|The Space in Between|
Tabitha lets out a heavy sigh as she looks around nervously. "I don't like this…"
Xue nods, looking around "You have a very..... unusual mindscape". She inspects the blood more closely, before looking up "Lets start walking and see if anything presents itself. We can use this as a basis to explore from and if need be return to. I'll follow your lead".
Tabitha doesn't move as Xue starts to move around, responding to her suggestion with a shake of her own head. "Nuh-uh. I-I thought you were leadin' this show." The girl is obviously scared as her hands beginning to shake illustrate. With her ears back and her eyes wide she looks at her companion with a hint of tears beginning to form. "I mean, yer the expert here! Don't you have s-some path or technic you usually follow?"
Xue raises an eyebrow "My specialty is definately not this, i merely know enough to start it, and keep defenses up. Above all, you must remember this is YOUR mind. You have much mroe control than i do to a large extent. Still, if you wish, then i'll take lead". She points to the gun-shaped location "We can start heading towards that, since it's fairly visible, and see what we find".
The girl nods her head, her tail wrapping itself around her leg. Being the park, there are only two paths out - across the waters or down the streets of Twisted. Like the current version of the city the non-watery way leads past the Waiting Room and onto the main street in front of the UR. Or.. At least it should. Instead, the walls along the path seem to become the halls along a hallway. Wooden paneling snake upwards from the ground and meet in a way that suggest rafters above as the sky darkens with each step. Instead of ending up in front of the Usual, the two find themselves IN the Usual after pushing open two swinging doors that normally mark the entrance from the kitchen. Shadowy half-figures sit in the seats. Their forms are too distorted to make out whom any of them are meant to be, assuming they represent anyone specific.
With a yelp Tabitha cries out as the swinging door catches her after stepping over the threshold. "I REALLY don't like this.." With her voice echoing out, distorted music begins to fill the air. The tune isn't easily identified, but it's obviously being played at the wrong speed and pitch.
Xue looks around, slowly and cautiously. She takes a peek over at the bar, out of morbid curiosity to see if Sabin may be there, given how long its been, or anyone else, for that matter. "Delving into ones own mind is never pleasant. You see your worst as well as best aspects firsthand. Interesting that it's what seems to be some alternate version of Twisted street....". She looks around the room "Do you see anyone you recognize, or do the inhabitants seem as blurred to you as they do to me?
The girl turns slowly as she makes her way towards Xue, taking in each person in turn. "No. Just kinda faceless 'things'." Stopping abruptly she looks at the bar, her brow furrowing. "There is somethin' else, though." She points to where Xue is standing. "Isn't there a barstool missin'?" Sure enough if one looks at the spacing between each stool, there should be one right where Xue is standing. "Does that mean somethin'?"
As Xue looks back up, the younger version of Tabitha is sitting on the top of the bar kicking her feet dangerously close to Xue's head. As soon as the woman makes eye contact, she giggles. The elder Tabitha lets out an audible gasp. The younger one chirps happily, "Hello!!" The girl watches Xue closely. "What'cha doin'?"
Xue smiles at the little girl "Well hello there. We've been looking for you, actually, and some others like you The younger girl seems to beam at the attention. She smoothes out the wrinkles in the red skirt she's wearing and smiles wide. "I'm Tabby! What's yer name?" The elder Tabitha inches closer, her arms crossed. Her tail swishes slowly behind her if it's any indication of her mood. "...what are you?" The little girl shakes her head and shrugs responding only with "I 'unno."
Tabitha frowns at Xue's explanation. 'Tabby' however giggles at the introductions but shakes her head at the questions. "Ummm..." The little girl looks around the room as the phantom customers vanish. Her voice drops to a whisper, "You don't wanna talk to them." Her own ears start to lower a moment before the girl shakes her head. "You wanna see movies instead? I gots lots of favorites." The lights flicker briefly making the girl pull her legs up onto the bar and hug them.
Xue thinks for a moment, then smiles "What are your favorite movies, Tabby?". She figures she'll play along a bit..... little steps with the psyche. Don't want to push things too far TOO fast. Though Xue does ask one other question "By the way, Tabby, how many others like you are there, that you are aware of?"
The little girl's ears perk up at the question about movies. "I've got tha Little Mermaid, an' Beau-" The rest of the speech is ignored by Tabitha-prime as she watches the lights carefully. Her own ears twitch as she chews thoughtfully on her lip. How many movies has this girl named off now? Ten? Fifteen? She's not even sure she's seen any of these. Why does her own mind know more movies than she does? Her attention comes back as Xue's second question comes around. Tabby holds up four fingers. "THIS many." She stops and starts counting on her fingers, holding up five fingers this time. "And with you two, THIS many."
Tabitha shakes her head and laughs. "I think you counted that wrong. Four an' two is six, not five."
Tabby frowns and shakes her own head in return. "Nuh-uh. You live here sometimes too. I've seen ya."
Xue nods, looking to Tabitha, again whispering "means there are at least two more.....". As the lil gal finishes mentioning movies, Xue tries again. With a smile, she asks "Tabby... what are the names of the others like you that you have encountered?"
The girl sorta flounders at the question. The corners of her lips twitch like she wasn't sure if she should smile or not. "I.. Uh.. I don't think they have names yet." The lights noticeably dim. "I think you woke one of them up." The walls start to crack and crumble, darkness spilling in from outside. "At least it's not /her/." Tabitha raises and eyebrow and takes a step back. "I don't wanna know, do I?" The little girl shakes her head no.
Xue hhmms, seeming very curious at this latest development. She looks to Tabby "Is this one dangerous or violent?"
Tabby doesn't answer the question. Instead she hops down off the bar before it disintegrates into dust. In fact, her shoes hit the ground at the same time as the rest of the bar leaving the trio standing in the darkness. At least this time it's not total darkness. A dim light flickers up ahead. The little girl stands beside her senior, holding Tabitha's hand and sharing the same nervous expression on her face. With a brief glance at Xue the two start walking towards the light.
The light would actually seem to be another version of Tabitha, this one bound in a burning straight jacket. Her messy hair hanging over her tear streaked face. Tabitha starts moving towards her in concern, only to be stopped by the little girl holding her ground and continuing to pull on the elder's hand. The burning girl looks on with wide eyes, "YOU!! YOU DID THIS, DIDN'T YOU!?! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME!?!?"
Xue walks with the pair, and tilts her head inquisitively on seeing the next part of her mind "If she did, she was unaware of it, and is here in an attempt to right it.... what do you remember before you were in this state?"
The little girl opts to fill everyone in leaving the flaming girl to.. well, she's not on fire anymore. Darkness seems to be extinguishing the flames in waves. The two forces seem to be competing to engulf her as the third Tabitha struggles. "She's one'a my sisters. She can't control her powers." Tabby frowns and kneels down to look at the girl better as the third Tabitha curls into a ball. "I don't have any powers.." Tabitha rubs her freshly freed hand and looks over at Xue in confusion. That 'I don't like this' look is back on her face. The youngest girl reaches out and touches the newest girl's forehead somehow calming her. Tabby starts humming softly and the newest edition to the group seems to fall asleep, fading into the darkness completely and vanishing. Tabitha watches quietly with wide eyes. The little girl looks up with a frown. "You should probably leave before tha others wake up too."
Xue nods "It's been enough for one day. We will be back though. We want to meet all of you as time goes on. Even those that seem..... dangerous. Thank you for being a wonderful guide, Tabby". She gives another warm smile, and puts a hand on Tabitha. Reality blurs, and their back in Xues room.