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


    First Impressions Are Important

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    First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:59 pm

    Date: 1/15/2013
    Time: 2:00pm

    Barney had lived on Portal Breach for almost a year, now, and still wasn't exactly sure how this whole revolving-door-death thing worked. He knew about the Pool of Souls, and that once you were there, you could come back, but after that, the specifics got kind of fuzzy. He wasn't even sure how long someone stayed dead. It seemed to be kind of nebulous, but then again, he couldn't say he had any of his close friends die recently.

    Well. Until now, at least.

    It was kind of unusual, how quickly he'd taken to the kid. Most of the time, Barney tended to keep people at arm's length, until he worked out where he stood with them, and visa versa. Sokka, however, was different. Sort of like Ty, Barney'd just gotten the sense that here was a kindred spirit. (And the wisecracking banter they'd engaged in, over the course of several fights, hadn't hurt things, either.) And, apparently the feeling was mutual. At least, Sokka had trusted Barney enough to leave his sword in his care. The former security guard didn't actually have an inkling of how much the weapon meant to the young warrior, but that was besides the point. It had been the dying gift from a friend. He was just glad that he was getting the chance to return it. (Much less tell Sokka how helpful it had been.)

    Tracking down Sokka's home hadn't been hard: He'd asked Link. Turned out, he and Barney lived on the same floor, so how as that for a coincidence? It theoretically would make it easier to track the young man down. Theoretically. Trouble was, Barney wasn't actually sure when, or if, Sokka would return.

    ...and then, there was that other pitfall. He didn't know who they were, but he did know that Sokka had friends and family here, if only because Sokka mentioned that they'd been forgetting him. From what he could tell, the folks who hadn't seen the castle simply didn't know that anything had gone down, at all. He wasn't quite sure how to break the news to them. Assuming he could find them, either.

    Finally, he decided to give it a week. Then, he'd try and return the sword and, well, figure it out from there.

    Which was how Barney Calhoun ended up standing outside Sokka's room, on the 15th of January, with the young warrior's distinctive sword in one hand, half wrapped with a length of cloth because it wasn't like he actually had a spare sheath lying around and... knocking. Hopefully.

    How could this possibly go wrong?
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:45 pm

    It had been something of a delayed reaction, but eventually Lin, Tenzin, and Korra re-remembered Sokka. However, due to the circumstances of what had happened, for them, Sokka had been there one moment and now...he wasn't here. His stuff was still in his room, but he wasn't. Korra had taken Naga out to search the city and the wilderness for Sokka, but it hadn't led to anything, even with Naga's exceptional sense of smell. It was beginning to make them all worried, although Korra herself had no idea what to do about it. Maybe she should start asking around or something...see when the last time anyone else saw him was.

    Korra and Lin's room was right next to Sokka's something that was usually very fun. With his disappearance though, the side of the wall where his room was had been...unsettling and silent. She glanced at it and brushed some of her hair out of her face, morose. He couldn't have died, right? If Sokka had died, Naga would have at least found his body. After all, when you die, your body is left behind. That's how death works. Your body can't get up and walk away.

    Maybe he was just out on a life changing journey by himself, somewhere where even Naga couldn't sense him. If the Spirit world was still a 'thing' here, she'd ever wonder if maybe he'd stumbled upon it and gotten lost. But the point remained that there was not a Spirit World here, and Sokka was nowhere to be seen. She sighed...before perking up at the sound of knocking next door. Sokka wouldn't knock on his own door, that was just silly, but it was something, wasn't it?

    She walked over to her own door and opened it, peeking out into the hallway. "Hello?" Her eyes fell upon a man she'd never met before. If she'd met him, it was very briefly. In any case, she looked the man over, who wasn't Sokka in the least, and frowned a bit. Until she saw the sword in his hands. A sword that belonged to Sokka, a sword he treasured, and likely wouldn't leave behind unless something had happened to him. Her eyes widened as she stared at this unfamiliar man, who had Sokka's sword. This was the closest thing she had to evidence on what had happened to him. And what she was beginning to piece together...wasn't pretty.

    The hand on the door tensed up as suddenly, her eyes began to glow. And they were locked on your mug, Barney. In a matter of seconds, she had left the doorway of the room and grabbed the front of Barney's shirt, lifting him off the floor and pushing him against the wall. "Where. Is. SOKKA?" The voice she spoke with now only contained a trace of the voice she had previously called out to him with. There was her own voice as an undercurrent, but there was also several other voices, of varying ages and of both genders, echoing through her. Her mouth turned down in a sneer as she gestured upwards with her hand, drawing some water out of her waterskin and freezing it in mid-air, into an ice spear.

    "ANSWER ME!"
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:10 pm

    The Hello? had been promising, even if it wasn't coming from behind Sokka's door. Barney had turned towards the source of the voice, and had just enough to get the impression of a dark haired young woman in clothing remeniscent of Sokka's before she'd grabbed him by the front of the shirt and pushed him up against the wall. He got a really good look at her, then---glowing white eyes, an angry sneer, and the booming voice. "Where. Is. SOKKA?" She made a motion with her free hand, and suddenly there was an icy spear hovering over her shoulder, emphasizing her point. "ANSWER ME!"

    "Hey, whoa, whoa!" She didn't look like she should be strong enough to lift him in one hand, but then again, Link didn't look like he could throw a full-sized Cybertronian, so in Portal Breach, observations like that meant squat. The fact of the matter was, whether she looked like she should have been able to or not, Barney's feet weren't quite touching the ground and he was quite emphatically pinned. His free hand reflexively reached up to grab hold of the wrist of the hand holding him up.

    It was clear that the next words out of his mouth were going to be very important. Calm down wasn't going to cut it. He's dead would get his ass kicked. Instead, Barney tried, "I'm a friend, alright? I was... just trying to see if he was here."

    ...not the whole story. The whole story would have to wait until she wasn't about to shove him spine-first through a wall, or possibly skewer him with an over-sized icicle.
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:35 am

    Her face didn't change, at Barney's startled 'whoa', nor his free hand grasping her's desperately. In fact, the contact seemed to make her angrier, icy spear hovering a little closer to him. She was waiting, Barney, waiting for your answer, and you better think hard on what you say. Otherwise you will really begin to see her point.

    ??? wrote:"I'm a friend, alright? I was... just trying to see if he was here."

    A friend? Likely story. If he was a friend of Sokka's, why hadn't they been introduced prior to this? "He hasn't been here for the past few days." She made no sign of letting him down, although her free hand guided the spear back to her waterskin, icicle melting to its liquid state, before bringing her free hand back up to help hold him up against the wall. Her glowing eyes narrowed, and she gestured to the sword with a slight cock of her head. "How did you get that sword? Sokka's disappearance and you being in possession of his sword cannot be coincidence."

    She finally placed the taller man on the ground, although she was quick to step up to his level, keeping steady eye contact as her body language made it very clear she wasn't letting him get away without answering, arms corralling his sides to keep him from leaving. "WHAT DID YOU DO TO SOKKA."
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:01 am

    Yeah, let's be honest. He wouldn't have believed him, either. At least she'd put him down, and stopped menacing him with sharp objects she'd conjured up with an idle gesture. But, she still hadn't stopped, ah, glowing. Barney thought he remembered her, now. He'd seen her, a time or two, in the Sanctuary, but usually involved in conversation with someone else. She hadn't had glow-y white eyes, then. And she certainly hadn't sounded like... well, like a chorus of voices.

    Technically, Barney had nothing to hide. However... Uh, look, as far as implausible stories went, 'You remember your friend? Well, you actually forgot him, 'bout a week ago. See, the moon went all heart-shaped, and there was this castle in the sky filled with guys in black robes who were stealing memories, and we fought 'em, and your friend died heroically' was right up there with 'Aliens abducted my girlfriend, no really officer.'

    This... didn't seem like the best time for the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Just had to keep a level head, and try to get the nice young woman to stop... glowing.

    Yeah.

    For his part, Barney didn't try to leave. "You're right, its not a coincidence. But I didn't do anything to him." Right, because that sounded believable.
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:21 am

    (( Oh hai incredibly appropriate Music ))

    The man made no move to fight his way away from her, and to his credit, he was being very passive. And with Korra in the state that she was in now, that was definitely Barney's best bet for not getting hurt. However, just because he was talking and not trying to punch her, did not mean she was backing down any, eyes still glowing a bright white, and narrowed with hostility. Sokka was gone, this man had his sword...something happened, and she was going to find out what.

    ??? wrote:"You're right, its not a coincidence. But I didn't do anything to him."

    Whether Korra believed what he just said or not, her face only seemed to get angrier. She took a step back away from him, although she brought her arms up and guided the water out of her water skin again and reformed that sizable icicle. "You aren't ANSWERING ME!" So, he hadn't done anything to Sokka. Even if that was true, it still didn't tell her where he was and why this man had his sword!

    "If you didn't do anything to him, who did?!" The icicle began to float in front of Barney's chest, not piercing him, but lingering above his skin threateningly.
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Wed Feb 20, 2013 1:02 am

    He was sorry to say that he'd been here before. Sure, some of the details didn't quite match up (being threatened by an ice lance was new, as was the fact that the death he had to report on was only temporary, and he wasn't sure which of those facts was the strangest) but in general, broad strokes... The death toll was pretty damn high, in the rebellion. This was a conversation he'd had more times than he'd like, even if it was the first time it had involved magic water, glowing eyes, and a booming, chorus of voices demanding answers. There was just no easy way to break news like this. As much as he'd preferred to explain if she calmed down---as much as he figured he'd have a better chance of getting out of this unscathed---his evasive answers were just going to piss her off more.

    Barney was still not looking forward to uttering the words Sokka's dead when she was waving sharp pointy things at him, though. She was new, sure, and he'd been around the block as far as the Breach went. She probably couldn't kill him. But, he wasn't inclined to test that theory.

    So.

    Uh.

    One more time, trying to avoid impending icicle doom, yeah?

    His tone dropped to a grim, dry drawl, that bordered on the sarcastic. "I've got a policy against delivering bad news to people wielding unlimited cosmic power and sharp pointy objects, alright?" Okay, maybe snarking at her wasn't actually going to help. But it made him feel better. Drawing in a deep breath and letting it out again with a frustrated noise, he tried to restrain the urge to fall back on dry irony. Humor, coping mechanism, etc. etc. "Calm down, wouldja? I'll tell you everything I know." Barney reached up and sketched an X over his heart. "I swear."
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:46 pm

    She had to admit, the audacity of the man to make a quip now of all times, elicited a small, surprised look on her face, although at the same time there was a hint of hurt. Sokka liked to make quips too, it was a part of his identity, and it just reminded her again that something had happened and this man wasn't talking.

    ??? wrote:"Calm down, wouldja? I'll tell you everything I know. I swear."

    ...

    Calm down?

    Calm down?! Her fists tightened angrily, and the icicle that pointed at Barney began to rapidly evaporate into steam, and float harmlessly away from him. "You expect me to calm down?! My friend is hurt, or possibly dead, and you're the only one who seems to know what happened!" And no matter what she did, he was not talking! He swore though, that if she calmed down, he'd talk. But would he really? Or did he just want to save his own skin, and scurry away? She didn't trust him, at least not right now she didn't. As much as she wanted to just beat the answers out of him though, it seemed the only way she was going to get any answers from him was to do as he said...and if he DID run off she would find him and make him pay.

    "Don't make me regret this..." Korra stepped back away from him, as the glow in her eyes began to subside, replaced now with her usual blue. She let out a small groan and slumped, putting a hand to her forehead and rubbing it, blinking. "What..." That had never...happened to her before. When she'd gone into Avatar state before, it was brief. That was...that was different. She winced and looked at Barney, guilty and worried.

    "I'm sorry...are you alright?" She looked around the hallway awkwardly and gestured at the room she'd come from. "We should...talk in private. I'll get you some tea."
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:11 am

    ....wait, that worked? Holy crap. And here he'd been thinking he'd need to put those badass laser dodging reflexes to work again---and hope they were as good at dodging icicles as they were a flurry of lasers.

    Fortunately, that question didn't need to be answered, at least not yet.

    The young woman stepped away from him, the glow in her eyes subsiding, and then deflating as the anger went out of her. He'd sort of expected the hostility to remain, but there was guilt and concern in her expression that made him really wonder. What had just happened? What was that... spell, or whatever, that she'd just done? Was she possessed, or something?

    "No harm done," Barney replied, neutrally. It was like she was a different person entirely... He shook his head, slightly, and then moved a couple of paces in the direction she'd indicated. "...Tea sounds like a good idea. We've got a lot to talk about." Or maybe it was more accurate to say he'd probably do most of the talking...

    Still really wanted to know what the hell just happened, though. He guessed that put them on even footing, at least.
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:56 pm

    Things were about as awkward now as they could get, after you go Avatar State on a guy and lift him up against the wall, threatening to skewer him with ice. If there was any upside, it was that this meant she was still connected to the spiritual side of herself. She was still most definitely the Avatar. Zuko. She bowed her head slightly as he walked beside her over to the door, and as he walked, her eyes caught the sword again, and her eyes hardened ever so slightly. It might have been a tad bit of an overreaction to lift him up and threaten him like that, but the crux of the matter was the state of her friend, and this man had sworn to deliver, to tell her what happened. And she would hold him to his word.

    "If you tell me what happened to Sokka, I'll explain what just happened...Deal?" She stated as she followed into the room behind him, closing the door as they went. Her voice had gained a layer of seriousness, eager to find out what happened to Sokka...and yet not, at the same time. She glanced around the living room, then to the kitchen, before turning back to the older man in front of her.

    "Any preference on your tea? By the way, I'm Avatar Korra. I'll explain what the Avatar part means later...I think I've seen you before, in the Sanctuary." She rubbed the back of her neck awkwardly. "I wish I could say that this was the worst first impression I had, but I'd say meeting Chief Beifong by getting arrested by her is worse. Although this is...definitely right up there."
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:48 am

    Hell, he was going to do that anyway, but... sure. It'd be a strange new experience, actually getting answers to these mysterious things that happened to him. "Deal." It was said with a small nod, before Barney turned his attention to the room they'd entered. The layout was similar to his own room, and about as well decorated---that is, not much. There were touches, here and there; items and objects that were probably from her own world, but from the look of things, she hadn't quite settled in yet. Barney's room was similar, only minimally decorated. Let's pretend that it had more to do with the time he spent away from it than anything about not settling in.

    Satisfied with his brief assessment of the room, Barney turned to face the young woman in the kitchen. "I'm Barney Calhoun. I think I remember seein' you around, too. Sanctuary's just that kind'a place, I think." You saw a lot of people, but---at least as far as he was concerned---you didn't usually meet a lot of them.

    The question about tea had him on the spot for a moment. There's more than one kind of tea? Well, okay, yeah, obviously there were. He just didn't have a freakin' clue what any of 'em were. Half tempted to answer Earl Grey, hot, he just shrugged a shoulder, "Whatever you've got, I guess?" There was a flicker of a grin, despite the somber situation, as she described her first meeting with Chief Beifong---that name rang a bell, too. Another face and name from the Sanctuary. "Yeah, this is probably in my top five. Sometime we'll have to swap stories..."

    But, this wasn't the time for stories... Except one.

    He glanced down at the sword still in his hand, and any hint of the grin vanished. "How much do you know about this place, by the way?" Let's start with the good news first, yeah? Hey, guess what! Death's not permanent here! Keep that in mind for what I've got to tell you next...

    Yeah, this was going to be... not fun.
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:04 pm

    She nodded in agreement, she'd seen a lot of people in the Sanctuary, learned some but not all of their names, but every time she went in, she seemed to draw a lot of attention. Either because she was new, or because she was on a creature that so far hadn't been seen anywhere else. Naga at least seemed to relish the pets and affections. Meeting and having people's attention here was similar to Republic City's citizens, except that these people had no idea what an 'Avatar' was, and their interest was purely because she was new.

    "Its nice to formally meet you, Barney Calhoun." She prepared a pot of water on the stove, letting it boil. Even though boiling took forever. If only she could firebend, she'd just heat it up herself! She peeked around the kitchen, looking for the tea canisters and plucking out the first one she could find, which was Lin's melon tea. "Eh, I'll pay her back for it later." She mumbled to herself as she placed it aside and glanced at the water. Still not boiling yet...it wouldn't mind much if she just left for a moment, right? She appeared in the doorway between the living room and the kitchen and smirked a bit.

    "Sounds like a plan!" She had to admit to being curious of how much worse a first impression could get, although Asami and Mako's first impression came to mind. She'd run into him with her moped! The mood sobered though, and she glanced down at the sword as well. "Well, I know this place makes you weaker, and you have to gain back your strength...I know our worlds are gone, along with most of the people, although Sokka, Lin, Zuko, and Tenzin are proof enough that people can still come here."

    She tilted her head and tried to remember any other details. "I think that's all I remember...why do you ask?"
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:27 am

    Damn. He was being facetious in his internal monologue before, but this conversation was shaping up to go pretty much like that. Well... crap. Just... damn it. He never liked doing this. Then again, he was pretty sure nobody did. "Didn't get the full story then. If nobody's mentioned the Pool of Souls, then, maybe I'd better explain that, first." Not there was any way of talking about the Pool of Souls without telegraphing the bad news, but, hey, it was better than letting her get walloped by grief and then try to pull her out again. Grimacing a bit, Barney rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand, a gesture that was unconsciously echoing the gesture made by the young Avatar not too long ago, herself. Enough hemming and hawing, Calhoun. Time to rip the damn bandaid off. "See... and, I'm not sure why any of this works the way it does, but... Here? The Pool is the place you go if you die. The catch is: You come back."

    Please, hold your expressions of disbelief until the end of the lesson. You're probably gonna want to save 'em up.

    "I don't know why it works, or how, really, but I know it does. See, I've been there. To the Pool." He shrugged, and added, "And, hell, half the Breach at the time, as far as I can figure. But, uh, that's a whole 'nother story. My point is: Dying? Isn't necessarily permanent here." Gee, Calhoun. Think she's wondering why you brought that up? It was hard, trying to reassure someone else, or even to try and lay the foundation of reassurance, when he was still pretty damn worried himself. It was probably unfounded, sure, but... He remembered what Sam had told him, what she'd seen when the virus took her for a ride beneath the Pool. And, more recently, one of his close friends on the breach had proved the need for the qualifier on not necessarily permanent. Damn it, Steele. It wouldn't happen to Sokka though. The kid had way too much to live for. There was no way he'd stay down there in the Pool; No way he'd just... move on.

    Trying to keep his own concern, and lack of faith in his own words, off of his expression, Barney met her gaze squarely. It wouldn't be fair to her, to just try and sweep it all under the rug. To hope it would all fix itself before he had to deal with it. "So, that's the good news," he said, quietly. Holding Sokka's sword out to her, he added, "I'm guessing you can work out what the bad news is going to be. But, I said I'd explain everything..."
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    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:53 pm

    ...Pool...of...Souls? Explain that first? She grimaced and bit her lip, turning away. That was all she needed to know, to understand what happened to Sokka. Something had happened to him and he had died. Oh Spirits, how were Lin and Tenzin going to take it? The Pool of Souls, an odd name for an afterlife, but he continued and confirmed, that yes, this was where people died, and if he had to explain that first...she grabbed the doorway and squeezed it, eyes downcast. He was dead, and he couldn't be reincarnated like she could! He was-

    Barney Calhoun wrote:"...The catch is: You come back."

    Her head snapped back up and she stared at him, shocked. "What?!" How was that possible?! As a Reincarnation, Korra was familiar with the idea of 'coming back from the dead'. But the way it worked in her world, only one person could come back again and again. There were rules for it too. There was a certain cycle for Rebirth, and usually one didn't remember their past lives, at least not without meditation and Avatar stuff. And you definitely weren't the same person afterwards. Just compare Korra and Aang!

    "You've died before too? And you came back as the same person you were before?" This idea, this...concept, was almost hard to wrap her mind around. Sokka had died, but he could come back! More than that, there was a chance he'd come back as the same Sokka he had been before! This was a huge relief! Although there were still more questions to be asked...Barney held the sword out for her, and she grabbed it, holding it in her hands.

    "Yeah, the bad news is self-explanatory..." He had died...and unfortunately, even though the prospect of him coming back was great, there was still lingering sadness over the fact that Sokka had died. And she hadn't been there for him. "How...what...what happened to him? How did this happen?" Surely something like this would be on the news! Had a mass murderer found him? Had he walked into a criminal act of some kind that resulted in him being killed to get rid of witnesses? How?
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    Barney Calhoun
    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte

    Posts : 161
    Join date : 2012-03-03
    Age : 48
    Location : Not in Black Mesa anymore...
    Level : 40

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    45/45  (45/45)
    Health Bar:
    450/450  (450/450)
    Stamina Bar:
    80/80  (80/80)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Barney Calhoun on Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:39 am

    Her whole posture---the bowed head, the hand gripping the door frame, the grimace as she looked away---was more than answer enough to his question. He was just glad his next words had snapped her out of it, though her own response confused him. "You've died before too? And you came back as the same person you were before?" No offense, but... what the hell did that mean, exactly? Was she talking philosophically, or actually reincarnated as a new person? Did that... actually happen on her world? Never mind, he'd wonder about it later. He still owed her a lot of answers.

    "How...what...what happened to him? How did this happen?" Now that they weren't full of sword, Barney's hands found their way to his pockets, trying to think of the best place to start. Ah well, it was going to sound crazy however he spun it, might as well get it over with. "'Bout a week ago, give or take a couple of days... The moon changed shape. Looked like this big yellow heart-" He sketched a valentine's heart in the air, as a handy visual aid. "-and only a handful of us noticed that anything was different. Everybody else thought the moon had always been that way. And, over th' course of a couple of days, everyone who didn't see the moon---or the castle that turned up floating in the sky next to it---started forgetting those of us who could see 'em."

      Current date/time is Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 am