Lucent walks out of Neshi's throne room, and he is Adagio once more, with a grin on his face and rolling another joint on his fingers. Particularly mundane; it is merely hashish, without being made of broken dreams or flighty hopes, but a Creation man makes do with what he can. He searches for the Sisters of the Empty Sand.
Sisters The three girls are sitting nearby, on a wall, mischievous looks in all three of their eyes.
Adagio approaches them with a slanted smile. "My ladies waited for me! Oh, I'm heartbroken." He spins around and falls between them. "Anyone got a light?" He grins, finishing the joint
Sisters One of the three looks over at him and grins, holding out one finger with a tiny flame burning atop it.
Adagio lights it. "So." He says as he contemplates it, "Talk t'me. What are yor tales, hmmmm? The stories of the devious Sisters of the Empty Sands? What're the legends I gotta tell the envious, jealous girls back home, hmmm?"
Sisters The second sister is now the one grinning from ear to ear. "It wouldn't be so easy to just tell you," she says, laughing. (...)
Sisters "Of course not," says the third. "That wouldn't do at all."
Adagio inhales, his eyes clouding, green specks like verdigris appearing on the gold, then vanishing when he coughs a little bit, his voice odd for a moment before resuming the... melodious, dangerous tone. "Who'd I need to kill to learn that, then?" He picks the third by her waist, looking into her eyes, "Or sweep of her feet?' Then offers her the joint
Sisters The third sister accepts it and takes a dainty taste of its sweet smoke. "I think you need to try to guess," says the first sister, leaning over and letting her hair fall down over Adagio's head. "You like... games, right?"
Adagio "I LOVE games." He grins to her, "'specially the dangerous ones."
Sisters "Well, then," says the second sister. "You have twenty questions." (...)
Sisters "Twenty-one," says the third sister. "Seven for each of us." She grins and passes the herb to her sisters.
Adagio "Well, then, c'mon. Let's walk while we're at it!" It is pointedly NOT a question as he strolls about the oily painting to find a better landscape! "Seven. Seven. Seven. Don't you girls know me." He looks at them with... a little worry. "And the catch?"
Sisters "Oh, there is always a catch, isn't there?" says the first sister.
Adagio "Always." He grins, taking the joint back "Is the catch's that I go in without learnin' it?"
Sisters "Not... quite," says the second sister, and laughs.
Adagio stops with the smoke on his mouth, then begin to cough. "... two down, nineteen to go. You're VICIOUS, ladies." He breaks the joint up, then grins to all three. "Playtime's over, then. Time for truth or dare."
Each of the girls takes their own portion, and they each smile -- with a hint of viciousness -- at Adagio.
Sisters "Well?" says the third sister. "We're still here."
Adagio gives them a 'I know what you are up to!' stare! "How d'you girls come to be?"
Sisters The first girl looks at Adagio with a thoughtful expression. "We were sired in a storm, and born in a brushfire," she says.
Adagio Adagio's Coronal-Orchestra begun to play a crescendo! Now they were getting somewhere! "And from there, sweet sisters, what crafts did life in the wyld taught you, hmmm?" He asks in a mock-Lucent tone.
Sisters The second looks thoughtful as she skips over a rock. "We shape the three foundations, that we might share the joy with all: Sun, Song, and Stone."
Adagio grins and lean back on a chair made impromptu by the Mars-Harp! "Shape the sun. That's quite a thing, being that everyone else's afraid of it! How'd ya shape something like the Sun?" His castemark shines, golden with its black crescent.
Sisters As if to answer, the third sister reaches up, twines a ray of sun around her finger, and pulls it apart into two. She weaves one into the shape of a chalice, and the other she waves about until it falls, fluid and sloshing, to fill that cup, which she offers to Lucent.
Adagio picks up the chalice... and brings it to his lips without fear. "Damned if I do, damned if I don't, so... did that count as an answer?" He asks, then tastes the liquid, eyes half-closing.
Sisters The first one giggles again. "Yes." The liquid is warm and gentle in taste, like honey from the fruits that grow in the south.
Adagio "And song, now?" As he asks this he leaps up, gathering the redhead by the waist and declaming for her a very obscure southern poem of a lascivious slant that, while of quite enough class, one could never imagine Lucent doing so!
The second sister opens her mouth as if to swallow the poem, and in fact, it seems to vanish entirely as her lips close around it. And a moment later, she opens her mouth again, and it pours back out, shifted and changed; and he hears now the story of the object of the first poem, how she skillfully rejects her lascivious suitor out of loyalty to the virile soldier who fights for her in a faraway land.
Adagio smiles. He did not ask for a demonstration of rock, of course; he knew enough about such physical arts! He lets go of her waist, looking at all three of them. "And what're your interests, hmmm? What d'you seek out of your lives?"
The third sister looks to him. "Three things, as we are three." Her eyes narrow as she finishes her answer. "Joy, heartbreak, and vengeance."
Adagio "Vengeance, hmmm?" He cocks his head to the side. "'gainst whom?"
The first one lets her vision grow distant, and she looks out towards the horizon. "The ocean," she says.
Adagio blinks. "What'd the ocean ever do to you, wash away your sandcastle?"
As the third sister absentmindedly sculpts just such a castle out of the sand upon which they stand, the second speaks. "In a manner of speaking," she says. Out of somewhere in her clothes, she draws out a tiny figure made of lashed-together sticks and places him atop the castle -- and then, with one outstretched hand, wipes the entirety of the structure into ruin.
Adagio "It killed someone important that was in the castle." He nods in understanding... and then, his posture shifted, becoming less hunched, standing proud... not Adagio anymore, the orchestra changing to the Incarna. "Makes me wonder about Creation, all of its vast beauty. What do you think of it?"
The third sister, her sandcastle destroyed, rises back up. "It is a harsh mistress," she says.
Lucent "Ten to go, and when I finish, it will be three to each of you. And what will the last question of the day be?" He smiles, and then begins to walk among them. Venus begins to play her lute, and it is music among them. And then, he begins to dance. Not Adagio's dance but Lucent's, brighter, clearer, dancing with all three at once in a way only a virtuoso could ever do.
Lucent "Too many questions, too little time... and too much appreciation." He tells the first sister, almost a kiss, and then he has the second one on his arms, dancing with her. "Soon I will have to go, into your harsh mistress, so far away. Into a mistress that is beautiful to me, wonderful to me. I want you to learn of it, of its beauties, to see how it is not harsh."
Lucent He breaks it, then, and immaculate steps bring him to the third one, giving her a taste of a dance the likes of which the Faerie could never give! A dance that breaks the ground, a dance that frees the spirit and makes one lose reality in the throes of pure motion! "I want you."
Lucent "And you, and you."
Lucent "To come to me, to see Creation, to love it, to the bosom of power. To swear to me, to aid me in my trials, to give me joy, and to be upheld by me, so I might help your projects, wishes, vendettas. To brighten them, to cleanse them. So you enjoy Creation as a joyful mistress."
Lucent "If I asked you that..." The dance stops, and he appears to be holding all three as one, a bouquet of women, looking into their eyes. "... then what would you say, Sisters of the Emtpy Sand?
Lucent "After all, I want you around to ask my nine lost questions."
The sisters look at him, and smile. "We will accompany you," they say, together.