How long have you two known each other?
Rusty: Gosh, what's it been, a decade and a half? Two? You were just a wee squirt with a pillow-throwing problem--
Rachel: EXCUSE ME
Rusty: What? You hit me four times that day!
Rachel: it's a damn good thing we're talking on the internet or you'd be choking on a pillow right now
Rusty: I guess some things never change.
Rachel: also it was like three times you goober
What do you both do for a living?
Rusty: Well, me and my dad are in the appliance repair business together! R&R Repair: if we can't fix it, it's unfixable!
Rachel: i work part-time at a little thrift store over on rockridge lane. it's called "rack in time" cuz we have a lot of racks of old clothes, i guess?? i hate that name so much lmao
Rusty: How many paychecks' worth of skirts do you suppose you've bought there?
Rachel: that information is classified and also embarrassing
Rachel: i like to design clothing in my spare time! it's fun just mashing a bunch of colors and patterns together and seeing what works and what will probably get you arrested for fashion crimes (which i personally don't agree with but SOME PEOPLE see bright colors and it makes them turbo-cranky or something JOEY)
Rachel: that guy at the bluewater cafe with the dumptruck--
Rusty: Oh, THAT Joey.
Rachel: i came in wearing just the hottest pink shirt one time and i swear he was like five seconds away from kicking me out. he's all "you're gonna blind the poor old ladies at table five" and I'm all "not if your cooking does it first you ASS"
Rusty: I thought you two were friends?
Rachel: we are
Rusty: Right. Anyway, um, I like to collect weird old electronics and take them apart. It's fascinating seeing how technology has evolved over the years, how we've managed to shrink things from the size of a bus down to the size of a candy bar.
Rachel: speaking of things the size of a bus--
Rusty: I am going to call Joey right now if you don't behave yourself.
What kinds of music do you like?
Rusty: I like chiptunes a lot! You know, the kind of music you'd hear from an old video game console or synthesizer. Classical music is pretty good, too.
Rachel: heavy metal is my musical drug of choice (I'm seeing WAH live for like the 30th time later this month and i am STOKED) but chiptunes are pretty sick. i managed to get my kumquat micro's sound chip to make a vaguely guitar-like sound once but then the power supply died before i could save the parameters :(
Rusty: Maybe we should start a chiptune band and call it "Magic Smoke".
Rachel: HELL YES?????
What would you say are your most notable physical features?
Rusty: I have really bright magenta eyes. As in, bright enough that they actually generate their own light sometimes. It's one of those things that nobody can really seem to explain, but it doesn't seem to be causing any harm. Oh, and the tip of my tail is red, green, and blue, like the electron guns in a CRT, and it also glows sometimes. You, uh, don't see that very often. At all.
Rachel: i have one leg lol
Rusty: Yeah, 'cause you left the other one at my house yesterday!
Rachel: oh cool i was wondering where i left spicy kate
Rusty: ...you know, I was trying to make a dumb joke, but it actually is sitting on top of my TV, for some reason. With alligator clips attached to it.
Rachel: oh YEAH i was trying to see if her metal bits make a good antenna (spoiler: they don't)
Glowing eyes and RGB fur...?
Rusty: Yeah. When I was just a little kid, I had a really vivid dream one night...I was lying in an open field, and suddenly there was a really bright flash on the horizon. I was really scared, but then these weird glowy blue things walked (?) up to me, said some words I couldn't make out, and put their hands (??) on my head. When I woke up and went to use the bathroom, I noticed my eyes were glowing, and...well, that was that. The RGB fur showed up a few weeks later. Apparently this same thing has happened to a bunch of other people over the past few centuries, but it usually doesn't result in physical changes. I guess I'm lucky (???).
Rachel, what's the story with your leg, if you don't mind me asking?
Rachel: nah it's cool. i got attacked by a bear as a kid
Rachel: okay fiiiiiiiine i was a big dummy and stepped on a nail out in the woods. who puts a nail out in the woods, seriously
Rusty: To be fair, it was inside a dilapidated barn out in the woods.
Rachel: who puts a dilapidated barn full of nails out in the woods???
Rusty: Well, if I had to guess, it probably wasn't the woods, a long time ago...
Rachel: ANYWAY because i was a big dummy i didn't tell my mom and dad about it and just slapped a bandaid on the hole. i guess it got turbo-infected and the doctors had to chop my whole dang foot off so i wouldn't die. i don't remember a lot about my time in the hospital but apparently i was Really Loud and Really Bored
Rusty: And now you're a cool cyborg!
Rachel: BEEP BOOP MOTHER FUCKER \m/
Has it slowed you down at all?
Rachel: isn't that like the #1 question amputees get asked all the time? anyway no, it hasn't. if anything i'm faster than i was before. i've got a cool springy running leg (that's "spicy kate") and a prototype rocket booster that attaches to regular kate--
Rusty: Didn't Dr. Bellwood yell at you REALLY loudly about that? On several occasions?
Rachel: he's just jealous of my cool rocket leg
Rusty: I really don't think that's the case.
What are the best and worst things about living in Foxglen?
Rusty: Since we're right next to the ocean, we get a lot of neat stuff coming in from other countries all the time. Some of it is old electronic junk, which Buzzy (of Buzzy's Electronics fame!) sometimes pays me to help sort through. Unfortunately, we're otherwise kind of isolated from the rest of the world, so we don't see a lot of new faces terribly often.
Rachel: the bluetail woods are both the best and worst thing. beautiful during the day, but all glowy and spooky at night. the trees glow BLUE in the dark!!! that's like a thousand kinds of messed up!!!
Rusty: I think it's hauntingly beautiful...
Rachel: asdfdjfhdfjklgshdf don't say haunting!!! i HATE ghosts!!!!!!
It's currently Pride Month in our world as I write this. What are things like for LGBTQ+ people over there?
Rusty: People don't really make a big deal out of things like gender and sexuality here. I'm non-binary, have been for years, and everyone's totally cool with it. It's just a normal thing.
Rachel: yeah, like...i'm transgender. i figured out that i was a girl when i was really young, and my parents just signed some papers and that was that. i dunno why they make things so difficult in your world.
What's your most embarrassing secret?
Rachel: i have no secrets. muahahahahahaha
Rusty: Remember when I asked you how much you spend on skirts at the thrift store?
Rachel: i have one embarrassing secret. muahahahahahaha :(
Rusty: I'm in my 30s and I have braces...
Rachel: that's not really a secret my dude. or particularly embarrassing.
Rusty: Y-you shut up!!
Rachel: i am rolling my eyes so hard right now
What are your families like? Do you have any siblings?
Rusty: My mom passed away when I was just a baby, and I'm an only child. I still live with my dad in my childhood home. He's a big goofy lug, and he gets on my nerves sometimes, but I love and respect him a lot. I really couldn't ask for a better dad.
Rachel: i moved out of my parents' house a few years ago but we still keep in touch all the time. my dad's kinda hard-nosed and strict so i didn't have the best relationship with him for a while but things are better now. mom spends a lot of time traveling and doing government work so i don't get to see her as often as i'd like, but whenever she's back in town we have a big get together and eat a bunch of unhealthy food and listen to her talk about her zany government work adventures. it's boring as shit but i'm just really happy to see her again.
Rusty: And you're an only child, too, unless there's some ultra-secret sibling you haven't told me about...
Rachel: wait you never met george???
Rachel: lmaoooooooooooo i bet the look on your face is just precious right now
What's your favorite swear word?
Rusty: I've been saying "fudgesicles" a lot lately. I'm not necessarily opposed to swear words, I just like using silly or creative replacements for them!
What's your favorite color?
Rusty: I like just about any shade of blue. I miss the days when video games had deep blue skies, like the first level of Warriors of Wah. Of course, what exact shade of blue that is is the subject of intense debate, since no two televisions were calibrated the same way...
Rachel: hey remember that old tv you had that couldn't show blue?
Rusty: Ah, yeah... Brikkazoids was kind of hard to play when the blue pieces just blended into the black background.
Rachel: i think it was even harder to play when the tv caught fire
Rusty: Oh, fudgesicles, don't remind me. I never did get those scorch marks off the wall.
Rachel: i think all colors are pretty neat but purple rocks my house. i probably have the biggest collection of purple bottlecaps in all of foxglen. which uhhhh probably isn't that amazing considering how uncommon purple bottlecaps are in general BUT STILL
Rusty: I will give you a purple bottlecap tomorrow for a cheeseburger today.
Rachel: you will give me that bottlecap today if you want to keep your kneecaps today
Do either of you own a car or other vehicle?
Rachel: not at the moment but i am saving up for a cute little electric scooter. thankfully foxglen's not all that big so a lot of stuff's within walking distance
Rusty: I have an old car that my dad and I have been working on getting running for the past year or so. In the meantime, I just borrow my dad's truck if I need to drive somewhere, provided he's not on a work call or something.
Rachel: dude your dad's truck is so decrepit i feel like it's gonna launch a piston at me if i look at it funny
Rusty: It's not that bad...
Rachel: remember when i put my foot down and it went straight through the floor
Rusty: I--okay, yeah, having to go back and retrieve Kate from a pothole on the highway kinda sucked.
Rachel: man you gotta admit my aim was KILLER though
Rusty: Would you call that a "sole" in one?
Rachel: yes. yes i would
If you had to be stuck on a deserted island with only one thing, what would that be?
Rachel: my trusty pocket knife, no contest. you always gotta be able to cut and stab stuff. anything else i need can be fashioned out of coconuts and sticks and seashells and old pirate bones
Rusty: Methinks you watch too many movies.
Rachel: mr. stabbington thinks you got a real smart mouth!!!
Rusty: Aaaaaanyhoo, I'd probably want a tablet with a built-in solar charger and a whole bunch of books loaded onto it. Preferably a few survival books.
Rachel: i'd carve a boat out of a tree and come visit your island
Rusty: Why do you assume we'd be on separate islands?
Rachel: cuz i don't want no stinky NERDS on my island!!!!!!
Rusty: Says the person who would almost certainly construct a working computer out of pirate bones.
Rachel: gives a whole new meaning to software piracy, doesn't it? yar har harrrrrr [i am winking and nudging my keyboard]
Do you have any crushes?
Rusty: T-that's a rather personal question...
Rachel: joey at the cafe is hot as shit but i think he's already got a boyfriend. plus i'm pretty sure if the two of us hooked up all the atoms in the universe would flip inside out and explode or something
Rachel: what's up buddy?
Rachel: well it's your turn!! who ya got the hots for???
Rachel: it's ok you can say it's me
Rachel: there see that wasn't so hard :)
Rachel: lmaooooooo you're so cute when you're flustered
[Rusty has disconnected.]
So, um... you two are just friends?
Rachel: yeah like. i'm not gonna lie, rusty is cute as hell and i love them to pieces, but we're really just bffs. there have been sparks of Something More but we both agreed that hooking up would probably just ruin the super cool thing we already got going. hasn't stopped me from giving 'em the occasional smooch tho >3<
[Rusty has connected.]
Rachel: HEY BUDDY
Rusty: Sorry about that... I had to go hide in my tree for a while...
Rachel: awwwwwww. s'all good. sorry for scaring ya off :(
Rusty: It's fine. I'm better now. Anyway, what's the current question?
Rachel: are we friends?
Rusty: Of course! Rachel is my bestest friend in the world. I would do just about anything for her. I would strongly consider committing crimes, if we were in some bizarre situation that required me to do so.
Rachel: you big goober you're gonna make me cry!! but also same
Rusty: I'm pretty sure you would commit a crime whether the situation required it or not.
Rachel: well yeah but i would commit extra spicy crimes for you, my fluffy friend
Rusty: I--I'm not sure I want to know.
No offense, Rachel, but Rusty seems to be the more level-headed of you two.
Rachel: people use the words "chaos gremlin" to describe me a lot and i honestly can't say i disagree. i got a fire in my soul that can't be extinguished
Rusty: Rachel is kind of a lot, sometimes--
Rusty: --but she absolutely has a heart of gold. If you're in trouble or just feeling bad, Rachel will be there in a flash to help you out. Plus she gives really, really good hugs.
Rachel: tbf hugging you is like hugging a giant bag of marshmallows. it's hard to resist :3
Rachel: anyway yeah rusty's usually the one that keeps me from getting in TOO much trouble. sometimes they have to practically drag me away kicking and screaming from something that's got me all fired up but it's always for the best. i'm real bad at picking my battles ._.
Rusty: I mean, you're usually in the right, but... yeah. Sometimes you just gotta walk away.
Rachel: i guess it's hard to walk away when your foot is firmly lodged in someone's ass
What's the most dangerous thing you've ever done?
Rusty: Hmm... I did volunteer to work on an old Tromblethwaite Excelsior computer once. Those things were known for violently erupting into flames because of the materials they used.
Rachel: i would hope you worked on it while the power was off though??
Rusty: I did. These things have exploded in people's closets, the materials are so volatile.
Rachel: holy SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!
Rusty: The only way to fix an Excelsior is to pull all the custom parts off the motherboard and swap them onto a new reproduction board. I had to wear a full hazmat suit and everything. If the guy wasn't paying twice the usual repair rate I would have told him to just throw it in the river.
Rachel: well uh. the most dangerous thing i did involved a dilapidated nail motel but i already told that story, so i guess the second most dangerous thing was exploring that abandoned factory on the outskirts of town
Rusty: I still cannot believe you did that.
Rachel: well how was i supposed to know it was about to be torn down???
Rusty: THERE WERE SIGNS EVERYWHERE
Rachel: do i look like someone that pays attention to signs???
Rusty: MAYBE YOU SHOULD ONCE IN A WHILE
Rachel: so i went into the factory and climbed up this rickety ladder and all of a sudden there was a sound like GROOOOAAAAHHHHHH and a big ol' piece of the ceiling came loose and fell onto the floor like BWAMMMMMMMMM!!!!! it was sick as hell but i decided not to stick around after that lmao
Rusty: I'm just glad your survival instincts kicked in for once.
Rachel: it was more like i didn't want to get arrested lol
What's your most prized possession?
Rachel: probably my kumquat micro iii. it's an ancient computer that weighs like five tons and runs about as fast as your average wristwatch, but it's my baby and i love it. programming for a 40 year old machine is so much more fun than programming for a modern one. it's just you and the bare metal, baby
Rusty: I've had to track down so many replacement parts and upgrades for that thing over the years...
Rachel: and i absolutely love ya for it <3
Rusty: I think mine might be my trusty wooden toolbox. My dad gave it to me when I was like 5 years old. I used to use it to carry around toys and plushies, but once I got a bit older, my dad started giving me his old tools. It wasn't long before I had a full set and started accompanying him on repair jobs. He usually didn't let me touch anything, of course, but I learned a lot just from watching him work on stuff.
Rachel: i love your dad so much dude. he's a big sweetheart just like you
Rusty: Your dad's pretty cool, too! He's got a lot of neat stories from his Navy days, and he always has hot blueberry tea waiting for us when we visit.
Rachel: i guessssssssssss
Who's someone you really look up to?
Rachel: kate wormwood. lead singer of WAH. she's got a kickass set of pipes AND she can play the guitar like nobody's business?? i'd fuckin' marry her in a heartbeat. though she probably thinks it's weird i named my leg after her lmao
Rusty: I dunno, she seemed genuinely happy to sign your socket the last, uh, 15 or so times we saw her.
Rachel: imagine some rando just walkin' up to you and ripping their leg off and being like HI I'M YOUR BIGGEST FAN :D :D :D
Rusty: I don't think you're much of a "rando" anymore, honestly. Remember when she posted that photo of you two on her PicturesQue page last year?
Rusty: Anyway, this is gonna sound totally clichéd, but I think the person I look up to the most is my dad. Just knowing what he went through when I was a baby, and how he was still able to hold a job AND raise a child largely by himself after that, it's... I dunno. "Incredible" isn't a strong enough word.
Rachel: i keep telling ya dude, your dad's the best
Rusty: Maybe I'll buy him a cheeseburger when he gets home tonight.
Rachel: you should buy him two. and one for me. :>
Do either of you play any instruments?
Rusty: Not really, but I have been known to doodle around in ChippyTracker a bit. It's a tool for composing music using emulated versions of the sound chips found in old computers and game consoles.
Rachel: i have an electric guitar. his name is dynamite shreddy. i can't quite melt faces yet but i'm getting better dammit!!
Rusty: You are like five hundred times better at playing that guitar now than you were two months ago. It's impressive!
Rachel: i just wanna shred onstage with kate wormwood some day. that would rule extremely hard
What are your least favorite things?
Rusty: I am not fond of really loud noises. My ears are kinda sensitive...
Rachel: and yet you go to concerts with me all the time! curious.
Rusty: Well, yeah, but we bring earplugs, and there's a difference between "noise" and--er, well, I guess that last one we went to wasn't much more than noise. Blech.
Rachel: yeahhhhhhh soul demolisher is kind of an acquired taste. the venue didn't help much either
Rusty: I have been in public restrooms with better acoustics than the Herbert Groves High School auditorium.
Rachel: HEY hey RUSTY rusty HOW how YOU you DOING doing SKREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Rusty: It was also FREEZING in there! I don't tolerate cold well, either, despite all this fluff.
Rachel: there are three things i absolutely despise and those are guns, ghosts, and really bad smells
Rusty: Thankfully only two of those things exist!
Rachel: DUDE. bluetail woods. haunted as SHIT. you cannot deny the evidence
Rusty: Scientists are still studying it, but they haven't found any evidence--
Rachel: because they're GHOSTS dumbass!! supernatural bullshit!! science can't detect them because they exist OUTSIDE of science!!
Rusty: I am rolling my eyes so hard right now.
Rachel: ANYWAY i am also not a big fan of guns. killing other people is wrong, full stop. the only guns i need in a fight are these [i am pointing at my arms right now]
Rusty: Speaking of really bad smells...
Rachel: alright that's it you are getting a turbo-noogie next time i see you
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Rusty: I'm going to assume this is some silly Earth joke and not a real question, but Milo could probably chuck a decent amount of wood.
Rachel: i mean yeah when your upper arms are the size of a beer keg you can generally chuck many things
Rusty: They could probably bench press an entire tree.
Rachel: they can bench press me any day <3
Rusty: Oooh, are we back on the subject of crushes...?
Rachel: yeah, crushing your dumb face with my fists of justice
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Rusty: I dunno... I'm pretty okay with myself overall, but I do wish I was more confident... and less shy...
Rachel: aww buddy! personally i think the shyness is pretty endearing, and you've been doing a lot better on the self-confidence front
Rusty: Well, if you say so...
Rachel: for some reason i get asked this question a lot. i mean, i think i know why. but honestly, i'm pretty happy with who i am. i got a few warts, a few battle scars, but i wouldn't be me without 'em.