<Rand Brittain> Where is that lazy tree? Where is that lazy wizard?
- Benhimself has joined #childrenofeve
<Rand Brittain> Well, that's one item off my list.
<Alexa> Hey, Ben!
<Alexa> Lazy tree?
<Rand Brittain> Ebba is a tree.
<Benhimself> Well, as I said, 8 is a bit early for me.
<Benhimself> But, crusherbob not being here yet, I feel vindicated, and AFK for a few minutes to get some breakfast.
<Rand Brittain> Also there was going to be a Nentuaby but I never really confirmed that so I don't blame him for not getting up.
<Alexa> In re: Anchors, I was thinking of Anchoring Monothaia. But Alexa doesn't really love or hate her, so it's not easy to justify.
<Alexa> She feels a bit sorry that Monothaia has lost a special place, though, so wanted to do something to make up for that.
<Rand Brittain> You could carry her into Eden.
<Benhimself> I will close the borders on you.
<borogove> 'I know, I'll import an angry volcano into Eden. There's certainly nothing wrong with this plan!'
<Rand Brittain> It's a very elegant plan, and in keeping with your Imperator's themes!
<Alexa> Well, I don't feel that sorry for her. Unless the Phoenix wants an angry volcano in her garden.
<Benhimself> Only if you magically transform Monothaia into, say, a very pretty flower or something.
<Benhimself> Not one of those fireflowers that explode periodically or something like that.
<Alexa> The angriest flower in Eden!
<Benhimself> Because I remember we had to plant some of those.
<Alexa> Ah, good times.
<Rand Brittain> Ah, back in the day, when all you had to worry about was where to bury the bodies.
<Alexa> So what does Eden look like?
<Rand Brittain> Verdant!
<Rand Brittain> It's mostly green.
<Rand Brittain> Plants grow so fast and evolve at ridiculous paces. There's room for you to put in some architecture, though, so don't be afraid to customize.
<Rand Brittain> Did you read last session's log? I'm afraid Lord Entropy took a terrible revenge.
<Alexa> No, no, I didn't read it.
<Rand Brittain> A truly awful vengeance was visited upon you!
- Alexa reads…
<Alexa> … 'the leaders behind the Light'?
<Rand Brittain> The vengeance that is POLITICS.
<Alexa> We totally could have taken him!
<Rand Brittain> Or as I like to put it, the vengeance where Vesper becomes your problem forever.
<borogove> luckily, we are well known for our extreme talent at politics.
<Rand Brittain> Perhaps we should just go ahead without Ebba for now.
- borogove is now known as Fiona
<Alexa> What's our Granted Handicap again?
<Rand Brittain> Clearly visible in darkness.
- crusher_bob has joined #childrenofeve
<Rand Brittain> Oh, there you are. We were just about to begin.
- You are now known as HollyhockGod
- crusher_bob is now known as Ebba
<Ebba> Sorry about being late.
- Benhimself is now known as Ryan Sherbrig
<Hollyhock God> So, you're all now the officially recognized leadership behind the Light, with all the benefits that entails (none) and all the responsibility (lots).
<Hollyhock God> But that doesn't matter because this week is an Anchor story!
<Ryan Sherbrig> I abrogate! Abrooooogaaaaate!
- HollyhockGod ignores Ryan's natural modesty, which does him credit.
<Hollyhock God> Alexa is in the Chancel, chillin'.
<Alexa> It's not a non-smoking Chancel, I hope.
<Hollyhock God> That's up to Ryan.
<Ryan Sherbrig> I frown disapprovingly, but have yet to actually enforce it with mysteriously sudden rain showers or anything.
<Hollyhock God> What does Alexa do when she's chillin'?
<Alexa> (A bunch of things, but at the moment probably just smoking, admiring the view and trying not to think about the ten tons of trouble the Familia is in for.)
<Hollyhock God> Suddenly, Alexa, you hear a prayer directed your way, from your favorite and nearly only Anchor, Samuel.
<Hollyhock God> AKA your little brother.
<Hollyhock God> ("How can I enjoy my status as radiant god-queen when my brother won't stop calling?")
<Alexa> "Hey, Sam! What's up?"
<Hollyhock God> "Um, Alexa?" he asks, somewhat nervously. He is still unused to the whole radiant god-queen business.
<Hollyhock God> And you were scary enough before that!
<Hollyhock God> "I've been thinking," he says. "You mentioned that I should call on you if there, were, um…"
<Hollyhock God> "Things. Odd things? Completely bizarre and inexplicable things?"
<Alexa> (Big brother, actually. But he isn't my oldest brother, so maybe he fell under my spell when we were little. Or I grew up faster and kept beating him up.)
<Hollyhock God> "Well, I think I might have found a few. You know I've been working for the Bank of England, right?"
<Alexa> "Yep. How's that going?"
<Hollyhock God> "We do a lot of business with various financial firms. Very respectable and solid, generally, although that doesn't mean quite as much these days."
<Hollyhock God> (I was going to make a joke about how randomness has gone quiet lately, but I'll refrain because I can't think of a natural way to phrase it.)
<Alexa> "And something odd has shown up?"
<Hollyhock God> "So, as you would guess, I know a lot of people in British financial circles. And there's a firm of tax barristers in Lincoln's Inn who all seem to have gone… I don't know."
<Hollyhock God> "Is there such a thing as a Stepford lawyer?"
<Alexa> "Ah. There very well might be."
<Hollyhock God> "Last month it was a firm of about twenty little number-crunchers who avoided daylight and were passionately opposed to the new Doctor Who series."
<Hollyhock God> "But I just observed some of them today and they've gone all… sort of tall and blond and passionately interested in sport."
<Alexa> "Not just a lot of staff turn-over or a, a buyout or something?"
<Hollyhock God> "I might have thought so, but they say they're the same people! They act as though I ought to know them."
<Alexa> "I think I still have your season 1 DVDs, by the way. I haven't unpacked yet."
<Hollyhock God> "Don't lose them; BBC stuff is bloody expensive, to use the local idiom."
<Alexa> "Definitely bad-sounding. Try to avoid them if you can, play along a bit if you can't. I'll pop over, have a look."
<Hollyhock God> "It's as though they've been replaced by perfectly-formed, extroverted robots! And they can drink a man under the table. I still have a headache."
<Alexa> "Are you at the office?"
<Hollyhock God> "No, I'm at home. I felt a bit out of place praying to my sister in the cubes."
<Alexa> "Fair enough. Stay there, I'll drop in in, say, half an hour."
<Hollyhock God> "Ten-four."
<Alexa> "Five by five."
<Ebba> (Five by five is an ack of signal strength.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Alexa is hilariously misinformed on such topics!)
<Alexa> (It's also something Faith used to say on Buffy.)
<Fiona> (I assume other people have some idea what those two line mean?)
<Hollyhock God> It's trucker radio-speak.
<Hollyhock God> One means "I understand" and the other means "I am okay."
- Ryan Sherbrig actually uses ten-four, like, a zillion times a day as a security guard.
<Hollyhock God> I used it a lot as a bellman.
<Ebba> (10-4 'ack' or 'roger'.)
- Ryan Sherbrig also gets esoteric stuff like 10-25 and 10-21 and 10-19 and such.
<Ryan Sherbrig> (But anyway.)
<Ebba> (5x5, 'You are understandable; your signal strength is good.')
<Hollyhock God> Radio speak is mysterious! But what of this other mystery you have encountered?
<Alexa> (Alexa uses it to mean 'Righto', basically.)
<Alexa> (Prayer to Familia) "Guys, I'm popping out to visit my brother, who's found some Stepford lawyers. Anyone want to come with?"
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Urgh. Um."
- RyanSherbrig says that out loud, not via prayer, clearly deliberating.
<Fiona> "Stepford lawyers?"
<Alexa> (Perhaps Ryan could telepresence via some summoned goo or something if he doesn't want to leave the Chancel?)
<Hollyhock God> He could hate someone until Anchoring happens.
<Hollyhock God> But he can't do that inside the Chancel! Ahahahaha!
<Ryan Sherbrig> "I really do need to find an anchor. And I suppose I'm not going to love or hate anybody staying in the chancel."
<Alexa> "Lawyers who are acting in an exaggerated, stereotypical way that makes them look not quite human."
<Alexa> (Why can't he do it inside the Chancel?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> Because there's a remarkable lack of anchorable mortals running around.
<Ebba> "This hardly seems to require all of us, but how can I pass up the opportunity to meet your brother?"
<Hollyhock God> All the new babies are miraculous and thus unsuitable.
- RyanSherbrig pops out a few floating light-eye-spirits and sets them to wandering the chancel.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Yes. I shall attend as well, it will be good to walk the earth once more."
<Alexa> "I'm thinking we ought to stretch our legs. This Chancel is lovely, but we could get too used to it, you know?"
- RyanSherbrig conjures drinks, and a comfy chair, in which to discuss things.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Yes, yes, it's horribly convenient."
<Fiona> "I'm OK with helping."
<Ryan Sherbrig> "But, strength in adversity!"
<Alexa> (From an IC perspective, at least one of us should stay behind for security purposes, but that's not so much fun OOC.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (That's what the floating eyes are for.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (It's not like I have to pay extra for long-range realm miracles)
<Alexa> (And, come to think of it, having one Noble stay at home didn't work out for the First Lord.)
<Hollyhock God> He did not twink enough.
<Ebba> (And don't we have a volcano for that sort of thing?)
<Alexa> (Not yet!)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (The phoenix is a monstrous nightmare of mechanical imbalances!)
<Hollyhock God> Poor Monothaia got left behind in the Pacific.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Where she will stay! Don't worry, I can adequately defend the chancel from a distance."
<Hollyhock God> Now all you need is a plane!
<Alexa> (Oh. No dragons big enough, yet, I guess.)
<Alexa> (And, hmm. Where do the Chancel's exits lead?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Italy, I think?)
<Hollyhock God> Mesopotamia. The fertile crescent.
<Hollyhock God> Wherever that is now.
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Ah, yes.)
<Alexa> (Oh, boy.)
<Hollyhock God> All very jolly!
<Ryan Sherbrig> "So how do we want to get there? Chartering a plane? A shortcut through the Cityback? Chariot of fire?"
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Discreet cutscene?)
<Alexa> "I'll give you his address. He should have some flowers, though they might not be in good shape. Ryan and I can get there pretty quick."
<Alexa> "Ebba's the only one of us who needs a lift."
<Alexa> (Though as an Exemplar, maybe she could just run there in half an hour?)
<Hollyhock God> Probably.
<Ebba> (Leaving poor crazy people in my wake?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> She can also run with aspect-5 stealth!
<Ryan Sherbrig> Ninja her way there!
<Hollyhock God> Scale up; step; scale down.
<Alexa> (Or become a memetically-transferred belief, then call Samuel on his landline!)
<Hollyhock God> Just do it while everyone's head it turned.
<Alexa> (Wow, Ebba has a lot of neat tricks.)
- RyanSherbrig gives a few people in London something to call the UFO hotline about, at any rate, and then assumes something like his normal form in a secluded area near his destination.
<Hollyhock God> Anyway, everybody arrives in London somehow within the hour.
<Ebba> (And in London, a telemarket is overcome by the sudden urge to rethink his life.)
<Hollyhock God> Now what?
- RyanSherbrig adjusts his suit with just a hint of Glory and otherworldly magnificence, and knocks on the address in question.
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Can prosaic people see my eye-spirits, or are they spirity?)
<Hollyhock God> They're visible.
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Noted.)
- Alexa jogs up behind Ryan.
<Hollyhock God> Samuel answers the door. "You must be Dominus Sherbrig. How pleasant to meet you."
<Hollyhock God> He speaks with the clipped, happy tones of one who's been warned about etiquette previously by his thoughtful sister.
<Alexa> "Hi, Sam."
- RyanSherbrig nods.
<Alexa> (He's my Anchor — I can tell that it's actually him, right, and not a doppelganger or anything?)
<Hollyhock God> There can only be one, and this is he.
<Ryan Sherbrig> (He's a very reasonable fascimile made of clockwork and shadow)
- Alexa hugs him.
<Hollyhock God> Samuel is crushed by your Aspect-y bear hug!
<Alexa> (This is somewhat uncharacteristic for her, but a few days ago she was thinking she might die in the Gardens and never see him again.)
<Hollyhock God> "You look shiny."
<Alexa> "Yeah, Ryan's a bright chap."
<Ebba> "Hmpf, you should work on your veils more."
<Alexa> "And this is Ebba!"
<Ebba> "Remember how you blinded Ophelia by accident?"
<Alexa> "Ebba, meet Samuel. Samuel, meet Ebba."
<Ebba> "Pleased to meet you"
<Hollyhock God> Samuel is pleased to meet everybody.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "It's not as if I'm manifesting in raw elemental form."
<Ryan Sherbrig> "But anyway. Tell us the nature of these suspicious lawyers."
<Hollyhock God> "Well, it wouldn't be suspicious if they'd always been like that."
<Alexa> "I'll put the kettle on."
<Alexa> (AFK for a minute.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> "But as that's not the case, the adjective remains appropriate."
<Hollyhock God> "It just seems like sometime between last month and now the firm of Stingham & Grynne transformed from the cast of The Office to the cast of The O.C.."
<Hollyhock God> "Here, I took some pictures yesterday, discreetly."
<Ryan Sherbrig> (I picture Alexa just holding the tea kettle and lighting it on fire with her hands.)
<Hollyhock God> He calls up on his monitor a few grainy photo taken from a camera phone of some very good-looking young people in expensive clothes at a London wine bar.
<Hollyhock God> From a filing cabinet, he removes some old brochures advertising the services of Stingham & Grynne from the previous year.
<Hollyhock God> "See, here's a picture of Desmond Ragwort from last year," says Samuel, pointing to a figure in the background of a brochure photo. The figure is of a stringy twenty-something with greasy hair, bad teeth, and a sullen expression of conscious rectitude.
<Hollyhock God> "And this is the person who insisted he was Desmond Ragwort today." He points to a person who is about the same height, but is otherwise dissimilar. Shiny hair with product, well-filled-out torso, and a pleasantly cheeky grin.
<Hollyhock God> "I'm thinking it's a conspiracy to take over Chancery with robotic lawyers," says Sam. "But I'm no expert."
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Hmmm."
<Alexa> "Tea, coffee?" Alexa does the rounds.
<Ebba> "Perhaps it is Envy again?"
- RyanSherbrig looks at the pictures with a bit of obvious displeasure, contemplating the possibilities.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "My first intinct, knowing our luck, was actually some faction of the Light setting about 'improving' humanity."
<Alexa> "Do they have a lot of high-profile clients? Specialise in a particular area of law?"
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Regardless, more investigation will obviously be called for."
<Hollyhock God> "Mostly tax law. They do a lot of business with foreign firms involving Swiss banks and, um, offshore financial centers."
<Alexa> "Hmm. And they changed some time in the last month, you reckon?"
<Hollyhock God> "Yes, I did business with them last month and there was nothing unusual that I could see."
<Alexa> "Any new names on their roster that you know of?"
<Hollyhock God> "I don't know if they've been hiring or not. They already seem to think I've lost my mind for not recognizing them. I just told them I was snowed under with briefs."
<Alexa> (Has Fiona turned up?)
<Fiona> (Yes, presumably. I just haven't actually said anything yet)
<Fiona> (also, Spirit 5 probably makes talking to mortals slightly awkward.)
<Alexa> (Righto. You can assume I've introduced you, though.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Fiona, does the firm have any potted plants you can scry through? Alexa, have they said anything incriminating on smoke breaks or the like?"
<Hollyhock God> There do seem to be a couple of potted plants.
<Hollyhock God> Through the eyes of flowers you see… lawyers, doing law!
<Alexa> "That definitely suggests there's something miraculous going on."
<Hollyhock God> Admittedly, all the lawyers are quite nice to look at.
<Hollyhock God> Oh, there's two making out in an office!
<Hollyhock God> But otherwise, you know, law things.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Actually, that supports the Maliq theory."
<Hollyhock God> Maliq enjoys lawyers makin' out?
<Ebba> (If it was a miraculous change, everyone else would just accept it, right?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> Maliq is a soap opera fan!
<Ebba> (And only Alexa's brother is an Anchor, so he remembers how things were?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> And this smacks of reality-turned-all-TV.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "It's still just a theory, of course."
<Fiona> (Ebba - no? Don't miracles cause dementia if witnessed?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Altering people's memories, by definition, removes witnesses."
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Well, I suppose it depends on what you alter their memories to."
<Hollyhock God> Yeah, memory alteration gets around that problem.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Or an act by an Imperator or full Excrucian would be retroactively justified by the Prosaic reality."
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Hopefully we're not dealing with one of the latter. Or the former, really."
<Alexa> "Yeah. Let's take a closer look after we've finished our coffee."
<Hollyhock God> The coffee is excellent!
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Heated by the goddess of fire herself!)
- Alexa engages in a bit of family talk with Samuel.
<Hollyhock God> Are beans in Fiona's Estate? I guess not.
<Fiona> They probably are, in so much as the estate is about things growing, not flowers per se.
<Hollyhock God> Probably her doing, then!
<Ryan Sherbrig> The blossoming of coffee's sweet fragrance!
<Ryan Sherbrig> If coffee isn't a modern symbol of rebirth, I don't know what is. ANYWAY.
<Hollyhock God> We still don't have Nentuaby, though. Ah, well.
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Does Fiona still have Secondary Domain, or did Nentuaby buy that off of her?)
<Alexa> (The lawyers are a plot by Evil Pandora!)
<Hollyhock God> I believe Nentuaby bought it off.
<Hollyhock God> More CP for her!
<Fiona> (It's been bought off. I now have a mess of unspent points instead).
<Ryan Sherbrig> To the law firm?
<Hollyhock God> To the law firm!
<Hollyhock God> The law firm is made of brick. It is very legal. What do you do?
<Alexa> "How about we pretend Ryan is an eccentric millionaire who wants to buy a bank?"
<Hollyhock God> "Or you want to set up a trust to get around various taxes, which is more in their line," points out Sam.
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Hello, I've come into possession of this briefcase full of cash. I'm wondering if you have any suggestions as to what to do about it?"
<Ryan Sherbrig> "Something like that?"
<Alexa> "If only we had a briefcase full of cash."
<Samuel Fortis> "I'd go with something like, 'My children will have to pay fifty million pounds in death duties when I die; is there a way to avoid that?'"
<Alexa> "They'd probably want something more superficially respectable, anyway. Like accounts."
<Fiona> (I have to go in five minutes)
<Alexa> "But that sounds good to me. Sam, I don't want you coming in with us, though. If something goes wrong, it could go wrong very quickly and explosively."
<Ryan Sherbrig> "We could use someone who actually knows what they're talking about when it comes to legalese, though."
<Hollyhock God> Sam looks a bit angry at this. "You think you can… yeah, what he said."
<Samuel Fortis> "I mean, that's my only skill. You might as well let me use it, or what am I here for?"
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Ebba's Exemplar-powered gifts of bullshitting it aside.)
<Joktan> Yes, yes! Admit you chose him for sentimental reasons!
<Ebba> (I was figuring I could just become small and waltz in.)
<Fiona> (That, and two characters with Glorious.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Heck, with Aspect 1, I'm a better lawyer than most lawyers will ever be.)
<Ebba> (While the rest of you interrogate the spirit of the building about recent goings on.)
<Alexa> "Besides being my favourite brother? Okay, fine, come along."
<Hollyhock God> "Okay, so which of you is going to be the wealthy client?" asks Sam. "You look rather eldritch, as opposed to filthy rich."
<Alexa> (But good point about talking to the spirit. We should also try the Witch Hunt Rite.)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (Fiona's our domain-and-spirit mook, maybe we could get her to do that just before she leaves?)
<Ryan Sherbrig> (And by mook, I mean valued and respected member of the team.)
- HollyhockGod /nicks Fiona to Blackwing.
<Fiona> (I have no idea what that reference was about.)
<Ebba> (Chick tract?)
<Ebba> (Oh ,wait, OOTS familiar?)
<Hollyhock God> No, Order of the Stick… yes.
<Ebba> (Chick tract was Blackleaf…)
<Fiona> (I'm off now, but I should probably be assumed to be being helpful, and possibly not present.)
<Fiona> (Will see people next week.)
<Hollyhock God> Vaarsuvius constantly insists that his familiar is a valued and trusted companion, but it pops into existence only when he remembers he has it.
<Hollyhock God> See you, then!
<Hollyhock God> I guess we'll call it for now.
- Fiona has quit (Disintegrated: Fiona)
- Alexa is now known as Uqbarian
<Hollyhock God> It's been a lovely non-metaplot adventure, just like in the Good Old Days.
<Ryan Sherbrig> I was considering Guising as a lawyer, just for wackiness.
<Hollyhock God> That isn't how Guises work.
<Ryan Sherbrig> And possibly hot lawyer chick makeouts!
<Ryan Sherbrig> Well, it makes me look like I belong there, right?
<Ryan Sherbrig> Morpheus at the strip club, Delerium at the bondage party, etc.
- RyanSherbrig is now known as Benhimself
<Benhimself> Ah, well, there's always shapeshifting, too.
<Ebba> didn't one of you recently get full shapeshifting?
<Hollyhock God> It just makes you look upper-class and British.
<Uqbarian> Ryan has comprehensive shapeshifting.
<Uqbarian> But is that still glowy light shapes?
<Benhimself> He needs to take light form to shapeshift.
<Ebba> Well, as long as none of us get shut in the closet or something.
<Benhimself> Basically, when he goes elemental, he can put himself back together differently.
<Ebba> Tt should all be fine.
<Uqbarian> Oh, right.
<Benhimself> Nothing can go wrong!
<Benhimself> This should be a cakewalk!
<Hollyhock God> Just don't get replaced with a Stepford husband.
<Benhimself> Fate-invoking cliche!
<Uqbarian> How would we tell?
<Benhimself> Ryan suddenly turns blond, preppy, and respectable.
<Hollyhock God> And comes up with reasons not to use magic.
<Benhimself> "Perhaps we should try a more reasonable course of action!"
<Hollyhock God> "Yes, of course I am a Tempest, but I prefer to solve problems through mundane action."
<Ebba> at least we have'nt tried to burn the building down yet
<Uqbarian> Okay, I have to go. Good to be back, though!
- Uqbarian has quit (Disintegrated: )
<Benhimself> "Glowing would hardly be appropriate reaction to this problem."
<Hollyhock God> "Your sarcastic reactions are a sign of your affection for me, valued employee."
<Benhimself> Yes, it's when all Ryan's servants start being courteous and efficient that you need to start worrying.