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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #2061
    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



    John watches the leg being retracted with his usual impassive gaze, yet he cannot keep his mouth shut.

    “That is the kind of first impression that would earn anybody a spot at Pinefall, but I guess you do not have the age for it.”

    Then again, Sakura always acted like she was older than everybody else, and there is a whole range of ages and sizes among the First Class. However, there are worthless idle thoughts. Perhaps John Dove is in fact more nervous than he shows. “Death by flying kick to the head” certainly would not look very nice on his obituary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Mitchell
    “Oh, right. Name's Zane. Zane Mitchell. Local handyman. And this here's an idiot who should be sorry for getting that spooked by nothing. Right, Jayesh?”
    “Good to meet you, Zane, Jayesh,” replies John with a curt nod. “Name’s John Dove. I am indeed a Pinefall student, and indeed we have problems there that need to be reported to the authorities.”

    Inevitably, his eyes fall on the bandaged arm.

    “But I take it you have problems of your own. Something’s happening in town as well?”

    Somehow, that does not surprise him.

    “Ah, by the way, I don’t know if I can be of any help, but I do have this,” he then adds, presenting the first-aid kit. “Maybe you can find something useful in here while you tell me what I should be looking out for. I have the feeling I wouldn’t come out of meeting whatever did that to you with just a wound in the arm.”

    A stray though strikes him, and he voices it before he can think of keeping it to himself.

    “Shouldn’t you get that looked at? There’s a hospital in this town, right?"

  2. #2062
    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
    “Ah, by the way, I don’t know if I can be of any help, but I do have this. Maybe you can find something useful in here while you tell me what I should be looking out for. I have the feeling I wouldn’t come out of meeting whatever did that to you with just a wound in the arm.”
    "Oh! Thanks, man," Zane replied and hopped down from the platfom and walking over to John, taking the offered first aid kit. "I had to make do with what I had in my backpack, but this should help disinfect some of the wounds. You're a godsend, Dove."

    With the kit having exchanged owners for the moment, Zane started work again on the cuts and bruises that Jayesh had here and there in his body. Now that John was closer, he could see that most of them were clearly not from sharp objects - they weren't clean and precise in the slightest. If anything, they almost looked like the man had been assaulted by an animal of some sort - and a particularly angry one at that. That wasn't really surprising in Road's End. After all, there were huge woods in almost every direction... but, then again, the man had said something about a hotel...

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Shouldn’t you get that looked at? There’s a hospital in this town, right?"
    Jayesh hissed angrily as Zane proceeded to spray some disinfectant to the wound in his shoulder, bearing the stinging sensation and not letting even a whimper of pain pass from his lips. Instead the foreigner focused his attention on the younger man, those piercing eyes of his clearly taking in John's shape and scanning him - almost like assessing him and what he might have been capable of. Perhaps he was satisfied what he was seeing, though, as eventually the man gave a short, quiet answer.

    "... I don't trust... people I don't know," he said - the voice of the man husky and almost whisper-like. "Who knows what they could do... not taking that risk."

    It was a... bizarre answer, to say the least. In a sense it aligned with John's earlier assessment that the man would have fit well into Pinefall's First Class had he been just few years younger. The way he spoke, his mannerisms, and what he spoke of... he was a strange one alright - almost a complete opposite to the redhead next to him. Zane, on the other hand, felt almost depressingly normal. A young man from a rural town who had never even left it in his life. Perhaps that was why he was so amicable with both of them, despite not even knowing John for five minutes.

    "Oh, what comes to your other question - I guess we do. Not that I know exactly what they are. I mean, I guess the fog's keeping locals inside as usual, or holed up in the bar... but that's just bad visibility. The real trouble is this guy here," Zane said, nodding towards Jayesh. "First I stumble upon him as he's jogging on the main street, blood oozing from his arm. Then I hear that he got it at Owl's Nest, the place I often work at, and where I met him the first time.... things are starting to feel weird with a Capital W. For example... what did you say happened to you, anyways?"

    Zane directed the last question to his friend (?). Jayesh stayed silent for a moment, staring into the distance where, vaguely, Owl's Nest Hotel resided.

    "--- Wild dog. Few of them. Troublesome puppies..." Jayesh commented mysteriously. "Had to come find my sister. And warn the Scarface Girl..."

    Behind the dusky-skinned guy, Zane rolled his eyes and shrugged at John, as if to say:

    --- See what I'm dealing with here?

  3. #2063
    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



    Quote Originally Posted by Jayesh Omkara
    “...I don't trust...people I don't know. Who knows what they could do...not taking that risk.”
    “It is unreasonable to trust a person just because they made the Hippocratic Oath who knows how many years ago, right. I understand.”

    It is not the way he lives his own life, but John can understand such a simple argument founded on the flawed nature of the people of the grey world. Not that John Dove judges in the first place.

    The exchange continues into some vague explanation of the situation that afflicted Jayesh. It is only natural for John to first respond to the very last thing said.

    “Well, I know Pinefall’s First Class has two scarface girls. By any chance do you mean burnt scarface girl, or slash-over-eye scarface girl?” Both of them were alive and healthy (as far as he knows) when he left Pinefall.

    It is not something John does often—he does favor his usual overly formal manners—, but he is perfectly capable of adjusting his speech to situations and individuals. He is a liar, after all. So it is with some irreverence that he turns to Zane and mirrors the other man’s shrug.

    “What can I say? It’s Pinefall. We’re all weirdos.”

    Back to Jayesh.

    “As for your sister, if she looks anything like you, I don’t think I have…well, I really have no way to tell, if I’ve seen her or not.”

    After all, John promptly moves on to the apparent, imminent threat.

    “But…wild dogs in a hotel…? That doesn’t sound right.” He regards the local Zane Mitchell. “I take it that’s not a normal event, not even in a remote town like this one. What would you even do in such a situation? Call the police? Scare them off with guns?”

    Yet again, he regards the dark-skinned young man.

    “For that matter, are those dogs still out there? Is everybody else at the hotel alright?”

  4. #2064
    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



    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille Faraday
    “Sure. Let’s be quick about it.”
    My request to Lucille Faraday went through easily as I suspected. Either she’s just mindlessly listening to me or she’s aware that she needs the distraction from whatever is bothering her. Whatever case it may be, it was working in my favor for now. The only thing that worries me is that I hope she doesn’t stay this way if a fight does break out. I’m not comfortable with impromptu teamwork either but I wasn’t going to be happy if she can’t fight to her fullest. But I’ll cross that bridge when it happens.

    The more current issue would have to be the fact that Aleen King was still apprehensive about being me. No, it went beyond that now. It looked like she finally made her decision about me. I guess I should be prepared for the possibility of her trying to kill me. Worst case scenario, she tries to get Lucille Faraday to kill me which would be actually worrying since she’s carrying around her weapons now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen King
    "... Sure. I'll see what I can whip up."
    I would’ve been fine if that was all that happened. However, I just had to catch some whispered words behind my back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen King
    "--- Something's wrong with her. Keep your eyes open, yeah?"
    She wasn’t wrong. But it wasn’t like I didn’t know about it. Can you imagine waking up to your past self nicely ordering their future self to do some vaguely worded objective that places you at risk no matter what you do? Well, I know I do because it’s not the first time that ‘I’ have done it to me. I can imagine that ‘she’ is going to have to run lots of damage control if everything manages to unscrew itself.

    However, the following hour after that was easy. With help, I managed to turn the fortification of the dorms from an evening affair into just an hour affair. Just enough fortification to make it easier for Lucille and I to stop hostiles, but not enough to prevent us from doing things. If there was a skill that didn’t seem to have atrophied in my time out, it seems to be this. In fact, I think I’ve gotten better.

    After we got done setting things up, all that was left was to wait till something arrived. I was hoping it would be the away team or even some of our more trustworthy fellow students. Eventually, I started to smell some of the hot food I asked Aleen King to cook. Since, we were just guarding for the time being, I figured it should be fine. Or at the very least, I should be able to hold my own for the time being.

    “Lucille go ahead and eat upstairs. I’m going to stay down here and keep watch. Just bring back a sandwich or something for me on the way back.”

    I wish the reason why I wasn't going up there was for some human reason like feeling awkward around Aleen King or wanting to make her comfortable. No, it was just for the simple reason that a sandwich would be just as filling as a hot meal and I don't feel safe leaving it to someone else to watch.

  5. #2065
    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

    “No…”

    I was prepared to find something in the clearing. Everything was hinting that, and I was already prepared for it mentally, and yet…

    As we reached the edge and the clearing became visible, my mind became numb. Everything in the world became irrelevant - everything that happened in the last few days, the mess that today’s been so far, the ominous forest we were in...None of it mattered, and the only thing I could focus on was the person lying on the ground.

    Likely the only person that, for some reason, could make me feel like this ---

    My legs froze, and it felt like whatever power I had left in my body just suddenly evaporated - my knees buckled, and if it wasn’t for my urge to stand, to act, I would have just collapsed there.

    Was it anyone else, I’m sure I wouldn’t have felt so devastated and so much in despair - even earlier, in Mercedes’ case, I wasn’t quite as shocked, and it didn’t strike quite as close to my heart.

    “Py---Pyry…”

    My voice was quiet and shaky, and before I even realized that I was crying, my eyes were already completely fogged by my tears.

    I took an unsteady step forward.

    Was it just a bad dream? A nightmare that I would soon wake up from? The whole ‘today’...

    No…

    And another step, and then another, faster and faster, and then I was running…

    I knew that it wasn’t a dream. No, it never is, I just wished that it was, because then I would just wake up, right here and now, and everyone would be fine, and we would go to the library with Pyry and have fun and spend more time together…

    “Pyry---!” I cried out into the silence of the forest, but my voice still lacked any strength.

    Reaching the boy, I dropped to my knees - I wouldn’t have been able to stand a lot longer anyways - and threw down my bag next to me as well, considering for a moment if I should immediately start trying to treat him, but…

    “P-Pyry…” I uttered as I reached out with my hand, gently touching and caressing the back of his head, “Wha...what happened? W-who did this to you?”

    Observing his wounds, I wasn’t even sure how a mere first aid kit was going to help here. How was even my power going to help here…

    On the other hand…he seemed to be regenerating, if just slowly...The bones, the flesh, the skin, slowly, but still noticeably, were growing back, which meant that there was still hope. He isn’t going to die. He can’t die.

    “H-how do I help?” I continued as I opened my bag with one hand, and reached inside of it, “Should...should I treat the smaller woulds? Do you need something? Elise and Mercedes and Gradient are here too. Do you want me to try and heal you? Can you regenerate? Do you…”

    While the initial shock was gone now, the panic and sense of helplessness and slight despair still remained, as I realized from how I just showered him with questions.
    Last edited by Cheetose; January 20th, 2020 at 06:05 PM.

  6. #2066
    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
    “Well, I know Pinefall’s First Class has two scarface girls. By any chance do you mean burnt scarface girl, or slash-over-eye scarface girl?”
    Jayesh closed his eyes for a moment, thinking, before giving an almost imperceptible nod.

    "The latter. She's... a specialist. She should know what he's up against," the dusky-skinned man replied, sighing a bit as Zane finally stood back, having patched the boy up the best he could. "Nothing for you two to worry about. It's better to stay ignorant of some secrets. Makes you safe."

    Zane snorted, clearly not agreeing with the philosophy of Jayesh... but at the same time, the redhead didn't retort in any way. Perhaps he deemed it better to not argue with a wounded man, especially in a situation as bizarre as this. Sitting on the benches of an old, abandoned train platform, patching up wounds made by wild animals... It couldn't have been normal, even for a place as out-there as Road's End. Perhaps Zane was simply much better at taking things in stride than most.

    Or perhaps he deemed it better not to question these things.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “As for your sister, if she looks anything like you, I don’t think I have…well, I really have no way to tell, if I’ve seen her or not.”
    Jayesh shook his head.

    "Probably not. She's a shut-in. Holed up somewhere," the man replied. "Though... if you see an awkward girl, tell me. She wears glasses. Walks around like a newborn calf. Barely able to talk to strangers."

    Well, that was... some sort of description, at least?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    “But…wild dogs in a hotel…? That doesn’t sound right I take it that’s not a normal event, not even in a remote town like this one. What would you even do in such a situation? Call the police? Scare them off with guns?”
    "Yeah, seriously. Wolves I could understand... we are pretty close to Canada, after all," Zane replied with a nod. "But wild dogs? It sounds strange at least. Strange enough to call the Sheriff, maybe give a call to some officials in Seattle or something. Get experts involved. Though if you ask older locals, they'd just as well take the matter in their own hands. And then there's the matter of them stalking around a hotel..."

    It was a bizarre situation to be sure, and Jayesh's apparent decision not to elaborate more didn't help things. Still, from what they could gather, there were wild dogs up on the mountainside where Owl's Nest Hotel was, and they had attacked the man who had, instead of heading into the hospital, just waltzed straight into the town...

    --- Everything about this felt fishy.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “For that matter, are those dogs still out there? Is everybody else at the hotel alright?”
    Jayesh simply shrugged in response.

    "The hotel residents are fine, I'm sure. They were smart dogs. Too smart," he replied mysteriously. "Doubt there's trouble for others... well, except for one. Who knows?"

    Again... simply incomprehensible.

    Even Zane seemed to think so as, after heaving a slightly frustrated sigh, he turned to look at John.

    "Anyways, what's up with you then? What's going on at Pinefall for you to come looking for Sheriff, and on-foot of all things?" he asked. "Couldn't you have just called?"

  7. #2067
    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


    It’s obvious Vier is very different, but Lucille understands nothing. Or rather, she wouldn’t know what could have caused it, but if she had to guess… something supernatural? It’d explain how calm she was about the sword. Or perhaps that was merely professionalism… Regardless, Lucille wasn’t sure if there was a way to investigate the topic without risking her life, so she kept her mouth shut and listened.

    Heavens knew doing anything was better than being left to her own devices.

    Still, perhaps there was a piece of advice to give?

    “Pushing people away isn’t going to do you any favors… especially when it’s too late,” Lucille says, though how much she is giving advice and how much us she is projecting just a tad is hard to tell. “Better to communicate than not…”

    Lucille sighs, apologizes for being presumptuous about Vier’s affairs, and leaves to join Aleen. At the very least, she could keep the other girl company.

    Maybe it’d help dull the uncomfortable feeling still etched into her heart.
    [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

  8. #2068
    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

    By the time Lucille Faraday made her way to the kitchen upstairs, the food was not only ready, but the table had been set as well. Three plates, three sets of cutleries and three glasses had been set for the girls. A jug of milk had been set to the middle of the table, along with a pot full of what seemed like tuna pasta - full of melted cheese and garnished with black pepper, waited for the diners with delicious steam rising from it. Along with it there was a simple bowl of salad set next to it. All in all, food that was quick to made and that would fill up the stomachs of the trio, especially after two of them had spent a good while working on barricading the first floor against any sorts of threats.

    Aleen King on the other hand, was already sitting on one of the chairs. She was leaning against the table with her elbows, her fingers steepled in front of her, staring at the tuna pasta on her plate like it had done something to offend her. By the time she head somebody enter the kitchen, her head jolted back and those red eyes of hers were trained at the door...

    --- But after noticing Vier hadn't come, she visibly relaxed.

    "... Guess she felt that eating's a bother, even if she suggested it herself," Aleen commented to Lucille. "... How was she anyway? Is her military nerdness getting worse? I mean... barricades inside the dorm? Please..."

    There was a tone of distaste in her voice, one that could not be mistaken off.

    The actions of Vier Wolff in the recent few hours... hadn't exactly warmed Aleen to her again.



    Meanwhile...



    On the first floor of the dormitory, Vier Wolff's watch had begun. Her eyes were trained at the campus grounds to see and watch any sort of movement that was happening there, along with any sorts of changes in the interior of dormitory itself. Her ears picked up some sounds coming from the kitchen upstairs, but... those were more or less inconsequential. After all, it was just Aleen and Lucille. They weren't a threat, not right now at least. Whatever threat there was laid outside, and that was why that was the most obvious place to watch and keep guard off.

    Still... there really wasn't anything that constituted as a threat over there. No movement. No people. No shadows flitting in the corner of her eyes. Which was, in a sense, strange. After all... weren't there people still around at the campus? Where were they? Had they headed off a well? Shouldn't they have been here?

    Sometimes silence was worse than loud sounds...

    --- No, actually, now that Vier thought about it... there was something that moved here.

    A fog of some sort had started to roll to the hill where Pinefall lay, creeping to the campus grounds from the direction of the town of Road's End. A thick and heavy thing that made visibility worse than usual, enveloping the area in its gray, monochrome haze.

    And by the Vier realized something...

    "------!"

    Something moved.

    In the corner of her eyes.

    Over at the pool building...

    ... The door opened and a shadow of some sort dashed into the mist. disappearing from view.

  9. #2069
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    The bluebird led them along the trail of destruction, and into the clearing up ahead. Elise looked around apprehensively as they approached the last line of trees before the clearing. While she agreed with the Hisa and Mercedes' assessment of Pyry, she was worried about finding something that wasn't very Pyry-like.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes West
    "... Better, like, keep that holy water ready. Whatever's there is, like, totes--- Holy Hell."
    Elise was about to nod to Mercedes, but instead she swore to herself in agreement with Mercedes' assessment of the bloodstained grove ahead of them. She took another few tentative steps forward, the blood soaked ground squishing beneath her feet as she did so. Minus the blood and daylight, the steam rising off the blood almost reminded her of a certain mist-shrouded forest she'd dreamed of many nights ago, which only served to make her feel more uneasy.

    I'm pretty sure if I lost this much blood I'd be dead. Actually, I'm not sure if I even have this much blood to begin with...

    There, ahead of them, was Pyry. The ultimate source of the blood that coated the clearing, and the trail they'd followed. His left arm was gone, along with a considerable chunk of that side of his torso, leaving so much of his insides exposed. The rest of him didn't look much better, and yet, he was not only still alive, but still conscious, welcoming the return of his little bird friend. It was terrible to see any human being in the state Pyry was in, but he was alive, and didn't seem to have an imminent risk of dying. Elise allowed herself a tiny bit of relief, but it did nothing to help her feel any less on edge.

    It's a miracle he's still alive. I mean, not a Miracle-miracle, but a miracle nonetheless...

    Hisa had recovered from her initial shock at the scene and raced towards Pyry, and Elise followed suit. She pulled her backpack off, dropping it on the ground as she knelt beside Pyry opposite Hisa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa Momoi
    “H-how do I help? Should...should I treat the smaller woulds? Do you need something? Elise and Mercedes and Gradient are here too. Do you want me to try and heal you? Can you regenerate? Do you…”
    "H-hey Pyry! How're you holding up? Remember when I said that I knew first aid? Well, it turns out I might know a little bit more than that, and know a thing or two about healing magic," said Elise as she looked over Pyry's substantial injuries and watched as his body continued to slowly knit itself back together, "Might not be able to make you whole and hale right away, but any little bit of healing power should go a long way towards boosting your own regeneration."

  10. #2070
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “P-Pyry… Wha...what happened? W-who did this to you?”
    The realization that he was not alone in the bloodied grove dawned slowly upon Pyry, even though he was suddenly bombarded with the voices of others all around him. Hisa, Elise, even Mercedes and Gradient... all verbalized their shock at the state that the boy was in right now and rushed to the clearing. He could simply stared at the group, dumbfounded, blinking like a surprised owl in headlights. Slowly, however, the gears that had stopped in his head began grinding again... and a face of pure terror dawned on his face.

    "H-huh... you guys... you shouldn't be here... I thought I told the damn bird to..." he whispered hoarsely, growing panic in his voice as he looked at the people around him. "To keep you all away...?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “H-how do I help? Should...should I treat the smaller woulds? Do you need something? Elise and Mercedes and Gradient are here too. Do you want me to try and heal you? Can you regenerate? Do you…”
    Pyry shook his head, again and again, growing more and more desperate.

    "H-Hisa, listen to me, take the others and just go! Run! Y-you need to leave, now!" he cried out, strength returning to his voice. "M-my Arc-Relic's going haywire, and while it will heal me if y-you just give it time, that damn... that damn thing did something to it... If there's someone else here, I might, I might---!"

    Pyry winced in pain and used his remaining arm to grab his left, destroyed, shoulder. Of all things, there was a sound almost like screeching, bending metal from inside and all those around the boy could see how the golden glimmer, the flakes of something within Pyry's flesh, formed into metallic, archaic-looking constructs that eerily resembled bones... only these bones were growing from the destroyed shoulder like a sped-up footage of a tree branch. The golden metal was filled to the brim with etched carvings of ancient runes, ones that looked almost primal, primitive and ancient in their shapes.

    So... this was the power of regeneration that could bring someone back even from the dead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "H-hey Pyry! How're you holding up? Remember when I said that I knew first aid? Well, it turns out I might know a little bit more than that, and know a thing or two about healing magic. Might not be able to make you whole and hale right away, but any little bit of healing power should go a long way towards boosting your own regeneration."
    Pyry blinked again, the horror on his face growing as he realized he wasn't getting through to his friends.

    "Don't you understand?! You guys need to go!" he answered in a desperate yell. "N-never mind me, I might survive if you leave me alone, but if n-not, if you're to give me a target, I can't hold back much longer... that thing's power is... is eating away... at me...!"

    Pyry's eyes momentarily flickered over to the pools of blood that were slowly evaporating into a mist... mist that was gathering back into his body. And indeed, now that the girls looked more closely, that blood itself... it looked a bit strange. It was less of a normal blood, but far more substantial liquid... almost like crimson honey that had pooled out to the ground.

    Perhaps this was another part of the 'Arc-Relic' that the boy had alluded to.

    "You know, like... I'd love to go barf right now, but I think I can hold it in," Mercedes interjected, kneeling next to the boy. " More importantly, I gotta echo Hisa's question here. Like, what the hell did you get yourself into? Me and Lucy got into a bit of a scrape earlier today, but compared to this... did something attack you?"

    Pyry, even in the midst of his horror, seemed to realize that someone rather unexpected was here with others, the actress apparently having buried the hatchet between herself and Hisa. The boy's eyes switched from one of then to another, as if he couldn't quite believe what he was seeing... but then he used his head to gesture for the starlet to start running, and take others with her. At the same time, without a warning, the remaining good hand of his reached out and tried to push Hisa away... though it was far too weak to actually do such a thing.

    "G-guys, I'm not joking, if you don't go now something horrible will happen!" Pyry said, tears starting to stream down his face from the pain. "I don't wanna hurt you, b-but I can't keep my mind sane for much longer---!"

    As if to echo that sentiment, Gradient nodded from behind the two girl with a slightly mischievous smile on her face.

    "Muuu~!"

    The confusion on the tall athlete's face was palpable, as he realized he wasn't being listened to.

    "S-seriously, what happened doesn't matter now! I fought against a guy... a total nutjob who had made two famous swords into goddamn spears... got my body nearly evaporated by pillar of literal sun... but, in the end, I won. B-but... it was a trap... it was all a trap... there was t-this thing, I don't know... know what the hell it was... and it did something to me..." Pyry explained, shaking his head over and over again. "I-If I'm alone I can hold the rage in check, b-but having someone in front of me... it's like I'm going insane...! S-so please, just go! Now! Before it's too late!"

    His was a face of pure, abject terror.

    Like a tragedy or a trauma of some sort was bubbling to the surface, no matter how much he tried to keep it under control.

    "T-that squirt, she already... she already..." he whispered amidst sobs, words full of regret. "She's already gone... and I don't want..."

    Gritting his teeth, Pyry let out yet another yell of a plea.

    "I-I don't want anyone else to die today---!"

    Die... by his hands.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; February 2nd, 2020 at 10:12 AM.

  11. #2071
    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

    “She…”

    So Prushka is…

    That’s why he…

    But why?

    “I see…”

    It felt hard to process this new piece of information. It felt like that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong today, and with one tragic revelation after another, at this point it just felt like it couldn’t get any worse, my mind was already too numb, and I just didn’t want to be bothered anymore.

    Why...should I be bothered about her death, anyways? She didn’t like me, and I didn’t like her either. She was so annoying and self righteous, always butting into everyone’s business, pretending to know what’s best for them...And then lecture them, and constantly call humans awful beings as if she wasn’t one...Pretending to be innocent and cute when she is the nastiest little troll...I didn’t even want to hang out with her in the first place, it was always just a coincidence that we ended up in the same place.

    And yet…

    “It’s not your fault,” Came the clichéd response that I’ve probably had to resort to way too many times lately, “You’re only human. You can’t save everyone. No one expects you to do so, and you shouldn’t blame yourself for it. Besides...no one could have guessed all the crap that happened today.”

    And yet, it made me feel more miserable than I wanted to admit, and while I preached about not blaming oneself to Pyry, deep inside I felt the exact same, because I was sure that I could have done so many things that would have prevented this.

    “...Let’s talk about it later, okay? For now we should focus on patching you up, and getting out of this forest.”

    Of course, that was just part of a reason - I also just wanted to distract myself with something, to just try and focus on something so that I wouldn’t have to think about these things.

    “Elise...I’ll leave the healing to you, okay? Just...don’t tire yourself out too much in the process. With how today’s been...I’m not sure if we’re safe yet.”

    Then again...just when exactly will we be able to consider ourselves safe now?

    “In the meantime...Mercedes, can you keep an eye on our surroundings? I’d rather not not be surprised by...something. Gradient can help you with that.” I explained as I looked up at Gradient - once again, wishing that I’d have a better - a proper - way to communicate with her.

    “After that we can get back to the car and figure out what we want to do.” I said, then turned my attention back to Pyry and my backpack, and started fidgeting with its contents to prepare the necessary tools to take care of his minor injuries.

  12. #2072
    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



    Suspicious.

    Jayesh is too suspicious.

    John Dove does not judge, but this is excessively suspicious. It is not being judgmental if it is this obvious. Which means he probably belongs or is at least acquainted with the Turnside. “A person acting too evasive = Turnside” seems like an absurd assumption to make—it would certainly have been so just a week ago—, but it is likely the best assumption to make in this place where the standards of the rest of the world seemingly no longer apply. Applying pressure to make him elaborate on the details of these “wild dogs” or the happenings at the hotel or ever his sister might result in violent retaliations as seems to be wont among the Turnside. Indeed, Zane might be wise in letting go of his curiosity.

    Of course, right afterwards he inquires of John’s own circumstances.

    How much to tell? “Nothing” is not an option; that would trigger unnecessary suspicion, and he would not be able to parry it as flippantly as Jayesh can. On the other hand, the details of a crime scene are for the authorities only; it is truly none of these people’s business. John needs an instant to figure out the right words and speech pattern to apply to this situation.

    “Feh, God knows I tried,” John finally says before slumping and slowly settle down, seated on the ground. He makes sure to look more tired than he truly is. He sighs. “Look, we…well, I. I found a dead body. In the school building. An unknown girl; not one of my classmates.”

    No need for Road’s End to know about the other deaths. Yet.

    “Tried to call the police, but phone’s dead. And there’s no sign of the janitor or any of the teachers; apparently somebody thinks leaving a bunch of problem children unsupervised for the weekend is a great idea.”

    By this point it sounds like he is ranting, and it is entirely on purpose.

    “And it seems a whole bunch of my classmates decided to wander off on their own or whatever, and only Vandemeel had the decency to show up again this morning, and now the ones remaining are all looking at each other like there’s a psycho killer among us, which might very well be true, and I offered to make the trip to the sheriff’s because contacting the authorities is what you’re supposed to when you find a dead body, but then I saw this creepy black thing in the woods on the way here and now I don’t even know if there’s a point to any of this because…”

    The stream of words comes to an abrupt halt, for John Dove to release another long sigh, delivering a slightly despondent smile.

    “…well, I guess I’m just tired. Will get nowhere by ranting like this. If you can give me the directions to the sheriff’s, I‘d be grateful.”

    Naturally, John already knows exactly where the sheriff’s office is, yet he is interested in the two men’s response.

    “By the way, where are you two going from here? Wherever it is, I hope you can find your way in this fog.”

  13. #2073
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Pyry Leijonamieli
    "Magic huh...? And the surprises just keep on coming. Sure... I wouldn't mind some extra help right now. Like I said, my Arc-Relic's near overheating, so easing the workload would go a long way... might accelerate the gather-rate of the Dew of Heavens, too..."
    Elise flashed Pyry a smile, "The surprises really don't stop coming, do they? I'll see what I can do."

    She eyed the pools of the blood-like substance that covered the clearing, and the mist rising from it. It certainly seemed a whole lot less sinister now that she understood its purpose. Curious, she ran a finger through the blood-like substance that covered the ground of the clearing, taking a sample for closer inspection. While it certainly passed for blood at a glance, it was clear now that is something very different. She watched carefully as her sample continued to evaporate, joining the mist and flowing into Pyry's damaged body before she shook her sample of it off her finger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyry Leijonamieli
    I... I didn't... make it in time, Hisa... By time that I arrived, that bastard had... he had... I'm sorry............... but Prushka's........"
    Elise shut her eyes and held back a sob as Pyry finished relating what had happened to him since his abrupt departure from the campus.

    "Prushka..." muttered Elise, "She was my dorm room neighbour... and I never even got the chance to say hello..."

    Elise wiped away her tears, Guess I never will now...

    Cesarina, Colt, Sakura, Alexstrasza... now Prushaka too. That's five of us, not to mention the girl John found. Then there's everyone else disappearing, and John and Elaine never coming back from the Sheriff's Department... What the hell is wrong with today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa Momoi
    “It’s not your fault. You’re only human. You can’t save everyone. No one expects you to do so, and you shouldn’t blame yourself for it. Besides...no one could have guessed all the crap that happened today.”

    “...Let’s talk about it later, okay? For now we should focus on patching you up, and getting out of this forest.”
    Elise winced at Hisa's words as another wave of guilt washed over her.

    So easy to say, so much harder to believe... thought Elise as she wondered how Lucille was holding up back at the dormitories, and if she was feeling any better than she was right now, Hisa's right though. Let's focus on getting Pyry out of here, and then we can worry about how much of a failure we've been later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa Momoi
    “Elise...I’ll leave the healing to you, okay? Just...don’t tire yourself out too much in the process. With how today’s been...I’m not sure if we’re safe yet.”
    "Oh, we're not out of the woods yet, that's for sure," chuckled Elise weakly, "I'd like to keep enough for at least one last healing spell in reserve, just in case we've got another emergency that comes up. Sorry, Pyry."

    Elise turned back to Pyry, holding out her palm, "Alright, hold still for a minute, Pyry, let me see if I can't get your insides back in order again."

    She once more recited her prayer, calling upon the Divine to heal the individual before her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa Momoi
    “After that we can get back to the car and figure out what we want to do.”
    "I can handle hauling Pyry out of the forest if we need to, I'm a lot stronger than I look," said Elise, eyeing Pyry's badly burnt legs before looking back up at Pyry, "If-if you don't mind being carried out, Pyry, but even with your regeneration, they look like they might still be a little bit shaky."

    Elise eyed the pools of blood-like substance around them one more time.

    "Pyry? So... this stuff, this Dew of Heavens, is drawn out of the earth, then it pools, and then helps to provide material to help your regeneration? Does it have any other properties?" asked Elise, "Where does it even come from? Would it help if we tried to bring some of this with us? I'm with Hisa, I don't really want to stick around in the Ghostwood longer than we need to, but it seems like a shame to let all this stuff go to waste. I'm willing to sacrifice my water-water bottle to collect some if that'll help."

    Previously Revealed Ability!
    Prayer of Healing
    Rank-C
    Element: Life
    Mana Cost: 12 MP

    6 meter range, heal a target for 7 HP and purges all negative ailments of Rank D or lower.

  14. #2074
    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


    “She told me to get her a sandwich on the way back, but that isn’t a sandwich,” Lucille jokes, her voice deadpan. “Looks good, though.”

    At the very least, food was nice. Significant improvement over the sandwiches she herself had made, at least. Grabbing a plate and a fork, Lucille went to go get her own portion. If people were adamantly forcing her to relax, she’d try, even if her stomach felt like rebellion.

    Or maybe it was the ice cream. Either way, she’d eaten in the past hours. The pasta on top might make her feel bloated, but she supposed she needed all the energy she could get. Sakura never failed to remind her she was a growing gi—

    Lucille sighs, trying to shove those thoughts away before answering the second half of Aleen’s question.

    “I don’t know if it’s gotten worse… but it wasn’t a terrible idea. Barricading the school is pretty practical if we’re going to stay in it. Just, what makes it uncomfortable is… I don’t really know how to put into words, but it’s like we’re strangers? The way she looks at me, the way she talks… How is that the same girl who offered to help me out with Subaru? That wanted me to make sure you were alright?”

    Lucille fumbles with her words because she has no idea what is wrong. It is that there is something wrong with Vier Wolff, in a way that isn’t actually wrong but definitely is. That’s not really her classmate, she feels.

    “Sorry about the latter, by the way,” Lucille apologizes. She hasn’t touched her plate. Not out of rudeness, just, you shouldn’t eat and talk at the same time. “This is… probably the worst way ever to find out these things exist.”

    Things. The supernatural. Of course, awful situations like these were probably the most common way for normal people to find out about the Turnside, but Lucille would never mention that. A little white lie of omission.

    Lucille finally takes a bite out of her plate. She can’t really taste anything considering her mood, but it’s probably good, so she makes her best attempt at acting that way.
    [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. #2075
    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



    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille Faraday
    “Pushing people away isn’t going to do you any favors… especially when it’s too late. Better to communicate than not…”
    I didn’t bother to answer Lucille Faraday before she went upstairs. Simply for two reasons. First now that she’s leaving, I needed my full attention on the area around the dorms. I needed to keep everyone at a distance from the dorms because the second they break inside my effectiveness will be hampered significantly. It wouldn’t be an issue if Lucille Faraday was there to compensate, but right now we need to keep everyone’s morale as high as possible.

    Second, it’s hard to keep the same level of closeness with someone if one of the parties doesn’t remember anything. I would know the best after all. One of the most commonly close relationships is a child and their parents. If one side forgets about the other, even if they were to reconcile… The relationship would be different from before and usually not for the better.

    But from the sound of things, ‘I’ seemed to be close to Lucille Faraday or Aleen King. If they’re able to tell that something was “off” and were giving advice. Maybe… If I was just being hyper paranoid and that this was just the work of some normal killer, I could always try treating them a bit be-

    My private musing during my guarding stopped as I noticed movement. I changed weapons immediately as soon as my brain registered that it was outside of current effectiveness. Location: Pool Building entrance. Distance approximately 80 to 100 meters out. Personnel causing movement… Unknown. Attempts to find them in this mist even with increased magnification scope… Failed. They’ve vanished… Intent… Unknown.

    Now that I knew something was out there, I was going to heighten my guard until I knew who was out there and what they intended to do. Certainly, I could shoot wildly out in the unknown’s location but shooting a potential friendly outwears any risk and alienating a potential ally would make things worse.

    If it was only 80 to 100m in other conditions other than the current situation and night, I would’ve been to identify them to at least some degree. But this scheiße mist rolling in from the town has dropped my effective range to 40 through 50m. While still manageable to keep most determined blitzers out of the dorms, I wasn’t sure how long until more mist rolled in and reduced even that.

    So I prepared myself to do something dirty. I started to hide myself in a location that would be suitable for me to defend the dorms if I thought I could hold them off until Lucille Faraday notices… Or hide away until they go investigate the noise coming from upstairs. If everything goes well, we can catch a hardier foe in a pincer attack. If not… Well no plan survives contact with the enemy.

  16. #2076
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “...Let’s talk about it later, okay? For now we should focus on patching you up, and getting out of this forest.”
    Pyry could only stare in absolute confusion and horror at the group.

    "W-why... why aren't you guys listening to me...?" he mumbled, sounding as if he couldn't believe what was happening... couldn't believe this nightmare he was in. "You guys n-need to run, I'll be fine... I promise! J-just go! Go! I don't want that thing to make me hurt any of you!"

    In a sense, it was only fitting for such a waking nightmare to be part of this day. So much had happened today... so many tragedies, so many deaths, so many things had gone wrong... it was clear that there was no going back anymore. No way to return to the pleasant and happy week that Pinefall High's First Class had enjoyed together. Instead what awaited them in the future was dealing with the aftermath of these tragedies and the bloody mystery of what truly was going on.

    Indeed, everybody could feel it in their bones... there was no way all that had happened was a mere coincidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Elise...I’ll leave the healing to you, okay? Just...don’t tire yourself out too much in the process. With how today’s been...I’m not sure if we’re safe yet.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Oh, we're not out of the woods yet, that's for sure. I'd like to keep enough for at least one last healing spell in reserve, just in case we've got another emergency that comes up. Sorry, Pyry... Alright, hold still for a minute, Pyry, let me see if I can't get your insides back in order again."
    "Just forget about me and go!"

    Though he tried to resist, the boy was too weak to fight back.

    "P-please... just listen to me..."

    And with that, Elise once again called upon the divine powers that had been granted to her... and immediately, the fatigued look on the tall boy's face eased up slightly. Some color returned to his face and his breathing, while hyperventilating, became stronger. Inside him the screeching and crunching sound of bending archaic metal grew more subdued and silent and the thousands upon thousands golden particles within seemed to grow even brighter. Thus, while the change wasn't apparent on the outside, inside the boy this holy healing magic was doing its job, knitting his muscles back together and reconstructing his internal organs.

    The soft, bright shimmer of the thaumaturgy descended onto the clearing, bathing those gathered around with a heavenly warmth... something that was sorely needed in this bleak situation.

    "... Like, gawd..." Mercedes muttered as she watched the boy's torso slowly start to repair itself before their eyes. "This stuff never fails to surprise..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “In the meantime...Mercedes, can you keep an eye on our surroundings? I’d rather not not be surprised by...something. Gradient can help you with that. After that we can get back to the car and figure out what we want to do.”
    The actress glanced once more at the situation before her, before nodding herself.

    "Yeah, you got it. I mean, like... I wouldn't be much help in this hocus pocus situation," the starlet answered. "You handle your hunk... we'll, like, keep an eye out. Right, E.T.?"

    Grandient clenched her hands into tiny fists.

    "Muu!"

    From the looks of it, the roles of the operation had been divided.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "I can handle hauling Pyry out of the forest if we need to, I'm a lot stronger than I look. If-if you don't mind being carried out, Pyry, but even with your regeneration, they look like they might still be a little bit shaky."
    Pyry hung his head, his eyes staring ahead for a thousand yards as he tried to process what was happening.

    "Listen to me... please... why are none of you listening to me...?" the athlete sobbed. "J-just leave me here, run, and don't look back... I'll contact you when I think I've defeated the t-t-thing inside my head, but now... you guys need to escape I'm not joking here, guys... Elise...? Hisa? Please...?"

    Even through his horror and confusion, the boy tried to get through to his friends, make them realize that time was running out. Even as his face was distorted from the inside suddenly by a violent spasm, one that made him take upon a more monstrous, rage-filled face of endless fury, those tears of his still told that he was fighting back, trying to buy as much time as he could to make sure the others would make it out before he lost control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Pyry? So... this stuff, this Dew of Heavens, is drawn out of the earth, then it pools, and then helps to provide material to help your regeneration? Does it have any other properties? Where does it even come from? Would it help if we tried to bring some of this with us? I'm with Hisa, I don't really want to stick around in the Ghostwood longer than we need to, but it seems like a shame to let all this stuff go to waste. I'm willing to sacrifice my water-water bottle to collect some if that'll help."
    With half of his face twisted by animalistic fury, and the other half crying, Pyry shook his head... he shook his head like a traumatized child does, unable to comprehend or accept what was right in front of his eyes.

    "W-why are you asking that... don't you hear me!? Why are none of you hearing me!? Goddammit, Elise! Hisa! Listen to me! You need to run!" Pyry shouted. "Mercedes, just grab this group and run! Flee to the road and down towards the town! I-I'm begging you guys, just go!"

    Pyry stared at the ground, the woods, the sky, his eyes jumping around in paranoia and fear.

    "--- Is... is this that thing's doing as well?" he suddenly asked in a horrified whisper. "Is it mocking us? M-making you unable to hear my words...? W-what the hell... what is this nightmare!?"

    Yes.

    That's what it was.

    A nightmare.

    A nightmare just for you guys.

    "Please make it stop...!" he quietly sobbed as another spasm of rage warped his body.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; February 2nd, 2020 at 10:15 AM.

  17. #2077
    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
    “By the way, where are you two going from here? Wherever it is, I hope you can find your way in this fog.”
    With his tale, John had made the atmosphere at the abandoned train platform once again deadly serious. Zane, who had finished up using the first aid kit and handed it back to the younger boy now stared at him with an unblinking, stern stare. Jayesh, on the other hand, had his hand on his chin, looking like he was deep in thought - while his eyes stared into the nothingness and fog that covered the town of Road's End. A momentary silence stretched longer and longer after the boy's question... until the redhead sighed heavily and answered.

    "... I was going to stick around and help out Jayesh here, but honestly... if you're not pulling my leg about your tale, I'm heading straight home. I have a younger brother I need to watch for. Bro is just the type of doofus to go out looking for danger on a day like this," Zane answered, gritting his teeth together. "I mean, Jesus... a dead body? As if the one back at the beach wasn't enough... just what's going on in this town of ours? Not that I blame you Pinefall guys, but the moment you appeared... well, I dunno."

    The redheaded young man didn't have to finish his sentence - after all, the true meaning behind his words hung in the air quite clear. During this week that the students of Pinefall had spent at Road's End, one mysterious event had followed another, and eventually it had all culminated to today... to this day of tragedies.

    "And I need to search fo my sister," Jayesh announced curtly. "If people are dead, that's all the more reason."

    Well, at least both of them had their priorities straight... and seemed to believe John without a problem.

    "Anyways, sounds like you have a good reason to head to Sheriff's. So, head north until the intersection and head to the right there," Zane continued, pointing towards the intersection he meant. "From there, take a turn again to the right as if you were heading to End's Store & Post, and once you reach it, take a left. Then a right, and then another left, and then head to the end of that street until you see the sheriff's department - has a big sign and everything, and the jeep is probably parked in front - can't miss it."

    Then, as if an after-thought, Zane added:

    "Oh, and regarding Anna - Vandemeel, that is - she spent her night at my - our place," Zane said, looking John straight into the eyes. "So if someone suspects her of something, she's got an alibi. I vouch for that."

    Again, the underlying message in the older boy's words was rather clear.

  18. #2078
    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 Lucille
    “I don’t know if it’s gotten worse… but it wasn’t a terrible idea. Barricading the school is pretty practical if we’re going to stay in it. Just, what makes it uncomfortable is… I don’t really know how to put into words, but it’s like we’re strangers? The way she looks at me, the way she talks… How is that the same girl who offered to help me out with Subaru? That wanted me to make sure you were alright?”
    Aleen nodded, poking the uneaten tuna pasta with her fork. Unlike Lucille, who hadn't yet started eating out of good manners, Aleen simply didn't see to have that much of an appetite. If anything, it almost looked like the girl had grown more pale during the time she had spent alone in the kitchen... alone with her own thoughts, and with the weight of the recent events finally crashing upon her shoulders.

    "I... I dunno. She's been weird this whole week... I told you, right? That she acted like she was totes choosing the best response, or waiting for confirmation or something like that... never really trusting me even though I tried to be friendly with her... and now it's just worse," the bluehead replied, hanging her head. "I just... I don't think I have the energy to worry 'bout her anymore. I want to, I really do, but... at some point, even I have my limits. And with what's happened today, having learned of this Turnside that you guys belong to..."

    An awkward silence, one punctuated by Aleen mechanically scooping a forkful of pasta into her mouth and chewing on it.

    "... It's just too much."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “Sorry about the latter, by the way,. This is… probably the worst way ever to find out these things exist.”
    The bluehead shook her head as an answer, directing her red eyes towards Lucille for the first time since the latter had entered the room. Just one glance was enough to tell that Aleen had been crying again while she was out of sight from everyone else. And who could blame her? WHat had happened today would have been tough on anyone.

    "It's... it's not the fault of you guys. I know none of you meant for this to happen. I just... I'm trying my best to handle it, to keep my head together, but... hah... it's pretty hard, y'know?" Aleen asked, a bitter chuckled escaping her lips. "Still... why today, of all days? I had hoped... well, not that it matters. When it rains, it pours, right? And it's no use wondering 'bout what-ifs. It's not like the rain ever stops..."

    A sad smile floated on Aleen's lips as she gazed out of the window.

    "... It's just raining on some other day."



    Meanwhile...



    Vier Wolff kept a close watch on the dorm as she moved onto a spot where she would not be easily spotted, while also being able to keep an eye out on both the corridors, the entrance and what little of the campus grounds she saw. The figure that had disappeared into the mists had not appeared again, and as the minutes slowly marched on, even the noises from upstairs felt like they faded away. Instead there was just the wind outside, the absolute stillness of the scenery around her and nothing that happened, despite how prepared she was for something to strike out at her.

    But... as it turned out... she was being careful for, perhaps, nothing.

    After all, whatever the shadow had been, it hadn't attacked her.

    Instead, it apparently attacked something else.

    ------ Or something did.

    "-----------!"

    There was sudden, loud sound of an animal-like yelp of pure pain, followed by a whimper. Vier heard a rough hit of something hard hitting flesh, and saw how something small and wounded was thrown out of the mist by the force of a blow that must have been considerable. The thing that flew out was tiny, not nearly the size of a human... and that's why it flew so easily from the strike. The thing then ended up rolling on the campus grass, before coming to an eventual stop.

    Tiny specks of blood stained the greenery.

    ".......!"

    Another whimper, this time louder and more desperate one.

    The tiny thing that had been attacked hastily tried to rise to its four legs, but only its front paws worked. Desperately it clawed at the ground, draggin its hind legs as it tried to make its way to the dormitory, as if knowing it would be safe there. The beady button eyes of the animal stared through the window glass of the door like they had been looking for something or someone specific.

    The distance was about 15 meters.

    But even as it struggled forward, the small animal's strength was fading.

    No... not just a small animal.

    --- It was Tonkori.

    The Akita puppy of Subaru Iburi, looking like someone had just kicked it harshly.

  19. #2079
    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

    The glass and wood door stood before them like a wall, seemingly blocking any access further.

    Sigh. Nothing is ever easy, is it?

    “Gagnon. Could you keep watch for a second? I might be able to do something about this lock, but I’d rather not have something jump me while I’m working on this lock, eh?”

    Well, that would be one reason at least. The one that she was willing to give him at this point in time, at least. The other being that the less the blue-haired boy knew about what she was about to do, the better. For him, at least. While this town might have chosen to cast aside all pretenses, Anna herself wasn’t quite willing to go that far yet. Not while she still had the choice, at least.

    And as Gagnon headed over towards the corner to keep an eye on anyone that might approach the distance, Anna crouched down in front of the thick wooden door…

    ...and ran her finger down the metal surface of the lock.


    In a moment that was an instant that seemed to last forever, she could see it. The slightly curved steel handles. The smooth steel cylinder guard lying above the lock cylinder and the small spring washer inside. The faceplate, and the set screws, and the shrike - it all etched itself out in her mind like a schematic of utmost elegance, down to the level of the very atoms itself.

    It was perfect, every single fragment of its existence in the service of a single purpose. Something many, were they able to see it as she was, would most likely be able to find extremely beautiful.

    Yet… all Anna felt was the overwhelming urge to shatter it all in front of her. To break this breathtaking lattice... to break it all until nothing was left. Not because of what was there, but because of what wasn’t there. And if she would have happened to be in this place alone, she might have just done so.

    But for now, she would only break what she had to.


    For a brief moment, something stirred in the air.

    And a briefest glint of white and silver shot out of the keyhole before snaking its way underneath Anna’s crimson jacket sleeve. Seemingly done with her “trick”, the raven-haired girl stood up and placed her hand on the door handle, intent on moving onwards into the storage room. There was no reason to worry about the lock anymore, at the very least.

    In fact, they’d be hard-pressed to ever lock this door again.

    “Right, I’m done. The door’s open.” Anna gave Travis a snarky grin. “Time to put your moose-treating skills to use, Doctor.”
    Last edited by Mellon; January 24th, 2020 at 04:57 PM.

  20. #2080
    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



    “A dead body at the beach? Was it a local? Was it perhaps…?” John catches himself, frowning even at his own insidious curiosity. “No…I, that was morbid of me. My apologies; it’s none of my business.”

    However, Zane’s words bring up a point that perhaps John should have considered earlier. All his earlier musings, including his discussions with Elise Marie, were founded on the assumption that Pinefall is indeed an institution aiming for the rehabilitation of “problem youth”. Looking back on that, can he really believe it? He did not question his classmates on the matter, but as far as he knows the Pinefall faculty simply provided lectures just like any other educational institution. There has been no psychological nor psychiatric assessment or counseling. The beach party was endorsed by the teachers, but it was the students’ own proposal. On days without lectures, they were left to their devices, with no other supervision but the (missing) janitor.

    From day one, Pinefall was a box full of lit powder kegs. It was only a matter of which one would explode first. It is almost as if Mister Oceandrop and his employees wanted the problem children to rampage in this remote village. That would be an unnecessarily complicated plot to bring ruin to Road’s End, though, especially for a man with his resources. John guesses there must a lot more to the conception of Pinefall High School and its true purpose. The alternative would be that Mister Oceandrop is an unbelievably petty man, but John Dove does not judge, so he cannot conceive such a possibility.

    “Look, I cannot apologize for things I didn’t do, but the more I see, the more stuff that keeps happening…it makes me wonder if Mr. Oceandrop really wants to ‘rehabilitate’ us, you know? The way things are going, I worry a little. About how my classmates may react, I mean.”

    Taking the words of his argent goddess of white and violet and blood at face value, he has been a literal lunatic for ten or so years already. He doubts he can become any more insane. He is more likely to just get himself killed, in all honesty. Well, it is not as if any of that matters. He will just keep doing as he is wont to do, until his very last moment. Aleister Crowley put it best: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”.

    John then gets the directions he already knew from Zane. However, the mention of End’s Store and Post flicks a switch in his mind. He idly wonders if Miss Popplewell is alright. Then again, it is Sunday so the store is likely closed. She probably locked herself at home like apparently everybody else in Road’s End not called Zane Mitchell.

    “I know my way to the store. From there it’s left, right and left, got it. Thanks, man. And thanks for telling me about Vandemeel. It is…relieving to know, to be honest.”

    A part of him wishes he cared enough for Anna Vandemeel to make that sentence sincere. The circumstances that led to her spending the night at the Mitchells’ is none of his business, really.

    “With that said,” John continues as he slowly rises back to his feet. “I wish I could be of any further help to both of you, but I really should get going. I’ve been gone for too long already; they might think something’s happened to me by now.”

    Things have indeed happened to him (albeit mostly to Elaine Winters. Death happened to Elaine Winters), but that is not quite the point.

    John pauses just before taking the first step away. Perhaps there is something else he should say here?

    “Circumstances aside…it was good to meet you. It was…a little relieving, not being the only person walking in this fog. Anyway, take care of yourselves.”

    Something wrong is happening in this town. Something insidious, yet probably simple in its base nature. Something obscure yet encompassing. Something at the foundation of Cesarina Feroce’s gruesome death, the unknown child in the school building, the trap that claimed Colton Davin’s life, the night battle that spelled Alexstrasza’s end, the circumstances that pushed Ramia Ramalsaqr to wish for Elaine Winters’ death, and the absence of Vivianne Bianchi and The One Known Only as Prushka. Even further, the disappearance of Elizaveta Vyraj, the sudden appearance of the Coastrises, this new corpse at the beach, and the Pinefall project as a whole. Something that triggered or catalyzed all these events. A Primum Mobile that led to all these things happening, soaked with the colors of the Turnside.

    Perhaps he should care a bit more about this before one-sidedly claiming Elaine Winters’ purpose for himself.

    It is at least something to think about as he immerses himself back into the fog. Into the opaque solitude that fills the streets of a dying town.

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