Log:The Chemistry of Tattoos

From Horror MUX
Jump to: navigation, search
The Chemistry of Tattoos
Characters  •   Faustina  •  Xavier  •  Cinder  •
Location  •  Chemist Corner
Date  •  2020-01-11
Summary  •  Faustina checks in with her sibling. Cinder drops in to ask about henna. Xavier confesses some things to Faustina.

Faustina shows up at Xavier's hut, which is a little odd because she should still be on duty. Mark accompanied her most of the way here, but then was sent off to go patrol the area and make everyone nervous about why he's there. Faustina stops by the door way, watching the hut for a few moments like she's reassuring herself that nothing is on fire and all is well before she raps on the door frame.


Xavier is humming off key, and when they open the door they are ungloved and without head wrap or sandals, but otherwise dressed. They have rearranged the sparse furniture of the hut a bit. the foot locker is under the work table and the bed against a narrow end of the hut. The new pad is rolled up opposite it, against future use. The experimental plants are thriving and Xavier has a think that looks a bit like a tent spike if it were made of salt in their hand. They give her big smile, "Hello, Fausty! Come on in!


Faustina studies Xavier intently for a bit, like she's cataloguing him or his features or something, then nods and steps inside. She reaches for her pen in her pocket and then stops herself and carefully stretches her hands and then puts them down by her sides. "Hello. I just... thought I would check on you." Pause. "Make sure you had gotten everything you needed." She looks around, but seems unable to find a place to settle.


Xavier gives every appearance of being sober and healthy. They even look less half starved and better rested, though it's subtle. He gestures at the bed, "I kept it in lieu of chairs... Just a sec." They stick the spike, that must not be of salt after all into one of the plants and makes a note of day and time. Closing the notebook, they come to sit. "We've been working with the reapers to design slow release fertilizer. The prototypes went out over the last few days. I fear I've missed most of the goings on. How are you? How are things?"


Faustina nods a little jerkily and sits on the bed, then takes a deep breath. "I am... functional. I am functional. I have been... there was a thing called a slide rule and a big book of formulas that go with it among the items and I have been studying it in my spare time. There... it makes complicated math easier." She leans very carefully against Xavier, just the tiniest bit of contact, shoulder to shoulder. "Everything is well. We have released most of the supplies taken from the raid. It has led to a few issues, but largely people are happy."


Xavier leans back gently, just enough to let her know he's comfortable with it. "The ancients were very clever. I am glad you found your slide rule. It helps, being able to organize knowledge better, I think. We're learning so much and the chemicals are really pure. I... um, got a tattoo. Of one of their chemical diagrams. I'm probably going to get more of them. Chemical Diagram tattoos, I mean." He closes his eyes and takes a breath, "I think I'm okay, Fausty. I was scared for a while that I maybe wasn't, but I think I'm okay."


Faustina seems to be calming down. "Good. That is good. And organization helps many things." She takes another breath and slowly releases it. "A chemical diagram tattoo would suit you, yes."


Xavier says, “We've learned so much in the last few weeks. Everything makes much more sense now we have a proper framework to view things through. It's on my shoulder, so I can't show you, but it's very pretty, lots of hexagonal rings, like a honey comb, with some strings coming off. I am thinking of doing soap molecules up and down my forearms because they are really neat, being both ionic and covalent, so sort of a bring between carbon and water. I like the idea of being a bridge between too kinds of things." The chemist eyes her, "Were you worried about me or something else? what did they tell you?"”


Faustina listens to Xavier's description of his tattoo and nods at the end. "Maybe you can show me the diagram sometime, if not the actual tattoo. I can see how you would like the soap as well." She pauses for a moment, freezing a little. "No one told me anything. I was not... worried. Not precisely. It is unimportant. I knew it was a false worry. I knew it was a false worry. But... it was not unreasonable to stop by."


It's a flicker of red a few trees over. Hidden but for only a moment, it's easily revealed as Cinder...because he is a giant with long red hair. Long enough to pull into a short tail now. His attempt at ascending to his targeted treehouse is canceled and he makes his way towards Xavier's. He's excited. "Ecks! I think I found an interesting use for a plant I've--" Then he's gone. Dropped from sight. A foot slipped and a hand wasn't ready and he falls... "I'm okay!" He says quickly. "I can move!" Beat. "Nothing is broken. But Ruth's hut." Ruth is a young Reaper who can be heard fretting and fussing now. "Ruth, Ruth, I will fix it! Out of my pocket or whatever you want. Wha? I'm not insinuating anything! I fell on--" Cinder falls silent as Ruth dresses him down. It was only a matter of time before he fell. She says. Up there. All the time. With the coordination of a bag of turnips...


Xavier jumps up and grabs a different notebook from their plant log. "Oh! I can sketch them." They have a fairly precise hand. Quickly they sketch out a diagram for Lysergic acid diethylamide. "The letters are black and the lines showing the relationships are red on my back." They sketch out the soap molecule chain. "The water molecule connects here and the dirt molecule connects here! Isn't that cool!"

Her sibling studies her face, "What were you worried about sis? It's okay to tell me, and it's always okay to visit." Then they are squinting out the window at the commotion, "we should probably rescue him."


Faustina gets just the hint of a smile at Xavier's enthusiasm for the molecules. "Ah, yes, those are very interesting." She glances towards the commotion as well, eyes narrowing. "I was not actually worried. It was nothing." She sighs softly, upon realizing who it is. "I suppose we ought to, yes. If you think I would help and not just need to take a formal complaint."


At the same time, Cinder and Ruth say they don't want a formal complaint, but this angers Ruth more. "Not your home, pretty boy. You see me in the Mess in the morning and we'll work this out between us. ONLY because you are always nice and I see you a lot. ONLY." She is firm. The damage done isn't critical. It's not like snow will get her for the hole he left.

"I don't need a rescue! I'm fine." Cinder says, clearly in pain as he makes a more careful way towards Xavier's. "I have a plant and I saw in one of the new books the Savvy have that it makes a dye. Henna. It reminds me of my tribe. Maybe it's grown in the farm? I...I don't know." He greets Faustina, pleasantly. "No need for Monitors over there..."


Xavier thinks about it, "I better go. Wait here.... You're going to make me try to guess aren't you." They go to the door and call, "Sorry, Ruth! I'll help later if you need it." They offer a symbolic hand. Symbolic, in that their arms are stick thin and a really strong breeze has been known to blow them away. "Come on in and tell me about your plant. Are their pictures of the source plant? Formulae? Do you have those colour samples for me?"


The corner of Faustina's mouth twitches slightly. "I am not making you guess. There is nothing to guess. I just had been reminded that I had not seen you in a few days and should check on you. That is all." Still, she settles back to being more firmly seated on the bed and lets them discuss plants.


Cinder looks at Faustina and there's this look, like he has something to say to her but, he doesn't. Instead, he pulls out his sketchbook and offers his own handwritten notes and a little sketch of the plant. And a woman's hand decorated with henna art. "Lawsonia inermis is the uh, old name for it. But I recognize the red color I think people in my tribe used it like body art or maybe hair dye. It's fuzzy. Very. But, if this is something we can add to luxury services. Henna is temporary and I could do intricate stuff like this all day. It's from a book marked for the Savvy. A nice Monitor let me copy a little out of it."

His eyes flick to Faustina and back. "Ecks, I'm nearly finished with you and Kay's commission but I need to ask you something, possibly personal. When to look out, ahead to the future, what do you see? What do you want to see? I don't mean the distant future. Maybe just next week. Oh! And I have something else..." He digs in his bag.


Xavier glances at Faustina, "I should have come by. I get lost in the work, but Timmy and Kitten and Kisses are making sure i eat and, um, sleep." They blush, "we're sort of, um involved with kisses now. Kitten and I. Not Timmy, who is sort of like an extra sister so that would be weird."

They study the plant, "I'll take a poke through the gardens and my notebooks. I'll see if we have anything like that." They settle next to Faustina to think, "I see things being a lot like this week, only hopefully better with the new knowledge and materials. I... I dream about the green spreading, but that's a far future thing." There expression darkens, "There's a lot of if between now and then."


Faustina nods to Cinder. "The scientific books are community resources. As long as they are not taken away from those who can primarily benefit from the knowledge, it is perfectly acceptable for other people to look at them." She glances sideways at Xavier. "It was not a criticism. I have been busy as well. I was just... reminded. And I did not have anything else pressing." There's another pause. "I will be careful to make noise and knock when I come to visit."


Cinder squeaks with joy. "Kay is...oh. Oh. Oh, that makes this commission more important. And...bigger. N-No charge for what I am adding. And the answer you gave was perfect. All I needed. I'm happy for you three! I just delivered Kitten's picture of Rebar and the new supplies have Maylis and I excited and busy. She wants to talk chem with you. She took everything dried up. Convinced it can be revived, she is." He is flailing a bit. Happy and probably high from endorphins. He forgot about the folded half page of paper in his hand. He give it to Xavier.

It's a sketch of Faustina, standing primly at attention. It's rough and quick and surrounded by other doodles. "It's a reference of your sister I drew and kept and I realized that I have kept a lot of little things that could be recycled. But, I wanted to ask you first. It's not much and I'll be glad to draw something more filled out...if you want. I'll take that out in trade for helping Maylis with the pigments."


Xavier giggles and duck their head, "Probably wise at night.... We're happy Fausty. I think... I never wanted to, um, be with people because my, um, type is so specific I never met anyone who clicked. But we fit just right, like finding the right molecule to bind with. It's helping me be more, um, here. Than I was. I think I was... drifting away, but I'm finding my way back." They blush to their ears. "That's why I wanted the picture. I just... Didn't want you to think Kitten or I were doing anything the other, um, didn't know about."

The delicate chemist bounces excitedly, "Oh wow! I'd love to see if we can mimic her colours for her. I'll come by for samples!" They show the picture to Faustina, "Look! It's you! Oh wow!"


Faustina studies the picture, not quite frowning. "Do I look like that? Oh." There's a little pause and then she nods distractedly to Xavier. "If you are happy and it does not interfere with any of your work, then it is not my concern." Pause. "I... that is, I am happy than you are happy." Her gaze flickers between Cinder and Xavier and the picture and then she looks away out the window.


Cinder eyes flick between the siblings. "No, Faustina. You are prettier than this. This was practice, if that. Idle work. I'm not sure if it's from memory or if I saw you right before...anyway, I can do better, of course. I love the way my art makes people feel. And now, with colored pencils? I can get the shade of Faustina's hair. It's close to mine and I have that color worked out. I am doing my first serious self portrait. I never wanted to because I didn't have steady access to color and I like color so much that a drawing of myself now required it." He pauses. "When it's finished, I hope Kat will accept it. It feels vain but if it wasn't me, I'd do it all the same." He pauses and smiles, shyly

"I've been spending many nights with Kat recently. She's dear to me. We only rest together. Hold one another until we wake beside each other. That's all. It's...really nice." He blushes. "I like to be up there when she finishes her shift...whenever that happens to be. I won't fall again. So, uh, I'll leave this little sketch with you. I expect a boost in commission work once a few of my lightly colored pieces get out there. I will hurry and...let you talk with your sister. Can I hug you, Ecks?"


Xavier studies the picture, "It's good to have a memento... I'd like one that catches... her hair. And her eyes. And I'm sure Kat will want a picture of you, Cin. I think Kisses would too, but he'd be embarrassed to ask. That's what Kisses and i were doing mostly. Until recently. It's nice. Nothing wrong with it, Cin." They stand and shyly open their arms, "Thank you for asking first. I'm getting better with touch."

After they settle back next to their sister. They take a slow breathe, "It's better for my work that I not.... This is better." They close their eyes, "I've been sober for more than two weeks, Fausty. It's been years since I could say that. They are good for me and that's good for the work. I still dream the dream that... but I'm... I'm a lot better."


Faustina's gaze flicks to Cinder when he says she's prettier than that and she looks, honestly, genuinely confused by that statement. She seems about to say something about him and Kat, but then shakes her head and instead looks to Xavier, studying him closely. "Which dream?" Pause. "I am glad that you are sober, though. And happy being sober. I am sorry I had not realized how bad it had become."


Cinder takes that hug, carefully. "I sensed more openness. I wouldn't have asked if I hadn't. Work on your sister." He squeezes Xavier's hand once. "Sober? Good. As long as you are feeling well, stay on track. I've been a lot less nervous in general since the party returned. Some of it is Kat's presence but much of it, I know, is letting people see...me. And I'm getting in more trouble from time to time but overall, I'm alright. Happy. Positive." He looks at Faustina with a careful eye, studying her. He nods a little. "Mm. She doesn't need to sit. Kay /does/. When you see him, send him to me. I can't finish without it. Take care!" And Cinder's out, carefully climbing towards Kat's domicile.


Xavier is awkward with hugging, "I'm getting more practice. Practice helps.... I sort of, um... took too much of things while they were all gone. I didn't do well with Fausty here and the, um, others gone. but I'm refocused on the work now. Happy's good! stay out of trouble though, okay?"

They touch her wrist lightly, "I was hiding it from you. How out of touch I was getting. I am telling you now because I never want to... be able to get away with it again. Being that messed up, that often." They add hastily, "I wasn't doing it at work. That's too dangerous." They look away, "The dream where it's me instead of her, only my skin is green and I fall all the way from the top of sanctuary and my blood... makes the desert bloom. It's like I can feel the life in me pouring out like a river and life blooming everywhere it touches. I can't remember not dreaming it, but it...it's not a nightmare anymore. Now it feels... kind of good."


Faustina looks at Xavier when he touches her wrist and nods at his description of what he was doing. Then he describes the dream and she winces, eyes going wide. "Oh." It's just a little breath out, but she's frozen again.


Xavier looks at her then, eyes wide, "I wouldn't do it. Never on purpose. I'm super careful even when I'm high. I don't... I don't want to fall. I just dream the red and green dream all the time. I have for... most of my life. Sometimes more sometimes less. It got really bad the last half decade, I never wanted to sleep. Only the dream's changed and it doesn't hurt like it used to. Maybe... Maybe it's metaphor and not.... Maybe I don't have to die to... Maybe it's by living and working and building the green with the, uh, life blood of my work.... Maybe if I give my everything to build it.... It...Makes up for.... I don't know. I just. I want to do it this way."


Faustina swallows and nods once. And then a few more times. "I... good. You are much more valuable alive."


Xavier gently squeezes her wrist, "I know it's been scary for you. All this time. It's been scary for me. You doing what you do and for, um, myself. I was scaring myself for a while there. But the work is safer with the new books and safety gauntlets and goggles and equipment, and I'm... I'm safer. Timmy is... very serious about me living to be older than Mark even, and I have so much to live for right now. Professionally and personally. So I'm telling you so I can never... get away with things. Like I was. so I have to be more careful."


Faustina swallows again and nods, gaze searching Xavier's face. After a moment she asks. "May I have a hug? I think I would like a hug."


Xavier hugs her without hesitation and warmly. He is getting so much better at hugs really, "I was terrified you wouldn't come back this time. Did you know that? I'm guessing maybe you... must have felt something like that all this time even if you weren't aware how... lost I was getting exactly."


Faustina carefully wraps her arms around him in return and hugs back, then just breathes in and out a few times. "I... did not particularly know you were worried about me. I thought you were worried about Kitten. And possibly KissThisThen. I am not usually the sort of Monitor who is in the middle of fights. And when I am, that is why Mark is there." She lets go and sits back a little. "I... maybe. It is difficult to distinguish reasonable worry from general worry sometimes. I can not remember not worrying about you."


Xavier clings to her gently, but lets go when she does, knowing better than to crowd her, "I was worried about them too, but Fausty, you are the roots that hold me to the earth and nourish me. you are the water that keeps me alive and the gardener that keeps away the weeds. You are the wall that keeps be safe. You are and always have been the most important person in my life and I couldn't handle the thought of losing you." They close their eyes, "How could you not, after what I did."


Faustina blinks at Xavier. "No. I worried before that. I always worried. That... may have made the worrying worse, but... I always worried. And it was not your fault." She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, then looks away. "Sometimes people just say things which bring the worries to the surface even when I know they are not rational and then I need to check on you." There's a small pause. "I promise I will do my best to stay alive to protect you and the others. You are the most important person in my life as well."


Xavier shakes their head, "I was a little shit, and not a good brother. I was always rebelling. I... I don't think I have much sense when it comes to safety. I never did. After... After what happened, I made rules. Chemistry labs have safety rules and I try to follow them because I'm no good at... survival instinct. Sane fear. I'm afraid of outside, but not... not practical dangers. So I have to trust rules and reason where sensible people like you have sense. Instinct. I have so many rules, Fausty. I try really hard not to get myself or other people hurt. Your fear is rational. Please check on me. It reminds me to follow those rules and try to stay safe for you."


Faustina blinks at Xavier and then shrugs and looks away. "You were a small child. And if you have no sense of danger, I have... too much of one, I think, sometimes. I know how badly things could go and have a hard time not thinking about the worst possible outcomes. Everything is so fragile and there are so many opportunities for everything to go wrong."


Xavier says, “I see it too, how fragile it all is. I just... have to come at it entirely intellectually because I don't have... a visceral sense that reminds me not to balance on top of high things or that if... one dose is good then ten would be to much or... in the larger sense of resources and gene pools, I'm an evolutionary dead end, so i force myself to think about a future I'll never see nor any issue of my body. It is abstract, but I take it very seriously because otherwise i might not be careful enough."”


Faustina nods again. "There are ways to contribute other than gene pools. Neither of us will have children, but we both help Sanctuary and the human race survive. Please continue to take your survival seriously. You represent a lot of knowledge and teaching."


Xavier nods emphatically, "That's what I'm doing Fausty. My legacy is in seed banks and new drugs and improved fertilizers and in the children Timmy and I turn into scientists. We are doing an entire redesign of our teaching materials so the generation after us will be better than us and the ones they teach even better. That's the legacy I have. It's.. keep me all these years and I hope I will still be here for another generation or two to build it. It doesn't stop me from... needing rules to keep me from doing stupid things.


Faustina nods once. "Good, then. If you need me to review your rules, I will. Any time you ask." she looks away again. "Cinder was trying to get me to accept a sketch of you. And I said I didn't need it and he asked me how I would feel if you died tonight and that I would... eventually... forget what you looked like."


Xavier says quietly, "Timmy and I have the lab rules written down and we review them periodically. I could show you if you like. We've added the new see through goggles from the raid to the rules already. I could... right down the other ones. About heights and drugs and things. It might be safer if you... looked them over. Particularly the drugs. I think maybe... towards the end there I was, um, getting out of control. They helped a lot in the beginning, and I think there is still... therapeutic use for other people. Maybe for me in, um, safer quantities. But I think my judgement may be... compromised." They touch her wrist again, "I think you should take the picture. we are safer with the things you brought back, but in chemistry there is always risk. I want your picture, because even with Mark, your calling carries risk. I... I am terrified of losing any of you, but I know there is always a chance things could go wrong. a picture is better than nothing."


Faustina makes a frustrated little noise as he says she should take the picture, but nods. "I do not forget things. I would not forget you. But I will take the picture if it will make you happy." Deep breath. "I think it would make me feel better if you wrote down your non-lab rules and let me see them, yes."


Xavier nods and goes to the table and starts scribbling, "I really think those goggles are going to dramatically cut down eye injuries and are excellent for sand squalls. So sturdy!" They write down the rules: '1. Never more than three times a week. 2. never two days in a row. 3. Nothing in the amphetamine class inside sanctuary ever.' (ever is underlined three times). 'War boys on their last run only.' 4. Never, ever at work. 5. Nothing with a long enough duration to impair work even if you feel sober. 6. MDMA only once a quarter year, and best not more than thrice in a year at most. 7. No heights, flames, or anything vaguely dangerous on hallucinogens no matter how cool it seems at the time.' They take a notebook out of their foot locker and make a chart on the rules sheet with chemical names, max dosages for work next day and max total dosages for situations like the big storm where theoretically one could be high for days without it getting in the way of work. 8. Never mix. They hand it over, looking a little sheepish, "I'm sure I forgot something, but these are the ones I go by. Mostly. I occasionally discover, um, new ones."


Faustina takes the page and looks it over, nodding slowly. "These seem like good rules to me, though I am concerned at the necessity of stating some of them." Still she nods again. "Should I keep this or leave it with you?"


Xavier cocks his head, "I could make a copy and we could each have one... In my defense I wasn't sure what exactly amphetamines did until I tried one. Never. Again." They take the list back and quickly copy it into the notebook. "And I had no idea that one hallucinogen could last twoish days if you take enough of it until I discovered it the hard way, and flmes are really, really pretty and pretty much everywhere. I've a couple good safe short duration options now, and anything apt to seriously dissociate me from reality, I tie myself to something to prevent wandering, so you shouldn't worry....I really am way more careful than I was. Mostly." He hands her back the original."


Faustina blinks at Xavier and makes a small distressed noise. "I...see...I... umm... good?"


Xavier gazes at her, worried again, "Am I... doing something wrong? I can amend the rules. I... I trust you a lot more than I trust me about this right now. I, um, amn't tempted to take anything in the near future and the protocol isn't just for me. I wouldn't be showing you this if I wasn't... wanting to be safer."


Faustina shakes her head. "No. No. I just am now retroactively terrified."


Xavier blinks, "It wouldn't be ethical to give someone something I hadn't trid my self and it's really fun if you're careful. Um... the Amphetamine _was_ terrifying in retrospect, but Timmy caught me trying to get back into the lab and managed to divert me into cleaning glass wear until it wore off. I have no idea what the ancients used it for, but it really does scare the daylights out of me."


Faustina actually frowns just a little. "It would be ethical as long as you gave them as much information as you had and told them what you thought it would do and why you were giving it to them. It would only be unethical if you lied to them or pressured them into taking it."


Xavier says, “I never lie or pressure. I tell them likely effect at a dosage and possible side effects. I remind them that these things are still experimental." They gaze into the distance, "I really, really like how they make me feel. I like seeing visions. I like when they world is beautiful and everything feels wonderful and I like... just being all happy and floaty in the best of all possible worlds. But love is a little like that only without the visions and I think... I can mostly handle the world as it is right now. It was for science, but I won't lie to you that it was just for science. Before Kitten for several years, I think if I didn't have my work I'd have just... been high all the time. Only I had work so I made rules and I added new ones when I found they were needed. I want... never to be in a place where high all the time seems like a way better choice than work."”


Faustina nods slowly. "I... have not ever experienced that feeling. So I would not know, but I am glad that you have decided that living and being present is more important."


Xavier studies her, "I'm glad you haven't, Sis. I... I sort of panicked a little when Kisses handed you that packet of... whatever it was. I love my chemicals. I really do think there are a lot of good clinical uses, especially in moderation, but I've thought long and hard about it and I think... these sorts of chemicals would be bad for you. I don't know enough about what he offered you to really know, but I... these are blunt instruments still and experimental and I am scared what they might do to you. Someone like Kitten could probably take anything and be okay as long as basic precautions were taken like keeping them away from the garage and anything in it, but you... aren't even a little like Kitten, and the idea of giving you anything scares me.


Faustina nods slowly. "I still have the packet, but I promised I would not take it without your supervision. I have not finished weighing the odds on it. I do not like the idea of losing control."


Xavier nods, "I don't like the idea of you losing control either, and I don't know Kisses' drus well enough to guess what it would do to you. If... If I were to give you anything at all, I would maybe try an extremely low dose of something apt to relax, but even there... there's a risk of paranoia which would have rather the opposite effect and honestly, I don't think... um... messing with your head like that is a good idea at all. It's more likely to harm then help... I... was in a really bad way when I started experimenting. The risk was worth it because, um... not risking experimentation was also high risk. With you? As one of the people in the whole of sanctuary bet suited to gauge the risk of, um, messing with neurochemistry? I think the risk of doing anything, um, drug wise to your brain is a terrifyingly bad idea. I'm glad you made that promise, because otherwise the idea of you experimenting on yourself without me would be giving me nightmares.


Faustina nods and then studies the list of rules from him again before carefully folding it and tucking it into one of her notebooks. "I should return to work. I will check back in tomorrow or the next day." She nods again and stands. "I am glad that the goggles are proving so useful."


Xavier nods, "I'd like that. You visiting more often I mean. I like... having you around. Checking in. And knowing you will, um, may help me stay efficient and inside the rules. I know it reassures me, seeing you, Fausty. Would another hug be weird?"


Faustina shakes her head. "I do not object to hugs from you."


Xavier gives her one of his quick hugs, "I'm glad. You... always make me feel safe."


Faustina hugs him back. "Good. I like making people feel safe. Safety is important." There's a pause and then Faustina asks tentatively. "Xavier... what did Cinder mean when he said I am prettier than the picture he drew of me?"


Xavier blinks and then pulls back, cocking his head. "I'm your brother so maybe not the best judge, but I think you are, um, the kind of beautiful that you don't see much in women who aren't companions? I think you'd be as bad a companion as I I would be for a host of reasons, but I think.... Pictures of you would sell to people who didn't care about you the way I do. If they were drawn with good colours and a high degree of skill. I think... Most people are too scared of you to really look at you properly, but if you, um, weren't actually there, they might enjoy looking at you are art? Maybe?"


Faustina blinks slowly, brow slightly furrowed. "Oh....I... really?" She thinks for a bit. "I would make a very bad companion." Pause. "Am I scary?"


Xavier beams at her, "I bet you and I would have ben the worst they ever had. Better for everyone we are what we became." They laugh, "Not to me, but I think a lot of people find you so. You are a very good monitor."


Faustina considers this. "Oh. I... do not mean to scare people." She thinks a bit more. "Unless they are corrupt and stealing from Sanctuary."


Xavier chuckles, "Oh, Fausty. You know the rules perfectly. Most of us don't. Most of us worry that we've broken a rule we don't know about or are fuzzy about where the line is. I was scared I'd get in trouble for my water usage on the experimental window boxes. Nearly everyone has something like that. Something thy aren't sure about. Savvy tend to have free floating guilt about doing even small stuff for themselves and worry that their projects will be judged wasteful. I think most people have stuff like that."


Faustina blinks slowly. "But... if they can explain the purpose of the project, then that is very different than deliberately misappropriating resources."


Xavier says, “But they don't know that and also.... you know how your Monitor training makes you feel about the idea of friends? Savvy training can make us feel that wy about taking any time for ourselves, for having any nice things in our huts. For sleeping more than a few hours a night.”


Faustina perks up. "Do you have something which could allow me to only sleep a few hours a night and still function?"


Xavier shudders, "Oh, you'll stay up all right, and you'll feel like you are functioning just fine. You'll feel completely clear and rational, but your judgement will be waaaay off and you'll maybe want to hurt people. It's not a good drug for anything but maybe combat and only for someone not planning to come back. Trust me. You don't want it. If I find something safer, I'll let you know."


Faustina wilts and gets one of her shadow frowns. "Oh. That is not useful. I would need to actually be functional, not simply think I was." She stands up. "I should really get back to work."


Xavier nods, "I'll keep looking. You never know what might turn up. It certainly sounds like something the ancients might have looked for too. I just haven't found it. If any interesting drugs or botanical samples turn up next trip out if there is one, left me know."


"I will make sure to tell you if we find anything. I will check back in with you soon." Faustina gives him another quick hug and then heads out.


Xavier hugs her back, and give her a cheerful, "Stay safe!"