Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

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Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 8:04 pm

Cities. She'd forgotten how busy cities were.

Everywhere she looked there were people, and everyone was in a rush to get somewhere. The ones who weren't were lurking with purpose; she didn't make eye contact. No point inviting trouble to her door when she didn't even have a door yet. The air was cooler than she was used to, but heavier, and it was hard to say whether the noise or the smog was thicker. A headache was already pressing at her temples- although that was likely more than a simple physical reaction. Subira closed her eyes briefly and took a steadying breath.

In and out. Don't hold what you can't carry.

The shadow of the Interchange stretched over all of Seoul, but she had left the gleaming skyscrapers far behind. Now she walked through a twisted maze of buildings that had probably been dilapidated before they were even built, carrying herself with the easy confidence that she knew would convince any half-sane small fry that she wasn't worth the grief.

The sorts she was looking for weren't known for being even half sane, and only counted as small fry on a bloody big scale.

She found what she was looking for in the crumbling heart of the old city, the vibrant life of the slums pushed back by dusty UIG signs promising glittering progress. The dates on half of them had passed long ago, but the building Subira stopped at had a lot more shine than its neighbours. Not that most of it was visible past the twenty-foot high walls. There would be other defences, she knew, but those weren't exactly advertising themselves.

She looked around. The street was all but deserted, which would have been downright strange if she hadn't expected it. Finding a comfortable-looking patch of pavement, she shrugged the bag off her shoulder and settled down against it, facing the Oracle HQ.

Five'll get you squat that someone had already noticed she was there. Subira listened to the distant roar of the city and took private bets on what they'd do about it.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 8:18 pm

While the shadow of the Interchange faded into the city as night, the freaks came out. Specifically, for our humble purposes, we'll focus on one freak. One freak trying to make the world a better case in skin tight stretchy silver fabric. A hero. With a cape.

He was watching Oracle too. But it was just a building, a huge, immovable building, and no one really entered or exited. And it was boring. This whole part of town was boring. Very few people... Except one.

Moving stealthily, the Hero ran with some speed over the rooftops, closer to them. They had the clothes of a punk, and the manner of someone ready to wait all day. And that was... reassuring. No. It was interesting.

After about ten or so minutes of watching, he began to climb down the building, his cape flickering in the wind to reveal the acid green lining. It matched his giant glowing green eyes, built into his mask to hide all of his face but his mouth.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 8:37 pm

Subira's gaze hadn't left the Oracle building, but then, it didn't need to. She could feel the eyes watching her like an itch under her skin. The sensation was entirely distinct from the cool evening breeze that had started to blow past as the sun sank lower.

The trickiest bit was not reacting, not even with a smile. Instead she watched out of the corner of her eye, tracking a flicker of green; it was bright, glowing against the shadows, and from the look of things was descending from above her and to the left. Rooftops. Hmm. She would have to get used to minding those, from here on out.

Still, she waited until she heard the faint click of boots hitting concrete before turning her head. She was planning to greet whoever it was, but the words died on her tongue as she took in the man in front of her. Skintight silver clothing. Huge, glowing green bug eyes. And... was that a cape?

Subira shook her head ruefully and gave a lopsided grin. "Well, guess I lose that bet, then. Good on ya, mate."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 8:53 pm

"..Wow! That's an accent." His was natural and neutral, the smooth tones of a Bright and Sunny talk show host. He moved closer. There was a shotgun holstered on his hip, but his gloves hands were up in the air. The skin visible around his mouth was a light brown color, and his race was indeterminate. His teeth were very straight and white. "Not a local, then?"
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 9:07 pm

"What gave me away?" Subira asked, raising an eyebrow. She wondered just where this stranger with his pretty diction was placing her mishmash speech. "Unless that's the latest fashion in Seoul." She waved a hand at his bizarre getup, still lounging against her bag. "If it is, count me out. I'm a mite attached to my current threads, ya know."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 9:27 pm

"No, no, it's my costume." He dismissed her concerns about his clothes with a wave of a hand and a flourish of his cape. He seemed very friendly, and despite his height and muscles, there was something very childish about his mannerisms. Bouncy. "Well, your accent's not Fed, it's not Comoros.. Are you a Aussie Free Stater? I never met anyone from the AFS before." He seemed sincerely interested.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 9:32 pm

Subira's grin widened. "Good guess. Two outta three's worth something in the bank." She held out a hand, the nails short and scratched, the skin dry from years of baking heat. "Subira. And that's all you're getting until I know who I'm talking to, chummy boy."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 9:38 pm

The hero reached out and shook Subira's hand firmly. "Oh, I'm a hero. I don't.. I don't have a name yet. Hero Spotter hasn't decided and the local news has just.. psh, ignored me or lumped me in with Declogger and Sun Sprite, and Declogger just fixes internet connections so..." He trailed off, frowning a bit sadly. "I wish I could give you a better answer, Subira."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 9:48 pm

Subira studied the man in front of her. She wasn't going to dismiss him as harmless- no-one who ran around jumping off rooftops in that getup was harmless, or they'd be dead- but he certainly didn't seem hostile. Or like a remorseless cutthroat bastard.

He still could be a wrong 'un, of course, but that way lay madness of a different sort, not to mention a reputation for being a right ass.

"Well, that's no bleeding good," she said. "Heroes gotta have names." She thought for a moment. "You're Glowbug, mate, at least until something better comes along. Might not be the best name ever, but since your competition sound like a bog cleaner and a soft drink I don't think we've gotta knock one out the park, here."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 10:04 pm

"GLOWbug! ..GlowBUG. GLOWBUG!" The hero tasted the name a few times, getting louder. "Glowbug! I like it! It has a retro feel, very 2330s. Yeah.. Glowbug!" Glowbug nodded to himself, grinning wildly... And then he laughed. "Oh, my sister will be so excited, I finally have a name. She's been convinced it'll never happen." He continued to beam, the radiant delight on his face obvious through the mask. "When this shows up in my comic, it gets to be you who names me!" He glanced around. "..But this is a bit bleak. Pity we had to do it in front of that thing, too." He gestured with a thumb to the monolith of the Oracle walls.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 10:09 pm

She couldn't have planned it better. Subira tried to hit the right balance of interest and casual fancy when she asked: "Yeah? Looks a bit out of place, sure. You know much about it?"
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 10:17 pm

The her--Glowbug's smile evaporated. "Oh, there?" He didn't sound impressed. "It's why I'm here. Just.. checking it out.. But uh, yeah, it's Oracle." The boyishness was back, his voice high for a man his height and probable age. Glowbug put his hands on his hips. "You know, the company that steals stuff, secret corporate stuff? Ugh, they're big enough in fiction right now, I don't want to inspire a crossover." His disinterest turned to discouragement, and he sighed. "..But it's probably inevitable."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 10:31 pm

"Hey, hey, mate." Subira was too low down to pat him on the shoulder, so she waved her hand aimlessly in what she hoped was a reassuring way. "Didn't mean to rain on your parade. Just curious." She tilted her head. "Wouldn't worry, if I was you. Bunch a' thieves and corporate runarounds, that ain't the stuff heroes are made of. Besides, if being the good guy is your gig, then I'd say it's a sight more important that you stick to your guns on that than worry about who's getting more press, right?"

She paused, and considered for a moment. "And for the love of little apples, stop telling complete bleeding strangers you have a sister. Play your cards a little closer. That's why it's called a secret identity."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 10:40 pm

Glowbug pouted. He tried to look brooding, probably, but there was a definite pout. "H-hey, lots of people have sisters." But that was good advice. He tried to shake his momentary embarrassment from his head before a thought occurred to him and he brightened up. "But you! You're not just anyone. You thought of a name for me, which is more than the numbskulls at Hero Spotter have. You know CapeChaser765 has made profiles for over two dozen Seoul heroes, and not one for me? I mean, come on. Who does that?" Bashing the critic who ignored him seemed to have lifted his spirits.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 10:47 pm

Subira shook her head, but kept smiling. There didn't seem much point in nudging any more; whatever bizarre hero game the guy was playing, a little more competence might just be enough to get him killed. If it didn't happen anyway. She hoped he didn't drag anyone else down with him.

"Hero sounds like a popular career round these parts," she said, instead. "There much call for that sort of thing? Got to admit, I'm used to there being a whole bunch less people. Everyone gets to be their own personal hero, if you get my drift."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 10:54 pm

Glowbug nodded a little. "Seoul's the hot city for vigilantism, right now. Don't know why everyone else is here. I just live here and it.. seems right. I just want to help people." He shrugged. It didn't seem to bother him much one way or the other. There was an inevitability to what he believed was true. "As for living in the middle of nowhere, though.. What was it like, besides more empty? Scary? Are there really mutant monsters out there?"
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 10:58 pm

Subira nodded solemnly. Getting to her feet, she dusted off her trousers. It didn't make a blind bit of difference to the scuffed black leather. "Bloody enormous ones, mate. I saw one once, size of a bus, with six arms and three heads. Spat fire out of the one on the left. Burned down the bloody privy before we brought it down. But those aren't the worst sort."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Wed May 13, 2015 11:02 pm

"Oh! Oh!" Glowbug delightedly grinned, looking Subira over a bit more not that she was standing up. She was taller than he thought. "Which ones are the worst ones?" The being of muscle that was well over six foot almost bounced on his feet, restraining it like an excited pre-teen. "Is it mutant people? Tell me it's mutant people."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Wed May 13, 2015 11:10 pm

"Weeell, they're mutant alright, but I dunno if I'd call 'em people." Subira leaned in, dropping her voice to a low, conspiratorial tone. "They look just like you and me, see. Sound the same, too, and you'd swear up and down they're just regular folk. Of course, most people live far apart, so it can take a while to realise that you never see 'em in the sunlight. Or that their neighbours go missing on hunting trips a bit more often than you'd expect. Or that old man Hawney ain't just going senile when he says he knew them back in the day."

The sun had set while she was talking to Glowbug. She knew her teeth showed up stark and white in the darkness when she smiled, that the light from the hero's eyes was casting weird, sickly-looking shadows over her skin.

"'Course, those are just stories, right?"

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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Thu May 14, 2015 1:57 pm

The hero, Glowbug, nodded, his mouth set into an "o" of interest. "..Wow. Like, real life vampires? There are real life human-eaters? No one ever talks about that when you hear about the AFS!" He bent over to talk to the much shorter woman, his namer. "Have you ever seen one? Fought one??" Despite his valiant nature, he was enraptured with this possibly horrible idea.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Thu May 14, 2015 7:27 pm

Subira was briefly disappointed that her new audience was, apparently, immune to mild intimidation in the name of spooky story-telling. Still, she wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth; she'd never met someone over the age of five who believed her tall tales this easily.

"Woah, watch what you say there, friend." Subira glanced around as if worried about being overheard. "Mind you, if the folk out here never heard of the buggers, I'd guess you don't have any in Seoul." She paused for a moment and then, unable to resist, added: "Or at least, the ones you got are a sight better at hiding."

Before Glowbug could start asking her any more questions about made-up monsters, she slung an arm about his shoulders. "Anyway, that's enough about me and my boring old life. How about a few hero stories? You've got have a few dramatic chases and hair-raising encounters under your belt, am I right?"
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Thu May 14, 2015 7:38 pm

"No, I--" Glowbug stopped suddenly, and though there was no change in his glowing eyes, he gave the very real impression of blinking. He half-chuckled, then leaned back a little. "No, I mean, yeah, yeah! All the time! I just stopped a robbery a couple days ago, saved a g--yong boy from having his stuff stolen by two-elve.. guys. I was all, pow pow and beat them up. Which.. Which is weird, you know, I do stuff like that ALL the time, so like, why hasn't Hero Spotter picked up on me? You know. Yeah. So, yeah. Wow."

He put his hand on his hip, trying to look suave. He was not very successful.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Thu May 14, 2015 8:06 pm

Subira nodded solemnly. Keep a straight face, keep a straight face... "Must be blind, mate. It's the only explanation." She patted Glowbug on the shoulder. "You just keep fighting the good fight, hey?"

In the back of her mind, she wondered if the people in Oracle HQ were watching her on some security feed and laughing their asses off.
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Carmen on Thu May 14, 2015 8:15 pm

"Yeah! Well, I mean, I don't really do much else." He laughed a little--no, he giggled--before catching himself and changing it to a rather convincing belly laugh of someone much more fitting his size. He let that continue for slightly too long, before trailing off and looking around awkwardly.

"So uh.. What are doing here? You're not homeless, are you?" He seemed concerned. His voice even seemed a little lower than before. "It wouldn't be good for you to come so far only not to have anywhere to sleep."
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Re: Week 92: Stranger in Seoul

Post  Subira on Thu May 14, 2015 8:26 pm

"Nah, mate, I'm good." Subira waved a hand towards the Oracle building. "Or at least, I bloody well hope I am, although if their welcoming committee is anything to judge by this mob couldn't organise a piss-up at a party." She flashed Glowbug a grin. "There's something you've beat 'em at; spotting me first. And I'm right on their bloody doorstep, too."
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