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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3981
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Eventually, without too much of a fanfare aside from the grunting and panting of the two combatants, Billie Boulders found the back of her hand slammed against the surface of the counter. The woman let out a sheepish laughter, sounding like guffawing bellows, while Ahti snickered a bit and wiped his nose. All in all, it looked to be a surprisingly good-natured competition - one the two had focused on so greatly that they had not even noticed Xandra and Prushka arriving to the bar.

    "That means a free pint, lady," Ahti grunted, motion a gimme with his fingers. "Pay up, pay up."

    Billie scratched the back of her head and chuckled again.

    "Ahahaha, you sure are a merciless lad, aren't you? Fine fine, promise is a promise - and I got one hell of a challenge for it. I guess it's only fair for letting me experience something like that," the woman said with a grin and grabbed one of the pints from the hooks. "Have to say, you have quite a bit of muscle there, even if it doesn't look like it. Or rather, I bet you ten bucks that there's nothing but muscle underneath there."

    Ahti cackled, leaning his elbows against the table while stretching his wrist.

    "Yeah, you could say that. Haven't been able to pack the pounds lately," he replied, watching as the bartender filled the pint from the tap. "No time for alcohol either, so this certainly is nice."

    As the two of them laughed at that, another voice joined their merriment - this one much deeper for a woman's voice, almost to the point of being husky. A second woman, one with brown hair and the sultry look of someone classy part-timing as a bar floozy sauntered from the back room and rounded the corner, taking her place right next to Ahti. The woman, Carrie Lakes, batted her eyelashes at the young man in clearly over-exaggerated way, causing him to jerk back a little bit.

    "Mm, I must say, it was quite thrilling to watch," Carrie purred, a teasing glint in her eyes. "Not many have beaten Billie here in arm-wrestling, or been able to lift a pint with their good hand afterwards. You're certainly in the league of yoru own, tiger..."

    Ahti, looking like he didn't know exactly how to react to this, hid the panic in his eyes and buried his face into the pint overflowing with beer that was handed to him.

    "Y-yeah, I guess..." the boy grumbled, for once appearing to be more like a prey than a predator. "I suppose I'm pretty awesome that way..."

    Xandra, overlooking this all with a raised eyebrow, snickered quietly and elbowed Prushka lightly to the ribs, as if telling her to pay attention to the fun show about to begin. Or perhaps to join in on it now that the boy was, for once, on the defensive.

    Still, the aura around that woman, Carrie Rivers was quite... something. It was like with a flick of a switch she was smoldering.




    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "That statue outside... Did you look at it? What'd you think of it?"
    Almost immediately, the mood at the table grew... silent. Darker. Like there was something outside, in the windows, watching and listening to the three.

    Ferguson finished up his whiskey as well, but instead of reaching for the tea, he went and poured himself another one, like he was going to need that to steel his nerves. Hawthorn, on the other hand, reached out for the thermos of tea and poured himself a cup... and for some reason, he didn't seem to mind too much about Liana hanging onto his arm. SUre, he had looked annoyed before, but now... he looked almost glad that the girl was there.

    They could all feel it, that much was for certain.

    The incessant glare from within that onyx statue.

    The malice radiating from it.

    That hunger for... whatever it was.

    Vengeance? Against whom?

    Revenge? Who?

    It was impossible to say...

    "I... have to admit, I do not much care for it. It's a... frankly filthy piece of artwork, if I'm honest. My all accounts and sensibilities. Sure, the subject depicted on it might look like a human, but I have my reservations. Somehow... I feel as if it's nothing like us. Something that merely looks like a human, like those old tales of monsters wearing people as guises," the agent replied with a dry, humourless smile. "If anything, I'd like to question the owner of this place for having built such a ghastly thing in the first place. It can't be good for the otherwise beautiful garden..."

    Hawthorn chuckled at that, but he didn't sound especially amused either.

    "You got that right. And if you want to bring it up with the bossman, you can try. I think he's up in his office for once. Well, who knows? Hearing some complaints might be good for him once," the younger man replied. "Knowing him, he's spending his evening with another one of those big shot dreams of his. Wonder what it is this time? Underwater theme parks named after Lemuria, or maybe moon hotels... he's brilliant at what he does, but his aims are always way too big. One time I heard him thinking about an escape room built as a to-scale copy of the Titanic, where the rooms would realistically flood in order to simulate the sensation of being on a sinking ship."

    Hawthorn simply rolled his eyes and lifted the cup of tea to his lips.

    "I swear, he's got more than a few screws loose... oh." The younger man blinked in surprise, gazing at the tea. "Huh... this is pretty good, you know. Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd say your skills in the kitchen aren't just tall tales you like to spin."

    With a hint of a smile, he patted Liana on the head... and in a way that almost felt genuine. Like he wasn't even trying to tease her. Which, of course, made the gesture most confusing of all.

    Ferguson, on the other hand, was still having hard time hiding his smile.




    Elaine Winters
    Location: The Lighthouse
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Hrm... I suppose, in a way. For some reason, that one blasted family, the McLampets, ended up having similar eyes and hair."

    Joshua grumbled that while rubbing his chin in a manner that was in no way fitting for his youthful looks. Rather, it looked as if he should have been sitting in a rocking chair with a pipe in his hands and a blanket over his legs.

    "Maybe they're relatives of hers, maybe not... at the very least, I didn't see too much of those kids while they were still here. They weren't exactly interested in the sea. To the contrary, they were far more interested in the forest, which is why the town changed as it did. From what I understand, there was some hullabaloo with them some decades ago, but as for specifics, beats me," the ghost continued with a dry smirk. "I can't very well leave here, what with being stuck and cursed and all, so all I can do is watch from windows and chat if a person or two happens to come snooping around. Been a lot of them lately. That redhead lass, of course - she feeds me even though I don't really need it, but then there's been that tiny foreigner too."

    Joshua laughed slightly crudely and hovered her hand somewhere around the height of a relatively short person... or perhaps a short person with a rather big hairdo.

    "She came here because of all the spirits traipsing about, but she's been pretty good for a chit-chat or two. Likes to stand atop the lighthouse and keep people away for their own good... well, that and recite all sorts of poetry when she thinks no one is looking. Scared the daylights outta her when I first interrupted her during one of those times," Joshua explained with a cackle. "Then there's been all the one-off visitors like you, Miss, or the tiger-striped lady with a tail, or that lady who reeks of perfume... yup, lot of visitors these days."

    Then, suddenly, the ghost with the mismatched eyes paused and leveled a momentary stare of confusion towards Elaine - almost like he had realized something.

    "Oh, actually, speaking of which... what was that you said? House of amber light?" Joshua asked, before patting the wall of the building with his incorporeal hand. "You wouldn't happen to mean this place, do you? I mean, it's hard to see now since they took it off, but once upon a time this place used to have the prettiest light on the whole west coast up there. Amber Eye they called it. Was made by this guy, a real artist back in the day... heh, I bet his house stands even to today. Had this fancy amber glass pane on the front door, too."

    Suddenly, Elaine felt a strange shiver pass through her body... and it wasn't just because of the cold.




    Ougi Outis
    Location: McLampet Manor - Study
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "G-go outside...?"

    The mere idea seemed to stun Allene for a moment, but then...

    "Hot dog! That sounds amazing! O-of course I'll come, that'd be just utterly incredible!"

    Throwing her arms up in the air, the girl once again avoided splashing tea everywhere just by a hair's breadth. In the next moment that same cup had been slammed against the table between the two armchairs, and Allene looked like she was about to jump at Hisa and catch her into a big hug... only to catch herself just before that and slump back into her chair, cheeks once again red and looking quite embarrassed at her outburst. Still, even in her flushed-up state, she couldn't hide the big, big grin that was spreading all over her face, or the giddy excitement flashing in her eyes.

    "I-I mean, that certainly sounds wonderful? I'd be happy to accompany you outside... t-though, we'll need to do it a bit sneakily if we are to avoid Josie. She doesn't like when I head out on my own, even at night, and I've gotten more than a few scoldings because of it. Buuuut, she doesn't know that I have my own copy of the master key these days, so if we can just sneak past her or distract her with something, it should be a piece of cake!" Allene continued, trying to act more mature and calm. "Oh gosh... what should I wear? I better take my parasol with me, even if it's cloudy, there's a chance I might get a migraine, but if I shield myself a little bit, things should be okay and... oh, I just can't wait!"

    Truly, for such a simple promsie to cause such an outburst of joy... this girl really could derive joy from the most mundane things. Though in this case, it appeared to be more than just the fact that she would go out, it was also that she had someone to go out with. To become this excited at the prospect of spending some time with a person they barely even knew... Allene McLampet, or whoever she was, must have been starving of human contact.

    How long had she spent alone in this house, with only Josie for her company?

    "O-oh...! Oh, oh dear... that reminds me... oh, oh gosh..." Allene suddenly said, her expression falling and her shoulders sagging. "I... I completely forgot. Oh gosh, I completely forgot! Stupid, stupid me! I should have thought about it before-hand, but I always figured people would come during the day...!"

    With an anxious look in her eyes, the girl leaned closer to Hisa.

    "I'm sorry Ougi, but are... um, are you a good climber? Good enough that you might rappel down to the ground from the third floor if I provide a rope?" She asked, sounding worried. "Y-you see, as it happens, it's already close to night and it's getting dark, which means... oh, it means that..."

    She looked deathly serious, far unlike she had looked when she had claimed to be a vampire.

    "... The monsters in this mansion are waking up and start patrolling the hallways."

  2. #3982
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Oh, oh, I'd like to order too, please!"

    With a soft *pomf* I drop onto the stool on Ahti's other side.

    It's great that he's making friends so quickly. I was panicking earlier, thinking he was the crabby type who couldn't connect to others, but actually, isn't he already doing just fine? He even seems popular right now!

    "Erm... Billie, right?" I'm starting to remember now. This massive muscle-bound woman behind the bar must be the former janitor Hisa had been talking about. That eye patch confirms it. But leaving that aside... "Your muscles are awesome. They're even bigger than my sister's, and she spends all day lifting weights."

    Even if Ahti ended up winning the match, she still wins in looks. It's not even a contest.

    "But you were cool too, Ahti." I reach up to his shoulder. Pat, pat, pat.

    Now, as for that woman that just arrived... huh, strange. For some reason, my instincts are saying she's bad news. Like some kind of threat who'll devour Ahti if left alone. But that's silly, isn't it? No reason to listen to baseless nonsense like that. She seems like a nice lady.

    "Do you like muscles too, Miss? 'Cus you think those were impressive, wait 'til you see his abs."

  3. #3983
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: The Lighthouse
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    I murmured to myself thoughtfully.

    A short foreigner with a poofy hairdo?

    I did happen to know of one of those.

    So then it was her staking out the lighthouse that night.

    Hm.

    That's going to be a problem, then.

    "Stuck in this lighthouse you mean? What with the whole spirit trap thing it has going for it," I glanced idly back up the stairs, "If our mutual friend was telling the truth, that is. Don't know anything about this tiger lady or miss perfume, either, sup with them?"

    I sighed.

    Why did everything have to be such a pain in the ass?

    It'd be so much easier to just go ahead and charge up those stairs and just kick the absolute shit out of some limpdick fuckhead ghost who thinks he's people.

    So easy.

    It's not like it'd even be the first time you killed someone who loved you.

    But I have to try and find the best way.

    I can't afford to listen to the thoughts that tell me to only trust myself, don't wait, act now.

    It's all worthless anyway.

    I'll either try and it'll work, and we'll die at the end of the week, or it'll fail, and then I die at the end of the week, or die tonight. Or die tomorrow.

    Death by ghost, death by catholic, death by friend, death by vampire, death by snake, death, death, death, death.

    What's even the point of it all, at this point?

    Not like we'll accomplish anything.

    And you, look at you, you still think you're a fucking hero, that you can do anything.

    When when it mattered, you couldn't even save yourself.

    It's garbage, all of it.

    But hey, fuck it.

    I'll just throw myself on the fire again, because I'm a glutton for punishment.

    I sighed.

    Whatever.

    I pushed myself to my feet again, pushing away the clinging shadows, and looked off into the rain outside the walls of the Lighthouse.

    I'm going to regret all of this.

    "That artist, the one with the Amber Door," I said idly, shaking a leg, "He got a name?"

    May as well get something useful before I go off and court death.

  4. #3984
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Campus
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    Elise stared at her reflection in the imaginary window of the Store's End and Post, her hand on the glass meeting the hand of the other. Unlike how the scene had played out in her memory, the demon answered her instead of rebuffing her with a bluster of feigned fury and anger.

    She felt an initial pang of annoyance at its off-brand, counterfeit Elise appearance, but that was quickly replaced by a growing sense of unease. The more she looked at it, like it was sitting inside the store and looking out at her, the more it didn't feel quite as wrong as she thought it should be.

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    "... I feel fear. My original purpose, what I am, has been changed by what this place is. The fact that I can fret over such a matter just shows how much of me has changed. Emotions wriggling under the surface, burrowing themselves in me... they're everywhere, and somehow, they've managed to break through what is pure and untouchable - me. A thought is not colored by emotion, yet here we are, but more than that... more than my fear of what is happening to me, and confusion as to what the emotion even is... I fear for something else."

    "You're too weak. As you are, you can't weather the oncoming storm. Whatever's coming will glass the ground and scorch the sky, and we will be unable to stop it. As you are now... and as I am now."
    The reflection's hand reached through the glass as if it wasn't there at all and gripped her hand tightly.

    She shook her head, trying to clear it of the pain she felt in the back of her head.

    "I'm sorry, I can't apologize for infecting you with my humanity. You're just going to have to deal with those emotions like the rest of us. Trust me, they might seem like they're really annoying, but they aren't all bad."

    I warned you. I told you to stay out of the kitchen if you couldn't take the heat, but no, you insisted on wanting to play with the thermostat, thought Elise, feeling momentarily absurd as she tried to comfort a demon.

    I thought something might have changed after I woke up on Wednesday, after what had happened to me last week, but I just didn't expect those changes would run so deeply. Then again, that awful light did shine on everything…

    Elise considered the demon's chess metaphor, briefly wondering who'd be demented enough to set up such a board. The idea that there was a knight in black hunting for her was a bit unsettling. It felt like a piece on the board she hadn't encountered yet. Or, perhaps, maybe she had, but as the demon suggested, she just hadn't realized it yet.

    "The oncoming storm… Maybe someone has set up this crazy game of chess. The ancient curse on the land Subaru described, this whole bit of prophecy nonsense, the Oceandrop Program, this knight in black, whatever's hiding in the woods, and, as John put it, the combined weight of our supernatural histories. This town is too small to hold all of it."

    Elise sighed to herself.

    "I can't promise we'll be able to weather the storm. I've caught a glimpse of what's to come, and it didn't end well that time. Maybe we are too weak, but that isn't going to stop us from trying. Besides, it's not like we're alone against the storm, we've got friends, allies, and a vague idea of what might be out there. Which is a whole lot better than last time."

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    "----- If it were Elise-Marie Pelltier before we became what we are, she would have been able to stand against that enemy. But... you don't even remember her properly, do you? Of what she was? Of how she was? Why she was sent to subjugate a demon with only a handful of inquisitors... why she was among the survivors... why Father Milani would personally look after her..."
    "What are you talking about? Of course I remember myself, I've always been me. I'm not any different than I was before other than the whole having a squatter living inside my head thing."

    It's making it sound like I'm somehow a lesser, tarnished version of myself, although if I'm entirely honest, I'm pretty sure past-me would beat present-me in a fight, but that's only because of my new allergy to holy water.

    Elise frowned. She thought back to that night and its aftermath.

    "It was an emergency. They needed everyone they could get on short notice, and I was available. There was- there wasn't even supposed to be a demon, we were going to stop them before they could do anything, but it all went wrong. They must have heard we were coming somehow and stepped up their plans or maybe we had bad intel…"

    It had been a slaughter. The thing she'd encountered that night didn't care any more about the ones who'd called it up than it did for the ones who came to stop it from manifesting. She felt certain that it hadn't been by her strength or skill that she'd survived. There had been stronger and more experienced Inquisitors who hadn't made it back that night.

    "I only survived that night because I was lucky. That was it," insisted Elise.

    "I barely even know Father Milani, even if he gave me my marching orders," continued Elise, "He's always looked out for the Inquisitors he's felt responsible for though, and tries to help them with their troubles. Usually by giving them more work to do. That's-that's probably why he arranged for me to be sent to Pinefall. He probably got wind of me hiding in the back of the library, thought that I was having trouble, and sent me packing to Road's End because he thought that would help me."

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    "Human mind is so quick to rationalize away all the little inconsistencies in one's reality, isn't it?"
    The headache grew.

    She blinked.

    It was an interesting puzzle. Usually you found the lie because of the inconsistencies its existence created around it. If you altered the facts to be more consistent with everything else, for the sake of making it consistent with everything else, what would make it stand out?

    "That's-that's true, but-"

    The demon's not wrong. Look at how easily Inacio seemed to accept my swamp gas and weather balloon explanations for everything weird that happened in the Pool Building during the Test of Courage. He did not react well to the Marshmallow Man's existence or the actions of Hisa's doll, but seem immensely comforted by the idea that U-Salem was just some guy in a costume and Hisa's doll was enemy action and a smoke and mirrors trick set up by Jake, considered Else, It feels like arrogance to assume that just because I'm aware of the Turnside of the World that I'd be somehow immune to letting myself fall into the same mental trap. On the other hand...

    Part of her wanted to take a moment to carefully examine her entire life history, but now was not the best time for that.

    "No-no that doesn't make any sense. What would I even need to rationalize away?"

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
    The demon tightened its grasp on her hand through the dark glass and she returned it. She stared face to face with her reflection in the mirror-like window in her mind as she listened to it recite a familiar verse.

  5. #3985
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Ougi Outis
    Location: McLampet Manor - Study
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    “Monsters?” I raised an eyebrow, “The actual kind, or monsters like how you are a vampire as well?”

    Again, this was a very much unexpected turn of event - almost as absurd as it was when I decided to knock on the door of her room, or when she decided to invite someone who broke into their mansion to chat and drink tea. Regardless, it was better to just go with the flow.

    “I could do that, but...to tell you the truth, I actually didn’t come alone. My friend is waiting downstairs, since we didn’t feel it was appropriate for all of us to just barge in here.”

    I scratched the back of my head awkwardly, as more of our ‘crimes’ came to light.

    “So it’s best to leave the same way we came in. Worst case scenario we can definitely handle a…’monster’ or two, though I guess it would be best if we didn’t make too big of a ruckus.”

    As I talked, my mind reached out towards the ‘channels’ that have been left hanging for a good few minutes now, and started forming a message meant both for Sakura and Pyry.

    [The girl here said that some monsters would start patrolling the manor once the night falls. Have you noticed anything? We should meet back at the stairs and take our leave, I think.]

    “T-though, in that case, I guess that counts as a goodbye for now?”

    My eyes turn back towards the pale girl, as I realize that leaving right now would cut this meeting shorter than what I would have liked. I can’t fight down the sad smile that crawls its way onto my face, but at the same time...it had to be like this.

    “We’ll still come in the morning though, so better be prepared. Do you think you could sneak out on your own, or we come inside? Aslo, the parasol is a good idea, though as I promised, I’ll try to see if I can do something once we’re outside. I wouldn’t want you to be in pain while we’re exploring the world.”


  6. #3986
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Tch, pathetic..."

    As the storm of sanguine whips whistled through the air and lashed at the body of the fast-moving man, managing to overcome his extreme speed for just a few moments - enough to deal some damage - Alexstrasza noticed something alarming about the attack. Or rather, she noticed that the cuts she managed to make weren't as deep as usual. They should have burrowed, cut into the flesh proper, but instead, the attacks had been left shallow, as if repelled by the very nature of the man.

    Did he share the same elemental soul as she did...?

    The storm of whips danced through the air, and so did the man. He ducked underneath any further oncoming strikes and approached at high velocity like a predator running on all fours, closing the measly distance between the two combatants within a blink of an eye. Then, striking his hands against the street, he lifted his legs upwards into a frenzied dance of sorts, spinning around like a twisted tornado. The first kick that came aimed straight at Alexstrasza's face, as if aiming to cave it in with those nimble spurs that were like swords meant to carve, but before it managed to hit.



    The world suddenly exploded in blinding light that scorched the flesh of the blonde girl.

    "Fang, fang, my fang.

    Make my footsteps flashbang."

    It wasn't merely a kick, no, at the very end of the trajectory, something happened within the man's feet and that collision brought a terrible explosion of light that both burned and aimed to blind the opponent. Not only did he make himself evasive as a tornado, moving like a whirlwind, but he also attempted to rob his opponents of their sight - like a hunter slowly but surely dismantling their prey. And worse yet, that light that resonated with that single kick was exactly the type of elemental light that caused Alexstrasza's skin to burn.

    Against a normal opponent, it would not have been much of a danger.

    But to a nocturnal creature, it was no laughing matter.

    And while the girl had managed to keep her vision, as her eyes adjusted, she saw that thanks to his momentum, the man had launched himself up into the air was now coming down with yet another flashing kick, one that smelled of gunpowder and death.

    Yet another burst of light rocked the back alley, causing Alexstrasza to shield her eyes---!






    [Hit! Lane Griffith: 14 - 6 = 8 / 2 = 4 Sanguine Damage (EGO Defense)!]
    [Defended! Alexstrasza Lockhart: INT Defense Unbroken!]
    [Hit! Alexstrasza Lockhart: 6 - 8 = 1 x 2 = 2 Light Damage (INT Defense)!]
    [Defended! Alexstrasza Lockhart: INT Defense Unbroken!]
    [Hit! Alexstrasza Lockhart: 6 - 8 = 1 x 2 = 2 Light Damage (INT Defense)!]
    [Lane Griffith: Gunfire Feet Duration - 1 Round...]

    Round 2, Turn 3: Lane Griffith
    Round 2, Turn 4: Alexstrasza Lockhart <--



    New Ability Witnessed!
    Lane Griffith
    STR: ? END: ? AGI: B WIL: ? INT: B EGO: D
    HP: ??/??
    DOD:
    4 -> 8
    ACC: 4
    Movement: 12


    Ritual Magic:

    Gunfire Feet
    Rank: C
    Element: Earth
    A modernized hunting ritual that was once meant to make the hunters swift and agile in their chase for prey. In its current form, this ritual sacrifices pieces of the bones in the user's body in exchange for a burst of speed. In particular, this speed burst has been aimed at making the target extremely hard to hit, whether it's by melee, conventional weaponry or even supernatural abilities. One could call it extreme defensive option, focusing solely on dodging.

    [Grants a burst of speed that lasts for 2 Rounds. During this time, the user's DOD score is doubled, and all material attacks that target solely them must first succeed in an attack roll to hit, even if they would not normally require such.]

    Flashbang Kick
    Rank: D
    Element: Light
    A modernized hunting ritual that aims to blind the enemy for a short duration while dealing a small amount of light damage. The various minerals grafted into the heels of the user are struck together with the sparks created into the air, igniting the gunpowder that hangs in the air and thus creating a sanctified, paganistic ritual of light. A snap-decision spell that can be strung together for multiple attempts if needed.

    [A ritual spell that can be only utilized within melee range. The target is subjected to an INT Shatter Protection attempt against a Shatter Score of 5. If they fail and the ability succeeds, they are Blinded for 1 Round. In addition, the target then takes 6 Light Damage against their INT Defense.]






    Anna Vandemeel & Vivianne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Oi, oi, oi..."

    Orion, having stared at the ensuing chaos that followed Söörik's attempts at reading over Alex's shoulder, lifted his hands in a calming way. Despite the turbulent atmosphere that had taken over, despite the sudden flurry of knives and the chain that had materialized out of nowhere, the young man didn't seem too perturbed. Instead, he kept his cool and collected demeanor, making a little apologetic nod towards Vivienne as if saying sorry he had to direct his attention away from the girl, and then faced Anna - and Ramia who was standing behind her.

    "Now that's hardly fair, is it? I mean, I like the attention of a beauty such as you as much as the next guy, but unfortunately, I've already got my heart set on another," Orion joked and pointed his thumb over his shoulder squarely at Vivienne. "So while I'm flattered, I have to respectfully ask that you don't push it too much. I mean, a woman like you should turn the eyes of any guy out there - no need to be so gung-ho about little old me."

    With another good-hearted chuckle, he let his arms fall flat against his body, as if to show that he had no dangerous intentions. Meanwhile, nearby, Alex Terrot was staring at everything that was going on with her eyes wide open from shock. She had screamed when the daggers had flown towards her, and screamed again when the form of the wooden familiar had been revealed. Now, more than Vivienne, more than Orion, more than Anna and Ramia, her stare was glued to the tiny creature resting at Anna's arms - creature who was, even at the moment, shaking with terror.



    "Booooss, that lady's crazy! S-she almost made me into a puncushion! Austrian cheese! Swish-kebab! I-I didn't sign up for this sorta danger, do something about her, her eyes are super scary!"

    The familiar hugged his owner in a manner of a cowardly dog, clearly intending on staying as far away as possible from the tension of the moment.

    Orion, hearing that, let out another gentle, laid-back laugh.

    "I have to agree with your familiar there, you sure got an unexpected side out of Vivienne here. Not that I mind, a lady with a few mysteries and an an intriguing aura about her are a rarity these days. Guess it was no mistake that my interest piqued upon seeing her," he said. "Though if I'm completely honest, things are starting to be a little too serious for me. Miss Vivienne aside, you've got quite the dark look about you too, and that frown... I'm sorry to say, but I'm honestly getting a bit scared here. Would you mind toning down the intensity a little bit? I think we can all agree that conflict is nothing anyone wants here."

    Orion took a stock of the situation around him. Vivienne to his right, ready to act as the situation demanded. Alex behind her, shielding herself with a book. Anna ahead of him, confronting him. And then Ramia behind Anna, readying something by grasping her wrist and letting the tattoos in her skin glow. With a sigh, the blue-haired youngster let out a shrug and shook his head, as if admitting that he was quite badly outnumbered.

    "Listen... sure, sure, I can talk, if that helps you calm down. I mean, it's not like I'm lying to you or anything - I make it my policy not to lie to beautiful girls," Orion continued with a playful smile, one eye closed. "As I said, I'm Orion. And believe it or not, I am Barney Keyhoe's assistant. Of course, that's not all I am, but currently, I'm just working with the guy, helping him along with his little quest. That's who I am as Orion. However..."

    Suddenly, something metallic glinted in the air.

    Both Anna and Vivienne could feel a strange source of heat appear.

    And as they looked... Orion was no longer not armed.

    Instead, in his left hand...




    ... Was a rather strange-looking knife, radiating with red.

    "... I'm also known by another name."

    Orion chuckled. He kept the knife ready, as if informing those around him that he would only retaliate if attacked.

    "With that name, I'm another kind of assistant. Perhaps you could call me a... handyman of sorts. I help around with what needs to be done, and that's that."

    The eyes beneath the blue hair narrowed, meeting Anna's diamond glare with calm of the night sky.

    "In that role, I go by..."

    He smiled.

    "--- Yozora Hikari."

  7. #3987
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994
    Weather: Rain


    "O-Of course they weren't tall tales, lying about your ability to cook is a grave sin-!"

    ---Its strange.

    A sincere gesture of affection rather than a teasing one, something that comes almost entirely out of left field from the man, but one that, perhaps because of the sincerity...

    Doesn't stall her thoughts.

    No.

    Quietly enjoying the gesture without realizing that's what she's doing, the violet eyed girl puts up only the most token of resistances, in fact... For a second....

    One could almost see music notes, dancing cheerfully above her head as she maintains her grasp on his arm, pleased for a variety of reasons that even she doesn't completely understand, but perhaps, have something to do with how it feels like hes relying on her for once-!

    ---But the topic remains a troubling one outside of this moment, the hostility of the statue outside the reason why he seems almost grateful for her presence...

    Ah well, same as before, she'll brighten the atmosphere on her own, in her own way-!

    "So we all agree its awful, good good, was worried I might just be too harsh when it comes to judging modern art."

    She giggles, but a note of seriousness remains.

    "They call it the Spade Queen, but I think it's actual name might be Dot. Way too creepy looking for it's own good..."

    She closes one eye.

    There's a pause, as she regards the agent with starlit eyes, then...

    She turns her attention back to Thorne.

    "But hey, if your boss is alone on a Friday night that's no good~"

    A warm laugh.

    "Might as well try and invite him down to join us right? We could all have art and dream discussions together over drinks! Sierra wanted me to meet him anyway..."

    Dot was seemingly his Muse after all-!

    She shrugs.

    "Could be fun, right? The more the merrier at a party?"
    Last edited by Airen; April 11th, 2021 at 08:09 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?



  8. #3988
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    I smiled with a lazy ease, as I continued speaking, my words tinged with divinity. This was magic, this was combat, the thing I’d been searching for, striving for this entire time. A duel, with our lives on the line, where there’s no tricks, schemes, or any sort of pathetic shenanigans.

    This was a battle. No, it was something even simpler than that. In the end, I’m still disappointed, aren’t I?

    I could tell from his attack alone, how it felt as it drove into my sides, this wasn’t going to be a battle at all.


    This was a killing field.

    Well, here we are again, right? Are these moments, these seconds not what we were meant to do, right Potemkin? Don’t you want to come out and play a bit yourself? Come on! It’ll be fun, just the two of us!

    His legs flashed before my eyes, and it was a dazzling sight to behold. Lights and colors flickered as I blinked, before my face bloomed into a bright smile, my fingers snapping with a click.

    “από τις σκιές, αυτά τα έλικες φτάνουν για εσάς,” the words came out of my lips at such a speed it was ridiculous for any normal person to follow. It was too fast, too quick, and too swift for anyone but those who were so deeply coated in the supernatural that the translation in their minds was automatic. Fighting, as always was…

    Incredible.


    I could feel the prana racing through my body. My every nerve was on fire, as magic made my blood roar with that anger and defiance only found in combat. This was what I was born to do, what every fiber of my being was designed around. It was just what I needed. Just what I so desperately needed to blow off some steam.

    The words that left my lips angered the shadows surrounding my enemy, and they stabbed forward like spikes, moving to pierce him as I took a step forward, twisting a hand as my body began to shift. With the authority granted to me not by Our Father who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be His Name, but by blood and tears, I spoke the words of the heavens themselves:

    “Είμαι η ομίχλη.”


    My body vanished from existence, spreading out a red tinged hue that coated the world with my essence, as I vanished into the thick array of red that splattered across this idiot’s vision, seeing a hundred thousand places in a hundredth of a second.

    I am a monster.

    I fight as monsters should.



    "I know what you're thinking~"

    I whispered it into the mist that was me, watching him spin and spin as he tried to locate me. But I was never there, the mist is me and I am the mist. "Kakaka! With these legs of mine, there’s no way she can catch me! If I attack her companions, she'll be forced to let me flee! I’m faster, so I’ll be able to run away if it gets too dangerous!" I said it in a crude imitation of his voice, and the mist rippled with my laughter. "Aren't you supposed to be my superior, Laaaaaaane? Isn't that just... Embarrassing?"

    I was enjoying it. His frustration. His annoyance. Hey Potemkin, isn’t this totally your time!? Couldn’t you totally appear and kick him in the shins or something right now, showcasing our superiority over this third-rate magician using a fourth-rate casting mechanism?! You totally should! Just this once! I know you’re thinking the same thing! We can even say something cool like ‘Even my shadow is your superior in every way’!

    “How absolutely shameful. Someone with so little pride isn’t even worthy of being called a magus.”

    I laughed, and the mist shook with me.

    “Come on, come on! Use your trump card, gutter trash! Show me why you were so sure of yourself, you cockroach! Are you going to fight, or are you going to die like a dog?!

    There’s no need for anything as cruel as my highest tier of magic. Such a thing would be wasted on his ilk. And yet…

    I want to do it.

    I want to show off, just a little! I want to prove that this is my territory, these are my friends, that the people of this town aren’t just pawns to be moved about on a chessboard! Even if they’re not all kind, even if they’re not all perfect, even if some of them are the worst and deserve to be killed, it’s… It’s…!

    It’s mine, goddammit! Get your filthy fucking hands off my fucking property!





    New Ability Witnessed!


    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    STR: ? END: ? AGI: B WIL: ? INT: C EGO: A
    HP: 47/51 (-4)
    MP: 47/60 (-6)
    DOD:
    4
    ACC: 4
    Movement: 10


    Thaumaturgies:
    Tendrils of the Deep - Destruction, Darkness
    Rank: C MP: 3
    Alexstrasza forces her dominance onto the shadows themselves, creating spikes to entrap her foes in their coils, piercing them through if they can manage to ensnare their target in their grasp.
    [Choose a target within 30 meters. The target is pierced by shadowy tendrils and dealt 13 Darkness Damage. In addition, the target is forced into a EGO Protection contest against a Shatter Score of 7. If they fail, they are chained by the tendrils. The target is restrained on the spot for 2 Rounds.]


    A Cloak of Crimson - Abjuration, Sanguine
    Rank: D MP: 3
    Alexstrasza weaves a mist of blood, hiding her from her opposition as well as allowing her to temporarily dissipate inside of it. As it is, a part of her - through both magic and through essence - she can still perceive her surroundings inside of it and bide her time.
    [Creates a mist of blood in a 20 meter radius from the caster. Those within it are effectively blinded, and one cannot see inside it. While inside the cloud, the caster becomes incorporeal with a Rank D Invisibility, and part of the mist, and thus cannot be attacked by most attacks. However, in return, they cannot attack anyone either. They can still observe those within the mist and those outside it, however. This spell has a Duration of 2 Rounds.]
    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.


  9. #3989
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Dumbass...!"

    In that moment, something happened.

    The shadows that coiled and lengthened, that gained mass and became impaling spikes that littered the ground and marched forward like an army of vicious, savage soldiers, they advanced towards the man moving at incredible speeds. As they reached their target, they became writhing mass of hostility, sprouting from the ground and trying to skewer their targer then and there. An array of piercing attacks that came from all sides, all directions, all angles in an effort to take the man, run him through and nail him to the ground for a further punishment. It was, after all, just the appetizer to the main course.

    At the same time, Alexstrasza, speaking words vicious and victorious, started transforming into a red mist, becoming the monster that she truly was. Her terrible essence washed over the back alley and became a vermillion cloud of hostility that spat in the face of her opponent, spreading and spreading and becoming a monsoon that threatened to strangle everything within its blood-tinted grasp. Only fragments of her could be seen anymore as the transformation continued, and soon enough, with the words so lofty, so savage, so assured, her true form would become that of a vampiric mist.

    But. At that moment.

    The speed of the man picked up.

    Like water, he flowed through the spikes that tried to impale him. He danced past the shadows in a manner that left only after-images within Alexstrasza's field of vision, becoming like a whirlwind ghost that avoided each and every attack. The shadows, lack of light, were far too slow to catch up to him and were avoided - one and each. He pushed forward, rolled into a handstand, jumped using his momentum and spinned through the last array of stakes that threatened to skewer him.

    In a flash of light, he had appeared right next to Alexstrasza, who's transformation was yet to finish.

    No, not next to her.

    With a loud sonic boom, he barreled past her, slipping behind her to target her unguarded back.

    And in that moment...!

    "------- You're wide open, woman."

    She heard those crude words right next to her ear.




    Bullet was chambered.

    "Load, load, load.

    Write it with a code.

    Bigger, bigger, bigger.

    Pull back the trigger.

    Aim, aim, aim.

    Speak my name.

    That's the truth of my kicks.

    --- It's really just chambers for bullets six!"





    Suddenly.

    A lance of pure light shot through Alexstrasza's fading form, ripping through the core of her being and sending ripples of pain echoing through both her body and her mind. The physical light burned through her, again and again, that accursed beam of it skewering her like she had attempted to do for the man - only there was a single strike, and it was far bigger than a singular stake from her. The pillar of light pierced straight through what physical form of her remained and hit the back wall of the nearby building, burning through it as well. The smell of burning flesh could be felt everywhere.

    What... had happened?

    Had she not been fast enough?

    Had the spell failed?

    No, it was definitely... the first option.

    The man had simply acted far too fast, before her red mist could completely take effect. And in that time, he had managed... to burn through her with a single kick.

    It was absurd.

    That attack, it had certainly been a physical one. But before it had left his body, it had... transformed?

    That sound.

    That sound of a bullet being chambered.

    Had he... cast a spell in conjunction with a physical attack?

    Not as two separate entities, but as a singular attack?

    No, this wasn't the time to wonder...!

    The crimson hue of the alley wasn't just due to the mist anymore.

    No, this time, it was because of the blood she had lost herself...!

    "... Hah! Hahahahahahahahaaaa---!"

    That shrilling, piercing laughter echoed on the street as the man made a mad dash past Alexstrasza.

    Where was he going!?

    -----!

    Straight towards Travis and Stephanie---!




    [Miss! Lane Griffith, no damage!]
    [Lane Griffith: Reaction!]
    [Hit! Alexstrasza Lockhart: 26 x 1.5 - 8 = 31 Light Damage (INT Defense)!]
    [Alexstrasza Lockhart: A Cloak of Crimson, Activation!]
    [Lane Griffith: Gunfire Feet Duration - 0.]

    Round 3, Turn 5: Lane Griffith
    Round 3, Turn 6: Alexstrasza Lockhart <--

    New Ability Witnessed!
    Lane Griffith
    STR: ? END: ? AGI: B WIL: ? INT: B EGO: D
    HP: ??/??
    DOD:
    4
    ACC: 4
    Movement: 12


    Perks:

    [Pinnacle of Martial Arts]
    Cost: 30 AP
    You have taken physical attacks and turned them into an art. Becoming one with a weapon of your choice, you have honed your skill into a true danger to anyone who faces you. When you take this Perk, choose one weapon you have. This can be your unarmed attacks as well. You learn an array of martial arts moves that you can utilize in combat with your weapon of choice.

    Revolver Six: Shot Through the Heart (Reaction)
    Rank: A
    Qi Points: 5
    A straightforward attack ability that can be only used as a counter when the enemy misses the user with an attack. The user utilizes their terrifying speed to near-instantly move to the back of their opponent and launch a torpedo kick that skewers them from the defenseless position, as if attempting to pierce right through them. As the previous attack has left the enemy defenseless, the user can launch an all-out attack before the target can act or do anything else, possibly stopping them from attempting anything else if the attack is enough to kill the opponent instantly.

    [Move up to your movement towards the enemy after they miss with an attack. If you are able to get within a melee range, launch a counter-attack that deals 26 Qi damage towards their PHYS defense. The damage element of this attack can be changed if the user has Revolver Six Bullets prepared. A single spell is used when doing so, in conjunction with the attack. This changes the damage element, and switches the defense targeted to INT.]


    Ritual Magic:

    Gunfire Feet
    Rank: C
    Element: Earth
    A modernized hunting ritual that was once meant to make the hunters swift and agile in their chase for prey. In its current form, this ritual sacrifices pieces of the bones in the user's body in exchange for a burst of speed. In particular, this speed burst has been aimed at making the target extremely hard to hit, whether it's by melee, conventional weaponry or even supernatural abilities. One could call it extreme defensive option, focusing solely on dodging.

    [Grants a burst of speed that lasts for 2 Rounds. During this time, the user's DOD score is doubled, and all material attacks that target solely them must first succeed in an attack roll to hit, even if they would not normally require such.]

    Flashbang Kick
    Rank: D
    Element: Light
    A modernized hunting ritual that aims to blind the enemy for a short duration while dealing a small amount of light damage. The various minerals grafted into the heels of the user are struck together with the sparks created into the air, igniting the gunpowder that hangs in the air and thus creating a sanctified, paganistic ritual of light. A snap-decision spell that can be strung together for multiple attempts if needed.

    [A ritual spell that can be only utilized within melee range. The target is subjected to an INT Shatter Protection attempt against a Shatter Score of 5. If they fail and the ability succeeds, they are Blinded for 1 Round. In addition, the target then takes 6 Light Damage against their INT Defense.]

    Revolver Six Bullet: Chamber 4
    Rank: D
    Element: Light
    A deceptively simple spell that can only be utilized in conjunction with pre-determined martial arts abilities. The spell must be prepared before-hand, and it cannot be cast on its own. Instead, when the martial arts ability in question is utilized, the user must choose one of these spells (or none) to augment the ability in question. One could liken it to loading a revolver with specialized ammunition. In the case of this spell, it augments the ability's attack damage into Light Element.

    [A ritual spell that can be only utilized as an augmentation to a martial arts ability. When an appropriate ability is used, changes the attack/element of that ability to Light Element. Only works for a single ability use.]






    Ougi Outis
    Location: McLampet Manor - Study
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "W-wait, what!?"

    Allene practically jumped out of her chair, white as a sheet and her eyes wide as plates.

    "Y-you have friends who are still out in the hallways!? Oh... oh gosh... o-oh no!" she stammered, suddenly turning on her heels. "W-we have to go help them now! Get them in a room at least!"

    With that, the girl scurried towards the main door that led back to the third floor landing. And true, while the sudden revelation about monsters had been... strange and out-of-nowhere at best, the panic and anxiety on her face had been very, very real. Real enough that Hisa instantly realized that this wasn't yet another case of the girl being silly. No, this time, she was genuinely worried about the safety of those out in the hallways. In other words, whatever was going on, it meant that things had gotten suddenly veyr, very serious.

    "O-oh, come on, gosh, come one...!"

    Clearly frustrated and with the panic making her fingers shake, Allene fumbled with the chain-lock on the massive oaken door, eventually managing to pry it open. Afterwards she would have to open the other, internal lock of the door as well, but her sweaty hands were not getting anywhere fast. Letting out a groan, the girl wiped her hands into her hoodie, turning to look back at Hisa with those shocked eyes, as if urging for her to over there as well.

    "T-they are real! The monsters, I mean! They are... W-well, I'm not sure what they are!" Allene whimpered. "They always appear as the sun goes down and the night arrives, and they stalk the corridors looking for anyone out there, undefended! T-that's... that's why we don't have anyone else here, other than us. Josie locks herself up in her room, and I only go out from the window, so... so there's no one to hunt! But if they find someone out there in the hallways, they're sure to try to grab them! Gosh...!"

    Finally, the chain-link lock rattled open, and Allene fiddled with the knob.

    "Josie... he calls them the Shadow People, while Beatrice says they're the Glass-Eyed Men, but..." She stopped for a moment, unsure. "... I'm not sure. There's more... they're old... I feel it. And they have this one, terrible, terrible eye that always stares. That's why I..."

    With that, she threw the door open, shining the flashlight she had grabbed from the nearby table into the stairs.

    And in that moment, Hisa could hear the dry voice of Pyry ring back into her mind.

    [Yeah, that's... I, uh... I think we found them too.]

    The scene at the third floor landing, and the stairs leading down to the second floor was... bizarre at best. Pyry was standing at the root of the stairs, shielding the two girls behind him with his massive body. Sakura, on the other hand, was wielding two kunai and was scanning the corridor below with eyes of a hawk. Gradient was behind her, covering in what looked to be worry and fear. When she heard the door open, her eyes whipped towards it with shock - but immediately shone with relief as she saw Hisa behind Allene.

    But what were they shielding themselves from?

    There, in the corridor, stood three... things.

    Three things of pure darkness.

    Like shadows.

    With a single, horrible red eye.

    Like a spiral, plastered over their faces.

    Each one alike and not... and each one staring at the people at the stairs with twisted, demented grins on their faces.

    "--- That's why I call them The Eyes," Allene whispered in horror.

    New Nightmare Met!
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; April 14th, 2021 at 03:45 PM.

  10. #3990
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    It hurt.

    Ahhh…

    It’s painful.

    My blood's pouring out of me. The Church, again? Really? How many of these goddamn hounds must stand around at the ready?



    Even in the mist it hurts. But I can already see him running away, going for people who don't even have the wherewithal to fight back. As expected, he's the lowest of the low. As expected, he's an idiot. Turning his back to me? Is that really the play you want to make, Lane?

    “Hey…”

    I stood up anyways. Blood leaking from my body as I laughed.

    “Where exactly, do you think you’re going, you third-rate fucking excuse?”

    My mana is blood.

    My mana is life.

    My essence –

    What am I, exactly? What is the core of that girl, ‘Alexstrasza Lockhart’? Isn’t it obvious? Isn’t it something so immediately obvious that it’s almost laughable?



    It's just a spark, at first. A candle being lit.

    This fucking ingrate.

    How dare he.

    I’m pissed as fucking hell.

    I’m standing on shaky feet, my hand in the air, laughing so hard I can barely breathe.

    The prana running through my body reached a fever pitch.

    Ο Ουρανός ονειρεύεται, ηλίθιος.



    I lift a hand that's coated in a hundred thousand flames, shining so bright that it can't even be looked at directly.

    Turn around you bastard. Haaaaah? Looking down on me? Thinking I'm out just because your shitty trump card activated? Are you an idiot?

    Look at me.

    Do you know who, exactly, I am? What I've been through? The amount of pain and suffering, the bleeding I've endured, the tragedies I've crafted with my own two hands to stand here alone? Do you know what it's like, to really touch the sky?

    I suppose you'll have to learn. What is it, 23? 24 meters? Who fucking cares. I'll melt his fucking corpse and interrogate the goddamn ashes.



    I launch the prana from my finger. A single pinpoint of flame that bursts into an explosion, a shot from a gun that he can't even see. Revolvers? So very plebian. So very simple, ordinary, and unrealistic.

    A meter wide lance of fire so hot it glows white bursts from the end of my finger, and I can smell the flashfire heat as it cuts through the air faster then the eye can track.

    Combat is fun, right? It's fun to fight to the death. But those two? I'm sorry, are you perhaps gutter trash not fit to breathe the same air as us? Are you lacking in the mental capacity to comprehend why your actions are wrong?

    ...

    Dearest Potemkin, is...

    Is that me, on the other side of that flame?




    New Ability Witnessed!


    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    STR: C END: C AGI: B WIL: ? INT: C EGO: A
    HP: 18/51 (-31)
    MP: 39/60 (-8)
    DOD:
    4
    ACC: 4
    Movement: 10


    Thaumaturgies:
    The Sky’s Dream - Destruction, Fire
    Rank: A (Color In Bloom) MP: 8
    If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons. A dragon’s flames are an impossibility to the ordinary world; such fire is too strong for mankind to possibly hold - the essence of ‘fire’, a flame so hot that it burns like the sun, is dangerous to bring into reality. And yet, somehow, this girl can shoot a railgun of fire bursts from her fingers like a bullet across the sky.
    [When cast, creates a 1 meter wide line of fire up to 40 meters long. Each creature within this line takes 25 Fire Damage versus their Physical Defense.]

    A Cloak of Crimson - Abjuration, Sanguine
    Rank: D MP: 3
    Alexstrasza weaves a mist of blood, hiding her from her opposition as well as allowing her to temporarily dissipate inside of it. As it is, a part of her - through both magic and through essence - she can still perceive her surroundings inside of it and bide her time.
    [Creates a mist of blood in a 20 meter radius from the caster. Those within it are effectively blinded, and one cannot see inside it. While inside the cloud, the caster becomes incorporeal with a Rank D Invisibility, and part of the mist, and thus cannot be attacked by most attacks. However, in return, they cannot attack anyone either. They can still observe those within the mist and those outside it, however. This spell has a Duration of 2 Rounds.]

    A Cloak of Crimson - Abjuration, Sanguine / Reaction Variant
    Rank: C (18AP) MP: 5
    If she is prepared, Alexstrasza can split herself without a need for her crimson cloak, wrapping her blood in mana so that her entire body seems almost disposable - limbs removing themselves, head popping off, the whole macabre suite. Of course, if she is unprepared, or simply not thinking about it, such an ability is practically only suited as a party trick.
    [In response to enemy making an attack targeting only the caster, the user is able to become momentary mist to avoid this attack. This version does not give Invisibility, but the caster cannot be targeted by physical attacks or attacks that target Physical Defense. This form lasts until the start of the caster's next Turn.]

    From Blood, To Blood - Destruction, Sanguine
    Rank: D (Spoke of the Color Wheel) MP: 2
    Alexstrasza’s blood is a weapon of her own design. Alexstrasza creates long, thin strands of red that extend from the tips of her fingers, striking in and draining the life of her opponent into herself, through magic and through her own madness.
    [Choose a target within 20 meters. The target is dealt 14 Sanguine Damage versus their EGO Defense. Afterwards, the caster is healed for half of the dealt damage after mitigation.]

    Tendrils of the Deep - Destruction, Darkness
    Rank: C (Spoke of the Color Wheel) MP: 3
    Alexstrasza forces her dominance onto the shadows themselves, creating spikes to entrap her foes in their coils, piercing them through if they can manage to ensnare their target in their grasp.
    [Choose a target within 30 meters. The target is pierced by shadowy tendrils and dealt 13 Darkness Damage. In addition, the target is forced into a EGO Protection contest against a Shatter Score of 7. If they fail, they are chained by the tendrils. The target is restrained on the spot for 2 Rounds.]
    Last edited by Frantic Author; April 12th, 2021 at 08:32 PM.
    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.


  11. #3991
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    I watched the Doll and Nikolai Labzin talk for a good bit of time. Something about his demeanor felt off in my opinion. While I have become a more open and trusting person, my gut feeling towards someone who appeared here was a little too… trusting. I kept getting the feeling that he was too nice, too disarming, and too accommodating despite having done nothing. There were reasons why I started trusting someone and he did not have any of those reasons. Yet, I felt like I COULD trust him. Which made my next actions particularly more dangerous.

    “Even if Anna Vandemeel has the means of fracturing the space-time continuum, I feel like I should mention that she might actually not be the source of it. While that may not excuse her of the other crimes that she is being accused of… However, I haven’t seen Anna Vandemeel endanger the facade or anything particularly dangerous to my knowledge.”

    That’s right. I decided to reveal myself on the second floor. I decided to walk into his visual range with my arms up to indicate that I didn’t mean to start a fight. Whether this was where he was going to stop his disarming facade and attack me now that I have revealed myself is something I’ll find out soon...

    “As for why it could not be Anna Vandemeel, I’ve met with another person and they’ve told me that there is a missing time machine located in this town. Who has it or why it is here is unknown at this time, but that could be the cause of what the Prague Orloj are detecting. Unless they are positive that the fracture is magic-based in origin.”

    I let that sink in before continuing.

    “Also sorry for introducing myself a bit late, I was being cautious considering this town’s history and the amount of Turnside concentrated here for a small town... You can call me Vier, I guess.”

  12. #3992
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    There was no answer for a while. The only companions to the silence were the startled surprised expressions on Orion's and Alex's face, the latter's shock being closer to actual terror than mere surprise. Well, that was to be expected.

    "...!"

    But eventually, the 'answer' to Vivienne's demands came. It was a chain that was shooting in the direction of Alex -- not a conventional, regular chain, but rather something that had been weaved into reality by the threads of magecraft. Quickly reacting, Vivienne swept from a standing position into a dash with incredible alacrity, propelling herself to Alex's side as to protect the journalist...

    ... but it would appear that things were not as bad as Vivienne may have thought -- rather than an attack or an attempt at abducting Alex, this was merely the Master of whatever Vivienne had cornered, retrieving its own pet back. The source of it was... something that Vivienne had considered a possibility.

    She had noticed both Ramia and Anna on the way in after all.

    Anna then attempted to cast a strange spell. At first, Vivienne had no idea what was going on and was getting ready to either block or yank Alex out of the way, however, she realized eventually that this was some sort of exotic displacement spell that was targeted right at... the soul.

    However, currently, Vivienne Bianchi's soul is... not exactly a normal thing, is it?

    The question of wherever Anna's spell was ineffective due to Vivienne's peculiar condition, her simply being lucky, or some external factor would remain unanswered for now -- all that was certain for now, was that while the darkness washed over Vivienne and beckoned her to a distant, faraway place, she managed to stand her ground and not follow it.

    That call was somewhat nostalgic still. Perhaps in some other circumstance, on another day, she would have followed it... but not today.

    As the spell subsided, Vivienne checked on her surroundings -- Alex was still here, Orion too... and so were Anna and Ramia. Somehow, nothing had changed. Anna had no visible sign of hostility on her face, but Vivienne wasn't sure yet on what she wanted to do, and this spell that had attempted to whisk everyone but Alex away could have been Anna's method of clearing a path to effortlessly abduct or... eliminate Alex.

    Of course, this would conflict with Elaine's report in a way that Anna was trustworthy... but Elaine being trustworthy also contradicted Alex's report anyways, didn't it? Ultimately, the trustworthiness of people would be equally subjective and objective, for Vivienne was sure that everyone who had come to Road's End had an agenda of their own, some conflicting more with others.

    At any rate, Vivienne's wish to have a talk with Anna had finally come into fruition, if one looked at the current devlopment more positively... though... this wasn't exactly how she had pictured it.

    Seeing Anna's chain yank her familiar free from Vivienne's makeshift prison, and reeling it back into its master's arms, Vivienne too recalled her daggers, extending her open hand towards the black blades that had embedded themselves into the wood. As if answering her wordless summons, the black blades swiftly levitated back into their owner's hands, slipping effortlessly between the hold of Vivienne's fingers.

    "Mademoiselle Terrot, please don't panic..." she tells the reporter while looking over her shoulder.

    Unfortunately, as much as she would like to comfort Alex, there is little that her emotionless can accomplish in such regards -- though perhaps it would be a good time to wear one of her masks. She considers it... but that might be revealing a bit too much of her hand right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Mhm… I see. This is a rather unique spell, you know? It took generations to get the spiritual resonance tuned just right.

    The supernatural, no matter whether its magical or scientific, leaves a marking one’s soul. Or to put it more precisely, it alters us from the original template. This is why this spell didn’t target Terrot back there. That’s because when the chips come down, she is just a normal human being.

    As for us, we all have our different ways and different methods, but… one can hardly call us normal humans anymore.”
    "... I see."

    She answers as she nods her head, but not her guard. Or well, one can hardly read the emotions that through Vivienne Bianchi's mind, because after all, as it is always said... she has no visible emotions to show. As thus wherever her 'I see' was uttered with understanding, sarcasm or mistrust, Anna is left to interpret it in her own way.

    Still, the fact that she does not put away her daggers, means that she is still being careful at what is happening here, though that may have been because of Anna's following words:

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Well, even if we leave that aside. Am I supposed to believe that someone with your level of spiritual interference is some kind underling for a random reporter? At this rate, I’m gonna end up finding out that Teplitsa is working as a waiter at the local diner.

    So, if you don’t mind me asking…
    Exactly who the hell are you and what the fuck is your angle here?
    In a way, Anna had made Vivienne's job of determining Orion's true intentions much easier. While Vivienne was trying to beat around the bush and try to talk her way into him slipping up about his work, Anna's rather... direct approach had yielded considerably better results.A bit ironic, that an attempt at keeping secrecy instead lead to more secrets being spilled out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Fiddlesticks
    "Booooss, that lady's crazy! S-she almost made me into a puncushion! Austrian cheese! Swish-kebab! I-I didn't sign up for this sorta danger, do something about her, her eyes are super scary!"
    "Kebab is not made by the Swiss... I think you are supposed to say... uh... Swiss Cheese?"

    ... perhaps that Vivienne Bianchi did indeed some have some sense of humor left inside her. Though it could also be a mere misunderstanding -- that pet did speak with a strange accent. Why Vivienne felt the need to correct the pet however, nobody will know. To her, it probably seemed logical, or perhaps proper etiquette.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    "Listen... sure, sure, I can talk, if that helps you calm down. I mean, it's not like I'm lying to you or anything - I make it my policy not to lie to beautiful girls. As I said, I'm Orion. And believe it or not, I am Barney Keyhoe's assistant. Of course, that's not all I am, but currently, I'm just working with the guy, helping him along with his little quest. That's who I am as Orion. However...

    ... I'm also known by another name. With that name, I'm another kind of assistant. Perhaps you could call me a... handyman of sorts. I help around with what needs to be done, and that's that.

    In that role, I go by --- Yozora Hikari."
    "... Hikari? Do you know... Sora Hikari? "

    The surname rang a bell, and this could be an interesting lead -- though if Liana was somehow tied to Orion... and Orion to Barney... and Barney to Alex's demise... well, this was creating one hell of a convoluted diagram for the links each and everyone had.

    But could Vivienne really complain? When one takes a step back it is easy to realize that the entirety of Road's End...

    ... is an absolute clusterfuck.
    Last edited by Ayakashi; April 12th, 2021 at 05:20 PM.

  13. #3993
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Despite the blue-haired strangers' rather mellow and easy-going words, the calculated coldness present in Anna’s eyes went nowhere. No. If anything, as this man, Yozora, Orion, whatever he decided to call himself, kept speaking, the demeanor of the Estonian witch hardened even further, seemingly even less trusting of the man than she was before. He was too calm, too composed, and too at ease in the current situation. The entire thing smacked too heavily of damage control to her.

    “…a “handyman”, huh? Well, well, color me shocked. I didn’t quite expect to run into another maintenance worker around these parts.”

    Her fingers subconsciously traced the outline of the loop of steel still in her palm. Normally such a gesture would have been utterly unthreatening… but in the light of what had happened seconds earlier, when the air had been filled with moving steel, the gesture took on a whole different meaning. A memory surfaced deep from within her consciousness of a morning a couple of days ago.

    Spoiler:
    “You're the only one who can make any heads or tails of Dr. Hikari's papers, so-“

    Hikari… You related to those two holed up at the Spade Queen, by any chance? What was their name again…” A predatory smile flickered on Anna’s lips for a moment, almost as if the two of them were sharing an in-joke of some kind. “Challenger and Discovery, right? You assist in keeping government property nice and clean?”

    “Plucking out annoying weeds and somesuch?”

    “I initially thought you might be affiliated with the Pentagram, but considering that I can’t make heads or tails out of that knife of yours and that name… You one of those AMADEUS… products, by any chance? I’ve personally only run into the Naukograd tin cans in the past but…”

    Anna’s eyes flickered momentarily to the sinister-looking, blazing, knife in Orion’s hands.

    “I’ve been told that the models from the far-east are more subtle, y’know? Specialized in infiltration into normal society and assassination. Why I hear they can just slit your throat end-to-end mid-conversation without even skipping a beat, ain't that something?

    In an almost subtle, undetectable manner, the faint hint of ozone snuck its way back to the library, building up more and more, even as Anna continued to speak. Something very old, very supernatural, and definitely very dangerous, was making itself known in the shadow of the witch-in-red. The air suddenly felt thick with moisture and heat, almost as if someone had forgotten the thermostat on, even as everyone felt their hair starting standing on its end. Even as the man in front of her was genial, Anna was most assuredly not.

    She had no intention to take this "assistant" by his honeyed words.

    “Now… I am very interested in all the nitty-gritty details of the “janitorial work” that you have been doing around these parts and for exactly who have you been cleaning up for.”

    The loop of steel started to twirl around her finger in a wholly unnatural manner, even as arcs of crimson mana, reminiscent of electrical charges, ran over its surface.

    Never mind a dropped pin setting off a chain reaction, with the way things were now, Anna wouldn’t mind dropping entire ceiling down on this situation if she felt it was necessary.

    And she was going to get her answers from this grease-coated bastard one way or another.

    “And I don’t particularly care about the means that I have to use to get that info out of you, Mr. Oriental Orion.
    Last edited by Mellon; April 13th, 2021 at 12:42 PM.

  14. #3994
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    It immediately became obvious that this time, Allene was not joking, nor exaggerating. The beings that stood right there in the corridor seemed very real, as much as they looked like something out of a nightmare. Indeed, they must have been real, if Allene, Josie and Beatrice knew about them, and saw them multiple times now. Then, it can’t have been just a one time trick, something to deceive the eyes. Still...what were they then?

    “So much for sneaking out…”

    The tension was almost palpable. While it was certain that both Pyry and Sakura were quite capable when it came to dealing with the turnside...having to face something so ominous and unknown must have been hard even on them.

    Still, there was at least one thing about the creatures that seemed strangely familiar…

    Yes, there was one thing that those two should have realized too, even without knowing all the details. That the creatures had a single red ‘eye’, with their left eye missing, and a constant, twisted grin...just like how one would imagine Indrid by the end of Beatrice’s story, or that so called Dot, based on the rumours. It can’t have been just a coincidence. Even if I could not explain the connection, I was quite certain of that...and that it did not mean any good.

    Regardless, time was short. There was no time for chatting or just standing around, especially with how close they were already. Even if it was a big house, the distances were still relatively short - even a completely ordinary human could have closed the distance from one end of the corridor to the other in just a few seconds, and no one here was exactly ordinary…

    At the same time, if it was possible, it was better to not even give them the chance to act, or to let them get into contact with Pyry and the others. If something happened to them here…

    No, I was not going to let that happen. But this was not enough. I needed more. But…

    I closed my eyes...

    It was dark.

    While I could still sense the presences around me, I was also alone, in peace...




    Look within yourself,
    What do you see?
    The sea of your soul,
    The unnerving stillness, the calm before the storm…

    Look closer now,
    What do you see?
    Burning echoes of the past,
    Reforged by desire, tempered by fury…

    Search deeper,
    What…
    Do you see?



    Eyes blazing with fury, flared up and levelled a white-hot glare at the creatures.

    Lazily, her hand by her side, Hisa snapped her fingers.

    “Kneel.”

    The command is barely more than a whisper, even if it is filled with cold rage. However, the force it wielded speaks much louder. Like a swirling, fiery tempest, it filled the atmosphere. The heat became unbearable and suffocating, almost as if it was draining all the oxygen out of the corridor, or burning it away. The intense pressure weighing on everything around made it hard to stand as it attempted to crush everything beneath it. It was powerful enough to completely break the weak, to make them squirm on the ground, in panic, unable to do anything, as it slowly burns them away as well…

    But in reality, nothing changed. The corridor was just like it was moments ago, dimly lit, cool and foreboding. There were no blazing tempests - even if a glint of roaring flames could be seen in Hisa’s eyes - and the only thing that felt different was the faint, but clearly noticeable presence of Odic energy that was originating from her.

    Indeed, all of it just happened in the minds of those she exerted this force against. Her hatred, compressed, and projected into their heads, trying to crush their resolve from within, all the while twisting and distorting their perception of their surroundings too. With her authority over their minds, she could control their emotions with ease, and make them feel the full brunt of her temper...

    It felt good.

    It almost brought the ghost of a small, satisfied smile to her face.

    It’s been a while since she could just let loose, to draw from her suppressed emotions and just vent her pent up frustration and hate without any care. To give back others the pain they have given her twofold.

    Still...it was different this time. She wasn’t alone. She was surrounded by people she wanted to consider her friends. She wanted her power to protect them. Hence why even though her anger was flowing through her stronger than ever, her control over it felt much more refined and natural. Enough that she could separate them from the rest, sparing and sheltering them from her outburst, even if she was sure that they could still sense it.

    So for now, her eyes were locked onto the shadowy creatures in front of them, her glare practically boring a hole through their forms as she tried to force her presence upon them...




    Ability Reveal!
    Category : Emotion Transference

    Experiencing emotionally stimulating events, or just by rekindling certain memories from the past, Hisa is capable of embracing, and forcing the effects of that governing emotion upon the minds of those around her. While in theory the array of possible emotions is vast, many of them are either too trivial or ones that Hisa is not too fond of. Instead, she tries to focus on just a select few, the ones that she is most familiar with, and refine those as best as she can.

    To be utilized properly, Hisa needs to be in a certain state of mind. While most of the time it is not particularly hard to achieve, certain situations can still make it more difficult, and without the governing emotion fueling her power, the effect may be lacking.

    Anger

    Rank : B
    Element : Choleric

    Anger has always been an emotion that Hisa had to repress, and keep deep down within her heart. Still, it's hardly something she is unaccustomed with. Through her life, many have caused her pain and grief, and most of the time she just had to swallow it down...But she also knows how good it feels to lash back at those people without caring about the consequences, to let her anger surface and run amok, if just for a moment. When used, Hisa draws power from the hatred accumulated within her heart, and projects it into the minds of those around her. While it has no visible effects, for those affected the atmosphere will start feeling much heavier and oppressive, almost as if Hisa's fury was weighting on them physically. Any target that is unable to resist is forced on their knees and and becomes unable to move. For long as Hisa is channelling her power, the mental terror will force most to instinctively focus on their own survival.

    Create a sphere of 25 meters with the center point being Hisa. Any target Hisa designs within range is subjected to an INT Protection contest against a shattering score of 13. If they fail, they immediately become Prone and Restrained on the spot. The ability has a Duration of 4 Rounds.
    Last edited by Cheetose; April 14th, 2021 at 01:01 PM.

  15. #3995
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Oh ho~? Well~"

    The sultry smile on the brunette woman's face widened, and she practically licked her lips.

    "I would definitely like to see those abs that were so highly recommended, perhaps properly up, close and personal," the purred, leaning closer and closer to Ahti. "What say you we ditch the kids for a while and retire for my room upstairs? I'm sure Billie won't mind looking after your kid-sisters while we, uh... get better acquainted."

    While Carrie Lakes tried to drape her arm over Ahti's shoulders and worm her way into the young man's lap (a fact that made every hair on his body stand up like those of a very alarmed cat), Billie Boulders let out a loud laugh and slapped the countertop, grinning ear-to-ear at Prushka's compliments.

    "Gwahahaha~! You think so?" The bartender asked, lifting her arm up and posing a bit with her bulging biceps. "Well, I'd say these guns have managed to get me out of few scrapes here and there, so yeah, I'm mighty proud of them! Though looks like they still have some growing up to do, ahahaha~! Well, not that I mind! After all, it's always nice to meet a fellow enthusiast of the toned physique, whether it's someone pursuing that path or someone who just appreciates it."

    Her single functioning eye hopped between Ahti and Prushka both, the smile on her face remaining along with her good cheer.

    "Speaking of which, you might wanna watch out," Billie continued, snickering a bit. "If you're not careful, Carrie here is gonna eat up your friend alive. She has a bad habit of doing so."

    The other woman frowned at such a comment, throwing Billie a dirty look.

    "Hey, try not to make me sound so much like a desperate cougar, alright? I'm just having a bit of fun here," she retorted before turning back to Ahti with a flutter of her eyelashes. "And there's nothing wrong with having a bit of fun, right~?"

    Ahti, looking like he was already searching for an escape route, buried his face in that pint of beer in his face.

    "Uh yeah... I guess..."

    Billie, on the other hand, had returned her attention to both Xandra and Prushka.

    "Anyways, what can I get you kiddos? Fair warning, our soft drink selection is a bit thin, but we've got the classics," she asked, folding her massive, tree-trunk like arms. "We've got some snacks too if you're on the hungry side."




    Elaine Winters
    Location: The Lighthouse
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Joshua scratched his chin.

    "Well, tiger lady was a tiger lady. A literal one, actually. Had the looks of a wild animal and a tail to boot, hid in here for a while as if the devil himself had been nipping at her heels. Then, couple of nights ago, bunch of your youngins marched in and gave her one heck of a scare - made her jump right outta that window over younder," the ghost explained, nodding towards the top floor. "Meanwhile the one drowning on perfurme didn't do much - just studied the mechanics of the light up there for a while, all the while muttering some curses about her boss. Had this face like she had stepped on a dog's dooty on her way here. Seemed like a nasty piece of work all around."

    Outside, the rain was falling as incessant as ever. The grey clouds that had gathered were almost as if a reflection of the whole mood of this town, and especially a certain group of students from Pinefall High. Those in the know, those who knew of the truth regarding this week, this only week given to them, must have all felt a certain sense of dread at the backs of their minds. Weekend was finally here, and Sunday was creeping ever so close.

    Only two days.

    Two measly days.

    Could a fate that seemed to be written in stone be overthrown this time?

    Or was it an impossible task to begin with?

    No...

    ... Mr. Oceandrop had believed that a miracle was possible. And that miracle would come from the students he had watched over.

    The words he had spoken had been said with such conviction, such faith in Elaine and the others, that it felt almost impossible to argue them.

    As if one man's conviction in his students could have been a spark which would light up the night.

    "As for the artist, eh... what was his name again? I'm sure that his family still lived in this town, even to this day... had a son or maybe two, can't rightly remember. Well, not his son, more like a grand-grandson or some such, but you get what I mean..." Joshua continued. "If I'm not too far off, the name of that guy was..."

    He paused, before suddenly nodding to himself.

    "Mitchell. Yeah, his name was Mitchell."




    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Campus
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Bad intel? Miscommunication? Leak in the plans? Girl, you know your order better than this..."

    The blue eyes in the reflection narrowed.

    "The appearance of something like me is a red alert across the board. They do not just send a small squad to deal with a situation like this, simply trusting that nothing will go wrong or that the fools you hunt won't do exactly as happened," LBJ spoke quietly, yet with terrible steel in its voice. "They know what could happen, what could go wrong. Thus they will always engage with the appropriate measure of force. Swift strike to cut off the head, and erase or detain whatever remains. For all their faith, your order knows better than to simply trust that everything goes right. They've seen the darkness of this world... and they've learned it through experience."

    Somehow, that migraine at the back of Elise's head was growing greater and greater. Black clots of something were swimming in her eyes and there was a constant pressure that swam around her skull, like coiling snakes constricting themselves around her head. As the mental world around her grew smaller, as the eyes of the demon grew larger, it was getting harder and harder to concentrate. The voice of LBJ was everywhere, but it was hard to even get a proper look at it, him, her.

    Her?

    "Tell me, Girl... why was the group then so small? If it was, there should have been someone of greater power with them, someone who knew how to deal with demons and their ilk, someone who had vanquished many of them in the past," the demon continued to press her. "But was there? Can you remember the faces of your comrades that night? Was there someone of that caliber within that group? Someone who you remember? Someone who didn't do their job?"

    A terrible, terrible silence.

    "--- No. None of those who were with you was like that, were they?"

    A searing pain struck Elise's right eye, coursing through from the top of her skull all the way to the base of her jaw.

    And in that moment of sharp agony...
    She saw something.


    "Would it be alright if I left this matter into your hands?"

    The sound of the teacup against the saucer felt colder, harsher than before.

    The skies of Montreal were cold that day.





    "Consider it a... personal favour."

    The smile of archbishop was as unpleasant as ever.

    In the glittering beauty of the basilica...

    ... It was like the necessary evil.


    And then, the vision was gone.

    All that remained was the throbbing memory of pain in her mind, the mental landscape around her, and the demon with eyes of ice that stared down at her, still grasping that hand that had reached through the immaterial window.

    "... The thing that was summoned that night was not me. Even you should realize that by now, Girl," LBJ said with a sense of finality in its voice. "Me and that creature have as little to do with each other as you and the shaman girl who's now watching over you."

    --- There was terrible truth in those words.

    The rampaging abomination of that night may have been many things...

    ... But it wasn't the type to sing Simon & Garfunkel, much less engage in conversation with Elise.




    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen - Cocktail Lounge
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Lenore stared deep into her glass of cognac that seemed to be filling itself up whenever Colt's eyes were elsewhere.

    "... 'Tis a creature whose existence is mysterious even to myself. To grasp its true form is hard, and though I may venture a guess or two, none of them would be helpful to you. As a being inside the cat box, your perspective differs from mine. Thus, you could say that what appears to me one way may appear to you as something wholly else," the vampire spoke with delibirate words. "Still, if it acts as if t'were the cause and reason for the suffering within this black box, then... Hm. It may truly and well be so. But not in the sense that you may think."

    The deep crimson eyes were turned at Colt, carefully studying his expressions and reactions to what was being said. At the same time, Cathie's quiet snoozing filled the background with a soft sort of music, adding to the dimmed and gentle atmosphere of the lounge. No other people were there to bother the two, no one to eavesdrop, and at some point, Colt had noticed that a crescent moon had began to rise up into the window. Yet it appeared far greater and grander than before - far closer to the sky itself.

    ... But it wasn't even properly dark out yet, was it?

    "It may be a thematic creature, a personification of the cruel fate that binds you. An amalgam of all the horrible things that plague this town. Perhaps t'were best to think of it as the spokesperson for what you are up against, a myriad mysteries all given a singular voice. With a face of its own, it may appear to taunt you and to haunt you, to give a target to your hatred and someone to blame," the vampire answered. "A scapegoat, if you will. Though... perhaps, just mayhaps, 'tis a plan of something else. Something atually tangible. It mantles itself with the blame of all that happens, and thus, when people so believe, becomes truly responsible - the underlying cause. That may give a being with no anchor to this world a way to lay their roots - needle their thread into the tapestry by being recognized by others."

    With a quiet nod, Lenore turned her eyes away and took a swig of alcohol, smacking her lips quietly and letting out a satisfied sigh.

    "Belief holds all the power within this world, moppet - it makes and brakes gods. 'Tis imagination which governs both the world that is real and the one that has turned away. We are all naught but flickering shadows dancing on the wall of the cave, and 'tis our minds that gives that dance meaning," she spoke. "Never forget that. Especially in a place such as this, which has been plucked from the thread of time."

    She paused, if but for a moment.

    "Yes... it would appear that this single week of September in 1994, experienced by a single town at north-western USA, has been erased from space and time - and there is naught a person who can peer into the black void that now replaces it. None in past, present or the future. In a truly literal cat box such as this, anything may be possible."

  16. #3996
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Wahaha! I'm a pursuer of the path too!"

    I raise my arm and curl it upwards, matching Billie's flex with one of my own.

    While it might not seem like much - it's still a tiny limb after all - a keen eye might spot all the work that went into it the muscles that are there! After all, I used to be super duper weak. As weak as a toddler, with no tone at all. Before my training I couldn't even climb up a bookshelf or carry one of my smaller siblings up a flight of stairs. I'd get tired just from running for a minute or two. Needless to say, you could probably knock me out with a good smack to the head. Up there, though, it was a different story. I still remember all the running around and training that Boss made me do... like lifting heavy bags of dog food and carrying them to and fro, doing pull-ups on the freezing barrel of a T-34, or even running laps through thick snow around the whole complex ten times as a row in the early morning as 'patrol practice'. That's without all the 'combat practice', which was way worse. My muscles remember all of it. Now, even with the body of a child, I'm as strong as a teenager and as tough and quick as a full-grown adult!

    ...though, he did say at the end that his training was meant to take a normal person to at least the level of an Olympic athlete, so maybe you couldn't call it completely successful... either way! The path of muscles knows no end. Surely when puberty hits for real I'll only get even stronger as I grow!

    Though, right now, it seems like there's an enemy here that all the muscle in the world can't defend against.

    Quote Originally Posted by Carrie
    "What say you we ditch the kids for a while and retire for my room upstairs? I'm sure Billie won't mind looking after your kid-sisters while we, uh... get better acquainted."
    "W-w-wait. Time out!"

    I make a big 'X' with my arms, without even thinking.

    So that's it!? It's like that? Like that?

    "Um, that's, hold on. We're not his kid sisters. That is, uh, we're not kids. Or sisters. Not related at all! So, uh..."

    Oh no. Now I understand why there was a feeling of danger. This lady, Carrie... she and Hisa would get along really well, wouldn't they? So there's no way I can leave Ahti to her devices. He's in super danger. Danger only I can save him from.

    "Prushka! Nice to meet you!"

    I move forward. Or rather, to the side. Or, double rather, I plant myself on Ahti's lap before Carrie can take the spot for herself. He's big and I'm small, so there's plenty of room.

    I take her outstretched hand that looks almost like a snake about to deliver a killing bite, and shake it firmly before it can wrap itself around Ahti's shoulders.

    Don't worry, Ahti. I've got your back. Or I guess your front, in this case.

    "You wanna have fun, right? Well fun starts with drinks! I'm the visitor, so I'll buy! Uh, if it's not too expensive."

    Let's see, what do we have to get? I frantically scan the bottles behind the counter, until...

    Quote Originally Posted by Billie
    "Anyways, what can I get you kiddos? Fair warning, our soft drink selection is a bit thin, but we've got the classics. We've got some snacks too if you're on the hungry side."
    "Xandra, what are you feeling? Whiskey? Moonshine? One of the local brews?" Came all the way here, might as well get something out of the ordinary. Or maybe it's best to stick to a regular order, like 'a beer' or 'the usual'. Though I have no idea what the usual even means. Either way, gotta play it cool. Can't let her know I've never ordered at a bar before.

    I glimpse something strange at the top right of the shelves, an unlabeled black bottle that stands out from the rest due to how nondescript it is.

    "Oh, and what about that?" I point it out to Billie. Maybe it's a secret recipe? Maybe an advanced beer?
    Last edited by Bloble; April 14th, 2021 at 05:35 PM.

  17. #3997
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    The flames ran, and lit up the night.

    A veritable maelstrom of fire, an inferno that refused to cease, swallowed up the alleyway. For a moment, the meter wide wide-hot beam of light turned into nothing but the purest of flames and burnt away everything it touched - even the air itself, leaving behind only a vacuum. Oxygen rushed into the hole that had been vaporized into the world, creating a booming sound of a tornado that followed the roar of the flames themselves. It was the cacophony of destruction, brought forth by the hands of the girl who carried her three names with pride, the one who mastered both the veil of the night and the rage of the fire within her. One of the few impeccable geniuses that walked the halls of the Midnight Castle.

    Under the command of Alexstrasza Lockhart's authority, as a result of her royal decree, the space between the buildings was swallowed up by fire.

    It was an inferno with no end.

    And at the center of it stood the hated opposer, the man known as Lane Griffith who had dealt such a grievous wound to the master of the flame and the dark.

    That very same inferno swallowed him up, covering even his sudden scream of pain. Nothing of him was left to observe as first the beam, then the flames that followed, completely covered him up.

    Alexstrasza could feel that her prana had scored a direct hit.

    Thus, the only thing she had to do was to watch... and wait.

    --- To see if what would remain was a wounded opponent, or a charred corpse.

    And eventually...

    "----- Gyaha... haha... gkk... guh... haha... ahahaha..."

    She heard her answer.



    Mangled by the flames of war, her opponent still stood - just barely.

    As badly wounded as she herself was.

    Blood and burns covered his body, and his form was licked by the fire that remained, scorching the asphalt.

    Yet still...

    Lane Griffith had survived.

    "You biiiiiitch...!"

    His growl was akin to a mad dog.

    But as Alexstrasza watched her opponent stagger back to his feet, she saw something else in those eyes of his as well. It wasn't just madness, or bloodlust or thrill of the battle... no, the condescending gaze had set itself aside as well. What she saw now, in those eyes that glared down at her, were... what was even that emotion? It wasn't like the ones before, but it was close. Excited, exhilarated, emotion-filled...

    Ah.

    Those eyes... they looked at her...

    With lust.

    "That power... haha... gahaha... that's what I'm talking about, bitch," Lane growled, slapping his legs as if to prepare another spell. "I want that... I want you. Mark my words woman... haha... I've decided it."

    The crazed eyes widened as he prepared his next move.

    "I'm going to make you mine."

    His body coiled, his muscled tensed up, the ambient mana in his ritual tensed up, and at that very moment between the one and the perdition, when the two crazed combatants would clash again until only one of them was left standing...!

    A sudden grim grunt cut through the tension as a human form rushed through the flames.





    A flurry of knuckleduster strikes assaulted Lane, each one of them managing to find their target even against the impossible odds - one of them accidentaly slamming into the red-haired man's solar plexus as he tried to whirl around to avoid the onslaught.

    "Whaaaat?"

    An almost sneering voice was thrown at the bloodied, like a slap against the face.

    "Sure, I was sorta caught off-guard by all the explosions and the superpowers, but what? Ain't this just another dick-waving contest like all fights?" Travis Gagnon asked as he stepped through the flames, cracking his knuckles. "Well, why the hell not? Been a while since I let loose anyway. I mean... setting a proper force of nature like Zaza over there against a third-rate thug against you is a waste anyway."

    The feral eyes of the blue-haired boy turned into one hell of a glare.

    While it might have been easy to forget thanks to the recent events, while he had opened up about his past and who he had been in the past, there was one thing about Travis that should have never been disregarded.

    He had lived and breathed the streets.

    A veritable King of Delinquents in Canada.

    A man who would take any cheap shot, any low blow, just to bring his opponent down.

    And right now, that man lifted his hand, twisted his face into a mocking grin with his tongue hanging out...

    "Right now, even I can bring down a loser like you."

    And pointed his thumb down, like giving out an order of execution.

    And Lane Griffith, suddenly faced with danger from both sides...

    "--------- Tch!"




    --- He shot towards the skies with one last explosions from his feet.

    And as he somersaulted towards the darkness of the growing night, he aimed one last glare towards the blonde girl at the ground.

    As if to tell her:

    This is not over.

    Not by a long shot.

    And thus, as quickly as he had appeared, the violent man of carnage disappeared from the back alley, flying towards west in a series of explosions, like a sparks littering the blackened sky underneath the rain.



    [Hit! Lane Griffith: 25 - 4 = 21 Fire Damage (Classical PHYS Defense)!]
    [Hit! Lane Griffith: 9 - 4 = 5 Modern PHYS Damage (Classical PHYS Defense)!]
    [Hit! Lane Griffith: 5 - 4 = 1 Modern PHYS Damage (Classical PHYS Defense)!]
    [Hit! Lane Griffith: 5 - 4 = 1 Modern PHYS Damage (Classical PHYS Defense)!]
    [Hit! Lane Griffith: 5 - 4 = 1 Modern PHYS Damage (Classical PHYS Defense)!]


    New Ability Witnessed!
    Lane Griffith
    STR: D END: D AGI: B WIL: ? INT: B EGO: D
    HP: 5/37
    DOD:
    4
    ACC: 4
    Movement: 12


    Perks:

    [Pinnacle of Martial Arts]
    Cost: 30 AP
    You have taken physical attacks and turned them into an art. Becoming one with a weapon of your choice, you have honed your skill into a true danger to anyone who faces you. When you take this Perk, choose one weapon you have. This can be your unarmed attacks as well. You learn an array of martial arts moves that you can utilize in combat with your weapon of choice.

    Revolver Six: Shot Through the Heart (Reaction)
    Rank: A
    Qi Points: 5
    A straightforward attack ability that can be only used as a counter when the enemy misses the user with an attack. The user utilizes their terrifying speed to near-instantly move to the back of their opponent and launch a torpedo kick that skewers them from the defenseless position, as if attempting to pierce right through them. As the previous attack has left the enemy defenseless, the user can launch an all-out attack before the target can act or do anything else, possibly stopping them from attempting anything else if the attack is enough to kill the opponent instantly.

    [Move up to your movement towards the enemy after they miss with an attack. If you are able to get within a melee range, launch a counter-attack that deals 26 Qi damage towards their PHYS defense. The damage element of this attack can be changed if the user has Revolver Six Bullets prepared. A single spell is used when doing so, in conjunction with the attack. This changes the damage element, and switches the defense targeted to INT.]


    Ritual Magic:

    Gunfire Feet
    Rank: C
    Element: Earth
    A modernized hunting ritual that was once meant to make the hunters swift and agile in their chase for prey. In its current form, this ritual sacrifices pieces of the bones in the user's body in exchange for a burst of speed. In particular, this speed burst has been aimed at making the target extremely hard to hit, whether it's by melee, conventional weaponry or even supernatural abilities. One could call it extreme defensive option, focusing solely on dodging.

    [Grants a burst of speed that lasts for 2 Rounds. During this time, the user's DOD score is doubled, and all material attacks that target solely them must first succeed in an attack roll to hit, even if they would not normally require such.]

    ???
    Rank: C
    Element: Fire
    A modernized hunting ritual that allows three-dimensional movement through the air, as if skating upon explosions. Hastens the travel speed and allows attacking from various angles, or - if needed - escape to a direction hardly many enemies can give chase to. Further lore pending...

    [A ritual spell that can only affect the user. Allows normal movement in three-dimensions. In other words, allows running in air. Upon casting this spell, the user can move their normal amount of movement, which in turn can be chained into using the turn to dash if no other actions are made. Lasts for 2 Rounds, but can be recast without breaking the flight at the start of the Round.]

    Flashbang Kick
    Rank: D
    Element: Light
    A modernized hunting ritual that aims to blind the enemy for a short duration while dealing a small amount of light damage. The various minerals grafted into the heels of the user are struck together with the sparks created into the air, igniting the gunpowder that hangs in the air and thus creating a sanctified, paganistic ritual of light. A snap-decision spell that can be strung together for multiple attempts if needed.

    [A ritual spell that can be only utilized within melee range. The target is subjected to an INT Shatter Protection attempt against a Shatter Score of 5. If they fail and the ability succeeds, they are Blinded for 1 Round. In addition, the target then takes 6 Light Damage against their INT Defense.]Revolver Six Bullet: Chamber 4
    Rank: D
    Element: Light
    A deceptively simple spell that can only be utilized in conjunction with pre-determined martial arts abilities. The spell must be prepared before-hand, and it cannot be cast on its own. Instead, when the martial arts ability in question is utilized, the user must choose one of these spells (or none) to augment the ability in question. One could liken it to loading a revolver with specialized ammunition. In the case of this spell, it augments the ability's attack damage into Light Element.

    [A ritual spell that can be only utilized as an augmentation to a martial arts ability. When an appropriate ability is used, changes the attack/element of that ability to Light Element. Only works for a single ability use.]






    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994
    Weather: Rain

    "Go bother the bossman, huh...?"

    Hawthorn stroked his chin, pondering whether or not to go with the sudden suggestion. At first he didn't seem too keen on the idea, but once Sierra's name was brought up, it was almost like a momentary hint of a genuine smile - not a sarcastic one - had broken through his visage. Then, with his typical lazy shrug, the man simply shook his head like announcing that he would just go with the flow.

    Like there was no fighting against it when the dark-haired girl got into her mind to do something.

    "Well, why not? I guess we can go see how he's doing. And, if nothing else, we can check up on the little lady as well. See, it might be almost her bedtime, but you know girls her age..." Hawthorn said with a dry grin. "How about you, Scottie? Want to come do a little bit of adventuring in the big mansion with us?"

    Agent Ferguson, unlike his usual self, didn't immediately react to the question. No, he had fallen into deep thought thanks to something that Liana had said earlier. The man was cupping his face, staring into the nearby roaring fireplace with an expression and eyes that were far, far away. Hawthorn raised an eyebrow at this strange mood that had overtaken the FBI agent, and lifted his hand, snapping his fingers to get his attention.

    "Hey. Earth to Scottie? Anybody home?"

    The agent, finally released from his spell, blinked in surprise.

    "O-oh, sorry, forgive me. I was just... thinking of something. That name, Dot... it's not the first time I've heard it," he said in a half-murmur. "Hearing it like this simply made me... well, it made me think. Coming across it again out of nowhere was not what I expected, after all."

    That made the other man cock an eyebrow.

    "Oh? Well, where have you heard it before?"

    For a moment, Ferguson was silent.

    And then...

    "--- In a dream."

    He might have been about to say more, but at that moment, the door to the main lobby opened and slammed back shut almost immediately. Not the front door, mind you. This was, apparently, one of the side doors that led towards the smoking room and other facilities of the large, opulent mansion. The sound of hard boots on the marble floor echoed in the otherwise empty lobby, approaching the main staircase from the shadows. All three pairs of eyes were naturally drawn to the sound of this noise, and eventually, their source came to a view.

    And when it did, Hawthorn's mouth - surprisingly enough - turned into something of a dry grin once more.



    "Well well... look what the cat dragged in."

    The man commented.




    Vier Wolff
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Nikolai nodded understandingly, clearly taking the doll's words to heart and with utmost seriousness.

    "Mm, I can certainly understand your sentiment. In all honesty, I did not take Lecturer Vandemeel to be a criminal myself, much less the type to endanger so many innocent people. Even Archmage Hohenheim expressed her disbelief at the state of things, though, usual to her style, she commanded me to... ehm, 'drag her back, kicking and screaming if you have to'. Apparently she is very cross with Ms. Vandemeel as she, more or less, squandered the opportunities given to her. Archmage Hohenheim had big hopes for Miss Vandemeel, and most likely takes it as a personal slight if she went on to turn to such a despicable path," the young man explained with a troubled smile. "Archmage might not enjoy much popularity thanks to her... abrasive personality, but she always looks out for those with potential. Betraying that trust is to betray to the Campus of Grey, or so she says. Department Heads sure are scary... then again, Заста́вь дурака́ Бо́гу моли́ться - он лоб расшибёт."

    Ending his explanation with a little shrug, the fair young man then took a stock of the old mill around him, inspecting it now in a new light thanks to the doll's warning. He let his eyes scan the surroundings, but turned around just at the right time as Vier popped up from her hiding spot, having apparently had enough of merely observing the whole deal.

    "And you say the forest is dangerous, huh? Hmm... well, that's troubling. Maybe I should find a residence in the town after all... ah, but it's not like I have any money..." the young man said with a sad little sigh. "I had to pay for the plane ticket out of my own pocket too, and US is the last place that would accept a credit card from Pentagrammon's bank, ahahaha..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Even if Anna Vandemeel has the means of fracturing the space-time continuum, I feel like I should mention that she might actually not be the source of it. While that may not excuse her of the other crimes that she is being accused of… However, I haven’t seen Anna Vandemeel endanger the facade or anything particularly dangerous to my knowledge.”
    The sudden voice from the second floor caught Nikolai by surprise, and with a loud yelp, the man staggered backwards, falling on his buttocks unto the cold ground after failing to balance himself with a furious waving of his arms. Now he sat there, looking up at Vier with a slightly dumbfounded expression - both because he clearly had no idea the girl had been there, and because she had simply jumped into the conversation like it had been the most natural thing.

    Once Vier was finished, the fair young man let out slightly sheepish chuckle and climbed back up from the ground, dusting his clothes and making sure he hadn't actually fallen unto the small doll named Sakura - which he luckily hadn't... though it had been a bit close.

    "Ah... Miss Vier, then? I'm sorry, you certainly took me by surprise. H-honestly, I'm a bit ashamed of myself, considering I'm supposed to be a professional here. I take it you're friends with lovely Sakura over here?" The man asked, gesturing towards the doll. "Being cautious is all well and good, but still... for all you'd know, I could have been some sort of criminal myself! Sending this young lady here alone is just irresponsible!"

    The last part was said with a slightly miffed tone of voice and with his hands on his hips, Nikolai looked almost like a scolding mother... until a small smile broke through his stern expression.

    "... But, looking at your weaponry, I suppose you were protecting her in your own way - and I can't fault you for that."

    The blonde man chuckled, relaxing once more.

    "In any case... a time machine, you say? Now there's certainly a rather fantastic concept..." He replied, musing over the information. "I have to admit, I'm not completely sure about the method of scrying - I'm just following orders, you see. Still, if you're providing witness testimony for Ms. Vandemeel's good behavior, I can certainly take that into account. Though, unfortunately, that hardly changes my orders. That being said..."

    Nikolai folded his arms and rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

    "... Do you have any proof of this supposed time machine, Miss Vier? I'm sorry if I sound sceptical, but those sorts of machines are... well, in all honesty, more from the pages of H. G. Wells than reality."




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    There was a sudden, loud crashing sound as the three creatures, three beings of pure shadows, collapsed against the ground as if the gravity affecting them had grown tenfold. Odic Particles danced in the air, lighting up the staircase and causing Allene to let out a sound of wonder as she gazed upon the glittering sea of fragments that was spreading out from Hisa. The scorching emotions, like tempered white-hot steel, had been made into a weapon - almost like chains and weights that now shackled the three monstrosities down to the ground. Even as primitive as their minds were, these things... they were still capable of understanding base emotions. That was why the psionic order had had such a grand effect of them.

    Now they writhed wordlessly on the ground, squirming like insects being scorched by flames, trying to claw their way up the stairs yet not succeeding.

    "That... good call," Sakura commented, relaxing her expression just for a moment as she glanced back at Hisa. "I doubt any physical shackles could hold them down. I tried piercing one of them with my knifes, but the attack barely caught anything. It's just... almost like there's not enough there. Like they're lacking."

    Pyry, who still stayed grimly on-guard as he took a few steps back and glared at the monsters, nodded.

    "Their physical presence is extremely weak. I'm not sure if they're ghosts or what but..." His eyes narrowed. "Non-physical attacks might be the way to go here. I'm not sure if my fists alone can do much."

    It sounded like admitting it was a tough spot for the boy.

    That being said... their physical presence was lacking? That certainly sounded troublesome. Or rather, it was not hard to guess considering their shadowy, ethereal appearance that flickered like flames. That being said, what were they? They weren't ghosts, that much was for sure. There was a distinct lack of cold spots and smell of ectoplasm, and it wasn't as if they were just memories burnt into the canvas of reality - these things had proped minds, as underdeveloped as they were. And neither were they ephemeral fey, ones with transient, fleeting existence - they were far too tangible for that. Hisa would have certainly recognized the tell-tale sign of mana with an ego. So... what on earth were they?

    It was almost like their existence itself was half-baked...

    Like...

    Almost like...

    Someone's imagination barely made real.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; April 14th, 2021 at 05:44 PM.

  18. #3998
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994
    Weather: Rain


    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Well, why not? I guess we can go see how he's doing. And, if nothing else, we can check up on the little lady as well. See, it might be almost her bedtime, but you know girls her age..." Hawthorn said with a dry grin. "How about you, Scottie? Want to come do a little bit of adventuring in the big mansion with us?"
    "Bedtime? This early on a Friday?"

    She makes a noise akin to an overdramatic gasp, one hand coming up to her mouth like the very idea of such a thing had caught her completely off guard... Even as her eyes lit up again from a combination of many things, from the idea of being able to see Sierra again (had to show off with the cookies after all) to Thorne relenting in the face of her idea and even inviting Scottie to come along with them...

    "Yeah Scottie, come along~"

    That's good, Thorne can still make friends then-!

    She'd been a bit worried about that after hearing about his loner nature from Dorothy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie
    "O-oh, sorry, forgive me. I was just... thinking of something. That name, Dot... it's not the first time I've heard it," he said in a half-murmur. "Hearing it like this simply made me... well, it made me think. Coming across it again out of nowhere was not what I expected, after all."
    ...Oh?

    This time, there was a reaction...

    She thought he might respond somewhat to the name Dot, he had been talking about that dream of his the first time she had seen him after all, but looking at him right now...

    He really does take that sort of evidence path seriously...

    Dreams.

    Not the sort of thing that can ordinarily be used as evidence in courts, thus, not the sort of thing one expects an FBI Agent to dabble in, but Scottie had already proven himself to be a believer in the bizarre, and well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie
    "--- In a dream."
    "More specifically... The name is probably Dot. F Loonwaters... At least, that's what a friend told me."

    ...With the way things were going, she might as well tell him at least this much...

    Sunday was going to be everyone's problem after all, flirting with the Turnside Rules was something she might just have to do... After all, if the statue was Dot, naturally the owner of the statue became a person of interest, even if only because he would have met her himself in the past, but...

    "..."

    Before he can open up any more about it, before they can wander off to find Mr. Pinkerton, well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Well well... look what the cat dragged in."
    ...Someone else wanders into the club.

    The new sound draws her attention, violet eyes flickering up and down the form of the new woman for a brief moment as she appears, taking in the facial features, the missing eye, and the tone and expression Thorne uses before...

    "...Who's that? One of the club members? A coworker?"

    ...Curiosity takes over.

    For a number of reasons.
    Last edited by Airen; April 14th, 2021 at 07:23 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. #3999
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    His eyes stared into me, and I stared at him, my lip curling in annoyance as I clicked my tongue. What a revolting proposal. As if I am a piece of meat to be sold or bought, especially by the likes of this person. You cannot own an existence, especially the likes of mine; even if I'm a monster, I am certainly no piece of property. As Travis drove his fist into Lane's side, I hissed it under my breath.




    "How disgusting."

    Lane Griffith was a person that I could understand. I could see myself in him, his desire to possess, his love of battle, his demeanor -- the person Lane Griffith reminded me most of was Alexstrasza Lockhart, the girl with three names.

    And I despised
    her
    him
    .

    It wasn't even as if this 'wasn't over', either, that idiot. In two days, time will rewind back. He won't even remember my name, let alone my existence. His 'desire' will be short-lived and empty, a lust that he can never fulfill. Travis was right about one thing at least - Lane was a weakling. A coward. A person who preferred 'tricks' to 'skill', who didn't have the base ability required to stand on the same plane of existence as me. An embarrassment, in the end. I peered at the body he had left behind, the stench of blood and the atmosphere still lingering in the air.

    Wait a minute.

    Oh no.

    Oh no.

    "T-Travis!" I called out as I spun in a circle, my prana still far too hot from my previous spell. The hairs on my skin were standing on end, and my head was buzzing like I'd been drugged. If blood was ambrosia, mana was like alcohol. Especially higher ranked spells of destruction; I could feel every pore on my face, and my eyes were wide as I smiled at him, giving him a thumbs up. "N-nice assist! This was... This was a... Um... It was..."

    I bit my lip, clicking my tongue in annoyance as I turned away, flicking a fingernail off of my front teeth. I wanted blood, even if I'd already had more then enough of it from Devon. Seven choirs, this was a bad scenario. If I revealed anything more, Travis would be the equivalent of my apprentice, right? But he's totally useless at magic! He doesn't know anything about it! This isn't even a viable strategy!

    Like the last piece of an array, everything fell into place. I snapped my fingers, and winked at Travis with a smile.

    "What did you think of my practical joke!? Pretty incredible setup, right?! Were you scared? Were you scared? Kufufu, it was all just a ruse! A trick of the light, Travis!"

    It was a moment of brilliance, if I was being entirely honest, and I closed my eyes with a proud smile as I nodded, folding my arms across my chest. Yes, truly such a ploy was almost undiscoverable by any mortal means. Naturally, humankind is inclined to believe in the 'easiest answer', not the 'most obvious one'.

    "You see, my famili- I mean my conscie- I mean my family member, who you met briefly, was the one who set all this up! It was all a ploy to excite and amaze you and the tiny morsel! I definitely didn't just drag you into a hidden underworld of mystery by complete accident! W-what kind of an idiot would do that!? It's simply one of those... Um... Mewvii sets? With the special effects?"

    Damn you, Lane Griffith! Stay a little longer, come on! If there was a corpse on my hands I would have had way easier questions, like 'Did you just kill that person" and "Are you aware that murder is crime"!? P-Potemkin, save me! Please! Distract him with your feminine wiles, I don't have any!
    Last edited by Frantic Author; April 15th, 2021 at 03:26 AM.
    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.


  20. #4000
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: The Lighthouse
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    I frowned at the twined descriptions of the two women, some sort of beastwoman who was chased off by young people, students, maybe, or local townies, and someone stinking of a lot of perfume complaining about her boss.

    Not precisely descriptions that were the best to go on, but when dealing with the elderly, and elderly ghosts most of all, it's best to just nod and get on with things instead of hammering on a single point.

    No need to go beating that drum.

    I puffed out a breath wryly, mood still dark, but stabilizing. It wasn't as if they were mysteries I expected to solve this time, I'd speak to some people, see what they knew, gather my thoughts and see what I can puzzle out from the evidence and testimony, same as always.

    Quit trying to make things so complicated, I berated myself.

    Someone believed I, no, that we all could find a way out. So one existed, just have to follow the trails to the end of the line, just have to get started working out all these damned knots and figure out where it's all coming from.

    There's a rot at the center of it all, and I'll do my best to sniff it out, wherever it hides.

    I puffed out a sigh.

    I needed a shower.

    Ghosty Josh started talking again, and I swiveled my eyes in attention, frowning idly, the artist was named Mitchell, the name sounded familiar. Probably heard it in passing, but it's a place to go with, someone around here probably knows where he lived.

    Then we'll see about looking into this Amber House business.

    However, focus on the now.

    "Mitchell, hm? Wonder where they're shacked up at, guess I'll shake a few trees in the morning, see what falls out."

    Maybe even later tonight.

    Welp.

    I cracked my neck idly, flipping my hood up and over my head, casting most of my face in deep shadow, only the faint glints of my eyes showing.

    "Any other earth-shaking revelations you got for me tonight, geezer?" I said with a jocular air, "Or should we save it til I've come back to save the princess from the tower?"

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