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Cue awkwardness in... three ... two ...

That was actually a really good breakfast. Gareth leaves some extra coin on the table and is just starting up the stairs when he hears something heavy happen. What..? He takes the stairs quickly but quietly, two at a time, no mean feat having just chowed down on cold sausage and sauerkraut and bread and butter and beer. Seriously, this innkeeper and his brother may have had strange taste in names but they know their way around a kitchen. Or at least how to pick good cooks.

Santiago is in the hall looking unhappy. And with him, that could mean anything from an accidental insult to an imminent outbreak of actual Bad Problems. Gareth catches his eye and points toward the door mouthing, "Trouble?".
  
Arkon looks over the bed as he sees Pan tangled up in the blanket. He gets up and tries to help Pan as she struggles and kicks. He grunts and pulls wondering how in Earth do Pan commit such a blunder? He lean down and whispers to Pan suggesting something to help the process.

"Could you possibly change form Pan? It is making this rather difficult to undo." The tumbling only adding to the sound.

Poor Arkon. XD can never catch a break.
  
Pan glances at the door, then back to him, and shrugs. Your funeral.

She shifts back with a flash of light, and reaches to tug at the sheets. Her hair's mussed and she blinks blearily, still half awake. That was definitely not enough sleep, and she's hungover as fuck. She lets out a moan of frustration as her head throbs horribly and the sheets continue to not cooperate.

"This thing has a mind of its own," she muttered as she rolled over and sat up, finding herself face to face with Arkon, seeming equally annoyed by the situation.
  
"I feel as if I have not slept in a week, I do not know where Pan is, and Arkon will not respond or open the door," Santaigo rumbled. "Last night was not a very fun experience for me. I fear I am still feeling the effects of it. I wish to get everyone informed and get downstairs before my father shows his face. He could be very dangerous if he catches us without our knowledge. I know you are in there and I am coming in!"
The last bit was directed loudly at the door. Tired of waiting, he thrust it open to a rather compromising scene. He certainly wasn't an advocate of sexual relations out of wedlock, but he found it increasingly difficult to care in these colonies. Neither of them were human in any case, and he had no stakes in their mortal souls, if they had any. "Well at least I found Pan. Do you require assistance?"
  
Pan looked back at the spaniard, blinking hazily, then frowned.

"No, no, I've got it." She tugged a few more times, and with Arkon's help the offending sheet was free of her leg. She stood and stretched, clearly not particularly bothered by her state of undress, and looked between Santiago, Arkon, and Gareth who still stood at the door. "So, did we have something to discuss?"
  
"I've got several things to discuss," Gareth butts in, "and I'd like to start with: In all the excitement here yesterday, I never heard what you found at the warehouse. It was just a boring pile of wood beams and bricks, wasn't it?"
  
Pan stepped over to the desk where a class of water had been left, taking a long drink and bending to pick up the pile of orange fabric that still laid on the wood.

"We never got a chance to tell you, did we? Obviously the place was utterly destroyed, and the place stunk of magic use. That was the extent of it, that is until we were attacked by... Well, a gargoyle, apparently. We killed it, figured it was left there to prevent any witnesses or discourage poking about, so we were worried for the both of you and rushed back here. I'm sure you know the rest." She slipped the dress over her head and fought with the fasteners behind her back, figuring her nudity might bother the other three.

Still, if they spent any amount of time together this would certainly not be the last time they'd see her unclothed, and she generally still found clothes to be silly anyway. Regardless, she let herself be uncomfortable for the human's sake, atleast for the time being. "That answer your question?
  
"You've got to be...no, you're not kidding me. The whole building gone? I saw it myself, half of one wall was knocked down, the rest was fine. I hope Amos doesn't think I did it." Head shake. Pan gets her Gloria's dress on. "Thanks for that...All right, do we think whoever came back to finish the job is connected to the soul-sucking operation here at this inn? Arkon? And I found out a lot more about that machine last night, by the way."

Hopefully Arkon won't be angry that Gareth took it home without asking.
  
Arkon's face flushes as he knows the scenery looks a tad too intimate for what it was. He stands up quickly already dressed to show nothing was going on. He looked at both Gareth and Santaigo and tried to process the embarrassment as he gathers his things like sword and pieces of sectioned armor. He shrugs one shoulder fitting the shoulder piece comfortably as he looks at Gareth.

"What is it that you discovered? I would be interested in knowing how this thing particularly works. It might gives us some kind of direction as to what the orgone is being used for." Arkon looks to Santaigo, trying to figure out if the Spainard thought the worse as he entered. Avoiding eye contact to say the least as he waits for an explanation.
  
"My basic theory of orgone is that - whatever it actually IS - it has to flow, to move, in order to do any work or be felt. The principle of applying orgone as an energy source is you put what you want to accomplish in between where the orgone is now and where it wants to be. Like building a mill on a river, if you assume water has a mind of its own."

"As Chinese medicine teaches, our bodies are suffused by a continual circling flow of energy, out and back in, bottom to top, every moment we're alive. The correct intensity and speed and direction and balance of these flows is what we call 'being healthy'. Disturb the flows and you disturb vitality itself. Remove the flows and... well, then you literally have a man's life in your hands. A source of power for applications I don't even care to guess at yet."

"I know you want to know the 'why' but there's no clue to what they're planning to do with this. I mean, the scale is wrong. For as long as the last owner of that dress was ah, working here, the collector should have been full ten times over. That's an estimate but it's on the right order of magnitude and I know that because I recreated the effect I felt yesterday and doing the same to a dozen sailors, longshoremen, merchants, what-have-you every day would have accumulated far more orgone than could fit into that apparatus."

There are several facts Gareth is unaware of. Firstly, the LifeSuck3000 was poorly constructed by design or incompetence and its operation hugely inefficient. Secondly, the glowing blue fluid is not the only form orgone can be stored in. But he's doing his best to reason from incomplete data.

Thirdly, maybe Dardanos has been sneaking round to change the bottles?
  
((
From Gloria:
and he said all I had to do was put the machine under the bed in this inn, and, and- and someone would come to collect the jars in a week,
She did know about the machine. She just conveniently left out where she hid the bottles of orgone. We'll have to see how this encounter goes, if we need an explosion or not. Just putting it out there as an option.))


Santaigo's cheeks were flushed red with embarrassment, though when he spoke he did so as smoothly and precisely as ever. He'd seen much worse than this, though admittedly not from anybody he'd known beforehand. 'The morning after' was a far sight better than 'in the middle of the act'.
"Miss Gloria did mention multiple flasks. I wonder if she has hidden them somewhere. I did not think to ask about that last night. If the city guards have manged to hold her over the course of the night, we could ask her where she has stored them so they may be disposed of safely."
"Dardanos is a half-devil of some power. That is different than being a demon. Devils often present themselves in a human shape, and are much, much smarter and more clever than demons. Depending on the specific type their powers and motives can vary. Since Dardanos is a Child of Misery, he will have powers of emotional manipulation, along with a potential for small amounts of shapeshifting or mental manipulation as well. He most certainly will not have the best interests of the townsfolk at heart. Second-generation Children of Misery and the devils that sire them gain power from the specific negative emotions of specific people. They seduce a female into committing adultery. The bastard child is stillborn or dies in infancy, and the devil or half-devil feeds off of the grief of the parents, who usually assume the child is theirs.
But he should not have my powers of time manipulation. He will be fast and strong. Even if you are aware of his intentions it will be difficult to resist his manipulations. I do not know how he relates to this 'orgone' substance. He is partially human, so he may have some ability with it. Everyone saw what happened to me in Miss Gloria's room last night, so there is a chance he may be susceptible to it as I am. Though from what I have read, my condition is not similar to that of my begetter.
I do not know how he became involved with this... conspiracy. I was searching for him in the hope that he could shed some light on my condition. I have a description my mother gave to me. Even with the minor changes to his face he may be able to accomplish, I am sure I will be able to recognize him."
  
Gloria said she didn't see the machine. Hm. Lying after all?

I don't think they would explode just from the glass being broken. But if he has some device or magic, yes he could accidentally or on-purpose reduce the whole lot all at once and that would be exciting.

Also I learned from one of your posts that 'aside'
is easier to type than 'color value="aaaaaa"',
so thanks for that. : )
  
Pan notices all the blushing, and looks oddly between Santiago and Arkon. She edges away from Arkon as she realizes what all the humans are probably thinking, and rolls her eyes. Why is everything sexual with you lot? You'd think its all they care about. Hell, maybe it is.

Still, she's much more interested in Gareth's findings and Santiago's apparent lineage. "So... What should we do to prepare? Maybe take some orgone in case he is sensitive? But then we risk you being out of commission. And if he's so much more powerful... It does make me wonder how we're going to fair. I mean, I'm strong comlared to normal creatures, but... An actual devil? I barely put a dent in that gargoyle, that was all Arkon's doing," she sighed, scratching her head. "I do have a little bit of a theory that maybe the workings of orgone are atleast a bit dulled on me, so maybe if he tries tk cast anything I'll be slightly less effected, but I suppose that's not much help being unable to do much. So, all that considered, what strategy are we taking? Are we going to hunt him doen and try to go in swinging, or are we going to make some attempt to reason with him?"

She glanced at Arkon as she spoke to Santiago, noticing he still seemed rather embarassed. She almist felt bad for him. Almost. "And Arkon, you and I both know I was in my natural form all night, so why all the blushing? I thought sharing a bed with pets was common for you lot." There, maybe now everyone would stop looking so horrified. Unless she was implying they had while she was in her natural form... Ugh. Maybe that was worse. It was hard to exactly tell where human's minds would go though. Maybe the other two would get the hint and she wouldn't end up sleeping outside tonight. A cat could dream.
  
"Natural form? You were certainly au naturel when we came in." Gareth hasn't heard about Pan turning into a warthog puma tiger yet either.
  
She glanced between the three, glad they'd shut the door behind them. "Well, since you've all revealed your peculiarities, I suppose it's my turn." She reached up, unfastening the dress she'd only barely put back on and stepped out of it. There was a flash of light as always, and in her place sat the real 'Pan'.

She was sitting on her back haunches, head coming up almost to her normal human height, licking one paw and regarding them with familiar bright gold eyes. Her fur was the same brassy coppery blone of her hair as a human, with a creamy white underbelly and stripes of deep orange. She certainly didn't have the normal coloring of a tiger, but aside from that looked like a typical 400 pound bengal tiger sitting contently in Arkon's now mich smaller feeling room. She gave Gareth a look that clearly said Does this explain it? and her tail flicked against the floor heavily.
  
From Jack Black in Tenacious D:
Whoa. That was rad.
...
I think I can do it too.


Gareth laughs like a kid watching a magic trick, honestly delighted. "More surprises! Can you do that whenever you like?"
  
Pan shifts back, giving him a smirk. "Of course. Have to get undressed before I do though, since shifting back tends to shred anything I'm wearing, and its not entirely voluntary while I sleep. I always go back to my natural form." She could already see the curious glimmer in Gareth's eyes, and it made her slightly uncomfortable. She could practically smell the experiments he would probably want to do.
  
oh my gerd I'm pulling a 13 hour shift today. lol I'm still at work I'm trying to keep up I promise xD

Arkon clears his throat and looks at Santaigo, and nods his head as he throws the cloak over his back and covers up his body in the same fashion it was the previous night.

"It will be noted of his capabilities. Do you have a sense of where he could be or when he will arrive? I assume he must be on his way to check on his alias."

He looks to Gareth and adds to subject as a possible why.

"Orgone can be used to create life as well. Aetherians created sentient life in literal statues of metal and earth. Much like a golem. They are... were commanded and created for the sole purpose of protection. Yet this source of creation has been loss to us. Is it possible that they are trying to create an army? That gargoyle was spawned with the mutant of corrupted orgone. Perhaps our enemy looks to manipulate it in some fashion."

As Arkon glances at Pan, her statement trying to search for a reaction in him, however, he knew that she has shown the party her ability, the situation was explained rather easily.

"I think our first lesson for today Pan... will be letters." He ignores her comment about his blushing as he grabs his book ready and prepared for the current event about to take place.
  
Santiago's eyebrows seem to be doing their best to retreat into his hairline. That was something he'd never seen before.
But back to business. "Dardanos is half> devil. That is important. He is more... durable than a human, but he shares some weakness. He also will share some usual devil weakness. Most reliably, salt," he pulled a vial from his pocket, shaking the white granules, "silver," he pulled a tarnished spoon from the other pocket, "and holy oil, which I do not have. There are other things, herbs and incantations, but I do not know if that will work on a half devil as well. These are reliable. If we can catch him unaware, we can weaken him easily. No need to play with orgone. I do not know if it will work on him anyway." He stowed his items again.
"I guess he will come here. I would like to surprise him and get him outside somehow. That will mean the least amount of damage and injuries."
  
Pan glanced at Arkon with a frown and began pulling her dress back on. "Well, I think it would be best to save that for ehen we have free time, think we're planning at the moment. Besides, I was quite drunk last night, and I'm not entirely sure but I'm guessing I agreed to this? Regardless, I don't remember, so I don't think it should really be binding. I could have proposed marriage to you for all I know," she said with a smirk, pleased that now the whole tiger thing was wholly cleared up it seemed unlikely the wrong idea would be entirely gotten again. Atleast not seriously.

Instead she turned to Santiago. "Alright, silver and salt and surprise. I can get on board with this. This will be your operation though, so I would say it'll be best if you tell us what we need to do. I am generally better and stealth and quick takedowns if that's what you need, and maybe if you give me a pouch with salt or silver to carry around my neck I could sneak up on him and do some damage. Maybe." She tapped one lip, then seemed to stop and regard Santiago critically once more. "Wait, you insulted me. Mmph. Then make your plans and do your things, and maybe I'll choose to help. Maybe."
  
Arkon looks at Santaigo from behind Pan's shoulder and shrugs as she had flip an entire 180. Her personality scattered to the wind. He looks to Gareth and a light bulb clicks on his head. He gets closer and proposes an idea with a piece of parchment he had handy and some ink and quill drawing a diagram like a cycle.

So if the orgone is much like a cycle and can be disrupted... would there be a way to otherwise enchance the cycle or even distribute it? If his father is weak to orgone like he is, we could utilize it as a trap if there was a way to disperse it... what do you think? Is it an easy modification?"
  
Gareth stares at Arkon like he's just grown a second head. Or turned into a tiger. This is the guy who says his race are the self-appointed keepers of the secrets of the life force? It's like a fish asking a man whether water is wet, and what precautions they should take around it.

"Aren't you the..." He thinks better of the question. Try again.

"We can flood the nearby area by simply opening the valve on a bottle full of orgone. The fluid flows somewhat like a liquid and it evaporates into its ordinary imperceptible form when passing through any organic matter. If you want the greatest quantity in diffuse form as fast as possible, break a full glass bottle inside a leather bag or a solid wooden box. But, Arkon..."

"Why are you even asking me this? I'm the one trying to discover from first principles what you have known and used...from birth, I assume. You condensed and contained the roomful of orgone leaking from the machine yesterday using nothing but a sword. You tracked me down over some absurd distance by sensing a sealed flask inside a leather bag under a table. I'm having conceptual difficulties with you asking me how orgone works."
  
"Using my abilities is far too obvious of a ploy and may serve us some difficulty. Also, provided I utilize the orgone stored within my blade could only result in critical damage done to a target. The outcome would be rather pointless for obtaining a suspect. To widen your sense of why I ask this, Dardanos is possibly returning for the said contraptions and or orgone itself. The bait is would be far to tempting for someone like him to pass up. Do you think not?"

Arkon raising an eyebrow as he was trying to avoid using his weapon. For as much as he controls and as disciplined he is, utilizing an Aetherian blade against an enemy is a serious deal of physical damage. The result would most definitely death.
  
Pan looks between the two, arms crossed over her chest and tapping one foot. "I think what he means is... Why ask when you have the great big book of all knowledge? Shouldn't it have some info on how it works? Or will opening those old pages summon the devil here somehow?"
  
Arkon's patience was thinning as it was just morning and the criticism was not holding well. That was not at all the direction he was going with what he suggesting. He has no clue on how the human invented object functioned. He does not know it's capabilities or even application. Arkon demonstrates by drawing his sword and slashes behind him. The sword glowing in midst strife as a line of energy curves out and flies towards the wall creating a deep and heavy cut into it as if it burned straight through. He glares to the side at Pan with an impatient glare and stays quiet for a moment.

"Do you think I would be able to catch someone with this ability, or kill them?" He waits for a moment before sheathing his sword and walking past everyone to the outside throughly annoyed, ignoring the looks gained from tenants as they look at where the noise was coming from. While he has the compassion and wisdom from his mother, his father's lack of patience bled through with the utmost obvious display. And Arkon hated himself for it.
  
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