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1/23 "The blur will get stronger and stronger"

JWaldman Feb 15th, 2020 24 Never
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  1.  
  2. Dun would quietly follow the two gentlemen into the locked, entirely innocent inn room of Theria. The clown would take a comfortable seat at the table, waiting until Cameo and Sajid were fully seated before crossing his right, serpentine scarred arm over his left, folding the pair over the black plate of his cuirass with a steady nod of approval.
  3.  
  4. "That was fine work, I'm happy Dillion was the first one dead of three. You've earned a bonus of sorts, a spare potion of healing. I keep them on hand just in case of spontaneous violence. A dead knight in the middle of town, and no one batted an eye. This was a test, and a successful one. All those that would falsely claim to be true knights while baring the corruption of the order will be brought judgement."
  5.  
  6. The clown would turn to Cameo with a brief stare, sighing to himself as he unfolded his arms.
  7.  
  8. "Mister Octavius, looking well. I suppose some context is necessary."
  9.  
  10. Dun would remove his mask before placing a fresh pipe in his teeth, puffing away thoughtfully on his corncob pipe before blowing a cloud of minty smoke up towards the distant rafters of the drafty mountain inn room.
  11.  
  12. "Been a while kid."
  13. (Dun)
  14.  
  15.  
  16. It was far from his first venture into Theria. That one had been a fun one, even if he had to keep his head low a little. The second was a bit easier. These morning meetings let him slip in and slip out, following to the comfortable seats after he had been brought in by Mr. Glass. The pair of hazel eyes looked around, falling upon the clown.
  17.  
  18. A hand moved to the paper in his pocket. He picked it up, took a look, then looked back to Dun.
  19.  
  20. "Yeah, Greeny. The clown was planning something." Cameo gave a small whistle at the things that he overheard, the words themselves towards someone who wasn't present. Instead he took a seat at the table, leaning back against the wooden sides of the room.
  21.  
  22. "Yoooou're looking good too. Haven't seen you since the party." A pause then as the mask was removed. The farmilar face caught him off guard as the hazel eyes just stared towards the commander of the city watch.
  23.  
  24. "Shiiiiiiiiiit. Yeah it's been a while. Orsona's oppression getting on your nerves too, right?"
  25. (Cameo Orn Octavius)
  26.  
  27.  
  28. Sajid would just watch from a safe distance, not really trying to get involved at the great reunion that was there. Instead, he would simply go to mess with the mask as he only lets some hums come across. Of course, there wasss sometihng issues with the lightning that was in the metal rods and refibulators in his figure.
  29. (Sajid)
  30.  
  31.  
  32. "You could say that. I have been forced to come to term with certain facts in my decade as commander of the city watch. I have seen the depths of the corruption, nepotism, and depravity that is tolerated within the ranks of the order. Evil men are allowed to subsist purely due to friendship with rotten radiants, and the city merely orbits around their demesne of power."
  33.  
  34. Task would take a long, thoughtful drag from his corncob pipe as he gritted his teeth, shaking his head as he leaned back against the chair with a grumble. The order's corruption was matched only by their arrogance.
  35.  
  36. "For years, I did my job without a single complaint, I did my best to protect the citizens of the city even as the knights mocked me and my men as benchwarmers. Trash to be swept aside as they define law for their amusement. They've tried to kick me out of my own jail countless times."
  37.  
  38. The commander would raise his fist with silent fury, the skin hardening and blackening with sheer condensed mana as the energy magi thought to himself for a time, shaking his head with a sigh.
  39.  
  40. "As Task, my hands are tied. I'm a civic servant compelled to follow procedure and swallow all disrespect, to tolerate their corruption with a smile and a wave. But here I am Dun the Tower of the Ardent Shield, the clown prince, and I can bring justice to the order as I could not before."
  41.  
  42. Task would nod to Cameo with a missing toothed smile, seemingly unphased that Cameo was a long term criminal to the city. Perhaps he'd finally seen what the rabbit ears had years ago.
  43.  
  44. "I can play both parts, and this land will be better for it Mister Octavius. Before we get down to brass tacks, let us catch up briefly. How has your business been since leaving Osrona?"
  45. (Task)
  46.  
  47.  
  48. "Yooooooou know Task, I've heard bad things about the Knights. I've heard bad things about the watch. Buuuuut the thing Yuri and I always agreed on? You never did us wrong. You never attacked the places that were free. Iiiiiiii think you're worthy of respect for that. More then the guys who try to control everything."
  49.  
  50. Cameo didn't jump on Task or get otherwise angry that the commander showed up. In fact, there was a sort of relief at it. A relief that he wasn't alone in seeing the rot that took the city.
  51.  
  52. "Well, after I got my promotion, I left Orsona. Fully, really. I went to Moonfall, sort of moved in there. It's freer. Not the same rules, not the same customs. They let me in when they blocked other people out. At the same time, the remaining Syndicate underboss offered me a position since I made them apologize for going after Chery."
  53.  
  54. "Told them I would only do it if I took over the Syndicate. Sooooo, came in as an underboss." Cameo gave a nod of his head. "Fought in battles. Got trophies from people. Fought Knights, got a Radiant's finger, became a councilor of Moonfall. And now.." The past was easy to discuss. It was the past after all.
  55.  
  56. "I want to hit the knights where It hurts. I want to crush their corruption and oppression. Thaaaaaat's what I have planned and in store, Task. Or Dun. Noooot which which you like better.."
  57.  
  58. "But glad to see you've come around."
  59. (Cameo Orn Octavius)
  60.  
  61.  
  62.  "I am still Task, I think. Dun is the mask. But that mask doesn't come off in this city, not unless we're in private like this. Out there, I'm the clown. I....truly did my best to fulfill my duties, but as long as the order exists, the city will never be free of tyranny. It is diseased, rotten to the core, only men like Ser Valero and Ser Robin are true knights."
  63.  
  64. Task would punch his own palm with a grimace, cracking his knuckles as he mulled over the countless mockeries the city had laden upon him and the blue cloaks.
  65.  
  66. The clown would have the last laugh. The order would be cleansed of its taint.
  67.  
  68. "Somewhere along the way, I realized they use the law to hurt people for their own amusement. They lie to themselves, two faced reptiles in powdered robes. Sitting at my desk, drinking Dunstan's brandy to celebrate my decade in command alone in my office, I realized that I hated them all."
  69.  
  70. Task would nod firmly, folding his arms once more with a bitter grit of his teeth.
  71.  
  72. "This city, Theria, it is free too in a way. Force is what matters here, numbers. Don't know how many footmen you have in the syndicate, but that kind of muscle could do good work in a city like this. The knights...have no power here."
  73.  
  74. The commander would nod steadily, puffing on his pipe.
  75.  
  76. "Dillion found that out the hard way. He won't be the last."
  77. (Task)
  78.  
  79.  
  80.  "A names a name. Iiiiiiii don't think of myself as not being Meter when my mask is off, the same way that I don't think of myself not being Cameo when the hood is up. My friend one told me all men are frauds, sooooo I don't want to fool myself. You're both Dun and Task."
  81.  
  82. "But I agree. As long as the order exists, that town is going to drown in tyranny. The knights are a sickness. They press into people, try to bend them into their will. It sucks." Cameo said calmly, leaning against the wall.
  83.  
  84. "It's why I left. Iiiiiiiii can't say I'm not like them. They use law to hurt people for their fun. Iiiiiiii joined the city watch so I could hurt people and legally kidnap. I think the main thing is the lie. I know what I was doing. They pretend it's some other reason."
  85.  
  86. "I'm no saint. Buuuuuuuuut I don't lie about it." Cameo shifted forwards in his seat, moving a hand under hischin to take a better look at Task.
  87.  
  88. "Theria's free, yeah. I like it. It's like Moonfall, a little. But the Knights are going to come. Iiiiii'm certain of it. They'll try to force Theria to them. Unless we freeze the knights first."
  89.  
  90. "They'll learn."
  91. (Cameo Orn Octavius)
  92.  
  93.  
  94. "Well, when you're Meter, you don't pretend to be a completely different person. There's a large jump between Task and the clown, I need to get my self in a sort of....trance like state to maintain it. Once the mask goes on....I'm the clown. Wherever that takes me."
  95.  
  96. Task would nod grimly, glancing down at Crowley's cursed mask with a brief grimace. There was a sense of powerful chaotic energy in the visage, it aided greatly in getting into the role of Dun. Yet, some days it felt as if Task was the mask, and the clown was becoming more and more the man.
  97.  
  98. It haunted him. One day he wouldn't be able to take it off.
  99.  
  100. "You never pretended to be anyone else but who you were, Cameo. It's an admirable trait, and one the knights did not appreciate when they realized they could not make you do what they want. I chided it once, but perhaps the decade of command has shown me that the abusive members of the order are not the odd ones out. The good people like Valero are. It's a corrupt institution, and it must be stripped clean."
  101.  
  102. The commander would take another drag from his corncob pipe, thinking of distant Osrona, of the knighthood that dominated it. He was a patriot, in the end, but sometimes that meant doing things for the good of the people at the cost of your own innocence.
  103.  
  104. "Until the knights come, I will continue to broker the whittling away of them bit by bit. As a Tower of the shield, I've some authority as a broker of contracts in regards to mercenary work, and the Ardents are one of the big three. Been to the city council meetings, fun stuff. They don't trust knights here either."
  105.  
  106. Task would nod firmly, taking another thoughtful drag from his corncob pipe.
  107.  
  108. "Whittle down the order, we loosen the grip on Osrona. One day that city will be free again, but until that day, there is much work to do. Theria is the place to do it, for in this lawless city even a man such as yourself can walk around freely."
  109.  
  110. The commander would nod steadily, blowing another cloud of minty smoke over his head.
  111.  
  112. "Could be you could meet with Tanya, organize some formal business. I'm just second in command, far more relaxing, but I think you could get a strong foothold in this city with a helping hand from your neighbors. I'm kinda pissed I'm somehow a city guard in two separate cities though."
  113. (Task)
  114.  
  115.  
  116. A shrug.
  117.  
  118. "At first? I did. I wore it so people wouldn't know I was Cameo. I put on heels. I spoke different. Triiiiiiiied to cover up who I was. And what that did? It just made me stressed. I'm not two different people. I'm Cameo. I'm Meter."
  119.  
  120. "We're one and the same."
  121.  
  122. While Task was worried about becoming the Clown, Cameo was on the other end of the spectrum. He had embraced the duality of who he was. Mask on, mask off, one indivisual. No more pretend.
  123.  
  124. "Buuuuuuuut that wasn't for me. It was because I killed one of the Underbosses, and took over, so it was better to do it without them going 'isn't that the guy who killed the last boss'? You get the deal right?" A small chuckle, a nodded. "The Knights aren't good. They're bad. Doooon't get me wrong. I don't dislike my dad, but he marches for the wrong crowd. It's bad."
  125.  
  126. "I don't think good and I don't think evil buuuuuut that place presses onto anyone who isn't a knight. It tries to control every little thing. It's WRONG. And I am going to FREEZE it."
  127.  
  128. He spoke calmly, arms crossing on his chest.
  129.  
  130. "The knights will come. After the death of Dillion, they're going to be on their way. Aaaaaand some where here already. But yeah, I'll speak to Tanya, seeeeeeeee if I can organize buissness and stuffs."
  131.  
  132. "It is pretty funny that you're a guard in two cities though." He gave a chuckle.
  133. (Cameo Orn Octavius)
  134.  
  135.  
  136.  "I'm familiar with the notion. Some days the line between the clown and the commander blurs, others its distinct. All I know is this is the first time in a decade I've felt alive again. Like I've been underwater for years....I still believe in justice, in my work as a constable. But as long as the order reigns, my men will be powerless, and corruption will reign."
  137.  
  138. Task would nod steadily, puffing away on his corncob pipe, gesturing idly to Cameo with free hand. The commander did appear oddly more relaxed than his usual exhausted demeanor, almost as if his endeavors in the clown suit genuinely brought him a degree of relief.
  139.  
  140. "Ser Valero is a good man, his people sadly aren't. Perhaps one day, he'll retire in peace and we can once more sit at the table as companions, but for now his organization is the enemy. Well, most of them. Radiant Soleis and all his merry sycophants. The knights will learn very quickly how things work here."
  141.  
  142. The commander would chuckle, shaking his head with amusement.
  143.  
  144. "If the knights come in force? They'll die in force. Now, if the syndicate was there when they made a move? Could be we make it a lot more fun for us, and a lot less fun for the knights. Sticking around might end up with some fun parties, and Tanya's a malleable sort. Should be good business."
  145.  
  146. The clown would nod, placing his mask back on once more.
  147.  
  148. "Anywho, we'll talk more later, Tanya will be around. For now, I'm just the clown or Dun, the less people who know my real identity the better."
  149. (Task)
  150.  
  151.  
  152. Cameo nodded.
  153.  
  154. "The blur will get stronger and stronger. You believe in justice, and your work. You also know that the Order's just going to use it, and your people will end up powerless. Iiiiii even met one of yours the other day. We fought cause he marched with the knights but.. We had the same view at the end of it."
  155.  
  156. Another nod, giving a small sigh at the memory of the battle. For someone to also bear witness to the corruption of the knights, to watch as lives were claimed because of them.
  157.  
  158. "Valero's good. He needs to step down. But the knights in whole can't be let to do as they please. Iiiiii want to cut them down. They'll learn alright."
  159.  
  160. "And yeah. They'll fall in force. Aaaaaand maybe I'll stick around a bit. I know that I can't spend forever up here, I'm a councilor in Moonfall, buuuuuut I like visiting. I like what I see up here. That says something."
  161.  
  162. "AaaaandI'll make sure to strike Tanya up to talk about the fun and stuff. And yeah, I won't talk. Promise."
  163. (Cameo Orn Octavius)
  164.  
  165.  
  166. Dun says, "Mmm, good talk. We shall speak again then. For now, enjoy the apartment, it's the hit man's here."
  167. Dun says, "I disappear into the shadows."
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