Kintsugi Plays Fallen Hero: Rebirth

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by keltena, Dec 31, 2022.

  1. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    That looks like majority agreement, so!

    > …I'm glad that Ortega wasn't there.

    Part of you is still grateful that Charge was not on active duty when you broke in. You know you have to face Ortega eventually, but right now you are in no way ready for it.

    It's all in the past, and you know you have set your mind on this course, and there's no turning back. But facing Ortega will be the biggest test of your conviction yet. There are so many fond memories there, and…

    No. The fact that you were once friends can't change the truth. What happened. Who you are. What she represents. You need to get that into your head and stop thinking about what could have been. How hard she would work on getting you to change your mind. To save you.


    However, tonight you will leave all thoughts of what has been behind you. It's time to get dressed up and get to work.

    The kind of work that you can't do looking like yourself….

    It's not that you are bad looking, at least not with your clothes on. They made sure of that. Of course, you can't allow yourself to look too attractive either and draw another kind of attention you are not ready for.

    On the streets, you are essentially a nobody: just another tired soul, shoulders slumped in your habitual ignore-me pose. With your past being what it is, though, you are still far too recognizable by people you want to steer clear of, especially in the Enhanced circles. If you want to have any hope of pulling this off, you need to be discreet.

    And that means not being yourself.

    If there is one thing you have learned about people, it is that there are two ways to avoid attention. The first is by doing what you do in your real body; be quiet and unremarkable so nobody will notice you. The second is to stand out, be bold, and lean into people's preconceptions. A beautiful woman with a body to die for and a face that will mix with the memories of all other beautiful women out there. A handsome man with the whitest of smiles and as forgettable as the fading warmth of his handshake.

    Masks. Puppets. And since it is nothing but a mask, it is easier to stick to the binary. It saves a lot of awkward conversations with people you don't want to remember you.

    My puppet of choice is:

     ‣ It is a young woman.
     ‣ It is a young man.


    We have one last part of our character sheet to fill out: our go-to puppet body. This one should go a bit faster and involve fewer PTSD nightmares — although I'm afraid we will have to remember what a gender is.
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
    • Like x 1
  2. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction


    Votes are in, and they say we may have to remember what our puppet's gender is, but like hell are we going to choose it. Our lovely assistant Lady Luck will answer for us:

    > It is a young woman.

    While possessing random strangers is safer, for some tasks you need a recurring face—someone who can be remembered, build relations, and talk to people who would be too risky to approach in your own body.

    That is why you built an identity for your puppet, including a fake name…

     ‣ …Yasmin. I named her after the doll.
     ‣ …Jane. She's a Jane Doe, after all.
     ‣ …Eden. It suits her.
     ‣ …I named her…

    This time we just need a first name. I realize naming characters is the single hardest part of any game, so a couple optional suggestions for if people are drawing blanks:

    • The runner-up suggestion for Josie's name was Jann Hind, a play on John/Jane Doe. We could use that (or a variation) for our puppet, if people like — it might even be a better match for her than for us.

    • The game offers some decent suggestions — if any of those appeal, we could always use one. Or take them as inspiration and name our puppet after, say, a different doll.

    And of course, if you do have ideas please share! I just want to make sure this LP is accessible for the chronically naming-challenged like myself. :P
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  3. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    > I named her... Barbara, because there's something tickling your fancy about facing the world through a barbie doll.
    • Like x 2
  4. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Looks like it's decided — our puppet is a Barbie girl in a less-than-Barbie world.

    > …I named her…

    Her name is:

    > Barbara

    Her name is Barbara, right?

     ‣ Yes.
     ‣ Wait a moment, I misremembered.

    > Yes.

    It was about two years ago that you found Barbara languishing in a hospital, catatonic and comatose. You have an agreement of sorts: you use her empty body, and in return she doesn't waste away in a hospital bed. Not that she has signed any papers. It's been years, and you've yet to find any trace of thoughts or a personality in there.

    Her mind is gone for good, so you doubt she'd mind if you helped yourself to her leftovers.

    To keep your two identities separate, you got her an apartment of her own. Though it is a bit of a risk, it sits right on top of your own because to truly slip into someone's mind (or lack of it) and possess them, you need to be close.

    Close enough to single out their thoughts from the hive that is humanity.

    That used to be the case. While it still is true for your other victims, slipping into Barbara is as comfortable as slipping into an old pair of jeans. With the amount of practice you have had, you've managed to possess her from miles away—though that leaves your original body defenseless if you leave it resting somewhere else.

    There was not much of a selection of comatose bodies, so you picked her mostly for convenience. That she looks good is an added bonus, and was what made you decide to lean into it to make her a better mask.

    Time for a final create-a-sim lightning round! I'm going to give you all the choices up-front; Josie can describe Barbara in more detail once we've chosen.

    As before, if people would rather propose more specific looks/combinations of options (say, giving her a Barbie-inspired design or something), just share in the thread and I can adjust how we handle this! I'm defaulting to separate polls because they have the lowest barrier to entry, but we can do this however people want.

    First off: can Barbara get things off high shelves for us?

     ‣ She is short and curvy.
     ‣ She is tall and elegant.

    You're not sure exactly what her ethnicity is, but most people seem to think that she is…

     ‣ …Black.
     ‣ …Latina.
     ‣ …Asian.
     ‣ …Middle Eastern.
     ‣ …white.
     ‣ …mixed.

    It doesn't matter, anyway. You don't really care, and people make their own assumptions. Race and heritage are a touchy subject for you, so you prefer to focus on the details. Like her eyes, which are…

     ‣ …black.
     ‣ …brown.
     ‣ …hazel.
     ‣ …green.
     ‣ …gray.
     ‣ …blue.

    As for your puppet's hair, it is a lot more fun to play with than your own because here you have no problem coloring it whatever shade you want. You're not afraid to stand out in this body. At the moment, her hair is…

     ‣ …black.
     ‣ …dark brown.
     ‣ …light brown.
     ‣ …auburn.
     ‣ …red.
     ‣ …blond.
     ‣ …something else.

    We've unlocked hair dye! If you vote "something else", remember to specify what in the thread, or else I will be forced to assume you meant a random item from Wikipedia's list of colors.


     ‣ …straight.
     ‣ …wavy.
     ‣ …curly.
     ‣ …kinky.

    …and you keep it…

     ‣ …shaved.
     ‣ …short and neat.
     ‣ …in cornrows.
     ‣ …short and wild.
     ‣ …in a sleek bob.
     ‣ …shoulder length.
     ‣ …in long dreadlocks.
     ‣ …long and loose.

    Another difference: Barbara's hair can be longer than shoulder length if we like.

    As always, both in-thread and Strawpoll votes are welcome; just let me know if you do both so I know not to count you twice. (Also, last time I handled RNG victories by weighting results slightly towards/limiting options to those that had received votes—if that still works for people, I can do it again here.)
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  5. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    I vote she looks like Barbie.
    • Agree x 2
    • Like x 1
  6. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Based on the most typical Barbie looks, I'm interpreting this to mean tall and white with blue eyes and long, straight or wavy blond hair. Is that what you were thinking?

    @vuatson @KarrinBlue
    Also, quick check with everyone who hit Like/Agree — did you vote in the poll, or should I just take the rating as your vote? (Normally I just assume the latter, but I may have accidentally outwitted myself here with the polls.)
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
    • Like x 1
  7. KarrinBlue

    KarrinBlue Magical Girl Intern

    Rating as vote! And yes that's my understanding of Barbie
    • Like x 2
  8. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    I voted in the poll, but my votes were mostly for rng and I like the Barbie idea!
    • Like x 1
  9. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Okay! It looks like the Barbie campaign has claimed victory, with straight hair edging out wavy by a vote. Let's give Barbara a proper introduction and then get back to our villainy—we have plans to carry out.

    > She is tall and elegant.

    Barbara is tall and elegant, with a determined nose and legs that are flattered by the dresses you buy for her with stolen money. You made her name up because you don't care what her real name was, and neither does she.

    She was listed as a Jane Doe in the hospital records, no known next of kin. Very handy.

    You're not sure exactly what her ethnicity is, but most people seem to think that she is…

    > …white.

    You're not sure what her origins are, except that she can pass for white, which is handy. Sometimes you think there's an Eastern European hint in her jawline; at other times you could swear the nose is British. You're not sure what the difference is in pure looks: devoid of name and language, everything gets muddled. You don't even know whether she is American or an immigrant. If she was a foreigner, that would explain the lack of relatives.

    It doesn't matter, anyway. You don't really care, and people make their own assumptions. Race and heritage are a touchy subject for you, so you prefer to focus on the details. Like her eyes, which are…

    > …blue.

    Her eyes are sky blue, lending a certain kind of innocence to her face.

    As for your puppet's hair, it is a lot more fun to play with than your own because here you have no problem coloring it whatever shade you want. You're not afraid to stand out in this body. At the moment, her hair is…

    > …blond.

    Her hair is blond and…

    > …straight.

    Her hair is blond and straight, and you keep it…

    > …long and loose.

    Her hair is blond and straight, and you keep it long and loose. It can easily be styled differently depending on your current needs.

    Now then. Before we got distracted by playing with dolls, night had just fallen and we had some work to do as Barbara.

    You have a system set up. During the day, you go about your normal life as Josie. You pay bills. You shop. You plan. You steal money. But by nightfall, you lay your own body down to sleep and slip into Barbara's empty form.

    You go swimming to keep the inactive muscles in shape, and take her shopping to make sure she looks her best for your purposes.

    And you wear her to Joes.

    Joes (no apostrophe) is a bar with a difference. There are bars like it all over the coast. Some are pretentious and call themselves things like Darkside, or the Black Hole. But most are like Joes, discreet and quiet, unwilling to draw too much attention to what goes on inside.

    To all appearances, Joes is a seedy bar in a seedy district, a place you go to get drunk and not much else. It's not a friendly place, and few but the regulars stay there for long.

    Joe, which really is the name of the owner, tends to hire the scariest down-and-outs he can find to keep strangers from lingering, and it works. There are far better places for a drink within walking distance. Unless you're bad. Unless you're Enhanced. Unless you've got the right contacts. Because then, the door at the back will open and reveal the real Joes, securely concealed beneath a layer of scramblers thick enough to fool any uninvited guests.

    The security measures are another reason you take Barbara to Joes. Scramblers like that always leave you with a headache that will plague you for days—not to mention the fact that Joes has telepathic dampeners and those remove your best weapon. Most of these bars don't have them, but the places that do are where the smart people go. The ones who need to keep their secrets. The ones you need to talk to.

    You shudder to think what the dampeners must have cost Joe to purchase, not to mention the energy needed to keep them running.

    So tonight, you are safe and secure in your puppet's non-powered body, your telepathic talents busy driving her. You have nothing to conceal, no powers to dampen, and the scanners flash a pleasant green as you nod politely to the guard at the door.

    "How's the crowd tonight?" you ask, smiling a little. You try to keep the guards on your good side; it never pays to antagonize the staff.

    "Quiet," the man says with a shrug. "Hopefully it stays that way."

    "Here's hoping," you say, walking inside with a confident wave. Never let anyone know you might be feeling out of your depth, especially in a place like this.

    > The Door Slams Shut

    The smell hits you first; the smoke from dozens of cigarettes blankets the area. The sweet and spicy undertones tell you that not all of them are tobacco, but that is to be expected. At least it hides the chemical smell of active enhancements and unwashed bodies.

    Joe's choice of music tends to be eclectic, though if there are any of his favorite customers around, he might cater to their wishes. Right now, there's a particularly nostalgic piece of soft jazz that, for some reason, makes you feel ill at ease. You can't remember why, and you can't let it bother you either. The music is as irrelevant as the soft bluish lighting, or the way a handful of faces turns towards you as you enter.

    You give a nod of greeting to the ones you recognize, checking the others to see if any of them seem inclined to start any trouble. It doesn't look that way, but you can't be sure. You are not a telepath when you possess Barbara.

    How do you feel about that?

     ‣ I hate the loss of my telepathy.
     ‣ I don't like it, but it can be handy.
     ‣ I like taking a break from my telepathy now and then.
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  10. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    ‣ I don't like it, but it can be handy. Maybe it's that much easier to have different reactions, without it?
    • Agree x 1
  11. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Reasonable! We might not like losing a sense, but we can appreciate the value of method acting.

    > I don't like it, but it can be handy.

    You don't like being head blind; it makes you feel cut off from the world. It can be a bit burdensome at times to have the constant chatter of humanity surrounding you, but still, you feel a bit naked without it. People are just masks to you in this body, blank faces you feel are hopeless to read. That can be a bit frightening, but at the same time, it's refreshing.

    And above all, it is blessedly quiet.

    You don't know how many old jokes begin with 'a pretty woman walks into a bar,' and Barbara fits some of the worst stereotypes. You've leaned into them. It's a mask, a means to an end. Nothing more. Attractive women do get treated differently, and by now, you are as familiar with her body as you are with your own. It took practice, but you have the gait, and you have the smile.

    And by now, you have the reputation.

    But that wasn't always the case. And since Barbara is neither Enhanced, nor working for a well-known villain, you needed to have an in. For you, that person was…

     ‣ …a Boosted hench called Rosie.
     ‣ …a Modded mercenary called Boris.

    Josie might be an angsty telepathic loner, but Barbara has to network like anyone else. Who did we connect her with on villain LinkedIn?
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
  12. LadyNighteyes

    LadyNighteyes Wicked Witch of the Radiant Historia Fandom

    Rosie, because "evil Rosie the Riveter" is funnier to me than "competent Boris from Rocky and Bullwinkle."
    • Like x 3
    • Agree x 2
  13. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    As someone familiar with both characters, these descriptions made me giggle.

    > …a Boosted hench called Rosie.

    It's a dangerous world out there for a woman, something you found out once you started looking for a way into the Enhanced underground. Apparently, you were deemed a suspicious presence, and people decided to ask you a few 'questions' in a dark alley on your way home.

    Rosie took offense to this, and once the dust had settled on the bruised bodies of your would-be assailants, you made sure to buy her a drink. It turned out she had shelved her villain career as 'The Riveter.' She now hires out as muscle to other, more ambitious criminals.

    It's still too early for a full house, but there are enough people milling around to provide good camouflage for your business here. You recognize a lot of the regulars, and a cursory scan of the floor doesn't show any suspicious people. Even if you don't have access to your telepathy, your training has given you a feeling for when people are behaving in odd ways.


    The cry from the bar is filled with drunken affection, which makes you turn towards it with a smile instead of a scowl. Speak of the devil: it's Rosie, and despite the early hour, she is more than a little sloshed. Either she just got a job or just got paid because her smile is too big for her to be drowning her sorrows.

    "Rosie," you reply with a nod and a sketched salute. Over this last year, you have…

     ‣ …kept our relationship strictly professional, with me as boss.
     ‣ …kept my distance as much as I can. I don't need friends.
     ‣ …almost become friends.
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
    • Like x 1
  14. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    ...I'm torn. Given the situation with Ortega, I think it'd be delightful to have accidentally almost become friends here. But "kept my distance as much as I can, I don't need friends" could fit that energy of trying to keep distance, and mirror the Ortega situation in a more consistent way.
    • Like x 2
  15. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    FWIW, I think either option could reasonably fit your intent here! It seems plausible that, in the course of playing Barbara's role, we might have accidentally acquired something verging on an Actual Friend instead of a contact*, especially given that "almost". It's also possible we might have kept our guard up enough to be more of an emotionally-unavailable Barbie doll foil to Rosie (who sounds pretty friendly herself). Both sound like the kind of thing we'd do.

    * Suddenly I'm picturing the platonic equivalent of accidentally romancing a video game character. How was I supposed to know that line was flirty friendly??
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2023
    • Useful x 1
  16. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    Good to know! I shall bide to see if anyone wants to tiebreak this one (or weigh in on being the boss)
  17. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    honestly I also vote in favor of accidentally almost friends
    • Agree x 2
  18. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    Better not keep our accidental almost-friend waiting, then!

    > …almost become friends.

    "Got time for a drink?" Rosie asks, once you get close enough so she doesn't have to shout.

    "Nah, sorry, I'm here on the job, not to have fun." You know you're probably sounding a bit abrupt, but it's true. You're already running late, and while being early speaks of being too eager, being too late is just rude.

    "Your boss running you ragged again?" Rosie chuckles a little and takes a swig of beer.

    "You know how it is." Your shrug is near imperceptible; as a Norm, your excuse to be here is that you are working for someone else. Technically you are, as this is just a puppet.

    "Speaking of which," Rosie says with a wide grin. "I've got a new gig coming up, hence the cause for celebration."

    "I figured as much. So, who're you signing up with this time then?" You don't know most of the players on the wrong side of the street yet; it was always easy enough to knock them down and ask questions later when you did the hero thing. You just never got around to the asking questions part….

    "The WolfPack." She grimaces a little. "I know, I know, they're not exactly my style, but they've got a juicy gig coming up and needed some extra hands."

    "You have to tell me all about it later." Your smile is surprisingly honest. "Have one for me too, okay?"

    You have no doubt that Rosie will have one for you, and most likely several.

    It still feels so odd to interact with people at length in your puppet body. Casual conversation is one thing, but to have to keep the act up over a period of weeks and months can be both liberating and exhausting. Not that you had ever liked looking at yourself in the mirror, but having someone else look back was an entirely different experience.

    It was especially disconcerting to have a puppet that wasn't your own gender. At first, it was just strange, but once you had others starting to react to you, things started to feel…

     ‣ …really good.
     ‣ …uncomfortably weird.
     ‣ …pretty much the same as in my own body.

    To quote the game's source code: goto genderfeels
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
    • Like x 1
  19. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    (If we would really rather not goto genderfeels, I'm sure I can find a d3 somewhere. Or split the difference and say our genderfeels are ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2023
    • Like x 2
  20. keltena

    keltena putting the fun in executive dysfunction

    We apologize for asking the thread to remember what a gender is. Those responsible have been sacked.

    > …pretty much the same as in my own body.

    Looking around, you head towards the back of the bar where the booths are. That's where Dr. Mortum should be, the scientist you're looking for.

     ‣ He…
     ‣ She…

    ...thaaaaaaaat said, I will need you to do so just once more. (Last time, I promise!) Is our mad scientist associate (and potential love interest) a man or a woman?

    Last edited: May 25, 2023
    • Like x 1
    • Winner x 1
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