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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4221
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "You're forgiven."

    No room for thoughts. Someone is sad, so he needs to be cared for. This will do. Even if it's not my forgiveness he needs. After all, aren't you the one who's been unable to forgive himself this whole time, Briggs?

    "There, there." I stand up, slip off my shoes, and step across the table, wrapping my arms around the trembling janitor's head and hugging it to my chest. I ruffle Jake's long hair with one hand. Pat, pat, pat. "You can cry if you wanna. Or yell at me. I asked you to remember something awful."

    Whether these feelings were there all along, or were just now revived because of my prodding, doesn't matter in the slightest.

    "It's alright. I don't hold it against you. Sure he doesn't either."

    Would Snow be angry? Maybe he'd resent an awful human, but I doubt he'd be able to stay mad at a friend.

    "How about this? I'll make it better with a magic spell. It works even if you don't believe in it."

    How did it go again? When he'd fall and scrape his knee while we played together, it always got him to stop crying.

    "Pain, pain, go away. Don't come back another day."

  2. #4222
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I walked merrily with Souma, listening with a tilted head and unblinking eyes to his words. He seemed to find amusement in me, which personally I found rather confusing. Am I to be an amusing figure, then?

    "Afraid of our teachers?" I said, with wide eyes to his comment, tapping the cheekbone beneath my eye with a finger and a frown, "Afraid for them, is it not? No matter what delusions one harbors about the supernatural, it is nevertheless, an undeniable part of our world. As a fellow monster, do you not fear for those you do not consider prey?"

    Potemkin, is it not true that our friends and classmates would be most delicious in a way? As such, we must strive not to eat them. For to do so would be... It would be...

    I imagined Cesarina's neck.

    Something curdled in my stomach.

    "The courage to strive against one's instinct as a devil," I said, examining the curious texture upon his eyepatch, "is a thing I personally find to be quite impressive."

    We came to a stop in front of door, leading likely to Gabi's dorm room. I stared at it with slightly bleary eyes, the memories from the previous night still swirling in my mind.

    "Are you perhaps a traveler of this timeline as well, Souma?" I said, peering at him with idle curiosity in slightly panicked eyes. "If so, let us pretend otherwise. I feel that our current relationship seems quite... Effective. Let us not think of past mistakes! O-Or foolish words from foolish girls with little sense!"

    As always, I cursed my past self for her reckless and haphazard decision-making process. My current self was clearly far more stable, was she not Potemkin? Do I not uphold myself as a proper member of society, able to interact normally without nary a care in the world?

    Sometimes, I impressed myself.

    "If you do, perhaps have a non destructive way to open the door, I would certainly recommend it!" I said with a bright smile, holding my hand up in a V. "However, I do happen to be quite handy in these sort of scenarios."

    In a memory long, long ago, I saw a bright and smiling woman peering down at me, and I waved a tiny hand at her. She leaned down, and crossed her fingers into a shape I'd never seen before on one hand, and a keychain made of blackened shadows and darkened bone formed around her wrist. In the center of her hand was a tiny skull with dark red eyes, and a chain of small skeletal hands trailed down the sides of her wrist to grasp around the shadow encircling it.

    I, naturally, fell in love with it instantly and demanded her knowledge. It was, fortunately, freely given to me. Sometimes, past me had the utmost brilliant judgement.

    Rifling through my mind, the words flowed out of my lips like whispers in wind, a prayer from two thousand years ago in a language no longer spoken by most of the world breathed my wishes into reality. Around my wrist, the same bracelet I'd been taught of formed around my hand, and with a thought, a long blackened thing of shadow extended from the bracelet upwards, into my fingers, and formed a shapeless key.

    I inserted it into the door and fiddled around for a moment, waiting for the shadows to stretch out and form the proper shape. And then, I turned the key.



    Wise Up!
    Spoiler:

    Blackguard’s Wrist - Cantrip, Darkness

    Rank: F MP: 0
    Creates a multipurpose keychain of shadows attached to the user’s wrist. The keys can extend and transform into various types of tools that the user knows of. These tools can be utilized for a variety of purposes, such as small knives to cut food, keys to open doors, needles to sew with, fingers to turn the pages of a book, and other mundane things. A variant on a spell taught to Alexstrasza by one of her favored teachers, this spell is such a thing that most mages would be required to know; for when a person has magic, there’s no reason to do mundane things slowly, one at a time, when you can do many things at once.
    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. #4223
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I-I will help pull you out, so let us get you two untangled..."
    “Aah, thanks for that.”

    Anna grasped Subaru’s hand with surprising openness, as she was pulled out of the tangle of limbs on the couch. Quickly rubbing her face to get rid of all the dog slobber on it, a glance backward revealed the crushed figure of Zhou Coastrise, her limbs striking out at all kinds of odd angles. A crushed juice box lay to the side, with the last remnants of its contents on the floor and… wait.

    How did she even have time to write this pseudo-comical death message in the few moments she… actually never mind. I have the sneaking suspicion that that course of reasoning will lead to far more headaches than it was worth.

    Of course, the puppy that was to blame for this entire mess was gazing up at the scene with an evident feeling of self-satisfaction. The sight alone was enough to make her mind wander to potential avenues of payback against the smug (although cute) beast.

    Some dog treats with wormwood, perhaps?

    “I think this case solves itself: the culprit is Vandemeel, and the weapon is her rear end. As for the motive…”
    John Dove was, as always, possessed by an almost overwhelming aura of melancholy. Though if she had to put her finger on it, the source of it seemed to be somewhat different in nature than yesterday. Not that his self-worth problems had vanished, but rather that there was something new mixed into it that she couldn’t fully identify. Well, she’d figure it out sooner or later. That’s what her gut told her, at least.

    The Estonian girl raised her hands in mock surrender.

    “Well, you caught me, officer. I am the culprit. Although…” Anna’s eyes fell on the supposed “murder victim” and a devious grin rose to her face.

    “What you might not know is that I am also known to be the Savior reborn. For I possess the power…”

    The dark-haired girl raised her index finger in a theatrical manner, before turning around towards Zhou, her figure looming over the half-Asian girl in an almost ominous and villainous manner.

    “…of resurrection.”

    Just as she said those words, Anna thrust her finger into the side of the Coastrise girl, waggling it across her ribs and tickling her mercilessly.

    "It's where I was off to anyway, so let's have a good old pow-wow, Breakfast 'n BS, my favorite."
    Anna raised her head momentarily.

    “No complaints on my end. A bite to eat doesn’t sound too bad.” Her eyes moved from the target of her tickling abuse to John for a second. “Have some stuff to say and pass on from my end as well.”

  4. #4224
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "That sounds...kind of silly."

    Leaning back in the chair as I folded my arms in front of my chest, I frowned slightly at the rather confusing phrase and its just as confusing interpretation.

    "If someone lived by that logic, they would have to be prepared for just about everything, which would be both rather controversial and impossible in the first place. If it's just rain specifically, then in my mind, that would mean that the person is aware of some knowledge that most aren't, which is that it's definitely going to rain, despite all odds."

    As I talked, I remembered the notes we found last night as well. Something that had a few interpretations for it as well - even if they similarly did not feel to make a lot more sense either.

    "However, whether it's Allene's interpretation, or this, or anything else...I feel like it never was about rain in the first place. Someone just made it up that way, because for some reason, expressing their thoughts and feelings in a clear way was too complicated...And for anyone who does not understand the context, it's nothing but fuel for philosophical discussions. Discussions that only ever end up with finding the interpretation that is closest to our liking, which likely never reflects the real answer. Or even if it does, it's not like there would be evidence of that."

    With a sigh, my gaze wandered out towards the open and up towards the sky, as it was filled with a multitude of gray clouds blotting out the sun and the clear blue skies behind it.

    "I mean, long as Road's End is involved, it clearly has nothing to do with rain. It's been raining plenty, and on the same days too. The original observer who made it up likely had wholly different circumstances, ones that might have completely lost their relevance for us by now."

    Ugh, it was simply just annoying. Irrelevant - almost as if the point of it was just to distract my mind with meaningless things instead of letting it focus on things that matter.

    "Not that theorizing about the place one would name after Odin feels any easier. After all, some given conditions are that it's a containment site for patients of some sickness, which would imply that it has a certain level of security and control by those who named it that in the first place...While a place where knowledge is stored could be many things depending on the kind of information, and the questions they give answer to. The simplest would be a library, but even if that would fit most conditions, it really feels way too simple. On the other end of the scale, there's something like the Petroglyph Cave - but that does not exactly sound like a place where they could contain patients, and it might fill the role of the Well better. And in the middle ground...It could be any place at all. After all, it's not really necessary for the place itself to hold any symbolical meaning. Long as it is where a certain kind of information stored, it could be anything - someone's garage, or an otherwise empty basement, or such."

    In which case, even if the town was relatively small, it would have been nigh impossible to locate such a place without any clues at all.

    "As for the Yggdrasil...Wouldn't that just mean the abyss between the realms itself? From a different perspective, it's what surrounds and embraces all the dimensions, and with a bit of knowledge and purpose, there technically are "pathways" in it that connect the dimensions, like the branches and roots of the tree would. The "Well" could imply one certain dimension that holds knowledge, but similarly, we have to traverse through the abyss to reach there - even if without being aware of it, in thse case of the dream world, for one."

    "It's likely even more relatable for you, considering the realm of the fae," I added as I gestured towards the doctor with my head, "Or you, since from what I gather, you've been to the afterlife," I nodded towards Pyry this time, "All which are connected by the abyss, even if the experience of having to traverse through it is sometimes smoother, while sometimes more noticeable."

    Though...

    Even if it was like that, did it, in any sense, even matter?

    "Anyways, while we talk," I turned my head towards Allene this time, "How about we get started, then? I'm good at multitasking, especially if I can just sit around comfortably like this while doing so."

  5. #4225
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    A long, long silence.

    Jake Briggs' body was like a statue of salt, completely frozen at Prushka's touch.

    Had the janitor, in a way, needed someone to do exactly this? Even if he couldn't forgive himself, had there always been a wish that someone else, anyone, would forgive him for what had happened? Or was it just so unexpected that he did not know how to react? It was impossible to say, even for Prushka - for even up this close, the janitor had completely shut off his emotions. Or rather, he held them all at bay with rigorous tenacity. But at the same time, that stillness told a story of its own.

    He hadn't expected this. And neither did he shove Prushka away. He took in the touch and listened to those words in absolute silence, pressing them to his mind.

    And then, only then, did he gently push her back and separate himself from her.

    ".......... Heh. That's some powerful magic, dudette," Jake finally said with a slightly sad smile on his lips. "So it doesn't even care if the magic's real or not, huh...?"

    For a moment, Jake pressed his hands on his face - perhaps not to let Prushka see what sort of expression came over him. When he finally removed them, he was back to his usual self, that slightly lazy, ultimately kind smile adorning his lips. A momentary weakness that he didn't want anyone to see, and then it was gone. It made sense, too. Considering how he usually acted and what he had been through, Jake must have built some strong walls around himself, too.

    Like most people did at some point or another.

    "That being said... I dunno. Nevada was kind of a jerk when he wanted to be," Jake continued with fondness clear in his tone. "Rather than forgive me, I think he'd just make fun of me for getting like this. Little Scrappy-Doo, like Tommy used to call him..."

    The older boy chuckled quietly again.

    "Still, uh... thanks, dudette. It's not a topic that's easy to talk about, so you being... um..." Jake paused for a moment, sheepishly scratched his cheek, and then shook his head. "Eh... well, never mind. Just forget it."

    Looks like he was one of those people who wasn't that good at expressing himself.




    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Click!

    With a satisfying sound, the lock of Gabi's door yielded before Alexstrasza's simple spell, and a turn of the handle later the door slowly creaked open. Souma, who had chosen to remain silent in the face of the girl's questions and instead just smile mysteriously, raised an eyebrow. Whether curiously or in an impressed way, it was hard to say. However, at least it had elicited some sort of response. Alexstrasza could practically hear Potemkin chuckle at that in her mind. Unlike the shadow's silence at the girl's earlier thoughts - as if denying any answers for the validation she had sought - this time the feeling was clear.

    Maybe the monochrome creature just felt some sort of weird connection to the one-eyed youth?

    ".......... Ladies first."

    With a voice that lacked any sort of sarcasm, Souma held the door open so the blonde girl could enter first. He followed right afterwards too, and thus, the two of them ended up taking in the sight of Gabi's room more or less together. And what they saw was... well, in a way, it was just like they had expected. But at the same thing, it wasn't really anything at all that they had expected.

    The room had been decorated fairly minimalistically. It wasn't utterly Spartan as with Souma, but there was distinct lack of flourish to it - or perhaps Gabi just wasn't that much into bright and colourful things. What the boy had done, however, was to fill the walls with various astronomical and NASA related posters - pictures of celestial phenomena, stars, planets and such. Not only that, but the ceiling had been glued full of what looked to be a composite picture of a starry sky - each picture a part of a grander whole. Adding to the miniature model of the solar system on the desk, and this certainly looked to be the room of someone who really enjoyed astronomy.

    But then there was the matter of the wardrobe and Gabi's bed. As expected, most of the clothes in the forrmer would have been more fitting for a girl's closet. However, they weren't what took most of the space. No, it looked like all sorts of star-viewing equipment and cameras had been crammed into the closet. And as for the bed...

    "........ Heh. Looks like he tosses and turns," Souma commented.

    That was an understatement.

    For some reason, Gabi's bed and pillow... it looked like someone clawed and punched at them nightly. They were in a horrible state.

    "Still... look," Souma continued as he walked over to the half-open wardrobe. "... The telescope is missing from this case. And the carrybag is gone, too."

    So some of the equipment wasn't here? Meaning...?




    Elaine Winters, Anna Vandemeel & Dohn Jove
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hugyaaaaaaaaa~!"

    A sound most uncharacteristic of Zhou Coastrise rose from within her as Anna poked her finger to her side (not too firm, but not too soft either) and started wiggling it. Like a bat out of hell, the bespectacled girl clampered back to her hands and feet, reviving just as miraculously as promised. Then she skittered into the far-off cornered corner of the room on all fours and stayed there, glaring at the raven-haired girl with all the pretenses of her usual languid and dreamy appearance gone. Instead what quivered there was the real Zhou Coastrise, who could be surprisingly sharp and vindictive when she wanted to be.

    And right now, she was looking awfully lot like the latter.

    "Ooh. That truly is quite amazing," Subaru commented from besides Anna, nodding in wonder. "And here I thought resurrection was the highest grade of magics. Yet to perform it with such an ease..."

    Tonkori let out an agreeing bark, her tongue lolling out and a grin on her face as she glanced at Anna again. Perhaps the dog was agreeing with the sudden streak of mischievousness that the usually sour girl was displaying.

    "Grub time then? Alright, I'm just about finished here as well," Ramia said and started pulling on the boots she had been doing maintenance on. "... You know, the fact that they're keeping us fed even on weekends is kind of amazing. Just hope there's enough bacon too... oh who am I kidding - there's always enough bacon. It's like they've got a bacon mine there back in the kitchens or something."

    The husky-voiced girl then took a look at Zhou and raised an eyebrow.

    "What about you, Glasses?" She asked. "You coming?"

    Still glowering at Anna, Zhou took a moment to put a hand to her chest and take a deep breath... and once she had exhaled, the girl had almost managed to set back her usual facade. A sweet sort of smile spread to her face and she climbed back to her feet, nodding while she did it.

    "I... I suppose I will~!" the bespectacled girl answered. "I wouldn't mind relaxing with a cup of tea, considering how hectic this morning has been for some reason~"

    There was definite bitterness behind those words.

    "Well, let's get going then - we're burning daylight," Kean spoke up and gestured towards the corridor with his thumb. "We can talk while we walk. Though, uh..."

    As the now-long-haired boy turned around and was about to head through the doorway, his eyes happened on John. Kean frowned at the sight of him, as if sensing the weird change in the boy as well. Then, after a moments thinking (and after they had exited into the corridor as one big group), he leaned closer to John so that he could whisper something to him.

    "Err... John? Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but..." He frowned and paused. "... Did you get laid or something?"

    What.

    "You're looking a bit different than normal. All glowy."

    What.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Maybe that's the point?"

    Dorothy Canseliet cocked a mischievous eyebrow as she took a sip from her tea, gracefully.

    "It's a sentence that sounds vague and philosophical to confuse those who hear it but do not understand the context. Only if you have the right knowledge can you understand it's importance. Almost like a rudimentary cipher of some sort. Then again, it could be a straight up cipher or a hidden message - even an anagram, like I said. Or, hmm..." While she had started rather amusedly, for a moment a more serious expression passed by the fae's face. "... Perhaps it could also be a password? Or a hint for a password? If it's such an important sentence, that is. You just haven't found the right lock yet, so it makes no sense to you."

    Hearing that, Mercedes - surprisingly - nodded.

    "Like, that could actually be it? A mnemonic device or whatevah," the starlet suggested. "The reason why it, like, sounds confusing now is that you're just missing the context. So all you gotta do is find where to use it and bam!"

    She slapped her hands together.

    "It'll click right then and there."

    Pyry (and in less of a sense, Tris) nodded after hearing that. It was a sound enough suggestion. However, if Angelica had given it to Hisa and the others from the past, and if what Hisa had learned so far was true, how long-term of a plan was this? Had Angelica foreseen that they would encounter somewhere where they would need it? Or did it have a more general, universal use at Road's End?

    It was hard to say...

    "--- As for WUOTAN, well, there's also other way of looking at it. Approach the question from the other end," the good doctor then continued. "If it's a containment-slash-quarantine site for humans and a place to store information, it has to be a relatively large building. Depending on the infection rate of the illness, it might even require a properly big area. And those are rare at Road's End. Off the top of my head..."

    She started counting with her fingers.

    "The hospital. The saw mill. The warehouses of the old train yard. And... that's about it, really. Any other place would be immediately obvious or far too small," she explained. "Unless, of course, the patient count is small. But even then, there's something else to consider. Supplies. A place like that cannot run on its own. It will need periodical supplies, possibly multiple times per week. So, what you have to keep an eye out are vehicles that raise an eyebrow. Large vans, trucks, that sort of thing. If they move within the town, that's where the place probably is. But if they're nowhere to be found here, then..."

    Her smile turned, just for a moment, to that of a predator during a hunt. It was almost like this game of deduction and intelligence that Hisa was playing had gotten the fae in the mood as well.

    "... Look for tracks in the forest, ones left by larger vehicles. Because if there's one place at Road's End where you could hide a larger building without anyone noticing for a while, it's the Ghostwood."

    That made Pyry nod again... but also frown slightly.

    "But what if there's no sign of them in town and no tracks to be found in the forest?" The boy asked. "They do seem rather secretive, after all."

    Almost immediately, Mercedes hissed slightly as she sucked in air through her teeth.

    "--- The old railroad. It's far away enough from the town to avoid noise, yet it would allow movement through the forest without leaving tracks, if needed."

    That did make sense. Indeed, while rather basic things to consider, they definitely were something that could be checked relatively easily or quickly. In a place like Road's End, any vehicles that might supply a quarantine site, especially if it was bigger, would stick out like a sore thumb once one started looking. And if everything else failed, there was still the matter of the railroad tracks leading out of the town...

    ... Still, there were other things to worry about first.

    Namely, the case of Allene.

    And speaking of which...

    "Oh. Right. Here, child - eat this."

    For some reason, Dorothy Canseliet had taken one of the jam-filled cookies from the tin and waved her hand over it a few times before handing it over to the blue-haired girl. Allene looked at the cookie with slight confusion, then glanced over to Hisa to see if she was befuddled as well, and then back to the doctor. The fae simply smiled at her questioning eyes and smirked in an enigmatic way.

    "It's to help you relax and to focus. Nothing dangerous, I assure you. Just a little something to take the edge off and make your friend's job here a little easier," she explained: "Think of it like a sip of alcohol, though without the alcohol."

    "G-gosh... well, that's good, since I'm not that good with alcohol myself," Allene replied, still little bewildered. "But, um... here I go, then!"

    Looking a bit too nervous to be just eating a cooking, the girl bit into it with gusto, and managed to eat the whole thing with two bites. She then held her hand over her chest and waited for the effects to show up... but after half a minute of waiting silence, nothing had yet to manifest. Dorothy, still amused, rolled her eyes and gestured the girl silently to turn around and let Hisa get on with her work. Indeed, while it was most likely just a fae charm of some sort to give person better clarity for the situation, they weren't usually the type to achieve an effect visible to the naked eye. If anything, it tended to amount to a short magical backrub.

    Still, Allene nodded, steeling herself... and finally turned towards Hisa.

    "A-alrighty! Let's do this, by golly!"

    ... And for some reason she had her hands spread out almost like a volleyball player waiting for a pass.

    Just what did the girl think was going to happen?

    Well, at least it got a chuckle out of Pyry, who tried to desperately hide it by burying his face into his tea.

  6. #4226
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Since you seem to expect some sort of...tangible, and visual effect, let me make it easier for you," I said as I watched Allene's reaction with a smile while raising a hand and extending the index finger of it only, "I'm going to touch your forehead with this finger. It's going to act as the connection between the two of us - and consequently, also as a focal point. It's where I concentrate my power to be able to work it on you in the shortest, most efficient way...While it is also where you should gather your thoughts. At the "front" of your mind, so to speak. While anything you don't want me to touch, you should push towards the "back"."

    As I spoke, my finger approached her head slowly, only for it to stop in the air for a moment.

    "Though, keep in mind that anything could be relevant for the truth. I'm not going to judge no matter what I find. You can also talk to me in there, so what you don't want to share with anyone else, we can keep a secret."

    Finishing the thought, my finger continued, and made contact with the girl's forehead moments later - and in that moment, I projected my powers into the mind that I already senses and focused myself on before. After all, all the physical gestures and the meaning behind them were hardly a necessity for my ability to work. If something, the motions just made it slightly easier to focus, to know what application of such a vague power I was using. Something that might have been a crutch to make practice easier once, but now nothing more than a force of habit. That, and the fact that in this case, it still made made it easier to visualize what I was doing for the other party, which definitely made the task easier for me as well once I dived into their mind.

    Just like how I dived straight into the vast ocean of Allene's mind as well, as I let myself in through the door after knocking on it gently.

    An ocean that was always so calm on the surface - still so superificial. Barely anything more than what one can perceive of the other with their eyes, except that it was nothing more than tens, hundreds, even thousands of different and unique chemical concoctions flowing around slowly along their invisible paths. A layer that, even within a more notable timeframe, was always so repetitive, to the point where it almost felt like some paths were nothing but still, rather than flowing.

    Like blinking, as the eyes slowly dry out, only for fluid produced by the tear glands to be spread out on them by the eyelids. Or breathing. The constant sense of touch on the skin, from the lighest breeze to the slowly changing temperature of the air, to the clothes being in contact with our body. All the things that are just there, that our body and mind takes care of without us even paying attention to, or knowing.

    Still, with most of that being constant and everpresent in almost all beings, with only the slighest of changes depending some characteristics, it's almost just like a monotonous white noise for my goals. Something that's both deeply intriguing when considering the complexity of the mind, but also quite irrelevant and tedious when witnessed countless times and when looking for more of the "person" inside the person.

    Something that only starts showing beyond that calm surface - in the everchanging depths of that ocean that gets more unruly and unpredictable the deeper you go. Where the chemical solutions racing have a different make up moment after moment, conveying their constantly changing information. An ocean that is nigh impossible to map, despite having its clearly recognizeable sections, and one that's all too easy to get lost in. After all, the deeper one dives in this ocean, the more pressure they face from above, and the more unwanted information they need to separate and filter out from the rest.

    Beyond there is the destination that's most intriguing. The more intricate workings to one's body and mind. The "why" to the "what" that one can perceive on the surface. The differences from the norm that usually don't even show on the surface, yet make us unique. Our memories, whether the ones that are just barely scraping the self contained circulation responsible for storing them, or the ones that are etched so deep into it that they can never be forgotten - or perhaps, be forgotten, exactly because of their everpresent nature. One's thoughts, reaching from the conscious, and more organized ones, through the ones that inevitably pop into one's mind for one reason or another, all the way to our deepest, darkest thoughts, the ones that we try hardest not to think of...Yet, even if one can ignore them, or block out from their conscience, they are still present.

    The kind of thoughts that are so much stronger and violent the more primitive and deranged a mind is, and the reason why I had to learn that I can never let my guard down when skirting a part of a being that normally even they only have a limited access to.

    A thrilling experience, nonetheless.

    The only question now was...What exactly was there under the surface in this particular case?

    "The point still stands. Without knowing the context, we don't know anything," I said to the rest of the group as, at least partially, my attention turned back towards them, "As for the places you mentioned...The hospital is one of those locations, but not the one regarded as Wuotan. The saw mill we've been to - but unless there is some secret entrance that leads to an underground base or something, that's not it either. That leaves the train yard with the railroads as an access point, which is..."

    That's something Barney talked about as well. Although, there was some rather unnerving detail about that whole thing...

    "Quite likely a location for something, at least, and something that the government might have their hands in. A conspiracy theorist...I mean journalist we met mentioned finding a huge mound there, and supposedly a bone of a human in it."

    A frown much more serious sat out on my expression as the dark thought occured to me.

    "The hospital had many samples from patients that appeared to be unimaginably sick. Not to mention that they don't exactly seem to be too fond of specimen infected with this sickness, so..."

  7. #4227
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic/Mindscape of Allene
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... A disposal site."

    Dorothy Canseliet put the thought into crude, but right words.

    Even though Hisa could no longer see the woman properly, the visualization of the mental maelstorm having taken over eyes, she could still sense that the expression of the fae must not have been anything good. So far her tone had always been somewhat lilting, somewhat mischievous, as the creatures often had... but this time there was nothing but seriousness and cold fury to it. Fury born from imaging such barbaric practices. It was rare for a fae to feel any sort of pity or empathy to humans, but here... she definitely did, in an almost tangible way.

    It was the kind of anger that made one glad they weren't the target of it.

    "--- Still, that sounds something worth checking out. A trip to the forest would also allow you to keep an eye out for any hidden roads out of sight," the doctor continued. "Besides, if there are humans bones there, I'd imagine for one blessed by Dún Scáith, it would be like a walk in their backyard. They are blessed where the veil between the living and the unliving is thin, after all..."

    How did she know? Well, there were few possibilities, but for some reason... it almost felt like Dorothy Canseliet had smelled it upon Hisa. Not that it would be something to put past a fae, they were known for their strange and absurd abilities. But at the same time, it also served as a reminder and a proof that what Hisa had experienced was not merely a dream she had or a warped memory. If the mark of Dún Scáith shone upon her, then it had been all too real.

    "Perhaps you would even be capable of..."

    What had the fae doctor said?

    The voice, so clear before, had faded away.

    Instead, it had been replaced by the rushing sound of the oceans within which Hisa had dove into, the ebb and flow of the intricate, impossibly complex system that she had plunged deeper and deeper into - past the "what" and into the "why". Crackles of mnemonic patterns lighting up the sky and becoming a vast expanse that spread before her, further and further, patterns like auroras burning within her field of vision. Movement of stray ideas, lost thoughts and half-fleeting memories - moments that just about all humans forgot before they even appeared, yet which were as clear as the stars in the sky to the scarred girl.

    She reached further, feeling the flow of the world before her, trying to touch the wind and to read the current.

    Ripples answered and returned her touch.



    Patterns. So many patterns. All unique, all different.

    To search through all of them would have taken more time than Hisa had in her entire lifetime.

    Thus, she let her powers take a hold even further, spread her influence, established her reality. Allowed her internal laws to become external laws, and blossomed into the reflective, fractal fragments that marked espers and their influence upon this world. While to the outside world it might have appeared that she had began to shed such petals of light, within her own mental landscape, It was like viewing through thousands of mirrors pointing into different points in time.

    Her eyes saw further, further, further than it would ever been possible.

    Gazing upon the complexity that was Allene.



    There.

    Flow.

    Movement springing forth from a single source and spreading everywhere all at once. An effect that propagated itself and tied itself into everything and anything of the mind that she was gazing - no, further that. It spread out of the mind itself through those commands, affecting the very chemical balance of the body itself. It was like a web or a network that endless separated, each branch further and further, until there was nothing else left.

    To her eyes, it was like viewing through impossible silver stands, like lifeforms living in the ocean, double-helix creatures that formed strings so long there was no end to them.

    No end... but definitely a beginning.

    The further down she looked, the clearer that propagating thought, impulse, obsession became.

    It's point of origin was somewhere deeper, somewhere at the very bottom.

    And so she dove.

    And dove.

    Until...



    --- She reached the depths of the ocean.

    The place where all the strands converged - or at the very least she imagined it so. And what she visualized before her become a reality, allowing her to gaze upon the origin of all these double-helix strands that spreads so far up above. The origin of what affected every action, every thought that Allene took in her day to day life, coloring them with its own colour. Almost like a virus, almost like a dip of red into pure blue - making it purple.

    And what stood at that point?

    What lay at the very origin of it?

    ... A single girl.

    Just a child.

    Very young, from what Hisa could see.

    It may have been a manifestation of the specific synapses that created the effect, but to her eyes, it was a young girl with a blue hair and red eyes.

    A young girl... gazing up a broken full-body mirror. At her very own reflection.

    So... what could she do now?

    Talk to the girl?

    Or...

    Expand her power more - visualize this memory more clearly to understand the context better?

  8. #4228
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: Pinefall High Pool Building
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    ".......... Heh. That's some powerful magic, dudette. So it doesn't even care if the magic's real or not, huh...?"
    "Yep, it's the strongest!"

    Doesn't care who believes in it or whether it's real or not. Perfect for a regular Joe like Briggs... and for the 'me' who can't even believe in her own sixth sense right now.

    Step, step. I step back across the table (he's gonna have to sweep later), pick up the can I'd left there, and plop back down onto my seat. Just as I'm about to take a sip...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    "Still, uh... thanks, dudette. It's not a topic that's easy to talk about, so you being... um... Eh... well, never mind. Just forget it."



    "Hmmmmmmmmmmm?"

    "Too late! I'll remember that look on your face forever! Something as simple as this is easy peasy, dude!"


    Don't underestimate me, Briggs! I won't let sadness go unaddressed in my midst! No feeling is too strong! As I kick back, sipping on cold cola... my moment of self-satisfaction fades, like leaves in autumn. I am left with a pensive look inwards, and the slice of humble pie that had been waiting in the sidelines.

    "Besides, I've... already kinda cried myself out this week. So I kinda get how you feel, maybe, just a little."

    It's strange. I spent a close to a year in a numb state, but the past few days have been an emotional roller coaster. Revelation after revelation, each more painful than the last. I've been hugged an embarrassing number of times and shed nearly as many tears. It's gotten to the point where, well... my heart feels tuckered out. If Briggs had asked me how I felt right now, I wouldn't be able to tell him. There's just a dull weariness at the pit of my stomach, that I can ignore sometimes, like right now. But when I think about it my heart starts racing, a chill runs up my spine, and my ears start ringing...

    So best not to think about it. Let's pick something nicer instead. Like Snow. What kind of adolescence must he have had, growing up here without any of us?

    "Still, he was a bit of a jerk as 'Nevada', huh... yeah, sorry, Briggs. That was all of us. We didn't really think much of... well, humans in general. O-oh, but if he was able to make fun of you though, that's a big step. Did you know he used to be all small and shy? The two of us were practically the same height! We used to see who could eat more cereal every morning, 'cus we thought it would make your bones grow faster. Now here I am, finding out he had the gall to go off on his own and get taller and start growing hair on his face without me! You guys must've really dragged him out of his shell."

    Did you grow up without us, Snow? Did you realize the same things I have? Or did you learn a different lesson? Was it a painful one? I wish I could've been there to help you through it.

    I want to ask you about everything. About your friends, about that girl you liked, about how fun or how awful it was. But apparently you're gone. Even though Boss said you're here. Even though Hwan said he felt your ability, even though some monster in the sewers used it, even though...

    "...if he was the Scrappy of the group, you must've been the Shaggy. Do you say 'zoinks' when you get spooked, Briggs?"

    I bet he totally did.

    "And, um... where is my brother now, then?"

    I'll have to pay him a visit. Even if it's a visit to the graveyard.

  9. #4229
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest, Dining Area
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Vivienne quietly listened to Rachel. She could not show any other emotion other than her usual blank face, though perhaps she did try to give Rachel a weak smile -- it was something she had gotten in the habit of doing, trying. She did not remember how to do it naturally, without her masks, she had no notion of the concept, of how it was. That had been injected into her previously, but to be forcibly made to do something Alien, while being able to do it yourself, were two very different things. Still, at least she tried, and even if she failed, her unwavering attention on Rachel would let the red-haired girl know that she had an attentive listener.

    Fortunately, the utter lack of expressiveness was a blessing in disguise here, since the information Rachel was giving Vivienne would have simply elicited a raised eyebrow, or an unavoidable expression of shock. What she was describing resembled what had happened on the 'first' week... but then, that incident had occurred during the day, did it not?

    "Did that happen during the day... or the night? That dream of yours. Also the monster... did it look like it had a partial resemblance to... a wolf? What you described... may be something that happened in another life, perhaps. I presume you don't watch horror movies or read scary stories do you?"

    To the average person, Vivienne would sound pretty insane right now, but she knew that Rachel was not the average person, since she was friends with a ghost at the light house.

    "And that is... unfortunate about your friend. What were their name? I know some people who might be able to help perhaps... was that friend of yours sick or something? In a coma? Apologies if I am asking too much... I am just... a bit curious sometimes. Perhaps that is what happens when you... like detective fiction... it is terrible at any rate... when a loved one is sick... and you can't do anything..."

    She was indeed, in pain, in suffering, and you stood there, unable to do anything... till your eyes were opened.

    Yet wasn't Vivienne literally doing detective work right now? Of course, Rachel would have no idea about that, but perhaps, finding an excuse of sorts that meshed with the truth was more palatable to Vivienne's conscience. Probably.

    Oh, and since when do you have a conscience?

    Before Rachel could answer, Vivienne's reflexes came into play as she felt that there was some sort of danger present... indeed, the man who had been talking with James Halloway had snuck into her blind spot and was now... getting some coffee! Hopefully he would not take all of it... but what else could Vivienne do but hope -- perhaps brazenly run to go get the coffee herself as well? No, that would be quite rude. Yet, the next thing she was going to do may be as equally rude...

    "... smell?" Vivienne said while tilting her head and looking at Rachel... wondering wherever she wasn't the only one who had picked up that very... 'strong' scent which was now flooding her nostrils.

  10. #4230
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Garage
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by ???
    "You'll need this if you wanna make a headway with that."
    My body started moving before my brain processed who the speaker was. Without a single thought, I aimed my UMP45 at the area where the voice came from. The voice wasn’t familiar enough for me to recognize and subconsciously drop my guard. Combined with the fact that presence suddenly appeared out of nowhere. Isolated in an unfamiliar location. The only reason why I didn’t immediately shoot was just for the simple reason that I needed to identify the target before engaging. It would be disastrous if I caused a blue on blue situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorn
    "Go at it the wrong way and you'll launch the alarms. Well, lucky for you, I'm here to make your life easier."
    I studied Hawthorn. Liana Skye’s boyfriend. Vivienne Bianchi’s killer from the previous week. Friendly force. Capable of shooting accurately and quickly from a long distance. Current emotion: Smug. Reason: Keycard held in his right hand.

    “I noticed.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorn
    "Still, suppose I should have just risked waking Lia up. Looks like you god a head-start on me. Well, no matter. You look paranoid enough that you want to know what's inside, just because. And unlike Liana, you're not afraid to get your hands dirty. Or keep secrets."
    I didn’t react to those words. He wasn’t wrong. I wasn’t going to ignore a suspiciously heavy duty safe in a weird location like this. It could be additional provisions or equipment that we could use for the weekend ahead. As for getting my hands dirty and keeping secrets, I didn’t believe in fighting fairly and honorably. If you’re going to fight to the death, then all that matters is the result. If the honorable combatant wins, then their story can talk about how dishonorable their opponent was. If the dishonorable combatant wins, then their story is the one told. Their opponent didn’t bring their full effort. They constrained themselves to feel better instead of seeking victory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorn
    "--- Let's get to it, then, shall we? We don't have much time. By my guess, Lia will be here in under ten minutes."
    “I just need to finish up here before she gets here then.”

    The sooner I complete this, the sooner I can avoid everyone else.

  11. #4231
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic/Mindscape of Allene
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "How do you---"

    Before I could even finish my question, I could feel my eyelids falling slowly, letting a dark curtain befall before my eyes. Just like how my other senses felt to have become dull as well, as if I was perceiving the world from afar, from inside a deep dark cave that only the faintest hints of the events outside reached.

    It was unusual.

    Yet, it made sense soon enough. I was so far from the surface, so deep into the darkest nooks and crannies of Allene's mind, that it was just taking too much effort to keep my attention divided. It was challenging enough as is to keep her, and myself separate from each other - to keep the line between our minds clear. If not, it would have been all too easy to treat her thoughts as my own, and carve my own as hers. Something that, if it ended up triggering my abilities, would be a rather unpleasant aftereffect of this experiment, and something that I rather would have avoided.

    More importantly, I wasn't just in the empty darkness anymore.

    The memory I was trying to track down was finally within reach, and seemed to have cleared up.

    But...

    What exactly was it?

    It would have been too early to interfere.

    All there was to do was to wait and see as it unfolded a bit more.

  12. #4232
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Garage
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    As Vier started her work on the safe, Hawthorn kept back and simply gazed at her from the shadows. The girl could feel the eyes of the vampire keep a close track of how her fingers moved and what she did to bypass the locks that were there aside from the one requiring the matte-black keycard. Minutes slowly crawled by, and as each did, the silence between the two got heavier and heavier.

    Until, suddenly, the man spoke out.

    "... It's not going to work."

    What?

    "See, no matter how much you try to keep them at an arm's length, it's going to fail. You may change your own approach, but you can't change theirs," he spoke out, a dry smirk on his face. "And, if you try to fight back, you'll just make their resistance harder. The only way to win is to not play at all... and that option's been already taken away from you, hasn't it?"

    What was he talking about? Had he sensed something about Vier's attitude, the tone of her words and the way she carried herself? Then, why did he speak with such confidence? Almost like... almost like he was talking from experience.

    "Not even putting a bullet to your own head will save you from experiencing those emotions. You'll just start right back where you began," the man continued and snorted with slight derision. "My advice? Find someone you can actually talk to. Someone like you, but with no relation to you. No baggage of the past. Or don't. You seem to be acting like a stubborn child, so I doubt you'll even listen to any help."

    In that moment, the final button press overrode the code of the and set it back to the factory defaults - followed by Vier quickly sliding the black card through the reader. An acknowledging beep came from the safe and she quickly pulled it open, realizing she had to get to the panel at the back to disconnect the alarm to prevent any further complications. A brisk punch to open the casing and a few snapped off wires later, that's exactly what had happened.

    All in all, it took very little time - and now, the contents of the safe were for her to see...

    "--- I'll take that."

    ... Or, almost.

    Without missing a beat, Hawthorn reached forward and grabbed something from inside the safe - a pitch black folder with something written on it, which he promptly slid inside his long coat. What this left inside the safe was...

    --- Some sort of folded-up map. Was it showing local sewer lines?
    --- A large iron key in a ring. Very intricate-looking.
    --- A shard of some sort of metal, black and jagged.
    --- Some sort of small box that was closed.
    --- A handgun (Colt Delta Elite) and... whole box of silver bullets?
    --- A glass case holding what seemed to be a lock of someone's blond hair.
    --- A satellite phone?

    And lastly...

    A cassette tape, with no markings.

    Not, perhaps, the contents that Vier had expected...




    Colt Davin & Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "I'm not your big brother."

    Jayesh's answer was like cold water being thrown against Colt's face. The look of deadpan fury on the older sibling's face was something to behold, truly - born both out of surprise of what the other boy's reaction had been, but also out of growing anger of being admonished in such a way. Perhaps vigorated by that, Jayesh dragged himself up to a sitting position and then onto his wobbling feet. While he did look like he had been through hell last night, at least he was as quick to heal as all these Turnside-types seemed to be.

    A good thing in general, but perhaps not a good thing for Colt per se...

    "Haa haa. My overzealous brother got scolded..." Kajal mischievously (and monotonely) teased her sibling. "That's what you get - ignoring your cutest little sister like that. That's what you geeeeet."

    Jayesh frowned and looked like he was about to flick her on the forehead... but then decided against it.

    "That being said. Um. My legs work fine. They were just on pins and needles," Kajal then continued somewhat awkwardly, even for her. "So. You don't need to really carry me. If you don't want to. I was just. You know. Teasing you. Since you looked like you were about to tease me."

    ... A shockingly truthful confession?

    Well, at least the truth had come out, though because of it, Colt could hear Cathie let out a sound somewhere between a groan and a sigh, and as he looked, he saw the auburn-haired girl shake her head like a mother watching her son's foolishness. Scottie, on the other hand, didn't even try to hide his chuckling. It was likely that he'd have no ally in this fight, at least when it came to the federal law enforcement.

    "She does that. My sister may be the cutest existence in the whole wide world, but she's got her faults too. Like taking a mile whenever you give an inch. She's still adorable, though," Jayesh said in turn, frowning at his sibling. "So, don't try to bite my head off because of a situation you don't understand. You sounded like that vampire, getting angry over someone being a bad older brother."

    The youth sighed a little.

    "Though in his case, that anger is directed at himself."

    --- What?

    Before Colt could properly react to what the boy had just said, two figures reappeared in the lobby they had left moments before. Aleen and Liana, looking a bit better than they had before (at least the former) - and this time, Aleen was walking under her own power. Though she did stick close to Liana in case her legs gave out on her again - and indeed, it seemed like this was the current topic of conversation between the two.

    "... I mean, that don't mean I don't appreciate it, you know? Just that, I'm a big girl already. A-and it's not like we know each other that well. So yeah, uh, it totes gets embarrassing," the bluehead explained as they walked towards the rest of the group. "So while I appreciate you helping me out, Lia - and cleaning up afterwards... some personal boundaries, yeah? At least now when I'm not in danger of keeling over from getting my mouth stuffed with a chloroform-dipped rag. Though if it looks like I'm about to fall over, then you totes have my permission to go for a catch."

    The bluehead chuckled a bit.

    "Just try not to ragdoll me as much, we don't want a repeat of what just---" Her words died to her lips as she watched the scene unfolding at the lobby, before a raised eyebrow and a smirk appeared on her face. "... Well. Speaking of totes embarrassing, what's going on here?"

    Kajal flashed a V-sign from her position to the two girls.

    "My handsome brother got admonished by Colt, and he admonished me in turn," the bespectacled girl replied with her emotionless tone. "It's turning into quite the scandal."

    Behind them, both Liana and Aleen could see Cathie gesturing as if the trio had just gone completely crazy.




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

    "He... really did. Come out of his shell, that is. Mostly thanks to Remmie."

    Jake said that with a little snort, as if reminiscing about something funny.

    "When we first met him, he was just a bundle of aggression, that dude. Kept calling everyone awful and didn't remember anyone's name - well, no one else's but Remmie's. But before we knew it, he had grown a bit. Just a bit though - in under a year. Was really proud when he said he had to start shaving," the janitor told Prushka. "Guess it might have been a growth-spurt of some sort, or maybe the environment just did him some good. Turned him into a teenager full of teen angst, it did."

    Taking a sip from his own cola, Jake leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling, clearly casting his mind back into the days before the tragedy had happened, the days when their whole group of twelve teens had been together, spending their days spelunking and adventuring without a care in the world.

    "The worst part about it was his whole deal with coming to Road's End, or so it seemed. We never really did figure out where he lived, or where he spent his days, and he was being a pretty secretive dude about all of that, but at the same time... well, it didn't seem to be anything good. But if we tried to pry, he'd just shut us off completely," Jake continued. "One thing we did overhear him talking with Angie, however, was something about... err, what was the term? 'Genetic Father'? Something like that? It sounded like he was looking for his real dad or something, and was pretty sure that he was at Road's End."

    With a sort of difficult expression, Jake shrugged his shoulders.

    "Far as I know, he might have even found him since he stopped talking about it at one point - but we never figured out who it was. And some of us did try to snoop around a bit," he said, before a sort of self-derisive smirk appeared on his face. "Speaking of which, nah. Tommy always said I'd be Fred. Something about the way I said 'treasure' weird or something like that."

    ... He really did, actually.

    "Then again, Tommy had a Hanna-Barbera nickname for just about everyone. Got it from his father, I guess," Jake added. "Tommy Sr. just loved those old cartoons of his."

    And then, as if thinking about past had brought him somewhere colder and more lonesome, another shadow passed by the janitor's face.

    "As for where Nevada's right now... he's in the ground. That's all I know for sure," he said with an air of finality. "The grave's at the cemetery, near the eastern row. Rachel said he would have liked being close to the forest."




    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest - Dining Area
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "... Oh, that is a rather rank smell, isn't it?"

    Rachel frowned as she sniffed the air.

    "Did someone bring in a wet dog? Or did one of the hunters drag in some fresh pelt, thinking we wouldn't notice? Ugh, I wish they'd stop doing that, the cleaning bills alone are..."

    Realizing that she was about to start complaining about work-related things, Rachel caught herself in time and just let the words die out, shaking her head in quiet amusement. Instead, it looked like she'd much rather return to the previous topic.

    "Anyways, it's alright. Better to be curious than dull, right? And there's been a fair share of detectives prowling about Road's End lately, so you'll fit right in," the redhead said with a smirk. "Still, my dream huh...? You know, it could have been a wolf of some sort? At the very least, I remember an animalistic head - though whether it was a canine or some other type of beast, I dunno. All I know it walked on two legs and was armored in a weird way. Like a knight. And I really don't remember seeing any horror movies lately with such bizarre monsters. Nah, just your regular classics with hockey masks and what-not."

    Chuckling to herself, Rachel mimed momentarily swinging a large machete around, like she had been a certain famous movie slasher.

    "And what comes to my friend... that's Samuel. Samuel Lowgate. He's been in coma for years now, so... nobody really expected him to just up and disappear one day. Yet here we are. I already called few of my friends to try to arrange a search party, but some of them I can't get into contact with... and the one working at the hospital is apparently going ballistic, trying to find what happened," Rachel continued, before looking around and leaning a bit closer. "... Apparently, there were some trouble with the video recordings from last night. Didn't tell me what. But it sounds like there certainly was something going on."

    With a worried and rather exhausted sigh, Rachel then leaned back in her chair, rolling her shoulders like stress had got to them. In that momentary lull in the conversation, Vivienne could again take a moment to look at the source of the animalistic smell... and he spotted the same person as before.

    --- Still going at it with the coffee.

    Or rather, he had filled his cup only to down it in one go, and was now filling it again...

    ... Just how much was there left in the pot anyway?



    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic/Mindscape of Allene
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The scenery, it changed.

    The ocean of information, it took form.

    The girl, her apperance solidified.

    From the fragments of information stored into this particular strain and combination of synapses - like flashes of light breaking out in a starless sky - a moment, frozen in time, started to be drawn around Hisa. What first appeared, with an audible crack, was the floor below the girl. Rich wood, expertly crafted. It appeared like someone had been striking patterns into a sheet of glass, the cracks spreading like a web - and wherever those cracks appeared, there the reality started to take form too. Then came the walls with expensive looking carpets, the fancy furniture and the windows overlooking a vast estate.

    Hisa had been in this place before. Not like this, and not in one of these rooms specifically, but she could guess... no, she knew, that this had to be one of the many rooms of the McLampet mansion.

    Then, this blue-haired girl, staring at herself in a full-body mirror while sitting on the floor...

    Another cracking sound. No, now it sounded like a sharp thud, muffled by the walls. And another. Then another. It was followed by a strange sound, akin to someone sucking air through their teeth. Then another thud, and something heavy dropping on the floor.

    With each sound, the girl jolted just a little bit. Her tiny hands were holding on to the hem of her skirt, her knuckles turning white. But she did not let it show on her face. No, instead, she gazed at her own reflection in the cracked mirror, like it was there to give her strength.

    Angry footfalls outside the room. They walked past whatever had fallen, whatever had dropped to the ground, and past the door leading into the room itself.

    "------ She's not her. She's not ■■■■■."

    A distant, cold voice of a man.

    As cold as the silence he left behind as he headed further into the building.

    Silence that reigned heavy and oppressive in the room.

    "........."

    The girl continued to stare into her reflection, her mouth a thin white line and her face an emotionless mask. What did she want to try to find in there? What did she expect to find in there? What answers could be possible found in a mirror so cracked and so old?

    Suddenly, thoughts - like echoing whispers - floated into Hisa's ears.

    - I'm not ■■■■■ McLampet -

    They were spoken in a voice that could only be that of the girl on the floor.

    - I'm not ■■■■■ McLampet -

    There was no sadness, no hurt - only resignation to some awful truth she had arrived to.

    - The one in the mirror is ■■■■■ McLampet. That's the one He wants. But I'm not the one in the mirror. I could never be -

    Hisa could feel something terrible swimming underneath the surface of this memory. A wound that was festering, even now, all the way to this day - like a quiet predator of the abyss. The girl was staring at her own reflection as if she did not recognize it - not because she couldn't, but because the truth had been almost branded into her. That the one in the mirror was not the person she was. But why? Why were the two girls, each one a separate reflection of each other, different?

    --- Because she simply wasn't good enough. While the one in the reflection was.

    Too weak.

    Too frail.

    She could never shoulder the responsibility.

    She might die any day.

    So that's why...

    --- The reflection in the mirror gazed at the girl sadly. It wanted this as little as the girl did. But just like her, it had no choice.

    So the reflection reached out with its hand, touched the surface of the glass, tried to reach out to her... but they both knew it would be impossible at this point. They were too far separated. Therefore, submitting to the fate that had been prepared for it, the reflection held back tears and stood up. It walked away from the mirror, from what the girl saw, and out of the frame... disappearing into thin air.

    And, as if in response, the door finally opened.

    --- And Josie McLampet walked in, her face swollen and bruised.

    "... Oh. Y-you were awake. I'm sorry, did that wake you, dear?"

    Her voice wavered just a little bit, but the older woman hid it expertly - like she had done so many times. The look in those red eyes was one of a person who was determined to keep whatever was beyond that door out of this room. Thus, she slowly walked across the floor and sat behind the small girl who still, emotionlessly, stared at the empty view of the mirror.

    "I'm sorry dear..." Josie whispered, gently wrapping her arms around the girl. "But... I'm sure it'll be alright. If I'll just make him understand, then..."

    The girl, leaning back into the woman's arms and her warmth, finally turned up to look at the woman.

    "Josie?"

    That simple name made the woman's expression falter for just a moment, like a dagger had been struck to her chest - like it was a reminder of her own failures. But again, like a person who had done it many times before, she was able to push it away and retain her smile with barely a stumble.

    "Yes, dear?"

    The girl blinked.

    "Will you tell me a story? About the past?"

    A difficult smile rose to the woman's face, but she nodded.

    "... Mm, sure. How about..." She hesitated for a moment. "... How about I tell you about Allene McLampet? The Girl In Blue, the girl of mysteries, whom grandfather loved so, so early?"

    The girl simply nodded and settled onto Josie's lap, in order to listen to the story.

    And again, Hisa could hear the whispers.

    - I'm not ■■■■■ McLampet. But, then, who am I? -

    - If I'm not her, I must be someon else -

    - Someone strong -

    - Someone powerful -

    - Someone who won't disappoint Him - - Maybe... -

    Suddenly, her red eyes turned to look straight at Hisa - as if seeing through the facade of the memory that had come to a halt, like a paused VHS tape.

    "Maybe being Allene McLampet will make it stop hurting?" She asked. "She was never hurt, after all - no matter what happened."

    Did... did Allene's subconscious address that question to Hisa's presence in her mind?

    Or, if not, then what... what was this?

    New Memory Met!
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; November 12th, 2021 at 12:49 PM.

  13. #4233
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    ---Perfect posture.

    Legs and back straight, right arm held firmly to the side so the young woman she was escorting could grab at her if she fell, the approaching figure of Liana Skye is one that has taken a natural prince-esque stand on the situation. Of course it's only natural for her to do so, this sort of etiquette was something she knew quite well, and yet the expression on the girl's face, is...

    "As you wish."

    ...Simply contemplative.

    "I suppose I do have a bad habit of being a bit too protective, I... Forget where I am, sometimes."

    When push comes to shove, she gravitates towards taking care of things herself; she has her reasons of course, some conscious and others innate, the result of a certain creeping anxiety that appears if she doesn't look after others, however...

    "Got too used to being everyone's big sister back home, guess I'm having some trouble adjusting to the here and now, being a bit too familiar on instinct."

    A weak chuckle, although her stance remains firm in spite of it all.

    "And... As far as rag-dolling goes... I don't think you have to worry about that happening again, I've seen the bathroom enough times this morning myself. I'll just walk you to the table for now, grab my arm if you feel weak."

    ---Of course, when it comes to the predicament of the others in the room, well...

    "..."

    The eyes of a
    mother
    big sister
    do a once over at the situation the others seem to find so bizarre, the scanning eyes find no lit flames, no newly acquired wounds, no new holes in the floor, no sharp or otherwise damaging implements, and...



    "Well, if they're feeling energetic enough to admonish each other, that's a good thing right? Means everyone is healing nicely. You need energy to argue properly."

    She shrugs, having made her rather simple judgement on the matter.

    "Just don't play too rough with each other. If I have to scold teenagers for fighting I'm really going to feel a bit too much like everyone's mom..."

    She grumbles, sounding more and more like a tired but fussy mother all the while, although...

    "Still, everyone here seems fine... Guess I'll drop Aleen off at the tables and go grab everyone else if you want to handle this group, Cathie?"

    Even as she shakes her head, she continues to smile ever so slightly.

    "Fio should be happy breakfast is ready at least, the others... Well, my trouble sense is tingling for most of them, V and Thorne especially."

    As far as Zane goes I'm probably the trouble...

    She sighs.

    "Ah well, I'll handle it as it comes... Wanna come with me Sierra? Or would you rather go sit down with everyone else?"

    ...Then goes right back to being the affectionate caretaker.

    Not just to Sierra...

    "I didn't get a chance to bring a blowtorch to the bacon, but the eggs and the french toast came out fine; some freshly made strawberry jam in the fridge too."

    But towards everyone...
    Last edited by Airen; November 13th, 2021 at 12:10 AM.
    Exodus (Complete)

    Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stilled and the actors leave the stage, the story will never truly end.

    Regardless of the form it takes, as long as there are memories of it's existence, the story will continue on.

    In a small ward in the heart of a once devastated town, life carries on as it always has...

    Because of you.

    Please, remember it warmly.

    We'll continue to walk down this path for eternity.




    Mugen No Sekai

    "The Illusion Incomplete Memories Produce Are,

    Fleeting, Disappearing into the Future,

    Until the Ruins of Yesterday Overflow,

    For That Which Falls Only to Rise is Simply a--"

  14. #4234
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic/Mindscape of Allene
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The memory was far from a happy, cheerful one - but that was something I already expected, considering how deep it was buried, almost as if hidden to never be found again. Yet...it was different to assume and expect, and to actually experience it. But I couldn't let it get to me. The information that the memory contained was key here, and the emotional baggage only served a purpose if it was connected to that.

    The place. It was the McLampet manor, that was for sure.

    The participants. The girl had to be Allene - even if much younger, she resembled her current self. Josie. And an unknown man, one I could only assume to be Elias, once the husband of Josie. Certainly, he didn't exactly put their family in a better light...

    Yet, that also hinted at more details. Elias disappeared about thirteen years ago...Which gives a good approximation regarding the age of the memory. Their child was also supposedly called Leena...Who might be the identity of the person she should be like. At least, that's the only guess I had at the moment...However, the way these details aligned, I could only really reach a singular, quite unnerving conclusion.

    Something that might have explained the mystery surrounding Aleen as well.

    Which is that, in reality, Allene was someone meant to replace - or rather, exchange places with Leena, with the real Leena now being known as Aleen. Almost like a changeling...something that would also explain why they found her to be fragile and sickly. It was a common characteristic of theirs, after all, and if an exchange took place at some point, it would also explain why the man expected her to be someone else, someone stronger. That, unless it was just some delusion, an unrealistic expectation born out of arrogance or something else regarding how she was supposed to be.

    Or, perhaps, she was a being like Allene was...but in that case, why exactly would she have any troubles meeting the expectations of the man? Were her powers creating a flawed image, simply because she was doubting herself that much for one reason or another?

    Or if she really was just a human, then...No, that's likely the most unpredictable answer, with the most unknowns.

    In the end, whichever the case was, there were still too many unknowns.

    Why was she referring to Josie as Josie, and not mom, or something along those lines? Was she not really her mother, and did she know?

    Who was this person she was supposed to be, but was not? Was it really Leena?

    Was the man Elias?

    Was this the reason why she was never allowed outside - because she wasn't really who she was supposed to be?

    The questions formed in my mind, one after another, inevitably seeping into the memory as well - only for me to realize just how blunt and rude it was. Not tho mention that, in reality, those weren't even the important points. That was...

    You are someone. Yourself. Why do you feel the need to pretend to be someone else? No one has the right to ask, or expected such a thing from you.

  15. #4235
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Canseliet Clinic/Mindscape of Allene
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "The heir of the McLampet must be strong."

    The girl sitting on the lap of the woman frozen in time - in the midst of this compound memory - answered Hisa's thoughts as if they were words that had fallen from her lips. And perhaps they were. Connected this close, connected this deep, the flow happened both ways if you were not careful - and the deeper you were, the harder it got. It was unknown if she had heard the thoughts from before or just the one that had served as an answer...

    ... But the latter was the only one she seemed to focus.

    "That was Howard McLampet's rule. He could not leave the family in the hands of someone weak, someone who could die without a warning. There were things far too important buried in this town to leave in undeserving hands," the girl, too old to match the memory yet still younger than she truly was, answered. "None of his own children deserved to be the true heir - or so he apparently said. So the only ones he could turn to were his grandchildren. Hope that one of his grandchildren would turn out to be strong enough."

    She reached out with her hand, gently, towards the mirror.

    "... The heir of the McLampet must also be alone. For there is no one they will be able to trust. There can only be one, to avoid a catastrophe... or so he said. A singular heir. No more, no less," the girl spoke again. "There can be only one person to lead the McLampets and to guard their secret. If more than one person knows, it is too much. And thus... the heir was chosen.

    She stood up.

    "■■■■■ McLampet was chosen."

    With heavy steps, the young girl walked over to the cracked mirror, past the world around her that had become solid and unchanging. Her eyes momentarily wavered over to Hisa, watching her stand there, before she reached the mirror itself. There, she put her hand against the glass and gazed into it... and saw her own reflection, once more, staring back at her.

    At least for the moment.

    Then that reflection turned to look at Hisa - but not the original.

    "But she became too weak, too sickly. She wasn't strong enough to carry the burden. She was not what Howard McLampet would have desired. This was found out... too late. When the girl had already grown up some. When she had started to form an identity of who she was," the reflection spoke, eyes gazing at Hisa with profound loss in them. "They could not make her into the true heir. Thus, they had to cast her aside and choose another - the one who had lived in shadows that far. The one who was never meant to amount to anything. A 'waste product', Howard's children called her. The child who never laughed, never cried, never did anything but sit on the sidelines. She was strong enough. Now all they could do was to make her into the heir that was supposed to be - the heir they had already introduced to the world."

    The girl grapped the mirror's surface and pulled a piece of glass out of it, showing the shard to Hisa.

    "They took the identity of ■■■■■ McLampet and gave it to her. And I was left with nothing. They tore away who they had made me into and took everything from me - even the right to recognize my mother. The heir of the McLampets is always alone, after all," the girl spoke, and for a moment, hatred could be seen flaring up in her eyes. "It was my time to be the child who would never laugh or cry, who would do nothing but sit on the sidelines. I would live in the shadows. Nameless."

    The piece of glass fell to the carpeted floor with a small thud.

    "... But then, Josie told me stories. Of Allene McLampet. The greatest secret of them all. And how she was never hurt. How she never felt pain. If I would be her... then would my hurt stop as well?" The girl asked, eyes shining with a kind of crazed light that was hard to look upon. "What else was there? If they deemed me unworthy of being ■■■■■ McLampet, then... I would just become a shadow of that person from long ago. A vampire, living in the shadows. At least, that would allow me to be someone."

    The reflection in the mirror hung her head, hands on the surface of the glass as if begging to get through.

    "And then she lied. She lied to herself and she lied to others," it spoke. "She lied until she began to believe that lie herself. And then... she no longer hurt at all. Because she could not even remember she had lied in the first place."

    The girl herself turned her gaze up at first... but could not help but to look at Hisa, water glimmering at the corners of her eyes.

    "... If I'm not Allene, then I'm no one. Just a nameless thing, in the dark. What choice is there left but to lie?"

    And in that moment, Hisa understood.

    That double-helix that stretched across the mindscape, infecting every action and every thought, even the memories themselves.

    It was a lie.

    A lie told so many times she had begun to believe it herself.

    The lie of being someone, when her identity itself had been taken from her.

    The girl that now called herself "Allene".
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; November 12th, 2021 at 03:56 PM.

  16. #4236
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    “You’re not my big brother, and thank the lord for that,” unfazed by the stone-cold fury of Jayesh, Colt pointed with his thumb at Kajal. “But you’re hers.”

    "That being said. Um. My legs work fine. They were just on pins and needles. So. You don't need to really carry me. If you don't want to. I was just. You know. Teasing you. Since you looked like you were about to tease me."

    “… Ah.” Did he really look like that? How could such a faint, nonexistent, innocent feeling make its way to his face like that? “Well, as long as you’re well it’s fine. That’s good.”

    He selectively ignored the bit about teasing.

    "She does that. My sister may be the cutest existence in the whole wide world, but she's got her faults too. Like taking a mile whenever you give an inch. She's still adorable, though. So, don't try to bite my head off because of a situation you don't understand. You sounded like that vampire, getting angry over someone being a bad older brother."

    Colt rolled his eyes at yet another snide remark about not knowing enough about the Turnside to stick his nose in. This one, however, struck a sore spot as Jayesh compared Colt to Hawthorn.

    The rolled eyes stopped, then narrowed at the other man.

    "Though in his case, that anger is directed at himself."

    “What?”

    The first, simplistic thought Colt had came out of his lips. The annoyance at being compared to Hawthorn gave way to immediate confusion.

    But as if the universe itself was carrying on with its grand scheme to never elucidate on the matters involving Hawthorn and his mysteries…

    "... Well. Speaking of totes embarrassing, what's going on here?"

    The once nauseous Aleen returned with nauseating timing.

    "My handsome brother got admonished by Colt, and he admonished me in turn. It's turning into quite the scandal."

    Flashing a V for peace, which Colt held back the urge to comment on as outdated, Kajal spoke up with what almost felt like gusto. As if she was… enjoying… the situation.

    In fact, she probably was. A perfect example of taking a mile when she had an inch, just as Jayesh said.

    “That’s right, but I’m not sure if scandal is the word… After all, all I did was stick my nose where it didn’t get belong, make the mistake of calling a big brother ‘big brother,’ and worst of all, fell for someone’s,” heavy emphasis went on the word someone as Colt glanced over at Kajal, whose triumphant V was still in his mind. “Idea of teasing.”

    Colt stood up and scratched the back of his head.

    “Though I get the feeling you just said something I wasn’t supposed to hear, brother.” Colt looked over at the wobbly Jayesh. The word brother left his lips in a mix of defiance and stubbornness. It wasn’t uncommon to call other guys brother where he came from. Even if it wasn’t a habit of his it rolled off the tongue easily enough. “I’m not sure if I should pretend I heard nothing at all, or ask him, get shot, and regret it. Maybe I'll think that out over breakfast.”


  17. #4237
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    A slight frown came to my face at the thought of a 'bacon mine', a distant memory of something remarkably similar surfacing from the morass.

    "Yeah, maybe they're sacrificing some old folks to some earthen spirit for infinite food or something," I rubbed idly at the outer edge of my thigh, the site of a fading scar, "Wouldn't be the first time."

    I sniffed, "Prolly not, though, that's more of an entrenched town cult sort of thing and they don't like us too much last I heard."

    And with my own wacky character trait brought to the fore...

    "Still though, you do seem a bit more, hm, animated this morning, John."

    Walking around with an (apparently) genuine smile on his face and not that plastic-looking husk?

    Impossible, must be an imposter.

    Or maybe...

    "But, I'm not so crass as to say you'd fallen into bed with someone, of course."

    I feel he would be quietly tormented and perhaps despairing of the lack of any substance in even the heights of love for any who are not some shadowy moon-tart.

    Maybe.

    That or there'd be a joke about butt ticks again, and this room was lacking in the required testosterone for that joke to land.

    I nodded once, firmly, then continued: "Cocaine is much more believable."

    Small pause for effect.

    "That or you're a lizard person, no in-between, I'm afraid."

  18. #4238
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Garage
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorn
    "... It's not going to work. See, no matter how much you try to keep them at an arm's length, it's going to fail. You may change your own approach, but you can't change theirs. And, if you try to fight back, you'll just make their resistance harder. The only way to win is to not play at all... and that option's been already taken away from you, hasn't it?"
    I ignored Hawthorn’s words for the time being as I worked on the lock in silence. I wasn’t inclined to talk whilst working in the first place especially with a lock like this in front of me. One false move and I’ll still trigger the alarm. Keycard in hand or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorn
    "Not even putting a bullet to your own head will save you from experiencing those emotions. You'll just start right back where you began. My advice? Find someone you can actually talk to. Someone like you, but with no relation to you. No baggage of the past. Or don't. You seem to be acting like a stubborn child, so I doubt you'll even listen to any help."
    I continued ignoring him as I finished the last override to set the keycard reader back to the factory defaults. With the final hindrance set back to its default, I was back in my element of physical lockpicking and alarm disabling. Disassembling the panel at the back to disconnect the alarm before it went off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorn
    "--- I'll take that."
    Before I could see the contents of the safe, Hawthorn grabbed a pitch black folder from the interior with marked ease. Almost as if he already knew what were the contents inside of it. With the adrenaline falling from the successful disarmament of the alarm, I thought about his words. And I had to admit one thing. He was right. I couldn’t continue going like this. I had to resolve the issues I had. Me half-assedly keeping them at arm’s length wasn’t going too work. I had to do things right.

    With that in mind, I grabbed the items that would be useful for me to make my next actions. The folded-up map of the sewer line, the iron key, the handgun, its ammo, and the cassette tape with no markings. With everything getting stored in my plate carrier pockets and my guitar bag, I started walking away quickly towards the exit of the door before Hawthorn.

    “You’re right. Everyone’s resistance would be harder if I keep them at arm’s length.”

    I turned the corner to ensure that I lowered the odds of him still being able to see me. If he started to follow, all I need to do then is take advantage of the door to keep him out of line of sight.

    “If they remember.”

    At that moment, I immediately used my ESP at its strongest power. At that moment, any and all memories associated with the person Vier Wolff, Vier, and even Specialist 45 were instantly erased. You’re right Hawthorn, I shouldn’t half-assedly keep people away because otherwise they’ll try to find me anyways. It’s just better if they forget. With that in mind, I started making my way back to the Lobby. Intent on erasing Vier Wolff entirely from the people who would care about her.

    Wise-Up!
    Vergessen Eines (A Rank Main ESP)
    The true form of Vier’s ESP. The original cause of everyone forgetting her when she was younger. At a passive level (F), people will forget Vier at a slightly accelerated rate. On an activated level, it causes active memory erasure and rapid memory deletion in a bigger and bigger radius.

    The scientific reason is that the affected are unable to receive the information at their short term memory and the brain compensates for this error to never notice Vier’s Active Memory Erasure. In the case that the enemy lacks memories on Vier, she’ll enter a state of temporary invisibility for the round provided that she hasn’t performed any physically damaging actions.
    Rank A: When activated, those within the range are subjected to a INT Protection contest versus Shatter Score of 15. Upon a failure, the targets lose their memories of Vier altogether. The ability has a radius of 50 meters, using Vier as the central point. If used so that the target does not sense Vier in their vicinity, grants a pseudo-form of Invisibility of Rank A until hostile action is made towards the target or Vier shows herself.




  19. #4239
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory – Common Area
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    Quote Originally Posted by Kean Loinnir
    “Err... John? Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but...did you get laid or something?”
    What’s with this person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kean Loinnir
    “You're looking a bit different than normal. All glowy.”
    Ah, so that’s how it is. Kean Loinnir is an idiot.

    No.

    Wait. To the world’s chagrin, he does have a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine Winters
    “Yeah, maybe they're sacrificing some old folks to some earthen spirit for infinite food or something. Wouldn't be the first time. Still though, you do seem a bit more, hm, animated this morning, John.”
    “You have lived an interesting life, Elaine,” John retorts. “As for myself, I certainly do not remember engaging in intercourse last night. On the other hand, I was under the effect of T4I Mjölnir.”

    Considering his diminished perception of Alexstrasza’s magic a while ago, he might still be.

    “For all I know, it did happen outside of my awareness. I will make sure to inquire in the matter when I next meet any of the people who were with me last night. But alas, your pursuit of the lizard people has met another dead end, Elaine. Of that I can assure you.”

    It is kind of a big list, though: there’s Alexstrasza, the Four Romans, Travis Gagnon, Ubon, Potemkin, Elise Marie, Miss Gradient, Pyry, Prushka, and Ahti Jalopeura.

    …this narrator thinks it is safe to discard Prushka.

    “This place…makes it difficult to remain apathetic. That is all I have to say.”

    Aw, he’s just shy. And he has other ideas.

    “Thinking about it, though…” John then takes a good look at the new and improved (?) Kean Loinnir. “Kean, aren’t you just projecting?”

    Leaving it at that, John Dove of the unsettlingly natural smile recenters on the matters at hand, expanding his attention to include the rest of the newly assembled breakfast club.



    “As ever, there is much to discuss and no time to discuss it all, so this morning I would rather skip on the dramatic clash of feelings and focus on the matters at hand, if that is acceptable to you all. I will also be particularly bold this morning and choose the first topic.”

    He really does not need to say all that. What the hell is the deal with this guy? This goes beyond any self-image issues. When did he even learn to talk like that?

    “I have to bring up Gabi Bakhauv, for a number of people have brought his prolonged absence to my attention. If any among you can confirm my fears, I would be…not quite grateful, but your contribution to the investigation would be appreciated.”

    A pause.

    “Afterward, I guess I can share what I learned in the hospital last night, as uncomfortable a conversation as that might turn out to be.”

    Before any of that, however, manners above all.

    “On another point, though: Miss Coastrise, are your siblings well?”

  20. #4240
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Well, that T41 stuff certainly sounded familiar, mark that down to discuss.

    "Ah, so it's drugs, then. I see. Oh well, there's probably some lizards around somewhere, knowing this pile-up of nonsense they call a town, so I'll stay optimistic."

    A small snort came out as I regarded Kean's expression at John's accusation of projecting. Wouldn't exactly call his experience anything like intercourse, even if another man was inside of him.

    I played out some low-hanging fruit in my head to try to offset the rising hackles on the back of my neck, but let my expression spread out into an uncomfortable grimace at the mention of Gabi.

    My arms folded across my chest, I gnawed gently at my lip for a moment, before slowly speaking up.

    "I can give some more details at the cafeteria, but, at least as far as I can confirm..."

    Typically, a tormented ghost is a good indicator.

    "Gabi's dead," I said, quietly, "His ghost was..."

    I sighed.

    "Hopefully, he's better off now than where he was then, I guess."

    There was nothing I could have done, only the curse of hindsight lashing against my back.

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