< Timeline For Book Fifteen | Sol Invictus Logs | A Brooch Amongst The Blossoms >

Lucent: He walks in the room, dressed quite... strangely. Black and brown, faded tones, not announcing his presence and lighting the room but gliding amidst its shadows, fading away. His walk is different, tapping the ground, whistling something. "What's up?"

Zahara: Zahara looks up from her contemplation, for once not appearing to be actually accomplishing anything in her spare time, but merely staring out the window towards the North. "Ah, hello Lucent. Nothing in particular is 'up' today." She observes him for a moment. "You look different."

Lucent: "Newp. Not Lucent. He asked me to give ya this, tho'." He gives her one little metal, golden with a copper inscription, 'Whisper, when the time is right, 'Rend the Seven Veils.' "I'm Adagio of Dissonance. Pleased to meetcha." He sits on her table, offering his hand for a shake.

Zahara: She blinks, studying him with her second sight, to see if it is indeed Lucent's body. "Very kind. A pleasure to meet you as well, Adagio of Dissonance - may I call you Adagio? I am Zahara Zhan, as you know, but you may call me Zahara."

Lucent: It is, indeed, his Essence as she understands it. "Oh, please, I dunno who'd call me that whole name. Been thinkin' of changin' it, really. But I've grown used to Adagio, yanno. Nice to meetcha, Zahara Zhan." He picks up papers at random on the table to see what she's doing. "Y'know, ya look a lil' lonely for someone with an entire kingdom, not to mention the scariest boyfriend this side o' a Deathlord."

Zahara: She chuckles softly, "You have heard the expression, 'it is lonely at the top'? It has proven to be true." The papers are covered with (carefully incomplete) diagrams of the dark rune on her cousin's soul and extrapolations on its meaning and use, and potential counters, though it seems to have gone nowhere. Her eyes flicker over him, and she searches for the telltale sign she learned of his Mask charm. "Power breeds fear, envy, jealousy. I cannot trust anyone completely."

Lucent: The Tell-tales are there, they could be masked for her but he apparently made it obvious for her, she can see the mask of Adagio over the face of Lucent. "Everything does. Being strong, good, pretty. I shoulda know." He grins, discarding the papers. "Ya should trust, tho'. People betray ya sometimes, but all ya gotta do is make sure they learn a good lesson."

Zahara: "mmmm." she says noncommittally. "So, why did Lucent wish you to give this to me?" She indicates the item.

Lucent: He shrugs. "Go figure. I can't tell with him, most of the time. Y'know..." He leans in, conspiratorily, "...I don't think the boy's quite right on the head, y'know. Anyways, though, on second thought: Why trust? I mean, ya dun trust me. Ya dun have ta trust me. But that shouldn't stop ya from having fun with people!"

Zahara: She chuckles. "Perhaps he is not – but then, who is?" She looks into his eyes, then pulls away from him. "Trust is a separate question from fun. Will you betray me too, Adagio? Will Lucent? You are both good at keeping secrets. I too have kept secrets. Do you recall when I showed Lucent my true self, or did he not tell you about that?"

Lucent: "Well, I might_." He grins. "I'm sure Luc doesn't want to, but it's not like he can help it if all goes south; That's the problem when you ain't even sure you are _real! Luc's just afraid that someday someone will say something and," He snaps his fingers, eliciting a whimper of light, white and gold fading into a coppery red. "there it goes. But nah, he didn't tell me. I guess that's personal, yeh?"

Zahara: "I am sure that someday, that moment will come. Hopefully not by my hand, though I do not intend to do so."

Lucent: "But then it wouldn't be betrayal, would it? At least, not betraying _you_, if you're the one who's got the key to awaken this hypotehtical monster beneath Luc, that means you're one that monster will follow, no?" He laughs and sighs, "Now look at me, using big words. Mind if I smoke?"

Zahara: Zahara raises an eyebrow, "To Hell and back." She shakes her head, and gets a faraway look in her eyes for a second. "No, go ahead. Would you like a drink with your smoke?"

Lucent: "Oh, thanks! Make it somethin' heavy. I don't get nearly enough chances ta get wested with a Sunny." He pulls some hashish and cannabis buds and some silky paper, starting to roll it all together with perfect deftness, longer and longer as he goes. "See, now, THAT'S the spirit, girl. Can't do anythin' half-way."

Zahara: She summons a servant, who shortly returns with a warm, dark whiskey in a crystal decanter, along with two matching glasses. The servant pours them each a liberal dose, and leaves with a bow. "I think I like you, Adagio." She raises a glass to him.

Lucent: "Well, then, let's toast, Zee. I think this is the beggining of a long and beautiful friendship!" He picks his glass and rises it!

Zahara: Zahara clinks her glass against Lucent's, "To friendship!" she takes a long swallow of the fine whiskey, amber liquid leaving a trail of warmth down her throat. She closes her eyes and presses the cool glass to her forehead. "I'm tired, Adagio. So tired of being alone, of fighting against the world, against former allies. Tired of having to treat former enemies as friends and equals. Do you ever wish to run away from everything, stake out a claim in the middle of the Wyld maybe?"

Lucent: He gulps half the glass in one go, closing his eyes for one joyful moment! "Good stuff. Remind me to take over a kingdom someday." He lit the joint on the tip of his fingers with pure golden flame, drawing it in as he heard Zahara's recounts. "Sometimes. It's not bad at all, ya know. Those fae, they know how to throw a party!" He puffs out rings of smoke, his eyes glazing off. "Why d'ya have to treat them like equals? If they're stepping in your toes, just push the bastards away. You're a Solar, last I checked being nice wasn't your forte." He finishes, handling her the joint.

Zahara: "They do indeed, so long as you are not the main course. And even then - it IS quite the party." Before she can convince herself otherwise, she takes the joint and inhales, tasting the smoke and letting the drug seep into her veins as she releases the curls of grey again. "Why? Because I cannot afford to fight more wars at the same time."

Lucent: "Zee, lemme tell ya a secret. It's a really well-kept one that Luc'd never tell you. It's always seven minutes to midnight." He smiles as he sees her inhaling it. "Deep, deep, yes... hold it in. For a moment. 'nyways, where was I? Oh! Yeah, seven minutes to midnight! See, there's always gonna be a threat to Creation. It's always too much. This place shouldn't exist and has even less case to exist after we killed the real owners. We're fucked, Zahara, and that's all we can do to make it last yet another day, see? And yet, it's still there. You can afford to be indulgent sometimes. Want to go to war? Go fucking ahead, they probably deserve it." He picks the joint, "It's that Akuna gain, isn't it?"

Zahara: "You know, these never used to work when I had the sesseljae." She comments, then takes another toke from the joint and hands it back. "Akuna." The smoke trickles from her mouth as she speaks his name, and one might imagine the visage of a savage wolf in it before it dissipates. She tips back the glass, nearly finishing it and setting it down. "Yes. Of all the people - and I use the word lightly in this case - that I would have shut out of the Deliberative, he is at the apex of the list."

Lucent: "Ah, Sessejlae... didja know they can drain all the bad part of toxins, leaving you just with a rush? Some poisons are the best drugs. They used to do it for me back when I was datin' their mom." He inhales, pondering. "Why didja let him in, then? I don't think even Luc was happy with that. And he's... LUC. I mean, geeze. It's no wonder you're feelin' bad."

Zahara: She frowns contemplatively. "Had I but known before I eradicated them from the face of Creation, that would have been a useful tidbit." She finishes the whiskey, swirling it in her glass before she drinks. "Sorry about their mom." She tips the decanter towards him, raising a brow to see if he wants a refill.

"I let Akuna in because Imrama convinced me. He is lord of the lands nearly the size of the Sunlands and has an army that still includes many godexalts. Since Thirteen betrayed me and has left the Sunlands, our army has suffered from the lack of his leadership, irritating though it was." Her voice is, if anything, cold and steady. Listing off the reasons as if they meant nothing to her.

"Although Akuna did not do me the courtesy of extending diplomatic relations before taking more drastic action, he did attempt to negotiate a peace while I was his guest." She rakes her fingers back through her hair, the orichalcum inlaid in her skin catching in the light.

"Though averting another war on the heels of the first was indeed an element of why I chose to simply give him conditions to enter, rather than deny him outright, the real reason is the old axiom: Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer."

Lucent: "I guess that's a good one, but it's not like it's foolin' anyone. So you can go and deck him in the face, at least?" He steps out of the table, breathing out rings of thick greenish smoke. "Y'know, ya need to party some. We should go the Wyld. Ya need ta hit some things, to kill some things, ta get wasted, and ta SCREAM atop of ya lungs!" He picks the bottle of whiskey and refills her cup. "Let's take care of one of 'um at least."

Zahara: "Akuna is no fool, it is true. But it is..." she nods her thanks for the refill and resumes. "It is rather amusing to see him coming to me as supplicant to my empire and the deliberative, however tenuous my leadership of it is." Another long drink of the whiskey, the effects of which are starting to be seen in her eyes, and the way her movements become more languid. "Yes, let's do all of that." She grins, and a laugh bubbles from her lips. "Party. Ravage. Destroy. Glory in the hunt, the kill, the pain. Break the dreams. ...And maybe bring one back."

Lucent: "Isn't it? They are like rats. Scurrying out of a sinking ship." He empties his own chalice, pouring a little more and laughs! "Y'know, ya should do it now. Go up the window. SCREAM out what you feel. They're barely gonna hear. And I'm not gonna tell." He grins. "Then, we could go to the Wyld... y'know, if you ask them, they can make a single night last like a year. They'll barely know we're away!"

Zahara: She stands, then, at the open window, throwing her arms wide as if making a royal proclamation. "FUCK YOU ALL!" She hurls the glass through, laughing as she follows its arcing path with her gaze, the sunlight catching on its cut surfaces and breaking apart over and over before shattering on the ground below.

"I don't NEED any of you," she hisses, "and I'm TIRED of being the one to only react, never act. Leading ungrateful people. Waiting for my enemies to come to me. Holding my anger back. Being diplomatic to those who have earned my enmity.

I am the greatest sorceress of this age, and the ruler of the greatest empire in existence. I have clawed my way here with my own skills and drive." She clenches her hands into fists, "Love me or Hate me - you cannot deny me."

Lucent: "YES!" He claps, spilling ashes and a little bit of alcohol on the floor. Who cares? He put his hand on her shoulder and handed her the joint once again. "FUCK YOU ALL!" He stops, taking the final drink and throwing it away as well. "... man, it IS awesome saying that."

Zahara:She inhales the smoke deeply, holding it in her mouth for a long time, then spins to face him. "Let's go. Right now."

Lucent: He picks her hand and runs out of the office, leaving scattered papers, fallen liquor and ashes on their wake, filling the corridors with deranged laughter!

< Timeline For Book Fifteen | Sol Invictus Logs | A Brooch Amongst The Blossoms >