When the Wise start to arrive in the private lounge at the Scottish Lion, they find the tables are laden with "new" crates -- new because the wood still has that fresh cut and untreated lumber look -- and in those crates are bevel handled "stakes" of wood. There are dozens of them -- different lengths and widths, different "balances" -- some have grips with a thin layer of reclaimed tire rubber on the handle to make gripping easier.
Effulgent Parable Moot
May 3rd, 2015
The Scottish Lion
Aside from those boxes of Mr. Stabby are smaller and older boxes with vials and jars full of tinctures and powders, cuttings and ichors -- all labeled in neat, obsessively neat probably, print. There are some censors and burners -- this suggets ritual implements.
As they arrive, Dash is in the middle of a heated extolation to Lucy about the virtues of Lightsabers -- and how it should be possible to simulate such with magical crafting -- perhaps even using Fetishes made with spirits representing the concepts of Star Wars -- which may not be feasible to find in the Shadow, but perhaps in the Astral Reaches.
"I wonder if the symbolism of getting the right crystal is drawn from Soul Stone manufacture and attunement?" Dash ponders. "Perhaps that what really determines the color of the blade... that would suggest that Mastigos are prone toward the Dark Side, which doesn't surprise me as much as it should, because of Pandemonium... and the Thyrsus would have the orange shade since I've never seen a brown light saber... hmm... maybe speaking to their middle path regarding civilization over instinct... but that's all to the side, what I am saying is, can you use *forces* to make a stable laser blade or not!? I mean.. throwing fireballs is quaint, but I'm talking Fzzzz-psshhhh wvoom wvoom wvoom." Yes, he does move his hands around in a pantomime of lightsaber wielding as he makes the sounds.
Uriel makes his habitual check of the perimeter before coming inside. Arriving a bit early for that reason. When he does step in, he pauses a moment and raises an eyebrow hearing Light saber's mentioned, but doesn't interrupt the conversation. He does finally offer though as he offers "yoru biggest real problemwith a light saber is the lack of weight and momentum. Without that to guide your senses.. or a continued attunement to the weapon to know absolutely where the blade is at all times, your more likely to hurt yourself than to hurt your foe... not to mention that most sabers do not have anything to keep the handle from sliding down out of your hand when there IS a sudden weighted impact of any kind.."
"That's why I like guns," Shani chimes in, stepping in not far behind Uriel. Her hands are resting loosely in her pockets as she steps into the room. She steps over towards the crates, squinting a bit as she peers inside at the piles of stabby tools. "Flame throwers work too, you know. Or some Celestial Fire." She shrugs and heads over to the seats, plunking herself down and crossing one leg over the other.
Lucy's expression is a mix of bemusement and thoughtfulness as she listens to Dash's enthusiastic ponderings and theorizing with all the patience and adoration that one would expect the man's wife to have when she's not giving him one of her Looks. To his question she gives a slight shrug as she makes her way through the room towards a seat, waddling just a tiny bit. "Possibly, applying it as a sort of static sound that generates and using some variation of energy..." She muses, trailing off as other people have remarks to add in on the topic, Star Wars being a popular topic. "I'll think about it." She adds with a chuckle and then dips her head in a greeting to each of the others present in turn.
Lou comes in and looks about the place, then at the stakes she shakes her head. "Really talking star wars in a room of stakes...ok, and color coding Order's light sabers...I am thinking if I make a light saber, going purple, cause I like that color." with a smile, and wave to Lucy, and Uriel.
"Not by order -- wondering if you used a soul stone for the lightsaber crystal if the color produced would be tied to path colors, and the path colors are different -- like the Acanthus are blue and green, the Thyrsus russet and brown, the Obrimos Gold and White, and so on... but anyway, Hi everyone."
Dash moves toward the boxes. "Persuant to our previous discussion, I have been using some of my spare time making stakes. They aren't enchanted or augmented or anything -- but I thought we could collectively discuss possible stake augmentations, and of course I'm donating the ones I made to the Slayers to use for their preparation regarding the vampires."
"I don't know if you all have read Quixos' report on the attack? If you haven't let me recite that to you..." Dash clears his throat, then adjusts his posture and the tenor of his voice to imitate Flynn's mannerisms... with somewhat peculiar accuracy.
Mar 23 I was in the town square with a number of individuals when a man named Dale came running into the area screaming the monsters are back. He stated that he had gone to Gail's house on the outskirts of town and found the house tossed and blood everywhere but no bodies. I offered to assist the local investigators but was rebuffed by the town representative, Joshua Landace. Not to be dissuaded, I attempted to locate the house in question and was successful.
Subsequent investigation revealed that on Mar 21 at 6pm, Gail and three of her four children (see attached sketch) are in the house preparing dinner. At 7pm, four males enter. Two are filial and present strong emotional bindings to Gail. The other two are a teenager and an approx 50yo male with beard (see attached sketch) have no tie to the family.
The captives are now lead outside into a vaiting deuce and a half military convoy vehicle with identifying marks removed and the vehicle travels southwest.
This is when things get interesting. The older man separates from the three on return from the bathroom cleaning up and surreptitiously unlocks the front door. Gail says Grace and all begin to eat when there is a thump at the door. Gail goes for her gun and the teenager stranger stabs her in the chest. A struggle ensues with the children running for the stairs. The front door opens with two more men entering. The two entering end the fight by literally slamming the heads of the two remaining struggling victims together thus rendering them unconscious. They then approach Gail, who is still alive, and remove the knife. At this time, the two begin feasting upon her blood and she dies.
I have a number of items able to be utilized to scry the victims and a rescue mission will be launched the moment their location is ascertained."
Dash returns to his own mein seamlessly and then adds, "I am not sure where he took things from there." Dash looks very grim. "Obviously, this cannot stand. *Cannot*. Must not."
"I can probably enhance them some. I've regained my mastery of Prime, and I'm focusing my attentions on Matter again. I'm not sure how much longer it's going to take. I'm still feeling out where the weak spots are. It's harder re-learning things than it was learning it the first time." Shani sits back as she listens to Dash relay the report, pursing her lips thoughtfully. "So they're moving closer, it would seem? Are they attempting to get within the boundaries of the city itself, do you think?"
Lou sighs and looks to Dash, then to Uriel like she wants to speak up about something, but is now sure how to word it really. Then softly she does, It is really hard for a normal person, or someone low with strength to stake a vampire. Also from lab experiments, it does kill them, just puts them in like a dead coma. The near by base, and some other hunter research groups...like the Raven's wing...did captures. The best way to kill them outright is to take out the heart, or head, brain. We found high powered rifles work well with ammo like hollow points, or explosive when doing distance, close infighting, Shots guns, blades, fire throwers most effective. They are highly flammable, also locating sleep spots, and throwing in willy petes, as the called them, or burning the place down can work well too. From some of their servents, and the blood addicted more information was garnered as well." with a sorry look to Dash, then the stakes. "Odd note when the vampire is really dead, they decompose to like when they died, and where...we think. They decomposed...though any where from looking a few days dead, to gooey, or dust."
Uriel settles into a relaxed posture, crossing his arms. he listens to the report, having not heart the whole of it before. "If they do try that, they are going to find that it was a mistake.. " he states simply. "This sounds very methodical and organized.. I think its safe to say that there were backup personell outside the compound in the event things went south.. usually 1/3rd of the total contengent is used that way.. In any military operation. And the most any organized center will ever send out is half of their total force, as a maximum.. I have shifted some of my slayer training, to focus specifically on Vampires, with this current threat. " he nods to what Lou says and falls quiet (re)
"Quixos' report was... less tactially accurate than say an Arrow would have presented. Outskirts in this case is a day's ride down the coast -- more than fifty miles. There have been increasing reports of long range foraging missions and trade missions going missing -- toward the north but outward down the coast as well." He listens to what Lou relates impassively. "They know Stakes don't kill them -- if they think the stake won't kill them, they won't be a worried about that as the should. They won't know if it carrying a primal charge to dust them, they won't if the stake actually sets them on fire inside after piercing, they won't know if it has a dusting of chemical that only goes up if it is exposed to blood -- and the won't know if the stake actually spourts legs and arms and will chase them and bury itself inside them."
"Undusted vampires give us sympathy -- to their lairs, to their victims, to their creators. Undusted vampires can be haunted by their own victim's shades after being made the fetter for same and then dumped paralyzed into a pocket space prison for eternity."
"But this is why I am not in charge of vampire disposal. If I wanted to simply kill them I'd find out where they were, transmute the water vampire in the air around them into petroleum vapor, and then apply a fire from a distance. Instant Fuel Air bomb and they all finish dying... but they are taking prisoners, and its the people I am worried about more than the vampires. I mean, killing the vampires important, but to me, freeing their slaves and herds of people is the first priority. If it means killing them to do so, fine -- if killing them comes second, also fine to me."
Lou looks to Dash, "Ok just better hope most their prisoners not blood addicted, withdrawal is hell, even if new to the blood. This going to be more complex then just freeing them. Some chose that, because they want to live longer, and enjoy the life with their masters. This is a war once we start it that can get really nasty with allot of no win's on both sides, yes we need some alive to trace back to their companions, elders, but we also need to make it clear what happens for taking from us as well." with a bit a longer look to Dash, as if somehow he might get what she means. "Some signs of Vampires in Bangor...not sure how many human's or blood servants there. They were not interested in any contact with us."
Dash considers Lou's words then asks, "How? I mean, how can it get real nasty? When you first talked with me about vampires years ago, and from the research I did afterward to learn more -- particularly when I was hierarch and their "princes" kept changes like the weather -- what I could derive was that the only reason we didn't just scourge them from the planet was because they were so entertwined with society that doing so would cause massive collateral damage. Financial markes crashing, rampant unemployment and so on."
"That world is over. They have no *stranglehold* to speak of except the people they have enslaved with their dread powers. They are strong. They are fast. They don't get hurt much by bullets. They can shapeshift. They can do some petty magic they think is impressive."
"We can ignite the air, we can make sunlight -- we can bind spirits of Vampire Slaying an set them loose, we can raise their victims as revenants with the singular task of expunging them. They cannot hide from us. They can only be active in the night and the days are waxing longer. Can they hurt us? Of course. Are they even remotely the same level of threat they were before? I'm asking you seriously -- how can they be? If you know, explain it -- because right now, its seems they should be epically more afraid of us than we of them. What am I missing?"
Marcus chooses that particular moment to arrive. He looks...freshly washed. Crisp, efficient, alert. Jeans and a blue pullover revealing his love of the color. His familiar rides on a shoulder pad that she can grip with her claws. She too is groomed, fluffy, wearing a braided collar that seems to be dyed leather cords in rainbow colors. He catches what the topic is, and his calm and neutral expression shifts subtly: apparently this is one topic he not only finds distasteful, but that he has massive opinions on. He looks to Dash for permission to -be here-, let alone for permission to speak up.
Lou sighs, "The fact that now matter how we do this, trust with these creatures there will be loss, pain. Just in how they think, and set up, we will have collateral damage no matter how you do this. They are masters of this type of pain, even when you find humans alive it will most the time be a painful loss, rarely a win. The blood addicted suffer, and not all make it their withdrawal, this does not even get into the ones not addicted, but broken of mind, and spirit...or just plan mad. You need to make sure all involved are ready for those type of losses even if we "win"
Uriel is content to just listen, quietly his eyes moving from person to person as he absorbs what is said.
Having moved to a seat to the side of the room inside the private lounge, Lucy has fallen quiet while she listens to all of the conversation that is had in the wake of Dash's somber report and the beginning of the topic of the dangers of vampires beyond the safe zone around the city and recent rash of disappearances. "How much of this do you suppose that the investigators that Quixos followed to the site of the attack might know of this danger? I know that there was an announcement telling people to stay close to the safe zone, and venture out only when necessary." She muses on this as she gives Marcus a slight smile and wave of greeting.
Dash looks to the people who live outside the wall and who are building ties with the watch, the Arrows and Lou. "I don't suppose a live capture and demonstration to the Community Council and the watch leadership might not be of some benefit? I mean... they saw monsters stride the earth, a vampire isn't a stretch -- but there are still going to be touched by the vampire pop culture." He considers, "Could we use Full Moon Studios -- what's left of it -- and make a PSA video?"
Marcus smiles. Sort of. He must be hanging out with Lee -a lot- because he manages to come across as completely feral in that moment, as he moves to sit down next to Lucy. Serenity arches her back, poufs her tail, and begins licking his ear. His voice is sharp as a knife. "Precept of Thunder, Portent - remember what you learned at your Master's knee. The enemies of Humanity must be destroyed, eliminated. Of course, civilians are going to get in the way. The vampires will do anything to save themselves. We save what we can of the humans, and we expend the rest out of necessity. Because -not- eliminating the vampires is allowing them to win. Yes, this is horrible. Yes, the Silver Ladder has certainly done worse things! We have started wars that killed thousands of innocents to install dictators we chose because doing so would bring about a blooming in the oppressed. I will never sleep comfortably, knowing that we will do what we must do, but neither will I flinch, or slack, or refuse to raise my hand when it must be raised." By this point he's lost the knife-edge to his voice. It's hard to be that kind of emotional with a cat licking his ear. He nods to Lucy, and then to Dash.
Lou is passionate as she speaks again, "We will also need to have things in place to address the souls of our own. This war will try them, sometimes lessen the strength of soul, because we will have to do some acts that will try wisdom, ethics, as well morals to win. Just is with them D, I just want to make sure we have things in place for all the various fallout from this for the mages, and people in our city. We will not be able to keep our hands clean, vampires are masters at those type of manlipluations, making it cost, and shadow wars ." soft and serious in tone. "OR we could scope out the base, and Raven's wing for the types made by them. Vampires, ghoul's....more. Hopefully neither place still had things in containment at the end...kill protocol should of been enacted." the Stance for Lou now clairified, she is for it, just wants to make sure they have things in place to help their own over the costs of this war.
Uriel offers, in that deep soft voice that is clear but not demanding, "I am still early in my inspections of the Watch.. there are some promising ones there, but nothing I can commit that kind of support to yet. Also, if an announcement is decided upon, the radio station is up and running, we can have a regularly spaced announcement of any kind you want, and more people have radios than TV's at this point. Additionally, I have spoken with 'The WALL', told him about the threat of the Vampires and their kin, he and I are working on a way to ensure he can detect what they are, and who they are, and at that point, there will be no servant of them in teh city.. he was... quite upset at the thought of such an eventuality. " he looks over at Marcus and states simply "We cannot afford even one loss that can be prevented.. or the whole of humanity could be lost in the next years and generations. We need to keep that in mind."
Lucy purses her lips, her expression getting somber as the conversation continues. Briefly she glances over towards Serenity, but she doesn't interrupt the comforting that is going on. "I would probably agree that something that is going to be mostly interested in enslaving, devouring or controlling humanity isn't really something that we should worry about the body count of." She murmurs quietly.
Dash considers the words spoken, if his expression is an indication carefully. "Not since before the sundering have we been in a position to wage the war we *could* wage if we needed to. There are no *sleepers*. That means while there is paradox, its less of a factor -- its a possibility instead of an assurance. This means *large scale* magic. I do not mean to insinuate the courage of these hunters you speak of or their skill was anything less than amazing - but I am saying we are Wizards. Wizards can and should wage war differently. Your previous co-workers could not make an explosion that *only* effected vampires and left everything else untouched -- we can. Your associates could not make force fields that only let free willed mortal through, not the blood slaves or the vampires -- we can. We can in theory create spirits specifically to unleash on them. We can turn the buildings they consider the haven into hostile entities that want to destroy them. We can make machines animate and go after them -- we can make bees to sting them that insert a hypercoagulant cutting them off from their blood and making the dessicated husks."
Dash makes a gesture to stress his next point, "We *have* to stop operating under the modality of Old Think. That Old World is not this world. Some things still apply, and being cautious is important -- but we can do large scale surgical measures now that we could *never* do there."
"I understand what you are explaining - that there is a price on the soul to beat them with previous conventional measures. And that they will try to break us with psychological warefare -- but I would counter that the Abyss is *far more* sinister than a vampire could hope to be and we are trained to face that. Some of us, would flail and wilt -- its true -- but we don't have to operate in parameters that would even give them a window to wage psych warefare on us -- and we can steel our minds to resist this."
"What they have already done, we can't do much about -- but we, for example, *move* their entire captive population out of this world, into a realm we built to provide the nuturing emotional and physical support to heal them -- and while they are there, smite their former masters into ashes, breaking any bonds or servitude with a sureness that would make them think their creator had come to collect their debt of blood."
"We don't have to play a war of inches -- we *can* shape the world. This isn't hubris, I've been gradually but surely testing the limits of scale since I got here. Without the problem of disbelief and sleepers we can throw spells that effect the entire world if we prepare carefully. Compared to that, one city -- that's well within our collective wheelhouse."
"But having said that -- instead of broad strokes, how about specific programs. What would you *specifically* set up to deal with that? And then, why don't we do that -- because, more options or not, I believe in preparing for eventualities we may not need."
Lou nods when Dash gives a fuller answer with some real solutions, and methods. "That works." then with a look to the others, "I think we need to work up protections over the area first, just to insure we have an area to sustain the city, seems right now more a testing of limits. Some big acts will be needed really. Though never thought I would see the day where there are public announcements against Vampires."
Marcus smiles at Portent, and then Uriel. It's warm, genuine and affectionate. "We can do this. We have to accept that there may be some losses, but it can certainly be done. Soon, I will be able to tailor-make a disease that affects -only- vampires, one that will cause all their blood to decay at once. I have Celestial Fire. I *probably* could create a disease that makes humans...untasty...if I apply myself. That's why I am pushing so hard for a Ladder Demense. I don't have a great desire to implode from Paradox." He chuckles and reaches up to stroke his familiar gently. "I'm not the best soldier. But I am a resource most willing to be used."
As he rushes into the room, Lukas looks a bit frazzeled because he clearly is running late...as usually. As he rushes into the bar he seems to trip over his own feet when he falls forward. He extends his left hand and goes into a one handed cartwheel and comes up into a standing position. The apples in his cheeks begin to fluster a few shades darker as he gives everyone a wave. "Ummm. Hey." He moves to sit down and tries to catch his breath.
Dash applaudes; it seems like the only appropriate response to that entry.
Uriel is quiet for several moments, thoughtful, "As my study's have indicated, the power of the Vampire comes from his blood, and his control over others comes from that blood as well. Life magics would be able to change that blood, making it substantially unusable for them.. Likewise we could enable any number of types of weapons to emit actual sunlight.. which, I likewise believe is the bane of all vampires.. and the older and more powerful, the more devistating that sunlight is." he nods to Marcus and offers "We can do greater magics here.. but even here Magic isnt the only, or even the best path. using it as part of our planning is good.. But if we simply wanted to work magic to face this.. Simply tracing them in the spirit world, awakening their home, equipment and everything around them and watching them try to figure out WHO and where it was coming from is also a possability.. and one that leaves us with only dealing with the dark spirits that would naturally be drawn to a place where such creatures live."
Lucy blinks and stares at her brother's acrobatic display and then shakes her head as if she were trying to brush off what might have been a hallucination. She blinks a few more times, confirming that Lukas is standing there and then rubs the side of her face as she shoots Dash a mildly questioning look. A Look that asks if everyone is expected to to flips, maybe.
Dash leans closer to Lucy and whispers with no attempt at actually being quiet, "Don't worry honey, I'll flip you later." He wraggles his brows in a saucy fashion, then looks back to the gathered wise with a more somber expression as he says to Lukas, "We're discussing the Vampires that have been expanding operations toward us, and how might respond to that, to them, and to save their prisoners. Do you have any take on that you want to chip in, Link? On that note... that satellite you took over.. can we take pictures with it? I mean, can we take images of the area and use it help track movements and such?"
Lukas hmmms, "It is a communication's satellite. However, there are monitoring systems that I might be able to position the satellite and turn the cameras towards the city. It might take me a few days to set up but I can try and get back to you." Link runs a hand though his hair and hmmms, "As for the Vampires. I am close to regaining my Mastery of Forces. I could start setting up electrical fences that with some help from a Life master can keep them out of the city. Yet to normal eyes, it just looks like an electrical fence. However, when a sucker comes near it. It lashes out in a very serious jolt."
Dash asks, "Can we make things like Predator Drones that beam down UV Sunlight from the underbelly? Maybe with a Sunbeam spirit inside that can then direct that emission like a laser?"
Shani just stares at Dash for a moment before rolling her eyes, shaking her head a bit and leaning back in her chair. "Tech is not my forte. Just let me know what you need me to do that's within my capabilities, and I'll make it happen."
"I would need to get my hands on alot of tech for that. It might not be pretty but I...I might be able to build something that could float. It wouldn't be fast moving unless I get my hands on some good equipment and gas. But if I get my hands on solar panels. I build one that is self sustaining." Link catches Shani's eyeroll. He cocks an eyebrow, "Ummm I'm sorry? I was only making my suggestions."
Marcus is looking pensive. "I think I need to Master both Life and Spirit. I am very close, on Life. Spirit I had not planned to advance, because Mastery is mainly used to create personal Broods and that just never seemed a correct thing to do. But I can see, how a Brood that was specialized in patrolling the Safe Zone may well be a needed option."
"No, Link, I was making lots of tech based suggestions before you showed up, she was telling me she's better at old school muscle powered weapons of mass destruction, tech construction isn't her forte." Dash explains.
Lucy's brow lifts as Dash's aside and she smirks her husband. "I'll hold you to that, Bertsch." Then she sobers and looks back towards her the others and the more serious conversation.
Shani just looks a bit confused, squinting and looking from one face to the other. "And Prime fire raining from the sky, but yes. I'm a Powersmith. That's where my expertise lies. Most of you probably didn't know that, now that I think of it."
Lou just relaxes and listens for now, looking from person to person with a bit of a smile.
"Lets talk about something else, shall we? We have on numerous occassions discussed these two facts -- We need to work with the local community to help them help themselves not do things for them. We need to make sure they prosper and survive and can take on large influxes of population, whether they can do that alone or not. So lets talk about food production." Dash proposes.
"We could leave a percentage of crop production to the local populace in proportion to the amount they need to be self-sustaining; and then we can magically create the surplus to feed and for storage to feed the anticipated expansion population. OR -- we can break that up differently. What do you think the proportion should be?"
Marcus is more relaxed now, stroking Serenity and considering; very likely the scope of his own strengths and what he knows his weaknesses to be. His expression has settled into calm, as he thinks.
Lukas listens silently as he leans back and folds his hands into his lap.
As the topic turns to the discussion of food production, Lucy arches a brow as the contributions towards discussion start rolling in. There's a moment of the redhead pursing her lips, looking a touch amused before she clears her throat, "Not that I've got any idea on farming what-so-ever, but if we're going have the possibility that we might eventually make contact with parts of the world that don't have the ability to farm well, it might be a high number in order to provide for a potential trade set up or simply relief for people who might not want to move here... Just a thought to throw out there."
Lou hmms, "I think local food is best for us long term, so maybe 60 percent needs to be local not made, or super grown by us. I know allot of locals have some pride in surviving, but things are still tight as hell for some people on basics. It really a balance between relief, and not making them dependant. Though back stores for thing like Carlin mentions, or a crop failure are not out of line."
"Why not make a district or something that's just full of greenhouses, and train some people and put them to work? Fruits and vegetables year-round," Shani suggests with a shrug. "I know little about farming, so that may not be feasible, but with the weather as rough as it is, it would keep the crops safe, I think."
Marcus says calmly. "Give me greenhouses, give me land, give me people to help, and I will bestride the task. I can't even express how much I was born to do this." He smiles, the expression making him look younger. "I soon will be quite able to create what we need in seeds, from pure will. Make them better producers, fix the heredity. Hemp and grains, apples and citrus, name it and it will be done. If I am calculating right I will attain Life Mastery at the end of the month."
Uriel offers "I think that, in general, they are making enough food.. we need to get feedstock for some variety's that they do nto have.. and ensure security and safety for those that do the growing.. harvesting and transporting.. along with the councel of the city itself. We need to get some livestocks as well. But overall, I dont think we NEED to interfere that heavily , not from what I have seen."
Dash clears his throat. "In that case... I would like to propose an option we can pursue." Without preamble he moves to the wall and extends a relic of the past, a small movie screen. Then he moves to the light switch and dims the lights, before going to open modest lap top from the previous decade. He waits for the system to load the O.S. and then starts the Power Point presentation.
Yes, Power Point.
Music comes out of the tinny lap top speakers, along with a pre-recorded presentation speech from the Acanthus as images are displayed on the screen.
"The World that survived the Apocalypse presents numerous challenges for the suriving member of all species, not just humanity. While attaining sustainable domesticated environmental industry is important, there needs to be a back-up system in place to cover surprises of nature or the supernatural that might effect the the supply of food and materials a post apocalyptic society needs to continue."
"One possible solution is Ecotopia, a self-sustaining biozone created with magic in an expansive pocket space utilizing the maximum available terrain by simulating the inside of a Dyson Sphere. While an artificial solar radiation provider floats in the epicenter of gravity in the structure, the interior of the outside of the sphere is used to cultivate crops, forests, jungles, temporary housing and experimental livestock husbandry inside a safe contained environment impervious to external interference."
"Accessed by standing portals via antechambers that serve to cleanse a body traveling in or out of disallowed bacteria and other micro-organism, the air is kept clean and healthy for a growing environment by use of an application of Adept level Matter Arcanum magic; the Sun is created with Mastery level forces magic, which is also woven into the exterior surface to keep a comfortable .9 G -- allowing faster movement and feats of strength and taller plants but avoiding muscle and bone decay."
"A combination of Forces and Matter magic can create a sustainable and controllable meteorological system to optimize growth times, and to insure the most productive soil, while Death magic a can be used to speed along the process of decay to reach the reusable nutrients inside."
"Custom tailored life forms can be generated and then made to breed true by use Mastery level Time applications, allowing such things as bees that produce advanced pharmaceuticals in their honey, or cows that make milk that is nutrient enriched and contain vital minerals that are missing in the public diet."
Use of advanced practices of Death and Life can generate an artificial dimension of twilight within the realm, and allow for the creation of specific spirits to help facilitate specific outcomes, and can lead to the creation and growth of entirely new spirit broods that can be released into the Profane World's infrastructure to replace damaged or undesireable broods that are a danger to imperium."
"In addition, a detention center to contain super-powered miscreants could be created inside the core of the artificial star, and with keyed portals as the only exit, even if they get loose, they have no where to go and they can be recaptured."
"While the realm could hold populations of refugees if needed, its more direct use is to act as a quarantine area before moving rescued populations into contact with Safe Haven Harbor -- allowing the screening of enemies of ascension and more mundane health risks, and time for psychological adjustment and healing before a return to civilization."
"High Ritual magic will be required and a large store of tass, but with the proper combinations, something the size of a small moon can be skillfully crafted by the combined powers of the Effulgent Parable."
"Ecotopia -- a fusion of 21st first century know-how and Mythic Age magic to build a brighter tomorrow."
When the presentation is over, dash turns off the projected image and turns the lights back up.
Lou just blinks, and stares with more of a what the fuck look on her face, then twitch, twitch goes a tick in her cheek near one eye before she asks, "How long have you been waiting to present that?"
Marcus watches quietly, although the widening of his eyes gives away a certain level of startlement at the sheer audacity of what's being proposed. After the presentation ends, he considers quietly for a few minutes, and then nods. "Count me in, Defilade."
A smirk escapes his lips, "I am down." Link simply adds.
Lucy casually folds her hands together on her lap and keeps her expression very neutral and not showing any kind of thought that she might have about her husband whipping out his presentation as he does. She just nods her head, indicating her support probably.
Shani, too, blinks and stares at the elaborate presentation. "More to the point, why did you feel it necessary to go to such lengths to propose this idea to your cabal? This isn't a board meeting." Pause. "Right?" Shrug. "In any case, it looks like a good idea."
Uriel considers that for a long few moments "I will do what I can to help with it.. but there is one issue.. do we want to use our 'reinforcemnt' food location as a decontamination and culling location for enemys? And I am assuming we will be having them work there? And what do we do when they find that location safer, easier and better than the world we are about to send them to.. and thus dont wantto leave.. or want to go back?"
To Lou, Dash says, "Time is somewhat relative... I made it when I felt it was actually doable based on the progress to recover our arts or develop new attainments." To Shani he says, "I didn't think it was necessary, it was just fun. I mean, General Doodana didn't need to show the 3-D frame of the Death Star to say, "Fly down the trench, fire at the exhaust port loaded in your targeting computer" but he did so. Some ideas are better with visuals and music." He then addresses Uriel, "I want to consider putting the detention facility *in the sun*, not on the developed surface. The best prison seems to be in pocket space, we can craft cells that dampen magical ability but keep the subject healthy. Prisoners too dangerous for that will probably be executed anyway - but *banishment* isn't such a casual thing any more, detention isn't a good deal when we have to have someone constantl watching -- a cell inside the twilight of an artificial sun inside an artificial world that is warded and banned heavily against Space or Temporal travel and that literally impedes the ability to do magic by having the *cell* be an enchanted item with that specific curse would require the prisoner to get out of twilight, as there is no Shadow, get out of the cell, get out of the prison, get through the star, get to the ground... and if the prison also has a temporal field contigent to slow prisoners down to one sixth of their normal time, should give the Sentinels time to respond and engage."
"No system is perfect... I have been running through several options for detention, believe it or not, this is the "low security" option. Nastier options involve literally just removing the number of years of a sentence from the convicted and then jumping them into the future that many years. The truth is, criminal sentencing for the Awakened Nation is going to have to be something we actually collobrate with the Sleepwalker population with when we get that far in the meantime... this is an option, but the prison part isn't mandatory to the over all concept."
"As to the decontamination area... I thought it would be an attached space for processing and then afterward... I don't know. Last time we met I asked about a place to process incoming populations, this was my thought on it -- did anyone else have an one? It seems a group from came in from down south recently and they just came right into the general population. I worry about this." Dash explains.
Lou hmms, "We are a free city, to do a processing center like that sort takes away from it. I get your worry, but think maybe more a gate, name purpose thing. Then eyes on them discreetly for a bit, as well some sort basics on rules of this city offered like a course if settling. We can go your route too, but trade...do we have a site outside the gate built for that?"
Marcus looks thoughtful. "We do need to quarantine newcomers. There are a number of nasty, nasty things that have incubation times. Best isolate and cure before letting them into the general population."
Lukas listens and presses his lips in thought, yet remains silent.
"Even curses, can be contagious. There are already Demons inside the walls preying on the populace. We should avoid more. There are spirits claiming sleepwalkers and turning them into monsters. The Ghosts are getting the same idea, or will be, that reading was fuzzy. There is an immortal who recently arrived and set up camp -- his soul is black as the Abyss though fate says he has not plans aimed at this community in specific, but something that toxic will spread by proximity in my experience. I don't agree that this is a *free city* -- its an open city, but there were powers before we got here supervising things -- and we still don't know *why* we were brought here or by whom."
"I think the gates should be set up to reveal such dangers without us needing to be present -- perhaps initated gate guards with simple items to do scrutiny -- but I am talking about processing large populations. Like if there are 5,000 people ecking out an existence in what was Nepal, and facing starvation in the next year or two, inviting them to move into the expansion region, giving them a small homestead and land plot -- and securing that -- is a rescue. Making sure they don't have hungry ancestral ghosts who will prey on the population before integrating them seems necessary."
"To be clear, because this may need to be said -- I am not really concerned with the *local* government or its opinions, I am worried about saving the human race -- its the differene between being the Mayor and being the United Nations Secretary General. How the populations get along after we open the way for contact is about *them*, making sure they are avlive to have that interaction, that is on, I think, all of us. If you think that's not that case -- that's fine, but that is where I am focused, and where I have been focused since I got here and realized humanity has a better chance of going extinct than it does of anything else."
"Not all populations will want to move, or need to move -- but even then, we still have to screen them before opening magical portals for trade and genetic mingling."
Lou sighs and looks to him, "So you are talking a benevolent dictatorship for the human race's own good, I get the ways, but I would feel better with some initiated Guards and devises then this whole processing encampment thing. It just leads to many other issues, also a trading post at the protected limits is also a good idea....we also need to define what the city and area we are protecting is...past the wall. Though I get the reasons, I am uncomfortable with setting some of those precepts in place lest later we become a closed city, and also over time they become entrenched systems curtailing true growth and freedom."
Uriel Answers Lou softly "That is already being worked on Lou. Perhaps we should work up suggestions in a written form, as these are very complex, and proffer them to Defilade, to review and discuss at our next meeting. As I have several.. and right now I am further waiting on some information to bring To everyone, hopefully it will develope soon."
Lou looks to Uriel and just nods with a second sad sort of look to Dash.
Lucy cocks her head, looking between Lou and Dash with a slight bit of a frown but listening to the conversation that is ongoing.
Dash frowns now. He doesn't hide the frown. "When the hell did you become a member of the goddamned *free council*, Portent? Because I am going to be honest with, I am fed up with your constant, repeated, implication that I am trying to be some kind of petty dictator and oppress humanity. Put aside our track records for a minute, are you trying to say you are more *benovolant* and concerned for the sake of our species than *I am*? Because I wish that was fucking true."
"We are *not* equal. We are not even remotely equal, and by we I mean you and me and the Sleepwalkers out there. We aren't *the same* as them. This does not *devalue them*, but it doesn't change the fact that on the scale of what they can *see*, what they can *comprehend*, what they can *deal with* we are like adults they are like hormonal teenagers - and that is a generous comparison. Curtailing growth and freedom? Where does that even come from. The greatest democracy in the history of this planet used Ellis island to process incoming migrations for the purpose of public safety. Every democracy of the modern world had customes processing and immigration rules - and those sometime involved security checks and your bags being searched."
"If I was the petty tyrant you keep implying I am, you and I would have already gone round and round the first time you implied this. So I'm going to be frank with you, and honest with you, the way I promised to be when you first talked with me about training you to be part of the Wise. If you think I am a tyrant - then treat me like a Lion and challenge me, if not, then stop pretending that we are all equal and get with the program of making us all equal -- and that requires they all be awake, and that requires they all live long enough to become that way."
Dash levels his finger at the other Acanthus, "Seriously. I love you Portent, but I have no idea what I could have possible done to you to make you disrespect me over and over, but I am telling you now, I am done with it. So, put up, or find a different way to express your disagreement then calling me a Tyrant by implication, or you and I are going to go round and round and if I *lose*, I win, because then I don't have to be responsible for anyone or anything except my immediate family -- and then you will see how great it is to have your superior expression of freedom and growth without my opinion clouding things."
Marcus is watching silently, his face ever-so-carefully expressionless. Brown eyes flick between Portent and Defilade, as the Hierarch calls her out. Serenity gets hackled up and poufy again, watching the situation unfold just as her master is, although what thoughts are going through her alien mind are unknown.
Lukas cocks an eyebrow, as he looks over at Lucy. He takes out his cellphone and taps it a few times. He holds his cellphone in front of him as he goes back to watching the scene before him.
Shani leans back in her seat and folds her arms over her chest, eyebrows rising slightly as her dark gaze slides back and forth between Dash and Lou. She doesn't appear particularly off-put by the outburst, her expression fixing on Lou for her response.
Lucy's gaze stays focused on her husband as he speaks to Lou, no longer looking towards the other woman she watches him with an expression that tells nothing of her thoughts and she doesn't look at anyone else, or touch her cell phone which makes a quiet vibrating sound in her pocket and stays there.
Uriel crosses is arms and leans back against the wall, lowering his chin and listening without looking at either Defilade or Portent.
Lukas hmmms, as he slides his cellphone back into his pocket. He turns his attention back to the scene at hand.
Lou looks to Dash, "I can take the anger, and I am not challenging you over your idea's or opinions, nor am I trying to insult you, or call you a tyrant, though I was trying to point out the fine line between ruling fairly, and that. We need to watch that line, all of us...when is protection crossing it, I get the human race hangs in the balance, but we are to uplift them, not lord over them. Be damned what the city council thinks, use the dead from the vampire war's as weapons and revenant's...Is this really the society tone you want to set?"
Dash lets a silence grow before he responds.
When he does respond, his tone is measured and low, but fraught with earnest passion. "There is a reason I have not gone to see the Community Council. Imagine the result. Dumas has being trying to make me pseudo-religion already, how would that play out? The Doctor, the former Sheriff -- I am *directly* responsible for them being here, or this version of this world was. The Doctor emerged off of *my* boat, which I sent forward in time to insure that skilled engineers and and doctors and experts in critical fields survived to keep us from falling into the Dark Ages. The Sheriff -- we sabotaged the conference hall in North Carolina so they would need a new venue -- and made sure the venue picked was ours, so that 6k extra armed Law Enforcement just happened to be in down the day of the Solstice."
"Do you imagine that City Hall was not being used to manipulate events so maximize the chance of humanity suriving -- do you think the Mayor or City Council were consulted? That they were asked about installing a replacement city spirit? About attaching the power grid to ley lines to keep them working? Did we ask to make the sewer self-repairing or to make it so it couldn't be flooded out? No -- and your husband helped us do it all."
"My Uncle is the last councilor -- if they accept I am *alive* they also have to accept that I was next in line as *Mayor*. Do you think it was take any effort at all to get the population on board?"
"The answer is no -- and I have been working through Proxies and keeping away from my suriving relatives and making it *harder* for myself to get things done to avoid that contact, because -- honestly, I don't want to become their *king*, Portent. I realize I don't seem to have much effect on you -- but my impression on the sleepwalkers is very different. I stay away, and do what must be done, to *prevent* being offered the role of benovalant autocrat... so every time you imply otherwise, I find it insulting, not simply another point of view."
"Do I keep my own counsel? Absolutely. When I do talk, am I direct and forthcoming? Absolutely. If I wanted to lord over them, I already would be, and you'd already be working on a plan to take me down, or would have already done so. Any of us could *easily* take command of what is left of humanity -- but only with them can we save the race and defeat the exarchs. The world is now a High School, we are the faculty, they are the students -- and somebody has to be the Head Master or Principal. Right now, maybe that's me -- but it won't always be. The Headmaster or the Principal has to make executive decision for the the entire school. That's not tyranny -- its doing the job, and that job comes with accountability -- if I go to far I have to answer to you."
"All of you."
"Every time you casually drop the word Tyrant or Dictator, you undermine the actual time when its supposed to mean something -- and you undermine me. You don't have to blindly follow my lead, its the Sleepers who Follow -- and they are all gone. Now we have to convince and lead by example. Every time you scrutenize someone without asking them, you are violating their privacy -- do you hesitate to do so when you meet a stranger? Should you?"
"I know who I am. You should know who you are. If you feel I am wrong, say so. If you feel I am a Lion, challenge me. If you don't, then remember that Emeritus is a thing we enforce and something I have frankly earned. I am saying -- speak your mind, but do so without implying I am the villain unless I *am* the villain and that is what you mean to say."
Marcus says calmly. "Defilade is stable. I have known him long enough to make that assessment. Portent, you really should either challenge, or back down now. You *have* been insulting him, I've been watching. He's granted you a great deal of leeway. As you might recall, I was once Free Council. If I saw anything in this planning that I could not at least tolerate, I would have complained."
Lucy remains silent, she doesn't need to speak up with words to demonstrate that she supports what Dash says, her expression radiates respect and adoration that clearly indicate her feelings on the matter. It's only after he finishes speaking that she glances, very briefly, towards Lou and she lets her gaze linger on the other woman for a brief moment before she looks back towards Dash and gives him a touch of a smile.
Lukas remains silent but through his sister, Lukas has only held the deepest respect for Dash. He still holds that respect for the man looking over at his sister giving her a supportive nod before looking at his brother-in-law with the same nod.
Uriel doesn’t look up immediately, he listens to both of them for a moment then offers simply "Precision in language. I think that Portent is trying to make a point, but is making it poorly, not intending offense like that. But we Do need to be careful to be precise in what we are saying. This goes across the board We ARE to be lifting the human race, by giving them leadership, guidance, education and assistance where it is needed. Freedom will come from that.. Rules do not remove freedom, they provide it. Without that, there is only anarchy. None of us are, or ever will be, perfect. But we need to view each other in light of that. Allow for others to do what we do not agree with. And respect those that have earned that respect.. Especially when we do not agree, otherwise it is not respect... its simply agreement." he never raises his voice, speaking simply and only looks up after he has spoken, first to Lou, then to Defilade, "I hope that by saying this, I have not broken the intent of what I am saying myself."
"Whether one intends offense or not is only half of the equation," Shani says, casting a sideways glance to Uriel. "If one does not intend offense, but repeatedly causes it, it doesn't matter what they're saying. The message is lost. And it falls on the shoulders of other people to clean up the mess." Her eyes slide over towards Lou. "Portent. Note that by continuing to make implications that our Hierarch is a Tyrant, purposeful or otherwise, is also a statement that the current Council is in support of such Tyranny. It goes beyond him. He does not stand alone. None of us do. But by making statements such as you have, you are not only insulting him, but me as well, and the other members of the Council." There's a brief pause before she continues. "I would also like to note that I observe not only one's physical ability, but the ability to play nice with others. I'm not typically eager to clean up messes that could have been prevented by simply choosing one's words more carefully. I've been in that business long enough."
Lou sighs, and stands with a look to Marcus, then Dash. "I cannot ever seem to point out my concerns without you taking insult I am trying not to insult you, but some of those things are so close to the line. processing centers, just..." shaking her head looking to Dash, and then she just walks out for now.
Uriel watches Lou leave, glances to Shani and shakes his head very slightly.
"I think your point is well stated. And... considering that point, it seems that I did not show you the respect you are owed Portent by waiting to speak to you privately about my feelings. For that I apologize, and apologize to you all for airing my feelings on this indiscretely. I will simply ask that the points be considered, as I will consider them. Perhaps this would be a good time to stop talking business and adjourn, unless someone else has a more salubrious topic to..." He stops when he realizes Lou is actually walking out not just moving about the room. "...ah." He looks at his shoes. "Hmmm." He looks back up. "I sometimes wonder if the fault is that she and I simply speak a different language. I suppose in that case it was wiser to withdraw instead of saying something in the heat of the moment she might have regreted. I wish I had shown enough foresight to hold my tongue until after the meeting."
"Again, I apologize for my lack of temperance."
Shani leans over towards Uriel, lowering her voice to speak quietly to him before straightening up to regard Dash. "If others have perceived the same insult, the misunderstanding does not lie solely between you and her, Defilade."
Marcus nods and says quietly. "Portent is one of the worst speakers I have ever known, for organization and coherency, and for keeping things that should remain unsaid, unsaid. For some reason she seems to have appointed herself the sole and righteous guardian of all that is moral and ethical, as if none of the rest of us have any sense or training. Truth be told, I am having a great deal of trouble dealing with her attitude myself. Although Serenity keeps -me- from saying anything stupid." He rises then, to approach Dash. If the other man makes no attempt to avoid it, Marcus will hug him briefly. (Certainly not long enough to annoy Lucy.)
Uriel nods once to Shani. obviously in agreement to her, then looks over to Dash and offers "I think that, since it was brought to you, repeatedly, in front of others, responding in front of others was appropriate. You owe me no appologies."
Lucy scowls at Lou's decision to walk out of the room. "And walking out because people disagree with you, rather than giving consideration to the fact that other people all have taken note of it as well, doesn't really speak towards maturity and unity." She shakes her head, brushing her hands against her legs. "It's not like it was addressed in a council meeting, it was addressed within our Cabal."
"I would have spoken much more harshly were it at a council meeting," Shani muses, nodding in Lucy's direction. "My words were meant to provide a revelation. Perhaps it did, and she felt some embarassment. I don't know."
Dash doesn't avoid the hug and takes the statements spoken by the others with a nod each in turn. "Well, our sister has burdens unique to her, and because of the Turner history, perhaps a deeper fear of even the distant implication of tyranny that is easily understood. I do believe her intentions are placed squarely in the good, and I don't think she is the only one who looks at me askew because of the appearance of how easily and readily power seems to fall in my hands. Usually they are the ones who don't know how hard I work without calling attention to the work, or how much I second guess and worry over the smallest of ripples." He grins wryly, "I suppose it helps that I can spend hours of time fretting in the space of an eyeblink so I can seem more confident in the moment."
He holds up his hands, "I also am bolstered by the reassurance that if I did start to go over the line, you would all beat me back to the correct side; and for that, I am continually grateful. Shall we adjourn?"
Marcus murmurs. "Amen." Then withdraws. As he reaches the door, Serenity meows, and he absently answers. "I know, I know. Tuna." Then he's gone, headed for his room at the Baroque mansion.
Uriel Nods and straightens "Indeed.. I believe you have an early morning tomorrow anyway Defilade." he smiles just a little bit. "Rest well for it." and he turns to head out.
Shani's lips quirk into a small sort of smile. "Oh I'd clock you good if you lost your mind, Defilade. Nice, loooong sleep until someone sorted out your crazy-brain. Could be worse. People could've put me in charge of the Consilium." She pushes herself up onto her feet, dusting off her hands and puffing out a small breath. "I have nothing to present. I can be easily enough found if people need me."
Lucy inclines her head at the mention to wrap things up, straightening a little bit in her seat. "It was good to see all of you." She says to all, looking towards Dash with mild expectation.
"Well then meeting adjourned -- and please take a box of stakes to experiment on, if such should please you. I will see you in the morning, First Talon." The last directed at Uriel, "And I will see you right now, Maga Carlin." He moves over to offer her a hand to leverage to her feet. "Nephthys --- relating to the Ecotopia project, it will definiately require your skill with Matter, so when I start organizing that -- but in the mean time, I am ready to set up your Magic Door at the Adamant Fortress, at your leisure."
Lukas stands and yawns. "I have a link to establish and see if I can get the camera to track." He walks over to Lucy and leans in to kiss her on the cheek before he passes Dash and gives his shoulder a squeeze before walking toiwards the door.
And with that... the meeting disperses, and while Louise Turner was the first to leave, she wasn't the last -- leaving the absence of the entirety of the Mysterium contigent of the cabal to be explored on another day.
-- Fin --