Log:Flashing the Bazaar
It's the day after Kitten all but fled from Faustina in the Garden the night before. Today, they're in a knee-length black skirt and no shirt. The planes of their chest are shaven smooth, and they're pale all over. Here is one who has spent most of their time in the past several years in the Garage, where there isn't a lot of sun. Attached to their skirt by a belt is a pipe wrench with the name 'Kitten' scratched into the rusted handle.
They stand in front of a booth selling handmade music boxes, true works of mechanical art. They're twirling one pigtail around a fingertip, and they say to the person behind the booth, "I promise I won't break it." The person behind the booth shakes their head. Nope, Kitten is not allowed to touch. In all fairness, Kitten has a reputation for being batshit.
Faustina walks up behind Kitten and looks at the table. "Which one do you want to see?" She's in her normal outfit. She doesn't look angry or upset or even particularly suspicious, but then she's extremely hard to read.
Colorado is not on stage, at the moment. Rather he's with the Companion area, standing amidst the lounges. Tall, curly golden blonde haired, blue eyed, he is sleek and muscular and strikingly healthy, practically glowing among the dust and the heat. He's wearing a long, light, gauzy jacket, and a loincloth hooked around his lean hips. He's not on stage, but he's orating to the people who have come to refresh themselves in his presence. "I have of late--but wherefore, I know not--lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercises; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me a sterile promontory..."
Phoenix is up on one of the public stages near the Mess Hall entrance to the bazaar finishing up a short performance, the sort that is just enough to tease what he can do. The longer performances and private performances come at a cost. In his hand is a long stave burning at both ends, and it spins and swings through the air around his body, creating trails of flame in time with the beat of the drum. He is in a pair of leather pants and heavy black boots, leather bands around his tattoed biceps, and little else. Black inked thorny spirals descend from his shoulders down each bicep, and move with his arms as he performs.
Kitten turns to Faustina and smiles. No fleeing today. They point to a music box that is made from tin, with a polished lid and turn crank on the side of it. "This is the one I have my eye on," they say. "I'm saving my Lux, but I want to get Xavier something nice, because they were so nice to me the other day. I would make one, but it would be big and bulky." They sigh, adding, "And it would probably shoot flames." Because Kitten gotta do what Kitten gotta do.
Maddy wanders the bazaar in a semi-dream/semi-excited state. One moment bored and absent, the next leaping up and down over a pointless trinket. She is dressed in a long leather coat that may have been black once but now looks rather dusty. Under it are boots, hot pants, and a band of leather that covers enough of her breasts. Her hair long, dirty, and in a tangle. Over her eyes are a pair of sunglasses...with only one lens.
Maddy whoots at Phoenix's fire trick. "Whoo!! Twirl your stick, baby!" She grins wildly before her attention is easily distracted by the next attraction. Colorado...not as dynamic as Phoenix's show. In fact, his poetic words soon have Maddy yawning and fondling the pistol strapped to her right thigh. A nudge to whoever is nearby. "Is it okay to shoot people in here" she asides. "Just for the excitement."
Colorado seems unoffended that Maddy, among others, find his recitation not as exciting as some other Fortunate talents. He has his way. "Now what's that?" he's saying to someone who's interrupted him to ask something. "What's a promontory? That just means a place that juts out, like, into water." Then he laughs, kind and bright, blue eyes sparkling. "Oh yes, there used to be that much water. Used to be. Not anymore."
Faustina nods slowly to Kitten, studying them for a moment, that sort of weighing and assessing look she sometimes gets. Then she turns to the person behind the table. "May I see this one?" she asks indicating the box in question. At the slightly nervous agreement from the artist, she picks it up, opens it and turns the crank gently, waiting to see how and what it plays. Still, she manages to make it clear that she's addressing Maddy when she says, "Only if you are a Monitor and they are a threat, but it is discouraged, even for us. You should know that or have you injured your head recently?"
Phoenix continues to indeed, twirl his stick, in time with the movement of his body, and in time to the rhythm, until the show eventually comes to its end and he takes a bow. Those who want a private show step up to discuss it with the bally who begins talking up the next performer to hit the stage while Phoenix douses his flames, and picks up a small leather pack, attaching the stick to the back and slinging it over his shoulder. He pauses to talk to a couple of those around him just aside of the stage.
Kitten's eyes widen as they look at the music box, making much of putting their hands behind their back so the booth's operator can't accuse them of touching. The tune is thin and thready, some old lullaby that may or may not have actually existed in days past. "Do you think Xavier would like it?" they ask Faustina. "I was thinking either this or a miniature flamethrower that I made myself. It's only good for a spout or two before refuelings, but they don't look like they know how to handle one of the big shoulder-mounted kinds." They glance toward Colorado. "No one's seen that much water," they remark.
Making his way through the Bazaar on business rather than pleasure, Locke pays far more attention to those gathered here today rather than the wares being sold. More often than not, disagreements and physical violence is more prone to happen at the Scavenger markets than here, but that doesn't mean that the lair of the Fortunates doesn't have their share of demanding customers or arguments, so he'll make his presence known before moving on.
Dressed in his usual dark attire, with a heavy jacket thrown over the ensemble, Locke's heavy combat boots kick up dust as he walks with a soldier's gait through the bazaar. Carrying several different weapons on his person, one of the most prominent of these is a rifle that he has slung over his back and the hunter's knife attached to his boot. There's always this intensity that can be found within his dark eyes as they flicker around from face to face, before dropping to view hands as they make their exchanges and observing stances and movements and just about everything. At some point, he takes up position at the side of one of the vendor stalls. There's probably no real reason for this. More than likely, but he stands there with his hands clasped before him before his attention is drawn idly to some of the performances going on on stage. Of course, the 'Scavenger' in the their midst catches his attention. His eyes narrow a moment as he studies Maddy, but there's recognition that now flickers within his eyes. "She knows the rules."
"There used to be so much water," Colorado says, spreading his arms in a graceful flourish, "that you couldn't see the end of it. So much water that nobody could own it. Anybody at all could drink it whenever they wanted, and it was good and pure. That was before the world died." Somehow he makes it sound enchanting, a fairy tale from another world.
Faustina's attention is pulled back to Kitten. There is a pause while she considers, then she notes, "I suspect they would cherish anything you gave them, but yes I believe they would like the music box." There's another small pause before she continues. "They would also probably like the flamethrower, but I would prefer they have the music box."
Faustina glances towards the other Monitor and nods. "She should, yes. We have yet to establish whether she does, still. As I said, she may have sustained beain damage in her wanderings."
"I know all the rules!" Maddy squeals with exultation, a slightly maddened grin on her face. Though her eyes show less madness and more a sly mischief. "I know you" she points at Faustina, her eyes narrowing. "And I know you too!" she adds, turning her gaze on Locke. "But do you know yourselves?" Maddy attempts a mind-blowing wisdom in her tone but doesn't quite get there. A tap to the side of her head at Faustina's comment. "No damage up here. As sharp as it has ever been." She waves her hand beside her body, as if trying to shoo away something that isn't there.
Phoenix makes his way over to where Faustina and Kitten are looking at the music box, slowing down to pause and glance at it as he approaches. There's a look up and down at Maddy as she squeals, the loud noise of it drawing his attention moreso than what exactly she's saying. One brow ticks upward as she starts shooing away things that aren't present. He says nothing for the moment, just watching.
Kitten nods to Faustina solemnly, then paws through a bag at their side, pulling out little trinkets. There's an unset lapis lazuli they've found somewhere and a crumpled up piece of tarnished silver that someone could clean up and smelt into something else. "I have these," they say, and they hold the treasures out in their grubby hands. Lines of motor oil have been worked into the whorls on their fingertips over years of mechanic work. The artisan grimaces and indicates for Kitten to put the objects on the table, which they do. Kitten holds the bag open for the music box to be deposited into. "This is so great. I promise I won't put a flamethrower on it. Just for you."
With the treasure acquired, they look to Colorado. "I had a dream once where there was enough water to swim in, and there were fish, and no one cared if you took a bath. It freaked me out a little." Phoenix gets a smile. "I like your work with fire."
It doesn't take long to notice some of the oddities which Maddy displays and Locke's eyes seem to be fixed on her for the brief moment, even when her gaze turns on him. For Locke, there's always this discomfort that he feels when anyone looks upon the scars on his face, a reminder to him of his own failings so long ago. But he was still a Monitor, a Copper even, unlike what fate befell poor Maddy. "I'm going to have to escort you out of the bazaar if your actions are disturbing any of the traders here." He says as a warning more than anything, practically ignoring the former-Monitor's question posed to both himself and Faustina. While they may have worked together in the past, those days seem to be long gone. "If you behave, you can stay."
Colorado touches his forehead to Locke, as the Monitor makes his way along the bazaar. "How y'all doin' there, Copper." Rumor has it he and Locke know each other well of old. He glances at Kitten and flashes them a smile with all his renowned charm. "And so it used to be. Big fish, as big as a man, and some of them could talk to each other. That's what our old books say, whether," he winks one of those vivid blue eyes, "anybody believes 'em or not."
Phoenix nods his head to Kitten when they mention his work with fire. "Thanks." He is seen down at the Garage from time to time, where Vishys has been known to work on some of his toys that he uses in his performances, particularly those that require metal frameworks, or that throw fire, or create fireworks and sparks. So he's likely seen Kitten down there, as well. He glances from Colorado to Kitten and back again at the mention of vast amounts of water. "I'd pay a lot of Lux to see that." Then he glances over to watch the exchange between Locke and Maddy, eyes flickering from the scavenger to the monitor and back.
Faustina twitches very slightly at Kitten mentioning the possibility of adding a flame thrower. "I appreciate that," she says as she carefully sets the box into Kitten's bag. She gives Phoenix a tiny nod of acknowledgement and then turns her eyes on Maddy, studying the woman for a few moments before her gaze shifts to skin over the whole bazaar. Maybe she's decided Locke has this handled. Whatever the case, she moves along the row of tables, heading for one which seems to sell small items carved from wood.
Sneaky Eden. She'd been reclining on the top portion of the spiral staircase that leads to the Gilded Cage where she and hers abide, watching Phoenix on the sly and listening to Colorado tell tales about the way water once was viewed. Lounging in posed lean with enough room given to let people pass behind her on the stairs, she finally eases into straighten and typical posture of bearing elegance. While she comes down the stairs and through the shifting people in the Bazaar proper, she chimes in to Kitten while walking up from behind, "It shouldn't scare you. Water is life, this means it was a good dream. One day I will tell you about the great salt seas and the conquerers that sail them. Then, as you ride to battle, you too can imagine you're taken by the tides of war and domination to your fate."
This day, Eden is wearing a pure white shift dress that has a train tailing the grounds behind her with excess, beadwork and tiny bells sewn in to make small chime with her motion, drawing even more attention to her natural magnetism. The front splits, though, straight up the legs and thighs with length, but the volume of fabric keeps sexy behind modesty to appear in tantalizing flashes of flesh, the top half strapless and held by tailored bodice that swells decolletage to flattering. Her hair is a riot, she has tiny polished beads in loops up her forearms to shine and catch the light in multi-hues that color with accent, and her eyes are standout with smokey kohl.
Presentation is always tops with Eden, she's an example to many other companions and she lives that. But what's also tops with Eden is her stories, many know that too. She delights in telling them and it always comes out with the tale.
Maddy looks all somber and serious at Locke's warning. Brows furrowed. Lips pouting. Hands clasped in front of her in what could be a prayer position. "I will behave, Monitor Locke. You do not have to be afeared of me. I will be pure of heart and spleen." Her head bows and there is even a little curtsey...and then the wild smile is back. Stepping over to Locke she points to Faustina and whispers. "When did she get a promotion? Is it really that bad?" And then she is distracted again. This time by the vision of loveliness that will one day be a painting called 'Eden Descending the Staircase'. "Oh my gosh" she sighs to Locke. "She is so lovely...but I don't know what tune she is playing. Do you?" It's those bells that have Maddy confused.
Colorado smiles too at Eden, sketching her a little bow. He's elegant and courtly, this Fortunate, and he's admired for those traits along with his yielding, adoring ways. His Lux price is high, and he's considered to be more than worth it. "The seas, the oceans, the rivers, the lakes. It was a land of waters then, my children." Phoenix is the one who now gets a wink. Colorado plays his audience like he plays his guitar.
"Fish talking to one another?" Kitten says. "I wonder what they have to talk about." Then they turn around, and they smile broadly at Eden. "I have something to show you," they say, all bright-eyed and eager. Fixing their bag to their belt, they then start scrunching up their skirt. It's pretty clear that, within about half a second, Kitten is going to flash Eden a gander of their gear shift. Now would be a good time to intervene, or look away, or memorize the moment in all its majesty.
Phoenix's attention shifts over to Eden as she descends and approaches, and it is his turn to watch her, pale eyes observing not just his fellow Companion, but those around her as she passes. His expression is unreadable for the moment, and there is no bow or deference shown at her arrival, only familiarity. "Evening," he says to her in greeting, before glancing over at Colorado. He shakes his head just once at the man, but there is the tiniest tic at the corner of his lips. It's definitely not a smile, but perhaps the subtlest hint of what might be mistaken for one in the right light.
The intensity within Locke's eyes may be considered menacing and his posture ever rigid, but people who truly know him, know that he's in a relaxed state at the moment. He's not reaching for his weaponry, for one. He figured that Maddy would cause no harm, so there was no need for further show of authority here. Colorado's presence is a distraction, however, being called out in the bazaar in that way. There's recognition in his gaze, nodding slowly to the other man, "Citizen." He knows Colorado's name. "By the looks of things," He's talking about Maddy, "Everything is going as smoothly as it usually is here."
At that moment Maddy does her loud whisper and point to Faustina and Locke doesn't even need to direct his gaze in the other Monitor's direction to know exactly who Maddy is talking about. Searching the Scavenger's face, more out of curiosity than anything else, he simply states, "Monitor Faustina has always done an exemplary job. One of the best in her field, so I'm not surprised at all."
While Eden makes herself know, Locke knew that she was there all along, but the Patron's presence seems to be a distraction for all, so he will allow his gaze to fall upon the woman's beauty along with everyone else's. "I can't say that I do." He responds to this tune in question. But it did sound lovely.
Faustina seems for the moment to be ignoring Maddy's not so very whispered comments. Or maybe she missed them. It's possible. Not likely, but possible. She collects something small and slender from the artisan behind the booth towards which she had been aiming. (Those nearby or who were present the other day may guess it's a pen.) She wraps her hand around it, apparently testing the feel, and then tucks it into a pocket and nods before moving on, watching the ebb and flow of commerce around her.
Cinder is not as musical in his entrance as /some/ Fortunate but he's taken a hint from the Patron in presentation. A little hint. It's all about color with him. Blues and greens like the waters they seem to be speaking of. A slim tunic in green and plain dark pants are accented with silver and turquoise jewelry. Rings, bracelets, ten rings down his left ear. And the blackened bullets hanging from his neck. For some edge. This is the first time since the convoy that Cinder has descended. His color is normal and whatever bruises he may have are hidden. He may have avoided a crowd still. He was terribly distressed. But he strides over and puts on an easy smile. "Hello." Quiet. He must be feeling better. He looks at Kitten and his grin widens.
"She was good" Maddy nods about Faustina before adding, "At counting. Whatever, I'm sure everyone knows what they are doing, and everyone is working their best for Sanctuary. Rah-rah!" A wave and a grin for Eden. She may remember Maddy from her Monitor days...or remember her as the Monitor who failed to protect a very important Fortunate. Hence why she is now a Scavenger. A tilt of Maddy's head as she tries to recognise Cinder. "Look at all that metal" she asides to Locke, "He would be stripped down if he stepped outside Sanctuary. And I don't mean his clothes." Though it seems that Locke is rather enraptured with Eden to notice Maddy's comments, so the Scavenger steps away to let him turn on the charm.
"You looked magnificent in performance, as expected. Despite the name, you'll never be ashes. You're all fire, my sweet." Eden compliments Phoenix fondly with a slant of her eyes and eased on slip of familiar smile his way, but then, they're chummy like that, have been since they grew up together in the Fortunate cage. The girl decided they were going to be friends and that was that, long ago, it persists now. She takes a moment too, to rest her hand in brief silent gesture at the chest with greeting and compliment for Colorado's small performance, respect due to another Patron.
She has no real clue what Kitten is about to show her, though she probably should. She's so distracted by the idea of flashing a smile around to the comments all around, if she had a chance to stop what's coming, it's gone now. So when she looks back at Kitten once she's had a go with that smile for Locke and Faustina and Maddy nearby, her head tilts and she goes quiet and considering, "My, my, my. So colorful. Tell me, have you a significant other to appreciate this?"
Eden's seen everything. Except THAT which she is suddenly being flashed proudly in a quick revealing moment. But does she let on that she's surprised he actually did it? No. It's as graceful as anything she tends to say or do.
Colorado doesn't seem to be troubled by Kitten showing off what their mama gave them. Rather, he's sitting down on one of the lounges, stretching out the long beautiful body that gives him his caste. He takes up his flask to drink--water with a little lemon juice in it, the kind of thing a Fortunate gets. "You're gorgeous as always, Eden," he tells her, smiling. He's not wearing much, and from the back, it's easy to read his tattoo that says he was born over forty years ago, that he is Fortunate, and that he is Pure.
No one tries to stop Kitten, and so it happens. They flip up their skirt and show Eden their wedding tackle. It's bright pink. The dye-job is inexpert, and there are splashes of pink around the goods, but most of the color is right there on the bits. Bright pink. Not red as in irritated, pink as in Hello-fucking-Kitty Pink. "Isn't it great?" Kitten chirps.
Phoenix is a contrast to Eden. Where she is all bells and details, softness and pale hues, he is black leather and boots, and sun-touched skin from the open air dome of the Gilded Cage, traced with ink -- his adornment injected ink beneath the flesh -- no jewelry or baubles. There's the slightest flicker of a smile for her, but it's brief, and likely unnoticed unless one were watching him. But any who know him knows that he spends time in the company of the Patron, and that they are close, even if the outward appearance in the bazaar wouldn't necessarily indicate it.
He makes no movement to stop Kitten prior to or even after the flashing. He simply looks, for a moment, at the bright pinkness on display with one brow cocked upwards. He makes no comment at all, perhaps deciding that just not acknowledging it is the best response.
Maddy will happily check out the meat and two vege if it's on display. Head tilting from side to side as she studies it. Her eyes narrow, a finger waving in its direction. "I know what it reminds me off. A hairless mole that's been in the sun too long. They get pink like that. Same shape. They're good eating." A beat. "Not sure that is though. Looks a bit stringy."
Charm is not something that Locke has in good abundance. Not anymore. And when Maddy slips off to disappear into the crowd, the Copper's eyes quickly follow. If she does anything crazy, he knows that he'll hear about it. What does draw his attention is some of the laughter and whistling going on in the distance where Kitten is, probably, his own dark gaze drifting in that direction. It doesn't linger long, however, being already slightly distracted that he reorients himself to those in the bazaar, scanning the faces and listening to their conversation all over again. He, too, is finally on the move, leaving the stall he was positioned at to maneuver through the busy crowd.
"That's why I don't leave the Citadel. I worked hard for this metal." Cinder says to Maddy, still smiling. "Only about half of that with my cock out, before you ask." His eyes dart to Kitten and the pink dye job and he giggles like a teenage boy. "That is glorious, Kitten. Truly." He perks up and motions to Kitten in a Ta-Da sort of stance. "Eden! I am a matchmaker! I made one." He is so, so proud.
Faustina has gone quiet as she continues her walk along the aisle, stopping occasionally to look at what's on offer. Fortunately, she's headed away from Kitten so she is spared the bright pink sight. At the claim that Cinder is a matchmaker, though, she does turn and glance back.
"As are you, my dear." Eden tells Colorado while continuing to study Kitten with attentiveness, as if it were an outfit he's showing off. Her eyes slant aside to Maddy's commentary, though, and there's the barest twitch of her lips before her eyes catch to follow Locke briefly through the crowds while the others have a moment to fully appreciate or compare the display to other animals, etc. The Fortunate are stylish, edgy, flashy even, but that is a novelty, even in here. She just lets him be proud with ease.
But then she catches eyes on Cinder and he has something to be proud of too, and from the way her eyes catch on the flattery of his colors to suit his hair and eyes, he can see she's pleased with his outfit choice, "Oh? Who have you matched to benefit? Will they be the great love story of the Wastes?" If he means something else, she's not catching on, that or she's playing mum's word about it.
Maddy heard what Cinder said and now has an extra interest in the metal man. "You can make matches?" For someone who spends so much time out in the wastes, this could be very helpful. "How many can you make? How much do they cost? Where do you get the sulphur? I can find you the ingredients. Maybe we can do a deal?" Though Maddy is confused by Eden's comments. "What love story?"
Colorado gets up, fluffing out his gauzy garments. He yawns behind his hand. "I'm off." As he maneuvers to get out of the sitting area, he bumps his shin against a lounge. "Ahh cuss it," he mutters. That probably hurt. But the bump immediately turns into a florid bruise. Colorado stares at it a sliver of a second--then he's acting very convincingly like nothing happened, and weaving his way out to the staircase that leads to his home.
Kitten lets the skirt drop and beams at Eden. "It didn't hurt," he tells her. "Kissy got some beetroot. It'll wear off in a few days, but it's all fancy now." Tilting their head, they look at Maddy. "I wouldn't try eating it. I'm still using it." They look around, then bow at some of the wolfwhistlers. "Beetroot! It's beetroot." they say a little louder, in case anyone else out there might just be jonesing to dye their junk goddamn pink. They watch Colorado head out, and they wave. "Bye! You're very pretty."
Phoenix makes his way toward Eden then, and as he passes her, gives just the lightest touch to her elbow with his fingertips. He gives a nod to Colorado as well before Cinder makes his proclamation, and he pauses, glancing at the man for a moment, and then to Eden before he waits to see what Cinder's answer might be to her question. There's a glance at Colorado at the cussing, and he watches him go for a moment, but only for a moment, before he returns his attention to Eden and Cinder.
If anything, being on duty in the Bazaar does allow Locke the time to observe new items going up for trade, though what he'll often look for is the occasional something rare being offered or the strange exchange that almost seems criminally undercharged. There may be good reason for this, of course, but it could be signs of something more. Either way, he scans the booths as he weaves his way through the bodies of clients, traders and Fortunates all the same. He keeps watch of the room, keeping tabs on where Maddy is, of course, a few other persons of interest, and then making sure that the commotion surrounding Kitten's revelation doesn't get out of hand. At Colorado's departure, those dark eyes watch the Fortunate wander off for a grim moment, before continuing on.
Cinder catches the way Eden looks at him and he beams. Cinder is working for that title of Patron. He watches Colorado leave before saying more. His eyes narrow with concern enough to be noticed. His eyes are too expressive to hide things there. But it's gone and they are back to Maddy. "Not fire matches. I wish. L-Love matches. Or, uh..." He looks back to Kitten and then Eden. "I'm not one to reveal things told to me. I can say that I...I wander, you know? Watch people. Know people. I've known Kitten for a while and...another person and I considered if they would like one another. I mean, we all need friends, yes? I was successful. They like one another. I mean, it's early and people can be fickle but it's a test of...myself and the possibility of the Fortunte providing additional services to the denizens of the Citadel." He finally breaths and then smiles. "I want to help people more...that's all."
"Rest well, beauty demands it." Eden makes floating call after Colorado as he goes for the stairs, and she's focused on what Cinder has to say more or less, so she doesn't notice the moment of mis-step or the rather immediate reaction on the flesh. When Phoenix passes to touch at her arm on his own way, though, her hand at the other side reaches reflexively across to graze return of fingertips over his knuckles just as he draws away to pause and see what's what in the matchmaking department. Really, they don't get out much, if at all most of the time, so these little bits of gossip exchange //do// happen to be interesting, even if it's just the passing drama of who hates/loves who at the current time. It's kind of like television in absentia to know things like that, perhaps.
However, when Maddy thinks that Cinder means actual fire-flash matches of usefulness and gets all excited, she almost looks like she feels bad for the scavenger to realize it's not so exciting as all that, "He means a match of like minds or hearts. But if you are interested in love stories, I know many. Most are tragic, but then, that is the way of things. No light without the dark." Then as Cinder starts to explain, her hand ticks as if to exemplify when he says as much and elaborates. While he's explaining, her brows lift a touch, but after a beat of time, she decides, "If it is to be a love story is yet to be determined, then. But if it is to be so, regale me with details-- I will have a new tale to tell." Probably a tragic one given Kitten is a War Child, but that makes the good ones, according to what she knows. Then she puts her hand out to Cinder's forearm, "We bring happiness where we can." Then she looks at Kitten, "And you are pleased thus far with this suggested match?"
As Colorado heads off, Lyra moves into place in the area in which he'd been performing, setting up with her lap harp and tuning briefly before settling in to play - a soft, soothing shimmer of music, perfect for a background to conversation.
Faustina listens to Cinder's statement and then gives a tiny little nod before turning back to study the wares on a table nearby - paper of a few kinds.
Kitten stares blankly but fondly at Cinder. "I did what, now?" they say. Their brow furrows, and they pry into the jumbled recesses of their mind. They're not dumb, not by any means, and if given a problem with an engine or weapon, or something that needs to shoot fire, they're a rare genius. They know facts and figures, most than most War Kids since they were raised Savvy. It's just that sometimes, they have to dig through all the random impulses and jumbled information to think and it puts them on pause. They stare into the middle distance until that 'aha' moment happens, and they smile at Cinder. "I'm very happy. I'm going to go break into his house."
It's unlikely that Phoenix is actually interested in the gossip itself, so much as he appears to be watching Cinder, and what he says, and how he says it. There's no particular interest given to the subject of the match, or even the nature of the match. Instead, he merely studies Cinder's features for several long moments, and then he continues on his way, murmuring to Eden, "When you've some time.." It's a request to speak with her later, but not now, not while she is attending to the floor. He gives a nod to those gathered, Cinder, Faustina, Kitten, those nearby, and then he's heading back toward the cage, likely to wash off the sweat of his most recent performance, and to prepare for the evening.
Well, that's disappointing. Maddy has an infuriated frown on her face to discover that there were no useful matches being made. Only silly lovey-dovey things that waste resources. Speaking of wasted resources. "How many beetroot did you use on it?" Maddy asks about Kitten's staining job. "I hope it wasn't too many...probably not." Her grin is back for Eden. "I'm //always// happy...except when I'm not." She turns away from the gathering to check out more of the stalls. "Anyone have any matches!!"
Eden doesn't particularly break with surprise often, but the non-sequitor seeming correalation between being happy and breaking into someone's abode because of it really kind of throws her into a few lash bats. Then suddenly, she starts to laugh, melody and amusement drifting out of her before she shakes her head a little at Kitten with commentary, "You, child of war, you shall live a thousand lives in this one short span. It should be just so." Because again, War Children die a lot sooooo...
Breathing out wind down from that brief laugh with a soft sigh, she nods easily to Phoenix as he breaks pause to depart, giving him the look that says 'soon' with noting and promise, "Rest well." After looking back at Cinder, she considers something visibly for a moment before saying, "Soon, we will do our exercises with your breathing, too. I have been busy of late, but you are my next due time for attention. It is important we be consistent with the outdoor hurdle, yes? Excuse me a moment, though."
Eden watches Maddy go off with the grin and a hunt for matches with vague slant of smile, then finally breaks posed stillness to wander through the crowds to come and pose stand near where Locke is keeping watch now, "I apologize if my attire is disturbing the peace." She's deadpan and cordial, but there's warmth in that to note it as a joke about her stylish, faint and chiming accompaniment of draw when she moves, "You are well, I hope. I understand there was a confrontation outside, recently, during an exchange."
Speaking of attire disturbing the peace, here comes KissThisThen, who for once is _not_ here examining the usage of dyes or fabric made from plants. Often he moves between the areas, checking what is in use by who. The system must grow larger. So that must mean Kisses is here for entertainment, or possibly even to actually _spend_ lux. He is wearing no shoes or gloves in here, just a pair of very ragged shorts.
"Beetroot is renewable." Cinder says, with an exasperated sigh. "Happiness is in short supply and finite. Pink pubic hair hurts no one." Cinder says, firmly. Feelings are serious business. When Eden gives him a sign of approval, his eyes widen. "I am working with the Savvy on a possible medicinal solution to the outside anxiety. Yes, it's progress. Thank you!" She walks away and he looks relieved. He takes a moment to close his eyes and breath. He's wound tight, Cinder. He looks to Kitten and grins. "Thanks. I didn't mean to blurt. I swear. I just really, really want to be made Patron. I'm glad you are happy. Oh. Kay. Hi! Kay!"
It's hard to ignore listening to Maddy's conversation even in this busy space, but every so often Locke will look the woman's way to ensure that she is behaving. During all of this, though, he catches wind of someone mentioning breaking into someone's house and out of everything, that draws the Monitor's attention, turning to look on Kitten once more and studying the War Child from his distance. He's probably making a mental note of some of this, but he eventually turns away.
I mean, Eden is standing right there, dressed in her fine fabrics in pose. Looking her over, his expression neutral, he murmurs in response, "I don't hear anyone complaining." That's his retort to her joke, tossing one out of his own. He catches sight of KTT when he enters, all while keeping to the conversation at hand, "The exchange went well enough, thanks to your negotiation." He then says a single name: "Devil Boys." As to who had attacked them. "We took care of them without too much loss."
As if to prove that she has been paying attention on her walk through the bazaar, Faustina notes, "I saw the amount in question. It was, perhaps, a single very small beet worth. I deemed it unobjectionable as long as it was not a regular occurance. If so, I would expect them to use the peels left over from preparation in the kitchens." She considers the paper before for a few more moments and then asks for one of the small, hand-bound books from the stall, tucking this into a pocket as well before she moves on, circling back towards Kitten and Cinder and the others. "Kitten," She says, "Please do not break into their hut, though I suspect they would not object." Apparently Faustina knows the object of Kitten's affections.
The soft harp music continues and several people drift in that direction to settle in nearby and listen. Lyra is draped in sunny yellow fabric embroidered with red flowers.
"Devil Boys?" Suddenly Maddy is standing next to Locke and Eden. "Where? Here? Are they allowed in now?" She snarls at this betrayal. Looking ready to explode in anger until it is gone in a moment and she is pointing at Eden's clothing. "I can get you some material to cover those gaps. Must be chilly when the wind is coming up the pass...especially if you bend over." A slow turn of her head from Eden to Locke and back. "I need to be over there." Maddy points off in one direction and then heads the opposite way.
"It was wasn't much." Kitten beams at Cinder, then tells KissThisThen, "I did it. It's pink." They don't whip up their black skirt to show off, however. One public performance per day, apparently. Until people start throwing Lux. To Faustina, they say, "I was just going to put the music box in there. I won't take anything." They watch Maddy go, and they ask Locke, "Was anyone awaited in Valhalla?"
Cinder pales a little at the mention of Devil Boys. He closes his eyes. Breathes and this is when he hears the harp. He exhales. "All of you relax. More beetroots can be grown. A tree hut break in isn't a crime if one is delivering a gift or traded good. I break into huts and bunks all the time to deliver commissions. No one cares or you'd know that." He gestures to those in earshot and moves toward Lyra. "Yellow is your color..."
KissThisThen turns his head towards Cinder. He considers, and then he starts to head on over, using a rather taller farming implement as a stick to walk with today - a rake-hoe, the blade tap-tapping the ground. A common item for cultivating ground, dealing with weeds, and accidentally bashing anyone who startles him because his hearing is so terrible. "Clinker, I did want to talk to you," he says, before he is instantly distracted by just about everything else going on. Enough voices and he cannot quite focus on one person at a time. He eyes Kitten, and then he nods, and he says "...er. I hope it's. Everything you wanted?" A pause "Did it make you happy?"
Dark eyes shifting, Locke overhears Faustina handling the break-in situation before it even gets started. Those same eyes peer over at Kitten, awaiting his response, which he seems to content to hear. However, it seems that his own conversation had been overheard by the War Child and to this he has to ponder, "There was one Injured. One of yours." A War Child. His eyes then move from Kitten to Cinder, "He was sent back to Sanctuary with a blood donor." A blood bag! "I've not been appraised of whether he lived or died, but the Spider was tending to him." And Arachne is a darned good doctor.
It's when Maddy interrupts their convo, moving in close to aside to both himself and Eden that Locke's eyes narrow sharply, before relaxing considerably. "Out in the wastes where they belong. Buried beneath the sand." She's an odd one, but the thing is, he remembers her from before her demotion and expulsion. If anything, he has some sympathy, despite her failure.
Lyra offers Cinder a warm smile and a little laugh, even as her fingers continue to dance over the strings of her harp. "Flatterer," she murmurs. She seems about to add something else, but then he's being addressed by KissThisThen.
Faustina inclines her head slightly to Kitten. "If you do not take or damage anything, simply leave them a present, then that is a delivery, not a break in. Still, you might give it to them in person. That way you can gauge their reaction."
"Mm." Eden makes a noise in her throat that's subtly warm and humored for Locke's return to her greeting, but then he's on to more serious answers and though the Patron has no doubt heard at this point who the culprits were, she tends to get variation in her stories and likes to hear from official present sources. That and she might be standing there making sure Locke himself is not injured as a result and walking tall despite it.
While standing with her hands clasped before herself, mostly looking through the bazaar at other companions and Fortunate doing their duties with observing notes and watch, much like he does as a Monitor for the whole of Sanctuary... she occasionally side-eyes his body and posture, but all seems well. Eventually, she focuses eyes on the harpist making soft ambient lull with the talented fingers on her instrument, listening to the exchange around about Devil Boys, which is an answer that makes her click her tongue in brief when the explanations are finished, "How far along were you when they struck out at the caravan, do you recall?"
Strangely specific question for a Fortunate to ask, but Eden does outside diplomacy too and likes to know these things for her own reasons.
Also, Maddy's comment on her clothing before she veers off makes her amused with delayed catch on given subject matter, "... I shall keep my options open, then. Thank you. I hope you find matches."
Returning after she realised she wasn't going in the direction indicated, Maddy resumes the conversation like she had never been away. "Can you tell me where they are buried?" That's a lot of nutrient going to waste under the sand. It was an ambushed escort mission? That may cut a little close to her bone. Maddy's eyes clouding over for a moment, her manner even more distracted than usual, before she is suddenly back with a grin. "Glad you didn't fail. That sucks when that happens. There was this loser Confessor I heard about who couldn't even protect one Fortunate." A sigh and a shake of her head. "Silly, silly Monitor." Finger-guns for Eden. "I will find matches!" Off she goes again.
Kitten can't help it. They have almost no impulse control. They hike their skirt to show KTT their dye-job. It's... pink. Oh, not just the pubic hair. The whole damn thing. Sunset pink, as promised, rosy as can be. Letting the skirt fall again, Kitten says, "It's great. Rebar laughed so hard he coughed up blood." Which seems to be a mark of quality in Kitten's book. They nod to Locke then and say, "Thank you. I hope they recover." So they can die in battle properly. To Faustina, they say, "I think I'll just leave it. If they don't like it, I don't want to be there. Besides, figuring out who it's from is part of the fun!"
Cinder looks up at the mention of a donor. "I passed out on the way back or...Exo knocked me out because I was freaking out. It's hazy. I don't know what happened to the recipient." He glances back at Kiss before saying to Lyra. "I'm working on currying a little favor with the Savvy so Aloy might land there. I've not been attentive, I know. I'm...I'm just trying to, uh, keep her /out/ of Prime. Get her into the Gardens. Porter's going to make a good Artisan. I've lost Lara.--I'll be around tonight. I'll stay too. But I've been kicking again."
He turns back to Eden. "I know the Devil Boys have issues with women. I had considered making Devil Boy diplomacy my project, maybe?" Beat. "I'm clearly not ready yet but I was born in the Dust--Wastes...I'm not so far removed as to forget where I come from. They may receive me. May."
Before that gets shot down, he look to Kiss again. "I've been meaning to see you. The convoy thing...I was resting. I feel better now. Lots I missed."
A muscle in KTT's face twitches a little at 'buried beneath the sand', and KissThisThen says "We should be carrying harpoons so we can easily bring back bodies." He frowns a little and scratches the side of his face. Clean shaven, which takes a bit of work, but which also helps when you wear masks for working in the mycology areas or in any spots where chemicals can build up. It is a pity that his hearing is terrible, because otherwise he might be almost entertained by Faustina's rather adroit description of deliveries versus burglaries. Still, he was off to ask Cinder things, and he realises he is talking to Lyra, then steps back himself, muttering at his fingers, low voiced. Whispering what is normally sub vocalisations. He gestures, side-eyeing Eden of all people. She is a patron, and. Yes. Stare at Eden, until Maddy says what she does and he says "_Yes_. Harpoons. All that. Calcium. I need the phosphorous. Nitrogen, potassium, yes, fine, but phosphorous is very hard to come by - of course, they may not care about that, well. I suppose do any of us really care about the inner workings of elements day to day. So many details, they might get in the way."
Then Kitten is flashing him, and he says "...I have. Genuinely. Never seen anything like that before. It is very." He pauses "It is impressive," he decides "I like it. You should keep it. Is this the right thing to say? Am I saying the right thing?" He pauses, darting a look at Eden "She always knows if people are saying the right thing, so I will look at her, and not say anything that might upset High Sign. I do not want to upset High Sign." He is rambling under his breath, and he realises Cinder is looking at him. He pauses, resets, and then he says "Ah, yes. I would like to hire someone for the usual."
Maddy wanders over to KTT and nods towards Kitten's exhibitionism. "I've seen something like that before" she whispers conspiratorally. Her tone dead serious. "A hairless mole that's been frying in the sun for a few days. Looks just like that." Now that she has illuminated KTT, she will leave him to his assignation. Where are the damn matches?
Locke nods slowly to Kitten's words of gratitude. He knows full well about the War Children's ideals of dying in combat and unfortunately for this War Child, that opportunity was snatched away from him! Poor guy. "We were just doing our duty to protect our passengers." The Fortunates in tow. Around that same moment, Cinder pipes up and the Copper nods once more when told that the Companion may or may not have blacked out. All that Locke says is, "I remember." But he's probably not talking about that moment. It could very well be the panicked scream that was heard shortly after the attack was over.
"We were one hour away from the Tribe of the Sun's encampment." He returns back to conversation with Eden. "Despite the wagon taking some damage and the loss of several of our vehicles, we moved forward rather than driving the full five hours back without our trade agreement in hand." For the most part, besides some bruising from being battered around in the shaken bus, Locke looks to be in good physical shape. No bullet wounds or major injuries of any kind. "The children," He knows that Eden fancies the teaching of children, "How are they faring here, in Sanctuary?"
When Maddy tells a tale of the failed Monitor, Locke can't help but study her face, looking at her eyes, to see if her mind was truly long gone, but it's KTT's words that he responds to next. Probably because he's now being addressed in some way. "Put in a request for that before we set off." That's all that he will say of the matter. Aside from weapons and gear for defensive measures, he has no say as to what they carry with them.
Faustina blinks a few times at Kitten's display, but simply says, "Very well." There's a glance for Cinder and his babble and then towards KTT and his. "We were somewhat over two thirds of the way there. Closer to Solaris than to Sanctuary. Which is why we continued on instead of turning back - less ground to cover. And it allowed us to send for reinforcements along with returning our one wounded for treatment. I believe there was a plan to send a party to recover the bodies and to salvage things from the broken vehicles. I should check on whether that was implemented or if the wreckage had been claimed by the time the salvaging mission arrived."
Lyra gives Cinder a warm smile. "Of course, it's always a pleasure to see you. And to have you stay, even when you kick." The music continues on from her fingers, clearly memorized to the point of needing almost no thought.
Fortunately for KTT, Kitten is difficult to upset. Maddy's comparison merely makes them say, "Man, I'd like to see that." Then they tell KTT, "I don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon. In the future, Faustina says we should use the peels since they're not getting eaten anyway." Surely they can be composted after, er, decorating the War Kid. And hey! They remembered Faustina's name! Progress has been made. "Okay, I'm going to br-- deliver into Xavier's house, then go mount some flamethrowers on Rebar's ride. Bye, everyone."
Eden listens closely to Locke's details, then tips her head into a nod of understanding and noting before answering as to the children, "They will thrive, in time. There are adjustment periods. I like to visit the ones that come in from diplomacy arrangements, so that I am reminded to stand strong outside for purpose when it comes time. Some of the older ones came in a bit wild, I believe, but our Breeders have practiced hands with these assimilation upbringings to suit life and standard." Her hands shift to unclasp as she reaches over in brief to the Monitor nearby, just a drifting touch at the knuckles that's barely anything from the outside, but Locke isn't exactly a guy to invite such things with his demeanor, so it's significant, if only to him, all the same, "I am happy you returned hale."
Cinder's offer eventually reaches the Patron's ears, though. Her attention shifts.
"I admire your daring for undertaking such a task to learn with, but I am not so sure it is something to plan for, either. I cannot think of a time when we have attempted such a thing with //that// vile lot, personally. They do not barter, they do not trade, they take what they want as they want it." Eden is seeming to think on this for a beat for one reason or another before actually forming her way of answer, "But... that does not mean it has not or will not happen. And in that case, the Patron diplomat should be a man, this is true. Perhaps in the future, when you are seasoned and they are whittled down to be less of a threat, they will be more amenable to such things. In time, it is inevitable. We are the strong."
Eden has such faith in the security of what Sanctuary and the Triumverate make and keep for the collective, and so, when she says this, she sounds certain that their men and women will eventually remove such an organized threat.
There could be bodies and vehicles to salvage? Maddy has a good idea of the position of the battle from Locke and Faustina; no harm in checking it out. "I have to...umm...drive my tires in." Perfect excuse to leave Sanctuary, Maddy! "Thanks" she says out loud to her own thought before she is heading out of the bazaar. Maddy stops on the way to look at Locke. Her eyes locking on his for a lucid moment before she is grinning once more and resuming her escape.
Cinder seems to hold his breath every time Eden opens her mouth. He exhales and nods to her. "One day, perhaps we can bring them back into the fold and if that is possible I will see to it myself. I dream big, Eden. I dream big." He glances around. "I have a regular so, if you pardon me." He moves to KTT and says, "Come early tomorrow, after work and mess?" He steals a hug from Kitten and a kiss from Lyra. "Tonight. Have a nice evening all." He leave with a far more calm smile than when he arrived.
"I will put in a request, yes. That sounds like a good idea." He takes a slow breath, and he says "Salvage is another way of saying survival." An old saying. And then he smiles, despite himself, at Kitten "I really like you," he says to them "I hope you never work it out, girl." And then he is shoving his hands into his rough shorts, with the holes at arse and knees. His clothing is really just a wreck. He is trying to listen to Eden, which means watching her mouth. Not all of it can be worked out. "They'd be more useful as fertiliser watering their blood on the ground for the Green and our hope," says KissThisThen, before he visibly brightens as Cinder speaks "Yes. Excellent. The usual," he confirms, and he says "Good night, Clinker."
Lyra does pause her playing for the kiss and gives Cinder a warm smile. "See you later." And then she's back to playing that rippling music.
Faustina, meanwhile, watches Kitten go with the barest hint of a frown. Or maybe she's just thinking particularly deeply about something. It's a little hard to tell.
Listening to Eden talk about the structure that the Fortunates have in place to tend to the newly acquired young ones, Locke's gaze focuses on her face, watching as she describes things in detail. There's a hardness to his features, that it's difficult to tell whether he's pleased to hear something or not, but after everything is explained to him, he is quick to state, "I know that these children are in good hands. Better in ours than in the clutches of the likes of the Devil Boys." He then continues, "With your guidance," He could mean Eden personally, or the Fortunates as a whole, "I'm sure that they will thrive and grow to become remarkable citizens of Sanctuary." There's some point where his gaze lowers, observing her hands brushing up against his, but aside from that, there's little reaction on his part. Meeting with Eden's gaze once more, he nods. "Thank you, but you don't need to concern yourself with me."
He'd been listening about Cinder's suggestion, probably thinking that it was a dangerous undertaking, but if The Three believes that there may be some use in it, despite the huge risk, he won't speak out about it. However, knowing what he knows of the man, he already looks doubtful.
To both Faustina and KTT, especially once Maddy makes her departure, his own ever-watchful gaze trailing behind the former-Monitor, he says, "If the War Children haven't yet scheduled that excursion, you might want to remind them. It is for the benefit of Sanctuary, after all." Though when Faustina mentions that she'll be looking into it, he nods quickly. "Good. It's a wonder, and one that I'm pleased about, that the Devil Boys attacked us without our young cargo. The children are usually what they want. They should've waited for us to make the exchange, but no matter. They have failed and we need to ensure that they continue to do so." Looking between the three of them now, he speaks out, probably to the other Monitor more than anything, "I'll be over at the Scavenger domain. I'm sure there will be a few fires to put out there." He doesn't mean literal ones either, unless Maddy's involved. But those are a swindling lot. With that said, he offers Eden one last silent look, before he proceeds onward.
KissThisThen takes a breath, dusting off his hands, and he looks at Locke curiously. Finally, though, he says "I think it is a good idea to use their filthy corpses for something beautiful - mushrooms or rot. The attack might be seen as a good omen, perhaps. It is clear they must have no one as a spy within us. Otherwise their attack would have been more apt. Assuming it wasn't a deliberate feint..." He shrugs, and then he says "I wonder what _they eat_..." Others are leaving, but he ponders that "Where are they getting _food_?"
Faustina considers for a moment, then nods. "I will go and discuss with the Children of War whether such an expedition has been mounted, yet." She inclines her head slightly to Locke and then KTT and moves off towards the main concourse, and presumably thence to the garage.
Lyra seems inclined to continue playing pretty harp music and not be involved in the discussions of what to do with dead bodies or whether to treat with Devil Boys or not.
Eden tips her dark coiffed head with gracious respect to Locke for the time and information exchange when he speaks his piece about his next point of duty and patrol and so on, hands reclasping before herself after that brief and bare moment of touch. There's a beat before he actually goes-- she doesn't look at the collected companions entertaining around the space, nor does she casually side gaze the man as she'd done while they were conversing and standing in their own upright, suitable postured poses.
She looks right at Locke in return silence with direct and solid eye contact, and she doesn't say anything at all, but maybe she doesn't have to. Instead, she makes another tiny tip of the head when he's actually off and gathers up the train of her dress skirt to start for the staircase, announcing, "I will take rest now. Excuse me." On the way to the spiral leading to the Gilded Cage, she's sure to compliment Lyra's playing with encouragement to keep up that beautiful lull of room ambiance. Afterall, they need something more pleasant than what KTT is maybe planning or suggesting over there about dead bodies.