Template:PostIn CatH Post 57 Clear is following an unusual old woman that boarded her ship in CatH Post 56. Ciel has nothing but negative comments to throw about about The Hopeful and the state it's in. Aellisin Koure informs Clear that Ciel is a Void Ranger and Clear takes the woman to the Engine Room. After explaining that the Power Core requires organic matter to function Ciel dismisses the issue as over and done with, especially, as she adds, Koure's mental signal, which he cast out in CatH Post 55, will likely attract Netherwyrms. Clear, angry with them both, leaves and, in her anxiety, resorts to returning to the Dreamviewer - despite almost dying from overuse previously in CatH Post 56.
I'm Addicted to You
Clear follows after the old woman. Despite her advanced years she's moving faster than Clear can manage after being hospitalised. She had introduced herself as Ciel Marro-Mar and while she looks fairly human, Clear is certain she is anything but.
Ciel: "Your ship is ridiculous."
They march down the corridor, straight past Icer's Room without so much as a glance down there.
Clear: "I've heard it called a hunk of junk or even magnificent, but never ridiculous."
Ciel: "It's too big. It doesn't need to be this big. No ship needs to be this big."
Clear: "I think the engines take up like a quarter of the--"
Ciel: "It's just stupid. It's designer was evidently a moron. You'd need a hundred maps to navigate the damned place."
Clear: "Well I sort of stick to just this area--"
Ciel: "It's probably infested with all kinds of creepy-crawlies. Do you even have maintenance droids? Look at this place? That crack in the floor was a death trap! Lights don't work, doors don't work, screens don't work. I'm surprised the air circulation hasn't given up."
Clear: "I got it fixed."
Ciel: "You know, if you broke this up for scrap, you'd have enough money to buy a fleet of ships."
Clear: "I spent my life fixing it, I'm not g--"
Ciel: "Why aren't conveyors in this thing? A ship this size should have conveyors to ferry you from one place to the other. Just think of my old legs!"
Clear: "Like an anti-gravity conv--"
Ciel: "Even a lick of paint might do the place some good!"
Clear feels the need to vindicate her home and exemplify some of its better qualities.
Clear: "I have a Dreamviewer installed!"
Ciel: "Great. Modern-day hocus pocus. Smoke and mirrors, Child. Smoke and mirrors."
Ciel: "Common as anything."
Clear: "There's also Mother!"
Ciel: "Do you always introduce your mother this way?"
Clear: "No, she's not my--"
She suddenly spins to face Clear, who almost walks straight into her. The woman is wrinkled and marred by age, yet she is straight-backed and carries herself with all the confidence and authority of a woman much younger. She wears such a thick, white robe that Clear can't see anything of her body. No arms or legs poking through any of the folds. Just a lot of white and strange pagan symbols patterning the fabric in blue. Only the shoulders mark a change, wearing big, bright shoulder pauldrons of gold. A stiff, high collar curls around her neck to an opening at the front where the collar zips down to meet the thick robe. Despite her age the woman's hair is jet black for the most part, only a light peppering of grey scattered throughout. Her ears, unlike humans, seems to be pointed and droop a little at the tips.
Ciel: "Where are we going, Child?"
Clear: "I was following you!"
Ciel: "Why are you following me!? This isn't my ship! It's yours!"
Clear: "Because you just--!"
Clear makes a hapless gesture before shrugging instead.
Clear: "Who are you?"
Ciel: "I already told you that!"
Clear: "I mean who are you beyond your name! What are you doing here!?"
Ciel: "You tell me! You called me here!"
Clear: "I... did?"
Koure: "I believe that would be me..."
The Falleen man finally pipes up from the very rear of the procession. Clear steps aside and Ciel eyes him curiously. She then looks at Clear.
And slaps her.
Clear: "OUCH! WHAT THE HELL!? YOU CRAZY--!!!"
Ciel: "Not under his control then? Good to see."
Clear: "You--! You could have just asked!"
Koure ignores the incident.
Koure: "You came to aid us?"
Ciel: "Pretty much. You're very close to being out of my jurisdiction, which is why I didn't pick you up until you sent out that pulse. I'm assuming your engines are dead?"
Clear: "Jurisdiction? You're like a cop?"
Koure: "Void Ranger, Captain."
She didn't like the way Koure said that but she isn't going to give him another beating in front of their new guest. From the title Clear could guess what kind of weird and wonderful duties his bizarre woman must have, though Clear is surprised someone so old would still be working.
Clear: "Can you fix the engine?"
Ciel: "Show me the way."
In the engine room of The Hopeless, Clear shows Ciel the warp core, which contains the power source device she had once stolen from The Boss and his Oh My Love!'s engine room. The old woman looks at it. She tilts her head, as though that would give a better view.
Ciel: "Weird little thing isn't it?"
Clear is silently pleased she has at least something that could garner the woman's interest.
Ciel: "Consumes organic matter, you say?"
Clear: "Yeah. And we don't have any for it to consume."
Ciel: "I figured that part. You could, of course, throw your terrible friend into it."
Clear glances at Koure, who just frowns with annoyance. Clear is afraid to admit that a small part of her considers the possibility if she has to stay in this void for much longer...
Ciel: "Oh well! Sucks to be you guys!"
Clear: "You-you can't help? Isn't it your job?"
Ciel: "I can provide power to normal devices, but this thing... only powered by organic matter. I can't go conjuring up animals for you."
Clear whines. Then catches herself and tries to cover up the childish moan by clearing her throat.
Ciel: "Doubly sucks for you since that pulse is definitely going to attract some big nasties sooner or later."
Clear: "Big... nasties? What do you mean? There's something here? In the void!?"
Koure: "Of course there is, Captain. One of those things would be Netherwyrms."
Clear: "... and what's that supposed to be? Worms? Sounds gross but not exactly terrifying."
Ciel starts chuckling. Even Koure is grinning broadly. Clear growls at them both and, this time, doesn't try to control her petulance.
Clear: "Great. Just great. Screw you both. You're useless!"
She points at Ciel. Then turns on Koure.
Clear: "You even more so!"
As Clear stomps out of the engine room she overhears Ciel say to Koure;
Ciel: "At least you're worse than me. Ha!"
Clear marches down the corridor until she reaches the end. There she breaks into a long, though quiet, whimper of desperation. She thought there was a chance. She thought that, finally, they'd leave. Only to be, once again, disappointed. Always disappointment and after disappointment. She cries quietly, her mouth wide but nothing more than a gasp sounds out. She sucks in her pride and tries to stop her tears. Her eyes catch sight of a familiar door. She slides herself along the wall towards it. She doesn't know why she shouldn't. What's the point?
She steps in and closes the door behind her. She fiddles with the controls to lock it shut. She won't be having Koure invading her privacy again. A moment later and the old, familiar and gentle hum of the Dreamviewer vibrates in her ears. The moment that the dream sequence initiates, she feels an overwhelming sense of calm sweep through her. Life is suddenly much easier again...