School Daze

GM: Walker
Players: Darius, Lotus
Synopsis: Darius and Lotus go questing on the metaplanes. After a trip back to their school days, dealing with some sartorial issues and fighting off a couple of cranky spirits, they find themselves at the Citadel after three places.

Date: 12/11/2080


After her recent solo experience with the metaplanes, Darius had suggested that he and Lotus visit together, so that she can become more accustomed to the experience. As such, Darius has invited Lotus to join him in the ritual room at his shop- where there is still a convenient magic circle drawn on the floor. Whether she elects to join him here, or on the threshold, Darius has changed into a loose fitting robe which leaves the Seal of Solomon tattoo on his chest exposed, and has settled into the centre of the magic circle atop a purple cushion with gold tassels, legs crossed Indian style, with his hands on his knees. Several small braziers at the points of the geometric shapes making up the magic circle smoulder with incense. His medkit is nearby, and Tlalli is in the other room just in case, remaining behind to watch over his physical form while he is on the quest.

Once these preparations are complete, Darius will close his eyes, and find his astral form drifting up and out of his body. After a moment, he shifts stepwise towards the Metaplanes, and finds himself drifting in the familiar dark void of the Threshold.

Lotus would of course not neglect such an offer, and she joins Darius at his magic circle that night. Sitting across the circle from him, also cross-legged, wearing a Chinese-style black robe, plain except for two small Taiji symbols embroidered on its long sleeves. Her hair is also set up in a topknot, as per tradition.
Trying not to rely upon her ritual implements this time, it takes her a little longer to reach the deep state of mediation to send her astral form through the Metaplanes, but eventually she also appears there, at the Threshold.

For a time, the pair float alone in the darkness, the surrounding void paradoxically infinite and claustrophobic at the same time. Time, or what passes for it in this place, stretches out…

Eventually, almost imperceptibly, they find their feet touch a smooth flat surface, and the black nothingness now seems to have lines where before there was emptiness. A near-black corridor, outlined in the faintest possible light leads away in front of them. It seems endless, both in front and behind.

Darius casts a glance over at Lotus's astral form as she appears with him in the threshold, offering a nod of recognition- he himself appearing as a nearly featureless representation of his physical body, only the tattoo on his chest marring the bright yellow surface of his 'skin' with lines of deep ochre. Like an action figure. As his feet touch the ground, he glances back over his shoulder at the path behind them, and then back to the front. And he begins to walk towards the light at the end of the tunnel. "Ominous." he says, absently, though to whom is not entirely clear.

Pema's astral form is fairly close to her own appearance, perhaps an indication she hasn't been able to fully separate her physical self from the astral. The major difference is that her skin is pure white, her hair is much longer, and she's wearing a long robe similar to what a Buddhist monk would wear, except black. She floats a bit in the air at first, but lands slowly, drawing a breath in an airless environment. "What is?" she says.

As the pair proceed down the corridor, it gradually becomes more real around them, light slowly revealing more of their surroundings. Or perhaps they are solidifying around the travellers. Either way, the pair find themselves standing - their feet are pulled to the floor as gravity asserts itself too- in a beige hallway with doors leading off at regular intervals. Between the doors are rows upon rows of lockers, endless arrays of the flimsy metal containers.

"The frag are you doing wandering around with this nerd?!?" The voice booms out from behind them, a figure just a little taller than Darius stands there, arms crossed and chin tilted arrogantly upwards as it sneers down its nose at the pair from behind a pair of mirrored aviators, unsure whether it should be more disdainful of Pema or Darius. "You know she's a freak, right?" it adds to Darius, popping its shirt collar beneath the football jacket with a smirk, "Keeps skipping class to go watch sims. Proper little dreamqueen." As it talks, Pema's astral form seems to collapse in on itself until she's back to just the way she was in high school, right down to the uniform.

It snorts with laughter, doing a remarkably good impression of a pig as it slings an arm around Darius' shoulder, who suddenly finds himself in a matching outfit. "Wait! Is this a prank?" it points at Pema and snorts, "You gonna ask her to prom then ditch her like last year? Classic!"

Darius glances back again, "Oh, light at the end of the tunnel." he answers Pema, "Euphemism for passing on, in the English speaking world." he tells her about what makes him feel the scene is Ominous. As the scene begins to shift to one from his- very- distant memory, he rolls his eyes. "Oh lord." he complains at the high school setting. He doesn't have long to worry about it, before the voice from behind disturbs, and he turns back to see where it came from. Recognizing the boy the Dweller has chosen to imitate instantly, Darius frowns. "Reynold." he says. With all the warmth of discovering you have stepped in something unpleasant.

As the jock appears next to him, arm over his shoulder, and derides Lotus, Darius turns his gaze towards him, regarding him coolly but evenly, and then down at the Varsity jacket he is now wearing. "Because." he finally says, "She is a more impressive individual than you'll ever be. Go back to snorting daddy's fortune." he says, and pushes the jock away from him.

The memories are not quite as distant for Lotus. In fact, they're quite vivid, and as she looks down at the Hongkongese school uniform the Dweller put her in, she sinks. Head lowered in a pose that's very familiar to anyone who's known her for some time, one that she clearly had much use of in school. "I might be watching too many sims," she says with a sneer, before looking up. She points at the Dweller and her form, "I was still the best student in my class, better than all the others!" she bites her lip, and turns her back to the character.

Stumbling back from Darius' shove, the Jock on the Threshold scowls at the pair as its shades clatter to the ground. Behind them, where eyes should be, are black holes to noplace. Retrieving the eyewear, it sneers again as it snaps them back on. "Pfft… whatever… nerds." The blackness of its eyes seems to spill out from behind the mirrored lenses to fill the hallway. The lockers behind them clatter open and the pair are flung into the cramped metal box, squished unceremoniously against each other before the door slams shut again. As the light fades away, the only sound from outside is the Dweller's laughter. The pair are jostled for a moment, the locker clattering about them before all is once again silent and still.

Darius doesn't have time to attempt to reset his outfit to something more appropriate before he is thrust by unseen force into the locker, Lotus colliding with him a moment later. Thankfully, she's light, and so he is not winded by the forceful arrival. Which doesn't make their sudden transit any less uncomfortable,
"Hope you're not claustrophobic." Darius murmurs quietly, bracing an elbow against the side of the locker to avoid jostling about too much as the locker moves. When it finally stops, he taps the edge of the locker door with a foot to try and open it and give Lotus space to extract herself from it.

The Asian girl looks more embarrassed by the situation than winded. Her head get squeezed against Darius' almost face first she manages to move it sideways, allowing her to speak. "This is not exactly what I expected from this…" she says with a pained voice, trying to shift herself as to not get elbowed or something. Eventually, she ends up with her back against the locker, so when it's finally kicked open she falls out with arms flailing. She lands on her back with a groan.

When Pema lands, she finds herself on a polished wood floor, an audible gasp at her sudden appearance. The pair have emerged on a stage in a large school hall with a full house in front of them. Bored-looking pupils and marginally less bored-looking parents sit expectantly, clearly waiting for something to start.

"Ah, Miss Yangchen, Mr. Greci, so nice of you to join us at last," a wry, nasal voice calls, "If you'd like to take your seats, we can get started." The grey man in a grey suit with his grey voice turns to the audience. "Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming to this debate! It's wonderful to see so many of you taking an interest." He sweeps out an arm to each side in turn, "To my right, we have the team for the proposition 'Some acts are unforgiveable', to my left, the team against." Darius and Pema find themselves to his left, while across the stage another pair of students sit. Not quite so odious as Reynold perhaps, but no more friendly either to judge from their faces. Perhaps it's just surprise at their opposition appearing out of nowhere at the eleventh hour though.

Darius can't help but let out a single small, restrained chuckle on the topic of expectation, "It rarely is what you expect." he says then, talking to the side of the metal box given the restricted space. Then he winces as Lotus falls out, "I'm sorry." he offers, stepping out of the locker and offering his hand towards her to help her up, and it's about then that he notices they are in an auditorium, still holding his hand out for Lotus. He glances over towards his seat, and then finally moves to take it once Lotus is on her feet. "I sense a pattern." he mutters to himself on his way there.

Pema quickly closes her legs and rolls them over to her side, hoping that her fall didn't give a view up her skirt. She doesn't look up at the offered hand, but nonetheless accepts it and is pulled up on her feet. She turns around, looking out at the debate hall, frowning at her awkward entry. Without much else to do, she takes a seat at the table as well. "This is something you've done in school as well? she leans over, whispering.

"We shall begin with opening remarks of the pro team," the grey moderator drones, and the young woman seated across stands and confidently strides to the lectern. Clearly practised at debate, she quickly and concisely lays out why there are some acts so heinous, so morally repugnant, that no right-thinking person could possibly countenance them, much less forgive them. She finishes almost perfectly in time with the five minute timer, strolling back to her seat with a satisfied smile. The audience murmurs in quiet agreement, as convinced as a bored audience can be by a high schooler, as all eyes swivel to their table.

Darius nods his head absently, murmuring, "Debate team." he informs Pema quietly. He sits back in his seat, looking over towards the opposition and listening carefully to their opening statements. Eventually, as it's time for their counter argument, Darius stands up himself. He makes a show of adjusting the cuffs of his shirt, and his private school tie before he begins to speak. "My opposition talks in absolutes." he says, speaking to the audience. "They say that certain acts are heinous- and they are. Of course they are. They say that they are unforgivable- of course they are." he says, resorting to the classic technique of acknowledging your opponents points first and foremost.

"But there we have it-" he says then, pointing towards the crowd. "Right thinking." he says then, and looks back over towards the opposition. "By what yardstick do you mean to measure the correctness of the mind?" he asks then. "Mental illness can, and does, drive people to make decisions that a reasonable person may not." he says then. "Is it not an act of cruelty to withhold compassion from someone who needs help? Even if they have themselves committed acts of cruelty?" he asks.

Pema looks a little confused by this whole setup at first; she has clearly never participated in a debate team before. Fortunately, the concept of discussing moral questions isn't something too unfamiliar to her. As Darius stands up to deliver his oratory, she looks around nervously. Then, it is her time to speak, and she gets up, folding her hands in front of her. "In the city of Chang'an, the capital of China during the Tang Dynasty, lived once a butcher named Jing. He was enraged and bitter, since Buddhism has taken root in the capital and the people began to abstain from meat, bringing him out of business. Thus, Jing took the biggest knife he could find in his workshop and went to the temple of the abbot Shandao. The abbot, upon meeting the butcher, told him to first look to the West, where paradise was meant to be. He told him to recite the name of Amitabha Buddha, but after that he told the butcher to kill him. Upon seeing this, the butcher dropped his knife, and chanted the name of the Buddha. He was so stricken by the vision he fell and died, but because of the abbot's compassion, the butcher was forgiven for his hateful crime."
She pauses for a moment. "Likewise, in the Book of Luke, Chapter 23, Verse 42, one of the thieves to be crucified with Jesus Christ is forgiven for his crimes before god, and Jesus tells him that they'll meet in Heaven." she stops, to look over at the crowd. "So why am I making these parables? Because forgiveness is a cornerstone of morality; it goes beyond cultural borders, and unites us in humanity. Any barbaric warlord or fascist dictator can punish, but only the truly civilised knows when to forgive." With that, she bows and sits down.

Darius' comments seem to be the kind of thing the opposition were expecting, as he talks they busy themselves going through their notes, pointing and highlighting and whispering softly. By the time he finishes they don't quite look so comfortable any more, but they do look ready. A couple of smirks are exchanged as Pema rises to take her turn, but their expressions quickly turn to horror as she starts with a Buddhist parable of all things - clearly not everyone has been doing their world religion homework.

As she talks their searching is a bit more frantic, scribbling and hissing almost loud enough for Darius to make out their exchange from across the stage. When she concludes, the audience spontaneously applaud - probably a standing ovation by this crowd's metrics. The young man, their other opponent, his tie a little askew beneath his perfect blazer, gets up and nervously crosses to take the stage, muttering about their notes left behind on the table.

His response is lacklustre to say the least: he stumbles over sentences, forgets what he's saying, and at one point he confuses Buddhism for Shintoism. Not his finest hour and his partner clearly knows it from her thunderous expression. It certainly doesn't help his flow that a large man in the front row starts to snore halfway through.

Eventually, he leaves the lectern and retreats to his table as the moderator takes centre stage again.

Darius settles back into his seat, then, to let the opposition put the final nail in their own coffin, and he can't help but smirk a bit. "I quite liked debate team." he admits to Pema, leaning over to speak to her quietly, though keeping his eyes on their opposition while he makes a dogs dinner of the retort. "You did well." he adds, after a moment, finally turning to look at his companion. "And you say you never did anything like this at school?" he wonders of her.

As the moderator returns to centre stage, he leans in again to murmur, "What next, I wonder. Calculus? PE?" with an amused grin at Pema, but he finally falls quiet before the man begins speaking. No need to antagonize the actors in this particular play, after all.

Pema looks a little proud over all of this going better than expected. She adjusts the tie on her uniform and grins a bit. "Thank you," she says, looking over in anticipation what happens next. "I never did anything social in school, really." She says those words with a hint of bitterness in her voice.

When Darius starts speaking of what subject comes next, she says, "Oh, not PE. Please say it's not PE." she leans forward with her elbows on the table, stroking her hair with both hands.

As the moderator drones, the scene around the pair seems to fade, becoming as dull and uninteresting as the man's speech as colour leeches from the room. Sight and sound fade until they are suspended in an odd void filled with a diffuse dull light, like sunlight through fog. Then…

-Disjuncture-

Darius finds himself alone, in a vast, dark space. Once more vague lines in the distance give an idea of the immensity, but details are hazy and indistinct. Tall shapes loom in the darkness around his tiny circle of light, the only obvious detail that he's wearing what might be the world's worst suit: ill-fitting, itchy and splitting at the seams. Lotus is nowhere to be seen, although somehow she is completely aware of the situation: sentient yet absent.

Darius presses his lips into a thin line to supress a chuckle at Pema's reaction to the possibility of exercise, but as the man drones on and on, he's not able to supress a yawn, bringing a fist to cover his mouth as he does so. When he opens his eyes again, he finds himself standing in this void. And at once notices the unpleasant itchiness. He picks at his suit, and looks down at himself, his face twisting into a picture of disgust. "What on earth am I /wearing/?" he mutters to the darkness.

Only then does he glance around and notice Lotus is no where to be seen. Priorities. "Pema?" he calls out to the darkness, in case she is simply out of sight for the time being. Even as he does search for the Asian girl in the darkness, he slips a hand under the collar of his ill fitting suit to tug it away from his shoulders, to grant a brief respite from the scratchy sensation.

There's no Pema to be seen. Did she just disappear? Seems like it. However, as Darius looks around, he finds that he is standing underneath a lit lamp-post, like one you'd find on a street. On the post, someone has attached a piece of paper, which has a drawing of a girl on it. It has an Asian style to it, but the hair and the outfit makes him think it's meant to look like Pema. She's pointing out into the darkness, where a street of more lamp-posts are taking shape. The next post seems to have another picture on it.

Darius frowns a bit at that, leaning in to take a closer look at the picture. Eventually he shrugs his shoulders, and then begins to follow the directions pointed out by Pema, heading towards the next lamp post. As he walks, he can't help fidgeting with his suit, clearly quite perturbed by it. He tries to make it at least sit decently on his shoulders, but the awful cut just makes it impossible. He's looking rather frustrated when he arrives and inspects the next lamp post.

Try as he might, every time he tries to adjust his suit, Darius only seems to make it worse: each tug scratches the skin on the other side, almost as if the awful garment is tightening around him. With the light from the lamps, the tall shapes resolve into buildings that wouldn't be out of place in a Victorian period drama. The trail of lamp posts with vaguely familiar pictures on them lead him, after perhaps half an hour of fighting the suit, to a better lit street lined with glass-fronted shops.

Darius eventually does his best to put the scratching sensation to the back of his mind, but it is clearly frustrating him more and more as he walks along, his brow furrowed deeply. Once he arrives at the storefronts, so consumed is he by the awful suit that he starts looking through the glass panes, hoping to find something he might replace it with. In fact, that seems to be all he is thinking about as he stares through each of the storefronts in time.

The drawings of Pema are fairly skilfully done, even though they are monochrome pencil drawings. Coming to the more lit street, she instead makes a crossed arms shape with her hand. A little later, a crumbled-up piece of paper comes tumbling down the street, torn by an unseen wind, landing at Darius' feet. It's another drawing of Pema, wearing a really smart (albeit masculine) suit and doing a thumbs-up. There's also a wad of cash in the paper package, that just happens to be enough to purchase the suit on display in the shop window. Coincidence?

Darius blinks in surprise as the ball of paper rolls up to him and stirs him from his reverie. He bends down to pick it up, uncrumpling it, and then he laughs slightly at the image he sees. "Why thank you." he says to the paper. He takes the cash out, and makes his way into the Victorian looking store. It's a little while before he emerges, but when he does, he is wearing a very smart, very period-appropriate outfit. High waisted trousers with a waistcoat over the top, a smart tie, a long travelling jacket and a shoulder cape over that. His outfit even includes a top hat and a cane. He looks like the very model of a Victorian Banker.

The suit he had been wearing on the way in conspicuously stuffed into a rubbish receptacle in the corner of the shop, one tattered sleeve dangling out, forlorn and abandoned.

The streetlamps in the distance blink out, one by one. As they get closer to Darius, a mist seems to rise around him until, as only the light above him remains, he can see nothing beyond a few metres away. Then…

-Disjuncture-

Pema is suddenly present again, a little disoriented but standing back-to-back with Darius as the mist swirls about them, dressed in a suit that is the perfect match to his own, suitably tailored to her measurements of course. A niggling headache gnaws at both of them, not enough to really hurt, but certainly enough to annoy. Like wearing Darius' now ex-suit inside their heads.

Despite presumably drawing it herself, Pema looks a bit surprised finding herself also wearing a Victorian-era suit. She doesn't have the top hat or cane, but she has the silk cravat, brocade waistcoat and all that. Rather smart, although not exactly typical her. "Hello again," she says, clutching her temple,
"Uff… my head… anyway, hope you liked the drawings. What do we do now?" she looks around, the street they're standing on being dark again.

Darius glances back over his shoulder to Pema as he finds himself back to back with the girl, "Nice suit." he muses at her, and tips his top hat in greeting. Clearly rather pleased with his own. His brow furrows once more at that unpleasant sensation behind his eyes, though, "I did, and thank you for bailing me out. That suit was driving me insane." he says to her. "Good question." He responds, and looks back and forth.

"I've found that picking a direction and walking often works, we'll encounter either an obstacle or a way forwards, sooner or later." he says to her, tapping the bottom of his cane against the ground, and starting to walk towards the misty boundaries of their current existence.

As the pair advance, the mist gradually parts, sunlight from the sky burning through the murk. Where the city once was there is only wilderness, the street now little more than a barely flattened trail through the grass by a stream. As the view extends, they begin to get a better grasp on their surroundings. The trail follows the stream down a gradual incline, for perhaps a mile or so before meeting a veritable wall of fog.

While Darius seemingly walks with confidence into the unknown, Pema walks a step behind in trepidation, throwing her gaze around as they begin to approach a wilderness. "Are these suits supposed to be this tight around the neck?" she say, tugging at the cravat a bit. "I miss the school uniform already." she eventually gives up and sticks her hands in her pockets. "For some reason, I feel like we're in the Hound of the Baskervilles or something." she frowns, "Soon enough a huge monster will leap out at us, I bet."

Darius chuckles a bit, "They can be." he tells her then, glancing back towards her, "Cravats are worse than ties." he adds after a moment, though his gaze lingers on it for a moment, "Maybe I should have gone for the cravat." he says mostly to himself after a moment. He steps carefully to avoid getting his shoes muddy as they make their way. "Always a possibility. And not only on the metaplanes." he says back to her on the topic of giant monsters. Now they are at the wall of mist, though, Darius lifts his cane up and gives the mist wall a little poke, perhaps attempting to provoke a reaction.

Almost as soon as the words are out of her mouth, Pema finds herself back in her school uniform, the metaplanes apparently done for now with setting a dress code. Perhaps not the most practical footwear for muddy ground, but at least more familiar. Darius' cane passes through the mist like… well like mist, but he finds himself unable to proceed as the ground under their feet turns to sucking, bubbling mud, semi-human hands grasping upwards at their ankles.

As the spirit grabs at Darius's feet, he reflexively attempts to pull his feet back away from the mud. However, he quickly comes to his senses and instead he brings his cane forwards, and drops the tip down into the mud. His magical energy surges forth through the implement, attacking the energies which bind the spirit together. The mud begins to dry, as though left out in the sun, and flake away at the edges. "I do not wish to destroy you, leave us in peace." the mage tells the creature, adding after a moment, "I will not ask twice."

Banishment… how was that supposed to be done again, now? Conjuring wasn't Pema's major at university, and frankly she never found it that interesting compared to the other magical disciplines. Thus, her attempts to will the spirit out of existence fails, and the spirit moves up on her, reaching out with its mist-born limb. Fortunately, she manages to fend it off by quickly drawing a glowing Chinese talismanic pattern into the air which seems to stop its advance, then unleashes energy from it which seems to push it back a bit.

Darius continues pressing the cane into the creature's form for several long moments while he allows it to consider it's choices. As the creature's hands slide off his feet, Darius releases it from the web of energy he had been entangling its astral form in and allows it to flee. He then turns to see how Pema is faring, but for the time being he doesn't intervene- this is, after all, a learning experience for the girl.

As the creature is repelled by the first counterattack, Pema stops, clasping her hands as she gets a murderous expression on her face that one rarely sees on her. Drawing another series of talismanic writing in the air, she finishes by drawing the outline of a huge ancient polearm-like weapon which she grabs out of the air and swings down at the spirit, cleaving it in two pieces that quickly fizz out as wisps of smoke.

Darius watches as Pema dispatches her spirit handily, and then relaxes a bit. "You should be careful what you wish for." he muses at her, "First the school uniform, and then giant monsters. The metaplanes are always listening." he says, with a small smirk, although he does pat her on the shoulder in congratulation for her righteously delivered astral ass kicking. He turns his gaze back towards the wall of Mist. "For example, it'd be wonderful if this wall of mist were to part." he says, gesturing apart with his hands, and peering part expectantly, part hopefully.

For a few moments, everything is still after the skirmish, save perhaps for the frantic yelping of Darius' former foe as it scrambles away upslope leaving a trail of mud and churned earth in its wake. The air is oddly still, and for a moment all either can hear is the gentle noise of flowing water.

The first sign of change is a sense of pressure in the air, reminiscent of the feel of a coming storm. A breeze picks up, seemingly from nowhere, heading in the same direction as the contrite spirit. It builds with startling speed, quickly becoming a fresh breeze and then a gale, before the entire wall of mist seems to move at once, a river bursting a dam as it thunders up to engulf the pair.

Soaked to the skin within an instant and blinded by the roaring mist, it only lasts a matter of seconds before leaving them stunned and staring down to where the stream flows: the heart of this metaplane. Barely a ten feet from where they stand, the ground drops away off a cliff, descending easily half a mile or more before reaching the bottom. Without the mist, they can see the full circle of what must be an ancient crater or volcano with this enormous depression in the centre, the whole thing easily miles across.

In the bottom of the depression a lush rainforest is revealed, rainbows streaming out in the spray from the myriad of waterfalls that surround it. Animals of all kinds and colours scamper and flit among the trees, but all of this activity is but a side show to the treasure at the centre. Rising from the middle of a mirror calm lake is a conical mountain, its peak glinting in the sun. To the two enchanters, the orange metallic gleam is unmistakable: here at this confluence of the elemental planes of earth and water is a mountain of pure orichalcum, and the knowledge they have sought.

Pema gives a high-pitched shriek as the deluge descends upon them, and she struggles to even stay on her feet. A moment later, her long hair is clinging to her face, her blouse is clinging to her body and at least her legs were mostly bare already. "Why, oh why," she says, looking up at the sky, then down at her sorry self.
And then, the landscape before them unfolds, and the annoyance over her being wet washes off her like… well… "Look!" she points out, walking up to the edge of that cliff, looking down. She chuckles, then turns back to Darius. "This is it, right?"

Darius is left blinking and speechless after being completely and thoroughly soaked by the deluge, arms still spread wide like he's greeting the day. His top hat is long gone, swept away to regions unknown by the mist, and water drips from the tip of his nose. "I suppose I deserved that." he finally mutters, lowering his hands. "At least it was only water." he mutters darkly, but keeps his own council as to what /that/ means.

He moves up behind Lotus as she moves up to the edge of the cliff, and he can't help but smile himself as he casts his gaze over the landscape below. "Spectacular." he murmurs after a moment of simply staring in awe. He nods his head at Lotus's question, "I believe so." he says, and then offers his hand, "Shall we?" he asks, before stepping over the edge of the cliff, and onto the air itself.

"Let's," Pema replies, though unlike Darius that simply walks out into the air, Pema turns around and attempts a backflip out over the edge. Had it been a somersault in physical space she would've probably plummeted on her face, but fortunately, it isn't, and she catches herself in flight after a full vault, then flies up at the same height as Darius as they head off towards the mountain.

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