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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #1781
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Where Lilies Bloom
    Vivienne Bianchi

    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)

    Owl's Nest, 3rd Floor Hallway

    Morning Phase
    Weather: Overcast

    "... snooping around? I see, so you knew what Alex was doing. It is Alex Terrot that you are talking about, right? A girl with blonde hair, blue eyes... her room is in this hotel. She is a student like us... at Pinefall... worked as a journalist.

    I am her friend."

    Vivienne nodded to herself, thinking about all of the implications that came from Mister King's statements. There was no way to verify the veracity of what he was saying, nor truly to identify wherever he was here to 'clear' the evidence left behind by Alex Terrot, or perhaps that he had come to check up on her. However... if he had seen what had happened during the meeting back then, if he was the alleged man that Alex had met, the one that had promised to give her a clue on the Girl in Blue... why would he be looking for Alex here in the first place? He should know that she is no longer around... unless the lookalike that Alex has been employing to stand in for her at Pinefall High has duped the Good Mister King here...

    All of these details brewing in her mind, Vivienne continues in her characteristic, bland and empty voice:

    "... I see... she met someone in the woods behind here... we didn't know that. I just wanted to check up on her... she was the first person I met on my way to come to Road's End... but then we found out in her room that there... was a lot of stuff going on.

    Were you that person that met her? How do you know about what happened? Maybe that you are that person, but then if that was the case then the question you asked us is either a joke, or just to see if we are lying or not...

    ... or maybe, you just happened to be a third party, a silent observer. That is only something you will know, Mister King.

    Now... what will you do?"

    Punctuating her question, Vivienne flipped her mask back down, no different from a knight sliding the visor of their helmet back into a battle-ready stance. A bold declaration that just like Lobo who was holding a weapon in hand, clearly ready to employ lethal force should the situation arise... Vivienne Bianchi too was ready for combat if that is what the King of Currumpaw sought.

    The other 'Vivienne' too, was quite enthusiastic on this matter, now that it could speak once more.

    "Indeed, what will be the decree of his Majesty? Should you decide that our lives are forfeit, then it is a fight that you shall have!"
    Last edited by Ayakashi; Today at 04:12 PM.

  2. #1782
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Third Floor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Vivi. Vivi."

    Prushka, still uncharacteristically muted, tugs on Vivienne's sleeve, even as the taller girl slips the mask on again.

    "I know you - or that thing you're wearing - wants to fight, but you can't. There are sleeping humans all around us that could get caught up in it. You shouldn't make a mess of Rachel's home, either. Besides..."

    With no further explanation, her gaze drifts over to Lobo. Prushka is still swaying, somewhat unsteadily, her trembling slowed down now to an occasional shudder. It gives her an oddly sleepy air, as if she might nod off at any moment. She stares at the old beast, wearing the shape of a man, with something resembling recognition, or perhaps just slow-burning realization.

    "Mr - Lobo... probably saved my life."

    Moving on from a ridiculous question to a ridiculous conclusion, Prushka nods to herself, as if to affirm it. She raises her fingers, trailing them along the fresh bandage covering the upper left part of her face. If Lobo's hound has a half-functioning nose, it'll have no trouble smelling the not-so-fresh blood of ten minutes earlier.

    "I was wondering why it was only an eye... that thing didn't seem like the type to let its prey get away, even for sport. Something must have pulled me out of that place while she was still playing with her food. Something that disrupts consciousness, dreaming or waking, like that 'sidearm'."

    The entire time, Prushka's remaining eye has been fixed on Lobo, unblinking even as she calmly lists reasons her gruesome death may have become merely a gruesome maiming. But now she looks to the left and down, and her wavering voice lowers to nearly a mumble.

    "So... um. Even if it was an accident... thank you."

    She can't quite bring herself to bow, even if it's to a king, so her intended gesture comes out more as a jerking nod.

    "B-but don't get the wrong idea. I'm not letting you kill me, even as thanks. I have too many things to do here and not enough time in the day. So please don't beat around the bush. Why are you pointing that spear at us? What made you walk into this place? And..."

    Prushka looks up once more, pushing down fear and forcing steadiness into her weak voice.

    "...did you point that same spear at that 'snooping girl', too?"
    Last edited by Bloble; Yesterday at 10:57 PM.

  3. #1783
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    “If you don’t mind getting wet, then taking a dip and dragging him out is the fastest option,” I answered Lucille’s question while staring at the lifeless body of Colt, “otherwise we can look for something around the place that we could use to drag him closer.”

    Once again, the body seemed to suffer a lot more injuries that was necessary just to kill someone, but at the same time, it was different from Cesarina. The body wasn’t tortured and brutalized like hers, and while there were some stab wounds, most of the damage was done with a gun.

    Makes me wonder if someone just had a really busy night, or if there were different perpetrators.

    “Though, we should check the rest of the building anyways. Inacio and the janitor were supposed to be here as well, they can’t have just disappeared, there must be some signs of them as well.”

    My gaze wandered towards Mercedes, who seemed to be visibly upset - and clearly not just because of a dead body, considering her reaction now and from earlier, the reason must have been wholly different.

    So even her can actually care for people…

    “Were you...close to him?”

    I wasn’t quite sure what the right question was to ask here.

    Or if it was even okay to ask anything.

    But at the same time, I couldn’t be mad at her even if I didn’t like her, not when she was like this.

    “Let’s get him out of there, then we can think about the rest.” I said as I sat down on the edge of the pool next to Mercedes and Lucille, and started to get rid of my shoes and socks and other excess clothing, so that at the very least I wouldn’t get completely soaked.

  4. #1784
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters, Elise Pelltier, John Dove, Anna Vandemeel & Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High - Campus Grounds
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Is she, really? I am hard pressed to find a motive, but I guess we are about to find out. Has Tonkori found something, Miss Iburi?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    “Least she’s alright. Out late looking for ghosts, maybe?”
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    “Yeah, I'm just glad Anna's alright. Too many of our classmates are still missing, or... or worse.”
    Subaru was wordless for a good half a minute, finishing up her small ceremony. At the same time Tonkori had, apparently, gotten what he needed as the dog dutiful took his place by the side of his master, staring straight ahead while his body showed clear, unreleased tension - almost as if the puppy was a coiled spring ready to launch itself upwards at a moment's notice. The girl, on the other hand, took a few steps back, and gave all those gathered around the corpse an empty stare... with furious embers burning deep and bright within them.

    "--- Everyone is a suspect so far. Not one has brought forth an alibi. Unless another person can confirm where they spent their night, they will be treated as possible culprits to this heinous act," Subaru spoke with a quiet voice of steel. "That includes each and every person present. And especially those who have spent their night outside the dormitory..."

    Subaru's glare turned towards Anna, who had finally made her way to where the group was. It was like being stared at by some sort of vengeful wraith or a spirit with a grudge.

    "... And that includes you, Miss Vandemeel."

    Then the small girl put away the branch she had been wielding and lifted her hand, snapping her fingers in some sort of order. Tonkori's ears perked up, and the small dog got back on all fours, his head swiveling around slowly as it looked at the people present, one by one. Then, slowly and ready to do... something... it made its way to John and began to sniff at his clothes.

    The tension in the air could have been cut with a knife.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Subaru mind if I join you? If I end up slowing you down, you can leave me.”
    Subaru, who had been standing like a stone statue for a good few minutes, turned to look at Vier. There was still no discernible expression on he face, but slowly she nodded... and turned her head away.

    "Do as you wish. But remember that this does not exempt you from your status as a suspect," Subaru replied harshly. "If you try to impede the hunt in any way, I will not leave you behind. After all, I am ready to koyki at that point."

    Whatever the unknown, foreign word was, it did no sound good. Indeed, it carried an unusual sense of dread within it that carried over the whole group.

    At the same time as the girl talked, Tonkori had finished sniffing John's clothes. With a cold glare in his eyes, the animal then walked over to Elaine next... and for some reason, a small growl escaped from his lips as he approached. The neck hair of the dog stood up, and as he began sniffing the blonde... it did so with a snarl on his face. Subaru's empty eyes turned to look at the older girl as well, that unblinking stare boring right into it. However, after a minute or so... she muttered something odd.

    "... hure hemoy...?" Subaru quietly spoke.

    Travis snorted at this all, and turned towards Anna in the meanwhile.

    "Well, while shortie has her little mental breakdown... yeah, guess you should know what the fuck's going on," the boy said, pointing his thumb at the covered corpse that Elaine was currently investigating. "See, it all started this morning when shortstuff over here was screaming bloody murder, waking us all up... and as it turns out, she was goddamn right. Some fucker had..."

    And thus the thug-like boy, showing surprisingly good memory of the events that had happened, began to recount this morning so far to the raven-haired girl. He went over who had arrived at which time to the lobby as far as he knew, who had said approximately what, how everyone had reacted and what actions had been taken. He told of the rest who were taking refuge in the kitchen, and those who had headed to the main building and those who had headed to the pool. He told of the dead phones and apparent lack of faculty around, as well as Colt's death and how there was an unknown body in the main school building. All in all, it was a very extensive recap of the events so far, one that helped Anna get up to speed of the tragedy of this morning.

    --- Meanwhile, Elaine had finished up her investigation of Cesarina's corpse.

    Her lack of medical knowledge didn't help with things. She could only guess at the causes of the various wounds, bruises and broken bones all over the body, as well as which had been fatal and which hadn't. What was clear that the damage had been done at wildly different times. Some wounds were fresh, some were not, and it was obvious that something like the flayling of the legs couldn't have been done if the girl had still been alive, kicking and writhing in pain. But, judging from what looked like obvious old bite marks of human teeth and the condition of Cesarina's lithe frame, there was also a possibility that whoever was responsible had taken their time, enjoying their torture of Cesarina. The girl... she had been through hell - in many ways worse than just being killed. Just imagining some of the stuff that might have caused those wounds would have made anyone sick to their stomach.

    But, upon the investigation, one thing became clear.

    Whoever had done it had been powerful. Powerful enough to strangle Cesarina so hard her neck had eventually broken. That was also the most likely cause of death.

    --- There was also something... strange about the girl's exposed chest.

    Right there, at the center of it, Elaine found flesh cut in small but deliberate pattern. Or rather, a shape.

    A stick figure of a man, no bigger than Elaine's own thumb, right at the center of her chest...

    ".......... I see. Good work, Tonkori."

    Sudden sound from Subaru caught everyone's attention. Travis had just finished his explanation, while Elaine had put the sheets back on to cover Elaine. At some point the small dog had returned to his owner, and Subaru had fallen silent, gazing deeply into the dog's eyes. However, not long after, Subaru had congratulated the animal... and now both were staring at Elaine.

    The embers in Subaru's eyes flared ever so slightly.

    "--- Tell me, Miss Winters."

    The air around Subaru grew freezing.

    "Why does Tonkori smell fresh death upon you?"

  5. #1785
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi & Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “We’re getting his body out, right?”
    "........ Of course we are."

    Mercedes West's quiet words were as surprising as her sudden change in demeanor. But what was even more surprising... what was even more unexpected, no, simply unimaginable, was the fact that the actress, after replying to Lucille, extended her arm... and wrapped it around her friend's shoulders, pulling her into something akin to an awkward, comforting half-hug. Her eyes were as emotionless as before, trained at Colt's lifeless body, yet at the same time the starlet was showing more warmth than ever before.

    Times like these really brought new sides out of people, ones that could never be expected...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Though, we should check the rest of the building anyways. Inacio and the janitor were supposed to be here as well, they can’t have just disappeared, there must be some signs of them as well.”
    Pyry, who had been the last one to arrive where others were, nodded solemly and with a grim look on his face.

    "Right. We'll get to that right after this," he replied quietly. "Even if the basement door is locked it... it should prove no problem. I don't think so, at least. And there's lot of places to look through here. Travis and Hwan might not have gotten them all."

    The blonde boy's eyes glanced at the two girls sitting at the edge of the pool.

    "... Unless you two want to go over the place while we... we got Colt out?" Pyry asked quietly of Mercedes and Lucille.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Were you...close to him?”
    Hisa's question was asked with no malicious intent, no mean streak at all, simply putting into words a small attempt to bury the hatchet now that the starlet had shown a momentary vulnerability. However, it was returned with a glare so hateful from Mercedes, a look of pure fury that felt like a slap against the face. Indeed, had she not been comforting Lucille right now, Mercedes would have most likely jumped up and hit the taste out of Hisa's mouth.

    "How in the HELL is that any of your business!? Like, what the FUCK do you think you---"
    Mercedes hissed with pure venom and anger... only for it all to deflate in a mere instant, like helium escaping from a balloon about to pop.

    And... right before their eyes... the actress suddenly looked more tired, more exhausted, more downcast than ever before.

    ".......... No. It's... like, a fair question..." Mercedes spoke, so quietly that they could barely hear it. "... We weren't, like, close at all. He was just a dummy. But... not a moron like everyone else here. He stood up to that little shit, stood by my main girl and... nah..."

    Mercedes shook her head, averting her gaze from Hisa.

    "--- You wouldn't get it."

    A secret perhaps, a future perhaps, that would now never come to fruition. Something that could have been, something that might've been, that had been eternally denied. There was no point in wondering what ifs, because the cruel reality had shattered it all and all that remained were the survivors who were left picking up the pieces. Thinking about what ifs was just a way to torment yourself, and the actress they saw before them was too proud for that.

    Even if she, somewhere deep down, was hurting.

    Even if she would never admit it.

    "... Come on, Hisa. Let's get Colt out. You help from the side, I'll take a swim," Pyry said, directing the conversation gently away from sensitive paths. "No need for both of us to go there and... I've already gotten my hands dirty today. Might as well see it all through."

    The boy had stripped down to his T-shirt and boxers, and was slowly lowering himself to water from the side of the pool. From there he would be able to swim where Colt's body was floating and drag it back. With the help of someone on the edge, it would be possible to lift corpse to the dry ground... but considering how long he might have been in the water, it could quite possibly get messy. Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps for some other, Mercedes stood up and helped Lucille do the say, looking quietly at her friend.

    "You... wanna go, like, look around while they work?" the starlet asked from the blonde. "Map out if anyone else is, like, here and---"

    Mercedes, while talking, had glanced towards the entrance to the pool proper, and her words died to her lips. After all there stood someone the whole group had forgotten in their grief and numbness. A certain mysterious girl of unknown origins, unable to talk in anything other than odd noises and strange gestures, with more mysteries to her existence than answers. Someone who had trailed after Hisa like it was a natural thing to do, not knowing where they were heading.

    --- Gradient.

    And now the strange girl stood at the doorway, looking around the pool, confusion clear in her eyes. She was sniffing the air, glancing at the lights and the water, the white walls and the splattered blood... and all the while, an odd, sad whine came from her throat - almost like an animal that had been beaten up.

    The starlet sighed quietly and looked at Pyry and Hisa.

    "... Who, like, is she anyway?"

  6. #1786
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka & Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Third Floor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    Lobo - The King of Currumpaw, heaved an annoyed sigh and hung his head.

    "Who I am, what I saw, what I did, why am I here... honestly, that's all pretty much meaningless. It's not knowledge that'll do you any good, and I hate doing something meaningless. But... I see..." He spoke, those bestial eyes of him focusing on Prushka. "Saved your life, eh...? I can't say it doesn't leave a bad taste in my mouth. Not saving you though. Protecting girls is what I excel at. But for it to happen now, under these circumstances..."


    The spear he was carrying was swung to the side.

    Reality itself screamed and recoiled at the movement of the blade.

    Air warped and roiled, warping around the tip and became tinted in red miasma.

    --- It was a chilling sight, even to people like Vivienne and Prushka.

    For a human being to encounter something that held within it numen was rare and not impossible, and during those times they often instinctively understood to be careful, to keep their distance. Numen was a history and legend made real and tangible, power born from pure imagination of humanity and what it believed to be true... perhaps even what the hypothetical collective unconscious was made of... but for a human, it was dangerous. It was like fire that blazed bright and strong, casting shapes and shadows to the wall of a cave. It made the impossible real and thus it was always a danger to the sense of reality everyone had.

    ... This was different.

    This wasn't just a numen gathered into an old object.

    That spear was numen, pure and simple - a legend and a myth that had taken a physical form.

    And that was why the world was afraid, that was why the world screamed in agony. Because it could not erase this affront to reality even with all its power.

    "Killing someone who I just saved just feels like a shitty thing to do... but, ah well. What can you do?" Lobo spoke, his voice carrying an undercurrent of a bestial growl. "In the end, my reasons are irrelevant to you. All you need to know to act is the fact that I will kill you. That's all. That's all beasts like us need isn't it... Young Lady?"

    During the his last words, Lobo's eyes turned towards Vivienne, and a grin crept to his face.

    "... But I'm not unreasonable. So, here is my offer..." the man continued, his body tensing up like he was about to burst into a sprint or a charge. "--- Young Lady Prushka will run. She will run as far as she can. She will escape, since she seems unwilling to fight, and I'd feel worse than a mangy dog for killing someone I just saved. Meanwhile you and me, Young Lady Ayane... we will have ourselves a fight and put our lives to the line, as our instincts now tell us."

    A barking laugh, like an animal ready for a hunt or a battle for its life, echoed from the throat of the spearman in green.

    "You win, and you walk away with not only your own life, but your friend's as well," Lobo spoke his ultimatum. "I win, and you have distracted me long enough to have her escape."

    The man before them was like a bow-string, stretched to its utmost.

    Like a finger right on the trigger.

    Like a lightning about crash down.

    "... This is my first, last, and only offer."

  7. #1787
    The Man Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High - Campus Grounds
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast

    The blonde girl approached moved gently past the girl and her dog, brushing past the hunting hound's pointed, dangerous look, and Subaru's murmurings.

    Hure hemoy?


    A quiet, bitter expression came over the girl's face, a small, sad, angry smile.

    All the same, in the end.

    So she hadn't much time, then.

    Fine, she'd do the best she could then.

    She bent down over Cesarina's corpse, quietly filing away her disgust and anger to submerge into the calm, quiet depths of experience.

    Whatever had killed her certainly took their time, possibly even beginning from the moment she'd not been seen, whenever that had happened to be. Some days ago, perhaps.

    Others were more recent, Elaine lacked any solid experience in medicine to properly date them based on Forensics, but they'd drawn the death out, clearly. She'd suffered, defensive wounds indicated a struggle, impressions of human teeth as well.

    "Can't give proper dating on the wounds, but they're over time, some are clearly older, whereas some others can't have been long before death, she died recently, last night, maybe."

    Evidently, this had been done by a monster.

    One physically strong enough to snap her neck while she'd been strangled.

    "Likely cause of death is the broken neck, likely from strangulation given the ligature marks, flaying on the legs is post-mortem."

    The blonde girl shut her eyes for a moment, swallowing on a dry throat.

    A person did not deserve to suffer that much.

    But there, in the center of her chest, open and un-obscured was something notable, interesting even.

    A stick figure, the rough shape of a man, deliberately cut into the center of her torso.

    She frowned, "There's a shape on her chest, a stick figure, precise, done on purpose."

    Then she heard, from behind her: ".......... I see. Good work, Tonkori."

    Elaine Winters, Investigator, a person who pretended and hoped, in the darkest, quietest moments of the night, that she could be a hero, straightened, covering the body of Cesarina Feroce once more.

    "--- Tell me, Miss Winters."

    It was always going to end like this, she reflected.

    "Why does Tonkori smell fresh death upon you?"

    She sighed, and then slowly, deliberately, the blonde girl turned to face the group, facing her accuser with resignation.

    Elaine Winters, a failure, smiled, quietly, sadly.

    "Because I killed someone last night."

    She stood there, in the silence, collecting her thoughts.

    "When I said earlier that all I got out of last night was wet clothes and a wish that I could be doing anything else, that was the truth."

    Her words were calm, quiet, and laced with bitterness.

    "I went out last night, yes, I was going to the woods, trying to clear my head, looking for trouble, essentially, and I found it," Her mouth twisted, "But I'd been too late to stop the worst of it."

    She wiped her hands on her leggings, grimacing.

    "It was Alexstrasza Lockhart," Elaine said, "She'd been attacked by someone, I didn't know who it was, they were in a mask, and she was hurt, hurt bad."

    She remembered.

    "P-please don't kill me."

    She recognized that faint, weak voice.

    "I-I'm really trying to be good."

    Barely breaking past the storm, she pleaded trying their best to convince the figure standing tall, with their hand raised, while they themselves laid collapsed on the road with an oriental dagger, a kunai sticking out of their left shoulder.

    "I just want to be happy."

    She shook her head, "I don't know how I heard her, but I ran out there as fast as I could, trying to get this guy to back off, or, or something, I was scared."

    "... You are beyond salvation, monster," the [ ] in the mask answered, her voice modulated and unrecognizable, "Save your prayers to The Lord."

    "She was some kind of nutty ninja freak, I don't know, rambling about some nonsense, chosen of God bullshit. I didn't care enough to listen to her manifesto, maybe Alexstrasza knew who she was, she talked like she did anyway, and I, well, I got involved in something I could've ignored."

    She spat on the ground, anger and shame open on her face.

    "Fat lot of good it did me, I came in there wrong-headed, tried to take it easy, knock them out or something. But she wasn't having any of it," She tugged down her shirt, showing the harsh cut on her shoulder, others peeking out from underneath, "Could've been worse, almost hit something bad, but it was a wake-up call. So I got dirty."

    Elaine touched the cut gingerly, eyes dark.

    "But she was smart, pulled some sneaky shit out, managed to get around me, and..."

    "... By the time you notice you're trapped in a spider's web... it's already too late."

    Blood... blood was everywhere.

    Elaine bowed her head, arms limp at her side.

    "I couldn't save her."

    Her voice was bleak.

    "Left that other bitch feeling it-"

    First attack impaled the assassin between her shoulder and neck, just barely missing her throat, while the second one hit her right into the side of her stomach. Just those two hits caused fountains of blood to spurt out of the brunette - dying the road, the grass and Elaine herself with a deep crimson hue.

    At the same time, the masked woman collapsed to the ground, clawing her eyes and her throat in order to make the pain she was feeling end.

    "But she got away from me, was busy trying to take Alexstrasza to the hospital, but they were all locked up, no one was home, and she was- Well, she was already dead."

    Elaine jerked her head out towards the main road, "I buried her on the side of the road."

    Then she slowly turned her head, a harsh glint in her eyes, past the curtain of hair and the low glimmer of tears, "There, are you happy, are you satisfied with yourself? Throwing around accusations when I'm just all fucked up that someone fucking died and I couldn't do anything about it. Now all I'm trying to do is keep things from getting any worse."

    "I've got nothing to do with her, or Colt, so how's about you stop fucking looking at me with your dead eyes."

  8. #1788
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Third Floor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 11.09.1994 (SUN)
    Weather: Overcast


    The trembling girl, who was just spared death, denies the King's mercy.

    Prushka takes a step forward, putting herself between Vivienne and Lobo.

    Has she found something? A well of courage? An answer to the deadly situation, that will defuse the death hanging over them? Is she about to unveil a miracle from the Turnside?

    "...take that back."

    No. There is no such thing.

    "Saying I should run away, that I won't fight... Take that back."

    She has not suddenly gotten braver. While she may be able to fabricate momentary strength, Prushka is still well within the grip of terror. She is a reed swaying with the wind, lacking any strength in her words and expression.

    "If you say you'll feel bad killing me, then go ahead and feel bad. But don't pretend it changes anything, that I'm scared or small or that I thanked you. Your 'feelings' don't matter compared to the 'Rule' you're following. That's how humans work, right?"

    It is, for a third time, a completely ridiculous outburst in the midst of certain death. First against Fyrtio, then against the nightmare, and now against the King of Currumpaw. Once again, logic and common sense are overridden by the most important thing in the world: feelings. Even if the world forces her to be dishonest with her words, she will never hide what she feels or who she is. That's why she had thanked a monster. That's why she had acted to protect an empty shell of a species she had no love for. That's why a weak girl stands before a legend right now.

    Each time she was saved. This time, however, Prushka can feel that no help is coming. It does not deter her.

    "I understand. Something is making you do this. A law from up above that can't be argued with. Maybe because Vivi's friend uncovered something she shouldn't have, and when we encountered her trail, that death sentence landed on Vivi and I. Even a King needs to follow orders."

    She folds her arms and digs her nails into her jacket to stop the shaking.

    She wants to live, but this is certain death. Even more powerful than the drive for life is -.

    Snow and blood.
    All-paralyzing terror.
    A hand on her head.
    The heavy metal helmet settles and obscures her vision.
    "Hold onto this for me."
    The ordinary, awful human steps in front of her to confront the invincible, terrible monster -.

    "Vivi. Go. Alex is your friend, so... find her. And find Pyry, and Hisa, and get to the bottom of this before the town swallows everyone up. You've forgotten how to be scared, so..."

    Something surges around Prushka. She exhales, and the moisture becomes a purple fog that floats around her, pulsing and angry and cold.

    "Here's a reminder."

    Standing between Vivienne and death is a creature that acts only on what it feels, without regard for rules or reason. Until its last moments, it will pity humans and beasts alike.
    Last edited by Bloble; Today at 07:36 PM.

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