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The Price of Knowledge

Feila is now home to a wide range of advanced technology that makes Earth's present day computers look like children's toys. Sentient androids walk the streets as free citizens, robots have taken over much of the industrial work, and the youth surf the streets on hover boards. Medicine has become so advanced that the disabled can be fitted with cybernetic limbs, while those seeking super strength can find said technology on the black market. Politics have shifted greatly, and Edwin has become a cold and controlling authoritarian state, with each of the remaining nations changed in its own manner. All natives are furry (Skin Avian are present here too). No native humans.
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Asyriel
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The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:24 pm

Freya sighed as she cut communications. The deal had been brokered, and now she needed to secure the goods and head to the appointed meeting place. She headed into the basement of the home she had taken in Beyruth. She spent a few moments gathering energy before she opened a portal in the air in front of her.
The portal opened into a large room carved into stone somewhere deep beneath Feila. She stepped through that portal and into the nearly unlit room. Old magic within the room gave off a soft glow that barely gave off enough light for her to see as she walked through what had become her library. The magic kept the air clean, and at the optimal temperature and humidity for her books. She walked slowly along the shelves of books and sighed again at the thought that she was about to sell off part of her horde, one of her favorite parts even. Eventually she stopped near one of the oldest sections. "let's see..." She said quietly to herself as she lightly ran a fingertip across the spines of the books in front of her. "...Chaucer , Canterbury Tales. Not giving them my first copy though." She continued to speak softly to herself as she pulled the book from the shelf. "And now, let's see. Edwinish history, and space exploration. An unusual combination.." She mused as she pulled two more books from her shelves. She headed back to the still open portal with the books in hand, stopping to take a deep breath before she stepped back into a world she felt ambivalent about at best ever since she had been forced to leave Edwin. "You can do this, just remember why you're doing it.." She told herself as she stepped through.

Back in her current home, she quickly and carefully wrapped the books to protect them then put them into a bag that she strapped carefully to her back between her wings. She then stepped outside into the late spring sunlight. There were plenty of other furs on the streets, many of them living or working in the area. She nodded to a couple of the furs passing by before she moved to a less crowded area, then took to the air. She was careful not to fly too high as she made her way to the meeting place.

She eventually landed atop a building closer to the outskirts of the city. The building wasn't the tallest in the area, but was tall enough to offer some privacy from the streets below, and far enough away from taller buildings to offer at least a little privacy from above as well. She hadn't been told who exactly she was supposed to meet, but she knew it wasn't likely to be the actual buyer of the books. She hadn't even been given a description, but it wasn't likely that anybody she met in this place would be any other than the one she was supposed to meet. With this in mind, she leaned against the wall along the perimeter of the roof, and watched the sky. She opened her perceptions to keep herself from being surprised, and for the most part relaxed and enjoyed the late spring sun.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:02 pm

While not usual, it was not unheard of for furs to fly under their own wing power. Avians had done so for centuries, and the recent social acceptability, even fashionability, of hybridization made such wings at least a daily sight. Of course, quite a few body-mod surgeries were needed in order to get a skeleton of the appropriate strength and weight, and such was not a cheap procedure.

Thus, when Freya saw the winged feline, with the fur and pattern of a fox, begin to emerge from the clouds, she could be sure that he was no inconsiderable figure, and that it was rather unlikely that he was a mere courier. Not that his dress proclaimed him anything special, as it became clear. Tanktop for easy wing movement, slim-fitting jeans, and shoes of a rather ordinary appearance.

A practiced flyer, he alighted next to Freya in one smooth swoop, not even bouncing on his heels as he landed. "Guten Tage." He whistled as he took a look at his vendor. "Another dragon! Valencii wasn't kidding, alright. You have brought the books?"
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:07 pm

Freya smiled as she saw a hybrid drop from the clouds. When she thought about the location that was specified for the meeting, it didn't surprise her that she would be meeting with another that could fly. She kept an eye on the feline as he got closer, wondering to herself just who the buyer was to have either paid to ensure the feline's ability to fly or hired someone that had enough to pay for it for themselves.

"and to you as well." She replied with a smile, though her Edwinish accent was easy to pick out. "I do have the books, right here." She said as she unstrapped her bag and swung it around to open it up. She stopped in the middle of opening the bag. "wait...another dragon?" She asked with some surprise as she finally processed the comment. Dragon's were not exactly common, and dragons like Freya were a bit of a rarity since most of them had been wiped out thousands of years before. "Who is this other dragon, if I might ask?" She asked with some curiosity as she pulled the books from her bag. The two more recent ones, weren't wrapped with quite as much care as the oldest one which was carefully wrapped in soft dry cloth. "An interesting selection.." She mused as she carefully unwrapped the first two. One a history textbook from her days as a university professor in Edwin, the other a more recent book detailing the highlights of space exploration till the time just before the emergence of the party in Edwin. "History textbooks haven't been accurate for centuries, nobody want's to admit to the purge." She commented as she handed over the first two books for inspection.

The third book she handled with much more care as it was much older than the other two. "A very early copy of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. Not quite sure how it fits with the others." She commented with a chuckle as she handed over the last book, though she didn't unwrap it for fear that the elements may damage it.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:36 pm

The customer kept a keen eye on the bag, and the keen observer would have noted that his manner was much more acquisitive than the normal courier. It was with some difficulty that he wrenched his attention to the question Freya asked him. "Oh? Ach, I doubt you'd know them. A mother and her son, down from Piriqui. Ruean and Andre. They used to help keep a bar near Alexanderplatz, but moved further west after some trouble." He didn't elaborate further, only reaching out to handle the proffered books himself.

"Hm, Freeman's alright. He doesn't write as well as Macaulay, Belloc, or Chesterton, but he has a better idea of what my own country is as well as his. Ah, and this is a work of DeGrasse Tyson? Some old recordings still exist; it made me sad to watch them. Such hope, not to be..." He looked over the last one cursorily. "That is for a friend." He put them all into his satchel, pulling out a pocketcomm. "I'll put the credit to your account; what name is it in?"
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:22 pm

Freya didn't miss much as she watched the way the hybrid handled the books. He was right about the other dragon, it wasn't a name she knew, but that could be a relative thing, sometimes the long lived needed to change a name. The mention of Piriqui had her thinking of her own mother. "I was born in Piriqui." She commented. "That was a long time ago though, maybe I'll have the fortune to meet her sometime, may be nice to have someone to compare notes with."

She had to chuckle as the hybrid spoke about the books' authors, he seemed to be so absorbed in the books that he had completely missed her comment about history texts. "account..hmm.." She paused a moment. "Goldwin Enterprises....corporate account I think is the best place for it for now." She replied as she pulled out her own pocketcomm. The relevant information should have been provided. She paused for another moment before holding out a hand. "My name is Freya by the way. You know....if you're interested in history, I used to be a history professor in Edwin." She ventured on a whim, wondering if this time she might get a bite.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Thu Jan 01, 2015 8:24 pm

The winged feline-fox made a sound halfway between a laugh and a snort at the hearing that Freya used to be a history professor. "My sympathies. I suppose your firsthand knowledge was a plus. I don't suppose you could tell me how the Party got to where it is now? No histories published after that time are worth bupkiss." He looked up, after finishing the transaction, and took the proferred hand. "Kolin. A pleasure to meet you, fraulein." Never mind that the dragonness was no longer young.

An explanation for that attitude might become apparent when Freya next looked down an her comm. The name of the transferring account was 'von Drake.' That name might be familiar to her, as it was attached to the Pharmacyber company MEZER, and one of the largest technocratic fortunes in Gawain, and possibly the world. The heir and scion of that family was before her right now...
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:12 pm

Freya made a sound that was very similar to the laugh-snort Kolin had made, though hers was accompanied by a small puff of smoke. "Histories before that weren't worth much either, though they were better than anything you'll find after the party." She said as she shook Kolin's head, and gave a polite nod. "A pleasure indeed." She said with a smile before addressing his question "A combination of extreme paranoia brought about by staged events, and extreme politicians who happened to be there to capitalize on them. Took over by offering the people protection, martial law to keep them safe." She wore a look of disgust as she spoke, then shook her head. She had given a very rough and general description of the events, but a rooftop near the edge of the city was no place to get into history lessons. "If you're interested, perhaps we could meet somewhere a little more..." She put her hands out, gesturing to the open air around them. "....well, less public. I'd be happy to give some history lessons. I spent most of my life in Edwin after all. I could tell you things no history book ever covered." She finished with a grin before she looked down at her comm. She raised an eyebrow a bit and grinned before she sent her personal contact information.

"Feel free to contact me if you're interested." She said before heading toward the edge of the roof. She figured he would want to take care of his acquisitions before doing anything else. Of course she could have read the situation wrong, and he wouldn't be interested at all, but she doubted that.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:58 pm

"It hardly explains why it was so different from what happened before..." Kolin sighed; he'd gathered as much just from all the old news stories; he'd been kind of hoping that firsthand witnesses would give him a more vivid picture. Still, he had to concede that this was probably not the best time and place to have that conversation.

He looked down, noting her contact information for a later visit, but then paused before lifting off himself. "I... don't wish to be rude in the matter, but how far exactly do you go back?"
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:46 pm

Freya smiled at Kolin. "Omnipresent surveillance was a contributing factor to what made it different." She shook her head as he asked how old she was, though he didn't use those exact words. "I take no offense." She replied, pausing as if mulling it over for a moment before speaking again. "Let's just say that I spent my teen years with King Gavin Windsor, when we were nearly the same age." She said in answer to his question, and grinned. He may know how long ago that was off the top of his head, and if not he had something to work for before he would know for sure just how old she was.

"Have a great day, and enjoy the books. Oh, and if you find a good venue for it, and want that history class, feel free to get in touch." She said before she headed off. Now she needed to get ahold of her contacts in Edwin and set up a fresh transfer of funds.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:43 pm

As a matter of fact, Kolin knew enough history to place Freya's date of birth; at least within a half-century or so. The margin of error alone said about 80% of what the real number would. He cocked his head on one side, but didn't look surprised. More intrigued. "In that case... I suspect you hold more hidden knowledge than mere historical sequence would suggest. And, as a matter of fact, I do have a venue in mind for that class. I shall send you information when I can." And with a half-enigmatic smile, he took off himself.



Some days later, an address would appear in Freya's inbox. It was in one of the forgotten quarters of the Bayreuth warehouse district; and was apparently host to the MRRS, whatever that was.
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:10 pm

In the intervening days between her meeting with Kolin, and receiving the latest message from him, Freya had paid a visit to a small coastal town near one of the narrower parts of the channel between Edwin and Gawain. She was there for a meeting with one of her contacts, one that often made drops of goods and supplies in Edwin for the resistance. As she stepped into the building they were to meet in, her contact was nowhere to be found. It was highly unusual for her contact to be late, let alone miss a meeting. She started looking more closely around the building, and began seeing some signs of a struggle, though efforts had been made to disguise them. She eventually found a small scrap of paper with a note scrawled hastily on it in a cypher. She took the paper, and with one last look around, left. The note turned out to be A time and location for a dead drop, which would have been the supplies Freya had procured. She didn't like the circumstances, it was something she was going to have to look into further.

The next day, she arrived in the warehouse district in the general area of the address Kolin had sent. She circled the area a few times warily before she set down a couple blocks from the building that was the meeting place. "the MRRS...wonder what that is..." She murmured to herself as she approached the building. She eventually found a door and knocked on it a couple times, calling out as she did. "Kolin, are you in there? It's Freya." She called as she tried the knob, unsure if it was locked or not. The scene she had found the day before had her a little more wary than normal.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:36 pm

The door was answered, not by Kolin, but by a rather plump-looking mouse. He had just exactly that degree of pleasant expression necessary to the sharp negotiator, and his face might be familiar to Freya. This was Raymon Valencii, one of the foremost traders in information and written material in any market, black or white. He certainly recognized Freya, and bade her come in.

"Kolin's been expecting you! Mind the drafts; we have to keep the place well ventilated in case of... incidents." Through a short hallway was a large chamber, about half the size of an aircraft hangar, once used for the storage of those great freight containers that barges and trains shipped across the continent and the world. With the closing of Edwin's ports, this hub had been abandoned in favor of the Western coast of Gawain, which faced the still-open Domus.

The place wasn't empty, it was filled with various scientific equipment of near-incomprehensible purpose. Oddly enough, some of the apparati looked strangely familiar, as if they were modern skins on very ancient things. Hunched over one of these was Kolin himself, who sprang to his feet when Freya came in. "Ah! Welcome to the Magical Research and Restoration Society! I have a feeling that you may recognize some things here, yes?"
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:38 pm

When the door opened, and Freya looked down to see Mr. Valencii, much of her tension and trepidation quickly melted away. She flashed a smile as he showed her into the building.

"wonderful." She replied as she followed him into the large storage area. She looked around with some interest, noting the some of the various devices in the building. The devices were intriguing, they tickled at her memory, whispering of things long gone from this world. "interesting equipment..." She mused as they walked "Incidents..." She replied, didn't add the inflection that would have turned the statement into a question because she felt that may be prying just a little, though she did wonder to herself just what incidents he may have been talking about.

They eventually came to where Kolin looked to be working on one of the devices. "Kolin, hello." She said as they approached. Kolin made his introduction and everything immediately clicked into place. She gave a full throaty and completely delighted laugh "Magical Research and Restoration Society..." She said, testing the name on her tongue. "Not bad, and now that you mention it, I do recognize the basic designs of some of these things." She said with a wide grin as she ran a claw gingerly over a device within reach. "Though it didn't quite click into place until you mentioned magical research." She paused, looking around again at all of the devices around them. "I honestly didn't expect to run into any other practitioners in this day and age" She said with another chuckle. "looks like you've been busy...these your own designs, or are you working from something previously documented?" She asked with some curiosity, the history lesson all but forgotten for the time being.

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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Rackenhammer » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:06 pm

"Previously documented, when I can get any reliable documentation." Kolin ran a finger over a set of alchemical equipment, noting the reagent supply. "It's honestly not so different from having to do the whole thing all over again, since I can't tell the genuine esoteric stuff from the absolute balderdash."

He frowned a bit, but then smiled, snapping his fingers to summon a few electric sparks. "According to the one who found out my abilities, I got them through my avian heritage. Apparently, I have access to all elements, though I'm partial to wind." He flapped his wings once, summoning a breeze that ruffled the skin and fur of all present. "For obvious reasons." The hybrid grinned.

Raymon bustled in, hustling around as he gathered up the sheets of notes that his friend had scattered with a huff. "Just so. In any case, could we interest you in adding to the body of knowledge? It's purely academic, or would be if any University would take us seriously; practical applications will have to wait until we go a month without accidentally setting ourselves on fire."

"That was only once!" Kolin protested.

"Right. Correction: One month without setting me on fire."

The von Drake scion acknowledged the retort with a touche gesture, tapping over his heart twice.
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Re: The Price of Knowledge

Post by Asyriel » Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:05 pm

Freya nodded as Kolin talked about the equipment, and how he had managed to get it all fabricated. "I never really got into artificing or alchemy much myself." She commented. "never really found a need for it." She continued. She watched with a wide grin as Kolin proved that yes he absolutely could use magic.

"Obviously." She replied with a sage nod when Kolin mentioned being partial to wind. Freya, unable to resist doing a bit of showboating of her own reached out with tendrils of her own telekinetic force to gather the sheets of notes that Raymon was chasing. She set the sheets flowing, and spinning around him a couple times before settling them into a nice stack in his hands.

"I actually wouldn't mind at all adding to the body of knowledge. You're not getting my originals though, I can translate and transcribe them for posterity. Most of my expertise is in the psychic, and spell crafting realms though"

She chuckled at the exchange between Kolin and Raymon before she added her own input. "There's nothing wrong with setting yourself on fire." She commented as she held up a hand sheathed in flame. "You just have to do it properly." She grinned for a moment before snuffing the flames, and letting a slightly more serious expression creep onto her muzzle. "I wouldn't under normal circumstances ask this, but it's something I would like to hash out before we get too far into this" She paused for a moment. "What is the possibility of monetary compensation?" She asked, her scales darkening with a slight embarrassed blush, and getting right down to the heart of her concerns. She hated the way it made her sound, but she was helping fund a resistance, and Kolin could prove to be a substantial boon toward that end.

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