[20:14] <@LipstickThespian> "Hey, you're Anthiel, right?" There wasn't really a time when staff would talk to the students here, and it was odd that one would be wandering the courtyard at all. So it was, with the first real snowfall of the season, an oddity in a school full of oddities. Still, after walking past Ellie, the woman had turned around to address them with a bit of curiosity in their voice. Tall,
[20:14] <@LipstickThespian> a little thin, wearing a simple grey coat over their greyscale office wear. The only thing that might have made them anything but normal, were the two black wings folded up on their back. Too small for flight, they almost looked like they were for fashion.
01[20:15] <@Nemi> 'Anthiel'. It's not a name Ellie likes hearing, even if it's her true actual name beyond the veil of humanity. Sitting on the bench in the snow, elegantly composed with blue peacoat over white dress over leggings and boots, reading a Steinbeck novel and sipping from her mug of peppered cocoa, she was having a lovely evening until those words. She lifts her head, and then her brows. ".. Ye-es. Yes. Why?"
[20:18] <@LipstickThespian> "Do you have a moment of your eternity to spare for me?" The woman was phrasing things in a way no staff member would. Her posture was unsure of itself and her face was framed by long black hair that seemed too straight to be natural. Something in her eyes, and something in her mind were off. Anthiel couldn't read them by the scraps most entities leave behind when they're thinking,
[20:18] <@LipstickThespian> she was to Anthiel, a dead zone.
01[20:20] <@Nemi> And that disturbed the Tear Drinker more than anything. She was used to having to hold back- here, there was nothing. Nonetheless, she draws herself up, elegant and composed, and offers a smile. "Well, /certainly/. What can I do for you?" She lowers the book to one side, and sips at her drink for punctuation.
[20:22] <@LipstickThespian> "Will you walk?" The woman doesn't expect an answer that might be anything but positive and turns to walk down the snow covered path. Her footsteps crunchy as she walks, boots digging into the show. The tops of her wings frosted by the ever so gentle snow fall. "Anthiel, may I ask something of you?"
01[20:23] <@Nemi> It's rare for Ellie to get the heebies or the jeebies, and here she's got plenty of both. She rises, nonetheless, and gracefully walks on after. The book is thrust under an arm, and the drink is held to her lips half for warmth and to hide her expression. ".. May I ask who /you/ are, first?"
[20:26] <@LipstickThespian> "Michal, it's a pleasure to meet you. Though, I have the feeling that isn't what you meant when you asked me who I am." Michal walked with a purpose, like her stride was under scrutiny and her steps needed to be careful for there might be a trap in the snow.
01[20:30] <@Nemi> "Yes, that's not exactly what I meant. Though it's good to have a name." Ellie shrugs her shoulders as she keeps pace, falling in beside the winged woman. She moves with her usual ease, though the woman's purpose and wariness has her again unsettled.
[20:31] <@LipstickThespian> "If I tell you who I am," Michal says as she looks over at the girl with an expression that could define mixed emotions. "Then you must tell me who you are, first. Is that fair Anthiel?"
01[20:36] <@Nemi> ".. Well, /well/." Ellie raises her brows as she looks Michal up and down. "What do you want to know, then?"
[20:40] <@LipstickThespian> Michal mimics the action and looks Ellie up and down, her hands have yet to leave the pockets of her coat and the snow doesn't seem to bother it. Really, except for the odd look of annoyance when a flake ends up on their face, Michal doesn't seem to mind the world around. Why would it? Snow was everywhere, it was almost impossible to see anything past the flurries that surrounded
[20:40] <@LipstickThespian> them. Surely you might catch a glance of something in the flurries. A tree here or there, maybe a large rock or a bush. In the distance, the Cathedral could be seen when the snow drifts cut back and away for brief seconds. Always looming over the small town in the valley below. Wait, there was a Cathedral? When did that get there?
[20:40] <@LipstickThespian> "What does Anthiel receive by playing their game of human?"
01[20:43] <@Nemi> Ellie doesn't seem to mind the snow either. In fact, it suits her- her blue eyes, her snow-white skin and hair, the way the wind catches at her locks just so and casts them behind her. She narrows her eyes. "Where did you take me?" It's the most outward show of her displeasure and, perhaps, fear. ".. And I get a lot from being human. Peace from everything that composes me. You should try it sometime."
01[20:45] <@Nemi> Her tone is dry, to try to conceal just how disconcerted she is.
[20:47] <@LipstickThespian> Although it fits her, the wind seems to bite a little more. It cuts at her, chips away and sends her hair back in her face. Like the world itself is trying to form the center of it's winter storm around her and make her despise the weather she might have loved. Michal, it seems, is also affected by this biting and this chopping. "Where we are? That will take another concession from
[20:47] <@LipstickThespian> you, Anthiel." She walks along the path and small houses can be seen past the snow flurries. Little cottages along the cobblestone path. "Peace? I don't think acting human would give me peace. You have answered my question and I will answer yours, I am a mistake Anthiel. One who has come to you, for selfish reasons."
01[20:49] <@Nemi> Ellie follows afterwards, bringing a hand up to shield her face. It's not fair. She /loved/ winter. Why was it hurting her /now/? The other clasps the mug of cocoa close to her body. The book remains under an arm, despite everything. ".. Then ask." She leans into the wind, grace forgotten, to continue on. A mistake? ".. I don't understand."
[20:53] <@LipstickThespian> The woman holds an arm up to brace against the snowflakes cutting at her, fighting the two of them and trying to force them away from their desitnation. It really did feel like Ellie and Michal were fighting an uphill battle, perhaps Ellie's fashionable shoes weren't meant for climbing such a difficult peak. "I ask a very simple thing of you and I would forgive you if you say no, but
[20:53] <@LipstickThespian> I will not accept it." Looking back, the woman almost has to yell to be heard over the din of the snow storm. "Anthiel, you will take my place in Marriage."
01[20:55] <@Nemi> Indeed, Ellie's boots, with their two-inch heel, weren't well suited to trudging through ice and snow. She keeps on keeping on, nonetheless, perhaps relying on her mental abilities to cut the worst of the wind. But it keeps clawing and biting nonetheless. "Marriage? What are you talking about?" She calls out, over the wind.
[20:57] <@LipstickThespian> "Another question, another concession." Michal calls back as she starts up a long wide staircase, cut from the stone itself and leading to that Cathedral that peeks out from the snow storm to remind them of it's height and strength. "Tell me, do you remember what they were doing to you in that labrotory Anthiel? The experiments? What do you remember?"
[20:59] <@LipstickThespian> Every step towards that building reminds them of their place, that the weather will not forgive or forget their journey. For they are braving it and the snow flakes are doing their best to get into the cracks and crevices. To sting and melt and leave a wetness that reminds the two of their place. This is not the world they know, this is something more harsh.
01[21:02] <@Nemi> "Fine! I don't remember!" Ellie gulps down cocoa to try to further stave off the incessant storm, now trying to bring her coat up to shield her face further. This shouldn't be so miserable. It's /her time/. "They wanted to make sure I wasn't- I don't know! Infectious! They wanted to see if I could be rehabilitated! They wondered if I could be used to control my other kith!" And a world that Michal's not explained a thing about, despite their shared misery.
[21:04] <@LipstickThespian> The cocoa is cold, and the peppermint is bitter. Everything is turning sour and the world is not keen to let this winter be forgotten. "Were you rehabilitated by their humanity?" Michal is yelling over the sound of the roaring winds as they reach the first landing of the long staircase. Who knows how far it goes, or how bad this storm may get. They are trying their best to keep her
[21:04] <@LipstickThespian> coat tight but it seems like the snow is sticking to their neck and digging into their body's warmth.
[21:05] <@LipstickThespian> That mountain of a staircase they climb, covered in snow and slick with ice. Threatening to throw the two of them off and send them to the abyss of a town below. The Cathedral's spire laughing as they might go and die in the storm's weather. Only to be found in the spring thaw, long and forgotten.
[21:07] <@LipstickThespian> Forgiven by a break in the wind, a view of the world below and the mountains around them. Tucked into a part of the world long forgotten and with a history no one speaks of. Michal has brought them to a place that is as far from their Canadian Sanctuary as she could have, even if there was snow on the ground in both. Only one of them seems to swirl and chew at the ankles and try and
[21:07] <@LipstickThespian> drag them down.
01[21:08] <@Nemi> "No! I thought I'd just play along!" Ellie calls out. "It took actually meeting the kids at the 'Brook for me to really want to change! And to actually do so!" A long staircase. Great. Ellie coughs hard and tries to shake the ice off her neck and where her coat fails to cover her upper chest. It doesn't help. One of her boots slips on the icy stairs and she falls to one knee, ice caking and cracking on her legs. She pushes herself up and on. What IS this place? She stares up and further on, blank and increasingly afraid. A very human feeling, fear.
[21:12] <@LipstickThespian> Michal would glance back, but they were trying their best to keep their head down and stave off the cold if they could. Where Ellie seems to struggle to keep up, she slows and uses the time to try and keep the ice from crawling up her arms. Freezing, becoming another ice sculpture for the mountain, chilled to her core. "You've forgotten, but I don't forgive you for it Anthiel." The
[21:12] <@LipstickThespian> woman climbs the steps and then they level out. It's the longest ten meters conceived as the snow tries to throw them from the mountain. But in a moment they reach the large double doors of the Cathedral. Studded old wood with large ring handles. Pushing at it, Michal struggles. It's far too tall and too sturdy for even the black winged woman to open, "help me now!" She calls to
[21:12] <@LipstickThespian> Anthiel.
01[21:15] <@Nemi> "Forgive me? For forgetting?" Ellie pushes on, collapsing to hands and knees and old Goldstein Subaru travel mug, its contents long cold and tasteless, skitters across the snow. She doesn't bother picking it up. Her book disappeared somewhere a few meters back. But at Michal's call, she again pushes on to standing. She hurries over, teeth chattering (why? She doesn't have the biology).. To heave at the door with her monstrous, inhuman strength.
[21:52] <@LipstickThespian> Someone would find that mug in the thaw, and they'd have a mighty fine travel memory. If the thaw ever came, but not many people could say that it would come. Still, even with Anthiel's strength the door is tough to push and heave and break. Then it opens, a crack enough to let the two in. Michal goes in first and motions for Anthiel to follow them inside the Cathedral. Away from the
[21:52] <@LipstickThespian> bitter.
01[21:53] <@Nemi> And Anthiel staggers on. Why was the winter so brutal to her, when normally she could ignore it but for justification for winter fashion? It's bizarre, discomfiting as anything else, but nontheless Ellie doesn't let it sto pher as she slips in right after Michal. A glance to her hand; ooze leaks from cracks in the skin, and so she clenches her fist to hide it.
[21:57] <@LipstickThespian> The door closes behind them, through no effort of their own. Then the world is quiet, the air in here is still and only the sounds of the storm outside occasionally break the silence. The atrium is large, too large really. Like it was made for people twice their size and with the intent of being as ornate as possible. Really, the whole Cathedral is ornate. From the stone arches to
[21:57] <@LipstickThespian> the marble flooring. The simple blue carpet with it's intricate white designs that's leading into the main chamber through a large archway. Small candles everywhere lighting the place, the large walls and the ornate designs. No signs of religion affiliation on the walls, nothing of the sort, no paintings of Saints or mosaics of heroes. Just simple, intricate designs.
[21:57] <@LipstickThespian> Michal takes their jacket off, revealing the simple grey blouse and black slacks they wear. Setting the jacket on a coat rack by the large double doors.
01[22:02] <@Nemi> Ellie, meanwhile, slumps just inside the door. She looks around, sullen, battered from the journey, exhausted despite the physical impossibility of it. She hugs her elbows and shudders. "You still didn't say where /this/ is." Her coat stays on.
[22:05] <@LipstickThespian> "A place that time has forgotten," Michal says as she walks to the middle of the carpet and brushes the snow off her wings onto the floor below. "That sounds cliche, I think. So instead I will just tell you that this is the Cathedral. That is the only name it is known by, and it is not known by many."
01[22:06] <@Nemi> Ellie shuffles after Michal, almost stumbling in ice-crusted boots not suited for the trek they had just taken. ".. Great. I don't know anything about this. Where or what or why."
[22:08] <@LipstickThespian> "You question so much, Anthiel. When you yourself seemed so complacent to the odd world you were living in." Michal stops at the entry to the main hall and pauses there, before turning to look at Anthiel. "Tell me why you have followed me this far, if so many questions remain?" Inside the Cathedral it's just as cold. At least the wind and the snow isn't there to cause pain anymore.
[22:08] <@LipstickThespian> Just the never ending frost.
01[22:10] <@Nemi> And so Ellie keeps the coat on. It's a psychological thing, the cold, she's decided. "Because I'm curious, and also an idiot. Why else?"
[22:15] <@LipstickThespian> "Because you are not keen to play human for the rest of your life," Michal says as she turns to walk into the main hall. It's large, far too large and to ornate. From the candle chandeliers to the rows and rows of pews that stretch out and around. The high windows that obscure the snow blitz around the building, and the large stature of a woman crying while holding a boquet of roses
[22:15] <@LipstickThespian> . The stature is the first thing that could be really called a decoration, but it seems so much more. With a simple flowing dress and long hair that splashes off it's shoulders. The artist must have been skilled beyong compare, and it's been timelessly kept. Michal takes their time walking down the aisle towards the front, and stops to sit in a pew about half way to the front.
01[22:21] <@Nemi> Ellie follows her on. ".. The /rest/ of my life? I'm already dead- for all I know I can't even be destroyed anymore. And I'm /happy/ being human. I'm /happy/ with Leah and everyone else I've met and known and loved." Her eyes rise to take the place in, and most of all, focus on the statue. She's curious as to what this great woman with her roses could be, could represent. She sits beside Michal, slumping to hug herself still amidst the throes of psychological cold.
[22:24] <@LipstickThespian> "There are so many things you are certain of, and so many lies you tell yourself Anthiel. It isn't that I mean to bring you here and take all of that away. To steal your joy and strip you of your humanity. That would be, against myself to do so." Michal sits with their back straight and hands laced together. "Tell me, do you ever wish for true death? That you might someday die with
[22:24] <@LipstickThespian> your loved one and pass on?"
01[22:27] <@Nemi> Ellie shifts her gaze from the statue back to Michal. All of her carefully cultivated ease and elegance remains lost to cold and the viciousness of the unnatural snowstorm. "Oh, well, that's a relief, no loss of all the things I hold /so/ dear.. True death? I mean- I don't know. I /want/ to get old and die with Leah, if- when that happens. Why?"
[22:29] <@LipstickThespian> "What would any of us give for true humanity?" Michal says as it leans forward and places it's elbows on it's knees. "To live a life with the fears they live, to look around at the world and wish for peace but care only for our slice of the world. The life we live being the only thing that truly matters. The people around us growing with us, living with us, dying with us. What would
[22:29] <@LipstickThespian> any of us do to see that dream?" Then Michal looked at Anthiel, "you're living in a dream I mean to wake you up from, Father."
01[22:31] <@Nemi> Ellie looks off at the statue as Michal speaks, wondering, listening. Michal is what, an angel? Then- 'Father'. Ellie swivels her head, snaps even, to stare at Michal. "… /what/?" Her voice is weak, wet, entirely blindsided.
[22:33] <@LipstickThespian> "Or am I mispoken now, you prefer to be seen as a girl. I should call you Mother, then." Michal sits up straight again as it looks towards the statue. "The experiments were just that, experiments. Humanity trying to play God, and to what end? Can you tell me Anthiel, what they had wished to accomplish?"
01[22:35] <@Nemi> Ellie raises a hand, to point at herself, then at Michal. Her face is, of course, etched in disbelief. ".. What? I mean- me? I did- what? I don't know of /any/ of thi- what they wanted to accomplish? They wanted to use me to /control/ others of my kind, to make us 'safe'. They always said they wanted me 'rehabilitated', but I knew that wouldn't happen. It happened on its own, nothing to do with them."
[22:39] <@LipstickThespian> "Could you control me then?" Michal asks it looks over at Anthiel and pauses to consider if it could be done. "No matter, the past is the past, I am a mistake created in a lab who has been as dead as you are. Yet I haven't lived nearly as much. Anthiel, I have been meaning to ask you for all these years and never had a chance. What did their screams sound like?" There's a tenseness
[22:39] <@LipstickThespian> to it's voice, like it's on edge, unsure.
[22:39] <@LipstickThespian> Did someone open a door? There was a sudden draft.
[22:39] <@LipstickThespian> Is that statue really crying? Why does it look wet?
[22:39] <@LipstickThespian> A candle went out just then, and then it was back?
[22:40] <@LipstickThespian> When did the thoughts start? Had Anthiel always heard Michal's thoughts? Those thoughts of agony, and of pain, and of suffering, and the never ending winter?
[22:40] <@LipstickThespian> Fixated all on a certain Tear Drinker they call Mother.
01[22:41] <@Nemi> Ellie shakes her head. "I don't- think I can.." Her words die in her mouth. ".. they /made/ you? After- .. what screams? Whose screams? .. I- I'm missing somethi.." She stares, and she hugs her elbows, and she shivers at the draft and why does /everything/ hurt so much here and. ".. this is because of /me/?"
[22:45] <@LipstickThespian> "Everything begins with you, and everything ends with you, Anthiel. You are so much to so many and you don't even know it." Michal seems to glance back towards the entrance, and then to Anthiel. "Come. It's time to get ready. We can talk more in the dressing room."
[22:45] <@LipstickThespian> Michal stands and walks, like they have no second thoughts that Anthiel may not follow.
[22:45] <@LipstickThespian> A dog, a trained dog. That's all Anthiel ever could hope to be.
[22:45] <@LipstickThespian> Playing tricks at being a person.
[22:45] <@LipstickThespian> Do you think their new owner, Leah, likes it?
[22:45] <@LipstickThespian> Where are these thoughts coming from?
01[22:46] <@Nemi> A part of Ellie worries that they're from within. They're right, of course. That's the part that frustrates, frightens her so much. Ellie pushes herself up from the pew and walks, unsteady, afterwards. Like the trained dog she is.
[22:48] <@LipstickThespian> "Do you know why we choose the forms that we do?" Michal asks back towards Anthiel as they guide them to the back and off to a side door that's almost hidden in the large stone columns supporting the roof.
01[22:50] <@Nemi> "I don't. Not really. This one's- it's the side effect of a friend's gift. I just- stuck with it out of habit. The place is so grand and so desolate. Anthiel was slowly starting to feel at home, the thought similarly disturbing Ellie.
[22:52] <@LipstickThespian> "It fits you," Michal smiled, it was a smile that was an echo of a thought and not anywhere near normal. Through the door is a small refectory with small closets and obviously meant for people to be dressed in robes. The Cathedral is large, it is desolate, but it looks so very nice. Built to honor what? Who knows. "Do you like it? The one you have chosen?"
01[22:54] <@Nemi> ".. I do. I did. I always thought it was appropriate. Better than .." A brief flicker and Ellie's something akin to Anthiel, huge, cracked inside and out, oozing with sludge and the psychic morass of a hundred hundred souls. The moment passes. "What I'd be now. I keep /growing/ and it scares me." This wasn't a dressing room. "What are /you/, then? Why are you an angel?"
[22:59] <@LipstickThespian> Michal looks back to see the flicker and a smile of recognition comes to their face. That view, that odd view that not many people see any more. This was a dressing room that was not such, and as Michal went over to one of the cabinets it became apparent that it would become the dressing room through will alone. "An angel?" They seem perplexed by this and then shake their head. "I
[22:59] <@LipstickThespian> took the form of one because it seemed right, but it changed with me as your form changed with you."
[22:59] <@LipstickThespian> Then Michal pulled out what could best be described as the most appropriate wedding dress that Anthiel had ever seen. It was as Ellie as Ellie could be, the one she might have dreamt up when thinking of marrying Leah.
[22:59] <@LipstickThespian> What does that look like, exactly?
01[23:02] <@Nemi> "Why? Why did it change when /I/ did? You'd have to be.." Ellie's voice peters out on seeing the dress. It's quite literally the dress of her dreams, when her and Leah had first jokingly spoke about who'd wear the dress or not. It's white, long-sleeved and with lace, a scooped neckline and a floor-sweeping hem. Ellie stares, her jaw figuratively dropping.
[23:07] <@LipstickThespian> "You may change, there's the rest in the closet as well." Michal sets the dress down on a padded bench and goes to sit on another padded bench across from it. "Do you feel like you've sometimes lost a part of yourself, Anthiel?"
01[23:09] <@Nemi> Ellie indeed changes. Getting out of sodden, frozen clothing helps, though exposing yourself to your .. Daughter? Is less so. Still, Michal doesn't seem to care. "I don't know- I didn't, until you came here telling me all these things that I'd never /heard/ of, which.. What DID I lose?"
[23:12] <@LipstickThespian> What is a human body, borrowed from someone else? Something to look at, oogle? Gaze at? They are better creatures than that, don't you think?
[23:12] <@LipstickThespian> "You lost us," Michal says, "those parts of you that you never knew you had. Pieces left behind you, taken from you."
[23:12] <@LipstickThespian> There's another gust of wind, that same biting chill. The door is left cracked, it moves with the breeze.
01[23:13] <@Nemi> Ellie shudders as she steps into the gown and gently closes it about her. Somehow, it doesn't feel as nice as she liked to think it would. ".. So- you're what, the part of me I lost? This whole place?"
[23:16] <@LipstickThespian> The dress was, after all, never going to perfect. Things borrowed are never as you had wished they would be. It wraps her, it warms her, and it is all very artificial. Like someone had bastardized something from her thoughts by trying to make it real. "I am one of a handful," Michal answers, "this place is our home and is yours as well."
[23:16] <@LipstickThespian> Noises from the main hall, talking in some tongue not of this world.
[23:16] <@LipstickThespian> That is, German.
01[23:18] <@Nemi> Ellie looks down at the dress, dismayed. At least she's lucid enough, despite the thoughts that're from outside- or within?- to tell that she might reconsider this cut of dress later. ".. fine. Why German?"
[23:21] <@LipstickThespian> "It feels right, doesn't it?" Michal stood up and walked over to Anthiel. Placing a hand on her shoulder. That hand weighed nothing and it felt like it was heavy. Cold, piercing cold that seemed to shoot icicles into Anthiel's shoulder. "Have you ever heard the Fairytail of the Woman and her Roses?"
01[23:23] <@Nemi> Anthiel grimaces at the contact, finding no warmth or familiarity in it. She tries to shrug it aside. ".. No, it do- no, I hadn't."
[23:36] <@LipstickThespian> Michal takes it's hand off Anthiel and goes to grab something from the cabinet. "The Woman, they say, was famed for her roses. She grew them in her garden and they fetched the highest price. For the Woman put so much care and love into her roses, singing to them everyday and giving them the love they deserved. Nothing meant more to her in life than those flowers, they were her
[23:36] <@LipstickThespian> everything. It was of course, that the Woman fell in love with her soul mate, and a wonderful wedding was planned. For her boquet, it was to be the finest of her roses. So for a whole season she cultivated them, and cultivated them well. But it was a terrible season for growing, and the roses were destined to die. A Man from the forest came to visit, and he promised the Woman life
[23:36] <@LipstickThespian> for her flowers. The cost? Why, to give life you must take it away. So the woman agreed, because she did not need her own life anymore. For she had the life the two would share to look forward to. The deal was made. The roses grew and grew and they were the most beautiful roses anyone had seen. She made the most gorgeus boquet to hold at the wedding." Michal comes out from the
[23:36] <@LipstickThespian> cabinet and starts to fix a headdress made of white roses onto Ellie's head, the veil drapped over her face. "As she stood at the altar, waiting for her love, news came. Her love it seemed, had disappeared in the night. The woman cried and she cried, but he never came. So she stands at the altar, waiting with tears in her eyes, and the release of death never coming."
01[23:39] <@Nemi> ".. he took her love, not her, so.." Dread creeps into Ellie's chest, weighing her stomach and heart down, even though she holds still for the headdress and the veil. She firms her mouth. ".. did I do something like this- Leah- no, Leah, is she okay?!"
[23:43] <@LipstickThespian> "You're worried about her, when you're the one getting married." Michal seems put off by this reaction and takes a step back. "Why is this?"
01[23:44] <@Nemi> ".. because- she's my love and I thought you were implying that, by th- .. n-nevermind, it's fine, let's just- get this over with."
[23:46] <@LipstickThespian> "It's just a Fairytail," Mikal says as she motions to the doorway. "But, you have good reason to be concerned. When the others find her, it might be troubling."
01[23:47] <@Nemi> ".. What others- more of my, what, children?" Just a hint of panic to her voice as she steps to the doorway, moving lightly and perhaps a touch too quickly for the elegant outfit.
[23:48] <@LipstickThespian> "There are six of us," Michal says as they walk through the door back into the main hall. "I am not innocent in this, I have set it all in motion." At the altar stands a small group of people. Too far off to make out, but they're dressed rather nicely. Warm for the weather, but nicely.
01[16:06] <@Nemi> "What for? Just so you could escape what /they/ did to you, or is there something else?" In her gown, standing straight despite the continued bitter chill and moving with as much elegance as she may, Anthiel moves on toward the altar. Warm for /this/ weather? What all could they even be /wearing/?
[16:11] <@LipstickThespian> "I have never known what it is to be whole," Michal answers as they walk gently up the aisle with Anthiel. "But I am not doing it for myself, I am doing it for you. The others may not have agreed with me, but I believe I will see it to it's completion." At the altar are four people. A man in thick wool suit wearing a dull silver chain around his neck with his arms across his
[16:11] <@LipstickThespian> chest. One figure, clad in white plate mail, their face obscured and a hand on the hilt of a greatsword. Then there are two down a step, closer to Anthiel and Michal. One is a man who wears a simple black suit with a thick coat on over it. The other, who stands at the front of them all, a woman. Pale as can be, with high cheek bones and long platinum hair. A small chest,
[16:11] <@LipstickThespian> and a small waist, as well as a simple white gown. Tones of black and white, three pairs, a trifecta. All of the others are like Michal. Tall and thin, with odd movements that are slightly inhuman.
01[16:15] <@Nemi> Anthiel's children, then. The old, old ones, whom she never met and never knew. Anthiel continues her approach, following Michal's direction like the good dog she is, though from behind the veil she studies each figure. So /varied/. A warrior, and three anything but. This makes six of them in all, and yet Anthiel nonetheless feels apart for.
[16:19] <@LipstickThespian> "Where is Holland?" Michal asks the group as she comes to a stop by the altar, looking around at the four of them that are there and then back to Anthiel. "Refused," answers the man in the thick wool suit. "I've brought her," Michal says with a motion to Anthiel. At that, the assembled group gives a collective bow. They're far too in sync for it to be natural. "What would you
[16:19] <@LipstickThespian> ask of them, Mother?" Michal looks to Anthiel and the rest do as well. If they weren't already.
01[16:26] <@Nemi> "Who is Holland?" Anthiel murmurs. And then a look to the assembled.. Children? ".. I would ask your names, your purpose, and an explanation. As to all of this-" She raises a hand to gesture expansively about the space in all its cold vastness, to the statue. "And to /why/?"
[16:30] <@LipstickThespian> Michal looks back and across the group. "Their names and their purpose will be clear to you in time," it seems as far as the group is concerned that Michal is to be their spokes person. "We are to marry, all of us Anthiel, and you are to become unto a God." The group nods in unison and the Cathedral seems to grow quiet save for the storm outside beating at the old stonework.
01[16:31] <@Nemi> .. The Anthelim. That's who these are. The ones who were left, who still venerated her, for reasons Anthiel couldn't fathom. She firms her jaw behind the veil, and lets her hand drop to clasp its twin before her. She takes a breath, the cold biting at the rough analogue of her lungs. ".. then so be it."
[16:37] <@LipstickThespian> "Thine will be done," Michal says as the group stands in an oddly perfect circle with Anthiel as a piece. Across from Anthiel is the woman in her simple white dress, with that long hair of hers. Staring with dead eyes at Anthiel.
01[16:38] <@Nemi> "Mine will be done," Anthiel echoes. She eyes the woman in the simple dress; hair long and white as her own, a pallid and slender mirror of Anthiel's own stolen shape. Her veil does little to hide her curiosity and clear discomfort.
[16:40] <@LipstickThespian> "I give myself to you," the woman says in a sweet voice that betrays her young age with it's dryness. She reaches a hand out to offer it to Anthiel, palm up.
01[16:41] <@Nemi> And with it, Anthiel reaches to take the hand, with as much composure as she may. Such a good dog, even as all of these have eyes only for her, she continues along the path set for her, never deviating.
[16:43] <@LipstickThespian> The rest are gone. It's only the two of them. They're in a cemetary, the Cathedral can be seen behind the girl. The storm has given clearing to the two of them, but beyond the wrought iron fences there's nothing but the white of the snow. "Mother," the girl says in the same tone. But being away from the group gives a softness to her. "I'm glad you came back for us."
01[16:45] <@Nemi> ".. until Michal found me, I did not know you were waiting. They- hid very much from me," Anthiel replies, voice soft, wet, without any of the girl's sweetness. ".. I would not leave any of /mine/ alone had I known."
[16:49] <@LipstickThespian> "It's understandable," the girl answers with a small smile. A hand reaching up to brush her hair back behind her ear. "You are scary, they fear you, and what you will become. They kept you from us for fear of their servitude to come."
01[16:52] <@Nemi> "They told me I'd lose myself, become just a .. Mass of souls and hatred. Were they wrong?" Anthiel wonders, now. The place was no more comforting, but this girl was less frigid, the weather and the thoughts less biting and vicious.
[16:54] <@LipstickThespian> "Your soul," the girl steps over and places a hand gently on Anthiel's chest and rests it there. That piercing ice, the cold that shoots from their touch and digs towards the concept of self. "To think it could be quieted by anything is a funny thought. Next to you, the silence beyond you is deafening."
01[16:55] <@Nemi> Anthiel reaches a hand up to cover the girl's, grimacing behind the veil. Just like Michal, then, the touch that cuts to the core. "I still don't understand."
[16:58] <@LipstickThespian> "You may think yourself a pawn," the girl says as she leans in and rests her head against the side of Anthiel's. Pulling Anthiel close by stepping into her and being more frigid than the cold around them. "When you are truely the Queen. There will always be the world for you, but you will always be so kind as to only see her. Tell me, Anthiel, will she sit by your throne? Or
[16:58] <@LipstickThespian> will you refuse to sit without her in your lap?"
01[17:01] <@Nemi> Anthiel fights through the cold- she's had a terrible time approaching the cathedral, and somehow contacting one of her children was even worse. But she holds the girl, an arm about her shoulders, regardless. ".. I would want her /beside/ me."
[17:04] <@LipstickThespian> "I will speak this as plainly as I can, for the others will not be so kind and Michal is not used to speaking with words." The girl holds her and the chill is piercing. "To save her, you will need to be whole. To be whole, you must absorb us all. To absorb us all, you must kill us all." She steps back and lets go of Anthiel and steps back, feet crunching in the snow.
[17:04] <@LipstickThespian> "I am your Sixth Child, Petrushka. I have waited for your warm embrace, Mother, and I will die happily for you."
[17:05] <@LipstickThespian> Her arm starts to form an orb of void in it's palm, and the storm around them thickens.
01[17:06] <@Nemi> Anthiel similarly takes a step back, as if by reflex. This girl she never knew, one of her children, one of the last Anthelim.. To /save/ her? So she was right. Something did happen to Leah. Anthiel lets her hand trail after the departing Petrushka, and she smiles, sadly. "So be it, then. You will live on within me."
[17:07] <@LipstickThespian> "Marriage is so bittersweet," Petra says as she steps back and throws the ball of void energy in a fast pitch towards Anthiel.
01[17:09] <@Nemi> "Isn't it just?" Anthiel was a true Tear Drinker, nightmarishly fast and strong even in her mundane shape. She darts to one side, behind a standing tombstone, and with a gesture attempts to cast it forth before her to absorb the bolt of void and propel whatever fragments remain, like a shotgun, in a hail toward Petra.
[17:12] <@LipstickThespian> Petra is young, inexperienced, and an easy sacrifice. Willing, even. As the void blast was fired towards her she tried to roll off to the side and a few shards of it struck her leg as she did so. Snow kicking up around her as she found herself behing a tomb. There is no cry of pain, or shriek of anger. It is after all, only flesh. With a practiced spin, she tosses a ball of
[17:12] <@LipstickThespian> the void into the air above her, and sends it flying towards the tombstone Anthiel is behing with a spinning ariel kick. Like an acrobatic football player, with inhumane dexterity.
01[17:14] <@Nemi> The maneuver's impressive, but hardly a challenge for the experienced elder Tear Drinker. Anthiel steps around in a whirl of veils and white satin, then with a liquid motion slithers at rapid pace up to the top of the tomb. A swift gesture breaks a spire from the mausoleom and propels it like a spear toward Petra, as she lands.
[17:19] <@LipstickThespian> Petra was dextrous, but her inexperience was there. To face a Tear Drinker who had been so aged and skilled, was something most people couldn't have survived as long as she had. So when the spire was thrown at her she feigned to dodge it, but then jumped up to try and knock it out of the way. It connected with her arm and the strength of it, the speed of it, is too much. Her
[17:19] <@LipstickThespian> arm is removed from the elbow, a black ooze coming forth from the disconnect as the spire crashed into the ground. For Petra, it doesn't give her pause. The vault had given her ample angle to throw herself at Anthiel. Throwing a fist formed on a ball of void at the Tear Drinker.
01[17:22] <@Nemi> And that's all Anthiel needs. Standing on the roof, and Petra leaving the ground means there's little she can do when the elder Tear Drinker cants her head ever-so-slightly to wreathe the weakened Petra in telekinetic power, leaving her suspended helplessly in the air, even with the void orb in-hand. Anthiel watches her, wind whipping at her veil and dress. "You did well, daughter. I'm proud of you."
[17:26] <@LipstickThespian> Petra fought, to say she didn't would be a disservice to the energy expanded that day. But her strength didn't lie where Anthiel's did, the unseen bonds that held her as she was suspended. The void orb in her hand disappearing as she felt herself chilled from the cold brush of the air. Up there, help up to be seen, to say that anyone could have ever feared the parts of Anthiel
[17:26] <@LipstickThespian> that had been scattered would be a joke. Thin, lanky, gaunt, and so inhuman while wearing that flesh suit. Where Anthiel had perfected their disguise, this one seemed to be a mockery of the platinum Goddess. "I love you," she manages as black tears fall down her cheeks and she finally understands what it means to never be alone again.
01[17:29] <@Nemi> "I love you, Petra. You'll always be a part of me." Anthiel, veiled, manages a soft smile. A brush of the hand to Petra's cheek, and a smile before draining her dry, leaving her hollow husk to fall empty to the snowy ground amidst the graves.
[17:35] <@LipstickThespian> A death that isn't death, but the dawn of a new life as a part of something more. Petra was born in a lab by scientists, and died in her Mother's warm embrace.
[17:35] <@LipstickThespian> The snow shifts once more, and it parts to show a staircase going down from the mountain top.
01[17:40] <@Nemi> It isn't truly death when one simply becomes part of a greater whole, is it? It's the most comforting though Anthiel has on the matter. She turns to leave the hollow skin behind her, shuddering as the wind catches her just so. She begins her descent.
[17:42] <@LipstickThespian> On a landing, a hundred steps down, Michal waits with their hands in their pockets. The cold is still just as bitter, but there's a new warmth inside of Anthiel. One that feels like it's always been there, one that feels like it's gently holding the poor bridge.
[17:42] <@LipstickThespian> bride*
01[17:44] <@Nemi> Petra, then. Anthiel stops before Michal, standing a little more upright against the wind. Still beaten down by the cold and fury of the storm, but standing a little taller, holding that warmth close with a hand over where her heart would be, were she human.
[17:47] <@LipstickThespian> "There will be four others," Michal explains for the first time without a concession as they look out to the snow drifts below and below. The world lost to the two of them, only eachother and the steps they stand on. "
[17:47] <@LipstickThespian> "We had hoped to become something more, to be a part of a God."
01[17:49] <@Nemi> "Now, I suppose, you'll get the chance. Who now? Who can I spare from this-" Anthiel gestures more about the space. She's becoming more into things, into her purpose. "To embrace until the end of things?"
[17:56] <@LipstickThespian> "I do not dictate time or space, and I can only gurantee you that by the time it is done you will have to see if she still means so much to you when you are a God." Michal takes a hand out of it's pocket and check's the watch on it's wrist. "Do you believe that you want to save her?"
01[17:57] <@Nemi> "Oh, no doubt of that," Anthiel says, dryly, swiveling to watch Michal closer. "I do."
[18:00] <@LipstickThespian> "Petra always spoke of your soul, I can see it now." Michal says as she turns and starts to head back up. "Good luck down there, Anthiel. Until we meet again."
01[18:02] <@Nemi> "Before you go," Anthiel turns her head to watch her go. "What did she say about me? My soul?" She starts to walk, slowly down, and calls out to be heard over the storm.
[18:07] <@LipstickThespian> The answer is muted by the sound of the storm, and in no time Michal is lost to the storm. As Anthiel walks, the chill starts to die, and then the stairs end in a path. The path continues for some time until the snow storm breaks enough that the sun can be seen. The sun over Haven. Anthiel is in the hills over the town, in the snow that is familiar and she loved. No Cathedral
[18:07] <@LipstickThespian> looming above. But a warmth in her heart that she never knew she missed.
01[18:09] <@Nemi> One of the six, Petra, with her again. Anthiel pauses there, in the winter she loves, sun and breeze catching her just so. A bride above her Haven with her hand clasped over her breast. Anthiel lets out a soft sigh, and a smile. She was becoming whole again- she wasn't out of control because she couldn't contain herself, but because she was incomplete.
01[18:09] <@Nemi> ".. come, Petra," she says as she starts off back to the town, and back to the Sanctum. "Let's show you some of the things you missed."
[18:20] <@LipstickThespian> -Scene Break-
[18:20] <@LipstickThespian> -5 Children Remain-
[20:14] <@LipstickThespian> "Hey, you're Anthiel, right?" There wasn't really a time when staff would talk to the students here, and it was odd that one would be wandering the courtyard at all. So it was, with the first real snowfall of the season, an oddity in a school full of oddities. Still, after walking past Ellie, the woman had turned around to address them with a bit of curiosity in their voice. Tall,