06.21.3013: Acolytes of a Different Cloth
Summary: A strange cult of cybernetically enhanced penitents happens upon the Landing… (PrP run by Nitrim/Orren)
Date: 21 June 2013
Related: None
Erik Johana Jor 

The Ways of Landing — Landing
As the center of intercontinental and interplanetary travel, the Ways is perhaps the busiest region of Imperius Landing. No matter the hour, there is a constant hum of activity as people arrive in or depart from the largest city of Imperius. Loiters are best kept to the outside of the plaza to avoid getting swept up in the waves of foot and horse traffic that frequent the stone-covered ground. The broad circular plaza is broken by a ring of humped arches varying in size from ten to forty feet high. At any given time, about half of them glow with the light of an opened Way.

This plaza is also a crossroads for the four largest of the esplanades, guiding travelers in each of the four cardinal directions toward a variety of destinations. To the North is the militant black spire of the Citadel and grand Towers of Matthias which house the Royal Family and the Noble House embassies. Opposite, down the southern road, are the foundaries and the Smith's Tower. To the East is the Arcology of Arcadem, which houses both the grand libraries and the Imperium Cathedral. Lastly, to the West, is the poetically named Tower of Forgotten Nights which houses a variety of taverns and other sources of entertainment.

June 21, 3013

Standing just near the Ways, Johana had not too long ago exited while Erik had been debating entering until they had crossed paths. Now they stand there speaking to one another about the up and coming concert this weekend. "Oh of course duty comes first, Sir Erik, as it should. As does mine for me." Dropping her hands to her side she laces her own fingers together at her middle to keep them occupied. "I think it should be able to be done and I am sure the troops would enjoy the music at least."

"I'll pass the idea along to one of the techs, morale is just as important as training. Soldiers with excellent training can still crack if their morale is low, and the Hostiles… we don't even know if they have morale." Erik says with a nod of his head, another quick glance to the Waygate where Johana had exited, "Do you have any plans for the rest of the day, My Lady?"

Closing in on the ways, the sound of hawking can be heard nearing closer in their direction, followed immediately by the sound of angry citizens yelling at a small crowd of people. Still rather far off, the mob seems to be heading in the direction of the Ways…

"I think they would have to have feelings to have morale, so I'd be more likely to believe they don't have it at all." Johana agrees, partially at least. At the question of plans, she looks towards the Ways and lifts a single shoulder. "Probably just back home for tonight and running another patrol, It's something to do at least…" Hearing the sounds of angry Citizens, Ana looks towards where it looks the sounds are coming from. Upon seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she looks to Erik. "Is something happening?" Perhaps at his vantage point, he could see more.

While listening to Johana's answer, Erik is also distracted by the sounds of angry yelling that appears to be directed at a small crowd. The young noble's brows furrow and his gaze focuses on the approaching citizens, "It appears so, My Lady, I would take care and perhaps remain out of their way until we have a better idea of what is happening." For now, the Cindravale is not doing anything to call for authorities or the sort.

Four large, muscular men with clubs are standing guard in the cardinal directions surrounding a rolling, mechanized chair on treads. The guards are bare chested, showing obvious surgical scars from failed or cheap cybernetic surgeries. One has an entire arm replaced in a junky, shard-like model. Another has had his mouth and one eye replaced by a glowing golden orb and a cybernetic breather. A small crowd of citizens, best described as acolytes trail behind the procession, each of them a mess tubes, cybernetic cables, and mody modifications connected to hands holding cups, asking for alms.

"—penitence to the returning BROTHERS OF MANKIND!" A large, grotesquely overweight man covered in blue vestments yells to the crowd gathering around. He raises his gold-tipped, cybernetic fingers to the sky, and then places them to the plating over his chest that keeps his innards inside. He's rolling…because his legs have been grafted into the chair itself. His jowly face shakes as his salt-and-pepper bearded mouth opens, shouting above the naysayers. "Cybernetic arms, cybernetic legs. Horses replaced with CYBERNETIC structure to perform our burdens! They are not our foe! They are our lost brethren! We deny them sanction!"

A marching protest? Yeah, Johana fully intends on taking his advice and staying out of the way and she even takes several steps back from the forward rolling procession, attempting to bring Erik with her when she does. "Bands of mankind? One of us?" Echoing the words with much distaste. "Maybe we should find somewhere else to stand, because it looks like these people are seriously upset over their cause."

When the procession approaches the Waygate, Erik is able to make out the group that is being targeted for the verbal assault. The young Cindravale does tense up, for a second almost mistaking the group for a bunch of Hostiles and when Johana steps out of the way, he delays his own sidestepping. "Maybe… and I am not surprised that they are upset over their… 'cause'. They are one step short of being Hostiles themselves."


Fucking traitors!

Someone should arrest these people…

The voices can be heard, following the precession as they move closer and closer to Johana and Erik. As they near, it becomes apparent that they're not picking up much in the way of money or followers, but instead and angry crowd of concerned citizens that are more than happy to see them off to the ways. One such citizen throws a rotten tomato at one of the guards, which splatters messily across his chest. Aside from the initial shock and realization that it wasn't a brick, the guard continues to protect his political leader.

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Is it so hard to fathom?" The speaker waves his hand across the crowd, ducking his head to dodge and empty beer can. "How many years have they returned and we have not opened diplomatic relations? GIVE them an audience with the King and his council, I say! We have presented ourselves as villains to them, and with them they bring the gift of immortality for all." His fist clenches, accentuating his point. "You would all do well to present mercy to them, as otherwise they may not give any to us!"

- Jor arrives from the Ways.

As Johana steps aside and Erik keeps his own stand there in the path of the oncoming protesters and the non-fans, she continues to listen to the words spoken by the sympathizers as well as those throwing the insults at the group. Looking back at Erik, she shakes her head. "There's a time to take a stand and a time not to. Just let them be on their way." Though she does now he will do as he wishes, no matter what she speaks. As the angry mob nears closer, she walks even further away, letting Erik deal with it however he wishes, determined it wasn't her fight.

Hearing those words that are being preached by the speaker causes Erik's hands to curl up into a pair of balled fists that are held at the side of his body. He does hear Johana's words and appears to heed them, the Cindravalen moving out of the way of the approaching cultists, not exactly impeding their path to the Waygate, however the young knight is unable to hold his tongue. His voice is clear and strong but he doesn't shout like the angry mob is doing, "If you believe that they would be diplomatic, then you are fools. They have attacked us countless of times and yours words are a disgrace and an offense to the brave soldiers who are out there defending our homes right now. "Mercy? They do not know the word and it is something we will not be showing them until they are grinded into scraps."

He'd gone to spend some time on Volkan. There was a certain barbaric charm to it, in his eyes, one that he just couldn't get here in Landing where he'd lived for nearly thirty years of his life. But one thing Jor Aeldan did not expect was to come through the Ways to head back for some shut eye… and find this going on.

He'll emerge through the Ways, his thoughts distracted by the entourage and their cybernetically rolling preacher, and anyone who is watching him will note how Jor's eyes catch sight of the man crying for more to join the blessed embrace of the Hostiles…

And also how he sighs heavily, actually putting a hand over his face for a moment.

"Not again." Resigned words, those, erupting from the man's mouth, but right as he was about to step through the watchers to do his own confrontation, well, Erik speaks up first, and it's to him that Jor's eyes go. "Well this will be good for a laugh," he comments dryly to a passerby near him who's gawking. "It never worked when I tried it."

As the precession passes Erik and Johana, the Cindravalen's words cause the speaker's pale, yellow eyes to swivel in his direction. He opens his mouth to speak, and then is overcome by a coughing fit that doubles him over. One of the acolytes in the back rushes up the back of the tracked platform and presses a medical unit to the man's back. There's a snap, a hiss, and then some yellowed fluid discharges into a clear container on the medical unit, clearing the man's lungs of some kind of grotesque bile.

The fit cleared, the speaker raises his head back to Erik, Johana, and now Jor who gets a slowed moment of recognition. "My Lord, My Lady." He starts, speaking as eloquently as possible. "I pray for the safety of our troops and our homes hourly. I pray that they will forgive our hostilities as we have made no attempts to communicate and sow peace. It is my dream that whatever it is that forces them to flee here, lack of resources, lack of a home itself, will present them with a land they can call their own."

Fuck You! You go talk to them!

You can kiss a Hostile you fu—

"That man there…" He points to Jor. "…has never listened. So few have. I will pray for your souls, all of you, and when I accept them as a human, which they once were, they will heal my sick and end our hunger. Perhaps then, when you see the truth, you will try diplomacy, I beg My Lord."

Though Johana agrees with every single word Erik says, she's just had a really long… reallllyyy long day and had been intent on avoiding confrontation just this once. Usually she is in the thick of things but her head was still smarting from the bruise she'd attained from the hand.. err.. foot of her not so young squire. Looking towards the men as they arrive beside them now, she notices the choking and then the bile discharge, shuddering in disgust. "Get the fuck off our planet and go to them if you want to talk peace with them. See how long you last." Yeah, Johana has had enough and she takes another step towards the group to stand even with Erik. A united front, it seems. "There's no room for sympathizers among those who have been hurt or had family killed by Hostiles."

An arrogant smirk appears from the Cindravale knight who's gaze is locked on the sick and half mechanical man, the medical attention needed another sign of weakness in Erik's eyes. "Perhaps you should stop trying to convince others of such foolish notions until you have /proven/ that these Hostiles can be dealth with in a manner other than violence." It almost seems like the noble knight is actually trying to goad the cult into committing suicide by Hostiles, and with Johana at his side now adding her voice, he continues with a grim grin, "But it appears that your body is very lacking in strength, so perhaps one of your junkyard goons can deliver to them a message in your stead and let you know how it goes. If they survive."

And another sigh erupts from Jor's mouth, especially when he's called out that way. It's not from any real distress or concern, simply a reaction that had been buried for fifteen years clawing its way from the grave and reanimating itself as though it had never been away.

So when he's pointed at, and done giving a why-me exhalation, Jor mutters something that might be 'excuse me', might be 'that fucker' as he tries to get through those watchers that impede his progress at emerging. He's carrying a bag full of smelly clothes, for the record, "gym clothes" for lack of a better description for them.

"That doesn't look too good, Kallas," Jor says critically, dropping the bag non-chalantly and almost absent-mindedly as he folds his arms, observing the coughing fit and the mechanical response to it, including expulsion of bile. "You sure you're going to live long enough for them to heal you of your sick? Seems to me the most they'll get from you is feasting on your corpse and harvesting that medical-ware you grafted yourself to while I was gone. How much did that cost you, by the way? You were pretty poor on your luck when you were arrested last, that I know of."

"My son…my son." The speaker, now identified as "Kallas" from Jor, shakes his head sadly and casts sorrowful eyes onto Jor. His grizzled, mangy neck-beard shakes with the rest of his body. "I am no longer that man anymore, and my time draws near, yes. I am merely a servant of the people, trying to guide them to peace. I pray that my body will hold out long enough to become the emissary. Like these good people that trust my vision, you should modify, graft yourself so that when the time comes they see you as brother."

The priest, by loose definition, motions for the precession to continue towards the Ways and turns his gaze over Jor to Erik and Johana. He clasps his hand to his chest in a salute and bows his head respectfully to them. "I beg you, my lords, remember there is only one way to parlay, and it is not at swordpoint. I pray that our Lords and Ladies will see the time for communication, as I can only do so much. I speak not for the people, though I am a servant of them. All of them. We could be one, you know, a society free of sickness, able to live forever in our metal shells with minds lasting thousands of years." He turns to the road ahead, and the guards move with him…

Though she hears what is said, Johana doesn't really listen. Grateful when they do move on, she lifts a hand to her temple and gently explores her head. "It's been a long day. I'd rather not have any further confrontations this day." Glancing over at Jor, she lifts a shoulder, not completely understanding the reasoning behind those. "Everyone has a cause, I suppose. Upheaval makes the planets turn." With a sigh, she nods to Jor, then turns to Erik. "It was lovely seeing you again, Sir Erik, I wish you a peaceful patrol on your weekend."

It's Johana's words that stays Erik's hand from furthering the confrontation, the words that are being preached by the cultist is something that the Cindravale finds foul. A brief glance is directed at Jor as that man is being addressed again by Kallas, though the larger man appears to be a commoner so the young noble knight does not pay too much attention. When the Ibrahm appears to be making her depature, Erik tuns his attention back to her and bows his head, "I pray that it is peaceful as well, My Lady. Do you wish me to escort you to where you wish to go?" Perhaps still wary of those Hostile loving cultists.

And in truth, Jor doesn't mind the lack of attention from Erik Cindravale. He had plenty given to him already when Kallas pointed him out in the crowd. Like Johana, he hears the words but he doesn't really pay them any mind, as far as processing them goes. He's heard them plenty of times before, in the past.

"At least he's not going somewhere /here/ for his friends to start the fight," Jor tells the air dryly. There's another suggestion of a sigh from the once Sir Aeldan, who shakes his head and moves to reclaim the bag he had been carrying when he had emerged through the Ways. For himself, he's going to wash his hands of the situation, in some ways quite literally.

The angry crowd of citizens follows the speaker and his acolytes the rest of the way to the Ways, and the speaker mentions something loudly about "The Ring" before they step through and disappear, each and every one.

When Jor speaks again, the Ibrahm looks over and offers a thankful nod. "At least there is that." Finally, she addresses Erik. "Thank you, but no, Sir Erik. I would not wish to distract you from your duties. I bid you a goodnight and farewell and will see you again when our paths incidentally cross once again. Be well, Sir Erik." A brief nod is given him by Johana, though nothing more personal this time, before she turns towards the Ways again.

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