Side Log 01 : A Quiet Conversation

A submitted scene done without a GM.

At some undefined spot with a few moments of privacy between events in Beta, a small side 'chat' between one elfin Marine and one lost construct-babe…

Wreniel was glad to have avoided the fate of being dissolved alive by whatever mobile slime was hunting for food earlier. However, during the course of that encounter, an odd chiming with words that were clearly not 'period' talk grasped her attention, and it became painfully clear that at least one other person that she was travelling with heard them as well.

And not just that, but the decidedly un-period talk from the construct in question served only to make things worse, a fact which clearly struck the beshirted Lumina, as she tagged behind Wren sniffling like someone just kicked her puppy.

"You're not making this any easier, you realize that, right? If you keep this up they may seek to have you rendered, and then where will you be?" Wreniel had been just feeling confident enough with Joseph to start asking more important questions when Lumina decided to try and start the Information Revolution in a setting not equipped for it.

Lumina sniffed, and looked over to Wreniel, nodding. "Sorry, in a puddle? I thought I was just trying to help…"

"Okay, let's back up a bit." Wreniel takes a quick look around to make sure no one in particular is paying 'too much' attention to their conversation. "I saw that knowing glance, we've had a brief affirmation that yes, we're kind of stuck here. Where did you come from before… this?"

Lumina sniffed again, following Wren's gaze around, then back to the elf. "England, the one that's -not- steampunk. Not that a weird MMO makes me any less likely to embarass myself, apparently."

"Okay, stop the sniffling, I'm not going to yell at you, okay? Well, maybe just a little, but I'll try to be a bit more considerate than we Americans are considered to be. I'm from the Midwestern U.S. and this is definitely not Kansas, Toto." She smirks a bit at the wordplay, even though it was a bit… drawn out. "You need to relax but remain on guard. I know, I know, that doesn't make any sort of sense, but trust me, you'll know you're doing it right when you're not beating yourself up and getting things done and it feels 'right'."

Lumina nodded, still not too happy. Lets hope no-one noticed the raggedy-dressed, sad 'human' following along with a well-dressed elf with a sword. "I know, it's more that… well, I'm probably just going to do that all over again in new and interesting ways, next time we have a major npc. I… I really need to practice these spells too, I even have some -specifically- for fixing social problems."

"You ever read Dale Carnegie's'How to Win Friends and Influence People?' There's plenty of useful information in there for that sort of thing, but it all boils down to courtesy and respect and keeping one's mouth *shut* when in unfamiliar territory as much as one can."

Lumina shook her head. "No… I'm not sure where I could find that -here- either, if it was written in the 20th century." She sighed, wiping her nose with her sleeve. "Keeping my mouth shut only helps so much though, when I don't -need- to interact with people."

"Anyway, were you in the military before this? You seemed to know a lot about it…"

"Two years in the Navy, didn't get out on the best of terms, had a size issue they weren't too keen on during the draw-down after the first Gulf War. Really wanted to stay in, too. So being a Marine is kind of cool, but at the same time kind of daunting because while I" She 'airquotes' "am a 'Marine' by 'game' terms, I didn't do eighteen weeks at Parris Island? So I don't want to insult their memory or anything and I'm trying to be a little bit hard-ass to make up for being just a squid in real life."

Lumina nodded, not understanding most of that. "Ok… I don't remember when the gulf war was, or what Parris island or a squid are, but that would be a yes? I don't think I'd want to join them, though."

The elf shakes her head, rolling her eyes a bit. "Gulf War happened in '91, after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August of 1990. Pretty much the entire world said that was a bridge too far and signed on or at least didn't interfere with dealing with that situation. Probably should have finished the job, but they were more worried about politics than being smart. Parris Island is the training facility for the United States Marine Corps, and 'squid' is what they lovingly call the Navy guys and gals that get them from Point A to Point B. And they are a pretty exclusive bunch, the Marines are. Picture your knighthoods and such from medieval times, then bring it up to speed for modern warfare considerations."

Lumina nods. "So, you'd actually be Sir Wreniel then? I was only five at the time though… Actually, for all I know I'm five again -now-, since I'm a homunculus who just finished eating paste." She frowned and sniffed her fingers, licking off a bit of residual paste. Classy.

Wreniel shakes her head. "No, because the United States doesn't allow for such titles, being a representative democracy. There'd be ranks and stuff, but given my real life experience I'd be charitable calling myself a corporal, yet apparently mechanic-wise I'm somewhere in the commissioned officer ranks… somehow. And… we'll have to find a way to keep you going on that, unless we can find some way to get you polymorphed or something to a better body. No offense, but the idea of having to consume some foul substance once or twice a month to stop from turning into goo is not what I'd consider… 'attractive'."

Lumina realised what she was doing, and blushed, looking somewhere else. "It actually… wasn't all that bad, but it -was- a lot like paste. Honestly, I'd sooner find some way to not keep -liking- the creepy male who decided a-" She winced, bringing her hand up to her head. "That a glorified sex doll was a good idea. Mrrf." She shudders a bit, hand still pressed against her head.

"You going to be okay? And… why on earth did you pick that as a character option? No offense, but seriously, what were you thinking?"

Lumina nods through her hand. "I'm ok, sorry; I -didn't- pick that though, I only picked homunculus, a couple effects of that, aether crafting, and enchanting… which is -so- not what I was expecting it to be."

"Wow, I think I got off light, then. I just picked 'High elf' and 'Physical primary' then let the AI rip on the random stuff."

Lumina nodded. "I picked abstract primary; I don't know -why- I picked social as secondary; I think I assumed it'd be… well, -a game-."

"I've gotten into my characters before, but this is ridiculous. Not afraid to tell you I'm a guy in real life, and I'm rather missing my stuff, if you know what I mean? Overall it hasn't been too bad but there was this one point on the island…" She shudders a bit.

Lumina blinked, her hand moving down from her head to oversized chest. "Right… well, what happened?"

"Well, I remember sitting down in the room, had only a small light on the keyboard so I could read the keys in case they wanted me to enter some stupid long alphanumeric or something, game came on, and then suddenly I was treading water and nearly drowning."

"…I meant the island thing. But, you weren't sitting in the dark were you?"

"Oh, on the *island*" She fidgets a bit and looks a bit… uncomfortable. "I got drugged by some natives and started feeling rather… rather…"

Lumina nodded, waving her hand for the elf to continue.

The elf bites her lip and looks down at her feet for a few moments. There's a bit of tension there. "Well, let's just put it this way it wasn't something I was expecting to be feeling?"

Lumina started to smirk, her hand coming up to her mouth before it got too wide. "Ooh… well, was the feeling actually -different-, aside from the obvious points?"

"eeeehhhhyeahhh. Let's talk about something else, okay? Like how we're going to make things right by Joseph and find out how much of a hole we're in? He seemed like a pretty decent guy for being in the place he was."

Lumina would, but was too busy giggling. She did calm down after a bit, and shrugged. "Well, he was nice enough, but he -is- still a drug dealer working in a black market. I did mention the slaves, didn't I?"

"Slaves?" That causes the elf to blink a bit. Sure, on the island she essentially insisted that a leader of cannibals bring back their dead for dinner, but the slavery concept makes her… twitch even. "We're not talking play-slaves dom and sub, right?"

Lumina shook her head. "I don't think so? They certainly didnt -look- happy with the chains anyway, and he didn't deny it was a thing when I asked."

"Wow, yeah, glad I didn't see that, or I probably would have been making a bigger mess of things somehow. Not sure how I could have fixed it, though. Yeah. So. Guy or gal in the real, or is it complicated?"

"Gal, thanks. And you'd have had a better chance of fixing it than I would, since -you- at least have a sword and an elven family; all I have is a shirt slash dress and a magic boob thrust." She frowned, tugging at said shirt.

"And what magic that thrust is." The tone is dead-pan and not very convincing. "I never really understood the allure of vast tracks, to be honest. And while you look mechanically pleasing to the eye, you're not… well, you don't do anything for me?"

"No offense."

Lumina looked back, just as deadpan. "Oh, you charmer you. But, if you're not -actually- an elven marine I'm sure the feeling is mutual. Anyway, I mean -actual- magic. It's a spell that makes people like me, and -that- is part of the 'animation'."

"That's sort of useful, too, though. I'm sure there's some men that will look at that and be thoroughly mesmerized by the display so much that you could walk right past them or get them to sign over the deeds to their homes. About the only thing I've managed to figure out is safe passage in the wilds, the ability to swim extended distances, and kick butt with the sword."

"Well, sure, I haven't had the opportunity to test it on a woman yet, but it -is- magic, I'd honestly be a bit upset if it's effectiveness depended on how much the target liked tits. Still, I can't see it working on jelly or rats, so your swording is definitely useful."

"Yeahhh. We saw how well that worked out against the slimejellythingy." Wreniel frowns a bit. "That's still bugging me. What kind of game makes an unbeatable animal to throw against starting out folks?"

"It could be one with a decent plot? If we meet that completely unbeatable slime again halfway through, and by that stage it's beatable. They do that sometimes to show how far your character's come."

"Yeah, but it's a bit much to throw at you when you've got nothing that can scratch it? It's like the ultimate dick move. If I caught a GM doing that to me I'd totally quit playing at their table."

Lumina blinked. "Their… table?"

"You know, if you sat down to a roleplaying game like old-school Dungeons and Dragons or something like that?"

"Maybe? I've never tried that, there were -far- too many beardy guys when I had the opportunity. Still, I'm pretty sure this is an MMO, not a tabletop game." No matter how meta it might be.

"Games are changing, lot more women trying them out these days, but I won't deny that is a stereotype that is true far too often." She ponders for a moment. "An MMO with an unbeatable boss would chase away subscribers. So perhaps there is an easier explanation, or even yours is workable. At any rate, do you think you could do the alchemy work for Joseph if we get back into some level of 'good graces' with him?"

"I never said it was a good reason not to, just not very appealing. And if not that, it might have been a puzzle, not a fight. 'hold it back or come up with a better solution than the wall', which we did. And I suppose I could do the alchemy, but to be honest embarassment aside I'd still rather find somewhere safer and less amoral."

"Well, there's always the possibility that the elves might be looking for an alchemist, but I can't guarantee what kind of reaction you're going to get? I mean, the world I was in before I came here I was a slight bit more confident but now everything is kind of… fuzzy?"

"…Fuzzy in what way?"

"Well, it's not 'quite' the same as the world I was in, but a lot of the basic things are the same? There are elves in both worlds, they both have marines, and both apparently employ women. But beyond that, or any of the social nuances, well, I have a hint of what they might be like but I honestly don't know how they work until I see them in action?"

Notes: The first 'submission' by the players towards the collection of logs.