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The Lord Ruler's perfect capital city, Luthadel, is doing the impossible: rebelling. Skaa half-breeds are being taught the power of Allomancy, something that the Lord Ruler's obligators said only existed in the nobility. The enslaved skaa, with their murderous benefactor, now fight back against a living god's oppression.

So, the Inquisition was formed. The nobles begin to fear assassination from all sides. The times of nobility Mistborn killing each other are over. The Steel Inquisitors look for aristocrat traitors and insurgent skaa, and the skaa try with all their strength to merely survive. The Lord Ruler's perfect Final Empire is slowly devolving into chaos.

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(Un)Balance

W1 D5 LM Lucille Deveaux Gervais Lekal

43 replies to this topic

#1 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:26 AM

Another day, another several hours spent in the Canton of Doctrine's library. Lucille had reviewed that strange man's objections to her essay, and while she felt that several key passages had been misinterpreted or misquoted, it was good to have someone so ruthlessly object to her arguments, and in such efficient, well-written manner. She had gone home that night and completely rewritten her essay, including counter-arguments to the points the strange man had made. Overall, it was a much stronger piece. Enough that she was actually glad he had ripped her work to shreds. Perhaps he would review more of her works, if she was lucky. But then, she got the feeling he didn't like her very much, so maybe he wouldn't. It was too bad, really.

Well, she thought as she set down the folder that contained her loose-leaf manuscript, she would just have to find someone else. Her friends weren't very good reviewers most of the time, so she would have to keep looking for a good critic.

She did need a few more sources for her new and improved essay, though, so she was back in the library, balanced near the top of a ladder while reaching for just a few more books. With these, she should be able to finish her second draft.

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#2 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:30 AM

Gervais had been unconsciously avoiding the library over the last couple of days. He had found other things to do instead; tormenting Mia, for instance. It had nothing to do with the dark-haired girl, of course, or so he told himself. However, when that thought had directly occurred to him, he had realized that it was not true, and then he had determined to go immediately. He was not afraid of the creature.

She had been in his mind with irritating regularity. At odd moments through the day, she would occur to him, and each time that humiliating sensation of disequilibrium returned. More than anything he wanted to see the smile slide off of her face and out of those dancing eyes. She was laughing at him, mocking him, and she was not even present; it was all within his own memory. But he could not forget it. You, my Lord, are quite the comedian... so many years my elder, after all. He detested her. And he did not even know who she was.

He ignored Skalden in the front of the library as he walked through, and then stepped into the philosophy section. Gervais' eyes immediately fell on the girl up the ladder. She had her back to him, but he recognized her instantly.

She was here. Again. She was here. He could think of absolutely nothing else for a moment; that realization blanked out everything else. She was here, invading his personal sanctuary (philosophy was not valued by very many in Luthadel).

He was frozen in the doorway for a moment, and very nearly retreated; she had not seen him yet. The very existence of that impulse, however, drove him to step forward into the room, and not only that, but to stride directly towards her. He stopped at the base of the ladder, once again blocking her descent.

"What are you doing back here?" he demanded.


#3 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:40 AM

There. One more and then....

"What are you doing here?"

"Hm?" Lucille blinked, turning around to look for the source of the voice. Was someone speaking to her? ... Ah! There, at the base of the ladder. He did like blocking her way, didn't he?

"Ah, it's you!" she said brightly, favoring him with a smile. "I needed a few more sources for my essay. I reviewed your critique more closely," she continued, reaching for another volume, "And I must admit that at first I merely thought you were writing those things just to torment me. I have to apologize for that misconception, though, because when I read through them again, I realized that you gave the exact critique I had been needing!" Hmm... Perhaps a couple more. This Emerson looked ideal.

"Do you know how difficult it is to find a good critic?" she asked, still not actually looking at the man at the bottom of the ladder. "It's been ages since I wrote the first draft, and my friends are all too nice, all the time, to bring up the more vicious counterarguments. So thank you, my Lord," she told him with another bright smile, "for your written assault. I think you're the first person to show me such respect when we've only just met."

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#4 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 12 December 2010 - 07:20 AM

Gervais stared flatly up at the girl, who was smiling down at him like a sweet little ray of stinking sunshine. As she thanked him in a tone that for all the world sounded perfectly sincere, he began to feel a really viperish urge welling up. And he decided that in fact he did not want to leave; he did not want to avoid her. After one encounter, he was not beaten. He intended to find out exactly what her weak point was, and then slide in the knife. Gervais had never failed before. He would drive this girl to something. He simply had to divine the right method.

"You're very welcome," Gervais drawled icily. He reached out and picked up a folder from a nearby table, which he presumed contained her manuscript. As he opened it and rifled through the pages, he recognized the handwriting at once; a neat, slanting script, with a little feminine flourish. He would have known it anywhere. It was exactly like her.

He was still standing at the base of the ladder, of course; it had not evoked the reaction he had intended, the last time, but it had irritated her to an extent all the same to be treed up there.

"I am delighted to have been of service," he added as he glanced up from the manuscript. "Perhaps I ought to do you a further favour and dispose of this tripe for you, since you have not already done so. It was beyond salvaging from the beginning."


#5 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 12 December 2010 - 07:29 AM

"Please don't do that," Lucille told him, settling the books in her arm and turning to look down at him from the top of the ladder. "It took too long to copy that down." It seemed he wasn't planning on going anywhere, but that didn't really matter. She had other ways of getting down. Holding carefully to the ladder with her free hand, she reached out a foot and pushed off the shelf, causing the ladder to slide over just enough for her to then hop backwards, sliding down the rails and landing in a crouch, skirts flaring.

"Thank you for getting it for me, though," she told him happily, reaching to take the folder and continue on her way.

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#6 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 15 December 2010 - 06:43 AM

Gervais was momentarily taken aback by the unexpected movement as she rolled the ladder to one side. He could not block her again in time before she leapt down, and came towards him with outstretched hand, thanking him in a perfectly sweet and to all appearances sincere tone. Gervais could not credit that she was really somehow stupid enough to naively believe in his good intentions; he was left to assume that she was an impossibly good actress.

He was not taken aback enough to be completely thrown; he was already thinking about his next move. Unfortunately - it took too long to copy it down? That meant there was another copy of this balderdash somewhere. He might have shredded it in front of her, otherwise. His ammunition neatly removed, he was briefly at a loss for how to proceed.

He settled for keeping it out of the way of her reaching hand, stepping neatly backwards with it - damnation. Now she would simply urge him to read it. However, he was beginning to be able to predict her. That was progress. The difficulty lay in that he had no notion what to do with it now.


#7 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 16 December 2010 - 04:35 AM

Lucille raised an eyebrow, pretending to be amused by this man's antics. "That desperate to keep it?" she asked with a grin. "Well, I was hoping you'd be able to give me some more of those fantastic counter-arguments, but I was also hoping to get a little more written first." She fondly patted the stack of books she had pulled from the shelves. "That's what these are for. But, well, if you want to look over it as it is now, that's all right too, I suppose."

Honestly. This man was so strange. He was an excellent critic, but he certainly wasn't very nice. It was like he was out to get her for some reason! Well, Lucille refused to give in. Bullies only did what they did to get a reaction, so she would refuse to give him one.

Besides, she really had benefited from his last critique. If she could somehow get him to give her another, it would really bring her essay along.

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#8 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 16 December 2010 - 10:31 PM

He had predicted her response correctly, but it made it no easier when she laughed at him again. A flare of anger rose up again, and his mouth thinned out further yet. Determination sent up the corners into an ugly approximation of a smile, as he divined what her purpose was, however. She was attempting to manage him, by telling him to do the opposite of what she would like. He had no doubt that she was lying about how valuable his comments had been. It was not possible that they had not stung; he had seen it on that first occasion for just a moment in her eyes.

Gervais was no longer going to proceed in this fashion, allowing her to unbalance him at every turn. He drew out a chair for himself at one of the tables, and set the folder down, carefully avoiding using too much force in doing so. From his pocket he drew his fountain pen, scrubbing the clotted ink from the nib off with his handkerchief, which he dropped upon the table, and proceeded to read the document in cold silence.

It was of course the same essay rehashed, only this time she had actually addressed his counter-arguments. She had altered some of the clumsier stylistic elements, sourced more widely, and altogether strengthened her arguments. And she had very clearly done so based upon his annotations on the last draft. Gervais discovered to his extreme dismay that far from discouraging her, he had genuinely improved her manuscript.

He glared at the paper as if willing it to burst into flame, and took up his pen and began to scratch out notes in the margins again. Every single opportunity he could see to criticize, even in the smallest way, he took, relying upon the most vicious sarcasm he could employ in order to make the commentary bite. And yet despite the satisfaction in making those little barbs, he had the sinking feeling that once again, he was making a sisyphean effort.


#9 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 16 December 2010 - 10:43 PM

Lucille suppressed a thrill when he actually sat down then and there and began making annotations again. She doubted he meant to be helpful - surely no one could be that socially awkward - but she had never met anyone who was so brutal with her writing. Most people she tried to wrangle into helping edit her manuscripts just ended up coddling her, and that was no good. This man might hate her and everything she believed in, but he didn't hold back just because she was a girl. That, at least, she could respect.

She still wouldn't let him bully her, though, of course.

She was rather vexed, though, that he had the entire folder in his possession. All her blank paper was in there, and now she had no way to take notes until he gave it back to her. That was most certainly a bother. But, ah well. Such was life, she supposed. He could keep the extra paper for all she cared, so long as she got his annotations when he was done with them.

In the meantime, she set her books down, pulled out a chair, and settled in to read. At the very least, she could re-familiarize herself with the passages she intended to quote.

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#10 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 04 January 2011 - 05:41 AM

Gervais' pen scratched over the paper, pressing so hard into it that it nearly tore in one place. He was very much aware of where the little twit was sitting not far away from him, calmly reading in silence. She had been telling the truth about this second draft, and he was increasingly certain that if he handed this second set of annotations over, she would once again modify her manuscript to address it, and somehow turn it around to her advantage.

It seemed that no matter what he did or said, she took it in stride, and moreover returned it with a vapidly cheerful warmth in her demeanour, as if he had been one of her dearest friends. It had been several minutes since he last spoke, because he could think of nothing to say to the impossible creature. It was maddening, but he was determined not to let her have any further hint that she could wind him up like this. It was his business to do it to others, not to have it turned back upon himself so effectively.

Putting the last touches to the small, precisely written note on the last page, he blotted it dry and then re-ordered the pages, stacking them neatly. Gervais slipped the manuscript back in the folder, and tucked into his own notebook. He could think of nothing to say. Perhaps it was best that he did say nothing. He simply cast her a glance of contempt, and prepared to leave. She would not be getting her manuscript back, neither with nor without commentary.


#11 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:23 AM

Lucille resisted the urge to hum happily to herself as she read, keeping an eye on her newfound critic as she did so. He appeared to be writing quite viciously - had her progress perhaps "encouraged" him to not hold back with her, or was he just angry that he hadn't put her off entirely? - and, watching more and more openly how his pen dug into the papers, she found herself hoping that he wouldn't literally rip the manuscript to shreds.

As it turned out, he didn't. Instead, he merely put it away and began to leave.

Oh, no you don't! Lucille thought, leaping up out of her chair and planting herself in his way so quickly that her skirts flared dramatically with her sudden movement.

"I admire your dedication," she told him in a sweet, patient tone, "but I simply must ask you not to bring that away from the library. It would be a tragedy if all our hard work were to be lost or forgotten."

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#12 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 07 January 2011 - 02:45 AM

Gervais was on his way out of the library, when she flew out of her seat and appeared in his path like a whirlwind, slipping past him in the doorway and blocking him in the hall. His progress halted abruptly and he nearly ran directly into her, barely stopping himself in time. He stepped back hastily, shying away from her proximity.

"I will not oblige your request," he said flatly, before he stepped to the side, intending to pass around her.


#13 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 07 January 2011 - 04:07 AM

"Then you're not leaving," Lucille said simply, for all the would as though she would be perfectly happy to stand in a hallway for hours engaging in a battle of wills with an essay-thief. She neatly slid to the side to block him again, crossing her arms and fixing with the same even stare she remembered her tutors giving her.

"Just what do you intend to do with it, anyways?" she asked in a no-nonsense tone. "Ripping it up would be silly; I already have another copy back at the keep, and besides, it would be ridiculous to have spent all that time writing on it just to destroy the bloody thing. You can't be intending to send it anywhere, because you so obviously dislike it and thus would probably never want to see me published even if your life depended on it, and besides that, I haven't even had time to properly finish it yet. The only reason I can possibly think of is that you're stealing it just to be difficult, which I can't say surprises me, but for a man who thinks I'm not ready to be out of the play-room yet, that's a terribly childish thing to do. If you're going to torment me, you should really try to be more original. I've had worse from a fifteen-year-old schoolboy. Several of them, actually.

"But, well, if you're set on this path," she finished with a long-suffering sigh, "then I suppose I have no choice but to block your way. I don't have anywhere to be; I can stand here all day if I feel like it."

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#14 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 07 January 2011 - 05:39 AM

She stepped back in his path, encroaching on him again, and he took another step back from the uncomfortable closeness, his back rigid. He wanted her to get away from him, but she followed his motion, and she was still too close; he was hyper-aware of how close she was, and he searched for a way to escape, to get around her. Each time he tried, she matched his step, and he could get nowhere without backing away further. Gervais refused to let her see how tense she made him, or how far she disturbed his equilibrium.

His mouth flattened further, until it was a bloodless slash in his face, but he kept his unease hidden to the best of his ability. "If you want this back, then you may jump for it," he said coolly, lifting the notebook up and holding it far out of her reach.


#15 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 07 January 2011 - 08:29 PM

Lucille arched an eyebrow. "Really?" she asked. "That's the best you can do? Honestly. And I most certainly will not jump for it." She smiled sweetly and took a step forward, closing the distance between them. "If you want me to get away from you, you'll give it back."

Posted Image


#16 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:23 AM

She had advanced on him again, and he was acutely conscious that she was only inches away. He was unable to think of anything else at all, and he wanted desperately to be away from her. He did not want this proximity. It was an insult. She was nearly touching him, and he was alarmed that she might do so in a moment. There was no telling what she would do. He wanted to leap away, he wanted to Push her away with steel, he wanted her to just get back from him to a safe distance. He did not want that invasion from her of all people.

Gervais turned his body to the side in a quick, agitated motion and his back brushed against the wall in his attempt to put as much space between her and himself as possible, slipping crabwise to get around her in the hallway.


#17 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 19 January 2011 - 07:49 PM

Oh, no you don't!

Lucille's hand slammed into the wall of the hallway, blocking his escape. She didn't know why he was so averse to touching her - except, perhaps, for the more obvious deduction that the second he laid a finger on her she could start screaming and cause a great fuss - but he was, and she would use that. He was not leaving with that essay!

Going somewhere? she asked him silently, raising an eyebrow at him as though daring him to try to get past her.

Posted Image


#18 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:44 AM

Gervais was unable to stop himself when her hand shot out in front of him, a solid and unavoidable barrier. He ran directly into it.


#19 Lucille Deveaux

562
Atium Chandelier
  • Age17

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginUrteau

  • Allomantic StatusOpen

Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:09 AM

Lucille had acted in an instant, without thinking, and reached out to try and stop the would-be thief who was attempting to abscond with her hard-earned annotations, but he was moving very quickly, and he was larger than she. So, of course, when he ran into her, and knocked her arm away, he also deprived her of her support, and she began to fall. Right in his direction. She opened her eyes wide and gasped, realizing that this could potentially be very, very bad.

Oh, dear.

Posted Image


#20 Gervais Lekal


  • A monkey's uncle

256
Nessa's Baywrap
  • Age36

  • Relationship StatusSingle

  • OriginLuthadel

  • Allomantic StatusHidden

Posted 20 January 2011 - 01:30 AM

He had knocked her arm out of the way, and in the process sent her off-balance. She gasped, and Gervais had a split second to realize that she was falling right towards him. He dropped the manuscript and his notebook, which fell to the floor in a cascade of paper as the pages came loose from the binding. In the same moment his hands came up defensively to catch her as she fell towards him; he tried to seize her by the upper arms and push her away from him. His instinctive revulsion to touching her was overcome by his desire not to allow her to catch hold of him.

The contact had come like an electrical shock to his system, and his nerves were now wound up to the highest pitch.






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