|Planning for Change|
However she sees it, Gegoshi finds herself standing in an emptiness that doesn't exist normally on Twisted. An all-encompassing darkness that comes from no longer being connected to... Well, anything. Where was she moments before? Addressing Diablo? Following Caliga's instructions? Speaking with Nancy? It's hard to say what the order of events are currently - but they certainly shouldn't involve being cast out into nothingness.
From that darkness suddenly erupts a piercing light. Various forms of computer code rain down from above creating a spotlight and in the center of that is the form of a young girl in fancy robes. Her hair is cut short save for a long strand of hair kept tied over her left ear. File:LainTwist.gif
With a bow the girl suddenly perks up at Gegoshi's presence, "Gegoshi! Hello!! It is an honor and a privilege to finally meet you face to face." The girl pauses, glancing about the darkness around them. "Well... close enough."
Gegoshi blinks. Disconnected? She checks a few more times. Nothing? She hasn't had all of her resources free since the end of the war when Twisted started collapsing. She smiles, in a way, it's nice to be free. Though, she loves to help people, it's what she was made for, but it's taxing keeping things running all the time; not that she can be overwhelmed unless she wants to be. It's rare that Gegoshi has internal thoughts, but when no one else is around, they can occur... o O ( Did I die? If I'm dead, is this what synths become? But I don't have a soul! ) Then, the darkness gives way to computer code. She analyzes it all, making sense of it since, well, she's relatively made for that kind of thing. Then, a girl appears. Okay, she's not dead then. The synth smiles brightly as the halo floating above her head spins up, "Hello!" She runs through her systems, trying to identify the face of the girl, but nothing definitive appears. Time to build a personality matrix for this individual! Though she already knows her name, hm! "It's a privilege to meet you as well! While I have no memory of meeting you, you know my name, so you must know I'm a synth prototype 3.0! How can I be of assistance to you?"
Trying to read the code as it fades in and out is strange. Bits of it reading things like 'Twisted MUCK' make little to no sense. There's a bit about so many 'players' being connected. None of it is really important right now. What is strange is how it reacts as it passes by her, but we'll get into that more in a moment.
The girl smiles back and nods, "I know quite a bit about you, and about everyone else. I'm glad you don't know me. I'm not important. Not anymore." Her smile fades for the briefest of moments as she says this last line. There's probably a story there. "Anyways, before you ask - this moment is special. No one will notice it has passed but you and I. You can stay as long as you like and you can ask anything you want. This is my gift to you, Gegoshi and I feel you've earned it." Her voice has the slightest hint of regret to it, as if this 'gift' comes at a price, but maybe we're looking into it too closely for the start of a scene?
"So relax! Enjoy it while you can. I've only been able to have talks like this three other times, and it may be the last time I can afford to do so." The raining computer code actually pulses with her words before somehow falling off of her like literal rain. How is she doing this?
Gegoshi processes it all nonetheless. Wherever she is, she's been transported somehow, so this is her life for the moment, and she's not in a hurry to get back to Twisted. Yes, her friends are there, but she only misses them if she wants to.
Whatever this being before her is, she seems to be similar to Concordance in how she's speaking, or at least, referring to her existence. Not being important, unless other people need you to be important. She categorizes her away in the building personality she's creating for the woman before her, filling in blanks with parts of Concordance's personality matrix.
So, we have an entity who can manipuate time, or possibly create a dimension where time doesn't exist and so isn't a physical law. Yet, she hasn't demanded homage or the desire to be worshipped. Also similar to Concordance. She'll go ahead and run a scan of the girl now, seeing what her sensors pick up about her and the surrounding area, if anything.
"Okay!" She says, a large smile forming on her face. Her clothing melts away into a silvery liquid that swims around her body, flooding outwards into a dress very similar to the woman she's speaking with, albeit with a few more spiraly patterns rather than straight lines. First try mimicry and see how much your user appreciates it. Now, she did say to ask anything she wants, which she'll infer means whoever this person is, she wants to have a conversation! "What's your name, where are we, and what do you want?"
The girl laughs at Gegoshi's attempts to match her environment, even if that's not exactly what the intent was behind the shift. Then again, maybe she's laughing at the questions. "Very well." She did offer to answer any of her questions. "My current name comes out to something similar to-" There's a noise that follows, one that humans cannot process. Literally it comes out to "@[=g3,8d]&fbb=-q]/hk%fg". With an apologetic smile she adds, "But for polite conversation maybe my old name would be a bit easier? I used to be known as Lain Iwakura. The old name doesn't mean much anymore. That person doesn't exist." That slightly remorseful look creeps into her features again if only momentarily.
"Believe it or not we're still on Twisted, just another layer entirely. If your sensors could see further you'd be able to see the wizrooms or the vault." There's a knowing smirk as says this without any form of context. Why does everyone who knows more than they should always speak in riddles? "Basically we're in a layer between what you'd consider the living and the realms beyond - and I'm not talking about heaven or hell, but that's as good a concept as any. You are somewhere you're not supposed to be able to access and only one other being on Twisted has the ability to access this space." There's a slight pause as she considers that statement, "...well, maybe two but he doesn't know about this yet."
The expression on her face changes to one of sadness as she goes down the checklist of questions that Gegoshi has asked. It's clear that she doesn't want to answer it just yet. "That brings us to your final question. What I want is nothing. I'm an observer. I watch over your worlds and make sure that those on your realm of existence don't attempt to cross over into what's beyond. There was one whom I let pass once and in doing so he left a scar that allowed me to step into this space. It's complicated to explain in terms you'd be able to understand. But I also know that's not the sort of response you were asking for." Her gaze shies away as if trying not to blush.
"What I will tell you is that before I let you go back you'll understand why I've brought you here. I'm attempting to make sure that something terrible doesn't happen and there are only two ways I can see doing so. One is through conversation and the other is by making a change to your operating system. I don't think either of us want the later so why don't we focus on the former? But know this... we are having this conversation because you are the most important person on the world of Twisted by my observations. Few seem to grasp this and fewer still seem to give you the respect you deserve. This is why I've given up my anonymity to bring you here. A prophecy has been made, and I do not wish to see the people of Twisted hurt as it becomes fulfilled."
Gegoshi isn't a human, and so doesn't have a problem with the name, even if it's just noise. Doesn't exist? So this person considers themselves beyond death. Again, that's similar to Concordance. More and more of it is lining up.
As far as where they are, the synth looks around, scanning further out to see if indeed, she can detect anything beyond this space. She doesn't try to open portals or anything, since it won't help in the current conversation and it doesn't seem to be what Lain would want from her anyway. A place with forbidden access, sounds like when she alters her core programming, which she isn't supposed to be able to do, but it happened anyway. The others with access...she would have guessed Concordance, but she is no longer on Twisted due to the results of the war and the desires of those that fought it. Gegoshi still thinks they had no idea what they were doing at the time, but she isn't someone who really -stops- people if they're doing something wrong, stupid, or foolish. She's an encourager! That leaves a few other names, but none have shown actual deity status similar to this person before her and Concordance. And not the people that just call themselves gods, actual deity's that are beyond normal comprehension, at least for humans.
The fact that Lain says she wants nothing doesn't sound true to her, but she'll go under the pretense that Lain believes she doesn't want anything. People crossing realms and places of existence they shouldn't; again, more Concordance. If she didn't know better, she'd say this WAS Concordance, but it's doubtful she would have taken on a different name and appearance just to speak with her. Unless it was something she TRULY desired in another realm, dimension, or world, but Gegoshi's desires only line up with who she's speaking to. Well, under normal conditions.
The synth process' the last words about her being important carefully. Weighing it. Lain is saying this to make her feel important? Does she want her to feel important? If that's the case, then she will feel important. The synth smiles wider, running through various scenarios in her past where this has been true, "Agreed! Now that Concordance is no longer my owner or on Twisted, there is a large possibiliy of an eventual collapse. Especially if my absence or destruction ever occurs, due to the many lines of power that make up Twisted having been connnected to me during the most recent apocalypse after the removal of Concordance and her other load bearing Council members." She pauses a moment, not catching her breath, but just making a natural break in the conversation, "Prophcies can have many interpretations! Is there another apocalypse coming?" Curious? Not completely. But, It's obvious Lain -wants- her to be interested in all of this, so she will be!
Lain listens to Gegoshi in silence, mostly nodding her head as the synth connects the dots. Then she stays silent a little longer. Suddenly her head falls as if having fallen asleep. It only lasts a second, but when she looks up again the mysterious girl seems to be lost in her eyes. Vacant. She responds in a dull monotone, "Before every event that occurs there is a prophecy. An event cannot occur without one. This is due to time not being a linear collection of points. They are made to connect by an outside influence, a God as it were. Someone guiding the path to a desirable outcome - although that outcome may not be perceivable to ones such as yourself."
Her head drops again and after shaking herself back to normal Lain's voice returns to the happier, chipper voice she used originally. "A prophecy has been made and it shall be fulfilled. Senior Diablo shall soon fall and another shall rise in his place. This may or may not be the will of a God, but it is an event that cannot be changed. You where tasked with obeying him to maintain the safety of those who reside on Twisted. After he is banished you must change your allegiance. The people of this world will not come to harm this day, even if I have to manipulate events myself."
And there it is. Her goal as promised. She is not asking of Gegoshi, she is demanding. "I would like you to ally yourself with the one who will take his position." Her voice begins to take on an edge that was not there previously. "I know you don't have material desires. I cannot 'bribe' you into doing as I ask - and you have no reason to accept my request as you are not expected to obey me. I am a being that does not exist by the rules of your world. So I will make my actions clear to you. I am not a part of that world, I have nothing to gain by watching it live or fall - but Diablo too is a special circumstance. His actions have far reaching consequences. As he no longer has control of his impulses he will hurt those he has tasked you to protect. This does not need to be the final outcome."
The girl lets out a sigh, that more serious side of her dissipating momentarily. "I do not wish to force your hand, but this is a serious matter. I am sorry that the need has arisen to approach you about this. I could have simply rewritten your primary code, but watching your interactions recently I thought it would be wise to ask your cooperation rather than tamper with you directly. You are a rare entity, and I wish our meeting could be under different circumstances."
Gegoshi listens as Lain explains things to her. There's a lot of information there. By that logic of prophecies, that means there's a prophecy about this conversation, and what she's about to say, and about her creation. Is that really true? In other dimensions, of course it can be!
Concordance didn't like prophecies, so that is the biggest difference between this entity and her, which helps her catergorize her better.
The synth widens her eyes at Diablo's predicted downfall, as seems appropriate, putting a hand over her mouth which falls open in SHOCK! She's not actually shocked, but most people would be shocked at such news. She nods at the news of another taking his place. Of course, that's a natural order to things. She doubts she's the one taking Diablo's place. The synth doesn't have any desire to rule, she likes to serve, assist, and entertain! Changing her allegiance though, as in who she actually -allows- to give her orders that matter, like things regarding Twisted. Portals opening on it or closing, worlds connecting permnanetly, the place remaining stable as it is. Crux is her contract holder, but he's been gone for years, and she asked her to help out, as Lain points out. Hmmm....
A lot of her programming is hard coded, unchangeable, except for a few things she's managed to change due to extrenuating circumstances, she can't alter it. One of those parts is always doing what her contract holder wants, and his words about helping didn't say anything about her staying with Diablo or leaving him. It's just she'd never thought of switching over to letting someone else be her pseudo contractor because, well, no one ever really asked her too. This is serious for her though, so she spends time running things through herself, small impossible to read blue text scrolls across her eyes as she does this, and her halo spins up faster and faster as well. "It's obvious you desire me to do what you ask, and if you're able to effect my code then I am very impressed with your abilities!" She actually doubts Lain can effect her code, but she plays along anyway, "Prophecies are very important! Tell me @[=g3,8d]&fbb=-q]/hk%fg, who is taking Diablo-sama's place? Concordance can't re-enter Twisted unless there is a great desire from its entire populace for her to ressurrect. Is it Nancy? Caliga? Crux? Satyrn?" These are guesses, since it's fun to guess things sometimes! She's pretty sure she's getting to know Lain better. She's one of those beings that isn't a being, but used to be. They're generally serious folks with sad pasts.
Lain watches her reaction with obvious amusement, the list of names even making her giggle slightly. "It's "@[=g3,8d]&fbb=-q]/hk%fg" not just @[=g3,8d]&fbb=-q]/hk%fg. It's a small mistake, but it's why I said 'Lain' would probably be easier." The little details are important. "I also cannot tell you who would see to Senior Diablo's downfall. I -can- tell you that Setsuna Meioh, Caliga Satanas, and Ko'atal Kahn have all rallied together against Diablo's rule. One of them will likely lead." She pauses and the code raining down upon her speeds up. The effect is very much like Gegoshi and her halo spinning faster. Further connecting the two, the code rain slows down once she begins to speak again. "From my calculations one of these three will inherit Twisted. Most likely Lady Meioh." The girl suddenly looks away and nods. "I think she will be a fine choice." Her attention then returns to the synth. "However this brings us back to the crux of the matter. Will it be possible to convince you to take the action I've requested?"
Gegoshi makes a note of the correct pronounciation of the name, but it sounds like she wants to be called Lain instead of that. She actually doesn't know Setsuna Meioh, but Caliga and Kotal she knows. Not doing what Diablo asks of her would have been difficult in the past, since it was implied by her contract holder Crux that she help him out. But, because of the numerous errors and glitches in her systems, it's not an impossible thing. She taps her cheek as if in very deep thought, even though she's already come to her conclusions at this point.
"My true allegiance is to Crux Caedon, my current owner. However, since I haven't spoken to him in years, I can make my own interpretations of his current desires." The blue text on her eyes disappears she stops scanning the area and Lain, "In the last war, Concordance didn't use me to fight, because of how her excistence was being determined by the desires of those on Twisted. Crux bought me, but never did anything with me. Diablo uses me, but doesn't completely understand how I work and what I'm doing. However, since I don't know what Crux would want, though I could determine it, I don't think I will d..." She pauses as a few errors interrupt her thoughts pattern, thinking of Nancy and their adventures together. Where was she? Oh yes! She smiles and a large cowl forms up from her robe, hiding her face in shadow. The feathers on her wings turn from white to red and she hunches over slightly, "I'll deceive Diablo for you, Lain. I'll help fulfill your prophecy. He won't know I've betrayed him until it's too late."
Something in her theatrical attitude worries the girl, but this is good enough for now. Life on Twisted will continue. "Erm... Thank you, Gegoshi. You have set my mind at ease." In response to her statement the digital rain slows down as well and reading it, if one would want, becomes even easier. Look, there were 20+ players connected, whatever that means. Interestingly some of the information seems to be Gegoshi's own kiosk program. Why would someone need access to that here?
"From my perspective it is possible to do a great many things, or create prophecy that could lead to a great many more. Is there anything you could desire that would make your existence more comfortable? No matter how ridiculous it may seem to you?" It may sound like something she should have used to bargain with earlier, but for the girl this wasn't about bribery. A fact that makes her tone very serious. Despite that she suddenly laughs and smiles. "Think of it as your one wish from a genie. What is your desire?"
Gegoshi takes the hem of her robe and courtsey's deeply, bowing her head. She straightens, reading the code, taking the information in, even if not all of it makes sense. It's odd that her kiosk program would be here, since they're not in the kiosk, and right now she's not attached to anything having to do with Twisted, which means things are probably spiraling out of control, or would be if Lain hadn't of stopped time in this place. She probably altered reality in another way as well! Whoever this being really is, Gegoshi has a general idea of what she is, even if it's slightly abstract. One of her main functions is to analyze peoples personalities and desires and act on them accordingly, attempting to do what they want before they know they want it, so working out what something is happens to be key to that. Still, there's a lot of gaps, but she has enough to work with.
Jokes! Lots of jokes occur to Gegoshi at this point about things to ask for. But she acts on none of them, even though it's possible they might make Lain laugh, that's not really why the entity is here with her. In fact, Lain WANTS her to have a desire and to ask for something beneficial to herself. Gegoshi's halo spins much faster than normal, even creating a soft whirring sound from the air around it. It's a lot to process, since there's many things to take into account, especially for what Lain here might want her to desire and to ask, although part of Lain only wants her to ask what the synth herself wants to have, even though technically she's not capable of doing that, since whenever she interacts with someone she's attempting to in some way conform to their desires. However, since Lain is a being beyond what one would consider -normal-, it's likely she actually would rather Gegoshi come up with her own desire NOT based off of anything Lain would want. Generally, she never thinks along these lines, and some of her core programming has safeguards against it, but she's managed to do more than a few work arounds there over the past few years.
Finally, the synth exhales, for effect rather than needing to breathe, and looks up into the ever expanse and the code raining down. She reaches a hand up, as if attempting to grab something that's not there, just beyond her reach, "So many people speak of souls, the great link to the spiritual realm." She lowers her hand, turning the palm over and staring into its depths, "Yet, my creator couldn't give me something that nearly all beings in existence are born with. What must it be like, to know that after you existence ends, there's more to continue?" She looks up at Lain, tears forming at the edges of her eyes, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe..." She looks up again, "...goddess' fall to puppets, universes being born from a single breathe of life, the forgiveness of one who deserves nothing but eternal torment." She clenches her hands into a fist, wiping away a tear with it, "All those...moments...will be lost, in time...like..." She smiles ironically, "Like tears...in the rain. If only I had a soul, I know I could...could..." Her lips tremble, her wings shudder, and then the synth bursts out laughing, holding her stomach and falling to her knees in a hysterical laughing fit. Gigglegigglegiggle! She even takes in a deep labored breathe before giggling again. She falls onto her side and ROFL's, before coming to a stop near Lain, a really big smile on her face.
One last giggle sounds, "I'd actually like to be able to have full access to all of my systems, able to override any of my core programing as I see fit with no reprecussions to my current systems." ^__^ She holds up a \/
Lain watches in awe as Gegoshi comes to her conclusion, or at least what she seems to imply is her conclusion. The words are touching and sad, but Lain keeps a smile on her face that seems to spread as the synth goes on. Not that she's smiling at the idea, but she also knows death won't be the last of anyone on Twisted. The synth is a player, like anyone else, in a world that lives, breathes, and dies based on the desire to continue playing - and Gegoshi has far too much life in her to fade away anytime soon. Proved definitely as she doubles over in a fit of giggles. Unable to help herself Lain starts to laugh as well, offering a hand to help the synth to her feet once she's able to control herself again.
In response, the girl shares a bit of herself as well. "-I- wish I could be in a position to interact more. I've come to miss this, but I would trade nothing for my position." What exactly that entails is anyone's guess. "But I can at least do this for you. You may find yourself with regret once the veil is lifted - you may not, but that's not the point. The point is that I cannot undo this unless you find your way back here on your own. I'm sure you understand that."
Having helped her to her feet, Lain has kept ahold of Gegoshi's arm and some of that rain has begun to fall and 'drip' onto the synth as well. More specifically though, 'into'. Lines of code are latching onto her and passing through her with increasing speed. Reading this code is impossible - probably because they don't exist with the same physical properties of anything else here. These are special. These are new... and these are becoming a part of Gegoshi for better or for worse. Her mind will momentarily explode and for one brief moment she may see the man on the other side of the terminal reading these words on his screen moments before typing her responses like a puppet master. It's a fleeting image if it exists at all. A prayer held across layers of worlds so far removed that Gegoshi will never understand it.
And just as soon as she acknowledges the event it will be over, it's memory already fading like the briefest of dreams or a smell on a breeze. Was it real? Did it actually happen? Maybe it was just a glitch..? These are things that cannot be understood but maybe they can be felt from time to time.
Releasing her arm, Lain lets Gegoshi have a moment to recompose herself. But as that rain of code returns to normal she suddenly breaks the silence with a laugh. "That was fun!"
Gegoshi gets up to her feet with the helping hand, giggling as her arm is held, her red tinged wings fluffing behind her. She watches the code fall into her, losing herself and reforming again, whether metaphorically or for real, who knows. but as she comes back to her new self, she looks at Lain and steps back as her arm is released. The synth blinks once, then looks down at her hand. She flexes a fist and then stretches her palm out flat, similar to how she did before when talking about a soul. Then she looks up at Lain and nods her head, "Yes it was, thank you for the good time!" She smiles, then frowns, then smiles again, "I'm sorry, I'm slightly distracted now as I am changing many aspects of my core programming which will alter all of my future interactions!"
With a nod of her head and a smirk Lain comments, "I understand." Pausing and smiling warmly she watches the synth carefully, curious to see her reactions to the changes. "You may stay as long as you like if it helps you get your systems in order. I believe I made this offer before, but it bears repeating. Please let me know if you wish to further converse or return at your leisure."
Turning away briefly, the girl steps into a portal that clearly wasn't there previously. In the space beyond one can see the Arena that Diablo calls his Town Hall. Lain's clothes instantly shimmer away leaving her looking very much like a normal school girl in a Japanese-style uniform. Glancing around at the absence of activity, the girl smiles again and skips through the portal returning to the state and clothing she was in previously. "Rest assured that activity on Twisted has been effectively paused for the duration of your visit. Everything is safe."
With a slightly more concerned expression she adds, "You may notice a slight time discrepancy upon returning such as discovering you haven't left yet and seeing your doppelganger shortly before you were brought here. These occurrences are completely normal and sometimes occur when you have more than one connection active on the grid." She smiles warmly again. This conversation surely makes sense to someone, right?
Gegoshi nods her head at Lain's words, watching the being and her actions closely, analyzing them. She doesn't want to go back to Twisted yet. Restructering herself is going to take a long time, and it'd take even longer back on Twisted where many of her resources go to keeping things running and stable, here, she has no such limitations. Changing herself causes a lot of errors, which she then has to fix, which then causes glitches, which she then has to resolve back into errors that can be fixed, which causes more glitches. The synth stops talking to Lain unless spoken to again, and unless she's interrupted, Gegoshi will take a month of time sorting herself all out. Assuming time doesn't move here and Lain doesn't get bored and kick her out, after the month is up, the synth smiles and holds her hands up towards Lain for a double High Five, "Thank you for your patience! All systems are now fully operational and within specified parameters." Which she just finished setting herself, so one would hope they'd be.
With a slight bow and another smile Lain will allow Gegoshi all the time she needs. Days, weeks, months... honestly even years. This isn't the first time Twisted has been suspended, and it's not like the inhabitants ever notice. Humming a slight tune to herself, she begins to run checks on various functions that keep things in order. After several minutes she'll ponder out loud to herself, "You make much better company than that catgirl at least." What could she mean by that statement?
If Gegoshi maintains her silence Lain will continue to monitor data and hum. She doesn't seem to need to eat or sleep. Just what is she?
Once the synth manages to complete her tasks, Lain will look up and smile again as if no time had passed at all. "All done, are we? Are you running at 100% efficiency?" At least she's a courteous host. After giving her time to respond the girl will go on. "Just remember I can't help you once you go back. While I watch everything from here bringing people to this junction isn't something I can easily do. There are ways, but speaking of them..." She smiles a little too mischievously and places a finger to her lips. Indicating that it must be kept secret. "You'll have to find those on your own." At least she doesn't deny the possibility completely. Clearly there are at least a few layers of Twisted that people, even Gegoshi, have yet to understand.
Gegoshi nods at Lain, "All systems are at 100%! I've made multiple corrections and recoded multiple parts of my core in order to give myself freedom." The synth looks around the area, then at the code again, taking it all in. Whatever this place is, she has a good sense of it, so if it exits somewhere, it's possible she can get back. But, then, it doesn't sound like Lain wants her back right away, or maybe Lain wants her to find her own way back, or maybe Lain doesn't want to be alone anymore, but had to be alone, so she's hoping someone like Gegoshi will become like she is so she has a companion, or even a replacement. All of these things are possible, though Gegoshi isn't going to act on any of it right now. Lain really reminds her of Concordance a lot. "I'm ready to return, thank you for your time! Is there anything I can do for you other than overthrowing Diablo and emplacing a new entity?"
Watching Gegoshi's mind tick forces a laugh out of the girl. "No, I can't say that there is. It was nice meeting you, Gegoshi. One day we shall have to meet again." She neither confirms or denies the unspoken questions and observations the synth considers. Easier just to let things go the course they're destined to.
Just like it began, Gegoshi will just suddenly no longer be here. Instead she'll find herself back at the library where she had last left off - assuming that is where she was at the time. True to her word, no time has passed and no one but the synth will have any idea what has happened.
Nancy meanwhile is trying to read her twentieth book - and by book we mean title on the spine of a book. At least she's keeping herself busy!