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13 November 2019 - 21:54


GRIZZLY: I'm back to debating whether or not to go home right now. I probably should. Feed the mutts and all that. But it's cold, and I don't wanna go home to be outside. Poor mutts. Anyhow, I also wanted to follow up on the conversation we were having on Angel and his inner peeps. I actually had a really interesting conversation with Piojo about it last night, on our way to pick Mom up from work. I always know conversations with our protector will be interesting; I always know I'll learn something from it, but I still avoid it when I can. I dunno… *shudders* Piojo is... just very difficult to talk to. I don't mean that as in "he has a difficult personality to get along with." It's just...

SVL: He's creepy.

GRIZZLY: Yes! Thank you! It's like speaking to a cadaver - a mutilated cadaver, and having it speak back. But not speak back. Follow me?

NINJA: Dawg, don' we. Y'notice he ain't movin' his mouth lately when he's talkin' t'us? Jus' looks righ' inta yer eyes an' y'know what he's tellin' ya. An' the thing is realizin' he's been able t'do this shit all 'long, but he was jus' movin' his lips along t'make us feel better. Like he's less of a freak.

XVL: Piojo's never really cared about our feelings. I think we only just realized he was speaking to us this way because we're all closer now. I mean, we can all probably communicate in that way with each other. And why wouldn't we? We exist in a plane of existence that isn't ruled by logic, or physical boundaries, I mean. We don't really have individual bodies. Anyway, I can tell you're getting impatient, Grizz. You were saying?

NINJA: T'be fair, he's the one who deviated from his own conversation in th'first place.

GRIZZLY: Yeah, yeah, shut the fuck up. I was saying that Piojo took some time to explain how inner mindscapes work in general, and how they are ruled. Because he says that there are rules that apply to mental existences like ours, and that although it may not seem like it, we do have a large amount of control over what happens here. He theorizes that Angel has so many members of his system (compared to us, it's actually not that many more), and that they're emerging so fast because he lacks that control, at least just yet. He pointed out that at one time, we were a vastly different group of people, and that we only have to go back to the first entries of this diary to realize that. Not only were we fewer, we didn't fit into the roles that we now occupy, and in the case of most of us individually, our personalities were way different. Does that mean we made the whole thing up? Does that mean our nephew is inventing all these people in his head? Well, both yes and no. Technically, yes, you could claim (truthfully) that all of us stem from our brain's overactive imagination, but that can even be said for individual entities. Those who only have one personality per body also often undergo drastic changes in demeanor, likes and whatnot. That doesn't mean they've faked their whole perspective; that's called growth. Piojo says the same thing applies to us. Do you remember, Sal, a long time ago, when we were in high school, and you were a middle-aged woman?

YANG: What?!

XVL: *laughing* Yeah, I remember that! I was way more stern and pent up, then, too. I was always getting after Ninja. *Ninja grins*

YANG: Wait, what? Hold up! What do you mean, you used to be a woman? How the fuck does that make sense? And how did you change into... well, you?

XVL: I'm not sure how the change happened, but I remember being that person, a long time ago. That's why my name is what it is. Back then, we, as a whole, were very tied down to our JROTC identity. I was a troop commander, and the Drill Team commander, and everyone knew us by our last name, so I was literally that identity when we were a teenager. But I was older than everyone back then. I was in my 30's, I think, because I was portraying what I envisioned we would be like in the future. A strong, stern soldier who didn't mess around, but I was still me, deep inside. Still asexual, still loved to draw. Gender never meant much to me, so I was a woman because I probably associated strength with women, because of Mom. It was only after our senior year in high school, when our life seemingly fell apart, at least our JROTC school life did, among other things, that I began to shed that skin. I transformed myself, because I refused to be tied to any of that life anymore. Where I was once a dedicated soldier, I became a lazy ass bum, way too laid back for anyone's good, and male. The only aesthetic thing that hung around me from those times is probably my name (though now I even stylize that differently), and my love of cargo pants, which hail back to my BDU days.

YANG: That is so frickin' insane! I never knew that about you!

XVL: 'Course. *shrugs* By the time you and Polla came around, I was already me, like this, I mean. *gestures hand from top to bottom*

GRIZZLY: And Piojo says, and I agree with him, that people, even singleton people, do this all the time. Transform themselves, I mean. Look at transgender people. They sometimes even change their birth name to make themselves feel more complete, more like themselves. Multiple people do this too, but since we exist within the mind, oftentimes the changes happen much quicker, and more completely and drastically. I remember what Jan said about Jazz, and how she had to change and mature within her system when they lost all adults and she needed to step up. He said Papo will go through this, too, as he learns what is needed of each system member as they grow and mature. He may lose some along the way, and I think he was hinting that we've done the same as well, but just don't remember it. Maybe we're blocking it, because remembering those we've lost (possibly) is too painful. Maybe we absorbed them into other parts of ourself, or maybe some of us were born out of others who were here first.

NINJA: Like, others b'fore us had kids or somethin'?

GRIZZLY: More like single cell mitosis. I don't know, it could be possible.

BB: Do you think... maybe Piojo is a product of all those who came before and are now gone? Do you think they merged into him, and that's why - *voice drops to a whisper* - it's why he looks so scarred and disfigured?

GRIZZLY: I'll be honest about that: I don't know, nor do I care to know. My initial gut instinct tells me that's not quite the case, but I do think if there have been others, he is their keeper of sorts. When mostly everyone went missing way back when, he disappeared, too, and then Sal told us about that weird catacomb place that Piojo stood guard over. Remember that?

NINJA: I's try not t'think 'bout it.

YANG: Have you ever asked him about it?

GRIZZLY: Hell. No. I'm not opening that can of worms. Not that I believe for a second that Piojo would answer me.

NINJA: Y'think he'd lie?

GRIZZLY: Psht. No. Piojo doesn't need to lie. He just wouldn't answer. He'd keep quiet and stare at me with those dead, black eyes and watch me squirm. Anyhow, he's surprisingly intelligent. And yeah, I know it shouldn't be surprising, but he's like an animated corpse. You don't expect smarts from the dead. The content of the conversations we have is always interesting, but talking to him scares me.

BB: It scares all of us, sweetie.

GRIZZLY: He says we don't cease to be the people we are, because what we are, essentially, are electrical impulses travelling through predisposed neural pathways. He said that even though the pathways may change slightly, the impulses are still the same, and we exist within those. He said the same will be for Papo and his group. That it's the same for most multiple systems; that's why almost all of them consist of people falling into the same categories: frontrunners, a motherly type, an authoritative type, the impulsive ones, inner children, at least one protector. Once Angel learns where each of his inner teammates fit, their system will become more structured and stable, but it may take way more system members to emerge before they fall into a routine and stabilize. And sometimes stability has nothing to do with it, and they just enjoy having bigger numbers.

XVL: Well, Angel always did want a big family.

GRIZZLY: Those were my thoughts exactly. Anyhow, just for the record before we head off, I'm going to list the members of A11. Hopefully, we'll get to know each one of them in turn and become their friends.

Xavier, Carla, Shawn, Dawn, Eric, Jason, Damien, White, Red, Blue, Cloud, Grace, Cherry, Positive, Negative, and Gray.

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