Atli's No Good Very Bad Day
Roleplaying Log: Atli's No Good Very Bad Day
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Atli comes to see Warren and Alison, and perhaps to recruit them for a quest regarding her broken spear. Things don't really pan out as expected.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: January 18, 2020
IC Location: The Aerie
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 19 Jan 2020 22:39
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

There comes a day when every hero must face their lowest moment and crawl back out. That day was not the day that Tony Stark sent a message to Atli encouraging her to do just that. There was a very special Vegas Show she had to see first, for apparently, she had already acquired tickets using one of Lord Stark's borrowed credit cards.

"Verily, show me your Thunder Down Under!"

This, the cry of Atli Wodendottir, as she attended the most glorious of Vegas shows. It was only after that she departed the Vaunted Lands of Vegas to pursue her quest, and she knew just the wise, responsible guides to help her. People she had looked up to ever since she stumbled upon them in that bar, containing a woman who lived in Cake. A glorious man with wings so bright, beholden to THE DAZZLER herself.

They would always be her light.

When Atli lights upon their doorstep, as it were, it's with a leap, and though she is thrice as heavy as a human she is careful not to cause any damage. The goat looks on, forelorn that he is night invited down. "No, Toothbender, this is a serious conversation, and is not for goats. Besides, you break wind when you grow bored. Imagine if they they had just finished grappling, you will ruin the mood!"

And that done, she presses her face to the glass of the balcony doors, eyes wide, her smile bright. "Yes, hello! Are you two grappling in there? I imagine being alive again is quit invigorating so I would understand! Don't worry! I can wait!"

* * *

They are not, in fact, grappling. At the least, they're not grappling anywhere within Atli's immediate eyeshot, when she peeks in through the balcony doors. The Aerie is rather gloomy and silent, in fact, as one might expect of the abode of a man and woman who have recently gone through so much. Perhaps they are not at (this particular) home? Perhaps Atli will have to take off and search the several others she knows they could be grappling in?

Fortunately, she does not have long to wait before the question is answered for her.

High above, a glint of movement shoots across the sky, accompanied by the sound — faint with distance — of something slicing through the air at extreme speed. Whatever it is, it crosses the sun, starts to turn to loop away towards the north… but then suddenly arrests, reversing direction and arrowing back down towards the Aerie.

As it draws closer, it becomes clear it is Warren… albeit in blue mode, the sunlight reflecting blindingly off his metal wings and the familiar armor sheathing his body. He cuts his speed long before he lands, but nonetheless he still comes in a little too fast, his wings flaring as he skids to a stop at the far end of the cantilever balcony. It's not the graceful kind of landing he would have made before; to all appearances, he's re-fledging, having to learn how to fly again with new wings.

He remains where he is a moment, breathing steadily, eyes closed, as with an apparent effort of will he pushes himself back out of his Archangel state: wings softening back into feathers, armor dissipating away, and the blue melting back into his skin. This process is only about seventy-five percent complete before he starts to walk towards Atli, shedding the occasional feather with a gentle 'clink' as he goes.

"Hello, Atli," he says. "You found me before I could find you."

* * *

"Warren! You unblue yourself!"

Atli gasps when she sees the transformation, the impossible becoming possible as he's once again all feathers and warm skin. She stares with wide eyes, hands out, as if she were juggling the impossible. And then she rushes the man, intent on gathering him up in a hug that might become dangerous. But it does not. She is simply happy he is here again, for back when they were battling that gray giant she did not have the time to really appreciate that minor miracle.

"Yes, well, Rocket has been teaching me how to play hide and seek. Or maybe he just forgets that he dropped me off in the Milano somewhere, because sometimes I hide for days and he does not find me!"

Leaning back, her expression falls to something less jovial, less oblivious than usual. "I was hiding though. Well.. trying to get away, as it were. Not from you, of course, or Lady Lasersong. It was more just.. well."

Somewhat crestfallen, she opens a hand held between them, showing Warren that single shard of her beloved spear. "I had feared I am no longer worthy. Though I suppose, it never was a hammer. So who knows if I was, or not."

In all her time here, this is the closest she might ever seem to mortal. Time moves differently for her. Asgardians often do not stop to ponder their transgressions, or even how long they might impact others. But here and now, she looks every bit the child she was before her grandfather ever gave her that weapon as a gift.

* * *

You unblue yourself!

Warren looks first startled about the statement, and then just a little sheepish, reaching up to rub the back of his neck. "I guess I — " is about as far as he gets before he's swept into an Asgardian Hug. His wings rattle a little from the force of it, but he doesn't seem bothered and doesn't try to get loose. Perhaps if it were someone else, he might have felt more nervous about the proximity while he was still in the process of shaking off Archangel, but… Atli is tough.

If Something happened, she could probably tank him.

After a moment, Warren returns the hug, patting her on the shoulder as she releases him. "I've been practicing," he explains. "After we got back, I couldn't control it, or get it to — go away. I think I was just too angry, up until recently." Now he's… well, he is still angry, but now he is manageably angry. Though he doesn't say that part aloud.

He starts moving, ushering her along to invite her into the house. The motion-activated lights flicker on as he steps in. "A lot of us have been hiding," he admits. "Not surprising, but… it's like I told Kitty. Like I keep — trying to tell myself. Not good to hide too long." He definitely sounds like he's trying to convince himself.

He falls silent, however, as she presents the broken shard of her spear. A pang of guilt passes through his blue eyes.

Carefully, he reaches forward to lay a hand over the shard of Jarnbjorn. "Your worthiness is more than the weapon," he says.

* * *

There's something in the way he looks when he says that he was angry that she understands. She certainly isn't the Hulk, and while she engages with most things with a far more jovial and even keel than her grandfather might ever claim, her temper is his temper, and in the past weeks she has known only the anger and despair of loss. Not just of some gift, but of her old home. The secret she guards so closesly is laid bare.

"Is it though?" She tries to smile, but it comes out in a bit of a wince, and as she draws her hand away she finds Warren's most sturdy couch to flop onto. It doth complain, mightily, but hold firm.

"I cannot remember. I mean, I remember the little, furry man and his claws." She wiggles her fingers with disregard, as if War didn't nearly skewer-fuck her into two pieces. "I remember a firebird, holding me in her thrall. I remember you, and Alison, and Cake Woman. Beautiful, foolish Cake Woman. But I barelty remember them. My sisters. My grandfather. All the lost gods who came to live on Asgard. Whenever I would begin to forget I would hold Jarnbjorn and the spear would help me remember. But now…" She slumps back, and lets out an exhale. "All lost to some twisted foolish magic, a doomed future, one that will repeat itself."

The moment lingers, but is brief, before her gaze hardens. "Your hardship at the hands of that giant, and your ability to see through it makes you worthy, Worthington Glorywing. And Lady Lasersong inspired the whole of nine realms to purpose. And almost a tenth one, but angels are nortoriously lazy fools. Lord Stark apparently is the god of the Tamoans. How that happened, I have no idea. I had thought their world squashed long before I was born. And yet he has done it. They talk about it all the time." She makes chatty handpuppets with her hands, the shard of Jarnbjorn sitting on the couch beside her as if it deserves its own seat. "Legends. All of you. You might think me worthy, and it means so very much to me to hear you say it, but I must do more. I must reclaim what small part of them remains in some dark, twisted corner of my mind, and find the path to becoming a hero like you."

From woe to resolved, she looks to Warren from her very comfortable position on the couch. "Would you help me, Warren? Would you guide me to your glory? Would you help me build a weapon to slay titans?"

* * *

Legends, Atli declares them —

— and on that cue, Alison Blaire comes into view.

Looking anything but legendary, dressed still in pajamas, and layered in a the dragging hem of a house robe, her face without elaborate make-up, her yellowy hair slept on, she navigates her way down the penthouse's steps, holding in hand an overlarge, crystal wine glass.

It is certainly not filled with wine, but something that smells far stronger. It is also not that considerably full, which is probably the reason that has the ex-celebrity beelining straight toward the pantry — where the penthouse holds its elaborately-stocked collection of liquors.

Drinking the entire way there, her glass is emptied by the time she reaches the destination, picking through cabinets, and pulling free some expensive bottle of bourbon. Alison, with downcast eyes, rattles around for a knife to break the label, when —

She looks up, without any particular fanfare, noticing a little late that Warren's home, and he's brought familiar company with him.

Alison ruminates on that a moment. Then she says, matter-of-fact, "Hey."

* * *

Is it though? she asks. Warren doesn't answer. Perhaps his soul is still a little too tired for the amount of consoling-of-others he could have mustered up before. Perhaps the guilt in him has only worsened at hearing what Jarnbjorn meant to her, knowing that it was for his and Alison's sake that the spear came to be shattered. Either way, he doesn't interrupt, letting her speak until she has finished. To be so taciturn is uncharacteristic for him; or, well, it would have been for the old Warren. Who knows what this new Warren is like, now.

Even Warren himself doesn't really know. He's still finding out.

"I mean to see these futures don't repeat themselves," he finally says, with a quiet sort of determination.

His silence grows a little tense at the topic of Apocalypse. His wings spread their feathers slightly with a steely rustle, the gesture analogous to a big cat stretching its claws. Just to think about Apocalypse — the way he was tested, broken, lied to, and used — makes the rage burn in his veins until he thinks he might be sick… or something worse. "I don't know," he says, low. "I think I got through mostly just on spite. And anger. I survived off hate. That doesn't feel very worthy. But… he loved that I did. He approved." The revulsion twists in his voice. "The important part to him was I survived, and I did what he asked me to do…"

He is silent. "I'm no kind of hero," he says tiredly, "not after what I did there. But if you want my help, I will give it. It will be one thing I can do to repay you — "

He pauses. His head turns to Alison making her way downstairs in a cloud of fumes. His mouth tightens.

The two of them certainly make a pair; one almost manic in his swings between pretending nothing's changed, and betraying in small bursts of rage that everything's changed… and the other pickling herself without even any attempt to pretend at all.

"We're gonna run out of bourbon soon," is his reply, which feels like it should be a chide, but lacks the teeth to really commit.

* * *

Even before Warren can fully give rise to that rage, Atli is there. A hand finds his shoulder when he says he will help her, and through her usual cloud of disregard for the world, she finds only this man so very much so trying to keep his life together, and willing to give a little bit more to a freind. "Well. You're my hero." She says this with an emphatic nod, and that's about when THE DAZZLER just DAZZLES her way into the room. Atli watches her cross the room in silent awe, and when she makes it to the kitchen she vaults the couch and skids in behind her, until Dazzler will Alison will feel the crush of an Asgardian hug. Not a literal crush. In fact, she's quite careful.

"LADY LASERSONG! Did you hear? Glorywing has agreed that you should both help me find a weapon that can slay titans. If that grey fool or his brother or anyone else comes back, I'll be able to smite them most verily!" She will of course set poor Alison down, and then she'll reach out for a bottle Alison has, twisting off the top, no knife required. That done, she leans in and gives a sniff. "Hmm, smells a bit weak. Don't worry, I'll fix everything." She's already reaching for her Flask of Everflowing Spirits. It's not really the best or the strongest - by Asgardian standards. But unless someone stops her, she'll get to the important work of adding a drop to each and every bottle they have in the cupboard.

"So!" She calls back over her shoulder, towards Warren. "I already have a plan! We must find as many of Midgard's wizards together as possible. Jane Foster is the Sorceress Supreme, and was once a bird. She should be a good liason between you and the other wizards. Then we must find the perfect metal. Maybe some from that little furry man if we can find him. Just beat it out of him!" She laughs her decidedly soulless laugh, as if she has not a care in the world.

"Now there's another part after all that, and I'm not sure about it. But we'll figure it out. Hmm, but where to find more wizards. There's Timmy Stark, the one who lives on Bleak Street. Lord Stark, of course, a master of portals. Sloane Brightscale has the blood of vile entities in her, we can use some of that to douse the weapon once complete…"

* * *

Perhaps Alison Blaire of some months ago would prickle at the vagaries in Warren's statement, unable to let little things go —

— that it is testament to her sea change that she considers his remark, and answers without any combativeness or heat, "Probably." A simple fact to her, lacking emotional investment, like the rest of it.

Her attempts, however, to get back to drinking are placed on hiatus when, instead, Atli's welcoming hug engulfs Alison, gentle but still enthusiastic enough to take the woman up off her feet.

"Did he," she answers, conversationally, of what Warren agreed them to do.

There is little in the way of Alison's reaction. She does not stiffen up, much less try to return it; she just hangs there, present but not active, her bearing similar to the way a patient cat dangles from the arms of a child, not taking any enjoyment from the process, and merely waiting to be released.

When it happens, she glances back at Warren, though Atli's help with the bourbon bottle eventually draws Alison's blue eyes. They shadow with sleeplessness. There is, however, just enough spirit that they tighten at the corners with gratitude, and she even waits patiently to see that strange, Asgardian mixture be cocktailed into the liquor. Before, she would have been leery to have anything from that realm in her food —

Now, Alison is cool with it. "You're a doll, Atli," she says, as she gets around to pouring herself another steep glass. She probably has no idea about the potentcy of otherworldly mead.

So intent she is on pouring, she does not react as one should to Atli's tale, and amassing cast of characters, into the quest of retrieving some new holy relic. Alison realizes mentally — right. Her spear was destroyed. destroyed during…

Her charitable mood sinks back down, and her smile is gone. Her eyes flick, again, facelessly to Warren. "I don't think I'd be any good on a quest," she answers carefully, with that patience still measured into her voice. "I've got… a lot to do here. On my plate. I might take a break from the visible heroics."

* * *

Warren doesn't say anything to Atli's insistence he is HER hero. He lets the distraction provided by Alison's arrival get him out of that one.

With Atli's attention off him, and Alison now in the room, Warren's mood dips to a certain flatness. He speaks, without particular inflection; she responds, without any of her own. Glorywing agreed that you BOTH should help me, Atli declares, to which Alison intones: did he?

"I did not," is Warren's brief correction. His eyes watch the pour of that Asgardian mead. He should probably do something. He doesn't, other than to watch and make sure it's not more than one drop. "I said that I would."

He seats himself, in one of the plushy armchairs, wings draped over the armrests. Leaning back, he crosses an ankle up over his opposite knee and gives the both of them a frank, dour look. "If you asked me," he says, "I would say that you should go, but if you don't want to, you don't want to."

His feathers rustle. His right hand drums its long fingers on the armrest. He doesn't seem to notice his wings are whetting their feathers on the fabric of the chair back in what looks like a tic of agitation and restlessness, lightly shredding the material. "I want to."

* * *

Of course, Atli believes that Warren must be mistaken. Surely he said… but can she be sure anymore? It manifests in a moment of helpless doubt, and in that moment she is oblivious to the changed nature of Alison and Warren's back and forth. But she does notice as Warren is so adamant in his desire to help. She looks to him, and his wings, doing to that couch what Asgardian weight could not and certainly drawing injury. There in that lasting look to Warren is a silent thanks, for wanting to be part of her way back.

Then she looks to Alison, covetous of her glass, and she sees now in her idol and childhood inspiration the despair she feels creeping in whenever she notices another slip of her own mind. Asgardians are supposed to bounce back from anything. Even the loss of memory, maybe with a little help of her friends.

But verily, it breaks her heart to see mummy and daddy fighting.

Well, maybe not fighting, But this is the closest she's ever seen to unrest or serious disagreement, no doubt in part because of how perfect they will always be in her head. Eyes level with Alison, and a hand rests on each of her shoulders, giving a gentle squeeze. She tries to catch her gaze. "You know I would do it again. For all you have done for my people, for all you have done - and will do - for yours. You were worth a thousand spears. I do not come here to seek recompence from either you or Glorywing. I come only to seek your guidance, your counsel, and your expertise. This quest may take us to visit many places, but there are a few only the two of you can go. I will need the blood of the Titanogoose… and he has escaped. None I know have the winged agility to find him and bring him to ground. And I will need something else, something only you can help with."

Atli looks at Alison not with a plea, but with the kind of respect a warrior who bears her scars like badges of honor deserves. "I'm going to need one of the Enchantress' eyes. And you're the only one I know who has ever crushed her under foot."

Atli slowly lets her hands fall away from Ali, so that she might retrieve a paper from her pocket, her voice still holding gravity, even as the crackly, dried out paper unfolds. Probably killing any moment she was trying to foster. "You see, it's right here on my list." Of course it's all written in Asgardian so who knows.

* * *

"All right," Alison replies to Warren, "that's fair."

She sounds concillatory. No ounce of her voice seems to beg an argument; in fact, if she even notices his bearing prickling with irritation at the corners and edges (and those edges tear into the world around him), she neither shows nor makes comment on it. It might be an anathema on his temper, or it might just make it worse — there's little anything satisfying about arguing against something with the emotionality of drywall.

'If you asked me,' he even ventures on, and Alison says nothing about that. Rather than asking him, she takes an experimental drink of her mead-infused bourbon. It burns.

Burns, and infuses every sense organ with sweetness, and for several moments, she is unsure where her own skin exists past that flavour, while the rest of her is struck nerve-numb. One drop is more than enough.

It's Atli's hands on her shoulders that animate Alison out of that brief reverie, her hands tightening absently on her glass. She listens with a tight-jawed silence, eyes averting when told she's worth a thousand spears. Her guilt, self-loathing, and despair do not allow the words to stay long, much less get believed. Though, maybe she does owe it to her —

"I'm not sure about going off-world," she says quietly, in return, but with more give to her voice —

Until Atli says that name. The Enchantress. Her eye. Eyes, Dani's eye, burnt out of her head. Alison's stomach drops out, as her thoughts spin into a direction she's not near drunk enough to ensure.

"I — no," she says, trying to cringe herself out from Atli's hands, stepping uneasily away. "That's a bad idea. A bad, stupid idea. I didn't crush her under anything. She hates me. She almost killed me — she was going to kill me, and I was lucky. You don't mess with her. Best she'll do to you is bring you to heel, and you live the rest of your lives as her mind-controlled slaves."

* * *

It's not quite fighting, but it's certainly not harmonious, or even all that kind. Mostly it is just cold. Two people, occupying space together, but unconnected from one another where once they were obviously intimate.

Atli speaks, and Warren really should do something, but he looks wrung out of the energy to 'do something' right at this moment. Especially when 'doing something' has yielded such paltry and uncertain returns lately. He does know when Atli is heading for a particularly bad landmine, though, and that brings him to straighten up, sit up —

— but the damage is already done.

Warren rubs a hand over his face, and is silent a moment. Then he rises from his seat, his wings draping at his back like a white feathered cloak, pinions rustling with a sound of steel on steel as he walks over. "I will help you, Atli," he says. "I will do it for both of us. Talking about all this… it's too much for Alison right now."

He places a hand on Alison's shoulder, in what looks like a calming gesture. Or perhaps a hushing one. "Go upstairs, Ali."

* * *

Walking headfirst into landmines of a social nature or otherwise is somewhat a specialty of hers. But, never before has one involved THE DAZZLER. Of course Atli will let her go, her brow furrowing as she watches Alison's descent with no small amount of oblivious confusion. She takes every word at face value, wincing through her usual smile as Alison calls it a stupid idea, and details without holding back just what their best case scenario will be. To say she is crestfallen is to be woefully short in managing the depths of disappointment. Not that Ali might not go on this journey, but that she believes her plan is such folley.

"Yes, well. I.. I was hoping your song might counter.. but maybe…"

Atli wince-smiles a bit, and then just balls up the paper. She's definately not going to cry, because that's not what heroes do. "Yes, see! You've helped already! I didn't know how foolish that would be, like I said.." She nods emphatically, swallowing down her disappointment. "Guidance."

Even if Alison does think it's a stupid plan, she tries to be encouraging, and hopeful still that these great heroes might help her. And she is beyond thankful that like a Biblical savior from the sky, an Angel is there. Atli shifts aside to allow them their space, but what she sees there between them does not fill her with the joy of hope it once did, as if long shadows had reached out from beyond to take hold of both their souls. Maybe, in fact, they did just that, and no matter what threats leveled or wrath wrought, no God has ever defeated a shadow.

* * *

In the wake of her words — dispirited, angry, but, most of all, afraid — Alison's face is almost searching. Seeking something with the play of her eyes, shining a little too-bright, that she does not have the heart to ask with words.

Then Warren gives a promise to Atli, speaks around Alison like she's not even here, and then gently tries to usher her away.

A temper she has held well, unbreakably, for thirty years — finally snaps.

"Did anyone just listen to what I said?!" she blurts out, almost breathless. "Does anyone ever listen to anything I say?!"

She jerks away from Warren's hand, refusing to be touched — to be infantilized, how it feels to her. "Am I just shouting into the fucking void? Both of you are going to arm up and attack a dangerous woman who will do worse than kill you?! You get that her whole deal is men can't resist her, right?" she adds, eyes on Warren. "You're that enthusiastic to have someone crawl back up into your head and tell you to hurt people? Because she will. That's the least what she'll do to you. And —"

Atli. Poor Atli. Suggesting that she hoped Alison would —

"DO I LOOK LIKE I SING ANYTHING ANYMORE?" snarls the ex-Dazzler, her fist tightening around her glass —

— that heats, shatters, spills liquid around her feet. It shocks her enough to twitch backward, light burning briefly from her hand. Alison looks at herself, looks at the mess, looks at them, and for a moment, almost looks apologetic. Her old, best habit, ready to beg apology.

Then she chills over, and just leaves, escaping back up the stairs and out of sight.

* * *

There isn't a lot of time to get in words edgewise around Alison, but Warren certainly squeezes them in. This has the unfortunate effect of making their back-and-forth sound even more like an argument — and at this point, frankly, it kind of is. A messy, loud, violent argument right in front of poor Atli Wodendottir.

It gets messier when Alison shouts at him about whether he's really enthusiastic to have someone get back in his head and make him hurt people. His eyes flare with obvious, stung anger, that too-soon shock of hurt and fury and memory darting across blue irises which… for a few moments, aren't quite so blue as they should be.

A flicker of blue, instead, runs along the veins of his throat, and down the insides of his wrists.

"No, I'm not actually enthusiastic to have that happen to me again. I wasn't talking about helping her with the Enchantress, Ali," Warren snaps. "I'm not a total idiot. Thank you. But I mean to help her at least with something. I have never been someone to take help and not return it. I don't mean to be now. I have never been someone to — "

He seems about to finish the statement, really seems about to — and then the anger drops out of his expression, and he doesn't.

Alison finishes the conversation instead, with a shout and an exploded glass. Warren looks at the mess instead of meeting her gaze, afterwards.

Once she's gone, Warren folds his arms. He looks at the floor for some time.

"The Enchantress isn't a good person to talk about, in front of her," he finally says. "And even worse when she's in this bad a way. She's been hurt a lot by things you and I can't comprehend. As I said, she's not ready to face that again, so soon. She's not ready for singing, Atli. She may never be. You have to give her time. And you have to not talk about these things to her."

He doesn't look up. "We'll talk about this thing that you need me to catch. Later."

* * *

Glass shatters, cast to the ground in a flurry of energy. It is punctuation at the end of a sentance that rips through Atli as certainly as Celestial enhanced adamantium. And certainly, being conscious for it all, it hurts so very much more. But even in the aftermath of bringing such pain and anger out of someone she looks up to so very much, it certainly doesn't hurt as much as Ali seems to be hurting now. Dumbstruck and wincing, she stands frozen and still, every bit the child caught in the headlights of a parent's argument turned violent.

The Asgardian doesn't move until Ali is gone, and even though Warren explains it, it will never make sense to her. She to the stairs, haunted in the thought that The Dazzler might never sing again. Her memory fails her more and more, but is this how it happened, in her Grandfather's story? Is this, all of this, somehow her fault just by being here?

"Yes, yes of course."

Without the jovial tone behind it, she sounds merely human, responding to Warren as if on an autopilot. She can only hope he doesn't catch her wiping away a single tear as she very carefully picks up the last little piece of her spear and turns it over in her hand. It's about then that she plucks Tony's note to her from her pouch and lays it on the table. Because it helped her, and in this time where she so wishes her grandfather were here, she has nothing else to give that mightb help Alison find her way. At the door she stops and turns back to Warren, the face of a god turned mortal by an ungodly scream.

"Thank you, Glorywing. I.. tell her I am sorry." She gives a firm nod, and then heads out to the balcony to leap from it. Don't worry, the goat will surely catch her!

Surely.

* * *

Warren exhales a breath at Atli's tone. At the tear. He has an eagle's vision: very few things escape him. The sound echoes with a faint hint of regret. "That shouldn't have happened in front of you," he says, and is quiet.

Atli gathers her things; Atli leaves a note behind. "I will," he says, when Atli asks him to tell Alison she is sorry. "Remember what I said." Not only about Alison, it seems, but also his offer of help.

He doesn't say much more. Warren, usually so voluble and eloquent, has very little to say right now.

Once Atli has gone, Warren looks at the stairs. After a moment, he goes up to find Alison.

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