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Open another story must begin

Discussion in 'Sundale Park' started by Jean Valjean, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Guest

    12th March
    OPEN

    Fear pulsed through Valjean in a way he had not known for some time. Before it was only his life in his hands that he had to fear for, now he had this child in his arms who had put her trust in him completely. It was more frightening than facing Javert, and it was now what was keeping him going on, his mind working through the next few steps. By now Javert must have got back up; his men had been all over the carriages at the entrance to the town, they could be easily scrambled here.

    He shook his head and readjusted his grip on Cosette; she weighed next to nothing. He had to work quick in order to save them both. Valjean knew the stakes were ever higher than before- while he had no wish to go back to his days labouring, if he went back now he knew this child would have no chance. She had no family, no protection; he couldn’t allow that to be her fate, she deserved so much more.

    With a turn around the convent walls, he felt something tug at his shoes but tried to brush it off. He pushed against the vines again, thinking it nothing more than neglected gardening until they wound around his legs. Valjean’s eyes widened but Cosette was screaming. He tried to shush her but lost the ability as he realised they were both being dragged towards the ground. Valjean buried Cosette’s head against his chest, bracing himself for the worst, but still needing to protect her above all else.

    He didn’t shift again until he heard the chirping of a bird somewhere. Taking his head back from where he’d buried it on top of Cosette’s it took several blinks to convince him that he was in fact not dreaming and that this was reality. They were surrounded by lush greenery. Spurred on by the relaxing of his shoulders and grasp, Cosette finally found the courage to look around and her mouth formed a little ‘o’ as she took in what was around them. Valjean stood up, taking her with him as he walked around, in what could only be described as a daze. Where were they? How were they…? He caught a passer by, barely noticing their odd apparel amongst the other oddities they’d just been subjected to, “Excuse me, could you tell me where we are?”
     
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  2. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    After the unfortunate events of the previous day had exhausted most of his funds, Quirrel had thought it would be prudent to return back to Pandora Town and attempt to earn a few shillings from doing odd jobs. Not many opportunities for a vagabond like himself to make a living, but he needed little rest and food so a little went a long way. No luck was actually made today, though, so the bug had instead found himself wandering through Sundale Park.

    He hadn't ever been here, now that he thought about it. Plenty to do in Pandora Town, enough so that even after all this time he hadn't seen it all. Rather refreshing, really, to have so many unfamiliar locations within the confines of civilization. Always something new in Pandora, a true explorer's paradise! And it was nice to just stroll peacefully through the park.

    But then, because a six foot tall bug cannot simply have an ordinary day, he noticed something that some might consider odd. Very confused looking man and girl by the path. There was a familiar look about the man, not a recognition of appearance but rather mannerism. Quirrel had strolled within earshot when the man asked another passerby where they were. That was the look he had! A new arrival, no doubt. Quirrel had a good amount of experience with explaining Pandora to people by now, might as well step in and offer assistance.

    Perhaps the man who was actually addressed might have given some information on his own. However, this was not meant to be. "I can offer some explanation," the bug said as he calmly walked over. The man who the new arrival had actually asked for information from turned to look at who had spoken. On seeing a bipedal beetle that stood a bit shy of six feet... well, he had a perfectly understandable reaction of turning and removing himself from the vicinity hastily.

    Quirrel audibly sighed at this reaction. "Not again..." he muttered under his breath. He was used to it, of course, but it hadn't stopped hurting when people showed fear at his appearance. Had to ignore that now, though. His feelings could wait until after he provided some assistance. "So, as I was saying, I can tell you about where you are."
     
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  3. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Guest

    Valjean was completely bewildered at his surroundings. Cosette fussed a little in his arms, moving her head around quickly in the way that only a child might. She held none of his apprehension, or if she did she did not show it on her face. Valjean on the other hand felt as though he was completely out of idea of normalcy. While he was used to quick thinking but this was something else altogether.

    When he composed his thoughts enough to look at the person he'd stopped, he stepped back again in complete shock at what he could see. It looked, unless he was very much mistaken, like a giant bug type creature, except it could talk and looked real in every detail. He gasped but Cosette looked transfixed and interested. He, on the other hand, with the experience which a whole life had given him, was much more cautious about what this situation was than the young girl.

    "I-I." He began, stuttering visibly until the being sighed as though expecting the reaction he had given out. His gut churned and he felt altogether guilty at his own prejudice despite the unreal situation. It was hard to miss the others feelings, and his part in causing it, "My apologies monsieur, we would appreciate any help you may offer us." Cosette was still looking curious and interested, with none of the concern which pressed upon Valjean's features.
     
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  4. Imra Ardeen

    Imra Ardeen DC Universe

    Posts:
    81
    Gender:
    female
    Occupation:
    Head of Public Relations at Stark Industries
    Location:
    102 Arlington House Apartments
    Race:
    Titanian
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link
    Needing some new clothes, Imra had headed for one of her favourite shops where she browsed the racks and found a checkered shirt and a t-shirt with a motorbike and the American flag on it. Purchasing both items, she sipped at the small spiced apple rooibos she had in her other hand and left that shop to take a shortcut through the park.

    It was the old-fashioned man and child, looking like they had stepped out of the history files that made her stop with interest as a giant bug approached them. Taking a seat on a nearby bench, she lowered her gaze and focused more on her drink - she would only step forward to offer further help if it was needed.
     
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  5. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    It was obvious that he had shocked the man. Quirrel always forgot about this. Humans who had been in Pandora for a long time still got shocked when meeting him for the first time, of course a newcomer that most likely was unfamiliar with giant talking bugs would struggle with the concept. Still... he wouldn't let that turn him away.

    His expression was hidden by his mask, though that meant little when a human probably wouldn't be able to infer any emotion from a bug's face, but he spoke calmly and with no irritation. "It's alright, normal reaction for humans to have," the bug said. "And I can forgive a lot coming from someone in your situation. Plus, you apologized. More than most people have done." Being a new arrival, a very confusing and stressful situation, and still keeping manners in mind? That was commendable.

    "Moving on from that, though, I'm more than happy to explain," Quirrel said genuinely. "I'd suggest sitting down for this. Could take a while to explain." He motioned towards a bench located across from where the new bystander, who he was paying no mind, sat with a chitinous hand.

    After sitting down, presumably being followed by Jean and Cosette, he'd start his explanation in earnest. "I suppose the most important thing to explain is where you are," the bug began. "The broad answer to that question is Pandora. But that doesn't mean anything to you, I'm sure. Best way to describe it would be... another world. Somewhere completely separate from whatever you might know. You might recall getting dragged by black vines. That happens to everyone right before they are taken here. From that moment on, our past doesn't matter. It's like a new life with no connections beyond what we had on our person at the time." At that he looked at Cosette and added "With some wonderful exceptions, of course. Some aren't fortunate enough to have their children here with them." That was the assumption he made about the relationship between the two, at least.

    "Regardless, I understand that my explanation was lacking in many areas and not even touching on others. Feel free to ask me questions about whatever you want to know," he offered.
     
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  6. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Guest

    Valjean felt like there were a hundred questions he wanted to throw at the man - no - bug? He wasn't sure anymore. However, decency forced his restraint and he settled next to the other being on the bench. He looked at the other person on the bench who was a strange colour but looked to be feminine? Valjean muttered some form of surprise and gasp under his breath. Cosette didn't hold any of this worry or concern; she was enjoying this with none of the foresight which he was offered. Valjean felt a mutter of anxiety in his movements and he was concerned somewhat.

    "How do you do." He said to the other person to his side, deciding that just because he was shocked and unsure of whatever was going on here did not mean that he had to take it out on the population. Whatever strange world and place they had found themselves in, Valjean still kept his manners.

    He listened to the creature's explanation of what Pandora was. He nodded to confirm he knew the mentioned black vines as he let Cosette leave his arms so that she could stand in front of him. The child had grown restless and was flitting between listening to the conversation and also looking around her in wonder. "Are you suggesting this is a place where we can not get back to France, or be reached from it?" He asked, as his mind worked quickly. If they could not get back home and they were fortunate to be here together, this meant that they were beyond the reaches of Javert and his men.
     
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  7. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Quirrel observed carefully as he explained, trying to gauge the reactions of the two. The child behaved as expected of a child, which was a good thing to be sure considering the abnormality of many of the children he had met. Meanwhile, the man was clearly thinking this through. It seemed like he had been taken at face value, though, which really smoothed over the worst part of the process.

    The question asked was a good one, for sure, though not asked in a way that suggested he was opposed to the idea of being separated from home. "I assume France is where you come from?" Quirrel asked rhetorically. "Yes, you are completely cut off from home. There's always a chance someone you know has also been brought here, but the odds aren't high. It is, you could say, a fresh start... whether that's good or bad is up to the individual, of course."

    This bug had benefited greatly from this fresh start, but he was keenly aware of others who were suffering from it. Hopefully these two would be alright. "It's amazing how children can see past the problems in a situation," he mused more to himself than to Jean. "They probably adapt better than any other individual to Pandora."
     
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  8. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Guest

    There were many thoughts running in Valjean's mind. A fresh start was what he had craved for some time; since he'd been given the candles and silver. That was always what he did; reinventing himself, making life better for himself and those around him, each time trying to stay in the shadows, away from those who might recognise him and know who he was. If what the being in front of him was saying was indeed the truth, then this was the new start which he had been chasing all this time. Had God really offered his hand to him and this sweet child in such an unusual way?

    Words escaped him and so he was glad the silence was filled by his new acquaintance as Cosette simply looked around, taken by the surroundings and what she might see. Valjean could see she wanted to explore, but he knew there would be time for that later. Right now he had to establish the facts and determine what this world was and the dangers they might face here. This was all new for the both of them, in many different ways. He had only just picked her up from the inn, and now they were somewhere far beyond France and familiar faces.

    "Yes, quite remarkable." He responded to the latter statement, not wishing to appear rude despite his present lack of clarity. "Do we have to register here?" He asked, wondering where he could gain fresh papers with a name, and the same for Cosette. In France he'd acquired and got rid of more papers in the last few years than he wanted to admit.
     
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  9. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    He really should stop rambling, this wasn't the time. It wasn't like he had approached them to share some musings, after all. Quite impolite of Quirrel to get off topic! Refocusing himself on the conversation, the bug formulated a response.

    "If you decide to settle down somewhere then you will want to become a citizen," the bug replied. "But it honestly isn't much trouble at all. Everyone in Pandora has the right to become a citizen of whichever town they choose by default. Though... I couldn't actually tell you much about the process. I'm a vagabond, so I've never gone through it." He sounded apologetic at that last part.

    Still, it was best to reassure the new arrival in whichever way he could. Quirrel still knew a bit about what was needed. "Really though," he added. "They make it as easy as they can. Most things they have to take your word for, after all. Not like there's any records they can check for a new arrival."
     
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  10. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Guest

    Valjean certainly had no intention of turning vagabond while he had Cosette. This was an odd way to begin their new life, but he would grab it with both hands and make the most of it. Anxiety swirled in his being; at least in France he had understood the laws and how to get by. He suspected that he might have to get to grips with a lot here and to understand all at once. Valjean had never been adverse to a challenge and this was one new adventure to throw himself into, with Cosette. He cleared his throat, sitting forwards with his elbow resting just above his knee, "As long as we can find somewhere to rest and eat, I am sure that we will be fine."

    He wanted for nothing, and Cosette looked as though she might be the same, though he wanted to give her the world. Valjean sat back again as Cosette was stuck cautiously to his knee. He could understand her apprehension, but this morning she had been at the inn with the inn keeper and his wife, knowing nothing of this idyllic setting. He was sure that she would adapt, as would he.

    "Would you know where to get food, I am happy to work for such things." He then explained, as he had no need to rely on charity while he was as strong and fit as he was.
     
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  11. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Fine, he had gotten things back on track again. Quirrel would pat himself on the back later for making this much less complicated than... some of his experiences welcoming people into Pandora. At the very least he didn't have to cut up a fresh human corpse this time, so that was a marked improvement over last time!

    "It should all work out alright," the bug replied. "With people popping in randomly, there are good systems in place to help new comers while they are getting their bearings. Pandora Town's shelter can take you in until you get some proper arrangements worked out. You'd get beds, somewhere to store your possessions, and some support if you stay there." The people working there were very nice, in the bug's experience. He had spent a fair bit of time there, so he knew it well.

    Clearly this man was a hard working sort, already thinking about working for food. "There's no shame in not paying for your food, at least to start with," Quirrel said disapprovingly. "I suppose it might be a matter of pride or something of that sort, but it could take a day or two to find some form of employment for all you know. There are services in place to help people in your situation, you can take advantage of them a tiny bit... sorry, I shouldn't have gone off like that. Unfortunately, I can't quite provide any information for that. You'd have to ask around a tiny bit. I'm sure others could help you with that."
     
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  12. Jean Valjean

    Jean Valjean Guest

    Pride did not come into this for Valjean, he did not want to earn to get more money or to simply say that he was stronger or better than anyone else. However, he just wanted to give back in this particular instance. There was nothing he wanted to take without giving back, but perhaps sometimes charity was needed as long as it would be repaid in time. Valjean smiled and nodded, "We will be grateful for whatever we can be given." He said, smiling softly at him, as his stomach felt quite empty. He could not imagine how hungry Cosette was.

    "Which way is the shelter?" He now asked, standing up to his full height with Cosette's hand in his own. This was the oddest conversation Valjean had ever had, and his keenness to get to this shelter was something to do with that, but he also wanted to get settled in this world as quickly as he possibly could.
     
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  13. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    472
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    "That's more like it," the bug replied. "These services are in place for a reason after all." A bug would be fine living in filth and eating dirt if it meant survival, so perhaps it was a bit greedy of him to have made use of the shelter. But humans were frailer, even if some were unfortunate enough to be accustomed to abysmal conditions. Quirrel fully supported others accepting help when needed.

    It seemed like the conversation was drawing to a close. He'd give himself a pat on the back later for handling the explanation so well, but for now he just needed to give one final bit of instruction. "Tavoie Borough is the district where you'll find it. Just give me a moment, need to think about how to get there from here," the bug said distractedly as he sifted through his memory on Pandora Town's layout.

    Didn't really want to bring up the fact that structures in Pandora could just move about, as that was a bit difficult to explain, but he'd give directions accurate to a few hours ago. "Alright then, I wouldn't know how to write it down so listen closely," Quirrel told Jean, before launching into a decently detailed set of directions. After he finished, the bug added "My memory isn't what it used to be, of course. If you can't find it after that, it was probably an error on my part and you should ask someone else for directions. I wish you luck in Pandora."
     
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  14. Imra Ardeen

    Imra Ardeen DC Universe

    Posts:
    81
    Gender:
    female
    Occupation:
    Head of Public Relations at Stark Industries
    Location:
    102 Arlington House Apartments
    Race:
    Titanian
    Age:
    16
    Alignment:
    Lawful Good
    Directory:
    link
    She had given the older man a nod as way of a greeting, her attention more on the bug out of curiosity as the conversation carried on, part of her upbringing as a diplomat's daughter keeping her merely observing. After all the insect-oid had provided most of the needed information the pair needed but he also raised a good point - what if the new arrivals needed further guidance from someone who actually lived here.

    Getting up, her attention switching to the man and girl, she kept her tone low and polite as she finally spoke up "May I accompany you?"