01.04.3014: A Rose in the Rain
Summary: Lyrienne meets Sarah.
Date: 2 November 2013
Related: Sarah's logs and those between Cedric and Lyrienne.
Sarah Lyrienne 

A Cell, the Watch House, Landing
In first pose.
January 4, 3014

Down in the depths of the Watch House, the movement of the sun is kept solely by the clock. Even on the brightest winter day, it is the same whitewashed light that keep the cells brightly illuminated. Sarah's cell is the last in the row, though it is also the only one occupied. There is a cushioned chair that sits just outside her cell where her visitors sit, observe, and interrogate. Her cell is modestly furnished with a single-wide cot, a compact toilet facility, and a stiff metal chair. Today, she is seated on the bed. The sleeves of her black jumpsuit are rolled to her elbows, and a simple tablet is held between her cybernetic hands. A gift from Doctor Figuerroa to help sate her boredom. She appears to be reading something, her luminous cybernetic eyes fixated on the digital page. Her dark red hair has grown to her shoulders since her capture, though it remains slicked back.

Lyrienne is not the sort of person who visits prisoners often, whether they're of the common or war varieties. Which probably explains why she's friendly with the guards, dressed as though for a social call, and carrying a plate of what looks like chocolate cookies with gooey bits of peanut butter in them. Which have also been shared with the guards, for any of them who would take them. It helps that she's willing to eat them, too. When she's buzzed in, she skips the chair, heading straight for the glass instead. "Hello," she offers softly, with a small smile.

Sarah looks up slightly from her digital book as a shape passes before the static shielding of her cell. When her gaze alights on the woman, she actually blinks — a simple sign of slight bemusement. Her cybernetic eyes focus on Lyrienne, the bright centers rotating out slightly. "Hello," she replies, though there is a hint of flat confusion in her alto.

Lyrienne tilts her head slightly when she sees the other woman's eyes, curious. "That's unsettling," she muses, though it sounds more curious than anything else. "Forgive me, that was rude. I'm Lyrienne," she introduces herself, looking at the cell. "I brought cookies. I heard that you prefer some sort of nutrient mixture, but it occurred to me that if they offered you anything else, it was probably the equivalent of field rations, and having seen what people eat in the field, I imagined that probably didn't exactly give a favorable impression of actual food."

"I had a burger once," Sarah replies in that flat tone. "I found it to be… less than appealing. The Watchman said that I do not understand the enjoyment of taste." She sets aside her tablet, though there is a thoughtful moment before the Hostile pulls herself to her feet. Her cybernetic fingers click together idly as she latches her hands together behind her back. She stands at ease, shoulders back and feet apart. "You are not a soldier," she says thoughtfully. "Are you a scientist?"

"Well that's disappointing," Lyrienne muses at the mention of the burger. "Though you should still try a cookie." She sets one where it can be taken, then takes one for herself, standing by the window rather than settling in the chair. "And no," she adds with a soft laugh. "I'm not a scientist. I'm…" She pauses, tilting her head as she considers. "Not easily categorized, I suppose. I'm a singer, professionally. A mother, personally. And a druid, spiritually. You're definitely a soldier, though," she adds with a wry smile. "My father does the same thing." She gestures with one finger toward the stance.

Sarah is cautious at the offer to try a cookie. Lyrienne is not the first to suggest she sample real food — a term that she has always found a bit unnerving. She allows her curiosity to guide her, stepping forward to pick up the cookie. She glances up toward where she knows the security cameras hone in on her, deliberately picking it up and taking a broad step backward. She examines the baked good, turning it over a couple times in her hand. She sniffs it. "A singer and a mother," Sarah repeats, almost uncertain. "And what does a singer and a mother… and a druid… want with me?" Because everyone wants something

"Just to talk, really." Lyrienne takes a bite of the cookie, pausing as she chews and swallows. "I'm curious. I can only imagine you must be curious, too. We were both raised to expect to fight each other, I think. But it turns out, when you spend a few centuries millions of miles away from each other before meeting up again for fifty years or so, things get…twisted. Things change. So it makes sense that you would have sent scouts here first, to look into things."

Sarah does not sit, despite the fact that the chair is placed so strategically across from the chair outside the cell. She is interested in the cookie, turning it over in her hand. She still hasn't bitten into it, but she mulls over it thoughtfully. "I didn't send anyone," the Hostile says with painful accuracy. "But yes… scouts were sent ahead. But that is there purpose."

"Sorry, we don't have a distinct word for the general, plural, non-specific you in our language," Lyrienne says with a wry smile. "I have a feeling you - general, plural, non-specific - do, though." She takes another bite of the cookie, licking her lips when a gooey bit of peanut butter tries to escape. "I had some contact with some of those scouts. Some of the first contact that people came back from. It didn't go particularly well."

Sarah finally ventures forth and bites into the cookie. She pauses, letting the flavors settle on her tongue, and then she carefully chews. It is a slow and methodical motion as if she is attempting to dissect the mingling of flavors. She shrugs, though it appears to be in response to Lyrienne's words rather than the cookie. "Scouts are…" The Hostile is cautious in her words. "They stand… apart… from the rest of us. Their dedication cannot be compared." It isn't hard to see that she is chosing her words carefully, though if it is to save face or guard against information, it is hard to say.

"Yes, that's one way to put it." Lyrienne reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, thoughtful. "They certainly seemed inquisitive. Particularly when it comes to Awakened." There's a pauses, her lips pursing. "Are you familiar with that term, Sarah? Awakened?"

"Yes," Sarah says simply. She is quiet now, staring at Lyrienne with those luminous blue eyes. There is a particular flatness to her expression. She waits to see where the Lady is taking this conversation.

Lyrienne pauses for a moment, then moves to settle into the chair on her side of the window, offering a small smile. "What would you like to know?"

Sarah blinks, pausing to stare at the woman. There is a long silence from the Soldier before she shakes her head. "About what?"

"I can imagine you've mostly been asked questions, rather than doing the asking," Lyrienne explains, smile crooked, as she leans back in her chair. Seated, the drape of the dress does less to hide the early swell of her stomach, especially when she rests a hand over it. "What would you like to know about Awakened?"

That puzzled look does not fade even while she carefully claims her own seat. "I have assumed that I will die in captivity, whether from age or extermination… if there is no possibility for me to share the information I have learned… what does it gain me to ask questions?" The Hostile tilts her head, the inquisitive look — even if slightly blunted by her naturally flat expression — unfaltering.

"Knowledge," Lyrienne shrugs, taking another bite of the cookie. "Curiosity. Hope. Or, if you don't go in for hope, preparation for the small chance that you might be able to share what you know. Personally, I think it would be curiosity for me. At least it would be something new to think about."

The Hostile is quiet once more. Her brows have come together slightly over those luminous cybernetic eyes. "Why are you not a soldier?" She asks, this time the question poised with genuine curiosity. "You have said you are a singer and a mother… I have fought your druids before… are you incapable of engaging in combat?"

"I wasn't really trained for it," Lyrienne answers, smile flickering. "I'm sure you know that being a soldier requires a good deal of dedication. You can't very well be a soldier and something else. When I was young, I was supposed to be more of a politician. A leader. Other things happened, though. And then I was a mother. I could have been a mother and a soldier, I suppose. Or a mother and a singer. I decided that while it was important to have people to fight, it was also important for them to have something to fight for."

"Family, for one." Lyrienne rests her hand over her stomach once more, quiet. "I have three children," she explains, looking up with a small smile. "Marus is almost seven. Lysandra is three. Julian's just about a year now. And the doctors say we have two more on the way now. My songs…remind people of the things they want to protect. The things they hope for. The things they love."

"I have no children," Sarah contributes. The Soldier laces her fingers together as she sits calmly in her chair. Her gaze falls just briefly toward where her hand rests on her belly, her expression closed off once more. "Will they fight for the Inner Worlds?" She lifts her gaze to Lyrienne once more. "Or will they… just sing?"

"I don't know," Lyrienne answers, thoughtful. "Lysandra will probably fight," she admits, laughing low. "That's certainly what she does now. Though it's usually more for the last cookie or attention than for the good of the Inner Worlds. I doubt that will be Marus' decision, though. And the others are too young to tell. There will be pressure for them to fight, though. We all feel it. Even I'm not entirely…How did you put it? Incapable of engaging in combat."

"But you don't," Sarah points out. "Out of the millions living in the Inner Worlds, we estimate that only two percent are soldiers…" The Hostile tilts her head. "Do you wonder how many of us there are?" She lets that question hang for a heartbeat before she speaks again. There is a certain quietness to her question. "What do you see… when you look at us? When you look at me?"

"Of course we wonder. We wonder a great many things. I'm sure you've been asked most of them by now," Lyrienne adds ruefully. "How many of you are there, what is it like on Cantos, questions about cybernetics - yours are incredible, by the way, though I'm not sure how I feel about them in general." She wipes her hands off, then folds them over her stomach once more as she considers the other woman. "I see a woman in front of me. One who's been very…purposefully shaped," she says, choosing her words carefully. "I see a creature of purpose and utility, above all else. And I'm not sure if I find that frightening, or empowering, or incredibly sad."

Sarah arches up her brows slightly at the comment on her cybernetics. She gestures out her hands and arms a bit, examining the lengths of hardware that substitute what must have once been flesh and bone. "Without them, I would not fulfill my role… I cannot fight without my arms." There is a faint upward smirk at the corner of her lips. "I am aware that Brigham Peake is quite upset that your King would not allow their removal for his own experimentation." Then her fingers curl inward into light fists, resting them on her knees. She listens to the woman's assessment, and then she tilts her head slightly. "And I see a creature who vainly believes she is fulfilling her capacity through procreation and poetics, denying her people a potential soldier against a terrible, aberant species who seek her entire people's undoing." There is a brief lapse of silence before the Hostile asks, "Is that all you are, Lyrienne of the Inner Worlds?"

"I'm not sure anyone wants to give Brigham Peake new things to blow up," Lyrienne chuckles, amused. "But." She reaches up to tuck a piece of hair behind her ear, standing up and moving toward the window once more. "Words and social utility cannot define all of me, Sarah," she answers the other woman in a steady, unflustered tone. "I am a mother, and a poet, yes. A potential soldier, perhaps. But I'm also stardust and energy, bound by spirit to bones pulled from the depths of the earth. Thousands of tiny suns, millions of electrical charges. I am now, I am then, I am what is to come. I am living and I am dead. I am bringer of life, and I am destroyer. I can be all of these things, and none of these things. Formless given form. Emptiness given substance. The light and the dark move through me and in me, and when all else is gone, still something that is me and something that is everything will remain." Her words are quiet, but there is a depth of conviction, of peace, in them that few can match. A faint smile pulls at one corner of her lips. "I know these things to be true. I have seen myself in the mirror of souls, Sarah, and I am not afraid of what I see or don't see there."

There is no doubt that the Hostile listens — and quite intently at that — to what the woman says. Her expression remains flat — almost blank and unreadable. She draws her fingers together lightly, thumbs crossing one another in a comfortable pressure. She is silent, staring across the length of space between them. "Then what am I?"

"Glue. And I'm rubber, so whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you." And like that, Lyrienne's serious mien dissolves as she slaps a hand across her mouth, stifling a laugh. "I'm sorry. I was injured when your compatriots took the resort, so I've been locked up at home with the kids for weeks, and I think it might be damaging my ability to pretend to be an adult." She clears her throat, straightening her shoulders. "I don't know what you are, Sarah," she admits. "But I do think it's less of a what question, and more of a who. Who do you think you are?"

Together, in harmony, her brows arch slightly over her luminous eyes. She even tilts her head a bit, as if regarding Lyrienne with a skeptical look. "The resort," she says blankly, obviously not making a connection. Which is probably fair… they don't exactly let her watch the news down here. "I know who I am," Sarah says without missing a beat. One shoulder rises and falls in a half shrug. "But, based on conversations I have had since my capture, I do not believe that you know who I am… who we are. I was…" She considers her next word. "Curious."

"We know very little about you and yours," Lyrienne agrees, nodding once. "That you arrive here when your planet draws near. That, without fail, you've come to fight and kill. That you've been known to…harvest from the fallen. I don't know much more than that, but the military sorts know more about your capabilities. My husband tells me that you are truly the descendants of the colonists who tried to settle on Cantos, and I don't think that's impossible. It seems more likely than that you're truly alien. But none of us know why. Or how. Or what happened, honestly."

"You should inquire with the one called Ithaca Black," Sarah says as she rises from her seat. "She is… my descendant." She turns away from the mother and singer, striding with slow and almost lackluster strides back toward her single-wide bed. While she walks away, she lifts the cookie to her mouth and takes another bite — almost covertly.

"Rook?" Lyrienne arches a brow, but doesn't press her on the subject. "That sounds interesting." As the other woman walks away, she takes a step back, retrieving the tray of cookies to leave most of what's left for Sarah. "I'll leave these for you. If you want to talk again, I'll let the guards know that I'd be happy to come. If you have any questions. Or just get bored." She pauses once more, then offers a small smile. "It was nice to meet you, Sarah."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License