Finding Losts

Oct. 17, 2016, Shunsui pl0x
803
2117
July 11
Male
Valhalir
Hispanic
Cielo loco
Eighth Division
Lieutenant
Ebony Lions
Commander
Lenara

Shunsui held very still, allowing the hollow to examine him without being particularly bothered by it. He trusted Sahura, even if he was nervous about the idea of having a hollow circling him like he was some sort of interesting exhibit. "I'm not skinny." He defended softly, more amused than anything else. ... Okay he didn't have quite the same imposing bulk he'd had as a gladiator but he wasn't skinny and he hadn't lost much of his fighting trim either.

"I have been eating, for the record." Yes. ... Though why this one cared. Hm. That was a question that Shunsui couldn't readily answer. There were several people who were still missing and who had been assumed to be reincarnated by now, and obviously this hollow was one of them. Just, which one, that was the question that was difficult to answer in the end.

The other one. The other one. Dimitrios. There was only one person that he could really think of that would ask that question first out of the ones who were missing. So did that mean... "Varro?" He asked, slowly, surprise coloring his tone as it set in fully. The realization clicked a lot of things into place all at once. "It's nice to see you." ... Mostly at least.

Bit less nice to see that he had been a hollow all this time because it was kind of a hellish way to live. But he was here, and that was something. The part of him that was still Sandalio wasn't sure it was worth it, exactly, knowing he'd suffered all this time.

"That's all he ever does these days." Dryly. "But I suppose there's a lot for him to keep up with these days." Or, he was avoiding them, that was possible.
810
2,121
Fall
Male
Seeker
Hispanic
Pham Thanh

Ciro Airaldi
Seeker

May the gods have mercy on my enemies, because I won't.
Good. He'd been eating. That was important for humans. It was also important for dead humans that had no saviours, so Ciro thought, logically, it might also be important for the other kind of dead human. They all ate different stuff, but, they still ate. It made sense to him. He tried not to think about it too hard, but there wasn't much else to do, when he wasn't sleeping and dreaming of Rome. Not that he remembered what it was called, but he remembered enough to know it hurt, he hated it, and yet it was comforting, in some twisted sense. That was probably a personal failing, really, that it was comforting somehow. Yet, back then, it was a little better than now. A little bit better than the last few hundred years he'd lived, and he supposed that said something, because what little he remembered of Rome wasn't terribly flattering.

Varro... he knew the name. He thought it might be him. "I... I think. Vinicius and Varro are the same person, and I think they were me." A short pause, and he added, "The only other name I remember is Tiberius." That name... it really only made him sad. He didn't know why, and he supposed in the end, he didn't need to know why. He'd either remember, or he didn't. Either way, he didn't have the terribly driving interest in finding Tiberius the way he had it with Sandalio and Dimitrios. Maybe it was a family member, or something. Someone he didn't know long, at least, because the memories were very, very faint. He hardly remembered the memories themselves, it was more the feeling they gave him.

"It is nice to be seen. I didn't always remember you, but, when I did, I missed you." He could say that with some semblance of confidence, at least. "The Dimitrios I remember was just cute, not creepy. ... I remember really loving his hair. All those curls everywhere. Yours too, actually." Though, Sandalio didn't have curls, they were waves, that was a slight difference. "I take it Dimitrios is a Shinigami?" Seemed like it. He and Sahura both wore the Shinigami uniforms. The newer ones, but he'd seen them before, albeit not much. Turned out, Ciro ended up in the completely wrong dimension, but you know, he was kind of glad for that.
803
2117
July 11
Male
Valhalir
Hispanic
Cielo loco
Eighth Division
Lieutenant
Ebony Lions
Commander
Lenara

"They were the same person, yes." Shunsui affirmed, despite the fact that the hollow was already rather sure of the information. Sometimes having someone confirm what one already believed made it easier to accept. Not always, but it could help - especially since hollow tended to have slightly scrambled memories in his admittedly limited experience. It made sense though, ultimately - of course their memories were scrambled, they'd spent years - often centuries - as many different souls.

Mm. "If that is the other name you remember, I would say yes, you are likely Varro and Vinicius." Yes, because having Sandalio/Valerius, Dimitrios, and Tiberius all on recall added up to paint a very clear picture. At least, it did if you knew enough about the people involved. "Though of course, it's been so long you can - and probably should - choose for yourself what you would prefer to be called."

Because while he had been that person once, maybe he wasn't any more. Shunsui could respect that, and frankly, he wouldn't be the only one of them to have done so.

"I missed you too." Except Shunsui had never forgotten the way the hollow would have - in fits and starts. Not that it was really peaceful to live that way. "Well, let us just say that things have changed and the people you remember are not precisely as you remember them." Not particularly eloquently worded, but it got the point across. "Dimitrios is around but he's not... necessarily the same. Though I still don't particularly find him creepy, a lot of people do." It was probably the fact that like Varro he saw Dimi differently than most.

"He goes by Gin these days. Usually straightens his hair, and it's silvery white instead of dark." A pause, to make a slightly dramatic 'it's a travesty' sort of expression. "But yes, he is a Shinigami."

Man if someone'd told Shunsui this morning that he was going to have a conversation with a Vasto, he'd have told them they were nuts. And yet, here he was.
810
2,121
Fall
Male
Seeker
Hispanic
Pham Thanh

Ciro Airaldi
Seeker

May the gods have mercy on my enemies, because I won't.
It wasn't like he'd answer to either Varro or Vinicius. Neither of those felt right, to him, and it was probably more of a side-effect of being a giant conglomeration of many different people. He wouldn't pretend to understand it, but that was the best he could make of it. If he didn't think about it, even, he remembered some semblance of other languages, languages that had names he didn't recognise, knew a little about the modern world through the memories of the other souls that had become a part of him, either because he'd eaten them, or the Hollow he took over had. It was somewhat sad, wasn't it; the odds were against Hollows. Sooner or later, they'd become a Gillian, and one of those souls would take over, and chances were, it wouldn't be them.

Yes, a lot of things had changed. Some stayed the same, or at least similar enough to be familiar, but this was not one. Ciro hardly knew who he was, really. Besides, it didn't change the fact that, whether anyone liked it or not, he was a Vasto Lorde class Menos. Perhaps he was mostly sane, but Shinigami and Menos didn't typically get along, and for good reason. Reason that, at the end of the day, was shallow and senseless, but reason nonetheless. Unless he became an Arrancar, a hybrid like these two, he doubted he'd ever have a place among the thirteen divisions. It didn't bother him as much as he expected. The part of him that was still Varro was glad neither of them had ended up here, but the rest of him almost wondered why it cared, wondered if maybe those stars were important merely because for a long time, they'd been all he had.

Well, that was a thing to figure out, now wasn't it? It was not to say that Ciro was terribly attached to the sands of Las Dias. Admittedly, if he changed his mind, there were other Arrancar here, hiding in the endless night, sticking together because together they had a better chance of surviving. Together, they weren't alone. If he changed his mind, he could always come back here, and really, Ciro would never know if it'd work if he didn't try. But did he want to try? A question that was important, but he had no answer to, as of now.

"It is good," he said. "I am glad neither of you ended up here. They should call this the world of despair, instead." And Las Dias should be the desert of screaming or something, but that was his pessimism, if he had to guess. "Many things have indeed changed. I'm not welcome where the Shinigami are. I guess I'll never really know what changed, but I can imagine."
"You know if you just -" Sahura started, but Ciro reached out a wing and smacked him. "Ow. ... that didn't hurt but I don't feel that was warranted."
"I could, I guess. I have to decide what I want, first." And if any of them didn't like that plan of his, then, there was his answer. "I was sleeping. You should go bother Kassander, instead. Practically making another Espada, over there." Practically, yes.

With that, Ciro burrowed back under the sand. Sahura sighed. "Damn, I was hoping that'd do it." Apparently not.
803
2117
July 11
Male
Valhalir
Hispanic
Cielo loco
Eighth Division
Lieutenant
Ebony Lions
Commander
Lenara

"I regret that you did." And alone, too. Being alone was one of the worth things, Shunsui thought. And hollows were generally quite sad creatures because often they wouldn't - or couldn't - work together to alleviate that. Instead they were alone and always struggling to survive. It was... sad. Immeasurably so.

Shunsui couldn't argue with the fact that he wasn't welcome there, though he knew it was possible to change that. He tilted his head downward, slightly in acceptance. "That you do." Deciding what one wanted for themselves, that was important. It was something they hadn't had in so very long that of course the chance to decide rather than being led forward towards a goal would be important to the other.

That little bit of freedom was the only thing that hadn't been taken from them, wasn't it? Kassander... another Espada. That sounded pleasant.

"I'm not sure why you'd think it would." Shunsui said with a shrug. "But it was nice to see him anyway." Also painful, but he spared Sahura that information. The other was only trying to help, after all. Only trying to rebuild broken homes and families. It wasn't his fault that it wasn't always possible. "Time will tell."

Shunsui wouldn't hold his breath, and no part of him dared to raise its hopes - but time would tell.

"Now, are we done here? Or... is there something else in the sand you wanted to bother?" What? He was stuck here until Sahura decided to take them home. And staying on the open sands felt like it was probably a bad idea. Even if chances were nothing got this close to the vasto sleeping below the sand.

Some distance away, tucked into a cave on the edge of the mountains was another Arrancar.
1000
5,166
January 12, 3150 BCE
Male
Diablo
Egyptian
Shenura
Eighth Division
Captain
Pham Thanh

Sahura Lucain
Diablo

There's a song in my heart, and it's always playing. I think they're calling it 'hope' these days.
"I'd figure that much was obvious," Sahura answered, arching an eyebrow. He'd been hoping, given Ciro had been dreaming of Rome off and on so long, if absolutely nothing else, the curiosity would override the Seeker caution, and he'd have come back with them. He wouldn't ask Metella to let him shelter a seeker, of course. Recognising they weren't as monstrous as valhalir generally were taught to believe led to humanising, and it made it more difficult for those of Valkyrie to fight them the way they should - Sahura realised that much, and as cruel as it seemed, it was necessary and actually rather merciful if they just got it over with. But there were ways of forcing evolution from seeker to diablo, and Sahura knew how to do it. Most probably didn't. Most weren't him.

Still, he was right. He did need to decide what he wanted. Sahura couldn't tell him what he wanted. Well, he could, that was wrong. If anyone knew that, it was most certainly Sahura, who'd been in chains for hundreds of years by the time the Third Servile War hit. He knew it. But it didn't mean he should, or would, for that matter, because Sahura just wasn't that kind of guy. Ciro had to decide what he wanted, and whether his clinging to memories of those he used to know was because he really wanted them back, or because they were just all he'd had for far too long. Sahura had made his choice a long time ago. Now Ciro had to make his.

He'd hope he made the one Sahura wished he'd made here - but that was all he could do.

Sahura made a wry face, loosing a sigh. "Sorry," he said. "But I had to try." Sahura was like that. He knew all the souls that'd ended up in Sheol, because he recognised their Force much easier than most. Given he'd been an Eidolon when he was alive, it wasn't surprising he'd sensed their Force before they'd died. Probably, he could find almost anyone that'd been in the rebellion, even if he didn't remember their name. There were a handful more over here. Most were in varying stages of seeker. A few had disappeared, probably overtaken by another seeker, if he had to guess. It was unfortunate, but it was what it was.

"Yeah, one more thing," finally. The signature he was pretty sure was Alasdair had changed. It felt different, not entirely seeker. This one had apparently managed to end up a diablo on his own, but it still felt like him, so he hadn't lost the dominant-soul coin-toss. "That way," Sahura said, pointing toward where Tamisra ended and Avicimat began, and then headed that direction. It made sense - most of the more logical ones tended toward Avicimat. Ciro was a weird exception, but given he could crush almost anything that got too close, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising. Sahura did sort of take his time getting over there, but also didn't, and soon enough, he was scaling the stone towers, looking for the right one.

Ah, over there. Hopping across this gap. This stone tower was riddled with openings, and Sahura actually walked right past the one he was looking for, at first, and then changed his mind, leaning backward and peeking into it. "Hey, found you!" Was this the right one? Well, it still felt like Alasdair, so he was going to go with, most likely.
803
2117
July 11
Male
Valhalir
Hispanic
Cielo loco
Eighth Division
Lieutenant
Ebony Lions
Commander
Lenara

Was it supposed to be? Sandalio didn't really see how or why it would be. It wasn't like he was going to be capable of making up the seeker's mind for him, and Sahura had already made friends with it. Sure, apparently it was 'Varro' once, but ... well. Maybe Sahura had assumed that the link to someone he'd cared about before would be enough to draw him over the line.

But it had been two thousand years, and maybe the fear that they weren't who they once were was more powerful than the wish to be with those they had lost. Mm.  "It's fine. I understand, really." Sandalio did, of course. They all liked to pick up strays because for so long they had been strays. They sought to give lost ones somewhere to go, or at least show them that that place was there, because maybe that was all it would take.

It didn't take the sting away, but at least Sandalio could say he really did understand.

Oh. One more thing? Of course. "Lead the way." Sandalio followed easily, not wanting to get separated from Sahura in this place. Sheol wasn't exactly friendly, for the most part.

Alasdair sensed him coming, sensed a powerful presence that wanted to be familiar, but mostly succeeded in being terrifying. So, of course, he did what any intelligent being did in Sheol and tucked himself as far into the corner of his hiding place as he could and pulled his force down as well as he could managed - practically holding his breath to avoid making noise.

It passed, and Alasdair almost relaxed - but then whoever it was changed their mind and shoved his head in. The Diablo's first instinct was to attack the other, but he managed to clamp down on that urge before he let off the attack, just staring at the other instead. He was... familiar. Very familiar.

"What do you want?" Asking that instead of asking who he was. It was the more important of the two questions, realistically.
"...Alasdair?" From behind Sahura came another voice.

Frowning. That one knew his name. Wait, wait, he knew that voice too. Was that Sandalio? Really?
1000
5,166
January 12, 3150 BCE
Male
Diablo
Egyptian
Shenura
Eighth Division
Captain
Pham Thanh

Sahura Lucain
Diablo

There's a song in my heart, and it's always playing. I think they're calling it 'hope' these days.
Yes yes, and he was the ghost of Christmas past. Whatever that was supposed to mean. Sahura just looked amused, more than anything, and apparently he wasn't off, because Sandalio came to the same conclusion he did. So, this was probably Alasdair, yes. That made him feel better, not that he ever really doubted his Force-sensing capabilities. Given his were always so strong, it was kind of dumb of him to question them too hard.

"Sahura, Sandalio, Alasdair, hey, hi, hello, long time no talk to," Sahura said, sounding just as amused as he looked. "Congratulations on not losing the dominant-soul coin-toss. I suppose this is a congratulations." Well, it seemed like one to him. He'd wondered, before, if it wouldn't have been better if they'd all lost it, but he supposed being stuck on a soul-back-burner while some other soul did Dumb Things would probably be grating, particularly for him.

One thing about Metella, she certainly had taught them to roar.

"You're here," Sahura answered, as if that was an actual, legitimate answer, to his question. As far as Sahura was concerned, it was, albeit most probably wanted a little elaboration. "... aaaand I don't like that." Yeah. ... no, that was still pretty vague. Whatever, he was going to go with it. If it was deemed to be too vague, one or the other would look at him like he'd forgotten something, and or ask questions. It was infinitely better with Sahura to ask questions, because generally speaking, he had no idea what was necessarily wrong with what he said, anyway.

Just, ask more directly. Vague questions resulted in vague responses with Sahura. It'd been a few thousand years, he'd give Alasdair some slack. But he still wasn't elaborating on his own. Hahaha. Sometimes, Sahura could be kind of a jerk.
810
2115
December 21st
Male
Diablo
Gaul
Stella Crinita
Lenara

Was it congratulations? Because at the moment he had a headache and generally just wanted to stay hidden in his safe little hole for a while longer. But apparently he'd been found and that made him extremely nervous for the simple fact that he was not feeling his strongest at the moment. Mistrust kept his gaze locked on the pair and just slightly narrowed.

Even when they identified themselves with names he knew, Alasdair didn't relax. Anyone could make claims, anyone could use names that weren't theirs to use. It had been a while, but this one really was familiar. Maybe... they weren't lying. Some of the tension slid out of him, but only some of it, and he didn't go any closer.

"Yes, I'm here." Dryly. "I was hiding quite deliberately, actually." But of course Sahura didn't like that. No one had actually asked Sahura whether he liked it or not, but on the other hand, Alasdair had usually respected his opinions before.  "It's been a very long time, Sahura. Would it be so bad for me to stay here?"

"Depends on your definition of bad. Thetis misses you. The twins miss you." Sandalio offered in a mild tone. He shrugged. "You're sane, it's safe for you to come home." And maybe he should. At least then this silly trip to Sheol would have been worth something after all.

Alasdair wasn't sure he believed the Spaniard, though his fellow ex-slave had no reason to lie to him, particularly. The thought of Thetis missing him for this long was foreign - it didn't feel possible. Surely she'd moved on, found someone better. Surely the boys had all but forgotten about him by now. "...Right." Toned like he wasn't entirely sure he believed it.

It wasn't like they'd been together all that long, so it was hard for him to imagine that he'd made that much of an impression on them. ... Granted, he realized dimly, he did miss Thetis a great deal.  And the boys, even the ones that weren't his by blood.

"...Do I even want to know what year it is?" It was a slightly different question, but man, what were they wearing. ... The thing that the Valkyrie wore, of course. But it certainly led him to wonder just how long he'd been here for.
1000
5,166
January 12, 3150 BCE
Male
Diablo
Egyptian
Shenura
Eighth Division
Captain
Pham Thanh

Sahura Lucain
Diablo

There's a song in my heart, and it's always playing. I think they're calling it 'hope' these days.
"Oh, I'm sure it was deliberate," Sahura answered, rather nonchalantly. Much of the time, of course, the hiding was rather deliberate. The trick of Sheol, though, was that you either hid forever and nothing changed, or, you came out and many things changed, and sometimes you died somewhere along the way. It was a nasty catch 22, and there really was no winning in it. A seeker's first instinct was usually to stuff themselves somewhere the stronger seekers would have to really fuss to get to them in, and a diablo's early instinct was usually rather similar, if only because their Force was quite off-kilter. Eventually, that balanced out, but most had no idea where else to go, and never did.

Sheol was a sad place. Sahura knew that.

Sahura fixed the other diablo with a rather flat stare. For a moment, he didn't say anything, letting Sandalio have his piece. He shrugged at the last question. "Even if I told you what year it is, it wouldn't mean anything to you, because they track years differently now," he answered. "Ignoring the fact that Thetis is so viciously against finding someone else she outright misses it when someone's flirting with her now, and also ignoring the occasional mentions of missing their dad the twins drop, let's say you did stay here. And then what? There's nothing for you here. Quite frankly, there's nothing for anyone here, because all Sheol has is a bunch of seekers in varying stages of insanity, and a giant sandbox. If you really want to spend the rest of however long you have left, and I imagine you have quite a long ways to go before this incarnation is done, so we're looking at hundreds, maybe thousands of years, in the giant sandbox building sandcastles and or hiding in a hole in a rock, that's your prerogative, but what's the point? Anything you might want to find, Alasdair, is not here, it is in Valhalla, and stuffing yourself in a hole in a rock isn't going to get you to Valhalla. It's just going to make the last two thousand years of evolution and the sudden regaining of your sense completely and utterly meaningless because you won't be doing anything with it. So yes, yes it would be rather bad for you to stay here, because there's nothing here. There wasn't anything here for me, and I have a hard time believing there'll be anything here for you." A short pause. "... well, apparently Kassandros is that way," he added, nodding the direction Ciro had said Kassandros was.

But it wasn't like Alasdair really knew Kassandros, anyway.
803
2117
July 11
Male
Valhalir
Hispanic
Cielo loco
Eighth Division
Lieutenant
Ebony Lions
Commander
Lenara

Right, of course Sahura knew that, the other was a diablo as well. And Alasdair had a feeling his instinctive want to hide was very normal for their kind. ... He didn't seem particularly fazed by it, but that didn't entirely surprise Alasdair. Sahura had rarely been fazed by anything even however-long-ago that had been. Some things changed all the time, others never did. Sahura, it seemed, was one of those things that never changed.

Of course they did. That was fine, he hadn't been sure he wanted the answer anyway. He'd... find out eventually. In the mean time, he'd worry about it later, there were other more pressing things at the moment.

Two...thousand years of evolution. Two thousand? ... Later, think about it later. Instead, Alasdair concentrated on the rest of what Sahura had said there. Which, of course, Sahura made many good points and it was pretty much impossible to argue with him. Somehow he'd forgotten how hard it could be to argue with Spartacus.

... Well if it'd really been two thousand years, maybe it wasn't surprising he'd forgotten. What the hell. Okay.

Alasdair just sighed quietly, quickly coming to the realization that there was literally no point in doing anything other than standing and agreeing to come, since apparently that was basically all that Sahura would accept. And of course, Sahura made plenty of good points, but maybe... just maybe Alasdair wasn't ready to see them again. Maybe he wasn't so sure of his own stability, his own sanity. Maybe... he wasn't so sure he was even really himself anymore.

And it scared him, just a little, to imagine trying to go back to normal only to realize that too many things had changed too much. That though they thought they missed him the reality of him would be too much.

But then, without risk there was no gain, Alasdair knew that. "Fine, alright, you win." Alasdair stood up carefully and brushed himself off. "Though I'm still not entirely convinced this is a good idea."

"It'll be fine." Sandalio encouraged mildly. "Metella's leading the shindig, what's the worst that could happen?"
"...Are you really asking me that?"
Sandalio laughed. "...The answer I was going for is, we die again. And in the long run is that really so bad?"
"...I guess not."

It was a morbid way of looking at it, but death was just sort of a thing that was expected, at some point.