It’s been a long week since the madness that took place inside the laboratory of Leo Euclid, weaponsmith and mad tinkerer, and it’s been weeks since Buy the Bye was actually open. Weapons sales are down, sure, but what’s really disconcerting is the number of regular weapon assaults that have gone up. Ordinary stabbings, glass bottles to the face, pipes and ax handles used as clubs, frankly it’s the sort of violence that gets a town’s reputation as a magical haven forgotten and replaced with words like ‘back water’ and ‘shit hole’.
Inside the lab Leo makes his way around, continuing the long efforts of cleaning up the mess made by both preparations for the ritual and the ritual itself, not to mention it’s less then stellar outcome. Plus, he has to reactivate all the defenses, wards, and weapons he had intention inactivated in case something took him over. Frankly, it’s a lot of work. Maybe there’s a reason that after all these years he’s only managed two of these bindings.
Kaji hasn’t heard from Leo since the incident, but there have been plenty of things to come up in the meantime that have served to distract him from checking up on the guy. But now he’s finally gotten around to doing so, and it’s why the young necromancer now stands outside of the door to the shop that’s equal parts fascinating and terrible.
At least there’s been no explosions or otherwise in the area. Surely a good sign! Is the door unlocked? Is the shop still closed? Even if open, Kaji would still knock, like he’s doing now. Hopefully he doesn’t interrupt anything.
“Come on in Minion!” echoes it’s way up through the door as if hollered from the bowels of hell, though how he knew who was knocking is anyone’s guess. The door seems to respond to his shout and there’s the sound of many locks being thrown, presumably open.
Upon making one’s way to the back and the lab proper, Leo stands amid a mostly returned to before lab. It’s less dusty as everything’s been moved twice now, and things are neater, less cluttered, less… in fact. Looking at it closely. Everything about the lab seems more reasonable now, for instance the chemistry table is now near the shower pull chain and emergency (also everyday) shower area, the tech based tables, with their laser cannons and mecha parts are all sort of clustered together while the more ancient arts of blacksmithing, carpentry, and stone work are all settled nearer the forge area. Pathways among the tables are mostly clear, easier to traverse… it looks far less haphazard. But only if you’d seen it before the overhaul.
As for himself, Leo is mostly naked. Again. Or at least, he’s only in a pair of pants. With his torso bare the scars and mutilations of his life are again laid plain for anyone to see. The arm that’s metallic and skeletal, leading all the way to a shoulder joint and the better part of a collar bone, the flesh arm, who’s knotted muscled length is pitted and marked with years of labor in labs and at countless skilled labors most artisans will never master. And of course, his chest and back… which are now covered in the sharp hard black plates of chitonous armor that appear to be as much sunken into his skin as covering it, like armor plating that’s bonded to his very being so that no movement is hindered despite the protection of his vitals being completely taken care of. There’s a light sheen of sweat on him, though from the amount of work having been done lately to the lab, it’s pretty clear as to why that might be. “You need something?” he asks, plucking his bowler hat up off of a nearby table and eyeing it. It’s frayed, there’s two bullet holes in it, and when he brushes his fingers over it there’s a sound of broken machinery from inside that makes him wince, “I need a new hat.”
Somewhere, a sign of the apocalypse is cracked open.
His hand hovering over the door after the third knock, Kaji blinks at the voice that wells up from within, and then sighs, stepping back to wait for the thing to open. He’s not without a bit of a smile- at least it sounds like Leo’s back to himself.
The interior of the shop/lab is a surprising thing to see. Brows lifting, Kaji looks around, perhaps mentally placing where things had been and where they are now like those old picture book games where you had to compare two similar images after looking at one for half a minute.
“Heya Leo,” he says, giving the man a little wave. “Doing some spring cleaning?” Not that spring’s even close just yet. “Oh, I just came to see how things’re going.” Since the last time he’d talked to him he was kind of out of sorts after being nearly permanently possessed by a spirit from a ritual that went all sorts of wrong.
That’s a strange sound to come from a hat, but by now it’s not something Kaji even tries to question anymore.
It’s taken Kthzyx a good few weeks, but she’s finally finished going over every crystal in the crate full of crystals that Leo shoved at her. Most of them had varying amounts of inclusions, some had cracks or other flaws, there were even a few pieces that were clearly broken apart. The box she’s carrying back is a tidy stack of nearly pristine crystal spikes, some as delicate as new ice, a couple as big around as a human’s wrist.
Having approached just as Kaji knocked and stepped through the open door, she tries to follow the teen though the doorway into the workshop.
Nothing bares the alien being and so it too arrives to see Leo’s um… interesting look. If Kzy thinks humans are odd looking, then seeing Leo in his more natural state must be just awful. “Not so much cleaning as reorganizing.” he says, sticking a forefinger through one of the holes in the hat and wriggling it in the air like a worm, “Damn. That one was close.” he mutters before setting the hat back down and turning to face his two guests, “And I take it you’ve finished the repair work Kizzy?” he’s long since given up on trying to pronounce the name correctly and just moved on to something that’s vaguely similar and easy to say. Some fights aren’t worth the effort. “Excellent. Your last special gem worked like a charm.” there’s a chance she can sense said gem, the purse flawless crystal she made for him with it’s twining purple strand running through it’s core. Currently it appears to be buried somewhere in his chest. “Remind me to tip you something special this time.”
“Oh, hey Zyx,” Kaji says as he hears someone behind him. He grins a bit at the crystalline being. Now that she’s been busy with selling things at the marketplace, he doesn’t get to see her nearly as much as he’d used to.
He looks back at Leo, smiling crookedly. “Someone shoot at you?” Recently, he considers adding, but supposes that’s a given. It’s not too surprising to hear that Kthzyx has helped out with providing crystals for the techno-tinker. It wouldn’t be the first time her crystals have been prized for some sort of magickery or another.
Zyx seems completely unperturbed by Leo’s making up some random sound in place of her name. She finds a clear spot next to a table to set the crate down, then waves hello to Leo and Kaji. And as to the former’s appearance, she doesn’t know what is and is not within the realm of human variation, so she’s in no place to judge. The resonance of the crystal INSIDE the man’s chest, though… that’s different.
“Hello and yes. They’re all complete. Though… why do you have a crystal embedded in your thoracic cavity?”
Leo chuckles, “Since I was a boy.” he says cryptically, “Some are better shots then others.” he turns pluck up a shirt from a table top, soot and sweat stained, it’s in clear need of laundering, but he shrugs it on anyway and buttons it with deft fingers, the metal bone like ones clicking softly on the buttons until only his hand remains visible as a sign of his many injuries. Even that vanishes under a glove in another moment or two, and suddenly, he could be anyone else, assuming they were short, dirty, and had wild untameable hair exploding off of their head.
Leo grins at Kizzy’s question, “I love her.” he says to Kaji offhandedly, “The simplicity and honesty of her. It’s refreshing, like all the best parts of a child with none of the idiocy of temper tantrums or foolish behavior.” he then turns to the being in question, “Because I have put it there.” he says simply, “It is currently the housing for a spirit of some power, one who’s gifts I will begin to inherit slowly, much as I have the other being that inhabits me.” This is more open then Leo generally is by rule, but he seems to be in a good mood, so maybe that’s why.
That’s a good question and one that Kaji is amused at. He snickers a little, nodding at Leo. Maybe it’s kind of rude talking about Kthzyx when she’s right there with them, but he can’t say that Leo’s observations aren’t fitting. Of course, that also goes for Leo’s answer. Kaji half expected the first part to be it, but at least Leo goes on to explain as only he can, as though sticking crystals in you and trapping spirits therein is a normal thing.
…well, maybe around here it’s more of the norm than not. This world is weird.
Leo’s comment makes her tilt her head slightly. She doesn’t really understand what he meant by that. But, maybe it’s better to not ask. Not this time, anyway. “So long as the inclusions don’t cause undesired results, I suppose it’s worth the effort.”
She looks around the newly tidied workroom. “This place seems more spacious. Did you make changes to the building?”
Leo grins a bit, “There was a short period where things did not go according to plan, that’s passed.” he wiggles his fingers in the glove, and looking now like any other clothed human, he lets out a breath, “I did. There was a chaos to this place that was inefficient. I hadn’t noticed it before, but it was very clear to me earlier this week. There was some cleaning to be done and so while I was at it I stream lined a bit. This will help with productivity I believe.”
“I’m just glad it all got sorted out without any um… further complications?” He glances between Leo and then Kthzyx, smirking a bit as he shrugs.
“Looks good, anyway. Very feng shui-y,” Kaji says, having another look around the place for himself. Sometimes it’s hard to see how things would look other than how they do when they’re right in front of you, and prior to Leo’s reorganizing of things, he might not have guessed there’d been as much room. It’s almost an entirely different place now.
Zyx ohs and nods, both affectations she learned from the humans. “Crystal lattices are stronger when properly aligned, so this makes sense as well. I am glad to see your workspace is improving.” She looks around for a moment longer, then remembers something and opens the pouch and pulls out a very faded looking blue-grey stone. “Do you perhaps have any more of this? I need the impurities that create the color for another project.”
It’s more like a factory for the production of new things rather then the mad clatter stacks of things that explode that it once was, half warehouse of forgotten projects and piles of trash, now made organized and prepared for more work. It’s not sterilized exactly, there’s still dirt and soot and signs of work clear on every surface, just that the room seems to have what it was lacking before. Purpose.
Leo walks over to Kizzy and eyes the crystal for a moment, then reaches over to hsi hat and fishes around inside it before withdrawing a slightly cracked lens from a contraption the hat once held. He holds it to his eye like a monocle and peers at the mineral in question. “Heh.” he offers with a small grin, “Yeah, that I can do for you.” he says after another squinty look, “Minion!” he says, “The uh,” he snaps a couple of times, trying to remember something, “warhammer, in the show room, fourth down from the start of the hammer section, third in from the left, looks like a meat tenderizer gone mad. Can you fetch that real quick? It’s got a stone the size of my first, matches Kizzy’s question. She’s welcome to the whole of it. Least I can do for her.”
Impurities for a color… That…sort of makes sense in Kaji’s head. He’s sure there’s some science involved. Maybe.
“I’m not-” he starts in protest as Leo starts rattling off instructions, then sighs and turns to head off in search of whatever it is the technowizard needs while the details are fresh in his mind. “Yeah, one sec,” he grumbles.
At least things should be easier to find without having to go spelunking or something?
Zyx watches Leo curiously, and focuses on the slightly cracked lens he uses to look at her faded bit of blue sapphire. When he addresses Kaji, she reaches over to take the lens from his hand and try to figure it out. It’s made similar to crystal, but it has no lattice structure at all. She’s baffled by it, even as she’s able to make it respond more readily that the reluctant lattices of this planet’s crystals.
Thus, if Leo lets her take it, she’s able to repair the crack in just a matter of a moment. And she promptly offers it back to Leo. A shame she can’t similarly repair the hat itself.
Leo lets her take it of course, because he more or less lets her play with half the stuff in his shop. Generally she plays with things and they end up better so it’s worth the risk in his eyes. After a moments he smiles at the crackless lens, “Glass.” he says simply, as if he could understand her body language well enough to know her puzzlement, “You take silicone from sand, heat it to a few thousand degrees, and it melts. Do it right, control your input and your heat just right, and you can get it clear as air. Then rub with ever finer grits of sand and diamond until you have your desired shape. I heard once there was a process for doing this that was almost perfect, done in a vacuum and with great fancy computers… I cheat.” he winks, “Magic.” he says simply. “Saves me a ton of time.”
“Oh, sweet!” Because naturally that is a response to any cool assortment of weapons, even when Kaji knows most of these are out of his equipment class. Of course that just begs the question of whether he’s able to pick the thing up. Hammers are pretty solid, and warhammers just conjure the image of gimungous and probably capable of shattering feet if you dropped them.
After double-checking to make sure it’s the one Leo had probably meant, Kaji rubs his hands together before wrapping them around the thing’s handle. Tug. “….” Okay, this requires lifting with the knees.
Zyx ohs as Leo explains, clearly fascinated by the concept of glass. She just might have to play with some more of the stuff. Another day, though.
She leans a bit to try and see what Kaji’s doing. Does he need help with hefting whatever that thing is?
Leo is a weapons smith, and this is his lab, and through a pair of doors, is his shop, and in his shop are thousands of weapons. Why Kaji always seems surprised and excited to see them, Leo will never understand. They’re just weapons. I mean, sure, he made them so they’re really good weapons, but still just weapons. Nothing too amazing to oo and ah over. He saved that level enchantment for his own body. Still… much like Kizzy’s naivete, it tickles him to watch Kaji play.
Such is the appreciation as can only be had from a teenager from some how many centuries this world’s past.
“Gosh I sure hope this is the right thing because I think I might get a hernia trying to lift anything bigger,” Kaji grunts as he slowly but surely tries to bring the thing over. He is by no means a heavy weight lifter, but really, have you seen his arms? Any muscle toning is only from Ardul’s drills and it’s still more for stamina than bulk.
Zyx promptly moves to help Kaji heft the… what did Leo call the thing? Warhammer? Sometimes, there are advantages to not having an organic endoskeletal structure. This is one of them. She’s able to pick the thing up for Kaji as if it weighed less than that crate full of crystals. She doesn’t completely take the thing away from the young man, though, letting him determine where the warhammer ends up.
Mostly because she’s fascinated by the weapon and each and every crystal embedded in it.
Leo just chuckles, watching the pair of them work, getting the hammer over to a table, and he shakes his head, “Somethings you can’t unsee and it’s okay.” he says, heading over to them and the hammer. He eyes the weapon for a moment, looking it over, a masterful bit of workmanship meant to cripple or obliterate all it touches. Leo leans over the hammer and whispers something softly to it, patting it lightly with a hand. “Sorry girl.” he says passionlessly.
Then he traces a pair of runes on the heads surface with a fingertip, and there’s a sound somewhere like a wine glass shattering. A moment later, a crack appears in the hammers head, then wider, then the thing seems to separate away into large chunks, and in it’s center is a fist sized crystal of the sort Kizzy was looking for, “All yours.” he says happily, “I’ve removed the pent up energies inside, so… do whatever you like with it. It’s safe.”
While it’s no surprise, and even a relief that Zyx has come to help, it’s still a little dismaying to see something so big and that was giving you so much trouble be lifted like a broomstick. He smiles and mouths a thanks to his crystalline friend, guiding her and the hammer over to Leo.
He’d ask if it had a name, but with it being broken down into pieces, Kaji decides not to ask. Besides, he’s a bit distracted by just how easily the thing falls apart practically at Leo’s touch. Okay, so he knows there’s more to it than that, but all the same…
Zyx looks about as shocked as is possible for a living crystalline entity when the warhammer just crumbles to reveal the fist-sized blue sapphire. She accepts it from Leo, then after tucking the large sapphire away considers her current pea-sized stone for a moment.
And then she eats it.
Leo watches her and just shakes his head, grinning widely, “Never ending fount of delights this one.” he says, jerking a thumb Kizzy’s direction. He eyes the remains of the hammer, “Toss the haft in that pile over there,” he points to where stacks of handles of every shape, size, and material are sticking like umbrellas out of a great big wooden box, “And these metal bits here can go in the smelting bin,” he points near the forge, “the one for steel please, don’t mix them up with something else.” he looks around the room once more, “And I think I’m going to go get some fresh air. I’ve been pent up in this place for three weeks. I need a hot meal, a hot drink, and room to stretch my soul.” he rolls a shoulder, “Plus, these are still healing and if I don’t move around they’ll pull and tug for weeks to come.”
“Err….” Is that healthy? Kaji can only hope that Zyx knows what she’s doing. He’s eyeing her as though expecting her to possibly explode or change color or something.
He holds back a sigh when Leo directs him with recycling duties. Well, at least it’s more manageable in these pieces (hopefully). He’ll start with the easy bit first. Okay, mostly easy. This is like weight-lifting training!
“All right, I’ll take care of it. You go do whatever you need to,” he says, rolling up the sleeves of his jacket so he can set to work.