|History, the Dead, and the Blind|
That doesn't stop some people.
What might be paper pages are turned with lengthy pauses between them while a dark figure stands near. A particular tombstone shaped roughly like a lectern serves the duty of holding the book, rather conveniently, although the deceased to whom the plot belongs may not exactly care for the arguably disrespectful usage. "Hmm. Chants, inscriptions. Gus-ur lugal kur-kur-ra ab-ba digir-digir-re-ne-ke. They really held you highly, Gus-ur."
Foster always said there'd be days like this. Nights. Whatever. Lucas Korbin hasn't really been very good at telling time since, well, the incident. The point is, Foster said. And he was right.
"Eesh. Y'all really need to get better security. Can't even catch a blind guy, y'know." With a sigh, the bearded man slips his own hood back over his head and heads deeper into the cemetary, having lost the security guard somewhere near the gates. And this being Twisted, no security guard gets paid enough to patrol the rest of the cemetary at night.
As Mr. Korbin passes among the gravestones, he runs his hands over their text, taking the time to feel the names carved upon them where he can, and to sigh when the names are embossed or otherwise out of reach of his senses.
It isn't long before the young mutant has passed deeper into the cemetery, heading inevitably towards his favorite ill-advised climbing spot, the tree of life. At least, that's what he calls it. In truth, he has no idea what significance if any the tree has. The figure reading chants from a book seems a lot less vague in purpose, however. Without a thought for his own safety, Lucas strides over towards the figure, blind eyes unseeing but somehow still facing roughly the right direction. It'll take him a few moments to reach the obscured figure.
More page flipping ensues, although with rapid succession. Annoyance colors the individual's voice as he speaks -- to himself, one might assume, along with a sense of gender -- concerning the contents of the pages being examined. "Lots and lots of rhetoric, Ivo. Perhaps I shouldn't expect more of a zealotous cultist." A fingertip traces along lines of cuneiform text. "Inim si-sa-ni-ta. An easy thing, to be certain, but there's something you aren't telling me."
The hunched-forward figure straightens a bit as a single ear moves to listen in around him. Has that security guard decided to investigate after all? No. No. Couldn't be.
Moving ears. Don't see that every-- strike that, you actually do see that every day now, Lucas. Well, it's still a bit unusual on a humanoid. And he's reading... hmm. Lucas doesn't know the language, but it sounds vaguely familiar. Earth-ish.
"Y'know," he begins as he approaches the dark figure, eyes very pointedly not adjusting to the dark or to anything else, "I've got t'be honest. Ain't ever credited anyone reading creepy ancient languages over a graveyard with an abundance o'sense." The young man scratches at his side through the fabric of his hoodie, then stuffs his hands deep into the front pockets of the sweatshirt.
"No offense intended or what have ya." Oh goodie. Intelligent conversation. Joy of joys.
"Ironically enough, the same could be said about random passers-by approaching people reading creepy ancient languages in graveyards." There's a sniff of the air that follows as a ribbon is carefully placed and the book is shut. It has no title on the front cover or spine. It's also very old yet in surprisingly good condition, although it has an aging paper smell. "All the more fortunate for you, then, to not be here randomly."
Finally, at such length, the demi-human turns to look partially over his shoulder at what there is to see. His posture does not reflect the stereotype in jest, though. This being holds himself exactly as if he belongs rather than some sneaky sense of stealthy gothic poetry reading where nobody can hear. A couple seconds are spent simply observing.
"Guess ya got me there." The young man laughs when he's called out for being a stereotype himself, and offers a non-committal shrug. "Though I'm here most days, you're new by my way o'reckoning." It is not day. Lucas sniffs after saying this and pointedly appears to peer at the book, though his glass-blue eyes seem unfocused and, well, less than functional.
"Usually try not t'pry, but is that one of them... necro... omnom..cons? I dunno much 'bout em. Not my area. Just curious. If'n there's gonna be zombies or somethin', I might hafta get to some higher ground." Lucas swivels his head to face off towards the giant tree in the distance once again. He could probably make it pretty quick if he had to book it. Maybe not if he has to go through the ... cat? Well, at least this one looks like a cat person, instead of a girl what exchanged her ears with a cat's.
"This is not the Kitab al-Azif. I'm fairly certain that this realm's Watcher has an idea of where the Kitab al-Azif is located and keeps a close eye on it. That means it's probably in the Red Light District." A single hand is placed atop the book. While gentle and barely touching the tome in this gesture, there is an unmistakable sense of possessiveness displayed in it. "This is merely a book about history, ideological beliefs, sociopolitical discourse, and deific praise through the manipulation of the dead to provide power manifest."
The sharp-dressed cat person shakes his head. "The location is mostly coincidental. It provides a contained environment away from the general population-" A glance downward is given before lifting his gaze and adding, "-of the living." The stare given, although not something that can be seen, can be felt. While he does not verbally say as much, the hooded man's habits so admitted only back up the cat man's words that the visit is anything but random, yet that detail might completely slip by.
"Am I in your way?"
"The Kitkat... no.. Kebab... gah. The what? You sayin the Omnomcon is Arabic? Huh. Learn something new every day." Lucas cricks his neck, and listens to the feline fellow describe the contents of his book. History, ideological beliefs, sociopoliticzzzzz...
Sounds pretty boring. "...Wait, sounded all mundane until that last part." He makes a face and steps off to one side so that he can cleanly walk to the tree uninterrupted if need be, and then gives a bit of a sigh.
"Look, if you're going t'summon hordes of the gibbering dead or something, you have to tell me first so I can get a head start. S'in the rules, I'm pretty sure." It probably isn't.
"It entirely depends on the world you come from, but for most that come from the planet Terra, with one satellite named Luna, and a singular star named Sol, the heart of civilization was formed in the Euroafrican pan-continent. When you're dealing with beliefs and deities, as of the dating of this book at being born eight thousand years prior to its penning, that rival other figures such as a god named Tiamat, then, yes, most anything from those worlds that old comes from that area."
Feline-like fingertips run over the book's cover slowly as if to feel the nuance of its texturing. The cat person does not move, nor does he reopen the book, as if solely to allow the man a chance to cross by to reach his destination. Only then is the book reopened to where the marker shows was the point of last examination. "This is not a spellbook. It is a repository of knowledge. Still, it might be possible to wrest one of the dead from their current place, if you remain so intent on the matter, if just to show that it would not result in a 'zombie'."
"That right? Ok, then." Lucas shrugs, and starts trudging past the cat-storian. As he passes, he apologizes. "Sorry, product of the American education system, didn't study a lick of geography, and history? Not a lot better, y'know. I'll just take your word for it." Once he's passed, he'll tilt his head as if to look back. Which is entirely superfluous. "Room in the tree for two if'n you're keen on a buffoon t'lecture." He shrugs and continues on his way. To the tree! Of life! Or death? One of these two things, certainly.
"Lecture? No. I believe in the trade of information. I could enlighten you, but I would expect something in return." The cat guy is very much able to browse the contents of the book -- words in Sumerian, Albanian, and English -- while discussing other matters or topics. "You earn nothing for nothing. You may not have experienced a mandatory education outside of comprehensive curriculum, but any lack of study beyond that point only has one person to blame." While the words are generally cold, they are offered with a tone and slight lilt that prompts some measure of playful reciprocation.
"But, no, I've no desire to join you in a tree. This spot offers the best angle for reading under the illuminatory simulacrum above. I suppose it makes sense, though, the tree. A predator needs only be cunning and intelligent, not wise," muses the cat man, although the last sentences are spoken at a lower volume. This isn't to mask their meaning so much as it is to separate them into a different category altogether. "So does that make your spirit animal a leopard or, mm, a bird-of-prey?"
"Sorry, sir." Lucas responds as he heads uphill. "Only instruction I can give anyone is in manners 'n' fighting, and you already seem to have plenty of the former. Don't got much else t'trade. Thanks, though." He doesn't seem to rise to the 'blame game' Lynx put out there. Doesn't seem very interested in justifying his lack of further education, then. Or something.
"As for my spirit animal?" He stops, one foot placed up and ahead of him as he takes a bit of a steep slope. "...I dunno. Prob'ly a badger. Or a mule." He shrugs, obviously not having given it much thought. "Whatever's clever." And he's off again. Tree!
"Taamata-da dam-ha-ra e-da-ak? I'm not interested in your old war, Ivo." The furry-faced man's cape billows just a bit from a night breeze and he has to spread his fingers to keep the pages from turning on their own, but not before a handful rattle by in a flutter. A few illustrations mark one history entry and it doesn't even take reading Sumerian to understand what it's about. A fingertip taps the passage in affirmation and the feline speaks up so that the other cemetery-guest can hear. "By any chance have you ever heard of the Meketrex Supplicants?" is asked even if he doesn't really expect to get much in return from it. This is a lead worth following. While the conglomerate of peoples that made up such were all wiped out, it was their familiarity with something which has already popped up that helps some pieces click together.
"Meke-what? No... don't think so. Sound like some kinda slave race. Maybe from Dune or one of those speculative fiction things?" Lucas scratches his head, thinking real hard about that one. "I don't know. Maybe an anime?" Not even close on either count. "...You tried a google search? I think they have those, here. Not sure, since..." Lucas waves a hand in front of his own face for a moment as if to illustrate it has no effect on his vision. "...Not doing a lot of internet stuff these days." He doesn't really sound like he did before. But he sure doesn't now, either.
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