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Thread: Astronomika - Shooting Down Falling Stars (IC)

  1. #3221
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Road's End - Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    The shark-like grin increased in magnitude.

    "Wunderbar."

    With that, Frauke Wiolant spun around on her heels and marched over to the wall, where the frosted, armored glass was covering over half of it like some sort of display case. The young woman shot out her right hand and pointed her index finger at the mechanical keyhole under the window, and in that moment, the very said finger assembled into some sort of complex key that was promptly inserted into the keyhole.

    She turned the key.

    There was a loud click.

    A red button, size of a child's fist, lit up in lights and Frauke raised her left hand, laughing boisterously before slamming it down onto said button.

    There was a sound of mechanical whirring coming alive, two spouts of steam shot out from underneath the glass as it started to slide upwards, disappearing into the concrete wall and revealing a array of weapons from the other side. Racks upon racks of guns, all different sizes and different styles, yet each one lovingly crafted by the owner of this shop with her inhuman skill. There were big ones, there were small ones, there were brutish ones, there were sleek ones, there were ones meant for men and there were ones meant for monsters. A cavalcade of guns that must have been unique in their making was revealed to Colt and Tris, with Frauke Wiolant's bellowing laugh still echoing in their ears.

    "Well well, mein Herr...!" Frauke exclaimed as she stepped out of the way, allowing Colt a proper view of the wall of guns. "I believe I have few suggestions for you already!"

    She gestured with her hand towards the middle part of the expanse of weapons, and six weapons in particular. Weapons that were practically calling for the boy.

    First, there was a handgun that looked so graceful it could have been brittle, had it not been made out of tough-looking metal alloy that had been painted with colour that was like oil on the surface of water. It's extended barrel made it look like a fencing sword in a sense, and just looking at it told that it was meant for graceful combat and devastating killer shots, ending a battle before it had even started.

    Second, there was shotgun that was a mixture of industrial look and almost fantastical crystals that had been filed into shape of coils jutting out from both sides like wings on a spaceship. The sturdy, short stock of the otherwise midnight blue weapon looked steady enough, but there was one detail in the weapon that caught attention immediately. That being the five barrels stacked on top of each other like a pan flute, giving the weapon a strange, alien look.

    Third, a gigantic heavy machine gun took up most of the space in the lowermost part of the wall. It was a crimson weapon of ridiculous size, resembling a monster in its look and lance in its shape. Two U-shaped boxes formed the magazines, having been attached to the weapon from both sides and thus creating a ring around the body of the weapon itself. Just looking at the gun made Colt feel like his voice was getting deeper, and he was having another growth spurt of manliness.

    Fourth, the gun at the top of part of the wall couldn't have been more different from the previous one. A sleek, extremely stylized sniper rifle that was almost like an Art Deco project of some sort shone quietly in the dim lights of the workshop. It was a beautiful, long piece of death, luxurious in its golden colours and bewitching in its graceful shape. And for some reason, Colt was pretty sure he saw actual sunlight seeping through the extremely long barrel of the sniper rifle.

    Fifth, there was an assault rifle that one could have mistaken for a medieval plate armor. It was sturdiest of the weapons around, so tough-looking that even a bomb wouldn't have been able to scratch it. Not only that, but a large shield had been attached to the body of the weapon, clearly meant to offer protection to the user as well, making it a defensive weapon of the utmost proportions.

    Sixth, there was... a revolver. A quiet, unassuming black revolver. It was rather lightweight in its bodyshape and didn't have the bulkiness associated with most powerful guns of its kind. However, for some reason it had a 7-shot cylinder, and the barrel seemed to spin around itself, creating something akin to a spiral pattern. But even so, it looked rather unimpressive...

    ... If not for the fact that it was in a armored glass case of its own, separate from the other weapons on the wall.

    "Well...?"

    Frauke Wiolant turned towards the boy, eyes shining with delight.

    "... What do you think?"

    Das Thulewerk Inventory
    Salome
    Type: Modern
    Size: Light
    Damage Bonus: +5
    Range: 50 Meters
    Element: Darkness
    - A lightweight handgun that is modeled to look graceful as a dancer and as nimble as an acrobat, painted in the colours of seven veils. When wielding this weapon and nothing but this weapon, whenever your opponent rolls an attack roll against you, they have a +5% higher chance of missing, even if normally they would hit automatically. In addition, as this is a weapon meant for assassinations, it grants a bonus of +5 of total damage whenever you score a critical hit against the opponent. This damage is applied after the final damage from the critical hit (decreased by armor, etc.) has been calculated.

    Cost: $500


    Die Zauberflöte
    Type: Modern
    Size: Medium
    Damage Bonus: +12
    Range: 50 Meters
    Element: Multiple
    - A sturdy shotgun made out of alloys and metal that are not known to modern gunsmiths, having instead been lost to the ages. The many hues of the weapon and the crystals embedded into it shift colours depending on which direction the light hits it, making it almost look like a prism. The five barrels stacked in a fan-like formation may seem over the top, but they are designed for a surprisingly even spread reaching high distances. The true power of this weapon, however, comes from the fact that it can be fitted with multiple elemental ammunition, which can be crafted by oneself if they have the skills, or bought from Das Thulewerk. These ammunition change the damage type of the weapon into the one given by the ammunition, making it a very adaptible weapon as one can change their elemental attack type on the fly, even in the midst of combat.

    Cost: $700


    Die Walküre
    Type: Modern
    Size: Heavy
    Damage Bonus: +20
    Range: 25 Meters
    Element: Magnetism
    - A heavy machine gun that is extremely difficult to wield unless it is mounted on a bipod or a tripod. This massive weapon, quite akin to an actual fortress in looks, deals damage at a rapid rate, though it lacks in range. After all, while the hail of bullets is deadly at a closer range, their trajectory becomes wildly erratic further away, making it impossible to hit distant targets. The true terror of this weapon is, however, it's extremely heavy bullets that fill the air. These bullets are like blows from a hammer to wherever they hit, and come as such rapid rate that it either forces the target to retreat or throw themselves to the ground. Whenever you attack a target with this weapon, the target is subjected to a Shove attempt of sorts. It is done as normal, with you using a modifier of +6 to the Athletics check you make, instead of your own. Upon success, the target either becomes Prone on the ground, or is moved back 5 meters as they have to retreat. This check can be applied only once against a single target per Round.

    Cost: $1200


    Das Rheingold
    Type: Classic
    Size: Heavy
    Damage Bonus: +15
    Range: 300 Meters
    Element: Light
    - A beautiful, luxurious sniper rifle that seems to bend the line between what can be considered a weapon, and what should be considered a work of art. It is an extremely long piece of weaponry that cannot be easily handled by those without the sufficient strength, or the use of a bipod or a tripod. The mere sight of the weapon can cause yearning in it, to the point that one may even suspect a very low-level charm effect to be imbued into it. However, that is not the true power of this weapon. No, the bullets that shoot out of this weapon are objects of pure light, which explode in a sphere of brilliant illumination whenever they hit. Those that are hit by the bullets of this gun are subjected to a WIL Protection contest against a Shattering Score of 7. Upon failure, the target is Blinded for the next Round, regaining their eyesight at the start of the shooter's next Turn. However, as the eyes are adjusted to this light for a while after the shot, it is not possible to immediately blind the target again. A target that has one succumbed to the effect can be Blinded again after 2 Rounds. This weapon also boasts a range higher than any normal sniper rifle.

    Cost: $1550


    Tannhäuser
    Type: Classic
    Size: Medium
    Damage: +8
    Range: 250 Meters
    Element: Metal
    - A massive assault rifle that resembles a fortress turned into a gun. It has been modified with a large shield that is attached to the body of the gun, becoming a tool for defense as much as it already is one for offense. The long range and the added defensive bonus make it a trustworthy weapon, one that never abandons it's wielder. Whenever you are using this weapon, you are counted as also wielding a classical medium shield, and are given +1 physical defense bonus and a 15% Block Chance. In addition, once per Round this weapon allows you to weather and negate the first Light Injury that you would suffer.

    Cost: $900


    Der Freischütz
    Type: Supernatural
    Size: Light
    Damage: +1
    Range: 999 Meters
    Element: Alkahest
    - A revolver with a seven-shot cylinder, replica of a certain gun. On its own, armed with naught but normal bullets, it is powerless. However, it can be chambered with a loader of seven special bullets that can be bought from Frauke Wiolant... if she deems them necessary to be sold. When chambered with these seven bullets, all must be shot before the end of the week, after which the gun becomes unusable. Was once wielded by the freeshooter of Road's End.

    Cost: 1616$





    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Of course, it would be weird of me to instantly rule out the possibility of something else being the cause, so...perhaps it deserves a more thorough look.”
    Mercedes, who had stopped her own tests, flashed a slightly wicked grin towards Hisa's direction.

    "Exactly. Like... when has something odd you've run into ever turned out to be 'something mundane'? Pretty damn rare, right? Like, if there's something off about your environment, it's damn well worth checking out," the actress replied, knocking the nearby shelf with her knuckles. "I'd rather be proven wrong than, like, overlook something or get caught with my pants down... figuratively or literally."

    She then folded her arms and glanced around the library, eyes scanning every little nook and cranny she could find. The actress didn't seem to question how Hisa had become so sure that there wasn't anything hidden around the room, or how she had mentioned both the employees-only room and the hallway as if she had seen them. If anything, she was taking the slight emergences of weirdness in stride. No doubt there'd be questions in the future, but right now, she probably didn't deem them important.

    Instead what was important was the mystery of this room.

    "But yeah... it's either that, or like, somebody's made this room into a funhouse optical illusion for whatevuh reasons," Mercedes continued. "If it's the former, all I can think about is, like, that something's pressing in on it from above, or there's plenty of free room down below."

    Those inquisitive eyes looked at Hisa with a cocked eyebrow.

    "... Or if it's the latter, then I bet the optic illusion's supposed to, like, hide something in this room," she continued. "But what would you, like, hide by making the shelves be angled so that it makes it look like the room is, like, slanting or whatevah? Any thoughts?"

    She paused for a moment, before adding:

    "And any ideas how to check if we got something below or above? Did you, like, see stairs leading lower than the basement, or what rooms were above here?"

  2. #3222
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Vier
    “Hey Aleen, how often do people come out to this lookout? Or well… Do you know anyone who is male, tall, goes out into the woods without suitable shoes, and has a tendency to carry something big? Because they’re presumably somewhere at the Overlook in front of us. If not... I think we should at least be a little more cautious about up ahead."
    Aleen, once she had realized her friend had stopped to inspect the footprints in the dirt, had also come to halt. She looked with some confusion and curiosity as Vier inspected the prints, and listened to her question... though a bit of an awkward look came over her face immediately afterwards. The blue-haired girl scratched her head, before folding her arms and letting out a contemplative hum.

    "Hmm... no idea really? I-I mean, this is my first time here," she said immediately. "A-and even if I was from around here, it's not like I would know how often people visit a place like this. But it's an overlook, isn't it? Best view of the town? Is it really that strange for someone to visit?"

    The bluehead chewed on her lips slightly as she thought about this mystery.

    "... Huh. The best view, a taller male, carrying something heavy and big..."

    Five seconds of silence later, she snapped her fingers, turning her gaze back to Vier.

    "Could it be Caleb? Y-you know, since he likes to draw and paint?" Aleen asked, sounding a bit hopeful. "Maybe he brought his easel with him so he could work properly? That'd explain it, right?"

    Well... it was a possibility?

    But it could also be someone else.

    "That being said, Vier..." Aleen spoke up, raising an eyebrow at her friend. "... You're pretty good at all this nature survivalist stuff, huh?"




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Adelaide
    "Well then, we shall move on I suppose. Do have a great day, unless our knightess here would do us the pleasures of giving us a tour of the establishment?"
    Hawthorne chuckled a little bit, interjecting into the conversation before Liana could answer.

    "Well, unfortunately her presence is required here. Though as guests of this place, I'm sure you'll be able to find your way around well enough. Or, find an employee to help you. There are plenty of eager beavers inside," the man said, finishing off his cigarette. "Besides, I think your butler will gladly help you out, no?"

    Alex, who had been listening without saying anything, flashed a polite smile... though there was a hint of an edge to it. Perhaps she had sensed something in Hawthorne's words, or maybe she had made some deduction based on the cigarette that the man had just finished, but her attitude had changed ever-so-slightly. However, keeping a perfect poker face, she didn't let almost any of it slip, instead of replying with the pleasant, dry voice of the butler she had been portraying so far.

    "Indeed. Guiding milady is my proud duty, so that's what I shall do. Perhaps I shall ask for a few hints from the local employees, though - just to refreshen my memory a bit," Alex said, before switching to a theatre-whisper. "It wouldn't do if milady would think that I was bad at my job, or with directions, now would it?"

    Sierra snorted at that, finding the somewhat shameless and brazen attitude of the butler humorous.

    "Well, with that, I suppose we should be off," Alex said, before offering her arm to Adelaide once more. "Shall we, milady?"

    And so, the duo said their goodbyes and headed towards the main building of the country club. The trio that was left behind, that of Liana, Sierra and Hawthorne (plus Zee) stared at their receding backs, and remained silent for a moment. Hawthorne especially kept a close eye on the two, the blonde girl in particular, slowly chewing on his lip as if mulling over some distracting thoughts that were coming over him. And it was clearly not because he found the girl distracting in that sense... there was something else, something more serious about it.

    "... I've never seen them before," Sierra suddenly said, out of nowhere.

    All eyes were upon the one-eyed girl, and her slightly stern and focused expression.

    "I've lived here all my life and I've never seen them as our quests," she continued, before adding a very final. "--- That's weird."

    Hawthorne sighed, scratching the back of his head. He looked almost like a high school students who had been caught skipping class and slacking off, and who was now being demanded to get back to work.

    "... Figures, huh? Never a dull moment..."

    His eyes turned towards Liana.

    "--- What do you think?"

    Meanwhile, near the entrance of the country club itself, in the shadow of the large building, Alex stopped Adelaide for a moment before the beautifully crafted white doors. It was made out to look like he was making sure she was presentable from their outing before opening the door for her, but instead, the girl took these few moments to lean in towards her friend and speak in a quiet, almost inaudible way.

    "... That man is suspicious, don't you think?" She asked quietly. "Not a typical country club quest - not by a long shot."




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

    Quote Originally Posted by Anna
    “Do you know the girl she’s talking to? I haven’t seen her around before… Which is a feat in itself, considering her dress code.”
    Ramia grimaced slightly.

    "You can say that again... that outfit just screams of 'I'm from the Turnside and have no idea how normal people clothes work'... I swear, some of us still dress in robes only because zippers are too advanced technology," the dusky-skinned mercenary replied quietly, before letting out a dry chuckle. "But nah... never seen her before in my life. Pretty sure she's from India though... and I think I've heard some talk about some Indian visitors in town."

    Ramia leaned against the wall, taking another gander at the room. She let her eyes scan the visitors of the hotel who were enjoying their dinners, stopped for a moment at Minato who hadn't seemingly noticed them yet (The boy was way too into that pudding of his - had he never eaten anything like it? It was just pudding!), and then finally settled onto Alex Terrot and the unknown girl once more. Alex had taken a pause in her questions for the moment, but only because the bespectacled girl seemed to be explaining something that was more complicated this time, talking for a long time and making vague (and graceful) gestures with her hands.

    "Though from what I understood, they had seen a foreign person like that visiting the Spade Queen Country Club... not this place," she continued. "Think they're the same person? And what the hell's Alex interviewing them for?"

    Alex was silent for a moment...

    But then a sigh, a tired sigh, escaped her lips.

    "... Think she's getting herself into trouble? That girl's way too curious and obsessed for her own good..."




    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase (THU)
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Ubon, who had snapped out of her strange reverie of the scenery thanks to John's sudden words stared at the boy... stared at him with no expression at all. An emotionless face that didn't suit her, and was almost like a reflection of his own. Though if his was a face that saw the world as muted and the things in it meaningless, human interaction as a chore that had to be done so that the normality of his life wouldn't break down and make things too complicated in the long run... hers was simply a mask that contained nothing within itself.

    Nothing.

    Void.

    "__"

    Was it a moment of stupor, where her brain hadn't yet caught up to her body? Or was it a momentary lapse in thought, where she didn't know what expression she should show thanks to what had been said?

    It was impossible to know.

    But what eventually replaced it was...

    --- A sheepish laugh, and an awkward smile.

    "Ahahaha... you just had to go and remind me, huh Johnnie? I... I'm really sorry about what happened last night, y'know? For realsies. That was... that wasn't what I wanted to do. It just felt like all sorts of wrong things kept bubbling in me, and I couldn't contain it. It just burst out and I couldn't hold back, and then I went and called you and Prushka all sorts of horrible names, said lotsa horrible things..." Ubon quietly spoke, moving in step with John towards the main building. "... That's how it always happens. I get so scared of things breaking down, of my friends and happiness disappearing that I just loose control and lash out..."

    A slight sniffle escaped her nose, though her face still held that gentle, if a bit brittle, smile.

    "... And then I'm alone again."

    They were almost at the entrance to the main building right now. Just few more steps, ten more steps, and they'd be inside. Then there'd be the matter of retrieving Prushka, and getting to the second floor, and finding this mysterious girl living there and all that entailed.

    Meaning this moment was quickly running out.

    Perhaps that was why Ubon stopped for just a moment, looked John directly in the eyes, and continued.

    "Y'know, Johnnie...? It's not that I want someone to open up to. Or make an effort for my sake. Or make me smile. I mean, t-that's nice, but at the end of the day if I can control myself... I'm just fine. Totes fine. For realsies," she said. "What I want is for people to trust me in the same way... I wanna make effort for someone else's sake. I wanna make them smile. And I want to be someone people can open up to, y'know?"

    The sun was now shining right at her back, framing her against the Pacific Northwest sky.

    "Like you. I know you's got lotsa difficult stuff in your mind, and that you're all sortsa wounded... so I wanna be someone even someone like you can open up to and speak honestly, y'know? Not always be polite, not always think carefully what you say, not always measure your actions... but just talk. That's all," she explained. "And it's the same with Prushie, and Hizzie, and everyone else in this school too..."

    A sigh escaped her lips.

    An actual sigh, not a mere exhalation of breath.

    "I wanna be friends like I used to, long ago. Before I forgot how to. Where it's not just me relying on people... but others relying on me too. For realsies."

  3. #3223
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “It’s not an optical illusion, the floor really is just slanted,” I answered as I shook my head, “It’s easy enough to tell from the direction and return time of the pulses of my radar.”

    I didn’t want to mention how common a slightly sunken floor or a slanted wall was in old houses, and that it was for perfectly normal reasons. Arguing about it would have led to nowhere...and knowing this town, even a completely ordinary phenomenon like this could very well just conceal something secret.

    Instead, I just blinked once, as the cold blue glint appeared in my eye again.

    “For what’s up there…”

    I blinked a few times as my eye scanned the ceiling above, slowly mapping what lied above us from the vague shapes.

    “Just the hallway and the stairs that lead further up. Also a huge room with a fireplace and the painting of...whom I assume to be the owner and his wife.”

    Not too much, in other words, even if the painting looked nice.

    Tearing my eyes away from the painting, my attention shifts towards the floor as I try to gaze through it while taking a few careful steps around the room. There was hardly anything. Even as the boards and the concrete faded slightly, there wasn’t anything below but darkness, which was most certainly the ground.

    That, until my gaze passed to the other half of the room, where...It just seemed different. It wasn’t the clean, thick and pitch black darkness that was just below the other half, but rather, there was a sense of emptiness as the darkness seemed to flow just below the floor. The sign of an empty space, even if it was impossible to make out what exactly was there.

    “Huh…”

    I made a circle around the room, slowly tracking the edges of the emptiness - its rectangular shape and clearly definable size making me even more certain that it was the outlines of another room below.

    “There seems to be a room below, but I can’t exactly make out what’s there.”

    I glanced at the others as I scratched the back of my head.

    “Starts about halfway towards the end of this room...So unless it can only be approached from some tunnel below or something, there should be a trapdoor here.”

    I rested my eyes on Pyry for a few moments as I lamented about this revelation. It was somewhat of an exciting thought, but at the same time...it made me wonder.

    “Unfortunately, I can’t really think of an easy way to find something like that, other than just...well, knocking on the floor, listening for a more hollow sound. Unless…”

    I made another, much quicker circle around the room, eyeing the edges of the shelves along the floor.

    “It doesn’t seem like that the shelves were ever moved, so I think we can at least rule out that it’s hidden under one of them. So it shouldn’t be too hard to find, unless it’s magically hidden…”

    My eyes wandered on to Pyry again as I played with that thought;

    “I suppose if that’s the case then it would be impossible to tell where it is, wouldn’t it?”

    I could probably tell if something is magic if it was pushed into my face, but I was hardly an expert at detecting, or in any way dispelling anything of that sort...especially in this case where it could have been something made specifically to be as well hid as possible.

    “Suppose for now I can get some extra hands and see if we can find something the old fashioned way.”


  4. #3224
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    "You know, like... if this turns out to be real and all that freaky stuff you talk about is actually happening, I'm gonna need, like, the rest of the evening off to nurse a nervous breakdown. With wine and aspirin. Seriously."

    That was what Mercedes said as the group finally got to work, referring to the various supernatural abilities (and deductions born through them) that Hisa had exhibited while they had been in the library. Of course, Pyry had taken it in a stride, simply noting that he was pretty useless when it came to sensing illusions too before he got to work. Though, before he started walking around and knocking on the floor, he did give one of the shelves a bit of a push, to see how hard it would be to move them.

    According to the boy, a regular human would have lot of trouble moving one, and periodically doing so would have left some very obvious markings on the floor.

    Thus the group divided the aisles and areas of the library's slanted half between each other and got to work. Gradient, while she had not really understood what was going on, did seem to eventually realize that they were looking for something beneath the floor, and tackled one of the aisles all by herself. And judging by how she was scooting along on her knees and giving a periodical knock and listening intently, she did understand what the basic idea of their task was. Meanwhile Mercedes had vehemently refused to get in such a position, and had instead went to get an umbrella from the next room over, which she used like a cane to tap on the wooden floor.

    Minutes passed in complete silence, broken only by the rhytmical, periodical knocking echoing from the location where each member of the group was.

    First two minutes.

    Then five.

    Then ten.

    Eventually fifteen.

    At which point the posse finally regrouped around the back wall of the library, everyone silent but thoughtful, and most wearing a frown of sorts. Even Pyry, though he had seemed little confused as to what they were looking for, had been swept up by the sleuth-like investigation, and was now wracking his brain for an answer. An answer that looked to be a bit harder to grasp than initially presumed.

    --- None of the floorboards had revealed a trapdoor underneath it.

    "Well... figures it wouldn't be that easy," Mercedes said, leaning on the large bureau writing desk where the tome for checking out books laid open. "If someone, like, hid a trapdoor in this room they wouldn't want anyone stumbling on it by accident. And people would be, like, walking around the aisles, looking for stuff to read. And in hotel, there's always the danger of puffed up old ladies in high heels. Those would give away the fake floorboard in a second."

    She rubbed her chin a bit, absentmindedly leafing throughe the pages of the book while the stocky piece of furniture creaked in the quiet air of the library.

    "If you ask me, it'd be in a place that's, like, sure to not have anyone accidentally walking over it or whatevah."

    Pyry grunted after hearing that, turning to look at Hisa with his hands on his hips.

    "But that'd leave just the shelves, right? What if the person using the trapdoor was someone like me?" he asked. "If I was careful, I bet I'd be able to move a shelf without damaging the floor noticeably... though the books might fly everywhere even so."

    Gradient, mimicking both Mercedes and Pyry, pursed her lips in concentration and folded her arms across her chest.

    "Foooo~" She wondered.

  5. #3225
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "Hmm..."

    My eyes scanned the room fervently, looking for any sort of possibilities. The solution must have been simpler than we'd think.

    The room below extended further than this one did...So the empty space could have stood for a hidden room behind the library wall. Except that...I already looked there, and it didn't exactly reveal anything. Even if it would have been just ask dark there as it was below, it would have been something similar to that, but it resembled the thick darkness of the ground below instead.

    "I don't think it's the shelves. As you said, they'd be almost impossible to move and it would eventually leave some marks on the floor. Though..."

    My eyes settled on something else in the room instead.

    Of course...

    That could make sense.

    And would pretty much be the last option I could think of as well.

    "What about that table thing?"

    I gestured towards the thing I was looking at with my head as a spark of hope lit up in my eyes once more.

  6. #3226
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast
    [BGM]

    Both Mercedes and Pyry exchanged a much-telling look the moment Hisa pointed one last, and a bit obvious, possibility. The actress stood up from where she had been leaning and took the book where checked-out books were written, handing it over to Hisa for her to read through while the boy got to work. Meanwhile Gradient gazed at what was happening with curiosity, peeking over Hisa's shoulder as the blonde youth took a hold of the rather heavy-looking bureau-style desk.

    "... Man, I wonder..." Pyry muttered as he tightened his grip and lifted.

    For some reason, a look of momentary surprise spread to the boy's face as the desk rose from the ground with ease. In fact, the way it jolted upwards initially indicated that the boy had expected it to weigh quite a bit more, and while it was by no means light, it was still easier to move around than expected. Similarly, as Pyry started to turn to take the desk to the corner, the whole thing turned into an awkward angle and for a moment, it looked like the drawers were about to fall off...

    Except they did not.

    They stayed just where they were, as if they had been locked or glued to the wooden frame, meaning they'd pose no such danger as the group had feared.

    It was almost as if..

    As if... the whole thing was meant to be moved regularly, and had been modified to reflect that.

    "Well. All yours."

    Mercedes folded her arms and nodded towards the space on the floor that had been revealed underneath the table. It was a spot free of dust, and the coloring seemed a bit different when comparing to the rest of the floor, meaning that it must have been quite some time when this desk was last moved. However, it marked the spot well. Very well. Well enough that Hisa could simply walk over to it, kneel down beside it, extended her hand and...

    --- Give it three knocks.

    And the sound that had been dull and wooden elsewhere in the room...

    ... It now sounded hollow, indicating empty space beyond it.

    "... Well well," Mercedes commented, smirk rising to her lips. "A bit of a Nancy Drew after all."

    Pyry chuckled as he set the desk down and headed to where others were.

    "Told you," the boy commented.

    Mercedes snorted and rolled her eyes.

    "So you did, big guy."

  7. #3227
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown


    Elise's momentum carried her through the door unexpectedly as it suddenly allowed for her passage, avoiding the certain doom that her kick would have delivered to it. She tumbled along, down a flight of stairs, as she desperately sought to regain her balance, and not crash face first onto the floor. She blinked as she regained her footing, taking in the scenery around her.

    This-this is not what I was expecting to be on the other side of the door.

    She scanned the room... more than a room, it was a whole bar. It was a whole damn bar. With a fish tank. A huge fish tank that filled the entire wall.

    This-this can't be on the other side of the door, can it? I mean, it seems like a terrible location for a bar, for one thing, never mind that it's way bigger than that room could possibly be, thought Elise as she looked up the stairs behind her at the ultraviolet door where she came from, Seriously, what colour is that even? Mysterious colour I have never seen before, I dub thee, indoorgo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "Oh. My."
    Elise heard a voice and her attention suddenly snapped to the woman behind the bar. While the bartender seemed unperturbed by Elise's sudden entrance, it only served to make Elise feel much more self-conscious that she'd just stumbled down a flight of stairs, into the bar with a duffel bag slung over her shoulder.

    "Uh, hello!"

    This is hardly the first time I've been in a bar... just, I've never been to one quite so fancy and high class... or-or without adult supervision.

    I feel like I should be wearing flashier clothes here... although it's not like I was expecting to end up in a high class bar this evening. I was planning on exploring abandoned places, finding skeletons, and then burying them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "Welcome to Bar Noumenon, dear customer. Please. Have a seat, sit down, and relax. Now, what would you like to drink? Our collection is vast and my skills are extensive."
    "Ah, thank you!"

    Elise apprehensively approached the bar, clutching the strap of her duffel bag as she did so, and took a seat in one of the inviting chairs.

    "Noumenon, eh?" said Elise as she considered the name of the establishment, "Heh, I guess everything becomes noumenon if you drink enough, right?"

    "Uhm, seriously though, I have to admit that I'm a little lost right now. I wasn't, uhm, expecting to end up somewhere like this when I tried to go through that door. So, I'm not exactly sure where Bar Noumenon is."

    Elise noticed that something was missing.

    Or rather, someone.

    She spared a quick glance back to the door, noting the complete absence of one Souma Nubata.

    Unless he somehow snuck in here behind me, and is hiding somewhere, which seems unlikely, but I can't rule out that possibility with Souma, thought Elise. Still, it doesn't seem like he followed me through the door… but it also didn't open for him when he tried the door, did it? He could've been trying to prank me, or maybe the door just wouldn't let him pass through it? A place like this could be discerning about its clientele. I wonder what happened from his perspective?

    "Still, it was a pleasant surprise. This place is a lot nicer than I what I was expecting to find on the other side of that door."

  8. #3228
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast


    I scowled lightly at the leering gaze of the doctor, her remarks digging up memories that were best suited to being buried in a chained box at the bottom of the ocean.

    But, it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already gathered, guessed or hypothesized.

    Still, always nice to have a second opinion.

    So, with those remarks in tow, and 17 once more attached firmly to my leg like some sort of barnicle, we pressed on into the house.

    If I was to later describe the domicile, many of my descriptors would be distinctly psychedelic in nature.

    Plants free from their planters and freed to dig their roots through the windowsill where they were placed, a certain television show I distantly remembered yet could not recall played in the background, the details of the setting or characters lingering in half-forgotten memory.

    Their eyes lingered on us as we passed, the accompanying silence heavy and unnatural.

    Everything about this place was off.

    It made my teeth itch.

    Also, there was another rodent doing a decidedly unrodentlike activity, in this case, a squirrel lounged in a hammock strung up among the curtains.

    I shuffled along after her, my hackles raising.

    This doctor, if it was one, was a commendable effort to being a human being, checked all the boxes, could easily pass as just a local weirdo.

    But everything about this is rehearsed, like a parrot, just spitting out answers onto a paper like it’s a standardized test.

    Was it a threat?

    Did I need to prepare to defend myself?

    Not human…

    I breathed in and out, long, calming breaths.

    Changeling? Shapeshifter Spirit of some sort?

    Fae?

    How specific, I thought to myself.

    So, details…

    Tiny horses, cartoons that watch us, ferrets and squirrels (familiars?), my old paranoia scratched at the dark edges of my mind.

    I kept 17 close, nodding at Kean seriously, mouthing ‘not human’ at him.

    Whatever she was, she wasn’t human, but was acting as such, which already made me suspicious.

    But she has not given me reason to distrust her, just as there is no reason to trust, either.

    Barring, of course, the word of a friend.



    And that did not fill me with near enough certainty.

    “You seem to have a lot of lodgers here in your home, doctor. Squirrel in the curtains, ferret in the car, and, if my ears did not deceive me, a good number of horses? Small ones, at that, judging by the tracks in your yard.”

    So, reigning in my impulses, I would instead seek what all my forebears sought.

    Knowledge.

    And, taking lessons from my teachers on the properties of fairy rings, I took a number of very deliberate steps around the circle.

    So, another point in that favor.

    Could also be a wild coincidence!

    Maybe!

  9. #3229
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    "What comes now it to see what's down there, right?"

    I looked up at the other two with a smirk, the discovery of the trapdoor making me momentarily forget about the contents of that book as well.

    It could wait until later, and what was in there I had already memorized.

    I knocked on the trapdoor a few more times, and tried fitting my hand around the edges, but it seemed stuck, and...

    "Mind giving a hand here?" I looked up at Pyry expectantly, "Don't think I could make it budge."

    As Pyry forced it open, I could immediately feel the stuffy, dusty air flowing out from below, tickling my nose and making me cough a few times before I got somewhat used to the smell.

    I glanced up, then back down the hatch, thinking about the next step.

    "I guess someone should stay up here in case Rachel comes down. Which also means that...Pyry, could you put the table on the door's side, so that she can't spot the trapdoor if she arrives before we're done there?"

    Reaching into my backpack, I pulled out a flashlight and turned it on and off to see if it worked.

    "There shouldn't be anything down there that would take more then a few minutes to check out, but just in case."

    Sitting down at the edge of the hatch, I let my legs hang in the air for a few moments, before reaching out towards a step of the ladder...

  10. #3230
    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


    ---In the end, she watches them go without making too much of a fuss.

    There were a number of questionable elements about the butler and his lady even before Sierra brings it up herself, the fact that the young one didn't recall seeing them before wasn't too surprising, there were times when being too inconspicuous was just as bad as being blatantly out-of-place, and there were a number of details about the duo that the dark-haired girl simply finds...

    Off.

    The name Adelaide Cheshire itself being one of them, but well...

    Best not to delve too deeply into that rabbit hole just yet.

    Not until it forces her hand at least, still...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawthorne
    "--- What do you think?"
    While she does have her suspicions on this 'Adelaide,' such things are not decisive proof, and the girl herself had brought up strange thoughts, so...

    For now, just things she has more faith in...

    It's not much admittedly, the butler was annoyingly difficult to read...

    This in itself makes him that much more suspicious, when your brain tells you something is off, well...

    Something is off.

    People were her specialty, after all...

    "...Well, the butler certainly seems like a butler," closing her eyes, the young woman sighs aloud to herself as she gives her own opinion on the matter, as if she too was being forced a bit closer to 'work' than perhaps she would have liked, "The mannerisms were all correct, definitely has some form of experience with it."

    She turns to Hawthorne at this, and after a moment's thought closes one eye in a wink, and-

    "Seemed to think you were a suspicious person too, focused on you a lot there near the end... Of course, I guess you are a pretty suspicious person naturally, so that much isn't too surprising..."

    -tells the more humorous, blunt truth.

    "Might be based around you smoking, they brought it up a few times. Terrible habit by the way."

    She cracks a small smile, then:

    "Overall, I guess I'd say they seem pretty harmless? Might just be trying to see what the inside of the Club is like... Which is something I'm curious about too, admittedly. What do you think?"

    As for Zee, well...

    The cat continues to purr, perhaps sensing the sudden tension in the scene and wishing to reverse it?

    Well...

    There are limitations to even a cat's efforts, perhaps...
    Last edited by Airen; September 22nd, 2020 at 07:25 PM.
    Spoiler:
    Death is nothing but a disease.
    But it is one that often comes from all sides.
    An end like that is coming, and yet here you are.

    Tell me.

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


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


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

    Will they be able to show it to me?



  11. #3231
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown

    The bartender smiled gracefully as Elise took a seat and started talking, her questions flying out of her mouth in a bit of a hurried fashion. In an odd mirror image of that, the older (?) woman was as calm as they came, a very model of a bartender of a high-class location such as this. She bent down somewhat, reaching for under the counter, a produced a small plastic box. When she placed it on the table and opened it, there seemed to be a sheet of ice within it - one that was slight different color than normal ice. Nimbly she fished the thing out and placed it into the sink. The liquid beneath the ice (was that dark rum?) was partially poured into thed deep cocktail glass.

    "As I mentioned, we are a hypostatic bar. That would be relating to hypostasis, of course. In the philosophical sense, of course. What that means, well... Master prefers to leave it up to each individual to decide that for themselves. It adds to the mystery, or so Master says," the woman answered, adding some mint-leaves to the glass and slightly muddling them. "Still, I am Philoclea, and I shall be your bartender for this moment in untime. And as the bartender of this establishment, I am glad to hear that you consider it a 'pleasant surprise'."

    A wryly amused smile on her face, the woman named Philoclea then picked up three bottles from the shelf behind her, and laid them out to the table in a fashionable row. The first one seemed to be Aperol, the second one agave syrup, and last one orange bitters. Once the ingredients had been assembled, she began to gracefully combine them into the glass with the rum, working professionally and without any sign of hesitation.

    "That being said, it is no wonder that you are a bit lost. This meeting with you, dear customer, seems to be, ah... something of an anomaly. See, usually in situations such as where you are, it would be up to our establishment to see to your needs and take care of your spiritual and emotional growth. However, we have been supplanted by another noumenon and thus, have been relegated to a simple drinking establishment," Philoclea explained with that soothing voice of hers. "As such, Diegesis and Mimesis have been treating this as something of an... ah, vacation. Not that I blame them, I would not say no to a vacation myself, but alas, that is not in my contract. As such, I am here, to serve and tend to your needs... what little I can, as things stand."

    Having finished most of the cocktail, Philoclea added a hint of ice and garnished the whole thing with another mint leaf and a dehydrated citrus wheel. On top of the whole thing she added few dashes of Angostura bitters, and then, once the enticing drink was done, lifted it up and presented it towards Elise, letting the drink's ethereal colour shine in the neon magenta lights. At some point, a coaster had appeared before Elise, and Philoclea put the drink down on that, bowing her head slightly to her direction.

    "A mint julep, using rum washed with coconut oil. Please enjoy."

    With a hint of smile, the bartender then leaned back and started setting the ingredients she had used back onto the shelves.

    "In addition, if you are worried of the young man with you - please do not be. We are in untime, and though you can remain here for only one drink at a time, time stands still for you in the outside. We are a noumenon after all," Philoclea added amusedly. "As things are, we are something that has no bearing whatsoever to what you are experiencing out there. In a sense, we are simply a... well, place to enjoy a single drink every once in a while?"



    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast

    Downstairs, on the other side of the garage Tetris, was perhaps the most bizarre thing of all in the whole house.

    It was a clinic.

    An actual, honest to god clinic, made as an environment to be used to treat patients. With modern equipment, modern medicine, and only few signs of anything from the Turnside. And even those signs were in form of what normal people would have understood as "folk remedies". If one hadn't seen the house upstairs, it would have been easy to mistake this place as a home clinic of a proper, hard-working human doctor with nothing suspicious about them.

    Of course, Elaine and Kean had no such luxury.

    Instead they were face to face with the oddly inhuman doctor who leered at them from her seat, on other side of the hospital bed.

    "Well, you humans are not the only ones who are in need of medicine, are you? Those that have no place to return immediately are free to recuperate here for a while, though of course that increases the price of the services rendered. Indeed, I have a sneaking suspicion that the ferret in question has realized he will not be able to hunt enough to pay me, hence why he has simply extended his stay to avoid it... and racking up even higher bill as a result," Dorothy explained with a strange smile. "Luckily the squirrel has already revealed to me several caches he has hidden in the forest as a downpayment - he has still few weeks of rest ahead of him. As for my, hum, equine visitors... well they have their own ways. I trust them to pay when the time comes. For if they don't..."

    The doctor let out a cheerful giggle, one that made Kean turn a bit pale in the face.

    It was hard to know if she was being serious or not, threatening or not, because when you dealt with nonhumans...

    ... All the cards were off the table.

    "Which brings me to my next point. Your little bundle of maladies here. I assume you two will be paying for her treatment?" Dorothy's eyes jumped from 17 to Kean to Elaine in rapid succession. "Considering you are humans... well, I presume the payment will be in money? That's what your kind always feels as the most important thing, is it not? Bit of a shame, I liked when you lot were exchanging squirrel-skins for goods. Made for a couple of good winter coats."

    An aloof smile rose to the woman's face as she reminisced of those disturbing times.

    "So? How much of the presidential pictures do you have with you now?"




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel - Library
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    The climb down the cold, clammy ladder was a short one.

    Almost as soon as it had started, Hisa could feel the concrete floor beneath her feet, and she stepped down into the room. The dusty, stagnant air around her felt heavy like a cloak upon her shoulders, and pressed down on her nose and lungs in an uncomfortable way. The air in the room had been stale for a long, long time and only now did some fresh one breeze in, thanks to the trapdoor that was open. As Hisa glanced above, she could see the large form of Pyry descending the steps as well, though the boy's feet hit the floor even earlier than hers did. Mercedes stayed above, apparently content with being a lookout for both them and Rachel, just in case. She could, of course, join in later if the need be.

    With a click, Hisa's flashlight turned on, and a beam of light descended upon the small room. Both her and Pyry saw the flakes of dust dancing in the air, moved by the air currents that came from their own movement. Strangely enough, the light bounced off of few places, creating a momentary eerie visual spectacle... until one realized it came from a mirror to the right. Cracked, small mirror that seemed to be above an old sink of some sort. Then, straight ahead, the beam of light revealed a sturdy table of some sort, with what looked to be a typewriter on the top, and to the left...

    ... Was that a bed?

    "What the hell...?" Pyry muttered, as he advanced into the room past Hisa, being careful where he stepped. "Why is there a... bed here...?"

    It was a good question.

    A very good question.

    Hisa could see the boy's cat-like eyes shine in the dark, reflecting the glow from her flashlight as he made his way to the other side of the small room. There his hand eventually met an old-looking light switch, and after carefully inspecting it for anything hazardous (and fumbling a bit as to how to turn it on), Pyry let out a satisfied grunted and turned the switch.

    Dp-brrr....

    An old, old electric lamp whirred on, it's low buzz filling the room.

    And in that yellowed out, dusty light...

    --- The duo could see properly where they were.

    And the message on paper that had been left on the wall above the bed.



    I refuse to be your mad dog anymore.

    I'm breaking out of your leash.

    I didn't exchange one chain to another.

    I'm choosing my freedom.

    You wanted an attack dog...

    But I'm a wolf you let among your sheep.

    --- Снег.
    Last edited by Verg Avesta; September 22nd, 2020 at 08:02 PM.

  12. #3232
    el bolb Bloble's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Faculty Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    As the two women exchange glances and begin talking, the atmosphere of the room changes. Ms. Costa retreats to brew coffee, Ms. Leuzinger talks, and then they seamlessly switch as her story comes to its conclusion and Costa returns to take over.

    Huh, when did those cookies get there? I hadn't noticed at all. Didn't notice my nose finally calming down either.

    "So your PhD was on stress and isolation, Ms. Costa..." That's not what I'd expected. She always seemed like a tease, but she's actually a researcher? Maybe it really is an act she puts on. Or perhaps its just revenge on some stuffy old university professors. "It's no wonder Mr. Oceandrop scouted you. That's a perfect fit for the program."

    I think on all the names and places they mentioned, as I much on a cookie-. "Mm, so good! Thanks! Did you make these yourself-?"

    Prushka, what are you doing? This is unseemly.

    "Ah, I mean, um," I clear my throat of delicious sugary goodness. "If you wanna p-publish a paper on us, Ms. Costa, I'll consider these worthy compensation for signing any consent forms."

    Crunch, crunch. The chocolate melts in my mouth as I turn my attention to Ms. Leuzinger's story.

    "...gulp."

    Sometimes sweetness is too much. Sometimes the jam in those cookies looks like something else.

    "Rwanda... you don't mean earlier this year? But there wasn't any sanctioned intervention... unless."

    I've heard of it. Of course I've heard of it. It was the talk of the offices. I couldn't have ignored it even if I'd wanted to. At the time, those atrocities felt like confirmation that society was truly beyond saving. But even more than that, the list of places she was talking about is familiar.

    "...no way. Ms. Leuzinger, were you that vigilante medic? The one that went where the UN wouldn't?"

    That's ridiculous. It was just a silly story, something you'd send a kid in a letter. Even he wasn't sure whether it was true. A single soldier can't change the course of the war, a single person can't avert an atrocity, so of course a single medic can't save a million people. To walk into that hell without the backing of a country is impossible. So obviously no one would try, because humans aren't so insane, right?

    But Ms. Leuzinger clearly was. And what's more, she came here afterwards. Somewhere the battlefield shouldn't be able to reach. Even though it never really works like that. The memories you most want to forget are the ones that stay with you. And the memories of something like that must be heavy indeed.

    "..."

    Pat, pat.

    Can't reach the shoulder, so the elbow will have to do.

    "Wahaha! That's a relief! And here I was worried Road's End would be too far from civilization to do risky things like look for Bigfoot at night or explore abandoned old buildings! But if we've got a nurse like you here, that's basically permission to get into as many accidents as we want, right?"

    Cheer up, okay, Ms. Leuzinger? You're an adult, and adults love scolding irresponsible brats, right?

    "Oh, these are really, really - achoo! - good."

    They really are. I shouldn't eat too many. They're probably meant for all the students.

    "Still, to get two amazing people like you on staff, Mr. Oceandrop must be a heck of a guy. But if he was around for Operation Atilla twenty years ago... was he in the army something? A part of the UN's forces? He definitely looks like a captain or a colonel, but I don't see the link between that and opening a school for troubled kids in a small town... I mean, he hasn't even made anyone run up the mountain while carrying their own body weight in sand yet. Or is that saved for detention?"
    Last edited by Bloble; September 22nd, 2020 at 11:05 PM.

  13. #3233
    地獄待ち Spinach's Avatar
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    Colt Davin
    Location: Road's End - Das Thulewerk
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    As a matter of course, Colt’s eyes went right to the rifle. His brain saw a weapon, but in his heart he saw only art. Tracing its shining form with his gaze took time, seconds that his mouth hung agape in obvious desire. Desire that was defeating common sense.

    He had no practical use for that kind of weapon. Certainly, he could imagine it taking care of his mosquito problem, but he couldn’t imagine himself doing it. That was a weapon beyond the handling of a normal person.

    Another weapon well beyond him was mounted on the wall. Yet just looking at it he felt like his muscles were swelling up, getting stronger just so that they could take that beast to the frontlines where it deserved to be. Frontlines of what? He furrowed his brows, glanced at his arms. They weren’t any bigger, and there was no army for him to stand alone against.

    With infinite lamentation Colt Davin peeled his eyes away from Das Rheingold and Die Walküre.

    Taking his heart and shoving it into a little box called rational decision making, Colt turned to the more practical options.

    They all had otherworldly details that deviated from this plane of reality, but underneath that recognizable shapes were still there. Even going all-in on the Turnside, it seemed that the general form of certain things stayed the same, at least among guns.

    The assault rifle, Tannhäuser. One part the perfect choice for Colt, one part extremely difficult to see himself using well. The boy appreciated any protection that he could get his hands on, but thinking about it, if there were things out there like Tris… would he even be able to block a single attack with it?

    Then the handgun, Salome. Had he not been in possession of his own pistol, he might call it a no-brainer to simply go for the small arm. But there was no need for two of such weapon. At least, not yet.

    He turned to the shotgun, Die Zauberflöte. It had promise. It was strong, flexible, intuitive. Simplicity and complexity met with a beautiful handshake within this weapon. The more he thought on it, the more he felt it was right for his needs.

    But there was still one more thing…

    "Well...? What do you think?"

    “I think you’re a genius.” That answer came without hesitation. It wasn’t just flattery or an attempt to butter her up, no, because what followed just as swiftly, with just as little hesitation he turned to Frauke and continued. “And also a bit of a maniac.”

    He smiled, then pointed toward the shotgun.

    “Die Zauberflöte, you called it? I want to say it’s perfect. And well within my budget. Can I check the ammo?”

    Then Colt turned to the last gun. It was plain, especially in comparison to the rest of Frauke’s creations. A seven shot cylinder and a spiraling barrel…

    “What’s the story with this one, by the way?” He pointed with his chin at the revolver. The gun was all on its own, in a special armored case separate from the rest. “Why the special treatment?”


  14. #3234
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    …what is he, John Dove, supposed to do here? He is the least qualified person in the world to give advice, encouragement, or emotional support. Why cannot he have challenges that are more manageable? Like, dunno, elucidating the lexicological patterns in the Enûma Eliš? Or perhaps optimize the theoretical performance of a ritual of ceremonial magic? He can make sense of those things.

    Instead, he has to deal with a girl who wants to be relied on. What the hell.

    “Ha…” This time, he does sigh. Not at Ubon, but at his own incompetence. The fact remains that Ubon’s feelings are of no relevance to him, but a depressed Ubon is and will remain a liability, maybe even a potential obstacle on the days to come. Even worse, a depressed Ubon who hides her issues behind her zany veneer. Therefore, his analytical mind concludes that he has to do something, and therein lies the problem: she is bothered by the John Dove who plans every single one of his words and actions, but a different John Dove does not exist.

    If you want to be relied on, then become a reliable person.

    He could say that, but that would be 1) Stating the fucking obvious, and 2) Not in any way helpful in the current circumstances. Any words he says will mean nothing to her, for she knows they are a calculated response. Normally, when the truth of his lack of “authentic” personality comes out, it means the end of his association with that person, at least outside of the small circle of caretakers and foster family. However, he cannot do that here. For good or ill, he and the rest of Pinefall’s first class are entangled in this supernatural mess, and they all have to make it out, together.

    Therefore, he has to do something. Ubon needs not his vacuous words. She wants actions.

    “…this is probably—no, this is definitely a mistake,” he mutters to himself while rubbing his temples; one last instance of self-deprecation before throwing himself, and perhaps Ubon, into the depths of hell.

    “If you want me to rely on you, then I will do so,” he declares without trace of doubt or regret. “There is something I intend to do tonight, and I can admit I have a greater chance of success with your aid.”

    This offer is insensitive, and maybe even cruel, but admittedly convenient. Even if it does not feel the correct choice, it remains nonetheless a very John Dove one.

    “So, would you go out with me later?”
    Last edited by Daneel Rush; September 26th, 2020 at 10:29 AM.

  15. #3235
    S U P R E M E Mormarth's Avatar
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    Elaine Winters
    Location: Canseliet Clinic - Inside
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THURS)
    Weather: Overcast


    Well, it was certainly an ordinary seeming clinic, which really just made it even weirder than the rest of the house.

    Being such a shady weirdo with a house full of crazy things sort of off-sets the reality normality of such a sterile environment and just makes me even more on edge, you know?

    Not to mention all the scary places my brain goes to when you decidedly do not mention what happens to people who don't pay you, you scary acting inhuman person!

    Still, I reached for my wallet obligingly, grimacing lightly at the already emaciated state of a wallet that had never been particularly well-fed.

    Such was the hobo life.

    "Well, I've two native killers," I began, brandishing the pair of Jacksons, "Pair of dueling bankers," Two Hamiltons, and, "One of Booth's last audience."

    A sole Lincoln.

    $65.

    Barely enough for anything real in this country.

    A shoulder twitched, my jaw clenched shut over an attempt to barter with some of my skills.

    As much as I didn't like to ask for help, and would willingly burn myself over making anyone else do it-

    I liked being beholden to something inhuman even less, much less a spirit or fae being.

    That way lies madness.

    Explore other opportunities first.

  16. #3236
    吸血鬼 Vampire Cheetose's Avatar
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    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    “Someone lived here, obviously,” I answered the rhetorical question as I clicked off the flashlight and started reading the message on the wall, “Someone who would have been unwise to be sheltered upstairs, by the looks.”

    The message didn’t give all that much away, but it at least gave me a suspicion.

    Similar was the room, as it was painfully plain and lacked any sort of biological traces that could have given something away. Just a bed, a desk, and a shelf above the sink...Truly, it was almost like a prison cell.

    “Let’s check everything quickly. Shouldn’t take long, but I want to be back up before Rachel arrives.”

    Of course, I had a feeling that Rachel had nothing to do with it, she probably didn’t even know about it, but if she was to mention this to her uncle…

    Going in order, we checked the sink and the shelf above it first - finding nothing noteworthy. Not behind the mirror, not in the drawers, but it was somewhat to be expected. It likely didn’t contain anything important even when there was still someone living here.

    The only thing in the drawers was the dull razor that just confirmed my assumption that it was a man, and someone who probably liked to keep their beard in check.

    Stepping over to the desk, I quickly checked the mirror there as well, then picked the handset of the phone up to listen into it, but...The line seemed to be completely dead, and there was nothing behind this mirror either.

    The drawers of the desk, finally, seemed to have contained something more intriguing. One was full of writing utensils and notes of sorts, mostly what seemed to be drafts for some sort of a journal or a book, but...most of them were about creatures of folklore.

    The other drawer, even though it looked like it was packed to the brim at some point, now only contained a single photo. A photo of a person I could not really put anywhere, and yet, it felt familiar for some reason…

    Spoiler:

    ”Doesn’t she remind you of Colt?” I showed the picture to Pyry, “Hope I’m wrong, though. I don’t want to imagine why someone who lived here would have a photo of someone related to him.”

    After eyeing the photo for a few more moments, my attention turns to the suitcase on the desk. Once Pyry broke it open, its contents revealed to be documents, a whole bunch of notes apparently organized into files.

    With a frown, I start reading, but the more I flipped through, the darker my expression became.

    “Now I certainly don’t even want to think about how Colt is involved in this.”

    Indeed, just a few moments before, this person could still have been someone far more innocent, but now…

    “These are...pretty thorough activity logs about the McLampet siblings and who I assume to be their spouses.”

    Lifting one file in question, Pyry can clearly see the photo of a blue haired, red eyed woman followed by a long list of various activities, day from day, for weeks, probably even a month or more…

    “Specifically highlighting the timeframes when they seem to be alone.”

    Skimming through the files, it seemed that they were clearly just about the McLampets, and as I lifted what seemed to be the last file…

    A single piece of paper remained, one that was written by hand, but still had a photo attached to it, just like the others.
    Spoiler:

    Reading its contents, it clicks now.

    <Just like the Mitchells>

    “This guy was a hired assassin,” I glanced up at Pyry, still frowning, “He killed at least the two McLampets...The Mitchells, and likely so many others…”

    <I’ll kill them both>

    “He must be the thing Ru and his sister ran into. Now he is in the sewers, waiting for his time to strike...probably even more dangerous, since he is now a wild dog looking for vengeance.”

    I’ll have to at least warn Vier before something happens.

    “Still, this makes me think…”

    I rubbed my chin while absentmindedly flipping through the files again;

    “This James Halloway, Rachel’s uncle might be the true perpetrator behind this.”

    Last edited by Cheetose; September 24th, 2020 at 11:43 AM.

  17. #3237
    Konkon Kitsune~ Kuroyuki's Avatar
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    Vier Wolff
    Location: Ghostwood National Forest
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast


    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "Hmm... no idea really? I-I mean, this is my first time here. A-and even if I was from around here, it's not like I would know how often people visit a place like this. But it's an overlook, isn't it? Best view of the town? Is it really that strange for someone to visit?"
    I thought over what Aleen said and she has a point. It would be normal for someone to visit the overlook and just look at the view. In fact, if I was here for normal reasons, I probably would’ve enjoyed a quick morning hike to see the sunrise from this place.

    “Normally I would say no, but most overlooks aren’t reached via undeveloped animal paths. So I might be a little wary of meeting anyone pulling a heavy weight into a forest… That’s practically the start of a horror story right there.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "... Huh. The best view, a taller male, carrying something heavy and big… Could it be Caleb? Y-you know, since he likes to draw and paint? Maybe he brought his easel with him so he could work properly? That'd explain it, right?"
    “That… would make sense, he would like things like that. Guess I need to lay off of the horror a little..."

    Actually until we see whatever is ahead of us, I shouldn’t relax. Schrodinger's Cat is in effect until the proof is in front of me… Granted, it wasn’t too difficult to manipulate someone into seeing something else. I would know that because I used to do it frequently due to my line of work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleen
    "That being said, Vier... You're pretty good at all this nature survivalist stuff, huh?"
    “Yeah I guess I am. Kind of had to though. Not being good at this kind of thing meant not eating for the day at best or potentially dying at the worst.”

    I said it matter of factly since that was the truth. I didn’t exactly want to elaborate on how I got these skills because it was definitely not for the typical reasons why. While I’ve used these skills for tracking, surviving, and hunting like a normal person more recently. Originally, I was trained to use these skills on hiding my presence, navigating to the objective, and evasion of enemies after being spotted. If possible, I didn’t want to reveal to people about that part of my life… Because who would stay next to someone like me knowing everything I’ve done?

    “It’s part of the reason why being here isn’t so bad for me. As much hot food as I want, I don’t need to keep myself constantly alert, and I get to talk to people again.”

  18. #3238
    Lost in the Elizabeths Verg Avesta's Avatar
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    Prushka
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building - Faculty Office
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Ronja Leuzinger's frown, the one she directed straight at Prushka, was enough to make even Suzana flinch as she was pouring coffee for all three of them. It was one part admonishing mother, one part admonishing teacher, and a whole lot of doctor who is not in a joking mood.

    "Miss Prushka. My skills are not an invitation to get yourself hurt. In fact I can promise you that you'll soon regret it if you get careless and hurt yourself just because I know a thing or two about patching up people," Miss Leuzinger warned with a stern voice. "Even normal carelessness is something I can't tolerate, but one stemming from stupidity will really make my blood boil."

    Those eyes narrowed dangerously.

    "And you really don't want that."

    Suzana, who had been listening from the sidelines, let out slightly nervous laugh and walked over to the two. She set two cups of coffee on the table, along with a bowl of sugar, milk and some cream. Then she got her own cup and sat down on a nearby chair. The tasty smell of coffee danced in the air, and it was clear that this was not ordinary, store-bought quality. The vibrance of the fragrance and the deep, chocolate-like colour of the liquid were enough to indicate that most likely, this was some sort of special blend... perhaps something specifically prepared by the blue-haired teacher. She seemed like the type who took her coffee seriously.

    "W-well, jokes aside..." Suzana started, trying to push past the awkward topic. "Mr. Oceandrop, huh? Well... honestly, even we don't know too much about him. He's a man of many mysteries, after all. All I know is that he's apparently friends with one of the local movers and shakers around here - James Halloway, that is. They're close enough that the latter refers to Oceandrop as 'Daniel'... though heck if I know if that's his real name. These billionaire-types, I swear."

    Ronja nodded, taking a sip of her own coffee.

    "Well, I know him from here and there. It wasn't the first time we had met, back in Cyprus. I think he has a military background, extensive one at that, but his time in the US armed forces made him reconsider his choices and what he had accomplished in his life. If I had to guess, that's partially what led him to here. Though I can't say I'm surprised," the nurse explained calmly. "He's a Vietnam veteran. Served in the 60's, from what I understand. That leaves a mark in a man, one that he'll carry for the rest of his life."

    A humourless smile spread across Leuzinger's face.

    "One strong enough that he'll drop everything and risk his life just to help a single war orphan... just like he did in Cyprus."

    In that voice, there was a deep sense of respect and loyalty towards the man known as Oceandrop.




    John Dove
    Location: Pinefall High Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase (THU)
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by John
    “If you want me to rely on you, then I will do so. There is something I intend to do tonight, and I can admit I have a greater chance of success with your aid. So, would you go out with me later?”
    "F-fwueh!?"

    It was quite the sound.

    Like the call of a paradise bird mixed in with a swallowed whistle, only backwards.

    In a sense, a very Ubon-like sound.

    However, what wasn't normal for the girl was the fact that her face went red, so red it was the shade of tomato, in one second flat. The colour spread from her cheeks all the way across her face, and now she stood there, staring at John in a dumbfounded way, like a Stop-sign with a mop of cyan hair. It was almost as if whatever operating system that Ubon used had stopped working, and instead she now had to reboot herself after the sudden question. A reboot that took quite a few seconds from the looks of it. Though it was understandable. She was also trying to process the information given to her at the same time.

    Though, well...

    There was a distinct sense of misunderstanding in the air.

    A very teenager-like misunderstanding!

    "O-oh, u-uhm, w-well..."

    Ubon stammered, trying to form a coherent response and failing miserably. Instead she was left fidgeting her fingers and shuffling her feet, swaying from one side to another like she was about to topple over in the light breeze that blew through the schoolyard.

    The awkward moment grew longer and longer.

    The girl grew redder and redder.

    And just when it started to be the time for John Dove to say something, anything to break the silence...

    ".............. sure."

    Ubon squeaked that out, before turning around on her heels and hurrying into the main building.




    Hisa Momoi
    Location: Owl's Nest Hotel
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Overcast

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisa
    “Still, this makes me think… This James Halloway, Rachel’s uncle might be the true perpetrator behind this.”
    Pyry's eyes widened slightly.

    "Like... you mean that if whoever lived here was a hired assassin, then James Halloway, the guy who owns this place, was the one who made him kill the McLampet siblings?" the blonde youth asked, sounding a bit shocked. "That's... damn. If that's true, then the guy took out a whole family, and probably... yeah, that probably means he killed the McLampet family head too, right? That's cold... cold as ice."

    What had been found in the room had clearly disturbed the boy a bit. While he himself was no stranger to fights, and the Turnside was a merciless place at times, this sort of thing... it always felt different. Specifically using someone to kill people at their behalf, and keeping them in a room like this that was pretty much just a prison... it told a lot about the person who was truly behind this.

    A dark tale of a cold human being, willing to do anything.

    "... Like, that's a recent picture of her, yeah?"

    Mercedes sudden voice caught both Hisa and Pyry a little off guard. They had been so focused on the room that they hadn't even heard the actress come down. Now she was peering at the papers over Hisa's shoulders, and a rather focused frown adorned her face. From the looks of it, those grey cells of hers were hard at work once more, analyzing everything she saw.

    "Meanwhile, the eldest McLampet sibling was last seen... 1971, right? So, like, if that's a pic of Vier Wolff from around the 90's..." Mercedes continued, glancing at the bed and grimacing slightly. "... at least, like, twenty years spent in this little prison cell. Gawd... talk about bad taste."

    It was a sobering thought.

    It was clear that this place had been lived in, once upon a time.

    But to spend 20 years in a hole like this?

    No wonder the author of the note on the wall sounded so unhinged.

    "Though..."

    Again, Mercedes's voice broke the silence.

    "... Why, like, write the note of absence by hand, and rest of this stuff with a typerwriter? Guess it'd be easy enough to check if the handwritten notes, like, match in handwriting, but the rest of the stuff..." A dry smirk appeared on her face. "That's, duh, obviously impossible."

    Pyry frowned a bit, confused.

    "What do you mean?"

    The starlet stayed silent for a while, then shook her head.

    "Nah, nothing. Maybe I'm just, like, seeing patterns where there's none."

  19. #3239
    Elise Pelltier
    Location: Hypostatic Bar "Noumenon"
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994 (THU)
    Weather: Unknown


    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "As I mentioned, we are a hypostatic bar. That would be relating to hypostasis, of course. In the philosophical sense, of course. What that means, well... Master prefers to leave it up to each individual to decide that for themselves. It adds to the mystery, or so Master says. Still, I am Philoclea, and I shall be your bartender for this moment in untime. And as the bartender of this establishment, I am glad to hear that you consider it a 'pleasant surprise'."
    "Philoclea? Nice to meet you, I'm Elise!"

    A hypostatic bar in untime? What have I stumbled into?

    Elise watched as Philoclea set about with a professional grace to collect the ingredients and begin mixing her a drink. Unsure what to expect, Elise was fascinated by the whole process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "That being said, it is no wonder that you are a bit lost. This meeting with you, dear customer, seems to be, ah... something of an anomaly. See, usually in situations such as where you are, it would be up to our establishment to see to your needs and take care of your spiritual and emotional growth. However, we have been supplanted by another noumenon and thus, have been relegated to a simple drinking establishment. As such, Diegesis and Mimesis have been treating this as something of an... ah, vacation. Not that I blame them, I would not say no to a vacation myself, but alas, that is not in my contract. As such, I am here, to serve and tend to your needs... what little I can, as things stand."
    "Supplanted by another noumenon? Is that related to our... situation outside? I seem to reliving the last week of my life."

    Elise frowned to herself as she considered her last sentence, I do not appreciate the double meaning of that statement.

    "It seems a little bit unfair that Diegesis and Mimesis get a bit of a vacation while you don't," Elise paused as she considered the names of the Philoclea's co-workers, "To narrate and to imitate... What would they be doing at Bar "Noumenon" if everything were operating normally?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "A mint julep, using rum washed with coconut oil. Please enjoy."
    Elise gazed at the completed drink sitting on the coaster before her eyes wide with excitement. She took a moment to admire the garnishes, and the way the neon light of the bar shined through the drink as it was presented to her.

    "Oh, oh, wow! That looks amazing!" said Elise excitedly as she tilted her head to look at the drink from a different angle, "I've never had a drink that looked this pretty before!"

    Elise raised a hand to reach out for the stem of the cocktail glass and then froze, as she felt a sudden sense of dread.

    "Is-is untime like international waters where there's no age limit on alcohol? I-I just want to make sure neither of us get into trouble."

    Quote Originally Posted by Philoclea
    "In addition, if you are worried of the young man with you - please do not be. We are in untime, and though you can remain here for only one drink at a time, time stands still for you in the outside. We are a noumenon after all. As things are, we are something that has no bearing whatsoever to what you are experiencing out there. In a sense, we are simply a... well, place to enjoy a single drink every once in a while?"
    "So when I leave, I'll return at the same moment I left? Interesting..."

    This sounds like a great place to get caught up on all my reading... thought Elise as she considered the slowly growing mountain of books she wanted to read. There was the two books she'd recently purchased, the one Souma had found hiding in the reference library, all of the books of hers that she hadn't read yet on her shelf, and John Dove's entire collection of occult texts, Never mind the impracticality of hauling an entire personal library in here... it probably would take more than one drink to get through all that anyway...

    "That does sound nice though... When I do want to reutn here, do I just go through the same door I just did? Although... Souma, uh, the young man with me, tried to open the door too, and it didn't budge for him. Does it only open here for some people? Also, uhm, if we're in untime, when I leave, do I have to return to when I entered? Is it possible to exit untime and return to real time at different point in time?"

  20. #3240
    Time to burn some dread Daneel Rush's Avatar
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    Location: Pinefall High School – Main Building
    Phase: Evening Phase
    Date: 08.09.1994
    Weather: Overcast



    As his eyes follow her retreating back, John Dove wonders.

    Unlikely and absurd as it may seem, could it be that Ubon misunderstood something? Not that it would make sense; she knows for a fact that he has no such interest in her. If she wanted a romantic or intimate relationship, he can play the part, but he already knows him well enough to realize it would be a performance, devoid of authentic emotion. It would not be a relationship in which she would find happiness. Therefore, even if she misunderstood the meaning of his words, she would have taken them for a lie. In other words, the likely conclusion is that she did not misunderstand, and there is another reason for that maidenly behavior—ah, who is he kidding, she definitely misunderstood.

    We have an issue with all sorts of people trying to kill us, you know. How unreasonable can that girl be?

    “Hnn,” is the murmur that forms in his throat. It is not such a big issue—she will understand quickly enough. Worst case scenario, she will no longer wish to come along, in which case he will do it on his own like he originally intended. It might even be the better choice; only one person needs to put his life in danger recklessly. Especially if he is the only one to get anything out of such imprudence.

    …well, worse case scenario would be Ubon killing him in a bout of unreasonable female anger, but that would be a little too outrageous, even for Ubon.

    “Prushka’s in the teacher’s lounge!” he calls out to the Thai girl already some distance away. It would be better for Ubon alone to pull Prushka out of there—better to avoid unnecessary suspicions that may arise from his presence.

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