BioQuest: Promise

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His apology hung in the air, but he met her eyes with more steadiness than she felt. How quickly being a mother figure had changed her already, so vulnerable to alcohol’s effects… Relatively little to how much she used to drink.

Taking a stabilizing breath, Tenenbaum adjusted her position in her seat.

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“Jack,” she began, “To sneak out of this place, leaving the girls unprotected…” She forced herself to stand, crossing her arms. “You know they are not as far along as you are. They needed you.”

“You’re right, Tenenbaum, but…” He narrowed his eyes at her, tilting his head.

“Nein. There is no but.” Tenenbaum approached and stopped a few steps away from Jack, who waited where he stood. “You will be able to do as you please when Fontaine is truly dead and you are freed completely.”

“I know, but,” he hesitated, his resolve turning to an imploring look. Not unlike the admiration of these little ones, and it awoke her maternal instincts just the same. “Tenenbaum, I’ve never had a say in what happened. I swear I won’t do this again, but when I can make a difference…”

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Watching his shoulders tighten, she assumed he was clenching his fists and yet still his expression was so sincere, so desperate for validation.

“Promise you’ll give me that chance.”


What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next chapter.

– – –

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Elena’s Wig: Tutorial

Get You Some Tools

Wig I Used: Arda Silky, Jaguar wig, bleach blonde color

A brush with a tip for parting the wefts

A big clean sink

A wig head

A wig head clamp (ideally)

Quilter pins

Paper towels

Large plastic bag

Light hold

Hair clips (probably smart, but I didn’t use them)

Scissors (decently sharp is best)

Broom

Step 1: Make the Part

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From the above screenshot, you can see that her hair is parted above her left eye. Most of her hair is to the right that part, and we want the wig to do the same.

So take your wig, put it on the wig head, and use the quilter pins to pin it in place. It doesn’t have to be quilter pins, I just find them easier to locate and take out later. I usually use about five pins altogether, putting them along the hair line and at the top of the head.

With that done, put the wig head on the wig clamp. Don’t have one? Bribe a friend to hold it for you! (I find cookies to be a suitable bribe.)

Remember when you’re parting the wig that these are wefts, not regular hair. You /can’t/ just part it however you want. Choose your wefts to part carefully so you don’t see through to the wig head underneath!

Step 2: Heat Training

Once it’s parted, you’ll notice the wig is sort of fighting the way you’ve parted it. You can use quilter pins again to guide the bangs in particular for our next step: heat training.

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First, put a paper towel and a large plastic bag, both lying flat with the towel on top, underneath the wig clamp. This will make cleanup easier when you let the wig drip dry.

Find that big clean sink I told you about and turn on the hot water. As hot as you can stand it just in case you can get your hands into it. Once that water is hot, grab the wig head and angle it under the water so it’s running over the wig in the direction you want it parted.

It’s okay if water runs over other areas of the wig so long as it’s going in a direction you want to it to go in. With this wig, that’s not a big concern because of how it’s already wefted.

I did this for about ten minutes before I returned the wig head to the clamp. Tilt the clamp post so the hair is still angled the way you want it parted and let it drip dry.

I’m sure other people do other things here, and I’m sure they’re effective. So if you see another tutorial that suggests another method, go for it!

Step 3: Seal the Deal

So now it’s dry! But let’s be real, you’re going to be at a con in this wig. You’re going to be running around all day, not a stationary wig head. Luckily.

So break out that light hold! I suggest Aussie brand (pictured below) because it smells good. I mean it, a lot of other brands are downright poisonous in how they smell.

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Back to the tutorial! Holding it a few inches away, spray a thin coat of the hold over the bangs. Smooth it out over the wefts with your hands so it’s an even layer. If you’re me and don’t use gloves, rinse the spray off your hands.

Heads up: Light hold will wear off after a while.

That’s the price you pay for the more natural look it leaves on your wig. So if you go with light hold, touch it up just before you go to a convention. You did heat train it, after all, so the general style is still there.

Now, you can use heavy hold if you prefer to never ever apply it again. I personally just don’t like the way it makes the wig look. This one’s a matter of preference, nothing more!

Step 4: Cut

The scariest step for most people, understandably. Here’s your rule: always cut longer than you think you need. You can take more off, but you can’t undo that last cut.

Before Trimming

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It’s really important to get your wig cap on, secure it and the wig with bobby pins, and basically treat it like you’re going to wear this wig to the con right now.

The way you cut it is based on how it sits on your head, so getting the results you want relies on making sure that wig doesn’t move around on you.

And if you prefer, you can clip the hair you aren’t presently cutting off to the side. I didn’t, but this isn’t the first wig I’ve cut either.

It’s the second.

ANYWAY

The first cuts are for length. Trim the bangs above your eyes and the wefts on your left, since that’s where her hair is thinnest. Because of her hair style, I recommend trimming the wig with cuts at a slight angle. It fits with the rest of the wig better and looks far less obvious.

How you cut exactly will depend on how the wig sits on your head and what you’re going for. For example, I cut the left side of her hair a little long because I have brown hair and the wig being longer helps me cover any stray hairs that escape the wig cap over the course of the day.

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The second phase of cutting is to give the hair a feathered look, giving a more natural appearance than a straight line cut.

To do this, you will cut the wefts vertically instead of horizontally, meaning the scissors will be parallel to the wig fibers instead of perpendicular.

Cut just the ends of the wig fibers you cut this way, and this will further help the trimmed areas to blend.

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Step 5: Celebrate!

Ya did it

You’re a real Turk now! Go lecture Reno and shoot rogue SOLDIERS for money.*

* please don’t actually do this second one

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Interviewing Templar Angelo

1.) What motivated you to become a Templar Knight?

Have you seen this uniform? Rather, you must see specifically me in it.

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And besides, once I was no longer a child in the care of the abbey, where was I to go? It’s my home and so I defend it. Almost reliably.

If you wish to know more… Well, perhaps you ought to meet me for dinner to discuss it. :rose:

2.) Have you ever been in love?

Haven’t you? Love holds many forms. Fiery women, family, an easy mark… The Goddess gives us much to love in life, heh.

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3.) Did being left-handed ever cause a problem for you at the abbey?

Among the excessive gambling and shirking my responsibilities, why, they must’ve overlooked that. One should count one’s blessings, although I do lose count on occasion.

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4.) Do you think you’ll ever slow down?

You know… I hadn’t considered that! Someday, I suppose I will. Doesn’t it seem far more likely that my poor habits will catch up to me first? We shall have to wait and see.


This was originally posted as a response to prompt on Square Enix Amino.

May Your Heart Be Your Guiding Key

In response to the philosophies prompt on the Square Enix Amino, I’ve analyzed a recurring phrase in the Kingdom Hearts series, but specifically in Back Cover.

“May your heart be your guiding key.”

WARNING:

Spoilers Abound

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The one time the meaning of this phrase is explained is by the Master of Masters, who claims to say it all the time. In the Case of Invi, he tells her that “you ultimately need to do what your heart feels is right”. (He also says it to Aced during the Case of Aced, although he doesn’t explain it then.)

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But this is a fairly open definition. Its true parameters are defined by the heart, so each person is allowed to decide for themselves what it means. Add in context and you’ve got yourself a mission statement that can be perceived to mean anything.

So who says it when? What does it mean?

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After Ira’s announcement that he believes one of the Foretellers is a traitor backfires, Invi tells him this phrase as a comfort. In this context, Invi offers this familiar saying of their absent master to remind Ira that he did what he thought was right. And even if it didn’t turn out to be right, Invi wanted him to trust his heart.

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When Aced had to fight Ava, Gula, and Invi, Aced said the phrase to himself. For him, this phrase is to express certainty in his convictions.

Throughout the game, he frequently mentions that the Foretellers are comrades – this means a lot to him. To have them almost unanimously think that he is the traitor could not have been painless.

But saying this phrase to himself, the one their master repeated to them all, was a reminder to Aced that there are things more important than that. His heart told him to fight for what he believed, and so he did.

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Gula said it to himself after Ava refused to help him summon Kingdom Hearts in a ploy to make the Master return.

To understand the context of this phrase said here by Gula, you need to know his opinion of Ava. Before asking her to help him summon Kingdom Hearts, he tells her that she always does the right thing.

For someone whose role required him to trust no one, this is impressive. Gula holds Ava as a moral paragon. When she said she wouldn’t help him, it was as good as telling him that he’s morally wrong for wanting to summon Kingdom Hearts.

But still, he believed with all his heart that it was the correct choice. Maybe it wasn’t the morally right one, but his heart told him it was what needed to be done.

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Ava said this to the Keybearers she was training just before the war broke out. Until this point, all of the other Foretellers had done what they felt was right but several had deviated from the Master’s teachings.

In the earlier scene with Ephemer at the fountain, Ava said to herself that she would be glad to leave the future to those who see the world the way he did.

In this case, I believe that Ava told the Keybearers she trained to have their hearts be their guiding key because she truly believed they would make the best use of that phrase.

These Keybearers were the ones she regarded as the best of all unions. It’s not just their talent as fighters, but their perspectives that she valued. Their hearts could be their guiding keys because she believed they had the best, truest hearts.

I love Ava’s characterization, surprise surprise.

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Lastly, Luxu also said it as the final spoken line of the game (while hefting a box in the desert, no less). This meaning is a bit harder to interpret, but I think that’s the point of it at this stage in the story.

Nearly everyone else who used the phrase had gone against the tasks set before them, playing right into the prophecy (which I doubt was a mistake).

Does this mean that because Luxu was separate from the others, he actually succeeded in his entire role? Or did he “fail” as the others had, and open the box? The fun of this is that ultimately, we can’t say with what we see in this game.

In lengthy conclusion…

“May your heart be your guiding key” was the mission statement of the Foretellers, but it steered most of them in the wrong direction either inadvertantly or knowingly.

The intent of the phrase is to encourage people in dark times, but it was also used to justify bad decisions as good ones made as a personal sacrifice.

And that’s just in this game; the phrase comes back with the Wayfinder Trio. But that’s a subject for another post!