Just dropping by.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 37 posts
Thu 27 Sep 2018
at 17:52
Just dropping by
Sonnet pays Pax a visit...
Sonnet
 player, 16 posts
Fri 28 Sep 2018
at 01:47
Just dropping by
Sonnet steps gingerly up the steps to Pax's... dwelling, clutching a bag of pasties and sweets in one hand and keeping the other against the decrepit wall. He hadn't quite managed to find the building from her directions, but the neighborhood was friendly enough (to him at least) and it was only too easy to find someone who knew where the odd little human girl lived.

Her threshold was somewhat ambiguous, but when he could see a brightly colored rug a little ways ahead he stopped and rapped against the wall.

"Hey, Pax? You here? Sorry it took a while to get here. I brought some snacks."
Pax
 player, 17 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 05:00
Just dropping by
Pax fluttered around her one room apartment, fiddling with the charms hanging in her window before nudging the cardboard box she used as a table back towards the middle of the room. There was a skirling breeze, tugging at the ribbons and drying herbs pinned to her wide-beamed rafters, and she scanned the room looking for a source. Her two windows were bolted closed, the plastic-wrap panes currently intact despite the heavy sunlight filtering through the wall this high up. The largest holes in the concrete walls had been stuffed with bits of cloth. A flicker of lime green caught her eye, and Pax hurried to re-affix the edge of her tarp to the wall and thus cut off the chilly breeze.

Smiling, the young woman turned in a slow circle to take in her little nest. It was the complete opposite of her childhood room, no heavy wooden bed frames or ornate desks; none of the charts and elaborate posters stuck to frail wallpaper or her closet with every object in perfect place and line of shoes in color-coordinated order. The Shaman barely cared about the chill up here on the tenth floor, the precariously crumbling walls, or the broken pipe snaking across her ceiling that leaked a dull orange sludge at times. All that mattered to Pax was the freedom, the riot of colors and empty spaces, and her window garden. She could look out and see the world, from up here, or clamber onto the roof if she was feeling lucky. And best of all, she could lock her windows if she wanted to or cover the empty doorway with the plastic gate she had bartered her landlords for. Pax could stay here for as long as she wanted, or leave and never come back.

Which was why she had asked Sonnet over. This wasn't a secret room. It was one for sharing and talking and even maybe parties. She wanted to fill this space with laughter, beyond just  the blurred visage of her spirit friends. If someone real, someone tangible, could cross that threshold, then it would make her home a reality. She couldn't quite figure out the reasoning, honestly, and yet the feeling never wavered.

When she'd dropped by to tell her landlords and lend a hand fixing up Rue's battered face (the poor girl had tried to get the jump on another group and come home limping), they'd laughed uproariously and Endar had pressed a jar of home-made Taengele into her hands while slapping her on the back with a wry grin. Pax had left them with some instructions on how to make a cold compress with for Rue and carried away the gift like the poison it probably was.

Just then she heard Sonnet's voice, echoing in the roomy corridor, and she hurried to brush aside her rug-door and welcome him in. "You made it!" The incredulity was perhaps stronger than was warranted, and Pax smiled fit to crack as she ushered the elf into her space. "Here, here! Let me take that, you can sit, uhm, over here!" Pax eased him towards her box-table in the center of the room.
Sonnet
 player, 18 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 18:45
Just dropping by
It suddenly seemed surprisingly fitting that Pax would have settled in Tarislar. Her room seemed to capture something of the spirit of the place in the insistent cheeriness and homeyness laced together from scraps of utter deprivation. Hopefully she, at least, could be trusted not to wax poetic about some painfully vague idea of ancient bloodlines and grand destinies.

He relinquished his bag and gave her a quick hug. "Of course! Got a little turned around, but you've got nice neighbors." He settled himself onto the lumpy rug where she pointed, running a hand over the scraps of joyously clashing colored plastic with a warm smile. "I like what you've done with the place." Which was true, he decided. For what she had to work with, it was very...Pax. And there were sure as shit worse places than this to hole up in.

He draped himself along his side and propped his head up with one hand. "Did you see the news last night?" When she did not immediately cut him off with an affirmative he quickly began to recount the details of their client's interview with mounting excitement, building up the drama of the revelations in the way Thorogood ought to have done. "And then he said he was going to take the last shard and do the same thing you did with the others," he finished, beaming up at her. "Pretty exciting, right?"
Pax
 player, 18 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 19:03
Just dropping by
Sonnet's bags were surprisingly heavy, and she set them down carefully on her makeshift table, adjusting them once so they wouldn't fall over. Her smile was sweet and tentative, like a delicate frosting, and the Shaman giggled as her guest settled in. "Thank you. I really like it here. It was hard, at first, but... that's the point, isn't it?"

Collapsing across from her elven friend, Pax shook her head wordlessly when he mentioned the news. She didn't exactly have the best connection up here, what with her spotty electricity and even spottier net access. Beyond which, well, Pax preferred to spend her time watching trideos with Pariya rather than the news itself. They were much more exciting.

The more Sonnet explained, the fainter she felt, as Pax gripped her hands tight-knuckled in the hem of her skirts. Wait, what? Thorogood? Journalists? Blood-magic factories? It didn't occur to Pax to try and disguise her dismay, as she let out a little moan and returned Sonnet's pleased look with her own pale shock.

"He said there were more of them? Are you sure, Sonnet?" Pax had heard some of the rumors about the Azzies, but this was beyond the ken of even her worst imaginings. If there was a whole industry out there, how many souls were trapped or enslaved now? How many other statues existed or would come into existence as they spoke? Could those blood Mages be mass producing these icons? The scope of her horror slowly expanded, like ink spreading across paper, as she considered the possibilities.

"Do you think... do you think that means that the Azzies are really making more vessels?"
Sonnet
 player, 19 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 19:31
Just dropping by
The cheerfulness slid off Sonnet's face at Pax's cry. He had rather thought he'd managed to talk around the implications of mass production, but it wasn't the first time the odd ebbs and flows of her perceptiveness had caught him flat-footed. Téch. "I... don't know," he allowed glumly. "I think we got what was there, but I don't know if they've started doing the same thing somewhere else." He frowned thoughtfully. "Can't say I've ever been happy about killing someone before, but drek. I'm glad we geeked that mage."

He shook his head. "I'm sorry, Pax. I didn't mean to come over here and darken your day. I just figured you'd want to know. At least people know what's going on now."
Pax
 player, 19 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 20:06
Just dropping by
She stared; not at Sonnet, but through him, gazing into the unknown. Sometimes people thought that because Pax could see the astral realm and converse with spirits she had some sort of inner knowledge, a higher level of parsing reality, when the truth was more like living with double vision. It was difficult to separate the two, to see where one overlapped the other. She had gotten better at it, with Inzhu's help, and yet there was some part of her soul that called out for the familiar heedless pulse that was the astral plane.

If she reached out her senses as far as possible, stretching herself thin like fraying string, would she be able to sense the other blood-magicks? That awful oily taint and the shriveling screams should reverberate through the world, a stick turned backwards in the larger tapestry of life. And yet, as she had learned with Pariya, it wasn't that easy. Even now, even aware as she was, Pax felt nothing beyond her neighborhood spirits.

Slowly her blank gaze turned to the elf, settling first on his nose, then his perfectly curved eyelashes as her focus returned. Blinking, Pax took in the tense line of his jaw, and wished she could brush all that pain away from his bones. "I'm sorry, Sonnet. I didn't mean to overreact, only..."

Only... only... it wasn't an overreaction, in truth, just another way in which Pax was a puzzle piece too amorphous to fit into her allotted space in the puzzle. She had never meant to upset Sonnet, or make him feel badly.

Pax leaned forward, fumbling with the bag of treats as she hastily shoved one in Sonnet's direction with a lopsided smile. "I am glad you are here. I've never had a real guest, so it is nice to see you."

"Thank you for telling me, I did want to know. And you're right. Mages can be fiddly, but that one was bad. Once you cross that line, you can't be fixed. He had to die, and perhaps now his soul will be able to make amends for the crimes of his life." Pax drew a circle in the air with her wrist, wishing the wayward soul on towards the afterlife.

Shaking her head, the Shaman brushed tangled strands of hair back from her eyes and reached into the nook under her table for the jar of tangele. Holding it aloft, she grinned, "I can make tea, if you'd like, or I have this. My landlord gave it to me for the party."
Sonnet
 player, 20 posts
Mon 1 Oct 2018
at 22:04
Just dropping by
Sonnet sat up, gratefully accepting the danish and the change of tone, and eyed the bottle with amused skepticism. "What is that, exactly?" He wasn't sure what sort of hooch the Princes favored--or, at least, passed off on their adorably waifish "tenants"-- and scientific curiosity needed to be satisfied. "I'd love to try some, thank you."

He sniffed at it once before throwing back a swig with more or less the results he had expected. It was treacly-sweet, almost to the point of distracting from the roughness, and the kick was-- he blinked as he swallowed-- manageable. Just about. At least the aim of whoever made it did appear to be "get wasted quickly" rather than "fell an Ork", which was more than could be said for some of the moonshine he'd sampled. There was even a spicy-syrupy hint of... was that licorice? Oh bless the poor fragging sods, of course it was. He raised his drink in a silent toast. "Do give my compliments to your landlord."

He bit into the danish, whose sweetness seemed subtle in comparison. "Am I really your first guest? That's so nice. Please, try some of the food, there's tons." He kept his eyes soft and bright as he scanned her face for lingering signs of unease. "Is there anything you'd like to do while I'm here? I brought one of my flutes along, just in case."
Pax
 player, 21 posts
Tue 2 Oct 2018
at 02:58
Just dropping by
She hummed softly, popping the top off the jar and handing it to Sonnet. "I'm not really sure what it is... I don't think it's the stuff they sell, probably something he's working on." Pax usually got away without drinking overly much with her landlords, mostly because they fell into riots just watching her sputter away at the first sip -- still, especially in the beginning it had been a way of easing her presence in their lives. Pax couldn't really imagine someone wanting to pay nuyen for this sort of thing, but it wouldn't exist if there was no market.

The young girl peered at her guest, a brilliant grin rounding out her features as she laughed in delight. "He will be happy to know, especially since you're an elf." Someone had tried to explain why elf-tastes were different to her once, but Pax still struggled on the distinctions. Either way, Endar would take the compliment differently from someone like Sonnet than someone like herself. It was part of what was nice about living this far out. She was learning so much about different ways of life and lifestyles.

She took the jar from his hands, and took a cautious sip, face scrunching up at the sickly sweet taste. It could have been liquid jelly, excepting for that metallic tang at the end, and she swallowed through force of will, coughing loudly as it burned the back of her throat. Pax panted, mouth twisted in dismay, before she wiggled in place and reached for another sip. "This is awful!"

At least the danish was more manageable, doughy with just the right amount of tart. "Yes, of course you're the first, Sonnet! Well, sometimes the spirits come visit me here, but that doesn't really count for this. And, also, sometimes people come to ask for something or if I forget the days, but no one has ever stayed over!" Pax was bubbling with delight, munching happily on her treat as she contemplated the history of her home.

"Who else would have visited?" she laughed.

Pax stilled at the elf's newest comments, her eyes roving over Sonnet's well dressed form in search for the illusive instrument. "You really do play, right? You weren't just joking?" Awe fought side by side with wonder, and Paks stared once more. Sonnet could do so many things!

"I didn't have a goal, really. Only, I felt that today was a good day. I knew that I had to ask you to come visit. It was just a feeling."
Sonnet
 player, 21 posts
Tue 2 Oct 2018
at 16:12
Just dropping by
He smiled fondly at her valiant struggle with the "taéngelé", but it was her loud assessment of it's quality that drew a chuckle out of him.

"Don't feel obliged to keep going," he assured her. "I dare say this stuff will keep just fine for ages." He helped himself to another swig, feeling the faint beginnings of a pleasant warmth that told him to focus on food for a while.

Not that there was any particular need to stay sharp. Pax seemed entirely at ease again, and her obvious delight in his presence made it easy to relax and mirror back her own bubbly grin. There was probably no real harm in enjoying this.

He reached inside his jacket to the pocket where he had carefully stowed a small walnut wood flute, and pulled it out reverently. "This one's easiest to run around town with. Sometime you should come up to my place and see the others. They've each got their own kind of sweetness." He leaned in, eyes glinting with a sense of confession. "They've been fine friends to me. Don't know what I'd do without them."
Pax
 player, 22 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 01:05
Just dropping by
"You're right, only I don't want to disappoint my friend." Pax fingered the jar, taking another tiny sip and trying not to make a face. She didn't really like alcohol, to begin with, and part of her worried whenever she tried it. Mages weren't supposed to drink, and while Inzhu always said it was different for Shamans, she had a hard time getting past the concerns of her childhood. Her Mama would be really upset with her right now.

For a moment Pax focused on the jar in her hand, watching the golden liquid undulate like tiny waves. She began to shake, her frail shoulders quivering as she tipped her chin back, incessant giggles pouring from her chest. Her eyes were wide with mirth, and she only just managed to set the jar on the table before dropping it.

"S-Sonnet!" Somehow the words crowding around in her head couldn't quite make it past her teeth, and Pax giggled all the harder. Curling forward, she spluttered for air, before eventually giving up and collapsing on her rug strewn floor. Her hands were cold as they pressed against her flush cheeks, the young woman making a vain attempt at reigning in her laughter.

"I should... I should come over to your house one day, Sonnet." Pax was staring now at her ceiling, the water-stained concrete covered in herbs. "Would you, uhm, that is, could you play something for me?" Pax peered through her fingers at the elf, smile etched indelibly into her bones.

It wasn't just the alcohol her Mama would hate. It was every part of this carefully constructed room, it was the credit stick in her pocket, the cake for Pariya she had stored away, the hole Pax had left in her wall near her nest of bedding so that she could watch the sky at night, and perhaps most of all it was Sonnet and all of Pax's new friends.

Which was why she cherished these moments so much. Each new shade of life lending color to an experience she had never known enough to miss. Pax wanted to collect them all, like the herbs she dried and put away in her chest; and one day she would think back, linking all these moments to each other, and realize she had created a breathing tapestry her Mama would never see.
Sonnet
 player, 28 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 02:25
Just dropping by
The warmth Sonnet felt rising now could hardly be blamed on a few swigs of moonshine sloshing in his belly. It was going to be an absolute disaster, the way this little girl clearly looked up to him, the way she was vastly too gentle and young for all of this and made him feel soft and happy when she laughed. He probably should have cut and run before this team thing had had a chance to happen, but here they were, and it was... nice.

And it had been quite a while since anyone had really wanted to hear him play.

"I'd be delighted!" He put the flute to his lips, nearly launching into an old concerto he'd been working on recently before he changed his mind and began to trill out a simple, cheery tune he hadn't taken up in years. He didn't pull them out all that often, the songs of his boyhood, but they were so ready to come at his call.

He varied the tune a bit, lightly, playfully, drinking in Pax's happy face and feeling like he could float away on a liquid stream of notes.
Pax
 player, 24 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 02:45
Just dropping by
"Ooooh," Pax flopped, going limp and boneless on the floor as she stared in wonderment while the elf's fingers danced across the flute. She had never heard anything like that before in her life. It was wholly unlike the thudding music on the trideo or the airy voices that sang in her sleep sometimes. Quick but soft and flowing on and on. Pax was reminded of a bird in flight, or perhaps the dazzle of a leaf dancing downward to meet the earth.

She closed her eyes, letting the weight of the building press her flat as Pax focused on the music. Her brain wasn't sure what to do with this new input, sending a cascade of sparks across the back's of her eyelids as she drifted.

And then she was crying, warmth seeping down her cheekbones as Pax lay in supplication. There was something building, a pressure at her core, too much to grab at with her own two hands even as she moved towards it unerringly. She wasn't sure what this emotion was, the hysteria of earlier mellowing to a sweet iron ring, washing her away while simultaneously tying her feet to core of the earth.

She lost track of time, dazed and loose, before her body rushed back to meet with her mind. The Shaman shivered, goosebumps racing from her wrists to her scalp, and she pushed up to a seated position.

"Sonnet..." there was a world in that one word, a vast spiraling ecosystem full of wonder and joy, celebration and pain.

The circuit twined. "Sonnet, you are amazing!" it was given breathlessly, Pax's arms circling her body as she leaned across the table. "I didn't know anyone could do something like that!" Her whole body was tingling, her heart leaping like a fish reaching for the sky. Pax wanted to listen to this song for the rest of her life.

"Thank you!"

"It's... it's beautiful."
Sonnet
 player, 30 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 14:14
Just dropping by
Oh, but he had just gone far out of his depth with a single step. He could feel his heart soar and his gut clench at once, and he closed his eyes. The music was the only safe place to go, so he clung to it, following it recklessly through a free associating medley that dragged him across  stark coastlines and verdant trails and through a lullaby in a tongue he'd half forgotten.

Why had he thought this was safe?

There came a point where he paused. He drew another, deeper swig from the jar, took stock of himself, and concluded that his composure would hold for the moment.

He smiled at his friend, warmly, hazily. "Thanks. I'm... very glad you enjoy it. I haven't had much chance to share that lately."
Pax
 player, 26 posts
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 14:32
Just dropping by
Pax shivered, her body swept up by sudden loss as the music ended. It was at once a painful rift and a wondrous melancholy, and she smiled so hard she thought her face might break. How was it that music could bring such intense awareness of her own self when all of Pax's trying, all her meditation, ended with her thoughts only racing further and further from this mortal coil? Later, she would ponder this question. Now, though, she had a guest.

"I can't see why not, Sonnet! You could be a musician if you wanted to!" Who wouldn't pay to listen to this? To see, for a brief moment, a connection to the world. But, as her feelings spiraled inward, Pax took another deeper glance at her friend, and wondered if he was just as transported as she. Perhaps this was a hard gift to give. Something he kept close to his chest, rather than sprinkle endlessly to those around him.

That almost made her want to cry again, and Pax wavered on the precipice of voice. Normally she would let herself tumble off that ledge, the words whatever came to mind, whatever needed to be said. Now, though, sitting here in that ringing silence, Pax realized there might be more kindness in ambiguity.

"You should eat more, Sonnet. Maybe this stuff is too strong, yeah?" She grinned, pushing another danish his way and wiping at her eyes. And then, because she was entirely irredeemable, "I'm really glad you chose to share that with me. I won't ever forget it."
Sonnet
 player, 34 posts
Fri 12 Oct 2018
at 18:01
Just dropping by
"That's probably a good idea." He smiled sheepishly. "Actually, there's a couple meat pasties in there." He fishes one out and unwraps the foil, finding instant comfort in the heartiness of it.

"Anyway, there's plenty more where that came from, if you really enjoy it so much.  I can't remember the last time I saw someone so transported. By a flute, anyway. Here, do you want to try one of these? They're pretty tasty." He had a moderate suspicion Pax subsisted primarily on tea and crackers.

"Not many people are that enthusiastic about music. Especially people who don't play themselves. But then, I suppose that's part of why I like you so much."
Pax
 player, 30 posts
Mon 29 Oct 2018
at 17:00
Just dropping by
Pax grabbed for the pastry, staring at it from all angles while thinking. This was probably the sort of thing Pariya would like. Though if it had meat it was likely expensive. She would have to ask the watcher spirit if she liked meat. Maybe it had to do with whether or not she was a pigeon or a crow that day?

Biting off one end, Pax's face lit up at the crumbly bready texture. She swallowed hastily, "Oh my god, this is so good! Why is this so good? It shouldn't be this good!" Taking another bite, Pax lingered over the mouthful this time, trying to parse the spices. The texture was strange, almost too greasy, but then the pastry itself was so flaky! Her empty stomach appreciated something substantial after those last sips of tangele, and Pax practically inhaled the treat.

She licked her fingers and sighed in contentment. "Sonnet, you know the best things!"

Pax wriggled, settling down in a relaxed slump. "Oh, but... Music is music, yeah? It's like... if you tried to paint with emotions? Or, hm. You know when you look at the wind sometimes and it's almost close enough to see but then it breezes by? Or when you stand on top of a really tall building, too close to the edge, and you almost fall off and maybe you should fall off and yet you don't and the distance just goes on forever?"

"Who wouldn't love music?"
Sonnet
 player, 44 posts
Wed 14 Nov 2018
at 23:11
Just dropping by
Sonnet could feel himself beaming like a giddy child.

"That's well put. You get it. Everybody likes to splash around in the shallow edges and just half-hear the nice sounds, but not everyone is so ready to jump in and float past the waves. I'm lucky; I've always had it around. And I wound up leaning to an instrument that travels well, so that worked out," he added with a chuckle.

"Seems like it would be harder, walking around with nowhere to *put* your feelings, but I guess everyone's got their own ways of handling things." There was still a distant part of him concerned that he was relaxing too much, reminding him that he shouldn't be encouraging this kid to get attached, but he just flopped lazily across the rug, long legs brushing at the cold floor. How was she so terribly precious, anyway?

"Pax Pax Pax. How did you get tangled up in this drek in the first place?" As soon as he words are out of his mouth, he sits back up, shaking his head and waving a hand. "Sorry. You don't need to answer that, of course." He grabs a muffin from the bag, and sighs. "This is nice."