Long-Lost Relatives and Their Shadows

Log Info

Title: Long-Lost Relatives and Their Shadows
Emitter: None
Characters: Alia, Liv, Rioghan
NPCs: None
Place: Rioghan's Room, Chord Hall, Steranko Institute
Time: 9/24/2010 - Evening
Summary: Liv and Alia stop by to visit Rioghan, compare ear lengths and discuss war.

Chord Hall is quiet this evening, relatively speaking. Relatively because there is currently no one being thrown through the glass (which has been fixed), and no one being interrogated (yet), and no general drama being caused by the certain troublesome trio who call this Hall home now (to the gratefulness of their Student Advisor). Said student advisor is why it is not entirely quiet in Chord. There's soft music coming from the cracked door of his room, being played on a guitar by the sound of it and, for that matter the young man's voice singing a quiet tune in Gaelic. Wait, he can sing? And play guitar? Who knew?

Liv has one of the most distinctive knocks at the Steranko Institute, though it's probable Rioghan doesn't know this. It's hard to make a simple rapping of knuckles sound that diffident without being soft to the point of obscurity. She manages it. And never mind the fact the door is open: barging in isn't her style. "Hey, Rioghan?" she calls, then glances back at Alia. "I almost hate to interrupt him."

Alia nods, then murmurs, "Indeed. It is quite pleasing. The language sounds… familiar." She looks curiously at Liv, "It is not quite similar to what we have on our world, but rather close." She doesn't announce herself, as she's really here because Liv's here, at least for the moment.

The lilting singing is cut off abruptly at the knock, though Rioghan's hands on the guitar strum out one last note. He's sitting on the end of his bed, and he looks up towards the door with a smile. "Sulli—Liv," Rioghan corrects, setting aside his guitar, "To what do I owe the pleasure?" He peers behind the shadow-girl at her companion, "And Alia s'Harien as well." He rises to his feet, inclining his head and motioning them inwards. "Please, come in, make yourselves comfortable." There's not many options for seating in Rioghan's room. The bed. The floor. Or the single desk chair.

"Small universe," Liv says with a slight smile. "I'd guess Irish Gaelic, but that might be stereotyping …" Well, with a name like his, it's a fair bet. The smile broadens, sort of - a quick, anxious twinge. "Hi, Rioghan," she says. "We're not interrupting, are we? It's nothing … it's not important, I just thought we could talk, the three of us. Since I know Sandra's broached the idea of us working more closely together." She sidles into the room, considering the seating options and … remaining on her feet, though she leans against the wall. "Was she doing better the last time you saw her?"

Alia hrmms, and says a long sentence in something that almost sounds Gaelic, and more Welsh… if Welsh had a long drunken date with Polynesian that somehow made it to third base. She then nods, "And Rioghan, just Alia, please… it is not necessary to use my House name as well." She gives Rioghan a bit of a curious expression, but doesn't clarify any reason for it, before shrugging a little to herself.

"Not interruptin'," Rioghan says, shaking his head, "At least not anything important. I was just relaxin' with a bit o' music. Sometimes it helps me ta think." He chooses to remain standing as well, moving over to lean against his desk. "Aye, I'd like that and she has indeed spoken with me about it." Rioghan runs a finger along the bracelet he now wears and nods to Liv. "She was restin' comfortably in the Infirmary when I left her. I've not gone to check with her again, though I should. They said she'd be fine, however, an' that I shouldn't worry." He studies Alia for a moment, frowning as she speaks in her language. It's like he can almost understand it, or feels that he should be able to, yet can't. "Alia, then. I'm sorry for staring, it's just… I know what Sandra told me of you, but there's somethin' vaguely familiar there."

"… did you just insult someone's ancestry, Alia?" Liv wonders lightly, dropping her arms into a fold across her stomach. It looks comfortable, but it also serves as a subconscious barrier. She bobs her head once. "Glad to hear it. The infirmary food is drek, but it's survivable." She quirks the pierced brow then. "Seems like Sandra's been rather free with our histories," she says, sounding amused - after all, neither she nor Alia have had much of a tendency to hide it, "but I hardly know anything about you. Except for the fact that like some others around here, you need a crash course in the colloquial."

Alia blinks, "I don't believe so… it was a simple wayfarer greeting." She then looks at Rioghan, and smiles a bit, "Well, I've been stared at for worse reasons, but if the rumors I've heard are somewhat true." She pauses, then shrugs and pulls her hair back, exposing a slender and pointed ear, "But I have nothing to really hide in regards to my own history, though my people have visited Earth before, many millenia ago." That much she does know, though the actual whys and wherefores are not quite so clear.

Rioghan shakes his head, "Not entirely, she didn't. I only know a bit. Probably no more than most other students around campus would. I do know, Liv, that she trusts you and thinks of you as one might a sister." He nods. "I've mostly kept private about myself to others on campus, at the recommendation of…" Here he pauses and pushes off of the desk to go over and shut his door. There are people in his dorm that he isn't quite willing to share with. He continues once he moves back to his desk. "At the recommendation of my advisors an' my 'Caomhnoir'. But if Sandra trusts you both, then so do I."
Blue eyes alight on Alia as the girl pulls her hair back. There's a chance in Rioghan's expression immediately, the young man's smile drawing up into a warmer grin. That would be why she seemed almost familiar, if not entirely. The young man reaches a hand up to push some of his own hair back, tucking it behind a similarly pointed ear. "We may have some history in common somewhere along the line, Alia." He looks at Liv, clearing his throat, "Where would you like me to start?"

"It was a joke," Liv says, her lips twitching. "It's remarkable, when you think about it, that an alien language sounds like anything human throats can even produce." It's subtle, but the implication of looking at humanity from the outside is there. She shakes her head at the description of Sandra's words, though there's a sharp glint of curiosity in her gaze. "Sandra's crazy. I don't have much to hide, though." A little twinge of a grimace crosses her lips. "Your Caomhnoir?" she wonders. Her pronounciation is dead-on, but that's not much of a feat for a girl who can do an exact copy of Morgan Freeman at the drop of a hat.
She glances between Alia and Rioghan, a certain wryness entering her gaze at the similarity. "And the universe grows even smaller," she comments. "Start with the beginning, I guess. Why did you come here?"
Alia hrms. "Cao'mnhei'ra?" It sounds similar, anyway, "A warden or teacher… typically an honorary 'big brother' role, though not quite. It's an older word though, but sometimes it is used in 'slang' I suppose." She lets her hair fall back, giving Rioghan a rather warm grin back, "It /is/ nice to see a familiar face."

"Sandra's sanity seems well enough," Rioghan says, wrinkling his nose at Liv. He's about to explain what a Caomhnoir is, when Alia chimes in. The young man turns to look at her, "You speak the old tongue? No… something similar… close though, aye. She's correct though. Mr. Murphey as you all know him, he's my guardian, if you will." Rioghan clears his throat to settle in for answering Liv's question, "I'm not from your world, as you may have guessed. Well, I am in a way. My home is removed from this one, another realm. One of the 'Otherworlds'. We call it Chiarrai, the Irish know it as Tir na nOg, I'm sure there are other names for it as well in the histories."
"My full name is Rioghan Nuada De Danaan Mac Cionaoith, son of Queen Aislin Macha De Danaan," he says, "and I am here at this school because our world came under siege by demons of shadow. I'm here ta learn, to study, and to prepare to fight the battle against them. To keep them from taking this world as well, to reclaim Chiarrai for my people, or die trying." He lifts a shoulder, saying this as casually as if he's reading the Sunday paper aloud.

"Linguistic drift," Liv observes. "Huh." Another bemused glance passes between the two, but she doesn't comment further … because there are far more interesting revelations afoot, as much as the scholastic implications are intriguing. She emits a low whistle, regarding him with a new intensity. "I've heard crazier things here, but not many," she says. "So you're a prince -" a moment's twitch of the lip, betraying some flitting thought or humor "- with an immense task. That explains … a lot. The luck of the Irish?" Referring to the other night. She shifts, looking a bit uncomfortable … the combination of the revelation, and the fact that he and Alia seem to have bonded, and just all-round Liv-ish-ness. "… just for the record, we didn't do it."

Alia nods, "Well, it isn't an old tongue for me, Rioghan Nuada De De Dannan Mac Cionaoith." She hms, "So that was the reason for the simulation the other day, battling those creatures of shadow." A somewhat wicked grin crosses her lips, "Which, well, is something I'll be more than happy to do for you. Present company excepted." She tosses a friendly wink at Liv, "Though your mother seems more the demon type, quite frankly." Apparently Alia's been working on her sense of humor.

"Prince, aye," Rioghan says with a quiet sigh. "My parents were both killed three years ago when we were forced from our home, so 'uncrowned king' may be a bit more accurate." He does nod, however, looking towards where his bow is resting on the rack alongside other weaponry. "An immense task, indeed. One that I hope I will be ready for. The Tuatha are all looking to me now." He tilts his head to one side, his lips curving up with a small smile. "I know you and yours had nothing to do with this, Liv. And aye, 'casadh seans', the ability to twist chance was one of the gifts that the goddess gave me. I do not have much by the way of other magical abilities my people have. My father was human."
"I was hopin' that you'd say that, Alia," Rioghan says, "They've a vulnerability to light an' fire." He nods to the maps spread out on the desk behind him. "Aye, that was what we were doing in the Thunderdome. Planning and strategizing are a part of what I am t'do while I'm here." Rioghan looks at Liv at Alia's words. "Your mother?"

"I'm sorry," Liv says quietly, tightening her hands a bit. She still has her arms folded across her stomach. "Prince, king, though - if you have a fight, I can be there. Assuming they're not immune." The tautness of pessimism seems a natural part of her voice.
She makes a face at Alia. "Don't insult the demons," she quips. "So you're part human. It's not a bad thing to have a foot in this world, I think. It gives you other strengths."
Liv shakes her head a bit as if to toss the hair out of her eyes, but it more succeeds in causing it to fall further forward. "My mother is … as I am, a being created from someone's shadow. And a sorceress. And …" She hesitates. "Ruthless. Conniving. She caused trouble for some of my friends, Alia included. Ergo." She clears her throat nervously.

Alia tsks, "Liv, just because she's a conniving hyonikar doesn't mean that /you/ are." She smiles and places a hand on Liv's shoulder in a comforting gesture, "Really." Her eyes then look over at Rioghan, and she smiles a bit, "And you can count on my help, of course. I'd be glad to do so, really. Such demons need to be put in their place… which is as far from civilized people as possible."

"Appreciated," Rioghan says to Liv, "Sandra also said it was likely you'd say something along those lines were I to ask for you help. I don't know whether they would be immune to your abilities or not. I cannot say we've had any with your particular skills to fight against them before." Rioghan nods. "My Da was from this world, which makes keeping the demons from overtaking this world just as important as saving my own. In a way this is my home as well. These particular demons, they came from another realm an' need ta be sent back there. We've got four years from Samhain."

Liv flashes Alia a wry look. "You know, there's this human saying about apples and trees …" Which may just be lost on her, and perhaps that's the intention. "But thanks." She shrugs a shoulder to Rioghan. "It's a valid concern. I'm not immune to darkness, myself, so it's not necessarily a given … I could always try to infiltrate." As long as they're humanoid, that might not be an idle offer. "Four years. That's plenty of time to lay in a good plan and give them hell." Pause. "Figuratively speaking."

Alia nods, "I believe they need to go back to Ariennye where they belong, yes." She looks at Liv, "Apples and trees? I know of apples and oranges, but this seems somewhat different…" A pause, as she then looks back to Rioghan, "Four years? That's not much time."

"We're fairly certain some of them crossed over," Rioghan says to Liv's offer, "Though we don't know where they might be… an' now we've reason to believe that some of our own that we trusted are in league with them. I will keep your offer in mind."
"It is both not enough time an' too much time all at once," Rioghan says in response to Alia. "But that is the longest we'll have. It may be shorter if they come up with a way to undo my mother's magic that sealed the gateway to our world."

"Sort of the opposite idea," Liv says. "When an apple falls from a tree, it doesn't go far." She bobs her head, somewhat vigorously. "That's a nasty thing to know, but it's one of the best tactics an enemy can use - get inside. Stand beside you. Play your friend." She smirks a bit, considering the contradiction and the different answers … though the expression fades then. "Is that … likely?"

Alia hrms, "A definite lack of mnhei'sahe, though it doesn't seem likely from what you've described of the situation, Rioghan." She considers a moment, "We should talk more about this, is there an idea as to whom the infiltrator might be?"

Rioghan shakes his head, "Unfortunately not. It could well be anyone that knows I survived that night on Samhain, an as of this last summer, the number of whom are aware has grown considerably. My Uncle an' some of the surviving palace guard have been searching and contacting other Tuatha, gathering them, informing, tryin' to prepare. So, there are more who know that I am alive, though we can likely narrow it down to a smaller number… those who are on the council…" He folds his arms over his chest. "Because they are the only ones who know my present whereabouts, being here at this school." He looks at Liv and shakes his head. "Highly unlikely," Rioghan says, "As we have tried to get through ourselves in order to 'take the fight to them' if you will."

Liv narrows her eyes faintly. "Which implies that you've had some … run-ins while you've been here?" she inquires. "Not on school grounds, I hope?" There's a little twitch of anxiety in her voice before it settles again. "So you're as trapped as they are - no pre-emptive strikes, no guerilla raids. How very fairy." It's said drolly, but not as an insult.

Alia hrms, "Well, I think you should always have one of us near you. Just in case." She pauses, then looks at Rioghan, "You had an attack on you before, that was part of this, then? Something involving a movie?" She arches a brow, regarding Rioghan with a curious expression.

"Someone has hired an assassin to try an' kill me," Rioghan says with a shrug of his broad shoulders. "But no, not on campus. The campus remains safe, so far as I am aware." He sounds quite reassuring about that. The campus is safe. The Otherworldly Royal nods at Alia, "The second attempt, yes. I was at the movies with Kelly Ryan. The first was while I was in town at a bookstore with Sandra. And the last one was during the ill-fated camping trip, which reminds me that I need to follow up with Sapphire Bennett."

"Which *one* of Sapphire Bennett?" Liv wonders, apparently rhetorically. She stares at Rioghan a bit, then nods slowly. A visible sigh of relaxation as he pronounces the campus safe. "Three times. Well, again by fairy logic, they're done, but I guess you can't count on that." A grimace. "You're crazy casual about it," she observes. "You must have nerves of steel."

Alia hrms, "What is this 'fairy logic'? I'm afraid I'm not quite sure of the definition." She glances at Rioghan, "Unfortunately, we can't take that for granted. On the other hand, I have no particular vulnerability to darkness attacks." She smiles a little grimly, at that tidbit.

Rioghan is with Alia. "Fairy logic?" He shakes his head, however, "No. He'll be back. Whoever hired him let him continue after the first two failed attempts, so I imagine they intend to let him keep trying until he either gets it right or I put an end to it." Nerves of steel? Not necessarilly. He does, however, accept attempts on his life as a matter of course at this point. "What concerns me, Liv, is not so much that an assassin is trying to kill me, but rather that he is aware enough of the weaknesses of my people to use iron weapons in his attempts. Which only serves to further hammer home that it is someone in whom I trust, but maybe we can track the assassin back to whoever hired him. That is my hope, at least."

"The principles and the traditions by which such beings operate, at least in tales. Sometimes the tales are accurate, representing real restrictions on arcane creatures. Sometimes … not." Liv shrugs. "I was just being flip about it, though. I'm not really a mystic." She tightens the cross of her arms, frowning. "Okay, you're still losing me at the assassin not concerning you," she says drily, "but I take your larger point - maybe. It's not impossible someone versed in the arcane could deduce that without specific knowledge of your people. Of course, Occam's Razor - the simplest answer is usually the right one."

Alia nods, "I do have some connections, though I suspect they are not the easiest to use in /this/ field. Magic and mysticism are not things that come easily to me, I'm afraid." She gives Rioghan a slight shrug, "Despite our apparently common ancestry." With that, her lips do curl in a faint smile.

Rioghan's lips curve into a wry smile at Liv's words. "What good would it do me to fret and obsess over it? I'm aware. I'm looking into it. I'm not sitting idly by, but neither am I going to let fear of someone lurking in the shadows keep me from living my life and doing what needs to be done. They could deduce such, but this fellow seemed to be waiting specifically for me. I do understand that there are plenty of tales and legends that one might reference though. Some true. Some not, as you say. My people don't, for instance, have wings or scatter magic dust about." That last he says a bit dryly. "There /are/ such beings, but they aren't connected to us."
He looks at Alia, returning that faint smile, "And I know more of magic than technology." There is a distinct lack of a computer in his room. Or any other sort of electronic device save for the light fixtures. The clock on his desk isn't even digital— gasp! —it's one of those wind-up ones with gears. "Though this institution insisted that I take Introduction to Computers this semester, despite it being something that I am unlikely to ever use post-graduation."

"Sometimes, even magic yields if you just shoot at it," Liv points out, a faint grin playing at her lips. "I'm not the most technological of people - I mean, I don't even text any more - but you might be surprised what you'll end up using. And you don't even have the excuse of shorting out the circuits with whatever." Light teasing.
But then she clears her throat, looking embarrassed - apparently feeling she's been too familiar with a new acquaintance. Down go the eyes, the girl disappearing behind that handy copper hair. "You're … right, of course, but I find that kind of thing is easy to say and a lot more difficult to do." Then a sudden snort. "Those are *Victorian* fairies." Oh, yes, hear the disdain?

Alia gives Liv a wry expression, then suddenly a pair of rainbow-colored light-constructs sprout from Alia's back. Shaped like butterfly wings. "Like this?" She then grins over at Rioghan, "Well, I don't know the exact reason for it… my people just don't use magic much at all. We rely on powers and science, which are both fairly advanced."

"Pixies, sprites," Rioghan says, "Not the same at all. I did finish reading that 'Lord of the Rings' book, however." That last is to inform Liv, since she saw him with the book when he first picked it up from the library. "Couldn't put it down, though there were some unnerving parallels with the dark forces and all that." He waves a hand, as if to gesture that thought away and chuckles. "No, but Sandra is in the class with me. She's having quite a time with the 'surface technology' as she refers to it."
Unnaturally blue eyes are turned on Alia as she sprouts wings and the young man's eyebrows climb. Dryly he says, "Well, there now. No need to be facilitating the rumors, is there?" He flashes her a toothy grin, though, to show that he's more amused by it than anything. "Magic is what I was born into and raised knowing, even if I've little in the way of those gifts myself. A bit of luck and the ability to see magic and recognize beings of magic when I see them. For the rest I have to rely on training and skill."

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," Liv says in a quotation-marks tone. (It had to be said sooner or later.) She's still directing the comments to her feet, though. The wings do garner a low chuckle from her, however. "That's horrible."
Now she lifts her head slightly, a glance through the veil of hair. "It's a classic. Some people never warm to Tolkien's style, but I always enjoyed it. Awful damn nice when evil announces itself as a glowing eye in the sky. Still … we'll have to find you some fantasy that isn't self referential."

Alia nods, "Oh, I do like the fantasy literature you have here, it's quite fascinating." She lets the wings go poof in a shimmer of light, then changes her focus to create a nice comfortable office chair, which she takes a seat in. Looking over at Liv, she gives the other girl a grin, "Sadly, real evil isn't quite so melodramatic."

Rioghan nods to Liv, "You are welcome to sit down…" He even slides his desk chair towards her in an offer. Apparently he's not bothered by her familiarity of conversation with him, even if they're still mostly in the aquaintance stage. While he has offered Liv a chair, and Alia has made one of her own, he pushes some of his papers aside and pulls himself atop his desk to sit. "Aye, if only evil were more obvious."

"I don't know, some of the neohumans we've clashed with were as puffed up as clowns on stage," Liv says. "I don't mind the posturing, though: makes it easier to get a good shot in." A slight shrug, and then she smiles a bit and slides into the chair. "Thanks." She pinches the bridge of her nose absently. "'Good' doesn't exactly announce itself with blazing signs, either. Most of the time."

Alia shrugs, "True enough. But normally it's a bit easier to tell the difference." She smiles a little, "Yes, it is… how you say, 'monologuing'?"

"Should it be so obvious as that, though?" Rioghan asks, "I admit it would be nice to be more easily able to identify—"
There's a knock on Rioghan's door and the young man cuts off to stand and head over to it. He opens the door a crack to see one of the new Freshmen standing there. Once the door is opened it's also easier to smell smoke. About half a second before the smoke detectors start going off. "Uh… I didn't mean to?"
Rioghan sighs and looks back at his companions. "Sorry. Duty calls." He claps a hand on the girl's shoulder, "Alright, where's the fire?"

"An eminently appropriate term," Liv says. "But if everyone were like that -" she starts to answer Rioghan, before chaos breaks loose. She shakes her head with a wry look. "I don't envy you taking on this hall - or any hall," she says. "But I suppose it's battle training of its own sort. Go on." She pops out of the chair. "Good to talk, Rioghan."

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