* November Sixth, 2070. It's another late fall day at UIUC. And, presumably Ian and Tina are doing Ian and Tina things.

{Tina} No FAIR! You blasted me!

* In this case, apparently doing network PC games.

{Ian} No fair? Funny, don't think this network has lag.

{Tina} I'm *smeared*.... Dead dead dead...

{Tina} No, but...butbutbu...

{Ian} yeeeeees?

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 13 (6 4 3).

* Tina looks at him with big pathetic Lilim eyes as her arguments for not being splattered in a deathmatch go to the obvious methods.

* Ian starts to speak, looks at her, and sighs heavily.

* Tina loses the pathetic eyes and grins. "Sorry. Reflex. I think it's linked with why spaniels do it too."

* Ian looks wry. "Mm-hmm."

* Tina puts it on pause and hugs him one-armedly. "Oh well. You spacked me. {pause} For the third time. Oh well, I say."

* Ian armhugs back. "Yeah, well, you're lasting longer." *swg*

* There comes a *brrrzt* *brrrrzt* from Ian's jacket pocket.

{Tina} Yep, I-- {trails off and looks at the jacket pocket}

* *brrrzt* *brrrrzt*

* Ian blinks, fishes the brrzing phone out of his pocket. *beep* "Ian."

* Tina watches, suddenly rather quiet.

* A voice on the other end replies: "Good, you're there, Zybsko. Didn't have to wait for the third ring, even." The voice is immediately recognizable as the Chief of Security for Arasaka Industries... Ian's boss. "Something's come up."

* Ian straightens up a bit. "What's up, Mr. P?"

* Tina listens, wordlessly.

{Cheif P.} We got a lead on the project, but it's not something we can discuss over the phone. We need you to get to the home office pronto.

{Ian} Aha. Good to hear about the first part. And I can be at the Main Tower in an hour and a half, give or take.

{Cheif P.} Good. We'll be waiting for you, then. Petersberg out.

{Ian} See you at the Tower, sir. *click*

* Tina waits. "Trouble?"

* Ian sits back and sighs a bit. "Maybe. Classified info, so I gotta go to Tokyo before anybody will say anything." *pig-Cel* {{lead on the station attack}}

{Tina} ...Ah. {rubs forehead} Yay. Great. {seems encouraged on the Cel bit of it though} You have to leave yesterday, I take?

{Ian} Yeah. *sigh* Tokyo by Tether is about the same time as a transorbital; they won't know the difference. *swg*

{Tina} ....Yay. Right. {chews lower lip} Well, time to pay Shosh a call then. You need to get any stuff?

{Ian} eh... better get everything I have... the way things are going, I might be back on duty for a while. *swl*

* Tina nods, quietly. "I see. What about the car?"

{Ian} It's got a transponder, I'll arrange for it to get picked up.

{Tina} Gotcha. {small smile} So, shall we?

* Ian nods, sighing a bit. "Yeah, corporeal duty calls." *swl*

{Tina} ...Yeah. {nods} {businesslike} Well, to the Tether then.

* Ian nods, becoming businesslike as well.

* Tina grabs a jacket.

* Ian grabs pack and jacket.

* Tina scritches Boop a moment, then holds the door open for him. Her face is a bit too carefully composed.

* Ian steps through the doorway... he seems a bit more composed than necessary himself.

* Tina leads him out, to the car.

* Ian silently opens the trunk and puts his stuff in, without comment.

* Tina waits for the door to be opened, still silently. She smiles a bit at him...whether forced or not remains up to his discretion.

* Ian opens the door a bit, though he pauses, looking back into her eyes.

* Tina looks back, rather subdued, but there. "Mmm?"

* Ian doesn't say anything, merely opens his arms.

* Tina blinks.

* Tina's strong facade suddenly crumbles, and she's abruptly in his arms, hugging back tightly and choking down tears.

* Ian holds her back just as tightly, his eyes tightly closed.

* Tina continues holding him back with all her strength, waging an uphill battle against gulping back sobs.

* Ian continues holding her tightly, his voice tight: *w* "Let it out."

{Tina} {w, strangled} C-can' to g-g-.... {the dam breaks}

* Ian just holds her close.

* Tina holds him back, face buried into his chest, crying as though her heart (not her Heart) has broken, knowing she needs to let him go so they can get into the car but not able to just yet...

* Ian sighs quietly, wraps his arms tightly around her, and whispers in her ear: "...i -will- see you again..."

* Tina nods, still sniffling, leaning her head against his chest. {thickly} "i know...heart doesn't know, though..."

{Ian} *vvq, bit strained* "...neither does mine..."

* Tina nods against his chest, continuing to hug. {vvq} "i know. we have....have to get going, ian..."

{Ian} *vvq* "i know..." *very reluctantly, loosens his grip a bit*

* Tina nods, stepping back, her face tear-stained and face only thinly composed. She squeezes his hand, and heads for the shotgun.

* Ian squeezes back, then makes sure the car doors are all unlocked, and gets in.

* Tina sits down, briskly rubbing at her face.

* Ian buckles in, briefly wiping at his eyes, and starts the car up.

* Tina smiles the tiniest bit, touching his hand.

* Ian gives her another handsqueeze, and starts driving Tetherward.

* Tina looks around, almost seeming to memorize the trip, with the occasional glance...more than Ian.

* Ian has to keep his eyes on the road, though he does glance back at Tina too.

* Tina remains quiet during this time.

* Ian is silent as well, continuing to drive.

* Tina lets out a breath as Springfield Avenue and the Beckman Quad region comes into sight.

* Ian nods silently, searching for available parking space.

* It's getting on towards evening here, so fortunately the worst of the studentia and employee clogging has let up, leaving a few spaces open.

* Ian pulls into the closest available spot, not worrying about distance right now.

* Tina waits for the car to stop, quietly.

* Ian brings the car to a stop and shuts off the engine, letting out a breath.

* Tina lets out one too. {q} "Well...."

* Ian nods. *q* "Well, indeed." (opens a small panel on the armrest, revealing a keypad; he pushes a few keys, and a yellow LED starts flashing) "Transponder's broadcasting. That should take care of the car."

* Tina nods. {q} "Right...." {makes to get out}

* Ian flips the unlock switch and the doors unlock, and he moves to get out as well.

* Tina slides out, quickly.

* Ian gets out, pops the trunk and retrieves his gear.

* Tina waits by the car, quietly.

* Ian shoulders his pack and locks the car up, joining her. "Right..." *swl*

* Tina takes his hand, silently, starting to move in the direction of the Quad and Tether.

* Ian goes with, giving her hand a gentle squeeze.

* Tina squeezes back, still silently, walking. There is the silent whirr of a videocam as it focuses on them from a building...

* Ian glances absently in that direction, still walking quietly.

* The Tether comes into view far too quickly, with a solitary crow perched on the backsite globe. It focuses a beady avian eye on them.

* Ian looks back at the crow, nodding a tiny bit.

* The crow nods back a little bit, looking at Tina a bit more, and clicking its beak thoughtfully. {q} "Cam'ras off. N'body round. Y'r both cleared."

{Ian} *q* Right... *approaches the entrance with Tina*

* The central spire remains there, as is the locus a few feet around it. They both step inside.

* Ian breathes a bit deeper as they pass through.

* Tina sighs one last time, squeezes his hand, looks up, and drops her vessel, wings flaring out like blue flame.

* Ian's corporeal form and possessions slip away as well, his form becoming more shadowy as his black wings flare out behind him, purple sparkles dancing across their surface*

* Tina smiles a little bit at watching him go celestial, though not much. {q} "Let's go."

{Ian} *q* "yeah."

* Tina nods, takes hold of his hand, and Ascends.

* Ian Ascends with.

* And the world changes.... the two of them ending up inside Jean's Halls of Progress, in the upper Tether Locus.

* There's also a sworl of copper-gold streaks and circuitboard green with a multitude of eyes and hands, looking at them. "Heya, kids..."

{from above, slightly silibantly} Hey. You stole my line. Ah, er. Who's there?

* Ian looks to the source of the voice.

* There is the head of a very large anaconda barely two feet above his head. The fact it's surrounded in a corona of glory and with two rather attractively patterned olive-green and black wings indicates its nature.

{Shoshemai, for it is he} Well, sorry, Guardian, I just decided to pop a bit of me over...

* Tina blinks at the snake overhead.

* Ian hehs a tiny bit.

* The cherub darts out a black tongue. "So they're kosher?"

{Shoshemai} {Terry Jones voice} It depends on how we kill 'im, sir!

* Cherub seems lost at that, and would blink, if snakes had eyelids.

{Shosh} Er. Anyway. They're safe, Guardian.

{Cherub} I'll....take your word for it, Seneschal....

* Ian hehs again, then sobers. "Anyway, my Role is expected in Tokyo within the next two Earth hours, so I need to head in that direction." *wl, glance at Tina*

* Tina nods a bit, looking back at him. "What...he said."

{Cherub} Very well. Walk in illumination, Virtue, er....

{Shoshemai} {helpfully} Bright Daughter--

{Cherub} ....oh. Bright Daughter... Ah, yes, anyway you're free to go.

* Shosh, with near mouth to the two angels. {m} "Kurah's new. Doesn't get out much."

* Tina smirks a tiny bit.

{Ian} *tiny smile* "Thank you, Guardian. Walk in illumination."

* The Cherub nods, and slithers back up to the beam it was dangling from in the first place.

* Shoshemai murmurs to Tina, very quietly. {q} "If you wanna talk about it later, I'm available."

* Tina pauses, and nods a little bit.

{Ian} Right... *looks to Tiphareth, q* Well, I... better get going before anybody wonders where I am.

{Tiphareth} {q} Right. Can I go with you to the Tokyo Tether...that far, at least?

{Ian} *vq* of course.

* Tiphareth nods, offering an auraed hand.

* Ian takes her auraed hand in his shadowed one, and walks toward the Tokyo Tether.

* The Halls of Progress, as always, are calm, orderly, and rational, and can be a soothing balm on the spirit in its regularity. The Tokyo Tether upper locus is easily findable for those who wish to find it.

* Tiphareth goes with, close to him, her blue wings cloaked.

* Ian stays close to Tippy, his own wings catching the light and sparkling as he walks.

* Tiphareth is more focused on his hand than his wings at the moment, to be honest, and her own aura and her usual Lightning Effects (tm) are decidedly on the subdued side.

* Ian can see this, and holds her hand a little tighter, even as he looks to the winged panda seated near the Tokyo locus.

* Tiphareth looks that was as well, nearly leaning against his side.

* Panda rises up a bit. "Greetings, Virtue, Bright Daughter. Do you seek passage?"

{Tiphareth} {q} He does.

{Ian} I do, Gennaneth. My Role is expected on Earth shortly.

* Ian glances to Tippy and squeezes her hand a little tighter.

* Gennaneth notes this and decides to make himself less noticeable. "Then walk in illumination, Virtue. The way is open for you."

* Tiphareth squeezes back, tightly as well.

* Ian doesn't leave it at a handsqueeze, and turns to hug her fully.

* Tiphareth hugs back, tightly, fighting another breakdown hard, this time hugging back with wings as well.

* Ian's wings enfold her, as he speaks quietly in her ear. *vq* "We will meet again... in Dreams, in letters, in thoughts...... and we -will- be together again..."

* Tiphareth nods. {vq, shakey-voiced} "I....i can hope..." {squeeze}

{Ian} *vvq, squeeze* "As can I... my dearest love..."

{Tiphareth} {vvq, quaver} you too...

* Ian holds her very tightly for a minute longer, then... *w* ...i have to go...

* Tiphareth nods, using all her will to let go. {w} "Take care...."

{Ian} *w* "you too..." *gives her a soft kiss*

* Tiphareth kisses him back, decidedly desperately.

* Ian lets the kiss go on for a bit longer, then gently pulls away, only because he knows he must.

* Tiphareth knows that as well, looks into his eyes one last time, and with an effort steps back.

* Ian backs up a bit, eyes never leaving hers, hesitates, then gives her a small wave and turns, heading into the locus...

* Tiphareth waves back, and watches him go, standing there.

* Ian disappears without fanfare.

* Tiphareth stands there, watching where he disappeared, for an indeterminate time.

* And for Ian, the world changes... and reforms...

* In the Tokyo Underground, a figure emerges unnoticed from a service doorway, and soon blends in with the exiting crowd...

* Ian Zbysko ascends the stairs to the surface, now wearing the black uniform of an Arasaka security guard. He reaches the street and takes a deep breath, wiping at his eyes a bit and looking around.

* The twin black spires of the Arasaka Tower are easily visible among the Tokyo skyscrapers. Checking his watch and nodding, Ian shoulders his pack, and starts walking in that direction.

* And as Ian walks off into the crowd... we fade.

* For now.

In Nomine 2070