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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4381
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The name on the stone sends shivers down my spine. It pushes away the comfortably nervous atmosphere, leaving behind only the dread of the grave. The cemetery is once more chilly and damp.

    "Your f-father and uncle..."

    The thought is morbid, yes. A man visiting departed family can't not be sad. But that logical conclusion is blown away by the nausea in my stomach.

    Alfred Rushmore. It could be a coincidence. Probably isn't, though. Surely he must have some connection to Paula Rushmore. To me-?

    "Y-you're a little close." Shake, shake. Shake away the confusion, Prushka. "I had... a big family too. Haven't seen them in years, though. Masha was the best at listening."

    Were they my family? Or was there another family out there that I had no idea about? Is it the person in that grave? Will I be jumping at shadows for the rest of my life, wondering?

    "U-um. I'm good at listening too, Mr. Kennedy. Unless you want privacy or something, that's cool too."

    The graves stand there, silently.

    "Did they - I mean - what made them heroes?"

  2. #4382
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Indeed, there was no other way, nor was there time to argue. The dying girl in front of him had none of the strength to travel through the forest on her own, so Colt did what was necessary.

    “Dangit, don’t struggle…!”

    She didn’t make it easy, whoever she was. But the strength she had left was only enough to cover him in blood, mostly her own.

    "I'd... I'd rather die than, be... saved by you...!"

    But when her claws dug into his shoulders…

    “…!” Colt inhaled sharply through grit teeth. The claws didn’t penetrate deep, but it still stung, much like being scratched by a stray cat. He was never good with cats, and he felt it here and now. Still, he forced a defiant, but grim smile.

    If she’s trying to fight him off, she’ll be too busy to die.

    That’s what he told himself.

    "Give it... back...!"

    Her protests grew weaker as Colt carried her back the way he came. It was a simple matter of retracting his steps. The boy just had to stay on track, remember the path. Go fast, because every second is gold.

    "Give back... the Bileygr…! The scope... give it... back..."

    “That thing? You can’t take it back if you die.” He answered, eyes staring ahead as he forged ahead. Colt Davin was not physically gifted, nor had he cultivated any noteworthy athleticism. It was willpower, not physicality, that held the girl up and carried her through the forest. Nothing more and nothing less. “So keep those eyes open and dig your claws in again if you have to. It won’t be long now. Not much further. Not much…”

    Nothing he said seemed to reach her. The girl’s eyelids grew visibly heavy under the weight of eternal sleep, Colt’s grip on her tightening, his pace picking up at the sight.

    "Without it... we... owe, her... the Raven Lady with one... eye..."

    “…Hey, dammit! Keep talking! Keep resisting! I’ll give you the damn scope, just hold out! If you die I’m keeping it, you hear me?!”

    The fight in the girl began to flicker. Strength that wasn’t his own filled his legs as Colt began to shout at her. He didn’t spare a thought for who she was working for anymore or what the story with the scope was. He only thought of two things, how much further there was to go, and how much longer she had left.

    Colt picked up speed. He needed more than strength of will or a plan. He didn’t have nearly enough time, but he needed more than just extra sand in the hourglass. Colt needed a miracle.

    He grit his teeth and kept running.

    [-6 PP, wish for a miracle!]


  3. #4383
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard - Warehouse
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    ​"Welcome to the world of the supernatural, where everything can and will happen and can do so in at least a few dozen ways, some which do not follow any logic of reason at all," I explained with a wry smile as I turned towards Mercedes, "A place that sometimes makes you wish that you could just remain in blissful ignorance. But then, of course, it has its beauties too..."

    Otherwise, what would be the point?

    "Regardless, we don't know all that much more than you, so it's hardly just you being new to these things. There's way too much happening here, and it seems to be rather hard to get a clear answer until you see things through from beginning to end."

    The smile faded as I shrugged, and my expression got more serious once more as my eyes shifted to Pyry and To-Totesh, who were following closely behind us.

    "As for Ash...I don't know. I think he wanted to know too much, or tried to learn of things that he shouldn't have, and certain people didn't like that...But if they left him alive, then they must have been quite confident that he would not be a bother anymore. I could take a look at his mind, but...It gets exhausting dealing with others' thoughts so directly and so often. Not to mention that I have a feeling that his mind might not be the most peaceful place."

    I shuddered slightly at the thought of throwing myself into the pits of madness voluntarily. I already knew what it was like - and that was already more than enough. Something that I wanted to keep that way, unless it was absolutely necessary.

    "I'm sure there will be someone who can help him, at any rate. But his problems can likely wait until after we got ourselves out of this mess."

    Crossing my arms in front of my chest, my attention turned back to Mercedes;

    "Meanwhile, 'That Being' is...Patient Zero, most likely. Or Allene McLampet, in other words. The being that Leena wanted to be like for a while," I explained as my gaze flicked towards the person in question for a moment, "Though, I'm not too sure how she is involved with all this yet, only that she is definitely involved somehow. That, and that this whole Oceandrop Project is just bullshit. It cannot be a coincidence that they brought us here of all places, and it certainly wasn't so that we could 'fit back into society'."

    Certainly, every day I wondered more and more about the purpose of this whole project, and every day, it just felt to get more and more unsettling...

    "There's at least one thing I know though," I continued as I gestured towards the keypad on the door and extended my hand, "As pitifully little as that is compared to all the other things."

  4. #4384
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Jayesh nodded quietly.

    "You got that right. Immortality, eternal youth... many people in our circles dream of it," he said, before shrugging his shoulders. "Though sometimes, there's an easier explanation too. For example... a mother? An older relative? Maybe the family itself came from here, and the girl simply does not remember. Though, speaking of which... Road's End has that effect on people, doesn't it? Some more than others?"

    He glanced at Liana through the darkness, with inquisitive eyes.

    "The type that makes you think..." The boy paused. "I've been here before, haven't I?"

    Did it?

    Had something like that happened with others?

    What about Liana herself? Had she ever felt such a feeling? An odd sense of deja vu.

    Deja vu...

    Now that she thought about... wasn't there something? That rustling sound of sycamore trees in the wind, their scent carried by the autumn breeze. A familiar sensation, drugged up from the depths of her mind. Not her own memories, no...

    Not her memories. Not Ciel's. But rather ■■■■'s?

    "I hear you repress a lot of stuff that happens to you while you're a kid. Bury it in the mud of your mind," Zane spoke up, breaking the girl away from her thoughts. "It's a defense mechanism of sorts. So yeah, I'd call that much more likely than any eternally-young blondie hanging about. Besides..."

    The redhead let out a snort.

    "--- Youth is overrated, I'd say."

    Why did he sound so sarcastic when he said that?

    "That being said... either of you smell that? That iron in the air? That copper on your tongue?" Zane continued, his eyes narrowing. "... Keep your wits about you, Liana. And remember what you just said to me. We have enough people subscribing to the 'do as I say, not as I do' school of thought."

    It took a moment for both Jayesh and Liana to realize what the redhead was talking about, having been so engrossed in their conversation that they had missed the initial cue... but now that they smelled the air, that scent was unmistakeable. Blood. In the air. Blood that had been spilled, and the smell itself coming from around the corner. The corner which they just rounded, only to reveal...

    .... Of course.

    There it was. The self-containment prison that Jack Pinkerton had made for himself. As run-down looking as the rest of these old corridors. Heavy bars and powerful wards to keep him in the leash. It jutted out of the left side of the corridor, while the tunnel itself continued a little further, before ending in a heavy-duty metal door - almost like a hatch of a submarine with a round, wheel-like handle. Was there a bulkhead maybe? No, more importantly than that...

    ... Blood had seeped into the corridor from the cell, and dried up. It seemed to be coming from a figure lying on the ground, unmoving, in the dark corner of the room.

    But that was not the worst.

    No.

    Up above the bulky door was something... something had been written there.

    With the blood that had been spilled.

    Mocking words that made Liana practically hear a laughter from the woods.

    A shrill, cackling question
    Did you really think I wasn't here?





    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hmm... what indeed?"

    Taking a swig from his beer, the sheriff sat down on the ground, peacefully gazing at the tombstones - almost like he didn't sense Prushka's change in mood. And perhaps he didn't. The way he was looking at the two markers of the dead men, he was partially lost in his own thoughts.

    "I could be boring and say because they were this town's former sheriff and his best friend. Uncle Alfred was almost like a shadow-deputy or something. The way I hear it, my pops got involved in trying to solve something terrible that happened about 40 years ago, and ever since then, he wanted to become a real cop. And well... that's what he ended up becoming," Michael explained. "Hell, from what I heard from ol' Beatrice, those two used to be self-appointed town guardians even when they were little kids. My pops, the cheerful and popular one - and Alfred, his quiet and intense sidekick who could make a bully twice his age cry out for mommy."

    A chuckle escaped from the man's lips.

    "But nah, that's not what makes them heroes for me. Maybe to others, but not to me. See, when I was about ten years old, something terrible happened in this town. I even lost a couple of friends. That's what made my dad realize that he needed to focus on his family, not on his career. To raising me and taking care of my mom. And the one who made it happen, I hear... was Uncle Alfred," he motioned towards the other tombstone. "From what I understand, uncle didn't have kids of his own... couldn't have. No matter how much he and his wife tried. He... well, he tried out a lot of things. Medical tests, experimental cures, even gave out DNA samples. Travelled to California once a month from what I hear. Though... when his wife fell ill, he stopped all that. And that's when he told my pops."

    Another swig.

    "'Take care of the family you have, before it's too late'."

    A solemn silence fell after those words, after the sheriff's lips parted from the can.

    "... And my pops did. Dropped everything and quit his job as the sheriff, moved to more important things. And I feel like if he hadn't, I would have grown up all crooked, not able to deal with the stuff that happened," A quiet smile played on the man's lips. "But that's not all. He gave it his all to help out my uncle and his wife too. I mean, those two... they were stubborn and prideful. They never wanted to accept help from others, not even their parents. So, my old man marched up to ol' James Halloway, Michelle's - the wife's - father and pleaded their case for them."

    A gentle expression washed over the sheriff's face.

    "And lo' and behold, by the time they were 32, they had their one and only daughter."

    With a quiet sigh, the man emptied his can with one quick swig, and set the empty can next to him.

    "So... yeah. What made my dad and my uncle my heroes is how they understood, at the end of the day, what really mattered in all of this. Family. And the people you love," he concluded. "And I think I wouldn't be half the man today if they hadn't."



    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard - Warehouse
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Four numbers. 1994.

    With knowledge absorbed from the scene she had seen, the moment that had passed, Hisa inputted the code she had overheard the Einherjar captains talking about, and sure enough, the far-too-sturdy-to-be-normal door clicked open, practically silently. At this point, Pyry gave a silent nod and took the point, slowly opening the door and peering into the darkness of the warehouse with his cat-like eyes. After making sure that the coast was clear, he opened the door further and stepped in, leading the rest of the group in the building itself.

    The warehouse was, as expected, mostly empty. The lights were out, there were no furniture, and the only thing that caught their eye was a stack of broken down, empty boxes laid in the corner. Assortment of trash and debris was scattered about, along with dust, giving the large empty space a spooky, abandoned look... though, with just a bit of investigation and keen eye, one could see it was all an illusion. A rather convincing fakery, but a fakery nonetheless.

    Indeed, Hisa could spot that the debris was unlikely from this building, and the trash looked far too pristine to have actually laid here for years. Even the boxes looked to have been purposefully smashed. In other words, this whole place was just supposed to give an idea of an abandoned warehouse, not actually be one.

    "Patient Zero, 'That Being', Oceandrop Project, Pinefall's First Class..." Mercedes mumbled quietly to herself, keeping her voice low so that it wouldn't echo. "Say, Nancy Drew..."

    Her eyes glanced towards Hisa.

    "... Like, the way it sounds like, it's almost like we're the trap for this thing. That these WUOTAN and whatevah are using us to capture that thing," the starlet asked. "But why? How's us living a 'normal life' supposed to be a trap for this Patient Zero...?"

    Leena, having fallen silent in thought after hearing what was being spoken, let out a quiet hum.

    "Allene McLampet... the supposed monster of Pinefall. A vampire, some say. You think... gosh, do you think...?" She leaned a little bit closer and whispered. "What if you guys are some sorta bait? T-that'd be just horrible!"

    Mercedes grinded her teeth in annoyance.

    "Like hell am I gonna let myself be a bait for some supernatural creep..." The actress said, fell silent... and then added, after a momentary pause. "... Or, like, anyone else for that matter. That's just a shitty fate, no matter who you are."

    Gradient's giggle from behind the trio caused Mercedes' eyes to widen a bit, and she turned her gaze away with a harrumph.

    "--- Guys. Over here."

    It was then that Pyry's hushed voice cut through the conversation. The boy was standing near the center of the warehouse, and his eyes were focused on one large floor panel in particular. After sniffing the air a couple times, as if tasting wind itself, he squatted down and squirmed his fingers between the seams, lifting up with a brisk move... and indeed, lifting up the whole floor panel in entirety. What was revealed from beneath it was a steep staircase that descended down below into the darkness, and from what Hisa could see, opened up into some sort of large room with a light source. She could not hear any sounds or dangerous presences in the basement room, however...

    ... Every now and then, she saw a shadow moving against that distant light. Like someone was adjusting their stance, accidentally moving over the source of the illumination.

    "... Smells like human. A single human," Pyry said with a whisper, looking up at Hisa and the gang. "Could be our guy. Could be one of the Einherjar. How do you wanna do this? Those eyes of yours might give us some answers."

    Pyry then paused for a moment, before continuing with a slightly worried expression.

    "And... if it is the prisoner, do you want to take the point?"




    Colt Davin
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The forest just seemed to continue for eternity.

    For Colton Davin, he might as well have been wading in the ocean.

    His legs were burning from the effort.

    His breathing was ragged.

    His head was drenched in sweat.

    There was blood all over his clothes.

    And his vision was starting to dim from the lack of oxygen.

    --- And yet, he struggled on.

    The dying girl in his arms had stopped talking minutes ago. She had struggled out words, then sounds, and finally, she had focused all of her efforts in just keeping her eyes open. Even the grip of her claws on Colt's shoulder was barely there anymore. Whatever strength she had was gone, and all she could do was to burn that last bit of willpower left in her - the one gained from hearing the name of the brother she had been looking for. Whoever she was, whatever her intentions, whatever the source of her hatred for Colt... it was all practically forgotten. As far gone as she was, she had no more energy even for her fury.

    No, all she had was her last, desperate attempts at staying alive.

    And the only one keeping that hope alive was Colt Davin. The ordinary, normal, far-from-supernatural Colt Davin. Just a young man with two legs and two arms, carrying a stranger he barely knew through the forest, pushing his body to its absolute limits. He could feel the stinging pain from his legs from overexertion, he could feel his arms becoming numb, he could barely see in front of him in the endless forest, and yet...

    --- He struggled on.

    Even though the girl in his arms was starting to feel cold.

    Even though her breathing was all but gone.

    Even though her eyes finally, after one last pitiful struggle, closed.

    Even though---

    "----!!!"

    Was it one last mockery from the woods themselves?

    The uneven terrain revealed its last assassin - an upturned root that caught Colt's foot, sending both the boy and the girl he was carrying crashing to the ground. With whatever focus was left in his mind, Colt managed to twist his body around, shielding the girl from the hit... but instead, took the full brunt of the rock that had been hiding under the moss. Pain seared through his back and flared up and down his body, sending sparks across his field of vision. At the same time, he felt it.

    He felt the girl's grip on his shoulder finally let go completely.

    The boy lifted his gaze, lifted his head, trying to look at the one he had been so desperately trying to save, to try to deny the truth that had begun to dawn upon him.

    But the only thing he saw...

    --- Was a great, big shadow covering his field of vision.

    .........

    ......

    ...

    "--- Who!"

    Wait.

    Since when did shadows have big, fluffy wings?

    And were able to perch atop his head while smacking his face with said wings?

    What the...!?


    "Who---!"

    Why was there an owl standing on his head, gripping his nogging with its sharp claws!?

    And why was it swatting him over and over again in the face with those wings!?

    What the hell was going on!?

    And now that Colt thought about it...

    ... Why did he feel like the suspiciously familiar-looking owl wasn't the only one here?

    "Let go of her already, boy."

    Hearing an unknown, rough voice, Colt's eyes instinctively snapped to where it was coming from - above him.

    And indeed, standing there, hands on her hips and annoyed look on her face...

    Was someone.


    "I can't save her life, moron, if you keep gripping her like a stockbroker grips his suitcase."

    Someone Colt had never seen before, but felt like he should have.

  5. #4385
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Colt ran. He ran and ran until his lungs were empty, then he ran some more. The boy couldn’t afford to keep shouting at the girl to keep her eyes open, he couldn’t even manage to keep himself breathing.

    His legs and arms ached, but worst of all his chest burnt. A prickling, tingly, chilly feeling began to spread from the top of his head down to his throat. It was getting harder to keep his head up, his eyes facing forward. But even as he felt his mind starting to dull, he ran. He kept the image of his route clear in his mind, even as his thoughts began to fade, eroded by exertion.

    Had he been running that long, or was he simply running that hard? Was it the burden of carrying another person, or was he just that weak?

    Maybe it was all of the above, maybe it was nothing.

    Colt blinked once, and that was all it took.

    His foot caught on a root protruding from the damp dirt, and by the time his eyes opened again he saw it. The grey of stone barely slipping through a sheet of moss growing atop it. Colt turned his body mid-fall, shielding the girl as his back slammed into the rock, a lightning bolt of pain shooting through his body as all his momentum came crashing into stone.

    There was no time to writhe and shout out the pain. He had to get back on his feet, carry the girl…

    The girl…

    The girl.

    When was the last time she’d moved, made a sound? Since when was her grip on him… gone?

    Colt turned, shakily, towards her-

    - only to be blinded by a familiar shadow.

    “--- Who!”

    It hooted at him, the owl perched atop his head. The owl from that night, when he found Gradient.

    “You-“

    Before he could speak any further, the bird’s wings began slapping at his head. All the strength he had in him was spent holding onto the girl who was dying… dying, yes. Dying, there was still time. She was only dying. It wasn’t over yet. He just had to get up and keep going, even if this owl kept its grip on him.

    But try as he might, his legs weren’t cooperating. His back felt wrong, and his legs weren’t mustering any of the strength they’d had before.

    “…”

    What he could see through the barrage of feathered smacks began to blur as moisture built up in his eyes.

    Was he going to cry? Because this girl was going to die? It made no sense to him, why he felt so terrible. Why that awful lump in his throat felt like it was choking him, and why his stomach felt like it was turning inside out. He didn’t even know her. Colt barely knew her brother.

    There was no reason for it.

    But he felt so small. So weak. So worthless.

    "Let go of her already, boy."

    The boy who had thought himself alone in the forest turned to the voice. Above him stood a woman, someone he didn’t recognize. Yet she felt familiar, as if he should remember her.

    But those thoughts were far from the front of his mind.

    "I can't save her life, moron, if you keep gripping her like a stockbroker grips his suitcase."

    “You can save her?” His weak voice spoke up from the forest floor, still holding the girl tightly. He looked back to the girl in his arms. Slowly, he released her from his grip, his eyes lingering for a moment on his bloodstained arms, before returning to the woman above him.

    Though she looked at him unlovingly and spoke to him derisively.

    “Please.”

    From his place in the dirt and moss, peering up through feathers and the tears building in his eyes, she looked no less than angelic.


  6. #4386
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building – Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Hoo, lots of items on the old agenda, huh?"

    I closed my eyes and puffed out some air from my mouth, making a faint, raspberry-esque noise in the wake of my exasperation.

    "Well, it can't be helped, I suppose. Just gotta make the most of it and muddle through."

    I shuffled around in my coat pockets for a moment, tossing a beat-up looking mechanical pencil onto the table, then reached into my inside pocket and, far more delicately, retrieving a faded cream-brown covered notebook.

    I flipped past a few torn-out remnants of pages and settled on some likely looking yellowed pages.

    "Now, it'd be for the best if we can get us a corkboard and some thumbtacks," I said, smiling faintly, "Get some string in there too, really go for the classics, but this is easier and quicker, plus we could probably bust into some of the offices and find a photocopy if people want references."

    I placed the notebook on the table, clicking the pencil to readiness.

    Click.

    Click-click.

    ...

    "Heyyyy, boyfriend, can I borrow a pencil~"

    Do I probably have others in the depths of my pockets?

    Yes.

    But this is cute, so it's fine.

    "So, we've got Big Pharma Gottlieb, The Military, Pinefall itself..."

    I scribbled some headers down.

    "Those are our big conspiracy types, then we've got our local weirdness."

    I tapped the pencil on the hard surface.

    "We've got the Klallam, the local tribe, with their time map and petroglyph caves and what-not, Tommy Horse, the local junkyard dog is linked to 'em, Oceandrop says we gotta find their secrets to find out more about this imposter business."

    I jotted that down.

    "Then we got this missing student business, with the corrupted data blotting them out, hospital came up with nothing, maybe a name on a a roll sheet or some records somewhere in the main building? Gotta be something somewhere," I shifted a bit towards Zhou.

    "Miss Coastrise, any other young people checking in or out of the hotel during your lot's stay? If you guys camped out there, maybe there's others?"

    I flipped a page.

    "Then we've got the Mitchells, linked to the artist guy who made part of the lighthouse that was apparently a spooky ghost prison made out of volcanic white rock, the eye of the lighthouse, specifically. Could maybe go poke at that, or bother the old ghostly geezer some more,"

    I paused, "Would like to see if he made out alright, after the nasty business last night," I mumbled.

    I jotted down some notes on the statue, not having ever been out there myself, but adding some of the bits that had already been mentioned.

    "The overlook itself is," I frowned, "'The spot where no rain can touch', so could be its some manner of protected place? Don't know what else to go on that front about, hit the books or ask around, maybe? Old Man apparently felt comfortable enough to drop some major bombs out there, so it's notable in some way, I suspect."

    I continued my scribbles, only pausing for a moment over the mention of the supposed identity of the Ramshack vampire.

    I responded with a grunt, "An' how exactly do you know that, ah?"

    The bitterness and frustration continue their roiling in my gut, but I keep my death's grip on them.

    "I'll help track down some local stuff, I suppose, already got an in with the dead guy at the lighthouse, but if we go late, I'll have to beg off. I have an appointment at the Ramshack."

    I chuckled.

    "At best, it's nothing, at worst, I'll get killed. But it's not something I can ignore, not now."

    I placed the notebook down on the table, grimacing lightly at the familiar polaroid peeking out from behind it.

    "Don't know anything about spiders, but if there's a shady guy, should probably shake him down for information."

  7. #4387
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "..."

    ---Words written in blood adorn the rusty door, a taunt from a witch that does not exist.

    Liana's thoughts had gone in quite a few different directions over the past couple of minutes, from quiet contemplation of the bizarre sense of deja vu she felt for the town and the implications of what ■■■■ visiting it in the past would be, to a sort of planned sarcastic dismissal of Zane's implication she was the sort to run around sacrificing herself on her whim, but...

    When it comes to the scent of iron in the air, the appearance of a body on the floor, all such extraneous thoughts fade away to a sort of razor edge. Even the appearance of the words on the wall becomes a mere flickering thought in the young woman's mind, a momentary acknowledgement that someone must have come through the tunnels to do this, someone of flesh and blood and tangible existence, rather than some razor-toothed witch whose attempts at convincing the world she existed were becoming more and more pathetic over time, yes...

    It's just fleeting acknowledgement.

    Pay it little mind, the first of these crimes had been done by a flesh and blood person and this one would be the same in that regard... Although the nature of the crime itself is also pushed to the back-burner, at least in these opening moments, where her mind has yet to entirely process everything in front of her.

    After all, a sense of guilt flows through her too.

    The guilt that comes with looking at what seems like a corpse, that someone else had been murdered on her watch and she hadn't been able to do a thing to stop it; they are irrational thoughts of course, worst-case scenarios blooming to life and feeling like a punch to the solar plexus as her mind brutally asks her what she'll tell Sierra about this... How will she explain something like this to a child? She had seen the pained expressions of those who had lost their family again and again and again in the depths of her memory and it never gets any easier to talk to them about it, it's always a brutal, heartbreaking thing and yet-

    "...He's still breathing, watch my back."

    -those memories also fade away, as her unblinking eyes register the tiniest of chest movements in the darkness.

    Ciel wake up please, I need you on lookout duty again.

    That single observation -a sign of life- shifts everything about this moment.

    The possibility that she was not too late overrides everything else, senses sharpen as all thoughts but those related to the saving of this person's life vanish from her mind; she steps forth, removing her sweater as she goes, the damp chill of the bunker settling onto her skin as her only defense against it becomes a simple black tank top. Of course she's not particularly worried about it, the use of some of her clothes as makeshift bandages or tourniquets in order to stop someone from bleeding out is a more than worthy cause...

    She had more of that particular sweater anyway.

    "Mr. Pinkerton."

    Her voice is as calm and gentle as her approach, a look of absolute concentration on her face as she makes her way towards the downed man; her senses primed for an ambush (not just from the darkness but the figure themselves) but unwilling to wait in a situation where every second might be critical; of course traditional medicine isn't her forte, when it came down to it she was more of a Qi-based healer, but...

    Electricity sparks in a way that can almost be called gentle, arcing up and around her arms for just a moment, but one that has the young woman frowning to herself in spite of it. She runs diagnostics again, lines of invisible code running up and down the depths of her eyes before...

    The Exceed System isn't online yet...? You're kidding me, right?

    Should've started the program transfer last night...


    His blood was pooling, which meant the injuries weren't small and his natural regeneration clearly wasn't taking care of it... So Qi alone wouldn't be enough for it.

    "Jack. Can you hear me?"

    She kneels at his side. First thing to do with a patient is to establish whether or not they are responsive to outside stimuli, her actions from there would be determined by the extent of his injuries; moving a patient unnecessarily can cause further damage to them, agitate the injuries and thus cause further complications...

    Not to mention trying to bring him out of this place would mean hauling him up a ladder; not impossible for her considering her strength, easier still if someone helped her, but if his bleeding was serious enough that puddles of it were seeping out into the corridor, moving him around too much in so rough a manner might take more out of him than he has left...

    "If you can hear me please respond, my name is Sora, Hikari Sora. Some people call me Liana Skye, so that works too if you want." Gently, she touches the figure's shoulders, hoping to get a response from touch if none comes from her voice, "I'm here to take care of you on Sierra's behalf, so I'm going to check the extent of your injuries now, alright? Try not to move."

    Her gaze flickers over to the boys.



    "...Either of you have any medical experience? Any supplies on hand? Small first aid kit? Extra shirt? Flashlight?"

    Her voice is completely unshaken, cool and to the point.

    "I have one healing ability myself, but I can't use it just yet."

    Worst case scenario, she can wait down here with Jack (or whoever this actually was) while the others run off to get help.

    She had no intention of letting someone else die.

    Not if she could help it.
    Last edited by Airen; February 8th, 2022 at 09:06 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--"

  8. #4388
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    A gust of wind drifts through the stagnant air of the graveyard. The dull grey sky is a blanket of clouds that won't move. Soon it will rain, here and somewhere else, and Road's End will continue its slide into the realm of dreams.

    Even so, a lone breeze ruffles the grass, a quiet whistle to accompany Michael Kennedy's story, appearing from nowhere and fading away just as quickly.

    Was it a warm breeze or a cold one? The last gasp of summer, or the first wind of winter? Gentle, or harsh? I can't tell; it makes me shiver all the same.



    "Take care of the family you have... that's some good advice."

    Surely the greatest hero would be someone who could protect the ones they love. Even Kullervo might agree. Even a sheltered psychic who never left the confines of her small world might agree.

    I should say something. Ask what happened to those two, in the end. Ask about Alfred Rushmore's wife and daughter. Ask what brings Michael Kennedy here to vent to a pair of gravestones. Ask all that and more, seek the truth without lying to myself, like Ahti said.

    It's hard, though. To break the silence. For Mr. Kennedy it must be a wistful, peaceful silence, the sort that comes with telling a nostalgic story. But for me it is a silence that presses down on my shoulders and neck like a vise. Fingers close around my throat from within.

    What's there to do, then? If I can't move forward and I'm not allowed to run away? Gotta do something, right? It's fine even if it's stupid, right? Something's better than nothing, right?

    I'll muddle my way through, one way or another.

    "...hey, Mr. Kennedy. Can I have one of those?"

    My trembling finger points to one of the unopened cans of beer as I ask something insane of a police officer.

    "M-might not look like it, but I'm actually sixteen. Old enough for underage drinking, right?"

    Counting up the numbers in my head, another obvious fact makes itself clear.

    "Around the same age as their daughter, maybe... you think she'd wanna be friends with one of the crazy Pinefall kids?"

  9. #4389
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard - Warehouse
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "If the evidence we've found so far are correct, then Allene...or rather, that being's powers are rather unstable," I said quietly as I scanned the interior of the warehouse with my eyes, "It sounded like it was something akin to changing reality based on what it believed. Which means that it's likely that she can't make changes she does not believe in, even if she wants to. Meanwhile such a belief is probably not an isolated, one dimensional thing either, but rather...it requires those around to acknowledge the truth it tries to enforce. For example, it could be that if the McLampets tried to resist it, it never would have become part of their family and be known as Allene McLampet, nor would the McLampets have changed fundamentally in their physical appearance."

    Of course, a power like this felt borderline impossible to understand and explain logically, and I could merely guess the conditions...

    "So in theory, it could be that if it was exposed to enough people refusing to believe what it can do, then its powers would wane. Or maybe it would outright cease existing - after all, if that is the reality it is to believe, then could it resist accepting it?"

    A rather grim thought, as I contemplated the option, whether or not it is an obviously evil being.

    "I don't really know how we come into the picture though, or what exactly is 'normal'. It all depends on the perspective, and the only one that I can think of where we would be considered 'abnormal' is that of the ordinary humans...But I don't really see how we could ever be normal in that sense. It would take to erase all theoretical and practical supernatural evidence of someone, along with isolating them from being exposed to it again to make them 'normal'. That's just not very feasible, and the supernatural in general has a bit more palpable effects...or footprints on reality, for just pure belief to work against it."

    I scratched my cheek as I looked around once more, as my eyes properly adapted to the dim light of the warehouse. This was a topic that I never truly understood. Or rather, I could never see the point of debating it, when it was such an essential truth that presented it in a clear, hardly mistakable way. I could believe whatever I wanted, but if there was hard evidence of the effects of a supernatural power, then what did my opinion matter anyways? Would not believing in it make it not exist? Wouldn't that just be being ignorant?

    "Point is, I don't really see why we would be the perfect candidates for this, considering that we're more susceptible to accepting the supernatural, and that trying to make us 'normal' would borderline be a crime, and much more of a chore than just using ordinary humans or something. It just doesn't feel to make sense, like a lot of other things, and when everything is just so blurry it becomes rather hard to navigate."

    I let out a sigh, but before I could become even more exasperated over the fact that we knew so little that was for granted, Pyry seemed to find something - more specifically, what turned out to be the entrance to the secret underground part of the warehouse.

    "If it's one of them, then we're likely already in trouble no matter what," I said as I walked over to him and peered down the staircase, "But I can take a look, just in case."

    With that, the faint glint in my eye lit up as I directed my gaze further down, towards the walls beyond which likely lied some of the dirty secrets of a mysterious organization...

  10. #4390
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    “Vier”
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    It was common knowledge for inexperienced people to avoid forests especially without navigation tools. Even a “small, easy” area of a square kilometer can be daunting to traverse if someone lost their bearing, and the Ghostwood National Forest was anything but that. The deeper you got into the forest, the more dangerous it got. The tall trees would block traditional methods of navigation via the sun and stars. The trees started blending together and landmarks were becoming far and inbetween. It was the perfect place to vanish if you knew how to hide your tracks already. Or the perfect place to make someone disappear.

    In the back of my head, I realized that Colt Davin and the wounded were-person’s odds of survival. While the were-person’s odds of survival were unlikely to begin with, I let Colt Davin’s chances drop off immensely. If I had to be careful in this forest, could Colt Davin even make it back? Unlikely given that the route we were following was not the most straightforward. Additionally, Colt Davin may be attacked while he was navigating back to the country club. Typically, I would say that’s my pessimism speaking, but the past two weeks told me that there are hostile forces here in this town. While Colt Davin was equipped adequately to handle a single normal attacker, he was going to be unable to defend someone wounded and survive the attack. His best bet would be to use that satellite phone that he has on him and give a call to someone who could help him like Liana.

    Yet, I continued onwards following Hawthorn’s increasingly hard to see tracks. Eventually, I found my next hint towards his next movement. The hint was the vicious trap that severely wounded the were-person. A trap that wasn’t likely to kill someone upon activation. However, it was meant to severely maim or wound someone. If Hawthorn ran under the assumption that a group was going to track him, I had to applaud him. A normal group wouldn’t be able to look at this logically. People would become emotional at this. Anger at him for making it. Distraught and concerned about their wounded comrade. Even in a mission-focused group, there would be considerations to be made. In my case, it was easy. They weren’t comrades, no emotional attachments to hinder logical responses, or even strategical limitations.

    As I continued to note how the trap was made in order to avoid it, I noticed a peculiarity. A small metal contraption that looked like a tracker or transmitter. While I wasn’t certain which of the two I was looking at, I wouldn’t trust it regardless. If it was a tracker, then I would have to devote my attention to using it and increase the likelihood of triggering a trap just like the were-person. If it was a transmitter, then there was even less reason to carry it. It was the equivalent of carrying a bullseye. While I could’ve used the transmitter to my advantage by using Colt Davin as bait, if he was going to help that were-person out then there was no point.

    With that in mind, I bypassed the trap and the mysterious metal contraption to follow Hawthorn’s tracks while keeping an eye for any more of his surprises.

  11. #4391
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters, Anna Vandemeel & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building – Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Lots of confused glances were shared after Anna's question. Indeed, it didn't seem like anyone had any idea regarding spiders... or supernatural abilities involving them. If anything, it looked like that whatever the raven-haired girl's familiar had caught was outside their area of knowledge, meaning... an outsider? A new variable introduced to the mix, muddying the water further?

    Who even knew?

    However, what broke the slightly awkward silence was...

    "... Uh. Uh, yeah. I got one," Kean answered, first a little awkwardly... and then with a momentary smirk on his face. "Here you go, honey."

    With that, he handed Elaine a pencil from his bag and ruffled her hair in a manner that caused quite a lot of snickering around the table. Indeed, even if the situation was dire and everyone needed to bring a laser-like focus to the front, a little levity here and there never hurt anyone. In fact, it might have been just what the doctor ordered - and the duo of E & K certainly delivered.

    "Hmm, other students~" Zhou, after her giggles had subsided, put a finger to her chin. "Not that I know~! Though, then again, maybe~! I think one of the rooms was rented by that green-haired musician, he's in our class isn't he~?"

    Green-haired musician... Inacio? He was renting a room at Owl's Nest? For what reason?

    "That little shit's so normal it's almost suspicious, so I could see it being important," Hwan commented with a grunt, while leaning back in his chair. "Still, I agree. Our best bet right now is to split up into three teams at least, and then gather up as many of the class as we can to compare notes. Just try to exchange all the information we can. I mean, even if we can't win or break through this week, even if the only thing we get is some truths that come too late for us, there's still a point. We need to make sure our little lifeboats to the past know this stuff - know it and do better next time."

    His eyes glanced towards three individuals in particular.

    "I'm not too keen on dying, but I know that losing a single battle doesn't matter - it's winning the war that's most important," he continued. "And speaking of which... yeah. Something that might be useful to you guys, and you should know about - especially if we wanna listen in on some juicy air force conversations. There's this esper at Road's End that I know about. Can listen and manipulate, to an extent, radiowaves. From what I heard in my briefing, she could be persuaded to help so... if you ever run to a gal named Nora Norumbega, try to get on her good side, yeah? That sorta power seems really useful for our predicament."

    He then lifted his hand up, like he was in a class.

    "Anyways, I'm up for Team Pinefall Project," the boy added. "I'm better at this modern crap anyhow."

    Kean, upon hearing that, nodded as well.

    "I think I should be in that group as well," he admitted. "As an android, and an infiltration one at that, I should be good at dealing with more modern opponents such as these."

    Subaru, after a bit of hesitating, lifted up her own hand.

    "I, um, I presume I should go with the Team Local History. I may not understand much of the modern world, but when it comes to contacting local spirits and interpreting how they operate, I may be able to help," she said, before smiling an adding. "And of course, Tonkori would accompany me as well!"

    Ramia gave an agreeing nod.

    "Yeah, me too. I mean, while I don't appreciate the nickname Red here gave me, she ain't wrong," the mercenary spoke. "I'm good with that kinda stuff. And have plenty of experience to draw from, too."

    Meaning that this only left...

    "... Hmm~?"

    Zhou blinked owlishly at everyone present.

    "Oh, well~" She hesitated coyly for a moment, before beaming a goofy smile. "I guess I could look for whatever stupid bastard is trying to kill all of us~! Putting people like those in their place is always fun~!"

    She practically crushed the empty juicebox in her hand while still smiling sweetly.

    "So, Team Serial Killer go~!"




    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Science Classroom
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "I-I see, ahaha..."

    Looking a little awkward, the young man scratched his cheek when faced with Alexstrasza's vehement explanation as to why the spider in question could not be a spy. Indeed, while he didn't seem all that convinced (and was still giving the familiar a rather suspicious look), he seemed willing to let the matter rest - if only to not get dragged into any further arguments regarding this stuff. Instead, he seemed to collect himself, take a moment to catch his bearing and then let his natural etiquette take over, putting a hand over his heart and performing a neat little bow towards the blonde girl.

    The spider, on the other hand, stared at appraisingly at the young man.

    ... Was it planning on chomping him for the slight he had made?

    "Still, where are my manners? My name is Nikolai Alexandrovich Labzin - Atmos Cube, Serene Silver. A member of Ottomans. That is, Prague Orloj's Office of Censorship and Detainment," the young man introduced himself, offering Alexstrasza his hand after his bow. "And I am here on some official business... though not to worry, it is certainly not regarding you, miss."

    --- The Ottomans?

    In other words, one of the four political arms of the center of the magic world - well-known even as far away as Scholomance. There was not an educated mage who had not heard about them, mostly because they were the boogeymen with which to scare young, foolhardy students with - along with other horrors of magic itself. Indeed, if a mage got too dangerous, both to the magical and general populace, it was the Ottomans who were sent to deal with the situation. The Third Corner of the Bell Hall, standing right next to Death itself... they were the long arm of the law meant to smack down those who flew too close to the sun. And more importantly, each and every member working for them was trained in three subjects in particular.

    Combat. Capture. Containment.

    So what was a man such as that doing so far away from Europe, in a land where magic was illegal by default...?

    "I am here on behalf of the Lords and Ladies of Prague to capture a certain mage in particular... Lecturer Anna Vandemeel. Her crimes are extreme in nature, including but not limited to tampering with the timeline itself," Nikolai continued, adopting a more serious expression. "Though her guilt has come under... doubt recently, I still need to observe her on my own to decide whether or not she should be placed under arrest and shipped back to Europe. Speaking of which..."

    Looking a bit sheepish, Nikolai gestured towards the school's corridors.

    "You wouldn't happen to know a good place to observe the cafeteria without being seen, would you?"




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard - Warehouse 2
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Mercedes hummed quietly and nibbled on the nail of her thumb.

    "So there, like, has to be a reason as to why us specifically..." She murmured to herself, echoing Hisa's earlier sentiments and confusion. "But why...? That's the real question. Hmm, like... I think I'm gonna need a moment to mull this over..."

    Thus, a silence descended over the empty warehouse, with rest of the members of the group practically holding their breaths as Hisa extended her senses into the world outside, to see through the physical limitations of this plane of existence. She gazed through the solid concrete and the pipes that ran below it, the dirt and the rubble that lay underneath the building, and through the metal staircase that descended deep below, before eventually giving away into what seemed to be a large room of some sort...

    ... And indeed it was.

    Large for a hidden room, but small for a prison cell. And that's exactly what it was. A prison cell.

    Large metal bars, electrified from what Hisa could tell by air vibrating oddly around them, cut off the back half of the room. Separated from the bars themselves was small metal door embedded into the cell wall, with an insulated electric lock of some sort - one that seemed to require another four-digit password. Up in the corner of the room there was a surveillance camera, slowly keeping a watch on the area... though judging by the slowly blinking red light and the motion sensor under it, it wasn't the type that would activate unless something pinged that very exact sensor. A cost-saving measure to be sure, but one that could be taken advantage of. And aside from it - directly underneath the camera itself, was a door... a heavy-duty metal door with a circular handle, like a steering wheel. It was almost like a bulkhead door of a ship or something, and led into a tunnel of some sort by the looks of it. A tunnel leading furthe below into the earth...

    Still, that wasn't important. Important was the smell that Pyry had caught, and by peering further into the darkness of the cell, Hisa was able to ascertain its source.

    --- It was that man. The same one she had seen in her vision. Visibly beat up and looking rather haggard, but still very much alive and breathing.

    He looked like he hadn't been fed in a while and the skin of his lips was chapped, meaning he had gone without water as well for more than a day. The swords he had been carrying were gone, but as if to taunt him, they had been left in the room outside the cell - just far enough to taunt him with their presence. As for the man himself, he was sitting down at the back end of the cell, leaning his back against the concrete wall and breathing quietly, most likely asleep from exhaustion.

    Aside from him... no one else.

    In other words, this might have been a chance...!




    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Jayesh, almost as if snapped out of his stupor at the scenery before him by the girl's words, nodded sharply.

    "There's a first aid kit here, in the cell," the boy responded as he rushed in as well. "For obvious reasons."

    Once there, he ran to the small metal box on the wall - one bearing a faded sign of a familiar green cross. He then practically threw it open and picked up a small bag from inside. This bag he then brought to Liana, kneeling down next to Jack to observe his state while the girl worked with the pack. The kit itself seemed to be in good condition and contain all the essentials, from gauzes to disinfectant. The only question was if it would be enough to preserve Jack's life, considering how much blood he seemed to have lost...

    "Looks like a gunshot wound..." Jayesh mumbled as he carefully turned the man around.

    Indeed, the Indian boy was right. As the older man was rolled around, it was revealed that he was clutching his side, which had a bright red spot on it, the blood having seeped through his shirt and jacket. His face was slightly pale, but not to the point of desperation - and more importantly, he was gritting his teeth together in pain, meaning he was still conscious. The attack might have happened a while ago, but looking at the results, the bullet might have hit a spot which wasn't lethal, all things considered.

    "Dress the wound and put a lot of pressure on it - use your knee if you have to," Zane calmly spoke as he walked into the cell, keeping his eye on the corridor, the door and the message. "I don't think it's wise to try to start anything else in this dirty place - just make sure he's not bleeding anymore. Once we've got that under control, we should move him topside, get him to the hospital."

    For a moment, the redhead glanced at the older man and grimaced.

    "Damn it, Boss... what the hell happened here...?" Zane murmured, sounding more angry with himself than anything else. "Did you get jumped by a sewer ghost or something...?"

    Clearly, Zane was not expecting a reply. However, as if reacting to the voices he had heard, Jack Pinkerton's eye suddenly flared open, looking both surprised and pained. His arm lunged forward and he grabbed a tight hold of Liana's wrist, clutching it like it had been a piece of debris floating in the ocean. The look of the one-eyed man was haggard but determined as he, somehow, managed to focus his gaze on the girl. His teeth chattered for a moment, his breathing was raspy, but there was far more life in him than it initially seemed.

    And the first words that came out of his mouth were...

    "--- Is Sierra safe!?"

    The words of a father.

    "Damn it, I... y-you need to flee. He might come back...!" The owner of the country club struggled to speak. "T-they... they're trying to wipe the slate clean now that it's done! Now that they have their trap, t-they're trying to get rid of us...! Get rid of the evidence! They think that j-just because they have their Petri dish, they don't need us anymore! Shit... Hawthorne was right, I should have... should've talked with Daniel again...!"

    His grip on Liana tightened.

    "Listen, you three...! You need to go. Take Sierra and go! Find Scottie, he can protect you, and.... and..." He grimaced in pain. "T-take Sierra to the Faradays... they're the only family she has left if I..."

    That seemed to annoy both Jayesh and Zane, as they both shot the man a glare.

    "You're not going to die, Boss. Nobody is," the redhead replied. "Not this time."

    Jayesh nodded, sharply.

    "I agree. So just sit still and let us treat you."

    A laugh that was both relieved but also full of disbelief echoed from Jack's lips.

    "... I did have a tendency of hiring stubborn fools, d-didn't I...?" He murmured to himself, before his gaze steeled itself once more. "Listen, t-then... do what you can, but if he comes back... if that door opens..."

    He nodded towards the metal monster.

    "If Yozora comes back, run...!"




    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The sheriff cocked his eyebrow at Prushka - not in an admonishing way, but definitely amused.

    "Well... I might have bought the beer, but it's not for me," Michael replied, before nodding towards the gravestones. "It's those two who you should be asking from. And depending on what you think they'll say, your decision to make as well."

    Having said that, he set the half-empty sixpack on the ground, between himself and the girl. Then, enjoying the autumn breeze, he took another swig from the can before starting to look for his cigarettes and lighter. As he did, Prushka could see in the distance how the combo of Ahti and a certain owl costume were busy at work, apparently having almost filled up the whole they had created. Naturally, they could not replace the grass they had upturned, but at the very least it would be better than to just leave a gaping hole in the ground.

    "Still, that old, huh? Who'd have thunk? Funny..." Michael continued, nodding against towards his uncle's gravestone. "They say my uncle was like that too. That is, much older than he looked. Guess that's why he was popular with women... or so my father said, anyhow. Wasn't because of his personality, at least. As nice as he could be, he was also - apparently - pretty severe and sullen. Downright cold to people he didn't know. But I guess some people are like that - either because they're shy or because they're not used to interacting with others."

    He let out a small sigh of satisfaction as he lit up his cigarette and pocketed his lighter once more.

    "That being said, their daughter is... Twenty-three this year, I think?" The sheriff added. "So a bit older than you. Still, she's a bit of a tomboy princess herself, so why not? If you want, you could go visit Owl's Nest, I'm sure she'd love to make new friends. God knows her old ones aren't really around anymore. Though, uh..."

    A sort of awkward smile formed on Michael's lips.

    "Just don't ask about her family situation. It's a little complicated and, well... I think her grandfather distanced himself from her on purpose. I'm not sure she still even knows he's her grandfather, and not just... a relative."

    Those words, laden with meaning, sounded heavy. It certainly seemed that this "family situation" that the sheriff talked about was... extremely volatile.

  12. #4392
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Science Classroom
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    A-An Ottoman!? An Ottoman?! P-P-Potemkin, is it illegal to accidentally ensoul a corpse you found w-with one of your classmates if it's your own soul!? I-I didn't do anything wrong, right?! I-it's not like I meant to, so it's fine, right?! D-dearest Matriarch, I truly hope you do not intend to bite an Ottoman! Please, take my life into consideration for a moment!

    "A-A pleasure, Ser Labzin," I said, taking his hand and curtsying. "I am Alexstrasza Lockheart - Scorched Earth, Silent Black, Impaler. A student of Pinefall."

    E-Even if I am a tad worried, there is no reason to be impolite, of course! It's not as if he knows that I've done anything a bit... a tad... Um... Well as long as he doesn't know Potemkin exists, isn't it fine? Actually isn't it fine even if he does? Dearest Potemkin, you wouldn't out my crimes to someone unconnected to us for a jest, would you? That's not something you would do, right?

    ...P-Potemkin, your silence is starting to worry me!

    Peering at the Ottoman in interest, I smiled brightly at the mention of my classmate - before a brief frown crossed my face, sulking slightly. In spite of her knowledge of magic, she never even bothered to speak with me, did she? Potemkin can... sometimes not lie, perhaps. After all, did she not tell me that it was myself who could not connect with others - not others who could not relate to me?

    "Could Anna truly be behind the flow of time?" I asked, tilting my head to the side. "I had no idea she held that kind of power. To throw so many backwards, and to include our memories..."

    I bit my lip, eyes sparkling. The amount of power behind this spellcraft interested me, the structure something that it could even extend to the skies themselves. C-Could this be a leyline?! Wouldn't that be really exciting!? Leaving the Hospital to Potemkin was an excellent idea. Magic is simple, after all. It is only others who are difficult.

    "I cannot say I know much of a place to observe the cafeteria, but I certainly know quite a bit about time!" I said, giving the Ottoman a V with my right hand and winking with a wide smile. "You see, I too have memories from a week that did not happen! It is fair fortune that I happened to live past my unfortunate demise from yesterday, as there is ill chance we would have even had the chance of a meeting."

    I nodded, closing my eyes with a feeling of mild superiority. My continued existence is, in a way, a proof that the future is something impermeable, is it not? Do I not breathe air? Do I not take a step at a time? Death, in this flow, is meaningless and pointless. If I die on Wednesday or Friday, the only thing that has changed is 'the date of my demise'.

    A-Although, I suppose others were forced to die in my place... But I care about being alive more then I care about people I don't know very well... And Cesarina's alive as well, so isn't this all kind of... a positive? I suppose other people might feel bad about the stargazer, b-but Cesarina's alive! That's good, right?! Right!?

    "Could you not simply summon a familiar, and have it deliver the information to you?" I asked, looking at him with curiosity. "My own familiar is a tad... worthless, so I cannot really take her with me. There is also the chance that Anna is not in the cafeteria at all, I suppose. I myself am on my way to... um..."

    ...Dearest Potemkin, where were we supposed to investigate after the science room?
    in the end we will make thoughtcrime impossible, for there shall be no words to express it

    #THELEGENDNEVERDIES

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


  13. #4393
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Sierra is just fine, I left her with Scottie and the others," she smiles, her voice sincere, "Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to her."

    ---In response to the natural question of a father, the girl that had once voluntarily taken on the role of a caretaker knows that to provide this answer is more important than anything else; to ask about one's kin even when oneself is hurting, it's a sign of a good family member, something that banishes the mild worries she might have that Jack Pinkerton is a sort of absolute villain, instead placing him in a much more ambiguous zone, that is-

    "You either of course, not if I can help it."

    She pats his shaking hand in a comforting sort of way.

    -a probably decent guy who seems to have made some really bad decisions.

    "I've seen enough kids lose their parents already, I'm not gonna let it happen to Sierra."

    ---One of many shades of gray.

    Still...

    Shot... Not too surprising, who'd want to tangle with a werewolf up close if they could help it?

    Way too big of a risk of losing limbs that way.


    Her traditional medical knowledge extends to mere first-aid, but there were things that even a first-aid practitioner could do with the available supplies; EMTs do not ordinarily make it in time for gunshot victims considering the circumstances that normally follow said crimes, so it's up to the people around them to put them in a more stable state. She could do that much, dress the wound with hemostatic gauze and pack it to slow the bleeding, after that, if there was the threat of some sort of assassin on the club premises, then...

    "Still, if we're gonna take Jack and run we need a place to run to... Hospital is too obvious of a choice, it's the first place they'd look for him if they come back to confirm the kill and find him missing..."

    The severity of the situation... Seems to have a strangely calming effect on the young woman...

    Like the normally scattered thoughts had found some relief in the bluntness of a mission, of a task, a clear tangible problem that she could fix without all the ambiguity of the mysteries surrounding this club, or perhaps...

    She simply feels most at ease taking care of others?

    Both?

    Even she doesn't know.

    "We can't know if anyone is listening either, but I can think of an alternate place to bring him to treat his wounds. Less official, less obvious. Even if they don't feel like doing it, I can probably take care of something like this myself once my sub-systems switch over. Not sure how the person in question would feel about me bringing so many people over at once... But I think it'd be relatively safe. Lot of battle power gathered there, so not an easy place for someone to just take by force even if they do find us."

    She speaks logically, hands moving automatically to prep for what medical work can be done in this place, even as her words aim themselves towards Jayesh and Zane...

    "If you have alternate destinations we can talk about it in the car, away from this compromised club. There's something road-worthy in the garage right? There's a few of us... Probably going to need at least two... Scottie probably drove himself up here, so his vehicle might work for one..."

    She talks to the group, the topic serious, but her voice completely calm and confident.

    "So Jack... This Yozora is the one who shot you? Wrote that dumb message on the wall?" She chuckles in an attempt to bring the man's spirits up, although the clear seriousness of the situation remains present alongside the warmth of her voice, "They've got one heck of a name, although I guess I can't say anything in that regard..."

    Night Sky...

    "What else do you know about him? Anything at all could be helpful if he does wind up coming through that door, so don't hold back on me now." Having finally come through with a bit of gauze she liked, cut away the parts of his clothes hiding the bullet hole, disinfected her hands and now even pinned him to the ground with her knee (for the sake of reducing blood flow to the area, as Zane had implied she should do) the girl frowns slightly as she prepares herself for the finishing touches, the subtly toned muscles of now bare arms visibly tensing in preparation, "This part is going to hurt a bit by the way, bear with it please."

    Packing a wound meant really getting in there...

    "Soon as I'm done with this Jayesh," She motions towards the boy with her head. "We need to grab him and go. Shouldn't take us too long to move him up the ladder if we do it together, and if there's someone out and about silencing people, we want everyone out of here as fast as we possibly can... I'd rather not fight an opponent I don't know anything about."
    Last edited by Airen; February 11th, 2022 at 11:17 PM.
    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. #4394
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard - Warehouse 2
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "If something, then most of us seem to be connected to the town one way or another," I said as my eyes scanned the corridor, "Like your mother. Or our...common acquaintance with Pyry. Or Prushka's brother, and I have a feeling that there is something similar for the others as well. However, whether that's a cause, an effect, or a completely irrelevant coincidence, I have no idea. Though it would be a rather...convoluted reasoning for us to be expected to solve all this if we're just here solely because of others."

    Trying to make any sense out of it was enough to give me a headache as is.

    Though, fortunately, I was more occupied with paying close attention to the layout and contents of the hallways and rooms below, and after just a short while, I learned enough for us to be able to plan our next step.

    "There's some security, but it shouldn't be too hard to get past that," I explained as I turned back towards the rest of the group, "And if the passcode for the cell is the same as the door outside, then things will be even easier. Not that it would make a big difference if we're noticed, especially if we want to get that person out of here. After all, he is still alive, so they likely haven't interrogated him yet...which means that they'll likely be back soon. Still, best be careful, I suppose."

    To make sure that everyone knew what to expect, I went on to briefly describe what exactly was down there, and what 'some security' meant - from the motion sensor, to the electrified cell bars and the electric locks, the prisoner, and even the separate passageway leading elsewhere.

    All that was left afterwards was to actually move down there...

  15. #4395
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "Your best bet is to try their mansion. Or estate, whatever you want to call it. In a sense, they're almost like... I hesitate to say 'mafia', but they definitely carry themselves like old money. Or criminals. Or both. In other words, their manor is their headquarters, and that's the easiest way to reach them. Besides, they're old-fashioned enough that they believe in talking face-to-face so..."

    "Just, be careful if you decide to go. Isaac is a nice dude, but his family can be... terse. And imposing. They usually don't mean anything by it, that's just how they are, but... Well, things could have changed, of course. It's been... quite a while since I've had any dealings with the Kincaids."
    Elise stared at the napkin, adding the latest addition to the list of addresses written on it to her memory.

    "Proceed with caution. Gotcha. Thanks, Samuel. Hopefully we won't need to have to look them up, but it's good to be ready just in case we have to."

    It seems unlikely that the Lowgates copy of the prophecy would go missing after all these years if its been locked up in the Lowgates' home, but on the same hand, it's not like U-Salem was an eternal guardian of the Lowgate house, and who knows what that meddlesome ghost might've been up to over the years?

    "What about Isaiah- er, Isaac?"

    Uhg. Those are two entirely different names.

    "If he's the friendliest member of the family, is there any way to get a hold of him?" asked Elise, "He strikes me as the kind of guy who just sort of comes and goes when he wants to though. I can't imagine that's easy, is it?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille Faraday
    “In that case, maybe there’s an easy solution. Someone at the school, or someone in this town associated with the school’s new faculty, fed him information. Who else is privy to such knowledge?”

    “A very long time ago in the previous loop… I met Hwan, who said that in Miss Min’s office, there are extensive psychological profiles of every student. And that makes sense, of course, but from the sounds of it they were awfully detailed despite involving people they’d been working with for days… As uncomfortable as it is, I assume we’ve already been monitored from the start. To an absurd degree.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel Lowgate
    "Still, what comes to your theory, it might be plausible. Do you have any idea who might be... let's say, skilled enough to get a deep dive into those psych-profiles and not get caught? And pass that information along to wherever Michael was holed up before the lighthouse? I'd say that's a start... because if he's capable of 'looping' with you lot, there's unfortunately not lot we can do."
    "Michael's not above dealing with our classmates, that's for sure. He's tried to ally with Subaru, and really take any opportunity he can to malign you, Lucille... If it was one of our classmates, he'd have to be able to win them over quick, because there's not a whole lot time before we arrive here and before he needs to move... Some of the faculty have been here longer, he might have had more time to convince them to help him, but I'm sure if any of them strike me as the kind of person who'd leak confidential information to a ghost..."

    "We could ask that shapeshifter we caught, the one who was pretending to be Minato. She didn't seem to be a willing accomplice to Michael, but we don't know how long she was under their control. Not for long, I imagine though. Minato said she was acting pretty robotic while she was under their control. Vivienne mentioned that there was a doppelganger who was filling in for Alex later in the week. I wouldn't be surprised if the one we caught was the same one," speculated Elise, "We've probably been to class with her if that's the case. Still, it wouldn't be hard for a shapeshifter to slip into the school, steal documents, spy on us, and gather information."

    "That said though, he knew stuff that I can't imagine the Oceandrop Program would know. Personal details. Relationships established after we all came here. I can't imagine that-"

    She cut herself off abruptly as a frantic, fearful thought whirled through her mind.

    The Oceandrop Program can't possibly know about LBJ and my, ah, condition, can they? They can't possibly be crazy enough to think any of this was a good idea if they knew, right? How would they even know? No one back home knew. If they knew, they never would have let me leave. Or live, for that matter.

    Elise sighed as she shoved that thought to the back of her mind and turned her attention back to the topic at hand.

    "Otherwise... on the first day of this loop, Alexstraza got a package in the mail that contained a video tape, which seemed to contain information from the previous loop. We know that had to have been brought to Road's End Store and Post on Tuesday for it to have been delivered to Pinefall on Wednesday morning, and I'm pretty sure that package never showed up last week, so it must have been something new introduced into the loop. So there has to be someone who can transmit information across loops, and seemingly has access to a day before we're aware of the loops. It's possible that whoever sent that package to Alexstraza is also Michael's informant. They certainly seem know us, and have an investment in getting a reaction out of us."

    I really should have dug a bit deeper there and asked Zane or Ms. Popplewell if she knew who dropped that package off...

    Elise frowned as another thought crossed her mind.

    "Actually, ah, speaking of the End's Store and Post... what about Ms. Popplewell?" asked Elise, "She seemed to be very familiar with Remmie, and seemed to have known her, when we asked about her, but seemed to have no idea who Devon Rustfield was, let alone that he was a local. She seems like she'd be about the right age to be part of the Last Class, but I guess she wasn't?"

  16. #4396
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "The Owl's... Nest."

    Something clicks into place.

    Rachel Halloway. Their daughter is Rachel Halloway. And Mr. Halloway is her grandfather. The same Mr. Halloway who, according to Hisa, had a hidden room in his hotel, where Snow was staying. The one that helped Alfred Rushmore finally have a child. The same Alfred Rushmore who tried everything, including traveling to California...

    I blink, and am suddenly staring at a cold beer can clutched in my too-small hands. Did those hands come from him as well? The stern, sullen, family-focused, older-than-he-looked man who might have been my genetic father?

    Wait a sec, does that mean it's his fault I'm short, too?

    "..."

    That's enough of that, then.




    Prushka
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    I set the can back down among the others. As I exhale, it's like a great weight is leaving my lungs.

    "Geeze, Mr. Kennedy, you gotta be careful. Telling all that stuff to some kid you just met is dangerous, y'know? Especially a 'tomboy princess'. Especially one of the Oceandrop Program kids. For all you know I might wanna use my psychic powers to act on it or something."

    Poke, poke. Or rather, pat, pat.

    Squatting down, balancing precisely on the Dragon next to the smoking hot sheriff, I shoot him a grin.

    "Got sucked into the nice atmosphere, didn't ya?"

    Swaying to and fro, I look back at the graves. At the grave of two fathers who really shouldn't be in graves at all.

    "...I won't ask. Carelessly poking around like that just hurts people. Even I know that."

    They'd probably wanna cheer up this kid, huh? Even though he's old enough to be an uncle now. He came here to vent and be alone and now he's having to entertain me. It's rather unfortunate, so it's time to reverse that misfortune!

    "Alright, it's decided. What's eating you, Mr. Kennedy? You came here to get your thoughts in order, right? Anything I can do to help?"

  17. #4397
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard - Warehouse 2
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    With Pyry and Hisa taking the point, the group descended down into the hidden basement. Leena and Mercedes hung back while Gradient and To-Totesh followed the two immediately, with the native girl having said that if it was needed, she might be able to do mess a little with the electrical equipment of the room. Naturally, Pyry had boasted that no electrified bars would affect him... but immediately admitted that he, of course, would rather avoid touching them if possible.

    Thus, into the darkness they went. Down the metal steps, being as quiet as they could. All around them, shadows closed in, and soon enough the hatch leading downwards was more like a single sliver, a solitary square of light that they had left behind. As they muffled their steps, not even the group's footfalls were there to keep them company. All that was left was silence and darkness, and the stiffled breathing of six individuals that made their way towards the prison cell.

    Prison cell that, eventually, came into full view.

    Looking at it up close, Hisa could finally confirm that what she had seen with her eyes more or less lined up with reality. Front half of the room was accessible from the tunnel they were in, with the camera to the left and the door underneath it. Straight ahead was the electrified metal bars which cut the room in half, and beyond that was the slumped-over form of the man that she had witnessed before - both just earlier and then in her vision of the past events. Now that they were closer, she could easily see that he was indeed alive.

    "Let me see if I can..."

    With a quiet whisper, To-Totesh seemed to release something from her sleeve. Hisa caught a glimpse of what looked like an almost squirrel-shaped droid that skittered across the floor and up the left wall, and soon enough, there was a quiet burst of electricity. A satisfied look from To-Totesh, along with an encouraging nod, indicated that at least for the moment, the camera had been dealt with.

    In other words, it would now be safe - at least for a few moments - to approach the cell.

    And thus they did. With Hisa going in first, Pyry walking a step behind her, and the rest following afterwards, they emerged from the shadows and walked into the dim light of the prison - finally catching the attention of the man behind the bars. While the others took in the sight of the rather haggard and weak-looking guy, To-Totesh started inspecting the method with which the bars were electrified, trying to find a way to shut them off.

    As for the man himself, his head jerked up a little as he heard the footfalls, finally, and a pair of tired eyes looked through his messy hair at the approaching people.

    "So, you finally came, you bastards. About time. I was wondering when you'd get to torturing m---" His voice, sounding dry and exhausted, cut off as he seemed to realize who he was addressing. "Wait a minute..."

    The initial threatening tone was replaced by confusion.

    "... You're not Montauk, are you? No, they're much more obvious about their evil-ness. So, uh..." He hesitated for a moment. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

    Then, a slightly bitter grin appeared to his face.

    "And is it too much to hope that you might help a guy out here?"




    “Vier”
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Deeper.

    She ventured deeper.

    Further.

    She journeyed further.

    Darker.

    The world around her was darker.

    As Vier continued to track the trail left behind by Hawthorn, slowly but surely she started to feel like that this big curve he was taking towards the town... it wasn't just to mask where he was going. No, it was almost like he was purposefully leading any would-be pursuers into the depths of the Ghostwood, a place where sunlight barely reached and where the shadows cut deeper, cut harder, spreading all across the land. Before she had even realized it, the overcast sky was practically gone from her view, instead replaced by a canopy of pine and bark, while the forest floor beneath her feet grew tangled and gnarled with roots and moss. Moving in such a terrain was hard in itself, but then there was the pressure, the atmosphere of the area itself...

    --- Time and time again, locals had warned the Pinefall students not to delve too deep into the Ghostwood.

    However, determined and stubborn in her pursuit, Vier Wolff had ignored this advice that even she had heard. The advice to stick to trails, not go off deep into the forest, and most importantly, to not venture there alone, without any sort of backup or plan.

    Thus, without even realizing it, she had caused one thing...

    By chasing after Hawthorn, she had managed to stumble into a danger far greater than anything the vampire might have presented. By leaving behind her allies, she had left behind the one defense against what was now around her. And by killing her emotions, she had dulled her senses against the dangers that truly lurked in the forest which she had entered. In other words, she might as well as been weaponless.

    Yet, she she had soldiered on.

    And in the following hours before the night fell...

    --- "Vier Wolff" would learn just how in over her head she truly was.

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

    Vier Wolff: Friendship Rank Raised!







    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "He's... an E-Einherjar Captain..."

    Jack's voice was still haggard, but he seemed to have regained some of his strength as he heard that Sierra was alright - as if the mere idea was enough to bring out reserves in him that he didn't even know about. While Liana dressed the wound and disinfected it, Zane and Jayeshed looked through the room to see if anything there could be useful for helping to carry the man to the ladder - though unfortunately, they came up short. All they seemed to find was the remains of a silver bullet that Jayesh showed to the girl.

    Zane, on the other hand, kept glancing towards the door - or rather, the message above it.

    "... At least, I... think. He came w-with... that Japanese doctor... either a bodyguard or... n-not sure," Jack continued, gritting his teeth together. "I think h-he's being loaned to... Montauk. Do... do their dirty work. What they can't l-let the Air Force know... listen..."

    His grip on Liana's wrist tightened and he brought his face closer.

    "They're... not unified at all! Everything's falling... apart. Gottlieb and Satel, Montauk and Air Force, Pinefall and Daniel...! They're all after d-different things! But they can't afford to let you k-know. It might spring... the trap... to soon... before It realizes it...! Just... just like twenty-one years ago..." Jack wheezed, sounding desperate to get out as much information as he could. "That's... that's why we need, her... she's the only one who can set... things right..."

    For a moment, his eye wandered off towards the bloodied message on the wall.

    "Probatio diabolica... that's what she needs. Fight fire with fire! S-sometimes, that's the only..." He paused, painfully. "Only chance! Still..."

    He was starting to sound delirious. Was that the reason why he was speaking so hastily, as if driven to get out all the information he could before he lost his consciousness.

    "What... what most of them don't realize... is that even... even if it looks like it, information... it can't be erased. Never completely. Once it exists, it exists for good," Jack continued. "So, even if... things are reset, even if I'm reset... that doesn't mean this me is gone! You just... just need to link it to the new iteration...!"

    His voice, it sounded practically desperate.

    "--- You can bring back the memories lost, as long as there's a strong enough link, through those who remembers...!"

    Those who remember.

    For a moment, Liana saw it - like a flashing vision before her very eyes. A single figure in the dark forest, a hooded, formless being. The one who said it'd remember. Born out of mysterious circumstances, a being who would remember them, so they could remember themselves.

    So, if the link was strong enough, could they themselves becomes muses for others, retrieve the memories of those who had lost theirs...?

    "It's like links in a chain of memories - you just need to connect them," Jack added. "If things go wrong, if the iteration is wrong, you need to remember that, instead of mourning, because---!"

    At that point, Liana pushed down with her knee, determined to wrap up the gauzes as tight as she could to stop the bloodflow... but also sending a shock of pain through the older man's body. And though he had tried to act strong, tried to keep his mind working and his mouth talking - it seemed that was the last blow. With a groan of pain and gritted teeth, Jack Pinkerton finally succumbed to unconsciousness...

    ... But at least he was still alive, and his wound had been dressed.




    Prushka
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Michael chuckled heartily at that.

    "Guess I did! Or perhaps you used those 'psychic powers' to get me to talk a bit more than usual, huh?" The sheriff asked and wiggled his fingers as it demonstrate aforementioned powers. "Still, it's nice to see that you have a good head on your shoulders. See, this is why I don't agree with some of the townspeople feared. I know for a fact that even if someone's a little different, they're still just people like the rest of us - for good and for bad."

    A soft smile came to his face, as if he was reminiscing about something that happened a long time ago.

    "... I met some people a whole lot like you Pinefall lot back when I was just a kid. And turns out, they weren't spooky or dangerous either," he admitted. "Just people, like anyone else."

    Still, that tone... it carried a sort of wistful, a slightly sorrowful edge to it. Whatever had happened to those people, it certainly wasn't happy.

    "As for what's eating me, well... a lot, one could say. We've got one befuddling case on our hands, to the point that even FBI seems a bit stumped. I got a call from Bi-... a certain someone last night, too, and it sounded like she's been having a rough time as well. It seems the whole End's Mercy is in chaos thanks to something straight out of a Twilight Zone episode, and most importantly..." He paused, that smile fading away and being replaced by stern professionalism. "... My deputy. I think her regrets finally either caught up with her, or someone's playing one hell of an unpleasant prank on her. See, the reason why she's taking a day off today is... well, she said she heard about someone being in town who shouldn't be. Someone who she seems to have rather mixed feelings about."

    He took a drag off his cigarette and let loose a cloud of smoke in the air.

    "Someone named 'Vier Wolff'... except, according to her..."

    He chewed on his lip, cautiously.

    "... The real Vier Wolff died a long time ago," Michael spoke, bluntly. "So either she's seeing shadows or the past, or we've got an impostor with particularly poor taste in our hands, on top of everything else."




    Colt Davin
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    The older woman snorted and grinned slightly.

    "Of course I can. Who the hell do you think I am?" She asked, voice full of gruff confidence. "I'm the Park Ranger Maxine Savage, dammit. And I ain't letting no one die in my neck of the woods, no matter if they're human or animal."

    She then looked down at the girl now in her arms. The beast-like figure of the young woman laid still, but even through the mist in his eyes, Colt was able to see that her chest was still rising and falling. Slightly. Ever so slightly. But it was, nevertheless. In other words, hope was not yet gone. There was still miracles to be found, even in the darkness of this accursed forest and its vile clutches. No matter how hard it had tried to break the both of them... something, for once, had gone right.

    This woman had appeared, as if guided by the owl who now sat on the rock, and...

    ... Did it just wink to Colt.

    "--- Or if they're both. Well, no matter," Ranger Savage said, hoisting her up in slightly better position. "My car's not too far from here. We'll get there where we can issue some first aid, and then we'll get the hell out of dodge. All alone and bleeding is no way to survive in Ghostwood. This place can smell blood, and it's like a shark. A drop of crimson and it'll hone in on you. So get up on your feet and..."

    She glanced at Colt, and frowned when she saw the state the boy was in. Then, after thinking for a moment, he turned to someone behind the boy - someone he hadn't seen.

    "Pick him up and carry him. The poor guy looks like he can barely stand," Ranger Savage ordered. "Then, to my SUV. On the double."

    Before Colt even knew what was happening, he felt a pair of strong hands grab onto him and lift him up from the forest floor. Then he was - somewhat gently but unceremoniously, slung over the shoulder that was definitely masculine. He saw a glimpse of almost silver hair and rough, black jacket - and smelled the sudden smell of motor-oil. Whoever was carrying him was both tall and muscular... and rather used to this, from the looks of it. It certainly wasn't the first time they had carried someone, judging by the ease with which they handled Colt.

    "You got him?" The woman asked. "Good."

    Now that he was able to get back his bearings, Colt could finally start to move his body. And as he twisted himself around to look at the person carrying him...

    He got an odd sense of deja vu - like he had seen this guy somewhere before.


    And for some reason, the look in his light blue eye... seemed to echo Colt's own thoughts.

    "What are you doing? Let's go already!"

    Ranger Savage's order was like a bark, and the older guy nodded.

    "... Right."

    With that, he fixed his grip on Colt, and chased after the woman - with the owl taking flight behind both of them.

    And as they ran like a wind through the woods, Colt could hear the woman shout out one more thing.

    "--- And don't you dare to drop him, Nevada! That'd be a sorry end for this whole thing - funny, but sorry."

    The man nodded.

    "Right."


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


    Colt Davin: Friendship Rank Raised!






    New People Met!


  18. #4398
    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

    "He... fly planes? Like Tom Cruise? Top Gun?"

    Rachel may have perhaps imagined that if Vivienne could emote, she would probably have been quite excited, and even miming things or asking her if Mr. Halloway had aviator glasses or if he still had an F-14 of sorts. Of course, it was a bit of a jump, since not everyone who is in the airforce is a fighter pilot. No, the bulk of the Air Force is actually compromised of the men and women that make sure said planes can operate on a timely basis.

    Besides, F-14 are for the navy, but Vivienne Bianchi should not be someone who's aware of such details, should she? At the very least, she was pretending to not know.

    "If you... do not like the way politics are... maybe you can try to... change something about it? Become... new mayor? You are daughter of... influential man, no? Also quite dedicated on what she wants. I am sure it will work out...make some new things happen. Add a new spin... maybe a cinema? Promote some tourism surrounding things like... town history? The lighthouse? Lots of interesting things... in Road's End..."

    She was getting quite long winded, but it would be quite clear to Rachel that Vivienne had been around the place and had seen a bit of the scenery for herself.

    "Place is... somewhat romantic... but also looks ominous... very good for shooting movies..."

    Vivienne pauses to check the temperature of Alex's coffee, making sure it is still warm. It also serves as a moment of respite so Rachel can process a bit all the rather optimistic suggestions Vivienne has been suggesting to her. For someone who is emotionless, either she is trying her best to be positive and cheer Rachel up in her own way, or perhaps she's taken a liking to the town -- two angles under which Rachel could view the quiet girl in front of her.

    "What do you think? Would you try to save this town from falling into abandonment... or maybe... just walk away? None of your business? Or..."

    Rather than will or affection, it could simply be that Rachel was a realist, and did not want to get involved with 'dubious powers'.

    "Military... too shady? Just like in movies? Why would they want... a remote village in the middle of nowhere... secret experiment site? Just like... James Bond..."

  19. #4399
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "...You did alright, old timer."

    A low voice, but not one lacking in warmth or strength; it's the voice of a young woman that had just had a lot of new information thrown at her all of a sudden, something she hadn't actually expected when she had requested it of the man, but...

    "I get it. Worst case scenario, I'll take it with me back to the start."

    ...It's a calm voice all the same, one that has gotten significantly lighter than it had been in awhile, even as it speaks to a man who can no longer hear her.

    "But strong links? Not sure I'm the right girl for that, all my friends and family have an odd tendency of disappearing on me. They never write or call or anything either, you believe that? It's like I'm the only one trying here~"

    Guess that's life as a doll...

    Enough to crack a joke about something that wasn't really all that funny. Still, gently guiding his head down to the concrete as he loses consciousness, the young woman can only shake her head at the absurdities of reality. A lot of what the man had said was troubling, from the implications behind Yozora, this Japanese Doctor and the Einherjar as a sort of group in town acting in concert to Montauk, to the implied attempted summoning of Dot to 'fight fire with fire,' (She being different from It) a dangerous enough concept at the best of times, and one that was probably going to drag each and every one of them into the abyss before the weekend was over, but-

    "Ah still..."

    She stands up.

    You hear all that Ciel?

    Einherjar.

    And this... Demonstration of Evil stuff?

    This town's crazy.




    "Yare Yare Dawa."

    "We're dealing with government clean up crews then? Pinefall is this so called petri-dish? Using a bunch of teenagers as bait for what's almost certainly something horrible? Can't let us know about it without screwing their precious trap up? Organizational friction causing the entire town to implode on itself in a burst of shadow wars?"

    She chuckles.

    It's not funny, but she was always the sort to laugh in the face of danger, even more so in the face of the truly absurd sorts of dangers...

    "It's quite the mess. This town's a huge pile of nonsense. But one thing at a time," she turns to the other two, "If we are dealing with some sort of government death squad, we really need to get the hell out of here. Nothing convenient to carry Jack on either, so it's time to show me some guts, boys," her faint smile widens, "Do it the old-fashioned way! One of you get his legs, the other the arms."

    She slips her jacket back on as she speaks, gaze moving over towards the door.

    "I'll pull up the rear till we get the ladder, so I can keep an eye on this door and my hands free." Leaving her sweater discarded on the ground, the young woman moves just outside the cell, placing herself in the path their hypothetical intruder would have to take if he comes through that door, "I think I'm the least hurt and probably the most resistant to gunfire... So if our wannabe assassin shows up guns blazing it should be me he sees first, there's no guarantees in our world, but I should be able to at least hold him for a bit if I can't win outright."

    A flicker of a tired smile.

    "Hopefully it doesn't come to that of course, but if it does, start running as fast as you can."

    Her gaze moves ahead, preparing herself to spring to action the moment the door before them tries to open, even if it meant taking a few bullets herself.

    She'd put the assassin in the ground if she had to, at this point pulling punches wasn't much of an option.

    "Would be real awkward if I don't give my all to protect him now, my pride as a Knightess is damaged enough as it is."

    Not to mention...

    Even putting aside everything else, or perhaps, above everything else...

    She needs him to help her find Thorne.

    Hopefully before everything goes completely to hell...

    "And Jack still has a lot of questions to answer."
    Last edited by Airen; February 19th, 2022 at 09:13 PM.
    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--"

  20. #4400
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    “I wouldn’t know who exactly would be capable of doing so,” Lucille admits. She knows extremely little about the teachers in Pinefall, and so she has no idea of who could even meet that odd criteria. But with enough wealth, wasn’t hiring such a person well within the realm of possibility? Even if they… knew far too much for comfort. But it’s as if those problematic elements were why they were chosen to be here…

    "Does he wear an eyepatch? Dirt-blonde hair? A somewhat uncouth guy?" He asked. "If so, I'd say they're the same. In which case... Jack has balls. It's like he up and left, only to come back and muscle into the Kincaid-family's business as a competitor."
    “That’s him, alright.” Lucille wonders what could have driven him to come back to a place he seemed not fond of, but they had only had a superficial conversation at best. “I haven’t spoken to him, um, this iteration, however.”

    Elise rattles off three ideas: consulting the shapeshifter who’d served Michael, a mysterious tape containing what seemed to be scenes from a previous loop, and Ms. Popplewell’s relations with the rest of Road’s End. Lucille doesn’t have anything meaningful to add to the latter, so she focuses primarily on the first. After all, that’s something they can do.

    “Talking to that girl seems like a good use of time… should we split ourselves up? One visits the Kincaids, the other interrogates her? Or some other combination of tasks…” So many things to do, so little time… Splitting up seems like the right thing to do, but she also remembers quite acutely what happened to her and Mercedes last Sunday. If anything, they got off lightly on that one. But doing everything together was simply so limiting…

    Heavens, she’s going to think in circles at this rate. A loop within a loop.

    “And I was unaware of the tape. If… If Michael can remember multiple versions of this loop… I hope… I hope he remembers this one, at the very least. That he can still find peace, at the end.”

    She prays that this is the case. If they have to do this again, she doesn’t want to relive the experience. He deserves it, certainly, but…

    Lucille groans into her cup of orange juice.

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