Hunter looks uncomfortable. There’s a good reason for this. He’s talking to a large blue dragon in the middle of a city square. There’s a cordon of Justicars giving them a bit of privacy but clearly the thrust of the conversation is ‘please explain.’
“So Ardul and Kaji, you say.” The great blue dragon says.
“Yes… But there’s no need to…”
It’s too late. Kailastia is already starting a spell to pull them to her, wherever they are.
“Almost done with the dishes here,” Kaji says as he wipes down the last couple of plates he’d just washed. He stacks them upon the rest and turns to walk them over to the cupboard they’re stored in–
And in the next moment he vanishes, but the plates put noble effort into defying gravity all for about two seconds before they crash to the ground.
Kaji blinks, a baffled look on his face as he glances around. “What the- How’d I..?” He shivers and throws his arms around himself, the chilly outdoors quite the contrast from the warm kitchen he’d just been in. As he moves to tug at the knot of his jacket sleeves around his waist so he can wear it properly his eyes go from Hunter (“Oh, hey!”) and then up and up…and up some more.
“Ah! Kailastia! Um. Hi?”
It’s a barely dressed Ardul that arrives in the square. She’d stayed in the apartment they share when in Vesper and had been taking her time getting ready. Some of that is because she kept snagging her clothes on the claws that she has – claws that hadn’t faded when the misfired spell had finally done so.
Claws, the strangely red tipped wings and small ears that perched on her head.
Shivering in the cold as she appears before the Blue dragon, Ardul’s arrived in a singlet top and light leggings and she’s reaching like she’s about to pick up the next piece of clothing.
“Uh. …” She snaps up straight when she sees Kailastia, just like the soldier she is. “Kailastia. Did I miss a summons?” she asks, quite perturbed. Even more so when she sees Hunter and Kaji. “What did do?”
“… to bring them here.” Hunter sighs. Mages. He thought the dragoness might do that. Kailastia in this form is… imposing. She’s twenty feet tall and twice as long easily when one takes the tail into consideration. Her brilliant blue scales sparkle in the late morning sun.
“Mister Kaji. Miss Trasinger. I understand one or both of you is the reason for the temporal disturbances we’ve been experiencing.”
Hunter just… sighs.
“Ardul..!” Kaji’s tugging on one sleeve of his jacket when she arrives as she does. He slips it back off and holds it out to her in offering since she’s wearing considerably less than he is. At least he has long sleeves?
When a dragon speaks one best give her the attention due, and so the young necromancer is looking up at her again, blinking once more at the statement made. “Temporal disturbances…?” he repeats, looking confused. …wait, could she mean Kazue?
Ardul shivers again, wrapping her wings about her like a cloak. It’s an interesting effect given the feathers look a bit fur now and likely just adds to the spectacle they all make. Hunter gets a sideways look from the haughty looking blonde. She almost corrects Kailastia about her title but then she remembers. Miss, is probably correct now.
“Temporal what?” she asks, giving the other two more of a questioning look. “A disturbance in time? I … have no idea what you mean.” As Kaji offers his jacket, the wings loosen a bit and she offers a smile “My feathers will keep me warm, at least for the moment, don’t freeze on my behalf.” If he insists though, she’ll take the jacket. With gratitude, it’s a lovely gesture.
“Temporal disturbances.” Kailastia’s voice is still recognizable but it’s much deeper in this form. She looks down at the Iyesgarthian and the human. It’s not a glare precisely but she does not look amused. It’s not a face she wears often. It might be a bit terrifying.
“We’ve had to hire a couple of mages to clean up paradoxes at some expense. Temporal mages are quite rare. And they seem to be centered in you. Tell me. Do you know what it’s like to live the same fifteen seconds for twelve hours?”
“It’s okay, I’ll be fine,” Kaji assures Ardul. At least his jacket’s on the long side too. He shoves his hands into his pockets as he tries not to cringe under the dragonness’s attention.
“I’m not sure what paradoxes you’re talking about.” He’s at least pretty sure he hasn’t done anything lately himself… “Guh, that sounds like it’d be torture– Crap did that really happen?”
Ardul’s wings unfurl and she manages to slide into Kaji’s jacket, if a bit clumsily. “Thank you, Kaji.” The Dragoness look is met with the utmost respect as the blonde schools her face to impassivity.
She’s not unaffected by the demeanour of it, she’s just trained to face down her … opponents … with as little emotion as possible.
“I do, yes.” That answer will probably surprise Kaji, but not Hunter. In a way he experienced that as well. “When Hunter and I went to explore a downed Wolfen Cruiser. We found ….” her eyebrows rise and her wings shift slightly. The only sign she ever gives that she’s discomfitted.
“… we found some Iyesgarthian scientists who had messed with something in the Cruisers technology. Is that what happened to you?” Somehow, she expects not.
“Not me, no, but it did happen to Senator Kaiju.” Kaji might remember him. A big lizard like D-Bee who occupies some elected post in the government or other. The Asian human had found the name… amusing. No one had really known why.
“He’s rather put out as one might understand.”
Hunter is rubbing his face.
“Yes, it did really happen. Similar things have been occurring for the last couple of weeks in Vesper and I understand also in Saren’s Rest. Our temporal mages scryed the locus of the ‘instability’. It was Hunter. When I questioned him on it he mentioned that a time-affecting being was interested in you two. Would you care to explain that?”
The findings reported by Ardul are certainly a surprise to Kaji. He looks over at her when she makes mention, brows lifting in surprise. It’s back to Kailastia that he looks when she mentions who’d been affected by these paradoxes, a little anxious at that. The other senators hadn’t seemed to like him very well to begin with. He can’t imagine that news of his possible involvement will go over very well with them.
“I…don’t suppose you’re acquainted with Kazue, are you?” he asks the dragonness. It seems that everyone else knows the kitsune-like being, so he wouldn’t at all be surprised if Kailastia was.
Ardul just nods at Kaji’s look. Yes, it really did happen.
She knows Kaiju by sight and that’s about it, still the news makes the winged blonde wince. “Is .. he alright?”
“I’m not sure that I can, Kailastia, as much as I’d like to.” Kazue’s name though has her ‘ohhhing’. “There is a fox-like creature that apparently my people imprisoned … I don’t know when. It, she, has been appearing to us with cryptic clues. It might be something she did to us?”
“Kazue…” It’s interesting certainly that Kailastia would NOT know of Kazue. She thinks, looking like someone who is on the verge of remembering something and knows it but it won’t come. Her eyes narrow. That is a decidedly frightening look.
“A fox like creature with the ability to manipulate time you say?” It’s a very even, reasonable tone. It sounds rather dangerous. “Pray tell me more…”
Eyeing the dragon closely, Kaji seeks out that look of recollection and yet doesn’t find it. He gulps nervously at the expression that does however cross Kailastia’s features.
“She’s very… time slippy herself. Can be very confusing with how she refers to herself because of it. I first met her in the Vault. Or…sorta first met her since I guess she wasn’t really there there…” he tries explaining, face scrunching up as he attempts to make sense out of it. It makes better sense in his head anyway.
“Do you know her, Kailastia?” Ardul braves the look of displeasure to ask the direct question. She’s seen the look and thinks she knows it. “Plays a strange stringed device. Kyoto? I think that’s what I heard it called.” Why indeed would Kailastia not know the creature? There’s one reason for that, paired with that look and the answer is not one that Ardul likes.
“Hunter and I first met Kazue when she came looking for Kaji, and us I guess, to give information on where I might find the Iyesgarthian Princep Elect …”
“I think that I should. But I cannot call her memory to mind. It’s interesting that a creature that powerful should be in Vesper and I would not know it. Or… is it? You said it had been captured by your people. How did you meet this Kazue? Did you free her?”
“She’s… still captive, I believe.”
Kailastia looks back to the other two with a look that says ‘explain’.
It seems so strange to hear Kailastia had no knowledge of Kazue’s existence. Sanka’a had known her, and even Ariadne. Yet there’s just something to how Kailastia phrases it that makes him wonder if there’s something more at work here. Like Kazue didn’t -want- to be known by the dragon. He strokes his chin thoughtfully at that.
“She just…appears, Kailastia-dono. Like…I dunno, temporal echoes of herself.”
Kaji looks at Ardul, unsure of how much she wanted disclosed about the situation concerning her people and world. It’d be some tiptoeing around the subject to explain Kazue’s ties, what with what the Iyesgarthians were doing.
“Maybe?” Ardul looks to Hunter and shrugs. “Kazue talks in strange metaphors that make understanding her reference of time, difficult. I think maybe she exists outside time as we know it, so … right now for us, she is still captive.” Perhaps? the Winged Warrior is working on that premise.
“As I said, she found us, when she found Kaji. The Iyesgarthians experienced a Coup and it seems the Princeps uncle had caught and imprisoned Kazue. At least, that’s what she leads us to believe.”
If it sounds like Ardul doesn’t trust the fox-being, it’s because she doesn’t.
“I see…” Kailastia looks down at Hunter who shrugs helplessly. He knows that Ardul doesn’t trust the fox creature and he doesn’t blame her. Kazue clearly has her own agenda. What that might be and how to deal with that, though, is far, far from clear.
“I see. Well. Her attention is causing temporal paradoxes and that’s… going to be an issue. Useless as Senators can be, I don’t want them living fifteen second time loops endlessly. Nor do I want our citizens suddenly aging. Or de-aging. I suggest that the two of you speak to our local techno-wizard community and see if anything can be done. That is… if you lack the ability to do anything about it yourselves.” There’s a short pause as if the dragoness is considering something more.
Truthfully Kaji’s own trust in Kazue was tentative at best, but that’s more due to his own (if somewhat borrowed) experience with fox beings in general. Ardul’s explanation coasts enough of what needed to be known of Kazue’s predicament that he’s glad they aren’t pressed for further details.
He looks up at Kailastia again, nodding. “I don’t blame you- I wouldn’t want anyone being stuck in that kind of a loop either.” Or…all those other things. De-aging? Oh boy.
“Um, we’ll see what we can do about it, Kailastia,” he says, giving something of a bow. It’s not exactly a promise as he’s really not sure what they can do themselves, but they could certainly try looking into things.
“I am sorry your Senator was affected, Kailastia.” Ardul sighs at the direction. Of course they’re trying to sort this out but it’s tricky.
“We’ll see the techno wizards to see if they can help.” She’s not going to say they’ve got this. They so very clearly don’t.
“Was there … anything else?”
“Yessssss…” The dragoness says slowly. “I believe there is. You said that these Iyesgarthians on this world have something to do with this Kazue? Was there any one of them in particular? I want to… speak with him.”
The way she says it, it’s clearly not just a light chat over tea or something that she’s looking for. In depth. And possibly… involuntary.
“Whooboy…” Hunter mutters.
“Uuuuuuh….” Kaji blanks on any names, perhaps for better or worse. Kailastia clearly isn’t wanting to play games but he wonders if she’s aware of just how much of a problem the Iyesgarthians were being around here.
He casts a side-glance towards Ardul, Hunter voicing his shared sentiments exactly.
“There … ” Ardul looks at Kailastia and blinks. It’s a sign of the surprise she’s feeling. “Lord Hyfil, who’s currently entrenched in Clearwater but maybe Captain Kennedy has knowledge he’s not let on.” The Iyesgarthian Guardsman that had been detained by the Justicars. “I will speak with the Princep and seek her permission to release him into your custody. My cousin … will be ammenable, I’m sure.”
“Very good. And if there is someone else that might know more, or be more directly responsible, I want him brought to me…” There’s almost a growl in the dragon’s voice when she says that.
“Now…” Her voice and expression brighten considerably. “Can I return you to where you came, or would you like to remain here?”
Hunter looks at the other two. Do they want to stay? Neither are really dressed for it.
One thing’s for sure, Kaji wouldn’t want to be the one being grilled by Kailastia. The growl in her tone pretty much underlines this.
When the dragonness lightens up he forces a smile, hoping that he’ll never have to find himself at the other end of an angry Kailastia.
“Er, it’s…okay. I can walk back,” he says. At least he can warm up that way. Hopefully he’ll be forgiven for broken dishes.
“I was going to meet Hunter for breakfast, so now that I’m here …” Ardul murmurs, knowing that she’s Kajis jacket about her shoulders. “… I might walk back with him.” As to others, if they manage to capture any, she’ll deliver them herself to Kailastia.
“Kaji, I’ll return your jacket in a while, when I’m more suitably dressed. If that’s okay …”
Kailastia turns and heads back toward the government quarter with her guards in tow. Hunter lets out a breath. “Democratically elected senate my ass.” He mutters. Kailastia runs this town as surely as any monarch. Who argues with an elder dragon?
Well, lots of people. But who argues with an elder dragon twice? That’s a much more exclusive club. And he’s not in it.
“I’ll walk you both back. Unless, Ardul, you’re headed right to the ferry. What do you think you’re going to do about the paradoxes? I hear there’s a wizard named Leo who is quite good.”
Kaji watches the dragon head off then before shoulders sag with a sigh. “That was kinda scary,” he admits.
“Oh, that’s fine Ardul. Sounds like you’ve got a longer ways to go than I do anyway.” He smiles at her before looking at Hunter with something of a strained smile at the mention of Leo. He opens his mouth, then closes it, deciding he’ll not comment.
“I’ll catch you guys later!” he says, turning to hurry on back to Gran’s where it’s nice and toasty.
“Given we stayed here last night, I don’t think so Hunter…” Ardul answers, giving Kaji a wave as he leaves.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. This is magic and I’m …” she gestures helplessly. “I suppose we can talk to the technowizard. Kaji seems to know him, did you see the recognition at the name?” Perhaps Kaji should have spoken up.
“But first, I need clothes and food.”
“Alright. Let’s get you both then. Later Kaji.” Hunter turns in a different direction to find their lodgings. Another problem they have to solve among many. Hopefully they can do it before the big blue dragon becomes annoyed with them.