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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #1381
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen -> Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    I smile, politely, inclining my head to Sakura's greater wisdom and care for Pinefall.

    It is better to be unseen then to be seen. This is but a fact of life and reality itself - each revolves around each to compromise a dynasty of unending and tiresome power. I grab a plate and follow the two absently, staring at the food that Sakura has placed on top of it.

    Elise whispers to me. I smile. I breathe. I let go.

    The food on the plate looks dry and unappetizing to me at this precise moment, and even though I cannot imagine it being so, I cannot help but look at it through such eyes. I smile prettily to the people in the Common Room as I let the plate down, placing it on a table. I don't bother saying anything, for Subaru and Souma reminded me of the true value of my words. Zero. I am an empty person, and as such the words are speak are as carefree and empty of meaning as I am.

    Others would have something whimsical and fun to say, to encourage the new students. Perhaps some sort of limerick, or a dance routine would be involved. But all my knowledge is of magic, and this is a school utterly without it. So instead of doing any of that, I smile. I open a book in a language neither Mercedes West nor I know. And I begin to read.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  2. #1382
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elise Pelltier, Alexstrasza Lockhart & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen -> Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Heeeey, you make it sound like my 'dedication' is some sort of bad thing!"

    Sakura feigned a pout at John's words, but couldn't keep it up too long. Instead a giggle escaped her lips as she sat down next to the blue-haired boy and dug into her own portion of the breakfast. Meanwhile on the other side of the room, the three Coastrise siblings had finally received their breakfast plates (and Alexstrasza and Elise had been left with one for themselves each). The black-haired trio had once again taken over the large sofa, sort of huddled together with Minato being in the middle. Still, their attention was drawn by the cheerful greeting from one Elise Pelltier that she gave after having handed out the plates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Hi! I'm Elise, nice to meet you! And, ah, welcome aboard, I suppose?""
    Three distinct responses were made to that.

    "Ah, charming to meet you too~" Zhou said, slowly blinking her eyes at the girl. "This is very nice thing you have done for us~ Would you like a juice in exchange, it's the type to perk you up too~"

    Almost like she wasn't about to take "No" for an answer, the bespectacled girl then handed Elise an bright pink juice box from God knows where. Stranger still, judging from the picture on the box this one was supposed to be... Tuna & Chili flavoured? Once more the bizarre tastes of the eldest sibling reared their heads thanks to her gratitude.

    Minato Coastrise, on the other hand, simply took one short look at Elise and Alexstrasza before turning his head away.

    "... Thanks, or whatever..." he mumbled and began to eat.

    That, of course, left the youngest of the Coastrise Siblings, Yeong-Hui.. though hers wasn't much of an answer. The tiny girl was stuffing her face with the omelette like she hadn't seen proper food in days. Her fork moved with such incredible speeds that it left nothing but a blurry after-image near her mouth, while bits and pieces of the food itself created a sort of mask around her cheeks and face. Indeed, it was a rather childish way of eating, further reinforcing the image that Yeong-Hui might have been younger than any other student at Pinefall.

    Still, even the messy-haired girl stopped just for a moment to shoot a wary glance at both Alexstrasza and Elise... before blushing again timidly and mumbling:

    "... Thank you."

    Into her food and continuing.

    --- All in rather, a rather heart-warming sight.

    Sitting a little further aways from the youngsters, Sae Min was slowly enjoying her breakfast, taking sips of the coffee in her mug in-between bites. The teacher slowly seemed to relax somewhat, a satisfied quiet sigh escaping her lips on more than one occasion. Reading between the lines (as she didn't say it out loud) it might have just been that the de facto vice principal of the school had had a stressful morning herself and was now, finally, able to calm down somewhat.

    "I must admit, you three did an excellent job," Miss Min commented to Sakura, Elise and Alexstrasza. "It is something of a shame we do not have Home Economy classes taught at Pinefall. I am sure most students would enjoy learning skills such as cooking."

    Sakura, hearing that, nodded slowly and deliberately.

    "Oh, that'd be neat, actually. It'd be a kind of levity in the curriculum, too!" She answered, before realizing what she had said and laughing awkwardly. "Err, not that the current curriculum is too harsh, Ma'am!"

    A soft, wry smile appeared on Sae Min's face.

    "No offence taken. I know very well that I rather appear as a... what was the term Mister Gagnon used again...?" Miss Min pondered for a moment, before snapping her fingers. "Ah, yes. That I appear as a 'hardass' to you students."

    Jake Briggs nearly spurted his coffee out of his nose, and was left to cover it up with a hacking cough.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Big Boy’s Gas Station
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I never felt like this for a guy. Is this...Is this what love is?”
    Billie Boulders chuckled with a grin and patted Hisa on the shoulder. Despite the huge size of her hand, it was a gentle, encouraging touch. One that tried to help her feel confident even if the girl was right not being flustered to the point of blushing and twiddling her fingers, earning a look from the bartender that just screamed how adorable the tall woman found her.

    "Who knows? I mean, you are still a teenager. Fretting over stuff like love and having a crush on somebody... well, that's just normal, ain't it!" Billie answered with a bark of a laugh. "Unfortunately, there ain't no one who can give you ready-made answers for these questions. It's just stuff we all gotta go through on our own, and find our own answers. But the way I see it, no reason to be too anxious about it. Youth is about giving new things a go and see if it feels right - in other words, finding out who you are as a person!"

    Nodding to herself, the giant of a bartender poured herself yet another beer. Judging from her body-size though, it was very unlikely that she did it to actually get drunk. Indeed, it would have taken more than a few Millers Lite to even get someone like Billie Boulders tipsy. Still the fact that a bartender was drinking in broad daylight was rather... concerning.

    "Being confused, unsure, even scared... that's all part of the package though," Billie continued, taking a swig of the beer. "And it's alright to feel that way. But don't let it control or you or stop you from doing what you wanna do. And besides, you're still young! It's alright to make mistakes, y'hear? So my advice is: just do what feels right to you, even if it feels scary or you have your doubts. It's much better than later worrying about what might've been. In other words I think it's better to give things a try than to have never tried at al---"Suddenly.

    Music blasting out of the jukebox.

    Carrie had apparently finally chosen the song out of the jukebox as once again tunes filled the bar and otherwise rather silent atmosphere. Horns, guitar and drums weaved together into a familiar melody. The folklorist herself bopped her head slightly to the rhythm, sly grin on her face... and as the vocalist of the song started, it quickly became apparent why. From the looks of it the older woman was far from over when it came to teasing Hisa and her current predicament.

    Even Billie couldn't help it. As much as she tried to hide it with her hand, her amused grin was obvious as the bartender watched Carrie take few dance-like steps towards the counter, while mouthing the words at the same time. However, as the chorus itself began, the older woman switched to actually singing the lyrics out... and showed that she had a surprisingly good, almost professional-like singing voice. Not only that, but it was clearly trained as well, considering how well she used her breathing.

    "Don't need money! Don't take fame! Don't need no credit card to ride this train!"

    Still... watching a woman like her get so much mischievous joy out of the song was quite the sight, as well as the way she half-danced to it.

    "It's strong and it's sudden and it's cruel sometimes! But it might just save your liiiiiife!"

    Especially in how she raised her hand, extended her index finger, and pointed it straight at Hisa.

    "That's the power of love!"

    Clearly Carrie Lakes just loved teasing those her junior!




    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "I don't really like surprising Cops, after all."
    Kean raised an eyebrow at that.

    "What, so you have an inside man at the local law enforcement, huh?" he said, dry smile floating to his lips. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. You're the type to have friends in every city from here to east coast, after all."

    While the silver-haired boy had said it with good humour, Hwan Bin didn't seem as convinced. He was now leaning on the table with his elbow, supporting his chin with his fest, his piercing eyes trained straight at the blonde girl. Thanks to the surprisingly subdued expression still etched onto the white-haired youth's face, it made him look rather serious - almost like a professional dealing with a situation he was used to. Considering the same guy was also known as one of the foremost assholes of the school (right after Travis) just made it even weirder.

    "Huh, the cops huh? You sure that's wise, Blondie?" Hwan asked, cocking an eyebrow at Elaine. "If the hospital's really part of whatever went down with the kid over there, it's likely the sheriff and his men know about it too. Hell, they might be working together for all we know. Especially since we don't even know what's really going on here. You wanna just blurt out to some cop that you found the girl that they might very well be looking for?"

    Oddly enough, before Elaine could answer, Kean shook his head.

    "I doubt Elaine would've suggested what she did unless she felt like she could trust this person to some extent. And speaking from experience, she has a pretty good eye when it comes to friends and accomplices," Kean answered, flashing a grin towards the girl in question. "Besides we have to start somewhere, right? Finding out who this girl actually is, why she was out there, if that hospital has something to do with it and if she's in any danger... well, those are just a fraction of the questions that need answering."

    Hearing that Hwan raised his arms in a shrug - he wasn't going to argue about this since it was clear that Kean knew Elaine better than he did.

    However, at that point, a tiny sound caught everyone's attention. The girl, who had still been enjoying the fact that someone was petting her head, had suddenly coughed. It was a wet, raspy sound and it was followed by two more coughs. The incident calmed down as quickly as it had happened, but at the same time, the kid did look a bit woozy afterwards. Travis frowned at this and pressed the back of his against the girl's forehead, his eyebrows furrowing even further as he did so.

    "... Traces of fever, I suppose," the boy muttered before glancing at Elaine. "You have any idea how long she was out there in the rain? I get a feeling that she's still not back to 100%."




    Prushka
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "Alright, spill it. But don't get all detailed trying to gross us out. We've gotta be able to eat dessert, remember?"
    Xylia looked like she wanted to comment on the fact that Prushka wanted to get 'dessert' after they had just finished eating a whole cherry pie, but eventually just let it go. Instead she lit herself a second cigarette, scooting the ashtray closer to herself. Both Xeni and Xandra focused on the dusky-skinned girl. Judging from their expressions, even their were somewhat morbidly curious about this whole deal with murders and acid. Thus, after letting the moment quiet down for a moment to set the mood, Xylia turned her eyes towards the rest of the girls and started.

    And as she talked, a slightly creepy smile spread to her face.

    "Ya know how Miss Sae Min's room has all those books? Well, she collects lots of news articles too. Some sorta weird hobby I guess. Anyways, I was up in her office for... ergh, reasons, and that teach left the room for a while to get some... stuff. Anyways, I got curious and snooped around, only to find one hell of an article," Xylia spoke in a slightly hushed voice to add to the tense atmosphere. "It was from eight years ago. Some married couple... Mitchell or something... well, they had been spending a nice Sunday evening in their living room, watching TV, with their kid upstairss tucking his baby brother to bed. What they don't is that during that evening, some unknown guy just straight up slips into their house without them noticing. Apparently the Sheriff found the lock on the back door just melted away or something. Weird crap. Anyways, the point is, neither of them hears it, and neither does their kid."

    It was already a creepy enough situation to think about. One's home was often a place that one considered almost sacred, so an unkown person entering it without you noticing, and then stalking in the house silently, waiting for a moment to strike, all the while keeping an eye on you... it was no wonder that a small chill went around the table.

    "Now the rest is combination of what the Sheriff found and what the kid could remember. From the looks of it, whoever the psycho was, he came prepared. Before the father even knew what happened he had been whacked over the head with some sorta blunt weapon, sending him to the ground. He only came to when he heard his wife's agonizing screams. Ya see, while the guy had been laying on the floor lights out, the sicko had tied the wife down and dumped a canister of acid or something on her," Xylia continued, her burning eyes almost glowing as the rest of the world felt grey. "Nobody knows exactly what it was, but it pretty much liquefied the meat off her bones. And that's what the husband saw when he finally got his eyes open. His wife screaming and practically melting away. Safe to say he went a little nuts and assaulted the psycho."

    Again, the thought of the situation was... unnerving. Sickening. To have yourself knocked out while somebody did something so horrible to a person you loved was... enough to make one's stomach turn. While Xylia kept the descriptions to a bare minimum, mind did as it often tends to do and filled in the blanks. Each of the three girls listening to Xylia's story could envision the events of that night rather clearly in their head.

    "Well the older brother hears all this ruckus and like the little dumbass he is, comes downstairs to check it out. He runs into the psycho holding his father down at the base of the stairs, doing to him the same he did to the boy's mother," Xylia went on. "In other words this boy arrives just in time to see his father fucking liquefy or something. It's hard to tell how much of it was true and how much of it was trauma of the kid. The only thing the boy can do is scream and run away... and that's when the assailant goes after him."

    A moment of silence, pure silence.

    And then.

    "The boy manages to get back up the stairs, where the sicko finally catches up. He or she tries to grab the boy, but in a lucky break, the boy pushes the person off and they fall down the stairs. That gives the boy time to get his baby brother and escape out the second floor window. He does so, sprinting all the way to the Sheriff's office to get help," Xylia spoke again. "... By the time cops get back to the house, though, there's nothing to be done. The only stuff left are melted corpses and a ruined house. The killer's long gone, with no trace of where he or she went. A murder case with no answer, not even a proper guess as to what sorta acid or chemical the psycho used... or how they carried it around."

    It was a morbid story alright.

    "... Especially considering the wound they find on the boy later during the medical examination. See, he didn't get away unscathed during the struggle. Instead, on the bicep of his right arm, there's a a mark, a wound... like his skin slightly melted or something."

    Xylia took a drag from his cigarette.

    "And it's shaped like a handprint. Almost as if the killer grabbed the boy by the arm and merely the touch was enough to cause that."

  3. #1383
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "A warm welcome," I say after a time, moving a hand to gesture towards the food with a smile. "To our new arrivals. May your stay be joyful and your enemies forgotten."

    After my standard neutral greeting that I use with foreign invaders, I sit, and listen. I am not hungry, and here of all places is a perfect way to finally apply my talents to learning about my quarry.

    Friendship isn't really for me, Sakura. I'm terribly sorry to have worried you. It is not as if I consider friends an 'inconvenience' or 'unworthy of my presence', or anything so grossly arrogant or cruel. It is simply a fact I have learned over the years. It is better to force others to abandon you, then to be abandoned and left with wide eyes waiting for them outside of the academy building. To watch as they exit and wave excitedly, while instead they ignore you and pass you by. Try again. Another person. A different species. Another person. A different grade. Another person. A different gender. Another person. A different upbringing.

    They all leave eventually. I suspect Cesarina will tire of me soon enough, as Souma did all too quickly, as Pyry will, as Mercedes immediately did, as everyone I have known does. It is easier to be alone. It is not what I would prefer, but it is what I have grown to quietly accept. It's simply the nature of my arrogance, that loathsome thing that grabs at my soul and whispers foolish impossibilities about how easy it would be to simply appear ordinary, even if no one believes it.

    I have experienced such situations countless times. I will not experience it again.

    Breathe.

    Smile.

    Let go.

    "Miss Min," I say quietly, turning a page, "I am an atrocious cook at best. To call me even average would be a lie. I have set aflame almost every single thing that has crossed my path in the kitchen for the past six years. I have been banned from three separate kitchens, two common rooms, a library stove, and my teacher's secret microwave that he hides underneath his desk so as to not attract attention from the Headmaster for having the audacity to not dine in the hall. Sakura, on the other hand, is simply superb."

    I smile at her briefly, before turning a page with a sigh, closing the book. It's easy to see why Mercedes found this book so incredibly frustrating. Every single page is nonsense. The ciphers I've tried simply don't fit, the half-crosses I know don't apply, and in the end my head really is as empty as she told me it was. I pity the people around me, having to deal with a person so completely vacant of sense she can scarcely move across the room without causing some sort of accident.

    "And I composed a certain work wherein I rehearsed the secrets of secrets," I say, looking at John Dove as I hold up the book with a smile. "Care to take a dive into Phoenician ciphers, Mister Dove?"

    Every single person here is a suspect.

    The easiest way to divide them into 'innocent' and 'guilty' categories is to surmise their knowledge of the world betwixt this one. Their "true" names, if you will. Alexstrasza Lockhart is, of course, my name, but it is not what defines me. It is not the core of my essence, gifted to me by the magical world at large. Heroes, in this world underneath, are not made. Naturally, such a thing would be ridiculous - that something of such legend could simply be achieved through being something as asinine as a 'genius of hard work'. Where dedication and determination defeat talent. Absolute absurdity, really. As dedicated and determined as others in my school were, I had the talent, and I worked even harder. A genius of hard work will never defeated a prodigy who works hard. I am, for all my faults, for all my inability in social scenarios, for my ineptitude at spying in general, am most assuredly that.

    But here are some facts.

    Phoenician is not a language an ordinary child learns. It is not a language a normal person practices. It is most certainly not a language of the ordinary. Every single person in this room is a suspect. Of the people in this room, I can assume half or more know Phoenician. It is ridiculous to assume otherwise that in an experiment on the supernatural, you would not take people who cannot participate in supernatural activities. Who do not understand them. Whoever is running this experiment is looking for multiple aspects, but from myself, and from what I know of others, I can already feel that chill running up my spine as I realize one of the core traits this creator desires.

    Power.

    Sheer, undeniable power.

    Souma Nobutama. Alexstrasza Lockhart. Calamity Red. Subaru's god. All of these are people with unquestionable, almost unrivaled amounts of power at their fingertips, an indomitable force of nature that can be unleashed at any time. That power is something that requires time, talent, and skill to wield.

    More then that, it requires people of even higher skill to contain. And yet I recognize not even a single one of these teachers. I have not seen them at events. I have not dined with them at a ball. They haven't even bothered to attend an acceptance ceremony; and my school's is assuredly one of the most attended events in the magical world.

    Logically, every single teacher here must hold at least as much power as I do, and an equal amount of skill and talent to wield it. Otherwise, there would be simply no way to contain the likes of me should I go mad. Or Souma, or Subaru. All three of us hold a ludicrous amount of force that we can put to use at any time. Through something as simple as waving a hand, I can create flames. And through something as simple as calming himself, Souma can kill even the wind.

    And it is because of this that they cannot simply be discarded as suspects. To gain that level of access would certainly please Gaap eversomuch. And of one thing I am sure, to my very core, it is this - I will kill Gaap of Ars Goetia. I will rend his true name to the ashes themselves, erasing even his presence from history.

    I smile, lazily opening Mercedes' book again. Breathe. Smile. Let go.

    It is rather hard to let go, even though I know I should. My finger clench the book tighter, and I simply can't rid myself of mantras and learned habits that I have replaced. Memories of the scared, stupid girl I once was instead of the person I have chosen to become.

    'I don't want to.'

    'It's too hard.'

    'Please, let me out.'

    'I'm sorry.'

    'Please, forgive me.'

    I smile. The feelings fade again, retreating once more into a place that I cannot reach without effort, soft whispers dying into a lull, and then into silence in my mind, until at last there's nothing but emptiness in my head, just as Mercedes would prefer it. I...

    I want to make friends, but I simply can't. I have absolutely nothing to offer someone in a friendship outside of the world upside down. I cannot explain the beauty of a dragon in flight to them, or the shock of meeting a true demon for the first time. They will not understand the pain that I suffered to become what I am today, the trials that I went through to become another class of sorceror all-together.

    Three names. Not even in three decades.

    I want to be human more then anything in the world. I want to experience these ordinary emotions people laud so highly. Even the terror, in the film Cesarina showed me, that was an emotion that I would like to experience - truly experience. Even the chills that half the people at this godforsaken place send up my spine is not terror. It's merely a premonition. A warning from myself to myself to avoid them.

    Breathe. Smile. Let go.

    I continue staring at a book I cannot understand, as if the longer I look at it, the more sense it will make. That is, after all, what I am wont to do when I don't understand.

    Keep trying, and someday, not too soon, but not too far, it will all fall into place.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it
    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  4. #1384
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Record Store (Thulewerk?)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Ears perking up at the… peculiar, choice of music, Colt perused the record store. The record store which could hardly be called a record store at all. Or rather, the record store that wasn’t even remotely a record store.

    “Well this is a place.”

    Colt took in a whiff of… oh yes, he knew that smell. Oil, and metal. People don’t think about it, but metal has a smell. They usually think of copper, the smell of pennies, but no, metal has its own smell. Faint, subtle, but comforting.

    “Not seeing any records tho-“

    "Ah! I have yet to put up even a new sign and already I have some customers! Am wunderbarsten!"

    The realization that the proprietor was present zipped Colt’s lips shut. He instantly directed his attention to the owner of the voice, the thick German accent that mixed its native tongue into its English.

    Perhaps it was just something she did for show, or maybe the woman was just doing it without thinking, her brain falling back on her first language when a gap in her English knowledge appeared. Whatever the reason, Colt could at least surmise that she wasn’t upset at the unannounced entry.

    "How can Frauke Wiolant and Thulewerk serve you today?"

    Frauke being her name, and Thulewerk being the name of her store. Colt committed the names to memory.

    “Well I’d heard this used to be a record store, I was hoping some of the old inventory might still be here but…” He glanced around to provide a hint of what he was getting at. “I reckon that’s not the case.”

    He looked over at Adelaide. A workshop like this was probably not tuned toward her interests.

    “So instead, how about I ask what sort of services… Thulewerk,” he hesitated before speaking the name, mildly worried his pronunciation might be off, despite doing his best to imitate it exactly as he’d heard it seconds ago, “provides?”


  5. #1385
    No glasses, huh? Mooncake's Avatar
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    Adelaide Cheshire
    Location: Record Store (Thulewerk?)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    “Well this is a place.”

    "...Yep."

    Adelaide looked around the store, completely at a loss. The militaristic music, the bombastic (and very strangely dressed, not that she could say much about that) owner, the absence of any records... she had a hard time quashing both her sensibilities and her - dare she say it - patriotic duties.

    "Ah! I have yet to put up even a new sign and already I have some customers! Am wunderbarsten! How can Frauke Wiolant and Thulewerk serve you today?"

    “Well I’d heard this used to be a record store, I was hoping some of the old inventory might still be here but... I reckon that’s not the case.”

    Colt glanced at Adelaide, as if apologizing for the dead end. She winked at him in return.

    It's not like it was bad that it was completely different from anything she could have expected. Just... different. And she didn't know too much about mechanics outside of computers, one of the few things she'd had for company. There was one in the corner, but it looked like it had seen better days.

    “So instead, how about I ask what sort of services... Thulewerk... provides?”

    "Yes, I... don't suppose you sell anymore music."

    Adelaide looked around, curious.

    "Is this some sort of repair shop?"
    [12:37] <I3uster> if playing overwatch would save my mother from the deathbed
    [12:37] <I3uster> id probably flip a coin
    [12:38] <I3uster> to see if i play or not

    [18:23] <frantic> spinach is like a caffeine zombie

    [18:23] <frantic> in AX he would like
    [18:23] <frantic> drink 8 shots of espresso
    [18:23] <frantic> then he'd turn to me an hour later
    [18:23] <frantic> 'frantic', he'd say, his eyes wild and his lips smug
    [18:23] <frantic> 'i need coffee'

  6. #1386
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin & Adelaide Cheshire
    Location: Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “So instead, how about I ask what sort of services... Thulewerk... provides?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Adelaide
    "Yes, I... don't suppose you sell anymore music. Is this some sort of repair shop?"
    The young woman who was apparently known by the name of Frauke Wiolant grinned at the two students, revealing that her teeth were almost like those of a shark in how sharp they were. With a militaristic sense of flair she waved her (model?) handgun at the various bits and bops and machinery in the garage-like shop, as if a proud owner of some rare collection showing it off to a couple of beginners.

    "Annähernd. You were rather close, my Frilly Friend! While we do repair objects at Thulewerk, that's only part of our services! First and foremost we're a... mmm... how should I explain it..." Frauke spoke, her face turning somewhat troubled as she scratched her head with the tip of her gun. "Smithery...? Nein... Workshop? Factory? Foundry? Works? Mmm... apologies, English is such a troublesome language at times..."

    Apparently getting an idea, Frauke suddenly jumped down from the table and snapped her fingers. And what fingers they were. Her gloves (because they had to be gloves, no prosthetics moved like that) were some sort of red, metal-plated worker's gloves clearly meant for heavy duty stuff - perhaps even working with an actual forge. Yet at the same they were nimble as real fingers, just like the young woman proved when she went rummaging through one of the nearby boxes. She threw out some odd-looking gadgets before letting out a muffled cry of "Wunderbar!" and lifting something from the box that she prompty slammed on top of the nearby workdesk.

    And what a thing it was.

    ------- A very fancy-looking Sturmgewehr 44 painted in red colors.

    But... it had to be a model gun, right? After all, considering all the additions to it and how it had been modernized to look almost like a functioning weapon of today's world, and how some sort of ceramic plating had been added for both stability and protection, and how the barrel was longer and to support it there was a long-range scope, and how non-slip grooves had been added to decrease problems when it came to handling the weapon, and, and, and... It just looked way, way too fancy to be an actual gun!

    "In short! We make custom-order kinder like this one!" Frauke proclaimed proudly, grinning widely. "Everything is hand-built from scratch to all the specifications given to us, from the materials provided by customers or by ourselves, with reasonable prices and fastest delivery-times on this side of the Atlantic! Natürlich, we also have a selection of Das Thulewerk Originals to browse from if your need is dire and time is... dollars? How does it go again?"

    Miss Wiolant descended into a moment of confusion as she tried to recall the old proverb, but as nothing came to mind, she simply shrugged that feeling away and went back to staring at the two students with utmost confidence of a craftswoman showcasing her best wares to a couple of potential customers.

    ... It was like she could smell the money on the two.

    "So that's what Thulewerk is. Custom jobs, repairs, original creations... my shop offers all this and more! And I promise, you won't find a better Waffenladen anywhere in town! So for whatever you came here to look, you should find... find... eurgh... err..." Slowly but surely, Frauke's speech started to falter, as what Colt and Adelaide said caught up to her excited mind, until somewhat disappointed and sour expression took over her face completely. "... Um, the stock from the previous store in this building? The Musik-CDs? Nn, I gave them to my partner to listen to while she works, so I suppose they are still--- Oh!"

    Again. 180-degree turn in the demeanor of Frauke Wiolant.

    It was like she was a massive WW2 Tank in human form, rolling forward full speed and thus trampling over everything else... but when the time came to make a turn and readjust herself, she was always a bit late and a bit slow on the uptake.

    However, this time, her reaction had happened for slightly stranger reason.

    After all, this young woman marched straight over to the two students, Adelaide in particular and put her hand on her chin. Then, peering like an art-collector at a painting, she let her eyes take in the sight of the blonde girl, checking her from head to toes with a look of appraisal shining in her concentrating eyes.

    "Well well, Fräulein! Aren't you wunderschönen..." Frauke commented, having apparently completely forgotten Colt.

  7. #1387
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Stopping at the east coast?" Elaine cast an eye towards Kean, expression smug, "Don't sell me so short, it'll hurt my feelings."

    She took a moment to nod at Hwan's concerns, "While I do trust her, this is why I'm being a bit cagey, I trust her, specifically, not so certain about the rest of these small town sheriffs," She shook her head for a moment, "If I end up going down there and one of 'em's got a damned star on his chest I'll- Well, I'll probably make fun of him."

    It was a heated statement that petered out quickly once the brain caught up to what the mouth was spouting.

    "Point is, small town cops or "Sheriffs"," She said, air-quoting, "Tend to be very confident in what they see as their field of expertise, perhaps more than they should, and are about as territorial as a dog with a bone."

    A diplomatically-worded statement tinged with a sharp sense of experience, underlined by the ghost of remembered irritation flickering across her features.

    "At the very least, they'd probably know something about whatever was going on down at the hospital, an' she knows enough about me that I am both A) a Night-owl, and B) Nosy as heck, so it wouldn't be out of the question for me to be interested in something like that."

    Lastly, she turned eyes on the girl, expression concerned, "How long she was out there? Well, you said yourself the hospital got lit up on the night of the 7th, so if we take that as a probable 'escape', or otherwise incident that lead to said escape, she's been roughing it for a good few days now, plus it was raining all last night, just petered off a few hours before dawn, too."

    She frowned, "So, going to ballpark it and say 'more than she has any business being', chief."

    The blonde girl shoved her hands in her pockets, "Feh, if I didn't have my stalwart constitution, I'd be coming down with the sniffles or something too."

  8. #1388
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    "...gross."

    There's nothing much else to be said about it. The silence that follows Xylia's story might appear empty, but to me, it's nauseous and stifling. I'd been so drawn in by the story that I didn't realize what effect it'd had until it was over.

    I pick up my half-finished cigarette and take another drag alongside Xylia. This time the smoke calms my stomach instead of agitating it.

    A look outside reveals a dark sky heavy with rain. We might have momentarily escaped into a fantasy land, but reality is still here.

    What was it? A monster from the other side? Something that preys on humans? For what? For fun? No clear motive, but two children scarred for life and a family destroyed. It's awful. It's more awful than humans - most of them, at least. Murderers and serial killers do exist. Some of them do even more dangerous things. Even I was taught that much. Still, it's possible... but unlikely, unless I can confirm, which would be difficult. Xylia could be making it up, but I don't think she is.

    The air in the diner suddenly feels colder. I rub my arms to warm up. It doesn't help.

    "Did the article say where... never mind."

    No. I don't want to know.

    "This isn't like Godzilla or the Creature from the Black Lagoon at all... more like Friday the 13th. Or Halloween."

  9. #1389
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Morning
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Rustic was the polite way to describe the building they had just walked into - the Owl’s Nest Hotel. A more callous individual would probably call it a dump. The building and its interior were most assuredly old, much like everything else in Road’s End, but not really of the antique kind. That type of maintenance had clearly not been a priority for whoever owned this place. The fraying edges of the wallpaper, the characteristic hint of dust and mold, the faded wood and stained red carpet - it all combined to give the hotel an unmistakable air of tiredness and faded days of glory.

    Next to the counter stood Vier Wolff, another one of their classmates. First Faraday, now her. Couldn’t walk two steps outside without stumbling into a Pinefall student, apparently. One of the joys of tiny towns in the middle of nowhere. Wolff herself, though…. Well, Anna couldn’t say that the dark-haired girl had left much of an impression, discounting her obvious friendship with King. Which in itself was already somewhat strange, especially in contrast with the type of “outcasts” that made up most of their class.

    But I have plenty on my plate, as is. I’ll just end up doing nothing if I try to dig up every suspicious detail I come across in this blasted place.

    Caleb had already picked up the conversation with Vier and asked about the library from her (which was really her only interest in this place) so Anna for her part simply gave the girl a half-hearted wave in greeting and leaned on the reception counter, clearly waiting for the two of them to finish their conversation.

  10. #1390
    Lost in the dance Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Pinefall High Dormitory—Common Room
    Morning Phase
    10.09.1994
    Overcast



    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura Tsukioka
    “Heeeey, you make it sound like my 'dedication' is some sort of bad thing!”
    “It is when you overwork yourself like you seem rather prone to do,” replies John in a private voice right after Sakura sits by his side. He then takes his first taste of the meal prepared by that very same girl (plus two assistants). Naturally, he carefully chews it, swallows, and then evokes a brief, pleasant sigh.

    “…nonetheless, thank you for everything, Sakura,” he concludes before softly and carefully bumping his shoulder against the girl’s.

    Everybody settles on the available places in the common room. The need for sustenance drives all living beings, and the closest path to peace is making such sustenance available to all. As long as there remains food on their plates, there will be little conflict among these people. Once their stomachs are full, however, anything goes.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza Lockhart
    “A warm welcome to our new arrivals. May your stay be joyful and your enemies forgotten.”
    Miss Lockhart’s eloquence remains as vibrant and as unique as ever. Does she not intend to partake of her meal, though? That´s just no good at all. That´s just asking Sakura to use her Sakura-ness on her. Is that (somewhat familiar-looking?) book in her hands more important than the morning sustenance?

    While the Coastrises show their gratitude to different and very distinct degrees, John Dove considers Sae Min. He wishes to speak with her, but this is far from the optimal setting for the questions he wishes to ask. Therefore…

    “Miss Sae Min, would you happen to have a specific time for attending to students in your office? I would like to ask for your counsel in the near future, if possible.”

    After that, John quickly offers a napkin to Minato Coastrise, unsubtly gesturing towards his younger sister and the mess she has made. In fact, he regards the Korean girl with a slightly teasing smile even as his arm remains outstretched towards her brother.

    “Yeong-Hui, that food now smeared on your face; wouldn’t you rather have it in your stomach?”

    Whether Minato accepts his offer or Yeong-Hui his words, well, it matters not at all. There are plenty of other things beckoning his attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sae Min
    “No offence taken. I know very well that I rather appear as a... what was the term Mister Gagnon used again...? Ah, yes. That I appear as a 'hardass' to you students.”
    “Please do not waste the food kindly prepared and provided by my classmates, Jake.” John is quick to warn the man who almost made a mess of spurted coffee in the common room. At this point, some would point out that John is a little harsh on Pinefall’s janitor. This, of course, would be ludicrous; after all, John Dove never judges.

    At this point, John dedicates his attention to one Alexstrasza Lockhart, even separating himself from Sakura’s side to dine next to the light-haired beauty. It is what friends do: keep an eye on their friends, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza Lochhart
    “And I composed a certain work wherein I rehearsed the secrets of secrets.”
    To claim to hold the Arcanum Arcanorum…truly, Miss Lockhart’s boldness is exemplary. It almost makes him want to believe her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza Lockhart
    “Care to take a dive into Phoenician ciphers, Mister Dove?”
    Seriously, what the hell is with this hopelessly adorable creature?

    “That…to my understanding, is not among the usual activities shared by friends, but then again, we are not precisely ordinary people, I suppose.”

    The book is clearly old and worn-out. It is hard to imagine how many hands have turned its pages in its long existence. Its title…is made of symbols. Phoenician, she called it? Why would there be such a script on a leather-bound notebook? It’s the kind of thing that belongs in epigraphy journals or the likes—no, wait, is this one of those kinds of books?

    So they find him even here?

    “Of course, I would never refuse Miss Lockhart’s invitation. If you think I can be of help, do let me take a look at it at a proper time.”

    It is surprising to admit (or at least as surprising as anything can be to the boy) that the company of Alexstrasza Lockhart is agreeable to him, especially considering their first meeting the previous evening.

    The one who worries about Cesarina Feroce. The one who distances herself from social niceties and would rather study worn-out notebooks with unreadable symbols. The one who surrounds herself with twin walls of unabashed bluntness and bold verbose. The one who carries herself with the presence of one who truly believes herself to be extraordinary.

    He unhesitatingly accepts her colorful lies. Perhaps he could even accept her colorless truths, if she ever allowed herself to show them.

    John gestures at his half-eaten plate, and then at the untouched one in front of Alexstrasza.

    “Now, we eat. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and all that.”
    Last edited by Daneel Rush; July 9th, 2019 at 08:21 PM.

  11. #1391
    Progressive Shattering Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    When I went to drop off the dishes in the kitchen, I wasn’t expecting the last slice of chocolate cake from the cook. To be frank, I don’t know what to do with it because I ate more than I normally have already. Should I just hand it off to Rachel Halloway for more brownie points? Find a container and give it to Aleen later? Nonchalantly hand it off to the kicking bastard? All of those were valid options. I considered more and more options until I got into the lobby and noticed a few things.

    First, Rachel Halloway wasn’t back from getting the keys. Second, there were more surprising faces here at the hotel. Anna Vandemeel and Caleb Montjoy, my fellow classmates from Pinefall High School. I had two ideas on why they could be here. Most probably, they were going to the downstairs library like I did since it was the only known major collection of books in town. Alternatively… They were going to be guests where the motives could be anything from privacy to more unsavory ones.

    I casually set down the plate of chocolate cake. Regardless of their reasoning, it doesn’t matter to me right now. As long as they just don’t give me a hard time, I won’t give them a hard time either. Whether it be cleaning up their mess in the hotel or ignoring their plans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Hey. Fancy running into you here. Vier, right? You were that girl who hanged out with Inacio."
    “Yeah, fancy meeting you here too Caleb, Anna.” I return his casual handwave. “And yeah I hung out with Inacio and Aleen last night. Sorry if I didn’t talk too much with everyone else last night. Aleen was feeling a little down when we got to the bar so I was trying to cheer her up.”

    I tried to take note of Caleb Montjay’s reaction about Aleen’s condition yesterday. Because if she’s interested in him, I could always help her if I felt like it… Alternatively, there was always trying to nip that in the bud if I think she’s going to hurt herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Here for the library as well?"
    “Sadly not… Today, I’m here to work.” I gave a slight sigh and light smile before continuing. “However, I did visit it the other day and it’s something to say the least…”

    That’s one way of placing it with all of the books haphazardly organized, the general location being unkempt, and the relative vagueness of the tracking system.

    “I could show you around if my employer is fine with it once she gets back… Otherwise, you’ll have to see if Nora is down there to give you a quick orientation of it.”

    I look back towards the front desk and remember the cake slice. Maybe they would like it?

    "If you don't mind waiting for my employer, I could give you this piece of chocolate cake from the chef. I can guarantee its tastiness."

  12. #1392
    リビングデッド Living Dead Thalraxal's Avatar
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    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhou
    "Ah, charming to meet you too~. This is very nice thing you have done for us~ Would you like a juice in exchange, it's the type to perk you up too~"
    “Ah, thank you!” said Elise as she accepted the bright pink juice box that the bespectacled girl had seemingly produced from thin air.

    Elise gave a series of "You're welcomes" to Minato and Yeong-Hui before giving the juice box Zhou had given her a closer inspection.

    Tuna and Chili flavoured?
    thought Elise as she looked at the box, turning it over to see if she could find the ingredients list, Is this actual tuna with chili, or is this some sort of artificial tuna and chili flavour?

    Elise set her cream and sugar with a hint of coffee aside, and punctured the juice box with its straw. She took an experimental sip of the drink.

    "Oh! That's not bad at all. Not a flavour I would've ever expected to get out of a juice box though," said Elise, "Where did you find this?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Sae Min
    "I must admit, you three did an excellent job. It is something of a shame we do not have Home Economy classes taught at Pinefall. I am sure most students would enjoy learning skills such as cooking."
    "Thank you, Miss Min. Credit where credit is due, a lot of this was thanks to Sakura," said Elise, "A Home Ec class does sound like it'd be fun. Maybe something another year?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "Miss Min, I am an atrocious cook at best. To call me even average would be a lie. I have set aflame almost every single thing that has crossed my path in the kitchen for the past six years. I have been banned from three separate kitchens, two common rooms, a library stove, and my teacher's secret microwave that he hides underneath his desk so as to not attract attention from the Headmaster for having the audacity to not dine in the hall. Sakura, on the other hand, is simply superb."
    “Don't sell yourself short, Alexstrasza! You were a big help too!” cheered Elise, "... Although if you've had that much bad luck with burning things, have you considered trying salads?"

    It must be hard to burn a salad, but I'm sure that there must be a way...

    Elise glanced over at John and Alexstrasza. Alexstrasza was busy showing him that old history book of hers, seemingly looking for his input on it, before John gestured at their respective unfinished breakfasts. Elise followed John's example and took another bite from her omelet. Her hard earned reward for this morning's unexpected detour.

    Seriously, John? How do you get people to share their books so easily? I've promised you one of mine, and now you've got Alexstrasza's? Have you seen Sakura's secret stash of Timothy Zahn novels too?

    Elise's thoughts went back to earlier that morning, and the words that John had passed on to Alexstrasza as they left after being dragooned by Sakura for kitchen duty.

    And for that matter, who quotes Latin at people these days anyway?


    Elise took a sip from her juice box and paused. The tuna chili drink did not combine well with the flavours of this omelet.

    Not just that, who pulls Latin quotes from old grimoires? Just what books have you been reading from, John Dove? Certainly not Doctor Sexy MD.


    She reached for her cream and sugar with a hint of coffee and paused. It would probably only make things worse. She took another bite from her omelet instead, hoping her taste buds could sort this all out somehow.

    ... and just who do you quote from grimoires at?

  13. #1393
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    ---
    Vivienne Bianchi

    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)

    Location:
    Pinfefall High Sports Field

    Phase
    :
    Morning Phase
    Weather: Overcast
    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "Tommy isn't my brother. Shane is. Tommy is that guy who lives down at the Junk Garage," Zane corrected the girl before him. "He's a... I think the tribe's name is Klallam? Yeah, he's part Klallam, from his mother's side. And I think he only had one mask. Rest of it was amulets, pipes, textiles... that kind of stuff."
    "Oh, I see... it would be nice to meet him some day."

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "Didn't catch your name yet. I don't mind listening to someone talking so excitedly about their hobbies... I mean, you sound like you really now your stuff... but it's a bit awkward if I don't even know who I'm talking to."
    "Ah, that is indeed a good point... but hmmm... I feel like that would be a difficult request to answer, giving you a name... you see I do not exactly have one. I may not even be real! The real person however who's behind the mask, you may call her Vivienne. Not that big of a talker she is, but she must be happy to have met an honest young man like you."

    And with that Vivienne removed the mask and put somehow stored it back into her shirt. How something so large could just inconspicuously disappear into her pockets was one question, but the other question Zane might have had, was how could this bland and expressionless visage he was now beholden to could have engaged with him in such a cheery conversation. If the previous 'person' talking to him was akin to a lively radiant sun on a warm day, now he was feeling the chilling cold winds of winter.

    "..."

    Vivienne simply stared at him, as if awaiting a response.

    Perhaps he now understood why she was at this facility in the first place.

  14. #1394
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Any thoughts about the woman’s accent, or where the old inventory might be, stopped dead in their tracks with what Frauke placed on the desk. It had been… updated. Tuned up to suit modern tastes, painted over to suit a certain individual’s tastes, lightly modified with a current understanding of weaponry.

    It almost looked like it might have been a model. A passion-infused pet project, created by someone with a hobby for transforming models of historical weapons into more ‘modernized’ versions, without betraying the original weapon.

    After a moment, Colt realized he had zoned out.

    He was now breathing, and blinking, manually.

    How long had he been staring at the red StG44?

    "Well well, Fräulein! Aren't you wunderschönen..."

    He glanced up from the desk, seeing now that any interest he had managed to accrue for himself had been thoroughly stolen away by Adelaide.

    Rightfully, he might add.

    “I’ll be damned, Tommy, you shot me past the clouds, right into the jackpot above the heavens…” With an incredulous smile, Colt planted his palm on the desk.

    Leaning forward, he glanced around the workshop with a much greater intent than procuring music to brighten his days up.

    “I wanna see that selection of Thulewerk Originals.”


  15. #1395
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Computer Lab
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Feh, if I didn't have my stalwart constitution, I'd be coming down with the sniffles or something too."
    Kean chuckled.

    "Well, that'd be the first. Can't remember ever hearing of you actually getting sick," the silver-haired boy commented, before returning to a more serious look. "Still... the way I hear it, the local Sheriff, he's... he's an okay man. Not too pompous or overly proud. Just a guy trying to keep this town a safe place. Though this is all through hearsay, so if you wanna give him the Ol' Winters Treatment and see what sort of bloke he is, be my guest."

    Travis, on the other hand, had simply listened to Elaine's guesswork about how long the small girl had been out in the wilderness with a somewhat grim look. After her coughing had once again subsided, the boy had fished out a can of soda from his backpack and handed it to her, and now this "Patient 17" was sipping on the sugary drink with something of a content expression. Stranger still, she had pretty much sidled up to the punk-of-a-boy, having apparently grown somewhat fond of his presence. This, if anything, had caused Travis's expression to grow slightly confused as now he stared rather awkwardly at the small girl sticking to him, almost like a small animal demanding more headpats.

    "Quite the handful, aren't you...?" Travis grunted, shooting a look of 'Guys, little help?' to the rest of the group. "But even if you try to butter me up, that ain't gonna get you anything, seriously... It's like she ain't got no sense of danger in the slightest..."

    Well, the spiky-haired boy might have said that, but at the same time, he was absent-mindedly scratching her head like she had been a puppy.

    Cackling quietly at the sight, Hwan Bin turned his gaze back at Kean and Elaine.

    "If you need to make a call, I know there's at least one phone you can use in the faculty office. Might be pretty empty right now too, considering all the teachers are out for the weekend or something," the white-haired boy said, before rubbing his chin while his eyes slowly scanned between the blonde and the silver-haired youth. "That being said, one thing makes me a bit curious, and it's not really connected to this case in particular. That is..."

    His eyes narrowed a bit, and the boy flashed a toothy grin.

    "You two chuckleheads know each other from before coming here, don't you? The way you snark back and forth like an old married couple kinda gives it away."

    Kean, hearing this, shot a meaningful look at Elaine.




    Prushka
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "This isn't like Godzilla or the Creature from the Black Lagoon at all... more like Friday the 13th. Or Halloween."
    Xylia nodded, still wearing that subdued, dark grin of hers.

    "Ya got that right. Whatever psycho fucker it was, he or she was never caught. Just did one insane thing and then disappeared into the night. No motives whatsoever, no reason for it. Just a random act of insanity. It's kinda sorta funny," the dusky-skinned girl answered, shaking her head in what was almost amusement. "I mean, way back when nobody would have questioned something fucked up like. Just chalked it up to devil possessing some poor bastard or being controlled by a witch or something, or hell, being a monster themselves. But nowadays when someone liquefies somebody else's meat into goo, it's a whole another story."

    Xylia finished up her cigarette with one long drag and stumped it against the ashtray. Xeni and Xandra were both still more or less quiet, the former having her arms folded across her chest and staring at the surface of the table with a grimp look on her face. The latter, on the other hand, looked more or less unfazed by this tale, but her silence was different from the usual one. If anything, the panda-eyed girl was deep in thought, perhaps going over the facts of what Xylia had told.

    "These days we don't believe ready-made answers, so ya got buncha scientists and cops and whatever looking for the 'real reason'. Only, ya can't always find one. So the case remains unsolved and thus the truth behind it could be anything. Any ol' fucked up thing could fit into the slot. Especially out here since there's nothing but a bunch of bumbling jackasses that pass for a cop," Xylia continued. "I guess that's how urban legends get born... and it's why this town's got, apparently, assload of them. The article I saw at Miss Min's office wasn't the only one, after all. Guess she collects screwed up stuff like that."

    That got Xandra's interest, as the silver-haired girl finally looked up at her comrade.

    "Collects? You mean she's some sort of urban legend freak? Researching stuff like that on her spare time?" she asked. "And that woman's your teacher?"

    Xylia shrugged her shoulders.

    "Yeah, pretty much. That's why I ain't trusting her one bit. She's a suspicious one... no, not just suspicious."

    Xylia's expression hardened.

    "... Damn scary is what she is. Something ain't right with that woman."




    Vier Wolff & Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Yeah, fancy meeting you here too Caleb, Anna. And yeah I hung out with Inacio and Aleen last night. Sorry if I didn’t talk too much with everyone else last night. Aleen was feeling a little down when we got to the bar so I was trying to cheer her up.”
    Caleb raised his eyebrow a little.

    "Oh? Feeling down? Well, I guess yesterday was... pretty eventful," the rose-haired boy replied. "Though I suppose she has been rather all over the place emotionally. At least during her time here. Not that I have anything against Aleen. She simply appears to have... hard time controlling herself. It's good that she has friends like you."

    Well, there had been a slight hint of worry when it came to the mental well-being of Aleen King, but at the same time it was nothing more than that. At least when it came to Caleb Montjoy, he did consider the bluehead something of a comrade-in-arms thanks to being part of the same school... but it was very likely that it didn't go beyond just seeing her as a classmate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Sadly not… Today, I’m here to work. However, I did visit it the other day and it’s something to say the least… I could show you around if my employer is fine with it once she gets back… Otherwise, you’ll have to see if Nora is down there to give you a quick orientation of it.”
    That seemed to surprise the rose-haired boy a little bit - perhaps even make him look at Vier in a sligthly new light.

    "Work...? Oh, you mean a part-time job. That's... rather industrious of you, Wolff. It's only our first weekend here and already you're working instead of having fun," Caleb replied, sounding genuinely impressed. "And well, while I'm just here for the hell of it, I think Anna would appreciate some help with the library. From what I hear it's a bit of a chaos down there."

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    "If you don't mind waiting for my employer, I could give you this piece of chocolate cake from the chef. I can guarantee its tastiness."
    Caleb blinked once, clearly taking a moment to process what Vier had said... and then he simply shrugged his shoulders, glancing at Anna in a way that seemed to say: "Well, it might not be a bad idea, right?".

    "Err, sure. I won't say no to a chocolate cake. Though I have to watch my calorie intake. Already had an ice-cream after all," Caleb said, slight frown of mundane worries passing by his face. "If I keep this up I'll just balloon up eventually, and then it gets difficult getting around the town..."

    Thus the slice of chocolate cake exchanged ownership and the three youngsters decided to wait around a bit for the person that Vier had mentioned. They didn't have to wait for long as only a minute or two later there was sound of footsteps from behind the door on the other side of the counter. Rustling of keys in the lock followed and eventually, Rachel Halloway stepped out, looking like she had been rummaging through shelves and cabinets in a bit of a hurry. Flashing a subdued grin at Vier, she walked up to the brunette while showcasing a small keyring with only two keys in it.

    "There we go," Rachel said as she moved to the lobby. "These here a the keys to the basement, as well as the one to the storage room there. That one should also open up the cleaning closet. I think you should find everything you need there, though only the vacuum cleaner is needed toda--- Oh? Friends of yours?"

    Rachel, who had just now noticed Caleb and Anna, nodded towards them with slight curiosity in her eyes.

    In the meanwhile, Caleb had divided the slice of chocolate cake into two neat pieces, and offered one of them towards the raven-haired girl as if on a whim.

    "Want one?" he asked of Anna.




    Elise Pelltier, Alexstrasza Lockhart & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Yeong-Hui, that food now smeared on your face; wouldn’t you rather have it in your stomach?”
    "A-auu..."

    Letting out a quiet, embarrassed sound and flushing bright crimson on her cheeks, Yeong-Hui hid her face from John now that she realized what sort of mess she had made. Minato, on the other hand, accepted the napkins that the blue-haired boy had given him without a word. Still, the look the Japanese boy gave to John was one with a hint of gratitude. Not because John had done anything special, but because it made looking after the young girl easier.

    Indeed, it was easy to see now that Minato Coastrise didn't much care for anyone else but his siblings.

    "... Come on, sis," Minato quietly spoke as he cleaned the mouth and cheeks of squirming Yeong-Hui. "You're almost fifteen. Act like it."

    "Hauu!" was the odd noise of protest that Yeong-Hui let out.

    Still... fifteen? So, would that make Yeong-Hui herself fourteen? That was... very young for a high school students.

    "Oh! That's not bad at all. Not a flavour I would've ever expected to get out of a juice box though. Where did you find this?"
    Zhou Coastrise giggled languidly and pressed her index finger against her lips, all the while giving a wink towards Elise and her question.

    "It's a secret~" the bespectacled girl cooed in a playful way.

    Still, although the flavour was unexpected in a way that the brunette could handle, the after-taste was something a bit different. Indeed, tuna-juices were one thing, but right now Elise Pelltier could feel a terrible hotness rising up from her throat, almost like she had bit into one of those small, bright orange chilis one could find in places like Mexico. Whatever the idea had been behind this juice, it certainly didn't translate that well into the mouth of the common people...!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "Miss Min, I am an atrocious cook at best. To call me even average would be a lie. I have set aflame almost every single thing that has crossed my path in the kitchen for the past six years. I have been banned from three separate kitchens, two common rooms, a library stove, and my teacher's secret microwave that he hides underneath his desk so as to not attract attention from the Headmaster for having the audacity to not dine in the hall. Sakura, on the other hand, is simply superb."
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    “Don't sell yourself short, Alexstrasza! You were a big help too! ... Although if you've had that much bad luck with burning things, have you considered trying salads?"
    Miss Min simply hummed at these two, rather different reactions to her words, along with Elise's attempts at downplaying Alexstrasza's efforts of conveying just what a horrible cook she was. Indeed the de facto vice principal took a long, calm sip of her coffee, enjoying its taste, before setting the cup aside on the table an giving the two girls, especially the blonde one, a long look.

    "That is exactly why a Home Economy class would not be a bad idea, Miss Lockhart," Sae Min replied calmly, like an adult replying to a child claiming riding a bike was impossible. "A school is not a place to show off the skills you already have, or to preen and posture with what you have accomplished so far. It is a place of learning, first and foremost. There is nothing shameful in not knowing something, not knowing how to do something or not understanding the meaning behind something. That is why a school exists. So you could learn and grow your own knowledge and skills in those aspects of life that you lack them in. If your cooking skills are as bad as you claim, a chance to improve them may be just what you need? We all have something we are not good at. That is why a school exists - to help you become better at those things."

    Miss Min paused for a moment, before chuckling quietly to herself and taking another bite of her omelette.

    "Or, at least that is my view of it as an educator of Oceandrop Program," she added. "My duty and joy is to help you young people nurture and grow those skills you are lacking, whether they be subjects at school or something related to simply living your everyday lives."

    Her eyes now turned to John Dove, who had moved his place from next to Sakura to sit near Alexstrasza, leaving the former with a rather... odd expression on her face. It was rare to see Sakura Tsukioka somewhat grumpily spear a part of her omelette with her fork and eat in an almost... annoyed manner, but that seemed to be what was happening - even if she did keep it to herself and didn't say a word. That in itself might have also been somewhat strange. Sakura Tsukioka being quiet was a rarity.

    But before anyone could pay too much attention to that, Sae Min continued.

    "As for your question, Mister Dove, the doors of my office are open every day after school. And I try to be here at the school as much as I can, even on the weekends. Our Principal is a busy man and he cannot be here every day, thus I have taken some of his duties," Miss Min answered. "So, if you ever need my counsel in whatever is troubling you, do no hesitate to knock on my door."

    A rather textbook answer from a professional educator, but at the same time, Sae Min clearly did mean it. Her outwards appearance might have been slightly cold and emotionless, but at the same time she clearly did care for each and every student.

    "She's pretty good at talking, that Miss Min," Jake Briggs quietly whispered to Elise Pelltier, who had been sitting nearby. "Considering what she's teaching you guys now it might be hard to believe, but she's apparently pretty famous in the scientific world, especially in the field of psychology. That's what I heard from Miss Costa, anyways."

    Giving out background info like this, one that might otherwise elude students, might not have been something in the job descriptions of janitors, but Jake didn't seem to mind. Instead, he shot a questioning look at Elise's "coffee" and raised his eyebrow a little.

    "And, err... is that coffee alright? It looks like it's drowning in cream and sugar..."




    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Pinefall High Sports Field
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Zane blinked in surprise as the girl before him pocketed away the large mask (where did it even go?), though it didn't seem to be thanks to the sudden and abrupt change in the girl's demeanor. Whereas the rather grandiose and old-fashioned speech pattern had given way to almost awkward type of silence that followed, it didn't seem to bother Zane in the least. Instead, something else had caught his interest, which was why he was now peering at Vivienne's face rather intently.

    --- Finally, after good twenty seconds, he snapped his fingers and hit his fist into his palm.

    "Huh. I thought that face looked familiar. You've been in some movies, haven't you?" Zane asked, smiling curtly now that he had connected the dots. "I'm not much of a movie buff myself, but I hear you got a lot of praise for your ability. So that must mean you were pretty good."

    Suddenly the redheaded boy grimaced and hit his forehead with his palm, managing to look like he had actually wanted to give himself a proper punch.

    "... Urgh, that was pretty rude, wasn't it? Reducing someone to a mere face, that is," the boy continued, before sighing and scratching the back of his head. "Apologies. I don't rightly know how to act with celebrities so if I say anything rude, just say it to me straight. I'd rather be scolded than to insult someone who didn't deserve it."

    Folding his arms across his chest and switching his attention back from the ground to the girl in front of him, Zane finally seemed to notice that some sort of change in behavior had happened in front of his eyes. Indeed, without the mask, even Vivienne's body language had grown more subdued, almost non-existent. That might have been what finally clued Zane properly that something had happened when the mask had disappeared.

    But as to how he took it, well...

    "Oh. Question," the boy suddenly added. "Was that some sort of method acting thing? With the mask? Changing how you behave with what you wear and all that? I think I read about it in a book once..."

    Well, at least he was curious in a positive way, right?

  16. #1396
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Computer Lab
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    She glanced over at the pale-haired Korean with an amused expression, "Just another stray by the side of the road, I've made a habit of it, unfortunately. Now all I have to do is walk into a room and he's all over me."

    She held her hands up in a 'what-can-you-do' gesture, sighing theatrically.

    Then Elaine watched Travis and the girl for a moment, a shadow passing over her relaxed expression, though it faded quickly as she spoke up.

    "Need a hand there? I've still got some snacks in my pockets to bait her off with, if you're interested."

    She ruffled the aforementioned snacks about, demonstrably, "Otherwise I'll prolly jet off, give her the heads up and pick her brain, go for a meet-up if she's wanting one, then...?"

    She shrugged, "If I can't get anything out of her, or even if I can, probably going to have to see about sniffing around the hospital here pretty soon."

    Elaine's expression shifted, sobering, "Something's rotten in this town, was always going to be a matter of time before I dug up something anyway."

  17. #1397
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Xylia Pheme
    "These days we don't believe ready-made answers, so ya got buncha scientists and cops and whatever looking for the 'real reason'. Only, ya can't always find one. So the case remains unsolved and thus the truth behind it could be anything. Any ol' fucked up thing could fit into the slot."
    "But there has to be an explanation! The truth is out there, but so are lies."

    I cross my arms, pondering over Xylia's hypothesis.

    "There's too much going on here..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Xylia Pheme
    "The article I saw at Miss Min's office wasn't the only one, after all. Guess she collects screwed up stuff like that."
    Sae Min?

    It takes longer than it should to link the name to a face. I made an effort to remember at least the names of the adults. Not all of them made the cut; the poor janitor exists only as a faceless man who cleans things up in a sad, puppy-dog-like way. But her, I do remember, though there's not much to the memory, just some easy math lessons in class.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xylia Pheme
    "Something ain't right with that woman."
    "What, an adult putting on an act in front of the kids to hide how screwed up she is? C'mon, Xylia, aren't I supposed to be the naive one here? You can't ever trust grown-ups! ...except Ms. Walker. 'Cus this pie's got lots of love in it. And Ms. Beatrice is nice too, even if she likes to play pranks."

    Adults are the mature form of the homo sapiens. Their propensity of awfulness vastly outstrips that of their young. Basically, they're better at lying.



    "So we have a Road's End-obsessed math teacher. She definitely picked the right place for it; this place has enough weird stuff going on to keep the Baby-Sitter's Club busy for a whole year: ghosts, murders, abandoned saw mills... and it's definitely not just small-town syndrome."

    It's only after I say this, that I realize what I'd missed. The obvious implication.

    I reach out and just barely stop my hand before it can close around her shoulder. She doesn't like to be touched, remember?

    "Wait, you, calling someone scary? Xylia... did she say or do anything weird to you?"

    Flashes of imagination conjure up unpleasant images: A girl sitting in a small room, sitting on a chair with a spotlight shining in her eyes as a tall, stern woman stares from the darkness. A girl being yelled at, or worse, threatened with vague insinuations. A girl strapped to a slab slowly being cut in two by a steel-melting laser while a villain gloats loudly in the glass box above, explaining her master plan...

    I shudder at the thought.

  18. #1398
    No glasses, huh? Mooncake's Avatar
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    Adelaide Cheshire
    Location: Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    "Annähernd. You were rather close, my Frilly Friend! While we do repair objects at Thulewerk, that's only part of our services! First and foremost we're a... mmm... how should I explain it... Smithery...? Nein... Workshop? Factory? Foundry? Works? Mmm... apologies, English is such a troublesome language at times..."

    Adelaide slowly began to tune everything else out as she watched Frauke Wiolant explain things. The woman's mouth was moving, but she couldn't hear a single thing.

    What was someone like her doing here?

    Adelaide wasn't the kind of person who would break out sweating - especially not in front of someone else - but it felt like the edges of her vision were going black as she watched Frauke chatter on. Colt was doing something in the background... talking? Gesturing? Asking questions?

    Her brain felt like it couldn't even process that.

    "---Oh!"

    Adelaide snapped back to reality, feeling something drop in the pit of her stomach as Frauke approached her.

    She tried not to let it show in her eyes.

    "Well well, Fräulein! Aren't you wunderschönen..."

    The two stared at each other for what felt like way, way too long for her tastes... but Adelaide did let her eyes roam over Frauke's body.

    "...You're not too bad yourself."

    A neutral comment, something that could be taken any number of ways.

    “I wanna see that selection of Thulewerk Originals.”

    Colt cut in, and Adelaide felt some measure of real calm come back to her. Glancing at him, she nodded her head.

    "Yes, I'd... love to see more of your work, too."
    Last edited by Mooncake; Yesterday at 12:48 PM.
    [12:37] <I3uster> if playing overwatch would save my mother from the deathbed
    [12:37] <I3uster> id probably flip a coin
    [12:38] <I3uster> to see if i play or not

    [18:23] <frantic> spinach is like a caffeine zombie

    [18:23] <frantic> in AX he would like
    [18:23] <frantic> drink 8 shots of espresso
    [18:23] <frantic> then he'd turn to me an hour later
    [18:23] <frantic> 'frantic', he'd say, his eyes wild and his lips smug
    [18:23] <frantic> 'i need coffee'

  19. #1399
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin & Adelaide Cheshire
    Location: Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “I wanna see that selection of Thulewerk Originals.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Adelaide
    "Yes, I'd... love to see more of your work, too.
    Frauke beamed from ear to ear at Adelaide, not apparently giving Colt any sort of attention anymore... or rather, almost like she had forgotten the boy's whole existence.

    "Mm, what a shy little Blüte you are! Nein, nein, you have nothing to be awkward about!" the owner of the store cooed, grinning at the blonde student. "Ooh, your skin look so soft...! I just want to pinch your Backen...! Ah, Scheiße, I'm drooling over here...! Ack, sorry, sorry, I didn't mean, just been a while since I've seen... well, you know."

    The eccentric short woman made a vague gesture with her glove-covered hand before turning around on her heels so that the long jacket she was wearing fluttered in the air. Marching over to the center of the room with that militaristic stride of her, Frauke Wiolant finally took her place before the eyes of both students - almost like a merchant about to sell some serious wares. A sly look from the woman jumped from Adelaide to Colt (had the German girl finally remembered he existed?), and for a moment, she flashed those shark-like teeth in that direction as well.

    "Well well, judging by the way you drooled after my Kind over there, I'd say you're also an enthusiast or have a seriously weird Fetisch going on... but both are fine! I know my creations are the most beautiful in the world after all, wahahahahaa~!" Frauke Wiolant laughed triumphantly, folding her arms across her chest... though a sour expression did pass by her face afterwards. "No matter what that Einzeller Popplewell claims... I mean, who obsesses over their own home country so much... it's absolutely ridiculous... absolutely... absolutely..."

    A flash of indignant anger.

    A hand raised and clenched into a fist.

    A look of patriotic rage rising to her face.

    "Das Glück hilft den Kühen, Du britische Schlampe!" Frauke roared out of nowhere, looking like she was ready to deck someone in the face.

    ...

    ... What followed was a minute of awkward silence as the young woman calmed down, gently coughed into her balled fist, and scratched her head.

    Only then, after getting over whatever had taken a hold of her, did she return her attention to the duo.

    "... Uhm. Apologies," Frauke said, not quite able to look either of them in the eye. "So, err... you wanted to the see the Das Thulewerk Originals, yes? I-In that case, can I see your ID first? Just a formality, but you know how it is... waha... wahahahaa..."

    It almost felt like the short shopowner wanted to disappear into a whole she was mentally digging.

  20. #1400
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Computer Lab
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    It seemed that the ruffling of snacks had done their job. Before Elaine even realized it, a certain short young girl had latched herself to the blonde's leg again, looking up at her with puppy-dog-eyes practically shining with expectations. Travis, on the other hand, blinked at the sudden change in attitude... before clicking his tongue in amusement and shrugging his shoulders in a way that said: "What can you do?". The look he gave afterwards to Elaine, though... it was, as this whole encounter with the thug-like boy... very uncharacteristical of him.

    Almost like he wanted to say: "Give a call if you need help with the little twerp." but didn't have the guts to actually put it in words.

    "Another stray, huh? Guess I'll leave it at that," Hwan Bin commented, chuckling to himself. "Though I dunno who's all over who in your weirdo relationship..."

    Kean made a vague hand-gesture at the other boy, before shooting a sly smirk towards Elaine.

    "Well, she says that, but it's just to hide her own embarrassment," the silver-haired youth offered his own explanation. "After all, I think she banks on me marrying her out of pity when she's 30 years old and has driven away the last suitors she had. It's tough, I tell you, being the only male friend of a future spinster..."

    The boys laughed at that, but not in a mean-spirited way. Both Hwan and Travis seemed to recognize that whatever the history between the two others was, it wasn't their business and thus, they didn't poke the subject any further. So instead, they just joined in on the snarky joking that naturally flowed between the two and left it at that.

    And speaking of doing something naturally, Kean rose up from his seat and casually made his way over to Elaine and the tiny girl, before pointing his thumb towards the exit of the computer lab.

    "Well? Shall we get going? I'm not doing anything important anyways, so I might as well keep you company while you make that call," the boy said. "After all, somebody has to make sure young miss here doesn't start mimicking you too much... that's just asking for trouble."

    The silver-haired youth gave a small wink to the girl, who simply tilted her head in slight confusion... while keeping her eyes firmly locked at the treats in Elaine's pocket.

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