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 At Least You're Not Human, Cayde~
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
Well. Wasn’t this a strange circumstance.

Her handlers had said to her, Anemone, dear, would you mind going out to pick up the new parts you requested for the MK-II mech prototype? Since you can speak to them you know quality hardware the best. That’s what they said with their mouths. What they were saying with their eyes, what they were saying underneath their stupid masks, was hey drone, go pick up the shit we need, you’re our lackey and we can tell you to do whatever we want to even if it’s just a dumb, menial task like picking up the new shipment, make it snappy you useless lump!! It was like they thought she didn’t see. Like they thought they could fool her. They were wrong, they couldn’t fool her. Just like she could read machines, and hear their feelings, she could read people. She could peel their skin masks from their faces and reveal the ugly parts underneath and she knew what they were really saying to her, what they really thought of her.

She did it anyway.

What else was she supposed to do? If she pitched a fit they locked her up in solitary. And she didn’t like it alone. She didn’t like being apart from theEND. So she did what the stupid whitecoats in their fake smiles asked.

She did as she was asked; she knew exactly what the MK-II needed...after all she could feel what it wanted. Unlike theEND, the MK-II wasn’t very loud. She was quieter - Anemone liked to think of MK-II as a she - and didn’t like to be bossy or obnoxious and didn’t like to be demanding but it was hard for her to hide what she really wanted from Anemone, who was by now used to reading these things from her friends. She didn’t like MK-II very much, she was too much of a doormat. Sometimes Anemone kicked her around a bit to get her to be more chatty, more upfront. Usually she wasn’t allowed so she had to do it after hours. When the technicians shut the place down. She didn’t like the doormat behaviour and she especially didn’t like her name. MK-II….it was too boring and bland. Just like her. But, she was still one of Anemone’s friends. She was better than the hypocritical, ugly people that ran the facility. At least MK-II had that going for her.

She knew where the vendor she needed to see was, and exactly how to bully it out of him for cheaper. Some of the people who sold parts...could be bargained with, and Anemone had become pretty good at kicking the prices down in a somewhat literal manner. Ooh, never literally enough to cause a scene- there were still rules and she had to abide by them. But she liked to give a good verbal kick in the teeth and occasionally stamp her heel into a foot or two and get right into their faces and usually, that got them to sell it to her for less. She knew why though; as property of the government they didn’t really want to risk turning her away. So in some ways her station wasn’t too bad. It could be fun. She got to toe lines here and there and nobody had to know about it.

So was she looking forward to bullying the vendors a little this morning? Yeah. She was, just a bit. Except that….just as she was on her way, just as she was starting to look forward to it….that was when he showed up.

He was normal human sized. She almost walked into him, except that he was kinda hard not to - with how he stood out. She could feel that he wasn’t….another one of those disgusting, lying, faking, hypocritical humans. Didn’t mean he wasn’t those things, but he felt like a machine. He felt like one of her friends. Except he was….walking around on his own, unoperated. And there was something wrong with him, something that wasn’t right. He wasn’t….a normal machine. And now, now she was curious.

Anemone picked up her pace, skipping up around in front of him and turning around a few feet ahead of him, hands on her hips, chin jutting out just slightly, a little frown on her lips.

”What’re you supposed to be?”
@CAYDE-6 || Wow rude ||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
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Male


((I decided this thread happens on Oct 30 since that's when you posted it))

In a multiverse of humans and more fantastical races, you'd think people would be more accepting of robotic men. With so much weird shit surrounding them, you'd think those people wouldn't give Cayde even a second glance. If they could pass elves, dwarves, animal people, and man other species he couldn't name without looking up from their phones, why did he get to receive all the stares, the double and triple-takes? Was it his glowing eyes? Hi metal exterior? He didn't really know, and he wished he could say he didn't care. But he did. Just a little bit.

It was difficult being a friendly and social person like Cayde when he was completely banned from one dimension, and was stared at like a circus act anywhere else. That was, anywhere except Parse. The technologically advanced dimension, with their robotic servants and mechanical exo-suits, seemed to be more accepting of an Exo amongst their citizenry. He could freely travel the dimension, talk to anyone, go anywhere, and nobody would question him, or stop him for pictures, or stare at him.

Usually.

Today was just a normal day. He'd done some scavenging in the junkyards earlier this week, and he had a gym bag full of tech that was still usable. He was on the way to one of his safehouses to see if he could use any of it. The rest would be brought to market in Hialao as souvenirs, or maybe he could find a tinkerer here in Parse who might be interested in some parts. Most of them were still in good shape.

Amazingly, people were perfectly fine with throwing away something that would still work with a small part replacement, so the junkyard was full of stuff that was 95% usable. A shame, but it helped Cayde stay out of the red, monetarily. He made decent money off of fixing up what he found, then selling it at a cheap price. After all, if he'd acquired the materials for free, why should he charge a wallet-busting amount?

He was lost in thought as he slowly made his way through the city, pondering his finds for the day and mentally trying to fit them with parts he had lying around in his Parse safehouse. His thought were interrupted as a pink-haired woman cut him off, rather pointedly and rudely, he might add. He gave her a level stare. What was she talking about? What was he supposed to be? Oooooh, right. That Halloween thing was tomorrow, so she thought he was in costume. Funny.

"Uh, this is just my face. I'm not in costume, sorry. Happy Halloween, or whatever it is you guys say." He readjusted the strap of his gym bag and walked past her. "Rude," he muttered, once he was out of earshot. And here he thought Parse was safe from such things.


@ANEMONE
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
Whoever this….whatever it or he or she was…..was….they were carrying a lot of stuff with them. Stuff that was still speaking and Anemone glowered. Too many voices at once. They were all trying to tell their stories from inside that bag of his and she just wanted them all to shut the fuck up. Most of them sounded pretty chipper and cheery and therefore she especially wanted them to stuff a sock in it but there were whiny ones too, voices that were broken and spoke of being banadoned and yeah who cared everyone was lonely they should just get used to it. Probably looked broken to some dumbass who didn’t know the first thing about tech so they tossed em. Whatever. Wasn’t her problem. Waste of good tech but this guy at least seemed to have an eye for whatever it was.

Speaking of him. She didn’t like him. She didn’t like what she was seeing at all. There was something wrong with what she was looking at. He was staring right back at her with sharp eyes, like he was trying to tell her not to stare. Well fuck that, she had her serious face on first so he could deal with it. She just glowered. She didn’t like...that she didn’t know what he was. There was a lot of machine to him, she could hear it buzzing. But there was something that felt off, different. No it wasn’t like her friends. This was something different. Different was wrong. Different was disturbing. Different got shut behind doors and never looked at again and frankly that was what she wanted to do right now, less because she didn’t know what she was dealing with and more because he started speaking.

…...What an annoying voice.

And what a stupid answer.

”I don’t know what a Halloween is and frankly I don’t care so don’t tell it to be happy.” she snapped, her hands still placed on her hips as she jutted her chin out, leering at him. As he tried to move out of her way, she sidestepped, veering back into his path and stopping again, glowering. ”And that’s not what I was asking, stupid.” She tossed her hair with a quiet hmph, idiot. ”I don’t know what you are. I don’t like it. You’re not all machine are you? So what are you then? And why do you have those? What are they for?” She gestured at his bag.
@CAYDE-6 || She's such a little shit ||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
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Unknown
Destiny
Exo
Explorer
ʕ •㉨•ʔ (Male)
Male


Cayde found himself cut off by the girl. He rolled his eyes. He expected better of the people of Parse. Persecution based on his appearance was expected in Wildewall, not here. He'd tried to be nice about it, and simply get himself away from the situation, but she wasn't leaving him alone. He started looking for a way out. The issue with PArse was that there weren't a lot of good hiding places in the main city. Everything was so efficient and clean. No alcoves, no dark corners... at least, not in this part of the city. He could use his superior mobility, but with the amount of people currently filtering through the area, any attempts to jump over the girl and run away would likely end with him landing on some poor person's head. A concealing smoke bomb was similarly out of the question. He'd be granted total invisibility, but with so many people around, he'd make very little headway before re-appearing. Then he'd be back at square one.

The best way to handle this was also the most unpleasant. He'd just have to stand here and answer her rude questions. He was just sick of being singled out over something as shallow as his appearance. He didn't particularly care that she hadn't understood his Halloween comment. She clearly had no intention of listening to anything he said if it wasn't what she wanted to hear, so he didn't bother explaining either.

"Well, since you asked so nicely," Cayde said, sarcasm laced into every word, "I'm just a man trying to live his life without being interrogated every five minutes." He tried to move past her again. Maybe he could lose her in the crowd. If he could make it to a Circuit elevator, he could transmat his Sparrow and be rid of her in less than a second. That seemed unlikely, as she continued to block him and bombard him with questions.

"You don't like it," he stated drily, after she'd finished, "I don't like you right now, how about that? Go find a deep hole to live in. Maybe if you're nice I'll toss you a rope when you're too weak to climb it. Get out of my face." He pushed the gym bag so it rested more behind him, using his other arm to try to shove her aside so he could continue on his way. He wasn't a fan of people trying to muscle their way into getting their way. That was exactly the kind of attitude he'd spent his entire life - lives - fighting against. He wouldn't stand for it in this new world either. As he tried to move past her again, his fingertips touched to his revolver's stock. He wouldn't be able to draw it on her if she tried again, he knew, but maybe if she noticed where his hand was, she wouldn't try his patience any more.



@ANEMONE
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
She hadn’t asked nicely, and she knew he was being a jackass. Really, if he was gonna talk shit back to her, he needed to try a little harder. Seemed like she found herself one of those boring-ass stick in the mud types. But then again, he was some weird kind of machine she didn’t understand. It made her agitated and angry, she didn’t like...not understanding. Machines were her thing, she heard them. She heard this one, but it was weird - he had a voice and the machine had a voice. It was like a human and a machine at once and that fucked with her head. So what if she was being rude. He could deal with it. This wasn’t even her at her worst.

His answer was extremely unimpressive. Fuck, if she was being petty, what was that response? Wasn’t that petty? Fucking idiot. She scowled, lips pulling back in a sneer as she stared him down. ”Well doesn’t that just suck, because you’re not. I can tell. I know. Don’t fuck with me idiot, you’re not just a man. But you’re also not a machine. I don’t understand what you are and I want to know how you’re both at the same time. There, that spell it out enough for you?” She had to be so freaking blunt didn’t she. Couldn’t just ask ‘what are you’ and get a straight answer - and here he was acting like she was the petty one. Maybe he was just an idiot.

Her expression did shift with time, though, into a genuine smile when he spoke what she considered in a much more candid way. I don’t like you. Oh, she enjoyed that. Well buttercup, she wasn’t much happier. Although she did like the bluntness. Now they were getting somewhere. Her smile widened, and she - in but a moment - was belly-laughing, chortling with that obnoxious grin on her face. It lasted….well not too long, fortunately for him, but long enough that he got the picture - that was some funny shit.

”I don’t like you either, metalhead.” she chirped, crossing her arms and tossing her hair just slightly. ”But I already live in a hole. And so do you! This shithole among shitholes. Didn’t you know? The world’s just one big stinking hole of despair and we’re all crawling helplessly towards a light we’ll never reach.” She opened her mouth to speak again, but soon found herself shoved to the side. While she was….an interesting creature, as they liked to call her, she certainly wasn’t strong; the push was enough to put her out of balance, toppling her - but she just sat on the ground, kicking her feet and laughing. ”If you really can’t see that, maybe you’re the one who needs the rope?”
@CAYDE-6 || Oops you activated cynicism mode ||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
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Unknown
Destiny
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Explorer
ʕ •㉨•ʔ (Male)
Male


Cayde froze. How did she know that? He'd never seen her before... he would remember. The list of people who knew about his true identity was a short one, too, so he doubted she'd heard it from someone else. And yet, she knew. Just as if he'd simply told her his life story, she had called him out on one of his greatest secrets. To call it a secret though... in his world, it wasn't much of a secret. Even in this one, he'd usually tell anyone who asked, but most were content to make assumptions or just plain didn't care. Still. He would't admit it, but it rattled him. He didn't like it when people knew things about him that he hadn't told them. So, they had that in common at least.

Her next reaction threw Cayde further off guard. She was crazy. That had to be it. Sometimes crazy manifested itself in creepy actions and words, like Eris. Other times, he guessed, it looked angry and jovial all at once. It didn't matter. He was leaving anyway, and at least now he knew to keep an eye out for the pink-haired crazy girl in Parse. He spared only a glance back to see that he'd actually knocked her down. He'd have felt bad, if she didn't seem to be enjoying it. He shook his head. Rude or not, she still hadn't really done anything to deserve that kind of treatment.

He rolled his eyes. When had he become such a good guy? Where was the rogue who ditched the rules to get the job done? He reached down to grab the girl by her forearm and haul her to her feet as she rambled on about shitholes. Good deed done. He could leave now, and start tearing into all of his wonderful finds. He shouldn't have been listening to her words anymore, but she managed to find yet another topic to hold his attention.

"You say that, but have you ever experienced the world? Or have you just kept yourself cooped up in its cities? Even in the city, you may see a shithole, but I see beauty in it. There's beauty in everything, all around us, in your own world and in this one. You just have to look for it. Maybe if you'd been locked up as long as I was, you'd see that. Have a nice day." The words came out gentler than he'd intended. What started as a heated scolding quickly cooled off as his feelings turned to pity. Some people had these ideas set in their minds, and it blinded them to anything else. It was a damn shame, but whether she took his words to heart or not was up to her now, as he turned to leave again.



@ANEMONE

I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
Anemone’s face dipped into a smug little sneer. Got you. She knew what sudden freezing meant. Oh, she knew what it meant. The idiot gave himself away too well - not like it mattered, she knew anyway. It just felt so good watching him mentally squirm. That’s right. That’s exactly right. I know. I can tell. And he didn’t like it. Poor baby didn’t like that she could pick inside his brain...did he? Well…too bad for him. He might not like it, but she, and he, were perfectly compatible. At least, on her end. Of course, only in the sense that she could see the inside of his head and listen to it like her own thoughts. They had a connection~ ….Ugh. No, no. Now she was ruining her own tease. It put a sick feeling in her mouth and made her even more resentful towards him. Him and his stupidity.

Falling flat on her rump, she found she didn’t care. She didn’t care, because she’d gotten inside. She’d won. That was all that mattered, she’d found the things that made him tick. She’d made him twist, even in the slightest, and on the inside he was shivering. Oh, he was shivering. Was it fear? Surprise? Exhilaration? All at once? It hurt just a little bit, from the fall, but she didn’t care even a little bit. As long as she claimed some form of victory. She just grinned up at him. It was such a small victory to be celebrating this heavily but somehow it just tasted so sweet. Maybe it was because of how cold he seemed on the outside, and despite that, she’d cracked a little piece inside and-

Except then he did something that threw her for a loop.

He turned back. Why’d he turn back? That part she didn’t care about, but it was when he grabbed her arm and lifted her up in the middle of her spiel. Her eyes went big, went really big, and she grit her teeth, clenching her fists. Did I say you could touch me? What the fuck are you doing? Don’t touch me! You’re not- you can’t- don’t you dare- don’t you dare- It wasn’t disgusting she supposed, it wasn’t like he was human. It wasn’t one of them holding her and it wasn’t that piece of shit interviewer. But he’d still manhandled her without so much as a “sure go ahead” from her. Who the hell did he think he was? You couldn’t just grab a girl by the arm. Even if she was on the ground there were rules. You asked first. You offered your hand.

It’s what he would have done.

Anemone shook her head violently, backing up. ”Get out. Go. Stop it. I don’t want to see you. I don’t!”

The mantra came in a quiet whisper, but fortunately the assbot she’d been arguing with broke her out of it with his stupid voice. His stupid voice that sounded like it was about to go on some shitty idealistic tangent. There he went. But no...that was good. That was good. There was more for her to tear apart. Talking about beauty in all this ugliness, she was ready to tear it to shreds, to drown it under all the bad, all the real. She relaxed, standing tall, jutting her chin out. Her arms were crossed over her chest now, and she smirked. ”Have I experienced the world?” she asked, her voice loud, carrying, even as he turned to go. Oh, no. She wasn’t done with him yet. Not nearly. A particular phrase had caught her attention - If you’d been locked up as long as I was. She didn’t know how old this assbot was - she could only listen to the mechanical parts, not his brain. And his brain was what was really “him,” right? But that didn’t matter.

”Beauty is an illusion. It’s a lie they tell you so you can bear living in the shit they pile on top of you. They’re all liars, cheaters, they just use you until you’re broken. And then they tell the same things to some other poor idiot. Like him. ”Have I experienced the world? That’s a funny question. No really, it is. And as for you, I think I might understand now. You’re one of the idiots. One of the people who got sucked into the shit. You’ve been breathing it in for so long it’s like you believe it’s beautiful. ‘Maybe if you’d been locked up as long as I was’ - listen to you. Doesn’t that sound a little presumptuous? Aren’t you making a couple leaps there?” She grinned, her voice only growing with energy, the volume soft but so full of purpose. ”Just imagine. What if you were talking to a prisoner of war whose freedom came at the loss of so many friends and colleagues? What if I lived my whole life in my family’s basement like some sort of freakish embarrassment? Do you even know what you’re talking about?

Neither was true, but it sure as hell set the point. But still, there was a part of her that wanted to know now - that wanted to pry. A prisoner. A prisoner who saw beauty in the world. What was inside his head that made him so sick? If the world shit on him, why didn’t he turn his back? What was different?
@CAYDE-6 || FREAKING CHILL ||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
POSTS
Unknown
Destiny
Exo
Explorer
ʕ •㉨•ʔ (Male)
Male


This was it. this was where he was going to die. The pink-haired girl was just never going to let him leave. It wasn't really that he didn't want to talk to her. Even though she was completely rubbing him the wrong way and had admittedly disturbed him when she casually guessed the nature of his being, he usually didn't walk away from people who wanted to talk. Even if they were angry, toxic, and hateful, he would still talk to them. He just wanted to get the contents of his bag under the microscope, so to speak, and spend a quiet afternoon sorting through his finds and disassembling them into usable parts. Was he using that as an excuse? Had she rattled him that much to force him to look for an excuse to leave?

Not a chance.

He was comfortable with his place in this world. He knew who he was. He hadn't let anyone get him down before, and he wasn't about to let some random pink-haired girl from Parse be the one to finally tear him down.

He turned back to her again, this time determined to stay and see this conversation through to the end. She looked strange though. Muttering, literally convulsing at his touch. What exactly had broken her in such a way? She kept going on and on about "they" and "them" as if he was supposed to have any idea of who she was talking about. Aside from the usual passersby, who only spared either of them a passing glance, there was nobody else around.

Most of her speech was lost on him, reduced in his mind to crazed or drunk rambling. Okay, the part about being a prisoner of war stung a little bit. He'd been there, only he'd been a prisoner of his own side. It had been necessary, and he'd done plenty of good in that position, but he'd never wanted to be the Vanguard. But that was neither here or there at the moment.

When she was done, he lowered his voice to ask her the only question he had in his mind at the moment. "Who's 'they'?" He saw little point in acknowledging the rest of her little outburst. He could explain himself all day and she would just try to tear it down and ruin it for him. Why waste his time with that when he could try to help instead?



@ANEMONE
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
She hated this machine-man assbot. Though, not for nearly the reason she usually hated people. For one thing, he wasn’t like most - not that she could tell. His mask was present, sure, but it was thinner, she could see his flaws and he just sort of bore them for what they were. In and of itself that was almost hilarious, because most people probably didn’t think of him as a person to begin with. His head, his face, it was a physical mask, a literal one, and yet he was probably one of the most honestly expressive people she’d met so far in this place. What dull irony that was.

So why did she hate him then? Because he was an idealist. He was the worst type of person, the kind who let himself be blinded with hope and futures that were cheery and sunny when in reality they were never going to be. He was deluding himself and other people by talking with that sunshine sweetness in his voice and it disgusted her. And it also made her mad. Mad, because he could smile at things like that. Mad, because he talked like he was happy and like things were okay. In truth Anemone…

Well, she was afraid.

Ever since she could remember her future hung in a balance. Do what you’re told, win the fights. Pilot theEND, take the medication, obliterate the enemy, be rewarded with continued existence. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat. Did she have a day, a week, before her next fight? What if she failed? How many times could she fail before they replaced her? What would happen to her then, could she keep living or was she too close a guarded secret? There was one thing that made her happy. Maybe two, but the second thing, she’d taken away with her own stupid hands. All she had was theEND. Now she was in an unfamiliar place. What did she feel towards the future? The same thing as always. She felt fear. So she hated anyone who could smile at it and look forward to what was to come. She hated them almost as much as the people wearing dumb masks.

She was jealous, not that she’d admit it.

When she was jealous or hated something she tried to rip it apart. But him, he wouldn’t let her. He wouldn’t let her. He was even more annoying because he was able to move forward and ignore her stings. She wasn’t able to tear those pieces out of him, to make him mad, because he was able to move forward. And his one stupid question…

Fine.

”You’re not that blind are you, really?” Her voice was higher, sharper, almost sing-song. The pressure was starting to build. Faster than she meant it to, but it was all his fault for being above her behaviour. She was being downright spiteful at this point and couldn’t find it within herself to care. ”They’re all around us. You know them, you’ve probably seen them. Pressed suits, nice hair, fake, plastered smiles on their faces. That’s the giveaway. Who are they? The people who act like they have the best interest of the people but really, really, they just care about their own ends. You know where those people stand in the world don’t you? They’re the ones on top, in power. Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean. You’re not that oblivious. You can’t be.” She crossed her arms, turning her face away indignantly. Idiot.
@CAYDE-6 || FREAKING CHILL ||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
POSTS
Unknown
Destiny
Exo
Explorer
ʕ •㉨•ʔ (Male)
Male


The intent of Cayde's question had been to try to get to the girl to think about what she was so worked up about, and then he had planned to help her see it from a different perspective. He should've expected that she wouldn't take it well, no matter his intentions. Now he had to withstand another deluge of verbal violence which once again tilted the conversation in the direction of 'everything is irredeemably terrible.' He'd have to figure out some way to make a breakthrough, or she'd never stop spouting depressing drivel at him. Even if she did stop, she would probably find someone else to bother. This wasn't Cayde's job to fix, but he was here, and he felt like he had to at least try.

She didn't respect him enough to listen to anything he had to say. That was the main issue here. If he could somehow show her that he was deserving of her respect, maybe he could talk some sense into her. He listened carefully to her rant about 'they,' and picked out what seemed to drive it. Power. That was what she cared about, what she valued, even if she felt she had none of her own. He could argue with her all day, but until he presented his point from a position of power, she wouldn't listen.

He crossed his arms in response. "So you mean the corporations, then." That was a common line of thought in frustrated people. They couldn't blame themselves for the state of their own lives, so they blamed the faceless corporations as a way of feeling better about themselves. He took several steps forward, completely invading her personal space and going literally toe-to-toe with the pink-haired girl. His own crossed arms pressed against hers, and he didn't allow her a single inch from him. If she took a step back, he would follow, keeping the pressure up as he delivered his own response.

"Am I blind? No. I see those guys. You think they're on the top? Then why don't I feel like I'm beneath them? It's about your perspective. There's too many ways to go about life to see any one group as a definitive 'top' group. To me, those guys are irrelevant, because the way I choose to live my life doesn't include them. It's all up to you. So why do you care what they do? Focus on yourself, or you're just going to crush yourself while blaming someone who has nothing to do with it. Make your life about yourself, not somebody else."



@ANEMONE Sorry for taking so long!
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
She hated people like him. People who always insisted that there was light and good. Insisting that despite whatever shit the world dragged her through there was always something good and she should cling to that. And why was she so worked up over something bad, something in the past, why was she so depressing, she needed to get over it and get over herself and move on! People like that….they were blind ignorant idiots and she hated them more than she hated anyone- or, well, almost anyone- else. They weren’t the absolute worst, now that she thought about it. No the worst were the ones who tried to help fix her and acted nicely - because they were only seeing half the picture. How could they tell her you’re just fine the way you are if they didn’t know her? They didn’t know anything. Who she was. What she was.They didn’t know. They just spouted superficial shit at a mask she wore and told her she was pretty and smart when really they were just talking to a blank slate. Anemone was on the inside.

Where was the light and the hope you idiots talk about back then? Anemone….don’t you know what an anemone means? Don’t you know why they gave me that name? An anemone is a flower...a flower without hope. I am a flower. If there was light I’d be strong wouldn’t I? Such were her thoughts in the face of this stupid stranger. That was exactly right; flowers relied on light, didn’t they? She wilted long ago. Whatever light was in this world had come too late hadn’t it? A sneer crossed her lips. Ignorant idiot. He didn’t know anything. He was spouting what he wanted to believe without any context - he didn’t know anything and yet somehow thought he had the right to make some superior comment.

Then he was speaking again. More words. More drivel. Corporations...truth be told Anemone didn’t know much about businesses; she hadn’t given him any context to who they were, but his first leap of assumption was she supposed a logical one. But Anemone didn’t care for logic right now. She didn’t care if it made sense because ultimately it was wrong. And she knew, she knew it was because she hadn’t said anything other than “they”. What did “they” mean? There were so many things such a simple word could imply and it was exactly why she chose it. To be a spiteful little bitch. Because now she could just smile and listen to him make the wrong judgements. No, you idiot. Not corporations. No. She was getting ready to snap at him, to tell him that no, that he was wrong-

Back off.

What are you doing. Back off. What-

For each step back Anemone took the man - no, creep, took forward. He was close, too close, he was getting far too close. He wasn’t backing up. He wasn’t giving her space. He wasn’t giving her space. Too close, and no matter what she did he kept closing the distance. What did he want? Anemone’s eyes flicked from side to side. She thought about kicking him, but he….his body…he was part machine, she was just a fragile humanoid. She couldn’t do anything. She’d break her own leg if she tried. She could feel her heart start to race, though, because he was too close. He was right there and too close and why are you here what are you doing you’re too close to me back off go away go away please just let-

She wasn’t sure how much of what he was saying she actually understood. He was lecturing her. She knew that. He was lecturing her. He was lecturing her and he wasn’t giving her any space. He wanted to be heard. But she couldn’t hear him, not completely because he was too close and she wasn’t comfortable and she didn’t know what he was doing. He was saying things and she only caught snippets, her own heartbeat was too loud, her own mind was louder. Blind? No. She caught that. She understood what he was saying. Why don’t I feel beneath them. Well how was she supposed to know? Maybe because he wasn’t ever beneath anyone. Maybe because he didn’t know what it was like. You don’t know what you’re talking about stop it stop and leave me alone. But she hadn’t left him alone had she?

Shut up. That was different. That-

Make your life about yourself, not somebody else.

Her mind went dead silent.

And then it was deafening.

If, even after this battle, they tell me I can live on, I'll go and buy a small mirror somewhere and practice smiling. I'll practice over and over so that I can see him once again.

She was back there. She was back there. Dewey had one more mission for her, one important mission. By that point she’d already given in. He was gone, he’d left already, because she pushed him away and it was then, only after he’d left, that she realized she did have some light, and that she’d just snuffed it out herself. But that didn’t make him right. That didn’t make him right. Because now it was gone. She didn’t have anything or anyone. Her feelings wouldn’t be passed on to anyone. She was there for the Colonel and that was it. She’d stop the Nirvash, she’d destroy it, like she was asked to. Because she didn’t have anything else to live for. But she held onto the smallest glimmer of something then, that maybe if she won, she’d be allowed to go. That maybe if she won, she could smile. She could be her, she could be the girl. Maybe she wouldn’t have to be Anemone.

If they tell me that I can live without hurting anyone else, I'll let my hair sway in the wind, take a giant step onto the earth and go see him.

There was still a tiny glimmer of hope. He left….yes he left...but it was because of her, because she pushed him. When this was over she’d ask the Colonel, she’d ask him if she could go. She just wanted to leave, she wanted it to be done. And if the Nirvash was destroyed there wouldn’t be any reason for her any more, she could go on, then. Or maybe they’d destroy her, she didn’t know. But she wanted to hold onto the small chance, like he would have. She wanted to hold onto the chance she could find him again.

I want to live, to say my thanks. I want to live, to give so many feelings to people.

She just wanted to be a girl. She didn’t want to be...

I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this!

She didn’t want to remember this. She didn’t want to remember any of this. Anemone shut her eyes, shaking her head vigorously, muttering quiet no’s under her breath. Why did he have to say that? Why did he say it like that? Why did he make her go back there? He didn’t know anything. He didn’t know anything, he didn’t have the right to tell her anything, to tell her how to live. She could see it all unfolding again. The last fight with the Nirvash, those words from Eureka….they were kind, and she appreciated them, but it was hollow because...

But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!

”I didn’t mean it….”

He was calling out from somewhere - her light, her last bit of hope. He was there. And then…

And then she took it away.

She couldn’t stop the dam from breaking even if she hated herself for it. Because this idiot didn’t deserve to see her emotions or hear any of this. But right now she wasn’t standing with that creep too close for comfort. She was back in theEND, watching the water swallow up her glimmer of hope. Her head was bowed and her hands were shaking, clenched, knuckles white. And then the river was pouring down her face and she wasn’t really seeing, she was just staring out at nothing. Staring out at that scene that wasn’t there.

”...I didn’t mean to, I didn’t mean to….”

Weightless...she felt weightless. She was falling, or...it felt like she was. If she fell, she could join him there, buried in her mistakes where she belonged.
@CAYDE-6 ||Anemone is falling, catch her or...don't. ||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
POSTS
Unknown
Destiny
Exo
Explorer
ʕ •㉨•ʔ (Male)
Male


His plan of attack was working, but it had an effect that Cayde hadn't planned for at all. He'd expected her to break, at least a little bit, yeah, but he didn't think she was going to go into a full-blown mental breakdown. Her eyes slipped out of focus, simultaneously staring him down but looking at nothing. Just from proximity he could feel her breathing quicken. It might have just been his imagination, but he could have sworn he felt her heart rate rising as well. And he was still taking her space, still following each of her retreating steps with his own, until she was against a wall.

Tiny noises and quiet rambling escaped the girl, and Cayde... wasn't sure what to do next. He'd hoped she would just get intimidated enough to leave him alone, but he'd gone too far, and now something was broken within her. Was it something he said? Or was it just his proximity? Suddenly her eyes snapped shut, and she was shaking her head, as though she was being forced to see and listen to something unpleasant, but Cayde had finished talking. He backed up a step, less because he wanted to give her space, and more so he could react if she started swinging.

Her episode continued to shift, and now her head was lowered, her pink hair obscuring her face. Cayde thought she said something, but it was whispered so quietly that he couldn't make it out. "What was that?" he prompted, attempting to bring her back to reality from... whatever it was she was experiencing. Nothing happened, and he was about to ask again, but her knees buckled, and the words never made it out again as he lunged to catch her.

Fuck, what had he done?

It wasn't my fault, Cayde told himself. She was like this when I found her, just a broken person barely holding it in. I didn't do this to her. He repeated it to himself as he maneuvered himself under one of her arms to keep her standing, then half-dragged half-guided her over to a bench. He attempted to help her sit as gently as possibly, but it was difficult without someone else there to help. Gently or not, he'd at least gotten her sitting down, so she wasn't in danger of cracking her skull on the sidewalk or anything. He took a step back rubbing the back of his head with a hand while trying to figure out what to do.

How exactly were people expected to handle these situations? There were people who spent their entire lives learning and training and practising just to help people like this. How should he know what the correct course of action was? Maybe he could call someone to come pick her up? That would work, but he needed to calm her down enough to get a phone number out of her. The glaring problem was still the how. Even though he now had an idea of what he should do, he still wasn't sure how to go about it. It was a problem. The type of frustrating problem that presents more problems as you get closer to solving it. He hadn't been human in so long either. What would she find comforting?

Cayde cast his eyes around, looking for any kind of hint. He noticed that people were avoiding looking in his direction, so he wouldn't be getting any help there. Nobody wanted to involve themselves in this, and he couldn't blame them. He didn't want to be here either. He spotted a vending machine, and hurried over to it. Cold water was always welcome to someone in distress, he thought. Everyone in emergencies seemed to need water, whether for actual thirst or just as a distraction, he didn't know. Either way, he purchased a bottle, and pressed the cold drink into the girl's hands before sitting next to her, watching out of the corner of his eye in case she fell again.



@ANEMONE
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
I didn’t mean to. It wasn’t on purpose. It was an accident.

Vascuud Crisis had fired. She’d been ready to destroy Eureka, to destroy the Nirvash Type Zero, because that was what Colonel Dewey told her to do. That was the only thing she could do. Because she was a puppet, his puppet, and that was her duty and that was the only thing she could do. Maybe when her job was done he’d let her go. Maybe she could go. So, she did what she was told, even knowing that the only reason she’d ever want to be free was gone. Because she chased him away. It would be easier if she’d just never felt any emotions, wouldn’t it?

But then, he had to show up.

And she had to fuck up that badly.

She lost control. It wasn’t-

She heard a voice, and it sounded faraway. She didn’t recognize it, she didn’t know who was talking or where it was coming from. But things were changing, and she was just...she just...she just…

...couldn’t do it any more. Not any more.

Didn’t matter that she didn’t mean to. She still...it was still her hands that….it was still theEND, her theEND, that had blasted him away. She’d done everything in her power to push him away before. Why? Because she was afraid. She was afraid of liking someone. But despite that he came to save her. Like he promised he would. He came to save her, and paid the price. He felt a hand on her or...something on her….and the images in her head changed, broke a little, melted away, slowly, but they were still there, the memory was there, her mind was somewhere in between. She was bullying someone else. She was pushing his buttons. She was making him angry. That was what she was good at, making people upset. She did it because she wanted to prove a point. She wanted to prove that people were really horrible.

She was afraid to like people.

She was sitting down now, and everything was slowing down. She was just sitting there with her hands between her knees, her head bowed. The episode had since ended, but she didn’t have….the energy to stand up, to walk away. To do anything. She’d get better, she’d be fine in a couple of minutes. When someone new came up to her she’d chew them out and she’d go back to normal. Or someone from the facility would come fetch her and she’d go back and run tests on theEND and things would go back to normal. She-

Something cold was put in her hands. It was unexpected and strange, and she shifted her head just slightly, just enough to make out slight shapes from the corner of her eye. It was him, the half-man-half-machine idiot she’d been pushing around and who had pushed back. He gave her….a bottle of something cold.

For a few minutes Anemone just sat there like that. She was confused. She didn’t get it. He was still...but why? It didn’t make sense. It didn’t make any sense. But then, eventually, quietly-

”.........why are you still here?”
@CAYDE-6 ||A little nicer...||
Sometimes, there’s no place to run, no place to hide, couple folks trying to kill you all at once. Think fast. It’s you or them.
195
POSTS
Unknown
Destiny
Exo
Explorer
ʕ •㉨•ʔ (Male)
Male


Cayde didn't receive a response. He hadn't expected one, so for now he was content enough that the bottle hadn't immediately slipped through the girl's fingers. At least she was present enough to hold onto something, which seemed like a step in the right direction. He sat next to her in silence for a time, leaning back against the bench and propping up his elbows on the back. He could better watch her this way than if he was leaning forward as she was, plus his arms were up and ready to make a grab if she started to slump over.

Very softly, a voice finally came from the curtain of pink that hid her face from him. To his surprise, there was none of her previous attitude in her voice. The question itself was still of a challenging nature, but without all the malice behind it that she'd demonstrated before. One of his hands slowly reached up to pull back his hood, his fingers running over non-existent hair as his hood was drawn back. "Couldn't just leave you on the ground with a concussion. People would've assumed you were drunk, and then you wouldn't have gotten any help at all. Even worse, do you know what happens to passed-out girls in the city? Parse isn't as bad as the Barrows, but you still have to be careful." Also, I feel like what happened to you was my fault. He didn't voice the last part, but it was there. Her legs had given out on their own, he hadn't done that to her. But he'd forced her into a situation that she couldn't handle, for whatever reason, so it was his to clean up.

"How are you feeling?" He didn't know what else to ask, but he figured she needed something to focus on to get back to her normal insult-slinging self. "Let me get that for you," he said, reaching forward to take the bottle form her hands. He opened it with a quick twist, then replaced the bottle in her hands. "Drink that if you feel sick."



@ANEMONE
I want to live, to give so many feelings to people. I want to live! I wish I didn't realize I had feelings like this! But I'm in so much pain! He's nowhere where I can see him!
95
POSTS
17
Eureka seveN
Artificial Coralian
Tech Specialist
Carma (Meh)
She/Her/It
It really was a shock that he hadn’t gone. She expected him to have gone by now. Normally, when she had one of her episodes, she woke up with one of the fake nice people from the facility telling her that she’d overworked herself and that she needed rest and recuperation and maybe they’d find out how to replicate her medication eventually. Usually they’d tell her to stay inside the facility for a week or so until she had time to recover. Not like they really knew what was wrong with her. “Stay inside to recover” was just another way of saying “we don’t know what the fuck to do with you so just don’t go outside and cause trouble any more”. Usually the people who saw it were gone by then, whether they got ushered out by the facility representitives or for some other reason she didn’t know. Probably they got freaked out by her and didn’t want anything to do with her. Once people realized what she was they left.

Like h-

...only this not-human not-machine strange hybrid...didn’t.

She wasn’t really sure how she was supposed to behave now. She’d done everything earlier, everything in her power to push every one of his buttons. Or that was the aim. But he didn’t budge. And at the time she hated him for it. She still sort of did, she still sort of hated him because it showed a resolve she just didn’t have. She was….oh, it was that she was jealous, wasn’t it? She wished that she was able….she wanted to be strong, she wanted to say that she had something to believe in. She wanted to believe in something.

So then why did she try so hard to prove that there wasn’t anything, or anyone, worth believing in?

I’m scared to think I’m wrong. And I don’t have anything. Nothing.

If she ever admitted that you could believe...in something other than yourself, it would mean accepting that she was alone and that she was wrong. Alone she could deal with. But wrong….

She didn’t really look up, she just sort of held the water bottle and stared at it. Right now everything was the water bottle, all her focus, it was like it was drawing her in. Or everything else was pushing her away, making her hide. She wanted to hide. She felt uncomfortable next to him - not because he was beside her….or...no, no, it was because he was beside her. But at the same time she wasn’t sure she wanted him to go. He was sort of a stable presence right now which was unusual for her. The only stable presence she knew was theEND. This one spoke words.

She gave a numb, slow sort of nod as he spoke. Something about drunk….why would people have thought she was drunk? She was underage….or at least she was back home. She didn’t know about Parse. She balled her hands into fists at the second part though, head lowering just a little more. He was…..one of those kinds of people then. The annoying kind that felt the need to point out the obvious. Of course she knew, she wasn’t stupid. But it did make her skin crawl a bit.

And then he asked a question she didn’t know how to answer. She just...she sat there, let him take the bottle….let him open it, let him give it back to her, all the while staring at the place where it had been. Only after he replaced it did she….eventually….look up, slowly, and turn her head to face him. Her eyes looked tired, her face was neutral, shoulders sagged a little. This wasn’t the same Anemone as before. It was, but the shield was down. She hadn’t had the time to build it back up yet. For almost a minute she just looked at him, before finally she closed her eyes, taking a small sip of water.

”I feel…”

...People didn’t normally ask her that. What did you say?

”...okay I think. I don’t really know.” She took another short sip of water, took another long moment of silence, and then-

”.....Anemone.”

She relaxed a little, the water bottle held between her knees. ”.....You can call me Anemone, if that means anything.”

It was the closest he would get to a thank you.
@CAYDE-6 ||A little nicer...||
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