Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6340 Posts
Leaping Gladiators, Dapple steals all of Dwarf's kills.
Char fought against his opponent using swords against hand and foot attack. The Green was fast, and able to deflect his blows skillfully. He tried to paralyze Char’s arm with those quick jabs, but the Ranger was wise to that trick and fought pass the numbness. Char took a reeling blow to the side of the head, and stumbled back. The green moved in to deliver a finishing blow but Char swung upwards into the move, cutting deep into the soldier's shoulder. Both of them stagger back and then come towards each other again. Spinning on a single foot, the imperial attempts to land a solid kick to Char’s throat – a fast and deadly move. Char has seen Dapple performed the move many times and with the wit borne of desperation, throws his head and shoulders backwards so the kick merely brushes his whiskers. The ranger spins into the motion, and kukri blades strike hard and fatally though the stomach of the soldier. He dies with a wince of pain at Char’s feet.
Kilgim circles his opponent with axes ready. Then as he turns to deliver a flurry of blows upon him, a part of the darkness detached from the shadows and strikes from behind. Dapple moves with catlike precision to strike the imperial in the back. Aiming for the critical organs and pain points in the back, the soldier dies without a sound as the rogue dispatches him. The dwarf wastes no time in watching the display and turns to engage the soldier at the stairwell. The cleric strikes well with blackaxe but the Green recovers enough to block the other axe and retaliate with a solid blow to the stomach.
Maximus calls out a mighty cry and hurls himself on the two remaining on the stairs. He manages to land on the stairs with a mighty clang but his balance is thrown off and with his first swing, loses his grip on his sword and it clatters down the stairs to the floor. As any good gladiator knows, there is no point in crying over a lost weapon, and Maximus uses whatever he has as a weapon and bashes the Green in front of him with his shield, not once but twice. The two Greens fire crossbows at Maximus but the close quarters and violently moving shield causes all their bolts to miss.
Jal finishes recasting his spell and sees Maximus’ plight. A split second decision is made and the little mage focuses his energies at the blade, moving it upward towards the gladiator.
Valentine finds himself with an opportunity with the one imperial soldier that has fallen prey to his grease spell. As the man recovers, the warrior mage attacks with his glassteel blade. He hits true twice against the sides, and then finds himself facing a standing opponent who strikes fast with quick jabs to Adrian’s left arm. The arm goes numb and useless and the mage is forced to switch to single handed attacks.
Arien and the enemy commander face off against each other. The flames of the sword do not throw fear into this enemy and the knight finds that he well matched. Bracers black the swift blow of the sword and armour and shield stop all kicks and punches. Vital areas are not exposed for the commander to use the nerve pinch techniques and the knight finds it hard to get pass the edge of the Green’s defenses.
The two Imperials strike out at the Gladiator and he looks like he is in trouble. Then Maximus sees movement out of the corner his eye and reaches for his sword. He immediately carries the movement through to attack the Green before him. An attempt to block a Vorpal blade proves to be his undoing and Maximus cuts the hand and arm to the bone. The soldier screams with intense pain which is cut short by the following blow.
Kilgim is shaken, but not stirred enough to fall down. The dwarf ignores the pain to attack his opponent with axes flashing. The Green manages to only block one attack and takes axe wounds to the arms. He steps backwards to avoid the fury of the dwarf.
Dapple sees the Green that Kilgim attacks move backwards. Never one to turn down free offering, the thief moves in with daggers again, killing the Green with two fatal blows.
(Insert some comment here about Dapple killing all of Kilgim’s Greens)
Valentine’s earlier blows must have struck deeper than he thought as the attacks from the Imperial are weak and easily turned. He responses in force and soon kills the soldier with an impressive backhand slash to the throat.
Arien delivers a number of hits the commander and the man is clearly staggering, bleeding profusely. The commander has not managed to break through Arien’s defenses or armour. Unwilling to surrender, the commander dies upon Arien’s sword.
The last of the soldiers faces certain death from above and below. He kneels before Maximus in subjugation and says, “Make it quick, please.”
Arien: not a scratch
Char: Light Wounds
Maximus: Minor Wounds
Valentine: Paralyzed left arm
Kilgim: Light Wounds
Dapple: Minor Wounds
Note: Jal wanted to use Levitate on the Greens but the Spell only effects one "thing". So I took the liberty of having him change his mind in mid-combat.
Posted on 2007-10-30 at 02:23:57.
Edited on 2007-10-30 at 02:34:40 by Alacrity
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Objects may be deadlier than they appear
Dapple wanted to roar her exultation at taking down two more of the hated Greens: a throat tearing explosion of sound that would come barreling up from the depths of Sapphirine’s despair, but her guardian was wiser than that. A low pitched grunt of effort was all that that escaped from her clenched throat as her daggers sank deep into Imperial flesh.
She put a boot to the dead man’s back to pull the daggers out, shuddering at the sensation of scraping against bone as the blades came free. With the body before her dismissed, she looked over Kilgim quickly and satisfied herself that the sturdy cleric was fine. The montage of Maximus standing over the last living Green caught her eye (as a mouse’s movement would draw a cat’s attention), and she slid noiselessly over to get a clear line of sight to the Green.
He kneels before Maximus in subjugation and says, “Make it quick, please.” Dapple sucks in her breath and holds it, waiting for Maximus to respond with the killing blow. If he’s too soft-hearted to finish the job, Dapple will be more than happy to oblige.
Posted on 2007-11-01 at 17:08:39.
Eol Fefalas Keeper of the Kazari RDI Staff Karma: 462/28 8482 Posts
Jal... Wynter... Sybil?
Deep within the cowl of his tattered cloak, Jal couldn’t help but allow the hint of a self-satisfied smile to play on his lips. He had managed to be a little more useful this time and, as his gaze swept over his compatriots to verify that they, in fact, had all survived this latest encounter, the strange little mage couldn’t help but marvel at the effectiveness of such simple spells in such stressful situations…
You always try too hard, he heard Wynter’s voice say, I’ve told you that before, my love. In the end, it’s the simple things that are the most beautiful.
Jal’s eyes darted about the room, frantically searching for the girl for a moment, until he realized that he was remembering… remembering one of the last days he had spent with her while she still lived. He had tried to impress her, that day, by enveloping a bouquet of wildflowers in an aura of dancing flames and ice crystals. The spell had failed miserably, though; the ice had withered and frozen the delicate blooms and the flames had fallen inward to consme the dead petals before he could toss the bunch into the river. Wynter, of course, had been encouraging in spite of the failure and, as they wandered hand-in-hand back to her father’s mill, had spoken those words to him. Perhaps, he thought suddenly, it was that day that the Master had seen them together… it was only days later that he was forced to watch her die… the first time she had been taken from him… and now she had been taken from him, again…
“She’s not here,” he muttered, finally moving deeper into the room. His ice colored eyes ticking to the Green kneeling before Maximus, then, up the stairs before them… “She’s up there,” he whispered, remembering the feeling of being drawn upwards when he had used his wraithform spell earlier, “with all the rest…” He cursed himself for not having paid attention when the Greens had fallen to the fighters’ blades but, as he thought about it now, he imagined that, as their spirits were freed of their bodies they were instantly summoned upwards, as well. “…isn’t she?”
Jal’s suddenly angry gaze snapped back to the Green, then to Maximus; “Do it,” he nodded, “I want to see where his spirit goes…”
((OOC: Okay…… maybe Jal’s feeling a little more empowered now that he’s actually made it through combat awake and uninjured… maybe he’s just flipping out because Wynter wasn’t around to see it… maybe he’s starting to piece together a puzzle that’s been nagging at him since the “black hands” thing… *shrug* … If Maximus (or, as the case may be… when Dapple) kills this last Greeny, Jal’s going to make a “concentrated effort” to watch the imperial’s spirit leave the body (at DM’s discretion, of course)… For some reason, Jal’s suddenly very eager to get to the top of this tower and find out if Wynter’s there…))
The last of the soldiers facing certain death from above and below knelt before Maximus in subjugation and looking up at the huge Ex-gladiator spoke, “Make it quick, please.”
Maximus his sword ready for the killing blow had yet a question
“Aye that I shall but first a question, what lies above us, what manner of creature do ye face on tis roof. Answer and you shall die quickly by my hand without pain, refuse and in your last moment’s pain will be all you will remember.”
(OOC: If he tells the truth I will kill him fast, if not first his legs then arms and then death.)
Posted on 2007-11-06 at 15:51:16.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 365/54 6858 Posts
just a moment, there...
The battle was over quick enough, and the party had managed to do well. They gave much better than they got, and it was time to press on.
Well, time, save the fact that one of the Greens had surrendered to Maximus. The big man had interrogated him, whihc was fine by Arien, but the knight could not stomach that the gladiator actually did plan to execute his prisoner.
True enough, the Greens were cowards who did not believe in fair fights - their poisoned bolts spoke volumes to that. Still, their courage could not be doubted; many strong men feared to battle with good steel in their hands, yet these men waded into the fray unarmed! Did such courage not deserve some consideration?
Once the Green had answered Maximus' question - or refused to do so - the heir to House Thedell found he could hold his tongue no longer. "Stay your hand, friend Maximus," Arien spoke.
"You know I am no stranger to bloodshed, but I cannot allow this. Were we executing this man for a crime, it would be one thing... but as far as we have seen, he has simply done his duty - he has followed the orders of his commander. I cannot let you murder him for this."
Even as he spoke, Arien knew the others might not agree with him... and yet, he had to speak. "No one wants to gain this tower more than I! And yet, if you do this, if I allow you to do this, what makes us different from those we oppose?"
Arien shook his head before speaking in the firm voice of one who believed in what he spoke. "No. Bind him. Let one of the mages render him senseless. But we will not murder a man who has offered his surrender."
I realize that Arien may not be able to prevent a quick kill stroke, but there is absolutely no way he will allow Maximus to torture this man to death. If at all possible, he will prevent what he sees as murder.
Doing the right thing is seldom easy. That's why it's the path less travelled.
Posted on 2007-11-06 at 22:37:54.
Edited on 2007-11-07 at 15:10:16 by t_catt11
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 155/11 4194 Posts
Um...what he said.
The mud-colored ranger placed the back of his dirty glove to his bleeding lip and tenderly applied a bit of pressure as he took in their victorious stand. Swords still in hand, the woodsman made sure everyone was more or less still standing before he took the time to wipe his blades clean on the cloth of his fallen foe. It was during this time that Maximus' captive made his plea for a quick death and the huge gladiator responded with a promise of a quick death upon cooperation. Char spun the blades in one quick, fluid motion before sending them back into their sheathes, the whole while watching to see what his new companion would do.
(OOC: If Maximus attempts to kill the Green, Char will likely call out to stop him; if he is unable to, I'll rewrite the following...)
After the Green's response, it was Arien's turn, and the ranger had to agree with the knight, though he did so silently. He'd not allow the unnecessary taking of life if he could avoid it.
Posted on 2007-11-08 at 01:46:30.
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
What can I say...I'm a creature of alignment
Dapple had a dagger in hand, the blade balanced across her palm, ready to be thrown with deadly accuracy. At Arien’s words, her hand closed on the blade reflexively, and only the sturdy glove protected her from a bad cut. She trembled with the effort of holding herself back from attacking the Green and simply ending the standoff.
“He didn’t surrender, don’t make that mistake,” Dapple finally responded, her voice hoarse. “If he lives he will look to fight again. And it wouldn’t be murder…it would be justice. Any Green young enough to be serving has the blood of citizens on his hands. Take it from one who knows how the Emperor keeps his grip on the land.”
Maximus looked at the Green kneeling before and listened to its words without saying anything himself. He knew what he had said about mutilating him was more bluff then truth but to protect his companions from what lay above he would do what was needed.
He knew the possible cost of allowing the Green to live, tied up or paralyzed, having watched them play upon the weakness of others for his many years of enslavement.
The main thing Maximus had learned from his many years as a Gladiator was never trust a Green to be helpless; they always seemed to have something up their sleeves.
Behind him he could already hear the discussion began as to the right or wrong of what he had said and what he possibly would have to do. Though he was addressed by the Knight Arien he did not turn not wanting to take his eyes off the Green
"Stay your hand, friend Maximus, You know I am no stranger to bloodshed, but I cannot allow this. Were we executing this man for a crime, it would be one thing... but as far as we have seen, he has simply done his duty - he has followed the orders of his commander. I cannot let you murder him for this.
No one wants to gain this tower more than I! And yet, if you do this, if I allow you to do this, what makes us different from those we oppose?
No. Bind him. Let one of the mages render him senseless. But we will not murder a man who has offered his surrender."
The next to speak was no surprise as the young Dapple spoke.
“He didn’t surrender; don’t make that mistake, if he lives he will look to fight again. And it wouldn’t be murder…it would be justice. Any Green young enough to be serving has the blood of citizens on his hands. Take it from one who knows how the Emperor keeps his grip on the land.”
Maximus could tell the discussion if allowed to continue could very well tear the party’s loyalty to each other apart. The Green had finished speaking and was waiting on Maximus’s next action. He nor the others had a long wait as Maximus attempted to kill the Green as the creature kneeling before him had asked of the ex-Gladiator.
(OOC: When I am sure that my attack succeeded will I turn to Arien to speak the words below. If needed I will attack more then once.) >DM"s Edit - I edited the post here because you made the assumption that you killed the Green. Never assume anything due to appearances in my game. hehehe
Finally turning to Arien he replied at last to the Knight.
“Weep not for him good knight; he was your enemy as well as mine. I have released him from his world of hate as he asked of me. You said not to become like him, I disagree, to defeat them one must become like them, if only for a little while. The trick is too never forget who you truly are inside.”
With that he once again awaited the party’s next move.
(OOC:OK Waiting on Al’s post or a reply from Olan )
Posted on 2007-11-08 at 16:24:12.
Edited on 2007-11-21 at 04:56:35 by TannTalas
Adrian sat in silence and studied his team. He hadn't given them the credit they deserved in the past, but now that they had seen battle and victory together, he felt he could honestly judge them.
Maximus was certainly everything he expected. Strong, powerful, simple, and a bit feral. Arien on the other hand showed a strange wisdom that he lacked previously. Don't execute the imperial? They have your sister you idiot!
Dapple spoke of knowing the empire. Adrian could almost feel the emotions of the others - they were expecting him to chime in, talk about truly knowing the imperials. He would do no such thing, this time. True he wanted nothing more than to slaughter a few Reds for treating him like garbage, or to face some Greys in battle for not respecting his combat abilities - but the Greens were a branch he had little contact with during his tenure. Their commanders were worthy of some of Maximus's or Dapple's "justice," but the grunts?
That wasn't his fight. That was Dapples. It was becoming clear that the young boy either studied them or was trained by them - his moves are nigh identical, as are his dirty tricks. Greens are clearly his territory. Adrian could respect that.
Were this a Red asking for a quick death, Adrian would have been happy to step in and do the deed. But he knew when to stay out of the mess.
After the prisoner was dead, Valentine let the rush of battle get the better of him and his arrogance.
"Touching, but I believe we have a tower to climb. Oh, and though we now know I only need one arm to defeat a Green, I would still appreciate it if someone knew how I could regain feeling, and how to avoid such a fate in the future. Casting a spell might prove difficult otherwise."
He glanced quickly to Kilgrim, then to Dapple before focusing on his arm.
Posted on 2007-11-15 at 18:43:42.
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Sorry, can't resist...
Dapple slid her eyes over to Valentine and remembered the "helpful" advice the arrogant mage (now there's a redundant statement, lol)had given when she had asked about fighting Reds. She looked back over the "battlefield" considering what must have happened, then returned her dead stare to Valentine.
"If he hit you twice or so just above the elbow," she responded,"it's nothing permanent and feeling should return soon enough. Prevention's dead simple. Don't let them close enough to touch you."
OOC: Skipped over the matter of the Green and Maximus as we still need the DM to tell us if we have a dead Green or get to watch Maximus turn from good to evil alignment through the use of torture
Posted on 2007-11-15 at 20:53:11.
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6340 Posts
Dead men tell no tales
Corporal Gruber waited on his knees and thought of his training. Many years ago, he had stayed in this position for two weeks, before a training mannequin to learn this move. It was a deception based on fast reflexes and knowing your enemy.
”Your opponents are encumbered with many ideals that guide their actions. Use them to your advantage and they are as powerful as any weapon of technique.” The Training Commander had said walking before the decoys, “You are caught alone, facing superiorly armed and armoured enemies who are burdened with codes of honour, beliefs and morality. Challenge them! Don’t feed into their delusions with offers to surrender or lay down arms. Ask them to do what they can not possibly do – go against their own codes. Make them face that and they will hesitate, and …”
“Aye that I shall but first a question, what lies above us, what manner of creature do ye face on tis roof. Answer and you shall die quickly by my hand without pain, refuse and in your last moment’s pain will be all you will remember,” the gladiator asked
"Stay your hand, friend Maximus," the tin clad leader spoke.
"You know I am no stranger to bloodshed, but I cannot allow this. Were we executing this man for a crime, it would be one thing... but as far as we have seen, he has simply done his duty - he has followed the orders of his commander. I cannot let you murder him for this. No one wants to gain this tower more than I! And yet, if you do this, if I allow you to do this, what makes us different from those we oppose? No. Bind him. Let one of the mages render him senseless. But we will not murder a man who has offered his surrender."
They will start to monologue. No, they can’t do this that and the other thing. Yada, yada yada rights and deeds and you will have time to do this.
“He didn’t surrender, don’t make that mistake,” the young boy responded. “If he lives he will look to fight again. And it wouldn’t be murder…it would be justice. Any Green young enough to be serving has the blood of citizens on his hands. Take it from one who knows how the Emperor keeps his grip on the land.”
By the Gods, they are gonna talk me to death
Maximus moved to end the Green’s life with a swing of his vorpal blade. With sudden swiftness and flexibility, the Green bent himself backwards as the blade descended, dodging the blow. Then he sprang upwards as the gladiator tried to correct his swing. Using the base of his wrist extended upwards, the Green strikes Maximus directly at the base of the nose, The force from the blow sending bone fragments through the brain at a high velocity, killing him instantly.
Or so it would have been, had Dapple not been ready. The thief knew it was a trap – after all Greens do not surrender. It was almost their motto, like the Blues with their “We are the Shield”. Dapple didn’t know what the move would be, but she knew something would happen.
Her dagger left her hand quickly and accurately. As the wrist came up to strike, the blade sunk deep into the Imperial’s shoulder, causing him to move ever so much. He didn’t cry out, but the impact of the attack was diverted so Maximus wasn’t killed, but struck hard to the face. He staggered back, reeling for the blow, unable to keep his bearings from the intense pain and momentary blindness caused by the blow. He fell backwards down the stairs.
Then the lightening struck. A blue bolt of energy appeared out of nowhere, striking Dapple, and then arcing to Kilgim before hitting the stairwell. The green Imperial died with a scream of intense agony. Dapple took the full force of the blast and fell to the ground. Kilgim, spared the full energy and resilient as dwarves are, is standing still but definitely injured.
A pillar of flames erupts where Arien was standing. The heat from the pillar is intense, burning with a holy energy hot enough to melt the metal of armour and turn flesh to ash. But when the fire column is gone, Arien stands, unscathed by the flames if looking a bit mystified.
Two women appear in the doorway behind you. Both wear the red uniform of the Imperial magic corp, one has a holy symbol of a silver skull, long white hair and a intense look of anger upon face. The other has black hair, pale skin and dark eyes with a bewildered vacant expression. She is looking directly at Valentine then says, “Adrian? Is that you?”
“I said kill the mages! Now!” the white one cries out. Then both of them disappear again.
Arien: not a scratch - still
Char: Light Wounds
Maximus: Critical Wounds – Stunned and unable to parry
Jal: Taking notes (Say, that was a nice Lightning bolt)
Valentine: Arm is coming back – next round
Kilgim: Serious Wounds
Dapple: Critical Wounds –Stunned and unable to parry
Admiral – check your sheet if you want to know who the woman is, or ask me for details. Both Jal and Valentine recognize the dark eyes and pale skin as symptoms of a mage using their spells past their mana limits, therefore using up life force.
Posted on 2007-11-19 at 02:49:37.
Edited on 2007-11-19 at 14:15:55 by Vanadia
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Not out, but definitely down
Dapple didn’t really listen to the conversation, her attention was on the Green. Cornered snakes were deadly and she wasn’t fooled by his apparent passivity. Any excuse to kill him will do…perhaps a twitch from kneeling so long ? the dead voice within her urged her.
Maximus’ blade began to descend, and Dapple saw the Green’s muscles bunching, not to brace for the blow but to evade it. Training took over and she aimed her dagger, not for where the Green WAS, but where he WOULD be once he changed direction to attack. The Green chose a different maneuver than Dapple would have, however, and the dagger sank into his shoulder instead of his throat. Dapple prepared herself to follow up with a kick to finish the job when something struck her.
Pain arched through her and every muscle seized, the powerful muscles in shoulders, back and legs causing her to arch backwards, arms flung out and legs extended. The force of the bolt itself sent her flying and she couldn’t gather herself to land or even curl protectively for the impact with the floor. She fell hard and even as the energy dissipated, her muscles continued to twitch involuntarily, and refused to respond to her confused brain’s commands.
She flopped on the ground like a fish out of water, strangled sounds escaping her throat. Even though eyes and ears still worked, she couldn’t direct them, nor even her thoughts, and she felt spiraling panic as the loss of control continued.
Posted on 2007-11-19 at 14:34:49.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 155/11 4194 Posts
Char flinched involuntarily when the green struck. He'd been expecting something, but what he'd thought he'd have to interfere with would have come from Maximus, not the fellow who'd already surrendered. Even as he recovered from the shock of the reinstigation of combat and leapt foward to offer what aid he could, the room sparked with electricity, momentarily blinding the woodsman and causing him to stumble over the corpse of the green he'd dispatched. The cacophany about him brought him springing to his feet once more, swords held defensively in front of him as he blinked away the resulting motes of light. As a result he barely caught sight of them before they vanished.
"Blood 'n bone!" Char swore as he realized the green had been fried along with Da' Moon and Kilgrim. Out of the corner of his icy blue eye, the wild-haired scout saw Maximus recovering from what appeared to be a blow delivered by the now dead green. Realizing instinctively that Dapple appeared to be in the worst shape the ranger leapt across the room and settled near her. He didn't touch her; he knew better than that, but he wanted to be there in case something threatened them again.
"You 'eard 'em as well as me. Dey knowed we's being' 'ere, so I be suggestin' we move it, an' fast."
Maximus could tell the discussion if allowed to continue could very well tear the party’s loyalty to each other apart. The Green had finished speaking and was waiting on Maximus’s next action, he did not have long to wait as ex-gladiator raised his sword to deliver the life ending cut then as he had thought all along the "helpless" Green moved....
With sudden swiftness and flexibility, the Green bent himself backwards as the blade descended, dodging the blow. Then he sprang upwards as Maximus tried to correct his swing. Before the big fighter could even react the Green using the base of his wrist extended upwards struck Maximus directly at the base of the nose, the force from the blow sending bone fragments through the brain at a high velocity, killing him instantly.
Or so it seemed to Maximus as he fell back stunned and almost unable to breathe. Lying on the floor, blood freely running from his broken nose, on the verge of passing out. Yet as he lay on the stones of the keep, Maximus could not help but be impressed by the move as he himself had used it in the Arena many times, but the Green’s use of it had been so fluid, so smooth, it was hard not to envy its deadly force.
As to why he yet lived from such a killing move rendered upon him by a true expert was for the moment a mystery as Maximus lay on the ground stunned, bleeding and within moments of closing his eyes....
Adrian was shocked - sort of. Granted, he knew little about the Green corps, but the way Dapple reacted told him that nothing was as it seemed. He jumped back and readied a spell in case something went awry, but luckily it wasn't needed. Dapple seemed to take care of the situation. Maximus didn't fare very well though. Such is the fate of hesitation, he supposed.
Then the lightning hit. Looks like the Reds found us. this could be interesting.
"Adrian? Is that you?"
That voice... It's been so long.
But she was gone. He had barely heard the call for his and Jal's death.
Char was right - it was time to get out of here. Before he had only a professional interest in this place - and the obvious desire to take on a few Reds - but now it was personal.
"Yes, let's hurry. Either we just got screwed, or things are about to get extremely interesting."
Valentine drew his glassteel bastard sword - the memories came rushing back now. She had to have recognized it. I wonder if she thought I'd still be using it...