*Embera sat with a half-smirk. It was the most she could meed Zaven with. Either he was playing dumb and nonchalant about the "bright spot" or he was just callous in his purview. With a small sigh, she shrugged.*
Embera: Keyword being "all". I'm starting to see that I'm either unintentional collateral damage, or a calculated risk in these....events. So tell me, what's next for you two, and the twin Zanes? Oh, and where's the red husk of his former glory at, by the way? I heard him say something about The Heap in the recordings, but I've been living there for quite a while and I haven't seen him turn up. I'm curious about it.
*While she was uncertain if anyone would divulge her more information out of fear she may attempt to resist against them, Embera had hoped that her constant assurances to the contrary would be enough to be on the same page with them. She was so sick of her friends keeping her in the dark, to the point it felt their friendship with her was more of a fabrication than any other facade they have presented to the public.*
Barely a bit of a nibble there. Well, that was fine too, shrugging his shoulders a bit. Well, she at least came to the right guy if she wanted someone to be a bit direct with her.
"Oh come on~, it's greedy to say you don't want to lose anything. We all lose things over time. Just how life works. It's why we make actions to ensure we lose the least amount of things moving forward. Anyone who doesn't simply doesn't value what they have. Not until it's gone anyway."
His tone was still as casual as it could be, but it was at least clear that he wasn't playing dumb at least. But well, he was fine with it being like this with her too. He much preferred it this way as well. It was much more akin to the usual instead of beating around the bush on the matter.
"As for the two of us, I would say you're a calculated risk. Unintentional collateral with old husk and pair. I gotta go shoot the breeze with some folks hanging around the woods. After that I'll eventually get to do my unilateral extinction. The more that can attend, the merrier it is for me. Show you all what some real damage looks like."
It was here that his form changed before her eyes. Around him now was all green armor and a flowing cape, a golden jeweled rod adorned with a crimson gem at the tip of the scepter as a helmet formed in his hand from wind, placing it upon his head as all that gleamed out after was an eerie pale yellow glow. He moved to exit the room after this, leaving her with just Zerix after. He didn't leave yet, so he must not have had a prior engagement that needed his attention as of the moment.
"I don't imagine further explanation is required on his part. You couldn't tell where Rosso or Nero were, or us as well, correct? The same applies to Zane. You should have no problem finding him if you look for him there now. The first phase is already too late to stop, so he has no reason to stay out of mind anymore."
*Embera shook her head almost disapprovingly as Zaven transformed, and nonchalantly moved into a very controlled, un-Zaven-like mode of business. She wanted to believe in her mind, that the Zaven she knew was who he wanted to be, but was more compelled by duty when duty finally got around to call. She looked at Zerix after his departure, and listened to him mention Zane again. She also heard him talk about phases to their plans, but did not pay too much heed to it. Approaching him and hugging Zerix one last time, Embera only let out a small sigh before getting very serious. *
Embera: Unilateral extinction does notapply to The Heap. I have been compliant, or at the very least complacent in these happenings. I have accepted with a broken heart that your quarrel with Genesis is a personal matter, but I will not let you destroy my home and my people. Zerix, you're a good friend, and I want to believe that friendship means I finallydon't have to worry about a trident in my back. So tell me now if the next time you visit me will be to raze my world asunder, so I can cherish this last visit, or if I can await your next visit with open arms.
It was about time to drop the friendliness and conduct themselves rather seriously. He supposed really, it would seem like this was something that he would never go to do. But then again... no, he supposed it was something she could reflect on. If she was able to reflect on it later anyway. And was why he was willing to hug her back before rather reluctantly. Because he would be clear himself as well.
"For all intents and purposes, I very well expected this to be our last get-together. Figured we should go out on a nice family note instead of some passive-aggressive one. So you shouldn't worry about whether or not you have to greet me with open arms, or raised fists. I don't much care about Genesis either way short of him being an obstacle. And you know how I feel about obstacles."
The trident to the back was something that potential obstacles had to worry about. Embera was well aware of that. For one that wasn't a potential, but a guaranteed obstacle, then there was only one thing to do. He would eliminate that obstacle, like so many others that had come before it.
"But you're still bad at negotiations. You know what the word means, Embera. Exceptions are made when proper equivalences are made. For it to not apply, there's something I already said matters most: results speak loudest with me. Someone who is complacent and compliant have no obligation to remain so. Peace is merely preparation for the next war. Because we don't need to go anywhere in order to raze anything to the ground."
His tone was as serious as always, but the air about him was different than it usually was. She had poured her heart out to them as it was. And now, much like another, it was her decision. Whether she would take the olive branch or not.
"So we're back to that bright side Zaven mentioned before. Are you going to lose it all, or are you not? This choice is yours to make."
*Embera listened to the calloused and calculated response Zerix gave her. However one thing didn't settle well for her as she made her way to the door. *
Embera: you tell me I don't have to lose everything. What exactly do I get to keep? You know as well as I do that letting me keep my life is irrelevant to me, and it seems like you are annihilating everything else. So tell me Zerix, what DON'T have to lose?
Clearly the only answer to continue the path to what you despise most and become the most powerful being on site so no one can beat you so you can play the game fairly. fist pump ~Shast
He knew that she was upset, but he still couldn't help a small scoff and chuckle. He was serious too, but he could appreciate that in light of things, she was still just a tad bit bad at this. It's not like it was something everyone did naturally, so he replied, with the same tone that he gave her before.
"Your life is the Heap, so the Heap and its residents, obviously."
....Psyche could hear it from them main hall; voices beginning to raise. He'd been quiet for a few minutes, all but ignoring Nero while obviously focusing his attention on Embera's general direction. While he couldn't hear the exact words being spoken, the tone shift was obvious even from a distance. The doctor sighs and closes his lens-like eyes.
Psyche: It's an objective shame. Stripping away the cloak of "you vs. us" that Navi kind has brazenly worn for as long as any of us can recall, all that we have is basically a young girl and her friends being forced to odds over yet another idiotic crusade. Yet it's something that must happen, even if we achieve the everlasting peace that so many have fought and died for over the years. All things must come to an end eventually, but the manner in which it's happening is nothing short of tragic.
"Come on, we're both old-fashioned here. We know that 'you vs us' is just a kind of segregation to justify the actions taken as right or wrong. Much like how those silly crusades were justified by some higher power. Well, then again... no, that doesn't matter right now. The problem was fighting for something intangible. Well, one of the problems. We'd be here all day if we debated that."
Be it the crusades or taking the human approach that was then put into Navi as the progeny of humans, it was just how things often were in the world. And there was any number of problems to debated with the why and how one fought. Those could be put aside a little as well. But ultimately, the "what" that was accomplished was important. Conflict that accomplished absolutely nothing was one of the largest wastes that could be.
"But there's nothing to worry about. She won't have to fight anyone or be at odds with anyone. This was never her fight to begin with: it was just a matter of making her bow out without a fuss. Which, given you know my point of view... you know I somewhat think the same of you, Psyche. Even if you aren't all good or all bad, all things come to an end. How things are, this era that has lasted and stagnanted for this long? Even you can tell that it's fraying at its edges before this has truly even begun without even fully understanding how."
He paused for a moment, just enough for the Doctor to consider what was said as is. The one who whiled away his time as the world marched on. There was nothing wrong with this, but there was nothing about it that one could consider as a righteous stand either. And that was fine. No one was obligated to do that. But where it was now, it was time to get a straight answer from the man who fought well with his words.
"So let me be straight with you: outside of your research, outside of your bigotry, with eyes wide and clear, can you say with complete sincerity that what the world has as it is... is worth making a stand for?"
Psyche's eyes open. He looks on towards the hallway in silence as Nero makes his plea, considering every word for a few moments and responding with a sigh.
Psyche: You know, I thought better of you.
Psyche finally turns his full attention to Nero. Much like his confrontation with Rosso, the power disparity between the two of them was obvious, but the good doctor didn't flinch in the face of the executioner.
Psyche: Wily with the WWW, Sean with Gospel, Regal with Nebula. They all share the same sanctimonious question: "can you say that the world is worth saving?". The only logical way that you can defend your actions and act as though you remain in the right is to re-frame the question. You're living with a straw-man mentality that remembers nothing but the bad. Yet here you are, saving bits and pieces of the world that you consider "good" without giving any thought to what's in front of you; our society is not a tower of evil with a few shining lights, it's an intricate and beautiful web that connects us all. I'm not stupid, Nero; I know what you're doing with her in the other room, and it's exactly why I wanted her to stay behind. But what you don't realize is that you're also upsetting that web, pulling on it in such a way that will have unforeseen consequences. Every strand that you cut releases tension on another, and eventually this web will snap and close in around you. Think that you're all too smart or powerful to let this happen? Look to history and see how many times the same has happened before. You argue that your plan is getting rid of the old and starting anew, but you fail to see that you're crumbling the foundation on which all of this has been built, dooming your rising monolith to crumble in a manner far more fantastic than what you are preparing to do yourselves.
Psyche takes a step closer, making it clear that he's looking Nero directly in the eye as he does so.
Psyche: ...but perhaps it's only Rosso that inherited Zane's broader views of the world, hmm?
Psyche takes a step back, releasing a sigh as he does so.
Psyche: Those recordings said much, and forced an introspective view on myself. The idea of simply sealing myself away while saying that my choices are for "the greater good" is off the table. I'll not taint the memory of a friend by not learning from his rebuke. However, I also cannot follow your ideals. So it seems that my path is clear.
Psyche's lens-eyes close as he takes a deep breath, his path now clear.
Psyche: I am not a stupid man; I know that I can't hope to defeat you. However, I have a request; let this end in my home network, Kotobuki. Allow me the dignity of seeing the end of my work where I've lived so long, and also allow Embera to believe what she wants to of my end. While we were never particularly close, I was an ally, and her unstable mental position doesn't need to come face-to-face with yet another that she knows falling before her eyes. Let me leave as a friend one last time for her sake, that I might meet my fate on my own terms. Can you offer me this final closure?
When Psyche had gotten closer, Nero did manage to sneer by the end of it. Because this was everything that he wanted it to be as well.
"And you are everything I thought you to be."
He knew full well if he asked the question he would get the same rhetoric. It was why he couldn't get enough of it. Of all the high horses that were going to fall. Much like the Doctor, he didn't give a clear cut reply himself either. It was good that he was able to respect the memory of an old friend. And at the very least, he wouldn't be going in the fashion that he was going to originally.
"You were given the promise that this was no trap. This was still for you to broaden your perspective. You're allowed to leave at your leisure and return home. To the beautiful, upset web. Much like her, you too will be given the final closure that you're right. It's what I can do for you as a friend as well."
It had to be a strange feeling, that he was willing to allow him to go on his own terms. From the past that the rising monolith they were going to build would have a crumbling foundation. That they would arbitrarily decide what was good and what was evil. ...Or perhaps it was just because he had a narrow view of the world?
Not a reaction that he'd expected. Psyche sighs again, this time regaining a bit more composure.
Psyche: Think back to all that we've faced in the past for a moment; how many opponents were so willing to speak candidly and with understanding? I admit that my outburst was wrong, but I become defensive in these sorts of situations. A bit sanctimonious myself, if I'm being honest.
Another deep breath, Psyche folds his arms behind his breath, and continues.
Psyche: So assuming I haven't just burned my bridge, would you entertain a bit more conversation on the matter?
The Doctor was usually quite good at getting answers from others. Indeed, those who came before him were always all too willing to explain in great length their grand schemes. They always went awry around the time they did, but they at least had the time to gloat before it all came crashing overhead on them. So... why not? He supposed he could entertain the conversation for a while longer. His services weren't required for the other piece.
"It's fair. Wily was scorned because his peer was accepted and he was not, so he directed his efforts to sabotaging everything he created. Sean was cast aside by all around him and thought that the very world hated him. Regal just wanted to rule the world, either as a false hero or by controlling the minds of the humans. One because someone was better, one because they wanted acceptance, and one because they wanted to dictate. One overcame his pettiness, another overcame his isolation, and the last had his very tool turned against him. They all were rather vocal with what they intended to accomplish. So sure of themselves when what they wanted wasn't even finished yet. Even more recently we had Eon and Juno, all too fond of the same thing."
He held out his hand, as if a sphere were supposed to be inside of it. And then he closed his hand, as if there would be grains of sand that trinkled out from the small few openings in his hand. It was its own analogy to how things were in his eyes, but he could explain that just the same.
"But you yourself realize that is an error in judgment, so you aren't always quite so direct when confronted directly. Of course, I am of similar vein. The entire reason I'm willing to make that clear error of judgment is because it's already finished. There will be a few that are left behind, but those are to be expected. The world isn't the foundation at all. Because the web that is being uprooted isn't being pulled apart... it's being scorched at its very foundations. And all they can do is rely on their vaunted history of it working out for them in the end despite their house of cards already being useless."
Because despite not having fought or anything, it was all too clear that the Doctor had quite the experience with why he was even more paranoid than before.