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[M] The Thing AU

Daniel Wing

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1,438
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Cascade Bay
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17
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human
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“Know that feeling...” How long since he got stranded here? Months, at most. And he'll probably never stop feeling out of place, out of time. The only light is that he can't remember a thing about the how, or the men in suits would've never let him roam free. Though they still keep tabs on him, keep him tethered with a debt impossible to pay off.

Now he's glad that except for the leash and food he didn't invest in any dog-specific things, not much here to remind Palmer of the past. Should've he noticed it sooner, said something? But then he couldn't know there's a person in there, not just a shape. He sighs a bit, puts the pancakes down and waits for his friend to be ready. Or to call for help. Meanwhile he nurses a cup of coffee, trying to get a bit more actual awake.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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Palmer manages to shower and get clothes on. Luckily it's all rather simple clothes, nothing he has to tie or button up. He stumbles a bit when he walks, not trusting his balance yet, but he doesn't fall.

"Hey. What's for breakfast?" Not that he can probably digest any of it, but it smells good. Wait, does Daniel know that? "Um. Just so you know, I kind of need live food now. Being an infection and all. Anything else is just for flavor or to fit in."
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
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Chaotic Good
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For his own reasons Daniel only got simple clothes – to start with, he had to buy it all new and the simpler ones are cheaper. It's good to see Palmer a little bit more put together, if uneasy on his feet. Live food of course is something he can't provide, another complication. “Pancakes and coffee for flavor it is then. And a trip in the mountains once it's morning for actual food.” Since none of his neighbors have mysteriously gone missing nor is there a reported murder spree, that'll be how his friend dealt so far, so should be fine. “And you're still a person. But why did you stay a dog? Could've just let the rescue find us both”
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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"I--yeah. Yeah, thanks. I'd just go, but I don't trust myself to drive yet." Palmer flexes his fingers some more, trying to remember how eating human food works. Knife and fork, right?

He smiles weakly. "Dynamite did me some damage. I couldn't find enough of myself to get all the way to human weight, and then there was the problem that I didn't really trust anyone to react well after . . ." He runs a hand through his hair. "After seeing me change. I am sorry about that whole mess, but I was kinda backed into the fucking corner."

A bit of a dry laugh now. "In any case, people would have wondered how the fuck a guy with no clothes survived outside in Antarctica. Fucking dynamite . . ." He drops the patches from his jacket on the table. Easy to keep things hidden when you're a shapeshifter, you can grow your own pockets. "I kept these as a reminder that I was Palmer once, they helped a surprising amount."
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Organizer
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“I can't drive, so we'll either have to try the bus or walk” They're near enough to the city edge, but it'll be a while on foot. The pancakes are soft enough that the side of the knife can cut them, easier than coordinating both hands.

“It's alright. Wouldn't have wanted to get torched either. And you didn't attack me.” Though there've been plenty options to do so. Daniel can't know why. “Probably could've found some clothes, but oh well. We're here now. The thriftstore sure will have a jacket we can add your patches too again, if you want?” The good thing with Daniel is that once it became clear the dog is Palmer, he doesn't so much as try as keeping the old habits. All he has as a keepsake is his pendant, grasping it for a moment now.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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"Bus sounds good to me." Walking is still a little unsteady.

"I don't wanna attack anyone. I wanna be good. The old me was good." He takes a bite of his pancake. It's pretty tasty. "New me has too much going on in my head, too many mindsets available for just one person. But I mean well--and I'm sorry 'bout Windows." He and Palmer never liked each other much, but he didn't deserve to be mauled.

"A new jacket would be nice." He'll miss the old one, but at least he has the patches from it.
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
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Chaotic Good
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Bus, jacket, some other personal things Palmer sure will need – he's already tallying up the expenses, wondering how to fit two people into his tight budget. It'll be a challenge. As for past attacks, Daniel shrugs. “Can't change what is. I wasn't particular close to him.” To no one in fact. He'd participated in life on the station, been friendly enough, only never offering personal stories, bits of his past. “We'll figure it out. Find some of that smoking stuff to calm your thinking down.” If it worked for him, why not Palmer too?
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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39/~0 (40/~0)
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Luckily, Palmer doesn't need much. Food he can catch himself, weed he can grow himself and he doesn't need a bed of his own or much else in the way of furnishings.

"Thanks, man. I'm gonna do my best not to hurt anyone else unless they hurt me." He sighs. "If they do hurt me it'll probably be too late." Mac was lucky that blood sample didn't attack him.

"I know how to grow weed, if that helps?"
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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Organizer
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„Self-defense is never wrong. Never.“ As long as it was validated. Would be more difficult to hide what Palmer was than explain some dead people. Not that he wanted anyone to die, just couldn't really control this. “I'm having a trick or two too” More than basic military training, a lifetime of fighting. “We'd still need seeds and pots and all that, right?” The neighbors would love this, if they found out.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
Posts
913
Age
39/~0 (40/~0)
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Male-ish
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Thing
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6'1"
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"I don't really wanna find out any more than I know already about what it's like to eat a human, that's all. Not if I can possibly help it." Windows was more than enough.

"Seeds, pots, a sun lamp or two. Shame about the stuff I had back, back at the base." Where he was born. God, that's such a weird thought.
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
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Organizer
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Understandable that he wouldn't want to eat anymore of what once was himself. He'll help as much as he can to get by. “We'll get you new one. Though the seeds might be a bit more difficult...” Anything else was legal to buy. Albeit their 'we' was a bit one-sided, Daniel carving this out of his meager savings, making room in his life, his home. Not that this flat looked much like one, with no personal belongings.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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913
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39/~0 (40/~0)
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Male-ish
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Thing
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6'1"
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Things that can talk are to be left alone. "Sweet. Anything I can do to pay you back?" Because neither of them are exactly made of money here.

He's pretty much done eating by now, so he slides the plate to one side. "I'm okay with not eating your food, if that helps any? I know that stuff costs money. Don't need a bed, I don't really sleep . . . even if I did, I could go back to being a dog and sleep just fine on the floor." He sounds worryingly eager to do so: all this complex thought and socialization is draining. "Fuck, I should probably eat properly. Thinking's starting to get fuzzy."
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
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Organizer
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Daniel shrugs a bit – if he knew how to pay him back he'd suggest it, but as things are there aren't many options. He doesn't want to be alone again, but that's nothing you ask for, and the other things he wants no one can give.

“Maybe you don't need full portions, but I'm not gonna sit by and leave you nothing. And if you don't need to sleep period you don't need to pretend to as a dog either. Said you need a day as a human and it's barely been some hours, so don't you give up now.” Being a dog might seem easier, less struggle in life, but he'll not let it happen if Palmer gets lost in the way. With a glance at the clock he gets up. “Suppose it's early enough to catch the first bus.” A backpack he got ready anytime, only throws on some sturdier clothes, gets his friend a pair of spare boots and a jacket, makes sure that his patches come along. They can get him a new jacket to sew them on after.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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Thing
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"Yeah. Right. Sorry, it's just . . . it was easier, you know? And really, whatever food you can afford is more than enough. I don't wanna be a burden." He smiles when the bus is mentioned, wishing he had a tail to wag. "Oh good, something I can eat. No having to hide it, either."

He slips on the boots, fumbles his way through tying them and adds the jacket.
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
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Chaotic Good
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“I know. And you're not.” Really, it's nicer to have a human to talk to than a dog. Even if he can't tell all to either. “Only once we're there.” he reminds Palmer. If he changes where other people see... it might go just as bad as in the station. At least there's already process, no giving up on tying the shoes like with the collar. Daniel makes sure to stay close on the stairs so he'll not fall down and ushers him on a window seat in the back, giving them a bit of privacy, shielding him against others. “You ok?” he asks quietly. “It'll be half an hour.” And then some walking, but by then they're already fairly well out.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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"Yeah, I know. I've managed well enough so far, right?"

Palmer stares out the window of the bus. Everything looks so different through human eyes, it's almost shocking. Even Daniel's apartment did, but he'd changed his eyes there before to keep the brightness of color fresh in his memory. He never dared to do it outside. "I . . . yeah, I'm okay. I'm good. Half an hour ain't very long."
 
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Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
link
Organizer
link
Directory
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Oh he trusts Palmer alright, it's only a reminder. Just for now, while he's still adapting. The way he looks outside reminds Daniel of his first time here, how he'd seen a city that'd been his home as long as he remembered and not recognize a thing outside. “Alright” He pats Palmers arm reassuringly, not knowing that this bit of contact would doom any other human. For now the kid leans back, dozing a bit till they arrive. He didn't get too much sleep.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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913
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39/~0 (40/~0)
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Thing
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6'1"
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Really Weird
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Skin contact is strange to Palmer: he can feel himself trying to reach out and being thwarted. As soon as he realizes what's happening he stops himself, but it would have been enough to start the process if not for that strange kinship.

When they arrive he gets up carefully, holding himself back from the people around him. He doesn't want to change anyone, God no.

The walk helps him practice the whole upright thing, which is nice, and before long the two of them are alone. "Think you can stand to watch this? It's a bit . . . messy."
 

Daniel Wing

Legend
Posts
1,438
Location
Cascade Bay
Alias
Day
Age
17
Species
human
Height
5'10 / 1,78
Occupation
Merchant
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
link
Organizer
link
Directory
link
The kid has no idea what a danger he could've be in, were it not for some change he isn't even aware off. And he's social, always has been, keeping distance to everyone else only because it was too dangerous to talk about his past. They'd been very clear about him spreading the story, implications made worse by what'd been reality in Republic.

“Palmer, I've been in the station too. Can't be worse than that.” Now that he's got a bit of exercise walking and is out of the city, Daniel actually is more at ease, way less on the edge. “But can you keep the clothes whole? Didn't exactly bring spares.” They'd found enough shreds on the station and while Palmer kept some jacket shreds, all clothes was a bit more. “No blood on them either, please.” That'd be hard to explain once back in the city.
 
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Palmer

The Thing
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39/~0 (40/~0)
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Male-ish
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Thing
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Really Weird
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"That doesn't mean that watching more of it is going to sound like fun. And yeah, I can just take this stuff off first. I've got time." He kicks the shoes off and strips down to his underwear, then starts to change. The result is a patchwork creature of fur and scales and appetite; it crawls on far too many legs and watches Daniel through one compound eye. Soon it spots an unlucky field mouse and snaps it up. That's not enough, though, so a long barbed tongue shoots out to grab a passing bird or two as well.
 
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