[MM] Ponds, Cellies, Mountains
[c] Hey are you around today
[c] It's fine if you aren't
[c] guess I'm just
[c] I walked out onto the porch earlier and I heard some birds chirping
[c] And I guess it just made me emotional
[c] And now I just want to talk to someone I think
[c] And it's fine if you aren't online I just
[n] No I'm here.
[c] Oh thank gods
[c] hhah wait was that in poor taste
[n] No you're fine.
[c] ok good.
[n] How are you feeling?
[c] On edge
[c] Everything is moving on
[c] the birds are still chirping
[c] The river's still flowing
[c] Everything is still moving and I feel like I'm
[c] I don't know, stuck in place? Like everything around me is stcuk in place
[c] i guess i still need to take some time, some getting used to
[c] everything is always changing but like
[n] That's understandable.
[c] have you talked to any of the others?
[n] Cleverly texted me earlier. He wants to go out for lunch soon.
[n] I will accept his invitation, I think. I enjoy talking to Cleverly.
[n] We're texting right now.
[c] are you going to tell him about
[n] I'm not sure.
[c] this is so fucked up
[c] like i keep waking up in the morning and everything keeps moving but it shouldn't be
[n] I understand.
[c] like all in one day everything i knew disappeared
[c] like i woke up and i poked my head out my window and the sun was just getting ready to set
[c] and the birds were chirping, and the river was flowing
[c] but there they were
[c] just over the crest of the hill
[c] fuck! i feel so stupid
[c] i should've
[n] There wasn't anything you could've done.
[c] was it always six
[c] now it's five
[n] Yes. Yes now it's five.
[c] i'm sorry
[c] i know this is probably like
[c] boring as fuck to you
[c] dumb mortal problems
[n] No, I think it's good for me.
[n] I think I see what Cleverly meant.
[c] i guess it's just hard. spending years of your life like
[c] working towards something, towards this idea
[c] but also kinda knowing that nothing'll change
[c] this weird feeling of being stagnant without realizing
[c] and then the status quo changes right from under your rug
[c] fuck i fucked that up
[c] that is so not how the saying goes
[n] I like the way you reworked it.
[c] i'll have tow orkshop that a bit more
[c] i woke up today and the birds were chirping but
[c] but there was a person knowing
[c] knocking at my door, not knowing
[c] yeah. they said hello and asked if i was cyrus ink
[c] and i said i'm cyrus ra and then i stopped and said yes
[c] and they just smiled knowingly at me, like it was a joke or something
[c] they said they were the executive manufacturer for ink colony
[c] and asked me for the reports of our supplies usage so they could start arranging usage
[c] and i was like i don't know? i wasn't - why are you asking me?
[c] and they said well
[c] well during the battle
[c] and i said oh
[c] and they said during the battle your executive manufacturer
[c] they were killed
[c] so i don't have anyone else to ask, do you understand, they asked me
[c] and i said ok
[c] and they asked me for the reports
[c] and i said ok, i'll get those to you tomorrow and i closed my door
[c] and they were, yknow, nice and professional
[c] clean cut, they had a suit, yknow, they looked like... normal, but i had no idea who this person was
[c] and i went back into my bedroom and i sat on the bed and i thought about larkspur
[c] because that was their name, larkspur, they were our executive manufacturer
[c] i remember them because if you told a joke around them they'd slap the wall and start laughing and they'd double over
[c] like every joke was comedy gold to them
[c] they just laughed all the time
[c] and someitmes you'd laugh with them and sometimes you'd laugh because it'd be awkward if you didn't? and sometimes you just sat there smiling while they laughed
[c] like it was a weird experience that you couldn't share with anyone else
[c] just laughing
[c] and deciding if you wanted to share that experience with them or not
[c] and they're dead
[c] and like objectively, objectively i knew that
[c] like they gave me the list of people who'd died during the siege
[c] and they had me identify the bodies and stuff
[c] and like i saw lark's body, and i knew they were dead
[c] but it didn't hit me until that like
[c] ink person was asking me about the supplies
[c] and like
[c] that was lark's job
[c] and now there's nobody else who's going to fill that job
[c] god i'm
[c] i know i'm boring you
[n] You aren't.
[c] are you sure about htat?
[n] You know, I think you would like Cleverly.
[c] honestly i shoudvle guessed
[c] that he's a god i mean
[c] like he's lived forever
[c] but i guess with the gyne and stuff
[c] and there's immortals so i didn't
[n] It's okay.
[c] you think i'd like him? we never really talked
[n] I do. Some of the things you're saying, they remind me of him.
[n] He's going through his own... grieving process right now, I think. He was close to another person who died recently.
[n] He's always - he - he mourns a lot. I used to wonder if
[n] I used to wonder if that was what made him. You know.
[n] Hate us.
[n] I mean, we all cared. Care? At least at some point all of us cared. We protected what we wanted. Things that mattered to us.
[n] But, over time, we started to - rot, I think. There was something rotten. And the way we protected, it was - no good.
[n] Bear with me, these are feelings I haven't thought much on.
[c] it's ok
[n] We ended up, I think, so worried about
[n] Our relationships with each other decaying, that we stopped caring about the mortals. Stopped getting involved as much, because it hurt each other.
[n] This is a pitiful example, but picture this: you have a pond in your colony. You love this pond very much.
[n] Your other aner councilmembers do not love this pond. In fact, they think your pond is a hazard and should be filled in. And you, obviously, do not want to back down.
[n] But it is you against all of your peers, and they bulldoze your pond.
[n] And then you resent them. Every one of them, for not protecting your pond.
[n] I think it became hard for us, arguing over what we thought was right and just. Everyone had their own ponds and we just couldn't compromise.
[n] And we forgot that you all were... just like us, I guess. Just with... I don't know. Just like us.
[n] I used to not get sentimental over mortals, used to not empathize. I was one of the hardest on Cleverly, for no reason.
[n] I think Cleverly remembered that mortals are just like us, and he felt bad. I think he didn't have a pond until we all gave up ours.
[n] And I think back to some of what I said to him, and I feel so guilty.
[c] what were the things you said?
[n] I don't want to repeat them. But they were - they were mean. For no reason.
[n] I don't even know how I used to justify it to myself. I'm probably half of the reason that he left us all behind, cut us out of his life so he can mourn mortals.
[n] But here he is, messaging me. Asking me to lunch, like we're friends.
[n] Are we friends? I don't know.
[n] I hope so, but I don't know. And I don't know how to tell him that.
[n] So I sit here, and I... I try to be like him. I talk to mortals. I immerse myself in your culture. I just want to... understand him.
[n] It feels like - whatever big piece of the puzzle we've been fighting over all this time, Cleverly knew what it was all along. And he tried to show us.
[n] But we weren't ready for it.
[n] But I want to be ready.
[n] Does that make sense?
[c] yeah, yeah it does
[n] I'm sorry. I shouldn't have dumped that all on you, especially considering... well.
[c] No. You're ok. It helps
[n] Does it?
[c] yeah. like knowing that no matter what life just kinda goes on
[c] it's sort of comforting
[c] like yeah larkspur is dead
[c] and that's still hard to say
[c] but life's going on anyways and like
[c] i don't know the takeaway i got from your message was like
[c] you don' t have to keep doing a bad thing forever if you don't want to
[c] you changed your mind and you're sitting here on a messaging app talking to a mortal yknow
[c] i mean you admitte dto me that you were a god!
[c] and like i guess it's just like. it's ok
[c] i'm not sure where i was going but just like
[c] its ok
[c] stuff'll keep changing and maybe that's not so bad
[c] i mean it still hurts but it hurts a little less
[n] That's good.
[n] Do you want to talk to Cleverly?
[c] oh shit
[n] It's ok if you don't
[c] did you ask him?
[n] No I asked you first. But I don't think he'd say no to talking to a mortal
[n] If you want to I mean.
[c] oh man ok oh man
[n] No pressure
[c] i'm ok
[c] oh fufk
[c] i've never even been near clover colony is it nice
[n] Do you want to ask him?
[c] no im asking u i dont want to look rude in front of cim
[n] It's fine. Cleverly isn't
[n] I mean
[n] Don't worry about being rude to him hahaha
[c] aw shit no im worried even more now
[n] Come on.
[c] okok oko k
[c] i'll talk to him
[c] but you have to invite him to this gruop chat
[c] i'm not going in alone
[n] ER... how about I make a new group chat?
[n] I'm not sure I'm ready to have him read my. Feelings about him
[n] Yet at least.
[c] that's ok
[n] Alright let me set one up.
[c] oh my gods
[c] wait shit now's an even worse time to say that!
[cl] its ok
[c] you're a C
[c] hhghhhgb n
[n] I told Cyrus
[cl] wait what
[n] About us being
[cl] YOU WHAT
[c] oh no
[n] Cleverly it's alright. Cyrus can be trusted.
[cl] you have
[cl] auguugu are you kidding me
[cl] narke what the fuck
[c] oh god
[n] Cyrus hasn't told anyone about me. Why are you taking offense to this?
[cl] dude you can't just! DUDE
[cl] dude i have been stealth for like THOUSANDS OF YEARS
[cl] and now you're going around telling mortals what i am
[cl] what the fuck man
[n] I'm sorry.
[cl] are you even
[cl] oh my stars. oh my stars
[cl] you fucing
[cl] you have no idea what my day's been like
[cl] yknow who i had to talk to earlier
[cl] the new
[cl] the kid. Tinte ink
[c] that's the leader of ink colony
[cl] yeah. yeah him
[cl] yknow what he does
[c] i hate him
[c] oh sorry carry on
[cl] he kidnapped some of my ergates ok
[cl] like just. stole them
[cl] and he kidnaps ME
[cl] and he's sitting there all smug with me on my knees all bloody
[cl] cause i got beaten up
[c] by mortals?
[cl] what the fuck
[c] oh sorry
[cl] GOD OK SO HES LIKE
[cl] I THINK THERE'S GODS LEFT IN MYRME
[cl] and im shitting bricks righ t bc why's he telling this to ME???
[cl] and he looks all smug like "oh you show up a lot in history cleverly"
[cl] and im like so what??? and he lets me go but like ive just shat a brick a mile long
[cl] you cant be going around telling random fuc lbndflkj mortals about me
[n] I'm sorry. I didn't know.
[n] Sincerely, I'm sorry.
[cl] YEAH YOU DIDNT KNOW SO LIKE
[cl] i am so mad right now.
[n] I'm really sorry.
[c] im sorry too
[cl] its ok
[cl] you can't tell. anyone. especially not fucking tinte
[cl] i will die
[c] he'd kill you?!
[n] I don't think so?
[cl] no but like
[cl] UGH fuck
[cl] i've spent so long running this ship don't ruin it for me narke
[n] I won't.
[cl] if you want to tell mortals about you, that's fine
[cl] leave me out of it
[n] I promise
[cl] ok why did you add me to this group chat anyways?
[c] oh yeah
[n] Oh I just thought.
[n] I've talked to Cyrus for a while now, a few years, we're friends.
[n] ANd I just thought that
[n] You two would like to be friends too?
[n] I mean
[cl] narke i have plenty of my own friends you dont need to try to hook me up
[cl] i mean i appreciate the thought but
[n] Well I know you like mortals, so here is a mortal for you to be friends with.
[cl] wait what
[cl] wait you think i befriend like every mortal out there? like i go nuts for every mortal?
[n] No that's not what I meant.
[cl] Are you. sure
[n] Cleverly ok enough. I'm sorry if this was ill-timed
[cl] no i'm just really crabby today. i'm sorry
[n] No you're right. I should've asked you first, put more thought into your feelings too.
[cl] its ok
[c] I'm still here
[cl] Did you want to like
[cl] talk about anything in praticular
[c] i didn't have anything in mind initially BUT
[c] i heard you talking about tinte
[c] and i was wondering how you
[c] felt about him
[c] i am not a fan
[n] Oh my stars
[cl] i mean i don't
[cl] ok well
[cl] i don't like ihm either
[cl] he killed a good friend of mine
[c] what a coincidence he killed several good friends of mine
[n] Are you two going to bond over mutual hatred of Tinte?
[cl] spite is powerful
[c] spite rules
[n] Oh my stars.
[cl] haha you're ok cryus
[cl] oh sorry
[c] no you're fine
[cl] hey narke do you have any other mortal friends i should know about
[c] yeah narke
[n] No Cyrus is the only one I'd call a friend.
[cl] ok. just making sure
[cl] also wasn't sure how far on mortalfucker side you were yet
[n] CLEVERLY NO
[cl] that's what llune says about me
[cl] calls me?
[c] wait la llune is real?
[cl] shit narke you told them about me but not llune?
[cl] llune's famous they totally would've known llune
[c] Oh man
[n] I didn't, think to tell them about Llune.
[n] I am.
[c] wait are all th e legends real?
[cl] to some extent
[cl] sort of
[cl] like obviously things got changed or embellished
[cl] but at least most of the people in them are real
[cl] maybe not hte events but that's what you get from oral retellings
[c] oh god
[cl] you ever play a game of cellie?
[cl] its like
[cl] one person comes up with a sentence
[cl] and - shit wait i missed a crucial step
[cl] ok so a bunch of people sit in a circle in a room
[cl] and someone comes up with a sentence and they whisper it to the person to their right
[cl] and the person to their right whispers whatever they heard to the next person
[c] oh i have heard of this
[cl] and then at the end you hear how badly it
[cl] now imagine the entire world is playing and that's basically what an oral retelling is
[cl] like they're accurate, generally, you can see the idea of what it meant originally below all the embellishment
[cl] but when you have
[cl] only like, people's memories to go off of (specifically mortals)
[cl] you lose bits and pieces
[cl] and well mortals are really good at like
[cl] analyzing stuff, remembering the real meaning of things
[cl] they really like to find patterns, they're pattern-finders
[cl] so maybe the story changes its like, shallow waters, those ebb and flow
[cl] but oyu guys, you hold onto the real meaning of it, you cling to that and push it forwards as hard as you acn
[cl] idk i just thought that was neat about you guys
[c] if mortals are pattern-finders what are gods?
[cl] well like everyone has a different answer but i think we're more like
[cl] like we look at you guys and we just drink it in and think about it
[cl] And like, it's not as easy for us to notice patterns
[cl] we can't go looking for them
[cl] when you live forever everything becomes a pattern
[cl] it blends together
[cl] so you kind of have to ignore those patterns, or learn to accept them
[cl] it's all or nothing, really
[cl] if you don't acknowledge them it drives you mad
[cl] because you feel like you can't really change anything (that's ignoring them)
[cl] but if you learn to accept them then you can learn how to work with them
[cl] you can't change the entire pattern in one night but - to use the cellie game analogy - you can learn to change a word or two to what you want
[cl] and years and years of this and you can alter the pattern
[cl] but nobody has the patience to do it on such a small scale
[cl] like gods, gods think on this big grand scale
[cl] a god looks up at the stars and thinks about how they can move them
[cl] but it's hard to move people, people are pretty rigid
[cl] they set themselves in what they want to believe and they hold on 'cause that's all they got, that's their identity, who they are
[cl] to change that is to admit fault in themselves, on some level, and people can't handle that
[cl] like if you grew up thinking the sky is purple, your entire life depends on this purple sky, you wake up and pray to it every morning and worship it
[cl] and then i hand you scientific evidence that it isn't, thousands of papers of documents about how it's really blue
[cl] it's hard for people to accept that, and i understand why
[cl] because every day of your life you walk through it thinking about this purple sky or whatever
[cl] and i just told you that everything you do, the reason you do it for? it's a lie
[cl] and you have to do things in little steps
[cl] i can't just tell you the sky's blue, but i can point out things
[cl] very gently i can point out things that cna help you change your mind
[cl] and stars idk maybe i'm wrong about all this, something something imposing my will on other people
[cl] shit i'm sorry for ranting lol i don't get to talk about this stuff oftne but i think about it a lot
[c] nono omg you'pre fine!!! that was super interesting to read
[c] i really appreciate you sharing your thoughts
[cl] well i'm glad for that lol
[cl] narke are you there?
[c] oh shit
[cl] oh ok
[n] Sorry, I've been mulling over what you said.
[cl] sorry it wasn't supposed to be like
[cl] a vague at you or any of the others or anything
[cl] just the results of infinite time to throw at that problem
[n] It's alright.
[cl] i think like
[cl] even despite our differences we all need something to hold onto, to wake up for
[cl] and for me, this life, this existence is what i've been holding onto
[cl] and i just think about that a lot.
[c] i don't know what i'm holding onto right now
[c] i guess the like
[c] the memory of everyone i knew, everyone that died in the siege and stuff
[c] and trying to figure out how to like, honor that memory i think
[c] i think that's why i'm waking up every morning
[n] That's poetic.
[cl] narke why are you waking up in the morning?
[cl] its ok if you don't want to answer.
[n] No, I do. Give me another moment
[n] I wake up every morning because I feel bad.
[n] No, it's not either of your faults. It's mine. I feel guilty.
[n] I can't quite put it into words yet, it's not fully formed.
[n] But it almost feels as if my entire life, like you said, it was... a lie, maybe. Not a lie, that's not the right word. But
[n] It feels like this ideal that I strove for was, a farce. Some sort of cardboard cutout, and I finally reached it and got to see that it was flat all along.
[n] And I ran out of an idea to believe in, and then I had to look for another. And I don't know if I've found that yet.
[c] i'm sorry narke
[n] It's ok.
[cl] that's heavy stuff to be carrying, narke
[cl] guilt's pretty heavy
[n] It is, I know. But I still wake up in the morning.
[cl] Yeah and you didn't answer my question
[cl] why are you waking up? if you felt bad you wouldn't wake up
[n] I think I just want to make reparations. Make up for all the... negative things I've done.
[n] Especially here, now... in this chatroom, I just feel
[n] do you remember
[n] Do you remember when we were younger
[n] and we'd go sit at the top of the tallest mountain and look out over the universe, and i would ask you what you thought of it all
[n] and you would sit there for hours just talking about, i barely remember, just whatever came into your mind, and you'd weave it all together
[n] make it sound so poetic, even if you were talking about like. a peanut butter sandwich, you'd find a way to make it sound so beautiful
[n] and you'd talk for hours about mortals and the world and what you thought the meaning of it was
[cl] I do remember yeah
[n] I think about that all of the time. How many times did we do that?
[cl] i have no idea. lots?
[n] And then one day we just stopped.
[n] I know why we did, but we just did. And I remember the first year we didn't, I just felt so angry. At you. But I was the one who - who ostracized you.
[n] But for some reason it still felt like, like we should be going up to that mountain. And every year around this time of year I thought of that, and it made time slow to a crawl.
[n] Because now for three months out of every year I was missing you so badly.
[n] All I could think about, all summer, was you. Those mountain talks. ANd it felt like I was wasting my time on mourning something that I didn't have to. I was a god, you know?
[n] Mourning was below me.
[n] But that was stupid. It's not below me. And I spent so many years angry, and the anger just compounded over and over, every time I thought about you and how badly I was missing you.
[n] I had no right to miss you, but I did. All my angry frustration spent, missing you, year after year.
[n] I wanted to sit on a mountain and listen to you talk about the glories of peanut butter, and how happy it made you, and how it made you feel. And
[n] This conversation, that we just had, where I listened to you talk about the world all over again, it reminded me of that
[n] I may be crying.
[cl] oh my stars narke
[n] Yes I know.
[cl] aw you big crybaby
[n] I missed you so much more than I thought, and I couldn't admit it to myself.
[n] Because it meant I had been wrong.
[n] But, despite everything I put you through, when my guilt head eaten all the way through me - do you remember what I said when I reached out to you again?
[c] for real?
[n] Yes. My first words to Cleverly again were 'I'm sorry, Cleverly.' Because I was, because I was tired of feeling guilty about it all.
[n] And I still feel so guilty, thinking about it all. But talking to you makes it feel less bad.
[n] So the reason I wake up in the morning is to talk to you, Cleverly.
[cl] shit if i knew you'd be a sap i wouldn't have needled
[n] As if you aren't a sap yourself!
[c] that's so cute omg you two are adorable
[cl] oh my stars
[c] no i don't mean anything by it ahah
[c] you just have a nice friendship a nice long history together
[c] i just think that's neat
[c] something to hold onto
[c] like it'd be sad if you two stopped talking again, you just seem to be
[c] good friends
[c] like i'd be sad by proxy to hear about you two hating each other
[n] That's thoughtful.
[cl] oh yeah i get what you're saying, like
[cl] like empathy sort of
[c] yeah! like i'd feel bad because i couldn't imagine how bad it'd feel
[n] We have known each other a long time.
[cl] cyrus you're an alright guy
[cl] you're rain colony right?
[c] ink now but yeah
[cl] fuck ink man
[c] fuck ink!!! fuck ink solidarity
[n] oh my stars
[cl] FUCK INK SOLIDARITY
[cl] ok jujst fuck tinte soldarity
[c] FUCK TINTE SOLDARITY
[cl] Narke join us
[c] JOIN US
[cl] FUCK TINTE SOLIDARITY
[c] FUCK TINTE DSOLIDHBNART
[n] You've both misspelling solidarity multiple times
[cl] SAY IT
[n] fuck tinte solidarity
[n] ahahaha oh my stars
[cl] perfection, pure purfectier
[cl] shit i'm tired
[n] Cleverly I missed you.
[cl] haha i missed you too
[c] third wheel
[n] No Cyrus you helped bring us closer! Not a third wheel.
[cl] when you think about that isn't that what third wheels do
[cl] like on a trike you have this single wheel in the front and two wheels in the back
[cl] the two back wheels are closer together but they're only closer together because the single, third, wheel is there
[cl] catch my drift
[c] living up to your name
[n] Cleverly I love you.
[cl] everyone should at least once
[cl] shit ok wait cyrus what was (is) your job
[c] i used to be vice consul
[cl] oh man that sounds badass. keep being badass ok
[c] omg i'll try
[n] Print that out and hang it as a motivational poster.
[cl] ok but i have to bed. like i'm tired i'm mistyping everything autocorrect only saves me so many times
[c] goodnight!! it was great meeting you
[cl] yeah you're a good guy
[cl] we'll talk more sometime got it
[n] goodnight Cleverly.
[cl] catch you for lunch soon narke
[c] i should probably sleep too
[n] How are you feeling?
[c] pretty good
[c] a lot better actually
[c] talking to cleverly helped i think
[n] He's a warm person. He helps me feel better too.
[c] do you have
[c] idk it just sounded a little romantic between you two for a bit there
[c] you even said 'love' to him
[c] you can keep your secret safe with me narke
[n] Do not go spreading around the idea that I have a - a CRUSH on Cleverly
[n] That is absurd!
[c] alright alright
[c] jokes aside i am feeling better
[c] idk just
[c] talking to people helps
[c] even if they didn't do much
[c] like sometimes just listening to someone else for a while, or talking to them, just about anything helps
[n] We're a social species. I think that's a fairly natural feeling
[n] I'm glad you're feeling better. Thank you again.
[c] for letting you be cute with cleverly?
[c] alright i'm logging off bye bye ybye see you tomorrow!!
[n] YOU BETTER BE!!!