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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3001
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Don't worry, Alexstrasza," I said, flatly, "You are very scary, my boots quake in your presence, even without my feet in them. There is nothing in this world more frightening than those things that remind us of imminent and implacable death."

    Maybe, my words would have more impact if I did not deadpan them out.

    Maybe.

    But that's for later, for now, this.

    "Hmm..."

    I turned sideways to face Ramia more fully, leaning on one elbow, my other hand having just finished hefting some sauce-laden morsel into my mouth in another fruitless attempt to satisfy what could never be satisfied.

    I chewed, both on food and words as I considered my answer carefully, squinting at her.

    Then, I swallowed.

    "Well, if I'm to be honest," I leaned in, a bit conspiratorially, "Last night I wasn't exactly going around looking for relatives I didn't know existed. I was scoping out the Hospital, doing some poking around, heard some weird rumors from some of my sources on the drive up before the bus, so I thought I'd check em out."

    I shrugged, "Course, didn't get to do too much digging, something got them freaked out last night, goons out swarming the woods like a bunch of fire ants, cops were there, whole thing. So I'm hanging out, sort of keeping my distance, keeping an eye on what's going on, see if I can figure out what it is, and then I find something, practically stumble over it, really. Looked like an ID Card or something, had some of those words on the back. So, I'm doing my job and investigating suspicious things, nothing very useful or groundbreaking, just stuff that I think needs doin'. Call it preemptive curiosity.

    I yawned.

    "Sheesh, listen to me yak on and on," I took another sip, a little grin coming to my face.

    "Don't worry though, unlike Short Round over there, I'm not trying to get in your pants."

    I settled my gaze back across the table, to the silent contest of will that I refused to end without concessions, I was the master of this plate, and I would not give it up to just any plaintiff that comes along.

    Submit your petition, and I may hear it, dog!

  2. #3002
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: End’s Store & Post – Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    Naturally, Miss Popplewell’s store remains a bastion of all things British in the most remote corner of the American Northwest. A different John Dove might have felt relief at finding the building unchanged—it would be hard to explain the store of all things undergoing Subaru Iburi’s transformation.

    John came along for the exchange of information and ideas. The women with him are the ones with an interest in visiting the store, so he can only defer to them from this point onwards. It would not be the first time he acts as a pack mule for the shopping sprees of young women—

    There.

    An unusual, clearly involuntary hand movement.

    Elise Marie Pelltier quickly grabs the wrist attached to the hand and turns away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise Marie Pelltier
    “You-you guys go on in without me. I'll catch up with you in a minute!”
    Does she not realize how suspicious she is acting? She was the one most intent in coming here, and now she encourages them to go ahead without her, offering no explanation whatsoever?

    John processes what he witnesses, collating it with what he saw the previous night. If this were a matter of stress, anxiety, or even a neurological disorder, neither would be a matter to be resolved at Pinefall. However, in these strange circumstances, that is somewhat fortuitous. John Dove would not be able to help in such matters; he is neither a counselor, a social worker, a psychiatrist, nor a neurologist.

    On the other hand, if this is a matter of occult powers, of supernatural possession and manipulation, then there might be something he can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille Faraday
    “John and I can handle it. Just don’t disappear on us, alright?”
    “Yes. It is as Miss Faraday says. We’ve got your back, Elise Marie.”

    Naturally, he does not mean it solely in the sense of being able to handle the shopping.

    “I won’t forget to get your compelling medical drama.”

    Or perhaps he does. Who knows with this asshole called John Dove.

    In any case, he leaves Elise Marie to her privacy, encouraging Miss Faraday to follow him inside the store (and post office) with a gesture of his head.

    “Good morning,” he announces himself, purposely louder than the creaking of the door and bell’s chime in the back room.

    It is time to get reacquainted with the owner of this little piece of the Isles.

  3. #3003
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Nora Norumbega
    "Sure, go ahead. I don't know aboot it being worth checking out or not, but at least it's a different sort of book. Though even that's a bit suspect when compared to the rest of the collection here. I wonder where Mr. Halloway even got half of these books... since in many cases, I can barely recognize the language, much less understand their contents."
    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "Oh? Do you have any of those books you don't understand on hand right now? I might just be a high-school student, but I have something of an affinity for languages. This guy I know back home taught me quite a few of them over the years, he was a bit of a linguist, and it sorta rubbed off on me over time. If you'd like, I could take a look at them and try my hand at some translations. Preferably passages to novels, but I could comb through a book or two as well if you think they could be relevant, it'll just take me a bit longer. Translating is a hobby of mine though, so I don't mind, really."
    “...”

    After I got the journal from Nora Norumbega, I spent my time idly flipping through it in order to make sure that piece of paper wasn’t stuck in it. I was tempted to just flip the book upside down however it would be very weird. Just imagine someone flipping a book upside down and then shaking it to see if anything fell out. It would only be more confusing if it looked like I expected something to fall out despite it being my first time seeing this book supposedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nora Norumbega
    “Still, if you guys want to help, I'd appreciate that. Only, you don't have to go out of your way to interview these people - just if you happen to stumble upon them on some other errand of your own," Nora said. "As for questions... well, yes. Mostly I'd like to know about their versions of the local legends, in the way that they themselves remember - not the way that has been written down in any books. The song is just one possibility. Other than that, there's the matter of Disembodied Man himself and… Well... I suppose there's also the matter of the Grinning Girl.”
    I finally quit my page flipping because she started mentioning something different this time around. Grinning Girl? I’ve never heard anything about her before. However, I could only assume that she was somewhat related to the Disembodied Man and maybe… Miss Dot due to Agent Ferguson bringing her up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "...Grinning Girl? What's that? Another local ghost?"
    “Grinning Girl? Is she related to the Disembodied Man too?”

  4. #3004
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Hwan blinked owlishly, momentarily taken off his stride by the Alexstrasza's wistful declaration of her failed attempt last night.

    "H-huh? Art of fright? The heck's that supposed to mean?" the boy asked, looking around the table for some help. "I mean... I dunno, I don't think swimsuits are usually meant to scare people - just the other way around. They're meant to make people guys like me hor---"

    Bark!

    The sudden sound of Tonkori's voice cut Hwan off as the doggie tapped twice at the table with its paws, trying to get Elaine's attention. Indeed, from the looks of it, Tonkori had decided to forgo the easy target that was Alexstrasza, and instead size up someone who she felt like was competition (in some form or another), that being... well, Elaine. Subaru, who had been focused on her own conversation, looked at the puppy in surprise.

    "W-what is is, Tonkori? Why are you in such a hurry?" The tiny shrine maiden asked. "I think we have plenty of time to eat here, so there is no need to bother Miss Winters that much... Oh?"

    A slight frown appearing on her face, Subaru leaned in closer to her dog, who looked back at her with a focused expression, before sniffing the air and pointing her doggie-nose towards the windows of the cafeteria. The small priestess looked quizzical for a moment, before following that gaze.

    "Hmh...?" She wondered, scratching her magnificent hairdo for a moment. "An unknown smell...?"

    Meanwhile Ramia, who had been listening in on this and Elaine's words, snorted at the latter.

    "Nah, I'm not worried. I mean, as hopeless as I am in getting guys interested, I still don't bat for the other team," she replied with a wry smirk. "So yap all you want, I've listened to worse. Soldiers out on the field are pretty much the worst conversation buddies there are - it's always the same ten jokes, and nothing else."

    Still, after saying that, her expression became a bit more serious.

    "Though, that being said... you sure that's really that suspicious? I mean sure, in a normal town and a normal hospital, with a normal high school nearby, maybe, but..." Ramia grimaced a bit and looked around the bunch of youths gathered around their table. "... Remember where we are. It's totally logical a hospital's got a bunch of hired goons in case some of us goes coocoo for cocopuffs. And it's totally possible someone did last night. And that's not even beginning with the amount of weird disorders and syndroms our class must have, and the medicine used to treat them. I mean, our Mr. Principal scoured around the world for the nuttiest nuts in all the nutland for his nutcrackers to crack at. In other words..."

    She searched for the right words for a moment of awkward silence.

    "--- Well, just don't confuse what's really suspicious to what's different from the norm. Because we are really different from the norm, here."




    Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "H-huh? These are...?"

    A pair of aviators was set on the face of a knight who seemed far too impressed by them.

    "O-oh! Ooh... Oooooh~! What art this!" Tris exclaimed in wonder, glancing around the room with her head swiveling to and fro. "The world art suddenly in shade, dimmed by these mysterious gogglewear! W-why is it so! Is this a shield from light-based attacks, perhaps!?"

    The way that question was phrased and the innocent naivete in it... it honestly looked as if Tris had no idea what sunglasses were. Of course, she did know goggles and apparently could surmise the basic way to wear the aviators, but at the same time she didn't seem to understand what was their main purpose. How could that be? A person who knows what goggles are, but not what sunglasses are for...

    ... Did she come from somewhere where sunlight wasn't a problem? Ever?

    "W-well, if 'tis what's needed, then I art ready to go!" Tris announced, putting her hands on her hips and striking a valiant pose. "Lead us to thy valiant steed, Colt!"

    Though then, as if remembering that wasn't the only thing the boy had asked, the blonde knightess stammered just as they were heading out of the room and into the corridor once more.

    "Oh, right, thou asked if t'was possible for thee to learn of the ways of magic and supernatural, right?" Tris asked, glancing at Colt over her newly-acquired (and much-liked) aviators. "Well, thou couldst always try for the ways of the Mystics. They art, from my understanding, a branch of scholars and power-seekers that maketh eldritch deals with beings of the Turnside. Instead of their internal power, they practiceth ritualcraft to make up for their lack of mana. In other words, making use of power, formulas and lore that art already there. Think of it like... like throwing salt over thy left shoulder to ward off bad luck. 'Tis a common enough superstition, no? Well, as thou mayeth know, the left hand art known as the sinister hand... sinister, as in, left itself accordingeth to Latin. Thus, one mayeth say that left art the side of evil, and thus, the
    misfortune
    devil
    resides within that direction. Many do, as that art an easy side to approach a human being and latch onto them. So, thou addeth in the purifying power of salt that many cultures recognizeth, and thus thou art banishing the devil, and the misfortune, when thou throweth salt over thy left shoulder."

    Tris mimicked the motion with her fingers as the duo descended down the stairs.

    "'Tis art widely recognized, and therefore, it art an accepted 'loophole' to the common sense of the world. Human beliefs and superstitions art a powerful thing, after all. The mystics hoard lore such as that, maketh it their power and strengthen it through the help of beings that properly belongeth to the Turnside," Tris continued her explanation. "Of course, not all that knowledge art well-known, but instead, it may have a considerable amount of numen, that art, legend tied to it... age, power, fame in certain circles... and that more than maketh up for this lack of common knowledge. 'Tis a fine line between what art well-known, and what art not, and how they differ in power. One could say that to make thy borroweth power potent, thou needeth either age, fame or original power of the thing itself - in that order of importance. Hence why mystics often maketh deals with supernatural beings such as demons, angels, and all other sort of malarkey."

    While the blonde knightess had been talking, the two of them had finally exited out of the building and into the overcast scenery of the school campus.

    Everywhere it seemed empty, so Tris continued her lesson.

    "That art different from beings such as I of course. The most famous, relatively, of the Turnside denizens art the mages. Those with inhuman blood in their veins. People who, once upon a time, wed a supernatural being into their ancestry and thus art now reaping the rewards. As wise man once upon a time sayeth: 'Humans art capable of seeing beauty in everything, even in flurry of dancing flames'. Unions between creatures of Turnside and humanity were much more commoneth back in the earlier Ages of Man," the knightess spoke, and for a moment her words drew pictures of such meetings into Colt's mind. "'Tis because of that inhuman blood that mages createth mana - an internal power that alloweth mages to bend the World's Rules. Thou useth the mana within thee, shapeth it through a ritual or incantation, and maketh it reality by activation of said mana, thus momentarily bending the World's Rules. Of course, 'tis but a fleeting thing. The World crusheth everything that goeth against it's Rules - with the only exception being the power withing beings themselves. Hence why mana art unaffected as well. After all..."

    A slightly sly smile appeared on Tris's face.

    "... Mana art an intangible, imaginary element - the blood of thy soul. If it art to come into reality, it art immediately made into the form of prana - crystallized version of it, much resembling bismuth," Tris added. "The only thing they overly hath in common art the smell of strong ozone - that art a surefire sign of mana, or prana, in the air. But, to maketh mana appear physically without turning into prana... well, that art a feat no ordinary mage can createth. Tales of dragons of yore spoke of their breath, which art the flames of a furnace of mana, bellowed out into the physical world. One wouldst have to be terrifyingly powerful to be capable of that."

    Finally, the parking lot was in sight, and with good timing too.

    Looks like Tris was nearing the end of her explanation.

    "Still, if thou art curious if thou possesseth the capacity of a mage, it art somewhat simple to check," Tris said with a grin. "I simply needeth to taste thine blood to make an assessment."

    Wait, what?



    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    A momentary pause in the conversation.

    For a moment, Zane simply stared at Anna with a strange expression.

    Then, after a moment, a dry chuckle escaped his lips - the first real sign of amusement the boy had had so far.

    "Well... I guess you've got me there. It's not that much, even if it feels like it. Though don't get me wrong. In some cases, three years can make all the difference," the redhead replied. "But... you've got a point too. Everybody has to grow up at some point. Sometimes it comes earlier than expected. I bet it's the same for you lot, right? That's the kind of people I understand that Mr. Oceandrop collected. Though... don't get me the wrong way. I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Just... I dunno."

    Zane shook his head for some reason, turning his eyes so they kept a close watch on the two-lane blacktop ahead.

    "--- In a situation like yours, I think it's a good idea to be a kid again, now that you can. But that's just my two cents about it."

    Again, it was easy enough to see where the boy was coming from, knowing his past.

    In a sense, it was a slight wonder that Zane Mitchell wasn't exhibiting jealousy when it came to the students of the Pinefall High - youths gathered from all over the world who were in situations where they were actually deemed "unfit for society". And now those youths had been given a second chance, a place to call home for a year where they could return to being normal kids again as much as in their power. To a more bitter man, wasting such a chance could have felt like a slap in the face, as that's one thing Zane himself never apparently had, not after his parents died. But yet...

    ... Zane never exhibited any jealousy at all.

    If anything, back on the first week, he had taken Anna and her attitude in a stride, getting along with her all the same.

    It was, in a way, remarkable of him.

    After all, even know, while he was back to a time where he didn't know the raven-haired girl with him at all, he was still with her - jogging down the asphalt path to south of town, with woods to the right side and a long-since abandoned railroad track to the left.

    "As for Mr. Pinkerton, well... he's just that. Shady. In how he acts. How he behaves. He behaves like a crook, except he's not, yet there's always something off about even his friendly persona too. He might be well-liked by some in town, but that doesn't include me. And then there's his guests..." Zane continued, returning to the earlier topic. "... They really are bunch of weirdos. Especially the latest... those couple of weirdos from New York. Long Island, I think? They don't act like rich tourists or anything. And they smell... trouble."

    A frown appeared on the young man's face.

    "... That's the last thing we need here at Road's End."




    Elise Pelltier, Lucille Faraday & John Dove
    Location: End's Store & Post - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Overcast

    Inside the End's Store & Post was as different as ever - a great divide between American soil and British soil that was the doorway having now been crossed. With that, both John and Lucille had entered a separate world from the sleepy, rural North-Western town of Road's End, and instead, they had been transported to the Queen's Country once more, where stovepipe hats ruled and crumpets were a thing. Even better, with the overcast sky outside, this place really did feel like stepping through time and space into the Isles themselves - the only thing missing being the ever-present rain that threatened to fall down from the sky at any minute. Of course, knowing the weather, that would happen tomorrow, but for now... they would have to do with this version of the store.

    As the two of them stepped in, Lucille and John noticed that nothing really was different from the first time that they had visited the place. Same old merchandise on the shelves, same mysterious candy at the counter, and same signs of someone who believed in the power of Royalty and commemorative plates of Her Majesty on display. Then again, it was arguable if this was really the power of a looping time. After all, jump backwards or forwards a hundred years, and Store & Post would most likely be selling the same merchandise nevertheless.

    It was not like Ms. Popplewell was that much of a shrewd businesswoman.

    And speaking of which...

    "Hmm hmm hmm hm hmm~♫"

    Somebody was feeling patriotic this morning, humming the national anthem of her home country while listening in on the morning news at the radio.

    Sue Popplewell, the owner of this little boutique, was lounging on a chair behind the counter, staring at the radio while leaning on the countertop with her elbow, her other hand flat against it with a finger tapping the rhythm she had just been humming. However, as she registered John's greeting, her attention was drawn from the local news of a break-in at the End's Mercy Hospital to the two students that had arrived. And while she had been wearing a smile that was all business at first, seeing the youths made it fall into a momentary confusion... until an understanding of who these unfamiliar youngsters were made it blossom into a genuine, actual smile.

    "Well good morning there, loves!" The owner said warml. "Should have guessed my first customers of the day would be from our lovely new school! Now what can I getcha, loves? Here for school supplies?"

    She glanced hopefully towards the pile of neon-colored notebooks straight from the 80's that were waiting on the shelves...

    ... Same shelves that Elise barely saw as she stared at her own reflection from the store's window, still outside of it.

    One that was grinning crudely at her, even at this moment.

    [Whaaaat~? You guys were having such a fun time, so I wanted to join in, Girl. It's awful rude that the three of you kept yapping, yet you never introduced us, you know? Makes me feel all left out... after all, that Boy seemed like a perfect friend. I'd have such wonderful knowledge to show him, on account of his unending thirst for knowledge. And as for the little Sister..."

    Elise felt her body shiver in anticipation that wasn't hers.

    [Oh I just love those holy types that smell so 'divine'... hah, makes me want to just lick that Saintly Sweat off her face for that sweet, sweet taste of an angel's bastard gripped with terror..."

    The reflection in the mirror wiggled its over-sized tongue at the brunette.

    It was disgusting to look at, of course.

    Though, at the same time, this aggressiveness... it hadn't been like this earlier, had it? At least not last week? So why now?

    And why did it sound genuinely annoyed underneath all that usual tone of depravity and chaos?

    Almost like... it was actually feeling left out?




    Vier Wolff & Liana Skye
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "...Grinning Girl? What's that? Another local ghost?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Grinning Girl? Is she related to the Disembodied Man too?”
    Nora nodded.

    "From what I understand, yes. A bit of a local twist on the wendigo legeds, as it would seem - a cannibalistic spirit that preys on both the physical and the spiritual world. Though, strangely enough, it seems fairly recent as far as folklore goes. Earliest mentions aboot it that I've found, and there have been only few, were from the 50's... 1952, if I'm specific. That, and the tales do not seem to have come from the north, as no simiilar tales can be found across the border, at least in terms of the name," the bluehaired student explained. "Instead, I believe it has come from the east... though how far from east, that I have no idea aboot. Still, there are parallels that can be drawn from it to the Disembodied Man, so it would be nice to have more information to go by than just the name."

    As if to explain her point, Nora spent a moment rummaging through her bag again. When she emerged, it was with a piece of paper that had been folded numerous times - and she promptly began to unfold it again. The crinkling of paper filled the otherwise silent library, and once she was done, the university student presented the paper to the two. As it turned out, it was a page ripped out of some book or maybe another journal - this time without more than a single line of text. Instead, there was a picture there. Crudely drawn with pencil against white paper that had faded into yellow long time ago.

    Simplistic shapes of pine trees.

    A humanoid figure in the middle.

    A cloud of... something around it.

    Gangly legs, spindly arms, body that was twisted to the side.

    And a face hovering above it all, with a grin that was like the crescent moon splitting the head.

    And underneath it was a text.

    "What I saw that night near Lewis and Clark National Forest - May God Have Mercy on my poor soul."

    It was an... unsettling picture, to be sure.

    "Oh, and as for the untranslated books? Sorry, but I don't really have any on me right now. I mean... it's not as if I needed them," Nora added, handing the picture to Liana for better viewing. "But you're free to take a look around the library. I'm sure you can find some if you look hard enough."

    Meanwhile, even amidst all these new revelations... Vier Wolff felt a chill run down her body.

    And not because of the picture.

    But because...

    --- The note really wasn't there, between the pages of the journal.

    No matter how hard she looked.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; August 4th, 2020 at 06:44 PM.

  5. #3005
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Store & Post - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Overcast



    End’s Store and Post looks exactly the same. Though it’s entirely unsurprising, Lucille can’t help but feel more comfortable staring at bright shades of neon. There’s something quaintly comforting about this store, which, to her own memory, had nothing terrible happen within it. Maybe it’s that. Wandering about school grounds makes her remember too much, but here she remembers being teased endlessly. Much more preferable than bloodshed and death.

    "Well good morning there, loves!" The owner said warmly. "Should have guessed my first customers of the day would be from our lovely new school! Now what can I getcha, loves? Here for school supplies?"
    “Yeah, we are,” Lucille says energetically, as if the previous, extremely serious conversation with John and Elise never happened. “And maybe something else if it catches my eye?”

    Truthfully, Lucille Faraday does not want to bring up the topic of the book that they are here for. Obviously, Remington Hartley is a sore subject for most residents of Road’s End, with her untimely death and all. And though it is undoubtedly necessary, a part of her makes her want to avoid the topic nonetheless. Perhaps John will do it in her stead—though really, it’s just her shifting the burden to someone else.

    “And, um, if you have any advice, feel free to give it? It’s my first time living away from home and all…” Her voice trails off in a whimper, as she tells what is technically true, but mostly a lie. Still, maybe getting Miss Popplewell to open up first is the right way to go about this. Something to blunt the pain from the real purpose of being here.
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  6. #3006
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Nora
    "From what I understand, yes. A bit of a local twist on the wendigo legends, as it would seem - a cannibalistic spirit that preys on both the physical and the spiritual world. Though, strangely enough, it seems fairly recent as far as folklore goes. Earliest mentions aboot it that I've found, and there have been only few, were from the 50's... 1952, if I'm specific. That, and the tales do not seem to have come from the north, as no simiilar tales can be found across the border, at least in terms of the name," the bluehaired student explained. "Instead, I believe it has come from the east... though how far from east, that I have no idea aboot. Still, there are parallels that can be drawn from it to the Disembodied Man, so it would be nice to have more information to go by than just the name."
    "A twist on the Wendigo story, huh..."

    More importantly, one that preys on both the physical and spiritual world; if one were to define dreams as a spiritual experience -and she was willing to define them as such- then this could even be related to Dot. F Loonwaters...

    ---No, thinking back on what Prushka said, it would be better to say it has a 'good chance' of being related to Ms. Dot, after all, a cannibalistic spirit that came after you in your dreams could certainly be described as a 'hungry, hungry, nightmare,' and if the Disembodied Man was running around town, well, no reason for the other local ghost to be a fake...

    It's troubling...

    She preferred the types of monsters that one could simply pummel into submission, those were nice and simple, a brief brawl out in the darkness and then the monster is gone and everyone is safe, but this thing...

    Sealing away powers, or at least attacking in a place where the prey is at their weakest... That presents a real problem...

    And looking at the drawing...

    It's crude, a bit of a childish drawing, but...

    "Quite the... Unsettling image. Seems a bit more obviously... scary than the Disembodied Man."

    Then again, the fear of being eaten was a primal one, Wendigo legends -at least as far as she understood it- were typically warnings of straying too far from the society, of being selfish and greedy, damaging the society by well...

    Crossing the moral social behaviors upheld by society, by... Eating other people in the society.

    An obvious social taboo, so...

    It's still mostly known as a curse...

    One becomes a Wendigo, rather than being born as such...

    At least, that's how she thinks it works...

    ...Really should have paid more attention in those classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nora
    "Oh, and as for the untranslated books? Sorry, but I don't really have any on me right now. I mean... it's not as if I needed them," Nora added, handing the picture to Liana for better viewing. "But you're free to take a look around the library. I'm sure you can find some if you look hard enough."
    "Yeah, I'll probably wind up doing that, can't stop my own sense of curiosity now."

    ---Time was limited, but this particular opponent...

    She can't just let it linger unchecked in that forest, especially if it's actively trying to hunt people down...

    But how to put it in check without her powers...?

    No idea...

    "So I'll let you know if I find anything out," one eye closed in a wink, she returns the page to Nora after examining it from all possible angles, "You hang out in this library a lot, right?"

    ---Gotta keep an eye on this one.

    She might get herself into trouble, digging around in these sorts of things so blatantly.
    Last edited by Airen; August 4th, 2020 at 07:52 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?



  7. #3007
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    I folded my arms imperiously as the puppy hopped about, barking, raising one eyebrow as it tried to get my attention.

    Hm.

    I frowned, listening to Subaru’s interpretation of Small Dog Language, unknown smell, huh?

    Well, I could certainly try to extend my own attentions in that particular direction.

    I favored the air with a few interrogative sniffs, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

    “Whew, only ten jokes? Jeez, even my pack of idiots had at least fifteen, I’m sorry.”

    I had my eyes almost shut to try and focus on whatever, focusing most of my attention on scent.

    “I’m just naturally nosy and like to poke my head into other people’s business, especially when I shouldn’t. It probably explains why I’m not too good at making friends, and will probably die alone.”

    I smiled to take the bite out of my words, despite their truth.

    “So it might just be some loon who went nuts in the night and left a card with their social on it or something, but I’m a curious sort, so I’m going to poke it.”

    I shrugged, “It’s an obsessive thing, mostly harmless, take it from me, next week I’ll have posters all over my wall about some new whacko conspiracy next to my framed copy of Behold a Pale Horse,” I chuckled a bit to myself, a small undertone of bitterness.

    “No wonder pretty boy keeps saying I’ll be unmarried at 30.”

    But I kept my sniffer sniffing, self-pity was secondary.

    Still, I caught something at the edge.

    Something, like what was apparently reported, foreign, not something I’d encountered around here, definitely a person, though.

    ”Peeping Tom?” I murmured.

    I got to my feet, now somewhat alarmed.

    ”Here, see, case in point, now I gotta go and see what this damn thing is or I’ll never stop thinking about it,” I groused. “It’s really inconvenient!”

    Now I gotta go and take a look around.

    Jeez!

  8. #3008
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    The two arrived at the parking lot, and Colt guided Tris over to his bike. Though he wanted to show it off and sell it up, he was now deeply swamped in knowledge he never expected as the knight came to the end of her explanation. From her reaction to a pair of sunglasses Colt didn’t expect Tris to suddenly unscrew his head and shove so much information into it, and the longwinded rundown of things way over his head took him by surprise.

    Wasn’t it supposed to be harder to get answers for questions like those?

    “That’s… that’s kinda a lot to take in…” The mention of tasting his blood went, momentarily, unnoticed as Colt tried to digest the feast of knowledge presented to him. “Let’s see if I got this straight.”

    The boy scratched the back of his head. He’d paid attention as much as anyone could. Despite many things about him, Colt was always receptive to learning. Even when the topic was as odd as this, full of new terminology and ideas he had no idea if he was even at the right starting line.

    “So there’re these Mystic folk, and they don’t have any special gifts or powers, so they make deals with angels and stuff.” That was the first of it. Easy enough to understand. “Then they study rituals based on superstition, and superstition is strong enough to let them cast real spells and stuff.”

    Another simple hurdle. But more were to come.

    “So they’re different from these mage guys, who are the result of people having kids with uh, basically, monsters and stuff.” Colt quietly repeated that part about finding beauty in a flurry of dancing flames. In his head he pictured a woman walking down the aisle where her future husband, a giant flaming phoenix, waited for her. Then he rapidfire imagined the ceremony, the honeymoon, and found himself stumped at the bedroom portion. “Uh, okay.”

    He decided not to pursue the train of thought that ran off from there. It’d only get the entire conversation off the mark, and he’d seen how Tris went beet-red once before. She likely wasn’t suited for answering the questions he was dying to ask.

    “So then they… their kids, they just get born with powers, ‘cause they aren’t 100% human. And then they can use those, but with a limit because… oh, this kinda ties back to that thing you said last night, about the World interfering with people’s lives to prevent… things…”

    He put his chin in his hand and began to half-mumble, half-rant in a low voice.

    “The World has rules, and you Turnside folk are breaking the rules with all that wild stuff y’all do. So in that case, the World’s logic and reason you mentioned is, like, physics vs the occult. ‘Cause none of that stuff is supposed to be possible, but what determines what is and isn’t… oh. Superstition, yeah, you said that you can get a loophole by abusing what’s widely known, getting some sort of magic by doing something people consider common sense. So is it people? That’s…”

    Colt’s voice trailed off and the boy grew silent. Eyes narrowed, he stood in place, trying to reason it all out. Reconcile with reality what was, by default, not meant to be reconciled with reality. What was being told to him deviated so far from the world as he knew it that it felt like it may all be an elaborate prank. That any second now, Pyry, Hisa, Gradient, Xylia, Dot F. Loonwaters, Hawthorn, would all burst out of a bush to tell him it was all the greatest joke ever pulled.

    But as the seconds passed, no such thing happened, leaving Colt to accept the unacceptable.

    “Okay, I don’t really get it all, but I think I get some of it. Still, the smell of strong ozone you say… that’s like, the weird chlorine smell when it rains, right?” The boy rubbed his chin. “That crater I found Gradient in sure smelled just like that…”

    For a second more the boy stared into empty space with his narrowed eyes, evaluating the last parts of the lecture. Bismuth, prana, mana, dragons who bellow fire of mana…

    “Wait,” Colt’s eyes widened and he looked over at Tris. “Taste my blood?”

    He looked the girl up and down, all around.

    “Like, by biting me?” He nervously glanced about at the empty parking lot, then turned back to the girl and blinked. “Can’t say that’s the kinda stuff I’m into, but…”

    He tried not to imagine the process.

    “I kinda do wanna know.”


  9. #3009
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    The man's derogatory comments did not get much of a reaction out of Vivienne, as those who knew her already could have expected. Someone who does not feel emotions cannot be angry after all. Rather than asking the man to drop his hostility, she instead somehow tried to placate Prushka, who was jumping at Vivienne's defense.

    "... I never learnt how to draw... so it's okay..."

    This must have been the first time someone wasn't being considerate and calling her drawings out for what they were. Perhaps a more 'natural' comment that Vivienne would have gotten from people who weren't as supportive as the circle of 'friends' she had made so far during her journey at road's end.

    Even so, Vivienne gives a little wave to the man before saying:

    "... Nice to meet you... mister Ahti... I once considered... becoming a comedian... but I am bad a jokes... "

    The emotionless girl pauses for a while, cusping her chin as she ponders on something... that something becomes quite obvious once she speaks:

    "... the jury is out on our trustworthiness... but you certainly have an in jury...."

    ... hello? Is this Vivienne Bianchi speaking?

  10. #3010
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    "--- In a situation like yours, I think it's a good idea to be a kid again, now that you can. But that's just my two cents about it."
    A brief silence filled the space between them for a moment before it was once more broken by Anna.

    “…Sometimes you can’t put the genie back in the bottle, even if you want to.” Her tone was calm, almost introspective. “Lost childhoods are just that. Lost. No amount of mummery or make-believe will unmake the weight of the past.”

    “And neither will it turn back the clock and make you into someone who you’ve left behind long ago.”

    “You can only lose your wide-eyed innocence once, after all.” The raven-haired girl gave another easy-going smile to Zane, but there was a weight behind those eyes that hadn’t there before. “Besides. Part of growing up, whether it is early or late, is taking on responsibilities you cannot discard or run away from that easily, even if you want to.”

    “As an older brother, you should be more than aware of things like that, right?”

    "As for Mr. Pinkerton, well... he's just that. Shady. In how he acts. How he behaves. He behaves like a crook, except he's not, yet there's always something off about even his friendly persona too. He might be well-liked by some in town, but that doesn't include me. And then there's his guests..."
    “Hmm... definitely sounds suspicious. How long has this country club been around these parts, actually? Based on what I know from small towns… I can’t really see things meshing that well in that regard, no?” A small inquisitive glint entered Anna’s eyes. “Actually…. Pinkerton… Now that I think about it wasn’t there like some sort of famous detective agency with that name around here in the states? Breaking up strikes and whatnot?”

    “What did he do to actually pull in all this dosh for himself?”

    "...They really are bunch of weirdos. Especially the latest... those couple of weirdos from New York. Long Island, I think? They don't act like rich tourists or anything. And they smell... trouble."
    “Oh? Tell me more.” Anna’s tone was light-hearted, as the road turned, revealing an abandoned, winding railway track to their side. “Better to see trouble coming from afar, rather than be surprised by it.”

    “At least I’ll know who to avoid.” A dry chuckle filled the air. “Or who to leg away from, if necessary.”

  11. #3011
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: End’s Store & Post
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    End’s Store & Post is the same, and so is its owner. Then again, John Dove will not pause to ponder things such as nostalgia or convenience.

    “Good morning, miss. My name is John Dove. It appears I will be your customer for the next year, so I thought it only proper to introduce myself. Get to know the place, that sort of thing.”

    Indeed, the exact same words he used the last time. Why change them? And just like the first time, he chooses to approach the shopkeeper rather than wander off to the shelves.

    Admittedly, he does not have a shopping list this time—buying some insect repellent again would not be a bad idea, though. Furthermore, he has not use for the “FUCK BOX” this time around—or ever again, perhaps. However, he did not pay much attention to what was available in his intent to get exactly what he wanted. Might as well take a more careful look this time, once introductions are done and over with. Elise Marie needs some time, after all.

    “I just came here to get some insect repellent, but now that I’m here I’ll take the time to look around for a bit; maybe something else will catch my interest, or maybe I will find something I did not know I needed until I see it.”

    He pauses purposely this time, to simulate an organic transition into a different avenue of discussion, lowering his gaze and assuming a more meditative mien.

    “Actually…” he then continues, looking back up at Miss Popplewell’s light-colored (probably) eyes. “I guess there is nothing like a tourism agency in this town, so perhaps this is the place to get some basic information on the region. It’s my first time in this part of the country, you see. So, is there some sort of book, magazine, brochure, or something like a local almanac? Even a map I can carry around would be useful.”

  12. #3012
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Bark!
    I slammed my hand on the table as Elaine suddenly bolted upwards, standing up with her. Interesting things are meant to be investigated and prodded at, until they yield a new and interesting result. Naturally, I would stick my nose into someone's business if they were going to stick their nose into mine! That's just called 'mutual friendship'! Don't worry Elaine, I will definitely have your back!

    But it was moreso...

    I disagreed.

    "Haaaaa, let's not say unkind things about each other, yes? While it is clear that our Academy is not the most upstanding, I do not think I would have met any of you elsewhere. Actually..."

    I glanced in suspicion at Subaru for a moment, before smiling brightly and tapping the side of my nose.

    "Never mind that. Let's go find whatever Tonkori is looking for! I bet it'll be really interesting!"

    Well, I moreso hoped. I didn't really need to eat, so my plate remained largely untouched. I had not had much of an appetite in a while. Things tasted like ashes in my mouth. Ahh, is this pain, pain? It doesn't feel painful. I never really found eating enjoyable in the first place, more of a necessity that was required.

    But I don't want to do it for a while now.

    I smiled kindly at Hwan, giving him a thumbs up.

    "Hwan, I don't really understand much of what you've said to me. And yet... a part of me... Hm, is this what they call 'the fires of youth'? It's more dangerous then I thought."

    Some of these people are truly terrifying. As polite as Hwan was, I could sense an undercurrent of danger throughout our conversation, as if I was a rabbit walking into a wolfden. That tingling sensation that ran up my spine though... Hm.

    It's not bad.
    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.


  13. #3013
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Nora Norumbega
    "From what I understand, yes. A bit of a local twist on the wendigo legeds, as it would seem - a cannibalistic spirit that preys on both the physical and the spiritual world. Though, strangely enough, it seems fairly recent as far as folklore goes. Earliest mentions aboot it that I've found, and there have been only few, were from the 50's... 1952, if I'm specific. That, and the tales do not seem to have come from the north, as no simiilar tales can be found across the border, at least in terms of the name. Instead, I believe it has come from the east... though how far from east, that I have no idea aboot. Still, there are parallels that can be drawn from it to the Disembodied Man, so it would be nice to have more information to go by than just the name."
    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    “A twist on the Wendigo story, huh...”
    “Wendigos... They're like even worse werewolves...”

    I openly grimaced at that. If the Grinning Girl was like a wendigo, it made everything hellishly difficult for me to confront. While I could definitely eliminate anyone who becomes possessed, it doesn’t solve the root issue. I could always try restraining the possessed, but let’s say Subaru gets possessed. Holding back against her would get me killed. This only made me wish I was training more in anti-Turnside because being specialized as anti-personnel is really starting to bite me in the ass more often than not now.

    Eventually Nora Norumbega went to pull something from her bag. If the Disembodied Man was someone who just looked stern and angry at its targets, then the Grinning Girl went in the opposite direction. She looked unnaturally thin to the point of unnaturality. Her smile passed the uncanny valley due to the shape it was in. The caption on that picture made things even worse because it implied that the original person died.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nora Norumbega
    "Oh, and as for the untranslated books? Sorry, but I don't really have any on me right now. I mean... it's not as if I needed them. But you're free to take a look around the library. I'm sure you can find some if you look hard enough."
    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "Yeah, I'll probably wind up doing that, can't stop my own sense of curiosity now.”
    “Let me know if you spot a book that came from Western Europe, I could probably passably translate things.”

    Naturally, I kept some of the less common languages a secret. Swedish isn’t exactly common due to its relative seclusion from the rest of Europe. Arabic… isn’t commonly known unless you were Muslim or lived in the Middle East. If you placed all of my known languages together, you would quickly realize that most of my language skills are related to core NATO ally languages and their expected OPFOR with the only exception being Swedish.

    While Liana continued talking to Nora Norumbega, I finally flipped through the book fully and the worst case scenario was true. /That Page/ was nowhere to be found. I honestly don’t know how to take a piece of the Turnside attaching itself to my soul even if it seemed to just be a piece of paper.

    “I think I’ll check this book out. At the very least, it has some interesting things written down in it.”

    More like I want to ensure no one else gets their soul potentially cursed by this book as well.

  14. #3014
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: End's Store & Post - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Overcast


    John and Lucille shared some supportive parting words before they disappeared into the store, leaving Elise as alone as she could be outside to deal with her problems. She soon found herself standing face-to-face with her own sneering reflection standing in the windows of the Store's End and Post.

    Quote Originally Posted by ”LBJ”
    [Whaaaat~? You guys were having such a fun time, so I wanted to join in, Girl. It's awful rude that the three of you kept yapping, yet you never introduced us, you know? Makes me feel all left out... after all, that Boy seemed like a perfect friend. I'd have such wonderful knowledge to show him, on account of his unending thirst for knowledge. And as for the little Sister..."

    [Oh I just love those holy types that smell so 'divine'... hah, makes me want to just lick that Saintly Sweat off her face for that sweet, sweet taste of an angel's bastard gripped with terror..."
    "Lucille's already agreed to spend time with you later, you can lick her then," groaned Elise as she struggled to push the demon's shiver of anticipation out of her mind, "Wait. No. No! Don't lick Lucille! That'd be rude and unsanitary. Don't lick people. Eugh."

    Maybe I shouldn't have asked Lucille to help with that? No, no. That's the right choice. I don't know anyone else here who I feel confident could safely wrangle the demon for three minutes while I'm gone. I just didn't anticipate... this, thought Elise to herself, Lucille tried so hard to not tell me that she had divine blood, only for the demon to sniff it out anyway. She's going to be so disappointed about that.

    Elise slowly sank to her knees. Partly from the weight of the growing dread, but mostly out of a desire to make sure she stayed out of Ms. Popplewell's line of sight as she descended behind one of the displays.

    Something was wrong.

    Something was absolutely wrong.

    She'd known it from the moment she watched the demon's pouting reflection in the waters of the fountain that something was off, but she was too excited by her small victory, the demon's dismay, and the prospect of prying loose so much information from it, to think too deeply about it at the time. Now it was acting like it was feeling left out while she was out with her friends.

    The demon was acting entirely too human and somehow that was far, far more disturbing than it previously was.

    Maybe it's just Lucille's presence that's making it act weird. We didn't meet until late last week, that would explain why it's so off now. Or- or maybe it's just messing with me. This is just some new, weird, line of attack designed to leave me feeling confused, worried, and unnerved, because it's definitely working.

    Her left hand released her right hand from its grip. She reached out and placed her left hand on the window, on the shoulder of her reflection.

    “Are-”

    She paused, taking a deep breath before she continued.

    I can't believe I'm asking this.

    “Are you feeling alright?” asked Elise with genuine concern.

  15. #3015
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool - Basement
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    [”Someone you are interested in there as well?”]

    It wasn’t too hard to figure out what he was thinking. He wasn’t too good at hiding his emotions, and clearly, there was more to his reaction than just this mysterious person I mentioned.

    [”Never got around to asking why you were here, but I’d assume you aren't here just to get wrapped up in all this, or to just fix your social problems.”]

    There was something that Angelica mentioned about that as well. Although...there were only three goals, and five of us there...And I couldn’t really tie any of them to anyone. I wasn’t even sure if any of those were meant for me.

    Meanwhile, Jake continued his explanation.

    “Ruins…” I scratched my cheek while thinking about the possibilities, “Well, it would have to be somewhere in the vicinity of the cemetery...or somewhere on a hill, right?”

    At least, those were my only guesses. I knew little of the town itself or its geography, so it was hard to tell.

    “Do you remember where it is?” I glanced at Gradient, but wasn’t sure what to expect.

    Still...for someone who lived here for so many years, it’s kind of weird to not even have an idea where the church in the town was. It’s not even a big town, so shouldn’t even take that much of an effort…

    Least I always learned where the churches were even in the villages that we just passed by...though I guess for someone who wants to avoid questionable religious fanatics that’s kind of an obvious thing to do.

    [”Well, I guess it’s probably not the best thing to discuss on the side like this, through a mental conversation,”] I noted to Pyry as my attention turned back to him, [“But I’m here to help you much as I am here to deal with my own problems, so we should talk about it later.”]

    The origin of Gradient’s other name was mentioned, but obviously, it was more or less what could be expected. They were ordinary humans - probably - and Gradient couldn’t communicate back then either...and with her apparent circumstances, it was a given that this would be the case.

    “Isn’t it just obvious for a curious kid to go with the adventurous one?”

    That wasn’t much of a debate, at least in my mind.

    “Still, to talk about something less painful…[with you as well,]” the last part could only be heard in Pyry’s mind as a playful grin spread on my face, “Happen to know any other weird tales then? [How do you like girls’ butts?]

    A weird topic to discuss like this while keeping a straight face, but I was confident enough in my ability to keep my composure. Long enough that I could tease him plenty, at least.

    [“Ubon said that Mercedes’ ass is the best, but I can’t see what the big deal is about it…”] I continued as I tried to sound as serious as possible, [“Having fondled Ubon’s, I’d say that hers is much better...has a nice balance of soft and firm... Though, it made me wonder what my own butt feels like.”]

    What was it even that I wanted to ask from Jake…

    Somehow I got just as distracted as well.

    Ah...right.

    “I mean...don’t take it as an offense, but you look exactly like a book person,” I said as I gestured towards the open book on his desk, “And maybe you’re not adventurous, but you certainly look like someone who is interested in hearing about any mystery that comes up.”

    It would have been hard to deny, considering how he pretty much had a book glued to his hands since yesterday, and with how fast he was to come up with that story about the abandoned cabin.

    “I’m quite the curious soul myself so I would love to hear some stories.”


  16. #3016
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka & Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "I'm... still kinda scared, Ahti. I mean, who wouldn't be? Not only is there a guy wandering around with weapons at night... but there's also something out there that nearly killed him. For all I know, it might still be out there, waiting for someone to take a walk in the woods at night. I have no idea. All I have is you."
    There was an uncomfortable silence that followed those words.

    Filled with nothing but Ahti's single eye staring, glaring at Prushka while she sat there. The young man had even forgotten to finish up his breakfast, instead focusing his gaze solely upon the small girl. The air itself felt almost like it was making sounds akin to a quickened frost creeping everywhere, and for a moment, the wind that blew inside through the open window felt chillier than before. Coldness was here, and it wasn't just because of the youth's belligerent attitude.

    No, something in what Prushka had said had clearly rubbed him the wrong way.

    "... Tch. Whatever."

    Clicking his tongue, Ahti threw in the last piece of bacon into his mouth and leaned back, hitting the wall of the room with a soft thud.

    "Should've known. Because you act like, you speak like, and you smell like you're weak. And the weak fear the strong. Whatever did this to me therefore has you quaking in your boots, Imp. Because you know if I had so much trouble, you wouldn't stand a chance," Ahti stated coldly, without mercy. "That's just a natural reaction for the weak. No need to get your panties in a twist about it - and certainly no reason get that lower lip quivering. It's bound to happen."

    Shoving the tray aside and half-assedly wiping his fingers to the napkins, Ahti reached out for the backbag and fished out the swords - one longer and more ornate, one shorter and more akin to a large hunting knife. He took a moment to check their condition before settling them aside and putting his hand into the bag once more... only to emerge with a strange-looking, almost high-tech-like syringe. The item in question made him raise an eyebrow, but before he commented on it, the youth turned back to Prushka.

    "And that's why you're helping me, isn't it? You want to butter me up, make yourself seem useful, so as the weak one you don't have to fight the strong one - because that won't end well for you. Again, it's natural," Ahti continued, before a cold grin spread to his face. "And lucky for you... it's working. Right now I've no need for the strong. If you were strong, you'd be a threat, and I'd cut you where you stand. What I have a need for right now is someone weak, someone who's willing to help me out because of their own ulterior motives."

    That single eye narrowed slightly.

    "--- And that's why I have no reason to kill you. Because you are, and never will be, a threat."

    Then his attention switched to Vivienne, who he had simply coldly ignored after her terrible joke.

    "As for you, Scribbles... if I wanted to die, I'd just strangle myself instead of listening to your bad puns," he continued, hostility like a sheen to his tone. "I asked you something. I asked your name. Full name, just like the Imp. Or are you not only incapable of drawing and humour, but hearing and understanding as well?"

    He didn't seem to be joking around.

    "... So?"




    Vier Wolff & Liana Skye
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "Yeah, I'll probably wind up doing that, can't stop my own sense of curiosity now. So I'll let you know if I find anything out. You hang out in this library a lot, right?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Let me know if you spot a book that came from Western Europe, I could probably passably translate things. I think I’ll check this book out. At the very least, it has some interesting things written down in it.”
    Nora nodded.

    "Yeah. If something comes up, you can find me either here or at my room. It's number 307 - on the third floor," the young woman explained. "Feel free to come see me if you find anything aboot the local legends, or anything else of interest for that matter."

    Having said that, she rose back to standing and dusted off her clothes a bit, before pointing her thumb towards the back of the room.

    "In any case, let me show you how books are checked out here. It's a bit old-fashioned."

    Having said that, the blue-haired young woman led the duo towards the direction she pointed There, amidst the rows of bookshelves, they found a large-looking dusty tome set up on a table in one corner of the room. With apparent ease, Nora opened the book on the page marked by the red string that acted as a bookmark. Immediately a cloud of dust flew up from the pages as the pages hit the table, causing the three girls to cough a little. There, one could see two neat columns on both pages. On the other one, names had been written out along with dates when books had been leaned and an address (or a phone number) from which this person could be reached if needed. Lastly there was the date upon which the loaner meant to return the books. And on the opposite column the books they had loaned on that particular date had been listed.

    Most of these names belonged to Nora Norumbega, and it looked like she had gone through one third of the library during her stay in here. However, few of the names were different and immediately caught the duo's attention. They were:


    • Tommy Horse (Mostly some old military catalogs)
    • Josie McLampet (Books about afterlife and ghosts)
    • Cathie Walker (Self-help books and old numbers of some fashion magazines)
    • Zane & Shane Mitchell (Car-repair manuals, very complicated looking physics books and children's books)
    • Angelica Outis (History of Road's End, Parts 1 & 2)
    • Mao Qiu (Collected maps of Road's End and its surroundings and book called "Lose Weight Without Workout!")


    After instructing that the girls should write down their names and all the needed details, along with the books they were about to borrow, Nora excused herself. With a big yawn, she told the girls that she needed a big helping of bacon, some muffins and 14 hours of sleep if she was going to function tomorrow. With that, the blue-haired girl left, leaving the duo alone in the library.

    Alone with the mysterious journal and the picture of the Grinning Girl.

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

    Vier Wolff & Liana Skye: Friendship Rank Raised!




    Elaine Winters & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "Hwan, I don't really understand much of what you've said to me. And yet... a part of me... Hm, is this what they call 'the fires of youth'? It's more dangerous then I thought."
    Hwan grinned widely and cackled in a way that almost made it sound like he was playing off the whole thing as a joke... and maybe he was. Maybe this whole thing had been nothing but a morning's distraction for him, a way to have a little fun before the dreary reality of school once again reared it's ugly head. Perhaps his horrible attempts had been all for the sake of amusing himself, rather than anything serious.

    Then again...

    "Well, it might be dangerous, but it's also pretty addictive," Hwan replied with a shameless grin. "If you ever want me to fan those fires of youth again, just give me a holler, babe. I'll be more than happy to oblige~"

    And with that acting as a goodbye of sorts, they were off. Not all of them, of course, but those that had become interested enough in Tonkori's sudden weird behavior that they had no choice but to check out what the cause was. This was, in the end, just three people. Alexstrasza, Elaine and Subaru. The three of them (after the tiny priestess had picked up her puppy and laid it on the floor so it could lead them) jogged after the dog, determined to see where it would lead them. And Tonkori obliged. After sniffing the air a few times, it broke into a sprint, running as fast as it's little dog legs would take it.

    It headed out of the cafeteria.

    --- Out into the corridors of the main building.

    ------ Straight through the exit.

    -------- And towards... the pool building.

    "H-here? Are you quite sure, Tonkori?" Subaru asked as the little dog ran inside, disappearing into the empty hallways of the building. "I suppose it is..."

    The surprise in Subaru's voice was understandable. After all, the pool building was quite far away from the cafeteria, so for Tonkori to have picked up something strange in the smells coming from the building, it must have had one hell of a nose... then again, it was a hunting dog, and thus it was also somewhat understandable. They, if anyone, would notice something amiss when it came to the environment of their mistress, and that's exactly what Tonkori had done. Now, it was leading the trio of two tall blondes and one short black-haired girl down the corridor towards the main doors that would lead to the pool proper. As it approached, the tiny animal started slowing down its pace, killing the sound its tiny paws made and instead switched into a hunting mode of sorts.

    In other words, Tonkori started moving completely silently.

    As did Subaru, motion the two girls to follow the dog's lead.

    Whatever was ahead was something worth approaching quietly, apparently.

    And as they got closer...

    "Took your sweet-ass time, you did."

    For a moment it almost felt like the voice inside had called out to them.

    But it hadn't.

    That familiar rough, thuggish voice had instead greeted someone else.

    Someone else who had arrived just moments before they had.

    And in response.

    "... Sorry. I had to take the... hm... unorthodox route."

    That voice wasn't familiar, not to Elaine and not to Alexstrasza.

    A voice of an unknown young man, speaking to the other voice as if they had known each other.

    As luck would have it, the door to the pool itself was ajar, and there...

    ... The three, who were still unspotted, bore witness to something strange.



    "So? Any progress on your end? Did you find Bianchi?"



    "No... sorry. There's been a... complication."

    Travis Gagnon was having a meeting with an unknown boy of roughly the same age as him, in an otherwise empty pool building.




    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Zane frowned again.

    "It's this guy in a suit. I don't know, looks rather official. You wouldn't really see people like that in here unless they were involved with the McLampets or your school... but this feels like something else," he explained, not exactly sharing in Anna's amusement and way she made light of the situation. "I've seen him couple of times when working, and all he does is smile creepily and walk around without saying anything... with that lapdog of a woman following him everywhere. She's the needle-sharp type, always looks like someone pissed under her nose. Berated more than few of the employees there."

    The images that the boy's words conjured up weren't exactly pleasant, what with both seeming like the types to be a royal pain in the ass... yet at the same time, they didn't exactly sound like 'trouble' either. Annoying, maybe, but was a suit really enough to cause Zane to see the person as someone suspicious and possibly dangerous depending on the situation? It was a bit hard to imagine - he wasn't the cowardly type, if not exactly honest with his feelings.

    "I dunno... they just don't feel like they're here for anything good," he added, trying to explain his reasoning better. "A bit too secretive and a bit too nosy for my tastes. The woman acts like she owns the place, while the guy... he just gives me the creeps."

    The redhead glanced at Anna.

    "You'll see what I mean if we spot him."

    While they had been talking, the road had taken them further and further away from Road's End itself, and right now even the railroad tracks had disappeared amidst the overgrown pine forest.

    Soon enough they should be arriving to that side road that Zane had mentioned previously.

    "As for Mr. Pinkerton, well... honestly, no idea. It might not even be his real name. Who knows where he's got his money from, he was rich when he built that country club, from what I understand," the boy continued his explanation. "He marched into town one day, bought a plot of land and built that thing about five years ago. Said he had always wanted to come back here and try to revitalize the town... but heck if I know what he's talking about. I've never heard of him having been here before, and neither has anyone else."

    Again, a frown.

    "... Though, as said, Jack Pinkerton might not be his real name. Might be just because he likes the nickname 'One-Eyed Jack'."




    Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Campus - Parking Lot
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “Wait. Taste my blood? Like, by biting me? Can’t say that’s the kinda stuff I’m into, but… I kinda do wanna know.”
    There was a bit of a deadpan expression on Tris's face as she turned around, hands on her hips, and looked at Colt in response.

    "... Um, nay. I art no kin to the vampires, so I hath not meant of biting thee. Plus I art confusedeth as to what thou meanst of 'being into' it. Art there really people that wouldst be okayeth to being bitten by such a horrid beast? Surfacers art stranger folk than I imagineth..." Tris replied, shaking her head a little bit in befuddlement. "Nay, what I meant was that if thou wanteth to test thy heritage, I art capable of simply checking thine blood by taste - nary a droplet is enough. Here."

    Tris lowered her stance just a little bit and put her hand onto her boot. From there, she proceeded to draw forth a small knife - a holdout weapon of sorts she had hidden in her boot most likely in case of an emergency. It wasn't big enough to be of real use in battle, and most likely only meant to be a last, desperate measure when it came to protecting oneself. Still, when it came to drawing a miniscule amount of blood from a tiny wound, it probably worked very well.

    And that was why the blonde girl handed the knife over to Colt, handle first.

    "Simple maketh a tiny cut into thy fingertip or elsewhere so that we mayst acquire few droplets," Tris explained with a smile. "Once that art done, I can taketh care of the rest - and we'll findeth out if thou hath ancestral blood of a mythic being flowing through thine veins!"

    She made such a heavy topic sound almost carefree with that grin of hers.




    Elise Pelltier, Lucille Faraday & John Dove
    Location: End's Store & Post
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    “Are you feeling alright?”
    The face reflected in the window twisted with fury, becoming a mask almost unrecognizable from Elise herself.

    [Huuuuuh!? What the hell are you on about, Girl? I've never felt better - in fact, I'm just starting to feel alive with hearing just what sort of friends you've made!] LBJ sneered at her, sounding furious. [A fool just waiting to be consumed by the knowledge he consumes, and a Saint just waiting to be corrupted and the feathers of her wings to be plucked, one by one~! Aha, ahaha, hahaha~! Now that's a buffet I wasn't expecting so early!]

    It almost looked like the reflection was pushing itself closer to the window, it's teeth glistening in the sunlight as it tried to gnaw at Elise's own face.

    A disturbing sight, fit for a demon.

    [It's enough to make me forgive you how boring you're being right now, with all the chances around us! After all... soon enough, I'll get to have my Three Minutes in Hell with the Saint. I'll get her all to myself, and get to show her the joys of incontinence that lay deep within her basso loco...] LBJ cackled, so shriekingly that it made the girl's head hurt. [So have your fun now, have it all that you can have...]

    Those eyes were the eyes of madness.

    But why did they also look so furious, almost like the demon itself was fanning the flames of its anger?

    [... Because I'll have mine later.]

    And then it was gone.

    It had left Elise alone, disappearing to the depths of her mind and soul as it usually did - leaving nothing but an unsettling sense of solitude behind.

    Perhaps this meant that it would be alright to head back inside... once the brunette had collected herself and her thoughts.

    Inside, where Lucille and John had just greeted Sue Popplewell, who was all smiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “Yeah, we are. And maybe something else if it catches my eye? And, um, if you have any advice, feel free to give it? It’s my first time living away from home and all…”
    Sue nodded, a warm and gentle expression of understanding spreading to her face.

    "Well of course, love! Feel free to look around as much as you want! God knows my merchandise hasn't moved from those shelves a lot lately," the owner giggled a bit at her own joke. "As for advice, well... it might not be a telephone, but there's one thing I know that helps with homesickness better than anything else!"

    With a swift, practiced motion she grabbed something from under the counter and slammed it on the table - something that turned out to be a couple of envelopes and a stack of blank papers that were neatly folded. Putting her hands to her hips, the manager of the store nodded for Lucille to take them, as if saying it was on the house.

    "Letters! Nothing feels as wonderful as writing a letter to your loved ones, and getting a letter from home in return!" Sue exclaimed. "A phone call is quickly over after all, and can feel very impersonal. However, the emotions and feelings put to a letter stay there forever, and it stays with you even after you've read it the first time!"

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Good morning, miss. My name is John Dove. It appears I will be your customer for the next year, so I thought it only proper to introduce myself. Get to know the place, that sort of thing. I just came here to get some insect repellent, but now that I’m here I’ll take the time to look around for a bit; maybe something else will catch my interest, or maybe I will find something I did not know I needed until I see it.”
    A momentary, slightly odd expression flashed by Sue's face, but she replaced it with another genuine smile as she pointed towards the other end of the shelves.

    "Good to meet you, John! I'm Sue Popplewell - the owner of this Bastion of British Pride, and, well, the only general store in town - along with its post office," she said, grinning a little sheepishly at Lucille and the letters she had just acquired. "If it's insect-repellent you want, you want to check over there, in the back. That's where they should be. There's also some insect repelling candles there if I remember correctly, in case you want something a bit less smelly."

    “Actually… I guess there is nothing like a tourism agency in this town, so perhaps this is the place to get some basic information on the region. It’s my first time in this part of the country, you see. So, is there some sort of book, magazine, brochure, or something like a local almanac? Even a map I can carry around would be useful.”
    Hearing that, Sue hummed quietly and stroked her chin, thinking about the question.

    "Well... we do have some maps at least, but as for something a bit more detailed?" She murmured, trying to come up with an answer. "Let's see... Oh!"

    Sue clapped her hands together excitedly.

    "We actually have something that might just fit the ticket! A guide to our lovely little town written by a local!" Sue exclaimed, dropping down below the counter to rummage some boxes left there. "It's called 'End of the Road - Guide to the town of Road's End and its History'! A very informative book, at least in my opinion! Though, hm, now where did I put that one copy, I swear I had one right here..."

    The sounds of objects being throw onto the floor continued.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool - Basement
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Telepathic Hisa
    ”Someone you are interested in there as well? Never got around to asking why you were here, but I’d assume you aren't here just to get wrapped up in all this, or to just fix your social problems.”
    Pyry looked momentarily confused, before hastily (and sneakily) shaking his head at the mental question.

    [O-oh, no, that's not what I meant. I mean... if Ange tried to hint you should go there, I'm willing to bet there's something important there,] he replied through the link, another complex emotion appearing on his face. [It's just that... y'know. Things ended in a complicated way between me and her, so while I know following her hints is wise, I dunno how I should feel about doing what she wants us to do...]

    While this version of Pyry had not spoken that openly about his relationship with the sister-figure of Hisa, the one from the other week had, and thus... it was somewhat easy to understand where he was coming from. That other side of the silver-haired girl that Hisa heard about back then wasn't as loving, wasn't as gentle, wasn't as warm as the young woman she remembered. Instead, she had come across almost... cold. Distant. Calculating. Very different.

    So for Pyry, it must have been a source of many a complicated emotion even he couldn't really make sense of.

    [But... thanks. A lot. As you said that's not exactly why I'm here... but as for the actual reason, well... yeah. We can talk about it later. In a less of an awkward way.]

    An amused grin rose to the boy's face, even though he tried to hide it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Ruins… Well, it would have to be somewhere in the vicinity of the cemetery...or somewhere on a hill, right? Do you remember where it is?”
    Gradient scrunched up her face in a focused expression, almost like she was trying her hardest to try to remember where the apparent church was... but in the end, she gave up with a tiny little sigh and shook her head.

    Maybe her memories were muddled up too, just like her way of speaking.

    "Yeah, that'd be my guess as well, dudette," Jake replied. "Near the cemetery, or some overlooking hill of the town. That's the kind of places churches were usually built, right?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Isn’t it just obvious for a curious kid to go with the adventurous one? Still, to talk about something less painful… Happen to know any other weird tales then?"
    Jake raised his eyebrow and rubbed his chin a little bit.

    "Weird tales, huh? Well... I guess some?" The janitor admitted with a hint of a grin. "Mostly just local gossip, though. Though every town also has its urban legends."

    Meanwhile, the reaction from Pyry was far different.

    After all, the boy had suddenly flushed bright red, and was sneaking hasty, angry, embarrassed glares towards Hisa when he could - to the point even Gradient looked at the two of them with slight confusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telepathic Hisa
    “Ubon said that Mercedes’ ass is the best, but I can’t see what the big deal is about it… Having fondled Ubon’s, I’d say that hers is much better...has a nice balance of soft and firm... Though, it made me wonder what my own butt feels like.”
    [Wha... wha... you did WHAT!?]

    Pyry's mental reaction was, in a sense, completely understandable.

    After all, rarely did anyone straight up admit they had molested their classmate's butt.

    [Jesus! That's not something... I don't... I mean... gaaaah, what the hell!] Pyry stammered mentally, trying to come up with an answer, only to get more and more flustered. [I-I mean, of course I like girls' butts! That's a given! But I don't just go fondling them to check which is better, Ubon or Mercedes!]

    A sudden horror made the boy's eyes grow large.

    [Wait... have you tested Mercedes' too!?]

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I mean...don’t take it as an offense, but you look exactly like a book person. And maybe you’re not adventurous, but you certainly look like someone who is interested in hearing about any mystery that comes up. I’m quite the curious soul myself so I would love to hear some stories.”
    [G-goddammit, you're just trying to bully me! This is unfair!]

    For once, it looked like Pyry was catching on quickly.

    Jake, on the other hand, had not as he simply continued talking while not realizing that something was wrong with the two youngsters in front of him.

    "No offense taken, dudette. I mean... I read what I can. And I like a good mystery. Just not one that's... personal, y'know," Jake explained, a wry smile on his face. "Anyways, have you heard about the McLampets? The big kahunas here at Road's End? And what happened to them?"

    It was somewhat hard to keep track of two conversations at once.

    Perhaps that was why Hisa missed Pyry's sudden, smug grin (which was still flustered) that promised sweet, sweet revenge.

    And how it was aimed straight at her.

    [Though if you're that curious about your own butt, I can just test it for you and tell you how it ranks.]

    And while the blonde youth went for an attack...

    ... Jake was none the wiser.

    "Though, don't you dudes and dudettes have class soon? You might have to do with cliff-notes version."

  17. #3017
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Abandoned Cabin
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "...who's the weak one, now?"

    It's not like Ahti's wrong. I'm pretty weak. And being weak is terrible. Being weak means you can't be there for others when they need you. It means you're scared of anything and everything. It also means, sometimes, when it really matters... you can't do anything at all, and have to rely on the kindness of the strong. That's what being weak is.

    But, there are things that being weak is not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "And lucky for you... it's working. Right now I've no need for the strong. If you were strong, you'd be a threat, and I'd cut you where you stand. What I have a need for right now is someone weak, someone who's willing to help me out because of their own ulterior motives."




    "...are you stupid or something, Lion-O?"


    Damn it. This whole 'be nice' thing is harder than it looks. In the end, it looks like... when I see an idiot, I can't help but call him one to his face.

    "Of course I'm weak. Of course I'm scared. But so are you. You're just as weak and scared as I am. Who do you think you are, talking big after you ended up bleeding out in the back of a cabin without even getting a good hit in? Those swords of yours were spotless. There's no such thing as a 'strong person'. Behind every strong man is weakness. The idiot who can heal from anything in an instant and goes around calling himself a hero to all children, the old wolf with a pair of overpowered Arc Relics, the world's strongest soldier who's never failed to complete a mission... they're all weak where it counts. Besides, I'm not so desperate that I'd put my life in the hands of a complete stranger who nearly killed me. Or that I'd throw myself at the feet of the first person calling himself strong. I didn't help you because you'd be useful; I helped you because you were there."

    I fold my arms, step forward, and face him head-on. Even though he could cut me down in an instant.

    "The world you're in isn't one where people only do things to further their own ends. Or one where the strong are looked at like living weapons. That might be the world outside Road's End. But it's not here."

    Perhaps I should've been harsher. I'm sure someone with interrogation training could've easily negotiated a favourable arrangement in this situation. The obligation of a saved life, plus a locked room, confiscated weapons, and a pair of unknown jailors... If looked at from that perspective, I've thrown away an overwhelming advantage without gaining anything in return. But that's only if you look at it from that perspective. Ahti's perspective. The only way he can rationalize my actions is as some farfetched attempt to beg for his power.

    Ridiculous. That illusion of his needs to be shattered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "--- And that's why I have no reason to kill you. Because you are, and never will be, a threat."
    "Thanks for that. You're said you're not the type to cut down weak people. Well I'm not the type to take advantage of them either. That means there's no need to worry about you attacking the students or the townsfolk. Which means you aren't a threat. Which means we're even. I don't owe you anything, and you don't owe me anything."

    Perhaps, in the previous loop, Ahti Jalopuera died here, alone, without anyone to help him. It's difficult to say what he would have or could have done, had he survived. But I'm going to guess he wouldn't have hurt innocents. He isn't that sort of person. He may talk up a big game, but he's not cruel. He might behave like an animal, but he doesn't have the heart of one. He's capable of feeling gratitude, so he can't be heartless. That's what I'm putting my faith into.

    "I'd appreciate it if you could share some of your story. Who did that to you, how big of a problem they might be, why you're here, anything that might help. But if you don't want to, there's nothing either of us will do to force you to talk. And if you're looking for a lackey who'll follow your orders without question in exchange for protection... forget it. If I help you it'll be because I want to, and no other reason. And if you help me, it'll be the same. So you'd better not go looking for a rematch with that thing in the woods, because I don't want to have to patch you up again."

    Perhaps it's stupid, to say such things to a killer from the Turnside. But it must be said.

    "...also, Vivi..."

    The stern frown I've been putting on shatters into a grimace.

    "That pun was awful..."
    Last edited by Bloble; August 6th, 2020 at 08:44 PM.

  18. #3018
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: End’s Store & Post
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    Human beings have the questionable ability to detach their emotions, feelings and opinions from their words and body language. John Dove believes himself particularly adroit at the use of this ability, but it is in no way exclusive to him. For example, Sue Popplewell’s smile certainly does not mean she has a positive impression of him. She is a businesswoman after all. She would not let first impressions get in the way of a sale. There is also the possibility that she might be aware of the repeating week. It would be difficult to bring up that topic with her, though.

    Naturally, his expression does not change. It does not change in response to the shopkeeper’s own change of expression, nor it does when she answers his inquiry. John has already considered the possibility of the townsfolk of Road’s End being as much subjects of Mr. Oceandrop’s plan as the Pinefall students themselves. This, of course, implies that the smiling woman in front of him also has a personal issue in need of treatment.

    Perhaps Mister Oceandrop is too optimistic a person.

    Perhaps it is John Dove himself who is underestimating the man.

    It does not matter.

    “That book does seem to be exactly what I am looking for. I would be grateful if you could find it for me, but…did I understand your words incorrectly, or are you saying there is only a single copy of the book?”

    While Miss Popplewell is hidden behind the counter, John glances over his shoulder. Elise Marie is still outside.

    “So? Are you looking for anything in particular, Miss Faraday?”

  19. #3019
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High - Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    I frowned in concern as I watched the formerly almost tap-dancing, smug dog that was harassing me for a meal settle into a stance far more like the 'hunting dog' she had been described as.

    I did my best to ease my posture down, letting my weight settle evenly through my feet.

    Let it be known that I am not very good at the art of sneaking around, mostly because the things I would be trying to sneak up on would either be completely unconcerned, or would have esoteric methods of detection that would be beyond my ability.

    I preferred the 'Shock and Awe' methodology to my pursuits, which, perhaps, was not necessarily the most optimal path for my choice of vocation, had possessed enough merit and garnered me enough raw satisfaction that I currently did not feel the need to actively hide my presence when in pursuit.

    However, I would follow the example of the self-designated expert, because I am not a complete idiot.

    Only mostly.

    I took the time to take in the small differences in this new, waking dream I, and others had fallen into. Such as Subaru's hairstyle, the gender of her dog, the differences in activities, not only in those whom I suspected of 'past' knowledge, but within those without, as well.

    Truly curious.

    Had our own prior knowledge contributed to the differences in each person's individual activities?

    It did not explain Subaru, or Tonkori in that case.

    Had something happened in the Future Past that could resonate? Did other individuals know? If so, how many, and how much?

    If they did know, why did they know, and why did we know? Are they victims, perpetrators?

    Is the individual behind this recursion within our vicinity? Why had they done this?

    I didn't know.

    But I truly hoped I would come to find an answer to some of these questions.

    For now, Tonkori had come to a stop, and from within the open door to the Swimming Pool, I heard voices.

    Travis, and a male individual of his acquaintance.

    Seeking out Bianchi, Vivienne. Why? Complication.

    How complication? Why had they been attempting to find her? From what I had could recall of their interpersonal relationship within the past-future, it was not unfriendly.

    Nor, I believe, had anything occurred in the past day of this present to cause some manner of concern or needing to seek her out.

    Curious.

    I frowned, narrowing my eyes and extending my senses, sharpening my mind to a razor's edge to determine what I could from the scene, while maintaining my surveillance.

    I could deduce that this new young man was our 'unknown scent'.

    What could I tell of him, what were his intentions? Why was Vivienne a topic of such concern? Was it ill-intentioned? Was she in danger?

    And what the hell was this 'unorthodox route'?

    I frowned, leaning a bit closer, pine needles on his clothes, a few in his hair, the ever-present scent of fresh pine lingering thickly on his person.

    Someone didn't want to be seen, came through the woods.

    And the way he was talking about 'Bianchi' made me frown. Something about it stuck in my craw, it was impersonal, distant, like he wasn't speaking of a classmate.

    More as if he was speaking of a stranger.

    Hm.

    Intentionally distancing himself? Or perhaps a relative?

    Travis Gagnon did not strike me as someone so cold-blooded as to distance himself from a peer as if he was preparing to harm them in some way.

    I did not believe he was similar to a certain scantily-clad executioner.

    But, I was not too familiar with him, or whatever secrets he held.

    ...

    No, thoughts. It is not the time to be imagining attractive, male peers in tight, evocative dress, like they're wearing nothing at all.

    Even if it is appealing!

    ...

    Nothing at all...

    I shook my head, blinking.

    I needed more information, so I held up a finger to my lips.
    Last edited by Mormarth; August 7th, 2020 at 10:15 AM.

  20. #3020
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: End's Store & Post - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Overcast


    Elise knelt on the ground outside of the End's Store & Post while the demon's shrieking cackle still ringing inside her head. She closed her eyes and rubbed her temples, wondering if listening to the demon inside her head or outside her head was worse.

    On one hand, I didn't make as much of a scene as I could've. On the other hand, I think I have a headache now. On the other, other hand, I'm at the only place in town where you can probably buy Tylenol.

    She groaned, opened her eyes, and watched her reflection suspiciously, taking a moment to ensure that it was hers again. She took a deep breath in and out, several times, as she settled herself.

    Uhg, why did I make that stupid deal? Did I really get suckered by that sad look on its face last night? No, no. You grabbed information from it wouldn't part with last week for bargain prices. You came out way ahead here.

    Maybe I should ask Pyry for help with those three minutes instead of Lucille? Would it be safer? Might be a bit awkward, but I'm sure he can sympathize with having something inside you that's beyond your control.

    She considered her options as she pulled herself back up to her feet, steadying herself as she eyed to door into the store.

    Right. We can worry about this later. The demon can threaten all it wants, but it doesn't get its three minutes of fun until I say so. It happens entirely on my terms, not its terms. As for right now, we've got books to buy!

    Elise marched towards the door, feeling confident that she was alone and herself again, and entered the shop. She was greeted with an almost nostalgic scene of everything being almost exactly like she remembered it from last week. Even John was already waiting there. Although this time, there was the addition of Lucille to the scene, and Ms. Popplewell was seemingly out of sight at the moment. She gave them a smile as though nothing had been wrong a few moments ago.

    The demon might be more troublesome this time around for whatever weird reasons, but at least I've got friends who can back me up this time. John, Lucille, and I'm sure Hisa would help me too. Which is more than I can say for before I got here... thought Elise to herself as she spotted the other two, Besides, neither of them are as easy prey as the demon seems to think. John's the one who warned me to be careful, and Lucille's been nothing but kind and patient with me.

    “Hey John! Hey Lucille! Sorry I took so long catching up,” said Elise cheerfully with a wave to the fool waiting to be consumed by the knowledge he consumed and the Saint waiting to be corrupted and have the feathers of her wings plucked out one by one as she joined them by the counter.

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