Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

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    Lawrence
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    Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:23 pm

    Time: 3:30 PM
    Date: 8/8/2011

    Lawrence made his way into the Chop Shop that afternoon, his steps holding a certain amount of purpose that they'd been lacking for the last few weeks. He was more or less recovered from NOS metaphorically spinning his mind around in circles, but he still felt horrible about doubting Zurg and Jo. The incident in the Sanctuary a few days before hadn't helped. He hadn't expected Jo to side with the Emperor, and when she did, the butler's fears nearly swallowed him whole. He hadn't meant to react in fright, it just ended up happening, and now he felt terrible about that too.

    All in all, Lawrence felt a more formal apology to the both of them was in order, and he knew what he wanted to do. The only problem was, he had no idea of the proper method of doing so. He didn't want to try asking Zurg; the Emperor would easily figure out why he was asking and then order him not to bother. No, if he wanted to learn this particular custom of Zurg's race, he would have to go to someone else who knew how.

    Wishing to learn, and also wishing to be forgiven of his failings, that was why Lawrence stepped through the Chop Shop's door that afternoon. The butler looked around at the front counter for a moment, calling out for his friend. "Jo, are you here? If you're not busy, there's something I would like to ask about..."
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by [INACT.] P|20XY on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:11 am

    Although it was a general rule that Proxy took morning shifts and Jo took afternoon shifts, Proxy was still there tending to a few more things before finally getting off of his shift. He didn't mind lingering, since all he really had to do when he was on his own was read, or play with Homo, or tend to the house. But they were moving, so the robot took care of any messes that would crop up fairly quickly, but before they could finish packing they had to renovate the new house. Proxy had seen it the other day and had liked it, and he was pleased he would finally have a room to himself. Maybe he would finally be able to put some of that money Jo insisted on paying him to good use. He'd bought a few books, but now he would have space to put them somewhere...

    He was going off on a tangent. He did that a lot lately. So when Lawrence showed up it was a welcome distraction. Proxy entered the room to greet the butler. "Greetings, Lawrence. Is there something troubling you?" It sounded like he wanted to talk to Jo for something, so he was probably fine on a mechanical point of view.
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:58 am

    Lawrence wasn't entirely sure of the work schedules, even if he had lived with Jo and Proxy for those few weeks. Seeing Proxy still around in the afternoon was a bit of a surprise, but a fairly welcome one. He nodded to the larger robot, glad to see him. "Greetings, Proxy; it's good to see you again. Is Jo around? As I've already said, there was something I wanted to ask her about."

    The butler paused for a moment, not sure if he wanted to share the reason why. Then again, closing himself off to his friends and allies was probably one of the things NOS-4-A2 intended, so out of spite to that, Lawrence decided to speak up. "As for why, well, something is troubling me. I-- I made a mistake recently and wish to apologize, but this is a situation where words do not seem to be enough. I want His Evilness to take notice of my wishes, not dismiss them and lay all of the blame onto himself."

    Another brief pause, so Proxy could take that in, then Lawrence continued. "For this reason, I wish to learn how to create a totem like the ones the Evil Emperor's people used. I want him to see just how sincere I am about this, and if anything can help him do so, it would be that. I will give one to Jo as well, as my mistake did involve her, even if it wasn't directly."
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by [INACT.] P|20XY on Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:51 am

    Proxy nodded, setting a few crates aside. "She is downstairs, working on Cinderella-Officer's project. It's taking her far longer than she'd anticipated." Jo could easily create something if she knew how to, and that was the exact problem here. She'd never made exactly what Cinderella was asking for before and she was struggling with trying to get it to work right.

    The robot said nothing else as he heard Lawrence explain his predicament. He wished for Zurg-Emperor to take note of him? But didn't Zurg-Emperor already have Lawrence in an esteemed position as one of his most trusted minions? What could be ailing the butler-robot this time?

    The answer was soon revealed, and Proxy dipped his head. "Ah, so you wish to apologize to him." Come to think of it, Proxy wanted to apologize to him, as well, but had so far been indecisive about how to go about it. He felt that mere words would not be enough to repair the damage that he had done. How did the totem custom even go? Jo had never specifically stated, and all Proxy knew was that she had fashioned a totem out of apology.

    "I believe the general way to apologize is to sculpt the two embracing, to show that the apology is sincere. Hence, when Creator-Josephine fashioned the apology totem for Zurg-Emperor, she sculpted herself and him hugging." That was the general way this went, right? At least that's how Zurg-Emperor had told his creator that apology totems were fashioned. "Has this helped at all, Lawrence-Friend?" Proxy questioned.

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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:30 pm

    Lawrence listened to Proxy's words, taking in every detail. Unfortunately, it seemed to him that the other robot wasn't entirely sure of how these things were supposed to go either. He didn't want to bother Jo while she was working, but he didn't have much choice in the matter, not if he wanted to be sure he was doing things right. "Thank you for trying, Proxy, but I think I will still need to talk to Jo. You did help a bit, but I want this to be perfect, or at least as close to perfect as I can make it. Perhaps I will help her finish this project she's working on in return for her time."

    With that, the butler moved past the counter and headed for the stairs in the back. As he made his way downstairs, Lawrence hoped he wasn't interrupting anything crucial to the project Jo was working on. Once he arrived on the lower floor, he started looking for his friend. "Jo? Where are you? I would like a moment of your time, if you're not terribly busy..."
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:11 am

    "Alright," Proxy agreed, dipping his head in a nod. He knew he hadn't known much about the procedure himself, but he'd thought he could save Lawrence the hassle of having to ask Jo and keep it a surprise. But it was always best to go to the source and make sure nothing went wrong. He might have inadvertently offered an insult in Zurg-Emperor's culture, after all. "Good luck in your endeavor, Lawrence-Friend.

    Downstairs, Lawrence would find Jo stooped over a complicated looking machine that was suspended in mid air by coils and ropes. Jo was underneath the machine, wearing goggles and lying on the back of what looked like a large skateboard, wearing hr heavy-duty work gloves and attempting to screw something in place. Her tongue was stuck between her teeth, indicating how deeply involved she was in her work.

    But she heard Lawrence, then paused, blinking a bit before focusing back on the job at hand. "Just gimme a minute, Lawrence..." She tinkered around with the machine for around three more minutes before finally grunting and kicking herself out from underneath it. She pushed the goggles up and over her head, sat up, and grinned at the butler robot. "Hey there, Lawrence! I haven't seen you in a while! How's it going?"
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:43 am

    Lawrence briefly studied the machine Jo was working on while the mechanic was finishing whatever she was doing to it. He wasn't quite sure what it was, but if Jo needed any help with it, he would be sure to offer his assistance. He stood there and waited patiently for her to finish, and when she did, returned her greeting. "Greetings, Jo. Yes, it has been a while, hasn't it? I am doing all right; better than I was a few weeks ago, at least. That's part of the reason I'm here, though."

    The butler looked slightly away from Jo then, still somewhat upset at himself for having been such a fool. "I-- I made a mistake, a terrible one. This was something that could have cost me everything I have, if His Evilness had not been feeling so charitable as of late. I tried to apologize, I truly did, but he only focused all of the blame onto himself. What happened wasn't his fault, it was my own for overestimating myself again. The doubts I had afterward were also my fault; the Evil Emperor had no hand in why my 'heart' is so weak. Despite what he said, I still wish to apologize, though I know words aren't enough in this case."

    Lawrence focused on Jo again, and somewhere in his usual expression there was a note of hopefulness. "Please, Jo; could you teach me the proper method used to construct an apology totem? This may be the only way to get His Evilness to notice how sorry I still feel about that incident. He may have already forgiven me, but in this case, I simply wish to show him I'm sincere enough to learn how to apologize in the way of his people."

    The butler was leaving out the fact that he also wanted to apologize to Jo for the moment. He would tell her eventually, along with giving her a totem, but right now didn't seem to be the best time for that.
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:50 am

    "That's good," she replied with a nod, sitting up straighter, but she didn't say anything more, waiting for him to continue. He looked worried and upset, and even though she'd seen him in worse condition she couldn't help but frown a bit, wondering what was wrong now. Surely he wasn't feeling self-conscious about Big Z again, was he?

    Guess so. Looked like Big Z's good mood as of late -- Jo had to wonder whether this happened before or after they got together again -- must've saved Lawrence from a lot of humiliation, including his job. At least from the way the butler was telling the story. Jo knew Lawrence was sometimes a little biased and put far too much blame on himself and his actions. He really over-complicated things sometimes when he second-guessed himself like that. Maybe Big Z trying to take the load off his shoulders was a way for him to help the robot, but like most of his plans, it had backfired.

    Oh, but Jo really didn't expect him to ask her how the totems were constructed. The mechanic's frown turned to a wide-eyed stare, then another frown as she tilted her head to one side, thinking.

    "Well, the way I made my apology totem for Big Z was carving miniature versions of ourselves hugging. It's customary for the one who caused the rift between the two to make the apology totem, though. What exactly happened between you guys?" Jo wouldn't claim she was an expert on totem-making, but she knew this was an important part of the forgiveness. The one seeking forgiveness was not supposed to be the one to give the totem.
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:48 am

    Lawrence blinked in confusion for a moment. "So, I would not be the one to make the totem?" He looked slightly disappointed for a second but recovered quickly. "Well, this would be why I was asking, as I thought it was the other way around. As for what happened..."

    The butler trailed off, and in fact started to freeze up a little. He deliberately worded things earlier so that he wouldn't have to go into an explanation, and here Jo was wanting one anyway. Lawrence looked away from her again, not wanting to tell her of the incidents that led to this. At best she would probably be very disappointed in him. At worst? Well, he didn't want to think of that. Then again, if she ended up finding out through other channels after he refused to speak, the human would be feeling even worse towards him. That was about the only thing that gave him strength enough to keep talking, even as much as he didn't want her to know.

    Lawrence kept his optics slightly averted from Jo, staring at some point on the floor. If he looked right at her for the moment, he probably would freeze up. "I know you will not approve, and likely will approve even less after what happened, but I went after NOS-4-A2 again. I was overconfident thanks to my latest upgrades and easily fell victim to an ambush. When I came online again, I found myself in chains somewhere in the underground of the slums, though I was relatively unharmed. No, all NOS-4-A2 wanted was to talk, but his words . . . by the time he finished, I was a mess, sobbing brokenly over the remnants of everything I held dear."

    He looked at Jo then, the sadness in his optics almost impossible to ignore. "I-- I lost faith in His Evilness... and, I lost faith in you as well. That was part of why I acted so strangely in the Sanctuary the other day. Some of those feelings were still lingering, and when you both seemed to gang up on me, I panicked."

    A pause and Lawrence didn't look quite so sad anymore, but he was still fairly upset. "I've managed to restore my faith by now, but I still feel so terrible about it." A faint sniffle and he continued speaking. "Y-you've both shown me nothing but kindness, and yet I still reacted out of old fears stirred up by the words of an enemy? I am hardly worthy to be your servant or your friend . . ."
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:49 am

    Jo wasn't sure how to explain this, but she knew no better example than her recent example with herself and Big Z. She took off her work gloves and tossed them on the table, running her sweaty hands through her hair. "Well, for us, because I'm the one who got mad at Big Z and ended it, I was also supposed to be the one to pick it back up again. Of course, leading up to it we were both sorry for what had happened and wanted the other to forgive us, but it is customary that the one seeking forgiveness is not the one to make the totem. As in, Big Z couldn't be the one to make the first step. I was mad at him, so I was supposed to breach things. The one who broke it is the one who should mend it, essentially." She hoped that concept was easy to understand. It had confused her, too.

    She didn't expect her question to put him through such a dilemma. She could tell he was nervous and thinking hard about whether to tell her or not. Robots didn't sweat, but there was an equivalent quite close to it, at least in bearing. And it figured that it had to be that blasted NOS-4-A2 again! It's always NOS-4-A2! Jo was starting to get fed up with hearing about that energy vampire all the time and never once seeing him. He was messing with her boys far too much! She had half a mind to pack some things and go after him herself at this rate. Hmph!

    Oh, Lawrence. Jo was beginning to see that the butler was not a robot with a lot of confidence and needed a lot of reassuring in some things. Getting into such messes, it was a miracle he hadn't snapped yet. She wondered why he doubted organics so much, but decided it was probably a piece of his past best left unexplored unless he wanted to explain himself. He would open up when he was ready to.

    But Jo wouldn't just let him sit there and mope now!

    "Oh, Lawrence, you mess of bolts!" She got up and put an arm around his shoulders warmly. "Why'd you listen to that blasted old thing? You know he's manipulative! Anything he says is rot and isn't worth even listening to!" If he had hair, she'd be ruffling it by now. Poor guy, he'd been through a lot these past few months, hadn't he?

    "And we'll always be friends, Lawrence, always. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise or I'll box your audio receptors!" She grinned, patting his shoulders. "And as for NOS-4-A2... don't go after him again. Please. Just... let me do it or something! I'm sick of hearing about him hurting you all the time!"

    No, she did not have a deathwish, before you start asking. She was just sick of hearing about that blasted energy vampire hurting Lawrence and always being the last person to know. This had already happened one too many times and she wanted it to end already. And what was Big Z thinking, sending Lawrence after him all the time? It was unfair and unreasonable. Lawrence couldn't conquer his fears of the vampire, so to send him continuously after him was just cruel. Jo would have to have words with the emperor about this...
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:57 am

    It was an effort to keep from sobbing a little when Jo wrapped one arm around his shoulders, but somehow Lawrence managed it. Oh, he was needing this sort of comfort for weeks, and it was all too easy for him to move just a bit closer and hug her back. He didn't care that she was all dirty and sweaty from work, all he wanted was to feel the warmth of one of the organics he cared about. His optics slid closed as he clung to her, his audio receptors just focusing on the sound of her voice.

    Lawrence let Jo finish speaking, though he didn't move from where he was. His voice sounded a little muffled due to how he was clinging to her, though she would still be able to hear the sniffle that emerged from him before he started speaking. "Thank you, Jo . . . thank you so very much. You have no idea how badly I needed to hear that."

    He paused for a moment, pulling away just enough so that he could look up at Jo. "As for not going after NOS-4-A2, His Evilness told me that as well after he heard what happened. Attacking the energy vampire was not his idea this time, please don't blame him for it." The butler leaned back into the hug again, nuzzling closer to the mechanic. "And I don't want you going after that overgrown bat either . . . you are a capable fighter, but I hate to think of what NOS-4-A2 may be tempted to do because of how close you are to myself and His Evilness. This is an opponent best left to someone else."

    Having said that, Lawrence waited for Jo's reply, just enjoying being near her in the meantime.
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:41 am

    He hugged her back, and if Jo didn't know any better she'd say he was trembling. Oh, poor Lawrence! This time she gave him a proper hug, squeezing him tight. He probably wouldn't feel it, but it was the gesture that mattered as she tried to soothe him.

    "I know, Lawrence. Sometimes, we really need other people to comfort us." How many times Jo would have loved to have been given words of comfort and reassurance when she was younger. She'd managed to get on fine without them, but that didn't mean that softly spoken words would have no affect on her and that she didn't occasionally crave them.

    Oh, well. At least it wasn't Big Z's fault this time and he'd been just as worried about Lawrence as her. Imagine waking up to find yourself shackled, of all positions! It was like a clip from a horror flick gone awry. She stroked the back of his head and smiled at the nuzzle, but frowned again at the thought of that vampire. "Why does it have to be left to someone else? Just try to deal with him the next time he strikes. Let him strike first, let him bungle, and then you can take care of him."

    She'd still like to show that bat a thing or two for messing with Lawrence. The nerve of him!
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:08 am

    He couldn't sense it in the same way or feel as much of it as an organic could, but Lawrence did feel Jo tightening her hug. For the first time in quite a while, he actually felt content, his friend's words only strengthening that feeling. Yes, he supposed even a jaded old robot like himself still needed a hug and comforting words sometimes. It was just after going without for so long, he tricked himself into thinking he didn't need that, even as much as he longed for it inwardly. That worked for him for the majority of his existence, but it was like Zurg often said, Portal Breach changes people. Now that he had people he cared about, all those little wants and needs he locked away long ago were reemerging.

    Lawrence could have stayed right there in Jo's arms forever, but as she replied to his bringing up NOS-4-A2 again, he knew he couldn't. He started to pull away a little, though he wasn't entirely willing to completely let go just yet. "Yes, you're right. Neither of the times I actively hunted for him ended well for me. I would still rather be the one doing the stalking, but it would be best to wait for him to make a mistake. With how arrogant he is, that's almost an inevitability."

    He finally did pull away then, though Lawrence didn't move than a step or two away from Jo. With the shift in focus to NOS, they'd gotten off the real subject. "Well, I suppose that settles how I will deal with the energy vampire the next time he strikes, but that still leaves the matter of His Evilness. I'm still not sure of what to do, or if I should even do anything."

    Lawrence was thinking a lot more clearly after getting the comforting he so desperately needed, he seemed calmer too. That was shown in his words when he spoke again, finally able to see things from a slightly different angle. "Perhaps I should just leave it; I'm likely making more of this than he would. His Evilness never said anything about not forgiving me, after all."
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:09 am

    Ugh, what was it with these boys always wanting to prove themselves? It was like they didn't think things through whenever their ego was concerned or came into play. And then they were messed up and wondered how they got into the situation in the first place. Jo patted Lawrence's shoulders. "Look, forget about it. Let him make the first move and then act." At least Lawrence was on the right track now. He'd better not get into any messes again...

    Oh, right, Zurg. The real reason Lawrence had dropped by. Jo had almost forgotten with all this talk about NOS-4-A2. She tried to switch gears and recall something from her past experiences with Zurg to give some advice to the butler robot.

    "I think what you ought to do is just be by his side. Let him know you're there, that you care, stuff like that. He likes his personal space, so don't be too overbearing. Just let him know, subtly, that you'll be there if he needs you."

    It wasn't a totem solution, which... Jo wasn't sure would work for Lawrence if he carved it, and she didn't know whether Zurg would find it offensive, but she could at least tell him how it was made.

    "But just in case you do still want to make a totem, you just need to carve yourself and the person you're apologizing to hugging. That's all there is to it, really."
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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

    Post by Lawrence on Tue Aug 23, 2011 8:18 pm

    Lawrence listened to Jo's advice, some part of him still not feeling that would be enough, but he tried his best to silence it. Part of his problem was he tended to over-think this sort of thing and only succeeded in making himself miserable. No, the mechanic was right and he knew it, just making sure Zurg knew he would be there was about the only thing he could do at this point.

    Still, it was nice of Jo to tell him how to make the totem anyway, even if he wouldn't use that information this time. The butler nodded appreciatively at the advice. "Yes, that is likely the best thing for it, even as much as I would like to do something more. I know being too forward with this sort of thing never works well with evil masterminds. As for the totem, thank you for telling me more about it, but given the other information I doubt I'll be carving one any time soon. I wouldn't want to offend His Evilness, of course."

    That had more or less taken care of anything Lawrence wanted, so he started to turn to leave. "Well, that was all I required, so I should be going. You still have work to do, after all."

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    Re: Saying Something Without Words (tag: Jo, maybe Proxy)

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