08.09.3013: Practical Philosophical Application
Summary: Balius and Demos talk about projects, discuss threats, delve into women.
Date: 9th August 2013
Related: Regarding death threats (Unpleasant Gift); Regarding the Plains trip (Just Choose)
Balius Demos 

Demos's Lab
White and clean, this is not much unlike other labs in the area. Floor, counters, walls and the lights themselves are radiantly white and well kept to say the least. Individual spaces along the perimeter for either lab techs or various experiments with the more expensive hooded equipment right down the middle. Mixed in the individual space are glass cabinets that either preserve cold or heat as well as storage for tubes, beakers, and the like. A few machines dot the surfaces at either end of the central hooded machine area, some circular in shape like centrifuges or simple tube holders in incubators that rotate, turn, twist and otherwise turn upside down.

There is a distinct office set aside along one side, shared with the glass cabinets like a bank where the office is not. Inside that office is a desk and personal shelf space. There is a window that looks out from the desk to the lab itself, it is a transition surface, going from black both ways, to one-way see through for the researcher, or clear both ways. An overriding feature all throughout the lab and office are rocks of various shapes and sizes. While a good half of them appear boring, there are enough that sparkle, shine, glitter and glow to make any gem dealer and rare rock collector jealous as well as account for a small fortune in itself.


Morning in the lab, Balius is at a holoscreen, typing away furiously. He's got a holotablet to his left and a phyiscal book to his write. The stablehand preferring the act of writing, he's scribbling notes in the book and on a pad next to it. He's got some form of caffeinated beverage and is wearing cloth shoes with his green tunic. At the moment, he seems oblivious to the world.

Swoosh, the lab door opens, sucking at the recirculating air in the lab by means of the high pressure inside and the lower pressure outside. After a week in the lab, its probably just noticeable, but a lot of the fume hoods involve brining in air to clean rocks, clear dust, etc. And the suction out of the hoods isn't as good as the incoming air through the nozzles. Barely detectable to a visitor not used to the environment, but enough that someone might realize another has arrived. That other is Demos, he comes in with a field satchel, it is plopped onto a work surface and he begins digging around. Seeing the younger man, he announces, "I've got it, just what we need." Then noticing the the screen, the typing, the coffee, the book, he ponders, "Long night? You're extra motivated, I think we should consider half of your 20 hour effort as reserved for your studies alone, on the books though. That way you're not squeezing in 40 hours here and loosing sleep between here and the stables."

Turning calmly around to see his mentor, Balius will look up with a nod. "What is it that we need?" The youth will consider the proposal carefully. "I believe that's more than equitable, but I'll probably keep the split more shifted towards practical work here. You gotta let me earn my keep somehow." He'll seem slightly relieved at the idea though. If closer examination is given to any of the screens or books, it's all related to patterns and models for outbreaks of various diseases.

"Earn your keep, yes, run yourself into the dirt though, no," grins Demos, though, he won't argue, he's just offering more study time as part of the offer. However, he'll reach into the bag and start withdrawing cannisters. They look like glass jars, but of a higher quality than those used for jam and preserves. Maybe 8 inches tall, several inches in diameter, and each labelled with various numbers. "Atmospheric samples," he says with a smile, "Plasma miners collected it. Based on ground samples, this system could produce enough hydrogen sulfide to make the atmosphere more explosive. Brigham imagines if we found a reagent to dampen the event, it could be feasible to mine an alternative energy source." That explains it all. With a couple in hand, as if he's going to share them, he comes over to look more at the screens and books, idle curiousity. "You know, I think you'll really need to meet Lady Elodie, I should send a message her way to let her know about you."

Eying the samples with caution, he'll ponder the various uses for another energy source. "So…rocks that carry disease and now rocks that ignite. Did I miss the waiver od liability form somewhere?" Balius will smile, not at all concerned about either danger and fairly confident he did sign such an agreement in the mound of paperwork. "Who's Brigham?" He'll ask as an afterthought. As for the discussion of Lady Elodie, "That'd be quite amazing, though I'm certain she'd probably find the talk of a novice dull."

"Dull, perhaps, I'm not sure, but mutual interest and if you're willing to let her offer criticisms, she might be good for recommendations down the road," says Demos, setting the cannisters down again. The numbers indicate varying depths of an atmosphere and other indicators of how it was collected. "A turn the cheek sort of shoe in. Networking with scholars is being able to take those with ego's. There's always the chance you'll get to critique one of their articles or proposals and get some revenge." He almost chuckles in that thought, but not with malice. "The rocks in this circumstance produce sulfiric acid that reduces the atmosphere. Its an environmental geologic concern. How long can the mining continue before the environment becomes unstable. I'm more curious if we can contain the uncontainable. Lord Brigham is the current eccentric student on his own agenda at the Academ. Rumor's suggest he might have a strong enough chemical background to solve this one. Its out of my hands, chemistry and the atmosphere."

Nodding in a bit of excited agreement, Balius will say "I would appreciate the opportunity to be critiqued, as you well know." He'll smirk slightly to himself, thinking of missteps in his logic flows and exposing himself to new ways of thinking. "Chemical background? So a Lord who knows his way around explosives? Sounds intriguing enough." Questioning something for a moment, "Demos, I need to show you something." He goes hesitantly over to his satchel and pulls out a dead bird, wrapped in tissue paper. It's eyes have been gouged out, and it's white body is marked with a black ink dot. "I received this last night."

"Yes, you should meet him," about the intrigue that is Brigham, "I was thinking on your way home, you might drop off the samples to him." Demos says that as if in passing, maybe thinking more on it, but the bird grabs his attention. "It came to you or the lab," he questions, in all seriousness. Then he slips, "Really, this is too far. Just becuase I found the gold deposits first, its no reason for Sern to hold a grudge this long." He says, jumping to the wrong conclusions all together. Then he catches that he just did that, instead looking curious at the young man, as if to verify whether it came to him in the lab, or elsewhere. Check sources, first rule, and he jumped it.

Looking at the question of gold deposits, Balius will wonder about his mentor. "It came to me out in the bazaar…who's Sern?" He'll nod his agreement to delivering the packages but is altogether distracted by their new topic of conversation. He'll move to save his progress on the screen and dog ear the page of his book shut.

"A colleague," says Demos, pausing a little after he just mentioned getting along with other scholars, "He was a year or two before me at the Academ, but I beat him in getting into Scholar Elan's lab. Ever since then, he's made everything a sort of competition. Going after the same funding opportunities, taking reviewer seats after he knows I'm interested in them. Its like he searches out field work I'm involved in and shows up, just to harass me. I swear, I think he hired those mercenaries that detained me on Ignis just to get at my source first before I could make my offer." Always to the point with Demos, then he says, "But he wouldn't know about you, I don't think. Neither would the smugglers. This is a curious twist."

"That's quite true…at least one would hope so." He'll seem pensive and serious. "There are some debts my family owes to some rather unfortunate characters…but it seems wildly out of the normal to send you a package first if that were the case." He's pacing now. "A mutilated apple and a dead pigeon…where would one even get such things, certainly not on the Ring?"

Cannisters forgotten, Balius is off the hook from being exploded, er, introduced to Brigham. Demos instead turns over apple and dead pigeon, "Depends. This is the trail could lead to an eviscerating spiral. Are they clues in themselves, or misleading, or purposefully misleading and in that gesture a clue once more. I would hate to say both pidgeons and birds come from trees, thus a stronger connection to Arboren. And yet, the Ring exists as the fruit of the moons, and like the pigeon, it opens communication between us all. The shared home of all those on the Moons of Occulus. Too far into the message, but we cannot deny they are some veiled threat."

Shaking his head,he's simply trying to see what they might be missing. "And you received tour package in Arboren while I received mine on the Ring…" Balius will seem frustrated that this problem is not presenting a ready solution. "But why send a confusing threat? If we are to comply with some demand, shouldn't that be made clear?…unless the point is to just cause worry and fear?"

A knuckle comes to rub at his neck, between thumb and knuckle whiskers are pinched, and Demos ponders it. "Perhaps the message is simple and we're over analyzing it as well." He rubs his head, a stab at a chuckle even, "Sending cryptic messages to science geeks, not a good idea. I'd ask Nithya, but I haven't seen her in awhile. Do you know anyone, these debtors maybe, not them, but associates. Someone who knows about these sort of things, crimes, people who have done time in prison or something?" He's grabbing for straws.

Balius will empathize with Demos' sentiments. "Outside the forests of the Arbor, I feel like you've met everyone I know…" He'll think about it. "I guess I could ask Sean? The guy seems like he'd have to know someone with less than savory connections." He'll smirk at the comment. "And yeah, maybe we should make a subtle return message?"

A nod from Demos, "There we go, Sean, a good start. After our last conversation, I wouldn't approach him about this, but you could." A simple thought, he then nods a curt nod once more. "A return message, we should make two, just to have them. One outside the lab, one for near your home. Let them know we won't be intimidated, that the law is on our side somehow. If it is either of our troubles, the sender will get the message while not realizing we don't know who they are maybe."

Looking questioningly at Demos "Sure, I'll talk to him. I'll come up with something for home." He'll seem to think that's settled for now. "Any leads on our biological rock?"

Shaking his head, Demos says, "Nothing as of yet. Lady Elodie had the festival to focus on. She is working on a team to solve the mystery. I had a few samples, but its not enough to work on. I don't think we have a way yet to take off a chunk of her rock, we'll have to see about ordering in some field equipment to work on location at Niveus I think now."

The aspiring academic will look up with interest, "So working on Niveus? Would I be allowed along? I've never been." As the storytelling affair is mentioned, Bey will give himself a mental face palm for not remembering his sister's performance, though he's certain he still wouldn't have gone had he rememebred.

A nod of his head, Demos responds, "Certainly, especially if field work is involved. I'd rather have you on this than any other assignment, will help with your own interests I imagine. And Lady Elodie, its her project, but I can bring in my own team once we get the clearance. If you like, take some time to visit." He ponders it himself, "I should of went to the festival to see what Una did with the sculpture. Next time, whenever the next one is." A shrug, he starts to remember the canisters.

Balius will sit back down, excitement pulsing thru his veins. "That'd be brilliant! And I'd certainly not embarrass you." He'll ponder the experiences ahead. "My sister read some poetry as well, but I must confess that I don't regret choosing the plains over the snow." He'll smile, reflecting to himself.

"Your sister is a poet, you brother is becoming a knight, and you left to," he says, then stops a moment, Demos amends, "Becoming a scholar." Then he moves over to print a few more labels that he wants added to the canister, tests he'd offer for the samples, but not wholly certain. "I think I'd choose the plains again as well, not too cool. But the snow of Niveus has its own charm. If you can get used to it, I suppose everyone thinks the same of Inculta, so I'm trying to be fair. How did those plains work out for you?" More of a grin, as if he knows nothing.

"I do strive to be a scholar that puts theory into practice mind you." He'll smile at the statement. "I'm certain each place has its own charms, but company can be irreplaceable." Noticing the grin, he'll give a contented smile "Let's say that the Plains have given me more per perspective on balance." The statement referencing earlier conversations, Bey will find himself enjoying his spot, this moment. A feeling of familiarity with those around him, an open series of opportunities ahead of him. He seems relaxed in his chair. "What about you?"

"I feel I am left with new potentials," says Demos regarding how he feels after their trip to the plains. "Lady Talynne and her family are good people. There are other potentials," without naming names at least, "That are the sort I am unfamiliar with. I've waxed philosophical and I apply that to a lot I do in my life. It involves ponder the cause of an event, or the goals we have put into something we do. This new potential challenges my core. As much as I seek out mystery in the world for the purpose of solving, this one I can never solve but must be content to enjoy the mystery itself, without an answer."

Breaking his usual decorum with his academic minded mentor, Balius will chuckle slightly. "Dude, Demos, you need to sit down with the lady for a drink and just chill, my friend." He'll seem to display the motion of 'chilling' by leaning back in his chair. He'll note a more logical follow up with "Sometimes philosophy ought to be tested through practical application."

Laughing a little, Demos nods, "You do know, that is how I met her. Drinking and chilling. Unlike my usual self, I didn't ramble on about nothing in particular. That's a bad habit of mine, if you missed it." A grin at himself, he moves the cannisters back towards the satchel. "I suppose some of my philosophy was tested on the Plains, it is proving beneficial to my ideas. And yet, its like one of those big mysteries, what if the mystery is the lure of it all to begin with, what if the answer is so simple, its all a let down in the end. I don't know, maybe I'm fooling myself. I should try another drink and relaxing, I'll text and ask her."

Smiling at Demos' response, "See? Just gotta make sure you don't miss the opportunities in front of you. You deserve to enjoy live, and I mean with people." He'll go back to his books.

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