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


    Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

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    Kev
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:10 pm

    Kev found the Dark Judge leaning against an old tree and looking more relaxed then he had ever seen the corpse. The cigarette sitting in the slits of his helm were probably a big part of that. As soon as Kev had reached him and stood to attention though, the Dark Judge laughed, smoke billowing out as though the helm were the engine of a train. Kev squinted his eyes and waved a hand in the air to dispel the smoke, shooting Judge Fear a dirty look. Oh yes, optional exercise was so horrible and scary! "No, sir. I merely did not wish to be late. You don't want me to be late and waste your time, do you sir?" His tone was stiff and stilted, though he kept a respectful tone. As long as Judge Fear was 'on the job' for this training, they weren't equals. Kev was cadet, Fear was instructor. And if he was too openly rude he'd probably get punished which he did not want after the way this day had been going.

    The Judge gestured for Kev to follow, the alien giving him a slight nod and following behind. Not very closely behind though, there was about a foot of space between them. Interesting, the Judge lead him into the woods behind the cottage and over to the creek. This was...the place? He turned back to the Judge, confused. What did a creek have to do with...spirituality? Even more puzzling was that Fear dictated that he sit, the Dark Judge sitting down himself. Shrugging to himself, the alien's legs folded beneath himself and he plopped himself down upon the grass, the frost from earlier had melted in the sun a long time ago. Between the nice feeling of grass and the sound of the creek water babbling...mmm, it all sounded rather nice. Relaxing! He almost forgot to be nervous about this new exercise!

    His gaze turned back to his instructor, still puffing away and now bothered by flies. Wonder if any moths might get attracted to his glowing? His head tilted to the side as Judge Fear spoke. His kind had never really gotten too deep in talking about their powers...not like this. Not like how Judge Fear spoke of them. If one's powers were not 'up to snuff', it wasn't necessarily their soul that was weak, so much as just they themselves were weak. Weak, and ultimately a danger. For one who could not block out the minds of everyone else on the planet was a hazard. Anyone who was that weak was usually shunned, the thoughts of that Kryptonistanian blocked by the entire species and treated as though they were invisible. Usually they disappeared not long after. In hindsight, the alien had to admit that his kind were very...unforgiving. This idea that his soul was what was weak was...strange. How do you make a soul stronger? Drink some soul juice?

    Judge Blunt wrote:"The reassson you had failed ssso ssstupendousssly during your mental exercissse isss becaussse... well, you're weak."

    "Mmmm." Return of the flat and unamused look, though throughout all of this, he was not looking directly at the Judge's 'eyes'. He withstood tons of psychic attacks in the past! Like...! Like...um. Lik-no, no, the plushy pterodactyl actually gave him a huge headache, and whatever was controlling it was too strong for him to mind control. The look didn't falter, but Kev had to admit that maaaybe he wasn't as strong as he could be, mentally. He was strong in his own people's terms, definitely. He could keep thoughts out, and when needed to, he could implant suggestions into other's minds. But that had also backfired a few times, as he was so reminded earlier. In order to strengthen his soul and fight back against psychic attacks like what Judge Fear had done earlier, he needed to 'reinforce' his soul. And to do that, he had to overcome his doubts, regrets, and fears. The alien could not deny that he had...a lot of them. Ugh. Ugh. Emotions could be so annoying sometimes. Stupid doubts. Stupid regrets. Stupid fears...

    When asked which he wished to start off with, the alien rubbed his chin. Hmm...it wasn't like he had the greatest of choices. Physical pain, mental pain, and soul pain were all definitely varying levels of pain. Pros and cons to each of them. Mostly cons...which one was the most relatively easy? A chill went down Kev's side as he had to, unfortunately, come to the conclusion that physical pain had been the easiest. It hurt so much and it was thoroughly unpleasant, BUT...the other things he'd witnessed and seen were painful in a different way, and that made them scarier. Eyes squarely on the grass, Kev answered "P-physical woes, s-sir."


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:18 pm

    "No, sir. I merely did not wish to be late. You don't want me to be late and waste your time, do you sir?"

    Salty little bugger, wasn't he?

    Though the alien didn't voice his disgruntled thoughts aloud or openly talk smack to his instructor, he didn't need to. Judge Fear had a fairly good sense of Kev's mental state by now. Reserved, bitter, all around simmering... Yes, yes. Thus were the consequences of a well-placed psychic attack, and the ghoul reckoned Kev had never experienced such an assault before. It certainly wouldn't be the last. "Chin up, cadet," he rasped, puffing away. "It'sss not the end of the world." Yet. Now, then. Enough with the words of encouragement. Kev had an exercise to complete and some deep-seated issues to mend. Predictably, the alien wished to start with his physical woes; by far the easiest of the triad. Of course, "easy" didn't exactly equate to a "cinch".

    "Right, then! Let'sss ssstart with your old friend... Mr. Dark," Judge Fear began. Let's start with the fiend who rotted you in seconds and threw your skull against a wall. Sounds fun, didn't it? "I want you to think about that moment, cadet. That moment where Mr. Dark had ssset hisss sssightsss upon you and killed you. Think about it and asssk yourssself... why doesss thisss bother me? Why do I ssstill linger upon thisss memory?"

    And don't say that you didn't let this memory bother you, cadet. You and he both knew that that wasn't the truth.
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:57 pm

    Well, the Judge at least tried giving some encouragement. True, it wasn't the end of the world yet. Big old 'yet' on that one...Kev nodded his head anyway. No more whining, they had to get this done. They didn't get to finish the exercises due to his pull-ups and his mental exercises weren't complete because he'd passed out. This at least, he'd complete. His answer given, the Judge decreed that they ought to start with Mr. Dark. The alien let out a slight grumble at Mr. Dark being referred to as a friend...he really didn't want to think about it. He wanted to put it far out of mind and forget it had ever happened. Alas...that was his goal for this exercise so far. Think about it, and ask himself...why it bothered him. Why it had stuck with him for so long...

    The alien bowed his head and thought about it, about storming how he had entered the domain of Mr. Dark. When he originally arrived at the room where Mr. Dark was lingering, the people around him frozen in one spot, he had lingered outside of the room. That changed, however, when the Dark man affixed a dark gaze at the two Links. A purely evil look, as though he wished to harm them. Wanting to protect them, Kev ran into the room to attack and...! Was frozen in one spot like everyone else. He hadn't realized why everyone else had been frozen and, rather then think first, he immediately tried to attack in order to protect them. But that had not been exactly how and why he died. One doesn't die from being frozen in one spot, after all.

    No...Morgana had said something, Kev forgot what, but whatever she said, it had angered him. Mr. Dark decided that he needed to make an example, to show that he was being 'generous' to everybody there. He did this, by looking right at Kev and accelerating the same powers that kept them all stuck in one place. It was over fast, but it had hurt so much, and he had died screaming. Why did this bother him? Why did it stick with him? Well...it had been the first time he had ever died. In Kev's world, you only get to live one time. You die, that's it. Portal Breach was different and Kev's first death was...a doozy, to be sure. More than that though, he had been in that situation because he wanted to protect the Links. The Links had gotten to see Kev die in an attempt to save them, and there was some guilt about that. Even though neither of them ever said anything and he was quite close to the Hyruleans, it still made him sympathize with them. To watch someone try to leap to your rescue, and see them die painfully in the end...

    "It was the first time I had ever died, and it was incredibly scary. Disgusting and horrible and...and just painful...but I guess I also feel like an idiot. I didn't think, and because I ran out there without thinking, I got killed. Well...that and Morgana's smart mouth, but still. And I feel bad, that I didn't really help anyone in the end by doing that. Not the Links, not the Breach, definitely not myself. If I could do it all over again, I just wouldn't have run into the room. No matter how much of an evil look he gave to them."


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:19 pm

    So, as again predicted, Kev's first death had been a result of his stupidity. "Hmph." Judge Fear let out a thick puff and refrained from exacerbating the situation. This was, after all, an exercise to strengthen Kev's soul, not further degrade it. Right, right... Suppose he ought to encourage the conversation along, then?

    "But you have died numerousss timesss," the Dark Judge pointed out. Respectfully, of course. "And not only have you died numerousss timesss, but you are no ssstranger to the processs of life, death, and rebirth. Therefore, ssshouldn't you no longer be afraid of death?" Unsurprisingly, the alien used negative descriptors such as "disgusting", "horrible", "painful". This was a fairly common mortal view of existence beyond life. "Ssso you feel badly becaussse of how foolisssh your decisssion had been and how it had ultimately resssulted in your demissse. That isss underssstandable, cadet, but thisss happened in the dissstant passst; why have you not let thisss go?" Was it because of Morgana's smart mouth? Had you not forgiven her for setting off a chain reaction? Was it because of Mr. Dark, for thinking to inflict such misery upon the world? Or was it because you had appeared the buffoon, thinking to save a pair of young boys and, instead, added to their mental trauma?

    What could it be, cadet?

    Thinking, the ghoul had himself a long, smoldering drag. "Mm, regretsss... The bane of any diligent sssoul." After all, one didn't reach his unnatural age by letting past mistakes and actions weigh them down. "Though you ssshould know, cadet, that regretsss are nothing more than a fool'sss dream. You cannot change the passst anymore than you can change what you have done. To harbour thisss memory of Mr. Dark, dessspite it being your firssst death, isss detrimental to your sssoul. I want you to again clossse your eyesss and imagine yourssself there, at the time of your firssst death. Empty your mind and sssimply let the eventsss play out; like water flowing around you." Hence the reason they were now sitting beside a creek.

    Breathe, cadet, and allow yourself to be taken away... to the past, where you had first died at the hands of Mr. Dark. Listen to the relaxing sounds of the stream and imagine yourself within it, its gentle waters cascading over and around your body. Let the water be your thoughts and memories, your regrets and your fears... Be the stone at the bottom, determined yet in harmony with its surroundings.

    Breathe, cadet, and practice on letting go...
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:53 pm

    Hmph? What was that 'Hmph' for?! What did it mean? Mr. Judgey MrJudgerton...the alien let out his own snort and focused on the words that were not 'hmph'. "I'm not really afraid of life and death anymore, yeah. But that means that from here on out, I don't mind dying as much. The deaths in my past are still pretty...pretty screwed up, Judge Fear. Just because I've accepted that life and death happens and all things die, it doesn't mean that dying like that no longer effects me." It was a shock, it was terrifying, and it was just a horrible situation. Otokoyo was...not so good either, but he didn't really remember his 'death' there. They were running on the bridge and then it was black. He could feel that his strength was waning as he was drained but otherwise? Nope. Phazon had been a bad situation as well, just all around, but everything besides his death had been problematic. Living, in that case, had been problematic. Dying had set him free from the Phazon. And then there was the fight with Ridley...the dragon had killed him, in a fight Kev had asked for. Kev regretted not being the one to kill Ridley, but he didn't exactly 'fear' his death there either. "My other deaths, I feel more...at peace with. But Mr. Dark is different..." But why? What made it different? The method, the circumstances around it? How sudden it all was? The very fact that it was the first time he died? The alien couldn't really pin down an explanation. It was just...awful.

    "I don't really know why I haven't, I guess...it's just...it feels awful just to think about it. It was short, but it was...awful. In every way, it was awful. I couldn't move, I couldn't stop him, I was helpless! I was an idiot for letting it happen, an idiot for thinking I could rescue them without a plan. I want to protect the people I care about but I just...can't." He opened his eyes and looked back at the corpse, or rather the grating that replaced his mouth where a cigarette was still being puffed away. "But if I don't harbor what happens...won't I just repeat that mistake?" Wasn't that what you had to do when you made a mistake? Carry it on your person and remind yourself so you'd never do it again?

    Still, the alien nodded his head and closed his eyes. This time, he thought about the events more directly, trying to replay it. It was hard, at first, both due to the trauma surrounding the event and due to how long ago it was. To actually try and let it replay...it was difficult. Listening to the water assisted in clearing his mind, listening to it lightly beat upon the rocks, and finally he could see it again. Frozen mid charge, a small sack of gold coins in one hand and a single coin enclosed in his other hand, a fist. One he meant to strike Mr. Dark with. At first he had been nervous about being frozen in one spot, for sure. But it wasn't too bad, really. Muffled speech went on around him, most of it forgotten and even a few faces had been forgotten. Morgana spoke however, and it was enough to make Mr. Dark stop mid-sentence, giving her a deep and angry stare.

    "You dare to mock my generosity?  I've been terribly kind to all of you."

    No sooner had the words come to pass then the action began, his body began to decompose all around him. He couldn't move, he couldn't escape! He was trapped and could only watch as his body was torn down to the muscles, and then down to the bone. He could hear himself screaming...! He couldn't feel the pain like he had during the mental exercise but he could still remember it...! Just before death had finally come to claim him, the alien snapped his eyes open and felt at his chest, breathing hard and deep. "I couldn't do it...I-I had to stop." He shivered and glanced down at his own body, happy to see that it was all there. Scales and all. He listened to the water again however, and calmed himself down, taking deep breaths.


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Sun Feb 01, 2015 6:17 pm

    "Sssir, cadet, sssir." No more freebies.

    Five minutes passed, but eventually - and after much internal struggling - Kev had both recalled this troubling memory and faltered because of it. "Deep breathsss, deep breathsss," came quiet, sound advice. "It isss but a memory and cannot physssically harm you. Allow the sssensssationsss to passss, both good and bad, and sssteadily return yourssself to reality." To the here and the now, where they could once again resume their discussion of the alien's woes. Where to begin...

    "Death affectsss all thingsss, cadet. Whether it be the death of the physssical ssself or the ssssoul, it happensss regardlessss. In order to accept the cycle, be freed of thisss wheel, one mussst have no fear when it comesss to the inevitable." It was one thing, cadet, to say that you accepted life and death. But it was another entirely to say that you accepted life and death. "Mm..." By now the Dark Judge's smoke was barely a burning stump, right down to its filter. He took a moment to assess Kev's words, dissecting what he felt important, and soon replied with a smoky rasp, "It isss awful to feel powerlessss, I agree. But you mussst realize, cadet, that you will be powerlesssss in a great many thingsss. Life and death, for example. You may be able to influence the livesss of othersss and inssstigate the deathsss of your enemiesss, but do you ultimately hold any sssway over the cycle itssself?" The answer was of course "no", he did not. Nor did the Dark Judge, admittedly.

    His little secret.

    Finished with his smoke, the ghoul dabbed its smoldering embers out atop the surface of his leathery palm, a slight aroma of cooked flesh wafting through the air. "I do not know, cadet. Will you repeat the missstake?" Think about that for a moment. Really think about it.

    "One could let go of a traumatic experience and ssstill covet itsss lessson learned," Judge Fear opined. "You may have been an idiot for russshing headlong into battle againssst a foe you had never encountered before, and you may be an idiot becaussse you have died numerousss timesss, but why let thisss memory define you? It happened long ago, cadet. Mr. Dark isss not here, Morgana isss not here, many negative stresssorssss are not here. For good and for worssse, they are not. If you let the passst define you and hold yourssself back, can you truly appreciate the presssent and look to the future?" Some additional food for thought, yet it need not be digested today.

    It was mighty tempting to light another smoke, but the ghoul abstained. "Isss there anything elssse you would like to discussss about thisss memory?" Now was the time to say your piece, cadet.
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:39 pm

    Ooh, Tulsit, he forgot to call him sir that time! At least Fear didn't do anything more than remind him, and the alien made a note to himself not to forget again. The Judge quietly told him to breath, the alien heeding the advice and taking a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. In a nice cycle it continued, and the thoughts and emotions the memory drudged up ebbed away. Unlike the mental exercise, the memory did not cause any harm. Merely reawakened the memory of harm.

    Kev thought about it for a moment, as Fear spoke. He supposed that as much as he had no fear of death, he did still fear dying. It was the pain that scared him. The idea that he could suffer before finally expiring. Death, was a mercy. Just as Judge Fear had said so many times, Kev did agree that death itself was merciful. Death ended pain, it did not prolong it. Dying prolonged the pain. "I guess I would have to accept the 'dying' part of the cycle..." It was the part he was stuck on, after all. "I do realize that I'm powerless in a great many things, sir." It was part of why he was doing this entire training session, after all. Life and death though? Kev tilted his head. No, he didn't really have any sway over such a cycle. He may have created life, but that wasn't the life Fear was talking about. And death... "I may have killed a few people but not a one of them has stayed dead, so technically that means I definitely haven't held any sway over the cycle." Not like Judge Fear did, or so he thought.

    Mistakes...hmm. "Not "technically", no. I can't repeat it exactly the same way..." Not unless someone reawakened Mr. Dark and Morgana suddenly came back from...wherever. "But I...could repeat it in a way. You know? Do something else that gets me killed because I didn't think ahead. So long as I harbor this...maybe I won't." Did this memory define him? He didn't feel that it did, though he had to admit that the past may define him. The past kept him back and made him hesitant. "What if there are some things that...just can't be let go? What if, no matter how hard you try, it's just...stuck. Like a stain? And you can't...remove it, no matter how hard you try." He stared down at the grass and contemplated Fear's last question, before finally shaking his head. "No, sir. I think that's all for now."


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:02 pm

    What if things cannot be let go... The Dark Judge contemplated this, though his opinion naturally differed from the alien's. "Letting thingsss go doesss not mean that you remove them, cadet. Rather, you incorporate them into your being and accept that they are asss every much a part of you asss you are apart of them. Remember, all isss one and one isss all." Your doubts, your regrets, your fears... Each of these things, Kev, were you. Can you honestly wage a war against yourself and expect to come out whole? Judge Fear shook his helm at this, gangly arms crossing.

    "You are already dying, cadet," he rasped. Hear him out! "To be born isss to die, and to live isss to sssuffer and know hardssship. You are living, you are dying, and you will die. Thisss isss the universssal truth in exisssting." There was a pause. "Well, for mossst of usss, anyway." Undeath was somewhere in-between, though seldom achieved through average means. It was usually obtained by the dark arts and other nefarious practices... No need to inform the cadet of this, though. "You sssay that you realize, cadet, but do you truly? Perhapsss you do and you merely do not accept or comprehend. Realization isss but the firssst ssstep. You have yet to embark on the sssecond." If Kev truly embraced the concept of being powerless in a big and scary world, then he would not require training and he certainly wouldn't go looking for love in all the wrong places.

    Ahem.

    Naturally a fiend such as Mr. Dark would not be resurfacing, hence his involvement in Kev's mistake was not necessary. "The firssst missstake you made wasss thinking yourssself ssstrong enough to challenge a foe grossssly outmatching you. Your sssecond missstake wasss making light of the sssituation, running into the fray and not consssidering what wasss at ssstake: your life. I would sssay, cadet, that you have repeated thessse missstakessss ssseveral timesss." Mr. Dark and Ridley, for the first. And all the times Kev had perished, for the second. Who could also forget the time Kev helped in Portal-SIR's death?

    "You think that isss all or do you know?" The difference between the two words was more subtle than you may realize, cadet.
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:46 pm

    It didn't mean you removed it...? At this, the alien finally made eye contact. Rather, then closest he could to eye contact. It was...strange. How do you let something go while also accepting it? Kev always thought that in order to let something go, you had to remove it. Forget it. How do you remember and accept something, yet not let it affect you? "This is confusing..." If he could, he'd love to just rip the doubt, the regret,and the fear right out of himself. It felt like those were his only choices, to either use it all to remember his mistakes or rip it all out and pretend it had never happened. Anything else felt...foreign and strange.

    Already dying?! For a moment Kev stared at Judge Fear, as if he had just been informed of a terminal illness. Thankfully, the Judge elaborated. Yes yes, to life was to die. Every day bringing them all closer and closer to death. "I mean the actual process of...dying. Like, getting sliced across the neck and bleeding out, that sort of dying. It's a little harder to accept that, but in order to fully accept death I have to accept that...right?" Only realize? "If I accepted I was powerless I probably wouldn't be trying to become more powerful. And I think I do comprehend it because I hate it." He couldn't just embrace feeling powerless, he couldn't just accept it. He had to overcome it. He had to grow and become stronger.

    Judge Fear wrote:"I would sssay, cadet, that you have repeated thessse missstakessss ssseveral timesss."

    "Mmmmmm." The alien grumbled several times before finally just covering his head with his hands. "Hnnngh...! I haaate doing that. I hate making the same stupid mistake again and again! I try to remember what I've done wrong and I do it all again anyway!" This kind of thing was why Judge Fear's little 'it's better to just let yourself die' speeches actually sounded correct. What was the point if no matter what you do, you perform the same mistakes? Stuck in the same place, making the same mistakes, repeating the same history. He could not do that for the rest of his unnatural life here on Portal Breach. He couldn't. How could anyone else here do it? "If it doesn't even help me to just remember it all the time, then fine. I'll try not to harbor this thing anymore."

    "I know, sir." He was ready to leave this in the past for the moment and try again later.


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:44 pm

    Confusing, yes. But weren't all things at first?

    "Hate?" At that, the Dark Judge curtly snorted. "You do not underssstand the meaning of hate, cadet. Ssseldom do." It was not a emotion to be taken lightly, nor was it an emotion that most comprehended. Kev was one such individual. "You do not hate, cadet. You may dissslike and detessst, but you do not hate." Not even Judge Fear, for all he had experienced and done, felt hatred. It was far too self-destructive. "There isss nothing inherently wrong with being powerlessss; with being sssubject to the forcesss around you. You, cadet, are a mortal. You are not meant to harnessss thisss knowledge naturally. In a way, you are consssidered blessssed." Everything had a consequence. "Asss for dying itssself, fear it not. Though you may die violently or in utter peace, death will alwaysss welcome you with wide, open armsss. Thisss isss what isss important, cadet."

    "Hnnngh...! I haaate doing that. I hate making the same stupid mistake again and again! I try to remember what I've done wrong and I do it all again anyway!"

    Judge Fear pressed a bony finger against his helm's iron visor and quietly went, "Ssssh. Eassse your mind, cadet. You are fighting againssst an eternal adversssary, and one that cannot be defeated no matter how hard you may try. Breathe, mm... Breathe and lessssen your thoughtsss. Lisssten to the trickling ssstream and become intimate with your sssurroundingsss. Remember, cadet, that all of your demonsss are right here, in the paradox that isss your mind." A hardened fingernail lightly tapped against the temple of his helm. And the mind was as beautiful as it was terrifying.

    "You know and yet you continue to ssstruggle... ha ha, sssure... sssure..." Chains rattled and bones creaked in protest as the ghoul lied upon the grass, his back as stiff as a coffin's backboard and his limbs straighter than its macabre edges. Supernaturally-enlarged hands rested on his emaciated chest and as Judge Fear rested there, seemingly content with everything around him... he felt around the grass for a flower and plucked it, holding it in the ever classic play dead pose. Cheeky bastard... It was amusing to him, though, as evidenced by his reverberating chuckling and a slight wiggling of his grotesque, rigid toes. "I think you think too much, cadet," the Dark Judge hissed. "New exercissse: I want you to lie on your back and reflect on what we have dissscussssed ssso far. Everything you have found quessstion with, disssagreement with, and even agreement with, I want you to mull over our wordsss and sssimply relax. And pleassse, for the love of your Godsss, don't pessster me unlesss you have a ssseriousss inquiry. Alright? Alright..."

    Now, if you'll excuse him, Judge Fear had a nice patch of grass to slowly murder with his disgusting corpse body.
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:34 am

    Hmm...this was probably the second or third time that the Judge had insisted that Kev did not really understand 'hate'. He felt that that was not true, because the likes of Ridley certainly filled him with something, and he was sure that that something was hate. It couldn't be dislike, and it may even be detest, but surely he knew what hate was. Still, he'd concede. "Greatly detest, then..." He corrected himself. Nothing inherently wrong...with being powerless. Being subject to the forces around you. "It feels wrong...I don't want to be subject to whatever forces are around me, especially here. Though, I guess as a mortal, I'm subject to this kind of thing anyway..." How does one just kick back, put their feet up and say 'yeah I'm fine with being a plaything of the universe'? Literally, in the case of this world. Blessed was certainly a word for it. He considered the Judge's words, and gave a small nod. "I guess you're right. It's like the destination is what matters over the journey in that case, right?" Usually it was the reverse.

    When hushed, the alien reluctantly complied, taking a few deep and easy breathes. He rubbed at his temples, as if he were rubbing away the indignation. Breathe in...and breathe out. He listened to the stream as it flowed, watching the water run over the rocks and beat against it. Kev rested his hands on the grass and leaned back on them, relaxing himself. "You're right, sir." Suppose there was no use getting upset right now...he looked back up to the Judge and squinted. "I don't struggle, I have decided that I know that there is nothing else I wish to discuss about this." And lo, the Judge began to do something most...strange. He laid himself flat upon the grass, one arm crossed itself on his chest and the other hand seemed to be feeling around...? Was that...a flower? Kev blinked at him quizzically before the Judge laced his fingers together with the flower between his fingers. What was he even...oh. Kev couldn't hold back a snort, raising a brow at him as the Judge chuckled to himself. "Clever, sir." Very, very clever.

    A new exercise was given, a very...strange one. Not what he had expected. Kev's head tilted at his 'dead' instructor. He had expected that they would move onto a different one, but instead the Judge urged him to lay down and reflect on things. He certainly wasn't going to object...the alien leaned himself down and settled himself across the grass, gazing up at the sky as the grass lightly tickled at the scales of his head and neck. Think over things, and not speak up unless he had an honest inquiry...he'd verbally agree, but that wasn't an inquiry. So instead the alien idly watched the clouds go by as he thought. He supposed he found 'question' with the idea of accepting something and letting it go...wouldn't you have to leave something to let it go? Accepting and letting go just seemed so contradictory. And the reason this all would be good...he never exactly thought about his soul. Could holding onto things like this really harm his soul and keep it weak? Regrets were a pretty terrible thing, because it just makes you beat yourself up over things you can't change. Looking back at the past and wishing something had been changed.

    And living like that was...problematic, he knew this. He knew it, because it held him back. He needed to get over it. He needed to get better. He needed to make peace with the past, but it just felt like there was so much, almost too much! How could he make peace with all of it? Just as it was hard to make peace with being powerless...he disliked being powerless. So many times, he had felt the power of others influenced upon him. Killing him, hurting him, using him. And when he told his friends just how weak he knew he was, how weak he was becoming, he was told that he actually was strong. Kev tried to believe that...wanted to believe that. He wanted to think he didn't need to do any of this to get stronger. In the end...he had to admit that he was powerless. Still though, he came back to making peace with his past while keeping the lessons learned. The alien had seen so many people ignorantly repeat the same thing all over again, do the same thing and make the same mistakes. Kev didn't want to do that, even though he really was making the same mistakes! That was so infuriating...that for how much he detested over the history repeating, the mistakes of others...he was reliving his own mistakes too! Made him a hypocrite of some kind, didn't it?

    The alien's eyes continued to slowly watch the clouds fly by, thinking over all of these things for the next several minutes. Suppose he really did like these spiritual exercises...better than the mental or physical.


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:03 am

    But why does it feel wrong, cadet? What is the matter with knowing that you are not capable of special powers? What is the matter with being an average mortal in a scary, unfamiliar world? You held no power over the universe, let alone this universe's "gods". You were, in all honesty, no more superior or inferior to your peers and foes. Though you may not want it and you certainly remained defiant, to what end were you striving for? Did you want to be powerful, striking down both god and enemy alike? Did you want to make world-altering decisions, playing the role of Creator and Destroyer? Why did you feel the need to have power? Would it truly make a difference in your life then, from now unto eternity? "The journey isss important, but it isss death that isss inevitable. Greet it not asss a bitter rival but a friend, cadet. A friend that hasss been eager to reunite with you sssince the day you were born." Romanticized, the Dark Judge knew, but there was still some truth.

    Death, after all, was neither evil nor good. Judge Death, however... Best to leave that can of worms for another time.

    "I don't struggle, I have decided that I know that there is nothing else I wish to discuss about this."

    Sigh, mortals.

    The ghoul faintly shook his helm, finding issue with Kev's ignorance. "If you weren't ssstruggling," he hissed, "then you would not be needing of my ssservicesss. You would have fended off my psssychic attack with confidence and finesssse. Inssstead, you collapsssed like a houssse of cardsss." And it had been rather easy, too.

    If the alien was expecting for the Dark Judge to suddenly get up and go demanding another exercise, he was going to be sorely disappointed. Judge Fear in fact did not; he actually hadn't stirred since the moment he lied down. Five minutes lazily floated on by... and then ten, twenty, thirty... Still the ghoul uttered not a peep, his host deathly still. He seemed rather peaceful, didn't he? This giant, ugly shell of a rotten corpse, somehow in perfect unison with the lively, colourful world encompassing him. Surely the Dark Judge wouldn't lie there for the entire exercise, would he? Then again, he did order for Kev only to disturb him if there was a serious inquiry.

    These purposefully vague instructions... It would be enough to drive anyone positively bonkers!
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:25 pm

    Too much power was scary, and Kev certainly did not want to have any part in the dealings of Gods, for those were not the place of mortals. It was like Judge Fear had said before; how could Kev think to protect those he cared for if he could not protect himself? If he could become strong enough to protect himself and the people he loved...then he would be satisfied. To greet death as a friend, though...hm, surely by this point 'death' basically was a friend. He'd died four times, after all. Death wasn't...a new thing to him anymore. Yet was it really a 'friend'? The next time he died, could he really embrace it? "Mmm..." The noise was more of a thoughtful hum this time, as the alien was...unsure. It would take some time to just embrace death as a long forgotten friend.

    "If you weren't ssstruggling, then you would not be needing of my ssservicesss. You would have fended off my psssychic attack with confidence and finesssse. Inssstead, you collapsssed like a houssse of cardsss."

    Sigh, Judges. Rather than beat a dead horse into the ground, Kev just relaxed in the grass. If only he had a mouth, he'd pluck a blade of grass and chew on it. Or perhaps just let it stick out of his mouth like he were in a Western. After some thinks had been thunk, the alien glanced back at the Judge to be sure that he was still there, which...he was. Maybe Judge Fear just wanted a rest? Or maybe this was a test...was he supposed to come up with a serious inquiry to ask? Thinking back to the common thread of this exercise, Kev realized that the Dark Judge really was pushing for him to embace. Embrace death, embrace the past, embrace all that had happened to him. Not to ignore or forget anything, and yet not to let it beat him down and hurt him. The alien tried to think of anything that he had embraced, laying his head back down on the grass. He had, by now, embraced that his people were wrong when it came to 'aliens', and that other ways they once had were wrong. Tulsit, he could look back on his people now and see major holes and inconsistencies, troubling things they once had done. Kev had not forgotten his people, and he had not abandoned his ways entirely, nor did he sit on the roof and moan about how horrible he had once been and how shallow and rude to aliens he once was. He merely embraced the good and the bad of his culture.

    The alien sat himself up and rested his hands on his lap, looking to the Dark Judge. "I think I have my serious inquiry, Sir. I'm a little...rusty when it comes to embracing all of these things. Death, the past...is the point of embracing these things to accept the good and bad parts? To keep the good parts of them with you, and see the bad parts, without letting the bad parts turn you away or scare you? Or is there something more to embracing something that seems...negative and terrible, at first?"


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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Fear on Mon Feb 02, 2015 3:52 pm

    "I think I have my serious inquiry, Sir."

    This'll be good.

    Good and bad... Negative and terrible... Kev was getting close, but the alien was still far, far away. "The more you think about thessse thingsss according to sssubjective categoriesss, cadet, the harder it will be to fully accept them for what they are." What constituted as good? What constituted as bad? Why were they good and bad? "Embracing yourssself isss a frightening experience, yesss. But to sssay that it isss negative and terrible? Mm, you have already doomed your opinion on the matter." So the alien didn't like how hypocritical he was, dying repeatedly and committing the same mistakes; why beat yourself up about it if you have the power to change it? Why even spend precious energy moping and dreading when it could be better used to achieve a desired goal? Again the Dark Judge faintly shook his helm, not bothering to sit up and return Kev's gaze.

    "Impermanence," he rasped. "Do you know what that meansss, cadet?" Here's a hint: it didn't mean anything negative or terrible, even good or bad. "It meansss that sssomething isss not permanent; that it isss in a ssstate of flux, transssitioning from one moment of exissstence unto the next. Take the ssstream bessside usss, for example. Do you think it isss the sssame asss it had been a month ago? A week ago? A minute ago? A sssecond ago?"

    Judge Fear allowed several moments for the alien to consider, though he soon continued, "You will not be the sssame, cadet. You will never be the sssame, becaussse you are in a conssstant ssstate of change. Isss thisss ssscary? Yesss. And are you powerlessss over it? Yesss. But do you honessstly think that fearing an inessscapable fact of exissstence isss going to make anything better?" Remember, it was the eternal adversary you so stubbornly, and futilely, resisted. "And the world isss sssubject to thisss truth, more or lessss. Everything in thisss foressst, cadet, hasss never been the sssame. Each day isss different, each breathe isss different. Creaturesss are born and creaturesss die; decay isss inherent in all component thingsss. Thisss isss how thingsss are, cadet. Exissstence isss neither good nor bad, it sssimply isss." It could be argued, and Judge Fear knew very well, that the profession of a Judge was no better than a scaly alien struggling to embrace his own disgusting, beautiful self. It could be argued and it could be argued quite eloquently.

    In this, the Dark Judge was doomed to suffer. But such was the fate he had accepted all those centuries ago.

    "Think about thisss topic sssome more, cadet. Consssider thessse wordsss and apply them to your sssituation; to your experiencesss. Ssspeak to me again when you have yet another ssseriousss inquiry." And so the cycle repeated, the world resuming as it always would. As it always would...
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    Re: Nascence [Week 1 - 3]

    Post by Kev on Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:38 pm

    Harder to accept them for what they are? Kev's head tilted. Suppose referring to these things as negative and terrible wasn't going to make it easier to embrace them. But what else was he supposed to call it? All of the things he relived today were pretty terrible. Nothing about the things he had felt today felt good! Maybe to embrace them, he had to see them as something that wasn't terrible or negative. How, though? "Impermanence? No, sir. I do not." He stared back at the Judge's metal helm, eyes occasionally drifting to the flower he was holding. "No sir. The creek is always flowing. It has changed, and it probably won't return to the way it was before." The water that flowed away merely went elsewhere. Indeed, this very world was one of change. Even though things did refresh and set itself back whenever disaster struck, the people changed.

    "You are right...I have changed from the first moment I stepped foot here." Looking back on himself, he was definitely not the same. None of the people he knew that had been around for a while were the same either. This place changed people and...yes. It was scary. Sometimes it changed people too much. Sometimes, too little. The alien did fear change, this was true. He wanted to change, yet he also feared it. Fearing change wasn't like fearing something like being attacked though...being attacked, that could be prevented. Change couldn't really be prevented. It was like being afraid of...of air! Or of time! It was a fact of life and it would always be there. It was a needless fear. "The parts of this world that don't just become refreshed. I remember that Avalon used to be in bad shape when all of the magic was sucked out of it. Took some time for it to come back." So again, Judge Fear was insisting that good and bad were still just ideas. Even when paired with 'existence', nothing was inherently good or bad. It just was. "It's one thing to understand what you are saying and another to embrace it wholeheartedly, I guess. Nothing you are saying is wrong. Existence can't be labeled because it just is. But then...if it's not good or bad, how can it be a sin?" Existence was the reason behind the Judge's urges to purge living things, right? Because existence itself was a crime? But a crime would be bad.

    The alien flopped back onto the grass, continuing to think. Change was needed, usually. If Kev had never changed from the way he was when he first came, he would likely have died by now. Angered someone with his close-minded ways and been killed. Change was needed to live, was one way to look at it. Just like breathing or drinking water. You couldn't just stop it because it scared you. Still, embracing something as hard and painful as watching Mary die or the world being nuked...that seemed far away and difficult. Nothing was permanent...it was true, as nothing was meant to last forever. Only things that lasted forever could be considered permanent. He certainly wasn't permanent. But was Judge Fear permanent? Hmm...the alien glanced in the Judge's direction again. Still, the alien couldn't think of anything to necessarily ask, and so silence grew between them again.


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