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About Lessa

  • Birthday 05/28/1992

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  1. Just as Lessa moved to reply, another woman approached them. Even before Jomei introduced them, she knew that this was the red-haired man's fiance. It was impossible to miss: the softening of his face, the new light in his eyes, and warmth in his tone. The sight both pleased and gutted Lessa, but she covered the warring emotions with a plastered-on smile. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Telrenya." She briefly considered adding something along the lines of you're a lucky woman, but lord, if that didn't always come across as slightly creepy. Besides, Lessa figured Tel was aware of just how fortunate she was to have found a companion in Jomei. And it was time that she left them to it. Pausing to offer a friendly nod to Astralin, Lessa took a step backward. "Well, I think I'm going to go take a look around," she informed the other three players. "It was great seeing you," she told her old friend, and to her new acquaintance, "and meeting you." With a quick wave, she turned, and trudged away through the ever-shifting sand. @Jomei @Telrenya @Astralin
  2. The emotion that struck her at Bahr's words was... well, Lessa herself wasn't sure. It came so fast, and so unexpectedly, like a sudden slap to the face. His comments definitely carried the same sting as one, too. Why was he talking about something, someone, he didn't know, as if he were some sort of expert on the matter? She could let herself stoke the flames of anger, because that was far easier than facing the hurt and the loss all over again. The questions that had never really found answers, which she had been content to lock away somewhere, rather than examining every single day. And Bahr had the audacity to talk about love. "We weren't dating," she corrected, her mouth moving before her brain could comprehend the action. Bahr had never said they were, so why did she insist on making that distinction? Why was it important? Suddenly massively uncomfortable, Lessa crossed her arms across her chest and leaned further back in her chair. But did she love Alkor? The concept weighed heavy like a stone in her gut, a vice tightening around her heart until she wasn't entirely sure she could breathe. It was easier, safer, just to let it go altogether. "But that doesn't really matter anymore," she stated finally. She'd meant to say he doesn't matter, but somehow, she couldn't get the word out. Hopefully, her dismissal would be enough to close the door on the issue. When she spoke again, some of the light had gone from her eyes. "I'm not sure why everyone acts like the outside world had nothing to offer. If I hadn't put on the nerve gear, I still would have been happy. I had family, friends, a career that I put my heart and soul into. I could have found love, too - I'm sure I would have. And I could have had cider and cookies in a tavern there, without wondering if a monster is going to kill me the next time I leave town."
  3. “Swept off my feet is one way of putting it.” Lessa scowled a bit at the reminder of the atrocious fight, but then gave a small shrug. “Your shoulders are probably aching from carrying the team. Can’t say I’ve ever needed quite so much help. Guess that’s a good incentive to start training again.” After a much needed and much appreciated stop at the river, the pair approached what Lessa had to assume was Oscar’s house. That, or a five star hotel. “This is stunning,” she commented, a little breathless, as she stepped inside. She spun a tight circle, gazing at everything the house had to offer. It really was massive. “You really went all out. That’s so cool.” The house was a style completely unlike her own cozy log cabin, but she could still marvel at the decorative choices the man had made. “How long have you lived here, then?”
  4. Lessa couldn't contain the laugh that escaped her at Oscar's hasty comments. It was rude, perhaps, but watching him scramble to cover himself somehow made all of her mistakes less significant. Sure, she had completely botched a beginner-level quest, but he had inadvertently invited her back to his place. Then he had made it infinitely worse by drawing attention to his wording. How could she help but find humor in the situation, even despite the awful heat and the troublesome sand? "I can't say I've ever been invited back to someone's place quite so quickly," she ribbed him, but the smile she offered was good-natured. "Teasing, of course. Sure, floor seven sounds nice." Her boots slipped and slid on the sand while she stalked beside him. Riker lagged a bit behind, as if the heat got to him as well. The cool mountain air would absolutely be a relief from this toasty hell. "So you're a cook," she began conversationally, swatting some of the sand from her face as she walked. "That's pretty neat."
  5. "Huh?" came her confused first response. He was pointing at her face, for whatever reason, and it took a few seconds for his meaning to sink in. "Oh." Had he not made her painfully aware of her messy eating, she might have just flicked the crumbs away with a swipe of her fingers. But the way he watched her, and that stupid smile on his stupid face, caused her own cheeks to burn with embarrassment. The girl snagged a napkin from beside her plate, scrubbed it over her face, then let it drop back into her lap. Only once she'd cleaned herself up did the significance of his words really reach her. It did nothing to lessen the blush currently sprouting from her freckled nose. "Well, I'm not intending to wipe you away," she told him finally, not taking much pleasure in how poorly she was responding. "At least, not until you give me a really good reason. I've enjoyed spending time with you." That sly smile broke through, and though it wobbled a bit, she wore it proudly. "Besides, you buy me dinner. That has to be worth something." His next line of questions caught Lessa off-guard, though admittedly not as much as pointing out the food on her face. She drew a deep breath through her nose, letting the sweet smell of beef and chocolate chips wash over her. Then she busied herself easing a pickle from the side of her burger and popping it into her mouth. Carefully, though, so not to get anything else on her face. "A lot of reasons," she answered, giving a small shrug as if it weren't all that important. Of course, it was monumental, but laying that out at Bahr's feet didn't seem appropriate. "There were a lot of politics on the Frontlines, for one thing. Then I guess I got a bit tired of the grind. It felt important to find something else worth waking up every day for." Despite the fact her burger sat only half-eaten, Lessa reached over and broke one of the cookies in two. It looked like she might eat it - there were no rules forbidding her from having her dessert first. But she pulled her hand away, settled back in her chair, and leveled her gaze on Bahr's. "And I lost someone, which took a long time to get over." No, that wasn't right. "Actually, I still haven't managed it yet."
  6. There was a part of her that wanted to pout, if she were being honest with herself. She had made a complete mess of the battle, never landing a single hit against what should have been her easiest foe in months. One hundred and twenty five health? She could deal that with one single Sword Art. Or, at least, she should have been able to. What the heck, she thought to herself, gritting her teeth in frustration. How was such a giant screw-up possible? And wasn't it just perfect that she'd waited until she was in the company of another to make it. Oscar's sudden announcement caught her off-guard, and jarred her from the pity-party she was just setting up for herself. "Oh," she began blinking back at him through eyes gritty with sand. "Uh, yeah, that'd be great. I really hate these desert floors." At his mention of hot dogs, she cut him a quizzical glance, but still nodded. "I do, yeah. Do you know of somewhere we can get some?"
  7. The woman found herself leaning in closer as Bahr told his tale. While she understood that he was pumping the story full of extra pizzazz, she had absolutely no problem with the extra dramatization. In fact, she appreciated it. And as he brought his narrative to thrilling conclusion, she couldn't help but flinch in her chair. Still, her eyes were wide and dancing with good-natured humor by the time she spoke. "Sounds like a heck of an adventure. Maybe I'll tag along next time." "Come to think of it," she continued, "I wonder if there's more to all that than meets the eye. I mean, do the other apparitions try to attack you, or do they just float around? They could possibly be there for some other purpose. Have you tried engaging them? Not in combat, but just... talking to them?" She paused to down the rest of her cider, then barreled on, mounting excitement lifting her tone. "Jomei and I landed ourselves in a haunted house once, while following the Church's stained glass window in Taft. Not sure what happened, since we couldn't find the place again. Might have been a holiday event." Catching herself rambling, the blonde shook her head, then proceeded more slowly. "We were running from a ghost who ended up being a tortured soul trapped in the house, and she actually saved us. She was the good guy. It was everything else that was trying to kill us." She might have gone on, had Alexander not returned with the food. If her eyes had lit during Bahr's story, they positively glowed as she picked up the burger. I love food, she thought to herself as she gathered up the burger. She certainly did not need Bahr's invitation to dig in, but once she had, she nodded her agreement. "So good, right? Sometimes a good burger hits the spot better than some fancy gourmet meal." Lessa had just filled her mouth with delicious, juicy burger when her companion commented on the evening's earlier outburst. One hand moved to her lips, shielding them as the other set the burger back on the plate. At least she had a few seconds to think of a response while she chewed. "No, I know," she answered him. Well, now I do. "And I'm sorry I bit your head off. I shouldn't have." She paused to drag her the back of her hand across her mouth, a gesture that was far from ladylike, but helped her collect herself a bit. "Honestly, I guess I don't really know what I want. I've been avoiding combat for so long that now it's just the norm. And today sucked, don't get me wrong. But..." And now, having backed herself into a corner, it had to be said. "But it was nice having someone else to pass the time with, you know? I've spent the past year training lower level players. It was rewarding for a while, but they always left at the end of the day. No one stuck. I, uh, I'd really like something that sticks."
  8. It took quite a bit of effort to keep her pleasure hidden, and by the time Bahr had finished ordering, Lessa had simply given up. The smile that lit her face was as warm and inviting as the inn itself. "You know," she told Alexander, "I'll take the same. The burger, I mean. Not the assorted nuts and seeds." Alexander nodded, and had almost turned to go before Lessa held up a hand. "And," she added quickly, "are you baking what I think you're baking?" The NPC's brown eyes flashed mischievously. If he's not real, Lessa found herself thinking, there's a programmer somewhere who deserves a raise. "Chocolate chip cookies. You'll be wanting one?" "I'll be wanting a dozen," came her quick, easy response. "But I guess a couple would be a good start. Whenever they're ready, please." She beamed at Alexander's back as the server returned to the kitchen. "Nope," she told Bahr, finally turning back to him. "Not so bad at all, especially when you get cookies out of it." She paused for a beat, then added, "I'd say something like 'I hope you like cookies,' but it doesn't really matter to me. I'll eat them both if so forced." Settling back into the chair, the tank draped one arm lazily over the back cushion. "Clearing a banshee sounds exciting," she commented. "I used to be so into that paranormal stuff before Sword Art. I'm sure it's different in-game, of course, but what was it like?" To his other question, she answered, "I'm set up on floor twenty two. It's quiet, and pretty empty." The faintest tinges of embarrassment colored her voice as she added, "Both things I've come to value lately."
  9. "Jomei, hey!" The greeting burst from her, as his presence actually startled her a bit. Why should it? He was a fairly social guy, right? Just because she associated herself with him didn't mean he too had a case of the hermit life. In an attempt to save face, Lessa schooled hers into something more pleasant than the scowl she had been wearing. He hadn't changed much, though months had passed since their last encounter. The same fiery red hair framed the same handsome face, and his familiar smile softened her own expression into something more genuine. "It's good to see you, too," she told him, finally, and meant it. As he mentioned that this wasn't really her scene, she affirmed the statement with a nod. "Not really sure why I'm here," she confessed. "Probably the free food, if we're being honest. But hey, that shouldn't really shock anybody." She looked him up and down, then nodded again as she mused, "You look like you fit right in, though." Even as she made the observation, Lessa subconsciously drew her coverup tighter around herself, covering the swimsuit she wore beneath. "Are you having fun?" @Jomei
  10. Lessa

    Been a While

    Hey stranger. Good to see you. :)
  11. So the man could disagree, and bring a discussion to a close with some grace. That simple fact spoke volumes, and she had to admit, reflected well on him. Even if his treatment of NPCs made he a little itchy, at least she now understood why. It wasn't as if he was on a power-trip, and drew some sick sense of importance from it. Lessa had no doubt there were others in Aincrad who did just that. "To be fair," she commented slyly, swirling the last of her cider in her cup, "you never actually denied my shopping-cart claim. As such, I'm going to go on believing that you're guilty of it. Bet you even leave them right in the middle of parking spots. Monster." At his mention of dinner, she nodded eagerly. "That sounds good," she told him. "You did promise me food, and all I got was some philosophical debate." While she paused to roll her eyes, and feign frustration at how the night had gone, a light crimson rode high on her cheeks. In truth, Lessa had found the discussion as refreshing as the fourth floor's frigid chill. How long had it been since she'd passed so much time simply talking? And hey, as an added bonus, Bahr even talked back. Riker, her usual partner, did not. "You asked me how long I've been coming here," she suddenly remembered. "Honestly, ages. I started coming here after my guild disbanded, and even crashed upstairs most nights. Only moved out a few weeks ago, when I finally bought my new house."
  12. She pursed her lips. "On that matter of home grown apples vs. lab made apples," she began slowly, considering just how to phrase her thoughts. "If it looks, feels, and tastes like an apple, why does it matter if it's made on a tree or in a test tube? The end product is the same, really. And hell, if it were reached more efficiently, maybe the latter is better." Lessa sipped at her own cider, imagining it being pressed from a pill. Then she shrugged. "But that's not all that relevant, I guess." As she considered the second part of his argument, she couldn't help but laugh. "So you tripped him up, and he was unable to formulate a comeback. I know quite a few people who experience the same thing, at any given point in a conversation. And if being able to recognize and fix a mistake is what makes a person human, quite a few of the people I knew in college were more NPC-like than anyone realized." Her expression softened, and she offered her companion a nod of understanding. "I do see what you're getting at, though. Maybe it's just hard-wired into me. If it looks like, talks like, acts like a human, it's just easiest to treat it as such. I don't see any harm." Lessa's blue eyes flashed devilishly as she added, "You just look like an ass to those of us watching you boss the NPC around. I bet you're one of those guys that leave their shopping carts in the parking lot, too."
  13. Lessa remained silent for a moment, letting his words circle as she savored another sip of cider. When she finally spoke, it was a simple "hmm" of both thought and appreciation. Bahr certainly made her think, which was a trait she found surprisingly endearing. It was even more endearing when she considered his statement about her, but dwelling on that seemed a bit self-centered. So the woman shifted in her chair to face him. "Sometimes I wonder how much of our human emotions can be programmed. If Alexander does feel joy when he sees Wren, should we discount that reaction because he's coded to do so? Or, better yet, what constitutes as emotions? The way he smiles when she hugs him, because he does do that. Or is it something deeper, like that soul you mentioned." Lessa momentarily paused her rambling to tilt her head thoughtfully. "You know, I'm pretty sure there's a Star Trek episode about this exact thing." "Adapting and improvising are two things that a program can do though," she countered. "I mean, technology has come so far. But I think I get what you're saying." She turned to glance over her shoulder at the barkeep before looking back to Bahr. "I have no idea if Alexander has any aspirations. Or, if he does, if they're built in. Maybe they're shaped by his surroundings, and his programming adapts to the situation. In that case, we're sort of the same. I imagine 'fight bosses to escape with our lives' wasn't an aspiration for most of us before the game started." At that, the girl paused, then slowly shook her head. "I don't know about that, I guess I'm just thinking out loud at this point." "Does seeing everything as code get old for you, though?" she asked him suddenly. The question had ridden the tip of her tongue for a while, but she'd initially deemed it too personal to ask. Apparently, at some point, she'd changed her mind. "There are days when I want to remember that I'm in a game, so I remember that the main goal has to be escape. But that line of thinking can just get... exhausting, I guess. And sometimes it's nice to live in the moment. See a sunset as just a sunset."
  14. The woman gritted her teeth. Nothing was going right. Blame the sun, or the heat, or the shifting grains of sand, but she was an absolute mess. Cheeks flushed with warmth and frustration, beads of sweat trailing down her back, she muttered an impressive line of curse words. Her first failure had been embarrassing enough, and she had opted for an easier Sword Art the second time around. Somehow, that fact made her second failure even more humiliating. Lessa forced a hard, uncomfortable laugh at Oscar's declaration. At least someone was having fun. "Looks like that shark and I have the same trouble today," she admitted, wondering if she could actually find humor in the situation. The woman let her sword drop, resting its massive weight in the dune before her. Not that it would do her any good anyway. The other player had this fight in the bag, and maybe she could make herself feel better by simply celebrating his achievement. "He's all yours," she told Oscar.
  15. "Caramel apple cider," came her easy reply. "My usual. Of course, when I ask for my usual in the Jolly Otter, which is a few floors up, they give me a spiked lemonade. In the deli in the Town of Beginnings, its a grilled ham and cheese." The girl sipped from her steaming mug, and without shame, closed her eyes to relish the taste. When she opened them again, she regarded Bahr over the brim. "You could call it programming, I guess. But the NPCs do make an effort. I don't see any harm in returning the favor." Now she smiled, a lopsided expression that remained a bit thoughtful in nature. "Besides, you could even argue it's the glitches and quirks that make them more human. I mean, the NPCs in the games I grew up with were lucky to have more than one pre-recorded line. It was generally something along the lines of yelling 'I'm reloading' incredibly loudly in a stealth mission." The woman stretched her legs out in front of her, settled back into the cushions, and loosed a small shrug. "And maybe I just find it easier to regard them as real people. As soon as you start seeing them as lines of code, you might be forced to do that for everything else. You know, the sky, the trees. The monsters we fight, and the weapons we use." Her eyes flashed as another realization struck her. "Hell, even the other players, once you've been in here long enough. I've seen people killed for less." Her gaze remained on Riker and Swine Bajesus, who snoozed together on the rug. Her hand moved to her mouth, and she chewed absently at her thumb nail as she let her mind drift. Then, "Where does it stop, you know? Could we even consider ourselves unique enough to stand out in this coded world? It's like you said at the Monument, we're all falling into pretty clearly defined boxes. Most of us would probably have the same responses to questions, at this point."