Palace of Power - Audience Chamber
The main room of the Palace is small compared to the Grand Hall, a more intimate chamber for the real business of Lana's domain. A simple golden throne rests on a dais at the end of the room, the place where Lana is supposed to rule Videoland, though she seldom sits in it. Doors here lead to all points in the castle, making it a crossroads of sorts in the Palace. A simple spiral staircase leads below, to the Warp Zones.
Ziggurat 8 is currently walking through the Audience Chamber, having apparently come from the direction of the Danger Room. So chances are he either just arrived at the Palace from the Warp Room, or did some training and tuning of his parts. The cyborg fiddles with his cybernetic hand, which spins and whirrs around, frowning oh so slightly. Chances are he soon needs a professional tune-up.
It seems like the issue of Albedo is, much like the mad URTV himself, something that is just not going to die. Gaignun Kukai has to admit that he didn't really expect it to. Although he knew--believed?--his white-haired brother to be dead, knowing that Jr. is in fact capable of permanently killing his other half...well, ever since the incident with the white ice-bird flitting about the Palace, he just had a feeling. Denying that feeling, hiding that feeling, hasn't done much, and things where Albedo was concerned had just been getting worse and worse...
His expression guarded and serious, the Kaiser strides into the Audience Chamber of the Palace of Power, his black trenchcoat billowing out behind him as he approaches the cyborg. It settles when he stops, and Gaignun greets the other man with a nod and, "Good afternoon, Ziggurat."
It probably is not terribly condusive to the atmosphere when a pink-haired girl in fancy clothes and riding on a broom drifts through a doorway. She seems, to all appearances, to be touring.
Flonne knows Albedo isn't dead.
Angels don't die unless they're supposed to, after all!
Flonne, however, escorted by Palace guards is carrying several boxes of Prinny scout cookies with her prinny friends, "They'll buy lots, because it's for a good cause!" She informs her prinnies cheerfully! She waves a free hand to the witch, since she seems nice! Maybe she can ask Arche to be her pupil so she gets more stat upgrades?
Ziggy turns and nods to Gaignun as he enters. He and KOS-MOS are probably the only people he has encountered since rescuing MOMO that don't refer to him by his nickname. Not that it really matters. "Sorry for troubling you." He starts. "And I know this is a delicate issue. But there are a few things I'd like clarified about Albedo. Ever since I encountered that visage of the White Bird in the Grand Hall, I've had a feeling Albedo wasn't truly gone, I may have been content to believe it beforehand. The recent rise of this Church of Nephilim and several other circumstances seem to make his existance impossible to ignore..."
Well, Flonne... Actually, no, never mind. The little blonde angel is the type who, once she gets an idea in her head, sinks her dainty teeth in it and never ever ever lets go. Better not to argue.
Not like arguing that point is foremost in Gaignun's mind right now, anyway, not where Flonne's concerned. She's just brought...Prinny Scout Cookies into the Palace, after all. There's also that pink-haired young woman--Arche Klaine, wasn't it?--on the broom. The Director glances over their way, ellipsing briefly, but since their business at the moment seems for the moment to be unconcerned with himself and Ziggurat, he does not address either.
"As I said, I was going to stop by the Palace anyway," Gaignun replies, waving a hand negligently. "It is not a hassle." He pauses as the cyborg goes on, then sighs slightly, bowing his head a bit. "To tell you the truth...I've had the same feeling myself. I just preferred to believe he was gone. Whether he's alive or dead at this point is a moot point; regardless of which it is, he's most certainly not 'gone' anymore."
Although she probably should be interested in the news in regards to Mr. Pescatora (she thinks that was his last name, anyway: she wasn't paying attention), Arche is not. She does glance over at the tall, regal, rich-looking man for a moment... and lifts up one pink-gloved hand to her lips, touching her fingers to them and blowing him a kiss. This goes with a wink.
Her attention then slides back to Flonne and her crippled penguins. "What's a prinny scout?" she asks, steering the broom over closer with her knees as she puts her hands on her hips. She floats down a bit, to be at proper eye level with the Angel Trainee.
"Indeed. I neither questioned his death, but doubted his non-existance." By all rights, Ziggy is 'dead', but he's still here, isn't he? "If he still exists, then he will, no doubt, cause trouble for us all. Myself in particular, I am still concerned with his unending obsession with MOMO, which he made clear when I had my vision of the White Bird. And there was something else..." Ziggy trails off and thinks for a moment. "Something that told me he had to have died, but returned somehow. Somehow he knew something he couldn't have known, telepathy or not, it was something even I hadn't remembered before he said it. Unless he can somehow delve into one's mind and dig up memories forgotten even to them..." He stops, as he realizes he's going off on a tangant. ".. in any case, his obsession with MOMO is what concerns me. It obviously goes beyond the retrieval of the Y-Data..." The last part is, of course, said in a low voice. Flonne and Arche get a side glance, but he doesn't concern himself with them for the moment.
Flonne glances towards Gaignun and Ziggy and waves cheerfully at them, "Hi hi!" She says brightly, before she looks over to Arche as she approaches. "Oh I'm So glad you asked!" She smiles widely and innocenty with a face of bliss and butterflies.
"Every so often when the Prinnies need to raise money to buy off their servitude to the Prince of the Netherworld, they sometimes have to take matters into their own hands or they are trapped in damned servitude forever! So they bake and sell Prinny Scout cookies in the fires of the Netherworld so that they can sell them to kind, charitable people like yourself, Miss!" Flonne lifts up a prinny. It goes 'dood' nervously. "This is a prinny! Isn't he cute? <3"
One shouldn't judge others by their appearances...but sometimes it's an effective way of taking the most basic measure of a man. Or woman. Arche strikes Gaignun as a flirt, and although he's not in a huge mood for such things, he does benefit her with a wry smile, meeting her eyes briefly as he touches a pair of fingers to his forehead in basic greeting.
Then his attention returns to Ziggy. "Mmm..." the URTV murmurs. A logical way of looking at it, really; and the cyborg would know well about things like that, wouldn't he. Gaignun does frown slightly when the cyborg goes into the vision he had during his phoenixling-induced dream. Something that Ziggy hadn't remembered before Albedo approached him, huh... The black-haired man would ask what it was, but that information probably wouldn't help much with the current situation. There is the matter of MOMO, too, naturally. Nigredo knows the reason for Albedo's obsession with her, more or less. "It does," he murmurs. "The Y-Data slumbering within her is likely his chief objective, however... How has MOMO been, incidentally?"
The first thought in Arche's head is that this girl sure does kind of look like Mint probably did when she was younger. The second thought is, why does the penguin have peg legs. The third thought is, what kind of a sob story is this?
"So you're selling cookies that got baked in Hell? Do they smell like sulfur?" Arche asks, her head tilting to one side as her nose wrinkles.
Gaignun also, when he saluted Arche, gave Flonne a small wave in return. Appearances and all.
Ziggy remains unconcerned with the two girls for the time being. He might become concerned later... like ask why Flonne is on Palace property without an escort as an unallied individual, protocol and all. But for now, he continues his conversation with Gaignun.
"She has been well." He answers frankly. "I cannot keep tabs on her location around the clock, but she knows how to stay out of trouble," Yeah right. "and especially lately she doesn't go far without an escort." He'd prefer to keep an eye on her himself at all times, but he can't be everywhere, and she does like to roam. Returning to the matter at hand... "You and Jr. have mentioned that Jr. is able to kill him permanently. Yet he obviously still exists. This also is not the first time this has happened, as I recall some time ago Jr. was positive Albedo had perished in Silent Hill, and he easily returned shortly after. There is plenty I do not understand about Albedo, nor would I try to understand all of it. But I need to know if there's any sure way to stop him, previous methods of physical confrontation have proved innefective."
"The Netherworld," Flonne corrects, which is basically Hell, but a lot cuter. "They smell nice and fresh, Miss!" Flonne says. The peg-legged penguin says, "Lost m'legs in the war, dood.", cutely as if sensing the query. She winks at Gaignu cutely. Appearances and all. "Prinnies are the souls of those who sinned and they fly to the red moon when they have paid for their crimes and are ready to be reincarnated so they can be better people the next go around!" She sets the penguin down where she left it. Very carefully, one would notice. "We have a variety of flavors!"
As Flonne explains the Prinny Condition in such brisk language, Arche's cogent response is "Huh?"
But then, the offer of cookies. "Sure, I'll take a look," she says, her head tilting the other way and causing her rather large hair to shift visibly.
Flonne shows off several boxes, one by one, "We have Doodalongs!" She shows it off. They look the same as normal Girl Scout cookies, except eviller and yummier looking. By eviller, they are shaped like demons, by yummier, well, more yummy sparkles! "Lemon Doods!", yup, Lemon-flavored! "Chocolate Chip Prinnies!", these look like Penguin shaped chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate chips are shaped in the outline of a cartoon bomb. "And Thin Doods!"
Arche Klaine blinks a few times at the sight of - well - all of these Delicious Treats. She says, with a wrinkle of the nose, "So, um, do I get to try samples? Or do I have to just pay for them?" She folds her arms, looking slightly huffy for some reason.
Flonne looks to the prinnies, "We sure do! We have samples of every flavor!" She pauses, "Right?"
"Of course, Dood!"
"Sometimes they beat us up for the none-samples too, dood!"
"Mmhmm!" Flonne brightens, "Would you like a particular sample of any sort?"
"I'll try one of each. How much do you charge for these things?" Arche asks. The broom bobs up and down slightly; perhaps it is restless. As she speaks, the witchy-looking girl looks down at the prinnies in a dubious way. The fanny packs... what are they /hiding/ in those?
There *should* be a certain URTV-specific method to making Albedo die permanently, given that Rubedo is a weapon created to destroy U-DO and Albedo is tainted by U-DO...
The Videoland Effect, then? People who are too important to die simply...don't. It's so very, very frustrating. Gaignun honestly doesn't have an answer for that, so for the moment he opts to nod in acknowledgement that MOMO, at least for now, is safe and well. Ziggurat asks for a way to stop Albedo permanently, however, and it's a request that simply can't be ignored. The Director sighs.
"To be honest, if what Jr. did was ultimately ineffective, I do not know what could work," he replies. "At least, not permanently. Sometimes I wonder if there is *any* 'sure' way to stop someone permanently...which is what I assume you meant."
Ziggy simply nods. "I see." If he couldn't get the answer from Gaignun, then chances are he can't find it at all. All he can do now, then, would be to deal with Albedo however way he can.. should the situation arise. "I just meant a way to stop him for the moment. He will no doubt go after MOMO again in the future. He was troublesome enough in the past, but if he remains intangible on top of that then I fear I won't be able to do my duty." Which is keeping MOMO safe, though it's obvious that's more than a 'duty' to him, by now. "I suppose all I can do for the moment is wait for him to make another move..." That is the part he truly dislikes, it's clear.
When even things the things that *should* work *don't*, even a man like Gaignun would be put at a loss. Videoland is essentially a multiverse where the ultimate law is "might makes right"--if you're strong enough to take what you want, then you are blessed. Chance may not always necessarily be on your side, however...
"Hmh," the Director murmurs when Ziggy clarifies himself. "That is an easier task to tackle; however... Despite my connections with him, I know as little as you about how to deal with him while in this form." There is another brief moment of silence, but this time Gaignun looks more thoughtful. "Even so, it should not be impossible. I'll give the matter some more thought, and if I hit on anything, I shall be sure to contact you."
Flonne says, "One of each? Wow!" She steps aside from the prinnies, each holding up a cookie! They don't appear to have worms or anything of the sort inside them. They look like normal cookies, though they do smell kind of sulfurish, they also smell fresh! "Five B-Hel, though we take any currency, per box, miss!" She feels a litte duplicitious, but it's for a good cause so she has to take any measures neccessary! And it's not a lie, after all! "They hide a lot of things in those fanny packs, Miss!" Flonne adds.
Arche Klaine, with a slightly dubious expression, accepts a Thin Dood and stuffs it into her gaping maw. After a ladylike little munch, she considers for a moment. And then blinks twice before swallowing.
(Food value: 75)
"How much were they a box?"
"Thank you." Ziggy says nodding. No point in pushing the subject if the Director doesn't have any more information to give. "If you ever need my assistance with anything..." He offers "Don't hesitate to ask." It's his job, afterall. Ziggy doesn't consider it him doing anyone any favours when it is his job. Yet he's noticed that the people of the Palace have had a problem with directly asking for his help or ordering him on missions, the standard he is most used to.
Flonne says, "Five B-Hel! Some currencies don't have 'quarters' or anything, so we have to be simple!" She looks to the Prinnies, "Right guys?!"
"Right! Simple currency is our motto, doods!"
"Aren't they full of minty flavor, dood?"
And Gaignun *did* say that if he thought of anything, he would contact him. Under the circumstances, it's the best he can offer. He smiles a bit at the cyborg and nods. "I shall keep that in mind, Ziggurat," he replies. "May I ask if there is anything on which you are currently working? Palace defenses, assaults, things of that nature?" If he knows what the cyborg's doing, then it will be easier to ask him for jobs that won't conflict with whatever Ziggy's handling now.
"Well, um," Arche says, rummaging in the pockets of her voluminous legwear, "hold on... um..."
Gleam! Twenty precious little tiny cute gold coins. She passes them over. "Here! Twenty gald. These should be enough for at least four boxes, right? Give me one of each flavor."
General orders, hm? Despite that, Gaignun can't recall hearing Ziggurat on-channel with very great frequency, or seeing him mentioned in reports. Then again, he acknowledges dryly, some weapons function better when pointed in a more specific location. Ziggurat is so straightforward, he'd likely work better if he were directly ordered to assist with something. "If that's the case, hm," Gaignun says aloud. "I have nothing I need right at the moment--but I believe that the Palace could use more help with the likes of maintaining their toehold in Metro City, and eradicating the one EVIL has in Sarasaland. Will in particular has been active with the latter. Perhaps you can visit him and discuss the matter with him while he's still hospitalized."
Flonne holds out a hand, "I'm sorry, but due to International Regulations in bringing cargo from the Netherworld to the Human Worlds of Videoland, you need to sign some papers first as proof of delivery, purchase, and confirmation that these are, in fact, Prinny Scout Cookies." She fidgets in her inventory briefly before whipping out several simple looking legal papers, though they only look simple, they are actualy complex, and behind the complexity is another layer of complexity. See, you think Demon Bueracracy is bad, but why do you think there are demons in the first place? CELESTIAL BUERACRACY! MOO HA HA HA!
"Hmm." The fact is, he's mentioned, on several occasions, in the past for people to take him into consideration in planning strikes like this. But he's never actually gotten the call to be sent out on any missions. He's aware he could probably make his offers more vocal, but it is so hard for a person to change his ways, afterall. It's more a result of him seeing himself as not having the rights that others do, in picking and choosing what missions to accept and deny. That's why it's so difficult. Still, he nods. "I'll try and bring it up with him." He still can't help but feel uncomfortable by just /asking/ for missions like that, though.
Arche Klaine blinks and looks down at the papers. She begins to flip through them and skim them; she's got at least a little experience with various arcane bureaucracies, and besides which, they do seem to be rather... questionable, even if they do smell like flowers and a less-than-three symbol.
She also has a clicky pen in her hand for some reason, which she clicks several times.
"If it would make you more comfortable, I'll contact Will ahead of time and vouch for you, Ziggurat," Gaignun offers, sensing Ziggy's discomfort. Will might be able to use Ziggy's help in keeping Kara from, you know, killing him and all. Though the URTV isn't fond of the fact that cyborgs lack rights...it's much more difficult to secure those than for Realians, being that cyborgs are much less prevalent.
"I see. Thank you." He says. Having Gaignun do the middle-management for him doesn't make him that much more comfortable, but it's better than sitting around like an unused piece of equipment. He's gotten used to thinking of himself like that, Gaignun doesn't need to worry about beating around the bush, it's not like Ziggy is sensitive about it. "That's all I had to discuss, if there's nothing else..." He says as he turns to leave.
Flonne says, "We're sorry for the inconvenience, but you're one step away from cookie crunchiness!" chirpilly.
Look at that face. Is that a deceitful face? She practically has a halo around her head!
The papers, on the surface, do go into great, agonizing detail on behalf of explaining the Netherworld exportation act (something that seems to have gone into effect rather recently, in fact, as if it were a new rule someone just made up and put into the books). It is, however, Demon Council approved, so Flonne must have put some bribes into this.
In the first layer of complexity, however, it details the economics of the package delivery, stating that the valued importee is a representative of the Insert Organization Here and that payment is expected. Should Arche be unable to pay for the importation funds of 20 B Hel, then her posessions may be taken as compensation until payment is conferred upon the exportee. It is a binding contract by Netherworld standards, but it doesn't mean that counts for anything in Palcae of Power standards! There might be more sneakiness in there, but will Arche take the time to look it all over!?
"You're welcome," Gaignun replies. Well, if Ziggurat isn't willing to ask for jobs, and he's not all that comfortable with Gaignun asking someone else to give him a job, then what's a man to do? At least he'll accept it. With Will in the same sub-faction as him, it will be easy for Gaignun to contact him as well. It's just a matter of, well, waiting until Will's conscious. "All right. No, I have nothing else. Take care, Ziggurat." And with that, frowning slightly at the events indicated on the Palace frequency, Gaignun moves to take care of the business he'd come here to handle--unless Arche and/or Flonne interrupt him, that is.
Arche Klaine's translation:
Words, words, words
She then signs it. "So do I have to pay you now or am I gonna need to write a check?"
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