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 When Cacti Are Burned

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DualThrone

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PostSubject: Re: When Cacti Are Burned   Sun May 08, 2016 10:10 pm

As Innocence starts backing away from Euphoria, she would find herself bumping into the lean Kitty, who practically towers over her. This condition, however, is temporary as Kitty reacts to being bumped into by dropping to her knees next to the diminutive Innocence and looking her over. "You're the Sylvan outside of the head," she comments, certainty in her voice.
"I would assume so, Kitty," Rosie says as Euphoria sidles up to her, laying an arm around her shoulders. "Just as I assume that you, Euphoria, are aptly named. More aptly for the fact that Euphoria is the name you call yourself, and call the others Pragmatism and Innocence."
"I'm very sorry, Innocence," Kitty says to her with genuine sincerity. "I mistook Euphoria for you, and overreacted, and you were terrified as well."
"So Euphoria is the one that you said wanted blood?" Rosie asks mildly, her tone politely interested rather than particularly vehement or emotional. Her reaction to Euphoria 'touching' her is similarly neutral, showing no relaxation at the friendly gesture, but also showing no particular discomfort or any attempt to pull away.
"Quite." Kitty gently pats Innocence on the head before rising to her feet again.
"Fits with the name." She quirks an eyebrow in Euphoria's direction. "Not that I wish to misrepresent you, Euphoria, but there is a common association between the emotion you name yourself after and a particular species of madness and riotous abandon. Typically, to be euphoric is to take leave of your senses and sensibility, give in to the rush of the moment and allow it to carry you, submitting to the currents of the situation instead of being their master. Again, not meaning to misrepresent you, but I'm simply considering the implications of the word you use for your name, and extrapolating what it might mean."
"Which is why she's the half that represents the mind, all-powerful and detached." Kitty cracks her knuckles and steps over to Euphoria, doing her very best to loom over the carefree representation of part of Sylvan's mind. "My job is to represent the strength of the heart, which is why I get so emotional." She leans down and her next words come as as a buzzsaw mix between growl tiptoeing towards a snarl. "So I suggest you leave my Rose be before I become... overly emotional about it."

{Word Count: 392 | 5861}
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PostSubject: Re: When Cacti Are Burned   Mon May 09, 2016 8:25 pm

Innocence freezes as she backs into Kitty, looking up in terror. ”Sorry-!” she yelps, before looking in surprise as Kitty does;t yell at her. To the question, she manages a tentative nod. She seems confused at the pat, but relieved she wasn’t the target of any anger. Pragmatism walks over to her, putting a comforting hand on her shoulder. ”We’ll be fine.” Euphoria rolls her eyes at the display.
Euphy’s reaction to Kitty’s attempt at intimidation is predictable. She grins, leaning over slightly and making cat-claw motions with the arm not currently dropped around Rosie. “Oh, you wanna tussle with me, pretty kitty~? Bring it on, I’ll smash you into the ground any day of the week!” she grins, almost feral, as the other two sylvans crying away. She visible dials it down though, when she notices their reactions. ”Oh give it a rest you two! I’m not going to hurt you, we’re all Sylvan, no matter what you think.” The other two do not seem convinced. The one called Pragmatism steps away from Innocence, walking over to Rosie, Kitty, and Euphoria. ”Speaking as a voice of reason, perhaps a fight in the shared mind-scape is a bad idea?” ”Right. Since it all comes down to force of will, I would obviously win. There’s no point.” ”… Perhaps. I was more thinking of the potential for damage being done to our shared emotional states.” ”… Yeah, I guess. I would still win though.” Euphoria seems to be completely aware of how incredibly headstrong she sounds. It seems more like an affectation than an actual certainty in her victory. That being said, she doesn’t sound like she is expecting to lose. ”Why are you still here?!” Innocence demands abruptly, pointing at Euphoria. ”You don’t belong here.” She immediately clamps a hand over he mouth, apparently not having meant to say that out loud. After a moment though, she steels herself and owns up to the accusation. ”You aren’t anything like us, so how can you claim to be one of us?!” Euphoria shrugs, totally unfazed. ”I just am. Everyone will have to accept that sooner or later.” Pragmatism glares at her, moving Kitty aside to interrogate the tallest of the Sylvans. ”You are too flashy, and attract far too much attention. You tactics are inefficient, and rely on unreliable reaction in others. It would be more practical to keep you hidden.” In response, Euphoria flicks Pragmatism in the forehead with a disappointed look. ”No." Pragmatism looks at her incredulously, confused and angry. ”What do you mean, ‘no’?! Why?” Euphoria sighs explosively, still leaning on Rosie as she waves an arm. ”I mean no. I don’t want to. I’m not going to repress a huge part of myself simply because ti isn’t the most practical method. I’m Euphoria, it’s my job. I’m the part of Sylvan that can simply say ‘No, I don’t want to.’ I can say no to Sena, and can do something simply for the enjoyment off it. Innocence maintains our faith in the good of others, and the escape from the from realities of life. You represent our ability to defend against and take advantage of those girl realities.” She points a thumb to herself, thoroughly disgusted with the other two Sylvans. ”I am our ability to find enjoyment in life while acknowledging the real world. The part of us that forces us to live, to say no the those we love and accept the harsh truths. Innocence is only there for the realities that can’t be borne, not for everything we would rather not accept.” She pauses a moment, glaring at the two of them. They glare back, evidently refusing to believe her. Abruptly, Sylvan turns to Rosie, smiling brightly. ”So! what do you think of all this Rosie?”
{631 Words}
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PostSubject: Re: When Cacti Are Burned   Wed May 11, 2016 8:28 pm

Kitty eyes Euphoria as the aspect of Sylvan's mind reacts to her threatening growl with a smirk, the playful gesture of a cat clawing at someone, and then a promise that she can smash kitty into the ground any day of the week. The kitsune then pauses a moment before laughing. Her laugh isn't mocking necessarily, but she certainly seems amused by the threat rather than bothered by it. "Smash me into the ground, kid?" She says with a broad and toothy smile. "Alright, I'll give you props for the gumption and spirit but I'll level with you here Euphy: you're a ways below the level I operate on. If we decided to throw down right here, right now, no holds barred and nothing off the table, I'd be bringing the full force of our entire will to bear on you. I am Rose, and she is me, and if it came to a tussel in the landscape of the mind, we are whole and entire, and you are but a fragment. Innocence fears you, and that fear creates fault lines and fissures that I will exploit. Pragmatism disdains you, and that disdain will create cracks and defects that I will exploit." She smirks and gestures towards Pragmatism as she expresses her opposition to the fight, and then to Innocence as she accuses Euphoria of not belonging in the mind with the two of them. "Is this what you plan to come at me with, Euphoria? A rational aspect that opposes the fight, and an innocent aspect that thinks you don't belong at all? And you'll throw this crumbling will against an aspect in full collaboration with her other half, who was accepted and embraced by her, who exists because she chose to embrace a symptom of mental illness rather than struggle to get better and silence the voice in her head?" She shakes her head. "Frankly, you are strong Euphoria, but I am beyond strength."
Rosie looks over her shoulder at the supremely confident Kitty and then over her other shoulder at Euphoria, quirking an eyebrow. "By hokages past and future... is this what a urination competition looks like? I've read about them in books, but never seen one before."
Kitty blinks a few times at the curious-looking Rosie before sighing heavily and facepalming. "Pissing contest, Rose, pissing contest. Are you really so far below common colloquialism that..." She pauses and sighs again with a light amused snort as Rosie's eyes briefly dance with mischief. "...of course you're not. That was cleverly done."
"I thought it'd be more productive to derail you with something you expect of me, rather than a rough change of subject." She glances to Euphoria. "Derail both of you, because I will not permit an irrational fight when there's a possibility that we could hurt Sylvan by it. I have no fear for I and Kitty, for what is one mental illness atop one that trifles with how you see reality itself?"
Both she and Kitty listen with intense focus as Euphoria responds to Pragmatism's challenge defiantly, with a speech of her own, and when she's done, the two look at one another.
"Sort of reminds me of me, actually," Kitty comments thoughtfully. "She has passion and seems to think of herself as the ability to just cut loose and enjoy the world, much the way I do."
"I doubt she's nearly so lewd as you are," Rosie responds dryly. "Unless she is, and I apologize if I've estimated you wrongly Euphoria."
"What you have, you ought to flaunt instead of hiding it," Kitty asserts. "Attractiveness is for sharing with the world, not for private enjoyment with yourself, although I'd be happy to explore the second option."
Rosie sighs. "Do you even listen to yourself?"
Kitty looks innocent. "No, why?"
The rational half sighs and shakes her head. "Never mind, I think it best to answer what we were asked." She turns her head so her eyes meet Euphoria's and she wipes away all expression except a remote interest and consideration. "I think that you represent yourself as a balance point between an aspect that hides from reality, and one that shuts out emotion to consider all of reality rationally. And yet just before, you seemed to represent them as vital cogs in the mental machine, irreplaceable and vital. I think that there is far more to the relationship than the three of you acknowledge, for Innocence appears to fear you and Pragmatism disdain, as Kitty said. You seem to be almost alien to them, based on how they seem to see you and how they treat you, and it seems that there's a purpose behind mentally caging you and giving you no real power over the whole. I don't know what that purpose could be, but I have guesses that seem to me to be highly credible. They are made all the more so by the first way that Innocence reacted to I and Kitty when this mindscape came to be: she saw that we were not immediately hostile to yourself and Pragmatism, and she reacted with fear and despair, begging for our help against the both of you. So far, it appears that you more than Pragmatism are the reason for that terrified plea." She shrugs. "Or so I gather from what I've seen and heard. I'm certain that events in this mindscape can deceive the mental ears and eyes just as effectively as obfuscations in reality, so I'll allow the distinct possibility that you're harmless and fear controls the others. But I must similarly accept the reality that all that you do or say in our presence is deceptive and meant to manipulate us to your own ends."

{Word Count: 956 | 6817}
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PostSubject: Re: When Cacti Are Burned   Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:07 pm

Euphoria and the other two (they briefly glare at each other again all listen to Rosie's thoughts on the matter with varying degrees intensity. Innocence seems flustered, evidently confused and worried by anything less than outright agreement with her depiction of Euphoria as an intruder. Pragmatism looks on with stoicism, breaking the mask only to glare at Euphoria.

Euphoria, for her part, continues making faces at her mind-mates. She does appear to be listening though.

The tallest Sylvan is the first to break the silence. "So where does that leave us then? I'll readily admit to being the one they're so worked up about, but it's my word against theirs." she glances over to Kitty. "Don't underestimate what this shattered husk of a mind can do. Just because I need their cooperation to appear as a functional human in society doesn't mean I need their consent to drag them into a war." she looks contemplative for a moment. "... Alright, maybe I can understand why they're sorta scared of me. But still. Jerks."
Pragmatism and Innocence both seem ready to murder Euphoria, who pretends not to notice. "I don't see why this is even an issue. We do fine without her, and she's only causing a disturbance.""No one will recognize us if she comes out, too much change too fast. Not even Sena." the name-drop was a blatant jab at the one spot all three of them cared for. Judging by the pained, sickened look on Euphoria's face, it was an effective one. " T-that was a low blow. Don't bring Sena into this. S-She'd like us no matter who we turned out to be, and you know it!" she says, rallying at the end. The vast power gap between Euphoria and the rest of Sylvan was blatantly obvious, as she seems to briefly loom over them despite not moving an inch.
{309 Words}
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PostSubject: Re: When Cacti Are Burned   Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:31 am

Rosie and Kitty look at one another, some kind of unspoken communication somehow passing between them even though they're in a mindscape where thoughts are words, before Rosie bows slightly and gestures towards the three versions of Sylvan. Kitty smiles and leans over to give Rosie a sisterly peck on the forehead before she turns to Euphoria. "It leaves us at an impasse," she says evenly. "Of course, it's not like this was ever going to go a different way. Me and Rose here, she gestures at Rosie behind her we have this partnership thing going on and it works like a charm. Her innocent and pragmatic need me as a counterweight; my passion needs her as a counterweight. So the both of us sort of get what's happening here: there's three pieces that need counterweights and until just now, two of ya were trying to climb a straight pole without something to lean against. That never works, by the way, and it hurts pretty good until you get a clue."
"I have no malice against you, Euphoria, only caution," Rosie says. "I have this thing together now, but it's only because I worked it out as a very young child, and simple immature minds are easier to make peace between than mature minds. I can't say I know anything about what this struggle is like because yours is different than mine, but I can say that struggling in and of itself is a thing that I know."
"By the way... the two of you?" Kitty looks at Innocence and Pragmatism. "That was a low blow. There's one thing that we all agree on here and that is that Serasena is small, sweet, cute, and our friend. Part of that is, we agree that no one hurts our friends, including us, and that when someone hurts our friends we do something about it so that everyone thinks really, really hard before they hurt our friends again."
"I agree," Rosie adds seriously.
"So, getting back to the part that matters, it ultimately doesn't mean the shakes of my tails what precisely you are or what precisely you represent Euphoria," Kitty smirks at her. "So far as I can tell, you're out and you're not going back. Same time, I don't think you'll end up happy if you put the two of them inside the cage to make things square. I can't be sure, true, but it's sorta what I feel, yanno?" She holds out a hand. "So, whatcha say we shake on this: you need something from me or Rosie here? Ask it, we'll try to help. Same thing applies when we're all talking to each other using Rose's Face and Sylvan's face: if help is needed, help is here to be given. It's not a nice and sweet world out there. Allies are the golden ticket, take it from someone who's had one for her entire life."
Rosie steps forward to stand by Kitty's side, the kitsune representation of the voice in her head visibly older and taller than her, and yet Kitty doesn't seem to loom over her. "Allies are the key to most locks," she adds with a faint smile. "I have unlocked a lot of things with my key, and I think that the three of you will unlocks many things as well, if you are each other's key."

{Word Count: 562 | 7379}
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PostSubject: Re: When Cacti Are Burned   Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:01 am

{NOTE: Because the other player has chosen not to continue the thread, Zen gave me permission to write a second post officially ending it.}

Whether Euphoria would have taken Kitty's hand and shaken on the offered bargain was, it would prove, a question that wouldn't be answered at the moment because just as Kitty stretched her hand out, Euphoria vanished. In fact, Rosie realized as she blinked at the sudden presence of sunlight, the entire mindscape vanished and she was left sitting in the dust of the village street next to a smoldering and slightly scorched cactus, and a Sylvan who was completely out cold.
"Huh," she comments aloud, seemingly to no one in particular. "I wonder what that was."
"The shinobi who made the entire mindscape thing happen going completely out cold, I suspect," Kitty replied, fully audible to Rosie as she walked over and knelt beside the prone form of the other girl. "I mean, she seems to be breathing and all, and I can tell there's a heartbeat, and how the heck can I do those things, exactly?"
"Perhaps it's a lingering effect of the mindscape connection?"
Kitty considers this possibility. "Yeah, I suppose it would be." She stretches, her kimono straining attractively over the firm curves of her barely-covered breasts. "Do you think I'm also visible?"
"Um." Rosie looks to each side for anyone in sight or who might be approaching. "Let's just be safe and assume so. I mean, I doubt the sentries and ANBU and whoever else are staring at the middle of the town looking for anything strange and threatening but..." She winced and swayed a little. "...based on the fact that I'm suddenly feeling a little peaked, I'm guessing you're visible as well as audible."
"We should probably work out a way to turn it off," Kitty remarks, looking concerned.
"The... cancel sign, you think?"
"Can't hurt."
"OK." Rosie raises a pair of slightly trembling hands and makes the simple hand-sign for terminating a genjutsu. "OK, there we go."
"Yeah, I think that did it," Kitty says, cricking her neck. "Can you hear me anymore?"
"Outside of my head, no." Rosie wipes her brow. "OK, first issue taken care of. A really strange issue, to be sure. I've never heard of anything like that happening before."
"I doubt there's many instances of a mind connection terminating involuntarily during a fruitful discussion between multiple personalities of multiple participants." Kitty shrugs and does a handstand on Sylvan. "OK, that's done with, what do we do about her?"
"Give me a moment to catch my breath and I'll see if I can get her off the street." She looks around. "Now, where is the clinic from here?"
"You're the intellect, you probably know a lot better than I would."
"Ever heard of a rhetorical question?"
"Only when rhetoric is in play." Kitty grins at her as Rosie tries to calm her breathing and steady her heart. "Which it most definitely was not. I mean, I guess in the loosest sense our conversation involved rhetoric or rhetorical mumbojumo or... you know, I don't actually know. This isn't my job."
"For obvious reasons," Rosie remarks dryly inside her head as she pushed herself to her feet and brushed the road dust off her posterior. "So while you were working, you could feel her breathing and her heart beating?"
"Yup, pretty sure."
"Good enough for me." Rosie crouches down and takes one of Sylvan's hands, pulling it up and draping the arm over her shoulder. She then takes a deep breath and lifts with her legs, using Sylvan's arm as a handhold to lift the other girl with her. She stumbles a little under the unfamiliar weight of another person before she regains her footing and then leans down again, leaning forward as well to present a more gradual inclined plane onto which she could slide Sylvan further onto her shoulder. She wrapped an arm around Sylvan's waist and then lifted herself back to a standing position with the other shinobi draped over her shoulder with her stomach lying directly on the bone.
"I think the trio will be annoyed at me when she wakes up," she remarks.
"Who cares? You saw her out for the count, grabbed her like a sack of potatoes, and got her someone who could help." Kitty shrugs. "They can bawl all they want, you're doing the right thing in a pretty clear way."
"I suppose." She takes another breath and then a step, testing how the weight of her burden unbalanced her. She shifted Sylvan's body a little and then took another step, finding it better and easier than the last. A third step and a little more shifting got the still form to a more easy carry position and Rosie started down the road in the direction that her memory informed her she could find the clinic, and ready medical-nin. "I hope she'll be alright."
"She's got three people in her skull who care about her well-being." Kitty smiles as she walks alongside Rosie, invisible to all but the one hallucinating her. "There're two minds in your skull that care and we're certainly in pretty great shape. I wouldn't worry personally."
"Well, I suppose if my emotion thinks there's nothing to worry about, there's nothing I need to concern myself with." Rosie sighs and looks behind her at Sylvan's placid face. "I really hope you're right about that, Kitty, because I like her and she really seems to need someone to care."
"I guess it's a lucky thing for her that you care then." Kitty walked a few steps. "You should do more of that, you know?"
"Do what?"
"Care about people. Like Serasena, the focus of that last chastisement of the duo. She's adorable and sweet and she'd make an awesome friend, you know."
"True."
"True?"
"Yes."
"That's it?"
"It is."
Kitty heaves a mighty sigh. "Girl, we need to do some serious work on you, and get started soon. You're even worse than way back when we came up with our arrangement."
"I like to think I'm getting better."
"Think whatever you like, Rose, you're more detached and inhuman than you were, and it's a serious problem."
"I... really don't think it is."
"That way leads to a Euphoria, Pragmatism, and Innocence."
Rosie snorts. "Be serious."
"I am being serious, Rose." Kitty sighs. "But we can talk about it later. Let's just get her to someone who can help and then worry about helping you."
"As much as it doesn't appear so, Kitty, I think you've done plenty." Rosie smiles a little, turning her head just slightly towards where she perceives Kitty to be. "You are a good friend to me, even if you're only real to me and no one else."

{Word Count: 1109 | 8488}
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