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{{ArcNav|Arc=The God of Undeath}}
{{ArcNav|Arc=The God of Undeath}}
[[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: Reginae takes Formulae back to Muzo after have an enlightening discussion with the tome. The snail's made it's demands known to Muzo and is providing instructions on how to summon it to Lithrydel proper. Reginae, irritated that they must work together after their separation, intends to use the entity's power as her own. In the meantime, Muzo knows they are the ones being used but he's just too damn curious to let that stop him.

Mad Scientist's Lab

Muzo regards his fingers with disappointment. He had done a fine job mixing black paint, but his paint remover recipe was evidently subpar. Try though he might, stubborn lines of black still cling beneath the edges of his claws and scales. "Tsk." If he scrubs any more (or makes the solvent any stronger), he's afraid he'll take his scales off. "Small price to pay." Muzo dries his hands one last time and looks to his finished contraption--a modified serum suspension tank. There was the ordinary equipment necessary to keep a small living specimen alive in suspension, yes, but the scientist has added a few things. The bowl itself has a thick coat of rugged, opaque black paint, and Muzo's added a couple simple scopes for an observer to peer in or, perhaps, for light to shine out? Also new is a small reservoir of that shimmering perception-reversing potion Muzo'd recently concocted, connected by a drip-feed to the rest of the setup. The snail is nowhere to be seen.

Reginae and Formulae make an odd pair venturing down the corridor. Muzo’s lab was a proper jaunt from her quarters but it unraveled in silence, not that Formulae could talk. It’s bittersweet that Muzo’s most prized possession was in her charge, no matter how briefly. Was it possible that even the thing he loved more than his sentient tome was his lab? That wasn’t healthy. She considers entering an arrangement with the book, offering it a proper perch on a loving bookshelf but thinks better of it. Was it because she actually cared about the book or because she’d feel a sick sanctification in stripping more away from him? Just how thick was his skin or skull? How much would he have to lose to pay attention to things outside himself? When the Queen arrives, she raps her knuckles on the door in three, crisp bursts of sound. No musical whimsy or lackadaisical indifference. The sound is militant. Impersonal. It was just a transaction. No need to put implications or feelings where they need not be.

Muzo looks to the door, startled. An intruder. "One minute." He calls to the door. Quickly, he finishes drying his hands, stashes away the paint and brushes, and pulls his alchemist's robes over his head. The new serum setup, paint still drying, earns one last nervous glance before Muzo slithers cautiously to the door. "Apologies," he opens it a crack, "sensitive experiment in prog--ah, it's you." It wouldn't be apt to say that Muzo is relieved, but at least he feels comfortable inviting Reginae inside. Making eye contact, though? A much less comfortable endeavor. "Hope you're feeling improved since our last encounter. Please," he slithers to one side to let her by, "believe you'll be interested to see my progress." Muzo bows and falls silent, deferring to Her Majesty. As soon as she is inside (if she chooses to come inside) he closes the door and bolts it.

Frankly, Reginae doesn't remember much of their last encounter beyond being tranquilized and losing her snail. Even then there's no linear timeline to follow in her memory. She'd prepared properly, not even the slightest twinge when he opened the door and invited her inside. Formulae, presumably, enters with her. His well wishes are met with a slow, deliberate nod before taking in the so-called progress. He bows and she looks away to study the odd contraption. "Your book?" She says, gesturing to Formulae wherever it's landed, without breaking eye contact with the inky invention. She slithers forward, stray white hairs threatening to take a dive when she leans in. "What is it?" She asks, flatly. Then, after a beat, she forgets her curiosity. The snail is not there. "Never mind that, I came to get my snail." His bolting the door is met with a lofted eyebrow. Why'd he lock the door behind her?!

Muzo spots the book, and his face lights up. "Formulae! Had been missing it, yes," he straightens uo from his bow and holds out an eager hand. The sentient tome leaps immediately into his grasp. "Hope the book was of some comfort to you in your, ah," his face screws up with amused perplexion, "indisposition. See that you've recovered your composure. The snail, yes! Shh. Yes. Oh very good." Nervous fingers drum upon Formulae's cover. Muzo slithers toward his serum bowl, hesitates, slithers back toward Reginae. "Pertinent to that, ah," the snake's gaze flickers briefly to the Queen's face, then falls to the floor, "the progress I had mentioned. Utmost secrecy. The snail demands it, or, ah, whatever is behind the snail. The moon? Someone, er, moony? Well, you'll see for yourself, if I just," he turns back toward his workbench and the freshly painted setup there perched. "In suspension. In secrecy. Out of sight. Unless you know where to look." Lightly, he taps the brass lip of the viewing scope. "The eyepiece, your Majesty." Opening up his precious tome, Muzo begins leafing through the pages. "Such extraordinary visions. Can't tell you how desperate I've been to log my notes."

Reginae blinks sharply at Muzo. His curt replies bit at her skin. "Formulae was...very Insightful." She didn't know if information flowed back to it's master in the same way it'd shown her earlier. Her decision to go it alone was set in stone and she didn't want to put Muzo down about it. When he babbles about the snail demanding privacy, her eyes narrow. "What did you say?" He continues on about it being moonish and her lips recede into a thin, harsh line. He displays his intermediary solution and her expression remains unchanged. Formulae is back in his hands and Reginae can do nothing but look through the eyepiece. Her skin is crawling with anxiety over the snail. It's been too long since she's held it. Too long since it's reassured her about it's promises. If she could hear them but one more time. Easy reassurances of the future. Through the eyepiece, the snail is a blur to an inky back drop. She moves back, examining the outside of the machine suspiciously before giving it a firm shake. It rattles but nothing else of interest happens. So she tries again. And nothing. With a frown, she looks back through the scope to see an image broadcast on the blackened interior. The same moon sketched crudely by Formulae (or was it really the book's handy work?). It drips down, like liquid through a test tube, and waterfalls out into the great serpent she'd seen before. Regi pulls back, blinking, then turns to Muzo again. "What do you mean, it talked to you?" Blasted snail. Why didn't it listen to her? Muzo wasn't a good fit for a journey. He preferred, now anyway, to be locked up here. She sighs, straightening up. Once upon a time he would -never- have called Alithrya home. He -only- traveled. Had he changed? "What did it say?" She demands to know, indifferently but with a dash of jealousy.

Muzo flinches when Reginae rattles the machine. The second time she tries, he cannot contain his outburst. "Delicate equipment! And," he adds as a meeker afterthought, "fresh paint. Carefully, please." There, she seems to see something now. As she watches through the eyepiece, his attention drifts back to the book in his hands, only to be yanked back by demanding questions. "Manifestation. Summonings. Some wish to be... brought... here." A pained look crosses his face. "Not here, to the laboratory. To Lithrydel, from the moon." If what he's saying sounds insane, Muzo hasn't noticed. "Outlandish summoning ritual. Detailed, though. Theory seems sound? Unproven. Untested. Unattempted to my knowledge. A summoning from the moon! Ambitious creature." He laughs softly and turns Formulae so Reginae can see. It's a summoning sigil annotated with various arcana and esoterica. "To be performed 'with access to the sea' it says. Some tidal connection?" Muzo's head cocks thoughtfully to one side. "Moon... tides... sea... sea snails? Heh, well" his thoughts derail, "difficult telling. Admit, quite a bit of the magic is beyond me."

Muzo's snap about the delicate machinery goes unaddressed. She knew how machines worked. She didn't need a baby sitter. She needed her snail back. When Muzo starts to explain, the Queen listens stiffly. "A serpent." She clarifies in a scuff. It told him about a summoning ritual? Reginae grits her teeth and continues to listen, mismatched eyes scanning Formulae's pages with forced indifference. Why did it want Muzo involved? Was he a key element to the summoning ritual it spoke of? If he'd brought this explanation before anyone but Regi it would have sounded crazy. The snail had been talking to her for weeks, in fragments, growing stronger and more competent with each passing day. The serpent's magic was fatigued, she guessed, from transferring into a host. It needed time to recover and recover it had. Ambitious indeed. "That's all well and good," Regi starts, trying to sound appreciative for his interference. "But I came back for the snail and the snail..." She raps one white knuckle against the freshly painted glass "...is here, for some reason. Why you need instruments to understand it is beyond me." Clearly there was a mistake. The moon serpent was confused. "So, if you would be so kind as to return my pet so I can be on my way."

A little black dot of paint stays on Regi's rapping knuckle. Muzo sees this, and though he would normally point it out as a matter of consideration, there are more pressing matters at hand. "Pulling rank on me?" It's a rhetorical question. "Can have it returned to you in an hour, as soon as the perception-inverter wears off. The snail is not to be removed while the potion is in effect." This last is added firmly, and he means no compromise. "Should have enough to begin assembling the preliminaries. Seem to gather," Muzo turns Formulae's pages to point at a crude sketch of two naga's standing at the seaside, their attentions pointed at the binary moons, "that we are to perform the ritual cooperatively. Have work to do, you and I, after you," he closes Formulae, "and your snail have enjoyed an adequate reunion." Her question about the apparatus goes unanswered. Without bothering to delve into the "why" behind it, Muzo simply turns a stopcock to kill the potion drip feed, then fiddles with some of the humming equipment. "A full hour. Your serpent-in-the-snail was very clear about secrecy."

Reginae narrows her eyes. "It isn't about rank. I didn't agree to surrender my pet to this experiment and I still would like to see it returned, as I have returned Formulae. Equivalent exchange." He explains the bit about the...perception inverter, which what even was that, but she doesn't contest his advice. The black paint on her knuckle goes unnoticed. Back in Formulae's knowledgeable pages she's again confronted with an image of them working together. Why didn't it trust her to accomplish it alone?! She's content to bite her tongue until he seems to lecture her about secrecy. If it was any other book, she'd pluck it out of his hands and snap it closed. But it's Formulae. Instead she hisses a quiet "Don't you think I already know that?" Like a rebellious child. It was Yozenra's fault this happened. Maybe Muzo and Yozenra were working together to undermine her. What did he consider an adequate reunion? What did he know about reunions? How not to attend? Despite the whirling questions and barbed insults raging through her mind, her composure was otherwise flawless. "A full hour." She repeats in a grumble, catching sight of the black spot and rubbing at it in vain with her thumb. "Why does it need both..." She mutters aloud, lifting her thumb to her mouth and chewing on the stained skin.

Muzo shrinks back from Reginae's hissing. He carefully closes Formulae and tucks the book into his robes. "Neither of us agreed," the alchemist's tone turns chilly, and he looks stung. "Know nothing, absolutely nothing, about this lunar interloper apart from what it tells us about itself. A few images, sparse instructions, fantastic promises, completely uninvited!" He presses his palm over his good eye. "Chose us for reasons neither of us understand, Reginae. Make no mistake. You and I," the tip of his tail flicks between them indicatively, "are the nematodes here, the worms in this snail's petri dish, not the other way around." Muzo takes a measured breath, tongue flicking as he fights to keep his tone from turning hostile. Carefully, he uncovers his face and looks over to his ex, doing his very best to appear neutral, pleasant, and civil. "Have been given the discovery, the opportunity, of a lifetime. Would be criminal to let our personal lives interfere."

Reginae stares, aghast, at Muzo when his demeanor changes. He’s right; neither of them agreed. Well, she agreed. Was happy to go along with it’s plans, even, until it involved Muzo. Was she not enough on her own to accomplish the goal? He says her name, staring at her with that gem eye, and it grates at her patience further. Who did he think he WAS to talk to her this way? Reginae sighs, with intent to give him a solid piece of her mind but stops short when he mentions their ‘personal lives’ interfering. Well. That clears –that- right up. Didn’t the snail know who she was?! A dark magic crowds her mind, fueled by the disorientating circumstance. “Of course.” Reginae snarls with finality, fangs visible. This tiff didn’t matter now. Wouldn’t matter when they reached the end. She could stuff aside her critical comments for a moment. Then they could both get what they want and walk away happier. More complete. More aware. More fulfilled. “Fine.” Her left eye twitches, waving him away. “We’ll both play our parts.” For now. “K-keep the snail.” There’s a hint of hiss in her voice. A struggle to maintain civility. They were nagas; superior race in all ways. They weren’t going to be outsmarted by a moon snail. In Reginae’s mind, the nagas were not being used. They were USING this powerful being to attain their individual goals. She didn’t have the foresight or clarity of mind to notice it was just as Muzo said. They were the worms in the petri dish.