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


    Of Tulips And Men

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    Fear
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sun May 01, 2016 9:06 pm

    Maybe an overfilled flower pot wouldn't stop the alien's beating heart, but a lengthy friendship suddenly broken and reduced to bitter ashes in the span of a few measly weeks? Possibly, Possibly... Judge Fear wouldn't pretend to know what a true friend was; he had no genuine concept of the word, for Deadworld was a dog-eat-dog world. Friends didn't help you survive another hellish day on those dilapidated streets or watch your back when calamity struck.

    'Friends' did.

    'Friends' like his brothers, 'friends' like the Sisters. On Deadworld, it paid to have 'friends' in high, prestigious places and ranks. That was the only way to get ahead and be rewarded. Liberal sentiments such as altruism and chivalry didn't pay the piper.

    "Maybe she does care but...the only way she can see to stop you and make any difference is by...destroying you."

    Oh how funny...

    For the longest time, Judge Fear didn't say anything - not a word, not a sound. He simply sat there and puffed away on his smoke, ghostly eyes boring through the murky veil as he quietly stared at the alien. Ten seconds... Twenty seconds... before things settled into an uncomfortable silence. When the helmeted ghoul finally spoke, it was nothing short of brusque. "Yeah? And I'm the goddamn tooth faerie." The arrogance of sinners, honestly. Judge Fear had half a mind to pay the swordswoman an angry visit. Vulnerable? Oh, he'll show her vulnerable. A tinny snort rang out from his helmet. "Ssshe doesssn't have the ssstonesss," he openly jeered. "No sssinner, I don't care how powerful or clever, hasss ever devisssed a way of reversssing thisss, thisss... whatever it isss." Gift, ability, curse - all the same bloody thing. Incensed, the superfiend only became more defiant. "Dessstroy usss..." Judge Fear brushed such a ridiculous notion aside with a dismissive huff. "What a load of horsssessshit. Ssstevensss isss all talk and no walk. All. Talk. Even if by sssome miracle ssshe hasss found a way to harm usss, it wouldn't be bloody permanent, I can tell you that. Then what, huh? Then what? My brother and I are only going to come back - we alwaysss do. That'sss why the Mega-City contained usss; you cannot kill what doesss not live."

    But, Kev was right. As much as the Dark Judge was loath to admit it, he was. This was Portal Breach. Anything could happen, and that didn't sit well with the mumbling ghoul seated before the alien. "Rubbisssh, utter rubbisssh..." he continued to protest in-between puffs. Great, now his temper was all fired up and ready to serve that sanctimonious florist a chilled serving of humble pie. A fat lot of good it would do, peh!

    "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?"

    "Everyone can go feck themssselvesss." A pause. And then an aggravated sigh followed. "Oi..." Leathery fingers slowly massaged Judge Fear's metal brow, the superfiend catching himself before any irreparable damage was done. "Apologiesss, Kev, I didn't mean to sssnap like that. Jussst a little... ssstresssed, that'sss all. Thisss sssituation isss beyond frussstrating at thisss point." And needlessly so, which he was certain they could both wholeheartedly agree on. Still, that was no excuse. The Dark Judge knew better than to compromise his levelheadedness like a first year rookie. Being objective was the name of the game, and that's what he was going to strive for. "Look, I don't think your friendsss, whoever they are, are going to agree with Ssstevensss' approach," he said, much calmer than seconds before. "Ssshe had no busssinessss getting into your ssspace like that, alluding to thessse 'plansss', and then holding you hossstage with the alternative of her and the young girl leaving thisss dimensssion. That wasss real sssleazy, and I think a lot of your companionsss would sssympathize with your indignation." So chin up about that, yeah?

    "Nobody acted like that when I was bonded to Terra or Arius... Not even people who didn't like them."

    The helmeted ghoul wasn't without a sensible response this time. "Kev, mate, lisssten. You're not looking at the bigger picture. If you take a ssstep back and think about it for a sssecond, you'll realize that only two individualsss have openly addresssed their grievancesss with you - and rather churlissshly, I might add. Well, three if you count the fisssh-boy, but no one givesss a rat'sss arssse about him." Eridan was 'literally who' status, so they needn't bother. "Jussst Montiago and jussst Ssstevensss," Judge Fear repeated. "You're not alone, Kev, ssso don't go down that rabbit hole. You'll ssstart to sssee thingsss that aren't there." And nobody liked a witch hunt.
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Sun May 01, 2016 10:29 pm

    Kev almost thought nothing of the silence, thinking that perhaps Fear was simply listening. The stare gave him away. An intense stare with otherworldly eyes, hidden within iron that was looking right through him. It made his chest still, staring back. What was wrong? When the Judge did speak... It was with a biting tone, harsh and without humor. The cause for it was the notion, the very idea of purging Fear and his brother from the Gamma. He believed that Tally was merely talking, puffing her chest out and using big words. Yet, no amount of jabber-jawing was going was going to amount to much, as you cannot kill what does not live. "You know what's weird...? She said as much. She told me that she'd probably fail, that you two could beat her and she wouldn't even be able to hurt you. So why...would she even try...?" It was maddening. If Tally recognized that her mission was futile... Why would she keep going on such a vicious, unproductive cycle? The mumbling did not go unnoticed either, and Kev realized that, though anything was possible, it really meant anything. Reaching over to rest a hand on Fear's knee-pad, he gave it a squeeze. "Hey... I made a promise. If you were ever contained, I'd come for you. That still holds true. No matter what is possible...I'll be here. And I'll do whatever is possible to help keep you here. Plans or no plans." Possibilities went both ways.

    Another snap, sharper this time and he tensed once again. Eyes snapped back open in a hurry. Fear was much more upset this time, and the hand on Fear's knee continued to rub lightly. "I know... I know. It probably isn't any easier, because you get emotions and such from my end. I'm stressed--angry--sad--so many things." This was unfamiliar territory. Fear's words did offer comfort though, assuring the alien that the rest of his friends would not follow Tally's lead. "You're right. I don't...I don't think they'd be happy to hear that she considered leaving like that. They may not like you but...you're right, they wouldn't be so...extreme. After all, Tally is the only one with a vendetta against you." Which wasn't to say anybody else was going to be informed. Unless worries were expressed about Tally and her possibly leaving, that would stay between the alien and her.

    Before Kev could spiral down into a cycle of 'me vs. them', Fear put the kibosh on that in an instant. Stepping in to shake the alien out of that line of thinking, Fear gave him a good dose of reality. Reality dictated that there were a handful of people who didn't approve of Fear and Kev, who had spoken against them. Only a handful. More people had left Kev to do as he pleased, expressing perhaps some concerns, but nothing else. Nothing like...like this. Paranoia was a hefty and dangerous thing, and the Judge stepped in before that paranoia could turn about and consume everything. He turned his head away sharply, brim of his hat hiding the Judge's helm from his line of sight. Shame curdled within him, realizing that he had almost gone down a risky road.

    "I'm...I'm sorry. You are right. They've just...been so loud. W-what is this, almost a year now? When Sonia finally found peace, Tally appeared and... It was like the same thing all over again. It's been so long. I'm tired. I just...I just want to get off this ride. I don't want to argue about us anymore. I've made my decision, and I'm sticking to it." This had also been a decision, one made with a heavy heart but one he'd stay with. It was better for them both this way. "I'm not gonna go talk to Tally about this anymore, we'll both go our separate ways for now. Hopefully...this way, we won't have to argue anymore. And since you are right, maybe we can finally start having some peace and quiet. Without anybody throwing their noses into our business and getting upset at us." Sonia had moved on, and Tally would be left to her own devices. Eridan? Who knew where the fish-troll had gone to. So long as nobody else stepped up to declare a vendetta against the Judges or expressed disgust about Fear and Kev... Maybe they could finally get over this and move on.


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Sun May 01, 2016 11:17 pm

    "Of courssse ssshe'd fail," was the curt reply. If the best Mega-City One had to offer couldn't permanently defeat the Dark Judges, what made some no-name Average Joe like Stevens think she stood even a percent of a chance? "You know, Kev, I honesssstly can't begin to tell you." And that was the truth. Sinners were just... maddening, sometimes. Why rush to an early demise? Why challenge an impossible foe? Why do anything so foolhardy as to prove a futile point? Capable psychic or not, Judge Fear was unable to wrap his mind around Stevens' logic. He shrugged, imitating the alien earlier by resting his brittle elbows upon his knees, head propped up within both hands. His dirty hands, but that was a given. "I don't know..." the fiend sighed, weary. It was the same shit, different day. "It'sss jussst busssinesss, eh wot? I have a job to do and that'sss that. Sssure, I'm a sssadissst. Sssure, I'm an annoyingly persssissstent bassstard. But I'm not a wretched dog that needsss to be put down becaussse sssome lady with a big knife isss insssecure. We're all a little insssecure deep down, but you don't sssee me making a big fussss about it."

    Ah, well... That was enough moping, and Judge Fear could no longer stomach unproductive whining - his especially. It was damn decent of Kev to comfort him, though. Scaly blighter... Bloody shame that he got mixed up in all of this unnecessary drama. "Eh, I'll be alright," the Dark Judge muttered. "No need to fret about sssmelly ol' me." Judge Fear suffered worse, besides. What's a threat or two compared to years in a stupid crystal?

    "I'm tired. I just...I just want to get off this ride. I don't want to argue about us anymore."

    Poor sod...

    Before the alien knew it, a skeletal finger hovered beneath his chin and gave it a playful tap. Try not to mind the smell (and taste) of manure. "Don't look ssso blue," encouraged the fiend. "This isss jussst a phassse, remember? It'll passsss and you'll be worrying about sssomething elssse fassster than you think. Who knowsss, Kev? Maybe after a decent amount of time hassss passsssed and the bad blood hasss sssettled, you and Ssstevensss will be friendsss again? That'd be nice, wouldn't it? You going your ssseparate waysss isss bessst for you both, but no one sssaid it'sss forever." And if anyone knew how long forever actually was, it would be a Dark Judge burdened with immortality.

    Peace and quiet did sound rather appealing, though. After roughly a year of arguing and observing Kev weather interrogation after interrogation by those close to him, Judge Fear could only stand aside for so long. The alien didn't deserve that kind of hostility - not when he was just some love-struck tree savage making friends with the wrong crowd. Guilty by association? Certainly, but there were other ways to go about it. On the other hand, Kev had a track record with these sort of things, didn't he? There were no whistle blowers then. Why now?

    "Right, you ssshouldn't talk to her after today," Judge Fear agreed, nodding. "You'll only ssstir the pot, and then we might have a nassstier problem. Bessst to leave her alone, let her cool off, and ssstick to your individual livesss. Woundsss are ssstill too fresssh." No reason to go prodding the hornet's nest. And speaking of something mildly discomforting... The helmeted ghoul fidgeted where he sat, slender fingers absentmindedly plucking out random blades of grass. "Can't really sssay I like the thought of her having plansss, though..." he quietly confessed. That was never a good sign. "Ssshe could be plotting anything, and given her violent outburssstsss and threatsss, I can't imagine it being any good. I'm sssorry thingsss sssoured asss they did, but do be careful, Kev. Unlike me, you are merely flesssh and bone."

    Everyone had vulnerabilities, just as the alien said. It just so happened that Kev was ironically the Dark Judge's.

    ...Would Stevens really go that far to satisfy her single-minded crusade?
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Mon May 02, 2016 12:10 am

    With failure so clear, why did Tally continue this path...? And as Tally had questioned, why did Kev 'care'? Why did he worry? If the Dark Judge was so invincible, why stress about him? Well...perhaps it was for the same reason that Kev worried for Fear's physical well-being even though he could feel no pain. Simply put, the tree savage was in love. Threats, even empty and impossible ones, weren't something to sneeze at when they were directed at someone he cared for. The ghoul regarded his job as nothing personal, merely something he did that he may get pleasure out of at times. Tally though...it was personal. So personal. "I don't think you're a dog that needs to be put down either. And I agree. I've been on this path and I know how it feels. How insecure and rocky she is but... But I moved on. I got over it, accepted that the mission I had taken on was an impossible one. She doesn't want to do that. She wants to see this through, wherever it goes." The alien had a taste of the lows he'd sink to, in order to make himself feel better and make the world safe. Would Tally sink to such a level as well?

    Inclining his head, the alien chuckled lightly and gave the foam pad a firm squeeze. "This has to do with you as much as it does me. You fret over me, and I fret over you. It's only fair..." The Judge had emotions too, and being mentally tied to Kev likely added to that. It was only right to check up on Fear and reassure him as he went through this with Kev. To do otherwise, or to brood and ignore how Fear may feel, would be wrong.

    Lengthy fingers hovered over to Kev's face, one sharp talon positioned beneath his chin and rap-tapped against the scales there. The sensation tickled (the taste of manure was noted but ignored for the sake of not ruining the moment, he could clean his face later) and the alien wiggled lightly. Impermanence was the lesson here, as it always was. Right now, it burned. But, a month from now it wouldn't. Just as making fake-nice would only come to bite him in the butt, going their separate ways for now was the most honest thing they could do. The future was rather unsteady but...wasn't it always? Besides, things would not be here forever. Lifting his gaze and no longer hiding behind his hat, Kev nodded firmly. The comfort seemed to do the trick, his scales having smoothed over to their usual position. "Yeah... Maybe we both just need time to think. Time to sit. Time to move on. There's no reason it has to stay this way forever..." If Megamind had been willing to stay and change, it didn't have to be forever for him either. But the blue headed alien had drawn his line in the sand, more content to mourn from afar and be the victim forever. Time would tell if Tally would move past this point in their life, whether they'd be able to befriend each other again... But there was no reason to think things would always be like this. There was still some hope.

    Oh Gods yes, stirring the pot was the last thing he wanted to do. Talking to Tally would make things worse, perhaps make her feel as if he were trying to rub salt into the wound. Space... That was what they needed. "Yes sir, I agree. Room to breathe and grow for both of us. I'll keep things civil if I see her around the City, there's no reason to pick a fight." The closest thing he'd ever done to picking a fight had just occurred, and he saw how well that turned out... Alas, there was still one more elephant to address. Though this elephant was more like a spooky guillotine sitting in the corner, waiting to be used. The ghoul fidgeted, and the alien scoffed lightly as one hand clenched into a fist. "Yeah, I can't say I'm much of a fan either..." Frankly, it made him a little peeved just to think about it. Tally could have anything planned, and she was never going to allow Kev to be privy to it. When would she strike? What would she do? Would she have her backups and merely wait for her time to strike? And what would she deem as a good reason to fight?

    Pulling himself up off the ground, the alien approached the seated ghoul and wrapped his arms around Fear's helm, being mindful of the bat wings and chains. With a fwomp, the Judge found his sight hidden by the colorful shirt Kev wore. Gloved fingers lightly stroked at the metal. "I'll be careful... I promise. You be careful too. I'm sorry they soured too but... We'll be alright. I won't let it get me down, so don't let it get you down too. Maybe after we're done, I can make us some tea while you wash your hands?" His tone turned to a more joking one at the mention of Fear's hands, lightly nudging him. Angry as it made him, the alien had to attend to Fear's feelings too. Fear may very well be...afraid. Tally no longer had Kev to keep her from going after him. "I'll stay safe." One more squeeze, and Kev let him go. He did not immediately sit back down however, as he turned on a heel to approach the circle. His hands reached down, plucking two pots in each hand and pinching them between his fingers. Returning to his spot, Kev returned to work on one of the pots, already filling the bottom of it with Miracle-Gro, but not before glancing over to the Judge.

    "Thank you for talking to me... I needed that. I feel better now that I've had a chance to vent to you. It was exhausting but... I think this'll be the last time I'll have to get into an argument like that." Pounding the fertilizer into the bottom, dark blue eyes stared at him in light concern. "How about you? Anything you want to talk about?"


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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Fear on Mon May 02, 2016 1:00 am

    Ah, revenge... It was as passionate as it was self-destructive, but was it really revenge that Stevens so thirstily craved? A pensive hum escaped the Dark Judge's throat, his stained fingernails scratching at it. "Mm, I don't think it isss necessssarily revenge ssshe'sss looking for," he remarked. Revenge regarding what, that fiasco with the thorns? Please, the Dark Judges had helped save the day, not succumb to a deity mad with power. Although they did purge a generous handful of teammates along their travels, the swordswoman included... Eh, mere details. "But if ssshe wantsss to sssee her damnation through, let her. It isss a fool'sss errand, Kev, and you're better than that. We musssn't be recklesssss." Judge Fear may be zealous, but he wasn't outright stupid. Well, maybe a teensy bit... That wine bottle didn't fill itself.

    "This has to do with you as much as it does me. You fret over me, and I fret over you. It's only fair..."

    Aw, shucks...

    Heretic! Blasphemer! Apostate! The Dark Judge was all of these things and he wouldn't deny it. Let him be, however. Let him be, for this sinner, this sappy buffoon of a tree savage, showed him more genuine appreciation than anyone he had ever known. Sad? Yes. Pathetic? Incredibly. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and it sure as hell beat the monotony of un-death. "It'sss only fair," he echoed happily.

    Anyhow, that's the spirit, mate! Lift your chin up and don't give into despair so easily. You were rather good at that... As already discussed, it wasn't the end of the world. Perhaps the end of a chapter in your life, but definitely not the end. There were plenty of adventures yet to be written, new exotic lands to be discovered, treasure begging to be claimed, strangers from far off places and beliefs just waiting to tell you their story! You had a whole life ahead of you, so why waste it being down in the doldrums, hmm? If there was anyone who could see the good in things and cling onto happiness, it was you, Kev-Mak-Tarr. At least Judge Fear seemed to think so, anyway. "I'm sssure you will do the right thing and be consssiderate of her feelingsss." His faith in the alien remained unshaken. "Whether or not ssshe desssiresss to make amendsss with you, there isssn't a doubt in my mind that you'll be truthful to yourssself." If you give an attention-starved ghoul a pinch of kindness...

    Fwomp!

    ...Oh. Hello there, Kev.

    A hug... Concern for well-being... Promises of tea... Somewhere out in the great wide yonder, a certain group of sleeping dogs were wagging their tails with wild abandon. A muffled voice spoke directly into the alien's vibrant shirt, "Oooh, I do feel like enjoying a good cuppa." That Kev knew just how to please him, he did. But wash his hands? His corpse hands? Honestly, Kev! A smattering of manure was probably a vast improvement. "Alright, alright," Judge Fear yielded, chuckling. He weakly threw a handful of loose grass at Kev as the alien walked away. "But yesss, I'll be careful. I'd rather not get trapped in a bottle and then ssstuffed into Ssstevensss' panty drawer, thank you." Wouldn't that be something to tell everyone at the tavern?

    Their break ended as quickly as it had began, and soon it was back to, sigh, gardening. The superfiend didn't know how Kev could stand the repetitive pastime. He begrudgingly picked up another plastic pot, his third, and got to fetching handfuls of fertilized soil. "You're welcome, Kev. I figured you would have appreciated sssomeone to hear your woesss. Asss for myssself, I'm fine. Nothing to really talk about except for the ssshit on your lip." Wait, what shi - ?

    FWUMP!

    It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a wad of manure and it came flying Kev's way. Oops~! Who's the dirty boy now, huh? "Ha ha! I think I jussst may like thisss gardening after all, eh, Kev?" Yes, everything was going to be quite fine.
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    Re: Of Tulips And Men

    Post by Kev on Mon May 02, 2016 2:10 am

    Revenge... Like willfully swallowing a poison. The alien had become desperate, narrow-minded, and refused to sit by and allow Ridley to exist. Sounded familiar, no? Yet, if it wasn't revenge... What was Tally's poison, then? "I guess she just...doesn't like you, plain and simple." Opinions were opinions, and yet that still tasted so disappointing. If Kev pledged to exterminate everyone he didn't like... Well, let's just say he'd have had his hands busy. To waste so much time and energy just because you didn't like someone. Not a lifestyle Kev would take part in anymore. "Right. We won't interfere with her if she doesn't interfere with us." He'd rather she didn't take her damnation into a fiery crash, and he also hoped she wouldn't pack her bags. No matter which she did now though, it wasn't Kev's place to interfere or get in the way. Not unless she harmed or obliterated Fear. Even then, he knew that the Judge would prefer he stay out of it.

    The heart wants what the heart wants, indeed. In this case, Kev wanted to be with an undead man who had been brought up in a dangerous world, who desired to kill all of the living. Not the most conventional of choices, but there was a reason for this choice. It was right here. The bright and chipper tone to Fear's voice as he echoed Kev's sentiment. Such a small little alien could cheer up the taller, lankier man. They cheered each other up, held each other, supported... Most importantly, they helped each other grow. Bitter seeds could have taken hold in Kev's heart, to have lost a longtime friend like this. Instead, the Judge was attentive to remind Kev of who he was; an optimistic alien who saw the good in things, and would move forward through any obstacle. He gave the ghoul a lighthearted chuckle, tipping his head to him. "Definitely. I'm sure that in time, we'll be alright. I know I'll definitely be here until it happens. Waiting and ready to begin." It had been hard, but...Fear had been worth it.

    Ha, his voice sounded so muffled! Kev chuckled at the sound of it, patting Fear's helm again in response. "A cuppa does sound great right about now, doesn't it?" A soothing, warm drink to calm the soul. It was exactly what the Doctor ordered. Releasing him at Fear's agreement to wash his hands, the alien snorted at the sight of grass flying in his direction. A couple of blades managed to slip their way into his sandal. The pesky things stuck to the bottom of his foot, unnoticed as the alien settled back onto the ground. "Haha, yes, please avoid getting stuck in any underwear drawers. That'll be a hard one to explain, but it could also make for good blackmail." Imagine...blackmailing somebody over the contents of their panty drawer.

    Their labor was picked back up, Kev picking out his bulb and setting it down to lay in the pot. As his hands moved, he still paid attention to Fear, nodding his head. Yes yes, talking to someone about his woes meant so much to him. Fear had no woes to speak of aside from the shit on Kev's--wait...

    FWUMP

    The Judge had come to grips with his primate ancestors, grabbing a handful of manure and chucking it at the alien like a real monkey. "Aaugh-!" Kev squealed, squinting his eyes to overlook the damage. The thick manure lay there on his shirt, clumped enough that it wasn't sticking onto the fabric, yet fresh enough that he could see a few little streaks. Shrieking with a laugh, the alien grasped a chunk of it and seemed to inspect it. "You're lucky I needed this!" To make the point, he dropped the piece into his pot and reached for another piece to drop in there. "That's one way to find your enjoyment in gardening, but I promise you this Fear; you're gonna WASH this shirt for me tonight!" So long as the two of them had each other, they would always be fine. No matter what lay ahead for them.


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