Fearful Symmetry


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Scene Title Fearful Symmetry
Synopsis Left alone after Kain leaves to attend to some business, Asi and Silas are given the time to get to know each other.
Date December 12, 2019

Herkimer Apartments

After Kain leaves, it's immediately an awkward experience for Asi. If not for her directly, then for the person who has to put up with her. She bolts the door shut and stands in front of it for a long moment, her silence opaque and her posture unreadable from her back. When she turns away, her expression is no less forthcoming as to her thoughts. But she leaves the frame of the apartment exit and draws closer to the seating arrangements again.

She leaves her coat on, and her shoes. She picks up the blanket Silas had tried to offer back to her, sliding it off the coffee table so she can shake it out and drape it over his his legs and abdomen.

"Are you warm enough?" she asks stiffly. Her bedside manner could use a little work.

Then again, Aces' was shit, too.

Silas musters a somewhat rueful grin as Asi places the blanket on him. He's not about to protest another blanket, though, because for one thing it'd be rude, and for another the cold still haunts this apartment like an old ghost.

"Yeah," he answers, still wearing that smile. Even Asi's less-than-stellar bedside manner doesn't take away from it. She's here, isn't she? Speaks plenty loud in my book, stiff bedside manner be damned. He closes his eyes for a moment, taking a deeper breath in as he tries to focus; his grin tenses into a rictus for a moment, but eases as he breathes out. "I never did get a chance to ask you. About…"

Well. There's a whole list of things, really. He chuckles, trying to find a place to start. First thing's first, he decides. "Well. For starters… how've you been, anyway? With the whole situation over in Japan and all…"

There's a tensing of facial muscles that's likely meant to be a smile, but it lacks the honesty of one. Asi straightens the blanket before standing, shaking her head in a hollow gesture meant to ward off worry. "I've been better, but I have also been worse. Much worse. When I become morose about the situation, I remember I almost didn't make it out of the ambush."

"And then I drink. Not as much as I would were I alone, but…" Her tongue smirches off the back of her teeth. "Enough that I've been cut off more than once." It's a distant retelling as cold as the apartment, the blue of her eyes deep with the sentiment lurking somewhere beyond the tone of the words. "Knowing I made it out at all does not make it easier to face, some days."

"Aside from that?" Asi asks rhetorically, her voice lightening with a touch of humanity. "Freelancing. Taking up work I previously had to pass on due my position. Digging for answers, for myself and for others." She looks at Silas as she sits on the edge of the armchair adjacent to the couch. "Cases like yours."

Silas actually blanches a bit at that… but his eyes grow more intent, almost piercing as he regards Asi.

He sits up a bit straighter, banishing the pain for a bit with his trick — he'll have to let it go at some point, let the pain come rolling back in — but that will come later. Now he needs to be as close to a hundred percent as he can get. "Sounds like you've been keeping busy," he says quietly; there's a hint of good humor in his voice, but it's more subdued than it would normally be. His lips, too, are curling up into a small smile… but his eyes still remain fixed on Asi with that look of concern.

"You want to talk about it? Or would you rather not?" he asks softly, and now even the pretense of good humor in his voice is gone, replaced outright by quiet concern.

He could be talking about the other work she’s been tending to. But somehow, she doubts it. The rogue technopath gives it a moment of thought, then meets Silas’s gaze.

“The people I worked with for a decade, who were closer than family, turned on me in a night. I was betrayed by someone who, above anyone else in that institution, had my trust. Had my respect.” Asi does smile now, something real to it. “There’s other nuance,” she admits. “But that cuts to the heart of it.”

The glimpse into the deep wound the betrayal left is fleeting, quickly papered over by how she leans forward, elbows on her knees. Her hands clasp together, fingers loosely laced. “It’s not the first time I’ve been wanted by my own government. I’ll be fine. Not being physically in the country this time will frustrate their efforts to pin me down, significantly. As long as I don’t do anything sentimental, I’ll be able to continue my work as I please.”

Her eyes narrow a shade, more at a thought than at Silas. “Speaking of which … getting into a position to fuck over the people who turned the Mugai-Ryu against me has been harder than I thought.” She glances back to him for a moment before looking away. This sort of openness wouldn’t happen with just anyone, especially not given the delicate topic. Yet she doesn’t hesitate. They had discussed this before, after all. “Mazdak has been less than receptive. For having had me branded a terrorist of theirs, you would think they would actually try to use me.”

“But no,” Asi sighs without deflating. “They seem to be wary of me slashing out with the knife they stabbed me with.” Her shoulders shift in a small shrug. It doesn’t seem like she can overly fault them for that.

That does indeed cut to the heart of it, doesn't it? Silas isn't sure whether that counts as a Freudian slip or a double entendre… not that it matters, really. It seems like an apt indicator of how badly the betrayal had hurt her, either way.

As she starts to discuss how reluctant Mazdak has been to pick her up, though, Silas's eyes narrow, his gaze seeming to sharpen even as it slips off to some middle distance. It's only after she finishes that Silas's gaze comes back to her. He's silent for a moment longer, considering. "Then either they aren't really interested in you… or they're not done with you," he says, with a grimness she hasn't seen in him so far. The phrase they're after your soul comes to his mind, and if he were just a little more out of it, he might actually have said it… but he's not, and he doesn't.

Instead, he ruminates a moment longer. "I'd bet that sooner or later they'll approach you for something. When they do, you can bet whatever prize it is they try to set you after will be booby trapped to hell and back. Maybe not just for you, either… if they're seriously out to bring you into the fold, they'll probably want to further isolate you…"

Then he shrugs, a faintly sheepish expression coming over his face as he suddenly becomes acutely aware that he's poking his nose into something that he's only heard about second-hand. "That's, uh. My two cents, anyway."

The corner of Asi's eyes crinkle with another small smile at the prospect of a booby-trapped scenario. His two cents aren't undervalued. For a moment she sits with her own thoughts, mulling them, before she decides to air them. Sharing isn't something that comes naturally, but what else is there to do when sitting around the fire?

So to speak.

It's freezing in here, after all.

"I'm wondering if having me removed from the Mugai-Ryu really was their endgame. That, because I am not there to catch their machinations at work, they can continue to manipulate the government with growing freedom and boldness. That causing the outrage they did, forcing a change in administration how they did, will drive people to their arms— and that that is enough for them." Asi shifts her heel on the ground as she adjusts her position. "They had no intention of freeing all the people arrested at Keihin, for example. When I dared them to, I was challenged in return. 'Break them out, then. Then we'll talk.'"

Her fingers itch for a cigarette. She glances over at Silas, pointing out delicately, "Well, I did. The Keihin ravers and more. We set the control tower on fire, even. But," Asi sits upright, spreading her arms. "Here we are."

Hands falling back to her lap, she chuckles at it all, like it were some distant thing that doesn't affect her. Looking off to the window, Asi reboxes the frustrations with that scenario away entirely before looking back to Silas. "Who is looking after the boat if Kain has been here with you?" she queries him lightly.

Silas sits and listens, eyebrows rising as Asi airs her thoughts. A prison break? He thought he'd heard something about a prison break, come to that; it sounds like Asi has been busy. But what is Mazdak up to? Did they really think that taking Asi away from the government would stop her from digging into their business? Especially after they'd marked her and cast her out? Silas is… dubious. Asi's history seems to run parallel to what he knows of Aces' in regards to her previous work as ON1… which means the whole 'interweb outlaw' thing isn't new to her. Mazdak should know that, if they're even halfway competent. What are these guys playing at?

Asi's change of subject shifts matters back to more painful waters, though. "Ah," is all Silas initially has for an answer when Asi brings up the boat. He takes another deep breath, lets it out… and now he eases off on his trick, lets the pain come creeping back, and seems to shrink back into himself correspondingly as he does so. "We've got a contract with Raytech for security services; they're still covering things, even if I'm out." Which is costing money, even if the terms of that contract were generous.

"At least, until the money runs out," he says, and there it is. "We were hoping to open in November, but obviously that bird's already flown. Lis introduced me to someone I could talk to for acting talent, but that was before all of this," Silas sighs glumly. Then, suddenly, he realizes how that sounds, and snickers at himself. "Ha. Listen to me! I've got a multiple murderer after me and I'm worried about the bills."

Asi's expression softens with a solemn sympathy. "Ah," she echoes in much the same way he had said it, that being the only thing she does for a decent pause. "It is hard to keep the lights on without a source of income. And the bills from your hospital stay…" She's heard horror stories about the American way of things. She starts to shake her head when he snickers at his own misfortune.

The corner of her mouth tugs into a faint smile. At least he has a good humor about it all.

It does make her think, though. "How attached are you to New York?" Asi asks, her voice so faint one could pretend they hadn't heard it.

"Snickers, let's just go."

It's a hard question to ask someone— if they would just leave behind everything they know. But: "It could be safer for you to just… move on."

"What's so good about sticking to the 'Pelago, anyway? The Stormfront looms, the weather blows… wouldn't it be nice to just go live somewhere warm? Settle down? Maybe… maybe it's not so bad down in the tropics."

"Shoot," Aces grins at her own wit, eyes gleaming the mischievous way they do when she's had too much to drink. "Bet you we could even talk Mad Eve into it. Wouldn't have to go alone."

"Not that we'd be alone, if Eve didn't want to go." she reassures quite knowingly. "I'd look out for you."

For a moment after she says those words, Silas peers at Asi — or perhaps at some point beyond her. He's not really looking at Asi, anymore than he's seeing this cold apartment; he's looking back on another life, past the cooling embers of a bridge glowing behind him.

Why'd you say no? he wonders to himself, an ache in the pit of his stomach that has nothing to do with his injuries.

But he knows why.

Even if she hadn't been just a little too drunk at the time, even if she'd been stone cold sober… the hole in him had just been too big, and he'd known it. He'd needed the nonstop pace of the 'Pelago, where a thousand and one people always needed a thousand and one things done (even if many of those people were Queen Lowe), needed every anchor he could get to keep him fastened to the world of the living.

Because as much as he'd cared about Aces, as much as the Forthright had been a second home to him, and as much as he could think of a lot worse lives than settling down somewhere warm… sooner or later Silas would have found himself drifting too close to the drain he'd been circling. Sooner or later, he'd have pulled out that kludged together gun of his, loaded up one bullet in the sixth chamber, and started going through them one by one, as he did on the really bad nights. And sooner or later, that little voice that always screamed at him to stop this madness, that he had reasons he needed to stay alive, wouldn't be quite loud enough or persuasive enough, and he'd finally lose the game of chicken he'd been playing, and Aces would find him with a small hole in his skull, dead as a beached fish.

Then… then the moment passes, and the tide of memory that had washed over him ebbs back out. He lets out a faint chuckle, relaxing the death grip his hands have on his knees beneath his layers of blankets. The question Asi asked him isn't the same one Aces had asked him, a world and a lifetime ago; he takes a moment to consider his answer.

"I'm not terribly attached to " the 'Pelago " New York, if I'm being honest," Silas says gently. "I could probably liquidate the boat and go live in the woods somewhere or something. But I can't leave the country without risking getting bagged for my evil twin's crimes… and even if I did go somewhere else, he'd still be out there. He'll keep looking til he finds me… and I won't be able to build a future until this is settled," he says… but there's a warm smile on his face that says thank you for asking.

Silas shifts a bit in his blankets, drawing them tighter around himself… and giving himself a chance to clandestinely wipe away the tiny bit of moisture that seems to have found its way into his eyes.

Wherever Silas goes in those moments he compiles his reply, Asi can only guess. But clearly, the thought of leaving shakes him in some way beyond the pragmatism to the idea that he'll always be on the run if he doesn't stand his ground. She wonders at it, wonders about asking after it— if it has to do with where he came from before.

Is it fair to potentially make him suffer any more than he already is by bringing up a place he can never go back to? Or, given he fled it to begin with, does he have no ties to it at all?

Truthfully told, she doesn't know which might hold true for him. There's so painfully little she knows about this Silas aside from the events that ushered him into this world.

So she asks. "Where you were before this… it was it also New York, wasn't it?" It takes her a moment to remember what he'd called it, but her brow arches once she's successfully snared the memory. "The… Pelago?" She's careful with the knife that is that information. Asking 'does he miss it' would be to stab with it. Instead, she voices her observation about it, metaphorically turning the knife around to offer it by its handle. "Does staying here also keep you close to its memory?"

"The Pelago, yeah. The Archipelago of Manhattan, if we were feeling fancy." Silas says slowly, his gaze again sliding off into that distance. He smiles faintly. "Hadn't thought of it that way… but… maybe so," he says thoughtfully.

"After the Vanguard blew up Antarctica… the sea swept in, drowned most everything. And then the Sentinel came through and salted the earth inland. But even if the coastal cities were underwater, the tallest buildings were still above the waterline, and so that's where we lived. Every skyscraper an island…"

"It was hard, livin' there. There was the Stormfront, out in the Pacific; some weather controllers tried something or other to try to unfuck what the Vanguard did, ended up spawning a perpetual hurricane. Lots of ugly weather," he says, his eyes momentarily coming back to Asi as he grins at the understatement.

"And there were supply issues. Leaving aside food… there were always repairs to be done. The foundations were way down underwater, where you couldn't really get to em, but even topside things were always breaking down; we were always having to try to find the right parts to fix it. Having to try to kludge something together if we couldn't. Some days it felt like the whole world was circling the drain… but everyone was doing their best to keep things together. For another day at least," he says, eyes slipping back into the distant… but as gloomy as the words sound, there's a smile on his face, something that almost looks like pride in those distant eyes.

He leans back, his eyes going towards the window. "If you look out at the skyline, from the right vantage point, you can almost see it. Especially at night. The lights up high, shining against the dark…"

It's a world Asi would find hard to imagine, if not for Silas's personal description of it. She tracks his gaze to the window, listening until his words trail off into that imagining. In a way, she supposes she can see why he might recall what he left behind with a smile instead of a shudder. "You braved the end of the world and came out standing." Every day they persevered on the water was another day the Vanguard (and this Sentinel) had failed in its purpose.

She falls into thought, reflecting on his story and everything he'd previously told her as well. What a world he left behind. Somber and hard, and yet…

Asi blinks twice, looking back to Silas. Unprompted, she begins to speak of those he'd left behind. "Monica and Eve are in good health, last I saw them. I holed up with Monica for some time after we fled Japan. We made fine company, us two, having been betrayed by our employers." There's more mirth in her voice than her expression, even if it's slightly bitter. "Nakamura had sent a proxy to apologize and even offered her a replacement cybernetic for the one they had ripped from her. She turned it down, it and everything it represented."

"Yamagato." she clarifies, in case it weren't clear.

With a thoughtful cant of her head, Asi thinks aloud, "At this point, I suppose I'd do the same, if I were absolved and offered my position back."

Silas blinks blankly. There's a lot to unpack there. It's good to hear that Monica and Eve are doing alright for themselves. Nakamura… that's a name he knows second-hand. But there's something more pressing in what Asi's just said.

"Wait. Wait wait. Cybernetic arm?" Silas asks. "There was something bad enough out there to take an arm off Monica?" says the man currently hiding from his ghost assassin boogeyman evil twin.

Asi blinks. And then she laughs. She can't help it.

Even knowing he knows Monica, or some version of her, his astonishment is so… so…

Perfectly valid?

The chortle is stopped shortly after, but the damage is done. Asi is grinning, mirth in her eyes, the hardened mask of her person worked to something malleable. The previous cracks in its visage mold together, the dark and the neutral becoming one human whole. She sits up, lifting her arm and covering over her mouth with the back of her hand. Her gaze softens and drops, throat clearing.

"The war," is how she answers, the sound bright for all its sobering thought. Her smile is gone when she lowers her hand, replaced by only tightening of her eyes. "We've never discussed it. But… her replacement arm was a part of her contract with Yamagato." And now that tightness softens, something even more solemn in it. "It…"

It also involved something she can't seem to explain, which she ponders and sets aside with a sigh.

"They took more than just an arm when they stripped it from her," Asi shares quietly. Jiba is hard to classify, and even harder to explain, and that was without even touching what his (its? their?) connection with Monica meant, or meant to her.

"But her loss does not keep her down," she shares with a knowing assurance. Her hand comes to rub at her shoulder, like at a phantom injury. "Very little can."

It's good to hear her laugh; it brings a grin to Silas's own face. His expression sobers a bit as she mentions the war, though; this world may have dodged the Flood, but from what he's heard of it, the war was more than bad enough.

His expression sobers further as Asi goes into a bit more detail on how Monica and Yamagato had parted ways; he's not privy to all the details, but on the face of it making an enemy of La Zorra seems… wasteful. That's the word for it.

Silas's smile returns at Asi's assurance. "Yeah. She sounds a lot like the Monica I knew. First mate on Mad Eve's boat, and you'd better believe that's not a job for the faint at heart," he snickers. The grin on his face lingers for a moment or two before shifting towards a thoughtful frown as he starts to unwrap some of the other things Asi had mentioned. "The one running Yamagato now… it's… Kaito Nakamura's daughter, isn't it?" he asks, his brow furrowing as he tries to dredge for details. He'd looked this up at one point, but it's been awhile.

Mad Eve draws another hm of amusement from Asi, this time without as much of the life that had been in it before. She wondered what Eve might think of that nickname, were she to bring it up. Maybe, she thinks, she’ll get the chance to see it herself if Silas and various BOOM members got together in one space.

—What is that, this reality’s version of Mad Eve’s crew?

Her eyelids flutter as she blinks away that thought as amusing as it is obtrusive.

“Yes,” Asi replies a bit more forcefully than intended as she puts her idle wonderings aside. She looks back to Silas with a stiff, slight nod. “She took over when he died. Killed, by…”

Her brow knits together for a moment. With everything else that’s going on, everything else that Silas has to face, bringing up the ball of yarn that is Kaito’s killer, and the potential highest-level driver of Asi’s ouster from the Mugai-Ryu, it seems just a bit too much at once. She shakes her head, correcting herself by saying, “After he was killed.” Asi looks off for a moment. “It was her who specifically requested me to come to New York to investigate the Yamagato Fellowship bombing. Her specifically, who…”

started all of this, in a way, she almost says, but the words are sighed away. That would be unfair to her. Asi she looks back to Silas, reconsidering him.

The fact that he’s asking at all is curious. “Why is that Company Founder name familiar to you?”

Silas's eyes narrow a bit, his gaze sliding off into the distance, his brow furrowing in thought as Asi talks of her past dealings with the Nakamura daughter. It's only when Asi asks her question that his gaze comes back to her. He considers for a moment.

"I told you once that Aces came to the Pelago because she was looking for purpose," Silas says slowly. "That someone she'd trusted said she might be able to find it there," he says, meeting her gaze. "The name she gave was Kaito Nakamura."

It’s not that she doesn’t believe him, it’s just eerie. The hair on the back of her neck prickles from something aside from the cold. “She knew him?” Asi parrots back. There’s a moment of sliding unease, the sudden lack of feeling separate from this other person for how their pieces almost line up. She remembers something—

The sensation of being dizzy.

Asi sways back and forth with the tide as it pulls past the dock, stolen bottle held loosely by its neck. She watches the water intently, each lap of the water against the wood just as important as the last. Closing her eyes, ironically enough, is what's making her feel nauseous and like the world is spinning.

Being this painfully drunk keeps her in one place, at least. Less likely to wander. Steal a boat. Get into a fight. Do something she'd particularly regret. Her month of mourning might be over, but some impulses needing drowned out didn't ascribe to a schedule.

"«I just don't know, though.»" she murmurs to the water. It's warped just enough she can't clearly see her reflection, so she tries to see someone else instead. "«Was … all of this … coming here … even worth it?»"

"«Kaito, what did you see out here? What purpose?»"

“She knew him,” Asi repeats uneasily. This time, it’s not a question. Her gaze is sharper as she looks off, that strange, fleeting memory that’s not quite hers not entirely leaving her be just yet.

“How bizarre.” she murmurs. Returning her attention to Silas, she clarifies, “We never met before his death. I worked for a Yamagato subsidiary focusing on cybernetics briefly, and then the bomb happened.” A complicated strain enters her tone as she specifies, “ Nagano Genki happened.”

Asi leans back in her seat, brushing a hand against her forehead with a sigh. Just the memory of those memories was enough to give her a headache. “So we never met before his death. Just his daughter.”

Silas considers, for a moment, what to say in response to Asi's question… only to be spared the need to respond at all when Asi answers it herself.

Silas's gaze sharpens, his head tilting slightly as he regards her with puzzlement. What had been a question has become a statement of fact — there had been unease in her repitition, but no uncertainty. Not one bit. Silas regards her silently, eyebrows climbing a bit as she mumbles to herself… but whatever it is she'd found bizarre, she doesn't seem to be inclined to speak further of it.

Which leaves him with the pieces she's laid on the table. Nagano Genki sounds complicated, so he opts to leave that one alone for now… which leaves him with the Nakamura daughter. She had requested Asi to come to New York —

— wait.

"You hadn't?" Asi asks, turning to observe him a bit more openly now that the conversation allows for it. "I've never had to deal with it before. This is my first time travelling internationally," she admits, finding no harm in that.

"And it was the Nakamura daughter who invited you to New York," Silas says, shaking his head in dry amusement as he muses on the bizarre symmetry — he can only think of it as symmetry — between the separate lives of Aces and Asi. "Fearful symmetry," he murmurs to himself… though the marveling smile on his face doesn't seem very fearful.

He looks up at Asi, grinning ruefully at the improbability of it — at how many things had connected just so. "And it was on that trip — your first time abroad — that we met. I'd just arrived, and you were just getting ready to leave…"

What Silas murmurs is a new phrase, but it somehow feels appropriate to describe the strange set of coincidences. Asi returns Silas’s look, her own much less expressive than his. It’s hard to deny they’re not the same person, when she processes the same way his Aces does, her outward face revealing little other than that the gears are turning. Silas has years of study to help him translate the cipher of it, at least.

“Fearful symmetry,” she agrees softly. She lets out a hm at it before lifting her chin to acknowledge him, his whole being, that thoughtful gleam still stealing her eyes.

“You know, at least it was you,” Asi murmurs. Her mouth firms into a small, fleeting smile. “Instead of the alternative.” Her thoughts taper off, gaze refocusing on him even though her eyes haven’t left him this entire time. “… It’s good she had someone. Someone like you, in particular.” She lets out a chuff of amusement as she clarifies, “An actual friend.” Leaning back into the armchair, she lets her head rest back, eyes closing and her hands sliding into the pockets of her coat.

The alternative is one that Silas finds he can't quite envision, considering what he knows of his evil twin. But then, if his evil twin had been standing there… if he'd walked all the miles that Silas had walked, weathered the same seas he had… then it wouldn't have been Silas's evil twin standing there, would it? That's the darker side of that symmetry…

…but it's one that it does him no favors to dwell upon. He's already given time enough to that.

So he chuckles in return. "Yeah," he says quietly, shifting and settling into his blankets. "I don't know if she ever found the purpose she was looking for, but… she did find that, at least," he murmurs, slipping a little more deeply into his blankets.

He's feeling tired, suddenly. Probably the power of suggestion to blame for that — he's still pretty weak in general, and his guts ache, and he's been talking for awhile about some fairly heavy stuff for awhile now, and Asi's catnap impression has got him thinking that a nap of his own might be a good idea. But…

"You know. I never did ask. How you got here. What brought you to the boat," he says, restraining a yawn — breathing deeply hurts bad enough, a yawn would be worse. He considers popping a pill and drifting off… but no. Not tonight. Or not yet, at least. He wants to be as present as he can while she's here. Instead, he settles back into his blankets, watching her.

Asi continues to appear to rest, hands in her pockets, while she considers that question. When her eyes open, they flare with a touch of neon for just a moment before she blinks it away. It's easy to brush off that she might be tired, save for the reticence Silas can note.

Why did she go?

"It wasn't opening night…" she supposes, slow in saying so. "But I wanted to see what you had accomplished, while there was still the chance." Her gaze flits his way and then away with a small shake of her head. It was silly, clearly, not worth spending much thought on. "Perhaps I just had a feeling." Again, she looks dismissive of it.

Looking back to Silas, Asi adjusts her posture. "I left Japan shortly after the prison break. Eve, Monica, and the rest came back by teleporter. I had help from a… friend." She quirks an eyebrow at her own choice of word. Godfrey was certainly more than an associate now, wasn't he? "I managed to come in illegally."

She rustles her shoulders in a near-shug. "I have managed to keep busy with this and that. Monica ensured it's mostly constructive." A touch of mirth enters her voice finally.

Silas nods, smiling faintly. "Well. I'm glad you made it," he says; his voice is quiet, but the sentiment is sincere. The fact that he wouldn't be alive to have this conversation if she hadn't been there is definitely a part of that… but there's also something gratifying about hearing that she came by to see what he'd put together.

"Hope you got a chance to see some of the course; Seren and Devi put a lot of work in on it. The kraken room…" he sighs, trailing off into a wistful chuckle and a shake of his head. The hopes he'd had before Halloween night seem far away right now. Like they're drifting off into the fog…

Asi's mention of Monica keeping her busy, though, is enough to draw him back to the present. He nods. "Yeah… sometimes, it's good to keep busy…" he muses aloud. Sometimes too much time to think can be a curse, he thinks, but does not say. He settles a little further down into the nest of blankets he's got. "Hey, uh. If I doze off, could you… wake me up when you get ready to call Kaydence? I'm starting to feel a little fuzzy around the edges, but… I'd like to hear what she's got to say."

It’s an easy enough ask to acquiesce to, so Asi nods. She wears a small, pressed smile she’d put on when he started to trail off thinking about the haunted boat course, keeping to herself how little she’d actually seen of all his hard work. What she had seen was impressive, and if he asks her again later, she’ll tell him as much.

“Get some rest,” she suggests softly. “I’ll call Kay after you wake back up.”

Few people could get Asi to come to any one place in the world, much less stay there for an extended period of time.

But even fewer were friends.

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