4886/Another You: Getting A Hand Up

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Another You: Getting A Hand Up
Date of Scene: 26 January 2021
Location: Nadia's Pendant Lab
Synopsis: The wounds of the soul are the hardest to heal, sometimes. So, thank goodness for telepaths.
Cast of Characters: Gar Logan, Terry O'Neil, Kian

Gar Logan has posed:
    The scene: Nadia's Microverse Lab
    AKA: The Crystal Castle
 It's tiny.  It's smoller than smol.  Really. You probably couldn't even see it without a good magnifying glass, so don't strain your eyes trying.

    Some exploration took place, but a lot of settling in was dealt with.  Nadia and Caitlin ensured things were the way they needed to be, the kitchen was found, all the food was located, and plans were made.  Gar was a little too amped up to sleep.

    The first steps were taken toward the experimental rapid-regeneration idea, with Gar spending a fair amount of time in his hybrid fishy form, splashing about in his own personal tank with a castle big enough to swim through.  That was cool.  When it came time to sleep, he didn't do so well with that.

    Much like the day before, but it felt like some progress was being made.  Some shows were watched, books read, food eaten, small talk made between Gar, Terry, and Kian, temptations avoided when it came to checking out some of the so-called 'off limits' things about.  Gar didn't sleep well again.

    Nadia stopped by to make sure they hadn't got into any more trouble than expected, found nothing was broken, and all was good.  Gar still didn't sleep well.

    Physical healing was progressing well, and the regrowth had almost reached the wrist.  Gar didn't… hey, are you seeing a pattern yet?

    No, really.  This sleep thing was getting to be a bother.

    The trio gathered in whatever the lounge area was, a quiet place away from distractions.  They had to talk about some of the mental problems that were taking longer to deal with compared to the physical side.  The body was doing well, but the mind was not.
    The curtain rises….

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "…the thing is, honey," Vorpal says quietly, "we're both very worried.  You're hardly sleeping.  But… you haven't really…" he falters.  He is in Cheshire shape, because he needs to heal from his shoulder wounds.  He's still wearing his sling, which hinders his mobility some.
    He glances to Kian, and then back at Gar.  "Can we talk about what's going on?  I know it can't be easy for you with what… happened…."

Kian has posed:
    The thing about mental healing is that when it's not a matter of gross physical or chemical damage, or something so organic that it requires a trained redactor, telling someone it's time to deal with something simply doesn't work.  What little training Kían has in mental first aid definitely tells him that.  And besides, that's dealing with Akiár psychology, not human… or metahuman for that matter.
    Still, like Terry, he's getting more worried about Gar, and unlike Terry he can't slip into the tank and spend time with him there.
    "You mus' heal inside an' out," the birdman says.  "If you can not talk about it, we can link min's.  Or dream together."  He shoots Vorpal a look.  "You too.  Your dreams have been unsettle, too."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "I'll be fine, guys. Really."  Gar tries to convince them, or himself, or more likely all three of them.  "It's just gonna take some time, that's all.  I'm… I just have to get through it first, that's all."
    But as he'd had troubled sleep, there were times where his good hand and arm had begun to morph into more a tiger's leg and paw, or other parts of him started to reflect some sort of prey animal.  That was the more common result, and whenever he woke up, he could see remnants of it.
    He never slept in the tank, whether it was safe to or not.  And, it wasn't.  Sleep meant turning back to his human self, as he wouldn't have the focus needed to maintain any other shape.
    The ways both of them looked at him caused him to realize they weren't going to take 'no' for an answer.  Finally, there was a heavy sigh.  "I can't stop replaying it.  It's like a loop.  Maybe I could have done something if I spotted him in time to turn just a little, or if I could have focused enough to fight back, but I never had the chance and that's eating at me."
    Plus, of course, the fact his other self actually did eat part of him.  That's not even the kind of thing anyone should imagine, let alone live through on an almost daily basis.  He's just lucky the arm is coming back.
    "What do we need to do?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry bites his lip.  His dreams have been restless as well.  How could they not be? Seeing what he saw—and he hadn't lived it, like Gar.
    "You can't torment yourself like this.  It isn't your fault…."  He knows Gar has had a tendency to freeze.  This is something that can be worked on.  But right now, it's the pain, and the trauma.
    And he was no psychologist.  He glances at Kian, who knew more about these things than he did, because he could at least go into other people's minds.

Kian has posed:
    "I can join our min's, and we can try to deal with it conscious, which may work," Kían says, "Or… we can dream together.  It woul' be more intense, an' it woul' let us get at the under-neat' thoughts.  Those are the ones that creep out in your sleep anyway.  I can sof-ten the blow some, but not all.  It will be a share dream between all of us, but we are use to doin' dreams that way."
    He leans forward in his seat, elbows on knees, chin in hands.  "If I had to guess," he says delicately, "you haf both' seen either a par' of yourself that you did not know was there, or that you fear was there an' did not wan' to see, in your other selfs.  Yis?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Whatever you think the best way is, Kian," Gar replies, shaking his head in such a way that shows he's just going along with this without fully grasping it.  "I think we're kind of both gonna need to follow your lead.  I've never done something like this before and I don't really know the right thing to do."  He clears his throat.  "I just want to get through a peaceful sleep and then try to repeat it."
    While awake, there have been times where he's come off as only a portion of the Gar they know and are used to.  He'll joke, his appetite is good, he can seek some attention, but there are times he just looks off into the distance as if his mind is somewhere else for a bit, as if he's not quite there at the moment.  He'd snap out of it if someone called his name, passing it off as daydreaming or just being distracted, but that wasn't the full truth.
    He rubs the area around his regenerating arm, after touching at the hand that isn't there yet, looking between the two.  "I can't forget what happened.  I can't ever forget that, but maybe I can sort of just… get past it.  With some help."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal walks closer to Gar and tries to put an arm around him, unless rejected.  "I'll never forget it either… but we are stronger than what happened.  You are stronger than it.  Than him."
    He touches Gar's cheek, and says quietly.  "I'll walk through your nightmares with you.  So will Kian."

Kian has posed:
    Kían considers, but only briefly—"Dream therapy iss more likely to be successful.  It will let me get in and see thin's in detail, maybe intervene at a key momen', show you a new perspectif that may help."  Certainly it was the way he and Raká dealt with the then-impending separation of Kían's trip to the homeworld and the Imperial University.
    Gods, if they only knew….
    "Go an' lie down, an' leave room for me between you.  I will need good contac' wit' you both.  You do not need to become Akiár unless you wan', Gar.  An' may-be you shoul' stay as Vorpal.  May-be the, the… nnh.  The Vorpal-ness of your min' may help loosen thin's, make them easier to reach, an' maybe to handle."
    He sounds like he knows what he's talking about.  Of course, this is one of the few times since coming to this world that a situation is squarely within his realm of experience.

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Yeah, let's try it.  And I can't stay that way when I'm asleep.  I need to be able to focus," Gar explains.  Much as Kian might like that, the shifting just doesn't work that way.
    He leans into the contact, pressing his cheek to the hand before 'bunting' at his hand, a more cat-like gesture, then he pushes back to his feet.  "Better find somewhere comfortable, then.  And I know you'll be there.  Both of you.  I don't know what might change, but let's find out."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The Cheshire leans in and kisses Gar's forehead.  "I'll go ahead and push the beds together.  It's the only way, otherwise we'll be a pretzel.  Go ahead and get yourselves some food and I'll join you after I've set up."  He walks over and gives Kian a kiss on the forehead, and then he pauses.
    "Three to a bed…."  And suddenly, he starts laughing.  It's a genuinely loud, mirthful laugh, and it takes a few seconds before he can finally articulate what he finds so funny.
    "Oh my god.  Raven is a prophet."

Kian has posed:
    The laughter is good.  Laughter is relaxing, and it makes Kían's job easier.  It releases helpful brain chemicals, just hearing it.
    The birdman nestles comfortably down between them, draping one wing over each in a way that seems almost protective.  {Both of you relax as best you can.  I can push you into sleep if necessary,} he 'sends… and under the circumstances, he does so.  Neither Terry nor Gar has been sleeping well, and Kían doesn't actually need to, but it's the work of a moment, calming their sleep centers until they both drift off, and take him with them.
    It may as well be the next thing they see.  If time passes oddly in Nadia's pendant universe, it passes even more oddly during sleep.  The first awareness the Earth people will have is of being in the same position they fell asleep, except on a much larger, round bed, in the middle of a vast round room with a clear glass ceiling.
    This is Kían's room.  And Kían is no longer between them.  A small sound, impossible to tell what it is, identifies the birdman's location—on the other side of the bed in a tight embrace with a blond, red-winged birdman.  After a few silent seconds, and a lingering kiss, the red-winged birdman flits up and away, through the ceiling which irises open to let him out.  "Sorry," Kían says, still watching up where the other birdman disappeared, "I should explain."  Even though he appears to be speaking, he's as clear and fluent as when in mental contact.  "Before I left Kyshán, Raká left a bit of himself in my mind and I left a bit of me in his.  I really don't know if it actually is a bit of him, or an incredibly intense memory.  It… it makes me feel better to think that's actually a bit of him."
    He finally turns around, and he actually looks happy.  "When we don't have more important things to do, I promise to introduce you."
    He flits over and alights gently, sitting down on the edge of the bed.  "Gar tavárik'h, I am going to take us to where you were attacked.  Are you ready for that, or do you need a moment?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    There is no laughter from Gar, not even at the reminder of how Raven left the three of them that one time.  Really, this is all her fault.
    Instead, he makes himself as comfortable as possible and lets the sleep come, whether naturally or nudged that way a little bit by Kian, and it feels like no time at all before he's coming to in a different setting.  Two Akiar together, the other one familiar to Gar from other visions that have been shown to him.  The details of the room are taken in, with Vorpal nearby, then he sits up.  It's a prelude to standing, and the demeanor Kian shows is hard not to smile at briefly, himself.
    He changes his mind about getting up the rest of the way after Kian's taken up a spot at the bed as well.  "That sounds good, about him.  And… no better time than right now, I guess," he decides.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal opens his eyes in this new Dreamland.  Fittingly for him, he doesn't quite look like he belongs here so much as being… super-imposed.  He's bright, technicolor bright.  But he's also part of the dream, and feels solid therein.
    One hand reaches over to clasp Gar's hand.  "I'm ready as well."
    His clothes shift slightly, and suddenly he is in his outfit.  And, interestingly enough, it appears that bracers similar to those of Wonder Woman's appear around his wrists.
    He doesn't explain them.

Kian has posed:
    Kían doesn't question what happens in dreams, he simply notes them.  Bracers could mean anything from Terry's protective nature to his adulation of Wonder Woman to the cat simply thinking they look neat.
    The room darkens, and when the lights come up, they come up in the form of a Metropolis winter day.  It was chilly and windy in Metropolis, typical of winter along the coast, but the sun was out.
    A beach, a pier, a green hawk above unnoticed.
    Everything seems to be moving in slow motion, parts of it gleaned from Gar's own memories, parts from the security camera footage Kían had made Terry show him.
    The birdman puts out a hand, waving Terry back a step or two.  Gar must face this.
    "Bring us into the moment, Gar tavárik'h.  This is a split second before you were attacked.  I am slowing the memory down so you can take it in a piece at a time."
    Above, agonizingly slowly, a green hawk begins its stoop to the attack, barely descending.

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan squints at Vorpal first.  "Dude, when did you get Karolina's powers?  What's up with that?"  Dream gonna dream, that's what's up.
    The setting shifts, and it's all too familiar.  It's just going to play out the same way it did before.  No sense in bothering with it.  He promised to try, though.  The least he could do is give Kian the chance, see if Vorpal can be an influence to the good as well.
    "Ahh… I was just out for a walk, and I was happy because Vorpal and I had a little fight about Harley Quinn, but I talked to her and then I talked to him and we worked it out, and I was still just glad everyone made it back.  I was just…."  He pauses, reaching for his phone.  "Yeah, I was doing this.  I was gonna post something."
    Even rummaging around for the phone happens slowly, like a video that's been changed to run at half speed or so.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal stays by, watching the scene unfold in slow motion.
    Direct intervention is not the way.  At least, not now… but there are other things he can do.
    But for the moment, he needs to see how Gar reacts first.  All he can do is stand there and shine brightly, in the hopes that it may be a sort of beacon.

Kian has posed:
    "Pay no attention to the speed of the scene," Kían says softly as things unfold.  "You may act freely.  Study it.  Learn from it.  We're not going to change what happened; we can't."
    He flits up and circles the other-Garhawk, only barely beginning his dive to the attack, moving so slow as to be barely noticeable.  "You didn't see another version of yourself launching an attack on you.  Are you going to tell me you should have expected an otherdimensional version of you?"
    The scene steps forward, the dream-hawk barely a meter from striking.  "What part of this was in your control, was your fault, your doing, tavárik'h?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan talks, but his perspective doesn't change.  His reactions, or lack of them, don't change either.
    Then, he steps away from himself, like he's an observer to his own nightmare, his own near-murder.  There is Gar as he was then, whole and healthy, Gar as he is now, damaged and at least physically recovering, and the other Gar, overhead while going into his attack dive.
    "I don't understand what I'm supposed to get out of this.  I know it wasn't my fault.  I know it was out of my control.  That doesn't change the pain.  That doesn't change the way I felt.  That's what I have to get past," he explains, gesturing toward himself.  "Nothing I can imagine is gonna change any of this."  He stares at the green hawk, now almost within reach, and with a shiver he steps closer to peer at the talons.  It's about the same time he realized something was about to strike, and a moment later blood dotted the sand.
    "So… I need to figure out why I can't, so I can," he says, cryptically, but if they think about it it fits perfectly.

Kian has posed:
    "Oh, tavárik'h… the point isn't to change it or to forget it," Kían says.  "You can't.  It's part of you now.  The point is to accept it and learn from it."
    He drops down to the sand, putting his hands on Gar's shoulders.  "Tavárik'h.  You try to carry the whole world on your shoulders.  You can't fly that way.  You expect perfection of yourself when no one else does.  Your tenár doesn't," he says, nodding in Terry's direction, "and I don't.  You are only mortal.  You were caught off guard.  That happens, and you were smart enough to figure out how to survive an injury that would have certainly killed me, or Terry, or any number of the rest of us Titans."
    He grips Gar's shoulders tightly.  "You're not a god, and no one expects you to be.  You're a very clever man who thought fast in a situation where others couldn't have thought at all."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "But I still froze."
    Here, Gar is showing his stubborn side, watching the replay, as he has just about every night, of the hawk tearing into the side of his face, causing wounds that would require numerous stitches and leave nasty scars if they happened to anyone else.
    Even in slow motion, the speed at which the hawk came back around and morphed into a bear to land on him, probably fracturing ribs in the process, began to play out all too quickly.
    He really did have no chance to fight back, and still to come is the change to a tiger, the worst parts of it, then the mocking.
    There is something different.  Kian's there, with his hands at his shoulders.  Talking to him.  Reminding him of what is true.  Vorpal is also there, glowing like some weird light bulb with bracers on.  Two people who weren't there when it happened, but who are there now, who can offer support during a moment where there was no support to be found before.
    "But you're… you're right."  His shoulders, which had been tense and stiff, begin to slump.  'You can't fly that way' may be something more fitting to one with wings all the time, but the sentiment of carrying such a heavy weight is where the main point can be found.  He felt helpless to cope with this, alone amid a family full of people trying to find him, then comfort him, and yet it hadn't helped that much before.  Vorpal was able to get through a bit, but only so much.
   But Gar did find a way to survive something that should have been impossible to for most people.
    "You're right.  I'm still here, and this is gonna be okay again."  He lifts the arm, lowers it.  "And the rest of you will be here, too.  You won't forget about me.  You won't leave me alone."  His voice is barely above a whisper.
    The bear is about to land on the memory of Gar, but he turns away from the scene. He doesn't need to see it again.  Not this time.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "How could we forget about you?" Vorpal asks quietly, his technicolor presence somewhat at odds with the scene being displayed.  "You are unforgettalbe.  As long as there is breath in me, Gar Logan, you will never be alone."
    A very faint smile.  "…there's no escape.  You can't get rid of me."

Kian has posed:
    Kían exhales softly, and smiles, and then pulls Gar into a tight hug.  "You are not easy to forget, even if I wanted to.  And even if you're not a god, you're very special."  He gets up in tiptoe and kisses Gar on the cheek.  "You gave me a home and made a Titan out of me, when I desperately needed the first and couldn't even conceive of the second."
    He reaches for Terry's hand, to put it in Gar's.  "And the both of you give me reason to dare hope for myself.  What was that from that book you gave me, Terry?  Something about six impossible things before the morning meal?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan eases into the embrace, needing it as much as anything else.  He reaches to draw Vorpal in closer as well, and while these may be their dream selves, they are real enough for the purpose of the moment, helping bring some healing to mental anguish that had been enough of a hindrance at times so as to leave not only Gar, but others with restless, insufficient sleep.
    "I'm glad we all found each other," he murmurs, a half-smile showing the snaggletooth from the underbite, enough that it's often visible when he's grinning. "and I'm gonna try not to be such a dummy about… stuff like this.  When you guys wake up, let me sleep a while longer.  I could use it."
    Behind them, the tiger tears into the other Gar within the dream, going for the arm without hesitation, without mercy.
    Gar no longer watches it.  There is no more need to relive it.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "And I'll try not to be a dummy, period," the cat says, gladly joining in the threefold hug and nuzzling Gar and Kian.  "But I'm afraid that in my case, it might be termain," he grins.
    A green eyed stare is given to Kian, and a laugh.  "My god, you actually read it… and it didn't melt your brain."  Because of course, Wonderland was the cradle of illogic.  "Color me impressed!"

Kian has posed:
    Kían grins, and tiptoes again, to favor Terry's cheek with a kiss.  "Reading and understanding are two different things, Terry tavárik'h.  But I liked that phrase, believing six impossible things before the morning meal.  It seems… appropriate to the Tower, and you two, and everyone else there, and Gods help me, even myself.  It puts a nice quantity on hope.  I can handle hoping for six things."
    He rests his head on Gar's shoulder.  "And you," he says, friendly but firm, "do not mistake that for expecting impossible things of yourself.  That difference between reading and understanding?  It's just as broad between striving and demanding."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar has his best period of sleep since the incident.  It is not one without interruption, but there are only a couple of them, neither significant, and he spends most of the next day in a deep, rejuvenating slumber.  It's needed so much, that Day Eight involves no time in the tank at all.
    The curtain comes down.

    Gar notices something at the end of the wrist.  New growth. Just a few nubs at this point, but it's something.  He sleeps well.

    It's definitely the beginning of fingers and a thumb.  It's a little uncomfortable, certainly awkward and strange to see, like some baby's digits stuck to the base of a full-sized hand, and he spends most of the next few days keeping it as hidden as possible behind a glove.  Call it his Michael Jackson phase.

    Definition builds in the fingers, knuckles evident, nails growing in.  Gar remains in the tank a lot.  The castle becomes a second home.  When he sleeps in bed, he has no idea Terry and Kian steal peeks at the hand and compare it to their own, quietly snickering at it, taking pictures to blackmail him with later on.  Maybe they do that.  Maybe not.  Hopefully not.  That would be evil.

    The hand is complete, though weakened.  Nerves that had been there are back, and the phantom limb syndrome is a thing of the past.  Gar spends a whole day just touching as much as he can around the Crystal Castle with it, even if the hand flops like, well, a fish out of water. It's still getting there.  He drops silverware a lot, just trying to grip it again.  Better than broken plates or glasses.

    While Terry and Kian continue to keep themselves occupied, helping along the way, Gar begins more rigorous physical training to build up strength, not only in the new hand but the rest of his body as well. The exercise area becomes a new point of gathering, and the tank is needed no longer.  That was a nice castle, though.  More of the place is explored, much to Nadia's eventual chagrin.  Somehow, nothing is ruined.  Soon, they are ready to leave the microverse and return to the world outside, where only about thirty hours have actually gone by.

    The first thing Gar does upon leaving is run back out of the labs and wave at everyone, exclaiming, "Look!  My hand is back!  I said 'give me a hand' and it worked!  I gotta hand it to Cait and Nadia and Terry and Kian for all the help!"
    At some point, one of the Titans might have needed to smack him with their own hand just to get him to pipe down, but he gave hugs to as many people as he could find.  When it came time for pizza, both hands held slices for him to alternate eating from, and all was right in the world again.
    Except for those damned doppelgangers.