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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4161
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "You had a portable computer?"

    An eyebrow raised slightly, I glanced at the machine resting on the table, then back up at its owner.

    While not the most extraordinary thing, it was still a surprise that she would own something like that. It was quite expensive, and for a native who spent quite some time living in the forest...it must have been quite the investment. Especially considering that she had those fancy drones and a gameboy as well. Though, more than money, the technological aspect is maybe even more surprising...But then, even I was exposed to certain aspects of technology that is beyond common knowledge, so perhaps things like this just find a way.

    On the other hand, for how expensive of an asset it was, I wasn't sure what it could provide that one couldn't do just the same with more traditional methods.

    "Why is that necessary for breakfast though?"

    My eyes wandered back onto the screen once more, tracing the white letters popping up quickly on the black background, but before I could make too much sense out of them, my thoughts were interrupted by Pyry's voice, and as he spoke, I couldn't help but frown slightly.

    It was quite disheartening how we could do practically nothing for Ru even after all these days. There were no news about his sister at all, and we haven't made any progress regarding that thing he was looking for either. In fact, I still have not the slighest clue where we were supposed to start looking regarding either - and it was almost unlikely that we would get any closer to that this late into the week. Instead, all I managed to achieve was to sow the seeds of distrust between us because of that animal shifter cult.

    In a way, it felt like we let him down, while he was trying his best to help us.

    Then again, I knew well that we could not help everyone. I stood with that sentiment until now, so I wasn't going to let something like that get to me, since that would only distract me from the things that I can do in turn.

    It was already enough that such thoughts distracted me from something else, and it took long seconds after Mercedes' voice reached my ears to realize the ripe fruit approaching me rapidly as it was gaining downwards momentum.

    "Wha---"

    A blink, then another one, and the fruit was already so close that the impact was just a moment or two away. My mouth still wide open because of the words I was going to say, I started raising my hands out of reflex to protect my face and to catch the strawberry before it could reach me, but it was way too late.

    All I could register was a tiny red thing filling my view before something soft hit me straight on my forehead, then fell into my open hand a moment later.

    Blushing even more vividly than earlier, I stared down at the juicy fruit in my hand, rolling it around on my palm briefly before raising it to my mouth.

    "I-I wasn't paying attention," I blurted out quietly as I sank my teeth into its sugary flesh, "Did not expect fruits to come flying into my mouth."

    With an embarrassed little cough, I sat down on a chair next to To-Totesh, and started filling my plate with the rice pudding that Sakura prepared.

    "A-anyways, let's eat, else we'll never get this day started."

  2. #4162
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Hikari Sora
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "O-oh!"

    Looking rather surprised that she was suddenly addressed, Sierra stared at the wooden spoon with a hint of trepidation on her face... and then looked up at Liana with an expression that told of a barely contained grin.

    "W-well, I suppose I do not mind!" She replied, taking a hold of the utensil. "After all, this all seems very busy, so it would just be unbecoming of me not to h-help around, right? Right! Erm, um, well let's see here..."

    With slightly awkward movements, indicating she had never done anything like this before, Sierra started stirring the contents of the saucepan, eye intensely focused. One look at that face made it clear that the girl was perhaps expecting it to burn down if she let her attention wander even for a moment, so while she was certainly a bit too intense, she was doing a rather good job so far...

    Cathie, watching all this happen from the sidelines as she worked on her own part, snickered quietly and flashed Liana a non-verbal thumbs up when Sierra wasn't looking. Then the auburn-haired girl continued the conversation from before.

    "Hmm, I guess if you know something about cars you might ask? I mean, I know Tommy's offered more than a few times to help out but Zane's been pretty stubborn about wanting to do it alone. Might be more of a hobby at this point than trying to get the vehicle actually working. Y'know, something where he can just switch his brains off for the day and work his hands?" Cathie suggested. "But I guess there's no harm in asking. He might be a surly one, but I'm pretty sure there's a softer core underneath it all. Just gotta dig really deep if you wanna find it."

    A slightly narrowed glance was shot to Liana's direction.

    "... Just don't dig too much. It's not healthy fill your backyard with multiple holes, even if you are interested in the various treasures around," the girl said as if a slightly amused warning. "If you know what I mean."

    --- Cathie might have misunderstood Liana's interest a little here.

    "Still, a mystery huh...? I'm starting to feel like all you Pinefall people are nothing but them. Even that Colt... I'm not pushing it, but guy's clearly been up to a lot of shi--- err, crap lately," Cathie continued, glancing towards Sierra to see if the kid heard her near mistake. "What about you, L? You said a mystery can be a girl's charm point too, so what sorta mysteries are you carrying about?"




    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Outside Subaru's Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Aah, yes... I admit I was quite ready to simply crash into my bed as well, ahahaha~"

    Looking slightly embarrassed, Subaru scratched her wilder-than-usual hairdo and let out a sheepish laugh. At the same time, Tonkori seemed to be enjoying her long-coming victory of getting Elaine to properly pet her, and was now basking in the afterglow of the scratchies, leaning against the leg of the blonde girl. Kean on the other hand... well, he would survive. Looking slightly grumpy (or dark and brooding, as his new looks made it seem like), he got up from the floor and dusted himself off.

    "Yeah, good morning to you too, shaman girl," Kean snarked, rubbing his elbow. "Explosive entrance much?"

    Subaru fidgeted with her fingers in response, slightly pink on her cheeks.

    "O-oh, umm, apologies. I-I rather tripped on the way to the door and..."

    --- Even Kean couldn't stay mad at her after such a show of innocence, and simply banished any grudges he had with a sigh.

    "Eh... no harm, no foul. The only thing you did was make me look uncool in front of E here, so just bruised ego, nothing more," he said with a small smirk. "Anyways, you up for a little pow-wow? We were thinking over at breakfast. Though I guess at this point it's slowly starting to be lunch. Brunch? Whatever they call it in hotels, you get the idea."

    Upon hearing that, Subaru's eyes brightened up and she nodded.

    "Oh! Right, of course! I would love that! I-I mean, I would love to have breakfast together with everyone, and having a proper conversation about last night sounds certainly wise," the tiny shrine maiden replied. "After all, as Elai--- u-um, Miss Winters here said, we barely had time for anything after we came back. And there are still some things that remain mysterious to me. Like that spear and other stuff."

    Tonkori gave an agreeing bark, showcasing that it too wanted to be included in this little get-together. Hearing that, Kean snickered.

    "Alright, off we go then. I think our next stop'll be the common rooms," he said, before glancing at the blonde girl next to him. "Ready to be on our way, 'Miss Winters'?"

    ... Well, at the very least the boy had bounced back relatively well from his possession.

    Maybe a bit too well.




    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hmm, not sure~"

    Zhou cooed that, frowning a little at the thought.

    "I've half a mind to have a few stern words with the girl about that, but from what that ninja girl tells me, she was mind-controlled or something similar~" the older Coastrise girl then continued. "But yes, she was an awfully pale and tired-looking girl~! About the same age as us~! But I've never seen her before either, so I'm not sure if she's a student here or not~! Does someone with big bags under her eyes and very blue eyes, flaxed hair and pale skin ring a bell~?"

    Ramia, upon hearing that, stopped working on her boots and frowned as well.

    "... Doesn't sound like any of our students, does it, Red?" She asked. "So could be an outsider. But mind-control? Eesh, that's always a can of worms that gets real tricky..."

    The dusky-skinned mercenary shook her head.

    "I mean, most of the people with such powers get a bad rap. Met plenty of good and decent people with mind-altering or controlling powers in my time, but then there's always a few bad eggs that ruin the thing for everybody... kinda like witches, huh?" Ramia continued, flashing a grin towards Anna. "Still, if she was mind-controlled, what happened to the girl, then?"

    Zhou lazily pointed out of the door.

    "That ninja girl said she'd put the shapeshifter away~! Locked her into some place where she could rest up and be contained until we could decide what to do with her~" The bespectacled girl explained. Which I think means she arranged something at the old dorm side of things~"

    Having said that, Zhou proceeded to take a long and hard sip from her juicebox, nearly emptying the whole accursed thing in one go.

    "Oh, and as for that secret admirer, well~" She hesitated for a moment. "Only saw vague glimpses really... though I think they're here already~! Watching and waiting and spying somewhere on the campus, too hesitant to come out themselves~! I doubt they're brave enough to hide at the dorms though, so somewhere else with a good view~"

    Before any of the girls could theorize further, however, there was a sudden approaching sound that caught their attention - the sound of footfalls and people talking. And, as it turned out, the rapping of little dog feet that rapidly got closer until a certain, familiar furry shape burst into the common rooms. The one-and-only akita puppy of the Pinefall High entered the room, letting out a rather cheerful bark as a greeting and made a beeline towards Ramia, who immediately lifted her legs up to the armchair like a barrier.

    "Not here, pooch! You're gonna get shoe polish all over your tiny paws!" Ramia warned. "Anna's got free hands, assault her!"

    Tonkori's eyes flashed with purpose, and in that very moment, Anna found herself the new target of a fluffy little missile that bulleted through the room, aiming straight for her mid-section with one magnificent leap.

    And as it happened, the owner of the dog - and some extras - were not far behind.

    "Ah, good morning, everybody!" Subaru greeted, arriving to the room with a bright smile and wearing a very unfashionable ensemble of sweatpants and T-shirt. "Oh? What's that smell? Are you perhaps eating some candy secretly before breakfast?"

    Kean Loinnir, who walked in after the tiny girl, snickered. Next to him was the familiar sight of Elaine Winters.

    "That'd be the shoe polish, shaman girl," the silver-haired boy said, sounding rather amused.

    Wait...

    ... Since when had Kean Loinnir had such a long hair? Or such a... 'brooding complexion', for the lack of a better word?



    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Some while (and a very hearty breakfast) later, the group had finally gotten their journey underway.

    This meant, of course, that their ears were now filled the with the droning hum of the V8 engine of Pyry's car and the soft sound of some song or another came from the radio - or the cassette player, to be more precise. However, Pyry was keeping the volume down so as to not break the peaceful nature of the morning. The boy was in the driver's seat, as usual, and was guiding the vehicle towards their ultimate destination.

    --- The McLampet Manor.

    It would certainly be interesting to see the place in broad daylight this time, and with no immediate risk of rain to bother them. Still, it was likely that the bad weather would return later today, and the whole town seemed to sense it. Practically no one was out and about, and all the cars they drove past looked like they were hurrying home as well. The town was bunkering down for the storm, which may have been a good thing in some ways. After all, the strangeness of this place would start just escalating as the weekend went further and further.

    "So, Nancy Drew? What's our itinerary?"

    Mercedes's question came from the backseat. While Hisa was riding shotgun in the front, the back had been taken over by To-Totesh, Gradient and the starlet, with the strange girl sandwiched in between the two who had their normal gift of gab remaining. Still, Gradient didn't seem to mind. If anything, she was more than happy to be squeezed between the two of them, smiling from ear to ear. Mercedes on the other hand, well... she had always been a bit iffy regarding Gradient - and this closeness did not help.

    It was also likely that the events from moments ago were still bothering the actress. After all, their first stop had been one of the many public payphones of the town, but as it turned out...

    ... Either Mercedes's mother was not home, or she simply wasn't planning on answering. The girl had tried calling for 20 minutes, without avail.

    So while she hid it admirably, there was no doubt that this failed attempt didn't bother the starlet.

    "... The same place as yesterday, right?" To-Totesh asked, lifting her head from her laptop. "You made promise, after all."

    Apparently, the reason why the native girl had been so hard at work with her notebook computer this early was because she was writing down what information she could remember from last night and compiling it. She had said that many things about the hospital's database had been bothering her, and this was her way to try to make heads or tails out of it. She had also muttered something about spending too long without the touch of a proper keyboard, but perhaps that part was best left untouched...

    "Eeyup," Pyry answered, turning the car to left at the intersection. "That's the plan."

    He glanced towards Hisa.

    "Unless there was somewhere else you wanted to drop by first?"

  3. #4163
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Hikari Sora
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra
    "W-well, I suppose I do not mind!" She replied, taking a hold of the utensil. "After all, this all seems very busy, so it would just be unbecoming of me not to h-help around, right? Right! Erm, um, well let's see here..."
    "Yep, stir just like that. Firm but steady."

    It was very cute.

    Earnest efforts always are-!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathie
    "... Just don't dig too much. It's not healthy fill your backyard with multiple holes, even if you are interested in the various treasures around," the girl said as if a slightly amused warning. "If you know what I mean."
    "...?"

    Liana tilts her head to the side in mild confusion.

    It's only for a second or two of course, enough time for her brain to switch tracks from detective mode back to the more teasing nuances of a teenage girl, but...

    "Eh? Eh?"

    When it does flip back over, a strange look crosses her face... A broken sort of smile that wasn't unlike Cathie's own, and perhaps, a sign that the bully can be easily bullied right back, if you know what you're doing...

    "It's not like that at all!"

    A wave of the hands, one that borders just on the edge of frantic.

    "I just wanted to try to get to know everyone better! But not like that, I know digging multiple holes is both dangerous and morally wrong!"

    Boss told me much the same, even though he's the biggest playboy I know...!

    "I just want to be friends with Zane! I wouldn't want to break my Mysterious Stranger's heart after all, I'm loyal! Not someone who doesn't feed a fish they've caught..."

    Wait, does that idiom make sense in America...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathie
    "Still, a mystery huh...? I'm starting to feel like all you Pinefall people are nothing but them. Even that Colt... I'm not pushing it, but guy's clearly been up to a lot of shi--- err, crap lately," Cathie continued, glancing towards Sierra to see if the kid heard her near mistake. "What about you, L? You said a mystery can be a girl's charm point too, so what sorta mysteries are you carrying about?"
    "...L, huh?"

    In response, a simple chuckle.

    Eggs are already being cracked into a pan, her gaze flickering from it's surface to that of Sierra's diligent stirring, a warm smile returning to her face.

    "Well, if everyone's interested... I can think of a few to talk about."

    Shredded cheese follows the eggs into the pan.

    "Like... For instance, I have quite a few names. Liana Skye, Sora Hikari, Mirai Nozumi while I was moonlighting as an idol in Japan... Some people even just call me X. Although I don't like that last one very much, feels a bit too... Impersonal for me..."

    For a moment her smile flickers, but she ultimately recover without incident.

    "A girl of many names! Some given, some chosen, some inherited~ Plenty mysterious by itself, right?"

    She winks again, tone taking on an obviously over-dramatic cadence, before...

    "And I'm not just here in town as a student, a trait that a lot of the Pinefall kids seem to share honestly... I'm also here to find two things. My mom Shoko Hikari, resident coffee addict and super scientist... And uh, a certain device that shouldn't be in this town."

    ...Phrasing things in quite the vague way!

    "Probably closer to finding the device than my mom at this point..."
    Last edited by Airen; October 28th, 2021 at 08:35 AM.
    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?



  4. #4164
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Wahaha. Everyone's speechless. That means the plan worked and Briggs forgot about his dastardly plot!

    Except...

    Quote Originally Posted by Inacio
    "My romantic escapades aside, Prushka. I wish you wouldn't use yours to barge in on other people like this."
    "Eh? Wait, what do you-"

    Quote Originally Posted by Inacio
    "My possible girlfriend aside, your physical boyfriend looks like he's about to cry."
    "EH? B-b-boyfriend? W-we're not-"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake
    "Yeah. Dude, you okay? Is she like, blackmailing your or something?"
    "Eeeeeeeh!? I'm not blackmailing anyone!"

    I bend down. Lean over to get a good view of Ahti's upside-down face.

    "Is everything alright, Scrooge-?"

    Oh no he looks like he wants to die.

    "H-hold on!"

    Pat. Pat. Pat-pat-pat-pat-pat. The top and side of Ahti's fluffy head get a million preventative pats to stave away sadness.

    "If you were still worn out from last night you should've said so! Sorry for asking you to carry me again..."

    I was a bit forceful, so perhaps he didn't have the heart to refuse? Oh that's not good at all. That means this might've been my fault.

    "Or are you embarrassed? Don't be! You're super cool! And strong! And sometimes being a hero means doing or saying embarrassing stuff! Just think about how you totally saved the day just now!"

    With one last pat, I slide down Ahti's strong, muscled back like it's a fire pole. Then I dash in front of him and look up. Then at the two dudes in the room. Then back to Ahti. Then back to them. Well, if they're finally united in something...

    "Hey, c'mon. Sit down. Here." I take Ahti's hand and gently take him to one of the open chairs. "Briggs has another soda in there and he feels like sharing, right Briggs? And Inacio's got a ton of funny girl stories, right Inacio?"

    C'mon. Do the guy thing. Become friends already.

  5. #4165
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "We can try again later. Maybe she is just busy, or the reception is bad," I said as my eyes followed Mercedes' form as she sat back into the car, "Or...while it doesn't exactly bring any releif, it could be that it has something to do with what's going on here. I don't know how isolated the phenomenon is, but if it only affects the town, then it could be that it hinders communication with anything outside the town."

    But then...that would affect the townspeople as well, wouldn't it?

    "I would test the theory, but I don't exactly have anyone to call," I scratched my cheek awkwardly, "Though, it wouldn't entirely make sense anyways. She is probably just busy - but I'm sure that she is okay."

    That I was somewhat certain about. There was no reason for her not to be safe if she was outside of the town...though that still left one to wonder what she was up to, and whose side she was on.

    "Anyways, we should definitely go to the mansion first," I continued as my attention turned towards Pyry, "Anywhere else we can easily go after we picked Allene up. Though I figured a quick trip to that doctor afterwards could prove to be interesting. Less because of her being a doctor, and more because of her being a fae."

    Leaning back in my seat, I gazed out the windshield and up towards the gray clouds blotting out the sun up in the skies.

    I almost forgot about that, with how many things were going on.

    "There's just something intriguing about a fae living near humans like that, and trying to blend in such an...attention seeking way. That, and she might definitely know a thing or two that the normal folk wouldn't...not to mention that fae magic can certainly do wonders compared to ordinary medicine."

    It's been a while since I've seen a fae as well...and so far from home at that.

  6. #4166
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Hikari Sora
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "Mom... and a device...?"

    Cathie raised an eyebrow.

    "That sounds like some sorta secret agent business. Like seriously. Though then again, I'm not surprised. Little hard to be after last night. From what I can only think of as some super-vampire to the whole fiasco after that... man, it's like I'm one of those teen fantasy novels these days," Cathie replied, slight sarcasm creeping to her voice. "Too bad I'm not exactly heroine material - more like a side character. Working at your mom's place and flunking through school doesn't exactly prepare you for stuff like this."

    It seemed that slowly but surely, the preparations for breakfast were coming together, and soon enough the trio would be able to present what they had made to the rest of the group. Chances are, the best place for a very late breakfast would be the lobby, since it still was the top place in the building when it came to being able to survey all your surroundings at once. And chances were, Jayesh Omkara probably wanted to not move around too much after last night.

    Cathie, who was piling up her pancakes while arranging some whipped cream, blueberries and other condiments next to them sighed a little.

    "Don't think I can really help you out with the mysterious device thing either, L - sorry. The only guy around who knows anything about tech I can think about is Tommy, and though I've been over to his place many times I haven't really seen anything out of the ordinary there... if you don't count the old airplane he hides under that tarp," the auburn-haired girl continued. "Though, hmm... you said your mother was a coffee addict, right?"

    She put a finger to her chin.

    "Wonder if she's been to our place at any point...?" Cathie mused, before glancing at Liana. "What does she look like? We have plenty of customers daily, so it's possible that I might've gotten a glimpse of her. Or if not me, mom could have. She's got a good memory for faces.... wait..."

    Suddenly, Cathie's face grew pale.

    ".... Oh god I didn't tell mom where I was going last night."

    It was the dawning horror of a teenager who knew she was in deep, deep trouble.

    "I'm gonna be so grounded...!"




    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Here you go, dude."

    Wordlessly, the janitor and Ahti exchanged glances as the former passed a can of cola to the latter. Ahti took it, let out a sigh and opened the can. Then he downed half the can in one go, as if hoping to find some alcohol mixed in with the drink to ease his growing headache. Unfortunately, there was none, and the only thing he got was the massive burp that echoed from his mouth moments later, causing both Jake and Inacio to chuckle.

    Finally, Ahti aimed a one-eyed frown at Prushka and grabbed her by the helmet, forcing the girl to stay put in one place for a moment.

    "... Goddammit, Imp, stop fussing over me already - you're just making the situation worse," the white-haired boy growled. "I'm not made outta glass, y'know. Rather, the only thing I'm worried about right now is how you managed to talk me into that so quickly that I didn't even realize what was going on before it was too late."

    The boy then let go and took a look at the other two in the room.

    "--- Just try to forget about that, alright? I know I am."

    Both Jake and Inacio laughed at that, shaking their heads.

    Well, at least the tense atmosphere had melted away? So, it was a success... kind of...?

    "... Well, even though I might have some amusing stories about the fairer sex as you requested..." Inacio started, eyes mirthfully glinting at Prushka. "I have to admit I've got nothing to top that bit of insanity just now. So yes, unfortunately I think that you, Prushka, are the funniest 'girl story' we have right now - and that story seems to be best told by... erm... actually, I don't think I've ever met you before, have I?"

    Jake nodded.

    "Yeah, never seen you around before, dude."

    Ahti, finding himself suddenly at the center of attention, blinked in surprise. Then, with a slightly grumpy face to hide his further embarrassment, he scratched the back of his head and averted his gaze from the two.

    "Uhh... Ahti. The name's Ahti."

    Talk about awkward greetings.

    "And I'm Inacio," the guitarist introduced himself. "This here would, of course, be the janitor of our school - Jake. A bit of a wild card, but a decent enough man I suppose."

    That made Jake snort as he leaned back in his chair and folded his arms.

    "Yeah, speak for yourself, dude. Though, more importantly..." Jake looked at both Prushka and Ahti and cocked an eyebrow. "Don't recognize you Ahti, but I guess you've got Prushka to vouch for you. Gotta say, out of all the Pinefall students I didn't expect to see her to be piggyback-riding anyone. Live and learn, yeah? Must've been some pretty high-octane shenanigans to lead being so close, huh?"

    ... Wait, what was that mischievous tone in his voice?

    "Mm, I'm rather interested in hearing about it as well," Inacio said with a sneaky grin. "You wouldn't happen to have any juicy details to share? The request was for funny girl stories, after all..."

    Ahti, blinking in surprise again, glanced towards Prushka... and then back to the two guys. He folded his arms too and took a more relaxed position on the chair. Then, with a straight and honest face, as if he didn't really realize the danger hanging in the air, he spoke up.

    "... Yeah, I guess there's some funny stuff I could tell about the Imp. I mean, she is like pretty hilarious when she goes over-the-top and doesn't even realize it," Ahti started. "Like, just this morning, she was---"

    --- Danger, Prushka Robinson!




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Road to McLampet Manor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Slowly, the rest of the town was left behind and the car began to travel down the winding path nestled close to the ocean.

    The overhanging clouds seemed as heavy as ever and the grey, pale light they let through certainly wasn't enough to make the scenery look that appealing... at least, if this had been any other place. However, the nature of the Pacific Northwest was, in a way, almost made for early autumn like this - just before the leaves changed colour. The woods were thick and ancient, the landscape was old and unchanging, the sea was quiet and unknowable - all like they were straight out of a book or a story. And the distant lights that came through the windows of the many buildings of the town were surprisingly warm.

    In a weird way, even Road's End had its own beauty, even though it was so often draped in rain and melancholy.

    "... Ah, I can see the gate."

    Pyry's voice drew Hisa from her thoughts, and indeed, up ahead she could see the tell-tale sign of the thick, old iron gate that guarded the entrance to the mansion. The asphalt road continued through it, and far beyond it, the group could see a wisp of smoke rising up from a somewhat familiar-looking chimney. It looked like somebody had lit up the fireplace of the McLampet Manor, as was fitting for a day like this.

    With a small grunt, Pyry decided to park the car near where they had parked it the previous evening - away from the security camera of the house and bit of a walk away from the gate and the large brick walls themselves. It wouldn't be much of an obstacle to get over the walls once more, especially now during the day when they could see properly, though perhaps going as a big group might not be such a good idea.

    Pyry might have had the same thought, as he turned towards the rest of the group.

    "Should we two go fetch Allene? Might attract less attention that way," the boy suggested, looking at Hisa. "I mean, if we're trying to be sneaky about this, then------ Wait."

    Suddenly, something caught the boy's eyes - something at the edge of his vision. That very same thing also caught Hisa's eyes, and as if synchronized, the duo turned to look what had alarmed them momentarily.

    ... The gate had opened, and someone had walked through. And now that someone was walking towards their car with careful, measured pace.

    No, not walking.

    Hisa recognized the person approaching the car before anyone else did - after all, she was the only one who had properly seen her. Or even could recognize her.



    Beatrice, the old maid of the house, was slowly rolling his wheelchair forward towards the car.

    There was a gentle smile on her lips, and though it seemed like they had been spotted, it didn't feel like they were in trouble.

    Next to her, the old dog that always accompanied her guarded her carefully.

    And trailing behind them, slipping through the gates with some difficulties was...

    ... Allene?

    Shielding herself with a fancy blue parasol?

  7. #4167
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Hikari Sora
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    "...Secret agent is a close enough description for what I am, I suppose."

    A grin.

    "But, you remember the super vampire...? That's a bit surprising, would have figured an Antediluvian would have tried wiping your memories."

    Bread is dipped into the prepared batter and onto the stove-top after the eggs, once the jam is finished and put into jars, she'll put the finishing touches on the pseudo-sandwiches and then go after the bacon, Scottie's with a blowtorch...

    Mostly for fun.

    "And don't worry about trying to help with the device, I... Think I have an idea of where it is and who has it."

    Only a vague idea, one strung together with duct tape and intuition, but an idea nonetheless-!

    Still, once she reaches a pause in her cooking, chuckling quietly -but with some sympathy- as she listens to Cathie realize the doom that awaits her at home, the raven-haired girl ultimately withdraws a photo from her back pocket, the clicking of a card case inaudible amongst the many other sounds in the kitchen... It's not a photo she pulls out very often of course, if her mom had gone missing because of connections with the military, then being too overt in her connection to the woman could be dangerous in a place like this, but...

    "It should be fine... Just make sure you give her a call once the phone lines are back up. Say you got stuck in the storm and it should be fine... I think... The rest of us could back up the story. Stuck at the Club, phone lines went out, not even a lie, really."

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    "Moms mostly yell because they're worried anyway."

    The time to be overly cautious was long gone anyway.

    "As for what mine looks like, well, here she is~"



    "She forgets to eat sometimes too, so a cafe... I could see her frequent one."
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  8. #4168
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Road to McLampet Manor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "It would seem that we were found out," I murmured with a small sigh once we confirmed the identity of the people at the gate, "But perhaps it's better this way. If she is allowed to come out, then at least no one will get angry at her for sneaking out."

    After hesitating for a moment, I opened the car's door and stepped out to meet with the pair approaching. It was likely the best if I did the talking, after all - considering that To-Totesh and Mercedes had barely any clue about the situation, Pyry just slightly more, while Gradient could not even speak properly.

    "Good morning, Madam Beatrice---"

    It should have been safe to use her name. Even if we technically haven't met, she'd likely just assume that Allene told us about it, rather than get suspicious about it.

    "My name is Ashiga Outis---"

    My own name is all the more concerning though. While it meant little to Allene, or more or less anyone else...She likely at least heard about Angelica. Would she just assume that it's a coincidence, or would she jump to some conclusions? How much would she even know about Angelica, I wonder?

    "Though I suppose I do not exactly have to explain why we're here," I said as I rubbed the back of my head awkwardly before waving and smirking at Allene, "I hope it's not a problem, and I apologize that we wanted to sneak her out."

    How did she find out in the first place, I wonder?

    We didn't make too much noise while getting around yesterday. The only critical part was the short fight against the shadow figures, but...if she learned about that, then what exactly must she be thinking right now?

    Or perhaps it was just Allene who ended up telling her about it, to make things easier?

    Either way, there was only one way to find out...

  9. #4169
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Hikari Sora
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Cathie took the picture and looked at it, long and hard. Her face scrunched up a little as she tried to wrack her brains, tried to think of anyone she could remember who'd match the face she saw staring back from the picture... but eventually, a disappointed sigh escaped from her lips and she handed the polaroid back to Liana.

    The message was clear enough.

    "Sorry... I don't think I've ever seen her before. And I usually remember if some non-local drops by the diner while I'm working - doesn't happen that often, see," Cathie said, hanging her head a little. "T-though like I said, it might be just that I've been out or in the kitchens during that time! Who knows, maybe my mom might've seen her. I can ask her about it once I... urgh, once I call her..."

    Looking like she was about to have a small migraine, Cathie leaned against the kitchentop.

    "... And yeah, I know that mom gets angry only because she's worried, but... ugh, I dunno. Sometimes she feels almost overprotective. Anything bad happens and I'm stuck in the house for a week or two, not allowed to go out at all," the auburn-haired girl grumbled. "Which is a bit rich coming from her, considering how often she likes to sneak out of the house - and at night, even! Ever since that One-Eyed Jack started--- O-oh."

    Realizing that she was about to grumble about a certain person that should not be named, Cathie quickly shut her mouth - but a little too late. Sierra, who had been busy with the tasks given to her, faltered a bit, and for a moment, clouds appeared over her face. And no wonder. Her father was still nowhere to be seen, and though she tried to appear strong, the young girl must have been worried sick.

    Even Cathie understood what sort of landmine she had stepped into, as she wiped her hands on her apron and quietly made her way over to Sierra, kneeling down besides her and putting a hand on the younger girl's shoulder.

    "... Sorry Sierra, didn't mean anything by it. It's just a coincidence, I know - and not your dad's fault. The town just got a bit antsy when he moved in and started doing all these big plans, that's all. Nothing to blame him for," she spoke gently. "I'm sure your dad's a great guy. And don't you worry. We'll find him today, I'm sure of it. I mean, since it's lights out, it'll be much easier to look - and once Zane gets the phonelines running, we can get the sheriff to help out too. You know how Michael is, he'll find him lickety-split. Like he always does."

    Sierra sniffled quietly, wiped her nose in her sleeve and nodded.

    "Yeah..." The young girl murmured.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Road to McLampet Manor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "My, aren't you a polite young woman."

    Beatrice's old, wrinkled face melted into a smile at Hisa's greeting, and she gently gestured with her hand that the girl didn't need to be so tense. The dog besides the old woman's wheelchair sat down and quietly looked up to Hisa as well, gazing at her with eyes that hid within them a surprising amount of intelligent. Nothing on the levels of a creature like Tonkori, but a strange sort of empathy that older animals tended to have - a certain wiseness they accumulated, just like humans.

    "Please, relax - I'm not here to scold you lot. If anything, the opposite. But ah, yes, it's a pleasure to meet you, Ashiga Outis," the old woman continued. "As you apparently already know, I am Beatrice. The former maid of this manor and the caretaker of the estate where Mistress Josie is unable to."

    It was hard to say whether or not a glimmer of recognition flashed in the old woman's eyes when she heard the name Hisa used... but if it did, at least she didn't say anything.

    "And worry not, you are not and have not caused any trouble. As I said, quite the contrary. If anything, I'm glad that Young Lady has found someone willing to help her out so selflessly, someone who seems to empathize with her and understand her, to a degree at least. While I personally feel the same, an old woman like me can hardly offer the same sort of camarederie and friendship as a proper friend can," Beatrice continued. "And neither am I able to accompany her to a proper sojourn outside, at least enough to give her the needed bravery to take the necessary steps to leave the house."

    The old woman chuckled slightly mischievously.

    "... At least to the point that would have her sneak around the house, trying to gather her things while the sun's barely above the horizon. She gave me quite a scare, I admit. For a moment, I thought a burglar had sneaked in, hahahaha..." She continued, laughing warmly. "So, for all that... Thank you, Ashiga Outis. And your friends. I'm truly grateful that Young Lady has found people who have given her enough courage to take the first steps."

    Allene, who had at this point reached where Hisa and the others were, flushed rather pink behind Beatrice.

    "G-Gosh, stop exaggerating, please...!" She quietly complained. "I-It's not that big of a deal, really...!"

    Beatrice chuckled warmly once more.

    "I see, I see. Well, I shall leave it at that, then. Though now, you should all hurry. Mistress Josie has yet to wake up, but I believe she will in less than an hour," the old maid explained. "Worry not. I shall do my best to keep her mind at other things while you are out. And once you are back, I shall help Young Lady to return to the mansion unawares."

    For but a moment, a somewhat forlorn look passed in the old woman's eyes.

    "... Though please, do not think ill of Mistress Josie. Life has been so very hard on her, and in her own way, she is simply trying to do her best protect the few belowed things she has left in this world. I believe that if Young Lady here would have honestly expressed her wish to go outside, she would have agreed... but at the same time, she would have worried endlessly the whole day, fearing for the worst," the old woman added. "Sometimes it's best to leave well enough alone. What she does not know cannot weigh on her heart, and by taking things slowly, I am sure we can ease her into the idea."

  10. #4170
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    "..."

    ---Naturally, there's no trace.

    She's not that surprised, she had mostly expected to hear that even after pulling out the photo; it was a sort of inevitability, she was only ever able to come across traces of Shouko's presence, her ghost, and more often than that not even that much...

    Not like it matters... What would I even do with that knowledge anyway...

    Just an affirmation that the woman wasn't dead perhaps? That she had been seen recently instead of some vague time in the past? That the prophecy involving the Hanged Man's noose was the hopeful interpretation rather than the grim one? Expecting disappointment lets her hide most of it, the shadow that crosses her eyes for a moment does so for only a moment, and...

    "Yeah, I'd appreciate it if you ask."

    ...The quiet voice is quiet only for a moment.

    "Mom's always been good at avoiding me, so I don't expect too much... But I do appreciate it."

    She shakes her head a bit and sighs.

    "I know the overprotective thing... I had a... Sister, one who did the same sort of work as me. Hero work, save-the-day, that sort of thing... Mom never approved of it."

    Her gaze goes into the distance.

    Hands work the kitchen on their own.

    "Thought it was dangerous. It was. Still is. But..."

    For a moment, she goes silent. It looks like she wants to say something specific, but after a moment, she thinks better of it.

    "Having someone that worries about you is nice. It might seem a bit overprotective, and hell, maybe it is, weeks seems like a bit much for things that are out of your control... But I think it's nice to have someone that worries that much about you."

    ---On that topic, that's all she can really say.

    As for Sierra, well...

    "...Yeah. We'll find him."

    She makes this much clear.

    "I said my schedule was booked earlier, right? It's because that's one of my main goals for the day. Finding Jack."

    She smiles.

    "I'm not quite as talented as my sister... But I don't make it a habit to fail either."

    A brief chuckle, an attempt to lighten the mood...

    "And until we do, I'll stay right by your side okay? Knights protect princesses. Sorta our thing... No, even without that, I protect my friends..."

    A moment of silence.

    Of simple quiet determination, the resolve that comes with a quiet promise to the self, a way of life that she has always followed with or without Sora, before-

    "So..."

    -she brandishes the kitchen's blowtorch with a wink.

    "...Wanna watch me use this? Should be fun, Mr. FBI likes his bacon in a very specific way."

    Maybe this will work, maybe it won't.

    It's not easy to banish someone else's pain, it's a question as complicated as saving someone, but...

    "Then we can go back to the lobby and show off, okay?"

    She always does her best anyway.
    Last edited by Airen; October 28th, 2021 at 08:45 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?



  11. #4171
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    Whydunit… the letter ‘B,’ strangled by slender hands suited to a young girl…”

    Colt grimaced. Was he biased or was the conclusion which he had arrived at only natural?

    After all, he knew firsthand an inhabitant of this town with slender hands, one she had the capacity to strangle someone with. Though it wasn’t quite a clean, professional death, he could say with certainty that the girl was not in her ‘normal’ state when she wrapped her hands around his neck.

    As for the matter of a whydunit

    Perhaps they wanted to remove her from Road's End because her presence hindered them? Road's End with Elizaveta Vyraj stopped them from doing something that Road's End without Elizaveta Vyraj did not.

    “I dunno what things look like from your end, but to some of us, Elizaveta wasn’t just a ‘teenage girl.’ She was a student at Pinefall. But one morning we woke up and nearly half of the class had no recollection of Elizaveta.” That was a day he wouldn’t forget. It all started with a joke over lunch, a tiny bet over something trivial. “That day, someone new was in class. Or at least, to those of us who remembered Elizaveta, she was new. The ones that forgot… well, to them, apparently that girl had been there the whole time. On the bus to Road’s End, the tour around campus, even in the forced introductions we all had to give.”

    It lined up uncomfortably.

    “Aside from in the eyes of those of us who still remembered, she had replaced Elizaveta entirely.”

    Only one part didn’t fit.

    “But ‘B’… there’s only one person whose name in class starts with ‘B,’ and in terms of physique… slender hands, heh, I’m sure his hands are quite slender. I guess if that was all there was to it, I’d just assume it was him if ‘B’ was the biggest clue.” But that part could fit. After all, they were quite similar letters. “But this ‘B’ that Elizaveta carved into her thigh… what if it wasn’t a ‘B?’”

    Colt paused for a second. He didn’t want to incriminate her, but he also couldn’t just rule it out.

    “Take for instance, you’re the killer, and you see that your victim has marked their body to identify you… Assuming that the killer was as clean as you said, wouldn’t it be safe to assume they might be thorough enough to notice what Elizaveta had done? In that case, they’d have two options. Deface the carving and make it unrecognizable…” With his finger, Colt traced the letter B in the air. “Or, if the marking was similar enough to another one, you could alter it yourself, incriminate someone else.”

    So saying, he traced another letter.

    “For example, ‘P.’ The girl who replaced Elizaveta in the memory of our classmates, her name starts with a P.” Colt tilted his head, running down the list of his classmates. “There are only three girls with a name that starts with P in our class. But one of them, that girl, has a strange relationship with the disappearance of Elizaveta. Not only that, but well…”

    Colt took the finger which he had traced those letters and pointed at his own neck.

    “If it is her, Elizaveta won’t be the only person she’s strangled.”

    Colt forced a chuckle, as if it was a joke, when it was the furthest thing from such. Then, the young man scratched the back of his head, awkwardly.

    “One other thing. This may sound like rambling, or nonsense, but,” Colt looked the older man, Agent Ferguson, over again. Though he wore a vest, he could consider that outfit to be a suit, couldn’t he? Not much of a fool though, in the boy’s opinion. “Uh, how did it go again… ‘Ladders go many ways, the best one goes horizontal. But take someone with moonlight along.’”

    He shrugged.

    There were only so many men in suits around Road’s End.


  12. #4172
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    As I got closer to the owner’s garage, I realized that escaping with this vehicle would require more setup. The garage door itself was thankfully and unthankfully opened electrically. On one hand, it made opening and closing the door for a rapid escape easier. On the other hand… I wasn’t particularly good at dealing with electronics. That was more Zieg’s expertise than mine. So even if I found a spare electric opener, it wasn’t likely that I could reprogram it. That meant…

    I had to do things the more conventional way. Even if the garage door was opened electronically, there had to be a more physical entry point. I looked around the garage and found what I was looking for. The side door.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven
    "........... Caw."
    Paying no heed to the raven, I decided to carefully pick my way through the door’s lock. If all I wanted to do was break into the garage, I would’ve just shot open the lock. However, I wanted to leave the locks intact so that way I could reseal the garage to prevent tampering or a surprise trap on our secondary exfil.

  13. #4173
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "... It was one of the three things he had inherited from his 'genetic father' - whatever that meant. And that person was the exact reason why he had come to Road's End in the first place. I admit, I don't know enough about espers to understand what that really means, but... well. It doesn't sound good. Angie said as much. I think she and Nevada had more than a few talks regarding the topic. Still... I do hope that this doesn't mean necromancy is involved."
    "Genetic father? That sounds like something I'm going to have to ask Hisa or Prushka about when I get the chance. Still, if I had to hazard a guess, it sounds like it refers to the individual who was the donor of the genetic trait that provided the basis of that esper's psionic ability? If that's the case, that could explain why we've had three esper pilots with similar powers to pilot that suit of armour. They all shared the same genetic father, or, maybe, the original pilot was the genetic father? Not to mention, I heard that Eleana and Ainsley McLampet reportedly both had their hearts liquefied, which certain sounds like the work of the pilot Lucille encountered. It feels like Road's End has a long and unsettling history of things that shouldn't be liquid being turned into liquid."

    Elise stabbed a piece of bacon with her fork and brought it up to her mouth as she thought about the cliffs by End's Beach.

    You know, thought Elise as she chewed on the piece of bacon, It'd be entirely possible for me to jump off those cliffs like that and survive. I could easily disappear into the waves too. After all, needing air to breath is for chumps. Could Nevada have done the same?

    "You said that Nevada's power was changing the state of matter, right?" asked Elise, "Did they ever recover Nevada's body after his death? Now, I'm a little hazy on how esper powers work exactly, but it seems entirely plausible to me that with a power like his he might have had an ability or trick to allow himself to breath underwater."

    "For that matter... if you don't mind me asking, do you know what caused Nevada to turn on you and the rest of the class like that?" asked Elise.

    Remmie pulled her gun on him. A cursed revolver that could fire six bullets that could hit any target the shooter wanted, and a seventh that'd go where the Devil willed it.

    "Did... did anyone knew that the monster was, or had been, Nevada at the time?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "--- I don't think it's dangerous to engage the false world and false identity she's created. It's a strong one. Strong enough to be counted as self-hypnosis of sorts, made her into the strong warrior she wants to be. And, she seems happier there. After all, in a span of a single week, a friend of her died, another one was put into a coma, she encountered a monster... and then her parents died. Car accident. Ended up swerving, trying to avoid another car driven by this kid that came out of nowhere... and it didn't end well. The whole batch of road was thick with flames and smell of chemicals. Worst thing to happen at the worst time. It's... well, it also ties into that place. 'The House of Ultimate Evil'. Or that's what she sees it as, anyway. The one place she fears to return."

    "... The place where the truth about her is. The home she used to live in. It's a trauma she can't overcome now. So, she views it as something utterly dreadful in her fantasy land."
    "That's terrible. Just one tragedy right after another. Poor Tris."

    Elise sighed sadly, The amount of trauma she had to endure, with hardly a chance to catch her breath after each terrible event...

    "That land project her parents were involved with Jack Pinkerton on... was that what would become the Country Club then?" asked Elise.

    It's hard for me to not feel sympathetic to Tris. I'm pretty sure there's plenty of terrible things I've forgotten that I'd rather not remember too.

    She considered her own reflection and wondered is she and Tris might not be all that different from each other.

    The thought of her own forgotten and buried memories reminded Elise of a fragment she'd recalled the previous evening. A brief memory of a particularly unpleasant seeming fellow she'd once apparently known, and a question she wanted to ask Lucille in regards to it.

    "Oh, uh, Lucille? I wanted to ask you earlier, I'm struggling to put a name to a face. I'm trying to remember an archbishop, I think he had brown hair, but when he smiled, he definitely had a deeply unpleasant smile. You wouldn't happen to know who that might be by any chance?" asked Elise.

  14. #4174
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Huh?"

    Strange. They're all getting along, doing guy things, relaxed. Trading jokes and introducing each other. The atmosphere has softened, and things should have become peaceful.

    So why does it feel like there's a target on my back all of a sudden?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake
    "Gotta say, out of all the Pinefall students I didn't expect to see her to be piggyback-riding anyone. Live and learn, yeah? Must've been some pretty high-octane shenanigans to lead being so close, huh?"
    "Hmph!" I fold my arms, forcing an exaggerated pout. "I'll have you know I'm super nice, Briggs! Don't you remember that song of friendship and stuff that we played together? I put my heart in it, ya know! And speaking of shenanigans, it's your fault we met in the first place. If your crooked lots hadn't sent me to that old cabin..."

    Actually, maybe it's better not to poke that beehive again. What's done is done. It turned out for the best, anyway. If another pair had been there... Elise and Hisa could've done something, but others would be no guarantee. Jake doing a Jake thing probably saved Ahti's life that night.

    "Um, basically... thanks, Jake. We... never really figured out that place's deal in the end, did we?"

    I plop down onto a small stool, legs folded, eyes drifting across the room as everyone else gets comfortable and the conversation continues with gusto. This is Jake's office, huh? Maybe there's a clue here. He doesn't seem the type to have pictures of the past in plain sight, but perhaps some books or stray papers could provide a hint. Or maybe there's a secret entrance here to some secret lab beneath the pool building!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "...Yeah, I guess there's some funny stuff I could tell about the Imp. I mean, she is like pretty hilarious when she goes over-the-top and doesn't even realize it. Like, just this morning, she was---"
    "Eh-?"

    The implication pulls me from my search.

    "Y-you don't mean-."

    Surely not. Surely he isn't... no, he would, wouldn't he? This is the same wasabi-swiping Scrooge as before! He's not a cool guy; he's a villain through and through! And now he's holding this over my head like blackmail!

    "Y-y-you're not gonna tell them about t-t-that, are you, Ahti.........?"
    Last edited by Bloble; October 28th, 2021 at 10:40 PM.

  15. #4175
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Road to McLampet Manor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Of course, that's quite understandable."

    A mother wanting to take care of their child as best as they could sounded quite natural. Especially so when this particular child was rather sickly and not exactly too knowledgeable about the outside world...and in a town like this, at that, where said mother also had to go through some - questionable, nometheless - hardships. But, why was this something that had to be pointed out in the first place? I never mentioned holding any grudges against Josie so emphasizing it like that, even if just a bit, felt exaggerated. Not that it likely meant anything, but still.

    "And thank you for being so understanding," I continued with a slight bow, "It really makes things a lot easier, not to mention not having to needlessly worry anyone."

    Still, her reaction made me assume that neither her, nor Josie was aware of our little trip here last night, and everything that entailed.

    ...Or maybe she was, to some extent at least?

    She must have figured that we met with Allene somewhere, and since she isn't really allowed to go outside, that would only leave one option, which is that we visited her here instead.

    If only it wasn't so rude, I could have cleared up this confusion so easily.

    "That said, if there is nothing else, then I agree that we should get going, as I would rather not hold you up much longer either. I can promise that we'll take good care of Allene, and return her in one piece soon enough."

    Maybe in an even better shape, if everything goes well. Talking about those kind of plans, however, would have been unwise.

    My eyes turned towards Allene once more, as my lips curled into a small smile.

    "I suppose you are ready as well then?"

  16. #4176
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Outside
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hmm..."

    Listen to Colt's words, Agent Ferguson leaned on his cane and rubbed his chin with his free hand, eyes staring somewhere off into the empty space. One could practically see the sophisticated gears in his head turning slowly, surely, taking in the information and processing it to a some sort of conclusion. At the same time, the grey clouds above slowly traveled across the sky, heading off to some distant direction.

    "... To be frank, Colton, the idea is good, but that is a very big if. While the autopsy was not made by an Bureau coroner, it is still rather trustworthy. And considering the awkward angle of the letter and how it was shaped, it seems more likely that it was made by Elizaveta Vyraj herself, rather than have something added to it. Of course, it is a possibility but... I'm not sure," Scottie mused. "Then again... what if it isn't the letter B... what if it is something different? But in that case, maybe... just maybe... wait..."

    The older silver fox of a man narrowed his eyes.

    "--- Wait. Could it be...?"

    Something was clearly bothering him - a lot.

    "But what would that even mean... unless that's... but then..." The words of Scottie had descended into quiet murmurs as he started pacing back and forth. "... No, it couldn't possibly mean that...?"

    The moment seemed to freeze as the special agent's eyes opened ever-so-slightly, almost like some sort of realization had dawned upon him. Something related to what he had just muttered. Something related to the death of Elizaveta Vyraj and the elusive letter B.

    But instead of bringing out this conclusion... the agent simply concluded his mental gymnastics by shaking his head and sighing.

    "... No. I suppose that doesn't matter now. Food for thought for later, but that's about it," he said mostly to himself, before turning back to Colt. "But, as for this other thing you said? Erm, ladders? Horizontal ladders... horizontal ladders... why would the horizontal ladders be the best..."

    He pinched the bridge of his nose, before suddenly jerking his head back up and snapping his fingers.

    "--- Railroad tracks?" He asked, looking straight at Colt. "But then, someone with moonlight...? That seems rather poetic, does it not?"

    A small smirk appeared to his face.

    "Am I getting any closer?"




    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Sierra blinked at the sight of the blowtorch, looking like she had momentarily forgotten her worries due to the bizarre sight.

    "Y-you're going to use that in the kitchen?" She asked, confused. "O-oh, well yes! I would like to see how that would work! I mean, are things like that not used for welding, not for cooking...?"

    Cathie chuckled at the sight on the sidelines, more or less ready with her own cooking. She hung up and her apron, washed her hands and then turned to look at the other two girls.

    "I'll go call others, tell them breakfast's ready," she said. "We're gathering in the lobby, yeah? I'll tell them to pull a table or two so that we can eat together. I mean, that's how a breakfast should be right?"

    And with that, she was off, heading towards the door and the corridor beyond. However, before she could make it all the way there, the door opened and in stepped a girl who was a far cry from the chipper energy that Liana and the others had exhibited. Indeed, Aleen King looked like she was having the worst hangover of her life, stumbling into the room with bloodshot eyes and bags underneath them. She was holding her head and looking a bit sickly, so it was no wonder that her staggering steps took her towards the fridge.

    "Uuuurghgh... it huuuurts..." Aleen whined quietly. "I need something cold to drink..."

    Cathie grimaced in pity at the sight of the bluehaid and gestured silently that she would leave her up to Liana while he'd go off to gather the others.




    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Garage
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    The garage's door proved to be no match for Vier's skills in lockpicking, and soon enough, it clicked open, allowing the girl an entrance to the small building itself. The metal door swung open quietly, without any creaking or squeaking, revealing a small corridor behind it. The corridor itself was lined with toolshelves and other assorted equipment meant to be used in taking care of vehicles. There were even few old pin-up posters and a calendar on the wall... though instead of women, they were featuring classic American sports cars.

    The corridor itself had an open doorway at the far end, on the left side - and walking over to it across the concrete floor, Vier saw the actual garage space that was draped in silence. More heavy equipment was stored in the corners, and taking a quick look at things, it seemed that this garage was definitely a passion project of sorts. Nobody who would see car-maintenance as only necessity would devote so much time and money to assembling such a robust collection. Jack Pinkerton was, most likely, a proper car man.

    Still, aside from all the equipment, tools and even gadgets meant to be used in car maintenance and restoration, there were few other things that sprang out to Vier's eye.

    First of all, there were two cars inside the garage. The first one was a jet-black Dodge Charger, lovingly taken care of and kept in shape. From the look of the model, it was probably from the 70's. The other one however... that one was hidden beneath a soft fabric sheet, the types you usually saw in car dealerships, meant to protect the vehicle underneath from wear and tear during storage. So perhaps that one was not in casual use, or road-ready...?

    Second, on the right wall next to the doorway, there was a workbench and a desk that had clearly seen a lot of use. But more importantly, there, on top of the desk, there was a notebook of some sort, and a photo frame next to it. In the darkness it was hard to see, but it might have depicted a person or two. And underneath the desk...

    ... Was that a safe?

    A very heavy-duty one?

    ... Suspiciously heavy-duty one?




    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Err, is that a bad thing?"

    Looking genuinely confused, Ahti turned his gaze towards Prushka and lifted an eyebrow. Meanwhile the two other guys were cackling away like a pair of madmen... well, Jake was. Inacio was showing his usual restraint, but it was clear that he was getting his own share of amusement from this back-and-forth. Somehow, it was starting to feel like the shoe was on the other foot now, and while things were better, in some ways they were not...?

    Jake, having calmed himself down, snorted and took a sip of his cola.

    "Now you dudes are making it sound all lewd," he chuckled, cocking an eyebrow of his own. "Anything I should inform the teachers about?"

    Ahti groaned and shook his head.

    "Nah, nothing like that, dumbass," he replied. "Just something that happened back at that abandoned cabin, that's all."

    While it may have seemed like a semi-smooth denial, Prushka couldn't help but to notice Ahti mouth to himself: "What's 'lewd'...?" afterwards, clearly not recognizing the word in question.

    Jake, on the other hand, snapped his finger when the topic of the house was brought up.

    "Ooh, right, that ratty old place. Right right, dudes, I actually did a bit of digging to it afterwards," he started. "Y'know, since after all the trouble I got kinda curious what was even up with the place. Been here my whole life and never really thought about it that much. So I went scouring through some of the old books at the outbuilding, and well..."

    He rubbed his chin like he had been some great detective.

    "Turns out that place was abandoned in the 70's! Or maybe late 60's! Anyways, it belonged to this family that were around Road's End for quite a while but at some point just up and split - was hard to find even that much info," he explained. "The Cooper family, to be more precise. So the place was called the Cooper House. But aside from some articles from the 60's mentioning their son beind a minor football star and some debacle with him and the school mascot costumes, that's about it."

    He took anoter gulp from his soda and shrugged.

    "Looks like sometimes reality is surprisingly boring, dudes."

    Inacio chuckled a bit.

    "I think that shouldn't be 'sometimes', but 'more often than not'," he answered. "Reality that's always exciting sounds a little too hectic for me."

    Ahti, who had been following the explanation with mild interest, shrugged his shoulders as well.

    "Well yeah, that's the case here too. I mean, I dunno what you guys were imagining, but that's not it," he replied nonchalantly. "I was trying to say that the Imp snores like a damn chainsaw when she sleeps - and has a habit of kicking too. I mean, that's pretty funny for someone her size, no?"

    Following that dropped anvil of a verbal mistake, there was a slapping sound - the sound of both Inacio and Jake slamming their hands on their cheeks and turning to look at Prushka like a pair of mongooses.

    "Oh!" Said Jake.

    "My!" Said Inacio.

    --- And Ahti didn't even seem to realize what he had done wrong.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Road's End - Road to McLampet Manor
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "O-oh, yes! Yes I am!"

    Allene, snapping to attention like the world's most awkward soldier after being addressed, looked at Hisa with wide eyes. Then her gaze moved to the car behind her and the people already in there. From there, her eyes wandered off to the forest, the road leading through it, and the overcast sky far above, and the town in the distance... and for a moment, Hisa could see her squeeze her parasol tighter. Her legs quivered a little bit, and like a child trying to find the courage to jump off to the deeper end of the pool.

    Eventually, a sort of awkward, sheepish chuckle bubbled from Allene's mouth, and she hung her head a bit.

    "S-sorry, gosh... I didn't realize it would take quite this much. I-it's quite much easier during the night, you know?" Allene apologized. "Now that it's a day out, golly... it's like a whole different thing. Everything's so much clearer and seems so much wider, further... bigger."

    She scratched the back of her head.

    "I-if that makes sense?"

    Beatrice chuckled as well, and gently placed her hand onto Allene's shoulder. She gave the girl an encouraging smile, and gently pushed her towards Hisa and the car.

    "That's just how the world is, Young Lady. That's the beauty of it. Now, your friends are waiting for you... so don't keep them waiting, yes?" the old woman said. "You've got more than enough time afterwards to stand around in the driveway if you really so want."

    Allene blinked at this advice, looked between Beatrice and Hisa... and finally drove some strength into her legs and nodded.

    "Y-yes!"

    She somewhat robotically marched over to Hisa and nodded again, this time to the scarred girl, not to herself.

    "L-Let's go then, shall we! To the...!" She hesitated... and then stuck out her tongue in slight embarrassment and giggled. "W-well, gosh, wherever we want, I guess?"

    With that, the two girls made their way over to the waiting car. Pyry, who had stepped out of the vehicle for a moment smiled at the sight of them, and nodded towards the front seat.

    "You girls can sit shotgun - don't wanna make it too tight in the back," the boy said with a smirk. "Thank God for bench seats at times like this, no? Oh and Allene? If you have any music preferences, you and Hisa can raid the glovebox. Most of my cassette collection's there, so get crazy."

    Allene looked almost mystified by the prospect and turned towards Hisa.

    "Cassette tapes?" She wondered with a half-whisper. "That's... that's so chic!"

    ... It was?

  17. #4177
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "I mean, there's the old shoe soup business," I commented, slouching my way into the room, "Though I don't recommend it for the common, non-desperate individual, plus shoe polish'll make ya puke, at the very least. So, uh, don't do that, probably don't need to be makin' an early morning run to the hospital because someone decided to chow down on some boot icing."

    I did not intend to detail where I had come across this forbidden knowledge.

    Some things are better left not known.

    "Mornin' y'all," I continued breezily, flopping a hand in the air, "Nice to see you're all still with us, was meanin' to check in with you about your brother there, Miss Zhou," I dipped my head to her, "He looked a little roughed up, but if little Subaru here could tough through it, I wasn't too worried."

    I mean, I was also fine, after various ghost, bitch and wannabe demon inflicted wounds, but most people aren't me.

    "Mostly on my way through to grab some chow, there's probably something I can get done today."

    I grimaced lightly, "If people'll sit still for a minute and quit runnin' all over creation, that is."

  18. #4178
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    "Well ordinarily yes, but the sort of blowtorch you'd find in the kitchen is used mostly for like... Browning marshmallows, or skinning peppers or tomatoes. Very gourmet. Not the sort of device you'd see in any old kitchen."

    ---A wink, as the raven-haired girl clearly finds some enjoyment in giving out this sort of pseudo-lesson.

    "A lot faster than using the oven, a lot flashier too, normally I wouldn't actually bother with something like this, but I kinda wanna see the look on Scottie's face, so..."

    Honestly, it was just more fun this way-! She had the majority of the bacon in the oven, Scottie's alone was going to get the touch of the blowtorch, but...

    Before she can really get going, well...

    "Ah, she's awake."

    The blowtorch is set down for the moment,

    A normally chipper girl cries out in mild pain, Aleen King, finally revived from the previous night, and...

    As expected, having one hell of a chemical hangover. The sight of it brings out natural sympathy and the lightest twinges of guilt, guilt that she hadn't been able to stop the attack on Aleen last night, but...

    "One moment please Sierra, seems another princess is in need of some assistance."

    A chuckle. One that's all the more amusing as she strides forth to the side of the girl, reaching out to grasp the arm of her stumbling form, and guiding her over to a chair with all the grace of a princess herself.

    "Come along now, I'll get you something, just sit down. You were hit pretty bad last night. Not sure what drugs they got you with, but it feels a bit like a hangover, right?"

    ---Although the fussy nature of her words, perhaps brings to mind the image of a mother-hen, darting around a room in search of medicine for those under her care.

    "A glass of water is probably your best bet, you're almost certainly dehydrated... I'll get you a glass with ice-cubes, and hmm..."

    Eyes flicker to Sierra,

    "Mind wetting a sponge for me, A clean one. Then putting it in the freezer? Not the fanciest of things, but we can make her a homemade ice pack for later on."

    It's only after all that, when her inner fussy mother had mostly exhausted herself...

    "Here. Drink up. Slowly. How do you feel? What do you remember?"

    ...That the older sister instincts take over instead, one hand pressed up against her forehead to check for a fever.

    "No chills, right? I got you out of the rain pretty fast, but you were in your wet clothes for awhile..."
    Last edited by Airen; October 29th, 2021 at 12:59 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  19. #4179
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    John Dove & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Souma Nubatama’s Bedroom (Room 109)
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    ...Potemkin, I know when I should give up, and I should absolutely give up right now on discovering the killer. All these revelations from John and Souma have done is leave me feeling very, very confused.

    "So, Souma could be the killer or it could be Hwan...? No! Wait! It's definitely Caleb! No, it's Vier! No, it's... it's...!"

    My shoulders slumped.

    It's very confusing, is what it is! Aren't murders supposed to be simple!? You walk near the body, and then someone deduces who it is based on an obscure clue that they could only notice with excellent vision and good sense, and then the murderer is caught and everyone is happy! What's with all this weird stuff that's required to uncover who it is?!

    "I have no idea who it is..."

    I peeked at John, hoping he had more of an idea then I did, but he seemed to be deep in thought. This debacle seemed to be something totally out of my wheelhouse; I could scarcely uncover the truth when I'm being wrapped in a web of lies. Dyschronometria? A different strain? What does any of that mean anyways!? A strain of what exactly? Is there some sort of mad disease flying around that can infect even monsters such as I?

    "If this supposed murderer could be anyone, then there is no better solution then to investigate the corpse itself!" I finally said, nodding with a small smile as I held up a finger. "After all, a corpse cannot lie in the same way as a living person can. The manner in which a body became a corpse cannot lie in the same way as those who remain amongst the living. If you are burned to death, our eyes can see it. Stabbed, strangled, or carved asunder by a blade - none of these can escape the truth of reality, after all. A corpse is something that cannot be ignored, no matter the delusions one may hold about the person it once was. If it was something arcane, I can uncover it! Similarly, if it was a method of less-then-friendly stabbing, I am sure that Souma is quite familiar with it!"

    I winked at the aforementioned person, but I could still feel a lack of confidence in my own words. Magic, after all, is simply the reinforcement of one's views upon the world. Even if reality itself rejects the concept, the idea is indestructible. In a grimoire I once read, many years ago, it was put quite simply: the piercing eye of your apprehension into the deepest cabinets of nature's arcana allures me to set this optic before your sight. Without the 'ability to see it', the thing might as well not exist. Even an undeniable existence can be denied by a person who is delusional enough to believe otherwise.

    Magic is, inherently, the art of deluding oneself to believe that their views are greater then the world's belief. 'I can create fire' is, of course, an impossibility for almost every person in the world. Flame - that thing betwixt rebirth and death - is something that not a single person on this planet can naturally create. And yet, do these fires not spring forth from my hands? Does it not pierce through my foes like an arrow of the arcane? My stain across reality's canvas seeps deeper into the tapestry's many threads, much like anyone who walks in a world that shouldn't exist. By existing, I deny reality's hopes and desires.

    "Perhaps Mister Dove has a better idea?" I asked, peering at John with a finger on my cheek. "I am, after all, not a person easily capable of comprehending this blissful normalcy that we exist in at Road's End. But someone who was dragged - bodily, perhaps, against their will, perhaps - into this world we view in reverse might have a more clever plan!"

    As an existence, I am not the right person for uncovering mysteries. In a way, Potemkin was right - it is more likely then not that the reason I was sent here was to toss me aside. But what a ridiculous notion! To toss aside Alexstrasza Lockhart - to not see the Scorched Earch, to not hear the Silent Black, to not touch the Impaler - is something that I willfully refuse. I will not be cast aside for such uncharitable reasons as hollowness. Are we not all hollow? Are we not all searching for something to fill that void in our heart of hearts? Such an absurd rejection of who I am is so asinine I want to laugh. As if Scholomance isn't filled to the brim with people of the blackest intentions and most uncharitable concepts. As if my precious roommates - their inability to take a practical joke aside - were not all operating in arcana that is shaded like the deepest pitch in the darkest night. What a joke.

    The reality of Scholomance is this - mages are a vile, foul existence that relish in rejecting the world as proposed. As students, we simply embrace it.

    ...Dearest Potemkin, is it not true that if we had slain all those people with a purpose, the school would praise us all the higher? If it was not a hundred and six, but a hundred and eight, if it was a hundred and eight for a ritual, and not for the mere act of filling a void, would it have been considered just? Considered true? Or are we simply a monster that dwells amongst monsters?

    The Black. I can taste it on my tongue, amongst a list of names each more of a joke then the last. One name, two names, three names, four names, five names, and none of them mean anything. The only name I need is my first. Every other one is simply upholstery on a rather ugly chair.

    I am Alexstrasza. There is no other person who can be me but myself. So I must be the grandest version of myself.
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

    [01:05.15] <@Spinach> I can flash gang signs faster than Sasuke can perform ninjutsu and I rap like Medea's High Speed Divine Words.


  20. #4180
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast




    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    "..."

    I point one shaking finger at the janitor and his unimpeachable smirk.

    "B-B-Briggs, y-you're n-n-not a r-real b-bass b-bro if you d-d-don't let a girl s-sneak out..."

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