Scene played out on 24th August 2012 with Lumina and Wreniel

«Scene Starts»

"Here you go then…"

The world faded back into existance as Joseph handed Lumina a faintly steaming cup of something white and glutenous before moving over to pour tea for himself and Wreniel. Between them a large plater held slices of buttere bread and exactly three sugar sprinkled biscuits.

The two ladies were seated on blanket covered chests in lue of proper furniture and both founds that there was a… hitch from what they last remembered clearly. This was the same place, the same situation, but something had happened.

Both could recall the day before, the fight with the 'blob', and the aftermath of that. They could even recall getting a chance to sleep for the night before being woken by Joseph. Yet it was at that point that -something- happened as he asked about repayment for what had been lost…

Joseph sat back down, smiling a little at Wreniel then giving Lumina a look, "Best drink up. That isn't gonna be fresh forever."

"You are a very kind and considerate host." The elfin marine offers the social nicety while first sniffing then slowly savoring a slow sip of the hot brew, though Lumina gets a curious glance. That stuff the other wayward adventuress was given didn't seem to be anything like the tea…

Lumina looked down at her… goo, sniffing it and wondering how they even managed to find their way to sitting down like this. Still, it felt good whatever it was, so she took a sip. "Of course; sorry about all the mess, though. What is this anyway?" It turns out Lumina's changed out of the lingerie and into a not entirely flattering long shirt since the last scene as well.

"Well, least I can do for such a noble lady…" He said with a faint grin, the words causing the two to suddenly and vividly recall Wreniel swearing something 'upon the honor of my family!'. Yet that brief snippet of memory was too brief to hold much information.

The goo was a little too thick to easily sip and it held only a faint warmth which should have made it even less appetising. Yet the salty-bitter taste seemed to soothe a tension which Lumina hadn't realised her body held and a 'coldness' which had crept up on her unnoticed was forced back a little.

"Well, you were looking a little peaky." Joseph said with a faint shurg, sipping his own tea from a tin mug before continuing, "That's about the standard supplement for 'made one' like you. When'd you last take it?"

"I can still feel a bit concerned about that whole fiasco down below, though, right? I mean, that was plenty terrifying and I have combat training and experience." She tries to repress a shudder at the lack of information, that black-out period was rather annoying, to say the least. The marine tries to listen to the other two talking…

Joseph waved off the matter with a vague gesture of his cup, in stark contrast to his near screaming fit of the night before, "Eh, don't worry about it. You said you'd be paying me back and I know how you types get about promises like that."

Very annoying, as it happened. Still, while it was not the most pleasant food she'd ever had, Lumina slurped it up anyway since it seemed to be doing her some good. "I do remember her saying something like that, and I really wasn't about to leave her out there with that thing. Anyway, I don't really remember, but at least a day or so." She slurped a bit more, pondering.

"Well, it really is a big deal, and it's not giving too much away to say that if I don't follow through on that, well, someone will on my behalf and it won't be pretty for me. At all." She pauses for a moment. "What *isthat stuff?"

The elf points to Lumina and her 'glop'.

"Supplement." Joseph said as he took a slice of the bread in his free hand, "Since you're gonna be eating I won't mention what's in it, but homunculi like her need it about once a week to once a month. Depends on how well they been made. Mostly it helps keep their body together."

"Well, I did overdo my magic yesterday; especially since it just fizzled before I could -do- anything with it…" She slurped a bit more. She was going to need to find out what was in it, from the sound of things, even if it is gross. "Speaking of which, you said we don't have souls, but is there actually any way to tell that?"

"…apart from the fact that there isn't once used when brewing or sewing together something like you?" The alchemist asked, finishing his bread in a few bites then offering the plater to Wreniel before continuing, "You don't according to both various demons and the Church's so what more do you want? Oh, and necromancers agree too."

Wreniel nods a little bit, even as her 'gamer mind' starts trying to discern how big of a flaw that is, what kind of point value, and the like. "Thank you very much for that consideration. So, how long have you been in the Arts?" She's actually attempting to change the subject slightly, because the soul discussion could get really confused quite quickly.

"Got an apprenticeship in an alchemist's store at twelve and never looked back." Joseph said proudly before asking, "Hey, Lumi, you need some more? I got the rest of the pot still on the heat…"

"Lovely; and here I don't even know what that could mean; I'm clearly sentient, so I suppose… Game over is game over?" She… seemed a bit unnerved by that, glancing over to the elf and scooting over a bit towards her. "More couldn't hurt could it? And it sounds like no-one else is going to be using it…"

"Life-long focus, that's pretty impressive. Wish I had that sort of dedication before I started military training. But, well, that's how it goes, right?" She trails off as Lumina keeps speaking and the elf has to resist face-palming, instead forcing it into a casual shrug as she takes another sip of her tea.

"Heh." Joseph laughed shortly, taking the mug from her and moving back over to the a pot on his 'brewing flame', "You're saying that like having a soul helps. I mean, somebody rips my heart out and they can't just keep me on ice until they stick a new one in…"

Wreniel wishes she had a pen and paper right now to take notes, she's learning so much, not only about setting but also about her potential traveling companion. The heart ripped out thing kind of stuns her into silence…

"Well, no, I meant more… Ok, maybe what I'm considering a soul is different to your idea?" She did not, however, facepalm, and was oblivious to Wren's efforts to do so. As well, Wren may notice that while Lumina may occasionally start talking over her, it usually doesn't last more than a syllable before she waits for wren's conversation to finish. She does glance over again, though. "Oh, how long have you been in the army?"

Joseph returned to the seats with the refilled mug for Lumina and silently handed it to her, obviously interested in Wreniel's answers.

Lumina became both silent and drinking. Parhaps the two were related?

The marine eyerolls and shakes her head. "First things first. Marine, not Army. Marines go in first, provide ship-board security, that sort of thing. Only after we take something does the Army get to come in and hold it if appropriate. And a few years. Enough to get a small commission, but my career has kind of stalled lately."

"Can't your fiance help at all?" Joseph asked with a thoughtful look, "I mean, you mentioned that he's got connections of his own. And that's just if you don't want to talk to your family about doing something."

"It's a little bit different for Marines versus the average 'rank and file' sort of soldier. You have to earn the respect of your fellow Marine as well as prove competence at the appropriate rank, as well as have an opening you can post for. Someone coming in and tossing around favors and the like is frowned upon, at the very least?" She raises her eyebrows slightly as if answering the rhetorical question through facial expression. "If I wanted to be a major or such in the army I'm sure someone would pull tons of strings and then I'd owe… with all the weight and measure you can imagine."

Lumina nodded blankly. "Ok… so the army isn't in front? And who's your fiance, anyway?" Someone clearly had no idea about military beyond 'they shoot stuff'.

Joseph smirked then asked Lumina, obviously enjoying this, "You mean you haven't heard about how those 'high elves' deal with marriage and such like?"

Lumina blinked, and shook her head. "No? I only asked who he was…"

Wreniel is going to keep her mouth shut for a moment, since Joseph just presented himself as an authority. It might be nice to hear an outside perspective… and if he's too crass or vulgar a warning eyebrow could signify a different debt to be owed.

"Well, that depends on if it's changed since she last heard." The alchemist said, offering the breakfast platter of buttered bread around again, "See, it's the -families- who handle who is engaged and such but that gets swapped around depending on their politics. If she were important then it'd change every six months or so. But since the elves don't let a marriage happen without 'proven fertility' this means that when she meets whoever she's engaged to…"

The elf takes a buttered piece of bread and chews very slowly. Hard to answer politely if one's mouth is full and that pinkish tint to her cheeks… that must be her hard effort at eating the bread. So thorough, this one.

Lumina snerked, nearly choking on her goop. "So they're actually legally required to get knocked up before marriage?" She smirked, even if she tried to hide it, at Wren.

Joseph shrugged and replied, even as he tried not to grin too widely, "Not something you got to worry about, but concidering the 'gestation period' they got plenty of time to set up the wedding if she managed to get in the family way."

Hmmm. That bread is so. Darn. Tasty. Wreniel seems to be fully focused on consuming it, and when it looks like she's actually about to have her mouth clear to say something, she takes a sip of tea. She doesn't really want to talk about it or even think about it right now.

Lumina nodded and slurped, borrowing some of the bread to add to her goo. "So, a long gestation then? Anyway, you were the one who suggested asking him for help, weren't you?"

The black rye bread was heavy and the butter was greasy and salt rich, but the whole was filling to say the least. Joseph snared one of the remaining pieces to munch on before answering, "Well, I just asked if she had anyone who'd back her… Cause honor of the family is one thing but someone to ask after to pay is a good thing. Like, if need be, I got a sketch of your master's mark to ask about if you can't pay your bit."

Both Lumina and Wreniel 'recalled', in a brief flash of memory, the homunculus shamelessly showing off the mark imprinted on her skin and letting Jopseph properly copy it down.

Another sip of tea, and then a slow nod in agreement to Joseph before getting that sudden memory… and the rather blunt non-sexy sort of way it was displayed. The marine lowers her head and rubs at her temples a bit. "At any rate, we should get a tally at some point, figure out how we're going to settle up, and say, if we send business to you, could that count for consideration on the alleviation of debt as well? Your skills have been masterful and I wouldn't feel put off by trying to funnel you some business?"

Lumina twitched as the memory unfurled; certainly she'd feel reason to question who was doing the driving in her body if it was shown in anything other than a non-sexy sort of way. "Well, does a military have stockpiles of philosophers stones? It sounded like that was the main loss here.."

"And I thought you knew something about alchemy?" Joseph said, frowning at a show of ignorance, "That Master of yours should have taught you about stuff like this…"

"I can't requistion one for a situation like this, this was a private situation that I stumbled into, good or ill. That's even working on the premise that one would be available, because I was given to understand that the creation of them was a very personal sort of thing and no two are alike?" Wreniel just grabs at good thoughts and runs with it.

"Sorry, I never said I was an expert, and the topic never really came up…" Lies! "And it was just a thought, if it wouldn't work out.."

Joseph gave a put upon sigh and explained, "The success rate don't get better regardless of skill. Just the quality of the stone. You want a bigger one and they all gotta be made by the same hand. And ones which weren't don't really play well even sitting in the same room for long."

Wreniel grabs another piece of bread and chews on it thoughtfully. The man's business revolves around having such. "So, what sort of materiel do you need to reconstruct?" That inquiry comes after a thoughtful bite.

"About two shelves or various reagents, more raw and processed." Joseph said slowly as he thought about the question, "A chunk of glassware and various pots. And a chest which had some of the Advanced texts in it." He sounded most bitter about the last point and both of the others could almost hear the capital in the way he said 'Advanced'.

"So, a stockpile isn't feasable then? And what do you mean had texts in it? In the small slime's room?"

"Yes." His tone turned bitter and he gave her a look.

"Tell you what, in addition to the actual monetary debt, if we run across anything you need as a reagent, we could give you first rights to it, given the circumstances? Does that sound fair? I mean, you'd get a few folks out in the field looking for things for you?" She's offering it, that bitter tone sounds horrible to the elfin ears, and the poor guy is going to be really crimped in his job in the meanwhile.

"And I suppose you can't order more on amazon…" She leaned back a bit, mumbling that little bit of anachronism. "Or just a bookstore, unless the slime would have left by now?"

"It was a wooden chest so it'll be eaten already." Joseph replied then stood up, taking with him the platter which the three had somehow emptied during the conversation, "We'll see how things go… but we already talked this over once."

Lumina nodded, totally not remembering anything other than 'lets discuss payment' 'swear by family' 'swear by my butt stamp' and 'now lets eat'. "Sorry.. and what did we decide?"

Wreniel nods to Joseph. She *wasabout to wrap it up with a very general comment but realizes that the rather blunt question by the 'construct-girl-who-housed-a-real-person' may have opened just the right door.

"If you're memory is going then you better chug some more of the supplement." Joseph noted as he tidied things up, "Well, you're friend there has promised the money to pay for the basics. And you said that you'd help refine raw stuff into proper reagents as you part… and if you don't manage them up to scratch then I can get money off your Master or just get you earning your part."

Lumina nodded, standing up in turn. "Ok, I can do that, how long do you think this is going to take?"

Two things are scaring Wreniel at the moment about her 'traveling companion'—or would that be 'boon companion' in this case? One is the fact that the construct-girl could disintegrate at any moment without the glue to hold her together and that there hasn't been a truly shining example of competence yet. She does her level best to hide her concerns.

"Depends on how fast I can get the raw drops." Joseph replied before frowing at the remaining contents of the pot of 'supplement', "If I had them all here then about nine days solid of the two of us spread over a lunar cycle. Assuming you're journeyman level good."

Lumina is planning to finish off said supplement, whatever it is. She's quite fond of being intact after all. "So about a month… this was only supposed to be a day trip as well. I suppose it would be too much to hope these processes can be automated somehow?"

"…you're saying you're a scientist too?" He asked her, sounding quite doubtful, "One capable of building a clockwork mechanism then enchanting it so that it can do alchemy?"

The elf is really hoping that the other 'girl/woman/trapped victim' is as good as claimed, because the prospect of spending years paying this off is not a healthy path for her to start thinking about. Even if she could live forever. And what was with Lumina always seeming to try and pick a fight… was that character design or player behind the toon? The idea of 'adventuring' with a 'troll' doesn't make her feel comfortable either. "…" She was about to speak but the last comment from Lumina has the elf covering her face with a palm.

Lumina shook her head. "Without the minigames? I could build the mechanics, but I can't really do that kind of enchantment. Someone must sell equipment or reagants like that, or if not you could make a -fortune- if you found people who could build that!"

"We have some work to do and we should probably get go-" At this rate Wreniel is probably going to have her hand surgically grafted to her face. She's pretty sure that the 'locals' wouldn't understand 'minigame'.

Joseph stepped closer then took the cup from Lumina's hand before peering into it suspiciously, "I'm gonna brew you up a new batch of this. You're just not making sense…"

"Could you add in some extra cognitive juice, because I'm not understanding half of what she's saying, either? I mean, I could understand if some of it was alchemy shop-talk, but it's like this gobbledygook stuff."

"…Am I really the only one who thinks getting some skilled people together to automate things is a good idea? In an -industrial era- setting?" She glared at Wren, who came from a post-industrial world too. Maybe cognitive juice -was- a good idea after all…

"If you want to be a vat alchemist then you can go do that." Joseph said, gritting his teeth as his hand tightened on the cup, "I do the quality works. The stuff which doesn't scale up. Now, if you're just gonna pay your side then go ask your master for the cash or go earn it on your back."

"If you are going to go that route, Miss Lumina, then I'm going to go out and work on my share of reagent-gathering while you're busy. If it's all the same to you, that's not who I am." She bows politely to the set-upon alchemist and starts to get up to head on out. The idea of doing that sort of thing on one level terrifies her and on the other level doesn't seem like 'such a big deal'. Which scares her even *more*.

Lumina took a step back from Mr Angry. "Sorry… but are the mass produced reagents lower quality? Otherwise they would be cheaper than spending a month working on them instead of the final products? I can still do it though, if it's that important sorry…"

The elfin figure will keep partially turned towards the alchemist and the construct, more to watch if the construct tries to attack the poor guy as the marine exits. Wreniel is confused and a little bit hurt as she heads outside.

"Wreniel." Joseph said in a low voice, his hand clenching on the cup hard enough that the tin protested, "Take this cauldron born waste of space and -go- before I lose my temper and render her down for the chemicals." He dug in a pocket and retrieved a small iron key which he tossed to the elf, "That'll take you to the Docks. Visit your family's outpost there or go have fun selling her to the sailors. Either way I don't care."

Lumina looked… understandably hurt, even if she did start it… and continue it… and backs off towards Wreniel.

The elfin marine nods grimly to the proprietor, catching the key effortlessly and reaching out to grasp the construct-girl's wrist. "Come along, Miss Lumina. You need to get some fresh air, apparently too much paste is making your thoughts all groggy and googly." If Lumina resists, she won't force the issue, letting her choose her own fate.

«Scene Fades»

Notes: Catching up on things once more…