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Although the imprisoned Xenos has shown signs of no longer being a mindless, blood thirsty beast, its understandable that it is still highly mistrusted by everyone within TASK and with good reason. The director, Kotal Kahn, has seen fit to let the creature roam the confined spaces of the Kourtyard. It proves more freedom that the holding cells but is still heavily guarded and nigh impossible to escape. Furthermore, Huitzilopotchli has summoned all his chosen warriors to this juncture. Ermac and D'vorah float to the sides, whilst Erron Black, Reptile and Ferra/Torr stand by at the ready to oversee the next raining phase of the Xeno. With them is also a whole regiment of TASK officers that stand ready to shoot the creature down if it does so much as do a wrong movement.
For now, Kotal stands inside the kourtyard where the Xeno lays. It is surprisingly not attacking anyone for now, the Xeno seems content simply running in circles and stretching its legs. Acting not unlike a dog that's been leashed for too long.
Silencia stands next to her beloved warrior as she watches the Xeno run around. She leans against him, reassured by his presence. Even though the priestess was no longer afraid of the pitch black monster, a part of her was still uncomfortable around it. She watches it run around for a bit longer until she finally detaches herself from her lover's side. She walks over to the Xeno, feeling the tense stares in her back from the many officers around. The discomfort and fear fade from the priestess with every step and once she reaches the Xeno, she looks like she holds no fear at all. She carefully reaches out and touches it's smooth head, getting it's attention. She truly wasn't scared, she couldn't be. All these warriors and officers around, ready to kill this beast if it even looked at her funny, there was no need to be afraid. Forget all that, the mere presence of Kotal was enough to keep her calm and protected. Her voice is calm as she speaks. "You seem a lot better than before. Even without a Queen, you seem well enough."
Kotal stands ever as a pillar of support. Though his eyes are fixated upon the black as night beast, his strong arm slides around the frame of his beautiful fairy wife and holds her close to him. She need not fear from harm or danger whilst he and his warriors are here, for as long as they exist, each and every one of them would gladly lay their life for the sake of the butterfly. As the fairy moves towards the creature, Kotal releases her with some reluctance and turns his gaze towards D'vorah giving the bee lady a nod. It shall be her who accompanies Silencia to this mission.
D'vorah's wasp like wings take her towards the butterfly fairy and she stands next to her, walking towards the Xeno. "This one is with you, my lady." Says the ki'tyin warrior just before reaching the alien.
The Xeno seems acquainted enough with Silencia that it allows her to touch it. The creature stops and sits on its hind legs in a dog like fashion, scorpion like tails swashing behind it. The creature lowers its head and seems hiss like a snake when Silencia passes a soft hand across its smooth head, a hiss of pleasure perhaps?
It hisses again and gazes up at the girl.
"Ah, it speaks." D'vorah says apparently understanding what the Xeno is saying. "A variation of ant it seems. This one will interpret." She clears her throat.
"The queen is no more and this one is free. This one has never experienced such freedom. It is strange, this one fears it. Does not know what to do. Where shall this one find a new Queen? Where shall this one find a new Hive?"
"Where shall this one find purpose?"
Silencia is glad that D'vorah is by her side to interpret the hissing of the Xeno. The priestess even manages to smile as the Xeno seems to enjoy her touch. It was kind of cute... if you looked past the horrifying appearance. It's words make her raise and eyebrow and she chuckles lightly. "Just because it is strange and unfamiliar does not mean that you should fear it. Like I said before, we will give you a purpose and peace. But it won't be like what you had with the Hive." Silencia smiles and dares to pet the Xeno even more. "You will have your own mind and will. You will fight along and protect the people you attacked before." Her expression turns serious as she speaks, the girl stopping the petting to make sure the Xeno is listening. "Will you be able to do that? Even if other creatures that seem like your Queen might appear one day and tell you to kill us, will you be able to resist and protect instead?"
D'vorah glances at Silencia and then turns her gaze towards the Xeno. She lowers her hood and her antenna flick out from her skull, wiggling a bit as she begins to interpret what Silencia is saying to the Xeno.
The Alien in question tilts its head this way and the other, staring at the butterfly girl with that eyeless gaze. Its jaw slack a little as it even seems like its thinking, or perhaps internally debating what Silencia means by that. Regardless, its clear the Alien is paying close attention to Silencia now that she's no longer offering pets.
"Its is scary. This one does not like the freedom." D'vorah speaks as she continues to interpret for the Alien. "It wishes to have a Hive once more, a Queen. Being alone feels cold and lost. This one wishes for the warmth of the Brood."
The alien offers a louder hissing that comes from the throat, implying that whatever its saying bears a lot of meaning behind it. "Once this one has chosen a Queen, its devotion is undying. This one will fight and die for the Hive. There is nothing that could ever dissuade it from not serving the Queen."
"Even if another Queen were to appear, this Hive has proven strong. This one wishes to be part of such a strong Brood. Let this one join your Hive. Let this one prove itself as a strong warrior."
"This one shall fight and kill and bring many prisoners for the Queen so that your Brood may expand."
Silencia seems to be a bit disappointed at the initial words of the Xeno. But then he (or D'vorah, actually) continues it's words and the Fae seems surprised when the Xeno mentions 'her' Hive. Even her wings perked up behind her to show that surprise. Silencia glances over her shoulder at Kotal. Had she presented herself as a Queen? She isn't sure how she feels about this. Her initial instinct is to deny everything and to tell the Xeno that she is not the Queen. But she stops herself on time. The look in her eyes hardens before she speaks, the Fae strengthening her resolve. "First of all, I do not wish you to kill. A strong warrior is not one that is able to kill, it is one that can resolve the situation without needing to kill. If the objective was to kill, you wouldn't be standing here talking to me right now." Silencia sighs and takes a step back, her expression one of careful calmth. "I... need a moment to think." With that she turns and walks back to Kotal. The way her wings drop, the way she is careful to keep her expression calm. The ones who know her well can tell that Sil is not in a good place right now.
Minu and the pups had been spending some time training themselves today, once again building a working understanding of how the two or four beings could work together in a battle situation. This moment finds Minu in her full TASK uniform, for a change, perfectly fit to her small form and she is, of all crazy things, sitting astride the back of the great young cerberus. The elf's hair is tightly braided and wound like a coronet around her head. Her glasses as always perched on her nose. She has her basket snugged against her belly , between her arms, one of which is very gently holding onto Jackson's collar. Minu is sitting on a thick leather pad that has been formed to fit the withers of the great hound and straps band across their chest across the front and one under their belly. As the great hound moves down the corridor toward the courtyard the elf's voice can be heard calling "Door!" no question to the command in that tone. "Alright pups, lets pick up the pace and see how well I am able to keep my seat." she says to the pups softly.
When your dog is larger than a miniature horse, you get some crazy ideas, this one, with the pups as a mount, being the most recent. The new gear is strange to the Cerberus, but easily could get used to given enough time. The handles have not been changed still so the knob is still as of yet inaccesable for the brothers to open. A large looking Sangheili, clad in the standard TASK uniform, jogs over to the door and opens it, allowing Minu and the three through. As they move through, buster does the pleasantries for the group, considering he is the least focused of them. "Thanks Mravo." The officer nods, closing the door behind them and strolling back to his post. As to Minu's wishes, they start going into what would be akin to a trot around the edge of the courtyard, avoiding trees and bushes as necessary. They spot Silencia, as well as D'vorah chatting it up with the captured Xenomorph. Which of course distracts all three of them, and they slow and turn towards the three of them. They don't say anything, but the three sort of continue staring at the scene before them in curiosity.
D'vorah interprets with her antenna again and the Xeno bows its head, retreating for a moment and saying nothing. Though a warrior it seems more animal than anything else and simply sits there on its hind legs with its tail swishing about. The closest that the simple minded creature can get to a sort of meditation while it awaits judgment.
D'vorah follows along with Silencia and Kotal awaits her return with muscled arms crossed. His eyes narrow as he sees the girl's body movement. Indeed, it appears that whatever the Xenomorph said perturbed the girl a lot. "What is it, my butterfly? What did it say to you?" Asks the Aztec.
Meanwhile, Erron Black steps aside to let the Trio and their elven rider stride into the Kourtyard. The cowboy tips his had and greets them simply. "Ma'am. Boys. Glad y'all could make it to the party."
Silencia simply rests her forehead against Kotal's chest, needing to sort through her own thoughts before speaking. Her voice is low, not loud enough for the officers nearby to hear. "It... seems ready to work with us... Though it thinks we're a hive." Silencia sighs and smiles awkwardly. "I'm still a bit uncomfortable with it, to be honest. But it does seem like it's ready to align itself with us. He still feels the need for a Queen though, so maybe you should step up and be it's King instead, Kotal..." Yep, that's her solution. Let Kotal be the King, so that she doesn't have to be a Queen, right? Silencia would not dare admit it, but she's being rather cowardly at the moment. Silencia is a bit too distracted to notice the arrival of her beloved Minu and the puppies.
The only problem with having a mount that can think for itself is that is can think for itself and get distracted from the job at hand. Minu had nodded politely at Black as they came into the court yard. Being mounted on the pup's back she had already spotted Kotal and the others. She was also already aware of the xeno in their midst. When the pup's falter she gives them a gentle squeeze with her knees. "Its just the xeno that Silencia is trying to train to work with us, don't let strange things distract you when we are working like this. Your job is move us and guard and my job is be the look out and plan our attacks. Now forward, heads up, no skulking pups, remember half the way to impress the opposition is to appear impressive."
"Yeah erm sorry, took us by surprise." Jackson apologizes. Rex gives his thought as well, "Besides... it's sorta cool when it's not destroying stuff... in a sorta creepy way." they take their eyes off of it to get back to work, starting another lap around the courtyard at a trot, quickening up but not going full speed. Jackson takes stock of the situation as per usual, "how is it back there? Are you staying on alright?" Buster muses over Minu's advice. "Look impressive, please, I am always impressive... when am I not?" a rhetorical question, but knowing Minu she will probably have an answer.
Kotal greets his beloved butterfly with open arms. He rests his hand upon the upper back whilst she presses her forehead on his ample chest. The Eagle Knight looks down at Silencia's scalp and hears her whispers which make him draw pause to think.
He would of course have no qualms about being this creature's King. Leadership is something that comes very easily to him as he had demonstrated time and time again. But he is also very wary of taking too much power, for he has seen what it does to other people. He has seen it corrupt the hearts and minds of gods even greater than he. It is not a decision that he would take lightly.
The Aztec glances back and spots his owl astride her Cerberus mount and he beckons for them to join him. It is a decision that must be discussed with the whole family thinks he.
Meanwhile, the Xeno still sits there and watches, though it seems to be paying specially close attention to the Cerberus.
Silencia looks up at Kotal when she feels him move to beckon someone. She follows his gaze and notices Minu sitting atop the puppies. Despite her inner conflict about the Xeno, Silencia smiles wholeheartedly when she sees the adorable elf. "Minu! Hello..." The presence of her two loves is a powerful thing that does allow her to calm even when she's troubled. The puppies get a welcoming pet from the Fae. "You all look ready to ride off into battle!"
Minu gives Jackson a pat on the neck then takes gentle hold of his collar again as the pups start up again, and pick up pace as they trot the circle of the courtyard. The elf had done some basic book study on riding horses and had learned in theory how to keep herself from bouncing too much on the pups back. Of course a dogs gate is not a horses gate and the feet fall a little different so there is a slight learning curve. She looks thoughtful at Jackson's question "I am doing well pup, I think I am getting the feel for your gate. How are you feeling with me back her? Not to much pressure in one place on your back? Is the leather padding enough to keep you from getting rubbed wrong by me?" At Busters comment the elf snorts "oh yeah? How about when there is a great strand of drool stringing off your muzzle as you snore? Not so impressive then Buster pup." Minu has spent enough time in small owl form that she has developed a sense for when things are watching her too close and though its not HER being watched exactly, the cerberus and elf at this point are one and so she turns her head and gives the xeno a hard look as she gives the pups a squeeze of her knees "forward pups, Kotal wishes to speak to us."
Jackson is left to assess Minu's question while the other two focus on where they are going. "so far so good, the straps keeping that pad on feels a bit strange but I think that's only because it's new. Otherwise not bad." If one were watching it does seem they are slightly burdened by the new weight and not going as fast as one might assume for 50% on a dog this size, but that is why they are training. "Hey!" buster retorts to Minu's awnser "you know I have slight sinus issues alright..." he trails off looking as if he were going to continue but then he notices that xenomorph is paying quite close attention to them. "Guys... its ummm... its sorta watching us..." Jackson is still paying more attention to their rider than the surroundings. "Roger, at the tree. Turn, and now!" as they make a wide turn around one of the trees to head back towards the others. Rex looks happily toward sil as she notices them. "yeah, that's the plan!"
Huitzilopotchli smiles at the impressive sight of Minu riding the Cerberus. Indeed, as Silencia just stated, they do look like they are ready for war, which of course amuses the warrior god to no end. "Very impressive indeed, my owl. All you need now is a sturdy lance and perhaps some armor."
Kotal's smile fades as he prepares himself to bring up the Xeno again. Particularly more worrying when he too notices that said Xeno is paying a disturbing amount of attention to the pups. Though it has no eyes to speak of, its clear that the creature is staring right at the Cerberus. Its jaw slightly slacked with some acidic drool dripping from the side of its snout.
"We have news of the Xeno." Kotal says at least. "It wishes for a new leader, a Queen it says. According to Silencia, it is prepared to fight for us provided it can now call us its new Hive."
"However, I am wary of presenting myself as its new leader. I already have so many warriors at my disposal, another might feel as an excess."
"Who amongst you would want to take this coup?"
Silencia happily gives the sweet Rex some scritches behind the ear as they approach. Minu gets a soft kiss on the cheek and a happy little smile. Kotal's words make Silencia grin at the warrior. "Who needs armor when we have you around, Kotal?" As she looks up, she finally notices the odd looks the Xeno gives to the Cerberus and her elf . She did not like that. She tilts her head and stares back at the Xeno, her wings spread behind her, making her appear larger than she is. She steps out from beside Kotal and joins Minu's side instead, wordlessly showing that she and the puppies belong with her, with the 'hive'. She glances at the Xeno with an eyebrow raised, trying to see if there will be some kind of reaction. Again Silencia shows no hesitation or cowardice when it comes to others, even if she's a giant coward when it comes to herself. Silencia returns her attention to the War God as he speakd. Kotal's words make Silencia hesitate. She really doesn't want to become Queen to the beast that had actually tried to kill her before (heck, that's how they managed to capture him!), but she also didn't want to drop that on Minu. She peeks between the little elf and the warrior, feeling torn between her urge to protect and her cowardice.
Minu smiles as the pups bring her with in touch distance of Sil and Kotal. When Sil comes to her and kisses her cheek, the elf leans in to nuzzle and greet the lovely fae. She offers Jackson a pat and nods at Busters words. "its looking pup but all will be fine." She smiles and her attention moves to Kotal. The elf frowns and gently intones "Beloved Sun of my life, I hate to be the barer of unpleasant truths but most insects that hive do not recognize males as anything but breeding stock for the queen. I believe it will need to be a female to lead the beast. I don't think someone with out insect traits is going to be able to do lead it either." As Sil moves between her and the and the xeno, it would seem Sil has chosen to take the place of the the beasts queen.
The brothers, once Minu gets off, slump down to laying on the floor and start panting lightly, tongues out. They seem quite pleased with their progress. Buster mentions his feelings on the subject. "I don't know about this thing, I mean... sure it might be usefull but... the citizens still think of every one of these things as evil..." the other two nod. "My brother is correct." Jackson agrees "without escort the creature wil be hunted down like the rest, and even with other TASK officers I hesitate to say that the morale of having this around the city may be detrimental. Quite a few lives have been lost at the hands of its bretheren, public opinion may be something you wish to think about."
Huitzilopotchli smiles softly as Silencia suggests that none of them need armor when he is around. He leans down close to the butterfly girl and kisses her scalp gently and lovingly. "Perhaps so." He chuckles. "But as we have learned I am not always present to defend you. Hence why I had that dwarf make you some armor."
It does appear that the Xeno reacts to Silencia exchanging kisses and affections with Minu, the pups and Kotal, it raises its tail and begins to wiggle about somewhat excitedly. Something about those exchanges seems to be pleasing to the creature. Perhaps because it recognizes it as the kinship of the Hive. It wants to have that again.
"So.. no one will bear this then." Kotal says at last when Minu points out that some logistical facts about insects and their queens, whilst the pups say they are still very hesitant about the Xeno joining the TASK ranks at all.
"As I told Rayne, the public already believes us to be naught but warmongers." Answers Kotal to the pups. "We must show them that this is not so."
Like Minu, Kotal does not wish to place this heavy burden of taking care of the Xeno to Silencia and thus begins to walk forward to the Xeno.
"Emperor." D'vorah interjects. "Perhaps this one can.."
Kotal shakes his head though. "Not just yet, D'vorah." It seems the Aztec is not yet ready to trust D'vorah with a minion of her own.
Once the war god approaches the sitting alien, the Xeno looks up with expectation, awaiting an answer.
"I shall be your leader." Offers Kotal in his usual commanding voice.
The Alien hisses and D'vorah moves forward to interpret. "You shall be this one's Queen?" She says much to Kotal's chagrin. It looks like Minu was right, this insect can't fathom having a leader that isn't a female, but it doesn't look like it can actually recognize genders.
"Yes." Kotal says with a bit of an eyebrow twitch. "I shall be."
Then the Xeno's tail begins wiggling like a happy puppy and kowtows to Kotal, touching his feet with its forehead.
"My Queen, this one shall serve you." Interprets D'vorah a bit of a twitch.
Behind Minu, Silencia and the pups, Erron and Reptile are clearly snickering, as are some TASK officers.. including the sangheili.
Silencia smiles weakly at Kotal as he determines that both Sil and Minu aren't exactly keen on taking the leadership over the Xeno. Minu's words had caused Silencia to tense up a little, was there really no way for her to escape this ordeal? Luckily, Kotal takes the role of Queen upon himself, the Fae relaxing as the Xeno submits to the War God. Silencia places her hand on D'vorah's shoulder as her suggestion is rejected before she can even finish. A reassuring smile dances on her lips as she tries to console the bee lady. "Aren't you my lady in waiting, sweety?" She too cannot help but giggle at the War God being called a Queen, the priestess not even trying to hide her amusement. Yup, she feels a lot better now that the task of leadership over the Xeno is passed to Kotal!
As Kotal chooses to offer himself to the xeno, the little elf arches a brow. An incredulous look crosses her features when the xeno grovels to the war god and accepts him as "queen". Minu looks away and snorts, trying not to out right laugh at the situation. "well it would seem that you have yet another minion, Sun of my life." She pats the pups and shifts her basket in her grasp. She looks at Sil and her handling of Devora. Its very kind as always and the little elf smiles. "I think things are well in hand here. Pups, let me take the pad off you and you can roam as you wish. I am going to head back up to my lab and work on some things." The elf is bonded with her loves and she is glad to see them doing well with their places in TASK. She has her own job to do though and its a little less flashy , a little more behind the scenes and its good that way.