07 4 09

<shadowmyre> Location: CCI at Lanciano, Yu's Dorm
<shadowmyre> Location: Adisa's home
* Adisa is preparing dinner. Wheaties. Dinner of Champions.
<Niles> So, where does this leave us?
<Paladin> In the same place that we have been for some time now. Pressed for time and no closer to answers than before.
<Paladin> Niles, is there a way to use your power to find out who woke up the Avatara or even to put it back to sleep?
* Adisa get the printout
<Niles> If I knew more about HOW this was accomplished, or WHERE it happened, possibly.
* Adisa looks it over to make sure there aren't any glaring problems.
* Adisa also looks it over to see if anything jumps out at him that didn't on the screen.
<Paladin> There is no way to track the application of power? Similar to what you did with the Pheonix?
<Niles> However…Whatever did it would probably have to be pretty powerful, leaving us with a decently short list.
<Niles> See, I was getting there.
<Niles> High end angels or demons, gods, fae lords, etc, would have a MUCH easier time doing something like that.
<Paladin> Do the two of you have any ideas?
* Paladin gestures to Yu and Bianca
* Adisa decides to give Niles cel phone a ring.
<Niles> The problem being, they might not have needed power to do it. I mean, you can wake me up by shaking my shoulder. In theory, someone on the Avatara's level of power could do the same thing.
<Yu> Several theories, none of them really relevant.
<Paladin> How does Sprite's father figure into this? You mentioned that the Avatara would kill both of them if she spoke about it or let on to her plans.
<Yu> As a hostage?
<Paladin> But why was Sprite chosen?
<Yu> Sprite must have some quality the Avatara values, enough to try taking a mortal hostage.
* Niles answers his phone.
<Adisa> Hello, Niles? What do you know about… The Tall Man?
<Niles> Adisa?
* Paladin pauses the conversation for Niles.
<Adisa> Yes.
<Adisa> What do you know about… The Tall Man?
* Paladin thinks better of it and turns to Yu.
<Paladin> Mind if I ask you a question?
<Paladin> Two really.
<Yu> Depends on the question.
<Paladin> How did you end up in all of this?
<Paladin> And secondly; what were you looking for in the Third Emperor's compound?
<Yu> I was chosen, like Sprite, though I know why I was chosen.
<Paladin> You posess qualities that the Avatara desires?
<Yu> Yes.
<Paladin> Interesting.
<Niles> Nothing really. Why? Who is he?
<Adisa> Apparently he's the Avatara's partner in crime.
<Adisa> Also the one who woke her up.
* Niles Almost shouting…
<Niles> WHAT?
<Niles> How do you know this?
<Adisa> I had a friendly drink with The Mountain that walks With Muscles.
<Adisa> He drinks Domestic Beer.
<Adisa> Bastard.
<Adisa> Also, Boolean's missing. Probably not related.
<Niles> Could you be less vague and sarcastic and more direct and to the point?
<Niles> WHO told you this?
<Adisa> The dude in the brown and yellow union suit me and Paladin met in China. He moves rock.
<Adisa> The way I move water.
<Niles> Ohhhhhh.
<Niles> So how do you know he's not lying?
<Adisa> I don't.
<Paladin> Any response about what you were looking for at the compound in China?
<Adisa> But it's still more of a lead on who's really pulling the strings of this fiasco than we had before.
<Yu> None I care to share.
<Niles> Definitely worth looking into I agree.
* Paladin shrugs
<Niles> What does this man look like?
<Paladin> Billions of lives, an entire planet…how do you sleep at night?
* Adisa fills Niles in on the very sketchy descriptions of The Tall Man in Black he got from Zeek and The Pipeline
<Adisa> Basically he is what it says on the tin.
<Adisa> The Tall Man in Black.
<Yu> I'm basically a college student. I don't sleep.
<Niles> Alright. Where are you and are you in the middle of anything right now?
<Adisa> I'm at home and I have half a bowl of Wheaties that demand my full attention.
<Niles> Call me back when you are done with your dinner.
* Niles hangs up.
* Niles looks at Yu.
<Niles> Who is the Tall Man?
<Yu> A man who is tall?
<Niles> The Tall Man in Black, then?
<Yu> A man who is tall and wears black?
* Adisa noms his Wheaties.
<Niles> I believe you know who I am speaking of.
<Yu> Perhaps I do, but you're being so vague.
<Paladin> I believe that he means the magus you called when Miss Bianca burst into flame.
<Niles> Correct.
<Yu> I don't think he's a magus. Actually, I don't think its anything close to human. I don't know what he is.
<Paladin> How do you know…it?
<Yu> By observation. I haven't spoken with him much. Mostly keeps to himself.
<Paladin> What possible reason would it have for waking the Avatara?
<Yu> Now that's just speculation. I don't know why it does anything.
<Paladin> Who would? My friend is under the impression that it woke the Avatara. If that is so then maybe he can put it back to sleep if given a reason to do so.
<Yu> The Avatara isn't an on-off switch. Once something is woken up, the only way to "put it back to sleep" is to drug it or beat it unconscious, or let it go to sleep on its own.
<Yu> Or, use enough power to knock it out, but that's generally not an option when you're dealing with something on that scale.
<Paladin> None of which seem likely to happen currently.
<Yu> Not terribly, no.
<Paladin> What was Sprite's plan then?
<Yu> To convince it to go back to sleep on its own.
<Paladin> And the purpose of the other elementals such as yourself? If the Avatara is able to simply inhabit he rbody, if it evenneeds one, why have retainers? Why bother saving any?
<Paladin> None of this makes sense.
<Yu> Then you're not thinking about it much, or you're not very smart.
<Paladin> Indulge me then. I am not the brightest individual sometimes.
<Yu> How many living things are on this planet?
* Adisa decides that bowl of Wheaties was so good, he's going to have another.
<Paladin> I have no idea.
<Yu> Excepting virii, bacteria, and other single-celled beings.
<Yu> For the sake of argument, lets say its equivalent to how many cells are in your body.
<Paladin> Alright.
<Yu> You know that your cells exist. That you're composed of a billions of individual building blocks that compose your being.
<Yu> Have you ever thought about things from the perspective of one of your cells?
<Paladin> Not as such since the cell is governed by the whole rather than individual sentience.
<Yu> That's what you think. Also what I think, but recent events might demonstrate us as wrong. Either way, its also what the Avatara thought.
<Yu> Then, one day, it wakes up and finds that a collection of cells, a pretty small one in the grand scheme, started messing about with….. to follow the analogy, cancer.
* Paladin nods
<Paladin> I am with you so far.
<Yu> If you had cancer, benign, wouldn't you excise it while you could? Sacrifice the bad cells for the sake of the organism?
<Yu> Its not like the cells are intelligent, they can't feel pain. That's something the greater being feels.
<Yu> And either way, the needs of the greater being outweigh the needs of the cancer cells, because if the greater being dies the cancer cells die anyways.
<Yu> That's kind of the situation that Sprite says the Avatara is in.
<Paladin> The difference here is that cells cannot be taught differently. Human beings can be.
<Yu> Prove it.
<Yu> Prove that you cannot teach cells.
<Paladin> I am sympathetic of it's feelings though, but there are other options. There must be.
<Paladin> I'm not sure how to do that. Can you prove that they cannot be taught?
<Yu> Because that's exactly what the Avatara is saying. That humanity is not sentient, can't be taught differently, and simply reacts on a base chemical level.
<Yu> Hence, wiping them out is a valid, and perhaps the only, response.
<Paladin> Then why leave any of the cancer?
<Yu> Because, fundamentally, the Avatara couldn't see things from a human perspective.
<Paladin> According to Sprite a remnant will survive. The Avatara, in your scenario, should excise the entire clump of cells and then administer, to keep the anolgy, chemo-therapy to make certain that it is all gone.
<Paladin> How do you and the others like you fit into this at all? And what about mutants and things that are not human who are just as responsible for this scenario?
<Yu> A remnant will survive temporarily.
<Yu> Long enough to fix the damage that was done. And that was a concession.
<Yu> The Avatara wanted to just send a plague of elementals to wipe everyone out.
<Paladin> Who has the power to force a concession out of that thing? Sprite?
<Yu> The Man in Black convinced the Avatara that it would never succeed against humans without the Seeker.
<Yu> And before you ask, that's all I know about the Man in Black or the Seeker.
<Yu> Sprite's convincing, but the only reason the Avatara listened is cause of the Man in Black.
<Paladin> So the Man in Black, not being human himself, is spared destruction. So he is an enemy of mankind as a whole it seems.
<Paladin> For what purpose though, Yu? That was what I meant when I said that it made no sense. Why destroy humanity? What is his angle in this?
<Yu> I don't know who or what the Man in Black is, but he doesn't come from this planet. Its not so much that he'll be spared, as the Avatara doesn't have to concern itself with its existance.
<Yu> And you're getting things backwards. The Man in Black convinced the Avatara to listen to Sprite to Spare some Humans.
<Paladin> Rather than hinder this though you embrace it? You support this plan as a way to buy time for Sprite to put the Avatara to sleep, if she can. What happens if she can't?
<Paladin> Everyone dies, even you and those you hold dear.
<Yu> Then you're dead, I'm dead, we're all dead.
<Yu> Your plan though is to what… stop it?
<Yu> How successful has that been?
<Paladin> Speak with it, reason with it. Try to help humanity change with imminent peril oncoming. You would be surprised at how quickly people can change to avoid death.
<Paladin> The last time we spoke, it wa snot. Now though…perhaps.
<Paladin> I do not know, but I believe that it can be done.
<Yu> Oh… you mean what Sprite's been doing.
<Yu> All along.
<Paladin> I have no idea what she has or has not been doing all along. I have it on good authority that it is possible for it to…regard me…differently now.
<Paladin> And before you ask, that is all that I know of that. No idea bout the why of it.
<Yu> While I find that hard to believe, I doubt it would hold you in any greater esteem than the Tall Man.
<Paladin> Who seems to hold some sway.
<Yu> Some.
<Paladin> It's better than waiting for inevitable destruction.
<Yu> If you honestly think you have a chance, you'd be better off trying to get him on your side.
<Paladin> If he is trying to destroy humanity and I am trying to save it…how will that work do you think?
<Yu> Though as I said, I doubt you're actually capable of getting the Avatara to recognize you outside of Sprite.
* Paladin shrugs again
<Yu> You are not listening.
<Yu> He helped convince the Avatara to *SPARE SOME HUMANS*.
<Yu> If he wanted everyone dead, we'd already be dead.
<Paladin> We will have to see. Listening to Sprite, helping to spare some humans for alimited time….why then would he wake it up? Unless he had no idea what the reaction would be, and I find that surprising.
<Yu> You're also convinced that we can just buy cutting edge nanotech when we don't have any money and that entity we work for doesn't understand the concept of buying.
<Yu> So… yeah.
<Paladin> You just finished telling me how well connected you are here at this school, Yu. Where is my error in thinking that you have money and power enough to do it?
<Yu> Admission to this school: a few hundred thousand a year. Cutting edge nanotech not released on the market: Billions. Or more.
<Yu> Those sums are…. not really equivalent.
<Paladin> Then maybe you shouldn't do it.
<Paladin> I can see Sprite's role, but not yours or the others.
<Paladin> Did any of you ever think to go to officials who do have the power and money to do something about this?
<Yu> Sprite tried that.
<Yu> Strangely, no one wanted to listen to a seventeen year old girl who came up out of nowhere unless she demonstrated some kind of power.
<Yu> And when she did, they tried to arrest or kill her.
<Paladin> And even with the spirit of the earth inhabiting her she couldn't convince then to *do* something?
<Yu> Ah, but humanity can learn, right?
<Paladin> Remember that you are part of humanity, Yu. So yes, it can learn.
<Yu> If the Avatara inhabits her, it isn't Sprite anymore, its the Avatara.
<Yu> You don't bargain with your cells. You give commands. If they don't obey, you get that fixed.
<Paladin> So you are what, a "fixed" cell?
<Yu> If the Avatara had inhabited Sprite, you'd probably be looking at the collapse of modern government and industry.
<Paladin> Which is what we are facing anyway. Whatever you and your cohorts have planned you cold use the help that we're offering.
<Yu> Not really.
<Yu> You've set us back months, possibly years.
<Paladin> Let me try another phrasing then. You could use us not in your way. Which we will be if we are kept in the dark.
<Yu> You've done so much damage that we might not be able to fix it.
<Yu> And we don't even know who you are.
<Yu> Everytime Sprite has tried to help, you've bungled things even more!
<Paladin> The problem with those who are privldiged and smart…they think that everyone else is not wise enough or smart enough to be important.
<Paladin> Then stop keeping your plans so damned secret!
<Yu> The problem of those that aren't: they continuously think they matter with all evidence to the contrary.
<Yu> Says the masked man.
<Yu> Who is trespassing. In a country. Without a visa.
<Yu> And has told me nothing.
<Paladin> What have you asked? All I have heard are demands.
<Yu> I'm being pretty damn friendly, all things considering!
<Paladin> Every cell is important, Yu. The system cannot function without them.
<Paladin> Recriminations and demands. I admit my mistakes and I am trying to find a way to fix them. What about yours?
<Yu> You shed tons of cells daily. Are you saying your body doesn't work?
<Paladin> I generate just as many. Are you saying that they a reneedless?
<Yu> What mistakes have I made?
<Paladin> I am not God to see your sins. I know though that no one gets to where we have without mistakes.
<Yu> Smokescreen. You don't have an argument. You're just convinced you're right, and unwilling to listen to anyone who disagrees with you, regardless of how much closer they are to the situation.
<Paladin> No. That is what you believe. I want to help here, Yu, not cause more harm. KNowing more will help me make wiser decisions in the future. I am not blaming you. We're all cells here, right? I am asking for a way to fix it all.
<Paladin> If you have abetter idea I would love to hear it.
<Yu> And I've given you one. Back. Off. Butt. Out.
<Paladin> I would also love to know that you ar enot lying to me…but how can I?
<Paladin> And wait for destruction. Would you? If everything you hold dear was at stake and you were told to sit this out, what would you do?
<Paladin> It seems to me that you are doing something…so you can understand where I am coming from I hope.
* Adisa calls Niles
<Yu> I am doing something. What I was asked to do.
<Paladin> And I am doing no less.
<Yu> By someone who knows more about what's going on, is at least as intelligent as me if not more, and has a definite plan. That someone keeps screwing up.
<Yu> That has also asked for your help. And you tried to trap her in a circle.
<Yu> She kinda has trust issues now. You might understand now.
<Paladin> Asking for help involves knives and warnings now?
<Paladin> I am trying to help her. How can I if she doesn't tell me how?
<Paladin> Butt out? That's how to help her? I wish I could accept that.
<Paladin> I truly do.
* Niles answers his phone
<Adisa> Okay. Dinner's done. What do you want to talk about?
<Niles> I believe we need to meet. Things have gotten more…complicated.
<Adisa> Okay. Where and when?
<Niles> Hold on.
* Niles places his phone against his chest.
* Adisa holds on.
<Niles> When are we going to be allowed to leave?
* Niles directed that at Yu.
<Yu> *spreads hands* My admin access was revoked. *looks at Bianca*
<Paladin> He tried to throw us out already, Niles.
<Bianca> Oh! Right. Is everyone going to behave?
<Niles> Right, I forgot that. Miss Bianca?
<Niles> I will be on my best behavior, you have my word as an Englishman.
<Paladin> Yes, I will behave.
<Paladin> No worries on my end.
<Bianca> ….?
* Bianca blinks
* Niles glares at Paladin.
<Niles> What my not so verbose friend meant was there is nothing to worry about on his end.
<Bianca> Ummm…. Astral 12, full reset. Lift spatial lock within my area.
<Astral 12> Acknowledged, Miss Bianca. Spatial lock removed, system reset complete.
* Niles goes back to his phone.
<Niles> Where do you live, sir?
* Adisa rattles off my address to the magus.
<Niles> May I leave brielfy and we can continue our conversation?
* Niles directed that at Bianca
<Bianca> Of course.
<Niles> Will I set off any alarms if I come right back here?
<Bianca> Depends. Will you be walking?
<Bianca> With a full system reset, all the alarms are activated as well. If you teleport in, it would be….bad.
<Niles> I…could set down somewhere near here and wal in, yes.
<Niles> walk*
<Bianca> I don't know how bad "bad" is… but with Father, its probably pretty bad.
<Niles> Should I do that then?
<Bianca> I'd prefer it… I don't want to clean up the mess.
<Niles> Ah, understood.
* Niles desperately hopes Adisa is decent.
* Niles teleports to Adisa's place.
* Adisa is decent.
* Niles thanks the god above to not have to see him NOT decent.
<Niles> Are you ready to go sir?
<Adisa> Go? Where are we going?
<Niles> Italy, to break some laws for not having a Visa and generally pester a fire wielding jerk guy.
<Niles> Are you in?
<Adisa> …
<Adisa> Sure why not. 2 down, 2 to go.
<Adisa> I always knew that meeting you would turn me into a career criminal.
* Niles smiles
<Niles> Take my hand sir.
<Niles> Nothing gay, I assure you.
<Adisa> …
<Adisa> I'm not sure I should now.
* Adisa reluctantly takes Nile's hand.
* Niles teleports them to a few hundred feet away from the school.
<Adisa> … Okay… we're in Italy.
<Adisa> Why are we in Italy?
<Adisa> I already ate.
<Niles> Long story.
<Niles> I will explain as we walk.
<Adisa> …
* Niles explains everything about Bianca, him helping her, him returning her here and finding out that the Phoenix was a seal, etc.
<Adisa> You teleport, and now we're walking?
<Adisa> …
<Niles> Yes, the building we are going to is protected magically.
<Niles> Had I tried to go directly there…it might have been Bad.
<Niles> Not sure what that means, but I tend to avoid bad, whenever possible.
<Adisa> Right. Bad is bad. Okay. Important safety tip.
* Niles blinks.
<Niles> Would that make me Egon to your Venkman?
<Adisa> Whatever makes you feel better.
<Niles> Alright.
* Niles continues to explain everything about Bianca, him helping her, him returning her here and finding out that the Phoenix was a seal, etc.
<Adisa> Okay. Anything else?
<Niles> No, I think that about sums it up.
* shadowmyre you are at the school.
<Adisa> Okay. Cool. I've suffered through the exposition. Let's get on with this.
* Niles leads the way back up to where Bianca and Yu have been talking to us.
* Niles calls Bianca.
* Bianca answers the phone. "Ciao?"
<Niles> Hello, it's me. Can yopu let us in so we may continue our conversation?
<Bianca> Oh, hi. I'll ring down to the front desk, have them let you in.
<Niles> Alright.
* Niles heads to the front desk.
* Adisa follows Niles.
* shadowmyre You're expected at the front desk, after filling out a few forms and getting a silly "Visitor's" button, you're directed to her old room.
* Niles heads to where we were last speaking.
* Bianca While the door is open, once more it looks like Bianca and Yu are having a very quiet, very fast discussion
<Adisa> Hello. My name is Adisa. I'm a colleague of Niles.
* Bianca they stop talking and look over. Bianca smiles. "Hello, Mr. Adisa."
* Paladin leans against the wall
* Adisa looks over to Yu.
<Adisa> And of course I know you from China. How are you?
<Yu> Not bad.
<Adisa> Cool.
<Niles> So, now where were we?
<Yu> I was letting him *gestures towards Paladin* know that we're doing fine without his interference, he wasn't listening.
<Paladin> I am listening. If I wasn't I wouldn't be here.
<Adisa> I wasn't listening either. Could you give me the highlights.
<Adisa> *highlights?
<Bianca> The highlights?
<Bianca> Butt out. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. Yes.
<Adisa> I assume paladin was saying no, and you were saying butt out?
<Adisa> But you got the last word in, and that's very impressive.
<Bianca> Well, I've mostly been listening.
<Bianca> Oh, there was also "You're a bad person. No, you are. No, you are. No, you are."
<Paladin> Now that seems unfair. I do not think that he is a bad person.
* Adisa rubs the bridge of his nose.
<Niles> Yes, we keep not getting anywhere.
* Bianca shrugs "Paraphrasing?"
<Niles> So, lets start over.
<Niles> Hello Yu, my name is Niles. The end of the world is coming,
<Paladin> Must we?
<Niles> How can we help?
<Adisa> Were you making any headway at all? Yes we must.
<Adisa> I propose a division of labor. Parallel play. Yu, do you have a plan?
<Yu> Hello Niles. The world isn't going to end. Its under control. Just stop interfering with certain girls with blue hair and it'll all work out.
<Yu> Sprite has a plan, which I'm following.
<Adisa> Okay groovy. Does it involve The Tall Man in Black?
<Niles> Yes, but even when we are just sitting around things seem to just keep coming at us. Certainly we can't just sit idle during all of this?
<Adisa> Niles, hush. Magical Negro is working.
* Paladin bites back unecessary commentary
<Yu> (Adisa) If he is involved, I don't know how. That's something Sprite is better equipped to deal with.
<Adisa> Okay. Then we will back off the Avatara and elementals and let you people deal with that, and concentrate our efforts on TTMiB. Is that acceptable to everyone?
<Yu> ….is this the same person that talked the Avatara into killing humanity sooner?
<Adisa> That was then. This is now.
<Niles> I was there. It was an accident.
<Yu> I pictured you differently.
<Paladin> To hear two stories, the MiB is who woke the Avatara and then talked it out of killing humanity outright.
<Adisa> I get that a lot.
<Yu> More… nevermind.
<Adisa> …
<Yu> How do you plan on dealing with the MiB?
<Adisa> The first part of my grand plan for dealing with the MiB is to ask you politely for everything you know about him.
<Niles> Wait, I think we need to determine if he is truly an enemy.
<Niles> So far we have varying stories.
<Yu> ….he possibly woke up the Avatara, is rather tall, doesn't want humanity exterminated or possibly just not all, and is willing to make bargains.
* Bianca Yu thinks
<Adisa> Bargains. That's new to me. What kind of bargains?
<Yu> …and helped me save Bianca when she spontaneously combusted.
<Yu> Bargains. You ask him for help, you help him later.
<Niles> A question about that.
<Yu> The standard kind?
<Niles> Why did you not stay when you left her on myt doorstep?
* Paladin pictures horns and a tail on the MiB
<Niles> my*
<Niles> Seriously, I could have helped her faster had I KNOWN what had happened, or at least what you suspected.
<Yu> (Niles) I didn't know who you were, just that you helped people. She needed help.
<Yu> And you had at least two high-ranking Astrals hanging around that I couldn't identify.
<Yu> They were all….. fuzzy.
* Paladin looks at Niles
<Yu> Besides, I was on a free period. If I hadn't gotten back, I'd have missed a test.
<Paladin> The Tall Man sent you there and brought you back? Do you know how he did that?
<Yu> Without effort, which is how he does everything.
<Yu> He doesn't cast spells, he doesn't gesture, he just… does things.
<Niles> Huh.
<Niles> I am not certain if I want to meet him or run like hell.
<Yu> He's kind of creepy, and doesn't talk much. Always leaning in doorwars, or perching in windows.
<Adisa> I think want left the building when need showed up.
<Adisa> I've heard he never enters rooms, just hangs out in doorways. Is that true?
* Yu frowns.
<Yu> Well….
<Yu> Never thought about it.
<Yu> Not normally, no.
<Yu> Though he will, to fulfill a bargain.
<Yu> I get the feeling he'll do anything to fulfill a bargain.
<Adisa> Okay. Cosmically powered businessman. I can work with that.
* Paladin frowns
<Yu> Though, I haven't met him that often. So… while the observations are accurate, they might not be complete.
<Paladin> How to do you call him?
<Yu> I don't. He's just… around.
* Adisa checks out every doorway.
<Yu> I don't want to use the term omnipresent, but it almost fits.
<Niles> Huh.
<Adisa> Yes let's not go there. Let's say instead he can smell a deal.
* Doorways are clear, windows are closed.

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