Really, now! I'd been
worried! I'd never have thought ... I mean, computers crashing
like that, I can understand, but people..?
The girl said nothing.
Anyways, nice to have you back and
running again, honeypie ...
The girl remained silent.
Something on your mind, dearling?
The girl raised her head and stared at the display screen
"I had a dream," she said.
... that the little children of this
nation will live in harmony and
The stare turned into a glare.
Oh. Sorry dear, it was a clear
opening and I couldn't resist ...
The glare softened. "Nevermind. A dream's a
stupid thing to be thinking about, anyway ..."
Now that is entirely unlike you,
honey. What about that dream?
"Nothing, Catz. Nothing special about it at all, 'cept
... my eyes burned when I woke up."
'S a sad dream?
The girl chuckled. "No, just ... well, how to explain
it ... I wasn't in it, so to speak, but ..."
You were the air surrounding the
"Yeah. Have I said this before?"
Lots of times, dear.
She nodded. "Well, the dream itself wasn't that
special or important. It's just the context of my life that makes
it unusual. I mean, I haven't dreamt in ...... how long..?
Damn long time, whatever it is ... I haven't dreamt at all, and then I
get sick, sure proves I'm not invincible, and then all I'm doing is
sleeping ... dreamless, restless sleep, you know ... then I have to make
up work, incredibly depressing stuff, kinda makes me feel like a mouse
being teased by a cat except it's a comatose mouse and the cat's overly
domesticated and ... well, I come to the conclusion during all this
that I'm at the most just an incompetent liar and a puppet and ... not
human ...... then I have a dream ... and I wonder what made me doubt my
humanity in the first place. Does that make any sense?"
No, it doesn't. Sorry, dear.
She sighed. "Nothing to apologize for, Catz.
I've been sick ... sick people think weird things."
Sometimes sick people think SICK things
"Ill, then. I've been ill ... or whatever. But
..." She smiled slightly. "It had the Maria chant, Catz. In
its entirety ..."
I thought you said you hadn't finished
the Maria chant.
"I know. I haven't."
Catz said nothing. A somewhat amazed nothing, at that
"Catz, connect into Venus. Disable prose."
Connecting into Venus, disabling prose
[Scene: The Courtroom]
[BGM: Anything, really]
Miang: (*clears throat*) The
Defense is ready to call its first witness.
Judge: Go ahead, Miang.
(thinking: Just "Miang" already? Whatever happened
to "Ms. Hawwa"?)
Miang: (*reads index card*) The
Defense calls to the stand ..... (*blinks*) ... um ...
(*She glances over at the RL-rep, who nods back solemnly
and drunkenly ...*)
Miang: Err ... (*clears
throat*) The Defense calls to the stand ..... Kami-sama.
Miyuka: (*standing up*) Your Honor, I object!
That request is a direct breach of the Separation of Religion and Law as
stated in the clause of the same name!
(*also standing*) Your Honor, I am too
allowed to have God as my witness! (*hic*)
Judge: No, Ms. RL, you are not allowed to have God as your
witness. Ms. Rub al-Khali just stated the reasons. Now sit
(*Wobbling*) But Your Honor, I don't see any Ms. Rub
al-Khali here ...
Judge: Just sit down, okay?
Oky doke ... (*sits*)
Miyuka: (*rolls her eyes and sit down*)
Miang: Ah ... well then, next
witness. (*reads*) The Defense calls to the stand ... Ms. Tifa
Miyuka: (*stands*) Your Honor, this is pointless!
(*stands*) It is not! The rat was killed right
outside the bar! (*hic*) If eshtar-- esatib-- if proving my motif-- my motivesis
essential to the case, then questioning those in the vicinity of the
crime is nesheshary! (*hic*)
Judge: He/She/It has a point, Miyuka. Objection
overruled. Please take your seat.
(*Miyuka and the RL-rep sit, and Tifa takes the stand.*)
[Scene: The Bar]
[BGM: Sake in the Jar]
Kelvena: Isn't it obvious?
There's another Demon Invasion on the way, and this Linda person knows
ahead of anybody else again ... probably because she's a specialist.
Tolone: But why me? Why
give Siaradus to me? Nobody's answered that yet ...
Kelvena: Well, there's always
one other possibility ...
Tolone: And that is?
Kelvena: She put a bunch of
names in a hat and drew one at random.
Tolone: That's not funny.
Kelvena: It's not supposed to be.
Dominia: Look, this is all fine
and dandy for the two of you, but what am I supposed to do with --
Quee: .....! (*runs up to Dominia with a tray of full
Dominia: (*blink*) ...... did
you just buy that?
Quee: (*nod nod*)
Dominia: .... for me?
Quee: (*nod nod*)
Dominia: Heh ... well, now,
she's speaking my language!
Tolone: Good grief ... ¬¬
[Scene: The Courtroom]
[BGM: Homeward Bound]
Miang: So the RL-Chatty checked
up on your bar right before the death of Knox?
Tifa: That's right.
Miang: Did anything happen while
she was there?
Tifa: Outside of the Good
Cop/Bad Cop routine we pulled? Not much ...
Miang: (*blink*) Good Cop/Bad
Cop routine? Could you clarify what you mean by that?
Tifa: That? That was her
idea to motivate Roach and Vermin into negotiating a treaty ... she
figured that giving them a good scare would knock them out of being so
stubborn and get them back into focusing on the priorities ...
Miang: You mean that whole
incident was rigged?
Tifa: Why, it wasn't
obvious? I kinda thought it was overly dramatic myself ... but
hey, no more roach invasions means less rehabilitation of the bar, so I
figured it was worth a shot ...
Miang: So the RL was not in a
murderous mood that afternoon?
Tifa: Heck no.
Miang: Any ideas why she might
have killed Knox?
Wakaranai. Whatever her reasons, bloodlust wasn't one of them.
Miang: Thank you very much, Ms.
Lockheart. You've been a great help. (*to Miyuka*) Your
[Scene: Dr. Gerbil's Laboratory]
[BGM: For some strange reason, I'm thinking "Sgt.
Dr. Gerbil: Believe me, this won't hurt a bit ...
Dr. Gerbil: (*annoyed*) For God's sake,
cut that out! Don't you have any idea what's in store for this
Atsuko: Um ... you're going to take it over?
Dr. Gerbil: (*chuckling*) No.
Atsuko: You're not?
Dr. Gerbil: No, I just get impediments to my
experiments out of the way.
Atsuko: Then why are you extracting my inergal
enteries or whatnot?
Dr. Gerbil: (*grinning*) Because I can.
[Scene: The Courtroom]
[BGM: Something from Cowboy Bebop?]
Miyuka: So she wasn't a raving bloodthirsty maniac at
Miyuka: Are you quite certain of that?
Miyuka: (*really reaching*) Have you ever experienced
Miyuka: You certain?
Judge: (*tiredly*) Miyuka, give it up.
Miyuka: (*sigh*) No more questions, Your Honor.
(*returns to her seat and sits*)
Miang: (*stands*) The Defense
calls to the stand ..... Bub the Zombie?
Bub: Arrrrrgh? (*stands*)
Miyuka: (*not bothering to stand up*) Not a legal
witness, Your Honor. Witnesses have to be technically alive and/or
not living dead ...
Now that's just plain discriff-- discribit-- not fair ...
Judge: Objection sustained.
Bub: Rrrgh. Braaaaaaains
Judge: That's enough out of you.
Bub: Helllllo Aunt Eileeeeen ...
rrrgh ... (*sits*)
Miang: Sorry, Your Honor. (*reads*)
The Defense calls to the stand ...... the Prosecution?
(*standing*) Your Honor, it is legal! There
is presha-- (*hic*) I mean, it's been done before ...
Miyuka: That was a Civil Suit! The Defense was
suing itself for malpractice over a self-labotomy!
Judge: Still counts as precedence, Miyuka.
Objection overruled -- please take the stand ...
(*A grumbling Miyuka obliges ...*)
[Scene: De Civitate Dei, dead center --
i.e., where Kii got hit with the lance]
[BGM: A Hazy Shade of Winter]
Ramsus: I still don't get the point of this ...
Ravenal: Didn't I just give you a memory of the
rules? ... fold. I mean, right now we sit it out and
let Potega's cards smash Wie, but --
Ramsus: No, I meant the whole waiting thing. ...
fold. Why can't we just start without him?
Potega: Never use a backup unless you need it.
Wiegraf: Four aces versus your three knaves -- I win.
Wiegraf: That's the fourth time I've won, isn't it?
Ravenal: Don't brag, caddy boy. (*grins*)
Wiegraf: Err. Right. (*shuffles and deals*)
Ramsus: You don't think it's suspicious that he's
been blocking so long? Or that he insisted on walking the
Ravenal: Of course I think it's suspicious.
Do you really think I give a rat's arse? Let 'im block and let 'im
walk his legs off ... I mean, if it was so worth worrying about, do you
think She'd let him get away with it?
Ramsus: No, I suppose not. ... fold.
Ravenal: What does get me, though, is that he's
sleeping right now ... blocking right when I'd give an eye to gloat over
his agony, dammit ... selfish little -- I see your ten rims and
raise you one more.
Potega: Eight years of constant nightmares.
Then again, he sleeps maybe ... once, twice a week? Raise you
Ravenal: Beautiful screams, those. That Isis
sure knew her stuff.
Wiegraf: It's really eerie how quiet you guys get ...
(*The three-quarters of the Triumvirate turn and stare at
Wiegraf: Err. Right. Raise you three rims
[Scene: Not technically a place, really ...]
[BGM: wide variety]
(*Picture the streets of Elat, post-Civil war.*)
(*If that's not familiar, then picture a city ... narrow
streets, fitted with stone, not pavement ... primarily stone and brick
buildings, five stories at their highest, quite a few with shell-blasts
off of them ... very few people in the streets, the two or three that
are out are quite skinny, not healthy in the least ....... a war-blasted
city with war-blasted people.*)
(*Light-wise, it's probably early evening. There's
not so much a presence of light as an absence of darkness. But
that's the streets ... the alleyways are something else ...*)
(*Through the narrow, dark, tunnel-like alleys between
the buildings and ruins, a boy slips through. He's about ten, with
mussy black hair, large brown eyes, and a frame slightly less skinny
than everyone else's ... granted, that's not saying much.*)
(*He peers around the edge of a hole in a wall into the
room inside. Nobody's there. He squeezes in through the
(*It's a rather sparse room ... if it could be said to be
a room anymore, this being one of the more shell-blasted
buildings. There's a mattress in one corner, a rug in the other, a
pile of clothing in yet another, and a deep tin pan under one of the
larger holes in the ceiling. In the middle of the floor there's a
cup with a few matches in it, and by the cup there's a whole bunch of
furniture legs apparently detached from their original sources.*)
(*The boy slinks over to the corner with the pile of
clothing, and yanks a bag from underneath it. The bag clinks with
the unmistakable sound of coin against coin.*)
Woman's voice: Diiiiiiiivesy-chaaaaaaaan ...
(*The boy freezes. And gulps.*)
Woman's voice: Divesy-chaaaaaan, what are you
Young Dives: N-nothing, I was just --
Woman's voice: You weren't trying to run away,
were you, Divesy-chan?
Young Dives: (*turns around*) No! No, I ....
(*He quickly develops the "I am so dead"
(*The woman stands in the 'doorway', and she does not
look happy. No, she looks ecstatic in that way reserved for the
quite insane. Compared to the average person on the street, she's
rather well-fed ... not fat, but definately not starving. Dark
hair, dark eyes, thick-boned ... and beautiful, if you can discount the
(*"Divesy-chan" bolts for the hole in the wall. She
catches him by the back of the neck ... not the collar of his shirt, but
the actual back of his neck.*)
Isis: Divesy's been a naughty boy, hasn't he? (*tightens
the death grip*)
Young Dives: (*whimpering*) M-Mother ...
(*She hurls him at the rug corner, and he crashes into
Isis: (*picking up a furniture leg*) Mother doesn't like
it when Divesy's been naughty.
Young Dives: Please ... Mother, I ...
(*She picks a match out of the cup, strikes it, and
lights the leg ... essentially making it a flimsy torch.*)
Young Dives: (*backing into the corner*)
No ... Mother, don't ...
Isis: (*brightly*) Say you're sorry, Divesy, say
you're sorry ...
Young Dives: I ... I'm ...
(*And suddenly, she's up close and holding the makeshift
torch an inch or two from his face.*)
Isis: (*cheerily*) Divesy disobeyed Mother ... Divesy
will have to be punished ...
(*The boy screams and breaks down into crying
hysterics. Isis's smile grows even more wildly insane ...*)
(*A hand taps her on the back. Isis and the 'torch'
(*The hand then reaches out towards the sobbing,
hysterical Dives, now full-grown, red-eyed, and in his usual full black
suit. He stops sobbing, wipes off his eyes, and looks up ... and
Mother Sophia of the Nisan Sect smiles back.*)
Sophia: (*kindly*) Stand up,
(*Dives takes her hand and she helps him back to his
feet. He's still rather shaken.*)
Sophia: Salvation does not come
from refusing to take part or from running away. Nor does it come
from just drifting. Salvation comes from complete surrender, with
one's eyes always turned to the center.
(*Whatever that means, Dives seems to get it. He
Dives: I .....
(*He stops, and drawls off. When he tries to start
again, he seems a little stuck on words ...*)
(*After a little while, he just gives up on words and
kisses Sophia on the cheek. It's a rather childish motion.*)
Sophia: You're welcome ...
(*She puts a hand on his shoulder and stares him straight
in the eye.*)
Sophia: Wake up, Dives.
(*He blinks. And suddenly, he's no longer in the
room in Elat, but rather standing in the middle of the subway tracks in
the subway tunnels ... with a subway train headed down the tunnel.*)
(*Dives flings himself up and out of the tracks with his
AT field, and watches the subway train whiz by. Eventually he gets
up and walks away, headed towards De Civitate Dei ...*)
The girl sat there. If she wasn't so tired, she would
"Why does Dives know about Mother Sophia? So far as I
know, he's never heard of her at all ..."
Maybe it's one of those unconscious
leakages .... you know, like how everyone seems to know instinctually
that you're the Restorer/Creator of the Universe?
She shook her head. "Not likely."
OOC Bug, then?
"He's an avatar of the Angel of Death, Catz. He's
immune to diseases ... and if he wasn't, he would've died from
you-know-what two seconds after accepting the offer."
Then, err ... no idea, sugar, none at
The girl nodded her head. Think later, sleep now,
think sleep now later ...
"Take me home, Catz. I'm tired and I don't want to
Right-o, sugarhoneybunpie ...