2020-02-10 - Distraction and Abstraction


Parkour in the DZ for fun and bruises! Long talk about what it means to be real between Avery and Shayera

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Feb 10 02:49:03 2020
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



Avery has been having a time of things in some regards, she /really/ is wondering why she was a Golem under the dome. Did that mean she really /isn't/ a real girl? Can it be a reflection of reality, or is it a self-fulfilling prophecy? Both? Neither? She has no damn clue and having the thoughts run rampant across her brain is getting her really worked up. So…

…off she went to the Disaster Zone to practice her Parkour under less than stellar conditions. Slick footing, uneven ground, rubble, possible monster encounters…JUST what she needs to distract her. Sure, she knows it isn't a FIX, but the distraction and physical exertion both are something she /needs/.

Dressed in a hoodie and her domino mask, the girl is wearing fingerless leather gloves and sturdy pants and combat boots. And she is /running/ at a clip that few could sustain for long, though not full out. She's not a big woman, slender of build, but not petit either. During the run she is frequently vaulting over, under, or veering around various obstacles. She really does have some pretty solid athletic skills!

Patrolling this particularly messy part of the city is a real challenge to the local officers, considering the tumbles of debris still very slowly being cleaned up, the lack of passable roads, so on and so forth. But for Shayera Hol, it's as simple as flying over the open fields in Central Park. So, when she's not doing anything else, that's what she does. She flies over the Disaster Zone and reports back her findings so that the Grounders can focus their recovery efforts to the best of their (admittedly limited) abilities.

Banking around the remains of a smaller office building, Shay is casually watching the ground passing by below for anything interes— oh, hello. She can't help but notice the freerunner and moves to follow, though as luck would have it, the sun is not in her favor today.

A largeish winged shadow passes across Avery's path.

Truly, the messy qualities is exactly why Avery's here. One doesn't get to run and fight under ideal conditions often, rarely in fact, so it behooves her to be proficient at dealing with things that are awkward, or even hostile. Like snowy rock strewn landscapes which are known to be havens for criminals and monsters. PERFECT! If she's lucky she might even get into a fight. She could use a good fight against desperate odds facing fearful evil!

But that sort of thing doesn't happen in the real world.

Not often.

Not often ENOUGH.

As she runs Avery digs out a grapple gun, having experienced webslinging the other night with her friend Gwen, she rather enjoys the swinging about, and that's when the rather large winged shadow intercepts her path. A burst of adrenaline, and then the girl leaps to the side, intending to do a shoulder roll behind some cover. Sadly, the footing proves less than cooperative and her foot shoots out from under her at a painful angle, and she ends up rather awkwardly sprawled and smarting from a tumble on cement and stone. Fortune did favor her in this much - she missed the up thrust piece of rebar, so there's that.

Okay, that was not what she meant to have happen. The freerunner clearly just tripped and fell, and Shayera immediately backflaps to drop some momentum and turn to land near her.

"Hey," she calls out in a somewhat accented, but not at all aggressive tone. "You okay there?" She gets her phone out, ready to call to the local emergency services and inform them she's bringing an injured person back.

This isn't something she's not done before. It happens at least once a day.

Once her head stops ringing, Avery actually laughs a bit, hands folded on her stomach. "Oh, I be mostly well, miss. Mine pride be far more damaged than my body…" A nod to allow. "…though I shall have some interesting bruises for sure and certain." And then she sits up, resting on her elbows a moment, and looks to Shayera. "Oh! I remember you, miss." She reaches for a hand up, and if it is granted will stand and start brushing herself clean of snow and detritus, a frown when she sees she's torn her pants, and by the feel of it has a cut shin.

Eyes of hazel behind a domino mask look to Shayera then. "I do not believe we introduced ourselves one to the other, I am Zeal." Her voice and form are pretty close to that the golem girl Zeal had, more alive though, no metallic overtones, and the eyes are the exact same hue as the peridots were, only organic.

Shayera tilts her head at Zeal in an almost bird-like manner, then reaches out a hand to help the young Ground back to her feet. "Shayera Hol. We've worked together in the strangeness that's happened to Staten Island." Give a point to Captain Obvious here!

"Why are you out here running like this? The chances of someone being able to help you if you get seriously hurt are very low." Yes, she's noticed the ripped jeans and the cut on her shin. She's not in the habit of carrying anything like a first aid kit, though.

"That be a very pretty name, Shayera Hol." Zeal observes, and then she nods. "We did, aye. You scolded a mechanical hummingbird and smote many foes with your mace." A nod of respect, hand to her heart. "Truly, you are an able warrior, Shayera Hol." Eyes bright, she settles onto a larger chunk of concrete, and examines the shin.

Yes, two points to Captain Obvious! One for each common sense comment.

"Oh, I can get about, and…needed to clear my head." She admits. And then she does a peculiar thing, she reaches her hand into…empty space, the thing vanishing up to the elbow as she reaches about, and then when she brings the hand /back/, she's got a small first aid kit. Okay, that's a neat trick! "You have the right of it, though." She sighs as she tears the pants a bit wider, and then starts cleaning the fairly ugly little cut.

"Oh, right. That damned hummingbird." Where had that annoying little thing come from, anyway? Wings rustling as Shay settles them against her shoulders, she nods in response to Zeal's assessment. "I'm an enforcer, my home city's equivalent of the local police here." She doesn't say it aloud but her tone is more than clear enough. DUH she's an able warrior.

The young woman's hand suddenly disappearing into empty air has Shay tensing and reaching for her mace attached her belt, but seeing the first aid kit produced, a bit of surprise and curiosity color her wariness. THAT'S useful. Wings rustling again as they move to keep them from dragging through the snow and rubble, she kneels down to reach out and help Zeal with cleaning the cut on her leg. "Maybe next time bring a companion to go running with you?"

Duh seems apt, in context…and Avery's head dips to acknowledge the point freely. "I used to be a knight, in a world that never was." She says with a bright smile, and chipper tone. After all, the joke's on her, right?

She can't help but grin at Shay's reaction to the appearance of the first aid kit. "My power is that I can Walk the Space Between Breaths, I can 'teleport'." It is pretty clear she doesn't like the word, it doesn't really describe what she does. "This be one of the more useful trick I have learned."

A smile of thanks as Shayera lends a hand. "I was not in the right 'head space' for such, I admit." A smile. "And you? Why be /you/ here, Shayera Hol?"

Still carefully cleaning the cut on Zeal's leg before applying a bandage, Shayera hms and nods slightly at the young woman's explanation of how she pulled the first aid kit out of seeming nothingness. "I would have to agree that it's useful."

She picks up the bits of trash generated by using the kit and looks at Zeal as if trying to determine something. "I fly regular patrols over this area, because I can get to parts of this mess that Grounder vehicles can't reach. I can also pull people out to medical assistance if they need it, or drop in small amounts of supplies to anyone still here that choose to stay."

She gestures to her phone. "I can also notify the authorities of anything I find that I think requires more attention or manpower than I can offer by myself."

"Tis." Zeal says simply.

"So is Walking Between, I can travel to any point I be able to see, though it can get tiring after some time."

A look to the other woman as she is studied. "Walking Between can be taxing on passengers, many find it disconcerting, still, it be very fast." A smile then. "It seems you have the noblest of intentions, Shayera Hol. There be no higher calling than service rendered to aid others."

Once the leg is bandaged she will claim the trash if Shayera is willing to give it over, and then puts the kit and the trash both back wherever the kit came from.

At the phone, Avery oohs and checks her own, luckily she didn't damage it in her fall.

She straightens then, tests the bandaging, and mmphs approval. "So…you looked like you had a question you wanted to ask?"

Handing over the trash and watching again in curiosity at the 'pocket between', it takes Shayera a moment to figure out what Zeal's referring to before she ahs and nods. "Yes. Most of the people working to solve what's happened to Staten Island seem to have very clear reasons for doing so, and their intentions seem to be reflected in the way they look inside the area of effect." It very plainly means something that Shayera's own appearance barely changes at all.

"But you seemed, in a way, confused by how you looked in there. You even sounded like an automaton of some sort. Why was that?"

Moving about a bit to keep the blood circulating, Avery is a bit thoughtful at the question posed. "I am not sure." She says with a sigh. "Methinks that the form taken be a reflection of self-image. Or so is how I interpret what has been said. What be confusing is that in a different instance, a test perhaps, mine form was still flesh and blood, though my memories were affected then, we had no warding amulets you see."

A nod, and then she looks to Shay. "In between that event and this most recent foray I learned some things that make me wonder at mine true nature, be I real, or be I construct?" A shrug. "I do not truly know, and /that/ be why I was running. I sought to clear mine head, to distract mine own self, and…" A soft chuckle. "…the efficacy of my measures proved inadequate."

Tilting her head slightly again, Shay considers Zeal's words for a long moment before shrugging lightly. "What is real? What are we really, besides a collection of electrical impulses bundled together in a bowl of squishy cellular matter? Does that make you any more or less real than me?"

She reaches out a hand to punch the younger woman lightly just below her left collarbone, being VERY mindful of her strength. Grounders are typically much too delicate. "You seem real enough to me."

"That is perhaps what I be struggling with, Shayera Hol." Avery says with a faint smile. "What be no real is my memories of up until a short time ago, I lived in what I have heard called 'virtual reality'. Almost nothing I recall was real, save my training in the martial arts of Eskrima and Tai Chi, and my limited interactions with my father."

Zeal's slender form is mostly muscle, she's actually quite a bit more solid than she might appear. Either way, that punch lands and she 'oomphs'. A moment of surprise at the act, and then a bark of laughter. "Aye, mayhaps you have the right of it." She bows. "Thank you."

And then Avery looks thoughtful, and takes her phone out. "Might I have your 'digits', Shayera Hol? I would like to be able to reach thee an it were needful, and offer mine own aid in thine endeavors if I could be of service."

Back on Staten Island, Shay could brush off Zeal's unusual speaking patterns as a side effect of the weirdness there, but she's still doing it here in the middle of this disaster zone.

At the request to exchange phone numbers, she pulls her phone without hesitation and wakes it to trade contact information. "I do actually have another question I would like to ask, if it's okay with you."

Yup, Zeal's a strange cookie she is! And it is a measure of her upset that her speech patterns have regressed to their 'roots' in the Hidden World, her VR home. Once they exchange contact numbers, and Shay would see that she listed herself at 'Avery Aaronson', not Zeal, Avery looks to Shay and nods slowly. "Ask whatsoever thou wishest, be advised, however, I will not answer if it will be betray a confidence." She smiles then. "Within those bounds, ask as ye will."

Having been given permission to ask, Shay takes a moment or three to figure out how to best phrase her question. Eeeh, screw it.

"You've got some kind of strange speech patterns, like you learned watching movies and TV shows set in ye olden times. Now, maybe I've got it wrong, 'cause it's not like English is /my/ native language, but… what' up with that?"

A hint of color to Avery's cheeks, and then a soft laugh. "Forgive me, I am not so good at talking in modern forms." She considers how best to answer the question, and then nods. "I was raised in a 'Virtual Reality', as I have mentioned. It was a place called The Hidden World. The 'setting' was one of high adventure full of monsters, and magic in a realm far underground. There were dinosaurs, and ancient races, powerful gods and myriads of cultures. My speech patterns are from that world, not this one, save…tangentially, I believe this be…this /is/ the right word. In that world I was a Knight, a Paladin Templar and traveling adventurer." A sigh. "And none of that, nothing save the martial arts training mentioned and my father, were real."

A shrug. "So…coming to /this/ world…was interesting. I can Walk Between, but only in a single world, I cannot get back to the Hidden World, I think it might even be gone." Avery looks up, meeting Shay's gaze. "I do not think I /want/ to go back, truly. But it would be so much easier to, mm?" A firm nod. "A coward's escape, but definitely easy."

Ahhhh. That explains so much, and Shayera clearly expresses her understanding with a nod. "So that craziness going on on Staten Island is less weird to you than it is to the rest of us. But I have to argue with you about nothing else being real. You're real, aren't you?" She lifts a hand as if to punch Avery again like she did just a few moments ago.

"Besides, if I can be a noble warrior here in the lands of the Grounders, why can't you continue to be a knight paladin templar thing like you were in that Hidden World? The scenery's probably not as pretty here, but…"

She looks around then shrugs. "Here is as good a place to help people as any, don't you think?"

"I do not know, honestly…when I came here there were two of me for a time, one sickly and frail, the other…this me. I think /other/ me might have been the original, I am…a copy? A made thing that thought itself real." With the raised hand, Avery smiles lazily, her stance shifting very slightly, but a skilled fighter like Shay would surely see that it is a subtle defensive stance, probably Tai Chi if she is familiar with the grounder art.

She blinks a moment at the concept of just not worrying about it, just…being. "My Lady seemed to share that view at least in part. I do not think she quite knows what to do with a vassal sometimes." Avery chews her lower lip. "She does seem to value my service, however, she and the Silver Samurai. They have given me much…including perhaps the right to be a hero." A firm nod. "Aye, that is…/yes/, helping people, that is something I have always loved and honored."

"Maybe you started as a copy, but you're distinctly you now, right? Kind of like one of a pair of twins. And if your 'Lady' said the same thing I'm saying, then it's gotta be the way to go, right?" Vassal… what the heck does that word mean again? Meh. She thinks she can guess based on context.

"If they think you're doing good working with them, and you're doing stuff that you've always liked doing, then what's stopping you from keeping at it? The thought that you might not be a 'real boy'?" Yes, she's seen Pinocchio. "Screw that."

"I…can't say." Avery says, but the doubt…that seems less. "My Lady is the Batgirl, she is very wise, she even has an Oracle to guide her." Avery nods…first slowly, then with more surety. "I think I needs mus—-that I /need to/ speak with her about this. I just…it was a shock, learning that the other world was not true, mm?"

A faint frown. "I cannot be a real boy, I am a girl." She states firmly. Then the lower lip quivers a bit, stern expression melting away. If Shay allows it, she's going to get hugged. "Indeed, Screw that."

The hug startles Shayera, so much so that she doesn't have a chance to explain the Disney movie reference to the kid. Hugs aren't a thing her people do, it leaves the wings way too vulnerable. "Uh, yeah."

Speaking of, in her startlement, her grey-white wings flare back and out, as if she were on the verge of fleeing. Or her wings are ticklish. Or something.

No touchy da wings.

What's funny - Avery is chronologically old enough to drink, and her body physically aged to that same bio-age, even if the body itself is much much younger. Either way, the 'kid' blinks at Shayera's going super stiff and then when the wings flare, Avery steps back, and looks immediately contrite. "I…am sorry, Shayera Hol." She's not sure /why/ the wings are an issue, ticklish-vulnerable-sensitive, doesn't matter. What DOES matter is they ARE an issue, and Avery has caused possible offense.

"No, no. It's… it's fine, really." Shay gestures vaguely while her wings fluff up then settle back to their normal resting places against her back. "I'm just not used to that Grounder gesture." She tries to think of a way to explain, then remembers something she saw on the Grounder internet thing. "Have you ever seen how a cat reacts when you touch its stomach?"

"Actually, I do, Leroy Jethro Gibbs loves having his tummy rubbed." Of COURSE Avery has a cat, and named him after NCIS lead, Gibbs. She looks dubious then. "But…you did not seem to regard being hugged with favor as he does his belly rubs. Did I err somehow?" Avery is honestly trying to comprehend. "It seemed…uncomfortable for you."

Shayera ohs faintly. "Well, I saw mention somewhere that some cats really don't like having their stomachs touched, to the point that they'll bite or scratch. That gesture… I know it's a common gesture of affection for Groundres, but it puts you too close to my wings. Where I come from, that's a, well, it's something only relatives or very close friends would be allowed to do."

In short, she tolerated the uncomfortably familiar gesture because there was no way that Avery would know the significance of it.

"Ah, okay." Avery's confusion is greatly diminished. "So I risked getting punched again, at least, unwittingly." She muses. "Thank you for your forbearance, Shayera Hol." Avery's spirits seem greatly buoyed compared to before, and at least it is over forty outside, so not even that cold. "I thank you for all your kindness, and your advice, friend."

"Yeah, you did, but only a little bit. I was told really early after arriving in this city that punching people for what was considered a casual friendly gesture was… mm, a bit of an excessive reaction." Shayera shrugs again, apparently not at all affected by the temperature as she's wearing a jacket of any sort. "And hey, you're technically new to this place like I am so I kind of have to expect a learning curve like I dealt with."

A sweet smile. "I am glad that you were so informed, and that my face has remained unpunched. I have a sufficient bruises unto the day already." Avery's a bit cold, but that's okay, it isn't like home is more than a breath away! "Do you hunger, Shayera Hol? I confess I get hungry a great deal, and a meal shared is much more pleasant than one taken alone." A smile as she removes her dime store domino mask off and tucks it into a pocket, and just like that she's out of costume!

"I could eat. Where to? I know you can get there almost literally in the blink of an eye, but I'll have to get there the long way around." Shayera stretches out her wings for a moment like a runner would stretch their legs, then tosses off one last comment before taking back to the air.

"And you can explain to me why you and Batgirl wear those things on your faces."

"If you are willing, I could get us both close to a fine place I know, it is called the Golden Corral Buffet…you pay a small fee and eat as much as you can…" Either way, Avery and Shay can have themselves a nice meal, a long one too, for a modest price compared to the sheer amount of calories the girls can pack away.

"The maks? They are to hide our identities, it is a superhero thing, not to use one's name…"

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