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(Created page with "Category:RP Logs {{Region:Alithrya|RPs}} {{PC|Muzo}} {{PC|Reginae}} {{NPC|Yozenra}} '''Summary:''' Back in Alithrya, Muzo is kept in hiding as a 'snail collection' in...")
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[[Category:RP Logs]] {{Region:Alithrya|RPs}}  {{PC|Muzo}}  {{PC|Reginae}} {{NPC|Yozenra}}  
[[Category:RP Logs]] {{Region:Alithrya|RPs}}  {{PC|Muzo}}  {{PC|Reginae}} {{NPC|Yozenra}}  

Latest revision as of 00:12, 26 March 2020

Part of the Mearcstapa Arc

Summary: Back in Alithrya, Muzo is kept in hiding as a 'snail collection' in his old, abandoned laboratory. Reginae visits with tea and the intention of discussing a more permanent solution to his 'in hiding' life style.

Naga Alchemists Abandoned Lab

Alithrya was ever the same when Reginae and Muzo returned after their chance meeting in the Library. No one questioned why she set up a snail in Muzo’s old lab. What could they say? It was clear enough that the Queen was mourning the loss of her former companion and took her comforts in spending time there with the newest snail to her growing collection. In fact, she moved them -all- there. The silvery snail Pilar had given her (replacement for Reginald Slugginton III) and two or three other bioluminescent snails she’d plucked from the tunnels and undergrowth. It was, by her estimate, a convincing ploy for now. These corridors were still mostly empty, uninhabited. Safe. As safe as anywhere in city. It’s nearly noon when she raps the tip of her tail lightly against the closed door to announce herself. In her hands, she holds a tea tray complete with multiple cups and steaming kettle. The palace staff must think her mad; daily tea with snails. Yozenra helped carry the tray to the end of the hallway and there she remained to stand guard. Though oblivious to the secrets the lab held, Yozenra was also in her own state of frantic mourning for Pilar. She understood. Reginae strains to listen for activity, humanoid ear hovering close to the barrier. There’s always a single moment of panic that he will not open the door. That he’d been found out and whisked away to stand trial while Alithrya’s alliances crumble. An utter nightmare. Anxiously, she risks tapping again while flexing her fingers around the tray’s silvered rim. Azurite eyes stare at their muddied reflect in the dull metal impatiently.

Muzo freezes and waits when he hears the knock, listening carefully to see if he recognizes, ah yes thank goodness, Reginae's knock. Swallowing his relief, the researcher stretches uncomfortably, grimaces, and marks his page. Living incognito was seldom a comfortable affair, but Muzo was almost getting used to being shuffled here, smuggled there, made to wait, made to rush, then forced to wait and lie low again. It was practically one of his natural cycles now. As silently as he can, Muzo glides to the door and opens it, careful to stay out of sight on the other side. Once Reginae's inside, the door closes with a small clank, and Muzo can release the breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. "Caught me reading. Glad I heard you." He offers her a sheepish grin, a look that would have been tenderly charming, disarming even, were it not for ever malicious presence of his artificial eye.

Reginae’s done her best to ameliorate the ‘in hiding’ lifestyle. She’s quick to remind them both that it won’t go on forever this way but they’ve yet to craft a fool proof solution. Her frustration isn’t visible to Muzo though. It’s only those outside these walls that bear the brunt of her frequent diatribes. Still, even here, her moods fluctuate between the distant and obstinate personality he’d fought against in Cenril and the avid and demure demeanors of old. Today appears steeped in the latter. Only once she’s let in does she allow herself to exhale in tandem before her face lights pleasantly. “What about?” She inquires warmly while dusting (unnecessarily) an open space on the edge of a lab bench to rest the tray on. She had grown used to his artificial eye but it didn’t do justice to what it replaced. The feeling was branded below her consciousness; the crimson gem a scarlet letter to mark a horrific chapter. In truth, she was no better, but she masked her oddly colored eye with familiar blues to keep up appearances. Her sight had mostly returned anyway. No need to fuss about it. “I’m glad you did too. I imagine I’d look mad standing in the hall with a tea set, knocking on the door to an empty room.” The city’s affairs were slow to get back underway. It left plenty of idle time to indulge in good company. The best company, by far. “Are you sure I can’t get you anything else?” Now it’s her turn to look shy, as if caught off guard by his direct attention.

Muzo feels his face light up as he surveys the tea tray, and he wastes no time gliding over to join her. "Content with the tea, thank you for asking." Shining with said contentment, he joins Reginae at the table and waits for her to help herself to a cup. "Never thought I'd be so glad to be back in the old lab," Muzo admits with a laugh and shakes his head. He looks to the operating table, remembering out loud, "better full of snails than jershers. Brighter days now, yes?" The question had meant to be rhetorical, but instead the corners of his mouth turn down, and he hums in evaluation. Across the room, from under a pile of books, there's a bit of a shuffling, rummaging sound. One stack teeters over, and up pops Formulae to flutter over and glide a smooth circle around Regi. "Contain your excitement," Muzo blandly reproaches the book, but it doesn't seem to listen. Instead, it lands beside the teatray on the lab bench and flips itself open to a caricature of Reginae, drawn in flattering proportions, hugging an over-large snail by the shell and surrounded by a cloud of cartoon hearts. Muzo hastily flips the book shut and coughs. "Thank you! For the tea." Blushing, Muzo hurries to pour himself a cup.

Reginae moves through the preparation of her own tea mechanically. Muscle memory dictating when to arrange this and pour that. Tea leaves swirl like autumn leaves in stained water before settling at the bottom. In truth her attention is on the rummaging. Though she knew it wasn’t true, her imagination painted a grotesque picture of the homunculus emerging like an overgrown cat from behind the books and staring at them. It’s a more pleasant surprise that it is, instead, a rather excitable Formulae. “Snails are an improvement.” She agrees, beaming at the book as it perches nearby. “No tea for you, I’m afraid.” Her tone a sober sentiment, as if it would truly disappoint the third member of this exclusive tea ceremony. The pages flip open and Reginae expects anything but this adorable depiction of Reginae’s affections for snails. Surely it couldn’t be an implication of her attachment to anything else previously or otherwise snail like in appearance. She can’t stop herself from laughing with surprise. “Very observant.” She notes before hiding her smile in her tea cup to dispel the steam. When Muzo flushes, she looks elsewhere and adds “I didn’t know Formulae was such an artist. We should host an exhibition by an anonymous artist and see what other nagas think.” A teasing jest. His thanks cause her eyelids to lower partial. “It’s the least I can do.” And it really was. She couldn’t move nicer things down to make the accommodations more...comfortable. No creature comforts beyond the steel and glass and books. Is it truly preferable to the silent life of a Humanoid monk surrounded by books and strangers but with the freedom to do as he pleased? Clearing her throat, her gaze shifts back to him. Her amazement that they might stand together in Alithrya with their (mostly) proper selves had yet to lose it’s glow. “I wanted to ask you,” she starts with uncertainty, “about a more permanent solution to this...problem.” White scales curl neatly under her; a makeshift ‘seat’ of sorts. “I wonder if we might deem you a diplomatic advisor from another region. Perhaps Cenril, though I don’t know their government figureheads proper. I’ve heard tell that they are struggling with the safety of the newly relocated witch population.” She pauses, the subject still raw. “I thought your...experience might make it more believable that you are a foreigner? Not to mention, it might boost moral if citizens believe we are still allied elsewhere.” Technically, they -are- still allied elsewhere. But, the more support they ‘appear’ to have, the more it might ease the uncertainty that’s blessed Alithrya in the past two years. The tea is finally cool enough to drink and she sips it with caution. “What do you think? Of course, it’s all void if it isn’t appealing.”

Muzo accepts his own cup gratefully and glances down into it, then quickly looks back to a tank of snails. He could hardly comment on the notion of showcasing Formulae's work, but as for the book itself, well! It's cover flips open again at the very thought, and an intricately cross-hatched illustration appears, ink bleeding into the pages as, moment by moment, a mirror's likeness of Reginae appears, teacup in hand, to stare up at the queen from the page. No wonder Muzo keeps the book handy! "I am amazed that anyone would find this book's antics amusing." At Muzo's dry glance and implied reprimand, Formulae's cover snaps shut again. Muzo blows on his own tea and gives it a sip, watching the snail in its terrarium as it slowly chews a line across a fresh leaf. "Permanent solution. Hmm." His brows furrow. He tries to imagine what Reginae is describing. He? A diplomat? In witch-infested territory? The naga's stomach does a somersault. "Ah, well. Hm. Perhaps, yes. Would be going as... a naga? A naga other than myself?" Could nagas even *do* that? Frankly, he'd never tried. All this native transformation magic is a glaring hole in his education, and he promises to read up on it later. "Not sure how well I could play the part of ambassador. Not sure what it entails. Willing to try, of course, if you believe I'm up to the task." He says he is willing, but the grip on his teacup tightens.

Reginae watches gleefully as Formula presents another illustration. “How lovely,” she comments to the book for it’s contribution before it snaps shut with something resembling attitude. “I’m not easily charmed,” is her reply to the artist in the room. Muzo’s reaction is taken in, digested, and hummed about before she has a chance to reply. She pauses, however, on the same query. *Could* Nagas do that? It would make sense that they should be able to but she’d never thought to put it into practice. Being something alien made it harder to forget you weren’t yourself. “I meant more in the capacity of staying here as a human diplomat, or feline, or whatever other surface race the town has that you fancy.” She guesses human is the most attractive as he had experience with it. “Since you’ve been seen in Cenril, it wouldn’t be completely out of place for you to represent them. Would just have to get their government head to agree.” Would the Cenril leader find it suspicious? Too early to tell. Selfishly, she’d prefer to keep him close by. Muzo had become a phantom in the world and the irrational fear that he should vanish completely if she didn’t see him had implanted itself firmly in her brain. He could not be an illusion. Her heart would not survive another blow and madness would be all that awaited her on the other end of that discovery. “I would prefer to keep you close by.” She decides to say, just in case he doubts her faith in him around witches. It was, at times, still difficult to say how she felt. Not rage so much as the others. The mushier, soft unbelly sort of feelings. The snail chews dumbly, retaining it’s adorable charms. “Though…” She sighs with an expression oddly close to annoyance. “I can’t say it doesn’t worry me that you might grow restless here.” Even outside of the walls that protected him. The dramatic shift in her facial features alone should be giving her whiplash, but she carries on normally. As if she’d always been annoyed with him. As if she hadn’t averted her eyes shyly mere seconds before. “I don’t mean to talk business so brashly.” She adds, the formality another oddity.

Muzo rubs at the edge of his faceplate, and the gesture warrants a grimace. "Ah, hss, of course." The researcher sets down his tea, picks it up again, shifts on his tail. "Believe I understand your concern. Would not use the position as an opportunity to vanish again. Will begin to ah, ah," his tongue flicks as he digs for a word, "craft... a disguise immediately. Certain that I can figure out something reasonable, something I can manage without blowing my cover. Admit," his slender fingers drum against the edge of the cup, and he gives Reginae a glance, "might be less familiar with Cenril than you realize. Hid in the library. Rarely, would rent a boat. Haven't even been to the bank." For all his grim precautions, Muzo still manages to relax at the end of all this. His tail coils, and he settles more comfortably. "Worst case, I'm caught and killed," he laughs, drinking to the thought.

Reginae watches Muzo with heavy scrutiny. She holds her skeptical expression before closing her eyes to sip her tea blindly. “If you have another suggestion…?” Azurite opens on him again. “I understand.” He has limited knowledge of Cenril but it is a disguise. A farce. Just a reason for a human to be here in Naga land. “Where better to learn about the city.” She notes about his time in the library, ignoring the fact that most books were likely old tomes with old words that no longer applied. A flinty frown takes her lips and she sets her half empty tea cup on the tray. “I can’t abide by this histrionic remark.” Her tail uncoils but stays close, the white scaled tip twisting in sharp, irritated twitches. “I would never intentionally put you in harms way. In Alithrya, if you were kidnapped or…” She pauses, chest depressing, to swallow her thickening tongue. “..It is impossible.” She decides with a twitch of her nose so dramatic it tugs her lip up in a momentary snarl. “I won’t hear of it.” Low light cuts sharply across the ebony crown perched in snowy hair. It reflects Muzo’s eyes, throwing back most prominently the red in it’s false socket as if mocking him. “I have other matters to attend to.” A beat. “Think it over and we’ll reconvene tomorrow.” Her austere tone lends itself to her rigid body language.

Muzo sees the change in the queen's demeanor, and he quickly finishes his tea, looking cowed. The researcher sets his empty cup back on the tray. "Of course. Forgive my bleak thoughts." Overcome with the sudden need to do something with his hands, Muzo hangs Formulae back on his belt. The buckle fastens, and the book is locked firmly in place. He turns back to face her and bows. "Thank you for your visit, Reginae, and for the tea. Sorry to hear you have other business so soon." Gradually, his spine straightens. "Can't imagine how busy the life of a queen must be. Tomorrow, yes." He nods, and despite the tension, Muzo dons a smile for her, even if his eye is still on her twitching tail. "Looking forward to it dearly." Not about to let her get it herself, Muzo moves toward the door. "Will have a disguise ready by then. Something preliminary, at least."

Reginae’s been holding her breath but she doesn’t know why. Why was he like this? Bowing?! Bowing. She shakes her head, tossing out a hefty exhale while her eyes follow him to the door. Smiling and looking as if she hadn’t attempted to chill him out. Or maybe it worked and she was annoyed by how *well* it had done it’s job. He notes his enthusiasm for her return and it softens her eyes apologetically. She does not apologize. She feels the furnace of her rage kicked into high gear by his patience. Didn’t he have other opinions? Wasn’t he learned and adroit? Hmph. Damn him. It didn’t bother her when the staff bowed but he ought to know better. Not trusting her sharpened tongue to say anything pleasant just yet, she nods in acknowledgement of his words and thanks when he opens the door. The tray, forgotten. Formulae’s subdued state on Muzo’s belt mirrored the Scientist’ demeanor. He’d resent her eventually, she thinks, for trapping him here. “Until then.” She says curtly before making her way through the open door. For appearances sake, she’ll linger near it until it closes before making her way up to where Yozenra was waiting. “Everything all right?” The Queen’s guard asks. “Shut up, all of you!” Reginae snaps, keeping her forward pace instead of stopping beside her escort. “Post guards here tonight,” she adds in a bark. “I need to know my snails are safe.” Yozenra lingers to shoot a disturbed glance down the empty hallway before slithering after the Queen in silent obedience.