May 21, 2022 4:00 PM
« Previous Post
Permalink

Far to the west, in the Land of Darkness, whence come all Grimm, there lives a witch. 

She is not lonely, for loneliness implies a desire for company. She is not bored, for boredom implies a lack of pain. She is not afraid, for what is left for her to fear? 

She was human once, or something like it. A scholar, a heroine, a queen. No longer. Once bereaved, twice cursed, thrice betrayed; now she is something else entirely. She finds no solace in solitude, for all that she seeks it. 

And yet, there is a kind of serenity in the darkness at the edge of the world, alone with the monsters and the moon. Sometimes, she imagines, it is almost like death. 

Evernight is neither restful nor peaceful, but it is hers. And there is always work to be done. 

After all, the world won't end itself. 

Total: 88
Posts Per Page:
Permalink

About a hundred meters above her head a small device with four rotors and a crystal at it's center appears and begins to descend transmitting audio and video back to its controllers.

Permalink

Curious that she missed its approach. She knows every trick that can be pulled with Dust or magic, so it must be someone trying out a Semblance. Presumably Atlas decided to pay her an unannounced visit. How rude of them. No matter; it can get struck by lightning. 

Permalink

The rotors and cameras short out and spark from the massive burst. The crystal at the center seems unaffected as it goes into freefall. Just before it hits the ground it flickers and loses all speed.

Siobhán frowns, "Well, probably for the best I didn't go in person."

The operator glances at her and let's out a short chuckle. "Seems so. We've switched to backup telemetry."

The screens which briefly showed full color images are replaced with wireframes of the nearby objects.

"Let's see if anyone investigates we can always replace the broken drone with a new one if nothing happens for a bit." Siobhán decides.

Permalink

That's not a Dust crystal. She glides over and picks it up, frowning. 

Permalink

"Hopefully her reaction to a person will be less aggressive."

Siobhán straightens and an insubstantial semi-transparent hologram of her appears about a meter away from Salem.

"Greetings."

Permalink

Oh, we are bold, aren't we. She memorizes the face in case she has to kill it later. She doesn't bother replying; she just raises an eyebrow at the image. 

Permalink

"Do you understand this language? It's unclear to me how much contact you have with the other peoples of this planet."

Permalink

"Of course I understand." A few millenia ago, she might have discounted the words of an obvious crazy. But that was before she grasped how useful they could be. She assumes a sweet, attentive smile. The teeth will come later. "What is it you want me to hear?"

Permalink

"I represent an organization that plans to improve conditions for the people of this planet and you're a person. I'm curious as to why you live alone so far from others."

Permalink

Naïve, driven, competent, thorough, and with a groundbreaking Semblance. Yes, this one could be quite useful.

Find out what makes them tick. Break it. Build a tool with the pieces. 

"That's quite the ambitious goal." And appropriately vague, for a delusion. "What organization, and what improvements?" 

Permalink

"I'm an Envoy for Starlight we're from another world. At the moment we're working towards building a satellite communications network, that should be in place in the next few days. We're also preparing rapid evacuation for outlying settlements that fall under attack. And of course once the satellite network is complete, we'll start releasing more of our knowledge to the general public, especially medical resources."

Permalink

...maybe she shouldn't have tortured the spy who told her that aliens had contacted Atlas. In her defense, what the fuck. She did wonder why he was so insistent about it.

She revises her impression of this visitor to very useful. "And, pray tell, what does Starlight gain from this generous largesse to the people of Remnant?"

Permalink

"Honestly very little, your population is too small to make much impact on our civilization and so far we haven't seen too much useful in the local magic. Still, the resources we're expending are similarly minor. The task group I'm working with is only ten thousand people."

Permalink

She recognizes a veiled threat when she hears one. But she's had a long, long time to learn how to make civilizations destroy themselves. This meddling, if true, will only delay the ultimate end. Best to seem cooperative, for now. 

"Indeed. Well, if you intend to distribute goodies, you deserve a fair warning. It is not the Grimm that cause the most destruction on this planet, nor were the Grimm responsible for its fall. What will you do when the good people of Remnant seek power you are unwilling to share?" 

Permalink

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it, eventually we'll share everything that isn't restricted among our own people. In our experience, people become nicer as their needs are met. A lot of negative impulses are based in fear."

Permalink

Yes. Yes they are, that's rather the point of all the Grimm attacks. This one would be such a useful tool, but separating her from her support network might be a challenge. 

"You have experience with...improving...other peoples as well, then?" 

Permalink

"We have people working on 500 different worlds in the dustscape cluster and a number of other unrelated worlds. So far our only complete integration is that of the Hearthians but their civilization is small even compared to yours. Generally though we've been successful at improving quality of life. Medical technologies generally have the most impact but ensuring the availability of nutrition and education are also important."

Permalink

"The dustscape cluster? Worlds with Dust, such as ours?" She may have to revise her theory on the origin of Dust if it is found on other planets. 

Permalink

"It's a cluster of worlds with a shared afterlife and a strange form of exotic matter unrelated to the Dust of your world that they also call dust and which has something to do with how auras work on those worlds. It's still an area of ongoing research."

Permalink

"Perhaps I could shed some light on that topic. I happen to be an expert in many forms of...exotic matter. And I am always interested in learning more." 

Permalink

"It's possible, though I expect you to know more about the local types. We can recreate the local substances called Dust and whatever the Grimm are made of but we're not sure where either originate. Any insights you have to offer would be appreciated."

Permalink

She didn't expect a simple request to convince them to share their secrets, but the manner of their refusal is informative. This "envoy" is no fool, though why they chose to contact her after working with Atlas remains a mystery. Did they reach out to her before, or after, Ozpin and his little circus...? 

And...they can recreate Grimm and Dust, can they? The one is easy enough, but the other... "I would need to see your work in person before I could speak to it." 

Permalink

"I'm not sure what you mean by that? I was trying to ask if you know anything about where Dust and the Grimm come from. I don't see how our work would be relevant. Perhaps you were proposing an exchange?"

Permalink

Hmmm, to bargain or demur? Perhaps a compromise... "I am unaccustomed to simply handing out knowledge. Surely you have learned that certain...insights...can be dangerous, in the wrong hands. I know many things about Dust and Grimm; I am not at all sure that they are things which should be...released to the general public, as it were." 

Permalink

"That's a reasonable position to take. Dust seems quite important to the economy of this world. The fact that it destabilizes without a particular magical effect that only occurs naturally on this world makes it mostly useless to us. We're much more interested in the Grimm but mostly for the purposes of planning how to protect human settlements and to confirm that they won't begin spontaneously generating themselves elsewhere."

Total: 88
Posts Per Page: