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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4501
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Parlour
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Perched upon the roofs of Owl's Nest, Vivienne braves the strong winds and battering rain as she ponders upon her next course of action, unfazed. Her inspection of the available methods of entry yielded at best one plausible approach. The circumstances to go by unnoticed at least if her end destination is to meet up quickly with Alex. She ponders for a second, on the other avenues she could take -- of disappearing in the forest by Owl's Nest sides, and walking back to the hotel's entrance, or of merely leaving the place and coming back later, when people aren't on high alert. In the end however, she decides to continue on her chosen course, for she does not have time to dispense, and would prefer to not be spotted entering the hotel... when she was supposed to be somewhere inside it.

    Thus, in one swift and graceful movement, Vivienne Bianchi spreads her black wings once more and jumps. She glides down in a straight line, using her incredible reflexes and focus to read the pattern of the wind currents and rapidly adjust her wings in response. With a gentle touch, she enters through the window making nary an audible sound. The combination of her 'unique' skillset alongside the clanging sound of the rainfall on the roof would make sure that even should she had slipped up, she would have gone unnoticed.

    Now she finds herself in a room, with someone who is asleep. She should probably get out of here quietly... but who even is this occupant? Vivienne hasn't seen them around before, so they can't be from Pinefall High... and them being here means it is quite unlikely that they are a local. A tourist? What hints did this person's room hold for her to discern?

    Behind the the mask of the night parade, blue eyes touched by a red hue look around, an air of mischief leaking from their piercing glare.

  2. #4502
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "People will start to talk," Zane added as he pushed the doors open and let the wind and rain in. "That'd be a bother to you, wouldn't it?"
    ...Am I being hit on, Ciel? I can't actually tell anymore...

    "Oh, people are sorta already talking, I mean, I think Thorne felt a bit threatened by you earlier."

    The event felt like it had happened ages ago of course, time spent in this club was time that felt like it dragged on and on and on, probably because of how things always seemed to go from bad to worse in the place... It was a bit of a shame really, all the money that had been poured into this place had left it pretty in an opulent way if you ignored the statue, not her preferred sort of hang-out of course, but the kitchen and all of it's stock had been worth messing around with even if the rest of the place was sort of vaguely evil, still...

    "Bit too happy looking to see me perhaps? Or maybe it was the gallant dash to my aid against the shadow? I don't really know how guys minds work with that sort of thing..."

    Lord knows she struggled with her own fits of jealousy, so she couldn't really call anyone else out on it...

    "But it's no big deal, I'm being hit with the big brother moves, so a bit of sisterly reprisal from my end is fine, eh nii-san?"

    It's mostly a joke of course, normally she was the one telling others to think of her as a big sister of sorts, but the world seemed determined to fight her on this particular point, so she might as well lean into it every once in awhile-!

    Felt weird to say...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "You have any experience with cars?"
    As for this particular question, well...

    "Plenty."

    Of course she did, it was a necessity in her line of work.

    "Of course I'm normally a motorcycle sort of girl," her eyes light up like stars, a sign perhaps that the boy had suddenly stumbled across a topic she found quite interesting indeed, "I have a Suzuki GSX1100S Katana I use when I'm hanging around in Japan, love it to death~ Had a Yamaha V-Max 1200 at one point too, can't go wrong with 145bhp, throw on a frame and fork brace to reduce chassis flex and you're golden!"

    It only sorta feels like it's gonna kill you then-!

    "Course the gas mileage wasn't particularly great on it, it's more of a street race bike... Having to carry around extra fuel all the time was a little harrowing... Fuel containers become a bit of an obvious target on a battlefield, and running out of gas mid-retreat from a Gashadokuro you didn't expect to find out in the fields is just... It's just no good, you know? Sometimes it means you lose your ride to the giant, perpetually starving skeleton."

    Damn thing...

    Her words are clear and without a single trace of stutter or hesitation, excited words that don't stop even as her eyes slowly look over the car itself... Looked like Redd Lewis's car, which meant that Vier must have stolen it from the teacher's parking lot, which in turn probably meant that Lewis had been hanging around late after school last night for one reason or another...

    ---Hopefully a positive one, but considering the nature of this town, she sorta doubted it.

    Zane had called Pinefall safe, but considering all the people she was sure had been snuck into the school building, as well as the fact that said school building was almost certainly covered in wire taps and other sorts of electronic bugs (no way they let people with their reputation just wander unsupervised around the place) she sorta doubted that apparent safety herself...

    So there was a possibility something bad had happened to the teacher, of course it was also possible he had just hitched a ride home with some of the other faculty, but...

    She'd place her bets on something more sinister.

    "In the states I get more long-term assignments to places and well... Cars and RVs are easier to live out of then motorcycles. Class C Motor-homes are my favorite if it comes down to that sort of thing, not the flashiest or the most responsive, but a house on wheels is a house on wheels." She chuckles, mind flashing back to many an hour spent on lengthy desert roads, or out alone in the mountains, "And if I rely on something to survive, I like to know how it works, so I've put quite a few hours into disassembling and assembling engines... Inherited a bit of that stuff from Sora, so it wasn't too hard to pick it back up, makes a decent hobby too."

    She snorts, then...

    "Tinkering around with machines is sort of in the blood really... So yeah, I'd say I know my way around most types of engines. Need my help with anything?"

    Peers over his shoulder at the engine.
    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--"

  3. #4503
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    The dragon screeches to a halt, some distance from the two. I was worried about how it'd perform with a passenger, but carried us splendidly. The real test, though, is up ahead. Maybe, if it performs well I'll apologize to the guy who made it for me.

    "Last stop."

    If Hisa wants to get off, she won't get another chance. Getting between Pyry and Ahti now is a one-way trip with no hopes of returning. They're truly monsters now. Only one thing to do. No more time for it.

    "I'll..."

    You'll what?

    A cold hand grips my heart the moment the thought crosses my mind. As if it had been waiting until the last possible moment to do so.

    You'll what, little girl? Go in there? Charge right into the fray? At them? At those two, who can no longer even recognize friend from foe?

    Suddenly, I am no longer sure. The doubt that I'd mentioned to Alpa grows, wraps around my limbs, anchoring them to the ground. It whispers into my ear, sounding like Xylia Pheme and Dot F. Loonwaters and every other person who has shattered my delusions.

    Hey. You'll die. You know that, right? This isn't some fairy tale. You're not a soldier or a warrior. You're a delusional kid with a big mouth and some funny toys and nothing else. You don't even know if Memoire is real, but you think you can rely on it? Not like them; they're real for sure. Ahti's real. Pyry's real. And Hisa's real. She's seen so much worse than you, hasn't she? When she makes a plan, it's a real plan, not a gut feeling you're following because you can't think of anything else.

    The growling becomes ever-distant, compared to the sound of my own heart pounding in my eardrums.

    "I'll..."

    Ahti said it: stay away. Because if you don't, if one of them so much as brushes against you, it's over. Just like Alaska. You remember, right? What that nice doctor looked like while she was examining you? You remember, right? What her bits looked like, spread across the snow?

    I do. I do remember.

    You haven't forgotten, have you? How you died last week, how scary and painful it was? Lobo was going easy on you, you know that too. He didn't want to hurt a child, so he gave you a chance, and you still messed up. But Mr. Currumpaw wasn't a monster. He wasn't half as scary as Ahti and Pyry. And they won't give you a chance. They'll strike without hesitation.

    I haven't forgotten.

    So are you going to do it? Are you going to die again, knowing it might accomplish nothing?

    ...yes. Yes I am. Being scared won't slow me down. I can move just fine.

    And why is that?

    Because Ahti entrusted himself to me.


    "I'll be counting on you, Hisa!"

    Click. I step firmly on a certain panel and twist it to the left.

    The air fills with static. The smell of ozone momentarily overwhelms the scent of violence. A heady whine rises in pitch and volume just as the vehicle under my feet rises from the ground. Air, dirt, and blades of grass are blasted away from us by the force of wind. With four more simultaneous clicks, the wheels detach completely, leaving the Pink Dragon hanging in the air under its own power, hovering over the ground.

    There will be no second try. Someone with the body of a human cannot approach those two monsters on her own. But with the aid of technology that won't leave the pages of science fiction for at least a decade...

    One chance is all we'll get.



    The air batters against me like a wall. The speed threatens to rip me from my feet as the sharp acceleration takes the hover board from zero to too much in under a second, and me along with it.

    We were parked outside of the range of Pyry and Ahti's battle, from where they would not anticipate an attack. So to reach them before they react, before their instincts catch up, only one thing matters: speed.

    Faster. Not enough. The engine needs to surpass itself as well.

    Now where was that button I told them not to press? It didn't blow up when Alexstrazsa and Cesarina tested it out, so it should work here too!

    Click.



    The world becomes a blur. Shapes and colours smear together as the booster engages and the children's toy under my feet momentarily reaches speeds that would make a street racer blush.

    Just fast enough... to dip into the world of monsters.



    In the moment before collision. Before my brief journey across this rain-soaked field reaches its end. In that moment, I close my eyes.

    What was it you said, Boss? "Never try to do that again?"

    Sorry. Looks like I'll be disobeying your orders for the first and last time.

    To sever this curse, I'll have to unsheathe the blade of understanding once more.

    "Hah..."


    How did it go again? The 'bubble' within me that contains Memoire sits calmly, waiting to be pulled and prodded and exposed to the emotions of others. It is a fragile thing, that will erode the moment it leaves my body. Even pushing it to the surface of my fingertips is the limit. That's why Hisa can use her powers at range and I can't; her 'bubble' must be resilient enough to encompass the world outside her body.

    But that's fine. Because Memoire is waiting. Sheltered within me, it's a shy thing that rejects others to protect them. Because if it were to envelop another, they would, in that moment, cease to be an other at all.

    "Haaaaaaaaa...!"

    Arise. Awaken, my spirit. It's okay now. You can leave. Show human and monster alike what it means for hearts to connect.

    I reach for the Odic bubble within me. The back of my head burns as I pull on it with all my might. It's like tearing my own stomach out with my bare hands. But so what? It cannot be wrong. Even if the world says it is wrong, this self says otherwise. It is, before all else, the reason for my existence. It is, before all else, the only force that can reach those two now.

    So wake up already, Memoire!


    ▅▅

    What emerges is... ▅▅. A ▅▅ that cannot be described and cannot exist, resting upon the tip of my finger and turning the world inside out around itself.

    They are in sight now. Turning, surely, towards me. Ready to strike, but a hair too slow. The pair of beasts that were once men, and between them a bulwark built over their souls. A heresy that
    my Arche
    ▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅
    cannot abide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subaru Iburi
    "What would you call a being like that? Capable of thought yet working only to what their instincts tell them to work on? To me, that is a beast - a monster."
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyry
    "It's the best. The fact that you can bring smile to a kid's face just by showing up... makes it really worth it. Every punch, every kick, every headlock."
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti Jalopeura
    "... I'll leave myself in your hands, Prushka."
    "Begone..."

    The ▅▅ is crushed in my fist.

    Crack. Crack. Crack.

    It warps. My nails, my knuckles, my whole arm warps and cracks apart from trying to contain that which shatters. The space between myself and the world twists alongside it. But that's fine. Because no matter how much you try to break a person, they will always get back up again.

    Between the cracks where flesh once was, Odic force spills out onto the world, painting it my colour. Arche spills out in every direction.

    Before me is a wall. A leash of the heart.

    I am going to destroy it.



    "DESTATIIIII!!!!!"


  4. #4504
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Mitchell Residence - Outside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Ramia stared at Alexstrasza with a rather deadpan expression.

    "No. No classic Scholomance pranks. That's a wee bit too much for the normal society - it's almost too much for Scholomance itself, let's just let Red handle the scouting, and then we can decide what to do with this problem. In the meanwhile though, hmm..."
    I nodded happily at Ramia, giving her a thumbs up as she replied. Although her implications of Scholomance's pranks being a bit overwrought seemed altogether absurd. After all, I experienced equally terrific practical jokes at the orphanage, before I had learned anything about the arcane. It was why we were all such grand enemies the entire time - a little theft here, a little assault there... It's altogether expected, no, to be attacked by others! That was what made Scholomance so grand, in the end. Everyone really got it, right Potemkin?

    ...Why are you showing me my many dear roommates? And why is it only pictures of their surly faces? Potemkin, I was easily acquaintances with all of my many roommates! That was why I played at least one practical joke on them! Even if they transferred mysteriously afterwards, and the new roommate always looked a bit annoyed and frustrated upon entering, that's no surprise! They just had to move rooms randomly due to the administration, anyone would be upset!

    I blinked, momentarily startled by the sudden dangerous tinge in the air, before it vanished as suddenly as it came, and then those red eyes suddenly turned on me.

    "Speaking of which~ What did you mean by that other thing you said~? It got me curious~! You know, the whole sexual harassment thing~"
    "Souma bothered me repeatedly about my romantic inclinations, my thoughts on love and relationships, and on feelings of desire!" I said, giving her a V with my left hand and a bright smile. "O-of course as a totally ordinary student, I naturally told him off and informed him that such topics were considered off limits within the bounds of detective work."

    I frowned, tapping the side of my face.

    "Actually, would it not be quite bothersome to be in love and investigating? The books I've read have oft made it sound quite fascinating, but in reality is it not a simple distraction from your goals?"

    I clicked my tongue. Potemkin, make a note for later: 'Read more proper mysteries.'


    “Hmm… haven’t seen this dude before. Red, almost burgundy hair. Almost the shade of wine. Unkempt as all hell though. Wears a jacket. Kinda like mine, actually. Red-white with some dragons or some crap like that.”

    “I’ve never seen him before, but… sound familiar to anyone?”
    I raised my hand excitedly, standing on the tips of my toes as I waved it in the air.

    "Ooooh! Yes! Me! He tried to kill me and Stephanie once! I, of course, stopped him by trying to burn him alive, as is nice and proper between enemies. But he seemed to enjoy it which is a tad... strange."

    I bent down to Stephanie seriously, raising a finger.

    "Fear not, tiny morsel. Naturally, if he attempts to harm me again, this time I will not be so foolish as to play around. I am, of course, willing to let bygones be bygones, as I am more then used to attempted murder. If you are to disagree, I will, naturally, break open the door, locate him, and burn his flesh to cinders while he screams. We can operate on a three strike system, if you'd like! Any time he does something you dislike, raise one finger! At three I will burn him to death."

    I smiled brightly at the girl, tapping her on the nose. Trying to kill the tiny morsel was a complete and utter waste of time. Also, quite rude. Also, he tried to kill Travis, too! Completely unacceptable. Threats on myself I could stand, but other people for the purpose of being around me? That's a bit too far.

    "Let's put it to a vote! I vote to brutally murder him on the spot before he says a word!"
    Last edited by Frantic Author; April 14th, 2022 at 10:17 AM.
    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.


  5. #4505
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    The situation seemed to escalate much quicker than I thought. By the time we reached the outside, it already became evident, and when Prushka stopped some distance away from them we were already staring at two figures even taller than what they originally were, clad with a thick, unnatural armor and surrounded by their magical essence oozing out of them.

    There really was no time to wait - if they started getting rowdy in that form, the mill would likely be leveled with the ground, along with half the forest around it, and who knows what they would end up doing to each other.

    "Worry about them, not about yourself. Too late to question things now."

    I tugged at Prushka's shoulder with a firm but gentle grasp, urging her to let go of whatever thoughts she was having. The worry and doubt was obvious from her eyes, and the longer she hesitated the more reluctant she would be to go.

    Yet, she seemed to reach a conclusion, to gather her courage and determination, and she was already off, riding towards the towering forms of Ahti and Pyry on her tiny bike. As I stare at her back, I extend an arm and point my index at her, tracking her as she approaches the two.

    She couldn't protect herself if her life depended on it. She wasn't even focusing on that. Pyry and Ahti wouldn't either, if something, they were the biggest threat right now. Which meant...that it came down to me to intervene if something went wrong. Much as she annoyed me most of the time, I had no reason to let her get hurt here.

    My right eye closes, only for the bluish glint in the other to grow stronger. At the same time, Odic particles like petals of a flower start materializing and swirling around me. Like cherry blossom dancing in the wind, a delicate storm tinted with blue growing in size slowly.

    At the eye of the tempest, at the source of the raging, unbound emotions, where these two clash in their fierce battle is where my tranquility is deepest. Utmost peace and silence is where I'm in my element, much as I grew fond of expressing all kinds of emotions.

    Prushka was close now. Mere seconds, maybe. She wasn't going to fail now.

    My arm falls to my side as my muscles relax.

    The world around changes, gradually but quickly, expanding far as my eye can see. The surface of the pitch black ground is disturbed by the tens, hundreds of interlocking ripples caused by the droplets of rain falling upon it. Then they slowly fade, only to be replaced by more, all the while glowing faintly under the storm of azure petals. The darkness of the trees fades slightly, giving view to the faint and pale, ever moving yet never ceasing veins coursing through them from their roots to their furthest branches, carrying their essence. The lifeless walls and floors of the mill looming behind grow even more cold and dead, their emptiness growing more and more evident as one can practically gaze through them. All sound dies down and dulls into the background, the roaring chaos taken over by the tranquil and the rhythmic, calming noise of individual raindrops.

    A world that feels so different, yet is just another perspective of what is more or less the same.

    It appears that she has succeeded. Or, at least, managed to do something. Guess it is my turn then.

    My eyes close as I raise my hands to my sides, making my palms face each other in front of my chest.

    A deep, long sigh as I clear my mind completely.

    Then, I strike my hands together, the sharp sound visibly reverberating and rippling in the air as it reaches further and further. The petal storm shudders, and many of tiny blue blades start swirling around me again, closer and closer. No longer they are just petals, however, as they form into an attire covering my whole body. A pitch black, feathery dress, accompanied by a long, silky coat thrown over my shoulders, both glowing with the unnatural bluish hue of the Odic particles that they were made out of.

    My eyes open, both the same now, with a similar glint and free of the burns that scarred my existence. My whole body free of those, leaving in its stead the purity of my skin reflecting all the lights of my powers with a faint pale glow.




    Today's Graceful Expression - much preferred than the other alternatives in the book.

    Behind me, the translucent form of another was slowly materializing out of the same Odic energy. Her plain, but blindingly white mask adorned only by a single red stroke, a smile. The gaze behind it was directed at me clearly, as I raised an arm and gestured at her with a lazy wave of my hand.

    "Rest. Your assistane will not be required today."

    My voice rang clear and with authority, meant both for the masked being and the others who would have been sure to follow moments after. As her form faded, my chill stare shifted back towards the battling brothers, joined by the petite form of Prushka now. I took a step forward. My legs felt light, as if my feet were barely making contact with the ground. As if I was just drifting above it with delicate steps, and yet the earth below seemed to surge and ripple under each step.

    Just as the thought occurs, countless more Odic petals appear to merge together into thin, but wide strings of blue, swirling around just the same below the surface that I walk on, like a reflection in a mirror. A few of them appear as the extensions of my fingertips, launching forth as they swivel through the air and reach the other group under a fraction of a second. There, they seek out Pyry and Ahti, lashing at their mighty, armored forms as they wrap and bind around their limbs and bodies.

    "Hearken, ye unruly brothers,"

    A bind that was hardly anything more than symbolical. The ethereal, intangible threads scarcely exerted any effect on the physical realm. The power behind them wasn't exactly apparent to the eye, yet just how the strings binded their bodies tighter was how that power wrestled more control over them.

    "And bow to my authority, for it is absolute."

    However, controlling them wasn't particularly the goal here - even if that did help with keeping them at bay. The point was to isolate their selves and beings from that sickening, luminescent venom running through their minds and veins, robbing them of their free will as it exerted its control over them. A vile creation etched deep into them, poisoning them stronger than ever - which is why, more than ever before, it was also easier to find. Forcing that poison under my rule, I separate it from the rest, drive it into a corner and pressure it harder and harder, as my fingers close and the curse is crushed within the iron fist of authority.

    The unnatural silence that reigned for the moment was broken by the sound of my heels clacking against the ground much louder than what sound one could possibly make walking on wet soil. As I approach, the storm of petals follow, illuminating everything around.

    What was left was to fill the void. To make up for that virulent chunk that was forcibly repressed and torn out of them. While they were only prisoners with it intact, they were also not complete without it - the hole in its wake would need to be mended somehow, replaced, so that such a tumor could never grow back over it.

  6. #4506
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Mitchell Residence - Outside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Upon hearing Alexstrasza's words, Zhou and Ramia immediately raised their hands...

    --- Only to bring them down in a synchronized slap aimed at the back of the blonde girl's head, causing the vampire to stumble forward.

    There was some actual force behind that strike! A strike that seemed to say "stop screwing around already"!

    "Yeah, how about no~?" Zhou spoke up, peering down at Alexstrasza while her eyebrow was twitching dangerously. "The last thing we want is to go in guns blazing, especially if there's a young kid on the line of fire~! In fact, let's make one thing right clear, shall we, Miss Zaza~? If you continue to suggest things that will jeopardize the lives of innocent bystanders, especially kids, I'll grab a hold of those two fangs you've got stuffed in your mouth and pull, aaaaall the way until I hear a crack~! Do I make myself clear~?"

    Her voice was sweet and bubbly, but her words were an absolute threat - and not the exciting kind either, one that promised a battle. This was far more akin to a teacher promising a horrible punishment if their orders were not met.

    Ramia, on the other hand, sighed at these antics and rubbed her temples.

    "... While I wouldn't put it as harshly, yeah - I disagree as well. I don't wanna go putting the kid in danger if we can avoid it," the mercenary replied in turn. "Plus, I think the boys living here are important to Red - or so I read between the lines."

    She glanced towards Anna with a hint of a smirk.

    "And I'd rather avoid getting her cross with me. So..." Looking back to the group, the dusky-skinned girl put her hands on her hips and furrowed her brow in thought. "What do we do? Try to lure him outside? Just knock on the door and see what happens? Continue standing outside in the cold rain? Or..."

    She pointed her thumb towards the nearby garage.

    "Sneak in there and see what we can find while we wrack our brains?"

    It was a good question. Things had gotten complicated in a hurry, if Alexstrasza's description was to be believed. Then again, what Söörik described and the sounds coming from inside the house... could this really be the same guy who had supposedly threatened the lives of the vampire, Travis and Stephanie? Well, the vampire aside of course. But still... Söörik could confirm that there wasn't a hostage situation going on inside, and the sounds the group could hear were definitely genuine joking around and laughing, like couple of long time friends.

    So what was the best option here...?




    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Barney's Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Infiltration successful.

    Having landed into the room with perfect accuracy and the silence of an owl gliding through the night, Vivienne found herself taking in the sights of the small hotel room. Indeed, this wasn't as fancy as Alex's had been, meaning that whoever this rotund, sleeping (meditating?) person sitting on the floor was, he wasn't as well off as the French girl. On the other hand, the state of the room was... surprisingly similiar.

    Newspaper articles scattered around. Handwritten notes here and there. A corkboard with red strings running criss cross all around it. Also, a massive poster of some sort of silver saucer floating above a forest scenery. The photo itself must have been grainy already, because the poster - as big as it was - made the image look way too blurred. The only clear part of it was the text underneath that read: "I WANT TO BELIEVE".

    So, another journalist? The camera next to the rotund man did agree with this assessment. Though perhaps more of the... esoteric type than Alex.

    Or rather, judging by the numerous tabloids with headlines like "CHILD MUMMY OF ANTARCTICA FOUND IN ARKANSAS KITCHEN" and "ELDRITCH HORRORS OF KENTUCKY? MORE LIKELY THAN YOU THINK!", this must have been some crackpot conspiracy theoriest.

    But at the very least they didn't seem dangerous. Something about the framed picture on the table, the only one not related to mysteries and conspiracies, told Vivienne so. After all, it depicted the same man, dressed in much better clothes, along with two kids at his feet and a happy-looking woman by his side. His family, perhaps?

    The way it had been set on the nightstand told that whoever they were, they must have been important to him.

    ------- !

    Suddenly.

    Vivienne's instincts finally picked up on something that had been bothering her from the very start. Or rather, they sensed movement and sound that she hadn't realized at first. Maybe it was because the sound was masked by the rain outside the open window, maybe it was the cacophony of evidence that stared her in the face as she arrived. However, by the time the bathroom door opened it was already too late.

    She realized one critical mistake she had done in her haste.

    She had missed the muffled sound of running water - a shower, in other words.

    With a brisk swing, the door opened.

    And following that, the unawares occupant exited the bathroom, a towel around their waist and... nothing else.



    "............................. Ah."

    A familiar voice.

    And familiar looks.

    In other words, a familiar young man.

    Well...

    ... This was extremely awkward.




    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "Hmm~"

    Zane let out a somewhat impressed hum as he dove under the hood to check the situation. It was messy to be sure, but nothing that they couldn't work with. Though perhaps Vier had been in a hurry last night, because things certainly seemed a bit... haphazard over here. There were, for starters, splotches of mud here and there, which Zane started cleaning up with a rag from his ever-trusty tool belt.

    "Never been that much of a motorcycle guy myself," the redhead spoke. "Hard to get much use of them on broken roads. And off-road they tend to be useless, unless you have something the military had their hand on. Always had a thing for pickup trucks though. They're good just about everywhere, can carry a hefty load, and you can always find one if you're looking hard enough."

    He frowned at the insides of the vehicle onc emore.

    "Still. Wouldn't mind trying one. A motorcycle that is. Plenty of goods roads around here. Then again, it's not like I have - oh, here, hold this box wrench would you? - not like I have time," Zane continued, inspecting the rest of the engine with a flashlight. "Hmm... everything seems to be in order. But since it's been standing here like this for a while, there might be some moisture under the distributor cap. Plus I think some of these hoses have cracked clips and are banging on the under-hood components, so it might get noisy. Can you tighten what clips you find and wipe the cap? I'll check on whatever mess that soldier girl left for us after hotwiring this thing."

    Stripping off his tool belt, Zane handed it over to Liana while he himself walked over to the driver's seat and opened the door, slipping inside. Soon enough the girl could hear the sound of cracking, opening plastic and muffled curses from the boy - something about if he saw Vier again he'd box her around the ears and teach her to respect cars, even if you're in a hurry to use them.

    From the sounds of it, it was an absolute mess down there.

    "Also."

    Zane's voice came from the driver's seat sort of stiffled, as he was holding the small flashlight between his teeth.

    "Boys are simple creatures, really. We like it when we can protect someone," the redhead continued, that older brother-like tone coming up in his voice again. "We can also be wowed by someone protecting us. But at the end of the day, the surest way to get us to fall head over heels is... well, I think it's just to show you care. Or worry for us. Most boys are so starved for genuine affection they won't know what to do then. Well. That's only for when you want things to get deep. Serious."

    He snorted as he busied his hands with the wires.

    "Hitting on someone is a different thing. That's when you aim to make someone else's heart race. It's like the opening ritual, or a way of having fun," Zane added. "Best not to mistake that for getting deep with someone - even if you're being honest with your flirting. For example, I can be honest and say you look good in those jeans, but that's just an observation. No need to make it into more than it is. Unless you - the target of it - wants to, of course. It's a wicked and confusing game of tennis, that way."

    Liana could practically see the boy frown to himself.

    "... Okay, scratch that. Ain't no simple creatures in this game - boys or girls. But you get what I mean, right?"

    He definitely had a point there.



    Hisa Momoi & Prushka
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Dance of Azure Strings.

    It rotated, turned, spread and flared. It illuminated the darkness and gave instruction to the chaotic whirl of the Odic Fragments.

    Shards of unnatural glass became petals of a beautiful flower and harkened the voice of the one commanding them.

    It was Order within the storm, and it could not be fought against.

    --- For it came from a single source Rules.



    A myriad web of authority, stretching across the battlefield and falling upon the two brothers in place of rain.

    It was like a rain of shooting stars, stretching across the dark of the incoming night and the raging storm. From around her, from the ground, from the fingertips of the Grand Star itself, the cavalcade of spacelight shot out in all its glory, embraced the battlefield and bound the two armored beasts that had been locked together in combat.

    The strands wrapped around them, tightened, and burrowed deep - but they were nothing more than a visual representation of the true power at play here.



    Like gravity - undeniable and majestic. Like gravity, quiet and imposing. Like gravity, everywhere and anywhere.

    Balance, Reign and Control. A falling canopy of sky enveloping the battlefield around them all.

    It shone with Astral Blue.

    The Rain of Starlight was nothing more than the force of will of a single person, exerted over everything she saw and more.



    --- This was the World Logic of Hisa Momoi. And right now, it was absolutely.

    Laws of the World changed, like a cascading tidal wave, reality was exchanged into another. It started from this singular source and spread ever outwards, ever further, a sphere of influence that the planet itself could not fight against. Instead, it retreated to wait, for that was it's only chance.

    The Realm of Starlit Web became the True Order for this singular moment.

    The forest shivered, the mill creaked, and event the town felt it, as far away as they were. The new Logic that descended upon them - that of Control.

    And at the center of it...!




    A single girl, riding a hoverbreak, breaks the manifestation of her own inner World into a thousand shards.

    Prushka flung herself forward, jumping off the back of her trusty steed and letting the the momentum do the rest. There was no place for second-guessing anymore, no time to be careful. The two beasts had locked themselves into a hold that would not last long, a struggle for supremacy --- and that's where she would strike.

    Like a small star herself, shining bright in the tranquil and serene cosmos that Hisa had brought forth, she reduced the distance between herself and the two lions in a fraction of a second.



    Her hand shot forward.

    In it was a power she had promised never to use again.

    --- Yet today, that promise was broken.

    This too, is an arche.

    The World around them all, and the World in the hand of the small girl.

    They are both pieces of Truth that cannot be denied, no matter how much the World so wishes - pieces of internal Truth that make up who they both are.

    For the taller girl, it is bringing her will over everything, to bring peace where there was none and beauty where there was a lack thereof, a Truth of Control where everything would be made alright, and nothing would be out of her gentle reach.

    For the smaller girl, it is letting the nature take its course, to bring forth all the myriad, innumerable, endless emotions that a human can contain - and then breaking that container, letting it all run rampant and free. A Truth of Freedom, in all manner, shape and form, to draw forth that which was Real, even if it was not normally allowed to be.

    Two contrasting Truths.

    Yet together in harmony for this moment, for a singular goal.

    And their targets...!

    ---- The Two Beasts that had been waiting for this moment!




    They too, are ready.

    To bring an end to this nightmare.

    So when their bodies are immobilized by the Azure Starlight, they do not fight.

    So when their center is touched by Inverted Heart, they do not dodge it.

    Instead, they embrace it all.



    And in that moment, the combined powers, souls and Truths blossom.

    The Hand That Inverts Real - it makes Metaphysical purely physical for just a moment.

    The Strings That Bring Control - they grab a hold of the insidous, darkened venom and choke it, ripping it away from the two, roots and all.

    Together, they pry the doors open and rip away the Serpent that has been hiding in hearts of both lions.

    They drag it out into the sunlight and expose it for what it truly is.

    There is no escape for the Darkness, for the Madness.

    Through the Dualism of Two, the World Egg has already been switched around.

    Outside becomes In.

    Inside becomes Out.

    And the strands of starlight chain the Serpent of Thought into rooted reality, leaving it for all to see!

    They fall...

    They fall...

    They fall...!

    But where they fall, it is the manifestation of the Soul, the Soul of the Brothers Lionheart.

    Their reality.

    And is there, that they must deal the final blow to the serpent.

    For whereas Prushka's arche has inverted the internal and external.

    And whereas Hisa's arche has bound even the metaphysical under her control.

    It still lives.

    --- And now it is up to them.




    Hisa Momoi & Prushka
    Location: Precipice of Arche // Shore of Unconscious
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: ---

    The World around them was unknown... but at the same time so very, very familiar.

    A frozen ocean sat at their feet, as their ground, upon which they stood. Cosmos, a twisting, beautiful, surreal cosmos spread above them into infinity - as far away as the human eye could possibly see. Thousands upon thousands of glowing, blue butterflies moved in clouds atop the surface of the glass sea, through which they could both see their own reflection... and an endless depth, a drop into an abyss that must have been the human unconscious. A world where, somewhere, Muse's forest too existed - but which was, when viewed from above, and endless black void that had no beginning.

    It was far cry from this shroneline which was, ironically, an ocean - even if a frozen one.

    And the cosmos of possibility that sprung forth from the unconscious.

    In other words, this was the Root of the Two Brothers... the precipice of their Arche. Their innermost being, their reason of existence, the very meaning of life for them.

    --- So, for Hisa and Prushka to witness it with their own physical eyes and to be able to understand it was nothing short of a miracle.

    Through the usage of their powers, they had achieved the impossible. Not only had Prushka destroyed the lock around the heart of the brothers, but she had inverted their internal world. While normally, the internal world of metaphysics exist only inside every being, Prushka's ability had brought outside - while sending the physical world inside instead. In other words, it was like inverting a World Egg. Meanwhile, Hisa Momoi had pulled out the brainwashing from that internal world and bound it so that it could not escape - and at the same time, she had bound the metaphysical world into the frame of the reality around them, making it a place where they could all exists for a period of time - and indeed, so that it itself could exist for a period of time.

    One had been the catalyst, other had been the anchor. And together, they had Materialized a Soul - not as an object, but as a Reality which they now inhabited.

    It was a concept that would have caused vertigo in anyone who thought about it too much, and most likely made elderly scholars of the Turnside froth at mouth.

    --- And it was all for the sake of dealing the final blow.

    Final blow... against that.



    It was a massive creature that emerged from the darkness of the of the Precipice - without seemingly having an end to it. An actual monstrous serpent, the brainwashing and mental orders given physical form, just like the rest of the things in this world. This was the thing that had so deeply burrowed into the psyche of both Pyry and Ahti and made sure they could never lead normal lives.

    And while it was now tightly imprisoned by the azure strings, it was still very much alive.

    Breathing. Watching. Waiting.

    Coiled around a pillar of stone, hewn of many colours and with multitude of holes in it. Holes through which Hisa and Prushka could see something wondrous...

    The shining, blazing sun. And the shining, glowing moon.

    Bright and desperate to flee.

    Almost like...

    "Did you know?"

    Suddenly, a voice - gentle and jovial - spoke aloud in the vastness of space.

    "In Finnish mythology, the evil witch Louhi steals the sun and the moon from the sky to torment the heroes. She binds them to her otherworldly mountain, Sariola, deep within. On a beautiful island in the middle of a lake, into a pillar of stone and under a hundred locks," the voice continued. "Within that pillar, great serpents feast with poison and guard the sun and the moon, in case the heroes would try to steal them back."

    A laugh. A beautiful laugh, a kind laugh... but also sickening.

    "I wonder... is it, then, fate that their souls would take this form? Or perhaps it is mere coincidence? In either way, it's quite amusing, is it not? A sun and a moon... very fitting, I'd say. Poetic, even."

    And then, they saw it.

    Standin there, in the shadows of the massive stone pillar and the even larger serpent.

    A thin man with a gentle face and a frail body - and with a smile on his face.



    "What do you two think?"

    For one of them, that man was familiar. Prushka had seen him before. A shadow in the heart of Ahti Jalopeura, the one responsible for his suffering. A figment of memory, of imagination, and a trauma that did not let go of the young man. He was as much reality as he was merely a scar in his heart, fear of something that would never leave him alone. And now he was here, in this place. As if he had been waiting for them.

    For the other, the man himself was not familiar. However, the moment Hisa laid eyes on that beautiful face, she understood what he was. Certain things never leave our minds, our souls. The happiest memories... and the worst. This was a trauma. Not only of Ahti, but also of Pyry. A man so horrifying that he had left deep, deep wounds into the hearts of both, ones that might never heal. And he, without a doubt... was the source of the venom that controlled their minds.

    The ultimate cause of all this suffering and pain.

    And he seemed to find laughter in that thought.

    "Speaking of which... I wonder if congratulations are in order?"

    He, exhibiting no powers or abilities, not even equipment of Turnside, faced both Hisa and Prushka.

    The regal girl still clad in her Fiction Body.

    And the girl still holding onto her crackling Arche.

    Yet, he seemed none too worried.

    "So, accept this applause, from Dr. Utujoutsi."

    He clapped his hands together without any signs of sarcasm.


    New Person Met!
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; April 14th, 2022 at 10:38 AM.

  7. #4507
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Mitchell Residence - Outside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Ack! I stumbled as I was hit, shaking my head a few times to free myself of the dizziness, which failed miserably, and I almost missed the delinquent's obligatory threats.

    "Yeah, how about no~? The last thing we want is to go in guns blazing, especially if there's a young kid on the line of fire~! In fact, let's make one thing right clear, shall we, Miss Zaza~? If you continue to suggest things that will jeopardize the lives of innocent bystanders, especially kids, I'll grab a hold of those two fangs you've got stuffed in your mouth and pull, aaaaall the way until I hear a crack~! Do I make myself clear~?"
    How incredibly rude. I sniffed in response. As if I was so simplistic as to forget about the positions of others involved. Perhaps others are too incompetent to slip into shadows? Ah well. The more the merrier, yes? If we are to ignore teleportation as a solution, then it is time to uncover a different scenario!

    "If you dare to stick your hands near my fangs," I said with a sickeningly sweet smile, my eyes dancing with daggers, "I'll grab those glasses off your face and carve their likeness into your skull while you scream. Do I make myself clear, candy-seller?"

    "... While I wouldn't put it as harshly, yeah - I disagree as well. I don't wanna go putting the kid in danger if we can avoid it, plus, I think the boys living here are important to Red - or so I read between the lines."
    Ah, how unfortunate. It is not my fault if a sorcerer is too incompetent for rapid movement, let alone too incapable for stealth. Really, this would have been easier alone. Look through a window, enter the building through the shadows on the side of a cup, grab whichever useless child everyone's so worried about maiming a little, mock that third-rate excuse for a magus, exit through the shadows in the trees. An incredibly simplistic, almost brainlessly easy plan.

    Others are, as always, a bit of a hassle to deal with. While I may not know the occupants of the house, it is understandable that people wish to avoid them being put in danger. But is it really even dangerous though? I can't say that it appears like anyone I've met is remarkably closer to uncovering why time skips steps backwards after a week. And I certainly have nary a clue. It would be almost easier to burn the entire house to the ground and then break in afterwards.

    U-Unless the others here have nary a clue about time's ruse!? That would explain more then a few things.

    "Hmph," I said, tapping the side of my cheek. "If none of you are capable of moving in between spaces, then just use me as bait. He's more akin to third-rate then second in any case, and last we met he threatened to violate me! Or kidnap me. Or entrap me in matrimony? Honestly, it's rather unclear what his intentions were, apart from deviant. If you were to go inside, tell him that I am outside, he's absolutely enough of an idiot to go check! Then you can search for... whatever exactly it is you are searching for."

    An easy, elegant solution. I closed my eyes smiled smugly. Kufufu, Potemkin. Are I not incredibly clever? Not only do I get a rematch, but I don't even have to deal with all of that totally useless investigating nonsense that we're not terribly good at! Maybe next time we should try to be a little bit more competent about it, but that is then and this is now.
    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.


  8. #4508
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Mitchell Residence - Outside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "Plus, I think the boys living here are important to Red - or so I read between the lines."
    Mhm… I would like to avoid traumatizing the kid if at all possible.” Anna’s hand tussled the hair of the innocent looking girl glomped on her leg. “He’s not even a teen yet. The last thing he needs to see is some guy he’s having cocoa with burned alive in front of his eyes.”

    There were enough kids on this planet who had been forever traumatized by the horrors of war and mankind alike. This world did not need more broken children. Her ruby eyes flickered towards the kitchen window, where clear laughter could now be heard more clearly.

    “Then again, if he did try to kill our little songbird here… and ” Anna’s eyes turned back to Stephanie. “…we’re in a bit of a pickle. We can’t really go inside like this and drag her straight into a fight. It would be a mess and besides… I promised Winters to look after her.”

    "What do we do? Try to lure him outside? Just knock on the door and see what happens? Continue standing outside in the cold rain? Or..."
    “Hmm… luring him out could be a possibility. Would be easier to set up an ambush as well. Though we’d need a bait. Lockhart when you fought with hi…”

    "He's more akin to third-rate then second in any case, and last we met he threatened to violate me! Or kidnap me. Or entrap me in matrimony? Honestly, it's rather unclear what his intentions were, apart from deviant. If you were to go inside, tell him that I am outside, he's absolutely enough of an idiot to go check! Then you can search for... whatever exactly it is you are searching for."
    Eh…?”

    For a moment, Anna seemed almost gobsmacked, as Alexstrasza seemed to provide an almost perfect solution to their problems. Wait, was it an imposter? No, impossible. Despite what one might say about Lockhart, and there was plenty to say that much was for sure, her personality would be difficult to replicate in any believable fashion. The blonde in front of her was just that… unique.

    Though considering that she was the product of the Devil’s Den, maybe Anna shouldn’t have been so surprised. Combat was one thing they did drill in that place, at least.

    “Err... that’s as good of a plan as any, I suppose. Either way, if it’s a case of mistaken identity, we’d be able to suss out that as well, relatively fast. What do you think, Indy?” Anna’s eyes flickered over to the garage that Ramia had highlighted, before flickering over to the woodland next to the house. “Think you guys can set up a kill-zone here? Either the roof or the trees over there?”

    “Have Lockhart stand out here and pop the bastard from behind once the fighting gets hot enough for him to lose track of his surroundings?”
    Last edited by Mellon; April 14th, 2022 at 11:43 AM.

  9. #4509
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "Still. Wouldn't mind trying one. A motorcycle that is. Plenty of goods roads around here. Then again, it's not like I have - oh, here, hold this box wrench would you? - not like I have time."
    "Well if you really mean that, I'm sure I could find the parts to put together a dirt bike sometime, might be more your style if the off-road aspect is important to you."

    She could understand his statements about time of course, existence in this particular town meant existence on an ever-ticking countdown to vague destruction... Try as you might to truly relax and take your mind off of things, there was always going to be that lingering shadow in the back of your thoughts, an idea that you're wasting time that could be better spent trying to escape the confines of a seemingly infinite singularity...

    That, or he just worked too damn much.

    "It's important to take breaks every once in awhile, being goal-oriented is fine and all, but burnout is a very real risk. Efficiency takes a dive if you push it."

    Not something you can really just willpower through either, everybody has a limit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "Hmm... everything seems to be in order. But since it's been standing here like this for a while, there might be some moisture under the distributor cap. Plus I think some of these hoses have cracked clips and are banging on the under-hood components, so it might get noisy. Can you tighten what clips you find and wipe the cap? I'll check on whatever mess that soldier girl left for us after hot-wiring this thing."
    "Ah yeah, sure."

    She glances down at the engine again, under-hood illuminated by the gentle light still encircling her form.

    "Don't want any engine misfires on an evening like this," she chuckles, before leaning into the task at hand, "Would be just our luck to have to out-drive something or someone and be unable to..."

    She snorts and shakes her head, acting for all the world like it's a joke at a glance, but no...

    ---She doesn't trust this town at all, as far as she was concerned, it was quite possible that some vague sort of monster could come lumbering out of the woods after them, at this point, anything and everything seemed like it was possible...

    So...

    Best to do the job properly. Course it was her habit to give everything she tries 100% of her effort, so silently noting the location of the spark plug wires and disconnecting the battery for sheer safety's sake (after all, Vier had hot-wired the car so the safety of the key not being in the ignition was a decisive unknown) she finds herself humming along with the task. It should be easier than normal to get the distributor cap dry, rain and moisture were more or less irrelevant around her in the moment anyway, simply holding it in her hand for a bit should be enough to dry it out.

    ---Besides, judging from the sounds, the cracking, popping and cursing, she was getting the easier job...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "Boys are simple creatures, really. We like it when we can protect someone," the redhead continued, that older brother-like tone coming up in his voice again. "We can also be wowed by someone protecting us. But at the end of the day, the surest way to get us to fall head over heels is... well, I think it's just to show you care. Or worry for us. Most boys are so starved for genuine affection they won't know what to do then. Well. That's only for when you want things to get deep. Serious."
    "Huh, really?"

    ---There was a lot to unpack there, some of which made sense and seemed obvious, others that surprised her a little, like...

    "Didn't think boys liked being protected by girls, thought it made em feel unmanly," she blinks beneath the undercarriage, practiced hands stopping for a moment as she processes this particularly bizarre piece of information, then, "Guess it makes sense though, everyone probably likes feeling safe, even if they won't admit to it..."

    The whole incident with Colt not liking her carrying him came to mind, bit of that bizarre male pride...

    "The rest of it... Yeah, I can see that."

    Not just the boys either.

    Everyone in this town was so closed off that simple acts of affection seemed to entirely warp their mind... Not that she was exempt from such things of course, with a bit of newfound self reflection...

    ---She really was desperate for those sorts of things herself, it shouldn't be a shocking revelation by any means, she knew how to give advice to others, but taking that same advice for herself had always been the problem, after all...

    She'd been left alone at the start, and wasn't really like anyone else...

    Android that remembered being a mage.

    Human but not human.

    Sora but not Sora.

    ---Naturally she had felt like the odd one out.

    "Hitting on someone is a different thing. That's when you aim to make someone else's heart race. It's like the opening ritual, or a way of having fun," Zane added. "Best not to mistake that for getting deep with someone - even if you're being honest with your flirting. For example, I can be honest and say you look good in those jeans, but that's just an observation. No need to make it into more than it is. Unless you - the target of it - wants to, of course. It's a wicked and confusing game of tennis, that way."
    "...Heh."

    Of course, a certain compliment pauses this moment of further introspection, it even seems to stop the rain for a few seconds, as a young woman smiles a mischievous smile at a certain part of all of that, namely...

    "I do look good in these jeans, don't I?"

    A victorious laugh.

    "Knew it!"

    Vindication.

    Sweet vindication, and with the beginnings of acceptance that it's -maybe- okay to not be a blindingly perfect figure, also the rush of satisfaction that came with confirmation that Xylia was just an overly aggressive fool that had had no idea what she was talking about that day on the beach-!

    "Sporty, not scrawny, one of the few things I can show off~"

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane
    "... Okay, scratch that. Ain't no simple creatures in this game - boys or girls. But you get what I mean, right?"
    "Yeah... People are complex."

    She can agree with that, everyone was a unique person with their own thoughts and feelings. Trying to blanket categorize people was a mistake, things are never that simple, so...

    "...Especially in this town."

    She continues working in earnest.

    "Of course I like the friends I have now, to be honest, I could make do with even one, but I think I somehow lucked into more..."

    Rain falls near, burning away in drifting clouds of silver mist as her hands stop working on the vehicle in front of her. He probably can't see it in his position, but the smile she had been wearing since taking his compliment fades slightly, as more of the reality of a certain situation returns to her...

    "Everyone has something troubling them... That's not a problem of course, I'd like to help them if I can, but..."

    She pauses, unsure of how to continue at first.

    "...Sometimes it feels like my concern is unwanted, like I'm troubling them somehow."

    ---One person in particular comes to mind at this of course, but the spirit of it is alive in most of the people she knows. Obsessive guarding of the self, hell...

    Even she (despite how much she risked her life when things got serious) still went out of her way to protect parts of her internal self from others.

    "Of course I might be an idiot, but I'm not stupid. Asking someone to just trust me with their personal problems... Well, it sounds suspicious even in the best of cases."

    Like there's something wrong with the person that would say something like that so casually, but...

    That was how she was, it was how she was built, for the longest time she's seen things through that exact lens. She was built as a guardian of sorts, and thus the act of 'protecting' was the clearest way she knew to express her affections to others.

    "I don't like watching people in pain, so I keep poking at it, trying to let them know I'm willing to help... But I feel like there's a point where I just come across as more annoying than helpful... But if I don't ask about it at all, it feels like they'll never open up about it either and just go get themselves hurt, like a certain guy I know who ran off this morning, so..."

    She sighs.

    "I don't know. Am I meddling too much? Not enough?"

    ---She really doesn't know.

    "Uh... Sorry, this is probably a little hard to talk about..."

    Probably not what he had expected to do coming out here...

    "If there's something you want to talk about we can do that instead, not trying to bombard you or anything."

    Just wasn't used to being able to talk so openly.

    "I'm a pretty good listener, maybe I can help you with something?"
    Last edited by Airen; April 15th, 2022 at 10:20 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--"

  10. #4510
    Elise Marie Pelltier
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    [... Who knows? That imaginary something you blame might come to life because of your belief.]
    Elise gazed up at the storm overhead as the rain continued to fall, and the wind continued to blow, heedless that the nature of their existence might make her existence cold and wet.

    [You're right. The stories of this place, of things that wait in the woods... it doesn't matter if they're true or not. Because they exist, they are a danger. Old stories have power. Even an idea can be our doom.]

    She looked back down from the stormy sky and back at the reflection in the puddle as she echoed the demon's own words from the previous loop.

    [I should know this more than anyone else, after all, I've experienced you, haven't I?]

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    [You were thinking how awkward you felt about this human, didn't you?]
    "Hm…"

    Elise followed her reflection's gaze to the gas station and bar up ahead, where she hoped to find Ashley Xavier.

    [I don't think I feel awkward about him, I feel more awkward about me,] replied Elise, [Although it is a bit odd though, that the local town coot knows anything about me.]

    She frowned at the thought as she stared at Big Boy's, and wondered about the individual she hoped was waiting inside. Just who was this Ashley Xavier? Scáthach described him as a man gone mad. Samuel was surprised to hear he knew anything, and thought he was just a local loon who ranted about government conspiracies.

    [Scáthach said this guy can shed light on our past, and she warned me that it might not be what I expected, but I'm more afraid that I already know.]

    She sighed sadly as she looked back down at the puddle at her feet.

    [You said that the person I used to be was someone they'd send to subjugate demons with only a handful of other Inquisitors to support her… Sister Marie trusted us to do something for her. She was really nice, but she has a well earned reputation for being absolutely terrifying. I can't imagine she would entrust someone who wouldn't do what needed to be done if it needed to be done, and we both know what the proper protocol is for dealing with something like us.]

    Execute the Named Demon's host. Destroy their remains to ensure that the demon has no chance of manifesting. Erase any signs of the demon's influence, even if that means erasing an entire town and its inhabitants. Salt the earth. Cap off the area permanently. Leave nothing to chance.

    [Someone like that wouldn't even hesitate to destroy someone like us… We've been lucky that Lucille and Sakura are as forgiving as they are… but, from what you said, I'm not sure if I was.]

    She thought back to that moment in the locker room, as she waited for Lucille's judgement to fall on her.

    [Kind of funny, eh? When I first met Lucille I was scared that she was going to execute us, but it turns out the one I really needed to be afraid of all along was me.]

  11. #4511
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Precipice of Arche // Shore of Unconscious
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: ---

    "Gross."

    The moment the thought is voiced, I become aware of I. I, standing atop a frozen ocean of thoughts and feelings. I, existing in an explosion fixed in time. I, holding Destati in my palm, crackling with power that should have faded in a flash. Then I am aware of her, standing by me. Aware of we.

    We, utterly disgusted.

    "You call this poetic? It's just a rehash of a bedtime story, painted over someone's misery. "

    Perhaps it's the fact that feelings are leaking out through Memoire, but I don't particularly feel like playing nice. Especially not with this man. Doubtless Hisa feels the same way.

    "Congratulating us when your little experiment is about to fail... are you mad, Doctor?"

    I step forward. A ripple resounds through the frozen ocean. Before us stands not just a man, but a beast. A monster of legend that a pair of girls could never hope to slay on their own. It's a good thing, then, that we're not alone.

    "Or is it just that 'amusement' is all Ahti and Pyry recall of you?"

    Destati crackles with anger, its colours turbulent and chaotic. I want to step forward, to charge at the empty figure and the impenetrable wyrm and rend it asunder - but I hold myself back. Because Hisa's here. We should stick together; this isn't over, not by a longshot.



    "Should I tear off that mask of yours, Utojoutsi? There might just be half a man underneath."

  12. #4512
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High - Old Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Oh. Like Terminator 2, she thinks. Truthfully, she has never given much thought about androids, other than they exist. Lucille supposes that it’s fitting. The Lord makes man in His Image, and in turn, they make machines in their own. Even paler reflections of grandeur than this world already has.

    Still, is there much to dig through? She could ask what student this person is impersonating and their agreement. But she doesn’t feel it’s important. That reason is a separate matter to why they did what they did to Minato. Maybe Sakura would pry into those matters? But she’s not here to use Sakura for guidance. If she did, she probably wouldn’t be here, at Pinefall.

    Lucille’s thoughts flit to Elise and Michael. Some cardinal would call them “monsters wearing human skin,” just like the person right in front of her. And, for better or worse, she has given them a disgraceful amount of lenience and sympathy. Might as well be consistent, then. Truly, she is a sucker for a pretty face. All they need to do is mimic being human, and her heart is torn.

    The tragedy of loving humanity, she supposes.

    “...I’ll accept that explanation. You can follow me and wash up in my room. You look like you need it,” Lucille says as she moves to undo the other girl’s bonds. Is this where she gets stabbed by some hidden weapon? Well, fine with her. At least she expects it this time around, instead of randomly being mauled by Tonkori or having her eyes melt out of their sockets. Besides, maybe punishment for being such a bleeding heart will make her take things more seriously the next time around.

    People like her don’t seem to learn without failure.

  13. #4513
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: McLampet Saw Mill
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "You're berating something that doesn't exist, Prushka."

    My voice rang even cleaner in the absolute stillness of the frozen ocean. Out of the corner of my eye, I glanced at the smaller girl who was still overflowing with a powerful mix of emotions, and more than that, let those feelings do the talking in a much telling way. Not that it wasn't understandable, even if it made our differences feel more emphasized than ever. And yet, here we were...

    "It is a memory, acting upon the way that person etched himself into the minds of those two. It's unlikely that throwing hurtful words at it would ever faze it, and even if it did, the real person would never even feel it or know about it."

    Taking a moment to look around, I eventually hit my heel against the cold, dark floor of this mindscape a few times. It felt quite surreal, standing atop an infinitely large sheet of glass that could as well not even exist, separating a depthless abyss from the colorful skies lying above it. A sight that I could very much appreciate - even if it was likely but a fleeting moment that we would never see again in our lives.

    Extending the index of my raised hand, I watched as one of the cerulean butterflies landed atop it, fluttering its fluorescent wings that scattered cosmic dust into the cosmos. There was something oddly soothing and satisfying about this scene, despite the fact that it was tied to memories that were anything but happy or calm.

    "It is not of importance anyways. We must merely erase the fear, the terror that it instills in the hearts of Pyry and Ahti. Otherwise, it must remain, even if it would be pleasant to wipe it from existence...Else those two will lack the motive to stand up to the source of what gave birth to this trauma, and will not know what to feel when it will eventually come to knocking on the door of the flesh and blood person."

    After all, it definitely would come to that at some point. This was just the start - and while we might be able to solve the more pressing matters at hand, it won't give them the closure they would deserve from the painful past that they want to leave behind. Because of that, once it comes to that, I will be the one to make sure that Pyry can pay those people back for all the atrocities they have done in this world.

    "It's the wyrm that we must put an end to," I continued as my piercing gaze slowly turned towards the monster in question, "Like it said, that's what keeps their souls a hostage. A tumor upon this beautiful realm that must be cut out mercilessly."

  14. #4514
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Maid
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Barney's Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    A fresh bath in such a torrid weather. Warm and reinvigorating waters in stark contrast to the cold deluge falling from the heavens outside. It must indeed be a wonderful thing! Oh woe to all the unfortunate souls trapped without a roof at this time, perhaps worst, without walls! Left at the mercy of the cruel wind and rains... may the Lord have mercy on their souls, as he has mercy upon all the believers! Ahem, no, this may be the wrong kind of things to say, but it's a good thing it wasn't said, merely thought! Artificially. By someone who... isn't even real? What do you say Vivienne? Oh right, I am supposed to take the stage now, aren't I? Well, let us put forth your incredibly bold plan. Instead of being forthcoming, it would appear that you'd rather not get into any more trouble with this handsome man here! Oh dear... he has quite the nicely toned and chiseled body. Could this be a statue of Michaelangelo brought to life, from stone to flesh?!

    A confused maid soaked from head to toe stares at the man who just exited the bathroom, the heat difference between the shower and the room causing clouds of steam to form, like he was making a WWE entrance. A sensational entrance for a sensational sight! Indeed, the maid is clearly looking at him attentively, her open mouth hinting at her flabbergasted state. Her head bobs up and down alongside her eyes... it is quite obvious that she is having a good thorough look at what she's seeing. The maid must be quite out of it, based on the incredulous look on her face. A few awkward seconds of silence settle in, perhaps a necessary silence so that the absurdity of the situation settles in between the two parties.

    Eventually however, the befuddlement on the maid's face is replaced with a sense of absolute embarrassment, and one might add, some dread. Her entire face becomes red and she starts repeatedly bowing to Orion while also repeatedly saying:



    "Apologies, deepest apologies sir! This is a terrible mistake of mine, I won't do it again! Please don't tell anyone about it or I might get fired! Oh no! I just didn't want to inconvenience anyone, please forgive my ignorance and incompetence! No, I am worst than incompetent, I'm utterly hopeless! H-hawawawa please forgive me for intruding and looking at your nice body! No! That's not what I meant... no you really have nice body but lakwdjlkandkn..."

    As she frantically machineguns her apology, she appears to have bit her tongue, judging on how she moves her hands to her mouth and can't utter something comprehensible. She is quick to recover however! Her bow eventually transforms into a full on prostration. This action however may have been performed with too much eagerness, as she slams her forehead into the floor a bit too hard, to the point where one can hear the wood resound from the impact. Has that knocked her out? No... there is a sound coming out of her. The sound of a puppy's cry, miserably whining in pain. She does her best to not move however! A brave and strong soul, seeking forgiveness for her wrongdoings! Oh dear, she's even shaking, she probably hit her head quite hard.

    A true barrage of emotions launched at a handsome man that had just exited from the warmth of a nice shower... what will be his reaction? Such an exciting story, Vivienne Bianchi!

    Vivienne Bianchi Takes 1 Damage and significant emotional damage.

  15. #4515
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Mitchell Residence - Outside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "Consider it done."

    With a frightening ease, Ramia walked over to one of the many trees surrounding the house and scampered up it, showing that this wasn't her first rodeo when it came to ambushes. Once she got up to a branch that was sturdy enough but also hid her from the view, the mercenary pulled out what looked to be a rather sizeable handgun and ejected the magazine, muttering some sort of spell at the bullets before sliding it back in and cocking the pistol. Considering her true origins as an alchemist, it was a rather bizarre form of spellslinging but then again, perhaps her style changed depending on her current "life".

    That being said, this left the group with one more problem.

    "I'll keep the little squirt safe and far away from the fight itself~" Zhou cooed as she pried Stephanie off of Anna and hoisted her up on her shoulders. "I mean, we don't wanna put her in more danger~! And I'm not that good in a fight myself~!"

    Well that was a bold-faced lie, and Anna knew it. She had first-hand experience of how "not good" the bespectacled girl was.

    "Or rather, I haven't been able to prepare an overwhelming advantage like I'd usually go with~"

    Zhou added that as she walked away, perhaps sensing the doubt in the air.

    So, while Alexstrasza stayed where she was to act as the bait and Söörik continued to monitor the situation from the window, Anna marched up to the door and - after a moment of everyone preparing themselves - extended a finger to ring the doorbell. A mechanical chime rang through the house, and as the familiar reported, both the wild-haired man and Shane looked rather surprised at it. A frown of worry seemed to appear on the kid's face, and while this redheaded danger clearly showed a momentary sharp glare, he just as quickly offered the boy a reassuring smile and seemed to say something to calm him down.

    But aside from that, one last surprise seemed to be in store. After all, just as Söörik piped up:

    [B-Boss, we got a problem! It ain't just the two of them, there's---!"

    A new sound could be heard through the house.

    Thamp, thamp, thamp, thamp!

    "Yes, coming~!"
    The sound of approaching steps and a cheerful greeting resonated as a response to the chime. And only moments later, the door swung open briskly, nearly smacking Anna in the face.

    Oh. Oh dear.

    There now stood someone in the doorway, staring at Anna with a slightly surprised look. Only, this person wasn't the redheaded villain that they had observed in the kitchen with Shane. Neither was it Shane himself. No, this bizarrely dressed young man...



    "Oya? Girl scouts? Are we about to have a cookie intervention?"

    ... Who was this?




    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "... It's a fine line to toe."

    Eventually, after a moment of silence, Zane's response was instead to the topic that Liana had awkwardly tried to steer away from.

    "People can't exist without people. But hell is other people, at the same time. Especially since, the more we need help, the less likely we're to ask it. The more we hurt, the more we push others away," the redheaded boy mused from the front seat. "So either we leave them alone and let them suffer, or we keep at it and risk making things even worse. And that's not even talking about how there's no guarantee we can help in the first place."

    Another pause, this time one punctuated by Zane's sigh.

    "Really, there's no right answer here. Just different takes, depending on the person. Personally, I think we just have to do what feels right - even if it's not optimal. Nothing in this world is. In fact, if everything was optimal, there'd be no troubles whatsoever. At the very least we all wouldn't be in this mess," the youth continued, snorting as he did. "And so, we're left with problems like these. But when it comes to me..."

    The boy raised his head from the front seat and gazed Liana straight in the eyes, through the windshield.

    In those eyes, there seemed to be a history of troubles, problems and not so optimal choices. Fatigue of more years than he must have been old, and more than a few regrets. However, at the same time, they hadn't lost their fire.

    Even if it was now just smoldering embers that refused to die out.

    "... I feel that being persistent is worth it. It's a risk, but I'd rather take the risk than regret not having done so. Regret what you did, not what you didn't - I guess that's another way to put it," he said, before a crooked smile rose to his face. "And you've seen some of the people in this town. They can be real stubborn. In those cases, you almost have to kick that door in and help them, whether they want it or not. For their sake, but also for the sake of everyone else."

    Having said his piece, Zane gazed out into the storm, as if thinking back to some other time - or some other place, some other people.

    "Just because a person fights back till the last moment against help, that doesn't mean they don't - deep down - wish for someone to save them. It just means their traumas are more deeply ingrained than those of others."

    And with that, he plopped back down onto his back to work more on the wiring.

    "--- Also, once you're done with that, head back in and get the rest of the group. I think it's high time we left this damn place behind. Plus..."

    Liana could hear Zane click his tongue.

    "I have a feeling I'm needed at home."




    Elise Marie Pelltier
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    [Hah! Now you're learning, Girl!]

    LBJ's laugh sounded genuinely amused - and not even in a mocking way.

    [Mankind has many fears and not all of them equal - but one of the most sensible ones is a fear of yourself. I mean, there's that phrase... how does it go again...]

    Elise's blonde, blue-eyed reflection stroked an imaginary beard as if in a deep thought, before glancing back towards her original, smiling wickedly as she lifted up a single finger.

    ["Character is what you are in the dark." Heh. Sometimes even an evangelist can get it right. Then again, I feel that he had quite a lot of good ones...] The thing mused, scratching it's cheek. [And I guess it doesn't get darker than the emptiness of your own memories, huh? Haha, hahaha... in a weird way, it fits us both, then. And who knows! Maybe you used to be more like yours truly! Can't say that wouldn't be an improvement. Just like the rest of the inquisitors here, you're way too soft for your own good, Girl.]

    Then, for a moment, the reflection's face became serious.

    [... If anything, the one we need to be scared of is that photocopier angel that's been hanging around the school. She'll glass this town if given half the chance, just to get us. We're lucky that she's broken.]

    There was little mystery as to whom LBJ was referring to.

    [Oh, also? I wasn't talking about that old weirdo,] the reflection added, suddenly smirking rudely again. [I was talking about that thug of a classmate of yours. Just saw him in the window of the bar where you're headed.]

    It wiggled its eyebrows, as if to make fun of Elise.

    [So have fun with that~!]




    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High - Old Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm
    "O-oh. Um."

    As the bonds are undone, the android looks a bit surprised, perhaps a bit embarrassed, and rubs her wrists awkwardly once she's free.

    "Thank you."

    Still, she said that clearly, despite her rather monotone delivery. While she seemed to have trouble putting her emotions to words, that didn't mean they were there. In a way, it was almost ironic reflection of the blonde girl and her own troubles when it came to be seen as a "weapon" rather than a human... at the very least by the higher members of her organization.

    "You know. This feels. Weird," the android said as she finally rose up from the floor, dusting off her clothes. "I've been in the class. The whole week. Talked with some. Watched others. Have others watch me. But this is the first time..."

    She hugged her own body instinctively, like she wasn't sure whether she liked or abhorred the feeling that she was experiencing.

    "... First time somebody sees me. Actually sees me. Or talks to me. Me. Instead of who I acted as," she revealed. "Even the one person. Who found out. Seemed to want to treat me. Like my disguise. It's..."

    She hesitated for a moment, before shaking her head.

    "It's unnerving. But also feels warm. Weird."

    Then, as if remembering something, the girl offered Lucille her hand for a shake.

    "Oh. Right. I'm..." Again, she hesitated - but for a shorter amount this time. "... I'm Xeni. Xeni Techne. And you I know, Lucille Faraday. But still."

    A weak smile, and not because of the events of the last night or her imprisonment.

    "It's nice to meet you."




    Maid
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Barney's Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "Ah, uh...wha..."

    Looking like he had no idea how to process this absolutely absurd series of events, Orion - or Yozora as he had also referred to himself - blinked once. He blinked twice. His mouth uttered some confused noises while he stood there, in the doorway of the bathroom, dripping with water and a towel barely around his waist. Indeed, after about five seconds of absolute silence that followed the maid prostating herself before him, his first movement was to take his hands - which had been combing through his wet hair before - and... secure his towel better around his waist.

    The young man actually looked like he was little scared for what lay beneath the towel. Like there was a vague sense of threat emanating from the maid.

    Or maybe it was all in his head.

    "Oh. Um. That's..."

    Secondly, Orion put his other hand on his face and pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to come to grips with the stupendous surreality of what had just happened. His eyes took in the soaked appearance of the maid, the open window, the dripping footprints that led to where she was now, and the odd noises of apologies that she was right now doing. They also glanced towards the rotund man who was still snoring away, not in the least bothered by all the noise and talking.

    Finally, after gathering his bearing for a good awkward minute, Orion began to talk. Slowly. Like a police officer trying to defuse a hostage situation.

    "T-that's... that's alright. Just... stop doing a dogeza, you didn't..." He paused, clearly unable to say that the girl hadn't done anything wrong. "... You didn't do anything bad enough to warrant it. Rather, can you just..."

    He made a rather helpless gesture towards the girl.

    "C-can you just stop apologizing for one moment and catch your breath? You'll start hyperventilating like that," Orion continued awkwardly. "I mean, it's not that bad. It's even, uh, flattering? Flattering that you like my, um, body, so no need to fret over it? Instead, can you..."

    He knelt down on the floor before the maid and put his hand on her shoulder, trying to get her out of her litany of apologies.

    "Can you just... explain what's going on? Why are you in Barney's room, to start with? And how the heck did you get so wet?"

    Now that he was this close, however, the
    Vivienne
    maid
    could also hear how Orion followed this up by mumbling to himself.

    "Since when did this place get maids of all things...? I don't remember anything about that..."




    Hisa Momoi & Prushka
    Location: Precipice of Arche // Shore of Unconscious
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: ---

    "Oh, but I am real."

    Doctor Utujoutsi chuckled at the responses of the two girls - a kind laughter that held no actual kindness in it. He was like a doll, emotionless by design, only able to mimic the things that humans did. And this was clearly not because it was, as Hisa had said, a manifestation of a memory from the souls of the two lions - no, the real Utujoutsi must have been like that as well.

    Just something masquerading as a human. Human, yet not.

    Indeed, there was no sense of supernatural powers from him. But at the same time, that made it only worse. For a human to feel like such a chilling void... he must have been an actual monster.

    --- Much more than the serpent that coiled around the sky and the pillar.

    "Well, as real as this place allows me to be, anyways. Real enough to congratulate you two when you have done a fine job. I do recognize an achievement for what it is, even if it goes against my own goals. For Hisa Momoi is right. I am merely a memory that the two youths share. In Aapo's case, I was the assistant director and spent a lot of... quality time training him. In Timo's case, I was the actual project head, designing him from ground-up. He wasn't quite as interesting as his predecessor, but at the same time, scientifically invigorating to work on," the doctor said and smiled sweetly. "Ah, so many important memories... for both me and for them. It makes me glad that I left such an impact in them both, enough that it would bring me out in such a clearly defined, proper form. In a way, I'm much more Dr. Utujoutsi than even the real Dr. Utujoutsi himself. Fascinating, really..."

    That kind smile, the eyes that never opened, then echoed with more laughter.

    "... Though I hazard a guess that neither of you are here to appreciate the scientific ramifications and revelations of this moment? A pity, really. I sense that you both would have made excellent researchers at Sariola Mountain. In fact, I'm sure that if you wished for it, you could contact my real self and he'd happily take you in - especially if you told him about this meeting," the void of a man, of a memory, continued cheerfully. "Naturally you'd need to be re-educated a little for that purpose, but that shouldn't be a problem for either of you. You both seem to thrive in adversity."

    He pressed his finger to his head, as if to think of something... and then giggled - like he had found what he was looking for.

    "Ah, yes. You, Hisa Momoi, went to Aapo's rescue even though the situation was dire and it turned out to be a trap..." He gazed at Hisa, before looking at Prushka. "And you, Prushka, had such a satisfied look on your face, even when you were a corpse cradled in Aapo's shivering arms. Both imply just the kind of attitude we appreciate at Jukola Project. Naturally we would have to do something about this 'time loop' you are stuck in, but I'm sure I can come up with a solution or two..."

    Wait.

    He knew about those memories? In other words, those memories had been inside Pyry? But those...

    ... Those were memories from the Week That Never Was.

    What was going on here?

    And did he really think he could find a way to break free from the time loop? Was that even possible?

    "Still, were we to take you in, I'm afraid I cannot let you destroy the coded instincts we've put into these two weapons. That would defeat their true purpose. Of course, were you to become part of Jukola, I'm sure you could request a further modification into them once they're back where they belong. It might take some time, but if you prove yourself valuable researchers, I'm sure they'll listen to you," Dr. Utujoutsi continued, clearly amused by this idea of 'hiring' Hisa and Prushka. "But for now, I'll have to ask you two leave the Sun and Moon where they belong - otherwise they'll be broken. And what good is a broken weapon? Not much, I can tell you that."

    He took a step forward and raised his gloves hands a little, as if welcoming the two girls.

    "Naturally, if you insist... I think I'll have to stop you. A task I would really not be up to were this the real me. Unlike you evolutionary steps of the future, Children of Black Technology's Origin, Whispers of the Planet, I have no powers to call my own," Utujoutsi said and his disgusting smile deepened. "But here, in a realm where my self is decided by the memories and fears these two have of me..."

    And at that moment, his shadow seemed to grow longer - seemed to grow deeper. And the rattle of chains echoed in the cosmos.

    "... I'm afraid the situation is rather different. I'm exactly as powerful as they believe me to be."

  16. #4516
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    It's been a long time.

    A long time since she could reveal her anxieties to someone else without pretext, without all the invisible shields that separate herself from others. They are emotional barriers that she erected for her own sake, hiding her nature as a doll made in the image of another, the anxieties that came with that, the fear of being abandoned like she was at the start keeping her from letting people in close enough to even discover those wounds...

    At arm's length, it's easier to cut the ties.

    That's the distant affection she practiced, a way to not be alone while sheltering herself from other people, and yet...

    This town was bad for that approach, she had failed to maintain it properly, let herself care a bit too much and now anxieties of another sort had come flowing in, and yet...

    "...Hah."

    When the young woman finally responds to the young man, the one peering at her through glass and darkness, turbulent winds sending a cloud of steam swirling around them both, the woman can only laugh, not in a sad or broken way, but rather...

    ---Relieved.

    "Hahahahaha....You're right!"

    The hands that had stopped their work start again in earnest, even as the usual grin crosses her face.

    "Do what you think is right, of course... Who was I kidding, I'm absolutely a door basher!"

    She had been hesitating a bit, trying to find a solution that always works out. The optimal path, a way to be perfect every time, another symptom of that impulsive need to be absolutely flawless at everything she does, to match that spotless, imaginary figure inside of head...

    Geez... That's gonna be hard to stop doing...

    But there's no such thing, there is no optimal path for this, and if that's the case...

    If she can accept that...

    Then the only thing left to do is what you think is right, anything else would just lead to the maximum amount of regrets.

    ---It makes sense.

    "Sticking her head into other people's problems whether they like it or not, Liana is that sort of person too."

    She chuckles.

    "Ah geez, something so obvious... I was really in a rut, huh?"

    All she's done all day is worry, in one form or another. Worry about Thorne, worry about the Club, worry about Sierra, worry about Jack, worry about Tris and Colt and Dorothy, and-!

    Just stop.

    Calm down.

    There's a place and time for such matters.

    Just do what you can right now.

    "It's a simple matter. Other people can be painful as hell, but something worth dealing with, I get it. Worrying about something like this doesn't really suit me, does it?"

    An invincible big sister type, or at least, that had always been her goal.

    She finishes her work with a laugh, the click of the hood sliding closed poignant in the darkness of the storm.

    "I've been showing you too much of my uncool side, so I'd appreciate it if you just never mentioned any of this to anyone, okay? My big sister image is damaged enough as is~"

    She'd been called a puppy twice, after all-!

    "I do appreciate it though, thanks for putting up with me."

    She walks, purposefully, around the side of the vehicle where the boy is still working, her footsteps light and clean in spite of the mud, as if the earth itself was hardening beneath her feet due to the heat, and-

    "We'll get out of this spiral eventually, that's a promise."

    Eyes like stars in the night.

    Rebellion against the storm-ridden skies above...

    "You're a friend too it seems, so I'll be coming to kick down your door eventually whether you like it or not. Even if it takes me awhile, please wait warmly."

    She laughs.

    "There's always a way out of these sorts of things, so it'll be alright in the end, we won't be stuck here forever."

    ---That was her belief.

    No matter how cloudy her pain made it at times, how difficult it became to see, she wouldn't be in this business in the first place if she was the sort that would let wrong stay wrong-!

    "Anyway..."

    She turns away.

    "I'll go grab the others."

    And so she does.

    With a smile on her face.

    ---

    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    "Alright everyone, it's time to go! We don't want to be here when night falls and we need to get Jack to a doctor."

    A chipper voice greets the inhabitants of the lobby as a still-glowing-with-power Liana Skye strides back into the building with her hands in her pockets. The storm outside continues to throw it's tantrum, buffeting winds accompanying her back into the premises even as the rain evaporates around her in a shell of sorts.

    "Aleen, Cathie, Jayesh, Kajal, Scottie! That'll be group one, you'll go in Scottie's car."

    She'd put some thought into it.

    Distribution of battle power between the two vehicles should be roughly even if possible, a mix of long-range and short range in case they get attacked, so-!

    "Fio, you're with me!" She nods at the woman up above, "We'll be going with Zane, Sierra and Jack. First destination for both groups is the clinic, there's some stuff I want to tell you guys once we're away from here, and we can figure out overnight accommodations and plans for tomorrow from there!"

    She nods, her voice remarkably loud for a person that had voluntarily sat in silence for hours just a few minutes ago...

    "Any objections?"

    Not that she's really left them much room to object, but she might as well ask-!

    Even so, while she has left the floor open...

    "I'll carry Jack."

    She's already making her way over to the infirmary group.

    "Sierra, stick close to me."
    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--"

  17. #4517
    Elise Marie Pelltier
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    [... If anything, the one we need to be scared of is that photocopier angel that's been hanging around the school. She'll glass this town if given half the chance, just to get us. We're lucky that she's broken.]
    [Gradiant isn't broken,] protested Elise.

    Elise frowned to herself. LBJ was right, as much as she didn't want to admit it. The memory of that brief moment in the Hospital lobby when she'd felt that immense killing intent that radiated out of her so suddenly. Cold, harsh, and dreadful. Utterly unlike Gradient herself. Despite the overwhelming power behind it though, it was gone in an instant. No one other than herself and the demon had noticed it. Elise was fairly certain that Gradient herself hadn't even been aware of it. She was back to her cheerful self moments later, happily scribbling drawings of soda logos in her notepad.

    [She is a far cry from that mighty warrior angel summoned to combat the impending calamity that Hisa described from Ezekiel's letter though,] wondered Elise, [Not that she doesn't still have that capability, she clearly does, but that isn't her. She hardly even seems aware of it. Was her current form what Ezekiel intended? With that power inside her to be contained safely until the calamity emerged? Even then, if she was summoned to destroy us, I'd expect her to be much more single mindedly focused on that goal, while Gradient very much... isn't.]

    Then again, Samuel had confirmed that Ezekiel Lowgate never had the chance to use the Salpinx of Woe and summon the Feather of the Wheel as he'd intended. Most likely she'd been called to this world by two curious teenagers exploring the ruins of an old church.

    [What if her current state is that the result of Remmie and Angie summoning her instead? Whether they did something wrong, or altered the parameters? I mean, they probably weren't as concerned about the Lowgate Prophecy as Ezekiel was, right? What would they need a warrior angel for?] wondered Elise, [... I want to be critical of them stumbling on the ruins of an old church, delving into its basement, and using the holy relic and technology they found there to summon an angel, but if I'm entirely honest, if I was in their position I probably would've done the same thing.]

    Quote Originally Posted by LBJ
    [So have fun with that~!]
    [Travis!?] exclaimed Elise.

    The demon wiggled its eyebrows at her mockingly as Elise's eyes darted up to look ahead at the bar.

    [What is Travis doing here!?]

    She'd expected a quiet night at the bar, given the awful weather. Just what had drawn Travis all the way out here? Her wandering in and chatting with the local old cook was weird enough. Now she had to contend with one of her classmates who'd know and recognize her being there too.

    I'm not unhappy to learn that Travis is already here, there's a lot I'd like to talk to him about too, and I really haven't had the chance to see him much this week, but... well, it does make everything more awkward, thought Elise, Then again, given the current situation, I think we've all been outed as weirdos to each other anyway.

    Elise frowned to herself.

    [Right. Well. This is awkward, but we've been standing out in the rain long enough anyway, and I'm not going to turn around now. Let's go say hello to Travis, and deal with it from there.]

    She took a deep breath, spared one last glance down to her reflection in the puddle, before she stepped over it and made her way towards the bar.

  18. #4518
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Forest Ranger Cabin
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    “She sacrificed… her time?”

    Lightning flashed in the window and thunder followed in its wake. The rolling, rumbling crack deafened Colt for a moment.

    An echoing ring filled his head, drowning out his ability to think. A bright, white and grey static consumed his vision. Like a television with its signal cut, but the hiss and popping were replaced with the ringing of a ruptured eardrum, as though a gun had been fired beside his head.

    The smell of smoke, the memory of fire, washed over him. Beneath the static billowing plumes rose, the twisting grey and white bleeding into a darkened, red sky reflecting the swirling tempest surrounding him. Only glittering moonlight broke through the ashen, blackened sky and the vortex of fire.

    He had seen it before, lived through this scene out of hell.

    Something was different this time. A figure in the darkness, blending into the sky. She stared down at the chaos, radiating death from her being. A shiver ran down his spine, the screams of untold lost souls and malevolence crying out in a chorus of fear that resounded within the fire.

    Colt looked up through the storm of death, searching for the eyes of that figure cloaked in dread. The moonlight and the raging fire twisted his vision, and just as he caught a glimpse of her.

    He returned to the cabin.

    The last rumbling of thunder fading away. As if not a single second had passed.

    "... I never really understood what she meant by that. But, as she said... she couldn't remain after that. So she escaped."

    Colt’s head throbbed. Nevada kept talking, as if nothing had happened. That glimpse into hell was Colt’s and Colt’s alone, a suppressed memory that had momentarily loosened its bindings.

    "To Road's End. Where she met her death eventually."

    “… I see.” Colt hesitantly addressed the man’s recollection. “Sacrificing her time… it sounds to me like that… cut her life short. I already understand that those kinds of deals are not… not normal, in their terms.”

    The boy looked at Nevada’s downcast eye, leaned back, and sighed.

    “End result, I have no sister. No memories of her either. To me, it’s almost like she doesn’t exist at all. The only way I get to know her are through stories, like the one being told to me by a guy who says he has no right to call his own ‘sister’.” In truth, he couldn’t keep the envy hidden. “It feels like a sick joke. I’d trade places with you in a heartbeat, you know.”

    While Nevada’s gaze went to the floor, Colt’s turned to the ceiling.

    “At least for you, there’s a chance. Try as I might there’s no sister for me to find or reconcile with. All I can do is hope to piece together the story, pray that someone or something hits me so hard that my memories come back. Your sister is my classmate, you know. I don’t know what happened, but she’s an optimist through ‘n through. Preachy, know-it-all, nosy and overbearing, but on top of all that she’s the caring type. I bet whatever issue you two have is entirely one-sided.”

    Preaching to somebody else wasn’t normal for him, but Colt couldn’t get over the vexation at how deeply they contrasted each other. Even if digging at the topic made him angry, he didn’t care.

    “Who decided you have no right to call her your sister? You, or her?”


  19. #4519
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    There did not seem to be any objections.

    While both Aleen and Cathie looked a bit confused (and anxious, though each for a different reason), the Omkara siblings seemed to agree with the idea that they couldn't stay at the country club anymore. At this point it had become abundantly clear that this place was... if not dangerous, at least a magnet for danger. Spending another night here, especially during this raging storm, was not the wisest idea. It was just asking for trouble.

    --- Lightning crashed across the skies outside.

    For a moment, Liana could almost swear she saw the statue outside turn to look at her and laugh, but when she focused her eyes through the window, all she saw was an empty rose garden and an unmoving hunk of black rock. No sneering, no cackling... not even threatening messages left in blood.

    Hopefully that particular problem would not follow them outside.

    "I believe I don't have to say it out loud, but I'll be turning a... well, let's say blind eye to certain items and equipment I'm pretty sure are not legal. Just don't let me down with how you use them, Fyrtio."

    While Liana busied herself with lifting up Jack (the man was quite big, so even though he was no longer in critical danger, carrying him wasn't the easiest), Scottie had apparently taken a moment to talk with the one-eyed woman. Both of them kept a close watch whether or not Liana needed any help, howering nearby without getting in the way. Sierra, on the other hand, was quiet. She simply nodded and stood next to Liana, her gaze focused on her father.

    "Mm. Still... it's surprising," Fyrtio responded. "You've got good head on your shoulders. And you're taking all this..."

    She gestured vaguely towards Liana's glowing form.

    "... Rather well."

    That made Scottie chuckle, as he shot a sideways glance towards Liana as well.

    "Truth to be told, there's many questions I'd like to ask. However, right now we've got quite a few other things to worry about," he replied. "So whether it's military-grade weaponry you're hiding, Miss Fyrtio, or clearly... paranatural abilities that you're exhibiting, Miss Skye, I'm fine with them. As long as we use them to protect civilians and to solve this rather... bizarre case, I admit."

    Cathie, who had been waiting outside the room with Aleen, shook her head and let out a small groan.

    "You're just utterly unfazed. Or maybe implacable is the better word?"

    Again, Scottie laughed.

    "Well, I am the FBI. I think I've been able to get my bearings, so it's time I started doing my job."

    With that, he turned towards Liana.

    "Everything ready to go? Nothing else we need from here?"



    Elise Marie Pelltier
    Location: Big Boy's Gas Station - Bar
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    Opening the door to the bar at the back of Big Boy's Gas Station, Elise was greeted with a smell that was a hefty mixture of spilled alcohol on wood, faint cigarette smoke, roasted coffee and what must have been whiskey. However, after stepping out of the storm, it was like entering a whole other world. Instead of permeating cold, it was nice and cozily warm, there was no cacophony of thunder, and even though not many, at least there were some people present.

    And then there was the song blaring out from the jukebox.

    It felt a little ironic, to be honest.

    In a couple of levels.

    "Well hello there! What can I get'cha?"

    The booming voice coming from the counter shook Elise from her thoughts. There stood a woman built like a brick tower, the proprietor of Big Boy's as a whole - Billy Boulders. The one-eyed brunette of pure muscle was cleaning up some glasses, though when he saw the state Elise was in, one of her bushy eyebrows rose.

    "Maybe something to warm you up, lass?" She asked, grinning. "You look like you need it."

    Aside from the owner herself, there was one other person at the counter. Another brunette, but lithe and languid when compared to Billy's powerful energy. She had quite a few empty glasses next to her on the table, which might have explained why this older woman had her face against the wooden surface. It probably also explained the light snoring that emanated from her. Someone's "night out" seemed to have started quite early.

    Aside from the two at the counter, there were also some other people at the bar. At the furthest corner table sat a young woman in fishing gear, nursing a beer and talking quietly with a tall man with a dark brown hair whose back was turned to Elise. From what Elise could hear, the conversation was more accurately described as the woman complaining about the weather and how she hadn't been able to go fishing at all today. In other words, far more mundane problem, yet still caused by the accursed storm.

    The door behind Elise suddenly opened and slammed shut again, as if the weather had heard thoughts and protested. Billie, on the other hand, grinned wider.

    "Or should I make that a double?"

    Aside from that, the only other two people in the room where... ah, yes. There. The source of awkwardness that LBJ had laughed about. Only... he wasn't alone? No, he seemed to be sitting with someone. The other person at the table was a young girl with green hair and a loud laugh. She was slurping down a glass bottle of cola, her one good eye focused on the young man and whispering quite intently with him about something.



    ... Now who the heck was this?

    Still, putting her aside for the moment, that still left the other person.

    Or namely, the thug-like youth who was nose deep in his pint of beer.

    And when he raised his eyes, they almost naturally snapped over to Elise and...

    "--- Geh."

    Travis immediately grimaced.




    Colt Davin
    Location: Forest Ranger Cabin
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm

    "Trade places...?"

    For the first time, a laugh echoed from Nevada's throat - although the raspy, wheezing sound was hard to recognize as such at first. It was a tired, extremely bitter, laugh that didn't last for long, almost like the physical act had caused him pain. Nevada put his hand on his throat and massaged it a bit, grimacing. But even though he had laughed extremely briefly... the emotionless mask on his face still held strong.

    "... Sure. Maybe it'd teach that things aren't so simple. They never are," Nevada continued, his gaze piercing through Colt. "Especially if she's as you say. Good, kind... and awfully human in her ways. That means she still has hope. She believes. And so..."

    He clenched one of his shaking hands slowly into a fist.

    "--- I'm not the same brother as she keeps in her memories. Or rather, I'm not the brother she wants to find. If she ever knows I exist, if she ever finds me..." He paused, quietly biting his teeth together. "... That hope she has will be doused. Stomped out. Extinguished."

    A conclusion that a broken man had arrived to. The same man who now gazed out into the flashes of lightning in the horizon.

    "So it's better she doesn't. There's no happy ending to be found here. Just bitter, cold reality. That's what decided it."

    Just like Colt, perhaps Nevada was feeling something akin to anger about this - about someone else claiming that he could still fix whatever had happened in the past. The more Colt talked to him, the more it became obvious that the older man was a shell of a human being... crushed by his own guilt and regret. So, to someone broken like him, the idea of "just fixing things" must have made his blood boil, even if it was in his cold, emotionally stunted way.

    And perhaps that was why Nevada chose the next words as he did.

    "Still... are you saying you got the other one killed, then?"

    He asked, quite coldly.

    "Or don't you simple call her that anymore? Because that'd be rather hypocritical," the older man continued, his brow furrowing slightly. "Especially since you forced Remmie into the deal by going to rescue that person, even though flames had swallowed her up."

    And his eye narrowed.

    "Your younger sister, that is."

  20. #4520
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Lobby
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Storm


    "Anything else..."

    Lightning flashes and thunder cracks, leaving an echoing silence in it's wake as a thinking Liana does her best to transfer a rather large man from a prone position onto her shoulders. It's not a matter of strength of course, the energy roaring through her specialized circuits bring undeniable strength in it's wake, defined muscles flexing ever so slightly as she pulls the man up and over herself in spite of the obvious difference in their sizes, back straightening out with a soft grunt as she methodically tests her newfound center of balance with a few steps.

    The whole purpose of this sort of carry is to still be able to do things with one's other hand after all, and she does intend to do so, namely-

    "It'll be alright."

    -she briefly rests a hand on Sierra's head in a comforting way, the practiced motion one that is logged deep in her muscle memory.

    "The Doctor we're going to is really good, she's a bit of a strange person, but she'll have him up and about in no time."

    Her smile is gentle, one that shows no fear or trepidation towards the future. Still, turning her gaze back towards Scottie as she finally has an answer to his question, the dark-haired woman makes a slight humming sound and casts her gaze towards the stairwell, where...

    "The phone lines are most likely down all over town, so I'd feel better if we had some sort of radio or walkie talkie, just so the two groups can keep in contact if we wind up splitting up to cover more ground." She explains clearly, a thoughtful but subdued light glowing in the depths of violet eyes, "There was a set upstairs last night, one in Jack's office desk and one next to the CD player in his room. I told Thorne about them earlier today so they might not be there anymore, but it might be worth a quick look to see if we can get em. Jack's a military guy and those sorts of models can go a couple miles, might be able to establish a proper line of communication between the clinic and the hotel that way..."

    She frowns slightly, mostly in response to the situation she's found herself in...

    "Wouldn't be an issue if I had brought some of my communicators with me from back home, but I came to town pretty light. Didn't expect Road's End to be quite as... Unique... As it turned out to be, you don't actually know how weird things are yet... Although if either of you have radios on you I suppose that'd work as well, FBI carry em right?"

    Now that she thinks about it, she wasn't quite sure of the standard list of equipment used by federal officers.

    Would be handy though...

    "Other than that I can't think of much I'd need from here, unless Sierra needs something from her room?"

    She glances down at the girl in question for a moment, warm voice saying it was okay to ask if she needed to ask, but...

    "Or you guys have some stuff in mind I've overlooked?"

    After acknowledging she wasn't quite operating at one-hundred percent, that gaze also goes towards Fyrtio, a new question born in the depths of her eyes, or rather...

    One she's considered asking for awhile now.

    "Oh and Fio, while I'm thinking about it, this is gonna sound like a bit of a strange question right now, but... Do you remember where you were this past Wednesday?"

    Might as well prep for the worst...
    Last edited by Airen; April 21st, 2022 at 11:17 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--"

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