|The Devil, the Goddess and the Warmonger: Enter Hell's Newest Councillor|
Blackness stretches out almost infinitely surrounding you, broken by the light of hundreds of glowing blood-red runes etched into pillars dotting the expanse. The pillars provide the only light but hardly do that. Overall, the lighting is exceedingly dim.
In the center of the expanse, a massive ancient slab forms a table with many ornate thrones for all of hell's leaders to sit. It is a remenant of some ancient artifact beyond imagining, something that resided perhaps within the original hell. For now, however, the blasphemous and ignorant use it to rest their feet upon as it radiates unimaginable power.
As the chambers reside partially within the plane of nightmares, sometimes things creep beyond in the shadows. Eyes sometimes appear. It makes a comfortable ambiance for the evil beings that dwell here.
If one were to run beyond this place, they would run infinitely into the black as the plane stretches forever. There are, however, doors that lead to other places surrounding the table. Each etched with individual runes again.
In the depths of that tortured realm known as Hell, shadows begat shadows. A deeper darkness spreads through the eternal night of the council chambers. It begins small, blossoming rapidly to the height of a child, and then onward. Within moments, it is large enough to expel a slender, cloaked form. Amber eyes, closed for the passage through void, open wide to take in the vast hall.
A smile spreads on ruby lips. She speaks, addressing the black with quiet confidence.
"So, it's come to this. I wondered when it would."
As the portal continues to widen behind her, looming finally to a full ten feet - five across - the youthful goddess slips forward gracefully. The long digits of her left hand extend from encompassing sleeves to rest upon the ancient slab at the chamber's centre. The touch sends a soft jolt through her body, draws a slow blink of astonishment. There is power in this place... a power expected, but nontheless potent. Nonetheless jarring. Composing herself, the Diaduin Emepherea looks back over her shoulder, maintaining contact with the ghastly table as she looks to the arrival of its owner.
What future awaits?
The shadows of this room suddenly find themselves shifting places. Things seem to turn and move as the darkness gathers to a defined point, then they begin to write and bend into a rising shape that seems to erupt from the blackness taking the form finally of Senior Diablo. Very few would ever realise or even begin to wonder about his form of arrival and it's similarities to another's. But of those fewer still would realise it was simply because they where fragments of similar minds. None of this is revelant as Diablo sits upon his chair, looking out across the elaborate table that demands attention at the heart of this room. Eyeing his guest he offers her one of the chairs on her opposite side of the room. Maybe it's only a trick of the eyes, but it seems like the devil's corner darkens as he sits there. Or perhaps it's only the light that Emephera emits from her own purity...
Senior Diablo says, "Welcome, I appoligise for the lack of attendance at this meeting, but perhaps that's for the best. Finding a balance amoung a group that each fancies itself in charge can be abit of a challenge."
The sensation is felt before it is fully realised. The similarity is known.
Raven bangs jostle about her face as Emi turns with a sharp exhalation of breath. Memories flood back, carrying pain, disappointment and guilt in their wake. For a being many would consider free from emotional constraints, this day has already tested her sorely - as a creature, as a person with mind, heart and soul.
"My thanks," she speaks a moment after Diablo, still scanning his apparated form with open curiosity. And something deeper; far deeper. She is assessing all he has said, considering his very nature - the intent that brings. There is no black, there is no white, and in this demonic anti-deity there lie a hundred thousand shades of grey. "I would rather be alone. With no interruptions, we can be frank with one another."
Gathering her robes in a subtle motion, the slender goddess moves to take a seat herself, lowering her frame with apparent ease found in these inhospitable surroundings. Her own corner takes on no greater light of it's own; whatever changes perception may account for. She comes today not as a holy figure, no crusader of right. The senior devil's gray leaks into her own, however dark it may appear. "Before we begin, I have questions." She lifts her head, not for one instant shifting her gaze from Diablo's. Though there is doubt in her tone as she makes her query, "How did you know to find me? Was it merely a gamble, or were you being..."
The smile returns, a flicker of humour flaring in those amber eyes, "Clever?"
Senior Diablo smiles at the comment. No matter how regal he tries to present himself there is a large ego burried beneath the surface and at moments like this it shines. "Clever. Yes you might say. Unlike the Twisted Street, worlds which flow and connect to Hell aren't rejected. Our influence extends into many other relms, although mostly to the underworlds of those worlds exclusively. This tends to give us a unique perspective on things. Detailed records, archives, we have to know how to punish those dumped upon us after all - even if most tend to create their own private torments. I must also dare say I've been to Chronos several times. It became something of an importance to me while keeping tabs on our mutual friend following his banishment."
This devil takes a sip from an elaboratly decorated glass of wine. The red fluid within looking closer to blood as it touches his lips. Not that he would give in to such sterotypes. A similar glass now sits before Empephera. How does he keep doing that? Senior Diablo sets down his glass which seems to vanish when attention is not focused upon it. "I've yet to meet someone I've not known about before hand. One of the advantages to my position."
Satan, Lucifer, the Prince of Darkness... no matter what moniker one applies to this imposing figure, the mythologies are all partially accurate at best. Emepherea knows his identity. There is ample reason why this demon was banished from his original position; 'evil' is a ridiculous concept, and holds no application here. He is intelligent, cunning, charismatic, and so much more besides. More than a match for any world's ordained ruler.
"I see," the Goddess of Balance replies with a humble inclination of her head, slipping one hand forth through the charged air to grip the stem of the glass before her. As her hand lifts, the blown sand appears to reshape itself, flashing in what little light there is as distorting angles catch and reflect. "Then you know where I've been; you know what happened to me. It almost makes me wonder why you didn't come sooner."
Emi raises the crimson fluid to her lips, but does not drink, taking an opportunity to muse. She gazes into the shimmering murk past hooded lids. When she speaks again, her tone has lost weight. It barely carries across the vast rock between them. "And... my daughter. I felt her come into being, I know why this has happened. You realise it lends weight to your words, gives me reason to believe you. To stand beside you. But I admit my own knowledge has diminished, lately." She looks up, drawing in a deep breath, and her head cants to one side, eyes wide and enquiring.
"Tell me what you told her. Tell me why she stands alongside you."
The second request made, she sets her glass back upon the table. A delicate gold leaf pattern has appeared upon the clear surface. A merry portrait of a duck.
Senior Diablo smiles again. People always assume there's malace in that smile of his, but seldom that seems to be the case. It's just simply he takes delight in making people uneasy and he's learned the perfect way to do this subtly. Perhaps he's too good at his job. "Ahh. Miss Meioh? I've not done anything to decive her, if that's what you wish to know. I'm not the bastard I'm made out to be. I take great delight in telling people the secrets of the Gods. That moment one believes they understand the whole of reality... priceless. At most I've simply told her the truth about who I am and what I do. I maintain a balance. 'As above, so below' to coin a phrase. Contrary to popular belief I love life. I love humanity. It is very dear to me. I am enraged to see people mistreated undeservingly. Setsuna has recieved many hardships simply because she was willing to break a few rules set in place by arrogant fools in order to do what was right. Why should people like that be punished? Spending eternity guarding a gate amoungst people who've done such awful things. Is that really fair?" He sips again from that fading glass of his. "I promised her I would find a way to release her of this burden. She does not need to stand there to protect her gate. She does not need to be taken from those she loves and cares about. If I had my way she'd be free of this malace created prison, as well as the hundreds of other innocents which are forced to dwell here."
"You're not lying."
Nothing moves but her lips. It's a stated fact; spoken without a trace of uncertainty. The Diaduin does not need to think about this. It becomes apparent through mere observation, her vast attention rapt upon Hell's overseer. Indeed, there is no lie here. But it takes the experience of aeons to rationalise such a point. Love takes many forms, as does mercy, as - by its very nature - does balance. Emi dips her chin in a nod.
"That being the case, I thank you. To call her my daughter is misleading, but true enough for the telling. We are human creations, we take human form and obey their rules to the point of necessity." She speaks as though reciting a textbook, long-imbued lessons from her own godly childhood rising to the surface unbidden. "But you know better even than that. You know the power I hold, and you know better than I what she has inherited."
A sigh, soft and short, soon tempered with an equally understated quirk of the lips. The graceful balancer slips a pale finger about the rim of her glass, setting the embossed duck to twitch in a dance that should appear comical. Yet in contrast with her expression, it seems a sign only of the pensive. "I shall get to know her myself, however. You are not her caretaker, and I was not summoned to be a mother." "On the journey here," she draws herself up in her chair, leaning slightly forward. All business. Trifling matters - as if there truly are any, for Emi - dealt with for now. "I was able to feel something of what has happened in my absence. Dark forces muster on both sides, Senior Diablo. The line between guilty and innocent, good and evil, has blurred more than ever. The company you keep," she gestures to her flank, fingers waving about the chamber as though to signify the full majesty of the Hell that surrounds them, "Does you no credit in the eyes of the uninformed. I should believe that you'd cross me."
The goddess shakes her head suddenly, expression light and easy, "But that would be foolish. Still. Heed well that if I work with you then my place shall not be that of an underling. I am not your servant. You should realise it could never have been that way, but let us be clear. It was my /choice/ to answer your call, and it will be mine to leave once more if I decide your interests no longer concern me." She settles back, gnawing momentarily on her lip. "Those are my terms, Senior Diablo."
Senior Diablo's smile finally fades. His lips curl into a solid line upon his face as this demon shows an astounding lack of emotions a moment. "I do not have a need for underlings, my dear. I have minions of my own to call upon already. The Cenobites, the creations of the Goddess Alessa. I suppose I should begin to refer to you by your full title, Goddess Emephera as I've yet to adress you by name. I do not need servants, I need equals. I'm not proposing going forth to have civil talks with those 'above' us. I've tried this course of action already. We where removed by force and I am not the one to take such actions lightly. The people on this Twisted Council, if you'll forgive the pun, believe themselves to be better than the rest of us - even those that have a rightful place to protect the various worlds we come from. To be labled otherwise and then discarded so easily? This is an offense that should not go unpunished. Likewise should we advance without a balance of our own we shall again by tossed aside by our own petty diffrences. This is why I asked if you would join OUR council, and not MINE. Even if those upon this council believe THEY are the ones in control of it..."
Senior Diablo stands, turning his back to Emi as he gazes out into the darkness that seems to surround him. The very air around him seems to thicken to reflect his irritation. "I am not one to attack a foe directly, and I would never consider it unless I would have no other choice." He turns, placing his palms on the table to lean over it, his eyes piercing directly into the Goddess's own. "We may have nearly reached that point in our dealings with them, and I am not foolish enough to do so unprepared. What justice would I do those who dwell here if I am defeated and one of THEM take my place? Such a thing would unbalance the very nature of our existance in ways too horrible to even imagine."
"So you want me to fight." Emi's lips barely move as she echoes the intent, her own astonishingly deep gaze struck through like a thunderbolt by the infernal stare of Diablo. The shockwave of power penetrates her thoughts, but does not addle as it has an infinite number of times before. The situation swings into stark focus. "It has been some time. Like you, I..." she bites back her words, leaving them unsaid, and allows silence to reign a moment. They are similar, he and she, despite their respective reputations. Neither is a warrior in truth; they are more subtle, insidious in their methods.
To admit helplessness... His sincerity must be absolute.
"These are terrifying times, even for such as we. I am not one to demand loyalty from others, nor even respect - that can only be earned. And sometimes we must relinquish ourselves for a greater purpose. But," she moves to stand as if jolted, a blaze in her eye suggesting a flare of anger in the woman. Rare indeed. "Their hubris is great!" She rounds upon the demon lord with a cry, robes billowing about her slender frame. "You and I have committed atrocities, knowing them to be necessary. Knowing that sacrifices must be made. What they attempt is done with a view to /forbidding/ such sacrifice. They seek control over what cannot be controlled!"
"It.. vexes me," she haltingly extinguishes the blaze, swallowing as she moves to reseat herself. She appears as youthful as she did before Crux, though it is now a weighted vigour, heavy-hearted and troubled where it had been joyous and bouyant. "I will join your council, Senior Diablo. Without even knowing the details; that can come in time, as my powers return." A weakness of her own admitted; a display of utmost trust.
"For the sake of all of us, every person in every world, something must be done. What threatens to rule is not balance. It is dominance, a will to control. For now, I hold in trust that you will not counter that in kind. As to the other members of this council..."
Again it is left unsaid. Her eyes search his own, conveying her meaning all too well.
Senior Diablo sits back down himself, slowly but surely echoing her actions. If by coincidence or design, one could never quite be certain. "I do not wish to be the one in charge of things. There are many other who would do a fair better job than I in such a situation. I only do what I must, when I must. As long as I sit upon our Council, I shall ensure than none of the others shall rise to such a thrown. A balance must be maintained. One mind does not govern such things without corruption. The only reason I let them fancies themselves in any level of control is to calm their bickering." That smile creeps it's way back onto his face. "They listen so much better when they're not fighting with one another."
Sipping once more from that phantom glass, the demon leans back to make himself more comfortable. "So now we get to the ever fun formalities. A region of our central 'street' will find itself mirroring what's in your heart. A temple, if you will, or shrine to your image. You will have at your disposal all of Hell's resources whether you choose to use them or not." He then sets a small wooden box on the center of the table, it's sides engraved with elaborate gold etchings and patterns. Faintly, music seems to be heard from somewhere deep inside it. "This box will unlock the worlds which are locked within this place. It will also call upon the Cenobites if one would have need of them. While not the most attractive sight to one's eyes, they are our guardians. They seek out those who escape and drag them back here by whatever means are neccesary. Alessa also has her own little servants which will now be at your disposal. Hulking things with pyramid shaped helmets. I've found they make good bodyguards if you can keep them properly destracted. As I've said though, none of this is a requirement. Nothing we offer has to be taken or even acknowledged, and I'm sure you'll probably never need any of their services. But whom would I be if I didn't inform you of them? You may also give those little puzzle boxes out should you find someone you feel needs to be brought here. In that sense they are almost a calling card." He finishes his glass finally and as he sets it down it vanishes in a dark swirl of smoke. "Is there anything else you need to know or shown? Anything else I might do to assist you or make you more comfortable? I can even change my shape if for some reason you deem it uncomfortable..." My, his maners change towards Council members, don't they?
Levelly the goddess watches the demon prince, somewhat more relaxed in his company yet still maintaining a vigil. This is not a being that minces words. Even the most flippant statements that pass his lips hold greater meaning. He is nothing if not deceptive. As he delivers his welcoming soliloquy, Emi listens with the occasional gesture; an amused smile at his description of her Hellish home-from-home, a faint shake of her head at the imparted knowledge of the various minions at her disposal. And a curious raise of the eyebrow at the box, which she reaches out to touch, glancing at it a moment before her eyes lift back to Senior Diablo.
"Don't worry about my comfort," she answers smoothly as he trails off, inclining her head in a diplomatic gesture, "I can make my own arrangements. Besides, I am here on business. Do we really have time for luxuries?" Her expression brightens at that, lips remaining parted as she fixes him with a teasing gaze. His ways are well beknownst to her in this regard. The Devil must have his decadence.
"More seriously, Senior Diablo," she lets the smile fade, pulling the puzzle box into a fold of her robes as she continues, "I am glad your position has not been threatened. I am no leader, and would rather the other council members do not know my true nature. Nor what I am capable of. To that end I will not head armies, nor stand directly alongside any other. You should know how different my methods are. Although..." She bows her head, the first sign of showing any fealty to her demonic counterpart, "I will break my habits should the worst come to pass. Duty would demand it."
"Oh. One other thing." A pale hand lifts to her face, brushing back a loose curl of blackness that threatens to obscure her vision. She positively beams, dropping all semblance of regality, becoming.. if not more herself.. then more her old self. What lies beneath the aeons of power. "My friends call me Emi. It doesn't matter what else I am."
Senior Diablo smiles somehow a little more warmly than he's been over this conversation. "Emi. You'll have to forgive me if I tend to address people formaly out of habbit more than anything. I'll keep this in mind, however." Leaning forwards again, the demon crosses his arms and leans upon the table. "Buisness or not, you know as well as I that it is simply the nature of things. I'm sure if we removed the souls confined here this Hell would find itself in a blissful state of calm and the nightmares that roam the wastelands would vanish. Perhaps a wilderness full of trees would take their place? The damned fill Hell with horrors, not those in charge of it." Reflecting on this he adds with a smile, "Well... that and maybe Alessa, but she's unique as you'll soon see."
"Formality's a diguise we all come to wear with age. With great power..."
Giving a happy shrug, allowing the quote to finish itself, the Diaduin leans back. Reaching again for her decorated glass, she lifts it as she considers the other words imparted by Senior Diablo. That he bows to nature shows calibre few would expect, and is reassuring in itself. For all her knowledge, obscured in the mists of time as it is, this has been an education already.
"I'm sure we'll get along fine. I don't make it my business to tell others how they should live, or what actions they should take; I only /stop/ those who need stopping." Because judgement must be made somewhere. This is why they exist. A council of such beings is a breathtaking prospect for exactly that reason... it is almost unbelievable that it could come to pass, and certainly so that it could function.
Allowing her pronouncement to hang, Emi takes a sip from her glass. The liquid is no longer a foul crimson, but white and creamy. "So," she speaks tentatively then, setting the clear receptable back down and raising her eyes to Diablo, "I had one other question. You've already mentioned him once... perhaps you know..."
The voice of a young girl, concerned for a friend.
"What's happened to NNY?"
Herr_Major ponders a moment this statement. He had been sitting just off in the shadows, blending in with the shadows, which is odd for a man wearing a completely white suit. Stepping out of the shadow, he stands behind his own chair on the council... However, he has not been there the whole time, and they would know it, likely. "Lost, likely. The insane often are... probably off creating his own hell away from hell. Probably worse than anything I could possibly do." He speaks with a rather deep Bavarian droll on his tongue, adjusting his glasses as they sat on his portly features. "I... dont recall seeing you here before..." he asks Emi, with a respectful nod to Diablo... "Are you one... of the newly interred, fraulien...?" he says expectantly, expecting some sort of a name. His grin is rather wide, though his eyes are drawn and lifeless... almost a if he isnt even aware of the fact that he appears rather jolly...
One of Senior Diablo's eyes widen as the Major comes out of hiding. He chuckles as he ponders his opinions, and then adds those of his own. After some introductions of course. "Herr Major this is the Goddess Diaduin Emepherea. Emi, The Major. She's decided to join us in our cause against Twisted's Council." After sitting back and letting the two exchange the inevitable plesentries he continues. "Johnny is under my watch at the moment. He's busying himself while I try and decide the perfect task to give to him. He seeks a place to belong, as per always. A shame he'll never accept that he's already in one until it's taken away from him. With any luck it won't come to that." He doesn't seem to want to elaborate anymore on the fate of the maniac, or perhaps he simply doesn't know. Either way, the devil sits back again to watch everyone converse amoungst themselves.
Indeed, the Major cannot have been there long, because his appearance manages to surprise both demon and goddess - the sudden interjection drawing a rapid blink of the eyes and a soft, "Hm?" from she. It speaks volumes of the portly man's stealth; few could go unnoticed in the presence of these two, and it is immediately obvious that he must hold some station. Even without the full extent of her insight, even far from her home dimension, Emepherea is able to read something of the man in the seconds that pass as he speaks.
"A pleasure." Dipping her head as she's introduced, the woman offers a wide, pleasant smile that easily reaches her eyes despite a distant dimming as she considers the wayward maniac's plight. Unexpected or not, this councillor is certainly welcome. To know one's allies is wealth beyond measure. She pays him no more immediate heed, however, amber gaze shifting across to Diablo as further explanation is given in answer to her concern.
Under his watch. It draws the faintest trace of a troubled frown, Emi's brow marred even as she fights to keep her expression neutral at worst. She is aware that Johnny could well be an exploitable weakness; and she is not yet aware of the Major's intentions in this war. War. The very word draws forth a sudden realisation. She hesitates, then nods once more to the prince of the underworld.
"Then, again, I must trust you. I will not strive to contact him so long as you tell me there is no need; but if there is, I must know. You understand, I hope?" And said hope is genuine, shining deep in widened eyes as she maintains an imploring glance... then looks across to the other councillor.
"Major, I apologise for inflicting my personal business upon you. I have barely arrived, and Senior Diablo and I have had much to discuss." She pauses, but does not idle, considering the man before her. If man he is, and no more. "Forgive my presumption but... you put me in mind of battle. Of bloodshed, and war. May I ask, what do you hope to gain from this conflict?"
The Major listens to her calmly, the grin never leaving his features, almost as if he is consistently on the brink of breaking out in small giggles. Her question certainly cuts straight through any pretences he could have set up by this point. However, it is not part of Major's nature to be elusive about his goals... only how he goes about them. After all... that is the true nature of War herself... the end of it is so obvious... "Gain?.... what... do I gain?" ... the question almost left him feeling a little empty. She read much of him in a short time... but why could she not see it? "Bloodshed and conflict, my dear. Sturm und Drang! It is its own reward... the cacophony of the hallowed scream uttered upon death... life spills itself out into the world, the countless value of it laid bare and destroyed... War is its own gain, Emi... you cannot feel this? Its everywhere... the destruction of the enemy... the breaking of everything... burn the world bright and purify it in its own blood... A crystalline perfection of suffering and utter horror..." His eyes are wider now... he seems to be rousing himself into excitement... his grin never changing, but his breaths becoming short... "A war of attrition... wade into battle with hopelessness and death about you... ... why do I want a war? ... With all of these... why ever NOT have one?"
Senior Diablo coughs at the Major's speach, and after a breath shakes his head in an appoligitic maner. "...this is why I generally do the introductions around here myself. Where would we be if people had the wrong impressions based on someone's... excitment?" He smirks at the Major, clearly he ment this more of a joke than an insult. "We each offer diffrent things to the table, and certainly as you can see having someone like Herr Major here saves us from having to concern ourselves over the more trivial matters of conflict - which works well for our highly detail obsessed friend here and his love for the finer points of war. It's all a bit too tedious for my tastes. But I've never made a good general as opposed to a politician either..." He smiles again at this comment. He certainly is a master of double meanings after all.
The measure of a man may be found in his passions. What excites him, what drives him...
In a single speech, the Major lays himself bare for the Diaduin's benefit. Despite her gentle appearance, the youthful shine in eyes that hold an uncanny glimpse into an oceanic soul, she takes it all in without shock or offence. Quiet, considerate, she listens. Then offers a simple nod, lips turning up in a gracious smile. He has shared himself - he has been honest. He has earned some measure of respect.
"On the contrary, Senior Diablo, introductions should not be diplomatic. In some situations, points may be constrained and withheld... perhaps they even /must/ be. But certainly not here. Not between those of us who stand upon the brink of extinction. By account of your own telling, we are at war. Worlds stand to perish. Whether or not I agree with the sentiments expressed..."
She turns to the Major, again inclines her head. "Your honesty is appreciated, and if your abilities strive to match your passion then they must be formidable indeed. Your position on the council must be warranted, indeed. As for me," her smile widens, carrying an edge of good humour, "I strive to bring balance to all things. We may find that we complement each other well, Major."
There is nothing of good or evil in the woman. No sense that she may be keeping back important opinions, or judging the man in any sense other than that expressed. Whether or not that makes her seem trustworthy is an entirely relative matter...
Herr_Major brings himself to calm once more... it seems he has exerted himself a bit too much, but... he seems to care very little for it. The Major is the sort of man whose desires are very obvious... and yet, the obviousness of it has never yet stood in the way of his successes. For him, the practice of war is all that mattered... winning was far less important... he didnt even really care if anyone won. He simply wanted an endless sea of battle. He might even be tempted, at times, to deliberately delay success just to keep the killing and fighting from ending. Of course, for THIS goal, he says nothing of it. Others might suspect him of it, but no reason he should give them the will to act against his wishes by doing so. "You will find I have... a wonderful affinity for your sense of balance, my dear." ... balance in war... the endless stalemate... another glorious and possible outcome. "Please, do call on me for any of your needs... I am sure I will have something... or someone... ready at your disposal." ... which he was likely very sincere about.
Senior Diablo's smile again fades at Emephera's comment about diplomacy. But the Major does a good job of returning it to him. After listening to them both awhile he decides to comment more to himself than anyone. "I must say, I'm surprised we don't have Mr Jordan in our midst today. Normally he's eager to meet any newcomers we have down here. Maybe he's still bitter over last time...?" The thought is lost to himself alone as he already moves onto the next subject. "I don't know what else may need to be said, at least for now. If you wish I'll show you how to get to the Twisted Street without annoucing themselves to it's overseers, or for that matter anyone else you feel the need to speak to. I can take you or bring them to you. We have nothing but time here, after all. I only suggest to you if darkness falls suddenly and you hear the sound of an alarm? It's wise to find shelter rather quickly. Alessa's abominations like to travel in packs..."
Humanity has long been the sea of battle that the Major seeks. At least, when looked at through the right lens. Wars are constant even as bloodshed comes and goes; balance itself is the constant battleground of those who would maintain it. Diablo has made that only too clear. But the minutae of conflict dominate on every level, from the playgrounds of schools to the cluttered desks and filing cabinets of office buildings. The human tide ebbs and flows, bringing with it pain, misery, doubt and strife.
For each of those, however, there is an equal and opposite. There is pleasure, joy, companionship and peace. To suggest that Emi is an optimist by nature would be a misnomer. There is no such feeling; she simply knows that the positive will come to pass so long a she exists. So long as she fights even the tiniest of battles. Others are championed by those with greater aspirations, the merest of mortals filling her role when she is unable. In the realm of Twisted, and the labyrinthine Hells, it is more complex still. Balancing the universe is not so simple as weighing fruit upon a scale.
But this, the entire council must know. For each is an aspect of the formula at work. This /Emi/ knows. And it will give her a measure of comfort will all of them; and likely with any that henceforth follow.
"Of course, Major," she replies easily to the German, noting his choice of words but not drawing undue attention. Deeper explanation will come in time; and the device of war matters not, if it does not threaten the greater whole. "Likewise, though I prefer to work alone, my counsel and my power is at your disposal should you need it. My decision here means that we stand together; through war, through conflict, until whatever resolution may come." Whether or not that be the grasping of his utmost desire.
"Senior Diablo," she turns away again, looking to the Old Nail with a grin cracking her expression, "Is that concern for my safety? I'll bear it in mind. Is there anywhere here you would prefer I not wander, any that I should not disturb?"
"And the same to you, Major. I like to indulge my curiosity. But..." she pauses, glancing between her two new allies, then gives a little shrug of the shoulders. Again, it is a disarmingly girlish gesture.
In Hell there's no day or night, but this fails to stop the citizens from reguarding them as such. So as the false night falls over the things that dwell here the conversations continue long into the night. The details of which are important only to those involved in them. The rest of you can just die and go to hell if you wish to know more...