear… off tune. The song isn’t as sweet.

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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Arcerion on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:01 pm

Arcerion listened to the words of his niece, with absolute fascination. Gathering thoughts before him, piecing together the fractured mind into the whole. Logic and Instinct, both in need of tempering from the other. The rhetoric of his brother, or something similar so spoken by his daughter had a calming effect upon him. The semblance of pattern among his restless chains would become more and more pronounced, and he would crack his knuckles upon each hand with the feeling of repetition and stability. Did he harbor doubts about his plans? His undertakings could bring unwanted attention to him soon enough. If he didn't do it however, there was no telling just how long his own flesh and blood may be stuck here without assistance. He trusted Lucian, and believed the Black Sun people may honor their bargain so long as Sergei remained at the Empress' side. They wouldn't be enough, he had need to ask for more and more help. From things that were truly alien to him. Jophiel's very rhetoric had quelled his hunger.

Gods alive he was starving. No wonder he was so moody. How long had it been since he'd eaten a full meal? Let alone sated his own supernatural hunger.

The final statement gave him hope. In so many ways that Jophiel may not really be able to know about the extent at which she removed his fears. This state was natural, and expected. His next words were honest and simple for her help.

"Thank You."

Simple praise to be sure, but she was there when he so needed her. Her and Mother were not so different. Rocks to be relied upon when the time came, beings to be supported at all times no matter their endeavors, or how they sometimes didn't line up perfectly with his own plans. Did his family love him for all that he offered? If so it would explain why they were some of the few he was incapable of predicting. He heard her words concerning humility and would nod. There were only a few he could name who would not benefit from such training, and even he wasn't so arrogant as to count himself among that list. The phrase like Father, and a unique way with pain brought some concern to him. Brother and Mother were effectively beyond his own ability to rule, one from long drawn out seclusion, and the other not so different, preferring not to keep her self bound to one empire. He disliked the needless pain given to family. It weakened bonds and let interlopers have their words be heard. Things like that bred seditious and traitorous thoughts. If there was one thing Arcerion did not allow in his empire, it was the Traitor.

He would let Mother do as she always did, but should this 'unique way with pain' weaken his Niece's trust in their family, he may have to visit mother with less than good intent.

Was that concern in his niece's voice? How sweet of her. He looked up and smiled with a little more of his usual confidence. "It has been a stressful few months. Transporting soldiers and crews under cover of dark, readying rituals. Finding a proper new teacher for your cousin. Trying to gleam exactly what people are doing, and there are so many damn coincidences. Once Lucian returns from his business trip I'll need to consult your cousin. She has been too quiet." And I've been meaning to have a talk with her anyway, even if it means grabbing her by the throat and making her listen if the need comes, he had to do all the work himself. Why did none of the wheels turn without him starring at them. At least Jophiel was self-motivated, a trait he appreciated more than he would ever let her know.

"I appreciate mothers diligence with you, she may be harsh but she is still your grandmother. Humility is fine, but do not let her break your spirit. I fear I may be blamed if your wife to be, found you broken. They have a tendency to lay the blame at my feet even when I do nothing wrong." He chuckled at his own joke. He simply wished to let her know that he didn't want her to become like so many other toy's that his wife had broken in. He saw Mother and his own mate as weirdly similar, though one was more obvious in her depravity than the other.

He spread his hands out before him as he was more relaxed now, leaning back in his chair and speaking with the same confidence he gave when addressing his family.

"Speaking of, how is your wife to be? She has been decidedly absent any time I see you. I had thought you both near inseparable." He listened with a look of what could range from understanding and a smile to utter confusion, it simply depended on what emotion she used while she spoke. If he was confused, he would need to pull out pen and paper and write down her words for later reference, a common thing he sometimes had to do with old lovers and sometimes even children.
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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Jophiel on Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:45 am

For a moment Jophiel was silent, perhaps somewhat surprised by Arcerion’s thanks. It wasn’t that she found the man incapable of thanking her, it was simply that she had never known her words would provide positive impact upon a man that held so many more years beneath his belt. It was enough to make her lean back slightly within her elevated chair, her gentle rock a small admission of her pleasure at hearing the phrase.

You’re… welcome.” The sensation was superficial and it passed quickly but the idea that there might be some wisdom within her noggin refused to leave her. If anything it only confirmed her competence. She was useful for something, even if she wasn’t the absolute notion of perfection when it came to unhindered leadership.

His next collection of words was enough to make pressed-thin lips quirk upward in sly smile. From beyond her lips were revealed the wicked rows of teeth far too unusual to be human. She was not shamed nor diligent in hiding their shark like structure, this mouth of the hidden monster, but knew Arc would find no offense to her toothy grin—

I am not so easily broken, Uncle. My spirit has experienced worse than this, though I admire her craft none the less.” Kitsuko’s method of punishment was unique in its function but Jophiel was not one to experience personal horror and tell. Besides, she found the overall experience necessary to ease the guilt of her failures. Thargor would have wanted her repentance. Still, she was silent after that least the various peering eyes that belonged to the usual slinking multicolored foxes in the space found her phrasings more arrogant than standard. It would do her no good to tempt the beast that ruled this realm.

Though her silence could be better interpreted as silence—she did want to listen to him speak after all—and she nodded her head throughout his speech finding his exhaustion plausible for the amount of work he had to do. Training Lucian and his sibling must have been a difficult procedure as they were both incredibly young yet oh so powerful. It didn’t help that Nexxian’s destruction had left Jophiel in what felt like an odd political rift. Which, in turn, had placed her on this pet project of Kitsuko’s to begin with. Still, it’s not until his last statement and relaxing posture that she sat up a bit straighter.

Mostly because he was asking her about Daul.

She gave a slow lick of her lips, something thoughtful to be sure, as she cast her gaze to a sleeping fox against the luminescent wall of liquid filled tubes and various flickering equipment. Where was Daul? The attack on Nexxian had separated them for some time and she felt dissatisfied by the disappearance.

I… believe she… Hm.” What was she to say? How did it even get to this point? She found their separation somewhat concerning if only due to the indescribable feelings it brought up within her. She felt a mixture of anger and a wild possessive need that seemed to practically ooze from her skin. It certainly brought a dangerous shine to her gaze as twitching fingertips with sharp nails scratched idly at the book upon her lap. It seemed to buck in response, as if in some great pain, though quieted immediately. For a moment she was focused on this whirlwind of emotion, on the rapid heavy thud of her heart and the throb behind her gaze. Her mind raged—logic against instinct—in what felt like a constant tug of paranoia laced scenarios verses what she felt to be indisputably correct.

Daul was her mate—supposedly—and belonged in the den. Her absence was maddening and the pull of her hunger had yet to be soothed. Now she truly wanted to consume what was hers in a fashion more grotesque than what she’d originally fathomed. Daul’s skin belonged to her, her power, her voice, her everything and if she could not have it, contain it, control it than it didn’t deserve to exist. It was a rapid line of thought, sudden and powerful, and enough to make her flared nostrils expel a bit of steam from a suddenly rising sense of force. The lines sung across the landscape of her mentality, wild and starving, and she plucked them with a natural ease and destructive need—

Then it was over and with a soft breath she closed her eyes and uncurled spasming fingertips.

Celesin used a great deal of resources in the battle. I assume she had to return to their main base of operations for… ” For what? She wasn’t entirely certain. “Perhaps… the mighty emperor found me unfit for his child after all.

It’s a casual statement, but there is a heated fury there—it coats her accent and turns a honey cantor into knives and nails.

Ah, but my assumptions aren’t based on fact merely conjecture. We aren’t actually married and I am not sure how strong the empire’s pull is upon her. Mmm… emotions are not my strong suit and have never been. I am not sure if… love… if this is love… is strong enough to protect our bonding.

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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Arcerion on Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:57 pm

Arcerion gave her only the slightest nod of his head when she acknowledged his thanks. He was sembling himself back towards the unbroken whole he usually presented the world. His right hand lifted and itched at his own collar bones as he looked at the collar once more as Jophiel explained how she was not so easily broken. It was good to have such strong willed people surrounding him, it made his job that much easier when he finally could force them all to move to his own tune.

"Good, I am pleased I'll not have more tragedies to answer for. I swear my mother and my wife have this .... " He waved a hand in a circle as he searched for a word, a glassy look coming over him for a moment before it finally faded back in as he found the word. "Hobby of wanting to see how much trouble they can get me in. I doubt Mother does it on purpose." He left it unsaid, but the fact was he knew his mate tried to get him in trouble on purpose. It was like a dangerous little game she made him play every time things got too quiet. Not that he minded, he'd yet to find trouble he could not make work for his purpose, and the pay off was always quite pleasing. However as things were coming to a head once more, he needed everything to start lining up and for his family to cease their little games and pay attention to the bigger picture.

As Daul was mentioned he was honestly quite frustrated at his nieces emotional state towards the Primoris. The fact that it was something more possessive, and hungry than love made her readable to him, not as confusing though there were points where he still wrote down her response. It was habit when one spoke of things like this around him. There was enough interference in her voice to him that he needed to really focus. Not that what she said was wrong, it was a simple problem he alone really possessed.

At her first statement while his hand wrote, he would give a loud laugh. "Is that what they have been telling you dear niece? They sent in their elites to crush an ant-hill. I have the recording of the battle if you so wish to view it. Their horned friend lead a charge at the commanders rear flank. Daring, but ultimately a fools maneuver. If those had been Dorian troops they faced down, she'd of been dead within two seconds of making contact with the spore field, or much worse." He grinned, he'd watched the recordings of the combat multiple times over, particularly focusing upon the rune which had been etched into the air by the Primoris Caden. Oh yes things were getting so very interesting as far as Arcerion was concerned. Keep up with these small skirmishes and them sending in their elites like this and soon he'd have enough data to really wage a war. Assuming they actually forced his hand.

"You worry too much about the feelings of others that are not your betrothed. I cannot claim any competency in the realm of love, but I can speak of the bonds between betrothed and mated pairs. Trust in them, make them yours and never let go. If you act with such conviction they are likely to return in kind. If she is so blinded by you, anything her emperor says will fall upon deaf ears if it would imply hurting you." He licked his lips at such a thought. Was he planning to use Jophiel as a kind of shield? It was always possible. Not that he figured his niece would complain, the shield came with perks even if it meant having to weather a blow or two for him.

He set his pen and paper aside for a moment as the subject had changed and he would not be needing it unless they once more brought the subject back to that of love. Looking towards the foxes that were here, he only grinned. Mother was most likely listening in, not that he minded. Arc had always spoken truths about his mother, to her face and behind her back. He placed his elbows upon his legs and placed his chin within the palm of his right hand.

"If the time came, do you think maybe bowing our heads to them would be the smarter move? For the moment we could wear out a siege indefinitely. However I do not see the point in actually attacking them. We would gain nothing in fighting with what is quickly becoming an extension of our own family." Now there was a loaded question if there ever was one. How she responded to that should probably be thought out. Then again maybe going by instinct was the better way to respond. It was a question that had plagued him for quite some time, and now with his niece and potentially his mother listening in, he would pose such a question.
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Re: The Family Labs

Post by Jophiel on Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:39 am

In a graceful motion more natural than forced she shifted position, lifting from her chosen space to instead stalk along the length of the room. She was abuzz with restlessness, filled with a type of energy nearly forgotten once they had begun their talks of partners and missing persons. Her guts twisted in a familiar sense of agony, as if some great thing beneath her skin longed to rip from the shell she inhabited and experience the type of freedom no prison could easily emulate. She held a hand to her belly then, snorting at the near petulant ideals that swept over her mind. She shoved them aside, unwilling to dedicate focus to nonsense when she had her Uncle there and in discussion.

He spoke of combat and his laughter was a clear sign of his amusement. She moved to take her seat across from him, leaning back in the odd curved chair before she slung one leg over the other. With slender fingertips she tapped lightly at her chin—“I’ll view them.” It seemed only proper. She’d have one more piece of functional material to review for educational purposes. After all, the entire point of her stay within The Labs was to prevent further miscalculations of this sort. If she hadn’t been so curious and so interested in the golden stranger originally, this entire debacle wouldn’t have taken place. She should have murdered the cur when she’d been given the chance but arrogance had stilled her hand and that mistake would follow her for some time.

As for being used as a shield by her uncle… well, she didn’t bother repressing the soft laugh that spilled past parted lips. Did she mind? Certainly not, so long as such a position didn’t interfere with her own end goals. She enjoyed Daul’s company, coveted it to be sure. Suffering a blow or two was not her major concern and she was a big girl, pain was irrelevant and her ability to survive couldn’t be pulled into question. It was her own uncertainty that frustrated her, her own emotional whirlwind that she couldn’t yet contain. She needed more practice, least she attempt to devour the woman and loss everything they strived for.

Or rather, everything she strived for. She still wasn’t entirely sure what Arc truly wished for when it came time for the curtain to rise on their show. She didn’t feel the need to question him either though and maybe that was where a true issue could surface. Still, for all intents and purposes, Arc was her liege and she his faithful knight. For now, she would obey, despite the blood in the veins that said otherwise.

I will keep that in mind when we share our bed. That is what it’s called, isn’t it?” She was sure she’d heard Daul call it something or another but her chosen term was much more appropriate. Still, she spoke of it so casually. In this aspect she seemed unbothered, or perhaps unable to completely understand the ramifications of the information she gave away. “I do believe we’re bonded in some way but I must admit the learned politician in me can’t help but plan for the undeniable future. Should bad news come upon my doorstep I will take the most inconspicuous path to maintain our progression.

The betrothal was important her uncle, but it was even more so for her. She still couldn’t figure out why yet, but she’d tear that woman apart before she let her go.

Idly she watched him set his pen and paper aside and for a moment there was nothing but silence, the idle sounds of The Labs, and her thoughts. She could feel each pulse of existence across the wild lines that crisscrossed erratically and illogically about their current twisted reality and for a moment she lost herself in their song.

Then Arc was speaking again—

“…..” Her initial response was silence, though her expression was only one of interest. She was not surprised by his question, not entirely, but she was surprised that he sought her opinion. Wasn’t she just another pawn, one of valuable blood, in his overall scheme for domination? What more did he want from Celesin, exactly? What more could they gain? What could they lose?

When she spoke next her voice was light and soft, thoughtful and curious (she was a cat after all)—“This is all suspect, just my musing.. We’re a dominant people, our immediate family, not so much Dorian or Nexxian, or any kingdom beyond the stars Thargor may dabble in. We are, us Shuinsai, and we are slaves to no Emperor.” They would not be dogs like Lord Fenris, and they would not give up their integrity for survival. “If those are the options, to be slaves or to live, than we will fight. However, if that was the only option on the table than we wouldn’t be sitting here, we’d be waging a war. A worthless expensive war.

Slowly she leaned forward, tongue set to click against the back of her teeth as she growled softly, though mostly in amusement. She so very much enjoyed being the tactician and while her true natural was more monstrous than her intellect she had played at running civilizations long before she’d become ‘duchess’ of Nexxian.

One has to consider their battles and pick their losses wisely. I am a woman who covets strength, power, and authority and if I must lower my gaze in the short run to obtain it in the long run I shall. Do you understand? It depends on the risk. Hypothetically, if Daul were to march on my city and demand it’s surrender I would be very pressed to do so. Why? In theory, upon our joining, she would gain some percentage of my property anyway. I have no issue sharing my toys so long as they aren’t broken… However, the true prize is the woman herself. She’s powerful, we both know that, and having a soldier willing to shed their blood for you unconditionally is much better than having a rotting corpse filled with the bodies of worthless individuals.

Her tone ended in a hushed hiss, as if she didn’t want the lounging foxes about to hear her darker ambitions but it was all in good fun and they were just… having a casual conversation.

Dorian is powerful, Celesin is powerful. If there were a way to work that to our advantage than smiling and nodding for a few centuries would not be a poor decision. Yet, let it be known that partnership is a better opportunity than serfdom. Attacking first would just make us the wild savages they believe us to be. You and I, Uncle, are far more refined than that. Let the monsters come to us and act your part as the coy prey. I’d rather be underestimated and forgotten so that I may strike when it is least expected than overzealous and arrogant, fat on my power and blind worshippers.

Slowly she leaned back up, leaning back in a manner that seem somewhat immature, as if she were some playful teenager and not a woman of centuries—“They are family. Daul is family, at least. Mine, you see.” She gave another lick of lips before shaking her head, “If this family can be satisfied without turning us into peasants, than why not ask our precious big brother to slaughter our lesser and tend to our lands for us?

Then a gentle smile, almost shy—

There is always a crusade waiting to be run by someone else.

Jophiel
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