Celestial Bodies In The Hall Of Mirrors


aaron_icon.gif corbin_icon.gif

Scene Title Celestial Bodies In The Hall Of Mirrors
Synopsis Corbin is plunked down in the hall of mirrors to explain things to Aaron. He raises about as many questions as he answers.
Date February 3, 2010

The Hall of Mirrors

Aaron stares for a moment, uncertain of what just happened. That is, until he spots the tarot card. He steps forward through the room, ring of tall mirrors surrounding him, to the baby grand piano. First he reaches for the tarot card on the keyguard, picking it up and examining it. The Sun. Fingers touch the last two keys, fingering them repeatedly like some imitation of Peter Venkman. It seems equally futile, however.

"Now what, smart-ass?" He shakes his head, "Great, now I'm talking to myself. A sure sign I've gone crazy." Aaron sits down at the piano bench and allows his fingers to grace the keys. It's a sweet sound he hasn't heard in a long time. "Maybe I'm not crazy. Maybe I'm dead." And there's an odd peace in that. Fingers warmed up playing scales, Aaron's hands come down hard to play out the first few chords of Beethoven's fifth symphony. The sound only seems fitting.

A second tarot card shimmers into sight on one of the mirrors. A naked woman pouring vases of water into a pool and the ground, while stars shine above and a bird looks on. But what stumbles out of the mirror is anything but a naked woman. Instead there's a scruffy looking man with a short cropped beard, ruffled curly hair, and bright pale blue eyes that stand out. "What— Hokie, you better have a good reason for…" Corbin trails off as he looks up, straightening. "Oh— you're new. Did you get pulled into this Bad Dream Dude fight too?"

"Hokie what?" are the first words from Aaron's lips until he hears the rest of what the unshaven man has to say. Or ask. "I'm sorry, what?" Pulled into a fight? His hands make a discordant chord as his fingers set down on completely random keys, his concentration completely gone. Caught off guard. He points a finger, something he realizes he has done way too frequently tonight, "Who are you, who's Hokie, and what fight?"

"Well you're holding a tarot card, so— I'll take it as a yes," Corbin says, sighing a bit and glancing back toward the mirror he'd just stepped out of. As he forms more into the room, his clothes take on brighter colors, contrasting and otherwise. He looks a little sad for a moment, but not dark aura like Aaron might be used to, and when he looks back he's all smiles. "Hokie is a nickname. For Hokuto. She's a— well she's probably the reason you're here. There's a bad person causing nightmares, some people call him the Nightmare Man, I like Bad Dream Dude better— and then there's Hokuto, who is trying to make people strong enough to fight him. Which— congratulations, you got the part."

Sucks to be him, right? "Don't worry though, you're not alone," he looks around at the mirrors. "Each of these mirrors seems to connect to a dream, and you can use them to go into other dreams. I've only done it a few times— usually Hokuto grabs me by the scuff of the neck and pulls me in. But in nightmares people have a Shadow, something they have to overcome, usually a part of themselves of their past. And then they have… well… themselves. And a weapon they can use against it, made up of all the good things." He shrugs in his clothes, suddenly his shirt is a bright tourist Hawaiian shirt. "So how'd you get involved?"

"Yeah, I've heard of him. He tried to murder my roommate. Both of them, actually. And a minute or two before you showed up, he tried to kill me. Bad Dream Dude… Sounds less lame than Nightmare Pussy, at any rate, though I will say one thing, he is a pussy. He's never gonna live this one down…." Aaron seems to be talking more to himself at the end. He swipes the tarot card from the piano and holds it up, "I was going to ask one of my roommates, since I seem to recall her mentioning the tarot, but since you seem to know what's going on, maybe you can explain this to me."

"Tried to kill me too," Corbin says, but his anger at the Nightmare Man is more geared toward the fact that… so much of what he does goes against everything he thinks his partner wants the dreams to be. He remembers when the Bomb happened, and how she visited his dreams to help him cope with the loss of his family. This seems like a tough love version of what she did for him— that has killed a lot of people.

"Tarot's one of the things Hokuto likes. She used to do tarot readings at a bookstore until this whole thing started…" Now she's in a coma, or something like one… "So how'd you fight him off?"

Aaron actually laughs at the question, "Seriously, I'm not sure you'll believe me if I tell you." He laughs a bit more. "Words certainly didn't work, although, they might if people knew how easy it is," says the man with the renewed and greatly-bolstered confidence, all care of the Nightmare Man. "I'll have to thank him the next time I see him, for showing me that life doesn't have to be about me, me, me, me, me." He quirks a grin, "And to answer your question, he was defeated by a pile of stuffed animals."

"Now that is the most interesting thing I've heard all week," Corbin says, suddenly slapping him on the back like they're old college buddies or something. "I'm honestly still trying to figure mine out. I want it to be a motorcycle, but the most I've been able to get is this," he reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out a small hot-rods like motorcycle. "I guess I could throw it at him if he ever pays me another visit."

Even while he shows off his toy motorcycle, there's something else hovering over his shoulder, a ghostly form that he doesn't seem to see, resting a pale white hand on his shoulder. All black and white and transparent, the woman seems like a misty, translucent version of what he'd seen in the mirror, and the hand raises up as if to go 'sshhhh'. Like she doesn't want him to know she's there, watching out for him. Some people must not be aware of what brings out the best in them.

"Well, now that you're here you can go into dreams and help others, stop the attacks on them. Send your army of stuffed animals to kick his sorry ass over and over."

Aaron quirks a brow not at the motorcycle but at the evanescent figure lurking over his shoulder. He looks like he's thinking for a moment and then he goes back to the tarot card of the Sun. "Yeah, I'm not entirely sure we get to pick what patronus we have, to borrow terminology from one of the conversations I heard before tonight— see, word travels fast, and I apparently have a rather nice view of things. That I take for granted most of the time…." He clears his throat for no particular reason, nothing more than a distraction, "There are a million other things it could have been, and instead of being something spectacular or shiny, it was a collection of stuffed animals I had mocked on several occasion. My girlfriend, God rest her soul, loved them." And he's managed to bring up another topic to move on from.

"So, how exactly do these mirrors work? I just walk through them and beat the shit out of the son of a bitch, or what? You'll excuse me, but I'm no hero, I don't know how this stuff works," Aaron admits, twirling the Sun card around his his hand. "Though I don't suppose he'll just go running if he sees me coming? Probably doesn't care about his reputation, or how easy he seems to defeat. Defeated by a stampede of plush toys."

"Uh— I think you just walk through, yeah," Corbin says, walking over to poke at one. His hand starts to slide in, but he quickly pulls it back. "Sorry, I'm pretty much winging this stuff as much as you are, but— At least you're not alone in this," he grins, letting his hands lower down to his sides as he turns back to face the guy with the dead girlfriend (that part sucks) and the army of stuffed animals (which is actually pretty bad ass in it's own way). "She's recruited a lot of us. But there's a lot more people that need help, and a lot that we couldn't. I doubt he'll run in fear when your army shows up, but— at least we might be able to help a few who aren't strong enough to help themselves."

"Conscripted into the dream army," Aaron says, rubbing at his eyes, "Can't get a much weirder day." He points the card around the room at the mirrors, "So, how do I get back here, and how do I wake up? And do these mirrors just go into the dreams being twisted by that jackass, or just people's dreams in general, 'cause that's kinda … I dunno, invasive?"

"Well here you can just wake up on your own. I think you'll start going here when you fall asleep— sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I'm just dragged," Corbin explains, not sounding as if he's too clear on the topic, but he's had a lot of trial and error. "Once you go into people's dreams, you wake up when they do, it seems. There might be more to it, but… Either way, it seems you can walk into the dreams of people really far away. Like maybe even as far as California."

"I suppose that will be useful…. Hopefully I won't have as much trouble falling asleep. Certainly don't have to worry about him anymore." Aaron gets up from the piano bench. "I should probably wake up. I don't know what may have happened while I was asleep. I don't want my roommates to worry, or…. find out that any of what happened was mirrored in the world." Like smashing the mirror with a waste basket. What if someone was on the receiving end? "But I'll be back, and the coward won't know what hit him."

"Good to hear," Corbin says, all smiles as that shadowy form lingers behind him, draping over his shoulders. How is it possible he can't really see her? It's just one of those things. "Good luck. Maybe when this is all over you can stop by the Ichihara Bookstore on Roosevelt Island. Meet the woman who dragged you into this in person." The tone of his voice seems to be wishful thinking. Maybe part of him wonders if he'll get to meet her at all… The motorcycle is shoved back into his pocket, and then he fades out, along with the draping misty form of Hokuto.

His true "Patronus".

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