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The Games We Play and, Oh, the Questions We Ask
Thu Sep 21, 2006 17:47 (XFF:

It was a drowning battle–drowning in that he was aware of the threat around him, conscious of the water pressing in on him from all sides. One would wonder if this was a rehearsed play, and they were merely the actors, though that thought would inarguably contest the analogy to which he’d already consigned himself. That was the extent of Locke’s strategy bearing fruit, at least, analogical bastardization or not. Shifting in his seat, Lysander was aware of which move would inherently have to follow Locke’s to avoid sudden catastrophe, which of his black stones would need to assume which positions to avoid immediate disaster. Disaster in essence was inevitable. Lysander watched as the game’s final piece–Locke’s–was played, and that was it. He had been suffocated.

“Excellent,” he whispered at once, nodding. “I would have thought the amount of stones you invested in your central game would have been significant in itself, though this is evidently. . . .” Indistinct was his sentence, abandoned as Lysander’s eyes danced around the board, replaying the last several pieces played if only in his mind’s eye. Yes. Oh, he would never be cheerful about defeat, no, but he would perhaps try that strategy of Locke’s. Perhaps link it to central play in order to give it some weight? Maybe. “Yes, excellent. I am not above shaking over this.” And the two men shook hands comfortably, Lysander abandoning himself. As he drew back, he shifted again, reminding himself of whose chair he assumed. The M’Hael’s. His own.

“You know the game, I see,” he said, adopting his tones to suit the mellow atmosphere in the end of the match’s climax. And he had thought his own parents were good. . . . “I will deign to make an assumption, then, in this situation. You’ve been fostering your talent for this game by the sun’s absence? By night?” Assumptions made themselves, and they made themselves shoddily. Not in this case.

Locke nodded, his ears focused on Lysander while his eyes guided his hand as it darted about the board, returning his white pieces back to his pocket. “Poettre’s secretary made for good practice.” Where was Syril? Was he still in the Tower’s employ? “Ditrii doesn’t show the same talent.”

No, Ditrii really didn’t. Ditrii wasn’t even an Asha’man, nor was he an intellectual. He was, however, good at keeping appointments. Lysander hadn’t spent a day regretting the man’s appointment. “I see, then, that we both share a habit. If you truly do thrive off a nightlife, I might advise you to find a bondmate. Being bonded increases one’s ability to stay awake, alert. It increases alertness, even awareness. There are numerous downfalls, however, especially if you intend to use the bond for the peripheral effects and not for the purpose of defending another’s life . . . though the ability to sense Shadowspawn would be infinitely useful.” Though Myrth was an awful witch of a woman for bonding him, Lysander did not regret the effects. Yes, he was eternally shackled by knowledge of the woman’s presence–north and east, naught more–though the thought of making bonding mandatory throughout the Black Tower had entered his thoughts more than once. The benefits were whole.

“I will consider that, M’Hael,” Locke replied idly as he placed the last of his stones in his pocket, appearing far more alert once he peered up.

As the mood of the situation grew to change, and as Lysander found himself less of a ready participant in a game and more of a figure of authority, he continued to speak. “I know little of your history, Locke.” Channeling, Lysander plucked his stones from the makeshift board in a heyday of saidin, returning them to his channeled cup. Releasing the ties on the weave, Lysander was careful not to let anything slip; rather, he maintained the weave, depositing the two-toned stones (his own and the one’s he’d taken) into Locke’s open palm. “You were born in the southlands, though I would not hazard a guess as to which–” Whoever heard of a fair southerner? “–and the dossiers hold little more than that. They are especially vague regarding what has transpired at the Tower.

“How did you burn the melanin from your eyes?” he said simply, gesturing to his eyes. Locke would not muster vanity enough to be offended, he predicted. “Furthermore, why do you choose not to amend them with tied weaves of Illusion? You’re not listed as having the Talent, though I am.” Channeling, Lysander wove needle-thin flows of saidin; Spirit coupled Fire and Air as he channeled at the man’s eyes. Bands of colour wrapped themselves around Locke’s pupils, dyeing the white on their periphery. Lysander added another facet to the weave: an inverted matrix of Spirit, similar in essence to Concealment but acting more like a barrier to block the reflection of light. The weave had a preferential permeability, allowing light to pass through it but reflecting none on the side facing Locke’s eye. In other words, it went one way. It would be viewable to all but Locke; light would pass through it, leaving the Officer’s vision unimpaired. It was brown. It was green. It was what he made it: blue, hazel, violet, yellow, red. It was grey, the colour listed in Locke’s old recruitment dossier, though the word had been struck out, replaced with not addendum.

At once, Lysander let the weave fade. It was not his place to impose a prosthetic upon the man. “I would think that an Asha’man, a member of a unit, would want to blend in. Do you find necessity in setting yourself apart from others, Locke?” Lysander smiled. Blend in? Oh, the Great Lord preserve him. He would never want to blend in. The thought was laughable, even if he did not go so far as to feign a cry for attention. But Lysander didn’t laugh.

OOC: is dat sum l8 reply???// (Ah, um, sorry.)

  • Bits, Bobs, This, That, and the OtherAsha'man Locke, Tue Sep 12 13:14
    “It’s an intellectual’s game, which is why too few within the Tower’s confines play it, and why even less play it well.” Lysander smirked nearing the end of his sentence. It was true; most Asha'man... more
    • The Games We Play and, Oh, the Questions We Ask — M'Hael Lysander, Thu Sep 21 17:47
      • Questions Already AnsweredAsha'man Lemain, Fri Sep 22 13:01
        Bonding. It was something that Locke had considered, but in reality, would probably never submit to. He could not sense Shadowspawn, true, but he had his own powers, in kind, that allowed him to do... more
        • Answers Inevitably QuestionedM'Hael Lysander, Fri Sep 22 18:13
          “I don't correct it because I don't practice self immolation.” It was regrettable that Illusion, sitting gloriously among the Talents, was cast in such a negative light, or bathed even in no light at ... more
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