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Seas Of Erin > Cecilia > The one with awakening.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 09:09 AM
Morgan was worried.
There were a lot of things going through his head.
A LOT of them. Maalech was alive. But he couldn't feel deeper. Things felt too... tangled.
Possibilities. Aly? The runes that had crippled the man?
He'd made Maalech as comfortable as he could, brought up the temperature in the room, brewed hot tea and set incense up.
Well, he couldn't fix the man. Maybe Anne had just plain come for him. No. That didn't sound right. He liked to think she would've at least let him know. So he watched, scowling, and considered seeing if he could just light the man up.
Or would that just hasten things?
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 09:15 AM
The first sign was simply a shift in the rhythm of his breathing, growing more shallow and quicker. Then there was a faint movement as his body shifted, and then that stillness as he regained consciousness, trying to remember where he was. What had happened.
It took a moment or two longer than it should, but then he coughed, rolling over on the floor, getting one elbow underneath his body. "How long." His throat sounded rough, hesitant.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 09:16 AM
"Not long. Hour. Or so." Morgan smiled, relieved, at the man, standing and pouring him some tea before kneeling down and handing Maalech the cup. "Drink up. Might help that cough."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 09:26 AM
"Thank you." Maalech slowly got into a sitting position, legs crossed and shoulders slumped. From the look of things, every movement hurt, and it was an unusual look for the man.
It was a long time since he had been hurt like this.
He sighed a bit and reached out for the cup, but as he pulled back to drink, it slipped through his fingers, spilling hot tea over the floor. "Ah, gods..." An unusual curse of frustration as he rubbed his hand, flexing and unflexing it.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 09:30 AM
Morgan didn't say anything about the glass, just pouring another cup and resting it next to the man.
Maalech didn't look good. Probably too long being prone on the floor.
"Come on. Let's get you onto something cushioned, hm? Now that we're pretty sure you're okay." Morgan smiled and grunted a little as he got to his feet, reaching a hand down to help Maalech up. "You breathing okay?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 09:35 AM
Maalech pondered a moment, then took the hand and got to his feet with a bit of effort. He had a feeling this would not be the first hand he accepted before this ended.
"It has been brought to my attention that I am not young anymore. And she is not the most gentle of women when her ire is roused. She did leave then?" He flexed and unflexed his hand, trying to shake away the faint numbness that had gripped it.
Then the throbbing pain in his head overtook him and he limped over to his reading chair, sinking down in it with a sigh. "I am fine. Or rather I will be fine, if I rest. This... was a warning." He cast an almost pleading glance at the tea on the floor.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 09:40 AM
"We're both old men without Will or stubbornness to hold us up, I think." Morgan scowled. It'd be his turn before long. The way he'd lived, he didn't relish that thought. "And, yeah. She's gone. Or as gone as she gets. Crazy lady just flitting around every layer of everything. Her and the Powers and... " Morgan sighed.
"See, this is how I feel around you sometimes." He smiled a little at the man and handed him his tea, keeping his thumb and forefinger at the bottom of the glass in case Maalech was too weak to hold onto it for himself yet.
"A warning? Of what?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 09:49 AM
Maalech reached out and took it with his left hand instead, emptying it gratefully. For a moment he pondered what to answer, then opted for the bleak truth. "A warning of a stroke. This was a mild one I think. No bleeding." A frown crossed his face as he opened and closed his right hand, trying to shake away the ghostly feeling that persisted there. "Most likely a blocking, though I can not be certain." He sighed, holding the cup out for some more tea.
"I had a visit from Anne when I was out. She was... worried. And I do think she was feeling slightly guilty that this proceeded faster than she had predicted." There was a wry smile there despite it all. "It is pleasing to know they are capable of being surprised."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 09:56 AM
"Well, I'm hoping like mad that they can be surprised. Fuck knows it's hard work not... I don't know. Keeping out of whatever 'story' bullshit they've got going."
Morgan grimaced some, all the same. "A stroke? Fuck."
A part of him wanted to ask to fix it. But he was gut-sure that it'd be an insult to the both of them. Not Order any more. But fuck knew he'd grow up in it. And Maalech? Maalech was even more self-reliant than any of their Archmagi.
"Did she say if the Weave was severed?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 10:04 AM
"No. But we were both in agreement that is would probably be done." Maalech sipped the next cup of tea more slowly, regaining some modicum of control. Still, he looked like he'd been through hell and back.
Well, not as badly as Morgan had been but... it was unusual to see him this affected by anything.
"This will be bad. She cautioned me that I needed rest and no more involvement at the moment. I promised that I would ask you to transport me back to the Wreaths..." The frown was still there, and it was a deep one.
"None of our options here are good."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 10:08 AM
"Fuck that. Your options are death or a vacation on a sun-soaked island." Morgan offered the man a careful smile then, "I got no problem getting you there. Probably do you some good. Less stress. No more scheming. No more stress. I think that sounds pretty good."
Hell, if only Morgan could be so lucky. Even if he did get somewhere warm and sunny, he still had a couple kids screaming 'no' at him every five minutes.
"I'll do what I can over here to try and keep things in check."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 10:13 AM
"It is just..." Maalech frowned, trying to pinpoint what it was that worried him the most. "I do agree that I cannot push my body too much too fast. But at the same time, she cannot be ignored. Anne... seven mortal hells Morgan, I believe that Anne is actually worried about what might happen if she regains her memories and powers. Not to them, I think they are above most concerns... but to this world. She alluded to some possible outcomes that were... less than pleasing. More conflict. Larger conflict. Something that the war in the Erins is a shade of, like a tiny reflection in a mirror."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 10:17 AM
"Suppose it'd just be too easy for the lot of them to just show up and tell her to cut it the fuck out, wouldn't it?" Morgan sighed some, "I'll. I'll try to deal with her best I can, Mal. Really I will."
Fuck, he was just supposed to watch that stupid seal.
Watch the seal, have some tea and wine, keep the kids sane; that was the deal.
He should've check the fine print.
"I don't suppose she gave us any idea what might help stop it, did she?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 10:27 AM
"They do not interfere like that. At least they are not supposed to. It would seem we are special cases in that..." Maalech sighed, but he looked and felt more human after his second cup of tea.
"You have to remember that their perspective is what is good for the whole continuum. Not necessarily what is good for individuals. While a disaster is terrible for those that live through it, it can still provide beneficial in the long run. Not unlike a forest fire." That brought a strange look to his face, but he shook it off as his eyes narrowed in concentration.
"I have enough ideas already. It is implementing said ideas that will provide the challenge. And I must confess that this... it is distasteful." Was there a hint of regret?
But it was soon chased away as he looked at Morgan, pondering "There is one thing in this that still amazes me."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 10:35 AM
"Well, we're all just pawns with delusions of free will. What else is new?" Morgan poured himself a cup of tea, sighing. "See, now me? Me, I'm used to trying to find my way around you. You always figure out my reactions, my plans before I get to them... or at least planned deep enough that I don't... that I didn't have much chance to fight 'em."
Morgan shrugged some. "have your vacation, Mal. You don't... don't worry about any of this shit. Aly'll come to you... and I'll do my best to have her calmed down by the time she gets there."
He shrugged some, trailing off before looking to the other man, "Yeah? What's that?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 10:41 AM
"That despite all this, we have managed to regain this friendship." Maalech did seem quietly amused at that, as if the sheer improbability of it all had not struck him before.
"Thank you. I am certain it is not easy for you." There was no irony there, none at all.
Had he been a different man he might have said that he did not deserve it, but Maalech had the view that nothing in life came because people deserved it or not.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 10:50 AM
"Easier than it probably should be." He smirked a little, looking over at the man, "In my head... I can still see you. Not even thirty but filled to bursting with... Something."
He looked away, sighing. "I stop and think... what kinda asshole am I? Still talking to you after all that? Everything you did. Jochiem... He seems almost together. For him."
Hadn't seen him in a long time. But there'd been so much. And going that far away felt so dangerous sometimes. Always afraid that he'd be so recontexted that he'd fall apart. "I feel like I should wait until Jochy sees fit to let you off the hook before I say word one to you."
He sipped his cup then before shrugging.
"Fuck it, though. You and me been to war together. Some things are bigger. Nothing's easy." He shrugged, rubbing at his shoulder a little, half-smiling. "Mal, you mean well. Or, at least, you mean better lately. That's. That's all anyone can ask."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 10:58 AM
"After everything I did." Maalech was quiet for a little, slumped back in the chair. "You do not even know half of it Morgan, there are many things that..." He broke off, falling silent.
Finally he spoke again, eyes distant. "It always seemed to be a simple choice. Predict the best possible outcome in the end, then adjust the present threads accordingly paying no heed to the damage wrought. I have done things that makes me sick to my stomach, and yet if I think myself back to the time I made that choice I am not certain I would have done it differently. The future proved me right, and yet... perhaps there could have been another way. One less likely to succeed perhaps, but more conscionable. I just don't know..." He shook his head, uncharacteristically disturbed.
"And now here I am again, facing the same choices."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 11:08 AM
"We always face the same choices. Because there's only a handful of choices in this world, I think." Morgan shrugged, looking into his glass.
"I went through this. Through this trial." He patted his chest, running his fingertips over some of the scars beneath his shirt. "Drugged out of my head, exhausted, bleeding, hanging and hurting and wishing I could just die. And I'm in this pit in my head. Hallucinating. And there's this kid I don't know. A faceless woman I wronged. Hordes of corpses. Life after life just... maimed or gone because of me."
Morgan looked over at the other man, "Maalech, there's no forgiveness. Not for either of us. People who go out and we hurt others for profit or love or because we think we know what the world needs..." Morgan realized he was just babbling then before he looked over at Maalech again.
"We can't undo it. We can regret it." Morgan looked at the man, meeting his gaze. "Then we do better the next day. Our work is cut out for us because no one likes us because we hurt people. No one trusts us because we aren't worth trusting. But we do better tomorrow anyway."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 11:18 AM
Maalech sighed quietly, looking at Morgan rather thoughtfully. "Is that wisdom? There are times when you truly surprise me... or perhaps it is my own conceptions of you that are flawed. But you are correct. In that at least." Yes, the faint smile there was teasing enough. Morgan's words had touched him more deeply than he liked to admit.
"I never asked for forgiveness, nor for trust. Forgiveness seemed to be a selfish urge to have ones own decisions justified by the people that they hurt, and trust... to be frank, trust never sat well with me. The assumption that I would act in someone's best interest... no, that is not true. The assumption that I would act in what the person thought their best interest were. Distance was simpler. And now... I find myself disliking that distance. And yet I do know that it is needed in order to do what needs to be done."
He frowned, rubbing his right hand, flexing the slightly numb finger. "The facts remain regardless of the feelings behind them. She needs to be dealt with."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 11:20 AM
"She does. Both of them do."
Well, maybe neither of them could 'deal with' Anne. But he tried to keep her in there. In his head, at least.
"Well, then we prepare to be hated some more." Morgan laughed a little. "Good for us."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 11:25 AM
"Well then..." Maalech took a breath and straightened somewhat, eyes distant. "If we go on the assumption that Alynealin will break the weave that holds the Countess, that at least takes care of one of our problems. Possibly two."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 11:29 AM
Morgan laughed a little at that. "Still wish I could go back to the number I had when I started this nonsense."
"Fuck it." Morgan shrugged a little, smirking and sipping his tea. "What's the other one?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 11:40 AM
"If she breaks the weave before she seeks out the Queensman, she will not regain more of her memories. He will be unable to interact with the cards since he no longer holds my position in the weave. Though I suppose that is a double edged sword. Her current set of memories is not conductive to my continued existence."
He pondered silently, then asked "Is there more tea? I confess to having quite a headache." But he knew he was lucky it was all that it was. He did not think much damage had been wrought.
"As for Alynealin, I can see two paths that have the likeliest chance of succeeding, neither of them overly pleasing."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 11:44 AM
"...shit." Morgan grimaced. But, then, a part of him had to think that there were worse things than not remembering some of that.
There were horrors in those gaps.
But it was her call. In her place, he knew he'd be murderous to be whole again.
"We'll have to trust that she knows it. I'll try and put word to her all the same," the man looked down at the floor before standing and pouring a cup of tea for the other man, extending the cup to the man. "So what are... so how screwed is she?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 11:49 AM
"Oh, do not tell her that until she has broken the weave. As long as we regain the cards from that man, I will still be able to break them, and perhaps that will give her enough pause to stay her hand. She forgets, I think, how fragile bodies can be. Or perhaps this was what she wanted all along."
A reminder. A lesson. It was hard to know with her.
He accepted the cup gratefully, sipping it more slowly this time, savoring the taste.
"The memories can be removed once more, leaving her as she was, in essence taking a few steps backwards. Or the memories can be returned in full, but her powers contained until she regains her balance. I would not begrudge her vengeance, but I will not have it based on ignorance and misconception."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 11:56 AM
"Neither would she, once she's back together."
Morgan chuckled some, shrugging and leaning back "Either way it's hard to say. And the cards?" He shrugged a little, "Her Magus seems to be pretty down to Earth. Once it's explained..." He chuckled, "Or I'll have to go through some obscenely convoluted test of trust or whatever."
He smiled a little then.
It seemed somehow familiar.
Planning action. Trying to make a difference.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 12:01 PM
"I am loathed to go backwards. Things have proceeded this far, it seems better to salvage what we can despite the risks." We. Such an unfamiliar word.
"And yet, those risks are no longer solely on my head." He sighed in frustration, this was why he had carefully nurtured that distance from things.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 12:05 PM
"No such thing as backwards. Not really." Morgan said, "Just changes of course."
"And. Fuck, I don't know. There's risks aplenty before we're done. What's a few more?" He smirked a little then. "We're playing gods with the lives of other people. Bound to get a little tough for all concerned."
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 12:22 PM
"Indeed." Maalech fell silent, deep in thought. "The simplest course would be to regain the cards, wait until she comes, then destroy them. That overload will most likely momentarily incapacitate her, and her powers could be warded and contained. Of course there is the risk that the overload will instead prompt her to lash out, destroying everything around her. However, it seems the less likely outcome." He frowned in frustration. "Hah, as if I am one to speak of probabilities here. I lack knowledge. I have no power. All of this is pure conjecture."
He thought he had come to terms with his lack of Art, but at the moment it frustrated him greatly.
"I do not know whether this will rouse the Tzarg to my manipulations or not. Hopefully not. But I am quite certain it would still leave her entrapped in their web, but now conscious of her entrapment, which would still be cruel. The other path though is far riskier."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 12:26 PM
"Yeah? What's the other route?"
Because ambushing her, possibly unleashing an angry storm of personified rage? Even for a moment, that wasn't attractive.
He'd weather it, though. How he'd weather it.
"'Cause I'm for that first part if it comes to it, Maalech." It'd make him a hypocrite. But he could live with being that.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 12:31 PM
"I am not certain whether you are aware of the details of her curse?" Maalech did not wait for a reply, but continued "The cycle of her existence is goddess, rebirth, birth and death of the child, then her death and return to goddess once more. This means that the body she currently inhabits is not her original one. She is birthed in suitable families, slowly coming into her own as she ages. Of course that leaves us with a point possible to exploit..."
He seemed to take it for granted that Morgan also would have spotted the opportunity immediately.
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 12:35 PM
"You've explained it once or twice." Morgan frowned deeply, "I'd rather that be a... a last, last resort." He ran a hand over his head and poured himself another cup, sipping the warm liquid slowly.
"...but I'm a Destroyer, Maalech. Snuffing out one life is something I'm capable of."
And suddenly he felt sick as the myriad plans of the ways he could do it danced through his head. But he couldn't use the sword. That risked far, far too much.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 12:38 PM
"Yes, I am aware of that." Maalech pondered for a moment, then added. "But what I have in mind is slightly more ambitious. As you can imagine, she must have died for the first time once in order for this to start... and I still have her original corpse stored."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 12:41 PM
Morgan's head felt jammed with possibilities just then.
he still had...
He wanted to ask why he'd do that, but reasons came to mind. And if those were wrong, he wasn't sure what other possibilities there were to consider.
"You aren't going to try and wake it up with her current body, are you? Or... or what?"
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 12:47 PM
"One of my original plans was to attempt to pull her thread out of the curse that the Tzarg had woven around her, bringing it back to her original body. This would leave her rebirthed form behind, presumably still caught in the web thus preserving the illusion. At the time I deemed it less risky to instead attempt to divert the curse proper..."
He rubbed his chin for a moment "Of course this was before I had delved as deeply into my attempts at resurrection and the possible consequences thereof. Now I know that it is indeed a possibility."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 12:52 PM
Morgan grimaced some, "Every time I get an answer I like it less than the question, you know that, Mal?" He chuckled at the man, taking a drink of tea, "Well, we have optoins. I. I don't muc hlike them but they're what we've got, aren't they?" He chuckled, "Maybe we'll be lucky and he'll just hand the cards over to her and you can fix her nd she just gets better along the way, hm?" Morgan smirked for a moment as if he thought that were even remotely possible.
Which, of course, he didn't.
Posted by: Maalech Oct 3 2008, 12:56 PM
"Yes, we simply have to be ready for what her next move will be." He rubbed his aching head, then smiled wryly. "Ah, I promised Anne that I would not do this. But I cannot leave without having made the best of the situation."
Which also lead to one thing, which he was not sure what Morgan would think of. "I do need to ask another favor as well. Could you tell your son that I need to speak with him? I would rather he be left on the sidelines, but like it or not he has involved himself. There are things he needs to know."
Posted by: Morgan deCiel Oct 3 2008, 01:00 PM
"Well, Aly's not something I'd want to leave half-fixed. She's more dangerous now. Fuck knows who else she might go after."
Crazy woman, he thought, sadly.
Morgan frowned some, "I'll." He stood up then, looking away from the other man.
Mal called and Seth would answer. If Morgan had?
"I'll let him know."
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