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zahara stares at the splinter that had been embedded in Pluto, contemplating how best to work with it while not touching it. She blinks a few times and pokes it with a long, thin knife. A thin halo of bluish smoke trails from her mouth.

Varanim Bangbangbang! on the door of the workshop. If it's not locked, Varanim sticks her head in, a slightly wild look in her eyes. "Will that blow up if I come in? I want a hit of whatever that is."

zahara chokes and looks up as Varanim sticks her head through the door. "It MIGHT," she huffs once she catches her breath. "What are you doing here?" She waves some smoke away and shoves a tray off to the side hastily.

Varanim "The weirdest thing just happened." Varanim slinks in, closing the door firmly behind her, and slouches into a chair near enough to Zahara to investigate the tray. "What are you doing?"

zahara eyes her warily. "What weirdest thing?"

zahara drops some papers on top of the tray, but not before varanim catches a glimpse of some twisted papers and a few scattered leaves of suspicious origin.

Varanim Varanim, mid-drink from the flask she had stowed in her pocket, coughs and shakes her head. "Never mind, just... trust me on this one. And come on, you're the damn empress, you can afford to share your stash." She makes an impatient 'gimme' motion. "I won't tell any of your ministers, since that would involve me MEETING them."

zahara "So you come in here to tell me you saw the weirdest thing and then... you don't say what it was?" She looks at Varanim for a second, then giggles. "Stash...?" Her pretending muscles are not working very well tonight.

Varanim shudders. "Come on, doesn't being a damn necromancer give me some kind of 'things man was not meant to know' cred? I am a professional, you should just believe me when I warn you off a topic." She lifts up the papers covering the tray. "Gosh, I wonder who left THOSE here, surely some careless servant. Well, I imagine they won't mind..." She picks up a twist of papers, inspecting it...

Varanim ...with an expert eye, then nods in grudging satisfaction. zahara "Oh hell. Fine." She sulks a little. "There's more in the box." She gestures to the ornate box off to the side.

zahara makes an impatient wiggly gesture with her fingers in the direction of the door, which locks. "You know, barging in is rude! But at least now Luc won't barge in too, crowing about his new balls or whatever."

zahara pokes the shard with her knife again

Varanim "Goody." Varanim lights, inhales deeply, and then coughs when Zahara keeps speaking. "You're... making him new balls?"

zahara "Oh," she waves at her pile "Just the one. He's already got the other ones"

Varanim "Is there... something wrong with the ones he has?" Varanim says, red-faced, between coughs.

zahara "He wants a dead one now." She shrugs and retrieves her half-smoked joint from the tray, inhaling.

Varanim thumps her chest and takes another drink. "Well, that's... good, I guess." She squints. "Hey, is that part of Pluto?"

zahara "Naw... just a splinter that was inside him for a few aeons. It's sorta Pluto-flavored."

zahara "Touch it," she encourages, poking it towards 'nim.

Varanim "So do you make a habit of smoking up while driving your high-powered Essence toys, or is this a new thing?" Varanim raises her eyebrows, then, when Zahara extends the splinter. "Does it feel funny, or are you just setting up future innuendo?"

zahara "It feels like... Pluto." She ignores the initial questions. "I'm not innuendo-izing." She squints at Varanim. "Get your mind out of the gutter"

Varanim "Silly me, I don't know WHAT I was thinking." Varanim rolls her eyes, then reaches out with her soulsteel hand to heft the splinter, examining it as carefully as possible under the circumstances. "So what DO you want out of Pluto, now that he's not dead anymore?"

zahara "Kinda want him to go back to being dead for a while, actually." She leans back in her chair. As Varanim touches the splinter, she can feel it; nostalgia of old memories, the pain of death, the peace of the afterlife, and more.

Varanim considers the impressions for a moment, her expression moody, then tosses it lightly back to Zahara and takes another drag. "The whole 'haha, just kidding, have some dead guys you never wanted to see again' joke gets old fast, doesn't it?"

zahara catches it, winces, and drops it back on the table. "Yeah. Couldn't he have found someone I liked to exalt? Seriously? I mean... they seemed kinda laid back or whatever but... I killed them once already. Is it too much to ask to not have their shards AND their ghosts fuckin' walkin around again"

Varanim "He probably could have, but you have to admit it would have taken some looking. Poor guy just finished being dead, he was in a rush." Varanim gestures sympathetically with one hand, trailing a thread of smoke. "To put in a plug for rationality, if you stopped counting their shards as people, you'd have one less copy to be pissed at."

zahara "Both of them remember"

zahara takes another drag, flicks the end into the tray and looks for a new one.

Varanim "Of course they do, you can't go five minutes in this crowd without someone falling over you weeping, telling you how you're the reincarnation of their Great Aunt Ex-Boyfriend What Done Them Wrong. Seriously, would a few more hobbies KILL you people?" Varanim helpfully slides the box closer to Zahara.

zahara nods her thanks, and somewhat inexpertly rolls a new one. "Great....what?" She considers for a moment, then scoots her chair back and opens a cupboard, pulling out a bottle and two goblets. The fancy sort, of course.

Varanim "Oh, YOU know. People having elaborate arguments with the fictional version of you in their heads, trying to fix the past via making up with inherited Essence structures. Never mind, I don't try to explain water to fish, either." Varanim makes puppy-dog eyes at the bottle.

zahara "Oh, well yeah. Memories and all that. I have a really great one of Cerin's previous incarnation killing me," she offers. "It's pretty great." With that she yanks the cork off the bottle, and splashes some amber liquid into the goblets, nudging one towards Varanim.

Varanim shrugs, wrapping one hand around the goblet and taking a drink. "You people think I'm kidding when I say you need to let that shit go. Tragically, no one listens to me." She appeals to the ceiling with a martyred expression.

Varanim "So if construction goes badly and you have to start over, would you describe yourself as breaking Lucent's balls? I just want to be clear on the terminology, here."

zahara "Nnnno... not exactly... More like... peeling off the outer skin of it, the gold bits, to get at the core. I saw the core of one of his balls before the eclipse. It was... not what I expected."

Varanim "It was, what, insufficiently...?" Varanim trails off, shaking her head. "You know, there's a point when this becomes too easy. And why are we talking about him, anyway? He's my least favorite."

zahara shrugs. "Ask him. If you need me to break his balls so you can get a good look at what's underneath I can, but that's his secret to tell or not." She takes a long drink and closes her eyes. "And we're talking about him, cause i'm making this for him."

Varanim "That's sweet of you, I'm sure he's glad his balls are in good hands--there, you see? It's too easy, breeds intellectual laziness." She raises her eyebrows, taking a drink. "I'd ask if you should be slinging Essence while drunk, but... hey, clearly it's worked out pretty well for ME."

zahara giggles.

zahara "I'm still trying to figure out what ta make it DO actually. Besides feel creepy."

Varanim sighs, settling deeper into her chair and slitting her eyes half-closed against the pleasant haze of smoke in the room. "What are the rest of them for, broadly speaking?"

zahara considers. "They do Incarna things. And make stairs."

Varanim "Oh, right, the stairs. Not falling to my death was okay, as I recall, but it seems like a long way to go for a souvenir of just that..." Her eyes narrow a little more.

Varanim "Pluto's gift was--well, you can figure it out. I'm not involved in this." Abruptly she stands up, finishing her goblet in one toss and setting it down with a clink.

zahara starts. "What was THAT all about?"

Varanim "Nothing! I have work to do." Varanim heads for the door, half-turns and smirks, "Actually, that's secret necromancer code for 'more drinking'. Don't tell!" Then she shuffles out.

zahara stares after her for a moment, then shakes her head and leans back in her chair.

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