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 A Willingness for the New

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PostSubject: A Willingness for the New   Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:12 pm

Intrigued as she was by fauna, Jade had always possessed a fondness for the Yellow Garden. Perhaps it was the uniqueness of the place, with the sharp crags of crystalline trees sparkling iridescent in the light, or the aromatic blooms of jonquil and cream fanning out in heavy, florid petals. Maybe it was the atmosphere, an indolence all its own despite its proper and poised setting before the Palace. She certainly had no time for the romantic background of the place, all things considering, so that could not possibly be it.

"The peace...?" The Witch offers to herself, hands clasped behind her back as she paces to and fro across ivory cobblestones. Deciding this to be the best of her options, Jade nods resolutely to herself. "Yes, that must be it."

But this afternoon was not a time for respite, unfortunately. At this hour, the Witch was prepared for a none too formal rendezvous with the Queen. It had been most fortuitous for the young woman that she could garner a meeting with the royalty on such short notice. But Karkat had left her little choice. For the rebellion to succeed, she would need to tip the scale in her favor--the rebellion's favor--by convincing the Queen of the movement's merits.

It would have been nice if Jade could have simply made friendly chatter with the Queen, but now was not the time. Nor would it more than likely interest either of them beyond a certain extent. The Queen was a wise ruler, sharp of wit and tongue and with a mind honed for the entertainment of the grandiose yet meaningful ideas. Jade, while not as honed, enjoyed dabbling in such ideologies and readiness for movement. Either way, platitudes would do no one any sort of good.

The hour was nigh for change. The two of them but had to spark it.
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PostSubject: Re: A Willingness for the New   Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:18 am

The clock in the corner chimed two, echoing across the expanse of her study room. Preoccupied by the sheaf of letters she held in one hand, and the quill she held in the other, she barely even noticed the opening and closing of the door. She only looked up once a hand was laid on her shoulder, a comforting, familiar weight. The King. "Hello, dear," she said warmly, leaning into his touch. "How was the Council today?" Another paper scanned and drifted aside into a pile. The sound of the bells in the distance had already faded into silence.

He laughed, a deep, rich sound. "The same as ever, Adelaide." He peered at her work, picking up one of the papers with mild surprise. "You've been quite busy," he said, looking through the text. "This is regarding the dissent between the highbloods and the Prospitans."

She vaguely frowned, dipping the quill into the ink to freshen it. "It's a worrying issue, one I wish to address before it gets out of hand." She looked up at him. "Have you discussed it with your adviser yet?"

Meaning Arkus, of course, but at the moment, she didn't really want to mention him.

The King shrugged. "He told me that it would be taken care of. I have the fullest of faith in him, at any rate." He must have felt the shift in her mood, because the next moment, he inquired, "Do you not take him for his word?"

At that, she paused, her quill paused in mid-scrawl. "I-"

Highbloods. Dissent. Prospitans. The discussion of rules and change.

She was supposed to meet Jade in the Garden at 2:10. A quick glance at the clock told her that it was now 2:05.

"Oh, no!" she said rather emphatically, getting to her feet. The quill was quickly deposited into the inkwell as she headed for the door, brushing past her husband, who had a look of amusement on his face as she grabbed a coat, straightened her crown, and exited the room.

She'd nearly forgotten about the appointment with Jade, the Witch of Prospit. The young, bubbly girl was one of her most trusted subjects and one of her closest friends. It was strange that she would have requested to meet her on such short notice, but if Jade was contacting her, it was usually for something important.

The Garden was a safe place where they could talk and not be overheard. That particular evening, she'd made sure that there were fewer people around as a precautionary. Informality was always the best disguise, especially in times like these.

Hurrying past the burbling fountains and the familiar sights of the tranquility of the Yellow Garden, she spotted Jade examining a flower.

Glad to see her friend, but mostly curious as to the nature of meeting, she stepped forward and said, "They're called Canna Lilies. Perhaps you would like to take a clipping home, if you do not have any yet?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Willingness for the New   Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:32 am

While not unanticipated, the soothing tone that so abruptly permeated the air still managed to catch a hold of Jade’s surprise. Perhaps it attributed to the Witch’s doubts. The young woman held no doubt of the Queen’s willingness to attend the rendezvous, but with how suddenly Jade had requested it and how turbulent affairs were from within the higher echelons of the Palace order (or so faint rumor breathed), she had feared the meeting may not have been able to take place. But the Queen was the Queen, after all. Jade faintly wondered when she’d become so much more reluctant to assume the very best outcome of a situation. That guilt mercilessly twisting at her innards for such disconcerting thoughts needed to be put aside, for now. There were more imperative matters to attend to, at the moment.

One of those matters, namely being to greet a good friend who had been so courteous to meet with her! The Witch should be ecstatic (and she was!). Wide, amiable smile decorating her visage, Jade spins on her heel to regard the Queen. After offering the proper courtesy--which Jade should, at one point or another, more than likely, take the time to refine—she looks back to the flower she had been idly observing.


“I think I may take you up on that offer, your Highness! You certainly know me too well,” Jade laughs, trotting over to the royal. “Thank you for coming. I cannot hope to properly articulate how thankful I am.” Especially so considering how busy the Queen undoubtedly was. Now that Jade looked closer, Her Royal Highness seemed a bit winded. She must have rushed over! In the skirts nobility and royalty had to wear, the Witch could not help but feel a twinge of empathy for her. Hand sweeping in wide pendulum arc over the Garden, she gestures to one of the swirling white marble benches perched under one of the particularly tall crystal trees standing sentinel. “Do you mind if we take a seat?”

As the two begin to traverse the pebbled pathways through the garden, Jade chirps, “Splendid to see you!” Her gaze swivels back and forth, assuring their privacy for the moment being. Once comforted, the Witch begins, voice significantly lower, “While I hate to be so concise, I know not how much time we have. I’ve heard breaths of new laws regarding trolls, and not of savory sort. This is…troubling, but also discouraging. I had been hoping this would be easier.”

Upon this and the Queen’s questioning look, Jade supplies further, “This is somewhat sudden, but there’s something brewing below the surface of Prospit: Rebellion. But-but-!” The young woman raises her hands before her chest, placating. “Revolution, of a good sort. Revolution of the sort that is altruistic, and young, and hopeful, and wants to make the world so, so much better than it has ever been before.” Jade is almost embarrassed by the sigh in her voice; it is dreamy, romantic and the noble purses her lips and looks to skies. “They are trolls, mainly. Young trolls—the last generation. They desire equality and purpose.”

Jade inhales sharply, hands clenched into tight fists at her sides that she swings back and forth in a sort of nervous anticipation. “Do you think there is a chance to give them opportunity, your Highness?”
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PostSubject: Re: A Willingness for the New   Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:17 am

Jade, as always, was such a charming person to talk to. Her easy smile graced her face as she curtseyed in return to Jade's exuberant greeting. "Of course, Jade. You are one of my closest friends, after all. And yes, a seat would be very much agreeable." She laughed at that, a little embarrassed. "We have been busy lately, what with all of the change on Derse and Prospit."

Wending their way through the twisting paths, pinpricks of light thrown from the various drops of dew and crystals clinging to plants, they took a seat beneath a grand cerulean tree.

The young witch seemed troubled- and cautious as well. Adelaide vaguely wondered if she should have chosen a more secluded place to meet- but secrecy was oftentimes much more risky than its counterpart. If what Jade was about to tell her was confidential, it would be unlikely that anyone would suspect that they would talk about it here.

She listened closely, her brow furrowing. The rights of the trolls had been something she had been working on, of course, as much as she could under the watchful eyes of the Counselors, but she'd been sidetracked by her investigation into the dissent in the streets.

Realization dawned on her once Jade mentioned a Rebellion, her jade green eyes flashing with apprehension.

She knew it was inevitable. What she had done was not enough. The trolls still did not have as much freedom as she wanted them to, and now that trouble was brewing not only on Prospit, but on Derse as well, she did not have much time.

"Jade," she began in response to her halting question, her voice quelling to soothe her anxious nerves. She gathered her thoughts, pausing to gaze down at her hands lying in her lap. "I know you are hoping for a peaceful revolution. All rebellions begin this way."

Of course. Jade would never wish ill upon her kingdom.

"However, this is a special case. We are fighting for a culture in which violence and prejudice has been ingrained into the minds of every single young troll. My own Prospitans, as I am sad to admit, have a certain amount of prejudice against the Alternians themselves. That is why I know that this rebellion will inevitably bring blood." A breath, a nearly sorrowful glance at the serene peace of the Garden.

For a second, she imagined all of the crystals shattered across the ground like broken glass, the old trees chopped down, flames engulfing everything, the spilled blood of a soldier staining everything vermilion. She clamped down on the image, determined never to let anything harm her world with that sort of darkness.

"Even with the brightest minds, the gentlest of intentions, we will not be able to carry through with this rebellion without some amount of bloodshed."

No matter how harsh the truth, a peaceful rebellion to bring change between two warring cultures would only be a fleeting hope, a crushed dream borne on the wings of a fragile golden butterfly.

Rebellion, to a monarch, meant the burning of a kingdom, the razing of old laws and a bright light being cast upon the ones that would bring change.

As much as she knew this would cost her, she knew her heart was already set on aiding Jade. True, the girl's words were compelling, her features dreamy and bright with the promise of a glorious future of equality for all, but this was born out of necessity.

"I will help you, Jade. There will be a chance to give help to those in need of it, and I aim to do my best to aid your Rebellion to the fullest of my abilities."


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PostSubject: Re: A Willingness for the New   Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:38 am

The apprehension the Queen was undoubtedly toiling with was as stark a presence as if the carapace had brought the entirely of her royal guard with her to this rendezvous. It felt weighty—as thick and smothering as one too many goose-feather stuffed quilts—and Jade could not help but fidget. Her nerves were a violent cacophony of electricity, and the Witch could barely calm herself down, much less hear beyond the bubble of her excitement and panic. Concentrating on breathing was not enough, so she thought of ingredients, formulas, intricacies that wove around her mind with a speed to rival the light fragmenting through the crystalline branches surrounding the two Prospitians.

The older woman offered reason, offered arguments that Jade could never deny even if she tried. This rebellion--a peaceful rebellion where everyone agreed and got well enough along and everyone had what everyone else had—that was a quixotic fantasy of its own make. Jade could see the arcing rainbow of blood coursing across their shared sky, and her stomach twisted itself in knots at the thought.

But it could not be stopped now. There had been a spark, and it would meet the powder keg as sure as a new day would come tomorrow. Jade had seen the fire in their eyes: in Karkat’s hooded, slow-burning fury, in Terezi’s blind, yet omniscient stare, in Kanaya’s firm, unbreakable resolve, in Mara’s fiery, unbridled determination, in Mintaal’s brilliant, unwavering curiosity, and…maybe even in that Gamzee, somehow. Whatever the case, Jade knew this was going to happen.

They were going to make this happen.


…I…beg your…

Jade finds herself blinking her wide eyes from behind even wider glass lenses. Time has stopped, the world is contained, and Jade slowly turns to acknowledge it. The Queen is staring at her, gaze soft and maternal, regretful and yet sure. Jade feels like screaming and laughing all at once. Instead, though, she throws herself at the older woman, despite every lesson in propriety telling her she should not because this is the QUEEN, and embraces her.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jade finally releases the carapace, backing away and smoothing down her already rumpled beyond repair skirts. She’s grinning brazenly, could not wipe it off if she tried, even though she should be curtseying and running off with countless apologies. But the Queen was not just a Queen, but her friend. Agreeing to something as risky, as dangerous as this was proof well enough.

I truly do not know what to say beyond that you have the entirety of my gratitude, and I’m sure you have that of…my friends as well! If there is anything I can do for you, you know I am at your disposal, your Majesty!

She fists at one eye, wiping at what could have been tears, before finally giving that curtsey.

Thank you!
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PostSubject: Re: A Willingness for the New   Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:10 pm

Jade's unbridled happiness at her agreement was anticipated and yet strangely relieving. She sensed no insincerity in her thanks, and her hug- however undignified the little yelp of surprise she gave at the ecstatic girl's happiness, she had to admit, Jade's enthusiasm was infectious.

Laughing despite herself, she inclined her head in response to the Witch's neat curtsy. Noticing the slight glimmer of liquid in those jade green eyes, she withdrew a handkerchief from her pocket and presented it to her friend.

"Jade, we both knew that this would be necessary." Her smile dimmed as she remembered the Counselors and her husband's manipulation. "I have no power- no real power. The Counselors block me at every step I attempt to make to begin amends, and my husband- dear King he is, has been influenced by their poison and their greed. This opportunity was a way for me to do something- anything- to help the Alternians. It was my fault they were invaded." She closed her eyes and shook her head, that tiny grieving voice inside her chest aching once again the memory. "The destruction of such a culture, of a world with so much potential! It horrified me and enlightened me to the fact that I had both my hands bound behind my back, that my title as Queen was simply a title and nothing else."

She looked up at Jade, smiling again. "You may have wondered why I acquiesced to this so easily. I trust you, Jade," she said honestly, "as an adviser and a precious friend. And while the Counselors stopped Prospit from intervening in the rise of Her Imperial Condescension and the Archagent's betrayal, from taking in the wounded and helping the oppressed, I promised myself that the same would not happen again. The Condescension is coming for Prospit next, Jade, and this Rebellion is the one way I can strike back. Thank you so, so much. I trust that you and your friends will do their utmost best to restore peace. I will, of course, do my part politically. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, and any help you need will be given."

She settled back again, this time with an embarrassed smile. "Forgive me. I have been rambling. The Alternians and the invasion- it is still a touchy subject for me. Those poor children. Their home reduced to ashes, the sweeps of fighting. Please promise me this, Jade- that you'll do your best to stop this from happening to Prospit and Derse. Oh! And my one other request- is that I meet these other brave revolutionaries. I should like to know who I am supporting," she said.

The birds in the garden chirped cheerfully as they hopped from silver branch to branch. Frost glittered on the topmost layer of the crystal trees, and she sighed, knowing that she had agreed to something dangerous. Returning her gaze to Jade, she straightened, remembering.

"And there is the issue that I am asking children to undertake a task the Royal Guard should have accomplished," she began. "As for that, I will ask someone to train you all to fight. I think you may know Jake English. He is the protector of the Heir, and a very good fighter as well. There will be no other teacher greater than he at the art of combat. Additionally, Jade, to gear the citizens towards cordial conduct with the Alternians, we will have to implement additional laws. If you can help me draw some up, that would be most welcome. It would also ease your revolution's growth."
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PostSubject: Re: A Willingness for the New   Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:19 am

While Jade was far from oblivious (perhaps a tad spacey, but not oblivious), she had not yet realized the reality of the Queen's position. So the rumors--however faint they were--were true. Frowning a deep, perturbed frown, the Witch took the Queen's handkerchief with a nod of gratitude before dabbing it at her eyes.

"I wish..I wish there was something I could do!" Jade found herself murmuring. But the sentiment, however well meant, felt redundant. No amount of spacial powers or mythic foresight could soften the wills and hearts of carapaces blinded by a lust for political power. Jade, for all of her inherent and learned gifts, still held little weight outside of the field of battle. And for all it was worth, the Witch had never even seen warfare firsthand. Good lot she was doing.

It seemed the Queen knew the feeling. Jade could not help but feel horrified. To blame oneself for the annihilation of an entire culture…Jade had heard the stories-- knew how the war began and how it raged. But that was not the fault of the woman before her. The title she bore upon her shoulders should not damn her name to be written alongside such an atrocity. Not if Jade could help it.
"If I may speak plainly, your Majesty, what happened on Alternia was not your fault! You are as much to blame for those battles as I for being taken in as the Witch! Some fights are, as horrific as they may be, as inevitable as the pull of gravity. I do not support them for happening, by any means, but dwelling upon the past--especially one you hold no amount of blame for--will not do anyone any amount of good."

She stopped, lips pressed into a tight line and eyes flashing fiercely from behind her glasses. Maybe she was young. Maybe there were still many, many things she didn't understand. But she knew this: the Queen was good, and the Queen meant well for all, even those outside of her domain. "That is why…that is why this, this thing, is happening!" Jade blurted, clenching her hands together before her chest. And the Queen, as if sensing her insecurity, spoke again, soothing and sure. Reassurance wrapped tight about her like a blanket, or a familiar spell, and Jade felt the tension in her shoulders seep from her being. "Do not thank me just yet. When this is all over, when everything is as settled as it can be, then we can thank each other," Jade answered, dropping her hands to her skirts so as to fiddle with some of the beads about her waist. "But, you are welcome. And, thank you, again."

At the Queen's request, Jade could not help but gape. It was undignified, to be sure, but Jade did not take much stock in being overly such anyway. "I can certainly promise you that I will do the very best I can and then some!" However….the revolutionaries. It was not that she did not trust the Queen with the knowledge of who these fellows were. On the contrary, there were very few others she would trust with such sensitive information. Rather, it was her fellow revolutionaries that she worried about. They were of good sorts, for the most part. But to bring the Queen before them--how would they react? What if they only reinforced the Queen's guilt for their planet's demise, however unfounded Jade believed it?

"Of course. It is the least we can do," the Witch acquiesced.

"Train?" Jade repeated, perplexed. She would readily admit, the thought of doing battle did nothing for the nerves. Powers be damned, she did not know battle, and she knew such was the same for her fellows. It was true that they had known the strife of a life amongst trolls--where battle and bloodshed were an expectation. Still, war was something else entirely. "Jake! Yes, I do know Jake!" Jade found herself chirping. The Queen had a point, to be sure. Jake was remarkably gifted in a fight. That, and Jade trusted him.

"I will certainly try my best! Though I do not have much experience in matters such as these," Jade admitted while rubbing at the back of her neck in a sheepish manner. But, the Queen had stated she would not be doing this alone. And if anyone knew their way about the political powerhouse that was the Prospitian monarchy, it was the Queen.

From the distance, Jade could hear the deep, repeating chimes of a far off clock-tower. The song echoed in her ears--a reminder that she was losing time. They were always losing time, in this game. Shifting on the hard stone of the bench below her, Jade nodded in agreement to the Queen's next proposal.
"New laws would more than likely be necessary, at this point. If we should focus on anything, it should be equality." Jade turned to meet the Queen's steady gaze. "Why is it that trolls cannot come to make something of themselves here on the moon? Placing someone in a specific category or niche just because of how they were born reminds me too much of the troll's hemospectrum, for my tastes. What if we lifted the restrictions that barred trolls from employments on the moon?"
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