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


    First Impressions Are Important

    Share
    avatar
    Korra
    Terabyte

    Terabyte

    Posts : 302
    Join date : 2012-08-01
    Location : Room 231 of the Inn
    Level : 31

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    360/360  (360/360)
    Stamina Bar:
    62/62  (62/62)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Sun Apr 14, 2013 4:38 am

    The moment Barney began to explain, she was already full of questions. She gave him a questioning look before she took in what he said. Alright, so....the moon changed...shape. "The moon can do that?" Well that was surreal. You'd think people would have noticed the moon changing shape, although it seemed some of them did! But not everyone? "Why don't I remember the moon changing shape?"

    And whoa whoa whoa...castle? Now there was a castle? Just floating up in the sky? Barney, if it weren't for the fact that you were the only one that she knew of right now with any ideas on what happened to Sokka, and the fact that this place was already pretty weird, she'd be sure you were crazy. But...they started to be forgotten? Did that mean she and the others forgot...Sokka? But he was unforgettable! How could they ever forget him? Then again...that would maybe explain...why he hadn't been here for the past few days. Maybe they really had...forgotten him. Forgotten and then killed...

    "Since the moon's normal now and we seem to remember you guys now, that probably means you guys found out what had happened, right?" Boiling water drew her attention to the kitchen. "I'll be right back..." She walked to the kitchen and motioned her hands in an upwards motion, eventually bending a single, circular glob of boiling water into a tea cup, doing the same for the other cup as well. She stirred the water and the tea bags, making sure to get every bit of tea from it before disposing of it, and putting a little bit of sugar into the tea as well before returning to the living room with the cups, setting it on the table. She grabbed up her cup and took a small sip before she spoke again.

    "I'm sorry if it seems like I'm doubting you or asking a lot of questions...its just really weird to hear, you know? Unbelievable too...but I'm willing to listen."
    avatar
    Barney Calhoun
    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte

    Posts : 162
    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 Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:12 pm

    Barney couldn't help but grin at that, a wry and somewhat self deprecating grin. "Trust me, I know just how crazy it sounds." Absently, the older man reached up to rub the back of his neck, dropping his gaze for a moment, as he added, "Part of the reason I didn't try to track him down sooner, t' be honest. He mentioned he had family... Breaking this kind of news is bad enough without adding, Hey, remember that crazy thing that happened that you guys don't remember?" Barney shook his head, and reached for his own cup of tea, though he didn't immediately take a drink, himself.

    "But, yeah, we did. The folks who were affected---me, Sokka, and several others, not sure who all you'd know---found our way up to the Castle. Kinda like we were called there. And, at th' front gate, we ran into the first of these hooded mooks who were..." Barney hesitated. There had been a lot of babbling about this Kingdom Hearts stuff and stealing hearts, and... it wasn't like he didn't know why they said they were doing all this, but he still wasn't sure he understood it, not enough to explain. So, with another shrug, he said, "...well, they had this crazy plan that we picked up in bits and pieces along the way, that I was never too clear on. All I got was that it involved erasing us, like we'd never existed. We lost a few people along the way, and their hearts sorta... floated up and joined the moon. It didn't make a whole lot of sense..."

    Taking an experimental sip from the tea cup, and, as a guy who was about as far from a tea-conneseur as you could get, deciding it was pretty good, Barney continued. "We fought our way through th' castle." They'd made a real good team. He ought to track down some of those folks again, introduce himself properly. "And the whole way, they were screwin' with our memories. We started forgetting why we were even there, or how we'd gotten there, except that we had t' keep going. Until we got to the head honcho, some guy named Xemnas.

    Cliff notes version? He was bad news. A real tough customer. We got him, in the end..."
    Gee, wasn't this an interesting cup. Yeah, just... real spectacular. Not at all avoiding your gaze here, Korra. Not at all trying not to remember the expression on the kid's face as he started to fall... "...but your friend got hit pretty bad. He gave me the sword, before he was gone, to finish the job but..." Now he looked up again, and shrugged, spreading the hand that wasn't holding the mug of tea.
    avatar
    Korra
    Terabyte

    Terabyte

    Posts : 302
    Join date : 2012-08-01
    Location : Room 231 of the Inn
    Level : 31

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    360/360  (360/360)
    Stamina Bar:
    62/62  (62/62)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:19 pm

    Barney's reaction helped to solidify to her that yes, this really happened. It was unbelievable, crazy, and in all honesty, the sort of thing she was likely to scoff at and kick him out for. To lie about such a thing, especially to explain Sokka's death, was terrible, but even more terrible was that it was apparently true. And if so many others were involved in this, like Barney said, then that meant she could check with other people if she still doubted him. She, Tenzin, and Lin, all forgot about Sokka. Sokka had to watch the people he had left forget all about him and basically turn their backs on him. And in his attempt to help fix it, his attempt to get back his makeshift family...

    He had been killed.

    It was so entirely unfair that it made her want to burn something with the fire-bending she did not have right now. She settled, instead, for staring into her tea. "If you want to tell Tenzin and Lin, I can go with you to help back you up. And if you don't want to repeat the same thing again, I can always just tell them myself." She offered to him simply.

    So, from what she could gather, hooded people in a castle had been planning to erase some of the others out of existence. Why? She had no idea and neither did Barney. Sokka hadn't been the only casualty either, and when the people had died, their hearts had flown into the heart-shaped moon. The fight in the castle hadn't been easy, as the people who fought began to lose their own memories but eventually, Sokka included, they made their way to a guy named Xemnas, the guy behind everything. And it was him, who had killed Sokka...

    She could see it in her mind's eye, Sokka being struck down by this mysterious Xemnas guy, hurt badly...dying, surrounded by others who had been forgotten, none of the people he seemed to consider family around him to comfort him. Korra's grip on the teacup tightened and she bowed her head lowly, trying to keep it together, although a few tears were already rolling down her face. "I should have been there...! M-maybe if I was there, I could have healed him, and the others..." She was the Avatar, and she couldn't keep her friend from dying, and although she hadn't tested it out yet, maybe her water-bending still retained its ability to heal wounds. She rubbed at her face and let out a small, hiccuping sob. "H-his heart went into the moon, right? What if he doesn't come back?" What if that kept him from returning, and he was stuck inside of that moon?
    avatar
    Barney Calhoun
    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte

    Posts : 162
    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 Sun May 05, 2013 9:07 pm

    That was a painfully familiar refrain. I should have been there. I could have done more. He'd been particularly feeling it these last few months, but even before the Phazon, before the Witch, and whatever had attacked in December, before he'd come to the Breach... There had been a lot of should haves, and could haves, and some of them still haunted him. This time, they were fortunate. Hopefully, they were fortunate. This time, the should have might not have changed much. Or, even if it might have...

    ...it was a funny thing to think about death, but under the circumstances, it wasn't much harm done.

    Or, at least, it wasn't the terrible kind of harm that it used to be.

    But, Korra obviously wasn't used to thinking about it that way---hell, neither was he! And, Barney had to admit that if he were in her shoes, even if she could wrap her brain around the idea it wouldn't help all that much. She wasn't there for her friend when Sokka had needed her. Didn't matter if she'd have been able to change something. Didn't matter that there was no way she could have known. Didn't matter that there was a long list of perfectly rational reasons to justify why Korra hadn't been there, couldn't have been there. Logic had no bearing on it. She hadn't been there. She should have been there.

    He should have been there.

    "You can't beat yourself up over maybes. Well..." Barney caught himself, carefully correcting his words with a hint of self reproach, "...Okay, you can. But, it never does any good." From the resigned, almost wry, expression on his face, the slight slump to his shoulders, it was clear he was speaking from experience. "He'll be back. He died making sure we set things back to rights, and we did. And next time, you'll be there." If he'd been a more touch-y feel-y kind of person, he might have reached forward to pat her hand or something, but getting all up in somebody's personal space, uninvited, always felt awkward. Which left just... words. And, maybe they were a bit cheesy, or idealistic, or... or whatever, but he meant them. "You can't change the past... at least, I've never figured out how. Just gotta... try and make now better, yeah?"

    Not that that always went so well, either. Letting out a heavy breath, Barney reached up to rub the back of his neck again. "Anyway, I appreciate the offer... I'd like to tell 'em myself, or at least be there." After all, he owed the kid. And, he'd like to meet the folks that Sokka called 'family.'
    avatar
    Korra
    Terabyte

    Terabyte

    Posts : 302
    Join date : 2012-08-01
    Location : Room 231 of the Inn
    Level : 31

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    360/360  (360/360)
    Stamina Bar:
    62/62  (62/62)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Sat May 11, 2013 4:29 am

    She avoided his gaze and wiped her face, embarrassed to have cried in front of this man she barely knew, but his words were helping. Her beating herself up over not being there when Sokka needed her, it wasn't doing her any good. It wasn't doing him any good. She looked back at Barney, noticing his slumped position, and realized another downside to feeling sorry for yourself, is that you forget that others might be hurting. Barney had been there, on the battlefield with Sokka, and he couldn't do anything either. And although Sokka had never mentioned a Barney before, it was obvious he had left some impression on Barney, for him to seek out his 'family'.

    "You're right...next time I'm going to be there. Next time, he won't go through this alone..." He would have the Avatar on his side! She sipped her tea lightly, feeling a slightly numb calm wash over her. Sokka would be back, though. The destruction of their world didn't keep him away, so this wouldn't either. Not even time periods kept him away! So dying...dying was just another hurdle he would defeat. "Yeah..." The past can't be changed. Sometimes something could come up to fix the past, such as the energybending that gave people their ability to bend back, but that wasn't something that always happened for people. There was no way her Avatar powers could help her go back and keep Sokka from being killed. She looked back at Barney's face, with a hint of a smile. "Thank you for...being there. And for coming here."

    So he wanted to let Lin and Tenzin know himself, or at least be there for it. She nodded in agreement. "Alright. Lin was a Chief of Police in our universe, and Tenzin can be skeptical sometimes. They might ask follow-up questions only you can answer, so its probably best that you tell them." It was a rather fantastical story to tell them, and she couldn't blame them if they shared a glance and crossed their arms in unison, giving poor Barney a skeptical staredown.

    Well, Barney had told her just about everything...now it was her turn. "I owe you some answers. I'll try to explain it as best as I can...its all just common knowledge to me, but here, apparently its not so common. There's actually...a lot for me to talk about, but I guess I'll start with the uh...icicle." She gave him a slightly strained, sheepish smile. "In my world, people can uh...bend the elements. Lin can bend the Earth, and metal too. Zuko, if you've met him yet, he bends fire. Tenzin can bend air. And I can bend water, at least right now I can. I'm the Avatar. And I can bend all four, before this place came along and weakened me at least!" She got a more confident tone to her voice as she declared her title, grinning. That was a good spot to stop, right? Best place for him to be able to ask for more information before she explained further.
    avatar
    Barney Calhoun
    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte

    Posts : 162
    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 Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:31 am

    He'd say 'anytime', except here's hoping Barney didn't need to deliver this kind of news to her all that often.  Instead, he acknowledged her thanks with a bit of a self-conscious nod.  "Yeah, well.  Uh.  You're welcome.  Wish I coulda done more, really."  And, like he'd thought before, a good start for more would be to let this Lin and Tenzin know, himself.  Or at least be there to help fill in the blanks.  

    And, now for Avatar History 101.  Bending, huh?  Sounded a lot like magic, to Barney, which was usually way out of his league.  This time around, he figured he could at least wrap his brain around the different elements, but even so, if he hadn't had that little demonstration earlier, he wasn't sure he'd have kept up.  "Bending being that... float-y icicle stuff from before, yeah?"  His definition of bending previously only involving making a straight thing less straight.  Which didn't seem to be exactly the same thing here.  "Can't say I ever heard of it, but then, we didn't have any kind a' magic stuff, back where I came from."  So, use small words, Korra.  You are speaking to the magically inept here.  "You're the only one who can bend all four?"
    avatar
    Korra
    Terabyte

    Terabyte

    Posts : 302
    Join date : 2012-08-01
    Location : Room 231 of the Inn
    Level : 31

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    360/360  (360/360)
    Stamina Bar:
    62/62  (62/62)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:39 am

    Korra couldn't help a small chuckle. "Yeah, the floaty icicle stuff. That's water bending, I can freeze water, unfreeze it, heat it up to a boil, even heal people with it!" She smiled and stirred her tea idly, waving one finger above the cup in a circular motion, tea seeming to follow her finger's every move. Magic? That was certainly one word for it. "Not many places do. Or if they do, they don't call it bending, like we do. And not everyone can bend an element in our world, for instance, Sokka can't bend but his sister was my water-bending teacher." She stopped stirring and took another sip.

    At his last question, she pulled her cup away and nodded. This was where it was going to get...interesting. "Right. At least, the only one right now...see, the title of the Avatar is more than just bending all four elements. And this ties back into uh...what...what you saw with the glowing eyes and all..." She cleared her throat and set her tea down. "You see, before I was born, there was an Avatar named Aang. He was an Air Nomad, and Tenzin's father. When he died, he was reincarnated into me. Most Avatars don't find out who they are until they're 16, Aang and I were special cases. Him because his people were hoping to use his power to fend off an attack they knew was coming, and me because I realized at the age of 4 that I could bend water, earth, and fire."

    "This endless cycle, of the Avatar dying and being reborn has been going on for centuries. Before Aang, it was Avatar Roku. Before him, Avatar Kyoshi. Before her, Avatar Kuruk, and before him, Avatar Yangchen, and so on and so on! The Avatar is the spirit of the planet, given human form. For all that power though, being the Avatar is all about duty and balance." She almost sounded bored as she got to that part. She loved being the Avatar, but the important weight, the duties, the balance, having heard it all her life sometimes it could get so aggravating! Even a little overwhelming. "Balance has to be kept between the four nations, which are the Air Temples, the Northern and Southern Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, and the Fire Nation. As for why they're named that way, its because it corresponds to those people's bending. I'm from the Southern Water Tribe, myself, as is Sokka! Balance also has to be kept between the Spirit world and the Natural world." She stopped there again, waiting to hear and answer his questions. Hopefully she used small enough words this time.
    avatar
    Barney Calhoun
    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte

    Posts : 162
    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 Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:22 am

    Small words? Check. Which was a good thing, because the whole concept of reincarnation being real, and somebody being the spirit of the planet, and so on and so forth was just a little hard to take in at once. Mind you, if Barney had heard this story before coming to Portal Breach, he would have figured she'd gone completely off her rocker, but here? Yeah... You couldn't walk five feet in this place without your preconceptions of "normal" being curb stomped by something new and different. He'd left his lying bleeding in the gutter somewhere after the first month in the Breach. If he could swallow all of the insane crap that he'd seen and done in the last year or so, then Barney figured he could probably believe this new stuff she was telling him now.

    Anyway, what reason would she have to lie to him?

    Still, his comprehension was hanging on by its fingernails. He could understand the words coming out of her mouth, and follow them along as they formed coherent sentences. Concepts, even, he could wrap his brain around... It was just hard to imagine living somewhere where reincarnation wasn't just a religious philosophy, but a fact. Portal Breach's revolving-door afterlife didn't count---there was a lot of craziness he'd forgive, just because it was here, but back home? None of it fit. And, from what it sounded like, Korra and Sokka's world were radically different from his own.

    "And the, ah..." Barney gestured to his face, indicating his eyes with a sort of vague wave. "Glowing eyes, booming voice thing..." He hesitated, frowning slightly in thought. When she'd spoken before, in that big booming voice, it had sounded like a whole heck of a lot of people at once. He didn't really have to ask if that had something to do with being the Avatar, but... well, actually, no, he did have to ask, because seriously, he had the whole "smile and nod and accept it" thing down pat, but actually understanding how the insanity worked was another story entirely... "I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess all that had somethin' to do with you're, uh, past lives? You were shouting with a whole chorus of voices besides your own."
    avatar
    Korra
    Terabyte

    Terabyte

    Posts : 302
    Join date : 2012-08-01
    Location : Room 231 of the Inn
    Level : 31

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    360/360  (360/360)
    Stamina Bar:
    62/62  (62/62)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:01 pm

    Good ole Barney caught on fast. "Eeeyep! That's actually something new for me. See, being the Avatar isn't all about knowing how to kick butt with the elements. There's also a spirituality aspect to it. Especially if you want to bend air, but anyways if you're not very spiritual, you're not going to tap into that, which is called the Avatar State, very often. And the Avatar State is a defense mechanism, triggered by danger or emotional distress." She didn't have to explain why hearing about her friend being killed was so distressing. "When it happens like that, its involuntary. The Avatar State is supposed to be when the Avatar is at their most powerful, because I draw upon the experiences and knowledge of all of my past selves. There's also a vulnerability to it, but I hope you don't mind if I don't tell you that." Not really smart to announce 'Hey guys, if you kill me when my eyes glow, the Avatar cycle is ruined forever!'. Of course, she had no idea what that would even mean for this place...

    "Some Avatars have been able to master the state and control themselves in it, because that's another danger to it. When you're in the Avatar State like that, you're doing things as the Avatar, for the better of the entire planet. You kinda get wrapped up in what the other past lives and the power want you to do, and in a way...lose yourself a bit in what you're doing." She certainly hadn't meant to skewer Barney like that. "I really am sorry I almost hurt you like that."
    avatar
    Barney Calhoun
    Gigabyte

    Gigabyte

    Posts : 162
    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 Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:12 pm

    ((aaaaargh I fail all the fail. Sorry this took so long D: ))

    Hey, he was more than just a pretty face. And, while he couldn't keep up, intellectually, when it came to particle physics or neuro-protein nano…thingamajiggers, Barney wasn't just a big dumb lug. (He was also real handy with a crowbar.) Using logic in a place like this was always a little fuzzy, but… past lives and chorus of voices, it was a good guess, am I right?

    As much as being able to tap into innate, all-powerful strength as a defense mechanism sounded like it might be handy, the more Korra talked about it, the less Barney thought it was something to be envied. The fact that there was some kind of vulnerability to it just added to the fact, but the idea of it being involuntary, of losing control of yourself? Yeah, that was more than a little scary. As for minding that she didn't tell him what the vulnerability was… hell, he was impressed she'd even told him that there was a vulnerability to it.

    The first instinct was to brush off the apology, like it wasn't a big deal. But, nearly skewering somebody because a crowd of past lives were encouraging you to do so? Not exactly a little deal. The important thing was that she hadn't, sure, and Barney wasn't about to hold a grudge---he had been the bearer of bad news. A simple don't worry about it just didn't seem to cut it. "Hell… I'd probably have done the same, if I was in your shoes. And, uh, could do the whole… Avatar State thing…" Okay, that had sounded better in his head. Spreading his hands, with a shrug, Barney tried again, "At least you heard me out, yeah? Thanks."
    avatar
    Korra
    Terabyte

    Terabyte

    Posts : 302
    Join date : 2012-08-01
    Location : Room 231 of the Inn
    Level : 31

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    360/360  (360/360)
    Stamina Bar:
    62/62  (62/62)

    Re: First Impressions Are Important

    Post by Korra on Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:48 pm

    ((Its fine~ I figured you were busy! Besides, I think we're almost finished anyway. We can end this with the implication that they spoke to Lin and Tenzin off-screen.~))

    She was quite aware that the Avatar was something that so far, only happened in her own Universe. When she'd introduce herself as the Avatar to people, she'd get a blank stare or questions. When she told them she was reincarnated multiple times over the years, it seemed to confuse people, and especially when she'd talk about bending. In return there were certain things about this world and other worlds, such as the Satomobiles and people not even being able to bend! It was a little crazy. So for someone to believe her, understand...well, relatively understand, and trust her that she hadn't just decided to kill him for a moment it was nice.

    If Barney had been someone like Ozai or Amon, some power hungry, evil man trying to hurt people she wouldn't have minded all that much about what she had tried to do. She solved issues with her fists sometimes, and in the Avatar State, it provided a little boost to help save the world. But Barney...he merely came by with Sokka's sword, to tell them what had happened. Her anger and grief had let her slip, and it was likely that some anger from a certain past life may have leaked through as well. She smiled and nodded her head in agreement. "You're welcome, and thanks for hearing me out too. I know its an awful lot to take in...at least no one was hurt, right?" She finished her tea and set the cup down, looking around the room for a moment. "Lin's probably at Tenzin's, he's on the third floor. I'll help back you up on everything you say, whenever you're ready. Unless you have anymore questions." Everything made sense to her own ears of course, but it was a lot to take in. There may be some follow up questions.

      Current date/time is Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:11 am