Log:At the Market

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At the Market
Characters  •   Faustina  •  Kitten  •  Cinder  •  Maylis  •  KissThisThen  •  Eden  •  Xavier  •
Location  •  Bazaar
Date  •  2019-11-11
Summary  •  A few people meet in the Bazaar in front of a clothing stall.

Faustina is walking around the Bazaar, watching the ebb and flow of other people, though she does occasionally pause to take a more in depth look at a stall or the wares there. She pauses for a moment near one of the conversation areas, though she seems to be lost in thought.


Kitten goes from booth to booth, carefully taking in what's on offer. Tucked in their belt is a pipe wrench with 'Kitten' scratched into the rust. Their white vinyl dress has been cleaned up as best as possible, which is to say there are still some grease smears. Clutched in their hands is a small offering of jewelry made from polished nuts, bolts, and wire. There's a bracelet, a few necklaces, and some earrings. It's nothing like what the artisans have to offer, but it's all Kitten has that could be called Lux, and there's an odd charm to the pieces. They look... sincere.


One of the stalls is occupied by Maylis, a Fortunate seamstress and her wares. Maylis is visibly pregnant but only just. She's modeling her own clothes, a simple gauzy gown in blue. She's not alone. Beside her, sitting on a stool and drawing on loosely bound stack of papers, is Cinder. He's modeling too, in a way. He's wearing a rich green top over well made pants in dark brown. Maylis is known for her bright, intense colors and meticulous work. Her clothes last. Or they look pretty. Rarely do these things meet. Maylis nudges Cinder with her foot. "Get up. Show off a bit." Cinder grumbles but stands near the stall. He spins once. Ta-da.


Faustina comes back to herself and looks around. She spots Kitten and glances over them, noting the wrench at their belt and nodding once and if checking something off a mental list. Then she starts moving again, stopping by the clothing booth and looking over the items available. She gives Cinder and then Maylis each a little nod of acknowledgement.


Kitten stops before Maylis' stall and looks at Faustina. "I made things," they say, showing the jumble of 'jewelry' in their hands. "To trade. Just to get something nice. I want to have something nice." They look Cinder over. "That's a nice shirt. Too nice for the Garage, but I like it. Do they have bleach here? I need bleach for my hair."


Cinder averts his gaze as Faustina approaches. His expression changes subtly, a clench of his jaw and a slow exhale. He looks up to Kitten and smiles. "This is a nice shirt. Too nice but I bet I can find something close to it that's sturdier and still a pretty color. Green for you too? Or blue or...?" He trails off as he ducks into the piles of goods. Maylis stands now and peers at Kitten's jewelry. "Oh, those are so unique! We can find something for you, dear. As for hair bleach...Cinder mentioned something about chatting with one of the Savvy about that. I can bleach fabric. Not hair." She smiles warmly at Faustina. "How is she?" The Tattler. The little redhaired girl Cinder sired. And Maylis birthed. "Well, I hope."


A place with a lot of people in it leaves KissThisThen more or less unable to pay attention to speech - his hearing is bad, and when there is background noise, he cannot distinguish things. Right now he is doing what could charitably be called window shopping - if there were windows. Savvy, especially the Reapers, tend to share everything, which means lux gets distributed from one person to another and essentials for one always come before luxury for another. However, he does have a number of paper tags hanging from his belt, each striped in a different hand-dyed colour. He is holding them up, examining the clothing of the Fortunate, then making a note in a small straw-paper roll he has tucked into the hem of his long skirt. No other clothes, so the scars on his chest are visible.


Faustina doesn't smile, but then she almost never does. "She is well and progressing nicely in her work. She is very observant and shows promise at filtering the important information from the less critical data." She looks over Kitten's jewelry as well. "I see that." She seems about to add something else, but her attention is drawn to KTT and his note taking.


Kitten smiles shyly and lays down their jewelry to be seen. They've taken such painstaking care to clean each element, so there's no residual grease on any of the stainless steel. The craftsmanship may not be artisan, but it's well-constructed, alternating nuts, bolts, and washers. All the pointy edges have been ground smooth. Very motor chic. "I made it," they say, somewhat self-consciously. "I like blue best. Blue's the color of water. Anything blue you can spare, you can have whatever you want."


Maylis beams at Faustina. "Good. I'm glad to hear that she is excelling." There is some grumbling from the storage Cinder is digging through. And a kick from Maylis. "Kitten wants blue." A grunt is the response. Maylis is all warmth and comfort as she runs a finger over the smoothed nuts and bolts. "Mmhm. This will be fine." Cinder appears with a blue shirt. Similar in style to the one he's wearing but a little less fancy, the blue less rich. But the trade off is a sturdier fabric. Maylis takes the top to exchange. Cinder moves to KTT to lend a hand.


KissThisThen's notes are meticulous, very neat, copius, and almost all in various forms of dots and code, noticably. Or something, anyway - dots for every shade he sees, specific numbers being written down, muttering. He does a lot of talking to himself, anyway. As usual, he wears gloves and heavy boots regardless of the rest of him, because damaging fingers and toes is asking for trouble. He gives a low, thrum of noise, mumbling. Until he notices Cinder, and startles, lost in his own world "Ah. Clinker. Good." Squint "Afternoon."


Faustina tilts her head slightly to one side, studying KTT's notes for a few moments, then asks, "Are you doing a color inventory? Or working on new dyes?" She's in her usual drab, but very sturdy uniform. Maylis gets a slightly distracted nod, the notes have most of her attention for the time being.


Kitten smiles softly. "Thank you, Maylis." Kitten, who can barely remember anyone's name, remembers Maylis. They take the shirt and look it over with wonder. "I'm only going to wear this after I've had a splash, before I go to the Garden, or if I'm receiving an important visitor. I have a skirt I've been saving." They perk up and look around at those gathered at the stall. "I have an outfit!"


"Clinker." Cinder echoes to KTT. "One day, I will ask you why you call me that." Cinder raises his voice when he speaks to him. Not in an obvious, slow yelling sort of way. Just speaks louder, clearer. "Let me know if you need something, yes?" As Kitten announces his outfit is complete, Maylis and Cinder whoop in celebration. Maylis hands the nuts and bots trade to Cinder. "Porter will love this." She says and Cinder nods in agreement. Cinder looks to Faustina and says, "As long as Lara...is happy. I'll do my best to be happy too. She's a better fit than I was." So says his intake tattoo. Monitor marked through, Fortunate beneath.


The gardener does not immediately respond to Faustina, still ticking things off - though the fact that he _does_ hold up a woad swatch and examine the blues? Means that chances are that idea of a colour inventory is correct. There are a few swatches - an intense rose, for example - with no dots next to them at all, and lots and lots next to various soft browns and desaturated reds. KissThisThen does see Kitten spin around, and he says "Hello, High Sign. Wait, what are you doing? You like skirts?" He maybe does too, because he wears one.

As Cinder speaks more clearly though, he reacts more sharply "Oh, yes, I do. I wanted to know what colours you are currently looking for." And then he taps his swatches, and he says "Oh! Porter - wait, who? Lara? I think I remember a Lara." His own intake tattoo has Fortunate above, a mark through, War Child, a mark through, and then Savvy. Though the sacrification work will soon cover the 'mistakes'.


It is the league of Those Who Weren't Good At Their Jobs, because Kitten's tattoo has 'Savvy' crossed through and replaced with "War Child.' They cheer when Maylis and Cinder do, then they tell KissThisThen, "It's a nice skirt. I don't wear it in the Garage. I just want, you know, something nice to wear. In case I ever have a reason. I'd hate to have a reason and nothing to wear."


Eden has gotten a hold of someone with some very vivid dye. When she comes down the staircase spiral from the Gilded Cage, she's freshly bathed, smelling like dark, dusky and edgy florals from soaps, laced with the sweetness of a delicate oil she applies to the skin. And the wrap dress she's wearing is a beautiful rich indigo, even though the garment itself is just a very flattering cut of fabric with suitable wrap design to be decorative. Her arms and shoulders are bare, her sandals are beaded to match her decorating jewelry and hair ornaments, the dark locks shoulder length and arranged in waves and curls of stylish riot. Eden is always a piece of magnetism by design, but in truth, even wrapped in a towel, undecorated from the communal tubs, the way she stands and walks and presents herself just makes her //like that//.

It's probably little surprise she's a designated Patron the way she can passively command attention without a word. Presentation form is a tactic and talent when it comes to negotiation. But once she's down the staircase, she's warmth too, not just a piece of walking art on approach of her protege, "Cinder looks splendid in green, doesn't he?"

She addresses the collective nearby and nods a solid time to Faustina's presence especially before her ears happen on the 'dye' inquiry.


Faustina's brow furrows a bit. "I have no idea if Lara is happy, but she is suited to her tasks." She then blinks at Kitten a few times. "But if you have no reason to wear it currently, couldn't you acquire it when you do have a reason?" Eden gets a little nod back, as well, though she still seems a little distracted.


Kitten looks at Eden, and their mouth hangs slack. They clutch their shirt to their chest and murmur, "Woah." For a moment, that's all they can say as they stare. Eventually, Faustina's words filter through their addled consciousness, and they slowly look to her. "I might not have the Lux," they say. "Now it won't matter if I don't have Lux, because I have the outfit."


"Tell me about the outfit and why it excites you? What does this skirt look like and why do you require an occasion?" Eden makes this request of Kitten while leaving Cinder and the Savvy fellow to talk about clothing dyes and other matters for a spell, shifting her position to speak with the pair here directly now. And when she poses the question, she seems genuinely interested, perhaps not just because she wants to know what color the skirt is. The thing is, the brunette woman seems to actually care what other people care about and why they care about it, she loves knowing what makes people feel and ticktock and mechanize through their lives.

Her hands clasp before herself in lacing after she's spoken and briefly, her eyes move to Faustina with consideration, "You would look nice in a skirt."


Faustina nods to Kitten's explanation and then blinks at Eden, slightly confused to judge by the expression around her eyes. "Why would I need to look nice? That is completely unnecessary for my functions. If anything, a skirt might hamper my movements, potentially interfering with my duties."


"I've had a skirt for a little while," Kitten says. "It's flowy and white, and I got this shirt." They show Eden their new blue shirt. "And I'm going to wear it with this. I'm going to bleach my hair, and it'll look nice." For a War Child, Kitten looks pretty healthy, but they still look like a War Child. Their fingers are calloused from working on engines, and there is grease and grit worked in that even a wash won't remove. They've used powders on their face to give themselves a somewhat skeletal visage. Ah, well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. "I don't want to wear it in the Garage, though. It'll get dirty. If I wear it to the Garden or here, or maybe the Big and Messy, it'll last longer."


Eden might have known Faustina was going to respond with something like that because there's a twitch to her lips, currently flushed with petal pink wax balm to suit her decorated flair. But she doesn't tease about it, instead, she nods her small agreement and understanding, "You've a point. For as decorated as I am, it serves a function that doesn't much extend to vanity. I like to think of it as my battle paint or my armaments, especially during negotiations. It evokes and it's important to look the formidable part."

Then Eden's features do light with a slow partial blossom of smile when she looks at Kitten, clearly expecting them to 'get' what she says next given the skirt fondness, "Sometimes, the right outfit is empowering-- it can put steel in the spine and drive in the heart." There's a tilt of her dark head then, subtle with curious cant as she makes her next request of Kitten, "Next time you come, I would like to see you happy in full ensemble, yes?"

Naturally, there's probably some hook in that to entice a person to return, but it's backhanded and genteel as a draw for repeat visitation. But all the same, Eden also seems to want to offer Kitten an appropriate space to indulge in that outfit and have time to be happy in it.

Afterall, the one made for War, they don't live long.


Faustina nods to Eden. "Yes. But your duties and functions here are different than mine. Looking attractive is part of them and serves to enhance morale. Morale is not an aspect of my job." She furrows her brow again. "I have never had that reaction to clothing, though some is more useful for a given purpose and some less." There's a moment's considered pause. "Armor might help with supportig the spine."


Kitten nods quickly and says, "I will. I'll wear it next time. After a splash, and maybe some froofy water that smells nice." Would a War Child even have a reason to own perfume? Maybe alcohol will do in a pinch, Kitten has some of that. "It's important to look right when you're Fortunate, I remember that much," Kitten says. They consider Faustina, and they toil over the words they want, chewing their lower lip. "My sister is Kat, and she looks nice. Her friend is Cinder, and he looks nice. Kissy No-Pants looks nice, even if he has scars, and when I visit, I don't want to be the only one who's dirty." Mind, being dirty doesn't seem to be the issue. Just being the only one.


KissThisThen was talking about dyes with Cinder - he seems to be trying to work out what sort are required and under what circumstances. Some mordants are deadly, some are not, but if the fabric is in a banner, not on skin, well...it does not mater, entirely. Once they finish with that, together, the Savvy is back next to Kitten, counting over his colour sets and making little notes alongside each of them. Cinder is only one of those to check with. Plant dyes require plants, and plants require space, and all of that together? Means planning. Something he excels at.


The brunette woman tips her head to Faustina's consideration, "I believe I'll stick with lace up corsets over armor, personally, if I need a little uptick in my spine." And Kitten's agreement to her plan seems to please her, but suddenly then, she's distracted by a particular nickname, "Kissy No-Pants? My, my, my." Eden pretends she's scandalized by the idea of a certain someone running around with no pants and lifts one of her hands from clasping to splay in brief at decolletage.

Then she slants her eyes aside at KissThisThen coming up, having completed the conversation with Cinder, and she catches on, quite visibly and suddenly who Kitten is talking about in such a way. She bubbles over with a sudden laugh of true, melodic amusement, "Surely, you wear pants while making our dyes, no? I imagine you're apt to get stained or splashed in places you'd rather not be, assuming proper precautions aren't made. And no one wants sunset pink manly bits."

Well, maybe someone, but...


Faustina nods to Kitten, brow smoothing. "Then you do have a reason to wear the outfit." Pause. "Kissy No-Pants?" She's back to being somewhat confused again, then Eden's comments make things clear. "Ah. Yes. Of course." She shrugs a tiny bit. "Again. Different functions require different clothing. You should rarely need actual armor. I do not need a corset."


Kitten tells Eden solemnly, "You won't need armor, because we'll protect you. We'll die in glorious battle so that the V8 keeps revving. I'm your armor." Short, violent lives, but glorious ones and rarely boring. The eye KTT speculatively, partiuclarly the skirted part covering the manly bits in question. "Sunset pink," they say thoughtfully. "Kissy, can you make dyes that won't hurt to wash in?" Someone's getting ideas. "Something to make one's skin change colors?"


KissThisThen glances up, as if realising that someone might be talking to him "I wear protective covering when using mordants, or processing fungi," he says, quite sincerely. He is wearing a long skirt right now, though a lot of Reapers do have something like that. A skirt can be folded up to harvest vegetables into, or to carry mushrooms "Oh. Dyes?" His lips give an odd quirk, as if something occurs to him "I am still dark brown there," he says, without the slightest hint of sensuality to it "But yes, my skin. Gets dyed colours, in the impure areas." He gestures to the white patches that are on various parts of his face. Then he falls very awkwardly quiet, fidgeting with the edges of his colour system, even though Kitten has asked a question. Only eventually does he says "Yes. Red, easily. Brown too. Blue is hardest. Green, okay." Then he says "The tattoo inks work as dyes too. But they are worth more lux. I am not the one who makes those, that's someone else. Maybe JunkWonderful knows more."


While Eden is still clearly amused with this nickname, she seems to be about on the cusp of opening her mouth and lauding the (flattering) posture-adjustment wearing a corset can bring. But okay, look how that lady is standing, instead, she says agreeably, "I do not think your posture needs correcting, it would be inefficient, yes." Her eyes then swap over to Kitten and the pledge he makes, though, and whatever's residual of her humor abates into fondness for the presence of them and theirs as a whole, and this look eventually extends over toward Faustina in kind-- there's often Monitor escorts too during an excursion, and sometimes, there's confrontation and obstruction posing severe danger when the party has to escort a mission.

Of course, it's the more receptive Kitten, though, she opts to reach out and touch with step forward, fingers curling with pressure of gratitude at one forearm, "It is so. We persist and prevail, by any means." She means the Sanctuary and its survival vision as a whole now with that collective 'we'.

When her hands falls, though, the amusement creeps back up when the question on skin dye is posed and Kiss This is detailing how brown he still is where it counts. That part brings a tiny congratulatory noise to her throat with good nature.


Faustina nods a tiny bit to Kitten and then is back to looking slightly bewildered by the turn of the conversation. And yes, her posture is quite good. She doesn't seem to feel the need to add any more comments, for now. Instead her gaze drifts over the rest of the marketplace, scanning for... well, who knows what she's scanning for. Something. Maybe.


Kitten looks like a deer caught in headlights when Eden touches them, and they smile a little like an infatuated teenager. "Shiny and chrome," they whisper. They look at one of the necklaces they have left from their bartering, and they hold it out to KissThisThen. "Will you find it for me? The sunset pink dye? I want to look like a sunset." Let it never be said they're not a fashion forward War Child.


KissThisThen suddenly seems to realise Eden is there. Assuming Eden has been around for a while, he knows her well enough - he was Fortunate until about six years ago. His eyes narrow, faintly, worriedly. He stares at her. He has become pretty good at unblinking stares over the last while. Then he quickly looks away, stragithening up a bit, to examine Faustina himself. She watches the market, he watches her. He might be thinking about plants, really. It seems likely. And then he blinks as a necklace is handed to him "...it don't wash off for a few days," he says, puzzled "But okay. Won't work on dark hair. But all right." He hesitantly takes the necklace "You don't need to pay, umn. Because of Before."


Of course Eden knows who KTT is, she was brought in at two and raised by the Fortunate system, so when he actually //looks// at her and just seems to notice its her standing there with some distraction-delay factor that's a bit familiar, she whispers a little 'hi' at him. At least until he makes that damned face at her, and she's not sure if it's because he just remembered he has something on the plant-stove or something, or because he's actually concerned by subject matter for some reason. Granted, there is a War Child asking him for sunset pink junk-dye with her wonderous accidental inspiration, so... maybe he SHOULD be worried about the state of affairs around this place.

Either way, she doesn't ask, she looks at Kitten making the offering and suggests, "Be careful if you go bleaching to make the color stick. It'd be hard to explain while you're screaming each time you go to relieve yourself." She's subtle with the wit and humor and suggestion to bleach first, though, because if some junk gets chemical burned, she's not taking credit for this burgeoning new fashion idea.


Faustina actually frowns. It's not a big frown, but it's an actual expression that involves her mouth, which is probably the equivalent of most people looking horrified. She clears her throat. "I do not recommend this coure of action. Do not bleach yourself. And it seems wasteful use of resources, even those which are largely ornamental. Perhaps there is another adornment which would work better."


Kitten's eyes widen. "Bleach? No, no, no, the bleach is for my hair." They tug one of their pigtails. "Up here. To make it yellow. Bleach doesn't go below the waist. That's the kind of mistake you make once." Kitten's crazy, but they're not stupid. With a flick of their hand, they tell KTT, "Keep it. You can wear it or give it away. Before can wait." Oh no, KTT, that favor won't be called in so easily. To Faustina, Kitten says, "I'll be careful. I just want a little decoration."


KissThisThen holds Eden's gaze for a long moment, and then he squints at her mouth. Pretty sure she said hi, he says "Hello. Sorry. Hearing's bad now." After a moment, he adds "Many plants are able to sense vibrations as well. It causes them to develop stronger rooting structures." He uses his long, spidery fingers to describe this. They stretch out and scrape through the air, and he turns his head towards Faustina, and he blinks "Oh, no. People. Should not drink oxidising agents. It will kill you." Kitten is tugging on their hair, and KissThisThen says "Oh. I will. Erm. Wear it," they decide, and they pick up the bolts and examine them, before clipping them around their neck "Well," says KTT "I suppose I look like a War Child now." Nu.


"Once?" Eden inquires of Kitten, catching onto the implication it's been done before quite visibly with a click of her tongue that's not quite serious enough to be chastising. Her hand makes small gesture to Faustina's advising as she speaks more seriously, this time around, because when she mentioned bleach and caution, she didn't actually much think it was a real option! At least they have that 'once' under their belt to deter it and save her the guilt over unseemly chemical burns for the sake of making light.

She chuckles at KTT's awkward donning of the necklace bartered to him, then after a redirect of her eyes, she briefly murmurs, "Excuse me..."

When she's murmured that, she's watching a very young and clearly new companion across on a lounge with a very awkward young Warboy and neither of them are taking control of the situation so much as sitting there looking at each other with occasional smiles over drinks as they watch a wandering dance performance. And it's there she approaches to lean over the lounge, stroking a hand through the young companions hair before asking the warboy if he thinks her beautiful. From there, it's a coy back and forth she devises between them, a sly, guiding and gentle hand to get lux in that girl's hand and that boy happy in one of the private lounges.


Faustina winces just a little at the implications of 'once'. Maybe she has more experience with Kitten or maybe she just will always focus on the worst possible thing. Still, at being told that Kitten will be careful, she nods. Then again, her ideas of careful and Kitten's ideas of careful may, well, be worlds apart. She begins moving towards the next stall along, this one selling pens which she considers, looking at the size and shape of the nibs offered and testing the feel of the pens, themselves in her hands.


Kitten perks up when they spy the war boy and his companion. They look like they're about to bellow something at him, maybe a taunt, but then Eden goes to speak to the young couple, and that causes Kitten to reconsider. Perhaps it's a faux pas here in this fancy marketplace to bellow 'for Valhalla' at one's friends when he's trying to score. Their gaze strays toward KTT. "You look very nice," they say solemnly. No, KTT, not like a war child. At all. To Faustina, they ask, "Where are you going?"


KissThisThen watches the other two thoughtfully. Right now, though, he has no lux. So no companions for him - he is known to pay for them, sometimes, however. The things is, lux is in flux...as it were. Amongst the Savvy. It moves around, much more motile, aimed at those who need things rather than those who want things. Finally he says to Kitten "Do I?" A little plaintive. Someone is not _entirely_ reconciled to no longer being a Breeder "Well. Oh, she's going to. She's thinking: How would I use it and under what circumstances. How would it feelin the fingers. She says to herself, do I use it, and do I...do I..." He watches Kitten, side-eyeing them, and then they offer an arm.


Faustina turns back towards Kitten from contemplating the pens and then blinks at KTT. "That is more or less what I was thinking. My current pen is starting to leak and I was weighing whether I actually need a new one. And if I am getting a new one, then I should find the one which fits my hand best." She considers for a moment. "The current pen makes me less efficient."


Kitten regards KTT's arm, then cautiously lays a hand upon it with lacking social grace. Like they've seen this before, from a distance, but don't really know what it means or why anyone does it. "I have a grease pencil," they say in a low tone, as if afraid of letting too many people know, "my greatest treasure. There's this much left of it." They hold up a finger and thumb to sketch out about an inch and a half of space. "I use it to mark things when I'm measuring. Sometimes I put it under my eyes."


"That is what your face looked like," says KTT to Faustina. He turns to look at Kitten as well. And when their arm is on his, he looks at the pens, and he says "I have charcoal sticks I make. You take wood and burn it with no -" Because every KTT experience is a lecture? "-oxygen for the slow pyrolysis. Makes. Charcoal. Except it gets everywhere. On the hands. The skin. The face. You end up. Black with it." He watches Kitten "It's not controllable like a pencil. But I stopped making it when I started doing mushrooms." Whatever THAT means. Now he turns his head back to Faustina "What's your pen made out of?"


"Wood and metal." There's a tiny furrowing of her brow from Faustina. "I believe there may also be a small amount of rubber and possibly some glass." A tiny pause. "The outside is wood and the nib is metal. There's a reservoir for the ink and a mannual piston system to fill it." She looks back at the table full of wears. "Grease pencils are useful when marking things if you need to be able to erase the markings later, yes. And charcoal has many uses."


Kitten's brow furrows. "Who makes charcoal now?" they ask. "I like the dust for my cheeks." Mmm, that skeletal look. They're quite fashionable for a War Child! "These pens look nice, but I don't think I'd ever use them. I don't write a lot. Sometime I draw plans, but I just draw them on my dress in grease. Hey, Kissy, do you make fun mushrooms? The kind that make you see things?"


"The rubber. Where did they trade for that?" wonders KissThisThen, and he says "Huh. I don't...oh, wait. Like a suction system." The pen is more interesting than anything else, but even pens are not plants. He shrugs a little "Charcoal is good for sick people. Makes 'em less sick sometimes. I don't know why. No theories yet." A little shake of his head, and he dusts his hands off "Uhmmmmn. Not sure. It takes a long time to make well, but we Savvy share." He glances briefly towards where Kitten's tattoo is, and then he says "That is almost all mushrooms. With the right ones, you'll be able to try them again sometime. Psilocybe mushrooms cause hallucinations because they contain the psychotropic tryptamines psilocybin and psilocin - but we grow others that do it too. Some of them we eat, we just leech out the chemicals. But I grow lots of types. Mushrooms are. The future."


Faustina shakes her head a little. "I don't know. I've had it... 20 years. My mother gave it to me. I don't actually know if there is rubber. It may be something else." She nods to KTT about the uses of charcoal. "Mushrooms do seem to be a useful crop."


"I would like the kind that make you hallucinate, please," Kitten says rather primly, with a sidelong glance at Faustina, whose presence may be prompting them to act on their best behavior, which of course includes politeness and decorum. "Not the kind that will kill me, though. I will die in battle. I just want to see a few things first."


KissThisThen hesitates, and he puts his hands into his pockets "Uh, well." It's just. Faustina is here! And he says "I try growing lots of things. To fit them into the cycle. We do have amanita mushrooms. You can eat them if you clean them out first. But they will make you see, uh. Some things. I have others. They are useful for those who are in their last stage of Sickness. They forget about it. They feel happy. Urmmmn." He fingers the necklace around his neck "I am making you dye. We can talk more about mushrooms. Mushrooms are. Well, they are very interesting. You are helping me make the fruit-stone cracking thing, yes? Maybe for mushrooms?"


Cinder has a way of...fading away. He's a quiet guy anyway, lurking around the towers. His reappearance is more startling than surprising. "Substances that alter ones mood or perception have their places outside of purely medicinal purposes." Yep. There he is. How does this giant redheaded creature sneak up so? Maylis is knitting at her stall, trying not to fall asleep. "I mean, if you pay for it, you deserve a good time. And maybe, people want to see things or just relax or release an inhibition. These can all been...therapeutic."


Faustina turns back to look at the pens again, trying a few more in her hand. "Mushrooms which do not kill people or make them sick are to be preferred. And, of course, some have medicinal properties. But if the Sanctuary's resources are going towards their production, those uses should likely be prioritized above strictly recreational ones. Hallucinations are rarely helpful from what I have seen, but I suppose it is something on which someone might spend Lux if they wished."


"Don't you need it for stones?" Kitten asks KissThisThen. Then they shake their head and say quickly, "Fine, fine, fine." They then tell Faustina, "People can have important revelations while they're hallucinating. Your mind expands, and you can see all the pieces on the board." They glance back at Maylis and smile, then look at Cinder. "Can I say hello to the baby?" they ask.


"He says that, even though no one has inhibitions now, they're expensive," says KissThisThen to Cinder "Hello. Clinker." He rubs the back of his neck, where there is a new patch of scarification healing. And he says to Faustina "They are very useful for poisoning raiders. Some are so fatal that small amounts, aerosolised, will cause vomiting and. Death. Very nasty death." He adds, almost brightly "And then, their bodies can be dried out, the water recycled, and more nutrients grown on them. The poisonous compounds will break down. The cycle of mycelium can be completed." He places his hands together, almost in prayer "There is also, uhmn. Raysheen. Rey-ee?" When you read, slowly translating with a dictionary, another language "We can grow. Bricks. For housing. My experiments are not done."

And KissThisThen says "Yes, important revel...wait. Where's the baby?" He stares around. He wanted to be a Breeder once.


"Wake up Maylis and ask her. It's...it's in her belly." The hesitation in his voice, a wibble and a softening of his eyes betray more affection than he should. Maylis woke up when her name was mentioned. "Hrm?" Cinder repeats Kitten's request and Maylis stands up, while she still can with some speed. "Come here, Kitten. If you are very lucky, you might feel it move. It started a few days ago." Maylis is the best example of a female Breeder. Good genes. Pure children and a nurturing heart. But, her breeding days are numbered. She saviors what she can."

It's near Maylis' clothing stand that this group has gathered. Maylis is an excellent seamstress and her best items are brightly colored in rich hues. The lesser items are meant to last but are not at lovely.

"Why Clinker?" Cinder says to KTT. "Clinker..."


Apparently, in lieu of actual tact, Faustina has learned selective hearing where Kitten is concerned. She does, however, nod to KissThisThen. "That is a good use for the more deadly varieties. I want to hear more about the bricks for housing. Another time. How long do you think until they are usable? How long do they las... Later. We will discuss later." She's standing one table over, looking at a small selection of fountain pens among other items there.


Xavier is dressed in loose drab brown homespun caftan, designed to hide as much of heir form as possible. A long matching scarf is wrapped around their head covering most of their hair and face. A strong nose, big dark eyes and tawney skin are visible. They even have gloves hiding their hands. They drift up, eyes wide and alert at all this talk of mushrooms. They come to poke at the bin too, "Sometimes a person can synthasize equivalent synthetics with an ppropriate sample size and the right precursers. Depending." There voice is a soft androgynous tenor, and they keep their eyes lowered. Mostly. Quick glances to take in the faces of the others. They give a confused double take when they see Kitten. They don't comment on recreational uses. Or Babies.


Kitten brings their hands to their lips in awe, then they come closer to Maylis and delicately lay a hand on her belly. "Hello, little baby," they say in a soft, high tone. "You're so sweet and tiny, and your mama is going to love you so much." For someone with a pipe wrench holstered in their belt, they're awfully tender sometimes. They look up at Maylis and smile. "Does it move a lot?" They catch sight of Xavier from the corner of their eye and grin, though there's no recognition in their eyes.


"Don't you know what clinker is?" says KTT, then to himself "He doesn't know what Clinker is. I know what it is. Oh, well. I won't. Bother her." He rubs his neck "Uh. Don't think I'm contagious. But. She is pregnant, and I use lots of complex. Herbs and. Essences. So. I keep hands to myself." He lifts his head, and he places his hands together, and he says "We can talk, she can ask about it, and I'll explain the rules and runes of how to make mycelium and hyphae work." He turns his head towards Xavier as that person arrives, and he watches them, staring outright. Then he frowns as Kitten is all sweet and good natured, and there is talk of babies. He grits his teeth for a moment, and he says "When you burn away the carbons, sometimes there is left what doesn't burn. Metal. Clinker."


"Not a whole lot yet. Well, they move but I can't feel it until they get bigger. And this one is /growing/. Cinder's son was huge. 5 kilograms. So glad I didn't birth him. Hopefully, this is another little girl." Maylis and Cinder make a good pair in their way. Both are kind and patient and relate to anyone. This comes in handy as Clinker is explained to Cinder. "Doesn't burn. I like that. I do, Kay." When Xavier appears, Cinder brightens but doesn't draw a great deal of attention. He just moves to him and says, "Xavier, I want you to meet Kitten. Kitten wants to bleach their hair and I said I knew a guy up in the Gardens. Of course, I was talking about you. Chemical magic." He beckons Kitten over. "Come meet Xavier. He puts up with me when I get bored sometimes."

"A lot of the time." Maylis quips.


Faustina turns and actually smiles, well, something almost approaching a smile. The corners of her lips raise slightly, at least. "Xavier." But then he's being introduced and she quiets again and switches to watching the ebb and flow around the market, gaze roving over the people gathered there as if she's looking for something or trying to follow something.


Xavier's eyes are following Kitten, rather than sensibly focusing on mushrooms or trying to see the baby kick. They gently bumps shoulders with their sister in greeting, "It's all fumes in the lab again, so we are airing it out. Timmy made me leave for the duration." They say this as if it's reassuring, "Don't worry. nothing exploded or caught fire." They look away, a hint of their blush vsible over the fabric. They catch KTT's stare and their voice warms, "I got an interesting sample of... something organic in a vial. Some scavanger brought in, KTT. I was going to see if I could analyse it later. If you wanted to come poke at it too..." They are very much not looking at that belly, but they blink up at Cinder, the crinkles in the corner of their eyes suggesting a smile. "Bleach is easy. It's mostly just a urine reduction." They drop their eyes again. That is most definately a blush as they offer their hand like in olden times, "I never get bored. So much to fill my time."


Kitten pats Maylis' belly lightly and says, "Okay, baby, I love you." Then they turn to Xavier. "Yes! I want to bleach my hair. Can you get me bleach? When I get the Lux to pay you? I have a guy who's going to get me some mushrooms for a wheel." They regard the offered hand for a blank moment, then they shake it, their hands calloused from working on engines. "Hello," they say.


KissThisThen mutters something about clinker and ash and phosphorous under his breath. He, like Faustina, is falling quiet, though his hearing is less dependable once he gets distracted, as well. He says "Oh, five kilograms would be a huge mushroom -" And then his gaze flits to Faustina. She clearly knows Xavier. He interlaces his fingers, and he says "Ah, yes, fumes. Well. Mmm. I do like fumes. Oh! Wait, you do? I mean, if you want to see - yes, he suggests this, and I think it could be a very good idea. He says we could go have a look at something new." And then he says "Oh, are there still nitrates in the urine? I need nitrates." And he looks back at Kitten, and he sighs heavily. Kitten has a guy. He says "What is they - he? She...what is. Well. Maybe like a mushroom."


"Bleach is urine?" Cinder says, his big eyes darting back and forth in thought. "Makes sense. Mmmhmm. Look." Cinder shifts his stance, widening it a bit. He makes him a little shorter without bending too much and plants him in a confident stance. "Ecks, I'll cover his chemical needs, okay? Lux, clothes that fit you better, we'll work it out. Just make this happen for Kitten? Whatever they want. Kitten's sister has been good to me since we got...lost out there those months back. I owe Kat and this helps. Plus, Kitten is...sweet." And Cinder can call someone sweet without an ounce of malice or sarcasm or condescension. He means it. "And Kitten, Xavier is super smart. He's a Professor up there. You'll be in good hands. You trust me?, Kitten? Ecks?"


Faustina's eyes widen very slightly at the discussion of fumes in the lab. "Timmy is correct. Though a lack of fire is an improvement over last time." And now her gaze is back On Xavier, studying him carefully as if making sure he is in one piece and uninjured. This is, apparently enough of a concern to pull her attention from everything else.


Xavier's hand is soft through the thin fabric, "Do you want paste or liquid, um, Kitten." Confusion again, "Mushrooms for a wheel?" Their voice has a dazed quality, "Hello." He looks between KTT and Faustina, "This is my sister. She's very clever. I can get you nitrites, sure. Who's like a mushroom?" They blinks up at Cinder, then duck their head, tone warm, "Sure. Anything kitten wants." Another quick, shy glance at kitten. They add quickly, "no close fitting clothes. colours maybe. I like colours." They shake their head quickly, "It's okay, sis, really. Timmy's lung thing is better than an old tech detector or one of those can things. We had the windows open and were out before there was blood or anything, I promise."


"We have fumes," Kitten says, "in the Garage. I breathe in a lot of them." They smile somewhat shyly. "Gas fumes, mostly, but there's all sorts of solvents. Anyway, I should get back. I'm going to rebuild a V8 from scratch. I had to take it apart." They step away, clutching their shirt to their chest. Their new treasure! "Bye, Maylis, bye Cinder, bye Kissy, bye Xavier, bye Miss Pens." They might not remember Faustina's name. It's a miracle they remember the names they've managed to rattle off.


"A...five kilo mushroom," says KTT, cautiously, and he narrows his eyes at 'anything kitten wants'. Might be a weird form of not entirely well expressed jealousy. Or not? He is fidgeting with the colours on his dockets that he has been surveying, and now he is finding the plethora of voices takes a lot more concentration "Oh, wait, she's your _sister_?" That causes him to dart a glance sharply towards Faustina "Ahahahaha...hahahahaha," he adds, a little weakly. As Kitten starts to head off, he looks after them, and he says "Good night, High Sign."


"Bye, Kitten." Cinder waves him off and takes his previous seat on a stool beside Maylis' stall. Maylis is asleep again. "That's a lot of names he remembered. Hmm." He looks down at his seat, thinking. "Well, Kay, think of this? Five kilo mushroom except pushed out of a hole the size of little bitty bolt. That was my son. I wonder if Drak and I were large babies. Not many are born large." He doesn't linger on that thought, moving to Xavier. "Well, you know Maylis' has the brightest, richest hues on Sanctuary. You help out Kitten and you get your pick. I'll tell May when she's awake. She won't disagree."


Faustina still studies Xavier a few seconds more, then nods distractedly to Kitten before turning to blink at KTT. "What? Yes. I'm their sister. What did you think?" She looks back to Xavier again. "Good. I don't like it when you injure yourself." There's a few more moments of reassuring herself that he's in one piece. And then her gaze goes back to roving around the bazaar, watching the people.


Xavier mumbles, "All this and clever too...," as they watch in helpless fascination as the skeletal vision in vinyl walks away. Then they are peering at KTT, "It's okay. Faust looks like mom. I must have taken after my father or something. I don't really look like any of my Sibs. Except..." They fall silent, eyes downcast again.

After several beats he blurts out, "Do you want to be with my Sister, Kitt? I don't mind if she doesn't." They eye Cinder, "A lot of names?" Because they haven't caught on yet. They wince, "I'm glad I'm well out of it." They wrinkle they nose, "It seems a messy, panful, dangerous business." But experimental chemistry isn't, apparently? Riiiight." They nod, "I know Maylis." They cock their head considering, "I like purple, green, and blue. And patterns. Bright things. But loose." Because they don't like to show more of their body than they can help. Not even to companions. Maybe especially not to companions. They gaze at their sister with a serious expression. "I am trying to be more careful. honest. And the new Timmy is very... strict about lab protocols." Unlike the old Timmy, who is now fertilizeer.


KissThisThen opens his mouth, closes his mouth. He stares at Cinder. And then he says "...that's how mushrooms grow." A pause. "Tiny pinpricks out of buckets, huge bunch of mush. Rooms. Well. I don't. I mean. It's not like, I'm a Breeder. Like _you_." He toys with the nuts and bolts necklace around his neck - the one he took from Kitten in exchange for dyes. More accurately, the one Kitten demanded he take in exchange for dyes. KissThisThen is _not_ good at saying no to War Children. Might be a bit nervous to. And then he says "Wait. What are you talking about?" to Xavier. Then he says to Faustina "It's hard to tell. Apples, you know - like apple trees. You can't get the seeds to make the same apple trees most of the time. I don't even know why that is. I can't line-breed an apple for. The life of me. Of course, we only...just started, really, might take a few hundred years." And as Xavier speaks, KissThisThen says "Does Kitten want to be with Faustina? Errrr. I am not sure. Faustina wants to be with -" Faustina. "Kitten!" he manages. He does brighten "Oh yes, I see, a new assistant. Well, the old one is pushing up." He does a few mental calculations "'Shrooms. Wait, what is dangerous?"


"Rest in Power, Timmy the Previous." Cinder says, solemnly. He falls silent as the brighter minds go back and forth. He just seems to like watching them talk or think verbally, like KTT. Finally, he says, "I am not a Breeder. I'm a Companion who sires, when asked. Usually when Universal donor births are on a decline. Maylis and I have produced a Universal so..." He shrugs and looks away. As if he doesn't care. But Cinder is transparent when it comes to the little ones. He doesn't address it. Instead, he looks to Xavier. "Why haven't you come to see me? I don't want--No, let me put it this way. It's more to seeing me than clothes coming off, yeah? I mean, people do what they want. Get what they pay for but...see me? Your Lux, your control. I..." A glance to Faustina. "I listen a lot. A lot more than you'd think." Beat. "I mean...I could be a Patron if I ever...leave again. So, I know what I'm doing. That goes for all of you." KTT doesn't get the look but a little smile instead.


Faustina's eyes widen and she looks back at her brother. "What? Who? Why? What do you mean 'be with'?" She turns her bewildered gaze on KissThisThen. "Ah, well. Yes. Technically we're half-siblings, which complicates things. Genetically. I had not realized Apples were so difficult to breed. Are there likely to be issues in the apple crops in the future because of that?" There's a slight nod to Cinder, but she's mostly looks back and forth between Xavier and KissThisthen.


Xavier looks a touch worried as he confesses to KTT, "I have no real idea." A quick duck of the head signalling amusement, "Growing babies. Much more dangerous than growing your mushrooms. There the dangers are known, based on type." They duck their head, this time in embarrassment, "I think I'm close to synthasizing something interesting from that half singed text I mess around with sometimes. They don'r have the formulas quite right. It's like it's some sort of test to see if you can spot the one thing they got wrong in each. sort of like a puzzle?" He peers at his sister, "Kitt was doing something with his face. I wasn't sure who it was intended for."


"Oh, I thought, because, well. The children?" says KTT, and he says "_Oh_. Universal donor. _That_ makes sense." He adds "Like the white mold that that scav brought back from the wastes. The _best_ thing ever." He interlaces his fingers, and then he says to Cinder "Clinker, not everyone wants to see people. Some of us are just better with the realities of life - blood and sap and soil and leaf." He adds "Though you are very nice. You have very nice hands." And KTT has very sore joints. He then says to Faustina "I have no idea what is going on." And he is content with that "Comptroller." And he says "Oh, yes. Some of the apples will be worse, some better. Some won't keep, some will keep forever. Some will make good alcohol, some won't. Everything is a bit like that. Apples are confusing. Apples don't like to breed like with like, but they make weird ones when you breed different -" A pause "Why's she asking about this?" he wonders to himself. Then Xavier is speaking, and he tries to listen to them, before he says, hastily "I don't have designs on anyone. I am definitely not going to touch anyone, and I do _not_ need to be corrected." He puts his hands together "I don't do so well with the formulas. All is in my feelings - I mean, we, you know, grow. Together, and align, it's like an emotion. To grow things. Not the same sort of skill. I think there is a man who is good at numbers, he might help with formulas."


"Uh..." Cinder, grumbles a little and shifts on his seat. "Savvy and Monitors...you are all trained in--in this way of thinking. These threads of thought. And you pull and pull and you wind up with nothing." Maylis begins to stir. It's like she has Cinder's Soapbox detector. "We all need soil, leaf, sap, blood, water, protein. But humans? Us. Flesh and blood with pounding hearts? We need one another. And The Trinity, in their wisdom, allocated for that. That's why I'm here. My brother too. We're here for the parts that are not fed by food and water. And not just sex. No." He slips off the stool. "Not everyone wants to see people but they need it, just the same. You will go crazy if...if someone isn't there to help you carry your burdens. Ease the load of this life. Companions are important too. As important as the rest of you. The problem is, you don't think you need it. But you do. Always. May, what?" Maylis is giving Cinder some serious stink-eye but not for the reason one might think. She nods down the stalls. Cinder follows her gaze and his expression falls. He goes silent. Down the way, is a pair of patrolling Monitors. Cinder sits and looks at the ground.


Faustina nods a little distractedly to Xavier, though it's unclear exactly which part the nod was intended towards. She's listening more intently to KTT talking about apples in the future and the uneven nature of what they'll get. She nods a few times, seemingly making mental notes. Then her gaze flickes to Cinder and his semi-rant and then towards the keepers, then back to Maylis. "I do not believe any of us said that Companions were not important. They are essential to morale for many. Equally, there are some who are not in need of their services. I have no need to 'be with' anyone at this time. In any sense of the phrase."


Xavier says, “At least I'm useful in that way. My blood. I mean. Even if the trait dies wih me." They look really alarmed, "Kitt? Why would you need correcting? You're kind and a hard worker." They glance at their sister, "Very useful, mushrooms. Food and medicine." They cock their head, "Formulas are so much neater than..." The guesture at the world. "The formulas are a test I think. Lost of good things in there. Drugs. Explosives. Everything just one thing off. There was likely a code somewhere. Half the book burned at some point." They shrug. "Which man?"

X shakes their head, "I don't the way you do, Cinder. Maybe. I mean, I'm not all that good at those parts. I never was. I mean, it's nice to have sister and brothers and friends, but there's always...." They shrug, "Formulas are easier. Out here there are so many variables. It's hard to even form proper hypothesis. you do that kind of math way faster than i ever could." Watching Cinder and May's expression, they step mostly behind their sister, head down.”


"I was trained as a -" Hey, other Monitors. KissThisThen flushes, staring towards them, and then he says "...I've been trained to do lots of things. I am go...fit for one of them." He prods at his hands, which can get sore, and then he says "Mmmhmm." He clears his throat "Does he know about Savvy, we don't collect lux the way the War Children do, you know, we don't. I don't know how Monitors do, though, come to think of it, maybe the Comptroller is just. Marinatin' in lux, maybe she uses it for those nice..." He sighs "Nice." And then, because he is what he is, he says "I think High Sign went crazy because of her fever, though. I don't _know_. Does Clinker know?" He eyes Cinder thoughtfully. He has forgotten entirely about the monitors "I mean, does he - though I suppose if he did, he couldn't tell me. Wait, does High Sign even _like_ males? I suppose it's not like anyone's. You know. _Mycelium_, KissThisThen."

As Faustina speaks, he nods, partly because he would nod along with any monitor, automatically, and then he says "It's nice to pretend." Wait, did that come out out loud. He stares at her a bit longer, but she does not appear to be smiting any one. After a long moment something slowly clicks "When you say 'Kitt'," he says to Xavier "You don't mean _Kitten_?"


"Kitten had a fever. I can't recall if I was here yet or not because I was a Tattler at first." Cinder says, quietly. A gloom has settled over him "That was bad. I was really bad. But...if I wind up Contaminated, I know where my next job will be. Confessor, they say. I hate tattoos though...on me. The needle--" The patrolling Keepers mosey up to the group. A woman, tall and lean clucks her tongue at Cinder. Cinder seems to just switch on the charm. "Magna? Is it that time already?" Magna nods, smiling like a young girl. "I'll meet you there, Mags. Just let me make sure Maylis get the help she needs." Magna agrees and does her best attempt at a saunter away. Cinder takes a deep breath. "Kay, Ecks, Faustina? Can you make sure May gets her stall torn down and items back. Magna likes to take her time." Cinder smiles, beamingly and starts to leave. "All of you? See me once. Just once. Maybe you don't know you need something, someone until they are there. Pardon me." And off Cinder goes, by Monitor request.

Maylis waits until Cinder is gone before a disgusted expression, crosses her face. She doesn't say anything of it though. She simply packs up.


Faustina narrows her eyes slightly at the exchange, but doesn't say anything, precisely. She comments aside to KTT. "Monitors do not get Lux, generally, though I can distribute it, if needed. We are given what we need as long as we do not abuse the priviledge." There's a pause. "Maylis, do you need assistance? And is there a problem with Magna? I should return to my work, but I can take a little time."


Xavier looks really confused, "Who's High sign? And Clinker? Pretend what?" They blink, "I mean you. KissThisThen is Kitt. I only just met Kitten." They blink, "A fever?" They are thinking. Trying to remember something but not quite grasping it. "But kitten seems all right now?"

They look away at the flirting or transaction or whatever. "I can try. I'm not much good at lifting stuff, but I'll do my best. I'll come. Sure." They do try to pitch in. They aren't clumsy, just not very strong. They are looking to their sister, wanting the answers to the questions they didn't know how to formulate, but faust clearly did.


KissThisThen watches Cinder head off, and he opens his mouth, but a lot of the time he just closes it again - and now he does _that_ all over again. He wrings his hands, he glances at Faustina, and he gives her a worried, white-toothed smile. Only those raised Fortunate probably have teeth that good. He says "Oh, dear." And then he puts his hands down, stretching them out. He nods quickly as Faustina suggests help with a problem. Not that he has any idea, of what it could be, but he sure does like the idea of her helping Cinder out if he needs it. Then he says to Xavier "High Sign is the girl in the white dress. Clinker is Cinder. You are Ransom. She is Comptroller." He says "Er. I am not sure that High Sign is all right now. I will help." And he does. He has a mind for systems, putting things together, putting them away, working quietly and carefully.


Maylis speaks evenly, looking Faustina in the eye. "No. Thank you. Magna is following all laws." She tenses and her lips twitch. She looks like she may elaborate but sighs, instead. "Magna takes what she is allowed and no less." She says and hands Xavier a purple top, loose with golden embroidery. "Carry that. Home. We'll settle up later. For now, consider it a gift for keeping Cinder busy and out of my way when he's bored." She waves off all other assistance. "I'll find others. I'll be fine. Cinder will be, as well."


Faustina nods once to Maylis, though there is still the sense that she has added a little entry in a file somewhere in her head. "Very well. Noted." She shifts and sets a hand on Xavier's shoulder. "I will see you later. Be careful." Then there's a small nod for KTT. "I will stop by to discuss these fungal building materials and apples at some point, but now I have inspections I should be doing." She glances towards the pens again, next stall over and states, "I need this style of body, but with that nib. Color is irrelevant, but smoother is better on texture. I'll come back for it in three days, will that be enough time?"


Xavier twirls the shirt around, clearly delighted with it. "Are you cure? This is really nice. I spill things.... Maybe I canwear it. For non chemical occations." They quickly wrap their arms around their sister, a quick dart in and out, but fierce. "Take care Sis." Then nod to KTT, "Thank you. No wonder we wwere at cross purposes. I bet things re aired out if you want to comeexamine my samples?" Not a euphemism.


And once his help is no longer required, KissThisThen is left hanging, just fidgeting, staring this way and that quietly. He takes a slow breath, still watching, and he says "I miss babies." And with that slightly creepy thing said, he then watches Faust start to head off and discuss pens. Inspections she should be doing. But mostly, pens. As Xavier speaks, KissThisThen tilts his head, trying to focus on his words "Er. Okay. I can do that. I will find it easier. I mean. Are they...this is complex. I'm not sure what words to use - let's just examine this in the terms of mushrooms, okay?" Nod nod.


Xavier eyes KissThisThen, "Miss them how? Because I can think of three-no four ways you could mean that. Mushrooms sure, but seriously, I think it's a little vial of crushed leaves. Maybe spices, maybe medicinal, maybe... something else. I thought... I mean, I know it's not mushrooms, but you might want to... It smells sort of dark green and bitter? Though attenuated? I was going to run tests, but you're a plant guy?"