History (1 - 66)
And three things:
1. I imported entries and comments. So they are here. Because it felt weird not having them here. But you can feel free to disregard them.
2. WHOEVER UPGRADED THIS ACCOUNT is the most awesome person. Thank you. It means a lot.
3. Finally a name I can get behind.
Much of her day is spent navigating the strange and empty-feeling village without snow. Very few people seem to know what's going on, helpful signs or not. Nephry is not without the courage to ask around, but that's what everyone is doing. There must be a better way. That's how she gets lost in the library for much of the day, finding solace in stories from- other worlds? Other worlds really?
On the 22nd though she has found the only thing that really matters to her - the chance to be with Peony again, no matter how unusual the circumstances. Expect to see her exerting minimal effort to get him to go with her on a picnic. It's a thing she's read about.
Later on in the week, when she isn't spending every waking moment with her beloved or trying to avoid that other person from Auldrant on her trail, Nephry remembers something else she read about, never mind the few people who seem cognizant of mentioning it. Spirits. They sounded so much like the fonon sentiences, just with different names, and less...mystical and unreachable.
So Nephry finds herself both by the river in the southern part of the village, and north of her temporary home near a large important-seeming tree, sitting quietly and waiting for something to happen. When nothing does, it's hard to keep quiet.]
Hello? Is anyone there?
[[ooc: At the tender age of almost-23, Nephry is a romantic at heart and believes good things about the world and ties her hair up with a big ribbon. She is so in love with Peony that it might rot your teeth how sweet they are. And she's lost almost all of her cool diplomatic self.
Other days/times are totally cool in this post as well!]]
Regardless, it will be a while before she attempts another mission. Even one that seems suited to her set of skills. Unlike so many others who go away on missions, Nephry walks herself toward home without difficulty. Thinking to surprise most of her housemates, she stops at the flower shop for something decorative and colorful. Anything to erase the lines of letters from behind her closed eyelids.
Once she does get home, however, there are some orders of business to address.]
Those of you who name your home as a planet called 'Earth': are you aware of just how many different worlds there are that share that name? That share most of a history, often an entire history save for one significant event? It was quite interesting. [Dull hours of reading aside.] Even more interesting that it doesn't seem to be true of most if not all of the other worlds represented here - there is only one Auldrant, for example.
[And now, the heavier news.]
When I returned a short while ago, I...I found Anise's room empty. It appears she has gone home.
I've been thinking.
[Nephry has a piece of paper in front of her, as well as a book open to a marked page.]
Mm, I should say that reading has been making me think. Indulge me for a moment, if you will: there is a relatively small portion of our population living in this village that arrived more than three Luceti years ago. It's an easy number for me to choose, because I fall into that category as well. I don't know many of those sharing a 'cycle year' with me as personally as I might, but-
[Here she stops, taps the page of the other book, and tries a new direction. Included in her explanation is a description of the formula she mentions.]
Something I read about and didn't understand prompted a bit more research on my part. I'm interested in testing whether this...theory, I suppose, of mine happens to prove true. In another world, there is a kind of formula for determining how ready one is to accept the inevitable. I believe that, with some exceptions of course, one 'step' in this formula enacts itself in the space of one Luceti cycle year. [Then she illustrates what the heck she means by that, expanding upon a chart she found in her research.]
[A half-laugh. Actually it's quite a sad sound.] Doesn't that sound strange? And yet I remember being in complete disbelief that such things were possible, and then worrying about my friends and hating the Malnosso for what they do to us, and then wanting nothing more than to use our limited knowledge as some kind of wager for the chance to change-
And now...to a degree, I still feel all of these other things, and yet- [No. Perhaps it's best not to go into that so publicly. It's unbecoming of a governor for certain.] Well, now I'm asking the rest of you. No matter how long you have been here. Does this hold true for you?
Susanne fon Fabre has gone home. [This one hits her particularly hard, and she has to stop a moment and resettle her voice.] I'm sorry.
( Private: Asch and Luke )
Over a week later, she wakes up in a greenish forest near some tended shrubs and trees - a cherry tree, says her thoughts, with no basis at all - and tries her best to look nonplussed until she can figure out what in the world is going on here. This is no Keterburg, and she's sure she went to bed in her quiet, frozen hometown just a few hours ago.
When she stands, slow and unfamiliar, one supportive hand brushes against a book bearing her name. So she opens it. Reads things from people she suddenly recognizes, all at once understanding the journal and the forest and the wings again.]
Luceti? [The word comes as a distant almost-whisper. In the journal's camera, Nephry is wide-eyed and scattered for an uncharacteristically long time; when she does regain her composure, she can't keep the surprised note out of her voice.]
Luceti? I...don't understand. How long...has it been since I left?
[[ooc: Thanks to some excellent genes, it may be hard to tell that Nephry's gained about ten years, physically, in the week she was gone. But she has - and has ten years of life and changes on Auldrant in memories to go with them! And ten Auldrant years is a very long time.]]
Shiemi is totally leading on her three best friends!
Despite their...grave appearance, it appears the trees are still- ... adopted. His parents haven't even told him! - quite capable of causing trouble. My apologies, Shiemi and...ah, Billy.
That said, I have no landmarks. The trees and undergrowth look like...well, like skeletons. Bone trees, if you will.
I think Moro's getting kind of lonely, she's almost never at her den anymore.
How thoughtful of you to be concerned. [No, see, that deadpan tone is not a nice one, Nephry. Not at all.] At any rate, I could use some assistance in getting...somewhere recognizable, please.
[Then, they all start at once. Prepare yourselves, Luceti, she's walked into a small ring of very excitable trees!]
Hey! The Avatar's seemed really happy this month, right? But he also feels guilty now that Luceti's granted him his secret wish for a family.
You know all of Molly Carpenter's tattoos are lick and stick, right?
I heard that Lowell guy has a thing for cat ears.
Adell and Fenimore keep peeping on each other's baths!
Do stop that. I'm trying to send a message. [The trees are so not interested, Nephry. In fact...]
I heard Nephry was forced to marry a guy she hardly knew!
[But she can't close the journal. How else will she know if people reply? All she can do is keep walking and hope to get away from these creepy skeleton trees.]
[[ooc: Feel free to be actiony-lost with her too! She would welcome the company for sure. We can be plenty random if that floats your luceti boat!]]
[The morning of the 23rd, with the weather finally abating into something more manageable, Nephry opens her journal to address those who remain after the draft and the village-wide scavenger hunt for Bil have taken place.]
( Despite everything, it's still raining... )
[[ooc: Expect a log for clearing away trees, dealing with flooding and damages, rescuing our incapacitated people, and all the other fun CR things to follow!]]
It was too sad to mention, knowing that one of those people was Professor Nebilim. That she wasn't really returning to anything. Just to the completion of a sad tale of a boy who thought he should be able to do everything.
And now Nephry is lonely. She has been, off and on, for a while; she feels it especially strongly today. At first she tried cleaning the kitchen but now she's sitting there, chin against her hands, staring at the table. With almost half of the house away or out of commission...things are quiet.
In the silence, she turns to her journal for a while.]
What do you believe happens...when you die?
I realize everyone is a bit busy and preoccupied at the moment. Please don't feel rushed. It's only a conversation, about plans.
Regardless, I hope the discussion continues - particularly for those who couldn't make it to the meeting, for one reason or another.
[Winters in Luceti are so short. This month tends to see the end of the snow, and the start of a chilly, soaked-to-the-bones rain instead. That's why Nephry decided to enjoy the soft snowfall while she could, leaving a note for her housemates and taking a walk north of the village today.
There's a lot on her mind. Luke's return, the items discussed at the village meeting, the approach of a certain holiday...plenty to think over while she walks, bundled against the cold but with her face turned toward the sky.
She stops by the cherry tree for a while; while she stands there, flipping pages and thinking, the journal's camera picks up on the bare branches and falling snow. The next written thing is...smaller, somehow. More careful.]
Do you believe in a path that is already determined for you?
[filtered to the Auldrant folks with whom she has made conversation]
Would you like to have dinner, at this house, for the new year? We have some new arrivals, and I think it might be good for all of us to visit with each other. ...You are, of course, free to decline. It's just a thought.
[and further filtered, away from Asch and Luke]
...And to an extent I thought we might...be able to celebrate. Even if time here is a bit different.
[Then? Then she's out and about town, doing things. She'll stop at the bakery, the grocery store...briefly at the battledome, pausing at the programming station but not really doing anything there. Once, she thinks about visiting Professor Nebilim, but she can't be sure of how late the woman stays at the school after class, and she wouldn't want to interrupt.
In short, she's a little bit of everywhere, ending that evening at Good Spirits. For a change of pace. And a drink, of course. Facades can be such a strain on the system.]
...And Nephry is moving through the plaza at the pace and with the general stiff gait of an old woman.
Fitting, she thinks.
Near the fountain she sits on a bench, opening the journal on her lap. She's never been one to make announcements too personal, or to call unnecessary attention to herself. A chill breeze lifts a few pages of the book, though, and she smiles, writing.]
Winter is coming. [a pause, and then] It's still strange to me, sometimes. Even after living here for a couple of years...I still expect the cold and snow to be a more permanent visitor.
Do you enjoy the snow? Or do you prefer warmer climates?
This morning she wakes up in her room in Keterburg.
The word 'experiment' isn't anywhere in her mind as she rises and stares at the bed, the fon lamp, the art on one wall. Out the window, snow is falling. She doesn't even bother to put on proper clothes before hurrying through the door and into her office.
Her office. One hand trails over the lid of the teapot, a small row of books, the emblem set into the back of the chair. Across the room, to a low bookshelf and the things that live there. A doll. A framed picture.
Home. She does manage to remember a coat before running - running - to throw open the front door and stare at her city in the snow. And smile.
It's when the breeze picks up and she shivers, and the wings shiver, that she finally realized this is just as false as the rest of it has been. Even though she could touch it. She puts a hand on the doorframe, then leans her whole self against it, visibly defeated.
...Perhaps it might be of some benefit to experience this while it lasts. It may be her last look at home, even a false one, for a long time. It takes her no time at all to change, and go back outside to walk slowly through the snow, heedless of any arctic monsters that might be lurking about.]
Nephry isn't. Nephry isn't enjoying much of anything really. They've left her just a few feet away from the fountain this afternoon. She's barely even conscious, let alone coherent enough to try alerting someone that she's back. And really, she's not doing well in the heat.
At least, in such a well-traveled place, it probably won't be too long before someone finds her.]