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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3121
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Reference Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    François Villon, eh? That's a sur- Wait, no. Actually, he seems kinda fitting for Souma, really.

    Elise waited as Souma studied her with his singular eye even as the weight of the silence between them started to bear down on her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Souma Nubata
    ".............. What?"
    Souma broke the silence.

    'Break the silence' is supposed to be figurative, but that felt a little bit too literal.

    Souma's eye glanced down at this book. Elise followed his gaze with her own.

    Quote Originally Posted by Souma Nubata
    "Curious...?"
    His eye was now back on her.

    "A little. I wouldn't have thought you were a poetry guy," replied Elise, "For that matter, I'm kinda surprised that our little library here even has a copy of Œuvres complète de François Villon. Maybe a translated English copy, but not in the original French. Do you have favourite poem of his? I've really been feeling Ballade des pendus lately."

    I've been feeling like I'm waiting for an execution anyway.

  2. #3122
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    “The possibility of taking things the wrong way goes both ways, hence why I’m…”begrudging” about it,” I remarked after a small sigh, “Another place, another time, you might just think that I’m just trying to suck up to you because I want to ride the sidewaves of your popularity or something.”

    I let out a dry laugh as I scratched the back of my head, before my eyes were on Mercedes once more.

    “Just to make sure, I don’t care about being popular. A nobody like me is much of a lost cause to start caring about things like that now.”

    It’s not like I could care much about that right now anyways, when our lives are going to end in a few days. And even if things would become peaceful...it’s not like I would really have any school years left to start trying to become the popular girl. Not that I would really have a shot at it, but I was too old for it anyways.

    I nodded in agreement with Mercedes’ plans about her life. It’s not that I knew much about how those things worked. Or if it would ever matter. Or how much of it was just arrogance, and how much of her true self she was trying to keep hidden. She seemed to have things planned out, and she was ready to work for things, so it was a respectable approach at least.

    “I don’t think she is avoiding you,” I noted, seeing how for once she seemed to be upset about something, “Everyone just has their own things to sort out still, no?”

    I wasn’t too aware of what was going on between Mercedes and Lucille. I didn’t hang out by far enough with either of them to know how their relationship was, but at the very least, Lucille was there too when that certain incident happened. Everything that happened there, I could only assume that she did care about Mercedes.

    “While I might not be Lucille, I can hopefully provide a semblance of entertainment at least,” I continued, “Which is to say, the plan was to head out now. Could fill you in on the details in the car, since...well.”

    Gesturing slightly towards the other two with my head, I figured that she would understand as well what I meant.


  3. #3123
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast


    And there she goes, interupting Mercy's beauty sleep.

    Those two are friends, right? It doesn't seem like it, but then again, Mercy seems to be the type that talks harshly even to people she likes, so maybe they're actually pals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    "Hmh? What'cha those two up to?"
    I shrug.

    "Beats me. Hisa said she wanted to ask something, but from here it looks like she's trying to get those sticky fingers on another butt. She better not be... well, it's probably fine. Although..."

    Surely she's not trying to continue whatever she started at the field. We talked about it, so that matter should be settled.

    That being said...

    "You should just be honest, Hisa!" I raise my voice and toss it across the room. "There's eyewitness testimony against you! I saw the way you were eyeing her legs!"

    I can still tease her a bit!

    "Hehe..." With revenge completed, I turn back to Ubon.

    "Oh, I'm here 'cus I wanted to check in on Briggs, see if we're cool. And, um... to see if you're free. Some swimming actually sounds great... I've never done this 'skinny dipping' thing before. What's that like? Do you grab someone skinny and dip them in the water? Is that fun?"

    We had a tiring day, but swimming sounds amazing right now. Though the pool isn't my preferred place to do it.

    "Did you and Mercedes clear things up?"
    Last edited by Bloble; September 4th, 2020 at 04:53 PM.

  4. #3124
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Heya Thorne~"

    ---A natural, singsong greeting from a young woman that had once wanted to be an idol; striding across the immaculate green grass of a country club that was more or less exploding with money, the dark-haired young woman has had an obvious grin on her face from the moment she had spotted the older man and his predicament.

    Indeed, there were a number of things she had expected to find him doing, polishing guns perhaps, camping out on the roof and overlooking the town perhaps, but...

    Babysitting? Oh my god...

    ...This was an unexpected event.

    It was something that also raised all sorts of questions of course, Hawthorne was pretty clearly not a normal person, so having someone like him watching over your kid must be quite the feat, even so...

    I can't tell if it suits him or not... Poor guy...

    The look on her face as she approaches him says it all, it's a cheerful grin, a smile that practically screams not what I had expected to find you doing, and eyes...

    "Thought I'd drop by and see if you were free~ Never got to hear your opinion on the concert yesterday, but you look a bit busy... Babysitting?"

    ...Eyes that are quietly laughing, even as they ask if he needs help with this...

    She is, after all, something of a hero to children-!

    Or at least she likes to try to be-!

    "Need any help? You seem a bit out of your element~"

    Might as well give him a way to change the conversation if he wants it.
    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?



  5. #3125
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    A sudden voice cut into the conversation, coming from other side of the pool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "You should just be honest, Hisa! There's eyewitness testimony against you! I saw the way you were eyeing her legs!"
    Hearing that, the starlet folded her arms and shot a look that almost screamed of: "Really now?" with a raised eyebrow, squarely aimed at Hisa. Then, after few seconds of awkward silence that followed... Mercedes simply brushed off with a laugh.

    "Well, if you're into that, I guess I don't like mind," she said and ran her fingers through her hair. "I mean, gawd. I worked to look this good so people would stare. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't like guys and girls ogling me."

    Well, she seemed to take it in a stride?

    Still, there was the matter at hand still unfinished, and Mercedes got right back to it.

    "Anyways, a car? You had a..." She started, before suddenly realizing something and snorting. "Ah, right, that tower of a man. Guess that works. I'm gonna need us to, like, stop for few minutes at the locker room so I can get change outta this ensemble."

    She gestured towards the somewhat... risque bikini she was wearing. Indeed, for an indoors pool it was definitely too much, but the shameless confidence with which the girl wore it made it work for her.

    That was the way things were quite often with Mercedes West.

    "Still... I see. I guess it, like, makes sense if she has some stuff to work out," Mercedes then continued, referring to Lucille as she stood up from the diving board and walked over to the poolside. "Though, like, if she doesn't sort them out soon I'mma sort it out for her... I ain't gonna let my bestie get absorbed into any nasty business. She's just the upright type of gal who's gonna get herself in trouble because of it."

    Hopping over to where Hisa was, Mercedes stretched her body for a moment, letting out a satisfied sigh like a cat that was done taking a long, good nap and now prepared to head out to hunt some innocent small animals for food and for fun. When she was done, she put her hands on her hips and was about to take a step forward... but came to a sudden stop. Instead of immediately heading forward, she took a look at Hisa, her eyes scanning the scarred girl's body up and down quite extensively.

    And once she had done that...

    "--- Hah. A lost cause? Like, please. Gimme an afternoon and right tools, and I make you look like the top bitch of any high school from here to East Coast," Mercedes said while flashing a wicked grin. "Though honestly, it's not even 'bout the looks - and you've got a good enough body to be popular that way you want to."

    With that, the starlet started forward, heading towards the door that led to the girls' locker room.

    "What matters, girl, is the attitude, the way you, like, carry yourself, and how bold about your charisma you're willing to be," Mercedes continued as they walked. "Add in, like, a sprinkle of ruthlessness and you can be popular anywhere, no matter who you are."

    These words were speaken with so much conviction, it almost felt like she was speaking from experience.

    "Besides... good girls are always gonna be more popular than bad bitches who end up as villains," the actress added with a dry chuckle. "A-ny-ways..."

    She gestured towards the door.

    "Shall we?"

    And they were about to, but at that very moment, the familiar voice of Ubon shouted from the other end of the pool.

    "Heeeeey, Hizzie~! D'ya need me today~? Or only after curfew~?"




    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Ubon giggled a little at what Prushka yelled, and the reaction it seemed to be causing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prushka
    "Oh, I'm here 'cus I wanted to check in on Briggs, see if we're cool. And, um... to see if you're free. Did you and Mercedes clear things up?"
    "Briggsie? O-oh, right... last night," Ubon said, a momentary sheepish smile spreading across her face. "I guess that totes makes sense! I think he's always hanging out at that office of his downstairs, so if you want, we can go visit him after we finish swimming! Though uh, d'ya have towel in that case? I mean, skinny dipping's done all nekkid and stuff, so you should at least dry yourself before heading out - unless you wanna show up at Briggsie's doorstep in clothes that are wet in a sort of pervy way."

    Ubon giggled mischievously, most likely at the mental image she now had.

    "Though I'd bet his face would be totes worth it to see, for realsies~!" She laughed.

    As the two of them had been talking, apparently Hisa and Mercedes had come to some sort of conclusion. The actress finally got away from the diving board, and after some stretching, she started to lead them towards the door which led to the girls' locker room. No doubt they were heading out somewhere, there was no other reason Mercedes would have been changing her clothes already. She had looked rather settled on her resting spot.

    Seeing them head out, however, made Ubon seemingly realize something.

    "Oh, right! I guess I'm free? Though, uh, gotta check from Hizzie - I know she had some plans for later today too," Ubon said, before lifting herself up from the pool so she was fully supported by her extended arms. "Just a sec~"

    With that, the cyanhead turned her attention towards the two girls that were leaving.

    "Heeeeey, Hizzie~! D'ya need me today~? Or only after curfew~?"

    The yell echoed through the pool, bouncing off of the walls.

    Having shouted that, Ubon turned back to look at Prushka.

    "And as for me and Mercie, well... ahahaha..." Ubon said, once again letting out a sheepish laugh. "I guess that's still complicated..."

    She smacked her lips.

    "For realsies."




    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Reference Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Elise
    "A little. I wouldn't have thought you were a poetry guy. For that matter, I'm kinda surprised that our little library here even has a copy of Œuvres complète de François Villon. Maybe a translated English copy, but not in the original French. Do you have favourite poem of his? I've really been feeling Ballade des pendus lately."
    Souma nodded, quietly, gracefully.

    "... That. Or perhaps... Ballade des dames du temps jadis."

    In a sense, both answers fit Souma Nubatama... as well as the whole book. Indeed, he was a young man who felt almost transient, impermanent, in his presence. One minute he was somewhere, in the other he was gone. Even the way he left the classroom was akin to that. At one point he was sitting at his desk, making notes without a sound. Then the bell rang, the door opened, and while other students were collecting their stuff, he had already disappearing from where he had been sitting. Just like yesterday, back at the beach - moving without movement, or without sound.

    It was a dangerous sense of enigma, the aura that hung about him.

    "...... It was hidden."

    The sudden quiet, silk-like voice broke the silence once more.

    "In that shelf," Souma added, nodding towards the corner of the room. "Behind books of philosophy... almost as if it did not want to be found. And it's old. Few... decades, at least."

    Without another word, Souma quietly handed the book over to Elaine, so she could take a look of it. He pressed it into her hands, opening it up on the first page, where the title of the collection of poems was proudly displayed. However, on the lower right corner of that page, something had been written. Something that was in cursive handwriting, made with an ink pen much later than when this book must have been bought. A simple sentence that Elise, thanks to her heritage, could understand.

    - À ma fille chérie.

    How strange...

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

    Having showed what he wanted, Souma let go of the book and Elise's hands, setting them on his lap and instead directing the stare of his one good eye to the window, and the overcast landscape beyond it - the pine trees rising like waves of a dark green ocean, and the wind that played in the treetops with its cold touch. The atmosphere of the room stood still, as still as the history of this town and the piece of it they had stumbled upon in form of this book.

    Truly, Road's End was like a ghost town in a whole other meaning of the word.

    "... Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?" Souma quietly asked from the empty air.




    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Liana
    "Thought I'd drop by and see if you were free~ Never got to hear your opinion on the concert yesterday, but you look a bit busy... Babysitting? Need any help? You seem a bit out of your element~"
    Hawthorne heaved a begrudging sigh and spread his arms, as if to say it couldn't be helped.

    "Well. I do what I'm asked to do, and it's not like I can turn down a request from the bossman. Even if I'm, as you say, out of my element," the man answered, glancing with slight annoyance at younger girl who was still pacing around. "Really, I wasn't trained for stuff like this. Personal protection duty is fine, but not when I'm left to guide a snot-nosed brat barely out of her diappers."

    Chuckling a bit to himself (mostly thanks to the furious HMPH! that echoed from the person that was being talked about), Hawthorne took a drag from his cigarette and blew a crispy cloud of smoke up towards the overcast sky, where the greyness of it soon disappeared in the monotone lack of colours above the town of Road's End. Then, looking like he needed it, he took a sip of his coffee, letting out a satisfied sigh afterwards.

    Then, and only then, did he focus his eyes and slightly smug smirk back towards Liana.

    "Still. As far as the concert went, I dug it. Bit of variation, lot of emotion, all the good things I could expect from youngsters like you lot. Though, I think you stole the spotlight towards the end... or, well, that might just be my bias. You were the best looking gal out there, after all. And, as it turned out, you really could sing. Your stocks just keep rising," the man continued, peppering his answer with his shameless flirting. "Though, as far as the choice of language goes, I---"

    His words were overruled by a sudden yell.

    "Hey!"

    Before the eyes of the two, the young girl with an eyepatch had made a recovery, and was now glaring up at Liana with her hands folded across her chest, and her mouth in a dangerous-looking pout.

    "And who is this suspicious-looking woman supposed to be? I didn't know you were actually friends with such clearly up-to-no-good individuals, Thorne," the girl asked rudely. "She certainly doesn't look like one of Daddy's guests - not with those clothes. And her expression just screams she has ulterior motives."

    Hawthorne chuckled at that assessment, throwing a glance towards Liana that seemed to say: "See what I have to deal with here?"

    "Well, for your information, young lady - this is Liana Skye. One of the students from Pinefall. You've heard about them, right?" Hawthorne asked, and the girl begrudgingly nodded. "We met yesterday and hit it right off. See, she even promised to go on a date with me. How could I turn such a woman down, when she clearly knows a good catch when she sees one?"

    The girl snorted and rolled her eye quite magnificently.

    "And, well... Lia, this is the local heiress of the Spade Queen, and the one-and-only daughter of its owner Jack Pinkerton."

    Hawthorne gestured towards the girl.

    "Miss Sierra Lucille Jacqueline Pinkerton..." He said. "... Though I usually just call her Sierra."

    New Character Met!

  6. #3126
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Sierra?"

    Liana blinks, taking a moment to process a name that was slightly more grandiose than she had been expecting, and then...

    "It's quite a pretty name! Nice to meet you. As he said, my name is Liana Skye. You can call me Skye if you want, Lia works too."

    She rolls with it.

    It was the second time this week someone had taken a slight dig at her clothes... It's slightly depressing all things considered -after all, she was rather fond of this sweater- but it's not the sort of thing that would really annoy her either, after all, kids just call it as they see it most of the time, and to that...

    She kneels down slightly, so the two of them are more or less at eye level, and...

    "Although I must say, you're a pretty sharp one Sierra."

    Smiles at her, closing one eye in a wink as she does.

    "I wouldn't use the word ulterior... But I did come over here to be a bit mischievous, so you caught me on that one!"

    No use in denying it.

    The girl was surprisingly perceptive, acknowledging that perception was better than just throwing her age around-!

    "See this guy, Thorne," she jerks her thumb back at the older man, gentle smile becoming mischievous grin as she does, "It's true, he seems like a pretty good catch, much nicer than he lets on, has excellent taste in beach concert vocalists, and seems pretty dependable over all... But he's also a bit of a bully."

    She chuckles.

    "See, when they're a good catch and they know it they get a bit of an ego, so you gotta bring em back down to earth from time to time," shooting a glance and the same mischievous smile at him at this, she ultimately focuses her attention back on Sierra, "He's pretty hard to tease though, so I might have to get a bit creative."

    A pause, then:

    "For instance, proving that I am totally the better babysitter between us!"

    Her eyes light up.

    "Unlike him, I'm pretty well versed in taking care of kids. I've played a few roles in life, so if you want, I can help him look after you for a bit. No use of the word brat with me, I swear~"

    And she winks one more time.

    "Maybe we can team up and come up with some sort of Thorne counter strategy? Share info, plot out in the open because he can't stop us, that sort of thing."
    Last edited by Airen; September 4th, 2020 at 06:40 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?



  7. #3127
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory (In Front of Aleen’s Room)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "H-huh?"
    Yup everything seemed normal as usual. In fact, I’m sure Aleen was falling over stuff… as usual. Maybe I should offer to clean her room or something. Well maybe not to military inspection standards, but at least to the point where she can go through her room without walking into something or injuring herself just to get to the door. I don’t think I’ve come to this room and there wasn’t a loud clattering, hissing, and/or noises of pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "G-go? Sorry, Vier... did we agree to go somewhere? Totes sorry, I mean, I have somewhere to be today myself and, uh... if I forgot some plans of ours, I'll make it up to you! Promise! But later, okay?"
    “Eh? I could’ve swore I asked earlier...”

    Didn’t I ask to hang out together… today… Didn't I? It took a little bit, but I remembered that I asked ‘last week’ during lunch time. Except this time, I wasn’t there with Aleen at lunch instead I was with Sakura for lunch. So things were thrown off just a little bit. But in that case… Why did Aleen dress up both times…

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "It totes slipped my mind and, well, uh… This is sorta important..."
    “It’s fine… But it must be really important if you’re going dressed up that nicely. In fact, it’s almost like you’re…”

    I deliberately didn’t finish my sentence because either she gives it to me by accident or I can probably intuit based on her reaction.

    “I don’t think I can go with you... Can I?”

  8. #3128
    Glorious Grammar Master Race Frantic Author's Avatar
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    Alexstrasza Lockhart & Lucille Faraday
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory - Common Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Before me was a scene I had already watched. I watched with empty eyes and an empty smile as I fervently clutched the video of Cesarina's death to my chest. Entering the room slowly, I moved towards a chair while holding the video, simply watching the scene on the TV play out like it wasn't even there. I didn't know what to say, let alone what to think. My head felt like it had been raked over with coals. I sat in a recliner carefully, slowly, curling up inside of it while staring numbly at the television screen.

    It felt like I died.

    "..."

    As voices cackled and howled in laughter it seemed like a sick joke. How could anyone enjoy this? These people, with their mundane lives, with their empty realities - didn't they want something more? Something more then these flashing lights and the hum of technology that pounded itself into the recesses of my mind? It feels like I'm living my life on repeat. On repeat. On repeat. I watched the screen with a numb feeling in my soul, like there was something missing from my life that even I couldn't identify. Looking down at my chest, I poked it once, then twice, before staring up at the screen again.

    Ah. I can feel wetness on my face. I wonder why. Hearing Cesarina laugh, her excitement, whatever it was... There must be a leak in this godforsaken academy. I raised a hand to dry it off, wiping it away on my sleeve and glaring in annoyance at the roof above my seat. Clearly not very good at its job, no? Not if it's letting rainwater fall on my face.

    "What, exactly," I said, with a lilt in my voice and eyes that were far too wide, "Happens when we die? Is it just a sequel to life, this malaise of emptiness and suffering that continues until consciousness fades, or is there something happier at the end of the tunnel?"

    I don't want Cesarina to die. I don't want her to die. It's not fair. It's not fair. It's not fair.

    "H-how..." I said, staring at the video in my hands, my voice catching in my throat for some reason, "C-can you stop other people from dying? Or is that something impossible?"

  9. #3129
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel, Road’s End
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "That and I promised Winters I'd ask around 'bout her brother. I dunno what's it like, having siblings, but even I can tell she's worried about him. The least I can do is give her a hand, yeah?"
    Soft laughter filled the melancholy-looking parking lot they had just arrived at moments before. Despite the depressing atmosphere that seemed to surround them like a smothering cloak, it seemed that the dusky-skinned girl's words had somewhat lightened Anna’s mood at the very least.

    “You do that. I saw that photo as well, so I’ll be keeping an eye out on my end as well. It’s the least I can do, after all.” Anna’s voice took on an introspective note. “Though you should know that despite the easygoing façade, she’s quite touchy about certain topics, so take care not to step inadvertently onto any landmines, eh?”

    Like she had. That was a problem for another time, however.

    So.. Winters had actually had a chat with Ramia, had she? Surprising, considering what she’d heard yesterday and the suspicions that Dove had planted into her during their brief morning interaction. Perhaps she’d been mistaken in her assumptions, after all? Either way, it was positive news – and one of the few of the day at that. Regardless of how the morning had ended up between the two of them, Anna held no actual ill will towards the blonde.

    …and things would be far more manageable for her if these two could have at least a passing relationship.

    There were plenty of problems to solve without bruised pride adding more on to the pile.

    B-Boss! Lotsa wards everywhere, old injun-style stuff! Must've been here forever! Protection from spirits, so it's kinda hard, y'know!

    But I found them! The guy with crazy hair is eating pudding in the first floor, while those two girls are in their room - though I couldn't get in without them noticing me, so I didn't!
    “It's fine. No need to do anything else. You can join us and just keep an eye out for anyone who’d interrupt us.” A brief pause entered into the mental link between the master and the familiar. “And… thanks for your work today. I know I ran you a bit more ragged than usual.”

    She would have to get the small kratt something later to reward him for everything he did today. He did end up running after a car for most of the day on more or less a wild goose chase on her behest, after all.

    "And is it a good or bad type of visit?"
    Just as those words left Ramia’s lips, the Estonian witch came to an immediate halt, an inscrutable look crossing her features for the briefest of moments. A heavy silence filled the space between the two girls, even as the gray skies swirled ominously above them. The small owl figures gazed down below the pair from their nestled position on the roof, almost as if silently judging the two of them.

    The silence between the two of them lasted a moment longer before it was broken.



    “There is a trio of siblings in this hotel. One of those siblings is a Chinese mystic who’s using her Zhĭyĭngxì, that is paper shadow theatre, combat familiars to scout out the campus during the night for some reason. And not in a friendly manner.”

    “So… I am going to go in there and bust their balls long enough so that they will tell me exactly why they are here and what the fuck they are doing lurking around the dorms at night.”

    “…and then, based on that information, I’ll see where I’ll go from there.”
    Last edited by Mellon; September 5th, 2020 at 05:50 AM.

  10. #3130
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    “W-well…”

    The sudden compliment made me blush for a moment as I scratched my cheek, though it didn’t take too long to regain my composure.

    “Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind. Guess I’ll know who to ask if I ever want to look good for an occasion.”

    With that, I grinned back at Mercedes, and could only genuinely hope that there would actually come a time for something like that. Certainly not until after sunday, if we’ll ever live to see that, though...it could be a nice thing to impress Pyry with, if just for a moment. I don’t think I could really sway from a reserved, natural look…

    “That said, I hope you don’t really consider yourself as the bad, villainous bitch,” I continued as I glanced at her while walking beside her, “You might look the part on the surface to prevent people from bothering you, but you can’t be that bad on the inside.”

    Even though I said that, I was quite sure that it was going to bounce right off of her. She wouldn’t admit or shed that spiteful layer just yet, and it was probably better that way. It was likely a part of her just as much what I’ve seen of her on sunday...Though, that makes me wonder if this somehow coincides with her reason for being here.

    Musing about these thoughts, I quietly took step after step alongside her, enjoying this momentary peacefulness.

    I would definitely enjoy this a lot more than stressing over all the other things.

    “I’m not into ogling others, by the way,” I spoke up again, “I merely took a moment to confirm a theory.”

    If something, I was more touchy feely, but I wasn’t sure if it would have made sense explaining that to Mercedes.

    “Of course, I can understand why people would want to look at you like that.”

    As I finished the thought, I could hear Ubon’s voice coming from the other side of the pool. While I was obviously expected to anwer, I didn’t exactly want to shout back - so I waited until we got around the pool and stopped on the edge for a moment, my gaze turned to the pair.

    “I don’t want to steal you away from Prushka. But if you are free at night, we could meet in my room?”

    My lips curled into a warm smile as I eyed Ubon;

    “Would love to hang out some more.”

    With that, I waved goodbye to the two of them and turned back to Mercedes to follow her into the locker room.


  11. #3131
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    "Oh, so it's just swimming naked, I get it. Why do they call it skinny dipping then?"

    ...

    ...

    ...



    "Wait, n-n-n-naked!?"

    That can't be right. Because that would mean, what she's suggesting, is... me and her...

    "Ah, um! Ubon, th-that's-! No, even if it's with someone you like, that's still-!"

    Uwaa! Calm down! Don't overheat or you'll fall into the pool!

    With a smack, both palms hit my cheeks before my head explodes.

    "S-sorry! Um, skinny dipping is a bit too embarrassing. It took everything I had just to go out in a swimsuit in front of everyone yesterday... b-but normal swimming is okay! That's, uh, if you don't have plans with Hisa."

    I didn't consider it before, but it looks like they have something already. After all, they did spend all that time together, last night and this morning. If Ubon would rather go with Hisa, then... well, I guess that's that. It's not like I'm jealous or anything. There are other things I could do.

    ...

    Oh, I guess she's fine with it.

    "Good luck." I wave goodbye to the both of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    "And as for me and Mercie, well... ahahaha... I guess that's still complicated... For realsies."
    "..."

    How is she saying all this while doing a handstand? There's a limit to how flexible you can be!

    I crouch down, face-to-face with the upside down girl, and... reach out and boop her nose.

    "Wahaha. You keep thinking of complicated stuff upside down, your brains are gonna melt and run out of your ears, Ubon. And then a big ol' spider is gonna crawl in there and build a web."

    I want to pry, but more than that, I want her to feel better.

    "If you ever want another head to help figure things out, the first try of my one hundred percent success rate friend-making consultation service is free. But after that it costs big!"

    So, this once, I won't poke at it. I'll just poke this nose instead.

    Boop, boop.

    "The truth is... I was hoping you could help me out with something."

    Yes, now is the time for serious business.

    "Y'see... I'm the type that thinks a lot. And gets worried a lot, even if it's about stuff I can't do anything about. That's no good. Can't help anyone like that. I try to focus, but... it's hard to decide. And even harder to enjoy being alive while doing all that. That worry fills up my head and leaks out onto everyone else, and... well, you heard what happened."

    It's strange, being upside down and reversed, reflecting those words back to the one who originally said them. But she's smarter than anyone gives her credit for, so she'll understand, right?



    "I'm awful at it, but you're the best at it, so... could you help me have fun, Ubon?"
    Last edited by Bloble; September 5th, 2020 at 12:22 PM.

  12. #3132
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Sierra snorted again, lifting her nose up slightly in a rebellious way.

    "Hmph. First of all, I am not a kid - and I don't need a babysitter. I am thirteen, already!" She announced, apparently taking quite a bit of pride in that fact. "And I especially don't need to be sat by a suspicious woman like you"

    Such was the announcement from the younger girl, said with all the gusto of a precocious tween could muster. Hawthorne, who had been watching this dialogue from the sidelines, let a lopsided grin rise to his face and simply shrugged again, shaking his head. Indeed, it seemed quite clear that this girl was quite the problematic case. She wasn't the type to warm up easily for others - especially for strangers - and Liana's presence seemed to make her naturally suspicious. Plus the way she was eyeing Liana herself... well, a certain type of jealousy about physical appearances was probably rearing its head as well.

    That being said...

    "... W-well, still, if you're here to get back at Thorne, I suppose I can't fault you for that!" Sierra continued, coughing into her balled fist awkwardly. "He is the type to get big-headed and smug whenever a woman compliments him even slightly. I swear, I would love to see someone give him a taste of his own medicine and wipe that annoying grin off of his face - knock him down a peg in other words."

    A momentary awkward silence fell over the trio, during which Sierra's single eye awkwardly looked at her own feet, as if she was trying to swallow her pride in order to further her other goals. And once she was done hesitating...

    "W-what sort of information do you need?"

    Arms once again folded over her chest, the girl leaned a bit closer in a conspiratorial manner.

    "I know a little bit about the stupid stuff he does when he thinks no one is watching, and bad habits he has he thinks he has kept secret," Sierra said in half-whisper, still quite audible for everyone around. "For example, he seems to be the type to get teary-eyed during sad movies, and is a sucker for romantic comedies. More than that, he has this odd fascination with firearms, to the point I think he has named some of his with names of girls..."

    Hawthorne nearly choked on his cigarette behind them.

    "Wait, uh, ladies? I'm still here you know?"

    A big frown of annoyance was growing on Sierra's face.

    "Not only that, but whenever he's cleaning them after a hunt he coos and babytalks at them in a way that's frankly disgusting," she continued. "Sometimes I wonder if he has all his Moomins in the valley..."

    For some reason, Hawthorne was starting to have a bit of a worried expression.




    Vier Wolff
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory (In Front of Aleen’s Room)
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “I don’t think I can go with you... Can I?”
    A bright pink flush appeared on Aleen's face, and she quickly waved her hands while shaking her head - in a rather hasty and exaggerated manner, signaling just how by surprise this question had taken the bluehead.

    "T-t-that's not it, Vier! You can totes come with me if you want! I j-just thought we had agreed to go somewhere and I had forgotten it, y'know? Since you showed up all expecting for us to be heading out," the girl explained. "Though, uh, it's not gonna be anything that interesting... nor anything like that either! I haven't been that fast, y'know! It's just..."

    With a little sigh escaping from her lips, Aleen leaned against her doorway and folded her arms. The look on her face signalled that she was searching for the right words, and drawing a blank for the moment. The awkward silence stretched for multiple seconds, during which Aleen's embarrassed shock was also fading, though the blush on her cheeks was still faintly visible.

    Still, finally, an answer came.

    "... I want to look presentable. Not like a kid or a teen but... you know, like someone who can be taken seriously. If I find that guy, I want him to properly listen what I hafta say, and not treat me like a child," Aleen explained in a softer voice. "If I had to give it a proper term, err, well..."

    The bluehead scratched her cheek sheepishly, and chuckled awkwardly.

    "Would you get it if I said it was a 'surprise business meet?'," Aleen asked. "Or does that make it even more confusing?"




    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel, Road’s End
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Silence.

    Sudden, total, silence.

    For a moment, it felt almost as if the wind had died down as well, and the sound of it shaking the top of the pinetrees nearby had disappeared completely. Gone was also the sound of faraway traffic, as well as the slow hustle and bustle of the hotel towering before the two girls. Atmosphere grew heavier, and with it, it muted both sounds and colors alike. By Anna's words, by what she had said, she had changed the moment the two had been completely, and had left it in silence.

    Complete, total, silence.

    Ramia said not a word first. Instead, she heaved a tiny sigh and bounced a bit on her heels, quitely rocking back and forth. Her right hand automatically went to the pocket of her leather jacket, and it gripped something there - almost like a handle. Her left hand, however, raised upwards and pushed her helmet and goggles slightly backwards, out of the way of her eyes. The same happened to her white hair. It was almost like an older warrior who had sat down long ago now rising back to her feet, slowly warming up for what was about to happen.

    Or perhaps...

    --- A rattlesnake slithering out of the sun and rearing its head, along with its tail.

    "Well... guess I found out why you're here at Pinefall, Red. That sounds absolutely insane, after all," the dusky-skinned mercenary said, her tone even and amused... though at the same time humourless. "Chinese mystic? Shadow theatre? Combat familiars? Sounds like a penny dreadful found in a library - or a B-grade movie from just few decades ago. You know the idea of a moustache-twirling, evil Chinese warlock with magical powers became passé pretty long time ago, right?"

    Those grey eyes, like barrels of a gun, were trained straight at the back of Anna's head.

    The grip of whatever Ramia had in her pocket tightened.

    "--- Unfortunately, I'm insane like that too. In the exact same way. Funny thing, that. Maybe there's a proper medical term for a shared delusion, who knows? The thing is, though... if you start saying something like that, I'm bound to take it seriously," Ramia continued, her voice even and controlled. "And I'm the paranoid, professional type who can't take any chances. No matter what. I've learned that the hard way."

    For a moment, those steely eyes closed, and another sigh escaped Ramia's lips.

    "I like you Red, I do, but at the same time... I learned to kill my personal preferances long time ago when it comes to stuff like this. Lived longer that way."

    Then they opened.

    And for the first time, properly, Anna could feel the glare of the proper mercenary named Ramia Ramalsaqr, a proper soldier of fortune from the Turnside, boring a hole through the back of her head. A merciless, cold stare of a young woman who had become like a machine, willing to do whatever was necessary, through mere flip of a switch.

    "So I'm gonna ask you this once..."

    There was a click that came from Ramia's person.

    "--- Who do you work for?"



    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Pool - Girls' Locker Room
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “I don’t want to steal you away from Prushka. But if you are free at night, we could meet in my room? Would love to hang out some more.”
    Ubon nodded enthusiastically.

    "Mhm! I'll see you later then, Hizzie! Have fun with Mercie!"

    Mercedes, who had already went on ahead, let out a quiet groan and rolled her eyes. It was clear that the actress and the athlete hardly got along, and not just because of their differing personalities. Apparently Mercedes, who was all about roles who everyone in society played, thought Ubon was a fake, while Ubon... well, didn't think so. In that manner, they easily clashed together whenever they met, and thus it was somewhat surprising they hadn't come to verbal blows while staying at the same pool.

    Maybe they had just deemed it better to leave well enough alone, and ignored each other.

    "Ugh, that girl... people like her are, like, the type that make me a villainous bitch, you know?" Mercedes spoke up as she and Hisa entered the girls' locker room. "I don't like people like her, and people like her are, like, always trying to 'knock me off my high horse'. It's a natural conflict, y'know, and I actually enjoy being able to put them in their places or what-evah... especially when they're keeping up an act they can barely handle."

    While she was talking like the typical high school queen bee once again, it felt a bit more like Mercedes was simply running her mouth to fill in the silence while she was changing her clothes. After all, while she spoke, the starlet headed to one of the lockers and opened it, pulling out yet one of her well-coordinated (and no doubt expensive) ensembles from inside and started changing into that, not the least bit bothered by the fact that Hisa had to stand there, watching and waiting.

    "Still, it don't matter what I'm like inside. Mine's the role of a bitch, so like, that's what I'll be. That's what I'm best at, and that's what's needed of me," Mercedes continued. "Just like you're the misunderstood prickly girl who doesn't want to, like, let anyone close, or that boy of your's is a all-loving, meatheaded hero. We've all got, like, our own roles to play in this world. It's when we deviate from them or whatevah that we start having trouble."

    Here it was again, that - in a sense - black and white world-view of hers.

    That everyone had a role to play and they should be satisfied with that, or otherwise they'd be running into trouble.

    "Well, whatevah. You didn't invite me to, like, hear me bitch 'bout other people," the actress continued after having finished up dressing. "You wanted to put my grey little cells to work, so let's get on that. Been a while anyways, I suppose..."

    Standing before Hisa with her usual untouchable aura of a person who knew her good points and refused to be humble about them, Mercedes vaguely gestured towards the door.

    "Time to, like, lead the way 'Hizzie'."

    The wicked grin returned.




    Prushka & John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    With Hisa and Mercedes having left the pool area, Ubon finally ended her handstand and instead sat down to the edge of the pool normally. Well, of course she didn't. Instead she sat down and immediately tumbled backwards in a controlled roll, ending upon the cold floor on her back, and her arms and legs in a bridge position - a position she quickly got into, once again naturally (and very easily) showcasing her agile and limber physique.

    The conversation continued with Ubon staring at Prushka once again upside-down, but this time with a more stable stance with both her hands and feet on the ground.

    "Huh... so you wanna have fun, huh Prushie? Well sure! I can helps you with that, for realsies!" Ubon responded, with her upside-down grin radiating that same natural cheerfulness. "Though I think it's not just having 'fun' you want to learn 'bout, Prushie, but something more specific. That is, how to keep having fun even if things are bad and worrisome, and how to make sure your noggin' doesn't get all stuffy and slow just 'cause you're worrying 'bout all sortsa things."

    The grin faded into a warm smile, and Ubon's form wobbled from one side to another.

    "The thing is, Prushie, there's nothing wrong with thinking. People like you, Hizzie, Johnnie, Mercie... you're all so good at thinking, you gravitate to it all natural like. And that's alright! But when you always default to thinking, instead of acting, you gots a problem in your hands - for realsies," Ubon continued. "Your nogging's gonna get all clogged up with thoughts, and since you've gots them all on at the same time, it's gonna feel all confusing and hard to focus. And making proper decisions is even harder!"

    One of Ubon's hands rose up (down?) and her index finger was extended up (down?), like she was a teacher making a point to Prushka.

    "So, here's my Ubon Advice Numbah 1!" The cyanhead exclaimed, her aqua-eyes shining. "Take a moment to divide up all those bothersome thoughts! Put them in groups! Thoughts you can do something 'bout, thoughts you can't do nothing 'bout right now, and thoughts that are outta your reach! Make a clear divide between them all, and it'll start to feel that much clearer, for realsies! Heck, make a list on paper and physically divide up those thoughts like that! There's lotta ways you can do it, you know?"

    Then, the second finger extended.

    "And continuing, here's my Ubon Advice Numbah 2!" She continued. "Don't be afraid to be impulsive! Act on instinct! Sometimes it's good to just go with your gutsies and do the first thing that comes to your mind without thinking, for realsies! I mean, your instincts know surprisingly well, and your subconscious is always hard at work! And when it comes to properly having fun, doing random things that feel like a good idea at the moment is the best way to go about it! If it feels like a fun idea, why not do it?"

    At that moment... the doors to the pool area opened once again.

    Maybe it was fate.

    Maybe it was luck.

    Maybe it was misfortune.

    Maybe it was destiny.

    But whatever it was, it had orchestrated this moment with impeccable accuracy.

    The moment when Ubon Sĕeklêun talked about acting on instinct in order to have random fun, and John Dove entered the room while completely unprepared for what was about to happen.

    Indeed, the outcome was inevitable.

    In Prushka's eyes (and probably in John's eyes too), time seemed to be slowing down to a crawl.

    Ubon's eyes spotted the boy.

    They began to shine.

    Her mouth twisted into a ridiculously excited grin.

    Her raised hand slammed against the wet floor.

    Her whole body vibrated like a spring about to launch or a piece of jelly on a plate.

    Her muscles tensed up.

    Her mouth opened for just a moment.

    "--- For example."

    Then.

    It happened.

    Like a race car launched from a pit stop, Ubon shot towards John while keeping her current stance, skittering across the pool room floor in an upside-down crabwalk while making a beeline towards the boy. She had clearly had no idea what she was going to do when she reached the boy. Crash into him? Crawl up his body? Jump and tackle him to the ground? Barrel through his legs in a showcase of nimbleness?

    Whatever she planned to do, it was going to be impulsive. And to her, that made it fun.

    And thus...

    "Joooooohhnnnniieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!"

    The upside-down coconut crab missile known as Ubon charged forward in all her cyan glory while wearing the biggest grin.

  13. #3133
    The Time-Governing Twelve Covenants Airen's Avatar
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    Liana Skye
    Location: Spade Queen Country Club
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    "Named his guns after girls huh? Know any specifics?"

    ---Relentless.

    Yes.

    While a certain sense of worry can absolutely be sensed from Thorne, the dark-haired student continues to relentlessly press the attack; it is how she does things of course, being put on her back foot is where she is at her weakest, thus...

    Forward.

    Always forward-!

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne
    "Wait, uh, ladies? I'm still here you know?"
    "Yes, yes, I know! Don't worry, my Mysterious Stranger, you will always be cool to me~"

    Yes.

    No mercy.

    It was these exact sort of humanizing traits that she loved to find out the most-!

    "Baby-talking your guns isn't a dealbreaker or anything, when I was a kid I had a toy sword I named Excalibur! I get it, nothing to be ashamed of, it's actually sort of cute~"

    She smiles at him.

    ---The mischievous light now seems permanently etched into those eyes, like glittering stars dancing across an open sky.

    "If you name a gun after me though it has to be something cool~! No renaming a gun you already named either, I wanna be the best gun~"

    She waves a finger at him, and then...

    Back to Sierra with a wink, leaning in to match her conspiratorial lean, and doing it in such a way that it's just as obvious as the girl's own movements...

    Yes.

    A hero to children was it?

    The soft spot that Liana has shown to kids... Really seems to be shining through here...

    "But romantic comedies huh? I should have guessed... Do you know which ones he's seen so far-"

    Although...

    In this instance, a certain kitten perhaps feels some sympathy for Hawthorne's plight...

    Yes.

    Tired of the constant stream of introductions that do not include him (or perhaps, out of some bizarre sense of logic that only cats would understand) a certain scarf-wearing kitten emerges from his backpack carrier, leaping up onto Liana's shoulder in a way that seems designed to be as dignified and graceful as possible, even though it was a simple leap...

    "-ah, it's Zee."

    ...The owner doesn't seem to find this action very surprising, no, instead-

    "Came out because you heard all the talking, huh?"

    -she makes a blind guess at his motivations.

    "..."

    Being a cat, he offers no opinion on if this is correct or not, lazy eyes simply going from person to person, before...

    Landing back on his owner.

    "...Or is it that you're mad I didn't introduce you? Thorne, Sierra, this is my cat Zee."

    As far as cats have owners anyway...

    And then back to Sierra...

    Staring quietly...

    As if... Wanting to be part of the conversation...?

    Or perhaps...

    Simply because he wants to be pet...

    Being a cat, she has long since abandoned trying to figure his brain out...
    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?



  14. #3134
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Avery's Diner
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    “Haaaaaaaah…”

    Stepping out of the diner with Tris Colt exhaled deeply. The meal had been a mixed bag, a ride of ups and downs, or more accurately of downs and ups. Good food hadn’t offset the disappointment of feeling like he’d gone off on a wild goose chase, and the awkward atmosphere after Cathie stormed out had taken a bit to get over. It was almost two negatives to one positive, but…

    He glanced over at Tris.

    “How was it?” As long as she enjoyed it, that could be another point on the board. If the scores evened out he’d take it. “Did your loaf of meat hit the spot?”

    His keys were pulled from his pocket along with the locket. Its compass was now once again without direction or any observable purpose, giving the boy cause to shrug once again. The something had been nothing, but might have pointed him to another something.

    “Well, I don’t have any plans after that. But since we’re already out I figure we could go look for that partner of yours. If you have any idea where to look.”


  15. #3135
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Pinefall High Dormitory
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    “Well, she is here for a reason, just like the rest of us,” I said as I scratched my head, “And while I can’t really agree with all her sentiments, I can hardly blame her for them too. But then, I don’t really know what the conflict between you two is about.”

    Of course, I had a good guess, especially as Mercedes mentioned her theory about everyone having their own set roles in life.

    All the while getting completely naked with no shame as she started changing into her proper set of clothes.

    Something that made me come to the conclusion that I should try to avoid seeing more butts for today.

    But before long, she finished dressing up, and gestured towards the door once more.

    “Sure, ‘Mercie’,” I rolled my eyes with faked annoyance, “That said, I don’t mind talking about normal stuff either, long as you want to.”

    Opening the door, I stepped out into the hallway, and headed towards the next destination with confident steps.

    Originally, I came for Ubon, but having the help of Mercedes was just as good of a deal. It might even help to ease things up a bit, and take a step closer to last time’s Mercedes.

    Reaching the dorms, I excused myself for a moment - as Mercedes apparently had everything she needed on her already - and rushed up to take care of the rest of the things needed for our trip.

    First, a quick stop by the common room. It was a bit more lively this time around, with Sakura and Lucille there as well, but at the same time, the mood was...certainly a lot more mixed as well. Not the sort of peaceful lethargy that it was last time, but rather...almost as if the air was filled with a morbid mix of despair, grumpiness and cheer.

    Even though it made me somewhat curious about what was going on, especially with Sakura, I certainly didn’t have the time right now to get involved in these matters.

    They could probably sort things out on their own anyways, with how it was Alexstrasza and Cesarina, and Lucille and Sakura there.

    As such, I just waved indifferently while standing at the door and greeted the people present.

    “Hey Pyry, if you’re free, want to come with?” I continued as my gaze turned to the person in question, “Wanted to take a trip into town. We’d be back by night.”

    Done with that, I waved at the bunch again, and was off - only so that moments later I’d be knocking on said boy’s room, expecting Ru to be there.

    Once I was done giving him a short explanation about the situation, I reached into my bag, searching for a particular item.

    “Could you stay here, and keep watch?” I asked while fidgeting in my backpack, “Maybe your sister will show up, so it’s probably better for you to be around. With your disguise you should be safe anyways, but if you run into someone you can just claim that you are related to me.”

    “Here are some sandwiches, in case of emergency,” I said as I pulled some of the mentioned items out of my bag, “But I’ll bring some proper food from the town for the night. If you need something else, I can see if I can get those too.”

    After some more fidgeting, I found the other thing I was looking for, and grabbed two of them out of the neat metal container.

    “This, in the case of an emergency,” I explained as I handed over one of the syringes to Ru, “It can heal some nasty wounds, but it’s single use, so keep that in mind. And this…”

    The other syringe in my hand was the one that I got back from Prushka earlier. It was completely clean now thanks to the inbuilt sanitizer in the cap, but at the same time, it was also empty.

    As such…

    Pushing against the two sides of the barrel, I put a finger on the flange of the plunger, and as I started focusing on a certain application of my power, the plunger rose slowly, as if the syringe was getting filled up with something. Which was, in a sense, true, as it had the capability to absorb and store certain ESPs.

    As the procedure was done, I gave the other syringe to Ru as well.

    “You can use it to contact me if something happens. The distance will probably make things a bit harder to come through, but…” I said as I rubbed my chin, “Well, just agreeing on a few codewords for certain situations should be easy enough. Can’t really miss that.”

    Hardly gives any room for misunderstandings, too.

    “Just...make sure to get them back to me later in one piece, okay? They aren’t that easy to get.”


  16. #3136
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Approaching Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    Finding Mercedes West is neither easy nor difficult. Absent from her bedroom, he has to ask around here and there. The less to be said about Pyry’s and Sakura’s reaction to his asking for Mercedes West of all people, the better. John thinks he might have seen what could have been Alexstrasza arriving to the common room just as he puts it behind him, but he is a man set on a direction and does not bother to look back.

    The sky is, well, grayer than usual, but this is already too familiar a sight. Rain will soon come, and become the incessant background music for the weekend’s drama. It will not stop him, though. Although, it seems unlikely he will go on a trip to the forest with Miss Iburi this time tomorrow.

    …right. By this time tomorrow, Cesarina Feroce is already gone. Did she attend school on Friday? He does not remember—he has never claimed to have perfect memory. Regardless, he cannot stand guard tonight to keep her from leaving, or to watch out for anybody attempting to seize her. He already has a plan for tonight, and it has to be tonight.

    What are you planning, Alexstrasza?

    He cannot be everywhere. Even if he could, can he even help anybody?

    Burdened with worrisome thoughts as ever, John Dove makes it to the pool he has yet to try out for either leisure or fitness. He is partial towards the sea, after all—one of the few opinions he calls, or chooses to call, his own. If Mercedes West is taking it easy at the pool, perhaps that could make her more receptive to conversation regarding something she likely considers a private matter. Regardless, there is no time like the present, so the young man unhesitatingly opens the door—

    Fine hairs on the back of his neck stand, a worrisome jolt running down his spine. It is something like his instinctual awareness of the presence of Death, but not quite. Time slows to a crawl, but John Dove is nowhere near savvy enough to distinguish bullet time from hijinks-time.

    A blink in slow motion. His muscles are taut, and his pupils narrow—he is the deer that just knows there is a tiger somewhere. His sight registers the interior of the pool building, and the obvious absence of Mercedes West. Instead, he finds Prushka and a swimsuit-clad—

    —ah.



    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon Sĕeklêun
    “Joooooohhnnnniieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”
    It’s just Ubon being Ubon. John Dove will not die just yet. An idle part of his brain imagines meeting with a similar sight in the hallways of an abandoned building in the middle of the night. The rest of him decides on a reaction to…well, this.

    The John Dove thing to do would be to accept and endure, as usual. He is already acquainted with Ubon either tackling him or crawling up his body like some skittering creature. Ubon would do as she pleases and laugh about it. All good.

    However, by this point, is that really the best possible reaction?

    After all, he did read somewhere that routine is harmful to a relationship. Would Ubon Sĕeklêun be satisfied if they always followed the exact same routine, like a comedy duo who can only do the one same gag—ah, what the hell, she’s already right there, you moron. Just move!


    The moment his body begins to tilt to the side—the beginning of a sidestep dodge—he realizes he will not make it in time. His brain working much faster than his body in this dilated time, he can effortlessly guesstimate that it is not enough. Even if her body is the veritable opposite of Pyry’s, Ubon is too an exemplar of athleticism. He is moving too slow, too late. His body will be at her mercy, for whatever random Ubon thing she is up to this time.



    Then I’ll push myself a little harder. Just a little, though.


    He does not feel the strain on muscles pushed just a little too far. That ache is a thing of the hollow world. Ignoring it is trivial.

    More importantly, this is the second time Ubon gets him to act like this. It is honestly and thoroughly baffling.

  17. #3137
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Pool
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "U-ubon..."

    It's silly. I shouldn't be feeling better just from this. That advice makes no sense after all. Instinct isn't something you can measure.

    But... why is everything getting blurry then? Why does my heart feel just a tiny bit lighter?

    Why-?

    Before I can ponder, before I can respond, something happens.

    The door opens.

    Where two left, one enters, and that one is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ubon
    “Joooooohhnnnniieeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”
    John Dove. The kindest jerk in the world.

    Ubon runs off towards him, barreling forward at full speed while crab-walking upside down like something out of a Japanese horror film.

    And I...

    I wipe my eyes, laugh, and reach into my pocket, where I give something one, two, three squeezes.

    Instinct, eh?

    That has to be the only explanation for the silly thing that's about to happen.

    As John Dove faces down one opponent... another approaches from behind.

  18. #3138
    Overly devoted enthusiasm... fufufu~ Ayakashi's Avatar
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    "Oh... hello..."


    The sight here was quite different from the usual yes. Alex Terrot had been reborn, even shown in a very quick manner to correct her natural behavior to act in a manner that would suit a young man more... the coaching of Mercedes West, was it? They never worked onto the same set before, but Vivienne had heard of her performance. She was an actress, and quite good at her job, but being good at something and being able to pass on those qualities to someone else are different things -- was Alex Terrot a good learner, or was Mercedes simply a very good teacher? Perhaps there was a degree of truth in both. Everyone is born within a certain 'mold' after all, and while this was an unusual change for Alex Terrot, this wasn't one that lay in the realm of the impossible, rather, it could have been deemed a possible evolution for the young french lady since the beginning...

    "Very dashing... very charming... very good... will you be... my prince?" she asks, having appraised Alex's transformation. Of course, there is no sign of surprise, delight or amazement on Vivienne Bianchi's visage, but then that was to be expected, was it not? Her words, though emptily conveyed, at least held a positive meaning.

    "I have disguise... I can be the princess... but... better put it on later... before we arrive at the club... not now... a surprise..."

    She wasn't carrying anything on her being, thus this might raise Alex's suspicion a little bit but... before they could tackle that subject, Vivienne was already discussing another topic that would be a good question to resolve before they go to the Club...

    "Will we... say that we are visiting the club? Maybe... enjoy its premises a bit... we must... veil our true reason for our visit after all... and also come up with an explanation on how we came across that match stick... perhaps we found it on the road or something? If we say exactly how we found it... it will be a bit obvious I think..." she pauses momentarily, going through the many 'possible' ways for two random people to run across the matchstick box. "Maybe say that we think those matchsticks are quite nice and would like some more... or that we are collectors? Maybe collectors of boxes like that... a bit you know like... how people collect stamps... "

    Vivienne had clearly thought up of an 'alibi' of sorts... she may have gone as far as to suggest that they take a detour to the beach and just soak the box in seawater so that they could just say that it got washed ashore but well, what did Alex think of her current ideas? Things should be taken one step at a time, to not overwhelm Alex too much...

  19. #3139
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Reference Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Souma Nubata
    "... That. Or perhaps... Ballade des dames du temps jadis."
    "I think Ballade des dames du temps jadis can get a little bit maudlin at times, but I suppose that's the point. Still, it always brings me back to that refrain."

    Although, maybe Villon was on to something. Dictes moy où, n'en quel temps, est Elizaveta, la russe; peut-être une cosmonaute? Mais où sont les neiges d'antan!

    Quote Originally Posted by Souma Nubata
    "...... It was hidden. In that shelf. Behind books of philosophy... almost as if it did not want to be found. And it's old. Few... decades, at least."
    Elise followed Souma's motion and glanced at the bookshelves in the corner.

    I'm going to guess that most of our reference collection is new, so it certainly feels like it'd be out of place here... never mind hiding in the philosophy section. It having been mixed into the collection somehow, sure, but then it should've ended up in the poetry section, not hidden behind books like it was. I'd like to think our reference library is organized anyway. From Souma's description, it sounds like it's old enough to have been left behind by someone in the last class, or...

    Elise consider what Hisa had told her about what had happened in the dormitories decades ago.

    It's old enough to have been around for that too... Still, how did it end up hiding behind the philosophy books?

    Souma pressed the book into her hands, and opened it to the first page to show her something there. Her eyes were drawn to the lower right hand corner where there was an inscription.

    "À ma fille chérie," Elise read the message written on the first page of the book, feeling her own pang of guilt and sadness as she did so, "Someone probably gave this book to their daughter. Judging by the age of the book, and the age of the inscription inscription, they may have owned it themselves for a while before passing it on... It's-it's not the sort of gift you can leave behind easily."

    I guess I can't rule out the possibility that it's Alex's book and she hid it here for some reason, but that feels unlikely... I think the real question is did its previous owner leave her book behind when she left intentionally, accidentally, or because she couldn't take it with them where she went?

    Elise glanced up at the ceiling for a moment, Hisa did say something about there being an old library on the second floor. If that place has been locked up like the dormitories were, then maybe it came from there? If that's the case though, then how did it get down here...? Did that little girl hide down here for some reason?

    Quote Originally Posted by Souma Nubata
    "... Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?"
    This wasn't the first time today someone quoted something in Latin to her. Elise slowly ran her finger along the edge of the pages of the book as she considered Souma's question. She looked up from the book in her hands and up at Souma. His own singular eye staring out the reference library's window, and into the pine forest beyond the campus grounds.

    Where are the ones who came before us...?

    "I know where one of them is hiding," replied Elise.

    Tu Fui, Ego Eris, they said.

  20. #3140
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Mellon's Avatar
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    Anna Vandemeel
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel, Road’s End
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Aah… This was more like it. This was something that made far more sense to her. This was something that felt far more familiar.

    All that shallow play-acting in “class” and layers upon layers of lies and deception from every angle. There was no way she could, or did for that matter, trust anyone there. No matter how much the staff wanted to blather about trust and healing, there was too much cloak and dagger, from all sides, in this place for that to ever truly be possible.

    Also from herself, of course.

    She wouldn’t go so far as to call it useless, for how something appeared was, at times, far more important than the actual substance, but… in the end, she was far too straightforward in her personality. No matter how much she followed through the motions, it didn’t change the fact that she was more of a battering ram than a scalpel.

    …and as such, Anna Vandemeel was far more comfortable at breaking down gates than she was at delicate surgery.

    She would take open hostility over honeyed deceptions any day. Far simpler. Far more earnest.

    "--- Who do you work for?"
    Not a single ounce of urgency or alarm was reflected on her face, even as the audible click of a cocking firearm rang out from behind her. While Ramia’s face was set in a cold, almost robotic expression, Anna’s own had hardly changed. If anything, the witch in red seemed even more relaxed than before. And it was not ease born out of confidence or cockiness, but rather one that was simply an expression of her familiarity with a situation such as this. And unlike the woman pointing the gun at her, she’d never been one to suppress her emotions, even in the heat of battle, after all.

    “I’m not a mercenary if that is what you’re asking.” Anna’s chuckle was akin to silk sliding down the edge of a blade. “Though I suppose depending on your inclinations, that may be more of a damning factor if anything.”

    “I won’t bore you with all the official nomenclature crap. Suffice to say, I’m a witch affiliated with the Chaos Coven and an occasional lecturer at the Ecliptic.” The Estonian magican gave a small nonplussed shrug even as Ramia’s eyes kept drilling into her back. “Though as you can no doubt see, I’m on something of an... official academic leave at the moment.”

    “Does that answer your question in a sufficient manner, or would you like me to go into further detail?”

    “Oh, and I like you too, Indy. But as one professional to another…” The witch in red gave a small glance over her shoulders, locking her ruby eyes with those of the mercenary behind her. “…if you fire that gun, only one of us will be leaving this place, y’know?

    “I’m not looking for a fight with you, alchemist.” Steel and cold fury flickered in those crimson depths for a moment. “I have, however, no intention of leaving anyone alive who'd attack me that blatantly.”

    “So? We can either talk or we can fight it out. Which way do you want to do this?”
    Last edited by Mellon; September 6th, 2020 at 12:15 PM.

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