Author Topic: We are our Avatars  (Read 3270 times)

JetSet

  • Horse Puncher
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • JetSet has no influence.
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2016, 02:41:03 PM »
Jack simply leant against the wall, relaxing with his own spiced wine. Some things you just never get used to having at the tips of your fingers, leaving him to marvel at the drink while the two other residents talked to each other. When the topic of heaven and hell came up, he looked up from his mug and blinked.

"Hm? I was wondering that for a while too. When I first got here, I thought something similar, though mine was more 'I'm in too much pain to be in heaven, and too damned cold to be in hell." He chuckled. "Though that wouldn't surprise me at all. Considering my previous occupation, I don't think I'd be surprised if I was dead." He said and scratched at his neck. "But I don't think jumping through that portal woulda killed me, so I think the only one dead here is you Sab. Sorry to have to tell yah." He said, like it wasn't obvious.

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2016, 03:04:14 PM »
Emma was visibly relieved by that. Jack's input might not have totally invalidated the "we're actually in Purgatory" theory proposed by Sabwones, but it set her mind at ease to know that the most experienced person here disagreed with it. He did say something curious, though. A portal. Interesting. Emma didn't remember any portals during or prior to the haze. Just walking up the stairs to this huge tavern with a door much larger than herself and a handle she had to hold with both hands to open.

I mean . . . technically doors are portals of a kind, but I really don't think that's what he's talking about.

"You said you came here on a portal?" Emma asked, taking a sip of her drink after, "What kind of portal? What was going on that made you jump into some creepy hole in reality?"
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

JetSet

  • Horse Puncher
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • JetSet has no influence.
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2016, 04:02:09 PM »
"Kinda what I did back then. If there was adventure to have, relics to touch, or things to be messed with, I was the one to do it." Jack said proudly. "Even saved the world a couple of times. It was a pretty interesting life. As for the portal, It was your basic swirling vortex beyond the comprehension of mortal men and women. I thought it would lead me into some kinda alternate plane or some demi-plane with a castle to explore, but it just dropped me above the lake in the forest behind the Inn. Well, far above the lake...like, brace for impact far above."

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2016, 05:16:56 PM »
"Saved the world, huh?" Emma mused, and with an innocent smile, as if swooning, added, "Be still my beating heart. I bet you get all the girls with that line."

She took a long, but slow, sip of her drink. Savored the warmth of it. How it sat in her tummy. Yep, the alcohol was definitely setting in. She was willing to take this at face value and not totally freak out.

"So . . . well, first, I didn't know there was a lake behind the inn. That's pretty cool," she nodded to herself, feeling her head bob a little more than it did before the cider and liquored up coffee, "And second . . . If you're this big adventurer type, why haven't you mapped out the surrounding area? Not that I don't appreciate the hospitality, but my first instinct--I think--after getting my bearings and setting up a base camp--like this inn, I guess?--would be exploring and seeing if there's any civilization out there anywhere. 'Cause this whole place is some kinda mystery, right?"
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

JetSet

  • Horse Puncher
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • JetSet has no influence.
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2016, 03:52:22 AM »
" I dunno, I'll try it if I ever start really looking." He said and gave her a simple man's smile. The kind of smile that only a man happy in his place in life could give. "I've tried that. I have about seven or eight maps of the surrounding mile, each telling me different things, different, contradictory things. " He said and took a long drink from his mug. "This place liked to shift on me once or twice a week, but only after I had a map of the surrounding mile done, or near enough to it to finish without going out again. I would swear something was messing with me, if I was back home. All I know for sure, is the in is here, and half a mile back, there is a lake. Nothing else stays the same."

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2016, 03:25:40 PM »
Hah. What was Jack doing, playing the same kind of game as Emma? Deflection through feigned innocence? Didn't really matter, though. She didn't know the guy all that well, and all the urges to mess with him (prompted, of course, by how much she'd drank by this point) were superceded by other curiosities.

"Hmm. Okay, so we have a lake and the Inn. That's consistent. What about how we all got here? Personally I don't remember; I kinda remember, like, a door, and some stairs, and you," she said, motioning her drink-holding hand at Jack, "Behind a desk, dozing off. You say you came through a portal."

She turned her attention to Sab. It had to be the booze that made her willing to talk to the sentient skull, 'cause she definitely noticed a difference in her demeanor when she looked back at Sabwones.

"What about you, Sab? Was it a portal? Or do you forget, too?"
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

Sabwones

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Sabwones has no influence.
  • Bonehead
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2016, 04:21:11 PM »
A fair question. Without a way of keeping track of time, Sab hadn't been able to ascertain how long he'd spent crawling through the air ducts before making his final descent...but before that?

All right. Let's put on our deerstalker for a minute. Jack comes in through a portal. Emma comes in through the actual door a while later, by the sound of it. So already that's two different points of entry at two different times, for presumably two different reasons. Magic, then, most likely. Not that I have the first fucking clue on how that shit's supposed to work.

"Nah. I was up in those vents for a decent while, though." He replied distantly. "I'm still trying to work out why I'm in two places at once, to be perfectly honest."

How does this normally go? In the movies there's always some word or thing that happens that triggers a flashback, right? Or a solid bump on the head to...knock the memory loose? Do brains work like that? Possibly.

Alright, over-thinking this. Pretend you've left your keys somewhere. Where's the last place you left them?


A cold, metallic sensation, distant, like the coarse feeling before, echoed in his mind. Flat. Small. Circular. A coin? Button?

Badge.

The image rose up and hit him like a brick. The cold tin biting into the soft flesh of his palm as he lay, empty-eyed, in a dusty trench. A figure above him. Fine soil cloying at his nostrils, worrying the delicate sclera as it pooled on his cheek. The distant emptiness, a welcoming void, opening up inside of him. The sense of falling you get as you drift off to sleep. Weightlessness.

Sab was silent, gnawing on the tip of his straw.
Oi.

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2016, 05:01:56 PM »
"Hmm . . ."

Emma thought about it for a long moment. Even finished her drink in the interim. Pacing was out of the question, though, because the world turned lopsided as soon as she started to walk. Abandon that prospect. She could carry Sabwones after she could walk straight. In fact, for posterity, she cautiously walked (visibly fighting the ever present stumble) until she was at the bar, and clumsily pulled herself up onto it. She needed to sit. She was bound to hit the floor if she didn't. She was no heavier than ninety-five pounds. A hundred, maybe, if she'd eaten a particularly large dinner. It didn't take long for the booze to hit her like a crumbling brick wall.

"So I think portals are definitely not off the table," Emma said, her speech audibly slurred.

But the ensuing prattle, despite slurred, might have actually been impressive to the pair, especially if they were taking her age at face value. She seemed to recall a mixture of impressed and disturbed reactions in the past, as if a girl her age wasn't supposed to be as well read and scholarly as she was.

"'Cause if you think about it, portals are . . . Well it was originally a French word if I remember right. Uhmmmmm porta? I think? But liiike, that just means a door. Not, like, anything magical or whatever. It was kinda only in the fifties when science fiction got big that people started throwing around portal like it was some sorta mystical thing. Buuuuut . . . you," she motioned with an empty beverage to Jack, "took a hole in reality; you," she motioned to Sabwones, "crept through a hole in the ceiling; and I opened a door. It sounds a lot like we walked through something and got here, and not woke up in a weird place. I'd even bet the shirt off my back that the stairs and door I remember aren't actually the ones I'd see from the outside, and were totally actually just the stairs and door that lead me to this world in particular. Yours and my portals might seem kinda way more mundane than Jack's, but they were prrrrrroooobably the same source, just with a different paint job."
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 05:07:10 PM by Nayt »
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

Sabwones

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Sabwones has no influence.
  • Bonehead
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2016, 06:03:33 PM »
Sabwones would've raised an eyebrow, should have such a thing still been a feature of his face. The girl had managed to get a grip on the logistics of the situation remarkably quickly, making the reasonable hypothesis that while the means may have had cosmetic differences, the nature was still the same.

"That makes a lot of sense," He agreed, "though if we could avoid you losing your shirt I'd appreciate it. Bad enough that you're sitting around getting plastered, let's not add gross indecency to the list."

He sighed, dropped from the lip of the glass.

"Look. We're here. We have a tenuous grasp of what the fuck is going on, let alone why, and pontificating over the why's and wherefore's isn't going to achieve much. Jack says the only two constants here are this Inn and the Lake. Great. I'm pretty sure I can find my body if someone will give me a ride about this place 'til I can hear it bashing about. I think that if this place is a bumblefuck of weird shit, our best bet is going to be finding all the things that we can rely on to stay the same."

Sab paused.

"Sorry. That was a bit strong. Seeing your own burial does that to a man, I suppose."
Oi.

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2016, 06:27:53 PM »
Emma pursed her lips. She was absolutely going to make a joke about bones and male arousal, but now she didn't want to. Sabwones had to go spoil the mood. She was even starting to lighten up about all of this, let her mind dive deep into the scientific method and rationalize some of the things happening to them. With booze! But nooo, he had to get all serious and talk down to her. What, was he mad that she was currently taller than him or something?

"Why is there a problem with trying to figure out how we got here? And why are you all indignant about me drinking? I was just trying to chill out and maybe rationalize some things. That wasn't cool at all."

She set her glass down. Remembered the scars. The pain that still clawed at her face. The alcohol had numbed it, even numbed a lot of the bad feelings that seemed attached to the marks in her face, but Sabwones's reason for a sullied mood reminded her that she probably had a right to be all peeved off, too. She was just trying not to exercise it.

"And like-- my face is all fucked up and I don't even know why and thinking about it makes my heart hurt, but you don't see me getting all fussy."
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

Sabwones

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Sabwones has no influence.
  • Bonehead
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2016, 07:07:30 PM »
Jesus fuck with the hormones and angst, was I ever like this?

Fuck off you dense bastard, you're like that now. Age has clearly not mellowed your capacity for bullshit. Or death, for that matter.


Sab saw the bile begin to rise. For some reason, this felt familiar - putting the hard word on people. Making them squirm. Drawing out the words that fester under good graces and manners, baring them like a nerve. It wasn't right - she was upset and this wasn't helping matters, but he couldn't help it. The words spilled from his mouth like a ruptured water main.

"Right. Fine."

He sucked in air audibly - where it went was up for debate.

"You're a young girl playing grown-up. You're smart. Gifted, maybe, but you're wearing this fuckin' grown-up costume like it somehow makes you more than what you are. Kids your age drink, they wear dumb clothes, they get snotty, yeah, but you put it all together and it's like a pantomime act of something you think you should be." His teeth chattered as his diatribe became more animated still. "I look at you and I feel like I'm seeing the edges of a very fucking unpleasant story, something bad enough to snatch away what should've been some of the best years of your life and left it to you to find something to fill the gap. I look at you and I see an exit wound. I look at you and I want to find the cunt responsible and-

JESUS CHRIST STOP TALKING

-and..."

The word trailed off, withered away and died in the cavernous silence that followed it.
Oi.

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2016, 07:29:15 PM »
. . . and then Emma fell into absolute silence. She'd have shouted at him, but something he said paralyzed any wrath she could've mustered. She'd have gotten up and stormed off, but she'd have just fallen over when the world caught back up with her.

Something happened to me, didn't it?

That's what got to her the most. The very implication that these scars were no accident. That her appearance, the demeanor she remembered, the wealth of information she knew, that none of it was her fault. That someone else had pushed her, hurt her, and given her those scars to remember them by. But now she couldn't remember them.

Maybe that was for the best.

Silent, Emma leaned forward, folded her arms over her knees, and stared ahead. Blankly. And pointedly not at Sabwones or Jack.
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

JetSet

  • Horse Puncher
  • *
  • Posts: 27
  • Reputation Power: 0
  • JetSet has no influence.
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2016, 07:44:14 PM »
Jack just watched them for a few moments, letting this play out. He wasn't actually sure how to react to the two of them bickering. It had been a few months since he had even seen another person, let alone two, and it took a bit for his idea of what it meant to be social to kick him in the back of the head. When it did he sighed and put the mug down audibly. "Relax, both of you. We're stuck here for the moment, no matter what we actually do or say, so getting at each other's throats isn't going to do a whole lot. Let's worry about doing what we can, and save the thinking for after." He said, his voice in a calm steady tone as he got the feeling that he was falling back into his old shoes. He was never really one to take sides on an argument. He just did what he did, and what he thought was right.

After giving the two of them a small glare, he folded his arms over his chest and took a deep breath, then shifted, stroking his stubble with the metal claws on one hand, the other pulling what looked like purple, brown, and black strings of light out of the air. He seemed to be doing some kind of one handed cat's cradle with his free hand. "Alright, giving it a moment to rest, both of you are right. Emma, figuring out how we got here may help us figure out how to get out of here, but that can wait for a bit. We have food, water, and anything else we could need here, so we're not in a whole lot of danger there. I know how to fight, so we're not in danger on the off chance that something comes out of the forest looking for a fight again." Jack said, using the hand that had been stroking his chin to emphasise points. "Sab is right in that knowing that won't do us much good until we figure out more about this place and how it works. I suggest we try and find the rest of him before we do anything else.

"If you can feel your body Sab, that's good, cause if we were just looking for something in a room or something, then we would have a problem. When I told Emma about the rooms, I said that they were in 'the hall of infinite bedrooms." He said, taking a serious tone. "I wasn't kidding. I spent three days walking down that hall and never once reached a point where the rooms, or halls, ended. They just lead up to another flight of stairs, then on more." He explained, twirling a finger in a spiral. "Untill I wanted to turn back, when a door opened to a staircase that led me back here, behind the counter in the front. Straight out of a hidden passage that sealed itself up again after I stepped out."

Jack hoped that getting them focused on a problem would stop their bickering, and perhaps get them to work together. It helped him for sure, keeping his mind off what Sab had been talking about. He didn't want to think too much on that one, in case he had been right about what he said. As he thought about it even for a moment, his hand with the glowing threads moved faster, almost as if it was trying to put the threads together into something.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2016, 07:46:03 PM by JetSet »

Nayt

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Nayt has no influence.
  • Former Cast Member
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2016, 08:18:07 PM »
Emma nodded her head weakly. She'd been silent the whole time, letting herself calm down. Willing herself to think about a different kind of haze, the drunken haze, that she'd put herself into. It was a lot better than the pain in her chest or the pain slashed across her face. She was beginning to think that she'd give anything to make those two agonies go away. She was so acutely aware of herself in that moment, enough so that she recognized something she'd failed to notice before: her teeth. Some were missing. Behind those scars, she was missing a few molars. There were stitches there, all still fresh, where they used to be. Empty spaces between the molars that survived. Even one of her canines were missing. Five teeth in all. At least one ruined and removed under each tally. It still hurt when she tongued the empty spaces.

"I . . . Yeah," she nodded again.

Jack was right to calm things down, but she still kind of wanted a bit of time to think.

"I'm sorry, Jack," she sighed, "Could . . . Could you help Sabwones find his body in my place? I-- I think I wanna be alone for a minute."
. o O (I think I must agree with Sliss. The "Fat Chance" would have been a perfect name for our ship.)

Sabwones

  • Pug Life
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Reputation Power: 1
  • Sabwones has no influence.
  • Bonehead
    • View Profile
Re: We are our Avatars
« Reply #44 on: October 08, 2016, 09:13:36 AM »
If Sab's fist had been anywhere in the vicinity of his face, he'd have crammed it into his mouth right there and then. Mortified didn't cut it. Jesus, where had that come from? Instead, he just quietly sighed, turned his eye to Jack and muttered, "Come on, then. Let's get my head screwed on properly."
Oi.