Date: July 30, 2010
After seperating from their alternate selves temporarily, Team 01 get changed into some clothing more appropriate to the new climate, and discuss their next move.
"Mirror Mirror - Dressing And Discussions"
Resistance Safehouse - Land of Winter
The elder of the Rurohashi siblings turns a silent-eyed glare on the Not-Sister Ruri as she moves forwards, her body tensing as if she were preparing to launch herself across the room at her older-younger-sister. It never comes to pass, as her tense form relaxes minutely when the Not-Sheex restrains the woman, though her eyebrows raise minutely at the screaming vehemence in her voice. After the others have entered the room, Rinako slides the door shut behind them and immediately starts setting about looking for that first aid kit.
"I always knew I was a heinous bitch, but I never thought I could make someone hate me so thoroughly. …I must be better at it than I thought." Finding the small kit, Rinako flips the tiny clasp open and begins rooting about for a splint and bandages. "So what the hell are we gonna do about this, Ru? I'm not so sure I buy their story. It's all so convenient. And this isn't even our fight! If we get involved, and we're on the wrong side, we might just make things worse. We don't even know how we're supposed to get home."
The dark-haired kunoichi takes a break from stating the obvious as she finds what she's looking for, grits her teeth, and begins the laborous process of bending her finger's bone and cartilidge back into proper alignment. She shoots her sibling a look as her finger makes the gross shifting noise associated with torn flesh and cracked bone joints, but it's just slightly less heated after her defense of the jinchuriki to her other-self.
"I'm really not looking forward to spending the rest of my life locked in some winter-country. Or spending the next couple of years trying to hunt down rumors about how to get home."
Shemri sighs through her nose. "I would say that out of all the people we might meet in another world, the ones most likely we could trust would be ourselves, but apparently one of us is a traitor who serves a king of deathly winter. Unless that was a lie, of course…but then the /rest/ of us--er, them--would be liars." Boy, this stuff is confusing. c.c; Shemri waits until Rinako is done getting stuff from the first-aid kit, then pulls out some bandaging to treat her own wound. "At least there is one good thing about such a cold place," she mutters as she works. "We do not need to worry greatly about infection."
Ruri, between being pissed off at her alternate self and trying to ignore the disturbing little voice in the back of her head that keeps whispering that if it had been her who had been born in this world she might have turned out the same way, has been trying to remember the sparse details of what she has read about the whole 'alternate world' thing.
At the prompting of Rinako concerning what they are to do, and the possible validity of the story they have been presented with, she closes her eye and says nothing for a bit, trying to think. Finally, she says, "Yeah, infection may not be as big of an issue. At least not here. If there's population centers still around with people in them, any sort of illness is likely going to run rampant with everyone staying indoors and in close proximity to each other. Getting home is definitely a priority, but what bothers me most about this whole situation isn't the story, or the behavior, or any of the rest. It's the fact that -- and I believed this to be fiction until now -- two possibilities were posed in theoretical terms for the existence of other universes."
Opening her eye, she looks up and across the storage room. All the boxes and crates and so forth lie heaped around. But she isn't really focusing on what she's looking at. Continuing, Ruri explains, "The Parallel World is a world that exists in dimensional terms alongside our own, but is seperate from it. It will have its own set of 'rules' concerning physical laws, the history and the people are likely to be quite different, and even the geography may bear little or no resemblance to our own world's. More than that, things are different in a parallel world because that's the only way they possibly COULD be. The very nature of these other worlds does not mesh with ours. If this is a parallel world, then the people here are the way they are because they are just DIFFERENT from us. It would mean that on our own world, there is no possible way things could have occurred in the exact same way as here."
Shifting her weight, Ruri looks at each person in the room in turn. Shemri, Rinako, Kara, and Shiikaa if he's in here. It might have been wise to leave Shiikaa in the other room to spy on the dopplegangers, but whether Shemri thought to do so or not is yet to be seen. "The second, and more problematic possibility, is that this might NOT be a parallel world. Instead, it might be an Alternate World. Basically, every time a decision is made and every time an action is taken, that determines the course that a given universe takes. At the same time, the possibility existed that someone might have made a different decision or taken a different action. And somewhere else in the cosmic scheme of things, there is a universe where that different thing DID happen. So with each choice, a new set of choices are spawned. And with each of those choices, yet another set of choices branches off. And each of those choices has a different universe attached to it. I don't know if there's an infinite number of universes out there. Hell, I never even thought these theories might be proven real until today!"
Looking down again, Ruri thinks about her next words. "The problem is this: If this is an Alternate World, then everything we're seeing here, all the radical differences between this world and ours, all stemmed from someone or multiple someones making choices different than were made back home. So the fact that the other me and the other Rinako are apparently enemies isn't something that is physically impossible to have happened back home. And here, it DID happen. So it has got me thinking… Could I have become like that bitch in the other room? Could that have been me if I'd taken a different path at some point? It might not be getting us any closer to home to worry about that and it might be a frightening possibility to consider that any one of us could have turned out the way this lot have, but it also gives us an advantage."
Her eye comes up and looks directly at Rinako. "We have the advantage of being able to think like our alternate selves would. Maybe they made different choices, but we're all the same people, more or less. If it comes down to a conflict between this other Rinako and our group, I'd prefer it if we went into the fight with the element of surprise and the knowledge of what she's likely to do in advance. On the other hand, as you said, we don't want to just get involved in someone else's conflicts without a good reason. If we can avoid that, then it would be most beneficial to find a way home and to keep anyone else from crossing over to here. Or vice versa."
Kara is still recovering from the cold. Even bundled up and even after being down here in a warm environment for awhile, she can still feel the stinging of her skin, and the stiffness of her muscles. "Nngh," is about the only thing she offers to the conversation. Once Ruri finishes her mega-long lecture on other dimensions, she tries to piece it together. "…So, if this is a parallel world or an alternate world… Either way, something happened that allowed us to cross over to here, right? I'm going to go ahead and assume that's not 'normal', since no one has ever heard of that sort of thing before back home, and the other team sure didn't seem to think of that possibility immediately either. So, what I'm wondering is what made it possible >this< time, and if it was artificial, is it possible to make it happen again? Maybe that aurora borealis had something to do with it?" She hmms.
As she begins wrapping the pair of splints around her middle and ring fingers with the bandages, Rinako frowns throughout Ruri's theoretical explanations on what might, or might not, be going on. She tries to wrap her mind around the possibilities, implications, and such, but she by far wasn't the reader of their little two-person family. Usually when her sister began to go on about something that she had read, the kunoichi listened politely as her eyes began to glaze over and she started thinking about other things. For once, she'd wished she'd paid attention some time before so that this wouldn't be the first time she was actually trying to understand and comprehend this!
"Well, we can't just go running into every strange light we see in the sky hoping to get home! And I'm pretty certain I'm not going to spontaneously start coming up with elaborate plans. And Kara's not a stone-faced killer, and we all know that Sheex was an insane prick with delusions of taking over other people's souls. I think it's safe to assume that none of us think anything like any of them."
"I hate to be the one to bring this up," The dark-haired kunoichi scowls at her hand as she holds up her handiwork: two fingers splinted and bandaged together to keep them from moving. "Since apparently I'm the traitor of this group, but if the other side of this little war are the ones in control of everything, the ones with all the power, wouldn't they be in the best position to help us? These people don't have any damned clue about what brought us here. Maybe their enemies do. Maybe it was them who did this, hoping to banish these little rebel cells to some alternate reality, and we just happened to use some gateway first."
"At the least, these dopplegangers want to kill them, so isn't there a way we could use that? Nothing in this world belongs or is connected to us. Those people are not us. We have to be prepared to face the fact that we may have to kill or betray anyone in order to get what we need. Otherwise we might be stuck here forever."
Shemri scratches her head. "I do not understand complicated things like this. Rinako-san has a point, though, they do seem very different from us…except the other me, though perhaps that is because she is not outspoken enough to show the differences." Shemri pokes Rinako with her toe. "With all your talk of betrayal, perhaps you are not so different from the other you either." e.e Shemri stares at the wall. "I do not like this place," she states plainly. "My greatest wish is to go home as soon as possible, to be together with Fukanzen and Megumi-chan again. But I would sooner remain here and die, or even live 'till I am a hundred in this bleak world, than go back to them as a traitor or a murderer."
Meanwhile, Shiikaa did indeed linger in the other room. Humans weave many words with those lips of their, some straight, others twisted, but their smells can tell no lies. Silence, maybe, but no lies. One by one, he pads over and sniffs at their ankles. Other-Ruri is angry and ready to lash out at anybody who gives her an excuse to. Not that it couldn't have been guessed, but better be careful not to set her off. ^c.c^ Other-Kara is pretty blank; she must be masking herself. No big surprise there either. What is surprising is Other-Shemri--it doesn't feel like she's trying very hard to block anything, but somehow Shiikaa can't read her. Odd. Other-Sheex seems to be thinking rather deeply. Who can blame him, with all the weird stuff happening? That leaves…Other-Shiikaa. Say, where'd he get to? He doesn't seem to be in the room anymore…and ironically enough, Shiikaa can't track his smell. Too accustomed to it!
Ruri nods, and then remembers she has a bundle of clothes in her arms. She turns away to preserve SOME degree of modesty, and starts removing the bulkier items of clothing. Her Chuunin vest, for instance, is not going to fit properly underneath the sweater or leather vest and so on. She speaks throughout the process. "Yes, I know. If we find another one of those air-wall things, I want to have a way to investigate what's on the other side BEFORE passing through it. Maybe it will lead us home, or maybe it will take us someplace even more twisted. And it's possible this is a parallel world, Rinako. It's possible. Maybe we share nothing with these people other than names and faces. But until we know more, we can't make assumptions either way. I agree with both you and Kara-chan, though. If the source of that dimensional whatever-it-was is artificial… I get the feeling that it's likely the 'bad guys' are responsible, or at least may know of how to duplicate the effect."
She then takes a deep breath and lets it out. She is quiet for a moment as she is now down to underwear -- oddly decorative and lingerie-like for a ninja. Then she starts trying to slip into some tight leather pants with fur trim. She winds up having to hop up and down. 'I thought these things were sized for my alternate self… Why do they seem smaller than my normal clothes?'
Outloud, she says, "However, I also agree with Shemri-san. You certainly don't sound that different from this counter-part of yours when you start talking about backstabbing. Let's not make any lapses in judgement that could lead us to becoming the way these others are. We're already in a tense situation, and I'm pretty sure these dopplegangers don't trust us any more than we trust them. If we give them an excuse to cut our throats, I'm sure that the Other-Kara would be all too happy to do the job. Maybe the other ME too."
Turning around, she pulls a sweater on over her lace sea-green bra, and then gets to work on the vest. "Believe me, Rinako, when I say that I have no particular attachment to this world or desire to remedy its problems. But right now, our present choice of allies is rather limited. Until we can get a handle on who or what can get us home, we can't afford to alienate the only people we know of who have a reason to keep us alive."
Kara peers at Rinako. "Uhh…" Before she can speak up, though, Shemri says what's on her mind. "…Yyyyeah. We're kind of--" and then Ruri interrupts! "--Yes, that! We don't know who is on whose side, or who has what resources, or basically >anything< right now. We need more info before we make any moves. Maybe we can rush in and get the element of surprise, but as far as we know, the bad guys don't even know we exist yet. Unless we go looking for them, or make ourselves obvious, it's unlikely that we'll lose that advantage anytime soon. We should talk to our 'hosts' a bit more, and hear what they have to say."
Luckily for Kara, she already got dressed, so she doesn't have to worry about modesty. Not that she ever does, but still! Watching Ruri, and trying to keep her eyes above the neckline, Kara says, "Another thing… If we wind up revealing our existence to whoever or whatever can get us home… If that person or entity is amoral or outright evil and has any brains at all, he, she, or it will eventually realize that we can't be allowed to return home alive. Further, our own world can't be permitted to sit there and potentially send through more 'explorers'… Or an invading army."
She turns her attention on Rinako and Shemri, and waves her arms a bit. "Think about it! If you were some kind of Evil Overlord, and had just found out that people from another reality where you are either dead or powerless have just stepped into your domain, are you really going to risk >more< people showing up and ruining all of your wicked, wicked plans? Pre-emptive strikes would make the most sense. Meaning our own world, completely unprepared for invaders from another dimension, might wind up looking an awful lot like this world we're on now."
Kara turns her attention towards the door of the supply room, making sure it's closed all the way, and lowers her voice. "When we get back home, I want to make sure that no one and nothing follows us there. Approaching this 'Dead King' who has apparently conquered most of the continent through starving, freezing, and then enslaving everyone, and saying, 'Hey, can we use your telemajigger to get home? We promise we won't come back someday and curbstomp you' is unlikely to get us any positive results."
"Is it really betrayal? We haven't agreed to do anything for them, nor do we owe them anything. They appear to be revolutionaries, and a revolutionary who hasn't won yet is just a traitor to their lawful government." Rinako tosses her head towards the door. "Like it or not, their enemies are in charge, and unless they win, history will brand them the 'bad guys'. And us along with them. I just don't think we should be in such a big rush to make enemies of the most powerful people around by throwing in with these guys. All they've really done for us is give us some clothes."
Peeling off her own outer shell of clothing, Rinako drops both her shirt and pants into a small pile with all the comfort as if she were back in her room in Sunagakure, instead of a dark, chilly storage room. She's soon wiggling into a pair of fur-lined pants, lacing them up in the front as she lifts her shoulders. "I wasn't suggesting we ask anyone for anything. No one, evil overlord or not, gives out the kind of help we need for free. I'm just suggesting we not be so quick to close other options that may be free to us. The first deal you're offered isn't always the best."
Leggings in place, the dark-haired jinchuriki begins shrugging into a thick undershirt, followed by an even thicker overshirt, wincing every time she jams her broken hand into a sleeve.
Finally, she picks up the hooded coat, holding it loosely in one hand. "You're in charge, Ru, I'll do whatever you say. I'm just here to break things. But I'm not going to let the problems of this world stand in the way of getting my little sister back home and completing the mission. So what's our next move?"
Ruri decides to drop the issue of betrayal. Alienating allies is bad. Alienating one's own sister is worse. Still, it was Rinako who used the term 'betray' first. Not anyone else on the team. Freudian slip? Well, whatever. "Alright. So we find out everything we can, and then make an informed decision on the matter. We haven't allied with any side YET, but if it's a choice between doing something we'll have to spend the rest of our lives regretting when we get home, or going through a bit more difficulty than we might want and retaining our souls… Well, let's just say that I want my big sister to remain the way she is now."
She looks towards Rinako. "If someone has to make a hard choice that may be morally questionable, I'd rather it be me. I can live with another stain on my conscience, and I'll accept the consequences. That's my duty and responsibility as the leader. None of the rest of you are going to sacrifice anything or change into anyone else. Got it?" A quick glance around to make sure she has everyone's agreement, and then Ruri turns towards the door. It's time to get some more answers.