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Difference between revisions of "RP:Interloper Interlude"

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[[Category:RP Logs]] {{Region:Alithrya|RPs}} {{PC|Muzo}} {{PC|Reginae}}  
 
[[Category:RP Logs]] {{Region:Alithrya|RPs}} {{PC|Muzo}} {{PC|Reginae}}  
  

Latest revision as of 16:08, 25 March 2020

Part of the The God of Undeath Arc


Part of the Mearcstapa Arc


Summary: After being tranquilized by Yozenra in Muzo's lab, Reginae wakes up in her bedroom. Formulae, Muzo's enchanted book companion and lab assistant, paints a mysterious picture about their individual motives and how they may realign in time.


Queen's Quarters

Reginae sleeps for a long time. Yozenra'd been there, she remembers, before she even opens her eyes. Regi tries to assess her current state before full consciousness oozed up from the cracks. She recalls Yozenra, Muzo, the snail, and Formulae. The snail -felt- important but she couldn't remember why. Oh, that was the snail Pilar gave her. Yes, yes of course. Whatever odd fascination had occupied the Queen before was gone. And she smelled like...scents. Flowers, to be more specific. Or maybe herbs, she didn't know. Then, and only then, does she become acutely aware she's holding a book. Mismatched, half opened eyes try to read the blurry text on the exterior even though her subconscious knew what it was. "Formulae...?" She asks in a groggy whisper, uncoiling one of her arms from the book so it might be free to do as it pleased. Time was subjective in Alithrya. There was no true sun or moon to guide them through their days. She could have been asleep for two minutes or two days. Reginae didn't even have a guess to what time it was, or what day. How long had the book been trapped with her? She wants to approach the relict of her ex love interest will cool indifference. Act as if she hadn't held onto it for dear life for no apparently reason she can recall but...it's Formulae. That quirky book'd shown her some of the feelings Muzo was incapable of decoding. She had a certain fondness for it. If it flutters away, she'll regard it sagely. If it lingers, she'll smooth a smudge of ink off it's spine. "Thank you, for staying with me." Her voice is hoarse and heavy. She spoke with a secretly heart to the one 'person' who knew Muzo best.


Formulae shows no sign of animation while Reginae sleeps, but when, at last, she stirs to motion, the book's pages softly ruffle. It doesn't flutter away. Instead, as soon as the Queen is done wiping away the smudge, the book flops open on the bed beside her. Rich illustrations greet her. On the left, there is a full-page, full-body illustration of Reginae. She sits on the lip of an aquatic garden with her tail cascading into the water. Lotuses spring around her, and a wall of leafy papyrus shoots form a backdrop. In her one hand there is a brush, and in the other is her hair, held taut and ready for the brushing. She is dressed in sheer, flowy fabric, and she regards her own reflection with a demure, if somewhat lonesome smile. The whole portrait is framed in a repeating motif of tadpoles, lily-pads, and interknotted ouroboroi. Then, on the opposite page, in meticulously technical diagrams and portraiture, is Muzo. In one view, his head is shown in cross-section. In another, he is shown from the shoulders up, looking benign and curious as his gaze wanders somewhere off-page. There is labeled deconstruction of his prosthetic eye, a couple sketches of him studying vials and charts, and a warm depiction of him reading by candlelight; in this last, Formulae's own name is visible on the spine of the book depicted.


Reginae studies the images the bleed onto the pages with sleep leaden lids. The illustration of her is done in such fine detail, she could swear she’d lived the scene. The palace water garden. Only then, she’d been less lonely, more vivacious and hopeful. More...herself. She hovers her index finger over the lines on the filigreed frame before looking to Muzo’s side. Reginae swallows a lump in her throat. The art style is fitting and oddly painful to examine. She hadn’t forgotten her anger. It lived within her still but...he was so cute, wasn’t he? When he was excited about a project? His enthusiasm and floundering was down right adorable. Like the bell jar? Remember? She’s pulled from reminiscing at the diagram of his new eye. The loathing for his cowardice and secrecy boils at a murmur in her chest. She would have supported him. She’d only ever supported him! Not that he could bother to show up to one measley-! The last sketch stills her. Here, he is a comforting, harmless vision. A warm suitor who might never wound her pride nor did she have pride in the seconds where she mentally etched herself in by his side. The soft shadows compliment the candlelight, accenting the peace in which the scene is set. Her finger traces down the illustrated spine of Formulae and she feels a twinge of remorse. It was only her portrait that appeared lonely. Muzo’s was busy with vials, reading, diagrams. His loves and passions. Her shone with vanity and absence. Where was the wall of rage she’d built around her heart to keep this sickening sadness at bay? And why did she smell weird?! “He made his choice.” She tries to say it sternly but her voice cracks with unmistakable injury. All she had to do was hammer the last nail into the coffin. He’d laid the boards out nice and tidy for her. Still...Reginae wonders what nights curled up next to the fire together might have looked like. She wonders if Muzo would be indifferent to her inclusion. It he’d prefer a scene where they were occupying the same space. “He is fine.” Look at these pictures, of course he’s fine. Could he, even now, not grieve for them? “Formulae…” Reginae sounds tired. She closes her eyes with a sigh, not sure what to say.


Formulae doesn't immediately react to its spoken name, but when Reginae closes her eyes, she'll hear the page turn. When she dares to open her eyes, Formulae greets her with fresh images. On the left page is an arcane jumble of astral charts, lunar phases, summoning circles, haphazard cipher lines, and a geometric study of an oroborous circumscribing a hexagram. The right page is another full illustration with frame. The art is coarse and bold with loose regard for proportion and perspective--a clear departure from Formulae's usual style. Reginae and Muzo stand in profile on opposite sides of the page, perched on jagged rocks, facing inward with exaggerated symmetry. Dominating the center between them is a sword, simple and imposing. It points straight downward, but rather than ending in a point, the blade stretches into a serpent that plunges into the sea with terrible, foaming waves. At the bottom of the depiction, the serpent's gilled head looms downward into the black oceanic abyss, it's fanged maw open and fearsome. Atop the page, the sword's hilt is set in front of the moon Ahr'Nuk. By their placid, distant expressions and outstretched hands, Reginae and Muzo seem calmly complicit in this cryptic calamity. A single, seamless, messy knot of human limbs and snake tails wraps around all four sides of the page and rings the curious scene in a tall oval.


Reginae fears what images she’ll see when she opens her eyes. She’ll have to, but she paused before hand to steady herself. And when she does, her eyes go wide, devouring the image whole with rabid interest. It isn’t rendered with great precision and clean lines. It’s jagged, bold...powerful. It charges a jolt, a memory. It was like her dream. The moon, the snakes, a sword? Or, more accurately a leviathan? The details are fuzzy but this random depictions calls it back. The Queen bolts upright, angling her body to take the open book in both hands, staring hard for more clues. The power. The power. Her fingertips throbbed, the black magic within her awakened by the moon’s call. She’d been asleep too long. Manic eyes search the room in broad, messy streaks to find the snail but it isn’t here. She can’t hear it’s voice. It’s whispered promises for a solution. For peace. For power. For answers. Muzo. His lab. She fights the urge to rush down the hall to the scientist briefly. “How did you know…?” Reginae can accept a talking snail promising unspoken desires but this delicate, mischievous tome knowing about it felt wrong. “Formulae?” Her voice trembled, edging towards anger.


"How did you know?" Reginae asks and bids Formulae to flip its pages in answer, rifling several chapters ahead. When the paper settles, Reginae can immediately see the book has returned to its ordinary style. The section is titled "Psychic Feedback and Infinite Regressions," and if Reginae wishes to read, she may, for there is ample text that rambles dryly, madly down from dizzying academic hights. Considerately, there are also pictures occupying spaces where dense block paragraphs might otherwise have been. "Fig. 1 - Master and Book" Muzo stands holding a book open toward the reader, and on the book is Muzo, holding a book open toward the reader, and on that book is Muzo and Book, and Muzo and Book, ever smaller and finer, smaller and finer until even the most delicate inking can no longer continue the regression. "Fig. 2 - Reader and Book" Reginae sits in her quarters in her current posture, bolt upright in bed and looking down into Formulae's pages with her present, shaken expression. "Fig. 3 - An Interloper" A familiar and delicately rendered snail sits, its eyestalks upright, its face forward as though to regard the reader.

Reginae watches the book’s explanation, a frisson of excitement eating up her spine. She took this to mean that Formulae and Muzo were connected psychically so it knew Muzo’s thoughts and feelings at any given time. Which meant the previous page of Muzos was an accurate portrait of his current disposition. Hers was accurate enough, where it was buried deep under the feelings she fed. The naga can’t help but look up, the rendition of her on the bed rendered so naturally in an area out of Formulae’s (or her) line of sight. When it comes to the Interloper, Reginae swears she can feel the soothing presence of the creature. It’s gentle caress and reassurances for a better future. She was chosen. She would help bring it about...and based on Formulae’s ‘assessments’ Muzo would be included in her success. But she didn’t want him to be. “I’ll do it alone.” She tells the image of the snail, snuffing all emotional weakness out of her voice. Focus on the goal. The Queen didn’t need the help of a selfish scientist...no matter how inviting the idea of reading by the fire might be. She had her priorities. And her pride. The pads of her thumbs run down a section of it’s binding. “Come on.” She sighed, moving to release the book to flutter about and follow her if it chooses or she’ll carry it back in her arms. Regi could send Yozenra but it felt personal to return Formulae, like an adored pet, back to him. They could exchange, provided Muzo didn’t hack the snail apart as he was known to do with foreign things.


Formulae leaps up when bidden. It obeys her command to come and hovers close behind. Langidly it floats and dips behind the queen, kept aloft by sparse flapping and a magical lightness. Reginae's lonely ambitions haven't discouraged the book. The Queen has resolved to go on without Muzo, but Forumlae will drift hither and thither nearby to follow wherever Reginae leads.