Description: Zach Glenn spends a night in the Vatican courtesy of the Sacred Order. He meets Leo Whitefang and Siren, while having another encounter with Dizzy. Plans are made and challenges are discussed.
The headquarters of The Sacred Order slots right into the rest of the opulence, grandeur beauty and associated with renaissance architecture and it exudes the mood and tone set by the Holy See's most prominent works of art, including Saint Peter's Basilica itself. It was probably, once upon a time that is, in service of some other great function of the church before the joint international effort stepped In and converted it to the headquarters of this strange and unusual collection of soldiers.
It's all rather strange when one considers it. The Sacred Order is not the army of the Vatican and is indeed part of a secular world, even a magical one, but nevertheless here it stands. And things are quite busy. A wide open courtyard with a massive fountain in the center, wide whirling path ways and the presence of numerous soldiers and workers scattering here and there is the order of the day. Near a large central building whose entrance is dominated by towering columns and angelic statues, a particular cluster of people have gathered and in the middle of them a towering man with a vast lion like mane of blond hair and the sweeping garments of a custom cut Sacred Order command and specialist uniform. One Leo Whitefang. A Leo Whitefang that looks rather irritated with the bombardment of questions. His arms are folded and his expression is grim.
"As I have said, I will look into these recent disturbances but the Sacred Order is not the local police. If there is concern of monster attacks in the city, as the rest of the world, I assure you all, it will be dealt with. Now clear out!"
Zach Glenn might be responsible for some of what the unfortunate Leo has to deal with. Granted, his actions led to the massive hole being blasted in the streets, but that was Dizzy's doing and not his.
Glenn waits for the crowd to disperse some before approaching Whitefang, standing in stark contrast to the Knight of the Sacred Order. Where Leo is large and broad of frame, Zach's average height and build belie his combat potential. Where Leo stands resplendant in his uniform whites, Zach wears a loose shirt and fatigue pants all in black; they were what he was wearing when he had arrived and arrangements had not yet been made to get his belongings from his hotel room. He was under observation, of course, but nothing like oppressive. He was careful not to venture to freely or deeply into the place. It was only polite.
"I'm sorry about what happened last night," Zach says quietly, "That the situation fell out like it did." Which is true; Zach's employer for this case had chosen him for his ability to handle things with a mix of discretion and mercy. Dizzy kind of ruined that first part in her haste to "help." Zach holds out a hand.
"Zach Glenn," he says by way of introduction.
The Great Knight has already turned, movements broad, sweeping and overly grandiose, and begun to ascend the steps of the building towards the main entrance. But when Zach speaks he pauses and stops and then turns back around again to look upon the young man. Leo blinks a few times as if surprised at what he surmises must be either audacity or bravery to approach him in such a matter .. but he quickly gets over it when Zach addresses the situation of the previous evening and this causes the lion-like man to narrow his eyes a touch.
"Are you talking about this so called monster attack?" His stance doesn't become aggressive but he is stern and to the point, taking a few steps down from his previous ascent to begin to approach.
"Zach Glenn?" he repeats, rolling the name over in his tongue as if trying to determine if he recalls it from anywhere or no. He doesn't and as such he seems unimpressed. But he's not rude and he accepts the outreached hand and grips it powerfully. "Why are you here, Zach Glenn? What do you have to do with what is going on?" If Leo is aware of the details of what happened and who the true culprit is for the damage...he's certainly not indicating it.
Leo may recognize the name from the recent King of Fighters tournaments, or professional fighting in general if the man follows such things. Zach /does/ hold a world title of his own, after all.
Zach's eyes narrow in a slightly amused manner. "I was hired by a Cardinal DiMilo," he says, "There had been a string of muggings and thefts in the city, and he was concerned that there was a more... supernatural element to it, based on the reports. He hired me because I specialize in this kind of thing, with a reputation towards being both discreet and humane when I do so." Research would bear this out as well.
"I had tracked the perpetrators down over the course of the week," Zach says after a moment. "They had attacked a young woman in an alley, and left her to die. I stayed long enough to render first aid before tracking them into the catacombs. Your... recent guest, the one with the wings, stepped in by blowing a hole through the streets above us before I really had a chance to get to the bottom of things." He locks eyes with Leo.
"The thieves were a trio of Darkstalkers," Zach says, "Which means that the Cardinal was right to hire someone like me. The wolf-like one was the one who attacked the woman." Zach frowns a bit at this. "She brought the two back who stood down, along with me. She was right in that turning them over to the local police would have been a problem," he says after a moment. "One of them got away, though. There were things that she said to me before we came back here." A pause as he continues to piece things together. "Sir, if she is who I think she is, you may have a problem. I can't guarantee that the third person of that crew did not overhear us talking."
Leo Whitefang does indeed follow such things but he can also be a touch single minded, not to mention ..well..if it's not /him/ or directly impacting him in some fashion he has a habit of casting things to the back of his mind, including faces and reputations.
Zach, however, is a world champion, as noted, and so it is gradually dawning on him who he is speaking to even though his expression remains locked in the same stern lion-esque expression that..grows slightly sterner at Zach's amused tone.
However when 'winged guest' is mentioned, Leo does hood his eye slightly and then as the story continues and Zach ultimately makes mention of the third perpetrator escaping, Leo's lips tighten. He knows -exactly- what this means.
"Well then, we certainly can't have murderous Darkstalkers terrorizing the citizens now can we? It would seem that some effort needs to be made to catch this third perpertrator. He certainly can't have gotten far in the space of time presented. Not to mention I doubt he's smart enough to formulate a plan and find someone to talk to that would be willing to listen and versus turn him in for a bounty. Something, perhaps, we can take advantage of, Mr. Zach Glenn."
He inclines his head slightly and then asks, "Though I am curious...what did our winged guest say to you?"
"I don't know if murderous is the right word for this one, Sir Knight," Zach says, "The wolf was the one who did the cutting last night. But certainly in possession of dangerous information." Zach looks around warily, one might almost be inclined to say uncertainly, for a moment.
"She said a few things," Zach says, "But other than a matter of personal interest to me, they are probably better said behind closed doors." He finishes with a frown. Leo /still/ has not given his name, and while Zach knows that the larger man is obviously some kind of leader (Zach's time in the Corps taught him to recognize who is 'In Charge' even if he could not read rank insignia) of this group.
The lack of common courtesy might be rankling the hunter.
The fact that he hasn't given his name yet seems to have not even crossed the large mans mind. It's clear he's been distracted and this new news has his mind a full whirl of information, confusion and concern. This new flurry of activity is clearly disconcerting.
But he then shakes it off with a slight movement of his head as if clearing the cobwebs out and he levels his gaze on Zach, "You don't know who I am, do you?" he asks matter of factly. "You'll have to forgive me, Mr. Zach Glenn. There's much going on and much concern that is distracting me slightly. You might, yourself, stumbled upon a situation that puts you at some risk as well. Our own carelessness is to blame.."
He pauses, regathering his wits and seemingly straightening up even larger as if the previous distractions and concerns had weighed him down and slouched his intimidating presence, "I am Commander Leo Whitefang. One of the heads of the Sacred Order." he gestures to the side to indicate the steps heading up into the building, "Come with me to my office and we'll discuss this in more detail. I will send a summons for Sir Ky Kiske as well. I'd like to hear about what happened in more detail and compare it to..another report that was recently made."
Zach allows Leo to guide him to the office in question. "I wouldn't worry about it," Zach says in a tone that suggests he accepts the apology anyway, "I'm already someone the Librarium is interested in. I'm a strong fighter with a known history of fighting Darkstalkers, and in possession of powers that few people understand." He shrugs. "There might also be something about a tournament I was in, and a souvenier I brought back. I think Colonel Mutsuki would like to see me sign up, and he seems like a trustworthy fellow, but..."
He gives Leo a discerning look. "I'm not sure I trust them as a whole, Sir Whitefang."
"Not trusting a group that has seemingly emerged from ou of nowhere into sudden global prominence to the level of having what amounts to policing power without any sort of neutral oversight? A clandestine leadership and a member nation council independent of the U.N.? Your danger sense is certainly more keen than what the rest of the world possesses."
Leo's tone is tight but it's clear that his ire isn't directed at Zach himself.
"I've seen the elite of Librarium leadership execute Darkstalkers that had surrendered and were willing to come along peacefully, on the notion that one day they -might- do harm and attack again..." He doesn't immediately address Zach's list of credentials but has mulled it over as he does end up adding, "You'd do well to avoid them. It's small wonder they're after you, considering your talents and accomplishments. You can do better. I intend to test Colonel Mutsuki's merits for myself but..I've been tied up..."
Leo gestures for Zach to make himself more comfortable. His office is massive. Ornate. Befitting the setting and location but..also abit messy with untended paperwork, scattered weaponry, and equipment and other messes. "Wait here." Leo steps to the door again, "I want Kiske here as well. I'll just be a moment." With that he ducks out.
A moment does pass.
And then, the knock knock knock on the door. There isn't a wait for a come in. The door knob turns, and pushing in, is a familiar face. The blue-haired command gear, Dizzy, slips in, peering inside the office eagerly. "Hello Leo Whitefang! I want to speak to you! I wanted to know if- Oh!" She gasps as she sees Zach, covering her mouth. She was still wearing the nightgown; it seems that changing clothes isn't something intuitive to her. She looks up and down Zach, mulling. And then, shaking her wings, she knows exactly what to say.
"Oh! This is Leo Whitefang's office!"
She says, looking at Zach. "Hello Zach! Are you here to visit with Leo Whitefang?" She chirps brightly. "I submitted a report! I am hoping he read it! Leo Whitefang is a very good man, and I like him very much. I don't like him as much as Ky Kiske, but he is also nice! He didn't put me in chains and a collar when wanted to! He gave me freedom, and I used it to help people!" Dizzy looks at some weapons leaning against the wall, and begins to lightly touch them.
"Where did he go though?"
Zach /had/ taken a seat to wait for this Kiske fellow, when Dizzy came in. Zach was on his feet immediately. Dizzy seems nice enough, but what she is gives Zach plenty of reasons to stay on his toes around her.
"He... went to get Sir Kiske," Zach finally says after his heart is done lurching into his throat. "This... works out," he admits. "I had something I wanted to ask you about anyway." Zach's right hand unclenches, as he stops mentally reaching for his own sword. "So what'd you want to talk about?"
"Oh, I wanted to talk about my report."
Dizzy explains, unaware of the sheer -threat- she was putting on people. "I never made a report before, and I wanted to know what he thought. I feel like it was so generous that he helped me, he saved me." There is a clattering sound, as the weapons fall down, collapsing to the floor. Dizzy gasps, covering her mouth. "WHoops! Oh well. I wanted to ask him, and Ky Kiske, on how proud of me they were that I brought you here. And if Ky Kiske can come too, then I don't have to find him either!" She turns towards Zach, smiling sweetly.
"What did you want to ask me though?"
Zach looks at the weapons on the floor with a slight frown, moving to start picking them up and restacking them. "Kamui Kanna," he says after a moment. "That's... a really specific name. Where did you hear it?" The answer seems important to Zach; after all, there are not too many people who refer to Raiden by that name.
Dizzy can only -laugh- at that question.
"Yes, it's the name of the thunder god! His temple was where our village was at. We prayed for him, and worshipped him. He was the one who was protecting our village... until the..." Dizzy's smile fades. She frowns. ANd she cringes. "He had a reason to leave though. It was important. It was all very important. You know here, they talk about how God has a plan for everyone? Well I like to think that the Kamui Kanna had a plan for me; I know they are very different, but I think it makes sense. Everything happened because he had a very important plan for me." And then, Dizzy connects with something else.
"How come you know that name? Are you from the village too?"
"What village are you talking about?" Zach asks, not at all rhetorically, "I'm from across an ocean." He gestures vaguely away from here. Zach does not know what Dizzy does or does not know of the world. It's kind of interesting to him to learn some gaps. "The one people call God here is the one I was raised to know. I met Raiden while I was here."
"What village are you talking about?" Zach asks, not at all rhetorically, "I'm from across an ocean." He gestures vaguely away from here. Zach does not know what Dizzy does or does not know of the world. It's kind of interesting to him to learn some gaps. "The one people call God here is the one I was raised to know. I met Raiden after I left home."
Dizzy tries to convey meaning. "My village, it is the one I grew up in. I've read about oceans though. We had to cross a Pacific Ocean, and an Indian Ocean, and an Atlantic Ocean, in order to get to where we are now! My village was in... Japan. It was near Southtown, that's the city where they found me! And..." Dizzy blinks her red eyes. "You met Kamui Kanna? What did he say? Did he talk about any of us at the village? Well, I guess he didn't, because you didn't know about it."
"What was he like?!"
Zach closes his eyes, taking a deep breath. His interactions with Raiden... never failed to leave an impression on him. "He was... vast," Zach says after a moment, opening his eyes. "He warned me of an invasion, one that has been handled already."
So it wasn't Akan Village; that place is nowhere near Southtown, as well he knows. "There is a village, on the island of Hokkaido," he says by way of explanation. "The people who call that place home refer to him by that name. I know some people from there."
Dizzy's expression darkens.
She grabs her tail, as she averts her eyes from Zach. The joy was gone. In it's place, was that... pressure. Her wings were stretching out now, as the presence builds. She turns away from Zach. "An invasion..." She says. "... Was it that village that was invaded, Zach Glenn?" She asks, a heavy sadness in her voice. "He was vast, and he told you of an invasion...." She trails off.
"... Who was from that village?"
Zach takes an unconcious half step away from Dizzy, his own senses wanting to get some space between the two of them. Give him room to move, to react.
"No," Zach says, which is mostly true; if Akan Village had been properly invaded, it was done centuries ago at this point. "The invasion in question was much larger than one village. I helped the person who stopped it from happening. We're safe from that particular vector," he explains carefully. We're safe for now, at any rate. A hundred years from now? Who can say?
"I wasn't safe."
Dizzy words are cold, and unbearably sad. And yet, a hint of anger in it. Of pain. "Did the Kamui Kanna tell you about our village? What about how we were going to be invaded? I think you aren't telling me something." Dizzy says hastily, not sounding aggressive but.... panicky. Nervous. Afraid. "We weren't safe, Zach Glenn. ANd you are telling me that my god focused on protecting... protecting another village? Another place? And that he warned you, and intervened, and did... nothing for us?" Dizzy knocks over some papers with a flap of her wings.
"What aren't you telling me, Zach Glenn?!"
"Ah..Miss...Dizzy! You're..uh..out and about!" booms Leo's voice from behind the rattled duo, his own baritone thrumming voice a mixture of confusion, trepidation and surprise. It's unclear on just how much he's overheard from where he stands at the entrance to his spacious office but he's clearly attempting an intervention of sorts.
"I..take it that the gardens are no longer of interest and you're now getting used to the layout of our humble headquarters? It's nothing compared to the rest of The Vatican. We should take you to see some of the works of art at some point! Ky should, that is. Yes."
Zach looks visibly relieved when Leo makes his entrance. "It really /is/ a beautiful city," Zach agrees. "I plan on finishing my tour before heading back to Japan."
Leo came back.
Dizzy's distress does not yield. She looks at Leo, and... there is a look of anguish on her face. A look of need. She wasn't done with Zach. And.... and he thinks he was done with the garden? That she wants to see the city? She didn't want to see the city. She wanted to know why Zach didn't help her village. She wanted to know why all the other acolytes and adepts were avoiding her, she wanted to know why Ky wasn't here, and now, above all, she wanted one thing the most.
"Stop talking about the city!"
Dizzy's pouts, as she flaps her wings again. She looks at Leo, rubbing her tail warily. "I... I like the garden still. But no one is visiting me, and I did a report, and nobody's been telling me how I did." Her lower lip trembles, as she gazes up at Leo Whitefang. "And Zach Glenn, he's hiding things from me, and I don't know if I did the right thing. Did you read my report Leo Whitefang?" Tears build in the corner of her eyes, as her wings seem to stretch more, knocking over another weapon.
"I didn't do anything wrong, did I?"
The Greatknight casts a long look at Zach before turning his attention back towards Dizzy, "I did, Miss Dizzy. It was surprisingly detailed. Moreso than some reports I've seen turned in by Sacred Order members! I was surprised to see that you took the time out to do the report in the first place. Many complain about having to do them at all."
Leo eyes the wings but then returns his attention to Dizzy herself as he leans back against his desk, "You seem agitated. Here, have a seat and let's talk with you two about the event that prompted you to make the report in the first place. You're busying yourself contributing to the deeds of The Sacred Order but..you don't -have- to do that you know. You are our guest. Even when you sense trouble happening, stopping yourself from being compelled to get involved and making sure you stay out of sight and in our custody..is actually very helpful." Leo grins slowly, "I'm sure, that Mr. Zach would agree even though you did help him out. You see, your safety is very important to us all.."
Dizzy was sensitive right now.
The smothering presence builds, as the wings... remain ready. The Command Gear watches Leo, breathing hard. She felt agitated. "I want to stand up." She insists. "And I have to do the right thing." And when Leo says that not being seen, and not getting involved was helpful... she frowns worse, as the wings shudder. "I didn't let myself get seen, I tried very hard not to! I have to help you out, because you are so nice to me. You are helping me, and protecting me, a-and..." She swallows hard.
"And the nightmares, Leo!"
The white wing transforms now, taking the shape of a maidenly womanly. Undine starts to embrace Dizzy, as she struggles back her tears. She peers out from Undine's arms at Leo. "The robbers, they were so afraid, that they were reaching out to me in my dreams, and I had to help them! It felt so natural to help them, to save them from the humans, and if I didn't, I don't- I don't know what I would do. I had to help them, Leo. I don't want to stand by and let the humans hurt them. I don't want that to happen again. I don't want to let that every happen again." And she points at Zach.
"Because he lets them invade my village!"
"Miss Dizzy, let's not jump to conclusions.." Leo remains calm, despite Dizzy's obvious agitation and even the manifestation of Undine. He wouldn't be where he is and who he is if he was so visibly rattled in the face of danger. This isn't to say he isn't feeling the pressure, but his tone becomes firm even as he attempts to reassure her. A sense of certainty in his words as if he will brook no dissent to his point of view:
"Mr. Glenn is a bounty hunter, a fighter, and a man of good character who was pursuing criminals that had harmed innocents. Why would he decide to let your village be invaded and want to hurt you and your family? Hasn't he been nice to you so far? Maybe there' something he doesn't want to tell you because he feels you might get upset and reach the wrong conclusion? If you relax we can get to the bottom of it."
Leo considers Dizzy and then adds, "There are rumors among the people about someone looking like you being out in the city, Dizzy. You were seen, it seems. But listen, we can talk about it but you know..if you continue to get upset so easily, those sort of things can make people -not- want to talk with you, don't you think?"
Dizzy was jumping to conclusions?
Dizzy sniffles, as Undine pats her on the back. "I... I..." She stammers. "I... I shouldn't be so upset, I just- I just feel so different now. And- And... I guess... I guess..." For a moment, there is a singular pulse. A single pulse of rage hate and anger, raw pain. And for a moment, it feels like the end of the Sacred Order, in a single tantrum, as Dizzy feels like an idiot, and feels like she's been proven wrong.
And Dizzy bows her head, as Undine looks upon her, frowning sadly.
"I'm so sorry, Zach Glenn. I'm so sorry, Leo Whitefang. I'm... I'm just being silly." She relaxes, still sniffling, as Leo's calm, but firm nature comes out on top. "I'm feeling so alone here sometimes, even with all the nice people in the Sacred Order. Like Pukai, or Sophia, or Biyu, or Haruna. I... I know I let myself be kept safe here, but... I sometimes feel like a bird in a cage. But I haven't treated any of you with respect."
"I've been so selfish, haven't I..."
"It's alright...it's fine." Leo slowly and subtly untenses. There was a moment there where his body froze up slightly, but his expression remained as it was before. He's a good actor, well versed in putting on airs and letting a persona maintain its presence on the surface. But he's no fool either, nor oblivious to certain realities. Dizzy is a Command Gear, at the end of the day and that was abit of a knifes-edge situation.
Which is exactly the problem, as he sees it. How many more must they endure before they slip off said edge and everything comes crashing down. Leo's solution? To tackle it head on.
"And..well..things -are- different." He folds his arms, "The situation is different and it won't go back. In fact - things may get more dangerous. I have a good hunch the NOL is searching for you and we can't keep you hidden forever. First off it's not fair to you. You're not a bird in a cage. You're a person. You have rights and freedoms. You shouldn't have to be kept isolated and hidden for your safety - but you -have- to learn control your powers and your emotions or this isn't going to work."
He pauses and then this last part is said slowly and with careful consideration, "You need training. Of some sort. Or at least a chance to explore your abilities more..."
Dizzy's instinct was to escape the head on.
Trapped in the sights of the noble Leo, she stands her ground. Dizzy might be a command gear, but she was also a child, in more ways than one. And growing up only has made her more voltile. Add in Undine and Necro... and she's a time bomb just waiting to go off. It wasn't just that though.
It was that Dizzy knew it as well.
"I... I..." Dizzy tries to say. And she sighs. Undine transforms back into a wing, as the command gear rubs her shoulder. "... You are right. I can't control myself. I've never known to control myself, and... and until Ido, I'm going to be a danger to everyone here. I... I need to learn, not for everyone's sake, but for my own. But..." Dizzy blinks a moment. She thinks on Noel, on Hazama on... wait a minute.
"... I thought the NOL was our friend?"
The question causes Leo to lift his head up a touch more and incline it slightly. He lets the conversation concerning Dizzy's own abilities drop for the moment, partially to ease off of her a bit as she acknowledges what she has to do - and also due to a certain bit of warning ringing in his head now.
"Dizzy..you haven't had...any sort of -contact- with the NOL recently, have you?"
Even so..this is sovereign territory. The Vatican is its own nation and the Sacred Order shielded by both them and Interpol due to its status as a joint venture. NOL can't just come marching in.. But they can 'visit'..
"The...end of the war has placed us in a strained position. The world wants to know what happened to you and NOL intends to lead the investigation to find out. I don't trust them. Some of the people in their employ are dangerous. Criminal even. They're not -all- bad..but there's something rotten at the core."
Dizzy feels uncomfortable now.
"I... not since you rescued me." Dizzy says truthfully, averting her eyes from Leo. "I met Noel, and Colonel Hazama. They were very nice, even though Noel tried to kill me!" Dizzy explains. "I thought that you were all working together... and... What do they want to do with me, though? Why does the world need to know what happened to me? Why can't they just leave me alone!" The temper raises again... but it falls away into something more. And Dizzy gets the most uncomfortable question in her heart.
"... What were you supposed to do with me, Leo Whitefang?
Zach lets Leo bring Dizzy down. "I apologize," he finally says. "I was imprecise with my words. There is a village in Hokkaido, called Akan Village these days. A lot of the people there refer to Raiden as Kamui Kanna. The woman I am dating if from that village, and her heritage is very important to her. I met Raiden," Zach considers, doing the math, "A few years back. He warned me of a tournament that was going to happen called Mortal Kombat. Warriors from around the world would participate, and if we lost, then people from another world would be allowed to invade our Earth. He made it very clear that our world would not be able to withstand such an invasion."
Zach suppresses a shudder, recalling his own death. "That tournament happened, a few months before the King of Fighters tournament. You... maybe heard rumors about a lot of bigger name fighters just suddenly disappearing? That was why. We won that tournament."
He gestures tiredly at Dizzy as he slumps back down in a chair, the combination of events both recent and remembered plus Dizzy's behavior mixed with Zach's very valid concerns regarding what she's capable of wearing on him. "I don't /know/ what village she is from, but she was certain it was in danger and that I was not telling her about it."
He -just- worked to try and defuse this.. Leo quickly speaks up, even trying to over talk Zach as he finishes up.
Her village -was- attacked but she was concerned that maybe you knew about the impending attack and did nothing about it. That much is clear now. They were unrelated incidents and you all have met the same .. 'god' before at different points in the past. See?"
This is more for Dizzy's benefit, lest her mind wander to the devastation of her former home once more and she become dangerously agitated again.
"Miss Dizzy, it's time to dwell on the future and not the past, don't you think? Would you like to keep helping the Sacred Order and others in need? And to keep helping good hunters like Mr. Glenn here?"
He -just- worked to try and defuse this.. Leo quickly speaks up, even trying to over talk Zach as he finishes up.
"Her village -was- attacked but she was concerned that maybe you knew about the impending attack and did nothing about it. That much is clear now. They were unrelated incidents and you all have met the same .. 'god' before at different points in the past. See?"
This is more for Dizzy's benefit, lest her mind wander to the devastation of her former home once more and she become dangerously agitated again.
"Miss Dizzy, it's time to dwell on the future and not the past, don't you think? Would you like to keep helping the Sacred Order and others in need? And to keep helping good hunters like Mr. Glenn here?"
"Akan Village..." Dizzy repeats back. Her face turns red. She... that wasn't her village name. The gear realizes that she was... she was getting upset at someone who was very nice, over nothing? Zach describes the tournament, and Leo describes... explains what was going on. Dizzy feels stupider and stupider. Zach and Leo Whitefang were in the right, but... Dizzy felt horrible. How scared did she make these men? How angry did she make them?
And she bows again.
"I'm... I'm so sorry. I didn't... I didn't know. I shouldn't have been so worried about the past, I should have- I should be looking at the future..." Her words agree with Leo. Her tone did not. "I'll go now. I'll let you two talk. I haven't done anything useful. I'm just being... just being a stupid girl."
Dizzy turns her back to Zach and Leo. She walks to the door. Her body language seemed restrained, calm. But when she nearly rips the door from his hinges? The restrained anger flickers. Dizzy would walk out. She would walk until she felt like she was out of ear shot.
And then she would start running, tears flowing down her cheeks.
Zach looks to Leo a bit helplessly; Whitefang knows her better in theory. He shrugs a little to accentuate that impression. Zach may also be wincing; he feels the emotion roiling off of the Gear. He gets up out of his seat, gesturing at the door even before it has time to settle.
"That's a problem," he whispers to Leo, "She may do something stupid. None of us can afford that right now."
It's important to note, though, that unless Leo gives chase as well? Zach will stay put.
Leo does indeed rise, but he doesn't give chase. "She completely misunderstood what I meant by that. Well of course she did. I probably should have been a little less blunt.." he grunts a little bit.
"Chasing after her would probably not help. We'd just be smothering her. She needs to be able to have some time to work things out for herself and to calm down. If we just keep hovering over her she'll just get more frustrated."
Still..she -is- a Command Gear and so a running crying Command Gear is..probably not an ideal thing and Leo opens the door, taking a moment to test it to see if Dizzy did damage it, and then he looks out to the hallway in search of bystanders. Soldiers are usually nearby and likely saw Dizzy flee. He calls to one of the gawkers, one of Leo's usual close guards in the form of a burly looking knight.
"SOLDIER. We have just seen a command gear in the form of a frustrated young maiden go racing off in tears. Give her freedom to walk and explore but if she attempts to leave the grounds, you must inform me or Sir Kiske immediately. Ask her to remain but do not attempt to physically restrain her. See to it everyone is informed. Quickly. Understood??"
"Yes, Sir Leo!"
Leo shuts the door and then steps back to his desk, scowling.
At this, Zach looks a little embarassed. "Sorry about that," he finally says. "So," Zach finally says, "I know about you guys because my grandfather told me stories about you guys. He was in the same line of work as I am. But what is it you guys actually /do/ here?"
"It's fine. Her presence actually would have made attending to you a little more akward given what you were both involved in." answers Leo. "As to what we do? The Sacred Order is a joint venture between Interpol and The Vatican to forge an elite counter-force of fighters meant to stand as a line of defense against the supernatural and magical forces that threaten humanity. Darkstalkers, evil sorcery, dark chi, monsters and other elements that use similar means are the main things we concern ourselves with. At least that's our present incarnation."
Leo leans back up against his desk and folds his arms, "Your grandfather, you say? Interesting. He probably knew of, or even met, our commander, Kliff Undersn."
"Probably," Zach says. "He didn't tell me any names, and given that one of his stories involved a two-tailed cat with an eyepatch," Zach shrugs, "I'm never sure which stories were real and which ones were tall tales."
Zach glances out the window, then back to Leo. "But it seems like, other than the connection with the Vatican we'd have common ground."
"To clarify we're not soldiers -of- the church. The Vatican contributes in its own way but the organization is not commanded by them nor a religious one." Leo pushes up from his desk, "Circumstances have made you aware of something only a few people know, Zach Glenn.. And that is that Dizzy is here in our car. That -cannot- be allowed to spread beyond our walls. You've stumbled into a pretty extreme situation."
Zach holds up empty hands at this. "I'm well aware," he agrees. "And honestly, I'm willing to keep my mouth shut. This whole thing is poking a finger in the Librarium's eye, and I can't say I mind that. Mutsuki's offer was the most polite sword I've ever had in my face," he says before his face goes dark, "But it was still a metaphorical sword in my face. Can't say I'm a fan."
"Yes, I've made my opinion about The Librarium known. Unfortunately we're not in the best position to oppose them, given the public favor that they have. Not without more information about them. As for you? I'd like you to stay awhile longer with us if you're willing. You mentioned there was a third darkstalker that escaped?" Leo shakes his head, "the odds are high of him passing subtle information on and that's the last thing we need right now-Any sort of open conflict with The Librarium.." Leo stands up and steps to the door, "Wait here a moment while I get a report on the status of Dizzy."
Before Leo can turn to leave there is a knock at the large door to his office and, before he has time to offer any sort of reply, it swings open just wide enough for a young woman to poke her head into the gap. Sophia peers curiously around the room for a moment and upon finding it occupied offers a friendly smile.
"Oh! Allo, commandant! I was 'oping you would be 'ere!"
The interloper's voice is a pleasantly feminine alto that flows between words with lyrical ease, quick and energetic with the heavy imprint of a French accent. She slips the rest of the way into the office and closes the door behind her cutting them off from the bustle of noisy activity out in the halls. Unlike many of the Sacred Order's members, Sophia does not wear the typical white colors or sport any obvious crosses or other symbols that might mark her out as part of an order that draws its foundations from the Templars. Instead, she is clad in a modern chic pencil dress of dark navy blue that seems only barely long enough to keep everyone she passes by from knowing what kind of underwear she's currently got on. Atop this an open long-sleeved coat of a brighter blue hue, its cuffs and neckline decorated with soft black fur. A pair of short black leather boots, barely rising above the levle of her ankles, also sport these fuzzy decorations.
Though she has yet to actually meet commander Whitefang in person yet, Sophia had been given all of the same instructional materials as any other new recruit when she joined up several weeks ago, including a list of important faces and names. So while she may not have seen him before, Leo's wild mane is pretty hard to mistake. Plus his name is on the door.
"Sarry to introude but ze capitaine insisted dat I introduce myself. Also, I just saw Dizzee running down ze 'all wiz a bunch of people after 'er. She looked quite upset. Everyting is okay, oui?"
The woman's amber eyes shift sideways to Zach, as if only just remembering that he is here as well. She peers at him for a moment, his face unfamiliar to her. While Leo might be an avid follower of the martial world, she's been far too busy with her job to worry about things like keeping track of who is who in the celebrity world. He doesn't look like Sacred Order but then neither does she. The dress code is pretty lax, all things considered.
"Oh, excusez-moi, I did not mean to intrude."
Sophia grins at the mercenary, her hands resting on her hips as she shifts into a relaxed stance. She doesn't look terribly apologetic about it but then she's never really been much on formalities. Too busy doing things to ask permission first.
"I do not tink we 'ave met. I am Sophia, of ze Sacred Ordair. Still getting used to saying dat."
Zach gets out of his seat as Sophie enters, partly to try and catch the door before it falls over and partly because of archaic manners.
"I know we haven't," Zach says with an easy grin. He nods his head slightly by way of greeting. "Zach Glenn," he says by way of introduction. No organizational ties given, none really held that he'd think anyone would recognize. "But you probably will get used to saying it," he says lightly.
Leo's eyes bug out slightly from a combo of surprise as he reaches out to catch the door and keep it from completely coming off of its hinges thanks to Dizzy-antics earlier and...because of what Sophia is wearing. He manages to avoid outright staring but it's clear he noticed. Yes. He noticed. Not that he can say much about it. His own dress isn't standard fare for Sacred Order soldiers and the elite fighters and hunters among the group do have the to dress in modified wear and colors as they see fit for a sense of individuality and as it pertains to their unique fighting styles in comparison to the standard lot. Dizzy isn't exactly dressed like a nun herself and it's not like they're due for a meeting with the Pope. Still, it takes a moment to regain his composure at the suddenness of it all and he clears his throat.
"It's fine. It's fine." He repeats while pushing the door back up. After Zach introduces himself, Leo speaks up, "Yes, greetings Sophia..as for Dizzy she's...been under quite abit of stress and is needing some time to herself to cope. We just to keep her on premise and make sure she's okay."
Leo pushes the door all the way back up and then turns towards the newcomer, taking note of her familiarity with Dizzy's name, "You've..already met Dizzy then?"
Sophia turns to peer over her shoulder at the sudden commotion that her entrance creates, blinking a little in surprise to find that her casual entrance has nearly left the door hanging off it's hinges. Either this place is in serious need of some maintenance or someone doesn't know their own strength. If she takes notice of Leo's sudden flustered state as a result of her somewhat showy attire, there isn't any signs of it. Likely that falling door saved him from a bit of embarassment.
"Oui, commandant. Ze capitaine also suggested dat I speak wiz ze littel bird. Eet was an... interesting experieance. Personally, I find eet quite unsettling dat we 'ave ze equivalent of a nuclear bomb wiz ze mind of a child walking around freely. But, she seems friendly enough when she iz calm."
The woman lifts a hand and raps her knuckles on the unhinged door, knocking on wood in the most literal fashion, both to bring attention to the damage caused quite casually by the command Gear and to ward off any bad luck that her observation might have garnered from whatever mysterious powers are in charge of such things. She very much believes in luck and, as an avid gambler, does her best to court its favor. If this means putting a little more stock in old sayings or rituals than most people might, well... everyone has their personal quirks.
"So, monsieur, what brings you 'ere? Dizzee's report mentioned some trouble recently and I saw your name dere too. Are you 'ere for protection?"
Zach Glenn says, "And when she is not," Zach murmurs, "She can be terrifying." He shrugs at the question. "Not really," he decides. "I was the one she barged in on, and we all needed to leave with a quickness after she blasted a hole in the street. She offered transportation." He glances back at Leo, "Though we should organize some kind of search for that third Darkstalker. He may say awkward things to the wrong people, and I think we all have a stake in getting ahead of that."
"Yes, you seem to have stumbled into the middle of another incident involving her." Leo raps on the door a few times to try and make sure its sturdy and then turns to return to his desk, "..And what you're saying is true, which is precisely why we need to get her to mature and bring her mental facilities up to the same level of her physical." Ah. He clears his throat, embarrassed for a brief instant as to how that might sound and then he continues on. "What I mean is that, I believe she rapidly aged physically and has been sheltered for much of her life so she doesn't have the lifes experience yet. She has to be encouraged to grow but we can't expect her to repress herself all the time. She has emotions. She's going to get angry and lose her temper. We need to find a place for her where she can be safe and take the time to work things out without also endangering others.."
Leo folds his arms and shakes his head, his huge mane of hair flouncing back and forth "I don't think Dizzy is fully aware of what the Darkstalkers were doing either but yes we need to find that third one. Was it also a wolf?"
Sophia nods, finding herself in agreement with that assesment. Dizzy had seemed very conflicted when she had spoken with the creature, as if suffering from a intense lack of self-confidence. It was clear that she was seeking some sort of emotional validation for her actions and had repeatedly spoken about her desire to do good things. Unfortunately, on top of being immature and naive, she apparently has a pair of extra influences in the form of those wings. Whether or not her guardians are actually some sort of symbiotic entity or manifestations of a fragmented psyche, it was made pretty clear to her that the command Gear is being pulled in multiple different directions at once. While she isn't a psychologist, she's seen enough trauma victims during her career to tell when someone is unstable and Dizzy doesn't exactly do much to hide her nature.
"Agreed. In 'er current state, she seems likely to lash out at someone eventually. I tink I came close to suffering such a fate myself during our short encountair. 'Er wings... zey seem to be alive or someting. Ze white one, she was not 'appy wiz me asking questions about Dizzee."
The medic shudders upon reflecting on that baleful stare Undine had given her, a look filled with clear menace and an unsubtle threat of violence. It wasn't the most pleasant first impression. Dizzy had mentioned that the other wing had a name as well, which lead her to believe that it also likely had some other form, but it had not revealed itself to her during their conversation, which was perfectly fine with Sophia.
Shifting topics, she turns to look at Zach again, pressing her lips together thoughtfully. "Ze report made no mention of a loose end. You say dat one of ze culprits escaped after seeing ze little bird?"
"I'm..." Zach is trying to sound polite, of course. Dizzy's not here to defend her lack of awareness, "Not all that surprised. I had tracked a trio of Darkstalkers into the catacombs under the city. We brought the Rat and the Wolf with us," Zach explains, "But there was a third, a cat-like person. My guess is that they ghosted out of there as soon as we were leaving. I remember what he felt like, though. Get me within..." Zach considers for a moment, "Maybe a half a mile, and I might be able to track them down if they are hiding."
"This is why I wanted to wait until Dizzy was gone before bringing this up again. I didn't want to confuse her further by bringing up the contradiction in front of her." Leo nods his head after Sophia as Zach speak.
"Cat like, you say?" Leo pauses, considering this and then nods his head, "We'll we're going to have to try. It's just like you said, he can say the wrong thing to the wrong people and we've several groups breathing down our neck about the 'Command Gear' so the sooner we're able to close off any loose ends the better. It'll be some work but we'll have to sweep the whole region. Hopefully the Darkstalker doesn't have means of quick travel. We'll have to lock down methods of getting in and out of Rome..."
Leo begins shuffling papers on his desk, in a futile effort to get more organized. He glances over to Sohpia while starting to do so, "It's good things turned out as they did with you and Dizzy. Her wings are...her. They seem to be some sort of manifestation of her mood. A defense mechanism to protect her when she feels threatened or uncertain."
"I suspected as much," Sophia says, nodding. "Children often create imaginary friends to fill in ze roles dat are missing in dere life. I saw eet many times. Wiz no parents, she must 'ave created a pair of guardians."
The woman's hand disappears into the pocket of her jacket and she withdraws it a moment later, holding a large silver coin between two fingers. Idly, she starts to roll the coin back and forth between her knuckles, an old habit for helping her think. If news about the Sacred Order harboring such a dangerous weapon in the middle of a huge population center like Rome were to get out, it would cause considerable damage to their already battered reputation, something they could ill afford at the moment.
"If we make a beeg deal about closing ze place down, dat will just attract more attention, non? Per'aps eet would be better to 'ave monsieur Glenn conduct ze investigation. 'E iz ze one dat knows what our culprit looks like and if 'e can track dem down quietly, dat would be for ze best, I tink."
"Way I figure it," Zach says carefully, "He could have caught a bus or a train out of here by now. I was down for a good eight hours. If he opted to go without sleep, he may be gone already." Zach folds his arms across his chest, his eyes tracking the movement of the coin.
"And the reward on her head will make even selling the informations a lucrative idea. I'm up for it; my case isn't closed until he's accounted for," Zach says. "But I could probably use some help. I don't know the area that well."
"Very possible.." says Leo in response to Sophia's assessment. "We know very little about Gears, especially Command Ones, and Dizzy seems to be a strangely unique case given her origins, so anything goes. Even so what you say makes much sense. As she settles down and becomes more used to her new circumstances she may very well obtain the control she needs. Much of her issues are simply stemming from the stress and strife of the current situation. Sadly, I don't things are due to calm down anytime soon.."
Leo seems to find what he's looking for - a stack of personnel and recruit files, and he sets it off to the side while addressing Zach now, "And what you say may very well be true as well but we need to at least try. We can network, ask around, attempt to track this Darkstalker or lure them out of hiding. It may already be to late and if so then we need to know in case we need to plan to move Dizzy or deal with any unwanted visitors. I don't' want to restrict her movement, but if there's a new danger we can't even have her walking the halls so freely. We'll need to get her to another location, possibly immediately."
Sophia frowns slightly at the thought of trying to keep the unstable Gear confined against her will. That she has been cooperative thus far with the efforts to keep her contained is likely a matter of luck more than anything, though it was pretty obvious that she has some sort of respect for the knight captain in particular. His desire to treat her like a normal person may have been enough to win her over initially but it's clear that the on-going trials of dealing with Dizzy's attempts to cope with the real world outside of the bubble she used to live in are going to be extremely problematic for everyone in the Sacred Order.
"I may be able to 'elp wiz dat. I am relatively new to ze Ordair, my face will not be familiar. If monsieur Glenn can provide an image or description of our target I can try to locate him."
"I can do that," Zach says with a confident nod. "And I am willing to make a go of it." He glances at Leo, then at Sophia. "We should get to it, then."
"Very well. Considering the circumstances we'll forgo any sort of formal assignment giving and just make due and make haste and improvise. I can mandate this and skip the regular procedures because I'm important." Leo nods his head matter of factly. It's a done deal.
"This has been an excellent introduction to the both of you, I must say. I have confidence that you'll get results one way or another. In the meantime, I'll have to find out where Ky got off to and speak to him about Dizzy and see if we can't get her more comfortable."
Log created on 14:45:31 02/01/2018 by Zach Glenn, and last modified on 15:44:20 02/11/2018.