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 Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]

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PostSubject: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:54 am

It was a cold and early morning, probably 5 or 6 AM, in the few moments where the night became morning and the city was graced by a kind of serene blue light, fresh breeze and calm silence (at least, the more rural parts of town were). Nebula hadn't been able to sleep all night, not out of a lack or desire or even due to the fear of nightmares (which was usually what kept her up), but rather, she felt no need to sleep. After the adrenalie rush that was last night's confrontation, Fenrir had retreated into Nebula's mind and hadn't even spoken to her since. All the while, she felt an uncanny lucidity that removed all of her sleepiness, but at the price of the face heat that Fafnir had a habit of imparting upon Nebula whenever he was up to something inside her psyche. Luckily for her, it was mild compared to the last few, which meant she could at the very least bear with it.

Nebula decided to take an early morning stroll in order to cool her face and mind off. She put on her boots and jacket, unplugged her phone and headed out. She still wasn't sure if what she was doing was the right thing, but during her several hours of rolling in bed trying to fall asleep she realized that right or not it was the closest to the right thing that she could do right now. In the end, Nebula decided not to second-question her decision to become a cadet. This doesn't, however, mean that her conflicted feelings suddenly up and dissappeared.

Eventually, Nebula would reach the Sunlake Palms Church entrance. Now, Nebula had never been particularly religious; yes, she believed in God, Heaven and Hell, but aside from that she wasn't particularly interested in understanding things beyond her world. She didn't believe in the bible or listen to sermons or attend churhc, she simply believed that the universe had an unkown creator and there was something after death. However, now that she stood before the Church itself, and had just gone through so many things... she needed some form of confort, and she was willing to take any she could get. Though... would it really be alright for a sinner like her to step inside a holy sanctuary?

Nebula stood outside in the cold of morning, questioning whether it would be out of line for her to seek help, as grasping as it may be for her. To anyone observing, it would simply look like a woman was staring at the doors of the church, shivering lightly from the cold.
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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:56 pm

The ringing cacophony from the alarm caused her eyelids to open. It was that solid mix of whiteness and drab brick of the ceiling that greeted her first. Maria remembered where she was, when hasn't she? It was like clockwork, being disciplined enough to get up from bed and getting ready for the day. At first it was tiring, but when it became routine, the burden felt lighter especially when a warm shower was enough to kick-start her day.

Normally Maria wouldn't bother to look at her phone to peruse the net browser, but there was a kind of curiosity of what kind of effect the day's events had. The local news networks failed to report anything special, but the forums caused her brows to furrow in worry. Did something happen in the Forest of the Lost? What about Shiina's team? Were they alive? Were they able to take down Alice? These questions worried her, but perhaps she would be briefed in the morning meeting.

Tearing herself away from the worrisome news, she eventually found herself sweeping the front entrance with her broom. It was perhaps to her delight that she had the "easier" of work today. After the evening's events, she had to admit she wanted to take it easy since there was still some work to be had in the morning.

There was a lot to think about after hearing what Sera claimed and what Julius tried to assure. Something was amiss. Even though she was just a newcomer as a Cadet, Maria wasn't so innocent to think everything was fine. She continued to brush across the clearing, sweeping the leaves to one side for later collection. Eventually, her eyes spied upon a familiar figure.



"I never knew you were a believer too. What are you doing outside? It's cold, c'mon in."

Maria was confused at first, but maybe she came here for prayer. Or was it for business? If so, how did she find her? The postulant moved to unlock the gate and begin opening it before gesturing her inside.

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:24 am

Nebula snapped back to reality once she heard another woman’s voice. Her eyelids had gotten a little bit sore from the cold and lack of blinking, so she couldn’t make out who she was immediately. After rubbing her eyes and squinting a little bit, she could make her out clearly. It was the woman she’d met on yesterday’s mission! Though right now she was looking much less… how you say, powerful? Imposing? ...Ripped? “O-oh… M-Maria, right?” She worked as a nun? Nebula noticed her outfit from last night was certainly out of place in its own context, but she never fully realized it was nun clothing. Knowing that an acquaintance worked here made this all the more awkward, but… it would be incredibly rude to reject help from someone she could have a chance of being friends with. It was when she noticed how cold she was, however, that she would begin to walk towards the church.

Now, Nebula had trouble speaking with everyone ever, but… last night she’d seen Maria take such imposing leadership, and she was so strong too… not strong in the sense which Nebula had to admit she found attractive in guys (or girls, mind you) but strong in the terrifying way. If she made her mad, she could easily decimate her without so much as blinking. The fact that she could seemingly call upon that much power whenever she wanted and casually return to her aloof-looking self was not helping either. Nebula was practically terrified of Maria.

Nebula stood before Maria before entering the church. This would be awkward for her, right? Surely nobody liked hearing about her problems at the confessional, so why did it have to be her superior of all people? “I-I-I’m s-sorry, I c-came t..to c-confess, b-b-but I-I-I-I-I C-c-c-…” Again with the stuttering. God, she thought, it would all be so much easier if she could at least pretend she was a normal person. The fact that it was so could outside this morning didn't help either, as it worsened her suttering by a thousandfold. Nebula bit her own tongue, and Maria would be able to see that this was done intentionally, as she would lift her teeth a little before biting down. She took a deep breath and began fidgeting with the bangs of hair on her forehead. “S-sorry, t-that happens w-when I’m nervous. I w-w-wanted to u-use the confessional, b-but I d-d-didn’t know you w-worked the shift here. I-I d-don’t want to discomfort you h-having to l-l-listen to your c-cow-worker’s confessions. I-I-I’ll leave if you want…”

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:42 am

Maria cocked a head to the side in confusion. She wondered why Nebula of all people was here. But she smiled gently at her. Remembering from the events in the Dragon's Maw, she was a reliable member despite being heavily specialized in tactical support and for being able to tank hits for the team. In that manner, as a Cadet, Maria trusted her. Though she seemed awfully unsure of herself. It really reminded her of the times when she was training for the Church. Those really were the days...

"That's right!" she affirmed with a lopsided grin, "I'm glad you remembered me."

After the shaky events dealing with the Psyche Terrorists and the demon? Many of them really deserved a break, especially after saving a civilian. It really was too much, if one stopped to think about it, when they just became Cadets recently. But the circumstances apparently have their ways to force new hardships on the neophytes.

She held up a finger to stop the stuttering Cadet and spoke, "Hold on. We should get inside the Cathedral, you sound like you're chattering through your bones. That isn't good, you know. But the heater should be up, should be nice and cozy. Would you like some tea?"

Maria began to lead her colleague inside, after setting the broom to the side near a wall. She was pretty much done anyway, not many leaves fell to serve as extra obstructions to the completion of a chore. While they were entering, she heard her want to use a confessional.



"Hey now, don't be shy. The Church accepts everyone who wants to share their burdens, it doesn't discriminate. Though you are a bit too early, confessionals start hours later. And sadly, I'm not ordained for it. But if you just want some things to get off your chest, I'm willing to listen if you want. Though do you want tea? We only have lemon for now, the grandmas drank the rest."

She pouted at the memory, but kept her gentle smile towards Nebula. It was an utter shame, there was orange, raspberry, jasmine, and strawberry in the cupboards just a few days ago. But she had her suspicions that the rest of the staff probably made sneaky visits from time to time.

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:24 pm

Nebula was definitely surprised at how nice Maria was being. Last night she’d seen her completely destroy demons at the flick of her wrist, and now she was… well… this. “U-uh…” This level of niceness and homeliness was unexpected from anyone, let alone Maria. But then again, she did turn out to be a nun, so… was that part of a nun’s job? Being nice? Or was it simply Maria’s own personality? “O-Oh, i-it’s not ab-bout the c-cold, I j-j-just have a s-stuttering d-disorder…” Well, that was a half lie; the cold was making her stuttering much worse, but at the same time she did have a speech disorder: childhood onset fluency disorder, which in her particular case went well past childhood. She used to be completely unable to get even a simple sentence out without repeating a word, syllable or letter quite a few times, though over time she'd learned to keep it mostly in check, involuntarily stuttering only once every few words and in a single syllable. Though, after her life in prison took course, whenever she was stressed, scared or uncomfortable her stuttering relapsed to the way it used to be as a child until she calmed down. “T-though, s-s-stepping in-nside does s-sound n-nice…”
 
“I-I’m early?” That was unexpected; usually Nebula was either running late to things or precisely on time, but never early. “O-oh, n-n-no, you d-don’t have to. I w-was hoping t-to use the c-confessional b-because I c-could sp-p-peak my m-mind with-thout h-having to w-worry ab-bout being j-judged, b-but… y-you’re a c-c-companion of mine, s-so… it… w-would be a l-little bit a-awkward… I’m sorry…” As Nebula stepped into church, she could feel the immediate change in temperature. Normally this would’ve been welcome, but… Fafnir existed, and so did his heat. Feeling a little overheated, Nebula meekly took off her jacket and the hairband holding her hair in a bun. At the very least now she'd be able to stutter less. The lessened clothing and free flowing hair did somewhat improve her condition, too.
 
 
“Any tea you have is f-fine… thank you..”


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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:41 pm

"Oh! I see, sorry about that. Ha ha," she sheepishly apologized while rubbing the back of her neck. It did interest her a little bit. Stuttering? Was that why she rarely talked during the mission? Perhaps she really lacked confidence and that was sort of worrisome. Maybe Maria would have to keep an eye on her, after all.

Despite the girl wanting to keep her concerns private, the postulant nodded in understanding. She could sympathize with it. Sharing things with your new co-worker isn't quite... great to say. Sometimes there are things that needed to be kept private, just like how Maria didn't like to share the fact about herself as a Cadet to other non-Cadets. She liked to keep her work away from her own life if she could.

"Of course, follow me. The kitchen should be a little bit warmer. There's a table and chairs to wait at while we wait for the water to boil,"  Maria said she gestured Nebula to do so.

It wasn't a very long journey as the place was a few corridors over. But as they passed by, there were a few statues of Isla standing by the walls with a few being busts in her likeness.



"I know last night was rough, but have you been sleeping well?"

She was in fact concerned for own teammates. They were valuable resources and they were people with lives. Unlike her, there was value in their lives. And after the events last night, she was feeling more responsible for her teammates. Perhaps she was indeed changing a bit.

The kitchen, when they finally arrived, didn't look old at all. In fact, it was well-furnished and looked more like a cafeteria if anything. But it wasn't surprising considering the amount of community activity that took place here... and of the establishment's lesser known side. There was still a little bust of Isla that was placed on one of the many tables in the kitchen. Maybe serving as a continuous reminder of her importance in the city and even in the Church.

"Have a seat there, I'll be right back," Maria supplied with a nearby chair that was stationed close to a table before heading off to the stove and to begin rummaging the cupboards for the kettle.

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:01 pm

While Nebula and Maria walked down the cathedral corridors, Nebula would be unable to help stopping for a few seconds to admire Isla’s busts and statues. In that single moment, Nebula felt something akin to a small epiphany. These busts… they existed to commemorate and celebrate the queen, who upheld the peace… and the reason they did this was because she was the one figure in Endymion who personified justice, the act of punishing the wicked accordingly… punishing people like Nebula. This bust was not only an artefact to ensure the commemoration and celebration of Isla, but also one to ensure the forgetting and ridicule of her. This would’ve made her sad, but… Nebula had come to terms with the fact that she was a monster, it’s just what she was, and it was nobody’s fault but her own. Yet, this strange realization and introspection that took place over the course of nearly six seconds… it stirred something inside of Nebula. She had creative urges, and at that moment one thing was on her mind more than any other: Can these busts have ever made someone happy?

That musing would be interrupted when Maria directed a question at the contemplative cadet. “O-oh, uh.. unfortnately, no. I think my persona’s doing something to me to keep me energetic at all t-times…” Was this unexplainable energy the same reason why she seemed to be able to take so much damage last night despite being scrawny and out of shape? Was it where the heat on her face originated from? She briefly contemplated telling Maria more about her persona and how it was practically bossing her around, but the moment she tried opening her mouth, the heat in her face took a turn for the worse. It got so bad that Nebula had to stop walking for a second and accidentally let out a whimper of silent pain. She didn’t even question it after the heat had subsided a few moments later, she just knew never to try to tell anyone again.

Later, when they’d arrived at the kitchen, Nebula silently sat down where Maria told her to sit. On the table there was another bust of Isla which single-handedly stopped the tears threatening to form in the corners of her eyes from the pain and replaced them with the question that had been interrupted earlier. After a small bit of deliberation, Nebula waited until Maria had left to take out her sketchbook and pencil, and began to draw away. She had decided these busts must have made somebody happy at some point. Nebula couldn’t exactly explain why, but ever since she’d gotten a Persona she’d been able to draw with detailed precision at very high speeds. Maybe this was her Persona’s way of rewarding her for being obedient. By the time Maria returned, Nebula was halfway through her newest sketch, glancing occasionally at the statuette of Isla on the table for guidance.


The sketch she was working on consisted of the statue of a woman with her ribcage exposed being inhabited by a flock of birds as they made her stone body their newest nest. Nebula was hoping to symbolize that pieces of art like these could give people hope on which to rely on like they rely on the fact that their home will always be there for them. She only wished she had hope as strong as that...


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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:20 pm

"Huh, is that so...?" Maria remarked as Nebula explained her issue with her Persona. She cocked her head to the side in thought. The concept of a Persona was a novel one even after five years of the Eternal Divide. It wasn't much understood, if anything. Research on such things was lacking, and always was a topic of interest for many scientists, especially within the Black Scriptures of the Church. But she noticed the look of discomfort on her colleague and frowned. While there was pain, there was also a kind of secrecy that she knew was going on. Maria could sympathize with it, since she had her own secrets. Yet...



"If you need anything, even if you think it's not important, just let me know.
I'm always there to help you, Nebula. We're teammates, after all."

Maria couldn't just leave her alone. Yet, she can't help her if Nebula didn't want it. The most she could do was be there when the blonde really needed it. Perhaps this nagging feeling was what Father Jorge felt when he kept trying to convince Maria to give up being a Cadet and an Agent for the Church, to instead try to live a normal life. But after the Divide, she just wouldn't. Couldn't.

The kettle was finally set on the flaming stove. It was only a matter of time for the water to boil. So let the teabags aside near the two mugs she drew out from the cupboard and simply waited there. But it wasn't like Maria was too far enough to not notice that her colleague was drawing something from the wall opening above the stove. Whatever it was, perhaps she was making a creation based on the Isla bust? She let her continue to draw, until the kettle finally screeched.

Maria found herself walking back with two mugs of warm lemon tea. And offered one towards Nebula. "Be careful, it's hot."

When the Cadet took it, Maria took a nearby chair to sit near her before asking, "What have you been up to?"

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:18 pm

As Maria approached with lemon tea on a tray in her hands, Nebula noticed her coming towards the table and quickly closed and put away her sketchbook, blushing slightly. She’d try to take a sip of the tea, but find that it was too hot to drink quite yet, and quickly put the mug back down on the table. She grimaced a little from the pain before replying to Maria’s question. “U-uh… I was drawing… I do art auctions and commissssions for a l-living… I’m always a bit short on money, so I tend to draw on the go sso I can at least have somethinng to s-sell off…” Her salary for being a cadet was of course expected to be high, but Nebula planned on giving it away to charity or making donations with it. She didn’t feel like she deserved the job’s money. “I-It’s a bbit embarrassssing…” Of course, there was still the problem of somebody finding out that her online blog was run by a murderer. If that happened, it’d be game over. Nebula briefly wondered if a nun such as Maria could even forgive somebody who had committed such a high-ranking sin. She just hoped she hadn’t heard of her…


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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:35 pm


"There's nothing embarrassing about being good at something, Nebula," Maria didactically responded with a chuckle, "Stay confident about it and stay true to your efforts. It won't ever betray you. That said, I'm jealous. I can only really draw stick figures."

The ability to draw was something Maria had to envy. To etch out your imagination was a lot harder than one thinks. She admired the people who made the statues and the stained glass windows around the Church. The craftsmanship was something Maria could never reach, it just seemed as if they were on a totally other level.

"I'm curious, what did you draw?"

What went on Nebula's head? She was a tiny bit curious of how things worked with her. Since they were working together, it didn't hurt to have some level of understanding between each other after all.

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:14 pm

Well, now that Maria was expressly asking to see her newest drawing, Nebula had no more ground on which to claim privacy. She could try to keep her secrets all she wanted, even if it made her feel even more guilty than she already was, but showing the utmost politeness came first and foremost; refusing Maria´s request would’ve been immensely rude. Looking away in embarrassment and fear, Nebula slowly took out her sketchbook and slid it over the table to Maria, then took a sip of her tea to calm her raging heartbeat. It didn’t occur to Nebula that Maria would be able to see not only the drawing she’d just made, but also all of the drawings she’d made yesterday but forgotten to archive: The one she drew at the flower garden with that schoolboy, the one that she drew at the backlight and that Brit saw, and the one she drew for that angry musician.

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:13 pm

Maria was noticing how uncomfortable Nebula was being. Perhaps this was the wrong approach towards things, a mistake. She was starting to regret it, but there was no turning back now that her colleague was essentially handing the culmination of her talents. The Cadet took it into her hands with respect and began to peruse its contents. She was prepared to dole out praises for whatever was on there, to take pity on her chronically self-conscious comrade. It was strange, having to take up this role, after having met Brittany. Was she rubbing off on her?



"Ooh..!"

There was something surprisingly breath-taking about the detail of Nebula's craft. It was obvious in a relatively objective sense that there was a kind of beauty instilled in each creation, yet there was a profound macabre nature to them. At the same time, even if she was no art connoisseur herself, maybe there was a kind of tormented sorrow to it. Maria couldn't exactly put her finger on why, but that was the feeling. She finally closed it and handed it back towards her. "They're beautiful, Nebula. Ha ha, I wish I draw as well as you could. I liked the one with the birds in the ribcage. There's actually kinda spooky things about it, but... it's beautiful. See? You should have faith in yourself!"

She looked a tad envious of her, to have such great skills in something outside of combat. It was indeed a reason for Maria to hold such feelings. But, she wasn't the type of person to hold that against Nebula. Never. "So, are you going to the meeting this morning? You don't have to go, I can go on my own and let you know what's going on. You woke up a bit too early, didn't you?"

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:09 am

Nebula, in all honesty, couldn’t tell for the life of her if Maria was simply being pious and conscious of Nebula’s feelings or genuinely giving her honest opinion. Whichever of the two options the answer turned out to be (or even if it were due to any other reason Nebula hadn’t quite figured out) she felt she didn’t deserve it, yet it would be rude to mention this. Gently, she took her sketchbook from Maria’s hands once she offered it back and held it close to her chest in a mixture of a display of embarrassment and a reflexive, compulsive habit. “Thank you…” That was all Nebula managed to get out of her mouth before needing to exhale loudly to calm her nerves and refresh her heated face.

Sipping a bit of her tea at the time, Nebula’s would regain attention once the subject of the morning meeting came up. She refrained from mentioning that she had actually woken up so early that the last time she’d done so was most likely well over 24 hours ago, or at least, that’s what it felt like; 24 might have been an exaggeration. She was going to suggest that the two go together, but it was at that moment that Nebula’s previous imposed energy had begun to fade away. Now that she thought about it, her eyes felt a little droopier than usual, and a yawn or two threatened to escape her lips every so often. Had Fafnir finally dropped the constant supply of energy? What exactly had she done that had been useful to him? Or was it that he was concerned for her future performance being affected from being up too long? Whatever it was, Nebula was now sleepy. Very sleepy. “I-If it really doesn’t bother you that much… I’d l-like to get some sleep before afternoon comes around…” Nebula would quickly yet manneredly finish her tea and exchange niceties with Maria before taking her leave. “G-goodbye…”

[Nebula has left the scene]


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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:17 am


She smiled gently at Nebula when the notebook was returned. A simple thank you was at least a first step towards something. But just as she suspected, the woman looked tired, no doubt from waking up so ludicrously early. Maybe she would have to go on without her. "Haha, of course. Don't worry, I plan on going anyway. Be sure to have a nice sleep, I'll let you know what happened when we meet up again. Until then, good bye."

Perhaps this was as best as it was going to get, to have Nebula stay around and show a little bit of herself. It was really strange, meeting a kindred spirit like her and herself having to act as the reliable person for her. She understood that social contact was rather difficult, making it easier to sympathize. But at the least, hopefully, they can get along.

After Nebula had left, Maria began to make her own preparation for school. There was a Prince and a group of Cadets waiting for her, after all.

[Exit]

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PostSubject: Re: Aren't We All A Little Faithful When It's Convenient? [Maria] [Morning]   Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:14 am

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