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Private Time To Explore A Friendlier Space

Discussion in 'Elysium' started by Akane Kurashiki, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Akane Kurashiki

    Akane Kurashiki Zero Escape
    Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious

    Posts:
    145
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Councillor of Science
    Location:
    903 Tverskaya Villa, Elysium
    Race:
    Human (Esper)
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Akane smiled at the compliment - Quirrel was polite, she had to admit, even if he said a couple of things that bothered her before. And his next statement made sense too - it was something she tried and failed, and Akane made it a rule to never fail more than once at the same task. “I tried telling someone - a journalist, looking for a quote from me - but he had no idea what I was talking about, and I gave up because if I did have a good reputation, I didn’t want to ruin it.”

    “It’s how I found out about my new job, actually,” she admitted with a chuckle when Quirrel said he didn’t know if he had a job waiting for him even though he was unemployed before. “I got lucky that it was my first day here, so then I just went to Alliance Square and found a good deal more information about myself, including where I lived. I’m not quite sure how to suggest doing that without the luck factor, but I’m sure you’ll find your place soon,” she said, hoping he wouldn’t have too much trouble.

    As they continued to look out at the stars, Quirrel spoke of his home from his own world, which was apparently not quite underground, since it had weather, but also seemed to be a cavern beneath a rock ceiling… the scientist in Akane was intrigued, wondering how an environment like that could support life. Then again, maybe Quirrel and his people had the physical traits they did as an adaptation to this strange living space.

    “I’d be curious to see the caverns,” Akane said, knowing that there was no way to do this (or at least there hadn’t been in Pandora before; she would need to look into it now). “I don’t think humans would do very well there, though. Is there a sun? What about food?” She held back on asking her remaining questions for now, wanting to see first if Quirrel was amenable to talking about his home world, and then, if he knew more than the simple things. She could tell him about her world too, if he wanted, but Earth sounded very boring compared to a place filled with bug people. Maybe the rhizomes on the Moon would interest him more, if he even wanted to know - but for now, she was prepared to listen.


     
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  2. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    588
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    "Well that's lucky," Quirrel remarked. "Finding out your new role so easily, even if you had to confuse a journalist to do it, is quite the boon. Especially when you have such an important job to do. Skipping work for a few days because you didn't know you had a job probably wouldn't have been received so well."

    Finding out if he was in that situation right now, though, wasn't important to him. Though he wouldn't voice this opinion aloud, abandoning whatever new post that Pandora had thrust upon him was inevitable. Being a drifter was all he wanted, and there was no way he'd let a sudden job stop him from going back to that lifestyle.

    On a topic he could more easily talk in absolutes about, though, Quirrel was one of the best people from his own world to answer these questions. "The caverns themselves... well, we hardly considered them that, to be honest. With how high up they were and how dark the ceiling was, you could compare it to an endless rendition of the darkest night imaginable. Just a curtain of black above you, if you could see past the clouds that would form," he clarified, sounding a bit wistful. "But the winds in those caverns could get unpleasant. Better the comfort of rock closer to one's head, if it meant avoiding that."

    "No sun, thank goodness," the elderly beetle said, almost relieved by that fact. "A bug's reason doesn't tend to mesh well with bright lights. Moth to a flame, and all that. Though... recurring nightmares of something that fits the sun's description were disturbingly common." He fished around in one of his pouches. "Our light was provided by bio-luminescent creatures and glowing crystals for the most part, supplemented by our natural dark vision. I actually found a lumafly in Pandora! We used to use these little guys in lanterns." He held out a small glass bottle with a tiny bug inside. It was similar to a firefly, except it's light was both always on and as bright as a flame. "I named him Prometheus."

    Food was a more complicated issue to explain. Not because he couldn't answer it, but because humans seemed to get a bit uncomfortable when he got into depth on the matter. "Well, plenty of different bugs with their own dietary needs," Quirrel began. "Fungi and plants served to feed the more herbivorous species. Omnivores and Carnivores would supplement their diet with bugs of the non-sapient variety." For the most part. "Variations existed, of course. The Hive had their honey and the spiders... well, there's a reason we locked them away. Can't live side by side with those who'd see you as dinner."
     
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  3. Akane Kurashiki

    Akane Kurashiki Zero Escape
    Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious

    Posts:
    145
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Councillor of Science
    Location:
    903 Tverskaya Villa, Elysium
    Race:
    Human (Esper)
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    “I think I was more confused than the poor journalist, but it all worked out in the end,” Akane said, remembering how the young man’s eyes had looked so wide when she asked him what was going on, “and you’re right that it’s better to know earlier rather than later, even though it was hard to find out so early.” In Cascade Bay, she had enjoyed the luxury of doing what she wanted when she wanted, and her job was unobtrusive to her plans. Now, however, she had a great deal more to think of, especially considering the importance of her job on the development of Elysium and the Cosmic Wilderness as a whole.

    It would do best not to dwell on that, though, so Akane quickly changed topics, interested in learning more about the world where Quirrel came from. She didn’t know too much about the biology of bugs, but the fact that the sun was a nightmare for them did make sense, as did the fact that predator species were kept separate from prey - if only that could be done with humans…

    The lantern was fascinating as well, and she leaned in to look at the tiny, glowing bug inside that looked like a little fire. Not exactly scary, considering it wasn’t growing and didn’t radiate heat, but an ingenious way to harness light without technology, that was for sure. “He’s cute,” Akane said, wondering if Prometheus could understand human speech or if he was one of the non-sapient bugs Quirrel mentioned. Either way, he had a great name.

    “Your world is so different than mine, but in a fascinating way,” Akane said, hoping she didn’t offend Quirrel. “I’ve never been underground or in a cavern before, and the only people I’ve spent much time with are other humans. Some are good, but others… let’s just say you have to watch who you associate with, even if something looks like a good opportunity or value,” she continued, watching as what looked like a shooting star streaked across the sky even during this time of day.


     
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  4. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    588
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    "Cute is one word for it, I suppose," Quirrel said in partial agreement. "Prometheus is the first being from my world that I've found in Pandora, so I have a special attachment to him." The weight of that device his tentative "friend" built for him pressed down on his mind. "Very useful creatures too. In the past I did a lot of research on them." Nowadays he just used them practically.

    To call his world different was far from offensive, in Quirrel's opinion. Despite how wonderful it was and how much he missed certain aspects... well, the problems were numerous. "It's certainly a unique experience, from what I've heard. I have yet to meet someone from a similarly subterranean society," the beetle responded, giving an almost silent sigh. "Very few people can truly relate to me, I find. Though I may act like a human, cultural differences result in a mindset that others might find subtly alien." His compound eyes, hidden in the darkness of his mask, trailed after what might have been a comet. "You humans... Pandora drags you in from so many different worlds. Yet, despite that, you all have fundamental similarities."

    "I'm different. Different enough, anyways. Bugs are as mixed a bag as humans, I'd say, but we draw the line between good and bad at vastly different points. I still believe getting taken to Pandora was one of the best things that could have happened to me, of course," he concluded, before straightening his hat a little bit.

    A fleeting memory danced at the edge of Quirrel's mind as he looked out the window. Looking at the vastness of space, at the sheer magnitude of the world around him, the beetle felt like it didn't matter if he lacked a bug that could relate to him. "For nothing can contain such things but perfect emptiness..." he quoted quietly.
     
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  5. Akane Kurashiki

    Akane Kurashiki Zero Escape
    Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious

    Posts:
    145
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Councillor of Science
    Location:
    903 Tverskaya Villa, Elysium
    Race:
    Human (Esper)
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Akane smiled as Quirrel explained more about the tiny bug from his world. “I understand,” she replied, “I came here with a dog from my own world, a dog who I met not long before coming to Pandora, but it does feel like having a friend from home.” Even though Gab was an old dog, he also helped her maintain a routine by needing regular trips outside, walks and supplies.

    Still curious about Quirrel’s world, Akane asked more questions, listening carefully and especially sympathetically when Quirrel said he felt difficulty connecting with humans as compared to bugs. It was hard to be in a different world even for Akane, who had many other humans to interact with (even if she had yet to find another esper), so she couldn’t imagine what it would feel like for Quirrel. She thought of the one who she met in the park with Gab, Sans, as well, a skeleton in a world of fleshy humans; was he lonely too?

    “I understand what you mean,” Akane said solemnly, hoping that her company was at least enjoyable for Quirrel even if she didn’t fully understand his world or its complexities. “I’d be curious to know how you draw the lines between good and bad, although not if it would make you uncomfortable,” she continued, wondering if his standards differed from hers. Hurting people was bad, especially children; helping people was good, and the help should be in the person’s best interest rather than one’s own. There was more nuance, of course, but for a simple explanation, she wondered how their values would compare.

    And yet, even with this loneliness, Quirrel still believed his journey to Pandora was the best thing that had happened to him. Before the Decision Game, Akane might have said the same thing, but now, she actually had something to live for in her own world rather than an abstract idea when her life could be more than trying to choreograph every single action of hers to ensure her survival.

    Quirrel seemed to be in a pensive mood as well, perhaps because of discussing his world; he quietly recited a song lyric or a bit of a poem before falling silent, looking out into the vast view of space.

    “I know I’m not a bug,” Akane eventually broke the silence, “but I would be happy to be your friend,” she offered, having enjoyed her conversation with Quirrel so far. He was simply fascinating, not to mention that he had been kind to her and thus didn’t deserve to be sad like this.


     
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  6. Quirrel

    Quirrel Hollow Knight

    Posts:
    588
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Explorer
    Location:
    Pandora Town
    Race:
    Beetle
    Age:
    Very old
    Alignment:
    Neutral Good
    Directory:
    link
    Quirrel nodded slightly at the mention of Akane's dog. Pets were another concept he had to get used to in Pandora, as such a relationship with a non-sapient creature wasn't really bug-like. It was sometimes seen as insanity to dote over something in the manner humans treated their pets, even. Though he supposed Prometheus might now count as a pet, the bond wasn't really as strong as a human might have.

    "Of course, I understand we all are isolated in our own way," the beetle corrected himself. "To truly understand another is impossible, even if there are those who can come close to that." The complete nature of an individual was, as it should be, ineffable. "If you're willing to listen, then I'm willing to give you a glimpse into our mindset."

    Drawing the line between good and evil was a complicated matter, one that had no correct answer. But there were guidelines. "Explaining would be quite difficult. Morality is such a complicated topic, after all. But there are guidelines," the elderly insect began, sounding like a professor giving a lecture. "We strove for reason and emptiness. To follow one's instincts and show emotion, those were considered wrong. To be uncontrolled by the shackles of one's nature was righteous. It's one of many reasons behind the masks we all wear. Conceal the emotional animal with all its instincts behind an unchanging visage." A finger traced his face mask as he spoke, running along the edge. "We were very foolish."

    An offer of friendship was not something the bug had gotten often. A rare thing, to be sure. "Bugs don't make for good friends anyways," he replied wryly. "I accept."
     
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  7. Akane Kurashiki

    Akane Kurashiki Zero Escape
    Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious

    Posts:
    145
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Councillor of Science
    Location:
    903 Tverskaya Villa, Elysium
    Race:
    Human (Esper)
    Age:
    22
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    [​IMG]

    Quirrel was insightful about isolation. It was hard sometimes to know these things that others didn’t, to try to understand why people made the choices they did when they were working with such little knowledge. Even her own brother was on the outside of this, although he was more willing than most to listen. As was Junpei, hopefully - he seemed to get over a good part of his anger during the Decision Game, and perhaps he would prevent her isolation from going too deep.

    “I’d be curious to hear about your mindset,” she said, wondering if he too had experiences like this.

    When he began to explain, at first, Akane thought he was speaking of the group or hive mind that he had spoken of earlier. Living without emotions, hiding behind a mask… it would blend everyone together. And yet, she soon realized how isolating it would be to keep every one of her feelings to herself, to strive to not be a unique individual and yet know that she was one, and try to suppress her individuality for the sake of others who were doing the same. It was a terrifying thought, and one that made her want to reach out to the bug in friendship as soon as he finished his explanation.

    “I wouldn’t assume that you’re like all of the other bugs,” Akane said when he agreed to be friends, a smile making its way onto her face. “For one thing, you’re certainly not foolish.”

    Even just in this conversation as they made their way to Alliance Square, Quirrel had challenged her worldview while explaining his own, although not in a too-rude way that limited conversation. A friend like that was certainly a good thing to have, especially since there were still a great many things Akane was wondering about morality considering her lack of need to SHIFT in Pandora so far. Without a crystal-clear reason to use her powers, she was beginning to question her morality, and Quirrel would be a great conversation partner for that.

    Also, he was nice. Akane needed more of people who were just plain old nice.

    Standing with her new friend, Akane felt hopeful about the future. The new world wasn’t nearly as intimidating with someone by her side.