The guard looked at the restraints, then the Guardian. She nodded for the go ahead, since it was protocol, at least upon exit. He was told to follow the line that ran along the center of the hallway.
Athala did not ask the guard to change his behavior, she did not feel the need to. Though she did request that once Faust had crossed the facility the restraints be taken off. The guard did not like the idea but did what he was told. Athala did not like the idea either, but she also did not want to upset the Supreme Guardian. Faust was allowed free.
“This way,” she shifted and pointed the way. “I have arranged for a private transport to the Spire. My Lady wishes to meet with you,” she said with some annoyance, still not keen on the idea.
"Well, look who's moving up in the world." He joked mirthfully. He was back to his wry self, smirking casually as he went along docilely. Athala would have to keep a close eye on him. A man like this could potentially become a threat once free of restraint and in the presence of their most important leader.
He whistled to himself, a melody not unpleasant, but somehow out of tune.
Athala did not move her eyes from him, watching him warily, as if he would suddenly explode. The transport arrived smoothly, pulling to a stop on the tracks with a hiss. She motioned him inside, then followed, sitting down across from him as they had their private pod. The doors hissed closed not long after they were seated and it went quite smoothly on the tracks towards the Spire. It rolled to a stop on the platform, meters above the commons. She bade him cross before her and they went through the enormous double doors on a crossway.
The guardsman below them at the doors looked up at the crossway, and the guard who stood there blinked with undisguised bafflement at the creature, obviously not native to Naveen, who walked beside the guardian. Tzeitelians who mingled about on the various levels of the Spire walked forward to the railings and looked down curiously, murmuring to one another at the unexpected sight. Athala kept her eyes forward, her lips pressed in a tight line, looking displeased at the attention.
She pressed her hand to gain access to a restricted lift and motioned Faust to step on it, then took her place beside him. As it rose, level by level upwards to the next access point she turned her dark eyes on Faust to gauge his reaction to all of this.
"Your people do not seem to know what to make of me," he stated conversationally. "Is this going to be a problem for me?" He hoped not. Athala's constant scowling was starting to wear on him. He wasn't at all nervous about meeting this queen, or whatever she was. He sighed. The way it was going, he'd be locked up indefinitely with these xenophobes. He began forming the rudiments of a plan in his head.
“We have never seeing a being such as you, Faust,” her face relaxed a bit. “It depends on what the Supreme Guardian decides to do with you, whether she wishes to seclude you from the public or not. You are going to get stares such as this no matter where you go, if the public are about,” she replied truthfully. “Mostly it’s your eyes, they do have an unnatural light to them.”
They went to another lift, and another. Their final stop was not in the Supreme Guardian’s sanctum but a room of state just beneath it. The panels were moved to allow the light in, which was swallowed by the midnight blue characteristic of Athala’s race, and reflected against beams painted with gold detailing. From the ceiling hung a chandelier that was lit not with candlelight, but with the glowing blue of Eternium, more impressive than functional, unless the dark of night had set in. Similar sconces were on the wall behind the pillars that rose up through the ceiling and stretched down through the Spire.
The Supreme Guardian was seated in a gilded seat, her robes made of golden silk. Her fingers were tipped in gold, this being the base metal and not simply the gold paint that marked Athala’s body. The Lady’s long hair was curled around her in braids, the ends wrapped in gold wire as they spilled majestically around the throne. Athala stopped several paces before the seat and knelt, her eyes moving to her lady.
Faust did not bow anything but his head, his eyes, never leaving the richly dressed Lady. "As she says, I am Faust. I come from far away; a planet called Urth. I did not mean to intrude on your domain. I did not have a choice in the matter. As soon as I find a way back where I cam from, I will be gone."
Athala stood and stepped back a distance beside a pillar on the opposite side, leaving Faust standing there alone. She held no expression on her face as her Lady lifted herself from her seat and walked towards Faust, her robes trailing, her long hair dragging as if a cape, the beading tinkling as she walked. The Lady circled Faust as he spoke, examining him with a delighted look on her face, looking him up and down as if he were some spectacle for her amusement.
“And how do you propose to do that?” Her voice was resonant and richly accented, having come from noble breeding and cultivated for the role of nobility since the day she was born. “We are scientists, not magicians,” her laugh tinkled in merriment.
"I had a notion to study this substance you call Eternium. If I can harness it's potential properly, I should be able to open a gate back to my world. Take care. I am not an unreasonable man, but I will defend myself if I feel I am under threat." He did not show any outward sign of what he was capable of, but it was no lie. He had powerful magicks at his disposal, but as a Shadowrunner, he had learned that diplomacy was often the best tactic.
“Our scientists have only just begun to harness the potentials of our native element,” the Lady paused and stood before him, looking at his face for the first time in moments. “There is no danger for you here, as long as you do not mean myself or my people any harm. Very well, I will allow you access to our Eternium and examine it at our laboratories. You may have insight into the element that we ourselves have not yet discovered. I will allow you to do this only if you share your own findings with my scientists, Faust. If you can find a way to get yourself back to Urth, I will allow you to go without detainment.”
"Deal." he agreed quickly. "May I explore your city? If there is a way to help your people, I am a seasoned Shadowrunner... " He did not immediately explain the term. There was an implication, though, of useful skills at his disposal. Faust turned to glance at Athala, smirking.
"You might want to pick your jaw up off the floor, you might need it." He joked.
“Young Athala,” her Lady remarked. “You look displeased at my decision.”
Oh no… She instantly went to a knee in deference. “No, my Lady. I was just caught by surprise.”
“Recent affairs with the dwellers has made you rather tense, young one.” The Supreme Guardian spoke with fondness. “You work far too hard.” Her eyes turned to the remaining Guardians, who stood at intervals along the circular room. “Guardian Athan, come here.”
The male Guardian came forward immediately, walking to the center of the room beside Faust and took a knee. “My Lady.” Athala’s eyes watched his familiar figure.
“You will take over all of Athala’s duties from this time forward.”
Athala forgot herself, taken aback. She stood straight. “I am being demoted, my Lady?”
“No, child, patience…” the Supreme Guardian smiled. “My desire is for you to assist Faust in his research. Don’t let anything or anyone hinder him, I will place him under your guardianship.”
Athala set her jaw and paled. “As you wish, Supreme Guardian.” As soon as her Lady walked back to take her seat she shot Faust a venomous look.