The Cost of a Costume

Log Info

Title: The Cost of a Costume
Emitter: None
Characters: Liv, Sandra
NPCs: None
Place: Steranko Institute - Taylor Hall, Liv's Dorm Room
Time: 5/??/10 (exact date unknown)
Summary: Liv invites Sandra over to get something off her chest, and secrets are exchanged.

Liv flagged Sandra down earlier and asked her to pop by that night - just stop in for a few minutes. It's early evening now and she's sort of typing with her off-hand while doing this, that and the other. All evidence points to restless flittering and not actually getting much done.

After an evening swim, and another round of fruitless debate with the maintenance crew about changing the pool to salt water, rather than chlorinated water, Sandra has showered that horrible chlorine away and meanders back towards the dorms. Instead of veering to Prentiss, like she normally does, it seems Sandra is visiting the other dorms today, what with her trip to Baldwin to speak to Reg earlier in the day.
Making her way into the building, Sandra manages to flag down another student and get pointed to Liv's room. It takes a bit, as Sandra casually walks, enjoing the feeling of wet skin drying in the evening air, but, eventually, Sandra makes it in front of the door of her destination. Lifting a hand, the young blond knocks and comfortably waits for a response.

Liv spins in her chair, the springs creaking. She pops up to the peephole, then opens it. "Sandra? Hey … err, have you been swimming?" There's a slight crinkle of her nose as she considers that she's not really surprised. "How's it going? Come on in - you can have the chair." Though she takes pains to swing it well away from the laptop. She seems a little twitchy, though it might be hard to pin down what about her behavior gives that impression.

Sandra watches Liv, and her erratic behavior in silence, befre stepping into the room. Walking to the chair, Sandra grabs it and pulls it even further from the laptop, a gesture meant to reassure Liv. "Yes. I try to swim at least once a day. I was quite accomplished of it in Atlanta," she notes before settling down. "Things are going well enough. My grades are improving and I should have a decent set of marks at the end of the semester."

Once settled in the chair, Sandra does her bit to remain still, no matter how uncomfortable such a seat may be. Insted she casually folds her arms in her lap, weaving her fingers together, as she offers the woman a smile. "What can I help you with?" she asks warmly. "After all, you are the one that asked me here, no? Surely you have a reason, yes?"

"Yes, because Atlanta is the heart of swimming country," Liv says with a little irony. "What about surfboarding? I hear the waves are fantastic for that." She can't resist making these little jabs at Sandra's cover, not even wholly expecting to hear some revelation, but collecting what tidbits she does get. She perches on the edge of the bed, swinging her right foot absently. "That's good. I'm managing, myself … trying not to doze off during civics classes …"
The question seems to startle her. "Oh … yeah, I suppose. I just needed someone to vent to … do you mind?" She leans forward, perching elbows on her knees, look earnest. "You have to promise not to repeat it, though. Not to anyone."

"Actually, with the olympic pool still in use, Atlanta is very active in the swimming community," notes Sandra, almost as if by rote - a reaction rather than offering information. Then she shakes her head, "I have never surfboarded. Is it enjoyable?" she asks, before shrugging faintly.
"Civics is … fascinating. I am more than willing to try to convey it to you in a more interesting light, if you would like," offers Sandra. That is one of the classes she is actually doing higher than average in. Then the reason for the visit is offered and Sandra blinks, lips pursing. Vent? What does Liv possibly … vent other than breath? Pushing that from her mind for the moment, Sandra nods. "Of course. You may vent as you like," she says before lifting a hand to her heart. "You honor me by asking to share things in confidence, Liv. I have … well, few friends here still. How could I repeat something if you ask me not to?" she then counters, before she nods. "I will not repeat it. To no other living, post-living, or future soul," she adds, solmenly. "Upon my Honor, my grace, my virtue, may I sink to the depths of the ocean to dwell in the deepest darkness, banished - for time immemorable, should I break my vow."

“… not to mention it's not that far from the ocean," Liv says drily. "I've been surfboarding once. It was …" She shudders a bit. "I practically got a lungful of water. But I hear when you get the hang of it, it's supposed to be sort of an adrenaline rush." She shakes her head. "And that's okay, really. I could pass it without attending any of the classes. I've had a lot of training in law. That's the problem, I mean - heard it all before."
Her head snaps back at Sandra's response. Eyes narrow sharply for a second, as if wondering if the words are mockery … but after a long, slow study of the other's features, she nods once, a jerky motion. "That was … more than I was expecting," she admits. "And how could you? You haven't even heard …" She pauses, verbally rewinding. It's obvious she's ambivalent about this: on the one hand, it's practically choking her, and on the other hand, she's very nervous. "Okay, so it's about my costume. And my mother. Who, you probably don't know, has more money than a …" About to say a god, she considers something, scrunches her face, and amends, "… well, she's very well-off."

A soft sound escapes Sandra, a sound of agreement. "Ahhh, you are well versed and ahead of the rest of us then. No wonder it is difficult to stay awake then," she notes in understanding. Sandra continues to watch Liv, her blue eye swimming, almost swirling between warm blue and cool curiousity blue. "I was taught to take my oaths and promises very seriously, Liv. Each and every one. "For what is the worth of a man, if his Word means nothing?'" offers Sandra, quoting something.
Shifting ever so slightly in the chair, Sandra lifts a hand. "I warn you, Liv. I am not very adept at this … fashion thing. After all, most of the time I end up in a swimming suit. I half wonder if it isn't some conspiracy from the faculty, trying to guide me into what they think is appropriate or not," she offers with a hint of amusement. After all, she DOES need the help.
"Liv, it matters not to me who your mother is, what her status of wealth is. What matters to me, is you - if I am to count you amoung my friends, shouldn't that be all that matters?" Sandra offers an actual smile now, lips curving at the corners. "Do not worry. You cannot scare me off so easily. My Pride would not allow it."

"But I don't like to remind the instructors of why I'm so studied, so I have to pretend, and that leads me right back into deceit …" Liv looks frustrated, jerking one shoulder up into a shrug. She cocks her head to one side. "If a man has no worth for not keeping his word, then this country - this world, really - is awash in a sea of dross," she points out, then chuckles. "Well, no, I didn't think the fact that I'm descended from a crazy, over-the-hill -" ouch, don't let Evelyn hear that "- screen starlet would matter to you in the slightest. Your pride is pretty important to you, isn't it?" She misses the capital letter, as it were.
She makes a disclaiming gesture. "Oh, the costume design is something I've got under control, mostly. I've been sketching for a while … not totally sure … but it's almost figured out. Not that it matters." A heavy puff of breath, and she rattles off the rest in a rush, "My mother told me she'd pay for the costume if I committed a crime for her."

"Some deceit is actually necessary. Much depends on the reasons for it here," she says motioning to her head, then to her heart, "And here." Then Sandra chuckles as Liv piles on the epitaths to her mother, before nodding. "Indeed. My Pride, My Honor, and my Duty are three things … you might even say I consider sacred to me," she says with a hint of a shrug. It is the way she was raised, and Sandra intends to live no differently here.
Of course, at the last, an eyebrow shoots upwards. "Ahhhh, I see," she notes, considering. "And, of course, it is … something seemingly simple, innoculous. But then, she will ask you for another thing, then another, each getting worse and worse, until you are in over your hair, yes?" she asks, frowning. "Is that why you are here? Why you are monitored?" she asks, motioning to the other young woman's ankle. "You show immense loyalty if that is the case, for would she not have been arrested for the corruption of a minor?"

"It's not that easy, though," Liv protests. "How do you know that you don't have ulterior motives you're hiding even from yourself? And what if something is mainly for good reasons - but there's a little selfish part to it, too?" She sighs, though a faint hint of a smile surfaces. "You know, if most people said that, I'd say they were conning, putting on a good face for some fraud. You … I think you're not made to do anything but take those things seriously."
Liv oozes forward on the bed, the arms dropping and her head sliding between them. It's not quite a curl, but she's definitely compressed. "It's a mystic bauble. And it would be easily blamed on the groups that have been hitting lately …" The words drift up, then, tired, wry, "If I told you that it had absolutely *nothing* to do with that, would you actually believe me?"

"I have no reason to /dis/believe you, Liv," offers the other young woman, blue eyes blinking. There is a pause, then Sandra exhales. "Duty, Honor and Pride are the three Virtues of my people. It is what we are raised to believe has held us together, has lifted us up from catastrophe, and will continue to save us from the more base natures of mortals," explains Sandra. The young woman isn't daft, she knows several people do not believe she is from Atlanta as it is. "I came here to learn. To learn about the ways of those who walk upon the land, who live above the surface of the vast waters which cover most of this planet. My uncle came before me, in a way. He was curious, and he is very honorable. He came, he helped, he fell in love, and murderous villains filled with wrath and envy killed his wife. To this day he has not found another to take her place. Thus… he convinced my father to choose one of the younger generation to come here, to learn and to understand, so that relations with your countries could find a diplomatic process and an Emissary that is empathic to their ways, and feelings."
There is a pause as Sandra tilts her head to the side, studying Liv. "There. I have shared something of great worth with you. Does this assure your trust any more? And Liv, my friend, a costume is not worth turning your back upon what you are striving to accomplish. Yes, it may be easy for you. And yes, you may get away with it. But will it really be the last thing she asks? And what is the price you will pay if you /ARE/ caught?"

Liv jerks upright, a little flare of anger in her eyes. "I'm not going to *do* it," she says. "There was a second of temptation, sure, but …" She scrubs at her face. "She misjudged me," she mumbles. "She had to, to think she had a chance … didn't she?"
She peers through her fingers at Sandra, finally absorbing the rest of her dialogue. "Live above the surface," she says slowly. "You're an undersea dweller? Not a mermaid, clearly … wow." Eyes flick rapidly now, moving pieces into place. "That makes sense. But that's a heck of a lot of expectation to have on your shoulders. I …" She swallows then. "Thank you. For the honesty."
She oozes upright, continuing, "My mother was charged, but the case was dismissed - not enough evidence and lawyers that would make O.J.'s whimper in terror." A little black smile. "How could I have spoken up? She raised me, trained me, protected me. She gave me everything - even if what she believes is wrong. How would I be turning over a new leaf if the first thing I did was betray my family?" She's tacitly touched on bits and pieces, though not actually admitted anything - though it doesn't seem to be so much deliberate as habit ingrained.

"Much is expected of my family, and I am not excluded," notes Sandra - an acceptance of her Duty. There is a slow, deep, inhale before Sandra lets out a sigh. "I wish that my family, well the extended family could have been so loyal as you. Instead, to a last - each man, woman and child - were so bitter with the situation of my people, they vowed bloody revolution and tried to overthrow the faithful ruling family who had kept my home safe for millinia. They … would not stop. Not a one. I was born as the civil war was ending in … most extreme measures. They were … family. A branch of the ruling family, who cursed the name of the gods and any who would still follow their laws - when not following those laws brought us our First Fate."
Sandra shakes her head. "May you never be faced with the decisions I have seen my parent's generation faced with. May you never have to stand against your family, even if they do wrong. May you be spared that, Liv, for your love is pure and true - as it should be. So, do not think yourself the only tainted one here, mmmm? The blood on the hands of my elders is on my hands as well, for one day, I may well be faced with the same decision they made."

"There you're wrong," Liv says quietly. "There's nothing pure about it. I resent her for putting me in this position. For not letting me see that there were other sides to the world until it was almost too late. I'm afraid to get too close to her because it's so … easy." She wraps her arms around her as if cold.
"Your life is so … epic." There's a wry little smile; humor, but not meant to be offensive. "I can be glad that I didn't have to make decisions on the scale of hundreds, I guess. So you keep mentioning gods …" she trails off, a little hint of question in her voice. "And you're better equipped than your parents' generation to deal with it, right? Just being here."

"Yes, Gods. Though, it was Zeus who grew angry with my ancestor's cousins and relatives, for failing to follow the law of Poseidon, and sank Atlantis, the jewel of the world - the most modern and sophisticated of civilizations, to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean." There is a pause then Sandra smiles, "However, we have made incredible advancements in geothermal energy that will revolutionize the surface alone! That's not even talking about the blending of technology and magic which has crafted the majority of our city at this point," she offers, sounding almost light-hearted - an attempt at humor to match Liv's. "It is no wonder Ares is such an ass, he gets it from his father," she continues.
Then the young woman ponders, shaking her head as she considers. "Yes, yet you still do not turn on your mother because of the love you have. Am I not correct? That pure, innocent love, tenious as it may be not, of a child to one's mother. Surely you must see that if you can have that sort of love for one whom you detest so greatly, your capacity is immense."

"Oh, so that's why …" Liv ponders under her breath, then shuts her lips on the rest of the thought. It's not, after all, her secret to share. She leans forward, intent. "So Atlantis is real? And is it really that advanced, or is some of it just hype? After all, you obviously don't have cellphones or Twitter …" This time, her humor falls flat, and she swallows.
"I guess maybe," she says, dubiously. "It doesn't feel like it, though. I've always known that my mother and … the others I've dealt with have their secrets, and that those secrets are dangerous and probably illegal … but it used to not matter. Now I remember times that things were good - blissful, even - and it was because of them … but I can't separate the good and the bad." She heaves in a breath, then lets it out in a sigh. "Damn. This whole thing has been crushing me. Weird to get it out."

Sandra is silent for a few heartbeats, letting the conversation hang in the air. Then she rises from the, admittedly uncomfortable, chair and moves to try and settle down next to Liv. "Well, we have never found a need for a world-wide internet. We do keep to ourselves, after all. As far as advanced … mmm, I wouldn't say that, it is … different. Techno-magic, as you would call it. Yes, we have things that the surface world does not. But that is because we did not go through a Dark Ages - twice - like your world did. And magic has it's benefits, such as subverting the laws of physics as we know them and making them stand on their head."
This time Sandra's roll of her shoulders is hardly awkward at all. Perhaps she is getting the hang of it. "And yes, to answer the first question, it is Real. I think the other legends of your world, Thule, Mu, Laputa, may all have been real, or are real currently," she notes. Then Sandra reaches out in a careful manner, somewhat awkward, to try and lay a comforting hand over Liv's. "Liv … you are you. Let no one tell you otherwise. Let no one subvert your individuality to their own methods. Your past has helped shape you up to this point. And now, it is up to you to shape your future - no one else. You may include us, if you like, or disclude us at your leisure. Just understand, there are those of us who would be honored to call you our friend - for nothing but the sake of friendship."
Hints of a smile crack Sandra's serious expression. "And yes, sometimes saying things aloud allows for a clearer perspective which might well seem … weird. Now, what are you going to do about your mother. Depending on the costume idea, perhaps I could send corrospondence to my parents, and have my Uncle and one of our tailors come visit instead?"

"All the more reason to have access to it," Liv says. "To get away from the things you know and explore the things you don't. Though if there's a way to make that work underwater, I'm stumped." A crooked grin. "Most of the surface world came to the conclusion that magic and technology were opposite sides of the same coin, that they couldn't even meet, much less interact. I happen to know that's not true … but it definitely influenced the way science developed here."
She shrugs - she's probably still more bendy than Sandra, but there's a kind of vague floatiness to all Liv's motions. "There's a grain of truth to all legends, I know, but it's all about how large that grain is - and whether it's even from the same plant." A weak smirk at her own joke. She stiffens a bit at the hand touch, then relaxes. "Now, see, sometimes I think that's just as wild a tale as Atlantis," she says, "to find people who just want friendship for friendship's sake - especially with me. As to being me, that's a little complicated when you realize that I was made from someone's shadow. Do you know what a clone is?" She looks a trifle dubious.
Considering that last point, she finally waggles her hand. "What else can I do but ignore her, really? There's no point in responding. But no, that's all right, really," she continues. "I'd feel awkward about that."

"I believe I understand the process. Though all Simulacrum research was stopped when the Civil War started - and consequencely banned, due to the implications of building a massive army rather quickly," offers Sandra. "You are saying… you are a clone? Well, you are still different than the shadow you were created from," she notes. "You have not had the same life, the same experiences as the other person, or at least since your creation you have not. Thus, you are you, Sullivan Preito," offers the woman with simple, and complete confidence.
"As for your mother, do you really think that ignoring her will make things better? She will continue to ask, and urge you to help her, will she not? There is a time where a child becomes something more than a child, when they walk away from clinging to their parents and have to explore things and understand them on their own terms. Some call this the Wonderlust, some call it a Rite of Passage. The truth is, it simply -is-. For all creatures who think for themselves - human, Atlantean, Shadow. You, my friend Liv, are coming to the time where you must stand for yourself and discover for yourself, and thus grow into an adult."

Liv gives a little shudder. "Yes, I can see how that would be dangerous in a time of war," she says. "Even one duplicate, placed rightly …" she trails off, her lips pausing around words without speaking them. "More or less. In a magical sense - which I guess you're familiar with." She shakes her head a bit. "They did their best to give me similar experiences, even down to the same kind of school … but no way it would be identical, no."
She spreads her hands. "No, but what good is shouting in her face going to do? And I'm not clinging to her." She bristles, fixing on the smaller point at the expense of the larger one. "It's just not that easy. And what if I make a choice and it's the wrong one?" She rubs at her face, peering out at Sandra. "So is this place yours?" Her tone is just a little wry.

"We rarely know if the choice we make at the time is the right one. And there are philosophers who would say there is no right or wrong, merely choice," offers Sandra. "Shouting, I believe, would not be effective, no. But perhaps a stern, and confident 'No' will do for now," she suggests.
There is a pause, a blink, before she smiles. "In a way, yes. In a way, no," notes Sandra. "I have been raised to become a diplomat, my parents, my uncle who has experience with the surface world, guiding me. While, it was, in the end, my choice to come here, I could have stayed home and learned there, the adults around me highly recommended it. But," notes Sandra with a wave of her hand, "none of them are here now, are they? They are letting me, for good or for ill, stand and make my own choices and learn as all in our stage of life must learn - from our own experience. Yes, I corrospond with my family. Yes, I have asked them for advice. Do I always listen to that advice? Will I always listen to it? Likely not. Will I make poor decisions as I learn? Most certainly. The key is to learn from such matters, and better yourself from them, as much as the wise choices one makes."

"If that were true," Liv objects, "I wouldn't be here on probation with a tracking anklet on. There is right and wrong - or at least, there's a law that's damn picky about its perception of it." Her last words are sour. She shakes her head. "I just don't see her listening. As far as she's concerned, everything from the moment I …" She hesitates, hedges again. "… didn't fulfill my purpose onward has been an error. A phase, if you will. But I guess there's no harm in saying it." Still, she grimaces.
She tucks her hands against her knees, considering again. "You make it sound as if there's no danger," she says. "That even if you make mistakes, the worst that happens is a few bruises. The world I know isn't that forgiving." She shrugs again, then chuckles. "It has to be kind of a relief not to have them looming over you all the time, no? I mean, that kind of pressure is stifling." And she does know what she's talking about … a little.

"Truth be told … they do not loom. Since I could walk and swim on my own things have turned … formal," offers Sandra with a hint of a sigh. "Through no fault of their own, except tradition, I suppose. I know who my parents are. I love and greatly respect them. Once I resented the distance, but I have learned, through my own experience, why it is such. Their lives are filled with caring for a good many others, rather than just myself. To want them all to myself, would be … selfish."
Sandra's eyes dart to the anklet, and she hmmms softly. "Yes, there is the law. When the law is /just/ you should obey it. At least, that is my belief. But you need to decide that for yourself, as well. That is part of discovering who you are. But, when a law is unjust … well, I believe in speaking out against such a thing until Justice, herself, provails. For she is blind and treats all equally - thosw that impose her law … are not always so."
Sandra consider for a long moment. "I look at this world, and I guess I forget, sometimes, at the ill there is out there. Having known the history of my people, the decisions my own father had to make." Sandra exhales slowly, "It is a bloody thing to call for the genocide of an entire family. But when even the children rose up in blood and murder … there is little else that can be done. They made their own choices, they knew there would be a response. To protect the peace of Atlantis, and all those who lived in it, my father called for the order. He … looks older, so much older now, than before …."

"That sounds lonely," Liv says. "But you have the right to want part of their time. They've got … however many subjects and only one child. Or a couple children?" She arches the pierced brow. It never occurred to her to consider whether Sandra might have siblings before now. "I don't think you can care for a lot of people - a nation, a school, whatever - unless you can also care deeply for one." Once the words are out, she seems to reconsider their fierceness and blushes. "Well, not that I know."
She twitches her foot absently, then slides it out of sight. "Hmmm … officers, I shouldn't be arrested! It's unjust." She can't seem to resist the sharp note of humor, even if it doesn't go over quite as smoothly as she intended.
"Most of human ill is smaller. Subtler," she says. "Greed. Apathy. Habit. Sometimes, a lot of that comes together into a massive force." She lets out a soft sigh. "I don't know how anyone could know what to do with a decision like that," she says. "See, that's a place where I'd say there are *no* right answers … just choices that have to be made."

"I am the youngest, of several. Once we mature, we live for a lengthy period of time. Why, my father alone is over two … centuries, if I am understanding time correctly," she says, eyes narrowed as she thinks. "I am the last, and the one they fear for the most. Which is why they distanced themselves… to make me less of a target while I was younger, and more helpless," she notes, shaking her head. "There were times, rare, very rare, where we were able to be a family, candid with one another. But after my brother, who was only three years my elder, was killed in an apparent accident …" she offers with a shrug. "It is the way I have grown up. Which is, in turn, why I can be so awkward. Not only was I afforded the opprotunity to have many friends, I am overly worried about offending you strange surface-dwellers and your odd mannerisms," she offers the last with a wink. Ahhh, she too, has a sense of humor.
"Now, Liv, you spoke so fiercely … you know. You know how -YOU- feel on the subject, at least. Which gives you insight to the choices you might make. Thus, you /know/," is offered, and Sandra smiles. "Well, there was… we have covered this in history … prohibition, yes? A law that many thought was unjust and it was repealed. As for your Civil War here, well … I cannot speak on it. Slavery was the other option to genocide. Neither was very tasteful."

"For some reason, I just assumed you were an only child," Liv says with a hint of surprise. She winces a little. "I'm sorry for your loss," she makes sure the words are weighted, not a rushing-off of sentiment. "You're doing fine for someone who's just been thrown into a completely unfamiliar situation. And people are often touchy, about the stupidest darn things. It's maddening to figure it out." In response to the wink, though, she simply grins.
An expression which fades as she simply shakes her head. "Prohibition, right. But alcohol isn't that important in the scheme of things … and I suppose they're going through a similar thing with other drugs, now." She grimaces then. "The Civil War here was a massively complex tangle of issues, about ethics and freedom and lifestyles - and the economy, because it's always about money eventually. You know more people died from diseases and complications than the actual fighting, though? You're right, though - no good choice."

"I think, my friend, you are in a similar position. You face no … easy choice before you," notes Sandra, settling her hands in her lap as she watches Liv. "It seems to me your mother is a force unto herself, by the way you react when you speak about her - or those around her. But then," notes Sandra with an exhale and a straightening of her back, "what choice worth making is truly 'easy'? Mmmm? You may stumble, but I trust in you to make the right choices for yourself - even if you cannot trust in that yourself for now."

"I wouldn't go so far as to compare my decisions to a civil war - yours or ours," Liv says. "She is. She makes her own rules, and somehow the world is all right with that. I still envy that, I guess." She leans back with her hands pressed against the bedspread. "Thank you for the vote of confidence," she says - honestly, not ironically. "I'm trying. And I'm not caving to the idea of theft, so that's something, right?" She's part joking, at least.

"Oh, her choices will catch up to her eventually, I believe. There is something that was … imported from Hindu … the idea of Karma, yes? I did get that right?" she asks, before smiling at Liv again. "It is my distinct honor to be your voice of confidence, until you find it in yourself, Liv. And yes… that is a very big something."

"What goes around comes around? Karma - yes," Liv says. "Though sometimes, you have to move into your next life to catch it." A slight flicker of a smile. "And, of course, we Americans make a dumb joke about karma running over the dogma." She chuckles. "I can do plenty of voices - shapeshifting, you know - but that one sticks on me."

There is a pause and a blink as Sandra just stares at Liv. "Even with my limited understanding of … puns, that was painful, Liv," she notes before shaking her head. "That is just …" she says with another shake. Then she turns back to Liv and tilts her head to the side, an eyebrow arching upwards. "Now, remember this, my friend, if you ever feel yourself lacking in confidence, come to me, first. I will set you right, and then let you be on your way," she offers warmly. "Or if you need anything, really. That is the purpose of friendship, yes?"

Liv holds up her hands in a defensive gesture. "It's not my pun! It's a joke older than … Twitter," she says with a bratty sort of grin at the end. "You're asking me? Not the world's expert in friendship, here. But I think that's generally how it's supposed to go. Except it does go both ways." She fixes the other with a fairly convincing stern look, as these things go, ruined a bit as the grin cracks through again.

"Ah? Is it?" asks Sandra, considering for a long moment. "Then … I will simply have to come to you when I am perplexed by something. Do expect frequent visits, mmm?" she says with a grin. "Yes, yes, you are right, of course. But for now, I am not … troubled, really. Well, overly much. There is a faint annoyance, a wound to my Pride, that the Graecia Reg and I think so similarly. Pffft. The Greeks. How they put up with the abuse giving by their Gods is beyond me," she notes with a shrug of her shoulders. "But then, who am I to speak? My family still follows the Law of Poseidon, even if we are not and have not been exactly pleased with his abandonment ages ago. Tradition and all that, I suppose."

"I'll make sure to keep my door open. And never sleep too deeply," Liv quips, squirming about a bit as if to shed excess tension. "Yeah, you do seem to have a tap on some of the same lines." Her voice is a trifle wistful. "The relationship between Greeks and their gods is a tangled labyrinth, and not necessarily a healthy one," she says, "and that's me saying that, mind. Tradition is a lot of it. Relying on something because it's been proved to have power. I wouldn't let your pride get too bent. It just means it's a persuasive line of thought."

A deep tremble of a chuckle bubbles up from Sandra, before she bows her head to Liv's wisdom. "Very well then, I will do what I can to heed your advice," she says, before wrinkling her nose. "I do believe there are those who still worship Poseidon, and I suppose following his Law is, in a way, still worshiping him. There is a temple, on the highest spire of Atlantis that was once Cleito's home - Poseidon's mortal wife. There are those who seek enlightment, for one reason or another, and it is said that if you walk those stairs, in silence, you will hear the echoes of wisdom of ages past." Sandra shrugs her head. "No, I have not done so myself. Neither the time nor the inclanation."

"I know, it's probably strange to have all that bad blood built up," Liv says. "But you're right. Heeding a divine law can be its own form of worship. A quiet, respectful kind of reverence. It doesn't have to all be candles and incense and bloody sacrifices. Just a recognition that you're listening." She chuckles then. "What, you don't need wisdom?" But then she sobers again. "So what do your people worship, then? … if that's not a horrendously nosey question." Her expression indicates she fears it is.

"It's an ancient Grecian Law, of COURSE there is blood. We just do not use a bull-cow now. That would be … rather difficult. Usually it is a walrus or a shark. Never a porpoise - they are too intelligent of creatures."
"Oh, all mortals need wisdom, and some of the immortals, too, if you ask me," drawls Sandra, before she smiles. "I just didn't want to walk up all those stairs," she then states with a wink. "It is thought of as something those who have obtained adulthood and still question the meaning of their lives take. It is not a path for the very young, at least."
Sandra inhales deeply, considering. "What do we worship? That is a good question. I suppose we worship the Three Virtues. Money, being a closed civilization as we are, does not hold that great of value. It is a temporary marker for goods. Some of the wealthiest, by way of possessions, people in Atlantis are the weavers."

"Don't they call male walruses bulls?" Liv wonders. "Close enough." She eyes Sandra, seriously considering a 'not on purpoise' joke, but elects to refrain. She snorts laughter instead. "So heading up there would raise some strange questions. That makes sense, I suppose. To everything there is a time and a purpose so on and on." Beat. "So what you're telling me, though, is it's the mid-life crisis center."
She tips her head to one side. "That makes sense, I suppose. Except no one literally worships money," she feels the need to defend her civilization. "That's just a figure of speech. Obsession with collecting it is a different thing."

"Yes… indeed, a mid-life crisis center would be apt," offers Sandra with a nod. "Ah… so it is merely obsession, that is … interesting," notes the Atlantean.

"Except in your civilization, men don't buy fancy cars and date younger women." A beat, and Liv amends, "I assume." She smirks. "Merely isn't how I would put it. It's a national pastime, too."

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