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


    Of Tulips And Men

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    Kev
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    Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:34 pm

    Time: 1:54 PM
    Date: June 24, 0006

    Days like today made it...very irritating to live so far away from the city. All Kev wanted to do was make it to the cottage, put his items away and then kick off his sandals so he could crawl into bed without any worries for bringing dirt into his covers. The reality was that Kev's cottage home lay out in the grasslands, which was a lengthy walk from the city. By this point, the path was instinctual. Any chance of getting lost got smaller the farther he got from the city, as at a certain point in the grasslands there came a footpath in the grass. Not big enough to look like a scar from a bird's eye view, but enough for Kev to step onto the path and follow it.

    Years of living out here, of walking to the city and back, had carved out something of a pathway for him. The grass had been beaten down by the soles of his old boots, now stamped back into place by simple sandals. In the wake of the grass came dirt and sand. The path was straight, for the most part. It circled around trees and clusters of flowerbeds, or areas he knew to be home to some sort of animal. The alien remained contemplative and quiet as he walked, the only sound that came from him was the soft clap of his soles upon the dirt, and the rustle of his plastic bag. The world as a whole was shut away for now, tweeting birds and chattering squirrels ignored. Only the feeling of sunlight beaming down upon his scales was actively noted, and that had more to do with his biology than anything else. The shade from a cloud passed overhead, giving his skin reprieve from the sunlight. It was just as well, because Kev was coming upon the dirt road that lead to the cottage.

    His small path transitioned into a larger, wider one, built out of something other than the feet of a Kryptonistanian. Kev's shoulders seemed to sag, as he made out the cottage on the horizon. Little by little, the haze lifted from him now that he was close. Now that home was within reach. It was as if a coiled band within his spine had been released, all tension leaving him as he picked up the pace. As the alien came closer, however, he noticed the presence of several little bodies around in the front yard of the cottage. More specifically, near a tree that was off to the side and out of the way. Their multi-colored bodies were prone, and as Kev entered the property, he could see their bodies were still moving. Chests rose and fell with every breath... Aah, the animals were just resting. From the smallest dog, to the large Llama, every animal was gathered beneath the shade of that tree... And they were not alone.

    Puffs of smoke billowed from beneath the tree, as the Dark Judge's tall form waited there. It made Kev pause in his walk, dark blue eyes glancing between the cottage and the lanky ghoul. As tempting as it was to hide in bed...the alien would prefer to at least say hello. More likely than not, Fear already knew everything that had gone down anyway... Spinning on a heel, his hands wrapped around the bottom of his bag as the alien carried it with him over to the tree. The plastic ruffled and shifted with every movement, still pinned tightly against his chest, He came to a stop before the tree, eyeing the sleeping animals before turning an exhausted gaze upon the Judge. Grass tickled at his feet lightly as he stood there. "Hi, Fear. How was your day?"


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:15 pm

    Yes siree, today was just a beautiful summer day. Well, if you were into chirping birds, blue skies, and pollen coating everything and everyone.

    Judge Fear knew what had gone down between Kev and his friend, yes. Judge Fear knew a lot of things when he really ought not to. That is why the helmeted ghoul had made a surprise visit to Kev's cottage, lounging against an old tree while savouring a smoke. As for the animals? Well, he just had to let them out so they could run and gallop, enjoying the nice outdoors and chasing butterflies (the real reason is because they just wouldn't keep quiet). He and the critters must have been loafing about for hours, roughly two, before a familiar green face appeared on the horizon. Fortunately for all parties involved, the dogs were too content in the shade to rightfully get up and race around the alien like little hellions they were.

    Crsh... Crsh... Crsh...

    "Hi, Fear. How was your day?"

    And so it begins. True to form, the superfiend hardly stirred from his rest, hands peacefully laid against his abdomen. He even had a shaft of wheat sticking out of his helm, gaze to the clouds lazily floating overhead. Judge Fear could be a character when he wanted to be. "Hello, Kev," a familiar otherworldly bass rumbled within all ears. "My day wasss fairly decent. Did a bit of purging and whatnot - you know, the usssual. Oh, and I alssso brought you a little sssomething." That 'little something' was of course obscured by a sleeping Percy; the English bulldog had seemed rather taken with the white plastic bag he now used as his crinkly bed. "It'sss for the ssstuff in your handsss," Judge Fear elaborated. Tulips and something else, innit? The ghoul was hardly knowledgeable when it came to vegetation. Except, you know, when lecturing the alien on random factoids like the differences between grass and marijuana. Then he was an expert. "Ha ha..." A fond memory, but it could be enjoyed another time. For the first time during these past few minutes, the loitering undead fixated his unwavering sights on the dour-looking Kev.

    "How wasss your day?" But before the alien could even answer, Judge Fear cut him to the quick. "Wait, don't anssswer - it wasss awful." What a peach. Thankfully (and because he knew better), the fiend didn't go about rubbing salt in what was perhaps a blistering wound. He actually had a different thing in mind. The undead continued resting his head against the tree's splitting bark and idly twiddled his bony thumbs. "Let'sss garden," came the unexpected suggestion. "You and me, let'sss plant thossse odd bulbsss of yoursss and reminisssce about the day." Because digging in the dirt was a far more productive pastime than moping.

    What do you say, Kev? Feel up to the challenge?
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:14 am

    A visit from Fear this early in the day was a little surprising. Of course, had this been a different kind of day, perhaps the Judge would have continued going about his business before coming over later. The surprise visit did feel kind of nice... As though he was coming home to open arms. His animals remained resting in the grass even when Kev was next to them, poor dears must be really tuckered out. At least Fear was here to let them out to run about while Kev was...occupied.

    Fear's day had been decent, the usual. Some purging, and likely some time spent with his brother before coming over. Kev's eyes briefly avoided the corpse at the mention of his job, fingers tentatively kneading the plastic and pinching it between fingertips. It was no fault of the dark and lanky Judge, after all it wasn't as if his job was a surprise or anything... Just, hearing it after the conversation he had had today was... The moment didn't last long though, as Kev's gaze turned back to the dark metal of Fear's helm in slight surprise. "What?" What could that something possibly be? The alien's owlish eyes scanned the grass for this 'something', eventually spying a corner of plastic bag sticking out from underneath Percy's body. His head cocked to the side curious as the Judge elaborated that it was for the vegetation in his own bag. Kev peeked down into his own bag, looking at the bulb packets and the Aloe Vera plants. Gardening supplies, maybe? His lanky arms relaxed, no longer pinning the supplies to his chest as if they might spill out onto the ground. "Thank you, Fear. You didn't have to do that..." That was a nice surprise to come home to as well! Fear's light laugh earned a curious look, but otherwise he decided not to comment on it.

    "How wasss your day?"

    "..."

    Crnch, crnch...

    Under Fear's otherwordly gaze, he shuffled in place awkwardly. The blades of grass crunched beneath his sandals. Boy, wasn't that the million dollar question of the day? Before Kev could speak up, Fear answered his own question, proving that he was indeed aware of how Kev's conversation with Tally had gone. The question was likely more out of habit, then. Nodding in quiet agreement, he huffed a light sigh. Awful was...a pretty good word for it. ...Wait, did Fear just suggest they garden together? "Huh?" Such an intelligent answer. It was unexpected, the Judge possessed green thumbs, but not a green thumb. Still, getting these tulips planted would be nice... "A-alright. I think...I think I'd like that." The corners of Kev's large eyes crinkled, the alien squinting up at his guypal in a content manner. "Are we gonna use the 'little something' you brought for me?" Bed was looking more and more like a place that Kev simply didn't want to hide in right now. Putting his hands to work would be a better use of his time, than to sit in bed and mope.


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Fri Apr 29, 2016 3:25 am

    Oops, dropped the 'P' word.

    Not the most tactful start to their afternoon, but there was no point in sugarcoating the truth. Kev was a grown lad; he could weather a few uncomfortable things and this morning proved it. The piece of wheat lazily flew through the air, Judge Fear answering, "You're right, I didn't have to - I wanted to." And that was saying something. Ah, but the helmeted ghoul was yet again digressing!

    Always the epitome of intelligence, the scaly alien was completely gobsmacked by the sudden idea of them planting a few piddly flowers. And always the epitome of sass, Judge Fear proceeded to make a right nuisance of himself. "You, tree sssavage," he pointed to the alien, hissing slowly, "me, handsssome and never wrong Judge of the law," he then pointed to himself, ever so modest, "go gar-den-ning." Was that clear enough for you, Kev, or did you need another go-around? Luckily, the alien had quickly caught on and no longer did his eyes have this blank, clueless haze to them. This morning must have been worse than he thought, blimey! Have no fear, Kev: your tried and true guypal was here for you. Er... as soon as he finished shakily rising to his feet without unceremoniously toppling over. Being as tall as a damn giraffe had its consequences.

    "Whew! Alright..." Judge Fear blew a sigh of relief, pretending to wipe his metal brow. "Are you ready to garden, Kev? Methinksss you are. And yesss, we are going to ussse the 'little sssomething' I brought over. Would you care to sssee it?" What was he saying, of course the alien would. The little bugger was practically brimming at the seams with anticipation. But first... Glowing eyes turned to a certain roly-poly pooch who had chosen that spot, of all spots, to take his nap. The superfiend gently nudged his beyond-grotesque toenails into Percy's ripples of baby fat; the latter hardly budged an inch! "Riiiight..." he muttered, at a brief loss of words.

    Like a slumbering cement block of lard, this dog was!

    But, cement block of lard or not, the Dark Judge wasn't about to be thwarted. He silently looked to Kev and then back to the dog, removing the smouldering cigarette from his helmet's grating. "Ha ha ha..." Oh no, was he going to - ?

    It was like watching something out of the movies, the kind where the bad cop took his cigarette and twisted its sizzling embers agonizingly-slow into a criminal's palm. Perhaps the Dark Judge had experience with such a loathsome interrogation technique, but as much as Kev's heart might skip right into his throat and miss a few beats, the alien really needn't worry. He needn't, because Judge Fear simply crouched (with great difficulty) beside an unsuspecting Percy and held his noxious bad habit centimeters away from the pup's glistening nose. Any moment, now...

    Sniff, sniff...! SNIFF...!

    ACHOO!


    Up went Percy and out went the bag from under him, the portly dog rolling over with an expression of sheer alarm on his wrinkly face. "Ha! What'sss the matter, Percy, don't like the sssmell of legalized cancer?" The helmeted ghoul was alight with chuckling, returning his smoke to where he could better enjoy it. "Ah well... it'sss not for everyone. Go back to sssleep and dream of your preciousss ssstonesss." Predictably, the flustered pooch turned his back to them both with an unhappy and hurt growl, his head resting upon his forepaws sullenly. You'll get over it soon enough, pup, you'll get over it soon enough... Bag in hand, Judge Fear rose yet again, this time with more finesse than a drunken sailor, and addressed the much shorter alien. "Alright, now we're ready," he hissed, rigidly nodding. "Sssince thessse will be your plantsss, I'll leave you in charge of getting the toolsss, fertilizer, and whatever elssse a bally tulip needsss. I'll therefore be taking thessse, thank you." No 'ifs', 'ands', or 'buts', Kev. Judge Fear reached over and snatched your no good, rotten plant-life from your scaly mitts. He tucked everything beneath a deathly-thin arm and was all set. "Once you've gotten everything we need, meet me out back near the foressst line. I believe you have already chosssen the ssspot."

    And off Judge Fear went, shambling across the front yard and stiffly hopping over a few relaxing ewes. You have your orders, Kev, so snap to it, cadet! These tulips weren't going to plant themselves, you know.
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:34 pm

    Kev's eyes idly watched the wheat float about through the air, as it was flicked away by the Judge. Look at it go, just moving about in the wind like it had no cares. As for the ghoul himself, he asserted that though he did not HAVE to buy anything for Kev, he had wanted to. A warm feeling blossomed in the alien's chest, as if the sun had narrowly focused it's beams upon that single spot. It was a comforting sensation, spreading through to his limbs and making his cheeks burn lightly as scales brightened their shade of emerald. Fear had wanted to buy Kev something, to help and make him feel better...if that wasn't a sign of great change, he didn't know what was. "That means...a lot to me, Fear. Thank you." This man and his loyalty... Anytime Kev had felt down and out in the past few months, Fear was always there to pick him back up! Kev was the luckiest man in the world, with such a caring and loving guypal, a steadfast and sensitive--

    "You, tree sssavage, me, handsssome and never wrong Judge of the law, go gar-den-ning."

    ...Well, nobody was perfect. A generous eyeroll was given as tribute, from the tree savage to the handsome Judge of the law. It held no real malice however. Merely mirth, as if the alien was thinking 'oh you, you rapscallion!' which, as fate would have it...he was! The only thing that interrupted his lifted spirits was the sight of Fear trying to lift himself up, like a baby deer who was not used to its legs. Kev reached out with one hand as if offering to help him, only for the Judge to eventually pick himself up all on his own. The hand hovered in place before unceremoniously plopping back by Kev's side. He watched the exhausted corpse wipe his metal brow, giving a light snore. "Me, tree savage, ready for garden. Also ready, to see the little something." To punctuate his colorful new vocabulary, the alien made a fist and pounded it upon his own chest with a thick noise as it connected with the muscle and scales beneath fabric. Thump, thump. "Oonga boonga." What could he say? Fear made it look fun!

    Toenails prodded Percy's side, the tips easily sinking into the mass of wrinkles and the bulldog made no sign of moving. The dog was like a dead weight upon the bag. Leaning down to inspect him, the mouthless one's head cocked to the side. Right...maybe if he lifted Percy by the arm pits and Fear slid it out from under him...? Laughter had the alien glancing up questioningly. Cigarette wielded deviously, Kev's eyes grew to the size of dinner plates as it came closer and closer to Percy's delicate fur, so short and velvety...! So many little wrinkles, would Fear really singe the pup?! Heart pounding fast, his gaze was laser focused on the filtered stick as it harmlessly hovered before Percy's damp nose. In no time, the nostrils wriggled and soaked in the smell of smoke. A sneeze sounded, and the action seemed to startle Percy enough to allow Fear enough leverage to pull the bag out right from under him! The rolly poly dog was quite alarmed and not very happy to have been interrupted by such a smell.

    "Aaw~!" Kev cooed dotingly, a hand reaching to scratch between Percy's eyes. "We just needed the bag, Percy~ Go ahead and go back to sleep!" A few loving pats along the top of his wrinkly head before he righted himself. The panic of before was draining from Kev's body as though he were shedding off an old layer of scales. It was silly, really. Perhaps a founded worry if the dog had been Oscar. But Fear loved Percy! He'd never hurt the bulldog... Chalking it up to his nerves still being a bit rattled, he shifted his attention back to the Judge. In a manner that gave him flashbacks to his training days, Fear gave Kev his set of orders for their gardening session. Tools, fertilizer...likely some gloves, perhaps a watering can to dampen to dirt...

    His mind was already buzzing and whirring with thoughts and ideas, only interrupted by the feeling of his plastic bag lifting out of his grasp. "Ah, oh!" His hands bunched together, fingers curling almost anxiously as he eyed the bag from its position stored beneath Fear's arm. "Alright... I will meet you there, Fear." There was an advantage to having a psychic bond at least. Back straightening in a way that called to mind his weeks as a cadet, the alien nodded his agreement and turned on a heel. His path was struck, striding across the front lawn on a path to the greenhouse. His feet were wary and careful not to crumple anything on his way over. Grass and flowers alike were spared, so as to not interrupt the sprawling atmosphere of the front lawn.

    Entering the greenhouse proper, Kev eyed the shelves. A few plants that were leftover from the remnants of older seeds he had, such as a Venus flytrap that had once been a present from Barry. A couple of empty pots were noted as a reference, a reminder to himself to use them for the Aloe plants he'd purchased. But first, the tulips! Hanging upon a hook on the side rested two pairs of gloves, one a light minty green and the other a lavender purple. Lifting the green ones up off of their hooks, Kev slipped them over his fingers and eyed the purple. Hm... Those uh...were not going to fit Fear... They were larger than Kev's own but... Just by looking at them, it was obvious that there was a size different here. Hm... Shrugging lightly, Kev laced his fingers and pressed the centers of his fingers together to make sure the gloves were on in full. Aside from an orphaned finger of the gloves that had long since been snipped and sewn shut, they were snug! His fingers wiggled in anticipation before he began to prowl down the shelves, eyeing them as he went down and plucked out the things they would need. Two trowels, a plastic container of Miracle-Gro plant food, a small burlap sack of fertilizer that was...ahem, fresh, and last but not least, a watering-can.

    Holding everything within his arms tightly, the alien shuffled out of the greenhouse and shut the door with an expertly positioned foot! Kev tottled over towards the front of the greenhouse, squatting down to gently lay everything down upon the ground, sans the watering-can. The can was brought back to the greenhouse, handle held snugly in one hand while the other worked to unwind the length of hose enough to properly fill it up. Shoving the shiny end of it into the hole at the top, Kev reached over for the faucet and turned it, allowing water to flow freely. Lapping lightly against the metallic sides, he watched until three quarters of the can had been filled. The faucet squeaked as Kev gripped it hard, turning the flow of water off and looping the hose back into position, coiled against the front of the greenhouse. His hand shifted to hold the handle from the top, as his other hand reached down to start collecting the trowels and the plastic container. As for the sack, the top of it was rolled up tightly, positioned snugly between the handles for the trowel. With those three items bunched tightly between his last two fingers and his palm, it gave him freedom to hold the handle of the Miracle-Gro with his index finger and thumb.

    A heavy sigh puffed out, hands definitely full now! All the better that Fear took the bag from Tally's shop, eh? Rather than go all the way around through the front, Kev decided to cut a path around the side of the cottage, the most direct path to the backyard. As he walked, Kev idly looked over the ivy covered patio on the side of the cottage, thoughts for the moment not buzzing and lingering around what had transpired merely a couple of hours ago. Gathering these goods had successfully distracted him, giving the alien something to do. Circling around the side, Kev walked alongside the treeline of the forest that made up his backyard. Nearby, he could hear the sound of running water slapping against rocks within the river. Ahead, he could just barely make out the tall and bony silhouette of the Dark Judge. Shade from the trees matched with Fear's darker coloration, but ultimately it was easy enough to spot the glint of iron and rotten green skin. The plastic bags also helped make Fear more visible. As the alien approached, his arms wriggled and shoulders hunched in his best attempt at a wave. "I've got the goods, Sir!"


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sat Apr 30, 2016 5:28 pm

    "Now, now, Kev... Don't get all sssappy on me." Oi vey, you give the alien even the slightest bit of wiggle room and he gets all fuzzy inside. If this wasn't the sign of a desperate and lonely person, Judge Fear didn't know what was.

    "Oonga boonga."

    Pardon, a desperate and lonely tree savage.

    Rather than encourage Kev further and get absolutely nothing done, the helmeted ghoul dismissively rolled a hand as he let the alien go about his task. Go on now, you little blighter! Fetch the necessary equipment and whatnot for planting a few tulips. Should be a familiar concept given your precious occupation on that crummy homeworld of yours, no? Meanwhile, and currently Kev-free, Judge Fear had already began the painstaking chore of getting their gardening site ready. "One here... One there... Another one over here..." he muttered. It was by no means a glorious effort, let alone worthy of his noble calling, but even the mighty must be subject to community service; kept them mindful, or so the fiend thought. Judge Fear had just finished the final touches of his agonizing labour when he noticed a familiar buzzing invade his thoughts. "Oi, Kev!" he barked, glancing up. A leathery finger repeatedly tapped against one of Judge Fear's bony wrists, indicating that time was of the essence. "I wasss expecting you here yesssterday. Drop and give me ten, cadet!"

    ...Just kidding~!

    The helmeted ghoul was beside himself with laughter, slapping a knobby knee. "Ha ha! I'm jussst yanking your chain," he hissed. Brought back so many wonderful memories. "You found what I requesssted?" Remarkably, yes. Judge Fear spied, with his pulsating eyes, a bag of fertilizer, gloves, trowels, some rather fresh manure, and... and... "What in the world...?" Guess what the superfiend just spotted. Here's a hint: it wasn't the spider crawling up the alien's arm.

    Gingerly, almost as if he were afraid to catch a lethal disease, Judge Fear hesitantly reached over and lifted up Kev's effeminate watering can with one finger. Just the one, because the Dark Judge couldn't rightfully make heads or tails of the bloody thing.

    A palpable silence ensued.

    "You know, Kev..." he began slowly, "sssometimesss I jussst wonder about you..." Well, there were worse things in existence, Judge Fear supposed. And greater mysteries, so he returned the watering can with no further questions and figured to mind his own business - things were happier that way. "Right. Don't ask, don't tell," the Dark Judge quickly remarked. "Ssset everything down, Kev. We're going to be working right here, where thessse little boxesss are." Surprise! See these little fenced flower pots? These are where the tulips were going, eight in total and arranged in a rather tidy, evenly-spaced circle. "You don't mind a circle, right?" came a question out of the blue. "I wasss thinking about a sssquare," Judge Fear said, "but then I realized that a sssquare wasss jussst too boxy; the arrangement would look too... artificial. Alssso thought about a triangle, but that wouldn't look quite right either. Rectanglesss and hexagonsss are right out. No, a circle looksss the mossst aesssthetically-pleasssing. Hmm, yesss... Yesss, it doesss."

    This is the part where Kev began to entertain a little wondering of his own.
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:27 pm

    "Hehehe..." Sappiness came naturally, though Kev supposed that getting sappy like that probably made the Judge uncomfortable. Fear wasn't used to people getting doe-eyed over a kind action. Kev attempted to scale it back, even though the warm feeling persisted. Taking the rolling wrist as a sign to go do as asked, the alien left to collect the goods, and soon met Fear at the treeline as agreed.

    "Oi, Kev! I wasss expecting you here yesssterday. Drop and give me ten, cadet!"

    "What?!" The scaly alien almost dropped everything right there! His arms went slack for a moment, threatening to dangle by his sides in shock. "B-but...but you didn't even know I was getting these tulips yesterday! Not even I knew!" Perhaps flashing back to the training days had been an awful idea! It put Fear back into 'Instructor' mode! Kev was already placing the burlap sack and the Miracle-Gro down, all in preparation to put his face in the grass and begin counting, when Fear began to laugh boisterously and even slapped his knee! The Judge confirmed that the command had been a joke, and the kneeling alien let out a deep sigh of relief. One that soon turned into a light chuckle. "You got me good! Haha...oh, you got me good..." Nodding, he set the rest of his supplies down, all in an even row across the lawn. His arms spread out before it as though he were showcasing a new supply of CDs at the store. "Yep! From trowels to manure. Even gloves!" His fingers wiggled, ironically much like a creepy crawly spider's legs. "Though I didn't see any gloves that would fit you..." Hope that wouldn't be a problem...

    Of all the things that Kev had managed to procure for their gardening, it seems the watering-can had attracted Fear's attention most! The ghoul held it up gingerly with one finger, eyeing the metal can as if Kev had brought him a dead body. "...What?" What was so weird about it? Was it too small? His head cocked to the side, brows furrowing. "Wonder what?" What was it about a watering-can that sent Fear on some sort of... Oh. With the offer to 'not ask and not tell', it all became clear. Kev's eyes rolled upward. "Fear, we're in a relationship and we're both men. I don't think there's anything to wonder about..." At least, Kev HOPED there was nothing to 'wonder' about.

    Now what was this about little boxes? His gaze directed to the little circle made of several boxes. Box shaped pots, more like! Eight of them, the exact amount of bulbs he bought, and with the little fence around it and everything! "Aaw...~ How cute!" Still kneeling upon his knees, the alien blinked up at Fear, who looked even taller from this angle. The Judge had thought to arrange these in a shape, but the circle seemed to be perfect. Square was too boxy and artificial, and Kev nodded his head in light agreement. A triangle made of little squares would be odd, and anything else similarly boxy was also out. In the end, he deemed a circle most appropriate and it indeed made Kev wonder... Specifically, he wondered about how finicky Fear could be when it came to design. He was quite particular, and Kev got a very good dose of that all throughout his training... Mistakes were paid with 10 push ups.

    "I think a circle would be great. Keeps it pleasing and helps it to have a nice flow. And, it'll be equal all around for all the flowers when they sprout." Not that Kev would insist upon any other shape anyway.


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:22 pm

    And would you bloody look at that? Judge Fear's sadism spirits soared even higher when he spotted Kev assuming the position for push-ups. An insensitive comment flew Kev's way, "Blimey, you're trained like a dog, you are!" Good. It was nice to see that some habits were retained since the alien's gruesome training. As for the gloves, er... No, don't suppose the alien would have a pair suitable for Judge Fear's ghastly mitts, would he? The helmeted fiend was hardly fussed. "Never you mind," he rasped, unconcerned. "There'sss no harm in a little dirt and wormsss. Can't imagine you would much enjoy the tassste, though." Kev was a bit of a prissy when it came to things touching his emerald scales.

    "Wonder what?"

    "And never you mind that either," was the petulant response. Boy, Kev's ears must have been filled to the brim with cotton, because the alien didn't seem capable of taking a hint. If this was anywhere other than Portal Breach, the both of them might've been shipped to a correctional facility and never heard from again.

    Judge Fear was reasonably agitated. "Really, Kev?" he sighed, tone flat. "You know, there'sss sssuch a thing asss sssubtlety. An odd concept, I know, but trussst me on thisss one." Some precautions were difficult to forget, and the Dark Judge was not keen on having his personal un-life nitpicked by an unsuspected eavesdropper. Alas, Kev had quite the loose mouth for not having one at all... "Oh, you like them?" the fiend inquired about the boxes. Successfully distracted, Judge Fear eagerly shifted gears; the previous topic was admittedly uncomfortable. "I thought they would look rather nice againssst all the green and sssuch - very complementary. I alssso thought their basssic white coating would make them easssier to decorate. Maybe you could, I don't know, paint them after your sssheep, with the eighth one being Biddy? Don't ssskip Mary, becaussse I reckon ssshe'd like a pot for herssself." Dead didn't mean forgotten!

    Finicky is as finicky does, but Judge Fear was pleased to hear that Kev agreed. Not that the alien would disagree, anyhow. "Good! A circle it isss," he rigidly nodded. "I guessss we now get to work then, yeah? I'll follow your lead, becaussse I don't really... know... what I'm... doing." Gardening wasn't exactly in the Judge's manual.

    That was citizen stuff!
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:19 pm

    Scaly cheeks burned at the rather...blunt assertion. "I can't help it, you had it drilled into my head!" And the reward for mistakes had been even more push-ups! So, you can imagine if Fear says 'give me 10', Kev's response was to get on his knees... The alien let out a relieved sigh as the Judge assured him that he'd be fine without any gloves. Any gloves that COULD fit Fear would have to be custom made. Without such special gloves, he was hardly worried about digging into the dirt and handling worms. Kev himself? He patted his palms together and focused on how the fabric rubbed against the scales of his palm. "Yeah, I am...not so much a fan of dirt. It's why I tend to wear gloves..." You'd be surprised at how many objects had awful tastes and sensation to them. Like, ugh, doorknobs.

    Never he mind it? Then why even bring it up? A brow arched at Fear, looking quite dubious. The look didn't melt away as Fear lambasted Kev for his lack of subtlety. And who exactly dropped the don't ask, don't tell line? Talk about subtle... Still, he knew this subject was a risky one and, for as much as Kev was, he was not well versed in certain things. Gay etiquette was one of them. "Alright, alright..." His hands lifted in a placating manner. Subject dropped, he got the hint, miraculously.

    "I do! It wasn't quite what I was thinking but, it looks better!" Rather than a fenced in plot, thanks to the Judge he had a small and more concise fence system. The white fences were also optional, as the Dark Judge suggested that if he wanted, he could paint them. One for each sheep, with an extra for Biddy. "Half white and half grayish-blue like her, that could look nice..." And there would still be one white fence leftover for Lavender! Kev nodded his head in solemn agreement. "No, we absolutely have to have one for Mary." A lovely memorial.

    Hohoho, so now it was Kev's turn to be a teacher and Fear's to be a pupil! The scaly man seemed to beam, a bright and delighted expression on his face before lifting himself up off of the ground to approach the circle. Four pots were plucked out of their respective fences, and Kev returned to where the supplies had been laid to rest. Two were set before Fear and Kev settled onto his knees again. "First, we have to put in a layer of fertilizer along the bottom of the pot!" Scooping the fertilizer up, he tilted it to the side to allow the Miracle-Gro mixture to pour inside. Once every sign of colored plastic had been covered, Kev set it aside and reached for the bag of vegetation.

    Pulling the packet of tulip bulbs out of the plastic and tearing it open, Kev's fingers grasped two bulbs, being mindful. Laying one bulb next to Fear's trowel, the Kryptonistanian held the other out for Fear to see as he helpfully pointed out the bottom and the top. "Make sure the larger part of it is on the bottom, so that the flower won't grow in upside down. That's where the roots are. This top part that looks like a stem or an opening, this is where it'll sprout." Demonstratively and with exaggerated movement, the alien slowly set the bulb down into the dirt, right in the center of it. As he told Fear, the roots faced the bottom layer of dirt while the shoot faced the opening of the pot. "Now you can fill it up with the fertilizer and the manure! I like to use the trowel to dig and pat the manure in. I also find it handy to alternate the layers. That way, it gets a little bit of both as it grows." The fertilizer was pushed forward for Fear to take as he pleased, while Kev wielded the trowel and unrolled the opening of the sack. Stabbing the blade of the trowel into the smelly mound, he used it as a shovel to lift a chunk out. Hovering it over the pot, he sprinkled and showered it over the bulb, focusing on the open area around the sides of the bulb. He continued this until only the tip of the shoot could be seen, at which point Kev set aside his trowel and poured fertilizer into the pot to create a new layer. "See? Though as long as you have a good amount of the fertilizer and the manure in your pots, it should be fine. You don't have to layer it like I do if you don't want."


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:16 pm

    Push-ups were a perfectly acceptable reward - Kev was just being a noodle-limbed ninny. "A pinch of dissscipline doesss your character good," Judge Fear cheerfully reminded. After all, didn't the gangly superfiend turn out just fine? Yes, just fine, and he happily let things be so they could focus on the task at hand. Though, what was the matter with doorknobs...?

    It was... interesting to watch Kev go about his business, somehow making sense of all the materials around him. Fertilizer goes on the bottom, followed by a handful or two of manure, and then the tulip bulb smothered by more organic waste. Gardening seemed to be a rather filthy pastime... "That'sss all?" asked the Dark Judge. "Huh, I thought it would be more... complicated." That surely couldn't be the entire process, could it? Well, best apply this newfound knowledge to good use, he supposed. There was an awful cacophony of creaks and groans as the helmeted ghoul's rotten cadaver of a host knelt a few feet in front of Kev, spindly legs crossing. Hmm, now let's see... First he must get a pot - yes, this one'll do - and then he had to add some fertilizer... Ghostly eyes looked to the green-and-yellow plastic bag beside the alien. "Miracle-Gro..." he quietly read aloud. That seemed pretty straightforward enough. Whereas Kev used his trowel and was mindful about cleanliness, Judge Fear was sadly not as... diligent as he could have been.

    A gangrenous green hand reached into the bag and retrieved a hearty handful, hideously-long fingernails audibly - skrch skrch skrch! - scraping against the inside of the pot. "Bloody hell, could they possssibly make thessse thingsss any sssmaller?" Judge Fear griped. "My hand barely fitsss!" But, still he tried. Still he leveled the fertilizer and gave it a good mashing with his bulbous knuckles. There, he reckoned that was sufficient enough. Now for the manure... Like before, the Dark Judge didn't bother with his trowel; he probably wasn't even aware that he had one, bless. In went his hand and out came a pungent handful of sheep manure. "Oh wait, wait. I am forgetting sssomething..." Fertilizer goes on the bottom, manure intermixed and at the top... Goodness, the blasted tulip!

    How embarrassing would that be, watering a pot of dirt and shit daily, and expect something to grow?

    Judge Fear grumbled about his absentminded stupidity and went about rectifying his mistake. "Bally plantsss..." he muttered, pinching a bulb between two hardened fingernails. Huh, its shape was kind of famil - oh dear. "...Nature isss quite vulgar, isssn't ssshe? Bessst put thisss in, quickly now." With a dainty - plop! - the tulip bulb found itself happily in a bed of fertilizer, and now the manure could be sprinkled around it. As Kev instructed, it was best to alternate between the fertilized soil and the manure, so the superfiend did exactly that. Why reinvent the wheel, right? One clump, two clump, and three clump, done!

    "There, one tulip bulb nice and cozy in itsss pot," he hissed, pleased with his handiwork. Dirty handiwork, but such was physical labour, and Judge Fear glanced back at Kev as if awaiting approval. "How wasss that? Isss it good? Do I passss?" Not bad for a first-timer, right? Does this mean he can plant another rafflesia and actually keep it~?

    Kev, you stingy bastard, he'll never forgive you.
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:17 pm

    Yes, yes, discipline... Admittedly, the structure from training had done Kev's character some good. Rather strict and at times quite complicated but...duties from his training kept the alien's path straight and diligent. There had been no faffing about when he was supposed to be exercising, or picking flowers during mental training. It had been hard, but it would have been even harder without some discipline. "Alright, you have a point there..." Kev relinquished with fond recollection.

    Demonstration complete, the alien used his gloved fingers to smooth down the dirt. Patting it down he scooped out a handful of fertilizer and pressed it on top as more room was freed up. "Planting them in the ground is pretty easy, as long as you have fencing, which we have, and a treeline to use as a buffer for the wind. Otherwise, the hard part is just caring for it as it grows! And we have to water it once we're done, of course..." Reaching over for the can, Kev tipped it and slowly poured the water inside of the pot. Once the soil looked damp, he paused and set the can aside once again. "We can't put too much water in there, or else it'll drown." Hands enveloping the pot and pulling it close as if it were a small child, Fear had Kev's undivided attention as he began to fill his pot!

    And...it was a very messy method. Yet somehow, not a bit of the manure or fertilizer lay wasted in the grass. Every bit that Fear had collected with his...bare hands, had found its way into the pot. A pot which really was too small for the Judge's hands. Thankful that he hadn't broken the plastic in the process, the alien stoically raised a brow as Fear nearly forgot the bulb. Ever the diligent pupil though, the ghoul realized his mistake and corrected it before he filled his pot. With a brief remark on the shape of the bulb, which had the alien letting out a soft snort, Fear's pot was filled up tidily and ready for inspection. "Hm, hm..." Like an art professor judging a portfolio, Kev's eyelids scrunched up as he looked the pot up and down. Wordlessly, the alien reached for the can and held it out for Fear to grab. "Just a light shower for the bulb, and you've got it!" He even threw in a playful wink. For his first time, Fear hadn't done a bad job at all!

    One pot complete, Kev set it off to the left of his knee and reached for the empty one, pulling it close as well as the bag of Miracle-Gro. Idly inspecting it with a hum, the alien noted "I might need to grab a second bag from the greenhouse, not sure if this'll last us eight pots..." The fertilizer plodded inside of the pot, fingertips pressing down lightly before Kev reached over for the plastic bag to pick out two more bulbs; one for Fear and one for himself. As he dug it out, the alien's eyes noted the words on the bag: The Little Daisy. As fun as this was, the Judge had wanted Kev to talk while they completed this task, yes? "..."

    Rustle, rustle...

    Fear's bulb set down on the bag, the scaly man turned his bulb about in his palm. His eyes took in the odd shape, the papery tunic that covered the plant. "...I'm sorry. That it...had to come to that, with Tally. I know it wasn't easy to get her to talk with you. And you did that...for me. Now I guess...you did it all for nothing." Good intentions, but alas... It felt as if it was for naught. Setting the bulb root first onto the fertilizer, he yanked the burlap opening to make it wider, thrusting his trowel in once more. "If it was going to come to this anyway, I should have just agreed with her the first time. And...ended the friendship then." Sprinkling the manure over top, Kev did not quite sound...sad. Nor was he mad. More than anything, he sounded tired and disappointed. His gaze was distant as his knuckles pounded the manure down gently. "Would have saved us all a lot of trouble, eh wot?"


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sun May 01, 2016 1:06 am

    "Kev, when don't I have a point?" Alright, alright... That was enough patting of the ego. Pride comes before a fall, etc.

    But! Judge Fear was content with the alien's praise (though less content about accepting the particularly strange watering can), and openly submitted himself to Kev's better judgement. "I am but a novice before the massster," he yielded, helmet tipping. Now, the dubious honours of watering his first potted tulip with this awkward thing...

    If the superfiend must confess, it was pleasantly serene out here, in the woods and by the babbling brook close by. And though the Dark Judge was most certainly not a fan of nature and her lively creations, he nevertheless could appreciate the effort of care and detail around them. All things, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, had a purpose in her grand design. It was funny, really... As Judge Fear sat there, both invested in reality and partially removed to a plane beyond, he felt a sort of tentative peace; like he, this miserable and unnatural wretch of an abomination, could at last pause in his good work and admire the universe around him. Everything seemed so much more fascinating this past year alone. Had it... always been this way?

    "...too much water in there, or else it'll drown."

    ...Oh, was Kev saying something?

    ...dribble ...dribble ...dribble.

    Indeed, the alien had said something, but by the time the Dark Judge left his thoughts and returned to the present... "Ah, ssshit!" It was already too late. Fertilized soil and manure seeped over the pot's lip in piecemeal chunks, water completely saturating the plastic container. "Ohhh..." Judge Fear could hardly suppress a crestfallen whine. How awfully clumsy of him! "Now look, I've gone and made a bloody messss... Hope I didn't kill the damn thing." Curse his inattention; it was dreadfully hard concentrating on the 'here' and 'now'.

    A quitter he was not, however, and soon the Dark Judge got to, yet again, correcting another mistake. His second and hopefully last, Lady Fortune permitting. "I'm jussst going to give it a drain and a light patting," he rasped, hopeful. Look! Not longer after tipping the pot over and ridding it of excess fluids, its contents were faring much better already. Some manure and Miracle-Gro was unfortunately lost in the process, but the tulip bulb itself? Some careful digging with a rotted fingernail led to a soothing discovery; the dormant seed was safe and sound, moist but relatively unharmed. A quiet sigh of relief escaped Judge Fear, and he waited not a second more refilling what had been lost in the spillage. "Talk about a ssscare, huh?" the fiend chuckled. It was a nervous chuckle, for he had gotten this close to failing something so meager as potting a flower, but sometimes it was good to laugh at an avoided disaster, no matter how narrow. What else was comedy good for if not to make light of the greatest morbid joke that was life?

    The Dark Judge was eager to make his second pot a much smoother process, this time being extra careful with his humongous and inelegant hands. Naturally, it took twice as long to plant this tulip bulb compared to the last one. How rather convenient too, because the ugly elephant in the room was about to make itself known...

    "...I'm sorry. That it...had to come to that, with Tally. I know it wasn't easy to get her to talk with you. And you did that...for me. Now I guess...you did it all for nothing."

    And now their afternoon can truly begin.

    "Methinksss you are being too hard on yourssself." Judge Fear briefly flitted his gaze to the alien, but didn't let it linger. He knew, yes. Oh he knew, and quite well. The mismatched duo worked in pregnant silence as the world leisurely passed them by, chains melodically jingling and fingers enthusiastically keeping busy. It was a nice reprieve, but... "Perhapsss." But it could not last forever, not realistically, and soon the Dark Judge's rich, somber bass invaded the ears of all who listened. "There wasss no way you could have known, Kev. Deep down in your heart, you wissshed to sssalvage sssomething that wasss already rotting from the inssside. You tried to do the right thing - the friendly thing. Don't beat yourssself up about it." Anyway... He finished with his second pot and set it aside, giving Kev his full attention. Both hands remained fixed upon his faded kneecaps. "Would you like to talk about it?" Judge Fear asked. "About what happened back there, between you and her?"
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Sun May 01, 2016 4:07 am

    Tilting his head lightly to accompany a wink, Kev refrained from answering when Fear didn't have a point. This was lighthearted after all! No sense in starting a fight or rubbing Fear the wrong way, even if jokingly. There was also something undeniably delicious about the way Fear tipped his helm and referred to Kev as the master. Eyes glinting with mischief, he merely chuckled and basked in the feeling of being Fear's master. "Huhuhu..."

    Each of them became distracted, Kev with his pot and Fear by the beauty of nature around them. As for the alien, he too basked in it. Sunlight beamed down upon his arms and legs, his scaly skull protected by the straw hat. It created a delicious warmth around him that almost put him in the mood for sunbathing, if it weren't for the pots that needed his attention. The light breeze from the wind brushed against his scales, blades of grass tickling at him... It was like a cape had been draped over his body to keep him comfortable. Ah... So nice. So relaxing. So...so sopping wet! The mouthless reptile's eyes seemed to bug out, Fear's expletive drawing him out of the peace and into the present. A present where the Judge's pot was overflowing with a mixture of water, fertilizer, and manure! He winced at the sight, hoping the little bulb within wasn't a pulpy mess!

    Aah, but listen to that whimper... Still wincing, the alien peeked up at Fear and offered a sheepish shrug. "H-hey! Maybe we caught it in time, huh? Plus, there's little holes in the bottom! Maybe that'll help drain some of it too?" He paused in his own work to observe Fear's correction of his mistake, waiting to offer assistance if the Judge needed. But, just as Kev needed room to make mistakes and correct them during training, now it was Fear's turn. Putting his problem solving skills to work, the Judge poured out the excess water and even checked on the status of the bulb within. Leaning in to peek in the hole Fear's talons had created, Kev let out a little sigh of relief. "There, see? It's safe! You must have caught it just in time." One of the large gangly hands was patted affectionately, before the alien pulled out of Fear's space so he could refill his pot. Don't worry Kikiri, no points would be deducted for that mistake. "Hehe, yeah... You really gave me a heart attack, there!" Sent his wittle heart pumping for sure!

    Now, Fear's second pot was getting a more deliberate treatment, the Judge handling everything gingerly and carefully. There was no rush after all, and so Kev's pace lessened to match the ghoul's. Just in time, as the elephant was addressed and the first words that came from the Judge were to be expected. At about the same time Fear glanced up to look at him, Kev glanced back to return the look before it dropped back to his pot. Raising his hand out of the pot, the alien brushed his palms together, fingers combing over each other. Small bits of manure that stuck to the fabric peeled off to land safely in his pot. "Hm..." His thin shoulders slumped, and Kev peered down into his pot as if it could provide the answers to all of his problems.

    Eventually, during their silence as the bugs continued to buzz near their heads, Kev returned to work by filling his pot with Miracle-Gro. The soft jangle of Fear's chains were almost as soothing as a wind-chime, and soon the ghoul spoke up once again. He wasn't going to pretend that it didn't hurt to hear one of his friendships described as 'rotting from the inside'. "Mm..." Like a rotting bud, it had to be trimmed or else the whole bush would have suffered. He didn't like admitting it because it hurt, but it was so true. Kev tried to do the right thing, and it wasn't like he would have been a jerk if he had a second chance. No, he probably would have tried as he did the first time. Made better arguments and points, maybe... Sigh.

    "Would you like to talk about it?"

    Kneading the soil into place, Kev did not immediately answer. The pot had been filled up to the top and the bulb planted... Reaching for the watering-can, the alien tilted it so that the fertilizer on top could get nice and moist. Only once all of that was done, the pot set aside with Fear's and the can nestled in the grass, did Kev raise his gaze to look back at the Judge. "Yes, please." Shifting so that he was sitting in a criss cross stance, the Kryptonistanian laid his elbows to rest upon his knees. "I guess the best place to begin is, at the beginning. I went over to try and...clear the air, you know? Just lay it all out and...talk about our issues. Maybe address any questions she may have..." Such as Kev, why are you dating Fear? or How long has this been going on?, for example... Questions that seemed to be the kind Tally would have normally asked of him. "And when I got there, she was so...tight-lipped. And...calm. She seemed alright with us but..." He sighed, and nearly grasped his own chin before remembering where his gloves had been. Eyeing the appendage and turning his face away from it, he continued.

    "It's not like I wanted her to get angry and chase me down or something, but... With how she reacted just because I was your friend... I thought she'd be even angrier. Maybe...disgusted. Instead, she was just...fine. It was calm and mellow but...it didn't feel right. Since she didn't really feel up to...telling me anything without being prompted, I decided to ask her some questions and... Once I brought up the Outer District, it took a sour turn." It had been a risky road, one that could not be abandoned once embarked. Gone was the strange peace, the tight-lipped Tally that insisted she had accepted Kev and Fear. Replaced instead by a determined woman with plans... A shiver ran down his spine, gaze turning downward as he went quiet to allow Fear to soak this all in.


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sun May 01, 2016 7:24 am

    Bask in that radiant glow all you want, Kev, because you were only the master when he said so. Proving himself a good sport, Judge Fear let the alien have his moment unfettered. "Yesss, if only we could be ssso lucky..." he mumbled, in regards to Kev's 'heart attack' comment. Er, almost a good sport about it. Attitude adjustments were seldom tweaked in a day, let alone a year.

    In any event, it was time for a small break.

    The aromatic smell of freshly-kindled tobacco wafted in the gentle afternoon breeze, earthy and wholesome in body. Plumes of hazy smoke outwardly curled from the superfiend's helmet like a smokestack as he patiently listened to Kev have his say. No harm in trying to settle matters once and for all, the Dark Judge internally reasoned. It took a lot of courage standing up to someone who was vehemently dogged in their ways. A lot of courage indeed, for Stevens was not an easy individual to tackle. As for the swordswoman seeming alright with Kev's choice in, ahem, company... Judge Fear shook his head while snuffing out the match's flame with a stiff flick of his wrist. "That'sss becaussse ssshe wasssn't calm about it," he answered. It was easy to say something without meaning it, but it was another thing entirely to be convincing when one's heart knew better. "If I had to chance a guessss," the helmeted ghoul began, "ssshe wasss hoping you would be at eassse with her wordsss, even if ssshe herssself ssstruggled with them. Perhapsss ssshe wissshed to believe in them asss well?"

    People were complicated, enigmatic creatures. There could be plenty of reasons as to why Stevens behaved the way she did, or maybe even none at all. Maybe her words, her body language, and her tone had all been pieces of the truth? Maybe none of it had been the truth? Maybe there were half-truths sprinkled in with lies and bitter denial? Whatever the truth was, Judge Fear reckoned it remained buried until its eventual reveal. Everything said today was purely conjecture supported by firsthand observations and previous altercations between two stubborn, fiercely tenacious friends.

    "No, I don't believe you wissshed to make her irate or upssset; you jussst wanted her to lisssten." A labour worthy of Hercules, for how do you make the willfully ignorant acknowledge your argument? "Ssshe wasssn't going to lisssten to you, mate," Judge Fear hissed, shaking his head again. Both arms folded over his emaciated chest as the fiend got comfortable, two fingers pinched around his smoke. "Ssshe heard you, but ssshe didn't lisssten. Sssomeone like Ssstevensss isssn't going to change her opinion in a fortnight; ssshe thinksss ssshe isss in the right." And, in some aspects, maybe she was? Judge Fear was, after all, a genocidal superfiend hellbent on eradicating the living from his virtuous sights. Not even the Dark Judge could find issue with the swordswoman's argument there. He blew out a jet of toxic fumes, adding, "Asss for the Outer Dissstrict, I believe that to be a front - a facade that sssoundsss good, but ssshe honessstly couldn't give a damn. If ssshe could, how come Ssstevensss hasss never bothered to help thossse dejected vagabondsss? No, I agree with you there, Kev. If ssshe truly cared about them, and not the drug peddlersss and gang membersss, ssshe would have put in the effort. Asss it ssstandsss, however, it'sss jussst a hollow argument that meansss very little to thossse who know better."

    You know what they say: it was easier to talk the talk than it was to walk the walk.

    Ah well... Judge Fear shrugged and took another drag, his cigarette burning bright. "Have you ever consssidered that maybe ssshe didn't want to open up thisss time?" he asked. Kev wasn't going to like what the ghoul had to say, but there was no point in holding back now. "You know, ssshe wasssn't quite enthussssed about meeting me at the park. In fact, ssshe was rather mortified that I knew where ssshe worked and how to reach her." It didn't take a brain surgeon to see where this was going... The fiend shrugged again, sniffing. "Maybe ssshe, I don't know, didn't want to sssay too much becaussse ssshe knew I wasss lissstening?" A highly unpleasant revelation, but there it was. "Anyway, it'sss jussst a hypothesssisss. Might be true, might be not. No way of telling without picking her brain."
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Sun May 01, 2016 7:10 pm

    Such dark humor was very familiar by this point, Fear's answer an almost cheeky little hum. Yes indeed, if only, eh? Ah, but his heart was in better shape than that! If, after all this time, Kev found his death by way of an overfilled flowerpot...? Oh, he'd never hear the end of it.

    With his work halfway done, the Judge deemed it time for a break, lighting up one of his cigarettes and having himself a smoke. The vents of Fear's helm looked like the front of a train, as smoke pumped out of them to join the summer breeze. It curled and waved, spread out through the air until it disappeared. Kev's eyes idly traced shapes in the smoke as it wafted about. His head nodded in solemn agreement. Indeed, Tally wasn't at peace. She had not accepted it. But why say otherwise? Why insist that she had? The Dark Judge's hypothesis was that the woman had been trying to ease Kev's spirits. That perhaps if she told Kev that she had no issues, the alien would be at peace. And maybe she really wanted to be at peace. To be on the same side as him, for them both to have a clear understanding and still be friends. For this disagreement to not get between them. Alas... "That's what I was afraid of," The alien fussed about with the fingertips of his gloves, tugging lightly with the loose ends. "Maybe before I would have...blindly accepted her words. But, I don't want her to just tell me what I want to hear. I want her to be honest. If she's honestly unhappy, I'd rather know about it now, you know? If she were, that's her opinion. She is allowed to have a different opinion than me." A difference of opinion had never been the problem. Merely...how it was expressed, and the reasons why. "I want her to believe in those words too, but if she can't, she can't. Wouldn't be any use to lie to ourselves about it." That would just be an unpleasant surprise down the line.

    How would things have gone if Kev left when Tally insisted everything was fine? He'd buy his goods, leave and go home... Sure, today wouldn't have tasted so sour, but where would they have been a month from now? Two? Even a year? If Fear kept being Fear, killing people in the Outer District while Kev remained steadfast to his side? As friends, he had been 'enabling' Fear. Would Tally soon feel the same about him again? Would she turn to Kev, as if he held a leash over the Judge? And if the nukes did drop...if the City was rendered a husk and everybody refreshed a week later, would Tally still be at peace? Would she accept that Kev loved this man? No... It was better to lay it out today, than deal with a train wreck later that would only hurt them both more.

    Though the young woman may think otherwise now, at least Fear didn't think he went over to pick a fight. He really, really hadn't... Fights just seemed to come naturally whenever the two of them broached this subject. "Yeah... She thinks she's right, won't listen to anything else. I feel like I'm in the right. Maybe she thinks I didn't listen either." Anything else felt...wrong, and Kev now felt a deep sense of conviction. "I tried, I really did. I wanted it to work." But just because you want something, doesn't make it so. Reality was far more complicated than that. Also complicated was the matter of the Outer District. The Judge thought similarly to Kev, that the Outer District was less an actual worry, and more something to be angry at Fear about. A righteous stand, a banner. As the Judge chugged away like a chimney, one of Kev's hands flattened against the grass and smoothed it out. Moving over the blades as if he was combing hair. One fingertip hooked around the edge of a blade, twirling it around as he thought.

    "Maybe she does care but...the only way she can see to stop you and make any difference is by...destroying you. Like she honestly couldn't think of any other way. But this is Portal Breach. If there's anything I've learned here, it's that anything is possible. I don't know why she thinks the only way to stop you is to erase you from this Gamma. Maybe she doesn't want to think of any other possibility." Because just as it used to terrify Kev to think Ridley was still around, Tally had that same fear. But instead of a spooky space dragon, that horror was directed at someone he loved. Tulsit...did that feel wrong. The scaly man huffed, palm flattening against the ground and rubbing against the dirt. "You make her feel vulnerable, and she doesn't like that. So rather than do what's right or what she thinks is best for everyone... She's doing what she wants." When two people's wants collided, it could only end in fireworks.

    "Have you ever consssidered that maybe ssshe didn't want to open up thisss time?"

    "..." Glancing up, the alien seemed to size the Judge up, wondering where he was going with this. Perhaps he could shed some light on it...? "Yes...I did consider that. But I didn't understand why. She strolled right into my store last time, the past year she's been very vocal about her opinions. Why clam up now?" Because she was tired, maybe? Had nothing new to say? "Mortified...?" Kev shuffled in place, uncomfortable with the implications that were beginning to come to light. Tally felt vulnerable around Fear, Tally didn't like talking to him or knowing that he knew where she worked... Maybe Tally felt vulnerable around Kev, as if he was a direct line to Fear, and refused to open up around him. Scales bristled at the thought, particularly the scales along his arms and face. "M-mm..." His gaze kept focused onto Fear, gazing up at him as gears turned in his brain. "If...if that is true... Then it's even better that we've stopped. What kind of friends would we be, if she can't talk to me? If I couldn't talk to her? If we both just feel uncomfortable and unhappy?" How had that come to be? When did the rot begin? Why...was this so hard?

    Turning his head away sharply, Kev's eyes scrunched shut tightly. The shade of his hat shielded him from the sun, and his fingers tensed into the ground. Not quite pulling up grass, but very tense against the soil. "Do...do you think it'll be like that with everyone? That nobody will want to talk to me because you'd be listening? They'll just give me nice words and walk away...and as soon as I'm gone, sneer about us?" Quiet for a moment, he huffed shakily as his scales remained upright and bristly. "Nobody acted like that when I was bonded to Terra or Arius... Not even people who didn't like them."


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    "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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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

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      Current date/time is Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:00 am