05.26.3013: Lost In The Static
Summary: As the crowds migrate from Landing to the Ring and the Navy mobilizes, Nitrim, Ariana, and Blessed talk about recent events.
Date: 26 May 2013
Related: 05.26.13 Event: The Tournament Feast
Ariana Nitrim Blessed 

The Ways of the Ring - The Ring
As one of the major Ways hubs on the Ring, this domed circular plaza possesses two dozen or so graceful archways of varying sizes. This particular hub is primarily for personal travel instead of freight which requires far larger archways. They are constantly active, glowing as individuals arrive and depart the Ring. The Ways station itself is quite simple with little flare or flourish, emphasizing the typical functionality of the Ring. It is floored in polished metal tiles that create a spiraling moisaic at its center. High above are hexagonal transparent composite panels that create the perfectly sealed dome above, supplying a spectacular 180-degree view of the stars and the glowing planet of Oculus.

Leading out of the Ways hub and into the circular Halo surrounding the spherical heart of the Ring is a large rounded corridor with a transparent arched ceiling. Crawler carts are often seen puttering along, ferrying people from the Ways to the Halo.

26, May 3013

With all of the chaos and commotion abound, the Ring, too, is being filled up with naval officials and fleeing nobles and citizens alike as everyone prepares for war. Following closely behind her sister, Ariana takes pause to get a better grasp of everything that is now happening around her. The waypoint of the Ring looks so surreal now, with the youngest Larent daughter's face being plastered on a few video screens and help kiosk terminals that have not switched over to the H.N.N. news station. "I wonder how far out the attack occured." She says absently to Nitrim, who just happens to be traveling with her oddly, instead of returning to his own home.

Of all of the people who would be sweating the issues of what have happened, Nitrim is not one of them. Despite the glowing Awakened, himself one of them, he's been rather quiet for most of the trip to the Ring. He's left his opened bottle of wine back at Landing, and instead is travelling alongside Ariana, leaving behind a trail of cigarillo smoke to mark his passing. The people are many, which forces him at times to walk sideways and brush shoulders with Ariana to avoid connecting with another pedestrian.

In short…the crowds were like intermission at the tourney.

"The further out the better." Nitrim replied, his voice low and smokey; the kind of voice that would recommend a good bourbon. "What I can't disconnect is the connection to the Awakened. We're no longer feeling things on accident. Something's connected and I can't tell what just yet." He looks over to her, eyebrow lifting. "Are you afraid?"

Madame Blessed Dragomir has emerged from the Halo in this Ways Hub to do nothing more than watch the incoming officers, knights, and men-at-arms. Her warm, chocolate-colored eyes grace over those who come — and even some who go — as she nurses on a cigarette that produces its own spicy-scented smoke. She glances toward the Awakened and his Larent companion with a slight lift of her brows, particuarly at the former's words. She takes a pull from the coffin nail, breathing it out her nose like that of a drake. "They know we are here," she says in response to Nitrim's own musings. "That is the connection."

Perhaps, only now realizing that Nitrim was trailing behind her as she made her way to the Ring, Ariana looks back at him from her place near one of the windows. "Lord Nitrim, were you here all along?" Still dressed in attire fit for the royal festivities held just moments ago, the young Larent noblewoman is draped in a fashionable gown, the hem pooling and trailing upon the floor behind her with each and every of her steps. Thanks to technology, the rich hues of cyan, purple and white shift upon the fabric of her gown, giving it a look of an Aurora Borealis blend. Even her hair is done up, fashioned with flowers in colors to match the different shades of her gown.

Swerving on her heels, Ariana asks of the Khournas noble, "You're an Awakened?" She is obviously surprised, "What exactly happened? Were you at the feast too? The Awakened all began to… awaken at once. Their eyes glowing, their auras burning brightly." Though she may be filled with panic, her tone come out rather even-toned as if she were holding this fact back. She then quickly turns to Blessed, hearing the woman's voice speak up so suddenly, "The Hostile..? Are they Awakened as well?" Perhaps as an after thought to the man's question, however, she returns to Nitrim, "Afraid? Perhaps. Alarmed, very much so."

Nitrim nods absently to Ariana's question. Yes, he /has/ been here all along. Sneaky man he is, his passing tends to go unnoticed from time to time, which is why he wasn't seen often at the tourney. Just like that, he piggybacked along behind the Larent entourage on his way to the Ring, and has slipped in amongst them. "Yeah, I'm an Awakened." He replies to her, ashing the cigarillo behind them without a care. They have people to clean these things up. "Everything came alive and I'm starting to understand a dream that I thought I alone had was…something too many of us had."

He looks over Ariana's shoulders to her other side, where Blessed is. His sleepy-looking eyes sharpen. "I don't know about the Hostile having Awakened. Either they didn't before and they do now, or there's something we don't understand about the gift. I'm not waiting to see how this shakes down. If I can hear them, feel them, see them from here…I want to know. They affected me. I need to know why."

"Hardly," Blessed answers the young noblewoman. "They live in this galaxy with lungs, hearts, bones, muscle all made from machines. Their priests are merely minds downloaded into a hard drive that walks around on spider legs of servos and metal. You cannot Awaken beings such as them." She steps toward the pair now, her airy gossamer dress giving the illusion of nebulous clouds. She glances toward the crowds that continue to move toward the Halo before she settles her attention on Nitrim at first. "So, you are of those who believe that our dreams are being infiltrated by the Hostiles themselves?"

Ariana says nothing for good or bad about this revelation that Nitrim is one of the Awakened. She merely nods to the answer of her question. If this were any other day, she may have commented on the 'littering' that the Khournas lord does, but this is today. And today, while she may have noticed the ashes, is not a day to bring up such trivial things. "What did it feel like? It was like, at one moment, all of the Awakened just blossomed. Did you feel anything touching your conscious?" She knows only a little about the Awakened, herself, not being one. "I need to check up on my Lord Brother. He is an Awakened too." With that words, it almost looks as if she would turn and hurry away, following the path which her sister had taken just moments ago, but for the time being, she stops and listens. She hears everything that Blessed has to say.

"I'm one of the ones that believes that downloaded minds with spider-legs have no logical tie to my body and soul. I don't care so much about whether or not we're dreaming the same thing. What I care about is why we did that at the same time, and what the connection is." Nitrim says flatly, turning to walk sideways once again to avoid another pedestrian. "If they can make me dream, what else can they make me do? If that dream was a warning…then from where? The gods?" He snorts a small cloud of smoke, shaking his head.

When Ariana stops, so does Nitrim. He cranes his neck over the crowd, giving his six foot frame a little leeway over the crowd. Not seeing what he's been looking for, he turns his attention to Ariana and looks down to her eyes. "It was powerful." He says directly, with an air of finality. "It's always euphoric, terrifying, invasive…addictive. It's personal." His lips crease into a bitter smile. "This one wasn't my dream. It was ours or theirs. So, it opens questions; questions that lead to vulnerabilities."

As Ariana asks her questions, she finishes what is left of her dark-papered cigarette. The butt seems to disappear with a simple motion of her hand. She glances toward the Khournas Lord with a slight incline of her chin. "I do not believe they are making us dream, my Lord," Blessed offers him. "We are seeing things that they do not want us to see." Though she does give the pair a bit of space as it may be she is invading a conversation she may not be welcomed in.

Ariana might like a touch envious of everything Nitrim says regarding his experience as an Awakened, no matter how frightening or terrifying some of this experience may be. Uncertain of what more there is to say, a thought does come to mind now. "Will the Awakened continue to dream this dark dreams? And will they all come true? I do wonder why all of them lost control of themselves at one time. These dreams, I heard they were prophetic. Is there really a connection, a bind, between all of the Awakened to one another?" She asks this of Blessed now, for the woman seems to oddly have all the answers. Nevertheless, the Larent woman's posture remains tall and rigid and every so often her gaze will follow the direction of one naval unit or other as they rush off to do their duties.

"And if we're seeing things that they don't want us to see, we could very well be the weapon and the target all in the same." Nitrim replies to Blessed, eyes back over to her. Slowly, he shakes his head as if peeling through layers of his own thoughts as if they were an onion. His hand brushes through his short, blonde hair and he opens his mouth to speak to both of them. "If there was any question before, I wouldn't doubt it now. I've dreamt things that have come true, and have forgotten dreams I knew I hoped wouldn't come true. This dream was important, no doubt, and we all had it."

Blessed inclines her head toward Ariana as she poses the questions, providing genuine regard to the noble before she speaks. "It was Edward Taelith who is said to have the first prophetic dream. He brought to the First King a vision that was Haven's salvation. It is said that he saw in a terrible nightmare the complete annihilation of Hera at the mere order of Admiral Lee, and following that, he had yet another dream where we all took up sword and virtue against the terrible mechanical force and saw them slain, beaten into the ground under the hooves of monstrous beasts, and a flag flew high with the symbol of Haven in victory." The Seer offers the young Larent a softer smile now, her ageless features warming just slightly. "Our dreams are not always dark… I remember dreaming of warmth and clouds and prismatic light the night before the youngest Orelle was born. But when there is dark on the horizon, we always see it."

Then the dark-skinned woman regards the Khournas Lord, and he too is given a gentle bow of her chin before she speaks. "It was important, my Lord… the Hostiles have returned, and we, for a moment, saw their savagery through their eyes. We felt their hatred. We know that they will stop at nothing to see us destroyed, and therefore we must stop at nothing to see them done so first."

"I do wish someone would dream the outcome of this new event and let the rest of us in on this secret." Ariana says in a far too light tone for the situation. "While there is very little that I can contribute to these efforts, I will be lending my skills as a medic for those in need when the time comes." Absently, she turns once more to peer out one of the large windows in the vicinity, when she states, "I wonder who all was lost. Someone I knew. A close friend. A co-worker, perhaps." After what could be considered a long, quiet moment, the Larent lady eventually turns to look upon those gathered once more, her face a mask of neutrality, though there is a clear sign of tension that can be seen within her cold eyes.

Nitrim Khournas doesn't have the confidence that Blessed shows, at least he doesn't show it openly. As she speaks to him, his half-lidded eyes watch her closely, only to rise and fall with his inevitable nod. "We've seen, yes. They're not coming to provoke." He slips the cigarillo back between his lips and the end flares as he takes a drag.

As Ariana slips away, his gaze trails from Blessed to her, and he follows her to the viewport. His hard, piercing gaze scans the starfield in silence while he listens to her. His lips flatten and he presses a black-gloved hand to her upper arm in sympathy for the briefest of moments. Sympathies amongst the nobles were not often overt and for others to witness. "When the time comes, you'll serve your people well. Have comfort in that."

"May They Guide You, my Lady, and may you find peace," Blessed offers before she inclines her head gently. Her sombrous eyes consider the pair as they move slightly away, and not wishing to be a third wheel, the Awakened Seer begins to step away with the softest whisper of her gossamer dress.

"Of course, My Lord." Ariana speaks with a ghost of a smile forming on her lips, "That is what we nobles do. And I have trained many years for this moment, it would seem." Looking towards the Seer, she nods once at the woman's words. Her eyes then narrow in thought, as she relays, "I believe that my Lord High Father will be working with the navy. Do you know what efforts your own House will be doing to safe-guard ourselves from this incoming attack? There seems to be so much to do and it's a wonder on where to even begin."

Nitrim nods his head, though doesn't bow it, to Blessed the Seer as she starts to step away. "Yeah…and perhaps we will be in touch. We're all in the same web." He runs a tongue over one of his molars, glancing down to the cigarillo as if trying to decide whether or not he actually wants to continue smoking it. By the time he looks up again, Blessed is farther away than she was before.

"I'm not feeling anything. Maybe that's a good thing." He quietly confides to Ariana with a shake of his head. At least they're far enough away from the mainline traffic that he can't be heard over the din of voices speaking about the obvious turn of events. Once again, he brushes his hand through his jaggedly cut hair and looks over to her. "Like you, I'll probably have to wait to see what the decisions are made. Likely I will be sent out somewhere to aid in the fighting." He smirked, almost laughing at himself. There was something cynical about the man's sense of humor. "This wrecks everyone's calendar for the month…"

Ariana's ice blue eyes trail off after Blessed when the woman makes her quiet departure. "How does it feel to know that you are connected to all of these strangers? I find all of this just a little odd and somewhat disturbing." One of her brows now arches and she returns to look upon Nitrim directly with her piercing eyes. "Does it feel like a good thing? I mean, if you are used to feeling something, wouldn't you find this nothingness a little empty? Strange?"

Not expecting the young Khournas to follow her all the way back to Nubilus, Ariana, instead, lingers to continue with this discussion. She knows that there is a duty that must be done, but is curious all the same about everything else that is happening around them. "What weapon do you favor, Lord Nitrim?" She asks pointedly.

"The sword. My mind and awakened powers? Though if I could I'd prefer very large, very final bombs to take care of my problems, or some sort of magic that sets things back to where I can be idle." Nitrim replies, half-humored and half-blackened as he reaches to his face to scratch an itch just below his left eye. He turns to face her squarely, making the future of their conversation to be their conversation alone.

His hands clasp behind his back and a little of his guarded, imperial mannerism falls to something more informal. "Truth, Ariana? Nothing's strange to me anymore. Everything's murky and curious, and all of it is worth paying attention to. Being connected to the others, I don't think I'd trade it. Sure, it's odd and it's disturbing in ways, but in others it's like an umbilical; like being connected to another soul." He lifts his shoulder in a vague shrug. "Intimacy goes both ways. Sometime it's the open door that kills, and sometimes it makes everything worthwhile." He pauses. "Sorry, I don't mean to be vague it's just…it's like keeping a journal. Nothing's ever black or white, and it all makes better sense when we read it a second time."

"The sword, very much like my Lady Sister." Ariana considers, before she notes, "I shouldn't be all that surprised, your family is known for their martial prowess. You were sent away to train with other Awakened then?" Some of her own memories seem to stir, her bright blue eyes looking distant for a few seconds as she looks thoughtful. "For a time, my brother had issues with his own powers, or so I'm told. Much of this started before I was even born. It was very difficult for him to adapt, I think."

The youngest Larent child is known for her formality, but like earlier, with the ashes, she does not raise any concerns regarding any sort of informality on Nitrim's part. She is used to far less from certain Paramount nobles. Still, she listens intently, because what the man says now reflects on what her own brother goes through daily. With a gentle wrinkling of her nose, the young Larent then states, "I think I would be driven mad being that…. closely connected to someone. In such a spiritual way, too." She is a highly guarded young woman, who rarely lets her guard down, so all of this is just bizarre to her. "Though if you have felt this way all of your life, well, it just must be something that you are used to. Are you comfortable in your own skin now?"

Blessed leaves, heading towards the First Quadrant of the Halo [TH].

"I'm no night, but I know how to use one. It's exactly what my family does, but no…I received some training on the side. There were complications that I overcame." Nitrim shakes his head, bringing the cigarillo to his lips for another pull. "Then I was sent off for training. It's a long, all-too-personal story that isn't a bad one, not at all, just…probably better over a glass of wine than in the middle of a walkway."

Nitrim's cheek pulls into a wry look, one part awkward and one part tender. Lidded eyes blinking slowly, he brushes his free hand through his hair and adjusts his footing. "At…the risk of making this conversation awkward, I'll answer your question." He pauses, casting a lofted brow towards her, as if to say you asked for this. "Some people like the connection, as I said before it's intimate and addictive. When it gets to the point where you think it'll drive you insane, you can turn it into something else. It's a foreign, alien thing that is entirely yours to hold. But it's…" He narrows one eye, working hard to choose the right word. "Well, I imagine someday you'll be wed, My Lady, and maybe then you'll have something you'll experience that connection with. It's hard to explain how exposure can make you strong. As far as an explanation goes, that's the best that I can do."

Ariana simply watches all of the man's actions with a sharp attentiveness. In fact, she looks to be interested in hearing Nitrim's response to her questions, even when the tone he uses hints that she may not be all to comfortable or perhaps accepting of things that will soon be said. She does not dare utter a word through the entirety of the explanation, her features softening as she devours all of this information which she can. There is a lift of her brow at some point and then a wrinkling of her nose yet again, but she still does not utter a word until the very end.

And here, she finally states, "The bond between a mother and her child?" Releasing a thoughtful 'hmm', her face finally turning away to ponder further upon all of this, before she nods slowly. "Addictive, however, would never be a word that I would use." She turns back, eyes upon him once again. "Finding comfort in makes far more sense."

"Well, it's either that or run screaming from it, and studies have shown that denial doesn't make the Awakening go away." Nitrim turns, appearing beside her at a respectable distance. His gloved hands come down onto the railing in front of the viewport, which he leans forward against. Eyes back to the starfield, he speaks off into the distance. "When you've only got one direction to go, you commit to it."

The space beyond doesn't move. It doesn't shudder nor does it shift in any sort of revelation. Instead it simply is there, so large and vast in a way that makes them all little, temporary creatures.

"I imagine that you were looking forward to the feast." He says simply, half-recognizing his own reflection in the glass. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry your night was ruined by this turn. If I had any details on how this was going to end I'd tell you, but I'm optimistic. You'll get a chance to dance again, Lady Ariana."

Ariana does come to some undertanding on this Awakening phenomena, though even she knows that she will never fully comprehend all that it is to be Awakened. "I see. Was it a frightening experience to lose control of yourself, though? Like with all of the others? Why, I even saw Lady Soleil try to tear her claws into Young Lord Declan of Arboren when she Awoken. I would have tried to render him aid at that time, but we were in pure chaos." Tossing her head back now at something said, Ariana laughs lightly, lowering her chin ever so slowly, "That is truly optimistic of you, My Lord." One hand even gestures to her extravagant dress which she had purchased just for that occasion. "I'm sure that I'll find some use for this at some event in the near future." Not too near, of course, she wouldn't want to be caught dead wearing the same outfit to two socials. "And the music had started to become quite bland. The evening did start out well, with classical pieces being played. It was unfortunate that I didn't take that time to dance, but I am blessed to have heard the splendor of the live orchestra."

"I assure you they were quite prepared for the time that I lost control. All of us did, though, at some point or another. You're definitely right about that, and yes, it was frightening, but only in a way I'm sure you could understand. Everyone has dreams once or twice that seem all too real and force you to wake up thrashing. The only real difference is that when you're Awoken it's…far more destructive." Nitrim replies, cracking a grin and turning so that his hip rests against the handrail. He folds his arms and hangs there in a cocky lean, almost glad that the conversation has twisted away from the painful reality of what is about to hit them all in the face. "I liked the classical music, too. It takes far more to orchestrate than a simple band, and I'm a bit of a fool for strings."

It did feel odd to be standing here not far from the waygate to the Ring while the rest of the world continued to rush passed them both in their panicked fervor. It's not that Ariana isn't on high alert mode at the moment, but this conversation she has been pulled into has made her so curious about things that she may never experience. Things far more mysterious and powerful than anything she's ever known. With one arm crossed over her chest, the other is crooked at the elbow, resting upon the first while she taps thoughtfully at her lips, looking very much like a scientist observing some project in the making. "I do recall having such dreams before." Ariana then states, "Dreaming can be entirely trying, I think. And at times I would wake up exhausted after my mind's nightly journies. Sleep can be so difficult, I think." She then quiets down, looking more than a little surprised now, "You are a fan of classical music? Most of everyone who I meet tend to prefer the modern sounds, but I was raised on classical pieces. I do thank my Lady Mother for that."

"I like string pieces and piano pieces; chamber music, really." Nitrim replies, glancing over her shoulder thoughfully towards the ceiling in the distance. "It's not the only thing I listen to, mind you, but the larger and more complex pieces distract me too much. I like to think and I don't mind things being quiet. Classical puts me there when I need it to." He pauses, as if considering something. His eyes turn back to hers. "My family will want me to either return home or stay here for the evening. I should find a place to sleep sooner or later or head for the Ways."

"Oh? I am actually slowly learning how to play the piano. No synthesizers of any sort for me." Ariana says with a gentle lift of her chin, "Perhaps one day I will be able to play some of my favorite pieces. It is nice to know that some young nobles appreciate the finer things in life." Peering out at one of the corridors in the distance, the Larent maiden says in a wry tone, "Everyone here loves electronica and music of that sort. I don't mind it much and they have made electronical covers for classical music. So it's not all terrible." Her bright eyes then blink quickly, as Nitrim reminds her that the hour is growing late. Turning to face him, she looks thoughtful, "Do you think your family would even want you this far from home? The Ring and the Lashes may be dangerous. My Lady Sister suggested that I stay somewhere safer. The Sky Palace is always opened to you if you wish to reside as our guest, though I'm afraid that the household may very well be in turmoil after the news of the attack."

"Well, let's not knock electronica. If you've only been ballroom dancing you've never been to a good club. It has its places." Nitrim's head slants with his words, as if offering her a word of warning. There's enough fondness in his eyes for some of those darkly lit clubs to spell a few positive experiences there.

He pushes off of the railing and pulls up the sleeve of his jacket to look at the watch around his wrist. He blinks and turns his head to the side, brushing his thumb over one of his eyelids, perhaps growing tired. Conflicted temporarily, he bites the edge of his lip and considers her offer. "If my family has any issues with my movements they'll summon me back home. For thhe time being I have as much autonomy that I need, so perhaps I'll take you up on the offer. Though please, extend to your Lady Sister that if she needs you someplace safer, I'd like to return the offer and set aside a room in the Khournas domain for you. It's only fair."

A tiny little smirk tugs at the corners of Ariana's lips when Nitrim brings up clubs. "I live and work and school around the Ring. We have countless dance clubs here that play all sorts of electronica. I've more than likely gone to many of the best clubs that one can find here in the land of technology and science. It's fine, for a while, and it does get your heart racing, but I love returning to the simpler things." As if a full orchestra was a simple thing. Taking her first steps in the direction of the gate that leads towards her home, she keeps her tall frame half-turned towards the Khournas as she speaks, "Very well then, My Lord. If we weren't in a time of crises, I would give you a formal tour and you can take as many pictures of the beauties of the moon that your heart could ever desire. For all I know, however, we may be in need of your assistance if things get bad. Let us pray that this is not the case."

While walking, Nitrim turns to look at Ariana and lifts a curious brow to her. Her words about having him near if his assistance is needed gets a simmered reaction in the form of a dimpled, sly look. As if to say /we'll see/, he slowly lifts a shoulder and clasps his hands once again at the small of his back. His eye contact maintains just a few seconds longer before turning to the road ahead. "I'm pretty sure that in the land of technology and science, prayers don't get lost in the static…"

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