You say "So, last we saw, Salathiel was ascending to his little false Heart, yes?"

Sariel says "Yep! With intent to Discovery-debrief, 'Haran-debrief (and apologize for the presumable destruction of his cel-phone), and then go Kathriel-hunting, in that order. [grins]"

arcangel suspects that yes, the celphone is a casualty of the chaos.

You say "Do you want to gloss those or play 'em?"

Sariel hmm. "I definitely want to gloss 'Haran. Discovery... I'm fine with glossing unless something other than 'Salathiel exposits, Mnason tells him to keep passing on data, Salathiel agrees and goes off to find Beth-haran' is likely to happen? [laughs] (Or, well, something more _important_ to play than that, anyway.) Kath-hunting I definitely want to play, unless he wouldn't find Kath at all within a vaguely reasonable amount of time, in which case I'd be willing to skip to when he _can_ find her. [grins]

You say "That's probably about what Sal will get from Mnason -- though if he asks, Mnason will admit that he had -some- idea of what was going on, from Lilith."

Sariel says "Sal would ask! And actually be mildly relieved that Mnason knew _something_, because You're Supposed To Keep Security Informed. [snickers] So."

arcangel hmmmms. "If it's _got_ to be Kath, that's probably going to be an in-game jump of at least a week -- unless someone's actively bleeding, so to speak, Kath is busy... dealing. With stuff. And ick. And stuff."

You say "He can probably get _some_ details off of Shelley and/or Carl, if he goes looking and will talk to them instead. Finding her _just_ to check in is unlikely to work unless you get an Intervention on a luck roll. (She's immersing herself in her Word to deal with what was going on for the past six months, mostly.)"

arcangel can probably skip ahead if she A) brb from the little GM's room... and B) has a little more fermenting time in her head.

arcangel come back, hees, and cracks her knuckles. Okay... Barring details that might get changed after Hiram-scene, I can probably manage...

<<Scene Start>>

Up the path, down the path, up the path, down the path, etc., etc., etc., for some several days unto a week. And, finally, a somewhat exasperated Shelley saying, "*I* don't know! *I* haven't seen her! Why don't you just wander around for a few hours and if you find her you find her! Right? Isn't that how it works with Creation?"

Salathiel laughs, and makes placating gestures. "I think so? Can't hurt, anyway. Sorry to bother you!" He smiles, and does the wandering-around thing, yes.

The paths in Kathriel's home... Hey, would this be her Cathedral now? No wonder she moved out of the Halls of Creation... They're wider, taller, in many places. Also, down this path, rather a bit more disturbing. Handprints chase along the wall, driven fury-deep in stone the way someone else might have shaped clay or mud. The top seems to have stalactites like fangs, trembling in the darkness above. There's an impression, at one point, of eyes peering down from a high niche near the ceiling -- and then a soft rustle as of someone moving away.

In the near silence, further down... A wet, smacking sound, like a hand on clay.

Salathiel keeps his hands in his pockets as he walks, with the occasional smile or greeting if he passes someone familiar. He probably doesn't, once he finds that particular pathway, though -- other than maybe the little watcher, who gets a sharp glance upward but nothing more. As he descends the path, his movements become quieter and more careful; it seems . . . appropriate. And then he lifts an eyebrow at the sound, and creeps closer to see what it is. .oO(If Shelley's suggestion actually _worked_, my luck is getting Chinese-interesting again.)

There's an archway, around that turn. Inside... Huge, rough chunks of stone -- some squared off blocks, others as if ripped from the mountain. Tree-sized cylinders of wood, with and without bark. What is probably half a cliff's worth of clay. Chunks of glass, clear and colored and opaque, taller than he is.

The ceiling is studded with half-shaped gargoyles and abstract reliefs. ...Someone may be up there, in the darkness beyond the lightstones.

The wet noise comes from further into the impromptu maze of sculpting materials.

Salathiel pauses a moment -- watching the ceiling -- to consider. On the one hand, this isn't exactly an _inviting_ place. On the other hand, if Kathriel had homicidal impulses toward him in general she would've started snarking at him earlier (probably), and the fact that he can get in here at _all_ is suggestive. . . . Well, it can't hurt to keep going; at worst, he'll dead-end along the way, or apologize for bothering Kathriel and leave again. (Or apologize to whomever's in there. But he's betting on Kathriel, if only because there isn't a lot of _Servitor_ traffic here.) He smiles brightly at the possible Someone, and then keeps going, watching his step as he does.

There are splotches of dried clay on the floor, some paints, chips of marble and granite, sawdust... And eventually, he turns a corner and...

The first part is the Word-aura. For a moment, it is inconceivable that the air itself is _not_ twisting around Kathriel. His form feels mutable, like some clay or putty, that might slump or change near her.

The second is how she's ragged-winged, with mud and dust nearly caking her black feathers. Her ebony hands are gloved entirely in a reddish-tawny clay that matches the lump that's chest-high in front of her, and ocher and gray streak the rest of her body and clothes.

He can't see her face; she's got her hands moving on the wet clay, shaping... _something._ Something not terribly pretty. Perhaps how a Shedite looks just before it explodes.

Salathiel stiffens slightly at the aura, exerting will and focus to resist the effect. (It probably helps, a little, that he _has_ had the same form for so long; he _isn't_ used to thinking of himself as mutable, so there's no subconscious aid of the Sculpting-effect. Although that's probably negligible if Kathriel's unshielded. So.) He winces slightly, noticing the raggedness; mess is one thing, but _that_... Well. At worst, she tells him to leave. He takes another moment to consider, and unless Kathriel shows some sign of noticing him, he pulls a hand out of his pocket -- and covers his mouth and coughs, deliberately.

At the cough, Kathriel digs her fingers into the mess, and slumps over it, her wings stiff for a moment before they settle limply and drag on the ground. The Word-aura, perhaps as an afterthought, dims to just a "normal" potent Word-bound's natural charisma. "Hi, Sal," she mutters dully, not turning around.

Salathiel asks, quietly, "Am I bothering you? I can go, if I am." (Because asking 'Is this a bad time?' doesn't exactly seem like the smartest question.) "Wanted to talk to you, but it's nothing urgent." He half-smiles, even if she's not looking.

Kath frees a hand from the clay (it squelches, with echoes of something nastier), and waves vaguely. "I'm not good company. Not going to kill anyone, though."

This doesn't seem to be a "go away." It's not terribly "come in for tea," either.

Salathiel considers a moment, then puts his hands in his pockets again and wanders closer. Until he's standing just behind Kathriel, if she doesn't seem displeased by that; if she does, he'll stop earlier. "I wasn't looking for that." He half-smiles again, studying the sculpture. "...General stress or new, specific stress?"

Kath glances over her shoulder at him, one wing shivering dangerously for a moment, before she deliberately stills it and looks back at the lump of clay. "Specific general stress," she says, flatly. "Lots of it."

Salathiel tilts his head at her. "...Want to talk about it, or be distracted from it?" Another half-smile. "I like to think I'm a good listener _and_ a good distracter, after all."

Kath laughs, shakily, starts to say something, and laughs again. "I... was just thinking _no one_ needed to know... But you probably already do. Ha. I don't know. It was bad." She squishes her hand into the clay, making a fist and twisting. "Got him. I did that much. It wasn't nothing. Not for nothing."

Salathiel resists the urge to resonate. Bad idea, Salathiel. Even if you were an Elohite, bad idea. He pauses a moment, and then shifts a bit to the side -- not really moving much _farther_ from Kathriel, but moving to a position where she can watch him or not watch him more easily. And then settles carefully to the floor, crosslegged, ignoring any clay or dust that might get on his clothing. He takes that time to translate -- and then _winces_ at his best guess. "Ah. So I take it my partner's namesake _did_ guess right." A pause, then, conversationally, "That was really really stupid -- if she did guess right, I mean -- but even if you hadn't gotten -- the Prince? -- the, ah, experience isn't _useless_. Or at least that's why _I'm_ not still dripping guilt over my own misPlaying."

Kath chuckles, darkly, a wing trembling again with some suppressed emotion as she watches him. "No. If I hadn't gotten him, it would have been..." She thinks. "All right. _Almost_ worthless."

Salathiel folds gloved hands in his lap, and tilts his head. "If you'd _died_, it would've been worthless. If you'd broken and stayed that way -- or let _them_ figure out how to put you back together -- it would've been worthless. If you'd managed to Fall, it probably would've been worthless. Instead . . . you get to trump or commiserate over Loyalty horror stories; this is useful. You get whatever information you could pick up while you were there; this is useful. You get -- and I have to be Habbalite for a moment, it's in the contract -- the 'what doesn't kill me makes me stronger' effect, which is annoying in the _process_ of not-killing, but useful afterward. _And_ not only did you 'get him', you've got another, bigger stone to throw at the Game's reputation around here. On -- what, six months of being a Superior? -- you managed to hide your coronet from the Game, get into the most secure prison in Hades, survive, _and break out again_. Admittedly, it's not a feat anyone _else_ is likely to match, but..." The wry grin that appeared at his 'Habbalite moment' shifts to something more amused, reflexively.

Kathriel slumps down, trailing her hands down the sculpture so that there are deep runnels left in it. She leans her cheek next to it. "A year and a half. Of being a Superior. I've been elevated since I agreed to the damn thing."

Salathiel says absently, "Still, same principle," and adjusts the cuff of a glove, watching her. "Agreed?"

Kathriel says, a bit muddledly from being pressed against her chunk of clay, "If I hadn't taken him out of play..." She twitches her wing. "If I hadn't gotten him, it wouldn't have worked. He's got to be distracted. Weakened."

Salathiel frowns slightly, and does the mental math. About a year and a half ago realtime would be around when she started... "--Distracting Asmodeus or Andrealphus?"

Kathriel smiles -- at least with the half of her face that isn't pressed to clay. It's sharp and Malakite. "Asmodeus."

Salathiel notes the smile, and isn't particularly fazed by it, considering who he thinks it's aimed at. "Mm, just making sure." He half-grins. "So am I wrong in assuming this ties into the Lust-game you've been running?"

Kathriel continues to smile, dark and feral. "It's vital."

Salathiel tilts his head again, and looks thoughtful. "Would it be a waste of time if I asked about detail? Because we can go back to the Loyalty play if it would be, I don't actually _need_ much detail to talk about that if you don't want to give detail." Another, wry-amused smile.

Kathriel continues to smile, sharp and... the Word-aura is heavier. Not hands moving pieces, not hands shuffling playing down cards... But hands that shape, and form, and sculpt. She dims it again, with a shiver of wing. "What do you think's happening, then?"

Salathiel twitches the Geases around his wrists a bit straighter, at the aura, but manages to keep a handle on his other tics. (...Mostly since his twitch is that Sculpting is close-but-not-quite, rather than augh-get-it-away. And _that_ realization he files away in the back of his head, for later poking at.) His expression goes abstracted at the question, considering phrasing. After a moment, he says, "If it was a matter of killing Lust, Asmodeus might actually hold your coat while you do it, or at least look the other way -- _if_ you hadn't just gotten his attention again. So the victory condition isn't that. Poaching from the organization -- same problem, he'd hold your coat because we _expect_ losses from Lust, the Heart-security over there's _hideous_ by our standards. You'd be targeting Andrealphus to distract him, not Asmodeus." Another brief pause, to check the last option over for logic holes, and then he blinks, eyebrows lifting. "'Haran's going to _hate_ it if he moves in, you know. I take it the argument with Eli wasn't entirely faked?"

Kathriel smiles, sharp and sharper, and her aura is the blackness of her Choir. "To slay evil... To slay Creation's greatest foe... I don't have the power to destroy him. But to Sculpt him..." Her fingers dig into the clay again, the way another Virtue's might wrap around the hilt of a sword. "His Word hurts him, again as it did before. And what happened last time it hurt him so, hmmmmm?"

Salathiel interlaces his fingers, watching her thoughtfully. "He ran away from it. I wouldn't be surprised if Lilith could Free him from his Word, but wouldn't redemption be too much like running back to the _first_ thing that hurt him?" (Because it's Kathriel, and even if the idea of _Andre_ redeeming doesn't parse, the idea of her _not_ aiming for redemption parses less.) "Of course, he wouldn't necessarily have to, to come here, but I doubt he'd be willing to give up the coronet even if he gave up the Word. An Archangel, maybe, but not a Prince."

Kathriel whispers, "He can change his Word. And once he changes his Word... It. Is. A. Start." Her hands dig into the clay. "Lust will be _gone._"

Salathiel looks abstracted again. "...and moving here _would_ facilitate long-term -- Sculpting, wouldn't it?" It's not really a question. "Emphasis on the long, admittedly, but--ah--what's the line, patience is a virtue?" Another, wry smile.

Kathriel smiles at him, something hot and mad in her gaze -- and something cold and manipulative, at the same time. "Exactly. And Shelley says... he has been asking after me. He has been _worried._"

Salathiel blinks, eyebrows lifting. "Oh, _that's_ progress. No _wonder_ he might shed the Word..." He pauses, and then adds, "And I'm biting back the lecture on risk-reward ratios right now because if you didn't work it out _before_ you started all this -- well, I doubt anything from me would matter now." He smiles, brightly. "I'm just in the habit of poking _myself_ with it before I go after the _big_ gambles. Not that I've ever done anything _this_ big..."

Kathriel snickers, just a hint fey. "Scarred Elohite," she accuses lightly. "It's crazy, but it's working. Dirty clay, dirty clay with blood and sin, but who better to shape it? Who better to build the kiln and add the fire again." She pauses, and in a slightly more normal voice says, "Yeah, Gabriel's visited me a few times. Shelley could've shown you the footprints in the bathroom before Belial torched the place."

Salathiel chuckles at the accusation. "I still have that figure, you know." He purses his lips at the metaphorics -- and then _laughs_, quiet but honest, at the explanation. "I saw them, yes! Well, nothing _wrong_ with the occasional bout of crazy if the crazy seems like it's a fair risk." He fox-grins.

Kathriel says, closing her eyes and slumping against the clay, "And sometimes, you have to get crazy stupid, because it won't work, otherwise. Crazy stupid twice over, but... No, no one'd expect me to _let_ myself get captured. I just. Had. To endure. Till he thought. He could take me. His defenses down. Just enough." She shudders, her Word-aura and Choir-aura flaring raggedly.

Salathiel hesitates a half-beat -- but, well, he's been considering this, and in context... He reaches out to touch Kathriel's hand (or wrist or arm, if the nearest hand is buried in clay), lightly. "Which is smarter than what I did, even if we both got out. None of it was _worthless_, Kathriel."

The touch on her forearm... It's very close to cel-sex for a moment, the boundaries of his Forces blurring that close to her, until she snaps down on her shields again and it's just an urge to knead and shape.

Kathriel opens her visible eye to look at him. "You didn't walk into evil, and stay your hand," she whispers, in some weird mix of pity, sympathy, and raw pain.

Salathiel was expecting--something along those lines, if not the specifics, though his eyes shade heart's-blood red and his other hand fists in his lap as his mental bracing is tested. The touch on her arm becomes firmer, when she reshields and doesn't pull away. "No. But you didn't have a choice if you were going to pull the gamble off, did you? And now you know what it's like in there. And you have whatever else you could learn while you were there. And _nothing will ever come /near/ that again_." His voice is a bit rough, a bit more Helltongue-accented than usual on the last line, though the truth-tense doesn't change -- and when he realizes, he blinks, shakes his head, and squeezes her forearm, tone shifting back to the quiet seriousness of before. (Though his irises stay the same shade.) "It's only worthless if you let it be, and you're not the type to let that happen, are you?"

Kathriel sighs. "No... And I did get him. His form... He'll have a hard time un-doing what I did, beyond the damage. And I got... people out. At least one of them wanted it, I think. And he's distracted. He's lost his captured Lilim. The cells are emptied."

Salathiel blinks at the last, and whistles quietly. "_Definitely_ not worthless." His free hand twitches slightly, but he forces it still, uncurling the fingers and flattening it on his knee. (While filing that away, and willing the sudden skin-crawling sensation between his shoulderblades to shut _up_. ...the latter doesn't really work, but at least he can keep it off his face.) "I'm not arguing that you won't have scars, or that you shouldn't have them," he adds quietly. "If I was -- I wouldn't be here." He halfsmiles. "On a number of levels. But scars have their uses too, and I'm _not_ saying that just to be Habbalite about it. And if you got the scars pulling off something like _that_ . . . well. Yes."

Kathriel nods, smearing clay even more on her face, but closes her visible eye again. A tear leaks there. "That's... what I kept telling myself. That the greater evil... No way to take the greater evil, if I broke. No way. No _chance_ at him. No _distraction_ for him. No freedom for anyone..."

Salathiel squeezes her arm, carefully. "That's what you have to do. Because not a lot of people _can_ do it, so if you can manage, you _have_ to. Because otherwise it _is_ worthless. But managing -- being _able_ to manage -- is--more valuable than diamond." Another wry little smile. "To abuse a metaphor."

Kathriel chuckles a little. "Yeah. I'll... It'll help. Maybe not today, though. Maybe not for a while. So... so much evil. Couldn't stop it. Couldn't even kill as many as I wanted, breaking out..."

Salathiel squeezes again. "It takes awhile to recover, even if you _could_ concentrate on it while you were there," he says matter-of-factly. (And is pleased by the chuckle. It's a good sign!) "Especially under your circumstances. But -- while they were working on you, they _weren't_ working on someone else. And you got more out than anyone else has ever managed. And you killed some of them -- and you'll know the rest, if you ever find them again. It's all little things, but you _have_ to add them together." He pauses, then adds, half-smiling, "And you at least have someone you can talk to about it -- whenever you need it -- without having to _give_ them scars in the process. Mm?"

Kathriel nods into the hunk of clay again. "Yeah. Might tell Andre. Karma. Not... ready to talk. Yet. So... damn cold. Manipulating. Shaping." Her wings shudder again, and her shields thin out, letting that shifting, boundary-mutable feeling come back, ebbing and flowing like molten glass twisting on the glassblower's tube.

Salathiel murmurs, "It's what the Clubs are there for. But it can be--useful, in its ways. Because their shapings leave scars, and scars are useful. And can be incentive to other useful shapings. Like mine." He squeezes again. "You don't have to talk till you're ready. You don't even have to talk about all of it at once. Tell him when you're ready, if you think it'll be useful then, and -- until then, if I can help at all . . ."

The tear tracks wet down Kathriel's clay-spattered cheek. "Not just them. Him. Me." Her voice catches.

Salathiel tilts his head, sliding the gloved hand down her arm to her shoulder. (Not breaking contact at any point, though, unless she shakes him off.) "You?"

Kathriel whispers, to Salathiel, to the clay, to both, "My Word. His Word. So. Damn. Close."

Salathiel pauses. And then says, calmly and conversationally, "So is War, you know, and the War. The Wind, too, just not in the right ways for me. Sword's got potential in that direction, the dissonance conditions are already the same. Never spent much time around Media -- I don't think Liriel counts -- but we've been using its tools for _how_ long now, I'd be surprised if the overlap didn't stick. There are Lust-Games too, while I'm at it -- that'd be _why_ 'Haran's going to be pissed when Andre moves in; she _hates_ the 'Game-Lilim in Catholic schoolgirl and secretary Roles' stereotype. Probably Stone ones, it goes with the teamwork metaphor. And there's Freedom in Playing within the Rules. And we make Trades, and enforce Judgments, and burn like Fire, in our ways. And the Word-resonances are completely separate from the fact that Asmodeus is a grudge-holding bastard and he can only own you if you let him. You didn't let him."

Kathriel giggles a little, eyes still closed. "No... But we shape. We use. Pieces are clay. Bonsai souls. Don't move off the square. Snip. Nothing but what _he_ wants." Her voice goes whispery again. "I could do that. I could. I do. Where's the difference?"

Salathiel tilts his head, watching her. "He does it to Play. You do it -- for its own sake. For the art's own sake. With less waste, I imagine, and better effect -- not all his 'sculptors' are that skilled, much less _talented_, though I'd be surprised if none had potential. The means don't _define_ anything, you know. Otherwise the entire Choir of Elohim wouldn't exist."

Kathriel says, "But we still do it. And it's so close. I felt it, when he was..." She breaks off, her muscles tensing, wings shuddering upward again, and the shields around her Word-aura fraying.

Salathiel braces himself as best he can, and continues to not let go. "So why is that a bad sign for _you_? _Redemption_ is sculpting, isn't it? At worst -- you know how to do the same thing, which means you know how to _undo_ what he does without just breaking the result, and _you_ of all people should have an idea how many Renegades get cycled through the Halls of Loyalty for remodeling as 'good little Gamesters'. Imagine being able to _fix_ them instead of having to throw away whatever potential drove them Renegade in the first place. And you _also_ know that if you do it for the wrong reasons, it's _dishonorable_. Which doesn't matter to him, but it matters to _you_, doesn't it?"

"I know that," she whispers. "Still so. Damn. Cold. Close. Never knew..."

Salathiel says, firmly, "Well, now you _do_ know. So _don't get cold about it, Kathriel_. _That's_ more important than throwing away a set of tools because a Demon Prince happens to know how to use them too."

"Yeah." She manages to produce a faint heh. "Still hurts, though."

Salathiel grins at the heh. And shifts position until he's a bit closer, and can drape an arm loosely around her shoulders. "Of course it does. The Halls of Loyalty are designed to go after your _soul_. That sort of pain doesn't go away without a fight -- and if it does, that's a very, very bad sign. But it'll fade eventually, if you don't let yourself drown in it."

Kathriel "hehs" again, moving a wing to drape against his back in return. "Are you the shoulder angel or the shoulder demon, Sal?"

Salathiel doesn't object to the wing-draping! And says, cheerfully, "Neither! I'm the good shoulder Gamester; the bad shoulder Gamester needs to be gagged and dropped off a cliff. For a start!"

Kathriel giggles. "I should have you take a look at my new Djinn."

Salathiel _grins_ at the giggle, and inwardly marks off a point. "Hmm? Anyone I knew?"

Kathriel says, "I have no f... no idea. He's too damn good at his job. Sort of a lion porcupine scorpion manticore thing. So I took him when I left."

Salathiel _laughs_. "Oh _dear_. Doesn't sound familiar, though I admit I've _heard_ more Gamesters than I've _seen_... Mmm, a meeting would be interesting! Possibly Chinese-interesting, but, it happens."

Kathriel starts clawing her way back to standing -- literally clawing, as her fingers leave deep holes in the mass of clay in front of her. "C'mon. I'll show you. He's called Othenial."

Salathiel pulls his arm back to let her stand, pushing himself to his feet -- and checking to see just how much clay and dust he's picked up. Sigh. At least he can clean it up eventua--and then he chokes on strangled laughter. "...I _do_ know that name but I doubt he knows mine. So _that's_ why he was in Habbalite classes! Oh _dear_."

Kathriel leans on the clay that looks... a _lot_ like an exploded Shedite, really. Her wing stays draped over Salathiel's back, almost leaning on him that way. "Oh?""

Salathiel snickers. "Remember what I said about the Loyalty-time being useful? I, ah. Nobody thinks you're listening when you're screaming. More or less." He waves a hand vaguely -- and will slip the other arm around Kathriel's waist, if she doesn't object or throw it off. "My old teacher brought a couple proteges to the Halls while I was there. Othenial didn't work on me, but I heard the name while they were talking. _Thought_ that was a Djinn, even if she usually never taught anything but Punishers..."

Kathriel interleaves her own arm around his waist as they walk, guiding him through the sculpting materials and down a hallway that he's nearly certain wasn't there before. "Well, someone taught the bastard pretty well... Couldn't leave him there. He was too good." Unspoken, though nearly vibrating in the air is, And now he's mine.

Salathiel doesn't object! He says, cheerfully, "I imagine she's gotten better since my classes. And--mmm, talent will out. But yes. I can see why you couldn't leave him." (And has a moment of 'I hope he doesn't have the Need' -- but. Odds are against it. Probably.)

Kathriel doesn't quite stumble, probably doesn't _have_ to lean on him... But she's not the most stable of Superiors, at the moment. Humming something or other, she draws Sal along till he can look in through the bars of a door. "I've got him warded," she says. "He can't call out."

Salathiel doubts she has to lean physically; if he thought she did, he'd be supporting her better. But emotional leaning is a different matter, and that's why he's reluctant to break contact unless she pulls away first. He nods at the description, with a murmured "Useful," and then peers into the cell, garnet eyes curious.

Beyond the door, a large room, in gleaming white marble with no trace of red or gray or black. In the center of the room, there's a cage of silver bars, criss-crossing on all six sides (counting top and bottom). And in the cage...

A tawny Djinn -- apparently an anatomically correct male -- lies on his side, in full "oh, damn, like I care" mode. His ribs show gauntly, with patches of bare skin or scales, and his mane is made of quills and spikes that follow down his spine and back, into a scorpion's tail with a thicket of stingers. There's something a little _wrong_ with his paws, as if they can't decide if they're lion or bird. What can be seen of his face is short-muzzled lion, with perhaps a hint of bulldog.

The cage _screams_ of artifact.

Salathiel whistles quietly -- more at the artifact, considering he's not _un_familiar with Djinn in general. "Mmm, I think I've seen him before, but never actually met. Interesting. Do you have any plans for him, or is that waiting till things, ah, calm down a little?"

Kathriel says, with just a touch of fey cheer, "Oh, he's no citizen. I figure when things calm down, I'll have some Lilim guard him and play it by ear."

Salathiel nods, after a moment, and flashes a bright smile at her. "Well, if there's anything you think I can do to help at that point, feel free to let me know? I mean, technically I'm one of your employees, I imagine this would fall under the 'job' heading . . ."

Kathriel smiles. "I've got a few ideas, but if you want to take a turn guarding him sometime and tell me what you think..."

<<Scene Stop>>


Excerpts

arcangel is not sure that he'll be able to find _Kath_ herself, but the looking might turn up some other people.

arcangel is not sure she wants to advance _too_ much to Kathness, without knowing what happened with Hiram. >_>

Sariel hmmmm. "Sal really wants to talk to Kath personally, is the thing.

arcangel hmmmms. "If it's _got_ to be Kath, that's probably going to be an in-game jump of at least a week -- unless someone's actively bleeding, so to speak, Kath is busy... dealing. With stuff. And ick. And stuff."

Sariel nods. "It's not just that Sal wants details on what happened at Desire after they evacced; he wants details on what Kath was _doing_ over the six-month absence (and if he can _get_ them he wants details on what she's been Playing with Lust), he wants to poke her about his own employment at Desire, and I think he just generally wants to talk to her. (Sure, she's a Superior now. Did I mention Sal's utter lack of Superior headspace? And the fact that, while Beth-haran programmed him with 'be polite and respectful to Superiors even if you don't actually respect them', Kath still registers as 'friend' and therefore 'person I can chat with if she's willing and we both have the time' rather than 'DON'T BOTHER HER, AUGH'? [snickers quietly]) He may not _get_ all of that even if they manage to talk, but." [laughs]

Sariel says "I imagine he could get the details on Desireness from someone else, and maybe the details on Kath's absence too depending on who she talks to, but he also really wants to check in with Kath. Even if it's a short check-in. So."

You say "He can probably get _some_ details off of Shelley and/or Carl, if he goes looking and will talk to them instead. Finding her _just_ to check in is unlikely to work unless you get an Intervention on a luck roll. (She's immersing herself in her Word to deal with what was going on for the past six months, mostly.)"

arcangel can probably skip ahead if she A) brb from the little GM's room... and B) has a little more fermenting time in her head.

Sariel _heh_, and thinks. "He'd be _willing_ to talk to them? It's just that I don't think that's going to shut him up in my head." [coughs] "He'd also be willing to wait the week or longer if that's what it takes, because, you know, not blind and/or stupid, can tell a newly-public Archangel who just had the Game and company jump on her head is going to have work to do, etc. No nagging, just making a point of dropping by the Sculpting cave and/or the rebuilt Desire every day or so to chat with people and be available if Kath is, and probably leaving a note with Shelley or Carl (depending on whom he talks to on Day One) to the effect of 'I'd like to talk to Kath if she ever manages to steal herself free time again'." [laughs]

Sariel scritchies, nods. Has no problem with a delay if it gets scene-that-will-make-Sal-hush. ^^

arcangel come back, hees, and cracks her knuckles. Okay... Barring details that might get changed after Hiram-scene, I can probably manage...

<<Scene Start>>

<<OOC>> Sariel rehugs! And cheers! :D "Details can be retconned, I'll be watching Hiramscene so I'll know what to tweak." [grins]

<<OOC>> Salathiel also re@names.

<<OOC>> Salathiel .oO(Besides, it's not like we're not used to retconning details for my PCs due to my bad memory and stuff. [snickers quietly])

Up the path, down the path, up the path, down the path, etc., etc., etc. And, finally, a somewhat exasperated Shelley saying, "*I* don't know! *I* haven't seen her! Why don't you just wander around for a few hours and if you find her you find her! Right? Isn't that how it works with Creation?"

<<OOC>> arcangel giggles

<<OOC>> Salathiel grins. --and cackles at Shelley! "Is this on the day of the Desire-evac, or...?"

<<OOC>> arcangel says "About a week later, I suspect, give or take a few days."

<<OOC>> Salathiel nods; wasn't sure from the sceneset. >_> <_< So is she talking to Sal or talking to someone else? [coughs] So I know how to respond. [grins]

<<OOC>> arcangel says "Probably Sal, who's been popping his nose in every day or two, you said? O:>"

<<OOC>> Salathiel hee! Just making sure. [grins]


He can't see her face; she's got her hands moving on the wet clay, shaping... _something._ Something not terribly pretty. Perhaps how a Shedite looks just before it explodes.

<<OOC>> Salathiel _admires_ the descing. [meeps]


"Ah. So I take it my partner's namesake _did_ guess right." A pause, then, conversationally, "That was really really stupid -- if she did guess right, I mean -- but even if you hadn't gotten -- the Prince? -- the, ah, experience isn't _useless_. Or at least that's why _I'm_ not still dripping guilt over my own misPlaying."

<<OOC>> Salathiel eyes her PC. ...Sal, are you going to finally manage to share your mind/dreamscape? Because I will be deeply amused if so. [laughs]

<<OOC>> arcangel hee!


"'Haran's going to _hate_ it if he moves in, you know. I take it the argument with Eli wasn't entirely faked?"

<<OOC>> Salathiel pokes worriedly at the IC-OOC barrier, and therefore lags. But _can_ come up with enough clues that she _thinks_ Sal should be able to put it together if he's actually thinking about it, especially since he's running down the options list wrt Lust anyway and he _knows_ Lust and Freedom are on good terms... So. Yes. [coughs]


Salathiel blinks, eyebrows lifting. "Oh, _that's_ progress. No _wonder_ he might shed the Word..." He pauses, and then adds, "And I'm biting back the lecture on risk-reward ratios right now because if you didn't work it out _before_ you started all this -- well, I doubt anything from me would matter now." He smiles, brightly. "I'm just in the habit of poking _myself_ with it before I go after the _big_ gambles. Not that I've ever done anything _this_ big..."

<<OOC>> Salathiel eyes Sal. Sal, you're insane. No lecturing Superiors! (<Sal> "...yes, that's why I'm biting _back_ the lecture...")


<<OOC>> Salathiel says "...random question! The little figurine that Kath made after Sal DIed; did she keep it, or did she give it to him, or something else that Sal is aware of? [laughs]"

<<OOC>> arcangel says "Gave it to him, I suspect. Or left it in the care of Dariel."

<<OOC>> Salathiel nods. Just making sure!


Salathiel has reconnected.

<<OOC>> Salathiel mutters at the phone, goes back to typing pose. >_>

<<OOC>> arcangel says "Ack!"

<<OOC>> arcangel says "You got her last pose, then?"

<<OOC>> Salathiel did, yes. >_>

<<OOC>> arcangel whews.


, "And you at least have someone you can talk to about it -- whenever you need it -- without having to _give_ them scars in the process. Mm?"

<<OOC>> Salathiel says "Which is to say, 'consider yourself fully invited to grab me if you need help working through this. Even if I'm in the middle of something else.'"


And the Word-resonances are completely separate from the fact that Asmodeus is a grudge-holding bastard and he can only own you if you let him. You didn't let him."

<<OOC>> Salathiel _eyes_ the speechmaker. "Sal informs me that he tried to pull the snark out of the speech, really! He mostly means that all as truth, rather than trying to beat something into someone's head." [snickers quietly] Oh, Sal.


And you _also_ know that if you do it for the wrong reasons, it's _dishonorable_. Which doesn't matter to him, but it matters to _you_, doesn't it?"

<<OOC>> Salathiel is hyperbolizing, but if hyperbole gets through, hey, cool! Er.


<<OOC>> Salathiel says "... Not knowing context on the Djinn, I just realized that Aitan (the Djinn who trained 'Haran early on) would be really entertaining and possibly _at home_ in Shangri-La. Uhm. </tangent> [snickers]"

<<OOC>> arcangel laughs!

<<OOC>> Salathiel says "(He's _utter_ redemptionbait, except for the grudge against Stone. [laughs] But while he's a ranking Gamester, I don't think he does Loyalty-work ever, so. ^^)"

<<OOC>> arcangel snickers.

<<OOC>> Salathiel grins.


Kathriel starts clawing her way back to standing -- literally clawing, as her fingers leave deep holes in the mass of clay in front of her. "C'mon. I'll show you. He's called Othenial."

<<OOC>> arcangel says "Sal may make an appropriate roll to see if the name rings a bell, of course."

<<OOC>> Salathiel says "Knowledge (Game) is TN:11? Raw Int is TN:8."

<<GAME>> Salathiel rolls the d666 and gets 5 2 CHECK: 2.

<<OOC>> Salathiel says "...makes either!"

<<OOC>> arcangel | http://archangelbeth.livejournal.com/436797.html

<<OOC>> Salathiel laughs, and clicks!

<<OOC>> arcangel coughs, and conserves NPCs.

<<OOC>> Salathiel ...CACKLES. Yaaaaaaaaaaay conservation!

<<OOC>> arcangel has, she notes, been conserving Othy when he got into that link.

<<OOC>> Salathiel heeeeeeeeeeeee. Gotcha.

<<OOC>> arcangel eyes time. Hmmm. Should possibly pause soon. Or here. Or something.

<<OOC>> arcangel says "Unless yo have a pose, of course!"

<<OOC>> arcangel prods at her muzzy brain.

<<OOC>> Salathiel scritchies. "We can probably fade whenever you see a good ending line? Scene is very fun, and I'd like to at least _discuss_ what happens afterward sometime so I have an idea of what Sal's doing for the next little while, but I don't think there's anything else that we _have_ to keep going with. And you have to run." [grins]

<<OOC>> arcangel says "'Kay!"

<<OOC>> arcangel says "Got more time. I'm just checking."

<<OOC>> arcangel babbles. Babbly.

<<OOC>> Salathiel scritchies, nods.


A tawny Djinn -- apparently an anatomically correct male -- lies on his side, in full "oh, damn, like I care" mode. His ribs show gauntly, with patches of bare skin or scales, and his mane is made of quills and spikes that follow down his spine and back, into a scorpion's tail with a thicket of stingers. There's something a little _wrong_ with his paws, as if they can't decide if they're lion or bird. What can be seen of his face is short-muzzled lion, with perhaps a hint of bulldog.

<<OOC>> Salathiel says "Does he look familiar at all, or can Sal be sure he only knows Othenial via the name?"

<<OOC>> arcangel says "He's probably seen that Djinn a few times, but only heard the name about the once. He wasn't assigned to be the Djinn's target dummy, at least."

<<OOC>> Salathiel nods.


Kathriel smiles. "I've got a few ideas, but if you want to take a turn guarding him sometime and tell me what you think..."

<<OOC>> arcangel eyes time. Good endpose, perhaps?

<<OOC>> Salathiel says "That works!"

<<OOC>> arcangel says "(Or, unpacking my brain, if you have a pose to go, we could end on that, too.)"

<<OOC>> Salathiel scritchies. "I had one, but it wouldn't've been as good an endline, so." [grins] "I _do_ still want to talk about 'aftermath' of this scene in chat or LJ or somewhere, but that's different and can be done whenever, this scene needs to wrap. So. Yes." ^_^

<<Scene Stop>>

arcangel nodnodnod.

arcangel snugs.

Sariel hugs.

You say "Sal. In the same room as a messed-up Superior. Brave Habbie."

Sariel heeheehee. "Sal has _no Superior headspace at all_, I _swear_. And would've run if she seemed hostile toward him or was otherwise more offputting, so not _as_ brave, really." [laughs] "The bravery was getting _closer_ to her even when her shields were shaky. Er. ^^"

arcangel nodnodnod. When you can't be sure that the Word itself won't start doing some shaping...