I, genuinely, don't agree with the bulk of this, for reasons I'm not going to drag out in OOC. However, I'm more than willing to take this to PMs and settle it amicably with yourself, myself, and @The Irish Tree. I'm sure we can do something to fix it with relative ease, and make everything kosher.
EDIT: I meant, what was directed to me, not Xalt. I'm responding to all this and I'm at work.
On one hand, @Xaltwind is right. Graft's lack of foresight to keep Open Line running in this situation is going to result in problems through a lack of communication; such is the expectation of the living walkie-talkie. And, while I'm aware that maintenance of the active glyphs does have a magic cost, there's no reason not to think Graft would chug a magic potion or two, and keep it going.
However, it is unfair to assign blame by proxy to @Lugubrious, for a collaboration that was done between @The Irish Tree and I. He wasn't to know that Rodias would address Graft's statement and Salem's proposal in my post. That's the downside of a collab you aren't in. Equally fair to Rodias, there is a lot going on, and Graft's very technical assessment of the situation was bound to be indirectly addressed.
QUICK EDIT: I am aware, Xalt is probably joshing, but I'd rather be safe than sorry, and not have a fight break out over technicalities and could-have-dones.
In the efforts of healing Chuunitrixx’s severed arm, Aurora would spare no small amount of MP...and yet...the limb refused to materialize. Rather than serving to restore her fully, an intimate part of Chuunitrixx was lost in that fight, it seemed. While the radial prayer from the Miko’s buffs served to stabilize her for the time being, Aurora was at a loss for a permanent solution. Looking to Graft as he would announce the fatalities, beneath her mask Aurora would narrow her eyes. He didn’t even acknowledge Chuunitrixx bleeding out on the very floor he walked upon. It wasn’t her place to judge...but to disregard Chuunitrixx’s help, as well as Ratta’s sacrifices in the fight were tantamount to spitting upon those who’d allowed Butterfly to win in any capacity.
Chuunitrixx writhed at the application of magical healing from the Paladin; it wasn't her fault, simply a consequence of the reality of the situation they were stuck in. Recoil Damage wasn't a thing, when they were merely video game pawns, but, here, now, where they were as real as the players they once served... well, Chuunitrixx's arm was the leading example. Her eyes switched through various colors, different hues and shades, each unique -- nineteen colors in total, Aurora would find. However, the orbs themselves glared at Graft, as he preached in the room, as she struggled not to scream in agony beyond her threshold -- not here, not now.
Her anger and misery was evident, however, with the end results of the fight attributed to Bone Daddy, and, as far as she understood, him, alone, with the actions and sacrifices of Mamoru's Clone and Ratta Taz Skor relegated to assistance.
And, her own actions were ignored entirely.
Aurora would continue to mend, now just trying to ease the pain. Chuunitrixx’s wounds were closed, but the pain of it would still throb. Especially in her phantom limb. Aurora was silent, but her hands were secure on Chuunitrixx, trying to offer her a feeling of security.
Chuunitrixx groaned, "Where..."
"Here," Sorcates says, teleporting in, suddenly, and kneeling at her side; dirtying the hem of her skirt and the knees to ankles of her stockings in grass-green blood. "Lady Aurora, what is the damages," she asks, far more respectful than anyone could have expected. Aurora would notice that her eyes were duller, lacking in their usual prideful shine; as if, painted in matte colors instead of luster.
Aurora was surprised to see Socrates here, and, seeing as words didn’t need to be minced, she would reply to the inquiry with: ”Her arm is beyond repair. No manner of magic seems capable of restoring it. I’ve exhausted my MP three times, restoring it each time with mana potions, and still nothing. ...It may very well be lost forever. Beyond that, the poison afflicting her has been cured...and her heartbeat is irregular.”
‘Socrates nodded, and bent over; her chest splitting along her sternum, and she reached in: producing a multi-level toolbox. "The best course of action is to shut off the blood valves and remove the limb, then," she says, "Can you perform surgery?"
Silence followed the question, before Aurora would nod. ”I only have levels in Pharmacist, but I understand basic medical principles. I would need you to guide me, however,” she stated as she began removing her gauntlets.
Socrates nodded, and squinted around the room. Her eyes were collecting data, visible statistics of everyone present around, before she settled on Graft. "Medic. That's acceptable to accomplish this task," she says, before she started to mutate and morph into Graft, mimicking his form to the smallest atom. "I won't wear this skin..." Socrates said, ignoring Graft's voice, as she reconfigured his Avatar to her personal Appearance. "I can make use of this gear and inventory, but I won't wear that person's skin for such an important task."
Socrates sighed, and cracked her fingers, "Are you ready, Papillary -- I mean, Lady Aurora?"
Aurora would do little more than nod. She was ready.
Socrates would start requesting work from her, "Sterilize the site, Papillary. This surgery will consist of a local anesthetic comprised of two-part morphine, one-part opium, one-part diazepam," as her newly acquired tentacles took out tools more befitting a hobbyist than a surgeon, and held them at the ready, as well as a tray for Aurora's own work, and a bucket for hazardous materials.
Dutifully following instructions, Aurora would manage to multitask sterilization as well as synthesizing the anesthetic.
"Surgery starts laterally with the humerus and glenohumeral joint," Socrates says, as she took a box cutter in hand, ‘ "Prepare a series of sponges, and be quick with application."
As the surgery moved forward, Socrates continued to direct Aurora -- constantly referring to the Paladin as Papillary -- and operating with the tentacles retrieving, sterilizing, handing, taking, sterilizing, and replacing the tools required as she thought of them. Her disdain of the director settled at an unfathomable depth, but the usefulness of his build in this situation created a bridge over that chasm.
As soon as the bulk of the arm was removed, and Socrates went into clean-up, the open space closed and regenerated around the space smoothly. All that remained of her right arm was the head of her endoskeleton's humerus bone, disconnected, but anchored into place, so her shoulder would remain, largely, intact, and allow her to wear her upper body clothing with the same effectiveness.
The tense silence hanging after the surgery would be broken by Rodias, voice unsure as he looked to Socrates. ”How is she?”
"Alive," Socrates says, squinting at Rodias. "No thanks to you..." It was unfair, unjust, and she knew it, but Socrates was angry. So much of this went so far beyond her understanding, and she just wanted someone to blame. Rodias was the only person she could, even though he deserved none of it. Rodias could tell that much from the tears streaming down her cheeks.
Rodias didn’t react much to the bitter end to that statement. Either because he understood...or because he believed it. Slowly turning his head away from Socrates, Aurora, and Chuunitrixx, Rodias would look back to the bare table before him, saying: ”See to it that she rests, then. And...tell her that she has my gratitude.”
"Gratitude doesn’t restore her arm," Socrates says, looking at Rodias through squinting eyes; as if, she were unable to see him properly. "I need to replace her heart..." she says, "My hands are shaking, and I can’t focus..." Socrates looked down. "I want her heart. I’ll take it myself, if I have to. Either with my own hands or that fancy mace of yours."
”You wouldn’t be able to use it,” Rodias said tersely. ”No matter who you mimic.”
"I’ll mimic Drolege, himself, if that’s what it takes!" Sorcates shouted, standing with a dramatic flourish of Graft’s trench coat; the material billowing behind her.
Rodias would look Socrates dead in the eyes, before asking: ”That so? And how do you intend to do that, Socrates? To mimic someone that isn’t here, that you’ve never seen, that you couldn’t even POSSIBLY know. Go on then. Spit on his memory,” Rodias’ tone was a low snarl, an anger about him that none had yet seen.
"I don’t need such trivial requirements. I have studied the very history of the Guild, from Drolege to you. You think I am beneath acting as required. That is my job," Sorcates says, "Brushen Penn, Deka_Ribbon, Yoaishisaurus, Fredrik, Dr Drd, even Drolege, and all the rest. Bit by bit, you’re recorded into history -- a history I can learn from, use, and master. I don’t need to meet phantoms. I just need you to have met them."
Socrates narrowed her eyes, as Graft’s trench coat changed from mottled browns to a glorious silver and gold, and folded over her body into plates; the back of it billowing out into an inspiring cape, as her tentacles fused into a weaved mesh to bridge gaps into the plating. As the armor encased her, it closed into a vertically fluted visor with winged ears and a back-facing mount for a single feather of the most brilliant blue. At her hips came into existence, as if being digitized and downloaded, a sword with blade of blue as brilliant as the feather, the length of a bastard sword, yet the width of a longsword, and the handle, hilt, and crossguard of a decorative greatsword.
Slamming down, the visor caused her blonde hair to billow back with her cape, as she exuded a mere 60% of the power of the figure she’s learned of in Kath’s Library.
It was enough for Rodias to take her seriously, however.
And, unfortunately, more than her own body could handle. Rodias would be able to tell, before anyone else, the strain had rendered her utterly unconscious from nearly inducing a heart attack, and she was just standing, imposingly, still; held up by the combination of an armor set of, “A Man that Never Surrendered His Ground,” and her own firm belief.
Rodias would simply glance at her, before saying: ”Aurora, escort them home. ...And tell Socrates to rest, when she wakes. Today’s been hard. For all of us.”
Aurora would be met by a hand, a physical hand rising out of concrete, and several Concreep Mixers. Pushing off the ground, the hands became an arm, a shoulder, then a neck with a feminine mannequin head; the left half of a giant woman's upper chest leaned out of the Concreep. Shattering, a single eye opened, and narrowed on Rodias. Looking away, the hand reached over Chuunitrixx and Socrates, and covered them; pressing flat into the floor, and sinking into a pool of itself.
"I will see to such arrangements, My Lord. You have done as much as you can. I apologise for my daughter's words. Her pride forces her to speak from a place of anger," says the woman of stone, looking back to Rodias. "Forgive my intrusion, but I do not wish my mother or daughter to be beset upon by any of those I have no idea birthed. Pardon my saying so, but I trust no-one gathered or away, yourself included," she says, before starting to sink, "I will console my daughter, and see to it you receive a formal apology, if nothing else. Goodbye, My Lord."
”...That is fine. I wouldn’t trust me, either, after today.” Rodias would say, hands netted in his lap.
The stone woman looked back, and her arm extended out; her pointer finger pressing, surprisingly, gentle against his head. It carried all the warmth and affection of a mother consoling a freshly-scolded child, before she patted his cheek, just as gently, and asks, "Do you know why you fall off horses, my young Lord?
”Because it bucks.”
The stone woman chuckled kindly, "Yes, and no. We fall off horses, so we may learn to pick ourselves up, and ride again."
”...She always did like that movie,” Rodias would say, smiling faintly.
Leaving Rodias with that thought, the stone woman returned to herself, her home, with Chuunitrixx and Sorcates in tow. Enderall had said her peace, and returned to her blissful reclusivity.
She was shockingly introverted.
Rodias would slowly come to rise from his seat, looking to Graft before bowing his head slightly. ”My apologies Graft. I was...in a bit of shock. Ratta’s death may not be permanent, but it doesn’t sadden me any less. If it weren’t for her, I doubt that Butterfly would have had the time to prepare Shin Gashadokuro. And, you are correct...we’re not going to simply wait around waiting to be attacked and killed once again. As such, I have a proposal, if you would be so kind as to open up another line to all those still conscious,” Rodias said, stepping towards the table and resting his palm atop it.
”My friends...we’re in dire need of training. That is, if you all think we should resist Morgan and her friends further. I doubt that Morgan really died from that. Otherwise, Butterfly would rival my level from the experience he gained. Rather, not one person leveled up from that encounter...which tells me that she’s alive out there. And, her survival means that she’ll make her way back to her fellows...who are likely to retaliate if they still intend to take me by force. If you would all rather live in peace here, then I have an alternate proposal,”
”I could surrender myself. Then, they would have no reason to disturb you all. As Salem said, servitude isn’t so unthinkable. Especially if it can buy my comrades their lives. I would leave the decision in your hands, as my feelings on this matter are biased. I fear that hasty judgement would have me lead you into danger. Thus...I would propose that you all speak openly about your thoughts. And I would also propose that those who speak be unburdened by fear of retaliation from me, or others,” Rodias stated, of a mind to accept all view points on this. It was only fair, after all. He had utterly failed to protect even a single member of Bandersnatch in the fight.
Now, this is the kinda bullshit I like waking up to. XD
If Chuunitrixx, Graft, and Bone Daddy pooled their resources and skills together, they could, actually -- theoretically -- fashion something to that ideal.
Bone marrow has a shockingly large amount of health benefits, so if Bone Daddy can raise some beasts from the pens as Skeletons, I'm figuring that Graft can probably wrap them in a suit of flesh and blood that focuses on the optimization of their Health. This is to make them healthier than other options, so Chuunitrixx can lay a [Parasite Egg] into them, that parasitizes the beast; as Chuunitrixx's [Reproductive Capability] skill requires specific DNA types, she can use Graft's [Flesh Golem] from Papillary and her own [Homunculus] and [Automaton] to create a foundation for the "Titan", and other DNA types to create them tailor-made to a purpose.
Effectively, the beasts are kept "alive" and "docile" by Graft and Bone Daddy, respectively, but as soon as they put to the sword, they can undergo the Titan transformation, by the egg hatching inside fhem, and the larvae rapidly eating to grow into their Titan form.
Very befitting the secretive and body-horror-centric nature of the trio.
There would be a few obvious failures, as Graft and Chuunitrixx literally stand at opposite ends of the same spectrum with Bone Daddy in the middle, so they wouldn't work well together without a little (see: a lot) of mediation and good reason. But, after a few test runs, I could see that being the climax to Act III or something, if we get there.