Who's Coming With Me?

-- 18th February - People's’ Palace - Late Morning --

<<"The extraction of Serenity and the recall of young Tate Montclaire should indeed be objectives of this envoy. To that end, if the Hall will allow it I will take Diana under my wing and she will accompany the delegation to Graymire." For effect Westley crossed the hall to stand next to Diana and took a small step back when that dog of hers began to growl. "Two things," he murmured under his breath. "If that dog bites me It will stay behind and secondly, I do not know where you got that Elesian toy from, but put it away before they try to take it away from you." Westley had already marked the eagle eye of Edward fixed on the small white disk.>>

Diana’s heart tried to leap from her chest; she should have guessed Westley would be the one to rally. But something in his words left Diana feeling less than compliant. She didn’t like having terms applied to his aid, even though it was completely ridiculous to expect otherwise. “This is only a toy if I'm playing with it. I assure you Mr. Corbet, I am not here to amuse myself.” She palmed the stone and looked into the assembly, now worried that they would indeed try to take it from her. "Major," and she gave a subtle gesture at her side where the brawny dog settled, content to stare at the crowd through the cool orange lens of the goggles resting on his snout.

<<Together they stood and waited for the Hall... for Stella to speak.>>

But Diana would not wait for long and it felt she’d spent her entire life waiting for this moment. She stepped forward and addressed them again. “Please forgive me for barging past your barred doors. I know it must feel like lack of propriety on my part and perhaps it is. But I mean no disrespect to your station or the important business you surely discuss in this room. As esteemed councilman of the city of Dusk, you know far more than I what goes on out there in the streets. So when I tell you what I have come to know, I hope it falls upon your ears as news. Because I would hate to think that any of you had knowledge of these events and chose not to share it with me. Months ago, before the great white dust fell from the sky, young girls from all over were drugged and kidnapped, held behind the rusty bars of unlawful prisons in dank vaults somewhere below this city. Young girls were bound in chains and held hostage to terrible experiments on our bodies - inside our bodies. We slept, wept and died in filthy rags or less. I still bare multiple puncture wounds in my abdomen and lower back where these captors injected me with experimental drugs which forced a… womanly change in me that no girl should be rushed towards. The surgical scars and marks of their incissions have faded, but I do not even recognize myself in the mirror. I am a stranger to my own eyes. This is an Elesian Stone!” and Diana suddenly held up the disk again. Instead of the ear splitting boom and keening oscillation emitted during the Regent’s manipulations, under Diana’s carriage the stone poured out a soft harmony of notes that shifted across the spectrum and filled the space between floor and ceiling with a melodic rapture. “This is why we were poked and prodded and so much worse; they were making us compatible with their technology; trying to at least. Their failure rate was high, but the girls paid the price. But we saw no Elesians during our captivity, so there are still those in Dusk who work with the Sky City or for them. The city falling apart out there is a stranger to my own eyes. The Maelstrom above has closed and we are all dying. I was one of the lucky few who survived a brutal captivity. We were rescued by members of the Red Crew. Perhaps they were unorthodox, but they were men of action and that action saved my life. So if that particular sentiment has registered deep inside of me and inspires me now to mount some foolish rescue attempt into the Delve, I trust you’ll understand where it comes from. We will not survive without supplies from above and we are captives to our own lack of necessities. I believe there is something inside me, something put there by the Elesians that they want. Something I can use to strike an understanding or force an arrangement. But I will not plunge into such a pursuit while my sister is incarcerated in the Delve. I will venture into the depths of the earth to save her. And after, I will venture into the sky to save us all. But I cannot do it alone. Will you help me?”

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