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About Ryanti

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    Secret Agent Man
  • Birthday 07/23/1992

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  1. The crack on the far side of the chamber had spread among the thousands of years of isolation. As time passed by, the crack had slowly begun to expand above the initial laceration to the wall made all of those years ago. Due to the lack of upkeep, the feature had crawled the entire way to the top. It was impossible to see from the distance that the young man and Captain of the Roehmerl were from the end of the room, but one did not have to be seen to be felt. Such was the source of the groaning noise from before, unknown to them. "We should move, Ryanti, we should go right now. Wherever we're going, let's get there quickly." Damn straight. Ryanti’s eyes flickered to Sounsyy’s form backing up against him. But he could not stop a feeling from lurking into his skin, a feeling about the end of the hallway, the end of that chamber. It felt like pins and needles, and the feeling was absolutely not something that he would prefer to linger around and try to figure out more. It did not feel good, that was all that registered to him. He placed a hand firmly upon Sounsyy’s shoulder, to tell her he was there. He leaned a bit over her shoulder, eyeing the door out of there. The door itself was bent over upon its own form. It had malfunctioned long ago, and the dark blotches upon the middle of the deformed door told Ryanti that it had suffered intense electrical damage. The door was directly across from the area they entered from, but he knew they would not be able to venture through that contraption. “The door is broken.” He said to her, her ear not but merely a fulm or two away from his lips as he conveyed his advising input to her. What caught his attention though was a little static blue light that shined from an area right next to the door. It seemed small in nature – square in shape, almost like an access hatch of some sort. Of course! They could turn the valve to unlock the hatch, and crawl their way further inside. “The maintenance shaft. Do you see it?” He clicked his flashlight twice at the light, exposing briefly what appeared to be a level underneath that one could pull and yank off the panel with. “We could crawl our way past that door. It’s not comfortable but it beats staying here. We have to turn the valve though. I hope it hasn’t rusted.” She could hear the effort of his breath as Ryanti leapt up and started jogging towards the other side of the room. For a few moments longer, the only sound that echoed throughout the enormous chamber was his pounding footsteps as he made his way across the space in front of him. The details of what had occurred to his right was not lost to him, as Ryanti kept his glance locked firmly in that direction, the blood stains amongst the floor and parts of the walls causing him concern, his breaths loud as he allowed his mental stress to bleed out of his lungs along with the physical stress that was incurred by the jogging. It was obviously that he was uncomfortable in this environment, and wanted to get out of here as much as Sounsyy did. Yet what happened next would change the entire face of their mission. The final little bits of the age old fracture which had slowly consumed the entire far end of the wall like a parasitic scar peeled away, and one side of the enormous structure landed down upon the floor of the silent room, letting loose a deafening sound which shook the very floor they were upon, causing Ryanti to look that way immediately, his ears bending back due to the massive sound that vibrated the room they were in along with the rooms ahead. The pulsating echo of the right side of the far hallway’s wall hitting the floor reverberated through his ears as he stood dead still – dead afraid of that noise for part of him feared that they were not alone. And they were not. With a looming, towering crumble the wall toppled to the side, slamming onto the floor with a near equal thudding, still air from the chamber behind now mixing with the stimulated dust in the air from the ancient panel, masking the now exposed room beyond even further than what the absolute darkness on the other end already hinted. Ryanti could make out shapes by pointing his light at it, but they were vague and obtuse. There were… cables everywhere, hanging from the ceiling and made out of weird fiber, as if they were mechanical tendrils entangled within one another in some sort of sickening apparatus. Ryanti did not even gift himself a breath. There was a sick tenseness in the air. It felt wrong. Unnatural. Then, it woke up. Piercing yellow eyes shined through the darkness like flames of Sulphur from a child’s worst nightmare, only that this was all too real. Mutated fists encased in grey matter and excess body mass pounded the glass of the enormous stasis chamber that it was in, activating dormant meta-defensive software protocols within his stasis chamber. What were in past eons designed to be auxiliary lighting in the room it was in had lost competence over time, struggling to turn on. The weak and feeble defense protocols were nothing more now than white lights blinking off and on, strobing the environment around Ryanti and Sounsyy, allowing them to make out the dark shapes of an absolute sea of cables surrounding the stasis pod at the end of the exposed room that dwarfed the ones pinned to the ceiling; and the stirring creature within. Yes, this was no nightmare, this was real. It had awoken, its mind rendered godless, its flaming volcanic eyes in motion as it let out a howl of a screech. The moaning from earlier was not the ship coming alive. It was life coming from within the ship. And now that they had traveled within in innards, they would face its beasts. Auxiliary systems began to activate around the Chimerical Biolab Research Facility, setting loose a relenting system of alarms that immediately transitioned the quiet and sanctioned area into a sea of swirling alarms that rang desperately in warning as the monstrosity with fury and anger rammed against its confinement once more, the tank long ago losing its ability to put it back to sleep again. Billowing yellow lights from the alarm blended with the white strobed to create an absolute scene of terror and chaos. Ryanti was frozen, his face in utter fear of what he was seeing, the features in his brow, cheeks and lips frozen in his inability to comprehend what was going on. It was only the alarm’s lights that brought him back to reality, and his stillness and pupil dilatation would indicate traumatization to an expert in body language. His heart may had stopped for a moment or two. This was a state of fear beyond being scared, beyond withering like a maniacal lunatic. No, this was frozen fear. A kind of fear that would lead to nightmares down the road. His veins felt like ice and his skin bled a sickly pale from the blood drained from his expression. To what horrific depths have they descended to in this place? The sight was unbelievable, the unnatural force within the stasis chamber massive. But despite all this, he was still trained. He was still a soldier. His wet meal of fear and anxiety washed over his body, causing a temporary numbness of emotion. With one gasping breath he slung his rifle to the side and upon his shoulder, gripping Sounsyy’s shoulder with a cold, firm hand and tugging her in the direction of the maintenance hatch. "COME ON!” Right after, a shattering sound of glass being pierced rocked throughout the room, audible through the alarms and buzzing. The twisted form of the creature within whirred and worked its muscles as it started to break through, each and every second becoming closer to violently emerging out of its five millennium old prison. Another shrieking scream from chimerical chords roared across the open air, sending pins and needles down Ryanti’s spine as his ears stood up on end, the shock and numbness wearing off and giving away to pure fear and near panic. Ryanti was the calm and composed type; even his tails and ears only responded to extreme stimulation. Yet his ears were as tight as they could be, and his tail lifted up in a natural reaction of flight versus fight. “OPEN IT! OPEN IT NOW!” He shouted as loud as he could to Sounsyy, grabbing onto the valve of the hatch and started to turn it, but he could not do it on his own as he was already struggling with the amount of force it required to turn it due to the state of the manual lock. He didn’t even know if it would work, but it was only option they had. Ryanti and Sounsyy’s shadows from the alarm and strobing auxiliary lights caught the creature’s attention, and the damn well over 20 fulm tall monstrosity punched open another hole in the glass, stomping on a shard of it and using its brute strength to force it way through the tank in its entirety, it’s terrifying image amongst the cables that provided it nutrients eons ago as it spotted them a sight to behold and burn into another’s memory. Ryanti looked back as one would typically warn against, and his hands began to turn the wheel faster at a pace he thought he could never match again, his groans of agony of the exertion beginning to morph into howls of desperation. He did not speak any more words, but when he looked back his feelings were apparent on his expression, and he put everything he could into trying to get the hatch to open… waiting desperately to see the door budge.
  2. Ryanti listened to her as he loosened the little criss-crosses in his laces, desiring to tighten them up to the kind of pristine amount of tightness that he was mildly obsessed with. Despite her words that seemed to carry as much of anger and irritation as did the weight on her shoulders, there was some truth in them. That he could not deny. Yet despite the tone of her letting off some steam, it was quite observant of him to note that while it impacted the atmosphere in terms of the mood, it did not lessen his image of her in his mind nor the image of the world around him. It made sense. It made sense as much as the noon sky was beautiful and blue, as much as the sun's rays felt warm and inviting upon his brow. The relief of the wind blew across his locks once more, causing them to settle at a slightly different place than before yet all too familiar. The spinning of a wheel distracted him for a moment, causing him to look away from her briefly. It was a carriage that seemed to be carrying a combination of people and goods - perhaps travelers on business. A happy chocobo with a fully tummy dutifully followed the path that they would be taking soon out of the rest stop where all traffic in and out of the city's proper had to take if they were coming from the west. Ryanti knew that they would never catch up to it, so even though it was going down the same path, he would never meet it again. He wondered whether or not the people inside were foreign, if they came from distant lands like Jaliqai did. A land he never knew, but always wanted to. And that land could be anywhere. Anywhere but here. It was then that he turned his head more forwardly towards her, betraying that during the entire time she was talking, he was smiling. It was a smiled blanketed in nostalgia and warming up an aura of empathy for the woman he was traveling with, as well as perhaps laughing in the grand silliness of something he most often took very seriously; his lifestyle that he would never be able to escape. The only element of himself that he had pride in, his only hope of an identity. "Who are you means everything here. Family means everything here." He glanced over at her briefly, at those sulfuric eyes with his own before realizing that he did indeed need his vision to tend to his boot and make sure even the knot itself looked presentable. His fingers worked so nimbly - as if he was used to manipulating and pulling strings perhaps not just with his hands. "Power has many faces. Pure strength; pure survival provides only minimal results in the world of educated men. That it what it takes to survive day to day in the eyes of the poorest of the poor. But if you wish to rise above that, you must learn all of the faces of power; all of its personalities. My family has spent nine centuries learning just that." His fingers, which had remained still since he began to speak, started to move again. Delicately he weaved the laced together, as if he was his own tender mother - it was very easy to tell he had learned from her - that this very tender woman at home was the same that had inherited the power of his family throughout this generation. "Intelligence and cunning, pride and worksmanship. Knowledge. All are required in this land I know. Mastery of it leads to wealth; to power. My mother is not the epitome of a warrioress. She is a businesswoman. Her arms are as soft as the wool of her tailored suits. It is her mind that has gotten her where she is. It is her presentation that allowed her to reach a point to where she does not have to say a word to anyone. She does not need to. She has already proved herself worthy of inheriting the respect of my family's name. Respected founded upon their past deeds." He lifted his boot further upwards as he continued, though this time he returned his glance to the woman herself, eyeing her over for a moment before smiling again. He tied the top of the laces together into a nice little thin bow, then bent it downward to add a little masculine edge to the feminine shape. "Your clothing is fashionable and rather presentable. You even have a way with makeup like the girls do in the city - even at noon time when the sun is brightest. But speaking like that to others may cause yourself to have a reputation of being... difficult to work with, and that gets in the way of your business making money." His boot suddenly came down with a rather thunderous thump of his sole to the floor, enough for the pool of sandy dust underneath to cloud up a little bit. With one other solid tap to the floor, he was satisfied. Afterwords, he approached the woman closer with a couple of steps, flanking his shoulder to her while keeping his gaze. "Perhaps your ancestors were great people, Jaliqai. Perhaps you are too. But they are ignorant of deeds that their mothers and father did not bare witness to themselves. It does not diminish one's greatness. It merely means you have to prove yourself. But sometimes the easiest way to do that is just... relax a little bit. Enjoy the journey. Let your actions speak for you. That's something I'm still trying to learn." With moments, his head was looking around, trying to find a bit of a distraction for him - for her - maybe for themselves as a whole. There were several things for sale here. Drinks, pieces of fruit for the road. Books... "But don't get me wrong. I know where you're coming from."
  3. Prologue: He placed the gil coins that were spared of being placed inside of his pouch next to one of the draft barrels in the tavern. The amber lights didn't help his eyes adjust to light in the slightest. He still felt like he was moving slowly, having recently awoken at an odd hour in order to try to get as much sleep as possible before he was to embark upon a journey. A kind of journey that he was used to, but not the kind of company he had ever been with before. He had told her that he desired to go with her, but for no fuss to be made about it either. Ryanti was never a someone willing to make a spotlight out of his participation in anything, and he would prefer that no gossip about his latest venture would find their way to the ears of the men and women here. For some, they called this place their main area of conducting business - perhaps even home. For Ryanti it was but a place to stay, to stop. A temporary home as any. But there was no permanent home for him - it was indeed his life. So despite the feeling one would get from understanding the kind of intense travel they would have to accept, Ryanti looked very comfortable. Calm even. The beer helped a little bit. That was why he had placed the coins there. A kind of courtesy for drinking from the stock, though he only had one small glass of it. He just wanted the taste more than anything. With barley and hops fresh in his breath, the young man bent down to pick up what was to be his luggage for the trip - a smallish, black leather sack with several tiny pockets and one large one, which he strapped over his left shoulder, as his family's century and a half old zweihander was strapped to the other. Sensing the presence of another, he turned his head towards her, blinking for a moment, sighing out a breathe. "You're going through with it, aren't you?" Jaliqai was used to traveling alone. Almost a decade spent largely on her own had seen her growing accustomed to moving on her own, taking care of herself, save for the handful of times that a job saw her moving with company. Even then, back in those days, it may as well have been the same as traveling alone. The Xaela had no interest in sharing anything more than the road with the men and women she had found herself traveling with, and only for as long as she absolutely had to. Things had changed since then, and dramatically. Strange how a few moons' time had seen her life change so dramatically from what it had been for so very long. Stranger still that for every bit she had changed, another part of herself had stayed stubbornly the same. She was warmer now than she had been in those days, not as closed off to the rest of the world as she had been. Yet still, the thought of sharing in travels with another was a thought that made her uncomfortable still. That had been the reaction that the man had initially gotten whenever he had offered to join her on her trip north -- a grimace and an uncertain, waffling answer. Only when she had sat on it for a moment did she finally relent and allow it. Circumstances being what they were, she knew she could no sooner convince Altai to allow her to make such a long trip on her own than she could convince him to let her wrestle a coeurl into submission with only her teeth and nails. The sound of the door clicking behind her as she entered the Chest would announce her arrival, followed by her own heaved sigh. It'd already been a long day as it were, shoring up business in the city and making sure all her affairs were settled before she left. Her head bobbed in a nod at the question, moving to the bar to lean in against it. "Aye, I am. Don't figure I have a choice, even if I didn't want to go. Guild needs the contacts and the resources." She let out a bullishly stubborn huff, shaking her head. "You ready?" His eyebrows hunched up a bit in her words, and his eyes swiftly read over her reaction. Ah, perhaps it wasn't the most ideal situation for her to have to be accompanied by a young man like himself upon her travels. He often forgot how some, if not most, had different views of the element of traveling the world than he did. No matter. He knew he was a much more polite traveling companion than most, and quite frankly, there were more important things to think about than that. There would be a time and a place. "Yes. I am." he mentioned to her, leaving the empty glass upon the bar top. It would be Ryanti's last glass here for a long time. Needless to say, in the present moment, it was not a thought that passed him by. His steps were soft - but sure in their conviction. He really did mean that he was going. "Normally I would jump at any chance to visit the Holy See. Especially after they had closed their doors for so many of my own years. Though this time around, it's for he pulled the door open for her. Ladies first of course. "There's other things too, of course. There always are." Her nose wrinkled at the mention of Ishgard, expression shifting as if she'd just taken a bite out of an especially tart sun lemon. It was clear that the only recently opened city-state had left her with a particularly bitter taste in her mouth, and with little love in her heart. "Aye, and I usually make a point to avoid the place if I can. Last time I had the pleasure--" The last word held no small, uncertain amount of venom behind it. "--of passing through Ishgard was shortly after the gates opened. The particularly vocal knife-earred bigots didn't much care for scaled visitors. Even those decidedly not of the Dravanian variety." Her jaw tightened at the recollection, tail giving a sharp side-to-side flick behind her that further betrayed her aggravation. Underneath it, however, was a layer of anxiousness. She wouldn't dare show it -- especially to someone she wasn't yet all that close with -- but the idea of returning as a potentially unwanted guest made her more nervous than she would have liked. Sure, things had changed in the last few moons. She had heard whispers and rumors of the changes that were going on in the north. Who hadn't? Still, she wasn't one to easily forget such incidents, and she knew all too well that deep-seated hatreds, grudges, and misguided prejudices didn't simply fade overnight. She herself was a testimony to that, at least. "But if the Guild's looking to take on more work so far up north, we need a foothold in Ishgard, whether I like it or not," she conceded with another exasperated sigh. Raising a hand as he moved towards the door, she motioned him on. "I'll meet you outside, Ruffles. Got to change out of my nice city clothes and into something fit for travel. And damned if I'm leaving without a weapon." That was another reason Ryanti wanted to go. Not only because he was curious of how the North truly saw the immigration of the Doman race from Othard, and not only because he was especially interested in just how true these rumors of change meant to not only Ishgard, but the continent at large. Another reason, one that he did not admit but was pretty obvious to see, was that he felt a need to protect her. Not so much physically.. he sure she would fully be able to take care of herself. It was moreso to protect her from being alone in a world where she may not feel very welcome. This of course being the realm of the Ishgardian Elezen and the North. But that was only a sliver of the people that they would probably encounter. The journey would be a long and tiresome one - one that would span from the reaches of Thanalan to the Shroud herself before they would even see Coerthas. They would navigate the entire southern half of the continent, and Ryanti was no stranger to it. Yet the young man did not look worried, moreso he looked excited. Maybe even happy. Perhaps it was the mentioning of his nickname? "Of course... though, don't take too long, Madam Red. Less we won't be at Camp Drybone by nightfall.." Upon slinking through the door, Ryanti emphasized his little travel bag upon his shoulder. "Wouldn't want to forget something you'll regret either. I forgot my toothbrush once. That was a terrible mistake. ... Meet me outside the neighborhood, yeah?" With that, he was gone. Scene Change: The Goblet It had taken the Auri woman a fair bit of time to prepare for the journey. After all, with a long trip north ahead of them, it would've been beyond stupid to go in unprepared. Not to mention the dangers of traveling over land, from beast and bandit alike. Simple traveling gear wouldn't quite do. In addition to the leather pack of supplies she'd gathered, she'd needed armor light enough for movement but still protective enough for the dangers of the road. Choice of weaponry had been another source of long thought. Naturally, her hands had reached for the simple, unornamented greatsword they were so very familiar with. Yet with it in hand, she had begun to have second thoughts. Melee weaponry would require her to be far closer to enemies than she knew she should be. While she'd never had a problem with getting batted around by enemies before, it wasn't just -her- life that she was protecting now. Distance was the better option, as much as she hated to admit it. Finally, she emerged some great deal of time later from the Goblet with her light set of leathers and chainmail and a well-worn bow over her shoulder with her pack. Stopping just short of the other, she adjusted the weight on her back -- a feeling she'd once been more than used to, but had grown unaccustomed to with her much more settled lifestyle. "Ready to go." Despite Jaliqai's philosophy, Ryanti always carried his sword with him when he journeyed. The mere presence of the blade anointing his back was usually enough to ward off any kind of unsavory types. But of course, he did not possess the advantage of... distance with such a thing. There was little hidden gems in traveling with another. Company was not the only benefit, nor the most obvious. He had been standing there for quite a while, daydreaming. His eyes had focused upon the leaves of the wide Thanalan trees in the distance, observing a bird feeding her nestlings within the branches. He felt rested, and his feet were far from soar. His armor was clean and his right pauldron sparkled in the sunlight from a fresh waxing. Even he had been busy when he was confronted with waiting. He did not make a move to notice her until she spoke of her presence, and that is when he looked. His eyes did a quick glimpse from top to bottom, and the young man smiled warmly, with a little sound of confirmation coming from the depths of his throat. "Smart." Was the first word he mentioned, resting a hand upon the guardrail. "Fashionable still." He did indeed possess a sense of humor as well. Wouldn't that to go to waste. In that moment he glanced to his left, following a gust of wind that tickled his hair. "We should be able to reach Camp Drybone by nightfall. One day at a time I suppose. Good thing there's little need to consult the map - I've been doing this enough." With a flick of his eyes in her direction again, Ryanti began to walk - towards the road that they would begin their journey upon. "Have you ever taken a walk across the entire continent, Red? In those boots?" Jaliqai lifted a hand, giving a softly dismissive wave and a dryly amused scoff at the comment on her lingering fashion sense. "Custom commissioned armor in the Guild's colors. One of the advantages of having deeper coffers." Adjusting her pack once again, the woman began to tail after him. If she was still re-adjusting to the weight of the traveling supplies, at least she was damned sure not to show it. "Across the -Eorzean- continent? Not all at once. Stretches at a time? Damned near crossed over most of it at some point, I figure, 'cept the far north." Bounty Hunting work had seen to that, and was perhaps the main reason why she had adjusted so well -- at least comparatively, when held up next to her fellow Xaela -- to life in this new, different land. She wasn't a native here and still an outsider in many respects, and she couldn't claim to know much about the land's more complex histories and the like. But she knew enough about the land and the culture in general to be an effective hunter, at least. "Anyroad, you've not got anything to worry about -my- feet," she mused, leveling him with a smirk -- amused and prideful, in equal measure. "I'm Xaela. I've traveled just as much in my life by foot as I have on horseback, and that's no small amount either way." Ryanti was already keeping to a rather laid back pace. When he would make stops to the Gold and Glory - and especially on the job - he always seemed to be busy, or tense. He knew she had seen that before. In fact, it was in a way, how they met. There was a lesson in it though that Ryanti learned the hard way. With these long travels, it was no use expanding any more energy than he needed to. "You have done much already for a foreigner. Making most out of yourself - unlike most who come." He had learned the word even before he had seen them. Xaela. The dark-scaled subrace of the Au Ra, known to lead mostly nomadic tribes on the endless Othardian steppes. "I suppose then, it means you know what blister breaks mean, for those little feet of yours." He mentioned with a quiet laugh that her horns could pick up from that short distance away. "This trek is no small amount. But we are not alone in our journeys. Everyone it seems is trying to make it North, to find new opportunity in a land that has been closed off for two decades... though I figure we would do much better than the average business do-gooder attempting the same feat all by their lonesome. I'm not really worried about you - I think you will fare pretty well, when you get used to what you are carrying, of course." He took a few more steps towards the road, observing the tile break off into dirt, the beginning of a mountain road that spanned the side of the cliff and led down to the other side of the mountains. "There's too much time on these winding roads to solely worry about our destination, I think. Maybe.. I choose to look at it as seeing the world.." He looked away from her to focus on the road ahead. "It'll be fun, y'know?" She couldn't help but bristle a bit at the words, whether they were well-meaning or not. Even not directed at her, it still felt a bit personal. A side effect of having too much pride in one's people, perhaps. "I had it easier than most. And even so, you Eorzeans ain't always the most welcoming and including to outsiders." Her mouth opened to say more before, instead, simply shutting again with pursed lips. They hadn't even touched the road proper yet. Best not to climb onto her soap box before they even really began their trip. An audible huff followed at his teasing about her feet and her adjustment to the weight settled on her shoulders. Almost defiantly, she hyper-corrected her posture, puffing out her chest as she almost made a show of how little the pack was bothering her. It might've seemed like something done just for comedic value, if not for the furrowed brows, pursed lips, and the sharp side-to-side flicking of her tail. "Ain't having any trouble, Ruffles. I've carried heavier and walked longer." At least, she had before she'd settled, anyway. But there was little need in adding that on when she was trying to make a point. "Fun.." she repeated the word quietly, falling in line as they started forward again. Her head turned to look back out over the Goblet, gaze lingering for a long moment before her eyes turned forward again. "Aye, something like that, I s'pose." Just so long as they had a home to return to by the time they were done and no one had killed each other in her absence. He chose to focus on the fun aspect. For now. He was always the kind of man to try to see the bright side of everything. He was forced all too often to exist in the dark side of the world's misdeeds. There was another side to the world, however. A side that a deep breathe of the fresh outside air could remind him of. A side to the world that perhaps he wanted to show her on this 'business trip'. Yet, her words of outsiders touched him a bit on the inside. There was a certain kind of a sombering look in the young man's aquamarine eyes. He was obviously deep in thought, but as he had told himself many times over, he just had to take a deep breathe. To breathe. At least he wasn't nasty to outsiders, he hoped... and perhaps he was too personal of a man. His openness and honesty had gotten him in trouble before, he didn't wish to make her so worried. "Keep that posture up, and you'll be tired my mid-day, y'know. Relax.. I know you're tough, Jaliqai." Tough physically. Tough emotionally? He wondered.. that very thing as he followed her gaze to the Goblet silently, pausing for a moment before resuming his dialogue. "Seeing it as home yet? I have issues seeing anything as. Maybe that's why it's so easy for me to shrug off my worry." He allowed her the time she needed, ready at a moment's notice to begin the journey. Stubborn as she was, she couldn't help but keep up that rigid posture even as she was reassured of his opinion of her. It was more a matter of pride than anything -- and that was something that Jaliqai had always had in excess. Only once his gaze followed hers out to the Goblet and her own attention wandered back to the question at hand did that posture slowly begin to grow more lax and natural again. She was quiet for a long moment, reflecting as much on his own answer as she was on the question that he had asked of her. "Aye, something like that." Home had never been a place for her, so much as a concept. Home was where the people she cared about and wanted to protect were, and such was what the Chest had become to her in the past handful of moons. Not only were there people there that she cared for on a deeply personal level, but there were those that she was obligated to care for and protect as their leader. It was home and everyone there was her responsibility, whether they acknowledged it or not, and leaving for an extended time wasn't easy. At least she could rely on Ryssmyna to keep things going. "You'll find it, sooner or later. Home, that is." It was as much of an encouragement as she could offer without delving head first into the vulnerable and emotional. But it was a state of existence that she'd went through herself, and one she'd only narrowly survived. But he didn't need to know the details -- not presently, at least -- and so she would keep her mouth shut. Something like that.. Ryanti never felt like he had much of a home. There was a sinking feeling in his stomach, almost like a fear. A certain kind of fear that was from a reaction to the fact that he did feel numb. The Gold and Glory... it was a place where Ryanti did business. A name under which he tried to pretend his life was a little bit more normal, a moniker to disguise his sometimes less-than-popular methods of achieving the goals he set out to do. That life was such a duality - what was the place to the man himself? Not to the agent that went by the same name, by the same look, and even shared the same body. What about him? How did he see it? Her comment to him was a bit of a surprise, and it froze Ryanti's facial expression for a moment as he glanced at her. There was sincerity in that statement, and meaning behind it. Ryanti knew. "Maybe so." Were his words. Words that had just as much faith.. as doubt. Uncertainty was never Ryanti's strongsuit, but uncertainty defined his life. But he didn't want to think about all that right now. His demeanor matched hers in that way. There was the now, and the now was the road, and the astonishing landscape around them that awaited their coming. For Ryanti, it was a medicine in a way - two individuals with a weak grasp of the idea of home, would now perhaps find the entire continent theirs for a great number of moons. "Let's go." Scene Change: Making their way to Scorpion Crossing. Thus the halfling and the Xaela began their journey as soon as their feet felt the pressure of dirt upon their soles rather than tile. The tumultuous mountain road was their first obstacle, they simply had to get down. The Goblet's location rested upon the centerpieces of the mountainside to the west of Ul'dah's city proper, and the views of the canyons seemed forevermore. The winds were high at that medium altitude, never refusing to blow their hair aside and, every once in awhile, their eyes would catch a spec of dust. But it was worth those inconveniences to bare witness to the massive brown expanse, and how the recent rains of yesterday due to the calamity had begun to bring life back into the soil, allowing for reptilians to scour the open air for objects of prey, despite the desolate nature of the terrain. Traversing it was easy enough, though it had taken a few hours to. Ryanti spoke casually at times, about the nature of the cliffs and how the Ul'Dahn government was dealing with trying to make something of the area with it being near-uninhabitable all this time - that the trees alongside the walkway had been planted and the dirt artificially laid. But he kept quiet for the most part, choosing to take in the sun before it would get uncomfortable, since it was still the early morning. By the time they were down, the mist had faded, and already the road to the Goblet was becoming more active from the Ul'Dahn side - they took the road less traveled by, however, and instead of ending up in the Emerald City, they found themselves outside of it. Ryanti checked his compass - which was strapped to his side - and aligned his body with a surefire direction, East. "Hmm.. the morning's quieter than normal.." It felt cooler than usual too. Had it rained the day before? For all of Ryanti's idle chatter about the now barren landscape and the Ul'dahns' efforts to reclaim it on the winding way down the mountainside, Jaliqai herself had been rather quiet. She had listened, of course, that being the polite thing to do. Yet there was little for her to add in the way of conversation about either the government or the havoc the Calamity had wrought upon the land. After all, her first experience with Eorzea had come some almost six years after the lesser moon had fallen and changed the continent's landscape. She'd had no firsthand experience of what the land had been like before, and little mental concept either. It didn't serve any purpose for her, in her distinctly Xaelan pragmatic, practical view of the world. Only once they'd reached the foot of the mountain did she seem to perk up a bit. The plain, almost lifeless, and overall dangerless mountain path behind them, the rest of what laid before them was far more interesting and full of life. And danger. Her half-lidded, almost bored gaze worn during their descent seemed to come alive as soon as the actual road was ahead of them. Her eyes were open, her attention sharp -- more of an instinctual reaction than a consciously made effort to pay closer attention. Life on the Azim Steppes where danger could come at you from any direction at a moment's notice had hard-wired that awareness into her being. "Must be a slow day for shipments," she answered idly, eyes dancing between the docile cactuars gathering on the hillside to bask in the early morning warmth and sunlight. "Makes for more convenient travel, I guess." In the way of not having to share the road with bulky chocobo-drawn shipping carriages and groups of individuals coming and going. But then again, a mostly empty road made for little camouflage for two lone travelers. Ryanti had indeed already seemed to have fallen in some sort of commentating role. He was, after all, the one that had lived in these life all of his life. There wasn't a natural thing he could do to keep himself from mentioning certain details every once in awhile. He, after all, was an incredibly curious person. His appetite for knowledge - for knowing more than what he truly needed to do about anything and everything - perhaps was a contrast to her. But this did not mean Ryanti neglected to understand reality when he was faced with it. The view of what appeared to be an enormous gate of civilization lied within the horizon's distance, but it seemed eons away. More locally, Ryanti glimpsed as several individuals traveling down the road ahead of them, a younger one catching up to the older. There were idle shouts of children playing in the little rockfaces above and behind them. A few gardeners were tending to the shrubs on the road leading to Ul'Dah, obviously hired by the city-state. Yet on the road there was an immense absence of chocobo carriages, and merchant vans. "Not just a day. More like months now." Ryanti commented to her as he continued to walk. "Ever since the incident with the Sultana and the Brass Blades, businesses here in Ul'Dah have been terribly hurt. Even the one to my name as well." The young man placed a gloved hand upon the trunk of the tree alongside him now, glancing out amongst the near-endless palm of Thanalan's view. "Ishgard opening helped... we were lucky it happened when it did." He paused for a moment, noticing that he was lumping himself in the same group as the Ul'Dahns. It didn't seem like a favorable thing to him. Identity and all. "Well, the people here at any rate. Still.. baby steps though. It will take a while for things to get better." Jaliqai let out a soft hum in response, shrugging a shoulder. She never claimed to know much about Ul'dahn politics or business, truly. During her short stint working in the more underground side of the Jewel of the Desert, hunting information instead of beasts, she'd learned just enough to get by. But obviously not enough, considering how well she'd indebted herself to Ul'dahn investors to get the Guild running and turn legitimate. Surely that lesson would be learned eventually, but at least not any time soon. "At least there's no shortage of demand for hunters," she answered as she followed along. "Might not be as much flow of goods as there was, but there's always people needing something or someone tracked down." And the adventuring crowd had certainly picked up on that. Gold & Glory was far from the only Guild or organization of its type. As well as they were doing presently, assuring that things stayed profitable required expanding -- just like they were doing now. Giving another shrug, the Xaela moved past him, navigating around rock and shrub to start towards the path. "Let's get going, then," she prompted. Obviously, she wasn't one to linger for too long. They had a place to be and a job to do, and the sooner that was done, the sooner they could get back to business as usual. Ryanti made a sign of agreement with his voice at the mentioning of her regarding goods and services. It was true, even in economic controversy or recession, their line of business would never find themselves out of work. She was smart in that regard... this kind of business was safe, in a financial safe. Recession-proof if you will. At the cost of having to deal with shady types, and of course the consistent and ever-persistent dangers associated with the line of work. "Services will never die. As long as anyone is still alive." It was an old saying, from someone back from his childhood. He took a quick glance upon the oilfields in the distance, the hammers of Hammerlea pounding away for morning fuel. He remembered them being so much taller and imposing when he was a child. "Ah, don't mind me." He murmured to her, returning to her side after the reminder, continuing down the road as an eagle soared above their heads, briefly displacing his features in shadow. "This is a popular spot for children - here. Though you don't see them past these steps. Of course the further we venture out the less we'll be protected by the... 'noble and elegant national guard' that is the Brass Blades." he said with a hint of sarcasm. Her eyes rolled and she let out a loud scoff at the sarcastic comment. "Noble and elegant, my arse. Might be that I'm an outsider, but even I know that the Blades aint much more than thieves and highwaymen in fancy armor." At least, such had been the way of the few she had had the pleasure of dealing with during her time in the shadier side of Ul'dahn business. The people meant to protect the city's people seemed to her to be some of the most predatory. She had no shortage of distaste for them, that was certain. "The children might as well have a pack of hungry jackals in chainmail keeping a watch over them." Giving a disapproving cluck of the tongue, she started down the stairs. "As for us, I'd just as soon the Blades keep their distance, anyroad. I can protect myself well enough without some half-trained shite-for-brains to trip over and aim around." Certainly not one to spare anyone's feelings, this woman. Step by step, Ryanti's boots paced down them. Click. Click. Click. He could hear those soles connect with the concrete, and the memories of his childhood flashed by him. He was by far an adult now, and yet these steps remained unchanged. Some even possessed the same cracks that existed in them when he was but a kid. "You're right." He mentioned to her about the Brass Blades. The answer possessed some of the same kind of melancholy that Ryanti had for the whole situation there. "About a lot of them. Of course, that does not mean there aren't Brass Blades about that genuinely care to protect their own citizens from harm. But it's the ones who scream the loudest.. that ruin things. They used to be.... a better lot of men. When I was younger." He shook his head vibrantly. He didn't want to talk about that subject for too long. The refugees, the influx of poor and crime. Ul'Dah had many issues right now. It was not the same city he grew up in. "A lot of their corruption was found out. Their organization was shaken up by the Queen's men. The people who genuinely care about this nation's future. Despite that though, they are still around and in-force." He approached the virtual wooden fortress that was Scorpion Crossing. "Unfortunately, we are going to have to deal with them, as all travelers passing this way must be check in through this Crossing." Jaliqai's brows rose, giving the other a look from the corner of her eye at the answer. Of course, growing up in this place, doubtlessly the man had far more experience with the Blades than her handful of usually sour run-ins. There was more there at that, too, she felt. Memories, perhaps, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Yet even if she was curious, she wouldn't pry. Not now. "Aye, I'm aware. Good deal of the shipments headed up to the Chest comes through here as a last checkpoint. Passed through this place a fair few amount of times on my own, besides." And had snuck her way around it on even more occasions, even when she wasn't on less-than-noble business. The concept of her every movement being controlled and monitored in this land didn't settle well with her. It was a world apart from the Azim Steppes where one came and went as they pleased, and typically the only people to stop you were enemy tribes. There was no bureaucratic checking-in and paper-shuffling and bribe-paying. There was fighting and blood, 'til one side yielded or died. Even if that part of her life had seemed like it had been another lifetime ago, after a decade spent away from tribal affairs, the lessons it imparted didn't fade easily. Even in this new, barely-sensical land of procedure and policy. Her posture straightened again as they approached the crossing, making herself look as big as she could manage. Even being tall for a typical Xaelan woman, her five-fulm-five-ilm frame didn't exactly cut an intimidating figure on its own. She kept a hand close to her belt, at that. While her hand remained empty, just its lingering presence so close might have suggested that there was something sharp hidden on her person nearby that she would be prepared to draw if necessary. You can take the Xaela out of the Steppes, but you can't take the Steppes out of the Xaela, it seemed. When she looked, he did seem to briefly be in another place, in another time. Or perhaps the same place in another time. But walking these lands again to see them change, to be out and about on the doorstep of the wide open world was therapy for him. It was almost like comfort food to him. It kept his gut farm and his posture relaxed. Ryanti did not seem at all tense or ready to fend off anyone at a moment's notice. He knew that this was still land heavily regulated by the Ul'Dahn state. While it was indeed a free state, there were minor annoyances of course. Necessary annoyances they would say. Ul'Dah cared much about the traffic to and fro in these lands, as if they lost anyone - or anything - it would mean a loss of profit. Plus, quality of life was beginning to become a trendy thing in Ul'Dahn society, even as the class gaps widened. Part of him was relieved that their journey didn't include walking through that city-state again, one more time. The price of ridding the world of fighting, of blood, was bureaucracy. Eyeing Jaliqai's posture, the young man sighed a little. Her mildly threatening gesture would either succeed in intimidating these men - or make them suspicious. "Greetings, travelers!" The Lalafell brass blade mentioned to them the moment they were close to the gate. The Roegadyn in question hummed a noise from the back of his throat as he towered over the short-studded Xaela with a still glance. "Welcome to Scorpion crossing! Please state your business and display your traveling wares! We of course would not encourage any riff-raff coming in and out of the Sultana's city-state, er.. so we are required to check your bags a-" The Lalafell paused for a brief moment. In actuality, Ryanti had slipped him a little gil coin, and disguised the action with a mild cough. Truthfully he wasn't carrying anything hostile or detrimental - this was merely a bribe to skip an inconvenience. Perhaps it was a polite way of not pestering the lady. Though.. that Roegadyn was still towering over her, still. Looking. Glancing. "Hmmmmmmmm." The imposing man bellowed again. "..Well then, it seems that your bags are definitely safe for our passing thoroughfare, yes! Er.. right." The Lalafell stuttered from his lips as the Roegadyn man took a slow, deep breathe through his nose before speaking. "This woman's here's un' of 'm scalies. How w'd know whether or not she's a refugee eh?" The Lalafell waddled all the way over to him, and whacked him on the kneecap with a delicate closed fist. "Don't start trouble now! Excuse him, misses." Jaliqai was more that content to let Ryanti handle the men. While she could play the part of charming, well-spoken lady when she wanted to -- particularly when on business, negotiating with investors and suppliers -- nothing about the men in front of her inspired that put-on sweetness. Just as the Roegadyn scowled down at her, she scowled right back, jaw stubbornly set. If he was expecting to intimidate her, he was looming over the wrong Au Ra. Her attention moved away from him only long enough to look away when the Lalafell guard spoke, seemingly intent to let them pass. She hadn't needed to see the gesture to know that he'd been paid off. 'Inspections' were a joke, so far as the Blades were concerned. More like an extortionary toll. And Eorzeans thought that -her- kind were the savages. The second that the Roegadyn opened his mouth, however, her eyes snapped back to him and narrowed. Whether reprimanded by his fellow Blade or not, the look on the woman's face spoke volumes: she wasn't keen on letting the disrespect slide. Straightening her posture again, she stepped forward once -- not so close as to seem immediately threatening, but enough to make it known that she wasn't afraid of the man over a fulm taller than her and at least twice as heavy. "Jaliqai of the Qulaan, better known as Red. Guildmaster of Gold & Glory Hunter's Guild. I've got my bloody permits, and I pay my bloody taxes. -That's- how you know," she snapped, none-too-gently. "I'm 'bout as much of a refugee as much as you're a bloody pirate like the rest of your kin seems t'be. Or might be that's a bad comparison, seein' as it's not altogether too far from the truth, I figure." Ryanti didn't like it either, but it was just this place was. He had a hardened face on his features when he heard her retort. This was not exactly the best way to handle the situation. He mumbled a few swear words underneath his breath, and pressed his thumb and forefinger against his eyelids, rubbing them and his lips in irritation. He knew that she was a smart woman, and a capable one. There had to be at least one chamber of thought in her head that was reminding her how foolish it was to become a pain to these men. Sometimes it was better to listen. It looked like he was going to have to reveal his own name again. Probably. The Roegadyn's face was halfway masked by his visor on his turban, designed to protect the Brass Blade from the sun. He was not too animated due to his frame, but anyone could tell he was seething in his chainmail. "Nnnr... bitch has got a mouth." It looked like from his movement, that he was choosing about whether or not to act. Obviously violence was pretty high on the list. Here Ryanti was, witnessing this: A man who was supposed to be civilized acting savage, and a woman who was supposed to be savage proclaiming she had much to her name. The irony was not lost, but also not welcomed. With authority, Ryanti simply extended a finger at the Roegadyn. With a booming voice, it was as if the young man increased his presence by ten fold. His charisma - one of his positive traits and bountiful within his demeanor, shined as he spoke of his own family, by his own pride. "I am of the Veanysus family, and if you even so much as think of laying a finger on her or myself I will make sure my mother knows of it." With that said, afterwards the Lalafell began to hop back and forth in panic. "Ah-ahhh! H-he's one of them noblemen aye?" The Roegadyn man immediately faced Ryanti with a furious motion. "And who the hell do y-" Within the moment, Ryanti had taken off one of his gloves, showing upon his right hand the sapphire family signet ring, with an irritated face. "And I will make sure to report my dissatisfaction with the service here. Are we clear?" The Roegadyn man sneered with exposed teeth, swallowing a harsh breath and stepping back and crossing his arms again. "Guildmaster this, noble that.." He was immediately elbowed by the Lalafell who was still in mild panic. "E-... enjoy your crossing, and do not hesitant to de-mud your soles and obtain the use of our services here, sir.. ma'am ... thank you." Jaliqai's lip began to pull back in the beginning of what almost seemed like a feral snarl. The hand lingering around her hip shifted, fingers loosely curling around the hilt of the knife hidden away, always within reach no matter what sort of outfit or armor she wore. Already her mind was ticking in its usual methodical way. If the man made a move, he was so bulky and weighed down by chainmail that she was fair confident that she could make the first move. That was what it came down to, a great many times, in the killing of men. Ending it before it started. The blade of a knife quickly sunk into the neck, before the enemy's weapon could be drawn. Of course there was a part of her that realized that such a thing was a terrible idea. Good idea or not, it didn't stop her mind from considering the possibility, working its way through the scenario even before it played out. That was why she had always been a better hunter of men than beast, her ability to think quickly and on her feet. But even still, even if her traveling partner hadn't stepped between them, the likelihood of the thought coming to pass was low. It was more a reflex than an active inclination, and thus ended up more a matter of posturing -- as a great many things were in this frustratingly say-much-do-little sort of land. Her sullen, annoyed glaring continued even from behind Ryanti as he defused the situation. Even once everything seemed to settle -- or at least, as much as it could -- and they were welcomed into the Crossing, she could help but give the Roegadyn one last, sour glare before looking back to the Lalafell. "Stow the bought hospitality," she scoffed dismissively, moving around Ryanti to make her way into the crossing, tail lashing in her wake like an especially agitated beast. Ryanti stayed behind for the first few minutes after Jali had walked on. He had seen her pace herself ahead of him, walking with a bit of heat in her step, and agitation in her tail. It was strange how similar tails moved with emotion in her kind. Ryanti's tail however, was always still. As he apologized for his behavior.. or more like hers, to the Brass Blades, he couldn't help but feel like in the back of his head perhaps these baby steps out into the world were more difficult for her than he realized. Not in terms of business, but in this society as a whole. Despite that, what she did was detrimental to them, and placed the weight on his shoulders to solve the issue that should not have existed. The crossing itself definitely contained a handful of hustle and bustle. Focused porthands controlled their breaths as they heaved cargo from one stand to the next. The boxes were tagged - they had to be placed in the receiving and shipping areas. It seemed business of that sort was finally picking up - somewhat. There were drinking fountains, a few tools to solve minor conveniences on the road as well. There were some chocobo stables, but they were unused, and the flag boys upon the catwalks overlooking the crossing seemed bored out of their minds. It was a slow start to the morning in Thanalan, but Ryanti knew that by lunch hour, this place would be fairly busy. Though he knew Jaliqai didn't leave a good impression for the guardsmen that day. "I see you didn't listen to me when I told you to relax. There's a time and a place for that.." His words trailed off as he entered the crossing ahead of her. He didn't sound .. mad. It was moreso just the kind of accent one would have while being burdened by something. He placed the sole of one of his boots on the deck in the middle of the place, untying it all the way down. There was a rock in it, and the young man was also thirsty. He wondered to himself if she was always like that on the road. Such bitterness, he thought. Made more real to him because he understood her feelings perfectly. Fun.. would it be fun, in the end?
  4. Their reality was a different one now. Different than anyone else’s on the entire planet. It was impossible to imagine that someone, somewhere, right at this moment were tucking their children in bed, or haggling over an expensive item at a merchant stand. While the people above lived in their ever ongoing blissful ignorance of the events taking place here, he and his partner were alone. So far away from home. An unfathomable reality away. He blinked once and remembered. It was a memory of a feeling that had only taken place moments prior, but it felt like it had been forever ago. When she had placed a palm in-between his shoulder blades, Ryanti’s diaphragm settled down as he exhaled. It was almost as if his own body was replicating the action of the beastly vessel itself, as if he was trying to match its frequency and become one with it. There was no reality to those two except one another, their mission, and their surroundings. It took leaps and bounds of mental strength to accept that. Ryanti had faltered on the elevator. With that sigh he had expelled his anxiety and his fear from having the power over him. She was a Captain, and he had looked up to her. Now he had to be her Captain, and protect her. She gave him a confidence that he did not always possess alone. His mind was racing, trying to make sense of the environment around him. His senses had become hyperactive. He could easily hear his breath echoing from his lips, and every step Sounsyy took. The young man could feel his heart beat with every single pulse. His movement was very orderly, as if he could strike at any moment, perched in an universal tightness as if he was on a sort of… hunt. He did not desire to become prey in this place, if the worst possible scenario was correct. If there were creatures down here. He did not want to think about for too long. The mental suggestions of what could have taken place down here were terrifying in essence. He could not put a finger on it, but something in the air around him, something about the way that this hallway was crushing down upon them and making him claustrophobic was wrong. It was as if they had walked in on something not meant for mortal eyes to experience in this era. He had told her the world wasn’t ready. But were they? "Neither were the Allagans.” Her bitter reminder served him well to keep him alert. He acknowledged her comment by saying nothing, though nodding once in understanding. But the electric malfunctions abound did not hint to him that the events which took place in the rooms alongside them were because of the deeds of the Allagans themselves. Nothing about the blood splatters on the wall or the lack of skeletal remains hinted at that. None of it looked natural, at least… what Ryanti understood as natural. This scared him. But he did not show this fear to her like he did on the elevator. Fear was always at their necks, breathing down it, waiting for a singular moment of weakness to strike and render them completely defeated. Ryanti finally lowered his rifle when he reached the malfunctioning door. The dim blue light from the LED tracers on the door casted Ryanti’s shadow behind him as it opened and closed and grinded away upon the cerment metal. There was no telling how long the door had been like this. When he checked the bottom rungs of the right side of the door, he noticed that the paint upon the rungs had been chipped away; it was the only sign of wear and tear upon the material itself. Elements such as rust and decay rarely afflicted things of Allagan make. The material was so exotic and usually so well made that it could stand the test of eons. Yet, the door itself was misshaped – some of the LED lights were broken and electricity occasionally sparked out of the winding gears that tried to open the door, only to sense an obstruction and close it again. Over, and over, and over… "Can it be held open? Or... would it crush us?" Ryanti glanced over at him when he inquired that question, thinking a bit about it himself as the doors continued to try to open and close. The area they were in was dim and haunting, but his white locks reflected every last bit of light that was casted upon it, causing his face to be a bit more lit up than the rest of his body. “This door is broken.” He murmured, getting himself down upon one knee and briefly flicking at it with his hand before glancing back to the other door they had went through already, pointing towards it. “These Allagan doors, they activate via proximity. They open when you approach and close when you leave. This door, though… it’s stuck in a neverending loop of trying to fix its own problem. Which tells me there’s hope for finding areas where there is a little bit more power.” He raised onto two legs again, sighing at the malfunctioning door. “At any rate, it would crush us, this door. These panels and the hydraulic gears would splatter my brain matter everywhere if I were to try to hold it open for a lovely lady like yourself.” A solemn laugh or two was briefly heard from him. He hadn’t lost his sense of humor. Or charm depending on point of view. Trying to say something lighthearted in here. That was new. “There is an easier way than trying to kill ourselves by opening this door or jumping through it. But you are not going to like it.” He mentioned, though while he was speaking he found himself saying these words as if he was watching himself say it versus actually say it. The reason was because he truly did dread was he about to say next. There was an objective means to an end when it came to these missions, and sometimes you had to do what you really did not feel like doing. He looked at her in the eye as he spoke, hoping his sincerity would silence the fear. “We have to try to find a way around it. And that means going into the adjacent rooms and looking for another way.” And so the young man did what ended up being a familiar sight. He approached one of the broken windows to the right of him; it was almost a gateway to the first circle of hell in metaphor, as nothing awaited him by climbing that windowsill except for loose electric wires, blood splattered walls and bits of broken glass all along the floor and tables. With the butt of his rifle he began to chip away at the sharp edges on the bottom of the frame. “There is always another way.” When he was happy with his glass clearing, he swiped the butt from corner to corner a few times just to make sure. Afterwords, he hopped himself over the windowsill, beckoning her to follow him with a free palm right before resting it upon the neck of his rifle. He solemnly shook his head, knowing that what he said next was a rather abrupt change of subject, but it had to be addressed then and there. “That door was not ruined by any man or woman. Nobody our size could puncture such a dent in a door like this. It isn’t natural.” He paused for a moment, acknowledging the claustrophobic feeling of the metallic walls that seemed to embrace them in a cold, dark manner. “Do you feel that? The moisture in the air? The suffocating dread in your heart? This place is haunted by the own nightmare of its past.” Another pause, a period of judgement in his mind. “Make sure your safety is off.” He saw all in that room. He knew exactly what kind of feelings he was dealing with because of it. In the room he was in now, he could see the gurneys toppled over and bent, coated in a deep blackness of ancient blood. He could see beakers and surgical tools scattered amongst the broken glass upon the floor and the wiring of the ceiling lights dangling above them, making sure to avoid them in order to not be electrocuted or worse. The entire area smelled disgusting, almost like a combination of sulfur and pesticide. Old utensils and equipment were everywhere, and none of it seemed sanitary in the slightest. What they were smelling was the aetherochemical leaks from the next room, although they had not reached it yet. Separating them from that room was a smaller door than the one they had encountered earlier. It was quite obvious by the make of it that it was a chase door, possibly in order to accommodate the traffic of the staff of Allagan researchers working in this sector of the vessel. The state of the door itself, along with the room they were in, was in such bad shape that Ryanti could not even come up with any hint as to what this room used to be, besides perhaps a store room of sorts. He nudged the door with his shoulder, but it did not budge. A door that once had worked was now far from functioning itself. However, it was not like the door from before. So he nudged it again, harder. A grinding noise was heard that echoed throughout the room ahead, eventually bouncing back towards their ears. The sound was hollow and empty, but was the space behind this door equally so? “Sounsyy, I need help.” He called out to her, trying to get her attention. “Or else I’m never going to get this door open.” She was shorter than him but… he could use all of the brute strength that he could get, and something told him that based on what he saw of her upon her own ship he figured she could put her own shoulder to use when she needed to. Upon that third time, it in fact was the charm. One half of the chase door fell to the floor with a large, loud thud. A cloud of dust immediately emerged from the form of the fall door as Ryanti’s boots made imprints on the surface of the door, cleaning dust away from it in the shape of his soles. He moved his rifle from his ready stance, not out of a constant decision, but out of awe and concern for what he was seeing in front of him. The room they were in now was equally large. Light panels traced all around the room, some of them flickering in blue, some of them working still after all these years. The room had a coned ceiling, and a wide open space when it came to the floor. A hallway down the other side of the room led out of it, but Ryanti was affixed on what laid [i[pinned to the ceiling.[i/] Upon the ceiling were three massive pods. Two of which were completely full of liquid and lit up by metallic lights inside of the pod that had aged with time, bathing it in a red light instead of an original blue. Those same two pods were harboring a kind of genetic construct that was an abhor to nature. Half dragon, half bird, half lion… it was impossible to tell. All that they knew were that the abominations had died long ago without the life support to keep its existence a stalemate. However, there was a third pod in the room in which the glass was broken. The liquid still rested below the pod itself, along with the various shards of glass and blood. Blood that was not a normal red, but a metallic in color, almost silver. It smelled of blood – but did not look like blood. A distant noise echoed into the chamber. Perhaps it sounded like the hull of the ship struggling against the pressure of the water after being casted into a chasm so deep, so long ago… perhaps not. It was like moaning metal, the bellowing cries which reminded Ryanti of the ways in which these abominations probably struggled against the pain of merely existed. This place was haunted in its one way by the nightmareish acts of what was done here, and everything was just too still. “Do you hear that?” He murmured to her. Was he speaking of the metal? … Or something else?
  5. "I'll manage.” I did not understand at the time how passionately I would rely on that statement in the trials to come. The Allagan elevator vibrated the floor underneath their feet. The soft hum was a constant reminder of their descent if they were to ignore what the walls all around were telling them. The eyes of the taller young man was fixed upon the hand of the older woman in front of him. He felt a heaviness in his chest, attributing it to the stiff and unmoving air that was disturbed by the current of the elevator’s descent for the first time in many, many centuries. He saw her hand; it was bathed in the red of Allagan light. He saw her individual fingers close in upon each other and open up. He eyed her back when he was done examining it. Ryanti’s expression was as still as a statue, devoid of emotion except for his brow and his eyes. They were analytical in nature, but there was an obvious skeptical nature about his demeanor. He was beginning to smarten up to her after all the time they had spent together. ‘I’ll manage’ was nothing compared to ‘I’m okay’, and Ryanti knew. He did not challenge her, though. He did not demand that she unbandage her hand so that he could see it with his clear light of his own, no. He accepted her statement. Partially because he had smartened up to her, but that was not the main reason. He did so because of her eyes. When Ryanti saw what laid in her eyes, he knew he didn’t have to challenge her. There was a deep, passionate, intense burning in those eyes, and it was like the cold Allagan light bathed those eyes in fire. He needed life in her eyes, because he knew that a Sounsyy with life in her eyes –would- manage. No matter what. He watched her as she moved away from him. Ryanti wiped his now dirty white locks aside and allowed her to have her moment alone. As much as he was around to try to educate her about the kind of world that used to exist – the kind of world that he lived in – he knew that sometimes she just needed to see for herself. She had known that with him. He realized that now. He remembered when he was back on the Roehmerl, in her world. Now it was the reverse. But perhaps that was just a poetic mind trying to find an irony in all of this. Neither of their worlds included the very world they were standing in right now. This world belonged to a people long gone. An era long gone. "Where do you think they lead us, these... wisps?" Ryanti had been pacing around the floor of the elevator in a soft walk, observing what was around him as well when he heard that comment from her. When she spoke, he glanced back over at her form again. The Allagan lighting was enshrouding her body, highlighting her shape in the soft padding darkness. She really did look good in that suit. It was almost built for her. Laura seemed more like a stand-in now. She could hear the slow pace of Ryanti approaching her as he tried to figure out an answer to that question. It was rather beautifully spoken; he had never really imagined these lights in the eyes of the myths and traditions of peoples in his era. Only now was he open to think about these things in that light. His mind was further opened to interpretation at that point. A pleasant little smile with parted lips dominated his expression as he found himself beside her, watching along. “I’m not sure.” He replied to her, red reflective bulbs of light emitted from his eyes in parallel with the ‘wisps’. “To our fate, perhaps. Whatever that may be.” He turned his head to her not soon after, glancing at her shoulder and remembering her physical scars before eyeing her face and recalling what could be her mental ones. She looked calm and at peace in the midst of red light. It was something he had never seen before in her. But more than that, it was the first time she had seen something within his world the same way he did. Perhaps she didn’t realize how much that single statement stuck to him. He placed a hand on her right shoulder. He was tender with the force, nurturing at the touch. He knew where her scars were – he had seen them when he caught her out of her Captain’s clothing, when she had mellowed in insecurity over him glancing at her. He made sure that he didn’t agitate any of those scars. He didn’t think about what he was going to say next. He let his lips roam free. “You’ve taken your first steps toward opening your eyes.” With eyes, one sees. When they open, their mind does. It was a saying among his unit. It was his way of passing this down to her. A gesture of respect. A sign that she was on her way to being one of them, the same way a new crew hand would prove themselves part of the Captain’s family. His sentimental moment was interrupted by a sudden spark that discharged from wiring on the other side of the elevator. It made a snapping sound that got his attention. Upon him turning around, the red lights ceased to continue as the elevator made its way further down. Ryanti lent his hand off of Sounsyy’s shoulder and took the steps he needed to take to get to the center of the elevator. Just then, the elevator began to jolt and throttle back and forth, as if it was shaking – going down rails that had not been in active maintenance for an even longer time than the rails above it. It caused the elevator to shake a little, but not enough to throw them off balance or anything. However, the length of time they were traversing in this elevator starting to become apparent, and Ryanti held a look of concern as the area grew further and further talk. “We’re still going.” Ryanti mentioned to going in a dark voice, a voice that held worry. “I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all.” He knew in their gut that they should have gone up. But how could they have? Even with all of Ryanti’s modern tools from his unit that contained classified technology from Sharlayan, it was still baby steps compared to Allagan cerment. There were no way they could have clawed and grappled their way up. Down was their only choice. But he still felt like he shouldn’t go down here, which they as a whole shouldn’t be here. There were real hints on Ryanti’s face that something was wrong. His face was still, but his eyes still scanned. He had a gut instinct to turn on his safety light again as the last bit of Allagan red light faded away into complete darkness. Upon clicking the light on, he shined it upon the opposite side of the elevator once more. Immediately, he saw what appeared to be an enormous streak of blood smeared across the side of the elevator wall as they further descended. It was blackened and calloused by age, but some spots on it were lighter shades than others. Lighter than they should have. She could hear Ryanti’s breathing intensify immensely, and he deviated his light away from the source and shined a bit of it on himself to make him visible to her. “Put on your goggles. First setting. Now.” It had become apparent then that they used their goggles only when they absolutely needed to. Ryanti did not hesitate. Ryanti placed his flashlight back on his belt and retrieved his goggles from his chest. He slinked them onto his head, and pressed the two panels together on the side of his head until they clicked in place. He pressed the switch in the middle once, and the goggles sprung to life. Minus a green tint, they could now see in the dark with the utmost clarity. “Keep the other flashlights off.” Just in case what? He didn’t want to think about it. But within moments, whether or not he wanted to think about it, he was going to have to. As he gripped his rifle strap to sling the weapon to the front of him once more, he stopped in his tracks. “W-…” Even his train of mind stopped at the sight that he was now seeing. The wall in front of him, which had for their entire ride been solid Allagan cerment, had opened up into glass. Even though the glass was covered in dust, the scatter was mild enough to make out what lied out ahead of them as they descended yet even further down. The area in question was enormous. Semi-circular in form, one could have easily fit Sounsyy’s vessel inside the massive chamber twenty times over. Among the outside walls, the entire inner hull was covered in derelict stasis pods. Some of the glass on the pods were broken. Others were defunct. A select few were barely flashing with operational health. Blood stains of every color, of every shape and creed, coated the entire massive area with an absolutely ominous blanket of tragedy and of the defiling of nature. Even Ryanti had no idea what this meant. Horror, confusion, and panic set in his facial expression. It was so astounding to him that he didn’t even know what to think. After all that time training… and all of his previous experience of what he had seen… even with his passion for uncovering the past and of this civilization… he had seen NOTHING like this before. “W-.. what the hell is this?!?” He said in a loud whisper. He frantically set his bag down, his hands shaking as he quickly unzipped the section in which he had placed his dead linkpearl. He tried in vain to activate it, pressing it up to his ear and not even bothering to use codenames. “Jonathan! Jonathan! What is this?!?” He cried out to the dead linkpearl. He didn’t even realize that his question made no sense to someone up upon the surface anyway. He froze in place, having realized how he might look in front of Sounsyy right now, when he needed to be the experienced one, the one in control. So he swiftly placed it back into the backpack and sat back up on his feet. There would be a time praying it would work later. “I know nothing of this, Sounsyy. Absolutely nothing like the Allag I’ve seen.” He murmured to her as he threw his backpack over his shoulder and brought his rifle up front. “Make sure it’s set on automatic. We are taking –no- chances here.” He tensed up again, walking as close as he could before he would hit the glass wall. “Hydealyn’s mercy, there’s hundreds. Thousands. Okay Ryanti… think.” He backed up in a little sprint, getting behind Sounsyy but still having his barrel pointed towards the glass. In his experience with Allagan elevators, the civilization was more likely to place the door to the elevator on the same side as glass windows. This case was just like the others. “Change of plans.” He commented in a now stable, confident voice as a leader would give orders. “We’re going to get out of here as soon as possible. We need to find another elevator shaft that can take us up further than we were. Our objective is up, definitely not down here. There is nothing down here that would warrant any man or woman the right to use this kind of knowledge.” He stepped in front of her, luckily having no time to contemplate what this was or… how it even came to be in the first place. It was beyond his own comprehension, and he could only imagine how Sounsyy was feeling right now. He used his voice as a clear path of reason in the midst of all the insanity. “I need you at a hundred and ten percent, Sounsyy! Be at my shoulder and watch my back!” The windows had long since vanished, but he could see the frame of the chamber reveal itself as the elevator finally began to slow down. Ryanti stood deathly still with his goggles on, all of his joints locked in place as if he was prepared to spring forward at a moment’s notice. The entire elevator chamber was similar to the last one they were in, but there was no chasm underneath. This was the bottom floor of the ship. This was Allag’s hell. The place among of their worst misdeeds. The door to the place, the walls… every aspect of the room they were in was unusually moist. Water droplets were dripping across some of the cerment panels, and the blue outlining on the door still lit it up. It was active. Steam exhausted from the side panels of the elevator as it rested to a standstill, and immediately the darkness was greeted by an unnerving, consistent noise without explanation or origin. It felt unnaturally dark, but the goggles they were wearing began to adjust. The green tint started to fade away in favor of a more normal color spectrum, with the lighting ramped up of course. It was an aetherical quality of the goggles that Ryanti forgot to mention. He took the first steps off the elevator, and headed towards the door. He visibly flinched as the door parted ways without so much of a minor hiccup, the blue lights flickering as a sign that it needed maintenance. He glanced at Sounsyy nervously, confused at the fact that these doors operated so well. But when he turned to look inside after he had made his way through the door, he was stopped again by something. It was a hallway, hexagonal in nature. Side windows complimented the walls of the room. But what disturbed him was that the entire hallway was completely covered in dried blood. The light fixtures had been torn from their resting places, ripped out by force. Plenty of the side were either cracked or shattered. The occasional flickering light registered brightly in their goggles, but one could tell there were outlines of shapes, utensils, tools and tables all tossed about, broken: ransacked. The door on the other end was malfunctioning, one side of it spazzing back and forth and the lights also flickering. If this hadn't been a mission where he needed her eyes, Ryanti would have told Sounsyy to just keep her eyes focused on him. But he needed an extra pair to glance at what he couldn't, so he didn't. She had to be a big girl, and he had to be an even bigger man. “Remember, we’re not defenseless.”
  6. Having a RP calendar of sorts and discussing said RP events on said calendar perchance? At any rate, I'd love to participate, even if it's just a guest role. When I had a shit ton more free time, I actually did a podcast for an enormous RP Guild.. elsewhere. While I can't volunteer as much time as before, I do have a shiny Blue Yeti in my closet.
  7. Even though I posted in this thread, I can still say it wasn't a bad Christmas. I'm alive, I'm full. I can afford to make a good dinner on the grill. I got a bed to sleep in. I got internet. I got a full fridge. I mean, gotta count your blessings. I guess that's what makes me happier on Christmas when I look at the little things.
  8. This entire year has probably been the worst in my life. I've been just wanting this year to be over. I'm usually very festive sbout the holidays but it's been so damn hot and muggy here. We have no decor up, no tree, no gifts, no nothing for some reason or another. Probably just going to drink all day. I can make my booze last through New Year's.
  9. "Whoa Ryanti Veanysus! You need to start thinking about packing your bags if you don't change your ways soon. Santa is more likely to hunt you down than bring you a present." 100% Accurate. I'm ready for you Santa. Fite me.
  10. Maybe he should have ordered coffee. It wasn't because the grape juice wasn't nutritious. It was. It tasted very good too. He could tell the fruits were squeezed that morning. it was simply because the cup was cold instead of warm. The coldness of the glass coursed through the surface and pierced into his hand. It felt numbing and uncomfortable if he held onto it for long. He would have preferred something warm and inviting to rest his hand upon. It would have helped him think. He always needed to think. It was a weakness of his. It was always about something probably unimportant and unnecessary. Perhaps he tried too hard in the wake of following his father or maybe the case of his own ideals of high standards. The sweet smell from the juice in the glass, the sweet memories of home that were few and far between, the appreciation of sitting down in good company and to allow time to pass slowly. To enjoy one's day at a slower pace like one would enjoy a comforting meal. When did those ideals leave him? He was so busy now, and there was always more work to do. How often would he have to bang his head against the wall of reality before it dawned on him that he was doing nothing but harming his own self by taking the burden up on his own? He had achieved this busy life some would be envy of, but at what cost? It felt just as cold at that glass in his hand. A fingertail or two brushed past his bangs and he looked behind him. If only he could be a person to receive such a response from a lady. It was obvious she was happy to see the man that had walked into the place. His eyebrows loosened a bit and his gaze was afixed upon him. He had very rarely cast his eyes upon a male of his kind. The Au Ra were a rare sight in Eorzea, and a brand new one given the scope of things. From what he was wearing, to the very makeup that decorated his face, Ryanti's thinking shifted to the possibilities of what this man from foreign lands far away had seen with those piercing eyes. His voice was of a lovely tenor, and did not invite hostility from those around him. However, his presence was heavy and stoic. "You thunk to y'self, maybe talk to 'em?" The heavenly lass behind the warm greeting murmured to Ryanti. The young man glanced her way with an idly blink. "He don't bite. Only a lil'. Nothing much point havin' nerves. 'Sides I don't think a piece of paper do good as much as a person 'ould ey? You look like you got thick pockets y'self." The young man couldn't help but smile, finishing his last drop of the glass as the Miqo'te woman giggled. "See! I tells ya!" What approached Qadan today was not a man who saw his foreign commodity as something to be feared or shunned. Who approached Qadan today was also not a man of normal stature, and spoke with a highly educated tongue that betrayed his posh lineage, yet remained a leaned back demeanor about him despite the burden he carried in his eyes; it was a common thing all men with burdens could relate to. Yet when he finally did speak, his words were light and his tone casual. He crossed his arms, glancing upon the grammatical nonsense that was the job board. "Same old stuff... you wonder how simple problems always tend to stick their head out again right when they're dealt with. No wonder there's endless work for people like.." he craned his neck to meet his gaze. He was -indeed- a tall figure. "Your-.... self."
  11. His eyes looked heavy, as if they had sunk to the back of his skull. His skin was paler than usual; a little sickly. In the dim crimson light of a long forgotten vessel that used to claim its home in the stars, Ryanti was indeed alive. Taxed, but alive. Those tired eyes were focused on her, and while his body seemed to lack energy for the moment, there was a strength of concern in those eyes as he observed Sounsyy try to help herself up. He had one knee lowered to the ground. The curls of a weak smile emerged from a corner of his lips in response to her little joke. Was it true? Had that almost died three times so far? He knew there would be many more times that would happen in this place. Many more. Assuming that they would survive, of course. When one was to think in perspective, the odds were against their favor. It looked to be a very realistic scenario, dying here… entombed within the bowels of a vessel already long dead itself. Was this to be it, then? Was this place simply destined to become their coffin? Were they to be buried together here? Would they be forgotten too? Ryanti’s face seemed like a ghost. It was very still as his eyes glanced upon her injured hand when she brought it up to her chest. One half of his face was illuminated by the dim flickering red light, while the other half was covered in darkness. He could tell that she was in pain. Was it because of him? Probably. She had saved his life, and hurt herself in the process. Nearly every time Sounsyy herself thought about how poor of a choice she was, Ryanti was almost always thinking about how poor of a decision he made. It was his only option though. He knew that she was supposed to come here, as he was. They… had called to them both. "The ship came to life, and I felt it surgin' through meh fingers. Felt meh whole body clench and go limp, then I lost the pearl. I can't say if it's dead fer sure, all I can 'ear is white noise. Yers okay?" Her dialogue snapped him out of his little trance. Ryanti’s eyes moved again, this time meeting her own. The idle red lights were flickering off of her face too. The contrast stole the color away from those hazel eyes. He wondered if the concerned look on her eyes was because of him. It was then that he gently placed a hand over his left eye, lightly rubbing his eyelid with his fingertips. He did not remember the time between the ship surging in power and himself banging against the wall of the elevator. There was a gap there. He assumed it was because of the surge… But something… something made the left side of his upper body tingle. He could almost hear it. The sound of the florescent lighting flickering on in full capacity. But there was no piercing white light to illuminate this hallway. The bulbs had long since shattered; the panels hanging by the thread in the hallway, tilted and dented. He could almost feel it. Like it had been sleeping… and had been awoken. Like it had one eye open now, before going back to sleep. When Sounsyy whispered “Right, movin’.” Ryanti whispered to himself “Right, the pearls.” He reached his fingertip into his ear as he saw the form of the Roehmerl’s Captain get up upon her feet and make her way past him. He clicked it once, twice. Nothing. Not even white noise. He could feel a warm but unwelcome feeling sinking into his stomach. He switched it on and off again. Nothing. He removed the linkpearl from his ear and shined the emergency light upon it. There was an obvious crack on it that had nearly split it in two. Were the insides broken, or simply the outside layer? Was it not working because it was broken, or because it was sapped of power? Sapped of power… He unzipped a small pocket in the chest area of his suit and placed the linkpearl inside. No use in worrying about it now. As he placed the pearl inside, he realized that he had been feeling uneasy all of this time, ever since he had stripped Sounsyy of the rope. The fascination of where he was and his passion for exploring such areas had diminished. There was a feeling in his stomach not his own, a suspenseful alarm that left his neck hairs on end. He had a bad feeling about this. Something was wrong. He grabbed his bag and rifle on the way back, following the woman ahead, and increasing his pace to catch up with her. At least there wasn’t a chance of falling and dying now, Ryanti thought as he sat himself down upon the ledge of the broken window, watching Sounsyy take her first few steps upon the surface of the elevator. This place was more heavily lighted due to the origin of the red flashes being there. Red bulbs that were positioned around the outside rim of the elevator were flickering in idle, waiting for them to make their input. He rested his back against the wall of the window in his tiny little period of rest, watching Sounsyy glance back at him with her little smile. "Deeper into the briny depths I guess?" “Heheh… heheh.” She could hear Ryanti make little chuckles, little laughs. Smile. Even show his teeth. One of his legs dangled back and forth upon the ledge. He looked a little better now. A little more recovered. “Into the very mouth of hell… a very bad place for a first date.” He anchored his hand upon the window ledge and hopped off it with rifle in hand, slinging it over his shoulder after he landed. He rotated and tweaked his left shoulder, trying to get the blood pumping again and be a little bit of his old self. He spoked again when he flanked her on his way to the control box. “Thank you for saving me. I know it’s an obligation to, but… still.” His gaze lowered a little bit to eye her injured hand again. He met that gaze with a concerned frown, and a silent sigh. That had to be his doing. “Rest that arm of yours. I’ll do all the work for now.” The hand that was placed upon the strap of his rifle squeezed it tighter as a way to vent his anxiety of their impending future as he was making his way over to the control box. He could not shake off that feeling of perplexing dread, and it was beginning to worry him. “What you felt was electricity.” He stated, turning his body a bit to point his finger at several of the lights flickering on and off around them as he made his way to the box. “It is a force of energy, much like fire or… cereleum. These lights here, what most would call fireless, are powered by this force. That is what you felt. What we both felt. The Allagans mastered this force eons before our peoples even worked with stone tools, though the Garleans are learning from them, much as a toddler learns from its mother.” He did not want to say what he was about to say. But as he made his way to the box itself and first placed his hands on top of the device’s shape to scope it out, he knew he had to confirm to her the worst case scenario. “Our linkpearls are fried. It’s no use keeping it in your ear – we’re on our own.” He let that sink in for a moment before turning his head back to her. “But don’t lose it.” Heavy breaths irritated the dust particles upon the control box when Ryanti got himself a good look at it. “Now let me see… heh, finally there’s a role within this ship that I would have done personally if I had my four man crew…ironic.” His fingertips traced along the shape of it. It was a rectangular shape, short size vertical. A tug or two didn’t budge the thing; there was no way he was going to be able to access the internal components of it. Even after all these years, the cerment did not rust, did not crumble within his hands. Upon wiping the front of it a few times with his arm, he realized that this had once been operated by a touch screen, maybe even a hologram of some sort. He kept this information to himself. He would just overwhelm Sounsyy with it, so he juveniled his comments. “Well it looks like it used to have a screen of some sort here. Long powered down of course.” He murmured, placing his grip upon the handle that he had pulled down from earlier. He gave it a tug, and then another, making two loud noises ring across the hallway as he tried to move it from its resting place, but it did not appear to budge. “Looks like it’s… kind of… stuck!” He said, his voice under stress as he put exertion upon the handle to try to get it to move. With one more shove, he managed to move it a little bit. A shocking gasp came from his throat as another source of light appeared in the room. It was an incredibly weak source of light coming from …. The monitor! It was still working! After all these years, it was still working! “Twelve’s graces...” Ryanti murmured, his eyes focused firmly upon the monitor. Any sound that would originate from this operating system was broken, and the operating system itself seemed to be in emergency mode. The only functioning screen was mostly black, with two pale white squares. One was located below the other. One had a very dim red arrow pointing up, and the other had an arrow pointing down. “Look!.... Look it’s still working! I can’t believe it! It’s been set on emergency power though… it looks like the Allagans knew their fate before this ship crashed.” That very statement sent chills up his spine. What was the story behind this ship? Ryanti knew that they needed to go up. “Okay… let’s see.” Ryanti whispered to himself, though it was audible elsewhere. He looked up at where he wanted to go; up up up. When he pushed the square on the screen though, nothing happened. Another tap. Another tap. Nothing. Damn it, what was going on? Why wasn’t it moving? The young soldier looked back at the screen, tapping it a few more times. Suddenly, he felt the elevator shift. The ground vibrated a little bit, and the gears began to turn as it attempted to get to where they wanted to go. But Ryanti’s ears tightened behind him as they both heard a huge squeaking noise like fingernails upon a chalkboard before the sound of the auxiliary engine failing. “Shite! ... I don’t think it has enough power to take us up!” Ryanti swore underneath his breath, clenching his teeth and shaking his head as he observed a red X cross over the up arrow. It wasn’t going to work. “We’re going to have to go down.” Ryanti reported to her, closing his eyes tightly and hoping and praying that this was not going to be an inconvenience to them. He bit his lip and held his breath, reaching his hand out to touch the bottom arrow. There was that feeling again. As if someone was behind him, whispering in his ear to not do it, to not push that arrow, to not go down there and see that part of the ship. But the cerment would not let him grapple, and the shaft was simply too large to climb up. He had no choice. There was never a choice. “Nyemia… please.” He pressed the arrow, and momentarily after, the spires on the four corners of the elevator lifted upwards, and Ryanti walked back to the center of the elevator as the floor began to vibrate. Gears turned as the machina sprung to life, and the elevator began to descend downwards. So the downward journey began. The elevator itself was enormous, the width of it spanning nearly a third of Sounsyy’s Roehmerl and it was merely an elevator albeit not any type meant for personnel. It was meant for cargo. Ryanti knew this, but… what kind of cargo? The chamber itself did not disappoint in terms of scale either. Each couple of seconds they passed another floor, another stabilizer ring. There were little pieces of the wall panels that had come off, showing off the immense depth of Allagan ingenuity with brief glimpses of the wiring and inner workings of the components. The stabilizer rings each had a row of dim red lights blinking on and off. Ryanti found himself taking it all in, turning around, two and fro to glance about. It was unbelievable, the size of this ship. The sheer breathtaking scale. “How is your arm?” Ryanti asked Sounsyy in a sudden, but concerned manner. He looked back at her. His expression was a mix of suspense, awe, and disciplined determination. He took a few steps towards her as the elevator began to descend. “I need to make sure you’re alright. We need to be… ready. For anything.”
  12. i have a whole bunch of insecurities that I try to hide. I'll attempt to explain some of them. 1.) I put a hell of a lot of work into Ryanti's family and history. It's enough to make my wiki a mess. That combined with my tenancy to paragraph RP often makes me feel insecure about people not wanting to put up with all that detail and going off to find a better RP partner. I feel like sometimes I've overwhelmed people. I've had RP's simply discontinue because of it. 2.) Because of Ryanti's job being the way it is, because his life is very messy and because of his upbringing, he's what Warren calls a 'smooth operator'. It's an outlet for him. It keeps him sane and keeps him feeling alive. I'm not ashamed to say that I practice ERP when the story is right, and declare me bold for even saying that I actually enjoy it (*gasp*) but sometimes I feel like because my character and young and wants to live a little, that people will automatically think I have ulterior motives every time my character speaks to a woman. 3.) I don't wanna go into this much, but also super insecure people will judge me because I don't prefer fade to black and because sometimes my RP leads to ERP. It's happened before, where people just judge, and call me names even. But I'm not gonna change for people. 4.) Indirectly related to that, I'm super insecure that Ryanti will never find 'the one'. I know that's a silly worry, but part of what my passion for creating Ryanti's story is also carving out his future. That's a significant part of his future - finding love. But I've had terrible luck and more often than not my escapades end up with Ryanti getting slapped or furniture thrown at him. Don't get me wrong, it's hilarious. But I'm insecure that it's the best I can do with him. 5.) I'm insecure about Ryanti being a halfling. It was the only way my story could work and, at the same time, fulfill my OOC urge to play a male Miqo'te. But every time Ryanti admits to his blood in-game, there's a part of me that feels like I'm making a 'lolDrizzt' character and that I'm super edgy edgelord because he's a half breed. 6.) This is an insecurity that doesn't matter much anymore, but used to. Back when I first started RP'ing Ryanti, he was younger than he is now. Before he set out upon the world, before all of his previous character development, Ryanti was pretty rascist, and looked down upon the lower class. Now not so much, but there was definitely a time where my OOC self thought I was interacting with great characters, and I knew I had to make Ryanti act prejudiced towards them. And behind the keyboard, I was insecure as hell about having my RP partners hate me because of it. That was a difficult time for me, but Ryanti has since grown past that. 7.) I make extremely bad typos out of nowhere sometimes because my mind is always on something. I feel like shit every time I make them.
  13. I remember there was some wrestling RP sites that used WWE games as their source for wins and losses. Back when I played those games, specifically WWE '13, we would choose a wrestler to RP (I had JBL) and we would engage in feuds based on the GM who was basically the admin of the site that paired us up in feuds. We would start threads and RP our promos out, then face each other in-game. But when we faced each other it wasn't like normal people playing the game, we actually tried to make it look like an actual wrestling match with a slow build and all. No running grapples or anything like that, literally acting like we're pacing the ring at each other and throwing punches occasionally, y'know, rp'ing it out. Eventually there would be a winner and we'd post the results, do promos again, etc. It was seriously fun, but not very popular. I maybe took part for about two months.
  14. As odd as this sounds, the Coil Turn 8 tank gloves. When I first started raiding last year before Final Coil was a thing, I miraculously managed to get every single High Allagan piece except for the gloves and coat. When I started my own static and beat Turn 9, the coat dropped. So all I was missing were the Turn 8 gloves. It was important to me because getting the entire outfit was a symbol to myself that I was worth a damn. Well, by the time we cleared Turn 9 Final Coil was out. Nobody from my static wanted to help me farm Turn 8. They'd rather laugh at me trying by myself, and I put up with hour long queues and crappy duty finder. I never got the gloves, and I gave up after no one did it anymore. Nowadays, glamour runs are extremely rare and when they do happen, pretty much everyone farming are there for the tank gloves. So! That's why I chose that. (Though btw I'm also looking to learn Thordan Ex.)
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