Deux Ex Machina/Chapter 1
Background: During a discussion with Balina, Eithne, Loki, and Rihko on mortality and the soul Caeli becomes curious as to whether or not androids can have souls. Balina suggests a pilgrimage to the various dedication sites around Fairhaven, and even provides a map for Caeli to follow - surely if she has a soul, one of these creatures will try to take it! With that cynical theory in mind and virtually no information on the beings she is going to meet, her journey begins.
Caeli sets off almost immediately from New Ireland, taking the most logical path to the closest spot of supernatural activity, a shrine not far north home to Inari, the god/goddess of various creatures filling up the city as of late, from the diminutive Nekos, to the hefty Racoon-Dogs, to the manytailed trickster Kitsune. The shrine itself being shaped to mimic a traditional Shinto shrine, although much smaller in scale than those that adorn the god's homeland.
The large wooden frame at the entrance faces Caeli's inquisition, standing strong against the robot's poking. There's a statue of a miniature raccoon-dog with gigantic balls resting below it, looking quite chummy up at her, beaming a wide smile. The place smells of cherry blossoms and incense, suspended in the air over the place. Much of the trailway is stone and sand, with willows and other great trees helping to give the place a completely different feel from the rest of the city. The wood however has the same feel as... wood.
Caeli forces a few other randomly-chosen spots on the frame to endure her pokes, but soon abandons this approach as unworkable; instead she turns her attention to the rather odd statue, squatting down to peer closely at it and extending that finger to land a poke right in the middle of its tummy.
Caeli receives gently tap before her finger reaches the tummy. A soft voice from a furred woman, who then bows respectfully. "The mistress of the harvest would appreciate if you stop... touching her things."
Caeli blinks and straightens up quickly, spinning around as she casts her gaze about to seek the source of the intrusion, rather alarmed at having been unable to detect the source before it made itself known. "I am sorry," she says reflexively, the words leaving her lips before she's even had a proper look.
The kitsune in front of her looks young, and her ears droop as she realizes she's startled the woman. She bows again, fanning her tails out. "Welcome to Inari's paradise. How may I serve you today? Have you come to offer your respects?"
Caeli cants her head again, nibbling at her lip in confusion. "Serve me...?" She asks, eyes following the movements of the many fluffy tails revealed by the other woman. "Respects...? I am sorry, but I have come to this place seeking answers..." Her stare shifts back to the kitsune's eyes and she resolutely asks, "What will you give me for my soul?"
The initial response creates confusion, the kitsune's hazel eyes staring at the strange response, and then the last question hits her, and her mouth opens. Then it closes shortly afterward, her tails flickering in equal confusion. A light breeze blowing hair over her eyes helping to give her a brief moment of disconnection. She shakes her head and says, "You sound as if you are in need of direction. I will show you how to make an offering and perhaps the great Inari will help you find what you seek." she offers out a hand.
Caeli seems to have largely forgotten the original object of her curiosity, leaving the statue to its smiling as she regards the many-tailed woman. She listens curiously, then nods and reaches out to take the fox's hand, turning it into a handshake out of habit. "Very well. My designation is Caeli," she informs the kitsune. "What is yours?"
The woman's response is, "Designation? Do you mean name then? Yuki is my given name. A pleasure to serve you." she says, using the phrasing again and begins to lead the woman behind her toward Inari's shrine. The wind blows again, flower petals dancing in the air overhead and blanketing the stones below. Navigating along the path the two arrive at the entrance to the inner shrine. She bows and says, "Most these days don't wear shoes so we hardly have to ask, but if you would be so kind to remove your footwear and place them over there?" she points a claw at a stone carved specifically to hold rows of shoes, a lone pair of sandals laying there in the large and clearly overbuilt rack.
Caeli stares down at her feet, lifting and lowering her toes within the confines of her sneakers before giving the other woman a nod. She's quick about removing them yet avoids simply stepping on the heels, choosing instead to kneel and untie them properly before placing them on the indicated stone shelving. She wiggles her toes again once again, now hidden only by a pair of light pink socks decorated with darker pink hearts. She then rejoins her guide, choosing to remain silent for now.
The kitsune nods and says, "Follow, and remain respectful at all times. You are in the home of the spirit of the harvest." and she seems to be trying to help Caeli up the steps, offering both support as well as guidance. Perhaps she thinks Caeli is drunk.
Rather than refuse the support Caeli goes along with it, doing nothing to discourage the kitsune as she stares wide-eyed around the shrine, saying, "Do not fear. I will not be disrespectful... Will this spirit of harvests attempt to take my soul?" Even as she admires her surroundings her mind stays firmly focused upon her goal.
The Kitsune tries to hide another look of complete shock, not wanting to disrespect the woman, but not really sure how to cope with such a horrifying request. Silence follows guiding her to a rack with wooden tokens hanging from little red ribbons. She takes one down, and hands it to Caeli, and then dips a brush into black watered down ink. The brush is placed in Caeli's hand, and the kitsune instructs. "Write on here what you need, what blessing you'd like to recieve from our mistress, and then place that and an offering of some kind in the box over there." pointing at a big wooden offering box in front of the main part of her shrine. Two reflecting pools on either side, stretching out, fed with water pouring from a terracotta clay half-pipe.
Caeli doesn't quite miss the kitsune's expression but is at a loss for how to interpret it; the silence seems to suit her well enough, though, and given her supplies and instructions she nods in understanding and holds the token up to begin her work. The brush traces out just two quick vertical lines and a curve below, forming a basic smiley face; her request thus completed she begins making her way toward the box to deliver her 'prayer', reaching back to pluck one of her own supersoft pink feathers to serve as an offering.
The kitsune appears to stare at the offering given, a piece of one's own body. That's an unusual. Only one offering of blood or flesh has ever graced the shrine before. She looks genuinely curious to see how the god answers this strange woman. She kneels down by a reflecting pool, and bends over, bringing water over her head in ritual cleansing.
Caeli stands nearby and observes her new kitsune friend's ritual, and assumes it must be the next step; she kneels next to the fox-woman (carefully avoiding those tempting tails!) and performs a passable mimicry of the motions, splashing water over herself in a similar fashion. She even holds her long ponytail over the pool's edge and splashes little cupped handfuls of water over it, deciding that wet hair is the important thing to take away from this practice.
A brief smile from the kitsune. "The important thing dear, is to relax. You are in no rush or hurry and neither is Inari. She will respond to you in..." and is interrupted as a leaf blows right smack into her face. She shakes her head, and the thing continues floating, settling on the water below, ripples floating outward.
Caeli stares at the floating foliage as she tells her guide, "Do not worry, I am calm. I am in a hurry, however. I am very likely to die in ten days, seven hours, fourty-six minutes and three seconds, and I would like to do many things before then." She says all this in the same pleasant, matter-of-fact tone, one finger hovering and wiggling a little as she resists the urge to poke the leaf, remembering the instruction from before - stop touching her things!
There's a whisper in the wind, a soft, masculine voice that's hard to make out at first, but it rises from the susurrus into something formed. A gentle prod, "One who does not live cannot die." is says, with some firmness.
And it's clear the kitsune hears it, because she's backing away from Caeli, looking quite alarmed.
Caeli peers around the shrine curiously, seeing no immediately apparent source for the voice; after a few moments her emerald gaze finally lands on her kitsune guide as the most logical possibility. "I am sorry, I misspoke," she says sincerely. "I am likely to be vaporized at the indicated time due to a catastrophic failure of my reactor. Do not worry, I intend to relocate to an isolated area before that happens."
The kitsune looks about to speak, and is interrupted again by the voice on the wind. It blows the leaf along the water, closer to the edge where Caeli sits. "Your question shall be answered, if you ask it properly. The only one that can answer it is you." again, gentle but firm, sounding almost like a grandfatherly figure. "Harvest comes for all, young and old. Birth and death are both acts of creation." the wind seems to collect, clear words spoken from no observable body. The kitsune is curled up in her own tails, having never heard Inari actually speak.
Caeli headtilts at the trembling fox with some concern, but her attention is now divided, captured by the leaf that tempted her before. "But I am not yet ready to die," she says, not complaining, not pleading, just stating a simple fact. "But Rihko says mortals have souls, and I want to be a mortal, so I need a soul. Do you want to take one from me?" she asks innocently. "They said that is the best way to find out if I had one, though I am forbidden from accepting any trades." Still she eyes the fox, eventually adding, "Miss Yuki, are you injured?"
The breeze almost laughs, the warmth lilting and brushing against Caeli's cheek. The leaf curls up with a water droplet suspended in the middle, and the wind pushes it more insistently. "All creators put a part of themselves into what they make." is all the voice has to offer, "Now go, I will not take something from you, it is not your time." And Yuki is sitting there blinking at the whole interaction. She manages to stammer out a "N... no..."
Caeli blinks rapidly as she feels the laughter, the sensation far from unpleasant; after listening to Inari's words she bows her head a little, replying with a simple, "Thank you, Master Inari." She stares longing at the drifting leaf, biting her tongue behind her lips with indecision; eventually she points down to it and asks Yuki, "Is it okay for me to touch this? I really want to touch it."
Yuki manages, "A... a gift. It would be unwise to not accept it." she is still curled up in her tails, not really sure what to make of the creature in front of her, so clearly not what she thought at all. "You must be mortal... Inari only respects life."
Caeli's eyes light up with excitement as Yuki gives her permission to retrieve the leaf, which she reverently lifts from the pool, carefully preserving the droplet of water upon its surface. "I hope you and Inari are correct," she says, fixated upon the gift. "Thank you for helping me learn. I hope to see you again, Miss Yuki. And you, Master Inari," she says, addressing the room at large for the last. "Take care of yourselves." She offers another small bow, then retrieves her shoes and makes her way out of the shrine.
Caeli's still holding her leaf like a fragile precious thing as she makes her way to her next target. Her brain defaulting at this point to the alphabet, and heads towards the old museum that houses a sarcophagus connected to the ancient god of the Egyptians, known as the gatekeeper. He also makes logical sense to be one to understand souls. The path is fairly easy, and the museum easy to navigate. It remains without electricity, but largely untouched by looters, as most things have little relevant value to survival.
The singleminded focus commonly expected of machines seems to have skipped a generation, as Caeli can't help but stop and stare at the various ancient treasures threatening to sway her from her path. Fortunately, the leaf remains a constant reminder of the purpose that brought her here, and she manages to stay on course and keep the dallying to a minimum.
The place would smell of death, if Caeli were capable of noticing such a thing. It’s dank and musty, dim light filtering in through the second story slit windows. The ancient Egypt exhibit is past the Greek pots and vases area, something every museum seems to have but nobody seems to give a damn about.
Caeli most certainly can notice, and notice she does, though the scent fails to inspire the oft-expected revulsion experienced by many; it's just another unfamiliar smell to her, thoroughly unpleasant but easily disregarded by disabling her olfactory sensors. She seems to give all the damns other people have withheld over the years, trying so very hard not to become distracted but failing miserably. She's just about to poke one of the old pots when a glint of reflected light from the more relevant exhibit catches her eye and draws her away, the mecha-girl choosing to tread lightly as she enters, still somewhat wary after the warnings she received in the pub.
The exhibit is actually surprisingly small, a single sarcophagus, as well as a series of canopic jars on display, and some ancient jewelry, no one having dared to touch a single one of the god's collection. The place does however seem more at peace than the rest, the room entirely silent, sort of like entering a dampening field of sound. There room isn't terribly large, leaving Caeli only to focus on the artifacts brought here. There's an old signage still intact explaining that it’s a travelling exhibit, P-day having dropped before it could be packed up and moved again.
Caeli's curious emerald eyes are drawn to the glorified coffin, which she engages in a staring contest for a short time... while edging closer to the jewelry that caught her eye from the hall. She inspects it closely, then glances back to the sarcophagus, then back and forth again before suddenly asking, "If it I am permitted to take these things, please do not say anything." She then waits, tongue caught between her teeth for an anxious nibble.
Silence of course is the reply, the air still, soundless. The only thing in the room is the light filter of light, and the strong smell.
Caeli caaaaarefully extends a finger and prods the shiniest piece she can find, and then captures it between thumb and forefinger to pinch and feel, head atilt as she does her looking with her fingers.
There's a strange sound, like air ripping. The archway over the connecting room to another part of the museum seems to almost peel back into pure black. There's no howl, no anger, just this strange door opening.
Caeli bristles at the sudden intrusion of what appears to be nothing, fixing it with an intent stare and resolutely keeping her hold on the shiny thing she has claimed; the leaf, meanwhile, is held protectively behind her back, ostensibly hidden from the void. She remains rooted firmly in place, neither gaining nor giving ground, perhaps hoping to have a visitor. "Are you here for my soul?" she asks the silence inquisitively.
No response, just the hanging door open and waiting. It would be inviting if it wasn't pitch black.
Caeli soon tires of waiting and allows her curiosity to get the better of her, approaching the darkness at a steady walk and stopping just a foot or so short of entering. She glances down at the hand holding the ancient jewelry, then over her shoulder at the one occupied by the leaf; not wanting to risk either, she quickly pops her shiny hostage into her mouth and sticks the now-freed hand into the void, then quickly withdraws it for inspection.
The hand remains completely normal, though very slightly cold. No biting, nothing wrong, just, normal. The thing more like an opaque window.
Caeli continues her thoroughly scientific investigation of the anomaly by taking a careful step forward, seeking to pass into the odd, unseen space behind the 'window'; the hand holding the leaf only follows if all appears safe-ish beyond.
The moment she touches through to the other side, she finds herself in a large stone room, hieroglyphs covering the walls, and the central area a large bed. A jackalwoman has just finished putting her robes on and is standing up, a look of curiosity at the sudden appearance of a very human looking woman. Caeli can't help but notice the door seems to have closed around, just a black void surrounding her arm still jutting through to... elsewhere.
Caeli's eyes very suddenly want to be everywhere at once, but she suppresses the impulse to peer around the room and instead focuses on the apparent resident of the curious place. She retrieves the nondescript piece of jewelry from her mouth and says, "Greetings. I was told I could touch this." The stolen item is indicated. "Are you Anubis?"
Selina approaches Caeli, resting her hand on a small stone table, tilting her head a bit at the newcomer... "Where did you come from?"
Selina gurgles, "You shouldn't be dead... this is not the path you would have taken.."
Selina looks at the jewelry object, extending her hand.. "That has been where you found it for several years.. and I know the place. Who exactly told you to keep it?"
Caeli shakes her head, setting her lengthy ponytail swaying behind her. "I will not die for another ten days, five hours, ten minutes and twelve seconds," She informs Selina. "I came from the museum. No one told me to not keep it when I asked, so it is mine now."
Selina shakes her head, "It's not yours to keep, ma'am."
Caeli bites her tongue and peers closely at Selina, perhaps suspecting trickery. "Does it belong to you?" she asks, more curious than challenging.
Selina reverently says, "Stealing something unattended is stealing nonetheless. Will you return it where you found it?""
Selina reverently says, "It belongs to someone important to me."
Selina reverently says, "You came asking for Anubis. What is it that you seek from him? *she looks the automaton over*"
Anubis pads slowly back into the room from elsewhere in the temple. He remains quiet, ears straight up, gazing at Selina.
Caeli holds that impassive stare for several seconds longer, and then quietly says, "I am sorry. If it is important to you, I will put it back." The arrival of the other being steals her attention away, leaving her a bit uncertain of how to proceed - she clearly fails to recognize the god for what he is, and settles on a pleasant, "I am Caeli, and I wish to see if Anubis will offer a trade for my soul. Who are you?" The last is addressed to both jackals, her monochromatic gaze shifting from one to the other as she speaks.
Selina looks behind her, seeing Anubis. She waits to see if he takes the lead in the conversation now that he's returned. Seeing he hasn't stepped forward yet, she addresses Caeli again. "I appreciate that. My name is Selina."
The Jackal, not known for speaking often does the unusual and speaks, "It is not your time to pass the gate. Nor is it yours to give." his long muzzle impassive. He continues moving back toward Selina, for anyone that knows of Anubis this is extremely rare that he would answer so bluntly.
Caeli is blissfully unaware of the habits of godbeings, leaving her ill-equipped to exhibit proper surprise at being directly addressed. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Selina," she says first to the servant before turning to the master. "I am sorry, but I do not understand. If I have a soul, but it is not mine to give, then who does it belong to?" Her question is delivered in the same neutral tone as before.
Selina politely allows Anubis to speak.
Anubis bends over and licks Selina's ear and whispers something softly before turning back to Caeli. His eyes search the creature and his sniffs, "Your creator gave it to you, and it was an act of creation, a seed planted within you that has yet to bloom."
Selina nods to Anubis, turning to Caeli, "If you will excuse me." walking past the bed and stepping out of the room, disappearing into the dark corridor.
Caeli headtilts at the revelation, any surprise she feels hidden by her characteristic lack of expression. "But you believe I have one, as the others did..." She considers for a moment, before replying with another query; "Will this seed bloom within the next ten days and five hours?"
The jackal's gaze holds strong, "It will bloom when the time comes, and when it has lived in fullness I will collect it, judge it and send it into the proper afterlife as with all things."
Caeli unintentionally engages in the same sort of contest with Anubis that she had with the sarcophagus outside, little flickers of green light playing across her eyes as she considers those words. "I do not think ten days will be long enough to live in fullness," she finally says. "There is far too much to experience... but if I have a soul I must be mortal, and Rihko says mortals can change things. So I will change my fate, and then I can experience everything I want to." Half thinking aloud, half offering an unasked-for explanation to her new acquaintance, and all logical in her mind. "Thank you for speaking with me. Are you Anubis?" she asks, curiosity diverting her train of thought once more.
Selina steps back inside, offering Anubis his implements. She steps up onto a short pedestal behind him, fitting his head dress in place, then an amulet wrapped around his neck. Finally offering him his staff as she steps up beside him, looking to Caeli. "Yes, this is Anubis. And you are correct.. You speak of yourself having less than 11 days to live. I presume that was some sort of a diagnosis... but you should welcome the knowledge that we have no such plan for your death."
Selina gurgles, "Anubis will know when your time has come, but he does not set that time." Selina reverently says, "I hope that this comforts you."
Anubis's gaze falls back upon the smaller jackal, and he says, "Selina, please retrieve the necklace from her, and give her my dagger." he still has yet to break a smile or show his teeth, rather his eyes travel back to the girl. "I cannot change your fate. That is in your hands, but should another creature try to take your soul before its time has come, that will be useful." He smiles finally, and points to the Jackal. "She was the first to ever do so, a remarkable thing. I welcome others to learn from her wise actions."
Selina nods to Anubis as she approaches Caeli, withdrawing the dagger she has kept for so long and offering the handle to Caeli--holding the blade carefully between her fingers, not pressing the sharp end against her skin
Caeli silently watches the one-sided exchange and Selina's subsequent approach and offering. "Thank you both," she says, reaching up to slip the necklace over the blade's hilt so that it falls to hang around the jackal's wrist, leaving that hand free to accept the dagger. "I hope its use is not required."
The jackalian god nods approvingly at his... apprentice. His face moving back impassive. "You are wise to seek outside your normal path for assistance. It will bring you the wisdom you need." to Caeli, before signaling Selina to return to his side. While he's moving, another gate opens into the room, this one blindingly white, and the scents of lust and sex waft into the room. Anubis' ears and nose flicker in its direction, and his posture hardens.
Caeli squints as she stares toward the new gate, the necessity of such an act unclear for one with such unusual eyes. She glances back toward the arm devoted to her special leaf's safekeeping, wondering at the strange case of portalitis the world seems to have developed. "Why was the first black and the second white?" she asks inquisitively.
The Jackal sucks in his teeth and he growls under his breath, "Because it's /hers/" and almost to answer, a slinking thin and entirely sexual leg moves first through the portal, twin mounds arriving shortly afterward. A feline that embodies sex slinking her way through with a wide grin. Her ears flicker, and eyes move immediately away from the jackal god toward Caeli. "Oh my, oh my. This one's as cold as the grave, denying such a beautifully offered servant?" and she's somehow closer, the portal closing behind her as she's only a few yards away from Caeli.
Caeli's head is atilt once more, regarding the newcomer with the same largely indeterminate expression she's worn this whole time. "Greetings. My name is Caeli. Who are you?" she asks, ever the polite one, even in the presence of gods.
Ears flatten, used to being recognized immediately, the cat slinks again closer, a hand approaching Caeli's shoulder, she attempts to continue her bravado before she's interrupted. "I am life, my dear. You ask about souls from the one who only claims, but I make them." sharp teeth fill the feline's mouth, her slitted eyes attempting to hide just how much a lie it is.
Selina stands at Anubis' side and watches for the moment.
Selina finds herself speaking up, finally.. "Anubis guards that which is most sacred... you were the one who sought to claim me."
Caeli watches the hand with a somewhat wary expression, but does not immediately move from her present position, perhaps reluctant to bring her poor innocent leaf into the mix and certainly lacking in places to flee to, or immediately apparent reasons to flee in the first place. "It is nice to meet you, Life. I was not told to seek you out. Have you come to find me instead?"
A purr, a mortal challenging her, "Oh godling, you are mistaken. You were the one who couldn't resist me." now on the other side of Caeli her tail wrapping around a waist. "I am after all, irresistible." which gets a snort from Anubis.
Selina reverently says, "It seems I resisted... "
Selina reverently says, "We deal more in facts here."
"Facts?" she carefully places an arm on the girl, as her slowly encroaching limbs swirling about Caeli. "I deal in the now. You and your owner, godling are but lost in the past. Life has changed, we're no longer trapped in history, useless forgotten appendages."
Selina tilts her head, "As it so happens I'm quite aware that Japan and Egypt are not geographical neighbors in the hearts and the minds of the people."
Selina reverently says, "If you wish to seek a broader view of the world than I congratulate you. But it is hardly a unique attribute."
The jackal seems to approve of his apprentice's standing up to the goddess, a hand grasping her around the shoulder in warm support, his eyes focused harshly on the feline.
Caeli looks down at the tail, failing to resist... or show any real interest in anything other than conversation, for that matter. "Is my presence still required here?" she asks innocently. "I have several other places I must visit, and am still bound by the time limit imposed by the destabilization of my reactor."
Selina reverently says, "And as for your reactor.."
Selina reverently says, "Again, we do not have your time set in stone."
And Bast seems instantly deflated at the total rejection, her sexuality not even remotely touching Caeli. She unwraps, looking over, and sniffing at the girl again. "You said she had a soul. This is a construct Jackal." her slitted eyes glaring directly at Anubis.
Selina reverently says, "Are you the expert on souls now, as well? Life, death... what other domains will you claim?"
Caeli blinks in complete confusion at the exchange. "I do not have a soul? But... that conflicts with the other data I have gathered. What has led you to this conclusion?" She peers at Bast, chewing on her lip in a way that at least appears nervous.
"Constructs don't have souls. You're just a thing!" she is backing away now. Her hackles are up and her fangs and claws bared, as if Caeli is a threat to her.
Selina reverently says, "Life has changed. We're no longer trapped in history."
Selina reverently says, "Is your house so lonely that you must come to torture her with lies?"
Caeli shakes her head resolutely at Bast, sending ripples down her ponytail. "That is a possibility. However, I choose not to believe it. I will consider your theory alongside the others, however. It was a pleasure meeting..." The gate closes before she can finish. "...you."
Selina reverently says, "I would say I made an enemy today, if I thought that she were ever a friend."
Selina looks to Caeli, "I am happy that she does not make you doubt yourself.."
Anubis seems to almost relax at her leaving, "She was already your enemy, the moment you foiled her original plot. You just... embarrassed her further. But you are under my protection and she can do nothing to you. Besides she is one of many sex gods wandering around, while I am the only master of the domain of death remaining. Do not worry." he strokes Selina's muzzle, trying to comfort the girl.
Selina leans in a bit, looking over to Caeli a bit
Selina reverently says, "Her name is Bast... Spreading doubt is her way of attracting her followers."
Selina reverently says, "Make a person doubt themselves, doubt their own strength, until they beg her to save them."
Caeli nods quietly at the god and his servant. "I see. She was on my list after all, then..." She glances thoughtfully at the empty space into which the goddess vanished, then continues, "I am glad to have met you both. I will continue with my assignment now. Please take care of yourselves." She gives a little bow, then turns around to face the problem of leaving the strange temple.
Selina nods to Caeli, "I am happy if we could help you. I.. do venture out from here. I'm often in New Ireland."
Anubis nudges Selina, and then says, "That dagger should help you leave as well."
Selina reverently says, "If you see me, please feel free to speak to me. I do not tend to talk about my.. position in public.""
Selina reverently says, "It isn't my wish to trouble those unnerved by the thought of death."
Selina nods "You can use that to open the gateway back to the museum. Keep it safe."
Caeli glances down at the dagger in her hand, then fully extends her arm and waves it up and down a bit in front of her, in the space formerly occupied by the intangible doorway that granted her access to this place.
Waving it does nothing at first, until she actually slices with it during the movement, which appears to cut the air, and the space peels back into a black doorway.
Caeli casts a glance over her shoulder to give her hosts a final nod of farewell, then steps back through to the museum, on the way to the next step in her journey.[[Category:[REDACTED] Events]]