Page 219 of 231 FirstFirst ... 119169209214217218219220221224229 ... LastLast
Results 4,361 to 4,380 of 4603

Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #4361
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,582
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Ooooooooh, cleromancy using the I Ching. And yarrow stalks, I see, I see! You're pretty good, Alpa!"

    Well, no, I don't get it at all. But that's magic for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "Hey, Imp!"
    "Hm? What's up? N-no, I wasn't slacking off or anything! I'll be right there."

    Beside the grave Ahti is standing stock-still. His ears and nose twitch like a cat's, and for a moment he has this serene but deadly grace about him.

    He beckons me closer. My heart skips a beat.

    He kneels down and whispers to me...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahti
    "... I think someone's coming. I can smell a human approaching this place. Old cologne. Probably a man. If that bundle of nerves there is doing her thing, can you go distract whoever it is? I'll fill up this grave in the meantime as fast as I can and grab her with me afterwards - move us over to the forest side. I mean, we could make a run for it now too, but..."
    "A-ah. R-right."

    Nod, nod. Of course. He smelled someone coming is all. That nose of his sure is useful, huh?

    "I'll get you as much time as you need," I whisper back. "It's probably just one of the old folks from town. If it turns out to be something scarier... well, just listen for my barking."

    Maybe we should just leave Nevada's grave filled. It's not like there's any sanctity to respect here, and getting in trouble for digging up an empty grave is not the sort of trouble I'm worried about. But the newcomer could be another clue. Or the danger the old lady warned me about. Either way, between Ahti and Alpa, I'm the most normal-looking person here. If anyone's gonna talk to humans, it should be me.

    With a smile, a nod, and a pat on the shoulder, I step back from Ahti.

    "Hey, Alpa! I'm gonna do a loop around, see if anyone's shown up. Keep Scrooge safe while I'm out, okay?"

    The dragon unfolds. I step onto it and rev the engine.

    Grrr...

    Alright, let's have a look-see. If I get there quick enough, maybe I could hide behind a grave and get the drop on our visitor...
    Last edited by Bloble; January 16th, 2022 at 09:01 PM.

  2. #4362
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Virtual Tokyo
    Posts
    1,708
    Blog Entries
    3
    “Vier”
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Garage
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Hawthorne knew or thought he would’ve been tracked down. The tracks that the vampire left behind were someone who actively trained to avoid tails. The tracks left behind were purposefully misleading to obfuscate movements like soldiers. Yet the pace was closer to a dedicated forester and hunter… Also the lack of noticeable Turnside elements made me come to one conclusion. Hawthorne at some point in time received special forces training. Combined with what I knew about him, it made me more wary. We were likely to be using similar tactics and techniques. The worst part was that he was going to have the initial violence of action.

    However, if that’s the case then why is heading towards Road’s End? If he was trying to ambush or get away from us, then he should be leading us further into the mountains. Heading back into Road’s End, limited both of our options to deal damage and our ability to disappear. The only thing I could assume at this time was that he was trying to reach a boat. But if that was his objective… He could’ve made a clean getaway by using one of the several vehicles after I left him. By the time we would’ve realized his treachery, he would’ve hit his primary extraction vehicle.

    Reassess. Assume that he wasn’t trying to eliminate or get away. Actions only occurred after acquisition of black folder. Asset drop-off to a third party? Stealthy approach to assure that the third party wasn’t traced or they could trace him back to his location as well? Optimistic. Still doesn’t mean Hawthorne is betraying the country club when we take the current information into account. My hypothesis on why ground to a halt once a certain smell hit my nose.

    The smell of iron, but not the worked metal. It was the smell of hemoglobin in the air. I took a quick look at the tracks, my current location, then the direction of the smell. I made a snap decision without consulting Colt Davin. I stepped off of Hawthorne’s created path to melt into the forest and flank around the source of hemoglobin.

  3. #4363
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Age
    28
    Posts
    15,961
    Blog Entries
    3
    Colt Davin
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Garage
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    The trail wasn’t easy to follow. Colt wasn’t a bred and trained outdoorsman, avoiding false tracks, identifying broken foliage which indicated recent passage, spotting parts in the branches where someone had pushed them aside… Aside from the obvious prints of boots in the mud, he missed it all. Vier had a greater handle on it all, and he followed her lead. Whenever he nearly took the bait, she calmly, wordlessly kept going in what Colt trusted to be the right direction.

    Really a world apart…

    The boy kept his thoughts to himself. Any excess talk now would just get him hushed with scorn. Colt focused his mind on keeping up, making as little noise as possible, and being ready for anything.

    A small breeze, still cool from the rains, carried a smell to his nose. It wasn’t that comforting petrichor which came after a long thunderstorm, nor was it the damp, muddy dirt’s earthy smell. It was metallic. A smell he now associated with chlorine and pain.

    Blood.

    Colt turned to look at Vier, seeking a sign as to how to proceed…

    But saw nothing. Somewhere around him he heard the faintest of rustles, which he assumed to be Vier moving into position for whatever she was anticipating.

    In that case, there was nothing left to say between the two. They had discussed the plan already, so Colt turned back to face the direction that the smell came floating in from.

    The disposable decoy goes in from the front. That was the plan, after all.

    He took a laborious step forward.

    So easily said, not so easily done. It was one thing to put on the act when he was already in the jaws of the beast, it was another to walk into the lion’s den.

    Colt grit his teeth, and forced himself to take another step forward, then another. Soon his pace was back to normal, and he shut his mind off from the what-ifs that might give him pause. He said he would do it. So he would do it.

    At this point, all that’s left for him is to move forward.


  4. #4364
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chaldea Naval Base
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,067
    Blog Entries
    1
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building – Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    By the next lull in the discussion, John groans and leans back against his seat. Yup, that’s headache right there. He cannot keep up. He just can’t. There’re too many lines of thought, seemingly without apparent connection. Too much information, and even more gaps between them. His utterly mundane human brain can’t process everything.

    John already knew this, but he is yet again reminded that the young men and women around him exist in a different realm. They can keep up, while he is already feeling dazed and tired. On the previous loop, he would have just push down this discomfort and ground it to metaphorical dust, but that just does not seem to be an option anymore, right? If he wants to change, he cannot stick to the same old, convenient escape routes.

    He is a mere fool, so he must wade in the mud just like the other fools.

    Only opening his eyes to grasp for his morning juice, he gulps it down without pause.

    Whether I can handle this or not is irrelevant. I must.

    If it is so difficult, then every single minute is a test of his conviction.

    Opening his eyes again, they rest on the “gift” from Anna still on the table. Another burden. Well, at least it’s not a gun (a thought he will wisely keep from voicing in front of Ramia).

    Burden, huh…

    While Elaine shares additional thoughts, John reaches into his pocket for the object that, for so many years granted hope and succor.

    Now you, too, are a burden.

    Yet, he cannot stop himself from smiling at the thought. No matter what, the baleful piece of headwear remains precious to him. A burden gladly born. Of course, there is the fact that it reminded him of Her, and that it apparently indeed came from Her, but such things are secondary by this point. Ishtar Irkalla—no, the trinket—is the symbol of the John Dove who made it this far. It represents ten years of vagaries and wandering and foolishness. Ten years of a void filled entirely by moonlight. Ten years of fruitless longing and detachment from the world around him. Also, ten years of direction, of discipline and mental fortitude, even if built on an uncanny foundation.

    For the same reason the fool keeps pushing forward, that same fool will never decry the greater fool he has been to this point.

    Not a burden. My burden, his mind declares with a fool’s pride as he slowly, carefully, wraps the artifact around his left hand. From now on, if Ramia or anybody else wants it, they will have to chop his hand off.

    The comfortable weight of his burden crushes all other pressure in his mind. With clear, renewed conviction, the fool pulls himself out of his thoughts and starts wading in the mud once again.

    “Thank you, Vandemeel,” he says curtly, finally accepting the box. Half-opening it, he regards the white, crescent-shaped dagger with only a modicum of interest, sparing only a glance to the unclear inscription on its surface. Weapons are just not his thing.

    “…white. Albion. Right, the name is believed to refer to the Cliffs of Dover.”

    For now, he keeps it in the box. This is not the time nor the place to decide on how best to carry it.

    “Now, we seem to have an entire list of issues to address.” And there’s no choice but to go over them one by one.

    “On the matter of Ultra, while it would certainly be comforting to have a solution to her should she become our enemy, I agree her presence is a secondary matter. She proposed I find the seven pages of her diary, I guess as some sort of test of my well-meaning. I already found one, and I know the location of a second one, so I hope to have at least some leverage should I meet her again in less favorable circumstances. I will keep you informed on the matter, but I also request your cooperation should you happen to come into possession of such diary pages.”

    That should be enough on Ultra, if only for now. Of course, he remains curious. If she is really an eidos incarnate, established as a principle, or a rule, of this world by the act of manifesting into reality, then what is this specific principle she embodies, and for what reason? That is, beyond proving the validity of Crowley’s Thelema, which seems a perfectly valid motivation for the ever-self-centered Master Therion. The final purpose of the Babalon Working is, as its name says, to manifest an incarnation of Babalon, the Thelemic archetypal divine feminine. However, what does that achieve? What do we want Babalon incarnate for?

    To “fix” the world, if we’re to take Parsons’s Liber 49 at face value.

    “On the matter of Aleen King, while it is obvious to anybody who interacts with her for any length of time that she is hiding her connection to the McLampets and to this town, she would have to be a prodigious actress to conceal any malice she could harbor towards us. This may be solely my opinion, but I do not deem her a threat or an enemy to any of us. For some time, I thought she might be the daughter of Elias McLampet: the family heiress too young to take the reins when her father disappeared, and who nobody has seen in forever. However, the fact she came with us on the bus implies she lived outside of Road’s End before coming here. Assuming she was taken out of this town at some point in the past, why pick now of all times to come back? She’s not yet of age, so she wouldn’t be here to ‘reclaim her heritage’. Furthermore, why come through the Pinefall program? If she were really the heiress, she would have plenty of means to prove it; no need for an indirect means to make her way to this town.”

    He shakes his head.

    “Nah, I believe her connection is of a different nature. Perhaps she is an illegitimate daughter of Elias or another of the siblings, or perhaps there are other McLampets outside of Road’s End that we don’t know of, and she comes from one of those branches. Only one way to know, I guess.”

    After speaking to everybody and nobody for a while, he centers his gaze on Anna Vandemeel.

    “As for the Mitchells, I unfortunately have nothing to add. I’ve only exchanged a few lines with Zane Mitchell; seemed a decent enough person. Although, now that I remember, I did once see him in the company of another man, one of south Asian features, whom I strongly suspect may be of the Turnside. The man had apparently fended off a pack of ‘wild dogs’, as he called them, and Zane was applying first aid.”

    He shrugs, not really having anything else to add.

    “With that said, it seems we have to devote special attention to the information Elaine received from Mr. Oceandrop.”

    Focus on what makes sense for now. Focus on what you can work with.

    “Firstly, there’s the matter of the number of students. When we first arrived at Pinefall, Mr. Oceandrop declared he had gathered 29 students. I assumed that was the intended number of people, until the Coastrises showed up. Then I heard from Mr. Lewis that the actual number was 32—that is, the 29 in the bus plus the Coastrises. Going by the words of Mr. Oceandrop as received by Elaine, however…”

    John closes his eyes, trying the reconstruct the scene of the bus trip.

    “The right side of the bus was completely full. All the empty seats were on the left side. Sakura…did not have a partner. I remember this the most clearly, because she was just to the left of Elise Marie and myself. Then, there were Elizaveta Vyraj on the seat right in front of her—Xylia Pheme, in the case of most of you, I guess. Elizaveta…Souma, and Mercedes West. Those three were too attention-grabbing; of course I took note of them, and they were all partnerless.”

    He pauses. The rest of the bus gets a lot fuzzier, but…

    “There was another guy with an empty seat,” he finally recalls, glancing towards Hwan Bin. “Was it you? Or perhaps it was Travis; I forgot.”

    He nods to himself.

    “Five empty seats, not counting the one next to Ms. Leuzinger. Three for the Coastrises, one for…the one Elaine called an ‘odd student’, and one remaining.”

    He nods.

    “This matches the list of DDS…patients, that I found in the hospital last night. The ‘odd student’ would be one ‘Alpa Bagha’, with whom I am already acquainted. Unfortunately, the sole remaining name was unreadable; the screen would not display it properly for whatever reason. However, I can tell you two things.”

    John raises his index finger.

    “The list was in alphabetical order, and the name was lodged between ‘King, Aleen’ and ‘Leijonamieli, Pyry’.”

    Then the middle finger.

    “Secondly, based on the length of the unreadable character chain, he or she has a four-letter surname and a seven-letter first name.”

    He is about to bring his hand back down when he remembers a third point, for his ring finger.

    “Actually, I believe we should consider the possibility that our missing classmate may in fact be Ultravania. Food for thought. Moving on.”

    With that, John brings his hand to rest back on the table.

    “…’there is a key in Amber House’. Those are the words I heard in my…strange vision. Based on what I’ve now learned, tis ‘Amber House’ would be either the Mitchell residence or the lighthouse; the reference to the ‘House of Amber Light’ in the statue strongly points towards the latter. Perhaps there is something to the light atop that would be revealed with a proper examination. I also have an interest in examining the Unknown Pioneer. Its location and what I’ve heard about it from Souma makes me think there might be another hint there. The nearby Klallam totem…totems? They might also be worthy of examination.”

    Anna’s comments on the statue further stimulate his thoughts.

    “Break away from within that Eye, escape from the umbra sea…the light looks in the direction of the sea, so both lines could be interpreted to mean ‘look away from the sea’.” He nods to himself. “I think there is worth in examining the lighthouse’s lamp. Maybe something will be revealed by looking inland from there. Alternatively, the first line could even be interpreted to mean there is something important inside the lamp. Furthermore…Souma told me the statue holds a sextant. What if any of either the statue, the poem, or the lighthouse are hints towards a specific location?”

    Again, he shrugs.

    “To be fair, there’s a whole lot of places still in need of investigation, such as the locked upper levels of the main building and the blocked sections of the dorms. Their blockade is likely connected to the tragedies that happened in the past of this school. I’ve heard rumors of unknown people skulking around in the outbuilding; might also be worth checking it out.”

    John makes sure to roam the entire table with his gaze as he speaks, looking at each and every single one of the boys and girls present.

    “And yes, Elaine is right in checking the local libraries; the locals are probably reluctant to part with their secrets, and I certainly do not have the social graces to convince them to do so.”

    John follows this with a sigh. He just got through the easy part.

    “That leaves the matter of Mr. Oceandrop’s disappearance itself. Why he is so limited of action unlike everybody else, and what keeps him from being a more active…well, actor on this stage. I think I would rather leave that to more enlightened minds, but…”

    It’s not as if he has that luxury, does he? He is stuck in this mire with the Turnside people. Anna’s insights on Loinnir’s testimony prove helpful to put aside that topic for which he absolutely has no input. Unfortunately, he cannot think of any esoteric, philosophical, or theological association to the word elision.

    “Well, either he loops and remembers the loops enough to characterize all possible courses of events to determine the exact combination that would get him what he wanted, or he was so transcendentally brilliant that he figured how to include complete strangers like Elaine and Loinnir in his plan on the fly, or somebody fed him the information he needed to do precisely that.”

    While clumsily twirling his fork, John glances at the light-haired young man with new trappings, and from him to Elaine and then Anna and Ramia.

    “Regardless, yours and Elaine’s description brings me back to our discussion in the car about crafting an isolated system. Perhaps the better word would be a ‘process’. Someone, probably multiple someones, have set up a process in this isolated town, and Pinefall High School is part of it, with or without Mr. Oceandrop’s knowledge or approval.” He pauses. “No, it’s more likely that people cooperated to set this up, all the while aiming for different ends. The school may sincerely be aiming for ‘rehabilitating’ us, but the hospital and Gottlieb Pharma are definitely aiming for something else, and who knows what the US military gets out of this. Furthermore, there must have been some support from within the town, to allow…or perhaps encourage the establishment of this school here of all places. To bring us here.”

    Yet another sigh.

    “I do not know if Lowgate was tapping into this ‘process’, or took what already existed and was setting up a ‘process’ of his own. I don’t know how much intellect a wandering spirit retains after death.”

    He turns to Elaine.

    “If the overlook itself is somehow important, well…Bakhauv appeared to frequent it for his celestial observations. Perhaps he found his end there, and that was the trigger. Or perhaps he saw something in the overlook that he wasn’t supposed to see. Or in the sky. We don’t know anything about the process, so it is hard to tell what it is that disrupts it.”

    Placing the fork back on the table along with his elbow, he rests his forehead on his hand.

    “As to the final purpose of this ‘process’, well, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps somebody’s attempting to summon a named demon; I think I've heard something about that. Perhaps the murderer using the moniker ‘The Disembodied Man’ aims to turn that local legend into a named demon through the sufficient accumulation of infamy and hatred. Perhaps somebody is aiming for the materialization of that other local rumor; the woman with an eyepatch who only exists inside people’s dreams. Perhaps somebody wants to break one of them laws of magic. Perhaps this whole thing was a lure to trap Ultra, and breaking her will is the target. Perhaps somebody wants to weaponize DDS. Perhaps somebody’s trying to resurrect that blue-haired, red-eyed monster from the town’s past. Perhaps somebody’s sequestering time in a loop to prevent the terrible future that will otherwise come to pass.”

    For the last time, he shrugs.

    “Or it could be something a lot more mundane. Like I said, I believe different instigators have different intentions for this little cage in the middle of nowhere.”

  5. #4365
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SPACE.
    Age
    26
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,564
    Blog Entries
    5
    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Science Classroom
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I frowned, pursing my lips as I tapped the side of my cheek, biting the inside of my lip. I thought hard on it for several seconds, examining the possibilities Souma proposed. He was utterly correct, and his detective senses were clearly at least... slightly superior to my own. Hellfires, hellfires. Dearest Potemkin, how do we prove our endless superiority at detectivecraft? Should we perhaps don some sort of hat?

    "Hm..."

    A faint hint of a familiar smell brushed past my nose, and my eyes flicked to catch mana in the form of an old and familiar friend. Copycat performances are endearing, even if they appear to be so dissimilar from my own.

    "Enough of this deductive reasoning, and theorycrafting, Souma! Did you not see what I have seen, with my suspicious eyes?!"

    I flung my hand forward, pointing accusatorily at where the tiny spider was previously in the corridor.

    "Quick! Let us follow these mysterious figures, instead of you attempting to needle me about my lackluster deduction skills!"
    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.


  6. #4366
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    I'll go to sleep soon.
    Posts
    6,730
    Blog Entries
    71
    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Jayesh snorted quietly, not even bothering to hide that he was finding the constant needling rather amusing. Or rather, that Liana's increasingly transparent attempts at getting a rise out of Zane were something he found amusing to watch, but had no intention of getting involved in - he knew better than that. The redhead, on the other hand, feigned like most of the girl's dialogue simply went in from one ear and out of the other, without ever even entering his consciousness. Oh he definitely heard it, but seemed to be more than prepared to ignore it for the sake of his own convenience... much in the same way one would ignore an annoying kid sister who kept pestering them.

    Though that didn't mean he was unwilling to talk - he was just particular about what he answered about.

    "She has a point. I mostly just know about the mundane stuff - like how it's both a way of moving things unseen, and also a bomb shelter perhaps," Zane spoke up, looking at the other boy. "But the 'spiritual' side of them eludes me. Anything interesting there?"

    With a small sigh, the Indian boy rubbed the back of his head and pursed his lips. The footfalls on the metal walkway were the only sounds to fill the silence while he collected his thoughts, before eventually nodding quietly.

    "There's not much I know for sure, but apparently there's some sort of... what was it? Petroglyph cave? Mm, petroglyph cave somewhere out there. You can get to it either through these tunnels or by the lava tubes, though the latter route is probably easier. But without actual knowledge, it's like searching a needle out of a series of haystacks," Jayesh explained. "Supposedly it contains cave paintings that predict the future... or something like that."

    That made Zane raise an eyebrow.

    "Predict the future?"

    However, the other boy only grunted.

    "Or something like that, yes. I don't know for sure, that's not my area of expertise," he continued. "I'm more interested in spirits anyway... and aside from possible dead soldiers that might be haunting these tunnels - for some reason - these places offer little to me. It's not what we were hired to find out, anyhow. Or... well, I was hired half for protection. Both for Jack and a... client of his. Half was our usual thing. That is, spirit hunting."

    He frowned a little bit as the trio descended deeper into the dark tunnels.

    "... Jack wants to find a specific spirit. A person who died 21 years ago. Apparently, there was a massacre at the old Pinefall High School, and a person who he owed a lot to was..." He left the sentence unfinished, but the meaning was clear. "... Well, anyways. Jack wanted to find if that same spirit was captured by the lighthouse - find some way to put them to rest. But from what we've been able to find... no. That spirit is somewhere else. Either it's been able to find its own way out, or someone else helped it already, or... well, I don't even know. Maybe it reincarnated? Who even knows?"

    With a sigh, the Indian boy shrugged his shoulders.

    "Of course, it could have perhaps made its way through these tunnels to somehow escape - the chthonic world being separate from that of the living, but... how likely is that?"

    Perhaps he was expecting Zane to reply... however, the redhead did no such thing. Instead, he stared ahead, into the darkness, with an inscrutable expression, his hand held in a fist... and for some reason, he muttered something under his breath.

    "Pinefall High School Massacre..."

    --- It almost sounded like Jack Pinkerton wasn't the only one who lost something that day.




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

    It wasn't a huge hop from over where the trio had been to the entrance of the cemetery. Bringing her scooter to a halt and then turning it off to avoid announcing her presence to the world, Prushka was able to duck behind one of the larger gravestones. From there, she could peek over the stone wall to look at the person approaching from the main road. Indeed, there was one - just as Ahti's nose had predicted. Just someone who could have been mistaken for being on a Saturday stroll, were it not for the rather mundane flowers in his hand, and the sixpack of beer in the other.

    Drinking this early in the day? That was quite rare.

    Especially for what looked to be a police officer.

    No, wait, that star shining on his jacket...

    ... Was that the sheriff?

    It had to be. That scruffy look, almost like a slightly mangy wolf or a police hound, combined with his attire almost screamed of an overworked government employee. There were slight bags under his eyes, and he occasionally scratched his bedhair in futile attempts of straightening it out. However, at the same time the gaze in his eyes were clear. He wasn't here just randomly. No, from the looks of it, there was some grave he was headed to. His eyes kept a look-out to the opposide end of the graveyard, which was good, but still, unless he was delayed for a bit, he would definitely spot the white-haired figure of Ahti at some point!

    Still...

    ... What was the sheriff doing, visiting graves so early?

    And with beer no less?

    New Person Met!





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

    Approaching the smell, Colt could sense it growing stronger. Fresher. More alive.

    Somebody was badly wounded, just up ahead.

    Pushing past the leaves and the underbrush, the boy steeled himself while the soldier took the long way around to get a good vantage point for the area. But even for Vier, the smell was unmistakeable. Someone was bleeding heavily. Either Hawthorn had prepared a hostage of sorts to slow them down, or then this... just a coincidence? No, not a coincidence. Nothing in this town was a coincidence. So what was this? Something he planned ahead? Only one way to tell for sure, and that was to view just what was out there, filling the air with this scent.

    And thus, Vier took her position to survey the situation.

    At the same time, Colt pushed into the area where the smell of blood was the strongest. And what his eyes revealed to him....

    --- Was not what he expected.

    Neither was it what Vier had expected at all.

    "*Hack*...*Cough*.... hah.... hahaha...."

    There was somebody over there, slumped against a tree, hacking up blood amidst a bitter laugh that emanated from their lips as they saw Colt emerge from the woods.

    A hateful stare. A blaming stare.

    A scornful stare.

    "....*Cough*... figures..."


    "... When I f-finally catch up to you, thief... I'm already *cough* dying..."

    What was this creature?

    Much like a human, yet much like a beast - like a combination of both to create something that was clearly not of the real world, but born out of Turnside itself. It spoke with the voice of a young woman, and shivered in the coldness that was settling in thanks to the loss of blood. A gaping hole in its stomach was bleeding profusely, though it had tried to stopping the flow with some haphazard first aid.

    It was like meeting a wounded predator in the forest.

    At least for Colt.

    For Vier...

    ... Had she seen this creature somewhere before?

    ".... So.... w-what?"

    The creature coughed and sprayed the forest floor with crimson.

    "*Cough*... come to laugh at me in my final moments, thief?"

    And why was it glaring at Colt with such scorching look of hatred?

    New Being Met!





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

    The door of the science class was flung open with much gusto as Alexstrasza, following her loud proclamation, gave chase to the shapes that had passed by the doorway. Indeed, her call to action had been so fast and to the point that the spider nor the silhouette it had been stalking were given much time to get ahead... meaning they were both still in the corridor as the vampire burst out of the room in her usual grandiose way.

    Eyes snapping to the direction of the intruders, Alexstrasza now finally got a good look at the creature that had caused alarm bells to ring in her head... and the more she looked, the more odd it felt.

    Oh yes, that was definitely a familiar. A spider familiar. Not made out of shadows, but perhaps... soul fragments? Ectoplasm? Ghosts? Something else white and wispy? It certainly had the appearance almost akin to a spider made out of spiderweb, but the true composition would take much further inquiry and inspection... and the creature certainly didn't look like it was going to give her the chance. Instead it looked over its shoulder at her, those tiny eight eyes taking in the form of the blond girl... and then, for some reason, it tilted its head.

    Why did that feel so smug? Like the person controlling the familiar was looking down on her?

    Could spiders even look smug?

    And more importantly...

    --- What of this silhouette that the spider had been chasing?

    "Umm...?"

    Lifting her eyes, Alexstrasza finally took in the sight of the much more humanoid intruder... and found herself staring at quite the conundrum. After all, this person... she had never seen this person before, had she? No, definitely not. Despite his apparent age, he was certainly not one of her classmates, and more importantly, the definite smell of mana hung stronger around him. Which, of course, meant that he was most likely another type of intruder entirely.

    Now what to do...



    "... Is there something I can help you with, Miss...?"

    Well, he was certainly being polite, at least.




    John Dove, Anna Vandemeel & Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building – Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "So at least three 'sides' working on this... the school, Gottlieb Pharmaceuticals, and US military..."

    Hwan frowned at the thought.

    "Shit. Why can't anything ever be simple? The school aside, that Big Pharma company just sounds like a bunch of mad scientists doing whatever they want. But the military? That's... eugh. Whatever they're in here for, it can't be anything good. As in, really can't be. The thing with US military is that they outlawed magic, more or less - get away from the rumoured tentacles of a certain shadowy organization of the Old World. But at the same time, they didn't have any natural, home-grown defenses against Turnside left. Esper families always ended up troublesome, so they turned to science and well..." He looked at Kean with a smirk. "It's a good choice but costly. So, we tend to be dealing with government who hoards anything they can use for their own gain and protection when it comes to Turnside. I wonder... is their presence here under similar objectives? Is there something in this town they want?"

    Subaru, who had been listening in on the Korean boy, frowned as well. She absent-mindedly scratched Tonkori behind the ears, though the dog was taking a chance on this moment when everyone was focused on their conversation to sneak bites out of their breakfasts.

    "... The time loop perhaps? Though I have no idea how that could be weaponized. Especially since it is something only few are even aware of. Speaking of which, Michael Lowgate... Hmm. I cannot say it is impossible he might have been able to 'tap into' this phenomena as you say," the wild-haired girl said and nodded towards John. "Spirits are to some extent removed from the shackles of time. Some more than others. But it definitely feels off... or rather, unlikely that it could have made such far-reaching plans with only mere knowledge."

    Zhou raised an eyebrow at that.

    "Well~? What if it had some special ability~?" She asked in her sing-song way. "Or maybe it was in cahoots with someone~? Y'know, one of those types that can calculate future events through information alone~?"

    She paused, for a moment letting a genuine look of annoyance slip through her facade.

    "Not divination, but mathematics... god I hate those types."

    Kean let out a little sigh and shoveled some more food into his mouth, barely saving his bacon from Tonkori.

    "Well, be that as it may, at least the crazy-ass revenant's been dealt with. Whatever he might have known went with him," the boy spoke. "What we should focus on is what we can do. I mean, everyone had some good ideas where to head next, but I doubt we should move as one big group. Rather, we should spread out and investigate as many as possible. Tommy Horse, student listing, Mitchells, the statue, the overlook, the lighthouse..."

    He paused for a moment.

    "... That one still bothers me, though. Eye? A lighthouse lamp that's an eye... but what does it have to do with the statue? And the poem attached to it? And what about the rest of the poem? There's something here... something I can't just put my finger to," he continued, before suddenly roughing up his overly long hair with his fingers. "Gaaahh, I hate it when this happens! It feels like we've almost got an answer here, but something's just not connecting!"

    Ramia nodded.

    "I know the feeling. Though what I'm more bothered by is this... well, let's call it Imaginary Student or something. They're not here, even though they should be. Their name is glitched out on a computer. Assembling everyone is apparently important. So... what's up with them?" The mercenary asked, sipping her coffee. "That has to mean something, no? If this is a 'closed system' or however you want to call it, with variables and settings that make certain scenarios happen, then what would cause someone to just... disappear? Are the conditions not right for this student to even be here?"

    Just like everyone else, the dusky-skinned girl looked like she was starting to get fed up with the amount of questions that had arisen.

    "Grrr... maybe we should just write all this crap down in a list of concise questions we're searching answers for?" She suggested. "List out the things we need answers for. That way, if we spread out today to investigate various things, we'd know exactly what to look for."

    It wasn't the worst suggestion...?

    Though, while others were mulling this over, Anna Vandemeel suddenly got a message from her trusty familiar that she had scouting the school building. Apparently, something was going on near the science classroom. Something that involved Alextrasza Lockhart, Souma Nubatama, an unknown young man and a... white spider?

  7. #4367
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Velvet Room
    Age
    29
    Posts
    6,742
    Blog Entries
    5
    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "..."

    Even seeing it coming, there was just something really annoying about how casually the guy was choosing to ignore her. It had the sort of shameless air that was like a slap in the face, like he was somehow implying she was the strange one for pointing out how him having information he shouldn't have -and then refusing to explain it- was bizarre at best and downright suspicious at worst. Even putting aside the Turnside connotations, a random guy knowing her birth name wasn't a normal occurrence, hell, look at it cynically enough and she might even be able to make a case for his being a stalker of some sort, but...

    「うざい」

    In the end, that's all she says on the matter.

    This had been his chance to come clean on his own, but it wasn't strictly a necessary part of her assignment to even give him that chance in the first place. If the thing in his garage was what she thought it was, then there were would be countless other ways to secure it in the future; moving it around would be risky in a place like this where you can never be sure someone isn't watching you, so it wasn't like she didn't know exactly where it was regardless of if he wanted to talk about it or not.

    Even easier still if she was actually caught up in this temporal loop like the other students. No way to say for sure if that was the case of course, the only evidence supporting it was her own connection to Muse -the thing that seemed to tie the loopers together- but if she did happen to fall tomorrow, well...

    "..."

    ...Not a fun thing to think about by any means, felt a bit too much like giving up, so...

    "Predict the future..."

    ---Future plans are pushed aside, even if only for now.

    There were other obligations in play now.

    Promises to keep.

    People to protect.

    So...

    "Sounds like it'd come in handy, and if they're petroglyphs..." Her footsteps take on a rhythmic pace as her thoughts spin silently, arms crossed against her chest, "You'd probably want the help of the land's native people to find them, those sorts of things tend to be tied to the original population, at least in my experience..."

    She shrugs.

    "Of course if someone knew the future, well... They'd be capable of screwing up all sorts of things..."

    Stacked Deck.

    That was the analogy Nora had used for this mess and it was fitting enough in retrospect. By the traditional definition, stacking the deck was arranging cards in such a way so as to cheat and ensure a certain outcome. Life isn't exactly a game of cards of course, but replace cards with events and the principal remains functionally the same; if someone knew every possible outcome inside of this apparent singularity in advance, it'd be child's play to set things up in such a way that only bad outcomes are possible to achieve...

    Stop one enemy?

    Another you didn't know about will come to get you, or perhaps you'll run into the enemy of a friend instead and go down defending them; the possibilities aren't endless, but close enough that she can already feel the now-too-familiar Road's End headache creeping up the back of her skull, a silent puppet-master likely laughing at her in the darkness.

    Dot wasn't that puppet-master, she was instead her own being that was aware of the loops and trying to arrange things for her own benefit...

    A second stacked deck.

    Doesn't take much to manipulate people, feed em information in their dreams or drop a line about their targets and people would more or less do what you expect them to do... Combine this with the fact that no one in town talks to each other (like the red-haired fool here) and it's a perfect breeding ground for some asshole on their self-styled throne moving everyone around like chess pieces on a giant board...

    ---Pain in the ass.

    The obvious counter strategy to that of course was finding this Petroglyph Cave and actively defying everything it predicts; ruin the enemy's information source and things should even out, but...

    "..."

    She didn't have access to this so called petroglyph cave.

    No real way to find it either, at least not in the time remaining to her.

    Dot was also proving to have agents of her own who were aware of the loop, so even if she did find this cave would she really tell anyone about it? Who can she honestly trust one-hundred percent?

    Probably just Ciel, maybe Sierra and Dorothy.

    Last night the answer to that question might have been different, but well...

    Now her friends were lying to her face.

    Now she had to constantly consider they weren't being honest when she interacted with them, that they were willing to toss her under the bus for their own self-interest.

    It shouldn't be that surprising of course, most people will look out more for themselves than others, but...

    Even knowing that, it still hurts.

    Even if she still wants to help her friends in spite of it, the realization is a bitter pill to swallow.

    Reality isn't nice.

    Even so...

    Put on a positive face Liana, that's what the good guys do, right?

    Set as best an example as you can.


    "Does this spirit have a name? Something like Lucille?"

    In the end, spirits were not really her forte either; her situation certainly brushed the edge of the underworld, but it's not like she really understood the deeper mechanics of such things, what she did know however...

    Was that this probably had something to do with the Lucille back at Pinefall, this town doesn't do coincidences.

    As for Zane, well...

    "Pinefall High School Massacre..."

    Eyes focus on the darkness in front of her.

    "...Sounds like a lot of people lost something that day."

    If he wanted to talk, the impetus to do so was mostly on him with this one.

    She wasn't much a fan of being made out to be a fool.

    "Haven't been told much about it myself... An understandably painful topic..."
    Last edited by Airen; January 21st, 2022 at 01:50 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--"

  8. #4368
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SPACE.
    Age
    26
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,564
    Blog Entries
    5
    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Science Classroom
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I stared suspiciously at the spider, who looked back at me with a smug expression on its tiny face. I glared at it for a moment, extending a hand to allow it to climb onto me. Dearest Potemkin, who could be controlling such a devious creation? Let alone make it so smug... Why would someone use magic to create a mockery of a mockery in order to mock me?

    Curiouser and curiouser.

    I slowly turned away from the spider, still holding out my hand as I awaited its legs to crawl against my skin, tilting my head to the side as I peered at this new intruder.

    "I am a simple chaser of spiders and those they chase," I said to him with a bright smile. "A detector of supernatural happenstances! The type of person who sticks her nose in where it doesn't belong! Wait, hang on, I don't actually do that very often! I am... um..."

    I raised a shaky V with my free hand.

    "A-a student of Pinefall? A-and you are most certainly not one of my professors or classmates!"
    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.


  9. #4369
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,582
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Hmmmm? What's this?

    An adult? An adult with a shiny gold star on his chest? An adult visiting a graveyard on a Saturday, carrying beer and flowers?

    Did the sheriff take enough liquid courage to ditch his weekend shift and come here to bask in bittersweet memories?

    "Do I really have to distract him...?"

    It's not like Mr. Sheriff is bothering anyone right now. He's clearly not here because someone called the cops on us; the flowers prove that much. This has to be a personal visit, of the delicate kind that shouldn't be interrupted. Judging by the six pack, he's either planning on staying here a while, or splitting it with someone else.

    Ooh, what if it's a clandestine meeting with someone in the early hours? A lady, maybe? It's not just his cologne that smells; the stink of humanity is all over this guy.

    Whatever he's doing, I don't really want to interrupt it. But if I leave him alone he'll spot Ahti... no choice then. Please bear with it, human.

    While the sheriff is looking the other way, I dash out from behind the gravestone. The dragon propels me forward even without its motor, and I squeeze behind another, closer grave.

    Heartbeats pass, and then...

    "Ha-!"

    Once more I close the gap. Quickly. Efficiently. Diving from cover to cover.

    How close can I get? How long until he catches me sneaking up on him? It's not a matter of if, but when. That's fine. A distraction isn't a good distraction if no one notices it. In a sense, getting caught is part of my plan.

    "Alright, Mr. Sheriff, let's see how sharp your eyes really are..."
    Last edited by Bloble; January 22nd, 2022 at 11:46 PM.

  10. #4370
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Virtual Tokyo
    Posts
    1,708
    Blog Entries
    3
    “Vier”
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    As I got to a suitable vantage point to observe the area, it made me realize how much the stench of blood was saturating the area. I am slightly worried that Hawthorne is going to use this overpowering smell to his advantage. However, since there was such a powerful saturation blood that I could only come to one conclusion. There was a battle and at the very least someone was severely wounded. The only question was… Whose blood was it? Someone who was already dead? Any further questions had to wait until Colt Davin got closer to investigate the scene.

    The source of the blood was that tiger woman from the lighthouse, and no Hawthorne. The tiger woman was clearly the source of the blood. While it was possible to stabilize her, I didn’t have the time to do so. Hawthorne had time to engage in this fight and still get away. The only upside to this was that Hawthorne possibly blew threw some of his preparations meant for us and was possibly in an easier state to neutralize.

    If Colt Davin thought I was going to stay to help out this person, then he was going to be disappointed. I was softer than I was before, but there were several issues. I was good at normal non-Turnside medicine and that took time. I needed to make tourniquets, bandages, and possibly stitching. I wasn’t capable of using od to stabilize or heal. Combined with her wounds, I wasn’t positive I could stabilize her. With all of these factors, it was easy to make my decision. Without saying any words to Colt Davin, I continued onwards to track down Hawthorne.

  11. #4371
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chaldea Naval Base
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,067
    Blog Entries
    1
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building – Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast



    “Hmm…” A lame sound from a lame individual. “We could go around digging out the skeletons in everybody’s closets, but it all comes down to three major issues.”

    Right index finger goes back up.

    “First: Somebody is trying—no, actually killing us. Somebody who has likely replaced one of the students of Pinefall’s First Class and is currently impersonating him or her, as well as using the guise of the local bogeyman, ‘The Disembodied Man’. To find this person, we have to chase after everything they have done thus far, to know his or her methods, patterns, and motivations. This…crime the Disembodied Man wants us to ‘recollect’; whether it is something we actually did and do not remember, or the criminal is projecting somebody else’s crime on us. Souma and Alexstrasza are already investigating Gabi’s murder, but I will be the first to admit some people may be more adept at criminal investigation than others. There’s also the previous loop…and Miss Feroce. Perhaps…there may be something to glean out of the videotape Alexstrasza received, gruesome as the contents may be. Furthermore, considering that all sorts of deaths and tragedies keep happening at this school, there might be something in investigating these past events, just in case it turns out we have been dragged into the latest iteration of some cycle of Road’s End killings.”

    Idly, he glances at the metallic trinket now properly worn on his left hand. It is an unusual feeling, for he is not accustomed to its weight, or to the sound the chains made with every slight motion of his hand and fingers. This will take a while to get used to.

    “Second: the missing classmate. The list I had access to came from a CD belonging to Dr. Leuzinger, acquired through admittedly unlawful means. Should we look for other student listings, or outright confront the teachers and have us tell us exactly how many students are there supposed to be? What, then, if they do not acknowledge the absence of one student? What would that mean?”

    He raises a final finger.

    “Finally, the loop. More precisely, how it was started, and how it can be broken. Why, if the loop starts on Wednesday morning, our memories of Tuesday differ from those outside the loop. Why Elizaveta Vyraj, the vampire found dead and soulless at the beach on Wednesday morning, appears in our memories as a classmate instead of Xylia Pheme. How do we find the ‘key’ necessary to open the lock that keeps up stuck on this week? What is even the shape of this key? On the other hand, it is likely all these three points are connected, so perhaps resolving at least one may lead us to the answer to the others. Or for all we know the missing classmate is the Disembodied Man. Who knows by this point?”

    He glances at Elaine.

    “By the way, I don’t know if you are already aware of this, but Elizaveta was almost certainly the Ramshack vampire.”

    John then lets his hand rest on the table once more.

    “If you care for my opinion, I would prioritize the matter of the murderer on the loose. If we could put a stop to that, we would have a lot more freedom of action to tackle the other two. I am aware these are just three of many issues, and that each and every single one of you have your…personal affairs, worries, and reasons to be here. I am no exception.”

    Indeed, how could he possibly forget?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Moon
    “...and, in all honesty, that trinket pales in comparison to you yourself, Boy…It may have been how you gazed at the moon which drove you mad and your world grey, but...I wonder if that was it all? No normal human should be able to gaze at me so intently as you did. Perhaps there is a reason as to why death gathers and swirls around you so strongly...”
    Yes, perhaps he should worry about that. There’s also Muse’s divination. And yes, there is the trinket itself, which She called “Her gift.” If John Dove’s savior is not Ramia’s old friend, then how did She get Her hands on Ishtar Irkalla, and why dump it on the child twisted by Her beautiful eyes?

    Closing his eyes, John thinks of the course of attention with the most potential for profit.

    “I would suggest three teams, but…not entirely based on the three major issues I listed. Team One focuses on Gabi’s death, perhaps joining in with Souma and Alexstrasza and listening to their findings. We have to take the initiative against the one intent on hurting us.”

    Reopening his eyes, he lets them roam across the table.

    “Team Two and Three chase after Odin from different directions.”

    Taking a moment to let the words sink in, John then explains himself.

    “References to the One-Eyed God and to Norse mythology keep coming up. On the one hand, there is the Pinefall project, which is secretly a treatment plan for DDS, the disease our teachers believe we all suffer. For a project that outwardly rejects the supernatural, it is thoroughly clad with occult terms and trappings: the drug developed to combat DDS is called after Thor’s hammer, and the file showing the logo for that same drug was named ‘WUOTAN’, depicting T4I in an arrangement resembling the Hanged Man.”

    John flips both hands, presenting open palms to his classmates.

    “On the other hand, there’s the local references, like the poem that uses the single-eye allegory for the lighthouse, and the Unknown Pioneer itself. Souma mentioned that it reminded him of Odin. There is also the unusual number of one-eyed people in the area, which may or may not be connected to Dot F. Loonwaters, the ‘woman with the eyepatch laughing in the woods’, who apparently only exists inside people’s dreams. Prushka lost an eye to her in the previous loop, and the loss extended to the waking world. Cannot say whether she gained any particular wisdom from that. Anyway, I bet there are more references scattered around that I am not yet aware of.”

    He makes a V with his left hand, chain links clattering softly.

    “One group would go after the Pinefall project through all its available actors: school faculty, Gottlieb pharma, and also this ‘Pinkerton’ who appeared in Dr. Leuzinger’s document, who apparently also contributed to the project. I question the prudency or feasibility of cornering down the Air Force people, but I would leave that to the group’s own judgment. This group should also locate Momoi and learn whatever she knows. She was the one who investigated the hospital thoroughly last night.”

    “The other group would pursue the local references; see how they connect back to the Pinefall project. I’m talking about both the lighthouse and the statue, while looking for further connections. This group…would likely benefit from Elise Marie Pelltier’s accumulated knowledge. I know she’s the one who has been thoroughly investigating Road’s End’s history.”

    “The purpose of both groups is, of course, to identify the full extent of the plot, or the web of plots, unfolding all around us, and see which of them leads us to any of the three major points I listed.”

    Again, his throat is parched. He really has been speaking too much lately.

    “We have collected far too many dots thus far. It is about time we start connecting them.”

  12. #4372
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Age
    28
    Posts
    15,961
    Blog Entries
    3
    Colt Davin
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "....*Cough*... figures... When I f-finally catch up to you, thief... I'm already *cough* dying..."

    A voice on the verge of death, eyes filled with hatred, and so much blood that Colt felt himself turn nauseous from the sight of it, the smell of it, the presence of it.

    The owner of the dying, hateful voice clutched at the hole in her chest. Her orange and black hair merged with the fur covering her body, from her cat-like tail to the tips of her fingers. Fingers which pressed against her wound, blood slipping through the gaps and staining her fur a deeper red. Eyes with a sharp, feline slit stared at Colt, and for a moment he stared back at them.

    He had never expected anything like this. Chasing Hawthorn, following the overpowering scent of bloodshed, he was prepared even to die, but the sight of this non-human took him aback.

    All the while, nothing happened. Colt heard no gunshots, no rustle of the leaves. The voice of his classmate did not call out to him. It was as though he was alone with this dying predator.

    Colt swallowed down the shock.

    “Thief?” Why had she called him a thief? Him, specifically? This denizen of the Turnside, her hatred was focused. She wasn’t mistaking him for somebody else, was she? The scorn leveled at him was too genuine to be a misunderstanding. Not only that, but the sight of her reminded him of something. Someone. “I…”

    Nothing else came out, and Colt stared at the dying girl. Seeing her, he couldn’t help but assume that she must be the sister Ru is searching for. Ru and his sister were looking for something in Road’s End. Was that something what she thought he had stolen?

    What had he stolen?

    He glanced to his sides, at the sea of trees, for a sign, but there came only silence. He turned back to the girl, his eyes drawn to the gaping hole in her chest as if by a magnet, even though he didn’t want to look upon such a gory sight.

    She’s a goner. This is probably a trap, a diversion. Hawthorn could be watching, waiting for us to do something. Or while I’m here he’s getting even further away. I can’t do anything for her, I should just…

    Colt’s thoughts turned around, as did his head. Twisting his neck, the young man stared into the sea of trees, back the way he came.

    He swallowed again.

    There’s no way. She’s lost too much blood. We can’t make it in time. She needs more than quick first-aid. She needs to be taken to a hospital or something. And where would I even…

    A certain smiling face returned to the forefront of his thoughts. One so-called “doctor” that ran her own clinic, taking unorthodox payments.

    … god dammit.

    Colt whispered.

    Turning around, he faced the girl again, and started towards her.

    “I don’t care about this thief nonsense. I took something from you? You can have it back. We can sort it out later. You’re going to die if we don’t do something, so come with me. If we trek through the woods, we can get to the Spade Queen. From there I can get you to a clinic for treatment.” Colt looked up at the canopy overhead and spoke aloud. “Sorry, Vier. I’m not leaving someone in front of me to die, even if they’re a stranger.”

    He looked back down at the bleeding animal-like girl.

    “I bet you’re Ru’s sister, right? He’s looking for you. I don’t want to tell him I found you and left you to die.” Colt put his hand forward for her to take. “Come on. I don’t care if you hate me. I’ll let you take out whatever you’ve got against me when we get to the Doc’s place.”


  13. #4373
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Mellon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Luxembourg
    Age
    31
    Posts
    4,126
    Blog Entries
    1
    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building – Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    “Mhm…”

    Anna listened to John’s lists, both of them, even as she felt consternation rising in her chest. There were too many factors at play here. Too many dangling threads pull them in separate directions, each with its own intertwined mysteries. Zhou might be on to something… “calculation of the future” might be the only way one could predict the movement of a system at this level of complexity. Even if it was some loony from the Viewing Pool, their precognition would be more limited to specific events and locations. The current scale was simply too large.

    But the scale in itself presented a problem.

    “…do you think we have enough time to “solve” all these problems, though? Remember, we are on a clock of sorts.” Anna’s eyes were clouded in thought. “Planning for success is great and all, but what if we don’t figure all of it out by tomorrow?”

    In fact, even if they did manage to “pierce the veil” so to speak, they would still need to deal with the shades behind the scenes. Knowledge would only put them on equal footing with whatever was aiming for their downfall, nothing more. The other, silent, question of “What then?” echoed deep in her mind.

    “No. It's likely that even if we figure things out, whoever is behind the scenes will still try to pull us down by tomorrow.” A deep sigh escaped her lips. “The shades of this place won’t suddenly vanish to the aether nice and kind, even if we manage to figure out their shape and goals.”

    “The fundamental problem is that we are too easy to pick off separately while we are all carrying out our independent investigations. And going after everything with the numbers we have at the moment will spread us dangerously thin. Hell, some of the others might have already figured out half the things that we are trying to pin down right now. “

    “Nevermind, if things will keep on moving onwards like this, everyone will be running around like headless chickens tomorrow as well. For example, how can we even begin to figure out an impostor in our midst, or even survive tomorrow, if everyone is separated into their own tiny clusters.”

    “We should probably have a countermeasure… no, we should have unity, even before that.” The girl in red gave a wry shake of her head before continuing. “…Jeez, I can’t believe that I’m the one actually suggesting this.”

    “…we should just eff it and bring the entire class, or everyone we can, on the same page. Considering everything we know about the people in our class... the chance of us breaking the facade is close to zero. Even if we do, the circumstances of this place will kill us far faster than the World will. Maybe just knock out the teacher during class and bring it up then and there. Or just fuck them and bring it up regardless.” The witch let out a dismissive snort. “Who knows? If they are linked to these Gottlieb labcoat spooks then this might generate a shock large enough to knock their rails out of place as well.”

    Perhaps her mindset was incorrect in this regard. Perhaps the correct way was to simply follow each puzzle to their ultimate end like in an elaborate detective novel and only then would they gain freedom. A perfect key to open the locked door in front of them. Unfortunately, Anna Vandemeel was no Miss Marple or Kalle Blomkvist. She was far more likely to break down the door than try and solve some elaborate locking puzzle. A bull in a china shop, nothing more.

    She knew that better than anyone.

    “Well, leaving that aside, I can agree with most of the goals that you highlighted, Dove. I’m probably best suited to looking into Gabi’s death.” A solemn look flashed on Anna’s face for a moment. “… that kinda stuff is more in my wheelhouse, anyway. Especially since we're gonna have to put down this "impostor" one way or another.”

    “On the other hand, it's also probably better if I’m around when you guys go to meet the Mitchells. I’ve probably had more contact with them than anyone else here and I’m the only one who has actually been to their place. They’re more likely to op…” Just as she said that Anna’s eyes glazed over for a moment as a familiar presence touched her mind. “…hmm, you said Nubatama and Lockhart were looking into Gabi’s death? Well, it seems they’ve found someone who definitely isn’t a part of Pinefall… though I suppose that in itself isn’t particularly rare.”

    A brief pause, before a question was raised to the table.

    “Anyone had any contact with white spiders lately? Some type of familiar, if I had to put my finger on it.”

  14. #4374
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle Cheetose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Age
    28
    Posts
    539
    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Old Train Yard
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    "I'm...not sure," I said slowly after a moment of silence, "I think there was...something that we passed, but not sure what."

    How did I forget? Even with all that went down, I should have remembered, if just vaguely. Especially with the usual stimuli that would normally bring deeply lodged, seemingly unimportant memories to the front, when something similar to them occurs in the present. Yet, other than the recollection of a building, something that did not quite fit into the almost monotonous tree lines and grassy fields, my mind was drawing blanks.

    But then, even if I remembered, what difference would it make? Whether or not it was actually there did not really matter, and was far less vexing than the fact that it proved to be such a difficulty to remember. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that the day of our arrival here was before the night when we met Muse? Or maybe because we looped? Most of our memories were intact, however, it already became obvious that there were some irregularities...

    Not that there was much we could do about that.

    "Well, not like it really matters anyways, does it? Regardless of the building, the person we are looking for is almost certainly not there - which makes investigating a moot point for the time being."

    My gaze turned towards To-Totesh, who was still busy packing her notebook away carefully into her bag;

    "Still, good job," I noted with a faint smile, "It will likely be important later, and I have a feeling that we wouldn't have even realized that it was there otherwise."

    Though, with that out of the way, came the question of the more important matters...

    And as such, I dropped my own bag on the ground and crouched beside it for a moment to fish out a few of the napkin wrapped sandwiches I prepared earlier, only to then step in front of Ashley and hand them over to him.

    "Here. Probably better than...whatever you were eating," I said, my expression still serious but free of any contempt, "And free of any trackers. However they would even sneak those into a slice of ham or lettuce."

    Made me wonder once more just how much sense all the stuff he said made.

    "It would also be convenient to just sit down and talk in peace, but as you can see, our time is limited. Besides, I'm still not entirely sure about the deal with you, or how exactly we could help you."

    My eyebrows rose slightly as I felt to be at a bit of a loss, quite uncertain about where I was supposed to go with this conversation - especially after how awkward I made it just not long ago.

    "You seem to be managing just fine, if something."

    My eyes lingered on him for a few more seconds, before I lifted my bag up over my shoulder again and turned to look towards the rest of the group, and the warehouse not far in the distance.

    "Sure, I can explain as we go," I replied to Mercedes finally, "Though, it would take a while if I included every last detail. If there's something specific you're interested in, you should just ask."

  15. #4375
    for me, there is (you) Katie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    the saint's temptation
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    4,728
    Blog Entries
    1
    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    “In that case, maybe there’s an easy solution,” Lucille says, mulling the facts over. The families in Pinefall that could have held Gram were obviously tied to the supernatural. Quite frankly, Michael also simply knew too much. And, they had been deliberately profiled to meet Pinefall’s downright esoteric requirements, whatever they may be. “Someone at the school, or someone in this town associated with the school’s new faculty, fed him information. Who else is privy to such knowledge?”

    “A very long time ago in the previous loop… I met Hwan, who said that in Miss Min’s office, there are extensive psychological profiles of every student. And that makes sense, of course, but from the sounds of it they were awfully detailed despite involving people they’d been working with for days…” It’s hard for her to truly remember the details of that conversation, but she does not want to consider the alternative. “As uncomfortable as it is, I assume we’ve already been monitored from the start. To an absurd degree.”

    “As for the theory Michael was looping with us… If Muse is the reason for us to retain our memories, would it be a property of the lighthouse? But I find it unlikely, personally. Though his knowledge was extremely detailed… I don’t think it’s anything from meeting us before. Rather… it makes me feel as if there was never anyone to trust with our secrets,” she continues, glancing at Elise. It’s true, her explanation has no answer for how he knew about Elise’s situation so well. But the idea of Michael being in their same situation seemed so… Then again, anything is possible at this point. She has no real argument, just hunches.

    “Oh, Samuel,” she says after a pause, her train of thought suddenly derailed. “Do you know if Jack Kincaid goes by a different name now? Any relation to the Jack Pinkerton who runs the country club, or is it just as mundane as two people named Jack?”

  16. #4376
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    I'll go to sleep soon.
    Posts
    6,730
    Blog Entries
    71
    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    Zane stayed quiet for a moment, their footfalls echoing in the clammy darkness of the old tunnels.

    "... When it happened, I lost someone who meant a lot to me. Someone who helped more than they realized," the redhead spoke, grimly, with a tone of a man much older than he was. "Ever since then, I've been trying to repay the favor - in any way I can. Take any chance I get, do any job I can, just so I could..."

    He paused for a moment, earning a curious glance from Jayesh. Indeed, what the redhead was saying wasn't exactly strange. It was like he had been trained to morph his words into something that would not arouse suspicions if you didn't know what to listen for. But having some guesses about the true nature of the young man definitely made what he said suspect... and that bitter desperation that lay hidden somewhere on the other side of his stare.

    Liana had seen one person in her life with eyes like that.

    Her boss.

    And when asked about it, what he said was simply...

    [There's nothing more dangerous than a traveller armed with regrets.]

    "... Well, you know what I'm talking about, Jay. Right?" Zane glanced towards the other boy. "It's that same old what if. If you could go back, or if you could do something different... would you? No matter what it took? For example, if something happened to your sister."

    A grim look passed by the Indian boy's face.

    "--- Can't say I wouldn't."

    His reply was terse, that of a person who didn't even want to entertain the thought - yet couldn't help himself.

    "That's what I'm talking about," Zane continued with a nod, before glancing towards Liana. "It's no secret than in this world, people who want to help their loved ones can go to the furthest lengths - further than any devil could ever imagine."

    Well... that certainly sounded ominous. Even Jayesh seemed to realize that, as he kept staring at the redhead for a quiet while, as if inspecting what was truly going in his head. However, Zane remained as aloof and curt as ever, despite the surprising showcase of emotion just now. It was like a shell - no, like a sturdy wall he had built around himself. Like he had been burned so many times that he no longer let anything get close... or perhaps, he did it because he didn't want to burn anyone who came in contact with.

    "Well, as for the spirit..." Jayesh suddenly spoke up, trying to switch topics. "We did hear that it was supposed to answer to the name Faraday. A golden-haired spirit of mercy... or so Jack described it. The rest was... convoluted. Or rather, incomprehensible. Opinions coloured by subjective memories of the far-off past. What he's looking for is not - probably - the spirit itself, but the person he remembers from his past. And that's not mentioning the fact that since she's not here, or we haven't found him..."

    Jayesh frowned.

    "Is that person from 21 years ago even dead in the first place?"




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

    "A student of Pinefall...?"

    Looking rather curious, the ashen-haired young man tilted his head. His eyes took in the sight of Alexstrasza, seemingly studying her... and then, just for a moment, they stopped at the spider that was now crawling up to the girl's hand. He rubbed his chin, closing his eyes for just a moment in deep thought... until what seemed to be realization finally dawned upon him. Wait, it actually did? How did he come up with something just from her self-introduction and how she treated this spider?

    ... And for that matter, where was Souma?

    "... Aah. I see. A student of 'Pinefall', I see," the young man said, making air-quotes with a gently amused expression. "This might be rude of me to ask, but would you happen to be an exchange student from eastern Europe? The 'dark' country? From a school with a rather... draconian reputation, I might say?"

    He chuckled to himself, as if pleased as to having solved a riddle.

    "Forgive me, you're not the first of that school I've met, and you all tend to be rather... enthusiastic about fitting in. Suspiciously so," he added. "But if that is the case, then I suppose there is nothing to worry about. Well, nothing except for..."

    His eyes glanced over to the spider who now sat on Alexstrasza's hand.

    "... Who has been spying on me, I wonder?"

    The wispy-white spider, like a ghost of an insect, sat weightlessly on the vampire's hand and stared up at her. Through those eight eyes, the girl was sure she could feel the gaze of someone else. In other words, a familiar. Definitely, a familiar. Only... perhaps slightly more advanced than hers? Or just older make? A more sturdy, more rigid formula? Ectoplasm-like spiritual energies instead of straight up shadows. But, aside from that, the make was... similar.

    Disturbingly similar.

    No, not just similar.

    --- It was like she was looking at the grandfather of her own spider.

    But, how was that even...?

    She had been able to call her familiar for as long as she remembered, right? A spell only for her? So why... why would someone know an exact same type of familiar-constructing formula? Why would someone...?

    --- Suddenly.

    Stinging pain.

    Like a bolt of migraine running through her brain.

    With it came a vision.

    --- Small village.

    --- Burning pyres.

    --- Ash in the air, soot on her face, shadows dancing amidst the flames.

    --- And looking down on her child-like form, a moonlit silhouette clad like a general.

    --- With a towering arachnid of alabaster white looming behind her.


    And then... it was gone.

    Like a snap of the fingers. And what remained was...

    The small spider, looking up at her with a knowing smile.




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

    "What the---!?"

    It had been a good plan, more or less. Playing things up sneakily to arouse the sheriff's suspicions and get him to investigate who on earth was scootering behind the gravestones. It might have even allowed Prushka to stretch things until she was caught. Unfortunately, she didn't take one thing into account. One rather important thing. Namely, the fact that the sheriff, having headed here to the cemetery, was quite lost in his own thoughts.

    And that's why he didn't even notice when Prushka dove out from behind the last of the gravestones, and instead stepped right in her path---!

    "Hup!"

    Still, as absent-minded as the man had been, he managed to save both of them from an embarrassing collision by side-stepped quickly, like someone who had taken few martial arts lessons. At the same time, showing quick thinking, he pushed the pink scooter's back wheel into the soft ground with his foot, causing it to come to an immediate halt. Judging by the look on his face, it was so he could give one hell of an admonishment to whichever punk was using the graveyard as their personal playground, but when he saw the girl straddling the vehicle... a look of confusion appeared on his face.

    Until eventually replaced by a dawning realization.

    "... Huh. You're one of the Pinefall kids, aren't you?" The sheriff asked, removing his leg from the back wheel of the scooter. "Sorry about that - guess my punk-catching instincts took over there. Though really..."

    He frowned like a disappointed parent.

    "This is no playground, girl. You should know better than to ride your scooter at a cemetery," he lightly scolded her, before relaxing his expression once more. "... Well, not that I expected the dead to mind. The only tight-asses here are buried in their separate little McLampet Lot."

    He chuckled a bit, then put the beers and the flowers under one arm and squatted down a little, offering the other to Prushka.

    "Sorry if I gave you a scare. The name's Michael. Michael Kennedy. The town's sheriff," he introduced himself. "And what might be the name of the charming young lady who almost ran over me?"

    He sounded rather amused during his question. Indeed, rather than actually being serious, it was the type of compliment that a man who was used to working with kids was good with. The one that almost instantly pegged his nature as that of a "father-like", "older-brother-like", or perhaps more accurately, a "cool uncle".

    Yes, looking at him, he seemed to be one of the rare, natural cool uncles that sometimes appeared in the wild.




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

    "... R-Ru...?"

    Her voice was quiet, more like a surprised whisper, when she spoke that name. Spoke it in a way someone would when they had lost all hope, but had then been granted a pinprick of light in the darkness. It didn't matter even if it came from someone she clearly despised. No, just hearing the name of that boy - for a moment - made all of that anger and pain just wash away from her face. Instead what was left behind was an incredulous stare, a mouth agape and eyes too scared to even hope... and yet she did.

    As if the mere notion that her brother was still out her had managed to make her strike her claws to the ground and hold on, even though she was about to fall through death's door.

    "He's... alive...?" The girl whispered, still sounding shocked. "But... how... that thing, it went after him and..."

    No good. While the revelation had given her strength to hold on, the girl was too shocked to even realize Colt was holding out his hand. And on top of that, she had lost a lot of blood... a lot of blood. Just one look at her legs and how they were shivering told Colt enough. She wouldn't be able to walk, much less run. And time was of the essence if he wanted Dr. Canseliet to save her.

    Thus, there was only one thing to do.

    And that was to just pick up her shivering body - which was surprisingly light - and bolt it through the forest, back to the Junk Beast.

    There was no other way.

    "H-hey, what...!?"

    As Colt hefted the beast-like girl up, her eyes shot wide and she seemed to come back to her senses. The pain was too much to let her voice her protests loudly, but it was clear she didn't much care for this turn of events. She squirmed and struggled, or at least, she tried. However, her strength had left her already, and all it did was stain Colt's clothes with blood.

    "D-dammit, let me... let me go...! I...!" The girl protested, eyes focused on the boy, trying to make her anger flare up again. "I'd... I'd rather die than, be... saved by you...!"

    She grasped a hold of Colt's shoulder, and her claws dug into his skin - sharply and painfully.

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

    However, her delirious voice was nothing more than a pathetic plea at this point, rather than a demand with any sort of force behind it.

    "Give back... the
    Bileygr...!" The girl murmured, trying to stay conscious. "The scope... give it... back..."

    Her eyes were barely staying open at this point.

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




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

    The forest, as it turned out, proved to be a monster in its own right.

    While the decision to leave behind the wounded were-being and Colt had been an easy one, following Hawthorn's tracks... was not. Indeed, as Vier jogged deeper and deeper into the woods, she began to understand why the students had been warned, time and time again, from not venturing too deep into the Ghostwood. The pines were growing taller, and they were blocking out all the light. Sycamore trees bent overhead, their branches like skeletal fingers reaching downwards to grasp at whoever was foolish enough to venture this far out.

    Shadows were growing deeper, cutting sharper - almost overpowering.

    And it was starting to get harder to even pinpoint where she ahd come from.

    The only thing to give her focus was the tracks that she tried to keep following... and what she found not too far from where the wounded girl had been.

    --- Remains of a trap. A bent, spry, young tree that had been sharpened into a spear, and probably rigged to pierce anyone who stepped on the tripwire.

    A little go-away present from Hawthorn, which - judging by the blood - had been what got the animal-like girl.

    Not only that, but down there, in the bloodied undergrowth, she also spotted another item. A small metal contraption that was smeared with the crimson liquid as well.

    A tracker?

    Or something that emitted a signal?

    The tiny transmitter definitely looked like one.

    But then... who had followed it? The girl? Is that why she had ended up triggering the trap, and stumbled on their way?

    But if that was the case, then...

    ... Had Hawthorn predicted that he'd have pursuers, and had done all of this to slow them down?

    Just what was going on...?




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

    "Hmm..."

    When Mercedes had said that she wanted more in-depth explanation, she had definitely meant it. She had asked about every last detail and pumped all the information about Hisa's vision that she could - down to the voices and apparent ages of all the people present. Once she had finished interrogating the scarred girl, the actress had fallen silent, quietly humming to herself as she rubbed her forehead, deep in thought. Indeed, the starlet was most likely trying to employ her one true weapon - her little grey cells. While she might not have been useful in a Turnside battle, this was the type of stuff she excelled at. Taking look at all the fine details and seeing if she could come up with any new observations about them.

    "Still... That Ash is a strange old guy for sure," Pyry grunted, glancing over his shoulder where they had left the supposed hobo. "What do you think he meant with what he said just now?"

    The question was addressed to Hisa, and it was a good one. Indeed, before they left, the old man had thanked Hisa for the sandwich and sat down to eat it... but he had also told her that even if she did not have time now, that was alright. According to him, he'd always be here when he wasn't out drinking, and if the girl ever found enough time to do so, she was always welcome to have a more proper chat.

    "W-well, it's not like he can help it!" Allene commented, smiling rather awkwardly. "I mean, gosh... from what I can understand, M---Josie said that something happened to him in the past. Something that left him a bit, um, disturbed. He has a hard time separating reality from his delusions anymore, and that's why he's, um... like that. But I don't think he's a bad guy. Just a guy with lots of... regrets."

    Pyry quietly nodded.

    "Painful skeletons in the closet, huh...?" He asked, before sighing a little. "I guess most of us can relate in that sense. Would be nice if we had something that could help with his clarity, though."

    To-Totesh raised an eyebrow.

    "Medication, maybe?" She asked, causing Pyry to snort.

    "Maybe."

    While they had talked, the group had finally arrived in front of the warehouse that Hisa had been leading them to. Immediately, the scarred girl could notice that there was something off about this supposedly old building. Despite its apparent age, the roof and the walls were sturdy and tough... most likely reinforced too. Not only that, but the large hangar door that blocked their way inside seemed tough enough to repel gunfire. All of this was only clear upon closer inspection, but still... this was definitely built by people who wanted to hide something.

    What also raised some suspicions was the numberpad attached next to the door, which probably acted as the lock - and seemingly required a four-digit password to open.

    "... If that prisoner is, like, alive, I certainly hope he has some answers. Because, like, I'm starting to have so many questions it's not even funny," Mercedes finally spoke up, glancing at Hisa. "Though the first and foremost is, like... 'That Being?' Some being they want to catch... and they failed at it before? Hrm..."

    The starlet frowned.

    "Got any idea, Nancy Drew? And like, why is it necessary for us to have 'normal lives' if they wanna catch that thing or whatevah? Almost makes it sound like the whole Pinefall's just, like, a trap or something for 'That Being' the big metal woman was talking about," Mercedes continued, before groaning a little and shaking her head. "... I really need, like, a how-to guide for all this supernatural shit. I feel so out of my element here it's not even funny... and speaking of which."

    She pointed her thumb at the numberpad-lock besides the door.

    "Any idea how to open that?"




    Elise Pelltier & Lucille Faraday
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Ah, here."

    Taking the napkin back for a moment, Samuel scribbled another address there - this one seemingly for some lonesome forest road deep in the Ghostwood. Deep enough that after some thinking, he added some additional directions underneath it before passing the thing back to Elise.

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

    He made a gesture of picking up a telephone and then shook his head.

    "Just, be careful if you decide to go. Isaac is a nice dude, but his family can be... terse. And imposing. They usually don't mean anything by it, that's just how they are, but..." He paused for a moment, before sighing. "... Well, things could have changed, of course. It's been... quite a while since I've had any dealings with the Kincaids."

    The smile on the young man's face was somewhat sardonic one.

    "Still, what comes to your theory, it might be plausible. Do you have any idea who might be... let's say, skilled enough to get a deep dive into those psych-profiles and not get caught? And pass that information along to wherever Michael was holed up before the lighthouse? I'd say that's a start... because if he's capable of 'looping' with you lot, there's unfortunately not lot we can do," Samuel continued somewhat grimly. "And what comes to your other question... Jack Pinkerton? Hmm. I haven't heard the name. I sensed something was being built... in fact, there was a huge amount of construction work at Road's End at some point in the past I feel, when my existence was hazy and I had hard time experiencing the world. Still..."

    He put a hand over his left eye.

    "Does he wear an eyepatch? Dirt-blonde hair? A somewhat uncouth guy?" He asked. "If so, I'd say they're the same. In which case... Jack has balls. It's like he up and left, only to come back and muscle into the Kincaid-family's business as a competitor."

  17. #4377
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Velvet Room
    Age
    29
    Posts
    6,742
    Blog Entries
    5
    Liana Skye/Sora Hikari
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club - Bunker
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast


    The eyes of a person whose soul has begun to die.

    There is a certain inherent cruelty to the life of a traveler that even the most optimistic must accept, a ruthlessness born of unshakeable convictions clashing with a World that is just as unshakeable in it's roots. They are eyes that bring a momentary stop to the turbulent emotions that have been burning through her all morning, eyes that make her acknowledge the red-haired youth as a dangerous individual for the first time since she had met him, that he might actually be the sort of person she might have to destroy in the end if that stare holds the sort of meaning she thinks it does, and eyes...

    That awaken her inner senior.

    ---In the end, that might be what she is; in a sort of roundabout sense.

    Even if only temporally, that look makes her want to say something to the young man.

    Of course it's pointless to do so, he isn't listening to her and is showing signs of going down a bad road; you don't just say things like being worse than the devil for a loved one's sake if you hadn't considered doing those sorts of things for their sake, the violent, desperate strategies, born from whatever convenient excuse you tell yourself at the time; she's not unfamiliar with those excuses of course, those words aren't untrue, when it comes down to it everyone was willing to do a lot more for their loved ones than they might like to admit to themselves...

    In that sense, maybe it'd be hypocritical of her to say something about it.

    She's not really in the sort of mood that lends itself well to comforting speeches, to be frank, the boy's attitude is annoying in a perfectly comprehensible way. The outbursts of emotion before a retreat to an aloof self, it's infuriating, it's the sort of behavior that begs for help and shuns it at the same time, and that's why...

    "Yeah, that's no secret... Do what you must to protect your family, I can't say something like that is wrong." She glances at Zane, before looking ahead into the darkness, "I'd do the same thing, come back as a ghost to finish the job if I had to. That's the older sibling role, I get it."

    ...She's got to say something about it.

    "I used to be one myself."

    ---For a moment.

    Just a moment...

    A sort of pained something appears in her words, the bitter slip of someone who had to live with something she can't change even now...

    But as quickly as it had come, it disappears back into the darkness of her heart.

    After all, if she doesn't bury it...

    It's a feeling that'd spread and turn her outright venomous.

    "Anyway... Just be careful with that sort of thinking, if you destroy yourself helping someone who cares about you... You're just causing them a different sort of pain."

    She shrugs.

    "If you don't listen to anything else I say today, listen to that much at least."

    ---Pretty ironic, for her to say something like that with a straight face. It's the sort of irony that might bring a broken sort of smile to her face, if not for the deathly calm that had settled over her the moment she had tossed her feelings aside on the matter and put back on her metaphorical mask. Time travelers are dangerous, give someone the ability to do events over again and it'll become an obsession if they're not careful; everything suddenly feels a bit more like your fault, the sense of responsibility shifts, giving up on doing something starts to feel cruel, like you're condemning others to fate, and the repeating motions of all of these things...

    Burn out who you are if you can't make peace with them.

    Time can be cruel, as can memories.

    Overwhelmingly so.

    ---But you can't help people who won't help themselves.

    "But a Faraday... Golden hair..."

    That describes Lucille alright, of course that just opens up a whole different can of worms.

    "She might not be dead, the lighthouse curse doesn't sound like something that is easily escaped by anyone in town, so her soul sounds like it'd be there if she was dead..."

    This particular mystery has little to do with her, so how much she actually cares about it is questionable, but...

    "I know a blonde Faraday girl, we sang together once." She frowns, hands returning to her pockets. "But unless she's a lot older than she looks I doubt it's the girl Jack's looking for... Then again, you never know with our sort of people..."

    Her pace speeds up a bit.

    "Everyone wants to be young forever."
    Last edited by Airen; February 6th, 2022 at 06:37 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--"

  18. #4378
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    SPACE.
    Age
    26
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    2,564
    Blog Entries
    5
    Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Science Classroom
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    I-Impossible! H-how could he uncover my identity so quickly?! Dearest Potemkin, although our investigative skills are great, it appears that we still have a lot to learn about the art of supernatural detection. I examined my sleeve for a moment with suspicion, wondering if there was any arcane taint covering it that unveiled my presence. Sadly, with my meagre abilities, I was unable to detect anything. W-wait where was Souma?! H-How did he slip out of my vision!? This place... It's really filled with some truly incredible people...

    "I-Indeed!" I said, turning my V into a swift thumbs up, and giving him a bright smile. "It is good to hear how our reputation oft precedes us, is it not?"

    I puffed out my chest proudly, giving the spider a smug look. It was to be expected that my grand and wondrous teacher, and his practical jokes, were well-known throughout the land. In fact, wasn't it a bit odd most people I met had no idea what Scholomance was in the first place? This school was infested with the turnside, and yet everyone seems like a total outsider! Where's my rightfully earned recognition, Potemkin?! Isn't this a little bit unfair!?

    As he called out my newest and smallest friend as a spy, I opened my lips to defend it before --

    A vision. A place I'd seen before. Aflame. Burning, burning, watching as fires lick down the hills and cover the buildings. Staring, peering down with wide eyes with an emotion I can't quite recognize.

    Someone is there with me. Someone I know very, very, well. And behind her, looms a behemoth in the form of a spider.

    I smile back at the spider kindly, placing my hand on top of my head to allow for the spider to find a more comfortable spot to perch itself as I affixed the person accusing it with a frown.

    "A spider could never be a spy," I said, folding my arms as the spider crawled around the top of my head. "Perhaps a friendly watcher, or a persistent acquaintance, but a spy? To spy is the work of worms and flies and other insects that crawl through grime. They are some of our bravest friends and most constant companions. Would you deny a hound his right to howl? A cat their right to hunt? A spider their right to witness? If you are being watched, it is by none other then a great friend!"

    I smiled, bright and wide.

    "Besides, I happen to know a little of this spider, and I think they would be most put out if I were to allow you to call them a spy!"
    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.


  19. #4379
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canadia
    Gender
    Male
    Posts
    11,582
    JP Friend Code
    http://forums.nrvnqsr.com
    Blog Entries
    5
    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Waaa-!"

    A foot stomps on the back of the dragon, halting its speedy advance - but not mine. Flying through the air, there is only enough time to consider that seat belts were perhaps a great invention after all, before inevitable collision with either the target or the ground. The collision that never comes, because the sheriff's quick hand arrests my flight just before face meets mud. A dizzying counterattack from a place of absolute surprise. Even caught off-guard, he instantly neutralized the assailant. These moves can only be those of a seasoned pro.

    "Whoa..." It takes but a few seconds for the world to stop spinning. The concerned slash worried face of an handsome uncle comes into focus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheriff McDreamy
    "Sorry if I gave you a scare. The name's Michael. Michael Kennedy. The town's sheriff. And what might be the name of the charming young lady who almost ran over me?"



    "C-charming..."

    Forget 'cute'; this insult's on a whole new level!

    "Um, I'm, uh... t-thanks, you too... I-I mean, s-sorry for, y'know..."

    This is bad. He's crushed my balance both physically and emotionally. Regroup, Prushka Robinson! Remember why you're here!

    Straightening, I clear my throat, not that it was empty in the first place, and take the Sheriff's solid hand, pulling myself up. Then I fold my arms and stand proudly atop my steed.

    "I'm Prushka! Just Prushka! That's 'just' as in 'only', not Juste or Jost or any last name like that! 'Cus I don't got one! And I'm totally a punk! I've even smoked and had boozed and done tons of illegal stuff!"

    Smooth. Reeeeal smooth. All that yelling is gonna put more wrinkles on his face. But that's fine; Michael Kennedy is clearly used to dealing with unruly kiddos and I'm used to being one, so it'll turn out fine like this. And since apparently the whole town knows the Pinefall kids are a bit loco, that means I don't have to pretend to be normal, right?

    Turn down the volume dial. There we go. "Um, this here dragon's important." Pat, pat. The handle of the scooter rumbles beneath my touch. "It's for getting around, but it's also for outrunning monsters and people and stuff. You'd expect there to be someone sinister in a graveyard, right? So did I. But I didn't see anything like that, so it's a bust."

    A cemetery visited regularly is unlikely to spawn a spirit, but it wouldn't be unheard of. Not this one, though. We couldn't even find the corpse we were looking for.

    "Whatcha doing here on a Saturday with beer and flowers, Mr. Kennedy? Is there a ghost that needs busting? Some perp to toss in jail? Or-." I affix the lawman with a stare, watching for any twitch. "Are your feelings spinning out of control?"

  20. #4380
    Click the moon for extra scenes Verg Avesta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    I'll go to sleep soon.
    Posts
    6,730
    Blog Entries
    71
    Prushka?
    Location: St. Diane Cemetery
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 10.09.1994 (SAT)
    Weather: Overcast

    "I see... so a true-blue delinquent out and about on a Saturday, looking for trouble?"

    Michael Kennedy chuckled at Prushka's explanation, seemingly not at all bothered by her admission that she had done all sorts of things not suitable for children. Chances are, he didn't exactly believe her... or, perhaps, he did, but didn't see it as anything to raise a fuss about. Indeed, though he had a somewhat tough and rugged exterior, the man himself seemed to be surprisingly laid back for a law enforcement type.

    That might have also explained the beer he was carrying.

    "Well, can't fault you for that. Just keep your search for the proper sort of trouble - not the stupid stuff," Michael continued, glancing at Prushka with one eye mischievously closed. "Stupid stuff's the type that'll get you actually hurt, and is not something you can laugh about afterwards."

    He sounded like he was speaking from experience.

    "As for myself, well..." He nodded towards the nearby row of graves, inviting Prushka to walk alongside as he started to that direction. "While it would be rad if it was either a ghost or a criminal - or better yet, a ghost criminal - the real reason I'm here's actually awfully mundane. My deputy wanted to take some time off, apparently she had a bit of a shock yesterday about something, and since everything was so peaceful, I figured I'd come here."

    He came to a halt before a specific pair of graves, which seemed to be well-tended to, and even had a single empty can of beer resting next to them - a piece of evidence that revealed the man had been here before.

    "Saturday's are good for a family get-together, no?" The sheriff asked with some amusement as he knelt by the graves. "Plus, I like to keep in touch - even if it can sometimes feel a bit one-sided."

    And indeed, the names on the graves were...

    First gravestone
    Michael Kennedy Sr.
    A pillar of justice and a beloved husband.


    Second gravestone
    Alfred "Stormalong" Rushmore.
    A loyal brother, into the death.


    "My father and my uncle, my heroes both," Michael explained as he placed a can of beer on top of each gravestone, and opened up one himself. "They're great listeners too. Always were. So, I like to come here to unload whenever there's something that's been bothering me."

    He glanced towards Prushka, before an awkward smile appeared on his face.

    "I'd like to say that you're probably a bit too young to get what I mean, but considering you're at Pinefall... well, I have a sneaking suspicion that you might get me more than most," he continued. "Am I close?"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •