I know what death looks like

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Jexxica opens her door just as Qynka is about to knock. She's an oracle who uses data as her tarot, but still. Her ability to see all the possible futures and intuit which are most likely to come to pass has always been slightly unsettling. As is everything about her: pale white skin and hair and eyes, with ivory horns curling out from either side of her head. They began as an ornament, but became a permanent part of her, surgically, at some point before she ever entered Qynka's life.

She's wearing a deep blue robe by Lokadia. Its folds undulate across her body like waves. She stands to the side and motions wordlessly for Qynka to enter.

Qynka nods and enters and looks around. It's been a long time since Qynka was in Jexxica's apartment, but as far as she can see it hasn't changed a bit. Nothing on the walls, hardly any furniture, just a couple of very low couches and a very low table. No art or lamps or anything vertical at all, to maximize space for the screens that hang in mid-air at odd angles throughout the room. Qynka has to pass through them in order to be inside Jexxica's apartment. Some of the screens are picture-in-picture, filled with dozens of different shows. Others are live camera feeds from around the city, others are just numbers and charts and symbols Qynka has never even seen before.

When she's done looking around the room she turns to find Jexxica staring curiously at her.

"Sooo today I thought: TGreXt is going out of business; their new lip chores are barely getting any placement. And I thought: they're going to reinvent The Refusees as a new show and rebrand it for a wider audience with a renewed focus on community participation. And I thought: it rains so much and so bad and with so little warning imagine if all our clothes weren't waterproof and imagine if it wasn't possible to get from one side of the city to the other without the safety of traveling from store to store the entire way."

Qynka has no response to that.

"I would be a very different experience is all. BUT. I did not think: Qynka might stop by today."

Qynka's not sure how to respond, but she doesn't have to. Jexxica reaches out and clutches the front of Qynka's dress, drawing Qynka towards her, pulling Qynka's lips to hers. The kiss lingers meaningfully, somewhere way past good friends but not quite approaching lovers tearfully reunited.

Breaking the kiss, Jexxica looks into Qynka's eyes. "State your needs."

"I need,,,something."

"Uhhhhh you exist, don't you?" Jexxica motions towards the nearest screens. "More than ever, looks like."

"I was thinking about that time when the Lamaqynks wanted us to do that survival show in the Forest District. And you helped us figure out what was right. I could use help like that again."

"Well. That's not what happened. You wanted to do Huntyyy. I helped you train and you got a spot. Lamantine thought it sounded boring, and that you should skip the whole season and stay home with her, and maybe go to MoodGoals later. Which you did, because you always did what Lamantine wanted. And that was how she ended up meeting Raminashi, iir. Yuh?"

"She had. A hold on me."

Jexxica looks at Qynka's t*ts and nods, thoughtfully. "For like, a while after she died I wondered if you might visit me. You know like when things were at their worst, their most hopeless, I thought at some point you'll want to reconstitute the fandom, try to rebuild community after it began to cleave. We lost so many good friends to Raminashi and the Ramilams. I modeled out 714 different ways to save it and some of them might have worked. But you never showed up, never stopped by. Never even messaged me. Until today, when your status has never seen such a steep trajectory. When in fact, the idea of reviving an old fandom seems more pointless than ever. You've created a new one, just for yourself. Things are still fragile but I see it, fomenting. So what up. Why come to see me today, when you couldn't possibly need me less?"

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