Hungry. Still so, so hungry, and yet no (easy) way to satiate it. Jinx deflated in place, sighing dramatically as she pondered what to do next. Her cape was snagged over her seat's back prongs, legs pushed forward and idly kicking at the table's center beam, hands squished into her cheeks and rubbing it around like wet clay. As it turns out, waking up after a thousand years strong sleep gave you the turbo munchies. The Majin had wandered in the general direction of the Kili she had sensed until reaching a city full of pointy-eared white-haired people - most of whom didn't even hide their bewildered stares.
Eating one of them would (probably) do the trick, but Jinx wasn't rude or foolish enough to try and just slurp some poor fella up this early into her waking moments. Yet as a conscientious and lightweight traveler, Jinx had no money to speak of. Fabricating some out of mana wasn't out of the question, but she'd need to actually see some first. Preferably feel and taste, too. Convincing already paranoid strangers to hand off money to some weird-looking, strangely dressed Alien was... challenging. Well, she assumed it would be. Jinx never bothered to try.
The Majin currently sat alone at an outdoor table of a small coffee-adjacent-substance shop, grumpily stewing in her food-related misery and mostly unaware of the further stares she was getting.
What a marvelous place to stumble upon! This world, this 'Konats'. There were so many worlds out there, but none were quite as diverse in land and people. It was something to behold. For hours she was just observing the wildlife in the expansive wilds, but to stumble into a city even deeper within is remarkable. Not even a single comment against their appearance was made! Though, they did give some weird looks when she'd green some with an electronic pad in her hands.
"Average heights differ drastically. Variance... Saiyan-like. Some give false answers when I can just take a minute to scan them for details. Comparable variable ego?" She'd mutter to herself while passing along some of the people in these busy streets. She'd suddenly get a notification through her HUD, a nearby entity with impeccable strength. Overshadowing even many of the warrior mohawk types she'd see wandering around. Excitedly, the small alien-tuffle would bound past some of the smaller shops and broach the entrance to this coffee-adjacent shop. If the Majin was getting eyes, then surely the fuzzball with a labcoat was too.
But she didn't care much about that and aimed her sights directly on the Majin. Eyes honing in on her for another cursory scan as she approaches with a smile.
"Greetings! What's a strong specimen such as yourself slumming around on Konats for? Wait-" Multiple scans show malnutrition of sorts. Something most people probably wouldn't be able to tell from just a glance. She frowns a bit at herself and puts the pad away, taking a seat for herself right next to this Majin while she sulked.
"It would appear your intake of Vitamins B2 and B6, as well as Copper, Manganese, and Magnesium are critical. Have you been eating well?"
Thread PL: 30,000 WC: 296
Last Edit: Dec 13, 2022 14:14:05 GMT -5 by Acerola
Facedown into the table at this point, there was only one appropriate answer for the stranger's question: "Bean juice." Indeed. The roasted, strained, and watered extract of BEANS was what they served here - but certainly not coffee. It had caffeine and a somewhat bitter taste until sweetened (the locals preferred using a honey substitute over sugar) and lightened (flower milk extract, in that case). "I have no idea what any of that means," Jinx replied plainly, de-sticking her face from the table's grate, pink eyes zoning in on the Alien across from her. "Except for the last bit. Absolutely NOT!" Her arms went up into the air, wanton, saddened cry following suit.
"Not that I'll starve. I think? Longest I went without a lil' snack was... hm... three thousand years. Found a perfect place to stretch and sleep. Was really grumpy when I woke up, though." And the planet may or may not have experienced a slight population hit, but that was neither here nor there. "It's honestly quite incredible. Poor Jinx, forever to be remembered as the foolish fool to be so foolhardy as to not snag some money before her slumber... then again, last I checked, a lot of merchants on this planet were using metal coins. How antique is that!?"
Bean Juice. Right, the native drinks. Seemed like every planet had a form of bitter caffeine leaf and/or bean that was ritualistically consumed more often than not. But Bean Juice wasn't going to fill an empty stomach, especially not one that had been at rest for three thousand years. At first, she seemed to just take notes, glossing over that fact like she were in med school just getting by. But she had to give a double take, lowering the pad to the table and giving her a perked brow.
"Three Thousand Years?" She tried scanning her again with those eyes, only to come up short. Readings only referenced measurements of apparent age. It would take a whole ass Dating technique to determine anything else, and how would you do that with a living breathing being?
"Three Thousand Years. Huh." Ace produced some coin herself, fiddling it out of this pouch she was given at customs. A hand rose to get one of the waiter's attention for this, the small lady leaning back to order for the pair, unprompted.
"Get us two cups of the local... 'bean juice'. And add a sweet confection for my friend here." Without hitting a beat she also tipped this fine young man, smiling at him as he left before settling back on down and smiling at her new friend here.
"Well, Jinx, you are very lucky this day! You can call me Acerola. I've dedicated my life to studying what makes the Universe tick, and that includes its inhabitants. I take heavy interest in the rare and special, and you appear to be one of those with a high probability of both being true."
"That was my longest nap," Jinx said, nodding to herself. "Most of 'em don't last for much longer than a couple hundred. My spot gets disturbed or destroyed, or I just get hungry. It's neat that most planets have easy access to food, though! Back when a lot of 'em used sharpened pokey sticks and rocks for hunting animals, it was a lot more annoying." Jinx straightened up a bit at Acerola's reveal of money, tugging her cape free from the devious chair, only to rip it partially in the process. With an irritated puff, the Majin zapped it with some loose magic, patching the hole perfectly.
"Qahwa," Jinx interjected helpfully. "I don't mind how you make it." AND a physical snack too? "And I do like sweet things..." Very much so. Sweetness was rare in nature, outside of fruit. Extremely saturated sugary confections were like flavor bombs. "So you're one of the scientist types, then. I've met my share. A lot just want to poke me with stuff." Jinx stretched, arms going beyond what appeared to be natural to loop around like a twisted pretzel. "Well, I know there are other Majins out there. Don't know much about 'em, though. I hear some are even 'born' these days; can you believe that?"
Ace would nod and lay her pad on the table properly after tapping away a few details about this 'Qahwa'. Resting her hands atop the same table with them both clasped together as she watched. She frankly didn't know the drink, so she didn't mind positive interjection. Only time would tell if Jinx would really appreciate the second half of this treat. At least the idea would get Jinx to perk up for conversation.
"Poke you with things? Please, that's old school. I've developed tech to peer into the very makeup of your being without so much as touching you. So worry not." She waves a hand at Jinx before promptly clasping them together again. She could, in fact, believe it. Mostly because her own creation was so weird. Honestly, if this Majin was created as she suspects, they are very similar. One just happened to maintain a sense of self before giving up to another form.
"I wouldn't know either. Don't get to meet and chat with many, a lot of them aren't nearly as sociable. Oh!" The waiter is back with steaming cups and an extra fluffy cake-like dish for the Majin. Topped with local berries and imported whipped creme. The doctor takes a moment to look into their own cup, observing it through her HUD much like she did Jinx. She'd wanna let it cool off before anything, just letting the warmth linger in her hands as she held it.
"You have long naps. Would you say you had equally long dreams too?"
"That sounds creepy." Jinx squinted in a highly suspicious manner. "Better not be lookin' like a weirdo would." Not that her outfit was very conservative in the first place. "Dunno how useful that da-tuh will be anyway. Folks who managed to pry some from me in the past said it was 'frustrating to work with'." At least the food came back in time to distract Jinx from further ambling. The heat didn't seem to deter her whatsoever from taking a long swing, putting the cup down with a content nod. "Very worthy of the name bean juice, I will say."
She was more interested in the snack cake anyway. Jinx was about to swallow it whole, pausing mid-grab. With a small sigh, she resorted to using the provided silverware, slicing a chunk off and popping it in. "Ahhh, now THAT takes the edge off." Certainly not enough to satiate her entirely, but Jinx didn't expect that of a regular shop. Maybe a few grocery stores... but even then, she felt EXTRA empty this time. "I, hm, don't really dream at all. It's like closing your eyes one moment and opening them the next, but a long time has passed. A VERY long time."
"Does it?" Ace thinks about it for a moment, squinting and looking up at the ceiling before having the epiphany. Tapping the table with a finger and drawing her gaze back down.
"Oh, right. That. I don't have a need for such inclinations. My own making is not one born of the baser desires like that if you could believe it. So excuse my partitioning that for a moment, that was about the last thing I would have used such gifts for." Just... what were people trying to 'work with' the Majin here? Their durability, perhaps? With the claim to being thousands of years old much more ancient, scientists probably saw it fit to use that to improve their own societies. Nowadays there were just better options than trying a primordial being like that though, even if she seemed relatively harmless.
As the Majin ate, her eyes locked on with hers. In that sort of analysis way as before, she was actively reading this girl up and down. Sipping on her own bean juice as it were. The tuffle was fond of this specific style of bitter caffeine water so it was a pleasant departure from Space Rations. Jinx's own levels seemed to even be lifted by a simple cake like that. All around, nice little place she'd start marking down on her pad. She spoke up as she wrote.
"That sounds awfully droll. So you just get tired and don't wake up for ages? A consciousness in suspension, waiting for its day to rise again. Does it ever come at a bad time, or is it something you can always prepare for?"
"Some people get weird about it," Living long enough meant Jinx would also be unfortunate enough to encounter the most deviant in society. "I mean, I'm not totally against it, but like... we're talking REAL oddballs here, heheh." The conversation had a strange cadence - not just because of the topic but the sheer difference in their vernacular. Despite coming off as simplistic, the Majin could perfectly understand Acerola's verbosity, just not the scientific specifics that Jinx had never learned. "Seems like the kinda research equipment some would kill for, literally. Some might say it's weird you wander around using it for your project."
Droll? That was a little harsh. "I think it's how my metaphorical brain copes. Squeezing that much lifespan into a single body probably isn't easy. A lot of the time, it's just a nagging desire to sleep, but it only happens by force for short periods if I get my butt kicked. Waking up always sucks though because it takes FOREVER to shake off my drowsiness. Have you seen my battle power!? It's like, a SMIDGE! A little crumb of what it should be! I wouldn't be surprised if some martial artist fell from the sky and was able to plant me like a tree!"
The Majin was kinda quirky, eliciting a short laugh through Ace's nose as she wrote down some more notes. Things including 'Bubbly' and 'Simple' seem to get typed in at a pace nearly unreadable even if you were looking over her shoulder. Not that she made any complaints about talking with those who were less inclined to be broad in their diction. Most just weren't going to have the technical know-how she does. It'd be silly if she couldn't parse stuff like metaphor and slang.
"Well, some have tried. Nasty business, that. The suite just isn't compatible with most, even if you did find a way to pry it from me." She readjusts and takes another hearty sip of her mug. This time letting out a sigh of comfort around the drink while listening to the way Jinx explained her sleep cycles as it were. A fuzzy finger goes to tap at her chin as she examines that power again.
"Twenty-thousand units. Easily within the top one percent of both trained and gifted individuals. Seems like the kind of power some would kill for. Literally." She clears her throat and leans on the table, closing the gap between them to get a better look at the whole... well, look.
"If it is true that this is merely a 'crumb' of your strength... I'd be quite interested in knowing how far it goes. You might be just who I am looking for." Way to be a bit vague there. Still, she hadn't really gotten to speak with strong people who didn't already know they were hot shit. And if this Majin is as ancient as they claim then there may be something to work with here...
"What, biometric coding? Or maybe it's just a really strong password! I remember hearing that '1234' was not good to use." As far as Jinx was concerned, technology would always be failable to some extent. It was a set of instructions and codes written by mortal hands, bound to have chink in its' armor. That didn't make it useless or even BAD, but the Majin felt more at home with magic users than scientists. Magicians were also funnier than engineers as a simple rule of nature. "Units-?" the Alien's follow-up made the implication click. "Oh! My Kili? It's only two right now. Could probably punt around most armies but struggle with the brass."
Jinx sniffed, squishy chin leaning into an open palm. "People used to be a lot stronger. I dunno if it was because there were just fewer living things in general or if, at some point, the stronger ones started making sure the not-so-strong ones didn't just immediately die. Could you imagine living as one of the civilians around here? Your life would be at the whim of even the most base soldier!" That sort of powerlessness was terrifying. And these people didn't even seem to realize how exposed they were.
"I used to be at LEAST ten Kili. Probably. Somewhere around there. That's not even taking into account my Magicka Burst! It can quintuple- wait, no, quadruple my resting Kili. It's so annoying to have it drained every time I decide to take an extended nap... doesn't take too long to get it back, though. Give it a few months and I'm sure I'll be in tip-top shape!"
The tuffle shook her head and waved her finger, tapping now at herself a few times for clarity. She was oft proud of her work. She probably got it from her progenitor before she came into this body. It makes sense, it's not like they form a personality until after they find suitable hosts. What she also wanted to make sense of was her own tech's security.
"You almost had it. Think deeper. I have tied such tech to specific presences, and specific genetic makeups. Each and every atom must be 'me' at the appropriate place AND time for it to function. Yes, it does prevent even quantum uncertainty from being a loophole into it! For each device, I'd have to custom-make for the individual. It includes a lot of implants, so if your body's just... semi-constant or non-constant in reality it also won't work." It's easily the most convoluted thing she's said up to this point, her mind also racing to type up stuff about this 'Kili'. If assumed correctly, Power Units had a conversion rate to this 'Kili' 10,000:1. Maybe the specificity was less important, or they could not so accurately read the power grade like that.
"Most do live as a civilian... But that may change. How strange... I know this recent phenomenon was not a mere coincidence. We're reaching a point of relapse. The Power Median fluctuates on a whim. That information alone isn't useful though. I'd like to know why." She pauses and faces her again. A small smile broaches her face as she watches.
"I want to propose something. For research, between us. And no, there will be no prodding. How would you like help to regain your power? In exchange, I get to run examines on you and your progress as time ebbs and flows. I believe I can spot a pattern and expand our understanding of the cosmos through it."
WC: 320 TWC: 1709
Last Edit: Dec 13, 2022 23:09:09 GMT -5 by Acerola
"Hmmm..." Deep in thought, Jinx sat silently for a moment. "If you're interested, I could mimic that perfectly enough to bypass such a lock. Not right now. Too 'eppy and too weak to mold me and myself like that. Could use some blood to make it work, too." While Jinx had never been the strongest of natural Majin, the apex of their species included ones who could effortlessly manipulate themselves down to the very quarks. It made killing them annoying. She had lost most of the potency to attain faux immortality and was now a reasonably harder-to-kill squishy mortal like the rest.
"A lot of people have wanted to know why." Jinx's expression hardened for a moment, and the weight of millennia smothered them both. "None of them ever figured out. I'm not gonna say you won't be different, but I sure as heck WILL tell you it's not likely." It wasn't feasible to quantify data regarding battle power norms across time and space. At most, you could draw a mushy web of random numbers and simply say: 'the pattern is that there is no pattern,' but eggheads won't be satisfied with that. "It's like trying to divide by zero."
Jinx wasn't the type of ye olden being to be sour and pessimistic about everything, but hope was often a disappointing lure. "Heh. You think you could do that?" Nobody had ever offered something like that before. "Most people prefer that I stay weak and docile so as to not potentially threaten their planet."