Lucent had some problems getting there. Imrama was busy, and it was far enough away... but it just took convincing a few Air Elementals around the Cascade for a lift. And so he came to meet Iallu again, without (many) Secrets this time, petting away a group of wandering Zephyrs!
Iallu Iallu, having begun her position as head of Phoenix's newly-devised diplomatic school, has made rather a shambles of her usually neat space, with curriculum-planning materials spread hither and yon across practically every flat surface within the manse. (...)
Iallu As Lucent arrives, Nibbles runs over and nuzzles him gently in the hip, purring softly. Iallu herself, however, is not currently anywhere to be seen.
Lucent "Hello, Nibbles" He pets it, scratching behind the ears, letting the tiger bite on his hand a little without any scratch as he walks around, looking down at it, "I don't suppose you can show me where Iallu is, do you?"
Iallu The tiger turns around to lead the Zenith on into the depths of the library. (...)
Iallu Around several corners and underneath an overhang, he finally finds Iallu, five differently-heighted stacks of paper swaying precariously around her as she moves with rapid-fire motions, swapping papers seemingly at random between them. She does not initially notice Luc's presence.
Lucent leans against a wall, crossing his arms, and waiting. Waiting, that is, until the green orb on his Coronal hops out, turning into a tiny Maiden of Secrets and walking up to Iallu with a new one: Lucent's here.
Iallu reads the paper with an absolutely identical level of interest as all the previous pages, files it, files several other pages, retrieves it, files it somewhere else, retrieves it again, reads it a second time, and then says "WHAT" rather loudly -- sending all five piles to the floor.
Lucent "Phoenix got you quite high-strung, it seems." He smiles. "She had that effect on us, too."
Iallu "Oh," she says, looks over her five destroyed piles, and then back at Luc. "Hello."
Lucent "Hello. What are all those? Secrets?" He picks up one of papers, reading it.
Iallu "Curriculum notes," she says.
Lucent "I see. So, you hid that well, when we met before. And here I was SURE you would have remembered me! It made me a sad Sun." He pouted, petting Nibbles, "Right, nibbles? Very sad. I would have to kill you if you talked, but here I was sure I would get a more shocked look..."
Iallu "Well, I did know you were coming."
Lucent "Hmmm Hmmm?. You always know those things." The pout becomes a smile, "That is precisely what I am counting on! I am very curious, see, about that myself. About how I ended up here. So I figured that you might know something."
Lucent "About that thing I met..." The red orb orbits out of him and pokes the Deity, "... and what happenned then and there."
Iallu "Hmmm." She thinks a little, and absent-mindedly reorders a few books on a nearby shelf with one hand. "What do you remember about it so far?"
Lucent "I remember the destruction, everything breaking. Fighting that damned thing, charging with Amika when we got an opening, unleashing all of the Coronal on its iris... and then waking up in the sands, two thousand years later. We had no idea what that thing even was."
Iallu "Hmmm," she says again. "Let's see."
Iallu begins to climb up one of the nearby bookshelves, then takes off at a run down the tops of the shelves, towards some sort of unknown destination.
Lucent sits down on a pile of papers. "I imagine they at least did their research on it?"
Iallu "There seems to have been some," she shouts (so the sound will carry effectively), as she reaches up to the ceiling and removes a panel of ice about four feet square around.
Lucent "And here I thought Southern records would be on fire."
Iallu "I like to keep things consistent," she says, and climbs up into the hole in the ceiling. (...)
Iallu After a long moment, she pops her head back down and looks over in Lucent's direction. "Are you coming or not?"
Lucent "... oh. See, back on the old times, Gods brought stuff to us! Damn it, you all got lazy." Five remainings orbs pop out of the Coronal, turning into a ladder for him to walk all the way up to the ceiling and into... the unknown!
Iallu The storage room above is cut roughly out of the ice, with a variety of boxes stacked thirty feet upwards to the ceiling. Iallu is poking through said boxes with every appendage she has available, looking for relevant details.
Lucent "So, they did! Say, did you know that I was going to return? I imagine the lack of reincarnation may have been distressing back then, especially with so few Solars to begin with." He strokes his chin, "I am pretty sure it was the Equation that made me show back on, but I am no Essence theorist to know for sure..."
Iallu "Well, when you get right down to it, the history of the future is written on the winds, in the warp and weft of the Essence that blows across the Tapestry. So really, on a theoretical level, it's easy to know anything that's coming." (...)
Iallu She distractedly continues to sort through boxes.
Iallu "In practice, however, I got a list of thirty-five unlikely events that would happen over the next few ages of history off of Jupiter after a particularly helpful suggestion for a turn at the Games."
Lucent "Ooh, you got to watch them. Good going. Maybe I should ask Jupiter instead?" He dares.
Iallu "Jupiter didn't get to be the Maiden of Secrets by telling people things just because they asked," she says, and tosses some more boxes out of the way.
Lucent "Why I am the first Solar ever to have a piece of Void instilled within his soul and still be a Solar. I would think I have more push that just another creature." He dutifully points out, "But then again, I know you are the best of the best and will find me the truth, right?"
Iallu "I am indeed," she says. "Would you lift those boxes for me, please?"
Lucent "What am I, your maid?" He lifts them up... just a bit. He could handle the fall of an Yozi over him, but Lucent Copper Haze had NEVER been very strong... "Can... I... call... Amika... for... this...?"
Iallu "That's good, just set them down to the left." She picks up the box that lay beneath them, and blows dust from it with a satisfied grin. "I think this is it."
Lucent lets them fall and breathes, face red. "Heavy..."
Iallu digs out a sheaf of papers, held together with a ring of obsidian and sealed with a desert ruby, and hands them to Lucent with a look of self-satisfaction.
Lucent "Oooh!" He picks them, looking over the wrap... "You certainly know how to hold important info."
Iallu "I have a lot to keep organized," she says.
Lucent opens them and reads on!
Iallu The first page is a detailed pencil sketch -- a vast, lidless eye ringed by an infinite ring of teeth, devouring the very sky itself. "Familiar?" she asks.
Lucent "Quite. Did I suceed? Did we kill it?"
Iallu "Keep looking."
Lucent turns the pages, humming one of Quen's favorite songs. Something about secrets wrapped in green velvet.
Iallu The other pages paint an unhappy picture of the situation -- a map of the south, ravaged by the conflict; a list of four hundred and seventy-three Exalts who perished, his own name, Luc notes, included; (...)
Lucent "Did they have a funeral, I wonder...?"
Iallu a variety of rather elaborate and complex Essence diagrams, too much for Luc to interpret, based on both the creature and the devastation it left behind; (...)
Lucent "I need to get those to Cerin..."
Lucent curses his Essence Ignorance.
Iallu and finally, a sealed order of the Deliberative, labeling specific areas of the South, tainted by strange and deadly radiation, permanently off-limits to all Deliberative citizens -- signed in a familiar hand by none other than Larquen Quen.
Lucent "... are those areas still there, Iallu?" He turns the page to her.
Iallu "It's not so much... still as... again," she says.
Lucent "... it returned as Creation was restored? Hmmmmm."
Lucent "Cerin and Zahara can likely track it if I take them there. This is great news!"
Iallu "It is? Well," she says, "good." She starts to move some of the boxes back around to tidy things up. "Could you stick the other boxes back on top of this one again, please?"
Lucent pouts. "Say, there was nothing there about its nature. Nobody ever figured it out?'
Lucent makes the supreme effort to raise a moderately-heavy box just THAT far...!
Iallu "Not in any of the official documents they didn't, at least." She looks at the papers Luc is holding with an odd expression. "And it wasn't in the list of thirty-five."
Lucent "... can I see that list?"
Iallu "Nope," she says, and grins.
Lucent "I can get you another tiger!"
Iallu "Promise not to share the list was part of the agreement, I'm afraid," she says. " I can tell you one thing, though."
Lucent looks up curiously "That being...?"
Iallu "You're on the list twice," she says. "Seventeen... and twenty-three." She pauses and thinks for a moment. "And we're on nineteen right now."