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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #2381
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    That was certainly an extreme turn of events, yes. Vivienne Bianchi had no doubts as to what the contents of this VHS tape could be. This 'friend' of Alexstraza was most likely Caesarina, considering how the two had interacted so far. Plus, if one goes by Hollywood conventions for horror movies, sending a video to someone showing them their own gruesome death was... quite cliche. Cruel, sadistic, but cliche indeed.

    But the cliche nature was irrelevant. On to more important matters, had Caesarina Feroce died on the 'previous' week? The worried glance that Elise shot Vivienne seemed to imply so, and thus, the existence of this tape was already a contradiction -- it was not something that should be here, thus it was brought here either by someone else who was aware that this twisted game had been reset... or the sender was the very same person that had reset it in the first place.

    Vivienne never knew exactly what happened to who at the campus, she after all, spent her second half of the week end at Owl's Nest. The only news of the chaos that was going on at Pinefall came from Hwan and Travis.

    "If you had... bad sleep... maybe... shouldn't watch this... keep it for another time..." Vivienne said as she looked at Alexstraza in the eye. "Many of us... had a long nightmares.. bad sleep... left us grumpy... sad... angry I think... so watching things that upset us is... not good."

    Did Alexstraza remember? The way she reacted seemed to imply that, yes... like someone already aware of a death that would occur in the future, and trying to divert attention from it. Just like how Elise and Prushka were doing so now.

    "Maybe... some time... we should go eat at Avery Dinner then... together..."

    Not tonight however. Booking one's reservations before such an important meeting as the one that would happen with Hisa and the others would be... foolish. There was a lot to be done. Getting more hands on board for this monumental task would help as well -- the mystery of this 'loop' of sorts was not something that a single person could solve, Vivienne had the hunch. It wouldn't be her first case too where a problem is not a single line that leads to a culprit, but an interwoven web of mysteries that may in fact include everything up to the entirety of Road's End.

    And most of all, it looked like a lot of people who were here for 'therapy' were in truth, just like Vivienne, part of the Turnside. Prushka, Hwan, and perhaps all of these people that were remembering about 'last' week too... or at the very least, they had already been involved to the point where all pretension of 'secrecy' of the Turnside should be cast aside... for now.




    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

  2. #2382
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High - Campus
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Please don’t push yourself, Ubon.”
    Ubon giggled, most likely only because the two who were approaching were still outside of their hearing range. It wasn't a completely happy sound, but at the same time, it wasn't a sorrowful one either. It was almost like the sound of someone who was used to stuff like this... far too used to things go this way. The cyanhead rubbed her nose a bit, and flashed a grin at the boy.

    "Mm, thanks Johnnie. Despite how cold you act like, you're a real darling sometimes. For realsies," Ubon quietly answered, and giggle dagain. "So, umm... yeah. Thanks. I'll be fine!"

    Then, as if pushing aside that moment, Ubon whirled around at the approaching Hisa and Pyry, and waved her hands again.

    "Hey you guys!" she hollered, beaming like nothing was out of the ordinary. "Real sweet weather we're getting, right?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Hey, John, Ubon. What are you guys up to? Starting the day with some exercising?"
    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Ah, yes, good morning. I can never hope to match our friend Pyry here, but I’d like at least some degree of fitness."
    Pyry chuckled at that, and scratched the back of his head.

    "Eeehh, it'll probably sound like a total humble-brag, but I'm not that good with morning routines," the tall boy admitted. "I'm more of the type to sleep till noon and then patch it up by working out till midnight. But hey, different things work for different people, right? Besides, I'm gifted with this freakish body, so working out just show easier for me."

    "Aww, look at him, being all modest! We were just discussing that with Johnnie here actually! Y'know, genetics and training," Ubon replied teasingly. "And while me and Pyry here might have some advantage when it comes to stuff like that, what with him being built like a building and me being all jellyfish-like, that'll only take us so far, right?"

    Pyry nodded with a smile.

    "Mhm. It's just as much about how much work you put in yourself," he said, before looking at John. "So no need to compare yourself to others. I mean, you're jogging here even on the first day, and meanwhile I'm stuffing myself with bacon. Easy to see who's the more productive one, hah!"

    And speaking of breakfast...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Want some food? Since you’re out of here, I’d assume you haven’t had breakfast yet. And since I took way too much...I don’t mind sharing.”
    "Ah, yeah, take what'cha need from me too," Pyry added, sounding slightly embarrassed. "Despite being hungry like a lion, I think I actually packed a little bit too much. You'd be doing me favour by helping me out with this one."

    Ubon's eyes lit up at the mention of food.

    "Oooh, then don't mind if I do!"

    Then, like a crazed hummingbird around a flower, the cyanhead started hovering all around Hisa and Pyry, helping herself to what she wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    That would be much appreciated. By the way, I believe I owe you two an apology. I didn’t make it to the sheriff’s in the end.”
    There were two reactions to this sentence. First of all, Pyry's eyes narrowed a bit, until some sort of realization seemed to hit him, as he cocked an eyebrow at John and Hisa as if to confirm something. Ubon, on the other hand, was biting into a half a loaf of buttered bread at the moment, and as such couldn't get much out in the way of words. Instead, she tilted her head questioningly at the two, her expression becoming one big question mark.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Well… As you can see, it wasn’t really needed in the end, so that’s okay.”
    "Huh?" Ubon questioned, after having swallowed. "What'cha guys talking 'bout?"

    Pyry, sensing possible trouble, practically shoved his tray in front of the girl.

    "Err, nothing important. Just stuff," he hastily (and badly) covered up. "That aside, can you help me out with this bacon too? I think I ate enough of that..."

    Ubon's eyes were practically shining now, and her butt swayed from left to right like that of an over-excited dog.

    "Oh-oh-oh! For realsies!? Nice!" Ubon exclaimed loudly, before digging into the mountain of bacon with both hands. "Mmm, this stuff is so good! Just how much moneys did they put into the catering of this place!"

    Well, from the looks of it, crisis had been averted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “By the way, Ubon, did you know? There’s going to be a beach party later tonight. You look like someone who loves swimming, so I figured you’d be excited to hear.”
    The bacon-devouring hummingbird nodded like her head was about to blast off.

    "Mhm! I haven't got to swim in a while, so I'm definitely gonna take a dip!" She happily exclaimed. "How 'bout you, Hissie? Wanna come for a swim with me? I betcha we could gather a nice group for it, maybe even get a race or two out of it! That or, hmm... I bet there's some pool toys in the storage, either over there or at the pool building..."

    Ubon had pointed her thumb towards the storage building near the seats of the field.

    "We could even find one of those inflatable killer whales! That'd be so cool! For realsies!"

    --- Seems like Hisa's suggestion had gotten her mind racing again.




    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Who knows? At one point I might find that I may be in need of some... thuggish advice on certain subjects, let's say. Of course, in return, I’d be more than willing to give you a hand from time to time as well. Though whether or not you actually want me to be involved with… your business is something I’ll leave up to you.”
    Travis let out a low, doubtful hum under his breath, his eyes studying Anna's actions, motions and expressions rather closely. Now that some sense of calmness had been established, and it was clear that Anna wasn't here to do... whatever Travis had been paranoid about, even he started to relax a bit. He even let his chair tip backwards a little bit, lazily leaning on it while putting his hands behind his back.

    "Thuggish stuff, huh...? And here I took you fo the cross-eyed, bitch-faced, iron-rod-straight-up-the-arse type of PMSer. All the offense, kaha," Travis replied, a crude chuckle escaping his lips... though in just a moment, his voice became a bit more quiet and his eyes narrowed again. "Well, if you want some of that expertize, then hell yeah you gotta pay me - or do me a solid as well. There's this... project I'm working on, thing I'm looking for. Help me with that, and I'll help you with whatever it's you're doing."

    His eyes momentary howevered over to Gabi, and the delinquent snorted.

    "Unless you want me to break into the kid's underwear drawer or something, in which case you're on your own," he said with a vulgar grin. "I ain't helping anyone's perversions but my own."

    It looked like he was getting back to his old groove again, though... right now, it felt more like a force of habit than anything else. Perhaps Anna had been right about her assesment after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “There is something wrong in this place, Gagnon. Both in the town itself and in this blasted school. Though you probably don’t need me to tell you that, now do you?”
    Travis snorted, though, just for a moment, his eyes betrayed the same kind of look that Anna had.

    "You got that right. The fucking place is all sorts of wrong and shitty," he replied quietly. "Or, as one colleague put it..."

    His eyes turned towards the room of the cafeteria, and especially the door that led to the kitchens for some reasons.

    "Something is rotten in the State of Washington. And Heaven will direct it."




    Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Think of it as an opportunity to spend more with him. If anything it’ll cause him to stay as he gets more and more interested in the town.”
    The look on Aleen's face seemed to say "As if anyone's gonna be interested in this bodunk town", but since Caleb was more alert now, she decided to leave well enough alone. Instead, the bluehead directed her attention once again towards the artist... and Vier could practically see how her expression melted into that goofy smile once again. Honestly, looking at it, it was becoming quite clear that the reason why Aleen was this enamored... was mostly because of Caleb's look. The artist was especially easy on the eyes, and his lithe body and delicate-yet-sharp features, not to mention of his striking eyes that seemed to just scream of a mysterious past like in a romance novel, made him quite the sight. Then there was his soft, curt way of speaking that inspired that mystery aspect as well.

    Aleen King, in a sense, was living her quintessential high school crush, on the first day of Pinefall no less.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Yeah I heard about it from Inacio. Apparently there’s going to be food, a band and even fireworks. Well I say there’s going to be a band but we still need a keyboardist and a drummer still. Should be tons of fun though.”
    "Hmm. Beach Party, you say? Guess I should bring my canvas there, then," Caleb replied, rubbing his chin in thought. "I've wanted to paint that lighthouse. There's something... mysterious about it. Guess it's only natural, though. After all, it's a lighthouse that doesn't work. Things that can no longer do what they were meant for... ones that are just hollow husks of what they used to be... they're rather sorrowful and fascinating, no? It somewhat reminds me of that one painting. The one by René Magritte. As in, La Trahison des images - The Treachery of Images."

    Aleen blinked owlishly at this, having clearly no idea what the boy was talking about.

    "Is something in the shape of a lighthouse, but which is not lighthouse in function, still a lighthouse?" he asked, making a vague gesture with his free hand. "Is the image, shape and physical existence of something the same as that thing itself? Or is it something more?"

    He took a sip of his coffee, eyes closed.

    "I suppose some people call that 'Soul', though I'm not sure if it's that simple."

    Sounds like someone was getting philosophical...




    Lucille Faraday, Elaine Winters & Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “Sticking out by not sticking out? I guess that’s not a bad way to look at it. I think I’ll go with that. Beats how things went last week… err, ignore that last part.”
    Sakura smiled warmly at him.

    "Mhm. We all need a sense of normalcy in our lives, one way or another," she sagely said, putting a spoonful of ice cream in her mouth. "Becoming a supporting pillar like that for someone... well, call me a hopeless romantic, but it certainly sounds beautiful, no? There'd be a role of importance that not many would ever get to experience."

    From the looks of it, Sakura's elder sister mode was in full swing now, not with only teasing Lucille peacefully or behaving towards Colt like he had been a new little brother sitting at the table, but also giving out life advice like this that came from a more experienced point of view. "How much" more experience the girl had... well, that was best left unasked.

    After all, they had just gotten this peaceful atmosphere back.

    No sense in breaking it now.

    "So, what do you say, Mistress Lucille?" Sakura then asked impishly. "Shall I get the photo album out, or---"

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "But, Sakura, you seem like you're a pretty hard worker, putting others up on pedestals and teasing them like that, hair ruffling and all. You have to remember to take good care of yourself as well, doing your best so much for so many people, it has to be hard, but, you know, you're doing your best, and there's nothing better than seeing a person so earnestly help people. It's honestly kind of cute."
    Sakura didn't even blink.

    "Well, duh. Of course I'm cute."

    She delivered that counter-clockwise cross counter without any hesitation whatsoever, and without her expression wavering for a fraction of a second.

    "I mean, as you said Winters, I put in hard work at helping Mistress Lucille each and every day. And I wouldn't be working as a maid if I didn't enjoy helping others and making them be their best selves. Honestly, the housework is mostly secondary to me. The way I see it, each person has a chance to be good and decent in them, be someone who can make a difference... and it's my job to bring it out of them," Sakura sagely answered without batting an eyelid, shoveling more ice cream into her mouth. "But that doesn't mean I neglect myself either. At this point in my life, I can't afford it. So, if my policy in life makes me cuter, that's even better! Means I still have my chances, ahaha~"

    Chuckling a bit, Sakura then rested her arm against Lucille's shoulder, affectionaly smiling at the blond.

    "Of course, I'll only seriously start thinking about stuff like that once I find someone for Milady over here," she half-cooed teasingly. "The Head Maid can hardly get married before her Mistress - and who'd look after her if I was on a honeymoon? Nah, that's still some ways away... but that just means I gotta make sure Mistress Lucille here catches eyes of all the boys!"

    Yucking to herself, Sakura finished the bowl of ice cream in her hands and set it on the table. Then, with precise movement, she put her hands on her lap and looked at Elaine. There was a certain sense of mischievous camaraderie and understanding there... understanding what the blond girl had been trying to do. But from the looks of it, Sakura didn't seem to mind.

    In fact, she looked quite happy about it.

    "By the way... mind if I call you Elaine? Winters seems just... rather formal," Sakura then asked with a hint of a grin. "And if we're going to continue this in the future, I'd like to be on good terms with my verbal sparring partner."

  3. #2383
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    Hm, well played.

    It seems an attack as obvious as that one won't work on this one, she's no fool.

    A worthy opponent indeed.

    I smiled, thinking about things this person had no idea about at the current time, "I think I'm similar, anyone can be a good person if they want to be, they just have to be given the chance and some encouragement."

    I resumed chewing at my sandwich, "I think there's a fair number of people who are here because of that, really. Assumptions and preconceived notions about what a person is, and what you've been taught about them makes connecting with each other pretty difficult," I mused.

    A frown crossed my face, "It can easily lead to a bad situation where there's nothing anyone can do but get hurt, really," But I blinked away some feelings about a past not arrived, "People are a little silly sometimes, but that's why we all gotta look out for one another, yeah? Cover up for any holes in the radar."

    It was something I truly believed.

    Then I pointed with one knife-hand at Sakura, "So yeah, call me what you like," I winked, "Any fellow makeover enthusiast is okay in my book, because, after all..."

    I shot a mischievous look across the table at the taller blonde, "You can't escape that easily..."

  4. #2384
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Field
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy



    John cannot do any more for Ubon. He can only acknowledge her choice. If she falls, somebody will have to catch her. If he happens to be there, then he will do so. Nothing more, nothing less.

    What follows is a brief exchange on natural talent, and the need to temper it with conscientious effort. John nods wordlessly as Pyry’s and Ubon’s commentary. The Finn would have never won anything just by having a gifted body. As for John, it is not a matter of excellence or productivity, merely sustaining a healthy average. He does not want to stand out, but he also cannot allow himself to be mediocre and underachieving in a grey world that does not forgive either fault.

    While secretly hoping Ubon remembers to leave at least some food for him, John examines the other two’s reactions.

    Momoi knows. Good. Pyry…could be interpreted in several ways.

    This opens the possibility of others knowing as well. Whether that is good or bad will probably have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    Naturally, Ubon is curious, and Pyry’s ability to deflect attention might prove insufficient.

    “Don’t mind me, I said everything I had to say.” With that, he directs a wink at the Thai girl.

    “Honestly, pretty boring stuff to talk about after a morning run. Maybe some other time, eh Bonnie?”

    A moment later, it comes.


    A foreign ripple in the ocean of his mind.

    It is not entirely comfortable, but it is a little startling, and certainly interesting, in that it awakens John’s intellectual curiosity. On that night, he was an ignorant child with no idea of what was happening to him. Now that he knows the truth, he can draw (to a degree) conclusions about the mysterious powers of the Turnside. Of course, Her eyes are like being swallowed by the expanding Sun as it becomes a red giant, compared to Hisa’s gentle poke on the shoulder. The point is that it feels different, in both potency and nature. Hisa Momoi’s technique is probably not associated with the blood of Lilith.

    Of course, he finds little issue in accepting the unnatural presence. He will find issue if she starts to poke where she shouldn’t, in which case…well, if it happens, he’ll figure something out.

    Hisa Momoi will find a disappointingly uniform mind, clean of extraneous thoughts.

    “Welcome, Momoi. I appreciate the forewarning. I will be brief: I was, or will be, unmade by the Disembodied Man on Sunday. Mercedes West was with me and I believe suffered the same fate. As far as I can tell, Ubon does not remember the previous iteration of this week. What about Pyry?”

    Of course, he does not forget the outward conversation, which has drifted towards the evening’s event.

    “Yes, yes, we are all looking forward to a good time this evening, and we can look for pool toys or whatever if we have the time,” he speaks calmly, a placid and boring counterpart to the hyper girl’s ceaseless enthusiasm.

    “If you will excuse me, I need a few minutes to finish my routine. Ubon, I will never forgive you if you eat everything.”

    John does glance at Hisa while he makes some distance from the others. This should be no impediment to their “conversation”, right?

  5. #2385
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    Quote Originally Posted by Pru
    "Sorry, that's impossible. Not 'cus of that awful nickname. It's just no good. I asked a really strong guy I know to teach me, once, and he said it would be a waste of time even if I mastered it. So no cool flips and stuff until I get a bit taller."


    "But Pru's a great nickname, it's super cute..."

    Ultimately, she responds to the first of those words with a bit of a purposeful pout, then-

    "It'd certainly be more difficult with a smaller body, but there are plenty of things you can learn that don't need particularly long limbs, the martial arts aren't just about punches and kicks, you know? It's it own sort of lifestyle in a way-!"

    Cheerful.

    Yes, as chaotic as this mass of students has become, the dark-haired girl remains about as cheerful as she's always been throughout all of it, working to make sure that things keep moving forward to the best of her ability, and because of that, she participates in the moment of a package's unveiling, the moment a tape -VHS- clatters to the table before everyone, a bizarre message scrawled across it's top in black marker, and-

    'In-depth look at what I did to your little friend last Sunday.'



    -the smile fades, replaced by an expression that is... Certainly hard to truly define, but seems to be at least of deep thought.

    It's something that only exists for a moment, a natural reaction to a bizarre message that continued to fit a certain 'theme' in the words people around this table had been using all morning, like...

    'Second Week of School'

    Amidst other things...

    She had chalked it up to simple misspeak at first, but this package seemed to carry a similar sort of sentiment to it...

    Heck, it even seemed to be a veiled threat of sorts, but...

    While it does seem to visually trouble her for a moment because of it's implications, it's also a moment that passes somewhat quickly, or rather...

    "...Seems like someone's bad idea of a prank. Videos with spooky titles in the mail? That's so cliche..."

    ...In the end, she seems to come to that sort of conclusion, smile returning as if to bury the more contemplative look she had been wearing a moment before, the young woman allows herself to be drawn back into the flow of the conversation, simple and clean...

    Yes.

    No need to bring up anything too strange right now.

    They were clearly hoping she wouldn't notice after all...

    "As for a group visit to the diner... That could be fun-!"

    Yes.

    It was probably better to simply ignore the mounting oddities...

    "Maybe Saturday? Could make a whole day out of it then?!"

    Of course...

    She would need to make a bit more money before then in order to not embarrass herself, but...

    She could do that in a few days...

    Borrowing from Cesarina would be a mark on her pride...
    Last edited by Airen; April 24th, 2020 at 06:45 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  6. #2386
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    Be someone’s pillar? No, Sakura, you’re not a hopeless romantic. There are people who need that kind of emotional support. Not just in Pinefall, but anywhere you might look, there will be people in need of something, someone to lean on. Just as well, you’ll find those people who are strong enough to be leaned on.

    Thinking back to his tears in the shower and the dead man in the mirror, Colt silently finished his breakfast as the girls went back and forth.

    For a while everything that hit his ears felt muddled. Like it was all underwater and distorted. Colt just chewed and thought on those words. As someone who felt like he needed that kind of support, they felt like the words of another trying to find that support. Yet they were spoken by someone who made their living being that support.

    Perhaps all of this playing was just to establish a mood for her mistress, Lucille, to relax. It just so happened that it helped him as well. With or without realizing it, that woman had done exactly what she described for Colt.

    He tried to imagine it. His trip to the kitchen playing out all by his lonesome. No Lucille, no Elaine, no Sakura. Just Colton Nel Davin, sitting alone with only his thoughts for company.

    “Any fellow makeover enthusiast is okay in my book, because, after all... You can't escape that easily..."

    When that scene played out in his head, Colt lifted his head up and pulled out of his musings. Returning to the present just in time to catch the striking Elaine giving a troublesome look to Lucille, Colt stood up from the table.

    There would be no saving Lucille.

    He had tried and failed. Best to let a sinking ship go and move on.

    “Well, since you’re going to be hard at work with Lucille here…” Colt reached out and began gathering the dishes, stacking the plates, then the bowls atop the plates. “I suppose I’ll usurp the cleanup. I don’t think that has any chance of putting your kitchen rank in jeopardy.”

    Not letting anyone protest, Colt took the load to the sink. The melted cheese and béchamel wouldn’t clean well in a dishwasher, so a bit of scrubbing by hand would be necessary. With the water set to its hottest temperature, so hot that it felt almost like burning, but just enough that it was still somehow enjoyable despite the pain, Colt began cleaning.

    “This is bad…” Whispering in a voice that was completely swallowed by the running water, Colt shook his head. “I might actually be catching feelings.”


  7. #2387
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    Lucille’s unthinking consumption of her plate gives her more ability to focus on the conversation, not less, and when Sakura comes to the conclusion that she should get married after her, she resists the urge to scream “You’re throwing your youth away!”. Now is not the time or place, however, and Lucille figures she can bring it up later. In private. Where nobody can hear Sakura throttle her into oblivion.

    This is the unfiltered concern of a younger sister for their older sister’s well-being, and if she must sacrifice herself for Sakura’s happiness, so be it. A price she would gladly pay any time… Well, most of the time. She was glad to be free of embarrassing story time. Lucille hopes with all her heart Sakura’s train of thought has been interrupted long enough to forget about the album.

    Elaine’s talk about not judging others by what you think them to be awakens her brain from the stupor of constant embarrassment, though. Obviously, Elaine is correct. People should not be judged by how they are—Mercedes had redeeming qualities underneath the unpleasant facade, for example. But Lucille can’t help but feel as if those words are directed about something else entirely.

    Something that did not happen yet.

    Maybe it’s just coincidence. Lucille can’t leap to conclusions from this alone. Death has made her paranoid, and she needs to take things easy. Under constant stress, the mind falters. So she stashes those thoughts away, and—

    "You can't escape that easily..."
    Nevermind. Elaine and Sakura are both wolves in sheep’s clothing, enemies masquerading as friends. Colt abandons her too, but judging by the expression on his face, he knows this battle can no longer be fought. On the other hand, this is preferable to story time, so Lucille Faraday will take what she can get.

    “I understand,” she says in despair, trying to play up her defeated demeanor. Surely, if she looks so resigned to fate, they’ll stop picking on her. Or at least, Sakura will.
    [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. #2388
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye, Elise Pelltier, Vivienne Bianchi, Prushka & Alexstrasza Lockhart
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy
    [BGM]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "One of you will have to tell me how to watch it. But I don't suspect that this is the kind of viewing material that even I will appreciate."
    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "But anyway, Little Z- I mean, Strasza, that's a VHS tape. You have a player, right? Just slot it in... and hit start... But, um, yeah, let's not pry too much! If it's from someone she knows, then it's probably really personal!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Y-yeah. I can talk to Jake if you want, Alexstrasza. As the janitor, I bet you he can rustle up a TV and VCR for you. There's got to be a few floating around the school somewhere... and-and I can help you with the VCR if you need a hand."
    "W-well, if it is a television and VCR you are in need, fear not! I have one Zaza here can use!" Cesarina proclaimed and struck her chest with her tiny fist to emphasize her pomp. "O-of course, it if is something personal you'd like to watch alone, you can simply borrow them for me tonight and then return them tomorrow. See! Problem solved in one fell swoop!"

    Though the twin-tailed girl was clearly quite weirded out how sudden and strange the change in the atmosphere had been the moment that tape hit the table, she tried her best to not care about it. Perhaps it was because she didn't want to be the odd one out of the group, or perhaps she was afraid that if she brought it up that would put her in negative light in front of others, but whatever the case, she tried to act like she didn't even notice it.

    Subaru, on the other hand, had clearly noticed something strange going on. Even Tonkori had, considering she gave Alexstrasza an encouraging nuzzle with her head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "If you had... bad sleep... maybe... shouldn't watch this... keep it for another time...
    Many of us... had a long nightmares.. bad sleep... left us grumpy... sad... angry I think... so watching things that upset us is... not good."
    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "...Seems like someone's bad idea of a prank. Videos with spooky titles in the mail? That's so cliche..."
    "Mm, I do have to agree with Miss Bianchi here," Subaru said calmly. "There is lot to do today, and it is our first proper day here at Pinefall. If it is something questionable, then you should choose when to watch it carefully."

    Cesarina tilted her head in confusion, clearly understanding less and less of the situation.

    "U-upset? But it is Zaza's tape so... why would that be upsetting?" Cesarina asked. "Was it not something about friends, too?"

    --- Perhaps for the better, the heiress hadn't apparently seen the label properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "Now! Please! Come! Sit down if you have your food, if you do not, please go and acquire it! Make merriment at this table, so as to distract us from all the things that are bad in life! Is it not right for us to celebrate? Is it not fair for us to feel joy? We have traveled many miles to reach this place, and we have time a plenty ahead of us to meet! So please - let Subaru and myself no longer be such ungracious hosts. Come, join us, and we may discuss the events of both yesterday as well as today! Perhaps someone else has received mail like mine?"
    The sudden announcement from Alexstrasza came at just the right time. After all, the atmosphere was growing pretty dim around the table, and even the thickest of the group - Cesarina - had started to understand it. Tonkori, who had pretty much parked herself to the blonde student to comfort her, let out a happy little bark, as if encouraging others to do the same.

    And Cesarina, especially, seemed to like it as she clapped her hands together.

    "Ah, yes, food! The breakfast is still unconquered, and the classes start soon!" She exclaimed happily. "I will need at least ten cups of coffee to get my little grey cells buzzing again, so this will have to be done fast!"

    That sounded... a bit dangerous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "How about we talk about the town for a bit instead of digging into each other's pasts? Maybe what everyone thinks of Pinefall so far? Like, um, I hear Avery's pies are really good! Full of love, even! And, uh, while I was doing a circle around town yesterday evening, I heart this really ~mysterious~ harmonica being played from atop the lighthouse. Seems like it's full of interesting things!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "Oh! Oh for sure! I've heard really good things about the pies at Avery's Diner! Her cherry pie is to- to- too good to be real!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "Maybe... some time... we should go eat at Avery Dinner then... together..."
    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "As for a group visit to the diner... That could be fun-! Maybe Saturday? Could make a whole day out of it then?!"
    Cesarina practically beamed at the idea.

    "Ooh, that sounds wonderful, Knightess! We should go there some time this week and reserve the whole place! Worry not, comrades, I shall pay - for I definitely want to sample all of their pies, and it would be simply rude not to pay the good baker their well-deserved due!" Cesarina announced, arms folded and with a powerful nod. "After all, our troop is now seven members strong - eight if we count Miss Tonkori! Meaning that the proprietress of the restaurant will have their hands full. For we are teenage girls, and we desire baked goods!"

    It was like a loud proclamation of sorts, with Cesarina ending it by clenching her hand into a fist and pumping it up and down for a good measure, almost like she could hear the roaring crowds applauding her declaration. And indeed, it did sound quite the grand idea - especially now that Cesarina was about to make it a spectacle.

    Still, there were more pressing matters now. Namely...

    "Ah, but, first --- breakfast! We can't get anywhere without it, wahaha~!" Cesarina laughed, before pointing her finger at the food line. "Come, Knightess! 'Let's get that grub', as they say!"

    And with that, the tiny twin-tailed girl began marching towards the promised breakfast, taking the first stop in this dash for food that was a-brewing.

    Meanwhile, back at the table, the mood was... a difficult one. After all, they had all done their best ease up and cheer up the atmosphere. But still, the memory of the black VHS tape and its message weighed heavily on everyone's minds. And it wasn't just those who knew what the label on it meant. After Cesarina had left the table with Liana in tow, Alexstrasza could feel a small tug on her sleeve, and looking at it, saw that Subaru had quietly and stealthily drawn her attention.

    "... Is it trouble, Miss Lockhart?" Subaru asked in almost a whisper, trying so that only the blonde could hear. "... Can I help? You looked... very troubled just now."

    Spoken with nothing but earnest worry for Alexstrasza.

  9. #2389
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High - Sports Field
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    "Don’t worry. You could be on the other side of the field and we’d still be able to talk. And sorry for the intrusion - I won’t be poking around anything that is irrelevant to our conversation."

    “I’m...not against swimming by any means,” I answer Ubon with a small smile, “but I certainly don’t even come close to your speed, that much I can tell already.”

    Watching the blue haired girl munch on the bacon like a wolf made me hungry for some more as well, so I reached out to grab another piece.

    "Pyry doesn’t remember, but I already told him what happened. Well, part of it. About the rest...I’m not sure yet. Some don’t seem to remember, some do. Elise, for example. And Vivienne."

    “I’m the kind of person who just prefers relaxing in a hot spring anyways. Nothing more pleasant than a dip in one during the winter while you’re just surrounded by the quiet of a forest.”

    "We...Elise, Gradient and me were with Mercedes. We went into the forest near the hotel to look for Pyry, but...It turned out to be a trap of sorts. Gradient disappeared, Mercedes managed to escape while our ‘captor’ was busy with the rest of us, and...well, I think we died in a nuclear explosion."

    “Certainly more pleasant than anything that involves inflatable water creatures,” I winced, “I daresay that anything is more pleasant than activities that involve such monsters.”

    "Do you know what happened to Ubon in the…’future’? Have any idea why this is happening, and why only to certain people?"

    Nibbling on the bacon and the piece of toast that I grabbed earlier, I was trying hard not to remember the abominable pool creatures from the past, and decided that if I were to see one, I would immediately poke a hole on it.

    Kill it, kill it mercilessly.

    “That said, taking a peek into the storage room does sound interesting regardless.”

    Never even thought about going there last time.

    Never even thought that there could be anything interesting in a place like that, but...who knows?

    “Who knows what we could find. Though, there are also the locked off parts of the school. Like the second floor. I bet there could be even more interesting things there.”

    Of course, I already had an idea about what was hidden on the second floor.

    I wonder...is that mysterious person already camping up there?

  10. #2390
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    Quote Originally Posted by Cesy
    "Ah, but, first --- breakfast! We can't get anywhere without it, wahaha~!" Cesarina laughed, before pointing her finger at the food line. "Come, Knightess! 'Let's get that grub', as they say!"
    "Understood milady."

    A return to the old game, of worrying about something much more mundane than mysterious VHS tapes inside of mysterious, clearly meant to be untraceable packages, yes...

    The moment she stands up to follow after the twin-haired girl, her mind is already working it's way through the possible futures that may manifest themselves here for her in but a few moments... Cesarina had spoken of at least ten cups of coffee, knowing the girl this might not be an exaggeration, thus the likelihood of returning with an entire tray laden in coffee isn't exactly zero, add to that all of the food, and it will certainly be a task somewhat more suited for a maid than a knight, luckily enough, she held some skill in those sorts of areas as well...

    Yes.

    Considering these sorts of mundane things as she goes -somewhat of a welcome change- the young woman nevertheless is aware of the 'disconnect' that had erupted throughout the group, even if only for a few moments, and...

    "Are we going all out this morning on the food?"

    ...For her sake, she does her best to remain as the eternally cheerful Skye-!

    "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all, so feel free to get as much as you'd like," yes, the cheerful spirit of a retainer that is closer in nature to that of an 'older sibling,' "Although, we have used up quite a bit of time chatting with the others, so the assault on breakfast will probably have to be full force once we get back-!"

    She chuckles.

    Innocent comments, something cheerful, not difficult to think about and then-

    "So, while we're waiting... Work on any cool projects recently?"

    -something more difficult to think about, but also something that was -probably- more fun for her to talk about-!
    Last edited by Airen; April 23rd, 2020 at 06:48 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

    Could you kill someone you love for the sake of everyone else?


    What a cynical worldview, Messiah.
    Real heroes would find a different answer.


    Right, right.
    The power to break through a sad reality—
    I wonder—

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  11. #2391
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    ---

    Alexstrasza Lockhart

    Date: 07.09.1994.

    Location:
    Road's End
    Phase:
    Morning Phase
    Weather: Partly Cloudy
    ---

    Plans form around me, plans I have no part of. I have to find them. I have to find this person. This hell I've been swept into, what is it? Illusion? Nightmare? A pocket dimension? How is it being done? What was the apex of Saturn this morning? I need to know. I need to figure out what causes this curse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subaru
    "... Is it trouble, Miss Lockhart? ... Can I help? You looked... very troubled just now."
    I blinked, then smiled at Subaru. This girl, who last week I had treated rudely, is rather kind, is she not? If I do not try to fracture her, then she cannot be fractured. She simply wishes to 'help others', as foolish as that is. Other people are a weakness that I cannot abide. As long as Cesarina's school life is idyllic and pleasant, I can be at peace. If others gather around her, then is that not proof that she has earned it? That this happiness she strives for has come to her? It is... acceptable; no, it's far better then 'acceptable' for that to happen to her.

    "I believe it is a bit of a message, Miss Iburi! You see, in this world there are hunters, and those that are hunted. It is best to be a hunter, as to be hunted is to perish in the middle of the night through either betrayal or trickery."

    Knives in the dark.

    "I suspect that my dear friend right here," I said as I tapped the package this Vee H Ess tape came in. "Is trying to encourage me to try a bit harder. After all, to fail is to fall into an abyss from whence there is no return, yes? So failure is naturally not an option."

    Executioner, where are you? Though my heart yearns to carve into yours, do you shy from me? It is simply the way of the world - an eye for an eye takes the vision for vengeance. Have you ever asked yourself that question, Executioner? What would you give up in your bloodlust for revenge?

    What would you sacrifice?

    I don't believe there's a single thing that I could not throw away. Of course, this tentative flower called 'friendship' that I have developed with Cesarina... It's certainly not something I'm able to throw away, as it does not entirely belong to me, so I must safekeep it.

    "If you are worried about me, Miss Iburi, please do not be. If my heart is pierced by daggers, I will stand up on this lovely day, and come to meet you for a most enlightening breakfast."

    I'll have to watch it later, later.

    I'll have to see it later, later.

    Even if I don't want to, I must. I need to know. Even if my hands shake as I think of the horrific possibilities, I want to know. What happened on Sunday? What did I miss? What did I allow to happen, because of my failures?

    My failure to slay my executioner. My failure to aid the moon's hound that came to my aid. My failure to live to see tomorrow. I just wanted peace. Happiness. A kind of beauty found only in imperfection. I can understand, as I look around this table, as Cesarina and her knight walk away from it temporarily, that such imperfection can only be found in others.

    But they're not real.

    None of this is real.

    It's all based on a lie - the lie that I can ever be adjusted to live in normal society. I am not fit for it, made for it, nor could I ever. My existence is a stain on the canvas called reality. The turnside whispers to me more and more with every passing day - every moment I am here, when I reach for its warm embrace, I can feel Death's scythe at my neck, asking if I know what I am risking. The last week was a farce, a mistake on my part, an arrogance built of confidence.

    I am no longer so confident in myself.

    I can no longer trust others.

    Who is she? Executioner, who are you? You see, I do not ask for myself anymore - but the sick joke of the past week weighs on my mind with a most crushing heaviness. If I think about it too long... Well, I probably would not cry, but I would certainly feel rather poor. I ask because I want to understand.

    I want to understand you, Executioner. Why you demanded my death. Why you demanded my lifesblood. These are things that are very dear to me you see; my unlife is something I cherish, even if it is a bit of a joke, and my lifesblood is sort of chilled and cold. I can't imagine it's a very good drink, you see? But I want to understand it, so that I can emulate it.

    I want to emulate your rage when I run fire through your bones. I want to feel your hatred as my blood splits your head in two. I want to drink your despair as darkness envelops your soul. And then we can both understand each other, and be friends, yes? Of course, that's dependent on your ability to live. But I believe in you, Executioner! If someone like myself could do it, I'm sure you can as well!

    I open my mouth to ask Subaru to watch the tape with me --

    -- but no sound comes out.

    Even if I wanted to, I can't say it. How could I? How could I draw others into my selfish own desire to help Cesarina? It's too ridiculous to imagine; not a person ever cared about my plights in school. It is unlikely anyone would care about hers.

    I look at the package on my lap, biting my lip. What friend is he referring to? I don't have many, do I? I'm not a very popular person, but there's a list of people in my head that I suppose could be considered 'friendly' with me.

    Cesarina.

    John.

    ...Perhaps the moon's hound could be my friend as well, but it seems unlikely. She was, after all, very much the kind of person who shimmers in the sun, while I prefer to steep myself in darkness. We're just not very compatible, in that way.

    I am not very popular. I don't have many friends. I don't have much of anything, really. But what I have is very precious to me.

    my fingers tighten around the package, clenching tightly. I don't want to let those things go, not even a little bit. Even if I'm a monster, aren't I... aren't I allowed to claw for that thin line of serenity? Executioner, is that allowed? Even if I can't trust everyone, can't I... can't I trust those few people who were kind to me?

    "Haaaa..." I let out a sigh, staring despondently at the package on my lap, my shoulders sagging a bit. "I am taking my spirit beyond the spheres."
    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.


  12. #2392
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High - Campus
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Yes, yes, we are all looking forward to a good time this evening, and we can look for pool toys or whatever if we have the time. If you will excuse me, I need a few minutes to finish my routine. Ubon, I will never forgive you if you eat everything.”
    "Hmm?"

    Ubon turned to look at John quizzically, her mouth stuffed with bacon and her cheeks so puffed up they made her resemble a hyperactive squirrel. A cyan hyperactive squirrel that had hard time understanding the strange request that John had made. This was a jungle, after all - where the law of the jungle was paramount. The fastest ate first and the strongest ate the weak. In other words, were John to want food for himself, he would have to be fast.

    Or...

    "Gulp! Oh, sure Johnnie!" Ubon beamed a greasy smile. "I'll leave stuff for you too!"

    ... Perhaps not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I’m...not against swimming by any means, but I certainly don’t even come close to your speed, that much I can tell already.”
    "Oh, psh, that's not a problem at all!" Ubon giggled and shook her head. "I mean, what fun is a race if nobody else has a chance to win? That'd be boring, and everybody else would get all mad and sad 'cause they lost! I'd much rather we'd make it one just for fun, and just have good time! For realsies!"

    Pyry, who had been listening in on the conversation, nodded sagely at Ubon's words. Most likely the lanky athlete had had similar sort of experiences when it came to competitions, and thus, could understand very well what Ubon meant. He did, however, shoot a bit of a worried look to his plate which had now more than half of the bacon missing - eradicated by the relentless hummingbird hungry for more. The mere sight of Ubon's speed made one wonder just what the hell kind of metabolism the girl had.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I’m the kind of person who just prefers relaxing in a hot spring anyways. Nothing more pleasant than a dip in one during the winter while you’re just surrounded by the quiet of a forest. Certainly more pleasant than anything that involves inflatable water creatures. I daresay that anything is more pleasant than activities that involve such monsters.”
    "H-hey, inflatable crocodiles and dolphins and seals are cute! They aren't monsters at all!" Ubon protested, trying to pout but not succeeding in it very well... after all, her mouth immediately jumped back to smiling. "But yeah, get what'cha mean 'bout hot springs! We had this volcanic hotspring back at home, and soaking in it was the best! For realsies! Oh, after swimming in the ocean, of course."

    Pyry, on the other hand, simply scoffed and shook his head, as if he was slightly disappointed in both of the girls.

    "Hmph. Hotsprings are just a weaker version of a sauna," he proclaimed, nodding to himself. "There's no sweating, no bath brooms, no jumping into the lake or snow afterwards... it's just baking yourself in the water!"

    --- Well, that was an odd thing to protest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “That said, taking a peek into the storage room does sound interesting regardless. Who knows what we could find. Though, there are also the locked off parts of the school. Like the second floor. I bet there could be even more interesting things there.”
    "Ooh, right, this place has to spooky boarded up doors too. Visiting them might be an actual adventure, for realsies!" Ubon said, nodding in agreement. "Though yeah, right now the closest of those mysteries is the storage building! So... let's go!"

    And with that, Ubon jumped right back on the track and zoomed across the field, almost like she hadn't just stuffed her face and gullet with tons of meat. As she dashed her way across the sports field, she turned around and hollered Pyry and Hisa to follow, and something about going spelunking... though the last part might have been just her wishful thinking. After all, it was just a storage building - and not a very big one at that. It was unlikely a chance for that would have been there.

    Thus, the two did follow, lightly jogging after the giddy cyanhead.

    ... And about one minute later, they were all standing at the storage building's door.

    Locked door.

    Firmly locked door.

    "Booooo..." Ubon whined.




    Lucille Faraday, Elaine Winters & Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "You can't escape that easily..."
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “I understand.”
    "Mm, now there's a good girl~!" Sakura giggled and patted Lucille on the head. "Just sit there and wait while I'll go get the equipment. After that, me and Elaine will make sure you'll be the talk of today, whether it's in the classroom or down at the beach, or if you even gather enough courage to actually play the keyboard!"

    Rising up from her chair, Sakura gave Elaine a nod with a clear sense of camaraderie - almost like two warriors about to head to the battlefield and bring back the gold in the name of what was promised, and to keep up the cheer and good mood that had taken over the atmosphere of the kitchen that had been so gloomy to begin with.

    Perhaps it truly had been Sakura Tsukioka's plan. Make sure that things turned out this way just so all three of them, who had looked like they'd been through something harrowing the older girl couldn't quite undertand, would have other things in their mind.

    In that case, she was either a genius mastermind, or very good at improvising.

    Or both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “Well, since you’re going to be hard at work with Lucille here… I suppose I’ll usurp the cleanup. I don’t think that has any chance of putting your kitchen rank in jeopardy.”
    "Ah, thank you Colt. You're such a sweetheart!" Sakura giggled, clearly resisting the urge to tousle the boy's hair again. "Oh, and if you're having trouble, I think there's some stronger cleaning liquids under the sink, so look there if needed. And if you're having trouble with something, don't hesitate to ask me! I might have my hands busy, but my mouth is still unoccupied."

    Then, with a rising sense of mischief, the brunette turned back to her charge.

    "Now then, Mistress Lucille, where shall we sta---"


    CRACK!


    It was a sound that made everything else fall silent.

    For a moment, time came to a screeching halt.

    While not a weird sound in some other environments, the immediate moment it was heard here, everybody's attention was drawn towards it. After all, it was a sound that would be normally heard in a dormitory like this. Especially in a dormitory that was empty the last time they had checked it. Everybody else was out and about enjoying the breakfast in the cafeteria, after all. They were the only ones here.

    So, first of all, there should not have been anyone out there to make that sound.

    Secondly, if it was another student, they would have most likely heard the front door, or footsteps in the hallway, or people talking.

    Thirdly...

    --- It was a sound as if a wooden plank was snapped in half by bending it with force.

    And there really weren't many possibilities where that sound could come from here in the dormitory.

    The only wooden planks which could snap like that...

    ... Were in the boarded up sections of the hallway, where the other half of the dormitory had been closed off.

    "............. Milady."

    Sakura quietly whispered that, almost like a warning to get prepared, while she put her hand in her pocket as if to grasp the handle of something.

  13. #2393
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    I chortled merrily, as I rose up to circle the pouting Lucille, eyes agleam, a small glass of water in my hand, being passed from each to the other in thought as emerald eyes surveyed my latest quarry.

    It was a welcome shift to the unconscious malaise and tension that had been lingering since the moment I had heard Lucille speak about my crime.

    How had she found out?

    Had someone seen? Could it have been that one girl, Elise, looking at my hurts?

    How much does she know?

    For the moment, it is as if it was all merely a painful dream, events in future past that have not and may never come to pass in the way we know, and so for the time being, we're just a group of young people having fun in our own way.

    For that, I will respect Sakura Tsukioka.

    But-

    As the great wooden crack echoed within the building, my hand clenched, the low, sharp chrk of glass straining crawling through the air.

    My heart was beating with shock and anticipation and worry and anger and so many other things.

    What did my face look like in that moment, I wonder?

    Was it hard, cold, like an alerted hunter seeking to stop out the turnside and protect the world?

    Or was it the other Hunter, a beast angered at violation of its territory, that same bestial pride that hurts as well as it heals?

    I knew not, perhaps both.

    My head turned to the door, eyes narrowing as the last remnants of the sandwich were gently deposited on the plate, along with the glass, a long fine crack running along the side.

    Calm down, evaluate the situation.

    Boards cracking, inside, boarded-up section of dormitory, breaking in? Doubtful, dormitory was empty as far as I could tell.

    ...

    Breaking out?

    A certain memory of a dark night came to me of a future not set, the scent of wood-smoke and midnight rendezvouses with a certain Estonian coming to the fore.

    Hrm.

    I rolled my neck, a low popping in the air as I loosened my neck, schooling my emotions.

    What's the plan, here...

    "Wonder what that was?"

    It was ultimately a fairly useless question that no one knew the answer to, least of all me, but I made my voice calm and steady, eyes on the hall.

    I straightened out of the unconscious half-crouch I'd slumped into, placing clenched fists into the pockets of my jacket.

    "Maybe it's a ghost?"

    I lighten my tone, making it jocular, all in good fun, confident.

    "Or at least a squatter, who knows how long this place's been left to rot," I grunted, shifting my weight, "May as well go and see what it is, make sure its not like some animal that's just confused and scared."

    I made my way towards the door, my manner belying the anxiety and anticipation within my bones, a certain caution apparent in my step and posture.

  14. #2394
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    It's no good.

    Yes, this atmosphere, despite my best efforts to correct it, is no good at all.

    The sun seems dimmer. We are five girls cheerfully eating lunch at a crowded table, touching elbow to elbow, with a cute puppy running around smiling and asking to be pet, and yet, somehow, the light does not reach anyone's eyes. Nobody is touching their plate. Everything is quiet, and it is not the comfortable silence of friends in good company.

    It's an awkward silence. A painful silence. The silence of five strangers suddenly being subjected to each other's delicate weak points without warning. The sort of silence I would produce, all too often, back home, just by saying the right thing at the wrong time. It's not a silence that leads to good things. It is the silence of "not enough". The silence of "something bad happened and you cannot undo it". The silence of "this person in front of me will refuse my aid, even as they break apart, because they do not know me and I do not know them, and we do not trust each other".

    I might have barreled through that silence last weak. Might have. Of course, if it were last week, I would have given up on Alexstrazsa Lockhart from the start. No need to associate with such a disingenuous person, after all. But below every liar there is a truth. Within every awful person is someone who isn't awful, who doesn't deserve to be ignored. In short, no version of me could possibly help this girl, who for a moment seemed like her entire world had fallen apart, before she shut the door and presented that wan smile to everyone once again.

    It's quiet. Painfully quiet. I need to guide them away. She doesn't want us here. She doesn't want to be talking to us. That much is clear on her face, clear as day, obvious to anyone that can read. We need to preserve her pride, at the very least. That she might collapse quietly later on her own and pick herself back up without embarrassing herself. That's what humans do. That's how humans solve human problems. That is, clearly, how she would prefer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Subari
    "... Is it trouble, Miss Lockhart? ... Can I help? You looked... very troubled just now."
    "Um, Subaru..."

    It's useless. Don't you see? She doesn't want help. If she did, I'd have been able to get through to her earlier. This person, Alexstrazsa Lockhart, does not trust a single one of us. She's incapable of it. She does not want to be helped. You cannot help her. That goal of yours wasn't visible from the start. It couldn't be reached. How could she possibly admit to you, a complete stranger that she's exchanged only a few words with, that she is in pain? How could someone like her afford that weakness?

    It's better not to try. It's better not to-.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrazsa Lockhart
    "Haah... I am taking my spirit beyond the spheres."
    "..."

    What...

    "..."

    What the hell am I talking about?

    "..."

    What the hell is this person doing in my head? Who does this person think she is, backing away from painful things? If I follow this train of thought to its conclusion, if I decide it is the correct path, then... then I will become someone who would not have offered her hand to Elizaveta Vyraj, out of fear of being slapped. Such a person, who is afraid of the feelings of others, who can convince herself that there is anyone at all who doesn't want to be helped and protected, does not deserve to exist.

    "Um. Zaza. Lockhart. Alexstrasza!"

    I latch onto her hand with two of mine, reaching across the table, and whisper as loudly as possible.

    "Sorry. I said we shouldn't pry. And I was already way too pushy with you today. But Subaru's right. You look... like you really want to ask for help."

    If Alexstrasza Lockhart is the sort of person that will slap me on the other cheek, then that's fine. Better than being punched in the stomach by the pain of inaction. Subaru knew that from the start. That's why, even though she was nervous, she reached out anyway.

    "So, um. If your 'heart is pierced by daggers', it's best to have someone pull them out, right? Even if it might not be the person you wanted..."

  15. #2395
    men are men; the best sometimes forget Katie's Avatar
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    Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    Perhaps it’s the arrogance of being involved in the Turnside, but the matter is that Lucille is certain that the three of them—Elaine, Sakura, and herself—will not ignore this. Meddling is unfortunately in their nature. Perhaps Elaine was right, and that it was something terribly mundane, and the three of them were worked up over nothing. But her brain doesn’t agree. Nothing at Pinefall, she thinks, can be attributed to the mundane.

    It dawns on Lucille that they’ve spent way longer in the kitchen then she had in the previous week, so this situation… always happened? And everyone simply missed it? The thought sends a chill down her spine, but she covers it up in the familiar, grim determination she knows how to put on. And if nothing else, it wouldn’t stop her from investigating anyway. The only way to move is forward.

    “Um…” she turns to look at Colt, and she’s not really sure what to do, but she knows exactly what happened to Mercedes and she is definitely not eager to see the repeat of that incident. “You mind waiting downstairs? I’m sure it’s nothing big, but if there’s an incident…”

    Ah. She was doing a terrible job of not making this sound like something bad would happen. Maybe this is paranoia speaking. She’s being very bad at not letting things that didn’t really happen influence her actions.

    “Actually, if you’re feeling adventurous, just stick by me,” she says, in the same way she is certain resulted in Mercedes being mangled beyond belief. But she cannot stop curiosity, and better for her to suggest a reasonable alternative. “I-I’d feel safer that way…”

    Okay, the second half is true, but not in the sense that most people would think. But she needs to keep Colt on a leash and as much as she tries to ignore it, he has a terrible way with women, so she might as well take advantage of it. Lucille silently apologizes to Colt in her heart.
    Last edited by Katie; April 23rd, 2020 at 08:28 PM.
    [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

  16. #2396
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Kitchen
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy


    "Oh, and if you're having trouble, I think there's some stronger cleaning liquids under the sink, so look there if needed. And if you're having trouble with something, don't hesitate to ask me! I might have my hands busy, but my mouth is still unoccupied."

    “Thank you kindly, but I think I can manage this one.” Colt answered back, unsure if she was giving him a friendly rib with that or genuinely thought he might need help. Did he look that incapable? “Don’t worry though, despite my proud bearing I’m entirely capable of asking for help when I need it.”

    Speaking up over the running water, Colt kept his hands busy. Busy hands translate to a busy mind. Busy minds don’t have time to think about-

    CRACK!

    “…!”

    Colt visibly reeled back, like a victim of a horror movie’s cheap jump scares. A bowl in his hand slipped, but he managed to lunge forward and catch it before it could fall to its demise. For a few seconds the boy stood there, staring around, until he finally turned the water off and set everything down.

    "Wonder what that was? Maybe it's a ghost?"

    “I doubt it. The ghost haunting Road’s End that I know of doesn’t seem like the breaking and entering type.”

    Answering resolutely, Colt grabbed a towel and quickly dried his hands off.

    What to do? He couldn’t recall this happening. He wouldn’t be able to recall it. Colt wasn’t at the dorm last time.

    He ran through the things in his room. Would there be time to grab anything for defense? Would anything in there…

    The image of a colossus covered in slithering, oily shadow flashed.

    Would anything he has even make a difference?

    "Or at least a squatter, who knows how long this place's been left to rot. May as well go and see what it is, make sure its not like some animal that's just confused and scared."

    Colt nodded. At the very least, he agreed on investigating. As much as he felt profound paranoia of anything of this sort now, he couldn’t just ignore it. It wasn’t in his nature.

    “Um… You mind waiting downstairs? I’m sure it’s nothing big, but if there’s an incident…”

    The boy tilted his head. Sure, he wasn’t as large and reliably built as Pyry, nor did he have any air of being a tough guy in general, but was he truly that much of a liability?

    “Actually, if you’re feeling adventurous, just stick by me. I-I’d feel safer that way…”

    Before he could question the request, Lucille changed her mind. Somehow it felt like she was telling as much the truth as she was telling a lie. Who she was lying to, whether it was him or herself, he couldn’t discern. Maybe it was just all his imagination.

    The young man exhaled.

    “Let’s go.” Colt glanced at the others. Here he was, the only guy out of the lot. There was no way to be sure what Lucille meant about feeling safer with him nearby, but, “if anything happens, go get help.”

    He took off toward the door, which Elaine was already headed for. Tough guy or no, he wasn’t quite ready to be trailing behind the ladies like a sniveling runt. Even if the sound of that plank being snapped gave him a really bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.


  17. #2397
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Field
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994
    Weather: Partly Cloudy



    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    “Gulp! Oh, sure Johnnie! I'll leave stuff for you too!”
    …so unreliable.

    Nevertheless, John will not change his routine. If Ubon eats everything, he’ll just go to the kitchen. Or skip breakfast. It is not the end of the world.

    They then talk about swimming as competition versus swimming for fun. John cares not for any of that. More importantly, Hisa Momoi provides valuable information. So Elise Marie remembers—that is…uplifting, in a way. John is certain she has plenty to say about this whole situation. Vivienne Bianchi remembers as well. It is hard to imagine a common pattern to distinguish “those who remember” from “those who don’t”, until John suffers a sudden bout of déjà vu.

    “This is Elizaveta Vyraj all over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ‘people who remember the first week’ turn out to be the same who are aware that a student was replaced with Xylia Pheme.”

    Momoi’s description of her side of the story is…bizarre.

    “A nuclear explosion? Somebody activated a nuclear device in Road’s End?”

    Wouldn’t he have noticed that? Like, a mushroom cloud or something? John remembers the rainbow sky, so he assumed some major magical effect was unleashed, but a nuclear explosion? Seriously?

    “I am not familiar with either hot springs or saunas, so I have no opinion to offer on the matter,” posits John on the abrupt debate among the other three. “I just like the ocean.”

    “Anyway, I met Ramia Ramalsaqr after leaving the school. She claimed that Ubon and Sakura were dead, but I didn’t see any bodies and could in no way verify that information.”

    “I do not know why only some people remember and some do not, but I…did exchange a few words with the Disembodied Man. Before he…um, ended me.”

    John will not show Hisa Momoi its not-shape. That would be an unnecessary cruelty. The fact that Mercedes West was there, and witnessed its liminal insubstantiality, its nondescript form of utter darkness, is yet another burden he must carry. Thus, he banishes the non-image to the depths of his mind, focusing solely and entirely on projecting its words.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Disembodied Man
    Y_O_U__D_I_D__N_O_T__P_R_O_T_E_C_T__I_T_.

    I_T__W_I_L_L__N_E_V_E_R__E_N_D_.

    U_N_L_E_S_S__Y_O_U__A_L_L_._._.

    ._._._R_E_C_O_L_L_E_C_T__Y_O_U_R__C_R_I_M_E_.

    “Those were its words. I do not know their meaning, but I believe they are key to finding a way out of this…prison of time.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa Momoi
    “That said, taking a peek into the storage room does sound interesting regardless. Who knows what we could find. Though, there are also the locked off parts of the school. Like the second floor. I bet there could be even more interesting things there.”
    Oh, she is going in that direction. Sure, that works just fine.

    “Yes, I was talking with Ubon a while ago. That there is nothing much to see in this town. Seems like we will have to look for own amusement doing things like that—”

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    “Ooh, right, this place has to spooky boarded up doors too. Visiting them might be an actual adventure, for realsies! Though yeah, right now the closest of those mysteries is the storage building! So... let's go!”
    “…and away they go,” muses John with slightly wider eyes as the other two indeed followed the short girl too quick to action. “Sure, have fun, break a leg~” he murmurs to nobody, the three already too far to listen.

    “More food for me,” is the conclusion, directing his gaze at what was is behind after Ubon found a new thing to throw herself at. Besides, unless they find something like an indecipherable cipher or an unwholesome magic circle, he will just be on the way. And if you put some thought into it, isn’t it likely that the door is just locked?

    Indeed, the fact their steps came to a halt in front of the building suggests as much. Shrugging to himself, John leans his body forward to help his fingers reach for the outstretched foot, grunting at the demand made to his average musculature.

    Nothing those three cannot handle, surely.

  18. #2398
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    Now that we’ve left that touchy topic and I wasn’t forced to run damage control. I could finally relax and make my breakfast sandwich. Looks like the big table was having some kind of commotion over some package. For what reason, I’m not entirely sure as I’m too far away to be able to hear the group coherently. When I went to look at my own table again… Aleen was tuned out entirely on Caleb Montjoy. What did she even like about him… Well I guess he had a nice body that struck a nice balance between delicate and sharpness. However, I don’t think looks are everything. They can look nice on the outside yet have an inside that doesn’t bother you or worse. Granted Caleb Montjoy seemed fine as far as I know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Hmm. Beach Party, you say? Guess I should bring my canvas there, then. I've wanted to paint that lighthouse. There's something... mysterious about it. Guess it's only natural, though. After all, it's a lighthouse that doesn't work. Things that can no longer do what they were meant for... ones that are just hollow husks of what they used to be... they're rather sorrowful and fascinating, no? It somewhat reminds me of that one painting. The one by René Magritte. As in, La Trahison des images - The Treachery of Images.

    Is something in the shape of a lighthouse, but which is not lighthouse in function, still a lighthouse? Is the image, shape and physical existence of something the same as that thing itself? Or is it something more?

    I suppose some people call that 'Soul', though I'm not sure if it's that simple."
    I was entirely lost by what painting he was referencing, but I could get what he was aiming for.

    “In my opinion, I would say the lighthouse doesn’t care about whether it works or not. Its value isn’t decided by itself, but rather the people who use it. It may not be a lighthouse in function, but people might still call it a lighthouse due to its shape. People may curse it for not fulfilling its function. Others might say it’s nice due to its view. So its personal view on itself changes to fit the person viewing it since... it's an object.”

    I pause for a bit.

    “Granted that might change if we view the lighthouse as a person instead of an object.”

  19. #2399
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    As everyone tried to forget about the VHS by focusing on eating the breakfast, the atmosphere surrounding the table became rather glum. Though Caesarina and some others tried their best to keep everything as bright and cheery as possible, there was only so much that could be, especially when everyone was doing their best to not bring up the touchy subject of the VHS. What is once seen can never be forgotten after all.

    Yet in time, as if rebelling against the silence, against all of the furtive stares thrown left and right... Prushka broke the unofficial vocal curfew over the table by expressing how she was going to pull Alexstraza's out from the shell she had withdrawn herself in. Well, it wasn't entirely Prushka -- the catalyst to all this could be said to be Subaru; she quietly inquired if she could be of any assistance to the now brooding blonde girl... an act that Vivienne had noticed since she was seated next Zaza after all.

    Seeing all of this incited Vivienne to join the discussion as well... though perhaps not to side with the two girls with a small stature, but rather to provide a more objective, neutral point of view. After all, she too had had to deal with Prushka's willful nature. The quiet girl motioned a wave as to gather their attention, and said in her typical blank way:

    "It is nice... to help others... but... don't insist too much... if Miss Lockheart wants to... keep a secret... no need to force her in showing it... we all have secrets... don't we?"

    Vivienne looked at everyone seated at the table, her empty gaze locking with each of the table's occupant's as she scanned all the occupants... this certainly must've been her way of 'asking' if her statement was true enough for each and everyone of the young people gathered here. A survey to see wherever had the audacity to say that they never kept any secrets.

    "But..." she turned to Alexstraza, continuing "... sometimes things are... bigger than us... it is only logical... to look for help... in situation like these..."

    Vivienne put her hand on the back of Alexstraza's own, a sign of empathy, camaraderie. The way she did it, the way she said it, the lack of life in her eyes and motion... it did not convey the message very well, but some could say that it is the thought that counts, right? That too, was something left for Alexstraza Lockheart to decide.

    "In the end it is... Miss Lockheart's choice..."

    Vivienne suddenly shows a picture! When did she draw that one even?

    Thumbs up?





    Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

  20. #2400
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Pinefall High - Cafeteria
    Phase: Morning Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Partly Cloudy

    "Well, if you want some of that expertise, then hell yeah you gotta pay me - or do me a solid as well. There's this... project I'm working on, thing I'm looking for. Help me with that, and I'll help you with whatever it's you're doing."
    “Project, huh?” An amused glint flickered in Anna’s eyes for a moment. “A punk that’s keen on extracurricular work? You really are a secret teacher’s pet, aren’t ya?”

    “Got a crush on one of the teachers, so you’re making a mock-up volcano for class using baking soda or something?”

    Well, this was about as much as she expected considering the circumstances. No matter what type of individual Travis Gagnon appeared to be, or what “mask” he was wearing at the moment, he didn’t strike her as the type to do “freebies” for anyone. In this situation, at least

    “Well, it’s not as if I mind. Though I hope you have something more interesting planned than hitting the library to practice for your secret spelling bee contest.”

    A wave of dry humor washed over her for a moment.

    Still dumb enough to sacrifice yourself over a complete stranger though, aren’t you, Gagnon?

    Though perhaps I shouldn’t be the one to talk.

    "Something is rotten in the State of Washington. And Heaven will direct it."
    “…not a wholly incorrect interpretation of things, I imagine.”

    Heaven”? No. She had far too little to go on here and reading too much into his words without the full context would simply set her on random goose chases. That type of context would only come with time. She simply hoped that that time would come sooner than a week, otherwise she might be in yet another batch of trouble.
    Well, in any case, their talk had more or less run its natural course. Any more and she would probably have to deal with half a dozen annoying rumors.

    “Well, in any case, let me know whenever you need a helping hand with your homework, eh?” Anna’s face clouded over for a second, almost as if she had recalled something. “Well, besides tomorrow morning, I suppose. I already have some plans for that.”

    And then, giving one final lazy wave in passing as she walked away, the Estonian girl left the Canadian boy to his devices, heading back towards her own table.

    "I'll see you later, Gagnon."

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