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Therapy and Shopping in L.A.

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INV ONLY Therapy and Shopping in L.A.

Post by The Nekromonga March 16th 2022, 4:02 am

Steelheart Industries’ reach has quietly expanded thanks to Dabbler’s powers having vastly expanded in scope – global, literally, global portal generation. This was a significant point in the company’s lifespan, as now they imagined up a vast number of applications. The water problem in arid Somalia was now manageable, as they could simply take fresh water from anywhere, and fill up cisterns. Supply runs were now slightly less difficult, as rare or far off manufacturers was a dimensional tunnel away. The medicine situation was now also mitigated with access to countries with socialized healthcare, multiple pharmacies in a city being bought out. Besides these, there was also room to get minor luxury consumer foods and goods – wine, liquors, steaks, cheese, deli meats, cigars and cigarettes, TVs, blue tooth speakers – for profitable sale or for buying favors.

THE LU TONG LONG (IRON DRAGON) BUILDING

Today, Dabbler brought their fleet of trucks to L.A. for securing a large number of armaments, munitions and body armor, thanks to Drake Lu, the gun runner distant relative of Sage. He had also prepared enormous piles of supplies, ranging from food, to water purifiers, to medicine, to luxury consumer goods. With their own warehouse in town, they could keep this movement quiet. Dabbler was also determined to hit the local Costco for American comfort foods and items, as roughing it in Africa was overrated. Drake was supposed to be in charge of the purchases, but accompanied by Dabbler, things remained to be seen.

Sage however, had brought themselves here for a different reason – for assisted healing and introspection from a professional. She had mentioned her “cousin”, Ja-Eun Yeong, was a psychologist, and she had agreed to meet at the Lu building in a posh part of downtown LA. Sitting atop their popular restaurant, the dwelling space was a cozy home away from home, showing signs of Sage’s handiwork, the place having been altered from modernist tastes to her own tendency for grander design.
June arrived at the building and the cavernous living room that afternoon, dressed up professionally in a blazer and wearing her glasses. Her meek and calm nature concealed the fact she was tall and extremely athletic, and well, a superhero.

Niao stood up to greet her formally. "Cousin June." she said in her usual tone, but June would have none of that and gives her a super hug. "Niao, it's good to see you." she responded warmly.

"Tea?" Sage inquires of them both, heading to the kitchen. "Yes, that Jasmine and camomile brew you make. Quite relaxing." Sage nods and heads over to the cabinet where they kept tea leaves.

"Hello, miss Alexis. I'm June, we spoke briefly over voice call. I'm the Metahuman psychology specialist." June takes her seat adjacent to Adjunct, in the solo seat, placing her little watch on the the mahogany coffee table. She maintains eye contact, her bespectacled eyes still a powerful blue like the sky where Sage's were emeralds. A quirk of dragon heritage. "I'm to understand you are metahuman and have some things... you need to process?"


Last edited by The Nekromonga on March 23rd 2022, 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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INV ONLY Re: Therapy and Shopping in L.A.

Post by elephantlord March 20th 2022, 4:23 am

It was a sad truth of the world that our brain did not always function like we would like it to.  Our conscious minds were at the mercy of a vast network of behavioral predispositions dictated to us by millennia of evolution and ancestral decision making.  Worse, though, was that the mind was not as resilient as some people claimed it to be.  

Violence had not been a natural part of Alexis' world.  Oh, it had happened before, sure, but not on the scale that beings like Dabbler or Argonath routinely dealt in.  She didn't often see the carved-out chests of innocents or a child getting his arm chopped off.  These were real, visceral things that were not a part of her normal life.

People died; the Earth didn't care.  It would spin around like a merry top for some five billion years yet before old Sol uses up all its hydrogen and puts on a few extra pounds.  In the end, reality was inherently indifferent. It bothered Alexis to no end that what she did, and who she did it for, was impermanent.

Alexis had lost her family when she was 19.  She had been away on her coveted Rhodes Scholarship it had happened.  She still remembered that morning. Her new flatmate, Aubrey, had been making something called 'bubble and squeak' out of various kitchen ingredients and the remnants of a kale salad Alexis had picked over the day before.  The phone ran and Alexis had picked up the old-style candlestick receiver, placed it to her ear, and her life had changed forever.

Before that phone call, Alexis had been one of seven.  After, she had been one of one.

After that day, Alexis was like a bad actor poorly cast into a budget play.  Her life contracted down to a handful of social obligations and the motions one went through to assure everyone that 'no no, you were quite fine'.  That you weren't an orphan and that God still loved you.  That the universe wasn't indifferent.

Noid had been kind to her.  A mushroom child; an ugly little monster out of some video game.  He had comforted her when she cried, eased her pain when they had drugged her, and made her smile in a dark place.  And they had cut off his arm and laughed at his screams.

The meeting had been going so well.  Alexis had just threatened a war criminal and told them that if they did not shape up, they would ship them off to sleep in the beds they had made for themselves.  And then the alarms had sounded and all of Alexis' arrogance had been blown out the window.  Despite her carrying an arsenal with her, despite all her careful plans, people had come to where she was and brought violence with them, laughing all the while.  

They hung over Alexis like a Chorus of the Damned, victims of the Wasp Mutant reproductive cycle.  The holes in their chests still dripped with viscera and a strange yellowish fluid from when they immature larvae had eaten their way out.  Alexis remembered staring up at them, the silence in the chamber vast, and imagining how they must have screamed.  How the ones still alive did scream.  

Alexis had broken down at university a full three months after the death of her family.  She had been at a Fish and Chips restaurant talking with Aubrey about nothing when the tears finally came.  One moment, she had been sticking an overly salted potato crisp in her mouth and the next Aubrey was trying to console her while begging the manager to call a taxi.

Though she tended to ignore her own needs, Alexis was familiar enough with her own patterns to recognize the cycle she was in.  The tears had come shortly after they butchered the Bore Worm carcass.  Something about the stink of the newspaper grey meat and the wetly sick smack of the machetes caused Alexis to rip off her facemask despite the thin atmosphere and vomit noisily in the dust of a dying, indifferent world.  

So, when Niao offered, Alexis accepted.  She needed help; and needed it badly.

--

Alexis remembered reading an article once that said if California was its own country, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world, wedged right between Japan and Germany.  While Los Angeles was not it's capital, it certain was its beating heart.  The massive sprawl of the LA basin was like watching a world being terraformed into a think of concrete and palm trees.  

LA was much as Alexis had remembered it; warm, cosmopolitan, and entirely too expensive.  There were some of the best food joints to be found here, she recalled.  There were restaurants and drive-thrus that had been around longer than some government institutions; storied and annealed like the history of some old European dynasty.  

There were haberdasheries here as well that could rival anything in Italy or France; sometime catering to the Beverly Hills crowd or the occasional movie star that might pop in and put designer on the radar for fifteen minutes.  In some of the more upscale locations, fashion was a dynamic, living thing that seemed to sweep everyone away in its giddy madness.

Then there was the real LA.  Around 4 million people crammed into that coastal city; filled with vice and crime and desperate hope.  Home of a 'Dream Factory' that churned out fantasies made from the gristle of all those who sacrificed themselves on its altar.

The Lu building was very 'LA' to Alexis' mind.  Large, impressive, and very expensive, it still had the sort of refined taste she expected from a place catering to the wealthy or famous.  Indeed, Alexis remembered dining in the restaurant before. She could not quite recall what she had, though.  Noodles something something.  Alexis was mad for noodles.

Having decided to accept therapy from Niao's cousin had been the first step to Alexis correcting herself.  She was dressing better at least and taking care of her personal maintenance again.  She had even tried some light banter with Dabs, though it came off as flat and lifeless.  

She still couldn't look Sophie in the eye, though.

The meek persona and attire did not fool Alexis for a second.  She took in the physique, the way the woman moved, and the fact that she was so comfortable around Niao and immediately knew she was a meta.  She had her computer run a Facial Recognition scan on 'June' and began to process all the publicly available information on the woman.  It seemed Niao had been holding out on her.  

"Tea would be lovely," Alexis said, her smile firmly in place.  

She took the cup and saucer she was offered and made a show of savoring on it for some time.  Chamomile wasn't her favorite; it made her drowsy.  Still, the fragrance was lovely, as were the niceties.  

Finally, there was no more dodging.  No reflections or falling into introspections about the world or the economy or Chapstick. She lived inside her own head too much.

"Yeah," Alexis replied with a sigh.  "One or two things."


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INV ONLY Re: Therapy and Shopping in L.A.

Post by The Nekromonga March 23rd 2022, 8:48 pm

The vast living room was subdivided for today’s therapy with folding privacy screen coming out of the wall, following a track in the floor and another 2 meters above. The large space was now cozier and smaller, with just June on her solo chair and Alexis on the two-person sofa. The screens were treated bamboo sandwiching an acoustic dampening material, chosen to minimize the noise from outside. As well, as Sage decided to tinker with her clockwork project over in the living room.

It was telling that, once Alexis’s systems began to run facial recognition on June, there were great pains to re-direct her to her professional work as a psychologist and grad student, and social media presence with lots of classmates and friends living a fairly ordinary life. It was a big clue that a lot of the firewalls were in Korean.

“So, it’s been Scarcely… three weeks since the incident?” June said, starting her interview with her own device, a watch that projected a digital screen directly onto the mahogany coffee table. June was understandably, building Alexis’s patient profile. Apple certainly didn’t have this on the mass market.

“Let’s start unpacking then. A few small steps. First off, how have you been, between… the incident and now? Have you been eating on time? Eating right? Have you resorted to … any substances to cope? How about sleep? Any dreams?” June asked a few warm up questions, both out of concern for her patient’s immediate physical health but also her willingness to answer. Metahumans were notorious for bottling it in, but June had breakthroughs every now and then.

As June waited for Alexis to answer at her own pace, she slowly picked up on her bio-electrical signals. The poor girl has elevated heartrate and blood pressure despite the relaxant chamomile tea.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dragon Girl Experience
Dabbler Experience
The Steel Sage Experience
Thalassophobia Experience
Talona
Lady Deathblow Experience
The Nekromonga
The Nekromonga
Mega Poster!
Mega Poster!

Status :
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Quote : Neko is 9 now. Neko has many medical issues.

Warnings : 0 Warnings
Number of posts : 2533
Location : Philippines
Age : 33
Job : Architect, Master Builder
Humor : I made a Lesbian Feminist Ninja Vampire Samurai.
Registration date : 2013-01-18

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INV ONLY Re: Therapy and Shopping in L.A.

Post by elephantlord May 25th 2022, 12:43 pm

The silence that came after the cavalcade of questions felt like months to Alexis.  June was certainly touching more than a few bases, but then, Alexis preferred it that way.  Frankly, the whole need to undergo this process made Alexis strangely impatient.

Oh, she recognized the necessity, of course.  Alexis was far from her best. So, she gave an irritated little sigh and purposefully prevented herself from tapping her well-manicured nails on the arm on the sofa.

The answers she gave were almost mechanical. "I have begun following my normal routines.  I have recently adopted a small child, and she helps keep me grounded.  I have resumed a healthier pace of physical training.  My employer was kind enough to give me a short leave of absence to put all my ducks in a row.  I have tried to put them to best use."

Alexis sat a little too perfectly.  She held the saucer and cup stiffly, as if posing for a Yorkshire tea ad.  The knuckles of her hand were a touch white.  Her smile seemed pasted on; the sort of perfectly poised and polished smile of a politician or professional liar.  

"I find that I do not sleep well any longer.  It is inefficient anyway; I will often refocus on my work.  As for my dreams..." the teacup began to rattle in the saucer as Alexis' grip tightened.  "They have been... eventful."
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