Illiad Easle

Private Deep Science 1x1 with Blitz Boom

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@Blitz Boom

Their mother simply chuckled as she waved off the sisters' concern, "Nothing out of the ordinary at the hospital, but this foal's certainly got some legs on them, might even be as strong as their sisters."

While their mother seemed unaware of the sisters' quandaries, their father looked somewhat concerned, "How about you two? Everything go well at training and the forge?" 

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@Illiad Easle

On 3/9/2020 at 5:27 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"Nothing out of the ordinary at the hospital, but this foal's certainly got some legs on them, might even be as strong as their sisters."

"I guess we'll see if he or she starts lifting everything, right? Just good to hear that things are still going okay with both you and the foal."

Void did hers to try and joke about this, though the thought of something even smaller than Null wandering around and lifting stuff were sorta distracting. Like those circus acts with the strong stallions, just in a miniature format.

On 3/9/2020 at 5:27 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"How about you two? Everything go well at training and the forge?"

"Yeah, works getting done, and I'm starting to get some wind under the wings again. Tough training, but nothing good comes easy, y'know? Just gotta keep putting in the effort."

She wouldn't say anything else until Void wandered into the kitchen to begin prepping dinner. Soon as she were out of the hearing distance though, Null would start talking again, and if their father had picked up o the mood before, her silent, awkward glances towards Void until she saw the mare leave the room, should have kept him on pretty high alert.

"Actually, there's something I need to talk to you all about. The Consul, he... Found out where our supposed *father* have been hiding out, and I got offered a chance to go and confront him sometime soon.

When it happens, I'm going to take it. He's got a lot to answer for, and long as he's breathing, we ain't safe."

She were clearly holding something back, from how her gaze shifted away from them, which you'd more or less have to be blind to miss. Whilst lying wasn't something she were against, Null had some issues doing so in front of her parents. Especially her mother.

But what were she going to do here? Just flat out say *Gonna kill our dad, then out there to kill some more for the Consul. Oh right, he offered me to be part of Vengeance, and that's why I'll be gone and out slaughtering soon. Slipped my mind*? Wasn't an easy thing to get this out, and especially not since there were still one more here that needed to hear this, yet were the one she were feeling would be the hardest to tell it to: That being Void. The two of them hadn't been separated willingly for long periods in their lives, and now Null' were gonna say that she were going to go out there, and traverse down a dark path that her little sister couldn't join her on? It were going to be hard.

To think that a few weeks ago, when they ended up in Troy and she got lost in her own mind, she felt as if she couldn't keep fighting anymore... And yet here she were, trying to find a way to tell them that she were going right back into the fray, yet this time, without backup. It were going to be tough to stay steadfast on this with triple opposition, but she had to. This were her part in the puzzle, and she knew it. It were just tough to tell them.

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@Blitz Boom

9 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

When it happens, I'm going to take it. He's got a lot to answer for, and long as he's breathing, we ain't safe.

At the mention of Grey Mane, their parents shared a look of reserved horror, both sitting where they stood. Their mother was the first to speak, "He was furious when the two of you escaped, had the enforcers who captured us killed for their failure to catch you."

Their father continued, "We were sure he was going to have us killed too, but he didn't for whatever reason. Just sent us back to the outpost where we were subsequently discharged for allowing you two to leave."

When they looked back at Null their expressions were of fear, worry, and a small bit of Vengeance. "Are you sure? We're..."

Their mother sighed, "There'll be no convincing you otherwise I think. We already lost the two of you once, so be careful. We'd be devastated to lose you again."

It would take their parents some time to recover from the news that Null had given them, the atmosphere of the room having shifted quite a bit. If Void came back in too soon it'd take a miracle for her not to notice.

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@Illiad Easle

On 3/11/2020 at 4:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Their mother sighed, "There'll be no convincing you otherwise I think. We already lost the two of you once, so be careful. We'd be devastated to lose you again."

"She is not coming with me. I'm supposed to protect our family, not bring it in more danger. So I'm going to do what's best for us, and take his head. Alone."

Technically she wouldn't be entirely alone, due to her *mental buddies* but y'know, small details. What mattered were that her parents, and her sister, would stay behind in safety, whilst she went and did the gritty work required to ensure they'd stay safe.

"Besides, he might start sending someone after you before it. I need Void to stay here to keep you safe."

And not just this one time... *sigh* She were honestly starting to both dread and look forward to laying this out to them all about the same amount. It'd be good to get done, even if the discussion afterwards were gonna get awkward.

Void kept on cooking, unaware of what went on, until about an hour later, when she'd come in and set the table, before pulling in the pot of steaming stew she had been working on. It were a bit of a longer cooking time than most stuff she went with, but Blackroot were a tough one to get anything out of, so it had been required to make sure that it'd end up as the fragrant, hearty meal that were. A little on the earthy side in tastes, but that were how it were supposed to be, and it should be complimented well by the spices, if she had gotten it done right. She were pretty sure she had, though potentially a small amount of curry had gotten in. She had fumbled some and almost dropped it, so there might have escaped a little more than there should have been.

"Dinner's ready. I'm pretty sure it's like it should be. I uhm... Never really forgot the meals we had when we were small, and I helped in the kitchen. It were some good memories."

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@Blitz Boom

By the time they were called for dinner their parents had, for the most part, recomposed themselves, but the couldn't wholly pretend that nothing was wrong. There was a sense of worry to their expressions, with more than a few glances towards the sisters throughout the meal.

Void's words brought a welcome distraction to the meal, their mother more than happy to remember simpler times, "You were a better help to me from the beginning than your father was after years of me trying to teach him."

Their father was a bit chagrined by the comment, "Hey now, I can't be good at everything! I'm content to leave cooking at the bottom of my short list of failings so long as I have the two of you to make up for it."

The atmosphere of the dinner was noticeably lighter after that.

(You can forward to the next day at any point, just say so.)

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@Illiad Easle

"Big sis inherited that from you, dad."

Void smiled a little as she took part in the banter that seemed to be a lighter, playful tone than what had seemed to hang in the air when she had wandered into the room before.

"Hmph. Cooking is overrated."

Null got a pat on the head for that by Void, who saw how it irked her sister to be reminded of her less than stellar kitchen skills like this. She had always fancied herself the provider and caretaker of them both, ever since they left Troy, and being unable to cook to save her life had been a sizable irritation. Regardless of the fact that Void were more than happy to take care of that for them.

"The last time I saw her try to cook something, she set the abandoned house we were staying in ablaze."

"Sometimes a kitchen goes up in flames."

"You were trying to churn butter..."

They have a bit of a friendly, sisterly back and forth on this for a little while, and Void would get a few laughs in between speaking and eating. Yet eventually, the topic had to change, and as this were likely the high point of the evening, it seemed appropriate for Null to be the one to ruin it.

"So... sis? You should probably know that the consul found out where our supposed *father* is hiding."

Void dropped her spoon and looked fearful towards Null. Seemed like this were indeed not gonna be easy, and this were just the foreplay... *sigh* This were gonna be a long evening.

"He offered to hide me in a group going there for diplomatic stuff. I'm gonna take it, and then go for his head."

"A-Alone? No! You can't f-face that monster on your o-own."

"I can, and I will."

Void were getting riled up, whilst Null were giving her her best *I am your big sister and I am telling you to do what I say* look. Usually didn't work all that well sadly, and now it were doing little more than make her little sister look as if she were about to choke on something. At least she were quiet though, which made it possible for Null to keep on.

"But you're right on one thing. Probably gonna be tough like this, but... The Consul weren't the only one approaching me about this.

Back when we first heard that he were alive, and I swore that I'd get his head on a pike, I caught the attention of something calling itself Vengeance. It offered me a deal that'd make me able to go settle the score for us, long as I'd also go and do the same for others. And I... I'm gonna accept it."

There, she said it. Had pressed on her mind for weeks now, and only gotten more prevalent recently, and now it were finally out in the open. Her parents were probably not gonna be happy about this, and Void? By the gods, she looked as if she had just seen something getting flayed right in front of her, and the depraved nature of it all were slowly starting to sink in. She'd definitely have some choice words in the long run.

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@Blitz Boom

Their parent's reaction was mixed to say the least, a brand new level of concern and worry washing over them as they looked between the sisters. Their father was the first to speak up in this however. "I can't say I know much about Vengeance, other than that I've heard a few of the locals mention it in conjunction with their independence."

Their mother spoke with a noticeable tone of concern in her voice, "A life devoted to vengeance isn't a happy life. Is it really worth it to you? Getting even in exchange for the rest of your life serving vengeance? Will you be able to come back to us?"

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@Illiad Easle

"I have spent most of my life, having nothing else to cling to than a promise to keep my family safe. It's all that pushed me on and kept me sane.

Now out of the blue, you're back, life's calming down, and there's no more reason to fight. I'm even getting back to flying, after being denied it for so long. I should be happy, but I... I'm not. I can't be, long as I know there's still somepony out there who could hurt you."

Null looked up at her parents, trying her best to look tough, but they should be able to see that for all her bravado, she wasn't as solid as she wanted to be. She were scared of what this could mean. Not just for herself, but for them, once she wasn't here to keep them safe anymore. Even if she went out there to handle threats that would eventually come for them - which were a good, preemptive strike in her book - it still left them vulnerable to those things nearer, and it would always be a worry she'd carry around.

"I'm not... I don't Want to leave you behind. I just want to protect my family. It's a-all I have, and I don't know what to d-do if you... *sob*"

Try as she might, she wasn't able to get through the sentence without breaking down and start crying straight into her empty bowl, with her head hung in shame.

Much as Void for example wanted to think otherwise, Null were a broken pony, to an extend where it were likely impossible to remake her into a well functioning, happy pony. Much as she had tried to fit in, and had gotten a few more smiles and less anger in her life, she kept feeling a need to fight a battle that should be over. As if something drew her towards the very thing which she had been scarred mentally and physically by, and wished to be away from for several years, to the point where she were willing to kill herself soon as her task of finding Void a safe home were over with.

Deep down, it were likely that it mostly stemmed from her feeling like she did not deserve this life, and only had the role as her family's guardian, instead of a full fledged member. Combine it with the ingrained emotional baggage that came from decades of rejection by society, and clinging to her protective role as the only thing she ever felt she were any good at, and it left her in a torn state that made her feel as if she might never be happy, following Vengeance, but perhaps they would be. All that were needed to be sacrificed were her, and that boat had sailed a long, long time ago.

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@Blitz Boom

Their parents were quick to comfort Null with a hug from both sides, which would likely be more comforting if their future sibling didn't start kicking where their mother pressed up against Null.

They retired from the hug soon after, tears in their eyes. Their father spoke, "I wish we could say we didn't need your protection. I wish the world were in a state where we didn't need this fear. But it isn't there yet."

Their mother spoke up to continue, "If this is what will make you happy, give you the peace you need, we won't stop you. We just ask that, as soon as you can, you come back. Tell us you're okay. We need to know that you're safe just as much as you need to know that we are."

Their father seemed to have an idea, and got up to go to one of the still packed boxes, digging through it he pulled out a wrapped package, which he brought over to Null with a sad smile. "They may not fit, but I'm sure you two could make the adjustments. I hope they can protect you like they've protected my ancestors and our family."

If Null opened the cloth wrapping she'd find a pair of wing blades, built to the Equestrian style. The markings on the main support bore the names of their father's ancestors back, presumably, to when they were first worn. On a cursory examination, while they were a bit big they could be adjusted to fit and it looked like they would fit over her diamond wing as well.

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@Illiad Easle

Void joined in to the family embrace as well. Shaken and barely keeping it together, because she knew more than the rest what this were perhaps going to mean, but she wouldn't let her sister feel like she wasn't there for her. Not in this moment, when she stood vulnerable and fearful of what she felt like she needed to do, despite the consequences being potentially grave. She needed her family there for her in that moment, and she had them all there. Including the little new one, who apparently wanted to give her oldest sister a kick in the head. Almost as if the unborn foal wanted to tell Null to man up and get on with it. Or perhaps it were an attempt at a comforting gesture, like a highhoof, or hug. It were hard to tell, though it did make a small, sobbing laugh escape Null when she felt this. There were something special about this kick to the face that she just couldn't explain.

On 3/17/2020 at 3:51 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"I wish we could say we didn't need your protection. I wish the world were in a state where we didn't need this fear. But it isn't there yet."

Their mother spoke up to continue, "If this is what will make you happy, give you the peace you need, we won't stop you. We just ask that, as soon as you can, you come back. Tell us you're okay. We need to know that you're safe just as much as you need to know that we are."

"I don't know what's going to happen, or how often I can come back here. The Consul's words on that wasn't encouraging... But I'll try."

It were like her father had said. It were nice to think of a world where something like this wasn't needed, but it wasn't that safe. It needed beings out there to do the dirty work, and despite how miserable of a life that would be to live, it were a sacrifice that had to happen. At least if she were the one to go down this path, it might spare someone else who weren't already broken from having to make the choice. There were some solace in that, though not as much as knowing that she had her family's support on this. In the coming months and years, that were going to mean more than anything else, in keeping herself sane.

Especially Void seemed to want to keep supporting her, as whilst their parents let go of her - and her unborn sibling stopped bashing her in the face - Void just tightened her grip, and leaned over her in a tight embrace, as if she were desperately trying to cling on to her. What could be expected though, right? The two had been all they had for so long, and now Null were throwing herself right back into the battlefield, but this time on her own. There were a lot of reason for her to be scared and nervous, just like her big sister were.

"Lil' sis, you gotta let me go. I know you're scared that everything's gonna go wrong, but I have to do this. For all of us."

"It's n-not fair..."

Tears ran down Null's back, as she did hers to embrace her larger sister, with her own tears mixing into the soft fur on Void's neck.

"It's not. I'm probably not gonna get better out there either. But I'll know that you're all safe. You know I've always been happiest when you were okay, lil' sis."

"...M-Mercy..."

A hollow laugh escaped Null for a brief moment at that word, shakingly escaping Void's muzzle.

"Don't think there's gonna be a whole lot of that for me."

"Not y-you. Selena... T-They want me too..."

And with that, both the hollow laugh and tears ended for Null, who's eyes went wide, as a look between pain and anger started to flourish on her face. Partially due to what she had just heard, and partially due to Void's embrace tightening, and stance getting into more of a foster position with Null as her teddy, as she said this, which were starting to make it hard for her smaller sister to breath. And move? Yeah, not really in the cards either. She were trapped as the news that balance apparently wanted to even itself out, by using both of the sisters as the two sides of the scale out in the grand open world. Though at least, their parents should be happier about Void's potential position, right? Mercy had to be a better path than vengeance. Surely it couldn't be worse at least.

...Right?

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@Blitz Boom

(I'm going to suppose this happens while their father is up getting the package to give to Null, given you didn't react  to receiving the package)

Their mother seemed further saddened by Void's news, but ultimately took it well. "You two always were like opposite sides of a coin, different in every way but inseparably bound together." She sighed as she gave them a warm smile, "I couldn't help but think of the two of you as the foals we had lost, I lost sight of the fully grown mares you've both become. You don't need us holding you back. Go, do what you think is best for you. If it doesn't work out we'll still be here waiting to hear about it and to encourage you forward."

If the sisters allowed it she'd join in the hug again, albeit a bit more briefly as she turned to Void, "So, what does Judge Diamond want with you exactly?"

(Here can be where their father comes back with the package to give to Null)

 

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@Illiad Easle

Null wouldn't have much of a say in the matter, as she were unable to speak with how crushed she were by her clingy little sister. Cursed be her minute size in situations like this.

It helped temper her anger though. Initially, she wanted to scream about throttling the diamond pony, but being forced to simmer in it, she had to instead be faced with the hypocrisy she'd partake in, if she judged either of them for going this route. It were the same between the Consul and her, up to and including the breakdown in front of their parents. She'd argue she had some right being hypocritical, since she were the older sister, but there were a certain limit to that which she had an easier timw to realize these days, as she didn't have as much dark anger roaring through her constantly, without something good to mellow her mind a little. In a way, it made her less able to just let herself go off as severely, which made way to see the perspective she'd normally overlook in those situations. To a certain degree anyway. She weren't perfect.

On 3/19/2020 at 4:02 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"So, what does Judge Diamond want with you exactly?"

"She wants me to deliver m-mercy to those who needs it. First in Troy, then later out there, where there's so m-many more who suffers after the last few years. They need help."

She said the last part  as she slowly let go of Null, who started off gasping for air and push herself a little away from Void to really let her lungs get a workout.

"Please d-don't yell big s-"

"Don't do anything before you've thought long and hard about it."

Void blinked in surprise whilst Null rose up, and followed their father's movement. Seemed like he were getting something.

"W-Wait, you're okay with this?"

"No. I want to smash that mare into tiny fragments for even daring to ask you this, after all the time I've spent trying to give you a place where you can settle down and be happy. But... *sigh* I've done my part. I kept you as safe as I could until you got somewhere you could call home. Whatever happens next, it's your life, and your decision.

Just don't rush into things. I'm this family's shield, so I know that I have to go, but you have options. Give it time, and think hard about what you're considering doing."

Void were honestly shocked at this response. It were clear to her that it hurt Null to say this, considering how strained her reply were at times, but to think that she were still giving it  after all these years... It left her both baffled, confused, and very proud of her big sister. She had grown more than Void had given her credit for. Even if Null didn't have the strength to look her in the eye while she said it.

Whilst Void sat like this, and eventually got back up on her hooves, Null would gind herself dealing with another situation, as their father returned, hilding something most peculiar.

On 3/17/2020 at 3:51 AM, Illiad Easle said:

If Null opened the cloth wrapping she'd find a pair of wing blades, built to the Equestrian style. The markings on the main support bore the names of their father's ancestors back, presumably, to when they were first worn. On a cursory examination, while they were a bit big they could be adjusted to fit and it looked like they would fit over her diamond wing as well.

After carefully unpacking the strange gift, Null gently ran her slightly shaking front right hoof over the blades, feeling the old metal in silence, and not stopping until it hit the names engraved upon the base structure.

A small smile went over her face the longer she looked at them, until she finally rose her gaze to meet that of her father.

"The symbol of the family he almost tore apart, used to end the cursed legacy of him and the Grey... I can't think of a more fitting way to end it than this.

Thank you for these, dad. It means a lot."

They surely needed some work to fit her, but between them, she knew that Void and her could make it work. And when the time came, and that slippery worm of a false father were laying broken in front of her, she'd make sure that these blades were going to bathe in his blood.

Y'know, once she were strong enough to carry these and fly at the same time, and figured out how to fight with them. She got a lot of work ahead of her until the Consul called for her, and said it were time to go confront the Grey. And she had to admit, that she were starting to look forward to it a little.

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@Blitz Boom

Their parents simply looked on as the sisters discussed among themselves what their respective pieces were, entering back into the conversation only once Null had begun to admire the wing blades for herself. Null would find that they were extremely light, yet seemed very durable, so weight would likely not be an issue, as it came to actually using them, Nine spoke up. "So, looking though the memories we have, it appears that we have quite the collection of memories involving blades similar to these. I'll be able to feed you the basics, but you'll have to train to get the muscle memory down."

Their father only smiled as Null thanked him for the blades, "I hope they'll keep you safe."

(As it appears to be the end of this interaction, I suppose we'll be moving on to the next day. You just tell me where you intend to go first and we'll go from there. Null did tell Illiad she would get back to him tomorrow with an answer.)

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@Illiad Easle

On 3/23/2020 at 2:17 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"So, looking though the memories we have, it appears that we have quite the collection of memories involving blades similar to these. I'll be able to feed you the basics, but you'll have to train to get the muscle memory down."

"I'll take what I can get, and train when I get the time."

Bit of a lucky break this here, even if she had to train to get it right. Still only half the work that this might have been, so frankly, she'd take it. Whatever time she could save in preparation for what were ahead, the better.

The rest of the evening were a little tense, with talk going over things between the sisters and their picks, as well as a few family stories that the two of them would ask about, regarding the wing blades. It would end well enough, with Void stating clearly that she were still thinking about the offer of Mercy, and wouldn't make a decision yet, and with Null eventually getting her sisters reluctant, yet begrudgingly understanding consent to do what she felt she had to do the next day, even if you could see on her face that she were none too happy about it. She had hoped to keep the hope that Null could just settle down and relax, but it seemed as if her part wasn't done out there. She just had to promise to stay in contact as best she were able to, so they knew that she were okay.

When they got home, they'd talk a bit more, with worries on both sides being vented in a mostly calm tone, and they went to sleep with Void wrapped around her sister as if she were a teddybear, once again. It were going to be tough for both of them to be apart, yet in the end, it needed to happen sooner or later. There were just no way that the two of them could have predicted that this would be how it would go.

Null didn't sleep well, and woke up before her sister, almost leaving without waking her up to avoid getting any more potential flak for what she were going to do, but still woke her up so that they could have breakfast together, as well as a little talk before it were time.

They'd have a final embrace, with Null promising to get back here soon as she could, and hopefully in a state where she were still a functional pony in some regard, before the older sister finally took off, and headed towards the Consul's place. She hated to admit it, but the closer she got, the more nervous she actually became, regardless of how certain she now were that she were doing what were best for both herself, and her family. And the world too she supposed, but that were more of a side gimmick/job opportunity that were mixed in with the prime package.

As she got closer to the place, she were certain that there'd be some sort of guard again, and if so, would announce her presence, and say that the Consul were probably expecting her. If there weren't any, she'd just wander in, but otherwise, she'd probably be lead there, and finally, have to face her person leap of faith.

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@Blitz Boom

Arriving at the Consul's estate there were, as expected, a pair of guards at the door. When Null announced herself one of the guards nodded, "The Consul said you would arrive. He should be preparing to raise the moon right now, but I trust you know the way to his office? You can wait for him there." The guard would then open the door and allow Null to enter to estate.

If Null remembered, or asked the guard where Illiad's office was, she'd have no difficulty finding the room. It was the same room where she had previously found the morose unicorn looking at a photo when she had been looking for the consul when she first wanted to know about Vengeance. The office was rather spartan in decoration, the photo that the stallion had been staring at still sat on the desk along with a number of documents.

Given Null had previously seen where the Consul raised the moon she could go there instead of his office, should she do so she'd find him positioned as he had been the first time, balanced on one hoof with circles of magic rotating around him, the notable difference from the first time being that he only had two sets of wings this time, the natural ones and the light ones. Once the sun had fully set he'd lower himself back down, the light wings dissipating into the magic circles to coalesce into the form of Selena, who would simply nod in greeting to Null before heading out.

If Null waited in the office for the Consul, he would enter the room after a few minutes.

Regardless of where Null waited for him, his greeting would be the same: "Good evening Null, I trust breaking the news to your parents went well? What decision have you come to?"

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Null had at first gone to the office, but not finding anyone there, she'd be on her way. She considered briefly to stick around and see if she could get a better look at the photo, and perhaps find something interesting in the documents, but something told her that meddling around in what were either the Consul's private/official business, or that weird, high ranking pony she had briefly met earlier, were gonna end up with her body parts scattered throughout the desert. Besides, just in case it were the Consul's stuff, he had the right to keep his privacy. So far he hadn't done anything bad, so she supposed it were only fair to let him keep his things.

Taking a stab in the dark, she went to the room where she had seen him meddle around with things the first time he had more or less snarled at her. And lo and behold, the wild stab were succesful, though it seemed like he were doing some magical stuff. She didn't understand it, but considering what the guard had said, this were moon related, and that seemed like a really dumb thing to mess with. Best to keep her distance, enjoy the show, and try to keep her focus on the goal.

It were kinda weird that he were having an odd number of wings this time too. Was it some sort of magical set that only spawned when he used certain magic? Could explain the varied colors she supposed, but that were a question for another day. Soon enough he were done, and soon as he started talking, she figured it were as good a time as any to move forward. He had to be done at that point, right? Why else start yapping off.

"Telling my parents weren't the thing that were gonna hurt. It were breaking it to my sister, who told me that your crystalline lilt-"

She closed her eyes and took a few deep breathes, to stop herself from bubbling over and start swearing at Selena. It were probably bad enough that she had gotten a stink eye before.

"...She said what Selena asked her. I don't like her trying to drag my little sister into this sort of thing too, but we agreed that we both had to make our own decisions, and I'm here because I've made mine."

Stopping a half meter from the Consul, she looked up at him with an unblinking gaze, trying to look tough as best she could, yet with a small glimmer of concern over what were going to happen now, lingering in her eyes.

"For the sake of settling the score, and keeping my family safe, I'm gonna take up the offer of vengeance.

...So what do I do now?"

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@Blitz Boom

Illiad's face grew a bit more serious, there was a bit of resignation as if he had hoped she wouldn't have said yes, but he was determined to continue anyway. "I'd remind you that, once you begin, you'll only be allowed to stop once your debt is repaid, or you die. But I don't think that will stop you. Follow me."

The Consul would then lead the way back to the doorway and the catacomb where he had brought her when they first spoke of Vengeance. He motioned for her to remain in the center of the chamber as he moved to the raised seat across from her. The lights in the chamber dimmed, and if she looked around she'd be able to see flickering silhouettes in the chairs around the room. The Consul's own appearance shifted, his robes and coat turning black as he pulled a hood up to shroud his face, from the darkness of the hood there was a glimmer of white light, taking the form of a phi, the very same symbol as on their family grave, only slightly angled. When he spoke it was with the same voice as when Vengeance had spoken to her. "Null Pointer, Daughter of Wild Pointer and Grey Mane, by your blood right and own merit you are judged worthy of becoming a servant of Vengeance, a force against oppression, one who fights for those who cannot. Should you accept you will be given the power and ability to right the wrongs done to you and others, and, should you so choose, be freed from your family's curse. Your companion, Nine Edwardsknight, will be your guide, your conduit through which you will wield the powers of Vengeance."

There was a silence throughout the room, all of the silhouettes staring as if directly into Null's soul, "Do you accept? Once this agreement is made it cannot be broken without consequences."

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@Illiad Easle

On 3/27/2020 at 3:19 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Illiad's face grew a bit more serious, there was a bit of resignation as if he had hoped she wouldn't have said yes, but he was determined to continue anyway. "I'd remind you that, once you begin, you'll only be allowed to stop once your debt is repaid, or you die. But I don't think that will stop you. Follow me."

Illiad wasn't the only one who got a serious face on. Upon seeing how the Consul reacted to her message, Null's internal paranoia switch had flipped and sent her into high alert, thinking that something were most definitely wrong here, and prepping herself for the worst. That could be seen in her stance getting tenser, as if she were ready to make a jump in either direction, and her glance at the Consul narrowed and grew both colder and more suspicious. As if he were some sort of shady, used cart salespony.

"Hey, what's going on with you? Weren't all that long ago you looked all relieved that I even considered this, and were talking in high words about how it'd be nice getting some help for this. Now all of a sudden, you're acting like I brought you some bad news? What's the big deal, Consul? Something you ain't telling me?"

If he tried leaving to get on to the place where everything were gonna be set in motion, she'd place herself in his way, or just flat out refusing to follow him if she couldn't.

"Nonono, we ain't going anywhere until I know what's bugging you. Because this here's starting to smell like a trap, and I don't much care for that. What's eating you?"

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@Blitz Boom

The Consul seemed genuinely surprised when Null asked him to stop, he took a step back and sighed. "I must admit that I've been conflicted as of late, our situations are rather dissimilar as, after all, you're getting a choice here."

He looked about to say something, then shook his head and took a seat where he was, "I'd ask you to follow me to my office, but I don't think you'd trust that right now." With a bit of magic he summoned the picture frame that Null had seen on the desk in the office downstairs. He looked at it with a sad smile before he showed it to Null. Featured in the picture were three unicorns, one who looked just like the unicorn she had seen in the office before, only wearing the golden laurel that the Consul now wore instead of the gold and silver one she had seen the unicorn wear. The second unicorn was a mare with a light grey coat and red mane, she was holding a bundled unicorn foal, by the size it was likely only a few weeks old when the picture was taken.

"That was us, after the war and before Discord, back when everything was looking well. In the evacuation they went on the Æther, I should have been there with them, but Vengeance required that I remain behind, that I fight Discord myself."

There were tears in his eyes, "I don't know if they're still alive, don't know if I'll see them again. Even if and when the Æther returns, there's no guarantee that they'll be on it."

He'd let Null hold the picture if she reached for it, otherwise he'd set it on the ground. "Perhaps it's a selfish notion, not wanting to be alone with this burden, but I didn't have a choice in bearing it, and I'm want to be absolutely certain that I'm the last one who bears it unwillingly. That's why I told you where your father is, gave you your wing without asking that you agree first. I didn't want to force you to join."

He'd face her again, "I thought your family would convince you otherwise, but I see now that you're doing this for them, which is quite admirable. I just want to be sure, before it begins, that this is what you want."

(If Null agrees then the second half will occur as described above.)

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@Illiad Easle

On 3/28/2020 at 8:45 PM, Illiad Easle said:

He'd face her again, "I thought your family would convince you otherwise, but I see now that you're doing this for them, which is quite admirable. I just want to be sure, before it begins, that this is what you want."

Null had indeed taken the photo. Very carefully, and with quite the odd look on her face, but she kept her muzzle shut as she tried to process both the one she had most definitely seen in that photo, along with the response that the Consul were giving her to her own inquiry. One which helped settle her paranoia some, as it wasn't a big, hidden reveal about how she'd be enslaved and brainwashed or something like that. It wasn't all gone, but there were nothing he would've been able to say that would've done that anyway, so this were probably as good as it got.

"Look, we all have our roles to play, Consul. Me? I'm the protector of my family. That's the only thing that's ever given me purpose throughout this rotten life, and despite what they might've wished for, fact is that they're still not safe. Ain't just our so called *father* who proves to be an issue either. Over the years, we've gotten a lot of enemies, from the siren brothers, to a half dozen minor revenge-driven lunatics, a few demi-gods, the grim salesman of Saint Hayworth- Hell, even La Perine, and dozen upon dozens of others.

Doesn't matter of Discord got the world ravaged, some of them are still going to be alive, and soon as things are safe enough, I don't trust they won't come around for a piece of us. Our parents and our little sibling too... They need to be protected. And I know that even if it's gonna be tough, the best way I can do that, is going out there and facing these dangers myself, and make sure that they don't try to hurt those I care about. Ain't gonna be pretty, but to preserve what matters to me, I'm willing to pay that price.

Besides, I'm not meant for this quiet life. Been trying to adapt to it best I can, but it feels wrong. Like I'm trying to live someone else's life or something."

Kind of the best way she could describe it right now. Might be she'd get something better to say on it later on, with more details and a bit more emotional gravitas at the end, but right now, it were the only thing she had to offer.

"...Also, I dunno what an Æther is, but either it's leaking, or you have a serious ghost problem, because I've seen this guy before."

She'd point at the stallion in the picture that she had seen some nights ago.

"Around when Vengeance and I had a chatter. Saw this guy in the same room this here picture were. I figured he were your assistant or something, since his hat looked like your greenery. Y'know, just with silver in it."

(in case this didn't cause any interruptions, and they went on, this describes what happens at their destination. If not now, then later on)

On 3/27/2020 at 3:19 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"Null Pointer, Daughter of Wild Pointer and Grey Mane, by your blood right and own merit you are judged worthy of becoming a servant of Vengeance, a force against oppression, one who fights for those who cannot. Should you accept you will be given the power and ability to right the wrongs done to you and others, and, should you so choose, be freed from your family's curse. Your companion, Nine Edwardsknight, will be your guide, your conduit through which you will wield the powers of Vengeance."

There was a silence throughout the room, all of the silhouettes staring as if directly into Null's soul, "Do you accept? Once this agreement is made it cannot be broken without consequences."

Ooookay, this here were some freaky stuff. The Consul had seemingly been possessed, the shadows were apparently watching, and this felt very much like she were about to be sacrificed to a cult. Also, she learned that Nine apparently had a last name. She had to debate if it were in bad taste to tease him about it later, since it sounded like they were gonna be stuck for a while.

One thing above other things though, caught her attention, and made her feeling a little at unease. Which she responded to by lifting a hoof, and rubbing her forehead in annoyance.

"Great way to break to me what my real mothers name are. Do you eternal beings even get the concept of timing?"

It might not mean a lot per se, as she had a mare she considered her actual mother, but it were still a shaky thing to know her actual last name, as well as what her birth mother were called. The one whom the Grey had impregnated, and seemingly left to rot until she had passed on due to birth complications. Another victim to that filth, and one whom she'd be bringing up now, the next time she saw him. Which coincidentally, were also going to be the last time, far as she were concerned. Depended on how many she had to push/cut through to get to the slippery weasel.

Aaaand now it was her who didn't grasp the timing of what the focus on. This were really going excellently, weren't it?

"*sigh* Whatever."

She rose her head and looked directly into what she would assume were the face of Vengeance, masked over Illiad for the sake of this whole spectacle.

"I, Null Pointer, accept the bargain. Though leave the curse. I hate it, but it helps against magic, so it's a necessary evil."

It had mostly been an issue because it meant she couldn't fly, and that it made it very hard for her to be accepted and have a shot at settling down. Now though, she got a new wing, and settling down wasn't gonna be an issue, since she'd be on the move all the time anyway. So at this point, much as she despised it, she had to leave it be, as it were a benefit that'd be dumb to throw away with what she were gonna be doing now that she had passed the point of no return.

IN case she still had time to say something before whatever would happen next, happened, she'd get a somewhat nervous grimace on her face, and utter a few words.

"This here's gonna hurt, right?"

It were likely she'd soon get the answer to that. Likely through action, above words.

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@Blitz Boom

11 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

Saw this guy in the same room this here picture were. I figured he were your assistant or something, since his hat looked like your greenery. Y'know, just with silver in it.

(Just an extra comment here)

The Consul smirked a bit, "I apologize if I wasn't clear, that is, or was, me. Both there in the picture and in the office. I wasn't always an alicorn, so sometimes, when my longing for my family is strong enough, I disguise myself so I look like I did, back then, forget for a moment everything that went down and remember the good times. I didn't want to startle you when you came in, so I teleported out before dropping my disguise."

(If she want's to continue talking about that it will happen before they go down)

16 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

"This here's gonna hurt, right?"

Nine spoke up in a subdued tone, "As long as you don't mind cold, it shouldn't."

As he spoke, the room took a definite chill. Four silhouettes approached, each bearing an item that seemed to materialize as they approached.

The first pointed a hoof at her dominant eye and traced the symbol of a phi, slanted like Vengeance's, with the tip of their hoof, Null would feel like an ice cube was being rubbed against her eyelid in the same pattern.

"No Light Will Blind Nor Dark Obscure"

"Thy Sight For Ill Be Ever Sure"

The first stepped back, if Null closed her eyes, or just her dominant eye, she'd still be able to see the silhouettes as well as faint details of her surroundings. (Like infrared vision, only beings are colored according to how much vengeance they deserve. Nine will explain later, and can turn this ability off if Null requests). The second then approached, extending a cloth like one would a bedsheet to drape over Null, it would settle on her as a full cloak, it was cold to the touch, and filled her with a certain chill, almost numbing her hide.

"No Claw Nor Sword Shall Pierce Thy Hide"

"'Till All Avenged And Bonds Untied"

The second stepped back, replaced by the third, who would extend a smaller piece of cloth, which would wrap around her neck like a scarf and cover her mouth.

"No Eye Nor Ear Behold Thy Path"

"Save Those Who Bear Thy Vengeful Wrath"

The third stepped back, replaced by the final, who would cast a pair shadowy feathers out, one settling in each of her wings, filling her with energy when they connected.

"On Wings of Vengeance Go Ye Forth"

"Ever Loyal, From Now Henceforth"

The ritual complete, the silhouettes stepped back into the walls, then all the silhouettes dispersed, leaving her and Vengeance in the room. "Welcome, Vengeance Null. May you strike true."

Then Vengeance dispersed, leaving the Consul in it's wake, sitting on the chair breathing heavily. The lights went back to normal and warmth returned to the room. The Consul composed himself and stood, "I'm impressed, you've received four of the gifts already. But then again, your Vengeance is strong. If you have any questions you can ask me, either here or somewhere more comfortable, or Nine can answer as well."

(Full details of the new abilities in the OOC)

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@Illiad Easle

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nine spoke up in a subdued tone, "As long as you don't mind cold, it shouldn't."

Well then, they were gonna have a bit of an issue here, since no matter how many places she had been, Null were still a desert pony. She thrived in warm, dry air. Cold? Not so much. Exactly how bad were this thing to be though? A mild cold? Or like, trapped in a frozen tundra? Because she had been there, and it narfing sucked!

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

The first pointed a hoof at her dominant eye and traced the symbol of a phi, slanted like Vengeance's, with the tip of their hoof, Null would feel like an ice cube was being rubbed against her eyelid in the same pattern.

What the fudge? When she had heard cold, she figured something like chilled to the bones, or at least a sort of cold wind that'd make her skin feel like it were slowly glazing over with tiny snowflakes. This right here were surely unpleasant, that much were a given, but it weren't as cold as she had thought.

Still, cold sensation to the eye, she were bound to close it out of instinct. Just to find that now, she could see others in colored vision. Reminder her of the last time she had gotten blood in her eyes and had to look for enemies outside a stained-glass window. Just with less of a coppery taste and shattering headache from a shovel hammering down on her before. Urgh, this were going to be a weird thing to have to get used to...

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

The second then approached, extending a cloth like one would a bedsheet to drape over Null, it would settle on her as a full cloak, it was cold to the touch, and filled her with a certain chill, almost numbing her hide.

See? This were the sort of chill she had expected. A deep freeze that ironically, made her wish for a cloak to get some feeling back in her hide. Just not another one of these, since frankly, this one sucked. What were they going to do next? Set her on fire, which for some reason covered her in actual ice?

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

The second stepped back, replaced by the third, who would extend a smaller piece of cloth, which would wrap around her neck like a scarf and cover her mouth.

No, they went on a covering spree, which now extended to her face. Nice. Why didn't they just go the full route and say that she had to carry these garments because she looked fugly as all hay?

It better not be mandatory to wear these sorta things. She hated wearing full body garments, unless it were to get some warmth or cover from the raid, and she were pretty sure she'd get better of both things from wearing a large leaf tied around her with a net, rather than these frozen pieces of clothing.

Following the theme, were the next part gonna be her legs then?

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

The third stepped back, replaced by the final, who would cast a pair shadowy feathers out, one settling in each of her wings, filling her with energy when they connected.

This... Alright, this she could work with. No cold feeling from this, it didn't seem to mess with her wings, and it gave her a pretty good, reinvigorated buzz. Finally one of the faeries had brought a nice looking gift to the party, and as were tradition, it were the last one. What was it about presents and the first ones tending to suck flank, before ending on a high note? Were it just that the expectations had lowered or something?

...And why the fudge were she thinking about that right now? Focus darn it!

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"Welcome, Vengeance Null. May you strike true."

"Thanks... Vengeance Outliner."

What? She had never been given a name to go by here, just the shape of what were essentially a pony outline. She figured it were just Vengeance, but now it sounded like it were sort of a title? Well, if it wasn't, or she were way off, Vengeance Something-Or-Other could come round and correct her later. Right now, it seemed like their deal had been struck, and it went back to just being her and Illiad again. Y'know, long as you didn't count internal beings.

On 3/31/2020 at 12:01 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"I'm impressed, you've received four of the gifts already. But then again, your Vengeance is strong. If you have any questions you can ask me, either here or somewhere more comfortable, or Nine can answer as well."

"Yeah, got a few. For instance, is this chill effect gonna keep 'round? Because these here clothes got bloody cold, and I dunno how much vengeance's gonna be doled out if I'm frozen in place, or down with a constant flu.

Second off, you mind telling me what these sorta- Y'know what? Forget that one. I'll get Nine to cover that. Sounds like we're gonna be stuck for a long time, and I'm thinking he's integral enough to things for him to gimme the low down on this.

So the actual second off to you, is just... What now? I'm gonna go straight into the street, see someone who needs a kicking for their actions, and then go to town? This here's your turf, Consul, and I've already been pardoned. Gonna have to question if I don't get into an issue here if I start beating up random strangers in the street.

Actually... Alright, this might be real bad timing, but I've been wondering about that pardon. I never did any sort of crimes before we got forced back to Troy, so either that's a comfort thing, or you know more about the facility than you've been letting on."

Yeah, might not be the best time, but in her defense, she had just been accosted by four ghosts, most of which chilled her a good chunk, and now she were a tool for vengeance. She'd like a little distance to this, whilst she processed her acceptance into this fancy cult of theirs, and talking of something else might help with that.

Of course, unless these fancy things she now could, made it hard to look at the Consult he same. Somehow she wouldn't be surprised, but there were no way of knowing in advance,before she started to talk with, and look at him. This might be a literal eye opener.

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@Blitz Boom

16 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

"Yeah, got a few. For instance, is this chill effect gonna keep 'round? Because these here clothes got bloody cold, and I dunno how much vengeance's gonna be doled out if I'm frozen in place, or down with a constant flu.

Illiad thought a moment, "Nine would be best able to tell from where your 'chill' originates, but I can say it shouldn't last forever so long as everything goes well."

Nine would follow up, "There's two 'chill' sources I can see, one is the effect of the cloak, numbing you so you can fight without pain, the other I would suppose is more internal, which represents the strength of your personal vengeance. As you balance out those you have a vengeful claim on it will go away, I can also limit how much you feel it if you want, make it more of a back of your mind thing."

20 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

Second off, you mind telling me what these sorta- Y'know what? Forget that one. I'll get Nine to cover that. Sounds like we're gonna be stuck for a long time, and I'm thinking he's integral enough to things for him to gimme the low down on this.

Null would get the sense that Nine was nodding in response, indicating that he could tell her more about the things she had received.

21 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

So the actual second off to you, is just... What now? I'm gonna go straight into the street, see someone who needs a kicking for their actions, and then go to town? This here's your turf, Consul, and I've already been pardoned. Gonna have to question if I don't get into an issue here if I start beating up random strangers in the street.

The Consul shook his head, "There's not much petty vengeance out there, and even if there were I wouldn't waste you on it. That was what they Grey were supposed to take care of, before they were corrupted. What's next for you is taking care of your own vengeance first, which if I'm not mistaken refers first to your father. It will take me a few days to get the embassy put together to send off. I'll have you notified when it's time, you've got some training to do anyhow."

24 minutes ago, Blitz Boom said:

Actually... Alright, this might be real bad timing, but I've been wondering about that pardon. I never did any sort of crimes before we got forced back to Troy, so either that's a comfort thing, or you know more about the facility than you've been letting on."

The Consul nodded, "While we have no official records of your or your sister committing any crimes here or elsewhere, we thought it prudent to issue the blanket pardon in case anything did come up. As it pertains to the facility, the only known survivors have not filed any complaints yet, and were more than willing to assist in your surgery. If something of sufficient magnitude were brought to light we would be forced to rescind the pardon, but given what Mercy and Vengeance have said I highly doubt you'd need to worry. They wouldn't have selected the two of you otherwise."

He would start to head towards the exit, "If that's all? I should be getting back to my work. Feel free to come back any time with questions."

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On 4/1/2020 at 10:01 PM, Illiad Easle said:

low up, "There's two 'chill' sources I can see, one is the effect of the cloak, numbing you so you can fight without pain, the other I would suppose is more internal, which represents the strength of your personal vengeance. As you balance out those you have a vengeful claim on it will go away, I can also limit how much you feel it if you want, make it more of a back of your mind thing."

"If you can lessen it then go ahead and do it. Please. I'm a desert mare, not a polar bear."

So these two effects would go on, even in the back of her mind, until her personal score got more settled? She'd give Vengeance this: It knew how to motivate it's workers at least, because this were something she'd be plenty happy to be rid off, soon as possible. Gave her even more incentive to go out there and dole out some vengeance, likely starting with her *father*. Where it'd end? No idea, but they'd see when they got there. The world's gone down the creak in a hand basket for the past few years after all, so it depended a good deal on which ones were even still alive.

Going back to the chill effect though, the word on what the cloak did were interesting to her. Stopped her from feeling pain? Sounded like it'd be handy, yet at the same time, not feeling pain, might also mean she didn't know when to stop before she'd die from her injuries. This were gonna have to be one of those things she had to test later on. She'd also have to figure out if it only counted physical pain, but that one were likely a definite yes, as she didn't suddenly feel all chipper and fixed up.

On 4/1/2020 at 10:01 PM, Illiad Easle said:

The Consul shook his head, "There's not much petty vengeance out there, and even if there were I wouldn't waste you on it. That was what they Grey were supposed to take care of, before they were corrupted. What's next for you is taking care of your own vengeance first, which if I'm not mistaken refers first to your father. It will take me a few days to get the embassy put together to send off. I'll have you notified when it's time, you've got some training to do anyhow."

"Yeah, gotta test some limits, see what's what, and then practice these wing blades. Y'know, beyond the flying training. Ain't gonna be silent days ahead here, but something tells me that there's gonna be long waits between those anyway now."

She also had a pike to prepare, as she had made a certain promise about what she'd do to her *father* and his head. Seemed like since that had been the one to draw in Vengeance, she should probably keep that, word for word. Frankly she were almost feeling gleeful about the prospect of doing it, but that said more about her than anything else.

What? She wasn't perfect.

On 4/1/2020 at 10:01 PM, Illiad Easle said:

The Consul nodded, "While we have no official records of your or your sister committing any crimes here or elsewhere, we thought it prudent to issue the blanket pardon in case anything did come up. As it pertains to the facility, the only known survivors have not filed any complaints yet, and were more than willing to assist in your surgery. If something of sufficient magnitude were brought to light we would be forced to rescind the pardon, but given what Mercy and Vengeance have said I highly doubt you'd need to worry. They wouldn't have selected the two of you otherwise."

He would start to head towards the exit, "If that's all? I should be getting back to my work. Feel free to come back any time with questions."

"I didn't go on a murder spree or anything. Things happened, and we tried to make the best of it and made a break for it."

That were true for both the past, and the present times they had been there, although the one in the past were a little more... Iffy. She had no idea how many minds that coin had taken over, but looking at things, it had certainly started a chain reaction, which caused some to be taken down by this other weird monster that apparently thought a hunt at the same time were just right. What they had done were on them, whilst she had just sorta... Indirectly nudged things along. She hadn't personally murdered anyone there, no matter how much they deserved it. Even that intern or whatever she had scared outta her skull for info and a card, had just been knocked out. Could've done a lot worse there.

"But yeah, I guess that's all. I gotta go see Void, before she starts getting a panic attack over how long this is taking."

She'd start making her way out of there too, but did halt momentarily to give the Consul one last question. No matter the answer, she'd start moving out of this place, and into the street afterwards, which should be an... Interesting experience, considering her eyes and everything else going on.

"Vengeance mentioned that my birth mom's name were Wild Pointer. You know who Void's were? They didn't deserve to be used and killed by him, so I'd like to keep them in mind whilst I'm chopping off the mongrel's noggin."

She didn't care if it were birth complications that ended them. He knew what would happen, warned nobody, and left them to rot. Like they were little more than breeding stock, that had outlasted their value. Far as she were concerned, he were responsible for their deaths.

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@Blitz Boom

10 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

"If you can lessen it then go ahead and do it. Please. I'm a desert mare, not a polar bear."

Nine would nod, "I'll take care of that." True to his word the cold feeling, at least inwardly, would diminish to a sort of dull pang at the back of her mind. "In order to diminish the chill of the cloak I'll have to disable its ability to protect you, but I suppose it isn't high on your agenda at the moment." The cloak would loose a significant amount of its chill, now being only as cold as the room they were in, it would also feel a decent amount lighter. "There, I think I've got it. This isn't an ability I can switch on instantly, just so you're aware, so give me a good minute or two's notice if you think you'll need the extra protection."

10 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

"I didn't go on a murder spree or anything. Things happened, and we tried to make the best of it and made a break for it."

The Consul didn't seem too reassured by her statement, hesitating in his departure before he continued without commenting on it directly.

10 hours ago, Blitz Boom said:

"Vengeance mentioned that my birth mom's name were Wild Pointer. You know who Void's were? They didn't deserve to be used and killed by him, so I'd like to keep them in mind whilst I'm chopping off the mongrel's noggin."

The Consul looked contemplative, "To be honest, I didn't even know your mother was Wild Pointer. I'll look into what I can find, but I think Mercy already knows, and will reveal when, and if, Void is formally inducted."

With that the Consul would return to his office, leaving Null free to go about her business as she saw fit.

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