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For a moment, Ahnasha appeared to ignore any of Fendros’ urgency. Instead, she put her arms around him, hugging his neck as tightly as she could. “Just calm down. Breathe. You already did. What do you think it was that knocked you on your tail? I saw it all myself. With what I know of Daedra, I think I can take a good guess on what happened. Vile, well…a Daedric Prince can’t die, but you put him through the closest he can get to death. It looked like the power left in the axe destabilized his essence, and probably the rest of his realm along with him. Our Oblivion gate closed, and when a gate closes, it sends everyone back to where they came from.”

Ahnasha pulled back away from him somewhat to allow him to look around more easily. As Fendros’ vision cleared, their surroundings came into view for him. They were now in quite a different forest from what they had seen in the Fields of Regret. “We’re back in the Hunting Grounds. I imagine Hircine took that chance after Vile was defeated to take as much of his stolen power as he could, like all the lycan souls he’s taken from us. We’re here, and...I wouldn’t be aching this much if I were dead, so…it’s over. The war is over.”
In The Cradle 1 day ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Marae swam up and climbed out of the water alongside Freyr. Despite the crowd, being underwater came with a silence that could make the area seem almost peaceful. Though, that illusion was easily shattered once they were back in open air. “Yes, I think maybe this isn’t the best sort of place for you right now. Maybe we should head back and have more of a quiet evening. We can have a few drinks, share some stories, relax.” She suggested before shooting another glance down towards the water. “Come on back up. We’re heading back inside.” She messaged to Nirann.

Nirann’s current body could not swim in any real way, but he would not have jumped in without a way out. His frame had thrusters built in, mostly intended for zero-G maneuvering, but they could provide enough force in water to get him back up to the surface. Or at least, he brought himself close enough to grab a hold of the edge of the pontoon, then hoisted himself up the rest of the way.

“Just based on my impressions of her, I’m thinking the odds are good that there is a full bar somewhere in this ship. Hopefully it’s somewhere not overrun by…tourists.” Marae remarked.
The moment the axe’s edge made contact, the remainder of the power within was released. In an instant, everything went white and a wave of force struck him. For a few moments, Fendros would hardly be able to perceive much of anything. The light was blinding and his ears were left ringing, along with something of a fierce headache. It would be hard for him to tell if he was just regaining his senses, or if he had been knocked out entirely for a time. He would be able to feel again before he could see, but what he felt might not have been what he expected.

Fendros was lying flat on his back, not on hard, cold stone as he had been before, but in soft grass with the warmth of the sun shining down on his fur. Sounds started to filter in next, though many were still overpowered by the constant ringing. Some rustling leaves, followed by footsteps approached quickly from his left, though he had still not regained his senses enough to respond. Not a moment later and someone was knelt beside him. Hands armored in chainmail touched the side of his snout, moving his head slightly side to side. “-ndros ar-…-right?” A voice shouted, though everything still sounded muffled to him. “-Are you…can…-ear me?” It continued.

Finally, shapes started to become more clear in Fendros’ vision. At first it was a vague silhouette, a person’s head hovering just above his own. Then, details started to show. Sharp angles and rough edges characterized the armor. Dragonscale. Finally, the face came into view within the open helmet. Large, worried eyes. Small black stripes among brown fur.

Ahnasha.

“Can you move? Are you hurt? Please be alright…” She questioned again, looking into his eyes to search for a reaction.
In The Cradle 3 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
“So…about that well, then.” Marae frowned and let out what would have been a long breath, had they not been underwater. For the moment, she ignored the music and chaos of the crowd around them and swam up beside Freyr. Soon enough, Freyr would feel two oversized hands resting gently upon her shoulders as Marae looked down at her with a certain, knowing sadness in her eyes. Though not Human, she could certainly be more expressive than Nirann at the moment.

Although they could not speak aloud presently, the messages Freyr could hear in her mind still carried Marae’s voice and the same tone with which she “spoke” them. “I know that feeling. It’s as persistent as it is insidious. It’s…fear, worry, all swelling up inside until it gets to the point of bursting. I know it can get bad, especially when the thing you’re worrying about isn’t sudden. Some days, you get up filled with hope. You can have all the confidence that everything is just going to work out.” Marae paused for just a moment to search for an appropriate expression. “…then at the drop of a hat, all of that hope can just vanish and you feel like someone is squeezing your heart out of your chest. It’s at its worst when you’re alone. When you can be trapped with just your own thoughts.”

With a few kicks and a swaying tail, Marae positioned herself directly in front of Freyr to make sure she could keep eye contact. “So you work. Occupy your mind with fixing it. With making it better. You love them, and you know you can do something, so you have to do everything you possibly can. And whenever you’re not doing something, even if you’re exhausted, muscles aching, and hardly able to stand, you still feel like you haven’t done enough. And that’s why these last few weeks have been torture for you. Because we’ve been sitting here waiting, and waiting, and we can’t do anything.”

Without a moment’s hesitation, Marae wrapped her arms around Freyr and pulled her tightly into a hug. Even without military augmentations, Rothians still had a lot of muscle behind them that was easy to feel to the touch. “I’m sorry, Freyr. I’m sorry that you have to go through this, that we haven’t been able to do more. I’m sorry that you’re trapped here waiting for governments who don’t care about us and are just playing their political games over the damned Cradle. But…you’re not alone, Freyr. Okay? I just want you to know that. A lot of people involved in all this don’t care, but some of us do. I know how you feel, and I will help you.”
In The Cradle 8 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Ultimately, the waters surrounding the flotilla were nearly as much of a flurry of activity as on the vessels themselves. At least near the surface, there was little room to maneuver without inevitably running into another. It was very much by design that the party could continue as much below the surface as it could above.

Freyr was not left alone for long. As soon as dropped in below the waves, she would feel the wake of something large moving past just behind her. Marae wrapped around underneath her, then pushed upwards to stop just in front of her. She just managed to squeeze into the space between Freyr and another swimmer in front of her. Despite the fact that she had been under for as long as the conversation with Nirann, she did not seem to be struggling for breath. In fact, she was not holding her breath at all. A more careful look around them would reveal that the water was distinctly discolored, compared to the rest of the lake. Devices built into the barges were constantly dispersing a combination of highly oxygenated water and a selection of other chemicals into the surrounding water in order to render the water itself breathable. The specifics of the process and other safety features were mostly out-of-sight of the average concert goer, but from their perspective, it was easy enough to tell if it was safe to breathe by the color of the water around them. The concert itself was also being broadcast openly, so anyone with the right implants could simply tune in to hear the music as if they were still in open air.

“Glad to see you joining the party. Feeling better?” Marae asked, messaging Freyr’s implants directly.

Marae did seem to be a surprisingly strong swimmer. Large, wide feet coupled with a tail gave her decent options for propulsion. Nirann, however, was not nearly so elegant with his entrance. He dropped into the water right after Freyr, then continued on sinking like a rock, straight down to the bottom. A military droid, it seemed, was not buoyant in the slightest. Nevertheless, they could still hear him messaging them in their heads. “No, it’s fine, don’t worry about me. I’ll just be down here…walking with the crabs.”

Marae rolled her eyes, letting out what might have been a sigh. “He did that on purpose.”
Shih and Vael 'Virisusai





It took only an instant from the others’ perspectives, but Shih ran as thorough of an analysis as she could on the practicality of sabotaging the platform from below. The others hardly had time to consider the suggestion before she started giving her report. ”The storm is giving too much interference to my sensors for me to give a definitive answer. Whether or not an explosion of that yield could sufficiently destabilize the platform would depend on how well it is anchored. It is possible, and would certainly deal significant damage to the platform in any case, but it is possible that the cannon may remain operational.”

”So we could not simply place an explosive and leave. We would need to remain to ensure the cannon is disabled, and to kill any survivors.” Vael remarked.

”Yes, and I can jam their communications if it comes to that. As long as you leave no survivors, the Keep will not be alerted.” Shih added.

It seemed they did have options. Attempting stealth could allow them to silently achieve their objective without a firefight, but it was risky. Discovery would place their infiltrators in an exposed position, and they would have to fight the enemy at full strength. Opening with an explosive, even if it did not destroy the platform entirely, would still likely kill some, and disorient the rest. But, they would be guaranteed to have to fight here.

”Spartan Ryker, your Forerunner sensors would make you the best suited to try to silently get close. Active camouflage will be useless in this storm, and the platform has little cover. I am not convinced that a silent approach would be best here; Grikgar’s plan may be more likely to work. But, I would hear your assessment first. Vael requested. Compared to any other Human, Ryker would know best what Vael was asking for here. Unlike many other Sangheili, Vael cared little for pride when it came to strategy. He wanted to know, objectively, if Ryker believed his infiltration in this situation would be more likely to succeed than the alternative.
In The Cradle 11 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Nirann turned his head, looking down at Freyr. “I don’t mean to be the skeptic, but those dreams are much more likely to just be…dreams. You are worried about your family, again, very understandably. Your minds create dreams, for the most part, just based on what you think about while you’re awake. And I’m sure you’re thinking about your family a lot. There is not likely to be any meaning behind them beyond that.”

Freyr’s hand was still gripped tightly onto Nirann’s, though given her state at the moment, she may not have even realized it. He lifted her hand up slightly, then rested his other hand over the top of hers. “And if we can find their consciousnesses, then it really will be that easy. Normally it wouldn’t be, since the prospect of digitizing a living mind is far from simple, but that won’t be an issue here. Digital beings like me, we don’t have to be too attached to particular hardware if we don’t want to be. I can move between any hardware with enough storage space at a snap of my fingers, and well…the point I was trying to make is that they can be happy like this. In my usual body, there is nothing you can experience that I can’t. Every touch, every taste, every scent, even digestion we can accomplish artificially. Now, granted, I don’t usually enable all the features of organics in my body. For instance, I don’t sleep and have never had the desire to, but they could have the choice to experience everything just like it used to be. Except…”

Nirann shifted slightly in place, his gaze moving back out over the water. There was one aspect of Humanity that Rothians would never have any desire to imitate. “Well…there is the immortality. They wouldn’t age. They would need to change bodies to move on to later stages of life, and the eventual death your species experiences would always be a choice.”
In The Cradle 13 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Nirann, for a few moments, observed in silence. He watched the smallest details of Freyr’s body language, not that one would really need an electronic eye to see what she was feeling in her expression. In any case, given the context, it was easy to infer what sorts of thoughts were likely running through her mind. Reaching out, he took her hand carefully in his own. His hand might have been cold metal, with the strength to crush a metal bar as if it were a tin can, but his touch was as measured and precise as a surgeon. They were already close to the water, so he gently guided her along with him as he took a seat on the edge of the vessel, his feet hanging off into the water below.

“I want to show you something real quick.” Nirann remarked. He brought up a holographic screen in front of himself. He loaded a short video clip, then pushed it over in front of Freyr. Front and center in the frame was Marae. The distinctive mosaic on her scales had a different pattern, but it was still unmistakably her. It was nighttime in the video, though it was still clear enough for Freyr to see that she was sitting in the sand on a beach, holding another Rothian close to her. They were both looking up to the sky, in which they could see the Milky Way galaxy…from outside of the galactic plane. The video seemed to have been recorded on a Rothian colony in one of the Milky Way’s satellite galaxies. Aside from the location, there was nothing in the video that would stand out to the average person, but Freyr would easily notice the fact that the other Rothian looked exactly like the holographic avatar Nirann had used when they had first met him back on Rothia. Yet, the pair of them were clearly in contact with one another in the recording, even nuzzling one another quite affectionately. He clearly was no hologram.

“I don’t spend most of my time back home walking around as an armored death machine.” Nirann remarked, still messaging Freyr directly. “We can make synthetic bodies that are quite remarkable. I mean, that one is centuries old, and Marae still didn’t have any idea there was metal instead of muscle under my scales until our first date. Even then, that was only because I told her myself. Point is, you’ve been through a lot Freyr, and I know it isn’t easy. I know you have a lot to fear when it comes to bringing back your family, but if we do find their minds, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not we can even bring them back at all. I can’t say for sure if their minds will still be compatible with their original bodies, but since their minds have already been digitized, well…I wouldn’t need to pull too many strings to have a pair of Human bodies fabricated. Take it from me, the experience of being in one of those bodies is outright identical to being in an organic one. Or at least, it can be.”
In The Cradle 16 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Marae laughed, turning around as she stopped herself in front of Freyr. She reached out and placed a hand on both of her cheeks, though for hands her size, it was more like she was grabbing her entire head. “Freyr, do you ever stop working? Seriously, we are at a party, Freyr. We can have a meeting with the others to talk about that later. Just stop a moment and enjoy yourself.” Marae smiled. As she released Freyr, she immediately turned and brought her hands up over her head to dive off the edge into the water.

Nirann did not follow. For a moment, his gaze seemed to go out over the water, but it only took Freyr a few seconds to hear his voice. He did not bother trying to shout over the music or the crowd, but rather simply messaged Freyr’s implants directly. “It isn’t healthy what you’re doing, you know?” He said. The tone Freyr heard was perhaps uncharacteristically serious from him. “You have an obsession. Now, you do have a very good reason to be obsessed, mind you, but that doesn’t make the effects any better. You don’t even know how many times I’ve seen this play out among my people. In my city. I experience every part of their lives; the good, the bad, all the successes and failures. I’ve seen millions upon millions of variations of their stories, so I can see what’s happening in you. You Humans aren’t all that different. You’re not failing them if you’re not spending every waking moment trying to bring them back. You’re not turning your back on them by spending a few hours relaxing. For your sake and theirs, you need to let your mind rest. This obsession, it’s not going to help them. It never does. What it can do is narrow your mind. Limit your perspective. It can hamper your judgement until you get to the point where you can only see what you want to see.”

Nirann held out one hand between them, offering it to her. “Close your eyes and listen. Not to your own thoughts, not to your fears, but to this place. This moment. The music, the people, the waves crashing up against the side of the boats. Let yourself seize this moment.”
In The Cradle 19 days ago Forum: 1x1 Roleplay
Nirann would have been grinning if he could, as he decided to take Freyr’s call for help perhaps more literally than she intended. He pulled her out of the crowd, then simply swept her up to carry her in his arms. “Hmm, so now do I get to be your knight made of shining armor?”

Marae chuckled, walking right alongside them. “I don’t think that’s the phrase.”

“Close enough.”

Once again, Nirann and Marae navigated the crowd, now carrying Freyr along with them. Especially now that they were moving against the general direction of the mob, they moved with caution and patience closer to the outside of the crowd. They wandered around the edge of their platform near the water, moving in the direction of the flotilla. Even still, there were plenty of obstacles to navigate between those dancing more and more enthusiastically to the music, and those occasionally running in front of them to dive into the water.

“So where shall we ‘wander’ to, Freyr? More towards the dancing, the swimming, the drugs, the drinking? Something else? All of the above?” Nirann asked.

Marae crossed her arms. “You know you could actually put her down so you don’t have to ask.”

“I mean, I could, but then the crowd might wash her away like a wave. Though, that would be funny…”
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