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


    Of Ducks and Men

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    Fear
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    Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:20 pm

    Time: Afternoon
    Date: May 15, 0006



    Blech, what a wretched day this was... The sun was out; the birds were singing; the insects, with their colourful wings and lazy dips and bobs, were flitting about in the air without a concern for whoever was in their path... Ugh! It was just wretched all around. And would you just look at all this green, green grass? Rotten toes wiggled into the plush vegetation, a hand futilely shooing away wandering butterflies. "Remind me... why did I insssisssst on visssiting the park, again?" Ah, right. Because it would cheer up someone's spirits - and here's a hint, they weren't his. Chains rattled as the darkest thing in the area at last found a worthy enough park bench to accommodate their derrieres. And would you look at that, they had a front row seat to all those greedy ducks near the pond over yonder!

    "Ahh..." Old joints came to rest and an invisible pressure was alleviated from a spine long overdue for an unexpected snapping. These over-sized mantraps were incredibly heavy, eh wot? A large bag of seed rested upon Kev's lap, the booze in his hands a sufficient exchange. "I'll be taking that," Judge Fear hissed. What was he going to do with seed? Rotten fingers made little work of a bottle's cap, twisting it off ease and a satisfying - pop! It was great not needing a bottle opener.

    Do you smell that, Kev? Do you smell that fragrant, sweet, tangy aroma?

    Another twist and another pop, a second bottle offered to the alien. "Here you are, mate. Try thisss and take sssome edge off. I think you will enjoy it." Wait, wasn't he forgetting...? "Oh, right. It'sss ginger beer and the good kind, with jussst enough kick to sssatisssfy your thirsssst. Quite refressshing, if I can recall correctly. But do try not to imbibe too quickly or too much - thisss variety isss alcoholic." Oops! Drinking booze in a park, ha ha! Not like there was a sign out there prohibiting it. And have no fear, Kev! The ghoul looked around in his many belt pockets and produced a little paper cup for you. It was little so you didn't proceed to get shit-faced, alright? Oh, and a straw, though that was for him. Can't be killing all the duckies with a careless gaze, now! He inserted it into his fizzy drink with a heavy - plunk - and got to happily sipping away. He'll remember what ginger beer actually tastes like in a moment, when Kev has his first sip. For now, however, it was time to talk uncomfortable business.

    "Ssso..." Always pleasant to begin a weighty discussion as thus. A leathery finger set aside his straw to make for better conversation. Right, um... how to begin? Maybe it was best to start gently. Yes, gent - "How are you feeling after Ssstevensss pretty much massshed your face into the figurative dirt and treated you like a ssstranger?"

    For every step forward...
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:08 pm

    "Because you wanted to cheer me up?" Kev reminded gently, as he kept pace beside the lanky corpse. Frankly, it was working. To just be here, in nature and among the gentle creatures, with the sun shining down upon them and onto his scales. Kev idly watched the butterfly flutter by, only to be waved away by Fear. Birds chirped among the trees, the entire area was green...the alien felt right at home among all of this nature and green-ness. It all felt very...pleasant. Peaceful. As though the alien could curl up in the grass and feel safe and sound. Kev followed behind Fear as they snagged up a nice wooden bench to sit at, one right in the perfect spot to gaze at the ducks. Look at those floaty little things...just floating in the water without a care in the world. Ah, to be a quack-quack...

    The alien sat down beside the Judge, blinking in surprise when something was set in his lap at about the same time that Fear took the bottles. A little exchange of items, as it was. Kev peered down and opened the bag, withdrawing a handful of seed curiously. Aha, so this was how they were going to feed the ducks. He had been wondering...the alien chucked the seeds forward for the ducks to come, and come they did! Waggling their tails and gobbling it up greedily, they turned their gazes back to Kev and gathered around his feet.

    Quack quack quack!

    He withdrew another handful and sprinkled it down to them again, before folding the bag up. This time, he ignored the quacks and focused on Fear, who had opened up a bottle. Kev sniffed the air lightly, hm...it smelled sweet! Kinda tangy...a fruit drink of some kind? He took the second bottle as offered, bring it up to his nostrils to sniff again. Hmm... Smelled...alcoholic-? Ah, it was ginger beer! He glanced to Fear with a raised brow, but accepted it all the same. It shouldn't be too strong...just enough to take the edge off, as Fear said. "Thank you." He took the little cup and poured some of the ginger beer into it, idly wondering how Fear managed to fit such a fragile cup in his pockets without crumpling the thing. The bottle was set aside, and Kev dipped his fingers into the paper cup. If the alien had lips, he likely would have pursed them. Quite the kick, this drink had! The ginger was forefront, carrying a sweet taste with it. Not carbonated, and still very chilled. A different experience but...rather delicious, actually! He topped off his cup and returned to soaking it up. Fear used a straw to drink away at his, and for a moment it was just the two of them, the ginger beers, and those quacking ducks.

    Alas, eventually they had to get to the heart of the issue. Couldn't just drink ginger beer forever! Fear was blunt, as was typical of him, and the alien's gaze scanned the grass as he turned the cup about in his hands. "It wasn't...that bad..." He insisted, almost hesitantly. Frankly, it actually did feel as though his face had been rubbed into the dirt, and the way she treated him...as though he were a stranger. Kev hadn't changed that much, had he...? He sighed deeply, closing his eyes as he collected his feelings. Working on how to express it in a collected, coherent fashion. "I just...I thought she was finally...I thought we were cool, Fear. She was polite, she didn't bother me about you...and now that I'm back, it's like we're back to square one. A-and the only reason she even left me alone about being your friend was-! B-because she was worried about Sonia! S-she doesn't-! A-and she said she doesn't understand me anymore! S-she...she thought that we shouldn't be friends anymore...! She said it'd be hard for me to look at her if she ever killed you...she...I..." So much for coherent and collected... Like a tidal wave, the feelings from his talk with Tally came rushing back and hit him head on. Slammed into him head on, was perhaps the more appropriate phrase. A few tears dripped from his closed eyes, and the alien brought a free arm up, nestling his face into the crux of his elbow to muffle the sniffing and dry the tears.

    "I-I've been friends with evil people before...I just...don't understand...why you are so bloody awful in their eyes!" Almost no one on the Breach had clean hands, so what made the Judges so repugnant? What gave anyone the right to look down their nose at Kev for daring to associate with them?


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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:40 pm

    Ah right, because he wanted to make an attempt at cheering Kev up. Sounded pretty legitimate, though the Dark Judge wasn't particularly enthused as a swarm of quacking fowls waddled in for the kill. He slowly tucked his feet beneath the park bench and kept a watchful eye on those greedy birds. Consider it trauma from having to deal with Oscar for so long. "You are welcome," hissed the fiend. And that's what the ginger beer tasted like? Huh... it was rather peppy! He'll have to consider this brand more often, provided he could remember the na - oh... oh no... Incoming empathic migraine due to stuffy, repressed emotions in three... two...

    "I just...I thought she was finally...I thought we were cool, Fear. She was polite, she didn't bother me about you...and now that I'm back, it's like we're back to square one. A-and the only reason she even left me alone about being your friend was-! B-because she was worried about Sonia! S-she doesn't-! A-and she said she doesn't understand me anymore! S-she...she thought that we shouldn't be friends anymore...! She said it'd be hard for me to look at her if she ever killed you...she...I..."

    Tidal wave, huh? More like a tsunami of feels.

    "Oh dear..." They didn't quite have a manual on sympathy back at Law School, did they? Judge Fear nonetheless gave an honest crack at Kev's despairing predicament - like, really gave it an honest crack. He reached over with an awkward hand and patted the alien's back, rasping, "Chin up, friend! It'sss not the end of the world. Not yet, ha ha! Methinksss you've not come to termsss with what happened recently. Here, usssse thisss to dab your eyesss and get it out of your sssyssstem." Should the alien bother to open a tearful, reddened eye and look to his immediate right, he would find a generous clump of heavy fabric offered for relief. Capes were good for many things. "That'sss it, Kev. Tire yourssself out and then we'll disssscusssss thingsss in a calm, objective manner. I am certain that thingsss are not assss bleak asss they ssseem." Though they did appear rather grim, he won't lie. Still! Best not to be such a downer.

    A minute passed, maybe two, before Judge Fear reasoned that had been enough time for Kev to silently grieve. He reached into the seed bag for a handful and continued further, "You have to underssstand, mate... Ssstevensss isss not sssomeone who would be 'cool' with what I repressssent, and ssshe'sss probably nursssing a bitter grudge for my meddling with that disssasssster lasssst... sssummer, I think? Yesss, lasssst sssummer." Blimey, to think it had been that long already... Where does the time fly? The Dark Judge paused in his thoughts to sprinkle the feed a few paces away from Kev.

    That's right, you little heathens... Go peck at his feet.

    "Ssshe might think you a threat," the ghoul added, sitting upright. Suddenly, the ginger beer in his other hand wasn't as pressing. "I mean, think about it, Kev. While you and her haven't been sseeing much of each other prior to all thisss, I sssuppossse ssshe figured that you were off doing your own thing, living your sssinful life, and not really... I don't know, getting involved with - quote on quote - 'deplorable' persssonsss? It might feel like a betrayal, and I cannot imagine her being happy with how burned Montiago wasss from all of thisss. The ssswordssswoman alssso hasss a little one under her care." People were no different than wounded animals at times, lashing out when feeling cornered. It made perfect sense to him, although to Kev... well, that was the kicker, wasn't it? "Ssstill..." Judge Fear mused. "That wasss rather crummy of her to visssit you at the ssshop and think to dangle certain sssentencesss in front of your face like that. Felt like a hossstage sssituation, to be honessst. What wasss Ssstevensss expecting? For you to agree with her argument when you have expressssssed no inclination prior and to 'sssee the light', asss it were? Rubbisssh." A pause lapsed between them, the fiend wanting a drinking break despite having been free of thirst for centuries.

    How to resume, how to resume... Viewing memories through the eyes of another was at times a lost art. "And maybe ssshe doesssn't underssstand you? After all, you are assssisssting me in ridding thissss world of life. I cannot reasssonably fault her for that." There was more to the story, of course. Always more, and Judge Fear wasn't as reserved as his miserable scaly friend might be. "However, I can reasssonably fault Ssstevensss for letting her biassss get in the way of her better judgement. Like you sssaid, you have befriended lessss-than-sssavoury individualsss before. Thisss isss no different from your ussssual track record. I sssuppossse, though, that the othersss eventually faded and were perhapsss more sssecretive of their affairsss." The undead fiend wasn't exactly known for keeping a lid on his righteous endeavours...

    "Asss for killing me? Ha ha! That'sss great." You cannot kill what does not live, right? "You needn't worry about that tidbit, Kev. I am quite durable, I can assssure you. And even in the odd event that I am ssslain, it'll probably be a consssequence of a previousss action committed on my behalf. I am usssed to thessse repercusssssionsss." Boing!, glasseen, Limbo; they all begin to blur after the first ten years. Never had he been killed, however.

    That would certainly be an experience to remember.
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:13 am

    That wasn't nearly as composed as Kev had hoped it would be, and a bit of shame wriggled in the alien. He sniffed into his elbow before rubbing at his face with his forearm. He was just so...so...! His hands clenched, huffing out a deep breath before stiffening at the feeling of someone touching him. The alien peeked over the scales of his arm, glancing to the right to find a clump of cape had been offered as a tissue. With a grateful nod, Kev took the cape and began to dab at his eyes. They carried a few streaks of green, bloodshot, as he sniffled into the cape and rubbed his face with it. The Judge urged for him to get it out of his system...and so he would. He allowed the tears to flow freely, comfortable with Fear and not feeling the need to suck it up in front of him. He continued to rub the fabric over his eyes and face as he cried, catching all of his tears on it. Soon, about a minute or two later, the crying had died down and Kev pulled the impromptu 'tissue' away. He eyed the soggy thing before handing it back, apologetic. "Sorry..." The scaly alien sighed and leaned back into the bench, both arms crossing over his lap. Crying had done him some good, like bleeding a wound, and yet...he still wasn't entirely satisfied.

    Fear decided to partake in feeding the ducks as well, sprinkling his handful near Kev's feet and Kev watched the ducks shuffle over to eat it all up. Of course, he wasn't so distracted from watching those ducks to ignore what Fear was saying. He tore his gaze away from the feathery quackers and back to the corpse. "You're right, it was foolish to think she would have made peace with who and what you were. But...when she stopped bothering me about it and acted friendly to you, I thought she was doing it because she moved on. Not just for Sonia." As for what happened last summer...from what Kev had been told, a lot of things had happened. He glanced away from Fear. "If she has a grudge against you, it is exactly that. a grudge against you. So why does she have to come bother me about it?" Nobody else who carried a grudge from that summer had come knocking on Kev's door to tell him off, so why did she?

    His eyes slid back down to eye the craned, green neck of a mallard before snapping back at the Judge, almost shocked. "A threat?!" His fingers dug into the wood of the bench, steadying himself as his pupils narrowed into irritated slits. Not irritated at Fear, however... "Whether she likes it or not, getting involved with deplorable personalities in one way or another has always been a part of my life here on the Breach! If she's so damned concerned about it, why didn't she speak up back when I befriended Kefka?! Or Karkat?! Or hell, Megamind?!" His grip only tensed further. "I never wanted Sonia to be hurt by all of this...Tally said that she understood that, and I hope she does, because if she holds that against me too..." Kev never asked for Sonia to fall in love with him, and he never asked for her to keep her feelings a secret. He only ever wanted to be her friend, and to be the best friend he could be! Mistakes had been made, he would admit that freely...but he had tried to be there for her all the same. It just so happened that Kev being there for her, wound up hurting her instead. The only thing that seemed to calm Kev down in this moment was the reminder that Tally had a child to care for. He sighed, and released the bench. "She's worried about you killing her. She wants to protect the people she loves, but can't she understand that that's what I want to do too?" Silently, he reached over for the bag and scooped out another handful, bringing it back and divvying it up so that every duck would get a share of the seeds. Feeding the little things helped him to calm down.

    Indeed, it rather did feel like a hostage situation. Tally had thought to tell him that their friendship would need to be ended. That it would be best for both of them. Thus, it had been up to Kev to decide; would their friendship need to be maintained, or would he agree, and end it? Being faced with such a choice had...honestly, made him angry. The alien knew that sometimes, people grew apart. Sometimes, a friendship could devolve to be something that was unhealthy and bad for everyone involved. He had been in a couple of those situations, after all. And maybe...in hindsight, Kev had not handled it in the best way that he could. But Kev had been the one to feel that way, and so he asked for space. Space became a dissolved friendship. The decision had been perhaps harsh, but swift and decisive. What had happened with Tally...had been incredibly wishy-washy. "I don't know what she was expecting...I don't know what she wanted..." He admitted, tired just from thinking about it. Another sigh escaped him as silence encapsulated the two of them. Fear took a drinking break for himself, and Kev followed suit after every seed in his palm had been given to the ducks. He poured another cupful of the ginger beer and imbibed some more, focusing on the crisp, refreshing flavor.

    When the Judge mentioned Kev's special assistance, he stiffened for a moment. Large, blue eyes roamed the surrounding area in an attempt to see if anyone may have heard. No one, but a bunch of ducks. The alien relaxed slightly, fingers curling around the paper cup. "But she doesn't know about that, Fear. She doesn't know what I'm assisting you with. From her point of view, all she knows is that you and I are friends, and you are a Judge. All she has to understand is that I like you, and she doesn't like you, and that is okay! I even told her that as long as she is doing what she feels is right, I can't blame her for it! And when she brought up how I might feel about her if she hurt you, I told her that with time, I'd be alright with it. I didn't used to understand her, and how she'd treat the trolls, but do you think I ever went over to her and gave her the business? No. I defended the trolls when I felt she was crossing the line, and if it escalated into a fight, I let them handle it. I understand why she doesn't like you Fear...and I understand why she doesn't like that I'm close to you. I just don't understand why she's still stuck on it. Why she won't move on..." He drained his cup dry, pouring what little was left at the very bottom into his palm, where he clenched his hand around the droplets to absorb it.

    "Just because other people left, or were more secretive about their plans and agendas, doesn't mean you or I should have to suffer for it. We shouldn't have to suffer for the mistakes of others. What you're doing isn't seen as right, I know it and you know it too. I'm not even completely alright with it, but it is your business, and your job. I can't control what you do during your free-time anymore than I could control Tally and keep her from beating people's faces in. If I do something wrong, I will suffer for it, but I'm not going to suffer over what we have, Fear. It's not right. We aren't a mistake." A new passion had found its way into the alien's words and tone, indignant and insulted. What Kev had found in Fear was unlike anything else he had ever experienced. It was hard, and it certainly wasn't a path filled with rainbows and sunshine...but dammit, what he had with Fear was worth it. They were not a fascination, they were not born of ignorance. Deep down to his core, Kev was tired of having his relationship with Fear questioned and treated as though it were an awful mistake, or an idly fancy. "Ssss..." The hand not holding the cup furled and unfurled, and the other hand threatened to do the same. Only the presence of the cup kept him from clenching that hand into a fist as well.

    He almost hadn't heard Fear's reassurance, the alien glancing back at him and taking a deep breath to steady himself. "It's alright Fear, I'm not worried about her killing you." Fear was unable to be killed, after all. No matter how much people may huff and puff at Fear, there was no way for them to kill him yet. Kev even snorted at Fear's suggestion that any death he may have would be the consequence of his own actions. "If that happened, I'd wait for you to come back, Fear." Though, it really did seem to be such an impossible scenario, didn't it? His body relaxed, fingers no longer furled like talons. He reached for his bottle, and poured himself more ginger beer and as he slipped his fingers into the drink, he offered a small sigh. "What worries me is how she talks about you...how she talks down to you." Her death threats may not hold much water, but the sheer passion...the way she talked Fear down and promised to destroy him...it seemed so vicious. Dehumanizing.


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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:14 pm

    Huh, would you look at that... Kev's eyes had turned a muddy green and the Dark Judge's cape was a sopping wet mess of the same colour. It was pretty easy to forget that aliens sometimes had different hues of blood. It was also pretty easy to forget when one was much too busy purging them en masse. "It'sss alright, Kev. A good cry isss much preferred over denying your feelingsss; my headache isss gone, at leassst!" That was a plus, right? Judge Fear had enough in that tinny noggin of his to wring out the fabric away from the ducks, droplets of little Kevvy tears trickling down and saturating the earth. Blimey, the poor sod was like a burst dam. He tended to his busywork as Kev proceeded to speak his tired mind. Best to start from the tippity-top, yeah?

    "If she has a grudge against you, it is exactly that. a grudge against you. So why does she have to come bother me about it?"

    "Maybe ssshe expected better of you, hoping that you would be more receptive to her perssspective? Lord knowsss her and I would never sssee eye-to-eye, and ssshe isss perfectly cognizant of thisss." Seemed pretty straightforward. Judge Fear thought so, anyway.

    "A threat?! Whether she likes it or not, getting involved with deplorable personalities in one way or another has always been a part of my life here on the Breach! If she's so damned concerned about it, why didn't she speak up back when I befriended Kefka?! Or Karkat?! Or hell, Megamind?!"

    Oh boy...

    "Mm..." One headache had been exchanged for another, and the undead fiend subtly inched his head further away from Kev's angry tirade. That's right, friend, that's right. You just concentrate on feeding those blathering birds. "Well, to be perfectly honesssst with you, none of the above were quite like, ha ha, me. I reckon by your memoriesss that the clown with the painted face wasss an enigma to mosssst people, and the grey-child known asss Vantasss wasss merely loud and ornery. He didn't go about the place boldly declaring that he wasss going to eradicate all the living in order to purify the world, now, did he?" And as for the blue alien that irritated Kev's heart so... "And asss for the one known asss Megamind," the ghoul further elaborated, "he wasss a nuisssance and a cheap friend, but he knew when to fold hisss hand and entertain falssse pretensssesss. While I am not above deception in order to advance our jussst agenda, I prefer... oh, honesssty to the point of being blunt. Ha ha, you know me, Kev. I provoke othersss and I am well aware that I do ssso. Sssometimesss it isss good fun, eh wot?" It's not like Judge Fear was entirely innocent in his dealings with the public. There were times, admittedly, where he intentionally started a fire beneath someone's buttocks in order to rile their anger. Stevens was one such individual.

    "I never wanted Sonia to be hurt by all of this...Tally said that she understood that, and I hope she does, because if she holds that against me too..."

    A hardened fingernail scratched the side of Judge Fear's iron helmet, the fiend processing Kev's words at the speed of dial-up. Give him a few seconds, bless. "You alssso know how people work," he hissed, ceasing to fidget. "Jusssst becausssse sssomeone sssaysss they underssstand doesss not alwaysss mean that they do. It could be that Ssstevensss isss repressssing her own feelingsss, no?" After all, why would she be truthful to someone she possibly sees as a threat to her little girl and friends?

    "She's worried about you killing her. She wants to protect the people she loves, but can't she understand that that's what I want to do too?"

    "And ssshe isss right to worry, becausssse I will. A guardian'sss love or not, I've a job to do and the weight of thisss badge demandsss it." So no hard feelings, yeah? Judge Fear certainly wasn't making it personal.

    "I don't know what she was expecting...I don't know what she wanted..."

    Another scratch on his metal temple for good measure. "I think you do know, Kev. You are a sssmart cookie when you wisssh to be. Asssk yoursssself: why doessss anyone put themssselvesss into sssuch a ssstressssful sssituation like that?" He waited a paltry three seconds before answering his own question. "Becausssse they are in disssbelief and hope for a faerie tale ending. I do not think ssshe wantsss to come to termsss with your decissssion; of how you are willing to rissssk everything for the sssake of our friendssship. To Ssstevensss, ssshe cannot wrap her mind around the fact that you are willingly making thisss choice each and every sssingle day that you breathe. I cannot blame her, really. Mosssst sssinnersss would think you mad." Of course, that wasn't to say that Judge Fear fully condoned what the swordswoman had done. On the contrary, he found her reasoning justified but her execution incredibly poor and selfish. "It mossst likely hurt her to visssit you today," he added, "and that hurt wasss in turn placed upon your ssshouldersss, sssince you were ssstanding right there in front of her face and confirming one of her worssst fearsss. How... tragic. But sssuch isss the freedom of choice, yesss?"

    "But she doesn't know about that, Fear. She doesn't know what I'm assisting you with. From her point of view, all she knows is that you and I are friends, and you are a Judge. All she has to understand is that I like you, and she doesn't like you, and that is okay! I even told her that as long as she is doing what she feels is right, I can't blame her for it! And when she brought up how I might feel about her if she hurt you, I told her that with time, I'd be alright with it. I didn't used to understand her, and how she'd treat the trolls, but do you think I ever went over to her and gave her the business? No. I defended the trolls when I felt she was crossing the line, and if it escalated into a fight, I let them handle it. I understand why she doesn't like you Fear...and I understand why she doesn't like that I'm close to you. I just don't understand why she's still stuck on it. Why she won't move on..."

    Hmm... Yep, he needed a fresh bottle of ginger beer to answer this doozy of a mini-rant.

    There was yet another satisfying hiss of a bottle as Judge Fear went onward to quench his outrageous drinking habit. Hey, why worry about BAC when you were already dead? It's not like he needed this liver and kidneys. "Ahh... that'sss the ssstuff." Such a happy relaxed sigh. You know, Kev should be more like him, now that he thought about it. By the time he thought to speak up, his second glass was already halfway empty. The alien's stifled indignation had the ghoul working up quite the thirst!

    "Not everyone isss like you," was the casual response. Judge Fear shrugged and gestured with a rotten hand, rolling it at the delicate wrist. "You learned a lessssson a long, long time ago; ssshe hasss yet to learn it. I expect no lesssss from sssomeone who triesss to take up the warrior'sss path. Whereassss you are content to mind your own busssinessss and live your sssinful life accordingly, othersss are not ssso passsssive. Sssometimesss, Kev, they think fighting isss the ansssswer, or conflict in general. Sssometimesss, they are sssimply afraid. I believe Ssstevensss to be in the latter category." Afraid of losing a friend... afraid of losing her little girl... afraid of just... the end. An otherworldly eye rested onto the alien's unsuspecting head, something inhuman gleaming within the Dark Judge's abyssal helm. "Ssso long asss I exisssst and do what I do, ssshe won't move on. Knowing thisss, will you?" Give it a thought, Kev, and give it a solid one.

    The fourth and last bottle found its way into the alien's grip, Judge Fear gently rustling the emptied beer crate. "Be sssure to place your refussse in here, mate. It doesssn't do anyone any good to disssobey the litter lawsss." Look! Follow his example and set the bottles into their little slots nice and evenly.

    "Just because other people left, or were more secretive about their plans and agendas, doesn't mean you or I should have to suffer for it. We shouldn't have to suffer for the mistakes of others. What you're doing isn't seen as right, I know it and you know it too. I'm not even completely alright with it, but it is your business, and your job. I can't control what you do during your free-time anymore than I could control Tally and keep her from beating people's faces in. If I do something wrong, I will suffer for it, but I'm not going to suffer over what we have, Fear. It's not right. We aren't a mistake."

    "Oh?" A resonating chuckle disturbed the air, the ducks at Kev's feet lightly shivering from an unnatural cold. "And do I know what I am doing isss wrong?" Maybe and maybe not, but Judge Fear didn't let the opportunity for his rhetorical question to be answered. "Ha ha... don't let Ssstevensss' unyielding opinion on the matter russsstle your ssscalesss, Kev. Sssshe isss entitled to her viewsss, asss are you. You do not think we are a missstake and I do not think we are a missstake. That'sss all the validation we ever really need, no?" In short: who cares what all the rest think? The world could literally be on fire for all Judge Fear cared and he still wouldn't budge on his decision last January. "If you try to pleasssse everyone'sss demandsss and explain yourssself when thingsss go sssouth, you'll never be happy. It isss a fool'sss tassssk, ha ha! Ssso, why not make the mosssst of what you have already and find happinessss in that? And thanksss, mate. I appreciate you sssticking to your word."

    "What worries me is how she talks about you...how she talks down to you."

    Oh right, the 'being put down like a dog' comment.

    Chains rattled, the Dark Judge lounging against the park bench with one of his spindly arms draped over its wooden backing, his head resting upward at a slight angle toward the blue, blue sky. "Eh... talking ssshit isss easssy," Judge Fear hissed, stretching his lengthy legs. Joints softly collided against one another as he knocked the insteps of his gangrenous feet into their neighbour. It was a relaxing thing to do. "I sssaid I would purge her charge and that ssshe wasss an awful friend, jusssst like Montiago. Really, I'm not sssurprissssed by her vitriolic language. What comesss around goesss around, eh wot?" How was your second drink, friend? Feeling better?
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:51 pm

    Indeed, if there was anything that Kev had learned, it was that emotions were better when expressed rather than hidden away. One must simply be careful about who they express them to...though Fear was safe. The alien winced apologetically at the mention of a headache, feeling bad that his emotions were giving Fear a few aches...as for the tear covered cape? Fear wasn't fussed about the state of his cape, merely wringing it out to land in the grass. Ugh...that looked kinda gross, even though it was just tears...

    "She expected better of me?" Now there was a laugh and a half! His hand was roughly shoved into the bag of seeds, withdrawing a handful that he tossed onto the ground in a huffy manner. For the moment he remained quiet, aside from a few grumbles, narrowed eyes watching the ducks scoop the seeds into their bills and swallow them down their gullets. The alien didn't notice Fear move his head away from Kev's own, focused on keeping the ducks occupied. It helped to feed these little guys, particularly if he pretended that the seeds were like stressballs...well, stressballs that you toss into grass that wind up being eaten.

    "Kefka was an enigma, but he also assisted Ridley in the Phazon crisis. He made up for it by helping us from the inside, but he was still involved. If it were you, people would remain suspicious simply on principal. But for Kefka, nobody carried any hard feelings. Karkat was all huff and puff...though he did swing his fist around a couple of times, it was never enough to garner much attention..." And as for the alien...according to Fear, his 'saving grace' came in the fact that he employed deception. This deception allowed him to skirt under people's radar, undetected. The alien sprinkled one more handful of seeds before he brought his legs up onto the bench, resting his arms atop his knees and his head upon his forearms. "So, because you're actually honest about what you are, that makes you more of a threat and a danger in people's eyes..." He commented without much emotion, staring down into the grass with a dull look in his eyes.

    The reminder of how people work only seemed to stir dread in his chest, eyes narrowing as he stared past the ducks. "Unfortunately, you are correct. She might not want to say she blames me...but her actions say otherwise. Maybe she doesn't blame me for not having feelings for Sonia...I reckon she does blame me for how we both handled it, how dense I was, and how I hurt her, even if it was unintentional." Why else would Kev's feelings on the matter be lesser than those of Sonia's? Because Sonia was hurting, and Kev was the cause of it, whether he wanted to be or not. "Of course. Everyone means 'everyone', and like it or not, Ttone is involved in that." Fear had once informed Kev that he had killed children during one purge session, and it had been to remind the alien of what kind of person the Judge was. Even if it made him feel sick and awful, to think of Fear striking down children...like it or not, that was who Fear was. And it was who Kev wanted to be with.

    The scaly alien kept his face turned away, chin tucked within his own forearms as Fear insisted that Kev knew exactly what Tally wanted. Though his face was turned away, he was paying attention. Every scritch scratch of his talon rubbing his own metal helm, every word that roiled from the Judge...Kev was listening to all of it. Tally was in disbelief, and had been hoping to find a happy ending in visiting Kev. To perhaps steer him away from the Judge, or maybe even learn that Kev had plans for the Judge. Something that would justify to her, why Kev would chose to be with Fear, the gruesome murdering ghoul who wanted to kill everyone, including Kev's loved ones. "She's so focused on you that she isn't considering the past; my past. I've made the choice to stand behind all sorts of people. Some have hurt me, only to grow as a person and go on to make up for the pain they caused. Others have hurt me, and never even felt a bit of guilt about it. And others have never hurt me at all. In the end..." He took a deep breath, body relaxing as he remembered something. "In the end, they were all worth it almost as much as you are worth it." Some changed for the better, others the worst, and others still stayed the same. No matter what though, they all carried with them a lesson of some kind. A lesson of redemption...forgiveness. A lesson of the reward for steadfast loyalty. A lesson about placing one's trust in those who don't deserve it. And a lesson in keeping true to one's self.

    "If she will not realize the truth, and I won't budge, then we are both just...two immovable forces." And so long as the two of them remained steady in their viewpoints...this was never going to go anywhere. They would never find a solution, a compromise. The two of them were simply butting heads, going nowhere fast, spinning out. Hurting each other, even though they didn't really want to. Silence settled upon them again, and Kev remained respectfully quiet as Fear got himself more to drink. The poor Judge was likely very thirsty, and Kev wouldn't burden him with anything else for the moment; he already had his hands full with Kev's thoughts and feelings. To pass the time, he uncurled himself and reached for the bag, depositing another handful of seeds for the ducks. The ducks were quite grateful, some having waddled off after their seed lust had gone ignored for a time. The stubborn ones who remained were rewarded with seeds, and they gobbled them up quick, because the ducks who had wandered away were quacking their way back with a frenzy, a couple even gliding low upon the ground in an attempt to swoop seeds up! Upon finding no more seeds, they turned their bills up to Kev and began to beg. Never one to ignore a begging animal, he tossed more seeds to them, and the area around their bench became a feeding frenzy of quacking ducks.

    The Judge spoke again, with something of a sobering reminder. Yes...as much as the old adage 'treat others the way you wish to be treated' promised that if everyone treated each other kindly, the world would be a kind place, the simple reality was that some people didn't think like that. Some were hardened by the way of the Breach, by their experiences. Kev was no stranger to the ways this place could change a person...but whereas Kev was like a rock that had been buffed and stripped away of some things such as innocence and naivety, only to be revealed to be much smoother and rounder afterwards... Other people had become thornier, sharper. Like sharpened spearheads, and as much as Kev had once wished to be like that...he really didn't have the heart to be a warrior. The little alien could not protect everyone, especially not from every threat that could plague the Breach. It was an impossible mission that would only drive him further into depression and anguish.

    Kev turned his gaze back over to Fear, and suddenly it was hard to be angry at Tally. She was afraid...a frightened mother. Had he not once been a frightened father, who attacked what seemed to be a threat to his son? The alien sighed heavily, both feet planted firmly on the ground again. A brief shiver went down his spine as he felt an inhuman gaze upon the back of his head. Fear wanted an honest answer, one untainted by hurt emotions... "Of course I will. I don't want to spend the rest of my life thinking about Tally. Worrying about what she'll think of me, or what she'll do. Worrying about her trying to hurt you, or maybe even hurting me one day to get to you. Worrying every time I see her that we'll be getting into another argument...that isn't the way I want to live my life, Fear. I will move on with my life...even if I have to do it without her." Whether she finally decided to end their friendship, or Kev decided to end it for her. "I'm ready to fight to keep our friendship, Fear, but I don't think that she is. Or at least...she won't fight if she has to accept you as being a part of my life." He wasn't going to pretend that that didn't hurt...especially as their argument had reminded him of another argument that took place years ago. The toe of his shoe scuffed the grass lightly, a nearby duck nibbling the sole of his shoe experimentally before it went back to searching through the grass for seeds. "I feel like I'm in an impossible situation..." And weren't those just frustrating to all hell?

    The last bottle had been placed into his hands without Kev even realizing it, the alien blinking as his fingers curled around the glass. He peered down at it before he reached for the other glass he had, still sitting between the two of them on the bench with his cup. "Yes sir." He sat the unopened bottle down for a moment, hands now busy with the previously opened bottle and the cup. Draining that bottle of the few drops left within it, Kev deposited the bottle back into the beer crate, nice and even. The other bottle was opened, and Kev used it to fill his cup again, fingers dipping into the refreshing liquid as he now felt thirsty too. The Judge chuckled, and Kev lifted a brow as he glanced at him. Found something funny, did he...? "Seen as right, Fear. What I mean is, you obviously know that people disagree with your philosophy and believe it to be wrong. You don't think that what you're doing is wrong." And that was why it had been hard for Kev to fault the Judge for his actions. To expect someone who had only ever lived one way, been taught one way, to suddenly abandon those thoughts and conform to a new way of thinking...of course, that had been exactly what Kev had done when he had come to the Breach (with some 'persuasion') but as Fear said, not everyone was like him.

    "She is, naturally...I just wish she didn't have to come around, shoving them into my face." He agreed, the last part added in an irate grumble. Indeed, neither of them seemed to consider the other a mistake, and so even if those closest to them may have other opinions...in the grand scheme or things, it didn't matter. He did give the Judge a sidelong glance. "But that's exactly what I've been doing, Fear. Making the most of what I have with you, enjoying my time spent with you...I find a lot of happiness in my time with you, Fear. It is just that things like...this keep popping up and getting in the way. Stirring up all sorts of emotions, and being...really hard to ignore..." He pulled his drink close until he had the cup tucked against his own chest, almost protectively. "And you're welcome, Kikiri. I'll always stick to this word for you, Fear. Even if you and Livewire end up the only people in the world who want to have anything to do with me." Just because it got hard, didn't mean he was going to give up! Not on this.

    Kev glanced back at the arm that had draped across the back of the bench, scooting himself over until he was positioned right in front of Fear's arm, looking at first glance as if the arm was draped across his own shoulders. His legs kicked idly, being mindful of the ducks and he pulled his hand out of the drink to reach for another handful of seeds. This time, he threw them a bit farther out from them, so that they wouldn't get accidentally kicked. "Ah yes, talking shit...your favorite past time..." He looked up at Fear's helm, eyes roaming over the metal before fixing on the ocularea. "But, while you talk shit to pass the time and start a fire underneath some people, she talks shit to threaten your life. Or...unlife. Doesn't that worry you, at all?" The sheer amount of vitriol and anger she held for Fear... "I'm not saying not to do it, especially since she seems to eat it up...if it really bothered her, she would ignore you instead of responding. I guess it's just...weird to me." His gaze fixed back to the ducks, and the alien leaned to the side until his body was pressed against the side of Fear's. A squish sounded as his body weight pressed against the corpse, a thick scent of rot rose into Kev's nostrils, and his face turned away for a moment to smell the clean air instead.

    All the same...he was feeling better.


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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:48 pm

    Hmm... Kev, you were a strange one, there wasn't a doubt about that. But, as strange as you were and striving to find answers when there very well could be none, you nevertheless captivated the Dark judge's attention. Respectful of the alien and of his words, Judge Fear interjected not a single moment as Kev went about figuring things for himself. Ahh, the journey of self-discovery... This was not the ghoul's path to tread, though he was content to guide the alien along as best he could.

    Clouds lazily floated by and the world happily crawled ever forward, things... people... just, life. And of course death, but that was already implied. As a being far removed from this mortal coil, Judge Fear found himself in an awkward crossroads. On the one rotting hand, it was rather easy for him to blow off someone's heated words and sever things where necessary. Such was life and death, right? Nothing lasted forever. But on the other gangrenous claw, that didn't mean it wouldn't smart; maybe not today, tomorrow, or even a week from now, but... surely at some point, yes? Alas, such was the vexing woe of being a soul never meant for eternity. Bones rattled as the Dark Judge lightly knocked his horrific feet together, the undead fiend a constant force subject to the fluctuating variables that riddled everyday matters.

    He should be beyond them, and yet...

    And yet he thought and he thought and he thought. He thought what it would be like to stand in Kev's shoes, in Tally's, and in troubles that could be seen as lesser - as... ephemeral. A pensive hum trailed from his rotten throat, "Hmm..." Give him a moment, if you'd be so kind. Ancient wisdom couldn't be willed from the depths of his weary soul with a mere snap of his skeletal fingers.

    "You know, Kev... you ssshould be more like thossse quacking bassstardsss." He was of course referring to the ducks. Yes, those ducks; the ones that kept pining for seed and rudely shoved their kin to better feed their own selfish mouths. Well, don't pay attention to that. Pay attention to just being a duck... to wake up each day and go about your business, letting the cool pond water trickle down your back as you greeted each and every sunrise with the same eagerness as the last. To feel the air kiss your feathers as you soared high above the land, traversing ancient paths of flight known to you and yet never questioning as to how - you simply do. And that was a great feeling, knowing that your place in the universe's grand design was already prepared long before your birth and the birth of countless generations. All the hard work had already been done!

    Open your eyes for the first time.

    Eat.

    Sleep.

    Eat.

    Quack.

    Find a pretty duck-gal or guy.

    Lay an egg or two, or however many ducks laid.

    Eat.

    Raise young.

    Quack some more.

    And of course, die.

    That sounded all very straightforward, didn't it? The process of life and death for a duck was of course more complicated on a case-by-case basis, but that was essentially the gist. In fact, that was essentially the gist of all living things. Take your first gasp, eat, sleep, eat, make some noise, mate, eat, sleep, raise the young, and eventually pass on. Now, where was the undead fiend going with this? Well...

    A spindly arm found itself resting upon the alien's shoulders, the wordless gesture openly acknowledging Kev's wants. "People are... complicated, I know," Judge Fear sighed. His eyes remained forever upward, as if the ghoul thought to pluck his words from the air itself. "If people were more like ducksss, barring sssome of the quessstionable ssstuff that ducksss do, thingsss would be better. Not perfect, but better. Life doesssn't have to be difficult, and the sssame isss true for death. It'sss a beautiful cycle, and yet... we are not content with it, are we?" No, don't reckon they were. After all, Judge Fear needed to destroy the world and people needed to rise up and stop him from doing so. It was... a maddening dance, to say the least. "Hmm..." Another pensive hum, another journey into self-discovery; this time, Kev would not be making the trek alone.

    "I don't think you ssshould let today rile your ssspirit, mate. Be upssset with Ssstevensss for a little while and then breathe; you will feel all the better for it." In essence, learn what you could from the encounter, from mulling things over, and carry on with your life. The wheel in the sky doesn't stop turning for but one man, no?

    "But, while you talk shit to pass the time and start a fire underneath some people, she talks shit to threaten your life. Or...unlife. Doesn't that worry you, at all? I'm not saying not to do it, especially since she seems to eat it up...if it really bothered her, she would ignore you instead of responding. I guess it's just...weird to me."

    It was here, upon reflecting Kev's words, that the Dark Judge's thoughts returned to the here and now.

    "Doesssn't that worry me at all..." he softly repeated. After a few seconds to himself, Judge Fear sluggishly shook his head. "No," he answered, "I don't think ssso. To be honessst with you, Kev, I do not expect to lassst forever - nothing doesss. If I am to end, let it be ssso. And if it isss by Ssssteven'sss vengeful blade, well... that too I have no rightful sssay. Death, my friend, isss inherent in all thingsss. There isss no reassson to fear the natural progresssssion of exissstence." Was it scary, to think about how one dies? Of course, naturally, because no one really knew what lied beyond. The unknown was infinitely more frightening than any weapon humanity could think to manufacture. Ahh, but that was probably disconcerting for Kev to hear... As a mortal, and one who was anxious about the "end" and of death, things were undoubtedly at times hard to... swallow.

    Leathery fingers rubbed Kev's shoulder reassuringly. "Thisss may ssseem like an impossssible sssituation, true. But will it be a month from now? A year? Ten yearsss? Assssk yourssself, Kev: do ducks worry about mattersss beyond their control?" A few of the striped fowl idly quacked and waddled about their business, their tiny minds entirely unaware of the metaphysical discussion on their behalves.
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:58 am

    The Judge was obviously in deep thought as he pondered over what Kev had said. He didn't mind the silence, knowing Fear had been paying attention. He could wait patiently to hear Fear's thoughts on the matter, biding his time by feeding the ducks and relaxing. Letting the tension ooze out of his body like an infection, focusing on just feeding these silly ducks and watching the world pass him by. The sun was shining, ducks were quacking, the world was turning... No matter what had happened in the City Noise today, the world just kept on trucking. It felt rather soothing to remember that, to sit on this bench as the seconds ticked by, as his feelings cooled off. The situation did not feel so thick and penetrating, it didn't seem to be lurking over his head. It wasn't so...painful. The alien took a deep breath in, holding it in his chest before he breathed out again. Another handful of seeds were sprinkled for the ducks and that ginger beer was really hitting the spot...

    Judge Fear wrote:"You know, Kev... you ssshould be more like thossse quacking bassstardsss."

    "...Huh?" His scaly dome turned back to the Judge, large eyes blinking up at the Judge. You wot, mate? The lean alien blinked several more times before his gaze redirected down to said quacking bastards. Be more like a duck, huh? "Sit in a park, eat people's leftovers and poop all over the place?" Kev jokingly suggested with an arched brow. He knew what Fear was suggesting of course, but lightening the mood would be good for them both. He observed the quacking ducks, the way they seemed to pay Kev and Fear no mind aside from looking expectantly, waiting for more food. It was all those ducks worried about, was getting food to eat and making babies. Wake up, waddle about, eat, go to bed. Ducks were very simple and had no worries. They didn't even have a little house to live in, they just at their feathery butts down to sleep! No bills to worry about, the quacking bastards didn't even realize the world could end at any point... Just eat, sleep, and mate.

    Fear's arm slid down off of the bench, settling across Kev's shoulders and the alien leaned into the gesture. An appreciative trill sounded before he quirked his head at Fear, the Judge continuing. "No, we wouldn't be content with it at all. Even though things wouldn't be difficult...they'd also be empty. The quacking bastards may not realize it, but...this world is fragile, and they don't exactly have what we have. I'm sure that the mommy and daddy ducks love their babies...but ducks don't exactly have romance or friendships. They exist...only to make babies to carry on their kind. ...Then again I guess every living thing exists for that purpose." Mating was rather important across all species after all! But the life of a duck was simple, unfulfilling. "Life is...complicated but maybe sometimes we should just...be like the duck." Another deep breath in and out.

    So Kev and Tally got into an argument today. Things were said, feelings were felt... It wasn't fun. But...as Fear was saying, he really ought not let it ruin his day. The argument sucked, and it wasn't fun to be in conflict with a friend. But the world kept turning, he still had duties to fulfill, and things to do. It shouldn't control him like a festering wound. Friends disagreed, and there was no telling what this meant for the two of them but he also couldn't know. It could be great, it could be awful. No use worrying over something he just couldn't control, let alone know before it ever happened. "You're right. It is still a little...sore...but I won't let this fight ruin my day, or my week. I can...move on from this." So many things had been tackled, so many things he had grown from. Was Kev really going to let a disagreement shake away all that progress...? "I won't let it rile my spirit." And he sincerely believed it.

    Only one last thing for Fear to address, and the Judge reflected on it. Pondering over the implications and Kev's words, before deciding on a...rather simple answer. Judge Fear was not worried about the things Tally could or would do to him. Not even a Dark Judge could last forever, and Fear completely embraced this. For Fear, if Tally did find a way to destroy him, it would simply happen. The facts of life, Tally would do it and so the end of Fear. Though Fear was at peace with this thought, Kev was...less so. Any calm and peace he had found was shaken by a touch of anxiety. The seeds and ginger beer were set aside, his hands grasping onto the Judge's leathers as his heart pounded in his chest. "Mmmm..." A deep breath in, and his grip slackened, though his fingers still grasped onto the Judge's uniform as though he were a life preserver. "I thought...you couldn't kill what does not live?" An attempt at rationalizing. Fear couldn't die, so Tally couldn't kill him anyway, right...? The alien shuddered lightly. "I...don't want to lose you..." The fight, he could put aside, but the thought of losing Fear...? The end of Fear...? It made a deep pit in his chest, weighing him down and nearly choking him to accept it.

    Kev sighed deeply through his nostrils, chin settling into Fear as he relaxed at the Judge's touch. "Mmm..." Indeed...would the fight seem so pressing next week? Next month? Next year? An unwelcome memory perhaps, but he was no stranger to those, was he? "No...they worry about the present. And if something happens they just...go with it." Ducks always find a way, and they don't worry about it. So long as food could be found and ducks could make babies, ducks had no worries about the world around them. The lucky bastards... "Sometimes 'going along with it' is...hard. But, the way of the duck does seem pretty pleasant..." The kind of thing to strive for, really.


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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:58 pm

    "Sit in a park, eat people's leftovers and poop all over the place?"

    "Kev, mate, there are timesss in thisss relationsssship where I jussst want to sssstrangle you. You know that, right?" Ah, but humour beget humour; even if one was grossly more morbid than the other. A thundering chuckle rolled out from the Dark Judge's helmet as he listened to Kev completely dismember the fiend's innocent wisdom. "Empty, huh? I think you are missssing the point. After all, who are you to sssay that ducksss do not have romantic feelingsss or friendssshipsss? Thessse emotionsss are not ressserved sssolely for people, remember that." By now, Judge Fear had removed his arm and managed to fold both behind his head, becoming the epitome of a man appreciating a lazy summer afternoon. "They don't realize how fragile... Do you honessstly believe that thessse ducksss, Kev, aren't aware of how delicate life isss? Boy... you mussst not watch a lot of nature documentariesss, ha ha."

    Alas, mortals. It must be dreadfully hard stepping out of one's shoes and slipping into the foreign soles of another. Why must people take their original pair for granted? "Food, water, ssshelter; thessse thingsss are commoditiesss, not luxuriesss. No one underssstandsss the daily hardssship of sssurvival better than a lower order animal. Take thessse blathering fowlsss, for insssstance. They comprehend happinesss, they comprehend sssorrow, they comprehend what it meansss when food cannot be provided for their young or themssselvesss. They comprehend the fear of wandering predatorsss that could sssnatch everything they hold dear at a moment'sss notice."

    Sound familiar?

    "And yet, Kev, they don't exactly make it their life'sss misssssion to grow beyond their meansss. I don't sssee ducksss killing othersss for the sssport or curiosssity of it; I don't sssee ducksss waging petty warsss or battlesss due to offended feelingsss or sssimple-minded blood feudsss; and I certainly don't sssee ducksss visssiting other ducksss and holding their quacking friendssshipsss hossstage. " Do you get the picture now, friend?

    There were of course exceptions - always were there exceptions, but the facts remain. Judge Fear for once glanced down at the scaly bugger, hissing, "And I will openly admit that thissss may sssound rosssy, or idealissstic. Ducksss are not the perfect example, but they are what issss in front of usss, two higher-level intellectsss from two higher-level sssocietiesss with sssilly rulesss and assssinine beliefsss about life and death, when, in actuality, it'sss all rather sssimple. We jussst make it complicated to the point where complicationsss become a reassson to complicate thingsss further." But that was a can of worms for another time, as this discussion was to be about Kev and his troubles. He eased up and resumed his lounging, fairly at peace with both himself and the ever-changing world around him. "You have the exact sssame thingsss a duck hasss - civilization, and the resssponsssibilitiesss asssociated with it, are what make you and the bird different." Along with a better grasp at reasoning, though there were times...

    "You're right. It is still a little...sore...but I won't let this fight ruin my day, or my week. I can...move on from this. I won't let it rile my spirit."

    That's the spirit, lad!

    But any progress that had been made during the last minutes had somewhat evaporated in a pinch of anxiety. Fingers latched onto the Dark Judge's emaciated person, and Judge Fear was compelled to stiffen. "Oi, Kev. You already know thissss lesssson by now... Nothing lasssstsss forever, essspecially not sssomething that proudly ssshoutsss 'you cannot kill what doesss not live'. Let me put it like thissss, sssee... You cannot kill me, no. At leassst, not with normal meansss. But that'sss the rub, isssn't it? If I am a being created by dark magicsss, what do you think can undo dark magicsss? Exissstence isss full of dichotomiesss: life and death, light and dark, good, and evil. While I have yet to encounter sssomething that could inssstigate my demissse, look where we are." They were on Portal Breach, the collision of worlds. And where worlds collide, there was always bound to be a chance where the impossible could meet its match. It struck the ghoul odd that someone like Kev, who had been here for years, constantly struggled with this principle.

    "Ahh... fret not, Kev. I don't think you will be rid of me for quite sssome time." That was comforting, yes? "I am ssstill here, I consssissstently make the choice to remain and put up with your infuriating anticsss, ha ha. You ssshouldn't worry about the infinite 'what-ifsss' and terrible thingsss that could happen; they are pure conjecture for a reassson."

    He could die... He might die... Until it was proven otherwise, Judge Fear was unquestionable in his immortality.

    The fiend was also unquestionable in his confidence, as possessing over three hundred years under his belt developed a lovely nest egg of arrogance. His special brand, as it were. "They adapt," Judge Fear corrected, though his tone lacked the usual snide, playful air. "If sssomething happensss, they either pick themssselvesss up and ressstart, avoid, fight, or perisssh. Either way, a duck inssstinctively knowsss how to go about itsss busssy day. Asss I sssaid, we're really not all that different from ducksss." The fowls had their worries and were not free of stress from an evolving world, but you certainly didn't hear them constantly gripe about every little thing.
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:24 am

    "I do indeed!~ It's a shame I'm not into strangling, huh?" Oh if only, if only. If he were the kind of guy who liked to be strangled, then they'd be perfect! Despite Fear's humor being more macabre and dark, Kev found himself easily embracing and enjoying such jokes. The thundering chuckle had not been expected, considering the topic at hand! Kev pulled away from him to give him a curious look, confused for a moment. However, it seems Kev had merely been mistaken in his logic, and that had been what made Fear laugh like that. "I know they're not, my pets can definitely love. I just wasn't sure if ducks could..." He glanced down at the ducks, contemplative for a moment. Gobbling up seeds into their hard, yellow bills... The ducks weren't exactly giving any greeting quacks at each other, or nuzzling into each other's feathers. Of course, that could have been due to the food... "I've seen loads of nature documentaries, Fear! These guys are aware that they can be eaten, but they don't exactly realize how fragile this world is, right? I bet some of them have been here for a couple of disasters. Do you think they're like us, wondering every so often 'hmm I wonder if the world might end'? Are they really...aware of it all? Or are they content to just sit here in this park?" The alien paused for a moment before looking back to the relaxed corpse. "Actually, put that way, they really are a lot like people."

    Mmm, indeed. Ducks may not worry about getting food in stores, or paying rent, but they did have to worry about finding somewhere to sleep at night, and finding food in the first place. Why else were these quacking bastards so desperate for a couple of seeds? The food that people tossed to the ground for them were probably the easiest pieces of food for them to find and eat. Such was the life of ducks... They struggled and fought for everything they got. And perhaps the 'predators' could be anything...from a greedy raccoon to a giant God who meant to destroy the world. To a duck they were one and the same! And despite all of this struggle, ducks didn't have the same capacity for ambition, thirst for power, like the average citizen of Portal City did. Ducks were happy in most any circumstance, so long as they had what they needed. There were no duck wars... The last example, rather blunt and on the nose, drew a small snort from the alien, who nudged Fear's side lightly. "When you say it like that, being a duck actually does sound appealing!" To be a duck, with ducky duck friendships...!

    It was admittedly different to hear such rosy prospects come from the wise corpse, but Kev wasn't about to complain. In fact, it was an interesting change of pace. So in actuality, ducks and Kev were similar... Kev and people like him merely had a habit of over-complicating things. Which...! He would admit to. Not intentionally of course, but one had to realize when a 'simple' deal to kill Ridley became...well...this. He stared back up at the helm, who's ever forward gaze had slipped to look down upon him, listening intently. Kev nodded his scaly dome. "I understand what you mean, now. Our civilizations we are born into, and how we think, are what makes us different." Everything was relative that way, as alien species, humans, robots, corpses, and talking animals resided on a world such as this.

    Anxiety came lurking back and Kev had latched onto the Judge as if he were a life preserver, and the alien a drowning victim. The corpse stiffened beneath his touch, not seemingly particularly welcoming...perhaps it was the anxiety attached to the motion, which Fear, being an empath, had no choice but to feel. The alien turned his gaze away sharply, fingers releasing the Judge as he did. "Sorry." He apologized quickly, hands wrapping around his cup tightly as if it would steady him. Fingers dipped inside, and the soothing, cool liquid served as a steady anchor, as he listened to the Judge. Nothing lasts forever...not even seemingly all-powerful Judges. A being of darkness he was, and nothing yet could kill him...but only because they lacked any beings of light. "Mmm..." And this being the Breach...beings of light, of Good, could come in any day. Could hear Fear in the Sanctuary or out on the streets, could catch him murdering someone and--Kev's shoulders hunched up at the thought.

    "Ahh... fret not, Kev. I don't think you will be rid of me for quite sssome time. I am ssstill here, I consssissstently make the choice to remain and put up with your infuriating anticsss, ha ha. You ssshouldn't worry about the infinite 'what-ifsss' and terrible thingsss that could happen; they are pure conjecture for a reassson."

    The alien huffed and puffed for a few seconds as those words soaked in, concentrating on them and not potential what-ifs. His fingers shook as he breathed, before they stiffened themselves along with the alien's own body. Another deep breath. Fear was here. He was not gone, and Fear himself didn't think he'd be gone for quite some time! He was here to stay for a while... The two of them consistently chose each other, made time for each other... Attempted to understand and console one another. As long as nothing was actively gunning against Fear in this very moment, there was no use worrying about it. Kev sighed, tension releasing from his body again, and he shifted to move himself against Fear's side. No longer clinging on, merely leaning on him for support. "Sorry about that... Today was... It's been a hard day... The topic of her destroying you came up a few times... I'm not even angry about it, really. About...some aspects of it maybe, but I don't hate her for wanting to destroy you. But I do...it does...scare me. They would celebrate your death, your brother's death and...Livewire and I--..." He trailed off with a shaky breath, eyes glancing to the side of the bench. "I'd still be able to look at her. Call her friend, if she was still my friend at that point. But it would...hurt..." There was no lying to himself, there. No rosy glasses or fake smiles. It was an idea...a possibility that he hadn't entirely made peace with, especially after such a heated discussion. "You're here with me now and I'll enjoy you for the time I get to spend with you." Whether it be a long time...or a short time.

    Adaption. Ducks had it, and so did many people who lived on the Breach. "Yes...adaption is pretty much the way to survive here. Things will not go exactly as planned, and in order to have a good, stable, long life here...one must learn how to adapt to everything this place will throw at you. Disasters, corruption, demons, Gods...all of it will come close to hurting you, or disrupting your routine and you simply...have to adapt to it. Even plans to save this place hardly go as planned. If you can't adapt to changes to it, or how people react when you fail...there's not much else you can do." Aside, perhaps, being killed in revenge, or merely disappearing from the world. Both of which were things that people had done in the past, on many occasions. "Similar as we are to them, something tells me that ducks would have a better attitude if they failed to adapt to something... Quacking bastards they may be, but they seem pretty agreeable unless you hurt their babies."


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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:56 pm

    "I do indeed!~ It's a shame I'm not into strangling, huh?"

    That... earned a side-eyed glance from yours truly. "And are we confessssing to knowing about that particular kink, Kev?" Sometimes, just sometimes, Judge Fear wondered if the alien knew more than he initially let on... "I better not ssstumble upon any booksss about erotic asssphyxiation back at the cottage." Hint, hint: pick up after yourself and do it well, friend-o. Anyway... the ghoul would rather focus on the ducks, and of how Kev was surprisingly ignorant of the lower orders around him. He wasn't the first nor the last, naturally. There was something about higher intelligence that rendered the owner oblivious...

    "And why were you not sssure?" came the expected question. "Isss it becaussse they appear dull or sssimple-minded? Or how they do not readily greet you like a faithful pup or a mewling cat?" Who said ducks could not make for great pets? Curious... So very curious.

    Always was the Dark Judge cognizant of his surroundings, thousands of free-roaming thoughts incessantly reminding him of their unorganized existence - the jumbled mind of a duck was no different. "Of courssse they realize; that'sss why they conssstantly forage and ensssure the protection of their young. Are they aware of godsss and demonsss? No, but isss not a hungry cat applicable of either label?" Viewpoints, ahh... The same was true for Portal Breach's disasters. "Every time a perssson kicksss a duck, killsss a duck, pollutesss their home and stompsss on their eggsss, that isss a disssassster," hissed Judge Fear. He knocked his feet once, adding, "What isss nothing to you, might be sssomething to a lessser creature and vice versssa. It'sss all a matter of perssspective. They may not wonder if the world isss going to end by the handsss of a psssychopathic ssspace-dragon or fire raining down from the sssky, but I bet you ten-to-one they're damn aware of when their little pond isss threatened by rebelliousss youthsss or drought."

    Alas, the lesson of ducks and men came to an end. Kev absorbed the lesson quite well, even despite the ghoul's roundabout methods, and thus would hopefully appreciate the world in a different, more critical light. There weren't enough considerate souls on this miserable hunk of rock to begin with, Judge Fear opined silently. "It isss alright," he answered, hardly disturbed by Kev's fluttering heart and racing mind. "Alcohol isss good for easssing the nervesss, asss isss a Valium. Here'sss hoping you don't become dependent on either, ha ha." Just some more morbid humour.

    They would celebrate his death, huh?

    "I am not too ssssure about that..." If one were to think about it, and really think about it, wouldn't those who slayed the Dark Judges do so with a weary heart? After all, to strike down Judge Fear, for example, would be to shatter the lives of two very well-liked members of the community. Kev would perhaps heal and move forward over time, but Livewire? No, no... She would break in a million ugly ways and his attackers would have to weather the repercussions of their so-called justice. It would fracture the community and create such a festering wound... In this regard, Judge Fear had made his moves rather well. "And you are right to be ssscared, though try not to let thisss fear consssume you. It isss, asss I've ssstated, conjecture. Ssstevensss hasss no way of ending my perssson and we both know it. Her threatsss are thusss empty and will be for a long time." It's not like the Dark Judge himself was worried about it. He had far better things to do with his infinite time, like openly drink at a park and soothe a certain alien's woes! He really ought to start charging...

    "Things will not go exactly as planned, and in order to have a good, stable, long life here...one must learn how to adapt to everything this place will throw at you."

    Ahh... the beautiful sound of progress. A gangrenous fist lightly bumped against Kev's arm. "Impermanence," Judge Fear rasped, all smiles. "Now you are ssstarting to get it. Nothing isss eternal, nothing isss... well, nothing. It all becomesss sssomething or another at one point in time, a conssstant ssstate of flux - the sssame isss true here, with your sssuffering. It hurtsss now, but will it hurt then?" A finger was raised. "You have many luxuriesss, Kev, and friendsss who are at leassst caring enough to challenge you. While I persssonally believe Ssstevensss to be incorrect in her approach, ssshe hasss courage and ssshe doesss value you asss a perssson. Think not of her asss an enemy or irritant, but asss a flawed individual; the sssame asss both you and I." In short: don't take it personally.

    Now! Seeing as how he had imparted such a great heaping portion of wisdom this afternoon, it was time to add a feathery-light pinch of cheekiness. The Dark Judge could never forgo a pinch of cheekiness when it involved Kev. Time to shatter all of his hopes and dreams~! He opened his otherworldly trap and chimed, "Did you know, Kev, that ducksss are pretty much the rapissstsss of the bird kingdom? Oh yesss, the drakesss are quite sssexually aggresssssive, ha ha."

    Just let that sink in for a moment as Judge Fear eagerly awaited your horrified response.
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:44 pm

    "Huhuhuhu..." The side-long glance was met with a furious wiggling of scaly brows, mischief written all over Kev's mouthless face. He almost thought to keep mum on the matter, just to make Fear squirm and wonder just what the heck Kev had been getting into...! Agonizing, wonder what trash Kev was reading! Ah, but the Judge had been put through enough... He deserved an answer. "Honestly, at this point...I'd say anything can be a kink. Strangling, excrement, power..." With all the alien had been privy to, had witnessed and been a part of over the years, he wouldn't exactly be surprised that nearly everything in existence could be a kink. Kink here, kink there, everywhere a kink-kink! And as for Fear stumbling upon any naughty materials? The alien stifled a snicker and shook his head lightly. "I don't have any books on strangling, but even if I had any naughty books, they are hidden away!" Oh so very hidden...underneath his bed. Truly, not even Fear could ever find them.

    "I'd say they readily greet me, even if it might just be because they're expecting food. They always waddle over, bobbing their heads...it's just because they come off a bit...dull and simple, like you said." Bring out some food and you'd be greeted tenfold! They could be rather sharp when they wanted to be...

    Viewpoints, tricky things that could make it hard to see another's perspective at first. The Judge was stubborn in reminding Kev of a duck's perspective though, and it was sinking in for the alien. He nodded his head in agreement, one foot tapping on the sturdy wood of the bench. "It's like...ducks and people are two different bodies of water. Ducks are a pond, and people are a lake. You toss the same stone into each body of water, it'll make ripples but in a pond, the small stone will make bigger ripples. In the lake, the surface might barely be disturbed. Toss in a great boulder, and you make larger ripples in the lake. The ripples would be huge in the pond, unless some of it splashes out. So...even if something seems small to us, it's just as dangerous as any other large obstacle for something like these ducks." To be a duck...and to be so affected by small everyday ordeals like that. Made him appreciate to system he was in.

    Another morbid joke, and again the alien chuckled lightly in response, truly finding it to be funny. Especially in their current situation. The humor was absorbed and embraced. "Oh, my days of being dependent on alcohol like that are over. The Valium though...I'd have to find a way to take it first! But I'm not a fan of medicine like that. Don't have a lot of experience with it." It was hard to toss back a pill without a mouth, and so the idea of popping a little colorful pellet for any sort of help was quite foreign. Tossing back a Russian Vodka though? That computed. The cup was set aside as he digested the Judge's next words, skepticism over any celebrations of grand 'hoo-rahs' over the deaths of the Eeeeevil Dark Judges. Realistically speaking...would they...?

    Kev sighed and slumped against the bench, honestly unable to come up with a concrete answer one way or the other. "I guess...I'm not sure either. I mean, look at Tally's turbulent emotions over even killing you one day. Sort of...ping-ponging between murderous intent and an iron will to take you down, and being contrite and...worried over my well-being." It wasn't very balanced... So perhaps once the deed was done, if ever, there would be no celebrations. Only doubt and uncertainty. Guilt. Pain. The scaly alien hummed to himself lightly before resting his elbows upon his knees. "They'd still probably be sad for our sake rather than...legitimately sad for you." It was tough to swallow. At least in Tally's case, Fear asserted that her threats were empty until proven plausible. He gave a small nod in response. No use worrying if Tally couldn't really kill him, right?

    The Kryptonistanian jostled lightly, though it was due to being caught off-guard rather than the force of Fear's gentle fist bumping into his own arm. His head snapped back to Fear's helm with a startled blink, staring for a moment. Ah yes...impermanence. An important lesson, and one that he had apparently been putting to good use! Things changed, obstacles made themselves known, and good friends may rub elbows in perhaps uncomfortable ways. But Tally had been a steadfast friend for years, and even if they disagreed, there was no reason to call off their friendship. The possibility of that even being an option may not sit well with him, but that was due to flawed reasoning from a flawed person. No less flawed than Kev himself, or even Fear. Mistakes had been made today. Kev's hands weren't clean, as he probably got in a cheap shot or two. "Maybe, after a bit of time for us both to cool off, we really can pick up where we left off...and maybe do a better job of finding common ground." Kev mused calmly. Admittedly, it had been a bit of an excuse to get Tally out of the shop, even if he really did wish to keep the discussion going. It wasn't like discussing the weather, or an idle tidbit of trivia... Both had raised objections and conflicting views that would simply need addressing.

    Ah...finally peace settled across the alien's shoulders again, content and no longer feeling bogged down by negative emotions. He felt as though a large weight had been removed from his shoulders. Relaxation returned in full in the alien's body language, no more tension in his muscles. Perhaps he ought to feed those silly ducks again... Setting the cup down, he scooped the bag of seeds into his hands, reaching inside to ball a fistful of the seeds--

    "Did you know, Kev, that ducksss are pretty much the rapissstsss of the bird kingdom? Oh yesss, the drakesss are quite sssexually aggresssssive, ha ha."

    Chk, chk, chk, chk!

    Kev's fingers unfurled instantly, spilling the seeds back inside the bag and landing atop the rest of the seeds. The sound drew the attention of the nearby ducks, who waddled over to the alien, bobbing their heads expectantly. Kev pulled his feet up onto the seat of the bench as if the quackers were infected with leprosy! Bag clenched tightly to his chest, he stared back at the Judge frantically. "Y-you're just kidding, right?! These...these cute little ducks couldn't possibly be that evil! ...Could they?!" His gaze shifted back down to the mob of ducks, eyes settling on the easily identifiable mallard males. His large eyes bore their way through the ducks, as if attempting to see into their very souls...! "Mmm...!" He turned his chest away from the ducks, both hands practically pinning the bag against his own scales. "Only good ducks get to have these!" You did it, Fear. You ruined ducks for Kev. You monster.


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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Fear on Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:30 pm

    Mischief, huh? Yes, well, the alien could just go shove it where the sun doesn't shine. Fear personally wanted to hear nothing about kinks, and he expressed his reluctance by nonchalantly dismissing Kev's teasing with a hand. "I do not wissssh to go down thisss path on an otherwisssse cheery afternoon, and underneath your bed isss a terrible hiding place. The ducksss, mm... Think of the ducksss." Who were, according to the alien, a smidgen dull and simple. That could be the same for people, no? "If you went into the Outer Dissstrict with platesss of food and bottlesss of alcohol, Kev, all the ssso-called 'higher intelligence lifeformsss' will alssso come out of the woodwork to greet you. Maybe even ssshank you, ha ha! There'sss no difference; every little detail a perssson sssaysss to dissstinguisssh their kind from thossse of the lower ordersss isss a detail sssteeped in denial. Human, tree sssavage, duck - all animalsss, all sssubject to nature'sss demandsss. Never let anyone tell you otherwissse."

    Though it took him some additional cranial effort on his behalf, Judge Fear eventually came to grasp Kev's complementary example. Something about... pebbles, rocks, and boulders, right? "And don't forget nuclear warheadsss," he patiently reminded. And in regards to mind-altering medication and finding a way to ingest them...

    "Don't." The ghoul needn't explain himself further.

    "They'd still probably be sad for our sake rather than...legitimately sad for you."

    The Dark Judge shrugged, seemingly unfazed. "And would you truly expect anything different?" he asked. His question was of course rhetorical, for the fiend soon rasped after, "They do not care much for me and that isss acceptable. I am, after all, an undead sssuperfiend hellbent on eradicating all life. What'sss to like about that, eh? If they hate me, they hate me. I've no power over them and their emotionsss." There was a short-lived pause. "...Okay, ssso I do, but I'm not going to bother with all that effort. What for!? I do not require adoring massssesss and mind-controlled thrallsss for sssincere company. I'd sssooner blow them all to Hell, ha ha!" ...Oh, right. This entire heart-to-gaping hole was about cheering Kev up, wasn't it? "Er... forget I sssaid that lassst part."

    For every one step forward...

    "Maybe, after a bit of time for us both to cool off, we really can pick up where we left off...and maybe do a better job of finding common ground."

    ...Oh! Well, never mind then. Things were still on course, and Kev was beginning to get himself nice and relaxed. Judge Fear could pat himself on the back for a job well done! ...Except, you know, he just had to open his big metal trap about male ducks and their appalling sexual aggression with the females.  

    He could see them.

    He could see the little gears turning in Kev's juice-filled melon, the alien's little naive heart shattering into a thousand betrayed pieces. Fear would be such a charlatan if he didn't confess to delighting in his company's distress. "And doesss thisss look like the face of a liar to you, Kev~?" the ghoul cooed ever so sweetly, rubbing salt into the wound. As expected, the alien reacted sourly to having his world rocked and the ducks were denied their feed. A loud snort from yours truly startled the feathery things. "Pfffft, and who placed you in charge of being an impartial judge of water fowl?" scoffed Judge Fear. And, like the pill that he was, the fiend didn't so much as give Kev the courtesy of responding. He reached into the bag with a monstrous hand and - WHOOSH! - tossed that great big handful into the air, sprinkling grain and seed alike all around their park bench and persons. "Heeere duckiesss, duckiesss, duckiessss!" That was all the little buggers needed to hear before descending upon the kernels in a frenzy, ducks from within the general vicinity flapping towards the pair in droves.

    A dozen...

    Two dozen...

    At least four dozen ducks, goodness! But don't let the fun stop there, oh no...

    Even with his mind swimming in quacks and discombobulated thoughts, the Dark Judge had his unique charm about him. For, you see, just having their park bench swarmed by ducks was hardly good enough. Oh, quite the contrary! Judge Fear was not a man of half-hearted attempts or lazy executions. He rather enjoyed going the whole nine yards, eh wot? And so, while Kev was undoubtedly fending for his life and squealing all the while, perhaps flailing his little noodle arms as he was wont to do, the ghoul sprung into action. With the grace of a master pickpocket and the mischief of a naughty imp, he deftly took the bag of seed out from Kev's grip and did... the unthinkable.

    Krssssssssssssssssssssssssh!

    He dumped the entire bag's remaining feed directly atop the alien's head and abandoned Kev to his feathery fate. "HA HA! Ssso long, little buddy!" did the ghoul howl with laughter, hopping off the park bench as if the Devil himself was hot on his leathery heels. "Our talk wasss bloody good fun at all that, but I've sssinnersss to purge. Ta-ta~! Farewell~! Enjoy thosssse quacking bassstardsss, and remember, Kev~!  Keep all your orificesss sssealed tight, or elssse you might jussst find yourssself being the proud parent of ssseveral dozen eggsss, ha ha ha!" And thus the fiend was gone, racing through the park on his stilt-like legs as if competing in the World Olympics, cape and laughter trailing behind. Unless the alien could ask his newfound buddies to latch their webbed feet onto his clothes and carry him into the wind, Kev was at the mercy... of ducks.

    Such was one of the woes when dating a Britbong bastard with a bucket for a head.
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    Re: Of Ducks and Men

    Post by Kev on Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:57 pm

    Well Fear, sorry to disappoint...but the sun shines on Kev's bruuka~! So that mischief was going to just linger around the Dark Judge and the alien a little bit longer, Kev just wriggling those brows and ignoring Fear's dismissal. "Mmmhm..." ... "Hey, under my bed isn't a terrible hiding place, it's perfect! Nobody would ever look there!" Think of the ducks? What did ducks have to do with fetishes? Apparently they were switching gears again, with Fear insisting that the homeless of the Outer District could act like ducks if offered food and alcohol. "Well yeah, we're all animals Fear...and everybody needs food. Starving creatures will beg and attack like anyone else." As for the denial, Kev waved a hand at Fear. "I'm not trying to act like I'm better than ducks, Fear. I'm just saying there is a difference, but alright. In the interest of not being in denial, fine, there's no difference." Technically, Fear was right, yes. But he wasn't completely right. Obviously there had to be differences, as much as Kev adored animals, he couldn't directly compare them to people and expect them to act the same. It would be unfair. "The day I think I'm better than an animal you can slap me." He offered.

    "Ah yes, the nuclear warheads which render the whole thing null by completely decimating the lakes and ponds. Of course." No matter how big the lake or small the pond, if a nuclear warhead came down to strike the planet, everything would be affected equally. The great equalizer! How poignant... "Okay Fear, I won't. I prefer natural remedies anyway!" It was why he wasn't the type to go to the hospital if he could just use his own kit to heal himself up. Not that he'd had to do that recently...

    "And would you truly expect anything different? They do not care much for me and that isss acceptable. I am, after all, an undead sssuperfiend hellbent on eradicating all life. What'sss to like about that, eh?"

    "Only quite a bit." Was Kev's pointed answer. Asking your boyfriend 'what there was to like about you' was not one of Fear's best ideas, that was for sure. Kev sighed before letting the tone melt into his usual one. "But, no. I don't expect any different. It just doesn't feel right to me. They can dislike you, they will do what they will, they should not get to come crawling to Livewire and I to offer pity and sympathy after having done you in, in the first place. I won't accept that. They should accept what they do, offer their condolences, but not with the mask of trying to be considerate of our feelings. Not if they'll toss our feelings aside anyway to go ahead and destroy you." It came out harsher than intended, but a new backbone in Kev was growing, stiffening down his back like a rod and it said not to accept that behavior. All in or nothing. Just as he told Tally. Thankfully for Fear, his exclamation that he'd rather kill everyone than have a loyal thrall only earned him a light roll of his eyes. "I'd rather not share you with adoring masses anyway." Dark humor or Judge urges, whatever compelled Fear to state as much, Kev was used to it and so it didn't damper his mood.

    A mood that had been uplifting towards the heavens before crashing and plateauing with this awful duck revelation! Fear's pleasure only deepened the plateau to make a grand canyon of sadness and indignation. The horror... "But Fear! They're so cute!" No wonder Cailia hated ducks! "I'm not a judge of duck, I just--rapists don't get to have food Fear! Not when it can go to nice, not raping ducks! Or non-rapist animals! Like squirrels!" And no matter how Kev pinned the bag against his chest, fingers tightening to close the bag, unrelenting to keep all of the seeds within--Fear managed to tear the bag away enough to reach a hand inside and pull out a giant pile of seeds in those big hands of his. The seeds rained from the sky atop the two of them, and their bench. Kev brushed a few bits off of his scaly dome and glared at Fear from the side of his gaze. Well, all he did was feed the quacking bastards, right...?

    Apparently not, as duck upon duck upon duck marched to the two of them. From seemingly nowhere, just an entire flock of them came to swarm their bench! It made the alien pull his legs up onto the bench, lest they mistake a toe for seed. Both arms grasped onto the back of the bench for dear life, the ducks more akin to quicksand waiting to suck them up, than hungry little birds. Especially with them covering every blade of grass in the air... Climbing onto the backrest of the bench now, perched unsteadily across it, Kev looked to Fear. "What should we do, Fear?!" He squealed. Wrong thing to ask, because Fear's answer wasn't helpful at all! He tore the bag away from Kev, and made it rain all over him! Bits of grain and seeds rolled down Kev's head, clattering against his scales uncomfortably. Some of the feed slipped into his shirt and pants, others just collected in the fold of his clothes. Others still, spilled out onto the ground for the greedy ducks to consume. "FEAR-!" Was he just--HE WAS LEAVING?! Paying no mind to Fear's farewell, Kev shook a fist at him. "FEAR YOU BASTARD, YOU TAKE ME OUT FOR A LUNCH BREAK AND THEN DITCH ME?!" What an asshole! Scales bristled along Kev's head, shoulders and neck, dislodging some of the feed. Just in time too as some of the ducks were clambering onto the bench! The alien squealed and fell back over the side of the bench, and was soon swarmed upon by little bills that clacked against his scales gently, nosing and nudging against him to find the food. "N-no! No wait! Hahaha that tickles! Ha ha!" Kev wriggled on the ground was one bill rubbed against his side to pick grain out of the fold of his shirt. "HAHAHA! DAMN IT FEAR!" Somebody was in the doghouse now.


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

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