Closed Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Bee on February 3rd, 2016, 5:38 pm

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62 Winter 515AV



It was just after midnight rest. The Sharai peak was bathed in blues as the waning moon shone brightly on the new snow mounds from yesterday’s downfall. Not many people were out and about, many were still happily cooped up in their homes, while the rest were farmers who did their business by day who were either too cold to be out or they were asleep. The walk way into Sharai had been cleared, painstakingly, earlier today and people were free to come and go from the peak; though many still took to their houses rather than brave the foot of snow outside. All of Sharai had that still quiet that only Winter’s breath can bring.

A lone man sat on a bench along the main walking path from Sharai to Shinyama, he was on the first bench outside of the bridge connecting the two, seated by a mound of snow nearly three feet high. He had his head in his hands and to anyone looking hard enough seemed to be under some degree of stress. Beside him sat two large burlap sacks, crumpled in a heap to his left on a bench. He was leaned over with his elbows on his thighs and began rubbing his hands together as he was talking to himself.
“Just do it, in and out, wham-bam thank you ma’am.”
He rubbed his head, covered in a light stubble where he wasn’t balding, still hunched over. Small puffs of breath were coming from his mouth, to be seen in the cold air, a sign that he was breathing rather fast. His stress seemed to peak and he clasped his hands together then looked skyward. An action that looked to be pious, as if he were sending a message to the gods. With that, he got to his feet, dusted off the seat of his pants, and began walking with his sacks rolled up tightly in hand. As he set off away from the bridge his figure shrunk into the night.

-~-~-~-~-

He didn’t stop walking until he got to the heart of the farms. Here, in front of the neighborhood ration station, he paused and once again looked to the moon, this time kissing his hand and pressing it up above his head to send the kiss to the heavens. It would seem he was alone, or so he thought. Nearby the silo stood grimly in the night. Here the people of Sharai could get their rations, but this place was also one of the silo’s where food was kept before shuttling it out to the other peaks.

The man paused outside of the door, looked around, seeing no one, then pressed his ear to the entrance in an effort to see who was inside. There seemed to be no one, so he tried the handle and the door opened. Some one must have forgotten to lock it today. The door groaned and creaked upon his entry. It had started. As lightly as he could he shut the door behind him, but unbeknownst to him he left the door open just a crack.

Once inside he opened the bags and worked as quickly as possible. Six onions in one bag. Twenty four potatoes on top of that and a wheel of cheese to boot. In the second sack he grabbed a bag of flour and stuffed it in there along with a sack of sugar. His prayer must have worked, this was the easiest time he had ever had thieving. “Wham-bam thank you ma’am”, indeed.
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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Izuyanai on February 5th, 2016, 10:57 am

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Silky moonlight poured through the oculus in the Moon Temple. The light hitting the sacred pool of water caused it to glow and gently illuminate the room. Indistinct figures of Lord Leth's faithful lingered at the very edge of the bright glimmer. They were still, but observing the Kelvic's every move inside the sacred halls.

Izuyanai had not yet had the chance to visit all the temples of Lhavit, so when she mentioned wanting to visit the Temple of the Moon, Tahala at the Respite had sensibly recommended that she visit when the sky was clear and the moon was out. Unfortunately, all the snow clouds hanging over the peaks had made many nights less than optimal. It was a good thing the sky had cleared for even a short moment. The memorable sight made it worth fighting through the snowy streets.

Closing her eyes, the raven offered a simple prayer. One of recognition and respect. The radiance of the moon had filled her with quiet awe. Different, from the lively brilliance of the sun, the moon was darker and cloaked in a sense of loneliness. It brought old memories to surface and reminded her of the past.

Careful not to disturb even the air, Izuyanai slipped out into the cold night once more. Walking as best she could down the tiers of the Shinyama, the raven made it to the bottom without being buried in the snow.

Just as she was about to turn back toward the Zintia, a strange sight toward the far end by Sharai caught her eye. A man was seated on the bench with his head in his hands. It was much too cold for someone to simply be lounging on a bench outside, and as far as Izuyanai knew, the human seemed to be displaying signs of great distress. The subtle tug of her memories encouraged the raven's curiosity and perhaps her sense of compassion as well. Frowning slightly the Kelvic made to cross the walkway, when the man suddenly stood and began walking away into the darkness.

Unease creasing her brow, Izuyanai trailed after. A part of her said that it wanted to ensure the man returned his home safely. That the stranger had just argued with his family, that the stranger simply grew weary of the harsh winter and wished for warm spring. Another part of her smirked and whispered darker things.

The Kelvic kept a good distance behind. It wouldn't be so hard to explain herself away, but it was easier to be spotted when there were no other people around. Her keen eyesight came in good use to keep track of the man hurrying away through the Sharai.

Eventually when the man halted by a telltale ration silo, Izuyanai slipped into the shadows and ducked her head. Her small stature and black cloak matching the darkness helped in going undetected. Uh oh. Looking around for witnesses and listening at doors was not exactly the least suspicious thing in the world. Sighing silently, Izuyanai watched as the man slipped into the silo clutching rolled up sacks. She was somehow sure that what the stranger was doing was illegal.

The real problem was did she care? If she did not act now, the man's transgressions would be a secret that only they knew. The raven could simply ignore it or somehow use the information later for blackmail. Perhaps the most fitting would be to request a portion of the food he was stealing in return for silence. That idea seemed dreadfully appealing.

Distractedly tugging on the cord around her neck, however, Izuyanai neared the silo as quickly as she dared. If the man didn't leave with anything, it could hardly be said that he committed any crime. That would be best for everyone. Though stealing rations was a rather low move, it would be wasteful for such temporary weakness to be punished if it could be prevented.
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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Thomas Cosa on February 7th, 2016, 4:00 am

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Thomas wouldn't have noticed the man ordinarily; it was only because Stranger had decided the man a threat that Thomas even bothered to come back from his own thoughts.

"And what makes you so sure he's a threat, Stranger?" Thomas asked, his voice hardly loud enough to be considered a whisper. He'd hidden behind one of the many shrubberies that decorated the impressive bridge, made of the same opaque material that dictated the form of pretty much everything in the mountain city.

"He is unwell," Stranger answered, his voice disturbingly metallic and unreal. It was only sometimes frustrating when speaking with the golem; Stranger couldn't have any real opinions about anything. Thomas had yet discovered how to teach something so abstract as ideas, or even prejudice to the stubbornly literally creature. Any response as to why something was dangerous was answered simply. 'Unwell' could mean sickly or mentally unstable. Although how Stranger could identify those things so readily, Thomas could only guess. Perhaps Mashaen had tinkered with the golem before sending it off with Cid.

His magic lashed out at his non-knowing, creeping along the empty bridge, hints of the strange material's hardness, color, and clean taste running along to Thomas, all for the young mage to decipher and understand. Eventually, the spell reached the man, and like a swarm of ants hungry for sugar, covered him instantly.

Stress was the first thing he sensed. Bitter and stoic, sturdy against the man's fragile body. Thomas could feel the shiver of sweat, the cold beads decorating the man's fevered brow. Anxiety. Blue and chilly and stabbing like pins against his magic. The whole sensation was more than uncomfortable, but still, he was fascinated by whoever this was -- the stranger had more emotion than anyone he'd seen in Lhavit so far. He mumbled something, his hands touching his mouth with a delightful intensity of prayer. A dancing flame of gold, all heat and delicate and intoxicating. Faith. Or something like it. His whole body quivered with it for a tick, and then he left.

Stranger may have warned him against getting closer to the Stranger, but he wanted to follow him more than anything else in that moment
...
Was he hungry? Starving?

Thomas had followed the man through the farmlands; he was hardly a thief himself, but the man had somehow not seen him following after. He'd come into the building with an empty sack, and now the sack was full. His spell enveloped the man, his own curiosity needing an answer. He'd never seen a thief, let alone a thief in action before -- and whoever the man was, he might have been a threat, but Stranger was here, and could protect him.

"Why did you steal that?"

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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Bee on February 11th, 2016, 9:30 pm

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OOCNo, I don’t mind at all! This will be the posting order now; me , Izu, and then Thomas. I hope you guys enjoy this thread!

This had been easy, almost too easy. The man was beginning to feel like something was wrong. What he had in his sacks would be enough, both for his family for the week and his… employer. He hurried up and closed the sacks, then made his way through the ration house to the door. Once outside he gave a cursory look around before stepping down the couple of steps and out onto the street below. He didn’t think anyone would stop him, carrying sacks around this time of night would be strange in other places but not this city. People were up doing their business right now, so he wouldn’t be out of place. If he could just get away from the ration house all suspicion would be lost.

He began his walk. He spotted Thomas quickly and hoped he hadn’t seen him, the man leaning his face down to the ground in an effort to make himself small. Thomas had definitely seen him come out of the ration silo, but maybe he would just think he was a worker. Fat chance.

“Why did you steal that?” Came Thomas’s question as the man began passing Thomas by. He stopped dead in his tracks, in the light of day you would be able to see the man’s face go pale. Slowly he turned to face Thomas, with the sacks slung over his back.
“S-s-s-steal?” Chittered the man, hoping Thomas would take his stuttering because of the cold and not because of the amount of worry now creasing the man’s brow.
“This is mine,” he lied, “I’m just picking it up a little later, I didn’t steal nuthin’.” The man's worry betrayed his voice, it was clear he was lying.

Unbeknownst to the both of them, a kelvic lurked in the shadows making her way to the couple.

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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Izuyanai on February 12th, 2016, 2:04 am

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She had been a little too slow. Izuyanai had not been able to stop the man from leaving the silo and now the man was being confronted by another stranger. Accompanied by peculiar construction? Anyways, Izuyanai winced at the blunt manner in which the newcomer accused the thief. Quietly approaching the pair, the kelvic caught the last of the thief's stuttering defenses.

Shaking her head slightly she said, "I'm afraid that's not true. The young man and I could start listing all the evidences against you. Such as how ration houses are strictly under lock and key without officials operating them...but we needn't go through that ordeal. Tell us the truth, and I may be able to help you. What's troubling you that you would steal from the citizens of Lhavit?"

Izuyanai turned a firm gaze to the thief. Firm but not unkind. The man seemed like a weak willed individual. Not one with true malice. The Kelvic was willing enough to set things right if he cooperated. However, underestimating the abilities of opponents no matter how unthreatening they seemed could be fatal.

As the raven waited for the man's reply, she briefly ran through scenarios in her head. Of course, the peaceful route would be by far preferable. In the case in which the man decided to run, the kelvic was confident she could follow. Either in human form or a more aerodynamic one. If things turned ugly, she had Aramis. No doubt the Shinya would come running as well. Which brought up the question as to how much use the spindly man and his companion was in confrontation. If at all possible, a hostage situation was to be avoided. A panicked thief could do rash things.
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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Thomas Cosa on February 13th, 2016, 4:34 am

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"Help him?" Thomas asked, incredulous, his voice sharp in his outrage. "And who are you to offer a thief redemption?" His magic tore itself apart, splitting at the half, the spell clinging greedily at the desperate man while greedily slopping it's way towards the newcomer. He caught the always familiar beat of Djed-marked, the constant electric hum that tickled his ears like a far of echo; indiscernible, almost, meaning she wasn't a talent or a threat. His auristics weaved between the two, delirious in it's frenzy, slurping and snatching random pieces of information.

"And you are lying," The mage sneered, chin pointed accusingly at the thief. His excuse was obvious, Thomas was certain he would have spotted the lie even without his magic. "And why are you so worried? About us?" Thomas wondered aloud, his voice softened by his own curiosity. He was all bravado and no sense -- the very illusion of control of the situation was enough to keep his confidence glowing. He was surrounded by two complete strangers, and their auras gave him no reason to think them threats. And then, they didn't have a golem to protect them.

It was then, mentally complementing his own abilities on handling the situation at hand, that he realized (read, his auristics caught) that the newcomer wasn't exactly human. Her aura mirrored a human's well-enough, at least, at first glance. It was shiny and large like his own, like the thief's, but there was an echo of something...feathery? he thought, confused by the foreign and complex duplicity imprint he was reading off the stranger.

Thomas flicked his magic, demanding it split itself evenly, knowing his own instinct to push his whole spell on the not-so-human woman was a fault. His first act of the night he would be deciding what to do with the thief -- it would be fun to keep pretending himself powerful again. Oh, to be back on Sahova and basking in the favor of Mashaen. He wondered if Lhavit had an equivalent.

"Why shouldn't I call for the sh--shi, uh, for the guard now?" Thomas clamored, struggling to remember what they called the guard here.

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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Bee on February 21st, 2016, 1:37 am

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“Please! You don’t need to call the guards.”

He was sweating now, this man. Somehow this simple escapade turned into two, count them--two, people accosting him in the street. If he didn’t keep them quiet and unexcited suspicion would be roused and a Shinya might come asking them what’s going on.

This was all just his rotten luck.

“I knew it was a matter of time before I was caught.” He took the sacks off of his shoulders and laid them on the ground. “Please, you have to understand. I’m just doing what I can. I have three children at home, my wife, she’s pregnant again and can’t get around well. We need this food.” In the moonlight and subtle lantern light, his face was visibly red. He was shaking all over. “If I didn’t have to I wouldn’t. But this isn’t up to me.” The man didn’t want to give his employer up, but he made sure to hint that this wasn’t his own doing, hoping that the other two would catch he was against his will.
“The rations, it’s not enough for big families and I don’t have the money to buy extra. If I don’t do this, we will starve or be begging in the streets for handouts.”

The man looked them both in the eyes for a moment, his before casting them down and sticking his hands in his pockets. He was glad they hadn’t just strung him up in the first go, this could have been ugly. Hopefully he could talk them down and be let off scot-free. It was a fat chance, but who knew. He was at a loss for words without repeating himself.

“Do you have families? Surely you must understand.”
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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Izuyanai on February 21st, 2016, 7:27 am

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The stranger beside her spat out in anger, glaring sharply in disapproval. Izuyanai blinked at the unexpected confrontation but allowed for her lips to curl into the smallest hint of a smile.

Extending her hand in a polite gesture, she lightly countered, "And who are you to condemn a man?"

Her tone didn't hold half the accusatory quality of the man's. Instead, sounding as though she were merely posing a vaguely interesting philosophical question. Was it just her her or did humans seem extremely touchy lately? No one seemed to know the meaning of deescalating a situation anymore. And they said it was kelvics who rushed to their deaths.

The raven kept one eye on the mage while listening to the thief rush his pleas and explanations. Mage, because she could sense his spell wading around the reaches of her aura. A little disappointing, yes. But there were secrets perfectly safe from the prying intrusion. That would have to do for now.

Watching the thief flounder, Izuyanai's eyes steadily narrowed and seemed to increase in their intensity. The thief was planning on playing on their empathy. Hoping that he could draw out their compassion by mentioning family. A classic tactic. A pity it wouldn't work. At least not for her. She didn't have any family.

Letting out a dramatic sigh Izuyanai addressed the thief with downcast eyes. "Haa... Unfortunately for you sir, I don't understand. On countless levels, in fact. If the rations weren't enough you could have gone to the officials, explained the situation carefully, and gotten assistance. Surely, Lhavit could have legally spared more food for a struggling family of five. Lady Zintila is not a cruel goddess."

Reaching this point, Izuyanai crossed her arms and switched from exasperation at the man's lack of resourcefulness to a more impatient tone.

"You said, "This isn't up to me." Did you just blame the powers that be for your misfortunes and casually resort to thievery with no real resolve? I've entertained you so far for the sake of curiosity, but if that's all you have to say, I won't object in calling for the Shinya to take it from here. I suggest you make your decisions quickly. Interest us...me or I'll leave your fate up to this young gentleman."

The raven didn't care much for helping uphold the law. As far as she was concerned, thieves, liars, cons, and traitors could run about as long as they were prepared to face the consequences. So no, it wasn't the man's law breaking that was beginning to annoy her. It was his defeated aura and lack of resolve the made her begin to dismiss him.
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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Thomas Cosa on February 27th, 2016, 6:27 am

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"I'm obviously someone who cares about the people losing out on their rations because this idiot couldn't figure out how to support his family legally," Thomas countered, his words wielded like a dagger. Her tone hadn't been aggressive, if anything it had seemed conversational at most, but questioning him had been offensive enough to have him on the defensive. "You, on the other, seem willing to negotiate? Why -- are you starving too?" His spell squeezed at the stranger's aura, airy and light and surprisingly sleek. Every time he caught one of her colors, it slipped away, like he was trying to catch water with his hands. The longer he practiced auristics, the more types of people he'd run into that were irritatingly good at keeping their emotions hidden.

Threads of magic speared into the man's aura, his almost too easily read. Crystal clear, his fear a violent shade of dusky purple, streaking like lightning across his aura. He was nervous too, the outer edges shaking, rumbling in loud protest to being caught, Thomas presumed. As far as he knew, auristics would never allow him to read minds -- but seeing someone's emotions was almost as good.

"You're still lying," Thomas realized, his magic rippling in pleasure as it rooted out the dirty, smokiness. Lies, Thomas noticed, were disgustingly complex. There were often easy to catch, slow and sluggish, but were often heavy bits of aural residue clinging with emotions feeding the reasoning behind the lie. This man's lie was dirty and smokey, clouded slush that felt oily. It was hard for his magic to hold, dishonesty often slipped away easily back into the aura. "Why?," he wondered aloud, his gaze as piercing as his magic. It was annoying he could never tell what the lie was about, only that it had happened, so whether he was lying about having a family, if the food was really for the family, if he really couldn't afford it or whatever, Thomas wouldn't know.

Unless he started to ask the right questions.

His magic swarmed the man, ignoring the strange woman -- he lack of magical ability made her no threat in Thomas' mind, his arrogance would be his undoing one day --lash of magical insight linked over the thief, the wizard's curiosity desperate and hungry for answers.

"So you lied about the food," Thomas guessed, picking the largest common factor. Perhaps he had a family, perhaps he really couldn't afford food, perhaps they were really starving, whatever. Everything had to do with food, so he might as well ask about it. "Why do you really want it?"

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Ration House Blues (Thomas, Izuyanai)

Postby Bee on March 4th, 2016, 12:45 am

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They were arguing. The man shifted uneasily as they proceeded in their verbal jousting match. His eyes shifted, wondering if he could run to get away. No... not with all the food he had with him. He would look like a fool even if the weight of it all didn't slow him down, calling too much attention to himself. Plus these two didn't have the air of a common person, there was something... trained about them. An edge. If the odd little machine wasn't enough to go by, for the man. He was probably a mage. The woman; she had a smoothness to her, almost a knowing. Clearly wise though she looked young.

He found himself at a loss at how to deal with these people. Their accusations and remarks lapping at him like fire. It was all he could do to keep himself from stuttering as he slowly replied to everything they said. The woman seemed to be the softer one, more prone to understanding. As he spoke he looked only at her and ignored Thomas and his automaton.

"I'm... I'm going out on a limb here, but this is my only hope. I understand I'm completely at your mercy so please, be merciful and hear what I have to say. You're right, there's something bigger at play here. Listen, and follow me, I don't want to be out in the open like this. If you want to be heroes, call the Shinya. But you won't stop any thefts from these ration stores in the future. That's not a threat, it's the truth. I don't want to be doing this, but I wasn't lying when I said my family is at stake." He shouldered his bags once again and started walking back to the building, slowly, as if each step was through a rushing river. His face was pinched and he was sweating despite the cold, he was weak. Always had been. But he wasn't stupid. He had his wits, that's why he was chosen for this job whether he wanted to or not. Though, perhaps wits wasn't a good word for it. He was a practical man. Would these wits be enough to save him? Maybe they could help him.
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