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


    By the Lake

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    Jo Pistonne
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:54 am

    Jo was startled by his laughter, so strange and dual-toned, but she relaxed when he brought her close. She still felt bad about teasing him without knowing all the facts first, but at least he wasn't mad. Him calling her by her full name felt strange for a moment, but she felt her insides flutter at the way he said it. With that deep, exotic-sounding rumble of his, that sent pleasant shivers down her spine -- or maybe it was just because of his close proximity. He had that effect on her often, blast it!

    "I know," she whispered back, reaching up to clasp his cheek, "but making crude jokes on a subject like that's just tasteless." She ran her thumb along his lower lip, then kissed the corner of his mouth. "I care too much to add to it." Someone break out the mushy gushy buckets because there was loads of it here! True, Jo didn't like some of Zurg's finer moments or achievements, but she accepted both the good and the bad in him. Some might claim she turned a blind eye at what Zurg did, but trying to go against the grain and confront such issues wasn't right either. She wouldn't change him, or fix him, or whatever it was that passed for character redemption nowadays. And she wouldn't go hoping he would come around on his own. He was stuck, yes, but Jo could only show him the way out. She could help him along the way, guide him and encourage him, but only if he was willing to come out. The rest had to happen on his own.

    Better stop the internal monologue before I bore you to death!

    "I thought you had production quotas to meet?" she asked curiously, watching the waiter come by their table to leave a pitcher of water and two full glasses. Each glass and the pitcher had ice in them, and Jo thanked him before he left again with another nod. "And aren't things on Planet Z busy and always needing your attention?" Come to think of it, she hadn't seen him in the sanctuary in a while. But then again she hadn't ventured in it often as of late either, so she wouldn't know. "So you stay at the factory, huh?" The wandering around bit didn't click for her just yet, but it might depending on what Zurg said next and how he said it.
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:06 pm

    Zurg just chuckled to himself and found Jo amusing in that moment. "What's this? Miss I-Crack-Jokes-Before-Thinking too afraid to be tasteless?" That Jo, too remorseful for what she did after she did it. You're doing something wrong, there, Jo! But in all truth, he admired that in her. That concept of empathy. It was something Zurg lacked, or rather tricked himself into forgetting, and Jo always was the one with the working moral compass. Provided major pains in the royal, tin-plated can but it worked all the same. Sometimes you needed a swift kick in the rear to remember what direction to take. "You shouldn't be afraid or timid with your words, but I will caution you... There are boundaries, while you may pat these boundaries -- " He pretended to pat something invisible before them. " -- or dip a foot over these boundaries -- " He even tapped his tiptoe a few inches forward underneath the table. " -- they are still there, and you must know them. Like the orgasm eggs, for instance..." Really? Orgasm eggs?

    He just rolled his eyes and sighed, slightly shaking his head. "I swear, you humans have no concept of what is private and what is public. So offensive and you don't even realize you're being an affront to someone's culture." Yep, sounded like a human, alright.

    Now, as for Planet Z and the factory? Here Zurg kept quiet for a moment, but he did speak up -- albeit in a slightly hesitant manner. "Er, well... Ah, how shall I put it..." Wording things in Basic was darn hard, you know. He paused once to thank the waiter for the water and he had himself a small sip. This may be a little hard... "To be honest, Jo, after a few months of maintenance work nothing is really... out of place. We're not using our full resources simply because there is really nothing to do." You try conquering a planet that refreshes the very next day. You won't get very far, Zurg can tell you that much, and it wasted resources. "We reached the quotas long ago, and I now have a stockpile of robots capable of covering every square foot of Portal Breach. I don't think I have the desire to go beyond that amount, either."

    That was seriously a lot of firepower, and Zurg was keeping it all under lock and key. Why? "There's no point in it anymore." He confessed, sighing again and leaning a little forward over the table. "Sure, I had my fun in the beginning, but now it's just... repetitive. There is nothing to do on Planet Z and nothing to do at the factory, so I just... wander. Anywhere, I guess. Night time preferably so spotting me is harder. I kind of like roaming and always moving. If I stay still then it invites my more personal demons, if you get my drift."

    Seemed the Evil Emperor shared the same view with his evil staff.


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:34 pm

    "You haven't heard tasteless just yet," she laughed, prodding his arm. She was already feeling better after Zurg's encouragement. "If I really wanted to go all out, your innocent horns would want to curl inwards to keep from hearing me~" Why yes, some of the things Jo had picked up could make a grown man sweat. But Zurg couldn't sweat, and he wasn't an adult by his people's standards yet. Also, he was sensitive on certain subjects, so Jo usually kept mum on the really naughty things. But ironically, Jo's slate was as clean as a newborn baby's! It was only her mind that had gotten corrupted. Good ol' Tradeworld.

    "Boundaries, huh?" Now this was an interesting topic to forage into. And maybe this would help Jo learn some tact without having to train herself to think before she spoke. "So what're our boundaries? You know, on topics to joke about and other stuff." Other stuff like things reserved for private moments, maybe. But then again, she bet one of the distinctions would be privacy versus publicity. That was something she'd have to work on!

    "So that means no taking over?" At least her new house would remain intact, she mused with a wry grin as she took a sip from her glass. But him having no purpose or goal was... understandable. Did you ever wonder why Jo still wasn't used to Portal Breach? It was because it wasn't normal. She felt trapped here sometimes. Like she had no choice in the decisions she made, or she felt like she was moving backwards instead of forwards. It was a funny feeling. It would mess anybody up. "And you have no plans for the future?" an innocent-sounding question. She hoped Zurg wasn't thrown off by it.

    But wandering? All alone, at night? Even if that helped him, Jo didn't like the idea of him being out there like that. If Jo had known that sooner, she would have urged him to stay at her place. "Cosmos, Big Z, please don't wander off like that." What would be a better alternative to wandering, but still keep him occupied..."You could always stay at my place. I'm sure Proxy would like having company over! He doesn't sleep much either. Recharging only takes an hour for him."
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:38 pm

    "Nnngh..." Don't think Zurg wanted his horns to curl inwardly; they were already curled enough as is! Without a doubt Jo could be so downright wretched that it would make him lose his breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as the meals he had consumed the last several days. That's how awful Jo was. As for making a grown man sweat? Craters, all she needed to do was whisper in a horn and bam, the Evil Emperor was on his back and crying like an overturned beetle. Hard on the outside, but an extremely soft underbelly. To keep Jo from saying those terrible things he picked up his straw and stuck it between her smiling, gloating teeth.

    Thunk! That outta keep her trap quiet.

    It didn't work well, however, as she was still talking! Jo was part X'rghthu and the mechanic didn't even realize! She was asking about boundaries, and the alien let out an amused snort. Or... whatever it was he did to sound amused. "That really depends on the race, tier, and province. But to make things simple, the biggest factor is separating public from private." That wasn't a mystery. What did that translate to, however? Zurg rubbed a cheek, unsure himself. "I don't know, to be honest. I don't mind talking about things, but more personal things I do like to keep private. There's play-private things like what we bicker about in the Sanctuary for example, but for serious issues I prefer closed doors. The outside world doesn't need to know our business." Or his, for that matter. That said, he did have one thing to add. "I think I'm pretty open about subjects. Everything can be discussed; it just needs a proper place and time. What about you?" Zurg was slightly under the impression that Jo was of the same thought -- she just blurted things out when they came to mind, that's all.

    Speaking of that, what Jo asked and offered next was exactly what he had predicted and feared. "How can I understand the future if I can't even comprehend the present?" Was his practical response. Portal Breach was just so... ugh, it bothered him to no end. Zurg didn't know anything anymore, and he questioned some of his most solid values. It wasn't that he didn't have any plans, he simply couldn't devise one if he didn't understand what was in front of him. There was so much going on all at once, and it baffled him at times. And something told him that Jo wouldn't like the idea of him wandering around like some aimless spirit. Ehehghrgh, spirits. He shivered.

    "Wandering around isn't so bad. It's rather peaceful, although... I can't really see the stars at night. This gamma doesn't have many..." That only served to make the world feel smaller, and he secretly didn't like that. There should be more worlds, more planets... Why was this place so empty? "Anyway, I prefer it at night. I can see much better and go at my own pace. I'm not in danger." That he knew of, which he didn't voice to Jo. "Proxy probably doesn't want to be a nanny, besides. He likes his lonely time and space."


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:09 pm

    Oh, he was so right about that. But Jo wouldn't want him to flop on his back and cry. That was the complete opposite effect that Jo desired. But they still had a long way to go before then. Some things needed their sweet time to reach fruition. Hey, the waiting would make the prize all the sweeter, wouldn't it? But before Jo could say another word, she found a straw stuck between her teeth. She snorted and stared down at it cross-eyed. "Real cute, Big Z." She said without removing it, and even wiggled it between her gritted teeth before removing it and plunking it into her glass.

    The mechanic considered what he said, twirling a strand of her hair between her fingers. "So would us being together here count as private, or is private when it's far from places that someone could listen in on us?" So that would rule out the sanctuary, being on the street, eating at restaurants and generally the possibility of encountering people. And oh yes, Jo definitely had to work on her timing on some things. She tended to blurt out whatever came to mind, forgetting about private versus public protocol. "I don't mind. I feel like we can talk about anything together. But timing is important," she agreed. "If I ever make you feel uncomfortable, just say the word!"

    That would be a problem. Moving forwards was full of hitches if you didn't know how to move in the here and now. "Well, what is it about the present that you want to understand?" Maybe if they tried to pinpoint the source of the problem, they could get somewhere... but the chances of that were pretty slim. Still, talking would help in some fashion or other, regardless of whether they reached a good, solid conclusion. Jo's head was beginning to hurt with all this internal monologuing.

    "Really? I couldn't tell the difference on Tradeworld." She took another sip and smacked her lips, pursing them thoughtfully. "Well, only if you're sure, Big Z. I still don't like the idea if you wandering around aimlessly, but if it helps..." She liked taking long walks sometimes, so she could relate, but she always thought about everyone and everything on her walks. How Zurg coped, she didn't know. But it must get awfully lonely. "I tend to stay up late. Would you mind company on these wanderings sometimes?" she offered. "I'll be as quiet as a mouse you won't even know I'm there!"
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:49 am

    "What, I thought humans could benefit from a proboscis." That's a big word. Bet Jo didn't know what it meant, either. Zurg glanced at her from the side of his eyes and went back to staring ahead. Eyesight was nearly there, but not quite. "This would be considered public. Anything outside of one's private quarters or residence lies within our definition of public." It did make a bit of sense. Zurg's people had good hearing, and because they had good hearing they also had rigid rules about what to say and what not to say with others around. So yes, Jo would be correct. The Sanctuary, the street, this restaurant, and even with friends were considered public. It was even worse for Zurg's case, even, because he held a position of authority. One must always mind what they said and where they said it when they wielded power. Oh, how envious he was of Jo who could blab about anything she wanted without a care in the world.

    And if Jo was hurting from all this internal dialogue within herself, then wouldn't she be surprised. Zurg always had internal dialogues going on, and that didn't mean just two thoughts at once. Even now, the alien was already developing several scenarios and phrases within his mind, both sure and unsure of which route to take. Being the jury, judge, and executioner for so long did this to you. "Well, you do have your moments where I'm put on the spot, but I've faced worse. If I can handle a senate chamber filled with opposing world factions, then I can handle being embarrassed and pointed out like the common village idiot." When you put it like that... Then again, there were those back in their galaxy who really did paint Zurg as a buffoon -- he silenced those vermin with relative ease if they ever came his way.

    Anyway, what did he need to understand? Here he became silent, still both sure and unsure of how to materialize his thoughts. "I'm not quite... sure. Normally I plan everything out months in advanced and know what I want, when I want it and how. I can do this for several things at once, if need be." But on Portal Breach, the collision of worlds? Things weren't so cut and dry, nor were they standing still for very long. "I'm afraid Jo, that I cannot answer your question. Not yet. I don't know how to even ask the question I'm trying to solve. I'm not even sure that there is a question to solve. It'll come to me, maybe one day. Maybe." Until then, however, the Evil Emperor was going to continue wandering and thinking. Which... brought him to his next remark.

    Hearing that Jo wanted to go out with him sometime got the alien's attention, and this time he did break his stare to look at her. Ah, he could make out her eyes, lips, and nose now. And in good detail. "I wander about the world all night, Jo. And I go far and wide. I don't think you would like sleeping standing up, or dragging your feet through the dawn and working that same day. Besides, you being quiet the entire time? Oh, you and I both know that stand-up comedy isn't your thing." Jo would be talking his horns off, what was she talking about? She wasn't fooling him! "If anything, you'll tucker out within two hours and I'll have to carry you like the bags at our feet." And that was a very heavy bag to lug around...


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:27 am

    "A probe-what?" But her disbelief turned to snark, like it always tended to when she found an opportunity to jest. With a sly grin, she said, in the deepest tone she could manage, "Why, Big Z, are you trying to probe me?" Just imagine that in the dirtiest way -- never mind, you probably already did. She even held her straw like one of those long death sticks people would smoke from, and prodded Zurg's cheek with the end of it.

    "Okay, gotcha. Only light-hearted conversations in public. Embarrassing ridicule is an accepted norm, debauchery not included!" Although Jo tended to be very lax about what she said and didn't say in public, she did have some tact. Enacting upon it was harder than it looked, but she would make a subtle effort to curb some of her raunchier teasing. Contrary to popular belief, she was not horny. She simply liked poking fun at any opportunity. Wait, didn't that get her in trouble on her first few days in Portal Breach...? Maybe she needed to rethink a few things about her attitude. "Don't worry, Big Z." She patted his knee under the table, the one he had banged earlier. "I'll behave from now on~"

    Cosmos, Jo hoped she never had to experience such conflicting thoughts. That would be enough to drive anyone up the wall. Maybe that explained Zurg's testy moods. Her thoughts conflicted more often than not too, but she always thought it was normal when you were faced with a dilemma. But to feel like that every waking moment -- craters, Zurg was made out of tough stuff. "Well, until you figure it out, I'll always be here to be a pain in the butt!" Such reassuring words, framed by a chuckle. He stared at her, probably because of what she said, and Jo pointed at his face with a happy gasp. "Oh, you're getting your eyesight back. Good! How many fingers can you see?" She held up three and waited for an answer.

    Maybe all these jokes were supposed to cheer him up and get him to crack a smile? If that was so, she'd get an F for eFFort.

    She rubbed the back of her neck, wincing. "Weeeell, maybe not. But I'd put a conscious effort into lasting for a few hours. I can't help it if all you need is a half hour's sleep! I'm still waiting for someone to invent the miracle pill to cut down on human sleep so I can match your pace." She took one final sip from her glass before refilling it, refilling what little Zurg had drank, as well. "But I gotta admit, sleeping feels soooooo good. It's not something I really wanna give up, you know? Don't you have something you like so much you'd never want to give it up?" Besides constructing and repairing things for Jo, sleep came to a really close second.

    The waiter arrived at that point, leaving them a basket of sliced bread loaves and their two dishes. Before Jo, the waiter placed a plate of fries and something else that looked fried and crispy, with some lemon and a portion of white sauce on the side. Sniffing it, Jo found herself suddenly starving. "Your calamari, ma'am."

    And here was the real kicker. The man placed another plate before Zurg, with one big cooked clam, along with an assortment of salad greens to compliment the look. "And your clams, sir."

    Jo had to bite on her lower lip to keep from laughing out loud.
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:04 am

    Oh, can you believe -- "A pro-bos-cis." He reiterated with emphasis, rolling his eyes. The old aliens abduct and probe you routine. Can't say Zurg was a fan. "What next? Shall I hop into my shiny UFO and take a few bovines with me? Maybe proclaim that I come in peace -- nnngh. You know prodding people with drinking utensils is considered an act of aggression on some worlds, yes?" Why couldn't Jo, and others, be as verse in the ways of alien culture like Zurg was? It's called cracking open a research vid and studying! Even though Jo stated she was going to behave, he curled a corner of his lip, an upper portion, in the X'rghthu expression of doubt. Oh, he was doubting, alright. Jo probably thought he had something in his eye, knowing her.

    Such reassuring words, indeed. And what was with the pointing? Zurg glanced at her fingers and briefly entertained the thought of them being ripe, crispy carrots. Don't put them too close, Jo. He was hungry, after all. "I see little digits that will become nubbins if they come any closer to my face." Pointing was incredibly rude where he came from, too. Bet Jo didn't know that, did she?

    Thankfully Jo had some sense and she went on about how sleeping was good, miracle pill, and then she asked him yet another question. He thanked her for refilling their glasses before giving her inquiry some thought. This time it was about what he liked doing so much he didn't want to give it up. You know what his smart reply was? Zurg slowly glanced at Jo again and took a long while to speak. "Wandering." Okay, he was obviously being satirical here. What did Zurg like doing that he never wanted to give up? He would have said being evil, but... Oh, look. Their food was here.

    Jo got something... deep-fried, as usual, and he tried not to make a face at the cooking oils used. That stuff was going to clog her arteries one day. But she ordered it, so she had to live with it. And he apparently had to live with... that thing on his plate, too.

    This was a treat. Here Zurg sat, staring stupidly at whatever it was he had ordered. What was this strange thing, this shelled creation? It was unlike anything he had ever seen! It looked tough and leathery, and certainly a meal in of itself. Most importantly, however, the Evil Emperor said what came first to mind -- "You weren't kidding when you said it resembled genitalia." Oh, Cosmos, he had to eat this thing, didn't he? Well, now he certainly learned not to randomly point at a menu when he couldn't see. This only taught him a valuable lesson in fine dining. "Nnnngh..." Ah, the sound of enthusiasm.

    Zurg's face was otherwise blank with a slight hint of disdain in his eyes, but he otherwise didn't become belligerent about the ordeal before him. He ordered it, after all, so now he had to, well, eat it. But how? He glanced to the sides of his plate and realized that the establishment used forks, knives, and spoons. Spoons. "Nnnngh..." Ugh, outsider utensils. No, Zurg had no outright love for the metal instruments and he went back to staring at his dish. Well, if you could call it that. Who ate these things, anyway? Where did they come from? How did they produce? And again, most importantly, why did they look like this? Alas, time to face the music, Zurg.

    With a sigh he reached out with both hands, making sure to wipe them upon a clean napkin first, and he gripped this... gooeyduck. Now, you just know what it looked like he was doing, and Zurg saw it, too. "Nnnngh..." He slowly released his hold upon the bivalve and went back to figuring out this problematic dilemma. On the one hand, if he ate it like this... it would like he was doing something questionable. But on the other hand... if he ate it like this... Wow, this was a pickle. How was he going to eat this? Aha!

    An idea suddenly came to mind and Zurg reluctantly picked up the fork and knife. Using the fork to spear the clam in place, he then slid the knife underneath a portion of the stubborn creature's shell. After some effort on his part and careful precision, he successfully managed to tear the clam away from its home, and Jo would be able to see all the cooked guts and torn body parts as the gooeyduck was wrenched free. Wasn't that just appetizing?

    Now that the clam was out, he could eat it. Right. For one last time, Zurg stared at his meal and appeared to contemplate something. Whatever it was he didn't voice it, and instead he gripped the clam again, no longer caring what it looked like he was doing since he was hungry. He cracked his mouth hesitantly and gently clenched the jagged tips of his pseudo-teeth into the gooeyduck's tender flesh. From there, he simply let it hang and it now absolutely looked like he was doing something. "Nnnngh..." Enough fooling around! Zurg narrowed his eyes at nothing in particular and became an absolute menace -- not only to himself, but to anyone watching this spectacular display of embarrassment.

    Throwing his head back not once, not twice, but thrice, the alien snapped the flaccid gooeyduck straight into the air like a water show trick. It then came straight down, and into an expecting gullet. In went the gooeyduck down Zurg's throat, and he shut his mouth slowly after that. The silence was overwhelming as Zurg just sat there, staring straight ahead as if he had just experienced something incredibly displeasing but feeling too detached to rightfully care. Finally, he spoke, and the Evil Emperor wiped his mouth for at least some semblance of manners. "Huh, that wasn't so bad. Kind of tasty. I give it a 9 out of 10. Ingesting it wasn't as graceful, however. I wonder if they can cut it up next time."

    Finished with his meal, thank the universe, he then glanced at Jo's. "How are you liking yours?"

    What a sport.


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:04 am

    "What's a pro-bos-cis?" she asked, saying the word slowly. It sounding like it had to do something with probing to her. "Nah, you're more likely to land with your dreadnought and try to enslave the populace -- and is it? Oops! She let the straw sit in her glass again, wondering if she'd just broken another one of Zurg's people's taboos -- again. If they ever saw her, she might be tried in court for something as simple as blowing her nose. Or executed for fraternizing with Zurg. What a cheerful thought -- wait, why was his upper lip curling. That was usually an expression of displeasure.

    Jo drew her fingers back immediately. "Yep, looks like your sight's back in full force." And she wasn't pointing, she was simply holding them up for him to count. She did point at things that surprised her, but she wasn't being rude on purpose, gosh. He was acting like she kept breaking the rules of some obscure set of rules she had no knowledge about. And oh, how sneaky. "Wandering? Really?" But it wasn't like she could ask for more information once the waiter arrived.

    She sniffed her dish appreciatively. Oh, this looked good! Even with the calamari thing. Anything fried would be awesome no matter what, right? She could always fall back on the fries if she didn't like the fish thing. But Zurg's dish... it made her want to laugh and puke at the same time. Maybe even while blushing. "I won't say 'I told you so' but... I told you so." Although she knew geoduck clams were far from male genitalia, her mind kept going back to it and comparing... stop it, Jo! But she couldn't help it... it was so big and long and thick -- STOP IT, JO!

    Focusing on her dish helped alleviate the embarrassment, and she immediately took a few fries. Mmm, those were good. Now for the calamari. She took one piece and nibbled it, finding it very chewy, but not that bad with its crunchy crust. She dipped it into the garlic sauce and nibbled it again. Oh, now that was good. She even dipped a couple of fries into the sauce, then took the small bowl and doused her food with it.

    But... Zurg's actions drew her eyes back over to his side of the table, and she just had to see him holding the thing like he was holding a blasted -- well, you get the idea. She kept her teeth clamped together to keep from laughing, only occasionally snickering every so often. All in all, she felt like she did a marvelous job of keeping her cool given the circumstances. She didn't envy Zurg at all. She was just about to go back to her own dish when Zurg suddenly tossed the thing into the air and gobbled it up in one go. Now that earned him a gasp. "How the cosmos did you do that?!" He just... tossed a three-foot long thing into his mouth, just like that! The dangling echo of third base aside, Jo started to wonder just how much Zurg could fit in that mouth of his.

    Jo had probably been staring at him, for it took her a second or two to register what he said. "Oh! Uh... mine's good! A bit on the chewy side, but kinda tasty. Maybe... next time you should cut it up. With the knife and fork?" Her mind started drifting to nasty thoughts again, as she wondered just how chewy Zurg's clam had been...
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:19 am

    You know, there was something to be said when you took things dirtily and without much effort. A geoduck, sadly, was one of these such things. No matter how Zurg tried to appear graceful, he could just not save face. At all. It was quite sad, really. Hearing Jo make these little noises, insinuating things, got him to inhale a generous amount of air and he kept his cool remarkably well. Socialization? I think not! "It's just a clam, Jo. A very ugly clam." Yes, this was how he rationalized the creature. "It's not what you think it is, and I simply ate a clam. Nothing more, nothing less." But was it really? Jo had turned beet-red for some odd reason. That bad, was it?

    Zurg just went back to finishing his meal, humbling himself to use a fork for once, and he started his salad. Of course, he knew very well the implications of his food (the thing now in his stomachs), and about how anyone could take this the wrong way with ease. Jo certainly had, and guessing by the way she tried not to look at him, those really twisted gears in her head were already spinning. Sigh... Better get this over with as well. What else could go terribly today?

    "At the risk of me inviting my own, inevitable demise... What is it, Jo." Yeah, the mechanic definitely had something upon the tip of her tongue, and she wasn't spilling the beans. "If it's private, I implore you to remember what we talked about. I'm sure it can wait until later, or... until you just blurt it out because you forgot what we talked about." He was prepared for that, too.

    He should have gotten the blasted fried calamari.


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:41 am

    "Right, a very ugly clam. You just ate a clam. Just a clam." Get your mind out of the blasted gutter, Jo. Seriously. Sure, you won't horny 24/7, but you were going to give everyone, including Big Z, that impression sooner or later. If she hadn't already. Because she was starting to recognize those looks Zurg would shoot her way whenever she talked dirty, and they were not exhibiting the desired effect she wanted to have on him. Oh craters, how her crude sense of humor loved messing around with her...

    ...And how her actions betrayed her! Why was Zurg asking what she was thinking? She couldn't possibly say what she was thinking now, not in public! He probably smelled her or something to even be asking in the first place, didn't he? If it wasn't embarrassing for your boyfriend to know whenever you were turned on just by taking a good whiff of the air around you, she didn't know what was! Not that she'd been turned on by him eating that thing -- that was gross!

    But her mind was a weird one, and it got her wondering how he looked like underneath that sync-suit of his he always wore. She knew he had something between those legs of his, judging by his reaction every time she whispered into his horn, but she didn't know the details. She knew some from the sanctuary, but not enough to go by. And she didn't usually think about this, okay!? For her mind to start flying off and wondering about these things in a restaurant, of all places, meant she tried hard not to think about these kinds of things... oh craters.

    "Just -- um -- thinking about something," she mumbled, leaving it at that. Privacy versus publicity, Jo, and this would be bad publicity. She quickly stuffed her mouth with a few pieces of calamari to keep herself from saying anything else. And if Zurg pestered her to know more she was so not going to utter a peep!
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:05 am

    Well! It was certainly a good thing that Jo did NOT voice her thoughts, for surely Zurg would have flipped the table and given up. Really, Jo, really? How did you get that from a geoduck?! Actually, he probably didn't want to know if he knew what she was thinking -- which he most likely probably did, as Zurg was very adept with people's desires and thoughts.

    "Ah... huh." Nope, he wasn't convinced. She was thinking about something totally not safe for work (craters, this restaurant), and it didn't take a genius to figure out what. That, and Jo was starting to smell again. Guess that left Zurg to hit this right on the button, as usual. "No." Ah, a profound statement many a wise sage once uttered. But what could it mean? Before Jo could ask as to why he said a simple word, the alien was already one step ahead. He waited until she started to sip her water before casually answering, "not like a gooeyduck." Alright, so maybe he was teasing her. Maybe. But she couldn't possibly know as his face was as rigid and stoic as it normally was. But I know, and that makes me smile~!

    Whether or not she spat out her drink, he went right back to finishing his salad. Done in a few bites, the plate was pushed away and all that was left for him to do was further torture Jo and her raging hormones. This was actually starting to become a fun game. Why didn't he realize it sooner? "You know, that is usually the last thing I think about." Busted, Jo. "I tend to think about, oh, enjoying the simpler things in life such as eating dinner with you and coming off as total nimrod for ordering the freak show platter. Those kinds of things."

    Now, Jo should realize two things here. One: they were talking about private matters. Two: they were talking private matters in a completely subtle and circumvented way. If there was one thing a X'rghthu did, it was how to skirt around things and get a point, no matter how obscure, across without actually referencing the point in the first place. Very frustrating, but sometimes necessary. Anyway, long story short, if Zurg did it then that meant Jo could, too.

    The only question was: could she do it in a completely tactful manner as he had?

    Oho, this game was his new favourite.

    ((Okay, Jo! Me go bed!))


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:23 pm

    Still red in the face, she blinked when he said no. No to what? But when no answer was forthcoming, she reached for her glass to take a sip. She was still feeling pretty hot, and her throat was parched. She should have known Zurg would decide to speak up while she was swallowing, and the second the words were out of his mouth Jo was coughing and spluttering, hacking up a storm.

    "I -- I wasn't -- Big Z!" Her voice was hoarse, and could her face look more red? No, she was not comparing him to that geoduck clam. But yes, the images in her head had started out with a simple enough comparison. But the rest from then on onwards had nothing to do with the blasted clam. Nothing at all. And Zurg knew that very well, didn't he? Blasted heightened senses.

    But... what he said made her brow furrow. Was he hinting about something inappropriate, something private, without explicitly stating it? Is this how they'd be when in public? Dancing around touchy subjects, coming dangerously close to them, only to flirt around the edges and then dart away playfully? Two could play this game!

    "Well, I didn't think about it until your dish came around," she confessed, going back to her dinner. She made sure to eat carefully now, just in case he tried to make her nearly choke again. "And I don't think about it all the time. It's not the first thing on my mind. But yeah, some things do get me thinking about it. Don't you ever think about it?" she countered. It wasn't a crime to daydream or fantasize, was it? Jo's imagination could only go so far. She casually resumed eating and waited for his answer.

    This was the million unibuck question, Big Z!


    (( Good morning! I crashed too, but here's my post! ))
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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Zurg on Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:50 pm

    And success. Out went Jo's water, and a smile went right on Zurg's face. Oh, too easy. Way too easy. Messing with Jo was like messing with a little kid and their glossy lollipop. Whew, she was certainly starting to smell now. Great success. Jo also caught on to his lead, and was now starting to get a little wise in his ways. About darn time, if you asked him. "Ah, so you did think about it. Alright." Way to fall into that trap and confess openly, Jo. So fun. He wasn't too cruel, however, and he let Jo enjoy her meal.

    For now.

    Which apparently didn't last too long as Jo kept the conversation going. Didn't you know that you never invite the Devil to keep playing? He only cheated and twisted your words around. Here comes the Zurg Inquisition, and no one expected the Zurg Inquisition. "Oh? Like what." What were the things that got her mind onto these strange and forbidden tracks of thought? "And what is the first thing on your mind, and how often do you think about this?" And finally, the kicker. Zurg played with his straw, stirring the ice cubes in his glass, before giving Jo what she wanted to know. She should be grateful. He normally didn't just hand over personal information like this for free.

    It would seem that they both had two very different ideals for daydreaming, and the alien shook his head slightly. "Mm, can't say that I do, no." What did Jo think about, anyway? Bet Animus would have loved to find out. "I'm not at the proper age, it's not my cycle, I haven't bonded, and I can't have children. There is no reason, at least practical, for me to think about it." Always level-headed, but there was something in his words, here... Would Jo be able to find it, or would he get away free?

    Let's see what Jo had to say about this, if anything.

    ((I am so stiff. MY CAT WILL NOT GIVE ME A MASSAGE.))


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    Re: By the Lake

    Post by Jo Pistonne on Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:27 pm

    Yes, she did. Hadn't we already established that fact? She didn't mind falling into this "trap" because she didn't see it as such when their subject was so painfully obvious. But her fantasizing had come to an abrupt halt by now. You can thank the cosmos for the receding smell, Big Z.

    Zurg Inquisition aside, Jo felt no immediate danger. Why would she? Swallowing one of her fries, she replied, "It depends on what reminds me of it. A smell, a memory. Being close to your significant other. Spending time with them. Simple things, which I all enjoy." And no, it was not the first thing on her mind. Now whether Zurg would get a kicker out of what she said or not was up to the cards. "The first thing on my mind is hard to say. I think about a lot of things. Work, friends, this place. Home, back in our galaxy. Things that are important to me. I think about you, too. If I don't see you, I wonder how you are and what you are doing. You brighten up my day." She smiled to herself, pushing some hair back behind her ear. "Just everyday things that make me happy."

    However, something changed after he answered her. Maybe it was the temperature in the room, or just Jo, but the mechanic didn't feel as warm as she'd been feeling moments ago. His answer wasn't surprising -- it was only natural. His kind didn't put much emphasis on the subject, and he had no "urges", ergo he had no real reason to think about it... or did he? There was something about the way he said it that didn't ring entirely true to the mechanic, and she intended to find out what it was.

    "What about an impractical reason? Something emotional, maybe." she pressed, leaning back. Now she had a good view of his shoulder and a part of his back. His long hands rested against the table, and she found herself admiring how nicely-shaped they were. It was not often she saw them without the gauntlets. She glanced down at her own hands. They possessed short, stubby fingers, with unevenly cut fingernails that were mired with grime from working on machines. Even the pads of her fingers were rough, such a contrast to his smoothness.

    She crossed her arms, stowing her hands out of sight beneath her arms, then leaned forwards and rested her elbows on the table again. "What's the first thing you think about, the one thing that's always on your mind?" Jo lifted her face to hold his gaze in hers. If he could ask her what she thought, then she could do the same. The only real question was, would she get an answer?

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    Re: By the Lake

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