Dec 04, 2022 7:32 AM
bellona falls on thedas
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The stone floor is cold. A trail of water drips slowly down the far wall. The light is dim, a few grumpily smoldering coals in a brazier above.

Her left hand aches abruptly, a pulse like all her joints ossifying at once before the sensation fades again. This is accompanied by a dull flash of green light. She's kneeling, hands locked shoulder-width apart by a metal bar clasped tightly around her wrists.


Sounds of footsteps in the corridor beyond say she may have visitors soon.

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Bellona is not very happy about waking up. Her everything hurts, and not in a good way, and she isn't where she was last -

 

Where she was last was kneeling on the edge of an active transmutation circle made by a hostile alchemist that she was trying to defuse.

She double checks she has all her organs. Okay. Everything she can twitch and/ or sense. Not so unhappy to wake up then. But she isn't in a hospital and El isn't clinging to her which is probably very bad news. (The metal bar is mostly just annoying, especially since they didn't leave her anything handy to easily scratch with. Which is, incidentally, why she transmuted her fingernails to be unnaturally sharp and hard soon after getting back into her body, and why she's worked very hard on her hand mobility, and also why she has numerous alchemical tattoos sprawling over her skin.) The aching hand and green lights are worse. She tries to peer at them out of the corner of her eye, before the visitors show up.

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Her hand appears perfectly normal- from the back. If she can manage to wiggle it over, she will see an almost sickly green smudge in the center of her palm. It doesn't feel like she's got anything smeared there.

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Yeah that's an Uh Oh. It better not interfere with her alchemy, though she'll have to get her hands together to analyze it...

She instead focuses on scratching a very tiny, quick circle into the metal near her other hand, finishing just before the footsteps arrive at her door.

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The doors slam open to reveal a woman in an dark armored breastplate, painted in white with a flaming eye. She has a sword at her hip and close-cropped hair. Accompanying her is pair of guards also armed with swords, dressed in leather armor and steel helmets, carrying lanterns. They spread out to either side to cast the room in more light.

"Finally awake, are you?" She strides over to where Bellona sits, hand on the pommel of her sword, stopping just out of reach. Her accent is... hard to place. Not quite like anything Bellona's heard before. "Tell me why we shouldn't kill you now."

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(Almost unnoticed, another figure slips into the room behind a second set of guards. She wears a long hooded robe, sewn with chainmail links.)

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Headtilt. "I don't recognize you, and you definitely aren't that berk I was defusing the array of - so, I don't know why you'd even want to."

"If you're with that berk, then killing me wouldn't hide evidence - I'm not dumb, I reported back before going in, and I have a check in due - and would dig you in deeper - though the Fuhrer would be the least of your concerns, then. He'd probably even still give you a trial." She's not bluffing, here. She does in fact have check ins, and she did in fact report (there was a tiny amount of evidence gathered after that, and she did also just admit to not knowing this woman, but also she's very confident a minor gap in evidence won't matter to the Dust nor Flame Alchemists).

"If you aren't, then we're back to 'I don't know, why would you?'"

(She's definitely eyeing the swords and armors speculatively, thoughts whirling in her mind, and definitely listening keenly to the accent, gaze darting over any visible ethnic features or emblems.)

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"The explosion at the Conclave?" the other woman speaks from behind. Her accent is different than the first. "The death of the Divine? The gaping hole in the sky? Have you no memory of these events?"

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Not that she recognizes it either. Nor the Conclave nor the Divine.

"...Gaping hole in the sky?"

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"The one that flares with the same magic that destroyed the temple. The same magic," she bends over to grab Bellona's hand, turning it palm up, "as this." As she drops it, the green mark flares again with light and pain.

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Hiss! In pain, but mostly in alarm. She has had enough weird alchemy things trying to fuck with her body for one life. 

"I don't remember anything about any of that. The array I was defusing shouldn't have done that - done this to me." Yeah that's uncertainty in her voice, a deep shock at and fear of the thing in her arm.

"Look - I'm a state alchemist of Amestris, the Lionheart Alchemist, and on top of that the Heir Presumptive of Xing owes me a favor. I can get you backup to fucking fix that as an ally - and I was there on the Promised Day. I helped reverse that hole in the sky, and I've studied the Fall of Xerxes. Alchemical problems on that kind of scale can't be turned back easy - but you'll have a higher chance of getting it stopped before it goes critical with help.

She seems pretty confident everyone should know those countries, those events. 

"And if you execute me, you're going to have worse problems. If this isn't Amestris, and if you're lucky, it'll be just a diplomatic headache. You probably won't get lucky." She is absolutely fully confident in El's ability to level a country and possibly a planet in revenge. Their family is a bit scary and has a bit of a history, there.

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"These countries you mention do not exist."

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Well, that's not good. 

"They do. But we haven't explored the whole world yet, and we really only know one continent and somewhat of another two - I can draw a map of our known world, if you decide it's safe to untie me."

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"'Alchemist'. Is that your word for mage?"

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"I don't know what you mean by 'mage.'"

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"One who uses magic."

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"Alchemists don't do magic," she says, somewhere between baffled and exasperated. "We're scientists - one kind of scientist, there's alchemists who work in just about all the fields of study."

" - Do you know what science is." She's pretty sure it was called natural law or something until really recently.

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"We know what science is. And alchemists create potions.They don't fix holes in the sky."

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"That's not what alchemist means on my home continent, then. Alchemists work with arrays that investigate and alter physical materials according to the regular laws of physics and science - so alchemy is the real world application of chemistry - a chemist is a theorist, and an alchemist is hands-on."

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She pinches the bridge of her nose and sighs.

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"Perhaps we could show you the problem we face, and you can lend your hands-on expertise."

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"We're getting nowhere, Cassandra. The Breach is still active, and this is our only connection. Her story is too consistent to pry apart here. Unlock her restraints and take her outside."

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She bends down to do so.

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"Thanks."

If Cassandra is keen eyed, she might notice a tiny circle and some lines scratched into the metal near Bellona's right hand. 

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She does not seem to.

"Up you get, then."

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