Like a Distorted Mirror

Wuffy

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Feb 16, 2018
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A young man with blue hair sat in a waiting room. At that time, he had no name aside from a couple of nicknames just used to be able to refer to him, but ultimately he cared little for. The expression on his face indicated boredom and agitation. His arms crossed, fingers tapped against his arms, and his foot tapped impatiently. Until recently, he was against agreeing to have the meeting that he now awaited. He was just a copy. A copy of someone he had never seen, let alone knew the name of. A mere reflection of a different time, with none of the memories that would've created the person that he was.

The young dragon sighed with irritation. Originally, he held no desire to meet the people he was biologically related to. After all, they had no obligation to deal with him and he didn't understand the concept of a 'family' anyway. But... he had gained a curiosity. Gradually, he had been learning more about socialising, an area of skills that he sorely lacked in. Part of this has been him having the opportunity to simply have conversations. Family seemed to pop up a bit. 'Why not', he eventually figured, 'could always be some people I fight at some point anyway'.

When Quie eventually arrived to the waiting room, she would find the young dragon slouched in a chair. The resemblance between the copy and Liun would immediately be noticed. His hair was shorter and messier, and he looked younger, certainly in his teens. But he had the same red eyes, although they had a cold look to them that would be unfamiliar to Quie. It wasn't just his appearance, but even with little mannerisms. From how he slouched with his arms crossed, to how he inclined his head to acknowledge Quie. "Are you who I'm supposed to be meeting?" He narrowed his eyes a little. How he spoke was similar, but certainly carried none of the friendly tone that Liun usually spoke in.


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Quie was admittedly very distrustful of this situation. What was basically a clone made by Liun's former captors posed a very real threat of some kind of infiltration attempt into the Akt'Anir community. But they also couldn't just ignore or abandon him. He was basically a blood relation even if he wasn't born to any of them.

She was dressed in business attire and carried a bag with just her usual thermos/cup and a notebook with several pens in it. The rest of her belongings, aside form her wallet and phone of course had been left behind at home. Took a breath and then knocked on the door, pausing for a moment and then coming in regardless of the response. She was expected.

The woman eyed the quite unfriendly teen slouching in the room. That wasn't a great sign. She stepped forward to offer him a hand as she greeted him, "Hello there. My name is Quie Rukt'In." Sitting down across from him, she took the time to pour herself a cup of coffee and really look him over. Quie had not seen Liun at this age but the teen in front of her definitely had a resemblance to her cousin.

"Would you prefer that we weren't having this meeting? I can end this and leave if you are displeased with me being here at any point. Just say the word," she offered very calmly. Effectively giving him notice that no one was forcing him to meet with her. At least not from her side.
 

Wuffy

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Feb 16, 2018
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When Quie offered her hand, the copy just stared at it. His look could easily be mistaken for a glare but he instead looked confused. It took him a moment, then he slowly shook Quie’s hand with his own. The movement was stiff, and his grip was loose. For a brief moment, he just didn’t know what exactly to do in the situation. Socialising was still something he had been getting used to.

Since he had actually started to be more cooperative, he knew the family name of the people he was related to. But hearing someone actually use it as part of their name made it feel weird. That feeling likely came from a disconnect the copy felt towards those he was related to by blood.

The young dragon decided to sit up straight a bit more, but there was still a slouch. He looked Quie over with a curious look. A part of him couldn’t help but wonder if this was what a dragon was supposed to look like. A lot more dignified and smart looking? The young dragon himself looked like a fairly typical teenager himself, wearing casual clothes. Albeit they still had a generally messy look to them.

Having been lost in his thoughts and silent, he only just about noticed Quie speak to him. Well, he wasn’t being forced to do this but the staff had actively encouraged him. Something about introducing him to new scenarios so he could learn more about interacting. “No, I’m the one who said I wanted to do this.” He spoke with a slight determined tone, not dissimilar to all the times Liun has promised to do something.

It only just occurred to him he hadn’t introduced himself. That was something he was told he should do when he met someone new. But, since he didn’t have a name, it was slightly trickier. “And, you can call me whatever. I don’t have a name, so I don’t care what you call me.” It would be as close to a proper introduction Quie would get, disrespectful tone and all.
 

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Quie waited patiently for the unnamed boy to shake her hand back. At first it seemed like maybe he was just being rude and uncooperative. Or disrespectful. But she reminded herself how he was literally still learning how to function socially. Or at least that's what they'd been told when setting up the meeting.

She eyed him back as the teen began to act like he was a little more interested in the conversation. At least it was something she could work with. "Good, then that's out of the way. And for the record i'm not going to disrespect you by picking a name for you. For now i'll stick to 'sir'." It was perhaps a little too formal but it felt wrong to just call him a random name without him picking it.

"For starters, how do you feel about us now that you know there is a community of ice dragons you have an... unusual relation to?" She was trying to gauge his intentions based on how he responded moreso than what he said. Quie took a casual sip of the coffee and picked up a pen to scratch a few things onto her notepad. Keeping it carefully angled away from him so he couldn't read it.
 

Wuffy

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Frankly put, he didn’t know what to expect out of this meeting. He didn’t possess the foresight yet to make guesses on how it could go. But, that question still felt like it caught him off guard. What he felt about about them? He didn’t know how to answer that. The closest he could really say would be... “Neutral, I guess?” His voice had a confused tone, and his face had a similar reaction.

He decided he’d continue on the same kind of line. “I don’t know if I should feel one way or another about people I’ve never met. But, what do I know? I’m just the mistake made by some assholes.” It could be argued he was speaking disrespectfully again, but it would be more accurate to say sarcastic. But, he wasn’t being sarcastic at Quie. Rather, he spoke in a sarcastic tone about himself.

It was something he picked up, which he likely would have never picked up if he hadn’t come to the island. It had been battered into his head that his creation wasn’t exactly morally right. He knows no one would ever say it, but he could almost feel the statement on the tip of everyone’s tongues. He was just a mistake made by people who caused pain, whose purpose was to ensure they could carry on causing pain. It wasn’t like he felt depressed by it or anything, he just held himself with a lot more sarcasm. Besides, his life was too short to get caught up by it.

It was his turn to ask a question. “Why’d you decide to see me? Could’ve easily ignored I existed and be done with it.” It would be a lie if the copy said he didn’t want to know anything about the clan he was related to. But a part of him felt confused as to why they would even go through the effort to deal with him.
 

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Quie hadn't expected much of an answer. This was very much about seeing how he reacted in general. Had he been an actual spy he'd probably have tried to win her over. Tried to play on the lonely person seeking a family idea. Instead he seemed to be fairly honest. A little self-deprecating, but honest.

"I'm more interested in your future rather than your past. You didn't have a choice on whether to be created or not, and i'm not here to judge you for that. I was just curious how you felt about us. Neutral is a fairly wise thing to be about an unknown group. You don't know us and we don't know you," she said quite casually as she spun the coffee cup in a slow circle on the table and made further notes on her pad of paper.

She set down the pen and looked him directly in the eyes to reply to his question. Her face wasn't, forgive the pun, cold. It was more... guarded. She was deliberately trying to avoid showing her emotions, but she didn't seem unfriendly or hostile at the moment. "No, I could not ignore your existence at all. Whether you join us or not you are still connected to us in some way. I'll be honest, my primary goal is to determine whether you are safe for us. Whether you will harm us if we accept you." It was blunt. But Quie was literally there to do a threat assessment. That was her job and her sworn duty to her community and her chief. To protect them from threats internal and external. And he deserved, as a sign of respect, to know that.

But Quie did let her face soften a little after that. "However, professional duties aside, you are also a young ice dragon. I'm unsure exactly whether you are a child according to the island or not but to us you are. And I would never just abandon a child, regardless of the circumstances of their... birth."
 

Wuffy

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Feb 16, 2018
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He listened as Quie spoke. There was something he could’ve responded with, but even he knew that it was a bit... much. ‘Future? What future?’ was all that played in the copy’s mind. The expiration date that meant he would only live three years already stripped him of a future. But he never spoke those thoughts, and only listened. What Quie said made sense, so he felt inclined to agree.

As Quie looked him in the eyes, he felt himself get on guard. He visibly tensed up and narrowed his eyes slightly. But as soon as he confirmed to himself that she wasn’t being hostile, he relaxed again. Reading emotions was another issue for the young dragon. To determine if he was safe? Well, the copy couldn’t exactly reassure her honestly that he was. An aggression, partially a natural trait from his species, and a trait he inherited, meant that he felt a desire to fight. To prove himself. When that anger got a little much, it would be taken out on someone. Right then, the copy didn’t exactly know that not everyone had the same desire to fight as he did, so would be distressed if he randomly attacked them.

However, the part that now stuck in the dragon's mind was about being 'accepted'. Because of how he was created, he was 'encoded' with the information that he was a disposable resource. Living on the island, he had been taught that he wasn't just some resource. It ingrained a lack of trust for him, though. He almost couldn't believe anyone would willingly take him in. "Are you guys really considering accepting me?" There was a cautious tone in his voice. It wouldn't be difficult to tell that he didn't exactly believe it.
 

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She watched the young dragon tense up under her gaze. Quie didnt see it as a threat though. It was a normal reaction for their kind. But she would have to keep him reminded that she was the dominant one here if he did challenge her. He might have been a copy of her older cousin but he was young.

As he relaxed again Quie nodded with approval. At the very least he wasn't all aggression.

His question drew a raised eyebrow from Quie. The disbelief sounded genuine to her. The poor thing. "Do you think we shouldn't?" She asked quizzically. Quie wondered if he was about to explain why he wasn't fit for being accepted or something. Either way every response he gave and every change in his body language helped her form an assessment about him. In her mind there were two motivations here now. The first, and primary or course, was to protect her community. The second was that she was seeing the copy here as almost like a newborn child put into an adult (or nearly adult) body and only given some of the directions on how to operate.

She wasn't finished answering him though. Quie kept her very professional demeanor and added, "but either way I won't lie to you about this- it won't be easy even if we decide to bring you in. If I don't think you are going to harm us and then the others agree about, then yes we are considering it as an option."

Quie leaned back in her chair and raised the notepad up again to take a few more notes.
 

Wuffy

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A stunned look appeared on his face for a moment. Did he think they shouldn't? He couldn't actually come up with a reason for why they shouldn't except for the simple fact he wasn't actually one of them. Besides, although he didn't know what was taken, something had to have been taken from whoever the copy was based on in order for him to exist. That would be enough justification to dislike him. "Well... I'm not really one of you guys. What even would whoever I'm based on think?" The young dragon didn't know who he was based on. Not what he was like, what he looked like, not even his name.

Then, he thought to himself. "Even then, it's not like I want to join you guys or anything." He crossed his arms and looked away from Quie with his jaw clenched. Although he looked irritated, it would be difficult for anyone to actually believe that he meant the words he spoke. Just like Liun, he was a terrible liar when it came to things he wanted. Not that he'd know he was a terrible liar, though. In a way, he even attempted to lie to himself; he totally didn't care about what they thought of him at all, he didn't even want to join their clan, didn't want to be accepted.

He started tapping his foot again before he turned back to Quie with a huff. With little attempt to hide it, he had a bit of a bored expression again. Plus, how he fidgeted seemed to match his expression. Generally, the copy had a look to him like he just wanted to do anything other than sit there. Being the impulsive dragon he is, he decided he would something. "What are you even writing about? You can't be writing all that about me." With that, he stood up from his chair and attempted to peek at the notepad by leaning across the table.
 

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The reasons he gave were indeed issues but Quie and the others were well aware of them. Ultimately it was up to Fweiu and Liun whether the copy would be allowed to be part of their community. Quie wasnt going to promise anything to him until after she'd reported to Fweiu and they had spoken to Liun to hear how he felt.

But she had to hide the smile thst nearly crept onto her face. He lied like Liun did. It was unmistakable, and clearly the person before her really just wanted connections and people to belong with. "You are not very good at lying, child. But we will not force you to join us if you dont want to. It will be your choice after we determine whether it will be a good idea to offer that option to you," she replied but let a small smile cross onto her lips as she spoke. She wasnt seeing anything that would give her reason to consider him too much of a threat to the community.

The fidgeting and need to be active didnt escape her notice, though Quie couldnt really blame him. He was cooped up and starved for socialization and activity. Young dragons needed to be active for their own development and even if he wasnt a hatchling he was acting like a cross between one and Liun. And her cousin liked to poke around and mess with them even as an adult.

Quie quickly flipped the notes over and stood up. But he would've had a quick upside down glance at some of the writing. Notes about what he'd lied about and his behavior during the conversation.

"These are my notes. And yes they are all about you and this conversation. Are you bored of speaking with me?" Quie sounded like a school teacher. Or a mother. Chiding a child for snooping.

After a moment though she relaxed a bit and looked at him. "I know you probably need to burn off some energy. Would a little arm wrestling help?"
 

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