INTERVIEW: Lialin

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"Sure. In this world, everyone's parent dies and everyone's other parent does something depressing. No one's normal. I'm pretty sure that your dad divorced your mom because of financial problems. He was never home, was he?" She said, her voice dismissive and monotone. "Course, he might not have been. In fact, you could be one of the few normal ones. You never know." She added.

She just wasn't going to stop, was she? "Normal, huh? Madam, I believe you meant to say 'plain' or 'white and nerdy'." A little bit of self-deprecation to keep things going wouldn't hurt. "I'm not here to change your mind or viewpoint, though. Far from it."

Sheffel blinked, his face turning more stern and calm. "No, madam, I think that you, I, and the rest of the Franchise would agree- there is no normal. There's privileged, entitled, sure. I admit I've got a lot of entitlement under my belt. But, I've seen some messed up sh..." He quickly cut himself off mid-sentence, then exclaiming, "Oh, screw it, you wouldn't believe some whitebread posh-wannabe like me." He slumped forward, hand on his chin, elbow resting on his knee. "And I don't expect you to. I don't think I can speak for my own experiences, not even for why I got into this whole artificial limb business in the first place. But the Franchise itself, on the other hand..."

He paused to think, and maybe internalize. Then: "Just tell me this, then, and I will make up my mind: What is the most vivid memory you have of helping anyone, anyone at all?"

She opened her mouth, then closed it. "It was a bright sunny day," She began, clearing her throat. "I was hunting. I'd tracked up my horse to a tree a few meters away. Suddenly, this seemingly drunken bastard stumbled across my vision. Upon closer inspection, I found he was shot. He granted my arm and whispered to me his dying wish--to ride a horse. I've assumed that he was from one of the poorer regions, the regions that foraged underground for food. I granted him that wish." She smiled bitterly. "You should have seen his face."

A pause for recollection. Sheffel's eyes were absent; almost as if something in Lialin's anecdote triggered something in his past.

Then, slowly and deliberately, he sat up straight. His arms came down on his armrests once again.

"Yes," he exclaimed, in a hushed, considerate tone. "You have what we are looking for, madam."

She nodded, lowering her eyes. Had she hit a nerve? The seemingly talkative, happy-go-lucky interviewer had just shut down. Tensed up. She didn't like it. She wanted to ask whether or not he was okay, but kept her mouth shut. She was a stranger to him. And strangers didn't tell each other their life stories.

[OOC: Sorry for the late response; I was trying to think of the best way to respond.]

"Congratulations, madam." Sheffel paused. His voice was inflected with respect and dignity. "Quite simply, you have the job. Excuse me for just one moment."

Hurriedly, he stood up and made his way past the reddish door to his workshop.

-

"Blast it, why didn't I think about having it on me beforehand?"

Brass constructions of arms, arms and even more arms, left and right arms, short arms, long arms- various attempts to perfect the prostheses adorned the walls of the compacted workshop. Various wooden desks holding all manner of tools and trickery were mounted along the walls as well; the desktops were littered with blueprints, wooden shavings, scrap metal, power tools and-

His Wave Communicator, in plain view, colored crimson, in the corner of one desktop. Next to it were other copies of the device, colored solid blue, meant for new recruits.

!
"You alright, Ken?"

"Yeah, I'll be fine. Just...gangrene sucks, you know?"


Why these memories now? They didn't have much to do with the Lialin's story, but...

!!!
"I'll make sure you can walk again, Ken."


He grabbed one of the devices.

Ken...
"Drake, tell the guys at the Dapper's Delight Comic Fest I won't be able to make it in time."


What was it about a dying man's wish to ride a horse-

it wasn't supposed to be a hard decision, considering that he wasn't a human
"Kill me, Drake!"

"I can't do it. I can't just rob a mountain bear of its family..."

"Then go and leave me. Leave me, Drake! My story is over. Perhaps you can find solace in your stupid little inventions."

"They're not stupid, Blor. They're..."

"I know. But...they can't help a poor old bear like me."


There was a cold wind blowing in the mountains that day.

little sister
"Drake."

"Lisa."

"Why, Drake? Why? Why did...why did this happen to Alberto?"

"Your friend's going to be alright, Lisa."

"NO! HE'S NOT! HE'S...HE'S DEAD! HE'S-"


Mauled by a bear, brought back to life by some old coot's mechanics.

The eternal summer, the end of days, was foretold by a false prophet
"Leave her alone, you sick son of a whore!"

"Or what are you going to do, Drake? You're going to shoot me with that stupid popgun of yours? You're pathetic. You can't survive the winter with anything, not even those stupid inventions. I still wonder how you made it this far."

"Don't do it, Jackson! DON'T-"

"Once I slit her throat, the device will activate, and I will bring eternal summer into the world."

"Stand down, Jackson! I'm warning you!"


Sheffel found himself staring into the window outside. Evening darkness covered everything, just like those mere moments before the eternal summer was supposed to take place.

me, I realize the irony
"And if I may ask, Mr. Sheffel, do you consider the integration of your hobbies and medicinal research a form of escapism?"

"Oh you wouldn't understand. I'm not escaping into anything."


So that's what it was that was bothering him. He remembered his own interview now, how he had to call out the interviewer on his pretentious crap.

Sheffel felt a bit relieved, though he didn't feel the need to divulge anything about his own past to Lialin. Remembering that he had a job offer to solidify, he turned back towards the living room.

-

It had been only a minute, and Sheffel was now making his way back to the armrest. "Sorry, that took longer than I thought," he apologized.

He sighed, dusting a few particles off his pants. "Before I go any further, do you have any questions?"

While she had been awaiting his return she had cautiously gotten up and looked around. She knew this world was more modern than the one she was used to, but what were those lights powered by? When he walked in, she felt a bit caught and bent down a little by the knees, a habit she'd gotten from the woods so that she'd be ready to run. Fighting wasn't a choice for her, since anything she came across could beat her. It was always flight in her case.

"Oh, it's fine," She said quietly between his sentences, so quiet that she couldn't hear it. "No, I... Don't think I do." She said, going to sit down quietly and a bit cautiously. He was tense. Either nervous or ready to get this over with. She didn't blame him if it was the latter, she did tend to leave conversation to the other person. She'd also much rather be riding or actually doing something.

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