World War Burst S2: Part 4

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[18:28:22] * Oxford changes topic to 'Trigonometry Unit Test TOMORROW - Study Hard!'
[18:35:00] <~Oxford> "It is thus possible to classify the government of any State as belonging to one of two categories with regard to international relations," drones Mr. Fortaw, setting down his chalk by the lectern and flipping discreetly to the next notecard. Outside the white-paned windows of the schoolhouse, the weather has cleared and the sun emerged full-force.
[18:36:10] <Marina> Being indoors is the best.
[18:37:28] <~Oxford> The first truly warm day of spring has been spent, thus far, trapped inside another of the young teacher's impressively professorial lectures on foreign affairs. Outside, fresh green grass and birdsong beckon.
[18:40:33] * Lily fidgets eagerly in her seat. It's bright out! And sunny! And warm! She wanted oooooouuuuuut.
[18:41:01] * Marina happily accepts the role of token nerd, or whatever the modern term is, being much happier listening to lectures than being elsewhere. All she dreads is math assignments, but from her face it's hardly likely any of the other students could tell.
[18:41:07] <~Oxford> "The first are those that recognize the fundamental legitimacy of other states," he continues, pointing back at the list on the board: Albaea, Gaulia, Cimbria, Hispalia.
[18:42:36] * Cloral is noticeably less enthusiastic about being the best at learning than usual. She still sits right up front but frequently takes to staring out the window. It's pretty obvious.
[18:42:41] * Henriette listens with rapt attention to the teacher's talk of the intricacies between modern global powers. Naturally, her uniform sports a recent addition, a broad red ribbon across the midsection just beneath her breasts. It's an experiemntal addition though, so it might change soon. In her hands is a small Gaulian-to-Albaean pocket dictionary, which Henriette discretely flips through
[18:42:41] * Henriette under the cover of some historical novel.
[18:42:48] <~Oxford> "And the other are those that accept no legitimacy but their own," and he points to the sole outlier: Novgoraad. "A revolutionary state."
[18:43:33] * Marina listens intently, actually taking notes.
[18:45:10] <~Oxford> "A revolutionary state will inevitably seek the expansion of its ideals and cultures, because it is those ideals that served to establish the basis of the state itself. Can anyone tell me the basis for the Novgoraadi state?"
[18:46:48] * Marina looks up but back down, considering, yet returning to scribbling notes instead.
[18:47:17] * Henriette avoids raising her hand mostly because she's looking up the word "legitimacy". Context clues can only tell her so much about the information being presented.
[18:49:02] <Cloral> Loewin finds herself to be much too busy staring at the leaves on the trees outside to have even noticed a question was asked.
[18:49:54] <~Oxford> It is late in the afternoon; the younger children can already be seen outside in the schoolyard, lining up for dismissal. They skip and play, waiting for permission to return to their homes. In the row in front of the girls, Dirk is slumped over and dozing, while Angie is shooting frustrated looks at Kevin.
[18:51:18] <~Oxford> Mr. Fortaw frown and opens his mouth to say something, but then the belltower at last chimes 3 o'clock.
[18:52:58] <~Oxford> Over the sudden bustle of students rushing toward the exit, he only just manages to shout a final assignment to them: "Essay! 200 words on this topic! Monday!"
[18:53:53] * Henriette tugs on the neckline of her blouse as she stands, adjusting it slightly. She's been sitting down all day, and now she can get outside for a while? Oui! Absolument!
[18:55:06] * Cloral calls back mockingly at Mr. Fortaw before absconding. "So, one-fifth of a picture? Easy!"
[18:56:12] <Marina> Taking her time to leave, Marina exudes tildes on the way out. Writing on the topic is more fun than talking about it, for sure. She's been trying not to seem distracted by the thoughts of magic and whatnot during the past week, but probably has come off that way every now and again- as instructed, she'd made at least one attempt to 'practice' every day by making iced tea, with no real concern for the results. It's just fine hot anyway.
[18:57:21] <~Oxford> He waves her off, shaking his head. As Bridget follows behind the others, he wags a finger at her. "Ah ah, not you, though. That desk isn't finished yet, after all. You can catch up with your friends when you've finished." The girl frowns but complies.
[18:58:11] * Lily dashes out the door, exuding an aura of cheer. "Time to go home~~~~"
[19:01:06] * Marina is in no such hurry, waiting to see if Maggie's around to walk partway home today. She doesn't mind though, and would start off on her own on a negative.
[19:02:11] * Cloral ends up matching Marina's stride, with great difficulty. "So…any progress?"
[19:02:47] * Henriette watches Marina curiously, taking her own time to put her things away. If the boys haven't left yet, she'll be looking to catch up with them, unless the others seem to be headed home quickly.
[19:03:55] <~Oxford> Maggie is there, dawdling by the gate as usual. When Marina approaches, she tags along behind, though she shies away from the other girls, to whom Maggie has yet to be properly introduced.
[19:04:17] <Marina> "None," she answers with an exhausted sigh. "Something might be missing."
[19:05:23] <Lily> After she gets out of the door, she slows down considerably, going from tree to tree and occasionally stopping by flowers as well, checking them out. voop voop~
[19:05:40] * Marina turns around and quirks a brow, giggling internally as usual. After answering Cloral she drifts back, ambiguous expression and all, MAYBE embarrassed that the others know she's actually talking to somebody from their class. MAYBE not.
[19:05:54] <Marina> … Okay, definitely not.
[19:07:57] * Cloral certainly does cast cold, strange looks back at Maggie, unsure of why they have a stalker. Did she find out about the magics?
[19:08:38] <~Oxford> The streets of Ternwald have a few shoppers about, but most of the storefronts are still boarded, laying in wait for the summer tourism. A man with a thick salt-and-pepper beard crosses the street in front of them and leans against a doorframe, unhurriedly lighting his pipe.
[19:10:25] * Marina answers Cloral's gaze stoically. "She lives nearby."
[19:12:47] <Cloral> With a final scrutinizing glare, she nods at Maggie and then checks to see if Henriette's manquest was successful or not.
[19:13:28] <~Oxford> Up ahead, Henriette has caught up with Dirk and Kevin. Kevin is the taller of the two, though less muscular than Dirk. Both blush slightly and suck in their stomachs involuntarily.
[19:14:12] * Lily leans in and scrutinizes an especially lovely patch of tulips.
[19:15:06] <~Oxford> A bee crawls out from the nearest and buzzes away lazily, bobbing up and down in midair.
[19:16:01] <Henriette> Approaching uneasily, Henriette mumbles out, "J'm- uh… I am Henriette. We haven't met yet and er…" Albaean, girl, do you speak it?
[19:18:13] * Marina goes back to Maggie's side without another word, watching with intrigue if they're close enough to Henri-chan's Kawaii Pickup Hour (only in a language that exists in this setting).
[19:18:16] <~Oxford> "I'm Dirk," the sandy-blonde volunteers, reaching out a hand. "Pleased to meet you!"
[19:18:59] * Lily waves to the bee, and then decides to leave her alone so she can do her job, moving to another tree or bunch of plants
[19:19:21] <~Oxford> "K-Kevin," the other boy adds, starting to do the same before realizing he's too far away for a handshake not to require awkward reaching.
[19:20:53] <~Oxford> Next to Marina, Maggie fumes silently.
[19:21:08] <Marina> "Suave, aren't they," Marina says to Maggie, rolling her eyes.
[19:21:17] * Cloral decides not to approach and to let the awkwardness fester, instead going to see how Lily goes about being imperfect and loving every minute of it.
[19:21:55] <Henriette> "Enchanté, Dirk and Kevin," she says, giving a curtsey in response. The handshake is kind of left sitting there for a moment before her eyes widen and she grabs it with both hands to complete the greeting.
[19:22:44] <Lily> She's checking out an ash tree when Cloral comes by, looking uuuup into the branches, who knows what she's inspecting for. Birds? Squirrels? Fruits? The leaves?
[19:22:45] <Marina> "I'm afraid Ms. LeClair is just as clueless as they seem to be, though."
[19:22:57] <~Oxford> While it's still too early for all the flowers to be in bloom, Lily finds plenty of fine examples. The residents of Ternwald seem to take pride in their gardening, and most of the small houses that line the backstreets have at least one windowbox or planter filled with budding flowers.
[19:24:57] <~Oxford> Dirk pumps her hands up and down firmly, smiling. "So, how do you like Ternwald? Is it much different from where you're from?"
[19:25:41] <Lily> She turns to move to the next garden and 4!'s when she see's Cloral. "Hi!"
[19:25:45] <Marina> "… Should we stay and watch?"
[19:26:35] <Cloral> "Hi…what are you doing?" While addressing Lily, she constantly glances over at Henriette and the two stooges. She does not hide jealousy well.
[19:27:25] <~Oxford> Maggie grimaces and turns aside. "It fine," she says, and sniffs softly, "it is. You girls will probably leave by next summer, and…"
[19:28:42] <Henriette> "Oh, uh, ou- err… Well, I have lived in Albaea for many years but… uhh… I am afraid I lived a err… sheltered life," she replies. She wobbles with his firm handshake but settles into an easy pace between the two boys.
[19:30:24] <Marina> "If you say so," she gives Henriette a small wave and keeps moving. "I somehow doubt things will stay this way for long, either way." It takes some effort not to giggle at the thought of her social cluelessness eventually becoming TOO awkward for the poor boys.
[19:32:33] <~Oxford> "Oh, really?" Dirk replies, walking alongside her with a spring in his step. "Have you ever been sailing?" Kevin has kept silent, but is watching with interest. Uncomfortable, blushing interest.
[19:35:37] <Henriette> "Oh! Non, I have not. Does your family own a boat?" she asks with eager interest. She looks out towards the sea, even if it's not visible from here. "I have heard it is common to get err… sick on the waters. Is it true?"
[19:39:29] <~Oxford> "Seasick? Nah, that only happens on big ships, where you're too far from the water. But on a little skiff," he continues, sidling a little closer, "you're right down against the waves, and it feels completely natural." He smiles disarmingly.
[19:41:35] <Lily> "Just checking the flowers, seeing how people make their gardens. It's really nice!"
[19:41:56] * Henriette doesn't even notice the sidling. Her eyes are wide with the idea of being out on the waves. "Wait, what is a… err.. a skiff?" A hesitant giggle escapes as she tries to cover for her bad Albaean. "Err… I don't know much about boats, I am afraid."
[19:42:31] * Cloral stares at the hippie. "…what does a beautiful garden look like?"
[19:42:35] <Lily> She nods and starts moving along the path, past Cloral, but not at so fast a pace that cloral can't keep up! She probably ends up getting even with Marina and Maggie by accident~ "Nice gardens around here~"
[19:43:07] * Marina just shakes her head at Lilynanigans.
[19:43:50] * Cloral struggles to keep up, why do you people hate shorties?
[19:44:00] <Lily> "Oh, that's easy! You need a balance of colors, different sizes and shapes, patterns, all sorts of things that catch the eye!"
[19:45:09] <Cloral> "So…variety is all it takes?"
[19:46:00] <Lily> "Well, you can't have every single flower be different, then theres' no pattern or order or arrangement to them~!"
[19:46:35] <Cloral> "Wouldn't the ordering itself be chaos at that point? Is that bad?" This is so hard to keep up with.
[19:47:20] <~Oxford> "Oh, a 'skiff' is just a word for a small boat. I have a little 15-footer that I've been sailing since I was a kid." He points down toward the docks. "Hey, I'll take you out on it some time! Uh, would you like that?"
[19:47:50] <Lily> "Okay, think of it this way! In an organization, there's a bunch of different people in different ranks, right? And they're all arranged around their superiors, who are arranged around THEIR superiors, you get the idea? That's one way of arranging flowers!"
[19:48:12] <Cloral> "So…some flowers are superior to others?"
[19:48:26] <~Oxford> He blushes through his tan and hurriedly adds, "it's fun; we could pack a lunch and bring some fishing rods and if the wind's good that day we could sail all the way out around-"
[19:49:04] <Lily> "Depends!"
[19:49:16] <Lily> "It's all opinions, it's not a hard science, it's like art, you know?"
[19:49:26] <Cloral> "I…do not really actually know, no."
[19:50:18] <Lily> "Flower arranging is an art! If you don't understand art at all, you can't really get it, I guess~"
[19:50:24] <Henriette> "Oh! Oui-err… yes!" she replies excitedly. "That sounds… that sounds like fun. Would we be able to swim out in the deeper waters? I have only been to the beach, and I… I heard there are large creatures there!" She glances back at Kevin, wondering why he's been so quiet.
[19:52:50] <~Oxford> Angie rushes up while she speaks, latching onto Kevin's right arm with enough force to drive him stumbling into Henriette. He regains his balance, barely, but only by grabbing onto Angie's arm.
[19:54:55] <Henriette> "Oh, hello… A-angela, is it?" Henriette says cheerfully, caught off-guard by the sudden appearance.
[19:55:01] <~Oxford> He stands up properly, and she puts an arm around his waist possessively. "Uh, um, hey dear," he attempts, smiling nervously.
[19:55:17] * Lily blinks pensively at this happening. "Wow that looks rough…"
[19:57:09] * Marina is sure to escort Maggie back home before the awkwardness reaches max levels, happily making smalltalk and leaving the others behind.
[19:57:15] * Cloral hides her grin with a fake yawn.
[19:58:45] <~Oxford> Angie uses her free hand to straighten her hairband, running it through her long brown hair. "That's right. I'm Angela. You are Henriette." She enounciates just a little too clearly; it's impossible to tell whether it's an intentional dig or not.
[20:00:11] <Henriette> "O-ou… Yes, that is my name…" Henriette says, significantly confused. "A-are you and Kevin…?"
[20:02:37] <~Oxford> She wraps her other arm around him from the other side and presses her cheek against his shoulder. "That's right. He's got a boat too, don't you Kevin?"
[20:05:12] <~Oxford> He confirms it with a nod and a little frown.
[20:06:04] * Charm (ten.tsacmoc.ni.1dsh.803974AB-xus|mrahC#ten.tsacmoc.ni.1dsh.803974AB-xus|mrahC) Quit (Quit: )
[20:07:56] <Henriette> "Oh, c'est très mignon!" she replies. "Do you go sailing a lot then, as well? I was excited to hear about Dirk's err… skiff, was it?"
[20:10:23] * Cloral finally interrupts, appearing at Henriette's side as only a short person can. "I'm sure Kevin has a LOVELY watercraft, but unfortunately we must get ourselves home."
[20:10:59] <~Oxford> "All the time," Angie replies, with a hint of boredom in her voice. "I'm really shocked you've never been before. You must've been really sheltered growing up."
[20:11:59] * Lily sees Cloral going up and goes along with Henriette. "Yep, we've got flowers to see, tea to drink, essays to write~!" She hooks her arm around Henriettes and dashes ahead 1,1after giving Dirk a wink.
[20:12:48] <Henriette> "Err… oui," Henriette replies, but before she knows it, she's been stolen away! "Dirk, you'll have to take me out on your 'skiff' sometime soon, ma belle!"
[20:13:21] <Cloral> The most devilish of grins forms. "Oh, isn't it shocking she's never been on a boat, Angie? Next she'll say she's never been to COUNTLESS FANCY DINNER PARTIES or balls or masquerades or any of those other mundane events."
[20:13:23] <~Oxford> Loewin is right, naturally. They've reached the edge of town, and it's becoming clear that Dirk and Kevin have let themselves be drawn way off-course from their usual routes home. "Oh, right," Dirk says, putting a hand behind his head and laughing embarassedly. "So um, how about Saturday? For sailing, I mean."
[20:13:41] <Henriette> "Saturday sounds lovely~"
[20:15:28] <~Oxford> He waves at her as Lily carries her off. Kevin and Angie have already turned back toward home, though the girl shoots a dirty look over her shoulder as they go. It isn't clear toward which of the two it's directed.
[20:20:13] <~Oxford> Cloral's challenge goes unanswered. Angie clearly knows to pick her battles, and without more background knowledge of the short girl, she's content to let her simmer for the time being.
[20:24:16] <Lily> "Henriette, you~ should~ be~ care~ful~"
[20:25:29] <Henriette> "Careful? Ma chérie, whatever do you mean?" Henriette replies.
[20:25:37] <Lily> "That girl looked maaaaad!"
[20:25:58] <Cloral> Cloral's victory grin is the most adorable thing ever, by the way.
[20:25:59] <Lily> "I think she got upset that you were talking to her boyfriend!"
[20:28:17] <Henriette> "Oh, I thought that she might be irritée, but I don't understand. He is her petit ami, non?" she replies, scratching her head. "I was only talking to him."
[20:28:35] <~Oxford> The road to Wightshead is the same as ever, but the path seems shorter somehow in the beautiful spring weather.
[20:29:28] <Lily> "It's because she throught her mateship was in danger so she started bringing out her claws and started snarling!"
[20:29:45] <Lily> *thought
[20:31:24] <Marina> Marina makes her way back first after droping Maggie off. She hesitates a bit on the path but is ready to go straight to her room for afternoon tea once getting there.
[20:32:34] <~Oxford> The familiar outline of the estate seems to loom less menacingly than usual as they arrive once again at its front entrance.
[20:32:48] <Henriette> "Oh! I must apologize then! I meant no offense, of course. I was… I was jealous of Marina's friendship, honestly, ma belle."
[20:32:55] <Cloral> But it does loom.
[20:33:17] * Lily walks in with a loud "We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack~" before nodding to Henriette. "She's not going to let go of her mate casually, you know~"
[20:33:55] <Cloral> "What, you were jealous with Marina's friendship with a noooooooormal person?"
[20:34:31] <Henriette> "B-but I have no intention of taking him from her! They are so mignon together."
[20:34:42] <Cloral> "….mignon?"
[20:35:51] <Henriette> "Ah… err…" she mumbles, pulling out her dictionary. "I… I don't know how to say it… cute?"
[20:37:00] <Cloral> "…Okay, sure, I see that."
[20:37:06] <Marina> "You're all awfully noisy today," Marina emerges from her room and walks to the entrance, teacup in hand.
[20:37:09] <Marina> Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip.
[20:37:51] * Lily (ten.labolgcbs.nidnbs.lsd.4FB5F165-xus|noituloveR#ten.labolgcbs.nidnbs.lsd.4FB5F165-xus|noituloveR) Quit (Ping timeout)
[20:38:26] <~Oxford> The Major is emerging from the door to the east wing's first floor as they arrive. "Heya, you're back!" she greets cheerfully, tucking a clipboard under her arm. "Dawdled a bit on the way home, didn'tcha?"
[20:39:02] <Cloral> "Well, if we had our pendants, it wouldn't be a problem, now would it?" Woops, that was probably mean and/or unprofessional.
[20:39:17] <Marina> "Is something happening, Ma'am?"
[20:39:40] <Marina> If Marina were any closer to Cloral's foot she'd step on it.
[20:40:06] <Cloral> Loewin's foot is stepped on.
[20:40:32] <Marina> … Yeah that probably happens anyway. Just a light tap.
[20:42:19] <~Oxford> "Yep. We've got a mission!" she says, pulling out the clipboard and waggling it in front of them. "I wrote it up myself. Is everyone here?"
[20:43:02] * Marina switches tea-hands and salutes.
[20:43:16] <Cloral> "It isn't to pick up the groceries, is it?"
[20:44:52] <~Oxford> "Nope! We're going to- wait, is Bridget late again?"
[20:45:31] <Cloral> "Oh, yeah, she clove…cleaved? a desk in twain." She chuckles at her use of the word 'twain.'
[20:45:42] <Marina> "I… believe she was asked to stay behind, Ma'am," with a sigh.
[20:47:18] <Marina> "She's repairing that desk herself, after all." Another sigh comes out involuntarily.
[20:47:22] <Henriette> Henriette is dawdling over to the side, listening carefully for the mission details. She's been keeping quiet since Marina came back.
[20:47:23] <Marina> Siiip.
[20:51:20] <~Oxford> "Hrmm. Welp, oh well," she says, stepping out into the center of the entrance hall. "You'll just have to catch her up on the ride. Everyone paying attention?"
[20:52:00] <Cloral> "Don't worry, I can pay for any attention they can't." Oh, maybe that's too obvious about her identity.
[20:52:30] * Marina makes a quick dash to her room to put her dishes up and follows after, with another "Yes, Ma'am!"
[20:54:53] <Henriette> "Oui, Major."
[20:54:54] <~Oxford> "You've all probably noticed that it's been a while since we had a proper intercept." The topic has come up, in passing. The last time the flight sortied, the enemy bombers came dangerously close to leaving their intercept radius. Every subsequent time in the last two weeks that the alarm has rung, it's been a false alarm - the bombers skirting the edges of their intercept zone.
[20:56:15] <~Oxford> "For the time being, Air Force Intelligence isn't willing to jump to any conclusions, but I have my own theory. Anyone want to guess?"
[20:56:23] <Cloral> "Does that mean…we could have an impromper intercept?"
[20:56:39] * Marina steps on her foot again.
[20:57:26] <Henriette> "It is a decoy?" Henriette chimes in.
[20:59:24] <~Oxford> "Improper would be one way to describe it," Stranahan says with a nod, letting Henriette's suggestion go unanswered. "It's actually - and this is just a theory - that we've been compromised."
[21:00:16] <Henriette> "I am afraid… I don't understand what that means?" Henriette responds, rubbing on her left upper arm with her right.
[21:00:57] <Henriette> hand.
[21:01:05] * Marina moves her foot away from Cloral's and nods along, moving into pondering position.
[21:01:25] <Lily> "Compromised? Hmmmm…"
[21:02:05] <~Oxford> "In other words, someone knows that our base is here." The Major nods to herself, pleased with the theory. "That lets them plot bomber flights that go around our territory, so we don't get to shoot them down."
[21:03:20] <Lily> "So does that mean…"
[21:03:35] <Lily> …pause. "…that we have to move?"
[21:03:41] <Cloral> "Wait, we have a goddamned Nov in the area?"
[21:04:29] <Marina> The albino closes her eyes and nods. "I see. But wouldn't that be a bit extreme, Blevins?"
[21:07:12] <~Oxford> "Seems that way!" Maj. Stranahan says with a sharp nod to Loewin. "I've already contacted Intelligence for an agent to be sent in to help, but in the meantime we need to keep up the pressure. That means stopping those bombers, no matter what."
[21:08:20] <Cloral> "…who exactly IS 'intelligence?'"
[21:09:58] <~Oxford> "Who? They're just…Intelligence?" The Major doesn't seem to get the question. "They're responsible for keeping us secret and spying on whatever the Novs are up to. Y'know, Intelligence stuff."
[21:10:55] <Cloral> Loewin stairs, waiting for the punchline.
[21:11:00] <Cloral> *stares
[21:11:21] * Marina looks down at Loewin's foot.
[21:11:25] <Marina> … Not this time.
[21:13:01] <Cloral> Loewin's foot lives to kick another day.
[21:13:19] <Marina> "So this mission…" She ponders a bit, trying to get it. "… involves going outside our territory, Ma'am?"
[21:14:28] * Henriette doesn't get it, but that's typical. She reserves herself to waiting around to get going.
[21:15:40] <~Oxford> "Yeah, exactly!" Erica says enthusiastically. "You're going to drive out to the edge of our territory and try launching from there. With any luck, we'll be able to catch some Novs who thought they had a clean run lined up."
[21:17:00] <Henriette> "Sounds clear enough pour moi. Can we get going, then?"
[21:18:59] <Marina> "Yes… that makes sense. Even if it was coincidence, we'd still be more likely to find them this way," a nod of approval, with the traditional stoic face.
[21:20:34] <Cloral> "There are hardly any people in the town, is it actually one of them that's a Nov?"
[21:21:37] <Lily> "Hmmmm, what do Novs do differently other than language…"
[21:21:57] <~Oxford> "It's fully possible," Stranahan says, her voice serious. "Be on the lookout for any stranger men hanging around town. Anyone who doesn't seem to belong."
[21:22:09] <Cloral> "…can't it be a woman?"
[21:24:09] <~Oxford> "Well, they have broader shoulders, flatter noses, and more body hair," the Major says, "but the spy could just as easily be an Albaean traitor."
[21:25:57] * Cloral frowns. "Do they actually have that, or is that what we expect?"
[21:26:02] <Marina> "Understood, Ma'am," crisply and without question.
[21:26:23] * Lily nods. "I understand!"
[21:26:51] <~Oxford> "Well, it's best to be prepared. The spy could look like anyone at all."
[21:27:38] <Marina> "Even a woman… hmm."
[21:27:40] <Lily> "Not one of us of course the military does big background checks right?"
[21:28:13] <Cloral> "But what would prevent us from KNOWING Stranahan wasn't the spy?"
[21:28:31] <~Oxford> "Oh yeah, definitely," Erica says with a wink. "You never know!"
[21:29:57] * Marina looks in thought for a moment, but quickly cuts herself off. "Are we starting the mission immediately?"
[21:30:34] <~Oxford> "Yep. Soon as Bridget gets back." The Major frowns sternly. "Seriously, though. Anyone who comes around here without a good reason is a likely suspect."
[21:31:19] <~Oxford> As she speaks, there's a sharp knock at the door. She straightens up immediately and glances around for somewhere to find the clipboard full of military diagrams.
[21:31:37] <Lily> "So we should keep an eye out around the mansion then, riiiight?"
[21:33:00] <Marina> Albino stands to attention. She COULD get the door herself but… eh.
[21:35:33] <~Oxford> Failing to find a good alternative, the Major simply tosses the clipboard as far as she can down the opposite corridor. As it slides across the wooden floor, she takes a swift step forward and opens the door.
[21:36:04] * Lily decides to cover for her by going over to pick up the clipboard and then to go disappear with it.
[21:36:04] * Henriette stays behind Stranahan as she gets the door.
[21:37:46] <~Oxford> "Hello," she says in her sternest governess voice, "what business do you ha-" She cuts herself off suddenly, and her voice softens suddenly. "Oh, hello Mr. Fortaw," she says, reaching up to sweep a stray lock away from her face.
[21:38:57] * Cloral has a hard time limiting her many swears from being heard about being found out.
[21:39:23] * Henriette just stands there gaping at Mr. Fortaw.
[21:39:49] * Marina is as neutral as possible. She already finished the essay in class BEFORE it was assigned as homework, what's everybody so nervous about?
[21:40:40] * Lily has found th emost convenient first floor room to go in to with the clipboard! Whatever that happens to be, she's sitting in there and reading through the clipboard, of course!
[21:40:45] <~Oxford> "Um, Harold, please," he says, suddenly looking more discomfitted than he did when Bridget sliced his desk in halves. "I've just given Ms. MacDonald a ride home, since it was getting late and uh…"
[21:45:39] <~Oxford> He trails off. He seems vaguely distracted by something Erica's face. For her own part, the Major appears to be somewhat at a loss for words.
[21:46:46] * Marina watches with a completely. Blank. Expression.
[21:48:41] * Henriette 1,1secretly ships them in her mind is bewildered why they are just standing there. Someone do something.
[21:49:33] * Lily is getting a head start on whatever Erica had in the clipboard that's important!
[21:50:28] <~Oxford> "Well then!" Stranahan says suddenly. "Right," Mr. Fortaw agrees at once. He takes a step backward, stumbles as he his foot misses the front step, and plays it off by turning it into a stiff bow. "Um. Good day!" he says at last, turning abruptly and heading back to the car. Bridget passes him on her way in with a bewildered expression on her face.
[21:53:47] <~Oxford> Lily finds an array of maps, both local and large enough to show trans-channel bombing routes. There's a place marked out about an hour's drive from Ternwald that seems to be the location of choice.
[21:54:20] <Lily> "Hm."
[21:54:48] <Cloral> "Hm?"
[21:55:16] * Marina is still totally expressionless, watching the adults' exchange like a statue.
[21:55:46] <Marina> Like a Medusa or something. Or some other mythological figure with creepy eyes.
[21:57:27] <~Oxford> "W-Well then!" the Major says shrilly, suddenly realizing she's being stared at. "We ought be going then, oughtn't we?" With the team finally assembled, Major Stranahan herds the girls to her sedan, parked in the detached garage hidden in back behind the west wing.
[21:58:18] * Lily pops out at the sound of th edoor closing, bringing the clipboard along and handing it back to Stranahan when they get to the garage
[22:08:13] * Cloral jabs Henriette with her elbow. "Hey…you…you get your…gift?"
[22:09:28] <Henriette> "Gift? What do you mean, ma belle?"
[22:09:38] * Lily is about to enter the Sedan when suddenly she bolts up! "Ah, I need to go feed Enfys!" And then DASHES back to her room real fast to feed the poor burd
[22:09:50] <Cloral> Loewin stares. "…basket of…knitting things?"
[22:10:10] <Henriette> "Oh, was that… de vous?"
[22:10:41] * Marina follows to the vehicle and crosses her arms, watching Lily seriously as she goes with a "hmmm." What a suspicious exit.
[22:10:43] * Henriette rubs the jabbed location gingerly. She's rather taken aback at the idea that Cloral just left her something like that. What's her angle?
[22:10:46] <Cloral> "…quite de me…" Damn Gaulians.
[22:11:38] <Lily> She comes back after a minute, jogging to keep up. "Sorrrrryyyyyyyyyyyy!" And then gets in the damn car.
[22:12:09] <Marina> Marina was staring at the door Lily would come back in through the entire time, and silently gets in after her.
[22:14:25] <Henriette> "Oh, pourquoi, ma petite?" she asks, trying to understand the reason. "Was there… something you wanted me to make?"
[22:15:03] <Cloral> "Uh…no? It was a gift" She stairs at the Gaulian weirdly and slips in after Lily. Right next to her new best friend.
[22:15:20] * Lily sits down and ants ants ants in her pants pants pants but not really because she wears a skirt, wearing pants is scandalous
[22:15:48] * Cloral COULD command teh ants in Lily's pants if there actually were pants.
[22:15:53] <Cloral> *the
[22:15:53] <Marina> "Is something wrong, Blevins?"
[22:16:38] <Henriette> "W-was there some fête I was not aware of? I am afraid I have not gotten anything pour vous."
[22:16:45] <Lily> "I don't like cars and I don't have a window seat so I can't look outside and you can't feel any wind in your hair but I'll deal don't worry!"
[22:17:17] <Marina> "… That's a strange thing to be worried about."
[22:17:35] <Cloral> "You can still look outside, even if you don't have the window seat…it's a matter of loaking…which…is…so…easy."
[22:17:49] <Cloral> *looking
[22:17:50] <Lily> "I'm used to being called strange so I'm not bothered by it!"
[22:18:24] <Lily> "B-b-b-b-but then I have to leeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaan on somebody or look over their shoulder all creepy-like or whatever!"
[22:18:25] * Marina sighs and mutters something about not being alone. Quietly.
[22:23:17] * Cloral turns back to Henriette. "I dont know what a fête is, but I was just getting you a gift for apparently making you uncomfortable with my willingness to be nice to you, okay?" Shorty is a little irate.
[22:25:18] <~Oxford> The trip to Stranahan's chosen location takes about an hour. They stop for dinner at a small diner within walking distance of the nameless little hill. After eating, Erica gets back in the car and drives back to man Wightshead's radar, leaving the five girls alone on the hilltop as the stars start to rise.
[22:25:58] * Lily is TOTALLY UP for overnight camping!
[22:27:07] <Henriette> "O-oh, okay…" she sighs for a moment, trying to regain her composure. "Je vous a- Err… perhaps I have misunderstood you previously. I have been thinking there was some… motif inavoué, with your kindnesses."
[22:28:05] * Marina is TOTALLY UP for spending waiting time 'practicing.' Kyaaa.
[22:32:18] <Cloral> "Motif inavoué?"
[22:32:42] <Lily> "She might mean motive you know!"
[22:32:56] <Marina> "…"
[22:33:05] <Henriette> "Ah… when you have intentions… other than what you say? I do not know the Albaean words."
[22:33:27] <Lily> "So you mean a hidden motive?"
[22:33:36] <Henriette> "Oui! One of those!"
[22:33:39] <Cloral> "You can generally always assume I have ulterior motives, but that need not detract from what I say."
[22:34:48] * Marina considers scaring them into finally kissing each other already once they have pendants, but that's just too reckless. Just too reckless.
[22:37:56] <Henriette> "Errr… how does that help moi te fais confiance?" Henriette asks, rubbing her arm again. "Err… it only makes it seem suspicious, I think… I do not want to think you are toying avec moi, cependant."
[22:38:55] <Cloral> "But you don't know I'm not. If you're willing to trust my word, assume I'm not. But if you aren't…well…there's nothing I can say, hm?"
[22:41:01] <Marina> After a while Marina just shakes her head and walks away from the conversation, pendant at the ready. Instead of listening to rampant lesbianism she picks up a blade of grass or something and tries icing it over with the pendant in hand, then another one without. And so on, and so on- like a magical girl of '* loves me, * loves me not' with less love and more murdering nature.
[22:41:44] * Lily lies down and watches the sky~
[22:42:25] <Henriette> "I do not like to be pris au dépou- err… taken by surprise, Cloral." Henriette frowns, putting her hands firmly on her hips. "If you need something from me, you need only ask. Do not play me the fool, s'il vous plaît. I may be slow on the uptake, but I am not an idiot, you know."
[23:11:05] <~Oxford> Cloral has no reply. She falls silent as night descends on the tiny hill. The moon is dark, and the shadows of the trees frame a night sky that comes alive in all its twinkling majesty. The faint glow of the blue-white galaxy is strewn with stars like a sea of diamonds poured out over a bedsheet. Her mind wanders to thoughts of eternity, and emptiness, and the endless space between heaven's light.
[23:11:12] <~Oxford> /session