Posts in Nen
021/Retroactive

Flashback: The Toriet brothers switch eyes.

Eoran Toriet spread himself thin upon the platform of the balcony that hung over the busy avenue, stomach down, sweat beginning to bead upon his brow. Mid-year found the seasonal heat especially intense as various fronts from distant land masses colluded to make the passing days as uncomfortable as possible.

It was, of course, the Ossa that were made to feel the worst of all the wright classes in Port Haven, a conspiracy whose foundation was equal parts economics and upbringing. Due to the high rate of poverty among their population, many of them lacked the means to afford what was considered a luxury: artificially cooled air. The air conditioners they were able to purchase were the type that exacerbated the situation—the greatest downside to the cycle of creating coolness was that the leftover heat was spat back out into the street hotter than it had originally been taken in. On the other hand, pride made the Ossan people obstinate. Rather than seeking refuge the bloodwrights took to their stoops, balconies, and roofs where they would lounge with feline disinterest. From coal-dark pavement rose drunken striations of heat that threatened to shape a mirage. Eoran watched this natural phenomena with an unfettered infatuation; he had always heard tales of hapless wayfarers receiving prophetic visions from breaks in the aether and couldn’t help but wonder if the material world was about to impart upon him some great secret.

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flashback, Eoran, Kadenja, Liz, NenNen Chang
020/Supper & Supposition

Eo drops in on Nana. Ila drops in on Nana. Nana scouts some intel.

"Come on, just fucking sign for it," Eoran Toriet griped to the slack-jawed cretin hanging in the doorway of the musty hallway. He had a clipboard extended in one hand and a box tucked in the other.

"Hell no," the man replied, "For one thing, you can't talk to me like that. For another, I don't know what you kids are trying to pull out here. Do you know what year it is? Clipboard technology is obsolete. How do I know you aren't some arm of that institute, come to put some... some... contraption in me to get me to power this whole city? My tracking hasn't updated in a week and now you show up here unannounced? With THAT mess?" The recipient indicated the box. "Hell no. HELL no."

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Eoran, Ila, Liz, Mel, Nabet, NenNen Chang
011/Trial and Error

After many years of applying a theory with no results, Toska and Alois have a breakthrough.

Toska was already awake when the sun had risen.

Long-limbed and frail, delicate in her own skin, pale grey eyes simply studied the scientist whose bed she sometimes occupied but never really filled. The doctor had always found it difficult to ascertain the necessity of a full range of emotion, a full spectrum of need,

her culpability in the negligence of his biological imperatives,
his fundamental criteria.

Yet in this moment, this quiet platonic moment repeated through all the times they'd existed together, when the sun lit him gently at the hazy dawn, she considered that what she felt for him may have been love.

It was difficult to verify.

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Alois, Liz, Nen, ToskaNen Chang
008/Subtext

Toska Rickard, an Expressionist doctor, manages to get through dinner with her father Nicolas Rickard, the Director of the Bourbaki Institute.

The sound of applause echoing through the auditorium was as familiar as it was irrelevant.

Like most things in Nicolas' life, his incumbent speech welcoming the latest group of exceptional young minds to the Bourbaki Institute had been a foregone conclusion, written long before and forgotten immediately after. It was not recycled, as many expected, nor was it canned. In fact, it was surprisingly genuine; he had said precisely what he meant and meant precisely what he said. Everyone accepted to the Institute was accustomed to being the smartest person in the room, their class, their school. It was only natural for them to assume it would be the same here, and it was literally Director Rickard's job to inform them that it was not.

His speech had been a precisely balanced affair, equal parts congratulatory and cautionary. They had done well to come so far, he had told them in no uncertain terms. For all intents and purposes a matriculation at the Institute guaranteed not only success but insight, an opportunity to witness and understand the greater machinations of a grander world.

Many of them, he had made clear, would never take advantage of that opportunity.

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Sal, Toska, Nicolas, NenNen Chang
002/Critical Condition

Kadenja performs miracles at The Altar; Eoran accompanies an elder to an open air market.

Drowning.

It always felt like drowning.

Even after ten years, Kadenja Toriet always opened The Altar with water in his lungs. It bubbled and frothed from his mouth with the desperation of breathing, the necessity of obedience under guise of miracle trickery, survival treason.

He used to fight and claw to clear his lungs, to ease the hemorrhage in his thorax that pressed ever inward. The pressure used to crush him, disintegrate the pleura that held his parts in human form. These days, however, he understood he was a vessel. He was simply a book and every sermon was a reading etched into his sleepless body, his somatoform mind.

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001/That Old Blood Religion

Nabet Acina analyzes Kadenja Toriet's broadcast from The Altar; Ila Acina and Kudoja Ojo bear witness.

Nabet Acina stood on the creaking deck of her porch stoop, watching the last dregs of sunset ooze orange through the black cracks in the Port Haven skyline. Melting into Ossan Holm’s alleyways, baking translucent through hung lines of laundry, dripping through the filthy grates bleak beneath Dawton Street.

Loose, steel toned tendrils of her tightly knotted hair stuck to her face as her adder clear gaze held vigil over their corner, dry herb tinged smoke mingling with sweat in the humid smear of the lower city’s congested evening, the quick tongued voices of her neighborhood’s clans of carrion children clattering between the bricks. Their sharp calls and slide whistle slang folding beneath the crooning old melodies which danced from neighboring windows, the other old women of her block indulging what they could scavenge of their favorite songs from blocky, static-prone radios. All of it stirred into a uniquely familiar waltz of speech and sound in the slamming door of the copper dusk.

As soon as the blistered, cracked egg sun sunk past the buckling roof of Avi Artenin’s laundromat, she knew it was time.

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