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what do the bogdanoffs gain from this is my question
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Gerard Segremors

@Krayzikk

"With respect, Sir Nicomede, ours is a trade of inches and instants." came the inevitable riposte, as Gerard turned to face the other man fully. Something about that grin told him that he'd been, whether he'd meant to hide or otherwise, found out in his probing. That the deeper answer he sought was locked yet away, even if the fencer deigned to elucidate upon that which was said. Hm. Once again, it seemed proof that he had not the foresight to play such games with words...

"Surely you know as well as I that action and reaction are a world removed from contemplation."

Best keep to what he knew until he did.

It was initiative on the field that had kept him alive thus far. Each time he had ripped his life free from the battles he'd thrown it into, it had been off the back of his courage, tenacity, and split-second action. If he had stopped to contemplate Elva Fraus, her crimson lightning would have cooked him. If that man in the Bandit camp were a second sharper than he, his name would be listed alongside Rickart as a casualty, crossbow bolt through the eye. Had he not stood firm in the face of blinding heat and light, he'd have never even nicked Jeremiah. Readiness came from instincts, refined to a hair trigger. Perhaps Nicomede was the type of man to call that a form of "thinking"... But Gerard had his doubts.

His crossguard continued to float near his brow.

"By all means. If I may learn."
It is extremely on brand for gerard to not be anywhere near this lecture about "just go in: not smart"
okay, posting and dnd does not make for easy multitask. flew to close to the sun here
Gerard Segremors

@Krayzikk

"Either works," he grunted, speaking through a frown both stemmed from exertion and from pensive processing. Had he named himself Sagramore in the man's presence? Poring through the few memories he had of interactions with Nicomede, Gellert... found nothing. Not that he remembered. Strange. First the vague sense of familiarity, and now a casual knowledge of his birth name— which as far as Gerard was aware, had been concealed to him by the usage of the more central Thalnic form. Once is happenstance. Twice might be coincidence. If there were a third factor, he was certainly onto something.

"Though, I can't claim to remember giving the first this far South. How'd you sniff me out as Magyarok? We aren't the biggest of tribes." the question was posed neutrally as he settled into the Pflug guard, golden eyes scanning his senior inquisitively as he in turn ground his heel in thought to mull over the previous query. He was an intellectual, surely— it hadn't been lost on Gerard that he was always observing his environment and fellows with an analytical eye.

Even now, such was the case, as he had casually eyed Gerard's progression through the master cuts and taken their measure. In Segremors' opinion, the world's most dangerous sommelier had beheld nothing special— much of his technique was forged in combat, and sourced second-hand by a mercenary quartermaster's worn Fechtbücher. Rough around the edges, compensating for lack of polish with violence.

Which brought him to the man's response, as he related it back to Knight's Doom. To counter strength with speed. Speed with skill. Skill with Sense. In theory, correct— leveraging whatever advantages one has against his foe, for it is a rare one that eclipses you in ever aspect. Gerard himself had found great success in following similar lines of thinking many a time— as would anyone who faced combat regularly and lived. And yet... remembering that fight, that looming sense of a snapped blade and imminent death...

"Interesting how it all plays back into itself." he breathed, raising to an ochs guard slowly as he searched Nicomede's expression. "For if I were faced with a foe smarter than me, such as yourself, my instincts are to crush him before he can think. Allow no time to plot, no time to settle, no time to breathe."

The shadow of the mountain loomed over him again.

"It's hard to be smart when faced with a raging storm, Sir Nicomede. At the very least, I found it so."
In Secundi Lux 11 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay






She sits.

Stable. Still. Solid.

Centered at the base of all, she sits quietly, letting Wind breathe through her, Water shape and caress her boundaries, Fire flow within her veins carrying Purity and Refinement. She knows of Time and Distance, cataloging both in innumerable measure to the scales of the meager life she nurtures. And so much life it is. The greenery, holding silent vigil where once awash with the roar of wildness, before the clouds of toxic ink shore and twisted it away. Those that crawled along the ground, dug within it, furtively living beneath the poison, too. And of course, the great Sancti of man— each and every last foot that pounded upon stone, upon steel, upon the walls that they had erected into and from her flesh, her essence shaped and extruded to protect them. She is surely aware of them, as they rise to her heights and desperately cling to what boons she could still give them, leveling all of their heart, their cunning, and their mulelike stubbornness against the shadows that veiled her.

How could she not feel her angriest sons and daughters fighting?

No, that's not right. Not hers... but nonetheless shared with her. How? Despite agreeing with the sentiment, she's no mother. She is her, obviously, and yet—

She is at the greatest height of the world, and at its deepest trench. Ever-present in both mountain peak and secluded, sealed cavern. It does not make sense to her thoughts when she tries for them, yet her mind understands it. A connection to all things, vast and so far beyond the reckoning of even the smartest among them, let alone someone as simple as she— yet for all she cannot name, define, or compartmentalize it, she can feel among that expanse in a way she had not when succumbing to those sterile white lanterns. Maybe it is her simplicity that allows for it.

A kinship. She and this primal essence have a kinship, her heart decides, unbidden by the brain's usual monologue. Both are solid, both are honest, both are centered within their world. They lend a weight to themselves, material and metaphysical, that stabilizes and serves as a foundation for all they take upon themselves, all they are surrounded by. She has tapped into something much akin to her, in personality, in temperament, in way of being.

Her and her new friend would probably get along great. Their strengths, together, could make a great change. To tap into something so vast in any respect made it seem a cinch in comparison. Would it be that easy? No. Definitely not, but this would always be there, always bolster her, always provide the bedrock upon which she could build her every dream into reality. She carried it within her as it carried her upon itself, just like all the others that breathed and walked.

Green eyes open, as the seated girl noticed this.

She found herself, as she sat, within the depths of an oak forest. At the back of her mind she could still feel the enormity she had toured, and a wave of wry amusement passed over her as she realized just how lost she'd gotten. To vibe with something so omnipresent as ..rth, one needed to spread their profile a bit— zoom out to get it all into frame. Finding a tiny little sapling again could get tricky, mhm, mhm.

But now she had drawn things back into square one, cognizant of her context. The songbird perched on her head was light as its feathers. The fox in the bushes, wandering across in search of good hunting, carried himself with such care and lightness of tread. The ancient trees, once acorns in yet older soil, breathed and drank and spoke with voices too slow and soft to hear. This was where she had been hiding away, then.

How nice...

But having pulled herself back together from that wide reach, Selma knows that this is soon to end.

Green eyes open, this time for real.




"Wuuuugh. No." She replied, frank as a girl ever could be, to the first words she heard. "I feel like I spent about three days at work without any sleep. Don't worry, Crystal, I don't wanna move."

Every muscle she knew how to use and some she didn't know were a thing felt tight, wound together into scouts' knots by the procedure, her body's reaction to whatever had been done. They felt less like meat and more like hardwood... maybe steel cable. That IV drip hadn't gone too far into the vein, had it?

Nah, that's not how that works, dummy.

Having been briefed on the general outline of the surgery ahead of time, she fought the urge to feel around her navel for the Armagus implanted within— twelve-cylinder Nox engine that, if she heard right, came in green. It felt like a weight within her gut, for certain. A heavy, cold stone that somehow... permeated her, now that she thought of it. Maybe that tautness wasn't entirely muscles needing a good hard stretch. She felt like shit, that much was certain. Barely thinking straight and sore for days, but beneath that?

Well, the word she couldn't get out of her head was sturdy. She felt, beneath the cloud of pain and haze of disjointed consciousness, that she could probably handle the workload she'd just bemoaned if she had to. Ars Magi, huh? They really were a cut above your average jane...

Her eyes, while contemplating this, slid over the other four, stuck in the same situation.

Not three.

Not three?

Chie Crystal Rivka Me Whoooooo is this one?

"Hey, where'd you come from? We don't know eachother yet, last I checked— I'm Selma."

Sturdy. Still. Stable. Solid. Not Subtle.
Gerard Segremors

@Krayzikk

Yesterday had started with technique, borne of a furious drive to escape the shadow of a towering opponent. A spectre of a mountain looming over him, insurmountable in strength and only conquered by strategy, when not even skill could close the gap. It had pushed him to grind out cut after cut in the open air, simulating an endless horde of foes in the mind's eye as each challenged his understanding of space, his form, his speed. Replicating every fight his body had remembered, to try and refine what he could for future encounters. Structureless training, chaotic as the battlefields he had known for years.

Today, Gerard sought to further his condition. One of his strengths, he had discovered, was a refusal to relent. Practically an inability. To foster such a pressure, and overwhelming surge of force, he needed twice the endurance of his foes. To break a man with pace was to pit will and stamina against him. He had not failed in it, not yet— but that was no excuse to become complacent. If his condition tapered off, his breath would leave him.

It wasn't lost on him that he had felt like death upon their return that night. He was a man of swiftness and brutality— fighting like hell on the field and leaving nothing in reserve. Such an act would have starved him before knighthood, to take a half-measure was to receive half the pay. Undeniably effective. Undeniably taxing too, once the rush of swordplay faded.

So, at his usual waking time of just after first light, Segremors began the first of many laps round the inside of Candaeln's outer wall with his sword upon his back, forcing his burning muscles into a steady jog. If you could keep a run, or at least a trot, going for hours, your ability to march, ride, and fight would have a broader baseline. Simple wisdom of any working man— the longer you could exert yourself, the more dividends it paid down the road in your craft.

It was grindingly slow compared to the dead sprints and charges he had displayed the night before, but it was not until his dozenth circuit of the Iron Roses' massive compound that he allowed himself to drift to a stop in the courtyard, wiping sweat from his brow with the plain black shirt he used for training.

The flash of steel quickly caught his eye, drawing the young man's amber gaze as he forced his breathing back under control. Sir Nicomede. A study in contrasts with Sagramore if there ever were one— stately, poised, and refined in both court and field. He quietly observed the elder knight as he comfortably flowed through long, practiced sequences with that longer, thinner cut-and-thrust blade of his, its ornate basket hilt catching the midmorning sun as the Spada answered every question asked of it.

Actual, classical training, if he had to guess. While not quite the knightly longsword nor the rapier of the aristocracy, the Spada da lato was a fitting middle ground between the two for a man like Nicomede.

That name is familiar. Probably nobility of a sort, but more than that. I wouldn't know it through ties to the peerage.

The intelligence and awareness he knew that man to wield after the ball last night notwithstanding, Gerard decided to cut the silent act from his musing. As a matter of fact, such was all the more reason to: no way Sir Nicomede hadn't realized he was being observed.

"Morning, Sir Nicomede." he said simply after clearing his throat of the last burning that came up from the lungs. "Mind if I pick your brain a bit, since it seems we both feel like training?"

Nicomede's man-to-man battle experience he was unaware of, but he clearly knew a thing or two about strategy and swordplay as a combative art.

He drew his own sword a moment after, holding it aloft and savoring how his body handled the weight, the balance. Now that things had loosened back up a bit, he felt comfortable... Up to a point. Better than where he had left himself the morning prior, at least. As a cooldown exercise, if nothing else, he could progress through the master cuts while they talked. Begin, as always, with Oberhau. Then Mittel. Then Unter.

"If you were faced with an opponent that was poised to physically overwhelm you, how would you handle them?"
back on my bullshit




[ERROR: Data Transfer to PANDORA unable to complete. Suspected Signal Interference. Retry? Y/N]

Ahead of him, he saw the massive frame of his prey lurch— the one-two punch of the Iliad's finest biting deep into its armor and equilibrium. The railgun of Ajax in particular had bitten deep into its center mass, roughly where an Orbital's reactor would be housed at that scale. There was no plume of flame and fury, no chain reaction of runaway energy, no critical hull rupture billowing outward ahead of a torrent of aether. Rather, the alien was reeling, staggering down to a hand and knee as though drunk. Rabbit punched. Holden had wrecked its equilibrium. Systems for weight distribution stored in the interior of the chassis? Maybe.

No. Electromagnetic Interference. The shell carried much of its charge from acceleration into impact— a poisoned bullet. That was it, right. You only get one slip-up, Kon. Have everything memorized after this.

Regardless, the man from Belgrade hungrily leaned forward in his seat, body fighting against the inexorable press backward of acceleration as he screamed, transonic, towards the action. The blue flame of his verniers kicked up a rolling tower of dust behind as he brushed the sound barrier. Ten seconds out.

His comrades wasted no time in responding to his hails, Gypsy Soul seeming none the worse for wear in spite of engaging in melee with a foe well outside its weight class. The fey mech's blade, a red-hot light to match its wielder, had confidently redirected strikes meant to tear her in half completely, and more than forceful enough to. He'd underestimated that strange girl behind the mask, in truth— for all her spaced-out demeanor and corporate-based piloting experience, she was good behind the controls. More than the civilian carried by an exotic, high-spec design that he’d taken her for would be, certainly.

Five seconds.

That same warning blared in Konstantin's ears once more as his field of view glowed gold. The foreign ape of steel unleashed another spray of diseased fury at its assailants— No. One in Particular. Ajax, raising his seven-layered shield as Hektor's mighty lance sought his heart, and his alone. The second Bandit clearly had some measure of intelligence left— an understanding of cause and effect enough to recognize Castle as a primary threat after the Keruanos had destroyed the equivalent of its inner ear. It couldn't allow such a weapon, both capable of piercing armor and scrambling its systems, to have any more battlefield presence. Its spines were aglow with alien light, burning hot as a sun and totally focused upon tearing straight through Ajax.

Gypsy Soul and Bedwyr completely forgotten. Fatal.

Most pilots would have carried their messages in cool, crisp, confident tones. It spoke partially to professionalism, true, the discipline instilled in anyone allowed to play jockey for a multistory mass of carefully engineered alloys, ordinance, and electronics that clocked speeds measured in mach with regularity. But for those in the know, those immersed in the unique military culture of piloting, far more motivation came from pageantry— smooth, swaggering radio cues were your calling card, proof you belong in the seat. Better death than sounding bad.

Kon's undertone, beneath this affectation, almost sounded hungry.

<<Pickle, pickle. Bombs away. All friendlies break.>>

The Marshal of Arthur's Court, revived into the twenty-meter frame of state of the art military ingenuity cast not a sword into a lake, but rather a disc into light. His momentum being what it was, not even the awe-inspiring might of a full-size orbital's limbs could produce much effect on trajectory or velocity of payload. Instead, the drum was in his wake as he passed overhead, veering off in a hard right turn the moment he entered the thing's field of view. Air resistance buffeting the knight's frame, Kon clenched his teeth and hitched his breath to push the blackness from the edges of his vision. By contrast his chariot's single yellow eye shone like the midday sun.

A dull, slightly hollow clang sounded from the region of yellow-white luminescence upon the creature's back, filling what would have been an almost awkward beat in the action.

And then, that same light melted through the steel drum, and met the payload within.

A blossom of fire and force erupted from the spines, as hundreds of fourty millimeter thermobaric cartridges passed the point of autoignition instantaneously within the remains of their containment. A ripple passed through the air as the pressure front surged outward in all directions, pushed by the countless expanding blazes in close proximity within the greater fireball. A wall of concussive force that, with any luck, would serve to flatten the damn alien he could only sand down before.

<<Ask, and ye shall receive.>>

How's that for a lightning bolt?


Left hand now unoccupied, the Bedwyr drew the blade at its hip, TLS-88 sparking to life as it circled in the air.
In Secundi Lux 23 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay






"Let's get goin', then! No skin off my back!" Selma crowed from on high, visibly relieved that it all worked out without a hitch in the end. Crystal was finally looking better now that she'd downed a couple of those pills, her mind seemingly set at ease by the medicine. When the apology came her way, the big girl had simply grinned and waved it away, the thanks hot on its heels. The girl's circumstances were still beyond her full understanding, but knowing they'd gotten her back in a good space was all that mattered, in the end. For that reason, she personally didn't feel like she deserved thanks, either— Wasn't helping a friend through a tough time what a friend was supposed to do? One by one, she watched the girls step out into the hall proper.

As Crystal passed by, Selma reached out for her once more—

"Everybody knows a meal's best when it's shared with friends, after all."

And threw her arm around the raven-haired girl's shoulder, joining her in lockstep and putting on any young sapling's winningest smile as she hooked her other arm around Chie in much the same manner. Hunching her back, she leaned downward enough to pull the two in close for a conspiratorial whisper as the trio walked down the hall, escorted on either side by their guards and a little behind an unmistakably purple mane.

"Now then... I know she plays it cool and collected, but we rush Rivka on three. Nobody escapes the line, not even our little tsaritsa. Make sure we get here in here!"

For the confines of a notedly Spartan and alert military base, the walk to the mess could have gone a whole lot worse.






It was around getting thwacked in the forehead by an errant stick of Watermelon BurstTM that Selma found herself needing to sit upright again, the brewing conversation having caught enough interest to discourage her artfully sloppy lounge. Chie's answer was much like her own, in a way. A mother's cooking and a father's smile weren't terribly far removed branches from the same root of "family", after all.

"Worrying's pretty normal, I gotta agree. Just means you've got a bead on the important stuff, if you ask me." she concurred after the others had made reassurances of their own, favoring the Calcarian lass with a toothy smile that disappeared with Crystal's now-rising voice. The twintailed girl...

Well, to put it in familiar terms, her hackles were raised like a spooked dog, right before they started growling or barking at something. Her eyes darting about didn't look angry, but her pupils going huge and her breath going short and shallow reminded Selma of more than a few of her brothers, imminently before an explosion.

Some kinda stress that had suddenly swamped her—

"Hey, you alright?"

"Shit!"

"Woah! Hey, what's wrong?"

And there it was. The raven-haired Ars Magi to be rose to her feet quicker than her balance could keep up with, causing a momentary stumble that revealed five bright red lines upon her arm. She'd clawed through her skin that quickly? How hard of a grip did that even take? Whatever the hell had gotten into her, it was driving her towards the door without even a passing thought spared for those wounds... If Rivka hadn't stepped in and gotten (sort of) in her way, she might have already been out and into the hall by now.

First things first, if she was gonna hurt herself once, Selma didn't want her to hurt herself again. She too rose, in the wake of the pair, and covered the majority of distance between them with one, two, only three steps. Not enough to crowd her while she was in this state, between her cold sweat and listening to Rivka's pointedly calming tone Selma got the distinct sense that being a physical obstruction might do more harm than good. Cornering a scared animal was one of the Five Great Mistakes she'd learned as a young'un, and while Crystal was a clearly unanimalistic sweetheart as far as Miss Rosmarie could tell, some principles extended beyond their diction.

So instead, a hand fell upon the Norban's shoulder, giving what she hoped was a reassuring squeeze. Close enough to reach, in case things escalated. Not that she knew how any of this was about to go...

Truthfully, a panic attack wasn't exactly in her Amazing and Varied Situational Toolbox. It wasn't lost on her that this came about right after she'd tried to make the situation less tense, less strained either. It honestly felt like her efforts had backfired completely. Maybe she wasn't too good at heart to hearts.

"She's right, they've gotta have something here that can help."

But if she didn't try, she'd feel like a much worse friend regardless.

"We got through this much together already, didn't we? I'm sure you'll be okay. You can trust us."

The lightest of pressures backwards, a coaxing suggestion more than a command back into the room. Or a hug. Whichever was better.
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