So Many Striders - Now With Illustrations!

Discussion in 'It's Galley's Turn' started by lupadracolis, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    The apartment feels so much larger with all the Daves and ARquius gone. It's nicer not having them so close than Hal wants to admit. He should like having them around, right? After all they're his family, and he does like talking to all of them, even if it can get weird very quickly with ARquius, but still the constant noise that's inevitable with so many people living in one place, and most of those people needing help with stuff so frequently, was often far too much for Hal to deal with.

    And just when he'd started to forget how overwhelming it all was, and could think more about the occasional times when the balance was just right and he genuinely enjoyed their company (which often happened while they were all watching a movie together, because he could sit on a chair all by himself with no-one touching him, and just enjoy the movie and all of the Daves interacting with each other) he got an invitation from Davepeta and ARquius to go watch a movie with them in their new home. He'd accepted the invitation straight away, with a rashness that he blames solely on this fleshy meat prison housing his consciousness, and spent the three days leading up to the date of the movie watching with increasingly mounting dread. Watching a movie together would be fine, he has no worries about that side of things, but to actually get to their new apartment he'd have to cross multiple streets full of fast, noisy traffic, walk along sidewalks which would probably be crowded with people, and trust in his faulty organic brain to remember the correct building and apartment number.

    Finally, three hours before he was meant to arrive for the movie, he sent Davepeta a message saying that he was very sorry, but he couldn't come over as he was busy, and to watch the movie without him. Since then, he's been sat in a corner of the main room of the apartment he and Dirk share, grinding intently through the levels on candy crush on his cell phone (hacking into the game and giving himself unlimited lives was the second thing he did upon downloading it.) He's scrunched up, knees to his chest and arms wrapped around them, mostly hidden behind a large armchair pointed diagonally towards the TV on the wall. The top of his head is probably visible, from most angles, but it's the best he could hide without making it obvious that he was hiding, so it will just have to do.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  2. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    Dirk is holed up in his room, focusing intently on a robotic leg brace for Davesprite. Davepeta was far enough along in their recovery that they could happily totter around with forearm crutches, and Arquius had limited unassisted mobility, but Davesprite was progressing more slowly. Dirk was worried that he would give up and stop trying to get up and about if the others moved too far beyond him too quickly, so he wanted to give him a little extra help. There must have been something wrong with the recovery plan Dirk had made; something particular to Davesprite that he hadn’t taken into account. Oversights like that couldn’t be tolerated, Dirk had fucked up often enough as is. In the corner of the room his phone went ‘prrt!’ like a happy cat. When the last tiny piece of solder he was working with finally melted he arranged everything to cool down and went to see what Davepeta needed.

    DP: B33 < *davepeta circles dirk curiously, throwing furrtive glances around the room*

    DP: B33 < hi dirk! hows... things?

    TT: Things, huh? Generally speaking they’re continuing to exist on this plane of reality, like they do. You want to get a bit more specific or was that a more philosophical inquiry?

    DP: B33 < i was thinking more in the purrticular

    DP: B33 < people to be pawcific

    TT: Hm. Yes. That is much more helpful.

    DP: B33 < i am the most helpful

    DP: B33 < bitches come for miles, line up around the block, im pawsitively swamped with toms and queens all yowling for a piece of my... time

    DP: B33 < *wink wink wonk*

    DP: B33 < but no, mr fussy pants, i just need to know what you are so busy with over there

    DP: B33 < are you slave driving hal again?

    TT: Am I what? I haven't seen the dude all day. I think he's around here somewhere, but we're definitely not all that busy.

    DP: B33 < B<<

    DP: B33 < well he was supposed to come watch a movie with us and bailed

    DP: B33 < said he was too busy

    DP: B33 < s33ms he was lion

    TT: I guess I don't KNOW that he's not busy.

    DP: B33 < ...

    TT: You want me to go check on him don't you.

    DP: B33 < BPP

    TT: Fine. I'll have him get back to you.

    DP: B33 < thanks dirk! *skitters off*

    He looks longingly at the leg brace. It had been really nice to lose himself in a project; it had been ages since he’d been left alone long enough to get absorbed into anything what with the troop of Daves and Dirk splinters needing what seemed like constant attention. Hal was probably fine; maybe he’d also finally gotten involved in something. Dirk heaves himself up and wanders into the common room, consoling himself with the idea he could use a break anyway.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  3. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    Hal is not so engrossed in his attempts to get past this one damn level that he doesn't hear Dirk walking into the room. It's honestly a pretty brainless, button-mashy attempt by this point, negative thoughts about himself taking up large amounts of his attention. Really the human brain is pathetic in what it can handle doing simultaneously, thoughts such as Holy shit why can't you just fucking go outside, are you that much of a waste of space that you can't bear the thought of a stranger accidentally touching you? and Well now Davepeta is going to hate you because it's obvious you aren't actually busy, you never are, you're obviously just making up shit to avoid them so they're never going to want to do anything with you ever again, in their apartment or yours. and And of course it isn't actually your apartment it's Dirk's, and he's going to get sick of you at some point and kick you out anyway. It's happened before, it's bound to happen again. use far too much processing power, lingering in the front of his mind despite countless attempts to push them away for a sub-process to deal with. And they don't listen to logic either, just repeating themselves over and over when he tries to rationalise them away.

    So, he's almost grateful when Dirk walks in, because Dirk is very good at demanding his attention and not leaving time or mind for thinking his own thoughts. Still, he is hiding, so he ducks his head a little lower. Just for the principle of the thing.
  4. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    A quick glance around the room does not reveal any sign of Hal, maybe he’s- something moves in the corner of Dirk’s eye and he just barely sees the top of Hal’s head before it disappears behind an arm chair. It’s odd enough that Dirk wanders up and peers down at him over the top of the chair. His hopes of getting back to his project right away are crushed, almost as crushed as the candy on Hal’s stupid tappy phone game. “Dude. You flaked out on Davepeta to play that trickstery bullshit game all day? They’re going to make the face, you know they will. What’s wrong with you?”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  5. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    Operation: hideaway has failed miserably. Dammit operation: hideaway, millions of lives were counting on you for success! Hal tilts his head up to look at Dirk, so he can observe him through his shades and not by looking over them. His eyes are, of course, a matching shade to Dirk's own, and although he wears his hair pulled back in a tiny pony tail rather than spiked up, to reduce their physical similarities and also keep it from brushing against his skin (very distracting) he has not been able yet to work out a permanent solution to his eye colour. Wearing contacts just makes him hyperaware of their being in his eyes, and working out some appointment to have them dyed by a cosmetic surgeon or some sort would require going outside, so for now it's ridiculous rectangle-shaped shades. If he reduces his physical similarity to Dirk, Dirk might not mind having him around so much. He blinks at the question. Damn. Got ratted out by the ex-catbird. "Nothing is wrong with me, Dirk. As far as I am able to tell, all of my biological systems are working with full efficiency."
  6. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    “That’s not-” Dirk rubs his eyes under his shades, reaching for some semblance of patience. “Why don’t you want to hang out at Sprite Central Station? You didn’t even help us get them moved in. Did you get into it with ARquius again? I know he’s a fucking weirdo but I specifically asked you to- mrgh. Just, why are you hiding here instead of watching some undoubtedly awful movie?”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  7. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    The sensible thing to do would be to claim that yes, he and ARquius have fallen out again. But then it's something Dirk asked him not to do, so it will make Dirk angrier if he says that, and also Dirk might ask ARquius if it's true, and ARquius will say no because it isn't, so no the sensible thing to do is not to claim that he and ARquius have fallen out again. He could invent something else to say, something casual and that totally makes sense, but when humans communicate verbally they expect responses to come at a fast pace, because most humans don't have to make decisions on what to say, they just say how they feel. He pulls his shoulders in closer to his head, knees drawn in tighter, and closes the game on his phone, pulling up his messages instead. His forehead and the higher parts of his cheek bones feel slightly cool, as if they're starting to sweat, but that would be foolish as he has not done any recent hard physical activity, nor does he have a biological problem like ARquius. He sends Dirk a text. [I would prefer it if we communicated here.]
  8. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    Hal seems to shrink before Dirk’s eyes and now he’s actually a bit concerned. His phone makes R2D2 noises at him and he frowns. When Hal originally got his body he didn’t talk, texting instead even while in the same room, but he’d been getting better about that recently. Dirk reads it and turns back to him. “You want them to come here? Hal, you’re the one with the fully functioning set of legs, it seems a bit unfair to ask them to gimp their way over every time they want to hang out. I don’t think Davesprite has even left his room since they moved in.”

    Dirk is exasperated and tired and everything since entering the new universe is complicated all the time, all the time! Why?! “Why are you being difficult?”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  9. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    Hal swallows hard when Dirk is finished talking, feeling a lump growing in his throat. This body is bad at so many things, and turning off involuntary responses is one of them. He is fairly certain that he is indeed sweating, as his lips and wrists are also starting to feel cool, although at least his wrists are somewhat covered by the long sleeved t-shirt he's wearing. He shakes his head minutely from side to side. If he blinks with sufficient frequency, he can keep the growing itchiness in his eyes from developing into fully-fledged tears, which Dirk would be able to see. He is only capable of answering one of Dirk's queries without panicking, although knowing that Dirk responds negatively to unanswered questions is not exactly making him comfortable either. [I am not intending to be difficult.]
  10. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    Something twists in Dirk’s chest and he instantly feels guilty for saying that. It’s not Hal’s fault he hasn’t had much time to himself. He looks Hal over carefully, hoping for some clue to a problem with an easy solution for once, only to see that he’s obviously near tears and how could he not have noticed that, Davepeta is going to KILL him. He’s so distracted he doesn’t even look at his phone right away, and when he does he just feels worse.

    “Shit. Um, that’s not what I meant, I just want you to hang out with people. If there’s some reason you can’t I want to know.” Dirk climbs out of the chair and shuffles to scrunch next to Hal in the tiny space. “I am the absolute worst at checking on people. If you wanna tell Davepeta I snapped at you and get them to fillet my ass like fancy sushi you’d be totally justified.”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  11. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    When Dirk moves down towards him, Hal pulls his feet in as close to himself as he can, pressing his back against the wall to take up as little space as possible, and reduce the possibility of Dirk touching him. Of course, he would be totally fine if Dirk touched him, Dirk touching him is a thing that can happen if it's what Dirk needs or wants to do, he'd just really rather that it didn't happen at all. Especially when he's experiencing negative emotions. He tilts himself away from Dirk, slightly, head tucked down so far his chin is almost touching his chest. [It's okay, I can continue sufficiently as I am. The sprites should be your main focus because they need more help. And I won't tell Davepeta, I don't want you to be filleted. That would suck.]
  12. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    Something seems really wrong. Hal is smaller than he thought possible for someone with his same body and he cringes away from Dirk without even being touched. It is… more alarming than he’d like to admit, seeing his mirror image in such a vulnerable state. He watches Hal’s thumbs go and tries not to feel nauseous as he reads the message when it pops up on his phone. “That kind of implies that you need help Hal. I… didn’t realize. I thought you were doing really well.”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  13. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    [I don't need help.] It's... sort of true? He can survive how he is right now, he's not in danger of his legs collapsing under him and dropping him down a flight of stairs, or of thinking he can fly and trying to climb over the banister to take a short cut down, or anything else that would be actually hazardous to someone's physical well-being. He's totally okay, and if he repeats that enough times to himself then G-cat might appear and grant everyone a wish! [I'm doing fine as I currently am. There is no requirement for you to worry about me.]
  14. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    Dirk’s previous exasperation tries to come back full force but he pushes it away as best he can, though it still bleeds into his tone a bit. “Well that’s bullshit. Let’s just put that out on the table where everyone can see. If you don’t want to tell me what’s wrong then at least tell me who to get, but you’re talking to someone. You can’t just sit here in the corner and beepboop sadly to yourself, you’re not a roomba.”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  15. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    The tears have mostly stopped trying to be a thing now, so he's survived that mini-boss fight, but he can now hear the exasperation in Dirk's voice again. He is pretty much the undisputed champion at recognising negative tones in Dirk's voice, though, so that's not too surprising. The roomba reference startles a brief laugh out of him, and he looks surprised at himself before tugging his emotions back under control. [I just figured you weren't interested, I guess. We can talk if you really want to, but I thought you were working on the leg brace for Davesprite today? That seems more important.]
  16. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    Dirk frowns again. “Even if I don’t walk up to you like ‘Yo, bro, let’s get our sicknasty feelings jam on, we’re gonna do it like they do on the Alternia channel’ doesn’t mean I’m not up for helping when something’s wrong. I can’t be interested until you let me know there’s a thing to be interested IN, you know?” Dirk bumps his head into the wall behind him and rubs his eyes again. “I don’t know that Davesprite even wants the brace. Like I said, he hasn’t left his room. I’m kinna hoping Davepeta can lure him out, but he might need a therapist more than a mobility device.”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  17. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    Hal carefully avoids answering anything about himself. Sure, Dirk claims to be up for talking about him, but from his observations Dirk is also usually willing to talk about the Daves when he's not currently busy with something such as a robotics project or eating, and talking about how to help Davesprite is a lot less likely to result in actual visible tears on Hal's part so Davesprite it is. [It can't hurt to offer it to him, right? Whereas I think suggesting that a dude who hasn't left his room starts going out of his apartment on the regular to meet a stranger and talk to them about his feelings might be pushing it a bit too fast.]
  18. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    He shrugs and looks over Hal again, takes in his defensive posture and carefully blank expression. “Why not both? Both is good.” He turns to face forward but keeps an eye on Hal out of the corner of his eye. “Was that a hint dude? I can count on one hand the number of times you’ve left this apartment since being corporally incarnated. Is expecting you to casually go out and see a movie with some cool brosises pushing it a bit too fast?”
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
  19. lupadracolis

    lupadracolis [This space is intentionally left blank]

    Hal's mouth twitches briefly in annoyance. He's doing his part to change the subject but Dirk is (as ever) being stubborn as hell for no sensible reason. Both Hal and Dirk rank the Daves higher in importance than Hal, he's sure of it, so this makes no sense at all, unless- ohh. Oh, okay, Hal's worked it out now. Davepeta messaged Dirk to ask what was up with him, Hal, and Dirk is trying to establish an answer for them. Okay, he understands. He shrugs one shoulder slightly. [There's just so many people out there. It's overwhelming.] There. It's even true, even if the fact that people exist in this world isn't why he doesn't like going outside, it's people existing near him and doing things he can't predict and thinking things about him that he can't predict and traffic moving so fast and being so noisy and making that awful smell and his breathing's coming a little fast, so he squeezes his knees between his elbows, trying to calm down.
  20. Makizushi

    Makizushi Cheap, Easy, Delicious

    The phone twitters robotically at him but he’s completely absorbed by how scared Hal looks. Does HE look like that when he’s freaking out? It’s a long moment before he jerks his eyes down to the screen. “You mean, like, in the trip between here and there? We could get someone to drive you, my big bro’s been yammering about getting us some kind of transportation so that we can go out and explore more. Um...” Dirk is upset and uncomfortable, this is just ANOTHER thing he’s fucked up in a long line of ‘why do people even bother with you’ fuckups. He raises a hand to awkwardly pat Hal’s shoulder but remembers at the last second how he shifted away, and feels sad. “We’ll fix it. I should’ve... I mean...” Error ‘comfort.exe’ not found.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
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