Description: After a minor disagreement, Relius sends out another signal to the NOL; this time for a proper rescue. And who better for a proper rescue than Clio St. Jeanne, the freshnew face within the Sacred Order. But of course, Relius is a dangerous man even to his own allies; not because of what he will do, but what he can promise to fresh new faces within the organization...
It was somewhat of a surprise.
Relius, the head engineer and leading scientist of the NOL, and high-ranking official within the ranks of the Sacred order, was not actually supposed to have come to the forests outside of Southtown. In fact, to be so far in enemy territory, even with the support of amphibious and gear forces, was to be nearly suicidal. And yet, as far as the internal reports go, it seemed that there was a distress signal sent out by the captain of the Intelligence department, Hazama. And it also seems that the Colonel intercepted the distress signal, and sent it through back channels while -he- went to rescue the agent himself.
And now, a second signal was sent out.
It seemed that both Hazama and Relius needed an extraction, from the elite forces of the Sacred Order. Relius, for his purposes, sat on a toppled tree trunk in a somewhat recently created clearing, as splinted remains of trees hang around. The elegant looking scientist was wearing his do-re-mi duds, his white spats and florishing purple cloak, with his iconic golden mask upon his face. Of course, he also looked like he took a ride through a thresher; his clothes were in tatters, and was steeped in blood. He was reading a book, grasping it with his good hand. His other hand, along with his arm, was dislocated and mangled. He needed a medical professional. And yet, alone, he seemed to read along calmly.
Where was Hazama?
Finally, the plane ticket and the orders to fly out from Metro City could not have come at a better time. The flight was long, and mostly spent listening to music, napping, and catching up on some light reading. A little bit in Japan to see what was what, and then on with the uniform and out into the forest primeval. Decked out in her uniform, and wearing the customary oversized poncho with too many buttons and belts, she walked her way through the forest with half her mind falling the tracking signal and the other half wondering about the impracticality of her boots. But at the same time, she was never hampered by them, so the impracticality was only theoretical and therefore she should default to practical since they looked cool. Her half lidded expression didn't do much to suggest the raging debate inside of her head.
A beep, the signal was close. She slipped her hand from her cloak to check the tracker and gave a nod. With a flick of her wrist, her chain slid out from its coiled position on her arm. With a snap, she caught a tree and using it as a grapple, yanked herself up into the branch. Light enough, she bent the branch only just when she perched on it. The height advantage helped in the search.
Onward, she sallied forth, keeping to the trees this time. Jumping from branch to branch with catlike tread and occasionally using her chain again as grapple or swingline if it were too far to walk. In time, she became thankful that the Library and the Order both loved their colorful and ornate outfits. She had found her target. Mission Accomplished. "Dr. Clover, I presume," she stated with a self satisfied little smile from her tree perch. A smile that faded quickly.
"I thought there were two signals out here, and what happened?"
The arrival of Clio was unexpected at this moment.
The detail being moment. As Clio swings from the tree, she manages to catch Relius's attention. In a flicker, a long-limbed automation in the shape of a woman appears beside the scientist, moving to intercept between himself and the arrival of the Sacred Order agent. Snapping the book shut, the engineer is forced to clear his throat, tapping his creation with a look. Shaking his head, the creation floats aside, as Relius looks up at the arrival of his heroine.
"Ah! You must be with the Sacred Order!"
Relius gives a flick of the wrist, his book disappearing out of sight. He leans forward, attempting to stand... but fails to rise. He struggles with his good arm more, before surrendering. "Alas. I am a bit embarrassed that I had to request assistance. Yes, yes, there were two signals. And I was not the first one, but the second! There is a very good reason thouhg, young lady." His gaze locks onto Clio, the white eyes of the mask concealing any... sense of human eyes. A kind of chill filling the air of the clearing. "I can explain everything in a moment, but my Ignis, that is, my construct here." He gestures at the feminine figure hovering. "Is growing weaker as I grow weaker. I have had a very difficult time; perhaps if you can help me up, I can explain everything!" He gives a gentle grin, his teeth gleaming with his smile.
The chill seems to worsen, as the gaze grows more piercing.
Okay, strange lady thing suddenly appearing. That was a shocker. Or it really should've been. For all the Library and the Order did to combat the monsters out there, things could get a little strange. She had her chain after all. Still, Clio kept her distance, standing up on the branch, balancing and looking down on Relius and his Ignis.
"Clio St. Jeanne, sir, of the Sacred Order. I was sent here to return you and the Captain."
She drops to the forest floor and straightens up to walk over to Relius. "If your very intense action figure will allow me to help you up, sir," she says, looking the Ignis over more than she is Relius. "If we can get you back, I can come back to find Captain Hazama."
"Oh, you don't need to worry about Hazama."
Relius's tone was sincere. His message was obscured, and his gaze was growing heavier and heavier. There was an unnerving presence on the good scientist, as Ignis stares blankly at her, the construct's gaze nearly as intense as Relius. The scientist, however, continues to explain the truth. "I found him here, and was able to fix him up. That is, treat him for his injuries. You see, he encountered the Ikari Warriors, and well, there was a fight." He explains more precisely. "Once he was all put back together, so to speak, he was ready to continue his missions! You know those Intelligence types, always on their secret missions! If I told you, I would have to kill you!" Relius gives a moment a silence, before letting out a chuckle aloud. 'Ha ha ha! Oh, but yes, do not worry! Captain Hazama is fine!" He extends his arm out, for Clio to take it.
"I, however, am quite possibly in nearly a mortal state!"
"I have my orders, sir," Clio says slowly. Her half-lidded look is less concerned appearing than it probably should be given the circumstances. She stands and waits for the rambling to finish. Occasionally, she looks toward the Ignis and frowns away from the chilling look. It would be more fun if someone could share in having to listen to the deluge of words.
"It's good to know your lungs are still working well, sir. And I'm a good deal smaller than you, I don't know how well I'll be able to help carry you out." For now, she'll leave the subject of Hazama aside as she puts her unchained hand out toward colonel Relius.
"Then I will superscede those orders."
Relius's tone darkens, growing firmly at the slow response. Gripping her hand, in spite of his apparently weak state, his grasp is firm. Pulling himself into a stand... he nearly falls over, his legs far weaker than his hold. But he does not let go of her. "I will not need to be carried. I just need to be escorted. I hope that will not be a problem." The Colonel's presence was growing more threatening, as his tone only grows softer, as Ignis drifts around Clio, circling her slowly.
"You're not being sardonic with me, are you... what was your rank again, young lady?"
"Sir, I don't think I need to remind you that recovering you is part of those orders. Escorting you is quite literally my directive and I'm happy to do so. I'm just not real good at emoting sometimes," Clio explains while holding fast of Relius. And despite all her talk, she does instinctively reach to try and catch the taller and heavier man when he nearly falls over.
"My mother's in the biology department. I'm used to how scientists talk. You like to explain things. I like it, but it's funny, sir. I'm not too caught up on dealings with the Ikari. Could you fill me in on that while we walk?"
Relius softens a bit, as Clio reveals more about herself.
"You're mother is with the biology department? Ah, yes... yes... St. Jeanne..." Relius would make a note to remember that little tidbit. There was so much you could learn passively, without having to pull out the deeper knowledge. Of course, if Clio wandered too closely...
Relius tucks away a note on that.
"The Ikari Warriors... I am lacking in the details. One of them has an eye-patch, that much I understand, and they have not engaged us as an ally. I'm a scientist, not a diplomat!" And evasive answer, certainly. But Relius was more interested in something else. "Ah, but you are a soldier, not a scientist like your mother. What about your father? Is he part of the noble ventures of science?" A twinkle comes in his eye, as he walks slowly along, Ignus hovering beside them.
"Or perhaps, he's a soldier like you?"
Connection established. Clio is happy to give a bit of public information up if it would get Relius to cool it with the intense glaring masquerade ball mask bit. Though Clio would have to admit the mask was really cool. It might be worth looking into trying it out some time. But it's been a long time that she was skulking about Metro City for random fights to have.
"That they aren't allies is something to consider, sir," she states blandly. "And your guess is as good as mine as to who my father is. I don't know. And my mother never liked to talk about it." She lets the information out freely. It's not a secret. And Relius isn't the only person that sees things to gain from situations like this. So much can be learned passively, and there's so much you can learn if you bait a hunter. And what was a scientist if not a hunter for information. Clio's shrug makes her whole cloak go up and down as she simply walks along.
"Always like to think whatever he was, or is, he was helping someone."
Certainly, anything to delay the inevitable.
Learning was always the greatest painkiller for the scientist. To study, to discover, to dissect was a pleasant experience, even for a man like Relius. Passively was one thing. But the scientist couldn't help but seize the moment, and try and peel back the layers, to uncover the true heart and soul of a mere person. "My, you don't know who your father is?" Relius states, with an air of sympathy. "How terrible. And if your mother won't share what happened... well, I do not want to label anyone for making mistakes; but it is clear there is some regret in it." Such empathy, Relius. "Of course, if it is a personal matter, you will almost certainly learn it in good time. And if it is a private matter..." Relius falls silent for a moment, a curious moment.
"... Have you thought about volunteering in the biological departments?"
A steady, subtle clinking of chain as Clio walks along with the scientist and his large floating doll. She shuffles the coils of chain around her arm, hidden under the excessive cloak she wears as part of her uniform. Like walking around in an umbrella. "I'm not a scientist, sir," she reiterates, "I like poking into things. Digging in the dark. Doing what I like, but looking into a microscope all day isn't it."
She rolls the spiked end of her chain in her fingertips, looking up at the canopy above her. "Also, have you ever worked with family? I love my mother, but I don't want to have her as a boss."
Relius smirks softly.
"I don't mean as a scientist, young lady." Relius. "There are plenty of work as a subject, a volunteer; especially a promising, brave young soldier. I dabble in biology myself, you see; I tend to find myself a scientists of many disciplines, and I am always in demand for new volunteers. And if you do not wish to be anywhere near your mother, well..." There is a gleam behind that mask.
"I don't see why she would have the authority to know."
"Think of it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. If something happened to your father, well, how likely is it that she told her co-workers? Whether it was a tragic accident, or a regretful liason... not that I am implying either!" Relius is quick to correct. "But if you wish to learn more about your past... well, there is a war going on, I suppose. There is no time to enter such mysteries!"
"But after this war, maybe...?"
"I understand where you're getting at, sir."
"Would it be so bold I dropped the work face for a moment?" Clio's question is quick, and has a bit lower tone pitch. Her eyes half lidding and she gets a bit of a smirk. "You're beating around a lot of bushes I don't think we have to."
Another clink of the chains. And another. "Does it really help to insult our intelligence to dance around?"
Relius's smirk does not fade.
"Ah, you are direct. Excellent~" Relius's posture straightens, a new strength building. Ignis seems to shudder, the doll getting a flicker of something within. The eyes of the mask narrow. "Very well then. I grant you permission to let the mask drop."
"What are you wondering about, young lady?"
Clio shuffles a bit under her big cloak until she can take it off and flip to more to one side of her body. The asymmetry of her uniform apparent when she shows off her bare arm and the chain wrapped around it. The chain moves, tightening, loosening, shifting subtly in her hand and along her exposed arm. "It's not like I don't know there are things the Order and the Library look into. It's not all sweetness and light."
Small marks glow on the chain, chi infusion from the woman into the chain itself, which causes it to move a little more. Flickers of a violet fire of the energy that roils underneath. "I didn't just find this tied around a bike. This is from the Order, via Library study. And you talking about subjects, volunteer, helping a promising soldier. I've read Faust."
She rolls the spiked end of the chain along her fingers, deftly flicking it from one hand to the next, the length of chain adjusting to keep slack. "Don't think that means I'm totally morally disgusted or anything. But like you said, there's a war going on. A big one. I've seen my share of the monsters back home, but I know there are worse ones out there. I don't exactly know how I stack up yet."
As the chains writhe, Relius looks deeply into them. The magical power, ornate and intricate, winding and binding. Power was always a tool to take apart. If Relius was in a better state, he might even take a moment to test the limits of this young girl. It wasn't a bloodlust, no; unlike his more chaotic compartiot, he had no interest in fighting for it's own sake. It was to test the boundaries, to push the limits. And if there were a few broken humans in the way, well, what were people but smoke and light? Clio confesses she senses the shadows of the order.
How foolishy naive she was.
"I've heard of Faust as well." Relius announces. "An excellent professional in the medical field. I may have browsed one or two of his written studies on the magical application on the human anatomy. He's indepedent of us, unfortunately." Did he miss the point? Relius struggles to get on the point. "I only offer because I know how important family is. I wouldn't at my station if it wasn't for my family. But if you need to see how you stack up, well. Are you looking for a challenge, Clio St. Jeanne?" Ignis transfixes her eyes on Clio, waiting for the call. "You know these monsters, these gears, are hardly the strongest to march out. Tell me, Clio."
"What's the most danger you've been in?"
"If we're still being honest, right now," Clio surmises as she flips her cloak back around her and she's once more under the big umbrella coat. "I know your implications. Like I said, I'm not going to discount what you do. If anything, I think you like to make yourself available."
She keeps her focus on moving forward, but always has a part of her paying attention to that Ignis. The floating doll is clear and present, and a danger. She's not a fool, and she wasn't sent for nothing. "I doubt this will be the only time we ever have to talk about this. Give me a little time. I think you can be patient."
What, exactly, did it entail?
For Relius, it was a library of potential. Infinite pathes, to guide and direct Clio down, to the absolute limits of discovery, free of moral and ethical restraint. She would learn about her family, and the sheer depth of the mystery would be revealed layer, by layer, by layer, by layer, burned into the black book of knowledge, to be shared with only the deserving.
But it would wait.
Relius's smile endures softly, as they approach the retrieval site. "My apologies for being so forceful! I cannot stand good people being trapped in ignorance. But I will respect your wishes, young lady. And do not fear. My doors will always be open, for when you are ready to offer yourself to the next level of progress!" Relius attempts to make a hand gesture with it... but cannot. Ignis moves to help him make it for him, but Relius just brushes it off. IT wasn't the same when she did it. And yet, Clio had shown that while she had a vital spirit, a stubborn will... she was curious, and practical. And when the time was right?
It would be time for science.
Log created on 00:00:47 11/22/2017 by Relius, and last modified on 12:10:17 11/24/2017.