Lucent waits for Zahara and Varanim at the workshop in The Cascade while reading a book!
Varanim comes strolling down the hall, preceded slightly by tuneless whistling, with her sleeves rolled up and a freshly-scrubbed look.
Zahara enters the workshop, looking preoccupied as she usually does when there are a million projects to do.
Lucent "You are LATE!" He sets his feet down. "Where do you two keep disappearing to, anyway?"
Lucent He is, however, dressed in the Infernal Armor, the organic seeming plates shining red, the cape of the night behind him like he was a walking piece of the night sky. Quite a visual not matched by his words.
Zahara "I'm sorry, did you have an appointment?"
Varanim "Washing people off my hands," smirks Varanim, which apparently reminds her of the half-eaten pastry in her pocket that she takes out to munch.
Lucent "Zeeeeee! We were going to finish the Orb, rememb... Varanim, I am pretty sure that is dirty."
Varanim "Hashn't hurt th'tashte," she shrugs, then swallows. She leans against a relatively clear piece of workbench and cracks her knuckles. "So how does this work, anyway?"
Zahara "Your enthusiasm might kill me." She rubs her forehead, pushing aside the headaches of governance and trying to remember what she was going to do with Luc's new ball. "As to your previous question, I was running the Empire which, I assure you, is the least fun part of having an Empire."
Lucent "I am sorry, Empress." He mentions, suddenly self-conscious for addressing heri n such a manner. "Well, you see, Zahara worked on this ball for me, after understanding the principles of the Coronal. And now we are going to finish it, with the Coronal's Essence... and you providing the link to Pluto, Varanim."
Zahara tilts her head, smiling a little. "Worry not, Luc. This should be more interesting, anyway."
Lucent smiles. "What are friends for, if not to save each other from boredom?"
Varanim "Yeah, about that. The spell I was going to use... I decided not to. Don't worry, I found a better one."
Zahara "Oh? What spell?"
Lucent blinks "Hmmmm?"
Zahara "I'd spoken with Varanim about it a bit already, Luc."
Varanim "The one we talked about shreds off pieces of the will. Since then, I've gotten access to a better grade of Lethe juice, which is symbolically a lot closer to Pluto's old job even if it's less exciting."
Lucent "But brighter. Hmmm." He considers for a moment, "Pehaps you could combine them?"
Varanim She reaches sideways, plucks the Mask of Summers out of the air, and spins it between her hands.
Lucent looks askance at it. "Must you...?"
Zahara regards the Mask and grins a little.
Varanim looks thoughtful, ignoring Lucent's second question. "I'll give it a shot, something interesting might happen." She hops off the table, swallowing the last bite of pastry. "All right, let's get to it."
Lucent "Oh, and Zahara... I was able to fit the Coronal here again with the skill you entrusted me, but creating a new socket for the Pluto Orb would fall under your skills, to manipulate the work of Malfeas." He nods, touching his chest, "And if you could change this crystal to the Sunland's crest while at it..."
stryck makes a face. "I'm not sure I wish to manipulate the work of Malfaes."
zahara makes a face. "I'm not sure I wish to manipulate the work of Malfaes."
Varanim shoots a mildly curious glance over at that conversation as she moves to consider the orb. Before she slips the mask on to cover her face, she frowns in concentration, staring at--or imagining--a person where none actually stands. Then her Essence begins to stir, slowly.
Lucent "You will be making it your work. Which is what I want..."
zahara "Nothing I could do would make that armor my work, Lucent. It is... not human."
Lucent "No. It is Primordial." He closes his eyes, smiling. "What we should aspire to be and surpass."
Varanim The smell of incense begins to thread the room. Varanim stands, hands held lightly out in front of her where motes flicker on to mark the cornerstones of a complex Essence structure. One half seethes with the bitter lash of the moment of death, coiling on itself in an endless loop; the other half is deep and still, a fathomless pool with funeral blossoms floating on the surface.
zahara "The enemy we were created to destroy."
Lucent "But I am not the enemy." He pulls a chair to Zahara through the Primordial Touch. "I am your friend. But this is my armor, and I want it to show your craftsmanship, your seal." He watches Varanim with the corner of his eye. It was... interesting.
zahara focuses on the coiling motes, "You are not the enemy, no. But you still love one of them, you wish to become like one of them." She shifts the chair a little before sitting down in it. "The call of power and the cry of pain are still ringing within that piece." Her eyes become distant, "And the past has come back to haunt us more than once."
Lucent touches the hems of the cape, the stars raging. "Trust I can suceed where Markuran failed."
Varanim seems to inhale sharply, and a tremor passes through her hands, then the Essence diagram hangs complete, waiting for an anchor.
zahara "How can I?"
Lucent "I think you need to supply the Orb itself now." He says to Zahara, on Varanim's work.
zahara suddenly realize what Varanim is waiting for, as Luc speaks it as well. "Ah yes." She lifts the orb in her hand, approaching Varanim. With infinite care, she lifts the edge of the Essence, twisting it just so into the first of the waiting anchor points within the Orb. Slowly, precisely, she transfers the intricate diagram, making minute adjustments to the Orb to mesh with it.
Varanim Varanim's hands are shaking slightly by the time Zahara finishes, though she makes no impatient comments. As the last of the points is transferred to the orb, she steps back to watch the rest.
Lucent opens his arms, and the orbs of the Coronal break off from the jewels on the armor, growing and orbiting around it, connecting their essence with their newest sibling...
Varanim pulls off the mask as she watches, irritably wiping a trickle of blood away from her nose.
zahara Once the tenuous connections to the other orbs is made, she runs her thumb along the essence channels, sealing them in. The soft blue glow of Pluto tinges the edges of the halo of Solar light as she inserts the shard of Pluto-infused metal into its socket in the center, winding the essence around it, transforming it. When she holds it up again, the orb is smooth and perfect.
zahara plucks each one of the orbs from the air, restructuring the newly-connected essence to form a stronger bond, and then steps back, pondering. She goes back to her workbench and rapidly fashions an overlay for the chestpiece, socketing the Pluto orb just below the crest of the Sunlands, and offers it to him. "This will have to do, for now."
Lucent looks at the Orb, and the crystal in his chest, in wonder. "Zahara..."
Lucent hugs her, lifts her off the ground, and spins the Empress of the Sunlands, all the EIGHT orbs floating and swirling about them! "... THANK YOU!"
zahara laughs and hugs him back. "You are very welcome, Lucent Copper Haze."
Varanim watches the new constellation of orbs for a moment, a shadow passing over her face, then shrugs and turns away.
Lucent sets the Empress down... then pulls Varanim to him with the armor, planting a kiss on her lips! "And you are the best girlfriend ever."
Lucent "... what?"
Varanim pulls back from Lucent a bit, dark circles under her eyes that weren't there when she entered the room. "Nothing. I've got work to get back to. Nice job, Zahara." She looks for a moment like she plans to say more, then abruptly turns and heads out.
zahara frowns a bit. "Hm."
Lucent "Waaaiii..." And she is gone. "... what was wrong with her?"
zahara "I... have no idea."
Lucent "I... should probably go after her."
zahara "Yes... Yes you should."
Lucent "Thank you again, Zahara." He smiles so bright. "See, this is something Marku never did, right?"
Lucent He walks out of the room, eight orbs floating to keep pace with him.