06 13 09

<GM> Location: Hole in the Wall
<GM> Location: CCI at Lanciano
<GM> (edit: Location: CCI at Lanciano, girl's dorms)

  • Paladin wrinkles his nose at the smell of charred meat.

<Paladin> How could anything survive this?
<Niles> The spirit tethered to her kept her alive.
<Niles> But only barely.
<Bianca> Yeah. Not exactly friendly.
<Paladin> But what caused you to start burning in the first place? How long was the spirit tethered to you and how did it get there in the first place?
<Bianca> …..?
<Bianca> Have you ever been on fire?
<Bianca> You don't time it!
<Niles> Bianca, what would happen if I poked around here? My way? Obviously your father didn't know this happened, or he would have come by now, right?
<Bianca> I was thinking about other things!
<Paladin> That wa snot what I meant, Bianca..please…calm down. I just wonder how it ended up there and why.
<Niles> Well I believe that if she knew that, she would tell us. Obviously she means she was …distracted…when this occurred.
<Ezekial> Na, I've told ya everything I planned on telling ya.

  • Bianca mutters… "Distracted? You could say that…"
  • Paladin sits back quietly, obviously not able to mak ehimself understood.

<Adisa> Okay, cool. In that case, it's been great meeting with you in a non-property devaluing sort of way, but I've gotta go. I'm sure we'll meet again later.
<Niles> Child, what would happen if I searched around in the room my way? Would that alert your father?
<Bianca> I'm not sure. I don't know how… well, "wired" the room is, and I don't really have a way of checking.

  • Adisa gets up and pays his tab. Then heads on out.

<Paladin> Niles. Where doe ssomething like that come from anyway?
<Niles> I do not know where the Phoenix is from.
<Niles> But I know it is bad news.
<Paladin> How would we find out where it is from or where it could be going?

  • Adisa heads on back home.
  • Adisa logs onto the Pipeline when he gets home.

<Niles> Not knowing much about it, I couldn't say. A lot of cultures have Mythical Firebirds. Phoenix in general is thought to hail from India or Egypt. But who is to say this is where it's going?
<Niles> I might be able to track it, but I bet if it doesnt want to be found, it wont be found.
<Paladin> Perhaps.

  • Paladin leans back and lets Nile sget to work.

<Bianca> Phoenix is Greek, who adapted from the Phoenician's, who adapted it from the Egyptians. So… I'd say Heliopolis? Which has been ruins for centuries and stripped for parts.

  • Adisa looks up 'The Tall Man' on The Pipeline.

<Niles> Possibly.
<Pipeline> 12 hits on "The Tall Man"

  • Niles prepares to scan the room and nothing more.

<Adisa> Interesting.

  • Adisa examines the hits.
  • Pipeline Most of the hits are queries. Only one hit offers anything tangible in the way of information, and represents an eyewitness account.

<Adisa> Ooooh.

  • Adisa pulls up the hit.
  • Paladin watches Niles begin his incantations and and idily scans Bianca's aura, still amazed at being able to do such a thing. Perhaps the bird left a trace on her spirit…
  • Pipeline A summary of the post: The Tall Man, dressed in a black long coat with a hat pulled over his eyes. Tall and thin, very long fingers. Skin was a mix of dark tan and sunburned "As if he flew too close to the sun". Spoke with a quiet voice that was always perfectly audible, as long as he was talking to you.
  • Pipeline Never saw his face, even without the hat it was shadowed. Never sat down, always leaned against the door frame. Never entered a room, always in the doorway.
  • Bianca 's aura is a vibrant blue scattered with silver sparkles across her face, save for three black threads. The threads twist, almost as if separately alive, one around her forehead, one around her heart, and one around her stomach.
  • Bianca Niles - Images of the past flow through your mind's eye, slowly at first, then rapidly as the clock ticks back 48 hours.
  • Bianca Niles - When the scene stops, the room is empty. A glance at the clock nearby shows it to be late afternoon. The door is closed, a few books are scattered on the bed, and a slim laptop is downloading something from the web.
  • Pipeline No one ever touched the Tall Man, only moved around him.
  • Pipeline End of Post
  • Paladin studies Bianca closely, glancing at Niles to see if he is accessible or lost in his spell.
  • Bianca watches Niles, nose wrinkled against the smell
  • Paladin continues to watch the black bands curiously to see if there is any discernible pattern to their movements.
  • Bianca The black threads are twitchy, no pattern to their movement.
  • Bianca glances over towards Paladin. "Yes?"

<Paladin> You have an anomaly around you.
<Paladin> Attached to you…something. Niles would be able to explain it better I am sure since i have no idea what I am looking at.

  • Bianca blinks. "Wait… what? Where?"

<Paladin> I think we should wait for the expert to before talking about it more.

  • Adisa does a search for 'The Man in Black -Montoya -Cash' on The Pipeline.
  • Pipeline 2 hits
  • Bianca Niles - The scene moves from day to night. Hours later, around 10:00pm, the door opens, closes, Bianca flops onto the bed. Stays there for about 20 minutes, then gets up, checking the laptop, types a few keys, then closes the laptop. Grabs a bag and leaves the room.
  • Adisa looks them up.
  • Bianca One hour later, Bianca returns, wrapped with a towel around her torso, another around her hair. Tosses the bag into one corner, wraps herself in a bathrobe as she sits down in front of the laptop. Spends about five hours on the laptop, writing papers and working through equations that, frankly, you have no idea what they're for, then opens a CAD modeling program.
  • Bianca spends about 20 minutes on the CAD program, muttering to herself in Italian, then yawns, stretches, clears the books of the bed and goes to sleep. With the light on.
  • Paladin practices his newfound skill and reads Niles's aura as well as he is casting the spell.
  • Bianca She sleeps for about three hours, then wakes up to the radio, hits snooze, radio sounds, hits snooze, radio sounds, drags herself out of bed
  • Bianca gets up, grabs the towel that was around her hair and is now on the bed. She bustles around, taking the books dropped on the floor last night and piling them next to the laptop. A few of the titles are in English: Mesoscopic Physics of Complex Materials, Coherent Dynamics of Complex Quantum Systems, Musculoskeletal Anatomy.
  • Bianca checks the laptop again, then reaches over and grabs the now dry towels (when did they get dry?) and the shower bag. 20 minute shower, comes back, disappears into a back room, comes back out wearing what looks like a gi and hakama, with a long, thin bag. Leaves the room, locking the door.
  • Bianca unlocks the door, comes back in with Yu, also dressed in gi and hakama with his own bag. They're chattering in rapid fire Japanese, almost like they're playfully arguing. They set the bags by the door and work through what looks like a two man set.

<Bianca> They work out for about 30 minutes before Yu bows out and leaves. Bianca disappears into the back room, changes into a light yellow summer dress, then sets back at the laptop and works.

  • Bianca After about six hours, she rubs her forehead, then rests her head on the desk. Yu bursts into the room, just as Bianca erupts into flames. Eyes wide, he glances around, then hisses something in Japanese. The flames die down, but as he moves forward, they erupt once more. He yanks his hand back, shaking it. Ruddy red armor wraps around him, the same as you saw in China. With a hiss, he…
  • Bianca …presses his hands together, forcing the fire down. Speaking quietly, "Salamander, I need an extraction, immediately". He picks up Bianca as they both disappear.
  • Bianca Except, Bianca doesn't leave. Fire washes over her, down the chair, across the carpet, quickly sending the entire room up into flames. Salamander reappears, untouched by the flame. Another figure appears, tall, thin, dressed in a black long coat. Where he moves, the fire washes away from him. He glances over towards the doorway, then idly sweeps his hand through the air. Your vision grows…
  • Bianca …dark for about 30 minutes. When its light again, the room is a charred mess. No on else enters until you arrive.
  • Pipeline First hit is just a Princess Bride quote that doesn't involve Montoya. The second is the same post you just read.
  • Niles eyes pop open.
  • Niles stands up.

<Paladin> Did you see anything?
<Paladin> I also have somethingt hat I htink you should see, Niles.

  • Niles ignoring Paladin…*voice lowered* Child, where is Yu?

<Bianca> Probably where we left him, his room. Why?
<Paladin> Niles…

  • Niles not ignoring Paladin…Can it wait, I did find out something important.

<Niles> ?
<Paladin> You really need to*see* something.

  • Adisa checks the clock.
  • Paladin leans forward and hisses*very* quietly in his ear

<Paladin> Check her aura.

  • Niles sighs

<Bianca> Umm… I am right here. What about my aura?
<Niles> Fine.
<Paladin> My what large ears you have…

  • Niles scans Bianca's aura
  • Bianca 's aura is mostly blue, though tinged with orange, dusted in silver sparkles. Three black threads twine around her, one at her forehead, one at her heart, and the last a bit below her stomach.

<Niles> Huh. That is interesting…
<Niles> However, nothing I would want to address at the moment.
<Niles> Don't worry child, I don't believe anything is wrong…just odd is all.
<Bianca> …..
<Paladin> What is it then? And what did you find that is important?
<Niles> Finding Yu is the priority.
<Niles> Lead the way child.
<Niles> Please. He was here almost the moment you erupted into flames. He knows more than he lets on. Paladin, we met him before as Salamander.

  • Paladin misses a step.

<Paladin> Please understand, Niles, that I am not as swift as you. What are you thinking here? Why is he a priority and what are you planning?

  • Bianca mutters "Nessuno mi dice niente."
  • Bianca turns and leads the way back to Yu's dorm.
  • Paladin grunts agreement to Bianca's statement.

<Paladin> Me either.

  • Bianca eyes Paladin. "Kung gaano karami ang mga wika na ginagamit mo?"
  • Adisa looks up anything new for Avatara
  • Paladin tips his head
  • Pipeline 0 hits.

<Paladin> Huh? Just how many languages do you speak?
<Niles> My plan is to question him. Beat the proverbial shit out of him if we have to, as you Americans say. I don't know. He needs to answer for his involvement in her fiery eruption.
<Paladin> Just how was he involved?

  • Bianca smiles. "Languages have a common underlying theme. Unlock the algorithm, and learning them is easy."

<Bianca> Wait, what?

  • Bianca whirls on Niles

<Paladin> I would be interested in knowing thta theory sometime.
<Paladin> I am not "beating the shit" out of anyone, Niles. Least of all a student at a private institution who has yet to do anything wrong.
<Niles> Oh, really?

  • Niles stops.

<Niles> Have a look!
<Paladin> And just what has Yu done?
<Bianca> I'd like to know as well!
<Paladin> Salamander may have done some things, but prove that he is Salamander to the local authorities.

  • Bianca narrows eyes
  • Niles attempts to recreate the scene in HD, so that they can see what he saw. Just the part just before her erupting to the moment everything fades to black.

<Paladin> It looks like he's trying to save her.

  • Bianca watches, tapping her foot

<Bianca> While that is certainly…. interesting, I'm not seeing it as reason to beat him up.
<Bianca> Wait.
<Niles> I never said we*would* beat the shit out of him. But obviously he knows more than he is letting on, so we have to question him.
<Bianca> What exactly were you looking for in my room?
<Niles> Evidence as to*who* or*what* caused you to erupt in flames, child.
<Paladin> Niles. We all know more than we say. Sadly enough that is human nature.
<Niles> While this isn't much, it is a lead.
<Bianca> It pretty clearly wasn't him!

  • Niles blinks, looking appalled.

<Niles> I know that!
<Niles> But he obviously KNOWS something about whaty happened to you, and the sooner we find out what he knows, the sooner we can find out the WHY of it all.

  • Bianca shakes her head as she takes the stairs down.
  • Paladin follows
  • Niles follows
  • Bianca stops at Yu's door, arms wrapped around herself

<Bianca> Yu?

  • Bianca the door opens, he steps back to allow room to enter
  • Bianca glances at Niles and Paladin "You had questions?"
  • Paladin cedes the floor to Niles
  • Bianca {Yu} settles on the bed, looking at them.
  • Niles decides not to beat around the bush. Damn his British temper!

<Niles> So did you drop the young miss off at my home, or was it the man in black that was with you after she erupted in flames?
<Bianca> {Yu} No, I took her to you. I knew you would help her.

  • Bianca jaw drops

<Niles> An excellent choice. Now, WHY did the young miss erupt in flames in the first place?
<Bianca> {Yu} I can't tell you that.
<Niles> Cant or wont?
<Bianca> {Yu} Yes.
<Niles> Ah.
<Niles> Why is that?
<Bianca> {Yu} I can't tell you what I don't know.
<Paladin> You knew something was happening before it did. How?

  • Adisa looks up 'weird'
  • Niles is doing a poor job of hiding the fact that he is very perturbed, and getting more perturbed by the minute.

<Niles> Yes, I dont accept that it was a coincidence that you bursted in right as the young miss erupted.
<Bianca> {Yu} I know fire. I feel it. I knew fire was growing within her, but I can't be around her 24 hours a day. So, I watched her. I thought I could contain it, but…. it wasn't just an elemental, was it?
<Niles> No, it was something MUCH MORE than that.
<Niles> What more do you know?
<Bianca> {YuWhat was it?
<Bianca> (edit… fix later)
<Paladin> The beginning of the end.
<Niles> The end of the world. You have to tell us everything you know. Billions of lives are at stake.

  • Pipeline Error. Overflow. Search query "weird" too common.

<Paladin> The first of the four horsemen, and if the rest of them are freed everything dies. You, me, the Avatara herself. Everything.
<Niles> Like for instance WHEN did you notice this fire growing inside the young miss?

  • Adisa prints out the article on The Tall Man

<Bianca> {Yu} No. I've given you enough. Now its my turn. Or, unless I miss my guess, you are here in this country illegally. And certainly in this building without permission. Right now, you are criminals. And I do not take orders from you. If you want any more questions answered, in fact, if you want anything other than finding out exactly how well connected the students at this school are, you'll…
<Bianca> …answer my questions.
<Paladin> No.
<Paladin> If you wish to discuss this as an adult we will do so, but we will not respond to threats any better than you, Yu.
<Bianca> {Yu} Wrong decision. Astral 12, revoke guest authorization. Remove the trespassers.

  • Bianca a violet wave flows through the room.
  • Paladin teleports all away
  • Bianca "Two trespassers detected."
  • Paladin Bianca, Niles, himself and Yu
  • Bianca Spatial lock.
  • Bianca Trespassers fixed in space.
  • Bianca Cannot remove trespassers. Requires Alpha clearance.
  • Bianca {Yu} narrows his eyes

<Bianca> {Yu} You revoked my clearance, Bi?
<Bianca> Exactly who can I trust right now, Yu? You're all hiding things from me.
<Paladin> Let's all take a moment to calm down please.
<Paladin> No one is threatening anyone else, and unless I miss my guess we're all worried about the same thing here. We can't waste time arguing.

  • Niles sighs

<Niles> Paladin is correct.
<Paladin> Yu, we will answer your questions…as you answer ours. Is that not fair?
<Bianca> I am calm. I am very calmly waiting for a reason why I shouldn't drop the three of you wish the police and call my father.
<Niles> Obviously we all cared about taking care of the young miss…so we have, in that, at least a common goal.
<Paladin> Because we are looking for a way to mitigate what is coming and that is the responsibility of every sentient being on this planet.
<Paladin> Turning us over to the locals would result in wasted time, wasted effort, and no answers.
<Bianca> {Yu} The only question I have I've already asked. What was it?
<Bianca> {Yu} It wasn't the end of the world. It was fire. What was it?

  • Niles sighs

<Paladin> I answered you. The Pheonix, The White Horse, the beginning of the end.
<Niles> No…THE Phoenix.
<Niles> As in, very big trouble.
<Niles> VERY big trouble.
<Bianca> [Yu} Ah. Yes, it would have to have been.
<Bianca> {Yu} No wonder I couldn't stop it.
<Niles> So…mister can sense fire.
<Niles> Why would the phoenix be bound inside of the young miss here?

  • Bianca {Yu} Ignores Niles in favor of the person who put stones into Social

<Bianca> {Yu} The world has ended at least five times. We're still here. Biblical prophecies are just that; stories. They have no place in rational thought.
<Paladin> Rationality will be of little comfort when it ends in your lifetime, young man.

  • Bianca {Yu} arches a brow "The world will outlast me by a lot. Old man."

<Bianca> {Yu} Now, did you want to discuss something? Or be patronizing?
<Bianca> {Yu} Because we can move straight to fighting.
<Niles> No, I was just wondering if you had any idea whyh the phoenix would have been bound inside Miss Bianca here.
<Paladin> Why do you think I am being patronizing by calling you young? I'm not. We need to find it.
<Paladin> Unlike you, I have no desire to fight at all, Yu. Please remember that.
<Bianca> {Yu} No… you just kill things. Like the prince of flame for the eastern coast. I felt every little thing you did to him. He woke up, in pain and confused, and you crushed him. It felt like a cold, hard hand squeezing my heart. You disrupted the energy flow of LIFE, that the most powerful sorcerers in the world are still trying to fix. And you want to prevent the world's end?
<Bianca> {Yu} All you do is fight.
<Paladin> Tell that to the families of the cops that he killed.
<Paladin> I acted and I cannot change the past. I can however choose how I act in the future and change *that*.
<Paladin> I imagine that hearing about the death of a loved one was very like squeezing their chests and disrupting the flow of their lives.
<Bianca> {Yu} You… don't get it. Niles Regan, where is Dr. Strange? What is he doing?
<Niles> I do not know exactly. Last I knew he was off trying to fix this.
<Niles> Incommunicado, in other words.
<Paladin> Maybe if you had been there it would have turned out differently. Bt you weren't.
<Niles> Alright, I answered one, now you, Yu.
<Niles> When did you notice the fire first building up inside of the young miss?
<Bianca> {Yu} Is he the Sorcerer Supreme?
<Niles> MIne first. I answrred two of your questions.
<Niles> ((Mine first. I answered two of your questions.))
<Bianca> {Yu} If I was there, and had the armor… perhaps. However, my armor's production was delayed. By you. Niles - She has had fire within her all her life.
<Paladin> If it had been obtained legally maybe it wouldn't have been. Perhaps your boss should have bought the parts. I am most certain he is not lacking the funds to do so.
<Bianca> {Yu} ….boss?
<Bianca> {Yu} You mean the Avatara?
<Bianca> {Yu} It doesn't use money.

  • Bianca {Yu} confused

<Paladin> No, I don't. I mean the tall man in black.
<Paladin> The one who extracted you from China.

  • Bianca {Yu} laughs

<Bianca> {Yu} He wasn't in China. At least, I didn't see him. I only contacted him because….*glances at Bianca* Some things are worth a risk.
<Paladin> I couldn't agree more.
<Niles> Same here.
<Niles> Now, you asked if Dr. Strange was the Sorcerer Supreme?
<Bianca> {Yu} A rhetorical question. I know he is. The point is that a man who talks with gods and weaves life with his hands has been missing for days because of what you two have screwed up.
<Niles> Ah, ok.
<Niles> And what did we screw up, pray tell?
<Bianca> {Yu} And not him… All of the most powerful sorcerers. The Magus. The Artist. Onmyoji. Strange. Mordo. Kyleria. All trying to fix one thing.
<Bianca> {Yu} If the world ends, that's your reason.
<Niles> What event are you precisely referring to?
<Bianca> {Yu} The death of the Eastern Fire Prince of North America.
<Bianca> ((one up))
<Niles> Ah.
<Niles> We were only defending the city. We did not know who it was.
<Paladin> Is it really that easy for you to shrug off your part in all of this? From what you say my actions have incapacitated sorcerers around the world. If I could change that I would. But I cannot let people die because you and your friends woke something up and can't stop it or be there for it.
<Niles> And besides, things with the elementals were bad BEFORE prince showed up. Why is that the trigger all of a sudden?
<Paladin> Stop spurring the Avatara on, goading it and helping it destroy mankind. I may have caused a disruption in teh flow of life, but you will be responsible for the deathsof billions in a month.

  • Paladin stalks out the door into the hallway to cool off.

<Bianca> {Yu} Things were bad, yes. But THAT*gestures at the Paladin's head* made it worse.

  • Bianca speaks up

<Bianca> I'm only getting, like, half of this… but… Energy is a closed system. Cannot be created or destroyed. With me?
<Bianca> With the… Fire Prince killed, its an energy void.
<Bianca> You've removed energy from the system.
<Niles> Yes, I am following you.
<Bianca> Which… is impossible, I'd like to point out.
<Bianca> {Yu} In rational physics. This is magic.
<Niles> I was just about to point that out.
<Bianca> With the system down on energy, its breaking down.
<Bianca> Is that what you're trying to say, Yu?
<Bianca> {Yu} ….basically.
<Bianca> Okay. Going back to listening now.
<Paladin> Niles, can sorcery raise the dead or replace energy thta has a sentience?
<Paladin> "Or change the past?" spoken very quietly.
<Niles> I would wager that is what all of the other sorcerers are doing now, trying to fill that void of energy.
<Niles> Raise the dead, possibly. Not a good idea, however.

  • Paladin stalks towards a corner to cool off

<Niles> Time travel? I would not want to try it. Paradoxes…WAY to risky.

  • Bianca coughcoughtimetravelisimpossiblecough

<Paladin> Then can the energy that was lost be replaced from another source?
<Paladin> A magical source not subject to the laws of physics either…?
<Niles> Like i said, I bet that is what everyone else is trying to do. I am unfamiliar with that particular function of magic however.
<Bianca> {Yu} Possibly. That I don't know. I have enough power to control the armor, but not enough to actually use magic.
<Niles> I could research it.
<Paladin> Please do. It may be posible to fix my error. Though not the errors of others.
<Bianca> {Yu} Which other errors? Your friend talking the Avatara into accelerating its time frame? Which ruined months of work Sprite had carefully laid down, so thanks so much.
<Paladin> It would have resulted in the deaths of billions. Again, I fail to see how I should feel badly for ruining your plans.
<Paladin> If you could do a better job stewarding the earth then do so. If not, then please drop the sarcasm.
<Bianca> {Yu} You have no idea what Sprite is doing, do you?
<Niles> Not 100%, no.
<Bianca> {Yu} She's trying to put the Avatara back to sleep!
<Niles> Now, if she had told us that from the beginning, we could have helped her or stayed out of her way.
<Bianca> {Yu} The avatara is in her mind. She can't talk about it.
<Bianca> {Yu} If it knew, it would kill her.
<Paladin> I am more concerned with what woke it up in the first place and why.
<Bianca> {Yu} And her father.
<Bianca> {Yu} I have no idea.
<Bianca> {Yu} Oh. Don't think that Golem and Undine will be so chatty. I'm loyal to Sprite, but they're loyal to the Avatara.
<Paladin> It is an important question to ask though because otherwise it won't matter.
<Niles> So, are we sort of in a position of the enemy of my enemy is my friend?
<Bianca> {Yu} More like the enemy of your enemy is not your enemy yet.
<Niles> Ah, understood.

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