Oct 28, 2021 9:30 AM
The Underground meets Exaltation
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"Woot," says Palisade, emerging.

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Hammerhead looks for threats.

Everything looks like a threat to Hammerhead, but Miranda wants her to stay calm for diplomacy's sake, so Hammerhead doesn't do anything about the threats, yet.

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"It's nice to meet you properly, Palisade. I know some of you already met some of us, but it's been so long since I've met anyone. It's exciting to be here."

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"Why don't you meet people?"

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"I was in a very dark place for many years. Some of you were there- the storm, at the center of the Underground. I was hurt very badly, and I needed to recover."

Or punish herself. She's still not sure. It's something they need to figure out. After the world is saved. The stakes really have gotten higher since she went away.

"But thanks to this quest, I've- healed sooner than I think I ever could have, without all of them and you coming to support me."

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That one is looking at them funny. That one is a killer, she'd bet their sperm donor's grave on it. That one- she's trying to do something to them, and it's not working. Good.

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"I'm glad you're better now!"

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"Thank you."

They can walk and talk, then; some of Underground want to take advantage of having two bodies to team up in unprecedented ways, but Miranda is keeping a lid on that. Now that she's back, it's- different than it was before, but they still trust her for certain things. She has to prove to everyone that she can handle this.

She's not sure if it means anything that the mermaid referred to this place as 'The Underground', but she'll pull on that thread later. In the meantime, the Underground and Palisade can talk to some of the other people waiting here.

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The people waiting here have apparently died (though not all of them are equally enthusiastic about expanding on the topic) within a period of the past few weeks, and they are waiting to be processed by the afterlife.

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Any afterlife with a backed-up bureaucracy is doing something wrong, but Jane isn't going to say so to all these people who are just waiting their turn. It's not really their business, anyway; they have a world to save. She asks a few questions geared towards finding out if any of them know anything about the giant eye in the sky; none of them do.

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"What's being processed by the afterlife like? Why do they need to process people?"

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"They've been making us wait out here forever. I just want to meet up with my family," says one.

"I've been inside the library. They're so cruel, the way they talk about you like you're just a name on a list," says another."

"What the hell are you supposed to be?"

This last one peers at Palisade with suspicion and disgust.

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"A griffin."

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"What's up with this library? Are there a lot of big readers around here?"

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"The library decides what to do with us. They can't do that, though, I know my rights. That's why I'm still out here. I didn't want to go to their brainwashing session."

"I still haven't seen anyone from the library," confesses one of them, a young woman with a humanoid upper half and goat legs where human ones might be. "I've been waiting for three months now."

"It's not just a bunch of librarians, you know," says someone with a smug grin on their face. "It's all kinds of bureacrats. There are receptionists and ambassadors and on and on. It never ends."

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"Will they talk to us?"

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It sounds to her like they should find a way around these librarians, but a two-pronged approach will give them more information. Miranda keeps quiet, watching.

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"Get in line," shouts a talking bear.

"If you can find one, dear," sighs another. "They're so hard to find when they're not rushing from one place to another. There may be some in the crowd, though."

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"How do you tell who the librarians are?"

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"They dress all prim and proper. At least they don't all wear glasses."

"They usually find people who are causing trouble," one of them stage-whispers.

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-it's stupid how hard Hammerhead is fighting to front right now. They need to protect each other, not just the girl. Jane isn't sure if Hammerhead would protect Miranda (whatever the hell is going on there) if it came down to it. Definitely not Exaltation, who is their only real ally in stopping the end of the world. Why can't anyone in this shithole of a brain do their job?

"Where's the boss. If this is the afterlife, underwold, big kahuna, whatever, someone has to be calling the shots. Where can I find the big man."

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"I could show you," says a man whose fangs suggest the ghost of a threat that his hungry gaze follows through on.

"No one knows for sure. I've heard 'Hades', 'Hel', 'Ereshkigal'...never met one," says a mousy young woman.

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"We could cause some trouble. Attract a librarian that way."

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"That does sound like the plan, doesn't it?"

Jane cracks her knuckles.

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"Jane, maybe we should think about this-"

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