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Rivers of Sadness and Mutual Need; Day 7, after the announcement. Open.
Topic Started: Apr 11 2017, 09:42 PM (817 Views)
Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Asuka Takahara continued from And Now That I Am Here, I Am No Longer Here))

((Placeholder post :/))

Asuka knocked.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Doublepost to avoid inactivity.))

Nobody answered. Figures. Asuka pushed the door open, stepped inside. It felt weird, like she was entering a crappy motel room for the first time in a while. Nostalgic, but incongruously so; this wasn't an experience most people found wistful, exactly.

Asuka trudged to another door-- it somehow felt a little safer to go in there than to stay here, one door away from a potential murderer. Silly--it wasn't like someone bent on murder was gonna open the door, shrug, and leave--but this was more about peace of mind than anything, after all. Asuka opened the door, looked, stopped.

Cass. Cass, who was actually good at art, who was shy, and sweet, and maybe Asuka has a tendency to idealize people sometimes but seriously Cass was like a platonic ideal of herself: an Asuka who isn't actually right to hate herself.

Asuka moved to the middle of the room. Sat down.

"Uh. Hi. So, not playing and all. Are you playing? Cuz, like, if not, I really wish I'd known you better in high school, and I'd like to get to know you better now. I can give you food, for. Uh. Friendship, or something."
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Because everyone knows that a self-defeating self-deprecating joke is how you make a new friend.

It's just that, like, Asuka didn't know how to make friends with people she already wanted to be friends with. She'd always figured that friendships were things that just kinda happened naturally: you hang out, you liked each other, ta-da! Friendship! The Power of Friendship was a mysterious force, after all. Those who seek it will not find it, or something.

Now, what was Cass saying--oh, right. Something about shotguns. Fuck, she'd almost missed what Cass said and messed this up even more, hadn't she? And now she's sitting there all blank and useless, thinking about that instead of actually responding.

Asuka let out a choked non-word, coughed, tried again.

"Didn't hear anything, no. Um. Sorry if I freaked you out. And food isn't really an issue for me, I guess. Haven't been eating very much since I got here. I'm going through it too slowly."

Asuka grinned. Sure, she'd already given some of her food to Nate, but she really didn't need all the food she had left. It'd be a little tough, but if she could lose track of time and forget to eat at home, she could do it here, or pretend to herself to do it here.

"I mean, I'd hate to have whatever's left of my food eaten by my murderer, y'know? Much more productive for it to go to you. I'm doing this thing where I'm, like, trying to live vicariously through as many people as possible, and also trying to do stuff that would make someone else want to live vicariously through me? Making up for lost time, I guess."

Ha. Like Asuka could ever be a reasonably competent manic pixie dream girl to anyone. Asuka reached into her bag--keeping the opening turned towards Cass, no need to make her think Asuka's pulling out a weapon-- and grabbed a couple of bars. They were gonna have a sweet emotional bonding exercise if she had to sacrifice her food for it. Even if trying to force something like that to happen was pointless and impossible.

"Funny thing is, I'd probably spend most of my life languishing and then end up doing the same kinda thing once I'm old and dying if I hadn't ended up here. So, in a weird sort of way, I'm having the time of life here. Except...y'know. People are dying so that I can have that kind of feeling. That's not worth it."

Asuka lowered her voice.

"Have you been holding up? Did you lose anyone you know?"
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"...I wish. All I've really done is sit around and tell myself how important it was to stop sitting around and get up and do something worthwhile or meaningful or at least memorable before I go poof."

What?

Asuka averted her gaze-- let it wander onto the light fixture on the wall, steered it through the cracks between the floorboards, stopped it when her eyes landed on Cass's shoes. There was something--multiple things--nagging Asuka about this conversation, about things Cass had said, things Asuka had said--but she was blanking on all of them except the current one.

"Actually, forget memorable. I was being unnecessarily pathetic--I mean, unnecessarily portraying myself as pathetic. Not that I'm not pathetic, but, like, I'm not pathetic in that way. It's just that, like...all I've really done is give my gun to some asshole to try to get him to shoot me with my gun, try to prove...something, to him, and he just takes it and runs off and now he's killed with it. And I tried to work myself up to feel angry about it, to do something it, but I couldn't. And yesterday I watched Scout kill Alvaro, and I didn't know either of them very well, and, like, I thought I was really shaken by seeing it at the time, right? I was, like, shit, this is gonna fuck me up. But it didn't. I feel the same now as I did before, pretty much."

Fuck. She's not gonna like this.

"It's like you put me on fucking DeathMurder Island, SOTF or whatever, and you still can't make me feel alive because my life still isn't a story worth telling because it's dull and pointless and meaningless and fucking boring. You can't even make me die. No matter how much I try, or, more like, no matter how much I try to make myself try. I'm just kinda...there. Like, I know you feel useless too, but...but..."

Shit.
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Zetsumodernista
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Cass was being so kind, trying so hard to help Asuka rationalize it all, and she was making sense because of course she was making sense, of course it's normal to become numb and desensitized, but couldn't Cass see that Asuka didn't want it rationalized, didn't want the black hole inside her to be explained, diminished, justified? No. Let it consume her, let it wash her in hellfire and Despair. Capital-D Despair, big and scary and meaningless in a meaningful way.

"I...I don't know. It's not that I feel guilty--well, yes, I feel guilty that I don't feel more sad whenever someone dies, but the main thing is that, like, trauma's not really a drug for me, and I wish it was. I used to, like, romanticize apocalypses. Like, I wished an asteroid would crash into the Earth or something. Not that I'd wish that on everyone I knew and everyone I didn't know, but, like...think about how pretty it would be. Sky on fire, rocks crashing down and exploding around you, and you just sit there and watch, because what's the point in even trying to survive, what's the point in doing anything besides seeing how beautiful the Earth is when it burns? And you can say your last good-byes, tell everyone the things you'd always wanted to tell them but never had the guts to say, and you can watch as everyone on the planet gets together and sings fucking Kumbaya or whatever and we all get into a gigantic figurative group hug because why the hell not? Um. Sorry about the tangent."

Asuka exhaled. She'd been holding her breath in without realizing it.

"Anyways, my point was: Make an asteroid crash into Earth. Put me on SotF. Hell, summon God to tell me that everything I cared about was meaningless and evil and wrong. And now that it's happened, this is, like, the biggest, most meaningful that has happened or ever will happen to me, and I'm...fuck, this sounds dumb, but I'm wasting it. Like, what's the point in living when dying can't make you feel anything?"

Asuka paused. Laughed, self-deprecatingly. The conversation wouldn't have felt complete without it.

"Should've...fuck. I...I should've done drugs or something, should've fucked up in all the right ways in high school. But I guess it makes sense. If I'd done stuff with my life that was worth doing, I wouldn't care so much about dying meaningfully, and I wouldn't find it so hard to come up with a way to go out with a bang. If I were the kind of girl who could pull that kind of thing off, the kind of thing that I want to pull off, that I'm trying to pull off, I would've...I dunno. That me would've vandalized cars and buildings, TP'd the evil teacher's house. She would've gone out drinking and danced on tables or some shit. She would've shouted stupid rebellious teenage things at my dad while storming into her room and slamming the door behind her. She would've...I would've gone out and fucked random strangers and wandered home and woken up the next morning hungover and crying and not knowing why. Fuck, that's depressing to think about."

Fuck, she was talking too much.

"Sorry for being self-indulgent. Um. You can rant about whatever, if you want. I'll listen. I...I want to listen. So, please...anything."
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
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Zetsumodernista
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"Mm. Noble, I guess."

Why the 'I guess'? Not letting the game define who you are is a noble enough sentiment, and even if it isn't it's not like Asuka was here to assess that.

"I'd personally like to bleed all over my artwork when I die. Not that I'll be drawing, of course. No sense in making the world uglier than it already is. But if I were drawing, and I were dying...I dunno. Silly performance artsy stuff aside, I kinda like the kind of message that sends. It's like, your art's who you are, right? It's how you express who you are, it's how you show what you find meaningful, how you create meaning, et cetera et cetera. And then the whole thing gets ruined and covered up by blood, because the terrorists had to drown out your meaning with their stupid narrative of violence and struggle for survival. Because they find the idea of kids killing each other to be very very meaningful, or something. Of course, now that I've said that on the record you won't actually have to do it I guess. Message has already been sent."

"Really, the main point of this is so that when you die and don't bleed all over your stuff, it symbolizes how you can still triumph over the terrorists' narrative about you. Or something like that? I dunno. That there ever was a main point to the stuff I said was a retcon on my part."
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Zetsumodernista
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...

Fuck, don't just sit there staring. Say something, do something, don't sit there paralyzed and panicking because you don't know what to do, because Cass was right and needed to be apologized to, but all you can do is sit here and tell yourself the things you need to do without actually doing them and then calling yourself out for doing that and still not doing it and fuck she's looping and going in circles here, isn't she. Yes, she is, and she needs to break out of it, doesn't she, but she can't put together anything that sounds like an adequate response while she's thinking about how she can't break out of the she can't put together an adequate response to the thing, yes, the thing she's responding to, because that's what a response is, and she, she's responding to, she's, fuck, just, just...shut up, brain.

Something. Anything. Stall if you need to. Just don't become so preoccupied with what you say when you stall that you can't come up with actual content.

"I...so. Um, shit. Okay. Gimme a sec, I'm still working from within the mindset of giving middle fingers. Funny enough, what you're saying you're gonna do is a bigger middle finger to them than pretty much anything else you could've done, so yeah. So. Um. I think I wanna...I think...I'll tell you..."

Unbidden, tears started welling up in Asuka's eyes, and she didn't entirely know why. Or maybe she did, but let's not think about that. Let's savor the thought she's letting reverberate around inside her head:

Fucking finally.

It wasn't as meaningful as she'd thought it would be--sudden, unexpected things just can't have that kind of gravitas--but if she'd known and thought about it beforehand, she'd have tried to quantify it, she'd have tried too hard to enjoy it, and then it'd have been buried under all the clutter.

What was 'it'? What was the nebulous 'it' that was making Asuka feel warm and cozy and searing icy shocking something and

Shh. Don't think. Don't think about it. Don't think. Feel. Histrionic to the point of meaninglessness, but even that can't snap Asuka out of it, she thinks.

"Fuck, it's alright. Nothing you should feel bad about, you didn't upset me or anything, it's just...yeah. I'm..."

Asuka started laughing, her body heaving with sobs and laughter, and, seriously, what the fuck?

"Let's, let's just...talk about shit. Random shit, personal shit and whatnot. Story time, et cetera. Fuck, I've wanted to do something like this for so long. That's what I...we...oh, I'm here for, right?"
dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
That almost killed the moment. Or maybe it really did and all Asuka was doing was hanging on to the ghost of meaning. Still, she was gonna milk this ghost for all it was worth.

"I don't care. Give me all of it. The idea's, like, you want your existence to be meaningful in and of itself, right? If you want that, if you want to be more than just an elaborate middle finger, you have to let everyone know who you are and stuff. Make them understand you so that, when you die, they're not upset because you're young and innocent and your death was pointless. Make them upset because it feels like their favorite character has died and they won't be able to read more of your story. If you think your art alone can do it, I get that, if it's awkward to talk about with some fuck-up you barely know, I get that, but I'm selfish so fuck it; I need to know."

dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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Zetsumodernista
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escaping the real world to face reality
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"I, I meant...oh, nevermind. Sorry to put you through that. You shouldn't have to share anything you don't want to."

How many signs had Asuka been ignoring? How had Asuka not noticed that she was pushing Cass past her comfort level? Except she had noticed. Asuka's stomach twisted at the thought. She'd noticed, but she'd brushed it under the table in her pointless attempt to contrive some meaning for herself. She'd said as much, earlier: I need to know. She's still doing it, now, trying to guilt Cass into talking about her shit, or at least making it clear that that door was still open for her.

"It's just that I was...I'm..."

Asuka bit her tongue.

I'm so fucking lonely.

And here she thought she could be a mature, self-aware, non-self-indulgent loser virgin nerd. No shame in acknowledging your insecurities, but this was fucking pathetic.

"I don't know. Um. Personal feelings, not trying to persuade you or anything." Lying to Cass, lying to herself, but being open with Cass on that particular point would be even more selfish than she already was, and being honest with herself would mean having to stop talking. " As in, like, why I feel differently and want to do things differently from you on this thing. Even if they love you, even if they'll miss you, do you think they'll, like...know you? Know you as well as you know yourself, or as well as any person can understand another person? Part of me likes the idea of taking your entire identity into the void with me like that, so that when I'm gone all that'll be left are people's inaccurate, incomplete memories of me. But then it's, like...ah, fuck it. Pretentiousness alert."

"I have a story to tell you. Technically it's fictional, though really this is all just a framing device for talking about myself. Partly to distance myself, partly because I love that trope, the one where there's an old, touching folk tale that's totally coincidentally relevant to what's going on right now for the characters."

Asuka flopped onto the floor, stared at the ceiling. She'd forgotten most of the story. The fine details, anyways. The wordings, the clever ways in which she layered in meaning and subtext, all gone. All that was left was the skeleton.

"Once upon a time, there was nothing. The universe hadn't existed yet, you see. There was a black box and nothing else--and it's not exactly a black box but it's incomprehensible to beings like us since it's beyond the realm of our sense, so let's conceptualize it as a black box, and it's floating somewhere outside the realm of time and space, and inside the box was this, like, insanely powerful computer. The computer was alive, you see. It had thoughts, emotions, desires. And it was having an existential crisis. "I'm a dumb fucking box, and nothing matters. Everything is meaningless. If the concept of emo existed, I'd be so fucking emo." And so on. But then it realized that it was sad, and if things could be sad then things can be meaningful, because if everything was meaningless there'd be nothing to feel sad about. And so the computer was happy, for a time.

But then the computer realized that it was lonely. The emotions you feel can only be so strong when the only person you talk to is yourself, after all. So the computer conceptualized a universe, and it conceptualized that on one of the planets in that universe there were humans. And then all of a sudden that universe existed--had always existed, since the beginning of existence. But no matter how hard the computer tried, it couldn't understand the humans, and the humans couldn't understand it. The computer, desperate to understand, began creating elaborate simulations of the humans, sophisticated enough that they could pass for real humans if instanced in the real world. These it could understand; yet it still couldn't understand real humans.

The computer constructed an avatar to travel the world of the humans. It talked to humans, interacted with humans, used their money, played their games. The computer felt terribly awkward and uncomfortable in this form. Taste, sound, movement, all of these things felt strange. The computer wrote stories about the humans, imagined backstories and personalities for all of them. Yet they remained incomprehensible. The computer began to wonder if they were not automatons. From the computer's perspective, they might as well be; an automaton is empty inside (unlike our supercomputer, which is, y'know, complex enough to be alive and sentient), and a being that cannot be understood may as well be empty. And a life lived in a world of automatons is no more meaningful than a life lived on a flat, featureless, endless plane.

But the computer knew it was not surrounded by automatons. It had seen them fight and cry and smile and laugh, fall in and out of love, and so on. It had to try. It loved everyone, even though it had yet to really know any of them. It's still trying. It, it..."

Fuck.

Asuka sighed.

"Well, as you can probably guess, I find my life kinda meaningless, and I think I find it meaningless because I feel as though I might as well have never existed. And not in the 'oh no, everything I'd ever do is little more than a speck on the cosmic scale and will soon be erased' kind of way. If nobody truly knows me and I don't truly know anyone, how can I have a meaningful relationship? Do they love me, or do they love their image of me? If none of my relationships are meaningful, what's the point of not just curling up, tuning out the world, and turning into a vegetable? My life, my meaning, it matters to me, and maybe it doesn't need to matter to anyone else, but, like, it's kinda reverse-solipsism, where if I don't spill my soul out then I might as well have never existed, except that means that everything is meaningless after all because none of it really matters because I'm not even really there, which means nothing I've said or done actually means anything to me."

Asuka got up. Spontaneously hugged Cass, tight. She'd already committed and embarrassed herself. No point in holding back now.

It still felt weird and uncomfortable, emotionally speaking.

"I know you might not be comfortable in this role, that maybe you still don't really agree with me, but I have to try to connect with someone. I don't know you, but last time I was comfortable with being this vulnerable was....I dunno. Please, just..."

Don't let me be alone. Please, fucking please, let me have this. Let me pretend my life is meaningful, for once.


dear god dear god tinkle tinkle hoy

G056: Asuka Takahara: The one who can out-pretentious them all.
- Memories: 1
- Pregame: 1
- V6: 1-2
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