MERAYEN PRELUDE 4
Topeka "Merayen, good, you've arrived," she notes, her tone clipped and hurried. She's dressed in loose informal clothes, probably having been summoned out of some party or while just relaxing -- like you. Whatever has got her active, though, she seems both driven and in something of a mood...
Finnre`Merayen nods to her superior and salutes. "Do you know what's going on?"
Topeka "You've probably already heard that the Autocrat of Thorns died a few weeks ago," she notes. "The Scarlet Empress has backed his youngest son, our Intelligence Division says in exchange for an agreement to invade the Scavenger Lands. The Realm already has Dragon-Blooded interests in the region, so it's too late to root out the issue that way."
Topeka "We've got maybe a year, tops, before war breaks out."
Finnre`Merayen works on straightening up her clothes and readying herself for... something. A part of her worried that this meant that they were going out to combat immediately.
Topeka , older than you by far, has never had to deal with a Realm invasion.
Topeka "Thorns is a dangerous enough threat on its own, especially backed by the Realm -- if the Empress sends in some of her own legions... This could be as bad as the First Invasion, potentially,"
Finnre`Merayen nods. "And when we're dealing with a threat of this sort, information is the first and most valuable of all weapons. Know the enemy better than they know themselves."
Topeka "No," she notes... "Well, that IS correct -- but that's not the reason I was summoned, or why I asked for you to be brought here."
Finnre`Merayen cocks her head quizzically, wondering now what was happening. The situation had changed somewhat with that admission.
Topeka "I'm being prompted to Talonlord," she notes, "and given command of the 12th Talon in the First Field Force under Taimyo Linwei. She asked for me specifically." ::That...is a Talon of Gunzota that supports a Fang of Dragon Armor.::
Topeka "You're retirement is coming up; if you intend to slip out quietly, now is the time to do so. I could arrange for you to have a quiet and important civilian position,"
Topeka "But if you're up for the task, I'm going to need Officers I can trust,"
Finnre`Merayen opens her eyes. "A great honor to you. But... I will gladly serve with you. I will serve for as long as Lookshy needs me."
Finnre`Merayen "And it sounds as if she will need me even more than ever. Of course I will serve under you."
Topeka "I appreciate the sentiment, but you should give this more thought. The wearing of Gunzota armor is a great honor, and an impressive opportunity to serve Lookshy, but it comes with a high cost. I'm giving you a week off to consider your options here."
Finnre`Merayen was standing, trying to not seem completely shocked, yet failing. She was being asked to serve as one of the Gunzota warriors.
Finnre`Merayen "Yes, Ma`am. I... will think about it hard. I thank you for even considering me."
Topeka just nods.
Topeka "You deserve it."
Topeka goes back to what she was doing before you came in.
Finnre`Merayen blushes and salutes.
Topeka returns the salute absently...
Finnre`Merayen walks out and returns to the teahouse to think and speak about this to her friend.
Rada "And you're considering following her, I take it?"
Finnre`Merayen nods to Rada, still slightly numb with the shock. "Yes, I... I know there's a price, but I am needed to help aid Lookshy, so people such as yourself can continue to do business."
Finnre`Merayen "I take it that you don't quite approve?"
Rada "No; it's not that. It's like you said -- it's a great honor. Still; you don't seem to be really considering the drawbacks. You're still a young woman, Mera. You won't be, ten years from now, if you do this."
Rada "My grandfather wore the Armor, when he was my age," she notes. "He died at 47."
Rada ((make that 39.))
Rada "You haven't even had children yet."
Finnre`Merayen "I know, but... let's be honest, my prospects were never ones that I expected to take me on to long age. It's not as if I have as much a taste for romance or peace as you. I don't know if I'm cut out to serve as a civilian."
Finnre`Merayen "And as to children... I don't know if those are ever in the books for me, Rada."
Rada glances at you?
Rada "I never pictured you as the 'aching for a heroic death' sort, Mera," she says, not being mean just -- surprised.
Rada ((he says))
Finnre`Merayen laughs. "No, I'm not, but at the same time, I look at my life outside active duty, and I don't know if I really belong there. It's a different world, and this way I can do quite a bit of good to help protect people like yourself."
Rada "I wish you'd quit saying that," he says, grinning just a bit. "I did my duty -- if this is as bad as your suggesting, the reserves could very well get called up, then it won't matter."
Finnre`Merayen "And, children would be difficult, for one such as myself."
Rada just nods...
Finnre`Merayen winks, "Well, if I have anything to say, you'll stay in reserve, and Lookshy will be safe."
Rada just gives you a little hard glare, as if he was kind of insulted with that.
Rada "If Lookshy needs me again, I'll come to its aid without hesistation or regret."
Rada "You know that."
Finnre`Merayen looks apologetic, "Rada, I'm not saying that you wouldn't do your duty, but... You have so much to do here. I would gladly fight to see you doing the good you can here."
Rada sighs, and nods.
Rada "I know; I'm sorry -- it just feels like your questioning my courage. I shouldn't take it like that..."
Rada "...so, I guess you're more or less decided?"
Finnre`Merayen smiles and pats him on the shoulder. "Yes, though I will think about it more, but... everything in me feels like I should protect those people who are more worthy to the outside world. And that especially goes for my friends and family."
Rada "Well then, you won't be staying back on barracks. We have more than a few rooms upstairs; you can take one for the week. Enjoy the atmosphere, make go to a party or two, meet a few pretty young party-goers to keep you company."
Rada "I insist."
Rada ((maybe go to...))
Finnre`Merayen smiles. "Only if you take the time to go with and bring your lady friend."