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 Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.

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Vanya's Devil
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:38 pm

Kit finishes the food and drink, preening himself once he'd finished. He steps out of his body again, turning to his new drinking companion.

"You need not act so amazed. The body is but the plaything of the mind, is it not?" With that, his form flickers, the cat changing into a red-winged kestrel, the spectral body reappearing to match. The body changes again, cycling through the forms of a raccoon, a fox, and a wolverine before finally returning to the shape of a grinning feline, green eyes staring at Henderson with an air of smug amusement.
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:07 pm

"For magicians and the awakened, perhaps, but not for the mundane like myself. At least not to a comparable extent. We're prone to having to use surgery, cyberware and stuff...
You're some kind of shapeshifter then, right ?"

Henderson continues to look at the cat curiously. He doesn't quite know, where to put it, but this is going to be an interesting conversation...
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:02 pm

The cat sits up straight, affecting the poise and attitude of a schoolteacher. "Why would you say that? A Shapeshifter is a sentient animal with the capacity to take human form. They are no more capable of taking more than two forms than an ordinary human mage. As for what I am..." Kit pauses a moment, eyes twinkling. "I'll let you figure that out for yourself."

"You know, I was once told something interesting by a very old man. He assured me that while genetics can help a person's magical sensitivity, the only thing preventing every metahuman from using magic is a matter of environmental...circumstance."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:17 pm

"For me, as an individual, shapeshifter is the drawer, in which I put everything that... well, shifts shapes. I may break this down into further detail, given the exact knowledge, but generally, consider yourself labeled "shapeshifter", until I have found a better word for it."
He winks at the cat.
"As far as I know, if it isn't in the genes... bad luck, no spellslinging for you. If you think of Cyberware and stuff when referring to "circumstances", thats sound for me, but I'm not sure of the "every metahuman" part. But as I hinted earlier, magic is not my playground, so I'm more or less limited to my own experiences with mages and common hearsay."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:47 pm

A chuckle. "That is what everyone thinks. But since when is majority opinion ever a good gauge for the truth? An obvious phenomenon will lead to one conclusion, but what shall we see when circumstance changes? The mana level of our world rises with every year. With time, even one such as you may find yourself able to pick at the threads of our world."

The cat seems pensive, his mind far away. After a few moments, his attention seems to return to the present.

"But, I am mulling on the mutterings of an ancient man, spoken carelessly in the midst of contemplation. The truth and implications of his words...well, perhaps we shall see in due time."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:02 pm

...With time, even one such as you may find yourself able to pick at the threads of our world.

Now Henderson chuckles...

"You know, what they say ? Its difficult to teach an old dog new tricks. And if this old dog is filled with cyberware to the brim..."
Henderson raises his hand and tips his head. "...this obviously doesn't help much, doesn't it ? But if I live long enough to see that I'm wrong, I'll gladly apologize..."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:58 pm

Kit's eyes widen, evidently surprised. "Apologize? For what? Skepticism is healthy, and my words have little basis beyond hearsay from a known trickster." The cat sits remarkably still, eyes piercing. "But enough about that. It so happens I am looking for information regarding a specific subject, and it is my experience that a person's breadth of knowledge is often reflected by the number of bullet holes in his jacket. Shall we trade?"
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:04 pm

"Right, but there's a difference between being skeptic and not being able to admit that you've been wrong..."
He starts to grin, as Kit mentions the bullet-holes.
"Nicely said, Kit ! I'll try to be as useful as possible, so how may I help you ?"
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:36 pm

Kit smiles, relieved. "I am chasing some information on behalf of a friend. Tell me, what do you know of the R&D branch of Ares? I am especially curious if you know anything about their new line of guard animals. They are of...particular interest to myself and a number of other interested parties." The grin broadens, sharp teeth showing in a display of sinister mischief. "Despite Damien Knight's best efforts."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:56 pm

Once again he scratches his head.
"Guard animals, eh ? Let's see... Paracritters are stale news. If you are out for bad news, what about this: I believe that Ares is still using these bloody bugs for guarding some sites.
Then there are many rumours about new research concerning cybercritters in the 'trix, but there's been not much substance to it so far.
There may be something cooking, but I think that time will tell..."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:17 pm

The cat's ears twitch and perk up at the word "bugs".

"Confirmation. So, it is as I had feared. Ironic, that those who fight monsters are so liable to become them." Kit casts a furtive glance around. "In that case, let us continue this conversation in one of the white noise booths. I prefer my inquiries not be overheard."

Kit's body stirs as his ghostly form disappears. Blinking sleepily, it hops off the bar, a glance signaling for Henderson to follow him.
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:27 pm

Henderson is preparing to stand up when he realizes, that there's a glass of beer standing in front of him.
He sighs, chugs the beer, leaves a banknote at the bar and follows Kit.
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:15 am

As Henderson slides into the booth, Kit's ghostly form reappears, affixing the man with his usual, motionless stare. "I must warn you that the questions I am about to ask are of a sensitive nature. Once asked, they cannot be unasked. What information you glean from my questions will be your burden to bear, and believe me when I say that if Ares finds out the details of our conversation, they will probably try to kill you. Is this acceptable?"
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:37 am

He sighs
When hasn't Ares tried to kill people too nosy for their own good ?

"Yup, as long as you aren't a covert Ares operative, I think, that risk is acceptible."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:45 am

Kit smiles, satisfied. "Then I shall ask my first question. Have you heard anything regarding Ares' internal politics regarding this situation? Specifically, do these experiments occur with explicit approval from Damien Knight, or is he merely turning a blind eye?"
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:00 am

"Well, to be honest... no, but if they are still using them, then the chances, that Knight himself hasn't heard about it are very low, aren't they ?
I think he either knows and doesn't care or doesn't know. In either case, there are some people in deep drek, if that is exposed once again..."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:37 am

Kit makes a dismissive sound. "Oh, I am sure he knows. I know. You know. You can be sure that Damien Knight knows. I was merely wondering if he has placed his full approval behind it, as that changes how he would respond to movements against the program. Of course, there is also the question of infestation. Ares is playing with fire in a grain silo, here, and I fear what would happen if Inhabitation begins to spread among its employees. One corrupted megacorp in our backyard is bad enough. A second under our roof would go rather beyond the realm of mere inconvenience."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:39 am

"Well, may I ask, where you obtained your knowledge concerning this nasty fraggers ? Just curious, you know ?"
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:18 am

"No." Kit's tone becomes severe. "You may not. Moving on."

The cat continues, as if the question had not been asked. "The big question regarding the program is if they have summoned any queens. Shamans are easily controlled, but Queens are another matter. The most reliable methods for containing spirits is ineffective against them, and the rest are of dubious value over the long term. Have you heard anything regarding exactly what they have called up?"


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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:08 am

It's personal, huh ? Well, fine for me, then...
"Heard... ? No. But the fact that I haven't stumbled over a queen doesn't mean there isn't one. As the shaman are under direct influence of the totem, they will come up with a queen sooner or later.
Whether Ares wants it or not. I don't know what they're doing exactly, but if they think they can control a queen, who controls tghe shamans and the other bugs...
They are more stupid than I thought..."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:32 am

Kit snorts derisively. "What is more foolish than man's self-estimation? What is more boundless than human pride? There have been mutterings of queens, and even if they have not done it yet, it will come to pass that they try. That is both mankind's greatest virtue and greatest flaw: the urge to transcend all limitations."

For a moment, Kit turns to look at the air, as if listening to an unseen messenger. He turns back to Henderson. "Sorry about that. A situation has arisen. While things seem under control for the moment, I may need to excuse myself later if complications arise."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:46 am

"Amen." Henderson lokks at the cat, again, apparently he's trying to figure something out.
"No problem. Friends in need are always top priority."

After a short pause, he continues talking, but in a lower voice, as if he'd be talking mainly to himself.
"I wonder why they just don't want to learn from their past mistakes. They'll only produce catastrophe... again."

Then he resumes normal speaking volume
"You're a net cat, right ?"
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:34 am

The cat smiles, shaking his head. "Bastets are incapable of magic, Henderson. While it is true that they could theoretically reproduce what you have seen, they are really not clever enough to do so."

"And as for learning, have we not gained just as much from our transgressions as we have lost? Some would say more, even, and it is often difficult to argue with them. Because mankind has never ceased daring to push its limitations, we have had the means to produce wonders long before the Awakening. Since then, we have advanced to the stage of being nigh unto walking gods. Those with the talent can work supernatural miracles, those without it forge mundane ones. We have bound gods and devils to our will and even dragons fear what would happen if we decided, as one, to turn our fury upon them. I meant it when I said that our urge to transcend all limitation is our greatest virtue as much as our greatest flaw. Metahumanity needs Icarus as much as Daedalus. The latter to show us we can fly, the former to show us we can fall. Even if Ares is stopped, someone else will simply try again."

Kit sighs, a sound of labored resignation.

"That said, it is still best to endeavor to put off learning such a lesson. Excessive education can be murderously painful."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:48 am

"As the lack thereof... Damned if you do and damned if you don't. As always...
Let's agree on: We like to think, we have gods and devils bound to our will and dragons fear us...
I think it's this hubris that tends to come back to kick our butts."
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PostSubject: Re: Purple Dino Bar. Redmond Barrens.   Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:14 pm

"Precisely." The word is impressively evocative. The three syllables exude fastidious neatness, utter confidence, and razor precision. "It is all too easy to forget our limitations, especially when shown what we have overcome. But, I digress. Tell me, what else do you know about the Ares research into Invae? And do you know if they have any connection to Aztechnology?"
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