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


    Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Share
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:01 am

    No answer on what he had done wrong. No opinion given, other than to belittle what he did say. Kev got started on the next five, glaring down at the grass. He didn't enjoy this at all, not the burning in his arms nor the Judge's tone. On and on he went, the alien apparently not counting loud enough, not going fast enough. His fingers clenched into the dirt as he counted a bit louder, finishing his fourth when the Judge suddenly upped it to ten.

    You wanted one answer?

    You wanted to know what he had done wrong?

    Fine.

    "What I did wrong was ever agreeing to do any of this!" He spat out vindictively, eyes stubborn on the grass. "Up, down, five!" He still had some push-ups to do, and he had a feeling that five more of them were going to get tacked on. Fine. Whatever. There was no pleasing the Judge. There was never any pleasing him.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:08 am

    Anger, mm...

    Anger was every much a motivator as it was a hindrance.

    "You are not thinking," the Dark Judge rasped. "You agreed to thisss jussst asss I had, cadet. Our fatesss are sssealed and I am determined to sssee thisss through, jussst asss you will." As for the alien needing an answer in order to quell his bubbling frustration... "I already gave it to you." Remember what he had said about not thinking, hmm? "Your dissspleasssure isss noted, cadet, but it isss unfortunately incorrect. Another five, and you now owe me ten." Think, Kev, think! You had the answer, you really did! Think back to the mere handful of seconds ago, before your despair and temper got the better of you.

    Level your head and think, because you were going to be doing push-ups until 0900 if you didn't. Do you honestly think yourself arrogant enough to call Judge Fear's bluff? As a certain demon once had the misery of discovering, the ghoul didn't know the meaning of the word.

    Do you want to suffer under a similar fate?
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:20 am

    Of course he wasn't thinking! When he thought, he was accused of not thinking! Now more than ever the alien wanted to just give up. No more. No more training, no more isolation from his friends, no more nightmares, no more mental exercises. He was fed up, he was tired, he was angry. Even when he tried his hardest to succeed at doing a very hard task, he managed to screw something up and it basically made everything useless! For every anthill he climbed over, he fell into a muddy pit. Why did he have to agree to this? Why did he decide to kill Ridley? Obviously he was better suited to just stay where he was before. Letting Ridley do whatever he wanted and idly fretting on the side. So their fates were sealed, were they? His count restarted, Kev continued even as his arms trembled beneath him.

    "Down, up, one. If our fates are really sealed...down, up, two. Then neither you nor I can ever break apart from this. Down, up, three...I'm afraid you sealed your fate with the wrong alien, sir." Yes, he had agreed to this, and once, he had been determined to see this through, to focus on the positives over the negatives. That had long since been beaten out of him. All he could see were the negatives, all he could see was the 'bad'...already gave it to him? Kev continued his count as he pondered. Technically the other two answers were not deemed incorrect.

    "Down, up, six. Was I supposed to hang my jacket up, sir?" He would start with his first answer.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:34 am

    "I'm afraid you sealed your fate with the wrong alien, sir."

    Was that so?

    Judge Fear didn't think so and he made no effort to soften his words. "And I'm afraid that you are being ssstupid," he quipped back. Wrong alien? Don't be so defeatist, boy. How many disasters had you weathered? How many "friends" did you lose? Did you quit then as you were trying to quit now, simply because the last three weeks had been oh so hard? Another tinny snort, another unsympathetic grumble. "I want thossse ten pusssh-upsss today, cadet." Technically, friend, one answer had been deemed incorrect. After all, had you not given two answers and received only five push-ups as a result?

    "Was I supposed to hang my jacket up, sir?"

    "A real rocket ssscientissst, you are." Good call. The ghoul didn't let on that he was pleased with Kev's answer, though his sour disposition did ease slightly. "That isss correct, cadet. I had indeed asssked you to hang up your jacket, not lay it on the ground like sssome lazy ssslug." If this was the right answer, that meant Kev's pull-ups had been done satisfactorily.

    A hardened, yellow fingernail pointed itself at the alien's discarded clothing. "You now have your anssswer. What mussst you do, cadet?"
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:47 am

    "Being stupid is my specialty, sir. Up, down, seven." After all, was it not the cause of all of this? Because he had been stupid enough to talk to the Judge, stupid enough to agree, stupid enough to befriend him? Stupid enough to-the alien paused, both mid push-up and mid thought, finding himself unable to complete it. Even while angry and upset, he couldn't bear to finish his thought. It was, in truth, likely correct from the point of view of others...but it was too mean. Too harsh. Too...stupid. And speaking of stupid...

    It turns out that the real cause for all of this...all of these push-ups was, in fact, because he did not hang his jacket up. "Up, down, nine. I thought you were giving a suggestion, not an order, sir. Did you want me to hang my jacket up on the branch of the tree I was about to do my pull-ups on? I thought it'd be easier to just place it, folded neatly, on the grass." Not realizing that he no longer needed to perform any pull-ups, he did his last one before standing back up and giving his arms a brief shake. It was always the pull-ups that caused problems...

    "You now have your anssswer. What mussst you do, cadet?"

    A mystery, truly. A mystery for the ages. Making his movements slow and deliberate, Kev reached down to pick up his jacket, unfolding it and holding the hat in his free hand. He turned on his heel and hung each article of clothing upon a branch.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:10 am

    Psychic energies bristled.

    With a lazy glance of his eyes, the Dark Judge for the moment quiet, his invisible fingers snatched at Kev's free-floating thoughts. Stupid, stupid, stupid... Is that what you truly believed, cadet? "Treesss have more than one branch," he hissed, watching Kev go about his business. And how on earth did the alien interpret an order as a suggestion? "I do not sssuggessst, cadet. I inssstruct. And my inssstruction had been for you to hang up your jacket and to do asss you were told." Nothing complicated about that, was there? But for some reason unbeknownst to the ghoul it had been. Why? "Mm... Your mind isss not in the here and now; you have missstaken apathy and numbnessss asss sssuitable coping mechanisssms. They could not be farther from the truth." Passion, cadet, passion. Revel in your teachings and hone your senses, embrace the ugliness of reality and rise stronger!

    "You are not here becaussse it isss easssier," he continued to hiss. You are here because you wanted to grow, to change. You are here because you wanted to become the individual responsible enough for slaying Ridley! Was it a harsh price, then, to ask for your innocence in return? Maybe it was and maybe it wasn't; this wasn't any of your concern. You did, after all, have a jacket to neatly put away.

    A heavy presence blanketed Kev as he did as he was told, the alien occupied with his task.

    Mm...

    As he was doing so, the Dark Judge made use of himself. Rotten hands stiffly removed the barbell and carried it over to a makeshift bench, where two large red buckets rested. Percy, Ossscar, Ssshally, a soft whisper called into the void. Three little bodies came running out from the woodwork at once, tiny feet and broad paws lightly treading atop virgin earth. Easily the largest of the pets, Percy wobbily hopped into one bucket while Oscar and Shally leaped into the other. Metus watched with curious eyes, his pointed ears swiveling. "It isss time for your bench pressss," Judge Fear hissed, looking over a shoulder. "Asss with before, give me three sssetsss of ten, five sssecond pausssesss in the down posssition in-between. I will ssspot you." There was also something... else.

    While the alien complied and assumed the position, fingers wrapping themselves around the barbell's foam grips, an order danced on the tip of the ghoul's tongue. "Your thought," came an icy hiss. Grotesque talons hovered above Kev's head, ready to catch the bar should his arms falter. "Finisssh it, cadet. That isss an order, not a sssuggessstion."

    In case you were confused.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:34 am

    Mmm...suppose the Judge had a fair point. Everything he had commanded up to this point had been firm instructions. Everything from the way Kev performed an exercise to how he did it to what he did during the day. The very first day, he had made a similar mistake that cost him warmth. So then why did he brush off the instruction about his jacket? Perhaps because it seemed inconsequential. Apparently the placement of his jacket was very, very important. Judge Fear seemed to think that the apathy and numbness that had gripped the alien was to blame. Perhaps it was. "I don't know what to tell you, sir. I am doing what I must to get through this." He was barely hanging on as it was, hanging by the skin of his metaphorical teeth. He needed to be apathetic and numb, because being hopeful got him nowhere, and neither had hatred or sorrow. What emotion could possibly be left to try to use as fuel?

    He was not here because it was easier, of course. Because nothing in life could be easy. Nothing in life could be kind. He had come to change, and change he had. Already he was changing, or so it felt like he was. The alien wasn't particularly happy with this change in mood, he knew that if he were to leave the cottage like this, he'd hurt his friends somehow, and he had tried as hard as he could to reign it in when Livewire had visited yesterday. Kev felt the heavy presence, but did nothing about it, merely tending to his jacket and hat before turning around to find the makeshift bench press being prepared. Two buckets attached to yet another bar, a dog in one and a dog and cat sharing the other. The alien gave a nod before he shimmied into position, grasping the rubber grips as before. Three sets of ten, five second pauses...as before. Though before he could lift the bar, Judge Fear suddenly hissed an order. He ordered the alien to finish his thought, the thought he himself had stopped.

    "..." Kev stared back up at the Judge, seeming a bit scared at first before it melted into a dull look, raising the bar unsteadily before he pulled it back down and held the position, counting in his head. "Hngh...! I was thinking, sir. That I was the one who was stupid enough to...care about you, like this. Up, down...to care too much about what you say and how you say it. About disappointing you and wasting your time, which I am. Two." His subsequent press had a bit more passion to it. "You should have just killed me from the very beginning and saved us both a lot of trouble. Up, down...three."


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:00 am

    I am doing what I can to get through this...

    Strangely, the Dark Judge had a less than thrilled opinion of these dull, senseless words. "With that thought, cadet," he hissed, mulling things over, "you will never get far. You are denying, not accepting. There isss a difference, mm..." How many good Judges had succumbed to their darkest fears, collecting a paycheck and eventually losing sight of what it meant to uphold the law? How many do you think, Kev? "You claim that you wisssh to get through thisss, but do you really? I wonder, cadet... If it doesss not work for Montiago then what makesss you think that it ssshall work for you?"

    Hope, anger, sorrow... None of these emotions were sustainable fuel. How could they be? Hope was the greatest evil of all, anger led to hatred, and sorrow brought nothing but self-loathing and tears. Why would anyone place so much faith in them? You may not be happy, cadet, but life was not always about happiness.

    Nor sadness, as well.

    "Hngh...! I was thinking, sir. That I was the one who was stupid enough to...care about you, like this."

    One.

    "To care too much about what you say and how you say it. About disappointing you and wasting your time, which I am."

    Two.

    "You should have just killed me from the very beginning and saved us both a lot of trouble."

    Three.

    "And you honessstly believe all of thisss?" Such a sorry state of mind. The Dark Judge shook his helm and allowed Kev to focus on his exercise in relative peace. For a moment, that is. These thoughts could not go unaddressed forever. "You cannot wassste my time, cadet, for it isss infinite," he hissed. Let's walk through this slowly, hmm? "And if you were indeed wasssting my time, asss you believe, then do you sssincerely think that I would bother ssstaying three monthsss with you, ssspending nearly every waking moment to ensssure your gradual transssformation? I may be a patient ssspirit of the law, cadet, but I am hardly a sssaint." And that was the honest truth. "And my wordsss," Judge Fear continued. "They are jussst that: wordsss. Harsssh they may be and cruel, they are nothing more than an old Judge'sss bark. Do not let them disssturb you, cadet. You are ssstronger than that." And lastly...

    You should have killed me...

    Ancient joints popped as the ghoul's bony fingers danced with temptation. How easy it would be, mm... To reach down and strangle the alien where he lied. "Kill you and achieve what?" he demanded to know. Suppose the Dark Judge did grant your request for mercy right here and now, Kev. What then? You would only turn to code and thus be of little use, wouldn't you? That scenario also didn't account for your friends' rage. "You are asssking for sssomething I cannot grant you. Not now, cadet." The easy route is what you sought. Why should you have it? "Our fatesss are sssealed, mm... We can only continue forward and sssee where thisss path takesss usss. Continue with your ssset, cadet. It will sssoon be time for your choresss."
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Fri Feb 13, 2015 6:08 pm

    "I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do." Kev's arms wavered for a moment, muscles threatening to abruptly drop the bar and the animals along with it, though right when the trembling was enough to jostle the buckets, his arms stiffened again. He pushed up. "Up. Down. All I can do is what you say, finish these exercises day in and day out. Some of it is...too much. Four. More than anything, I wish none of this affected me. Yet it does, and I can either feel it or not feel it. Not feeling it is better." Kev did pause at the use of the name Montiago, glancing upwards at his spotter, seeing mostly groin. Mmm...this route did not work for Sonia, yes. It only made things worse. How could it even begin to work for himself? "It doesn't need to work for me, it just needs to keep me afloat for long enough." He could not accept these things, they were too hard and heavy to accept. Up, down. Five.

    "I do." Things were silent for a moment, the alien getting a couple more reps finished before the Judge spoke once more, the alien stiffening his arms to pause in his pressing. The Judge insisted that his time was infinite, this sounded familiar. He also insisted that if this was truly wasting his time, he would not even bother spending three months here, helping him through this. Indeed, the Judge was not a saint. Patient, but not a saint. "You're not a saint, but you are loyal. Too loyal." Words are just words, cadet. Words are nothing, words mean nothing. "I'm not stronger than that, I thought I could be, but I'm not." Those words hurt, but it was more than the words that hurt...the mental exercises hurt, and the fact that Judge Fear was the source of it, creating those things. First set of ten reps done, the alien held up his bar for the Judge to take, rubbing his arms once he'd taken it and wincing. Two more sets to go...his arms felt almost like they were going to float right off of his shoulders.

    "You are asssking for sssomething I cannot grant you. Not now, cadet."

    "And why not? I'm a living sinner, you can kill me right now. I've broken many laws, I'm a hardened criminal." Just kill him and cease this pain. Death was supposed to be given as a mercy, right? "As for what it would achieve, I'm sure it'd make you feel better. You wouldn't have to deal with me for a week." Wouldn't that be nice? Not have to deal with a needy, annoying, emotional alien? Wouldn't that be better? Mmm...but Judge Fear was stubborn, and if he wasn't going to kill him now, he wasn't going to kill him at all during this training session. The alien reached for the bar again and lifted it up before bringing it back down, holding it above himself for the five seconds as needed. "Up, down...I'm trying to go forward. It's harder than I thought it would be, sir. One." And for as much talking as he was doing, he knew he couldn't just stop this. He would go forward with all of this. He was just unsure if he'd end up alright in the end...he sighed, but continued. He had a full set, and 9 more reps to go. Chores were next, and at least chores would be some nice reprieve.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Fri Feb 13, 2015 8:13 pm

    I don't know what to do...

    Ah, the mantra of many a young cadet.

    "And do you value apathy ssso much higher than truth?" Think upon this carefully, friend. "To not feel," began the Dark Judge, "isss to sssuccumb entirely. The truth, cadet, isss never apathetic. It isss both dissstressss and comfort. It isss impartial. Thisss training hurtsss you, yesss. It painsss you down to your very core. There are daysss where you have, and will, continue to quessstion your judgement in thisss affair, jussst asss there are daysss where you have, and will, continue to quessstion your exissstence. Thisss, cadet, isss natural." Though it was a Judge's sworn duty to uphold the law and to seldom ponder such a mundane occurrence that plagued millions each day. Fortunately for the alien, this was not his fate.

    It just needs to keep me afloat...

    Familiar. Somewhat.

    "You are ssseeking an imperfect, temporary sssolution for an otherwissse indomitable, eternal foe," Judge Fear replied with an even rasp. "For ssstartersss, cadet, let usss reflect on how you managed to sssurvive the firssst three weeksss. You mussscled through it and told yourssself that thingsss will be better. Thisss isss a lie to yourssself. Never lie to yourssself. When a Judge beginsss lying to themssselvesss and compromisssesss their judgement, they are no longer fit to carry their badge. You may not be training to become a Judge, cadet, but you ssshould alwaysss remain faithful to thyssself, mm... Liesss will not sssee you through thisss. Liesss will only deny you the growth and underssstanding you need in order to continue forward. That isss why, cadet, it isss harder for you to cope with a change in your exercisssesss. One coping mechanisssm cannot be usssed universssally." It was the same for life, wasn't it? No two days were the same, no matter how similar they may seem. "Ssstaying afloat from day-to-day isss folly; you will eventually ssstumble acrossss a day that you cannot ignore, and when you finally do..." The ghoul shook his helm. "Everything you have ssstrived for will come tumbling down." Such was the price of ignorance.

    I'm not stronger than that...

    Rotten hands gripped at the barbell as Kev momentarily relinquished it, Judge Fear appearing to not at all be bothered by its weight. Percy glanced over his beefy shoulder happily, while both Oscar and Shally had already lapsed into a tight, content snuggle. None felt imperiled. "Maybe you are not," he hissed after some unspoken thoughts. "And currently you will not be, if you let your doubtsss and fearsss govern your exissstence. Putting yourssself down won't get you very far, mm... You mussst ressspect yourssself. For, if you do not ressspect yourssself, how will you ever ressspect any caussse? Where ssshall the basssisss of belief sssprout? How will you nourisssh it with only dessspair and ssself-loathing?" No Judge, the undead fiend didn't care how guilty, was worth their weight in salt if they didn't place respect in both themselves and the law.

    "And why not? I'm a living sinner, you can kill me right now. I've broken many laws, I'm a hardened criminal. As for what it would achieve, I'm sure it'd make you feel better. You wouldn't have to deal with me for a week."

    "Mm..."

    This was true, yes. Judge Fear was, as was Judge Death, a hypocrite. Oh what a terrible, terrible word... What a terrible, nasty word. But it was nevertheless the truth, and the Dark Judge had far too much self-respect to lie to himself. "You are a sssinner, that I cannot deny," was the tentative answer. "But be that it may that I can purge you at my leisssure... I have decided that it isss not yet your time. Sssoon, cadet, sssoon. I will not renege on our original agreement and I will not ssshow you leniency forever. Eventually, you will come to me and asssk for death. And on that fated day, whenever it may be, I will humbly grant it. Thisss much I judicially promissse." As for making the Dark Judge feel better about killing the alien now? That earned a guttural chortle.

    "Hmph! Ssshould I have the ressstraint of a rookie, of courssse. But my well-being isss nothing in the grand ssscheme of thingsss, mm... I am a Judge, cadet, and I am sssworn to my duty. From now unto eternity. That isss the oath I willingly accepted all thossse many, many yearsss ago. What isss a week compared to a millennia?" What is time to the accursed undead?

    A hardened fingernail lowered itself between the alien's eyes, gently poking. "Ssshouldn't you be more worried about what you have power over, cadet? Sssuch asss finissshing thisss exercissse and ssskipping off to complete your daily chore?"

    That Kev, needlessly fretting.

    It's harder than I thought would be...

    Pardon him, friend. Judge Fear couldn't help but loudly snort! "Well, what did you think thisss wasss? Boy Ssscoutsss?" he jeered lightheartedly. "I told you that it would be hard, cadet. I told you that ssseveral timesss, in fact. The progressss needed to understake persssonal change isss ssseldom easssy, asss isss proper. Remember: nothing worth ssstruggling for isss earned on a sssilver platter. You will sssuffer, mm... and you will dance dangerousssly clossse to your precipice. In thisss, cadet, you are not alone. And you will not be alone once you have finally overcome; to rissse above and at lassst tassste the product of your toilsss. It isss a great tassste, admittedly." Some food for thought, yes?
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Fri Feb 13, 2015 9:50 pm

    ...Truth? "What truth, sir?" It was the first thing he could think of to ask, before pondering the Judge's own question. "I do not value this apathy. It would be quite conflicting to value something and be apathetic, yes?" With that slight bit of smart-arsery aside, the alien did pause in his lifting to consider the Judge's words. Whatever the truth was, it was not something that was apathetic. Nor could it presumably be found by being apathetic. Instead, the truth was just like life, just like everything the Judge ever told him about; capable of both comfort and distress. You can't have one without the other, he endlessly said. You could not understand either of them without experiencing them. It sounded pretty typical of Portal Breach, the land that gave and took. Existence, it seems, was built around such a conflicting thing. This was supposed to be natural. "Natural...I suppose." After all, even Judge Fear was not exempt from questioning his own existence. But then, why did things just have to be that way? Why couldn't things be different, why couldn't all suffering be forgotten and taken away? Perhaps because it was too hard to do so...just in the effort to get rid of Ridley, all of this was thrust upon him. If he decided to get rid of every wrong, every potential for suffering...it was impossible.

    Kev performed his reps as the Judge critiqued Kev's method of surviving. "At the time, I did not think it was a lie. I thought perhaps that things would get better as I went along, as I got used to everything." A lie it may have been, but not one he intended. The alien sincerely thought that with time he could be used to everything, understand everything. Hope and lies could not get him through this, and neither could apathy or anger. "Then...then what should I do, sir? If being hopeful, lying to myself, getting angry, and becoming apathetic are all wrong...what is left? I need something, sir. I need something...to anchor myself to." His grip tightened on the bar before he released it for Fear to take, staring upwards and seeming very...lost. It felt as though everything he had ever used to keep himself going in the past had been snatched away, every motivator and every bit of fuel he once had was gone. How did one keep going? ...How did Judge Fear keep going?

    "Doubts and fears are part of being alive, sir." At least, he always thought so. Fear had been festered among his people, whether it was fear of the unknown, fear of aliens, or fear of death. Surely, the Judge would have had a grand old time on his planet. Some fears, however, could be conquered, as could some doubts. "I have seen many people deconstruct when they were left with just self-loathing and despair...even the words of loved ones meant nothing at that time. I don't want to go that way...I want to succeed, and find a reason to respect myself, sir. By doing this, by completing it. By coming out of it a better person." But we don't always get what we want. "I feel that I am going to fail this..."

    Any time in the past, and this verdict of 'no killing' would have made him a very relieved and happy alien. As it was now, being given this verdict didn't do much. It didn't make him angry, and it didn't make him happy. It didn't even make him sad. He merely accepted it. "Mm...make sure I'm buried in the hunter green vest." One day he would die, as all mortal beings die. Eternity was not in his plans, nor could it ever be. Eternity was...too much weight. Like a great yoke upon one's back, the years would pile up until one day, one was pinned to the ground. A week, a millennia...the Judge was very selfless, to put aside his wants and desires for the sake of the law. The alien fell into silence as he continued his reps, though his eyes crossed when a nail came down to poke between his eyes. Mm, the Judge was fond of poking there, wasn't he? "I am on it, sir. As fast as I can go, without ripping my muscles from the bone." Such an attractive snort as well. "And I told you that I was afraid of how hard this may be. I knew it was hard but I still never imagined..." Struggle was a part of life, nothing worth working for was easy. But hadn't he struggled enough? Hadn't he suffered enough? It wasn't fair, and life wasn't fair, and that was precisely why the Judge should just reach his hands down and rip his heart right out--

    "In thisss, cadet, you are not alone. And you will not be alone once you have finally overcome; to rissse above and at lassst tassste the product of your toilsss. It isss a great tassste, admittedly."

    "..." Still persistent in his reps, the alien's gaze softened as he considered the words. He would not be alone in this, once he had finally finished everything...and the Judge insisted that rising above all of this suffering would make for a very great reward. The product of his toils, the very crux of his struggling would make for something that would be great. Of course, it would make for greatness and woe. The world would be nuked, and at the cost of Ridley's death. Still...to kill Ridley would be satisfying. To bring him down and remove his filth from the world. To keep him from ever harming anyone again. He wanted it, yes. But could it be worth this? Would it all be worth it, in the end? Things would not be better...but the end results would be. Kev continued his reps, only pausing for breath and to relieve his muscles after the next set of ten had been complete. Afterwards, he started again, and the alien did not say much else. Rest assured, however, that Judge Fear's words had not gone unheard. After the last chant of 'up, down, ten', the alien held the bar up for the Judge to take for the last time today. "What are my chores for today?" Hopefully nothing that needed his arms...


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:01 am

    "If you do not value apathy then why are you bothering with it?" An honest question, surely.

    Kev's cheekiness had not gone unheard and a leathery palm slapped itself across that scaly head. Halfheartedly, of course. A strike at full force would have seen the alien reeling right to the moon. "It isss conflicting to hear sssomeone desssire ssstrength yet buckle when the going getsss tough," was the candid response. Why this, why that, why anything! It was enough to make the Dark Judge tear out his many grotesque eyes. "Better, mm... Thingsss do not become better sssimply becaussse we hope them to be, cadet. Thingsss become better through conviction; through your actionsss. Or worssse, if you ssso choossse." Inaction was as every much as viable as its counterpart.

    "Then...then what should I do, sir? If being hopeful, lying to myself, getting angry, and becoming apathetic are all wrong...what is left? I need something, sir. I need something...to anchor myself to."

    "Bah, all thessse quessstionsss! All thessse ssself-defeating beliefsss! It isss like you are a firssst year cadet," Judge Fear rasped. He accepted the barbell when offered and continued, "I've been there, yesss. Long ago, even before you were a twinkle in your ancessstorsss' eyesss. Thingsss are too hard, you sssay. Thingsss are too impossssible, you sssay. Well maybe they are! But ssso what? You going to roll over and die sssimply becaussse you cannot face the factsss? No, that would be lawful and mortalsss do not think logically. You are all an iniquitousss lot." Wait, where was he...? Oh yes, yes. "Eh... you think I liked going through all thisss crap, ssseven daysss a week, 365, for fifteen long yearsss?" he asked. Don't answer, because that was a rhetorical question. "My brothersss and I didn't have a choice, cadet. Our livesss were sssigned away, thrown to a sssyssstem ssso corrupt that it sssaw honessst men and women of the law pulverized on a daily basssisss. A judicial cleanssse wasss the only option left to sssave Deadworld'sss integrity, mm... A thanklessss job and one I relissshed, but it wasss ssstrenuousss neverthelessss."

    Sacrifices, Kev, sacrifices.

    "I feel that I am going to fail this..."

    More pathetic talk! "With an attitude like that, cadet, you will. You're going about all of thisss the wrong way." This was Judge Fear's honest opinion, anyhow. Waving a rotten hand around while hoisting the barbell as if it were made of feathers, the ghoul wasn't about to call it quits. "Revenge, pah! Revenge isss a fool'sss quessst, mm... It can be a motivator, certainly, but it will damn you in the end. Mark my wordsss, cadet. It will damn you like it hasss damned my sssuperior. He never got to drive the final nail in our foesss' coffinsss." Wherever you were, Death, you must have had a bone to pick thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis thick, ha ha!

    Ridley, Ridley, Ridley... Always with that wretched space dragon. Space dragon... What an absurd thing! Then again, so too were undead fiends hellbent on annihilating all life, no? "You imagined, yesss. But you did not regissster, mm... There isss a difference, cadet." Details were important, savvy?

    Like now, for example.

    "You ssstill don't get it, do you?" the Dark Judge hissed. Again he shook his helm, again he stared directly ahead, gaze vacant. "Your thoughtsss are open to me like any musssty tome; Ridley, cadet, isss not what you ssseek. You asssked what isss a sssuitable tether - an anchor. Ssstrangely you have interpreted my previoussss wordsss asss an underssstanding that ssslaying the ssspace dragon will alleviate your woesss. It will not, for there will alwaysss be another Ridley to take hisss place. You are focusssing on the wrong thing, mm..." So, what should the alien be focusing on instead? "Mm..." The sound of ancient thought slowly churning bonemeal into wizened advice. Give him a moment, will you? This didn't always coming easy when you had purging constantly on the mind. "Mm, I do not believe in babying you, cadet. You ought to dissscover the anssswer for yourssself," Judge Fear decided. That was part of the journey! Corpse fingers grasped tightly and Kev was soon freed of his burden. Percy waddled out from his pail with all the grace of a drunken monkey, while both Oscar and Shally were far too deep into their afternoon nap to really be bothered. As for the barbell itself, the ghoul rested it behind his head and let his arms wrap around it from the back, dangling. "Your chore for the day isss relatively sssimple," he hissed, glancing down at the alien. "Your garden isss an eyesssore, cadet. Clean it up and take pride in your work. I will not tolerate a lazy ssslug on the premisssesss, I do hope I have made myssself clear."

    What else, what else... It felt like he was - oh yes! With a deft twirl of his broad hands and a rigid creak of his bony hips, the Dark Judge spun the barbell around and slipped one end beneath the bench. That's right, the one Kev was currently resting upon.

    WHOMP!

    Oopsie-doodles~!

    It rolled over with a jerky and sudden force, surely moving the alien to get on his feet. "Up, up, up!" Judge Fear commanded, tone quite happy. "You can't hope to manicure a garden while lying on your back, hmm? No, no. You certainly cannot. Three hoursss, cadet. That'sss how much I can extend my generosssity. Make that garden ssshine." Kudos if you actually made it shine.

    Instruction given, it was time to leave the alien to his work. Though, hmm... Was reminding Kev of his duty what he had forgotten? No that didn't seem - oh yes! This time he remembered. Judge Fear glanced over a shoulder, pausing in his shambling gait.

    "I don't know." That's all he said before hobbling away, out of the accursed sun and no longer in sight. Well, cadet?

    That garden isn't going to polish itself!
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:22 am

    Now who was asking 'why'? "I don't know. It is just how I feel right now. ...Maybe I do value it, a little. You have to admit that emotions can be...troublesome." They need only look at those mental exercises to understand that. Leathery palm found soft scales and the alien hissed, more out of discomfort then pain. Someone didn't like cheekiness... "This isn't 'just tough'. This is exhausting, and painful, and completely overwhelming at times. Maybe I'm just not meant to be strong." Kev only seemed to bristle at the Judge's explanation. "I've been acting, sir. I have been putting my all into this. Day in and day out I'm doing this, I'm being active, I'm pushing forward. I've been trying to make it better, to be better." And in the end, he had nothing to show for it.

    Judge Fear wrote:"You going to roll over and die sssimply becaussse you cannot face the factsss?"

    "Yes." Came the blunt answer. He sure was trying at least, you were the one who was refusing to do it, Judge Fear. More rhetorical questions, questions he wasn't meant to answer. "No, I'm pretty sure you did not enjoy it, sir." He listened to Judge Fear's brief life story, yes, it was a trying one. Again, how did the Judge meander on with all of this? Knowing that he had been forced into this, brainwashed into performing such deeds? Well, the easy answer was that the Judge didn't think he was brainwashed. By no means, was Fear's life easy. Kev was definitely not going to diminish that. Did Kev's training pale in comparison to Fear's? Most likely. Didn't mean Kev wasn't still struggling with this, and struggling hard. He was not a Judge.

    "I know I am, so please...tell me what way I'm supposed to go with this." You were the guide, weren't you Fear? Show him where to go. Show him what he needed to continue. Revenge, according to Fear, was a motivator that would only damn him in the end. The alien huffed an annoyed sigh. "You do realize you were the one who pointed out how I wanted revenge on him? Reminded me of all that he was going to do and pointing out how someone needed to stop him? I was fine not to get revenge on him before...well. Not fine. But I didn't think about it. I had shoved that away." Ignored it, which of course, was apparently very bad. But the Judge could not just reawaken his need for vengeance and then say 'hey revenge is bad'. Hmm...he imagined, yet did not register. He understood, yet did not embrace. The alien shook his head, no he did not get it. Not right now. Again, the Judge insisted that Ridley was not his answer, was not what he sought. Kev sure hoped not, that dragon wasn't attractive enough to be actively sought after. Still, he awaited the wise answer of his instructor, to hear what it was he should be focusing on...only to be told that he needed to do it himself. Another weary sigh. "Alright, but don't get mad at me if you don't like my answer." Least he could do, what with him not giving him any answers and only hints. Mysterious, sometimes aggravating...that was his Judge in a nutshell. Perhaps the spiritual exercises would give him some answers...they always seemed to do a good job of making him feel better at least.

    The bar was taken away, removed by the Judge and one dog exited a bucket. The other two were content to nap, it seems. Kev stayed laying down for a moment, merely peering up at the Judge as he was given his chore. Gardening. He could do this. "Crystal, sir. Crystal." Suddenly there was a blur of action and activity, and Kev found himself rolling onto the grass. "Nya-?!" His head snapped back up to stare at the Judge. Did he...did he tip him like some sort of cow? "I will, sir. Of course, sir. My mistake. Sir." Rassa frassa, rassa frassa! Kev picked himself up off of the grass, brushing away leaves, grass and a bit of dirt, before he blinked at the Judge's retreating form. "What, sir?" What didn't he know? The alien stared after him for a moment, eyes narrowing before he turned to walk to the greenhouse. He had work to do.

    ---
    Three hours of work later, and the alien sat his bruuka down on the ground of the greenhouse, huffing and puffing. Thick gardening gloves were still on his hands, dirt splattered all over it. The greenhouse had been tended to, beginning with the plants. Any weeds were pulled and removed, the flowers were watered and given some fresh manure. The shelves had been cleaned and cleared away of any stray bits of dirt or leaking water, anything that was dying was tossed out, and he'd even given the glass walls of the house a wiping until the sun shined through. It felt...nice, to work with the plants like this. To be near them and feel them, take a brief sniff of them. If there was any constant in his life, it had been working with plants. There was a comfort to be found in tending to the greenhouse, exhausting as it was. The Judge was due to reappear soon and do his judging.


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."
    avatar
    Fear
    Exabyte

    Exabyte

    Posts : 1261
    Join date : 2013-09-04
    Location : The comfort of a grave
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    65/65  (65/65)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Fear on Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:52 am

    "And how you feel isss in a conssstant ssstate of flux, yesss?" Emotions could be troublesome; there was no argument from the Dark Judge's end. But to let them dictate your existence and override your logical judgement? "Or maybe you are jussst doing whatever you can to ssstay afloat," Judge Fear evenly hissed. Do you remember those words, hmm? Which one was it, cadet? Were you doing whatever you could to stay afloat, or where you truly giving it your all? You could only be one or the other, never both.

    "Yes."

    You couldn't see it right now without dying, Kev, but there were several eyes narrowing. The Dark Judge was your guide, yes. But what proper guide would Judge Fear be if he simply gave you all the answers? "To give you the truth you ssseek would be to rob you of your ssstrugglesss," he answered. "I am not here to do all the work for you, cadet. That all ressstsss on your ssshouldersss." And what is this backtalk!? "Sss... Do not try my patience, cadet. You know very well that you wouldn't have been fine with the ssspace dragon'sss continued exissstence. It ate away at your very core, mm... You were not happy that othersss turned a blind eye, that othersss ssseemingly wanted nothing to do with Ridley. But you did, didn't you? You challenged him, yesss. You dared to rissse up and for that, cadet, you were punissshed. Death had been your reward." Again and again Kev refused to see reason. Again and again Kev refused to learn. To embrace! Judge Fear was not wholly angry, no. But he was certainly aware of his rising irritation with the alien's indifference.

    "Ssshoving thingsss underneath a rug isss not a sssuitable coping mechanisssm, cadet," he rasped flatly. "Do you want to end up like the othersss? Do you want to end up like Montiago? Ssso ssselfisssh are you... he who doesss not bother to look three ssstepsss passst hisss own ridge of a nossse. Pull that green melon out from your non-exissstent buttocksss."

    Bloody first year cadets... Always asking for handouts and not being self-sufficient. Judge Fear may have all the time known to eternity itself, but he had better things to occupy himself with than to babysit an alien who couldn't apply his teachings.

    Go garden, cadet. It will be time for your mental exercises quite soon.



    "Mm..." Fast forward to the present, where a rotten finger swiped itself down a glass pane.

    In the midst of Kev's glasshouse stood a pensive Dark Judge, the helmeted ghoul going about his rounds as any critical appraiser would. Fresh manure, check. Glass spotless enough to see his own sinister reflection, check. No more unseemly weeds and debris, check. A pity he couldn't read the thoughts of vegetation, though Judge Fear ought to consider himself fortunate. Corpse feet made for terrible company! "If thisss isss the bessst you can mussster, cadet..." In other words: Kev passed. Inspection concluded, he turned around with a bone-chilling rattle of his many chains. "Right, then. Sssuppose you'll be wanting sssussstenance for your hard work." Mortals, pah. "Lunch isss on the counter, in the usssual bowlsss. Today'sss menu isss grilled sssalmon, a fresssh green sssalad, avocadosss, and a sssmall helping of berriesss. Water hasss already been provided. Metusss, there isss need for you."

    At once the Great Dane came running out, his muscular frame a glorious sight to behold. "Woof!" Friend, how nice to see you! Are you hungry? Come! I have been a good boy and didn't sneak a lick.

    "Thirty minutesss, cadet, thirty minutesss," the Dark Judge reminded.
    avatar
    Kev
    Moderator

    Moderator

    Posts : 2426
    Join date : 2010-04-06
    Age : 58
    Location : Lovers' meadow/225 Broadband Boulevard
    Level : 60

    Character Sheet
    Defense Bar:
    0/0  (0/0)
    Health Bar:
    650/650  (650/650)
    Stamina Bar:
    120/120  (120/120)

    Re: Nascence [Week 4 - 6]

    Post by Kev on Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:36 am

    "Yes. It is." Quite annoying, really, for it to be in such a state of flux. The alien's head tilted to the side. "The apathy is intended to keep me afloat, but I have been putting everything I can into doing this, sir. I have. I didn't need to keep myself afloat so much before." The alien was practically pushing himself to the grind in order to do everything Fear dictated, to complete all of his commands. And still, he failed, such as with that stupid, stupid jacket. Mmm...as if Kev was not already struggling. Was not already doing as much work as he could. What did he think the alien was doing throughout all of this, kicking his heels up and sipping some alcohol?!

    His fists clenched, eyes scrunched tightly, but he refused to speak, allowing Judge Fear to continue. The Judge had a good point. A great point. No, Kev would not have been happy with Ridley's continued existence. At the time, he figured his own unhappiness was inconsequential. As long as everybody else was happy, what he felt was nothing. Right? Except...no. It didn't feel like nothing. Even as his instructor was getting irritated, the alien decided to be a bit humble, and nod his head at the Judge. "You have given me a chance that no one else could." Though Judge Fear was quick to point out that Kev had had his chance for revenge, a chance that had failed. "Exactly. I dared to rise up, my punishment was death. So I shoved my feelings aside. But to do that was wrong. Addressing my feelings is wrong, hiding my feelings is wrong. If I don't address them and I don't hide them, and you insist that revenge is wrong, what do I do with this need for revenge that I feel?" Just rip it out, tear it out. Slowly, the alien shook his head. "I don't want to be like Sonia." Sonia was so hurt, so desperate, in such despair...unable to see. Was he...unable to see? Is that what he was implying? Selfish? He stared after the Judge, mind numbed and hardened with hurt. Some of the things the Judge said just were not connecting. Like a wire was missing. There was work to be done.
    ---
    The alien began to pull his gloves off once the Dark Judge finished his judgement. "I will try harder next time, sir." The alien rubbed at the small of his back, and stretched his arms around before laying his gloves on a hook where they were meant to go. Sustenance? "If it is time for lunch, then I will consume it." His head did tilt as the Judge recited the menu. Salmon, salad, avocados, and a side of berries? "Mmm..." The noise was perhaps the first pleased noise Kev had made all day. He inclined his head to Judge Fear. "Thank you, sir." Metus was called out and the alien stepped out of the greenhouse to join him, though he glanced back with a wary look. Thirty minutes... "Yes, sir. I will not be late." Inside of the cottage he went, finding the bowls on the counter and sitting at the table to consume them. The berries were quite good, smelling much like the fragrances he liked so much. The salad and avocados were also rather to his liking, and the salmon was definitely...fish. Seafood was always something that was a bit stranger to him. Still, he consumed his food and drank his water, cleaning the bowls thoroughly. As the minutes ticked by, he found himself getting tense. Mental exercises, just like every other day. No reason to be scared. Just relax, Kev.

    He really wanted to hide and never come out, but he knew punishment would be swift if he were late, let alone if he attempted to skip this session. Taking a deep, steady breathe in, the alien wandered back outside of the cottage, looking for the area where Judge Fear would be waiting. Waiting to conduct his next exercises...


    _________________
    "I'm Kev, and I speak through the power of telepathy. It is represented by italics and the color code #33CC66."

      Current date/time is Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:51 pm