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 Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]

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Hapsburgers Syndrome
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyMon Sep 26, 2011 7:39 pm

It was as if there was an angel and a devil on her shoulder... Only, she didn't know which one was which. Her wide eyes flicked back and forth to the both of them. If only Annelie had had as many words as Lev did. If she hadn't believed how he told her she should, then she certainly did now.

Nodding at practically every sentence when he took her shoulders, she went along with him. "I...I am...! No... No... I don't..." But she got silent after that, realizing that he was yet again, correct. When was the last time she looked at the sky (she was afraid it would make her dizzy)? When had she looked anywhere but where she was used to?

She couldn't tell what emotion was bubbling up in her chest, something between fear and an excitement she'd never known. Mostly fear... But she surely would do anything this man said, at this point.

However, it appeared she didn't have to. She was pulled out of the room with a shriek (admittedly, partly because she realized she didn't have a bustle-- then she remembered she wasn't supposed to care anymore) that trailed into laughter. Technically it was a kidnapping... If she knew it was even possible. Calling back to the maid, she giggled, "I'll be back...I think...!" She didn't even question where she was going.

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Nietzsche Wannabe

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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyFri Sep 30, 2011 8:18 pm

"Mistress!" Annelie found herself screaming at the Russian from the bedroom doorway, "Bring her back, right this instant--!"

"Take my coat as hostage!" He shouted back, already having disappeared down the hallway of families past. If for nothing else, then he was certainly going to return for his coat--it was a personal treasure, from his days as a student.

By the time he'd pulled them both out into the street, he realized that he didn't really have anywhere particular in mind that he wanted to go to, so he did what he always did: wander. In the general direction of the outskirts of town. In the meantime, he slowed his pace to a stroll and linked his elbow around hers. Not as a polite gesture, but because even he knew that, should they end up in the slums, it would be best to stick close together. Not that he expected anything to happen...but he'd never been there dressed up, before, either. (Though her lack of a bustle did help, a little.) In Russia, it would have been a risky thing to do.

He didn't seem worried in the slightest, though. Being in the richer parts of town unbalanced him more than the poorest of areas.

"If this were Saint Petersburg, I'd go straight to Neva--the river," he explained cheerfully, "But since I don't know my way around here very well, I don't know if we're close to one. I usually tend to wander around until I find what I'm looking for." As an afterthought, he added, "I admit that sometimes I don't know what it is, until I find it."
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyFri Sep 30, 2011 11:03 pm

When he finally slowed down, she tried her best to catch her breath... And ended up holding in a surprised wheeze again when he took her arm. She wasn't used to being touched by anyone but her maid-- and that was only for getting dressed. It just felt odd. Instinctively, she stiffened and almost pulled her arm away from his.

But something was different. He was preventing her from staying close to walls, and from hesitating when she walked. And no one was staring at her. Finally exhaling, she smiled and settled her arm back where it was. She had just been forcibly pulled out of her house by what she could only assume was a foreign revolutionary... And no one noticed a thing.

"If you're looking for water, the danube is this way..." She pointed to the right of them. "But why the water...?" It seemed like his attention span wasn't fit for just watching running water.

After a pause, she turned to him, realizing that he was foreign, and therefore to her, had a life completely alien to her. "What's it like there? Where you're from, I mean." Already she didn't remember the name-- it was just that alien.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 01, 2011 1:49 pm

If being escorted was keeping her off of the walls, then it was doing wonders for his posture. One couldn't exactly slouch and march at the same time while keeping a grip on someone else. And people likewise weren't staring at him for once, either--though in his case, he didn't notice unless he was already struck with a fit of paranoia. One good thing about casually walking about with an aristocrat, he realized, was that nobody could suspect you of anything shady.

"Where?" He looked to where she gestured--and immediately turned that way, flow of foot-traffic be damned. At first, he didn't answer either of her questions. In a sense, they were asking the same thing. Why the water? What was Saint Petersburg like? Well, Peter the Great had wanted a city that was also a harbor--every (educated) citizen of Russia's capital knew that.

But he chose a different answer.

"Saint Petersburg is like Amsterdam or Venice: canals everywhere. And the main river is the Neva." He kept his eyes ahead of them, as he recalled his birthplace. "A lot of people jump into the Neva nowadays, you know--and not to go for a swim. I think it's because when you look at it, it reminds you that it flows out into the ocean, and that water mixes with other oceans, and travels somewhere else. Somewhere better, maybe. The people who jump in Piter are the poor: they have no other way of traveling." He half-shrugged, "It's a beautiful city on the outside, ugly on the inside."

He walked and talked, having no idea if he was going in the right direction--just that 'right' was supposedly the right way. "I was standing on the bridge once, just looking at the Neva. I wanted to jump, but"--he laughed, a little--"it was winter, and I felt like falling into freezing water would be such an unpleasant way to die. So I looked to my left, and there was the palace, all green and white and gold. And to my right was the Peter and Paul Fortress--the first structure ever built in Piter. Where they've always imprisoned those who dare to speak against the monarchy. And I realized," he gestured animatedly with his hands, "Between the prison and the palace that overlooks it, which of the two is truly uglier?" Again, he shrugged, "As long as there's cold water and injustice in the world, I won't be jumping or falling."
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptySun Oct 02, 2011 5:13 pm

She smiled sadly with a small laugh. "Here, the rich jump in the Danube. This place is so beautiful that it becomes ugly--" She looked out at the people disappearing behind them. "There's no reality here."

A thought struck her, and she quickened her pace, pulling him along. "I want to show you something." After bumping into a few people, she finally reached the river... And passed it, taking him to an area near the bank lined with white crosses, unnamed.

"These are the people that wanted to get out." It wasn't so great, living like some sort of stepford fairy tale. "I come here sometimes-- I think maybe they'd let me know if they were happy. But they can't... So if you don't know if you're happy..." She let go of him and sat on the ground, eyes trained on the markers. "...What's the point of doing it in the first place?"

She laughed finally, looking up at him. "Don't answer that-- I know it's idiotic to think so much about it."
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 03, 2011 11:10 pm

He looked down at the little crosses she showed him, then at the river, and he wondered where they ended up traveling to. At least to warmer waters, he hoped.

But then, he looked to her, in mild surprise, "Idiotic? Thinking too much about philosophical matters? I don't think so--" Sitting down, as well, cross-legged, he rubbed his chin in thought for a moment--it was strange, not feeling any stubble there. Then, quietly (quite the miracle, considering who was doing the talking), as though it were a big secret, he confided in her, "You know what? I'll tell you something good--do you know, there is really just no meaning to anything." He gestured at her, himself, the graves, and all around them, "There's no real meaning behind any of this. What's a 'grave', really? We made that up. What's 'nobility' and 'intelligentsia'? Just words. Just abstract concepts. I could call a squirrel 'nobility', and it would make as much sense--if a human can be born 'noble', then anything can. Why should it dictate what you or anyone else should or shouldn't have to live like? We only like to think there's some big meaning behind everything, in order to convince ourselves we have purpose."

He grinned, "But here's the secret: you can be perfectly happy without all that. It's easier, in fact, in my opinion." Resting his hands on his knees, he leaned back slightly, stretching, "People say, 'You nihilists, you're full of rubbish. What's the point of living, if nothing means anything?' Well, I think that's where the real rubbish is. What else are you going to do, if you're not going to live? If the only other option is dying...well then, why not live how you want? What the hell does it even matter? Is it really so selfish, to just want to be happy? So much so that you not wanting to get married, or whatever, is completely inexcusable? That's just absurd."

Maybe it was also a little absurd that he was taking the time to tell her all of this--why should he care, after all? But he did, in his own way. He wanted the world to be a little happier; that was the foundation behind his ideals. And though he was sometimes willing to go too far to realize them, it was all done with only the best intentions in mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 04, 2011 1:04 am

If he had said as much, she would have told him-- they don't even let the bodies escape. They were dredged out of the river and thrown into the graves, without care as to identification. It was like a silent genocide, to her. Still, sometimes she wished she could be marked by a little white cross.

Oddly enough, the fact that life had no real purpose and no order to humanity scared her. Imagine that, her, scared. "That doesn't sound very good..." She mumbled, picking at damp grass around her skirts. She wouldn't be able to handle anything other than being nobility-- she almost felt her throat close thinking about a more difficult life. And yet the one she lived was destroying her. She walked a tightrope-- wanting to fall, to finally rest, but fearing the fall. It wasn't the contact with the ground that scared her, but how far she'd have to fall to get there.

She had ran it over and over in her mind and decided that though she would fear her future and live a nothing-life as nobility, it was less fear than living with less.

"I don't know if I really want to live like I want yet." She confessed. "I don't know how I would live." She probably wouldn't ever leave her house again, if not for her obligations as a noble. It seemed like less of a life. "I don't think I'm very good at living. But I do want to be happy..." Maybe portugal was a happier place. How could she know, she'd never been. But she wasn't happy here.

"I'm sorry if I can't believe everything you say... but if I live like I want to, I don't think I want to know that life has no meaning."
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 08, 2011 12:47 am

It wouldn't have seemed odd to him in the slightest if she admitted to being afraid of the idea. He could have told her that the reason many people rejected it was precisely because the idea of a life without meaning frightened people. They did, after all, believe it had a meaning for a reason. Being confronted with meaninglessness could drive even the most hardened of men into depression and madness. It took a while for anyone to fully embrace the idea, if they were even open to it, to begin with.

Still, he couldn't help but sigh with a disappointment he was far too accustomed to.

Standing up, he seemed to drift over a few meters to the nearby side of a building, half in a daze. Placing the palms of his hands on the bricks, he speculated aloud, "Suppose we're all living in a cave named 'Vienna', and what you see on this wall is actually..." His thoughts overrode his speech, and for a moment, he stared into space, as though the world around them, for a moment, didn't exist. And sometimes, in his mind, he was ninety-nine-point-ninety-nine per cent convinced that it really didn't.

Stepping back without actually turning around, he walked the few steps backwards to where he was previously sitting, and reclaimed his spot. He was still zoning out, but suddenly, he addressed her again.

"You know, sometimes I enjoy playing the devil's advocate--shouldn't you be very concerned, right now?" He placed his fingers lightly on his chest to indicate himself, eyebrows raised, "Even with my political views aside: I believe morality is artificial, that there's no meaning to anything, that for all the knowledge in the world, people actually know nothing--and maybe nothing exists at all. How do I know you exist? I tentatively assume I do, because I'm thinking, but maybe everything is really just...shadows on a wall." He seemed to drift off for a moment, but snapped back, "That's a recipe for unpredictability, don't you think?" As if he hadn't already proven himself to be a veritable force of unpredictability.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptySat Oct 08, 2011 1:21 am

Her large, exhausted eyes followed him to the wall, and waited for the next revelation. But it seemed he was still thinking. His cave idea was spot-on. If only for her own life. She knew she wasn't allowed certain things, but she also knew that it would be bad for her to be allowed them. She had been reading the newspaper lately when she went out for coffee and it nearly scared her half to death-- not for crime or scandal but for the sheer amount of the world that she simply was not a part of. It was too late for her to travel beyond that cave, now. She was too fragile to go.

"Does it make you feel better to think that the nothing exists?" She asked, finally relaxing with her chin in her hands. "Suppose you're wrong. It still is good for you to believe, if you like it. Suppose you're right. Wouldn't it make sense for me to believe that things existed? Couldn't... Isn't the very fact that we need to speculate whether or not things are real, and talk about them... Doesn't the acknowledgement make them real?"

And concerned? "Why?" She replied bluntly, and looked around at the few people passing by on the street beside the cemetery. Another reason why she liked being there-- the shrubbery that masked the grim place could mask people, too. "Do you want to rob a bank? Are you going to try to sneak into the Prater without paying? Why should I care if you do? Just don't get a brain injury-- then what would I do?" Or did he already have one? Either way, he wasn't making much sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 12:50 am

"Of course it does," he answered immediately, looking surprised at such a question, "You're exactly right--well, partly so. Philosophy is all about speculation and discussion; that's the best way to appreciate life, and the universe. In my opinion, anyways." He shrugged. It really was just an opinion, but it was also his opinion that she (or himself, or anyone) was right.

"But no, I can't say acknowledgement makes them real--it might, but..." He waved a hand, "I can believe nothing exists, and maybe I can try to convince you to think the same way. But that doesn't mean we're right, just convinced." Tapping one finger on his nose seriously, he advised, "If someone ever tells you they know the absolute truth about the universe or the nature of our existence, they're lying. Nobody knows anything for sure."

All I know is that I know nothing. It was how he kept himself in check--perhaps it was what separated eccentricity from true madness. He could convince himself to believe a great many things, but not that they were true. Just possible.

On that note, he burst out laughing at her misinterpretation--perhaps he should have foreseen it, but he was so accustomed to people assuming he was dangerously crazy. "I mean for your safety, not mine. But I guess it doesn't matter, since I'm not going to do anything, anyways. It's certainly interesting, though..." He wondered if she was familiar with the (not entirely unearned) reputation that Russian revolutionaries had. She didn't seem to know much of the country's capital, so it was possible, perhaps.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 10:47 am

All she knew was that he was some kind of stubborn. Exasperated, she laid back in the grass (if anyone else was around, it would have been unheard of). He made sense, she supposed, but not in a way that made sense to anyone else. "Well if it's something no one is ever going to see, then acknowledgement of a truth, whether it's right or not... Might as well be the truth." She frowned to the sky. "Or else you're going to scare alot of people."

She hadn't expected laughter, but then again she wasn't really new to it. But when she really thought about it, hadn't she just been pulled away by a stranger that could talk well? He wasn't a student, she knew that, as evidenced by his real clothing. And he was too educated to be poor. And he was too foreign to be here, yelling.

Fear creeped in of its own accord. What if he was a bank robber, or something close, and that was why he laughed? She would be in too much trouble if someone found out she was in cahoots with a bank robber.

"What are you really doing here...?"
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyMon Oct 10, 2011 1:36 pm

He didn't lie down in the grass next to her (even he knew that that would have been ten times as unheard of), but he didn't seem to care much when she did, either. Pomp and circumstance meant less to him than it probably should have, and what was 'proper' was, of course, related to what was 'ethical' or 'morally correct'. Meaning it meant nothing.

"It might as well, just as it might as well not be. The point is that we'll never really know. And I already do scare a lot of people--many philosophers do." He grinned, not unlike the character he quoted next, "You can say you don't want to go among mad people, but you can't help that; we're all mad, here. It's just that people who are slightly more mad tend to frighten those who are slightly less so." The grin faded into an ironic smile, and he glanced up at the sky, "Maybe you have to be just a little crazy, to realize that there could exist a light beyond that which casts shadows on the walls of the cave." It was only a bad, frightening thing to those who were unfortunate enough to not have felt the warmth of that light, for themselves.

And here, again, he proved that he scared a good many people. Usually inadvertently, though he could (maybe should) have foreseen it, in this case.

He held up a finger, "Let me answer your question with a question. About five-hundred people were involved (how much or how little, we'll ignore, for now) with plotting the assassination of Alexander II, and the attempt on Alexander III. Two-thousand people were brought to trial, but how many were punished for it?" It was actually something of a trick question--he didn't expect her to know the figures, as they weren't certain to anyone. But, it would perhaps give her a clue as to what he did for a 'living'.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 11, 2011 10:45 am

"I'm more than a little crazy." She muttered, and then thought about it. Where was the line where one becomes crazy enough to know things? And... "Aren't you afraid of being too crazy...?" She asked somberly. It haunted her everyday-- and then, of course, she just felt more crazy.

She sat back up as he began rambling about more things she didn't know about. Who were these people? Alexander? Was there an Alexander IV? Did he die, too? Why would someone try to kill another person? It raised more questions for her than answers.

She was too sheltered to even have an inkling of what he was really meaning. "The ones who did it... Are the ones who got punished...?" She didn't feel like she was correct. Was she even supposed to answer?

"But why would they do that, in the first place?"

((short, sorry ]Smile)
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyTue Oct 11, 2011 10:51 pm

"Are you?" He asked cheerfully, as though the original statement had been something as innocent as 'I am the youngest in my family' or 'I am nineteen years old'. "I'm not afraid, at all. What's 'too crazy', anyways? When you don't even realize you're crazy? Well, if you won't realize it, anyways, then what's there to be afraid of?" It was like death: if nothing happened, then it would just be like a deep sleep. If there was some kind of afterlife...well, whatever would happen would happen, and there was no point in fearing the inevitable.

"Correct," he replied, contrary to her thoughts, "Twenty-three people were directly involved, and twelve of them died for it. The rest were punished. But what do you think happened to the people who were tried...and not punished? Do you think it was still safe for them, after that?"

Holding up a finger in deadly seriousness, he explained the terrorist actions of his organization with unintentional ominousness, "When the government is failing, it's not only the right, but the duty of the people to abolish it. And if you want a positive future, politically speaking, you have to get rid of the negativity of the past and present--by force, if necessary." Nothing was too extreme for the cause. Propaganda of the deed was an unfortunate but necessary means to an end; an end that would justify any means.
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PostSubject: Re: Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public]   Everything, for the Revolution [Lev/Public] - Page 2 EmptyWed Oct 12, 2011 7:06 pm

"Yes." She didn't mirror his cheerfulness, giving him a strange look. She didn't think mental unbalance was something to grin about. It was what haunted he the most, in a sense... Making her crazy with the fear of being crazy. "If you're too crazy they send you away. That's how you know."

Maybe her definition of insane didn't fit with his. Even if everyone had to be a little crazy... Going over the edge was bad. Everyone could handle a little alcohol, but having it as a diet could kill quickly. She applied the same logic to her mental state. Granted, she wasn't as bad as people who saw things that weren't there, but there was always the possibility that she could become that way. She bet that that wasn't what he meant, though.

"I guess not," She shrugged, "But if they tried to kill their king then they deserve it." Therese didn't stop to think that possibly the Russian Kaiser was a bad one. She didn't think badly of people, just fate. "Why would a government fail...?"
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