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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #2741
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    “Thanks,” I uttered, “That means a lot.”

    It didn’t exactly feel appropriate to point out that we weren’t really sisters by blood. Or that there was no need for him to prevent my family for falling apart, since there was no family to talk about to begin with. It fell apart a long time ago.

    Became ash. Ceased existing.

    “Still...we have a whole lot of other things to take care of too. And first and foremost comes your safety. Nothing is worth the effort if something happens to you as a result. Anyways...”

    In truth, I wasn’t even sure if we’d have time to look for Angelica. Even just trying to figure what the hell happened...and how exactly to prevent that cloak guy from...finding us again was kind of a tall order. Then there was Gradient as well.

    Though...even with all of these things, I had no idea where to even get started.

    It felt like for the most part I just got dropped into the middle of things, but with no real leads to follow.

    Hopefully checking different places will lead to better results.

    “Figured we could start tonight. Combine fun with useful with that ‘test of courage’, I suppose.”

    Finding the thought rather amusing, my lips curled into a mischievous smile.

    “I know exactly how to make it fun and just enough creepy for others too.”

    I wasn’t entirely prepared...but I still had just the right tools for something like this. To make sure that others like Inacio and Aleen enjoy it as well without being in danger...And to make sure that we get some progress out of it as well.

    Still...guess how that will go is left for later still.

    For now…

    Turning back to the grill, I grab the plates to serve the food to Pyry.

    “Anyways, here’s your ‘rabbit food’. Hope you’ll enjoy.” I said with a smirk.

  2. #2742
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “I think I’m just gonna take it easy a little while longer. Now that I’m in the water I may as well enjoy it while it lasts, after all.”
    Sakura, who had been watching the unfolding chaos with a mixture of a bubbly giggle and a warm smile, turned to look back towards Colt who was peacefully lounging on the waves. The brunette girl (woman?) put her hands to her hips, though... she didn't say a word. Instead, she simply gazed at the boy, watching him take in the atmosphere and the peace and quiet that they all had for a little while long before the concert would start... and before the life at Road's End would once again sweep them up like a storm.

    Indeed, if this week were to progress like it had before... things would get troublesome really fast and really hard.

    And from troublesome... they would become tragic.

    But at least for now, they all had a moment of peace and quiet, a moment to relax, and a moment to just take it easy and gather their bearings.

    Even if Sakura could not know that, perhaps she sensed some of it... because the brunette sighed and smiled gently at the boy.

    "Mm... that doesn't sound like a bad idea at all," she said, both quietly yet loud enough for Colt to hear. "I'll join you, so we can give this date a nice enough closure."

    And with that, she too took to the water, turned on her back, and let her eyes rest at the blazing orange sky above them.

    "... If only things could be this simple..." Sakura muttered as she watched clouds roll by. "For you, for Milady... and for myself..."

    --- And with that, their evening finally started to turn into night.




    Prushka & Elise Pelltier
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "Ubon, Souma's kinda hot..."
    "Hmm~?"

    Ubon let out that quizzical sound as she finally got to the end of the shallows and emerged back to the beach, still carrying both Prushka and Subaru and panting heavily. While the girl was strong and athletic, no doubt about it, carrying them both at full spring had certainly taken its toll. Luckily (Unluckily?) enough, now that they were out of the water the worst part was over... but it still wouldn't be easy to lug them around - especially with Subaru having gone completely limp thanks to her brain frying itself trying to process what was going on.

    Still, the cyanheaded girl looked down at Prushka in her arms and smiled as cheerfully as ever.

    "Oh~? You think so, Prushie? Huh? For realsies? Mufufufu, seems like you've grown too~" The girl giggled, looking quite smug at this revelation. "Well, can't say I blame you! Soumie is pretty hot, and he's got the body to match! He's totes the right mix of man and mystery to make any girl's heart go aflutter! ... And other things too, but those aren't something to talk in a public place, mufufufu~!"

    She said this all with a smile, a grin and a happy tone of voice. Just like always. Indeed, there weren't really anything that could make Ubon go serious and she took just about everything in a stride. Of course, her emotions could be like a pendulum, and when Ubon was sad, she was really sad. When Ubon was mad, she was miffed enough to become red in the face from pouting. But serious? Ubon never settled to the neutrality in the middle.

    Which was why... her sudden change in expression was strange.

    The smile wasn't gone - it was still there.

    But there was no cheerfulness behind it. It was just that, a smile just for the sake of it, without any meaning.

    Perhaps the first of its kind that Prushka had seen on the cyanhead.

    "But, you know Prushie... some things are too hot. They're too hot to touch, to the point you'll burn to ashes if you do, you know?" The girl continued, her voice chipper... yet not. "Some things might even be too hot to look at - they'll make you go totes blind. You gotta be careful with things like that or you'll get the type of owwies that'll never go away."

    She stared right into Prushka's eyes.

    "Can you remember that for me, Prushie? Please. Remember that for me. For realsies."

    Then, without skipping a beat, Ubon turned her gaze towards the shallows, and saw the approaching form of Elise Pelltier who was like a shark out for blood, making a beeline after the energetic girl and her kidnapping victims.

    "Oh noes! Essie wants my cuties for herself!" Ubon exclaimed, doing a little jig on the spot as if to gather up energy. "You'll have to do better than that Essie, if you want to take these adorable little things! Mwahahahaha~!"

    And then her legs revved up on the sand like it had been a Flintstones cartoon.

    "Mwahahahahaha! So long, Essie~!"

    Ubon accelerated into a sprint once more, as if she hadn't just had that moment of strange seriousness.




    John Dove
    Location: End’s Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies

    And they were all gone.

    Each into different directions.

    Ubon (and as a consequence, Prushka and Subaru) had headed back towards the beach, with Elise following close behind, trying to stop the unspeakable crimes of doting that the cyanhead was most likely planning. Meanwhile, Colt Davin had decided to just float nearby and take it easy, and Sakura had followed suite soon enough. That only left the two boys behind. The two boys named John and Souma. A duo that was certainly different in their appearances, but at the same time... carried a somewhat similar aura about them.

    But the vway that aura had pivoted at some point in the past was vastly different.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Anyway, Nubatama, I don’t think we have much time, unfortunately. So. What does Souma Nubatama do to amuse himself in the ocean?”
    Souma, who had been watching the unfolding scene at the beach, turned his attention back to John. That question did not seem to take him by surprise, but much nothing did. Even now, that single eye was locked onto John, but the way it looked at him... it was as strange as usual. When it came to humans, they tended to look each other in the eyes. Or avoid eyecontact. One or the other. Humans always looked at humans as other humans, with a question in their stare being "Who are you?"

    But with Souma Nubatama it was different.

    He didn't look at John, or anyone, as a person.

    Instead, he looked at them as a whole, like an animal, gazing at their full form with a single take as if trying to determine their physical form rather than their identity.

    A "What are you?" instead of "Who are you?"

    ".......... Nothing special."

    That was the eventual answer that came out of Souma's mouth. He stretched his back a bit, looked at the water and took a few steps back. Almost like a sprinter or a jumper getting themselves a running start. Following the path of the boy's stare, it was easy to see that he was about to jump into the water and make a quick lap around the shoreline before heading back to the beach itself. A methodical, logical choice since they didn't have that much time remaining.

    But, before he did... that single, cobra-like eye turned towards John once more.

    "....... I'm merely here to....... heh..."

    A strange, subdued grin spread to Souma's face.

    "----------------- Kill time."

    And with that, he took exactly three running steps and dove into the water, starting up a professional looking front crawl that would take him on a wide lap around the shallows.

  3. #2743
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “So… if you do go exploring and rummaging through the undergrowth in this place, do keep your wits about you, eh?”
    For a moment, Ramia Ramalsaqr's expression became pure steel.

    Her eyes stared somewhere far ahead, and they were nothing like the eyes of the jovial girl who had been accompanying Anna and Gabi today.

    Almost like a snake that had been roused from her slumber by the smell of a prey... or a predator.

    And who was now preparing for something mentally.

    "------ Got it," Ramia responded quietly. "Looks like... looks like the vacation's over in just one day. Tomorrow it's back to work."

    There might have been few ways that could be taken, but when it came to Ramia, there was only one obvious one. The girl had never been shy about admitting that she had been a child soldier - in fact, she had been almost blasé about it. So, if she said that her vacation was over and that she would have to get back to work... that was most likely what she meant. Harden herself and do whatever she thought was necessary, now that a shocking revelation like this had been made.

    But that look... it was also slightly scary.

    Almost the look of someone who would take that sort of professionalism too far, harden herself too much in order to get what was necessary done... and, in that same way, become part of the problem herself.

    There was steeling your heart, and then there was turning it into actual steel.

    And Ramia Ramalsaqr looked awfully lot like the type that tried to do the former, but ended up doing the latter.

    "By the way, Gabi? You gonna finish that?" Ramia then continued, grin spreading to her face as she rose up from the sands. "Cause if you're not... I'm gonna take it off your hands, you know?"

    Chuckling to herself like a teasing sister, Ramia creeped towards the boy with exaggerated movement, arms hungrily reaching out for his dinner that he was still nibbling on. Gabi, on the other hand, went a little pale in panic, and shot a look to Anna that was almost like a desperate cry for help - a cry that if she didn't intervene, he might get both his meal and himself eaten up by Ramia.

    --- Guess this too was part of Ramia's nature.

    This was her last day of vacation after all, so she wanted to get the most out of it.

    ".... um...." Gabi squeaked, fearfully looking at approaching Ramia. ".... but.... but it's my... food..."

    Ramia cackled, slithering forward.

    "I know, and other people's food always tastes the best~"

    Like a squirrel, the boy glanced around... only to realize that there was no escape.

    "..... help....."




    Vier Wolff & Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “But it was rather rude of you to suddenly do that to me, Vier, so I’d like an apology.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “I’m sorry Lucille. I probably should’ve just said something instead of just moving you… It just didn’t seem like you were going to move and it seemed like you were a bit close... Is there a way for me to make it up to you Lucille? Like can I do something for you? Get you some food or something to drink before the concert?”
    Mercedes's ice cold glare hadn't left Vier, and it had gotten so strong in magnitude that had it been possible, Vier would have most likely fallen through the sands into a frozen pit right now. But since it was not, the only thing that remained was the definite aura of threat that the starlet was project around herself, and directing towards the scarred girl like she wanted to throttle her right then and there. Even Tonkori had sensed that something truly dangerous was going on, because now she was hiding behind Caleb's legs, slowly shivering and letting out scared, quiet yelps.

    "Yeah. Like, you do that. You go get, like, anything Lucy wants right now," Mercedes coldly replied, leaning in a bit closer. "Cause you just put your hands on my main girl, and like, I'm gonna slap your face off and worse if you don't get a move on. Now."

    Mercedes didn't seem to be kidding.

    And while Vier was quite obviously physically stronger than her, it was likely that a slap from the actress would have still hurt like hell. After all, those nails were quite something to behold, enough to make proper scratches even.

    Honestly, pressing this situation right now might not have been worth it...

    "I-I'll come with you, Vier!"

    ... Which was perhaps why Aleen jumped up from the sands, trying to come to her friend's aid in one way she could think of. Accompanying her while trying to get her away from the volatile situation.

    Meanwhile, Caleb Montjoy simple kept his mouth shut (perhaps the wisest decision he had made today) and switched between looking at Mercedes in some sort of mixture of fear and awe (but mostly fear), and looking at Lucille with... something along the lines of respect? Or maybe surprise? Whatever it was, clearly the artist was somewhat impressed that the "Alpha Bitch" of Pinefall High had come to Lucille's "rescue" like this, even if the situation hadn't been anything serious.

    Though, the boy also returned the apologetic smile.

    It's not like anyone had intended things to end up like this.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Figured we could start tonight. Combine fun with useful with that ‘test of courage’, I suppose. I know exactly how to make it fun and just enough creepy for others too.”
    "Oh? Well, color me interested."

    Pyry responded with a grin that was borderline mischievous as well. Clearly he was both a bit surprised but also somewhat excited at the prospect - though he also looked happy that Hisa was getting to the spirit of the day as well. Like the blonde youth had said earlier today, they couldn't really do something about most of the things today, so at the very least they should try to relax and rest up. Thus, knowing that the test of courage would combine both fun and efficiency was a positive surprise.

    "I mean, since even you're looking excited, I gotta see what's up," Pyry chuckled. "Just... just don't make it too creepy, alright. I think the Squirt will cry if you go too far, you know?"

    Pyry mimed who he meant by gesturing with his hand somewhere around his knee.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Anyways, here’s your ‘rabbit food’. Hope you’ll enjoy.”
    "Ooh! Chow time!" Pyry exclaimed, taking the plate with a hungry look in his eyes. "Mm, damn that smells good. You're a bit of a wizard with the grill, no?"

    A moment of silence, then...

    "--- Or would that be chefsper?"

    A dorky laugh escaped the boy's mouth as he dug in, thanks to the horrible, horrible pun.

    Still, it looked like Hisa had finished just in time.

    After all, while Pyry had started to eat, another boy had just emerged from the water, a bit after everyone else who had headed back from their swims.

    In other words, Souma Nubatama was headed this way.

  4. #2744
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    It ends abruptly.

    The giddy haze, the strange feeling in my stomach, the overbearing warmth in my cheeks that vaporized my thoughts before they could properly form - all of it ends with a smile.

    As Ubon drops Subaru and I off, her uncharacteristic smile snaps me back to reality like a bucket of cold water. It's a smile that would belong more on John Dove than her, and yet, there it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    "But, you know Prushie... some things are too hot. They're too hot to touch, to the point you'll burn to ashes if you do, you know? Some things might even be too hot to look at - they'll make you go totes blind. You gotta be careful with things like that or you'll get the type of owwies that'll never go away."
    I can't help but to shudder. Was it the breeze? The first tendrils of autumn reaching towards us? Or were those words of advice the source of the chill that runs through me right now?

    Ubon is special. And wise beyond her appearance. I haven't ignored that wisdom of hers a single time. It dragged me out of my guilt and reminded me what truly mattered. So, in this moment, it's impossible to ignore it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    "Can you remember that for me, Prushie? Please. Remember that for me. For realsies."
    "...I'll remember. Promise. And thanks, Ubon. You're special too, aren't you?""

    Certainly, now that I've collected myself, now that I've remembered, now that I've shoved that strange new feeling back into the hole it crawled out of... it's obvious what she's telling me:

    Don't look too closely at that person.

    I can understand why. After all, it's not too often you run into someone that does not interact with this world so much as he cuts through it like a knife. Will something similar happen to me if I get too close to Souma Nubatama? Will I be shattered to pieces like Vivi, or smothered like John? Or will it be something worse? Will I be erased from this world, devoured by an endless void of nonexistence that eats through my heart like acid?

    But, if she knows that, then surely Ubon, as radiant as she is... surely she didn't...

    "Ubon, you... did you get burned...?"

    It's too late. The cheery girl is gone, racing across the water to join the others in having fun. It's just me now, alone near the shallows.

    Well, not quite alone.

    "Subaru... that goes for you too, alright? There's all sorts of weirdos here, so don't go fainting so easily."

    No response. Still out cold, huh? Well I can't complain; I was out of it for a bit, too. But now it's impossible to fall into that haze. After all, it's colder now.

    "...okay, just stay there."

    I stand up, brush the sand from my arms and shoulders, and set off. Let's see... ah, here we go, towels. And an umbrella to block out the sun. It's a bit big, but I can drag it over. And then, finally, a reward for today's hard work. "Hnnnn... oof." It's in position. I lay out the soft beach towels in the shade cast by the umbrella, and then, huffing and puffing, lift up Subaru and let her rest atop one of them. Now she can lie in the shade without having to worry about a sunburn. Between the towels go two plates of Avery's Walker's special to-kill-for pie. Then I take my place on the other towel, arms crossed back under my head, staring at the sky.

    "It's been an amazing day, huh? I woke up feeling awful and now I feel more alive than I have in years. Didn't think I could even feel that way about boys... Thanks, by the way. If it hadn't been for you, I'd have been too embarrassed to even think of swimming. You had a pretty exciting day too, huh? Only caught a bit of what John was talking about, but it sounded heavy. Not the kind of story you'd tell around a bonfire. But surely everyone here has a story like that. They might be broken, or leashed, or speedy, or grossed out by society, or they might even be a walking break themselves... but here, it's almost like it's okay to be that way."

    She's probably too out of it to hear me, but I talk without caring too much about it.

    "Like there's people here that might understand."

    Still, just as certainly as this sky will darken and turn to night, those stories will end in death and despair. Or is it certain? I might be overthinking it. This could be a one-time thing. A premonition given as a gift. Except, in the pit of my stomach, I know that hope is in vain; this is no longer the time for fun and games. If I want to help everyone here, I'll have to take responsibility for their lives by putting my own on the line. Half-assed meddling is unacceptable. And that means... no, I'll think about it later. There's still a bit of time.

    "Try the pie," I tell her. "It's full of love. We'll finish the swimming lesson another time."

    With that, I lie back and close my eyes. Subaru will wake up soon. Until then, I'll rest beside her and let the smell of sea salt wash over me.

    ...

    ...Muse, are you still there? Are you seeing this through my eyes?

    Are you happy? Are you confused? Or do you also feel like crying?

    Don't cry. Or at the very least, don't cry alone. Sadness is not meant to be carried; it's meant to be shared with others.

    Even if it seems like the heaviest thing in the world.
    Last edited by Bloble; May 14th, 2020 at 09:22 PM.

  5. #2745
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Vivienne Bianchi & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    "You... want to dive into the water... and surprise people? Like... the movie... Jaws? Miss Sharkstraza... be careful... someone has... a big gun..."


    This 'jaws' sounds like an interesting concept! A monster that strives to make its place in the world -- a villain that wants to kill it for existing - now that was really a concept I could get behind. I made a mental note to thank Vivienne later, for introducing me to such a fascinating type of 'movie'. Is this what these ordinary people use their abilities to create? That was...

    Well, to be honest, it was a bit terrifying.

    "Ah! Truly! Truly! That is a magnificent idea! We should totally do that once it gets dark! We could get even manage to surprise the bravest of our classmates! Truly, we would be feared across the whole school as an urban legend ourselves... the slimy ghosts covered in odd white membrane!"
    Yes indeed, it was good to know that there were those left who could appreciate true genius. I was... thankful, that I had run into Cesarina. She was the kind of person who I could understand, if only a little. I was never very good with people, really; I'm the type of person to not really think about what I have said or done for long enough to reflect on it. It's a thinworn tragedy, really; how I act is based on what I have seen, and what I have seen is spellcraft.

    There are no spells here but words.




    "Boo."
    "Boo!"

    "Boo..."


    Alas, it appears we are out of picnic tablecloths. But no matter; such an issue is not a problem for the likes of me. Giving the three ghosts before me a tiny thumbs up, my smile bright and wide as I closed one eye, I nodded in delight.

    "Very excellent! Truly, we are a cadre to fear. I will lead, as it appears the tablecloths are lacking, and with this brisk white on my skin, I already appear ghostlike as it is! Now, come friends! We must introduce others to that far-off thing, so distant from us --"




    "A scare."
    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. #2746
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    “Eh, not that scary.”

    The image of a certain figure shrouded in black came to mind.

    As he was crawling on the floor, chasing a crying and screaming Prushka.

    He’d definitely be up for the idea…

    Would be too serious about it, even.

    Yup, definitely need to warn him not to scare little girls to their death, even if it would be fun.

    “...Probably.” I added as I turned away, trying to hide my giggling.

    In the end, I would feel just a bit guilty about finding it amusing.

    Having calmed down, I leaned forward to rest my elbows on the small table, and my head on top of my palm as I watched Pyry dig in.

    “Chefsper...I wish,” I chuckled, “Being a food wizard would be an easy way to be popular.”

    “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, after all. Least that’s what they say.” I added with a teasing smile.

    Turning my gaze towards the ocean, I noticed that Souma was out of the water, and started heading back, so I got to plating his part of the food as well.

    “But well, in reality, I just had to cook a lot for myself, with whatever I gathered on my own, or what we got from nearby farmers...well, very rarely shops. Wasn’t too fond of going into towns when it wasn’t necessary.”

    Thinking back, it was usually Angelica who took care of that anyways. She always brought back so many books and gadgets and random junk…

    “In the end, can’t say I didn’t like it. Got somewhat good at it too, I suppose. Never really had the chance to cook for too many people though, so...guess I’m glad that I could do it now. And sure am happy that you’re enjoying it.”

    After all, cooking for yourself was one thing. You did it to sate your hunger, and you only did the necessities to do that properly. You keep things simple, efficient and easy without going out of your way. It’s also really hard to impress or delight yourself with your own cooking - so really, it wasn’t the same. Because when you can cook for others, that all changes, and seeing people enjoy what you made is quite a pleasure.

    “Just in time,” I said as Souma reached the grill, “Here’s your food.”

    I gave the boy a small smile - even if, to this moment, I had no real idea where to put him or how to deal with him.

    “How was the swim?”

  7. #2747
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    “Yeah, that’s fine, Vier,” Lucille says in the hopes she can get Vier to move herself to relative safety as soon as possible. “I didn’t really get a good look at what’s on the tables, so just pick whatever you think tastes good.”

    Truthfully, Lucille Faraday was the kind of person who ate very little when stressed, and to say that she spent most of this day stressed was an incredible understatement. Her brief respite, ironically enough, was ruined by Mercedes’ good intentions, but she couldn’t really blame anyone for that. It’s just unfortunate Vier took the direct approach right then, that’s all.

    “Anyway, Mercedes, nothing good happens if you slap someone,” Lucille reprimands, drawing from prior experience. “Besides, I’m not a damsel in need of saving… If something’s really bothering me, I’ll handle it myself.”

    It is not like she doesn’t appreciate the lengths Mercedes will go for her—merely that most of the time, Lucille thinks it is unnecessary. Is there just something about her own demeanor that makes people think she can’t stand for herself?

    “Though… thanks. You’re a good friend, you know?”
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:04] <Lianru> it's ok with each stalker call I feel like we get a little closer
    [Feb/Wed/04|07:00:06] <Lianru> never give up

    asians before testing week

  8. #2748
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies



    Quote Originally Posted by Mercedes West
    "Yeah. Like, you do that. You go get, like, anything Lucy wants right now. Cause you just put your hands on my main girl, and like, I'm gonna slap your face off and worse if you don't get a move on. Now."
    To be honest, I could probably dodge and counter Mercedes West’s slap. Even if it hit… It wouldn’t hurt as bad as Kicking Bastard’s kick to the face and dealing more damage to Mercedes West than she did to me would’ve been easy. If I, a Turnside specialist, lost in a physical fight against a seemingly normal celebrity from Hollywood. I might as well die from sheer shame before I bring down the reputation of the West German ESPer program. However, what was needed in this situation wasn’t an escalation. All I needed to do to make things easier was to take all the hits until Mercedes West was satisfied.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “Yeah, that’s fine, Vier. I didn’t really get a good look at what’s on the tables, so just pick whatever you think tastes good.”
    I know I threw that suggestion at you suddenly just to appease Mercedes West, but leaving it up to me is difficult in its own way. Because if I clearly don’t give you something you like, then I’m sure Mercedes West will also take it as a personal attack on herself. I guess I could always get something that looks appetizing to me and it should be decent enough. Alternatively, Sakura Tsukioka would be knowledgeable about her milady’s tastes.

    “If anyone else wants something just let me know...”

    Then I went to grab Lucille some food and a drink.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "I-I'll come with you, Vier!"
    I merely nodded and didn’t say anything to Aleen until I was sure we were out of earshot.

    “You didn’t have to accompany me. If anything, you might be torpedoing your social reputation real soon if Mercedes feels extra vindictive and does what a normal high school queen bee does. Also you could have used this opportunity to get onto her good side.” I gave a quick sigh before ultimately lightly smiling. “Regardless, thanks Aleen... You could've done any of those things. Yet you still chose to help me.”

    Once we arrived at the cooking area, I was kind of astonished by the sheer amount of food that was prepared. Sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, fries, soda, water, and other various things were prepared.

    “But since I’m getting food duty. Might as well get some good stuff before heading on stage right? I think I’m going to make a burger myself.”

    I looked around for a sandwich that Sakura Tsukioka made. Ah there’s one. If it’s made by her, Lucille should be relatively happy… Then I’ll grab some fries to balance it out. That should be good enough for Lucille. Now to fix my own food

    “The real question is… Should I make my burger into a bacon cheeseburger or something like a McRib? What do you think Aleen? Also maybe you bring back something for Caleb, I’m not sure if he ate anything yet.”

    Despite nearly dying (socially) to Mercedes, I didn’t seem to act nervous. If anything aside from my brief tirade on how Aleen could've improved her social following, I seemed to have taken advantage of the situation to enjoy it with her.

  9. #2749
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Jeez. Talk about overkill…

    The steel that glinted off Ramia’s eyes held no softness to it whatsoever. In fact, for that brief moment, Anna wouldn’t have been surprised if Lybian girl had pulled a gun on her there right then and there.

    Too brittle.

    Of course, she understood where Ramia was coming from. After all, she herself would have no compulsions in regards to killing anybody here, should the circumstances truly require it. She would prefer to not do it, but she would if she must. To exist on the battlefield required killing your emotions to an extent in order to stay sane. It wasn’t something as convenient as “hunting monsters” or “protecting the innocent”, where you could always sit on your pillar of moral superiority. War was a fundamentally human facet of life. Animals or beasts of the turnside did not wage war, even if they got mixed into it from time to time. And so most of the time what you killed were not monsters. It was other humans.

    And, at times, what needed to be done could not be described by no other word but evil.

    This type of hardness though… there were some who took steeling themselves to levels reminiscent of fetishization. It became a goal in itself. Idiots. One could not truly kill their emotions any more than one could stop thinking. It was a temporary dam, that’s all. Sooner or later, all the karma you’d been piling up would collapse down your flimsy mental barriers and break you like a twig. And hardening yourself to that extent… you always lost something. Maybe it was because she herself had always steeled herself through her rage, but… that void made it too easy to fall into depravity. Immoral actions always felt more “efficient” in that headspace and you can’t really parse the actions of those who are more emotional than you in a reasonable way.

    People like that always ended up dying with a look of shock to some idealistic suicidal charge or something. Not so much because they didn’t understand it, but more because their emotionally dead state left them unable to expect it.

    Haa… I might have messed up quite badly here.

    The real issue here may be that she has no capacity for self-moderation. Self-criticism meant for improvement is taken to the point to where it annihilates her self-esteem and mental hardening is taken to the point where she completely deadens herself to everything.

    It would be dangerous to fight her. Not because of the threat itself so much, but… there just might be no other way to deal with the situation other than killing her.

    "I know, and other people's food always tastes the best~"
    WHACK!

    Anna’s straight hand came down in a chopping motion, smacking the white-haired girl in the back of her head just as she was going to dig into the blonde’s plate. Her tone was stern overall, but there was most assuredly still a definite note of amusement in her voice.

    “What do you think you’re doing?” Anna’s eyes narrowed for a moment. “Gabi’s already wavering near malnutrition and you’re gonna steal the little food that he’s managed to put on his plate?”

    “Not going to happen, I’m afraid.”

    Anna pulled up the dusky-skinned girl from her prone position over Gabi’s plate, before putting her hand over Ramia’s shoulder. It was actually strangely nostalgic. Wasn’t this how she’d roped Anna into tagging along on that bar trip in her memories? Well, the positions were swapped this time though.

    As her hand was wrapped around Ramia, Anna’s voice dropped to a whisper again.

    “And I told you that so that you would keep your wits about you, not so that you’d go all Tin Man on my ass. I better not find you burning down some orphanage for a minor tactical advantage, Indiana.“

    The Estonian girl let out a small sigh, even as the volume of her voice returned to normal.

    “What I am going to do, is grab some food. And you…” Anna gave Ramia a small grin, as she started to walk away towards the barbecue in the distance, seemingly dragging the dusky-skinned girl with her. “…are coming with me and leaving Gabi to eat in peace for once.”

    “If you want you can try stealing off my plate, Indiana.” A ghost of a wry grin flickered on her face for a moment. “Probably not going to be quite as easy as stealing from Gabi though, so who knows?”

    “You might end up staying hungry, after all.”
    Last edited by Mellon; May 16th, 2020 at 05:43 AM.

  10. #2750
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: End’s Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies



    John follows Souma Nubatama with his eyes as he puts distance between them. In the end, nothing comes out of their brief exchange, but that nothingness in itself is meaningful. It would be a struggle for anybody, but especially for John Dove himself, to create some sort of connection with that man. Perhaps good people like Miss Prushka could do it, but it might be impossible for one such as John Dove.

    The ways Souma looks at the world is irrelevant. John understands at least that much. If anything, the lessons learned this evening make it clear that the key rests on how Souma Nubatama looks at himself. How does he label himself? What does he consider himself to be? When he looks at himself in the mirror, what color does he see?

    John would like to know—more precisely, it would be useful to know this. Because Souma Nubatama came to Pinefall of his own volition, and John’s intuition tells him that the reason that man chose to be here could prove to be important. However, can John truly extract any information from one so similar, yet so different from himself?

    Certainly, this evening was a complete failure. However, for some reason, John throws himself in the water, exerting his muscles to swim after the other man. If it is race, it is only one against himself, however, or perhaps the fulfillment of a strange urge to tire himself out. While swimming with all his strength, John Dove does not think about anything else. His mind is clear, and despite the strain on his muscles, he is at ease. He needs this moment, to let his mind stop working full throttle for a change.

    On the last iteration, John Dove spent most of his nights in restful sleep, all the while the colorless world fell apart around him. He cannot afford such luxury this time. Indeed, his nights will be busy affairs from today onward.

    His mind has already gone over his options as to what issues to tackle tonight, but his eyes inevitably look for one Alexstrasza Lockhart…

    …why is surrounded by people with blankets over their heads?

  11. #2751
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Just in time. Here’s your food. How was the swim?”
    Souma quietly chuckled as he accepted the plate, water falling in tiny droplets all around his glistening body. Even Pyry cocked an eyebrow at the speedo the one-eyed boy was wearing, but decided to say nothing. Instead, he shot a glance towards Hisa, one that could almost be heard saying: "Should I cover your sensitive eyes?". Well, the reason was quite obvious. After all, that speedo... it honestly left only the last bit of decency intact, to the point that it was kinda hard to look at the boy.

    "...... It was... enlightening.... Heh..." Souma said as he quietly started to eat, letting his eye rest at Hisa. "The people here are....... interesting......"

    Truly, the way he spoke was as enigmatic as ever.

    And as a result (and as a result of his other mannerisms as well) Souma was as hard to categorize as always. Indeed, he couldn't have been more different from the blonde boy next to Hisa. While the other was pure muscle, the other was lean and streamlined. While the other was radiant and golden, the other was subdued and dark. While the other was boisterous, the other was quiet. While the other was protective, the other felt dangerous. Almost like some sort of warped mirror, in a sense.

    Still, judging by Pyry chuckled at Souma's words, it didn't look like they actually disliked each other.

    "Yeah, I bet. Saw you got tangled up in quite the group," Pyry replied, mouth full of food. "Hell, I thought I saw even that Squirt swimming around there!"

    Souma nodded in reply, eating in much more graceful and slow manner.

    ".......... Yes. She's quite......" Souma paused, searching for a word... before suddenly letting out a quiet chuckle. "........... Perverted. Heh."

    Pyry stared at Souma quizzically, almost like he couldn't exactly believe what he was hearing.

    "Wait. Really?" The blonde athlete asked flatly. "That midget? Perverted?"

    Souma, on the other hand, simply nodded again without saying a word.

    --- An awkward silence fell over the group.

    One that continued for few minutes, until Pyry finally opened his mouth again.

    "... Good food, huh?" he asked.

    Souma, who was making his way surprisingly quickly through the food prepared, flashed a ghost of a smile towards Hisa, his single eye locked into her form.

    "..... Indeed. You're quite.... talented.... Hisa Momoi.... Heh."

    And so did the evening on the beach push forward, the concert getting closer and closer with each passing minute.




    Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “Anyway, Mercedes, nothing good happens if you slap someone. Besides, I’m not a damsel in need of saving… If something’s really bothering me, I’ll handle it myself.”
    Mercedes snorted, looking after the retreating forms of Aleen and Vier.

    "Puh-lease. I mean, like, maybe? But the thing is, Lucy, that things that'd normally bother people don't bother you. Like, I'm not saying patience isn't a virtue or whatevah, but you take it too far," the actress replied, putting her hands on her hips and shooting a glance at her friend. "Like, what just happened there - you shouldn't be, like, okay with someone just putting their hands on you like that. Just cause one frump and her friend think you're close to some boy shouldn't mean you, like, have to move if it bothers either of you."

    Mercedes then looked at Caleb, who seemed somewhat distressed at being suddenly the target of this attention. The starlet raised her eyebrow in a rather meaningful way.

    "Or did it, like, bother you, Mr. Painter?"

    Caleb glanced around, trying to find help from somewhere, but neither Lucille's or Tonkori's faces offered no answers. Thus, after a bit of thinking, he finally sighed... and shrugged just a little.

    "Not exactly. While Lucille's closeness was... surprising, it wasn't unpleasant. Plus, I believe this was some... payback for yesterday, no?" Caleb asked, smirking playfully at the blonde girl. "So... yeah. I don't mind if you sit close to me. At all."

    Mercedes, who had heard these words, looked quite confused for a moment, her eyes passing from the boy to her friend and back... before suddenly snorting in clear amusement and turning her back to the two.

    "Oh gawd... so that's it..." Mercedes cackled to herself, trying to collect her bearings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “Though… thanks. You’re a good friend, you know?”
    "H-haah!?"

    It was a rather interesting reaction.

    The starlet's body practically froze up upon those words, going as rigid as if she had turned to rusted metal right then and there. In a similar fashion, like an old clockwork, her head turned back towards her blonde friend... and for a moment, Lucille could have sworn that not only were Mercedes's eyes wide as plates, but there was a clear sign of redness on her cheeks. Or perhaps it was just the light of the evening sun? Nevertheless, the shock in the actress was clear.

    After few seconds of staring, she turned around with a loud "Hmph!" and folded her arms across her chest.

    "W-well, of course I am! Gawd, why are you spouting such damn obvious things and whatevah!" Mercedes replied, scratching her cheek awkwardly.

    It was, perhaps, a bit of a refreshing side of Mercedes to see - good enough to serve as a cap off to the events at the beach, now that the concert was looming closer and closer.




    Vier Wolff
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “You didn’t have to accompany me. If anything, you might be torpedoing your social reputation real soon if Mercedes feels extra vindictive and does what a normal high school queen bee does. Also you could have used this opportunity to get onto her good side. Regardless, thanks Aleen... You could've done any of those things. Yet you still chose to help me.”
    Aleen shrugged, trying to act nonchalant.

    "Eh, what do I care what that cheerleader queen does? It's not like she has the same kinda clout in a school like this as back in the real world," the bluehead answered, flashing a momentary grin. "Besides, though you're totes a sadist and a meanie, we're still pals, right? I can't leave you just hanging like that. Now come on, food's awaiting!"

    And indeed, once the two of them arrived at the picnic tables, there was certainly lots of stuff still to choose from. Plus, judging by the smell of freshly grilled meat floating from nearby, if they needed anything more, Hisa Momoi (Wasn't Souma manning the grill last time?) could help them out.

    ... Though to get there, they would have to get past the odd sight of three sheet-wearing ghosts that had gathered around rather excited-looking Alexstrasza Lockhart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “But since I’m getting food duty. Might as well get some good stuff before heading on stage right? I think I’m going to make a burger myself. The real question is… Should I make my burger into a bacon cheeseburger or something like a McRib? What do you think Aleen? Also maybe you bring back something for Caleb, I’m not sure if he ate anything yet.”
    "Ooh, yeah, burger sounds delish! And well... since we're at here and there's a grill over there, why not go all out?" Aleen asked, like it had been the most obvious thing of all. "Just stuff everything into the darn thing! Steaks, chicken, mushrooms, bacon, all must go! Huh... guess I'll make one of those Amazo-burgers for Caleb too, then."

    Aleen wiggled her eyebrows at Vier.

    "You know what they say - stomach, man's heart, the way, etc."

    Then, she turned on her heels towards the grill, and started off.

    "I'll be back in a jiffy! Oh, and I'll grab stuff for you too! Just a moment!"

    With that, Aleen was off, stopping only to scream in terror as one of the ghosts tried to nab her on her way.

    Well...

    ... This had turned into a rather peaceful evening at the beach, huh?




    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “If you want you can try stealing off my plate, Indiana. Probably not going to be quite as easy as stealing from Gabi though, so who knows? You might end up staying hungry, after all.”
    Ramia snorted and lifted her hands up in the air, as a sign of giving up.

    "Yeah yeah, Red. Let's go get some more grub, then," she said, grinning slightly. "Though I think I'll pass on stealing from your plate. It's not as fun since you don't become that cute when your food is threatened."

    She pointed her thumb back towards Gabi, who was currently sighing in relief that his food had been saved. Then, just like a small animal such a mouse or a hamster, he started nibbling on his meal once more... with a speed that would most likely mean that he would be still be eating by the time Anna and Ramia were done with their own plates.

    As the two girls continued walking, heading towards the grill that was yet again swarming with people (was that Aleen King beind chased by a ghost in a sheet?), Ramia, however, continued to talk... though with a bit of a quieter voice this time.

    "... Still, you don't got to worry Red," the dusky-skinned girl said. "I'm not planning on hurting anyone. Well, depends. I need to check something up with an... old friend of mine, first. But yeah, nothing to fret about."

    A subdued smile still played on the mercenary's face as they advanced forth.

    "I wouldn't become a monster like that unless I was desperate enough to cry, and this situation ain't that bad, hah!"

    And with that, the two of them continued forward, with the evening pressing on around them.

    Soon enough, it would be time for the concert...

  12. #2752
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies


    About half an hour and one more sound-check later, things were finally ready for the closing act of the beach party. All the students of the First Class of Pinefall High, all 29 of them, had gathered around the makeshift wooden stage standing atop the stand, with speakers and amplifiers flanking it. Guitar and bass pedals had been set to the right and left respectively, while the Casio keyboard stood a little further to the side and the drum set kept the rear. Mr. Hatou, as boisterous as ever, was working as the master of ceremonies, loudly explaining to everyone what they already knew: that some of the students of their class had decided to 'grace' them with a musical act and that they should be cheered for as loudly as possible in order to show gratitude.

    On the stage, the atmosphere was tense... at least for some. While Inacio Ilusão looked as calm as ever, calmly doing some last-minute tuning on his guitar, ready to get this show on the road... Pyry Leijonamieli looked somewhat green in face, gripping his old blues harmonica rather tightly. Even if the boy had been in front of thousands of people before, this was clearly not his element. And therefore, his nervousness was clearly showing... thought it might have also been because he personally knew most of the people in the audience.

    "You can do it, guys!" A sudden holler broke the air, as Ubon Sĕeklêun pumped the air with her fist. "Break a leg! And even if you screw it up, we're not gonna mind, for realsies!"

    That elicited laughter and agreeing nods from most of the audience... and seemed to ease the tension on the stage a little bit. At least Pyry seemed to be able to breath in and out and thus calm his nerves, though it remained to be seen if it helped Hisa Momoi, Vier Wolff or Elaine Winters any.

    Still, the show had to go on, even if the players were ready or not. The sun had already set and the light of the stars and the moon showered upon the stage. The two bamboo torches sticking from the ground, along with the great light of the bonfire, gave the beach a somewhat mystic atmosphere, almost magical in nature.

    The murmurs and whispers of the crowd died down as Pyry finally grabbed the mic, taking a good long look at each of his brothers-and-sisters-in-arms on the stage, and getting an affirmative nod from Inacio. They were ready. At least they were as ready as they could be.

    And so the lanky boy began talking.

    "So... Hi guys," Pyry said, and flashed an awkward grin. "I'm not much of a talker, so I'm just gonna say this: I heard this song on the radio as I was driving to the Helsinki Airport to get to over here and board that tuna can of a bus we all rode yesterday, and it stuck to my head. I even had to record it on the fly, just so I could hear it again. Almost missed my flight because of that. Anyways... This song is something that kinda hit me, in a good way, and so Inacio and I decided we should play it for you guys. You know, as thank you for getting in on this crazy school year with us and to... I dunno, remember to keep it real? You'll understand when you hear the song... unless I botch up the lyrics. Not my main language, after all. Anyway... here goes nothing, guys."

    He took a step back and readied his harmonica. Inacio strummed a melodious note from his guitar and the beach got all quiet, with nothing but the crackling of wood in the bonfire to interrupt it. It seemed that nobody dared even breathe for a few seconds as the makeshift band on the makeshift stage prepared...

    ... And then, it was time for Elaine to strike the beat and get everyone started.

    A tempo which made the stage come alive with the sound of music.

    The guitar and the bass came alive as the drums started their slow beat, weaving a melody that sounded both rustic and familiar, almost classical, in their style. At the same time under the fingers of Hisa Momoi the keys of the piano joined in in an improvised tune that carried just above the drums, giving the song a completely new layer very fitting of a live performance. Suddenly, as if mimicking that piano melody, the blues harmonica of Pyry started screaming a vibrant tune, intertwining with it and livening the whole song up with a nostalgic sound of blues and folk.

    And as the melody turned back to the start, Pyry moved closer to the mic and started singing.


    "It doesn't matter what I say~! So long as I sing with in~flection. That makes you feel I'll convey. Some inner truth or vast reflection!"


    The concert had started, and suddenly, End's Beach was awash with music.

    A treat for all of those who had gathered to hear, either with their friends or alone.

  13. #2753
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    I’ve been through all of this once already - so there were no real surprises. The preparations on the stage started around the same time and went the exact same way. The gigantic sports teacher announced the event, then came Ubon’s loud - and somewhat embarrassing - cheering…

    Even if we’ve been heavily deviating from the today from last week, it looks like things didn’t change much in this matter.

    Well, except for the whole second band thing. And that Elaine was playing on the drums for us this time, instead of Kean.

    That part was still quite a surprise, one that I still couldn’t quite comprehend. Why exactly people wanted to participate in this all of a sudden?

    Well, a thought for later. At the very least, I could assume that the people who raised their hands this time but didn’t the last would likely remember what happened.

    While lamenting over this, it seemed that Pyry started his little speech - and as he looked back, I gave him an encouraging smile.

    He could do it perfectly last time, and I was sure that this time wouldn’t be any different. He didn’t really need any encouragement or convincing that he’d be fine - putting expectations on him would likely just make him more nervous.

    And me, well…

    As the song started, I did just the same as what I did last time. Maybe a bit better, maybe with a bit more passion, maybe with different emotions filling my heart this time. With more confidence - it was my second time being on the stage for the first time here, after all.

    Of course, the song was still the same, and as such, had no real role for a pianist. So all I could do was to support everyone else as best as I could. To cover up their small mistakes and add an extra layer of tune to the song so that it could be even more memorable than last time.

    Will I have to do this again, I wonder…?

    Moments later, Pyry started singing, and I got absorbed in the music enough that I couldn’t pay attention to much else.

  14. #2754
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    After Kean had gotten settled and started to make more sense then not at all, I took the time to snatch up my jacket and warm up a slight amount.

    No need to go into the business cold, right?

    Haha, double meanings...

    Still, the rest of the party was peaceful, no damage control needed, I bustled back and forth from the food a few times, feeding the beast, giving a few words to people here and there when needed, gave Hwan his money, too.

    It was calm, but I couldn't help but feel a silent tension in the air, maybe it was knowing what the rest of the week held.

    How many of them would die before the end of the week? Would that bloody Sunday happen again? Were we going to splinter apart and kill one another on assumptions and grudges?

    I certainly hoped not.

    But for now, in the moment, it was just a bunch of young people hanging out, the storm was far in the distance.

    So it wouldn't be too bad to make some more happy memories in the moment, yeah?

    It's what I told myself when I sat on the stool behind my battlestation, brows furrowed in concentration.

    Calm down, girl, it's just Canon. Like the lyrics say, just give it your all and it'll please them.

    Which, again, is kind of hollow and depressing, but such are the times.

    Pyry stood up, said a few words, brought his harmonica up to his lips, Inacio strummed a few strings, and I took a long, slow breath.

    Alright.

    One, two, three, four...

    One-and-two-and-three-and-four...

    And we're off to the races...

    No pressure or nothing.

    Personally, I'm more of a fan of some wilder drums and havin' an opportunity to go a little ham, but I guess some bluesy stuff is alright. Probably a bit easier to do, too.

    We'll call it another little favor, Keany.

    But still, when you sit down and think about it, this song's kind of empty, isn't it?

    It's not really about anything.

    Or, rather, it's about how it's not about anything, no real deeper meaning. Just sounds good and plays that old Canon and it'll tug your heartstrings and you'll like it, right?

    Well, it's popular, so I guess he was right.

    Kind of puts a bad taste in my mouth, though. A bitter song about the state of music today isn't exactly what I'd call a solid recipe for happy fun-time memories.

    More in keeping with what's going to happen, I supposed.

    Really just makes me want to go hit something.

    Maybe I'll get lucky tonight, and something nasty will poke its head out and I'll get to stomp something that super deserves it.

    If only I could be that lucky all the time.

  15. #2755
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies

    And the music continued, with the force of five youngsters.

    Inacio grinned as the amateur-yet-fitting rough voice of Pyry filled the night air and did a little switch-up with his guitar, bridging his melody to fit the actual words and mimic their cadence. He took walking to the stage, setting himself up near Vier and nodded to the girl, his message clear: they were handling the actual tune of the song with perfect accuracy, even if there was a hiccup here and there. It was alright to improvise and have some fun.




    "But I've said nothing so far! And I can keep it up for as lo~ong as it takes. And it don't matter who you are. If I'm doing my job then it's your resolve that breaks!"


    With those lyrics Elaine shifted up her drum-beat and brought the song to the chorus, her surprisingly powerful strikes echoing from the drum-skin like ticking of the metronome.



    "Because the hook brings you back! I ain't tellin' you no lie! The hook brings you back! On that you can rely!


    It wasn't just the voice of Pyry Leijonamieli this time. Voices of both Vier and Inacio joined in the on the backing vocals, a notch below Pyry's pitch and elongating the words to stay just a bit longer, almost like an echo. It was a neat effect, and as the accompanying piano jolted alive during the chorus, it made the melody that much richer.

    With an exhilarated grin, Pyry began the next verse, almost like telling a joke of some sort that only he could get. Perhaps it was what he had been talking about relating to the song, or something else, but whatever it was it remained for only him to know.



    "There is something amiss! I am being insincere! In fact I don't mean any of this! Still my confession draws you near!"


    In the audience, heads were bopping and bodies were swaying slowly to the tune. Ubon Sĕeklêun and Subaru Iburi, both looking dead-tired, were sitting on the sands next to Elise Pelltier, bobbing their heads to the sound. Souma Nubatama, standing to the side of the main group, kept his arms folded but that enigmatic smile on his face stayed. Ramia Ramalsaqr was sitting next to Gabi Bahkauv who watched the stage transfixed, mouth little agape. The dusky-skinned girl let out a loud whistle, cheering the people ont he stage on. Caleb Montjoy had perhaps started sketching the whole event... but had been told to stop the scribbling by Mercedes West, who said he should save it for when Lucille was playing. Near the back, Hwan Bin and Travis Gagnon were watching the band perform, both boys keeping a close eye on the blonde drummer especially.



    "To confuse the issue I re~fer! To familiar heroes from lo~ong ago!"


    Around Alexstrasza Lockhart, a trio of ghosts could be seen swaying back and forth - the terrifyig trio of Vivianne Bianchi, Alex Terrot and Cesarina Feroce. Aleen King, on the other hand, brought her fingers to her mouth and whistled in cheer of Vier, causing Sakura Tsukioka to erupt in hollering next to Colt - the wild yelling possibly caused by the beer the girl was holding in her hands. Meanwhile, Tonkori, who had taken her place hiding in Subaru's giant hairdo, let out a howl to match Pyry's singing voice, as if trying to join in on the song. Kean Loinnir, who was absent-mindedly twirling a drum stick in his hand, chuckled dryly at the dog and shook his head.



    "No matter how much Peter loved he~er! What made the Pan refuse to grow~!"


    And outside the light of the torches and the bonfire, Xylia Pheme sat on the sand, hugging her knees and staring at everyone else with that burning gaze of hers.



    "Was that the ho~ok brings you ba~ack! I ain't tellin' you no lie~! The hook brings you ba~ack! On that you can rely!"


    Suddenly, the melody took a dip as the guitar, the bass, the piano and the drum returned the very basic beat of the song. At the same time, Pyry Leijonamieli jumped a little backwards and brought forth his blues harmonica once more. From there started a harmonica solo that soared across the stage, over the crowd and into the beach behind them. It crashed against the waves, overpowering them for a moment, and then shot towards the moon where it danced across the night sky with stars as its partners. There was primal fury in that solo, played with all the strength in the lungs of an amateur who did it for just the joy of music.

    Still, within that furious solo, Pyry was able to lock his eyes momentary with the scarred girl behind the keyboard, encouraging Hisa with his eyes to add her own flourish to this moment - the high-point of the song. Hearing this momentary increase in speed, Inacio grinned wildly and intertwined the melody with few strums of flamenco-like passion, setting himself between Vier and Elaine and adjusting his playing to hit that of the girls, making them appear as reflections for a moment.

    And then it was over. The harmonica solo stopped. Pyry Leijonamieli had only one half of a second to inhale, to prepare, and as the song once again took its basic form...

    ... His lips began to move rapidly.


    "Suck it in, suck it in, suck it in, if you're Rin Tin Tin or Anne Boleyn!

    Make a desperate move or else you'll win!


    And then begin to see, what you're doing to me!

    This MTV is not for free!


    It's so PC it's killing me!


    So desperately I sing to thee of love!


    Sure! But also rage and hate and pain and fear of self!


    And I can't keep these feeling on the shelf!


    I've tried! Well, no, in fact I lied!


    Could be financial suicide but I've got too much pride inside to hide, or slide!


    I'll do as I'll decide and let it ride till until I've died!


    And only then shall I abide by this tide of catchy little tunes!


    Of hip three minute ditties!


    I wanna bust all your balloons, I wanna burn of all your cities to the ground!


    I've found, I will not mess around unless I play! Then hey!


    I will go on all day!


    Hear what I say, I have a prayer to pray, that's really all this was!


    And when I'm feeling stuck and need a buck, I don't rely on luck, because---!"


    And just when you thought it was safe to breathe again and that the song had reached its absolute apex, all the instruments came alive for one final crescendo that seemed to have no end.

    Meanwhile, Pyry's voice broke momentarily, but it just made it all sound even more powerful.



    "The ho~ok brings you back! I ain't tellin' you no lie!"


    Thus, for the final stretch of the song, it was not only Pyry's voice, but that of all the teens on the stage, that could be heard singing out loud and clear, having been swept up by the hypnotizing music.



    "The ho~ok! On that you can rely~!"


    As unassuming as it had come, this song that had been played for all of the people of the First Class faded away, leaving behind just the echoes of the bass, the piano, the drums, the guitar and the harmonica...

    ... Then, just a five seconds later, the audience broke into furious applause, led by the friends that you had made during these scant few days.

    And on the stage, sweat on their faces and grins on their faces, Pyry and Inacio turned to look at Hisa, Vier, Elaine and each other, grateful and excited and just for a moment, all their hearts beating to the same tune.




    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies

    "Well, dudes... that's tough act to follow..."

    Jake said this about 15 minutes later after the first song. The previous band had cleared up from the wooden stange, and in their stead was the second act of today... an act that had not been there for the first one. The silver-haired janitor, especially, stood out like a sore thumb among the teenagers - though Mr. Hatou kept giving Jake furious thumbs-ups. The young man responded to them with an awkward laugh and gestures to stop it right now this instant.

    "Eh, I don't see what's so tough about that," Kean said, now armed with two drum sticks that he twirled around. "Why, we're a last-minute addition with a song that's not even English! No way that could go wrong, hah!"

    The silver-haired boy laughed dryly at that... before flashing a grin towards the three girls, but Prushka in particular.

    "Well, don't mind it, Tiny. I'll pull my weight around," the boy added. "Can't have Blondie show me up too much..."

    They were encouraging words perhaps... but it was a bit hard to take them seriously since Kean, even now, looked rather red. And not in the blushing way, but in the "I faceplanted straight into a freshly painted barn" way. Whatever had happened to him had left him rather odd-looking, but the silver-haired boy had assured that he would be up for the job.

    Jake, on the other hand, was cool as a cucumber on the stage, having just finished last-minute-tuning to his bass.

    A bit too cool, maybe.

    Judging by the stench around him... he had "calmed" himself quite strongly before coming on the stage.

    "Well, Torpedo?" the janitor asked, looking at Prushka with a raised eyebrow. "Want to lead us off?"

    He nodded towards the mic that was sitting at the edge of the stage... and the group of audience waiting down on the beach.

  16. #2756
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies


    There had been butterflies in her stomach.

    Prushka had closed her eyes and listened backstage, immersing herself in the familiar yet fresh sound of the song. It'd been just as good, if not better, the second time around. She had been able to pick out the passion in each verse, the hopes behind every strum of the guitar, the feelings of the bass, and the drops of excitement in each keyboard note and drum snare. The song had been one of passion, of rebellion, of belief in the future and confidence in today.

    It had been enough to calm her soul.

    Humans are awful, but they create wonderful music.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    "Well, Torpedo? Want to lead us off?"
    The girl's eyes open. There is no trace of clammy tension in her eyes. She offers the inebriated Janitor a confident grin.

    "Of course. I was going to say something about not worrying, since if anyone here becomes a laughing stock it'll be me, but..."

    She pats the bandana tied around her arm. The 'uniform' of their short-lived band.

    "We've practiced. Together. Even if it's just for this song, everyone here is a musician. We’re a real band tonight. So!"

    She jumps off of the ice box she'd been sitting on, raises her arms, and gives everyone a big thumbs up.

    "Let's give Mercedes an even tougher act to follow!"

    With that, they stride on stage...

    ...and Prushka sees them.

    It wouldn't be quite right to call it a sea of faces. After all, there aren't even thirty people in the audience. But each one is staring up at the stage, watching, waiting. Staring at her. In their eyes Prushka sees herself reflected fifty times over. The girl they see looks small and strange. She looks unsure of herself and nervous. The air is one of anticipation. They are waiting. Waiting for the song, for her song, For everyone's song.

    Prushka takes hold of the microphone stand. She adjusts it downward all the way, finds it still too tall, sighs, and takes hold of the microphone herself.

    "Good evening!" Her words are shaky. Normally her voice is clear, shrill even, but now the young girl seems unsure. In that sense, her introduction is nearly the same as Pyry's. "Um, I don't really know this song's name. Or what most of the words mean. There are a lot of things that can't be understood... but the important parts are still there. I know what it's about. And you'll know what it's about too, when you hear it. To me, it's about yesterday. And today. And tomorrow. And, hopefully, the rest of the year. To you, it might mean something else. Whatever that meaning is, I hope we can share it with each other! And I hope our feelings will reach you and everyone who's listening! And I really, really hope you all enjoy it!"

    At the very end, Prushka's voice cracks a tiny bit. She must be hoarse, after all that yelling.

    But, she is ready. At last.

    The butterflies are gone. In their place is something else. Something that Prushka has been carefully constructing since the previous song began.

    Now it is time for that 'something' to be shared.

    "Testing, testing…" the girl draws the microphone close. "Testing…"

    She takes a deep breath, and-.


    It’s different.

    The nonsense words are different. The voice, deeper and clearer than that of the squeaking girl from earlier, is different. And the feeling felt by those who are hearing it, the feeling of Prushka's nervous enthusiasm ringing true, bypassing the mind and touching the heart like only the greatest songs can, is so different and clear as to feel almost magical.

    "Alright, it's working," Prushka chirps happily. "In that case… everyone ready? Three, two one!"

    It starts with the keyboard.

    One lonely note follows another. Lucille Faraday releases the bell-like sounds with light taps of her fingers, allowing them to float in the space between the band members. Once more she repeats the phrase, sending it through the air.

    Then the bass joins in. Jake Briggs is in the perfect mindset to play this song; his deep, twangy riff floats alongside the crystal piano notes, never quite matching or meeting up, like planets in the cloudy sky orbiting around each other.

    Prushka's eyes are closed. Liana and Kean are silent, even as the keyboard and bass repeat themselves, once, twice, growing louder and closer each time, until, as they finally sync up…

    The beat kicks in. The guitar howls. Liana Skye drags her hand down the shaking string and Kean Loinnir shatters the serenity with a series of strikes like gunfire that leave the drums shaking.

    A pause, just long enough to breathe, and-.

    It starts up again, all at once. This time, the instruments are familiar with each other. The melodies intertwine into a harmony, a dreamy dance through space…

    Prushka opens her eyes. And her mouth. She sings:

    You belong to me
    Even though we never said goodbye
    サヨナラ言えなくて

    Now that you are gone
    いつまでも抱

    I'll hold onto you forever
    きしめたかった


    As she cries out, the instruments fall back.

    Once more, her voice shakes the air. It echoes, not in the mind, but in the heart. And, even though the latter part of the verse should be nonsense to anyone in the audience that doesn’t speak Japanese (and terribly pronounced to those who do)...

    Somehow, it is impossible not to understand.

    ---Engulfed in that voice, Liana Skye exists as a living echo of her own past.

    The figure of the tall girl has certainly changed, perhaps in reflection of her existence here on the stage.

    Different from the ever-energetic but casual figure that had made her way through the day like a storm, the smile of the girl that had immediately darted off alone to her pack after her trip to the Lighthouse, was the gently smiling figure of someone who wouldn't look out of place on a concert stage in Japan; hair drawn up to frame her face in a different way, dressed in those extravagant clothes from a long time ago, the one-sided dress and rose-choker of a girl that had once wandered onto a stage with little more than the remnants of a childhood dream as her weapons.

    Yes.

    A gentle smile, one that -perhaps for once- does not try to be anything more than it is, it's a simple smile that cannot be anything more than it is, because the greatest weapon of a performer is the genuine emotions.

    A sense of something decisive to convey to others.

    Indeed.

    ---It's the figure of a girl that radiates confidence.

    One that had initially stepped up to simply fulfill the dreams of another, but had decided to give it her absolute all -to awaken that self from long ago- the moment a small girl had handed her a bandanna and told her they were a team, a band, a unit, a group, even if only for a short time.

    ---Perhaps she can appreciate that sense of belonging, perhaps even a simple gesture like that means more to her than others might think at a glance?

    Perhaps the existence of a distant fan had further fueled that emotional flame?

    Whatever it is...

    When a boy had laughed and asked what could possibly go wrong, she had laughed and said "Nothing at all," believing that those words were true.

    When a girl steps forward to a microphone and lets out a shaky voice, voice that gains strength as it goes on, strength that she can't help but smile as she observes, standing near the girl with the beginnings of a silent rhythm playing in her head; she lightly grips the guitar like she had back in the day, seeking out the "bonds" that exist amongst the crowd, the few friends she has made here so far at first, mouthing a "here we go" to a certain ghostly heiress, and yes...

    To a man on the lighthouse far away.

    And certainly to a Mother that had not yet been found...

    A part of her had originally intended to take the lead microphone for a bit, but in the end, she can't bring herself to interrupt the smaller girl's words.

    The message was loud and clear, all she could add was some potential humor, and...

    There was no need for that, a musician's power was in their feelings.

    ---So it starts with a keyboard, a lone sound, and Liana Skye's eyes close after she throws a grin and a thumbs up at Jake.

    This song is not her usual fare, it's a bit more solemn than her usual, not the sort where she can really go crazy with it, but all the same...

    Even so...

    In spite of that...

    It was certainly a fitting song for her.

    Certainly it must mean something to the others too, thus:

    Where energy fails, she will play with a passionate resolve and enjoy herself, there can be no true mistakes when one is conveying themselves to others -or so she had been taught- and to that end-

    ---The guitar howls in her hands.

    Howls to announce the presence of the voice that cries out.

    Singing a song she herself doesn't understand, but one whose meaning must certainly be clear to her.

    Even if that meaning is self-assigned, even if Liana’s nature as someone from Japan lets her know those words are rough, the power in them is very real, yes...

    Even someone like her can understand that much, and so she smiles, ever so gently, winking at the crowd before her eyes close once more -even if only for an instant- mind set on the task before her-!

    She had said she wouldn't dance, but her body sways naturally along with the flow of the music. Playing stiffly is boring to see, one should throw their all into everything they do, and thus she lets the music flow through her as she goes, nothing too fancy, simple swaying to the beat, moving forward when the guitar came into prominence and falling back when it was Pru's time to shine-!

    The lead singer will get their moments naturally, others need to step forward to claim them, even so-

    Her eyes are alight with life, and, when it's time, when she's called-

    She'll sing.

    To support that voice that's doing it's best, she'll sing right along with the others.

    They were a band after all-!

    ...

    No matter how similar some experiences are, they truly can’t be equivalent to one another.

    The keyboard in front of her might have eighty-eight keys just like an actual piano, but it’s definitely not the same. And no matter how many recitals Lucille has attended, the amped-up energy of the stage is unimaginably different. They’re both facts that are quite obvious, things she should clearly know, but she has gotten this far under the delusion that what she has done was “close enough.” But that judgment is deeply wrong, and the nervousness in her heart is almost stifling.

    Still, she and Mercedes are cut from the same cloth—and Lucille is no stranger to faking it until you made it. No matter how unsure she is, all she needs to do is to pretend to be. People will buy into it.

    Perhaps, even herself.

    She briefly adjusts the mic stand next to her, and with a deep breath, begins to play. Note by note she carves the foundation for everyone else, each crystal clear and radiating with purpose. Slowly, Lucille gives way to the others, her notes becoming a backdrop for the rest.

    It's fun, she realizes moments into their performance, and she has to stifle giddy laughter. The time for her voice to be heard will come anyway.

    Prushka is counting on it, after all.

    ...

    The young girl, supported by her band-mates, sings her heart out.

    Slowly, mournfully, a deep sadness is dredged up from the depths of the heart. Sadness old and new, that has been held onto for years.

    It’s not impossible. Great musicians have achieved as much: a state where it seems as if they are touching the hearts of those they are singing to. A form of self-hypnosis, or perhaps a connection beyond the physical, where feelings might be shared from heart to heart. But, Prushka is not so great a singer.

    So how?

    How are her mournful cries so crystal clear?

    I belong to you
    These tears belong to you as well
    張り裂けそうになる

    You who are awful and wonderful
    この胸を 君に差し出して”


    As her voice shakes, she steps backwards, cheeks burning, eyes watering, and…

    Steps between the two other girls in the band, each of whom look at each other and nod. Liana and Lucille lean in towards the microphone, adding their voices to the mournful verse. They had, of course, practiced singing together, but even the voices of the other two girls, when filtered through the microphone and cast forth towards the crowd, sound different. And they, too, carry feelings of their own.

    Washing over the crowd, the delicate harmony of despair couldn’t be more different from the rebellious spirit of the previous song.

    We belong to Earth
    This Earth that has been cold to us
    遙かな宇宙(そら)のもと

    This Earth that cuts us into Sides
    コバルトに 光る地球(ほし)がある

    That world is frightening
    悲しみは そこから始まって

    These memories are heavy
    愛しさが そこに帰るのさ


    --Her turn comes quickly.

    As if to answer the melody of despair that she herself had been a part of, the voice of Liana Skye emerges in order to defeat herself; to grasp at a truth that is only half-formed, and to defeat a despair that she had not been able to see, but one she can feel in the flow of the song...

    What sort of nightmare had they faced?

    She’s not sure, but she thinks she can understand, even if only a little bit.

    So...

    Her voice is strong.

    It has always been strong, different from the light cheerful energy that the girl had communicated with throughout the day, the voice that emerges from a forgotten self is surprisingly deep, the practiced voice of a young woman that had once been told she sounded like a 'prince.'

    Prince, Knight, Hero...

    Maybe that was just her style?

    Regardless of the source, regardless of what you can compare it with...

    It's a voice that strides forward alone as others fall back, her time, brief as it is, to fight back against radiating 'despair' in her own way, fingers roaring across the surface of the guitar as if they were aflame.

    Yeah.

    Just for a bit...

    She'll sing what comes to mind, eyes set on the crowd, moving to observe everyone with bright eyes as her voice surges forth with 'hope.'

    Ah.
    ああ

    You can't slip away from the möbius ring
    メビウスの輪から引き寄せられて

    But even if those memories bring you pain and sorrow, just remember that they'll lead you to tomorrow
    いくつもの罪を繰り返す


    It’s a song for many people.

    For the mother she has lost and hopes, for a certain old man back home who acted like her dad, for the ghost of an heiress in the crowd, for a man lingering outside the lighthouse, for the infinitely tired eyes of the director of a certain institute, the students before her and even one bitter, cynical girl sulking amidst the sands with eyes that burn like the lost sun.

    She won't discriminate.

    It’s even a song for herself.

    For a girl caught in the center of countless roads.

    Painful memories are still important, everything you go through is a part of who you are, thus-!

    Thus-!

    The voice that had rode forth like the charge of a knight falls back.

    Not in retreat.

    But to gather with everyone else once again.

    The crowd might be cheering, or maybe they’ve gone completely silent.

    In this state it's impossible to tell, and it doesn’t matter either.

    Like this, on the stage, she can be completely honest for a time, and thus...

    Even if it's just with those by her side up here, she can 'connect' to others, so-

    She winks.

    Not at the crowd this time, but at the two girls by her side, and once again...

    Everyone strides forth, together.

    This world is our world, let's shape it with our will
    平和より自由より正しさより

    And the will of the departed, inherited to tomorrow
    きみだけが望むすべてだから

    Let us forgive, so we might be forgiven
    離れても変わっても見失っても

    For the future, frightening, unknown, and ours, is there
    輝きを消さないで


    A song by everyone, for everyone. For those who are gone. For those who are here. For those who, now, only exist in memory. A song of despair, but also of hope.

    For the Xylia Pheme that laughed with Prushka, and the one whose barbs pierced Liana Skye’s heart, and the one that quivered, crying, at Lucille Faraday’s feet.

    For the Subaru Iburi with a gentle smile, and a silly hairdo, and the one wielding a weapon of the gods with tears streaming down her cheeks.

    For those in and around the lighthouse, who watch wordlessly the proceedings below, unable to join the celebrations, bearing their pasts alone.

    And --- to all those that had been left behind in the past, for those who were lost, for the girl that could see everything, and for themselves most of all.

    They had not planned on it. There was no agreement that this be the message they wanted to send to everyone. Prushka's intention, from the beginning, had merely been to share her own…

    As if to defy that, they come together all too easily. Because without knowing, they all felt the same from the start.



    You can change your destiny 
    Beyond yesterday’s dead days
    時の向こう

    You can change your future 
    Beyond the darkness
    闇の向こう

    We can share the happiness 
    Beyond the regrets
    捜してゆく

    Beyond then, beyond now, lies tomorrow
    許し合えるその日を


    Lucille’s voice seamlessly blends in with theirs, a harmonizing echo, as befitting a chorister. There is nothing she can do but let herself be swept up in their current, in their outcry of emotion. The words they sing are brilliant prayers that shine in the dark.

    Yet for a brief moment, her voice ceases to be accompaniment and takes on a life of its own.

    You can’t wash away the past
    夢という 風に導かれて

    Those stains are proof you’re alive
    あやまちの 船に揺られてく

    Our sins belong to earth, yet regrets are ours alone
    We belong to Earth 生きてゆけるのなら

    So I pray, grant me strength to bear it, to not err tomorrow
    いつかまた 戻れる日がある


    Her words are crystal clear, echoing radiantly across the stage.

    In this moment, perhaps Lucille puts in too much of herself. Though she’s approached this matter the entire time with a false bravado, here she lays her soul bare, exposed for the world to see. It doesn’t matter if people understand, and it doesn’t matter if they do. This makeshift confession is the truth from her heart, for listeners who can no longer hear it.

    Even so, as long as those words resonated with someone else, they deserve to be said. A song can be sung for its own sake—but what makes it beautiful is that someone can connect with it nonetheless.

    That is why she lets this song set her adrift in the moment, with no goal in sight.

    Again...
    ああ

    So many mistakes pile up
    メビウスの輪から

    So many meetings are repeated
    抜け出せなくて

    So many bonds torn apart by that time
    いくつもの出会い繰り返す Beyond the time


    Everyone here has had a painful past. Everyone knows what it is like to be rejected by society and the world. The very reason the Pinefall Program was established was to heal that pain, ease that hurt, and give them the strength to stand up one more time.

    Even so, they can’t ever forget it. The words serve as a reminder, as the three girls share that pain, that pain everyone in the audience knows too well. They lament, they acknowledge, they mourn the past.

    And, in the break between chorus and verse, the instruments roar.

    Though they might not be contributing to the lyrics, it’s impossible to ignore the tapping of the snare drums guiding the guitar to further heights, as if one is chasing the other’s lively rhythm. And the bass trundles on in the background, weaving it all together, proving the backing to allow Prushka to take the microphone for herself for a brief moment.

    As the music swells, so does her soul.

    Who does she see, in that crowd blurry from tears? Who is she calling out to?

    The forms she sees there may well be a completely different crowd. One who cannot possibly hear her. But even so, that song is waiting for them, just as she is.

    So much was lost, so much was forgotten
    希望より理想より憧れより

    But the mark you left on me remains
    君だけが真実つかんでいた

    Even if you only know how to hurt others
    はかなくて激しくて偽りない

    Please reach for it, across the universe
    まなざしを閉じないで


    Once more, everyone comes together, joining in as the chorus appears one last time.

    Even if the words are the same, the feelings in those words could not be more different.

    You can change your destiny 
    That destiny of despair
    時の向こう

    You can change your future 
    That future you wish for
    闇の向こう

    We can share the happiness 
    Something bright must exist in that time
    捜してゆく

    Hold onto it, that painful, precious thing
    愛し合ったあの日を

    You can change your destiny 
    That regret and that wish
    時の向こう

    You can change your future 
    Don't let go of it
    闇の向こう


    It has changed. The song has changed from its beginning.

    It has been changed by Liana Skye's hero-like voice, clear as a spring breeze. It has been changed by Lucille Faraday's pure wish. It has been changed by the beating of Kean Loinnir's drums, which have softened into a gentle rhythm that carries the rhythmic beating heart of the audience and the song. It has been changed by Jake Briggs' measured, steady bass, which dances along no matter what might come his way.

    Just as despair becomes hope, one’s heart can be moved by a simple song.

    Prushka's voice, which had started off shaking, is clear now. She steps forward, up to the very edge of the stage, beholding the blurry forms of the audience below. The sun has dipped below the horizon, but the stage still glows. Everyone on it, playing their part, glows.

    Once more, she calls out.

    Once more, she voices her plea.

    The reason she’d wanted to sing. The song in her heart. The message she had prepared this entire time, for everyone in Pinefall. Even if it could hurt her. Even if it meant baring her soul to strangers.

    Even so… surely, on the other side of that terrifying gap between their hearts, there will be something wonderful.



    You...
    ああ

    You who wish to see stars once more, I call thee; take this hand
    もう一度君に巡り会えるなら

    That we might smile, live, and grasp that wish
    メビウスの宇宙を越えて 

    Together, beyond that time
    Beyond the time


    One by one, the instruments fade out.

    The piano drifts off into silence.

    The guitar stills its howling.

    The bass vibrations disappear.

    Slowly, calmly, the tapping of the drum departs into the silent distance.

    The girl’s wipes away the last of her tears.

    The song of everyone's hearts has been sung.
    The performance has come to an end.


    Wise Up (Prushka)
    Hisa’s Symphony Rank D Element: Sound
    By granting a ‘spark’ to the yearning of Hisa Momoi, who wishes desperately to be understood by others, Prushka awakens the power of connection within the target, concentrating Odic Force within their vocal chords and allowing their feelings to be transmuted through ‘song’. In many ways, it can be compared to the ancient, primal language of Babel, which was struck down by God. Though, Prushka herself would have no idea of this; she just hopes to help that idiot be more honest… as an unintended side effect, it allows for the one-time delivery of normally touch-based applications of D rank and below at range, through sound.
    When used, allows delivering touch-based applications of Rank D and below through sound up to 20 meter radius from yourself. These applications must be used on the same Turn as this application itself. Fails if the target cannot hear the song. Allows for feelings to be clearly expressed regardless of language or similar barriers to understanding.
    Last edited by Bloble; May 18th, 2020 at 01:34 PM.

  17. #2757
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: End’s Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies



    Music is a subjective experience. Even if it follows certain principles and procedures that allow for the distinct determination of specific sequences of sounds that make “music” instead of “noise”, the creation of music is and has always been a personal experience—an expression of individuality.

    John Dove, who takes all things at face value, can only interpret musical performances as discrete sequences of emotional projections. “This is an energetic part”, “this is a sad part”, “this is a furious part”, “this is a melancholic part”, “this is a candid part”—John takes in the sounds created by the instruments, the tone of the singer’s voice and their body language to give an emotional attribute to each part of a song. He listens to the lyrics and understands the meaning of their words and sentences, but that’s about it.

    That’s about it.

    No matter how many times he listens to this performance, John cannot decipher Pyry Leijonamieli’s heart. What drew the Finn to that song? What pushed him to pick it for tonight? What are the thoughts he wishes to convey? Those things are beyond him. His soul remains in a state that can only be stirred by one thing, so his classmates’ music cannot touch him.

    This time, he stands distant, somewhat closer to Xylia Pheme than to the main group of students for whatever reason. He stands there, he watches intently, and when the performance ends, he claps politely. There is nothing there, so vacuous he guesses it is a good thing Miss Prushka is not looking at him.

    There is a second performance this time, squeezed between the repeated song and Mercedes West’s intervention. There is no need to go into details, and John Dove is not the right person to give them.

    His mind is just not into it. The serene, regular beat of the ocean’s waves does nothing for him this time around, and the rhythmic percussion from Loinnir travels along the sand to carry uncomfortable reverberations into his body. Prushka sings in a language he does not understand, further limiting the information he can glean from the scene. There are emotions in their expressions, but John Dove can only perceive emotions as input to be processed to generate his own responses, and develop his own ersatz emotions.

    “The colorless things of the colorless people are not of his concern.”

    How long can he keep holding to that idea?

    No, that is not the right question.

    How long will his soul shackle him to such a loathsome idea?

    There is value to the actions of these people. Why would he bother looking for their colors otherwise? However, if he cannot give them value, and he cannot recognize the value they themselves give to their own deeds, then how can John Dove connect with the colorless human beings?

    It is impossible. It is an impossible, unreasonable situation, and his only hope rests—must rest—on the possibility that at least one of the above statements is wrong.

    Nevertheless, the fact he can glean emotional meaning from foreign words he cannot understand feels like an intrusion into his mind. Something that should not happen is happening, and therefore it is obvious to him that a supernatural actor is behind it. Hisa Momoi is not the only one who can invade his mind. He cannot say he feels comfortable with the unrequested, unbidden intrusion, no matter how “heartfelt” the message.

    When the song is over, John brings his hands together to applaud…but then stops. He is about to perform the rote response, just like he did after the previous song, but he stops. He cannot appreciate the music nor give it meaning within himself, nor can he empathize with the emotions of the performers, nor feel gratitude for the effort to project those emotions into his mind. What would clapping then mean by this point? What would Miss Prushka think if she were to see him clapping?

    The hands that refuse to join into clapping reach for his sides as their attached arms instead cross. His response to the efforts of Prushka and the others is stoic, detached silence, for that is the only honest reaction he can give.

    To John Dove, this party is already over. The time for antics has concluded. Tragedy looms ever closer, and there is so much to do, that it is impossible even to conceive achieving everything. However, it is too early to think of concerted action among all the relevant actors, because he does not yet have a complete grasp on who remembers and who does not. For good or ill, John Dove can only keep doing as he always does, living in the present, adjusting and enduring as best he can.

    His mind is already hard at work, iterating through the possible ways the night could develop.
    Last edited by Daneel Rush; May 19th, 2020 at 10:17 AM.

  18. #2758
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies

    A wave of applause, a loud one at that, rushed over the group of students that had gathered to the beach as the second band of the night finished up their songs. Whistles and cheers from all around the beach resonated loudly, telling just how well their song of choice had been received despite its strange nature and foreign lyrics. Nevertheless, it looked like the emotions put behind those words had been made clear for all those who were present, and even if most did not understand the reasons behind them... they still touched hearts of those who were present.

    As the hooting and hollering died down, and as the band started to make their way off the stage, however, Jake Briggs (sweaty and grinning from the exertion) walked over to the microphone stand, stared at it for a few moments, readjusted the height to fit that of normal human beings and looked over the crowd. He raised a lazy thumbs up to Mr. Hatou, as if this had been something they had agreed to beforehand.

    "Now then, dudes, before we let the last act of tonight on stage, there's something I was told to tell you all," the janitor started. "See uh, we had some activities planned for those who were still jonesing for something to do even after the sun's gone down. So, dudes and dudettes, here's the deal - we'll be having a get-together at the bonfire over here. Apparently ghost stories are the theme of the night, so, uh, prepare for chills I guess?"

    A dopey smile rose to the silver-haired boy's face and he shrugged.

    "The other thing, though, is a bit of an interactive one. That is, we're having a test of courage, dudes and dudettes!" Jake continued. "We'll be starting this over at the campus, and yours truly will be the referee over there. As per Hisa Momoi's suggestion, you guys will be divided up to groups of two and three through lottery of sorts, and from there you'll have two missions. First, you guys'll hide some object in one of the predetermined places. And then, after everyone's done that, each group has another location randomly assigned to them. The objective's to find the item that the other group hid there and not get completely spooked while doing so. The first group to locate the object and get back is the winner and, after some thinking, will win a gift card to End's Store & Post! Pretty radical, right?"

    A couple of awkward laughs could be heard from the otherwise silent crowd... though the announcements had certainly created some buzz. From the looks of it, most of the students were thinking of at least staying at the bonfire for the time being, though some were also wondering if they should take part in the test of courage... though, since only the bands had really agreed to the activity, it was unlikely that any classmate not directly involved would come forth unless invited by someone who was already "in" the test-of-courage-group.

    "Anyways, that's all. You dudes let me know if you're staying for either, so I can jot your names down," Jake concluded. "But while that's going on, dudes and dudettes, there's one last thing... one last musical act! One that's gonna cap of the night, so... take it away!"

    And with that, the silver-haired janitor did a drowsy little bow and walked off-stage, humming the song still playing in his mind.

    At the same time, Mercedes West slipped out of the group and walked to the stage, whispering something to Pyry, Inacio and Kean as she went. As she got to the stage, those three boys followed her, all stretching a bit as they got ready for the last song of today.

    "Let's get this done," Mercedes said to the three. "Like we talked about."

    Inacio nodded and changed his guitar from an acoustic to an electric one, a jet-black thing that almost melted into the night. Meanwhile Pyry took a place behind the Casio keyboard and tested it a few times to get a sense of where everything was. Kean, too, sat once more behind the drum set, wiping some sweat off his forehead. Mercedes West, on the other hand, strode over to the microphone stand. She wrapped her fingers around the instruments, giving it a few soft checks with her voice. With a surprising speed, everything was ready, having taken no more than ten minutes.

    "Alright, boys and girls!" Mr. Hatou announced with a great big grin. "We have one more song to finish off this party! Now, give a big thanks to everyone who made it happen, and feel proud that you all came together for such a wonderful night! This is what Oceandrop Program is all about, so if anyone comes up with another idea like this, just tells us teachers! We'll make it happen!"

    This caused a wave of murmurs to ripple through the crowd. Perhaps other students were getting their own inspiration as well. However, that all quieted down when the lights of the stage dimmed somewhat, and Mercedes took a deep breath. Say what you will about the girl's personality, but her presence on the stage was enough to gather all the attention on her. It was clear how and why she had gotten to where she was in life, when her mere appearance could silence a crowd and make all eyes focus on her.

    A ten seconds of silence passed.

    Then, Mercedes spoke.

    "I won't speak long," she said curtly. "Last night, I was, like, asked to come up with a song for tonight. Y'know, to close off the party. So I wrote something and passed it to the boys here. This is that song."

    Another ten seconds of silence.

    Kean's drum sticks clicked against each other, setting the beat. But instead of what he used before, he had switched to brushes that made a soft sound against the the skin of the drums. And at that second, a deep, reverberating, echoing sound came from the strings of Inacio's guitar, filling the night air with a melody that was like a walk in the misty woods of the town, under the hanging moon on the sky. A lonely, hopeful melody that almost spoke of love, but never quite came clear. An enigma for everyone's ears to listen to... and to enjoy.

    This all was followed by Mercede's beautiful voice as it joined in with Pyry's simple, clean and bell-like playing of the keyboard.


    "Don't let yourself be hurt this time... Don't let yourself be hurt this time..."


    And so, with these soft melodies, the beach party of Pinefall High was enveloped in the velvet night.




    Alexstrasza Lockhart: Friendship Rank Raised!




    Anna Vandemeel: Friendship Rank Raised!



    Colt Davin: Friendship Rank Raised!




    Elaine Winters: Friendship Rank Raised!







    Elise Marie Pelltier: Friendship Rank Raised!



    Hisa Momoi: Friendship Rank Raised!



    John Dove: Friendship Rank Raised!



    Liana Skye: Friendship Rank Raised




    Lucille Faraday: Friendship Rank Raised!





    Prushka: Friendship Rank Raised!







    Vier Wolff: Friendship Rank Raised!





    Vivienne Bianchi: Friendship Rank Raised!




    Last edited by Verg Avesta; May 20th, 2020 at 05:30 PM.

  19. #2759
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    Not a bad day for someone who was nothing but a cloud of radioactive dust not too long ago. Can't say this was what I was expecting, but I can't say I was expecting much on account of being a cloud of radioactive dust not too long ago.

    She glanced over at Ubon who was sitting beside her. She still looked exhausted. It was hard, even for someone like her, with such seemingly boundless energy, to run away while carrying two people tucked under her arms. Soon enough, Ubon had just run out of steam and crashed face-first into the sand, which had provided Prushka and Subaru with the time necessary to make their escape.

    Elise smiled to herself, bobbing her head along with the familiar-but-albeit-slightly-different performance.

    The hook brings you back, eh, Pyry? Funny how the context has changed. Pyry said he felt drawn to the song... Heh, hooked even. Was there some sort of unconscious decision there? Some sort of a premonition? Or was it just chance? I picked The Eye of the World as my bus reading material because it was the biggest fantasy novel I had handy and I'm pretty sure that there was nothing else to that.

    Elise thought back to the last time she was on this beach, listening to her classmates play on that stage. A week ago? Right now? In some other timeline parallel to this one so measuring time between them held little meaning? In another life?

    I was sitting here feeling amazed by how fast everyone had been able to organize all this on such short notice. I sat here feeling optimistic about the future, being at Pinefall, and hoping I could find some friends who'd play Dungeons and Dragons with me... Doesn't seem that important compared to our impending doom right now though... Still, that's a work related thought, and the beach party isn't over yet... Time enough for that later, or maybe hardly enough.

    The second band took the stage. Prushka, Lucille, Jake, Kean, and Skye. Something of an unexpected group and an unexpected song. It wasn't the sort of music she'd normally have listened to, which made it all the more intriguing. Although she didn't understand most of it, she somehow caught the gist of what Prushka sang. It was oddly fitting, and there was a sort of mournful optimism to-

    [What a loud brat. Can we stuff a sock down her throat?]

    A discordant noise intruded on her thoughts, marring the song as it rang through her mind. Elise winced at the intrusive voice. She shut her eyes and grit her teeth and tried her best to ignore it. Not only that but the whole idea was utterly impractical. She wasn't wearing any socks right now, although she supposed that there was a pair in her backpack that she wasn't using at the moment that- NO.

    Elise rubbed her temples as she tried to force herself to focus on the ongoing performance on stage again, Well I like their singing...

  20. #2760
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Clear Skies


    I stretched out my fingers and my back, squinting up at the stage as I did so.

    Hm.

    Should I say something, some words of encouragement? Maybe a cheer from the audience will fill his heart with confidence?

    "Oi, jackass! Don't suck!"

    There we go, perfect.

    I folded my arms and nodded, ought to get the message across. If I out-preformed him so easily, I'd laugh at him for the rest of time.

    Finishing the stretch, my eyes trailed towards the tiny blonde girl who I barely knew, but had a cute little scooter.

    Very cute.

    I'd heard the song earlier, and from the translation, plus a whole bunch of others wanting to get involved (including myself), I had a pretty good idea what she was getting at.

    I watch bemusedly, shuffling in my coat as the squeaky little girl hollers out at us.

    Then, suddenly, the world tilts and shifts. A bunch of emotions that aren't mine flit into my mind, and I stiffen.

    Stop.

    Stop it.

    You stupid little girl, out of my head.

    I know what your silly little song is about, I get it, alright? I get it, so get out of my head.

    Now.

    I don't need to feel the sadness of others, I already know it.

    I don't want to feel any more than I already have.

    Destiny?

    The Future?

    Maybe that song just put me in a mood, but...

    Listen.

    This song, these feelings you're trying to express?

    They're for other people.

    Not me.

    I'm not allowed to be happy anymore.

    For all that I know, I'll blunder into something and make someone so angry they'll have to gun me down and hurt me to make someone else hurt.

    For that, Libyan Lamia, I will never forgive you.

    But-

    Is that statement true, or a lie to protect myself?

    I lie to myself so often, it's difficult to ascertain what the truth is.

    But here is something that is a fact that is understood by the world, an academic, objective truth.

    Elaine Winters is a Lycanthrope, a Monster, cursed to be the apex predator of the Turnside of the world.

    For all intents, she is a threat to ordinary people. By the standards of cold-eyed Inquisitors, she must die for people to be safe.

    If someone who wants to save people is herself a threat to people, and a threat she cannot make herself stop, what should she do?

    End the threat, clearly.

    ...

    I wonder, sometimes, if that is why I'm so quick to throw myself into danger, that I sunk into that bestial mindset so easily.

    Elaine Winters values others far above herself, and on some level...

    I sighed, turning away.

    Even facing down that monster that filled my heart with terror, I refused to run.

    Elaine Winters wants to be a hero.

    A Hero saves people.

    A Monster kills them.

    Elaine Winters is a Monster.

    But-

    How can a monster be a hero?

    I didn't know.

    So I am sorry, Prushka.

    I can't take your song with me.

    I won't allow it.

    Not yet.

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