Hyrule - Rauru Town
A simple town of sturdy buildings of brick and stone, Rauru is the one of the most important towns in Hyrule, its people simple farmers, though serving an important purpose by growing food for the people of Hyrule Castle. Travelers hoping to go to the castle often come here, and Rauru is an important trade stop. People here can find information from all across Hyrule, if you know who to ask. A wise man also lives here, teaching simple magic to those with the talent.
So! It's been some time since MOMO was last able to have Ziggy-time, and since they both had some time to spare, she'd suggested a jaunt through Hyrule. Ziggy accepted, and scant minutes later - after leaving word to where they'd be in case anyone came looking for them - they were off! MOMO is absolutely /beside/ herself with HAPPY(tm) as she strolls - almost skipping - alongside the cyborg, "I really like it here," she comments - perhaps unnecessarily. "It's so pretty." And there are /fairies/. "Oh! I heard you got a promotion! Congratulations!" It's no surprise to her! Ziggy Is The Greatest! (tm)
Yes, Ziggy got a (temporary) promotion. But his original mission always takes priority, even if MOMO may not be in much danger here, he has to do his job right. Besides, she seems to be enjoying herself. "It is certainly pleasent scenery..." He comments, and nods at her second comment. "I am only second in command of the Guard until Commander Oaks returns. I wouldn't call it a promotion, per-say..." He doesn't elaborate further, though, because he gets the feeling that MOMO would only continue to rebuke him on that point. So he decides to change the subject. "Is there any place in particular you would like to go, MOMO?"
Some quality time for the pÍche and her guardian, is that it? It's all so terribly...wholesome, so very CUTE, the way these two lost souls have found each other and become practically inseperable. It could make the teeth rot and the heart stop from the very saccharine sweetness of it... If one didn't already have jealousy churning in one's gut, a cold, twisted thing.
A similarly cold, twisted creature stalks along behind the girl and her cyborg, keeping himself to the shadows and watching -everything- with acute violet eyes. Certainly there's a risk, even with his illusion abilities, that MOMO's sharp senses might pick up on him...
But that's a risk Albedo takes willingly.
"Ah, ma pÍche, my sweet MOMO--how long has it been since I last caught sight of you, since I last saw you out in the light of the sun? Have you been hiding from me, pÍche, from this pecheur who hangs on your every little action? Women are so cruel..." Much like a wolf slavering after a lamb, Albedo can't keep from talking to himself as he stalks after the two--though at least he does it mostly sotto voce.
Yes! Because the point is that he /did/ get a promotion. And she'd go on about that if he /had/ elaborated further, so it's good that he didn't. "Well - not here, but I hear there's a Zen garden in one of the other Zones too - would you like to-" And that's about as far as she gets. Though she doesn't /hear/ the wolf quite some distance behind herself and Ziggy, her sensors certainly -are- picking something up. Though she hasn't..quite identified -what- yet. It's enough to make her stop and look around. "...Ziggy?.."
As they're walking, Ziggy gets an odd sensation. His ear twitches a bit and he turns his head back ever so slightly. Something familiar, like when they were fleeing Pleroma, but it's only there for an instant and it's gone the next. Perhaps he's just being paranoid, being in the open with MOMO in the first time in awhile. The wolf wouldn't be that obsessive that he'd jump on the first opprotunity, would he? Placing his hand on her shoulder, he tries to be reassuring. "I thought I heard something too... it might be nothing though. Just say alert." MOMO has a much better chance of sensing the URTV than he does, he'll have to trust her instincts here.
Pffh. A man kept in darkness for months will still run toward the light no matter how much it hurts his blinded eyes; a man who's crawled across the desert will plunge into the first puddle he finds and drown. Even if it would have been better for Albedo to simply *wait* for a while after MOMO showed up again, and probably smarter, too, there are some things the madman can't account for in his own broken neuroses. He does freeze stock-still as both MOMO and the cyborg *seem* to respond to something, even going so far as to hold his breath and...wait for his prey to begin moving again. So close--so very, very close...
MOMO looks up to Ziggy at the reassuring gesture, and she nods a little, relaxing. She'll stay alert, and so will Ziggy - so it'll be fine! It's .. probably because this is her first jaunt to Hyrule after a while. Ziggy won't let anything happen to her. She does another quick scan with her sensors - frowns only a tiny bit, and pushes on, "A..anyway, as I was saying... there's a zen garden in one of the other zones. Do you want to go sometime?" She figured he might like it!
The realian begins walking again, so does her guard. "Sounds like an interesting trip..." He says. "We'll have to make arrangements." The unsettling feeling was gone, perhaps it was just his imagination. Still, the sudden jump has given him a reminder just what the stakes are. "Listen MOMO," He says in a quiet voice "I want you to be careful when traveling around Videoland. Try not to go alone, even to friendly places. It's more than just Albedo, or the U-Tic, there are a lot of individuals who would like to get their hands on you to hurt the Heroes, and not for the Y-Data. I'll always try to protect you, but I can't be everywhere."
How very...very curious. Albedo has keener hearing than the average human, but even he has to strain a little bit--and ease cat-footed and oily from his sudden freeze to resume stalking after his targets. He has to bite his tongue against a laugh, though, as Ziggy issues his warning--there's a real riot! And the funniest part of it all is that it's true...at least Albedo's on their side, right?
...like anyone besides Albedo would believe the madman is doing the Realian any favors.
MOMO smiles brightly as Ziggy agrees to go with her to the zen garden; but when he warns her, MOMO nods once, "All right. I promise." She'll try and get in contact with someone before she goes anywhere, and if she can't - she'll just stay at the palace. And read or something. She's sure she could find someone to come and escort her around. A few more steps and again she stops, looking over her shoulder as her sensors Ping 'HEY! There's something BACK there! Look I tell you, Look!'
And so MOMO looks; longer this time, gold eyes scanning for any sign of movement, before she turns to Ziggy, "Ziggy, I keep picking up on something back there." The constant pinging - well she can't ignore it!
"Hm.." Ziggy nods at MOMO's caution. It's true Albedo is amused by the cyborgs assertion to keep MOMO safe, he knows it. In fact, he had hoped that saying what he did here would cause Albedo to reveal himself, which worked to a degree. It's still possible that it's just a coincidence, but coincidences are not things Ziggy puts much faith in. He stiffens a bit as MOMO becomes concerned, he's not going to be caught unawares at least, even if he has to look a bit paranoid in front of the Hylians. "I know, just stay close to me. I won't let anything happen."
The ruse does, in a way, work. As MOMO glances back again, Albedo pauses once more, listening to the conversation--before giving an amused, splintery laugh. He seems to appear out of thin air as he does, stepping from somewhere else to the "here" with a dignified grace that implies he does this sort of thing every day. "Yes, there's SO much to be worried about around here--why, any day you could just up and /die/, and then where would we all be?" He smiles a strange, twisted smile, strolling casually over to where Ziggy and MOMO stopped. "Up the creek without a paddle, I'd think--hello, pÍche--did you enjoy your time away?"
Yep! Sensors never lie, and when Ziggy acknowledges that he was aware someone was behind them, she is doubly relieved. Stay close? YOu couldn't pry her away right now, apprehensive. So when Albedo finally shows up, she smothers a small squeak, taking a step closer to Ziggy, reaching out to seize hold of one arm with both hands. "U-um.... yes.. I did.." He's just talking right? Nothing wrong with that! .. she hopes.
Ziggy does what any good guard would do, and puts himself between Albedo and MOMO. There's not much talking from the cyborg now that Albedo has shown himself. He doesn't need to go through the tired old 'what do you want' questioning, he can guess. He's more interested in Albedo's actions right now, than what he has to say. He's heard it all so many times before anyway. So long as he just stays talking, that's fine. He doesn't make a move to alert the Palace yet, he doesn't want to force his hand and turn the town into a battleground unnecessarily.
The sudden response to his appearance pleases Albedo greatly; so much could be understood from the low, purr-like chuckle in his throat as he stops in front of Ziggy. He draws himself up to his full height, meeting the cyborg's eyes and still smirking. "Sic semper canus, hm? Step aside, old man. I promise--" He holds up a hand, as in the Scout's pledge, "--on what /little/ honor the Palace assigns me that I'm not going to hurt her. I'm just here to talk--hm? We can talk, can't we, without it coming to blows...?"
MOMO isn't sure she's pleased by the sound of that chuckle; and when Ziggy interposes himself betwen her and the URTV, she only looks up to her bodyguard, before returning her attention to Albedo. He just wants to talk? What about? "Well.. what is it that you want..?" She asks hesitantly, taking only a -small- step to the side; still using Ziggy as a shield. So to speak.
Ziggy's repsonse is simple and concise. "You can keep your distance and talk." Not backing down from Albedo's stares, not even hesitating. He's not giving teh URTV anything to work with, though knowing him Albedo will find something to use. Suffice to say he's not stepping aside, and he's not making the first move. If Albedo wants to talk, he can speak and be done with it. If he wants something more he'll have to force the cyborg out of the way, and he will find that he's not so easily moved.
Or simply stroll around the cyborg, which is what Albedo does--having cocked his head to one side and given Ziggy an insincere grin. The problem about standing in front of someone is--whoops!--when the person you're guarding your target from seems to ignore most of the laws of time and space if he feels like it, he can--get around behind you very rapidly. Like a fish in water.
Again Albedo pulls that "step-into-and-out-of-air" trick, reappearing behind Ziggy and MOMO. "To see you again, pÍche--it HAS been such a long time, and the whole world is changing around us."
Damn that trick of playing with the laws of time and space! One minute she's looking at Albedo, and the next he's behind them? So MOMO pivots to face him, squeaking in surprise. Ahaha! Just you keep your distance there, mister! She glances at Ziggy quickly, and then back to Albedo "Yes, it has been a long time.." How's that generic sports team? "My sisters.." Er - wait. "Um. What.. have you been doing?" Since the last time they saw each other that is.
Ziggy expected Albedo to pull a trick like that eventually. The cyborg is, sadly, stuck within the limits of the third dimension, while the URTV swims freely in the fourth. Just acting as a physical barrier isn't enough against him. That doesn't stop him from quickly turning around to face him, however. He rests one hand on MOMO's shoulder for reassurance. His cybernetic hand, though, is kept limber and ready to strike if it has to.
And one of these days, Ziggy probably WILL up and bitchslap Albedo. Millions will laugh. But for now, the madman simply strolls forward, more than violating MOMO's space--and kneeling down so he can be on a level with her. This isn't just the go to one knee sort of thing; he gets down on both knees, sitting back on his heels and looking up at her with a bemused smile on his lips.
"Oh, mostly being dead. It gets tiresome after a while, don't you think? --And your sisters, brave little dolls they are, are just fine. Very industrious--lending a helping hand in all of my endeavors. I've discovered a new...hm...how shall I put it...appreciation for their talents."
Attention URTV! You are in direct violation of Realian airspace! Back off immediately! Repeat! Back off repeatedly or be... .. .. uh. Or Realian airspace will be altered to increase distance. ._. The hand on her shoulder is the sole thing that keeps her from backing away, though she does press back against Ziggy a bit. That's far enough, thank you Mr. Albedo, sir, you can.. back away now. Right? She frowns a little - she doesn't like hearing her sister's being referred to as 'dolls' - they have feelings too, you know! And as for the appreciation for their talents? Let's... just move right along then. "Have you been following us since we got here..?" Cuz that's pretty danged creepy, y'know? WHEE! I have my very own personal stalker! Oh wait, that's nothing to whee about.
Mostly being dead, pity he couldn't stay that way. But, well, the cyborg isn't one to talk. Ziggy doesn't move from his position, though his scybernetic hand clenches as the URTV kneels down in front of MOMO. One inch closer and the cyborg is ready to take Albedo's head off, that much should be obvious to someone as empathic as him. Not that that would stop him, but it would slow him down... and shut him up for a moment. "I wouldn't think of this as a chance meeting, he must have been following us for awhile." It's highly unlikely in the cyborg's mind that the URTV just /happened/ to be in Hyrule. Of course... you never know...
"Ah-ah-ah," Albedo says, waving a finger at Ziggurat. "Pets are to be seen, not heard. Don't go putting words into my mouth; I have enough of my own as it is." Once more, that creepy smile, before he looks back down at MOMO. "Oh, I may have, I may have--on such a beautiful day as this, who could pass up a chance to bask in your--" He draws in a deep breath, before breathing out in a quiet, ecstatic hum. "--mmm, singular wonder, ma pÍ?" A pause, before he holds out a hand to her, not...actually touching her, just reaching out. "...come closer, if you would? It's been so long since I've seen that face, that innocence--I'm but a beggar at your altar, surely you can oblige me something, pÍche...just this once."
MOMO glances up at Ziggy again - he's probably right. Albedo probably /had/ been following - though why hadn't she noticed him on her sensors up till now? Huh. Probably because she'd been focused so much on chatting with Ziggy and catching up, she hadn't been paying any mind to her sensors. Bad MOMO. "Ziggy's not a pet!" It's not nice to say things like that, Albedo! Of course Ziggy's not a pet. He just ..kind of has the name of one. Puppy! Uh..please to not be creeping out the MOMO. She shies back a bit this time around, when the hand is held out to her - even though it's not touching, "I'm fine where I am.." She answers, stubbornly. She doesn't need to come any closer! And even if she /had/ entertained the idea of obliging, Ziggy would never stand for it.
*Shink!!* No, he would not. For in a split second, Ziggy's elbow-blade is between MOMO and Albedo. Blade facing the ground, the flat facing both MOMO and Albedo, they can probably see their reflections in it. The blade is considerably away from MOMO, yet only inches away from Albedo's hand. He never intended to hit him in the first place, of course. But just because he cannot be an effective physical barrier doesn't mean he's going to do nothing. He's making it clear, Albedo's not violating any more of MOMO's personal space without it turning ugly. And he scowls slightly at the pet remark. Scowl scowl.
Albedo's head jerks up as the blade comes down, and he locks eyes with the cyborg--staring, defiantly, as if to challenge the cyborg to move the blade the last few inches required to actually sever his hand at the wrist. At length, he arches one white brow, a smile creeping onto his lips again. "So nice," he breathes. "To see that my word is taken seriously." He draws his hand back, folding it with the other in his lap before looking down again, purple eyes amused as he watches what he can see of MOMO around the blade.
"I thought I'd ask," he lilts. "Instead of taking, for once--things are coming to a head, you might say...it seemed only decent..."
At first, all MOMO sees is her own reflection. Looking past the blade, MOMO regards Albedo, ".. why wouldn't we take your word seriously?" She raises a hand and fidgets with a corner of her sleeve absently. Um. Wait, what was that? She look "What things are coming to a head?" Though the question /is/ directed towards Albedo, she looks up towards Ziggy. You have an idea of what he's talking about?
As Albedo's hand draws back, Ziggy's blade vanishes in an instant. He stares back at the URTV, he's not one easily intimidated, or cooerced into doing something... unnecessary. For now Ziggy will only get as violent as Albedo does. As he stares back at the URTV, his eyes seem to scream 'get on with it', for while he takes Albedo's rants seriously, it always takes him so long to say what he's trying to say. The madman should take a page from the cyborg and learn a little simplicity. He doesn't reply to MOMO, though, he'll let Albedo answer it for now, and elaborate on it later if he has to. Besides, events are always coming to a head in their zone.
If Albedo *could* speak simply, he wouldn't have most of the problems he does. As it stands, he's not even capable; all he can do is try to substitute quantity for sense, in hope that *some*thing will get through to the outside world. Pathetic, but impressive and frightening if you look at it from the outside. The madman keeps his eyes on the Realian as Ziggy removes the blade, silent as MOMO asks her questions. At last, he ducks his head, chuckling low in his throat, before getting up from where he's kneeling and turning to walk away--but only a few feet. "...it makes sense; the eye of the storm couldn't see all the chaos for the world..." he mumbles, to himself. "It's only fair, it's only right..." No, that /still/ doesn't explain things, does it?
No, it doesn't. But then, Albedo is a confusing individual. She's immensely relieved when he moves away, even if he does confuse her by that response. "The eye of the storm...?" What, did you turn into a weatherman or something while you were gone? MOMO furrows her brow. Something's going to happen? What in heavens name is he even /talking/ about ;.; COuld someone clue a clueless Realian in?
Some things are best left unknown for the time being, when necessity demands it. Ziggy doesn't relax at all, even when Albedo steps away. For all he knows, all this 'eye of the storm' talk could just be Bedoese for 'I'm going to kidnap and mindrape you now'. He knows what Albedo really wants with MOMO, he's said as much himself. Ziggy's not about to allow it. For now, it's best MOMO is kept in the dark. "Are you finished?" He asks the URTV, not expecting a postive answer.
Expect the unexpected! Especially around Albedo. The madman has a hand buried in his hair now, lost in his own disturbing internal visions--something Ziggy's question snaps him out of. He looks back over his shoulder. "--Sure. Go on. Would you listen if I carried on and shouted?" A smirk. "I think not. Pleasant evening to you, pÍche...dream of me, hm?" And with that, he simply starts walking away, not bothering to reestablish his illusions. Swimming in the fourth dimension, or even just wading in it, can be horribly tiring. Which might explain the slight stumble as he walks away, before he can catch himself and continue sauntering off as if nothing had happened.
Dream of you. No no, she doesn't think she'll do that, thanks. If nothing else it'd be a horrible /nightmare/. But she's relieved - he's walking away! Nothing bad has come of this -- just..cryptic messages. Once Albedo is gone, she does another cursory sweep of her sensors before deeming it safe, and only then does she look up at Ziggy, "Ziggy - what did he mean..?"
Ziggy waits until Albedo is gone.. or, out of sight at least. He sighs, and finally relaxes, he can never let his guard down around that one. He briefly eyes the confused Hylians who were probably just a bit put off by the encounter. At least it never came to blows, though it's sure that none of them actually understood what was being said. Neither did MOMO, and now Ziggy has to play Q&A period. "It is difficult to explain..." He says. "But the data you carry is probably not the only reason he is after you... he will still try to take it from you, though, which is why we're waiting for the Subcomitte's preparations to be complete." And the sooner the better. At least that'd be one less reason for MOMO to be hounded. "...it seems our visit has turned sour, perhaps we had best head back to the Palace?"
"..but what other reason could he have..?" It's always the Y-Data, isn't it? Sigh. But MOMO nods, "Yeah, I guess you're right." They shouldn't push their luck; if they stayed away too long, there was a chance that something /else/ might happen. "We should tell Mr. Gaignun and the others too." She hops a little on her heels. She personally hopes that the Subcommittee will be ready soon - so she can see her mommy!
Ziggy nods. They should certainly mention the encounter, Gaignun would no doubt like to be kept privy to Albedos' known goings-on. Ziggy lightly pats her shoulder as they turn to leave Rauru town. "Let us arrange a trip to that Zen garden someday soon, alright?" With any luck, Albedo won't stalk them there. Of course, he did overhear the first half of their conversation, so he may very well be looking out for the trip. Damn stalkers.
Damn stalkers indeed. Worse than paparazzi they are! MOMO flashes a quick grin at Ziggy as she turns and follows him out of town. "Okay!" Even though Albedo knew about their plans to go to the garden, he didn't know -when!- so /haha!/ they have an advantage. .. not a very /good/ one, admittedly. He could camp out at the garden, and .. ach. She'll stop considering the possibilities.
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