Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    Breaking the Silence

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    Breaking the Silence

    Post by Shaiamils on Tue Dec 11, 2018 3:16 pm

    DATE: DECEMBER 10TH, 2018
    TIME: APPROX. 12:00 PM


    Shaiamils tried his best to rehearse everything in his head. No matter what, though, he could never get it to sound right. Maybe he was overthinking it? Or maybe he really was about to make a fool of himself again? The avian shook his head, clearing the intrusive thoughts from his mind. No, he knew exactly what had to be done. It was just a matter of actually getting the words out.

    Really, the better question was: Is it still too soon?

    When the feathery alien got word of Knock Out’s employment conditions, he knew that it would not be possible to patch things up right then and there. The whole thing had only just happened, and he really hurt Scaramouche and Lunette. To immediately come running back to them would’ve probably been very inappropriate. For the time being, they definitely needed their space.

    It was finally time to break the silence, though. He would be lying to himself if he said that he never once wondered how the pair had been faring. There was a lot of lost time that needed making up. Well, here goes nothing! This was about to be the moment of truth, one that was a long time coming.

    Shai took a deep breath, briefly composing himself before entering the Tavern, waiting at the entrance to be seated, or for either Scaramouche or Lunette to notice him and come his way. They were probably busy, and he didn’t want to accidentally intrude on them.
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Scaramouche on Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:17 pm

    Honestly, an even better question was: has it been too late?

    A lot had transpired between now and June - a whole clusterfuck of unnecessary wank and, not to mention, a freakin' dragon - but that was then and this was now. And now, after all this time, Shaiamils had finally mustered the courage to seek those he wronged. Problem was... was he really doing this for them, or was Shaiamils doing this so he could crawl into Knock Out's good graces and once again enjoy employment? It unfortunately didn't lean too heavily on the former, meaning the avian ex-doctor had a full deck stacked against him. Time to see if Shaiamils really did have a spine in that feathery body of his... and if it will remain intact after today's lil' reunion.

    Scaramouche wasn't an unreasonable fellow, but he was no saint either. So, when the android's ever-dutiful optics spotted a familiar shade of blue, he did what any reasonable fellow would do: he stared. And he stared hard. "..." Well, can't say this was entirely unexpected. Knock Out had, after all, warned Scaramouche ahead of time. Way ahead of time, too. ...Like back in freakin' June.

    He pretended to lazily glance down and blink at the imaginary watch strapped around his thin wrist. "...Hm." 'Disappointed' didn't even begin covering Scaramouche's mood.

    Oh boy, oh boy. Time to wade through yet another sorely-needed, but much-delayed apology because someone was either proud, autistic, scared, insensitive, or inconsiderate. Hell, why not make it all of the above and cover the bases? "Kinda pressin' it there, babe," Scaramouche evenly remarked, leveling his gaze with the alien's. "But, I guess it's better late than never. If you're serious about this, come on back. No reason to make a spectacle." Or for Lunette to have the misfortune of seeing Shaiamil's unpleasant face. Ever see a cat maul a lil' birdie to pieces? Yeah.

    The robot set down his current bin of dirtied dishes, gesturing to Boon in the kitchen, "Cover me," and then signaled for Shaiamils to follow him to a quiet, isolated room down the right-hand hall and out of everyone's way. It was a pleasant enough room - almost like an office but with a cozy, homemade flair - and there was plenty of wintry light from a nearby bay window centered snugly in the easternmost wall. Scaramouche cleared a stack of confidential paperwork off the desk and stowed them neatly in a drawer before turning around and leaning back against the furniture.

    "All right, let's hear it," he said, arms crossed.
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Shaiamils on Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:28 pm

    "I am very serious," Shaiamils replied. "This has gone on for far too long, and it's about time that I did something about it."

    The avian nodded, following Scaramouche into a room that he had never seen before. It seemed to be an office of some kind, albeit with some nice, homey touches. All in all, it was a pretty nice room. Well then, now that it was clear that they were both alone, it was about time to finally get this show on the road.

    "Scaramouche," he began, a hint of disgust evident in his expression as he recounted the details, "words cannot even begin to describe just how stupid I was. That whole thing was a mistake, and I hurt people in the process. That night, in the Sanctuary... I have no idea why I thought it would be a better idea to infodump about me and the whole situation rather than ask how you were doing, how you were faring since it all began. I knew that it probably upset you, but I still talked about myself instead. I was very selfish, and very inconsiderate. It was an inexcusable lapse in judgment, and I'm sorry."

    He sighed.

    "I know it's pathetic to have taken this long, and fear is no excuse. I should've apologized a lot sooner, and for that, I am also sorry. That was wrong of me, and I should not have let my nerves get in the way of patching things up."
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Scaramouche on Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:20 pm

    Oh yeah, that whole shebang was definitely a mistake. And you know what's sad? What's truly sad...? Nyreena and Dominick were still the oblivious, pussyfooting neanderthals they are now as they were then. Talk about a buncha morons who had the self-awareness of a concrete block. Shaiamils was also an offender, but at least he came to apologize and was cognizant of his role in the sordid affair - after a great deal of goading, sure, but it was better than total radio silence. Now then, what's this apology really about?

    "Scaramouche, words cannot even begin to describe just how stupid I was. That whole thing was a mistake, and I hurt people in the process.

    That night, in the Sanctuary... I have no idea why I thought it would be a better idea to infodump about me and the whole situation rather than ask how you were doing, how you were faring since it all began. I knew that it probably upset you, but I still talked about myself instead. I was very selfish, and very inconsiderate. It was an inexcusable lapse in judgment, and I'm sorry."

    The android just kinda blinked and didn't express much of anything. "...'Kay." Eh, it was a start. A real 6/10 performance out of the giant dodo. Could've been better, could've been worse, etc. Deciding to throw Shaiamils a bone (the alien was notoriously dense), Scaramouche eased himself off the desk and properly stood before his guest. No crossed arms, no disinterested stare - just a matter-of-fact stance and a willingness to settle this baggage once and for all. "That's great and all, babe," he began coolly, "but I'm afraid it's a lot more complicated than that. Are ya pickin' up what I'm throwin' down?" Here, let the robot toss another scrap. "I've honestly gotten over the whole 'ghostin' me in the Sanctuary' thing; ya ain't the first to do lil' ole me rotten, and ya certainly won't be the last." Ch'yeah, thanks, Shen. "What really grinds my gears," Scaramouche continued, "is the fact that you and the rest of those air-headed nimrods fucked up the job. And not only didja fuck up the job, baby, but your incompetence saw people hurt." He then leaned in reeeeeeal close to Shaiamil's face, aluminum neck extending, and narrowed those cyan optics into a withering glare. "My people hurt," the android growled. Sound familiar? It didn't take a neurosurgeon to figure out who these individuals were.

    "Honestly, I could ice ya. I should ice ya," Scaramouche remarked, pulling out of the alien's space. It'd be a fairly routine execution: one snap of Shaiamil's scrawny neck and down goes Big Bird. And hey, he heard folks dissolve into code or something, so there'd be no bloody mess or body involved. Talk about a win-win! However... The robot held up a hand, "However, I'm better than that and you ain't worth the fuss. Don't get me twisted, baby: it's nice seein' ya grow a pair and ownin' up to your crap, but that's about all ya got goin' for ya. I can't forgive ya for waitin' until the last minute and 'cause ya needed a J-O-B, and I won't forgive ya for what ya did to Lunette." Ain't nobody should make the sweet lil' Anitra cry, especially not some pathetic fuck up like Shaiamils. Hm, and since they're on this particular topic...

    Scaramouche's optics appeared to glower underneath the brim of his paddy hat. "Don'tcha go off stressin' Lunette about this either," he warned. "She's frankly had enough of this nonsense, and if I see so much as a single tear trail down her cute, fuzzy face - just one, baby - I'mma rip off your wings and make ya eat 'em. She wants nothin' to do with ya, and you're gonna respect that."

    Chicken wings taste amazing in buttermilk ranch, by the way. You could even say that the tavern's homemade blend was just... killer.

    "Ehe..." A sadistic lil' grin crept up the android's face, but not for long. There was still one other subject that needed addressing, and Scaramouche wasn't gonna pull any punches. He regarded the alien with a neutral expression, his stare unwavering. "So, I hear you wanna work for my good pal, Knock Out..." Funny how small the world was, eh? Scaramouche sniffed. "Why." And note, that wasn't a question. "Why should he let ya, and why should I let him let ya?" But this was, and there was nothing friendly about it. Time for the canary to sing, and his voice better be golden.
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Shaiamils on Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:52 pm

    Shaiamils' feathery crest lowered as Scaramouche leaned in on his face. His people were hurt, he said. That's when it really, truly dawned on him. He had heard about a second party having gone after the dragon. Knock Out, Curi, and several others had finished the job, the former two having died in the process. Now he really, truly understood. In bailing out of the job to save himself and especially Anjeet, two others had died picking up where they had left off. With that in mind, was it really worth it? Perhaps it could have been prevented if he had stepped up to help the second party? But of course there was no going back now. What was done is done.

    "I know, and I don't expect you to," the avian replied at the revelation about Lunette. "I didn't come for forgiveness, but I did come to apologize. It just had to be said. Forgiveness was never a must."

    He nodded as the robot set some important boundaries regarding Lunette.

    "Yes, I understand. I will never bother Lunette about this. You have my word."

    But then came the moment of truth. Why should Knock Out hire him? The more he thought about it, the more he realized...

    "To be honest, I don't know," he confessed. "When I bailed out on going after the dragon, he paid the price for it. Maybe that could've all been avoided if I had stepped up to the plate and helped the second party, but no. I was too afraid. Really, it would have been much better me than any of them. Nobody should have had to suffer because of my mistake. If Knock Out never wanted to see me again, that would be fair. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I probably don't deserve to work for him."
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Scaramouche on Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:03 pm

    Yes, what's done is done.

    But not them. Not right now, and not where Knock Out's happiness was concerned.

    "I know, and I don't expect you to. I didn't come for forgiveness, but I did come to apologize. It just had to be said. Forgiveness was never a must."

    Ceramic grit against ceramic, the clenching of Scaramouche's imitation teeth audible from behind his metal lips. "So it had," he murmured, looking Shaiamils squarely in those large, avian eyes, "...though it's come several months too late." The android won't pretend that he, himself, was a noble hero who could do no wrong. Cowardice was oftentimes synonymous with the mercenary lifestyle; no attachments, no loyalty, no troubles. But this was different. This was Portal Breach, their forced home, and the damage wasn't so easily hand-waved as simply done.  

    "Hmph..." The robot narrowed his optics and relaxed his hands, processing Shaiamils' defeatist attitude with a laser-edged, fine-toothed comb that only a machine could muster. "If ya think self-flagellation is gonna get ya farther than me," Scaramouche began, "then ya ain't ready for the blisterin' that's gonna come next. Knock Out won't suffer fools, and I ain't about to see him hurt 'cause ya can't handle a piddly amount of stress." Which segued into the android's next gripe; something he hadn't forgotten after all this time, and may never. "What'cha did at the hospital was wrong. What'cha did to Dr. SALLI was wrong," he contended. "Everythin' you've done as of late has been wrong, from hidin' under the comfort of your blankets to lettin' others shoulder the burden of a half-assed rescue mission. Ya wanted your angst. Ya wanted your drama. So badly, that you were even willin' to let Anjeet pay the price, your damn girlfriend." Yeah, let that sink in for a moment. But just one, because Scaramouche didn't see the point in letting Shaiamils off the hot seat for even a second. Not when it took five months for an audience.

    The android loudly clapped his hands against his thighs and said, "...Well? Ya got it. Ya got what'cha wanted, babe, and what didja do, huh? What didja do?" That was easy: the alien ran. He ran as fast as his lil' birdie legs could carry him, darting home and tucking his feathery head in the sand. He let others perish for his mistakes. He ruined friendships and work relations all because it had been about him, him, him.

    His problems.

    His impulsiveness.

    His reluctance to do the right thing not when it suited him, but when it would've brought relief to the suffering of others who were left holding the bags because a pair of fucking idiots couldn't get their heads out of their respective ghostly and vampiric asses. Shaiamils had chosen Nyreena, Dominick, and Daemeon. Well, Shaiamils? Where were they now?

    Where. Were. They. Now.

    "At least we agree on one thing," Scaramouche scoffed. "Ya don't deserve to work for my friend, and I ain't gonna let ya hurt him like ya did me. You're a coward. A selfish, boneheaded coward. And you're only crawlin' back to me 'cause ya need that job, not 'cause ya really care about my well-bein' or Lunette's. If ya had, ya woulda done this ages ago. I'm talkin' back in June, babe." And what month were they in now? Yeah, freakin' December. The robot could understand a month, maybe even two, but damn near five? There comes a time where indecision gives way to incompetence, and five months was well past that threshold. He snorted out of visible disgust, "I ain't got nothin' else to say to ya. We're finished - through - done-zo. I ain't ever wanna see your sorry mug around these parts, capisce? Now make like an omelette and scramble. Ya got one minute to vacate the premises before I slit ya from beak to cloaca. Sixty... Fifty-nine... Fifty-eight... Fifty-seven..." Tick-tock, babe, tick-tock. Your fifteen minutes were up, and you proved, yet again, that you couldn't sell your way out of a paper bag. Bummer!
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Shaiamils on Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:19 pm

    Shaiamils opened his beak, but silenced himself as Scaramouche began to speak. It was his turn to talk, and it was something that he very much needed to hear. As hard as it was to bear, he took the robot's lashing to the best of his ability. Deep down, he knew that every word of it was true. There was no sense in trying to deny any of it, and Scaramouche had every right to let out his grievances. So as difficult as it was, the avian resolved to allow him to let him have it.

    He had wronged many people, and a simple apology, although it needed to be said, definitely wasn't going to cut it. He knew what was probably coming and braced himself for it. Sure enough, the robot had finally had enough of his presence. He couldn't stand to be in the same room, let alone the same premises as him any longer. If he didn't evacuate the building in a minute, he would probably be as good as friend chicken. He was even counting down out loud.

    That was his cue to run. Ironic, was it not? Running was what had gotten him into this situation, and running was going to be what got him out of it. Or at least it was going to prevent him from being skinned alive.

    Damn it all, why did you have to be this way? he thought to himself. You knew what the root of the problem was. You knew about having felt that you had lost your purpose in life, and how you had tried to get it back in the wrong way. By saving Nyreena, you would have been helping others again. You should have said something, but again, you were too scared, too afraid of it sounding like an excuse rather than an explanation. And now it's too late!

    So late, in fact, that there was nothing else left to do but high-tail it out of there. And that he did. In no time flat, he was nowhere to be seen.
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    Re: Breaking the Silence

    Post by Scaramouche on Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:24 pm

    And, just as quickly as it happened, it was... over.

    Scaramouche made good on his promise, silently counting down the rest of the seconds from fifty-six to zero as he watched the alien flee in a blaze of blue feathers, the android's hand stayed from slitting his old friend's throat. The action would've undoubtedly been cathartic, but it was... difficult. He didn't really want to kill Shaiamils, just as he didn't really want to see their friendship turn so bitter and crumble into dust. Their happier times shared in the Sanctuary... Their shameless flirting... Their dances together and being incorrigible around Anjeet... It was all gone, evaporated into nothingness by poor decision-making and impulsivity. Could things be salvaged? Could they rekindle their friendship later down the road? Maybe, maybe...

    But it was ultimately out of the robot's hands, for the ex-doctor had chosen his path - him and him alone. So much trust had been placed in Shaiamils. So much patience, so much good will, so much faith. And yet, despite everything afforded to the alien, despite Scaramouche himself sticking his aluminum neck out and willing to appear the fool before a crowd of arrogant naysayers... Shaiamils dropped his friends - his real friends - for a worthless cause and muddled the truth with scatterbrained explanations and an over-dependence on mental illness. Shaiamils could not, for whatever reason, do what was right by those he wronged. How could the alien, when all he knew what to offer was excuse, after excuse, after excuse? Even now, Scaramouche could bet good money that the alien was going to search for an external reason for his mistakes when, in reality, it none other than Shaiamils himself that was the root of his personal woes. The alien was just that, well... incompetent. And no one needed an incompetent nitwit plaguing their lives.

    The android lowered his gaze and lapsed into a period of somber quiet, his features turning morose. "..." Well, despite the entire confrontation being lackluster, it was closure. Not very good closure, but it was... an ending, of sorts. And it was honestly more than Scaramouche could say for certain others as of late. He got what he wanted to say after all these months and he, in his mind, spared those he loved from suffering yet another heartache.

    No Shaiamils floundering around the Drive-In meant Knock Out was safe from the alien's incompetence.

    No Shaiamils loitering around the tavern meant Lunette wouldn't have to feel awful.

    No Shaiamils in general meant not being subjected to inane, hollow excuses about poor mental health, terrible doctors, and all the lil' things he wanted to talk about while others were left hurting.

    It was difficult. It was painful. But it was also the right choice to make, and Scaramouche protected what mattered the most. In that, he was content, and soon the android no longer dwelt on the past and of all the good times squandered. His fingers eased around the handle of the dagger concealed within his work shirt. "I... better got back to work," the robot muttered quietly. "Still plenty 'round here to do, and I know how Boon gets 'bout gettin' his demonic mitts wet. ...Yeah, that sounds... good." A moment to decompress and occupy his thoughts with other things. This chapter of his life closed, Scaramouche set aside the book for another time and was once again rubbing elbows with staff and patrons alike, throwing on a grinning face and a couple of laughs as the whole world kept on moving as if nothing had ever happened. Tomorrow was another day and now things can finally move forward.

    In the end, that's the best any of them could do.

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    Re: Breaking the Silence

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