Into the Wildes (Peregrine X CaptainFaux)

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Peregrine, Dec 28, 2015.

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  1. Sanya Falk - Played by Peregrine
    Age - Appears 20​

    Sanya is a tall, thin, graceful young woman, with the body of an athlete. She has long hair, more white than blonde, which seems to always lay smooth and straight. It frames a sharp, narrow face, nearly as pale as her hair, and a pair of bright, ghostly blue eyes. Sanya's face is generally considered too angular and planed for traditional beauty, but there is something almost bewitching in the exotic shape of her face.
    Height - 5' 10"

    Hidalgo Pascal - Played by Faux
    Age: 25
    Height: 6'0

    Hidalgo Pascal stands just above the average of his fellow men, peaking at 6' even. He is built well and is strong enough for most tasks, but has a far softer body compared to most men his size and age, as he has spent his life studying instead of slaving away. He sports an attractive enough face framed by a full beard, black to match the half wild hair on his head. This helps to bring out his mild green eyes. His hair is just under a medium length and has a tendency to do whatever it wants, often curling or jutting in random directions. He likes it that way. He also shares the lightly tanned skin of his fellow humans, getting darker in the summer and lighter in the winter months.

    The house was big, but not as big as some of the one she had seen in the city so far. Sanya eyed it with some suspicion, suddenly finding herself wondering if this was such a good idea.

    She had run across the hand-printed ad early that morning, tacked to a billboard in the middle of one of the little courtyards that littered this city, nearly lost among all the other sheets of paper. By the wear on the page, it was fairly easy to tell that the little sheet had been pinned to that board for quite some time, long enough that it had taken her several minutes of deciphering to be able to work through what exactly the ad was requesting, and offering in return.

    She had dismissed it at first because, at least to her eyes, it had seemed like too good of a deal. Sanya didn’t really know much about this world yet, but she knew that work for non-mages was almost exclusively physical, and generally did not pay particularly well.

    That ad had been nothing like that. Indeed, it had been almost the exact opposite, a request for an assistant (mage preferred, but not required) for a mage named Hidalgo Pascal. The pay was generous, not even including that there was an option for room and board, at the assistant’s discretion.

    She had assumed that the position would have long since been filled, and that Pascal (or his new assistant) had simply missed this ad among all the others. But she found the same piece of paper the next town square over, and the square after that. Eventually she had concluded that perhaps the position wasn’t filled. It certainly wasn’t ideal, she had no particular desire to serve a no-name mage indefinitely, but it was much better than her current situation. Right now Sanya was having to rely exclusively on her own magic, very different from the type that was present in this universe, to keep herself clothed and fed. If she truly expected to integrate into this world and establish herself as a legitimate presence, she was going to need a realistic way of earning money at the very least. A house, address, and record of employment would certainly go a long way towards helping her establish some credibility as well.

    Now that she was here, looking at the place, it suddenly began to occur to Sanya to wonder why no one had thought to take such a generously paid position before now. It suddenly occurred to her that she was missing something. Now that she was thinking about it, having the only expectation for an assistant be “unflappable under pressure” was a little suspicious. At the time she had first read it, she had simply been satisfied. Nothing really took her by surprise. Now she suddenly found herself wondering. What exactly qualified as “pressure” in this man’s eyes?

    She knew she could still back out. Other than the fact that she’d been hovering around the front of the yard for several minutes now, there was nothing that tied her here.

    No, that wasn’t true. What tied her here was the fact that she needed a job. Money. An address. Credibility. If she wanted to get anywhere in this world, she couldn’t just drift. This was a much better first step than working in the mage-run fields or factories as a laborer or transporter. That would provide her with no opportunities, or very, very few at least. This, on the other hand, was something that would not only give her a good amount of money on which she could start building her life, but it would also give her a little bit of credibility within the mage’s guild. That was worth more than the money, in her mind.

    Besides, it wasn’t as if this man could really do anything to her. If it got too bad, she could simply leave.

    Running one lean hand along her hair the few knots that had formed in Sanya’s straight, white hair promptly untangled, leaving the long mane laying flat and smooth against her head. She carefully straightened her loose white blouse, before walking up to the door.

    It took her a moment to find the bell pull by the front door, but when she did the deep, sweet note of a doorbell echoed around within the airy interior of the house. She tugged on the edges of her blouse again, before settling to wait.
    #1 Peregrine, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  2. "This does not bode well. No, indeed," Hidalgo said with regret. The man paced about in the basement of the two story cottage the Guild had provided him for research. It was deemed sufficient, with all the amenities one such as he might require, and even included space for an additional persons. That was a rare treat indeed. Not that the mages of the Guild don't have need for the extra space, but being able to actually find an occupant brave enough to fill it. Hidalgo stopped, for about the tenth time, in front of a clock like device that had been mounted on the wall before he had arrived.

    The great big thing was a mass of concentric circles, riddled with numbers, dates, cogs, wheels and all manner of things that were required for such a device. Within, it calculated the exact second all the way to a century's worth of years. It was, really, a marvel of engineering. Additionally, at the very center (although not visible) lay a beautifully hewn ruby that was especially tuned to the master device that the supreme of the Horologists maintained. As much as it was a masterpiece of clockwork, it was equally a beautiful piece of magic. It was also vital for every adjunct mage, for it was able to highlight, in bright, ominous red, the deadlines they were supposed to meet.

    Hidalgo Pascal scowled at one such glowing piece of the great ticking monstrosity. He had exactly twelve days, fourteen hours, six minutes and twenty-two seconds from this very moment to make a significant contribution to the guild or else his funding was cut. His contract only ran until that day, you see. A great, nervous sigh escaped him. There was very little he was afraid of, and even less than that were things that made him nervous; but to have made it so far within the guild and yet not far at all... well... it troubled him. Every member must contribute something great. "For The Great Good" they called, though Pascal knew it was for the "Greater Good of the Council". Thinking on that turned his self-pity into a seething sort of anger. Every great contribution was published by the Guild and no individual credit was given to the creator, thus the real fame was claimed by the head Council.

    "Bah! I'll not have myself be washed away in history! My name will be sung for generations, do you hear me?!" he shouted, stabbing a finger at the great clock on the wall. It merely ticked in reply, having no way to call him an idiot like it had wanted to all these years. Perhaps Pascal should invent a way for such inanimate things to express themselves properly?

    It was in the middle of the contemplation of what all the objects in his home might say to him given the chance that the door-bell rang. Hidalgo's brow lifted in curiosity and he looked to the lamp, hoping it would shrug. When it did not, he left the basement in a hurry to reach the door. Pulling his great traveling cloak over his shoulders and the hood up, Pascal summoned the deepest, scariest voice he could muster before cracking the door just a bit.

    "Who dares disturb the great and mighty Hilago Pascal, master of elements and lord of all things... er… Fiery? Yes. Fiery." A little flash of flame shot from his hands for effect.
  3. "Sanya Falk," replied the surprisingly unfazed individual waiting on the other side of the door. Now, Sanya certainly hadn't expected to be greeted by the sight of a hooded man and a ball of fire, but she was also fairly confident that this man was not going to attack her. No matter how great and mighty he professed to be. Briefly, she considered the possibility that this might be the first test in her interview. It certainly seemed to fit what she'd imagine a test for the "unflappable" criteria might look like. That, and she'd been confronted with much scarier than a single man with a little bit of fire.

    She squinted, trying to make out a bit more detail of the man standing mostly hidden behind the door. What little benefit the flame offered in tracing the lines of his face with faint, glowing highlights was pretty much completely negated by the fact that everything but a broad nose and furry chin was completely hidden within a hood. Thus far, Sanya could not say she was particularly impressed with this man who might soon become her new master. She kept that thought carefully to herself, obscured behind a mask of indifference. It probably wasn't a particularly good idea to go looking down on someone she hoped would soon be giving her food, a room, and some gold. Or, at least, it wasn't a good idea to let him know she was.

    "I would have thought you'd be expecting to be disturbed if you are looking for an assistant."
  4. Hidalgo realized that the hood and robe might have been overmuch. While the effect of being mysterious and hidden was certainly attained, it had kept her equally mysterious. The most he could see of her was the strange, near-white of her skin. Her voice gave little away with such a curt and to-the-point attitude. When at last she revealed what the visit was for... well, he was taken aback. The hood fell back and the door opened wide.

    Pascal looked at her, up and down, with slit eyes and a raised brow of sheer disbelief. He might have looked half mad with his wildly swept back hair, unkempt facial hair and critical eye. "I wouldn't believe it. I forgot I even needed an assistant and it’s been...." he regarded the ever stoic sky for answers as he scratched the hair of his beard. "Well, I don't know how long it’s been since I put out an ad. No matter. You'll do. I suppose." He eyed her once more. She was certainly a strange thing; taller than most women (and he daresay most men) and pale as the moon, she struck a curious figure. There was more to her, but he couldn't quite place it yet. Perhaps when he had more time allotted to staring, for now he had exceeded what might be considered socially acceptable.

    Hidalgo gave the awkward cough that heralded the passing of the moment. Standing back against the door, he stretched his arm out towards the meager atrium. "Hidalgo Pascal, at your service. Welcome to the home." He made sure to keep his posture straight and eyes forward and, as most might consider, it came off almost as playacting of common courtesy; something remembered instead of something engrained and practiced.
  5. She watched him silently, even as he studied her. Ghostly blue eyes locked onto soft green ones. For a moment they stood that way, each silently sudying the other. Sanya couldn't guess what exactly Hidalgo was thinking about her, although it didn't exactly seem to be the most positive reaction. Bewilderment. That might be it. Whatever her uncertainty about his thoughts, she knew exactly what she was thinking of him. It wasn't particularly positive. Sanya hadn't had the opportunity yet to meet many mages, but from what she had seen they fell into two distinct groups, those concerned with power and influence (who were always meticulously well-groomed), and those who set aside everything else in favor of research, and generally lacked a particular social element or two. Hidalgo definitely fell firmly into this category.

    Then again, Sanya didn't really know enough about this world yet to say that she had picked up on every social grace. Maybe they might make a good pair. Temporarily, of course.

    As Sanya stepped primly into the "atrium", she studied the place with the same quietly critical eye she'd used to study Hidalgo a few moments before. Already she was wondering, when Hidalgo said assistant, if he didn't really mean maid. There was nothing particularly filthy about the place, but it had the sense that it had never really been cleaned by human hands. There was this sense of something missing, of illogical organization that set her teeth slightly on edge. If what she knew of mages held true with Hidalgo, and she had a feeling it did, he would not do anything that could be "better" accomplished with magic. Cleaning would certainly fall into that category.

    Not that it really mattered what he expected her to do, as long as she was getting paid and wouldn't be expected to debase herself. She didn't intend to stay here longer than was strictly necessary to use Hidalgo's status as a Mage to work her way into a better position. Whether she was maid, assistant, or gardener would make little difference to her, in the end. For now, though, she would play her part well. She turned around, offering a polite smile. "Well," she said. "That was easy. I was expecting at least an interview."
  6. "Yes, well... As you can see, I'm shorthanded and have been for some time." A weathered hand ran through his hair, changing what strands greyed from stress and age back to matching with their kin. "Time is of the essence here." He made no effort to hide the rather serious tone he took on as his deadline filled his thoughts.

    With no more than a flick of the pinky the door closed and locked as Hidalgo made his way past her and into the house proper. Immediately before them was a sitting room, clean and orderly in his mind. It was simple and served its purpose with efficiency, filled with chairs and a couch and squat tables for tea. To the left, a dining room that was a tad more elegant and led away to a decent kitchen. To the right a hallway where winding stairs led up and down, to the second floor and basement respectively, as well as the bathing room, guest bedroom and sizable study.

    "Please, sit; I'll summon some tea," he said, plopping casually on to the couch. Again, it took nothing more than a snap of the fingers for the house to begin his bidding. As with most of those familiar with magic, he had set the necessary charms and runes when he first arrived. While a mate's home might seem impersonal to most, for one such as he it was a comfort. At the very least it wasn't a mess. Hidalgo regarded the woman further to the background of the kitchen astir as it prepared a tray of treats and tea.

    "I feel as though you're not quite from around here." For all his curious manners and disheveled looks, he was no idiot. Indeed, his sharp with might have shown through once more as they stared again. "See, your jaw is too sharp. Your skin is like cream and ours the créme brûlée." Such a comparison deserved an applause, he thought. Maybe he was an idiot, after all, he thought after the previous one.

    "Well, in any case, I don't rightly care. I need an assistant and time is far too short for me to ponder about where they were born." He gestured to the hallway on his left. "The study, stairs and your room are there. The laboratory and the Conduit are in the basement. My room and observatory are up stairs. The rest I'm sure you can figure out. Should you accept formally, I'll draw up the contract." The tea and cookies arrived as he finished talking, just in time for him to fill the quiet moments with food.
    #6 CaptainFaux, Dec 30, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
  7. Sanya perched herself lightly on a chair opposite Hidalgo, running her fingers briefly over the fine weave of the fabric, before tucking her hands into her lap, fingers curling together loosely. At first her eyes remained generally locked on Hidalgo, not to the point where it might be considered disturbing or unnatural, but definitely polite and well focused. This was briefly diverted as her eyes flicked back towards the kitchen over Hidalgo's shoulder, where a pot was lifting itself onto a stove, a flame was lit, and water was added in.

    She had to force herself to tear her eyes away as Hidalgo finished speaking, reminding herself that most people were familiar with the effects of this world’s magic, even if relatively few could actually perform it. She focused back on the man, and did not even so much as glance at the bubbling tea again.

    “A contract?” she repeated, half surprised, half amused. “Certainly very official, aren’t you?” A faint smile traced over her lips as she watched Hidalgo grab a cookie and start chewing on it.

    “Very well,” she continued a moment later. “Draw up your contract, and I’ll read it over.”
  8. Hidalgo gave a shrug. "Its more of a formality than anything. Guild requirements and such; they do like their paperwork," he said with some weariness. He was never a fan of the bureaucratic ways the field mages, as he and his kin were so fondly referred to as, were often managed. And, well, it really did apply to all mages, but they didn't matter overmuch, did they? The wizard gave another flick of his hand, more of a circular sort of wrist motion, and the papers flew in from a cabinet nearby.

    "Now, this essentially releases myself and the guild from any responsibility of your health and safety and such. While that seems... cruel... this is a dangerous job." Pascal sipped some tea slowly, pinky out, and was attempting to embody a sort of cool man of law. He looked at her over the rim of the teacup. As he spoke, the pages detailing the laws in legalese presented themselves. "As you can see already, not many are willing to become victims to the whims of the mage's Guild unless they need to. I'd rather not deal with them, but, well, one can't have their cake and eat it too, can they?" Though, he did just that. Or maybe not, as it was a bland sort of gingersnap (not enough cinnamon) instead of cake.

    "There isn't much you're required to do, all told. The cleaning and cooking usually handle themselves. More, er, social errands, however, will of course had to be done personally. I will pay you at the end of every week with a month's worth up front." His eyebrows wiggled a bit. It had been his idea to try and sweeten the deal since no persons had shown up. His infamy, unfortunately, was too well known. A pen with an overabundance of fanciness tried to wiggle its way in to her hand. "Just sign here, here, initial here, there and there. And on that last page you'll need a little blood. Just let the pen do it, its less messy that way."
  9. Sanya took the rather insistent pen (or perhaps it wasn't the pen that was being insistent, but rather the mage behind it), but as soon as it stopped moving she set it back down again on the table. She carefully lifted the two sheets of heavy paper, settling them more neatly together after their flight from the cabinet, before moving herself a little further back in the chair.

    She hadn't been joking when she'd said she intended to read it over. Sanya had absolutely no intention of signing anything, especially if she was expected to sign in a bodily fluid, without first checking over what she was contracting herself to. It might not be quite as serious in a world like this, where all magic simply related to energy and motion, but she'd been on worlds before where blood magic not only existed, but was a very powerful and very dangerous thing.

    Of course, a part of her had expected many, many pages of complex, interwoven paragraphs, were a tiny clause could be hiding something important that pretty much everyone would miss. What greeted her instead was a simple collection of paragraphs, worded in a very familiar jargon. It appeared that this "contract" had been written by Hidalgo himself.

    It was more than a little vague, and it took her a little while to settle into the rhythm of his rather flowery language. She reread each page through twice, one to get the gist of what he was saying, one to make sure she hadn't missed any of the nuance among the intricately chosen words.

    It covered pretty much exactly what Hidalgo had said it would. The first page dealt with compensation (not very much, but not none, either) should an assistant end up permanently injured on the job. She noticed suddenly that the pen was back near her hand, bumping into it whenever she stirred slightly, and she shooed it away distractedly.

    The second gave a rundown of her responsibilities, which were as vague as "unflappable". It seemed as though Hidalgo didn't have a really strict idea of what he expected from her, and wanted to make sure every possibility was open. Of course, such vague instructions meant he also had room to request some very weird things of her, but there was nothing in the contract that implied she didn't have the right to refuse to do something he told her to do, or that refusing was grounds for getting fired. One of the few advantages of such a vague contract was that she could turn it to her own advantage as much as he could.

    It only took her about five minutes to get through the entire thing. "Very... straightforward," she said, slightly amused. It didn't really seem like Hidalgo was one for formalities, despite his rather flamboyant attitude.

    She reached for the pen, finding it in her hand before she'd fully completed the motion. She raised one eyebrow at the mage, not entirely sure what to make of that attitude, but ultimately decided to say nothing.

    She printed her name carefully at the top of the page, initialed each of the three major paragraphs to show that she had read and understood what she was getting herself into, and then signed at the bottom of each page. Her signature was nearly as slow and formal as her printed name, and lacked the easy motion of long familiarity.

    Satisfied with that, she dropped the pen back on the table, where it finally sat still. The pages she passed across the space to him. "There you are," she replied.
    #9 Peregrine, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  10. "Well, isn't that grande? That pen has seemed to taken a liking to you," Hidalgo said, sipping his tea. "It never did like me much." The poor thing had been long abandoned on the road before the wizard had found it and given it a place in his home. He noticed it had a certain affinity for the pretty ones, though.

    If there was one thing the man could appreciate about his assistant already, it was that she thought. The contract that he had present was, by and large, simple and far less demanding than those of his peers. Indeed, it is common practice for the pages to be laden with so much legalese that anyone who approaches a mage to fulfil such a position is surely desperate. Where the practice may have been, at one point, innocent enough, it had since devolved into something akin to slavery. Hidalgo Pascal detested slavery. He was an outlier, always had been. When he presented his particular ideas of invention to the Guild to acquire the position as a researcher, it had been obvious what he was about. Unfortunately for the Guild, there was little they could legally do for such a brilliant pupil.

    They only thing they could do, and did, was hinder him where they might. The biggest problem had been in the timeframe. But that did not matter now, no, surely not. With this assistant, he could have his device ready for presentation before the deadline. He was sure of it.

    He came back to the room from his lofty reverie with another sip of his tea. "Indeed, it is. I'm not one for games." His face contorted a bit as he rolled the idea around in his head. "No, that's a lie. I love games. But for such paperwork, there isn't much room. We deal with enough red tape already, you see." As she finished, his teacup found its home in the indention of the saucer. This was something that had been practiced and perfected; the dramatic timing of such events. It was something of a source of pride for Hidalgo, to predict such things. His tongue would curse him for it, if it could, as it was scalded from drinking to tea far too fast.

    The mage stood with a flourish, bewitching the pen (which put up a resistance to leave) and paper to their proper place in a file somewhere else. He offered a hand across the table between them and his most charming smile. "Welcome aboard!"
    #10 CaptainFaux, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  11. Sanya mirrored the motion on the other side of the table, lifting herself to her feet. There was a polite but honest grin on her face. She might not think much of this job, but Hidalgo didn't seem like a bad man. Sanya had learned very quickly that, if she wanted to be in a position where she'd be able to have an impact on the world, she was going to have to be employed by a mage. The mages might not rule in any technical sense of the word, but the mages guild controlled almost all the transportation and industry in the world. No one could live without them, and no one could dare to offend them.

    If she had to work under a mage, and she definitely did, this one didn't seem like such a bad option. A part of her was definitely still curious about why he hadn't been able to find an assistant before this point, but she would certainly find out soon enough if it was anything particularly outrageous. In the meantime, she would do her best to be as ideal an assistant as possible, and see what kind of opportunities might open up for her because of it.

    "Glad to be here," she replied, reaching across the distance of the table to grab his hand, and offer a firm shake. "How do I begin?"
  12. After the brief shake, Pascal stood straight and clapped his hands together. He whisked the tea tray away (though not before snagging a cookie) and any other things that needed to be put away. "First, You have until tomorrow morning to get yourself settled in to your room. The house is yours as it is mine." Hidalgo's eyes looked beyond his assistant and to a smaller, simpler form of the large device downstairs that was mounted to the wall. "In about two hours I have a guest; my mentor from my days in the College." Fond memories ran through Hidalgo's mind and he couldn't help but smile just a bit. He focused back on Sanya.

    "In these next two weeks there will be quite a few visits. I'd suggest, for your sake, to put on your best act. They are.... very impressionable, so to speak." A pang of guilt swelled in his gut. He was desperate to finish his project, but the outcome was, more than likely, very negative. Hidalgo knew the chances very well and elected to take this girl on anyways. It was a bad deal, though she didn't know it yet. However, to make up for it, he had hoped he could pull a favor. "in any case, I'll be downstairs. You're free to do as you wish." With that, he left to the basement.
  13. Sanya watched Hidalgo walk away with a lifted eyebrow, before ultimately shrugging to herself and moving in the direction of where the mage had indicated her room would be. It didn't take much work for her to find it. The bedroom was a small but comfortable space, tucked away behind the stairs. A single door separated it from the rest of the house, but the interior was divided into two separate spaces. To her left was the main bedroom, which was large enough to contain a medium sized bed and a nightstand, and not much else. At the back of the room was a small closet, walk in, with two poles hanging on either end for her to hand her clothes, and a knee-high dresser. In front of her was a very, very short hallway, which led to the space under the stairs. There a good-sized desk and chair had been placed, along with an empty bookcase.

    Right now the room (her room, she supposed) was stale and empty, from spending extended stretches unoccupied. But there was a large collection of windows in both rooms, which would allow a good breeze to pass through, and the thin layer of dust in the office could be tended to easily enough. A few personal belongings, a good chair and a heavy throw, and this room could very well start feeling like home, despite its rather small size. It wasn't as though she really needed a lot of space. She had to pause for a moment at that point, to remind herself that she didn't intend to stay here long.

    Sanya had no true belongings, but she knew, as a grown woman, that was something that would be considered quite an anomaly in a world like this. For a moment she considered simply saving herself the effort and conjuring her belongings here and now, Hidalgo certainly seemed distracted enough at the moment that he wouldn't notice, but appearances were important, even if she didn't think anyone was looking. She took a few minutes to clean out all the dust (properly, with a rag, and not simply making it vanish like she wanted) before leaving the house.

    She returned twenty minutes later with a basket of clothes, which she meticulously hung in the closet on the provided hangers. They were all clean, relatively stylish clothes, which would flatter her well. Most of them were in a paler color, to compliment her own fair skin and hair, with a few accent colors thrown in. A mix of skirts and pants went on the right, shirts on the left, with a few dresses put on each end. Two rows of shoes neatly covered the floor, formal on the left, casual on the right.

    Nodding her head in satisfaction, Sanya left the room again. She returned about another fifteen minutes later with a quantity of soft, worn bedding and a downy pillow, which she used to make the bed. She let out a sigh, flopping back against the plush blanket over the top. She didn't like the magic in this world. Her's was nothing like it, and it made pretending so hard. If she was in a world where conjuration was a thing, she could have had this room completed long ago. Instead, she still had to head out and get the basic necessities for her desk. And she couldn't go get a cuddle couch, because it wouldn't fit through the door.

    But, eventually, and with surprisingly minimal complaints on her part, Sanya managed to get her room into a satisfactorily livable state. By that point it was well into the afternoon, and she heard the sound of people talking out in the main house. Sanya glanced towards the door, before realizing that the colleague Hidalgo had spoken of must have just shown up. Well, it was time to go begin her official job as an assistant, she supposed. Sanya made her way to the door, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear, before rubbing her hand over the whole mess to straighten it out a bit. It ran straight and smooth under her fingers. Nodding once more, Sanya moved back out into the main room.

    Hidalgo and his guest were seated out in the main room, chatting amicably. It quickly came to a halt when they noticed Sanya's approach.

    "My apologies," she said, doing her best to sound both professional and friendly. "I didn't mean to intrude."

    Nonsense," the visitor replied, turning to cast a surprised glance at Hidalgo. "And who exactly is this, Pascal?"
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