[PEG] Worries and Tribulations
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18:23 TELTRIIDAN 3rd 40,887 - ANONYMOUS PRIVATE ROOM 8950.593
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ITI: Good evening, everyone. How has today been treating you all?
UN: oh cut the formalities, you never ping us unless it's important
UN: or really dumb
UN: so pick one
AM: No need to be so rude, Unnie.
ITI: Alright, you've caught me. I was in the Central Province all last week, for a convention Pink normally holds. All the province leaders have to attend, it's a big hullabaloo.
ITI: It's mostly to discuss things like military, economics, politics, etc. Discussing how our provinces are doing and if we need further assistance from the Center. For example, Foitite (Olivine Province) usually bitches about needing more firefighters or funding or what-have-you.
UN: i know all this, i work in center
AM: I don't! Tell me more, Itty.
ITI: I'm getting there, my friends! Regardless all four leaders converge there. As Ice Province Governor, that means I attend as well. We're given suites in the castle to stay at during our visit. While I was resting in my room, there was a knock at the door.
UN: you writing a story now, siber?
ITI: Be patient!
ITI: I opened the door to find Dravite standing before me - very nervously. (He is from the Badlands). With an anxious smile, he fiddled with his hands and asked for me to allow him entry. Of course, I did, although I remained wary. I always carry a gemstone under my shirt's collar in case of emergencies, and I was ready to activate it should anything go wrong. He sat on a nearby chair and continued to fiddle with his hands, so I asked him what was the matter?
UN: he's so writing a story now
UN: you know that i don't "get" to be off work right guys
AM: Shush! I like the way he tells stories.
ITI: Apologies, I'll try to wrap this up. Dravite responded by asking if I trusted him. I don't, but I lied and said I did, of course, whatever was the matter? He fell silent for several more seconds before blurting out that he feared there was a conspiracy within the Empire to overthrow Pink & Paraiba.
UN: so how did he find out, do you think
ITI: I told him that was simply absurd! Who would wish to overthrow our darling leaders? He seemed soothed by my words, and after some more swift assurances, he was ushered from my room. That's why I didn't come online during the rest of my visit at the center. I am not aware of how Paraiba (or Pink!) may have bugged their Wi-Fi.
ITI: *That* is what I was hoping you two may help answer!
AM: Is someone reading our chatlogs?
UN: No, MRMR is hosted by Amethyst and he wouldn't spread information, even if he cared to check the logs. also he doesn't like pink anyways. it's a begrudging type alliance since he can't get to pegmatite unless he goes through pink.
AM: Well this throws a wrench in our plans!
ITI: I think we merely must tread carefully, perhaps pull back on the plan(s) until things calm down a bit. I didn't want to interrogate Dravite too much, and he did not answer when I asked who had told him such "lies". He just cried.
UN: i'm going to pull records to look at something, i'll brb afk
ITI: Good luck!
AM: Was it another Tourmaline? It'd have to be, right? I don't know who else could convince him with such certainty that something was off.
ITI: That's what I fear.
AM: Is that why you didn't add Achroite to this chat? To see if they're the leak?
ITI: Clever! Indeed, yes. I don't think Achroite is the type of person to blow the whistle on us... if he did, I believe he would've contacted Pink or Paraiba directly, rather than fearmonger by telling Dravite (after all, what is Dravite going to do to fix such a thing?) but I'm not sure who else it could be. I don't speak of our plan to any of my subordinates, and nor does Tsil, as far as I'm aware.
ITI: And, Achroite is not even close to Dravite. Did Dravite perhaps overhear Arch talking about the coup to someone, or did one of Arch's subordinates speak to Dravite about it all? Was it someone unrelated, who is close to Dravite? I don't know, and that brings me worry.
UN: i dug up the transportation records for the badlands province for the last ~5 months
ITI: Excellent thinking!
UN: head of transport has its perks i suppose lol
UN: playing chess by yourself in a traffic control room gets fucking boring after a while though
UN: anyways. the records
AM: Are you checking to see if someone's been in and out of the badlands recently?
UN: yeah so like, paraiba and pink do periodic checkups on all the provinces, they cycle through. every ~3months they'll head to another province for a week to oversee the governer and make sure all's well
ITI: Correct. It's the most stressful week of my life at times, I swear! >_<
UN: well obviously, as head of transport, i know their schedule like the back of my hand - i.e. what months they head out and to where. so i pulled the records to double-check if either of them made weird visits to the badlands, specifically, and i have bad news
UN: paraiba (without pink) was at the badlands just last month, but he and pink are supposed to visit together next month, in karshdan. and i didn't know about this until i pulled the records - he hopped on some passenger train, the only reason i know he went is bc he had to scan his ID for a free ticket.
ITI: That is concerning....
AM: Is there any information about why he visited? Y'know, like, business or pleasure?
UN: the transport cops aren't obliged to collect that information and i don't think they would've asked paraiba, of all people, either. you're just supposed to ask that if the other person seems really mysterious. they did do a beaut check on him ironically, but it passed as clear so it was definitely paraiba.
AM: Illusion magic?
UN: how would they have gotten the ID? and besides, the traincarts have copper baked into the roofs & stuff (i made that law actually). prevents people from, y'know, magically trying to derail the train as a terrorist attack or teleport out or fuck up the process. the illusion would've broken as soon as he stepped inside.
ITI: In fairness, this may not be cause for panic (yet). If we could figure out why Paraiba visited, we may find out that perhaps he was fixing a crisis, not speaking to Dravite about our coup. How would he have even figured it out?
AM: Can someone ask him why he went there?
ITI: I'll look *very* strange if I do.
UN: i guess it falls to me huh
ITI: Head of transport! It makes sense for you to question him on such things, no? You're just doing your job!
UN: you owe me a fuckin' beer after this, siber
ITI: I will buy you many sodas!
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LOADING TOURM CHAT SERVICE...
19:01 TSILAISITE: Heya Paraiba!
PARAIBA: Hm? Oh, hello. This is pretty late to be texting me; was something wrong?
TSILAISITE: Nothing bad, I promise. Just was bored and going through transportation records, probably a little later than I should've.
TSILAISITE: I noticed something funky - did you visit the Badlands last month?
PARAIBA: I did, yes.
TSILAISITE: Oh! Sorry, it was just outside of your normal schedule, so I was worried if you'd been impersonated or something.
PARAIBA: They have Beaut checks, Tsil. :)
TSILAISITE: Yeah, idk, I've heard of Beauts getting past them.
PARAIBA: Those are urban myths, I assure you.
TSILAISITE: Tell that to my anxiety, haha. What were you doing there?
PARAIBA: You seem awfully interested.
TSILAISITE: Sorry. Just curious. Gets boring in this room doing nothing lol.
PARAIBA: You could work shorter hours, perhaps? I would be happy to push the idea up to Pink to get it legalized. You've given us millennia of good work, Tsil. I'd hate for you to burn out, or resent your job.
TSILAISITE: Thanks, Paraiba. You're a good boss.
PARAIBA: I try. Dravite actually called me up there, said it was an emergency.
TSILAISITE: Holy shit? Was he okay?
PARAIBA: He was... unconsolable, I think. I managed to get the needed information out of him, though, and comforted him best I could. I offered to allow him to take some vacation time if he so desired, but he declined.
TSILAISITE: What happened?
PARAIBA: Classified. :)
TSILAISITE: Aw, that's pretty high classification if it's above my pay grade.
PARAIBA: I'm aware.
TSILAISITE: Well damn. Thanks for letting me know, Paraiba. I appreciate you keepin' me informed. I guess I'll get back to running chess against the computer.
PARAIBA: See you in the morning, Tsil.
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19:10 TELTRIIDAN 3rd 40,887 - ANONYMOUS PRIVATE ROOM 8950.593
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UN: i am back
ITI: How did it go?
UN: ok 1. i hate talking to paraiba, he skeeves the fuck out of me.
UN: 2. dravite called paraiba up there, i guess to spill aforementioned beans. so paraiba probably knows. and dravite's informant isn't paraiba.
ITI: Ugh... this means Paraiba's known for weeks that something is brewing. Did he seem to suspect you?
UN: STARS fuck idk. the way he talks is so off. he said stuff like "hope you don't resent your job" and put weird emphasis on it so maybe? but he seemed pretty amicable and i tried to pat his ass like normal.
ITI: Lay low for now, Tsil. We need someone like you in our pockets, in your position.
UN: he seemed to imply he wanted me to stay in my position, so make of that as you will
AM: I'm just glad I don't have to interact with the guy much. (shudders) The way you two talk about him makes me nervous.
AM: inb4 Sterling sends me as ambassador to the tourm empire -_-
ITI: Haha I'd host you!
UN: yeah no be glad you don't have to talk to him much
ITI: Jests aside, yes, I'm on the same page as Tsil. Paraiba is half of the reason why I began this crusade. I don't trust him, at all, there's something deeply untrustworthy about him - the way he acts, the way he carries himself. He's good at pretending he's not nearly as insidious as he is, but when you've known him for as long as we have, it becomes clear. He's going to do something drastic, I can feel it.
ITI: Paraiba will bring about - not the end of times, no, but something close to it. There's too much bubbling under his surface; malice, ambition, hatred. He's going to do something absolutely insane, something none of us would be able to stop if we let him amass the power he's been reaching for.
UN: don't mean to get all #conspiracy in here but yeah, i agree. paraiba's always a little too ready to war. or fight. i don't like how deep in his pocket pink is; the guy listens to whatever paraiba tells him. it's like he knew pink needed someone and manipulated his way in, like some emotional-support snake. he likes pink, i mean, don't get me wrong (he's a dolphin, of course he does) but that's gonna make him go nuts or something.
ITI: He'll act out in Pink's name. He'll ruin the Empire.
UN: yeah. i don't trust paraiba to lead the empire. i mean i would barely trust myself, but he's going to usurp pink or something out of some misguided thoughts on "protecting" him. and then he's gonna fucking
UN: idek start a world war maybe
AM: In fairness isn't that what Pink Tourmaline was always trying to do? Spark a world war so he could conquest?
ITI: I mean... yes and no.
UN: it's like
UN: alright don't spread this but it's sort of like this well-kept irony among us tourms in the sense of like
UN: pink's a great guy don't get me wrong but he'd never be able to single-handedly take down the pegmatite, not in the mental state he's in, but he's really good leading at home. like he's great domestically
ITI: It was an open secret that we figured we'd never actually become a proper Empire and overtake the other Geodes; we'd just fortify ourselves. I think at max we were going to annex Olivine's, but the Pegmatite stepped in at the last second.
AM: I see... and you were all okay with that?
UN: idk. i like how it is now (minus paraiba). i don't have any issues with the pegmatite or whatever, nothing sustained. i mean the other birthstones suck ass, but they can only fuck up their own geodes. we're self-sustaining and doing just fine, making new tech, happy citizens and stuff. everyone else can get druzy for all i care.
AM: Yeesh, even me?
UN: you're cool, just immigrate into the empire lol
ITI: Agreed, Tsil, although I'm less in-group focused. I'd like for everyone to be happy and not at each other's throats... but I'd rather just take care of the motherland, yes. Imagine dumping our resources and time and effort on helping... I don't know, Citrine's Geode? Why would we ever bother?
AM: It's not as easy as you're making it sound Unnie!
AM: Also I kinda get what you two mean but it feels sorta isolating. What if something happens and your Geode can't self-sustain anymore? Wouldn't you want good relations with the others so they'd pitch in and help out?
ITI: That wouldn't happen!
UN: that wouldn't happen
AM: Um. I mean it's a possibility?
UN: really the only thing that would cause that is like, several other geodes magic-nuking ours. and that'd be a war that we didn't start, so friendly relations won't happen much in that circumstance.
ITI: Paraiba may cause that circumstance, however! Which brings me back to my original point: he cannot be allowed to take as much power. We must let the coup go off without a hitch.
AM: Man, the plan feels so nuts. Like idk if it'll actually succeed.
UN: nah sustained mind control isn't that hard, you just have to eat more lol
ITI: I hope you're prepared to eat plenty, Tsil!
UN: can't wait to become a fucking mortal in my eating habits haha
ITI: It's nice to have some lightheartedness among this stressful conversation. Thank you both for being there!
UN: it's my plan too at this point in fairness
AM: I'm really grateful you two trust me so much!
ITI: Of course! I should hop off before I spend too many hours peering at my monitor. Tsil, I'll message you tomorrow with some ideas for moving forwards while keeping this mum. I'll also contact Archoite and see what he says about it, breach the topic carefully.
UN: hang on paraiba's texting me
LOADING TOURM CHAT SERVICE...
20:15 PARAIBA: Tsil, could you come into my office real fast?
TSILAISITE: Huh? What's up?
PARAIBA: You're still in the capital, right? Still at work?
TSILAISITE: Yeah, what's wrong? Emergency?
PARAIBA: Of sorts, yes. Please come ASAP.
TSILAISITE: Yeah, of course, Paraiba. Should I bring anyone?
PARAIBA: No. Just teleport into the main office please, thank you.
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20:20 TELTRIIDAN 3rd 40,887 - ANONYMOUS PRIVATE ROOM 8950.593
UN: hey guys i g2g paraiba needs me for something
ITI: Please stay safe, Tsil!! Do you think it's about the coup?
UN: no idea
AM: Yeah, take care of yourself. I hope it's nothing like that
UN: i feel like he would've tried to be more intimidating if it was. he mostly sounded pleading
ITI: It's still concerning....
UN: i'll be just fine lol. i'll text you when i'm home siber, i really have to go. don't wanna leave him waiting too long. cya
ITI: Good bye, Tsil!
AM: Bye! Good luck!! :(
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