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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4021
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockkhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Yeaaaah, no. I mean, remember? Thin noodle arms? I've got no flab on them, like you."
    I turned around, frowning at my shadow as I lifted the arms of the corpse, rolling my eyes at her incessant yammering. As expected, Potemkin is useless, even when she's lounging in my shadow like a cat.


    "Still, I'm sure you and Mr. Too-Cool-For-School over there can do it. I mean, he already rushed through fire and flames to punch a guy who was after your Kinder Egg Surprise - I'm sure moving a body's not a problem at this point~"
    Kinder Egg? What the devil is Potemkin on about? I don't even know what that is! I rolled my eyes as she vanished back into my shadow with a slurp like sound, her cackling echoing in my ears.

    "... You know, looking back at it, I figured it had to be something like this. Ain't no way that girl is norma. I mean, like I said - ain't nobody that black-and-white. Like, Christ... don't they teach you how to lie better in that magic school or whatever you go to? Wait... don't tell me you go to Miss Cackle's? That'd be way too loopy, even for me... then again, it would explain why you're... You, I suppose."
    "Miss Cackle's? What on earth is that? I attended Scholomance, like any civilized girl sold to an academy would! And then I simply tried my best to be as good of a mage as possible!"

    I lifted the arms up, frowning as I did so.

    "Although... Perhaps I went a bit too far... Potemkin seems to think I should try to be a 'better person' instead of a 'better mage'. I am--"

    I let out a sigh, blowing some hair that had fallen over out of my eyes.

    "--Beginning to suspect she may be right."

    "Now, let's get this body... somewhere, I guess. Know any good abandoned places nearby? We can't rightly run around with a corpse in tow, this ain't Weekend At Bernie's - locals are gonna get suspicious... well, they would if they were out and about this evening. Guess we gotta thank the rain. Also, uh, just so you know... I didn't slug that guy because I was defending your honor or anything... He just kinda pissed me off, that's all."
    "Abandoned... Places? The graveyard in the forest, maybe? Or the forest itself? I have um... Not spent much time in the town, outside of the hospital... The hospital itself could also work, though! It is, after all, a body, and the morgue is quite free!"

    I smiled brightly at Travis, eyes twinkling with mirth.

    "Of course it was not for me, Travis! I know myself very well. I am pond scum, a monster among monsters, and the equivalent of trash! If I was on fire, I would not even deserve water to be poured on me! If I was bleeding out, I would expect to be stabbed again! Naturally, I assumed that you simply did it because he was attacking you, or to save the tiny morsel. Those are both far more reasonable things then anything as silly as 'defending my honor'."

    Do I even have any honor? I don't even know what the phrase means. As a human, I'm the lowest of the low. As a monster, I am the highest of the high. It's only sensible to let me die or be erased, which is why I must fight so hard to defend my right to exist. If I give up, I die. If I lie too much, I lose. I have to fight to live. I can't let go of existence, even as miserable as it can be.

    So it's only natural that nobody would defend me. I've never expected that in the first place.
    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.


  2. #4022
    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

    "Ah, uh... n-no problem." Normally I hate having my head patted. It's a reminder of how tiny and weak I am. Being treated like a dog doesn't help either. When he does it though... it's not bad. Almost nostalgic. But also super embarrassing. To hide my reddening cheeks I have to utter a quick "Cheers!" and drain half the glass with several gulps. Ah, water. Why did I ever leave you? Compared to alcohol you're way better.

    Then I take a moment to just look around. Really look, not like before.

    "Hmm..."

    Now that I have time to absorb it... the atmosphere in the place really is nice, isn't it? Everything's homey and comfortable. There are all sorts of decorations on the walls. Old posters. Glowing neon letters. Streamers hanging from the roof. Memories of the past on full display. Trinkets both meaningless and meaningful. A sense of place and time, a picture painted so that whoever steps into it becomes the focus. Smooth wooden counter. Soft lights. A friendly smile on the other side of the counter. People, friends and strangers alike, sitting on either side of you, sharing stories. Warm air that rises up through the floor and keeps out the cold, and the rhythmic drumming of rain on the rooftop to provide a backing track.

    That must be it. People don't come here just for drinks. Otherwise anywhere would be fine so long as it served alcohol.

    "Hm hm hm hmm~."

    It's feeling. They come here for that carefully-cultivated feeling. Right, Ms. Carrie?

    "Hey, Billie..." I tap the counter. "You've got a good place here."

    I look up again, at the ever-closer-to-tipsy cat boy. "What do you think, Ahti? It's nice, right?" Maybe he can also feel it. Maybe he can finally relax. Or maybe he's already been to so many bars that this one is nothing special. I don't want that to be a 'maybe', though. We're friends now, right? So we should learn more about each other. "It's actually my first time in a bar. I was expecting it to be all... like a giant fridge, maybe? Or like the school cafeteria. Complete with Jake mopping up a spill in the corner. Oh, you probably don't know Jake; he's the janitor. Real prankster. We'd never have met if he hadn't totally rigged..."

    Focus, Prushka.

    "Ah, never mind!" I force my mind back to the present. "I can buy you a soda, Xandra. But since it's from me, it'll probably turn into beet juice halfway through. If you wanna risk it." I match her snarky grin. "And uh, I owe you one too, Carrie! If you need a favour, just say it! Unless it's illegal. Well, if it's only a little illegal then it's fine!"

  3. #4023
    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


    A Mormon ghost, huh?

    “Didn’t exactly expect to meet up with one of you Latter-Day Saints, but whatever, I suppose. Not the kind of person who goes and looks a gift horse in the mouth.”

    Or golden plates to see if they’re painted.

    I didn’t say that part out loud though, I do have some tact.

    “Well, I’m sure you’ll get to your own paradise, Mr. Prisoner,” I smiled distantly, “Maybe I can call in a righteous spirit to help you out, ah?”

    Some.

    “Well, anyway, appreciate it, and if I don't catch the self-appointed watchdog before she sets up shop, mind putting in a good word so she don’t go blowing off my head or my car? Thanks in advance.”

    I squinted up the stairs, turning to face them more fully, mulling something over in my mind.

    Hm.

    Yeah, maybe it would be a good idea to bring it after all.

    At the very least, good for a laugh.

  4. #4024
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Campus
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    The demon released her grip on her hand and she fell backwards into the void. That familiar looking blonde-haired figure standing at the edge of the world faded from her view as she watched her fall with an uncertain expression on her face. Suddenly, with a telepathic roar, the void shook and Elise awoke.

    Her eyes snapped open and she stared up at the grey, rain-filled sky. She blinked, as she tried to take stock of her situation and process her conversation with the demon at the same time. She was lying on her back, looking up at the sky. She'd been out long enough that the cold had begun to seep into her bones. She still felt a dull headache in the back of her head, although not nearly as pronounced as before. A sudden sense of alarm gripped her, however, as a dark, purple figure loomed over her-

    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Haired Stranger
    "Oh? Good morning, sleepyhead. Wahaha, did I wake you up? Sorry~"
    She yelped in surprise at the purple haired stranger, but quickly realized that it wasn't the archbishop from the fragmentary memories she'd seen standing over her this time.

    "S-sorry! G-good morning to you too!" stammered Elise, "Don't-don't worry about it, it's probably a good thing that you woke me up, I probably shouldn't have taken a nap outside in the rain."

    Might have been convenient if it was the archbishop. I'd have a lot of questions for him. Ahg! Why can't I remember who he is?!

    She glanced around for Subaru and Tonkori, but could see no trace of them from her current vantage point on the ground. For some reason, she was reminded uncannily of her encounter with the Other Subaru by the yew tree last Sunday.

    LBJ wasn't wrong when it said that things were going on in the physical world, thought Elise as she observed the purple haired stranger, Where's Subaru and Tonkori? And who the heck are you? And what did I do!?

    She shook her head, as she tried to clear the image of her own accusatory face glaring at her from her mind.

    "Who-who are you, if you don't mind me asking?" asked Elise, looking up at the purple haired stranger looking down at her, "And, uh, you wouldn't have happened to have seen my friend Subaru around, would you? She's short, and has black, unruly hairs. She was wearing a red raincoat and accompanied by a puppy. She was here just a moment ago."

    Considerably more than that, I suspect, corrected Elise as she considered her chill.

    "Maybe more than a moment ago…"

  5. #4025
    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

    “E-eh, it’s nothing like that…”

    I scratched the back of my head in slight embarrassment. Even though most of what they said was just exaggerating the truth...it still felt nice.

    In reality, though…

    Ah, why would I ruin the mood with my negative thoughts?

    “A-anyways, serious or not, I appreciate the offer,” I said as I handed Sakura’s dagger back to her, “But until these days, I couldn’t even have imagined working as a group, let alone for an organization...and in all honesty, I’m not even sure if it would be a good idea.”

    What I was capable of could have been used for evil purposes just as easily. While I was on my own, I was the one to make those decisions, and it all came down to my own morality...but if someone else was to command me, who knows how things would end up…?

    “That said, I certainly wouldn’t say no to working together with you again, at the very least.”

    With a hint of a smile on my face, my attention turned towards Allene.

    Certainly, it wasn’t the time to chat about this right now, not in the middle of the hallway especially…

    “It’s a long story, but if you believe that vampires and monsters like this exist, then I’m sure it’s not that unbelievable?”

    Still smiling, I grabbed Pyry’s hand, and gestured towards the third floor study as I started pulling him along;

    “Though let’s talk about this up here. I want to sit down to get a better look at this mysterious stone too.”


  6. #4026
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Avery’s Dinner?
    Phase: Evening Phase?
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)?
    Weather: Rain?



    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra
    “You really are extra, are you not? Well... I lowkey like that about people. Their bravado can be refreshing in a world where a colour can suck the life out of a farmland, leaving behind a blasted heath, or where light can become the anchor of time... truly, both akin to what was born in that hellfire reaching for the skies, so many years ago. Julius may have stolen my words, but that does not make them any less so. You'd do well not to reach into that unless needed to, for you'll find yourself agonized AF by what you find. A man should not strive for the world of gods and deities - lest he becomes a philosopher, a Prometheus of their own making. And that is a fate I highkey wish not for anyone. Reaching out into that world is a far cry what the Seven did, or what HE has attempted. You'll totes-magotes cease to be yourself when you do.”
    Julius…? Ah, Oppenheimer. Also, what John Dove desperately hopes was not a Lovecraft reference. He is fine with his SAN score right where it is right now, thank you very much.

    On an aside, it is not as if John Dove harbors the desire to become a spellslinger—a mystic, in the appropriate vernacular. It may sound like dodging responsibility, but thus far, John Dove has not make a concerted effort to penetrate the murky waters of the Turnside. Ever since that night ten years ago, it has been the Turnside that grabs him by the ankles and shackles him to its boundary, not quite part of it yet not quite alien to it. Rather than asking, “will John Dove choose to wholeheartedly enter the Turnside?” we should be asking “will the Turnside ever let go of John Dove?”

    If the answer is “no”, then he might have no other choice but the path of the mystic. Then again, can Ultra truly claim that a human dwelling in the Turnside can become a modern Prometheus? Is that not a little too pretentious? Whatever “fire” such a person might bring to the prisoners in Plato’s Cave cannot be the flame of universal truth, polluted as it is by subjectivity. Maybe they should all accept that there are as many worlds as there are thinking beings.

    By the way, the more people keep bringing up these ‘Seven’ or whatever, the more they feed John Dove’s curiosity. Makes you think whether they are actually trying to damn him after all.

    Kosmos Noetos’, she then says. The highest, furthest point in the universe, the secret eighth sphere of Heaven. So we are going with Gnosticism now? Babalon as Barbelo, the supreme female principle? Is she claiming to be the Trimorphic Protennoia?

    …Elaine Winters was right; Crowley was a pompous clown and this mess of a person is entirely his fault. I should be grateful the first mystic I met was somebody agreeable and reasonable.

    Mister “Therion” could not just aim to create a god; he had to do it in the most pointlessly obtuse, convoluted, pretentious way possible.

    John Dove decides right then and there that, if he ever has to learn magic, he will definitely never use Thelema as his foundation. Absolutely not. No way in hell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra
    “Know what you tangle with, and what monsters you try to heal. Sometimes it's better to leave the lit ramblings of a Wicked Man to die on their own. I was the last one remaining, see? With my destruction, everything would have ended then and there - but you dangled hope like a piece of meat in front of a starving dog. Big oof.”
    John holds back on rolling his eyes. Now she is the one being unreasonable: of course it is better to help her, if the alternative is letting her break apart and become a wandering wraith that only knows hopelessness. She would only get in the way like that. Also, thank you for confirming there used to be more moonchildren, Ultra.

    Wait, that means he now has to investigate Parsons’ antics and their potential relationship to whatever’s happening at Road’s End. What a royal pain in the ass.

    On another note, the world is becoming blurred, or rather, less real. Is he flowing out of it, or is this mysterious space that will cease to exist? Whatever the case, it appears his little rendezvous with the moonchild is reaching its conclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ultra
    “Thus, reap your rewards and take responsibility for whatever happens in the future, you figment of my imagination... if we even have a future. Whatever happens will be on your ass...especially if you continue with such cringey tirades. Not that I don't lowkey like them. But that's a me problem.”
    “Sure thing,” he says, smiling with unreasonable conviction he absolutely has no way to possess. “If it comes to that, we can take responsibility together.”

    That is how it works, right? People gather to share each other burdens.

    And with those words, color once again disappears from his world.


    He stands right in front of the men’s toilets, as if he has just finished his conversation with “Isaac”. He needs a moment to gather himself, to reassert in his mind that it actually happened—that Ultravania, Crowley’s Moonchild, was real. The words they exchanged, the deal they made…the reactions and the emotions. Having returned to the greyscale reality he just defended, it is the separate reality created by Ultra that for a second feels less authentic—like a powerful illusion, or a fever dream. However, that scene, too, was real.

    With the retreat of color, John Dove is left alone with the memory of a John Dove in the world of Ultravania’s colors.

    He walks to the table he shares with his classmates with stiff, almost toy-soldier-like steps, not saying a word as he settles next to Ubon, looking at the unfinished piece of cherry pie in front of him. With the same stiff motions, he slowly and carefully takes the plate and sets it slightly to the side. Then he just slams his face on the table as if his neck can no longer bear with its weight.



    What the hell was thaaaaaaaaaaaat!?

    It is the same foundation which currently drives him that now stops him from rolling on the floor like an embarrassed maiden. As it is, the hopeless boy just buries his face on the table, hiding the burning heat in his cheeks as his traitorous mind floods him with an unceasing replay of his actions and words inside that mysterious space.

    Who the hell is that guuuuuuuuuuuuuuy!?

    A John Dove driven not by careful, logical evaluation of the situation and standardized algorithms of behavior, but by simple honesty and irritation.

    ‘I only need to succeed once’, was it!? Who the hell are you trying to convince, you powerless show-off!

    A John Dove who truly, honestly does not care about what other people think of him, only about the inner conviction even the boy himself is not aware of.

    And what was it with those flirty words sprinkled all over the place!? Were you seriously trying to appeal to her feminine emotions to raise her favorability towards you!? Are you out of your mind!?

    A John Dove truly capable of acting on his emotions and impressions, untainted by implacable rationality.

    Even my thoughts are all over the place now! Seriously, what the hell was that!? It was the colors, right!? Those colors messed something up in my head!

    By the way, because John Dove is a mediocre piece of shit who cannot not fail at anything, he forgot to ask Ultra about his artifact, Ishtar Irkalla.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!

    Thing is, Babalon’s symbol is the inverted seven-pointed star. If there is somebody who could potentially neutralize that baleful artifact, it might just be the embodiment of Thelema’s life-giving goddess—

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

    At this rate, he is going to start hitting himself on the temple, like he is an old TV that needs a good whack to work properly. Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it—, old habits die hard, and it is not as if being rational is a bad thing. The usual John Dove protocols gradually settle back into action, and his racing (and raging) thoughts are smoothed down by the immediate need to assert the situation and perform damage control.

    “…my apologies,” he finally says. To his credit, he sounds his usual apathetic self. He does not lift his head off the table, though, because he still does not trust the look on his face at the moment. “I think the week may have exhausted me more than I thought. So, um, did I miss anything?”

    As expected of a skillful liar, it is not a complete untruth. He is certainly tired, if only mentally. Unfortunately, by this point it is questionable whether he will have the chance to rest tonight. No, even if he had absolutely nothing else to do, this hapless boy is now so addled by his own actions that he would just lay awake on his bed until sunrise.

    …was that really me?
    Last edited by Daneel Rush; April 19th, 2021 at 05:50 PM.

  7. #4027
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai Labzin
    "... In all honesty, I'd like to avoid thinking that the people whom I've just met, who seem rather down-to-earth and with enough common sense, to be insane. And yes, while it might be a failure for my part as an investigator, I'd like to avoid such theories altogether. In this line of work, it's easy enough to believe the worst about people and disregard their circumstances and what brought them to this point. So, in order to protect my own worth as a human being, I refuse to do so. Sure enough, you may call me naive, and I don't have a rebuttal to that - but I'd rather be naive than to immediately assume the worst. The howdunnit and whodunnit may be important, yes, but whydunnit has always been looked down upon by the Turnside - and I aim to change that. I-In my own small way, at least..."
    “It may be naive, but I would rather have more investigators like you. It may cause you issues, but at least you aren’t likely to falsely accuse or sentence someone.”

    Rather I had issues with people who decided that they were judge, jury, and executioner or let their personal bias impact their capabilities. It was why I held a high opinion on Church-affiliated personnel. I could almost assuredly trust that they would fight with Turnside threats and monsters. On the other hand, I had to ensure that their personal bias didn’t harm those of the Turnside that weren’t antagonistic. I held the belief that people should be judged by their deeds not their heritage. A vampire could sate their urges peacefully. A werewolf during a full moon could be isolated during their time. If they attacked those Turnside members… Then they’re no better than what they fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai Labzin
    "But I have to agree with lovely Miss Sakura over here. A time machine, at least in the novels I've read, is usually meant to send a person or two back in time - not cause a space-time anomaly that can be detected via scrying of the Viewing Pool. In other words, it being the root cause of all this sounds unlikely... or if if is, then we have a whole another problem in our hands. That being said, who is this Dr. Satel you speak of? And what about this contact from whom you gained this information? In all honesty, I'd like to hear more..."
    “That’s if the time machine were to work as intended… What if the reason why AMADEUS sent out an agent wasn’t just to secure a rogue time machine, but it was to prevent one from malfunctioning? Just like how you’re trying to stop Anna from messing with time-space due to the risks that could occur if it went wrong. I can only imagine a machine malfunctioning be worse...”

    I thought over what little I knew of Dr. Satel.

    “Dr. Satel… Is the mysterious writer of some notes. At this time, I’m unsure if it’s a pseudonym or if they’re going under some other name. Two of my classmates, Vivienne Bianchi and Prushka, found notes #2 and #5 at two different locations. One at the town’s country club and the other at Devil’s Dishes.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai Labzin
    "And yes, I should arrange a talk with Ms. Vandemeel as well. Though that might be a problem… After all, she is not exactly fond of me and my countrymen, for understandable reasons..."
    “If it comes down to factional fondness, I should also dislike… No I should hate you on mere principle too. But here we are talking things out instead of fighting. So at the very least, you should attempt to offer the olive branch so that you can at least say you tried. You would be the type who would regret not trying wouldn't you? Just stay on your toes in case, she does deny your olive branch.”

    If Nikolai Labzin was honest about his intent, then I'm sure things would go fine.

  8. #4028
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta'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 Liana
    "How expensive are the rooms here anyways?"
    Hawthorn, having finally recovered from drowning in whiskey, wiped his mouth.

    "Uh, well... they're pretty damn expensive. See, this isn't your basic hotel - have to go to Owl's Nest for that one," the man said. "I got mine because I work here, but as for Fyrtio, she's... she's a freelance freeloader, I suppose?"

    The one-eyed woman frowned - cheeks still full of cookies.

    "... I resent that, Thorne. I mean, if I still had my old job..."

    With that, she descended into a series of inaudible grumbles, chewing on her cookies and sipping on her whiskey in a way that almost made it look like she was pouting. No, actually, she was definitely pouting. Perhaps talking about money was a sore spot for her? Then again... what sort of job could a person like Fyrtio hold in the first place? She didn't exactly have the face for customer service, and with her awkward personality, one could practically imagine the trouble she would cause in an otherwise normal workplace.

    "... Besides, I 'd rather avoid the school. For... multiple reasons," Fyrtio finally continued, switching her attention to Liana. "Sleeping there isn't really an option. And I'm not sure if sleeping at a stranger's house is any preferrable either. I mean... I know Hawthorn. While there, I know I don't have to sleep with a gu... gum under my pillow."

    Ferguson, with a completely flat stare, reached for a cookie and slowly chewed on it. It looked as if the agent was far beyond even coming up with excuses at this point - he was mostly just hoping that Fyrtio would stop incriminating herself soon.

    "And what's not appropriate? We've done it multiple times, and there hasn't been any trouble," the woman continued, seeming genuinely confused. "We sleep at different times, and if they happen to overlap, he tends to take the floor - for some reason."

    With that, she shot a frown towards the man in question.

    "If anything, that's not appropriate. Sleeping on the floor is not good for you, Thorne."

    Hawthorne, on the other hand, had buried his face in his hands and looked like he had just about given up.




    Alexstrasza Lockkhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "... You know, if you're going to say another word like that, I'm going to actually get mad."

    Travis's voice cut into Alexstrasza's speech like a knife, and the glare he threw her way was rather intense. Similar expression was shared by Stephanie, who was staring at the older girl with her hands folded across her chest, like an angry mother about to admonish her child. Though in this case, thanks to the language barrier, it had to be Travis acting in the role of this hypothetical mother.

    "Sure, you may be a mage or whatever, but like hell you are some sort of monster or scum. I mean, shit. I've seen how you act, how you think, and I think I've learned something here, so listen up - you're just a awkward as all hell girl, that's all. No monster or scum would fret over their friend in a hospital like that, or try to be a better person, or become so angry because a third rate lunatic was about to attack a kid," Travis growled. "That's all people stuff. Hell, pretty much all you've done is people stuff. You're just not that good at it, but so what? Isn't this the right place to learn? I dunno why some superpowered witch was sent to a place like this, but maybe it can help you in other ways too."

    That look in the blue-haired boy's eyes... he wasn't willing to hear any back talk, any disagreeing remarks or any words in edgewise. And he especially wasn't about to tolerate Alexstrasza calling herself a monster again. Even the blonde girl could see that he would seriously noogie her to tears if she did so.

    When had normal people become this dangerous?

    "I mean, I dunno how the hell things work in that weirdo mage world of yours, but where I'm standing, all I see is a girl - a weird as fuck girl, yes, but still a girl. Not a monster of any sort. And if you don't like that, then too bad - I ain't changing my opinion," Travis continued. "What's more, I'm starting to think that girl as my friend, so the next time she says something stupid, she's gonna get lectured again - maybe even noogie'd for a good measure. All the way until she starts being such a sad sack of shit and disrespecting herself like that."

    With a huff, Travis fixed his grip on the corpse.

    This was a weird thing to talk about while carrying a dead person, though.

    "... And well. If you really think like that, then I guess next time I punch that guy, I'll do it to defend your honor... or something," the boy added a little awkwardly afterwards. "Because Jesus, the way he spoke about you... ain't nobody talking about my friends like that without getting slugged. Nobody. Especially to a girl."




    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Hmh? Yeah... I guess this is."

    Ahti, sounding a bit more relaxed than usual, murmured that while emptying the third glass. This time, however, he didn't exactly go to town with it and nearly swallow the whole glass whole - instead he took his time to enjoy it. At the same time, Prushka could see that the redness on his cheeks was beginning to grow stronger, a sign that even someone like him could get drunk eventually. Though he was far from being nothing but slightly tipsy.

    "Kinda reminds me of this place back at home... The Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsi-bar," the boy continued, dropping what sounded like a whole lot of weird foreign words stringed together. "Was a nice place, could relax there too... sometimes. Remember it from before I... went away. Always smelled of snowmobile gasoline and cigarettes. And reindeer pelts. Man those thing smelled to high heaven, and shed the fur everywhere... yet tourists always bought them... it was weird..."

    It sounded like the boy was slowly descending into soft remembrance of his past... and while he did, his arm naturally started resting on Prushka's head - though without putting too much pressure on it. It was almost like on an instinct.

    Xandra, looking at the strange atmosphere overtaking the two, chuckled.

    "Sure, I could go for a cola. Would be a good way to wash away the taste of that... thing," she said, nodding towards Ahti's drink. "I mean, we'll be sitting here for a while from the looks of it, so might as well make ourselves comfortable."

    With that, the silver-haired girl stretched a bit and leaned on the counter.

    "Though I agree with Prushka here, you've got a real nice place. Been the owner for long?" Xandra asked from Billie, who had started opening up a few Jolt Cola bottles.

    "Hmh? Hmm... yeah, owned it for a good ten years now. Family owned the gas station, and I eventually bought this adjacent joint from the previous guy and combined the two," the bartender answered. "Been a nice side-gig. Both a gas station and the bar are necessities for what locals remain, so we see daily traffic. And with the town being what it is, it's good to have a 'living room' like this where people can come and chat, right? So I try to keep things informal here."

    Having said that, she put the two glasses of soda on the counter - one before Prushka and one before Xandra.

    "Oh, that reminds me: how's Jake these days? I hear he took after me as the janitor of that school," the large woman asked, slight grin adorning his face. "Hard to believe though - he always seemed like the type who'd go on to do big things. Though I guess leaving Road's End turned out to be a bigger hurdle than he thought. Well, maybe this year with you lot will expand his horizons a little bit."

    Carrie, seeing that her chance had come, aimed a cocked eyebrow towards Prushka as well.

    "Ah, I have a question too - consider it my favour," the other woman asked, grinning teasingly at the smaller girl. "Since we're all in a talking mood, why don't you tell me how you and the big guy here got together? I mean... you're quite the sight, but I guess there's something endearing about the physical differences. There must be quite the tale behind it all, huh?"

    Ahti blinked in confusion, as if he didn't quite understand the question, while Xandra was laughing into her soda.




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

    Settling back to the third floor study happened rather quickly. Allene rushed to make some more tea, with Gradient following her with a curious look on her face. Meanwhile Sakura, curious as ever, walked around the massive room and inspected the various things to be found there. The bookshelves, the suits of armor, even the chessboard that had been left as if in the middle of a game. There was many a mysteries to be found in the room, though the one most pertaining to the people present was that of the strange, shadowy monsters that had been roaming the hallways of the house - and who had now been defeated at the hands of the group.

    As Pyry and Hisa sat down on one of the larger leather couches, the boy curiously peered at the stone the girl was still holding.

    "That's... one of the cores those Eyes had, right? You think it's safe to carry one around?" He asked, peering at the thing with suspicion in his eyes. "More than that, what even is that? Some sorta crystal? It felt pretty hard when I punched it, but then it shattered just like that."

    Sakura, hopping over the back of one of the armchairs and settling down on it, decided to join the conversation at that moment.

    "Some sort of anchor, I'd wager. Maybe those things were familiars? Though that still doesn't explain why they weren't really... there. You said something about them being imaginary, right Hisa?" the brunette asked, switching her attention to the other girl. "Was it just a guess, or did you come up with a theory? And... I guess you took one of those cores because you had an inkling of what it is?"

    Pyry frowned, leaning back on the sofa.

    "Well, whatever they were, they were bad news. Those things just reeked of something foul, like a bunch of anger and lies given a physical form... well, just barely. And then there were their claws..." He said, looking at his arm where the wounds used to be. "... Never experienced something being dual-elemental before. Hell, the only guy I know who could wield elements like that is from the history books."

    Sakura nodded with a grim look.

    "Paracelsus, right? Hmm... I doubt they had anything to do with that old mage or his bloodline," the girl responded. "Still, it's a truly rare trait - at least when it comes to someone's physical touch. Abilities are a different thing, but to be pure element as your physical being..."

    She rubbed her temples, as if feeliing an incoming migraine.

    "... That sounds just weird. Weird on the scales of spirits, fey, djinn and the like. And I don't like the implications of that, not one bit."

    Perhaps she was about to say more, but at that moment, Allene and Gradient finally returned. The blue-haired girl had refilled the tea pan, and was now carrying more cookies and more cups on saucers - enough for everyone. She hesitated a little as she watched the sudden crowd that had appeared in her room, biting her lip somewhat nervously. And again, as if sensing that, Gradient gently patted her on the shoulder and gave her a bright, encouraging smile.

    "Muu~!"

    Allene, hearing that sound again, giggled slightly in response and relief, and nodded.

    "Umm, I brought more tea - as promised. And, well... it sounds like you guys were talking about The Eyes. I may not know much, but maybe what little I do know may help you," she spoke, setting the tray on the table. "Tough, gosh... I still simply have to know. Just who are you people, and where do all these mystical powers of yours come from? Ougi, what you said earlier... are you implying it's connected to beings like vampires? A-are there more people like you out there?"

    Pyry, hearing that, shot an amused smile and a raised eyebrow towards Hisa.

    [Ougi?] He asked through the mental connection.




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

    "Ah, don't fret, don't fret! Happens to the best of us, really~"

    The young man, possibly just a few years older than Elise, chuckled with a light laughter that sounded almost like windchimes in the rain. When he chuckled, he put one hand over his mouth as if to show good manners, but the other hand that made a calming down gesture, waving up and down, turned it into a slightly dubious showcase instead. Not to mention those narrow eyes... he almost reminded Elise of a fox - cunning and mischievous. And that laughter too...

    "Ufufu~"

    Just what sort of honest person would ever laugh like that?

    "Though I reckon' you might be right, no sense in nappin' at a place like this," the young man continued with a smile. "Besides, a cutie-patootie such as yourself hardly needs a beauty nap, yeah? Oh, but where are my manners? That's just no good of me, no good at all~"

    With that, the man leaned forward a little more and offered a hand for the brunette to help her up from the wet ground.

    "The name's Shin Hsan Kra - but just do away with formalities and call me Hsan Kra. Or just Hsan, or Kra~! In all honesty, I don't much care for being stuffy and pompous," the young man said with a wink. "And you can think of me as a... why, maybe a private eye would a good word! I've always wanted to be one, after all~"

    The way he spoke, he seemed to be making light of just about everything, but not in a too mean-spirited way. That being said, it did make it dubious whether he was just faking his good mood, or if he just came across the wrong way.

    "I'm after this naughty girl with a scar across her eye - did a lot of bad things in the past, see. Lots and lots of bad things. So somebody reckon'd that they'd be needin' a little talkin' to, and a bit of time in the naughty corner," Hsan Kra continued with an amused voice. "Sent me on my merry way then, and well, here I am. Not exactly a rivetin' tale of derrin' do and swashbucklin' qualities, but it is what it is. Well, there's a bit more to it than that, but I'm just giving you the long and short of it. Nothing to worry your pretty head over, yeah? I mean, you ain't exactly nicked in the eye from where I'm standin', so it's not like I'm here to be stern with you, ufufufu~"

    The man chuckled again and scratched the back of his head slightly sheepishly.

    "But, ah, it's not like I could help myself. Seein' a cute lass lyin' on the ground like that, I figured I'd stop by to see what's what - see if they'd need any help. But 'lo and behold, you got up before I could even do a thing!" Hsan Kra spoke, mimicking a shocked expression. "Maybe I should've not intruded after all."

    With that, and with Elise up from the ground, the man took a step back and put a hand to his cheek, gazing at the shorter girl. While he was lithe as a whip, the young man was also somewhat tall - reminding one of a reed slowly undulating in the wind and rain.

    "Oh, but what comes to your other question... weeeeell~"

    He leaned a bit to the side, a teasing smile on his face.

    "I might've seen a lass like that with a pooch like that not too long ago~? I wonder where it was~?"

    Was... was he being coy with Elise?

    New Person Met!

  9. #4029
    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


    "...Well, typically, when a man and woman are sleeping in the same room that... Implies some things about their relationship..."

    ---It almost feels like talking to a child, a sort of naivety, or perhaps purity, that you don't really see in adults nowadays...

    "But if it overlaps he sleeps on the floor huh?"

    She chuckles.

    A part of her still doesn't entirely approve (for a number of reasons) but the purity that comes with simply wanting to feel safe is one that has her breathing out her negativity with a sigh...

    She'd be a bit more suspicious if Fio wasn't as painfully innocent as she was, but well...

    She looks up at Scottie, whose expression has gone blank in the face of rapidly mounting evidence and simply shrugs in solidarity, mouthing-

    "Maybe she's a bodyguard?"

    -to the agent, before:

    Her attention returns to Thorne, his head buried in his hands, looking for all the world as if he just wanted to die and get this embarrassment over with, but...

    Can't have that...

    ---A smirk comes to her face at the sight.

    This is rare.

    Very rare.

    "That's pretty gentlemanly of you Thorne~"

    This time, she'd pin him, bit of retribution for not catching on faster...!

    "Very big brother..."

    She brushes her hair to the side, purposefully blocking her face from the others as she leans in, coming right up next to his ear with a teasing smile he can't see...

    "Or is the word-?"

    Before her voice drops to a whisper, priming him to listen and listen well, just pay attention to her as her voice goes from bright to husky, and...

    "Daddy?"

    Right in his ear.

    "Do you like that sort of thing?"

    Said clearly, drawn out in an obviously provocative way, before...

    She leans back in her seat, cheerfully grabs at her glass, and waits to see the reaction...

    He's always so composed, so-!

    Surely this will rattle him-!

    But, failing that, well...

    "Anyways Scottie, about that dream of yours...?"
    Last edited by Airen; April 20th, 2021 at 07:51 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?



  10. #4030
    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

    "Hm, that's all? Well, if that's what you wanna know..."

    I don't know what Carrie means by 'got together', but if she just wants to know how we met, then... I glance up at Ahti, who seems like he's almost trying to remember how to smile, cheeks red and expression wistful. He responds with a small nod and a reminder to not say anything too revealing... and that's fine. I'm not gonna reveal the Turnside. Just the juicy stuff!

    "Alright, so." My voice drops low. Dramatic. If I could, I'd dim the lights too.

    "It begins in a great tower in a far-off land, about a mile or two away from here. Er, cabin? Tower? Yeah, tower. None know who had previously occupied it. Perchance it was a mad sorcerer or great seer. Now it stands, next to castle Pinefall, abandoned. Until he came. The man was a great and powerful knight of much renown. He had arrived to this land on a noble quest! Yet, what greeted the knight was a horrible foe that could not be felled. An eternal no man can ever defeat! Theirs was a mighty clash, and while the beast was driven off with great effort, the knight was left imprisoned in the tower, battered from the battle as night fell..."

    I haven't told a story like this in years. Since our bedtimes.

    "The dark was deep, and the enemy lived still. The tower was cold and empty. Yet, as all hope seemed lost... a princess kicked open the door, riding upon a great dragon whose roar shook the tower to its foundations and drove fear into the tired knight's heart!" I raise my voice, a loud, powerful whisper, hands spread open, moving through the air as if puppeteer an invisible play, eyes capturing Carrie's. "She had not heard of his name nor of his many deeds, and saw only the results of the earth-shaking battle displayed in the cabin - tower, I mean tower. So that great and terrifying princess gazed upon the knight, and... in her infinite beauty and wisdom and kindness, she offered respite! Reaching within her endless bag of magical items, she withdrew from it the cure to the knight's condition."

    Dramatic pause.

    "A TV Dinner!"

    Pause for applause.

    "And so, the knight was restored. The beast called 'hunger' was driven off. And now the knight and the princess are pals. And, uh, there might've been a helper or two involved. But that's the important stuff."

    I reach forward and take a sip of the jolt cola.

    "Mmm, thanks, Billie! Phew, that hits the spot."

    Ah... nice and cold. Much better than that drink. And the vodka. Is all alcohol that bad? Or have I just had bad luck? At least I know soda's good.

    "As for Jake... well." I furrow my brows. "He feels more like another student than someone working at the school, I guess? Like he's really approachable, moreso than the faculty. But he's totally a prankster. And I guess his abs are... four out of ten. Needs to work out more, read less of those mystery books." I can't really be mad at him anymore. That hatchet's buried. "You might say we had our epic battles, but that's all in the past, so our great rivalry is ended. Great things though... maybe he wants to rise up the ladder? Next year he might be a teacher, the year after that he might even be principal. But he gets along great with all the other kids in class. I can see him finding a place for himself anywhere."

    Heh. Jake Briggs as Principal of Pinefall. Now that'd be something. Though, Billie mentioned something... oh. I was having so much fun that I nearly forgot.

    "Right! Billie, you were the janitor before Jake!"

    Which means she must've been around for the previous class! Those guys! That Remmie person, all the others in the photo, and...!

    "Do you remember an, uh, short kid at Pinefall? Maybe a bit taller than me? He probably..." How did Snow behave around humans again? "Had a chip on his shoulder?"

    He probably didn't even go to the school. Even if he somehow got transported back to the past, he wouldn't be a local. But maybe. Maybe?

    Please. I hate maybes. They're full of hope and despair in equal measure. So don't be a 'maybe' anymore.

  11. #4031
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockkhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "... You know, if you're going to say another word like that, I'm going to actually get mad."
    He spoke to me with an angry tone, a glare on his and the tiny morsel's faces as they looked at me. I arched an eyebrow as I lifted the head of the corpse, tilting my head to the side. There was nothing wrong with what I said - it's all entirely true. I have killed far too many innocents to be anything other then a 'monster'. Irredeemable would undersell what I am, and loathsome wouldn't be close enough to describe it.

    "Sure, you may be a mage or whatever, but like hell you are some sort of monster or scum. I mean, shit. I've seen how you act, how you think, and I think I've learned something here, so listen up - you're just a awkward as all hell girl, that's all. No monster or scum would fret over their friend in a hospital like that, or try to be a better person, or become so angry because a third rate lunatic was about to attack a kid. That's all people stuff. Hell, pretty much all you've done is people stuff. You're just not that good at it, but so what? Isn't this the right place to learn? I dunno why some superpowered witch was sent to a place like this, but maybe it can help you in other ways too."
    Ahh, Travis... Even now, you really won't get it. It's impossible to explain to someone so ordinary that I want to cry, what it means to be truly extraordinary. The thing that separates me from you, and you from I, is such an immense gap that its almost impossible to cross. One hundred and six, like a river that goes up to my thighs, made of nothing but crimson. If I were to explain it to you, you would be horrified and disgusted. If I were to say why, that horror would become fear and then loathing. It's true, in a way, what Potemkin says to me; if I was to ever explain to anyone what I am and what I've done, they would naturally desire nothing more then my head on a platter. That is, in a way, what being a real monster means.

    Even if he refuses to accept it, or even acknowledge it, that's not my fault, is it? That's his, for misunderstanding what I am saying. For taking a different implication then the one I meant to give.

    "I mean, I dunno how the hell things work in that weirdo mage world of yours, but where I'm standing, all I see is a girl - a weird as fuck girl, yes, but still a girl. Not a monster of any sort. And if you don't like that, then too bad - I ain't changing my opinion. "What's more, I'm starting to think that girl as my friend, so the next time she says something stupid, she's gonna get lectured again - maybe even noogie'd for a good measure. All the way until she starts being such a sad sack of shit and disrespecting herself like that."
    As sweet as these words are, they are in the end words. Words are simply mankind's way to avoid their hearts, and a knife can easily be hidden behind them. Is this it? The gap between humanity and inhumanity? I can't bring myself to even touch it, let alone cross it. There are far too many people crowding the afterlife as they await my arrival there, and I can see them all leering at me over his shoulder every time he opens his mouth and spews out a new set of lies.

    I am a murderer. I didn't even do it for a good reason, you know that right? I did it because it was fun, it was easy, and it passed away the time. Don't you know what that means? I slaughtered people because I was bored. To ease the numbness, like a tinge of pain medication before a test. On a strict level, monster or scum is the only way to describe myself.

    "... And well. If you really think like that, then I guess next time I punch that guy, I'll do it to defend your honor... or something. Because Jesus, the way he spoke about you... ain't nobody talking about my friends like that without getting slugged. Nobody. Especially to a girl."
    "Well," I said with a smile as I closed my eyes, "You are free to do as you please, Travis! I certainly am not capable of stopping someone so dedicated to wasting their time! If you wish to 'defend my honor' or 'say I am simply awkward', neither of those are things I can prevent, even if I don't believe in the words you're saying! Everyone is allowed their own viewpoint, yes? While our views may differ, they may one day coincide!"

    It is unlikely, but it is a possibility, is it not?

    "So until that day, please feel free to waste as much time as you want! For is that not what friendship is about? Wasting time because you believe its worth it?"

    I smiled brightly at Travis, before looking up at the sky.

    "Hmm... I suspect that tonight, there will be plenty of time for me to waste myself!"
    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.


  12. #4032
    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

    “Paracelsus? You mean that famed physician with all the revolutionary solutions of his time? With the weird ideas for alternate medicine? The supposed prophet who predicted the Thirty Years’ War and the coming of Der Löwe aus Mitternacht?” I asked, my curiosity quite piqued by the name mentioned, “I guess it makes sense. Though if something, I would have assumed him to be a mystic...someone who got hooked on the supernatural after delving too deep into it, rather than being born into it.”

    It was always interesting how different circles remembered different people for different reasons and in different ways, even if fundamentally they were still the same. Like two sides of a coin, intertwined, never meant to see each other, yet necessary to make up a whole...different perspectives, all necessary to understand something in all its aspects.

    Incidentally, Paracelsus was also one of the first to suggest at psychosomatic illnesses and that one’s mental state could directly affect their physical health...that theoretically, perfect health could be maintained through sheer willpower.

    A smart man, even if rather controversial at times…

    Well, we aren't here to talk about him, at any rate.

    And as Allene arrived back, more pressing matters came up, pushing my enthusiasm about historical figures back to the back of my mind.

    A slightly embarrassing matter too, at that.

    [E-ehm, that’s...the alias I use at times,] I answered Pyry through my thoughts, [I-it’s a precaution, okay? If you know fae, you know that there are beings that can twist power from symbolism through true names, and we heard about Allene too, so...I just did not expect things to turn out this way.]

    Having answered that, my attention turned to Allene, and my brain worked hard on trying to come up with a good explanation - without much of a success, just like all those times before.

    “W-well, you’ve read stories about fantastical things, right? Mages and witches of all kinds of weird origins casting fancy spells, religious figures empowered through their faith...or monsters, like vampires or werewolves. Or the fair folk out of fairy tales. Some of these are really just stories, but most of them, one way or another, have an actual basis in reality, even if they are normally hidden from the eyes of those who decide to refuse their existence.”

    It still hurt. Explaining these things to her, even though I knew that she was going to forget it all. That if there is going to be a next time, and I would end up coming here again, I would have to explain all these things once more...but even then, it would not be the same anymore.

    “I’ll let these two explain their own cases if they want to,” I nodded towards Pyry and Sakura, “More appropriate that way, and...I’m quite bad at explaining anyways.”

    [Dare you say that you’re just a monster or a weapon, and I’ll smack your head with something.]

    “As for myself, well...I guess you could say that what I can do adheres more to reality and originates from my own perception of the world. With that, I can alter my surroundings in a way that fits my own view. Of course, I can’t just do any random surreal thing. I would fail to make myself believe some things in the first place, and straying too far from the bounds of reality would likely require impossible amounts of power. B-but well, at the very least, that’s how I was planning on trying to cure your illness. That kind of thing falls within my forte.”

    Having finished the line of thought, I couldn’t help but scratch my cheek awkwardly, wondering if what I said made any sense.

    “The weird doctor you mentioned must be similar too. The mushroom circles you mentioned...I’d imagine those are cylch y Tylwyth Teg, or fairy rings. They are...well, it’s hard to explain, but it would be foolish for an ordinary human to have those in their garden, and in this case, they likely serve as a protective charm. Which would also probably make this doctor a fae - it would explain why Josie was so horrified by the price she requested for your cure. From what I can tell, fae hardly put any importance behind concepts like human money and such. On the other hand, they have their own weird sentiments, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they asked for something, well...questionable.”

    But what was a fae doing here of all places, parading as a doctor in a human town? Maybe a changeling? Some sort of elf?

    “There are also the monsters you just saw. I’ve never seen them before, but...after all this, I’m almost certain that they are what someone described to me as ‘Black Mass’. To visualize it, think of it as, say…”

    I glanced around the room looking for something to help me demonstrate things better, but without the lack of such, I pulled my flashlight and notebook out of my bag, and tore a few empty pieces of paper out of it. Then, with a pen, drew a...thing, that vaguely resembled the monsters we met outside.

    “Think of the pieces of paper as separate dimensions, or planes that are parallel to each other. Normally, they are not meant to interact with each other in any way, just exist on their own, isolated from all the other dimensions, but in certain cases, they can be connected. In this case, let’s assume that the paper with the drawing is the dimension of dreams, where this monster exists, while the other one is our reality, in which it doesn’t. They exist parallel to each other…”

    I held the two pieces of paper up, with the empty one at the front and towards the others;

    “And without any interference, they remain separate, with one having no effect on the other. But if you have the means to create a bridge between the two, whether it’s with some sort of a tool or just sheer power…”

    Somewhat clumsily, I tried holding the papers with one hand while I grabbed the flashlight with the other. Then, turning it on, I illuminated the sheets from the back - with the drawing of the monster now becoming visible on the other piece of paper too.

    “Then you can project what exists in one dimension to the other. It will be weaker, a blurry, almost faded existence, but it will be there - even if it’s not real. However, in this case, this ‘Black Mass’ still only exists while the power projecting it is in effect. If you eliminate that…”

    Clicking the flashlight off, things returned to the original state, where nothing showed up on the first sheet of paper;

    “Then the projections will disappear as well. However, this is where symbolism and the beliefs of people become important. Because if enough things pointing towards the existence of a certain being or object accumulate…” Laying the sheets on the table, I drew the vague form of the shadowy monster on the empty paper as well, then held them up again, “then it will inevitably gain foothold, and become real in this dimension as well. Alternatively, certain objects can be used to serve as an ‘anchor’ as well, things that tie them here, though, in this case, getting rid of these ‘anchors’ should be enough to erase their existence. Like how it seemed to be with these monsters, and the crystals they had within themselves.”

    With the demonstration finished, I put the things down on the table, and then let out an awkward cough.

    “E-err, does that make any sense to you?” I asked as I looked at Pyry, then Sakura, then finally rested my eyes on Allene, “The whole supernatural thing, in general?”

    Hisa Momoi (Sakura)
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    “Eehh? AMADEUS agent?” the doll let out a noise that implied both puzzlement and exasperation, “Where did that come from now? Did we miss something?”

    No, far as the doll could remember, there have been no mentions of androids. Nikolai was a mage, and while the topic of the time machine came up, there was nothing about another intervention from yet another organization. How did Vier come to this conclusion then?

    “Anyways, what is this factional fondness you speak of? It sounds like the most bloated stereotype ever. Most groups, some individuals even, have their own agency. You’re a loner too, no?” the doll tilted its head as it looked at Vier, “You’re free to think for yourself, and decide based upon your own judgement what stance you are willing to take against certain people.”

    It was quite clear that the doll wasn’t entirely satisfied with its own answer, and it almost seemed like it was going to say more, but eventually, it closed its mouth without another word, and turned its attention towards Nikolai.

    In the end, it was a topic that one could talk a whole lot about, but most of what it covered was something that changed from person to person, depending on their own morals and ideals. Not to mention that even aside from that, this was perhaps not the most appropriate time to discuss the relationship between different beings of the turnside.

    “When it comes to Anna, we suppose you could ask someone to mediate. But, once again, time is short, and there is no guarantee that Anna will even return to the school during the weekend now. You would have to be real fast if you wanted to achieve anything at all.”
    Last edited by Cheetose; April 22nd, 2021 at 11:30 AM.

  13. #4033
    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


    "Now now... talking about tin cans and remorseless killers... that's kind of racist, isn't it? I mean, as pretty as you are, some stuff is just better left unsaid. What if I called you a half-blood? A words like that can certainly hurt, lady,"
    Tragic.” Anna’s voice was as dry as the Saharan desert. “Call me whatever you want, but I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t lose any sleep over your emotional distress. Especially, when you give the impression of not really giving a rats ass about it.”

    Every word coming from this guy’s mouth was coated in a layer of slimy grease befitting even the very greatest of used car salesmen. Heck, this guy might even end up giving Davin a run for his money in that particular department. Trying to pin him down on bloody anything was like trying to nail down a live eel – nothing solid and every step a verbal deflection of some description. Heck, despite his moaning about how hurt his feelings were, he hadn’t, even for a second, bothered to deny any of her insinuations.

    No. The more the man in front of her kept speaking, the less trustworthy he seemed.

    “And I’m sorry, but is any of that horseshit that comes out of your mouth meant to make me more at ease around you? Of course, who hasn’t heard such trustworthy classics as “Maybe I do and maybe I don’t” and “It’s not my place to say.

    “Clearly, there is no-one as trustworthy as a Turnside “handyman” who is wholly and utterly incapable and unwilling to divulge his affiliation, actions, motives, or purpose.”

    Arcs of crimson mana kept singing off the steel band in her fingers, even as its direction suddenly reversed.

    “Or maybe am I supposed to be impressed by your trite compliments? The more you say crap like that, the less earnest it sounds, you know?” A dangerous smirk flickered for a moment on Anna’s lips. “There’s a saying back home… mesi suus, sapp südames – those with honeyed words carry spite in their hearts.”

    “Or perhaps you’re more familiar with “a flattering mouth worketh ruin”? I must admit I’m not much for the Bible myself, but it’s definitely more of a “cultural touchstone”, all things considered.” The jacketed girl gave a small casual shrug. “Well, I suppose there is always the proverb about “flatterers soiling their masters”, I suppose.”

    “All in all, you’re not great at making your case here. Besides…” Anna’s eyes dropped for a moment downwards, towards the knife in Orion’s hands. “I find it pretty hard to be lectured on “gunning for a fight” by someone whose first reaction to some rather basic questions was to immediately pull out a weapon of his own.

    “Not really the behavior of someone who’s willing to be open and honest with us, now is it?

  14. #4034
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Avery’s Dinner
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    There were awkward stares all around the table. Very, very awkward stares. Inacio and Caleb exchanged glances, clearly wondering what the hell had happened at the bathroom, while Aleen slowly slid her plate of pie away from John in case he started trashing about - though there was unmistakable worry in those red eyes too. It's not like she was heartless, after all. And as for Ubon, well...

    "N-no, Johnnie, we were just talking about what to do this weekend. Since, um, it feels like things might get hectic, and Inacchie here thinks that there's all sorts of nasty things coming with the storm, and Allie's been all worried about Virrie and Callie was complaining about Annie and, uh..." The cyanhead seemed to realize she was rambling a bit thanks to her confusion, as she paused for just a moment. "W-well, that's about it. We were just talking 'bout all sortsa random stuff. And ordered some more pie, too, though, um, if you're not hungry, you don't hafta eat - for realsies."

    Ubon shot a look towards the other three, who quickly gestured that they didn't know what to heck they were supposed to do either. John's acting was like night and day compared to when he had left, and considering how little time had passed in their eyes, it must have seemed weirder still. In the background, John could hear the door to the bathroom open and Isaac walk out, the older man sitting back at his own table without a second glance towards the boy.

    And then, out of nowhere, John felt a small hand atop his head, carefully patting him as if to calm him down.

    Ubon, who else? The girl was gazing down at him with genuine worry in her eyes. Her hand felt a little bit awkward, but it didn't seem like it was her first time doing this... though at the same time, it was a gesture more akin to calming down a child than a grown teenager.

    "...."

    Having made up her mind about something, Ubon leaned a bit closer and lowered her voice so that only John would hear.

    "Umm... don't mind it, Johnnie. For realsies."

    Wait, what? Words of comfort?

    Had Ubon sensed something?

    "... I've had a bad poop or two before, too. I'm sure your tummy won't be upset if you just get some medicine before going to bed."

    Ah.

    Figures.




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

    Nikolai nodded to both Vier and Sakura.

    "Hmm... you're right. If things are so bad that we are already running out of time, then I definitely should act fast. I should make contact with Miss Vandemeel, determine the exact nature of what's going on, and prepare what appropriate defenses I can," the young man said, as if noting a to-do list down for himself. "Oh, though, speaking of which... I know it's a shameless thing to ask from people I've just met, but could I trouble you a bit further? It would help me out a lot if, once I've located Miss Vandemeel, if you could act as an intermediary? At least for the start? As said, Miss Vandemeel won't probably be too fond of me - not only because of my job description, but also..."

    The fair man sighed and rubbed the back of his neck again, that troubled glint in his eyes still persisting.

    "... Well, the history between Estonia and Russia - or rather, Soviet Union - has been a turbulent one. And according to reports from Kyöpelinvuori, Miss Vandemeel has been quite vocal about her hatred and ire towards my countrymen because of it," the man explained. "If either of you were to explain the situation to her first, it would most likely clean up the air enough that she and I could have a civil discussion afterwards... I hope."

    While it was clear that Nikolai himself hoped that would be the case, a definite doubt was also gnawing at his mind. Perhaps Anna's attitude was a rather infamous one at where they were from, or perhaps it was from personal experience of some sort, but even the idea of a meditator didn't seem to completely erase the man's worries.

    "Let us hope, for all our sakes, that her nickname 'Miss Myself-Righteous' is greatly exaggerated and she does have a good head on her shoulders."

    Having muttered that with a lower tone, the man turned to look at the two again.

    "Oh, and speaking of which... could the two of you explain to me in more detail exactly what is ailing this town? I might be a humble abjurer, but perhaps there might be something in my repertoire that might help in this case. My speciality is the containment and sealing of supernatural phenomena, after all," he continued. "Depending on how things are, I might be able to help out in this crisis... though if it's scientific in nature, then I certainly don't have the necessary knowledge myself."

    Having said that, he gestured towards the forest outside.

    "And perhaps we should do it while we walk? If time is of the essence, we should not dally in this forgotten place for long. Getting to the town is the first step."




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

    "................................."

    Through his hands, Liana could see that Hawthorn's expression simply froze up on her provocation. The man was wearing a steel-mask of nothing now, completely void of any and all expressions, staring straight ahead like his brain was trying to reboot itself. In fact, the man's whole body had gone rigid upon the dangerous word being breathed into his ear. He just sat there, face now hovering slightly above his hands, attempting to recollect himself after what must have been quite the shock. So, for now, it seemed that Liana had a salt statue in her hands, sitting at the spot where Hawthorn had.

    Both Fyrtio and Ferguson exchanged confused glances at the change in the man's demeanor, but did not say nothing. For they knew now what sort of dreadful words had been whispered into his ear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "Anyways Scottie, about that dream of yours...?"
    That snapped the older man out of his stupor.

    "O-oh, yes... my dream. The night before the last, I had a dream - a dream about the killer of Elizaveta Vyraj. In that dream, a student from Pinefall had a vision of her killer. Based on that, the local deputy sketched a picture - a wild-looking woman with one eye. Then, I got a phone call from a faceless girl named Muse - she told me the killer's name was Dot. Ms. Dot F. Loonwaters," Ferguson explained, turning slightly serious in his tone. "She was from West Virginia, and both she and Muse used to live in an attic where they sang: 'Stars, Fall For Me'. However, Muse was hunted down by someone, and thus, her essence was dispersed into a vast forest. This angered Dot, who woved to kill again - and thus she sent a man without a shape to do her work."

    Just like that, the mood of the lobby had changed. The rain beating on the windows felt heavier, and the carpet of clouds up at the skies felt thicker - shadows became longer. And for some reason, Liana could almost feel the presence of the statue outside, like it had moved ever so slightly and was now peering right through one of the windows on the first floor, as if searching for them... or listening in on them.

    A thought to send shivers down one's spine.

    "Suddenly it was twenty-one years later. I was reclining on a fancy leather couch of a beautiful lounge draped in chevron patterns. There was a midget in a red suit and a beautiful foreign woman who looked exactly like Elizaveta Vyraj. There were others too, like a woman with the voice of a man, a handsome bartender, a man with a monocle and a horned girl. They all congratulated me and told me that the cuckoo had flown the coop," the silver-haired man continued. "He then continued and asked if his Cognate - the beautiful foreigner - looked exactly like Elizaveta Vyraj?"

    The agent paused to take a sip of his drink.

    "Sometimes she strangles herself until her bones break and she disappears. She's filled with secrets, living right past the hangman's noose. Where they're from, there's nothing to do but to listen to the radio, and night-time is always near," Ferguson explained. "The woman with a man's voice started a song, and the midget started a dance. Someone else took a seat in next table over,, someone they had been waiting for. My time was nearly over, so the Cognate told me she would send a message through that other guest. She'd tell that person who killed her, and send them on their way to me. Then she whispered the name of the other guest in my ear so I could find them."

    Another pause. Another sip. But this time... Ferguson put down the glass with a wry smile.

    "--- Unfortunately, I can't remember it."

    Fyrtio, who had been listening in intently, nodded a couple of times and rubbed her chin. She was clearly trying to think what it all meant, taking the dream of this more or less normal federal agent seriously. Indeed, while dreams were part of a normal life, sometimes they could show hints and pieces of the future, for their world was not a world tied to time. But in that case... what did it all mean?

    Before Liana could answer or question him further, however, something happened.

    Or rather, suddenly someone gripped her head like a crane-game claw picking on a prize and latching on it.

    "Youuuuuuu...!"

    Oh no.

    It seemed that Hawthorn had recovered. Looking to the chair next to her, Liana saw the man staring at him with bloodshot eyes and an odd smile on his face - one on the verge of breaking down to something else. And the grip on her head, while not actually painful, was still rather uncomfortable... especially the way he seemed to be slowly lifting her up from the chair.

    "There are words you should and should not say, Lia," Hawthorn growled. "And I swear if I ever hear you say something like that again, I'll do something that will have you wishing you'd never got involved with me in the first place...!"

    For some reason, it was hard to say whether the man was joking or not. After all, while this had all started with escalating teasing, this time...

    ... He seemed worryingly serious!




    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Ahh, I see I see~! So I suppose the princess proved the old adage correct, no?"

    Carrie spoke that in response, showing another smug and mischievous smile.

    "You know, the one about way to man's heart being through the stomach? Still, never would have guessed a TV Dinner would be enough, but I guess if it works, it works," the older woman said and softly chuckled. "Still, good for you, little princess - on finding your knight. Hopefully he'll turn into your prince eventually, too... though I suppose there's a bit of a work to be done for that, huh?"

    Ahti, looking like he wasn't totally getting the conversation, frowned at the way Carrie smiled at him.

    "That being said, keep up at it, little princess," the older woman said with a wink to Prushka. "Considering how things might look on the outside, I'm sure people will give you a hard time - but as long as you guys make it work, isn't that the thing that matters most?"

    Xandra, upon hearing this, busted into a cackle and slapped the counter in amusement, offering Carrie grin.

    "Oh, they do make it work. Frankly, I think it's pretty adorable to watch. Which, in turn, makes it even more amusing to spectate from the sidelines," the silver-haired girl chimed in. "Especially since they're both on the denser side, so they've yet to completely figure it out, I think. Well, that's why people like us exist, right? Meddlesome bystanders with ulterior motives~"

    Carrie cackled in turn, and raised her glass - a gesture repeated by Xandra with her own glass of water.

    "To meddlesome bystanders," Carrie toasted, and they both raised their glasses.

    Ahti, blinking in slightly inebriated confusion, looked down at Prushka on his lap.

    "... You have any idea what they're going on about?" he asked with a quiet voice.

    Billie, watching over this all with a kind, amused smile that only bartenders can pull of convincingly, pulled out a pack of cigarettes from the sleeve of her shirt and popped one in her mouth. She shared the pack with Carrie, and the latter got an ashtray set between the two. Soon enough the tell-tale trail of smoke rose towards the ceiling, joining in on the greyness of the world outside and the lazy, slumbering shadows of the bar in general.

    Then the one-eyed bartender turned her attention back to Prushka and her previous question.

    "Hmm... a small kid with a chip on his shoulder? Hmm... well, the only one that really comes to mind right away was Nevada. He was a student back some, uh... seven years ago? Yeah, seven years ago. He was in the same class as Jake, actually - though back then, there was just one big class with people from different years - too few students, see. Let's see, there was Nevada, Jake, Tommy Horse who is the local mechanic, Rachel Halloway the current Owl's Nest heiress, Samuel Lowgate... hm, poor kid. Devon Rustfield was one, the family being around for ages. Albert Roslin as well, he works at End's Mercy these days. Then there was good ol' Max, who's the park ranger at Ghostwood."

    She was listing off names one by one, some of them familiar and some of them not.

    "Ah, right, then there was the Outis's girl, Angelica. And that goofball, Patricia, who came here with her parents. That whole lot was always followed around by that kid who only spoke in weird noises like 'Muu's and 'Foo's, Eliya," Billie continued her explanation, before suddenly growing a little more subdued, her smile becaming slightly sad. "Ah... right, and their leader was Remington, of course. Remington Hartley, God rest her soul. Wild lil' six shooter, Remmie. That wild little tomcat was the brains of the whole kid gang, and with her at the helm they spent every day tackling just about every mystery and urban legend there was at the town."

    The mountain-like woman took a drag off her cigarette and blew out a cloud of smoke into the air, as if holding a small moment of respect, of silence, to someone who had left this world.

    "... Well, in any case, yeah. That group used to run with a kid named Nevada. Silver hair, bright eyes, chip on his shoulder the size of Mt. Saint Helens. Poor boy was so infatuated with Remmie though, to the point he often got into fights with Jake and Tommie. Still, I think he was a good kid underneath all that baggage he never talked about," Billie concluded. "Never really found out where he came from - just kind of showed up one day. And after what happened, he disappeared the same way too. I guess everyone's lives changed that day. Poor Samuel's stuck in hospital, Patricia's off in her fantasy world, Angelica just uprooted everything and left, Albert threw himself into medicine, Tommy turned to bottle... though I guess the death of his pops, Tommy Sr. didn't help. Well, you get the picture."

    The one-eyed woman sighed and scratched the back of his head.

    "Not exactly the happiest topic, in any case."




    Alexstrasza Lockkhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Yeah... I think I will. I think I'll waste as much time as I want."

    There was an odd look in Travis's eyes as he gazed at Alexstrasza. It wasn't exactly sad, or the expression of someone who had given up hope... but neither was it pity, or feeling sorrowful because of the words she had spoken. Instead, it was almost stubborn. Like he wasn't going to give up. As if he knew that the path ahead would be rocky and thorny, full of perils and with possible pitfalls... but that he wouldn't give up.

    All because he had started to feel like there was something he had to do.

    "Even if you don't believe me now, I'll make you believe me. Because yeah, that's what friends are for. If you can't believe in yourself, then I'll just have to do it in your stead. Believe in the person you can be, no matter what you are. That's not something exclusive to mages or humans... that's just a thing about people in general. You may have all these ideas about being a monster, but that's just your own opinion," Travis said, determination in his voice growing. "And too bad for you, I happen to be the most goddamn stubborn person on this side of the pond. So if I get it into my head that you're wrong, and that I'll prove you wrong... then that's exactly what I'm going to do."

    He nodded - without hesitation.

    "--- Because like hell am I gonna let my friend insult herself after showing me there's far more to her than that."

    With that, he once again fixed his grip on the corpse and took a look at the streets around them.

    "... Anyways, let's get this body to the forest. We can use the back-alleys to get close to the edge, and then just run the rest of the way till we're in the shade of the pines. Then, once we're in, we could... I dunno, dig some hole for this poor bastard. I dunno who he is, but at least we can give him some sort of send-off, instead of leaving him lying on some rock," the boy spoke. "... Maybe try to figure if he's anyone we know. I mean, looking at this hospital gown..."

    He frowned and looked towards the west... towards a certain hospital.

    "... I think we both know where he's from."




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

    Allene, at this point, had practically completely forgotten the cup of tea in her hands. The steam rising from it was growing weaker and weaker, indicating that it was turning rather lukewarm, but the blue-haired girl was simply too transfixed on the explanations and revelations that had been presented to her to even spare a thought to the tea. Instead, she watched Hisa with wonder in her eyes as she went through concepts such as Turnside in general, the basic gist of espers, the matter of fae and lastly, the topic of the monsters themselves and how they might be projected in the real world.

    An awkward sort of silence remained after Hisa's last question, hanging in the air like some sort of big question mark. Even Pyry and Sakura exchanged somewhat worried glances, as if asking each other if it had been too much all at once, and if the girl was about to go into a panic attack because of the sheer volume of things thrown her way.

    But instead of that...

    "............... Huh. So you're saying that what we know as fokllore, myths and even pseudoscience are all just fragments of a hidden world that normal people don't know anything about? Information trickling down to the common folk that they don't actually believe? And that it's a world so vast that it can harbor both old concepts like fairy rings and rules about the fair folk, but also stuff like projecting a personal reality and even beings from other dimensions projecting shades to ours?" Allene asked with a surprisingly calm voice, and sipped her lukewarm tea. "So, in other words, the presence of those monsters was already a sign of that world, but unlike me, you all actually are part of that hidden world, and have abilities to match it. Which was why you could actually combat such weird beings..."

    --- Well now.

    She was taking it rather well. Rather calmly, even.

    Allene, without any hint of confusion or surprise, spoke that out and then reached downwards, setting her tea cup back to its saucer. Once it was there, she put her hands on her lap, turned her eyes towards Hisa once more, and...

    "--- Oh hot dog, that is so amazing!"

    Oh, there we go.

    In most cases, there were two typical reactions to a normal person finding out about the existence of the Turnside. Some became horrified, fearful and even paranoid of such a dangerous reality co-existing with their own. Others because extremely excited, immediately thinking of all the wonders and strange things this meant that there were out in the world. As it happened, the latter were usually those who liked to read fantasy books or even play tabletop roleplaying games in their own time.

    And Allene's sparkling, giddy, excited eyes definitely belonged to this latter category!

    "T-that is simply astonishing! It begets the mind! O-oh, I always hoped that stuff like magic and witches and dragons would be real, but never would have I imagined that was actually the case! Even my own fate as a vampire I had always chalked up to be a more mundane explanation to all those legends, but this... oh, this is just too good to be true!" Allene exclaimed, practically jumping out of her chair and clasping Hisa's hands with her own. "T-tell me, are there many more like you people out there? Actually, you said that while you could project your reality, your friends had different powers?"

    Her attention was quickly on Pyry and Sakura, who looked rather overwhelmed.

    "W-what are you two capable of, then?"

    Pyry scratched his cheek a bit awkwardly and let out a chuckle.

    "Well, uh... lessee... I guess I'm just a---" He paused, glanced towards Hisa with a teasing grin, and winked. "--- Just a mage of sorts. Or, well, I have the blood of a mythological creature running in my family. This allows me to cast spells and stuff like that. It's a different sort of power than what Ougi here has, one rooted in old legends and esoteric powers rather than her, which is more about internal logic. Though I suppose both base themselves ultimate to imagination - everything does, more or less. Imagination and belief. Sakura here is a good case of the latter, actually."

    As he gestured towards the older brunette, Allene's attention snapped towards her, and Sakura smiled a bit awkwardly.

    "Umm, yes... I suppose it does. See, my powers come from the fact that I recreate miracles that have been proven and codified by the Christian Church. Think of it as... power granted to those who follow the Lord's teachings, and who want to protect people from the dangers this supernatural world has. It's different from magic, though. Rather than coming up with abilities of our own, we research already-existing miracles that best suit our purposes," she explained... before suddenly looking a little embarrassed, and averting her gaze. "I-I'm also something of a ninja."

    At this point the red-eyed girl looked like she was over the moon.

    "Oooh, gosh... a ninja, too! Ninjas are real! I just knew it! This is just... just... golly, I don't even have words for it!"

    From the looks of it, she would need a minute or two to calm down. Taking this chance to try and get conversation back on topic (now that Allene was distracted by the revelation that ninjas, of all things, were real), Pyry looked at Hisa and gestured towards the papers she had shown.

    "Still... interdimensional projecting, huh? Can't say I know much about that... it's such an esoteric subject that they don't even have a proper department for it back in Orloj, from what I hear. Only a sub-department. I guess it would make sense, considering how those Eyes felt to fight against. I mean, they we're hardly physical, only kinda there, and yet they were pretty weak... I mean, a normal human would probably be in trouble with most of them, but we handled them just fine," the boy spoke. "But wouldn't projection like that require a ridiculous amount of power? Or maybe there's a symbolic anchor here in Road's End already - a rumour or an urban legend or something. But then... who's behind this all in the first place? Gah, feels like this just raises more questions than it answers..."

    Despite him groaning and scratching his head, Pyry didn't look too vexed. If anything, the mood in the room had started to become much more spirited, meaning that a small smile was caressing his lips as well.

    "Though, that does make me wonder... just where the heck did you learn all this, Hisa?" Pyry asked with a cocked eyebrow. "Like I said, interdimensional theory is a niche, mysterious subject even to mages. But you're sounding like an expert, and seem to know what you're talking about."

    He snickered a little bit.

    "Just who are you, really?"
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; April 23rd, 2021 at 11:55 AM.

  15. #4035
    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

    “I-I’ve no doubts about that being the case,” I answered Pyry, still somewhat bemused by how extremely enthusiastic Allene was, “Remember what I said about that dream monster called Dot? The one who feels to resemble what we heard about Indrid? And who seems to be able to affect our reality directly? I think she is kind of similar. Could be the one who projects these things. Or maybe these projections are her to begin with...just that her form is still distorted in the rumours, and the dreams of people.”

    After all, if their form in this world depended on how people perceived them, then it would be logical that it wouldn’t necessarily be clear at first. People often don’t remember every tiny detail from their dreams, often they remember things wrong in the first place, so it would be understandable for the perfect image to take a while to form.

    “Still, even with that, there is a lot we don’t know, and I’m not too sure about the next step here yet.”

    It was hard to tell where exactly we were supposed to pick things up following Beatrice’s story. There were both a lot of individuals that were likely worth talking to, but also none at all who was actually guaranteed to know anything.

    “A-at any rate, I’m hardly an expert of the topic. It’s more of a coincidence, if something, since, well...the manor where I used to live was kind of special. For one, it was built upon a foundation that contained bricks from Dún Scáith, and because of that, it could travel through the original parallel dimension of the fortress to switch its locations in this world. Considering how we went around a lot...it made life much easier. Almost luxurious, with how much time and effort it saved. Still…”

    I scratched my cheek as I thought back about things for a moment.

    In hindsight...leaving the manor behind was kind of a mistake, even. But then...I wasn’t entirely sure how to operate it on my own, and I still know exactly where it should be now. So once this is over, hopefully I can see that place again.

    “That’s partly why I got interested in the topic. And the owner of the manor, a mage called Jack August, my mentor of sorts...he’s done some research on the matter. I mean, with a house like that, it would be bold to just hop around the world without any knowledge of the method at all. Though, supposedly he got lost between the dimensions once, so maybe that’s why he ended up looking deeper into it…”

    Even now it sounded rather ridiculous, both because it was hard to imagine a situation like that, and even harder to understand how someone could be clumsy and careless enough to get themselves into it.

    “That’s why I know a thing or two as well. But it’s hardly any sort of extensive knowledge.”


  16. #4036
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockkhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Yeah... I think I will. I think I'll waste as much time as I want."
    It is not as if I am unused to people wasting their time. I myself happen to be a big fan of many wasteful tasks, and even things that I'm unsure will ever come to pass. The things I love - sorcery, the arcane, and magic - are not things that are allowed in this world above the underneath. But still, I love them. Still, I pray that my friends and allies love them. Even though it is an eternally useless and thankless desire, still my greedy heart whispers to me that it should be so. Why not? Why can everyone not see magic the way I do?

    "Even if you don't believe me now, I'll make you believe me. Because yeah, that's what friends are for. If you can't believe in yourself, then I'll just have to do it in your stead. Believe in the person you can be, no matter what you are. That's not something exclusive to mages or humans... that's just a thing about people in general. You may have all these ideas about being a monster, but that's just your own opinion. And too bad for you, I happen to be the most goddamn stubborn person on this side of the pond. So if I get it into my head that you're wrong, and that I'll prove you wrong... then that's exactly what I'm going to do."
    I blinked at Travis, tilting my head.

    "--- Because like hell am I gonna let my friend insult herself after showing me there's far more to her than that."
    Very kind of you, but I am a monster. My heart doesn't beat, it stays silent. My blood doesn't run, it's stilled. My skin isn't hot, it's as cold as ice. Are these not representative of a monster hiding in human skin?

    "... Anyways, let's get this body to the forest. We can use the back-alleys to get close to the edge, and then just run the rest of the way till we're in the shade of the pines. Then, once we're in, we could... I dunno, dig some hole for this poor bastard. I dunno who he is, but at least we can give him some sort of send-off, instead of leaving him lying on some rock," the boy spoke. "... Maybe try to figure if he's anyone we know. I mean, looking at this hospital gown..."
    I nodded. It was important to respect the dead, even if it was only temporarily, and the longterm plan was to desecrate them.

    "... I think we both know where he's from."
    "Fair fortune that I am planning to go there shortly, then!" I said with a bright smile. "After all, Cesarina is still in the hospital, and I do believe that I would rather she not die. Perhaps there could be some... investagatory things we could do to uncover what the devil either of those two were up to in the first place to meet each other!"

    What sort of place is Road's End, so festering with the arcane? I'd be startled if I myself wasn't so wrapped up in the arcane as is.

    "I do believe that there must be something at that hospital that's attracting all this attention... From Elizaveta's corpse creating my dearest Potemkin, to this rather odd scenario that left another corpse, I can't say that the hospital seems at all above board!"

    I looked around shiftily, before looking away from Travis.

    "A-and in hindsight, it probably isn't normal to give a teenage girl a gallon of blood on request, is it...? Even if she has a doctor's note and everything..."
    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.


  17. #4037
    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


    ---Naturally, reflexes do not fire properly against those she doesn't consider a threat.

    Head tilted to the side in a questioning way at Scottie's story, the bizarre dream he had seen, and the ramifications of what that might mean in the context of this town as well as the varying cases dwelling within it, it's a bit surprising when the man next to her comes back to life.

    ---Its a vaguely uncomfortable grip.

    If the person trying this had been a stranger, no... Anyone she liked less than she happened to like Thorne, the response to this sort of grab would have been a fist straight for the solar plexus, but...

    As things are, she lets it happen.

    The breaking of that always collected mask had been interesting enough, amusing in it's own way, a sign that even he could be rattled if she tried hard enough, but...

    "..."

    That's not fair...The one time I win...

    ...The sense of amusement fades fast after reading his face; the expectant joking light isn't there, no...

    He's actually upset.

    ---Well, that wasn't the plan.

    Embarrassment was one thing, that was fine, but actually making him mad well...

    That changed things.

    Had she stumbled on something accidentally? Some sort of trauma? Or had it just been a poor idea to start with?

    "..."

    Really doing a great job tonight Lia, real charming of you...

    Not that she's that surprised.

    She always screws up eventually.

    "...Sorry, guess I overstepped a bit, huh? Wasn't trying to actually upset you..."

    She looks back at him.

    "I don't think you could do something bad enough for me to wish I hadn't met you, you happen to be the best friend I've had in awhile... Would take a lot of creativity on your part to make me regret that... But I'm not gonna push my luck either way."

    It's a bit somber, but...

    "...I'd rather not be hated."

    A moment of silence, as the young woman closes her eyes and sighs, unconsciously rubbing at the bracelet on her wrist for a moment, then...

    "Anyway, Scottie..."

    Her attention turns towards the Agent, one hand rising to grasp at the wrist holding her head; the vague annoyance of it starting to become a bit much even for her tolerance...

    "I know a Muse. See her in my dreams sometimes. A few of the other students do too."

    Simple words.

    At this point she might as well toe the line some more, maybe even cross it, depending...

    Everything was going to go to hell in a day or so anyway.

    At least according to the others, and well...

    ---She believed them.

    "Don't know anything about that lodge of yours... Sounds kind of bizarre even for how strange dreams can get... But assuming there's some truth to this dream, this Cognate would then actually send this person towards you right? Considering the one who had a vision was a student, this person was probably then that Pinefall Student. Would be sort of redundant otherwise..."

    Her expression shifts, mouth a thoughtful line rather than the teasing smile from earlier...

    "I'm pretty sure it's not me, but I came here with another of my classmates today, the boy that was with me earlier... Maybe it's him? Could be fate... If you believe in that sort of thing anyway. Might be worth talking to him on his way out?"

    She closes one eye.

    "As for Dot... I've heard she likes to take left eyes."

    Her gaze drifts towards the outside, where she assumes that statue might just be in her head, creeping around in the rain like some sort of freak, and...

    Get out of here...

    Maybe she can will it away...
    Last edited by Airen; April 23rd, 2021 at 08:06 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?



  18. #4038
    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

    "To, uh, meddling?"

    My own meddler instincts bid me to raise my glass as well, even if I don't know what they're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "... You have any idea what they're going on about?"
    It's a mystery, Ahti. Seems like there should be a clear answer and very simple logic to follow to deduce the subject of their conversation, but for some reason the answer won't materialize, as if my mind is just refusing to acknowledge it. High level mental interference, perhaps? Or maybe that cocktail is already taking effect. Reduced mental function even at such a low dose. How terrifying.

    The confused-looking catboy gets the only respite I can offer: a reassuring pat on the knee and a whispered reply.

    "My gut says this is one of those things we're better off ignoring, Scrooge. Like schoolyard gossip or a memetics-based attack on the soul: if you don't think about it, it can't hurt you."

    Besides, some part of me insists. Ahti likes girls with big boobs, so it'd never work out.

    Speaking of big...

    I lean forward on the counter as Billie recounts her story and sip slowly on the bubbly, jolting cola, almost seeing what she describes forming in the smoke drifting upwards from her cigarette. A warm, slightly smoky bar is the best place to tell stories. Tales of names and times I only barely recognize, descriptions of a group of friends from another generation. A story that might as well be from a different world.

    "Nevada, huh... so that's what he called himself...?" Seven whole years ago. How old would that make Snow? He's probably a proper adult now. An adult with a proper false name at that.

    An adult with baggage. Who had fights with Briggs (did he get pranked too?) and this Tommy guy. An adult who was a kid like me, who had a crush on a girl called Remington Hartley, who's now lying beneath a gravestone. Because of that vague tragedy Hisa and Elise talked about. "They ran into a monster in the forest," Elise said. A monster. The woods. A death. Samuel Lowgate in a coma. Seven years ago. Heartbreak afterwards. Angelica was there too. Did she know? Is this what she meant about it always raining some other day?

    Quote Originally Posted by Billie
    "Not exactly the happiest topic, in any case."
    Of course. I completely forgot.

    "Sorry for prying... kinda tripped over myself and into a minefield there, didn't I?" Come to think of it, I never did say why I was asking in the first place. "That 'Nevada' you're talking about... we haven't seen each other since we were kids. When I heard he'd been in Road's End I didn't know what to think. Strange coincidence that we'd both end up at Pinefall. Was hoping to find out what he was up to. But he really... did have a girl he liked, huh... I never would've guessed..."

    I never thought it would be possible for any of us to feel that way. Not towards a human. That's not fair, Snow. You found love first and you found heartbreak first. How many other firsts did you have to face on your own?

    "Anyway, um, if it's calling up bad memories, forget it!" I mimic shooing away a stray animal with my hands. Go away, bad vibes, go away. "Been a huge help already! So it's all good! Flex off the bad feelings with muscle! Let the endorphins sweep it away! Hwah!"

    I down another quart of cola and exhale in an exaggerated manner.

    "I'll just start with bugging Jake about it, no sweat. Gotta get revenge for that stunt he pulled the other day anyway. And if he was pulling pranks on 'Nevada' too all those years ago, it'll be double revenge!"

    Still, to think even Rachel knew about him... would she know what he's up to, then? I should've asked her more when I had the chance. That might've been what Muse's hint was pushing me to.

    "B-besides, if you think that's bad, there's a whole host of annoying questions I've been holding back on!"

  19. #4039
    Beware the Finnish Ringlets Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Dún Scáith... The Fortress of Shadows."

    Pyry's eyes widened upon hearing that name.

    "A manor made from the bones of the legendary proving grounds of the heroes of Éire - a dimension unto its own, as ruled by the warrior-sage Scáthach. It's a place more mysterious, more legendary than most of those found in the Irish myths, where great relics such as Gáe Bolga were fashioned from the bones of the sea monster, Curruid, and where heroes of old trained to become masters of their craft," the boy spoke with a hint of reverence in his voice. "I see... were you to use pieces of it as the foundation of a building, it would probably inherit some properties of the castle itself - maybe even it's ability to flit in and out of this world. But the cost of gaining those few precious bricks, or worse yet, stealing them..."

    The lion-maned boy glanced back at Hisa, and the girl could read a sense of wonder, and a perhaps a little bit of amazement, from his face. To someone like Pyry, whose own existence was mired and soaked with the myths of his homeland, a revelation like this had certainly changed his perspective a little bit - perhaps even made him understand something that only those who had touched the legends of old could.

    And indeed, a whole new sort of respect had come about his eyes as he watched the scarred girl.

    "... Hisa, whoever this Jack August was - whoever your master and teacher was... he was no ordinary man. No, he was no ordinary mage. Nobody tangles with the Mistress of Shadows on a whim, much less lives to tell the tale if they've stolen from her," he spoke. "Hell, while my own knowledge about Irish myths is meager, the only plausible way, other than theft, that I could see make the Mistress of Shadows hand over those artifacts would be... yeah. Would be if this Jack August himself would be a kindred soul to her - another teacher to heroes."

    His eyes narrowed just a little bit.

    "It might not be just a coincidence that both you and Angie ended up under his wing."

    For just a moment, Hisa could see that figure from the past, the one who had disappeared. A simple memory flashing before her eyes of a tall man, dark and brooding, dressed in an old-fashioned way and scattering raven feathers from his cloak wherever he went. Intense eyes and a grim face, but underneath that frankly scary visage, a rather kind and awkward man. Someone who felt like he had held a deep, deep sadness within him, and who had been saved by the presence of the two girls just as much as they had been saved by him.

    But if he had truly been so amazing, then... why had he disappeared as well?

    "Hmm... well, whatever the case, I think our next step should be regarding that crystal? Did you figure anything about it, Ougi" Sakura's voice suddenly cut into the conversation. "It definitely seemed like a core to the beasts, right? So maybe it also serves as something to anchor them here. Maybe a talisman of some sort?"

    It looked like the older brunette was somewhat desperate to move the topic along, so she wouldn't have to struggle with Allene's excitement regarding ninjas any longer.

    "O-oh, right! Gosh, I wondered about that too," the blue-haired girl added with a nod. "I've seen those monsters as long as I can remember, but this is the first time I learned of them having a thing like that inside them..."




    Alexstrasza Lockkhart
    Location: Road's End - Back Alley
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "A-and in hindsight, it probably isn't normal to give a teenage girl a gallon of blood on request, is it...? Even if she has a doctor's note and everything..."
    That caused Travis to blink.

    "Yeah, uh... no. That's not normal in the least. Like, at all," he replied almost immediately. "Whatever doctor or hospital would just... hand over a bag of blood to someone who asks just sounds like a fraud. Or a scam. Or both. Not that End's Mercy hasn't been fishy as fuck before all this, but this just adds to the pile of evidence that something strange is going on out there..."

    The two teens, still lugging the body, darted from alley to alley. Soon enough they would reach the forest, which was already in view. From there the problem would be of finding a decent resting place for the poor bloke - the man with dark blue, long hair and unkempt beard. He looked to be Somewhere in his late twenties perhaps and while there was something about his face that made Alexstrasza pause, she couldn't really put her finger to it. Maybe it was just one of those strange coincidences, or a feeling of déjà vu that couldn't be explained.

    Still, whoever he was, he deserved at least some resting place.

    "--- Honestly, I feel like that Cesarina girl isn't too safe over there. So, if you're heading over there tonight, as said, I'll be coming with you. Can't let you get up to something stupid alone, can I?" Travis continued with a smirk and a question. "... Not to mention, I don't expect you to know anything about hospital jargon, or where to snoop around properly. So coming along is just a natural choice."

    However, his eyes then wavered over to Stephanie, who was walking besides them - smiling for some reason at the both of them.

    Had they been doing something funny?

    "Gotta find someone to look after brat here, though - we can't take her with us... for obvious reasons," Travis muttered. "Maybe Hwan? He might be available... him or Kean. Or Elaine, of course. I mean, might be a good chance for your awkward ass to say hello to her properly."

    He grinned in a slightly mean, slightly mischievous way at the blonde girl.

    "Unless, of course, the great and mighty spellslinger and weaver of magic, fire summoner extraordinaire, is afraid of a little social interaction?"

    With Travis's laughter echoing in the blooming night, the trio finally jogged into the forest, disappearing under the canopy of trees.


    [SCENE END /// Move to NEXT Phase!]

    Alexstrasza Lockhart: Friendship Rank Raised!







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

    A momentary awkward silence... one ended, eventually, by Hawthorn's sigh.

    "... You dummy."

    He let go of Liana and softly rapped his knuckles agains ther forehead, as if to admonish her.

    "See, I'm not mad at you. Not really. But even you should know some jokes are better left unused," the older guy spoke, looking at her with a hint of seriousness in her eyes. "Especially since they're not the type to fit you. You're a decent kid after all... I'd say stuff like that is beneath a bit, right? I mean, you'd get mad at me if I said something you'd think was just disrespectful for myself, no? Same thing here."

    The hand that had been howevering there for a moment landed on Liana's shoulder, and gave it a gentle squeeze. It was both a sign to indicate that the momentary flash of negative emotions had passed, and to make sure that the girl knew she shouldn't be so hard on herself after a simple mistake like this. These things happened, after all, with every human bond. So there was no need for either side to beat themselves up over it.

    Water under the bridge, as they said.

    "Well, just leave the crude humor to me in the future," Hawthorn continued with a smirk. "It's much more natural that way."

    Around the two, the rest of the group that had gathered regarded them with warm smiles. Or, well, Ferguson did. He looked much like a teacher who had just watched two students patch things up, and now just sat in his chair sipping on his drink with a calm, satisfied expression. Fyrtio, on the other hand, didn't seem to get that something had really happened, and was still munching on her (way too many-eth) cookie. Though when she saw Hawthorn's hand on Liana's shoulder, she tilted her head in a momentary confusion... and then a flash of subdued smile appeared on her face as well.

    "Left eyes, you say?" Scottie repeated, directing the conversation to the other topic once more. "That's a bit of a morbid hobby. Then again, it would make sense. During my visit here to Road's End, I've noticed that a number of people are sporting eyepatches... more often than not over their left eye. Of course, there's a certain amount of symbolism regarding that 'sinister' eye of ours... I wonder. Perhaps a local legend passed down to the collective subconscious around here that affects our dreams? Or something more?"

    He raised an eyebrow at Liana.

    "Maybe this Muse as well. Though... who knows yet, no? Regardless, it sounds like something to investigate further," he added, before glancing towards the corridor leading to the cocktail lounge. "... And maybe talking with this friend of yours wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Who knows, he might be just the person I was meant to meet."




    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Billie chuckled.

    "Well, just don't go overboard. Jake might appear like he's one of those Young Adult novel protagonists. You know the type, handsome, fearless, quick-with-the-with and strong in a scuffle... but he's just another kid like anyone else. Well, I suppose not legally a kid anymore, but you know what I mean. Being 18 hardly means you've just magically become an adult yet. Heck, some don't do it till their early 40's, hah!" The bartender laughed, glancing towards Carrie who just rolled her eyes amusedly at that. "So don't be too hard on him. I think the boy's got enough problems on his plate as it is... though, I suppose it might be a good thing if someone rattles him a little bit, too."

    With another chuckle and a slightly mischievous grin, the massive bartender - without saying a word - refilled Prushka's glass of Jolt Cola. From the looks of it there were enough bottles back there to fill up an late 80's minimart, meaning that they had probably been sitting there for a while. Perhaps the bartender was just trying to unload them all to the two cola-drinking customers she now, finally, had... or perhaps she was just being nice.

    One of the two.

    "Though if it's memories you're after, I guess asking from Max might not be a bad idea? I think she was the one who held onto their photo album after the break-up, and I guess she still has it. Though then again, she lives quite deep in the Ghostwood, so finding her might be a problem," the bartender continued. "Though if you're interested in what your friend from the past was up to, and how he grew up, that's one option I guess."

    Park Ranger Max, huh? She must have been the Ranger Savage that the brochure talked about - the one that the students had gotten what felt like years ago. A brochure about Road's End and what could be found there.

    Park Ranger Max Savage...

    What a name.

    "But I admit, now you've got me curious," Billie said, leaning at the counter and gazing at Prushka with a cocked eyebrow. "A whole host of annoying questions? That's a lot of curiosity swirling around in that brain of yours? Anything I might be able to help with?"

  20. #4040
    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

    "Max Savage, huh... sounds the name of someone who'd make top billing at the WWF. And in the middle of the Ghostwoods too? That place is pretty creepy." I furrow my brow and support my chin with my hand as I wonder, still nursing a... how many bottles of cola was it now? Well it's fine, I can pay for 'em. Can't be fifty dollars' worth. "Guess if I got her scent I could find her that way..."

    That's for later though!

    Quote Originally Posted by Billie
    "So don't be too hard on him. I think the boy's got enough problems on his plate as it is... though, I suppose it might be a good thing if someone rattles him a little bit, too."
    "Okay, okay, I'll go easy on Jake..."

    I respond with a chuckle of my own, and a glance towards Carrie.

    Didn't think I was only good at getting teased, did you?

    "But only 'cus a certain bartender's all worried about him."

    With a click, bottle meets counter and I stretch out my shoulders, leaning back into Ahti's warm chest. It's a good thing he's here. Otherwise I'd be hunched over with no back support. T-that's the only reason. No, my thoughts aren't stuttering, that would be dumb.

    "Hey, Ahti, make sure to drink some water too, okay? Here."

    I tap my own glass, which is still half-full. Then turn back to the bar.

    "Okay! Annoying question time! One!"

    I point. A laser beam towards Billie. Or rather, her bulging, super impressive pecs.

    "What's the story behind those? Guns like that can't just be for show. You could probably pin a trained soldier in ten seconds."

    Well, she'd still lose against Boss. But that's not a fair comparison. He's the strongest man in the world for a reason.

    "Two..." I glance around the bar. This one's an open question for the both of them. "What are the regulars like here? If they're all as colourful as you, Carrie, I might wanna come back sometime soon."

    And get absolutely wasted.

    "Three..."

    I lean in towards Carrie, all conspiring-like, and ask quietly...

    "What kinda guys does Billie like? I need ammo here or she'll tease me forever."

    Now for the last one.

    "Finally!"

    I saved the worst for last. Once more I point. Except this time the target is higher up. There's no real easy way to say this, so...

    "Billie, is your eye being haunted by a hungry nightmare lady with a crazy smile, a frilly dress, and a bad Virginian accent?"
    Last edited by Bloble; April 24th, 2021 at 10:31 AM.

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