Kukai Foundation <KF>
The inside of the Kukai Foundation looks like someone took out a slice of a planet and bottled it up inside. This, however, is not the case, while too small to be like a planet, it has all the functionality of a habitable planet. The colony is very technologically advanced, the atmosphere and weather maintained by nanomachines on a large, yet unseen level, and even the weather can be changed at a whim. For most cases, however, conditions are very pleasent inside the Foundation. There is a very large ocean at the center of the Foundation itself, which serves a twofold function--it is where ships come to dock with the colony, as well as where the Durandal locks into place, its red spire often present as an island-like building.
The sectors that most of the Foundation citizens occupy takes up a little over fifty percent of the colony itself, from skyscrapers to apartment buildings. Businesses and indusrtial complexes are spread all over, from the Foundation's very own A.G.W.S. Shop, among other profitable businesses run by the Foundation and its members. The other half of the colony is mostly unoccupied, but it consists of beautiful forests and mountain ranges, truly giving anyone who wishes to live within the Foundation a wide variety of living options. The Foundation is truly a multi-faceted organization, from fighting off the Gnosis and U-TIC, to being on the Galactic Finance 500's "Top 10 Fastest Growing Corporations" list.
Bruises would heal. If all he got out of this situation was bruises and discomfort, then that was just fine. Someone or something out there has found a way to hurt Albedo enough to leave him bleeding and disoriented. It was an opportunity he couldn't disregard. The instinct that impelled him to try to help his brother didn't help any. "Yes, bleeding." His tone shifts, from one of suspicion to almost cajoling solicitousness. "What happened?" He wasn't the same kind of manipulator Gaignun was, but Nigredo would in theory be here soon enough anyway to help. A quick sideways twist of the captured wrist frees it with nothing more than deep scratches and rapid bruises to show for it in favor of grabbing a convenient box of tissues and pulling out several with intent to wipe away some of that blood before it can stain his nice clean floor.
"What happened? I don't--I'm not sure..." Albedo stares at the blood on his glove as if in shock, unable to quite comprehend what it is that's happened to him, and this most obvious of results. "The boy with angel wings and a name like the enemy of GoNO DON'T!" As Rubedo pulls away, Albedo lunges after him--the madman may be wounded, but it obviously isn't slowing him down any. He makes a grab for his brother's arm again, but doesn't do more. "/Rubedo/. Don't. Please--don't leave me," he says, tone almost begging, staring up at his brother with confused violet eyes.
With the sound of heavy footsteps further down the hall, the two brothers should be able to guess who is coming. Chances are, if Jr sent word to Gaignun, Ziggy caught wind of it somehow. This the cyborg had to see. Patched up enough to walk again, his abdomen is still fairly bandaged, and he's walking slowly. His face remains the same as always as he nears the two. He doesn't try to hide his presence, or sneak around. He's not like that. Besides, his cloak is offline.
"So it's true, I almost did not believe it." He looks down at the wounded retrovirus "Do you need some help?" He asks, looking at Jr, not Albedo.
This touches off a rather abrubt, heated argument where none present save Rubedo could hear; having a radically different opinion on what should be done from Gaignun tends to result in problems. Whether it had originally been his decision to or not, Junior doesn't jerk free again when Albedo catches hold of him once more, unpleasantly reminded of events long past. It was the same damn expression. "I'm not going anywhere. Don't worry. Just.. let go, okay? I'm not leaving." Ziggy's approach is heard but for the moment ignored in favor of very carefully prying at clawed fingertips, where his own blood was beginning to well up. "Chaos did this?" That ... made a twisted sort of sense. Don't beg, Albedo. It made Junior's choices all the harder. As the cyborg actually enters the library, the smaller retrovirus shoots him a brief, plaintive glance. What the hell was he supposed to do about this? "I, um. Yeah, there's a chair over there-" Gesture, with free hand. "Can you get it for me?"
The look Albedo gives Jr. when Jr. asks him to let go is one of pure distrust. The white-haired retrovirus may have come this far, and done things he ordinarily wouldn't for the sake of finding his brother--but a part of him still distrusts Rubedo, and still sees the same person who betrayed everyone except Nigredo into madness and death. How can he trust -that-? "I can't trust you to do that, Rubedo," he rasps, tightening his grip on his brother's wrist. It's almost bone-crushing now, but how is he supposed to realize that in this state? He takes a step closer to his shorter brother, turning his head to look over his shoulder as Ziggy enters, violet eyes narrowing in his blood-streaked face. "This isn't right...this isn't right he shouldn't BE here, Rubedo..."
"Whether I should be or should not be, I am." Ziggy says, as he walks over to fetch the chair Jr pointed out. He takes note of what else was said, but doesn't comment yet oO(So, chaos did this...) Bringing the chair back he says rather unexpectedly "It's fortunate you're alive." Concern for Albedo? Not quite. "chaos is no doubt trying to fight this, if he were still himself I don't believe he would have attacked even you in that condition. He must be deteriorating. Had he killed you, I think he would have regretted it." He places the chair down, but remains. He's not going anywhere, even if Junior asks he'd protest. He's still not convinced, it COULD all just be an elaborate trick. He turns back to Albedo "Where did this happen?"
Albedo trusted Junior enough to seek refuge in his home instead of with U-TIC or the Fortress. That was more than most might expect, more than Rubedo himself expected. Bones shift and grind painfully under Albedo's tight grip; for a moment it's all he can do to keep from lashing out and forcing his younger sibling to -let go-. "And I can't trust you to not break my arm," he says softly, doing his damnest to not scream. It hurt. A lot. "If you're not going to let go then loosen up a bit." He was perversely glad Ziggy was here; even if the cyborg wasn't as much of a friend as some people he knew, he was certainly reliable. "He's just visiting. Come on." If Albedo's not going to let go, hopefully he'll relax his grip a little. Junior tugs on captured arm, intent on pulling Albedo towards the chair Ziggurat had agreed to fetch.
It's analogous to dealing with a wounded animal. Albedo is hurt badly enough to extend some small measure of trust to these people that would otherwise be his mortal enemies, but that doesn't mean he's going to be stupid about it. That is--if there was anything to this of reason, which there isn't, just the remainders of a broken URTV's instincts that tell him other members of his breed might understand, even if he doesn't.
It's with some trepidation that he relaxes his deathgrip on Rubedo's arm, clawed fingers shifting slightly as he moves his hand a little higher. "...Regretted it?" he echoes, before laughing; that same, splintery sound it usually is, though edged with desperation now. "Not for long. I--" He looks down at Jr., frowning. "...I won't break it. Just don't -leave-." Once more the assertion that Junior stay -right here-. In the absence of anything -else- that made sense, Albedo clung to what little he recognized.
Ziggy pauses, almost expected Albedo to ignore him. Ziggy is somewhat surprised by the odd bond between the two URTVs, though perhaps he shouldn't be. Still, he's not leaving Jr alone with him. If Albedo is telling the truth, chaos might be tracking him, and that would just turn into a very very bad situation. "He would have." Ziggy confirms. "It is true I have not known him for long, and perhaps it is not my place to say it, but I don't think chaos would want to kill /anyone/. Even you."
Clung to rather painfully at that. But Rubedo doesn't pull away this time as much as he wants to, the same instinct that lured Albedo to seek shelter here keeping Junior from simply taking advantage of the situation and finishing what chaos had begun. The question was, how long could he withstand loathed enemy's touch, even with those shreds of kinship remaining? "I told you, I'm not leaving. But you need to sit down in a chair, not on the floor." Tug. "Tell us what happened? What did he do? What did /you/ do?"
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: If you got advice, old man, I'll gladly take it.
[Radio] You radio Gaignun Kukai Jr.: First and foremost we need to find out what happened. chaos must be found. As for dealing with Albedo, you've known him longer than I have. Just keep your emotions under control.
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: Yeah, but this never happened before. Ow.
[Radio] You radio Gaignun Kukai Jr.: chaos has never turned into a gnosis before either. We already know he possesses some sort of unknown power to combat gnosis, the combination must be more violent than I had thought.
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: We always knew he could do stuff he wasn't telling us. Maybe Albedo just pissed him off.
[Radio] You radio Gaignun Kukai Jr.: I don't think so. If chaos was himself I honestly don't think he'd use this situation to attack Albedo. He doesn't seem to get 'pissed off'. He must be losing control, which is why we have to find him and bring him out of it.
That prompts a more dramatic response. Albedo releases Junior's arm, staring at him. "Do? I--" He presses the heel of one hand to his face, giving voice to another disturbing giggle. Abruptly, he moves--getting up and pacing away from both the cyborg and his brother. "--I didn't do anything. I--didn't..." He pulls his hand away from his face, staring at the blood on his palm with equal amounts of awe and disbelief--as if seeing it for the first time, AGAIN. "--understand...why...the seraphim--the very stars fell from heaven, and..." He curls his bloodied hand into a fist, turning to look back at Rubedo, confused. "Why am I bleeding, Rubedo?"
As Albedo clings to Jr for an answer, Ziggy comments almost sarcastically "Perhaps if you finally explained to us in full why it is you don't normally bleed in the first place..." Junior can be the comforting one of the two, but Ziggy wants answers. He is only glad to see that Albedo survived because of how it might have affected chaos. "This coming from one who advocates pain above all else to validate existance." He looks Albedo in the eyes, whether he's looking back or not "Where did this happen?" He repeats his question from earlier, since he never got a straight answer "We're not saying you provoked chaos, but in his state he has to be found."
Well, Junior thinks, Albedo's still absolutely crackers. Not that he finds this very unusual, but it is still somewhat disturbing. Like it or not, Albedo was the best source of information as to where chaos is and what the boy was going - or adapting - and he'd have to find out. He'd have a better chance at it than Ziggy, which is likely why as Albedo paces away, Rubedo hesitates for a moment before following. The concern he felt was very much real, simply oriented elsewhere. "Because you got hurt," he replies. "But I don't know how yet, so I can't stop it." It's almost a relief when the peacemaker of their family slips in quietly through the door. Gaignun had always been better at calming people down than Rubedo. "Tell me what happened? And where?" Ziggy's questions are repeated; if Albedo wouldn't answer the cyborg, maybe he'd answer his own brother.
Albedo rounds on Ziggurat almost before the cyborg has a chance to finish speaking. "Shut up!" he snarls, hands crooking almost as if he intends to attack the other man. Gaignun's arrival only makes it worse, though it takes Albedo a moment to notice his darker brother. "You don't have any bearing on--YOU!!" This second snarl is directed at Gaignun, and Albedo takes a step back, clenching his hands into fists. The flickering beginnings of a fire ether play around his form, but he doesn't unleash it. Not yet. Instead, he stops, then snaps at Rubedo: "I don't -know-." How many times does he need to explain this to them?
Ether? Not good, Ziggy had better not wind up bearing the brunt of that, his Ether Circuit is still offline from the fight with Laharl, a powerful Ether attack would shred him. Looking back at Albedo, he decides to avoid confrontational comments "You don't even remember where you were? Then what /is/ the last thing you remember? Please bear in mind that if we don't find chaos, he'll be free to do this to you again."
"Albedo, stop it!" There's something of a command, something of a plea in Junior's voice as Albedo takes to snapping at people, perhaps rightfully feeling cornered. "We're just trying to help." chaos. "Nobody's going to hurt you here." The warning glance cast back over his shoulder might be meant for Ziggy - or Gaignun, it's hard to tell, but there's a brief flash of consternation across Nigredo's face before he returns to unassailable calm. "Just relax, okay?" He really doubted chaos was going to come here. Not knowing that they'd be able to catch and contain him.
This is--bad. Albedo's eyes flick from Gaignun to Junior to Ziggurat, before coming to rest on Junior as he takes another step back. "You're lying," he says, voice eerily calm on those two words. "You're--lying--you wouldn't--you can't..." He breaks off, staring at Ziggurat for several seconds, before repeating, tone beginning to verge on hysterical, "You're LYING! ALL OF YOU ARE -LYING TO ME-!"
Ziggy isn't overly surprised by Albedo's reaction. He spent almost all of his life being nigh-indestructible, being so wounded has to be disturbing. Though he has no compassion for the Retrovirus. Still, Albedo is their best lead on chaos, and he has to be calm if he's to be of any use. "I don't lie to people, and I can't imagine Junior would lie to you in this situation either." It's not like Ziggy can't lie, he just doesn't. "The fact you have come here to begin with must mean you have an amount of trust in Junior. He won't leave you to be found by chaos, and if anything I am not going to let him hurt you again for /his/ sake." If Albedo is still in hysterics, he pauses to let him calm down, if he does he continues "If we can find chaos, we can return him to normal. But we are worried the longer he stays like this, the farther he slips away from who he is, soon even we may not be able to defend you from him."
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: Aw man, I hope you're not gonna make things worse.
[Radio] You radio Gaignun Kukai Jr.: Perhaps it is a gamble. But he is only of any use to us if he can tell us what happened. chaos is my priority, not Albedo.
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: Yeah, you'n me both. But if he decides t' flip out the rest of the way 'n attack or run instead, we're not gonna learn nothing.
[Radio] You radio Gaignun Kukai Jr.: If you can think of some way to calm him down, then by all means...
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: Convincin' an empath that it's him we're worried about 's gonna be a real bitch.
[Radio] You radio Gaignun Kukai Jr.: If we cannot truly feel concern for him, then it cannot be helped. We should think of a way to convince him with what we CAN do.
[Radio] Gaignun Kukai Jr. radios: Mff.
"If I was lying I would have shot you already," Junior snaps, temper fraying. While he might be concerned that his friend was a monster somewhere out there, he *was* worried. Things could go very badly very fast, and that simply wouldn't do. "For ONCE in your life just trust me! Please! If I said nobody's going to hurt you here then I mean it, and I can guarantee it." Silent argument crops up again, but nothing of it is said aloud. "I just want to make sure you're okay." Absolute, one hundred percent truth. If it wasn't, he still believed it was. His version of 'okay' simply varied rather widely past simple current injuries. "You came here for help. Least I can do is make sure you get it."
//You are aware you're putting your trust in a madman,// Gaignun notes mutely.
//Yep. Way I figure, he's either gonna snap like a twig 'n give me the third degree, or listen.//
Another step away from the three facing them puts Albedo up against a row of bookshelves. He reaches back, clawed hands scrabbling for purchase on the shelves--or perhaps just a way out--and leaving smears and streaks of his blood wherever his fingers touch. The slow, steady weeping of blood hasn't ceased, though he seems to have forgotten it again for a moment. His attention drifts back to Ziggurat as the cyborg speaks, his hands clenching once more into fists--before he jerks his head around, staring at Junior again. "This is between us, Rubedo," he says, obviously struggling to keep a rein on his voice. Worrisome as his current behavior is, -that- is an indicator he's drifting back toward "normal"--normal enough that he can begin putting two and two together. They want to know where chaos is. He can't remember where chaos is, but he did see the youth-turned-Gnosis last. So he has information they want. All he wants to know is what's wrong with him. Rubedo can tell him. But Nigredo and Ziggurat are both lying to him. They don't want to protect him; they're -all- lying to try to make him feel better, to get him to calm down and give the information away freely...
He reaches to his face, brushing away another annoying trickle of blood. "...bleeding..." he mutters, looking down at the fresh smear of carmine on his hands--before locking eyes with Junior again. "...red...like betrayal...--send them away. We'll talk. I'll--" What will Albedo do? He presses the heel of his hand to his right eye again, nervously, still staring at his brother--before his mouth twists in a wry smile. "--tell you--what I've seen...what you really want...right? And you--can tell me why I'm bleeding."
Ziggy doesn't sigh, but if he did he would now. There is no trust between him and Albedo, and there likely never will be. He cannot help that. Finding out what happened to chaos takes utmost priority to him, so he makes a choice he didn't want to make. "I'll leave then." He says. He doesn't WANT to leave Junior alone with him, but it is the easiest way to get the information out of Albedo. He can't control what Gaignun does, but he can only hope the Foundation Leader will leave as well. "I still have some patching up to attend to in the medical bay anyway." He says nothing more as he walks back down the hallway from where he came.
Gaignun Kukai Jr. had no pressing desire to be left alone with Albedo, not in this state. At least he's normally marginally predictable, but right now Rubedo wasn't sure what was going on. Ziggy might be hurt, but he'd be reliable backup if things went sour.. bereft of that, as well as Gaignun's aid ... "Alright." Nigredo wouldn't go far. And it's all too easy to post a quick, quiet warning on allied frequencies just in case things suddenly degrade. The black haired URTV watches Albedo and Rubedo silently for a long moment before inclining his head slightly and following the cyborg for the time being.
Which leaves Junior once again entirely alone with a madman now crazier than usual. "What I really want is to find out what happened, and make sure it can't happen again," the redhead mutters quietly. "For your sake as much as his."
Albedo is silent until both Ziggurat and Gaignun have left, before at last turning his attention back to Junior. "You don't care," he replies immediately, but it carries more overtones of exhaustion, of bereftness, than actual accusation. "Lama--sabacthani, my other half." He remains pressed up against the bookshelf, as if drawing support from its very presence. "...why am I bleeding, Rubedo?" If he keeps asking, maybe he'll get the answer he wants to hear. And maybe he's already forgotten his promise to tell his half of the story.
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