07.30.3013: An Offer Accepted
Summary: Over lunch, Balius and Demos formalize the intership, while discussing important matters of geology, biology, and even a smidge of philosophy for good measure.
Date: 07.30.2013
Related: An Offer on the Table
Demos Balius 

Blue Stallion Bistro
This particular bistro is credited for being one of the best eateries in the Vale. The waiting area is accessed through a pair of tall, glass doors that have been frosted with a pair of rearing blue horses. There is the customary host desk where men and women in neat, dark azure attire see to those waiting for a table. Reservations are almost a must for dinner, but lunch tends to be a bit more loose. The hard, concrete floors have been washed in blue acid and etched with whorls and spirals that create a dizzying effect across the expansive main dining room. Tucked along the walls are large, circular booths that can house two to twelve patrons comfortably, and the ceiling-high glass dividers offer a sense of privacy. Tables with high-backed and well-cushioned chairs are methodically scattered around the rest of the room. The tables are not dressed in linens, but instead left bare to show off the natural blue wood that has been cultivated for their construction. The kitchen is neatly tucked away behind three sets of swinging doors, leaving the goings-on back there a mystery. There is a long, traditional bar along one wall that provides an abbreviated menu, but a full choice of drinks. The final dramatic feature of the bistro is its ceiling, which has been constructed from darkly tinted glass and inset with lights that can dim or brighten based on the time of day or desired mood.

Demos made an offer for lunch to Balius. It was the honest intention of the final 'interview' and full offer for the internship/mentorship. That was derailed slighty by certain distractions to say the least. Then before he forgot again, Demos offered to Balius a meal at the Blue Stallion Bistro at Phylan. Not sure if it was too close to home or not for the man, it seemed to be a place Demos was interested in and once the offer was made, it all sounded reasonable.

Regardless, Demos makes his way there and has a table reserved just in case its busy. As much is clear as the two walk in to claim it. Once things are underway, he concludes some earlier topic. "And that is why we call him Cinder-foot." A smile, a shrug, it is what it is. Then, realizing he probably talks too much, and as they are lead to said reserved table, he ponders of the other man, "So, I know your family, your work, and your academic interests, I don't think I've asked about any hobbies you might have, or what you do with yourself when you find free time?" Rhetorical question, no answer demanded.

Balius will be trying to track their progress as they journey. He definitely seems to be following Demos' lead. He'd occasionally ask a question about their location to affirm his bearings and location. Bey will offer conversation and remain engaged. Once they are led to the tables, Balius will ponder briefly his hobbies. "Well, I spend most of my free time, when there is such a thing, in the trees. My brother and I used to sing a lot more often, but that has faded as he's now becoming squired and all. And, as you may know, I read quite a bit whenever I can."

Demos in turn, listens attentively giving nods as he follows. Swinging around and into his seat, "Don't stop singing … take it from me, I have no music talent and I'm jealous." A grin, then he gives a quick order for a drink from the person who sat them and will retrieve the normal wait staff. "But, its good to have some self-expression. Was it simply singing songs you knew, or did you two come up with your own songs?" There is interest in his eyes, perhaps that overall pursuit of new things, new curiosities, or the unknown to him. Demos proceeds to unravel eating utensils and napkin at the table.

Smiling at the statement, Bey will wonder how Demos will react. "Well, we mostly sang old Arboren drinking songs from times gone by. I like a good rowdy song that people can get into, the tapping of feet, clanking of tankards. And besides adding verses, we never really wrote much. I sing more for the fun of it than cuz of any natural talent." He'll ponder his mentor for a moment, wondering what precisely hobbies have to do with anything at all.

"Music is out of my scope, I imagine Arboren drinking songs would mostly be new to me all together," grins Demos. Looking around the room a moment, seeing who is here, who isn't, and the atmosphere in general. "As much as I enjoy stone work, I think self-expression and escape are a good balance. When I'm away from stone, I'm either in a holo-suite working out puzzles, or watching punting. Then, I turn back to stone and I sometimes lose myself there, I think I need the balance of something that isn't my 'career' so to speak."

Balius will grin at the sentiment. This is exactly how he pictured his friend's routine would be. He particularly liked the imagery of turning to stone on the one hand, but still found stone too stoic, too slow at change. "They are new to most. Honestly, sometimes I think someone keeps making them up when they've had too much ale and then next week we are all hearing a supposedly centuries-old song for the first time. What is punting?" He'll ask, curiosity winning out.

A smile warms more to Demos at pondering new centuries old songs, maybe himself thinking of how hard it would be to come up with without understanding how catchy such drinking song melodies might actually be. Then he is faced with a question himself. "A punt is sort of like a skiff … a watercraft. Not really good for natural rivers and the like, but in irrigation canals and such, its good for transporting short distances. But, punting is a sport as well. There are a few classes of the craft, but I prefer natural oars." A shrug at himself, "Not as popular as jousting, in fact I think there are more participants of the sport than fans."

Trying to picture the skiffs racing across manmade waterways seems like an odd concept to Bey. Why would anyone limit themselves from the beauty of the natural? Indeed, he always felt disoriented when not in the forest, the feel of grass under his feet. He'll nod politely. "Now jousting, I have seen, as you might imagine."

The drinks are brought over at some time, maybe orders are taken. Demos raises a finger to his chin, rubs at some whiskers. "Ah, that arises a curiousity in me. I am of the understanding you have a brother who is squired or knighted, as much as I could gather between you and your sister." Just a guess, he's mostly certain, and he'll ride with the assumption, "Has he taken to the sport as well, or is his pursuit of knighthood above the call to lance?"

Balius will smile, his eyes looking off. "Well, I can tell you that from the age of 6, I squired for my brother's dreams of being a knight. He is obsessed with the knighthood itself. The pageantry, the codes of honor, the ideals. He's a Sergeant now, so he has a strong call to duty and service." He will obviously be proud of his brother, then a smirk will cross his face. "But all I can ever think of is all those times I tried to climb a tree to get away from his impromptu joust tourneys." He'll laugh.

"Impromptu tourneys, or the need for a live quinton," ponders Demos curiously. Imagining himself if someone else wanted to have such improvision at his behest (expense even). "Some citizens I speak with are jealous of the life of nobles and knights. I know my place, I couldn't do what they do as required of them. Especially now with Hostiles on the surface of our worlds. I am not envious, but thankful for those willing to continue that tradition and even take it up anew. Just not for me, I don't know if I could lift a hand against anyone, one of us, one of them, anyone."

Pondering his friend's candid take on the reversion, he'll nod in some agreement. "I think they certainly lead different lives than we do. While I do think they could cut back on the extravagance, they serve a necessary role in society. And, as for the killing, I would certainly prefer to heal."

"The extravagance," nods Demos, catching that amidst Bey's response. A slow nod, he lifts his drink with one hand, uses the other to stir it with the straw or stirring stick or whatever it came with. "I don't go for any of that, the media, the attention. I mentioned philosophy to you before. I should confess, there is one I prescribe too. It is known as teleology. The basic theory is that it comes down to causes and goals. Everything we understand as humans relates to a cause or goal. I imagine that so many citizens feed into the extravagance only helps perpetuate the circumstance."

Balius will think about the concept briefly. He'll nod, filing another piece of information about his tutor. For the present, he'll keep his feelings on the matter to himself, eating the food that has probably arrived. "So, any luck on the mystery of the rock?"

"Other than it is a mystery," grins Demos, shaking his head at the thought. "I am curious if it is limiting normal instruments. Is the surface of rock hiding something from normal spectral analysis? The rock itself is something that could be produced but doesn't occur naturally, not that we're aware of. I'm curious to meet up again with Dr … Lady Elodie and her team. Perhaps between our disciplines, we'll discover something more. Back to cause and goal, I don't know what purpose the two might be brought together. Not a natural occurrence could lead to unnatural formation." But that is speculative at best and not a road Demos is ready to tread.

Nodding in a pensive agreement, Bey's thoughts will travel back to the lab and to his studies. "What does Lady Elodie specialize in?" He's curious at the partnership and finds himself surprised anytime he hears of someone interested in scholarly pursuits. While it should have stopped being a shock a while ago, he still is in awe of those who have been given the opportunities to strive to know more. He respects it.

"She is a medical expert, Balius," returns Demos, "She was something like a first responder, as when the rock was exposed, it appeared as an infectious disease of unknown origin. She and her team has put the two incidence together and traced the trail to the strange rock in the heart of her mountain. Other than looking for origin, I am working out a way to locate other potential sources of this, if it is part of the moon itself. So that no other mining unearths more harmful substances on Niveus." By way of explaining, but going back to medical expert, "Because of her expertise is why I would like to bring you onto this project."

Balius is paying close attention now, wishing he'd brought a pad or some note-taking device. He's logging ideas and theories in his mind, trying to see which questions need answering, which pieces need to fall in place. His face is deadly serious, though his foot-tapping indicates excitement. He'll return to the meal after a few moments, finishing the last few bites. "That sounds like quite the task ahead, Demos. And the food here is also delicious." He'll smile.

With a nod of his head, Demos pats at his whiskers with the cloth provided. "It is indeed, I don't know which appetite of yours is more ravenous, the quest for food or the quest for finding the honest, logical answer." Picking up an eating utensil again, he prods some of his food as if thinking what he wants to taste next. "I mean, starting at the base of this, it is natural, it would indicate it came from somewhere. Some star we're unfamiliar with, twins and tertiary's burning at verying levels, producing these substances and them finally mixing, then exploding. If that is the case, it could be the one in a billion chance that planted it as a fragment long before our arrival. If its the moon itself, wandering through the system, stuck in orbit around Occulus, well, I fear that someone could some day figure out to mine it and use it as a weapon itself."

Smiling at the observation, Bey will think back to his homelife. "Ma would always suggest to me that food wasn't a competition to see who could finish first." As the discussion becomes more serious, the young intern's face will increase in worry. "So, not only do we need to ascertain the where and the what, we must discover the how and find a balance against it."

Grinning at the idea of food and a competition, Demos shakes his head only in mirth. But at the worry and curiosity, he nods, "Indeed, what and where are at the forefront. The rock itself is quarantined for safety and embedded. If we discover enough of the what, we can figure out where. Either natural occurrence, or calibrate equipment based on instrumentation to locate more if it exists. Then, for myself, the how becomes important simply to know if we can expect more, should we look for more on other moons, or is it some byproduct we should be aware of in our own efforts to master the resources we have."

"Of course," he'll say in agreement. "The last thing we need is some potential bio-weapon roaming around disguised as asteroid debris." After a moment, he'll switch gears. "So, is there any additional paperwork you need from me…I realize yesterday things got…sidetracked."

"No Mr. Balius, I think you'll make a perfect intern," says Demos in quick response, "Only, the official sort of things, identification, forms of money transference you prefer, the legality of it, so no one is breathing down my neck for under the table transactions. Once we get that squared away, you'll have full access in the lab to all the programs and the data files."

At a severe loss for words, the youngest Quellton will search his vocabulary, wondering what he could say. "I can't even begin to thank you enough…for everything…and you continue to make generous offers. I hope to ensure you don't regret any of it!" Oath issued, Bey seems more satisfied, though still overwhelmed at the generosity of his mentor.

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