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Alexei's Intro WIP
|Pig and Whistle story universe|
|This story is a work in progress.|
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Blogs – Bussrides – Stairs – Hawks and Eagles – Gender Issues
First of all, I apologise for my months of absence, my inbox is absolutely stuffed with spam and the concerned and increasingly irate mails from you three readers. I was indisposed.
I caught the Torch and got lucky. I am now a Teefer, TFOR victim, I was one of the 33, forgot to pass the torch, got lit up, etc. the euphemisms keep on coming.
Needless to say, this is a bit of a bummer.
On a bright note, TFOR did not debilitate me severely, which means to you, dear reader, that you can enjoy rants about my arse that's now the size of Saturn for the next couple of months. To me it means that I can pick up all my little hobbies where they left off, which is just peachy. Seriously, where would you be if you couldn't RP anymore.
Seriously though, the last couple of months have been pretty tough, I had to relearn to do pretty much everything, including breathing. Which also has it's emotional effects, I had to spend the last month kicking off antidepressants. So, now with college in shambles I'm using the free time to re-establish my online contacts, resubmitting my chars and getting used to life being not quite human.
Which brings me to the point where I stop dawdling around the point and tell you what I have turned into. For those freaks that think this kind of stuff is awesome your time has come. ;)
In short order I am a 'Taur' cat thing, if you don't know what it is, look it up, that's what dictionaries are for. I enjoy the luxury of a nice silvery coat of fur and similarly coloured hair. Point and laugh at your digression.
And with this I sign off again, I do hope that I have entertained you three and that you bother to check this page again for updates.
He submits the blog and eyes his wardrobe, mostly stuff left over from before. He picks out a T-shirt, mostly to just be wearing something at all, as he hadn't quite figured out what was proper dress for a 'Taur', and his built in coat served well to keep out the Autumn chill. Then he headed out, off to meet some old friends.
Alexei made his way to the bus-stop, sat down, and waited. He still hadn't quite gotten used to the guilty stares he got from people. Not that he got many, teefers had still to loose there interesting new shine but it was rapidly becoming taboo to give them too much attention. Much like regular disabled people.
He closed his eyes, listening to the people, the cars, the cacophony of the city. After TFOR everything was different. Smell, sound, sight and touch were different. This could be blamed in part on the fact that his senses were different, he could hear a far greater range of sounds, it was far easier for him to identify smells, and his sense of colour had deteriorated slightly. Nevertheless there was more to it. The sounds weren't just louder, smell more meaningful and the night less of an obstacle, it was that this alien thing wasn't his body. His body was that of a gangly student who spent long nights and days glued behind a computer screen and didn't have trouble with stairs. He wasn't Alexei at all, just some cheap crippled disease induced shade of his former self, making him wonder exactly what and ... “and I need another fix of antidepressants.” he said to himself, startling an old biddy who had been cautiously floating around the bus-stop and him for five minutes now. The whole torch affair had given her a dreadful fright and she just wished that all these TFOR people would go somewhere else, preferably not here, perhaps Europe or something.
This feeling of alienation within his own body was steadily becoming more subtle, which reminded him that he was already forgetting what being human was once like, a frightening realisation in and of itself.
A couple of minutes passed as he watched several youths get kicked out of a local store for shoplifting, or perhaps just being noisy and scaring away paying customers. They cursed the shopkeeper until they got bored and sauntered off to divide the spoils, a couple of bottles of beer and a packet of crisps. Another five passed as he savoured the warm light of the sun, he could feel it through his fur but it wasn't quite the same as feeling the the star's bright brilliance on bare skin, a surprisingly primitive but uplifting experience that he would sadly never truly encounter again. He mused.
The bus came and he felt the throbbing rumble of the engine through his feet as he carefully steps into it. Guiltily he liked this part of his particular brand of TFOR, he had been forced to get used to walking barefoot as he couldn't afford two pairs of practically custom made shoes tailored to his specific needs. And so he had discovered that while his feet had thick pads designed to take the impact of walking, he could feel every piece of rubble, every crack in the concrete, and now the sticky rubbery no-slip matting of the bus. Simple utilitarian and never quite clean enough, his feet always felt sticky after being in a bus and he tried not to think of what late night detritus had caused this particular sensation.
Folding one of the front seats out of the way, sitting down there for the ride. Though it wasn't quite sitting, a still quite confused part of him was convinced that he was still standing up although he was doing it on his hands and sitting down at the same time. To make matters worse he held onto one of the vertical poles for stability as the vehicle pulled away and manoeuvred it's way through the streets. In the face of this melting pot of sensation and confusion this little part of his mind curled up, and did it's best at doing it's job. The vehicle whisked them away to regions unknown. In this case the bus terminal. From there he went on to Rob's place up in the mews of an old hotel adjoining a certain teefer oriented bar.
My kind of place now. He thought as he entered the former hotel and then stops dead in front of the stairs.
Sure, a couple of steps he could handle but going back down several flights of stairs was a big no no, that's what other people are for.
Failing to find a handy someone in the 'hotel' itself he turned to the bar which was now essentially part the same building ( it's amazing what knocking down a couple of wall will do ). As he entered the bar he eyed the colourful patrons and a number of them eyed him back. TFOR had done the weirdest of things to people and although it was taboo Alexei couldn't help but think they were weird, perhaps even a bit scary.
Get over it, you're one of them now.
“Um sir. Is Robert Gallian in?” He informed at the bar in his now quite sexually ambiguous voice.
Alexei sat outside the old hotel lobby as Robert was summoned. He fidgeted, worrying about how Rob would react. He had gotten a mixed reaction from other friends and family. Though it was generally good, many were unnerved by his new look and some had terms coming to grips with the fact that he was still the same person. In Robert's case this was silly, he was a teefer himself and had been… “And still is a good friend.” He corrected himself.
His worries were cut short by the red tailed hawk with a bandaged wing that swooped down from the mews atop the former hotel and landed on a nearby bench.
<Hello? You needed me?> Robert asked in a burst of telepathy, startling the taur. He never had quite gotten used to Rob's telepathy and the four month forced break hadn't done him any good. With a jerk he looked around towards the bird. Sheepishly he asked “Um, hi Rob.”
<Hello…do I know you?> Puzzled Rob tilted his head in a very birdlike fashion, not recognizing Alex. Not that you could blame him. Since TFOR his voice had changed to match his androgynous nature, and photos wouldn't be of much help either.
Idiot one part of his brain said to the other. Alexei looked away, embarrassed because he had been so caught up in worry that he didn't realize Rob wouldn't recognize him. Nervously scratching behind an ear he shyly mumbled “I'm Alexei.”
Robert headtilts for a moment, straightens up...then droops a bit.
“It finally got me. ... I - I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier.”
<It's ok, you had to have been pretty sick...>
Robert sways just a bit edgily. He may have had his instincts generally in control but Alexei was a damn big cat. He would be intimidating to even a regular human, let alone a 1 kg bird.
“I'm okay now.” The cat creature said, keeping silent about the antidepressants. The last thing he'd need was Rob getting worried about that too. He then tugged an ear to lighten the mood and joked “I got cool ears though.”
Robert responded with a telepathic snicker. <One up on me.>
He smiled. This reminded Alexei that he really wasn't too bad off. He had been told by his vet that with sufficient practice he might even be capable of mastering fairly level stairs, although the vet did admit that he was the first taur he had treated.
Talking about vets ... he eyed the bandage and stated the obvious. “You're hurt.”
<Not bad; it's healing.>
Alexei frowned. Rob was a small dude now and could easily get hurt. “What happened?” For it was unlikely that he had fallen off his perch.
<Golden eagle went gunning for me at work a few days ago.> Which evoked a stare from Lex. “Damn... but you're a bird of prey too.”
<I am. I'm also smaller, and he or she was obviously hungry.>
“Damn I'm glad I'm still big ...” He narrowed his eyes and thinks for a moment. The airstrip was one of the many places to start employing teefers for the powers some of them were gifted with. “But don't your guys have one of those people who can heal stuff?”
<They're off this week, so I'm on unpaid medical leave for a few more days.>
Alexei can't help but chuckle nervously and shake his head at the cruel irony of that. ”Ah, that eagle had timing.”
<Yeah.> Rob sounded vaguely bitter about it. Then changed subject to something that had been bugging him for a couple of minutes now. <Your voice...it's...different.> It was. Definitely not masculine and vaguely effeminate at times but not quite. Ambiguous was a good term. Nor did he look decidedly male or female.
”Yeah, I had to learn to speak again from scratch.” He retorted, avoiding the issue. It was the main reason why he had needed all those antidepressants. A delicate issue, but at the same time he felt guilty for not being entirely frank to Rob.
<Yeah, I know how that goes.> Robert replied, bobbing his birdy nod. <Moving can't have been easy either...>
Alexei nodded solemnly. “Yeah, that was ... wierd.” Waking up from a near coma to find out that you've body is entirely alien to you was far from fun. “It still is.”
Robert headbobbed in agreement as Lex continued “I still confuse limbs alot and ... well. Writing and doing stuff that takes care is a drag.”
<Howso?> He tilted his head.
In reply Alexei held out his right hand “This feels like my right hand.” and then held out his right front paw “And this feels like my right hand too.” He didn't mention all the other stuff that had gotten confused, duplicated or was just plain new to him.
<Ah...yeah, I guess it probably does.>
“They're separate and different but it's hard not to confuse em, I keep on breaking stuff because I try to use the wrong thumb.”
<Ouch...that's gonna take some practice. I had a similar problem, actually.> “With learning to use your ... umm feet?” <Not that, so much as trying to use hands that didn't exist anymore.>
Alexei nods and grins. “Try dealing with an extra pair.”
Robert headbobs again. <I can imagine. Somewhat.>
“It took me months before I could even walk again.”
<Obviously, given your being out of touch.>
Alexei then cleared his throat, trying to keep his voice deeper than it would naturally go. Trying to keep the more delicate details of his nature hitten. “Yeah, sorry about that dude. But I guess this won't happen again.” He said displaying a weak smile.
<Yeah, guess not. But again...your voice.>
Alexei looked down down, as Robert waits for an answer and stammered. “It's nothing. I ... I ”
<If its something you don't want to share, that's fine.> Robert assured Alex which broke down all defences “No!” He said, voice going up to it's more natural tone. “It's just that I'm ... well, ... not a dude.”
The cat was out of the bag, and it was a weird one indeed. Robert tilted his head. <Uh...never heard of that happening.> Alexei nodded solemnly in reply.
<Odd...to say the least. Sorry...>
“Just my luck I guess.”
<That's not lucky...so...um...how's it been, otherwise?>
Aside from getting the Torch, getting TFOR, spending all his savings on even the most basic of treatments he needed, losing his home and gender identity, things were looking quite peachy. “Okay I guess. Though it isn't easy to find work. Too big, clumsy, not enough education ... that suff.”
<Been there, done that...> He paused for a moment. <Sucks, doesn't it?>
“And ground floor rooms aren't common ...” Ground floors were generally devoted to something other than rooms for rent. Shops and storage places made more money, and places with lifts were well out of Alexei's price range.
Robert headbobbed again.<Sorry, again.> He apoligized.
Alexei grinned fakely, trying to assure the bird guy of his optimism. “Well, I'm alive and more or less healthy.”
<That's what counts, yes...>
"Anyway, aside from your brush with the eagle, how have the last months been?" He cleared his throat, still occasionally trying to use a voice that was not his anymore. Though unsuccessful it meant that he hadn't yet given up, that he was still Alexei and he'd be damned if he let some metamorphosis inducing bug get in the way of that.
<I've been pretty good. Just saving up money, running the campaign... Winter's on the way, so I gotta get them to clean up the mews at the airport.>
“That's good, still not house trained?” Alexei teased. If this had been half a year ago and had he said that any other full animal morph this would have resulted in swift racism charges and a hefty fine, but of course this was Rob who knew he was fooling around.
That still doesn't make it a nice thing to say. <Hey, that's a bit mean. It's just from not having been used for months.>
Alexei chuckled. “Sorry. You really wouldn't want to know what my shed looks like.”
<Probably not to good? Lots of broken stuff?>
“But it's cheap.” It was, when he had said that it was a shed he wasn't exaggerating. His room was basically a badly insulated shed with a basin and a lamp. It was draughty and becoming increasingly cold as the winter season set in, but it was dry and very cheap, and between his fur, a 'bed' made out of pallets, a huge beanbag and a number of blankets, and a tiny electrical heater it was bearable, if still quite Spartan. Alexei was hoping to move out once he got a better job and found a decent ground floor room.
<Well, that's good. It took me so long to learn how to move and such again...>
Alexei nodded. “Yeah, I know what that's like now.”
<Least you still have hands and can talk...although I probably shouldn't start the pity party.>
Alexei smirked. And thought I'm a strong contender still ... While it had only really been a couple of months, the first stages of rehabilitation had felt like much longer. He had read of tauric teefers who had retained complete control over part of there body ( for some the upper body had remained completely familiar, only the lower torso was messed up, or it was the other way around ), he was not so lucky. When the fever subsided he had discovered a body that was utterly unfamiliar, six limbs, two distinct ribcages, and a face and mouth he had no idea how to control.
Yet still, he was getting used to it, adapting to his new body. He had to, it wasn't like he was ever going to be human, truly human, again.
<How bad was the bill?>
“Oh, the bill? Like you wouldn't believe.”
<Oh, I'm sure I would. I've paid it, remember?> Alexei had to remember that he was not alone in his fate, that while he may feel left behind by family and friends there still are people, good people, who have shared his pain, and know exactly what he's going through.
“Yeah ... of course. I had to sell about everything, lost the room. Not that I could use it now.”
<Need any more help?>
“I'm okay now. I'm getting back on my feet” He looked down at the aforementioned feet “... literally.”
Robert chuckled a bit and then made the Taur laugh. <So, do you have two left feet for dancing now?>
Grinning broadly he agreed. “Yeah.” Dancing was actually a really interesting idea. While it would take ages to get his legs sorted out he could eventually dance like any other quadruped could. An added plus was that it would be good for his motor skills.
“Anyway, how has the campaign going?” Roleplaying was one of the few things that hadn't really been affected by TFOR.
<Pretty good. They're stealing an item from a god right now.> Alexei smirked, it had been a long time since he had participated in any of Rob's campaigns, and it was one of the things he had genuinely missed during rehabilitation. “Ah, pity the god.”
As Robert chuckled Alex though that it might be a good idea to get back into RPing, social contact had been seriously lacking after the torch. The first stages of the rehabilitation and the resulting bill had really made it hard for him to go out and keep in touch, former friends had grown distant to him. For quite a few people were genuinely freaked out by him, mostly by what he looked like and what he was.
Alexei leaned onto one foot as he sat, mulling over wether or not to ask the delicate question. “Eumm. What was it like when you ... you know ... got it?”
<What part of it?> Robert asked, because during the Torch itself he had not been in much of a position to take notes.
“Well, after it ... uh ... how did you deal with it?” Personally Alex hadn't handled things too well. Especially after learning that he wasn't a dude any more.
<By being depressed for longer than was entirely healthy.> As horrid as he felt about it, this actually came as a relief to Alexei. It meant that he wasn't some kind of failure, that he hadn't let everyone down by practically giving up on life. <It was kinda hard. At that point, I didn't know I had the telepathy or anything and so I was basically useless. I could barely even communicate...>
Alexei frowed. “Oh.” Thank god for antidepressants “I think I kind of know that ...” Without those, the nurses and his shrink would have had a much harder time stopping him from offing himself.
<Know what part? The depression?> Rob asked. Alex nodded in reply and added “And communication.”
Robert bobbed his head in confirmation. It was mildly comical, though you wouldn't catch Alex remarking on that.
“Tough that was much easier for me I guess, my mouth is just. Different.” <I guess. You should've seen me right after I learned about the telepathy. EVERYTHING I thought went out.> Alexei could barely suppress a smile. “That must have been bad.” <Yeah, it was. “Said” more than a few embarrassing things.>
At this Alexei couldn't stop himself from saying though he felt bad about it. “So people heard things like. 'ooh, that birdseed looks tasty'?” <Not quite that, but...yeah.>
“Yeah, much worse than dropping cups.” After learning basic mobility Alexei had had a long episode of mixing up which limb he was using at the time and his sense of touch was completely confused. While he had stopped breaking unbreakable plates he still suffered from it somewhat. “But um, in all seriousness. How did you stop feeling so wierd ... alien?”
The reply was simple, straight forward and typical of a human in a horrifying situation. <I just...kinda got used to it.> Alexei sighed and slumped slightly. He had been hoping for some sagely advice, something that would make the stares go away, stop him from having stage fright every time he stepped out of the door.
<I don't know how...I'm sorry.>
He mentally kicked himself, and then smiling weakly he said. “It's okay. It's nice to talk to someone who doesn't think I'm somewhere from just wierd to freakish.”
<Yeah, it happens...>
Alexei opened his mouth and paused for a second looking unsure, swithering wether to ask the question. Then he fired ahead, he couldn't procrastinate forever. “Um, are there places where people like y... us can go to ... talk to someone?”
<There's the bar, yeah.> Rob pointed with his good wing towards the Pig and Whistle. To which Alexei frowned ears drooping in unison. He had never been a person to visit bars on a regular basis. He had never been one of the most socially inclined people and the idea of hanging around chatting with 'random strangers' was rather unappealing. “Hmm... Bars aren't my thing, loud music and drunk people...”
<It's pretty nice in there, actually. Lots of respect for people. Else...hmm...>
<Trying to think of another place. Drawing a blank, man. Sorry.>
“No, it's okay, I've made it this far. I think I'll check out the bar.” Alex stands. Even such a simple manoeuvre requires a substantial amount of concious effort from the taur. These days even even a simple thing such as the act of picking something off a shelf required due consideration and planning lest he risk simply falling over.
<Ok. I'm not gonna come in quite yet; got a few other things to do before I do.>
<Good luck, and if you have some trouble, say you're a friend of Rob's.>
Alexei smiles. “Thanks. I will.”
<Have a good time, be there in an hour or so.> Robert takes off, climbing back up to the mews.
“Thanks again!” He shouts after the birdy before turning and walking over to the bar's entrance.
<No problem.> No problem Robert's 'voice' shouts back.
Rough stuff that doesn't have a place yet goes here.