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  #121  
Old 09-16-2019, 09:12 PM
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"I've never heard of te 'Company', but tat's part of what makes me nervous about te vamps. They tell me tey've been offering amnesty to superhumans, and have ways of finding tem. They've been making big offers, recruiting all te ones they can find. And why? I could walk into a sensitive government area, just as an ordinary person on a tour, and kill hundreds like tat," Natalia says to Inka with a snap of her fingers as punctuation. "It would be worse tan any chemical attack, and leave no trace. And someone else could just teleport me out. I've always suspected tere were others like me, not te same powers, but others tat could be even worse. And I'm pretty sure not all of tem have te same sickening feeling in their stomach when tey think about using tem," Natalia responds, suddenly not very interested in finishing what's left of her food. Not much of an appetite all of a sudden now that she's talking about the ramifications. Power corrupts, and if there were some like her in the world with powers who didn't have the admittedly sometimes-gray moral compass as her, it could be catastrophic. "If people like me are te new weapons of mass destruction, and te vampires are hoarding them... no offense, but are you sure you can stop it from blowing up? If tey control say... ninety percent of te superhumans in te world, and tey decide South Africa isn't enough and Namibia is looking good, who is going to tell tem no?" she asks, putting for an almost but not quite worst case scenario. "Or am I just making a very good case for why I should go back wit you?"
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  #122  
Old 09-16-2019, 09:17 PM
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Wither and Sapphire
"We're gonna be keeping a close eye on them, and if they pull something like that, then I'm gonna tell them no," Inka says simply. "And if they don't listen, then all the champions tell them no. They still don't listen, we wipe out their government and I get to be the queen!" She shrugs and waves her fork. "Simple. Plus if they REALLY wanted to take over the world, they kinda had a couple million vamps back before humans figured out the electric lightbulb. Bit late for that now, right? Double plus, they're the best suited to actually handling wayward superhumans, triple plus just cause someone lives there doesn't mean they're wearing leather boots and goose-stepping to the military drums. I bet even if 90% of superhumans lived there, most of 'em would just thumb their nose and leave if the vamps came by and tried to draft them. "
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  #123  
Old 09-16-2019, 11:26 PM
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"Maybe, but I'm used to a world where nobody who has power is ever content wit what tey have. It will take a lot to convince me tat they are satisfied wit 'enough'. You say you will stop tem, but I've seen how tese things work. It's slow, gradual. You don't notice how tings are changing until it's too late. Suddenly the park you used to play at when you were a little girl isn't a safe place, and you can't stop it because you didn't see it happening. And you can't fix it because... that's just how it is now. And it's hard to thumb your nose and leave when it means a family member will be dead and a gun held to te head of another until you put on te leather boots. I've seen plenty of tat, too. There are twelve of you? Could you handle a hundred superhumans? A tousand? I hope I'm wrong, but... nothing is ever simple," Natalia answers with a shake of her head. Perhaps her opinions are clouded by her own past experiences but those experiences are all she has to go on. And part of those experiences tell her that the larger an organization is, the shadier and more ruthless it gets. And seven million is very large. And a threat of "we're watching you" never gets them to behave, it only gets them to get a lot more insidious about what they're doing.
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  #124  
Old 09-17-2019, 12:08 AM
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Wither and Sapphire
Inka watches you closely, then her face clears. "Duh, right!" she says cheerfully around a mouthful of food. "You weren't at the demo, obvee! We gotta introduce you to Epirus, Gunther, and Samael. And maybe Nos, but he only gets to go when things get ugly. They're our hard-hitters I-C-E, and yeah, I think they could handle a thousand together. 'Specially when Kody and Orrin get to join in, and I bet Azath and Wraith have some tricks up their sleeve. And me and Sapph take care of any surprises!" She wags her finger. "Plus, I've got six hundred years of watching how the vamps work in secret, so if anyone would know what to look for, it'd be me! Double plus, we've got literal gods we can go ask to tell us about anything secrety going on."
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  #125  
Old 09-17-2019, 12:59 AM
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"All of tat, and yet te world is still in such a mess," Natalia answers with a slight smirk. It would seem she doesn't quite buy Inka's claims of vast, unstoppable power, though to be fair she's never seen any of it. Though also to be fair, the world is in a mess, at least from her perspective. The claims of such though make her realize something else, something that makes her reconsider the offer to go back with them. "It sounds though like you don't really need me for much of anyting. I don't tink I can make much of a difference if you have gods taking care of everyting for you. I may not be making huge strides in making te world a better place by cleaning up my home one lowlife scum at a time, but at least I'm doing someting tat I feel might matter, even if it's for people far beneath gods. If you have people who can laugh off a tousand superhumans, I don't really see how I would be useful at all, since I'm just one. But I would like to ask Kami-Sama why he picked me, and ten changed his mind. I had the last three months of my life turned upside-down because of it, I don't tink an answer as to why is too much to ask," she says to the vampiress, lazily sliding a finger around the rim of her glass before taking another drink of water.
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  #126  
Old 09-17-2019, 01:49 AM
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Wither and Sapphire
Inka winces. "You might not like the answer," she confides quietly, as if revealing some great secret. "And the gods are powerful, but the same thing that keeps all of Heaven and Hell from just gushing out onto Earth keeps them out too. So they cheat by getting us to do it."

She shrugs. "And anyways, those guys are not 'xactly precision, y' know what I mean? Even if they can do all that, we still need people on the ground to help with things that AREN'T laying waste to army of supes. Like, I'm sure you'd be GREAT at helping us get info from the bad guys, we're like REALLY really short on telepaths. Just have the one and she's kinda shy. Or monster-hunting, always need more monster-hunters, and Cord's got all these friends who do exactly that."
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  #127  
Old 09-17-2019, 09:13 AM
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It's not just the answer Inka gives, but the way she says it that gets Natalia's attention. It would seem the vampire knows more than she's been letting on, which doesn't escape her notice and shades her response. "I am no stranger to unpleasant news, and not te sort to close my eyes and ears and pretend it doesn't exist," she answers in an even tone. She was already resigned to the fact that she might not like the answer, but still needed to know. Though by now she thinks she's figured out the answer to at least one of her questions, and it's clearly not an answer she's happy about if it's true. "It's because you're a vampire, isn't it? Tat is why he changed his mind. He felt one of teir own would be better at keeping them in line tan me because they would never listen to a 'mere human'. And yet you insist we 'mere humans' have nothing to worry about, other than being lesser beings, apparently," she answers coldly. It made perfect sense, she could practically smell the arrogance coming from the vampires she met in Cairo. How can an immortal who lives for thousands of years and is far superior to a human in every way not consider themselves above the peons? "So one of your 'gods' ruined my life for no reason other tan politics. Nice to see some tings never change."
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  #128  
Old 09-17-2019, 11:07 AM
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Wither and Sapphire
Inka wags her finger and swallows her food. "Stoppit," she replies with a frown. "Just stoppit, Natalia. First, like I said, I really dunno why Kami-Sama picked me over you. Maybe he got sick of watching vamps get turned into ashies and went for me cause I threw myself at him." She leans forward. "Second, I'm like, 98%, 99% sure Kami-Sama had nothing to do with getting those vamps you whacked to ruin your life. They did that all by themselves. An' if you wanna talk to him and get back out, you might wanna learn how to not throw around conjecture-y insults like that, cause unlike Loki and most've the rest of them he's REAL big on respect."
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.

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  #129  
Old 09-17-2019, 12:18 PM
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"Tey came after me for no reason other than he chose me. If he hadn't done tat, they would have never even known I exist. To me, tat's a little more tan one or two percent responsible," Natalia is quick to mention. Cause and effect, the kingpin wanting things done and then claiming no responsibility when his underlings don't do it to his liking. That bit is familiar to her as well, and though she understands the bit about showing a kingpin proper respect, it's still not an excuse in her eyes.

"Look, you have to understand te world I come from. It's a matter of te haves and te have-nots, tat's all I've ever known. Te haves build opulent mansions then bulldoze te rainforest for wood to build a wall around tose mansions so tey don't have to look at te people living in squalor not a hundred meters away. When you have, te law, te government, everyone lines up to do what you want. When you have not, you're dirt. You can die in te street for nothing other tan being in te wrong place at te wrong time and you may as well be a sack of garbage for all te 'haves' care, or te ones who answer to tem," she says to Inka, emotion heavy in her voice. She's clearly trying to hide it but there'a s lot of pain and a lot of anger in her words, she's clearly speaking from experience. A very bad experience at that.

"I've never had anyting in life but my family, which was taken away. And tese powers tat I see as a curse. I had finally gotten a break, a chance to maybe have a normal life. My sister went away to college, I went wit her to look after her. She resented it, but she needed it. I love her, but she has te common sense of a garden slug sometimes. I thought... I hoped, I might be able to put all te terrible tings that had happened to me and te terrible tings I had done because of it, behind me. I hoped I might finally be happy," she continues, the emotion rising despite her best efforts to keep it suppressed. She's been holding a lot in for a while, it would seem Inka is just the one to be there when she lets it out. "And then vampires come after me because a god, who couldn't be any more of te 'haves', decided to make me his chosen only to trow me away. Like dirt. And make it all for nothing. So I hope you can see how I just might be angry. Why couldn't he just... let me be happy?" she asks, though it's more a tone of pleading. She doesn't expect Inka to have an answer, but it isn't really her that she's asking.
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  #130  
Old 09-17-2019, 07:59 PM
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Wither and Sapphire
Inka sighs. "Cause he didn't," she replies at last. "If Kami-Sama had really wanted you to be brought to him, you'd've just fallen through a portal to him and that would be that. So don't go pinning some whackos on him just cause they ruined your life, and maybe stop chucking offers of help back in people's faces just cuz they're a lot like you 'cept moreso. You can come work with us and see what's what and if you don't wanna stay, then you can leave. But we're prolly the only group around taking in super-vigilante-girls with scary powers 'cept for the vamps, and we're like, a LOT less likely to start the next cold war. Plus we have better food an' actual, y'know, gods."
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Is hard being hero? Yes. But someone must wear soap.
Do no harm, take no guff.

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  #131  
Old 09-17-2019, 10:52 PM
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Natalia is silent for a long while. She presses her fingertips together and then to her forehead, lowering her head and trying to regain her composure, to minimal effect. "So he never wanted anyting to do wit me at all. Tose vampires just made it up, and what Joanna told me wasn't true. Somehow tat's even worse," she says quietly, still keeping her head down. Of all the things Inka could have told her, in some ways that was the most hurtful, even if it was the truth. She was hoping for some sort of answer, some sort of explanation. Now it turns out there was none, and the fact that those responsible were dead was hardly any comfort. "At least before I was worthy of a god's attention, now... just another meaningless mortal," she sighs, finally looking up through watery eyes.

"Look, tis might be hard for you to understand, but for us, finding out tere's a seven-million strong vampire nation, or tat gods are real, or tat angels and demons are real, or... one of countless other tings is hard to accept. And in te last twenty four hours I found out about all of it. I'm trying to handle it, but all of tat on top of te last three months..." she trails off. There probably isn't a need to finish the thought, her reaction thus far to all of it says more than words could. "My life has been pretty terrible. I know tere are worse, but tat isn't much comfort. I've had so few 'good' tings, and all of tem are gone. I tink te only way I've been able to keep going is because as much as I hate tese powers, I can use tem to keep te bad tings from happening to someone else. I wish someone had done tat for me. If you can give me tat, I'll go with you. But tere isn't anyting good about them, all I can do is hurt and kill people. Just do we're clear," she is sure to stress.
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  #132  
Old 09-17-2019, 10:55 PM
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Sapphire had been quiet, which if Natalia stuck around she'd find was out of character for the one called Sapphire.

She finally spoke up and said, "If you do stick around with us, you will find that you may have gotten better treatment with Kami-Sama that you would have with other Arbiters. Maybe you'll hear how I became Loki's Champion. That was fun."

She said the last line with an eyeroll and a slight smile. She then added, "And I don't recall anyone ever saying they didn't get angry with them either.
I will tell you this, though. It's worth it just to stick around long enough to go meet Thor and have a drink with him."
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Old 09-17-2019, 11:54 PM
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Wither and Sapphire
"I dunno what Joanna told you," Inka hedges. "But I think it was more like he had a buncha us in mind and it was whichever one got to him first. Cause there was like, a sand-woman who also might've made it, but I dunno if she even knew about it, and then Brendan had a slim chance, but I'm never gonna tell him that so it's a secret."

She nods slowly. "It's our exact job to keep bad things from happening to good people," she replies, jerking her thumb toward herself. "And Imma do my best to make sure nobody's gonna make your life hard so long as you're with us, so if anyone gives you a hard time, just send 'em to ME and I'll sort them out!"
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  #134  
Old 09-18-2019, 09:05 AM
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"So I lose again," Natalia answers C.C. with a weak chuckle. "I can't even get drunk, my own powers break it down too fast. Can't get sick either, which is nice, but still, tere are so many times when I would have gladly traded te flu for te chance to forget about everyting for a while," she sighs. "And it is not in my nature to run to others for help, if anyone wants to give me crap, I'll sort tem out. Not kill tem," she is quick to point out. "But I can be very creative when it comes to retribution," she says to Inka, a warning look in her eyes that indicates her words may have nothing at all to do with her powers. It's easy to focus on them and forget all of her other abilities, she couldn't have gotten as far as she has with just them alone. "But tank you for te offer anyway. If anyone asks, I'm telling tem Famine wanted me for his champion but I was too good at killing his messengers. Which is true, and might put up a few warning signs to keep any who might want to give me a hard time away," she says with another weakened smirk.

"Look, all of tis... te anger, lashing out at you... tat isn't me. Not really. I won't lie, I'm mad at te world sometimes, probably too often, but... I suppose everyone has a breaking point, and after so may years of doing tis, I guess I found mine. Deus I'm a complete mess right now," she sighs, picking up her fork and poking what's left of her food but still not having much of an appetite, even more than usual. She never does eat much but this is for another reason entirely. "Don't get me wrong, I still tink te vampires are just another cartel among many, but I know you're trying to help. You didn't deserve me attacking you too. It's not an excuse but tings have been... stressful," she offers as apology, her last word as big of an understatement as could possibly be.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:04 AM
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Wither and Sapphire
"I've been there," Inka sympathizes. "But if you think Thor'd let something like physical impossibility stop someone from getting drunk in his realm, you've never read up on him at ALL!" She looks arounnd. "C'mon. We'll pay, then Cee-Cee and me can take you up to see Famine, or Loki if you want, and then we can do the grand tour before we go back home."
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