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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #2621
    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 Aleen
    "Who's a good girl~? Oh yes you are, oh yes you are~! You're the bestest girl in the whole wide woooorld~!"
    As expected… Aleen was too busy petting Tonkori to even pay attention to me. Even if that happened last time, I’ll still take this Aleen over the one I found this morning. At least this one isn’t just staring at someone blankly at someone… She was still excessively paying attention to only one thing but at least this time she was capable of talking and moving. However, I’m sure others would argue that her current speech and actions might be more of a reversion… If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve seen a scene like this last time, I would have been more concerned. At the very least, Tonkori wasn’t starting to dislike the excessive petting… yet.

    Caleb Montjoy at least acknowledged me with a wave. Just like he promised earlier, he was starting another drawing. However, I was surprised that he had an assortment of colour pens already set up in his hands. Judging from his current position though, he wasn’t trying the lighthouse like he said he would earlier, but rather the beach in front of us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Ah, welcome. Did your band practice end? Good work out there."
    “Yup. I hope you’re looking forward to the performance as much as we are.”

    Caleb Montjoy seems to be in a good mood. I guess the beach eased up his mood. Not enough for him to use his natural accent, but at the very least he was smiling. I can only imagine Aleen would’ve been absolutely smitten or reduced to a blushing wreck if she was the recipient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Did you get food already? I'm afraid Aleen is... out of it. She might not calm down for a moment."
    “Not yet. I’ll save that for after my band’s performance. It wouldn’t be good if the food and butterflies in my stomach were to combine… As for her, I might as well let the two enjoy each other until one of them starts getting tired of it. Then I might give her a little… zap.”

    I pulled out a towel suitable for sitting on and placed it down a safe distance away from Caleb. Eventually we settled into a little bit of small talk until I saw Caleb Montjoy frown at his current drawing. He must have hit some kind of snag if he was frowning at his own drawing. I’m sure I would find his drawing to be nice, but it would be a different story if he wanted to make something that was good enough for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb Montjoy
    "Say... Have you ever wanted to be a model?"
    I looked at Caleb Montjoy with surprise. Why would he want me to be his model? I was well aware that I wasn’t the prettiest or cutest person in the vicinity who would make his painting look nice. Even drawing Aleen as she was with babying Tonkori probably would’ve made his drawing even better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “I think she’s like a doll,”
    And in the midst of my surprise towards Caleb Montjoy, Lucille arrives. While I’m surprised she’s here, I can take advantage of her appearance to get this conversation away from.

    “Lucille, what kind of person wants a doll like me?” I actually take a quick moment to think about that, “Unless you’re into something like horror dolls with scars.”

    Whenever I think of horror dolls, I can’t help but picture something like Chucky from Child’s Play. While Zieg seemed to laugh it off, I had to remind her of our occupation and that unlike her’s my ability was useless against such things. While I could always just shoot it, that doesn’t stop it from getting the drop on me. It just further highlights our differences as Anti-Personnel and Anti-Turnside focused specialists.

    “...Anyways, Caleb I’ve never thought about being a model. Especially since there’s better people for that kind of job... Like right now, there's Aleen and Lucille. They both look nice in different ways. Aleen has an innocent playful girl look to her right now and Lucille brings to mind something like a Valkyrie.”

  2. #2622
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "I am sorry, but I refuse, Miss Bianchi. A plane can fly, but can it pierce through the night at such monstrous speeds? Can it achieve lift-off in spite of not having wings? And most importantly, can it be, allegedly, folded in half for compact transportation? I do not believe so."

    Vivienne gave Alexstraza a quizzical head tilt, perhaps trying to understand what kind of question Alexstraza was asking her. Was it not common sense that Planes were some of the fastest methods of transportation in existence?

    "...yes? Planes go... very fast... that is how... they go across the Atlantic... the Pacific... in a few hours..."

    Hearing the praises that they were giving the scooter though, Vivienne could not make out exactly how much exaggeration there was in relation to its performance. This was Prushka's scooter after all, someone who was part of the Turnside, so it having unusual properties wouldn't be out of line... no matter how ridiculous or cutesy it was.

    "But no... they are not very portable... Miss Feroce however... can work with a compromise... there are planes... that can take off like helicopters... like in that... James Bond Movie... The Living Daylights... maybe that is... what Miss Feroce wants? Convenience of a Helicopter... speed of a Plane... compact as a scooter... very ambitious project..."


    Caesarina was engrossed in her plans. Whatever came out of this brainstorming and designing session would be something... interesting to see, for lack of a better word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Terrot
    "I have made... some breakthroughs, I'd say. Not much in terms of concrete evidence, but I am planning on doing some legwork eventually - see where that leads me. But you are right. This town... it has many mysteries it hides... such as this food, perhaps. How can simple corn taste so delicious in the right circumstances?"
    Vivienne nodded at Alex's reply, taking note of the journalist's claim to have made forward strides in her investigation. It was something that Vivienne had gotten a glimpse of the end of. But how much knowledge Alex Terrot had that couldn't be found in her room back then... the answer to these questions could only be found out one way:

    "I will... take you up... on your offer from yesterday... so that... we can find out... why the corn tastes nice..." Vivienne answered Alex. She did not seem neither determined nor halfhearted, but her intent gaze that met Alex's was possibly the one way she could convey how serious she was about this ordeal. Prushka, being the other person who knew here how Alex's path ended, would probably understand Vivienne's choice too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “We’re the same age, aren’t we? You don’t have to call me Mister… it’s kinda strange for me. Colt is fine. If you really want to be polite you can go with Colton, but I really do prefer Colt.”
    "Okay... Colt... I usually just... try to be as polite as I can..."

    There was a certain train of thought that came to affect Vivienne's view on calling Colton Davin by his given name. One could trace the source of this strange, extremely un-occidental way of thinking to Vivienne Bianchi's heritage.

    "Miss Tsukioka is... Japanese no? In Japanese culture... only couples call each other... by their first name... so I thought maybe... Miss Tsukioka would be bothered... because if we go by these societal norms... calling you by your given name is... reserved for your other half..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “Well I dunno why, but if you were to ask me I’d vote for a beach party too. I mean, the water is a bit cold, and it’s a bit chilly out, but the waves are calm and the beach is so pristine. And besides, the beach is the perfect place for people to loosen up and get to know each other…”
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura (T)
    "W-well, why the beach? I have to agree with Colt. This really is the best place for people to mingle and just have fun. There's just something that eases up in people when they've seen each other half-naked," Sakura said and chuckled mischievously. "Not to mention, well... the summer's over, right? And that's the one thing we can't really experience together, since we'll only be here for a year... so I figured we'd deserve at least this last echo of summer, and since the weather was this fine... why the heck not!"
    Their explanation did make sense. From a cursory look of the laughter and chatter filled beach, the general consensus appeared to be that what they had envisioned, and what they had achieved, had aligned perfectly. It appears though that with this question, Vivienne had discovered a source of sadness for Sakura Tsukioka... but what was it which she felt sad about? That the Summer was gone? That this 'project' would only last a year? Or... that they couldn't experience it together due to the short length of their stay? A very short length indeed...

    "I see... it makes sense... but... I just feel... that it may make it easy to catch a cold too... the first things I would have thought of... in this weather... in this place... would be a picnic in the forest... maybe some camping... but perhaps... next time..."

    An idea for Sakura Tsukioka when she would feel the need to organize another outing, if the opportunity ever came. The comment about the cold though was indeed real, for while none may remember it, Vivienne only had a small swimming blazer when she 'first' came here last week. This time, she had come much more prepared, with a large coat around her shoulders. It kept the latter and her neck warm at least, as well as protecting the entirety of her backside against any unpleasant draft...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    "Hmmm... I reckon my day started pretty terribly, but things took a turn for the better when a charming lady agreed to a beach date with me. Well, it ended up not being the most date-like... date, but I'm having fun. What about you, Vivienne?"

    "I... am sorry... I... do not know... because I cannot feel anything... anymore..."

    An answer that would definitely elicit raised eyebrows, and awkwardness. She had tackled this topic before, when Prushka had tried to forcibly solve Vivienne's problems... but no one else other than Prushka herself, Pyry, Ubon and Hisa had truly understood why Vivienne Bianchi was always emotionless... thus perhaps it was time to add some people to that circle of people who understood, or at least heard her explanation. Wherever they believed her or not, was something else entirely. At any rate, there was nothing to be gained keeping the people she was talking to right now in the dark. She could have said 'yes' and be done with it, but Sakura Tsukioka seemed like the kinda of person that would have required a more heartfelt proclamation.

    If the empty girl was going to ruin the atmosphere, she might as well ruin it with an explanation.

    She sits down next to Prushka, but her eyes look upwards, towards the blue sky, darkening gradually as the evening slowly banishes away the sun's light. There are no clouds, there is only an endless, dark and cold blue. No different from the depths of the ocean. No different from her soul. She begins to speak, tone as always devoid of any hint of emotions. What is left for every one hearing and listening to her, is to imagine how she would have sounded, was she a normal person.

    "I am here... at this school... with the hopes of fixing my 'problem'...

    ...it is... hard to explain... but... if I was normal... if Vivienne Bianchi was really here... she would be happy... because she has always valued having friends, discovering new things... and having fun... but...

    ...I cannot anymore... be like her. I cannot be happy... and I cannot be sad... I can only think of how I should be... not of how I am... because... in a sense... there is nothing... when I look at myself."


    She looks at everyone around the table. What will be their reaction to all of this? Acceptance? Outrage? Rejection? Would Alex Terrot feel sympathy, since it seems like she too had been hit by traumas of her own?







    Vivienne Bianchi
    07.09.1994 (WED)Evening Phase
    Clear Skies
    End's Beach - Picnic Tables
    [/QUOTE]

  3. #2623
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “Good evening, Elise Marie. My sympathies for your burden. Ubon, you are supposed to have the water carry you, not your classmate.”
    John Dove had completed his idle backstroke and joined the group in the water.

    "Good evening, John Dove. Thank you for your sympathies. She is not a weighty burned, but she is one I must bear," said Elise solemnly as Ubon remained firmly attached to her.

    "Although, you know, Ubon..." began Elise with a mischievous smile growing on her face and a conspiratorial glance to Ubon, "You are pretty lightweight and aerodynamic... I bet you that I could get you some decent air time if you wanted."

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    "Bucket? Ah, right, bucket, gotcha dude. But you got it right that this ain't no time to talk about school or work... or buckets for that matter! Unless you dudes wanna build a sand castle or something. Man... Tommy would've had lots of crazy good stuff for building those things. We could've made some real sculptures and... eh, never mind. I think the only thing we need is this!"
    Jake brandished his watergun menacingly in their direction, only for him to accidentally knock Subaru in her inflatable tube back into a spin.

    "Oh! Tommy's the guy who runs the Junk Garage near the school, right? I thought I heard someone say that he was a Pinefall alumnus too?" asked Elise as Jake attempted to correct Subaru's out of control spin, "Sand sculptures could've been a lot of fun though. I haven't had a chance to do something like that in a while. Something to keep in mind, I'm sure this isn't the only beach party we'll have. Weather permitting, of course."

    Elise spared a glance upward. The sky above them was clear and blue, and spoke nothing of what lurked beyond its horizons.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “You address people by diminutives; that is how I ended up as ‘Johnnie’. So I kept wondering: how would you address Hisa Momoi? Hissie? Or Mommie?"
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    "Hissie, of course! Mommie would just sound weird! I mean, geez, Johnnie! You gotta think before you give nicknames, for realsies! Otherwise they're gonna be totes lame! Though then again, once she's fine with 'Hissie', I'm so gonna build up to 'Momo'...! That's just perfectly cute!"
    John partook in the great wisdom of the Great Sage of Nicknames.

    "Oh! You got to meet Hisa this morning, John?" asked Elise, sparing a glance back to shore towards her where Pyry was still trying to coax her into the water, "I think 'Momo' does suit her well as a nickname, I'm not sure about 'Hissie'."

    She turned her eyes back to John, Now... just what role did you play in my attempted assassination this morning, John 'Wilkes Booth' Dove?!

    "Actually... maybe I should start giving out nicknames too... it's probably a good way to help you remember someone's name," considered Elise, "I bumped into Liana Skye this morning on my way to the cafeteria, and I had the hardest time remembering her name for some reason. Uhg, I just felt really bad about that..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Subaru Iburi
    "I-I see... thank you for your k-kind words, Miss Pelltier. If it is something everyone has gone through, I-I guess it cannot be helped... after all, I am but a novice when it comes to swimming. Drowning like this would be far more embarrassing than this... tube."
    Elise nodded in agreement, "We've all got to start somewhere, right? If you need any help, don't be afraid to ask."

    Jake had taken a shot at John with his watergun, and John had in turn retaliated by sending a well aimed splash of water in Jake's direction. Elise, however, remained confident that she currently possessed the single most devastating weapon on the beach: Ubon Sĕeklêun.

  4. #2624
    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

    "Bwaaa-!"

    There was a lot I wanted to say, to a lot of people.

    Like telling Cesarina and Alexstrazsa that they could ride the Pink Dragon again on the way back home.

    Like asking Alex Terrot about just why she's so interested in probing the mysteries of Road's End.

    Like reminding Colt that he didn't just dream up the horrible things that happened to him.

    But all that is interrupted as I'm swept into a hug by an all-too-energetic girl whose breath smells like alcohol and skin like the sea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura
    "Oh my gosh, you are just too cute, Prushka! That's it, you aren't allowed to have lovey-dovey moment with anyone but Big Sis! I'm taking you home~! We've got all these old dresses that Milady used to wear, and I'm gonna make you wear all of them, even the frilly and floofy ones~! Especially the frilly and floofy ones~!"
    Oh no. Those words of hers are... bringing back some terrifying memories indeed.




    "B-Big Sis?! Um, S-Sakura, hold on a sec... let's talk about this... look, I'm too old to be playing dress-up-!"

    But it's no use. She's holding on tightly and barely listening. Was it something I said? Aw, this is why I shouldn't enable people who call me cute! One second it's a compliment and the next I'm being treated like an oversized doll! She should be responsible, so why...

    Wait a sec... is she drunk? After a single can? There's no way she's that much of a lightweight, right?

    My eyes fall to the cooler. Oh. Did she have... more than one? In that case, I've got to get out of this fast before she goes through with that promise!

    "Sakura, look!"

    I desperately point in a random direction, and my finger lands on...

    Colt Davin, munching on a french fry in peace.

    "See, Colt's lonely! He's the clingy type, y'know!"

    Sorry, Colt. Your fate was sealed the moment you decided not to help me. That's how the prisoner's dilemma works.

    "Look at his eyes! They're saying, 'if Big Sis would just feed me a single french fry right now, I'd be happy for the rest of the year'!"

    Truth is... the game was rigged from the start.

    In that moment, as she's distracted, I slip out of Sakura's grip and duck to the other side of the table, near Vivi and Alex, who seem calm and gallant by comparison.

    "Phew... sorry, please shield me... just need a second to finish the plate..."

    In between quick bites of the hotdog, I recall something. That something... causes me to try and swallow a mouthful a bit too early...

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex
    "I have made... some breakthroughs, I'd say. Not much in terms of concrete evidence, but I am planning on doing some legwork eventually - see where that leads me. But you are right. This town... it has many mysteries it hides."
    What can be done here? I've been mostly silent because... I'm not good at this game that humans play. Even if I can occasionally delude myself or get swept up in the moment, will I be able to talk to her normally? Is it even possible to have a normal conversation when one person knows more than the other person can ever be allowed to? Like that there's a painful spike of awfulness burrowing into this girl's heart as we speak?

    Right now, that girl with a gallant smile, showing off her curiosity and determination to find the truth, feels unreachable for someone who lives in a world that must be covered in lies.

    Even so, I want to reach out to her. So that she doesn't fall into darkness.

    Gulp.

    Somehow, I managed to swallow down the oversized bite I've been in the middle of, like a Looney Tunes character.

    "Alex. Alex. You're interested in that kinda stuff too?"

    Of course she is. As am I. Who wouldn't be?

    "All of the band members are planning a test of courage after this. Originally it was just gonna be sharing stories and rumours around the bonfire, but then it kinda... changed. We'll be investigating all sorts of weird and spooky places after dark. Like the second floor of the dorms where it's all boarded up. If you want, we can go snooping around together, though it might be a little dangerous-"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivi
    "I... am sorry... I... do not know... because I cannot feel anything... anymore..."
    As Vivi speaks, I have no choice but to fall silent.

    Not because it'd be rude to do otherwise, but rather...

    Because her words are like glass. So fragile that I can't help but treat them as if they could shatter at any moment.

    "Vivi..."

    Is she truly okay with this? Is this what Vivienne's 'logic' decided? Or is it some part of her that wants to reach out to others, to be understood even if it hurts her? That breath of life in hear heart that hangs on despite the despair?

    Either way...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivi
    "I am here... at this school... with the hopes of fixing my 'problem'...

    ...it is... hard to explain... but... if I was normal... if Vivienne Bianchi was really here... she would be happy... because she has always valued having friends, discovering new things... and having fun... but...

    ...I cannot anymore... be like her. I cannot be happy... and I cannot be sad... I can only think of how I should be... not of how I am... because... in a sense... there is nothing... when I look at myself."
    I reach out and wrap my crumb-stained fingers around hers once more.

    "It'll be alright, Vivi."

    What I really want to say is "It's alright, Vivi." But it's not. So all I can do is keep holding your hand until it is.

    So that, at the very least, you don't forget what someone else's warmth feels like.

    "Even if you see 'nothing' when you look at yourself, everyone here sees 'something'! You'll definitely find that 'something' as well."

    I stand, look around.

    Yeah, everyone here is putting their best foot forward, so they'll accept her.

    ...please accept her, won't you?

  5. #2625
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff & Lucille Faraday
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille
    “I think she’s like a doll.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Lucille, what kind of person wants a doll like me? Unless you’re into something like horror dolls with scars.”
    There was a loud, dismissive snort that came from the sands right next to the small group that had formed. Aleen King, of course. From the looks of it, the bluehead had somehow caught a wind of what was being discussed, and took umbridge on how Vier had spoken about herself. Without missing a beat, the red-eyed girl then spun around, still holding Tonkori, so fast that the tiny flailing paws of the dog were lifted up in the air. The girl then lifted the dog so that she held it before her face - on hand on its tummy and one hand on its head.

    "Ruff ruff, that's totes poppycock!" Aleen squeaked, trying to make it look like it was Tonkori who was talking. "I think Vier's a total hottie, ruff! I'm a girl even and even I have a bone-r for you~! Ruff!"

    Caleb, who had watched this with a nonplussed expression, let out a huge snort and covered his face momentarily with his hands.

    Well, who knew? The boy was weak for horrible puns.

    Tonkori, however, didn't seem too amused at being used like a Jim Henson sockpuppet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “...Anyways, Caleb I’ve never thought about being a model. Especially since there’s better people for that kind of job... Like right now, there's Aleen and Lucille. They both look nice in different ways. Aleen has an innocent playful girl look to her right now and Lucille brings to mind something like a Valkyrie.”
    Gathering his bearings (and trying his best to hide the few chuckles that escaped his lips) the artist turned back to face Vier. While he talked, his right hand flew back to the paper, and started sketching out something. Something that turned out to be the vague shape of a young girl who was sitting on the beach. In other words... looks like his hands had started working even if his brain hadn't truly processed it yet.

    Still, that smile on his face... it was not amused in a different sort of way.

    "Well, true. From a certain point of view. Aleen here certainly has charm that cannot be denied," Caleb spoke, not realizing that the bluehaired girl let out an oddly swooning gargling sound and fell backwards to the sand, taking Tonkori with her. "Meanwhile, Lucille Faraday is truly a natural beauty - I believe I told her that much when we met at the bus."

    Caleb offered the blonde girl in question a nod, before turning back to Vier.

    "But looks alone are not what matters. In fact... they don't matter much at all. What I find beautiful is how people live. Their inner strength. That, more than any physical attribute, shines from a person. Especially here," Caleb said, making a sweeping motion at the beach and the people gathered here. "Each and every person gathered here makes no excuses of who they are. That's why we are all here. They live how they want. They do not bow down to society. And that sort of force of will is beautiful. Indeed, I think that each and every person in our class is beautiful because of that."

    The rose-haired artist stopped his pens for a moment, locking his eyes with Vier.

    "Even you. Your scars are just part of who you are. What's wrong with that?"

    Though, suddenly, his smile turned into a slight smirk.

    "And, well... Inacio, at least, called you beautiful. So you might be selling yourself short."

    --- For some reason, it felt like the boy had let something rather secret slip!




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Well...how was that?”
    "Ahahahahahaha~!"

    Letting out a bellowing, uproarious laughter, Pyry slapped his knee out of pure joy and fell backwards to the ocean, causing a huge splash that spread out like a tidal wave in all directions, nearly knocking Hisa underwater too. Continuing with that move, the lanky athlete showed surprising agility for his size, striking his hands against the bottom and lifting his legs up, performing a backflip on the spot while kicking up another arc of water - this time one that rose towards the blue skies like a sparkling crescent. Then, using that same momentum, he pulled himself under the water and shot back to the surface - oriented upwards, like normal.

    Though the face that emerged from the waters couldn't have had a wider grin on it.

    "Oh man, pikkusisko, that was great! Hah, you're natural at this! Gosh, we should take this to the pool sometimes, see what you really can do!" Pyry exclaimed excitedly, laughing all the while. "Like, seriously! You took to that hangtime like a pro! Not even a shred of hesitation! That's what I like!"

    This exuberant bout of energy continued, and with nowhere else to channel it, Pyry caught Hisa out of nowhere by the waist and lifted her up in the air, spinning the girl around a few times (with way, way too much speed) and howling in laughter as he did. It was clear that the boy was easily infected by what was happening around him, and when others were having fun...

    --- He was having one hell of a blast too.

    "Hah! We should do that again! Maybe go for a triple this time! Or, or, one of those fancy choreographed stuff they show in the Olympics!" Pyry continued as he plopped poor Hisa back into water again, letting go of her. "Or, wait... hmm... you're lightweight, and that noggin of your's looks pretty aerodynamic..."

    The sparkle in the boy's eyes was like the sun itself as he leaned in closer, that darn cat-like grin plastered on his face.

    "... Wanna give fastball special a try?"




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "Oh please. Ain't nothing that can keep these babies in check, my hips are so bad they're on the FBI's Most Wanted. Walls'd have to be made of something harder'n steel to outpower these girls, haha!"
    Travis rolled his eyes and let out a derisive snort.

    "Yeah yeah, keep yapping. Your hips and ass can only get you so far, Tuchus," the delinquent replied, coining yet another crude nickname. "'Cause if they're that wanted, they're gonna get you into trouble sooner rather than later. So keep flaunting all you want - you're gonna regret it."

    From the looks of it, the Canadian thug was indeed stepping up to the challenge - and not backing down in the slightest. Naturally, he was the type to go for crude humour or vulgar remarks, but right now... well, it might have been just a stray observation by Elaine, but the boy didn't exactly seem to be in a bad mood. If anything, his mood had went up a bit now that he could verbally spar with someone on the same level as him - as in, the same crude level as him.

    Hwan, on the other hand, let out a bark of a laughter.

    "Yeah, get you into trouble with T-bone here I be---YEOWCH!"

    A slap to the back of the head interrupted the shorter boy.

    "See? Big mouths get people into trouble," Travis said, addressing Hwan with a smug sneer. "Easy lesson to learn."

    Hwan didn't seem too happy about this, and immediately got up to the taller boy's face, practically growling.

    "Huh, you wanna go at it, you motherfu---"

    The sharp sound of Souma slicing a steak in half on the cutting board made both of them shut up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "But yeah, whole world's dangerous, this place especially, very much so after dark. Never know if some grumpy mother-hubbard's gonna try to take a potshot at you for 'doing what you're not supposed to', especially if ya aren't quiet or delicate about getting into wherever. Part of me wants to go along just to make sure people aren't going to be a pack of retards and go smack-talk some lunatic tree-fondler with a 45 and then I have to haul their sorry-asses out of the fire before they get themselves messed up. Only one place I'm a little interested in scoping out right now, and I don't think there's much there, least not right now. It's that or go traipsing around in the woods, looking for trouble."
    Souma, who took the two pieces of steak he had prepared and threw them on the grill, let out a thoughtful hum.

    "... Hm. Wise. Looking after others, that is," the one-eyed boy said, before an enigmatic smile rose on his face. "Looking for trouble? Not so much. Everyone can get themselves into... trouble... heh."

    As usual, the way this young man spoke was... vaguely ominous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "After all, the thing I was interested in happened a few months ago, even if a murder scene might be spooky enough for some of these thrill-seekers."
    That, however, made the black-haired cook cock an eyebrow. Well, the one eyebrow that functioned. From the looks of it, the other one was fated to stay as still as it had always been. Souma wiped his hands on the nearby rag, took a swig out of the pitch black cola can next to him, before turning his attention back to Elaine.

    "... Heh. A crime scene? Bold. Though not something many would like," he replied. "Makes one wonder why you're so curious... Though, it's hardly my business. Still, if it's quiet entry you're looking for... and if you want to avoid unnecessary danger..."

    The stare of that single yellow eye jumped to the two delinquents who were still at each other's throats.

    "... Why not take a bodyguard? I bet they know about... hm... breaking and entering," Souma suggested. "... And they seem to have the energy for it. They even sounded... hah... worried. That sounds like volunteers."

    Travis and Hwan, who had been glaring at each other, turned to look at Elaine and Souma with dumbfounded expression.

    "Wait..." Hwan started.

    Both blinked in confusion.

    "... What?" Travis concluded.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; May 6th, 2020 at 05:23 PM.

  6. #2626
    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
    “Yo, Indiana. Gabi. What’s up?”
    The large bonfire, one that had been piled so high that it would burn well into the night and provide the whole beach with ample warmth even after the sun had gone down, crackled merrily as Anna approached the duo that had set themselves up near it. From the looks of it, the two of them (most likely Ramia alone) had dragged a driftwood log near it, which they now used as a bench. Both the dusky-skinned girl and the androgynous boy were holding paper plates full of food... though they couldn't have been more different. While Ramia's was nothing but meat, Gabi's was nothing but salad and vegetables... most of them untouched. Even now, the boy was quietly nibbling on a corn on a cob.

    Still, Anna's brisk greeting caught their attention, with a grin rising to Ramia's face.



    "Well there you are, Red! Looks like you decided to show your face after all!"

    Ramia chuckled a bit as she made some space on the log so that Anna would be able to sit down as well. At the same time, she nodded towards the small makeshift table they had made out of another piece of log - a table that held few more plates filled with food, as well as cans of soda... though from the looks of it, these soda ranged from "bitter" to "sugar overload". Then again, that was how it usually was on the beach, so perhaps they weren't that out of place.

    "Come on, siddown and eat a little. We saved you some food and drink," Ramia said, patting the log. "Or, well, rather, I wanted to just keep going, but Gabi here insisted that we should wait for you."

    Ramia nodded towards the boy who, despite all the odds, had decided to dress for the beach too.

    Though...

    "Anyways... what's this, Red? You ain't looking ready for beach at all?" Ramia continued, arching an eyebrow. "I get that the jacket is kinda your thing, but still... you should ease up a little bit. Plus you're going to get your clothes wet if I get drunk on the atmosphere and decide to toss you in the ocean."

    The dusky-skinned girl cackled loudly, popping another piece of steak into her mouth.

    "I mean, even Gabi here dressed for the occasion," she added. "Pretty brave for the guy, right?"

    As for Gabi, who had been silent so far...




    "........ hello..."

    ... He looked like he had no idea how to act right now.

    Even Ramia, who was still chuckling away, got a bit of an awkward smile to her face.

    "You know..." she started with slightly quieter voice. "... We should really go clothes-shopping with the guy one of these days."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “Mister Briggs, as I am sure you are aware, to pull the trigger of a gun… means to be prepared for return fire.”

    Another owlish blink.

    "--- Whoa!"

    Completely unprepared for the sudden assault of the makeshift hydro-weaponry, Jake Briggs got a full blast (handful?) of water to his face. The janitor's protests were silenced as the ocean water got into his mouth, causing the young man to gag and flail around quite comically, nearly losing his balance. However, he recovered surprisingly fast! Pumping the mechanism of his watergun to achieve more pressure, Jake suddenly rolled to the side in almost military-esque fashion, showing agility that one might not have expected from the lazy janitor. Immediately rising back up to a proper shooting position, with the stock of the watergun against his shoulder, Jake pulled the trigger in rapid succession, letting out jets of sparkling water straight towards John---!

    Though.

    As it turned out.

    Not to hit him, no... to lay suppressing fire and force the younger boy to retreat for a moment, instead of continuing his assault!

    "Dude, you're way too young to think of catching me unawares!" Jake boasted merrily, despite exactly that having happened just moments ago. "I'm the the king of water combat, dude~!"

    Then, continuing with that surprising agility of his, Jake spun around, rounded Elise's form and shielded himself behind the brunette girl. At the same time he let go of the hold he had of his gun, grasping it with only one hand. The reason for this was devious indeed. During that spin, he scooped up water from the ocean, turned his hand into a sort of a knife, and then, applying the laws of pressure, shot a sharp stream towards the blue-haired boy from behind his human shield---!

    Or, so it would have gone, if not for---


    "UBON SHIEEEEL-BLBLBLBLBLBLBLBL!"

    Well...

    The girl must have thought it would have been a more heroic "sacrifice."

    At the last minute, Ubon had jumped down from her perch (Elise) and intercepted Jake's attack, putting herself between John and the watery shot. Unfortunately, instead of taking the hit with her stomach, Ubon had gotten her face and open mouth (thanks to the heroic yell) full of water, turning the sound into a gargle of defeat. What followed was a flat splat as the cyanhead hit the ocean's surface, and started sinking rapidly, a trail of bubbles rising from the water.

    Subaru, who had been watching this unfolding before her very eyes, gave a rather flat look to Elise.

    "... You should have thrown her when you had the chance, Miss Pelltier," the messy-haired girl said. "Before she managed to get caught in this... whatever this nonsense is..."

    Looks like the boys reverting basically back to little kids hadn't impressed Subaru!

    ... That, or then her look of slight jealousy meant that she secretly wanted to take part in the fun too.

    "BWAH!"

    A loud, vaguely marine-animal-like sound escaped from within the depths as Ubon once again broke the surface. The girl's eyes were swirling a little bit in her head, but other than that, she didn't look worse for wear. Jake, who had looked slightly horrified at the prospect that he might have seriously hurt one of the students, let out a breath of relief. Ubon herself, on the other hand, kept paddling the water, turning her red face towards the group at large.




    "G-guys, don't use knife hands! Those totes hurt! For realsies!"

    Jake Briggs could only murmur a quiet "S-sorry" as an apology, look of utter shame plastered on his face.

    --- Luckily, Ubon wasn't the type to really dwell on such matters much.

    "A-anyways, guys! Did you see that! Over there! Pyrrie just threw Hissie up in the air like 15 meters! I wanna do that too, for realsies!" the girl exclaimed, excited grin rising to her face. "Can one of you throw me? Please please pleeeeease~!"

    Those exuberant eyes turned towards Elise.

    "Essie, you felt pretty toned and ripped!" Ubon continued, paddling closer to the brunette. "Wanna give it a go?"
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; May 6th, 2020 at 06:28 PM.

  7. #2627
    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


    My eyebrows raised a bit as Souma neatly cut into the growing banter as easily as he cut into the meat, bodyguards, hm?

    "Two strapping young menschen at my back as I go and do some crimes? Not a bad idea, couple of hombres looking after my tush after dark certainly ought to make things go smoothly if I run into some problems."

    I bobbed my eyebrows, "I'm sure T-bone over here'll appreciate the scenery, even if there's not much going on, at least it'll be nice to look at while we're traipsing around looking for trouble."

    I held up a hand, opining, "It's better than trouble coming and looking for you, at least. That just leads to a whole lot of trouble and some hospital bills, though I don't think we'll have to worry about paying to get patched up here, unless you want it quiet."

    I cast an eye in the general direction of End's Mercy, "Never been too much of a fan of hospitals, though, to be honest, let alone ones catering to a bunch of nutty teenagers. Too much Coast to Coast and hearing about MKUltra BS for my taste."

  8. #2628
    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

    The waves, the spinning, the water everywhere, it was almost scary how the peaceful beach and ocean suddenly turned so wild.

    It was nice to see Pyry being so enthusiastic and happy. Last time, I didn’t have the chance to swim with him...in fact, last time, I haven’t even really talked to him this time around yet.

    As horrible as it all was, and how sunday was still on the horizon, I guess this was one of the ups of the time leap. The missed opportunities...they can become real.

    His enthusiasm turned out to be quite contagious, as I found myself laughing alongside him, and getting somewhat excited myself.

    “F-fastball special? Somehow, that doesn’t sound healthy. Though…”

    An idea popped into my mind.

    Something I could show to him...Something the ocean was just the perfect place for. Something to make this evening more memorable...even if it wasn’t the real thing.

    “Well, let me show you something first,” I said as I grabbed into the boy’s arm, pulling him a bit further into the ocean, “After that you can throw me around some more.”

    Reaching a good spot that wasn’t too deep yet, I stopped and turned towards Pyry.

    “Alright...Just close your eyes, and relax your mind,” I explained with a clear hint of excitement and anticipation in my voice, “And then let’s dive under the water. When you feel me pulling...come back up and open your eyes.”

    As we submerged, it felt like the world just disappeared from around us - as if we were just all alone in the peaceful, soothing embrace of the ocean.

    Holding into Pyry’s hand, I could feel his warmth, that was just the same as always, even with how he’s been in the cold water all this time.

    I could feel his presence right in front of me, as I reached out with my mind, all the while focusing intensely on one grand scene…

    With how much effort it take, I was sure that it was going to leave a temporary print on the surroundings - but I could only hope that no one would notice it under the water.

    Satisfied with the effect, I rise back to the surface, pulling Pyry with myself---

    But it seemed that the whole world around them has changed.


    The beach, the mountains, the sky, everything seemed to be gone, and was instead replaced by the endless blue. From upwards, high up above them, the light of the sun broke through the surface and faintly illuminated the ocean around them, just enough so that it would give light to the mesmerizing scenery around them.

    The two of them were inside of a dome, an air bubble of sorts - while outside, everywhere they looked, they were surrounded by dozens, hundreds of fishes and other oceanic creatures swimming, spiralling around one bright ray of light in front of them like a gigantic living organism.

    “What do you think?” I said while smiling coyly again.

    Further in the distance, a giant shadow loomed over the ocean below - a whale, swimming by slowly, its ‘singing’ resonating around them.

    It was a lot to take in - all the colours, the liveliness, the sounds - and maintaining something so grand was just as difficult.

    So many elements that needed to seem realistic - so many sights and sensations to be created artificially, but if all of this managed to bring a smile to his face...then it was already worth it.

    And then maybe one day...I can show him the real thing as well.

  9. #2629
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin, Prushka, Alexstrasza Lockhart & Vivienne Bianchi
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstrasza
    "Haha... I don't suppose I could borrow some?"
    Cesarina, who had apparently finished most of her drawings, patted her hands to shake off the excess sand and nodded happily.

    "Of course, just a moment Zaza!" she replied, bringing up her handbag. "It is somewhere in here, I am sure of it..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexstraza
    "I don't know if I would call it luxurious, Cesarina. The company was nice, I suppose. And the food was excellent, if a bit... exotic, I suppose for most tastes. But there's something more... intimate, wouldn't you say, about sitting at a table with our peers? It is a rather wondrous night, fit for music with a bit of mystery in the air."
    "Hmm... intimate? Well, I suppose it is a bit nicer in a smaller group, rather than having everyone talk over each other," Cesarina replied absent-mindedly as she fished out a bottle of sunscreen from her bag. "Oh, that reminds me! Everyone, Zaza and I were discussing if we should gather tonight after sundown at the bonfire - to tell ghost stories and the like! From what I understand of the novels I have read, that is a quintessential part of any youthful summer!"

    While she talked, the green-haired girl set aside her bag once more. Then she popped open the cap of her sunscreen bottle, and squirted a hefty amount of it onto her free hand, before turning towards her blonde friend with an innocent smile.

    "Oh, while we are at it - let me get your back for you, Zaza!" Cesarina happily said. "It is hard to do it by yourself, right?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "I will... take you up... on your offer from yesterday... so that... we can find out... why the corn tastes nice..."
    Alex looked bit surprised by this declaration, but soon enough, a graceful smile once again adorned her face.

    "Very well then, mademoiselle. Let us get to the bottom of this corn mystery," she said, a quiet chuckle escaping her lips. "I will be counting on you to act as my Watson."

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "Miss Tsukioka is... Japanese no? In Japanese culture... only couples call each other... by their first name... so I thought maybe... Miss Tsukioka would be bothered... because if we go by these societal norms... calling you by your given name is... reserved for your other half..."
    Hearing this, Sakura snorted a little bit and made a dismissive gesture with her hand. At the same time, her other hand nimbly opened up yet another can of beer. The empty ones seemed to be piling up just as fast as a certain amount of redness started tinting the brunette's cheeks... and as fast as her hold of Prushka seemed to tighten.

    "Mm, I've lived in the States long enough to have eased up," Sakura replied nonchalantly. "I mean, if I were back home, then maybe... but it's not like this dolt over here is going to be bothered by it. Rather, like with you, he's the type to be bothered if you use his last name."

    Sakura flashed a grin towards Colt's direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "Sakura, look! See, Colt's lonely! He's the clingy type, y'know!"
    The mischievous glint in the older girl's eyes returned with full force.

    "Oh~? Well, we can't have that! We were both supposed to have good time, after all!" Sakura playfully cooed, not even noticing that Prushka slipped out of her grasp - instead slithering over to the aforementioned boy. "And I'd be an awful date - even if it's just a tryout - if I left you hanging dry over here~"

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “But really, January? You can’t expect me to live that long! I’ll starve before then! I’ll perish! I’m like one of those birds that die of loneliness if you go too long without playing with them, y’know.”
    Chuckling merrily, Sakura once again decided to use Colt as her arm-rest - though this time his shoulder instead. As she did, the brunette took another swig from her can... and followed it up by a loud belch that she didn't even seem to notice.

    "I see, I see," she replied, nudging the boy with her elbow. "Well, if you play your cards right, I'm sure we can arrange something for... hmm, let's see... December, perhaps? Though you can certainly come hang with us before that."

    That Cheshire Cat-like grin didn't promise anything good.

    "Though when it comes to another date, that's something you'll have to earn, Colt~"

    Meanwhile, at the more "peaceful" side of the table, the conversation had taken a bit more serious turn - even the jolly atmosphere of the beach didn't seem to completely reach here. While Prushka had started suggesting some joint investigation with Alex (and the french girl had seemed receptive to the idea), Vivienne's sudden confession had drawn everyone silent.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "I... am sorry... I... do not know... because I cannot feel anything... anymore... I am here... at this school... with the hopes of fixing my 'problem'... ...it is... hard to explain... but... if I was normal... if Vivienne Bianchi was really here... she would be happy... because she has always valued having friends, discovering new things... and having fun... but... ...I cannot anymore... be like her. I cannot be happy... and I cannot be sad... I can only think of how I should be... not of how I am... because... in a sense... there is nothing... when I look at myself."
    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "It'll be alright, Vivi. Even if you see 'nothing' when you look at yourself, everyone here sees 'something'! You'll definitely find that 'something' as well."
    A small moment of silence.

    Then...

    "--- Mademoiselle Prushka is right. Even if you yourself say you cannot 'feel', and only think that you 'should' feel something... well, at least to me, that sounds that you still have the 'desire' to feel again and 'hope' that you will be able to do so one day," Alex said, offering an encouraging nod towards Vivienne. "We are all here because of what we have been through, and how that has affected us. No one here would fault you for how you are. And as said, even if you yourself can see nothing within yourself... we certainly can, right?"

    Alex looked around the table.

    "Someone who, despite it not being easy for her, still chooses to spend time with people who think of her as a friend, right?" the french girl continued. "That, if anything, is admirable."

    Cesarina, from her spot in the sands, nodded strongly.

    "Truly! After all, even I am... erm, how did they put it...? Ah, yes, unable to relate properly to other people. It might not be as severe as your case, Vivienne, but I think I can understand how you feel, if even a little bit," the Italian heiress said, before smiling warmly at the quiet girl. "But I am sure that if we work on it, and if we accept the help others give us, we will surely find a way to 'fix' ourselves, right? It is simply about locating the problem and addressing it!"

    It might not have been the most carefully worded or eloquent answer, but at least Cesarina's feelings (even with her strange example) came through.

    Sakura, on the other hand, simply warmly smiled over the scene while leaning on Colt.

    "... There you have it, Vivienne. We're all here for a reason, and nobody would be callous enough to reject you because of yours," she said. "So I'd say you have nothing to worry about in this group of friends."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "At least she and the others are trying to get better, sitting over here thinking you're superior because you don't make excuses for how awful you are? You're actually the worst sort of human there is, thinking that just because you know the truth about yourself, that means everything you do is okay, because at least you're not making excuses about it."
    Xylia's cruel grin widened.

    As if she had been expecting this.

    As if she had been waiting for this.

    --- And as if she was now enjoying this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "You're not as enlightened as you think you are, just an awful person that's satisfied with the fact that they're awful, reveling in it because at least you 'don't make excuses about it' right? That's about as pathetic as me."
    A howling cackle escaped from Xylia's lips as she threw her head back, clearly sickening joyful about the fact that Liana's attempts of establishing some sort of connection between the two had ended with her, after all that, resorting to a glare and angry tone of voice. Or perhaps "resorting" was a wrong choice of words. Indeed, it was not like Xylia was giving her much in the terms of choice. She had been driving the conversation here all this time, honing in on the weakness insult after insult, carefully adjusting her aim.

    And now she had drawn blood, and was like a frenzied piranha in the water.

    That was why she, even now, wiped some of that ecstatic drool away from her mouth.

    "Yeah, that's it. Cut down the high horse and suddenly yer crawlin' in the mud just like the rest of us, yeah?" Xylia sneered. "Figured it wouldn't take ya long. Ya were so obvious in yer little obsession that it was bound to be fuckin' fragile as all hell. Transparent things often are fragile, just like glass, see."

    She snorted and took a step closer, crushing the sand under her shoe.

    "But ya wanna know the real funny thing...?" Xylia asked, her voice growing just a bit quieter. "The real secret that's funny as shit in all of this...? See, even though ya keep screeching out those things like they're the best insults of the playground..."

    The tiny girl leaned closer.

    Close enough that the space between them was practically none.

    Those burning eyes stared straight into Liane's, and that mocking sneer was like a cracked crescent moon.

    Full of utter joy at pushing the other girl's buttons and causing that fury that dwelled now withing her.

    A second and a half of silence.

    The noises outside the two of them died out.

    --- Then.



    "... I know I'm the worst, and I fuckin' love it."



    And with that, Xylia walked past Liana, leaving behind a howling, hyena-like laughter

    Having done exactly what she wanted, she headed away, intending to leaving the taller girl there, fuming with the dark thoughts she had caused.

    Retreating like a coward who was completely fine with being one.




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "Never been too much of a fan of hospitals, though, to be honest, let alone ones catering to a bunch of nutty teenagers. Too much Coast to Coast and hearing about MKUltra BS for my taste."
    Travis snorted, almost like he had found something funny in what Elaine said. However, it was not him that first answered the suggestion of Souma. Instead, it was Hwan who rose up from the sands, patted his hands clean, and flicked the remains of his cigarette away - towards the water's edge. Then, the shorter boy turned his crude grin towards the blonde girl, with one hand on his hips.

    "Sorry, Ponytail, but as damn fine as the scenery is, that ain't gonna cut it for me," he said, shrugging nonchalantly. "I only do jobs like that for money - see, if you wanna take advantage of what I can do, the least you can do is pay me. I'm not that easy guy to just do it for free."

    Travis scoffed, rolled his eyes, and rose up from the ground as well.

    "Yeah, we've noticed," the thug replied. "Like how you ripped us off last night with that beer."

    Again, there was a shrug from the white-haired boy... though magnitudes greater in smugness.

    "Hey, ain't nothing in this life free."

    Souma, who had been watching over all of this that was happening, let out a quiet ghost of a chuckle from between his lips. He still kept his hands busy, having already filled Kean's order and now, with just a few more adjustments, he had finished Inacio's as well. This all was crowned when he flipped over the lid of the cooler next to him with just his foot, and fished out three cans of soda. Two of them were placed next to the ready plates, while the third one was handed straight to Elaine.

    "... Well. If Hwan is as greedy as usual, that's that. Though he is good," Souma said, eyeing the two boys. "Then again, money doesn't guarantee... heh, loyalty. It might make things... problematic... down the line."

    There was a hint of slyness as the one-eyed boy then looked at Travis solely.

    "... Emotional reasons might be... better... in that regard," he continued. "Even if they are... simplistic. After all... heh... he might work hard to keep you safe, considering how he keeps giving those... veiled compliments... about your looks."

    Silence.

    Utter silence.

    With Souma looking as calm and collected as ever, despite what he had said.

    With Hwan taking few steps back from the taller boy, all the while wearing a shit-eating grin.

    And with Travis looking like he was sucker-punched...

    "------------------ The hell!?"

    ... followed by a hint of redness on his cheeks.




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “What do you think?”
    There was no answer.

    Not an immediate one at least.

    Instead, Pyry's eyes were wide open as he stared at the changed world around the two. Initially, thanks to the shock caused by the scenery around them, he had squeezed Hisa's hand even harder... but now he relaxed it into a more gentle grasp. The boy's mouth was ajar, as if he was unable to quite comprehend what was happening. But he saw it all. The sunslight streaming through the clear water, the schools of fishes swimming around the sphere of air they were inside right now, the deep azure in which the marine life practically melted, only to glimmer back into the existence in a colorful cavalcade akin to life being born anew.

    And the song of a whale, far in the distance, like a colossal shape of the ancients.

    ".............."

    The awe and wonder in the boy's face was palpable.

    What could he even say to the sight?

    What kind of words could do it even justice?

    Unlike some of the others in the First Class, the lanky athlete wasn't one who was good with words - hence why he liked to act, not talk. But now, he couldn't do either. Or rather, he had no idea how he should have acted and was only capable of staring at the brilliance around him in amazement. And with his usual method of reacting having failed him, he had only his words to rely on... words that he knew he couldn't use to properly describe what he was seeing.

    How was this being done?

    Irrelevant.

    How had he ended up here?

    Meaningless.

    How was this even possible?

    Unimportant.

    Instead of the questions that some might have asked... Pyry finally came to the only conclusion he could. To give the only answer he could.

    In other words, squeezing that smaller hand again, slowly looking at the girl by his side, and opening his mouth to describe with the only two words he could.

    "------- It's beautiful."

    Sometimes, the simplest words were the best.

  10. #2630
    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



    Quote Originally Posted by Elise Marie Pelltier
    “I bumped into Liana Skye this morning on my way to the cafeteria, and I had the hardest time remembering her name for some reason. Uhg, I just felt really bad about that...”
    “Liana Skye, yes; when I saw her today in the classroom, it felt like it was the first time I saw her in my life,” John responds. There is absolutely no need for this…coyness—he knows Elise Marie remembers, Momoi told him as much. Perhaps some hidden, minuscule part of him finds the secrecy amusing.

    “It’s rather strange, if I may say so. It’s not as if her looks are particularly forgettable.”


    Perhaps too expectedly, Jake Briggs plays along all too merrily. John does as well, throwing himself backwards and away from the janitor’s suppressive fire.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    “Dude, you're way too young to think of catching me unawares!”
    He just did. That is literally what just happened, you silly person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Briggs
    “I'm the the king of water combat, dude~!”
    “Good,” John taunts back, wearing what he believes is a challenging smirk. “Always wondered how I’d look with a crown.”

    The man is agile, at least more so than John himself. Agile and devious, too—not that John Dove would have any qualms about making Elise Marie Pelltier into collateral damage. However, his instincts go into alert when he realizes what Jake Briggs is up to by freeing one of his hands—


    Well, Ubon gotta be Ubon in the end. It is with a flat stare that John watches the girl fall face flat on the water and sink like a big log. Mr. Briggs looks a little worried, but John Dove knows better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subaru Iburi
    “... You should have thrown her when you had the chance, Miss Pelltier. Before she managed to get caught in this... whatever this nonsense is...”
    Oh, now she went and said it. Just for that, if only for this evening, John Dove will harden his heart and become a pain in the ass.

    …well, the heart-hardening part is already about as good as done, really.

    And maybe the pain-in-the-ass part, too. Good job, John Dove.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    “G-guys, don't use knife hands! Those totes hurt! For realsies!”
    “…my hero,” declares John in the absolutely flattest tone a human being can muster. Right after that, he scopes a handful of seawater and flings it at her like nobody’s business.

    As expected of Ubon, though, Pyry and Momoi’s stunts over there grab her attention. Also as expected, she wants to give it a go herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    “Essie, you felt pretty toned and ripped! Wanna give it a go?”
    “Well, if you are explicitly calling out to Elise Marie, then I can’t help but want to see it as well,” he says, stirring the coals. Not that he feels it is necessary; the book-loving girl has…unfinished business with Ubon Sĕeklêun, it seems.

    “Let me know if you need my help. Just, um, if you do it, please do so at a generous distance from Miss Iburi. I will retrieve her if the water pushes her away, of course, but I would rather not let it get to that. On another note…”

    He turns his attention to the helpless-in-the-water Subaru Iburi.

    “Could it be, that our water battle here is unbecoming to the eyes of the refined Miss Iburi? Please, say it isn’t so.”

    He takes hold of the flotation ring with one hand. This is so that her retaliatory action, if it comes, does not push her away out of control—Newton’s Third Law and all that. However, it also means she cannot escape him now.

    “Come on,” he insists, stirring the water only enough to splash droplets at most, and very careful to avoid her eyes. All in all, very gentle bullying prodding.

    “Show us what you’ve got.”

    Splash.

    “Who knows? Maybe you have what it takes to dethrone the so-called king.”

    Splash.

    “You’d have to get through me first, though.”

    Splash.

    “So?”

    Splash.

    “Are we teaming up? Are you taking me down?”

    Splash.

    “What is it going to be, Miss Iburi?”

  11. #2631
    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


    I took the can of carbonation and caffeine from Souma gratefully, cracking it open and taking a swig just as Souma pierced Travis's defenses so easily.

    I snorted, coughing and sniffling with soda up my nose, wiping at my face as I laughed, "Awww, you really do like me! Always figured you for a real sweetheart, Travis~! Bet if some girl was in trouble you'd be right up in there to take a bullet for her!"

    Another round of hearty laughter came out of my mouth as I rubbed at my face, feeling a bit of heat.

    As always, I was weak to complements, banter and jeering was fine, but genuine complements always got me flustered.

    I coughed a bit more, clearing my throat, then raised my can in a salute to Hwan, "Nothin' wrong with being mercenary about things, keeps it easy. I've certainly worked my fair share of jobs for cold hard cash rather than sentiment."

    I took a sip, "What's your price list like, any coupons or specials going on today? If I buy two, do I get a free backrub?"

    I twisted my lips in a crooked smile, "Respect, though. Putting your body on the line for some scratch is tough sometimes. But, I figured I'd at least have to jump through a few hoops to get the deets on a professional escort service."

  12. #2632
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    ---In the end, she just forces herself to let it go.

    Don't turn around, just let her walk away, there's nothing more to be gained from all of this, only things to lose...

    Like her temper.

    It sucks, knowing that she was being baited towards giving that exact sort of reaction, and winding up giving it to her anyway in spite of that knowledge... It's a moment of transparent weakness, where she gave into one of the cracks in her heart and did something she had been trying to avoid doing, but...

    Raising her voice?

    A bit of a glare?

    That wasn't quite crawling in the mud, to use Xylia's own analogy, but...

    It was best to let it end here...

    She was getting a bit too worked up, darker and sadder thoughts were creeping up at the edges of her mind, something that should be far removed from the young woman that always does her best to smile.

    Even if it's sometimes fake, that doesn't mean it's fake all the time.

    She's broken in some ways, but she's been able to function in spite of that all this time, so...

    Let it go Liana Skye.

    Pull yourself back together.

    ---She sits down at the water's edge.

    She doesn't want anyone else to see her fuming like this, so for now, it was probably for the best to just sit away and meditate... Her normal daily exercises, an attempt at regaining some form of inner peace, or at least...

    That is what the pose the girl takes suggests to those that see her.

    Legs crossed, eyes closed, and breathing purposeful, yes...

    "..."

    In and out.

    In and out.

    Nice and easy, but...

    "..."

    Oddly enough...

    Her eyes seem to narrow slightly in active thought, even as the rest of her body slowly relaxes now that the threat to her psyche was gone...

    "..."

    But whatever it is she's thinking about...

    It seems like she intends to just sit here for awhile...

    Listening to the waves, the sounds of the others playing around, and yes...

    Seeking solace in her own thoughts...
    Last edited by Airen; May 6th, 2020 at 09:58 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?



  13. #2633
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    Colt, educated? Sufficiently. Cultured? Not particularly. The thought that Sakura, being Japanese, might put a different kind of stock in how people were referred to had never occurred to him. If someone hadn’t said something, it never would. How things were done in a country over the sea to the east, in a culture so far removed from his own, wasn’t something he had any knowledge on.

    "Mm, I've lived in the States long enough to have eased up. I mean, if I were back home, then maybe... but it's not like this dolt over here is going to be bothered by it. Rather, like with you, he's the type to be bothered if you use his last name."

    “Heheh, that’s right.” Colt chuckled, and turned his eyes back to his depleting assortment of food. Soon, the pie would be in reach. “This dolt isn’t so easily bothered.”

    "Sakura, look! See, Colt's lonely! He's the clingy type, y'know!”

    "Oh~? Well, we can't have that! We were both supposed to have good time, after all! And I'd be an awful date - even if it's just a tryout - if I left you hanging dry over here~"

    In the few seconds that he had turned his eyes away from her, Colt found his date practically winding over the sand to him. Like some sort of…

    Viper.

    A viper that knew how to belch.

    For a moment Colt’s expression went blank. The realization was finally hitting him, that perhaps Sakura was actually… truly, genuinely drunk. How many drinks did she have? He only ever saw the one…

    "I see, I see. Well, if you play your cards right, I'm sure we can arrange something for... hmm, let's see... December, perhaps? Though you can certainly come hang with us before that. Though when it comes to another date, that's something you'll have to earn, Colt~"

    It would be best not to take anything said by this drunk woman too seriously, so Colt put on a smile and raised his hand lazily. Between his fingers was a single french fry, which he spun around in the air.

    “I shall strive to surpass expectation, starting with…” He plopped the fry into his mouth and swiftly ate it. “Politely finishing my plate, and then likely spending an hour or two helping to clean up this beach.”

    Make a mess, clean a mess. Cleaning up here would be another thing to occupy both his hands and mind. A welcome distraction, even if it would only be temporary. Soon enough, he would find himself alone with his thoughts, something Colt had no excitement for.

    But for the moment, it would be easier to not think about that. Enjoy the company. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the light pressure of Sakura leaning into him.

    Though, as light as he wanted his spirit to stay, things were taking a heavier direction nearby. Likely his own fault, for asking Vivienne that question. Though, to call it a fault would imply that things were going badly because of it. But as Colt sat and watched, listened, it didn’t seem that way.

    As he expected, the others here had their own problems. Just like him, life wasn’t so easy for his classmates at Pinefall High School for Troubled Youth.

    "I... am sorry... I... do not know... because I cannot feel anything... anymore... I am here... at this school... with the hopes of fixing my 'problem'... ...it is... hard to explain... but... if I was normal... if Vivienne Bianchi was really here... she would be happy... because she has always valued having friends, discovering new things... and having fun... but... ...I cannot anymore... be like her. I cannot be happy... and I cannot be sad... I can only think of how I should be... not of how I am... because... in a sense... there is nothing... when I look at myself."

    "It'll be alright, Vivi. Even if you see 'nothing' when you look at yourself, everyone here sees 'something'! You'll definitely find that 'something' as well."

    "--- Mademoiselle Prushka is right. Even if you yourself say you cannot 'feel', and only think that you 'should' feel something... well, at least to me, that sounds that you still have the 'desire' to feel again and 'hope' that you will be able to do so one day. We are all here because of what we have been through, and how that has affected us. No one here would fault you for how you are. And as said, even if you yourself can see nothing within yourself... we certainly can, right?"

    "Someone who, despite it not being easy for her, still chooses to spend time with people who think of her as a friend, right? That, if anything, is admirable."

    "Truly! After all, even I am... erm, how did they put it...? Ah, yes, unable to relate properly to other people. It might not be as severe as your case, Vivienne, but I think I can understand how you feel, if even a little bit. But I am sure that if we work on it, and if we accept the help others give us, we will surely find a way to 'fix' ourselves, right? It is simply about locating the problem and addressing it!"

    "... There you have it, Vivienne. We're all here for a reason, and nobody would be callous enough to reject you because of yours. So I'd say you have nothing to worry about in this group of friends."


    The last of Colt’s plate disappeared as the rest of the girls weighed in on the subject. With a small smile, he pulled his slice of pie closer. With a plastic fork he began to separate a small bite for himself.

    “There’s no need to apologize for anything, Vivienne.” Finally speaking up, Colt continued to look down at his plate as he responded to the girl’s confession. “We’re all here for one reason or another. I’ve been told recently that I seem normal, but I just try hard to hide my problems. Y’see, when you have a hard time distinguishing what’s real from what’s not, as long as you keep what you see to yourself, nobody will be none the wiser. But even I slip from time to time.”

    He chuckled and ate his bite of pie.

    Just as good as the first time. And just enough to cover up the embarrassment of what he was about to admit.

    “I even had a bad episode this morning, I think I might have cried.” Colt looked over and up to Sakura, who was leaning on him. “Did I cry? I think I cried.”

    Poking fun at himself, he turned his smile out toward the rest of the beach. Pointing his fork at a certain blonde-haired girl in the distance, he continued.

    “I guess it was so bad that Miss Faraday over there had to console me. I instantly regret admitting this, by the way, but there is a point,” saying so, Colt returned his fork to its intended purpose and gathered another bite of pie. “The point being that when those problems are too much for you to handle, there’s no shame in confiding with someone else.”


  14. #2634
    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

    "I get that the jacket is kinda your thing, but still... you should ease up a little bit. Plus you're going to get your clothes wet if I get drunk on the atmosphere and decide to toss you in the ocean."
    “Can ease up when I’m dead, Indiana.” Anna let out a snort as she sat down on the large log that was to serve as their seat from the looks of it. “And please. Something that half-arsed won’t work with me.”

    “At least get properly drunk if you are gonna try.” Anna lazily one of the cans from the log in front of her, before popping it open with a loud crack. “If you’re getting “drunk” from the atmosphere alone, I’m going to have serious doubts about whether the big bad mercenary can even handle her soda, never mind her booze.”

    The fire crackled next to them, the licks of it heading skywards in mysterious arcs. The party and the fire made it resemble the summer solstice festival back home. She hadn’t had the chance to head back this year, grading all those morons she had been forced to deal with by the Department had simply taken up too much of her time. And after that, she had been pretty much instantly forced to come here to deal with this entire mess.

    A “duty you can’t refuse” my ass. For once, Primacelsus could have taken that permanently lodged stick out of her arse and flipped off those bloody worthless crones for me.

    "You know..."

    "... We should really go clothes-shopping with the guy one of these days."
    “Mhm?” Anna’s attention flickered back away from the fire to the conversation at hand. “Yeaaaah…. He’s gonna need some real help here, that’s for sure. A one-piece swimsuit? Why the hell does he have that in the first place?”

    Having said that, however, a slightly apprehensive note entered Anna’s voice for a second.

    “Though you’re sure we're the most fitting ones to give a hand here? Shouldn’t we try to get the guys to handle this? Hig…” Anna quickly corrected herself. “Montjoy or… actually hell, now that I think about it most of them are loud and brash enough to scare the wits out of him.”

    “Err… Davin or Dove maybe?” Anna’s eyes narrowed for a moment. “Nevermind. He’d either look like a greased-up sleazeball or the most depressed man in the universe if either of them ended up doing this.”

    A brief pause.

    “I suppose we can always dress him up in some camo pants or something?”

  15. #2635
    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 squeezed his hand back in response while laughing softly.

    “I’m glad you like it.”

    The scenery around them changed slowly, as the sun’s light disappeared under the horizon and were replaced by the white-bluish rays of the moon that bathed everything in their colder, much more mysterious light.

    “I thought I’d show you...since we were already in the ocean anyways. I figured that...it’s not something a person sees too often, if ever.”

    A school of rather colorful fish swam by so close that if they desired, they could have easily touched any of them - and with the moon illuminating them it became a whole different sort of mesmerizing as it almost seemed like their scales were fluorescent in the dim light.

    “Nature is beautiful in so many ways that you never get to witness unless you know exactly what to look for, and have the opportunity to do so as well. Even then, for you to be present for something that happens once in a lifetime, or century, or millennia...That’s almost like a miracle.”

    A group of big turtles passed overhead, paddling lazily - almost unnecessarily - as if they were just letting the slow flow of the water keep them in motion.

    “It’s almost like magic, you know. Hidden from us yet is right in front of our eyes, as we remain blind and oblivious to it. And when you do see it, you almost find it hard to believe that it could exist.”

    I took a few moments, minutes even, to just float there quietly alongside Pyry and watch - and create - the ever changing scenery around us.

    Then, I let go of his hand, only so that I could gently elbow him in his side.

    “Well then,” I said with a smirk, “Want to be the one jumping up there this time?”

    I locked my hands together, just like he did previously.

    “I can’t give you such a boost...but it’s easier for you to jump up if you can launch yourself off of something solid, right?”

    It wasn’t necessarily a good idea, but was there really an other option?

    “Just...just be gentle. I don’t think I can handle your full power.”

  16. #2636
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "It'll be alright, Vivi. Even if you see 'nothing' when you look at yourself, everyone here sees 'something'! You'll definitely find that 'something' as well."
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Terrot
    "Mademoiselle Prushka is right. Even if you yourself say you cannot 'feel', and only think that you 'should' feel something... well, at least to me, that sounds that you still have the 'desire' to feel again and 'hope' that you will be able to do so one day. We are all here because of what we have been through, and how that has affected us. No one here would fault you for how you are. And as said, even if you yourself can see nothing within yourself... we certainly can, right? Someone who, despite it not being easy for her, still chooses to spend time with people who think of her as a friend... that, if anything, is admirable.""
    Quote Originally Posted by Caesarina
    Truly! After all, even I am... erm, how did they put it...? Ah, yes, unable to relate properly to other people. It might not be as severe as your case, Vivienne, but I think I can understand how you feel, if even a little bit," the Italian heiress said, before smiling warmly at the quiet girl. "But I am sure that if we work on it, and if we accept the help others give us, we will surely find a way to 'fix' ourselves, right? It is simply about locating the problem and addressing it!"
    Quote Originally Posted by Sakura
    "... There you have it, Vivienne. We're all here for a reason, and nobody would be callous enough to reject you because of yours, so I'd say you have nothing to worry about in this group of friends."
    Quote Originally Posted by Colt
    “There’s no need to apologize for anything, Vivienne. We’re all here for one reason or another. I’ve been told recently that I seem normal, but I just try hard to hide my problems. Y’see, when you have a hard time distinguishing what’s real from what’s not, as long as you keep what you see to yourself, nobody will be none the wiser. But even I slip from time to time. I even had a bad episode this morning, I think I might have cried. Did I cry? I think I cried. I guess it was so bad that Miss Faraday over there had to console me. I instantly regret admitting this, by the way, but there is a point, The point being that when those problems are too much for you to handle, there’s no shame in confiding with someone else.”
    An sea of consoling words, a field of warmth and sympathy, an all enveloping current of support, of kindness... everyone present offers their heartfelt encouragement to the one that cannot feel, yet wants to feel.

    If Vivienne Bianchi was here, if she could truly answer to this overwhelming display of kindness, she would have fallen down on her knees, and eventually, burst into tears, crying out for the agonizing silence that haunts her soul. Their acceptance of her, no matter how broken she is, the fact that everyone here not only recognizes that it is a heavy burden for her to carry, but that with time, the yoke can be made lighter... all of it would have opened the floodgates of tears, streaming down from a source of relief, joy and gratitude.

    But she does not cry. She cannot. It feels as if she is surrounded by an unbreakable cage of glass. A world filled with comfort and emotions lie outside, one that she can see, yet as she reaches her hand to become part of it, the frigid, invisible barrier stops her... and all she can do is silently watch as an unheard wail of sorrow echoes, lamenting this cruel imprisonment.

    She knows, however, that Vivienne Bianchi would not accept such a thing, or rather, that she would rather die that let something as precious, as irreplaceable as these people's kindness go to waste... thus, she must show her thanks to all of them. But it is obvious that her telling them thank you will not suffice. It will be the same empty voice, the same empty stare, as it always is. No, instead, she should do something different. Something meaningful. No matter how bad she is at it. It is the only part of her left that can hold a wisp of emotions. Though it is but hot air, at the very least, for a brief moment, her cold hands will feel the warmth she has since long lost.

    Vivienne reaches for one of the many pockets the large coat around her shoulder has. From it, she picks up her trusty sketchbook, and quickly draws something up. She at one point, appears to have planned on using more stationary for her illustration, but judging from how she came up with a few empty pockets, it would appear that Vivienne had forgotten her coloring pastels in her room.

    "Thank you... very much..."

    Trying her best to sound sincere and heartful in herspeech, though of course, it didn't amount to much, she displays her craft for everyone to see. Her letter of thanks to all the encouragement.

    The Drawing





    Vivienne Bianchi
    07.09.1994 (WED)Evening Phase
    Clear Skies
    End's Beach - Picnic Tables
    [/QUOTE][/QUOTE]

  17. #2637
    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


    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne
    "Thank you... very much..."
    Oh.

    "Vivi...!"

    I squeeze her hand again, my knuckles aching from holding onto something that must never be let go.

    They're accepting her.

    They're really... accepting Vivi, just as she is. Even though her words are hollow, even though she's trying her best and it isn't enough. They're still reaching out, hoping that one day, they will be able to hear her true thanks.

    Does that mean, maybe, I could also...




    "..."

    No. Don't get swept up in it. This is a heartwarming scene. A group of damaged people coming together to promise to heal and grow. Let it be just that. Don't try to look deeper into it.

    This is not the time for doubts. This is not the place for reality to set in. This is not a scene that should be poked and picked at until it deflates into something unrecognizable.

    And yet, Xylia Pheme's distant mockery echoes in my ears, cutting though the warm glow of everyone laughing together. I can hear her now, tearing apart the "performance" she sees on this beach, calling it fake, calling everyone here awful and dishonest.

    She might be right.

    But she'd also be wrong, because...

    Quote Originally Posted by Colt Davin
    “There’s no need to apologize for anything, Vivienne. We’re all here for one reason or another. I’ve been told recently that I seem normal, but I just try hard to hide my problems. Y’see, when you have a hard time distinguishing what’s real from what’s not, as long as you keep what you see to yourself, nobody will be none the wiser. But even I slip from time to time.”

    “I even had a bad episode this morning, I think I might have cried. Did I cry? I think I cried.”

    “I guess it was so bad that Miss Faraday over there had to console me. I instantly regret admitting this, by the way, but there is a point. The point being that when those problems are too much for you to handle, there’s no shame in confiding with someone else.”
    What can I say to that? To that boy's nightmares?

    He can't know. But he must know. And surely that memory nearly tore him apart. It certainly left me in tears. Even now the echo of guilt thumps in my chest behind every heartbeat.

    "Colt..."

    I reach up real high and pat Colt Davin's shoulder.

    "You remind me of a guy I know back home. He always gets into dangerous or ridiculous situations somehow. Then after I tell him to give it up because it's impossible, he'll always look at me all funny and say: You should know, I’m an idiot, and I’m not normal. And then he'll do it anyway."




    "That guy would say that what you just said is regretful and embarrassing. But I think it's brave."

    Then, in a lower voice, almost a whisper, I add:

    "Though it would be braver if you managed to get Sakura to drink something non-alcoholic."

    With that, I skip back, away from the table, taking it all into perspective.

    Everyone is gathered here. Each with their own issues. Together. Trying to reach out to each other with shaking hands. Tearing open the comfortable webs of lies that they have built up around themselves, to protect themselves from the cruelty of the world.

    It brings to mind a memory that should be happy. A memory of a different group of kids, laughing together, crying together, promising to always be there for each other. Even if, in the end, that promise couldn't be kept.

    "..."

    Yes, Xylia is wrong. No, more than that, I was wrong. I've been wrong this entire time, even when I was also right. Because...

    "Even if you can't say what's on your mind... or if there's some sort of awful secret you're forced to bear, weighing you down... you can always be honest about how you feel! There's nothing awful about that in the slightest! And I'm going to be honest too. When the concert starts, you'll understand. But for now-!"

    A kick. The nearby Pink Dragon flips over and lands upright. I place one hand on the bars and one foot on the pedal. With the other, I snap a salute to the table.

    "For now, I honestly want to jump into that ocean and swim until I can't lift my arms! If anyone feels the same, come on! Let the water wash your worries away! If you want to cry, then cry at my terrible singing later!"

    A twist of the handlebars.

    The engine roars.

    The Dragon shudders beneath my feet.

    Once more. Yes, it can certainly race one more time!

    In an instant, as I shift my weight...

    It careens forward, taking me with it.

    The world becomes a blur as the scooter skids across the sand and pebbles, just barely light and quick enough to avoid sinking in. I lean to the left as the stage approaches, and turn a wide left past the bonfire. Faces race by: Anna, Gabi, Ramia, people who I only know as faces with names attached to them but will one day certainly recognize as people. Aleen, Vier, Lucille. Those I have seen only a glimpse of, yet want to reach out to one more time. Hatou, Inacio, Kean. I barely talked to boys last time around; perhaps now will be different. Liana and Xylia. I'll reach out to you again, and we can berate each other properly without shame, for sure.

    I turn left, and keep turning, even as speed builds. The Pink Dragon kicks up a spray of water as, for a moment, it skids across the surface, before recovering and shooting forward.

    In an instant, the circle is closed, and I whip by the table as a pink and red blur.

    Souma. Travis. Hwan. The bad boys I was too scared to talk to. But I won't be too scared to yell at you.



    "Hahahahahaha~! Make way, make way, all you awful humans!"

    Once more, at blistering speed, I round the fire. The Pink Dragon has reached its limit, creaking and groaning beneath me, and I know it will not go any faster. But that's fine! It's more than enough, because this time... this time!

    This time, as the beach fills my vision... I don't turn. Instead, I accelerate to the maximum, aiming square down the sights towards the source of the giggling. In a second, I will be at the water's edge, and my journey will end.

    You! Ubon! John! Jake! Subaru! Hisa! Pyry! I may not know you as well as I'd like, but today, you will know me!

    For a moment it seems as if the scooter will sail over the water. But that's impossible; it can't float or fly, despite what Alexstrazsa might believe. Even so... I can definitely fly.

    My feelings will carry me forward!

    I lift my leg and stomp on the front with all my strength, just as I pump the brakes. The front wheel finally sinks into the sand as all the scooter's momentum is halted at the edge of the beach, the back rising as it stops in an instant.

    But I do not stop.

    I soar.

    Built-up speed is not so easily stopped. I fly, leaping from the back of the Pink Dragon, arms outstretched.

    Nothing in this world is impossible. I am here, now, alive! Let the world know it! Let it try to stop me!

    The wind bends. It carries me over the water, whipping past, howling past me, delivering me... right towards the gap between the two warring parties in the water.

    I curl up into a ball and squeeze my eyes shut as the perfectly-aimed shot lands me right where it needs to.

    "UBOMBS-AWAY!"

    Beware, humans; the nuclear option has arrived.

  18. #2638
    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


    Lucille flushes at the compliment, her brain temporarily scrambled enough to miss that Aleen has been mercilessly defeated. It isn’t enough to make her stop paying attention to Caleb’s words altogether, and what he says makes her wonder. Her gaze flickers to Xylia walking away from Liana in the distance, and she isn’t sure if she can agree with the idea that Xylia’s character is beautiful. A certain corpse in the pool made it difficult to believe. But she supposes she can understand the sentiment.

    Being true to yourself was its own form of honesty. And more importantly, you had conviction. No matter what the world was like, each of them here at Pinefall had certain things they would never change about themselves.

    Lucille scoots closer to Caleb in an attempt to see what he’s drawing, but his sudden blurb about Inacio’s tastes rings in her ears. Ah, if she was Sakura, she’d lunge for the opening. But Caleb obviously let slip too much, and to have a crush on Vier…

    She wished Inacio the best of luck in her heart. Heaven knew he needed all of it to make Vier recognize him in a non-platonic manner.

    “If you don’t mind me asking, Caleb… If everyone here is beautiful, is normal life rather drab?” A question born of curiosity. She doesn’t really know what normal life is as much as anyone at Pinefall would know, but it is her goal to protect that normalcy. Lucille can only say she thinks there’s something nice in the relative peace of people going about their business. But she can’t really deny that before that week ended in tragedy, she was genuinely enjoying herself. “Or did you simply need a change in scenery?”

    Judging by how Caleb spoke about her parents’ choice to send her to Pinefall yesterday (a week ago), she thinks she knows the answer, but she asks anyway.

    Lucille, this time around, wants to understand the people around her.
    [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

  19. #2639
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies

    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "Awww, you really do like me! Always figured you for a real sweetheart, Travis~! Bet if some girl was in trouble you'd be right up in there to take a bullet for her!"
    Travis scowled quite magnificently at that, flipping the double birds straight into Elaine's direction.

    "Yeah, fuck you too," the delinquent said, turning around on his heels. "At least I found the one girl I'd never take a bullet for - hell, I'd be the one shooting that bullet if I could!"

    With that (and while grumbling more insults under his breath) Travis strode away from the scene, heading out towards the cliffside that jutted out of the sands like some sort of castle wall, with the empty, abandoned lighthouse on top acting as a watchtower. The shadows that the cliff brought thanks to the afternoon sun seemed like a perfect place for someone to head out into to get away from the rest of the students - while also serving as a good place to stew in their own anger. Thus, it was no wonder that Travis was heading there.

    Hwan Bin, on other hand, howled in laughter as the other delinquent left the grill.

    "Hah! T-Bone, you suck!" he yelled after him, mockingly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Elaine
    "Nothin' wrong with being mercenary about things, keeps it easy. I've certainly worked my fair share of jobs for cold hard cash rather than sentiment. What's your price list like, any coupons or specials going on today? If I buy two, do I get a free backrub? Respect, though. Putting your body on the line for some scratch is tough sometimes. But, I figured I'd at least have to jump through a few hoops to get the deets on a professional escort service."
    Hearing these questions, the white-haired boy turned back towards Elaine.

    "Hmh? Specials? Well, if you're the one giving me a rub, I can think about it," Hwan said with a downright vulgar grin, before snorting and making a vaguely serious gesture with his hand. "But eh, it's a job like any other. There might be those who think it unprincipled, but honestly, those losers can go suck it - sentimentality is the worst reason to help anyone out. Can't keep your head in the game."

    Having said that, Hwan folded his arms across his chest, and gave a long look at Elaine - a long look that was much more serious than his before. Almost as if his purple eyes had been searching for something about her.

    Then, after that silence...

    "... $35 per day. That's my price for you, toots."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “At least get properly drunk if you are gonna try. If you’re getting “drunk” from the atmosphere alone, I’m going to have serious doubts about whether the big bad mercenary can even handle her soda, never mind her booze.”
    Ramia snorted and shook her head.

    "Nah, I'll pass drinking for tonight. Sun and booze are a bit of a dangerous combo for me, Red," the dusky-skinned girl said with a strange smile. "Heck, I get all lethargic in the sunshine anyway. Used to be a bit of a problem down in Middle-East. I mean, even now, this blaze and this sand... ahhh..."

    Letting out a strange sort of sigh, Ramia pivoted slowly backwards, falling with a soft thud into the sand. Her arms were spread and her back made a depression into the beach, and after a few seconds, a downright blissful grin spread to the girl's face. It was almost a miracle that she didn't start purring right then and there... though the second satisfied sigh she let out was much-telling.

    "... God that feels good. Being able to relax like this is just the best," Ramia half-murmured. "I could just fall asleep right here and now~"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Mhm? Yeaaaah…. He’s gonna need some real help here, that’s for sure. A one-piece swimsuit? Why the hell does he have that in the first place?”
    Ramia shrugged while laying down in the sand.

    "Beats me. He mumbled something about his mother... I'm getting the feeling that she might be a wee bit the controlling type," the girl answered with a quieter voice so as to not let Gabi hear. "Honestly, I'd like to meet the lady and give her what-for for messing up the dude that way."

    A momentary, actual flash of anger appeared in the girl's eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Though you’re sure we're the most fitting ones to give a hand here? Shouldn’t we try to get the guys to handle this? Hig… Montjoy or… actually hell, now that I think about it most of them are loud and brash enough to scare the wits out of him. Err… Davin or Dove maybe? Nevermind. He’d either look like a greased-up sleazeball or the most depressed man in the universe if either of them ended up doing this. I suppose we can always dress him up in some camo pants or something?”
    The dusky-skinned girl nodded.

    "Yeah, that might be a start. I might have some stuff that could fit him... I mean, my old clothes are sorta... unisex, hah. In a PMC, nobody cares whether you pee from front or below - you're still wearing the same ratty ass things," she said, chuckling a bit to herself. "Still, I mean, there's gotta be some clothing store here. We can help him pick out something he himself actually likes, you know?"

    Ramia shot a glance towards Gabi (who was still nibbling on his food) and there was a budding sense of friendship there.

    Though, that was soon replaced by mild mischievousness as she looked at Anna, and cocked an eyebrow.

    "Still... Montjoy, eh? That's an interesting name to pop up first," the girl said with a slight grin. "Any particular reason for that?"

    Well, even if Ramia wasn't getting drunk on the atmosphere, she was certainly getting more relaxed!




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Well then. Want to be the one jumping up there this time? I can’t give you such a boost...but it’s easier for you to jump up if you can launch yourself off of something solid, right?”
    Pyry blinked in surprise. He had been so tightly enraptured by the sight and had his attentio whisked away by Hisa's words, that it took for him a moment to register that something had been even said to him. But when he did, his eyebrows shot towards his hairline - first in pure surprise, then settling into a more amused expression. Almost like he had found something funny in what Hisa had said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Just...just be gentle. I don’t think I can handle your full power.”
    Pyry chuckled a bit.

    "Yeah... If I went all out, you'd be searching for your arms for a whole week," he said with a teasing grin. "Honestly, as tight as that grip of yours is, I'm gonna need to be real careful here - don't exactly want you to sprain your hands before the gig. I mean... it's the troublesome part that comes with being powered by a World Pillar and all that. All that energy wants to go somewhere all the time."

    The words were spoken in a more quiet way, so as to make sure that nobody would hear them - even if they were in the midst of this illusion now, there was still a real world around them.

    Still, after saying that, Pyry gently put his hands onto Hisa's shoulders and lifted one of his legs for the stirrup she had made with her arms.

    "You know, I think this is the first thing I noticed you and Ange being different," the boy suddenly said, looking at the girl before her with a surprisingly refreshed expression. "She'd have never given me a boost. I mean, she loved soaring through the air at the beach, but she was also sorta selfish like that. Not that I minded, but... just a funny thing to be different in - especially since you two are so similar otherwise."

    The musclebound body tensed up.

    A light tension struck against Hisa's hands.

    The boy was like a coiled spring about to be released.

    "You know? It was from a sea like this that everything started," Pyry quietly said, still marveling at the sights around them. "Absolutely everything. Back when there was nothing but the sky and the sea."

    The boy's form prepared, his muscles were ready, and his form was about to launch.

    Straight upwards, towards the unseen sky.

    His yellow eyes turned towards the cerulean sea above them, and the moonlight shining through the boundless colours of this underwater world. An illusion it might have been, but it was still a living, breathing cavalcade of life around them - like the Cambrian Explosion brought to life. An odd look, a stare to somewhere far away, appeared in Pyry's eyes. The eyes saw not this moment, nor some memory of his past... but something that even made the boy himself look confused for just a short moment.

    "... wait... who told me that?"

    He mumbled a question that wasn't important.

    And then.

    Without warning.

    He was off.

    Gently using Hisa's hands as a foothold, Pyry launched himself towards the sky like a comet, dragging the currents with him.

    And in a whirlpool almost like the trail of a shooting star, the rainbow-kaleidoscope of innumerable fish followed him.




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

    There's nothing.

    Nothing in the form of sounds that could bother Liana. Indeed, trying to drive away the dark clouds that talking with the short girl might have been the best option after all. Emptying one's mind, trying to let the anger flow through her, and dispelling it into the sands, the sky and the water... it was, in a way, a sensible way of letting go.

    Nothing could be achieved by that conversation anyway.

    Xylia Pheme was a miserable human being, and she revelled in being miserable.

    The more obvious someone's worry or goodwill was shown, especially if they did not come from a source that was 100% alruistic, she rejected it almost violently.

    Thanks to the way Liana was, she made almost a natural antithesis to Xylia. Just like Xylia had said, their ways of life couldn't have been any more different. While the tiny girl was fine with everyone hating just so she could get the unfiltered, uncensored ugly truth that every human had... Liana had, even in this situation, shown that she was ready to try to believe good of people - and help whoever might be needing it. Whether that desire came from a source that was honet or not was a different thing, but...

    --- Just the act itself made her like a warped reflection of Xylia's.

    "............."

    Or that was, perhaps, what sort of thoughts Liana got as she stared at her own reflection from the ocean's wave. It was a hazy reflection, constantly on the move, and barely visible thanks to the constant ebb and flow of the sea, but it was still there, staring right back at her. Especially now that she had calmed down and opened her mind to the meditation, that mental image painted on top of the real reflection felt even more real.

    Real to the point of...

    "----------!"

    Who moved their eyes first?

    Liana or her reflection?

    It didn't matter.

    What mattered that something had caught her attention, and now the dark-haired girl found herself staring at far into the direction she had come from, to the other side of the beach itself. There, she saw the tall form of the towering cliffside jutting out of the beach like some sort of ancient monolith. And on top of it, at the end of a small path that snaked through the cliffside and joined the road to the beach that they had all used to arrive to this place to, was the lighthouse. That big, white lighthouse that stood like some sort of old watchtower or a giant, watching them all.

    There, she saw it.

    A silhouette.

    Hidden from those at the beach proper, but barely visible to her who was so far away.

    --- A humanoid silhouette, quietly watching the people at the beach.

  20. #2640
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: End's Beach
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 07.09.1994 (WED)
    Weather: Clear Skies


    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “Liana Skye, yes; when I saw her today in the classroom, it felt like it was the first time I saw her in my life. It’s rather strange, if I may say so. It’s not as if her looks are particularly forgettable.”
    Ah, good. John does remember. Or, well, doesn't in this case? Eh. I know what I mean, thought Elise, Now, if John was with Hisa and Ubon this morning, and Hisa wanted to send Ubon away... Oh-ho! That is interesting, but that's a school and work thought, and as noted, this is a beach party, and there's no time for that right now.

    Before Elise could reply, an all-out battle suddenly erupted around her and Ubon. John's retaliation prompted a full scale assault from Jake, who, after firing a barrage of suppressing fire in John's direction, tried to take cover behind Elise and Ubon. Elise wasn't sure what worried her more: Jake's willingness to use her and Ubon as human shields, or the certainty that John Dove would be willing to deem her and Ubon as acceptable losses in the name of regicide. She considered attempting to intervene, or move out of the way and not be made us of as a human shield, but Elise found her own mobility considerably hampered by Ubon, who was still securely attached to her.

    The King of Water Combat prepared to smite his would-be usurper with a knife hand from his relatively safe position behind her, only for Ubon to launch herself from her perch atop Elise and block the deadly blow. Elise could only watch on sadly as Ubon sank beneath the waves, having sacrificed herself for the sake of John.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subaru Iburi
    "... You should have thrown her when you had the chance, Miss Pelltier. Before she managed to get caught in this... whatever this nonsense is..."
    Elise nodded slowly, mourning the loss of Ubon, a tragic victim of water combat.

    Was it Prushka's courage this morning when she saved me that inspired you to do this, Ubon? To sacrifice yourself for the sake of John?

    She couldn't help but wonder if Prushka's spirit was watching them now. How did she feel now that her assassin had, in turn, sacrificed herself heroically for the sake another?

    It didn't take long for Ubon to reemerge from the water, and after admonishing Jake for his use of a deadly water combat technique, was quick to resume her usual exuberance. Especially since something exciting had caught her attention.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Seeklêun
    "A-anyways, guys! Did you see that! Over there! Pyrrie just threw Hissie up in the air like 15 meters! I wanna do that too, for realsies! Can one of you throw me? Please please pleeeeease~!"
    As Ubon noted their presence, Elise glanced towards Pyry and Hisa in the water, a bit further out from the shore. She was glad that Pyry had been successful in getting Hisa into the water, and feeling somewhat relieved that she'd presumably been wrong about why Hisa had been hesitant to get into the water in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Seeklêun
    "Essie, you felt pretty toned and ripped! Wanna give it a go?"
    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “Well, if you are explicitly calling out to Elise Marie, then I can’t help but want to see it as well.”
    Ubon's excited grin and pleading eyes made it difficult to say no to Ubon's request. That, and the fact that she already wanted to try and do that.

    "Oh, uh, thanks, Ubon! I can give it a try!" replied Elise with a mixture of bashfulness and excitement, with bashfulness quickly giving way for more excitement, "Yeah! Let's do it!"

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dove
    “Let me know if you need my help. Just, um, if you do it, please do so at a generous distance from Miss Iburi. I will retrieve her if the water pushes her away, of course, but I would rather not let it get to that. On another note…”
    Elise nodded, "John's got a good point, Ubon. Let's put a little bit of distance between us Subaru just to be safe. Keep her steady, John!"

    With that, Elise kicked off and swam out a bit further, moving to a safer distance away from Subaru to attempt to launch Ubon from. She looked back towards Subaru as John carefully splashed water at her, seemingly in an effort to get her to join in aquatic warfare.

    Ah. John understands the ways of the sea.

    "Don't let John push you around, Subaru!" Elise shouted back encouragingly to her.

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