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About Balcerzak

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    Warchief of the Lilim in Exile
  • Birthday 04/23/1983

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    Eden Prairie

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    Blazing Sword

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  1. Naimanzuunnadintsetseg could only hope the witch's skills were the equal to her ego, provided she kept true to her promise of no more friendly fire. Just as the plainswoman was hoping that everything had been wrapped up, and they could leave this moldy grave of a cave, but Elder Dumah had one further surprise for the princess, if she wished to accept it. Which, of course she did. Struggling not to sigh or roll her eyes, she settled for simply pinching the bridge of her nose for a moment, then lightly shaking her head. She had begun to walk slowly back to the tunnel, to lean up against a wall as they waited for the ritual to be done, when Sandy's cry of 'Craven snake' startled her into action. Naimanzuunnadintsetseg wheeled about on her heel, expecting some dark betrayal to be added to the Belialists already high list of offenses, but the following utterance of 'You bitch!' stayed her hand. The orange-haired menace was standing apart, not involved in this... vision sending, or whatever, and the oath was far from fitting for the skeletal husk who had his frail claw of a hand pointed in her direction. A steep frown on her lips, it seemed there was no other explanation than that the princess's words had been directed elsewhere entirely. While she was still worried over the effects, Naimanzuunnadintsetseg had easily been beaten to the punch when it came to comforters, with her original retainers swiftly filling that role, leaving nothing for her to do but fight hard against the feeling that everything they'd done today had been a giant mistake. And sadly the witch's words rang true; provided the storm had not let up, there was no hope of safe travel yet this day. They were well and truly trapped here at the mercies and hospitalities of these cultists. Sylvia made noise about wanting to wash, and they were warned against wandering the halls alone. Their newest 'ally' didn't seem eager to offer her services as a guide either, giving only the scantest directions. The princess and her entourage appeared to be headed off in a different direction, so Naimanzuunnadintsetseg took it upon herself to volunteer to keep the privateer company. "Come, Sylvia, Uuliinyagaantsetseg. While their water source is probably not so poor as a muddy puddle, let us not get our hopes up for proper accommodations either." With that said, she began the long windy trek toward what she hoped was a well, which with any luck was not stale or musty.
  2. Abigail did her best to push past the whole finger camera stunt Jess had pulled, which honestly was pretty cute in its own way, and if the target of her teasing had been anyone else, she was sure she would have enjoyed it. Thankfully, it seemed the captain wasn't interested in taking things any further either, and conveniently provided an out. "A beach, huh? In the middle of the desert? S'pose that's actually a mighty fine place to put one. And yeah, definitely gonna wanna be getting something of my own for that, not that I minded borrowing for our pool party and all, and not that it'll top the lieutenant's, but, just you know. Good to have," Abby gave a slightly crooked smile and laughed. Then it was back to the racks--oh hey, this neat knotted white t-shirt would actually accent her own rack pretty well, adding it to the pile. And uh, hmm... well this was stepping a fair bit outside of her comfort zone, but fuck it why not, maybe it would look okay? A fairly simple blue woven poncho, just thin enough that you could kind of see through it. Along with the checked shirt she'd grabbed earlier, it was a pretty decent selection for a fitting booth trip--once she grabbed a swimsuit, of course. Wanting that one at least to be a surprise, she told Jess, "Hey, mind bringing these to a fitting room while I go wrangle up a suit? Want to keep you on your toes for that one, at least a little." Then, quickly making her way to the swimwear aisle Abigail was almost immediately taken by a stunning red and black halter bikini--so what if it was the same colors as the checked shirt, they were good colors! Doing her best to sneak her find into the stall that had been prepared for her, Abby slipped out of her clothes and into the bikini. It would be too cruel to torture the captain with waiting until she'd gone through all of the other outfits first. Simply having kept her in the dark for just the selection process was good enough. Running her finger around the waistband and making everything was sitting as it should be, Abby stepped out of the booth and in front of her audience, twisting at the hips and pivoting once back and forth, to give a good view of the suit in motion, before circling around in place, showing off the whole revolution. "Sorry to keep you in suspense," Abigail apologized, beaming in spite of that. "Well, was it worth the wait?"
  3. Comfortable doing either, huh? Like, on paper that didn't sound bad. More options is better than fewer, right? But something still didn't sit quite right, and Abigail couldn't quite place her finger on it. Maybe it had to do with her past. Come to think of it, when and why exactly had she changed. Was it rebellion? Or just something the new set of circumstances on the colony had forced her into? Probably the latter, she didn't remember consciously deciding on it, it just kind of happened, but maybe there was some of the former mixed in there too. Of course, then Jess had to go and ruin the introspective moment by bringing up the fact that she had certainly shown a side that would by all definitions fit the label of 'cute', hands down. Abby felt a slight burn creep up the back of her neck, as a flush began to spread across her cheeks, and unconsciously she freed a hand and reached back to scratch at the scalp behind her ear, that very instrument of her undoing. "T-That doesn't count," she protested vainly.
  4. Shorts huh? Just picturing Abigail in shorts had been enough to cause the blushing blossom to flower? Twisting her head over her shoulder and giving an appreciating look at her own assets, Abby nodded with a bit of a smug look on her face. "Yeah, I can see what you mean. And when you get your hands on a good pair that sit on you just right, well, you make sure to favorite that brand and cut and never forget it. I've got a couple committed to memory, we'll see if they're in stock after this, how 'bout?" Apparently that had been encouraging enough for the other woman, as she'd stepped up close and, opening her sweater, wrapped it around the both of them. Abigail wasn't the type to get flustered by public displays of affection, and actually found this showing of intimacy very... enticing. If her own hands hadn't been filling up with hangers of clothes to try on, she probably would have grabbed a hold of Jess, pulled her closer, and taken her lips. Alas for missed opportunities. With her mind having gone a wandering, it took a bit longer than it should have for what the captain had been saying to fully register, so it was only after she had parted again that Abby began to find her footing in where the conversation had taken a turn to. It was... shaky ground, to say the least. Slight frown on her face, Abigail voiced her reply. "That's, that's tricky business. Best advice I ever got about relationships was to never go in expecting to change the other person, to mold them into what you wish they were. But... if they're trying to make that change themselves, then... well, there's no reason you shouldn't be as supportive as you can, right? So if you want me to help you come out of your shell, sure, I'm on board. But, me? I'm... not really sure I want to go back to those days, to that way of living. I'm, I mean, you... just look at me. Not a cute bone in my body. Cool, I'd buy it; sexy, sure; wild and tempestuous, even. But not, 'girly'."
  5. Hey now, that was hardly fair. While not especially self-conscious about her weight or anything, it was a perfectly normal reaction to get a little prickly when someone made an insinuation like that. "Oh please, your clothes weren't that tight on me. Probably just enough to accentuate my features," Abigail stuck out her tongue in response to the teasing, before nodding along at Jess's suggestions. "Sure, I guess some tanks should be fine. Never was that big of fan of long sleeves, and those certainly nip that problem in the bud. In the past I mostly stuck with just, you know, v neck tees and the like, with a couple off shoulder things for when I was feeling fancy. But even then, no floral prints or anything frilly or lacy." Abby's grin was a little lopsided as she turned away from the rack and explained. "Just, haven't been that kind of girl since I ran away. Oh, I guess some vests maybe? Oh, and I had fun in a man's dress shirt once. Funny how that works, right?" While she caught the blush, Abigail didn't exactly Sherlock her way to the cause. Jess had been talking colors when it happened, but... nothing embarrassing really sprang to mind there. Whatever, she'd just roll with it and invent her own meaning. That was the Abby way. Reaching out and booping the captain on the nose, she chuckled. "Red looks pretty good on you too, you know. What you've got going on with that right now is just about perfect."
  6. Alain could probably feel Naimanzuunnadintsetseg's shoulder slouch beneath his hand when Cassandra put the final nail in the coffin. Even if Uuliinyagaantsetseg were on her side, as likely, they were the sole resistance. Still, the witch had not yet made another aggressive move, throughout all this conversation, and in light of that there was really no further point in continuing to maintain her wary, reactive posture. Especially if people were actually concerned she was jeopardizing things more than letting that orange-haired wildcard do as she pleased was. What was perhaps most disheartening was coming to the understanding that, should she somehow make a similar lapse of judgement or misunderstand a situation, she was almost certainly to be met with similar abandonment. But Naimanzuunnadintsetseg tried to temper that by reminding herself this impromptu gathering was really in its infancy at best. Silently sliding her arrow back into its quiver, and slipping her bow once again back to its accustomed spot, Naimanzuunnadintsetseg kept her facial expression rather stony. With everyone else having made a defense for the witch, she doubted that this Kelbara would even bother adding on further words. Half of her had a mind to just stalk off down the tunnels back to the entrance, but the rest of her didn't want to give these Belialists any more satisfaction at seeing her retreat like a wounded cur. "Very well," she offered softly, in low tones. "It is as you say."
  7. Well, her honest worry was met with laughter. Which should have been the best outcome, but for some reason it rankled Abigail a little bit. "Look, I realize you can, and sorta figured you probably would, but..." she sighed, trying not to let it really get to her. "Sometimes it'd be nice to be more independent. Or better yet, to actually treat your girlfriend when it was your idea." Thankfully Jess had transitioned into a clever joke about sharing clothes, though, and the mood was quick to lighten. "Heh, you say that now, but don't think I haven't seen you trying to get into my pants every opportunity you get, missy." A matching smirk to the captain's own slid across her face as well, before Abby finished up with, "...Not that I mind, of course." A friendly elbow nudge completed the package, and then, almost stumbling with laughter, they made their way into the mall proper. Jess had a knack for direction, and quickly brought them to The Hole. The initial displays didn't exactly 'wow' Abigail off the bat, but then again they were just getting started. While the store's main focus was their own name brand goods, it wasn't like they didn't also stock a few of the universal standbys as well. "Mmm, let's slide on in a little deeper," Abby replied. "I guess we can start by looking for some nice tops. Work our way down from there maybe." Spying a sign indicating the women's apparel department, she headed that direction, glancing around at the offerings as they went, before coming to a stop in front of a rack of more palatable options. Some were still a little loud and trying to capitalize on flashy patterns, whereas she tended to prefer more solid and robust designs. Actually, this checkered one wasn't half bad. She reached out for the hanger, and started the process of accumulating a healthy pile before heading to the fitting rooms. "You see anything you'd like to see me in, just pull it off and we'll add it to the stack."
  8. Thorvald had greatly enjoyed his evening last night. While Holly had been asleep by the time he'd pulled in and got through the door, that had just meant some time alone with his wife. In the morning however, it seemed like the only way to get the little girl away from her daddy would be to physically pry her off of him. The man took it all in good humor though. Up and until he was about to leave, and Holly was adamant about not letting him out of her sights. Anya just laughed though, as she finished up getting ready to head to her own job for the day, teaching dance at a studio. "Why don't you take her with you, it's just on the base and you're not expecting to leave again, right?" And so the impromptu Take Your Daughter to Work Day had begun. Thorvald had put together a small bag of things he intended to gift to Tarquin: an old ClickBlox set, one of the more expansive ones with hundreds of pieces, and a handful of novels, ranging from old classics to a few recent ones, chosen from among his and his wife's personal favorites. Tucking that in the back, he made sure Holly was buckled in up front before they started the long drive back to the Riese. His little girl was surprisingly well behaved for the whole trip! Hopefully that would keep up for the rest of the day. Pulling up and parking, it was impossible to miss the free airshow going on overhead, with the Russian suits doing all sorts of ridiculous feats, loops and rolls, and even it seemed cutting the engines and entering free fall. Clearly somebody wanted to put them through all the stops to make sure their maintenance was up to spec, but Thorvald had to wonder if at a certain point this wasn't all a little excessive. Holly, on the other hand was positively delighted, with cute gasps punctuating some of the more elaborate maneuvers. "Is the one you pilot one of those," the girl asked in awestruck wonder. "Haha, no. Papa's machine doesn't fly. Those are much newer models, for some of the more special pilots," he tried to explain. "But you're the specialest?!" Holly excitedly exclaimed. Okay, she got him there, but the title was Specialist, a bit of a difference. "Well, maybe I'll be getting something fancy someday too, but for now my robot has to walk, just like people do. Now come on, let's get over to the lift." "Yes, Papa," she answered, and grabbed his wrist tightly with both hands as they made their way aboard.
  9. Of course Alain would defend his 'friend', Naimanzuunnadintsetseg inwardly grumbled. Part of what he was saying made sense, but on the other hand, it still left a man without his other hand. "I should hope if someone were to slap me with an open palm Uuliinyagaantsetseg would not feel the need for such a disproportionate return of force," she maintained, neither raising nor lowering her weapon further. That said, this Dumah was in considerably poorer health than she was, but she wasn't about to undermine her own argument. "Restrain him, quite likely, maim him...?" Naimanzuunnadintsetseg trailed off in incredulity. "We came here seeking allies, and now it seems we have simply traded one for one; I doubt Hiero will ever fight again." When Sylvia too tossed her hat in the ring, suggesting the plainswoman was overreacting, it really started to sink in that maybe she was alone in her defense of the (admittedly) foolish man. But when challenged, you defend a member of your tribe, whether they're right or wrong, whether you like them or no. At least until you can retreat to private and give them the stern talking to they deserve. Yes, this was not her tribe, but it was as close as Naimanzuunnadintsetseg was likely to get, and it had been instinct to follow in what should have been the common sense mannerisms for anyone. She pressed her lips tightly together, and resumed staring at the witch.
  10. Abigail wouldn't lie. If anyone asked her, she had a hell of a good time, and was almost sad when they ended up pulling into the lot and she had to bring their little ride to an end. There was just something about being clung to that, well... that feeling of being needed, relied upon, desired. It brought that pleasant little tingle to one's scalp. And Jess had certainly seemed to be having a blast as well, judging by the tone of her occasional whoops and hollers. Pure thrill and excitement, no fear there. Hopefully the rest of the date would be just as grand. Swinging down off the bike and getting everything properly stowed, locked up, and all that, Abby drank in Jess's praise, a big smile forming on her face. A big smile which just as quickly disappeared once she caught a glimpse of some of the other folk from the boat who'd decided a day at the mall would be a good idea for an outing. Brant, Elaine, and murderbot. Three of her very favoritest people right now. Her lips pressed thing, and her fingers curled into balls, but Abigail fought hard to keep just this from ruining things off the bat. That robot though was making things especially difficult. It was one thing at a time, sure, but Abby couldn't help but get the feeling her iterative makeovers were planned in just such a fashion as to rub her entirely the wrong way. It was like a subtle mockery. And fuck all that noise about imitation being flattery, that knife can cut both ways. She just about thanked her lucky stars when the trio seemed not to notice their arrival, and appeared to head off in the direction of the food court. Letting out a breath Abigail hadn't noticed she'd been holding, she turned to Jess and tried to let the cute captain's face wash away the everything distasteful. It had incredibly positive effect. "Hmm, why don't you show me around The Hole," she settled on, a slight snicker escaping as she couldn't help but think whoever named that chain had either a dumb sense of humor, or a brilliant one, she couldn't decide which. Abby figured that Orange Theocracy probably wouldn't really suit her style, and she didn't quite feel like stooping to Floormart if she could avoid it, though she'd had to in the past. Actually, um... wait one moment. "Uh, I guess I'm not very smart and didn't quite think everything through ahead of time. I uh, don't know that I actually have much in the way of money, even assuming I could get them to access my accounts without having any of my cards or anything. That's... not gonna be a big problem, is it? I guess worst case, I window shop." It felt real bad, inviting her girlfriend out to go shopping and cheer each other up, only to force her to pay for everything. But, well, given the circumstance, Jess probably realized this well before Abby had and had come prepared. She could only hope, at this point.
  11. Naimanzuunnadintsetseg wasn't entirely impressed by what Alain's 'friends' had to offer. The 'vast knowledge' Dumah had traded his health for was nothing they hadn't already figured out for themselves. And while on the one hand she was thankful they wouldn't be trailing around a dozen cultists, she had to wonder just how much aid the one they were being given would really be able to offer. Clearly Naimanzuunnadintsetseg was going to have to do a lot more thinking on how to sway and persuade the tribes on their own terms, if the princess's dream was to be realized. Raum's departure at least, was a small blessing, for however long it would last. There was very little for her to offer in the conversation that followed, so she opted for simply taking in what more information on this Malaphar that everyone had to offer as she could. There was a heavy debt that man owed, after all, and learning about him would help her make sure he paid it. As matters turned to Alain's book, however, Naimanzuunnadintsetseg girded herself inwardly to prepare for quite the doldrums, as the discussion was sure to take a dive. Instead she was unpleasantly surprised when the rising light revealed this Dumah had not been alone as they had suspected, but there were many more who were scarcely more than breathing corpse. Her unpleasant surprise was all the greater when Astaroth's henchman advanced, and received quite the disproportionate response to his impertinence. It took but a single smooth motion, and she had wheeled to face the footsteps advancing from behind them, back along the path to the entrance, bow drawn and arrow nocked. The missile was for the moment still pointed at the ground, Naimanzuunnadintsetseg had not yet pulled it back to firing position, but should this orange-haired witch begin to cast again, she had faith (perhaps misplaced) she would be quick enough to interrupt. "What a pity," she mocked dryly. "I hold accuracy in high esteem. Attack again if you must, but if you do, know that I shall not miss the return shot." Cass's mollifying approach to the treacherous assault was more understandable, though she definitely disagreed with it, than Astaroth himself seeming to take it in stride as but a minor setback. She frowned, and found herself doubting whether he could be really be relied upon, if something that should have struck so close to home barely phased him. At least he rushed to his man's side and began to treat the wound, but even so. If it had been Uuliinyagaantsetseg instead on the receiving end... Naimanzuunnadintsetseg's nostrils flared and her eyes narrowed just thinking about it. She waited impatiently for the woman's response.
  12. Abigail had had a nightmare. She couldn't remember what it was about when she woke up, and the feeling quickly faded as she found a Jess still wrapped within her arms, so that had pretty much been the end of that. Much like yesterday, the captain was still very much dead to the world, first thing in the morning, so eventually Abby got restless. Appropriating an outfit from Jess's closet, she'd made the short walk back to her room to drop off yesterday's things, then made the slightly longer walk to the cafeteria to put something together. A bowl of cut fruit--two bowls, and some granola. She set Jess's portion down on her bedstand with a note, letting her know what she'd be up to before the captain was free and they could set off on their date. Abigail had a few loose ends of her own she'd not got a chance to take care of last night, finally managing to pop in to the infirmary for a check-up on Nikolai, and a quick chat with Megumi. Then, while Jess was wrapped up in some meeting or other, Abby roamed the base's garage, looking for the ride that would get them into town and serve them for the rest of the day--the fun part of it. She'd been given sufficient clearance to check out just about anything, so at this point it was simply circling the lot, looking for something ideal. Abby liked her cars like she liked her women: sleek; well-maintained; quick to get up and running, but good for the long haul; and preferably without a top. Hopefully there'd be something around that would tick most of those boxes. Sadly, most of the selection was dreadfully boring. While there was a wide array of perfectly functional jeeps, humvees, and the like, they just weren't the sort of thing that would get your heart racing, ya know? Abigail almost completely despaired, making her way toward a boring 4x4 Rover, when she spotted salvation out of the corner of her eye. It hadn't been what she'd originally come to find, no, but it would certainly do just fine in a pinch. In fact, it might even end up being better. As she gave a good long stare at the motorcycle that had piqued her interest, Abby found her mind wandering down a daydream of Jess clinging tightly to her, arms about her waist, as they sped down the highway, wind whipping around them. Yeah, this should do just fine. Helmets and leather jackets were prepared and waiting by the time Jess showed up, looking a fair bit more chipper than Abigail had expected, given she'd been tied up in some bullshit with the brass, but maybe she'd just been quick to put all that behind her? After all, she'd been looking forward to this, so why wouldn't she be wearing a smile, now that they were finally about to get underway? Flashing Jess a toothy grin, she pushed a jacket and helmet into her arms. "Suit up, and prepare to hold on tight. We're gonna have a damn fun ride." There was a brief pause, and a thoughtful expression passed over Abby's face, before she gave considerate nod. "I'll let you drive on the way back, if you want."
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  14. Staring into Raum's eyes was like staring into a well without a bottom, and it greatly unsettled Naimanzuunnadintsetseg. It was almost physically disgusting, like the feeling of a bug crawling along your body, and she could feel her hackles raising. The backhanded compliment also bothered her, as the eerie man's insinuations about expecting her to lack in courage was an affront. Thankfully she held her tongue long enough for Uuliinyagaantsetseg to offer her another outlet that wouldn't risk destroying whatever opportunity Sandy and Alain were hoping for--at least until she were one hundred percent sure it needed to be destroyed, an outcome she had not yet entirely discounted. "You do me great honor, and great honor to yourself as well. I am pleased to count such a noble warrior among my allies," Naimanzuunnadintsetseg exclaimed with relief, and found that just by doing so it was possibly to shake off the cloying cobwebs of Raum's presence, at least for a while. The rest of their passage beneath the hill was mostly uneventful, with nary another soul actually encountered, just them and their guide, whose sense of humor was very badly warped. Naimanzuunnadintsetseg found it impossible to sympathize with the man for whatever plights had been suffered at the hands of either her tribe or any of a number of others. He had not made a winning first impression. As for elder Dumah... "I can see why you prefer a subterranean lair," she dryly remarked. "A stiff breeze looks like it would do him in." The man was haggard beyond belief. She found it hard to believe any such "truth" existed worth trading one's hale and health for to such an extent.