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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3941
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Estate
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    [If it’s open this late, I guess,] I answered Pyry while I rested my eyes on Gradient, [I can also just prepare something at the dorms, then we can bundle up for a bit, depending on how the night will go.]

    While it was almost certain that the night was going to be just as busy, I was sure that we would at least have a moment or two to take a breather.

    And until then...I could probably warm her up, but that’s not exactly like the real thing. Heat cannot be produced out of nothing, and what I can do is pretty minor, while other than that, I could at best create her illusion of her feeling warmer…

    Well, hopefully just being in here will make her feel better.

    [Regarding the house, well...if it had something interesting, then isn’t it strange that Prushka and Caleb said nothing about it?] I continued as my eyes turned to Pyry momentarily, [Granted, I’m not sure how reliable Prushka is, so it very well might be that they just forgot, or did not want to mention something...At any rate, there will certainly be a few things to do. I want to visit the bar too, went there Saturday morning last time as well, so hopefully it would be a good opportunity. Though, for now...]

    My gaze turned back towards the mansion, and a quick look around gave us a good idea about the layout. Something that was surprising both for its normalcy, and the completely absurd names some of the rooms were given. Sitting room? Fireplace room? Tea room?

    All of it reeked of some sort of arrogance, and a complete lack of practicality...but perhaps this was what overly rich people liked. Overly fancy and overly ridiculous designs that speak both of their wealth and lack of common sense and competence.

    Regardless, just to make sure, I tapped the wall behind us once, but even then, not a whole lot of additional things came to light. The lack of anything resembling a cellar bothered me just a bit...but then, maybe it was just the attic that served its role.

    [Best move on. I have a feeling that best we could find here are fancy stuff like cigars and booze and cosmetics,] I formed the thoughts meant both for Pyry and Sakura, [Not that I’d mind snatching some of those. They probably wouldn’t even notice...but I guess best not to take risks.]

    A hint of a grin spread on my face as my thoughts drifted towards big fancy baths with lots of bubbles and exotic fragrances, but just as quickly they were back focusing on the task at hand.

    [There are a few more alarms,] I said as I sent the locations to Sakura, [I’ll check again further up ahead. How do those paper slips work, anyways?]




    Hisa Momoi (Sakura)

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

    “O-ohoho, ohohoho~”

    Somewhat flustered from all the sweet words, the doll held its hand in front of its mouth as it laughed embarrassedly, its face coloured slightly with a hint of red.

    “Y-you’re quite the charmer, aren’t you? We don’t mind, but it won’t serve as a bias to our approach to the situation, keep that in mind.”

    Regardless of her reaction, that much was obvious. Why exactly it behaved the way it did, however…

    “Ho, so you are kind of like a bounty hunter then?” The doll asked with a hint of curiosity in its eyes as the man continued his explanation, “Are you coming from the same place she is then? We do know her, if just vaguely, so we may or may not be able to help. However, we would like you to elaborate a bit more, considering how these are some rather heavy accusations.”

    Mustering a more serious expression on its face for once, the doll crossed its arms in front of its chest, with its eyes still locked onto the man.

    “We feel like it’s only fair that way.”

    But then, it seemed that curiosity took the better of it again, as it tilted its head slightly.

    “You can’t be looking for her here though, can you? Not exactly the best hideout, even for a Turnside being. Not that we exactly know what kind of place this is, but rather than people, it must be hiding other kinds of things.”

    Last edited by Cheetose; April 4th, 2021 at 08:45 AM.

  2. #3942
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "We are surrounded by conspiracies on all sides, Travis," I said to him as I raised a finger. "Even the tiny morsel is a conspiracy, no? Her presence here is unexplained, and even Noah doesn't trust the hospital!"

    I paused, tapping my cheek as I pursed my lips.

    "But he does work there, so I suppose tiny conspiracies thrill him a bit?"

    Crossing my arms with a frown, I rolled my eyes at Travis.

    "Simply because someone is green does not mean they are related to other green people. I, Lucille, and Elaine are all yellow. Does that mean we are related? No! It is simply a coincidence of circumstances!"

    With a sigh, I glanced at a puddle, seeing a flash of my own eyes in it.

    "But, that doesn't mean I can simply avoid Elaine forever. Even if she's busy... Some people are like a dog with a bone when it comes to investigating mysteries. For now, all I can do is patiently wait until she has more time to speak with me."

    I hoped the hound I'd tentatively bonded with wasn't too out of sorts. We did need to have some sort of conversation, at a point.
    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.


  3. #3943
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Campus
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    "Ah. There's LBJ now."

    Given their reactions, it seemed safe to assume that Subaru and Tonkori had noticed that the demon had emerged from the back of Elise's mind, but it still seemed polite to inform them. Somewhat reluctantly, given how much comfort and support the puppy had given her, Elise carefully set Tonkori down on the ground and took a cautious step away from the now growling dog.

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    [You're stuck with me for the long haul... Schoolgirl C. Because without me, that's all you are. Unremarkable. Meaningless. Worthless. Just a plain ol' nobody that can be replaced by anyone. In a world of saints and deity-level tyke-bombs, of mental tyrants and atom bomb babies, you've got no place. Not unless I'm right there with you, holding your hand all the way~]
    Elise thought back to those long, sleepless nights she'd spent not long after the demon had first crawled into the back of her mind that she'd spent alternating between pleading with the demon to leave her alone, and praying for help. All the while dreading what the others might think of her, just a pathetic excuse for an Inquisitor, who's will wasn't strong enough, who's faith wasn't strong enough, to stop a demon from possessing her.

    She grit her teeth. That was then. Now? While the demon's word still carried all the same cruelty and maliciousness, they rang hollow now. They felt like they lacked the true menace behind them that they'd held previously on those on long, sleepless nights, and even during the last week. Even if she was suddenly replaced and swapped out like Elizaveta or Adelaide, she was pretty sure that someone would notice she was gone.

    Lucille and Sakura haven't written you off. Vier made you soup even after it snarled at her. Hisa counts you as a friend despite everything. Subaru and Tonkori want to help you and Subaru can actually perceive the demon. John's opinion of you didn't change at all.

    She tried to take a peek behind the mask the demon was wearing, but despite sharing a brain with her, it remained as inscrutable as ever. Still, she had her suspicions about what it might be hiding.

    [Doesn't matter if there's no place for me here or not, I'm here anyway. Besides, I've read too many stories where the plucky underdog hero succeeds against insurmountable odds not through strength or power, but through cunning, compassion, and perseverance to buy into that line of thinking.]

    [You're right though, I have been pretty chatty this week, haven't I?] said Elise to the demon within the confines of her mind, [The same goes for you too, LBJ. You've been acting a little odd since we got here too.]

    Elise recalled the demon's pouting reflection in the fountain after the Test of Courage. That moment outside the End's Store and Post when the demon seemed to be feeling like it was left out when she was out with her friends. How quickly it seemed to be willing to offer to help Lucille find a non-violent solution her problem. Subaru had noted how considerate the demon seemed to be to her, despite its purported origins.

    LBJ has been acting entirely too human this week, and there's only one person it could've learned that from. Me.

    Elise worriedly considered those increasingly fuzzy lines between herself and the demon.

    Something particularly powerful and consequential happening to the host might be able to influence the demon like that, and death and dying does seem pretty powerful and consequential, thought Elise as she considered her own demise, You know, I don't think anyone's ever died and still been possessed afterwards like this. Usually death means that the host's soul goes off to the afterlife, and the demon is banished back to Hell, or maybe gets to incarnate with whatever's left of the host's body if it's lucky. I guess this is all entirely uncharted territory here.

    Hm, Subaru said that she didn't sense any hatred from it directed at me, but it does seem to want, or need, me to hate it. What did Subaru say again? As long as we hate them, they threaten to take control of us?

    Elise took a deep breath and turned her attention back to the demon hanging over her.

    Just remember, Elise. It might not hate you, but it still has teeth. Oh, so many teeth.

    [If I'm entirely honest, I'm not sure if I buy into that Kumbaya stuff either, but, hey, why not give it a shot? After all, if I waste my time trying that, what've you got to lose?]

    [Let's think of it as an experiment!] suggested Elise excitedly, [After all, you did agree to help me test a theory in regards to this whole time loop thing and I've got one more lead I'd like to follow up with you that's related to that and it ties into this.]

    Taking a lesson from Prushka's psychic link with her that morning, she pulled up the memory of their visit to End's Store and Post and sent the image of it and its associated feelings to the demon. Elise reached over and placed her hand on the window and looked at the reflection representing her constant companion with genuine concern and asked a very similar question.

    [So, please, tell me how have you been feeling since we got here?]

  4. #3944
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Estate
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    [They release a sort of electrical impulse. It jams up sensors and the like, scrambles them for a moment so they don't know what's what - and thus allows us to pass by unnoticed.]

    Sakura's explanation was clear and concise as the quartet moved across the living room and ascended the stairs towards the second floor landing. None of them, not even Gradient, made enough noise as to be found suspicious within this half-empty house, and thus, the silence that reigned was absolute - especially since most of the conversation, aside from some gestures, happened within the minds of those involved. And with Hisa acting as the operator of sorts, this proved to be an especially efficient way of communicating during a mission like this.

    The second floor, as was expected, turned out to be a bunch of corridors. Or rather, there seemed to be a one big corridor that mostly ran around the perimeter of the floor, adjacent to the windows showing the nature outside. Doors to various rooms were placed against the opposite wall, and by peeking into a few of them, Sakura was able to ascertain what most of them functioned as.

    [Bedrooms, mostly for guests. I'd guess the bedrooms of the McLampets themselves are on the other side of the house,] Sakura commented, pointing her thumb towards where the corridor made a sharp L-turn. [And a bathroom or two along the way, along with some closets... that is, if my knowledge of old mansions is any correct. And believe me, I've cleaned a few in my day.]

    The older girl let out a mental chuckle at that.

    Still, now that they were standing at the landing, there were few options open for the group. According to Pyry, Josie McLampet's room was at the western end of the second floor - and since it had some windows looking straight outside, it had to be bigger than these guest rooms. Quite likely any old rooms of the McLampet siblings would have been in the same area. However, that being said...

    [Look... there it is. The light I was talking about,] Pyry sent a mental message to Hisa, and pointed towards the stairway that continued to the third floor. [Just up the stairs.]

    Yes. There, up the stairs to the third landing, the scarred girl could see... a single door, with light streaming from underneath it. Yes, just a single door, one that looked heavily locked and must have led to the master bedroom or somesuch. However, the strange thing was, this third floor... considering its size, it should have been enough to house multiple rooms. Yet there was only one door? Did it mean that whatever place lay beyond that door was large enough to take up the whole third floor? Or maybe that the master bedroom was like a small house of its own inside the manor, with multiple rooms?

    As if to scramble Hisa's thoughts, her eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of something. Two lithe shadows passed by the light streaming from under that singular door. Feet?

    Had... had somebody just walked past that door?

    Even though Josie McLampet was supposed to be in her own room?




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

    "Ahh, so the bantling of that taverness. Charmed, I truly am~"

    With an elegant gesture and a delighted giggle, the woman greeted Cathie. The redhead, on the other hand, looked like she was either going to make a dash for the door or put the counter between her and the creature sitting there. Eventually, however, Colt's suggestion seemed to register in her brain, as she let out an oddly whimpering grunt, something akin to a greeting, and nodded her head. Then she rounded the corner of the counter (making sure to keep a fair distance between herself and the woman) and walked over to the collection of the bottles waiting. Her hands fumbled for a bottle of rather expensive looking vodka, a glass, and once she had poured herself one...

    --- She downed it in one go, like a man dying of thirst downs a flask of water.

    "Kakakaka~, 'tis a healthy attitude you have there, Auburn! A man twice your height might think twice before imbibing spirits in such a fervent way, but I suppose your youth serves you well, right?" The crimson-eyed girl laughed, clearly delighted at Cathie's actions. "Worry not and be merry, 'tis not a transgression to enjoy yourself in my presence. Verily, 'tis almost encouraged. Another moment such as this may be erelong in its arrival, right?"

    In the face of this cheerfulness, like that of an old woman watching her grandchildren, Cathie ended up gulping down another glass immediately. She slammed the glass against the counter and breathed hard for a moment, looking as if she finally was able to breathe normally after struggling for breathe. And perhaps that was it, as just moments after, a surprised look appeared in the eyes of the redhead. She touched her face, frowned slightly, and then looked at her hands. Hands which were no longer shaking. Neither was sweat of fear marring her face. It was as if the natural aura of the women before them no longer had a hold of her.

    Clearly realizing this, the crimson-eyed woman smiled gently, gesturing for her to take a seat next to Colt.

    "W-wait... what...?" Cathie mumbled, not quite understanding what had happened.

    "'Tis just a little trick of the mind. Since times ancient, alcohol has shortened the distance between the man and the divine, make them more palatable to each other," the vampire spoke, before smiling slightly mischievously. "And thus I suppose the effect doth apply here as well. T'were never mine intention, but over the course of years and decades, some fool or two may have worshipped me for strangest of reasons. Quite a knuckleheaded prospect, right? Well, 'tis what it is..."

    Cathie staggered over to the chair and sat down, finally able to collect herself. While the sudden alcohol was making her cheeks slightly red, at least now it allowed her to look at the woman straight - though she still avoided her eyes.

    "You know, things have been super weird today, but uh... this takes the cake, I think," the redhead spoke, voicing her confusion. "Just... just who or... what are you?"

    The crimson-eyed woman smiled another enigmatic smile and brought the cognac to her lips, taking in its sweet taste. Once she had finished her sip, she turned back to the two teens.

    "Many are the names they call me, and myriad are the titles that come with them. Suffice to say, 'tis one of those that now stands before you both. As if fortune would have it, t'was not in my role as a phenomena that I was able to arrive here, but as more of my real self. Thus, mine actions are not bound by the rules of symbolism and whims of the planet, bringing misfortune to those I encounter. Kaka, 'tis a true joy to not be bound by rules for once~!" The woman said, sounding genuinely refreshed. "A monster I may be, but 'tis not always the wish of the monster to be such, right? Think of it as mere personification of that. The shadow cast o'er this world has waned, and thus so has the inhuman nature of mine. The end of this enclosed world of yours is still days away, and so is mine role as executor. And that is that."

    Suddenly, the vampire looked at Colt, and a teasing, almost motherly smile rose to her face.

    "As for what comes to mine identity, that depends. Were you to ask this moppet over here, he would tell you that I am... oh, what was that name? Ah, yes - Luca! He would tell you that I am his imaginary friend and ward made real, an invisible presence that doted over him when he was but a little whelp. Kakakaka, oh how delightful those times were! T'was as if I had a puppy of sorts following me, stuck to the hem of mine skirt and vying for my attention! You could not ask for a dearer child, a rosy-cheeked wean so adoring of the creature t'was neither human nor its mother!" The woman laughed mirthfully, elegantly. "As young as he was, he would not learn the true name of mine, and thus, the term he came up stuck. And as I had to distance mineself erelong, lest he be swallowed up by the moonlight, there came nary a time again to reintroduce myself. And of course, 'tis not a name of a moonlit creature that one needs if they are to succeed in the world of humans, right? So I let things be... until now, that is. For the fate has played a queer game with us all..."

    Cathie, who was looking more and more confused by the minute, arched an eyebrow at those last words. However, the women didn't even seem to understand that to a modern teen, her choice of words may have come across as slightly... outdated.

    Still, the crimson woman pressed on, eyes thoughtfully closed.

    "Mm, yes, 'tis perhaps the best that we begin with reintroductions, moppet. To know what it is that you are dealing with. So that you are not led astray by the fond memories you have of me," she spoke. "'Tis only a fair that we both know of each other properly, right?"

    With that, the woman stood up from her stool. Strangely enough, while her presence was of the highest caliber, large enough to fill the room, her physical body was quite... short, if one were honest. Shorter than Cathie definitely, and shorter than most of the girls at Pinefall. Yet, despite that, it hardly lessened her regal splendor - for that came solely from how she carried herself.

    With a mysterious smile, the crimson-eyed woman performed an elegant curtsie - a gesture much more fitting to courts of ages past than this cocktail lounge.

    "Well met, Children of Men. Before you stands She Who Is Gemini, and the The Near Side of the Moon..."

    Those crimson eyes watched them both with grace and dignity.

    "Voivode of Wallachia, Grand Master and Rank Superior of the Order of the Dragon, Archmage of Romania..."

    And the beautiful smile revealed a pair of deadly teeth.

    "------- Lenore Geraldine of House Drăculești."

    New Moonlight Met!





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

    "You know, I do hope you will keep that persecution complex in check during our little chat?"

    The first words out of the young man's mouth once the two of them got outside were... incredibly rude.

    The mismatched pair of green and red watched Elaine with a smile that wasn't a smile, showing that while he might have been a cheerful-looking person on the outside, this... whatever it was hardly felt any joy or merriment of the current situation. If anything, it was as if his nature was just to smile no matter what happened and no matter what he felt. That was why, despite throwing what basically amounted to an insult straight at the blonde girl, he could shamelessly stand there and show such a face.

    --- Because he didn't mean an inch of that smile. It was just forced upon his lips.

    "I guess chomping at the bits comes naturally to the hero-types, but for once, I suggest you shut your trap for a measly minute or two and listen - because I'm far too old to start repeating myself to a moody whippersnapper who seems to have completely wrong idea about herself, about myself, and about her languishing friend," the young man continued, his vocabulary resembling more that of an old man that one of his apparent age. "You do realize that it's not about you - or whatever twisted view you have of yourself thanks to that abysmal self-esteem that just oozes out of you - but about what you were accidentally about to do. Jumping into the fray is all well and good, quick action is the key to a lot of things, but unfortunately here, it's the worst possible thing you can do."

    Standing at the doorway of the lighthouse, like he couldn't step out, the young man gestured towards himself and his chest, as if asking for Elaine to take a swing at his annoying presence.

    "You can start blasting ghostly bastards all you want, but that won't fix a thing - not when one of those ghostly bastards has a stranglehold of your friend. Literally, in this case. And while I'm sure it might feel good to give my ass a good beating, too bad - I happen to have some valuable information you really want to have if you want to save your friend, Miss" the sailor man continued. "Like that your friend is currently not in charge of his own body. That the only reason he's currently having coherent thoughts is that the spirit controlling him is asleep until nightfall. That he's been forced to do horrible things in exchange for the safety of the one thing he cares about..."

    The young man with mismatched eyes pointed his gloved hand straight at Elaine, like accusing her of a crime.

    "----- You. In this situation, Miss, you're the hostage being held over his head."

    It really was an accusation.

    "And you almost awakened that very same spirit with your careless words - ruining what little chance your friend had," he continued. "Speak of the devil and he doth appear - do these words ring familiar to you? That's the case here. To talk of a spirit, to talk of his actions, to talk of his concept, is to summon him and his attention... especially in this town. You can perhaps understand the desperation of your friend now, I hope?"

    He spoke with no care for Elaine's emotions, nor not mincing his words in the least. Simply one fact after another, spoken aloud with a cold tone and a meaningless smile.

    "In all honesty, this is something I've seen time and time again. Things like these, events like these. They're part and parcel in this cursed town. So if you ask me, you can wallow in self-pity or continue to blame yourself about every little thing, and thus let your friend succumb to the curse he's now a part of. In a sense, I don't really care," the man continued. "But at the same time, that young man told me of something. Of a cold world where he does not fit. Of a meaningless existence only defined by his duty. Of a sense of displacement from everyone else around him. And... of a single ray of hope he has, in the form of a girl who makes him forget all of that, and treats him like an equal. Like a human. Like a person. And how those feelings have now been turned against him, used as a leverage to make him an accomplice in a boiling revenge of a one long since dead."

    The mismatched eyes narrowed.

    "--- And dead as I may be, I still have a heart, dammit. Something like that makes me feel just a tiny bit sorry for the young lad - hence why I offered to help him. And it'd be a whole lot easier if a certain Miss did not throw a tantrum the moment the mean ghost of the lighthouse said a bad word in order to defuse a bomb waiting to explode," he spoke, one harsh word after another. "I'm old, Miss. Old and dead. And I've lost a lot of my niceties over the years of this hellish existence. But one thing's for sure. If there's a boy out here who wants to save a girl, I'm willing to offer a hand. The question is... are you?"

    He folded his arms, and those strange eyes watched over Elaine, judging her and weighing her.

    "... Your friend is possessed by a vengeful spirit, a ghost that can take residence within machinery. And to his unfortunate luck, that boy is machinery. Thus, the spirit has a perfect body. Body with which to exact his revenge," he explained. "Because if he doesn't obey... he will force that body to kill the girl he holds so dear. So, in order to save that girl, he's gone along with that revenge, hoping to find some way to escape."

    There was sudden gravitas to the words spoken.

    "--- So tell me, Miss: Do you want to save him as much as he wants to save you?"

  5. #3945
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Estate
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Those paper slips certainly sounded - and proved to be - quite handy. Normally, you’d need to know what you are dealing with, and know the inner workings of such devices before you could even think about how to interrupt or temporarily disable them…

    But I suppose magical paper slips work just the same. In fact, they are way more convenient.

    Regardless, they really did make the plan go smooth - though the house being so empty in general helped a lot as well. However, as we reached the second floor, more decisions had to be made.

    What could we expect from investigating the bedrooms? They could hide just about anything, just like how they could be completely empty...just like the closets. But just like Sakura said, we likely did not have the time to look through everything, and there were quite a few of them, so we could at best pick a few at random…

    I wasn’t too fond of gambles like that.

    Of course, there was also Josie’s room, something more concrete, but...after Beatrice’s story, somehow, she just did not sound quite as menacing as before. Besides, since she was just alone in her room...what exactly would we even do about her? We clearly could not knock on her door for a chat, and it was unlikely that she would just start talking to herself.

    Yes, that just left…

    As my eyes wandered on to the door leading up to the third floor, it almost seemed like a shadow just passed by the light streaming out from under the door, implying the presence of something. Without much hesitation, I took a few quiet steps towards the door, only to get close enough to focus, and gaze through it…

    And moments later, I turned back towards the other, gesturing them to stay quiet, and then towards the side corridor.

    [Not sure who is in there, but it would be both weird and unwise if they spotted us all at once.]

    Still, urgh.

    What the hell do we do here?

    Whoever that girl was, we likely wanted to learn more about her...just leaving, or maybe checking some of the empty rooms would have been the most reasonable step here, but in reality, that wasn’t really an option. However, if we wanted to approach her…

    Really, it was just extremely awkward, and there were quite a few unfavourable outcomes here.

    [I’ll, uh...knock,] I informed both Pyry and Sakura, [A dumb move, but I know no better. Just wait, and see what happens…]

    And with that, I took the final few steps towards the door, and knocked on it quietly, all the while keeping my eye on the girl inside.


  6. #3946
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    John Dove?
    Location: Avery’s Diner?
    Phase: Evening Phase?
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)?
    Weather: Rain?

    "Cease with the highkey verbal self-flagellation. It's unsightly."

    Before I can even catch myself, I blurt out those cold words and shoot him a glare that makes the colours in my eyes rotate.

    But can you blame me? It was getting ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Who would want to listen someone bawl over something they have no control over? Hah, 'his inaction'... as if that would affect anything. If his lack of balls ever contributed to their misery, then it's not me he should be apologizing for, but them - the ones he's actually screwed over. Having those words aimed at me just fuels the annoying hatred I feel within myself, to the point that I've half a mind to raise my hand and...

    ... No. Don't. This is different now.

    He's sentient. Aware.

    Maybe.

    Or maybe I just completely lost it this time and have been hallucinating for the past week.

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...

    -------- Yeah, I give it about 45% chance.

    "Let us make one thing crystal, so you can stop being so extra. What you and your classmates are going through has nothing to do with me. Or rather, they are things with totes magotes different origins, yet have come into contact and began interacting with each other. Because of your predicament, I am stuck here as well. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha... understand yet? Perhaps you can understand why I am bothered AF if you then start apologizing for things of no relation to me?" I question him, peering down at him while sitting on the counter. "Yours is a crazy bonkers situation where, at the end of each week, every single classmate dies a horrible death and the timeline is reset. Mine is an endless loop of seven days that leads into itself, as if a particularly lit Möbius strip. In other words, you are in a straight corridor with a locked door at the end of it. I am in a looping corridor that has no doors. And yet, they both intersect. Why?"

    As I sit there, gazing down at him, I lift my hands. From between them, I draw a line of spinning strings, lights, adorned in all the colours of the spectrum. The spinning strings start braiding together as if to make a rope, and for a moment, it looks as if it's about to become a perfectly good, usable product. But then, something goes wrong in the middle. The strings don't coil together just right. Instead, it becomes a jumbled mess - a knot in the middle of an otherwise normal rope.

    And finally, a light from another angle, a singular string, pierces that knot as if drawn to it.

    "That is simply how I do. That is my lot in life. A space-time anomaly appears and I am there like some sort of basic bitch. I have no say in it. That is my nature," I continue the explanation and leave the lights spinning in the air. "I do not loop because of you - I loop regardless. But it is because you are not being gucci and have this loop going that I loop here. So, in other words..."

    I push my head downwards, I lean closer to him, and I translate my fury at his demeanor through my eyes and their kaleidoscopic brilliance.

    "--- Do not apologize to me about failing me. I stared right into the heart of storm where 2 and 3 were split from 5, and it has been burnt into my retinas, no cap. So do not mistake for one minute that you could have helped me."

    And with that, having made things clear, I ease the pressure and retreat - leaning backwards and relaxing.

    "Apologize to your classmates instead. It is that bunch of randos you are stuck with in your situation, after all. I am just an outsider."

    I let him mull over my warning for a moment. In all honesty, it's hard to control my emotions. From laughter and exhilirated joy one minute to anger and disapproval in another. Not that it's a surprise. For the longest while, I've just barely been able to keep a masquarade of a normal person on my face. All the truth, all this isolation in a world that never changes... it's just been bubbling under the surface. Like a constant chain-explosion of particles within my heart. The thing that drove me mad, the eternal repetition, is ironically enough what also taught me to appear like I hadn't gone mad. But now that there's a crack, now that the world has finally seemingly changed...

    ... It feels hard to keep myself stable.

    Still...

    --- I wonder. Did I really guess right?

    I had a hunch about it the further this week went by, watching what they did and how they reacted to things. But... how many is it? How many do remember? If they can, can they fix whatever has caused this in the first place? In the first place, would that mean I'd even be freed? Or is the scar in the continuum far bigger than I realize, and I'm stuck here till the end of time itself? End of the universe? This one week of September, 1994...

    Yet, if they remember...

    ... I wonder if those three are part of it.

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha...

    --- Well, goes to show.

    I guess using my meaningless grudges to anchor myself, to give myself meaning for all this time, may have come back to bite me in the ass after all.

    Figures.

    "Bee-tee-dubs, however, you may have a point there. And that is why I started my information gathering, my confirmations, with your ratchet self," I continue, finally turning my attention back to John. "With you, there is hardly a chance we would come to blows. The others, depending on how much they remember, may very well desire my annihilation, no cap. And it is not that I am exactly fond of them either. I have seen what that pack of hyenas does, how even a single accident can become the spark that blows this town into the history books. I have experienced it first-hand. I have watched lowkey for about five thousand or so weeks... and I have seen the highkey worst you have to offer. Since you are so smart, John Dove, tell me..."

    I purposefully press that word, just to annoy him.

    I need to have some fun, dammit. I need some new reactions. Some new input, some new sensation.

    "--- Should people be forgiven for the crimes they commit in another life, in another time? For the pain and suffering they have the capacity of causing? If they hurt you and your loved ones, is it wrong to take revenge on them and return the favor? Hurt them and their loved ones? Even if the 'current them' has not done so?"

    I never did find an answer myself.

    Please, someone, anyone... tell me an answer.

    I want to know.

    --- Whether I'm wrong or right.

    "Is it wrong to use such a lit, petty chain of revenge after revenge to give yourself purpose in a week that never ends?"



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

    The knock had certainly an effect.

    Looking through the door, Hisa could see how the noise caused the strange girl to let out a quiet yelp and nearly drop her book. She fumbled around with it, causing it to shoot upwards twice before finally managing to slam it between her hands like catching a blade. She stayed like that for a moment or two, admiring just how neatly she had accidentally caught the darn thing. Hisa even saw a little smug smile appear on her face as she put the book on the desk, dusted off her clothes, and rose up from the large chair.

    Then, after getting a quick look of herself from the mirror and fixing few errand strands of hair, the girl strode towards the door with confident steps, looking like she was about to meet with someone she knew very well - or a the very least, like she knew who to expect to be behind the door.

    In fact, the approached the door with such gusto that Hisa realized she had better jump a few steps back, lest she be smacked straight in the face by the door as it opened.

    "Hullo~! What'cha need, Josie~?" The girl greeted happily, as she burst through the door, hand raised in an energetic greeting. "Want to have a little late evening tea time with---"

    That was as far as she got.

    After all, it eventually dawned even to the girl that the one behind the door was not, in fact, Josie McLampet. No, to her, it was a girl she had never seen before - someone who looked more or less her age.

    An awkward, awkward silence followed as Hisa and the unknown girl stared at each other straight in the eyes.



    "..........?"

    The confusion on her face was so palpable that one could practically see the question marks above her head.

    And then, after that very strange moment...

    "O-oh!"

    Suddenly, an excited, giddy grin rose to the girl's face.

    "Y-you're from Pinefall, right? Right? Oh, hot dog - you finally came!" The girl cheered, though lowered her voice nearly instantly when she realized she'd been loud. "T-though, uh... you look a mite different from the two I left the map with! Oh, right, I guess you took a look at it together and sent a representative, huh? Hm, hm, makes sense!"

    With that, the girl stepped back into the room and cheerfully gestured Hisa to enter as well, waving her hands towards the sofa and the armchairs and the other various items spread around the place.

    "Come in, come in! Mi casa, su casa! it can't have been easy sneaking in, right? Don'cha worry, you can sit wherever you like! Oh, do you have any tea you're particular to?" The strange girl continued, smiling from ear to ear. "We've also got these weird cookies that have jam in the middle, but honestly Beatrice bought those like a forever ago and I'm not totally sure if the jam hasn't turned into marble at this point... but hey, it's worth a try! And marble-jam is tasty to lick!"

    In her mind, Hisa could practically hear the deadpan stares of Sakura, Pyry and Gradient hiding in the shadows.

    This was...

    ... Certainly not the reaction that one would have expected!

  7. #3947
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "... Patient Zero?"

    "The hell's that about?"
    “Probably something related to the shit that is going on at the Hospital. That hospital runaway brat that I and Winters picked up a couple of days ago was tagged as Patient 17. I wouldn’t be surprised if this had something to do with that.”

    If this “Orion” was linked to End’s Mercy, then that opened up another bag of problems. That place had more than secrets than one could shake a stick at and a “security force” that was far too big and well equipped for its purpose. While a name like Orion would maybe be better suited for someone from their little corner of the Turnside, it wasn’t as if the more… up to date elements of the Turnside were completely bereft of interest in the stars. He’d met two “stargazers” from the US government yesterday, now hadn’t she?

    A brief grin flashed on Anna’s face for a moment at Ramia’s gesture before her eyes returned to the pair and Terrot, who had now decided to sit down a bit further from the newcomer and Bianchi her nose deep in the stack of papers in her hands. Ramia was right. The man was playing out the role of a horndog to perfection, but… There was something else buried there. The nature of a predator. Smooth-talking for sure, but for some reason, Anna got the feeling that he wasn’t talking to Bianchi simply because of her good looks. Almost as if he was looking to lull her into a false sense of security or needle some clue on her identity out of her.

    “Mhmh. Not sure how much our Romeo here is actually looking to seduce and how much he’s looking to scope out an unexpected factor outside of his expectations.”

    "Made all out of bad vibes, that one."

  8. #3948
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: The Lighthouse
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    (BGM)

    Patience.

    Self-Discipline.

    Not causing property damage out of just being done with people's shit for today.

    These are good virtues to cling to in times of frustration.

    Or being sneered at.

    I looked at him.

    "It's an exorcism rite, you miserable piece of ectoplasm," I said, tiredly, "I know he's possessed, it's obvious to anyone with sense. Given the televisions, the lighthouse, what happened the previous night, and our certain acquaintance, I would presume it's that certain former god-lover."

    I ground my heel against the ground, "Despite my best of intentions, it does seem that sometimes that everyone persists in thinking that I am exactly as dumb as I look. And given that I know something of that person, he is intending to use my good walking toaster as a walking gun to go cause horrible pain and misery to someone who is quite possibly even more self-righteous than I am, which is impressive."

    Sakura's words this afternoon indicated that, if this was the same person, his intentions were clear.

    I continued, "And so, to make sure the Beep-Boop Boy does what he wants, he's doing the classic 'And your little dog, too', schtick, proving that he's as much of a dickless coward as I thought he was, and naturally, because Kean's a moron, he fell for it. So now I have to sit here, and get lectured by some feckless spirit who I'd shove my grounding rod up the ass of if it was not already occupied."

    I spread my arms, wishing I could just throttle the life out of this nonsense.

    "I am very good at pretending to be unintelligent, that does not mean I'm a fucking idiot. So if you could maybe, just maybe, pry that stick out of your ass for a minute and stop seeing the obvious, maybe I'll do the same and we can start talking like adults and I'll add another problem for me to deal with. Along with whatever that old bastard Oceandrop wants, the impending death of everyone I know, the wandering super-vampire, and other terrible things. I'm sure there's probably more."

    I placed my hands in my pockets.

    "So, now that we've finished slapping each other with our dicks, maybe we can get down to brass tacks and start working out a way to deal with this."

  9. #3949
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Bear
    "--- So. Didn't catch your name, angel eyes. I take it you're friends with Miss Intrepid Reporter over there? Partners-in-crime or that sort of thing? Guess that in this combo, you're the beauty to her brains?"
    Ah yes, the daring approach of a man charmed by a young woman's looks. A girl has a wide variety of possible responses she can choose from: it ranges from opting to accept the invitation of the 'predator' and stand on equal ground by playing the flirtatious card right back at him; to the very opposite which is showing apprehension at his behavior and openly let him know that she has zero interest in him...

    ... there is also of course, a whole myriad of other alternatives in between these two 'answers', the most prominent one being to keep the status quo and pretend nothing happened. This might still upset some more than others... but it was hard to please everyone, wasn't it?

    Fortunately Vivienne Bianchi had very little to ask herself when it came to choosing what answer she would pick for Orion. The girl was after all, someone who had been stripped of emotions, thus her array of psychosomatic responses was fairly limited... if an array of one might even be called so.

    Boring.

    Predictable.

    Useless.


    She did not budge or take a step back, or even react to his attempt at invading Vivienne's personal space. Her empty eyes locked onto Orion's, scrutinizing him and trying to read if there was something in between the lines, a hint of something else between his words, a crack that revealed wherever his presentation of himself had been a façade rather than a truth.

    Unfortunately, for now, she saw nothing other than his vested interest in her female appeal.

    But staring at people like that only made them uncomfortable, perhaps some words would be useful to lessen the awkwardness in the air... and so that Orion doesn't feel like she is fine with him getting too close to her. That could lead to the man getting some even more audacious ideas.

    "I am just an assistant... maybe like you...? Are you... an assistant to mister Keyhoe?"

    Oh, but where were her manners, she should not forget to present herself too! And perhaps comment on how peculiar his name was.

    "My name is Vivienne, Vivienne Bianchi... you have a very unique name, Mister Orion... it's based after the Greek figure, no?"

  10. #3950
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor - Study
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    “Uh…”

    [Y-you guys can come out, I suppose, or uh...not sure,] I thought, slightly bewildered, [Best not let our guards down. And someone should still watch Josie, just in case, I think.]

    “Other two? Map? Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re talking about...though yeah, I’m from Pinefall.”

    I certainly expected a lot of things, but not for her to be so strangely enthusiastic and unfazed. But then...if the rumours are true, she is a girl who spent all her life locked up in here. Being like that, it’s not too hard to see why the premise of some company would make her forget about anything else.

    Might be way too easy to relate to, in fact…

    More importantly, it would already seem that she has met some people from the class. Did someone already come here before us? Is someone one step ahead of us? And what kind of map, exactly? It only made sense in so many ways in this context…

    “I just heard some rumours, and guess my curiosity got the better of me. Especially after I saw that there was indeed someone up here, I just couldn’t help but come knocking on your door.”

    That’s more or less the truth, at least.

    As I follow the strange girl, I glance around the room once more, this time, without having to stare straight through the wall. It always put things in a different light - as useful it was, it just didn’t convey the full extent of the liveliness and the colours of things.

    “That’s quite okay though, I reckon the…’tea room’ is downstairs, so no need for the hassle,” I continued, feeling slightly awkward, as my gaze turned back to the girl, “Hoped that we could keep this a secret from Josie too. I’m practically committing a crime here, so uh...this is a bit of a weird situation.”

    “But I wouldn’t mind talking. If you’re really locked up in here, then I guess some company is a rare thing to come by.”

    Last edited by Cheetose; April 7th, 2021 at 06:16 AM.

  11. #3951
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "Laphroaig 30 years old. A very fine choice from Mr. Hawthorn."

    Ferguson's answer came with a hint of a smile and a nod towards the other man, who simply chuckled and raised his glass in return. After taking a sip, both of them reached out for a cookie each, washing down the liquid with some hand-baked goodness. Hawthorn especially looked pleasantly surprised, though he hid the expression quite quickly - though the way he reached out for a second helping almost immediately spoke volumes of his opinion. Scottie, on the other hand, nibbled a bit as if enjoying the collision of two very different tastes, before lifting up his glass once more.

    "A bit of a basket of dried fruits, this one. Taste is on the velvet-side, while the smoke is very subtle - a dry wood if anything. There's a certain sense of a forest floor, if anything, along with hint of tobacco and leather. The finish takes a long time, leaving something akin to dark chocolate on the tip of one's tongue," Ferguson explained. "All in all, well worth it's price. And considering this is a country club, the price was surprisingly reasonable. Especially for a blend of darker flavours such as this one."

    "Well, what he said. You've got more of a head for fancy words, eh, agent?" Hawthorne chuckled in response, taking a quick swig. "Me, I just like the taste. That's all I can really say."

    That made Ferguson raise an eyebrow.

    "Oh? But considering the refined way you're tasting it, I'd say this isn't your first rodeo when it comes to expensive whiskeys," he retorted. "Something of a secret connoisseur, perhaps?"

    Hawthorn grimaced a little bit, shrugged, and popped a third cookie in his mouth.

    "--- Eh. Maybe, in a way. You see, I'm not the type to run my mouth, but I've experienced a thing or two back in the day," he replied vaguely. "Had to learn a bit or two about expensive alcohol while I was at it. Call it more of a learned instinct than anything else."

    The silver fox of an older man smiled quietly and bowed his head, as if accepting that there was to be no prodding further into this matter. So, instead, he turned his attention back to Liana, who had taken a seat at the table as well.

    "Still, this is quite the spread you've brought us, my dear," the agent started, not noticing how Hawthorn's eyebrows shot towards his hairline at the last two words. "Compliments to the chef, and compliments to this 'Aunt Dorothy' as well for letting you borrow her kitchen and ingredients. I have to say that once I'm finished with this glass, I'd be more than willing to partake in some tea as well. Another sort of warmth besides from the burn of whiskey on a cold evening like this may be just what the doctor ordered."

    Hawthorn snorted.

    "Yeah, my dear," he replied, pressing the term a little. "That aunt of yours is certainly nice, letting you use her kitchen like that. Hopefully you didn't sign up for more busywork in return."

    He took a swig from the glass, and for a moment, a frown passed by his face.

    "For example, looking after some rotten stray that just drags everyone down with him."

    It was quite clear who he was alluding to.




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

    There was a slightly amused hum that came from the other end of the line.

    "... Sure, I'll do my best. I'll come up with a bit of a care-package and send it your way. Might be a bit hard to get my hands on VHS tapes over here at the States but uh... I'll do my best," Robert answered. "Though I did catch up on thanks to few of my pen-pals. Not to spoil anything, but the guy Domon is looking for might be closer than you think~"

    The way he worded it sounded more of a fellow nerd teasing another with potential spoilers, a way of speaking that was far closer to Darwin's real personality than how he had previously spoken. However, for him to switch tracks back to this so quickly... perhaps he was still playing up the role he needed to. Perhaps whoever was listening on them had paid closer attention thanks to the questions that were asked, and now it was time to throw up a proper smoke-screen to obfuscate their tracks.

    Or perhaps he had meant something else with that? It was hard to say...

    "There was this one show, 3x3 Eyes, but I'm not sure if it'd be up your alley..." Robert continued with that teasing tone. "I mean, it can be a bit scary!"

    He chuckled lightly, easing the tension in the air with that familiar sound.

    "In any case, I'll check what I have and send them your way. If I'm fast it might even arrive by Sunday morning, who knows? In any case, I should probably get back to work - need to finish that report and all. I'll talk to you later, alright?" Darwin then continued. "Still... it was nice to hear from you. W-while it might have been just a short while, at the same time it almost feels like you've been gone forever. Guess that just how it goes when you're used to someone being around all the time, hah!"

    Prushka could practically see the momentary, gentle smile that spread to the man's face.

    "Hang in there, Prushka and remember - if you've got troubles, you can always give me a call, alright? Talk to you soon."

    With that, the call finally came to a close, and what was left was the tone at the end of the line, along with the rain falling like heavy lead onto the pavement of the gas station's yard. Seeing that Prushka had finished up, Xandra - who had been waiting at the sidelines - got up and walked over to the smaller girl, hands in her pockets. While she had been amused easlier by the antics she could overhear, now her expression was nothing if not serious.

    "Trouble?" The silver-haired girl asked, lifting an eyebrow.




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

    "Oh gosh, no worries about that! I don't, uh, really head out of the third floor that much, so I've got my own tea set right here!"

    Saying that, the red-eyed girl walked over to one of the cabinets with glass doors, and spread her arms as if showcasing a new car. There, indeed, was a rather expensive-looking porcelain tea set that was practically waiting to be used. Smiling happily from ear to ear, the strange girl started piling it out of the cabinet onto one of the larger tables in the study, one flanked by multiple armchairs. That being said, it was still a bit of a mystery where she was going to make the tea, or where these alleged cookies were being held...

    No, it took a moment, but soon Hisa realized the truth of the matter. This floor... it wasn't just a study. Over there, she saw a door that must have led to a decently-sized bathroom. That small corridor seemingly led to a kitchen with all the necessary things, and over there... wasn't that a half-open door, showing a bedroom with a canopy beyond the doorway?

    This wasn't just a room - as had been the possibility, this was practically another house hidden within the manor, and taking up most of the third floor.

    [We'll, uh... we'll keep an eye out for things here, at least for now,] Pyry replied within Hisa's mind, sounding just as confused as the girl was. [Sakura said she's gonna go keep an eye out for Josie, while I'll make sure Gradient doesn't wander off. We'll be close-by though, so if anything happens, just alarm us.]

    It sounded almost like the boy was being wary of the stranger, to the point of not even knowing how he should handle her.

    "But I see!" The sound of the girl's lilting voice drew Hisa from her thoughts. "Gosh, I thought that mysterious clue would have gotten some of the students hurrying this way, I tried to make it seem exciting like a treasure map and everything..."

    Her voice echoed from the kitchen, where the girl was filling up a tea kettle and setting it onto the stove-top. At the same time, she was rummaging through the cupboards, looking for both cookies and various teas. There was Darjeeling, Twinings, Chamomile, Jasmine... just about all sorts of teas, and judging by the packaging, they weren't exactly the cheap kind. The variety of flavours was actually a bit too much, especially considering that this was (probably) the girl's personal stash. Still, she gestured towards Hisa for her to choose what she wanted to drink.

    "Still, I'm glad someone came! Honestly, I was dying to speak with at least one of you! You wouldn't believe how repetitive the books even in a massive study like this one can get, and it's not as if ordering new ones out here in the sticks is easy either," the girl continued happily, chatting away with quite the speed."Not to mention you were curious enough to come here without any hints! Oh gosh, could it be? Are you a fellow mystery lover? D-do you like detective novels too? Oh, I have so many good ones I could show you...!"

    The further Hisa watched and listened to this strange girl, the more she got the feeling that this meeting had opened up the verbal floodgates of someone who wasn't that talkative normally. Or rather, the sheer excitement she, for some reason, felt about meeting a total stranger in her house at late evening had made her giddy to the point that it all just translated into non-stop chatting.

    ... This girl didn't get out much, did she?

    "Oh, golly - I forgot my manners, didn't I!"

    Suddenly interjecting herself, the girl slapped her forehead and turned towards Hisa.

    "I forgot to introduce myself completely! So sorry, you must take me for a complete dunderhead," she spoke, before suddenly snapping into attention. "Ahem! Well then..."

    Then, for some reason... the girl bent her back forward, taking on a hunched-over stance. Not only that, but she threw her arm in front of her, like she was holding a cloak which she was using to shield her face. Hisa was, for a moment, reminded of those old monster movies that Angelica used to love, and most particularly...

    "Behold! For I am the terror of the night, the infamous McLampet vampire...!"

    For some reason, she was suddenly mimicking a very unconvincing eastern European accent.

    "--- Allene McLampet!"

    ... Huh?

    New Person Met!





    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "You know, some people are the type that won't make time for themselves unless you force them. That is, they just keep going and going, losing themselves in work or whatever else to drown out whatever's eating them. They won't have time to just sit, kick back and relax... and if you wanna have heart-to-heart with someone like that, you'll get nowhere by waiting."

    Travis said this while leaning back on the bench, putting his hands behind his head and lazing about in a manner that was more in-line with his thuggish persona than what he had revealed earlier today. Stephanie, gazing at this perfect example of a "lazy bum", decided that there was something funny about the gesture - going as far as to imitate him perfectly. So now Alexstrasza found herself with two people lounging about, gazing up at the ever-present rain.

    "And I get the feeling Miss Ponytail's exactly that type of person. So, if you wanna have a chat with her, make some time with her. Just, I dunno... walk up to her and chat? Sometimes it's as simple as that," the boy continued... before shooting a teasing smirk towards the blonde girl. "Unless, of course... you're too scared to do so?"

    His voice was practically egging her on, challenging her with its mere tone.

    "Oh, and sure. While hair colour is one thing, it's not like there's Italians around here growing in the trees," Travis added. "So chances are that those two, your friend and this jerk of a woman, have something to do with each other. I'd be willing to bet top dollar on that."

    This conversation, the gently rain hitting the awning above them and peppering the streets with the fresh smell of nature, the general atmosphere of a late evening in a small town where nobody was around... in all honesty, it was the type of peaceful that was almost alien to Alexstrasza Lockhart. For her, moments like these were so rare that they practically never happened from where she was coming from. That in the first place was strange and new. But more than that...

    For some reason, it felt as if Travis was starting to feel comfortable in her company - just taking her peculiar personality in stride and not bothering to argue about every little thing.

    That, perhaps, was the weirdest thing about this all.

    [Ha-ha-ha~! Hate to interrupt this cute moment you two have going on, but...]

    Suddenly, Potemkin's voice rang out clearly in Alexstrasza's head.

    [In case you haven't noticed and you've got your nose full of the scent of Mr. Thug-Life over there, it's time to clear up those sinuses right now,] the shadow cackled, before, just for a second, her tone became more serious. [... There's a smell of fresh blood wafting in with the rain. And it's coming from somewhere close by. My guess is...]

    There was a pause.

    [... The back-alleys behind the store.]



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

    What stared back at Elise through that pale reflection in her mind... was herself.

    Surely, it was different. Surely, there were differences. Surely, it could be differentiated.

    Yet, undoubtedly, that reflection was... she herself.

    Just as Elise Marie Pelltier was outside the window, staring in, the pale reflection was inside the building, staring out at her. Just like she, it was reaching out with its hand, and at the place where the two touched, nothing but the cold, hard surface of the glass separating them could be felt. The blue eyes met the green ones, and the green eyes met the blue ones. In a sense, that reflection itself could have been viewed as a mockery, but the more she saw it, the more Elise had this unneasy, unnerving feeling in her gut... there was something dreadfully natural about that look. Like it had been just as right as her own appearance, like it had been---

    "How am I feeling, girl?"

    LBJ's voice was her own, borrowed from her instead of the mental growling that it usually used.

    "This world is not a loop, girl - it's a spiral. I can feel it in my bones. With every step, we come closer and closer to the edge of the abyss from where there is no return. Something is coming, and we do not know it. It's in the sky, it's in the ground, it's in the air we breathe. It's as if we all have been prepared for this moment, chess pieces set upon the table, and our movements are the movements of those pieces on that board," the demon spoke. "But just as we are the knight on the left, as opposed to the knight on the right that is the saintess, there - on the opposite side of the table - lies the knight in black. And we are on a collision course. Something is coming, girl... something is hunting us, and we are hunting something. We just don't know it yet."

    The blue eyes narrowed, and their stare hardened. For a moment, shadows moved within the store and veiled the reflection, wrapping it up in darkness. Yet even so, Elise was able to see those azure eyes staring a hole through her head.

    What did they want? What were they after?

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

    The hand touching the mirror reached forward, and caught a hold of Elise's hand - grasping it tightly, almost painfully.

    "You're too weak. As you are, you can't weather the oncoming storm. Whatever's coming will glass the ground and scorch the sky, and we will be unable to stop it. As you are now... and as I am now."

    A nasty grin spread to the face of the blonde reflection.

    For some reason, a mild headache was starting to form at the back of Elise's mind.

    "----- If it were Elise-Marie Pelltier before we became what we are, she would have been able to stand against that enemy. But... you don't even remember her properly, do you? Of what she was? Of how she was? Why she was sent to subjugate a demon with only a handful of inquisitors... why she was among the survivors... why Father Milani would personally look after her..."

    The headache grew.

    "Human mind is so quick to rationalize away all the little inconsistencies in one's reality, isn't it?"

    The hand of the demon grasped harder.

    "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."

    The demon spoke out a verse.

  12. #3952
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    ---Success.

    There is always a certain sense of satisfaction in watching others enjoy something you've made, a sought-after feeling that drives on those chefs that cook more for the pleasure of it than anything else, in seeing their reactions... It's always something different for everyone, a flash of surprise perhaps, or a contented smile, regardless...

    It brings a smile to her face.

    A natural one that emerges entirely on it's own, and...

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie
    "Still, this is quite the spread you've brought us, my dear," the agent started, not noticing how Hawthorn's eyebrows shot towards his hairline at the last two words. "Compliments to the chef, and compliments to this 'Aunt Dorothy' as well for letting you borrow her kitchen and ingredients. I have to say that once I'm finished with this glass, I'd be more than willing to partake in some tea as well. Another sort of warmth besides from the burn of whiskey on a cold evening like this may be just what the doctor ordered."
    "Oh? Alright then, I appreciate the compliment~"

    Seems those earlier efforts wouldn't go entirely to waste~!

    She retrieves the thermoses, setting them down, and...

    "Hopefully the tea keeps my good impression going, I used to work in an orphanage back in the day, so I'm pretty confident in my uh... Caretaker skills..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Yeah, my dear," he replied, pressing the term a little. "That aunt of yours is certainly nice, letting you use her kitchen like that. Hopefully you didn't sign up for more busywork in return."
    -a flash of something a bit more... Strange...?

    Is that mockery?

    That'd be the normal Thorne thing to do, but...

    Or is it jealousy...?

    ...That's the more amusing read of the situation.

    If she put her mind to it she'd probably be able to figure it out, but...

    The second was the far more amusing read...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "For example, looking after some rotten stray that just drags everyone down with him."
    "No, I didn't make any deals to watch out for him, I just do that for my classmates if I happen to be around them already. He had some business at the club, and I was already coming to the club, so I decided to escort those two here... Knight duties, you know? As for Auntie..."

    She shrugs.

    "I agreed to be her assistant for a bit earlier today, so that's probably why she let me in the kitchen, and I fed her too, so she shouldn't be able to say I owe her for the ingredients..."

    Hopefully.

    "But Colt's the other one huh?"

    Eyeing Thorne as she says this, the violet eyed girl leans back a bit in her chair, hand rising up to brush her hair from her eyes in an unconscious motion...

    "He seems like a nice enough kid to me, I tried talking you up a bit down there, but the sparks flying between you two shot those efforts down..."

    One eye closes, the remaining one locked on him...

    "You should smile more, you know? I like seeing you happier, you have a good smile, you should let more people that aren't me see it."

    ...Before something sincere, something unplanned, emerges entirely on it's own.

    "..."

    ---A pause, as she suppresses the beginnings of a bizarre flush, then...

    "Ah geez, what am I saying..."

    She shakes her head and puts it behind her...

    "Don't let me change the topic too much now you two, I love the sudden burst of attention, but what's all this about vendettas and cases and background checks?"
    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?



  13. #3953
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    "Darwiiiiiiin."

    Hiding in familiar faux-anger, we slip back into a safer kind of talk, one that won't arouse suspicion. This closer to Rob's true self, a guy that spares no expense in teasing people with spoilers once he gets brave enough.

    "I'm not a kid anymore, I can totally watch scary stuff! Remember when your Ninja Scroll tape went missing for a week and you couldn't find it?"

    He doesn't need to know that I skipped all the icky bits. Which was basically the whole thing.

    "Jeeze... I'll look forward to it, okay?"

    Still, it's nice to talk like this. Even if we couldn't say much, Rob's probably still grinning on the other side of the phone. Hearing a bit of my old life, even if it wasn't the best and we never got along that well, is like a breath of fresh air in the haze of Road's End.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darwin
    "Hang in there, Prushka and remember - if you've got troubles, you can always give me a call, alright? Talk to you soon."
    "...mmhm. I'll call. So
    I
    you
    don't get lonely."

    With that, and a final click, his warm voice is replaced by a cold dial tone.

    "..."

    I stay on the line a bit longer, as if hoping someone will pick up again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xandra
    "Trouble?"
    "...well. Sorta."

    With a click, the phone rests on the receiver once more, and I sigh, turning away from it.

    "The guy I called is... well, something close to family. I trust him more than most adults. Problem is, someone was listening in. And not just your usual government phone monitoring; seemed like he knew something but wasn't allowed to say it. Most he could do was give some hints. And confirmation that the government is definitely involved with whatever's going on here. Wasn't gonna push any more, not if it'd get him in actual trouble."

    Rob doesn't deserve that.

    I fold my arms, pause, and then unfold the umbrella, stepping closer to the other girl, until we're sharing it.

    "Other maybe-hints aside, he implied that Challenger and Discovery were associated with that supposedly decommissioned base in New York: Montauk. If Ahti filled you on in what went down last night, you'll know we found the ID of a researcher also from New York, up at the listening post on the mountain here. That's three connections, definitely more. No idea how Kampff is involved, if he is; he's from Europe, associated with AMADEUS, different branch. And then he brought up that base's involvement in conspiracies surrounding it. Which means some of those aren't just theories. Like for example... the Philadelphia Experiment. Time travel."

    I rub my head, as if to brush away too-heavy thoughts.

    "Sorry, that's all I got on those three. Obviously it sounds like nonsense, but... well. Road's End is a weird place. And it'd explain more than a few things. Like how, from my perspective, this is our second meeting."
    Last edited by Bloble; April 7th, 2021 at 01:06 PM.

  14. #3954
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen - Cocktail Lounge
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    For a moment the young man enchanted with the divine turned to the earthly girl who had accompanied him. He watched a glass full of clear poison disappear between her lips, and at the encouragement of his celestial caretaker another followed shortly after. Though he said nothing, surprise and respect were equally written upon his face. Cathie breathed hard as she brought the glass to the counter with a slam.

    A thought passed Colt by. A slim, small musing. A slight concern, not quite a fear, but a prick of unease.

    He said nothing of it. After all, Luca soon began to speak again, answering Cathie who had seated herself beside Colt and made clear how aware she was that things were far from normal.

    Yes, Colt Davin didn’t say it, but he hoped dearly that she wouldn’t drink like that much more. He didn’t want to return the girl to her mother in a drunken state.

    Though if Luca encouraged it, he wouldn’t dare to protest. The idea of protesting could never cross his mind. Because if she said to cast aside worries and to drink, then what right would he have to question that?

    "Many are the names they call me, and myriad are the titles that come with them.”

    Though Colt now understood the woman speaking to be a vampire, he still turned to her with a fond, silent smile as she answered Cathie.

    As the regal woman spoke, a familiar, teasing smile, one which carried an emotion almost human, was returned to him. For he who had no memories of such a proper figure in his life, it was not what he knew as almost motherly. It was simply the smile he knew her in distant memories to gift him on occasion.

    That smile was soon followed by something he had never known. Unlike so many times before, here was someone who could see and hear her. This wasn’t Luca the imagined guardian, the ethereal companion. She was as real as his childhood memories always remembered, even if no other eyes could behold her in those days.

    So it was only natural that given the first opportunity to do so, Luca without hesitation or remorse began to tease the boy in front of the girl his own age.

    “P-puppy…”

    The boy who was unfairly accustomed to being teased by women, especially after coming to Road’s End, had built up a decent tolerance for it. When jabbed lightly by the fairer sex his mouth ran before his brain, quick to refute and to defend. But in the face of a jab from the closest being to a mother for him all he could do was repeat it, unaware that his cheeks were turning the color of poppies.

    "As young as he was, he would not learn the true name of mine, and thus, the term he came up stuck. And as I had to distance mineself erelong, lest he be swallowed up by the moonlight, there came nary a time again to reintroduce myself. And of course, 'tis not a name of a moonlit creature that one needs if they are to succeed in the world of humans, right? So I let things be... until now, that is. For the fate has played a queer game with us all..."

    Fortunately for the vulnerable, defenseless, hopeless boy who was at the mercy of the queenly beauty, her teasing passed as swiftly as it came.

    As the boy digested Luca’s words, he noticed that Cathie beside him was looking just as confused as before. Though in his gut Colt felt some vague understanding of what the vampire was alluding to it was becoming obvious that the redhead, who was now more smoldering than fiery, was deep in a world she might not belong.

    Somewhere deep inside, his instincts told him that he must have done something wrong. That he might have, in his infinite carelessness, thoughtlessness, and selfishness, dragged her into something she would have been happier never being a part of.

    "Mm, yes, 'tis perhaps the best that we begin with reintroductions, moppet. To know what it is that you are dealing with. So that you are not led astray by the fond memories you have of me. 'Tis only a fair that we both know of each other properly, right?"

    But such thoughts died as his full attention returned to the divine presence speaking to the two teens. For the first time since his arrival she stood up from her stool. Perhaps in the eyes of Cathie the woman before them appeared small. Grand, regal, wondrous, but small. But when Colt looked upon her once more, he saw before him a giant.

    A smile he didn’t understand adorned her face. Memories of fire and smoke, of moonlight casting away despair, of the voice that swept the leaves beneath a cloudless sky into a swaying chorus, drowned his thoughts. The woman lowered herself in a captivating curtsy, one which left him speechless.

    "Well met, Children of Men. Before you stands She Who Is Gemini, and the The Near Side of the Moon..."

    Crimson eyes fell upon him. Their grace and dignity which captured eternity, the same grace and dignity which he had seen a decade ago. Grace and dignity which made him feel tiny when seated before her, just as he was all those years ago. Grace and dignity which compelled him stand, as he could not abide staying seated in the presence of such eyes. Grace and dignity which he owed his life to, which he should always strive to capture within himself, yet he never would.

    "Voivode of Wallachia, Grand Master and Rank Superior of the Order of the Dragon, Archmage of Romania..."

    Grace and dignity which he loved as family.

    "------- Lenore Geraldine of House Drăculești."

    Grace and dignity that he could never hope to match. Grace and dignity which he was all too aware was out of his reach. So…

    “It’s a strange feeling to see you introduce yourself.” He scratched the back of his head, ever mundane in the face of the extraordinary. “You know that I can’t really keep up with that.”

    He smiled awkwardly.

    “You know already that I’m Colt. Colton Barrett, once Colton Davin.” His smile became vaguely apologetic, and with a glance at Cathie he shook his head. “But whichever it is, I prefer to just be Colt.”

    He had no great titles to declare. No grand display of regal bearing. Only his name.

    “Luca… I don’t know where that name came from. It just… appeared, in my mind, all those years ago. You responded to it, so I always assumed that was who you are. There are so many things about that night I don’t understand, but I never really thought to question them.” For a moment his eyes turned to the past, reliving memories he shared with the moonlit being before him. “You said fate has played a queer game with us, but for years I’ve felt like fate’s been handing me facedown cards that I can’t flip up on my own.”

    Colt kept his eyes on the one before him. Once Luca, now Lenore. To him, it didn’t matter what name she went by. The predatory teeth which lined her stunning smile gave him no pause or concern. She was her, at the end of the day.

    “I guess this is the first one I’ve ever been able to see the other side of. I don’t even know how to feel about it, but I think I want to flip more cards over. I want to know more about what’s happening here, about you… about myself.” He hadn’t said anything, but Colt hadn’t ignored her mentions of his numbered days. Of her role as an ‘executor.’ How she called herself a monster. “Lenore.”

    He tried the name out. It rolled off his tongue as naturally as it was to breathe. Just saying it filled his chest with warmth.

    “I like that name.”

    He smiled and said the first thing that came to mind.

    “Would you flip up some more cards with me?”


  15. #3955
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Road's End - Streets
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    Blood?

    Potemkin's voice drifted in and out of my ears like a disgusting whine.

    Blood?

    My mouth watered. I licked my lips, smiling slightly at Travis.

    "Yes, I do suppose Elaine and I must get along," I said, flicking a stray strand of hair out of my face. "But there's a stench of iron in the air, and such a stench may not be ignored by intrepid investigators!"

    I didn't want to think about it. I don't want to think about things I can't control. I don't want to think about the things that have happened around me any longer; about the things that I have to do, or the things I want to do. I...

    I stood up, brushing off my skirt.

    I can only move, even if it hurts. I can only move, even if it's terrifying. No, that's wrong isn't it?

    I grinned like the devil at Travis, extending a hand.

    "Well? Don't you want to see what it is?"
    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.


  16. #3956
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Manor - Study
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    “Is that resentment I sense? Towards the town, for judging you for your name and heritage?” I said, with my head tilted slightly, as I watched the girl pose, “Not that I can tell how baseless those accusations are. While I may or may not know a thing or two about the previous holder of that name, and the McLampets in general...you’re very much an enigma, yes.”

    The situation just kept getting more complicated, and rather than the initial - rather awkward - hurdle, it was now uncertainty and a certain sense of danger it gave birth to that weighed on my mind.

    “You can call me Ougi Outis,” I introduced myself finally with a little bow of my own, “A fellow mystery lover, very much unfazed by vampires and the likes.”

    Who exactly was she, after all?

    Was she actually Allene, pretending, hiding, and waiting for her moment to rise again? And if she wasn’t, then which side was she standing on? Would she try to uphold the role that was forced upon her family, or did she consider it a curse she would want to be rid of? Was she aware of all of it in the first place?

    “Though, I must admit, I have rather mixed feelings about the mysteries of this town. There are way too many of them, and way too little time...and life is far not as kind as mystery stories in books, where hints and clues come naturally without much of a struggle, and lead up to the eventual conclusion in a rather linear, and efficient way…”

    Well, it was mostly the lack of time, really. Anything else could have almost been fun to deal with, was it not for the inevitable demise of so many racing towards us.

    With a sigh, my attention turns towards the tea cupboard as I start poring over the various boxes and their contents. It was truly a rather big and thorough collection, had some pretty rare blends even...still, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just for the sake of having a collection to show off, or if she just loved tea.

    ...Not that she could boast with her collection to too many people with how things were, so perhaps the latter.

    “Still, you did speak to some people from the class then, didn’t you? If you had the time to give them a map and all, that is,” I said as I glanced back at the girl again, “And by the sound of it, your mystery map is pointing right here, so you just wanted people to find you.”

    Sounded like a valid theory in my head. Not that the manor was exactly a secret place, we found it too after all, but I guess, without having some sort of an incentive, it was unlikely that many would come here…

    “Why are you forced to stay up here though, if you don’t mind me asking? There’s a girl called Aleen in town, sporting similar blue hair and red eyes and somewhat acknowledges being a McLampet heir too, so what’s the story here?”

    After some consideration, my favor falls on a small box containing Jasmine tea, and I gesture towards it to make note about my pick to the blue haired girl.

    “Have you heard about this fantastic thing called flowering tea, by the way?” I changed the topic suddenly as I gave the tea cabinet one last look, “Something the chinese came up with recently. It’s tea leaves bundled and wrapped around a flower and dried out even more, and when you pour water on it, it unfurls in a way that resembles a blooming flower. Almost makes tea a work of art, and not just a pleasant thing to drink.”


  17. #3957
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain

    "No, even I would not be as foolish as to look for her here - and mind you, I can be plenty of foolish at times!"

    Nikolai's refreshing laughter rang in the empty saw mill as he turned out and spread his arms a little, gesturing towards the place.

    "I'm here to set up my atelier - my base of operations, if you will. I figured that I shouldn't approach the town without due caution, and thus establishing a line to connect to my superiors, along with some warding spells, is not a bad idea. And while it certainly has seen better days, for a penniless mage, this is more than enough," the man said, sounding slightly embarrassed. "Especially considering my speciality is containment, so I'm not exactly confident in taking out someone like her head on. Yes, preparing myself and gathering some intel is far more up my alley."

    As if to explain what he meant, Nikolai lifted his right hand and revealed he was grasping some sort of strange metallic - perhaps silver - object in his hand that looked almost like a pocket-watch. However, the mechanical clicking one could hear inside the object was far from the ticking of a clock. Pressing some sort of button at the antique object's side, the man let his eyes scan the room and spoke out in a way that, strangely enough, felt like it echoed.

    "This is my
    26
    SANCTUARY
    ."

    Immediately, it felt as if something in the air had changed around the building. The wind died down just a little bit, and the rain no longer fell through the cracks in the ceiling. Instead, warm air flowed in from somewhere, and all of a sudden, the large space was starting to become quite cozy. Nikolai, on the other hand, let out an agreeing hum, and turned to look at the doll with a bright smile on his face.

    "Much better, right? With this, even an old building such as this saw mill can become quite comfortable," he explained. "And if this place turns out to be dangerous, it will let me know with little hints and clues. As luck... or perhaps misfortune... would have it, twenty-six is quite a troublesome number. But at times, that troublesome nature can become a boon."

    With that, the man walked over to one of the upturned machines and sat down, leaning on his thighs and gazing at the doll.

    "Oh, and what comes to your earlier question, no - I'm not a bounty hunter. I don't do this for the sake of monetary gain. A better word for it would be... ehm, a warden? Jailor? Police? No, none of those quite fit. Hrmm..." He crossed his arms across his chest, slightly troubled look overcoming his face. "Office of Censorship and Detainment would be the official term, though many choose to just use Automaton Chess House, The Bell Hall or somesuch - just like how we have an official title, most just refer to us as Ottomans or Ottomen. What it means that yes indeed, we do work for Prague Orloj. You could think of us as the arm of it that reaches out into the world outside and silences those who threaten both us and the non-Turnside population of this world."

    He lifted his hand and raised his finger, as if making a point.

    "For example, Lecturer Vandemeel has been accused of endangering the Façade, betrayal of the Lords and Ladies of Orloj, and worst of all, attempting to develop magic that would break the space-time continuum. Indeed, we have reason to believe that even at this moment, she's secretly working on unraveling the fabrics of temporal continuity itself. It might be a localized phenomena at the moment, but it's still extremely dangerous," Nikolai explained. "The local people might already be suffering, and that's where I come in. I'm here to detain her and stop her rampage and schemes before any more people, Turnside or otherwise, gets hurt."

    In all honesty, Nikolai would have come across as far more convincing figure if he hadn't looked like a particularly determined-yet-playful dog trying to act as serious as possible... yet unable to hide the tail it was wagging. That was, at the very least, the mental image he projected.

    New Ability Witnessed!
    Spells:

    Nikolai's Cantrip
    Rank:
    F
    Element:
    Aether
    Mana Cost:
    Negligible

    A basic method of generating and manipulating aether into performing various minor tasks, such as displacing objects that count their weigh in couple of grams or shifting temperatures a little. In other words, a multi-purpose spell that the user can utilize to manipulate their immediate surroundings a little, but with no real usage in combat or other important tasks. The spell itself is a basic application of Chaldean numerology.





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

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "My name is Vivienne, Vivienne Bianchi... you have a very unique name, Mister Orion... it's based after the Greek figure, no?"
    Orion chuckled.

    "Mm, something like that. It's not my real name of course," the young man chuckled and made a vague gesture. "From what I understand, my mother wanted to name me 'Yozora' of all things, but thankfully cooler heads prevailed. But the name I have is a bit of a... well, maybe a bit giggle-worthy, so I decided to go with something else. Picked up something night-sky related though. Sounds a bit cool, right? Mysterious~"

    He made a gesture that was, supposedly, meant to look spooky - wiggling both his fingers and his hands. However, when that bout of nonsense failed to elicit a laugh out of Vivienne, the man let out another chuckle - a sheepish one this time - and scratched the back of his head.

    "Sorry, coming on a bit too strong, aren't I? Didn't mean to weird you out. I mean, I did develop an instant crush after seeing you, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't act professional," Orion continued almost nonchalantly. "So, why don't we start with a bit more tact this time, yeah? So, uh... yep. I'm Barney's assistant, you could say. I help him out here and there, running errands mostly and get info from where his pudgy body can't fit. Been looking into this Patient Zero thing for him for a while now, but before I could even report back properly, he sends me here to deliver the info to your boss - guess he figured it was more important."

    Naturally after mentioning her, the two of them turned to look at Alex, who had descended into silence while reading the reports handed to her. She had set the picture of an unknown girl aside, and was now trawling through what looked to be a long list of some sort of photocopied papers, if the strangely burnt-looking black-and-white text on otherwise smooth paper was anything to go by.

    Those, in that moment, Vivienne noticed something strange. Namely, she saw how the books next to Alex shifted a little, and how tiny, almost imperceptible noise of scraping claws could be heard climbing up those very books. As if... as if something small and invisible was making its way to a better position to get a read of what Alex was actually reading.

    --- And speaking of which, once Anna's familiar was in position, she suddenly got a mental message.

    [Boss! Looks like she's... err... what's this jargonaut supposed to be about! I can't make heads or butts outta this!] Söörik complained. [It's just a bunch of letters strung together! MTR to ATSC SPW, SPW to LVW and some such! Nothing makes a slobbering of sense! You sure this girl's not just off her rock?]

    It certainly sounded like Alex had been given some technical material to read.

    Ramia, on the other hand, shot a questioning look at the raven-haired girl.

    "... What's up? You went a bit silent there?" She whispered. "And that being said... you wanna stick here and see what they get up to? Or should we switch locations?"




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

    The boy with the mismatched eyes, the ghost, raised an eyebrow at the outburst. He looked at the heavily breathing girl for a while, hands folded across his chest, still weighing her and measuring her with his gaze...

    ... And then, out of nowhere, he suddenly burst out into a refreshed laughter. Almost like someone had told him a knee-slapper worthy enough to clear the air.

    "Ha! Gahahaha~! Finally, someone who gives as good as she gets! Been wondering where the spine has been in the people who have been waltzing around in my lighthouse lately!" The ghost guffawed, sounding more like an old man laughing at a dirty joke despite his youthful voice. "Guess the tin man wasn't kidding about you being a right firecracker, Miss! Mm-hm, I approve!"

    However, while his laughter still echoed from the cliffside, almost immediately the ghost's expression grew more serious - like someone had snapped their fingers.

    "... But I wasn't kidding about leaving that persecution complex at the door. Nobody's been calling you a right moron, Miss. Only yourself. As I said, I'm old - niceties aren't exactly something that comes to me anymore. But all I speak of is sense. You were pushing to get closer to your tin boy and that could've ended up mighty badly. So I took you aside and cleared up what was going on. Sure, sure, I may be right old bastard with how I phrase things, but never once did I say you ain't got all them little Indians in the canoe," the ghost continued. "If you disagree, you're welcome to come for my ass after we're done with this, and try to get that stick of yours outta there - but a fair warning, Miss. You wouldn't be the first youngster I've given the runaround and taught to appreciate themselves more. Especially if they're after my smooth, hairless buttocks."

    A sort of nostalgic grin, one probably not caused by just wholesome memories, rose to the ghost's face.

    "Feh, teenagers... no matter the century they're all the same," he mumbled. "Moody and unable to like themselves. I ain't missing that, no sirree..."

    With that, the boy with the mismatched eyes sat down onto the steps of the lighthouse, and slapped his knee - as if starting a meeting of some sort. It also seemed to indicate that Elaine should make herself comfortable as well - this might take a while.

    "But! Enough of me yapping about you and the image you have of yourself. We've got a pow-wow to have and shop to talk, as the tin boy up there has about till sundown for now. The spirit in him exerted himself this morning to get the ball rolling, from what I understand. Something last night spooked him right terribly, and the way I see it, he's about to step up his plans after he's recovered," the ghost spoke. "That means we've got a couple of good hours left in the day to plan out what we'll do. So if you've got an exorcism ritual hidden up in that fancy jacket of yours, Miss, better lay the specifics on the table for now. It might work or might not... that there spirit's a tricky one. Enjoys a bit of divine protection even though he's a ghost now - was a padre, from what I understand. Plus he's more of energy now than spirit... like that modern electricity you fellows have."

    Then, suddenly, the ghost blinked - as if in surprise. Almost like he had realized something.

    "Oh, right..."

    He snatched the cap on his head and lifted it a bit in a greeting.

    "Forgot my manners there, Miss. Best we get the introductions outta the way as well," he said. "The name's Joshua. Joshua Fisher. I'm what remains of the man who put a stop to the monster that once took residence in this here lighthouse."

    New Being Met!





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

    "W-well, I wouldn't say I exactly talked to them..."

    Allene, for some reason, looked a bit sheepish and fidgeted with her fingers, unable to look Hisa right in the eyes. Instead, she busied herself with the box of Jasmine tea that the other girl had picked out, starting preparations for the promised beverage that would go with the jam cookies. Jam cookies that were now sitting on the counter, glaring at Hisa with their red eyes as if they had bore some sort of grudge - perhaps the grudge of having to be devoured now, after so long of being able to live in peace. Or... perhaps that was just the girl's imagination.

    "I-I mean, I'd been doing these, uh... nightly walks ever since I heard a bunch of kids my age were coming to town. I was thinking along the lines of 'Gosh, wouldn't it be funny if I ran into one of the students and they'd be an interesting person and we could get along?'. That sort of thing. But then, uh... when I saw those two at the graveyard, I suddenly felt quite nervous about actually talking, and figured I'd just leave one of the maps that I'd prepared beforehand for them - in case they wanted to come here," the girl explained. "O-of course, the maps were with me 'just in case'! And gosh, good thing they were, or I wouldn't have known what to do at the time..."

    In all honesty, it sounded far more likely that the girl had just been walking around with those maps in hand, prepared to use them from the get-go. Even now, her slight nervousness came across as being extremely chatty, so she must not have been that used to human interaction.

    "It was also in case someone wanted to visit me at day time! You know, what with vampires not being able to go out during the day? That's why I stay here, in this third floor, and only go out for walks when it's a night. Though... well, these days I do sleep during the days as well, so in all honesty it's quite a bit easier that way," Allene continued, now watching the kettle intently. "So it's not as if anyone's forcing me! That's just how things are for vampires, you see. Golly, I think I would just up and turn to salt if I went out during the daylight!"

    Of course, considering how big the windows around this third floor were, and how no curtains had been pulled over any of them... it was quite unlikely that the place was shielded from actual, direct sunlight - which cast a rather big question mark on the girl's claims of being a nocturnal bloodsucker.

    "Still, another McLampet in town? Gosh, I had no idea about that... I wonder what is the story with that? Maybe she's Howard's grand-daughter from one of his children? Or maybe she belongs to one of the branch families? Hmm, I do remember there being a book about the family line here somewhere, maybe I should check that once the tea is ready..." Allene then hopped onto a next subject, until the sudden whistle of the kettle grabbed her attention. "Oh, hot dog! Here, let's prepare ourselves some tea, take those biscuits and move onto the study, shall we? It's much more fun to pore through the books when you've got something to snack on!"

    ... Strangely enough, it looked and felt like the girl was genuinely happy about Hisa's presence. Like some dark shadow of loneliness had been cast out of her, and she was so excited about a complete stranger having come to visit that she was just jumping from one topic to another, all the while preparing tea for that stranger.

    "Still, my my... blooming tea! That certainly sounds fantastic!" Allene piped up, clasping her hands together. "Wonder if you could order it from somewhere. Maybe from Seattle? Oh how I wish I could go search for it myself..."

  18. #3958
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    "Mm, something like that. It's not my real name of course."
    There came the confirmation from the man's mouth himself, though it was something Vivienne had suspected from the moment Orion had introduced himself. The impact of that information though was fairly minor in the grand scheme of things, especially when one considered Orion's next words.

    "From what I understand, my mother wanted to name me 'Yozora' of all things, but thankfully cooler heads prevailed. But the name I have is a bit of a... well, maybe a bit giggle-worthy, so I decided to go with something else. Picked up something night-sky related though. Sounds a bit cool, right? Mysterious~"
    "Some names which sound strange or normal to the average person... can in truth bear a deeper meaning. But I understand, sometimes when removed from their original meaning, or the culture they belong to... they lose their appeal."

    Orion seemed to not be very satisfied with both the name that his Mother planned on giving him and the one that he ended up with... but was that really warranted? Though Vivienne could give no real opinion on his names seeing her 'impaired' emotions, she could imagine what the 'old' Vivienne Bianchi would think of here.

    "Yozora... is a pretty name... or you could say very romantic. The choice of Orion as your pseudonym works well with the Japanese name that your Mother intended for you. My Mother too had a Japanese name in mind for me... since she is of Japanese descent... it became my middle name..."

    Vivienne paused. Did she not want to tell him her middle name, or was there something else going on inside her head? She seemed to be taking a good look at Orion, though well, that might as well have been what she has been doing since the beginning of their conversation -- no different from a surveillance camera monitoring a suspect for the slightest movement. These were not the judging eyes of a prison guard, nor the untrusting stare of a detective trying to pry apart lies and truth. It was two clear blue irises, like azure camera lenses, soullessly looking at him.

    "... though it would appear that you might know part of that already? You did assume that I could understand Japanese."


    Indeed, the way the conversation had gone, either this man was aware of Vivienne's background, or... he had seen her 'last week', when Vivienne donned her mask and confronted Lobo.

    This lead to some... very interesting possibilities.

    "I wonder, have we met before?"


    But...


    Vivienne did not wait for a reply.


    Whatever Orion's response was, it had no bearing on the course of action Vivienne Bianchi had elected to take.


    It was a decision Vivienne made the moment she had noticed this irregularity. Against the untrained, uninitiated eyes, such methods of illusion and deception would normally suffice.


    But Vivienne is initiated, is she not?





    It all happens in quick succession.


    The flash of eight glimmering blades.


    The whistling sound of air being cut through as a set of knives are flung across the room by dexterous, deadly hands...

    ... and finally a series of flat thuds as the eight blacksteel knives embed themselves around their target. They were not aimed to kill, but rather it was to replicate the age-old circus act: Impalement Arts -- something that the daughter of a circus owner may or may not have learned out of fascination. All of the knives drive themselves at such an angle that they form a prison that constricts the outline of the target, preventing any sort of movement.

    "I see you." she utters in her trademark indifferent voice, another knife having slid from her puffy coat's sleeves into her hand. It is as if... it had always been there somehow. Someone might accidentally confuse her for a knife nut if they had the wrong idea... but well, she did, or the 'previous' her did take knife throwing as a hobby.

    One may guess that this new knife she is holding is meant not to immobilize, but rather to inflict grievous if not... 'terminal' harm.

    "Enough with the tricks."
    Last edited by Ayakashi; April 8th, 2021 at 07:33 PM.

  19. #3959
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: The Lighthouse
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)
    Weather: Rain


    I chuffed lightly at the ghostly lad's amusement, the serious and gloomy air somewhat dispelled by the slight easing of tensions, rolling my shoulders slightly to try and roll the tension out of it.

    "I'm not kidding about the amount of shit on my plate, but that's nothing to do with you, and I shouldn't blast you with my own frustrations just because some geezer left me to walk through the pouring rain..."

    I sighed, gathering my thoughts.

    I didn't address the so-called persecution complex.

    It didn't matter if people called me a fool or not.

    Elaine Winters would always be an idiot where it counted.

    But, for right now, it doesn't matter.

    Fool or no, it's no reason to not muddle through the best I can, even if it's all hopeless right now, that's no reason to not put my best foot forward and make an impossible problem solvable later through my efforts now.

    So much to do, so little time.

    None of the rest of you lazy bastards bothered to show up, so now it's all on my head to spread the word, not knowing if people will believe me, or who actually knows, or if one of you is the landmine that'll plant a knife in my back...

    Ah well.

    Nothing to it but to go for it.

    I made to lean lightly against the wall, but slowly, begrudgingly sank down, resting my aching legs, shivering slightly.

    Fucking rain.

    "It's based off of a relatively simple thing, folklore-wise," I began, "The night's for ghouls, ghosts and gribblies to rolick about and cause a ruckus, when the Sun comes out, they go poof. Less 'power of god', more 'morning sun banishes the terrible night', style of business. Classic Magic Circle, bad things can't get in, can't get out. It's a chain, and like any chain, it does it's best job with a good anchor, and even if he's gone and made himself a regular 'ghost in the machine', electricity goes to ground regardless. It's physics ontop'a metaphysics. Just, ah, have to be careful about him blasting it."

    I made a circle with one hand, "Get 'em into a concentrated area, make the walls hard so they can't leave, and then start pounding 'em, if he's not a serious badass, or if he's not on his A-game, he'll go zap. And even if he is, he'd have to bust out, and I've got more than one way to deal with a runner."

    He'd have to get up real early in the morning to get past me.

    Hm.

    "Though the problem would probably be digging him out of Kean in the first place," I rubbed at my chin.

    Wait a minute.

    I frowned.

    "Died elsewhere, brought back to an important location, feels he's been wronged, possessor-type, thrives on misfortune, doubt and confusion..."

    There you are.

    "Oh, he's a dybbuk. Bit weird for a Catholic, honestly. Basically, he's not a ghost, he's the soul itself, no carried over negative energy from his own death or his murder or what have you."

    I folded my arms, tilting my head back and forth.

    "The classic method for getting him out is probably outta the picture, don't have a Rabbi and a bunch of acolytes, I'd need a solid picture of what crappy things he did in life. Castigation, basically bully him out of the guy and do a lot of invocations of the holy spirit, 42 letter name of God, yadda, yadda. Bit of an appeal to his better nature, too."

    So, that taken into account...

    "In summation, he's refusing passage to the afterlife because he's so incredibly ass-blasted about Miss Congeniality. And he's probably not going to go peacefully unless he gets what he wants."

    I paused.

    "Which, given his methodology and generally being a dick, I'm not particularly interested in."

    I sighed, "Oy vey, what a pain."

    I grumbled idly for a few moments more.

    Then blinked, "Oh, uh, he might've already told you, but it's Elaine, Elaine Winters."

    I hummed again in thought, "Well, we could go with the bully method, or, hm, possibly bait him, he might be willing to hear me out, he already knows I'm not exactly the friendliest towards that person, so I could trick him..."

    It's risky, though.

    But it might work...

    Then I frowned, "Oh, wait, what do you mean by monster?"
    Last edited by Mormarth; April 9th, 2021 at 07:37 AM.

  20. #3960
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Avery’s Dinner?
    Phase: Evening Phase?
    Date: 09.09.1994 (FRI)?
    Weather: Rain?



    She brings her face close. She speaks anger, disgust and disdain. She purposely aims to irritate him. The more she speaks, though, the more John realizes they do have one thing in common: they both prefer listening, but when they open their mouths, they are prone to saying a lot. Perhaps too much.

    The more she speaks the more material he has to assess her, especially when she says something that, for some reason, activates the part of his brain that calls upon the knowledge he has stumbled upon for the past ten years.

    “I see. That’s my bad, then,” he says. As usual, he fails to sound entirely honest. “This must have been what Ubon talked about two nights ago: when I try to show humility, it comes out instead as false and hypocritical.”

    What was he thinking, even? Apologizing to this person after he could not find the words to apologize to Elaine Winters. Can he get any shiftier?

    “I reap the consequences of acting based on incomplete data. I think it is called ‘getting sloppy’.”

    Now that is not entirely a bad thing, though. If he is misusing his usual calculated, adaptive, reactive performance approach to social interaction, it is because something else is gradually replacing it. On the other hand, while he is saying these things, either to safe face or as an honest act of contrition—who knows by this point?—, his mind is working a mile a second, doing what it does best: tapping into the vast library of mystic lore in his head.

    Recalling, connecting, extrapolating. Without the limitations of the common sense of the “mundane” world, even the most absurd theories can find a place among his thoughts.

    What he saw in her eyes. What he saw when she took off the cloak. What Anna Vandemeel said about her. Every single word that has come out of her mouth.

    Seven Rays. Spectrum of light. Burning starlight. Non-physical form. Noumenon. Grand Ritual. Babalon Working. Fission reaction. Transmutation of matter. The Trinity bomb test—the Thelemic trinity. The Jumbo canister. Heart of the storm. Two atoms and three neutrons—but, that’s Uranium, not Plutonium. However, Jack Parson’s chemical…was for the production of “X-metal”, in other words, uranium.

    The chronology would not quite match, though, unless…the occultists and conspiracy theories have the dates wrong…or there is more than one moonchild. The most likely possibility is that he is the one who is entirely wrong, of course.

    “Something comes to mind, the more I look at you, though,” he then says. “There are all sorts of conspiracy theories surrounding the Manhattan Project and, more precisely, the Trinity bomb test. It was not only the first deployment of a tool of unparalleled destruction, it was also an authentic example of transmutation of matter—the dream of the alchemists. Thus, plenty claimed the bomb test was in fact a magical ritual, supporting their claims by bringing up the connections between Jack Parsons and some of the scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, and the mystery of the Jumbo device.”

    The Jumbo device was a canister made to contain the Trinity device so that they could recover the plutonium in case of a fizzle. However, by the date of the test they were so confident in their bomb and in their ability to produce plutonium that they decided “Jumbo” was not necessary. Yet, for some unexplained reason, instead of taking it away to make some use of that big waste of money in the future, they hoisted it up a steel tower some distance away and exposed it to the explosion.

    “There are all sorts of theories about the secret, magical purpose of the Trinity test. Like, the energy released opened a hole in space-time from which something from another realm could seep into this world. Or that the true Babalon Working was not what Parsons did in early 1946, but what he put inside the Jumbo device: a homunculus, a golem, or a fetus prematurely extracted from the womb, to be transmuted into its true astral form upon bathing in the tremendous energy released by the explosion. Those kinds of outrageous things.”

    This is not a matter of whether the stories are true or just sheer rubbish. The thing is that the stories exist, and therefore have power.

    “But that’s enough of the vagaries of my mind,” he says with false sheepishness before straightening his expression back to his usual unflappable mien. “You asked a sincere question, so please let me give you a sincere answer.”

    John has not yet reached the level that his personal failures and misunderstandings make him feel like an idiot, for good or ill. For all her power and her outrageous nature, the fact Ultravania asks things like that, does that not make her anything but human? Therefore, he should regard her as a human, and judge her as a human.

    “To be honest, I am not sure myself. I have lived following my understanding of what humans deem to be 'correct'. However, that does not mean I actually understand how humans decide what is right and what is wrong. On the other hand, that does not render me unable of providing an answer, I think. Please allow me a moment.”

    Never taking his eyes off the colorful girl, John narrows his gaze as he digs into his memories for anything that could help him reach an answer. He is not looking for a universal “right answer” that likely does not exist, nor for the answer he believes she wants to hear. For once, he has concluded that the only answer he can give is the answer he finds within himself. The answer crafted out of his own experiences and reflections.



    He reflects on Elaine Winters: on her feelings towards his savior and her slayer, towards Ramia Ramalsaqr, and towards Sakura.



    He reflects on Elise Marie Pelltier and Hisa Momoi, and their separate versions of their encounter with Ultravania. He tries to remember their choices of words, the tones of their voices, and the looks on their faces as they remembered their deaths.



    He thinks of Alexstrasza, and more precisely of himself when he learned about the videotape that she received. What he felt, and what he believed she felt.

    He does not have the luxury of time. He does not get to meditate under a waterfall or read the thoughts of philosophers, theologians and legalists. Poor foolish John Dove only has himself, his own warped mind, and the ticking time bomb in front of him: a person even more frayed, torn, and broken than himself. Yet, he has one last thing: a tiny seedling, hidden in the barren soil of a soul bathed only in moonlight. It has been nourished lately, by things as disparate as a tiny girl’s reckless kindness, a sporty lycanthrope’s hopeless last stand, a vampire sorceress’ twisted charisma, a Thai girl’s desperate acceptance, and a kick to the back by an Estonian witch who does not mince words.

    Within that seedling, desperately hoping to sprout, there might or might not be an answer. What it definitely has, however, is honesty.

    “There…I believe there a fallacy within your questions,” he finally declares. “We are not considering 'potential' actions people have ‘the capacity of causing’, or 'actions done in another life'. There is no preemptive action nor reincarnation involved here. No matter whether we are trapped in a circle, a straight path, or a spiral, time keeps flowing in a single direction. I called it 'a Sunday that no longer happened', but it definitely happened.”

    If John Dove can give utmost value to his encounter with Her on that Sunday, then he has to acknowledge and give value to everything else that happened on that day and on that loop. Anything else would be hypocrisy, latching only to what is convenient to him.

    Did he not say it? That he would carry the burden of their—Colton’s, Inacio’s, Alexstrasza’s, Elaine’s, Ramia’s, and Mercedes’—deaths?

    “People killed. People died. Those things happened. We cannot treat those events as less than fact,” he continues. “Not possibility. Not hypothetical. Now that they remember, those events have become part of their past, and will define their decision-making from then onwards. Whether they happened in this or that loop is irrelevant.”

    The hand not resting on the counter gestures towards Ultravania.

    “Now, I believe I understand your actions to a degree. Negative actions and events leave a stronger mark on people, and they are easier to setup. It takes time and effort to build a relationship based on love and trust. On the other hand, it would be almost too easy for you to take a life and start a spiral driven by self-perpetuating hatred and the short-lasting relief brought by vindictive retribution. So yes, using hatred to have something to hold on to during an unimaginably long recursion of time makes complete sense.”

    He shakes his head almost despondently.

    “But, it does not change the fact that it involves hurting people, killing people. I suspect the value of human lives is as minuscule in the Turnside as it is in the ‘mundane’ world, though.”

    With those things on the table, John Dove can properly tackle her actual questions.

    “You asked whether revenge is wrong. I believe that to be the case, albeit not because the wrong to be avenged happened in a different loop, but because revenge in itself is unprofitable.” He pauses. “Unless the avenger is the kind of person who experiences bliss and ecstasy from the suffering of others, but that would be a wholly different problem.”

    The short-lived satisfaction achieved through vengeance in no way will make up for the loss already incurred. Criminals should face justice, of course, but there is no real justice in the ways of Hammurabi.

    “You also asked about forgiveness. Should people always be forgiven? I do not know. Probably not. Should people never be forgiven? Most certainly not. Regardless, things such as ‘when’ and ‘in what loop’ the event happened are of no relevance to the question. Those things do not take away from the reality of those events.”

    John raises the index finger of his free hand, to start a count of two items.

    “In the end, only two things are needed for forgiveness: the victim’s willingness to forgive, and the victimizer’s willingness to make the effort and earn that forgiveness. That is all I have to say.”

    The questions answered to the best of his ability, John rests his free hand on his lap. He is not done, though.

    “Two caveats, however: nobody has affronted me, so I have no reason to resent anybody. I do not see myself a victim, and I do not know the feelings that drive people towards revenge, so a person in that position might think me callous. Neither am I a victimizer, except perhaps by inaction, so I do not know what it feels like to desire to do harm to another. In other words, I do not think I am a suitable person for this kind of discussion.”

    Ramalsaqr shot Elaine, not himself. He does not approve of the Libyan’s actions, but he cannot resent her for what he did to somebody else. He is still a bit lacking on the whole ‘empathy’ thing…or at least so he pretends, because he is a coward at heart.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “Tell me, so I can hate you for it.”
    John Dove always lies. First and foremost to himself.

    “Secondly, I cannot speak for events my classmates and I do not remember. If only you do, then it is up to you to judge yours and our actions during those iterations. That is your privilege, and your burden.”

    Despite the matters under discussion, John Dove smiles.

    “Now I’ll repeat myself. If there is anything you know, anything you can share that could help us end the loops, please do so. If you have a reason that keeps you from helping us, please tell us. And if there is absolutely nothing you can do to support our efforts to get out of here, well…I guess I can at least strive to appease your curiosity for a while.”

    John Dove will use every single resource at his disposal to break this cage of space-time. However, at the same time, he chose life. Therefore, his assets are also the things he has to preserve. It is an unreasonable chess match in which the pieces are also the players, and they have to win without sacrificing a single piece. This includes both Alexstrasza and the church assassin who killed her, Elaine Winters and the alchemist who humiliated her, and Hisa Momoi and her absurd murderer.

    However, for all her obvious power, and everything she might know after who-knows-how-many repetitions of this week, can he trust Ultravania’s mental state enough to accept her as an asset? If the answer to that is “yes”, can he even expect, demand, or even request for others to do the same?

    Well, for now he should keep Ultravania far away from Momoi and Pyry, that’s for sure.


    Wise Up! (John Dove)
    [Otherworldly Lore]
    Knowledge is power, and nowhere is this more true than on the Turnside of the world. Even a normal human can find use in knowing about the occult and the supernatural, even if that knowledge is not always completely right. However, it takes a certain type of mind and a certain type of obsession to have this sort of wisdom... and John Dove certainly fills these criteria.
    • John possesses a collection of tomes, folios and other materials he has collected throughout the past ten years. This makes his bedroom a Research Location specialized in the Occult skill, a potential source of esoteric knowledge and even ceremonial spells for inquisitive mystics. John did not take possession of every single occult piece he memorized, and even if he had he wouldn't have been able to take everything with him—the availability of any given piece of information or spell within John's collection is always at the GM's discretion.
    • Absorbing all sorts of occult knowledge implies indirectly grabbing bits and pieces of partially, indirectly, or tangentially related topics. John can make a Lore check even if he does not have the relevant skill, as long as the subject can be in some way associated with occult lore. His Skill Score for this check is half his total Occult Skill Score, rounded up.

    (Additional effects yet to be revealed.)
    Last edited by Daneel Rush; April 10th, 2021 at 08:06 PM.

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