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


    By the Lake

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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:26 pm

    One day, she should. It was ironic how she kept telling Zurg to live a little when she didn't even take the effort to admire the view from her front door. One day, they would both have to do something daring and exciting and never seen or heard of before. And not something dirty, Kev and whoever else was reading this. And he had better take her word for it, because she wouldn't be telling him a thing. On the contrary, she'd be showing him, and get your minds out of the gutter, people!

    Okay, that was really enough for one day.

    Aw, look at him, he sounded so adorable when he made that sound! She wrapped her arms around him and pressed her face into his neck, giving him several affectionate kisses and nuzzles. But of course he had to go ruin it by boasting his amazing figure, whereas Jo would always have to be careful not to get more fat on her hips. Curse you, evolution! But Jo had a comeback for that, and with a knowing smirk professed, "Mmm, all the more better to eat you with~!" she cooed. Ahaha, just the look on his face would be worth it!

    But don't think that just because Jo was littering Zurg's neck with light kisses that she didn't notice him slyly place something on the table. She peered at it through the corner of one eye, then murmured, "I saw that," against his skin. That ought to get him to shiver, and fess up. She thought they'd be splitting the costs on this date, that was what they'd agreed on last time!
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:28 pm

    Daring and exciting? Like, kidnapping-oprhans-and-nuns daring and exciting? Oh, Zurg was so down for that. And showing him, huh? Well, well... it seems Jo had a bit of a mysterious streak in her, after all. Whatever could this be and most importantly, should he worry? Maybe he should worry...

    Yes, he sounded as adorable as a gurgling garbage disposal mixed with a rumbling tailpipe. But, hey; to each their own, right? Ack! Death by affection! Zurg was super weak to affection and love! Evil cannot sustain itself! But he chuckled all the same, trying futilely to withstand Jo's barrage. Cosmos, this woman liked to make him blush and feel awkward in public. And the bad thing was, she did it without much effort! "Alright, alright! You win! I cannot hope to best such evolutionary superiority. Flirting in public, the bane of my heinous existence." Apparently you could do so many things with lips, and he was probably missing out on some strange, exhilarating sensation. That was just the roll of the die, he supposed. Can't have it all. But he could have his enjoyment of being with Jo and taking comfort in each other's company. To him, she felt so cold... and she was quite small within his arms. He never really noticed that before.

    Well, whatever he noticed and didn't notice, he kept her close and rested a cheek upon the side of her head happily. Doho, Jo was so ticklish when she spoke into his skin! No fair, no fair, no fair. She could practically mess with all his weaknesses since they were within arm's reach. "Mmhm..." A deep chuckle came from within, and it rumbled through the air. "If you eat me, then you've just committed more than a dozen crimes in one go. Jo, that's so evil of you~!" The first half of that sentence was mired in a thick accent before Zurg switched octaves and resumed that dual-tone of his. The Basic language just had that effect on him. He would have come up with a witty retort until Jo tickled him with her breath. Ooh, that sent a shiver and the alien flinched. See why he was armoured all the time?

    "Okay, you caught me. Again. There's no fooling you, Jo." Figures she would have seen such a sly, underhanded tactic such as him paying the bill! Oh, how wretched and unthinkable of him. Zurg gently pulled away and tucked his card back into the hidden pocket within his poncho. "I remember what we agreed upon, but I don't mind exerting some fiscal responsibility. You never let me pay the bill, Jo." That last bit took the form of a playful pout. Well, she never did!

    And, yuck! Zurg sighed and removed something akin to a pouch, rifling for some bills. This meant he had to use cash. He didn't like using cash. "I hope they can break something bigger than a twenty, because I don't carry loose change." Hey, when you were the richest person back in your home galaxy, you could literally wipe your ass with twenties.

    Not that he was boasting. What good was money compared to a really fancy death ray?


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:28 pm

    Maybe not that kind of exciting, but it would be an exciting he'd like. With any luck, and Jo's memory was really good at these kinds of things, and no, he shouldn't worry. When it came to the mysterious, Jo had aces up her sleeves. Figuratively speaking, of course.

    She jutted out her lower lip, but gave him one last kiss and nuzzle. "If you turn to putty at this I'd hate to see what'd you'd turn into in private!" But she was only jesting, and her mind wasn't even on dirty subjects as she settled back down in his arms, sated. He was so mind-numbingly warm the mechanic was tempted to fall asleep right then and there. She was tired enough, the truth was.

    But she forced herself to stay awake, and laughed at the way his voice rumbled, tickling her. It was hard with the sudden accent he had assumed, however. Jo actually really liked it when he spoke in that deep, rumbling voice of his. It sounded more faithful to Zurg's nature than his usual dual-toned voice. Not that she didn't love that either. Craters, his voice was as amazing as her favorite soda drink. She hummed, happy. "And all those crimes would be worth it." Ooh, sounded like she was referring to some other sort of consumption. And yes, that was supposed to be taken dirty. Sounds like we're back in shape!

    "Well..." She scratched her chin, as if in deep thought, making quite a show of it. "Okay, you can pay this time as long as I can pay next time for the surprise I've prepared. Deal?" And look at him complaining about cash and bills. Once upon a time, a twenty was a luxury for the mechanic. "I'm sure they'll be able to. And I have no idea how much our food cost. Your clam thing looked weird; maybe they charge extra for presentation!"

    Just as long as it wasn't like the pillbug, they'd be fine, right?

    ...Nah.
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:33 pm

    Aces up her sleeves, huh? Alright, he'll keep her to it, then.

    Turn to putty? Why, how funny that she mentioned that! "Seems your memory is second to that of your appetite, Jo!" Oho, what a subtle, innocent insult. He pinched her nose between his two foremost fingers and gave it a light wiggle before releasing. "I've already been turned into putty before, remember? Well, more like a disembodied pile of putrescent goop but it was something akin to putty." Thank you, evil god within Hanna. Say, what had happened to Hanna, anyway? The boy just up and disappeared! People had this odd habit of doing that on Portal Breach...

    And it looked like someone was ready for her beauty sleep. Jo had all the signs of a fat nap coming her way, and with a personal heater and a secure environment, who could blame her? That was the life. Interestingly, the nap Zurg had taken earlier had completely rejuvenated him and the Evil Emperor could keep going for a few more days running. Never ever give him caffeine as a result. "You look ready to go home, Jo. What's the matter, too much adventure for one day, Miss Let's-Go-Out-and-Experience-LIFE?" Yeah, no. Zurg was more than content watching life from behind the safety of a starshield or *ahem* HYPER! Death Ray. He was still surprised that he actually went swimming in a body of water he didn't know. How daring!

    But he knew Jo must have been tired, the mechanic still a working gal, and he resorted to stroking the top of her head soothingly. This probably meant that he had to carry her, didn't it. Of course, and along with all of their gear, too. Hee-flipping-haw. "Hmph! And if you committed all those crimes, Jo, you would be all kinds of perverted." And to think! He honestly had no idea of what Jo was really referring to, sincerely thinking that she was talking about eating him like some starved Vulturan. Nasty, Vulturans... They ate those who wronged them, did she know that? And often alive on that very spot, too.

    "Oh, such a generous deal coming from you, Jo." He snickered. Well, well, well! She was actually going to let him pay for once! It was about darn time, personally. Zurg loved treating her out. Why must she be so stubborn? "I'd rather you save your money for things you need, Jo. I've got too much of it, anyway. Deal." He knew Jo wouldn't budge on this subject, however, so he shook her hand to immortalize the transaction in metaphorical stone. He'll pay this time, she'll pay next time. Hopefully she didn't go overboard... The mechanic still had a lot to finish for her new home!

    Speaking of costs, Jo was right! "Oh, you're right!" Zurg gave out a little gasp and felt completely taken by surprise. "I didn't check the costs before ordering! Well, I was partially blind... but still! That's so not like me..." Normally he was on top of this stuff! Budgeting and managing finances were like his second favourite things to do. Zurg was definitely not one for hidden costs in anything he did. "Mind flagging down the waiter? Get them over here so I can hand them my card instead." Ugh, cash. Loose change and reduced denominators. Zurg preferred cards so he could have an electronic itinerary of how he spent his finances.

    Oh, Cosmos, not the pillbug! If Zurg found out that he had consumed babies yet again, then he was going to turn all sorts of new, unnamed colours. Yuck!


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:22 am

    Jo became visibly upset when she was reminded of her first summer on Portal Breach. "Not that kind of putty, Big Z! That was just -- just terrible!" But the pinch to her nose straightened her out, and she scowled playfully at those fingers. He'd better be careful before she started biting a finger or two off! And on that subject, no, she wasn't planning on actually eating him. That was just gross. There were always other ways she could eat him, pardon the pun~

    "More like too much of a good thing!" She tried to stifle a large, ear-popping yawn, but to no avail. Whoa, water even sprung up to her eyes. Now that had been an impressive yawn. "This little moozle's ready to call it a day." And although she was loath to move away from her heating source, she straightened and stretched, feeling a few bones in her spine pop. Ooh, that felt good.

    "Pffft, I wouldn't really eat you! But then again, there's a euphemism for, ah, third base being referred to as such. More dirty stuff, don't think about it too hard," she added, running her hands through her hair and redoing her ponytail. Poor Zurg, he was being bombarded with innuendo from all sides today.

    And a deal was a deal! Jo would make their next date perfect and unforgettable. This woman had a plan! She waved an arm in the air when she spotted the waiter coming back their way again, and as soon as he was finished with another table he came over to theirs. "What can I do for you?"

    "We just want to pay. How much is it?"

    The water did a few calculations on his electronic pad. "The total prices comes to about 146.54 credits."

    Jo could only gape at him, speechless. "Uh..." She turned to look at Zurg. Now that she thought about it, paying with a card sounded like a better idea than splitting the cost and paying in cash. The mechanic had never been charged so much at a restaurant before!

    It was that blasted penis clam that was so expensive, wasn't it?!
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:53 am

    Yep, thought that would get Jo all rattled. Personally, Zurg somewhat craved a sensation similar to what he had been feeling that summer -- which now seemed, gosh, so long ago. That level of power, control. The power to actually make a difference in such a staunchly stubborn world such as Portal Breach. It was exhilarating to say the least, but the Evil Emperor merely nodded his head with Jo's first remark. "I agree, it was terrible." To some extent, but this was not added.

    While he was busy cleaning up their table so it was easier to bus (Zurg liked a certain way tableware should be arranged), Jo, being Jo, so happily expressed just what she meant by eating him. "Annngh!" He made a sharp buzzer-like noise, and pantomimed a wall between them while still focused on cleaning up. "Privacy alert, privacy alert. Abort, abort." Wait, what was third base again? Augh, these humans and their bases. This wasn't a sport! Whatever. He wasn't about to make use of his imagination for something so... dirty.

    Ah! Looked like Jo managed to get a waiter just in time. He remained quiet as Jo did the talking, but when the numbers spoke the real volume... Zurg just suddenly threw back his head and let out a brief, very loud laugh. Well, what else was he supposed to do!? "Ohhhhh! Now that... that that... yes, that... THAT..." He made in reference to the bill with the most surprised smile upon his face. You know, one of those smiles where you're caught so unawares that the only reaction is an astonished grin. "That is hilarious. Say, you don't suppose I can leave her here to wash dishes for a month, do you?" Of course, Jo probably heard that more than obvious whisper to the waiter and he chuckled again as he shook a hand. "I'm just kidding. She's not a very good dishwasher. Uh, right. And that's with tax and everything? Okay, here you are."

    And off the waiter went with Zurg's card, the Evil Emperor sucking in a deep breath and still chuckling pathetically. "Oh, my galaxy....! JO!" He turned to her with wide eyes, slightly whining. "Why didn't you tell me that I pointed to some ridiculously expensive piece of food!? You could have simply gone: Oh, Zurg, you silly nimrod~! That gooeyduck is well over-priced. I didn't know we were dining Tangean. Here, why don't you let me help you choose something over here?" And yes, he said that in the most obnoxiously feminine voice he could allow, flicking his wrist periodically and rolling his eyes. "And that is when, Jo, you take my finger and guide it to the more financially-happier section of the menu. Oh! I think that's where you got your meal~!"

    Sarcasm. Such a sweet, yet bitter, poison.

    But, he was raised with manners and you know what they said? You order it, you pay for it. Even if you have to swallow your own foot in the process. There was a slight sigh, although Zurg didn't look too bothered. It was only money, he supposed. Some material construct that determined an arbitrary value in most societies. "Jo, Jo, Jo..." He repeated whilst shaking his head. "This is exactly why you are not to handle finances. I'm surprised I didn't have to take a loan out, sheesh."

    Why did he have the feeling that this outing would be more than Jo's outing?

    "It was your wretched cookies, that's what it was." Not his exotic meal, oh no. Don't even suggest such a thing.


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:28 am

    Blissfully ignorant of what was going on through Zurg's head, just laughed at his reaction to her explanation. "Right, right, boundaries! Gotcha, but it wasn't like I got too descriptive there." And truth be told when she'd originally said she wanted to eat him, it was just because his skin was so blasted soft. It had no dirty connotations whatsoever until he thought she was being serious about it. But then again, any opportunity to poke some fun at him was a good one.

    But when the price came rolling by... oh, craters. Jo was not looking forward to Zurg's reaction to that, so it was to her credit that when he laughed and joked about leaving her here to wash dishes for a month, she didn't snap back. She merely shot him a dark look, lips pursed together as she finished tying up her hair, her eyes trailing to the card the waiter took before walking away.

    At least all he did was joke about exchanging her services for his meal. Gosh, that sounded bad when phrased that way. But it sounded like he was still vastly amused, until he suddenly wheezed her name and complained about her not telling him how much it cost before buying it. Ah, that was more like the Zurg she knew, the one who was frugal when it came to spending. Wait, why was it her fault? Oh, the nerve!

    "Hey! Who was the one who wanted to eat something that looked like his little friend even after I told him about it? You, that's who! And you can't complain about prices when you've got enough money to not only buy this establishment, but this small town too!" She huffed, elbows placed stubbornly on the edge of the table. Her huff even made her bangs flutter, making her look even stormier than she felt. "I bet you use those bills as toilet paper and those cards as fly swatters." She didn't even have any cards besides one, her debit card!

    "Those cookies, of which you ate the better part of," she reminded, still pouting. And just to clarify, she wasn't really mad. She was just huffy he was so quick to throw the blame on her, even playfully. Cosmos, one time she didn't noticed the price of an item and she was railed on for it. But then again, she was only being dramatic for the sake of drama too. She smirked and prodded his leg with her own. "Just as long as you don't start sprouting mutant clams the size of your intestine track, we're good."
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:54 am

    Oh, look at Jo, playing the Woe is me, I'm the victim card. Pffft! Zurg could smell drama a mile away, and he rolled his eyes for the second time in five minutes. "Did I explicitly blame you? No." He emphasized. "I just mentioned you could have helped me out. I was only, I don't know, blind at the time. It's not like they had braille in their menus." Zurg didn't even think he knew braille, actually. No, he probably didn't. And... his little friend?

    Zurg, being the gullible person that he was, glanced down between his legs before looking back up, unsure. "I... don't think a gooeyduck is a good comparison, no." And, hey! She was discriminating against him because of his affluence! "You have no idea how to run a business financially, do you." That much was evident because she was under the grossly inaccurate impression that he was filthy rich. Well, he was, but not in the liberal sense Jo thought. "Uhh, you do know that these funds aren't necessarily given back to me directly, yes? In fact, at least 50% of my resources and profits are rolled right back into my personal system for future investments and gains. Even then, the other 50% is often times put in reserve in case a cost outweighs a benefit. That doesn't happen normally, but I can't predict everything in every economy. I have to set aside some emergency funding to prevent fatal shortcomings." Meaning, not all of Zurg's monetary assets were 100% guaranteed for him to spend right away and careful budgeting had to be considered.

    This was by no means a simple task and it required an advanced outlook on both macro and microeconomics.

    "There are also costs, like I mentioned, such as insurance, supplies, foodstuffs, etc. Anything I can't get on Planet Z or make myself, I have to import and if you haven't guessed, importing goods to Unfriendly Space isn't exactly flat rate shipping." Considering Star Command consistently tried to border his section of the galaxy, Zurg had to often times rely on bounty hunters, mercenaries, Valkyrans, and other unsavoury characters of the seedy galactic underworld. Those services didn't come cheap! As for him purchasing this town and this restaurant? Zurg squinted his eyes, as if considering it, but he ended up refusing. "There's no gain for me purchasing this area. And even if I could, you think the locals would accept that? Of course not. I would most likely, and I prefer, have to take something like this through force. It's actually quite cheaper if you know what you're doing." The Evil Emperor had this down to a science, Jo. His system was a very efficient machine if you stopped to look and study it. More so than what those free-thinking peoples had.

    Hopefully the mechanic had a better understanding of how economics worked. Just because he had money didn't mean it was viable to spend willy-nilly! Why did people, particularly women, always think that? It was like being rich equaled infinite finances, or something. Not in reality, Jo, not in reality. "Yeeees, from the cookies I ate as well." It sounded like there should have been a yes, dear attached to that somewhere. "If you want some cookies, I can toss you a few from my stomachs. Shall I?" He'll feed her like a Momma Bird did to the Baby Bird~! Through lumpy clumps of bile and regurgitated food.

    Hey, hey. She was prodding his pants, his neatly-ironed pants. What's this about mutant clams and intestines? Zurg just blinked at her. "I hate to rain on your parade, Jo, but both of our intestinal tracks can easily surpass a two-story Earthen house in height. And with room to spare. I highly doubt you're going to find a gooeyduck that long."

    Oh, Zurg, so technical!


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:21 am

    "I helped you by telling you it was a really bad aesthetic choice." Which, in the case when your food looked like genitalia, was more important to the mechanic. And he was looking between his legs, oh cosmos what. Stop those bad mental images, Jo, stop them now! And then again, no, she didn't know how to run an evil business. She knew how to budget and save up and how to handle her business, but when it came to other businesses, she was no expert.

    "Same thing happens to me. The materials are so expensive, I don't even get half of it back." Probably not the exact same thing, since she was tired and only understood half of what he said, but the concept was similarish... for the most part. The mechanic yawned again, not bothering to cover her mouth with a hand. "Sounds like the evil business is the only profitable business around these parts. I guess it's an added bonus that everyone pretty much respects and fears you, huh?"

    Gross, regurgitated food! Jo was no bird to enjoy eating like that! "Ew, no way! And clams that size had better not exist! That would just make them as big as Prix's -- never mind, moving away from that cruiser of thought right now." It was late, she was tired, and her mind was starting to lapse into the strange thoughts area. Abort, abort!

    Thankfully, the waiter came back with Zurg's card, thanking them politely for their stay. But it was apparent from the man's expression that he would be more relieved once they leaved. Jo wondered idly if even the people of Lochlann knew about Zurg, and reasoned that they probably did by name, but not by sight. Oho, imagine the look on the man's face when he saw Zurg's name spring up on the card! Unless he had an alias, which was more likely than not.

    Jo gathered her jacket and bag, getting up with another stretch and yawn. "Phew, what a day! I think it went by nicely, don't you?" Another crack for her back, and the mechanic groaned happily. "I'm completely tuckered out..."
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:45 am

    "I repeat, I was blind. You can't tell a blind person that the colour of their house is a poor choice! Common sense, Jo." In the X'rghthu expression essentially summing up the words "no duh", he lightly tapped the base of his palm upon her bare forehead. Thunk! And yes, he really did compare the gooeyduck to himself. Zurg was pretty... shameless like that when he wanted to be. Or... was he just messing with the mechanic further? You never knew with someone as wily as him.

    Clearly Jo, with all of her yawning, found the talk of economics stimulating. Well, he thought it was stimulating... It's how worlds were able to keep running and remain so-called democratic -- which was all a lie, by the way. There was no such thing as pure democracy. But, galactic concepts or not, he sighed and decided to let Jo be Jo. "Almost, Jo, except I manufacture most of my supplies. I'd rather be independent than interdependent and dependent on an extremely arbitrary system." That Zurg, the antisocial. The only machine he would be a cog in would be his own, and nothing else.

    And, oh, why oh, why! Why did she have to mention Prixlezub like that!? Zurg made a silent strangling sound and screwed his eyes shut. "Thank you, Jo, for that wonderful image. Now he would be like the gooeyduck. Yes." Ugh, now he was feeling a slight stomach cramp forming.

    By the time Zurg received his card back he double-checked the withdrawal via his PDA, leaving absolutely nothing to chance. Only when he saw the correct total subtracted did he ease up and put everything away. "I've got a better idea about the eating utensils." He said while getting up after Jo. "Since I have so much scrap metal around, I'll just make them myself and ship them here. It'll be much cheaper." Nothing goes to waste on Planet Z, nothing. That was also an interesting theory, too. Did the people of Lochlann knew who he was, or... did they just think he was a really strange-looking dish? Like the meal he had eaten? It was probably the latter since most of the folks here had been human or humanoid-ish. Maybe, maybe... If they did, they gave him a darn good service considering the facts.

    Seeing Jo stretching got him to stretch, and if she thought her bones sounded loud while popping, then get a load of his. It was like listening to an old engine popping a plug. "Nnnngh... Sitting down for too long...!" He grumbled, a little stiff. Have to keep the old body limber, you know!

    Figures the mechanic was already tuckered out, considering she didn't do anything today besides swimming. "Well, I've got three, possibly four, choices for you then, Jo." Always a plan, always. He picked up his bags, and placed a warm hand upon her shoulder as he started to walk her out. Did he leave a tip? It was probably already included in the bill. "One, we can walk back which I highly caution against. Two, we can hail a shuttle. Three, find a little inn for the night. Or four, pick out a sturdy bridge and sleep under it like trolls until daybreak. Your choice."

    Should he really give the fate of them both into her hands, considering she wasn't good with finances...?


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:15 am

    Jo jut out her lower lip in a pout. She didn't lack common sense! Not usually, at least. But okay, in this case she really should have looked at the price first. But Zurg was the one who wanted to try the exotic dish too, so... ugh, stop it, already, Jo! Trying to figure out who was more at blame was just silly and what caused arguments between couples. Stupid arguments. No, Jo had decided very early on that they wouldn't become one of those couples that argued over every little thing. So she let it slide, but she did huff at him tapping her forehead with his palm.

    "Not everyone's got that kind of luxury." Alas, Jo would still remain a slave to the system until she was off the hook -- which would probably be never. Wow, talk about a long life already paved out before you and you having no choice but to follow it. Now if that wasn't bleak, the mechanic didn't know what was. "Oh, that's a good idea, and so thoughtful! As long as they look like the ones you melted I'm sure they won't mind at all. Uh... I hope you don't need to get them a new table and tablecloth either..." Had the waiter even been able to pry the melted cutlery off?

    And yes, let's steer far, far away from Prix and geoduck clams. Not the best mental image right before bedtime.

    And speaking of bedtime, Jo was so tuckered out that she wouldn't mind just finding someplace to sleep there in Lochlann. She could hardly wait to lie down and rest her aching bones! And anything that wasn't part of her usual routine was tiring to her. Things part of her routine were tiring too. In conclusion, she felt tired more often than not, but she didn't really say so. It would just sound like she was complaining if she said she was tired every day by the time evening crawled around. And thus, there was no chance in anything even remotely dirty happening, Kev.

    "Mmm, out of all those choices, I'm leaning towards an inn. I think I spotted a few cheap ones in the brochure. Just gimme a sec." She stuck her hand into her bag and rummaged around until she found it, flipping to the hostels and inns pages. There were some really lovely ones, but they were too expensive. And then there were the insanely cheap ones, but not all of them had photos, and Jo didn't trust a description without a photo. But there was one that they could take advantage of.

    Let's see if Zurg appreciated her shrewd economics now that she was in the game.

    "There is one inn that sounds interesting. It's got a special where it's only twenty credits a person per night, and fifty in total for a couple if they want breakfast served to them in bed in the morning!" There was even a photo of the place, which the mechanic showed to her companion, pointing at it.

    He would see that the inn bore the nameplate The Lusty Maiden, and upon closer inspection that the deal Jo spotted was called the Lover's Special Night deal.

    Lame names and innuendos aside, it was the cheapest yet, and the picture made the inn look pretty inviting!
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    Zurg
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:36 am

    Hey, arguments weren't so bad. So long as both parties knew to keep civil, Zurg rather liked bickering back and forth. When things got too heated, however, he normally tried to steer away from antagonizing the situation (even though that's what he was good at). Anyway, in his mind no one was to blame. So they spent a little money; they still had a great time, and that was worth more than all the money in the, well, world.

    "And that luxury came at a steep price." He casually reminded her. Zurg, too, had been a slave to the system but not anymore. Now, he ruled his own system. A system devised by him and only by him. This freedom was worth more than any cheap, mockery the Galactic Alliance had tried to instill within its citizens constantly. One day he hoped Jo would realize that she, too, could be free. She need only to abandon her shackles and step outside of the flock mentality, shedding society's main paradigm for something of her own unique, individualistic self.

    Zurg still wasn't tired...

    Jo settled on the inn idea (wasn't he so useful?), and he watched her rifle through her things. She had a brochure with a few? Hm, how convenient! He couldn't read anything without his glasses, but he took Jo's word for it. While, yes, Zurg did come off as a frugal person, there were a few finer things in life that he didn't like to skimp out on; living arrangements and comfortableness were just a few. Twenty credits a night and breakfast in the morning sounded too good to be true, and it was.

    The Lusty Maiden, and just what was the name of that special!?

    He absolutely retched and made an extremely displeased gurgling sound. "Auuuugh, no! You're not serious, are you!? This is a brothel, it has to be! Give me that brochure, Jo!" He snatched it out of her fingertips before she could refuse, and he put on his glasses. Oh, Cosmos... it was a hotel! And, OH WHY! "They only have one bedrooms! Josephine Pistonne, I am NOT breaching the sanctity of my people's ways for even a night." Hey, he took these things seriously, okay? Sharing a room with someone, fine. Sharing a room with someone you felt romantically for but haven't gone through the proper cultural channels, no. He had half a mind to eat this brochure but he behaved and gave it back to her, huffing and puffing.

    "And you sure they include breakfast..." Oh, look at Zurg, mumbling and defeated. "Hmph! Well, if we do this, I'm sleeping on either the couch or in the closet. If there's no room, then the floor. I will not compromise. I will not."

    Today was just special...


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:54 am

    Clever arguments weren't bad at all, no. But beware if you let little things that annoyed you pile up without mentioning them. It was a mistake a lot of couples made. But aww, how romantic, Big Z~ Of course spending time together with your significant other was the greatest reward.

    "Yeah..." Like his entire civilization. Jo didn't know if she could sacrifice everything she knew for that kind of freedom. She didn't like being a mindless nobody any more than the next person, but would it really be worth it if she attempted to break free? It seemed to all boil down to safety versus freedom. But the mechanic would leave such philosophical thoughts for some other night, when she was awake enough to appreciate them better.

    The sound of Zurg's enthusiasm for the idea was all the confirmation Jo needed. "Oh, relax. It's not like we'll be doing anything, and I'm sure they've got rooms with two beds in them. And besides, you've slept on my couch how many times! It's not like we're breaking any rules by staying at an inn, as dubious as its name might be." It didn't seem any different from them falling asleep on the couch together to the mechanic, so she didn't know why he was making such a big fuss about it. He'd have to explain just what culture rule they were breaking for her to key in on what was the matter. And she thought it'd be really rude of her to have him sleep on the floor! No, they'd have to compromise in some other way.

    Despite that, she began to lead him to wherever this inn was supposed to be located, and after about ten minutes or so, they were standing before it. It was a cheerful-looking cottage that looked even better in person than it had in the photograph, which made Jo long to lie down in a nice, warm bed even more than before. The nameplate had been renewed, set in a bronze plaque with its name written out in calligraphy. Not bad-looking at all. She hoped they could get a room that had a window. They'd have a perfect view of the lake!

    "After you~!" she offered with a wave of her hand.
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:27 am

    Oh, Zurg saw a lot of little things about Jo, but he never really gave them too much thought. If anything, he would come right around and tidy up her mess before it became noticeable. The man could take more than his fair share of stress, even if his coping mechanisms weren't the most... desirable. Could you call shooting prisoners for their routine "exercise" practice coping?

    On the safety versus freedom note, there was something to be said about what it had done to Zurg. Yes, he was as free as a jailbird, but... just look at him. Really look. He was both psychologically stressed and traumatized, and he had deep-rooted issues that not even Jo could help fix. He couldn't function normally unless he was really trying, and his cognition was certainly criminal. It was by some miracle that he wasn't a rotten person through-and-through, and that was all in thanks to his rigourous upbringing. Even that had broken him, somewhere.

    "Yes, but that's not the same, Jo!" Whine, whine, whine. "Sleeping on a couch is considered more for public use than someone's bed. I mean, really. A bed is personal. You don't have people sleep in your bed unless it's for a really good reason, alright?" And lacking space or room was not one of those special reasons, either. It was funny, wasn't it? Here Zurg was, a proponent of anti-society and yet he still clung to his people's ways. Guess he was too afraid to let go for fearing of forgetting everything that connected him to them. "And why would they have two beds if the stupid gimmick is called Lover's Night Special. Whatever. Ugh." This was just tasteless. "They're not going to have two beds. They're just not." That's not what lovers slept on, and he knew that!

    For those of you curious as to the tantrum Zurg would throw if a taboo was broken, see here. Also, I'm being sarcastic.

    And for the record, Zurg didn't care how doctored-up this place looked. He still had a twitching eye and he lowered his gaze off the nameplate and onto the door, scowling. Actually, that had to have been his first real scowl all day long. How nice of Jo to let him go first. "Why, thank you, Jo." The alien might as well have been gritting his teeth if he could. Oh, so not letting the mechanic pick anything out EVER.

    In he went, and a little bell chimed up above as he entered.

    The lobby, as it were, was rather cozy. Traditional, but cozy. There were magazine racks and a drinking fountain, along with a vending machine, and the counter was at the far end. Strange, no one was standing behind it. Wishing to further investigate (wow, this lighting was dim), he walked on ahead and leaned over the wooden counter. Still no one. Hm... Oh. Oh, no, wait. Zurg spotted a young man out back and he didn't want to tap the bell. Bells were just... annoyingly dingy.

    "Er, ah... excuse me?" The boy didn't respond. Like, at all.

    Okay, you know those little things that irked Zurg? Being ignored was one of them. He sighed again, this time out of aggravation, and he glanced at Jo once before snapping his attention back to the lad. "I'd hate to repeat myself, but are you available?" And this time he projected his voice loud enough.

    This time the kid responded, but... he responded rather weirdly. He seemed dazed, almost lost, and his eyes were dilated. Was he doing drugs back there? And why had he been looking up at the ceiling with his mouth hanging open? The boy clumsily turned to face them, and that wasn't all that faced them. A woman, about the kid's age, sprang up above the boy's waist and she wiped her mouth with a finger. Both looked rather startled.

    Oh... my...

    That did it. That so did it. Zurg abruptly turned right around and slapped his hands together angrily, the emotion clearly on his face. He really wanted to just SHOUT SOMETHING, but you know what? He took a deep, irritated breath and spun upon his heels to face Jo, pointing a finger. Oh, he looked miffed and tensed. "Jo... I can't speak right now. If I do, it'll be bad." And that was putting it mildly. "I need you to talk with..." Zurg made another strangled noise and hesitantly turned to point at the young clerks. "...them. Think you can do that for me since you, you know, picked this place? Great. You're the best."

    And out went Zurg, wanting to bite a finger and just... explode right about now.


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:13 am

    One of the many reasons she decided to think about such an issue later. Real freedom came with much too steep a price for certain people, and just looking at Zurg (but really looking, not just glancing at him and seeing a villain) was enough of a tip-off. Talking even more so. At least to her, but then again Jo knew Zurg so well by now to know most of these things just by glancing at him.

    "And isn't you not sleeping on the floor a good enough reason?" Jo had slept on floors before. And streets, and even back alleys. A bed won by a landslide. It was a no brainer! Cosmos, if Jo got the couch she'd be happy, but at this rate she wasn't even sure that these rooms had couches. Maybe loveseats, but couches? For twenty credits a person a night? Naaaaah. "Just relax, don't forget to breathe, and you'll be fine." She even squeezed his arm for extra courage. Oh, and look at him scowl at her like that. All she did was grin right back as she followed him inside.

    It looked cozy enough. Quaint, maybe a bit on the old side, but cozy. As Zurg made his way to the counter, Jo spied the vending machine and checked to see if they had her favorite drink. But no, all they had was stuff like Coca Cola, Sprite, Pepsi, Fanta, Mountain Dew, 7-Up, Dr. Pepper. Bah! No Carbon Fusion?! These people didn't know good soft drinks!

    When Zurg raised his voice, Jo looked over her shoulder at him. Why was he speaking so... oh... oh. When the two teens stood up, looking rather embarrassed at themselves, it all made sense. And Zurg's reaction was certainly interesting. Jo couldn't decide whether he was angry, embarrassed, or something else entirely. But it was clear as crystal that he couldn't talk to them in the current state he was in as he hurried outside. Lucky for them both, this wasn't the first time Jo had walked in on something like this.

    Oh, Tradeworld, you were a dirty city, but once upon a time you were home.

    Jo cleared her throat and approached the counter. "Hey, guys! Really sorry to be interrupting you, but I'll make this quick. My friend and I would like a room for the night. We spotted this special in a brochure, the one that's fifty credits with breakfast included? Is it still on?"

    The young man, who seemed to be the one in charge on this shift, rubbed the back of his neck and glanced down at it. "Uh, yeah, it's still on." Hefidgeted, scratching an ear. "Are you guys, like, a couple or something?."

    "Dave, that's rude!" his companion hissed, swatting his arm.

    "What? It's a rule, god! I can't give the room out to non-dating people or the owner's gonna tan my hide!"

    "Don't worry, not offended here," Jo butt in before they could get into an argument. Wow, what was it about hormone-ridden teenagers and making love one minute and then arguing the next? "Yeah, we're a couple, and we're interested in a room with a view of the lake. Do you have any?"

    The two teens exchanged looks. They better not be racist or else Jo would shove this brochure down Dave's pants. And it would hurt seeing as his little friend was still standing at attention. The girl elbowed the guy in the ribs and he snapped back to reality.

    "O-Oh! Yeah, we totally have rooms with lake views. So... fifty credits, yeah. You gotta pay half now and the other half tomorrow. Inn policy."

    Jo rummaged around in her bag and produced twenty-five credits, handing them over. "Okay, anything else? What kind of breakfast do you guys serve?"

    "It's the day after special, and it's really good," the girl said, nodding quickly. "Toast, scrambled eggs, sausages, a real traditional breakfast. And cereal too!"

    Jo pursed her lips, wondering if Zurg could even eat any of that. He probably could, as long as there was no sugar involved. "Could you make sure my friend's breakfast has no sugar or dairy products included? He's got a little problem with those and I'd rather not have to rush him to the hospital first thing in the morning."

    "Uh... sure, I guess. I'll make a note for the cooks. And you'll be in Room 204. Just up the stairs to the right."

    As Dave scribbled it down and got Jo her receipt, the girl fished the keys from the rack behind them and handed them over to her with an all-too-eager smile. Craters, this girl really wanted to get back to what they'd interrupted, didn't she?

    "Okay, thank you! I'll go fetch my friend and leave you two to it! Good night~"

    Yeah, it was best Jo got Zurg back inside quickly before the two teens wanted to get it on again. And hopefully, they'd be quiet. Jo hoped to whoever was listening that they would be quiet. And not so much for her sake, but for Zurg's sanity. Please!


    Last edited by Jo Pistonne on Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total

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    Re: By the Lake

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