Aura Adventures Part 1

Aug 21st, 2018
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  1. You are Hana.
  3. And you have no idea how this is supposed to work. Your head is spinning, your body feels funny and not quite there. But your innermost self, that’s what feels the most different. It’s exposed, floating out into a vast ocean of three of the closest people to you in your life.
  5. You feel like you’ve slowly shifted towards somewhere else. Towards someone else. This is a sensation different from even the weirdest drugs you were given at the hospital.
  7. You feel yourself slump against something. It’s not your body that slumps, but your mind. No, not even that. More like your feelings. You can’t explain it. You can picture how the camera work would look like if you put it to film, though.
  9. It probes you, it feels like. You’re against what feels like a big stone or boulder, but with soft matting on it. You probe it back. It’s familiar and comforting, but it’s not welcoming of you. It’s cut off. Gated. Windowed.
  11. You can see a little bit of inside of it, actually. You need to squint. Is your body squinting, you wonder? How does this work, exactly? You’re still not sure what to expect from this. You should though, shouldn’t you? You never really did much to look into your own roots. But why should you feel guilty about that? You’re an individual, it doesn’t matter.
  13. You try peering into the window, but it’s already closing. You catch a glimpse of a warm beach, and a fierce, strong, sexy Laki.
  15. Wow, she’s so cool! That confidence! That power! Laki is more than just a super hot athletic girl who you get to do lewd stuff with. More than just a set of powerful thighs you wouldn’t mind having your head crushed by. She’s someone you look up to, and somehow quickly become your closest female friend. You want to get closer with her.
  17. “Laki!” You try to shout. You’re not sure if she can hear you, or if you’re really shouting. Despite being a very introspective person.
  19. But she doesn’t answer. The window closes in a hesitant and awkward motion, and you’re locked out.
  21. Laki doesn’t want you to be closer.
  23. That hurts. A lot. You thought she liked you. Not just tolerated you, but liked you.
  25. “Okay.” You mutter, feeling light, floaty, but still too heavy to move much under your own power. Your aura floats off to somewhere else. You’re not sure what to do and don’t really feel up to explore, so you let the waters sweep you away. Despite your mood, the sensation of floating away is pretty magical.
  27. Time is strange here. You spend time thinking, but you have no idea how much you have to spend. Your mind wanders aimlessly. It’s peaceful and comforting to float along. It’s not exactly a sensation you get all the time.
  29. Woah! Things are going faster now. Really fast. You’re suddenly zooming. You blink and realize you’re racing down a waterfall.
  31. You should be scared, but this is amazing. You’re free falling now. Wind flaps around you. And a huge lake inside of an island is coming right at you. You splash into the water.
  33. Oh crap. You can’t swim! You’re-
  35. You’re lifted out by a large hand, and when you wipe your eyes, you see a gigantic Herb. “Herb?”
  37. “Are you alright?” Keira asks.
  39. “Keira!” You shout, confused, but still somehow feeling safe as the gigantic Herb sets you down on dry land. “What’s going on? Everything so so...vivid, but strange.”
  41. She giggles. It’s as adorable as always, but a lot more comforting at the moment. “Welcome to me! Herb was here before.”
  43. You glance up at the giant Herb again. His expression shows you that this isn’t him. Herb isn’t just that boyish cute face. He’s got such a distinct look in his eyes all the time. These eyes aren’t his. “So, that’s like, an imaginary Herb?”
  45. Keira shrugs. “Feels comforting though, doesn’t it?”
  47. “Yeah.” You check out your surroundings. It’s an island. The forest off in the distance looks a lot more intimidating than it did when you were falling.
  49. “So, what do we do here?” You ask.
  51. “Whatever you want!” She smiles and takes your hand. “This is a joyful place! What would bring you joy? I’ll do whatever you want as long as it’s fun!”
  53. You glance up and down at Keira. She’s so perky right now! And her cute, sporty version of her clothes amplify her cuteness even more. “Heh. Well, I don’t think that’d be appropriate. But hey, can you tell me more about this place? How this aura stuff works?”
  55. “How do you explain how this feeling works?” She says, coming around and giving you a brief tickle. “I can’t. You have to feel it.”
  57. You laugh. You’re sure someone could describe it using a lab and breaking it down, but you doubt someone could fully understand the feeling of being tickled without experiencing it.
  59. You gesture to the gigantic Herb. “Is he, um, totally proportional?”
  61. “What do you mean? Of course he is. He’s just Herb, but bigger.”
  63. “Uh huh. Cool.” You let that information percolate and eye over his pants. You know you should have a thousand other things on your mind right now, but there’s one thing you just have to see. Who wouldn’t? “Can I ask him to do something?”
  65. “You’re too self-conscious.” Keira teases. “Ask what you want to.”
  67. You were kidding, mostly. But the fun tone and feeling here is a little infectious. You mull over the ethical implications for a second, find nothing that really jumps out at you, and decide to just go for it. “Giant Herb! Show me your giant dick!”
  69. You think it didn’t hear you for a second, but then it glances down at you.
  71. “Have some fun! Everybody get naked!” Keira yells, kicking off her bottoms.
  73. You like this aspect of Keira.
  75. The gigantic Herb’s pants come down in a whoosh that creates enough wind to almost knock you over.
  77. And there it is, bigger than you. Towering above.
  79. But this isn’t as fun as you expected. It’s neat, and seeing on big enough to crush a car is an image you won’t soon forget. You were hoping for a more giddy thrill, though. A more accomplished feeling.
  81. You’d prefer the real thing.
  83. No, scratch that. You’d prefer the intimacy with Herb, in whatever form it takes.
  85. Oh gosh. That thought sets your heart into a flutter. To see that look in his eyes when he gazes into yours. To feel the assurance of being with someone who always stands up for his values and doesn’t compromise. His strong character and giving nature.
  87. “Surprise!” Keira says, leaping onto your back. “You’re it!”
  89. “Hey!” A laugh you weren’t expecting comes following after. “Come back here!”
  92. =---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------=
  95. You are Laki. And you’re scared and worried. You felt a warm and safe and familiar presence before, and you know it was Hana, but you panicked and shut the door. Now you’re setting sail into an ocean of doubt and worry. It’s like you’re being split in half, except you still feel a connection to where you started. Maybe another analogy is that you’re just a liquid in a bottle, and some of you is poured out into a big plate full of the liquids of other people.
  97. Ew. That didn’t come out right.
  99. You forget about that and try to concentrate. But the more you try, the harder it gets. It goes against your nature to stop trying.
  101. No, that’s not true. Ever since the games, you let yourself slip and fall and slowly fade away. You stopped trying the moment you decided you’d rather let yourself fail on purpose instead of seeing how far you could go. You just embraced the depression and lack of purpose that comes with being stagnant instead of facing your limits.
  103. Maybe that is your limit. Maybe you were just born being unable to do anything that significant. Maybe you were just born to be complacent in your own destiny.
  105. No, you- woah!
  107. Your ship is falling down a waterfall now. You’re slipping into something. Your paddles are useless, and once the waterfall gets steeper a half a second later, so does the boat. You freefall.
  109. And you land on a nice, cush...bed? You slowly open your eyes.
  111. “Gah!” You scramble back. There’s an old man here. “Sorry! I-” Oh. He’s not breathing. You put a hand on his and it’s cold to the touch. He’s been dead for awhile.
  113. “Grandpa, I made you breakfast!” A cheerful, blonde haired boy enters into the room. You jump a bit and bang your head on the shelf overhanging the bed.
  115. “Ah! Damnit!” You rub your head. “Soft Hands?”
  117. He cocks his head. “Laki?”
  119. He recognizes you despite being a much younger version of himself. Alright. Think. You’ve heard about how these rituals are supposed to go. You’re Loanan. You’re mixed into his very being. You’ll experience his perspectives.
  121. And he’ll experience yours. That’s a disturbing thought.
  123. “Are you okay?” He asks. “Hungry?”
  125. “Uh, no thanks.” You say as you carefully move yourself over the deceased man and off the bed. “Who...who is this?”
  127. “That’s grandpa!” He declares. “He’s sleeping, but I’ll just leave his breakfast here for when he wakes up.”
  129. Your heart is going in different directions. It aches over his ignorance or denial. It sinks over his innocence. It jumps at his kindness. “I have to tell you something. He’s not-”
  131. “Oops!” He accidentally drops the tray. “Oh no. I’ll have to make some more. Come on, I’ll feed you too.”
  133. You want to protest, to tell him you’re not hungry, even if he didn’t listen the first time. To grab his head and make him look directly at his dead grandpa so he understands.
  135. But you don’t. The moment passes, and you fail to take action. You tell yourself it’s not your place, but you know it’s that it hurts too much to do. It’s too scary to be the one that shows him something painful.
  137. It’s a cozy little wooden house. A very old but well maintained fireplace crackles, and Soft Hands places a pot of water on top of it.
  139. “It’ll be a few minutes before that’s boiling. I hope you don’t mind the wait.” He says, smiling.
  141. “No problem.” You say, looking around. “So, you know who I am?”
  143. He looks confused. “You’re Laki.”
  145. “And, who am I to you, exactly?”
  147. He turns around and faces you. Then, approaching, he takes your hand hand. “You’re one of the most important people in the world to me. You’re someone I look up to. Someone I want to support. Someone I love. Someone who fills me with excitement, happiness, and lust. Someone I worry about and someone who I trust with my most vulnerable feelings. You’re so cute sometimes that it hurts.”
  149. Your heart races and your face lights on fire. Damnit! Every time! Get control and say something. Anything!
  151. You let out low, dumb sounding laugh. Because you caved under pressure like you always tend to do.
  153. “See? Cute!” He climbs up on the other stool and messes up your hair. That paralyzes you, and the pressure makes you even less responsive. But it’s alright to do it in front of him.
  155. You’re safe.
  157. The water boils over and he quickly turns to go fix it. “Whoops. I’m still getting used to this. Grandpa taught me a bit but I need to practice.”
  159. You glance around the small cabin. The walls and furniture are all wooden, and pots and pans and ladles are hanging off the walls on one side. There’s a corner with some more feminine looking knick-knacks that you assume belonged to his grandma, and some portraits of his family. You pick up a picture of his mom and dad. It must have been taken years ago, because he looks a lot like Soft Hands in it. “So this is your grandpa’s place, huh? It must have meant a lot to you. Must have been hard to leave it behind. I don’t know if I could leave my homeland.”
  161. He’s facing away from you. His silence is deafening.
  163. You look out the window. It’s comforting to see the familiar pokemon outside enjoying the open field. There’s Belladonna enjoying the sunlight, but she's still just a cute little Budew. Dice and Gobble are playing, Mace is occasionally joining in, Sorbet stands off to the side but freezes the ground under both to make them slip, laughs, and playfully runs away.
  165. “Here you go!” He sets a plate of strong, brown soup down in front of you. He adjusts it a few times, then adds in one last dash of salt.
  167. “Thanks.” You pull up the plate as he himself a cute little tune and goes to the sink. He sure is adorable.
  169. “Wait, hold on.” He says, taking the plate back. “Just one more quick adjustment.”
  171. You watch as it scurries back to the cooking area with it. You’d call it the kitchen, but it’s not really a separate room. It’s just the central fireplace where the heat and food are. Ah. This is so much less stressful than your last vision quest. There’s just something so comfortable about your little guy.
  173. Man. He’s a little guy, he’s a man. He always takes the actions of a man. He just still looks a little boyish, that’s all. And you think it’s cute.
  175. “Okay, here it is.” He presents it again.
  177. “Alright. It smells perfect.” You inhale, taking a spoon. “Thanks, Soft Hands.”
  179. He thinks. “Hmm. I should sweeten it up a little. One more-”
  181. You stop his hand from reaching it. “Why do you keep adjusting it? You’re never this insecure about your cooking.”
  183. He looks down. “Well, it’s hard to explain. It never really feels like a dish is done. That a meal is totally ready. Because the meal has to be perfect for the person eating it, and people always have different needs from moment to moment. They’re always changing, too.”
  185. You laugh. “I’m close enough to being the same person now as I was a minute ago. It’ll be fine.” You take a sip while he hesitates and fidgets. “Oh. Oh my sweet ancestors this is good.” You didn't expect to taste anything. It tastes like hope and comfort. It hits the spot like nothing else.
  187. “You like it?” He asks, his big blue eyes as wide as dinner plates, and the sunlight sparkling in his golden hair.
  189. You smile and lean forward a bit and rustle his hair, stopping when your hand finds it’s way to holding the back of his head and pulling him in pretty close to your chest. You leer down. “Your future wife is going to be a very happy lady.”
  191. He blushes and stammers. “T-thank you.” You didn’t even mean to do that, but now that you’ve seen his reaction, you want to tease him a bit. But there are other things on your mind.
  193. “Show me outside.” You say as you take his hand.
  195. “Oh! Sure!” He lights up and directs you to the door.
  197. You take one quick glance around the cabin before you exit. The wood stove at the center of the room gave off such a nice heat. It’s hard to leave. The wooden walls are covered in little knick-knacks, pictures of family and nice moments. There’s his grandpa and you assume grandmother. He looked a lot like Soft Hands when he was younger. You look nothing like his wife. You hope you have kids that take after his looks more than yours.
  199. And there’s his Grandpa’s breakfast; sitting out, finished.
  201. A wave of guilt washes over you as you come outside.
  203. It’s a large, fenced in area surrounded by wide plains as far as the eye can see. The occasional cluster of trees dots the horizon, and a much closer one takes up a small portion of the area on the west side. You’ve only seen this much flat land before when you flew to the games. It grips you for a long enough moment that you let his hand slip from yours.
  205. “Something wrong?” He asks. “It’s not the food, is it?”
  207. “Huh? No. No. I’m just taking it in.” This is the frame of reference he has for land. Endless expanses. Endless room to grow and endless space for everyone. You can see why his outlook on life would be so optimistic, so willing to be generous.
  209. “I think it’s beautiful too.” He says, looking out at the endless rolling landscape. At a place for everyone. A world of infinite possibilities.
  211. “So, what’s first on my tour? I want to know more about how your childhood felt.”
  213. His smile is replace with one a little less genuine. “How it feels? That’s... well, how about I show you some memories and we talk about how you feel about them.”
  215. When you picture the stereotypical man afraid of talking about his feelings, his face doesn’t usually come up. But you’ve come to know him so well. He shares his positive feelings freely, but he still always keeps any negative ones deeply hidden. He doesn’t want to burden anyone. You’d swear he works a thousand times harder on avoiding inconveniencing anyone than he does looking out for himself. It can be infuriating sometimes. Doesn’t he know how invested in his wellbeing you are? You just want to shake him sometimes and ask if you’re the only one out of the two of you that cares about how he feels.
  217. Well, you can see that same concern in Hana, too. You don’t talk about it, but you both share it on an innate level. That realization stings you and makes you feel guilty. You’re the older and more assertive one. You shouldn’t be running away from her. You can’t very well get upset at Soft Hands for never being open about his negative emotions, fears, and worries, if you can’t do the same with Hana.
  219. The face of Herb’s grandfather flashes in your eyes in response to those thoughts. “Wait.” You grab his hand and spin him around a little more forcefully than you had intended. He tenses for only a second before relinquishing complete control to you, making you feel even more responsible towards him. “Before we go on, I have to tell you something. Something about your grandfather.”
  221. He freezes up. “Tell me all about it in the forest!” He starts to pull on your arm. “It’s really scary but I know if we go together I won’t be too scared to get to the nice spot.”
  223. “Nice spot?” You ask, letting him lead you into the forest. You assure yourself that you’ll bring up his grandpa later. At a better time.
  225. “It’s really beautiful.” He says. “I can’t normally make it there unless I’m with someone older. Grandpa hasn’t been able to take me there anymore.” You can only see the back of his head as he leads you deeper into the woods, but you can sense the sudden tension in his muscles at accidently bringing his grandpa back up. “My sister said she’d take me once, but it was taking too long and she said I could come back with her or just go myself. I tried to go myself but I couldn’t. And when I got back, she was really mad. She got in trouble for leaving me in the woods. It wasn’t my fault. I was able to come back alright. I was old enough. I told my sister, and she believed me. It wasn’t her fault either.” He’s a little jittery, watching the dark spots in the forest as he leads you in, but there’s also that distinct sound of righteous anger. He feels the situation was unjust. He’s still short of admitting it, but you know that tone. He gets it once in awhile when he encounters things he disagrees with. But he always keeps it on a very tight leash. He’s afraid of letting it get too loose.
  227. “So whose fault was it?” You ask, wanting to understand his thought process better.
  229. “Huh?”
  231. “Well, you’re talking about who isn’t to blame. So who was in the wrong? What made them wrong?”
  233. “Um, nobody’s, I guess.” He tries to get up a large rock. He struggles and pulls himself up, but his knee slips and he gets a small scratch. He looks back to see how you react.
  235. “That sucks.” You tell him, offering no help. You really want to help push him up, but you resist the very strong urge. “But it’ll be worth it to see this spot, right?”
  237. He nods, summoning more strength. “Right.” He takes a running start so he can grab a branch that’s high up, and pulls himself the rest of the way. The look of accomplishment on his face easily washes away your guilt for not helping.
  239. He extends a hand to help you. It’s a courtesy, since being taller and more athletic, it’s pretty clear you can make it over much easier than he could. Still, you take it. You pull yourself up with his hand and end up pressed against him.
  241. “Thanks.” You say, not moving your body off of his. There’s not really room to step back and he’s pressed against a tree.
  243. “N-no problem.” He blushes.
  245. You do feel bad about enjoying his reactions, but it really is nice to know that deep down, he has a genuine attraction to you. You very slowly slide your body along his as you move yourself to secure footing. “Don’t get too excited. You’ll have plenty of time to put babies in me later.” You drop a very unsubtle hint. “Now come on. I want to see this place that’s so important to you.”
  247. You’re surprised to see him already looking you in the eyes. “Sure! And, thanks for coming all this way. I know it’s a pain.”
  249. “I’m capable of making choices.” You tell him. “Now, back to the conversation. Why is it nobody’s fault? Your sister got punished for something that wasn’t her fault and nobody is responsible? Do you really believe that?”
  251. “... I guess not.”
  253. “Don’t guess.” You become a little frustrated. “Be honest about what you think. Nobody else is going to talk on your behalf.”
  255. “I don’t like saying mean things about people.” He looks away.
  257. You pull on his hand. Not hard, but hard enough to let him know you want him to turn and face you. “If you were doing something wrong, you’d want people to call you out, right? You’d value that more than protecting your ego, right?”
  259. He looks confused. “I gue-...well, yes.”
  261. “So do that for the people around you. You can’t just be scared of causing trouble. Everything alive causes trouble. Those plants over there are causing trouble to all the plants around them by occupying space that the others could expand into for more sunlight and soil. It’s unavoidable. So don’t worry about upsetting. Worry about representing yourself. Be brave and tell me your honest thoughts. Or at least, tell them to yourself if you don’t trust me with them.”
  263. “I...” He’s silent for awhile. The forest settles in, getting a little darker. A little quetier. But there are more unidentified noises, now. He looks up with determination. “My dad was wrong! My sister didn’t do anything. I can make it to the spot on my own, and come back. He just overreacted because I got scared and ran home crying instead of being brave.” He raises his head high. “There’s nothing out here for me to be afraid of!”
  265. His voice echoes out a bit. It’s clear, loud, and pushes away the darkness. When he opens his eyes again, they’re different. Bolder, more determined, and attached to an older looking, stronger man.
  267. “Looking good.” You pat him on the back.
  269. “Thanks. Let’s go!” He takes your hand and leads you on. He’s a lot faster and stronger now, guiding you through the land as it turns into a swamp. Still, he knows where to jump and what paths to take. You can see why it’d be difficult for someone young and scared though.
  271. “Oh, this is nice.” You say, as he takes you to a small campsite. It’s just this tiny little clearing with some rocks forming a sort of mound. It’s not that impressive.
  273. “Yeah.” He looks a little embarrassed. “It’s not that impressive. I know, but it feels special. But there’s where my grandpa first started taking me out camping when I was little. This is really the only nice spot in the whole forest for camping. Grandpa took me and my sister. I’m having a new brother soon and I want to show him this some day, but I could never be brave enough to go without someone older. My sister and I were closer when we were younger. Before she started caring about being popular. We used to play this video game, and there was a spot where you got a magic sword that looks exactly like that rock formation. So when we came here, it was sort of this special thing we had. Sorry, I know it’s silly but-”
  275. “Shhh.” You tell him, snuggling up. “It’s great. You don’t need to apologize.” You dig deep now. There’s still something you need to say. Something that you can’t ignore. You know you’re just going to keep putting it off unless you act now. You can’t think of the perfect way to say it, so you’re just going to come out with it. “Herb, you’re grandfather is dead.”
  277. Silence blankets the forest. Your heart begins to beat nearly out of your chest so hard that you know he can feel it. You messed up. You’re the face of his pain now. You took him to the special getaway spot and ruined it by blurting that out. This was a huge mistake.
  279. “I know.” He whispers, sounding defeated. A tear streams down his face. He’s not mad at you, or at all. He’s not denying it. He’s just very, very sad about it. It weighs heavily on him, and he can’t manage the weight of it. He just sits down.
  281. The two of you stay snuggled in close for a good long time. You hold him until he’s strong enough to handle that weight on his own.
  283. “Thank you.” He gives you a hug before you begin to fade.
  285. You were sort of planning to see what his lewd section would like, what he saw for your future together, and other things you could use to improve your relationship with. But this, you realize after, was the best way to help your relationship in the end.
  287. --end of part 1--
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