#IlynaApartment – April 13, 2021

Ilyna continues to pull in the pieces she can see while considering Li's question. She has done her research to prepare for the eventuality of having to teach her, but she does not have -- and does not want to ask for -- enough information to determine the likelihood of Li manifesting biotic ability. "Maybe one day," she decides on. She then looks down at and opens the manual in search for a part count.

The part count is listed as 4000 pieces - it can't have been a cheap set, and they certainly have their work cut out for them.

Li furrows her eyebrows a little, but seems placated by this answer for the time being. "What's the biggest thing you can move?" she asks as she snatches up some of the collected knight parts and starts to work out how to put them together. Manuals are for losers!

There's parts for 20 minifigures - mostly knights - listed in the more detailed breakdown. It seems the accessories are in a separate bag, judging by their absence in the pile.

Ilyna nods to herself and she puts the manual face down on the floor so that it doesn't close the page on her. "It's hard to say exactly how much, but in the field I can lift most people in full armor," she says, looking at Li. "I don't think I could lift a krogan, though." She reaches forward and begins to roughly sort the pieces in the pile, but she leaves assembling them to Li for now.

Li ponders this information for a moment, going silent as she fiddles with one of the figures. "Can you lift yourself too?" she asks. The knight she's put together is probably not instruction-accurate, but she seems pleased. It's still missing armaments though, given those were in another bag.

Ilyna nods. "Of course," she says. "I can lift myself to higher ground if I need to, even when carrying someone my own weight. I can't do it at great speed, though." She looks at Li's finished figure with a smile. She considers looking up which knight parts go together, but hopefully mixing them won't be pose any future problems. Ilyna opens her omni-tool to compose a message to Halisi, but she's still looking Li's


Li is already searching for the accessory bag, and as soon as she finds it she's already getting ready to tear it open much like the last, but Ilyna's words give her pause. "Does that mean you can fly us to work?" she asks, eyebrows furrowed.

Ilyna hits send on the brief message and lets her omni-tool dissipate. It's one sentence telling her they're home and that she could come over. She attached a stealthily snapped picture of Li about to repeat the previous mistake. "I doubt it," she says, "I won't get very far before tiring out, especially in weather like this." She then looks at the bag in her hand. "Li, what did I say after you opened the last

packet?" she says. "Dig a hole in it with your finger instead."

Li looks a little disappointed by this revelation. "Oh." she says, frowning a bit and returning her attention to the plastic bag. Ilyna's words stop her just in time and she looks a little sheepish as she stops and tries to do as she suggests. Her face contorts into a grimace of focus, arms twisting as she digs into the plastic. Though Ilyna's advice is sound, she has no success, and she hands the bag over to the asari with a

defeated pout. A closer look quickly reveals why - it's non-stretchy plastic, and the intended opening mechanism seems to be tearing at pre-cut points that Li had failed to notice.

A reply soon makes Ilyna's omni-tool bleep - it's a simple "Be there soon! :)"

Ilyna takes the plastic bag and, after trying to poke one such hole herself, takes a closer look at it. With so many colorful details within and little experience in the matter, these points are easy to miss. "Oh, sorry, I was wrong," she says with a sheepish smile of her own. "The pack has these cuts showing us where to tear." She grabs one of the pre-cut points and starts tearing, doing it in a way that Li can see.

She has not yet checked her omni-tool.

Li giggles at Ilyna's admission, but pays close attention as the bag is opened - with significantly less pieces flying across the room this time, thankfully.

For the time being, Ilyna is left to sort pieces as Li seems far more concerned with getting all of the knights assembled and geared up before starting on the castle. It doesn't take long after Halisi's message before the doorbell rings - she must have chosen to employ Jasper's services. Probably a wise choice given the weather.

Halisi is in her usual red winter coat, and she's once again added a Christmas hat to the ensemble. She rolls her shoulders as she waits outside the door to Ilyna's apartment. The wind has thankfully started to calm down, but there's still enough to send her hair fluttering, face only kept clear by virtue of the hat keeping some of it under control.

Ilyna is content to let Li do the assembling while she arranges the pieces and looks in the manual. The assembly is where much of the value lies in this toy, even though it may not feel like that with more than 3900 parts to go. She raises an eyebrow when the doorbell rings. "That was fast," she comments. "I'll go let her in." Ilyna is quick to rise to her feet and head for the door to open it for her, not wanting

their guest to stay out in this weather longer than necessary. She lowers her shoulders a bit when she sees Halisi, and the christmas hat on her head brings a smile out of the asari. "Hey," she says, stepping aside. "Thanks for coming, Halisi. I hope my message didn't wake you up."

Li looks up in the direction of the hall as she hears the doorbell, but remains seated - can't leave all her knights behind!

Halisi mirrors Ilyna's smile as the door opens, hugging herself against the cold. She gratefully steps inside with a "Hey." of her own. The words that follow make her chuckle and shake her head. "I assure you, you did not. I am not one for sleeping in, even on a day off." she says with another smile as she turns towards the hangers to start taking off her coat.

Ilyna closes the door behind her and takes a few steps further into the hallway to not be in her way. "Of course, I don't know why I expected anything else," she says with a chuckle. "So, can I get you anything?"

Halisi hangs up her coat, glancing Ilyna's way with the question. Underneath she's wearing a blue sweater along with white pants. "I'll never turn down a cup of coffee, if you're offering." she replies with a small smirk, adjusting her hair before leaning down to remove her winter boots.

Li awards one of the knights dual halberds. Maybe not the most practical armament, but it sure looks cool!

Ilyna nods. "That can be arragned," she says and starts making her way to the kitchen. She casta glance Li's way and the choice of arms draw a chuckle out of her. "Are you sure there's enough weapons for them to get two each?" she asks. Ilyna takes the glass of instant coffee, the same one as the last time she offered Halisi coffee, out of one of the cupboards and starts filling the kettle. Ilyna is dressed in a

simple black, long-sleeved sweater and gray pants.

Halisi picks her purse back up after removing her boots, bringing it with her into kitchen.

Li looks up as their guest comes into view. "Hi Halisi!"

Halisi smiles, putting the purse down on the table as she turns to Li, crouching down to look over her efforts. "Hello Li. Have you started on the castle already?" she asks, obviously pleased that her gift seems to be a hit.

Li nods. "I'm building the knights!"

Ilyna turns around after starting the kettle, and leans on the kitchen counter. "We have a lot of work ahead of us," she comments with a chuckle.

Halisi hums quietly. "So I can see." she agrees, giving Li a pat before standing up again and heading over to join Ilyna in the kitchen. For a moment she looks like she's going to go for the hug that the cold made her forego by the door, but she reconsiders, and all that comes instead is a small smile with a hint of awkwardness as she joins Ilyna in waiting for the coffee. "The weather has been something this morning. I'm surprised you

braced it to retrieve everything, but... I suppose there was some... internal pressure?" she guesses with a look towards Li, who is lining up her assembled knights with a smile, paying little mind to the two of them.

Ilyna notices the almost hug, which does make Ilyna uncomfortable as well, enough to forgo hugging. She returns the smile, however, but the question makes her look Li's way. "I knew very well what I signed up for leaving them back at the office last night," she says. "The shuttle can handle the weather, though."

Halisi lets out a quiet snort. "That I do not doubt, not after seeing it play submersible." she comments quietly, leaning back against the counter a little and crossing her arms loosely. "I am glad the construction set seems to have caught her attention. It might be a little advanced for her age, but if we help her out it should be fine. She's a creative girl, I, well, I felt something that encouraged that would be good." she explains

with a faint shrug.

Ilyna can't help but let out a little chuckle at the quiet comment, having read that report. She turns back around as the kettle comes to a boil, and finds a mug and a spoon. "I think it's a wonderful gift," she agrees. "She was so excited to open it that she carried it out of the shuttle on her own." Ilyna puts the appropriate amount of the powder into the mug and pours the water over it. She does forget to stir it

this time, though, before offering it to Halisi.

Halisi smiles warmly at this information, eyes still on Li as the cup is presented to her. She accepts it with a grateful nod, Ilyna's miss unnoticed as she gives it a habitual stir of her own, waiting for it to cool just a little while letting it warm her cold hands.

Li calls out once all her knights are lined up: "Mooom! I wanna start the castle!"

Ilyna casts a glance Halisi's way before making her way over to sit down on the floor, a smile on her face as the excitement Ilyna told her about is shown plainly. "Let's look at the manual first," she says, picking up the manual and browsing through it for the slightest clue as where to start. "My sisters didn't have anything like this, so I have very little relevant experience to draw on."

Halisi opts to turn one of the kitchen chairs around and take a seat rather than getting on the floor just yet as she still has the coffee. "Not to worry, we're smart people, I'm sure together we can figure it out." she says with a small, amused grin.

Li nods as Ilyna picks up the journal, waiting impatiently for what to start with.

While there's a lot to do and many pieces, the manual is pretty straightforward, going over every step in detail. First up is the foundation of the castle and the rocks that it is set amid.

(*set amid, both attaching to the grass-green baseplate.)

Ilyna folds the manual back a bit so that she can put it down on the floor between them without it closing on them. She chuckles at Halisi's encouraging words, which are coming from someone that did not see the pair's prior struggle with the plastic packaging. "We're starting at the bottom, with the hill, rocks and foundation," she says, pointing to the pictures in the manual.

Halisi takes a sip of her coffee, naturally taking on a bit of a supervisory role at the moment given her position. "Ah, I believe that pile over there looks like it's mostly hillside. Judging by the color, anyway." she says, leaning forward and reaching up to point at one of the piles Ilyna has sorted.

Li wastes little time in pulling the baseplate over and picking random pieces from the indicated pile - she has no idea where they go of course, given that Ilyna has the manual.

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