siafukira: ([ we couldn't wait to get outside)
siafukira ([personal profile] siafukira) wrote2009-08-22 03:18 pm
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It's been almost three weeks. Light is settling in.

He's cleaner than he was, differently dressed in loose, fleecy clothes - a brown sweater beneath a blue hooded jacket; he feels the cold. His hair's rough and a little frizzy, and stands out around his thin face in an unenthusiastic halo; the raw, cracked skin on his hands has calmed down a little, and now they're just spotted with pink weals, over the knuckles and along the edges. The sword's still slung at his side, but it's out of sight.

The small bowl he's slowly making his way through is mostly soup, with rice submerged beneath it and some green onion sliced on top. There's a complicated-looking giant purple book open on the table in front of him.

The quiet luxury all around him feels less uncanny than it did, but it's still bad enough. It's as if he's dead.

[[OOC: private to [livejournal.com profile] chilichoc.]]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
*Mel hasn't met this Light, and her first concern is always whether or not a new one is Kira. He looks very different from most, enough that she doesn't sound hostile at all.*

Doing some light reading? No pun intended.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Absolutely.

[It's said with a slight grin, which doesn't touch his eyes. Light looks from the article in front of him - a summary of research into prion-caused pathogenesis in 2006 - to the woman who's just come in; the unfamiliar familiarity is a little like vertigo.]

What can I say, it's a trashy novel. I do hear justice prevails in the end.

[He sounds uninvolved, more cold than friendly. He's perched on the edge of his chair; the small backpack he's wearing won't let him sit back.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 05:43 am (UTC)(link)
Hopefully without much of a body count.

*It's not half as edged as it would be with some of his alternates.*

My name's Mel, and yours is Light, isn't it?

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 05:48 am (UTC)(link)
[He doesn't freeze outwardly as much as he might; the look's subtle, like you might give a child parrotting tasteless jokes they don't understand, and mostly into his soup.]

Light, yes. Pleased to meet you, Mel.

Strange question. Were you always a woman, or did you wake up that way today?

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 05:52 am (UTC)(link)
*She gets two bars of chocolate from the cupboard, puts one in her coat pocket, then leans back against the counter.*

Not so strange here. I've always been a girl.

Medicine's a bit outside the normal fields of interest for a version of you.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 06:14 am (UTC)(link)
I got sidetracked.

[Just a little business of the end of the world. He's been insanely busy since he arrived, raiding empty bathrooms and holing up in the main library, and almost hasn't spoken to anyone. The comment he follows up with is almost bright, still picking at the rice.]

I meant to go into mass-murder, but this had better prospects.

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 06:32 am (UTC)(link)
*If he can joke about that, Mel thinks, he must not be from a Kira world.*

So you've been here long enough to hear about that.

*She tears some of the wrapper off the bar of chocolate she held onto.*

What's your world like, then? *She's noticed his hands, but even between them, the book, and his clothes, can't yet form a picture of where he comes from.*

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 07:11 am (UTC)(link)
Strange you should ask. I think I met the version of you from my world.

[There's no suggestion of distaste in his voice at all - or of anything very much. The question's evaded; Light has zero confidence in these people's ability to understand his world at any level.]

He was Russian, but you're - not?

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 07:24 am (UTC)(link)
No.

You met him here?

*She snaps off a bite of her chocolate.*

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 07:32 am (UTC)(link)
When I arrived, yes. He was military.

[Again, no hint of exactly what that signifies to Light: entitled, unpleasant, brutal when they think they can get away with it. He looks across at her.]

Not like you, again, am I right?

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 07:44 am (UTC)(link)
*She huffs a short laugh.* Not like me in any conventional sense.

Russian military... *Mostly to herself; it pings a memory of something a Matt told her when he landed here.* Not Ukrainian?

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 07:49 am (UTC)(link)
He might have been Ukrainian. I wasn't going to ask. You don't know him?

[Because the thoughtful air doesn't suggest that this is someone Mel's met. He picks out some more of the rice. Something about the way Light's eyes follow her is too set, too steady. Like a war orphan, or a famine victim.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 10:52 pm (UTC)(link)
No, but I think I know the Matt from your world.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
You know as well, then.

[Just a twitch of a humourless grin, beneath that flat stare; he knows just how out of place he is here.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 11:29 pm (UTC)(link)
But where you are isn't 'grey,' is it?

*It's probably clear she's not certain she's using the word correctly in context.*

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
[Light knows the American term; he's picked it up from the radio.]

Not yet.

[From what he's heard, the situation's darker all the while; the active fronts draw further and further east all the time, leaving scorched earth behind them. Picking up the bowl, he sips the soup before continuing; at least the war's progress gives him a timeframe.]

Your world's one of the Kira worlds.

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 11:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah. For now.

Is Japan...? *She trails off. She knows Hawaii is still safe, but figures any island group could go either way, depending on their luck and defenses.*

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 11:54 pm (UTC)(link)
No.

[Just like that, icily matter-of-fact. It's been his reality for six years, after all - though somehow the look he's fixed on her gets flatter and darker. Easy to see how he heard the question.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-23 11:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh. Fuck.

Where'd you go?

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:04 am (UTC)(link)
Russia, Korea, the Ryukyu Islands. Those who could get out, I mean.

[Looking away from her, picking over the rice that's left. He eats strangely slowly for someone who hasn't seen a decent meal since the world ended.]

I'm in - did you hear of the Kamchatka peninsula?

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:16 am (UTC)(link)
*She shakes her head, but guesses based on the name.*

Russia?

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:27 am (UTC)(link)
[He's not shocked; everybody's response had been "Where?" Except his. With the hand holding the chopsticks, he sketches a lazy diagonal to his logical northeast; table manners are something of a thing of the past.]

It's the peninsula at the eastern tip of Russia. The Chishima Islands connect it with Hokkaido. [His mouth twitches in the corner.] It's an interesting place. Very geographically unique.

[It's not shorthand for "it's hell on earth"; that would be Japan. It's just very bad.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
Defensible for a long time, you mean?

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
It would be nice to think so.

[He doesn't.]

The sea on three sides, that chain of islands to the south, however many millions it is coming across the mainland ... no, it's not defensible. Not in the long term.

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
*She frowns.*

Things are really that bad there?

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:47 am (UTC)(link)
You'll get one impression from the military, and another from civilians.

[If anyone's a civilian back home, the bedraggled masses of West Kamchatka qualify well enough. While Light considers himself somewhere in between, it's a conceit.]

It's not a matter of winning. We can't win. The thing to do - [and his glance falls on the virology text in front of him] - is hold out until we can get around the problem. That's all.

[It almost sounds defeatist, very unlike what's typical of Lights. And the explanation's so even and cold.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 12:51 am (UTC)(link)
*She snaps off another bite of chocolate.*

You believe there's a cure. Matt never made it sound like there was any hope of one.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:02 am (UTC)(link)
No, you can't cure them.

[Billions of walking dead, who can't be saved. He doesn't blink.]

Can't create a conventional vaccine, either - the virus is probably the most potent toxin known. But something that could get into the RNA and combat it directly, infect it or reprogram it - gene therapy, or nanotechnology—

[He shrugs.]

I'm sure people are working on it somewhere. It's not as if there are the resources to do it where I am. Perhaps that's why I'm here.

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Maybe. And at least you know you're safe here.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:19 am (UTC)(link)
Mmm. Safe.

[It's not that he expects them to come around the corner - though if they do, he'll be ready, and he knows the possibility isn't zero. It's more the instincts that have been wired into him - always know your exits, always be ready for them, get out and stay out - are liabilities here. Though, of course, it isn't as if he couldn't go back at any time.

There's also the question of what in particular made Light feel safe - the things that are missing in the mansion...]


That will take some time to get used to, I think.

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:21 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah. Matt has a garden. *Not that Light seems to have trust issues with the food.*

Hell, he probably has a bunker by now.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:28 am (UTC)(link)
[It's a question of environments - where Light has come from, what food there is is produced nearby, and the major problem is stretching it over the year. He's more concerned about unacclimatising himself and then finding himself back in his tent, truth be told; if everyone else trusts the food, he's going to go with it.]

A bunker.

[Again, differences. Light doesn't quite wince.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:32 am (UTC)(link)
That was a joke. Though I wouldn't be shocked if he'd thought of it.

You don't like them, do you? Your Matt and Mello.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:35 am (UTC)(link)
I don't know them at all, Mel.

[Just a hint, there, of the polished, lying tone the others wear like their skin; he objects without being slimy about it. The lie is that he likes them well enough, not that he know them.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:46 am (UTC)(link)
*She takes another bite and studies him for a moment, not quite sure whether he's lying and, if so, about what.*

At least it's not inevitable that we hate each other.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
Life's too short to go around hating people.

[The ironic homily echoes his mother and his childhood and a world that was safe and populated with human beings, and he doesn't react outwardly at all.]

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
Not really. Not if they deserve it.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 09:25 am (UTC)(link)
Even if they do, it's unconstructive.

[The question of whether he hates anyone, and for what reason, is unspoken, and he avoids it. Over time, what he's found far too often is that knowledge breeds understanding, and pity - and that's ninety percent of the reason he was so initially reticent: he won't be pitied.]

It skews your judgement. Gets in your hair. You know the sort of thing.

[identity profile] chilichoc.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 10:09 pm (UTC)(link)
*She really, really does know the sort of thing, but she thinks he doesn't.*

Sometimes it helps you see clearly.

[identity profile] siafukira.livejournal.com 2009-08-24 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Perhaps.

[He's not going to argue with her. Reaching out, he turns a page of the book.]

But it must be interesting, that. To have an enemy with a consciousness. One worth hating, with a face you don't recognise.

[Looking right at her, as he says that.]