The Escapist Avatar Adventure: An Open RP (Now Re-Opened!)

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Kalastryn:
"Think nothing of it," ARES said, mildly put off by her clingy behavior, but not so much that she thought to mention it. The added weight from Hillary copying her armor's material however, was enough to cause her to lean, struggling under her unintentional grapple as the slime became a highly dense reinforced steel, the metal floor under the combined weight of the pair groaning as though it were about ready to sink in on itself. "... That being said, I find your ability to change your form intriguing, but I must ask you not do so for now. I'm quite heavy enough as it is." She said, waiting for the slime to let go before leading her to the canteen.

It took Hillary a good second to recognize what was happening and what ARES had asked of her, had she not heard her? Initially she didn't let go, simply turning her head to look down at the floor. "Huh..? Oh no." Hillary said, breaking the hug yet still keeping a hand on her. Her body quickly shifted back to the grey floor below them, the material crawling up her legs first. "Sorry, Hillary didn't mean to ruin your floor. Hillary wasn't thinking. I'm sorry." She said with a genuine sincerity as she looked between the dented floor and ARES' face. "But, Hillary hasn't met you before? What's your name? My name is Hillary!" The Slime introduced herself, despite literally saying her name multiple times prior.

"Actually, if you have light junk, Hillary could hold onto that so she doesn't hurt the floor again?" She requested, unsure if ARES had anything like a piece of paper or some wood or a paper clip. That way she wouldn't have to worry about focusing on the floor as they walked.


The Phantom Thief
The Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fabulous Latte!

The first footfall after planeswalking was always difficult. Latte was swimming through shadows, following the subtle eddies of multiple aetherwakes. Echoes of other travelers rippled back and forth between the shifting boundaries of eternity. Latte had been trying to triangulate the location of this particular world ever since the phenomena a week prior. The event had rippled out to nearly every other world in the multiverse and set planeswalkers of all walks of life alight with chatter. An energetic discharge of unprecedented scale - as if a world had suddenly been snapped back into existence after a prolonged absence. Latte had made it her mission to find out what had happened ever since she first heard the excited rumors among her fellow travelers.

She took another step through Eternity, sliding pass a large wall of surging aetherial energy. By the depth of the aetherwakes, she was one of a great many with such plans.

The echoes of the other travelers were converging now. The space between aetherwakes tightened and the interference between each of their unique planeswalking styles began to ebb. Then suddenly she felt her feet hit solid ground.

Latte stumbled into a bright, hot, and terribly humid world. She steadied herself, reaching out instinctively with her hands to stabilize herself. She caught a hot, hard surface and grabbed firmly. Her body came to an abrupt stop. She took a deep breath. Her eyes adjusted to the bright light of the native star.

The world was dotted with stone buildings, layers of white and blue stacked upon hot dirt hills filled with shrubs and grasses. She let go of the stone she was holding onto. It was a block of marble, grey and faded. It was so old.

Latte's desert garbs served her well in the heat, but the wetness of the air immediately made her skin itch. It was sticky and hot and each breath she took filled her lungs with hot, heavy air. She grimaced.

She reached back into the Blind Eternities and pulled the image of one of her lands into her mind's eye. The islands of that faraway plane grew closer and closer in the shifting nature of Eternity until it was finally close enough to link. Latte gave it one last tug before the link manifested and she could feel the aether flow into her body from the worldsoul that governed those islands.

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The zephyr gull manifested before her out of the streams of blue aether. Through the eyes of her summon, she could see the world around her clearly.

"Go!" Latte commanded as she gave the bird the push it needed to catch the thermals rising over the city. Everything seemed normal enough. Though, the level of advancement of the artificers on this world seemed to be quite advanced. Good artificers meant good artifacts, and good artifacts were always valuable targets.

The people of this world seemed to be exclusively human. Latte frowned. Human-abundant worlds always meant one of two things, either they were lacking in aether, which in turn decreased the likelihood of valuable artifacts on the plane, or that the world had experienced some sort of human-supremacy purge of the mythical, which would prove hostile to a spellcaster such as herself. As she was mulling it over in her head, her gull familiar spotted something particular in the crowds... or rather, someone particular.

A centaur.

Latte didn't regularly like to converse with centaurs, the nature-loving druid pain-in-the-ass that they were on most worlds, but given the look of the other denizens, the nature-loving druid pain-in-the-ass centaurs might actually be the better party to entreat. Latte looked up at the blue sky, squinting against the glare of the sun off of the wispy white clouds. Especially if even a fraction of the owners of those aetherwakes made it in.

She called upon the energies stored within her amulet and summoned forth the energetic forces of fire and spend off toward the centaur.

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---

"Hey!" Latte called out to Alexandra as she approached over the rooftops of the stone buildings. "Wait up, I've got things I need to ask you!" The zephyr gull swooped down next to Alexandra, perching on at the edge of a veranda.

Latte landed not much farther away, the crackling lightning of her footsteps faded away as soon as she stopped.

"Centaur lady," Latte said, "can you assist me? I am lost and under 'special' circumstances. I am not from Hellenes." Latte's Greek was... not great, but it was understandable at the very least. She had pulled the knowledge of the language out of a passing's local's mind with a simple copy spell, but her mouth was still unused to to fluid motions required in the tongue.

Greek: Athens
Time: 10:31 AM

While it would be a ways to go, Alexandra walked the crowded streets towards the Athens International Airport. She certainly could of went for a cruise instead, but she figured it would be wiser taking flight instead, since those tend to be a lot faster, and sometimes even cheaper. Eventually she did take a brief break, wanting to enjoy the view of those ancient temples in the background.

".. .. . That reminds me. Before I head off into America, I should know what's going on there. Politics and news are bound to be brought up in a conversation, so I should keep myself up to date." Whipping out her IPhone, she went to Youtube for a recent news video (I mean who watches TV and cable these days? Don't answer that.)

".. Wait, this isn't a youtube video. It's a live stream with an abnormal amount of viewers. Did something big happen?" Alexandra confessed, knowing full well streams like these aren't usually this big unless something serious took place. She immediately entered the live stream, waiting for it to properly buffer. Her eyes were glued to the little screen with such curiosity.

The stream ended there, as hundreds of comments overflowed in the right-hand side of the screen, going so fast there was no possible way to read each line. It was a blur, and many, and I mean MANY emojis being spammed alongside the comments.

Putting her IPhone back into her side pouch on the red silken saddle, Alexandra couldn't help but think aloud, "It's worse than I thought. Here I am, thinking maybe some political issues were stirring up my neighboring countries, but mind control schemes? A massive attack on Denver that was filled with so many innocents?

... It feels like this is fate, that my gut instinct to head off to America was right. I must go there at once." Now Alexandra began to power walk, which isn't a normal thing to do here since no one's ever in a rush. But, this was different.

"Hey!" Latte called out to Alexandra as she approached over the rooftops of the stone buildings. The centaur sharply turned her head to look up, seeing what appeared to be a blonde girl calling out to her. "Wait up, I've got things I need to ask you!" The zephyr gull swooped down next to Alexandra, perching on at the edge of a veranda.

Her eyes darted to the very unnatural looking bird, then back at the mysterious girl with a confused expression. Even the nearby passengers and civilians stopped to look at the sight, some whispering to one another, others cautiously aware this could mean trouble. In either case, most stopped to see what was happening.

Latte landed not much farther away, the crackling lightning of her footsteps faded away as soon as she stopped. This was the eye opener for Alexandra, now realizing she wasn't dealing with an ordinary girl. Rarely, if ever, has she seen magic like this before, and it wasn't something to take lightly. So many questions began pouring into her head now.

"Centaur lady," Latte said, "can you assist me? I am lost and under 'special' circumstances. I am not from Hellenes." Latte's Greek was... not great, but it was understandable at the very least. She had pulled the knowledge of the language out of a passing's local's mind with a simple copy spell, but her mouth was still unused to to fluid motions required in the tongue.

.. Her Greek isn't fluent .. she's likely not from here. I'm not sensing any hostility, so I feel it'll be okay to talk here. The moment she wants to start trouble, i'll move, away from the people.

"Are you more familiar with the English language? I am good at speaking it, if you'd rather communicate that way." She said in English, then in Greek, just in case. Still, Alexandra was quite dumbfounded by this sudden approach from the girl and her (admittedly) majestic looking bird. Remembering to appear friendly and offer a smile, she did state, "And you said you're in need of some help? Before I willingly go along with your request, would you mind telling me ... who you might be?"

Zepherus14:

"Actually, if you have light junk, Hillary could hold onto that so she doesn't hurt the floor again?" She requested, unsure if ARES had anything like a piece of paper or some wood or a paper clip. That way she wouldn't have to worry about focusing on the floor as they walked.

ARES did not carry much of anything lighter than the steel armor she'd made, but Hillary didn't seem to be doing any damage to the floor while... being the floor- a concept which still somewhat confounded the construct. "I don't really have anything lighter I'm afraid, but you should be fine if you simply refrain from touching my armor. Once at the canteen, I'm sure you can find something suitable." she said, walking not far ahead of Hillary as she guided her there. "Oh, and I am ARES unit 35, though most just prefer ARES around here, given the lack of other units to distinguish me from. she explained as they set off.

Once arriving at the canteen, ARES took a seat at one of the nearby tables, offering Hillary a menu. "So- and this is just a wild guess here... so I guess you turn into what you touch? That seems... wildly unstable and difficult to deal with." she said, not even aware of Hillary's "normal" slime-like appearance due to her naturally having contact with the floor the entire time they were here.


The Phantom Thief
The Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fabulous Latte!

Latte frowned and tried to discern the language that Alexandra had changed to. It was different from the smooth tongue of the Hellenes, more prone to full stops and strange fricatives. Though, she supposed, it was not unlike the human languages of Candor. "English..." Latte mimicked, tasting the syllables on her lips. She held out her hand and pulled what information she could on the language out of Alexandra's memories.

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"Yes, English will do." Latte replied after a brief pause. This language was easier to enunciate, but was more irregular in its construction, lacking the normal conjugations she had come to expect from most tongues. "My name is Latte. I am from a place far away from here. Very far away, in fact. Though I do not believe that I will be the only of my kind travelling here today."

She paused. It was not advantageous to be truthful at this exact moment about the reason why she had come. It didn't sound to terribly appealing, even to herself, to say that she was here to steal any valuable spells or artifacts that might be laying around. To a centaur, whose kind was prone to being stalwart defenders of all things truth, justice, and all things foresty, it would be an even worse idea.

"I am looking for a group of exceptional individuals. People with powers like mine." Latte finally said after a moment of internal reflection. She had decided not to lie, in case the centaur was blessed with natural powers of empathetic scrying. "I collect things. Stories, trinkets, histories, records of remarkable people. Whatever I can get my hands on. I am here because something remarkable happened to this world recently. The echoes of that cataclysm still reverberate through worlds past the realm of your reality. I am most curious to discover the source of the event and any artifacts that might remain."

That was the pleasant sounding version of the truth, but the irrefutable truth.

Greek: Athens
Time: 10:40 AM

"English..." As the blonde lass held out her hand, it wasn't clear as to what she was trying to do, making Alexandra wonder what she was trying to accomplish with this gesture. Almost as if she somehow 'grasped' the knowledge now, did she say, "Yes, English will do."
"My name is Latte. I am from a place far away from here. Very far away, in fact. Though I do not believe that I will be the only of my kind travelling here today."

.. That's not a reference to Star Wars, was it? However, the centaur knew better than to assume Latte was trying to bring pop culture into this conversation. So with that, she stayed silent and allowed the stranger to express her reasons for being here.

"I am looking for a group of exceptional individuals. People with powers like mine." Latte finally said after a moment of internal reflection. She had decided not to lie, in case the centaur was blessed with natural powers of empathetic scrying. "I collect things. Stories, trinkets, histories, records of remarkable people. Whatever I can get my hands on. I am here because something remarkable happened to this world recently. The echoes of that cataclysm still reverberate through worlds past the realm of your reality. I am most curious to discover the source of the event and any artifacts that might remain." That was the pleasant sounding version of the truth, but the irrefutable truth.

"Sorry, i'm a bit lost here. Did you just say something happened to this world recently? And a realm that ..." She questioned, now her mind being puzzled with this strange bit of news. It almost sounded like superstition, if not something out of a long forgotten prophecy. ".. And did you also mention 'worlds' .. ?" She couldn't help but feel, conflicted. On one hand, she didn't think Latte was pulling her leg here, but on the other hand, this quickly went from 'hey lady, I need your help' escalating to 'universe levels of time and space collapsing on itself, worlds colliding, time overlapping through realms' in one sitting.

Bringing the side of her hand, cuffing it into a fist before softly coughing into it, Mmh Hhm., she began to recover from this 'mind shattering info' before briefly smiling again. "Well, in any case, it's .. . . ?" She heard a set of sirens in the distance, turning her head to see a vehicle stop a dozen feet away from them before multiple figurines stepped out of the car.

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A few, at least five to six Hellenic Police officers came forth, walking up to both Alexandra and Latte. They didn't even pay attention to her bird, or maybe they did but kept their eyes peeled on the two.

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(We were told that there was a disturbance in the area ...) One of the officers addressed, Alexandra remained calm with a gentle smile.

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(I am sorry if we startled the public, but I assure you, there are no problems here. We can go somewhere else to carry on with our conversation.)

".. That won't be necessary." The other commented, this time in English. Indeed, the police here knew multiple languages, but their primary of the two were Greek, and English. "Some eye witnesses claiming that they saw what appeared to be a 'bolt of lightning' dashing through the roof tops, and some property damage with it." Alexandra couldn't help but look sheepish now, realizing her new 'friend' might of not realized these buildings were pretty old, so walking on them could cause some of the marble, or even wood within, to weaken and crumble. This in turn, led Alexandra to chuckle nervously.

"I'll, pay for everything that needs to be repaid. Sincerest apologies. Haha ..."


The Phantom Thief
The Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fabulous Latte!

If there was one thing that Latte hated it was authority, especially the police, the symbol of government authority. As the men spoke to Alexandra, Latte was already nurturing the connection between this world and another one of the numerous lands that she had claimed in the multiverse. The image of tall rocky crags and hot winds grew in her mind. The electric energy of dry lightning storms rumbling over teetering peaks of a dragon-infested world. Then she pulled on the connection as their astral bodies drifted close to one another.

Latte tensed as she felt the sudden influx of red aether cascade into her body. Then, with the subtle movements of her fingers, she cast a simple enchantment on one of the officers. Their pockets grew heavy and suddenly the gold began to drop out of his vest and pants in an unending stream of coins. Soon the stream became a torrent, and a geyser of gold drachma rained down on the street.

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"That will settle your damages several times over," Latte said brusquely. The gold was cursed and drew the ravenous greed out of the people who bore witness to it. In some time the gold would return to the aether from which it was drawn, but for now it was as real as any physical gold found on the plane. She turned away from the officers and offered her hand to Alexandra.

"Shall we go? Police are always corrupt no matter the time nor place. It is best not to be in their presence." Latte's eyes glowed blue as she began to channel the energies of her pendant and the islands that she had linked before. A bright portal began to open up behind her.

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Greece: Athens
Time: 10:44 AM

Once the gold began pouring into the streets, people from all around began to rush on over, collecting the coin like there was no tomorrow; even going so far as to fight one another despite there was plenty to go around. The other police officers immediately did their best to try assisting 'the vessel' from this fate, yet eventually they too, succumbed to the curse and began gathering as much gold to stuff their pockets, with greed in their eyes. Only one of them, apart from the unfortunate soul whom couldn't move because so much gold weighed him down- tried to get through the crowd of people, shouting at Alexandra and Latte with his gun drawn.

"Shall we go? Police are always corrupt no matter the time nor place. It is best not to be in their presence."

Alexandra was quite speechless, for she had never seen such a thing. She knew magic existed, and being able to create lightning or fire was one thing, but causing a person to become a human fountain of never ending coins flooding?

". .. . . I don't even .." Her brain felt a little scrambled, reality sinking in that this was actually happening. She was also quite conflicted, seeing such good people becoming, vicious and hungry for the gold, that they no longer looked like civilized human beings. Seeing officers of the law, standing for justice, becoming no better than the men fighting in a corner, trying to pry some coin from each other despite so much was around them. The constant clinging of gold hitting the pavement ringing in her ears, her heart was a bit torn. Deciding it was time to act, she ignored Latte and began to head towards the crowd.

As she was trying to get by the mass of bodies to reach the man inflicted with the curse, the officer sprung out with his gun pointing at her. "You! What has your friend done! Answer me!" The cop ordered to Alexandra, the barrel staring right into her line of sight. She tried her best to sound reasonable, trying to talk over the volumes of people arguing and shouting at one another, in hopes to calm the him down. ". .. Please, I am sure we can talk this out .. ! Just let me through-"

"STAY WHERE YOU ARE, NOW!" His face filled with rage, clicking down on the hammer piece to show he was more than ready to fire his weapon. Despite this, she tried to look over him to the man that was standing still, coin flying out of his pockets with fear in his eyes. "Let me help your friend! ... O .. Officer?!" As Alexandra tried to get his attention, the officer lowered his gun as his eyes couldn't ignore the gold any longer. He dropped his gun, the centaur catching it in case the gun could of accidentally fired, now watching the once sane policeman dropping to his knees before trying to pick out the gold, even pushing a woman away from the one coin she wanted, in the sea of gold that showered around them, flowing down the street. ".. .." Looking over to Latte once again, she also noticed a portal was created before her very eyes. She then put the gun away into her pouch, before more and more people swarmed in from all over to collect the gold with such wicked desire.

Am I dreaming? .. This all feels, like a fantasy that's running wild. She looked back at her beloved people, then at the police, then figuring out the only real way to stop this, was to reach Latte, the one responsible, and ask her to end this. Alexandra rushed over to the planeswalker, placing both hands onto the blonde girl's shoulders, begging her "Latte, please, remove this spell of yours. If you do, i'll go along and help you, just ... I can't let my people act so deprived and hurt one another like this!" It wasn't an order, for there was no anger in Alexandra's voice. It was more of concern, wanting to ensure no one would be seriously harmed in this turn of events.


The Phantom Thief
The Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fabulous Latte!

"It's not such a big deal," Latte said. She was a bit taken aback by the intensity at which Alexandra pleaded. It was as if the centaur had never witnessed magic before. "Gods... you sound just like Kole." Latte held out her hand and laid claim to the gold spilling out onto the road. Gold, no matter artificial or natural, had the interesting property of being easily transmutable into aether of any aspect. Latte snapped her fingers and transmuted a hefty sum of the gold into white-aspected aether and focused the energies into the tips of her fingers.

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She struck out with her hand and the gold, as well as the curse, bled away into nothing. The white magic left a stinging sensation on her fingers that she never got used to. Latte and white aether had never particularly agreed with one another, which led to the unfortunate situation where casting white spells was much more taxing than she would have liked it to be.

The scrabbling frenzy of human forms ceased almost immediately as lucidity returned to them. Many of weaker individuals collapsed immediately from the mental exhaustion from mania finally caught up with them.

Latte shook her right hand out. Flecks of white mana still dribbled from her hand, leaving trails of brilliant light like floating diamonds. "The curse would have faded in time. No one would have been hurt." Latte said sheepishly. She looked away toward the churning blue aether that made up her aether tunnel. "You didn't have to swear like that..."

The gull next to her took off in flight, soaring up high into the air as it anticipated Latte's departure from the scene. Latte turned and hopped through the portal.

She landed gently on top of a flat marble platform on some high hill. The portal behind her continued to swirl, waiting patiently for the centaur woman to follow. Latte stretched and cracked several joints in her spin and sighed. Now that she took a good look at the place, it did kind of remind her of home, what with all the marble buildings and the blazing sun. Though the humidity was still damnable. Latte would never let that go. A small part of her wondered what Kole was up to now that she had left him to come here. Xikkis had never felt so far away.

"Maybe I should be more sparing with my use of spells," Latte said aloud to herself as she brought up a visual representation of her library. "The people here are much more sensitive than I could have anticipated." She cycled through some of her spells and sealed some of them away behind a limit-break rune so that she would not be tempted to call upon them.

Greek: Athens
Time:10:50 AM

"It's not such a big deal," Latte said. She was a bit taken aback by the intensity at which Alexandra pleaded. It was as if the centaur had never witnessed magic before. "Gods... you sound just like Kole." Being reassured that this would all be undone, Alexandra let go of the girl's shoulders before stepping aside, watching as the sorceress(?) snapped her fingers, white sparks making the centaur have to shut her eyes from how bright it got for a brief moment. When she reopened her eyes to see the results of Latte's work, the scrabbling frenzy of human forms ceased almost immediately as lucidity returned to them. Many of weaker individuals collapsed immediately from the mental exhaustion from mania finally caught up with them.

"The curse would have faded in time. No one would have been hurt." Latte said sheepishly. She looked away toward the churning blue aether that made up her aether tunnel. "You didn't have to swear like that..."

Having a reliving sigh, she had a weak but firm smile to back up her current mood. ".. Even so, thank you for freeing them. I-" Right in mid sentence, the large bird and Latte had already went into the portal, leaving her to stand there awkwardly. She assumed they ditched her, but the portal remained opened, Alexandra remembering that she did promise to follow her after that whole ordeal.

Taking a second glance out, the people seemed lost, chattering away at one another, asking questions with only more layers of questions on what just happened. She spotted the one officer whom got the worst of it, now panting on the floor with sweat beating down his head. Her horse-like ears did shoot upward when the other cops gained haste right at her, all withdrawing their guns. All of them shouting at her in Greek, mostly consisting of "FREEZE!" and "YOU BETTER NOT MOVE A FUCKING MUSCLE!"

"Time to go." Her face said it all, she had a silly grin as she started galloping towards the portal. A few gun shots were made, folks screaming in the background from the sudden gunfire. The centaur made it inside, as the portal seemed to of shrunk, leaving nothing but the empty space behind Alexandra like it never existed in the first place. She turned her upper torso (as far as the human body could manage) before checking out her red saddle. At least 2-3 bullet holes managed to hit their marks on the side, making the centaur frown. "Can't believe they would shoot at me. I had nothing to do with it. And what if they accidentally shot someone else? ..."
Luckily, the saddle's red silk was so dense and thick, so the bullet holes weren't all that noticeable. She would have to work on sewing those up later, but for now, she stood alongside Latte in this blazing heat to ask her, "Well, I didn't break my word so .. .. here I am."

"I'm not familiar with portals, so .. are we even in Greece still, or somewhere else?" Her tone showed no annoyance or anger, it was slight curiosity if not Alexandra simply wondering where the portal ended up taking them.

Kalastryn:
Once arriving at the canteen, ARES took a seat at one of the nearby tables, offering Hillary a menu. "So- and this is just a wild guess here... so I guess you turn into what you touch? That seems... wildly unstable and difficult to deal with." she said, not even aware of Hillary's "normal" slime-like appearance due to her naturally having contact with the floor the entire time they were here.

Rising Dawn Airship: Canteen
Time: 9:54 AM

Despite ARES' suggestion of being separated on their journey out of the confines of the ship's inner workings, Hillary's hand stuck to ARES' hull like glue. Still save for a few hiccups that caused Hillary to lose her focus, she managed to maintain the floor material form the whole way up. Such hiccups were exceptionally brief, the hull material never making it past Hillary's shoulder before the floor's material quickly pushed it back. It wasn't until they were out in the main halls with other people walking to and fro that she finally pulled her hand away.

She certainly wasn't a shy one this Hillary, walking without a care that she was bare to the world, a warm smile on her face as she waved at passers by. Moreover she didn't seem to have trouble keeping pace as she shifted from surface to surface either. She clearly was changing mass with each shift, the dent in the floor from before making this very obvious, yet her stride didn't suffer from gaining several kilograms of weight! This seemed entirely natural for her, something you didn't need to think about like breathing or blinking, and it showed when some of the workers stopped to glance her way only for her have to consider why they were looking at her.

Sitting at the table with ARES, Hillary took a moment to set the figurine with her down on the table, which quickly shifted to the stained wooden surface. For the moment, Hillary's form settled on the material of the chair there, a dark wood construction that left the swirling, glossy finish on Hillary's body. She looked similar to something a ship's figurehead, her hair appeared to be a part of her body as it clung in dainty curls to her mid back. "Oh, thank you very much Ms ARES." Hillary said as she took the menu, the pattern in her eyes moving from side to side as she clearly was looking it over before a quick look upwards. She looked a little surprised and looked around the canteen before looking back to ARES. "How'd you know all that?" Hillary asked, genuinely surprised. "It is really tricky to deal with some times, but... Hillary hasn't had anyone ask her that before so quickly. You're really smart ARES, I can tell." She smiled a wooden smile.

"That's right though, Hillary tries to be prepared when she can, but even I have to admit it's really hard sometimes. But she's learned a lot of tricks to help make living away from Garton a lot easier, even if they don't always fix everything." She answered as the wood grain of her eyes moved down again. "Hmm... That's um... hmm..." She muttered to herself, putting down the menu and tracing her finger over the word "Triple Chocolate Fudge Brownie" with a picture above it. "That's... a tri-pl-ee... trIplee? No triple? And... this..." She said as she slowly worked out the name on her own, insisting she do it because. "Penelope wants Hillary to learn how to read, so I should try doing it when Hillary can. Practice makes perfect even if it's not what Hillary normally reads."


The Phantom Thief
The Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fabulous Latte!

"You tell me," Latte said as she pointed out toward the city. Athens sat below the hill that they were on, bustling as it had been the moments before that scuffle in the streets. Alexandra came to the realization of where they were. They were standing on top of the Parthenon. "Aether tunnels can't go far. The spell was meant for infiltration, not teleportation. So, now that we're alone..." Latte peered over the side of the structure and noted the large number of milling tourists outside the roped off protected area of the temple, "relatively, anyway, mind giving me a quick run down of any league of extraordinary individuals in this world?"

Greece: Athens
Time: 11:00 AM

"You tell me," Latte pointed to the city, the centaur immediately recognizing the spot from where they were standing now. It was the Pantheon itself, making her take in the beauty of being this high up, her eyes sweeping over the horizon that held all of Athens.

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It felt, nostalgic really. For a brief moment, Alexandra remembered seeing this magnificent structure from afar on her friend's roof ... to think she would wind up on top of the building itself the very next day! Still, she couldn't daydream in a time like this, for Latte was trying to speak with her. "Aether tunnels can't go far. The spell was meant for infiltration, not teleportation. So, now that we're alone..." Latte peered over the side of the structure and noted the large number of milling tourists outside the roped off protected area of the temple, "relatively, anyway, mind giving me a quick run down of any league of extraordinary individuals in this world?"

Why would you be in possession of a spell that can infiltrate? ... Latte, you wouldn't happen to be a thief, would you? Now that she had a moment to ponder, the centaur did recall Latte mentioning, "I collect things. Stories, trinkets, histories, records of remarkable people. Whatever I can get my hands on." However, she didn't have enough proof nor felt the need to question Latte about such matters, yet. She instead went with answering the girl's question on supernatural people.

".. Your guess is as good as mine i'm afraid- w, wait a moment." She went ahead and withdrew her IPhone, right before going onto Google and typing in the name The Rising Dawn. Multiple if not dozens upon dozens of results came up. Articles, Videos, News Reports, even custom websites devoted in talking about the organization and determining their motives. She handed the device on over to Latte, while informing her, "I may not know too much about them, but this, Rising Dawn seems to have all sorts of extremely talented people. They may be the ones you're looking for. In fact, there was currently a Live Stream, seems everyone is talking about them and the Denver attack in America. Check it out."

She swiped the screen with her finger, going to a video that captured the recent Live Stream. FGC Network News were having a rather length discussion about the incident and the Rising Dawn's involvement in stopping the terrorists, and onward. "Funny enough, I was on my way over to the Athens International Airport to fly on over to America, that was until you came into the picture.

Perhaps this is destiny calling you and me?" In all honesty, she still seemed dazed by this whole magic affair, but she was slowly starting to accept there may be more to this world than the daily life of a centaur.

Rising Dawn Airship
Time: 9:30 AM

Jenny/David

"Well, it's important to have a good work/life balance. I myself am going to propose that we have a nice holiday. Someplace sunny and peaceful, away from all that nasty business in Denver. Not sure if I'm going to be able to have much of a swim but if nothing else, I can work on my tan." Jenny suggested as they entered the canteen.
David was still there, this time yelling at someone else on the over a video call as he tried to get his prisoner's transferred.
"-Dude, I get it! US doesn't want more egg on its face right now, Fair enough. They had a shit break. But I'm still not seeing how would affect our operation. Hell, they want to keep Gitmo open? These bastards are perfect for that!" He barked into a white-faced administrator on the other end of the feed.
"I'm not fucking interested in excuses, I want some damn results. What's the point in me risking my life, not your life, MINE, for justice, freedom, human rights, all that good shit if you can't FUCKING DO YOUR JOBS!?" He finally snapped before throwing the tablet across the room.

He was rather shocked at first when it suddenly stopped in mid air before safely and softly being placed on the table in front of him.
"Mind using an indoor voice, David?" Jenny politely asked, her voice quickly defusing the Irishman.
"oh...Hey J, Kala...Sorry...Just you'd think getting prisoners put in a prison would be easier. From my limited understanding of the situation:

A). The Democrats want Bison as far away from the US as possible to avoid him possibly escaping while the Republicans want him back, most likely because he can win elections for them, so they're making it hard to put the guy anywhere.

B). Cortex and Wesker, the ones who COULD be put in a prison without much trouble, are the subjects of some bullshit bidding war between different Southern Hemisphere countries trying to scoop them up like German Rocket Scientists in the 40s. And the last thing anyone wants is people who can cause that much trouble ending up in the wrong hands.

And finally, C). Doom, for reasons I fail to understand nor wish to, is apparently a Diplomat for a country I've never heard of so we CAN'T put him in a prison at all. I mean-...who'd even WANT him as their diplomat?!"

Jenny's brow furrowed slightly as she realized there was a name missing: "Well-...What about-...Bruiser?"
"Oh, don't worry. I didn't forget about his blue lizard ass. He's apparently going to gulag in Siberia, least if the Russians can figure out how much they want for their troubles. I'm sure he'll appreciate the cold while he thinks about his awful life choices." David smugly answered, taking a bit of pride in getting at least one of them put away for good.
"...Oh...I see..."
"...Something wrong, JJ?"
"...I-...I guess I thought I'd be happier to hear that..." She weakly said, not sure how to feel about the being that hurt her so much being put away in a frozen death camp for the rest of his life.
"Just remember: This is about protecting people from them so they can't hurt anyone again. If they learn the error of their ways, great. If not, other people won't suffer for their ignorance. Even if I have to go over to UNIT's head office and strangle someone to get it done..."

A rather concerned looking Imp watched the conversation, holding a coffee jug while looking at David.
"Oh, thank you." He smiled as he got another refill.

ARES was still unsure about social graces really, not quite knowing how to approach the topic or what to ask first. On the topic of Hillary's order, she had to say. "I can only really imagine how that tastes... but it does sound pretty good." She said, at least before the rather boisterous David caught her attention. She scoffed, shaking her head. "That is one thing that could do with less consistency. Just can't come to an agreement over anything... ugh." she said, rubbing her temples as she realized that while their work apprehending the criminals they were after was done, actually finalizing the matter was proving... difficult. Still, turning her attention to her guest of the hour, she said. "Well... it would be best to put it out of mind for now. So, who is this Penelope? And what do you usually read? she said, trying to make small talk.

Kala as well voiced a little bit of discontent on David's issue. "You know, this is why I don't pay attention to politics. Some people will apologize on behalf of the worst people in the world, and even those who agree they need to be dealt with fight among themselves clamoring to have the honor of being the one to deal with it. Either way, sorry you're struggling so much with the red tape. That said... that sounds like a wonderful idea Jenny. I mean, the weather's been plenty good for it lately, and hells, we could all use the time off." She said, turning to the imp with a yawn. "Would you kindly get some for me too? sigh At least I slept well. Feels like I was dreaming for weeks. Oh, and has anyone seen Miia around?"


The Phantom Thief
The Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fabulous Latte!

Latte pondered Alexandra's words for some moments as she stared at her phone. "What is this?" Latte asked as she put a hand on the handheld device. "Some sort of handheld library? Or a communication nexus? How is this powered, does it consume aether or is it self-sustaining? Where does the information come from? Where do the pictures come from? Are they generated using autonomous arcanum or are they hand-created? If they are hand-made, are they made by scholars and mages or by laborers?"

"How many of these things are in this world? Are they common or are they rare?" Latte continued. "What materials is this made of? Glass and steel? Or is it some sort of aether-infused alloy? How does it read your instruction? Does it track the aether in your body or does it interface through some sort of spell?"

Then suddenly Latte stopped and took a step back. She cleared her throat. "Those questions can wait. I suppose the first thing we must do is get to the airport. It would be unfitting if you missed your flight to America. I will tag along as best I can. Please, lead the way."

Rising Dawn

The Captain, Mio Kaizuko, was sitting in the captain's chair on the bridge of the Rising Dawn, reading a magazine for its interesting articles. She sat back, relaxed and sure of herself. The systems all seemed to be in order, the weird dream she had had was over and of course everything went swimmingly. Now just to decide on a place to take this ship ...


Diana had enough of weird occurences and strange dreams. She called a number on her phone. A portal opened in her cabin and she yeeted off the Rising Dawn.

Rising Dawn: Bridge: Rugal

After a bit of wandering about trying to find the woman in question, Rugal finally tracked her down to the captain's seat of the vessel.
Upon seeing her, he took a moment to adjust his outfit slightly in a bid to not only to put his best foot forward but also assert himself.
He had originally gotten the job by just-...well, taking it, sure, but he wasn't going to lose what he had because of a software glitch of all things!
Entering the bridge, he soon walked towards the young captain's chair, being sure to position himself where his figure could block out a nearby light.
With his shadow cast upon her, he kindly said "Ahhh, Ms. Kaizuko. Just who I looking for. Now, I'm not sure if you were made aware but there seemed to have been some sort of error in the ship's systems. Nothing major, just an issue of certain...permissions being accidentally reassigned. Made getting out the Captain's quarters this morning rather interesting."

With his nicest smile and the best imposing stance he could muster, he added "And it appears that, in order to resolve this issue, the acting Captain will need to transfer those permissions back so, if you wouldn't mind-"
A finger soon pulled down the magazine slightly as he made his point as clear as possible: "I'd like my position back. If you recall I was the one who helped bring you aboard and I'd rather not there be any-...disagreements between us over a glitch of all things. Wouldn't you agree?"
He then leaned against a nearby terminal, awaiting her answer with as much patience was needed.

Mio looked at the guy who had come up to her and raised an eyebrow. "A glitch? What are you talking about. I am clearly the Captain, don't you see? I've got the coat, the hat, the permissions.."

She stood and seized Rugal up and down. "In any case, I was the one who created order when you were just absent. The crew is in terrible shape. I'm raising them to become true travelers now." She paused, then smiled at Rugal and added: "Of course I'd be willing to hear out any input you have, like where to go and what to do. We're all equals here. But of course I make the final decisions.
Now, is there anything else you wanted?"

Rising Dawn: Bridge: Rugal, Mio, Viscus

His reaction was-...somewhat mixed to that reply, prompting a slight clearing of his throat before he said "...So-...it wasn't just a glitch then?"
Rugal bit his cheek a little before he reached over for a nearby chair, one of the hard metal ones that was reserved for senior bridge crew, and plopped it down right in front of Mio's (The "Captain's") seat.
Sitting down on it, he made his case: "...I can appreciate your Initiative and I thank you for it. But imagine if our roles were reversed and I just so happened to take your right to be captain right from under your nose. You wouldn't be happy now would you? And I'll confess, I'm not exactly pleased with this chain of events. I'll have you know I was the sea faring kind myself back in the day. Helmed a great aircraft carrier called the Blacknoah. Don't get me wrong, I understand you skill in this field but-..."

Letting out a single deep breath, he flat out said "I don't want to have my quarters, lose my permissions and be see as something other then the captain. Do you understand? I want what I've worked so hard to get and keep back. And I'd feel it'd be a lot easier for ALL of us if you just-...give it back..."

While he was trying to intimidate Mio, one of the screens on her control panel lit up as Viscus stared at her.
[System Diagnostic Complete. Ship status green. Awaiting your orders Captain Kaizuko]
"Ahhh, just who I wanted to see! Tell me Viscus!...You said the change in command was due to a glitch. Yet the "Captain" here says she took it upon herself to give herself the position behind my back...So clearly one of you is lying."
[My analysis was as complete as I could made it while the systems were being rebooted. I don't have any records of such a conversation happening but I can confirm User: Mio Kaizuko's status as captain.]
"Oh how very convenient...Look, She's going to give me my permissions ba-"
[Correction: Those permissions belong to User: Mio Kaiuko, as does the Captain's Quarters. You have 24 hours to vacate.]
"V-vacate-I beg your pardon!? I'm not going anywhere! She stole this position from me!"
[Records indicate you have done the same]
"...well-...T-t-that was different! I rose to the occasion because, if you remember, we were in the middle of war for the existence of Mankind itself!"
[Calculating...No significant difference detected] The AI lifelessly droned, though there was something about how quickly he made that analysis that suggested...I dunno, like he had it ready for this exact moment?

Rugal was quickly starting to turn red faced as he glared at Mio again and calmly said "...This is your last chance. Return what you have taken from me. Believe me, I'm not someone you wish to get on the bad side of..."
[Caution: Threat detected. Suggest engaging security protocols]
It was very hard to intimidate someone with that blasted AI interrupting him every 10 seconds...

Rising Dawn: Canteen: David, Jenny, Kala

The imp quickly complied before pulling out a cup from-...somewhere and filling it for her right on the spot.
"Can't say that I have to be honest. I've been busy yelling at people over the internet all morning. Then again, I could imagine that after what went down in Denver, she might have-...decided this place wasn't for her. Not that I'd blame her mind but I just don't know sadly." David remarked as he went to start another call, only to pause for a moment and make a suggestion.
"...We could try somewhere in the Mediterranean. Hear that place is rather nice this time of year. We'd have to keep our "Guests" under lock and eye if we're going to head there though."

Jenny was a bit more distant in this conversation, her mind still thinking about what the Irishman had said but she was able to snap out of it long enough to add "Well-...I'm going to head to the bridge and talk to Mio about setting a course-"
"Mio?...Why her?"
"Oh, didn't you hear? She's apparently the new captain. The AIs were sending the message out."
A bit of confusion flowed over David's face before he picked up the tablet and scrolled though dozens of notifications to find their message buried in between bids by Brazil and Mexico for Cortex's extradition.
"...Oh wow...Ohhohohoh, Blondi's is going to be Pisssssed. Hope she knows how to sleep with her eyes open..."
"Yeah, I might need to get involved in that regard, last thing I want to have to deal with Rugal tearing the ship apart in a temper tantrum." Jenny nervously laughed, looking forward to that about as much as anyone who'd seen Rugal when he was angry.
"Mind backing me up, Kala? He's very subbon for his age..."

Diablo1099:

"Mind backing me up, Kala? He's very stubborn for his age..."

"Isn't everyone? I think you may be overreacting a bit... well, I see no reason not to." She yielded, taking a sip of her coffee. "If I'm anyone to guess, he'll already be at the bridge. Given the sudden change in management I can't imagine he'd take it in stride." she said, rolling her eyes finishing her coffee and getting ready to leave. "As for our course, I have a suggestion or two, but we can talk about that when we get there, no?"

Kalastryn:

ARES was still unsure about social graces really, not quite knowing how to approach the topic or what to ask first. On the topic of Hillary's order, she had to say. "I can only really imagine how that tastes... but it does sound pretty good." She said, at least before the rather boisterous David caught her attention. She scoffed, shaking her head. "That is one thing that could do with less consistency. Just can't come to an agreement over anything... ugh." she said, rubbing her temples as she realized that while their work apprehending the criminals they were after was done, actually finalizing the matter was proving... difficult. Still, turning her attention to her guest of the hour, she said. "Well... it would be best to put it out of mind for now. So, who is this Penelope? And what do you usually read? she said, trying to make small talk.

Rising Dawn Airship: Canteen
Time: 9:55 AM

Similarly Hillary missed the context of what ARES meant as she set the menu down on the table, looking around as she wondered who she needed to ask for her order. "You can have some if you like? Hillary loves sharing with other! Or you could maybe-" Hillary started to suggest as David got more vocal, causing the two to look his way. "I... he looks familiar... but he sure looks upset. He's shaking so much Hillary can't even read what he's got with him." She said as she looked back to ARES, looking concerned but still feeling okay about it since he seemed to be getting help from others.

Hearing ARES ask about Penelope brightened Hillary's expression however; that dark wooden smile grinning from ear to ear, her lacquered hands laced together and her toes lightly tapped against the floor's surface. "Penelope is Hillary's mentor. She's taught her lots about things like massage, reading, and other... um... smart science stuff. Some of the others on the Laplace act a bit weird towards Hillary but Penelope's always been really interested in her. I'm really glad I met her a year ago." Hillary said in a rather quick summary. Her mannerisms made it pretty clear this woman meant a lot to the slime.

Turning her head to the figurine she set on the desk, Hillary paused before saying. "I don't know if Timea would like her, but... Hillary wouldn't have started doing massage without her, and now I'm on my way to mastering it." She said, her wood grains looking up and down the figurine before swiveling back up to ARES.

"So... OH! Yes! Normally, Hillary reads things like medical journals, story books and ship logs Hillary is allowed to read. Well the easy stuff at least. It's just... the letters here are, much older than I'm used to reading." Hillary said, looking down at the menu again and giving it the once over. Perhaps this was something akin to reading the likes of Shakespear, but even an older literary work. Just how much she knew of this modern English would be questionable, but at least she appeared to know the general structure?

"What do you like to read ARES?"

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