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[LiT] Act 2C: Weeping Willow; getting up is so hard to do; Corruption and Sophia
Topic Started: Jan 19 2018, 02:22 PM (250 Views)

The word “tragedy” would undersell what was currently occurring in Ursus’s group. First of all, they were with Ursus, which was aggravating on a good day, but to top that off they were in some strange forest. A strange, colorful forest that took no time in demonstrating just how odd it was; for it appeared that every bit of its vibrant vegetation was moving. Strike that, it definitely moved. Now it danced along with the carefree Ursus Jones, currently experimenting with his newfound powers via Aria.

ACHA CHA CHA, A CHA CHA CHA CHA!" Ursus kept saying, over and over, as he quite literally tangoed with some bush while getting a bit too flirty with an apple tree.

On the bright side, the trees, bushes, grass, weeds, and so on appeared friendly. On the downside, everything else. Well, no, at least Ursus was sorta heading to some direction, albeit one waltz at a time.

AHAHA, THAT WAS FUN,” Ursus said before he suddenly went stiff as a board. “WAITA MINUTE, I JUST REALIZED, THERE’S NO LIGHT HERE!

With that, the boy tossed off the bag he constantly wore over his head, revealing a rather normal looking youth.

Normal Looking Youth

Woohoo, that feels new,” Ursus said, thankfully not using Aria’s powers to affect his voice.

As if to celebrate, he started dancing with the foliage again. Oh dear, this is going to be a long day.

Finally, Ursus and co stopped in front of a tree, a willow to be precise. Which wouldn’t be so suspicious if this tree was, ironically, moving. Instead, it looked and behaved like a normal tree, albeit with a rather sweet smelling scent, and furthermore it stood quite separate from the rest of the forest. There appeared to be a good hundred feet of distance from the curiously plain willow to anything else. Ursus, unperturbed by that, walked up to the tree and started to “hmm” and “hmm” over and over. The boy ran around the tree a few times, appearing like a dog, scratching his chin and hmm-ing all the while. At some point, he stopped and walked back to the others.

Ok, we need to go into the tree.” Ursus pointed to a little entrance that appeared on the tree. “Through that hole that suddenly opened up specifically.

This seemed incredibly fishy and dangerous.

I’m telling you, we definitely need to go into the tree. No other way.” With that, Ursus walked forward and climbed into the unknown.
Edited by JSQ, Jan 21 2018, 01:12 PM.
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Ursus did not seem to understand what "Ecolocation", and "supersensitive hearing" meant! If not for the fact his voice was making it almost impossible for Felinia to find her way forwards, she would have tried to grab his throat to silnce him as she explained.

As it was she had to find a branch to use as a walking stick to find her way forwards.

The fact that the plants now moved provided another issue for her. Pity that Ursus's voice was drowning out the sounds of their movement.

When he was quite for a bit, Felinia called out, "No more singing! If you keep singing, I will try to knock you out! I can't tell what's around me what you try to sing!"

When he went through the hole, Felinia took a little while to recover, and said "Doesn't he realize I can't see right now?"

Facing the last of their group, Felinia asked her "Would you mind directing me? My eyes are too sensitive to use right now, and his voice is still ringing in my ears, making ecolocation useless!"
Felinia would follow whatever directions to the opening she was given, but woud not go fast. She was in no way eager for Ursus' attempts to sing once more.
Edited by Corruption, Jan 20 2018, 11:53 AM.
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Luckily for Sophia, Ursus’s incessant singing was only an annoyance, though her temperament wasn’t the best at the moment and she scowled at the boy as he took off his bag hat. Somehow she was expecting him to have an odd looking head, or even not have one altogether (stranger things have happened). Seeing him now, she can’t help but feel a tad disappointed at how normal he was.

Ah well. Maybe next time.

The little girl followed Ursus to the opening of the willow tree, stopping at the entrance to peek inside. “Why do we need to go inside this creepy looking tree?” It reminded her of a scene in an old space opera movie Seth showed her where the main character entered a similar dark tree-like place while training under an old green puppet. “This doesn’t look like a good place to go…”

Too late, Ursus already went inside. “Sigh… he doesn’t wait for anyone, does he?” Well, there’s nothing else for it. Before going inside Sophia held out her hand for Felinia. “Take my hand then. It’s dark inside though, so I don’t know if I can see any better than you can.”
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Ursus was positively giddy as he crawled into the unknown. Which was not saying much, he was always giddy. It might be better to describe the interior they were headed into, but that was rather boring as well. The inside of the tree looked a lot like one would expect the inside of a tree to look like, brown and lots of roots. However, there did seem to be a blue light illuminating the distance up ahead. Curious.

Soon, they entered… a rather regular looking room. No really. There was a desk to the side with a blue lamp, a mirror on the other, and in the middle was a bed. Well, ok, it was a completely gigantic bed that could have no way fit inside the willow tree they were entering and completely dwarfed their own, but other than that a completely normal, giant sized room in the middle of a willow tree. Oh, and the humongous bed contained an equally ginormous occupant under the covers.

I do not know…who has entered here…or why… but I recommend that you… leave.” The mysterious occupant sounded airy, weary, and a tad bit… melancholy. One could swore they could hear tears. “Immediately.”

Ursus walked up to the bed and said with his characteristic lack of the situation, “No dice lady. I need to find my bro, and finding my bro has something to do with that bed.”

Several minutes passed before any sort of movement occurred from the bedridden woman. Which seemed to be a simple turning of her body to the other side.

I…am sorry… but I did… warn… you.

Behind the group, the entrance they had come from shrunk into a mere dent in the wall. Looking around them, there was no exit of any kind, which was concerning to say the least. The liquid oozing out of the wall was another.

I…apologize…again. It seems… you will… die… here. How…very…terrible. Though I did…warn you.” The woman sat herself up a bit on her bed, moving her bedsheet down just a tad and revealing her face. A rather blue face that seemed to be constantly streaming down tears.

Giant Blue Woman

Wha’chu talking about?” Ursus asked.

You see… I am what is known as… a Mem Form. Mem…Forms feed off… thoughts… ideas… emotions… feelings… so on… so forth. After an eternity… of feeding… we grow particular… tastes. So we partake in these… tastes. So we grow again… according to that. My tastes happen… to be…” The woman let out a rather long sigh, the sort of sigh that one would give after not wanting to get up in the morning. “Sadness…melancholy…mourning…regret…misery…depression…tiredness…doubt…gloom…despair…that sort of thing. I hated it. So I went…into a tree. Or… did the tree… grow around me? Either way…I became that tree…that tree became me…and it still came…other Mem Forms…other thoughts…other ideas… other emotions… all with a tinge… of what satisfied me… the most. It was…” Another infinitely long sigh. “Terrible. They kept…coming… even after… I told them… not to. Then they… died… eventually… and I… was fed… and alive… and healthy.” The woman slumped back into her bed. “Why couldn’t they…just leave me alone.

Wow, ok then.” For once, Ursus did not know what to say.


Oh hey, hey, hey, it’s not your fault,” Ursus said. “You were just totally designed to get the short stick. No big deal.”

How…comforting.” Evidently misery did not stop sarcasm.

Anyways, all you have to do is just let us out and we’re good, right?” Ursus held up his thumbs, goofy smile plastered on his face.

It does not… work like… that.” She sighed again. “Food… goes in… your mouth… right? It is not… supposed to… come out? This place… pulls food… in. It does not… let go. At the… very least… know that… it takes… awhile. To be… digested. I also… hear it… does not… hurt. Possibly… pleasant. How… wonderful. Be relieved… of that.”

"But hold on, I'm pretty sure we just need to see your bed." Ursus walked closer, reaching out to tug at the bed sheets.

"My...bed?" The Blue Woman was confused. "I... do not... understand."

"Yeah, I don't get it either, but I'm definitely sure that if we just check your bed everything will be fine." The boy gave another goofy thumbs up. "So why don't you just get out for a second and everything will be hunky dory!"




"...Uh, why not?" Ursus asked.

"Why... do I have to... get out of bed... for strangers? Who came... into my home. Who refused... to listen to me. Who... demanded such... unreasonable things." The woman crawled back under her covers, curling into a ball. "What is... the point? Will anything even... happen? Such a bother... honestly. I... am... tired. Just leave me... be."

Well then.” Ursus marched back to the others. “Anybody got any ideas. Oh, and did anyone bring any snacks? Thinking food is always good.”

A few branches suddenly grew out of the ceiling, carrying with them several fruit of different colors. “Please… eat. These are… emotions that… my body… does not… favor. Be at… ease when… you die.

Woo food!” Ursus took no time in grabbing a few multi-colored orbs for his last meal. “Ooh, the red ones are spicy!”
Edited by JSQ, Jan 27 2018, 02:26 PM.
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“I do not know…who has entered here…or why… but I recommend that you… leave.” “Immediately.”

“No dice lady. I need to find my bro, and finding my bro has something to do with that bed.”

Felinia nodded to the strange voice and said "My regrets for this, but I can't see."

She felt the air flow being cut off when the room was sealed.

Hmm, the woman's voice was that of a mem-form.

When she offered emotion based food, Felinia tried to stop Ursus from eating any of them, but failed.
"We need to keep clear heads!"
Facing the voice again, Felinia told it, "My apologies for our breach of the Rules of Hospitality, which you have been following well. Even offering up food to unwanted guests. I would like to offer you some emotions of the kind you desire. I too can act a bit like a mem-form in some aspects. I seek out those who dispair, and regret their old lives. I seek out those who just want to no longer exist, and to go to bed, never to wake up. I change them, and give them new reasons to live.
"I also can channel belief and faith through me, and that includes emotions. I would like to offer you some of those emotions if you desire them. I can accept some emotions from you.
"If we can leave safely, I would like your help with a little project, if possible: take the emotions you feed on from the people with the worst case, just a bit here and there. You can do much good, if you can find the motivation to help."

Hmm, for the bed, "Ursus, in the realm of the mind, symbolism is important. I think she Assimilated the bed as part of herself. Look not in the bed, but under it. Beds may be symbols of sleep, but they are also associated with people hidding stuff under them. Even openings to monster realms being located there."

Thinking some more, "This room fuels dispair, feeding our host. Yet those who came to feed on her had two main emotions, her kind, and hunger. She was not interested in feeding, so the hunger would have built up around here, and that may be what has fueled the tree.
"Dispair and sorrow is the bait for this trap!"
Edited by Corruption, Jan 27 2018, 03:47 PM.
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For someone who just got told that they were going to die while slowly being “digested” inside this “mouth”, little Sophia didn’t seem to mind too much. It’s not like she just gave up though, at least she hasn’t started eating the mem fruits yet. Instead she climbed onto the desk and kicked her legs aimlessly, thinking in silence.

The blue mem form fed off misery and sadness. Evidently it wasn’t her who killed the people who got trapped in here. Rather, it was probably just time. The environment here wasn’t too bad, and they had food and presumably water, assuming the mem fruits actually provided sustenance (did they even need nourishment in this world?). It didn’t seem like the blue lady was in control of trees either, considering she didn’t want to be around people.

So what could they do? Ursus seemed insistent on inspecting the bed, and the woman was equally insistent on staying in it. Why he thought the bed was important, Sophia had no idea. Besides, he was the one who led them into this death trap in the first place, so was it even a good idea to listen to him?

Well, it’s not like she had anything better to do.

And so the little girl hopped off the desk, and proceeded to roll under the bed. Who knows, maybe Felinia was onto something. With her small stature, it shouldn’t be too hard to get under there, that is assuming there’s a “there” to get to.
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The Mem Form did not stir from any words spoken; instead she buried herself more and more under her covers.

Ah, Felly, I have literally no idea what you are talking about, but I don’t think she’s listening,” Ursus said, pointing to the woman. “Also, as the great Freud said, sometimes the bed… is just a bed. Not everything has to be symbolic. I know we need to be on the bed, and not below the bed. Trust me on this.

Indeed, after rolling under the bed, Sophia found absolutely nothing of interest, just dust and empty space. In the end, she was just wasting time rolling around under the mattress.

After a few minutes, the woman stirred, letting herself sit up from the bed. Ursus, being Ursus, hopped to his feet and jumped to her side.

Right, maybe we got off on the wrong foot. My name is Ursus Minus Jones. My friends here are Sophia ‘Soapstone’ Wondergirl and Felinia ‘Felly’ Darkchild.” Ursus glanced at his companions. “Well ok I don’t actually know their last names but whatever. The point is we came here to help my brother, and to do that I am very sure we need to get on your bed. So maybe you can just scoot to the side and we can join you there?

The woman stared at the gathered youth, blue eyes piercing through their very soul, or at least that is what it felt like.

How tragic, how tragic indeed. Dear child, poor child… who hurt you?” The woman turned to stare at Felinia. “Who filled your head with such… honeyed lies? With such unreasonable dreams? Who told you that you that you were anyone important? That you were special. That you… mattered. That the silly thoughts you had… mattered. It is… so very sad.” The woman started to weep. “You’ve been blinded little one. Have you not felt an inkling of the truth? Surely here at least, rather maybe even here. You see, I hate to be the… herald of this unfortunate reality, but that is who I am. As such, I must tell you, that you are wrong. Dreadfully wrong. Horribly wrong.” Her weeping turned into a full on breakdown. “Your thoughts are wrong. Your beliefs are wrong. In this world, where thoughts matter the most, yours are not even worth mentioning. You cannot do anything. You will never be able to do a single thing. You will never amount to anything, all because of who you are. How… miserable. How pitiful.” Her voice grew hollow, sounding so very empty, lifeless even. “You’re just like me, a worthless waste of matter rotting away in… unimportance. Maybe it was best that you found me. No… that’s wrong as well, broken things cannot fix broken things, and we are both terribly broken. All of us are terribly broken.”

Hey wait a minute, Felly here might be headstrong and pushes her thoughts around a lot, but that doesn’t mean she’s worthless or unimportant.” Ursus patted Felinia on her back. “She’s a great person.”

If the woman could hear Ursus, she made no sign of it.

You, little one, how unfortunate you are as well.” The woman slumped down, choosing to stare at Sophia this time. “You were… stolen from. Taken from. Robbed. And now how hollow you are. So young, so miserable…no, that isn’t right.” The woman hugged herself, curling up into a ball. “Merely… broken. Broken and trying so desperately to fix it. Pretending all is well. That you are well, that you are… whole. Poor child, sweet child, it won’t be whole, it won’t be filled. And every time you try to have something good and pure, try to be someone so great, you find yourself something else. Something you never want to be." The woman shivered. "Anger and vengeance... misery and mourning. Nothing good I assure you, and that is all you will have. What you love will be hate. What you adore will be hate. No matter how you try and lie to yourself, that is all you are now, a vessel for... fury. A home to rage." The woman stared, not at Sophia, but somewhere far away. "You see, things taken… cannot return. Childhood, guidance, that… storge, that familial love. gone. gone. gone. lost. And now… you are but a charlatan. Living a sham of a life.” The woman casted an eye downward. “And you hope that all you are is hollow. Or else something worse might slip in.

Woah, woah, woah, hold on a minute lady. Now I think you're just projecting. Sofi is a wonderful gal.” Ursus patted Sophia. “Besides, it don’t matter what happened in the past, all you gotta do is believe in yourself and walk forward!

And you.” The woman glared at Ursus. “You are just an abomination, aren’t you? Head so empty, so devoid of thought, can you even think? How were you even born? Why were you born? Circles, endless circles, circles that lead to absolutely nowhere, what is the point of you? You mock me, my every agony, my every defeat. Horrible, how horrible you are. Why can you live when I am like this? No thought at all, no thought at all. You echo of horror, you memory of a nightmare, why are you even here?

Hey, I have thoughts.” Ursus bumped his chest in a show of pride. “I just get them out of my head with words right away.”

The woman stayed silent, choosing instead to crawl under her covers once again. The group could hear more weeping as she seemed to cry herself to sleep.

Waita minute, at least give us your name!” Ursus reached forward to tug on a loose blanket. “The narrator is tired of writing ‘the woman’ every time he talks about you.

…the drowned woman. From that play.” She mumbled, as if remembering something long ago. “Ophelia, you can call me that.”

Ok then team.” Ursus turned towards his classmates. “Our goal is to get Ophelia out of that bed. Any ideas?
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Felinia just shook her head at the mem-forms words. She had faced experts at mental manipulations, and this woman wasn't one.

After Ursus gave his rebuttal, Felinia told her. "Everyone matters, if given a chance. I pity you, laying here and wallowing in your sorrow. I know I can make a difference, because I already have. If there is only now, and the world is full of woe, then find something you can enjoy."
She got an idea "If you can read thoughts, then look at what I will show you."
She ran through something she had seen. A few people, all depressed and seeing nothing to look forwards to. Someone came to them and convinced some to try having fun, because they had nothing to loose, but the others ignored them, thinking it was not worth the bother. Those who chose fun got out of their depression, and drew some of the others. Those who refused to even try only got worse, and some suicided, or sought ways to block thoughts from their minds. Those who tried to have fun did, and helped others like how they were.
From a single person refusing to let others wallow in despair, many were helped.

At the end, Felinia told her "You can help others. Take the depression from the suicidal and those who can't face reality, and give them a chance. Yes, I want to help you, because you matter. You matter because you feel, and because you can help others.
"If you don't wish to, then give me a good reason not to try, since I can't see you having anything to lose. I would rather die then give up and be defeated by self-defeatism."
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Normally Sophia would object to being introduced as “Wondergirl”, let alone “Soapstone”, but her current childish self found it to be rather amusing. Unfortunately her amusement didn’t last too long, as the depressing woman began to read the Valkyrie.

Truth be told, she wasn’t sure what to make of it. Ophelia, as the aforementioned woman revealed herself to be, was correct on a few accounts, some of them more than Sophia cared to admit. But Ophelia was also wrong about as much as she was right. Yes, at one point Sophia had come close to being a literal vessel for fury, having considered the blood thirsty Sanngriðr as her patron Valkyrie. However, she had chosen Eir instead and went on the path of healing, leaving most of her anger and fury behind.

It seems that Ophelia, being an avatar of depression (so to speak), tends to focus on the negative aspects of people. Hardly surprising, since she herself said that her tastes happened to be sadness and misery. So how were they supposed to get her out of bed?

“A pep talk isn’t going to cut it.” Sophia was no expert in depression, but if it was that simple the world would be a very different place. “No, what she needs is something different.” What that something is became apparent as the little girl climbed up the bed (which took quite a bit of doing, considering how big it was), and burrowed under the blanket with Ophelia. “You’re right, sometimes it really feels like the best answer is to just stay in bed and shut out the world. The world is a rotten place. So many people hurting, so many people robbed, so many hollow shells shambling through their day to day routine in the sham of life.” Sophia had her share of similar feelings, so she could relate on some level. “You must have seen a lot of them during your time here, care to share some stories with us while we wait for the end?”

In the meantime… there was a lot of bed to cover. Ursus had said he was sure what they needed was on the bed. It’s okay if Ophelia didn’t want to get up, she and the bed was so big that there should be plenty of room for Sophia to look around. Who knows, maybe she could find something there.

Besides, the blanket was comfy.
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Ursus paced around the room. A room that seemed to actually be growing at an alarming rate.

Hmm, hmm hmm hmmmmmm hmmhmm.

His constant hmm’s had the double whammy of being unhelpful and wearing everyone's tolerance thin.

Must you all…prattle so carelessly?” Ophelia groaned, pushing the ocean of blankets away. A gust battered the minuscule Sophia as the gigantic sized woman lifted her covers to find the girl. The woman plucked Sophia from her sheets and gently placed the child on the nightstand, echoing a single word. “No.”

After Ophelia put Sophia away, she settled back into her bed to resume her sleep. However, before she did, the blue woman stared at Felinia with a troubled look on her face. With a sigh, she pointed to the girl.

You… honestly are so… ignorant. Allow me to… educate you.” The woman brushed her long hair back, raking it between her fingers. “First, in the long…long scheme of things… nothing matters. So, people must… create meaning themselves… which is no good if they have… no will to do so. Many...have no will... to do so." She squirmed around in her bed sheets, adjusting her body. "Furthermore… expelling depression is not merely… ‘having fun’ or meeting people. It is a state of mind, something you live with… through having fun… through having friends. It is despite these things, they feel empty.

Ophelia paused, taking in a deep breath. She sat up a tad and stared at a far wall with an empty expression. “Finally, let me educate you on myself. Do you think I like this? Do you think I enjoy eating up depression, misery, sadness, and so forth? Let me put it in a way you humans may understand. Let’s say you have a particularly unique biology, in that the only way you can gain any form of sustenance is by eating feces. You have most certainly tried to eat anything else, normal pleasant food, luxurious food, possibly not even food at all at the desperate rate you are going. However, no matter what, it all turns to ash in your mouth. So you are stuck, eating feces. No matter how you dress it up, no matter how you can say it, you are eating the remaining waste created by some other creature. Why would you even consider doing more than the bare minimum?

With that, the woman pulled the covers over her head, no doubt resolute in ignoring everything else they had to say.

Well this isn’t good.” Ursus said, possibly displaying some sense of awareness for the first time. "The room looks huge now!"

Nope. Well actually, the room changing size might be relevant.

I say the room is getting bigger, or maybe we’re getting smaller?" Ursus tapped a nearby stool, one that was now his size. "Either way size and distance is getting warped, that foot deep water is now shin deep, and the bed turned into a mountain. We should get to where Sofi is.

Ursus grabbed Felinia’s hand and ran towards the nightstand in the distance... and stopped about two minutes in.

"Ooookay, running in shin deep water is exhausting, good to know. Hmm, and I think it's raining." Ursus opened his mouth and stretched out his tongue. "Salty with a hint of misery. Don't let the rain hit you. Good thing it's just a sprinkle right now."

Ursus grabbed a jacket, (from who knows where), and tossed it over Felinia's head.

"Ok first we need to get to Sofi. Next we need to come up with a plan. Any ideas?"
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Felinia was silent for a bit after Ophelia spoke to her.

"My appologies. I had no idea it was that bad for you. I was looking mostly at what you could do to help people to get past their own depression that I overlooked seeing how it would affect you first."

When Ursus grabbed her hand and tried to drag her, she would shake his hand off.
"I can echolocate very well, and it not a good idea to drag someone who can't see."

Instead of running, Felinia would be walking towards where she would have heard Sophia being put down.

She would say to Ophelia "Is there any purpose to life? None save what people give it, as far as I can tell. And many blindly follow some self imposed leaders. I have seen the depression and sorrow being forced to live a life not of your own chosing can bring.
"I could have very easily been among the ranks of such people.
"What drives me it to help others avoid such fates, and those much worse.
"If you tell us how we can help you lessen how bad things are for you, we may be able to do something."
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Alright talking’s useless. There’s no point continuing that line of questioning. Sophia figured that it was time to actually do something.

Of course what she could actually do was extremely limited.

Even in her regular state the Valkyrie wouldn’t be able to drag the giant Ophelia anywhere, so the she sees it, the only way is to get her out of bed willingly, or get the bed off her. If that was even possible.

… So really, the only way to do this is to convince Ophelia to get out of bed.

In her own words, the issue is that she can only consume depression, misery, and sadness. Not a good diet by any definition of the word. Sophia understood enough about human biology to treat those wounds, but knew nothing about Mem-form biology or whatever Ophelia was. It was unlikely that she can find out why Ophelia can only feed on those things, which leaves their only option the “food” itself.

“Maybe there’s a way to make those emotions more palatable?” Sophia sat on the night stand and dangled her legs off the edge. “Can we watch you eat some misery and see how it works?”

Who knows, maybe the misery sauté just needed some extra spices on it. Maybe add a hint of joy or fear.
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