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


    About the Other Day...

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    Jo Pistonne
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    Re: About the Other Day...

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:18 am

    She wouldn’t admit that she fully understood. But she did understand that she couldn’t cure or fix him. This was something he had to come to accept for himself. Only then that he would be able to heal and move on. But Jo knew that she couldn’t just leave him on his own like this. He had been alone in this for far too long already. He needed someone to be there for him, by his side.

    “It wasn’t in vain, Big Z. Can’t you see? You had all the traits and makings of a good ruler. Being idealistic isn’t a crime. But revenge? It won’t bring them back, Big Z. I know, and you do too.” He knew that already, but maybe there was something else that he didn’t know. He’d gone through with revenge, Jo knew, because all the signs were there. But it hadn’t brought him peace. It hadn’t been fulfilling. And if he enacted upon his people’s customs to destroy his own people, it wouldn’t bring back those lives that had been lost, either. And revenge was what brought it all to fruition. More death was not the answer.

    Jo swallowed, moistening her lips. “When I was younger... I wanted to kill the man who murdered my parents.” Wait, Jo? Sweet, innocent, caring Jo? It seemed like there were more secrets to be told on this night. “It was the only thing that kept me going. The drive for revenge was what helped me survive, what gave me the strength and will to keep living. And I had every intention of pulling the trigger and ending it. But... when I eventually found him, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pull the trigger.” Here, Jo closed her eyes for a moment. “I originally thought it was because I was a coward and didn’t have the guts to do it. But later on, I realized that it was the right thing to do. Because violence and hatred only begets more violence and hatred. I saw what had become of that man after he’d murdered my parents and I realized I didn’t want to be like him. I didn’t want to end up like him, hating myself for what I’d done. If I had given in to my desire for revenge that night, it would have twisted me, and I would have hated myself.”

    The mechanic opened her eyes again and laid a hand against Zurg’s chest. “Don’t hate yourself for what you feel. The fact that you even feel in the first place means that you’re your own person. You’re not a tool for your people, or an emotionless machine. You might not know who you are, but you’re still you. You feel, you care, all of these define a person. You didn’t learn to control your emotions, but you’re not supposed to control them in the first place. Having feelings is the best thing in the world, and even machines can have feelings, like Proxy and Lawrence. And I bet if you go and ask them whether they’d prefer to be without them or not, they’ll tell you that despite feeling hurt, or sad, they wouldn’t trade their feelings for anything!”

    The mechanic’s hands soon lifted to gently cradle his face again, urging him to look down at her so she could look into his glossy eyes. “To feel means you’re alive. And to be alive means that you have a sense of self. You might not know who you are exactly, but you’ve got the chance to create your own identity now. Forget about everything you’ve learned and know and tell me this: what do you feel right now? What do you want? More than anything else? I’ll tell you what I want.”

    Jo stood up on tiptoe to press her forehead against Zurg’s, still cradling his face gently, even though he had pulled away earlier. “I want the real you. The real Big Z. The one you can always show to me,” she concluded quietly, hoping that somehow, she had helped. It probably wouldn’t fix everything, but the time had come for him to heal and make his own decisions, and break away from the bonds that still shackled him.


    (( This is the third time I’m writing this post, argh! I lost my first two copies and I was so mad! And I nearly lost it a third time! That's it, I'm switching browsers.))
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    Re: About the Other Day...

    Post by Zurg on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:37 am

    And so it was, wasn't it? She wasn't going to budge. Not a wink. A piece of him felt trapped while another was beyond relieved. But... another, a smaller portion, still felt frustrated. Revenge wasn't the answer, no. He knew that, but blast if it didn't feel satisfying even if it was wrong in the end. More death also wasn't the answer, and he knew that, too. And feelings? Well, he wasn't going to deny that he felt, sure. Sometimes it was annoying, and sometimes it was also gratifying to say the least. Zurg's feelings weren't what had been bothering him, but Jo's words were still much appreciated. At least she was trying to understand a problem well beyond her years and experience.

    All conversation within his mind stopped, however, when he heard Jo speak of her parents. Rarely had he ever heard her speak of her parents, not since that strange incident last Fall, and he was slightly surprised to hear that she had confronted their murderer. Jo, seeking out justice with violence? He really shouldn't be surprised as anger was a very powerful motivator, but to hear this coming from Jo? And she held them at gunpoint? The intrigue was within his face when Jo admitted to wanting satisfaction of seeing the perpetrator burn, and he should have seen it coming that she couldn't' do it. She couldn't end another life so... so callously. It was just like Sonia all over again; he could see it in her eyes. Was the capablity there? Yes. But was the desire close behind? Jo had always been a softer person, choosing not to sully herself as he had. In most cases, she really was the bigger person despite her unremarkable stature.

    "It's not my feelings that bother me..." He understood that feelings were natural, and that they were perfectly okay to have. Still, despite how defensive his nature was, Zurg didn't offer any resistance as Jo grew close and he didn't pull away from her touch. He felt awkward, yes; it felt strange with someone near, offering comfort when he was at his most vulnerable state. It... meant he had to break down a few protective barriers and seem mortal. It wasn't something he liked at the moment, but given time perhaps he would come to reason that... it was okay to draw on others for support from time to time. After living a good chunk of his life alone, he was starting to remember what it felt to belong to something other than himself. Just a little, slowly. "And... I don't know if I want to create a new identity. I'm already me, whoever that is. I can't forsake all those years and start over. Not after I've already been here for two or more."

    For the record; no, Zurg did not suffer from multiple personalities. In a way, it sounded as if he did, but he didn't. He just adapted his own personality to better accommodate how to survive from setting to setting. First a quiet, pensive ruler, then to a boisterous and arrogant tyrant. Just tools to get him through whatever task or chore life threw at him. If anything, what bothered him was the truth, and admitting it all tonight only opened up old wounds. All he wanted was to rest and heal in his own way.

    How did he feel? The question drew a pause, but he ultimately answered. "I feel... ashamed, and vulnerable." Ashamed because he shouldn't be putting people through this. He shouldn't be so... wishy-washy. He was stronger than that, better than that. He had faced harder trials and tribulations before, hadn't he? This was just disgraceful and it severely kept him harsh on himself. As for being vulnerable, Zurg didn't like opening himself up to others. It was hard and taxing on not only his nerves but also his thought process. Wasn't he stronger than this?

    Pathetic was the word he was looking for.

    Despite Jo's best efforts he didn't look her in the eyes. Instead, he silently stood there, unsure of what to do and what to say. The proximity frightened him, but it also delighted him. He loved Jo, he really did. But... how to show it and not seem like an idiot? He tended to do that automatically without thinking. Oh, why did she want him? Couldn't she find someone else more capable, more all together? He was as broken and misshapen as one of her tools! Somewhere, somehow Zurg imagined a very disgruntled butler bot wishing to smack his master upside the head. Without a doubt, they couldn't keep doing this. He can't keep bringing Jo down, and she can't keep trying to help him up. They just... couldn't keep doing that. It wasn't what either of them wanted.

    As for what he wanted? What he wanted... Zurg thought about it over within his head, finding the question a tad more trickier than most. What he wanted... Well, to start, he wanted a nice nap. A fat one. That was low on his priority list, though. He would rather want to be happy, to be... whole, maybe. He couldn't really explain it if he tried. The words just weren't there. And while it was perfectly fine for Jo to say that she wanted him, he couldn't bring himself to say that he wanted her. It was for entirely cultural reasons, not because he didn't really want her. To say he wanted her would be like to treat her like some thing, a... possession. Yes, that. So... then what did he want?

    Two arms wrapped themselves around Jo and Zurg at last embraced her, the alien just too darn tired to resist anymore. He was beat, he was battered, and he couldn't hold out any longer. With Jo in his arms he rested a cheek upon her sweaty head and the man was content to stand. Affection; it wasn't something he excelled at, but Jo would understand. "I just want my head to stop swimming and my chest to stop aching..." Oh, look at him. He was sounding so small, so meek. But still, he held Jo close and he continued to murmur. "I'm tired of fighting, and I'm tired of going on a bleak death march. I just want to stop for once and rest. I'm not getting anywhere, and I'm not getting any better. I'm just... existing."

    Existing. That's all it boiled down to. He existed for that, he existed for this; couldn't he just for once exist because he wanted to? Was that too much to ask?

    He still sounded grossly out of line if you asked him, but so long as Jo didn't push him away... he was going to stand there and hope he could somehow rest. The Cosmos know that his body had long grown numb to over-exertion.

    (That happens to me sometimes. Don't you just hate it? Sorry if this sounds silly. I'm tired!)


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    Jo Pistonne
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    Re: About the Other Day...

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Mon Sep 05, 2011 6:38 am

    Jo would probably never fully understand the problem, but she felt for Zurg. She didn’t want him to feel trapped or suffocated by what she was saying, though, so she knew that if he rejected her aid, she would give him the space he needed. She would let him go, and she would wish him well, until he was ready to face her again.

    She looked away from the surprise on his face when she’d finished her tale, ashamed. “I was young, and hurt,” she mumbled. “I thought that killing him might ease the pain, and satisfy me and let me finally be at peace. But... I knew that it’d be wrong. And when I did confront him, I felt sick at the thought of killing him just so I could feel better...” She had managed to rise above it and not stain her hands. She’d eventually stained them with Sonia... hut it had been an accident, and she was coming back. She had to come back. Although the mechanic was feeling an increasing worry at no signs of Sonia anywhere... but she pushed that into the back of her mind again. Now wasn’t the time to be thinking about this. Zurg was burdened more than enough with his own problems for Jo to be adding to the pile.

    “Then don’t forsake them. Be yourself. Be whatever makes you the happiest.” And if she’d sounded like she was preaching, and still was, she didn’t mean to. She wasn’t good with words, she had to admit. She’d always been better with her hands and making things. Her language was through her creations, not this coarse, tongue-tying feeling.

    He couldn’t meet her eyes, but that was alright, and feeling ashamed was alright too. It was natural, and Jo understood. Hadn’t she just felt ashamed at her own story? “There’s no need to feel like that with me. And I might not be the strongest around, but I’m sure these lady muscles can defend you for a good minute or so!” she joked, flexing an arm. A little humor in life went a long way. But it was probably a flat joke in light of the circumstances.

    But he embraced her, sighing, and Jo hugged him back. And if she didn’t know any better, she could swear he was trembling, just a tiny bit. She held on a little tighter at his murmurs and kissed his neck, which was the closest spot she could reach. “I don’t know if I can help you... but I’ll try the best I can.” Her voice was a low whisper, for she didn’t want to break the embrace he seemed to need so much. And she would tell him another piece of advice that had helped her when she was younger. “My father once told me, when I was really young, that the purpose of life is to live your life. I didn’t understand what he meant, and I still don’t think I understand, but that got me thinking. I guess it means that you should live your life the way you want it. And as long as you’re happy, that’s your purpose.” She laughed for a moment. “My father was a funny man. He was a short, chubby little guy. And he had a weird sense of humor. Sometimes I wonder if he was just kidding when he said that... still, it kinda helps. Even if it’s just for a little.”


    (( I don’t know what I’m saying anymore either. Here is a post made of milk and cookies and other sunshine and rainbow glitter nonsense. And now, bedtime! ))
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    Re: About the Other Day...

    Post by Zurg on Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:49 pm

    Whatever made him the happiest, huh. Oh, he could think of several things right here, but what made him truly happy? Three guesses, but only one would be enough. Zurg gave the mechanic one good squeeze before pulling slightly away, just for speaking room since his voice was rather loud. "Already you prove to be a stronger person than me. I would have killed the murderer of my parents." Not something he was proud of, but that's how he was raised. An eye for an eye, right? Justice for the unjust. It was practically expected. "I know it wouldn't change anything and I wouldn't be happy, but knowing that I got revenge on someone who had hurt me? I guess... we were pretty vindictive, weren't we?" Now it was his turn to try a chuckle, if only out of embarrassment. His people had so many flaws when he thought about it...

    "And I remember your parents." How could he forget? Their shades were visible after the Fall incident! And please, don't remind Zurg of his fear of spirits. Just seeing specters from beyond the grave, even if data by now, spooked him silly. "I would have loved to have met them, Jo. They sounded like exceptional people. Well, they would have to be, wouldn't they? They raised such a beautiful daughter~!" And yes, that was so flattery and they both knew it, so he tapped her nose playfully and chuckled again, this time closer to his usual sort. "Ah, geeze." Zurg sighed, letting his shoulders droop. "I'm really sorry for putting this all on you at this hour, Jo. I just... I just wanted you to know the truth so that you didn't think something else was going on. I... also didn't think you would actually want to listen."

    It was kind of silly, now that he thought about it. Why wouldn't she want to listen? He was just so cloistered at times. "Despite my best efforts, the things I have stored within my mind aren't meant for another person. My suffering is my own, and there is already too much of it around to share. I really shouldn't have thrust it upon you like this. You have your own worries to concern yourself with." Liiiiiike, finishing Cindy's sparring machine. That was probably way overdue by now. And speaking of that, he cleared his throat and appeared a little more lively. Perhaps this talk had helped in some strange, unforeseen way? "Well, seeing how I've already overstayed my welcome I don't think another hour or two will make that much of a difference. Do you need some help with your commission? I can try to assist you in any way I can, and I can ask Lawrence to come down later. I'm sure he wouldn't mind. He likes the company."

    What? Not sounding cynical or petulant? Something was up.

    (ARRHJGHGHG! I would have had this finished SOONER but it was my Grandma's 75th birthday so I had to rush out. Here it is, though!)


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    Jo Pistonne
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    Re: About the Other Day...

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:54 am

    Feeling glad that something she said finally went through, Jo smiled as Zurg drew away. And it wasn't like she'd scold his different way of going about things. An eye for an eye, as the saying went. Tradeworld was pretty vindictive too. It was the law of the jungle, eat or be eaten, but Jo never found that fair, especially for the people who couldn't change their situations or rise up and out of their poverty.

    He tapped her nose and she giggled, glad that he was already feeling better. And beautiful, hmm? Oh, how flattering, but Jo did blush a tad. "I'm sure they'd have loved to meet you too! They supported alien rights, which got them into trouble here and there, but they kept at it because they knew it was the right thing to do." It had played its integral part in fashioning Jo's current viewpoint, and for such a thing to be imprinted on her before being six, you can imagine how prominent and important an issue it was in the Pistonne household.

    She shook her head and took his hands, warm despite the gauntlets. "It's no trouble at all, Big Z. I'll always listen if you've got something to say. And I won't tell anyone, I promise." It was not her secret to tell, and she felt a little closer to Zurg now that she knew the truth. The truth that burdened him. It was easier on him if he said he was the last. Yes, she understood now what he'd meant about living the lie. "It is your own burden, but if you ever need me to, I'll be more than happy to help you carry the load. Your shoulders are stiff enough without all the added weight!"

    ...Oh, right! Cindy's commission!

    Jo went to check the forge and the plate she'd been hammering at before. Ugh, there were a few bumps that hadn't cooled off right, but she could work on it later. That was the easy part. The hardest part was the blasted programming she just couldn't seem to fix! "Cindy called me the other day and asked me if it was ready. I told her I'd have it ready next week, but I just can't work out this programming! I know I've messed up somewhere, I just don't know where exactly..."

    And so, she went on to explain what she'd done and thought the problem might be, and Zurg rolled up his sleeves -- metaphorically speaking -- to help her. And the mechanic couldn't help but think, watching him work, that everything would eventually work out. It would take time and effort, but they would. Besides, at the moment, he seemed happy. It was living up to be happy that was the difficult part, but Jo knew that she would be there help him every step of the way.

    As long as there were burritos, of course!

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    Re: About the Other Day...

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