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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3321
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “I’ve...no idea,” I said while absorbing every little detail about the suitcase’s insides, “My knowledge when it comes to machinery is quite limited, what with figuring out something like this without any explanation.”

    In the end, no matter how much I looked at it, it didn’t start making any more sense. I could have just started randomly pushing buttons and whatnot, but...when did that ever lead to any good?

    More importantly, while I was busy lamenting over that, Mercedes took the opportunity to check what the crumpled pieces of paper were. Being the only things in the suitcase, it felt like they held significance and were perhaps there to point us in some direction, but…

    “Hmm…”

    As the pieces of paper were eventually passed on, they turned out to be short parts of articles - probably from a newspaper - discussing different topics.

    “This one would have to be fairly recent, right?” I said as I held up the first segment for a moment, “I’d assume this new project of hers would be...well, us.”

    There was just something annoying about that woman that I could not quite grasp. But what I knew was that I was no one’s ‘project’, especially not in a matter like that, and I would definitely not let anyone treat me that way.

    Either way, now was not the time to fume over something like this.

    Next, it was a short article and another image, explaining some situation of a certain company. Most names were, unfortunately, absolutely alien to me - along with most faces on the group photo. I couldn’t even make much sense out of why it would be connected to what was going on here...but at the very least, there was a face on there that I could vaguely recognize, even if I wasn’t too sure where to put it yet.

    The last piece of article proved to be a lot more interesting, if more mysterious as well.

    “Doesn’t that name sound oddly familiar?” I asked as I pointed at one of the paragraphs, “Hughard Lampe...That sounds a lot like Howard Lampet, doesn’t it?”

    Rubbing my chin, I read the article again, looking for details that I might have missed.

    “The crimson eye sounds about right, and so does his age. The kid could be his daughter, for what we know, but…”

    I scratched my head as I pointed at another part of the article;

    “The date is weird. These events seemed to have happened in 1948, but he got the logging rights by 1947, so...What would he even be doing on some island then?”


  2. #3322
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Doesn’t that name sound oddly familiar? Hughard Lampe...That sounds a lot like Howard Lampet, doesn’t it? The crimson eye sounds about right, and so does his age. The kid could be his daughter, for what we know, but… The date is weird. These events seemed to have happened in 1948, but he got the logging rights by 1947, so...What would he even be doing on some island then?”
    There were agreeing nods coming from all around Hisa. While they had been just as confused as Hisa regarding the other articles, this point did stick out to them all, from the looks of it. Both the name of the man, and the look he had in the picture were certainly indicative of the McLampet family patriarch... but at the same time, the year did stick out as completely strange. Having the McLampet patriarch be out on the Pacific Ocean, near South-East Asia was on a year when he would have most like been surveying the construction of the McLampet Saw Mill was... bizarre to say the least.

    Unsurprisingly, it was Mercedes who spoke up first.

    "Something smells, like, super fishy about this," she said, tapping the article. "Like, that pic could have been taken from anywhere or whatevah, but still... Ourang Medan. That's, like, one hell of a maritime ghost-story yeah? Pretty famous actually. Folks say it might have been smuggling chemical substances that got onboard... or maybe, like, nerve gases from China that the Japanese stored there. In that sense I guess it would have, like, worked out? If they were using Road's End as a smuggling dock. But, ugh, seriously... Howard McLampet being part of the crew during that time? Unless the incident with the boat happened in, like, 1940s like some suspect, I think there's something weird here..."

    Rachel was the first to nod. She folded her arms and gazed at the picture with narrowed eyes, almost like she was trying to remember the man in the picture.

    "That's... yeah. Unlikely. Because from what I understand, he was just settling down with his family as well, back then," the redhead said. "Most of his kids had been born by then, and there's his wife as well... from what I understand of the rumours, she was a weird one. Didn't leave the house much, so he would have been focused on taking care of her."

    With a sigh, Rachel sat down on the only chair in the room, her shoulders slumping.

    "Wish we had someone who was around back then who could say if Howard McLampet was around or not..."

  3. #3323
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown


    "Thanks again, Philoclea!" said Elise as she got up from her chair, "Of all the gin joints, in all the worlds, I'm glad I stumbled into yours."

    She paused to readjust the strap of her duffel bag. She smiled to herself, as she took a moment, under the star-like purple neon lights of the Hypostatic Bar, to take in the ambiance of the bar one last time before making her way out.

    "I'll be sure to come back again. Probably with a friend or two."

    The possibility of talking to people without worrying about the demon listening is almost as intoxicating as the booze is! thought Elise excitedly, Is there anything else Lucille would like to tell me but hasn't because of the demon? I could talk to Hisa more about the specifics of possible psychic solutions for demonic problems. There's probably even stuff John knows that it's best the demon doesn't know that I know. Heehee! This really is the best place ever.

    With that, Elise made her way back to the stairs, towards exit. She stopped at the indoorgo coloured door, turned and waved back at Philoclea before reaching for the door handle, prepared to head back to reality.

  4. #3324
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    I winked back at Noah, giving him a tiny thumbs up. It was truly stupendous that he had shown up, even if I didn't know from where. Travis had good friends, I suppose, even if Noah's ability to appear from the blue reminded me an awful lot more of home then here. Raising my right hand, I stood upright like an iron rod, crossing my left behind my back.

    "I swear to not annoy, inconvenience, or otherwise bother any of the doctors at the hospital," I said with a bright smile. "If I do so, please feel free to maim me in such a way that I cannot do so anymore."

    A fairly standard promise, by Scholomance standards at least. But this isn't Scholomance, despite Ms. Stentato's utmost efforts to force my mindset back to it. But it isn't anything like Scholomance. At Scholomance, Noah would presumably stab me in the back as we were halfway to the hospital, steal Cesarina's body, and then use it for heinous experimentation.

    I gave him a suspicious look, just to make sure he wasn't planning on any bodytheft today.

    Presumably, the man without a face will be watching Cesarina. If she is, as he says, the thing that starts it all, then if she doesn't die nothing can occur. If Cesarina remains alive, then everything would be fine. I won't die. She won't die. Nobody here in this room will die. That's all I want, another scant few days, maybe a week! Can you give me a week, oh God? I know it's selfish, but maybe... Maybe even a month would be possible! Now, I understand that the likes of me does not deserve a month of peace and serendipity, but that's why it's such a selfish request, right?

    Besides, it's not like anyone but Noah can see that I was crossing my fingers behind my back.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [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.


  5. #3325
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    John calmly follows after the energetic girls, pausing for a moment to reach for the doors on the either side and quickly opening them. As expected, he reveals empty classrooms. He glances at a discarded owl costume, which all but confirms the footprints connecting these halls are the marks of Liana Skye’s exploration. Nothing he sees explains the four-room circuit, though.

    Putting that aside, he closes in on the other two, paying attention to what Ubon has to say. The lack of a key for the massive doors puts a damper on his curiosity, but he is John Dove, so he does not even need to get over it. As for the photo, it is only thanks to Prushka’s light source that John can take a proper look at it.

    “…yes, that is unmistakably Jake Briggs. And the child does look like the one I saw with Momoi.” Of course, that was on a Sunday that did not happen. “If they are indeed Pinefall’s last class, then I guess one of the girls would be Miss Remington Hartley…”

    It is nice, he guesses, to be able to put a face—or at least two possible faces—to the name, but any further consideration ends when Ubon draws their attention to the words written on the wall.

    “…that is absolutely correct, yes,” he comments. “Everybody dies sooner or later, in one way or another.”

    Whether you are an ordinary human or a mighty antediluvian, the time will come for you to leave the stage. That is John Dove’s belief.

    “I normally expect something more insightful, or irreverent, from graffiti. This is just…a statement of fact,” he says dismissively.

    Of course, after interpreting it at face value, John’s mind does find ways to connect the message to their situation, and to the tragedies that seem to pullulate in this school and adjacent town. However, as this is a connection created by and in his mind, he promptly dismisses the “ominousness” and “shock factor” that may come from it.

    “As for last night, the footprints coming to a halt suggested that the ‘owl’ leapt or flew to one of the windows back there. It’s still open, and the abandoned costume’s still there. Nothing that reveals who was inside the costume, though. I guess it’s not our mystery girl; she is too small…”

    After shaking his head at the futility of such vagaries of thought, John turns his back to the nihilistic message.

    “Anyway, let’s try the library now. It’s what we came here for, right? To find that girl.”

  6. #3326
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    ---Really, it was almost shockingly empty.

    Taking her eyes away from the surface of the pool when Hawthorne does, her gaze instinctively following after his own as she waits to see how her -rather clumsy- attempt at consoling him had went, the dark-haired student can't help but notice that simple fact.

    It's empty.

    Almost completely motionless, an immaculate garden with only a handful of people (and a single animal) in it, no...

    A garden in which a young girl had run off by herself, as if she was used to running off by herself, showing off a garden no one seems to visit, no one seems to use, to an animal that had quietly fell into the role of a companion, much as he did for his owner.

    ...This isn't that unusual a scene for her is it?

    ...It's a sad thought, but easy enough to picture.

    A kid playing by themselves in the garden, hell, judging by how she had reacted to Zee...

    Didn't have any pets growing up either, did you...?

    ---It's a bit of a somber thought.

    Of course it's in her nature to put some thought towards the problems of others, even as she ponders Sierra's situation, the girl keeps listening as as Thorne accepts her words... Of course, he seems to find some strange truth in them that even she herself had missed...

    Such things were a possibility after all, dolls aren't the best when it comes to philosophy, but...

    Cogito, ergo sum.

    ---If there was one thing she knew, it was that she certainly did exist. She knew that much without a shadow of a doubt, no matter what else, Liana Skye does exist in some form, no one can deny her that, no matter how hard they try...

    Not even herself.

    A simple, base truth.

    Comforting enough, in spite of that simplicity.

    ---But it's also the sort of topic that has her mind shoot off into semi-coherent babble, philosophical loops that are perhaps a bit too much for someone of her age to grapple with, and, perhaps thankfully...

    "..."

    ...They are interrupted by the hand patting her on the head, a brazen, unexpected move that effectively ends all current thoughts for a moment, as the girl that had been smugly smiling at the taller man, and then somberly gazing at the girl in the distance...

    Eh?

    Almost seems to freeze at the unexpected contact...

    ...No.

    Not almost.

    Eh? Eh? Eh? Eh? Eh? Eh?

    She definitely freezes in place at the contact.

    Like a computer that has suddenly started lagging for some reason-?!

    "...!"

    Yes.

    It must be something of an uncommon situation for her, considering she is far more used to handing out head-pats than receiving them, indeed, in pretty much all cases...

    She gives out the affectionate gestures, rather then receiving them herself... A consequence, perhaps, for always trying to be a pillar for others, so perhaps that's why...

    For a moment, she can't really think to do anything at all... None of the usual sass emerges as a counter, indeed...

    "Uh..."

    ...When she finally pulls herself together again -at the mention of Zee potentially using the garden like a litter-box- there's a bit of a flush in her face...

    "Yeah, hurry up... Before Zee wrecks the garden..."

    Flush that she is aware of, and combats with a decisive shaking of her head-!

    Recover!

    Recover!

    "Managed to cheer you up a bit, so that's my first victory today."

    She says so decisively, doing her best to just ignore that sort of mental shutdown from just a few seconds prior, not willing to give him any more satisfaction from it.

    "Gotta go prove I'm the better caretaker now-!"

    A mostly futile attempt to gain some ground back, as she retreats forward, towards Sierra-!

    ---Zee is, of course, behaving about as well as a cat could be expected to behave; having decided that the flowers are effectively harmless -but also that the move somewhat tantalizingly with the wind- the dark-kitten seems to be having some sort of internal struggle with itself, not extending his claws (because a human is holding him) but also clearly watching the flowers move with rapt interest, and...

    "So, you interested in flowers?"

    Smile on her face (and complexion back to the usual) Liana Skye dives right back into the storm-!

    "Seem to be giving Zee quite the lesson, hope he's been good to you so far?"

    Had she cooled off yet?

    Well...

    Time to find out-!

    She could deal with a bit of abrasiveness-!
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  7. #3327
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “Well, it shouldn’t be that hard to find someone, right?” I said as I glanced at Rachel, “You’re a local, so I’d assume you know a few elderly people? Your uncle, for one, or maybe that woman at the lighthouse?”

    It would have been hard to believe that there was no one like that at all. Even if some of them died, and some likely moved somewhere else, it’s only been about 50 years, so both adults and younger people should be around.

    “Of course, it’s also possible that the date in the article is just wrong, right? If the incident happened even just a year earlier, in 1947, it would already make a lot more sense if we wanted to fit it into the circumstances we already have.”

    Though…

    Letting out a deep sigh, I shook my head slightly before I looked at the article again.

    “But what does it matter, even if we can confirm that it was him? What exactly would that change? It wouldn’t reveal anything about that ghost ship either, not regarding its crew, nor what it was transporting, or what happened to it.”

    With the whole crew, and even Howard dead now, it was hard to think of a way to know more...unless, of course, if there is more to this case as well than what is revealed to the public.

    “It wouldn’t really help with the current situation either, considering that most of the McLampets are already dead…”

    Tapping my lips with a finger, I stayed silent for a few moments as I was lost in my thoughts, absentmindedly gazing towards the bathroom and the message on the mirror.

    “Still, I wonder...what happened to his wife then? You said that she barely ever left the house, but...that’s exactly what the rumours say about Josie as well. On top of that, why does Josie have blue hair and red eyes, the traits of the McLampet family, when she is an outsider who married into the family?”

    A thought that so far eluded my mind. But it was true, all the other spouses of the McLampet kids did not have those traits, it was only her. Certainly, it can’t have been a coincidence, after all, it’s quite different from just having, say, brown hair and green eyes or something…

    And Howard’s wife, how is that there isn’t a single mention of her?

    Certainly, her name, or anything about her would have come up regarding the whole lumber mill business, and yet…

    “I feel like there is a lot going on in the background here, a lot of details that were carefully hidden along the lines…”


  8. #3328
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase (THU)
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "Y-yeah... best just not think about that too much, huh?" Ubon replied, glancing towards the ominous message. "It's not like it concerns us right now... right?"

    In the end, getting something like that out of one's mind was harder than just saying it. Especially in the oppressive, foreboding atmosphere of the second floor it was something of a fool's hope. This was just the sort of place where one's mind tended to wander in the worst possibilities, and keep all those nagging fears at the back of one's mind alive. Just by it's mere appearance, the darkened, dusty corridors and the sense of past that had been lost a long time ago were a veritable breeding ground for all sorts of negative emotions. It didn't help the matters that the trio was more or less sneaking about, trying not to draw too much attention to themselves.

    That made the silences that filled the gaps in the conversation feel even heavier.

    And it continued to be heavy as the group returned back to the intersection in the corridors, stopping just for a moment so that Prushka could investigate the owl costume lying in one of the empty, old, unused classrooms. Once that was done, the group was on their way again, slowly making their way down the empty corridors in what amounted to almost complete silence. Ubon, who had been the most eager to leave the darkened message behind them slowed down her steps until she was right next to Prushka once more, and without a word grabbed her hand. She even glanced towards John walking on her other side... but decided against doing the same with him.

    Thus, the trio ventured forward.

    They reached the L-shaped turn in the corridor.

    They turned to the right.

    They walked all the way to the end of the hallway, and there...

    --- They finally saw what they were looking for.

    "E-err... guys?" Ubon stammered for a moment, cocking an eyebrow at the sight. "What's... what's that?"

    The door to the second floor library was not remarkable or different from any of the other doors in the second floor. Indeed, it was similar to all the other doors (with few exceptions) in the whole building. The dust around it had been disturbed slightly, yes, but that wasn't enough to conclude whether or not it was because of natural reasons, or because somebody had been using the door. All-in-all, it was a bit of a disappointing result for what they had been looking for. Yet another door in a large collection of normal doors, leading into a room that might or might not have been special.

    Yes, a completely ordinary door... with one exception.

    The symbol carved on it.

    Eight horizontal lines, perfectly level with each other and of the same length.

    They looked almost uniform in how they were presented, though closer look revealed that there was some sort of pattern built into them. The topmost line was unbroken, whole. So was the second one. The third one had a chunk missing from the middle, making it look like two smaller lines. The fourth line was full, but the fifth one was once again broken into two smaller ones. And the bottom line was, once again, unbroken.


    What even was this symbol?




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I feel like there is a lot going on in the background here, a lot of details that were carefully hidden along the lines…”
    Mercedes chuckled quietly at Hisa's statement, her subdued grin clear under the light of the overcast afternoon.

    "Like, welcome to my world, or whatevah," the actress said with a hint of amusement. "There's details hidden, like, everywhere. All the world's a big, giant web of mysteries and lies, and we just don't, like, notice it. After all, people just looove secrets. Gawd, wonder if we'd gotten anywhere as a species if we, like, didn't enjoy lying about the things we feel, like, guilty of or whatevah? A-ny-ways..."

    The starlet aimed her gaze towards Rachel, who was still sitting in the only chair of the hotel room. The redhead's gaze was focused in the thin air before her, in nowhere particularly, and she seemed to have lost herself in her thoughts after Hisa had started her musings regarding the McLampets and the family patriarch. One could practically see the various thoughts bumping into each other in her head, forming possible theories and answers that she could give to the inquisitive youngsters she had tagged along with.

    "Say, Miss Heiress..." Mercedes spoke up, fixing her gaze properly at the redhead. "Are you, like, sure that the blue-hair-red-eyes combo is really a McLampet only thing?"

    Rachel, a somewhat awkward smile on her face, broke out of her stupor and shrugged.

    "Of course not. That is, of course it isn't exclusive to them. Not all who look like that are McLampet bloodline. But, from what I know, all of McLampet bloodline do look like that," she replied... before a troubled expression darkened her face. "And that brings up to an important point you brought up, Hisa. Why... why does Josie look like that? She's supposed to be someone who married into the family from the outside? So why does she have the same trademark colours? That's... odd, right?"

    Even Pyry, who had been listening from the sidelines as he couldn't contribute much, nodded.

    "I'm not sure if my uncle is going to be any help. He... doesn't like talking about McLampets. I know he used to be good friends with Howard, and they did a lot together when they were younger, but... I guess those things changed. I guess it was the money. My uncle used to say that Howard... changed... after he became rich and bought up the logging rights. Guess that sort of thing can drive a rift between even best of friends, huh?" Rachel asked, looking at the others. "If we wanted to learn of the past from someone, then yeah... I think Beatrice could be a good choice. She's been in this town longer than most, and knows a lot. Plus visiting her might give us a chance to learn something else. After all..."

    Rachel, for a moment, looked darkly amused at the coincidence.

    "--- She's the former midwife and a wet nurse of the McLampet family, and still lives on the grounds of their mansion."

  9. #3329
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown

    There was a loud crashing sound, along with a cloud of dust, debris and wood chips that were thrown about everywhere. The grey cloud rose high up towards the ceiling and expanded to both the room behind Elise, and into the small supply closet that she had violently entered. Before her, rows and rows of shelves stood in the darkness, carrying assorted cleaning supplies, containers, pots, pans, brooms, dust sweepers and other random things that one could expect to find in a random storage closet of a dormitory. There were even some boardgames stacked onto one of the top shelves - Scotland Yard, Clue, Catan and Carcassonne jumped out to Elise's immediately considering how well-known they were.

    Still, other than the strange wooden statue in the corner which looked to be someone's woodworking assignment and depicted a rather ill-looking totem-pole-esque owl, the whole place was unremarkable.

    After all, it was simply what it was.

    --- A storage closet.

    "........ Heh."

    Souma's singular chuckle caught Eise's ears and as she looked over her shoulder, she could see the boy still leaning on the wall, gazing at her from within the shadows with that amber eye of his that felt like it was almost glowing in the darkness.

    ... He looked rather amused.

    "... Was it worth it?" he asked, a hint of teasing in his tone.




    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Tiberia Stentato glared at Alexstrasza for a good while, looking for some way with which she could refuse the suggestion. Indeed, she seemed to be the type of woman who could just flat out turn it down for no other reason than to be spiteful towards someone that was annoying her - which included the blonde girl now. However, the silent pressure emanating from both Ronja and Noah did it's job, and after half a minute of awkward quiet...

    "--- Fine."

    She turned around on her heels so that the expensive-looking cape fluttered.

    "I'll have them bring a stretcher. You, girl - if you're getting in the ambulance, grab your things," Ms. Stentato announced without looking at Alexstrasza. "We leave as soon as she is loaded, presto."

    And with that, Tiberia marched out of the nurse's office, the footfalls of her high heels echoing loudly on the cold floors. Ronja Leuzinger stared after her for a moment, weighing her options now that it was clear Cesarina was going to be moved. Then, making a quick decision, she also rose from her seat and dusted off her clothes before starting after the green-haired woman.

    "You two wait here. I'll be back in just a moment," the nurse told Alexstrasza and Noah. "I better go make sure they don't bungle it up. They may claim to be professionals, but still..."

    Something in that tone of voice told that Ronja Leuzinger didn't exactly trust Ms. Stentato a lot.

    Still, with the nurse trailing after the first woman and exiting the room, that soon left only Alexstrasza, Noah and the quivering, quiet body of Cesarina still within it. The languid boy rubbed the back of his neck and yawned heartily, looking like he hadn't gotten a good night's sleep in a long while. Then, with both interest and disinterest in his eyes, he turned to look at Cesarina, peering down at her and studying her feverish expression.

    "... Hmm... seems harsh, huh?" He asked, not sounding that worried or empathetic. "This is a lot of trouble to go through for one seizure..."

    They were cold words to be sure, but the worst thing was, Noah didn't say them in a cruel way.

    It was just... clean. Clinical. Pragmatic.

    Like an accountant staring at numbers.

    "... Don't you think, Zazie?"

  10. #3330
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi - Room 111
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “Midwife? Wet nurse?” I tilted my head in no attempt to hide my puzzlement, “What sorta nurse is that?”

    There was always a certain feel of awkwardness when a term came up that I could not put anywhere, even though it was likely common knowledge. I could have pretended that I knew and avoided embarrassing myself that way, but not knowing what was being talked about here would have been unfortunate…

    Not to mention that I was just curious in general.

    “Still, that means she’d likely know a thing or two, right? The question then is how much she is willing to share, and where exactly one should look for her.”

    Scratching my cheek, I turn to look at Rachel again;

    “Speaking of which, do you happen to know where this mansion is then?” I asked, “Or know anything about Josie or her daughter then?”

    At the same time, some rather mundane, and yet extremely complex topics came up - topics that one could get very philosophical about.

    Still, as curious as I was about the opinion of others regarding these, this was perhaps not the time to get into such discussions.

    Maybe at a later time, when death wasn’t looming over our heads.

    “At any rate...I guess we are done here, aren’t we?” I said as I looked at the rest of the small group, “Doubt we’ll find anything more here, since Angelica probably took everything she did not want us to find. And she herself likely won’t return now.”

    Stepping over to the window, I gazed at the trees and beyond them for a moment, before I closed it and pulled the curtains back.

    “Though, in that case, we should probably take the suitcase as well and give it back to her on sunday. Also…”

    My eyes trailed off towards the bathroom again, and the mirror on the wall in it.

    “Just a moment, I want to wipe that off,” I gestured towards the restroom with my head, “ Would be inappropriate to just leave that here.”


  11. #3331
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "So, you interested in flowers? Seem to be giving Zee quite the lesson, hope he's been good to you so far?"
    "Mm."

    A non-committed hum is the initial answer Liana gets from Sierra. The girl squats down next to the flowerbed and gently places Zee down next to the splendour of colours that rushed out of the well-maintained dirt. As the one-eyed girl watched the cat go about his business of greeting the enticingly swaying flowers, buffeted by the wind, Hawthorne took a place on her other side, maintaining a bit of distance from the older girl. The man had a strange sort of smug grin on his face, as if he had only now noticed the effect his simple gesture had had - and was enjoying it immensely, especially with how Liana tried to avoid showing it.

    "Daddy got me into botany - floriculture to be exact. I got lot of time in my hands so I tend to study it a lot. Then, some time ago, I got into the language of flowers..." Sierra started, before frowning and gazing at the sage, zinnias and pink carnations that spread everywhere. "... Probably shouldn't have had. Made me realize what Daddy was thinking when he made this flowerbed."

    Hawthorne closed his eyes and exhaled quietly, letting out a sigh that he didn't want others, or at least Sierra, to hear.

    "--- It's a sad garden, you know," Sierra added bluntly.

    With that, a moment of silence descended upon the trio.

    In that quietude, Liana was able to get a better glimpse of the empty garden and grounds around her, and more specifically, the black statue that had been set in the center of the garden. From the looks of it, it depicted a laughing woman... one dressed in frills that were almost gothic in fashion. On one hand, she held a large symbol of spade, like the one visible in playing cards. The other hand was raised over her left eye, hiding it from the view. The doll-like fashion of the woman, along with the near-childish twintails her hair was put up on, made her look like an adult masquerading as a child... though at the same time, one couldn't help but to feel the expression on her face was somewhat sinister.

    And especially in the darkened shadows of the overcast afternoon, the statue felt... out of place in a beautiful garden such as this.

    "That's why I wanna plant something else here. Something happy. So Daddy won't have to wallow in his sad garden all the time," Sierra continued, yanking out one of the zinnias with an annoyed look on her face. "I'm starting to get sick of it - especially when he hides it behind looking like he's happy and okay all the time!"

    An awkward moment of silence followed, before Sierra looked over her shoulder at Liana, and continued by asking:

    "... You know any people like that?"




    Hisa Momoi - Room 111
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Rachel chuckled quietly.

    "Ah, yeah, I suppose it's a bit of an old term. A midwife is, well, it's a health professional who helps women during their pregnancies and a bit after that. Basically, erm, someone who looks after mothers?" the redhead answered. "Meanwhile a wet nurse is someone who suckles babies instead of the mothers if they're too busy, unable to, or don't want to. It's... a super old tradition, if I'm honest. Not something you'd often see in a modern world."

    A strange sort of smile, darkly amused one, spread to Rachel's face.

    "--- Guess it just goes to show that the matriarch of the McLampet family was pretty old-fashioned lady on her own."

    With that, the conversation started to come to an end, along with the investigation of the hotel room. Mercedes gave the main room one last sweep, though she didn't spot anything else. Gradient made herself useful and closed the window, turning around afterwards with a smugly proud look on her face, hands on her hips and nose up in the air. Lastly, Pyry took the time to do as Hisa suggested and packed up the suitcase. Considering how heavy the thing was, he was the most obvious choice when it came to actually carrying the thing. A look of momentary surprise appeared on the boy's face as he lifted the now-closed suitcase from the handle, and apparently realized that the thing wasn't just pure plastic. Otherwise, as one could have expected, the whole handle would have just ripped off. In other words, the whole thing had been reinforced to take into account the machinery inside.

    Rachel, on the other hand, walked over to the door and opened it, leaning out to see if anyone else was in the corridor. When the coast was clear, she flashed a thumbs up to the rest of the group and turned around to look at Hisa, who was heading into the bathroom.

    "As for Beatrice's location, well... Yeah. As I said, she lives on the grounds of the McLampet mansion - I think she has her own small house there. If we want to meet her, it's either there or at the lighthouse. Though, considering she's in a wheelchair, she doesn't head out as much as she used to," the redhead answered. "As for the McLampet mansion, it's to the north from the intersection where Big Boy's is. You travel up the road until you come to a large metal gate, then head through that and to the coast. The mansion lays there. I've been there... eh, three times, I think? Never went past the foyer though. I mostly just accompanied my uncle when he had some business there."

    Well, that was one mystery easily solved.

    "Anyways, clean up the mirror of you want, I'll wait in the corridor. And don't take too long," Rachel continued, a smile on her lips. "Didn't you guys have some other room you wanted to check out?"

  12. #3332
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “Old fashioned, or maybe she just didn’t want to bother with such things?” I lamented as I rubbed my chin, “Or maybe both. From what I gather, she was somewhat of a noble, so it wouldn't be too surprising.”

    Still, replacing a mother’s milk with someone else’s, isn’t that sort of unhealthy?

    Would vampire babies be just like normal babies?

    “What with the rumours of them being vampires, it would just feed into that mentality even more,” I continued while giving a much telling glance to Pyry, “In my mind if I had to associate something with vampires, it would be them being stuck-up snobs with the most antique style.”

    Not that I wanted to establish stereotypes, especially with my lacking knowledge in the matter.

    “Still, sounds like your uncle still keeps in touch with them, huh…”

    Taking pity on Gradient, I turned back for a moment to acknowledge her good work with a pat on the head.

    “What sorta business is there to have even, I wonder…” I mumbled more to myself than for the others to hear.

    “Yeah, I figured we could still check Inacio, if you don’t mind,” I spoke up louder again, “I can’t even imagine what’s up with him, really.”

    With the conversation wrapped up, Rachel left to the hallway, and in the meantime, I walked into the bathroom. Standing in front of the mirror, I focused my mind for a moment, before reaching out with a hand to lightly tap the lipstick on the surface.

    For anyone else, it probably wouldn't have meant a lot, not more than what was clearly written out with it. Still, in my case, it was different, or at least, I anticipated that there would be more...
    Last edited by Cheetose; October 23rd, 2020 at 01:40 PM.

  13. #3333
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Room 111
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    With Rachel out of the room, and with Gradient and Mercedes being busy packing things up, Pyry took the moment to follow Hisa into the bathroom. The look on the boy's face was a complicated one. The revelations they had had in this hotel room had been... strange to be sure, but at the same time, it had revealed one thing without doubt. Angelica had been here, there was no denying it. And most likely, she had been here not too long ago. Meaning that perhaps, while the lot of them had been in the library or exploring the room below, in here...

    ... Well, there was no reason to dwell too much on it.

    What was done was done.

    And that wasn't what Pyry came to talk about, though his mind was probably still stuck on it somewhat.

    "... You really think there's a possibility they're actually... y'know. Away amilyfay ofway ampiresvay?" The blonde boy asked in pig-latin, looking somewhat worried. "It sure sounds like they were old-fashioned, but it's not like those creatures just pop up everywhere. Though, then again..."

    Pyry smiled a little bitterly and gestured vaguely at the room and beyond it.

    "We are at Road's End. Wouldn't be the first weird thing," he said, and looked like he was about to continue... though at that moment, he saw Hisa reaching out for the message. "O-oh, you're gonna do that? Right. Right. Uh, let's continue afterwards, then."

    He set the suitcase down and leaned against the wall, arms folded.

    "I'll keep watch while you're looking at it."

    And with that, the switch in Hisa's mind clicked to another setting, and her personal reality, her personal laws of existence, took over for a moment. A finger touched at the lipstick smeared on the bathroom wall to write the taunting message, and then - in a flash - the world around the scarred girl was washed away. Whisper-like sounds echoed in the background, from the darkness, and then---

    She saw it.
    Hisa was staring at herself in the mirror.

    Her right hand worked with a fast pace, yet showing no signs of hurry, drawing those beautiful letters into the mirror with immaculate handwriting.

    The message flowed out in one flurry of movement, precision that allowed no failure, and mirth bubbling forth from within her that was not her own.

    Indeed.

    That was not Hisa's hand.

    That was not her lipstick.

    That was not her fingertips.

    That was not her handwriting.

    And...

    --- That was not her face staring back at her from the mirror.

    Silver hair, cut shorter than Hisa remembered.

    Gentle blue eyes, more aloof and alien than Hisa remembered.

    Pale skin, white as snow, now with a new scarring running across it.

    So close and yet so far, nothing but a memory yet clearly piercing that veil of time to look at her sister straight in the eyes...

    Angelica Outis.

    The Girl Who Vanished had appeared before Hisa, just like that.

    "Well..."

    Her voice was like the ringing of windchimes, and shiver of remembrance ran through Hisa's spine. It was the exact same voice she had heard so many times in the past.

    And yet... it wasn't.

    There was something else to it.

    "... Look at you, Hisa."

    A smile widened those red lips as Angelica retracted her lipstick and set it on the shelf.

    "Just a short while of separation, and you've already grown up so much. You're turning into a fine young woman now."

    Those eyes, which had been sharp as knives and full of knowledge, grew more gentle - if just for a moment.

    "Do you hate me now?"

    She giggled.

    "Do you fear me now?"

    She smiled.

    "Or are you disappointed in me?"

    The questions kept coming.

    "Am I not who you thought I was?"

    And in this memory, Hisa could not answer them.

    "It's alright. I already know what you're going to say. After all..."

    There it was again.

    That horrifying providence and truth that accentuated this claim of hers, one spoken without any doubt or delusions of grandeur. Angelica Outis spoke it as a truth, and only truth. And that was what made it truly terrifying.

    "--- I know everything."

    However, this time, something was different.

    This time it was not just Pyry's recollection of events that brought a message from her sister to Hisa. This time Hisa got to look Angelica in the eyes and speak those terrifying words on her own, announce it like she had a complete control over the events of this story.

    And it made a realization dawn in her mind.

    True, the face and the mouth and the mind that spoke that line was her sister, Angelica.

    But at the same time...

    ... She saw something else hide within those eyes like a duality of an existence where Angelica was only one half of the pair.

    And that thing, whatever it was, spoke those words just as much as Angelica did.

    Like they had been two colours in the same pool, swirling around each other yet never blending.

    But, just as that realization of something else hiding within those eyes came upon Hisa...


    And just like that, the memory was over.

    Pyry frowned as Hisa staggered backwards, her mind reeling from the power unleashed and returning to her own time and reality, back to the present which she had momentarily left behind. While he looked like he wanted to rush to support her, the blonde athlete gave the girl enough space to recollect herself and get back her bearings on her own. Instead, he voiced his worry in a question.

    "... You okay?" he asked.

  14. #3334
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Nurse's Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Brushing off the cover of my book as I sat down, I flicked it open, scanning through the pages.

    "It's almost certainly not a seizure," I replied to Noah with a detached voice as I turned through the pages, "Don't be ridiculous, Noah. We're at Pinefall, yes? Are either of us honestly naive enough to buy such rot as a 'seizure'?"

    A light laugh left my lips as I looked at the boy with a knifelike smile slowly growing on my face.

    "We're all experiments here," I said quietly, glancing at Cesarina. "We're test subjects for adults with interest in something beyond themselves. A desperation to find something 'abnormal' that would ordinarily be 'normal', if looked at from a different point of view."

    Magic is abnormal.

    The ability to read technology is abnormal.

    Miracles are abnormal.

    The pink dragon is abnormal.

    Time travel is abnormal.

    Spirit sight is abnormal.

    I couldn't help it - even with a hand placed over my mouth, I erupted into giggles. Quiet, shoulder-shaking giggles that spilled out of my mouth more and more, until a piercing shriek of laughter split the quietness of the room. It was absurd, ridiculous, but true.

    "Nobody here is normal in the first place," I said with a wan smile as I glanced up from my book and looked at Noah. "Cesarina, myself, all of us students are a multi-million dollar investment into uncovering the hidden traits of society that are unwanted. But I won't leave her. I won't."

    The hospital scares me.

    The woman that knows Cesarina scares me.

    The danger is slowly ranking up, so much so it sends a tingle down my spine.

    "And, if this suspicion, this danger turns into something greater, well..."

    My smile resembled the sharp end of a sword.

    "I'll carve out their eyes and use their skulls as chalices."
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [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.


  15. #3335
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast


    I huffed.

    I felt like I was getting a firm scolding.

    So, like the rebellious delinquent child I was, I glowered up through my bangs grumpily.

    “Go an’ pour my heart out and I get smacked on the wrist like a kid having a tantrum,” I grumbled, “This’s why I don’t bother telling things til the doing’s done.”

    I sighed, arms still folded against my body, a look of chagrin twisting my face into a grimace.

    “It’s a dumb, childish thing,” I admitted, “But it’s one of the things I’ve held onto, one of the things I won’t let go of.”

    I nudged the brim of my hat up with a hand, looking on my old friend with firm, unclouded eyes.

    “I’ve always wanted to be the one who helps people, it’s a bit silly, I know, but it’s the way it is. The Lone Ranger riding in her mighty steed and solving all the problems, then riding off again. I don’t let anyone help, because I know if people help, they might get hurt.”

    I paused for a moment, thoughtfully.

    “And I suppose I think I’m the only one who should get hurt. I can’t stand it if people get hurt because I’m not strong enough, that I make mistakes.”

    I hummed an old tune to myself, one that I heard when I was very young.

    “It’s stupid, and I know it’s stupid,” I raised my eyebrows, “I don’t call myself that for nothing.”

    I chuckled, “It’s a bit funny, I’m used to getting sneered at for lacking any and all romanticism in my art, purely practical, and for grounded, realistic concerns, like killing monsters rather than trying to create a utopia, but really, I suppose I’m a bit of a romantic after all.”

    I tilted my head, “Not in the way that I think my life is more, but in the way that I think my life is worth much less, anyone can fight, and anyone has the ability in them to do what I do, but…”

    “I do what I do so that they don’t have to, that people don’t have to stay up at night worrying about little girls getting eaten, that people don’t get cut down in the night by masked killers or what have you.”

    “It’s selfish, I know. Selfish and cowardly, trying to play god.”

    I grinned lopsidedly.

    “But hey, I guess that’s what a hero is, at the end of the day, selfish and cowardly.”

    I shrugged.

    “And that’s all I’ve ever really wanted to be.”

    I spread my hands away from my body, “I’m not some grand thinker that’ll find world peace, or some saint who’ll create a holy land on earth, I’m content with knowing that people are safe at night, to some people, I guess that makes me a bad person.”

    I made a cheering motion, “A half-baked dream for a half-baked hero.”

    I chuckled.

    “And even that little spiel is half-baked,” I smiled.

    “After all, I’m talking to you, aren’t I? I may dumb, stubborn and selfish, but if someone offers to help, I’m not so uncharitable as to turn them down.”

    Even if I think it’d be for the best.

  16. #3336
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex
    "Now then, Let's see what sort of smoking room this place has, milady. Who knows? They might have even been kind enough to mark the seats reserved for regular patrons, which in turn would let us figure out who smokes what and if they're in the habit of forgetting their own lighter."
    "Smoking room? Preposterous I say... any damsel worth their salt would seldom have a reason to be close to a smoking room! The vices of tobacco and smoking are best left to be enjoyed by men. God protect any fair lady that is caught with the scent of tobacco on her."

    Though she did seem rather outraged, as quietly as one could be outraged as to not attract unwanted attention... a faint smile appeared onto her lips, eventually morphing into a full blown grin as she finished her sentence, the sentiment of indignity seemingly more and more a caricature than an honest conveying of her feelings. Was that not the norm after all? Adelaide Cheshire lived up to her name quite well. She was having a lot of fun, and why shouldn't she do so?

    The girl in blue winks at her butler, feigning to suddenly catch herself mentally as she rebounds with a convenient excuse...

    "But ah! It could just be that we have a terrible sense of directions... or were simply taking a good look around the place yes? It could even be that the cold weather has given us a runny nose..."

    On the matter of being enamored by the charm of the place, indeed, that could hold quite true -- Spade Queen Club held an exquisite nostalgia in its design, one could even call it a museum that preserved the heritage of earlier days through its aesthetics and architecture! There was potentially quite a lot of history that could be learned here just by understanding the styles at use in both the container and its content... alas, Adelaide Cheshire never really studies historical architecture.

    At any rate, on the subject of the lack of clientele... it was both a blessing and a curse. How will a tree disappear into the scenery, if there is no forest for it to meld into in the first place? Truly a conundrum it would be... if they somehow attracted the attention of others. It was a good thing that the receptionist was either a lax individual or someone who was not very attentive... or was he?

    Anyways, sticking to Alex and not getting separated was for the best.
    Last edited by Ayakashi; November 3rd, 2020 at 01:48 PM.

  17. #3337
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Road's End - Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    On his end Colt mentally tallied up the costs. He could practically feel his wallet thinning out, like a balloon with a leak deflating. This was coming right out of his personal funds and he wasn’t a frequent big spender.

    Well, that wasn’t entirely true. When it came to clothes and accessories he was a big spender, though he didn’t do that nearly as frequently as he used to. But regardless, this wasn’t the kind of personal hit he enjoyed taking.

    Yet there was another way to see it. If those things end up saving his life, money well spent. In fact, it’d be a bargain so skewed he’d call it a steal.

    And if he dies, he wakes up back in his bed with all of that money back in his wallet.

    Or so the theory went. He had yet to confirm that he’d keep returning, that his memories would be sent back again if he were to die once more. Even if they did, he’d still be dying. The him in the present would be well and truly dead, and it’d be another him inheriting these memories. Able to recall these thoughts, able to recall…

    "Well, 'tis done then. Thou hath procured weaponry for thyself. Now then... dost thou haveth a further plan? We still hath some time left in the evening, in case thou wantedeth to do something else."

    "I understandeth that thou hath many mysteries at thine lap at the momenth, so if it's something I can helpedeth with, count me in. What say thee?"


    To recall spending the day flip-flopping between the heavyhanded and the lighthearted, tossed around like a leaf in the wind with this strange girl.

    “I got no plans to speak of.” Colt boldly answered without hesitation, folding his arms over his chest. “In fact, I think I’m running out of leads.”

    Despite what he said the boy didn’t look at all dismayed or lost.

    “But we got some new ones today to restock. So how about we go looking for a nice place to get tea and unwind?”

    He turned to Frauke.

    “One of the locals mentioned tea at a ‘Little London,’ any idea where that might be?”


  18. #3338
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    ---What an ugly statue.

    A simple enough thought for the young woman, although surprisingly harsh, considering her nature as someone that tries to find the value in everything she sees... It's hard to say what she finds so unsettling about it, there are a number of things she doesn't really like about it even at a glance; it's a bit too dark for this sort of garden, the look on it's face was almost villainous -especially in this lighting- and well...

    Really it was the expression that made her want to break it, even if only for a moment.

    Having only a single eye was a strangely recurring theme in this town, but...

    "..."

    Something about the statue just felt gross.

    She had no problems with the one-eyed girl watching a cat make it's own fun with moving plants, even as she does her best to not lock eyes with Hawthorne at all(because she is positive he is doing that smug smile of his again) she also does her best to recall some knowledge of flowers, of the topic that she had brought up after seeing Sierra's clear interest in it, but...

    Such knowledge is... Minimal at best.

    It's not like she's never been out in the woods alone of course, but such journeys had never really been focused around flora... She knew the basics of the basics really, and could piece together that the garden was sad on her own purely because of the apparent nature of the one who had commissioned it, but...

    "..."

    ...For now, she just lets Sierra talk to her.

    She doesn't have much to say about flowers herself (other than perhaps that she finds them pleasing to look at, and is impressed by things like topiary) but she'll listen if the girl wants to talk to her about them, she had always been good at that sort of thing, the fun role of the older sister that gets to hear the kids chatter to her abut their day, their interests, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra
    "That's why I wanna plant something else here. Something happy. So Daddy won't have to wallow in his sad garden all the time," Sierra continued, yanking out one of the zinnias with an annoyed look on her face. "I'm starting to get sick of it - especially when he hides it behind looking like he's happy and okay all the time!"

    An awkward moment of silence followed, before Sierra looked over her shoulder at Liana, and continued by asking:

    "... You know any people like that?"
    "..."

    ...Somehow, she hadn't expected to hear something like this, a description and question that, perhaps...

    "..."

    ...For a moment, for the third time today...

    "...Yeah, I guess you could say I know someone like that..."

    She's drawn into a conversation, a topic...

    That simply isn't easy for her to operate within...

    "Know her pretty well really, about as well as I know myself..."

    Almost like the back of my own hand...

    ...Is it that annoying?

    Is it that offensive, to fake a little bit of happiness so you don't burden others with your troubles?

    "People that do that... They're not doing it to lie really, at least I don't think so..."

    She pauses.

    ...It's not a conversation she can be super cheerful in, but...

    It feels like she shouldn't lie.

    "In her eyes... She didn't want to be a burden to other people, she was so grateful to others for accepting her at all... That she just kept her problems to herself, she didn't want to be a burden and rejected... Didn't want anyone else to get hurt, that sort of thing... That's probably what your dad is doing, he doesn't want you to worry about him, so he pretends that everything is fine."

    So her voice is quiet.

    Quiet and contemplative, as she is forced to confront this purely because she does not wish to give a poor answer to this child...

    "...Is that silly?"

    A pause, then...

    "I guess it must be, right...? That just makes others worry more... Doesn't it?"

    If they notice anyway...

    A self-deprecating chuckle...

    "Smiles are a powerful thing too, if you act like everything is okay then others will worry less... So she smiled all the time, so that others would feel better because she was strong, that no matter how bad the situation got, things were still okay..."

    Another pause, then...

    "...Even if they weren't really okay."

    Even if you can't really be strong all the time...

    Still gotta try.
    Last edited by Airen; October 23rd, 2020 at 06:30 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  19. #3339
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Old Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    The door opened with a loud crash as her foot hit it. Elise took a moment to regain her balance, as if she was unsure as to whether or not she was about to stumble down a flight of stairs again or not. She winced at the noise, feeling only moderately certain that there was no one else around to hear that. Despite Philoclea's warning about what lay on the other side of the door, she couldn't help but feel a surge of excitement at finding out what lay beyond it. Although she did make an effort to temper her expectations.

    As the dust cleared, she took a cautious step forward into the storage closet as she looked about and made note of its contents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Souma Nubata
    "... Was it worth it?"
    Partly startled, Elise glanced back at Souma, who was leaning against the wall in the shadows of the old dining room looking rather amused.

    Is that eye of his actually glowing, or is that just a trick of the light? wondered Elise.

    "Yes!" replied Elise as she turned back to the newly opened storage closet, "Look at this guy!"

    Elise motioned excitedly at the strange owl statue at the back of the closet.

    "I'm going to have to come back later and get this," said Elise as she gave the dusty owl a pat on the head, "It's too cool to leave in the back of a dusty old abandoned closet, and I think it'd look great in my dorm room."

    She took a step back from the owl statue to admire what was likely the handiwork of some past student, Maybe someone's old woodworking project? That just makes it all the more endearing!

    She rushed over to the board games, and reached up to get a better look as she took a moment to rifle through them.

    "Also, most of these look like they're still in good, playable shape. This is practically a treasure trove!" exclaimed Elise, "I'll have to come back later to collect these too. Since we've got, uh, other priorities right now."

    She glanced at her duffel bag, which certainly had the space to hold most of the board games here, but that space was currently reserved for a more grim duty.

    "Still, might be fun to try and have a board game night sometime," mused Elise, "Would you be interested in something like that, Souma?"

    Not that I have any idea where we'll find the time this week, given the deadline... Unless...

    "Also if you see a bucket anywhere in here... I've been looking for one." muttered Elise as she took a peek inside one of the larger pots on the shelf.

  20. #3340
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building (Second Floor)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    It happens instantaneously. Like a switch being flicked in his brain. John Dove’s brain enters a flurry of activity, both interpreting and demanding more data for further interpretation. Like a computer carefully, thoroughly, magnificently designed for a single, most pointless of purposes. His pupils move almost dementedly, seeking additional elements to add to his analysis.

    A Chinese hexagram, built from a combination of two trigrams. Better known for its applications in the divinatory manual most popularly known as the I Ching, perhaps the best-known Chinese text in the world, together with The Art of War. However, the Chinese eight trigrams predate the I Ching, and likely come from all the way back in prehistory. Chinese mysticism standardizes all its expressions through the universality of its classical five “elements.” On the other hand, this does not change the fact that China’s millenary culture has developed a myriad disciplines, each of them with multiple branches. It would be impossible to narrow this lone hexagram to a single school of thought, or even to assign it an arcane significance just from looking at it. However, his mind is already engaged; he cannot stop himself by this point.

    There is nothing else. That, in itself, does majorly narrow things down—the absence of spirals, boards, matrices, or maps. A single hexagram, all by itself, suggests a simple system, with a simple logic. Or perhaps the bulk of the work is inside the room and he is about to make a gross underestimation.

    Radiance under ground, becoming fire under wind, or rather, wind that comes forth from fire. In the King Wen numeration, that is Hexagram 37, “Dwelling People” according to the I Ching. It represents “family” and “harmony.” It is the ideal of “parental authority” and the traditional order of the household—the wife, who is fire and yin, is at the bottom, “Earth”. The husband, who is wind and yang, is at the top, “Heaven.” Every member of the household is to do as is their due, and thus righteousness is achieved.

    In other words, not a symbol you would use to seal a room, or ward it against intruders. Rather…

    …if you look at it through the cycles of the Five Elements, the I Ching’s “wind” trigram represents “wood.” Fire under wood…the warmth of the hearth, or a forest fire. In either case, it is a weakening cycle, a diminishing or exhausting of qi. And that is before going over Flying Star Charts or Iron Plate Spiritual Numerology…



    …the memory of a dead child at the foot of the stairs fills his mind, and John Dove realizes that he is looking at a powerful metaphor. The hexagram is a prayer for safety—for the comfort and warmth of home and family. However, the very shape of the prayer carries within itself the implication that this safety will not last forever.

    He wonders if the child is aware of that.

    Not even John realizes when he ceases to be the monster that dissects mysticism and goes back to being…well, just a hollowed-out soul.

    “It is a hexagram; an ancient Chinese symbol representing the safety and propriety of an orderly home. You can think of it as the expression of a wish, like throwing a coin into a pond, or leaving locks in the ‘Bridge of Love’ of that one Serbian town.”

    Confirming one last time that, indeed, there is nothing else besides the one hexagram, John steps ahead of the other two, planting himself in front of the door. If he happens to be wrong and danger does lurk beyond, he can endure it long enough for the girls from the Turnside to make a fight-or-flight assessment.

    “In any case, it’s not like we plan to trample and bash our way in there, right? Why don’t you ladies try calling out to her? Let her know we come in peace?”

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