Log:On Lesser and Greater Beings

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On Lesser and Greater Beings

Max, Reginald Pook

10 May, 2017

Queen Pook summons Max to check in on how she is doing. They discuss confidence, recklessness, caution, and lose.


Pook and Pook Antiques is a Tamarack Falls staple, and has been for years. An old brick store with an inside that's half eclectic, half modern, half unfinished, and half delightfully charming. That's a lot of halves.

Max is seen inside by one of the shop keeps, and then escorted to room in the back. This must be the 'break room', as it was, judging by the presence of a coffee maker and a table, though it's also possibly just the sitting room. The windows that open to the garden behind the shop suggest someone enjoys the view. It's there, sitting at that small table, that Max will find Pook. There's already a tea pot set down, covered in a tea cozy, and two glasses on saucers. He's prepared.

Dressed in her usual casual attire, a simple hoodie, jeans, and sneakers, with her hair worn down and a messenger bag hang from her shoulders, Max wanders into the back room as she's led there. There's a curious, slightly nervous, expression in her bright blue eyes. In her mind, you don't get called into private meetings with the higher ups unless there's something important going on! Still, she manages a sincere smile as she spots the Queen. "That tea looks good already," she says with a light chuckle, stepping over to sit down across from him.

Pook rises up, and holds out a hand towards the woman. Mind, he doesn't actually reach to touch her. It's merely a gesture, and it's followed by a leaning in, and an air-kiss. Not touching! But Pook will not do without his airs. "Radiant as ever. In your own way," he says. THen he steps back, and sits. "Please, sit. I'll pour you a cup."

"The same to you! I can only imagine being as regal as you some day," Max compliments him, smiling softly. Sitting down, she makes herself comfortable and sets her bag down on the ground between her feet. A hand reaches up to brush some hair from her face, her bright blue eyes curiously glancing over at Pook. There's just a small moment of pause before she asks, "So, what can I do for you, your Highness?" Her head tilts slightly to the side as she watches him.

"Milk? Sugar?" Pook asks, as he pours out the tea into the glasses. One is slide over to Max, followed by the the Queen edging the sugar bowl towards her, as well as the small white porcelain milk pitcher. He'll let her go first. He then takes a breath, and settles his hands in his lap. "Well, I am not entirely certain. It may be what I can do for you," he offers up. "Forgive my forwardness, but... I have had one of my Freeholders contact me regarding you. They are worried you may be a danger to yourself and to our community," he explains. "Apparently, you are bold and energetic... when cautious and reserved would be more comforting, to those that watch."

"Sugar, please," Max responds as she picks up a few cubes and drops them into the cup. A spoon is picked up and she starts to stir the tea gently as she listens to Pook. A small frown starts to form on her lips, her brows furrowing gently. After taking a sip from her cup, she sets it back down, though her hand lingers on it. "Was this person Gisa?" she questions, glancing over at him. A beat before she says, "I'm part of the Freehold, right? Made the same, or at least pretty similar, pledge as everyone else? I just want to help out around here. I admittedly have a lot of energy and am not a shy person. But, that doesn't mean I'm not calculating risks in my head or weighing out the dangers of certain situations, you know?"

"Who said it matters little," Pook responds, as he keeps his gaze upon Max. "Your reaction tells me the words spoken are true," he adds. He stares a moment longer, then breaks the gaze. He'll take one sugar and a splash of white. Serving himself, of course. "You are a part of the Freehold, just as I am, just as Rorschach is, just as Gisa is. And you, like everyone else, are to be measured for who you are. We'll not request Rorschach to be a motivational speaker, nor punish him for failing to. We'll not put Gisa in charge of being warm and cuddly. We'll never ask nor expect more of our members than they can give. And, with that, we will expect our Freeholders to be aware of what they can and cannot do..." He pauses for a moment, and dips his spoon into the cup. Three stirs, and then it's set onto the saucer. "I should not venture into the Hedge to slay hedgebeasts. It would be irresponsible, for I am ever so underequipped to battle a dragon. You, meanwhile, do not have flesh made out of stone. Nor do you have the knowledge we all have. Some of these matters can be fixed with time, some will remain, forever."

"I don't wander into the hedge to slay hedgebeasts," Max points out. "At least definitely not by myself. With the serial killer thing, I helped track down his hideaway place. His hollow. Then when others went in to actually /take care/ of him, I stayed back and out of combat. The same for when there /was/ a beast to be taken care of on the other side. I know I'm not a fighter and have stayed out of harm's way when possible," she explains before taking a few sips of her tea. "It seems like people are confusing confidence with recklessness. I know what I can do and what I /can't/ do, which is why I'm taking steps to learn how to better defend myself in a fight should it come to that." The mortal leans back in her seat, briefly glancing at her cup of tea. "I have a feeling these complaints wouldn't be levied against me if I wasn't human."

"I was using fighting hedgebeasts in reference to myself, my child. My own limitations," Pook explains to her, as she continues to watch. He pauses a moment to sip his tea, then he continues. "Confidence and recklessness are often the same exact thing, measured after the fact," he adds. There's a breath, and then a sigh, and then a nod. "That is exactly what I am saying, Max. Your knowledge of the Hedge is limited. Your knowledge of this world is limited. Beyond that, you do not know the Wyrd. Not as we do. And as I said, God willing, you will always be limited in some ways. Because never being captured by the Gentry would be ideal," he tells her.

"I don't go into the hedge alone or just randomly, for the most part. Each time I'm brought there, there's a reason. Whether it's to learn more about the dangers of it or to help out with something. I would be a fool to say I know everything about anything. I'm aware of this. I'm also aware of my own abilities and limitations. However, I'm not the type to stay within my comfort zone all the time. You never learn or grow if you shy away from everything." Max looks over at him, letting out a bit of a sigh. A hand reaches up, lightly and briefly rubbing at her temple. "The point is, I'm not danger to people by trying to help out. And I /have/ been able to help. Maybe not as much as some, but, as you say 'in my own way'. I don't go risking myself just for the thrill of it, because there's no real thrill in putting yourself in /true/ danger like the Hedge."

"And this... is all part of the issue," Pook says, with a faint frown crossing his lips. "You feel you are judged because you are human, and not Lost," Pook offers, with a small gesture. "Yet you are the type that believes you must leave your comfort zone to learn and grow. For the Lost... Leaving our comfort zone may well mean death, or something far, far worse. So when you speak this way, you speak as a human would. Does that make sense to you?" he asks, in a quiet voice. "I admit, it is not often we deal with one like yourself."

"I didn't used to think I was judged for being human until multiple people explicitly said such. Trust me, such a conclusion didn't come out of thin air," Max is quick to reply, a flicker of emotion briefly in her bright blue eyes. Then there is a long pause, a thoughtful expression on her face. "Byron told you about my past, right?" There's a look where it's obvious she doesn't want to go into the details of such if she doesn't have to, because who likes talking about the regretful and terrible things they've done? "Some of my eagerness to help here comes from that. It's not something that can ever be undone, so, I feel like I need to redeem myself in other ways. By helping you guys. And that's not exactly something that can be done passively, you know?"

"I know of your work with the Privateer, though I've not received an update since we last met, you, Byron, and I," Pook says, his voice remaining quiet and contemplative. "I know tracking down this man could take time, so I am not... terribly worried," he says. Then there's another sip of tea, before he sets the cup down. There's a slow nod, and Pook remains quiet a moment. And he idly scratches at his beard. "I am worried you'll end up alienating those people you wish to pay back, Max," he admits. "It's regretable, but many of us are very prideful. After years or decades or centuries of torture, the temptation to compare suffering rises up. Who had it worse. Who went through a hotter hell. To find a woman who went through no such thing..." He gestures. "Do you believe you should not be treated any differently... because you are human?"

"I'm not actively worried either, but, it's something I'm reminded of a nightly basis. And I know he's more of a hands-off type... He'd probably send others before attempting to come after me himself," Max explains, unable to help but frown. Picking up her cup again, she takes a few sips, enough that it's emptied by the time she sets it back down. "People will treat people differently for a number of reasons. It's not always negative, but, it does tend to not be so positively. I can handle differently. I don't believe I should be treated as /lesser/ though. Like, wouldn't it be totally messed up and wrong of me to treat you all as lesser than myself because of what happened to you?"

Pook gives a small nod, taking note of that, but not commenting. Instead, he focuses on the question. "It would depend on the context," he says, keeping that soft, soothing voice. "In a grand, cosmic sense, each of us are living people. We all should be treated kindly, we all should be loved. No one, at their core, better or worse than any other," Pook says. "But, in reality... there is always something to consider. There are always a million reasons which might make someone more valuable than another. Because as much as we are dreamers, we are practical creatures. We must be. The alternative is... capture or death."

"I'm not saying everyone should be treated equally for everything but more..." Max pauses, collecting her thoughts. Then she sits upright as an idea comes to mind. "Okay, there's a new friend that I've made. Have you met Logan yet?" There's a faint grin that tugs at her lips. "Anyways, so, I know I'm pretty awesome at most of the things I can do. But Logan? He's pretty much awesome at everything. And better than me at everything, personality included. He may in fact have a literal heart of gold. So, I think he's a better person than me. Not because he's one of the Lost but because of who he is. In more than a few situations, it would be better to have him along for help than myself. I'm not arguing against that sort of thing at all. What I'm against is being thought of as lesser /just because/ I'm human, you know? Like, some sort of racism."

Pook listens, and even though that faint frown lingers, his eyes remain warm and inviting. There's something decidedly paternal about him. Or maternal. Either, both. He nods once, at knowing Logan, then listens through the rest. Finally, there's a faint sigh. "The Wyrd does not protect you as it protects us. Has anyone explained this to you?" he asks. "There's nothing you can possibly do to overcome this difference, Max. Nothing short of sending yourself to the Gentry, which is an exceedingly poor idea," he says. "But, I understand the point you are trying to make. And I must urge you understand... you think, you talk, you live like a human. Unless you wish to change that, there will always be a gap between the Lost and yourself. And some might love that gap, some might love you for it, some might not notice, might not care. But some... they will see it, and they will disapprove."

"I understand. People mistake me trying to explain myself and my own views as not understanding," Max says with a bit of a frustrated sigh and a shift of position in her seat. "I know that I'm human. I don't want to have to go through some terrible experience just to fit in with you guys either. But, unfortunately, I don't fit in with other humans either. People tend to get freaked out with the stuff I can do, so, I've felt pretty disassociated from people for a long time." There's a pause, some consideration. "In that recent address of Oberon's current state, you use the word family for the Freehold. Family doesn't always have to love each other, but they accept each other. So, I guess it sucks knowing that I won't be part of that great family you speak of."

"If I did not think of you as family, Max, you would not be here," Pook explains, offering a soft smile along with the words. "And that's the truth of it. As for being treated as such by the others? Well, not everyone is Queen Pook. Thank God for that," he says, and offers a soft laugh. "But... you can help yourself. You can make this easier. Contain your confidence, knowing so many view it as reckless. Curtail your desire to explore this world, knowing others see it as dangerous. Slow down. You have just pledged. You have just joined a Freehold. You have a lifetime ahead of you. So... just consider that. And even if it means listening to someone explain things to you that you already know, it might be worth it for you." He pauses, and then makes a small gesture with his hand. "Alternatively, you can keep being who you have been. You've broken none of our laws. This is not a punishment, or a chastisement. You will still be welcome in this Freehold, and there will still be dozens willing to risk their life to save yours. But you might find yourself... lonely. The choice is yours."

"I think the world might be just a slightly better place if there were more Queen Pooks," Max replies with a bit of a playful wink. "I've already got the lonely thing covered. It helps a great deal when you can't touch anyone." The young woman shrugs gently. "But, I'll keep that in mind," she replies, nodding her head slowly. "I can only change myself so much, and I'm already working on changing myself from who I used to be. I feel like if I try to focus change who I am even more, I'll slip into some worse habits instead."

"Flirt," Pook counters, with a smirk of his own. He lifts back up his tea cup, and eyes it a moment as he considers. "Then..." he decides, as he lifts it to his lips. He pauses again. "Then, do what you can," he offers up. "The most of this is about you being new, not human. And that will surely change with time," he tells her. "In the meanwhile, just think relaxing thoughts. Slow down. A little marijuana might not hurt," he offers up, then finally takes a sip of that tea.

Again Max smirks at that last recommendation of his. "I do smoke most days," she says with a chuckle. With her tea finished and business seeming to be coming to a close, she moves to her feet. Her hands lightly wipe off any possible sugar cube crumbs. Then she glances over to the Queen with a soft smile. "I will take into consideration everyhting you'd told me, but, I can't promise that I can completely change myself into someone I'm not. Like I said, I'm already working on trying to curb the really bad parts of myself. I'd rather not have friends than be the kind of person that's okay with selling others out, you know?" Then she does a small little bow. "In spite of the topic of conversation, it was and always is a great pleasure to meet with you."

"I know it runs contrary to most everything that we hear, but... better to change ourselves... than be changed. Very literal, in this case," Pook says. He then sets down his tea cup on to the saucer, and rises up. "Thank you for your consideration. Let it not be said you are not willing to talk, to listen, to learn. Do please seek me out if you need someone to speak with, or you have any particular difficulties," he says. "Thank you for attending my call. Do have a lovely day, Max."