Hopeful
Katherine Hana Li spin_kick_snap
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A Secondary Sim Within The Matrix, Thursday
So, after fighting with some of the creepy aliens in the park, Kathy had ended up falling into one of those holes and ended up...in Korea? It had been years since she'd been to Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul with her family, but she recognized it immediately. Which, honestly, just made everything weirder.

"Gongju! Gongju!" A woman scurried over to Kathy's side, dressed in an elaborate hanbok, like a court lady straight out of a hostorical fashion plate. "There you are! We've been searching all over for you!"

"For me?" Kathy asked. How could they possibly be looking for her when she'd only just arrived? "...Why are you calling me princess?"

The woman clucked at her, shaking her head and herding her into the palace. "These are just nerves, gongju," she said firmly. "But you really must accept your new station. We're both just lucky that I noticed you were missing before Her Majesty did. The whole palace is in an uproar!"

"It...is?" Kathy asked, still trying to find the thread of the conversation. "Because of me?"

"Oh no, gongju! Much worse!" Kathy wasn't sure how to respond to that. "The prince! Has come! Early!"

...Could she maybe go back to just being confused by being in Seoul? Because even with all the information she was getting from the chattering lady, she was just that much more confused. Holding up her hand, she stopped in her tracks and refused to budge. Not until she got some answers. "Okay," she said. "Time out. Prince? The heck? There has to be some mistake. I'm just an ordinary high school student."

The lady sighed. "That might have been true before, gongju, but no longer. Not since your betrothal to the prince was announced by His Majesty, the king. Now you're a princess and one day will be queen! But now you must stop dawdling! You're finally meeting His Highness and everything must be perfect!"

That was definitely an explanation, if not exactly a helpful one. Betrothal? Prince? Her?!

"Please, hurry gongju! We have so much to do before the wedding!"

At the word 'wedding,' Kathy just bluescreened. Which got her through the incredibly intricate bathing ritual, the extensive dressing and hair styling ceremonies, and the meeting with the prince's mother who didn't hide her thoughts on having a commoner wed her beloved son. Dressed in an elaborate gown that probably cost more money than Kathy had ever seen in her life, she came back to herself when she was escorted into-- "Did that guy just say these are the prince's rooms? Shouldn't we be chaperoned? Something?"

"Please be calm, gongju," her maid whispered. "It's tradition. The wedding festivities will take all day tomorrow and well into the night. You'll both be too exhausted tomorrow evening for your...marital duties. Which is why they shall take place tonight instead."

"You think they'll what?!" Kathy snapped, only to be answered by the closing of the doors behind her. Okaaaay then. Time to find this 'prince' and tell him there was no way in hell that there would be no duties or marriages or anything else!

[For the other one appalled to be here!]

not_every_mage

2015-07-30 07:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Outside the room, Anders was having his own version of the same appalled argument. He wasn't a prince and he certainly wasn't going to marry anyone and the midnight blue robe he'd been forced into was about the least comfortable thing he'd ever worn in his life. (He refused to even think about the hat.)

"Whoever you are, you should know this is a mistake and I'm not marrying anyone," he announced as he stepped -- was pushed, really -- through the door.

"The prince has a touch of cold feet, gongju," the nearest handmaiden said diplomatically. "He'll be fine as soon as he remembers his duty."

Edited at 2015-07-30 07:17 pm (UTC)

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-30 07:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

"The prince sounds like the only one with a hint of sense around here," Kathy muttered darkly. "He even tries anything with me and he's gonna get a hairstick shoved in his--Anders!"

Kathy had never been so relieved to see anyone in her life. "Oh thank god! I thought--oof!" She'd tried to dash towards him, but between the hanbok, the layers of undergarments beneath the hanbok, and the tiny, pointy shoes her feet had been shoved into, she ended up tripping and falling to the ground in a tempest of embroidered silks.

not_every_mage

2015-07-30 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Kathy, dear Maker, what in the world --?" Anders babbled, already reaching down to try to help her up. Thankfully, his costume was a tiny bit easier to move in than hers. "Are you all right?"

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-30 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Kathy let herself be helped up, well aware of the eyes on them, weighing their every interaction and gesture. "I--nice hat."

Sorry, but it was a bit distracting.

"I mean, yeah, I'm fine. Confused why we're here, confused about what's going on, stuck falling of all ridiculous things, but I'm okay." She looked up at him as he brought her back up to her feet. "Are you the, err, prince?"

not_every_mage

2015-07-30 09:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

"They keep telling me that," Anders said ruefully. "And when I told them I wasn't, and pointed out I wasn't even Korean ... it was like I was talking to a wall."

He glanced back at the servants as he said that, but they had their eyes modestly cast down and their expressions carefully blank. He couldn't gauge their reaction at all.

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-30 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

"Well, I'm your blushing betrothed," Kathy said dryly, stepping away from him a bit. She knew full well their every comment and gesture were being watched and judged. "Considering I've just flung myself at your feet, I think we can safely say you've managed to inherit the full measure of royal charm."

Which was her way of saying she was glad she probably wasn't going to have to stab him with her hairsticks tonight.

not_every_mage

2015-07-30 11:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

"It is my birthright, according to them," Anders said brightly, then turned to the servants. "Er. Leave us please? We need to get better acquainted. Alone."

He prayed to Andraste that this wasn't one of those cultures where royal consummations were watched. That was not happening.

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-31 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)

There were so many thats that weren't happening it was hard to keep track. She loved Anders, she really did, but this whole scenario was made up of so many 'nopes' it was kind of amazing that it hadn't self-destructed from the weight of them all. Honestly, being expected to perform in front of an audience was probably only third or fourth on the list of things to go 'hell no' about.

It was a comfort knowing that Anders was probably even more opposed to all of this than she was. Way to go team!

And so Kathy just nodded like a bobble-head doll as the servants filed out with a murmured, "Of course, wangja."

"Oh thank god," Kathy said once they were alone. They were still in the ancient Korean version of a honeymoon suite, all silk sheets and suggestive art, and sultry incense, but at least they didn't have to worry about being overheard as they figured out what to do next. "So, welcome to Korea, I'm ready to go when you are."

not_every_mage

2015-07-31 12:46 am (UTC) (Link)

There were a rather enormous list of things that weren't happening, but the audience thing was the most immediate. Anders felt a deep stab of gratitude as the servants left, and he immediately went over to lock the door.

"Sounds brilliant," he said as the lock clicked into place. "I'll jump out the window if you will. No offense to you, but getting married wasn't on my to-do list for the week."

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-31 01:01 am (UTC) (Link)

They could write odes to the things that weren't happening. It would be glorious.

"For once, I'm actually going to have to vote against leaping out of windows," Kathy said, wrinkling her nose. "I can't bounce. Hell, I keep tripping over things. I hate not having my powers."

She figured he could relate to that.

"How the heck did we even get here?"

not_every_mage

2015-07-31 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)

"I was hoping you knew," Anders said, plopping down on that silk-covered bed. "I just woke up here, and I don't have any powers, and Lachlan and Nathan are both missing. Oh, and Raven's blue, so that's interesting."

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-31 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)

"Aliens." No, seriously Anders, that was the answer. "We were kidnapped by aliens."

She also sat down, but a little further than she normally would have. Sorry, it was just still kind of weird what with the words 'betrothal' and 'marital duties' being tossed around earlier. Also, she needed to lean her head against something to support the weight of her hairstyle. "I owe Lottie such an apology for talking smack about her presentation in class."

Edited at 2015-07-31 01:26 am (UTC)

not_every_mage

2015-07-31 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Anders was happy to give Kathy all the space she wanted; if anything, he was grateful she was keeping her distance. He wasn't looking forward to explaining to Nathan how he'd ended up locked in a royal bridal suite with somebody else.

"Aliens," he repeated, with a hollow laugh. "Of course. Why in Andaste's sainted knickers wouldn't it be aliens who are trying to marry me off to my best friend and took my powers and my cat and my boyfriend and--"

The sentence ended in a strangled moan as he buried his face in his hands.

"We're fucked, aren't we? Not in the fun way."

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-31 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Well, the 'best friend' comment had Kathy beaming, so the night wasn't a total loss?

"If it helps, we're the ones who are missing, not Nathan and Lachlan," Kathy said, nudging him with her foot in what was hopefully a comforting manner. Because, you know, best friend status or not, she was still kind of staying where she was for a bit. "I popped around to Luke's today after I heard the radio broadcast and there was some information up on the board. We're literally up in some spaceship and the people who aren't here are probably still on Fandom, trying to bring us home."

So...bright side?

not_every_mage

2015-07-31 02:27 am (UTC) (Link)

"... my head hurts," Anders informed her. "No, thank you. Any idea how we can help them get us back?"

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-31 02:36 am (UTC) (Link)

"That's the part we're all working on," Kathy admitted. "I know Mr. Hardison is working with someone down on Earth? But I don't know who. Some stranger who knew about the spaceship or whatever."

not_every_mage

2015-07-31 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Anders wrinkled his nose. "How did they know about it, though?" he wondered. "And why would some stranger bother telling us?"

He had to wonder if the alien story was entirely trustworthy.

spin_kick_snap

2015-07-31 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)

That was entirely legit! Being kidnapped certainly didn't add to anyone's store of trust right now.

"Because she was watching the spaceship, I think," Kathy said. "She sent Hardison some kind of data spike that he's been using to try to get us more information. And--come on. If you saw people getting abducted, wouldn't you help? It wouldn't matter if you knew those people or not--it's just the right thing to do."

not_every_mage

2015-08-01 08:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

"I suppose I would," Anders said. "But how did she just happen to see it? Does she live on the island?"

spin_kick_snap

2015-08-02 08:00 am (UTC) (Link)

"I don't think so?" Kathy said. "But it's a ship floating in the sky, roughly the size of the island, I think. That's...pretty noticeable."

She held up her hands. "I didn't actually talk to her myself. But it's the only information we've got right now to go off of."

not_every_mage

2015-08-02 01:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

"And it's not very helpful as long as we're trapped in here, anyhow," Anders said ruefully, going back to the issue more immediately at hand. "Hmm. We are royalty. Could we just demand they let us got for a walk?"

spin_kick_snap

2015-08-02 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

"You might be able to?" Kathy said, dubiously. "I don't think what I want carries a lot of weight around here. I'm still a commoner or...whatever. At least until tomorrow."

So weird. This whole sim was so weird.

"But even if we did go for a walk, we'd probably be trailed by guards or servants. Here, at least we have some privacy." For reasons neither of them were thinking too closely about. "I think we should try to escape with what we have at hand. Like..." She looked around at the giant chamber, trying to ignore the obvious intent behind most of what was here. "The sheets are silk. We can fashion a ladder, maybe?"