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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #1421
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta'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 Prushka
    "Mmm, I g-guess another one wouldn't hurt... if everyone else wants seconds, too."
    A few tentative nods and murmurs of agreement was enough for Avery Walker to flash a grin towards the quartet of girls. From the looks of it their trip to the diner was far from over.

    "Alrighty, one more pie coming up, lovelies," the owner said with a nod. "I'll be sure to try and earn such high praise from this one as well."

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "Oh, and one more thing: Ms. Walker, do you know where I'd be able to find a 'Rachel Halloway'?"
    This made Avery paused in a moment of surprise, blinking at the sudden question. Then she put her finger to her chin, thought about it for a moment, and eventually came up with an answer.

    "Well, I suppose you'd find that girl at Owl's Nest Hotel - her uncle owns the place, after all, and from what I understand she lives there. That or somewhere around town. She's quite the busybody, after all," Avery answered, though a somewhat complicated smile appeared on her face immediately afterwards. "I don't know what reasons you have to look for her, but... you'd best keep your distance if she and Cathie are squabbling again. Oh, Cathie's my girl. They don't... exactly get along."

    There was clearly history there and a story that Avery Walker wasn't willing to elaborate. Instead she said quick goodbyes to the girls and headed back to the kitchen to work on that sinful second pie that they, or rather Prushka, had just ordered. Thusly the conversation became the quartet's once more, with almost all airs turning towards the smallest of the four.

    "Another. Good call. You show. Promise," Xeni Techne commented with a quiet smirk. "The pie. It's good. Even if. The owner's scary."

    Xandra, on the other hand, chuckled with a grin.

    "Still how the hell are you gonna pack away even more pie?" the silver-haired girl asked. "You're smaller than any of us and even I'm pretty full after the first one."

    Xylia snorted, glanced at Prushka with a sarcastic look, and then shook her head.

    "Eh, judging how she wolfed down the first one, we ain't got anything to worry about," the dusky-skinned girl commented. "We can just nibble on our own slices while she turns into yer regular butterball over here. I mean, in her case, 'wider than she is tall' is easy to achieve."

    Three girls broke into cackling laughter, as was their style.

    And Xylia smirked at the girl next to her with a lopsided grin.

    "So yeah, ya ordered it, ya suffer the consequences," she added. "Ain't got nobody else but yerself to blame if you become the world's smallest blimp, Prushka."

    Mockery, but that was the norm. Making fun of someone was just another way of social interaction to these three. Coarse language, bad habits, doing stuff no girl their age should be doing... it was rude and thug-like behavior, but somehow, Prushka had wormed her way into this clique of delinquents - and they seemed to have accepted her, at least so far.

    After all, didn't Xylia just...?

    And thus the day lazily meandered onwards...




    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 Sakura
    "Oh yeah! I ran into Tommy last night! Are any of the other Pinefall alumni still around town?"
    A strange expression, almost a bit fornlorn, passed by Jake's face.

    "Well, Rachel still works at the the hotel her uncle owns - y'know, Owl's Nest? That one," the silver-haired janitor replied, chewing his food slowly. "As for the others, well... Sammie is still stuck at End's Mercy, while Remmie... well, she's not around anymore. So yeah, they kinda are, kind are not if you get what I mean, dude..."

    It was an odd, vague answer. While Tommy's simple refusal to talk about the two others that Jake had named was suspicious in and of itself, this practically confirmed that something strange had went down between this group of friends in the past. But whether that was a mystery worth pursuing or not, well... that was a different matter entirely.

    Especially since there was a storm brewing right in the middle of the common rooms...

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “A meal like this is something to be enjoyed. If Miss Lockhart is indisposed to a degree that she’s lost her appetite, there is no way she could enjoy this. Neither of you deserves that. It is needlessly cruel, to you and to her. Would you disagree? If it’s leftovers that worry you, I’m fairly confident you don’t need to. Right, Jake? Elise Marie?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Some-some people have small appetites and just can't clear their plate on their own, it's a tragic fact. t's not disrespectful to the cook or anything, it's just a matter of not being able to eat all that much in one sitting. All that really matters is that good food is enjoyed and appreciated, and nothing goes to waste, right? And this was a great breakfast! I'm very happy to have eaten mine, and might go for seconds, but if Alexstrasza can't finish hers, I'd be glad to help her clear her plate!"
    These words had caused a reaction in Sakura, at the very least. The icy chill had lessened, and now the brunette was looking more or less like she was sulking, or perhaps pouting. Well, whatever it was, it did seem somewhat adorable...

    ... At least until Alexstrasza Lockhart opened her mouth once again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "It is not as if I do not wish to eat your meal, Miss Tsukioka. I simply cannot. In the end I'm just a weak, useless, insipid sickly little girl. I cannot bear to eat most of the time without similarly expelling it. It isn't an insult. It isn't my unenviable talent for rudeness. It's simply facts. I cannot consume the meal that you have kindly placed before me."
    It was clear from Sakura's stare, that flat way with a slightly raised eyebrow and an unreadable expression... that the girl didn't believe for a moment any of Alexstrasza's bullshit. Indeed, it was clear to just about everyone in the room that she had been lying through her teeth - that's how unconvincing she made it sound.

    And from the looks of it, lying that brazenly without even a hint of remorse... well, that was quite enough for Sakura Tsukioka.

    With a short sigh, she gathered her utensils and her plate, gulped down the last of her coffee, and rose from her seat next to John.

    "Yeah, I believe that'll be enough for today. I just lost my appetite," the girl informed rather coldly, before glancing at the rest of the group other than the blonde. "Good day."

    Thusly, Sakura walked over to the entrance to the common rooms and disappeared through the doorway, leaving nothing but the sound of quickly fading footfalls in her wake. The awkward silence that followed was somewhat uncomfortable to say the least. Miss Min, who had been viewing this all with some interest, suddenly found the remnants of her coffee very, very interesting. The Coastrise siblings did their best not to look at anyone who had been involved in this depacle, and, well...

    Jake simply let out a quiet "Eesh," and shook his head at both Alexstrasza and John, before turning to whisper once more to Elise.

    "Oh, don't worry about the storage room. It was just a mess, like someone searched through it, nothing too big," he started, before cocking his eyebrow at the brunette. "So, uh... this happen often in your merry group of friends?"





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

    "From what I was told, they were very short. With a short hair and a rude attitude... either, as he put it: 'Your typical rowdy boy or a very angry little girl'. Well, anyways, this person tried to bother my friend who gave them a slip, but he was still miffed about it so he asked me to find out about it... you know, in case he encounters them again in the future."

    While Rachel had talked (and opened up the cleaning closet for Vier) the group had finally arrived to the mess that was Owl's' Nest Hotel's library. Rows upon rows of books - all stacked together so tightly that it was kind of hard to move around. Not only that, but there was no rhyme or reason as to how the books were arranged in this dusty wonderland, which left those brave or foolish enough to enter on their own. Indeed, for Vier Wolff this was the second time, so to her the impact wasn't so bad, but for Anna Vandemeel, well...

    ... No library she had ever laid her eyes on had been as disorganized as this one.

    This wasn't just chaos, this was proper and utter surrealism.

    "Well, here we are. I bet Vier here can give you two a hand if you have any problems," Rachel spoke to Anna and Caleb while spinning the keys on her finger. "Just try not to bother your classmate too much while she's working. After all, it's her first day and--- Oh. Didn't see you there! Good morning, Nora!"

    Rachel half-shouted that last greeting, and it was answered by a lazy wave of a hand from behind the rows and rows of bookshelves. From the looks of it, someone Vier knew was already in there.

    Caleb Montjoy, in the meanwhile, was staring at the sight of the library with a somewhat scornful expression.

    "... My artistic sense feels violated," the boy muttered, narrowing his eyes.

    Meanwhile, Rachel smiled that business-like smile of hers once more, and turned her attention back to the youngsters.

    "So? Anything else I can help you guys with?"

  2. #1422
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Big Boy’s Gas Station
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Well, anyways, that is when he mentioned that your music is the kind that lets people escape from reality for the moment. Especially a song about a poet and his muse.”
    "Aah, that song. See, Carrie, it's like I keep telling you: people like that song!" Billie Boulders commented while pouring another soda Hisa. "You shouldn't be so pensive about it. It's a good jingle, hah!"

    While the bartender handed the younger girl her drink, Carrie lakes rolled her eyes. She had a somewhat hard-to-read expression on her face, hanging somewhere between a bitter smirk and sarcastic amusement, with a hint of self-derision mixed in. Still, the way Hisa had talked about her interest in music, and how she played piano, had clearly earned a smidgeon of respect from the singer, who nursed her own drink and eventually replied - both to Billie and to Hisa.

    "Please don't call it a 'jingle', Billie. That makes it sound something used in a commercial," Carrie, or Carmen, retorted with a snort. "But, well... I hardly know about 'escaping reality'. That's the type of stuff art and music critics tend to say, or those who analyze songs for deeper meanings than they were ever made with. At the end of the day, my songs are very pragmatic. They're made to sound nice so I get paid well, and can keep funding my real interests."

    She must have been talking about researching folklore, but considering how many glasses of alcohol Carrie had already gone through... there might have been another "interest" she was keen on as well.

    "... Well, most of my songs, anyways," Carrie sighed, leaning her head on her hand. "When it comes to that song about Tom the Poet and his muse... it's something very much unlike me. The inspiration to that one came to me in, as cliched as it sounds, a dream. A dream that I had years ago when I, for the first time, slept in this dingy old hotel in the middle of nowhere."

    Billie grinned somewhat mischievously, and winked at Hisa.

    "She's talking about Owl's Nest Hotel," the bartender explained, earning another snort from the singer. "In other words, the only song the great Carmen Rivers didn't write to be popular came to her in a dream she saw while visiting Road's End. Hah! And you wonder why the song is held in such a high regard by us locals!"

    Carrie grumbled something under her breath (something that sounded, of all things, slightly embarrassed) and rolled her eyes again.

  3. #1423
    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
    “Good day.”
    Such is the conclusion Sakura has chosen. So be it.

    “It appears I have been promoted to cleanup duty,” John says when Sakura is no longer present. Wait, how is that even a promotion, John Dove?

    “Please gather together your empty dishes and used cutlery in an orderly fashion when you are done. Now, Miss Lockhart, if you are really not going to eat that…”

    John thus takes Alexstrasza’s plate off her hands to replace the empty one he has set aside.

    Truly, Miss Lockhart remains most strange and curious. He wonders if Cesarina Feroce is to be envied, for being the sole one Alexstrasza seemingly will not push away. What makes her an exception? What does Alexstrasza expect from Cesarina Feroce—or is it from “friendship” in general?

    What kind of person does Alexstrasza Lockhart want to be?

    For good or ill, John Dove does not dwell much on those questions. Why should he?

    “Miss Lockhart, if the offer of that book remains open, I would gladly take it off your hands at a later time. Looks like I have more housekeeping work ahead of me than I originally accounted for.”

    From bedroom cleaning and laundry to bellhop and dishwasher?

    John Dove is going places.

  4. #1424
    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
    "Huh. I thought that face looked familiar. You've been in some movies, haven't you? 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."
    The question lead Vivienne into a small bout of thoughtfulness as she pondered how to answer him. Once more, her reputation preceded her, perhaps even more than she had expected in such a remote part of the United States.

    The silent girl then went into another small thoughtful pause, perhaps thinking about the second part of Zane's sentence. Did she not think that she was good at her job, or was it simply because someone that does not feel cannot truly affirm satisfaction or dissatisfaction towards something?

    Zane could perhaps spot a glimmer of something that looked like a grimace -- anger perhaps, towards the void that lies there in her heart as she probes her feelings towards her past performances... but then anger was an emotion, so this fleeting sight was a sign enough that what was in front of Zane wasn't entirely an empty husk.

    "Maybe," she told him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "... Urgh, that was pretty rude, wasn't it? Reducing someone to a mere face, that is. 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."
    Vivienne shook her head in response. Though perhaps that was left open to interpretation, Zane most likely could even imagine her tell him: "That is just what happens when you are famous on TV."


    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "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..."
    Another question that made Vivienne ponder on her answer a bit -- but this time, Zane may have gotten an unexpected, if not strangely vague and nonsensical answer.




    ... what was she trying to say?

    Maybe she was just bad at drawing.

    "Where... you read?"

  5. #1425
    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


    "Aah, well... unfortunately the age in this state to buy our creations is einundzwanzig years old... While I got no doubt you'd know your ways around them, well... law is law... Es tut mir Leid... Plus the fact that you're, well, alltäglich..."


    When Adelaide spoke, the other woman’s eyebrows shot up, and not without reason. The pale, dimunitive Adelaide didn’t look anything like the kind of person you’d find working in a gun shop... but that wasn’t quite the reason she’d said what she had.

    Not exactly.

    in Frauke she saw a - not a kindred spirit - but a similar kind of person, and something about it was very strange to her, because she didn’t recognize the other woman at all.

    Homestly speaking, she wanted to talk to her, and the sudden outburt disturbed the girl more than she was willing to show.

    "Oh? Oh, oh, oh? Are you interesting in giving a hand? Giving die Hilfe? Weeeeeell.. I suppose there'd be some work to help with around here, but unless I know your qualifications and---"


    The crash she heard was too loud to really share space with the word. If anything, Adelaide would have called it an explosion, if an explosion sounded like a titan punting a car into a nearby building. Instinctively, both she and Colt turned their heads to look at the sturdy door that the sound had come from, then back to Frauke, who had her head in her hands.

    "Urgh... Scheiße... err... if you want to work here, you might want to first see what sort of work it is... in fact, could you go check out downstairs how bad the damages are..."


    Colt moved to... well, sort of moved to help Frauke. He offered her a Tylenol, at least. Adelaide shared a glance with him before she cautiously approached the door. It was big, and metal-plated (and she wasn’t particularly strong) but she figured it couldn’t be too hard.

    Adelaide put her hands to the handle... and moved to open it, intent to go downstairs.
    [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. #1426
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Thanks, Ms. Walker. Rachel's just someone a friend said I should meet."

    ...and ask a few questions about a certain shy ghost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xylia
    "So yeah, ya ordered it, ya suffer the consequences. Ain't got nobody else but yerself to blame if you become the world's smallest blimp, Prushka."
    "I-I won't! That'll never happen!"

    And yet, a chill runs down my spine at those words.

    "If you want to grow up, you have to eat a lot-!"

    In a few minutes I'll have to venture out into that rain. The Owl's Nest Hotel and its library was my original destination, after all. Every thread linking to Elizaveta Vyraj has been severed, every trail gone cold, except one. The clue closest to being a longshot. After all, Subaru might've just misremembered. But I can't rest knowing I didn't turn over every stone.

    That Rachel Halloway frequents the place is a lucky coincidence. If she's there - and with the incoming storm there's little reason to go outside - I'll be able to ask her about the lighthouse ghost and hopefully get some answers. How to go about it, though? I'm no good at interrogation, so maybe-.

    "H-hey! That's my piece! You put that back down, Xylia!"

    Maybe thoughts of the future are best saved for later.

    And so the morning passes...

  7. #1427
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel -Library
    Phase: Morning
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Anna ran her fingers over the nearest shelf, her eyes quickly indexing the neat row of books stacked on top of it. The lack of organization present was almost baffling. It sure as hell wasn’t organized in any alphabetical or topical manner she had come across before. Why even bother going through the effort of shelving all this literature, if you weren’t even going to try and order them in any meaningful fashion?

    “...tsk.” A small sound of irritation escaped her lips, followed by a brief mutter under her breath. “...raamatukoguks ma küll sellist seapesa ei kutsuks.”

    She was even half-tempted to suggest that whoever had “collected” this library hadn’t indexed it in order to hide something. Specific books or articles, perhaps. Or perhaps she was being simply being a tad too petty, being faced with this gargantuan mess. Most likely it was simply a byproduct of a lazy or, more realistically, a non-existant librarian.

    Judging by Caleb’s offhand remark, she wasn’t alone in her assessment either.

    "So? Anything else I can help you guys with?"
    Anna’s eyes barely moved from scanning the bookcase in front of her. From the looks of it, the raven-haired girl had already started looking for… well something, in the shelves in front of her.

    “Why do you guys even have a library here, if you don’t mind me asking?” Anna picked up one of the tomes in front of her and swiped it with her hand, releasing a cloud of dust. “A family hobby? Or is it typical for American hotels to have libraries or something?"

  8. #1428
    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 Jake Briggs
    "Well, Rachel still works at the the hotel her uncle owns - y'know, Owl's Nest? That one. As for the others, well... Sammie is still stuck at End's Mercy, while Remmie... well, she's not around anymore. So yeah, they kinda are, kind are not if you get what I mean, dude..."
    "Oh. Yeah. I think I do. I'm so sorry, Jake," apologized Elise.

    Well... that answers that... thought Elise as she observed Jake's forlorn expression, Well, at least I know why Tommy didn't want to talk about it. I'm still curious, but I don't want to dredge up anymore bad memories for Jake...

    Elise considered the old back issue of the Road's End Gazette she'd found and its source.

    There must have been something written up about whatever happened in the paper... if I can figure out where Alex got that back issue from, and if there are more of them... Getting a date should be doable. Only one place to be if you're not around anymore, but kind of are, and everything's dated there.

    There was still a wintry storm brewing in the Common Room, providing a distraction from the subject of the fates of Sammie and Remmie. While John and Elise's words seemed to have calmed Sakura somewhat, reducing the storm from cold rage to a sulk, Alexstrasza's seemed to have reinvigorated it. It was very clear that Sakura was going to have none of Alexstrasza's excuses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura Tsukioka
    "Yeah, I believe that'll be enough for today. I just lost my appetite. Good day."
    With that, Sakura turned and left the common room. The chill in the air was gone, leaving an awkward silence to fill the void left by its absence.

    Elise remained silent, watching the door and listening to Sakura's footsteps fade as she marched down the hallway, until Jake leaned back over to continue their whispered conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    "Oh, don't worry about the storage room. It was just a mess, like someone searched through it, nothing too big.
    Elise nodded, "Huh, wonder what they might have been looking for. Still, it is awfully rude of them to have left it in disarray like that... Just what was in that storage room anyway?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    "So, uh... this happen often in your merry group of friends?"
    "Not... usually? I mean, I've heard that there's been some friction between some students, mostly rumours so I've probably heard an exaggerated version of the event, but this is the first time I've seen it happen..."

    Elise took a gulp from her mug, and continued, "Sakura's usually very friendly, but she can be really... intense sometimes. Usually in overeager friendliness, but I guess it can also go the other way too..."

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “It appears I have been promoted to cleanup duty. Please gather together your empty dishes and used cutlery in an orderly fashion when you are done. Now, Miss Lockhart, if you are really not going to eat that…”
    Noticing that John had begun collecting the dishes, Elise grabbed her plate and got up from her chair.

    "Congratulations on your promotion, Corporal Dove, but I would never leave someone to battle against the merciless tyranny of dirty dishes alone," said Elise, raising her mug to John,"I'll help you with the cleanup."

  9. #1429
    Lost in the Woods Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Store and Post
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “I’ll have you responsibly invest in my education.”
    Jack Pinkerton raised an eyebrow at the girl, glanced at the stack of school supplies... along with the rather suspicious book that had been added very nonchalantly to the rest of the purchase, before shaking his head in some sort of lame amusement. The older man chuckled quietly, handing Sue Popplewell a few bills so that she coul ring up the part that had he had been made to pay. Or rather, what he had wanted to pay for. Still, while it didn't seem that the older man was disappointed in what she had chosen, he had... well, an unsatisfied hint in his eyes.

    "Actually, now that I think about it... Sue, do you still have...?" Jack suddenly said and leaned in closer to the store-owner, whispering something in her ear.

    For a minute, Sue looked surprised.

    Then, she grinned in delight.

    "For sure! They're in the back! Though... they're underneath all the big boxes, so if you wouldn't mind..." Sue left the question hanging in the air.

    Mr. Pinkerton's response was a boisterous laugh as he pulled up his sleeve and slapped his now-bare biced. Surprisingly, or perhaps not considering his rough face, the man was quite muscular. Not as much as certain sweatsuit-bound teacher or an athletic classmate, but this didn't seem like the muscle of a sportstar either. If anything, it brought to mind someone who had earned it through hard work and labour. Perhaps a miner or a lumberjack?

    "Sure! Leave it to me," Jack answered as he rounded the store counter and winked at Lucille with his one good eye. "Just a minute, Miss Faraday. And don't worry. It's a surprise I think you'll like."

    With that the older, silver-maned man disappeared into the back room of the store and started moving around boxes, from the sound of it. Quiet thuds and bumps of carboard and heavy objects could be heard echoing from there. Sue looked to the direction for a moment before giggling quietly. Then she started ringing up the items that Lucille had wanted to pay for herself.

    "You know... I'm a bit glad," the clerk suddenly said, keeping her voice low enough that it wouldn't carry into the back room. "Mr. Pinkerton's a bit odd and maybe a tad forceful in his goodwill, so he tends to rub some people the wrong way... especially the locals... so seeing you get along, or at least be cordial, well... it's nice."

    As she spoke, Sue Popplewell raised an eyebrow at the suspicious book that Lucille had tried to hide, smirked at the blonde, but didn't say anything. Her expression had told all that was needed.

    "He's not a bad guy. Just... lonely, I suppose. So, seeing him make new friends makes me glad as well," Sue continued quietly. "I know I'm really not in a position to make requests from you students, but it'd make me ever so happy if you and your classmates could get along with him. Who knows? If you play your cards right, he might even let you have a party at his country club one day!"

    Sue giggled again, though she hid it partially with her hand. However, then, as if remembering something, the store owner snapped her fingers and shot a serious look at Lucille... though some of it betrayed a hint of mischievous teasing.

    "Oh, but a word of warning!" Sue added. "That Mr. Pinkerton... on the rare few occasions he decides to make him presentable, well... he's surprisingly handsome. Enough to make your heart skip a beat if you're not prepared. So don't let him catch you off guard!"

    It was somewhat unclear how serious Sue was with this warning...




    Colt Davin & Adelaide Cheshire
    Location: Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “I’d offer a Tylenol, but I think I left those back home.”
    Frauke shot a weak smile towards Colt as she sat down and fished out some aspirin from one of the drawers... which seemed to be filled with medical pills, bolts and spark plugs, all in one big, messy compartment. How sound and hygienic that decision was was anyone's guess, but at the very least the owner of Thulewerk seemed to trust it.

    "Ah, well, I appreciate the thought..." Frauke answered while pouring herself a glass of what looked like flat soda. "Just need to let this serve as a reminder to buy some stronger stuff tomorrow... So, go ahead, see what sort of damage Dora managed to do this time..."

    Still, the two of them, both Colt and Adelaide, had been directed towards the heavy-duty metal door to check out the cause of the crashing sound and just how bad the aftermath was. With the blonde girl opening the door surprisingly easily and revealing a large stone staircase behind it, descending deep into an underground basement, the two of them set forward to investigate. Unlike in the main workshop of Das Thulewerk, this place was dimly lit and for some reason, both of them could feel a growing sensation of heat assaulting their skin. First their cheeks and then the rest of their body, until it rose into slightly uncomfortable levels - enough to cause sweating.

    But, well, the reason was obvious.

    At least after seeing the red, fiery glow coming from the basement floor... and seeing the large forge that it came from.

    A firepit that radiated both heat and light had been built into what must have been an old, industrial-size steel drum used either in transporting dangerous chemicals or liquid metals. The structure that held it aloft was made from red I-beams and had been fastened into the walls with bolts the size of Colt's fists. Those same I-beams had been used in building "arms" that jutted out of the structure akin to legs of an octopus, held in place and above ground with heavy-duty chains that were secured to the reinforced ceiling of the basement floor. At the end of each of these arms was what looked like a heavy steel table... though they were most likely made from some other, more heat-resistant metal, considering some of them had what looked like red-hot pieces of iron resting atop them, ready to be worked by a blacksmith. And at the very center of this monstrous machine, with mechanical levers to control the arms and the tables and a rack of tools so bursting it was impossible to make out the total of what it held... was an anvil. An honest-to-god, proper anvil.

    It was, all-in-all, a completely bizarre sight.

    A monstrous workstation made from the fever dreams of a mad blacksmith. Tables and arms and a forge all molded into a super-tanker-esque octopus that loomed at the other end of the room.

    As for the rest of the basement?

    ------ It was a sea of junk.

    Just unsorted metal pieces and gadgets strewn about so high they reached one's knees.

    To call the place chaotic would have been an understatemed. To call it overblown would have been one as well. Yet, most absurd of all, it wasn't the most surreal thing to be found in the basement that was more like an underground warehouse than anything else. Indeed, it was most likely an old bomb shelter.

    No... the most surreal thing in that room was the single girl standing at the center of the movie-monster-like workstation, staring at something that looked vaguely like the engine of a fighter plane, or perhaps, a monster truck. The thing had fallen from one of the tables and embedded itself into the stone floor, and now the girl was staring at it with a quizzical look on her face.

    Wait. Even that wasn't the most surreal thing.

    Looking at her closely, wasn't there... wasn't there...

    "........... What?" The girl asked, tilting her head at both Colt and Adelaide.

    ... Wasn't there obviously something super off about this girl!?

    New Character Met!





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

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "H-hey! That's my piece! You put that back down, Xylia!"
    "Kyahahaha~! In yer dreams, ya potato sprout!" Xylia cackled as she wrestled the biggest piece to herself. "If anyone's gonna grow tall here, it's me! Besides, ain't ya gotta stay nice and slim fer yer precious beefcake, hah!"

    Both Xeni Techne and Xandra Lyssa stared at the "fight" between the two girls with somewhat unreadable expressions on their face. They then glanced at each other, with Xeni offering a simple shrug as an answer to whatever the wordless question was that had been asked between them. Well, whatever that was all about, the moment passed.

    After all, in just a moment, the two of them had joined in the struggle.

    "Hands off. Mine! The pie! All mine!"

    "Don't worry, Prushka! I can give you my slice as long as I can eat you out inst---Ow, goddammit!"

    "Yer being a fucking creep again, Xandra!"

    "Yeah. Talk shit. Get hit."

    "Screw you guys! And not in the way I'd say screw Prushka!"

    ... and so, with the cackle and arguing of four (?) delinquent girls filling the diner with their merriment, the day winded slowly towards the evening...

    Prushka: Friendship Rank Raised!







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

    Zane stared at the picture for a moment, his expression a perfect representation of a big question mark of confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "Where... you read?"
    The redheaded boy shook his head, waking himself up from his stupor and focusing on the girl once more. At the same time, he fished a bottle of Jolt Cola from the pocket of his hoodie and opened it with a satisfying sound.

    "Hmm... probably at Owl's Nest? That place has a library that's out of this world. In more ways than one..." Zane answered, taking a swig from the cola during the small pause. "Oh, that's the hotel of the town. I work there as a cleaner... just like I work as a dishwasher at the A.D's. And a handful of other jobs. Honestly, I don't think there's many places at Road's End I haven't worked at."

    It didn't sound like the boy was bragging. Instead, he was simply stating something factual and in his case, obvious to himself. At the same time, however, it did make it rather clear just how different worlds the two of them came. Vivienne, who was most likely the younger of the two, had already appeared on the silver screen and was, from the looks of it, at least somewhat well off. Meanwhile Zane Mitchell, the local guy and older of them, was still working many menial jobs just to make the ends meet.

    Yet the redheaded young man didn't seem to mind this in the slightest, or treat the girl before him any differently.

    It must have been some sort of natural way of getting along with just about anyone. An useful skill to have.

    "Still... are these supposed to be other masks you have? That's a rather neat system you have there. Very simple to understand," Zane commented, a hint of a smile passing by his face as he stared at the picture once more. "If possible, you might want to try to combine the 'Kind' and 'Witty', though. I bet that one would be very popular."

    Then, as if having realized that he was being rude by not sharing, the boy offered Vivienne the bottle of cola.

    "Though, and sorry if I'm giving my opinion where it ain't needed... your maskless self doesn't seem all that empty, you know?" Zane said, straightforward. "Just awkward, maybe? I mean, if you were actually, properly 'empty', you'd have no reason to be polite to me. Or heck, even talk to me in the first place."

    The boy nodded, mostly to himself.

    "Just my two cents though. Don't mean nothing by it."

    It was... almost refreshingly honest, in a way?

  10. #1430
    Progressive Shattering Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Halloway
    "From what I was told, they were very short. With a short hair and a rude attitude... either, as he put it: 'Your typical rowdy boy or a very angry little girl'. Well, anyways, this person tried to bother my friend who gave them a slip, but he was still miffed about it so he asked me to find out about it... you know, in case he encounters them again in the future."
    Not very helpful for helping us figure out who irritated Rachel Halloway’s friend. So in response, I gave a noncommittal headshake. Instead, I paid more attention to Rachel Halloway and the cleaning closet such as where it was, what key Rachel Halloway used, and what equipment I was given to use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Halloway
    "Well, here we are. I bet Vier here can give you two a hand if you have any problems. Just try not to bother your classmate too much while she's working. After all, it's her first day and--- Oh. Didn't see you there! Good morning, Nora!"
    “Well I won’t be that useful for finding specific books, but I can try.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Vandemeel
    “...tsk.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    ... My artistic sense feels violated
    Even seeing this for a second time, I wasn’t exactly thrilled seeing this disorderly mess of books. But on the other hand, I was happy to see one of its inhabitants. Maybe Nora Nuremburg has found more unusual books or mysterious messages in this library.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Halloway
    "So? Anything else I can help you guys with?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Vandemeel
    “Why do you guys even have a library here, if you don’t mind me asking? A family hobby? Or is it typical for American hotels to have libraries or something?"
    To be honest, I'm kind of curious as well but the why is it here.

    “I’m good for now, but if you’re not too busy. Could I talk to you later about shopping in the town?”

  11. #1431
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Pinefall High Dormitory—Common Room

    Morning Phase
    10.09.1994
    Overcast


    I smiled, my fingers dancing lazily across the book that I cannot read. My eyelids do not flutter, and I do not pretend to be something I am not. It is peaceful.

    It is a lie.

    "I would be perfectly happy to share my book with you, Mister Dove," I say with dancing eyes and a whimsical smile. "But please do take care not to work too hard at menial tasks. Housekeeping is so plain for someone such as you, no?"

    This place is a sham. A fake of a fake. I want to go home, to a warm bed with a painting on my wall that's kissed by fire. I don't know how to speak to others very well. As Sakura's reaction shows, I am simply a frustrating person to know. Every action I take hurts someone else, even if I don't mean it too. Was it so much to be normal? To be perfectly ordinary in an unordinary world? As one of the elite, I have never once harbored such delusions as 'I wish to be normal'. I have harbored simpler, quieter delusions.

    I want to be human.

    Even as Sakura's disgust finally washes over me like a coat, I still want to be human. It's an aching longing that sits in my chest, a gnawing pit in my stomach that I can't get rid of. I am weak. So very weak that I cannot resist the siren's call of 'being human' even when I know it's impossible. Logically, I should admit it to myself - I will never be human. Everything I am is fake.

    But I want to be.

    I want to turn this fake thing into a reality. This precious, useless dream of mine that I can't possibly let go of. That sensation of humanity that doesn't exist inside my soul -- I want to feel it. I want to believe in the beauty of humankind, even when all I've known is humanity's wickedness.

    "Tell me," I say, more to myself then to anyone else as I open the cover of a book that's illegible. "What is it that makes us hide our secrets?"

    Is it because we don't want others to see our true face?

    Is it because we don't want others to know our fears?

    Or is it simply because the act of secrecy gives us a feeling of warmth and safety inside? 'Nobody knows this but the two of us'. 'Don't tell anyone I told you this, but'. That sort of thing is an impossibility, isn't it? Secrets are designed to spread, that festering sensation of telling one to someone else won't let go of my soul.

    This place is changing me, and I can't tell if it's for the better or for worse. But I don't say anything. I sit quietly, at a table where only I am.

    I 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.


  12. #1432
    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 Elise Marie Pelltier
    “Congratulations on your promotion, Corporal Dove, but I would never leave someone to battle against the merciless tyranny of dirty dishes alone. I'll help you with the cleanup.”
    “Oh, so I do not walk alone to the woeful battlefield of filth. I can drink to that,” replies the young man, mirroring Elise’s raising of the mug. “But we are in no hurry. This particular challenge,” he then adds, gesturing to the remaining food. “Remains to be resolved.”

    With that said, he takes to the food—Alexstrazsa’s portion—with uncharacteristic gusto. Sakura’s food is great; the atmosphere around him in no way changes that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza Lockhart
    “I would be perfectly happy to share my book with you, Mister Dove, but please do take care not to work too hard at menial tasks. Housekeeping is so plain for someone such as you, no?”
    “One such as you”, she says. Alexstrasza Lochkart is not a humble person, so what is that about? Some form of mockery, or an excess of manners?

    Her fae smile is beautiful, but it is not the heart-alighting radiance she showed yesterday when she was being herself, before Miss Iburi regrettably lost her patience. It is a little saddening to see that radiant girl dull her own light to such a degree. On the other hand, this is exactly what she must do to become a person who can mix in with society, right? Shackle herself.

    The hollow world is truly unfair.

    Well, in the end it matters not. John will accept both the overwhelmingly radiant Alexstrasza Lochkart, and the self-shackled, self-diminished Alexstrasza Lockhart. At least for now.

    “Your consideration warms the heart, Miss Lockhart, but it’s fine. I do not mind.”

    This kind of menial labor is nothing he has not done before. Wherever he goes—or rather, is made to go—, John Dove has to make himself useful. Besides, it is just convenient: while he does not truly care about the dishes being left unwashed, eventually the accumulation of filth will bother everybody else, which would inevitable cause problems for him at some point. A minuscule amount of work now for the sake of avoiding trouble in the future is a trade he would be remiss not to accept. He would love to dedicate every second of every day to the search of the truth, but the suffocating rules of this grey world simply will not allow it.

    Besides, it is the weekend. Just the right time to let the mind rest in idle banality.

    In any case, the meal continues. If anything remains, he will make sure to store it appropriately for later; Sakura’s effort will receive the appreciation it deserves.

    It makes him pause for a moment.

    …really, why does he care this much?

    He acknowledges Sakura’s culinary skill, yes, but he has never been particularly attached to food or the act of eating—it is what he does because he needs sustenance.

    This is not something he can blame on the weekend. He can, however, blame it on the convenience intrinsic to keeping a positive relationship with a fellow student.

    Yes, that works.

  13. #1433
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Store and Post
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    People were definitely surprising. Whatever the case may be, Mr. Pinkerton had set himself off on a quest to retrieve who knew what from the back, spurred on the unsatisfied feeling that lay in his eyes. Not only that, but he was much stronger than he looked from her initial perception, that was for certain. Though she’d tried to gain some control over the extent of his charity, it seemed that ultimately this was Lucille’s loss.

    "You know... I'm a bit glad," the clerk suddenly said, keeping her voice low enough that it wouldn't carry into the back room. "Mr. Pinkerton's a bit odd and maybe a tad forceful in his goodwill, so he tends to rub some people the wrong way... especially the locals... so seeing you get along, or at least be cordial, well... it's nice."

    "He's not a bad guy. Just... lonely, I suppose. So, seeing him make new friends makes me glad as well," Sue continued quietly. "I know I'm really not in a position to make requests from you students, but it'd make me ever so happy if you and your classmates could get along with him. Who knows? If you play your cards right, he might even let you have a party at his country club one day!"
    Lucille pretended the book hadn’t attracted any attention for her own sake, dwelling on the things Mr. Popplewell had just told her. She could understand that his personality could be problematic—she’d lost this bout, after all—but what was more important was that he also seemed to be disliked by the locals… Ms. Popplewell was also clearly from out of town, so perhaps that was why they were good friends? A bond formed over being outsiders…

    Well, thinking about this was hardly important. Just conjecture on relationships. Knowledge was always better gained first-hand. Pushing aside those thoughts, there was a request being asked of her, so Lucille had to reply in kind…

    “I can only speak for myself, but I think we can get along just fine.” That was her honest opinion. Even if she was still the victim of shameless teasing, it wasn’t as if it was meanspirited or anything. And Mr. Pinkerton, from what she understood, was a very nice man. There was simply no way she could reject a kind person.

    "Oh, but a word of warning!" Sue added. "That Mr. Pinkerton... on the rare few occasions he decides to make him presentable, well... he's surprisingly handsome. Enough to make your heart skip a beat if you're not prepared. So don't let him catch you off guard!"
    “...Really?” Try as she might, Lucille could not hide the incredulousness in her voice. Considering all of the teasing that she’d been a victim of, it was rather hard for her to take this statement at face value. There had to be some reason to trick her into believing something like this… right?
    [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

  14. #1434
    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


    Dora, huh...

    One thing was for sure, even she could feel the heat radiating from basement as they went down the stairs. Not for the first time, Adelaide cursed having all these dresses sent with her.

    At some point, well, she had to make a choice.

    "Colt... go ahead of me a little, okay?"

    She trailed behind him on the staircase, hands grabbing a piece of her dress.

    Practicality over form, right?

    Rip.

    Rippp.

    Addie tucked the strips of her much, much shorter dress into her pockets, careful not to litter. The red glow from the basement floor stripped away any shadows to hide them in anyways. Although... the amount of junk down there could have hidden anything.

    I-beams, spare bolts, nuts and sockets, pieces of chain and scrap metal - all of these things littered the floor, surrounding a massive fire-pit in the heart of an industrial-sized steel drum. At the center of it all were the steel tables, tools, and the wrought iron anvil.

    And, well...

    ...Whatever the person was that had been working it.

    "........... What?"

    She didn't have the words. Addie had started to open her mouth, but nothing was coming out. This... this wasn't... what on Earth was this? This wasn't normal. In no way, shape or form, was this normal. The fact that there was an engine buried in the stone floor, and that it wasn't even the biggest problem, was the craziest thing of all.

    "...Hello. Are you all right?"
    [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'

  15. #1435
    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


    “What in tarnation…”

    Maybe the average person’s brain would have been torn between surprise and discomfort. The normalcy of a mere moment beforehand had been stripped away by a mere flight of stairs. A flight of stairs that separated reality from this.

    A sea of junk and scrap, and an island-like workstation dedicated to the queer goddess of the forge that took solace in this cave of smithery. It almost felt like stepping into fantasy to be in the basement of Das Thulework. It was the kind of workshop that would be used as a Hollywood set, or as the heavily themed up gift shop of an amusement park.

    But Colt couldn’t recall buying tickets to Six Flags recently, nor had he seen that famous hillside sign, so it couldn’t be either of those things.

    Without realizing it himself, Colt had waded through the junk, approaching the center of the basement. Eyes transfixed on the things hanging above, following it to its foundations in the ceiling overhead.

    Eventually, he looked at the anvil.

    “Damn.” He hadn’t seen an anvil that wasn’t in an old-timey reproduction of a smithy before. For a minute he just stared at it, one hand on his chin. “Now what is going on down here that y’all’re needing this…”

    "........... What?"

    A voice from surprisingly close finally made Colt aware that there was a person down here with him. A person other than Adelaide. A person that was a girl.

    Of course, he knew there was going to be someone else down here.

    But.

    He had just sort of… forgotten, in the moment.

    Forgotten enough so that hearing the voice, he jumped a bit, and yelped.

    “Ope!”

    One foot actually left the ground completely, but the other managed to stay planted on the floor. Mostly due to the sea of junk at his feet making it hard to get both feet off the ground simultaneously.

    Then, having frozen in the awkward position of having tried and failed to jump away to safety, Colt stared at her.



    And stared.



    And stared.



    And stared.



    And stared.



    Until…

    “We uh, heard, uh…”



    That you might need…”



    “A hand…?”


  16. #1436
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Big Boy’s Gas Station
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Writing songs for the sole purpose of making money...No, that can’t be it, right? Music is passion, and to be able to embrace it, to come up with songs...You have to be in love with it. You can’t just do it on demand, and just for the sake of money.

    Money…

    Occupied with these thoughts, I was just absentmindedly running my finger along the edge of my glass while staring at its green, fizzy contents, and the small gas bubbles in it that were disappearing one by one as they reached the surface of the liquid…

    Will I live long enough to have to worry about such things? How would I even do that? It’s not like I’m really good at anything, or that anyone would employ someone like me…

    Ah, well, I’m sure I’ll die long before that.

    Casting the pointless thoughts aside, I shift into a more comfortable position and raise my glass to take a few sips from it.

    “A dream?” I ask finally as I turn my eyes towards the singer.

    I wasn’t sure if it was in any way related. Still, somehow it felt like…

    A dream, on her first night staying here. One that gave her that sort of inspiration, and...had to do something with a muse.

    “Was it a dream about meeting with someone who looked exactly like you? In the forest?”

    Saying it out loud, especially now, it sounded almost too ridiculous, but still, I had to find out, and if it happens to be the case...

    “Already heard something like this from someone else, but wasn’t sure how much credit to give to it, and they weren’t clear about all the details…”

    “Was something about a muse, too.” I said as I stood up, stretching a bit before taking a few steps.

    The anticipation, and the fact that I’ve been sitting there for a while now wouldn’t let me just stay in one place any longer.

    Walking over the jukebox, I gave it a closer look - never actually having seen one, I found it to be rather intriguing, not to mention that it also felt more...natural, and acceptable than most other music playing gadgets.

    After a bit, I turned back towards the other women, leaning slightly against the machine.

    “Also, umm...Can I hear that song? Now I’m even more curious.”

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