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Oct 18, 2021 6:38 AM
Jing Yi meets Cascadia!Lev
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There are things Jing Yi expects when he flies through the window to his rooms.

Like his rooms. Like the floor being where he expects. Like all the furniture being out of the way of anyone flying through a window.

He finds none of those things.

There may or may not be a crashing noise. Or a very undignified yelp.

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He is in a forest! 

The trees... do not look like trees that exist anywhere in China. They are enormously tall, and bring to mind words like "stately" and "majestic". The area is misty with fog. Other than the cries of strange birds, there is no sign that anyone is around.

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Well, this is... unideal. He likes being in places where he knows where he is. He does some of his best work in place where he knows where he is!

Mysterious foreign forests... are not where you get to see Jing Yis at peak capacity.

After a brief moment of panic and utter confusion (how on Earth did his window lead into a forest, why is his window gone now, WHERE IS HE), he looks around for any obvious landmarks or path like things.

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There is more of a path that-a-way? 

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'Following the path that-a-way' is probably a better plan than just sitting here waiting for rescue or death, so following the path is what he does.

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After not long on the path he encounters a sign. 

The sign is visibly not in Chinese. In fact, each of the ideograms appears to correspond not to a word but to a sound. Also, apparently he can now read whatever-this-is???

The sign informs him that he is walking along the Prairie Creek-Foothill Trail Loop.

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???

???????

??????????

You know what, mysterious literacy is probably less of a problem than having been suddenly dumped next to the Prairie Creek-Foothill Trail Loop instead of in his house.

He will... continue walking along the loop. (But he can stay productive by multitasking with baffled panic of "where is he and why can he read the language he never learned")

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Eventually he encounters a group of four children who are maybe somewhere between six and eight years old. All of them look foreign; two have very dark skin, two are paler. They're wearing absolutely outlandish clothing: some kind of odd blue trouser made out of material he doesn't recognize, and shirts. Their hair is cropped short in the barbarian style. 

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Children are great. They have no brain-to-mouth filter and are hilariously easy to manipulate. ...this may not be relevant for the sort of information gathering he's doing now, as opposed to what he does at the Three Judicial Offices, but it's something.

"Hello? I seem to be a bit lost. Do you know where we are?" (How can he also speak the mystery language? What. --Whatever, it's convenient.)

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"You're on Prairie Creek. What are you looking for?"

"Why are you hiking in costume?"

"Maybe he's part of the SCA."

"I don't think the SCA is having an event today, Folsom is happening and you wouldn't have two big events at the same time."

"It could be a small one."

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Wow, that's a series of nouns! "I think I have got very, very lost. If you know where there's someone who could help me--?" (And here's hoping whoever the kids lead him to can pass him onto someone who can deal with 'I seem to have fallen into your country by accident, terribly sorry, I pinky swear this is not an invasion').

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"I think we should take him to the police."

"No, we should take him to my dad. He runs the entire government."

"He does not."

"He does too!"

"He does NOT!"

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"I think I'm the kind of lost that might need the help of the government." The government might understandably kill him, but so will the woods.

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"They're BOTH the government."

"I think we should tell the police because they're supposed to handle weird things."

"I think we should tell Tree's dad because Tree's dad's husband always has candy."

"Do you think his husband is going to be there?"

"I mean, he's got to, right, if there's something weird. They're both going to want to talk about it."

"Let's take him to Tree's dad."

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Ah children: predictably obsessed with sweet things. Even if that involves not leading him to the people who should maybe be dealing with this. (He has a mental image of the Three Judicial Offices dealing with a mysterious foreigner who literally fell into their country. It's An Image.)

"Lead the way."

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"But we're not allowed in Folsom. It's for adults."

"No," says Tree with a tone of great wisdom. "That's what the Sisters are for. Finding people when their kids need them."

"For candy!"

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'Not for kids' and 'contains high ranking government people' makes it sound like a government meeting (...in the woods?) which is highly not ideal but he will work with it. "If you take me to the sisters, maybe they will be able to lead me to someone who could help."

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"Right!"

The children set off in a direction.

"Are you a Gileadite? I heard that Gileadites dress funny."

"I think people from Deseret dress funny too. I saw it on TV." 

"Nuhuh, a Deseret missionary visited my aunt's once and he wore a suit."

"A suit is dressing funny."

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He follows in the direction. He has heard of none of those places! Where the fuck is he!

"I'm from Great Tang."

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"I don't think that's a real place."

"It could be in Africa."

"He doesn't look like he's from Africa!"

"Maybe it's part of India."

"He doesn't look Indian either."

"How do you know what Indians and Africans look like? They can look however they want. That's racist."

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A proper noun! That he recognises! This is glorious!

"Where I'm from is to the east of India."

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"Japan?"

"China?"

"The Philippines?"

"Russia?"

"Russia isn't east of India you dumbass."

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"I'd have to check on a map," he says, instead of 'Apparently China but I'm worried about what caused it to change its name'.

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"My mom says that in China you don't get to decide who you have babies with. The government picks out whose genes are the best and makes you have babies with them. And ninety percent of the people are girls. And they can't decide to be boys either, they're not allowed."

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"I wouldn't know, really."

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"How could you stop someone from deciding to be a boy?"

"They put them in prison! And never let them out ever ever ever ever until they say they're a girl."

"You could just lie."

"I don't know that they know they can be boys if they want to."

"Huh." All the children contemplate this surprising fact.

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