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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #2041
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    Kitchen Scene
    Elise does not move, but she at least offers some small consolation. Lucille isn’t sure whether to be mad or touched—she doesn’t want to cry in front of anyone, yet she is moved by this small moment of compassion all the same. It drives her crazy, the conflicting emotions in her heart. Elaine isn’t here, obviously, but if she was, Lucille would—

    She breathes instead, a hoarse sound, almost a sob without tears, and tries to still the storm within herself.

    It doesn’t work.

    “I—” Lucille says, trying to distract herself. Talking does not help. “Thank you.”

    It is not a given that she is gone, but all the evidence points towards that conclusion. Still, a small chance is a chance, so she must, she must remain positive like people expect.



    But after Michael, how could she? This was even worse than back then. Sakura was meant to look out for her. The caretaker she had never asked for, but was given. Should she have helped her maid? If she was more attentive—no, more aggressive about prying through the mysteries of the school—maybe Sakura would have bothered to bring her along instead of letting her live this farce of a dream. Maybe they could die together or live together instead.

    Better than the present.

    Lucille mechanically goes over to the fridge and fishes out some ice cream. She neither has the strength to reject Elise’s suggestion or her presence, and so defaults to a sort of blind, unthinking obedience. She puts it in her mouth. Can’t even taste the flavor.

    “I don’t know what to do…”

    She slumps against the wall.

    ---

    The blood on her hands was gone. Down the drain, or trapped in the bristles of the now red scrub brush she’d furiously cleaned her hands with. She took a last glance at the scrub brush before tossing it into the garbage can under the sink, certain that no one would ever want to use it again.

    “I don’t- I don’t know what to do either.”

    I was really hoping you would.

    She stood still. Water, not blood for a change, dripped from her hands onto the kitchen floor. She’d hoped that Lucille would know what to do, but it was clear that she was at a loss as much as she was. She shook her head and grabbed a hand towel.

    “Our- our priority should be to keep the others safe. Hisa, Aleen, Mercedes, Gradient. Vier,” said Elise in a slow and even pace as she dried her hands, “Pyry too. He’s out there, hurt, and he needs help.”

    Once she was finished with the towel, she tossed it onto the counter beside the sink. With her clean hands, Elise wiped the tears from her face as she turned to face Lucille, who was slumped against the wall with the container of ice cream in hand.

    “As for Elaine…” began Elise, “I don’t- I don’t know. She and John left to go to the Sheriff's Department to get help, but that was hours ago… They were- they were supposed to come back. Even- even if they ran into trouble, I’m sure they’d make their way back here… but if- when they do, what do we do?”

    ---

    Lucille gives Elise a blank look. Slowly, she blinks, understanding finally seeping in, before her face contorts into a grimace. Under the surface she feels like she’s burning, seething, but this is not the time or place, she reminds herself. This is absolutely not the time and place. Elise was right. They had to help everyone.

    Well, now Lucille was certain it was mostly everyone, but it was impolite to say that.

    “We…” she says, “I suppose we…”

    She can’t bring herself to say something sensible. How shameful.

    “I want to talk to Elaine,” she finally forces out. She tries to hide the emotions in her voice as much as she can, but misery and anger bleed together, make themselves noticed. “And then I’ll pass judgment.”

    Lucille lets the words die there. If she continues, she’ll say something wrong. She can tell. So she won’t. Elise needed someone she could trust. Someone to rely on for her demon problem. If she were to so obviously give in to her own desires… That wasn’t right, either. Sakura was an unknown, but Elise was right there, and something could be done about it. Lucille thinks, anyway.

    “You’re right, though. We should be… focused on who we can help right now.” Slowly, she moves back to her original job, but there’s a sense of forcedness to it. Whatever vigor Lucille had been doing it with before was replaced with a pale imitation of it instead.

    ---

    Elise nodded, “Of course. Elaine deserves a chance to speak to her defence. Just-just promise me that when it’s time to talk to Elaine, we’ll talk to her together. I might not know Sakura as well as you do, but she was-is, is my friend too, and… and assuming the worst, neither of us should confront Elaine alone.”

    Elise looked over at Lucille, and it was clear that the news about Sakura and Elaine had knocked the wind out of Lucille’s sails. Try as she might to hide it, Elise could see the pain roiling under Lucille’s surface and it all felt so familiar.

    “I-I know what it’s like too. Losing a friend…” muttered Elise as she stared at the floor, “The night that-”

    The night that the demon crawled its way into the back of my mind.

    “-that, well, it wasn’t a very good night, I-I was there, but, well… it didn’t matter. There are some things even miraculous healing powers can’t fix…”

    Elise fell silent for a moment as she felt the tears streaming down her face again. She was quick to wipe them away, but glanced at her hands. There was blood on them again, albeit diluted with her tears. Evidently there had been some blood splattered on her face that she’d just smeared. Probably Cesarina’s. Elise let out a long sigh.

    “We’ve chosen a very dangerous vocation, and-and we all know the risks but- those justifications don’t make it any easier when it happens…”

    “Anyway!” said Elise with a very forced cheerfulness in her voice as she abruptly shifted away from the previous topic, “Now that I’m not a complete hygienic disaster, I can finish making the sandwiches while you focus on finishing off that ice cream, eh?”

    After I wash my hands again. Of course.

    ---

    “...Thank you.”

    Lucille doesn’t bother to tell Elise off. If anything, having Elise there might be better for everyone around. Heaven knows if she cannot trust her own judgment, she should at least have someone watch over her. So instead she sits there and spoons ice cream into her stomach, not really thinking about anything.

    Well, that isn’t true. She’s thinking about the bad nights that she has had. That Elise has had. She wonders what purpose they have on Earth. The unfortunate product of free will? The natural state of being tainted by sin?

    Lucille stares into the tub of ice cream like its creamy texture will reflect one of the world’s hidden truths.

    “Let’s try to make sure nobody else has a bad night,” she says, though it sounds somewhat hazy, as if Lucille isn’t sure of it herself. Still, there’s a conviction behind those words, and some life comes into her eyes as she says it.

    The world is cruel. Some things can’t be prevented. But it is her job, it is Elise’s job, to try anyway, because it’s better than doing nothing at all.
    -----

    Truth be told, Lucille is not quite paying attention to the conversation. Her mind can’t help but wander elsewhere, but she got the gist of it. Those who can heal will help Pyry, and those who can fight will stay to defend the school. Though, personally speaking, she has a bad feeling about staying. Is a shelter anyone can break into really any sort of shelter at all?

    Still, time is of the essence, and she has wasted enough time as is. Arguing—especially when Mercedes and Hisa are in some line of agreement—is too much of a hassle for anyone to deal with right now. She supposes she has to trust Aleen and Vier, though she’s pretty confident a sword has no bearing on a properly utilized firearm, so perhaps it’s like signing her death sentence?

    Well, no point in thinking about that. Vier seemed relatively cooperative for the time being, so… Lucille would rather not hope for the worst. And she wanted to stick together too, so there was something they agreed on.

    “Sure,” she says, and it dawns on Lucille that her voice sounds incredibly tired. “As long as we get something done.”
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  2. #2042
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes West
    "We got our small forward in Elise here - if we decide to split up, she's important to either team. Though, like, I'd hate to break the dream heal team we've got going on here, especially if Hisa's guy is that badly wounded. Lucy's our power forward - the girl's boasted about her muscle, so let's, like, give her the chance to prove them. Our dashing action heroine's best bet is to protect us frail maidens or the like. Next... lessee... dunno about you, Ms. Robot but you got, like, obvious shooting guard air about you. All gun-wielders do. So that leaves, Hisa - our obvious center. Anyone gets too close, our girl's gonna shut them down quick. Just keep her safe and we're golden."
    Elise nodded along as she followed Mercedes' tactical analysis of the assembled group. In her freshly cleaned hands she held a sandwich, the likes of which she hoped would've made Sakura proud, which she was in the process of eating. She had a few more like it stashed in her backpack, along with a pair of water bottles, her jacket, and a certain bloodstained first aid kit.

    "Basketball, eh?" said Elise between mouthfuls of her sandwich, "Good metaphor."

    She took another bite from her sandwich as a brief argument erupted between Hisa and Vier. She wanted to point out that Hisa was right, time was of the essence, and while she'd rather keep the whole group together, packing up and leaving would take time that they probably didn't have if they wanted to help Pyry. Not to mention that while she might be able to get Pyry's car started (which technically wouldn't be stealing), there was no guarantee it would work, and she also really didn't want to try that unless she had to.

    Curse you hunger!

    She chewed quickly in desperate bid to interject, but thankfully Mercedes and Aleen covered for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen King
    "U-umm... this is totes not my area of expertise, but... guys? If we're rescuing Pyry, who's badly wounded, shouldn't we send those who can heal him up? Like Elise and Hisa? And if we want to defend the dorm, shouldn't we have those be here that are good at protecting stuff? Like Lucille and... y-you, Vier. Gradient's like totes gonna go with Hisa here, and they need Mercedes to drive, so that'd mean... well, it would get crowded in the car, right? So in that case, I'd better stay here... I think."

    "W-what'cha think 'bout that plan?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille Faraday
    “Sure. As long as we get something done.”
    Elise glanced glanced at Lucille as she spoke up. She'd been just quiet for most of the tactical discussion once everyone had reunited back in the lobby. Even now, she still sounded drained.

    Was telling Lucille the right thing? We can’t afford to be distracted on a day like this. Maybe I should’ve- No, no. Of course it was the right thing. I’m not like the demon and denying people information for "their own good". She needed to know about Sakura and Elaine, and it’s better she got the news from me and not Vier, Travis, Subaru or… or Elaine herself.

    She turned back to Aleen and nodded, "Sounds good to me.

    "That work for you, Hisa?" asked Elise as she turned towards the dormitory exit.

  3. #2043
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday, Hisa Momoi, Elise Pelltier & Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Then it's, like, decided. Hisa, Elise, Gradient - follow me. And Lucy... make sure the place isn't burning when we get back."

    With those words from Mercedes, the situation had been cleared and a decision had been made. The actress gathered her stuff, put her hands into her pocket and pulled out some shiny keys in a ring that she slowly spun around on her finger, with the jangling pieces of metal glinting in the dim lights of the dormitory. In response to this, Aleen nodded and walked over to the staircase... though at the same time, she kept a clear and visible distance from Vier, almost like she had been wary of the girl that she called friend. And perhaps she was... after all, the Vier right now acted rather different and... off, compared to the one that had been their classmate for this week.

    Meanwhile, before leaving out of the door with Hisa and Gradient (the latter having allowed the scarred girl through once they had come to a decision), Mercedes instead walked over to Lucille. For a moment the starlet studied the expressions on her friend's face. That tired voice of hers had already clearly sent alarm bells in Mercedes's mind, and now that she looked at the blonde closer... even the actress realized that something was very, very wrong with Lucille.

    But... unfortunately, they didn't have the time to go over it now.

    So instead, Mercedes simply put her hand on Lucille's shoulder, patted it a few times in an encouraging way... and beamed a quick and warm smile towards her, one that only the blonde could see. One meant to instill some courage into her friend.

    "--- I'll, like, see you when we get back, alright? So don't go doing anything stupid or whatevuh, got it?" Mercedes asked with a quiet voice. "If we're doing something stupid, we're doing it, like, together... right? You're my main girl, after all."

    Then, with another pat - one a bit more forceful this time - Mercedes let go off Lucille and walked over to the doorway.

    And with that... the four of them were off.

    Leaving Vier, Lucille and Aleen alone in the dormitory...



    Lucille Faraday & Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    The silence in the dormitory was oppressing, to say the least.

    Perhaps that was the reason why Aleen King had headed outside for a moment - not too far away, of course - so that she could get some fresh air. She stood few meters from, having left the door open by jamming a fist-sized rock under it to use as a wedge. The red eyes of the blue-haired girl were directed straight towards the overcast sky, to those grey clouds that blanketed the sky and did not let any of sun's warmth down to the world below. Indeed, even the light that did make through felt cold and harsh, almost like it wanted to mimic the events of the day.

    One had to imply turn their gaze towards the nearby yew tree to be reminded of that fact.

    It was some good half an hour after the other half of the group had left, and during that time one fact had become abundantly clear to the three girls. Namely, that there was nobody else in the dormitory. Each of the dormitory rooms, each of the public spaces, even the common room... they were all empty. Not a single soul was to be found. While Aleen remembered that there should have been a group of people here, there was simply no one to be found. The only hint that they got was the fact that many of the shoes in the rack at the lobby were gone - including those that belonged to the ones who should have been here.

    So, perhaps, they had headed out into the town too.

    But, as said, that left the three with not much to do. And so, while Lucille and Vier were at the lobby, Aleen stood outside on the grass and stared at the sky above.

    "... Just what's going on in this school...?" the girl muttered quietly to herself.



    Hisa Momoi & Elise Pelltier
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    As expected, the car that Mercedes drove was a rather expensive and fancy one.

    It was a four-seater, imported from Germany and felt more like a luxury car than a regular one. One could have made a pun about the brand of the car and the actress's name, but just one look (more of a glare, really) shut down any attempts at that. Besides, while it was certainly a little bit funny, this was no time for jokes. They were headed to a possibly dangerous situation, one where someone like Pyry Leijonamieli had gotten wounded to the point that he had to ask for help... which, if Hisa was to be believed, shouldn't have really been possible.

    Perhaps it was for that reason that the girls didn't talk much during the drive.

    Well, for Gradient it was obvious - the girl was fine with staying as silent as she often did. Though she had squashed her face against the car's window, staring out into the scenery passing by from the backseat like she had never seen this side of Road's End before. And maybe she hadn't? It was hard to tell with the mysterious girl. Mercedes, on the other hand, had been uncharacteristically silent. The only things she had said were "You eat too" and "Hand me a sandwich" during the ride. First one to Hisa, latter one to Elise. And thus the car had been filled with nothing more than the sound of people munching their sandwiches for a good portion of the ride.

    ... As a side-note, the way Mercedes was drifting through some of the turns and corners... perhaps it was good that the roads were in bad enough state that the starlet couldn't really rev up the engine.

    "Alright. We're here."

    Eventually, the journey was over. About twenty minutes or more, but they had made it. As they had drove through the empty-looking town of Road's End (the eerie silence of the place was a worrisome thing in itself), the blue bird atop Hisa's head had stayed silent. It only perked up when their heading had clearly become the road leading all the way to Owl's Nest Hotel. And when they had reached the foot of the slope that that led up the mountainside, suddenly the inside of the car was filled with loud chirping.

    That was their cue.

    Mercedes parked the car to the side of the road, shut down the engine and stepped out. She stretched he limbs a little and watched as the strange blue robin flew out of the car, did a few loops around the nearby trees and then settled on to a branch of a sycamore tree, gazing at the group of girls emerging from the car. It let out a few demanding chirps more and tilted its head, almost like impatiently asking if they were coming. Mercedes, on the other hand, looked back to the others and locked the car once everyone was out.

    "So, like... how are we gonna do this?" Mercedes asked, gesturing towards the veil of trees not far away. "Just follow the strange bird and hope it leads us to Hisa's guy? I mean, I dunno what you guys have heard, but, like... this forest is apparently bad news. Lots of bad rumous about the Ghostwood."

    The actress sneaked a glance at the shadowy, foreboding forest and narrowed her eyes.

    "And do we hurry? Or, like, try to be quiet?"

  4. #2044
    Beauty Under the Moonlight Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Road to Town
    Phase: Afternoon
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast



    “Hmm. How was it that cousin Evelyn put it? ‘The thot plickens’?”

    John stares intently at the photo, but there is not much else to make of it. The whole setup of the photo’s scene speaks of Ramalsaqr’s past, connecting it to the well-known name of arms manufacturers.

    “A mercenary…could it be, she started as a child soldier…?”

    And where does Lewis enter this whole story? He is…a journalist of some sort. If the Feroces were training child soldiers, Reed Lewis certainly did not release the story to the public, as far as John remembers. Perhaps more importantly, did somebody purposely arrange for the Feroce daughter and one of their (perhaps) child soldiers to attend the same school? Did Ramalsaqr know anything or was in any way connected to Feroce’s brutal death?

    Too many questions, no answers. Same old, same old. Were John Dove a different kind of man, he might already be bored. Any answers will have to come from Reed Lewis, now that the other two people of relevance in the photo are dead. Of course, that only brings to mind the absence of the faculty. Putting aside the terrible events of this morning, were the students of Pinefall supposed to remain unsupervised this Sunday? The only one expected to be there was Mr. Jake Briggs, and that man has absolutely zero authority. It all seems a rather poor choice from Mr. Oceandrop and the faculty, considering the very nature of their educational institution. It’s all more boring questions, really. John could stay there the whole day listing them all.

    Claiming the pouch nonetheless, John then assesses the other available equipment. He has already claimed Ramalsaqr’s revolver and all available ammo, making sure to conceal it behind his shirt because he is not the kind of person who walks around showing off that he is carrying. The zippo lighter, the first-aid kit and the combat knife also end up his possessions—anybody with a modicum of sense can figure out the usefulness of either of these things. His nose scrunches up when sniffing the contents of the water bottle, but he nonetheless takes it—he can always empty it and refill it with actual fresh water when he gets the chance. The cigarettes he does not need—a single one a few months ago was everything he needed to know smoking is “not his thing”.

    That leaves the explosive weaponry—hand grenades and landmines—plus the grenade-like canisters he cannot promptly recognize. John holds a single grenade between two fingers, staring at it for the whole of five seconds before sighing.

    “I’m not comfortable carrying these, after all.”

    It is the kind of absurd thought the John Dove from a day ago would have never conceived. Nonetheless, he takes the grenades and the canisters—finding the weight of the landmines an unnecessary burden—with the thought of eventually handing them over to somebody better suited to carrying them. He is grateful to the he of a few hours ago who thought of briefly going back inside the dorms before leaving with Elaine. Otherwise, he would not have the means to carry all this stuff, plus his sketchbook, plus Mercy’s notebook.

    Before moving on, John cannot stop himself from regarding Elaine’s stake one more time. He grabbed it almost on a whim, but looking at it more carefully, he wonders if the girl knew what she was carrying with her all this time. This thing belongs to a museum, not a high-school student. The size of the stake would suggest it is meant for impalement, but the shape, appearance and overall design suggest it is from Ancient Rome, and they did not use stakes for impalement, they used them for crucifixions. It is a symbol of the god Mars, who represented and was believed responsible for all human miseries, as explained by “Pseudo-Manetho” in the blunt verses of the much mysterious Apotelesmatica. If John were to follow the beliefs of the occult, then in his hands he holds an object of power. How in tarnation did Elaine Winters end up in the possession of such a thing? In any case, it joins the Moonshadow’s trinket in John Dove’s collection of artifacts with grim backgrounds. At this rate it will turn out that the “leather” in Mercy’s notebook is in fact human skin or some other ridiculous thing like that.

    In the end, convinced there is nothing left to do in this place, John Dove and his new panoply (which does not suit him at all) march downhill and back to the town proper. His and Elaine Winters’ mission (reach the sheriff's office) remains unfulfilled. He leaves without saying a single word, or even looking back. The dead are the dead; there is no point in talking to them. Whatever regrets he may or may not feel at not being able to prevent the deaths that took place here, those are his and his alone.

  5. #2045
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    She bid farewell to Lucille, Aleen and Vier, and soon she was off with Mercedes, Hisa, Gradient and the blue bird. The car ride was quiet, and Elise mostly just handled sandwich distribution, passing sandwiches to Mercedes, Hisa, and offering one to Gradient. She had a dozen questions or so that she wanted to ask Hisa, but felt that those could wait for a better time. Given the warning about staying off the roads that Anna had shared back at the yew tree that morning, Elise thought it best to avoid distractions and keep an eye open for any potential hazards. Not that she wasn't more than capable of distracting herself. Having shared the news about Sakura and Elaine to Lucille, she felt like a weight was off her shoulders, but in the sharing she'd managed to reopen a few old wounds of her own that she'd thought were healed. Not to mention just how demoralized Lucille now seemed.

    Road's End felt emptier than usual as they drove through town. The seeming lack of any other humans was becoming increasingly worrisome to Elise.

    Where is everyone? The townsfolk, the faculty, the other students... Did everyone else somehow know today was going to be awful, and just barred their doors and stayed in bed and forgot to give us the memo? Or has something terrible happened to them too?

    The car ride came to an end when the blue bird started chirping away and Mercedes parked her car by the side of the road. They exited the vehicle, and the bird settled on a tree near the forest's edge, inviting them to follow it into the forest. Elise took a moment to check her supplies and rifled through her backpack for a certain thing. There were still several sandwiches left, one currently reserved for Pyry who had likely missed breakfast too, and a few more in reserve, just in case.

    Am I trying to compensate for Sakura's presumed death by trying to be more like her? worried Elise as she dug through her backpack for her jacket, No, no. Having a few extra sandwiches handy is just practical.

    She found her jacket, which had evidently sunk to the bottom of her backpack, and pulled a nail-like dagger, or possibly a large dagger-like nail, stowed inside a leather sheath, from the inside pocket and strapped it to her belt. The weapon's weight was comfortable and familiar, but it felt odd to wear it so brazenly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes West
    "So, like... how are we gonna do this? Just follow the strange bird and hope it leads us to Hisa's guy? I mean, I dunno what you guys have heard, but, like... this forest is apparently bad news. Lots of bad rumous about the Ghostwood."

    "And do we hurry? Or, like, try to be quiet?"
    Elise looked over to the blue bird, waiting on its perch, and the ominous forest behind it.

    "Follow the blue bird, I guess? I've heard there's lots of stories of people disappearing, and getting swallowed up by the woods... Lots of warnings to never stray from the trails which I think we're about to completely ignore... I wish I had more of a chance to learn more of the local folklore. There's usually a grain of truth to that and a good way to prepare for what might be out there. There's the Disembodied Man, who looks like a dark silhouette of a person. He'll just be standing there, but if you look directly at him, he'll start following you, and will drag you off into the forest when he inevitably catches up to you. There's also the Grinning Girl, who's a woman with animal-like teeth and glowing eyes who hides up in the tree tops and will eat you if she gets the chance. I was told that she's a local variant of the wendigo story. There's also the Chevron Lodge, a cursed cabin that if you enter, you never leave. A total Hotel California, but it sounds like the sort of place you need to go looking for to find, so we probably don't need to worry about that."

    "It's called the Ghostwood, which is a pretty suggestive name, and the Disembodied Man and the Grinning Girl are both supposed to be angry spirits... while it's not my forte, I've got a few tricks that are pretty effective against their type if we do run into that sort of trouble," continued Elise, "We don't know what shape Pyry is in, so I'd say that speed's our priority at this point. Besides, making a bit of noise should warn away any wild animals that might be about. Bears generally don't want trouble, and humans are nothing but trouble, so they'll typically clear out if they hear you coming."

  6. #2046
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Road's End - End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... Got it. I'll make sure Scarecrow doesn't up neck-deep in shit just cause she's gotta play the hero,"

    "Catch you on the flip side, Montjoy."

    "You too, Gagnon."
    You two need a room? Maybe I should just take Gabi and leave you two lovebirds to hug it out here?” Anna let out a derisive snort from her position near the gate, her face set in an amused smirk. “Wouldn’t want one of you turtle doves to die of heartbreak, y’know?”

    Leaving on that moment of levity, the two of them walked the gates and ventured into the sinister-looking hospital itself. The empty grounds, coupled with the almost oppressive fog made the entire place look more like an abandoned asylum rather than an actual hospital that had been in use merely days before. Though, considering the twisted nature of this town proper…

    Who knew. It might have actually been an asylum. Wouldn’t be that shocking considering everything else she had seen today.

    "Seriously... as if this town wasn't creepy enough..."

    "Just why the hell did you come here, Moose...?"
    Travis’s words washed over Anna, though the girl in red hardly paid any serious attention to them. Like everyone, the blue-haired punk was in this place looking for something or someone. No. For the time being, Anna’s attention was firmly fixed on their oppressive surroundings. Well, that and…

    The Turnside was manifesting too directly in this town, too fast. Either the one managing this bubble of warped common sense has lost control of its parameters or… it simply didn’t matter anymore at this point.

    Anna wasn’t sure which outcome was worse.

    Either way, things were coming truly to ahead. She thought that she would have more time, but it seemed that the window of reason in this town, if one could even call it that at this point, had already been shifted too far from “normal” values. At this point, her ability to actually influence it in any meaningful way was extremely limited. If things continued like this, she might even be forced to…

    In the end, both Travis and Caleb were deeply mistaken. A hero? What a joke. Anna Vandemeel was incapable of “protecting” anything. She had neither the mindset nor the talent for something as noble as that. Besides. Something like that should be left to people who still had hope in society.

    She was merely acting out based on her personal sense of justice, that all.

    Indeed. In the end, she was something more akin to a common cleaner, nothing more. Just someone to sweep away unwanted trash.

    "Huh. I guess there's electricity after all. Fancy that,"
    Anna’s eyes narrowed as they took the turn around the corner and approached the reception desk. Power seemed to be still on in this place…but if that was the case, why had all the lights been switched off? Saving electricity is one thing, but this was supposedly a hospital. There shouldn’t be any type of automatic power outages in this place at all. Did someone purposefully turn off all the lights? Why? A number of wheelchairs and hospital beds were also strewn about, clearly in use and not just stored somewhere, but…

    People had been about here not too long ago, this much was certain. And most likely someone, or something perhaps, had either scared them away, evacuated them, or… dealt with them in some fashion or another.

    "... Now let's see if we can figure out where's what..."
    “Can you check any last notes or records they made? What was going on… and perhaps more importantly, when, it was. Anything that might explain what the hell happened in this bloody place.”

    “There’s definitely been some human presence here not too long ago but…”

  7. #2047
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    The car trip, even if in reality was quite a short one - especially with how fast Mercedes was driving - felt like an eternity. It’s not like this was the first time I was in a situation like this, and yet, this time, the wait, and the inability to do something was just unbearable. Still, at the very least, no one in the car expected me to talk - something that I was sort of grateful for - so I could just quietly and absentmindedly nibble on the sandwich that was handed to me.

    Soon enough, we arrived to the road that lead up to the hotel, something that the bird seemed to point out with its loud chirping too - except that there were no signs of Pyry being anywhere closeby. As we got out of the car, it became even more obvious, as the little bird immediately flew towards the forest, waiting for us impatiently on the edge - something that just made my frustration grow even more. Because...why exactly did he feel the need to go into the forest? Why couldn’t he just wait somewhere closeby? Was...he okay? Even if we came as fast as we could, it still took some time…

    “I’ve spent quite a few years living in a forest, so I want to think that I can at least try to prevent ourselves from getting lost,” I spoke up finally, my throat feeling dry and hoarse, “Other than that, we should just avoid anything strange. We are here to find Pyry, not to venture into weird cabins that keep you trapped for an eternity.”

    Chevron cabin…

    Trying to remember why exactly that sounded familiar, the memory popped into my mind faster than I thought - it was mentioned multiple times in that strange song Carrie wrote...Except that she mentioned something about the key to the cabin as well - something that we, for sure, did not have.

    “I agree with going fast as well. If something is waiting, and expecting us in there, then being quiet is not going to take us anywhere other than making us spend more time than necessary in the forest.”

    And for sure I did not want to be in there still when it would start getting dark.

  8. #2048
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Afternoon Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Ovecast
    [BGM]

    By foot, the town of Road's End felt surprisingly far away - especially with the heavy luggage that John now carried.

    Both the items and the emotional baggage that had been shoved unto him thanks to what had happened with Elaine... with Ramia... and with the Shadow of the Moon. It was not something that any normal person could have easily pushed aside, but on the other hand, in the grand scheme of today and the things John had seen... it was no wonder that he had gotten numb to it.

    If he hadn't been numb to those things beforehand.

    Still, at the very least now, after twenty minutes or more of walking, John had made his way to the road that cut the half-ghost town of Road's End in half - along with the railroad tracks that ran beside it.

    One of the things he had noticed during his walk, especially once he had emerged from the woods, was the fact that the town was even emptier than usual. Road's End was already a dying place with empty building dotting the landscape and rare few people walking the streets, but today... today it felt even more so than usual. Every single window had either curtains pulled to cover them, or they were dim and dark, with no life that could be seen on the other side. The only thing moving on the streets was the soft, barely visible fog that was rolling over from the ocean, growing in strength more and more thanks to the low temperatures of the day - most likely by the time night would fall, the fog would become a heavy, thick blanket over the whole area.

    It was... an eerie atmosphere, to be perfectly honest.

    Far too fitting to the events that had happened at the school already.

    In fact, it was like somebody had perfectly built this scenario, making sure that once the survivors of Pinefall headed out to get help, the only thing they would find would be a fog-covered town with not a single living soul in it, making the horror experience complete. It was just the right setting to make one's imagination run wild, and not in the good way. For example, the Owl's Nest Hotel must have looked like Overlook Hotel right about now or something. As a person who had read his fair share, John almost instinctively found his mind slowly filled with all sorts of scenarios and tales of screams and fright - both more recent and those of ancient times.

    And the worst thing... yes, the worst thing in the town had to be how silent is was.

    Like the empty echoes of someone's dying gasp.

    Enough to drive a man paranoid.

    Which was why...

    "--- Hey. Stand still, will you? Otherwise it's going to take twice as long."

    The sudden sound of someone speaking out was enough to make the hair at the back of John's neck stand up purely by instinct. Whirling his head to see into the direction that the sound had come from, John was surprised to find a blot of color, though muted and dim, in the middle of the grey town. On the other side of the railroad tracks that he was just crossing, sitting on one of the benches of the old, abandoned platform... was a person. And next to him was another person. And that latter person was doing something to the other person's arm.

    Arm which was... bright red and wet...



    "I mean... Jesus, man... how did you even get hurt this way...?"

    So asked the young man, older than John, from his companion.



    ".............. The hotel..."

    And so answered his companion, whose wounded arm the redhead was currently bandaging up.

    Now what the hell was going on here, out of sight from the rest of the town...?

    John Dove: New Items Acquired!
    Colt Anaconda
    Class:
    Medium
    Type: Modern
    Damage/Range: 8+2 / 25 meters
    A heavy-duty revolver with six-shot-chamber, stylized with a symbol of an Ouroboros wrapping itself around the chamber. The barrel itself has etching of a snake carved into it. Six bullets remain in a separate speedloader. Currently the gun holds three Chastel Bullets.

    Chastel Bullets x3
    Rank:
    B
    A bullet designed to hunt those that are notoriously vulnerable to silver, even if otherwise powerful and mythical creatures of the Turnside. When shot with these bullets, creatures known in folklore to be vulnerable silver bullets suffer following effects: 1) Their Supernatural-type defense is nullified against the attack. 2) The bullets count as a Holy Elemental damage. 3) Bullets cause +2 damage upon a hit.

    Combat Knife
    Class:
    Light
    Type: Modern
    Damage/Range: STR+1 / Melee
    A typical combat knife used by militaries across the world. Looks well-used and worn from days in the sun, sand and blood. Has a strange text carved onto the handle:

    Text on the Knife
    ليتل الأفعى
    من: بوس


    دعنا نلتقي في الجنة الخارجية


    Water Bottle
    A typical water bottle used by militaries across the world. Contains one litre of unknown liquid. Smells vaguely of gasoline, but clearly isn't.

    Zippo Lighter
    A well-used zippo lighter with a snake-motif. Smells faintly of incense and cigarettes.

    First Aid Kit
    Rank:
    CA typical military-grade first aid kit. Gives a -3 modifier to any Medicine skill checks, and allows treating Injuries that can be realistically treated with such equipment. Has 6 uses.

    Hand Grenade x3
    Rank:
    C
    Type: Modern
    Damage/Range: 9 Modern Physical / Thrown (5 meters radius)
    A typical hand-grenade used by militaries across the world, though these seem to be from the US army specifically. After removing the pin, one can throw the grenade like a typical thrown weapon. Upon landing, the grenade explodes, dealing 9 modern physical damage to all creatures within 5 meter radius from the point it hit.

    ??? Grenade x3
    Rank:
    C
    Type: Modern
    Damage/Range: ??? / Thrown (? meters radius)
    A canister-like grenade with an unknown purpose. A red and green line has been marked to the edges of the canister. By pulling the trigger-mechanism and thrown the grenade, one can throw it like a typical throwing weapon.

    Last edited by Verg Avesta; January 14th, 2020 at 02:27 PM.

  9. #2049
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Road's End - End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Can you check any last notes or records they made? What was going on… and perhaps more importantly, when, it was. Anything that might explain what the hell happened in this bloody place. There’s definitely been some human presence here not too long ago but…”
    Travis gave the raven-haired girl a silent nod, and his fingers tapped away at the mechanical keyboard with a surprising ease and experience - almost like the boy had done this before. His face was lit up by the pale glow of the computer screen and his eyes scanned the information that started running across the screen with quick precision. At the same time, he instinctively bit his lip and narrowed his eyes, taking in the text and trying to make a sense of it. Quiet seconds turned into silent minutes, and for a moment, it felt like nothing in the building was moving - not even the boy. His rhythmic tapping of the keyboard blended into the sound of clock ticking somewhere nearby, making the place feel even more empty than before.

    Until...

    "... No dice. The fuckers haven't written anything 'bout the place going empty," Travis finally grunted, displeasure clear on his face. "It's just business as usual. Who have been admitted in, when various doctors have clocked in, what phone calls have been made... nothing you wouldn't find in the typical reception of a hospital. There might be other stuff there too, but unless I have the admin's log-in details, and their password, we can't access those. Still... man. Lot of our classmate's been here over the week."

    Travis leaned back on the chair he had sat down and tapped the screen with his finger, showing Anna a list of names that had been written on white, blocky text against a pitch black background.

    "That brat Xylia, Kean, Lockhart, Feroce, Terrot... wow, even Gabi. Wonder what the hell that little guy did here? Even some of the teachers have been here, like Mr. Mao and Ms. Leuzinger... well, the latter makes sense, at least. She is the school nurse," Travis explained, showing Anna those familiar names across unfamiliar ones that must have belonged to townspeople. "No patterns here or anything, just people coming in at random times... I mean, jesus, that bitch Alexstrasza came in around three in the morning..."

    Looking dissatisfied that he hadn't been able to find anything more useful, Travis tapped away at the screen again, scrolling down the list of names. Tens upon tens of recorded people scrolled upwards, until finally the blue-haired thug reached the end of the list - the last name that had been recorded. If anything, it would give them a sense of when was the last time this computer had been used, which would be something to go off on.

    However, what they saw made Travis's eyebrows simply reach for his hairline.

    "O... kay? The last entry is... someone called Doctor Satel. Came in at 21:32 last night. After that... no other entries whatsoever," Travis said, pointing the last entry in the list. "Not only that, but the reason of visit is marked as... 'confidental'. Now ain't that suspicious as fuck...?"

    He then was about to say something else... but stopped, inhaling fast and sharp as he realized something. Quickly the boy scrolled up on th elist of text, his eyes running across the screen in a hasty manner. Finally, as the whirl of the running text slowed down, he leaned back in his seat and folded his hands across his chest... and gave Anna a serious look - eyes looking rather grim.

    "... Dunno what this means, but... I just realized something, Scarecrow. These entries... they list where the person in question has been sent to. Like to a doctor, to a room in specific floor, or a waiting room here in the first floor, or to an office... but not all of them," Travis said, gritting his teeth slightly. "One of them lacks any specification. Or rather, that space for them has been left intentionally blank."

    He scrolled back down... back to the last entry in the list.

    "Again... this Dr. Satel person."

  10. #2050
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi & Elise Pelltier
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "It's called the Ghostwood, which is a pretty suggestive name, and the Disembodied Man and the Grinning Girl are both supposed to be angry spirits... while it's not my forte, I've got a few tricks that are pretty effective against their type if we do run into that sort of trouble. We don't know what shape Pyry is in, so I'd say that speed's our priority at this point. Besides, making a bit of noise should warn away any wild animals that might be about. Bears generally don't want trouble, and humans are nothing but trouble, so they'll typically clear out if they hear you coming."
    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I agree with going fast as well. If something is waiting, and expecting us in there, then being quiet is not going to take us anywhere other than making us spend more time than necessary in the forest.”
    "Muu-!"

    The third and last voice to join in on the plan to simply make their way fast through the forest was, unsurprisingly, Gradient. The mysterious girl had taken her place next to Hisa, and she nodded her head vigorously. During the day, it was clear that she had gotten more and more expressive with her noises - to the point that they had even found a way to (at least vaguely) communicate with her. Indeed, she was far cry from the almost animal-like creature that they had found last night in the storm.

    Mercedes, hearing the three opinions, flashed a curt smirk and nodded.

    "Alright. If that's the plan then, like, that's the plan. Go in fast, get out fast, save a hunk while we're at it," the actress said and chuckled, turning towards the forest. "Can't say I dislike a simple and effective plan, either. Though, just so you know... I'll be, like, completely useless in combat. I mean, duh, just look at me. So if any, like, supernatural freaks show up, I'll be leaving them up to you guys. Got it?"

    And with that, the quartet of girls was off.

    Into the Ghostwood National Forest to look for the missing Pyry Leijonamieli, led by a bright blue robin whose loud chirping was already far ahead of them as it flitted deeper into the woods. As Hisa noted, they were heading straight north from the foot of the road, heading slowly towards the mountains and the lakes, taking a route that every now and then veered towards north-east...

    What might have been ordinarily a decent walk was accelerated into a brisk jog as the four girls invaded deeper into the Ghostwoods, the only sounds being the bird ahead of them and the crunching of undergrowth and sticks underneath their shoes as they traversed further. Mercedes let Elise and Hisa take the lead, while she stayed behind, and Gradient was at the tail-end of the group watching their backs. While the robin ahead was clearly showing them where to go, at the same time they were heading deep into an mostly untamed forest - meaning that they had no decent path (or any path at all, for that matter) to follow. The tall sycamore trees and the heavy pine trees towered over the group like an army of towers around them, casting heavy shadows that made the forest even darker than it already was - and the lack of sunlight thanks to the thick blanket of clouds up above didn't help things.

    And then... then there was the silence.

    Something that was somewhat hard to notice thanks to how loudly the bird ahead was chirping... but which one could realize if one paid attention.

    After all, other than the sound of their own footsteps and the noises made by their guide the robin bluebreast... there was nothing else to listen to.

    No other birds. No squirrels or other small animals climbing the trees. No insects hiding in the bushes. No larger animals and their distant grunts or roars. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The forest was as still and silent as the town had been, and that, if anything, was a cause for alarm. Just one look at Mercedes and Gradient revealed that they, at least, had realized this unnerving fact. The starlet's eyes were scanning the forest around them with an almost paranoid fervor, taking in every little detail that might be a cause for alarm... and when she found none, that made her even more paranoid. Gradient, on the other hand, had her eyes staring straight ahead, almost boring holes into the trees with her glare. Occasionally the mysterious girl threw a glance backwards, making sure that nothing was trying to creep up on them.

    Indeed, that was the worst part of the atmosphere that was prevalent in the forest.

    The fact that no matter how obvious it felt that something was about to happen... nothing was happening. It was a painful waiting for something to ambush them, or surprise them, or spring up upon them... yet not having that happen. In a way, it almost felt like waiting for a jumpscare in a movie yet not getting one, so now you'd get paranoid about when it was coming.

    And all the while, the silence was getting more and more oppressive...

    --- At least until one of them (Mercedes in this case) let out a shocked gasp.

    "W-wait, like, what the hell...?"


    Both Hisa and Elise had noticed it before the actress as they had traversed at the head of the group, but that didn't make the sight any less jarring. There, on the non-existent path that they had traveled, something truly chaotic had happened. Another path crossed this... though this one was a path of destruction. One of the trees nearby had been more or less toppled over by a blunt impact, ripping the thing from its roots and making it collapse upon the other trees - now barely hanging above the ground in a precarious manner. The undergrowth was scattered everywhere, like something large and destructive had been through here, and now that bulldozer-like path headed further north, clearly towards a clearing that they could all vaguely see in the distance.

    But that was not all.

    No, the most important thing was...

    ... The fallen tree, and the path itself...

    Was covered in puddles and stains of blood.

    Almost like a murder scene.

    "... Jesus, not again..." Mercedes muttered, clearly remembering the scene of Cesarina's corpse from this morning. "... Just what the hell went through here...?"

    It was a good question.

    After all, whatever had achieved this was hardly a human...

  11. #2051
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa Momoi
    “I’ve spent quite a few years living in a forest, so I want to think that I can at least try to prevent ourselves from getting lost. Other than that, we should just avoid anything strange. We are here to find Pyry, not to venture into weird cabins that keep you trapped for an eternity.”
    Elise breathed a sigh of relief, "I was just starting to get worried about how we'd navigate out of the woods. Following the blue bird in to Pyry's location is easy, but I assume that it's not going to be able to lead us back to the car."

    She noted the hoarseness in Hisa's voice, "Oh, uh, I've got some water if you need some, Hisa. Gotta stay hydrated, right?"

    Elise felt a momentary pang of guilt and regret as she was reminded of another event that involved water earlier that morning. She quickly rummaged through her backpack, producing a white plastic water bottle emblazoned with the logo of the Montreal Expos and offered it to Hisa. She spotted her other water bottle, a battered looking old metal water bottle, its blue paint chipped and faded, and considered it for a moment.

    "I've also got a bottle of holy water in here too. If anyone wants it, this stuff is pretty effective against the undead or the cursed in a pinch, if we run into that sort of trouble."

    The group set out into the forest, following the bluebird as they went. On a better day, it might've been a nice walk through the woods, but considering the day's events, and the oppressive silence that seemed to blanket the forest, it was hard to not feel on edge. Elise was thankful for the bravery of the little bluebird to dare to sing against the silence, but it did little to comfort her.

    I almost want something terrible to happen just so I can stop worrying about when something terrible is going to happen.

    It wasn't long until she and Hisa came across a scene where it looked like something terrible had happened. A trail of destruction and blood that tore through the forest. Elise froze as she looked up and down at this freshly blazed path before her. Something had torn through here with incredible force and a complete disregard for anything that might be in its way. Minus the blood, it reminded her of something else she'd seen earlier that day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes West
    "... Jesus, not again... Just what the hell went through here...?"
    "This- this was Pyry, wasn't it?" asked Elise, looking at Hisa as she gestured at the devastation around them, "...and that crash I heard, between my two memory lapses... I saw... something take off and make its way into the woods. Not that I ever actually saw it, I only ever saw what happened whenever it bumped into a tree that got in its way... That was Pyry too, wasn't it?"

    She winced as she looked at all the blood, and the distinct possibility that it might all be from a singular source came to mind. She felt both an increased sense of urgency, but also apprehension.

    "He's not entirely human, is he? Not-not that I'm throwing stones here, hardly in a position here, I'm in that category too, but... Do you know what, exactly, Pyry is? It doesn't change a thing, I'm here to help Pyry, but... well-"

    Elise glanced up the trail of destruction towards the clearing ahead.

    "-I'd like to know what we might be walking into here."

  12. #2052
    Progressive Shattering Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    As I waved off our away team, I was left alone with Lucille Faraday and Aleen King. I started to assess my allies for what they could do for me and what I could do for them. Currently, it looks like I needed to do a lot of groundwork because both of them were restless for different reasons.

    Lucille Faraday seemed… more distracted than when I last saw her. Something happened when she was making sandwiches with Elise Pelltier, but there were only a few things that could have brought her down. She wasn’t this distracted when people were discovering more and more dead bodies. So that means she heard some other devastating news. Personal. Closer than most bonds created this week. Did Elise tell her about the status of said student? Likely. Probable.

    Aleen King was clearly avoiding me. For what reason, I can figure out several potential reasons. Unlike Lucille Faraday, Elise Pelltier, and Hisa Momoi, she was clearly a normal human being who was thrust into the situation and wasn’t handling it well. So naturally, she has a reason to fear me considering that I’ve come out all geared up and prepared for the worst case. It doesn’t help that apparently someone else has been killed with a gun and here I am with one. Also out of the split group, I am easily the least amicable person.

    While I would love to solve their issues, I got the feeling that today’s bodycount was going to be much worse if we didn’t efficiently use our time. If the dorms fall, then not only would we be in danger. The away team could come back and be killed as well. I started clapping my hands to get their attention. I decided to play

    “Okay. Okay. Now that we’ve seen the away team off, we should make sure that they have something to come back to. The dorms aren’t the best defensive position, but that can be remedied with some barricades. While I can probably do that by myself, I would really appreciate your help moving stuff Lucille. Aleen, could you make a hot meal? Sure, we have sandwiches, but there’s nothing like a hot meal to raise everyone’s spirits.”

    There was a reason why I suggested things they could do instead of outright ordering them. I wasn’t their commanding officer nor did I want to unnecessarily aggravate them. I just need to jolt them to do something that was “productive” in their eyes.

  13. #2053
    Beauty Under the Moonlight Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Road’s End – Streets
    Phase: Afternoon
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast



    The additional weight is a burden, but his body tells itself there is no such thing. It is no longer as effective. He does not yet realize this, but he has gained enough self-awareness for his mind to reject the most obvious self-deceptions. Thus, he walks the lonely streets of Road’s End with a slight hunch not of his own choosing.

    Road’s End is a dead town. Never has this statement felt any truer than on this day. It is so empty, so quiet, that it could make John doubt there were ever any other humans outside of Pinefall. Was Sue Popplewell a real person? Such a risible thought strikes his mind for a moment before it is mercilessly dismissed as silly. However, the town remains empty, not a single other soul on the streets. John is comfortable in solitude, but he cannot dismiss the sheer abnormality of his current situation.

    It is so purposely “eerie” (to his understanding of theatrical tropes and genre conventions) that it feels manufactured. Pinefall and Road’s End are a single body, their roots entwined together to create a single, twisted purgatory for a group of high school students. Mister Oceandrop has many questions to answer.

    Contradictory as it may seem, the absence of sound has sharpened his hearing solely through the weight of expectation. The longer the silence spreads, the more he expects the “imminent” sound. He is too conscious of his own heartbeat, for once perturbed by solitude, a single wanderer lost in a sea of fog.

    The silence of death surrounds John Dove. You know, the usual. He still jumps a little when new sound finally comes, though.

    Two colorless humanoid shapes, yet distinct against the uniformity of the sea of fog. Two unknown people. One of them seems to be…tending to the other. John may not perceive the color red anymore, but he is familiar enough with blood to recognize what it drips from the latter male’s arm.

    The question: what to do here?

    The answer: go to the sheriff’s office. His objective has not changed, only the variables. He is not confident about his ability to move on unnoticed, especially if they are of the Turnside. If he ignores them and goes on his way, will they take that behavior as suspicious? The gun, the stake, the artifact and the grenades are hidden in the many pockets of his jacket and pants, but the military water bottle and combat knife hanging off his belt, and the first-aid kit he carries in his hand like a workman’s lunchbox are probably attention-grabbing enough.

    In conclusion, based on the situation and his own lack of capabilities against the Turnside, his only available option is probably not the wisest one. Nevertheless, it is the only one.

    What else is there to do? John Dove is a liar, so he lies.

    “Excuse me…!” he calls out, his voice projecting a pinch of confusion and “the relief to find another person”. “Is either of you a local? Can I have directions to the sheriff’s office, please?”

  14. #2054
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    “Sure,” Lucille says, finally brought out of her somewhat blank stare towards the entrance. If she spotted something, she’d be torn out of her pointless daydreaming by the urgency, but with nothing immediately happening her mind was prone to wandering. Really bad, in her opinion, but she couldn’t help it. Having hope to cling to paled in the face of evidence…

    But busywork, that she could do. And blockading the school was not a terrible sounding idea—unless Vier was the killer. But to be honest, now was an opportune time, and that didn’t seem like it would happen. At the very least, helping her meant being close by, and ideally in the range where a gun wouldn’t be as effective. That would definitely do.

    “Let’s be quick about it,” she says to no one in particular. Mostly to remind herself.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  15. #2055
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Road's End - End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "One of them lacks any specification. Or rather, that space for them has been left intentionally blank."

    "Again... this Dr. Satel person."
    A brief silence.

    “...They probably either have a “sample” or a “patient” in this place that too sensitive for uninvolved staff to know about. They could even have a bloody menagerie of psychos here, for all we know.”

    “It would make sense why there is no definitive location in the reception log.” A dismissive snort, devoid of humor, escaped from Anna’s lips. “They’d hardly put a red X over where they keep all their “classified”... things, right?”

    “Heck, wouldn’t put it past this place to have some kind of creepy basement laboratory or something else along those lines. “Classified” has a pretty governmental ring to it, wouldn’t you say?”

    Though this topic, though morbid, wasn’t really what concerned the Estonian girl the most. No. An escaped beast or madman going haywire would at least be relatively straightforward as explanations went. Clear and direct. What concerned her was both the lack of any logs after this “Doctor Satel’s” arrival and the fact that she could not make out any signs of struggle.

    The lack of logs suggested that whatever happened here, had taken hold of the hospital fast. Fast enough, at least, for the receptionist to have no time to leave any kind of note or attempt to contact anyone else. And the lack of any visible signs of struggle suggested… well, there were too many potential explanations and none of them good. Wide-scale brainwashing perhaps, or maybe a curse or an aura that directly attacked one’s anima. At the very least there should be some signs of panic or disorganization, but…

    Whatever happened here, happened fast and left no traces. That alone was enough to put Anna on edge.

    This feels like someone's hunting ground, alright.

    “Leaving that aside, however… you find the floor layout for this place? Remember, we’re here to grab something that will deal with the brat’s condition.”

    “We shouldn’t spend more time in this place than is absolutely necessary.”

  16. #2056
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    “He is human, the same way me or you are,” I started explaining after politely refusing the water, pulling out my own bottle of tea instead while grinning slightly - almost as if saying ‘I’ve had enough water in the morning.’ “It must be his Arc Relic. I don’t know all the details...And I guess I underestimated its scale, but…”

    The memories of yesterday, the things he said to me echoed in my head - and while I expected him to be strong...This level of destruction? Twisting out a tree just like that? He must have been a lot more powerful than what I imagined…

    “But, he just wants to protect the people who are important to him. And with how today’s been...I’d imagine it’s pretty taxing on that sort of mindset.”

    But just what exactly happened that made him be like that in the morning? Where did he go? Did someone die? Did he fight someone?

    “So to answer your question, it was him in the morning, and is probably him here as well. But you don’t have to worry about him. Anything else that we might run into...Or whatever he is fighting is probably much bigger of a threat...”

    Before continuing, I hastily walked over to one of the trees near the ‘crossing’ of the paths, properly marking it so that, once we return…

    “But enough chatting. Let’s go for now.” I said, but my voice was much quieter and weaker now.

    Because at this point I wasn’t sure what we were walking into. I didn’t know what to expected, and just thinking about the possibilities made a chill run down my spine.

  17. #2057
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday & Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Okay. Okay. Now that we’ve seen the away team off, we should make sure that they have something to come back to. The dorms aren’t the best defensive position, but that can be remedied with some barricades. While I can probably do that by myself, I would really appreciate your help moving stuff Lucille. Aleen, could you make a hot meal? Sure, we have sandwiches, but there’s nothing like a hot meal to raise everyone’s spirits.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “Sure. Let’s be quick about it.”
    Aleen let her red eyes remain of Vier for a moment. The girl's stare was oddly subdued, almost searching, and a little bit confused... but soon enough something almost cold flashed over it. Something in the way that she had been addressed had clearly affected the bluehead, and now her disposition towards the gun-carrying girl had taken a drastic change. Still, she sighed quietly under her breath, the sound itself caught by the wind outside, and started walking back towards the dormitory.

    "... Sure. I'll see what I can whip up."

    Aleen said that as she entered the lobby and headed towards the stairs that would lead to the second floor. However, as she walked, she passed by Lucille. Walking past the blonde girl, her eyes flittered towards her and, so quietly that Vier barely caught it, she whispered something to the girl with the sword strapped to her back. Something that fit the current atmosphere way too well... but something that was also, perhaps, something that should have been left unsaid.

    "--- Something's wrong with her. Keep your eyes open, yeah?"

    And with that, the blue-haired girl was off to the second floor to work on the food.

    During the next hour or so, Vier and Lucille worked tirelessly to barricade major weaknesses of the dormitory's first floor. To that end they used the furniture that could be found around the place, such as the sofa and armchairs of the common room, the large tables from the second floor dining room, and even their own desks from their respective rooms. All sorts of chairs and even a few large book shelves were up-ended to serve as a form of barricade in spots that Vier pointed out as the major weaknesses of the dorm's lower floo. In other words, the two doorways to the shared common room that lay on both sides of the staircase leading up, and the hallway that led further into the dormitory itself - from the intersection, right after the toilets and right before Pyry's room.

    These barricades ended up tall, heavy and sturdy, ones that any normal human would have trouble overcoming or climbing over, yet with enough room to give someone like Vier a good spot to take shots with her weapons. Just one look at the results of their handiwork told Lucille that this was not the first time that Vier had done it, far from it... the barricades felt almost professional in the way they were made - something a military person had done.

    At the same time, the two girls kept an eye out for anything out of the ordinary that could be seen happening outside or inside the dorm itself. However, nothing else jumped out to them, other than the sounds of food-preparations from the kitchen and occasional mumble that came from Aleen as she talked to herself. Even outside nothing but the howling, slow wind caught their ears... well, that and, eventually, few sounds of distant clinking and glass shattering unto ground. Most likely the damage that John had done to the doors of the main building had finally paid off and the rest of the glass had come crashing down from them.

    Still, an hour or so had gone by, and while Hisa, Elise and the rest were yet to return, the two of them were finished.

    Just in time, in fact.

    After all, the sounds of cutlery and boiling water upstairs had ended, and instead they could hear naught but silence... along with a waft of delicious smell of food entering their noses.

    Most likely Aleen was ready, too.

  18. #2058
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Afternoon Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Ovecast
    [BGM]

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Excuse me…! Is either of you a local? Can I have directions to the sheriff’s office, please?”
    "Jesus!"

    When John called out to the two young men, many things happened all at once. Firstly, both of them were clearly taken by surprise as their heads whirled to his direction, eyes wide from shock. Secondly, the long-haired youth stumbled a bit back as his tending to the other guy was interrupted by a physical shove. He nearly lost his balance, but managed to catch hold of the nearby, rusted guard rail right at the edge of the platform. Third, the dusky-skinned man moved fast, fast enough that his form became a momentary blur in John's eyes, as he practically jumped up from the metal seat and dashed forward, heading straight to John, and---

    "W-wait, you moron! Your wounds'll start bleeding again!" the sharp command from the red-haired youth rang out. "Plus he's one of the kids from school! Lay off!"

    Silence.

    A moment of cold, frozen silence.

    One that was made awkward by the sight of the dusky-skinned man balancing himself perfectly on the railing, on one foot, with the other one raised and held against his body like he had been about to launch a flying kick towards John. The piercing, quiet eyes of the man bore a hole through John, the tension grew higher and higher... until he finally relented, mumbled something under his breath, and retracted his leg, jumping down from the railing...

    ... Only to almost collapse back to the seat out of fatigue.

    "See? I told you. Play stupid games, wind stupid prizes," the redhead grunted, yanking the half-finished bandage on the other guy's arm tout again. "You opened it up again... goddammit..."

    The foreign-looking man sucked in air between his teeth as the guy in a hoodie finished up the bandaging nice and tight, and perhaps a bit too harshly, as if to punish the patient for having acted so rashly. While he tied up the gauze so that it would hold, the redhead turned his eyes towards John, studying the younger boy with a bit of a odd look in his eyes... like, he wasn't surprised that he saw John there, but he also was surprised... whatever that mean. All in all, it was a strange gaze directed at the boy.

    "... You from Pinefall?" the redhead asked, nodding towards the direction from where John was coming from. "I mean... I'm local. Hell, born and bred here. So, if it's the Sheriff you're looking for, I can give you directions. Though... what for? Don't tell me there's some trouble over at the school, too?"

    The way he said the words "at the school, too" and glanced towards the bandaged arm... it certainly suggested something.

    Still, before John could answer, the redhead continued while he straightened his back.

    "Oh, right. Name's Zane. Zane Mitchell," he introduced himself. "Local handyman. And this here's an idiot who should be sorry for getting that spooked by nothing. Right, Jayesh?"

    The only response the dusky-skinned man gave... was silence.

    New Character Met!

  19. #2059
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Road's End - End's Mercy Hospital
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Leaving that aside, however… you find the floor layout for this place? Remember, we’re here to grab something that will deal with the brat’s condition. We shouldn’t spend more time in this place than is absolutely necessary.”
    "Right. Just a moment."

    Again, the rhytmic tapping of Travis's fingers on the keyboard followed his answer. Information flew on the pale screen that illuminated the two youths with its pale glow as they stared into its depth. Anna was able to witness just how easily, how naturally, Travis navigated through the command prompts and the menus that popped up in the complicated-looking computer system of the hospital, going from the reception records to the shipment-and-storage-records of the building itself in just a matter of a minute or two.

    Honestly... it clearly wasn't just that the boy was used to working with computers, even though he clearly had a knack for that, too.

    It was almost like he had used a system like this before...

    "--- Ah. Here we go," Travis suddenly piped up, interrupting Anna's thoughts. "There. Second floor. Most of the easily accessible equipment are in Main Storage #1. That's where they keep stuff like crutches, medical braces, stuff like that. We should find plenty of gauze and other first aid essentials there. Then, right next to it, there's Main Storage #2. That's where they seem to keep all of the basic medicine. Ibuprofen, naproxen, dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, diphenhydramine, hydroxyzine... all the basic stuff - both over-the-counter and not. Well, the stuff you'd expect to find from a hospital. Guess we'll see for ourselves when we get there."

    Still, Travis frowned a bit as he looked at the list of items shipped into the building over the course of last few months, and he tapped the screen once more.

    "Though... there's also this other place. Main Storage #3," he added, sounding a bit... troubled. "They don't list what's there. The only description there is, well... 'Pinefall Needs'. Guess we found the place where they store Miss Leuzinger's weekly orders, huh?"

    He tried to make it a joke, even chuckled a bit afterwards... but both sounded forced and awkward.

    Thus, without trying to even continue that line of thought, Travis rose from his chair and sighed. He didn't even bother to turn off the computer. After all, it was not like someone was there to admonish the two of them for it. Instead the boy walked out of the reception area and headed straight to the main double doors that led deeper into the building. He only stopped to look over his shoulder at Anna, a crude grin playing on his face... but even Anna could see that it was mostly there just to keep his own nerves up.

    This empty, silent hospital... it was already getting to them both.

    "You coming, Scarecrow?" Travis asked, nodding towards the heavy wooden door with reinforced glass. "I mean, I know 'second floor storage room' isn't as exciting as a 'creepy, classified secret basement with hidden patients', but, you know what they say. Business before pleasure, and all that. Hah!"

    Giving a crude laugh, Travis put his hand on the handle of the door and pushed... only for a loud and very locked-sounding thunk to echo in the hallway.

    --- The door didn't budge. Not in the least.

    "Well... shit," Travis cursed.

  20. #2060
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi & Elise Pelltier
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "You know, like, if you consider this the work of a 'human' the same way you guys are... I gotta check my definition of human. Or, like, your definition of a human, girls," Mercedes snarked as she put her hand on the fallen tree, cringing as it creaked loudly. "Still... gawd am I glad he's apparently a total softie. Would hate to have someone, like, violent have this much power."

    While the actress rounded the fallen tree from the roots-side (following the bluebird who was now flitting over towards the clearing ahead), Gradient on the other had stood there, almost like transfixed, staring at the scene of destruction before them. The mysterious girl let out a quiet, slow whine that sounded a lot like "Nnnnnuuu..." under her breath, and while nobody could really make out what she was trying to say, her intent was clear: she was worried. Either about the reason for this destruction, or the one who had caused it, or... the large amount of blood on the ground and on the trees.

    But, still, there was no time to hesitate. They had to press on. The robin bluebreast was already impatiently chirping at them from ahead, and Hisa, Elise and Mercedes had already headed into that direction. Thus, Gradient followed in suit, rounding the fallen tree and hurrying after the rest of the girls.

    So, the four girls ventured deeper into the silent woods - heading closer and closer to the clearing.

    Nothing but the sounds of the undergrowth crunching underneath their feet, nothing but the path of relatively fresh blood to guide them (along with the destroyed path), nothing but one horrible scenario after each other to occupy their minds... it was, honestly, enough to make the hair at the neck of each and every one of them stand up. Like a prey-animal sensing a predator nearby, but finding nothing when they hurriedly look and sniff around.

    One step after another.

    And another.

    And another.

    They started to blend together a become a heart-like hythm for the four, until...

    "... Better, like, keep that holy water ready," Mercedes murmured to Elise as they finally started to emerge from behind the large trees. "Whatever's there is, like, totes--- Holy Hell."

    It was an appropriate reaction.

    After all...



    The clearing was practically painted with blood.

    It was everywhere.

    Covering the trees.

    Covering the leaves.

    Covering the grounds.

    And strangest enough... that blood... it was steaming.

    Turning into a smog or fog as if the liquid was evaporating slowly and taking on another physical form.

    And looking at it... the source of all this blood was quite clear.

    It was Pyry Leijonamieli himself.

    The boy was laying on the ground, though he had propped his torso to an upright position by leaning (or rather, having fallen) against one of the trees on the edge of the clearing. It was quite clear by just one look that the blood around the place was most likely his own - after all, he was covered by it too. The lanky athlete's clothes were in tatters, and almost nothing but shreds remained of the off-white hoodied that he had treasured so much, to the point of wearing it almost every day. Still, in the end, that would have been fine to a point... if only...

    --- If only Pyry himself hadn't been torn to shreds in a similar fashion.

    There were deep cuts and wounds on his face and all over his bare chest - whereas his legs looked almost like they had been burnt. But, those were just an minor inconvenience when compared to the left side of his torso. That, after all... was mostly just missing. Pyry's left arm, and indeed parts of his shoulder, his side and his stomach had just... disappeared. Instead what was left there was mangled flesh and broken bone, along with torn muscle. It looked almost like something had simply ripped the left side of his torso from the boy, leaving behind nothing but gore.

    "... Oh. There you are, little guy."

    --- Yet, even so, Pyry still talked.

    He had said this when he saw the robin bluebreast fly into the clearing, having clearly not noticed the girls emerging from the woods too. Despite his horrible, grievous injuries the boy's voice was surprisingly strong... if very exhausted and fatigued. He tried to raise himself in a more upright position, only to bump his missing side against the bark of the tree - and cursed in pain. He left the attempt there and, instead, raised his remaining hand, offering a perch for the tiny azure bird to land with one of his fingers - and the animal did so. Chuckling to himself (and ending up coughing some blood because of it), Pyry tilted his head at the creature.

    "Did... did you find someone?" he asked, shivering a bit at the same. "Did'cha t-tell them that Little Pyry fell down the well...?"

    It was a bizarre scene, to say the least.

    But perhaps, after getting over the initial shock was that, despite everything... Pyry was no longer bleeding. Not his wounds, nor his mangled side and missing arm. If anything, his exposed flesh and bone tissue had an odd shimmer to it...

    ... Like thousands upon thousands of small golden fragments embedded into him...

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