Character musings

...or something like it.

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[sticky post][Sticky: Introduction Post: Free-For-All] The Welcoming Party
Best. Simile. Ever.
its_game_time wrote in transgenicprose
So it seems you just arrived in this place.

What place? Well. This place. There's no other place, after all. Except when there is. There's no sign welcoming you, no official-looking authority standing around to ask for directions. You're just here, in this place, and how you arrived is anyone's guess; everyone who's come to stay -- and, oddly enough, hasn't left since -- has a different recollection on how he or she got here. Hazy memories of a train, a cab, instant teleportation, or even simply waking up -- sometimes from death in the last case.

But whatever the reason, however the method, you're here now. transgenicprose. Home of a patchwork population with no official name or leader. It's a pretty basic area, easy to get around -- it has all you'd need to get by and then some. There's no real layout to the grounds, as they seem to shift accordingly and alter with the seasons (and the strange, spontaneous events that occur now and again) with no visible reasoning, but you can usually find whatever you want to find. Except for an exit. Trying to simply walk out of here somehow ends with you ending up right back where you started.

If you walk enough, however, you may find yourself wandering into a new place entirely, and one that may or may not look familiar. Turns out this place decided to address the issue of homesickness by duplicating portions of people's homes and placing them on the edges of the town. Explore, and you may walk into someplace widely recognized: New York City, for example. Walk a little further and you might cross over into the virus-ridden Raccoon City; beyond that, Zaphias, Daath, Iselia, Tokyo, Hueco Mundo, a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, Hell itself, who knows? The people here come from strange worlds, you know.

Each of these places also hosts a number of people who never manage (or care) to cross the dimensional boundaries into the other areas: Meltokio citizens, for example, going about their day-to-day lives, or some of those Raccoon City zombies. Read: we have NPCs. It's just enough to remind you that while it may look, feel, sound, and smell like your home, it technically isn't. But we can only do so much.

And don't worry: in the middle of all these areas, you'll always come right back to the town that you first arrived in.

So congratulations, you're now part of the population. Or will be as soon as you settle in. But before you go getting to know your neighbors, you might first want to dry off.

Oh, right. It should be mentioned: however you arrived, you find yourself dropped rather abruptly in the middle of the lake on the outskirts of this place. A small lake, but a deep lake nonetheless near its center. There's a single dock with a few rowboats tied to it and a rather out-of-place stack of towels on its edge (which may or may not be there from day to day, as they're only present out of the kindness of a few residents' hearts and frequently need replacing), and whether anyone's nearby to help you is a matter of chance -- although there's often someone loitering about.

Shortly after arriving, you'll also be sure to find a complimentary gift: one of those new smartphones, brand new and shiny and in perfect working order. Everyone here has one (whether you want it or not, it has a habit of turning up even when you throw it away), providing a convenient means of communication between the people here. Video, audio, and text can all be used; just be careful, as they tend to have a mind of their own on occasion and may turn on when you least expect (or want) them to. Sadly, you can't call back to your homeworld with them. So sorry.

Oh, and if you're not familiar with technology? Sorry about that, too. No instruction manual. Maybe someone will help you out if you ask nicely.

So once you've overcome your official TP hazing, consider yourself a member of the club. Just play nice (or not), respect your fellow inmates occupants (optional), and stay out of the laboratory unless you have a license (recommended, but those doors are rarely locked, anyway). Pick out a room in the dormitory building, take a look at the shops in the marketplace -- the latter of which, by the way, are run by a peculiar group. It turns out that there is a breed of natives to this universe, a few dozen individuals who have taken it upon themselves to run the stores and some of the other buildings that require maintenance.

How can you tell natives from the arrivals? Simple. The natives are, in a word, robotic: never varying in personality or even really behavior, these men and women seem to have been cast from a mold -- literally. One might notice that on the whole, there are only a handful of different faces among this group: they are, for the most part, a mass of clones. Oddly, they're never seen outside of the marketplace; once night falls, the stores close and the employees are simply gone, and where they go, who knows? Not to the residential area.

But it's nothing you should worry about. For now.

Welcome aboard.

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HAHAAAAAH WHAT NOW?! (Also, icons for this account are a WIP, srry for the lack of pretty :[)

Kurapika had felt the weight of someone's gaze on him, even if he couldn't directly sense their presence, and since that someone was standing in plain sight, it doesn't take long for the Nen-user's brown eyes to settle on the other teen. Inwardly he tenses, but outwardly he doesn't allow himself to react, other than a slight, brief widening of his eyes; he continues to calmly pull himself towards the dock, his full attention seemingly back on the task at hand, though he keeps careful watch on the motionless stranger in his peripheral vision.

While he could simply leap from the boat onto the dock, leaving the boat to drift freely around the lake, Kurapika is far too anal OCD let's be kind and go with courteous and considerate to do something like that. In any case, he isn't the type to show off his skills when there's an unknown quantity so nearby. So instead, he goes about things like a normal person, climbing out of the boat (with more grace than most, perhaps) and kneeling to re-tie it loosely to the dock. Only then does he turn to face Sasuke fully, meeting that dark-eyed gaze head-on.

If this had happened before he'd met Gon and the others, he would have simply given the raven-haired stranger a flat, evaluating glare before silently turning away and heading down the narrow dirt path in the opposite direction. He'd been far more abrupt, even a little snobbish, icily reserved and more inclined towards being rude not so long ago; it was funny how much someone could change in just a little more than a year, and how much of that change could be ascribed to one person in particular.

Of course, friends couldn't completely replace family, not really, not even if they were nakama, but...simply knowing that he wasn't alone in the world, that he had been blessed with good friends who cared about him deeply enough to risk their lives for him and alongside him...that had changed him somewhat. He couldn't be as completely coldhearted as he'd originally become since That Day anymore, and it didn't cost him anything to be polite, as he'd been raised to be.

Besides, one caught more flies with honey than vinegar.

"Excuse me," he says, giving the observing stranger a small, not-quite smile. "I apologise for the imposition, but if you don't mind, would you tell me the name of this country?"

B( (pfffffffff, please, Cress's icons are like... pffft.)

Sasuke doesn't move as the newcomer reels himself in -- he just watches, that blank, bored looking never shifting an inch. Even after the expected question is asked, he doesn't respond right away; it's not an arrogant delay as much as it is a fleeting consideration of just what kind of response to give. If someone arrives and stares at Sasuke like he's some kind of alien, his answer is just a short, believe-it-or-not-it-doesn't-matter-to-me reality check. If they seem a little more levelheaded like this one, Sasuke's not so impatient -- even if he's just as apathetic.

"This place doesn't have a name. No one knows exactly where it is, either." He gives half a glance over his shoulder, back towards town. "It's been the same for everyone who ends up here: people arrive with no memory of how or why. We can't find a way out, and no one's bothered telling us their purpose in bringing us here."

He looks back at the stranger, his voice and expression still the same shade of nonchalant -- a voice and expression that say that he's stated his piece, putting the information out there to be criticized or disregarded or whatever else. He's decent enough to pass the information along, but it's not his responsibility to make sure it gets through.

"Believe me or not, it's the truth. You'll get the same story no matter who you ask."

Kurapika's eyes move in the same direction as the dark-haired stranger's when he glances towards the town, though they return to the other teen soon enough, dark eyes meeting equally dark eyes. He notes that tone and that body language, and determines that this person is not lying, at least as far as he knows--or else he's an extremely talented liar. Kurapika has a way of determining which option is the truth (two ways, really), but this isn't important enough to require either. Instead, he continues to steadily meet that flat, impassive stare.

"You have my thanks for the information, but you'll have to forgive me if I don't believe everything you say as easily as that. However, I won't say that I think what you've told me is impossible, incredible as it sounds." What reason would this stranger have to tell such a fantastic lie, after all? If it was his intention to mislead or waylay newcomers, he would have said something more easily believable that wouldn't arouse suspicion, then offered to act as a guide, lulling his victim into a false sense of security with fake friendliness. No, Kurapika thinks to himself, this person is far too obviously standoffish to be trying anything like that.

A small, brief, utterly mirthless smile crosses the blonde Nen-user's face, and he can't prevent his eyes from going a little harder. "In any case, there are individuals with unbelievable powers who could easily create a world exactly like the one you've described."

Then the smile is gone and his gaze loses some of the sharp edge, his tone considering and contemplative. "Still, even so, there must be a way to escape--some flaw or weakness in the design. Finding it, or simply recognizing it for what it is in the first place would be the real trick."

As in most things, Kurapika's response has a purpose behind it--a few purposes, really. First, it was only polite to respond to the other teen's statements, especially since he'd been gracious enough to answer Kurapika's request for information. Second, information-sharing. If this other person was truly stuck here as well and had been for a considerable time, perhaps a fresh perspective could bring something useful to light. Third, and chiefly, it was test. Depending on this dark-haired stranger's reaction to his words, Kurapika would know if he was the one behind this supposed pocket-dimension world or not. If he was too interested, too intense or flustered or flattered by the things Kurapika had said, or conversely if he wasn't interested in the least, it would cast a fair amount of suspicion on him. Like a criminal returning to the scene of a crime or inserting himself into the ensuing investigation, he wouldn't be able to hide some sort of guilty reaction. And if that was the case...Kurapika would have to use certain methods of ascertaining the truth. He had no intention of allowing himself to be trapped; not at a time like this.

Edited at 2012-07-09 05:18 am (UTC)

While Sasuke doesn't voice it, there's some default respect, if that's what it can be called, for the fact that the newcomer doesn't believe everything he says. If he did, it'd mean he was either gullible, stupid, or pretending to be both.

The disbelief regarding an exit, however, is an old patience wearing thin on Sasuke's part. He's searched this place as well as he's able -- which, in his opinion, is saying something -- and while there are some odd and even useless ones among the residents, there are also some pretty capable individuals who have done their share of investigating. The topic's been addressed again and again, and while Sasuke hasn't given up on finding a way out, he's nonetheless tired of hearing the same propositions over and over again.

So normally he would shoot down the guesswork and go on his way -- but the fact that this arrival has at least acknowledged the possibility of what he's been told, and even called it possible, has caught Sasuke's notice, slightly. He watches the other for a couple more beats, considering, and then decides he might as well pool their ideas; he has nowhere to be, anyway, and it can't hurt.

"The main town is made up of a market and some other buildings," he begins, figuring an idea of the layout will make an explanation easier. "It's where most choose to stay. Beyond that, it's mostly forest. A lot of us have tried going through it, but somehow we always end up back where we started. No one's found the end of it yet."

Sasuke hasn't found a satisfactory answer for that puzzle just yet, either. His best guess is that it's some kind of genjutsu, but that fact that his eyes can't see through it is...

...unsatisfactory, to say the least.

"There are some roads that go through it. From what I've gathered, the places they lead to look like locations that some of the people here recognize. Reconstructions, you could call them. Made to look exactly like the real thing."

He pauses for a moment, letting that sink in. It's the less crazy-sounding of the two topics he chose not to mention at first, at least.

"Those are the basics of this place," he goes on, still in that flat tone. "Wherever the way out is, it's hidden well. That's assuming it's even accessible by the rest of us."

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