The First Time I Died (Staren)

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The First Time I Died (Staren)
Date of Cutscene: 03 March 2014
Location: Planetary Plains
Synopsis: Staren is woefully underprepared to fight LUCHA KOOPA and pays the ultimate price. Fortunately, he was prepared for that. Or was he, really...?
Thanks to: Bowser, Theo Morrison, Maya, Asuna
Cast of Characters: Staren, Theo Morrison, Asuna

I remember the night of my twenty-first birthday... That was the first time I died. wait, wrong cutscene.

==

The death of Niv-Mizzet... no, the disappearance of Niv-Mizzet, loomed large in Staren's mind. Just when he thought he had things under control, he was again faced with something he could do nothing about. And he could not accept that there would always be things beyond his control. What was the point of it all, if no matter what you did, one day people could be hurt or killed, permanently, with nothing you could do to stop it?

Staren consulted with a time traveler, but that hope was dashed. You do not mess with time. He ranted to friends. He hurt an old friend with thoughtless words.

Staren didn't realize just how rattled he was, how deeply it had struck him. He did not realize how unclearly he had been thinking. Unarmored, he had thought his other defenses to be enough and charged in to fight in melee.

Finally, he trusted a foe to listen to reason. He did not realize his mistake until too late.


A slow nod of Lucha Koopa's head. He looks like he's listening to Staren. He looks over to the battle, the getaway... The whole thing. He looks over to Staren, smiling. Right, right. Moral principles. He smiles more at the suggestion of staying out of things.

Staren can't pull his hand away. He's still holding Staren firmly by the hand. He's not letting go. It's a little awkward, perhaps, but not really painful. There's a beat of pause. And then Lucha Koopa's face goes blank, and there may be this moment where Staren has realize he's made a mistake and left himself open for a very painful lesson.

Because Lucha Koopa uses this grip to try to pull him off of his feet, while dropping into a crouch and sling the scientist over that turtle shell. The other hand would snap out for an ankle, while he lets go of Staren's hand to grasp for his neck... and then LEEEEAP into the air quite suddenly, and drop with titanic force, right back onto his feet, with all of the momentum gone in trying to wrench Staren's back with so much torque that it could permanently injure a man.

>>> SUMMARY - Bowser <<< - HEEL SURPRISE ATTACK

Bowser does 27 damage to Staren with a Direct hit.

<DRAMATIC ATTACK> Bowser hit Staren with his KOOPA BACKBREAKER epic attack! <Standard Mechanic>


Theo, near the edge of town, has a sudden sense that Abe Lincoln may be crowing from the best seat in the house.

He shakes his head a little and keeps walking, hustling away from the fighting. Must just be over-tired. Not his problem. Don't worry about it. They'll handle it.

>>> SUMMARY - Theo Morrison <<< - Staren: http://youtu.be/OGp9P6QvMjY


Staren does realize his mistake when he can't pull his hand away. He immediately begins to slash with the sword, but he's not strong -- he is, in many respects, a normal human, and he's fighting some kind of monster wrestler turtle.

What comes next happens so fast. THINK Staren, you can escape this, THINK THINK THINK THI--

*CRACK*

An armored labcoat is no protection against necks twisting until they break.

When you think about it, by the standards of his world, he really should know better than to ever enter combat without full body armor.

Those who are sensitive to such things may feel a spark dying and a release of magical energy that is suddenly used by some effect.

The catboy lies still.

>>> SUMMARY - Staren <<< - NOW I ****ED UP.


<Union-IC> [A] Asuna says, "Staren?!"

<Union-IC> [A] Maya says, "Staren?"


Lucha Koopa looks down at the prone scientist, dead or not, and blows a derisive puff of air from his nose at the heap of catboy.

"Villains are supposed to be feared."

And then he realizes he's probably going to get mobbed, and the other Confederate here is already leaving, so he leaps away, and slides away inside of his shell, a WHOOSH of air and an electrical spark as he picks up a disturbing amount of speed and disappears in a field of corn.

>>> SUMMARY - Bowser <<< - Cheese it! Lucha Koopa flees from the site of his crushing victory.


After a few seconds, a metal disc in Staren's bag expands into a little vaguely insectoid robot, then crawls out of the bag to his neck and tries to stick some kind of tool into it.


Theo feels a little bit funny. He's not sure what it is. It's kind of like an itch that he desperately wants to go away, and cannot possibly scratch. He twists his neck and shoulders uncomfortably, trying to work out a kink in his neck that he lacks.

He keeps walking.


Maya was in another part of the community and is now heading for Staren's last location, given Doom's pulled out as has the koopa? She can now make for him. She sets in for a landing where Staren's fallen to check on him.

"Damn it..."


If unmolested, the robot remains there and nothing more happens for about ten seconds. And theeeeeen...

One moment, Staren is rushing towards the ground. The next thing he knows...

He is some kind of spider robot. This is wrong. Like, WRONG wrong. Like, he needs to fix it as soon as possible and he would just go deal with that right now except he's not sure how to activate his teleporter and he has BIGGER PROBLEMS as he realizes what happened.

He realizes what happened. In theory, this is his moment of triumph. He conquered death, didn't he? This is supposed to be a good time to let out a (simulated) maniacal laugh and give a speech.

Instead, he is FREAKING OUT. He just died, didn't he? Oh Morg what if the enemy is still here and suspects, while he tries to get camera feeds his worry is run over by the /philosophical/ dread that a dead him just went on to the afterlife. Wait, didn't Viridian Sunset say it probably didn't work that way?

The body sits up, spiderbot attached.

Staren notices the movement, sends the command. His body stops. Okay, how...

He can't move. Damn. He /really/ should have tested that machine to magic interface better. That will be a thing to do LATER. Okay. Stand up, body. It does, with the slow basic movement of something mindless following orders. He... it was supposed to be smoother than this. He should be able to interface with his old body... ah. He didn't actually plug into his jack and send the codes. And it would be weird and he has to end this NOW and he just wants to go home.

"Maya..." speakers on the insect bot synthesize Staren's voice. "I... just need to get back to the lab." And THEN he remembers that his body is going to begin to decompose and the more it does, the harder it will be to heal. And if the /brain/ deteriorates too much, the body will be rendered useless. "Now." He turns--- oh right. Nothing. Body, turn around. Wait, the warpgate is that way. Turn around again. 30 degrees more to the left. Good. Walk forward. "Look... I want to explain, but right now I /really/ just want to get back to something approaching normal and make my body safe. ...Don't... I'm not sure you should tell them, on the radio... they might not understand..."

>>> SUMMARY - Staren <<< - I conquered death why does it feel so terrible


Asuna stares.

"... considering I conquered death I'm not gonna say a word..."


Theo is too far away to freak out and Unsummon Staren's corpse reflexively, just to see what would happen.


"Asuna... I... I can explain later... for now... it is simple enough to say that when I said I was immortal, there was some truth to the matter." The voice synthesizer is surprisingly good at conveying a veneer of calm barely covering panic.


"Right. Go. Shoo. Maya and I've got this." says Asuna.


Maya looks down at Staren for a moment "you know I should just put you in my pocket, Staren."

Maya comments as she moves to see what she can do about the body.

"You're lucky Runner isn't here you're vermin sized to him. He's likely to go chomp before I could stop him."

Maya's dog was a strange thing a very strange death puppy, she then got to work with the body for the moment.


The body is walking towards the warpgate with the little spider-drone riding on the back of its neck. Staren feels a shiver, although the robot doesn't move. "Please don't pick me up. I don't want to leave my body..." If Maya offers to carry the... corpse, Staren orders his body to stand still. "Please, just bring me back through to my world..."


Staren's parents are waiting on the Lazlo side of the warpgate. They look... well, like parents who've learned their son is in stable condition at the hospital or something. It's not like he's /dead/, there's nothing to be /sad/ about. And they know the plan. Maya and Staren (and his body) are immediately teleported to the lab with them. Next to a healing vat. Staren is removed and starts skittering around screaming--

It took everything he had to try and keep his cool, or at least keep up a facade of keeping his cool, this long. No longer able to cling to his familiar body, he loses it. "AAAH! AAAH! AAAAAAAAAAAAH!" He's trapped in a mechanical bug he just wants to go home he just wants to be alive again he'd do anything he just wants this nightmare to stop why isn't it over yet he was supposed to have control why is it taking so long why he can't even cry and everything feels weird and wrong why isn't it over yet

--while his body is stripped and loaded into the vat -- then, somewhat disconcerted with all the screaming, they rush spiderbot-Staren over to the ego bridge, where a tweenaged clone is already loaded in, and try to calm him down -- eventually getting through to him for long enough to get him to initiate the transfer.

An hour later, Staren awakens, wide-eyed, feels himself breathe, feels his heart beat, looks at his wiggling fingers, and then sort of cling-hugs to his parents for awhile.

Maya's offered the couch if she wishes to remain, Staren remains jittery and nervous and ends up being carried around in cat form by his mother with her petting and trying to calm him down.

Alive alive he's alive again safe the nightmare is over he's with Mom and Dad safe he never wants to do that again no never again

Tell no one you saw that, Maya. >:|

==

He couldn't tell his allies the truth. Dying, and coming back, so soon after what happened to Niv-Mizzet? They'd never believe he wasn't trying to make some kind of point. However, there was no way to hide that he would be stuck as a tween for a week. What could he tell them?

============================== Union - General ===============================
Message: 26/48                     Posted        Author
AAR: Planetary Plains Addendum     Tue Mar 04    Staren
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        I was attacked by some kind of monster turtle wrestler. It turns out
that an armored coat does not protect me from grappling. Due to severe
injuries such as broken bones, my body will need a few days in the healing vat
-- In the meantime, I have taken this opportunity to check that my clone
bodies are growing and functioning properly and have transferred into one. So
far so good. It's not done growing yet though, so I'll be... younger for a few
days.

        --Staren

Attached: Photo of Lucha Koopa, a masked koopa wrestler with a faint
star-shaped tattoo on his shell.

==============================================================================

There. All technically true. A broken neck is just a specific case of 'broken bones', right? They need never know...