|Tilting the Balance|
"I do NOT like having my memories taken away. Note to self, set the guy who did it on fire. A lot..." The shadows within the Usual Resturant seem to extend towards the lone table, only to engulf one of the chairs. As the shadows recede, a man whose apperance seems to switch between that of a young boy no older then twelve, and a man no older then thirty. A slight scowl rests upon his face as he faces the demon before him, only to notice the catgirl closeby. "...Samantha..?" The words are spoken, only for the being to shake his head as if that were wrong. Mudled memories and tainted time tells him that the name is wrong, only for him to speak once again. "..No.." Once more the being grumbles and glances towards the Devil. "I should know you as well.. yet.." A slight shake of his head as his apperance starts to settle on the elder, allowing him to focus more clearly. "Now. You asked me here Devil. At least.. I think you did.." Those words leave a bitter taste upon his mouth. It truly seems that he isn't use to some of them..
Tabitha's ears droop when the name of her grandmother is spoken. With a deep blush she shies away from the man, casting her gaze on the floor. Senior Diablo simply chuckles, "Oh but if I could only undo the damage done by time and start over again. My name is Senior Diablo, Caliga Satanas, and I didn't call you. I just arrived when I knew our paths would cross. Just a trick I picked up recently." As Caliga's name is mentioned Tabitha's gaze raises up from the floor once again, her ears perking up in the process. She stares a moment, then looks at Diablo for a confirming nod before starting her prepared speech. "Um.. Uh… on behalf of th' once Great Council of Twisted, Uh-I am ta swear my allegiance to you to fulfill any obligation y-you should require." Senior Diablo chuckles again, "Tabitha Li-Bogard here is currently under my care. I've instructed her to extend her loyalties towards the members of the former Council in hopes that each will continue to carry on their loyalties towards my cause in this new world." He smiles, "A bit confusing I realize, but it's harder to explain than it's worth.
"...Diablo.." The words are familiar, but leaves Caliga grumbling as he can't seem to recall it. He leans back in his chair, snapping his fingers slightly for a skutter. "Root beer." He shoos the mechanical automaton away to fulfill his order as he stares at Tabitha. "Words are powerful things. Be careful of how you run around using them, regardless of what guys with pointy horns tell you." The man leans forward onto the table now, leaning forward as if he were waiting for the demon to explain more on what is going on, however when the words aren't as forthcoming, he takes this time to speak once again himself. "So tell me, if I am a former council member, then why do I not remember it? Why is it that my memories are foggy, and even in the face of someone who knows so much about me, I remember nothing, not even a name."
Senior Diablo nods his head, taking another sip from his wine glass. "Old traditions, old lives. Worlds that are no longer and will not be again. Trust me, it's not a story worth getting into as none of it is real anymore anways." Diablo shakes his head, "I'm being confusing again, I apologize. Recently I was forced to see another reality which has closed it's doors. It's left me a little shaken. What's important is now. Here. This is the world and it's all there was and all there will be. Twisted is celebrating the first year of it's new regeme, closing 72 years of conflicts with the old Council. I took over from the old leader after she lost her mind, I helped free the innocents from Hell, and now I sit upon an open Council where the citizens can decide things for themselves. What more do we need?" The demon smiles, "I need another drink." He taps the side of his glass, which somehow refills itself in the process. "That'll do...
Tabitha stares with all the vividness of a deer facing headlights on an open road. It takes Caliga looking away before she regains herself and starts to speak, but she's cut of as the man continues venting his frustrations. Diablo pats the girl on the hand and shakes his head, telling her to stay silent for now. "Have you do? Nothing. I trust my judgment in any version of reality and I trusted you. Why shouldn't now be any different? I'll also have you know that my appearance does not guide my actions, but if I appeared to you in any other form, would you trust me more when you learned it wasn't my true one? No I appear this way because I trust you. This is an important lesson to learn, and it's part of the reason why I've told Tabitha here to swear her loyalty. She's trying to become better than her family's legacy and a part of doing so is by swearing to serve me. I'm trying to teach her what I can, but first she must find the people I've set out for her. Give her a task if you should have one and she'll follow it. It will make her stronger and it will show people she's more than just her name, much like people needing to learn I'm more than just my appearance.
The words seem to be slightly off to Caliga. Somewhere there is a part of him that seems to scream there is more to what is being said, yet now isn't the time to press. "I see. So you do know me." The words are spoken with apparent annoyance, only for the man to shake his head. "I apologize. This has truly been a lot to take in." Caliga's attention is once more focused upon Tabitha, as he tries to decide how to approach this delicate situation. "Tabitha, you looked as if you had something to say. Go ahead and say what you have on your mind."
Senior Diablo smiles at Tabitha and waves his hand dismissively, "Yes. Go ahead." Tabitha blinks a moment, her mind trying not to focus on the awkwardness she feels about the situation. With a little more confidence she finally speaks again, "Senior Diablo is a well respected member of th' community. His actions have helped many of Twisted's people. One should not disrespect him in sucha way. Th-that bein' said, I do want to be better than my family's past. I only just found out that I was lied ta most of my life, an' Senior Diablo was kind enough to take me in an' help me. If he says I should trust you, then I will. Call on me if ya need anything, Lord Caliga." Senior Diablo raises an eyebrow at that last line and peers back and forth between Caliga and the catgirl. "I think 'Lord' might be laying it on a bit thick, child."
Caliga seems to be slightly stunned at the words the girl speaks, only to grin slightly. "Somehow, I feel that if Diablo were to take offense to my words, he'd say something." He slowly climbs to his feet, watching as the skutter /finally/ returns with his soda. "About time..." The man returns to his seat as he takes his drink, only to sip at it for a moment. "And yes, just Caliga. There is no need for calling me lord. Don't do that. It makes me uncomfortable in a way. Then again, egos are good to stroke at times."
Senior Diablo chuckles again, more so at Tabitha's awkward expression than anything. "…and that is why I'm more open with you than I was with the girl. I think we need your chaos especially with the boy dead." Tabitha blinks and stares across the table trying to figure out what's being talked about suddenly. Senior Diablo simply ignores the catgirl. "Which boy, I cannot say. But I know a part of you understands, and that's all that matters. We need to keep the people happy, and keep the people from becoming bored, stagnant. You understand, I'm sure.
The words that Diablo speaks seem to strike a resonance somewhere within Caliga, almost as if it were to say that one of the keys to restoring what /he/ has lost is now gone. "..He's dead.. Well now." A slight flicker of ki springs to life upon the mans hand. The ki vanishes, only as if to reconfirm things. "I see." A slight sigh escapes Caliga's mouth as he sips his soda. "Chaos is a lot to ask for. Order needs chaos to thrive, just like good needs evil. Balance is important.. That is what you believe above all else, right?"
Senior Diablo smiles as he takes another sip from his wine glass. "Balance is always the most important thing, and things have been quiet as of late." The demon starts motioning around the room below the balcony with his glass. "It's funny how balance works in a place like this. When people start avoiding each other the entire population seems to fade away, but once people start conversing people start appearing as if from the air itself. I think this is why an open Council is a much better idea than a closed one. Keeps things in a position to balance itself." The demon sits the glass down and leans towards Caliga, "But someone has to be around to keep people from being complacent. That's what I expect of my personal council.
Mei slinks through the door, chasing some variety of exotic reptilian bird like creature,toe claws clicking as she moves, fingers grabbing the small creature to shove it in a jar. "Sstay." she issues, tapping her finger claw on the jar before tucking it into her hip pack. Her eyes blink at people being in the UR, cheeks going bright green for a moment before she sort of quietly skitters towards the bar to order a mug of tea, long 'hair' swishing behind her. Her eye focuses on whoever is nearest, often drifting between anyone present in the room, warm mug rubbed against her nose.
"Heh. It seems like I've been in this position before. No matter. There are things here that pique my intrest. I'll help.. where I can. Yet it will always be on my own terms." Caliga extends his right hand, letting the feather he was holding earlier drop, only for it to coil around his wrist like a bracelet. The reaction of it surprises the man, who only glances at Diablo. "Eventually, the truth will come forth, and I'm rather sure that we will have to deal with its ramifacations someday.. For now.."
Tabitha's eyes lock over the railing at the person who's come in from outside. With one eyebrow raised and the opposite ear folded she glances back at Diablo in a moment of awe and then goes back to watching. She'd always known he had a knack for ironies but that's impressive. Senior Diablo shakes his head slowly, "The truth isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Trust me, I know that better than anyone." He glances at Tabitha and grins at her reaction. He may have called it, but he didn't cause it. Not that he'll ever tell her one way or another. "I do believe it's getting about time I prepare to head out. Shall I have Tabitha remain in your care for the time being, or send her on her way?
"Its fine. I'll seek out Tabitha when I'm ready. Right now, I'm getting the distinct feeling that I should be somewhere else. That is of course, unless you wish to accompany me Tabitha." The shadows within the Usual Resturant start to creep forward, as if they were obeying one of their many masters, only to slowly rise up behind the man's chair. "I am Alpha and Omega. The beginning and the end. I am that which is, which was, and is yet to come. Somehow.. I think that is a bit appropriate here." Caliga rises up and extends his hand towards the catgirl, as if he were waiting on her to make her choice. "Its solely up to you."
Of course, one can't have a meeting of sinister minds without a certain someone being either involved or at least showing up to make a scene, right? Well once more that holds true as one Lina Inverse hits the door with both hands, throwing it wide before stepping through. She allows herself to be framed there for as long as it takes for the door to bang shut again, then takes a look around at the cheerful occupants. Before the staff starts scrambling she declares, "I already ate!" Then what's she doing here!? Even she's not sure, but... Strange clientelle so far. Frown. "At least nobody's a fish."
Mei squints at Tabitha as best she can with one eye, making a series of bird song like chirps, her hands smoothing over her jewelry before drinking her tea. It is quite obvious that Lina has startled the gorgon, causing hair to rise and just a bit of blue venom to dribble down her lip, weight scrambling to stand on a bench, clawwed feet wrapping the edge, a few items taken out of her bag and stowed up in her hair by the ever moving, now frilled out coils of serpents. Pastries? Yes. She's hiding pastries in her hair.
With a clear look of nervousness on Tabitha's face, Diablo speaks for her once again, "She's still got a list of names to find. If you don't have need for her now she needs to find them in the meantime." Pondering that a moment he looks towards her and asks, "You did swear loyalty to De-" His words are drowned out by Lina's entrance. Shooting her a brief scowl, the demon finishes his glass and lets it fall into the ether he plucked it from. "Perhaps another time…" Tabitha leans over the railing at the newest person to enter the bar, feeling a brief sensation of being watched in the process. To no one in particular she waves and then buries her gaze back down at the tabletop in embarrassment. Senior Diablo stands, bowing slightly at Caliga. "Another day, then. Good luck in your endeavors.
"Very well." A low bow comes from Caliga as the shadows start to envelop him. "It seems that here on this plane of existence, this is more of a comfortable way to travel.. Curious." Once the shadows evenlop him entirely, the recede once again, leaving behind a half-full glass of rootbeer. Of course, Tabitha has not seen the last of this man, and the nervousness may well be truly well deserved..
Throwing her arms across one another against her chest, Lina really frowns at all the special effects, weird reactions and dirty looks she gets upon entering. "I haven't even done anything yet!" Yet. "Now everyone's looking at me like I just flattened the whole town!" And probably because she's practically yelling out her complaints in the middle of a public place, but~ Whatever. Hrmph. She storms over and takes a seat, somewhat warily regarding the... others. Weirdos.
Mei's face turns green "S-sorry Miss!" she comments towards Tabitha, those sss sounds drawn out and heavy, tongue sort of clucking as she tries to get her venom under control, her weight shifting as she rubs her side, her weight skitters down, distracted by a small motion, causing her head to shake, fingers moving into her scalp to remove a golden butterfly hair comb, which she moves foreward to set on the table infront of Tabitha, offering a genuine and warm smile. "I apologize for staring at you." she whispers, bowing her head politely, the motion quick enough to cause a THUNK when one of her serpents hits the table, causing it to bind around her bicep as he peers at Lina, sort of blatantly just casting a stare that way, long ears perking out of serpents to radar dish around.
While Tabitha's ears twitch at Mei's words, her attention is still focused at the table she sits at the the disappearing people she was sent to meet. Caliga's exit leaves her with that haunting déjà vu feeling for reasons the girl can't understand. Senior Diablo claps his hands briefly. "Well, that was exciting and you're one step closer to your goal. I'm going back to working out this Medical Mechanica business. Let me know if you make anymore progress." In much the same way he arrived, Diablo sort of vanishes leaving a slight impression of smoke in the air. Maybe it really is all smoke and mirrors for him. Tabitha sighs as she pushes the chairs into the table and starts to make her way down from the balcony towards the normal part of the restaurant, pausing briefly to get a closer look at the two newcomers, before heading outside again. She has orders to follow after all.
Lina just came here to sit! That's alllll she wanted to do was come in, maybe put her feet up, not think about anything at all for just a little bit... And now just about everyone is leaving! Mr. Shadows and Darkness took off, the typically demonic-looking individual left in a literal puff and now there's just- Glance. That's when she notices Mei staring and, rather than blow up and scream she just gets a little creeped out. Ugh, what the-
Mei gets a mug from the bar, thoughtfully having it filled with hot cocoa before setting it infront of Lina "It is cold, drink?". She taps her chin thoughtfully, circling a little bit. "Have we met?" she asks, sitting down near Lina, tapping her tea cheerfully as she takes her tea cup up to her lips, taking small lady like sips.
Lina ah! Here she comes! She feel feels in her cloakpockets sort of franticly as she searches for something to look busy with... Then Mei's right there, holding a cup of, what, cocoa? "Huh? Wait, uh... Thanks, I guess." She doesn't go for it just yet but instead decides to watch this strange person as she's circled like that. It's enough to raise her hackles a tiny bit but she puts up with it for now, "I'm pretty sure I'd remember someone like you if we'd met before." Yeah, for sure. "Maybe you've just seen, uh... Well, not -wanted- posters but uh..."
Mei smiles "No, maybe I caught a glimpse of you at some point. She takes a marshmallow out of her hair to slam it on the table, taking one for herself after a moment to pop the fist sized confection in her mouth and chew. "Are you implying I look weird? I assure you, I'm perfectly normal looking albiet a bit short!" she insists, ears turning green as she puffs her cheeks a little.
Lina rolls her eyes up and around, pretending not to notice the marshmallow being fetched from Mei's uh, hair. "Weird? Maybe not, uh, -weird- but..." Yeah, she obviously meant what she said. But. Anyway, she grabs the mug and starts slamming cocoa to keep her from saying anything too damning with Mei this close. Alas, there isn't enough to keep her that occupied so she eventually sets the finished mug down and waves a hand, "So do you just... Keep things in your hair?"
Mei frowns a bit, nose wiggling before her tongue flickers out. "Yes. they guard them well enough. Only a moron would grab for things in there." she comments, lazily. She rubs her cheek, taking another small sip of tea. "Or someone very familiar with me." she mumbles, letting her serpents curl along her shoulders, setting her tea down to gently run her claws along the slinky beasts, her nose rubbing into the scales. "Does my appearance scare you?"
Lina glances up to see the tongue flicking thing and grimaces a little, "Ah, well, yeah... I wouldn't stick my hand up there for anything! No offense, just, having snakes for hair is pretty weird." She taptaps at the lip of her mug and then actually laughs a little, "Scare me? No, not really. I've seen plenty of crap that would turn you white! Honestly, I know a guy that's alot weirder looking than you. He's pretty normal other than the fact he's a major wet blanket. Lots of gloom, all that.
Mei blinks "Why would I want to go white? My tan makes me quite lovely.." she comments. "There are many things I have seen I would rather have not have seen but life goes on." she offers with a giggle, "I could have hair, if I twitched over to my more elvish form, but I prefer being as I am." she comments, taking her cup to rub her nose against the warmth.
Lina waves a hand, "No, no. I meant that it would -make- you turn white. I've been through that, uh... Well, let's just say it takes a few weeks for the color to return to your hair and leave it at that!" Pause, "What are you doing to that cup? Shouldn't you just use a napkin?" Total deadpan serious.
Mei blinks a bit "Oh my hair is beginning to turn gray around the temples anyways, when I have hair." she murmurs thoughtfully. "Oh no no! My nose is cold!" she murmurs "Not runny nose." she offers, laughing softly. She takes a green silk hankercheif out of a pouch to hold up, pink flowers embroidered on it. "I have a tissue if that was your concern."
Lina lifts her brows, "So anyway, you can choose to have snakes in your hair instead of just... hair? And you do." Seems she correctly determined that Mei is indeed weird. "Ah, well, I'm kinda off my game today. I guess I'm just assuming the worst of everyone today, too." Safe bet, one might think. She glances around a moment, spots a clock and frowns a little. "Well anyway, I should probably scram before something happens. It's late anyway! Oh, and thanks for the... stuff." She gestures at the mug vaguely, apparently not sure what to call it, then stands.
Mei blinks. "I'm partially gorgon, is it so odd that I choose to be as I should be?" she offers, her nose wiggles as she smiles "Be safe, and healthy. If you have any injuries, or need a potion or charm, come to me. I'm very skilled." she murmurs, extending her hand politely for a handshake.
Lina says, "Well, if you're part... Whatever... Then fine. Just my experience that people that stand out like this tend to not be so thrilled about it. Long as you're fine with it and as long as your 'do doesn't bite, I'm fine with it too." She takes the offered hand, "I'm Lina, anyway. Look me up if you need..." How to put it... "Problems solved!" Messily. "Anyway!" She releases the shake, offers a wave and ambles toward the door with a grimace. What's up with her, anyway?"
Mei waves. "Bye, have safe travels." she offers, bowing her head, her fingers move through her hair, taking one of he viper heads up to gently smooch. She seems entirely happy with her appearance. She digs, putting two coins on the table and taking small delicate steps towards the door herself, intending to head back to her grotto.