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


    In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

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    Sokka
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    In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Sokka on Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:18 am

    Date: December 30, 2012
    Time: 7:21 pm

    All right, the moon changing shape? That was one thing. The stars disappearing? That could be attributed to the excessive brightness of the strange new shape of the moon. No matter what he had learned about this world not always making sense, no matter what he had learned back home about things not always being what they appeared, and no matter what Aya had explained to him the previous evening to add on to what he had learned about the Breach… everything… EVERYTHING could be explained. Even if the explanation did not always make sense it first, everything had an answer behind it. And if you did not know that answer, then you sought to look for it.

    That was how people learned… they didn't just accept things for what they were. No, they got out and found their answers. And with the inner researcher that he was, Sokka was not about to let this mess just sit. Somehow, he was going to get to the bottom of it, even if he had to do so alone.

    Some time after he had left the Stock Pot Inn, Sokka found himself in the nearby park. Regardless of the hour, it was pretty quiet out… and considering just what all was going on and how he needed to think some things through, the Water Tribe warrior was actually rather grateful for that. The giant, overly bright, heart-shaped moon was one thing, but with the castle that had appeared overnight too?

    More than any strange sights in the sky though, what was most alarming to Sokka was the very sudden strangeness that seemed to take over his friends. Tenzin and Lin seemed to be forgetting key aspects of his personality… which was beyond weird considering how they had literally grown up knowing his future self. However, he didn't know what troubled him more… the way that his future nephew and 'niece' were acting, or the way that Korra had reacted to something earlier that day. She had not forgot him thankfully… but for a moment there… her memories of him seemed to have been very altered.

    Thankfully, be it from his own logic, her being the Avatar, or maybe even a combination of the two, she seemed to be pulled from that pretty quickly. It had been awkward, but the two friends were able to move past it and resolve to figure out what was happening… Korra might not have been entirely aware of what was happening, but at the very least, she did seem to still trust him.

    What he hated though was that he found himself wondering just how long that would last… something strange was happening, and Sokka was honestly afraid that the new family he had met and made here might forget him so soon. Was this some delayed, unfortunate side effect of being from the past? Korra, Tenzin, and Lin all seemed to be fine… they all remembered each other without any trouble. But whether it was their memories of him from their own world or even the new ones that had been made here, it almost… it almost felt as though Sokka was fading from their minds.

    Different time lines or not, that thought actually scared the Water Tribe warrior.

    He would not openly admit it of course, at least not yet, but the slow beginnings of such thoughts were definitely starting to gnaw at his subconscious. No matter how true that fear was though, Sokka was determined to press on, work this out, and get things back to normal… or at least as normal as this place could get.

    As he trudged through the snow on one of the paths of the park, it soon seemed that Sokka was not the only one who had ventured out from the inn. He too had passed through the lobby, but unlike some of the others, he had not stuck around for too long. And right now… even though the face was not too familiar to him, he was actually kind of glad for the company. Sokka had seen the guy in passing plenty of times at the inn, but he had never actually caught his name.

    At least this guy also seemed to have noticed the strange goings-on…. and if there was one bonus to what all was happening, at least the Water Tribe warrior found himself able to meet some more people and build on some new friendships. That counted for something and he was grateful for it… but more than anything, he just wanted to be able to hold onto that which he already held with Korra, Tenzin, and Lin. Some friendships transcended lifetime and lines of time… and those meant too much to him to be forced to fade away. Not only in the pursuit of figuring out what was happening to this world… he wanted to get to the bottom of this or all of their sakes, his own included.

    If nothing else… it gave him just one more reason to fight for the truth… and from the look of things, he was not the only one that was set to do so.

    "Hey there," greeted Sokka, nodding to the man as the two wound up near the same bench in the park. "I guess I wasn't the only one that needed to get out of there for now… it's some crazy stuff, huh?"

    Sokka figured he could ask whether or not he had missed anything from that impromptu gathering later… first things first after all. After the man replied to his first statement, Sokka caught the chance to extend his hand to the man and add, "I know it's a weird time, but don't think we've met yet. I'm Sokka."
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:45 pm

    To be honest, Barney couldn't say what had brought him out to the Park. There was just something about the place that drew him. Maybe because it always seemed pretty peaceful, even in the middle of a crisis. It was a nice reminder, even quiet and covered in snow, of... of the things he'd been fighting for, once upon a time. A little untouched patch of green, full of children playing and regular folks just kicking back and relaxing. Even covered in snow, in the bitter cold, there were still signs of life going on. Snowmen left behind by gleeful children, paths trodden through the snow, even a few people out and about enjoying the evening, alone or in pairs. Not crowded by any means, but... y'know. Life.

    It felt like he should be a lot more worried than he was. Maybe it was because the folks he'd talked to were beginning to get into a huff, that made him realize he was taking this all rather calmly. The moon had changed shape, there was a strange floating castle... These were definitely weird things to happen, and the fact that everyone safe for a select few seemed to have noticed at all was definitely suspicious. But, the trouble was...

    Well, trouble was a lot of things, really, but partially, it was the Park. It was peaceful, and quiet, and there were signs of life going on as normal, and Barney couldn't quite get alarmed about what was going on because of it. Sure, a small group was in trouble, him being one of them, but the fate of the world wasn't hanging in the balance, at least as far as he could tell.

    He was interested in what was going on, curious even, and intent on figuring out the puzzle, but... It wasn't like the fight against Alpha. Or Ridley. Or the Witch, in the circus. Hell, it wasn't even like the Combine. Each time, there'd been something different motivating him to keep going. Anger and concern, in varying quantities. But, not now. Not yet, anyway, though he was worried about what might happen to change that fact.

    And, maybe, possibly, he was having trouble finding that drive again because... well, damn it, he was heart sick. The destruction of BLACKCAT, the lives lost... Hell, he was used to failing, used to having blood on his hands. If it had just been that, if it had just been the guilt, he could have put up with it.

    But to watch friends, good friends... To watch that little ragtag, patchwork family get ripped apart. To watch trust and friendship turn to bitter black hatred... It made him sick, down to his bones. And he knew, knew there was nothing he could do about it. Hell, maybe nothing he should do about it, because Steele was gone, and maybe it would be better for Karkat to just forget about him. What closure could the kid have, anyway? He wanted to wash his hands of the whole mess, but at the same time, he couldn't bring himself to give up...

    In light of that, it was... hard to feel concerned about disappearing. Why worry about getting erased, if you haven't been doing much good, anyway?

    "Hey there."

    The voice startled him out of his thoughts, and Barney turned to the young man---he thought he'd seen him around the Inn, maybe. Fairly new to the Breach, as far as he could tell, and he didn't think he'd caught his name yet. "I guess I wasn't the only one that needed to get out of there for now… it's some crazy stuff, huh?"

    That brought a bit of a grin to his face. "Stick around for awhile, I'll bet you five bucks you'll see crazier." Glancing back up at the sky, Barney admitted, "Never seen anything quite like this before, though." Funny shaped moon and a castle in the sky? Yeah. He'd give them points for originality.

    "I know it's a weird time, but don't think we've met yet. I'm Sokka."

    Barney accepted the offered hand with a firm, friendly grip. "I dunno, I could think of worse ones. Nice to meetcha, Sokka, I'm Barney. What's your take on our predicament here?"



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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Sokka on Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:12 am

    "Heh-heh, I have no doubt," said Sokka, returning the man's grin with one of his own. He might have only been on the Breach for two and a half months, but the Water Tribe warrior had already seen some interesting stuff. Granted, the sudden heart shape of the moon, the invisible to most castle, and the plague of memory loss that seemed to be affecting so many others definitely chalked up as being the craziest he had encountered so far… and all three of these stood strongly to surpass even the most bizarre things that he had experienced back home.

    Still, he had to wonder why the man would bet five bucks here… he seriously doubted he meant the verb or even male pig deer… eh, it was probably something from his own home world… nothing to think too hard about.

    His own gaze following his new companion's up toward the sky, Sokka sighed a bit, adding, "Neither have I… as if the weird shape of the moon wasn't enough, that castle is just… really strange and out of place."

    Shaking his head slightly as if to clear it a little more, the Water Tribe warrior glanced back to the man as they exchanged introductions. Returning Barney's handshake with a firm, steady grip of his own, Sokka nodded to him, stating, "Yeah, so could I…. either way, it's nice to meet you too, Barney."

    As the two released their grips from the friendly handshake, Sokka raised his eyebrows slightly at Barney's question. Man oh man, where to begin? "Well, as crazy as the stuff going on in the sky is, that's actually the thing I'm concerned the least about right now. What's got me is the fact that people who know me and know me well are starting to forget me… or at least certain things about me. It… it doesn't make sense." Sokka paused for a moment before adding, "I'm pretty sure that that's got something to do with our new view of the sky… but if I had to guess… whatever's going on, it's someone trying to take over… SOMETHING. It's almost as though they're taking over memories… but I'm still trying to sort it all out. How about you? Have you got any ideas on it?"
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:18 am

    So far, they seemed to be on the same page. The only people who could remember the moon being a different shape were the ones being forgotten. No way that was a coincidence. But, anybody with a shred of common sense could figure that one out. Sokka's theory that it was someone trying to take over wasn't a bad one, though. There was a slim possibility that this was a natural occurrence, but that seemed like a stretch to Barney. Nah, somebody was definitely up to something. What they were after, though, was anybody's guess.

    (Or, rather, Nobody's.)

    As for his own thoughts on the subject? Barney considered for a moment or two. He had a couple of wild theories that were just that: theories. Generally paranoid, and generally concerning whether or not somebody could hack into the system---like SIR had tried to, infecting the code of the world itself and altering it. Could it be something like that?

    "I don't know. Right now, there's really nothing to go on, yeah?" But, that was hardly helpful. C'mon, Calhoun, you could do better than that. "We know something's changed the moon. Something's messing with people's memories, too. Now... question is, what could affect the moon? I don't know a heck of a lot about magic, but that seems like it'd fit the bill." Rubbing his chin, he continued, frowning thoughtfully. "Guess the real question is, are we the ones being affected, or is it everyone else? Might give us a hint about how powerful this somebody is. After all, I figure it'd be a lot easier to... uh, enchant a handful of people, or whatever's going on, than it would be to cast a spell on the whole Breach."
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Sokka on Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:57 pm

    "Not really, no," said Sokka, shaking his head slightly. Gesturing to the side, he added, "Or at least nothing that we've found yet."

    The Water Tribe warrior nodded at the two things Barney mentioned... that the moon had been changed by something and that the memories of most everyone else were being affected. The interesting thing about the memories part of the problem was that not only were people convinced that the moon had always had that strange heart shape (sorry, but that just did not make ANY sense whatsoever. Even on a world like Portal Breach, where things ceasing to make sense was not exactly uncommon, there had to be a limit SOMEWHERE), their memories of some of the people they knew were starting to fade. For Sokka's own side of it, Tenzin, Lin, and to a lesser extent Korra were starting to forget him.

    Worst of all though, he was not alone on that... those gathered in the lobby earlier seemed to be getting their own fair share of being forgotten, and Link seemed to have run into the same issue with at least some of his staff if not some of those close to him as well. Just what was going on that could make people up and forget things like that?

    The curious thought of what could affect the moon was indeed the one of the main questions here... and magic or not, it was definitely something weird. Sokka nodded once more at the idea that magic might be at play here, thinking that whilst he was not familiar with outright magic either, he had seen some pretty mystical things. For the moon itself, the events that transpired at the North Pole two years ago were enough proof of that... from the moon spirit being killed, to the ensuing effect it had on the moon itself, all the way up to Yue sacrificing her life for said moon spirit, Sokka had seen more than is fair share of strange things related to the moon. Even so, the new heart shape of the one on the Breach and the subsequent memory loss of some of the people in this world were new on him.

    "It might... but magic or not, I'd like to be able to figure out just what exactly is going on..." mused Sokka. Once Barney posed the real question though, about which group was actually the one being affected, the Water Tribe warrior furrowed his brow in contemplation. As much as he did not want to be affected by anything outside of his own doing, he supposed he would rather it only be a few people instead of more, including Korra, Lin, and Tenzin... and even though this entire turn of recent events made very little sense, the idea that only a few were being affected instead of far more definitely seemed more reasonable and likely.

    "Yeah, I agree," stated Sokka. Motioning between himself and Barney, the Water Tribe warrior added, "We're just two of a small number that's been affected by this... but the next question from that is, why were we affected? Why just us?"
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:32 am

    That was a very good question, and while "Beats me" would have been truthful, it wasn't exactly helpful. At the moment, he couldn't see a connection between those who were affected and those who weren't. The closest thread of commonality that he could think of was that most of them lived at the Inn, but even that wasn't true for everyone involved. "It could be random," Barney said, thinking out loud. "There's nothing that I can think of that'd tie us all together." He was a tactile thinker, at the best of times, and unconsciously, he reached up to rub the back of his neck, as if this would help keep the thoughts moving. "Might be we're all they---he, she, it---could trap."

    Honestly, at the moment, the only cause he could think of was just pure rotten luck. Glancing back up at the moon, Barney frowned. It had changed, and only some of them could see it, but why? It might be flattering to think that they'd resisted the spell that everybody else seemed to be under through some force of will, but that seemed pretty damn unlikely to him. After all, while he'd be the first to admit that he was stubborn and thickheaded (and paranoid, and not as young as he used to be, and the list went on for awhile), there were plenty of folks who'd he call just as strong willed, or more, who had been affected.

    The truth of the matter was, this was way out of his league. Magic... where were the rules with magic? Where was the logic? As far as Barney could tell, if something didn't make sense, you could point to it and go that's magic. "Do we have somethin' that the rest don't? Did we do somethin' the rest didn't? Or, was it just th' luck of the draw?"
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Sokka on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:21 pm

    Regarding the major question at hand here, Barney seemed to be thinking along the same lines as Sokka… and it did seem that neither of them could really see a clear connection between the two forming sides of this. Those that were not being affected and could actually see what the heck had happened to the skyline did not appear to have anything in common at all. They were not from similar worlds, none of them were really familiar with mysterious castles out of nowhere, and none of them really seemed to have much to do with the moon… shoot, he was no longer even using his own connection to it as a possibility. After all, Yue was the moon spirit back home… here… it was a completely different moon.

    As for those that had been affected with the changes to their memories though… what made them different? Why weren't they immune? Some people with particularly strong resolves, such as Lin, Tenzin, and even Korra had been affected… and so had the Head of Security at the inn from what he had gathered from Link. All for of those cases perplexed Sokka, but they also brought another thought to his mind. With everything that was going on, was it better to be able to see these changes that had occurred, or was falling prey to the happenings the better option?

    Nodding at Barney's mention of it likely being random and the thoughts expanded from that, Sokka crossed his arms and added, "Yeah, maybe. I can't think of anything either… I mean, we're all different and from different worlds, right?" The Water Tribe warrior paused for a moment, right before noting, "I'd rather not think that we were the best it could trap… but since there wasn't a pattern… yeah, maybe we were all they were able to trap at random."

    Sokka's gaze followed Barney's as the older man glanced back up to the moon… or at least what was supposed to be their moon now. Even though Sokka had a little more experience than Barney did with things that ran close to magic, he still always searched for the logic and reasoning in it. He might have called bending magic before, but as he had become more familiar with it thanks to his friends and his adventures back home, he knew that it was far more than that… it was definitely different, but even though his experience with it was more indirect, it could still be explained. Bending made SENSE. The current happenings in the sky though, or the sudden memory loss of those closest to him? That didn't make sense, not in the slightest… but even so, the Water Tribe warrior was no less determined to find an explanation for all of it. If anything, he was further galvanized by this.

    "I don't know," started Sokka, shaking his head before looking back to Barney. "Maybe we do, or maybe we did… personally though, I would bet that it was just the lot we got dealt. And that brings up yet another question… what are we supposed to do about it? How can we fix this if we don't even know where to start?"
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:11 am

    In Barney's experience, the fact of the matter was that, sure, there was usually a reason for everything. Almost always there was some logic, some rational explanation. Cause and effect, for every situation. Trouble was, most of the time, he never found out any of the reasons for what was happening until after the fact. Black Mesa, obviously, but since coming here, there'd been that business with Alpha, then Ridley, then that witch... And, of course, the destruction of BLACKCAT. He'd be the first to admit, it wasn't the best strategy to react without proper understanding of the situation. But, sometimes that was all you could do, and adjust your plans accordingly as new information turned up.

    In a funny kind of way, he figured it was college that had prepared him for this. Or, the lack thereof. Two years community college, undecided major, and then he'd taken an extended break to become a security guard at Black Mesa. He'd never really been great at book learning, always preferring the hands on approach. It wasn't that he wasn't smart, but still, in a place like Black Mesa? Damn, did he feel dumb, sometimes. On the rare occasions that he'd gotten Gordon to string more than three words together at a time, it had always been about science, and it had inevitably ended up with Barney's eyes glazing over and the security guard nodding and pretending that his friend was speaking plain English. So, when the Incident rolled around, and everyone who was still alive and hadn't fled was running around trying to figure things out, Barney... sort of hadn't bothered. He'd focused on the problems at hand he could deal with. And, as he found out more about what had happened, and what they needed to do, he adjusted his priorities, changed his strategy.

    Hadn't really ever stopped, come to think of it.

    Turning back to Sokka, no longer considering the question itself, Barney considered the questioner. For all that the young Water Tribe warrior was still a teenager, there was a confidence about the kid that most teens didn't have. Not so much cocky, as that assurance that came from having tested your abilities. Knowing what you can accomplish, not just what you think you could. He liked this kid, he decided. Just as much out of his depth as Barney was, and still trying to put the pieces together, without freaking out or making a big fuss.

    "Good question." Slipping his hands out of his pockets, Barney pointed at him, to emphasize his words. "Think you just answered it, though. Keep asking questions. Keep our ears and eyes open. Sounds like a pretty good place to start, to me." Deal with what they had, right now, right there in front of them. Pick up what they could along the way, and start putting it all together.

    Most of all, though... If there was someone behind all this, the one thing he'd learned about the Breach this far was that usually... villains couldn't pass up a chance to gloat.
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Sokka on Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:36 am

    Sokka raised his eyebrows slightly as Barney thought about the question, right before grinning in spite of himself at the former security guard's next statement. It looked like he had a good point here, regardless of the gesture he had just utilized to help illustrate it. Nodding to Barney, Sokka noted, "Heh… I suppose I did."

    Yeah, it was official… Sokka definitely liked this guy. He had had a good feeling about him when they first ran into each other out here, and at hearing someone else offer more reason to this whole mess and back him up on some of his own, the younger man could not help but feel a certain connection there. Barney had a tough air about him, and one that seemed to hold a lot of honest determination and courage too. As always, Sokka knew to trust his instincts… and right now, his initial ones seemed to be right on target. They had told him this was a guy he could talk to, and right now, it seemed as though that first greeting had kicked off more of a connection. Funny how things worked out like that.

    The Water Tribe warrior paused after his short statement for a moment, thinking to himself of just where some good places to start looking for any clues might be. They would have to be careful of which questions they asked and where they asked them of course… but no matter how many of those they actually got to pose, the important thing was just what the former security guard had lined out… to stay alert. Anything they saw or heard that might be out of the ordinary had the potential to be a hint to help them figure what was going on and maybe give them some insight on how to fix it.

    "I guess that really is all we can do," added Sokka. "It might be a little tricky to see just how far this stretches, but so long as we stay observant wherever we happen to go, something's bound to turn up. And maybe… we can start with the inn and take it from there… it is a pretty central location after all. Or at least it is for some of us that seem to have noticed what's going on in the sky. I mean shoot, even Link has caught what's going on."

    The younger strategist's own experience was much the same as that of his companion here… except in a few very strange cases, there was pretty much always a good, logical explanation for everything. Every benign thing seemed to happen for a reason (and he had to say benign because some things, such as some of his first encounters with the Fire Nation, had no good reason behind them whatsoever), and this most recent situation was no different. Or at least it should not have been any different. As confounding as it was, both Barney and Sokka appeared determined to get to the bottom of it.
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:26 am

    Definitely tricky. It was one thing to be used to working blind, it was another thing to actually like doing it. But it was better than holing up somewhere and just hoping for the best, at least in his mind. Some people could do that---and, hell, they weren't really wrong---but not this foolish old fighter. Relying on fate, or other people, to solve his problems for him just wasn't his style. (Mind you, it still happened that fate---and other people---swept in at the last moment and fixed everything, but he never could just sit on his hands, waiting for them to do so, no matter how smart it might have been.)

    "Yeah, I noticed. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was just affecting Inn residents... But, I know better." Ayalah, for one. He knew for a fact she wasn't living in the Inn, and also that she was in the same boat he and Sokka were, moon-wise. The others he'd met, he wasn't so sure about. Maybe, once he got back to the Inn, he should get in touch with the other former BLACKCAT members and do a roll call. It wasn't too late in the evening, right?

    But, they were talking about good places to gather information. And, while the Inn was probably a great place to do that, there was one other venue that Barney particularly favored, when it came to, well, blatantly eavesdropping. "The Sanctuary can be a pretty good source of information. At th' very least, whenever there's trouble, folks tend to flock there, just to compare notes. Might not turn up much, but it might help track down anybody else who's been... I dunno, enchanted?"

    Not that the Sanctuary was an infaillable source of information. Half the time, people just came and lounged around staring at the walls, ceiling, or each other, until the boredom reached critical levels and some kind of entertainment would be suggested. But, it gave him a chance to see more faces than he might normally come across, otherwise. It was a good place to come to talk, or come to listen, and while he didn't go there to spy, persay, he definitely ventured there more frequently when there was trouble. Just... to keep in touch.
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    Sokka
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Sokka on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:53 pm

    The duo here both knew that they were set to undertake a task where they did not have much to go on, but with everything that had happened over the past two days, Sokka had a distinct feeling that something would turn up sooner rather than later. Whenever that something did turn up, he was pretty sure that he wasn't going to like it, but if it helped them figure out a way to solve this whole mess, then he was prepared to deal with whatever came their way.

    Nodding to Barney's statement about how far the effects of this thing were starting to spread, Sokka noted, "Yeah, so do I… as nice as it would be if it was that simple, I just can't see the inn as a focal point for this whole thing. I mean, it's a safe haven in its own right. Whatever's causing this just… feels bigger than that, no matter how random it is."

    But even though the inn was a good starting point for finding information, they would have to venture out further if they hoped to get any real headway on this thing. Sokka raised his eyebrows when Barney mentioned the Sanctuary, right before he found himself smirking slightly. Ah yes… that place… the strange building that the Water Tribe warrior had stumbled into the first night he had spent not he Breach. The Sanctuary definitely had the potential to prove entertaining or at least interesting whenever one ventured into it it, and as Sokka had discovered that first night here, it was in fact a place for some good information. It was thanks to Kev that he had found out not only where he had wound up, but why he had been pulled to this world. His own exploration on that day just over two months ago had been very effective, but having that personal touch just added to it.

    And now that they found themselves in this predicament… maybe the Sanctuary could prove its usefulness once more.

    "That's a good idea… and somehow, that doesn't surprise me," stated Sokka. He might not have been here long enough to see just what trouble could befall the Breach, but a central gathering spot was often a good place to find out all sorts of things, no matter what world or town you seemed to be in. Nodding at the idea that they might find more people who had wound up on either side of this, Sokka added, "It's worth a shot, at least."
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    Barney Calhoun
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    Re: In Search of Some Lunar Goodness

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:18 am

    "Yeah..." He had another lead he could follow up on, though. And, if this was going to be a proper investigation, he should probably rustle up the troops, and at least do a headcount. "I've got some friends I'd better check in on. Hopefully, they'll be able to help." Hopefully they hadn't forgotten him already. Though, until he encountered it, face to face, Barney was having trouble believing it for himself. He was used to being able to rely on the folks that he'd decided to trust. Not always one hundred percent, and there was always circumstances and exceptions, but still. It took him long enough to start to actually trust someone, anyway. By the time he did, it was generally because they'd proved their reliability, to some degree.

    He couldn't say he trusted all of the former BLACKCAT members, but they had a leg up on the general population. They were a team, even after the events earlier this month, and their willingness to stick with it, in the aftermath, meant a lot to him.

    "All else fails... Link's probably a good person to talk to, too, considering he runs the Inn. If we find anything out, he'd at least know how we can track most of 'em down." He shrugged, absently, and then added, with a dry grin, "Enough standing around, though. Guess we'd better get started."

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